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De-Dollarization Spreads: Swiss & Chinese Central Banks Enter Swap Agreement

The trend of the end of the dollar hegemony continues to slowly creep through the world's financial systems (no matter how many mainstream media 'king dollar' stories we see). The Swiss National Bank and the People’s Bank of China reached a currency swap agreement this week. While this is not a huge trend changer in the near-term, it demonstrates the continued rising roled of China as the largest economy and to be the next financial capital of the world when Europe and the USA blow themselves apart with defaulting socialism.



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Ebola Victim On The Run In West Africa Capital

It's gone from bad (Mapping Africa's "Totally Out Of Control" Ebola Epidemic)  to worse, (Head Doctor Fighting Africa's "Out Of Control" Ebola Epidemic Contracts The Virus), to much worse (Liberian Man Tested For Ebola In World's Fourth Most Populous City), to having run out of comparaitves - although we are leery of using a superlative just yet as we have a feeling Africa's Ebola's epidemic will deteriorate before it gets better. But the latest news is bad enough: as Reuters reported moments ago, Sierra Leone officials appealed for help on Friday to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after testing positive for the deadly disease.



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First Syrian Rebels, Now Hamas: Qatar Once Again Emerges As "Mystery" US-Backed Sponsor Of War

It was a little over a year ago when the "Mystery Sponsor Of Weapons And Money To Syrian Mercenary "Rebels" Was Revealed" as none other than the uber-wealthy Qatar (also known as the tiny but filthy rich state in the Persian Gulf that hosts the US Fifth fleet, better known as infinite leverage vis-a-vis the United States), which effectively had been pulling the US interventionist strings in hopes of taking out the Assad government and installing a puppet regime, one which would be helpful in facilitating the passage of a natgas pipeline beneath the country, which would then proceed into Turkey and all the way into Europe, as a means of bypassing Europe's reliance on Russia (which as recent events have shown has all the leverage when it comes to Europe).  It failed. As a result it had to redirect its puppetmastery skills elsewhere. That "elsewhere" appears to be none other than Hamas,



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Did The "Dash For Trash" Just End?

For almost three years there has been one recurring simple strategy to outperforming the market - find the worst company you can, and buy its stock with both hands and feet... As we have discussed numerous times, the massive outperformance of "weak balance sheet" companies over "strong balance sheet" companies - the absolute sign of a massive mal-investment boom - has been a straight line to profits with hardly a hiccup since the Fed unleashed QE2. However, the last week or so, as geopolitical risks rise and it appears ever more likely that the Fed's free money pipe will dry up, the dash-for-trash has reversed. The last 5 days saw "strong" companies outperform "weak" companies by the most in 3 years... something is changing.



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Please Don't Blame The Fed: Alan Greenspan Says "Bubbles Are A Function Of Human Nature"

After all this time Greenspan still insists on blaming the people for the economic and financial havoc that he engendered from his perch in the Eccles Building. Indeed, posturing himself as some kind of latter day monetary Calvinist, he made it crystal clear in yesterday’s interview that the blame cannot be placed at his feet where it belongs:

"I have come to the conclusion that bubbles, as I noted, are a function of human nature."

C’mon.



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Stocks Slide, Gold Soars On Weak Earnings, Geopolitical Fears

Despite an impressive ramp by USDJPY in the last two hours of trading (thank you Nomura and BOJ) whose purpose was to get the DE Shaw and all other correlation algos to push spoos higher, today's trifecta of the ugly guidance by Visa (which dominated the DJIA), very ugly earnings by Amazon (which dominated the Nasdaq) and the CME ES margin hike just proved too much, and while Friday may have been the new Tuesday following 11 "green" DJIA Fridays in a row, today's 123 point drop stopped the trend before lucky 12 out of 12.



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Africa's Largest Refinery Finds 2.7 Tons Of Gold "Missing" After Computer System Upgrade

It's one thing to implicitly admit that there is a physical gold shortage and as a result nations - such as Germany - are unable to repatriate their physical gold held in the safe and trusted confines 90 feet below the NY Fed, gold which may or may not be there and has likely been leased out exponentially to cover paper shorts by virtually every BIS-overseen central bank (and the BIS paper gold selling team itself of course). It is something totally different to corzine, as in vaporize, 87,000 ounces of physical gold, some 2.7 tons, and blame it on a computer upgrade glitch. Which is precisely what Rand, Afrrica's largest refinery and processor of about a third of the world's gold since 1920, has done after it "discovered" that $113 million in precious metal was missing after "adopting a new computer system."



