• Tim Knight from...
    11/26/2014 - 19:43
    I read your post Pity the Sub Genius and agreed with a lot of what you wrote. However you missed what I think is the biggest killer of middle class jobs, and that is technological...

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Ukraine Central Bank Admits Gold Outflow, Calls It "Optimization Of Reserve Structure"

A week after we reported that the head of the Ukraine central bank admitted in an unofficial, informal interview that Ukraine's gold is gone, all gone, moments ago the Central Bank revealed that, sure enough, the gold holdings in the civil war-torn country have tumbled, as a result of a decision in September to "increase the share of US dollars in a reserve basket", or in other words, to sell the gold. Just don't call it that: in fact, as of today we have a brand new buzzword for gold liquidations: "optimization of international reserves."



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Brent Plunge To $60 If OPEC Fails To Cut, Junk Bond Rout, Default Cycle, "Profit Recession" To Follow

While OPEC has been mostly irrelevant in the past 5 years as a result of Saudi Arabia's recurring cartel-busting moves, which have seen the oil exporter frequently align with the US instead of with its OPEC "peers", and thanks to central banks flooding the market with liquidity helping crude prices remain high regardless of where actual global spot or future demand was, this Thanksgiving traders will be periodically resurfacing from a Tryptophan coma and refreshing their favorite headline news service for updates from Vienna, where a failure by OPEC to implement a significant output cut could send oil prices could plunging to $60 a barrel according to Reuters citing "market players" say.



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Service PMI Misses, Tumbles To 7-Month Lows, "Extreme Weather" Warning For GDP Issued

On the heels of the biggest miss on record for US Manufacturing PMI (which corresponded un-decoupling-ly with disappointing European and Chinese Manufacturing PMIs), Markit's Services PMI printed 56.3, missing 57.3 expectations and notably down from October's 57.1 to 7 month lows. As Markit notes, the index has now pointed to softer growth of business activity in each of the past five months, to signal a sustained loss of momentum since the post-crisis peak seen in June. What is even more worrying...  Markit points out that the economic upturn has lost considerable momentum, and with extreme weather hitting parts of the country, growth could slow even further.



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ISIS' First Administration Casualty: Chuck Hagel Resigns Under Pressure From Obama

It appears some folks might be scapegoated... As NY Times reports, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down, under presssure. President Obama made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel has, and that his team has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises.



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The Mystery Of America's "Schrodinger" Middle Class, Which Is Either Thriving Or About To Go Extinct

On one hand, the US middle class has rarely if ever had it worse. At least, if one actually dares to venture into this thing called the real world, and/or believes the NYT's report: "Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class." In short, it says that America's manufacturing sector, and thus middle class, is being obliterated: "A new study by the National Employment Law Project, to be released on Friday, reveals that many factory jobs nowadays pay far less than what workers in almost identical positions earned in the past. And then, paradoxically, at almost the same time, there's this from Bloomberg: "Lower-wage workers saw bigger pay gains over the past year than the highest earners, reversing the trend from earlier stages of the recovery." In short: the state of the US middle class is truly in the eyes of the beholder.



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Iran Nuclear Talks Extended 7 Months; $700 Million In Monthly Sanctions Lifted

In what is hardly a surprising outcome, the parties involved in the Iran nuclear talks have decided it best for all to extend (and pretend) the discussion for another 7 months:

*IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 1, OFFICIALS SAY

Diplomatic teams will reconvene in December and the US State Department is proclaiming "good progress" in a brief statement. 7 more months of sanctions, a call with Putin today, and OPEC later in the week... one wonders if any of this will be relevant in 7 months. Additionally, it seems beggars can be choosers as P5+1 says Iran can get $700 million per month in frozen assets back...



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Central Banks: When We Succeed, We Fail

Goosing stocks ever higher will eventually push wealth inequality to the point that it unleashes social instability.



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Frontrunning: November 24

  • Grand jury expected to resume Ferguson police shooting deliberations (Reuters)
  • PBOC Bounce Seen Short Lived as History Defies Bulls (BBG)
  • Home prices dropped in September for the first time since January (HousingWire)
  • UPS Teaches Holiday Recruits to Fend Off Dogs, Dodge NYC Taxis (BBG)
  • US oil imports from Opec at 30-year low (FT)
  • Hedge Funds Bet on Coal-Mining Failures (WSJ)
  • Putin Woos Pakistan as Cold War Friend India Buys U.S. Arms (BBG)
  • How the EU Plans to Turn $26 Billion Into $390 Billion (BBG)
  • The $31 Billion Bet Against Brazil’s New Finance Minister (BBG)


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Futures Poised For New Record Highs On Weekend Central Bank Double Whammy

Another day, another case of central banks, not one but two this time, dictating "price" action.



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RANsquawk Week Ahead - 24th November 2014



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Your Role In The World Explained (In 1 Simple Sketch)

Presented without comment...



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There Goes The Shopping Spree: Nor'easter May Hit East Coast For Thanksgiving

Forget Black Friday and Q4 GDP... it appears, from the most recent forecasts that from Wednesday on this week, the eastern US faces a 'White Five-Day' as Accuweather reports "an increasing likelihood for a swath of heavy snow stretching from eastern Pennsylvania through New York's Hudson Valley and across much of New England before all is said and done." Furthermore, as WaPo notes, Wednesday’s possible storm has a chance to develop into a legitimate Nor’easter (though current models offer 3 scenarios).



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NATO Jets Surrounding Russia: Before And After



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American CEOs Sum Up The Economic Outlook: "Softness, Stagnant, Cautious, Challenging"

Since May, CEO confidence among America's largest companies had stagnated - even as stocks did what they do and rise, rise, rise. That changed when Bullard (now explained as "misunderstood" by the market) set fire to stocks with his QE4 hints and Plunge Protection Team rescue. However, the last 2 weeks have seen a noticable collapse once again in CEO confidence, according to Bloomberg's Orange Book index, even as stocks reach new higher all-time-er highs. As Bloomberg's Rich Yamarone notes, recent earnings calls highlight the headwinds companies face: Executives cite “softness in consumer spending,” a “challenging” climate, “fairly stagnant economy,” and “cautious” optimism. Currency valuations are front and center.



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Pressures On The US Economy Just Increased

"Even if economic conditions continue improving, equity prices are bound to fall sharply at some point, inflicting painful losses on investors. This is what happened in 1987, roughly five years into the last structural bull market. Boom-bust cycles are inevitable because improving economic conditions encourage speculative excesses, which are then blown away as greed gives way to fear."



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