• GoldCore
    01/31/2015 - 05:00
    We are witnesses to an epic failure of planning, statecraft and social justice. Regardless of where your politics be, these elements are critical for a modern globally connected economy to function....

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Another Step Down The Long, Slow Road To IRA Nationalization

According to IRS estimates, there’s close to $5 trillion in individual retirement accounts in the Land of the Free. This is money that taxpayers prudently set aside for retirement, hopefully cognizant that Social Security isn’t going to be there for them. Devoid of any other easy lender, $5 trillion is far too irresistible for such a heavily indebted government to ignore. We've long warned that the government could easily nationalize a portion of all IRAs. It started happening last year with MyRA followed by the President and Treasury Secretary embarked on a blitzkrieg-style marketing campaign to pump the program... and now comes Step three..



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Visualizing The Cost Of Living Around The World

Meet Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries. This infographic uses this information to show the most expensive and cheapest places to live by country. Switzerland and Norway may not surprise you as two of the most expensive countries. However, Venezuela might not have been a place that was on your radar. Of course, in retrospect, when you have inflation spiraling out of control at a rate of 64% per year, that will make things a bit pricey. Want cheap goods and services? Head over to India, Nepal, and Pakistan.



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As China's Offshore Yuan Crashes To A 2 Year Low, Beijing Warns Its Citizens: "Don't Buy Dollars"

We won't go into the specific details of China's burst housing bubble, the shady underworld of its pyramid scheme wealth-management products, the fact that any hard asset in China is rehypothecated literally a countless number of times, the nuances of its deflating shadow banking system, or even the complexities of its alleged capital controls (alleged, because as a reminder, they only exist for the common folks - the really wealthy Chinese are naturally exempt from any capital flow constraints). We will point out something even more disturbing. The Offshore Yuan just hit a two-year low, reaching a level not seen since September 2012.



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The Fed Is Now Frontrunning Value Investors

The Fed has been supporting the market since the late 1980s. But there is an important difference between the actions of the Fed under Yellen versus Greenspan and Bernanke. In 2008, the Fed allowed Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers to fail. Given the massive wipeout that followed, this decision is now viewed as a dangerous mistake. Having learned their lesson, the Fed is now rushing in to support the market in response to even routine 20% drops. In this way, the Fed is acting like a value investor who demands a small margin of safety before investing.... Since 2010, however, the Fed has changed tactics. The Fed is now reacting far more quickly. Small market selloffs are followed by immediate responses. By quickly riding to the rescue, the Fed is effectively front-running value investors.



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"Obama Is Clueless On Inequality," David Stockman Rages "The Problem Is [The Fed]"

Echoing Elliott's Paul Singer's "greatest irony of politicians railing against inequality," former Reagan OMB Director David Stockman raged that when it comes to inequality, everyone can see the symptom, but "President Obama is clueless as to the cause," blasting that the problem is not capitalism, "the problem is in the Eccles Building and the 12 people sitting there thinking that zero interest rates are some magic elixir that will cause this very toubled economy to revive.! It won't, "these people are dangerous and destructive," Stockman exclaims, and sooner or later the inequality they have created is going to cause a huge political reaction.



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The Death Of The American Dream In 22 Numbers

For decades, the rest of the planet has regarded the United States as “the land of opportunity” where almost anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard. The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs. With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest are scrambling really hard to keep their own places. Something has gone horribly wrong... We are the generation that gets to witness the end of the American Dream.



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"It's Different This Time" GDP Hockey-Sticks Edition

Year after year, hope-strewn economists mark up GDP expectations for the year-ahead (in order to defend top-down their S&P 500 earnings forecasts and why investors should always BTFD)... and year after year, those GDP expectations are slashed drastically. Welcome to 2015...



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5 Things To Ponder: Ascending Contingencies

Recent market actions, the rapid decline in interest rates, earnings deterioration and plunging energy prices have made many less comfortable being long the market. While the "buy and hold" crowd suggests this is all rubbish, it should be worth remembering that every single one of that group never saw the corrections in 2000 or 2008 until it was far too late. Their only excuse was "no one could have seen it coming." The truth is that many did see what was coming. Paying attention to what is happening at the margin leads to an understanding of when the "tides" begin to shift.



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Germany Is (Almost) Japan: Bund Yield Plunges To Record 0.33%

At 32.5bps, Germany's 10Y Bund closed at a record low today (within 4bps of Japan's 10Y yield). The Japanification of Europe is almost complete.



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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Syriza?

Rather than be a problem, Syriza may well be a solution, if it plays its cards right, but that still leaves politicians and investors denominating Tsipras et al as a problem, if not a menace. The world’s major banks got rich off the back of the Greek population at large, and when their wagers got so absurd they collapsed, the banks saw to it that their losses were transferred to European -and American – taxpayers. And those taxpayers are now told to vent their anger at 'those cheating, lazy Greeks'. The Troika, the EU, the IMF, and the banks whose sock puppets they have chosen to be, are a predatory force that has come a long way towards wiping Greece off the map. And that’s what Syriza has set out to remediate. And for that, they deserve, and probably will need, our unmitigated support.



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Crude Oil Prices Are Spiking (Again)

In case you wonder who, why or what did it - perhaps this will help: how they did it before ...defendants developed a scheme by which Optiver, having accumulated a large net TAS (defined below) position, traded a significant volume of futures contracts in the opposite direction, before and during the Close

It's not because - everything is awesome again. Some are claiming ISIS rumors were responsible but the size and veolocty suggest otherwise (and insta-stop at the NYMEX close)



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"Looks Like I'll Be Able To Retire Comfortably At Age 91"

You've probably seen articles and adverts discussing how much money you'll need to "retire comfortably." The trick of course is the definition of comfortable. The general idea of comfortable (as I understand it) appears to be an income which enables the retiree to enjoy leisurely vacations on cruise ships, own a well-appointed RV for tooling around the countryside, and spend as much time on the golf links as he/she might want. Needless to say, Social Security isn't going to fund a comfortable retirement, unless the definition is watching TV with an box of kibble to snack on. By this definition of retiring comfortably, I reckon I should be able to retire at age 91--assuming I can work another 30 years and the creek don't rise.



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Bill Ackman's Biggest Winners And Losers Of 2014

Love Bill Ackman or hate him, whether or you think that his outlier "investment" of the year, one which generated nearly half of his P&L in 2014 namely the collusive hostile bid with Valeant on whose balance sheet he piggy-backed in an attempt to acquire Allergan with lots and lots of debt and whose public announcement he front-ran with even more leverage in the form of hundred of millions in call options, was more criminal than the alleged Herbalife pyramid scheme or perfectly legitimate, one thing is beyond dispute - of all the prominent hedge funds, Ackman's Pershing Square was the best performing hedge fund of 2014.



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