The Junk Bond Heatmap Has Not Been This Red In A Long Time

But for those equity investors caught in the artificial glare of the goalseeked stock market to appreciate how truly ugly it has gotten in the junk bond space, here is a heat map showing the YTD change in junk bond prices (relative box size indicates total outstanding debt amount) when seen in terms of either the 31 subsectors or the 805 issuer companies that make up Citi's junk bond tracking universe.

BRICS Bank, AIIB Pledge Partnership, Loans To Be Issued In Yuan

Now that the AIIB and the BRICS bank have officially launched and are expected to begin operations soon, it appears that not only will the yuan play a key role for both institutions, but in fact, the two development banks will collaborate on their lending activities. 

Venezuela's Hyperinflation Crack-Up Boom On Its Way To Outer Space

Venezuela’s hyperinflation is reaching its final stages. It is probably already far too late for the government to stop the complete collapse of its currency. The bolivar is in the process of transforming from a medium of exchange to tinder for wood-stoves. Venezuelans who had the presence of mind to convert their savings into gold or foreign currency in good time are likely to survive the conflagration intact. Governments never seem to learn. They all believe they can somehow overrule economic laws by diktat. This is not only true of Venezuela’s government, but of practically every government in today’s world. Central planning of money has been adopted everywhere. Venezuela merely shows us what the end game for every fiat money system looks like.

Hillary Agrees To Testify Publicly Over Benghazi Deaths

With the FBI and DoJ now involved in yet another Hillary Clinton scandal - that she sent confidential emails from her personal email server - it seems the 'presidential' former Secretary of State has felt pressured to come somewhat clean. While some might argue "what difference does it make?" The Washington Post reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify on Oct. 22 before the House select committee investigating her role in connection with the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The testimony - before the committee formed last year - will be in a open setting (apparently against the wishes for privacy that committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy initially requested).

Nothing To See Here: German Regulator Decides Deutsche Bank CEO Didn't Know About LIBOR After All

"German banking regulator Bafin cleared former Deutsche Bank AG co-Chief Executive Officer Anshu Jain of misleading the Bundesbank about his knowledge of the company’s role in attempts to manipulate benchmark interest rates," Bloomberg reports. This comes just three months after the very same regulator said that "Mr. Jain has been proven to have learned about discussion in the market concerning the susceptibility of the LIBOR to manipulation in 2008."

Jim Grant: Financial Prices Should Be Discovered, Not Administered

"The modern financial animal is wont to assume that he or she lives in an age of science. The truth is we live in an age of pseudoscience. Far from dealing in science, central bankers, and, to a degree, investment bankers and security analysts, employ magical thinking... For an individual to fix Libor is a crime. For a central bank to suppress European bond yields is an act of financial statesmanship..."

The Three Cs Keeping CFOs Up At Night: China, Commodities, Currencies

With two-thirds of companies still set to report, and as the second quarter earnings season continues and assures the first revenue and EPS recession since 2009, the question on everyone's lips is just how bad will/can it get. The answer will be determined largely by any/all of the following three "C"s which continue to define the ugly face of non-GAAP corporate earnings for the past 3 quarters which appear set to persist for the foreseeable future.

Has The US Finished The Trap Assad Had Begun To Set For Turkey?

The US Syrian policy forces Ankara to walk a fine line between ISIS, Assad’s regime, Kurds, the US and its own interest. We will not rule out that Erdo?an could declare a state of emergency and postpone new elections. Whatever the result of the power struggle in Ankara may be, Turkey’s military will not accept the YPG and PKK armed to the teeth by the US.

Paul Craig Roberts: The Eroding Character Of The American People

The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe "official sources" despite the proven fact that “official sources” lie repeatedly and never tell the truth? The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the "American character."

Aussie Dollar Tests Long-Term Trendline As China Contagion Spreads

Last week, we asked "Is Australia the next Greece?" It appears, judging bu the collapse in the Aussie Dollar, that some - if not all - are starting to believe it's possible after last night's 15-month low in China Manufacturing PMI. As UBS previously noted, China's real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia's nominal GDP growth this last decade. With iron ore and coal prices plumbing new record lows, a Chinese (real) economy firing on perhaps 1 cyclinder, and equity investors reeling from China's collapse; perhaps the situation facing Australia is more like Greece than many want to admit.

The Eurasian Big Bang: How China & Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s "nuclear weapons program."  And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S.  And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

US Mint Sells Most Physical Gold In Two Years On Same Day Gold Price Hits Five Year Low

Just like in the case of silver three weeks ago, today's gold liquidation was not due to selling of physical metal. In fact, quite the contrary: according to the US mint, so far in July the mint has sold a whopping 143,000 ounces of physical gold - the most in over two years, or since April of 2013 - even as the price of gold briefly slid to the lowest level in 5 years.

The FBI And DOJ Get Involved: Hillary Clinton Sent Confidential Emails From Her Personal Email Account

It's not that Donald Trump needed much help in his juggernaut campaign across the GOP presidential primary with his lead at last check in the double digitts, but moments ago the flamboyant billionaire got an unexpected present from the WSJ which may have just crippled the chances of his biggest democrat competitor as well, Hillary Clinton. WSJ reports that according to an internal government review Hillary Clinton, as former Secretary of State, "sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department."And now, at long last, it appears that both the FBI and the DOJ are finally getting involved.

The Casino-fication Of Markets Is Pervasive & Permanent

Here we now call market deflation by the sobriquet “volatility”, as in “major market indices suffered from volatility today, down almost one-half of one percent”, where a down day is treated as something akin to the common cold, a temporary illness with symptoms that we can shrug off with an aspirin or two. You can’t be in favor of volatility, surely. It’s a bad thing, almost on a par with littering. No, we want good things and good words, like “wealth effect” and “accommodation” and “stability” and “price appreciation”. As President Snow says in reference to The Hunger Games version of a political utility, “may the odds be always in your favor”. Who doesn’t want that?

It Cost The Koch Brothers Only $299,000 To Block Labeling Of Genetically Modified Foods

Here is another example why the stock market with its annual return of 7% is for chumps. If you want to make the kinds of quadruple digit returns on investment, you better buy yourself a congressman. As for the general American population, well: your food may be every so slightly more mutated, but the good news is that it will remain as cheap and unhealthy as always.