• Pivotfarm
    04/17/2014 - 17:08
    You know when you want to read that last page of the book just before you fall off into the Land of Nod and the Sandman comes and sandbags you to fall asleep?

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Second Rape Investigation Against DSK Launched As Tristane Banon Officially Deposes Complaint For Rape And Sequestration

Yesterday we brought up the likelihood that more women would step up against DSK now that his supposed reign of terror is over, with revelations that journalist Tristan Banon, goddaughter to his second wife, may have been raped by the IMF head some time ago, a topic now picked up by the Guardian. Well according to BFMTV, as of this morning she has officially deposed a complaint in the police office of Neuilly-sur-Seine (92), France for rape and sequestration. As a result DSK is now technically under two rape investigations: one in the US and one in France. And this is just the beginning.



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RANsquawk European Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 16/05/11

A snapshot of the European Morning Briefing covering Stocks, Bonds, FX, etc.
Market Recaps to help improve your Trading and Global knowledge



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What DSK's Escape From Harlem NYPD Will Look (And Sound) Like

We decided to round off this weekend's barrage of surrealist news with some comedy. This is what some expect the imminent escape from Harlem NYPD by the IMF head will look and sound like (and there were those who said Raj Raj is a flight risk).



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Strauss-Kahn Court Appearance Delayed Until Monday; DSK "Tired But Fine"

Minutes ago the IMF announced that it has postponed its informal crisis meeting which was supposed to take place this evening, following the rapidly changing situation in New York, where it was just announced that DSK's court arraignment would be delayed until tomorrow, in order for him to undergo a physical examination checking for scratches and other DNA evidence from the accuser. And for those concerned about DSK's well being now that he is relegated from a $3,000 a night room to a metal cot in a Harlem cell, his lawyer said that "He's tired but he's fine." Presumably this means that DSK does not have to consult with a physician as an erection longer than 4 hours has failed to materialize.



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Is A Deluge Of Latent Rape Accusations Against Strauss-Kahn Imminent?

A French reader of Zero Hedge steps up and makes the following bold prediction: a "Tiger Woods effect" is now imminent, as many other rape accusations against Dominique (or will that soon be Demonique?) Strauss-Kahn emerge, since yesterday's rape episode is most certainly not the first time this has occurred (granted, DSK is innocent until proven guilty). "Until now, hes has been bale to fight back allegations by "fixing" the situation through influence and keeping the French press shut up, or by pressuring the women into not getting into a public battle with him." Now this status quo is over, and it is very likely that very soon many more will step up from under the cloak of anonymity and tell their story.



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Complacency That Makes You Go Hmmm

Time for another dose of original observations and compiled content from the pen of Grant Williams and his latest "Things that make you go hmmmm" which this time focuses, appropriately, on the topic of complacency: "It seems to me that if there were a futures contract in complacency, it would certainly not be in need of a CME margin hike due to a completely lopsided supply/demand picture. Yes I’m sure there would be all kinds of whack-jobs talking about a conspiracy to sell complacency short and thus flood the world with unbacked self-satisfaction and unawareness, but the simple truth is, complacency occurs naturally for the most part and is in abundance roughly 95% of the time. Lately, however, a curious phenomenon has taken place. Back in the dying days of the 20th century, Doctor Alan Greenspan discovered a way to manufacture a super-strain of artificial complacency by adding confidence and using the power of words and the setting of interest rates.  Greenspan soldiered on and, when Long Term Capital Management hit the skids in 1998, he set about his grand experiment - introducing manufactured complacency into the financial marketplace. Prior to 1998, the business world had largely existed on a traditional cycle of boom and bust as contraction followed expansion and failing businesses were allowed to meet their inevitable demise. They were heady days indeed. People were wary of the potential pitfalls of bad decision-making and, while complacency was most certainly evident, its supply/demand situation spent many long periods in perfect equilibrium. After Dr. Greenspan’s introduction of artificial complacency, however, things began to change..."



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"Act As If" - Greece vs America Edition

The most memorable scene from the movie Boiler Room is when the character of Ben Afleck tells the room full of wannabe brokers to "Act As If" (and in the tangent regarding male genitalia, the head of the IMF would have been wise to take the advice instead of opening his fly and disproving it). Who would have thought that a few short years later, it would be none other than insolvent countries taking this advice: specifically, America acting as if it wasn't insolvent, and Greece acting as if it was beyond saving. The irony, as William Buckler observes in his latest edition of the Privateer, is that while US debt continues to trade (if no longer be accepted) as the "Rock of Gibraltar" and Greek paper is trading with a certainty of bankruptcy, it is Greece that has taken proactive steps in taxing and spending policy, while the US has merely retrenched its profligate ways, and while much political theater takes place, nothing ever really changes. For some of the more perverse consequences of this bizarro world inversion, read below.



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Casualty Reported As Protesters Storm Israel Embassy In Cairo; Video Of Palestinians , Syrians Entering Israel-Controlled Golan Heights

As the Nakba protests continue late in the night across the Middle East, things in Egypt have taken a turn for the worse after Reuters reports that Egyptian police have fired teargas to force back pro-Palestinian demonstrators who had broken through a barricade in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, according to witnesses. Additionally, according to the twitter stream, at least one person has been killed during the protest after being shot in the head. Those who wish to follow the latest on the ground updates from Egypt and Israel may do so by searching the #May 15 hash tag. Judging by the early drop in the EURUSD, the sentiment is definitely risk averse.



