• williambanzai7
    01/25/2015 - 14:27
    A Banzai7 salute to the Greeks for signaling the bankster $hitheads of the world (and their Eurocrat enablers) to shove it where the sun don't shine.

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How The Swiss National Bank Almost Crushed George Soros

Minutes after last week's Swiss National Bank shocker, jokingly we mused: "Will be ironic if Soros was long EURCHF." As it turns out, we were almost correct, and according to the WSJ, Soros Fund Management, which manages more than $25 billion for investor George Soros, was betting against the Swiss franc in the fall before it removed those bearish positions.  Why did the Soros so conveniently take off a bet which, with leverage, could have resulted in massive losses for his hedge fund? The WSJ says he did so after "viewing the risk as too high relative to potential gains, said people close to the matter." Well as long as "people close" think Soros did not have input directly from the Swiss central bank, or perhaps the occasional hint from Kashya Hildebrand, then one can't help but marvel at the octogenarian's impeccable timing.



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Our Money Is On This Guy

If we had to put all our money on one trader, just one individual trader, we would do it without hesitation. The recipient? This guy.



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Did Treasury Secretary Lew Just Call Draghi A Currency Manipulator?

Having already put his foot in his mouth about the US oil production industry, it appears Treasury Secretary Lew has done it again:

*LEW SAYS UNFAIR FX MOVES TO DRAW SCRUTINY FROM U.S.

His barbed comment can only be pointed at Draghi and his crush-the-Euro at all costs plan. But ironically, while he is 'scrutinizing' Europe's collapsing currency he opines that "a stronger dollar is good for America" - despite Europe proclaiming the exact opposite is good for them and seeming to miss the report after report blaming weak earnings on currency moves.



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Russell Napier: "Central Banks Are Now Powerless To Prevent A Steep Rise In Real Rates"

Central bank policy is creating liquidity.  Wrong --- the growth in broad money is slowing across the world.
Central bank policy is allowing a frictionless de-gearing.
Wrong --- debt to GDP levels of almost every country in the world are rising.
Central bank policy is creating inflation.   Wrong --- inflation in most jurisdictions is now back to, or below, the levels recorded in late 2009.
Central bank policy is fixing key exchange rates and securing growth.  Wrong --- in numerous jurisdictions this exchange rate intervention is slowing the growth in liquidity and thus the growth in the economy.
Central bank policy is keeping real interest rates low and stimulating demand. Wrong --- the decline in inflation from peak levels in 2011 means that real rates of interest are rising.
Central bank policy is driving up asset prices and creating a positive wealth impact which is bolstering consumption. Wrong --- savings rates have not declined materially.
Central bank policy is creating greater financial stability. Wrong --- whatever positives impact central banks are having on bank capital etc they have failed to prevent the biggest emerging market debt boom in history.



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3 Things - The Fed, Rig Counts And Employment, ECB

The real concern for investors and individuals is the actual economy. There is clearly something amiss within the economic landscape, and the ongoing decline of inflationary pressures longer term is likely telling us just that. The big question for the Fed is how to get themselves out of the potential trap they have gotten themselves into without cratering the economy, and the financial markets, in the process. It is my expectation, unless these deflationary trends reverse course in very short order, the Fed will likely postpone raising interest rates until at least the end of the year if not potentially longer.  However, the Fed understands clearly that we are closer to the next economic recession than not and that they can not be caught with rates at the "zero bound" when that occurs.



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30 Hours After Unleashing ECB QE, Coeure Suggests QE2

With US equities down 0.5% this morning and European inflation expectations having given back all their ECB QE gains, it was only a matter of time before some half-witted central-planner felt the need to speak...

*COEURE SAYS IF QE IMPACT ISN'T ENOUGH, "WE'LL HAVE TO DO MORE"
*COEURE SAYS ECB WILL ASSESS IF QE MUST GO BEYOND SEPTEMBER 2016

Sure enough - just as The BIS warned "the markets' buoyancy hinges on central banks' every word and deed," stocks picked back up on his comments.



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Has The ECB QE Already Failed? 5 Year Inflation Expectations Decline Since Draghi's Announcement

Just as we pointed out explicitly yesterday, ECBQE will 'not' provide the inflation-expectation-lifting hope that every talking head proclaims as its raison d'etre... just as FedQE did not. We noted previously that Draghi's actions would likely send the most deflationary signal ever to the world's policymakers, and sure enough European 5Y5Y inflation expectations have dropped 10bps from yesterday's highs and round-tripped to the levels seen before Draghi unleashed the money printing machine.



