Is OPEC Losing Influence?

While countless overzealous obituaries have been written about OPEC’s vanishing influence, OPEC is indeed acknowledging that it cannot influence prices to the degree that it once could. However, the result at least shows that OPEC is going to see its current strategy through to its logical conclusion, to the chagrin of most of its members.

Key Economic Events For This Week

After a week full of macroeconomic and headline news (and blooper) fireworks, it’s a fairly quiet start to the week today, with the usual post-payrolls lull in the US.

Is The Fed Finally Being Forced To Consider Main Street?

To help Main Street, the Fed must stop incentivizing speculation over investment and end policies that have shifted wealth and income to the top of the wealth pyramid. Main Street's woes are largely structural: the high cost of regulations, the soaring cost of healthcare insurance, the artificial-scarcity costs imposed by cartels enforced by the federal government and the pressures generated by globalization and automation. The Fed can't solve those problems, but it can certainly stop enriching the already-super-wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

Hedge Funds Sitting On $1 Billion Loss As "Most Hated Name" Keurig Acquired At 78% Premium For $92

As one hedge fund favorite long crashes (Chipotle is down 9% in the pre-market), so another hedge fund favorite short is about to spike (once it reopens for trading). JAB Group has decided that now is the time to offer a 78% premium to current prices to buy Keurig Green Mountain for $92 (note that is still down over 40% from its highs a year ago). The stock is currently halted at $51.51 leaving the 12% short interest biting their nails at the prospect of major losses and a good 'volkswagen-ing'.

Crude Carnage Continues - WTI Tumbles To $38 Handle

Following Friday's plunge after OPEC "held" steady, confirming the strategy of crushing US Shale is here to stay, WTI Crude has continued its carnage and is back to a $38 handle for the first time since the August-month-end meltup... very close once again to cycle lows.

EUR Slides Below 1.08 After Goldman Raises EUR Forecast

Overnight Goldman "concluded its review" of where the EUR will go in the medium and long-term, when Robin Brooks announced Goldman is now "Scaling Back our Expectation for Euro Downside" specifically saying the firm revises its forecast for EUR/$ to 1.07, 1.05 and 1.00 in 3, 6 and 12 months (from 1.02, 1.00 and 0.95 previously) and lifts its year end-2017 forecast to 0.90 from 0.80. The result of Goldman's increase in its EUR forecast? The EUR promptly tumbled below 1.08

Frontrunning: December 7

  • Obama in speech to nation vows to defeat 'new phase' of terrorist threat (Reuters)
  • Clinton Urges Social-Media Intelligence Sharing in Terror Fight (WSJ)
  • Obama urges tech, law enforcement to address social media used for plots (Reuters)
  • NATO says won't send ground troops to fight IS (Reuters)
  • Le Pen Scores Historic Victory in France's Regional Elections (BBG)

European, Asian Stocks Jump As Iron Ore Joins Oil Below $40 For First Time Since May 2009

With Draghi's Friday comments, which as we noted previously were meant solely to push markets higher, taking place after both Europe and Asia closed for the week, today has been a session of catch up for both Asian and Europe, with Japan and China up 1% and 0.3% respectively, and Europe surging 1.4%, pushing government bond yields lower as the dollar resumes its climb on expectations that Draghi will jawbone the European currency lower once more, which in turn forced Goldman to announce two hours ago that it is "scaling back our expectation for Euro downside."

San Bernardino Attack Eye-Witness: "Three Tall White Men Did It"

"As we looked out the window a second set of shots goes off [...] and we saw a man fall to the floor. Then we just looked and we saw three men dressed in all black, military attire, with vests on they were holding assault rifles. As soon as they opened up the doors to building three [...] one of them [...] started to shoot into the room... It looked like their skin color was white. They look like they were athletic build and they appeared to be tall.”

BIS Warns The Fed Rate Hike May Unleash The Biggest Dollar Margin Call In History

"While funding continued to be available, such a large negative basis indicates potential market dislocations. And this may call into question how smoothly US dollar funding conditions will adjust in the event of an increase in US onshore interest rates. Similar pricing anomalies have also emerged in interest rate swap markets recently, raising related concerns."

Terrorism's Two Best Friends: Mainstream Media & Panic-Mongering Politicians

Terrorism works on the perception of the victims. It seems incredible that ten mediocre individuals, with a few primitive weapons, could cause world-wide panic. But it is a fact. Bolstered by the mass media, which thrive on such events, local terrorist acts turn themselves nowadays into world-wide threats. The modern media, by their very nature, are the terrorist’s best friend. Terror could not flourish without them. The next best friend of the terrorist is the politician. It is almost impossible for a politician to resist the temptation to ride on the wave of panic. Panic creates “national unity”, the dream of every ruler. Panic creates the longing for a “strong leader”. This is a basic human instinct.

It Begins: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens

Over the last few months, in a prime example of currency failure and euro-defenders' narratives, Finland has been sliding deeper into depression. Almost 7 years into the the current global expansion, Finland's GDP is 6pc below its previous peak. As The Telegraph reports, this is a deeper and more protracted slump than the post-Soviet crash of the early 1990s, or the Great Depression of the 1930s. And so, having tried it all, Finnish authorities are preparing to unleash "helicopter money" to save their nation by giving every citizen a tax-free payout of around $900 each month!

The Problem With "Rules-Based" Monetary Policy

Monetary policy 'rules' are no more accurate at determining interest rates than meteorologists are at forecasting the weather. The only difference between the two is that weathermen are precise on occasion, whereas the federal funds rate under the Taylor Rule is, at best, less wrong. Setting the price of money and credit in the name of unleashing the economy’s supposed potential output is the equivalent of enacting price controls on milk to unlock its full buying power. It’s a fallacy that cannot be achieved. The sooner the Fed pawns off its printing press, the sooner its market distortions will be lifted; and the sooner that each individual will be able to make rational decisions that make sense for not only himself or herself, but for the economy at large as well.