• GoldCore
    12/18/2014 - 13:54
    Russia supplies China with hi-tech military hardware. Russia has negotiated two major natural gas deals with China in the last year. China expects to double its gas usage by 2030. From a Chinese...

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Frontrunning: December 17

  • Citigroup is pleased: Obama signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill (Reuters)
  • Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping (Reuters)
  • 5 Things to watch at the December Fed Meeting (WSJ)
  • Russia Tries Emergency Steps for 2nd Day to Stem Ruble Rout (BBG)
  • Ruble crisis could shake Putin's grip on power (Reuters)
  • Apple Curbs Russia Sales as McDonald’s Lifts Prices (BBG)
  • Traders Betting Russia’s Next Move Will Be to Sell Gold (BBG)
  • China Warms to a More Flexible Yuan (WSJ)


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Crude Continues Slide, Ruble Stabilizes, US Futures Rebound As Global Stocks Slump: All Eyes On Yellen

Previewing today's market: near record low liquidity, with chance of ridiculous volatility in the Ruble, energy and equity markets. While no doubt today's main event will be the "considerable" FOMC announcement and the Fed's downward-revised economic projections followed by Yellen's press conference, what traders will be most excited by is that, finally, Jim Bullard will no longer be bound by the blackout period surround FOMC decisions, and as such can hint of QE4 again at his leisure during key market inflection (i.e., selling) points.



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Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities

Unfortunately for the bulls, various falling knife-catchers, and those who hope the Russian situation will stabilize imminently with or without capital controls, it appears things in Russia are about to get a whole lot worse because as the WSJ reports, the next driver of the Russian crisis is likely to come from within the banking system itself because "global banks are curtailing the flow of cash to Russian entities, a response to the ruble’s sharpest selloff since the 1998 financial crisis."



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Commodity Trading Giant Exits Physical Gold Due To "Lack Of Physical With A Documented Origin"

If the world's fifth largest trader of commodities has chosen to outright not trade gold, and thus not generate value for its shareholders over risks and fears that another, or two, or three, or a countless number of other prior "owners" may come knocking one day and demanding delivery of gold whose origin could not be documented by its trading intermediaries, and whose ownership link Gunvor is unable to trace, then just what on earth is really going on with the world's physical gold inventory (here's looking at you, Chinese gold-backed Commodity Funding Deals), and just what is the catalyst that will unleash what is essentially the infamous US mortgage robosigning scandal onto the gold arena, at which point owners of gold realize the gold they thought they owned, even if held safely in a deposit box deep in a gold vault in a safe offshore location, in reality "belongs" to someone else?



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ISIS Unleash "Scorpion" Bombs In Iraq

Just when you thought you had seen it all, Islamic State militants turn up the amplifier of terror to 11. As The Mirror reports, ISIS is launching bombs containing live scorpions as the latest terror weapon in Iraq. Canisters of the creatures are being blasted into towns and villages, according to a British military expert who has just returned from the country. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, ex-head of chemical and biological weapons for the Army and Nato, said: "it's madness. IS have improvised devices to launch them." The weapon harks back to the scorpions stuffed into pots and launched by Iraqis thousands of years ago – in 198 AD.



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The Great Generic Drug Rip-Off

What happens when rapacious cartels run out of billion-dollar-profit products? They jack up the price of what was previously low-cost. And why are they able to raise prices by 388% to 8,000% at will? Because they can.



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Mapping The Surge In World Conflict Intensity

The World is changing and the balance of power with it. The traditional post Cold-war unipolar US dominance is being increasingly tested. As BBVA notes in the following charts, World Conflict Intensity is on the rise (and has been for over a decade) as the world's balance of power adapts to the new economic shift. Social, political and economic systems are becoming increasingly interconnected; and new actors will arise and will start to make new demands.



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Today's Equity Market Set 2 Stunning Records

While nothing surprises us anymore with regard the thing we used to call a "market", today's equity market activity broke two stunning records that we suggest are closely related to one another...



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The Pigmen Win Again



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"The Limits Of Reason" - Are Libertarians More Rational Than Others?

Are libertarians are more rational than most people? "Not at all, not at all, but we're rational enough to realize none of us has all the answers. To paraphrase Dirty Harry, politicians and planners and control freaks gotta know their own limitations."



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Memo To WSJ: The CRomnibus Abomination Was Not "A Rare Bipartisan Success"

The rank economic cheerleading in the guise of “news” printed by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the rest of the financial press never ceases to amaze. But on the heels of Congress’ pathetic capitulation to Wall Street over the weekend you have to wonder if even the robo-writers who compose the headlines are on the take. How could anyone in the right mind label this weekend’s CRomnibus abomination “A Rare Bipartisan Success for Congress”? Apparently, that unaccountable plaudit was bestowed upon Washington by the WSJ solely because it avoided another government shutdown.



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JPMorgan Warns, Don't Expect Recent Market Volatility To Alter Fed Tightening Path

The recent increase in financial market volatility has raised some questions about any rhetorical response from the FOMC tomorrow. While we see some risk of this occurring, we think the most likely outcome is that the Committee refrains from highlighting the latest flare-up in the markets. In particular, we think they will still drop the 'considerable time' language while also indicating they are in no rush to raise rates.



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