CFTC Helps Deutsche Bank Avoid "Bad Actor" Tag

Deutsche Bank's LIBOR settlement likely should have landed the bank on the SEC's "bad actor" list, but thankfully, the CFTC was willing to write language into its settlement with the bank which effectively allows the German lender to skirt Dodd-Frank, proving yet again that it's good to be TBTF.

"Hedge!!"

Q: How do you make a small fortune on Wall Street?

A: Start with a large fortune.

~ old investing adage

"Too Big To Fail Is A License For Recklessness" America's Banking System Is A "Fragile House Of Cards"

"Too Big to Fail is a license for recklessness. These institutions defy notions of fairness, accountability, and responsibility... They benefit from the upside and expose the rest of us to the downside of their decisions. These banks are too powerful politically as well... Effectively we're hostages because their failure would be so harmful. They're likely to be bailed out if their risks don't turn out well and the largest financial firms in America can hide an enormous amount of risk in derivatives which creates a house of cards — a very fragile system."

5 Things To Ponder: GDP - Love It Or List It

"What investors need to know today is that they are currently priced just as high as they were back then! The problem is they once again want their cake and to eat it, too. Despite paying an extremely high price for stocks today they also expect a high rate of return. A few recent polls show investors expecting to get 10% per year from their equity investments right now. Some are even expecting to generate twice that much and there’s just no chance it’s going to happen."

Europe Has A "Severe Case Of Low-Flation", Goldman Says

"The effects on underlying inflation have so far been tepid. What is worrisome is that market participants still do not see consumer price inflation returning to the ECB’s 2% target on a sustained basis, let alone going above it, over any reasonable time horizon," Goldman says. And while the bank is ultimately confident that the Goldmanite in charge of the ECB will succeed in driving up inflation over time, the market would be wise to note that the US and Japanese experience with QE don't provide much in the way of empirical support for that contention.

"$12 By '20": Democrats Seek 70% Increase In Minimum Wage

Democrats are moving on a “$12 by ‘20” pitch, whereby they hope to have the minimum wage hiked to $12 within the next five years. The rationale is simple: restore the purchasing power Americans once had and you will restore robust economic growth. Ok, maybe it's not that simple, because as Republicans note, raising the pay floor by nearly 70% may well cost America jobs, thus making things worse for the very people the wage hike was meant to help.

Guest Post: What's Really Burning In Baltimore - 50 Years Of Liberal Welfare State Policies

It is the police department created and controlled for decades by Democratic progressive politicians that has committed the atrocities against the people who have been electing these progressives year after year. Baltimore has a corrupt, reckless, out of control police department enabled by a crooked and incompetent Baltimore politicians. It doesn’t take a village to raze, burn, and loot a village. It just takes 50 years of liberal economic and social policies.

Russia Preparing Offensive In Ukraine, NATO General Imagines

U.S. Air Force General and NATO supreme allied commander Philip Breedlove is ratcheting up the rhetoric by suggesting to the Senate that Russia is planning to shatter what remains of the fragile ceasefire in Ukraine by launching an imminent offensive. “Many [Russian] actions are consistent with preparations for another offensive,” the general said, without fully explaining how he came to his conclusion.

Crude Bounces After Oil Rig Count Decline Slows

Oil prices have tumbled this morning ahead of the Baker Hughes rig count data but algos bounced them after the pace of oil rig count decline slowed further. For an unprecedented 21st week in a row, the US total rig count declined this week (down 27 to 905).  Oil rigs fell 24 to 679 for the fastest total collapse in rig counts in history (down over 57% in 21 weeks). This is a faster pace of decline than the previous week for total rigs but a slower pace of decline for oil rigs.

Atlanta Fed Cuts Q2 GDP Forecast To +0.8% After Construction Spending Crunch

Just as we warned earlier, the April data is not suggesting the kind of post-weather Q2 bounce in economic growth that everyone is praying for  (or not if you're long stocks). On the heels of this morning's tumble in construction spending, The Atlanta Fed forecasts second-quarter real nonresidential structures investment to collapse 20%, leading to a mere 0.8% Q2 GDP growth estimate (dramatically below consensus hope expectations of 3.3% growth).