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Frontrunning: October 16

  • Dallas County May Declare State of Disaster From Ebola Virus (BBG)
  • Markets on edge after worst turmoil in four years (Reuters)
  • Central bankers may have no quick fix as markets swoon, economy weakens (Reuters)
  • Risk of Deflation Feeds Global Fears  (Hilsenrath)
  • U.S. health official allowed new Ebola patient on plane with slight fever (Reuters)
  • Texas Hospital Fights Allegations About Ebola Protocols (BBG)
  • Treasuries Gain as Oil Drops Below $80 While Stocks Slide (BBG)
  • Greek Bonds Slump on Bailout Concern as Spain Misses Sale Target (BBG)
  • White House shifts into crisis mode on Ebola response (Reuters)
  • Obama Confronts Slippery Slope as Islamic State Advances (BBG)


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Everything Breaks Again: Futures Tumble; Peripheral Yields Soar, Greek Bonds Crater

Yesterday afternoon's "recovery" has come and gone, because just like that, in a matter of minutes, stuff just broke once again courtsy of a USDJPY which has been a one way liquidation street since hitting 106.30 just before Europe open to 105.6 as of this writing: U.S. 10-YEAR TREASURY YIELD DROPS 15 BASIS POINTS TO 1.99%; S&P FUTURES PLUNGE 23PTS, OR 1.2%, AS EU STOCKS DROP 2.54%.

Only this time Europe is once again broken with periphery yields exploding, after Spain earlier failed to sell the maximum target of €3.5 billion in bonds, instead unloading only €3.2 billion, and leading to this: PORTUGAL 10-YR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD CLIMBS 30 BPS TO 3.58%; IRISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DECLINE; YIELD RISES 20 BPS TO 1.90%; SPANISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD JUMPS 29 BPS TO 2.40%.

And the punchline, as usual, is Greece, whose 10 Year is now wider by over 1% on the session(!), to just about 9%.



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Ebola In Context: Liberia Needs 80,000 Body Bags & 1 Million HazMat Suits

Presented with no comment...



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Putin Warns Of "Nuclear Power Consequences" If Attempts To Blackmail Russia Don't Stop

"We hope that our partners will realize the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability." - Putin



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Ebola! How Worried Should We Be?

The current Ebola outbreak, unlike others throughout history, is lasting a very long time; with cases now being reported on a variety of continents well outside of its equatorial African origin. We're not especially worried about Ebola striking me or my loved ones (for reasons we explain below). But we're growing increasingly concerned about government response to the outbreak. So let's spend some time understanding the nature of Ebola, specifically, and viral contagion, more generally. At the very least, Ebola can serve as an instructive reminder about how our society's responses to a viral outbreak could prove to be at least as disruptive and damaging as the virus itself.



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Despite "Better Economy" & Tumbling Unemployment, Obama Approval Rating Sinks To Record Low

“Unemployment down, jobs up,” President Obama exclaimed, adding gloatingly that "manufacturing growing. Deficits cut by more than half. High School graduation up. College enrollment up. Energy production up.” As Spectator's Ralph Reiland points out, Obamanomics, allegedly batting a thousand - everything that should be up was up and everything that should be down was down. “By every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office,” declared President Obama... so why, if everything is ponies and unicorns, is President Obama's approval rating at record lows. 61% of Americans disapprove of Obama's foreign policy with only 42% approving of the President overall.



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9 Ominous Signals Coming From The Financial Markets That We Have Not Seen In Years

Is the stock market about to crash?  Hopefully not, and there definitely have been quite a few "false alarms" over the past few years.  But without a doubt we have been living through one of the greatest financial bubbles in U.S. history, and the markets are absolutely primed for a full-blown crash.  That doesn't mean that one will happen now, but we are starting to see some ominous things happen in the financial world that we have not seen happen in a very long time.



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2nd Ebola Patient's Akron, Ohio Family Home Cordoned Off

Having now identified the 2nd health care worker infected with Ebola as Amber Joy Vinson, and discovered she (against CDC advice) traveled across the nation to her family home in Tallmadge (near Akron, Ohio), we now find out that, as WKYC reports, police have cordoned off the home of her mother and are allowing only limited access to the residential development.



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Humpday Humor? Blame The Moon

As market prognosticators search for something to pin the recent weakness on (Ebola panic, macro data weakness, global growth scare, M&A boom over, fund liquidations, oil crash.. and so on), there is one much larger driver of hysteria that is missing from this list... The Moon and the madness of crowds.



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For Bank Of America, Crime Is Now An Ordinary Course Of Business

Between Q4 2011 and Q3 2014 Bank of America produced "Net Income" of $15.9 billion. However, the amount of added back "one-time, non-recurring" legal expenses is a stunning $28.9 billion: two of every three dollars, non-GAAP as they may be, comes from Bank of America engaging in criminal activity... and getting caught for it! So perhaps an even more relevant question than how long will the EPS "addback" bullshit continue, is how long will the regulators and enforcers allow Bank of America to exist as an organization for which two-thirds of its "ordinary course business" is, for lack of a better word, crime?



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As US Politicians Consider Travel Bans, Istanbul Quarantines Hospital Of Suspected Ebola Patient

Istanbul's Marmar University Training and Research Hospital is not accepting new patients after, as Daily Sabah reports, a person suspected of being infected with Ebola has been quarantined. The patient, who arrived by plane from Ivory Coast, is suffering high fever and nausea. While Lagos, Nigeria was CDC Director Frieden's worst nightmare with regard Ebola contagion, we suspect Istanbul is a close second with over 14 million people living there. This news comes as US politicians begin to call for visa restrictions and travel bans from infected nations.



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When High Volatility Comes With Low Rates

It’s generally considered that higher volatility in bond markets would accompany higher rates. Thus, if rates are falling, volatility will remain subdued. However, as the PIMCO Eurodollars liquidation showed, the market was already short. So the position liquidation is coming in a rally, rather than a sell-off. On top of that, inflation is falling and with oil under pressure should remain low. Meanwhile the Fed hawks evidently lost the argument to the doves in September, and their hand has been strengthened by the dollar rally. So the conditions are set for higher vol to accompany the fall in rates.



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Did Obama Just Raise The Ebola Threat Level?

4 weeks ago this is what President Obama said "the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low." Today, having reassured Americans that "Ebola is not like the flu, it's not airborne," (despite experts' concerns that Ebola could indeed be aerogenically transmitted) Obama stated that a "widespread outbreak of Ebola in the US is 'unlikely'"

From "Extremely Low" to "Unlikely"... in a month.



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