Despite promises by all asunder that any Ebola epidemic in America will be "contained" the dreadful news this morning appears to confirm this is not the case. From one patient, Eric Duncan, just 2 days ago, to 4 schools and 18 people yesterday (according to Texas Governor Rick Perry) to today where NBC News has confirmed with the Dallas county health and human services that 80 people came into contact with the Dallas Ebola patient or his family (including 12-18 direct). The ambulance workers are also under close watch after Duncan vomited on the ground outside an apartment complex as he was bundled into an ambulance. In addition, CBS is reporting one possible Ebola patient in isolation in Hawaii. Contained? Perhaps it is time to rethink the ethics of disease control once again.
We look forward to more jawboning, more promises, and more hope that fiscal policymakers enact reforms as ECB chief Mario Draghi explains how doing nothing on rates (they are at the limit) and QE (zee Germans) is still the most dovish thing because they might possibly maybe kinda sorta do it in the future...
"With the recent weakness in risk, are we understanding more about how addicted markets have been to the Fed's QE? Or is this just a temporary unrelated blip? The Fed will turn off the QE tap later this month and in our opinion volatility has been increasing as the market adjusts. We've long felt that the Fed pulling back from QE would be an issue for markets and it’s tempting to be bearish here."
Unlike last month, when in an act of futility and desperation, the ECB pushed NIRP into NIRPer territory, this time the ex-Goldmanite in charge of Europe's money printer decided not to antagonize Germany further, and to do nothing.
- As we warned in May 2013... Gross Exposes $42 Trillion Bond Market’s Key Flaw in Exit (BBG).... hint: no liquidity
- WTI Crude Slips Below $90 for First Time in 17 Months (BBG)
- Traders Thank Fed for Once-in-Decade Surge in Profit (BBG)
- Islamic State committing 'staggering' crimes in Iraq: U.N. report (Reuters)
- Philippine Islamist militants threaten to behead German on October 17 (Reuters)
- Draghi’s Buying Spree for the ECB Might Start Modestly (BBG)
- Russian Officials Say No Plans for Capital Controls (WSJ)
- Indians Join the Wave of Investors in Condos and Homes in the U.S. (NYT)
- Leader of Mexican drugs cartel captured (FT)
- Dallas Ebola patient vomited outside apartment on way to hospital (Reuters)
While we already documented the crash in Japanese stocks earlier, the biggest market development overnight is the plunge in crude, with both Brent and WTI plunging, the latter sliding under $90 for the first time in 17 months, extending yesterday's selloff after Saudi Aramco cut Arab Light OSP in Asia to 2008 levels. Brent drops to lowest since June 2012. This also confirms that the global slowdown whose can is kicked every so often in a new bout of money printing, is arriving fast. That, and the imminent crackdown on today's Hong Kong protest will likely be the biggest stories of the day, even as the spread of Ebola to the US is sure to keep everhone on edge.
"Crowds pin police against wall, shouting "you can not enter". Police shuttling in huge wooden crates. More gas tonight?!... Wow, crowds surging. Police trying to maintain supply line. Protesters are gearing up for gas - goggles are being passed around.... Police are carrying a boxes labelled "batons" and metal "flammable" tins. Tonight is going to get messy." - SCMP's Bryan Harris
Define irony. Literally hours after financial entertainment outlet CNBC wrote an article in which it said that "As fourth quarter kicks off, there's one market in Asia that has investors excited: Japan" the Nikkei crashed.
Now that Ebola is officially in the US on an uncontrolled basis, the two questions on everyone's lips are i) who will get sick next and ii) how bad could it get? We don't know the answer to question #1 just yet, but when it comes to the second one, a press release three weeks ago from Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer and seller of a "comprehensive line of safety garments and accessories for the industrial protective clothing market" may provide some insight into just how bad the US State Department thinks it may get. Because when the US government buys 160,000 hazmat suits specifically designed against Ebola, just ahead of the worst Ebola epidemic in history making US landfall, one wonders: what do they know the we don't?
Václav Klaus has made a habit of saying things others shy away from saying, but it doesn’t seem to have done him much harm in the popularity stakes. So here is his latest dose of inconvenient truthiness: "those who are not able to understand the difference (between the Soviet Union and Russia) are simply not looking with open eyes... The US/EU propaganda against Russia is really ridiculous." Yet he feels the freedom to hold - and express - ‘unfashionable’ views in the West is now under increasing threat.
As the threat of the ebola virus looms large and the Center for Disease Control issues what are undoubtedly hyperbolic projections of over a million casualties to the disease by January, we owe it to ourselves as libertarians to ask a few questions about the ethics of disease control. Is it acceptable to use force to isolate a person with a contagious disease from society, and if so, under what circumstances? How far are we permitted to go in the invasion of another person’s personal liberty in order to secure a safe environment for the rest of us?
Joshua Wong is too young to drive or buy a drink in a bar – let alone vote – yet, as The Guardian reports, has become the face of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and an inspiration to citizens three times his age.
The meaning of events and market signals differ hugely from country to country, tribe to tribe, generation to generation. Ferguson does not mean the same thing as Hong Kong. Hong Kong does not mean the same thing as Tahrir Square or even Tiananmen Square. Monetary policy does not mean the same thing in Beijing as monetary policy means in Washington, which in turn does not mean the same thing as monetary policy in Paris or Rome. But we have an innate tendency to act as if these signals DO mean the same thing, and we can totally wrong-foot our investments as a result. The biggest thing happening in the world today is the growing divergence between US monetary policy and everyone else’s monetary policy with three HUGE implications: one for investment strategy selection, one for global growth, and one for … (gulp!) gold.
"Many have used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak," Dr. Kent Brantly said, adding "Indeed it is a fire - it is a fire straight from the pit of hell. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will protect us from the flames of this fire. Instead, we must mobilize the resources... to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes."
Just days after President Obama infuriated some in the intelligence and defense communities with comments that "they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," The Government Accountability Institute, a watchdog non-profit organization, found that as of Sept. 29, the President had attended only 42.4% of Presidential Daily Briefs (PDB) during his first term and 41.3% during his second term. As one former official blasted, "either the president doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting."