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Charting The Diminishing Effects Of QE

For each $1 of additional quantitative easing by The Fed, the S&P 500 adds $4 of market capitalization. This correlation-is-causation 'fact' has been remarkably constant since the Fed unleashed QE on the world, but, as Bloomberg's Chase Van Der Rhoer notes, still well below the $12 market cap gains pre-2008 and that it now takes $41 billion in additional stimulus to nudge High-Yield credit spreads 1bp tighter. However, the largest 'diminishing effect' of QE is seen in job creation (were one to believe there was any causal link). It now takes a record $37,400 of additional QE for each additional job created (5 times the pre-Lehman levels). It seems it is indeed time to retire QE...



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What Do Michelle Obama & Vladimir Putin Have In Common?

Mainstream media business 'entertainment' appears to have been taken over by the #IceBucketChallenge, as they name-drop from CEO to CEO in the interests of ratings (as opposed to raising money for ALS). However, things took a much more serious turn today as not only did Alan Greenspan show us how he 'cools off' the economy but actor Vin Diesel issued the ultimate challenge to none other than Michelle Obama and Vladimir Putin...



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Absolute Bubble Insanity: For Nearly Half A Billion Dollars, Here Is The World's Most Expensive Penthouse

Forget Hong Kong, London and New York: when it comes to the pinnacle in absolute real estate insanity - perhaps in all of history - look no further than James Bond's favorite gambling mecca, Monaco. It is in this tiny Riviera principality where we find the Tour Odeon, a double-skyscraper being built by Groupe Marzocco SAM near Monaco’s Mediterranean seafront, which will contain a 3,300 square-meter (35,500 square-foot) penthouse with a water slide connecting a dance floor to a circular open-air swimming pool. The description is nice, but it is the bottom line that is mindblowing: Bloomberg reports that the apartment may sell for more than 300 million euros ($400 million) when it goes on the market next year, French magazine Challenges reported. That would make it the world’s most expensive penthouse, according to broker Knight Frank LLP.



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WTI Crude Plunges To New 7-Month Lows

Brent crude is rising this morning up from an earlier dip to $101.75. That is not the case for WTI crude which has been in freefall since this morning's CPI data print. Brent-WTI has soared from below $5 to over $6.50 in the last few hours as WTI drops to a $95 handle at its lowest since mid-January.



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Fact Or Fiction: The Pros And Cons Of Militarizing The Police

The ongoing clashes between residents of Ferguson, MO and heavily armed police forces - which are equipped with M16 rifles and armored vehicles - have drawn attention to the increasing militarization of police in the United States. Here are the 'alternative' cases for and against outfitting local law enforcement with military-grade weapons...



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Stocks Up, Dollar Up, Bond Yields Up, Commodities Down As AAPL Hits $100.00

Weaker than expected inflation and better than expected housing data sparked a dump in commodities, surge in the USDollar and US stocks. US Treasuries were unsure at first but once the US cash session opened, bonds were sold hard. The trends of the morning though have now slowed and are reversing modestly as Europe closes... and AAPL tops $100...



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Meanwhile In Pakistan

With all the other geopolitical war/conflict/droning hot spots around the world, one has so far managed to fly under the radar for the past few weeks, yet one which has the potential to generate a substantial disturbance in the central-planning farce: Pakistan.



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Buy The Drip: Thousands Of Gallons Of Oil Spill Into Ohio River Upstream Of Cincinnati

Lately it is not just trains blowing up across the country in the ongoing effort to prove just how safer rail transport is for crude oil transit compared to pipelines: as citizens of Cincinatti found out this morning, their drinking water may come with an added kick after thousands of gallons of diesel fuel spilled out onto the Ohio River after an incident at a power plant early Tuesday. According to WCPO, the Coast Guard said it estimated about 8,000 gallons of fuel spilled out from Duke Energy’s W.C. Beckjord power station outside of Cincinnati.



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When Headline Scanning Algos Get Crushed By A Wrong Bloomberg Headline

At 1033ET, Bloomberg headlines flashed: "WHOLE MILK POWDER PRICES FALL 11.5% IN GDT AUCTION" which caused an instant collapse in Kiwi (NZDUSD) as headline-reading algos reacted. However, as "humans" knew and @FXMacro reminded Bloomberg, that was last month's drop... When Bloomberg reissued: "CORRECT: WHOLE MILK POWDER PRICES RISE 3.4% IN GDT AUCTION" Kiwi surged higher. These are your efficient markets...



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UK Bakery Chain Proud To Provide "Shit To Scum For Over 70 Years"

"All publicity is good publicity," right? Perhaps not. UK bakery Greggs suffered a PR nightmare this morning, as The Drum reports, after its primary Google search image, which is linked to the Wikipedia company description, was replaced with an expletive-ridden parody logo. The message in the image, which Greggs has appealed to Google to change, claimed the bakery has been “providing shit to scum for over 70 years”.



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The Ferguson Morning After: Police "Come Under Heavy Gunfire", Arrest 31 Including Photographer, Journalist

The local authorities have tried everything: aggressive police, appeasing highway patrol, curfew, no curfew, and last night, the national guard. Nothing seems to work. Because what until 9 pm was a peaceful protest, it quickly, as documented here extensively, spiraled out of control. And as the crowd advanced, police fired stun grenades and tear gas at protesters. This escalation allegedly happened after, as Reuters reports, the police came under heavy gunfire leading to the arrest of 31 people, including a famous Getty photographer and yet another journalist.



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Russia-China Launch Biggest Central Asian Military Drill, Testing Surface-To-Air Missiles

More than 7,000 troops from China, Russia and four central Asia countries have gathered in Inner Mongolia for their biggest joint drills "to fight terrorists," but as one analyst notes, "it is kind of rare to have an anti-terrorist mission which uses battle tanks." Furthermore, as part of a drill:

*RUSSIA TESTING S-300, S-400 SYSTEMS IN ASTRAKHAN REGION: RIA

So, surface-to-air missile tests? Not very "de-escalation"-y. Perhaps this statement is a clue, "we are trying to exercise together to coordinate our troops to meet any potential eventuality."



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How Much Does It Cost America To Blow Up American Weapons?

As many have observed since Obama launched his own personal Iraq war, there is something rather farcical about the latest US intervention in the middile east, namely that US weapons are being used to destroy US weapons, captured by and in possession of ISIS jihadists. As Reuters summarizes the situation, rather poetically, "Islamic State’s  captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL?"  In other words US taxpayers are now paying for military missions, in which US taxpayer paid-for warplans and missiles are used to blow up other US taxpayer paid-for tanks, artillery, MRAPs, and various other weapons of death. How much? Here is the answer...



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What Do Stocks Know?

With global GDP expectations plumbing new depths (at 2.48% consensus for 2014), one could understand why it is that 30Y US Treasury yields are at 16-month lows, that Dr.Copper is tumbling, and crude oil prices slumping. But apart from the fundamentals of global macro strength, what - at almost record highs - does the US equity market know that every other asset class does not...



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Putin Considers Banning Jack Daniel's

We knew the blowback from western sanctions against Russia would get serious - and Europe is already finding that out the hard way - but Vladmimir Putin appears to have gone 'cruel-and-unusual' in his latest step. As ITAR-TASS reports, Russian consumer-protection agency Rospotrebnadzor will decide in next few days whether to seize Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Honey Liqueur after 'reportedly' finding "suspicious" chemicals in batch of flavored whiskey on sale in Sverdlovsk stores. Luckily Jack Lew has told us this will not impact the US economy (unless of course, you are Jack Daniels).



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