Will the Builders of Unsafe Nuclear Reactors Finally Face Scrutiny?
Who says Amazon is only good for putting other retailers out of business with its 1% margins: in the aftermath of Jeff Bezos' announcement that the online retailer is considering launching drone delivery, one company took the concept from merely the theoretical stage to practical implication. The company in question is a Minnesota Micro Brewery called Lakemaid Brewery and the product it had hoped to deliver by remote control airplane to ice fishermen is beer. However, before beer fans around the country rejoice at the prospect of having a buzzing airborne beer delivery, we have some sad news: less than a week after the company posted a promotional YouTube video showcasing the first test flights across mid-sized lakes, the Federal Aviation Administration called Lakemaid Beer to immediately pull the unmanned beer from the skies.
Just a few short weeks away, the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic may go off with a bang, literally, judging by the amount of "terrorist" chatter surrounding the games. Today however, it is more than just chatter: earlier the Russian media reported that Russian security forces had come across multiple unexplained deaths and explosive devices in a region near Sochi, resulting in an aggressive "anti-terrorism sweep."
*NO INJURIES REPORTED FROM BNSF TRAIN FIRE IN NORTH DAKOTA
UPDATE: Reports of a second train hitting the already-derailed train.
UPDATE: Wind is taking toxic smoke towards areas southeast of Casselton, ND, after train derailment. Residents urged to stay indoors
A train has derailed west of Casselton, North Dakota just before 2:20 p.m. Monday. As Valley News Live reports, t he Casselton Fire Department says a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train is involved. An unknown number of cars derailed, but Valley News Live reports is told one bulk oil car is on fire and toxic black smoke is being released.
Caught On Tape: Suicide Bombing In Russia's Fifth Largest Train Station Kills 15, One Month Ahead Of Sochi GamesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/29/2013 11:21 -0400
"I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us... " - Saudi Arabia's Bandar bin Sultan to Vladimir Putin, spoken in hope of Russia selling out the Syrian regime, summer 2013.
While there was a plethora of macro data (starting with some ugly numbers out of Australia which clobbered AUD pairs overnight), China HSBC Services PMI dipping slighlty from 52.6 to 52.5, Final Eurozone PMI Services (printing at 51.2 up from 50.9 and beating expectations of the same on an increase in German PMI numbers from 54.5 to 55.7 and a decline in French PMI from 48.8 to 48.0), Eurozone retail sales declining by 0.2%, on expectations of an unchanged print, and much more (see below), perhaps the most important news of the day came from Japan which many expect will be the source of much more easing in the coming months and thus serve as marginal lever to push global fungible markets higher. However, not only did various BOJ officials for the first time in a while talk down expectations of a QE boost, but the head of the Japan GPIF said that it doesn't need to sell JGBs right now as it would "rock markets" and that instead can achieve its targeted 52% weighing as bonds mature, that it may buy foreign bonds instead to raise weighting to core target (as the Fed buys Japan bonds?), and that it will be very difficult for Japan to hit the BOJ's inflation target in 2 years. Is Japan already getting cold feet on rumors of more QE and did it realize there are only so many assets it can monetize. If so, watch out below on the EURJPY which has now priced in about 700 pips of expected BOJ QE boosting in early 2014.