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$43 Hot Dogs; $47 Burgers And $55 Caesar Salads: A Look At The Davos Menu

Billionaires may live in a world untroubled by such petty concerns as rising costs of living and declining real wages, but like everyone else they have to eat. And pay. The picture below shows what the menu prices, in Swiss Francs, are for various meals offered for sale to the billionaires and other upper class "luminaries" currently congregating in Davos.  Some examples converted to USD: Hot Dog: $43; Burger: $47; Caesar salad: $55.



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Gold & Silver Suddenly Shellacked

Because nothing says sell precious metals in huge size like another central bank printing a trillion dollars... No apparent catalyst is clear though we note Treasury yields also started to tumble and EURCHF jumped 60 pips at the same time.



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Existing Home Sales Drop Year-Over-Year For First Time Since 2010

Despite surges in mortgage applications juxtaposed with notably downbeat commentary from KB Home and Lennar, existing home sales rose modestly in December (+2.4%) but missed expectations for the 2nd month in a row (+3.0%) for a SAAR of 5.04mm sales. Only the Southern region saw sales improve. However, for all of 2014, there were 4.93 million sales, a 3.1% decline from 2013 (5.09 million) - the first drop since 2010. This should be no surprise as NAR finally admits the problem (instead of blaming weather) - “Housing costs – both rents and home prices – continue to outpace wages and are burdensome for potential buyers trying to save for a downpayment while looking for available homes in their price range.” It's the price, stupid!



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US Manufacturing Growth Slows To 1 Year Low As Shale Collapse Cripples New Order Spending

Who could have seen that coming? It appears that for all the bluster that the US economy could somehow decouple from the rest of the world's demise (when as always it is simply and timing issue - lagged response), America's manufacturing renaissance is dying. Markit's US Manufacturing PMI printed 53.7 in January, missed expectations of 54.0 falling for the 5th month in a row to the lowest in 12 months. While day after day, investors are told that low oil prices are unambiguously good for America, Manufacturing PMI was last lower than this in October 2013 as survey respondents note clients operating in the oil and gas sector have weighed on new order volumes in January.



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Russia May Be Forced Into Production Cuts Says Deputy PM

The 7-month-old plunge in oil prices will force Moscow to cut its budget for 2015 by 10 percent, perhaps even 15 percent, a senior Russian government official told a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, adding that Russia may find itself reducing oil production by as much as 1 million barrels per day, but he stressed that such a cut would not be made in coordination with OPEC.



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Deutsche Bank's Most Cynical Take On Draghi's QE Yet: Buy European Stocks Even Though QE Will "Prevent Improvements"

For the most succinct, and most cynical, take on yesterday's ECB QE announcement we go to Deutsche Bank which 7 years after the grand money printing experiment started, has thrown in the towel on spinning the now annual CTRL-P ritual, and - in a nutshell - says: QE will fail to do anything but boost stocks, so may as well buy stocks.



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WTI Hits $45 Handle After Treasury Secretary Lew Says "Doesn't Expect US Crude Production To Decline"

Keeping the narrative dream alive, Treasury Secretary Lew told Bloomberg TV this morning that "lower energy prices are good for the US economy" - seemingly missing the huge surge in jobless claims, the lack of clear gains by firms on lower fuel costs, rig count collapsing, and homebuilder concerns in Shale states. But it was his follow up idiocy that sparked weakness:

*LEW SAYS HE DOESN'T EXPECT OIL PRODUCTION IN U.S. TO DECLINE
*LEW SAYS U.S. CRUDE PRODUCERS CAN HANDLE DECLINE IN OIL PRICES

The reaction - WTI broke quickly to a $45 handle on heavy volume. Perhaps Secretary Lew should tell the firms that are laying off 1000s how to do their jobs if he is so sure that "they can handle it."



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Syriza Leads In 6 Polls; Leader Tsipras Shuns Merkel, Says "Won't Honor Commitments"

With the leads in at least six polls (of between 4% and 10%), Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has come out swining for the anti-EU vote this morning:

  • *TSIPRAS SAYS ONLY SYRIZA CAN END GREECE'S CATASTROPHIC COURSE
  • *TSIPRAS SAYS WON'T HONOR COMMITMENTS MADE BY PREVIOUS GOVT
  • *TSIPRAS SAYS WILL NEGOTIATE WITH EUROPEAN PEERS NOT WITH MERKEL

For now Greek assets remain bid on the glorious awesomeness of Draghi but we suspect - though The ECB gave themn room to negotiate and Djisselblom mentioned the possibility of 'working' with Greece - that if things go as the polls suggest Monday could see more bloodletting in EURUSD (and bank runs in Greece).



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