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Dave Collum's 2016 Year In Review - "And Then Things Got Really Weird..."

"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."

Five 3-Standard-Deviation Price-Moves Post-Election

The financial markets - post-Trump - have moved in an unprecedented manner over the last few weeks. How unprecedented? Imagine getting in an elevator to come face to face with 5 six-foot-six individuals...every day for a month.

Futures Unchanged In Thin Pre-Holiday Tape; Italian Bank Bailout Lifts European Shares

European stocks halted two days of declines, with the Stoxx 600 fractionally in the green and Italy’s bonds climbing after Monte Paschi requested a bailout and Italy pledged to provide support for its other ailing lenders. S&P futures were little changed among extremely thin volumes while Chinese stocks dropped amid concerns on higher borrowing costs.

Why Are Dollar Bills Worth Anything?

Contrary to the popular way of thinking, the value of a paper dollar originates from its historical link to commodity money - which happens to be gold - and not government decree or social convention. Fiat money of the sort we use today could not and would not come about in a market setting.

Here Are The "Costanza Trades" Of 2017

Ask yourself; what are the trades that make complete sense and all your instincts say are right, and then do the opposite.  Basically what you end up constructing is an out of consensus portfolio and we all know how consensus trades work out in this market.

Chart(s) Of The Week: 'Lombard Street' For A New Age

Gold is collateral of last resort as it is near-universally accepted. Repo fails indicate, very strongly, collateral shortage. Put the two together and you get yet more evidence that central bankers really don’t know what they are doing. And, also like in Bagehot’s day, the repercussions are global.

Home Affordability Drops To 8-Year Lows As Mortgage Rates Surge

"Rapid home price appreciation and tepid wage growth have combined to erode home affordability during this housing recovery, and the recent uptick in mortgage rates only accelerated that trend in the fourth quarter,” said RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist: "The prospect of further interest rate hikes in 2017 will likely cause further deterioration of home affordability next year."

Meet The NY Pension "Strategist" Who Traded Allocations For "Hookers And Blow"

According to a complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors earlier today, Navnoor Kang, the former Director of Fixed Income and Head Portfolio Strategist at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, steered $2 billion worth of allocations to two "preferred brokers" in exchange for $100,000 worth of bribes in the form of the universal currency of "hookers and blow."

The Wierdest Thing About 2016 Is...

"Trump wins US Election"? "UK Leaves EU"? "Cubs Win World Series"? How about this one: "The VIX Peaks in February"? For the first time since the start of the modern VIX in 1990, the 'Fear Gauge' peaked in that month...