• Gold Standard I...
    07/24/2014 - 01:47
    There is confusion over what legal tender law does. It doesn't force merchants to accept dollars under threat of imprisonment. It attacks lender, by granting debtors a right to repay in dollars.

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Bill Ackman's "Most Important Death-Blow-For-Herbalife Presentation Ever" - Live Feed

The question on everyone's lips... how many slides? And where's Carl Icahn?



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Congressional Hearing On Hedge Fund Tax Evasion Through "Fictional Derivatives" - Live Webcast

As reported yesterday, at 9:30 am this morning the permanent subcommittee on investigations will hold a hearing in which it will expose the latest tax-evasion loophole used by select high-frequency trading hedge funds which has the technical name "basket options", but which, thanks to Carl Levin's mnemonic of fictional derivatives" will be better known as such (read the full story How RenTec Made More Than $34 Billion In Profits Since 1998: "Fictional Derivatives"). It will be interesting to learn, although we doubt it will be discussed, how in light of collapsing trading volumes for underlying securities, how much of the record derivative and future trading volume in recent years is directly related to this kind of tax-evading trading, and perhaps just as important, whether Congress and the IRS will crack down on such practices in the future.



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The Latest Updates About Ukraine And Flight MH17: News Roundup

For those just waking up and looking to catch up on all the latest news out of Ukraine and the MH17 crash response in particular, here is the latest news roundup.



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Gold Dumped (Pre-CPI) And Pumped (Post-CPI)

9 minutes before CPI data hit, gold futures were slammed lower on notable volume ($390 million). Then as CPI hit and "noise" was evidently not going away, gold prices surged over $12 to $1316 obn very heavy volume... Gold is moving inversely with the USD (which is flying around) as stock rally (?) and longer-term bonds rally/flatten.



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CPI Remains Stubbornly High as Yellen's "Noise" Won't Go Away

Consumer Price Inflation was 2.1% in June (as expected) remaining above the Fed's mandate levels and worryingly for all those who see the Fed as omniscient... refusing to go "noisily" down. Core CPI fell very modestly to 1.9% year-over-year but the jump in gasoline prices accounted for two-thirds of the overall rise in June CPI (seems like the Fed needs to print some more world peace to brings prices down). How many months of 'high' inflation does it take before Yellen admits it is not 'noise'?



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Chinese Premier Li Admits Central Planning May Not Be Optimal

In an odd admission of the possible fallibility of a centrally-planned economy, none other than Chinese Premier Li recently noted, "we should never assume that we few at the top have more insight or power but should try to mobilize the intelligence and creativity of the many thousands of our people so as to create unrivaled value." Perhaps the Federal Reserve would do well to listen. However, Li did not excuse himself from the need to spin how well things were going. On the heels of our 11 awkward Chinese fact charts, Li explains "the Chinese market is booming, the economy strong [sic]. Enterprises are the mainstay of the market." However, as Diapason Commodities' Sean Corrigan, when trying to confirm this 'fact', "discrepancies abound."



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Putin Speaks: Will Respond "Adequately" To Ongoing NATO Buildup; "Wont Tighten Screws" In Response To Threats

Perhaps there were some concerns that Putin, following the Russian Security Council Meeting today, may lash out at the west with escalating retaliatory sanctions against the west of his own. He did not which may explain why futures just saw an algo-driven buying wave moments ago. Still, what he did say is hardly justification to declare an "all clear" for risk as Putin being Putin, he merely reiterated for the nth time the Russian party line: Ukraine should facilitate a cease fire, Russia won't "blink" no matter how intense western sanctions are, and Russia will retaliate in kind to any ongoing NATO build up on its borders. Oh, and Crimea is now Russia's to do as it sees fit.



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Frontrunning: July 22

  • EU Works to Punish Russia as MH17 Bodies Leave Rebel Area (BBG)
  • Bodies From Malaysia Airlines Flight Begin Long Trip to Netherlands (WSJ)
  • Israel pounds Gaza as Kerry arrives (Reuters)
  • U.S. judge dismisses Republican lawsuit over Obamacare subsidy for Congress (Reuters)
  • Israel Soldier Missing Amid Assault on Hamas in Gaza (WSJ)
  • Detroit Retirees Vote in Favor of Pension Cuts (WSJ)
  • Russia Axes 1st Bond Sale in 3 Months as Ukraine Drives Up Yield  (BBG)
  • Wall Street Cut From Guest List for Jackson Hole Fed Meeting (BBG)
  • Credit Suisse to Exit Commodities, Posts Big Quarter Loss (BBG)
  • Draghi Cedes Euro Control to Yellen on Fed Rate Wagers (BBG)


