With Its Gold "Vaporized", A Furious Ukraine Turns On Its Central Bankers

As reported two weeks ago, following to a stunning announcement by the head of Ukraine's central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, we learned that (virtually) all of Ukraine's gold was gone, or - in the parlance of Jon Corzine - had "vaporized." And as we also predicted two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine's people - the vast majority of whom are innocent pawns in a vast game of realpolitik between the west and east - finally got angry and demanded some answers. That time came earlier today when as Interfax.ua reported "a Kyiv-based court has instructed Kyiv prosecutors to bring an action against National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Valeriya Gontareva on charges of abuse of power or misuse of office to obtain illegal profit, the Vesti newspaper reported on Tuesday."

UK Regulator Shocked That Slapping Banker Wrists Achieves Nothing

Not a quarter passes without a bank announcing, as part of its earning statement, that - it just so happens - it has incurred a few hundreds million (or billion) in legal fees, expenses and charges for breaking the law and manipulating this market or that (recall that for banks "Crime Is Now An Ordinary Course Of Business"), but it's ok, because it is a one-time, non-recurring thing, so please exclude it from the EPS calculation.... Until the next quarter when everything repeats once more. But the repetition of "one-time" events is not the only constant: the other one, of course, is that nobody ever goes to jail. The latter is also the reason why, as the WSJ reports, British regulators are "getting exasperated with banks failing to clean up their act after repeated wrongdoings." No, really: the UK's equivalent to the SEC truly can't understand how banks refuse to stop breaking the law when the have a paid for by others - and quite literal - get out of jail card.

Sam Zell Asks If Obama "Wants To Work With Anyone To Create Anything?"

Outspoken realist billionaire Sam Zell tells Fox's Maria Bartiromo, "the US economy is bifurcated," noting that "the very top has done very well as The Fed's QE 'saved the system'," but, he adds, the 90% that did not benefit from that "have seen wages go down and the recent election showed a lot of discomfort and a lack of trust." A hopeful money-honey asks whether the president will work with the Republicans to improve this situation, Zell lashes back, "isn't the question whether the president wants to work with anybody to create anything?"

Despite Face-Ripping Rally off Bullard Lows, US Investors In Japan Remain Down 4% Year-To-Date

Mission Accomplished Abenomics? The Nikkei 225 just hit fresh 7 year highs at around 17,900 (the highest since July 2007) managing to soar 24% off the mid-October 'Bullard lows' and once again trading above the Dow. Great news for all the bulled up US investors we see day after day on financial TV... wrong! In US Dollars, US investors remain down 4% year-to-date (and have yet to have a positive close in 2014). But hey on the bright side, your Japanese brethren are loving the nominal surge in their 'wealth' as their currency collapses to 119.4 this evening.

Guest Post: The Flawed 75% Tax Solution From Hollande And Piketty

Any economic sage should conclude that the cure for high taxation is, well, low taxation. Remember our job is not to maximize government revenues in the short run, but to improve living standards in the long run. France would do well to repudiate its native son Piketty, and move to align its policies with the Scotsman Adam Smith, who a long time ago advocated low-broad taxation and light-handed regulation of capital and labour markets.

How Retailers Manipulate Your Senses To Increase Their Sales

If you notice that display racks this holiday season are nicely scented, it’s not just shops are tidier at year’s end. Scents like citrus and floral can make you linger and stay alert in the shop to buy more. The use of scent is just one of four sensory marketing tricks being used on us by shops eager for more sales. Collated in the new infographic below you can find a number of scientific studies that indicate what we see, hear or touch affect our buying decisions. Do you know why Apple Store leaves its notebook display half-open, or why you suddenly crave for a tropical vacation while inside Bloomingdale’s?

Energy Selling And "The Greatest Crisis Of Faith In The Markets Since The 1930s"

The selling is because the dominant Common Knowledge regarding energy sector stocks is that they move up and down with the price of oil. Common Knowledge is not what everyone knows; that’s the consensus. Common Knowledge is what everyone knows that everyone knows, and it’s the driving force behind the Game of Sentiment. Everyone knows that everyone knows energy stocks are tied to oil prices, we just took another sharp leg down in oil prices, and so energy stocks must be sold. The fact that energy stocks are down “proves” the relationship (a wonderful example of Soros’s concept of reflexivity), which adds to the selling. The reality (not that it matters) is that energy stocks are barely correlated with the price of oil, and their correlation with each other is barely driven by oil prices. What’s really driving this across-the-board decline is the fact that “long energy” has become a very crowded trade.

