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The IPO Window Is Closing Fast

With a multitude of equity valuation dreams hinging on the success of Alibaba's forthcoming IPO, the following chart is likely the most frightening one for many VC companies currently. As Bloomberg notes, it's becoming much harder for companies to close IPOs successfully with only 2 companies last week raising money at an amount within the expected range. On average,  the eight companies from last week priced their offerings 12% below the mid-point of their range. As one analyst noted, "investors have more or less said "enough"."



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Another Sign That Central Planning Works: Condom Shortage In Cuba

Going to Cuba is like going back in time. The country lacks basic products and services, many of which we consider staples in modern life. All of this stems from a system of central planning in which government essentially owns and controls… everything. Businesses. Property. Medical services. Anything larger than a bicycle. Teams of bureaucrats lord over the Cuban economy trying to manipulate and control every possible variable. They dole out housing allowances. They set manufacturing quotas. They control prices of goods and services. Nevermind that any high school economics student understands why price controls don’t work… and typically lead to shortages. That’s precisely what’s happening right now. Condoms are now at critically low levels in Cuba. And the government’s solution is to sell expired condoms from two years ago. It’s genius.



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Why Putin Is Smiling At The Bond Market's Blockade Of Russia

One of the recurring themes the western media regurgitates at every opportunity is that while the western "diplomatic" sanctions against Russia are clearly a joke, one thing that will severely cripple the economy is the capital market embargo that has struck Russian companies, which are facing $115 billion of debt due over the next 12 months. Surely there is no way Russia can afford to let its major corporations - the nexus of its petroleum trade - go insolvent, which is why Putin will have to restrain himself and beg western investors to come back and chase appetiziing Russian yields (with other people's money of course). Turns out this line of thought is completely wrong.

 



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"Most Shorted" Stocks Outperform "The Market" Five-Fold Today!

In case you were wondering where the ammunition for today's rally in US equities came from on a day of de minimus volume and no real support from JPY carry...



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Netflix Rises On EPS And Intl Sub Beat, In-Line Revenues, And Domestic Subs Miss; Price Increase

With revenues meeting estimates to the dot, and with largely meaningless non-GAAP EPS (because after all NFLX is valued on a 2024 foward basis), Netflix is choppy after hours as algos try to determine what is more important for them:the miss in domestic subs, which rose 2.25 million on expectations of a 2.31 million increase, of the beat in international (and very much money-losing although now expected to be profitable in 2014) subs, which rose 1.75MM vs estimates of 1.64MM.



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S&P Rallies To First 5-Day Streak In 6 Months On No Volume

With Europe still on holiday, US equity market volumes were in a word, abysmal (S&P futures only around 30% of average) but VIX saw action as volume was healthy and the machines were in charge of the action from start to finish. The Dow's intraday range (and volume) was the lowest of the year. This is the first time since Oct2013 that the S&P 500 has had 5 positive closes in a row just as we predicted this morning. Between VIX slams and JPY crosses, today's action was clearly unrigged as Biotechs pumped, dumped, then ripped 2.5% off the lows as April's largest POMO sent markets scurrying. The USD rose 0.1% (on modest EUR weakness) and commodities slid lower led by silver, gold, and copper respectively. VIX closed at 13.25% - new cycle lows.



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"It's Impossible To Work Your Way Through College Nowadays"

"It's impossible to work your way through college nowadays"...is the hard-to-swallow (but not entirely surprising) conclusion of Randal Olson's research into just how extreme national tuition costs have become in the US. As The Atlantic notes, the economic cards are stacked such that today’s average college student, without support from financial aid and family resources, would need to complete at least 48 hours of minimum-wage work a week to pay for his courses.



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Is This What a Credit Bubble Looks Like?

There’s been some buzz recently about a pick-up in business lending. Unlike some pundits, though, we’re not convinced that a surge in business credit is such a good thing. We don’t doubt that more lending to small businesses, in particular, might do some good if it doesn’t go too far. Lending to large corporations, on the other hand, is a different story. Corporations are already borrowing at a pace that’s only before been seen near cyclical peaks...



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Retail Store Closures Soar In 2014: At Highest Pace Since Lehman Collapse

What a better way to celebrate the rigged markets that are telegraphing a "durable" recovery, than with a Credit Suisse report showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that when it comes to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, who have now closed more stores, or over 2,400 units, so far in 2014 and well double the total amount of storefront closures in 2013, this year has been the worst year for conventional discretionary spending since the start of the great financial crisis!



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Keynesian Knightmare: US Savers Outnumber Spenders By Record Numbers

"Janet, we have a problem," is the resoundingly loud message from the latest Gallup poll of Americans preference (and relative enjoyment) of "saving" vs. "spending". It seems, despite all the hoop-la and exuberance about an 'economic recovery' that is pent-up due to weather but about to break out to escape velocity, the majority of Americans continue to enjoy saving money more than spending it, by 62% to 34%. The 2014 saving-spending gap is the one of the widest since Gallup began tracking Americans' preferences in 2001. How long before a discussion of negative rates re-appears as the rich and powerful Oz-ians contemplate the latest effort to 'change' people's mass psychology...



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VIX Is Where The Volume's At

Despite tumbling volumes overall as the rally of the last few days progresses, today's terrible equity market volume is absolutely not evident in VIX - which has already traded more volume than an average day in 2014... "unrigged"



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China Goes Dark: PBOC To Keep Goldbugs Clueless About Its Gold Buying Spree

Now that everyone is breathing down the PBOC's neck to finally reveal - with a five year delay - just how much gold it does hold, the Chinese central bank has done a U-turn on its indirect transparency and, as Reuters reports, has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, "in a move that would help keep purchases by the world's top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves."



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John Kerry Admits Geneva "Deal" Worthless

As we warned numerous times in the last few days since the "de-escalation deal" was reached over Ukraine (sparking an instantaneous risk-on short-squeeze in stocks), the de-escalation has not happened. It seems even John Kerry has faced up to that reality now:

  • *KERRY SAYS GENEVA ACCORD ONLY 'PIECE OF PAPER' WITHOUT ACTION

So now what? More red-lines? More sanctions? Just don't tell the headline-buying algos... Of course, he blames the Russians for the worthlessness of the deal.



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Forget Ferrari, The $803,300 Red Flag L5 Is The New Must-Have Car In China

For the wealthy Chinese with 5 million Yuan (around $800,000) burning a hole in their pocket, there is a new must-have 'toy'. Instead of the latest Ferrari or Lambo, it is none other than the provocatively named "Red Flag L5" that is popping eyeballs and leaving the wealthy Chinese breathless...



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Ron Paul Warns The Nevada Standoff Is A Symptom of Increasing Authoritarianism

A government that continually violates our rights of property and contract can fairly be descried as authoritarian. Of course, the politicians and bureaucrats take offense at this term, but how else do you describe a government that forbids Americans from grazing cattle on land they have used for over a century, from buying health insurance that does not met Obamacare’s standards, from trading with Cuba, or even from drinking raw milk! That so many in DC support the NSA spying and the TSA assaults on our privacy shows the low regard that too many in government have for our rights. History shows us that authoritarian systems, whether fascist, communist, or Keynesian, will inevitably fail.



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