• Sprott Money
    05/06/2016 - 06:03
    The US, in its own decline, is showing this same self-destructive tendency. The worse things get, the greater the inclination of the citizenry to say, “Carry on, everything’s fine.”

fixed

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Best And Worst Performing Assets In April And 2014





As we noted on the last day of March, April was supposed to be the best month for stocks, with an average return since 1950 of over 2%. It wasn't.

 
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17 Facts To Show To Anyone That Still Believes That The U.S. Economy Is Just Fine





No, the economy is most definitely not "recovering".  Despite what you may hear from the politicians and from the mainstream media (shrugging off today's terrible GDP print), the truth is that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was prior to the last recession.  In fact, we are still pretty much where we were at when the last recession finally ended.  When the financial crisis of 2008 struck, it took us down to a much lower level economically.  Thankfully, things have at least stabilized at this much lower level.  For example, the percentage of working age Americans that are employed has stayed remarkably flat for the past four years.  We should be grateful that things have not continued to get even worse.  It is almost as if someone has hit the "pause button" on the U.S. economy.  But things are definitely not getting better, and there are a whole host of signs that this bubble of false stability will soon come to an end and that our economic decline will accelerate once again.  The following are 17 facts to show to anyone that believes that the U.S. economy is just fine...

 
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FAA Grounds All Flights From West Coast Due To Computer "Glitch"





Update: ye olde CTRL+ALT+DEL trick seems to have done it and the computer "glitch" has been fixed.

The FAA has declared a "ground halt" on all flights at the following airports: BOS, BWI, DCA, EWR, FLL, JFK, LAS, LAX, LGA, MCO, MIA, PHL, TEB

*COMPUTER PROVIDING AIR-TRAFFIC RADAR DISPLAY MALFUNCTIONING

LAX is citing "computer issues" as the reason (and a radar system crash across at least 3 Western states) which could mean delays up to 90 minutes.

 
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No Bubble At All: IPO For Company That "Doesn't Have Current Operations" 36 Times Oversubscribed





Over 300 years ago, the South Sea company was created (and successfully IPO'd) "for the purpose of rivaling the East India Company." It had no actual operations as of yet but the buying panic for shares was driven by greedy investors seeing the government's elite doing so well and wanting a part of the prospects of a company with no operations becoming a world leader (or just finding a greater fool). Today, the first IPO of shares on Dubai's main stock market for 5 years was 36 times over-subscribed for a company called Marka (which is a "cash shell" which does not have any current operations). Nope, no bubble here.

 

 
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Hilsencliff Notes: Q1 Worse Than Expected But Taper Stays





In one of his most voracious tomes, The Wall Street Journal's Fed-see-er Jon Hilsenrath prepared 726 words and published them in 5 minutes to explain that the Fed's forecasts for Q1 were dismally wrong, that the future will all be rosy, and their forecasts spot on, and that the Taper is steady..."Fed officials acknowledged the first-quarter slowdown was worse than expected by saying activity "slowed sharply." Previously, they had just said activity merely slowed...Still, officials nodded to signs of a pickup in economic activity in March and April, suggesting they aren't too worried about the winter slowdown."

 
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Deja Vu All Over Again: Fannie, Freddie Would Need Another $190 Billion Bailout When Things Go South





While it will come as a surprise to exactly nobody, certainly nobody who understand that the US financial system is no better financial shape than just before the Lehman crash as nothing has been fixed and everything that is broken has been merely swept under the rug (for details see Paul Singer's explanation posted last night) of epic-er leverage, the news that when (not if) the US economy succumbs to a severe economic downturn Fannie and Freddie would require another taxpayer funded bailout, one of $190 billion or even more than the first $187.5 billion-funded nationalization of the GSEs, can only bring a smile to one's face.

 
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In Repeat Of Its Q1 GDP Forecast Farce, Goldman Launches Its Q2 GDP Prediction At 3.0%





It was back on January 30 that the Goldman economist team made its first downward revision to what then was a 3.0% forecast to Q1 GDP. Exactly three months later we find that Goldman was off by only 97% when Q1 GDP printed at 0.1%. That's ok - they are economists, and thus are expected to be massively, epically wrong. So here is Goldman with its first "tracking forecast" for Q2 GDP. It is.... drumroll.... 3.0%. How long until this number too is lowered to 0.1% (to be sure, all that rain in New York City has to detract at least 1%-1.5% from Q2 GDP right?).

 
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About That CapEx Spending Renaissance...





For all the talk that imminent, inevitable, "any second now" CapEx spending renaissance is getting, we can only assume we are looking at a wrong chart of the change in quarterly fixed income spending that plugs straight into the US GDP calculation. There is no other possible explanation.

 
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Apple Launches $12 Billion Debt Offering: 30% Smaller Than Last Year's Bond Bonanza





Despite explaining that the Apple debt offering would be of similar size as last year's epic $17 billion bond issue, the seven-part offering only managed to issue $12 billion. While still considerable in the world of corporate bond issuance, this is a notable drop for a firm that was so adamant about releveraging to turnover its cash to shareholders...