Daniel Hannan Summarizes Europe's Dead-End Policies In 70 Seconds

"It's a funny thing... but if you start taxing countries for doing the right thing, in order to pay countries who are doing the wrong thing, you're going to end up fewer of the former and more of the latter." Europe's perverse incentives to 'not' succeed exposed in just 70 seconds...

The Name Is Bond, Long Bond

Bob Farrell's rule #9 says: "When all the experts and forecasts agree, something else is going to happen." Why should you care? Because hardly anyone expects US Treasuries to outperform in 2015… and that’s exactly why they might. In the following analysis, we’ll look at 5 reasons why the long bond might be the best trade of next year.

Visualizing The 8-Year Evolution Of The-Last-Second-Of-Trading Panic

By now, every trader who watches markets every day is acutely aware of the increasing concentration of massive amounts of volume in the last second of the trading day. Here is 8 years of the last few seconds of the trading day and how 'efficiently' it has evolved...

President Obama Reminds Americans Of The Threat Of Ebola (& The Need To Spend $6 Billion To Fix It) - Live Feed

With Ebola off the front-pages of every media outlet, President Obama appears to finding it tough to get his $6 billion funding request to fight the deadly disease... time for some hope (things are good in America, Spain delcared Ebola-free) and fearmongery (5,987 deaths and 16,889 cases currently) as The White House increases Ebola response units in the US and sends more military and civilians into Africa...

Crude Carnage Resumes But Stocks Bounce As Hindenburg Omen Strikes

Following yesterday's dead-cat-bounce, oil prices resumed their downward push today, closing just shy of the flush lows on Friday back to a $66 handle for WTI. Gold also slipped modestly with copper and silver flat as the USD surged higher (+0.75% on the day). Stocks just melted up all day long (supported by USDJPY pushing to new cycle highs over 119), stop-hunting the whole way (with the S&P breaking back above its 5-day moving-average and back into the green on the week briefly). Yesterday's losers (Trannies and Small Caps) were today's BTFD winners. Treasury yields rose notably once again (up 11-13bps on the week) as we suspect oil-producers are selling to help support their collapsing currencies. VIX closed below 13 - slammed into the close to scrape the S&P back above its 5DMA.

The "Panic Premium": Beyond This Level In The USDJPY, Japan Collapses

If all it took to push stocks to ever recorder(est) highs, granted on no volume, but recorder(est) highs nonetheless, was for correlation algos to pick a carry FX pair trade du jour which to push the Nikkei, or the Dax, or - most frequently - the S&P higher, then all equity indices would already been in scientific digit territory. And since they aren't, it is only logical that prosperity through currency debasement can only "work" for so long.

But how long? Well, when it comes to the primary carry pair du jour, the Dollar-Yen, the answer may be just a few hundred pips more, before it all comes unglued for Japan's Prime Minister whose first stint in the role ended in a prophetic bout of epic diarrhea, Shinzo Abe.

Images From A Dark Detroit: "Major Cable Failure" Sparks Widespread Power Outage

Just 15 months after Detroit's Black Out 2013 debacle, spokespeople for the city and DTE Energy confirmed at around 11:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday that most of Detroit’s municipal grid is offline:

*DETROIT CITES 'MAJOR CABLE FAILURE' FOR POWER OUTAGE
*DETROIT: OUTAGE IS AFFECTING ALL CUSTOMERS ON THE PLD GRID

The outage is preventing power from being delivered to police stations, schools, traffic lights and other city-run facilities and services.

Ex EU President Van Rompuy "Hit The Jackpot", Paid Almost $1Million "For Doing Nothing"

It's good to be king (or Europe). Former European Council President Herman van Rompuy, derided for "damp rag" ineptness by UKIP's Nigel Farage, will receive around $900,000 over the next 3 years as a "transition allowance" for doing absolutely nothing in retirement. What is even more egregious, as The Telegraph reports, Van Rompuy will pay a reduced "EU Community" tax rate, considerably lower than the Belgian income tax rate on his ill-gotten gains. As Farage exclaims, having driven millions of Europeans into poverty and unemployment during his reign, Van Rompuy "hit the jackpot."