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Stocks Desperate To Put Ukraine In Rearview Mirror But More Russian Sanctions Loom

Following the overnight ramp in various JPY crosses (dragging equity futures higher, and the Nikkei up 0.8%) it is as if the market is desperate to put all of last week's geopolitical events in the rearview mirror, and while yesterday there were no economic events of note, today's CPI and existing home prints should provide at least some distraction from the relentless barrage of one-line updates on Ukraine and Gaza. Still, that is precisely where the biggest risk remains, with an emphasis on the possibility of more Russian sanctions, this time by Europe.



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Russia Says Has Photos Of Ukraine Deploying BUK Missiles In East, Radar Proof Of Warplanes In MH17 Vicinity

Ukraine hasn’t said how it immediately knew rebels downed Malaysian plane, notes the Russian Foreign Ministry, as it unveils 10 awkward questions for Ukraine (and perhaps the US 'snap judgment') to answer about the MH17 disaster. However, what is perhaps more concerning for the hordes of finger-pointers is that: RUSSIA HAS IMAGES OF UKRAINE DEPLOYING BUK ROCKETS IN EAST: IFX; RUSSIA DETECTED UKRAINIAN FIGHTER JET PICK UP SPEED TOWARD MH17. Obviously, if there is proof that this is so, aside from CIA-created YouTube clips, these would deal another unpleasant blow to US foreign policy.



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The Ambitious Plan To Break California Into 6 States – A Model For The Future?

The more one thinks about potential solutions to the gigantic mess we have found ourselves in as a species, the more one has come to believe we need to break apart into a vast multitude of city-states. The revolutionary concept of America in the first place was this idea of “self-governance,” something we do not posses an iota of in this day and age. As was noted recently in an academic paper published by Princeton and Northwestern, these United States have mutated into nothing short of an oligarchy. In fact, the study demonstrated that the will of the people has essentially zero impact on legislation whatsoever. The current overly centralized paradigm parasitically engulfing the planet will experience a series of spectacular collapses in the years ahead that will make 2008 look like practice. As the centralized beast episodically implodes upon itself, we will have a historic chance to remake our world in a new way that will better serve humanity. That new paradigm will consist of freedom through decentralization



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The New Scariest Chart In America

For the last few years, the 'scariest' chart for Europeans has been the unending surge in youth unemployment. However, amid all the sound and fury of mainstream US media discussions of the 'recovery' in America and the President's employment track record, Constantin Gurdgiev notes another 'scariest chart of the US recovery' that remains in full 'crisis mode'...

 



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With ISIS Now Controlling 35% Of Syria And Most Of Its Oil Fields, Iraq Issues An Ultimatum To The US

Remember when the extremist Al Qaeda spinoff ISIS (or, now known as Islamic State following the formation of its own caliphate in the middle of Iraq and Syria) was still a "thing" two weeks ago? In this case out of sight does not mean out of mind, and while the world has found a new story line to follow in the middle east with the war between Israel and Gaza, now in its 14th day - whenever it is not busy responding to emotional appeals about the MH 17 crash - ISIS has continued to expand and as Al Arabiya reports it "is now in control of 35 percent of the Syrian territory following a string of victories, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday."... Perhaps sensing the fact that the tide of war may be shifting for the worse, Iraq has become increasingly more vocal in demanding US assistance and a few hours ago went as far as to issue an ultimatum on the US - help us now or we will find another bigger borther - one who will actually help us.



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Vietnam Says China Backing Down In Oil Rig Dispute

A leading Vietnamese military officer said July 16 that China’s decision to remove a huge oil rig from waters claimed by both countries shows that it is backing down in a dispute that has raged since May. Luong dismissed a suggestion by the Voice of Vietnam, a state run news agency, that the rig was being moved to protect it from the approaching Typhoon Rammasun. The general called that “just an excuse." With majorities in nine of the 11 major Asian countries fearing military conflict, “It could be a face-saving way to end the over two-month-long standoff with Vietnam," one analyst noted.



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Spot The China Liquidity Crisis

Presented with little comment aside to ask, if everything's so hunky-dory over in China then why, on the first day in a while that the PBOC decides not to conduct repo operations (i.e. inject a bucketload of cheap money), does the 7-day repo rate (the cost of borrowing money) spike to 6-month highs? (Hint: it's a rhetorical question)



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