  • *APPLE TOTAL DEBT OFFERING SIZE $12B

The deal's longer-dated bonds came a little cheaper than last year's also at 10Y +77bps and 30Y +100bps and only 29% of the issue was long-dated (as opposed to 50% last year). We remind readers that following last year's huge deal, equity markets weakened notably in the weeks after (and it seems the rate-locks on today's issue are already being lifted in Treasury markets as rates fall).

 
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Apple Files To Sell Seven Part, Multi-Billion Debt Offering





In what turned out to be immaculate timing, it was only yesterday that we previewed the collapse in Apple's domestic cash hoard (at the expense of its soaring, if non-recourse offshore cash)  which we concluded by saying that "what this simply means is that after making the history books with the biggest ever, $17 billion bond offering 12 months ago, Apple is about to issue a whole lot more of debt." Less than 24 hours later, it did just that. Moments ago Apple filed a bond offering prospectus, in which it laid out a 7-part bond offering consisting of two FRN tranches (due 2017 and 2019), and 5 fixed rate tranches (due 2017, 2019, 2021, 2024 and 2044), with Goldman and Deustche Bank as lead underwrtiers.

 
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Frontrunning: April 29





  • EU regulators unveil details of bank stress tests (FT)
  • Just use NSAfari: U.S., UK advise avoiding Internet Explorer until bug fixed (Reuters)
  • China’s Income Inequality Surpasses U.S., Posing Risk for Xi  (BBG)
  • US races to refuel infrastructure fund as revenue dries up (FT)
  • New Era Dawns at Nokia as Company Appoints CEO, Plans $1.4 Billion Special Dividend, Share-Repurchase Program (WSJ)
  • Obama reassures allies, but doubts over 'pivot' to Asia persist (Reuters)
  • Dissent at SEC over bank waivers (FT)
  • U.S. Banks to Help Authorities with Tax Evasion Probe (WSJ)
  • U.S., Europe Impose New Sanctions on Russia (WSJ)
  • Why the U.S. Is Targeting the Business Empire of a Putin Ally (BBG)
  • Euro-Area April Economic Confidence Unexpectedly Declines (BBG)
  • Bitcoin traders settle class actions over failed Mt. Gox exchange (Reut
 
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Overnight Levitation Is Back Courtesy of Yen Carry





If one needed a flurry of "worse than expected" macro data to "explain" why European bourses and US futures are up, one got them: first with UK Q1 GDP printing at 0.8%, below the expected 0.9%, then German consumer prices falling 0.1% in April, and finally with Spanish unemployment actually rising from a revised 25.73% to 25.93%, above the 25.85% expected. All of this was "good enough" to allow Italy to price its latest batch of 10 Year paper at a yield of 3.22%, the lowest yield on record! Either way, something else had to catalyze what is shaping up as another 0.5% move higher in US stocks and that something is the old standby, the USDJPY, which ramped higher just before the European open and then ramped some more when European stocks opened for trading. Look for at least one or two more USDJPY momentum ignition moments at specific intervals before US stocks open for trading. But all of that is moot. Remember - the biggest catalyst of what promises to be the latest buying panic rampathon is simple: it's Tuesday (oh, and the $2-$2.5 billion POMO won't hurt).

 
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Guest Post: Suspicious Deaths Of Bankers Are Now Classified As "Trade Secrets" By Federal Regulator





It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees.  Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”

 
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Name The Continent: It Accounts For 7% Of The World's Population, 25% Of GDP And 50% Of Welfare Spending





Angela Merkel has a favourite mantra to offer troubled euro-zone countries: they should copy Germany. As The Economist notes, she put it last autumn: "What we have done, everyone else can do." Fifteen years ago, so she says, her country was widely regarded as the sick man of Europe; then it opted for fiscal austerity, cut labour costs and embraced structural reforms, turning it into an economic powerhouse. However, there is another mantra Mrs Merkel likes to repeat to her colleagues: Europe accounts for 7% of the world’s population, 25% of GDP and 50% of social-welfare spending. The Economist, and George Soros believe, Germany’s current course will exacerbate that problem as Europe's biggest economy is backsliding on structural reforms (as she preaches pre-growth reforms but implements anti-growth ones).

 
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Saxo Warns "Markets Are Drifting Into Dangerous Territory"





A lack of volatility in the markets is dangerous, according to Saxo Bank's Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen, who says we need to know why the danger will be with us for some time. In this brief clip he warns, "...the world seems to think there is a stable permanent equilibrium which doesn't make sense if you think about it, unemployment is still rising, debt to GDPs are still rising, the Crimea situation is increasing in tension, not decreasing, The US still has a lot of stuff to do on social security and welfare spending…for two or three years down the road, with no activity, the world will fall into not only deflation, but also a recession." Jakobsen predicts that, year on year, world growth will actually be "a big fat zero" and therefore the markets are drifting into dangerous territory.

 
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