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Zimbabwe Says Days Of The US Dollar Are Numbered, Pushes For Gold-Backed Local Currency

Topping off a weekend of surreal news is the announcement from the Central Bank of Zimbabwe that the country is now evaluating introducing a gold-backed Zimbabwean dollar, and, in keeping with the Salvador Dali feel to the past 48 hours, that the "days of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency are numbered." Yes. Zimbabwe, the same place that two years ago sported a brand new crisp Z$100 trillion bill. What is just as odd is that this news comes less than a week after Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized US economic policies, saying that the paper currency created by the American government is taking a heavy toll on the global economy. While Zimbabwe, which now transacts almost exclusively in foreign currencies such as the USD and the South African Rand, is actively considering ways to return its own currency into circulation, the man who has up to now served as an inspiration and a role model to Ben Bernanke, Gideon Gono, said the country should consider adopting a gold-backed currency. “There is a need for us to begin thinking seriously and urgently about introducing a Gold-backed Zimbabwe currency which will not only stable but internationally acceptable,” he said in an interview with state media... That giant ripping noise you hear is the Chairsatan tearing down each and every 20x10 poster of Gideon Gono, lining the hallways of the Princeton Economics department.



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Guest Post: Q2 Economic Contraction Highly Probable

Recently I have been discussing the possibility that the US economy is in fact in a period of contraction. I want to revisit that call as I don't loosely throw out such a statement without backing it up with real data. Q1 2011 GDP was 1.77%, a 43% reduction in Q4 2010 GDP of 3.11%. Although Q1 GDP could be revised higher over the next two revisions it did highlight three sources of contraction. Initial data for April has further supported potential economic contraction with four regional Fed manufacturing surveys showing a sharp reduction in growth, near outright contraction in ISM Services, a very sharp increase in weekly unemployment claims and a deteriorating trade deficit.



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A Look At Key Global Events In The Upcoming Week

Last week’s flow of cyclical data was broadly encouraging. However, cyclical currencies traded weak against the USD. In addition, the Greece situation stood at the forefront of market attention. This week will offer us more on that front with the Ecofin/Eurogroup meetings on Monday. Other than that, we have important cyclical data this week with the Philly Fed on Thursday standing out as the key forward-looking indicator. It will also be interesting to watch trends in initial claims, which has been volatile recently. Finally, Fed Chairman Dudley’s speech will be interesting to follow, together with FOMC minutes.



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Goldman On The EUR Long/USD Short Rout

A week ago, when we looked at the CFTC's Commitment of Trader data (for speculative exposure), we noticed that EUR long spec positions surged to multi-year highs. We said: "As a result of this surge in exposure, we have seen a one way trade as the specs exit the trade en masse." Sure enough, a week later, the EURUSD (and other EUR crosses) continues to tumble and appears poised to take out the 1.40 level. Today, Goldman's FX team led by Thomas Stolper who appears will not disappoint once again and will be closed out on his EURUSD trade at a loss, looks at the COT data and extrapolates the same rout in EUR longs we predicted, as well as a large $ short position. Of course, this is what we said on Friday, with the caveat that the marginal move has already been completed "and from this point on it will be just the retails, the momos and the robots" if the EUR is to continue dropping.



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Strauss-Kahn Does Not Have Diplomatic Immunity

To all those who thought, himself probably included, that DSK would get away scott free from his most recent rape incident (as opposed to the metaphorical rape that the IMF has exercised over the decades over insolvent creditor nations), the Telegraph has one word: wrong. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn was told he does not have diplomatic immunity from prosecution against charges including alleged rape, said Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesman."



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NIA Releases The "College Conspiracy" Video, Or Why The College Bubble Is Next To Pop

NIA's long anticipated "College Conspiracy", or "why the college bubble is next to burst" video by the NIA is finally out.



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Guest Post: The Global Economy Burns, While its Leaders Fiddle

All around the world, the bodies and countries with the most power keep screwing people (some like IMF head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, literally) and entire nations, while supporting their banking systems. Last week, S&P announced it would downgrade Portugal if it didn’t play ball with the IMF and EU over its 4-year 78E billion-bailout program in return for hacking public programs. Echoing our own Congressional goons spewing spending cuts in the face of inadequate revenues and for-bank-manufactured mega-debt, the S&P noted, “Two-thirds of the projected savings in [Portugal’s] 2012 budget will likely come from spending cuts.” On a roll, the IMF also declared Italy needs ‘structural reform’, meaning labor market reform, less public ownership and more private investment to “unlock its growth potential.” (aka invite more speculative capital at its earliest convenience.) Meanwhile, thousands of people are again striking in Greece, as the IMF and EU discuss more austerity measures, following the bank bailout that provoked public outrage a year ago, and a rating downgrade by S&P. The EU remains more concerned with investors regaining confidence in Greece than economic stability of its citizens. Then, there’s Ireland, for whom its last bailout didn’t dent its 14.5% unemployment rate, or fill in the gaping holes its banks dug. In short, the global ‘remedy’ for depressed economies and debt-bloated banking sectors remains to do – more of the same - and pretend this will beget a different outcome. Yet, there is no way this strategy will result in more stable economies. What we can expect instead is further widespread deterioration.



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