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No Inflation Friday: Dollarized Panama Issues Price Controls For Basic Goods

Less than four weeks after starting his new job, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela already has a serious challenge to deal with: empty grocery shelves. This is largely a self-inflicted wound that was bound to happen. 
Fresh on the heels of his victory in May, the then President-elect announced that one of his first orders would be to regulate prices for staple food products. He followed through on his promise, establishing price controls on certain brands of roughly two dozen items like chicken, rice, eggs, and bread.  And within a matter of weeks, many grocery store shelves are already empty, at least for the regulated items.  It’s not quite Venezuela or Cuba where it can be downright impossible to buy a roll of toilet paper. But it’s more proof that price controls almost always backfire.



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High Yield Credit Market Flashing Red As Outflows Surge

As we have been highlighting for a few weeks, something is rotten in high-yield credit markets. This week, the mainstream media is starting to catch on as major divergences in performance (high-yield bond spreads are 30-40bps off their cycle tights from just prior to MH17 even as stocks rally to new record highs) and technicals weaken. However, as BofA warns, flows follow returns and this week saw the biggest outflows from high-yield funds in more than a year. Investment grade bonds saw notable inflows as investors chose up-in-quality, rather than reach-for-yield, for the first time in years... equity investors, pay attention.



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Israel Cabinet Unanimously Rejects John Kerry's Gaza Truce Proposal

Over the past few days, John Kerry flew to Egypt, where among other things, he proposed a weekling Gaza Truce. Alas, that was one taxpayer funded trip for the Secretary of State flushed down the drain:

  • ISRAEL CABINET UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSED KERRY PLAN: CHANNEL 1
  • ISRAEL'S SECURITY CABINET HAS REJECTED GAZA CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL, SEEKS MODIFICATIONS -GOVT SOURCE

Or, largely just as was expected (because even Bloomberg is now reporting how the entire middle east is mocking John Kerry).



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Pentagon Says Russia Preparing To Transfer "Powerful Weapons" To Ukraine

No red lines, no YouTube clips, no WMD this time: just more "straight to propaganda" speculation by the Pentagon. "Russia is preparing the transfer of more powerful weaponry into Ukraine and it could happen at any time, the Pentagon spokesman said Friday, citing the latest U.S. intelligence. The transfer could be "imminent," Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters. It's believed the weaponry will be driven into Ukraine "potentially today," Warren said, but it is not clear if Russian troops will be involved."



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David Einhorn On The M&A Bubble And "Dreams" As An Investment Thesis

"there are a number of tech stocks that are caught up in a smaller version of the 1999-2000 internet bubble, and as we mentioned, we created a bubble basket to short them. At this year’s Sohn Investment Conference in May, David presented athenahealth (ATHN), a healthcare IT company, as an example of a bubble basket stock. In response to our assertion that the shares are absurdly overvalued, CEO Jonathan Bush summed things up perfectly a few days after the conference when he told Bloomberg TV, “And those who buy our stock should not be sort of bottom [line] watching value investors. They should be people who dream of a health care cloud.” At Greenlight, dreams do not form the basis of investment theses."



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Man Carrying Ebola Virus In World's Fourth Most Populous City, Dies In Quarantine

Update: It has been confirmed that the Liberian man who died in quarantine, did in fact have Ebola. Cue panic mitigation.

While the state of Sierra Leone is scrambling to locate the missing woman who is "on the loose" in the capital Freetown with a documented case of Ebola, we can at least close the book on the other developing story we reported yesterday involving a person who collapse in the international airport of Nigeria's megacity, Lagos, and who was being tested for Ebola. The man has died.



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Are We Addicted to Failure?

Like all addicts, Central Planners are confident they can manage the monkey on their back. But this is a self-serving illusion; it's the monkey who controls the addict, not the other way round. If we're not addicted to failure, why do we tolerate a central bank that creates one rush-high-overdose-crash after another? Perhaps it's time to confess that we're addicted to failure because we're too afraid to face life without this financial addiction. Pretty sad, huh? Like all observers, those of us without monetary heroin in our veins wonder when the poor addict will finally wake up and choose a path that isn't self-destructive. But as many of us know from personal experience, it often takes a near-death experience to awaken the instinct for survival in the addict. Sadly, sometimes not even that is enough, and a once-great nation spirals down to ruin.



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Number Of French Jobless Rise To New Record

With "recoveries" like these who needs staged, false flag conflicts and wars covering over 10% of the globe? Well, socialist France for one which moments ago announced that total jobless rose from 3.389 million to 3.398 million, a new record high. Surprisingly, while the year-over-year unemployment change for people under 25 declined by 3.1%, it was workers 25-49 which saw a material 3.3% increase in joblessness, but it was workers aged 50 and older that saw a veritable surge in unemployment, rising by 11.5% from a year ago. Surely, just like in the US, this is due to young people retiring in droves.



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