Governments ADMIT They Carry Out False Flag Terror
It is time for the centrally-planned markets to "try" for the round number trifecta of 16000, 1800 and 4000 again, although it may be a tad more difficult on a day in which there is no double POMO and just $2.75-$3.50 billion will be injected by the NY Fed into the S&P - perhaps it is Bitcoin that will hit the nice round number of $1000 first? Overnight, the Chinese Plenum news rerun finally was priced in and the SHComp closed red, as did the Nikkei 225 as the Asian euphoria based on communist promises about what may happen by 2020 fades. What's worse, the Chinese 7-day repo rate is up 140bp this morning to 6.63% amid talk of tightening domestic liquidity conditions, and back to levels seen during the June liquidity squeeze. All this is happening as China continues leaking more details and hope of what reform the mercantilist country can achieve, and how much internal consumption the export-driven country can attain: overnight there were also additional reports of interest rate liberalization and that the PBOC are to set up a floating CNY rate. Good luck with that.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that we are seeing the disconnect between financial markets and the real economy grow. It is also increasingly obvious (to Citi's FX Technicals team) that not only is QE not helping this dynamic, it is making things worse. It encourages misallocation of capital out of the real economy, it encourages poor risk management, it increases the danger of financial asset inflation/bubbles, and it emboldens fiscal irresponsibility etc.etc. If the Fed was prepared to draw a line under this experiment now rather than continuing to "kick the can down the road" it would not be painless but it would likely be less painful than what we might see later. Failure to do so will likely see us at the "end of the road" at some time in the future and the 'can' being "kicked over the edge of a cliff." Enough is enough.
It is now clear why according to the Obama administration there were no glitches plaguing the Healthcare.gov website administering Obamacare: because a whopping six people managed to sign up on the first day it was launched - the same day the government proudly reported previously it had received 4.7 million unique visitors - a conversion factor of, well, Div/0. By the end of the second day: 248 happy participants in a socialized healthcare ponzi scheme. It is also clear why there was nobody happier than the president when the republican party decided to shut down government on the same day as Obamacare was rolled out: because if public attention had focused on the absolute and now confirmed, disaster that the healthcare law's rollout had been, then everyone, not just the Tea Party, would be demanding a substantial delay in Obamacare.
If your neighborhood is not as safe as it used to be, then you have something in common with the rest of the country. All over America, crime is on the rise. According to a government survey that was just released, violent crime in the United States increased by 15 percent last year, and property crime was up by 12 percent. If violent crime keeps increasing at this rate, it will approximately double in just six years. But as we wrote about the other day, when the next major economic downturn strikes it will probably greatly accelerate the growth of the crime rate in this country. Desperate people do desperate things, and as you will read about below, there are people out there that are already stealing entire truckloads of food.
"We debated buying a bank, which we came close to doing. It remains an option for us," Carne Ross, a board member of the Occupy Money Cooperative (an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement) says. "We eventually came to this [the debit card], as the easiest way to get a financial product out there."
Source: Not The Onion.
For those willing to share in the next few hours of defund-Obamacare discussion from Senator Ted Cruz (tag-teaming a little with Rand Paul) as he talks his way through the night (having started at 2:41pm ET) - ending only when he is "no longer able to stand," or the 15-hour Senate floor limit; the following link provides the blow-by-blow (water works and all).
As we wrap up a most interesting, and volatile, week there are some things that we have discussed previously that are now brewing, interesting points to consider and risks to be aware of. In this regard we thought we would share a few things that caught our attention:
1) Angela Merkel Election No So Assured
2) The Debt Ceiling Debate
3) The "Taper" Indecision Is Back
4) In The "Economy Is Improving" Camp
5) Syria Already Set To Miss A Deadline
6) Everything Else...
Simply put, complacency is not an option; Stocks are overvalued, rates are rising, earnings are deteriorating and despite signs of short term economic improvements the data trends remain within negative downtrends. Investors, however, have disregarded fundamentals as irrelevant as long as the Federal Reserve remains committed to its accommodative policies. The problem is that no one really knows has this will turn out and the current assumptions are based upon past performance.
All the latest news, some of which outright conflicting, in the rapidly changing Syrian melodrama:
- Syria accepts Russian proposal to put Chemical weapons under international control - Interfax quoting Syria's foreign minister Muallem
- France to Introduce Resolution Aimed at Dismantling Syria's Chemical Arsenal
- France to push Russian proposal on Syrian chemical weapons at U.N. Security Council
- President Obama said on ABC News a U.S. attack “absolutely” would be put on hold if Syria followed through on Russian bid to get Syria to surrender chemical weapons
- Majority in House now don’t favor Syria military strike
- Russia urges Syria to give up its chemical weapons stockpile
- Obama questions whether Syrian President al-Assad would yield control of weapons