AIG

S&P Downgrades Glencore To Lowest Investment Grade Rating

Overnight, one of the two rating agencies, Standard and Poors, came one step closer to that fateful moment of junking Glencore when it downgraded Glencore, however it decided to throw the company one last lifeline by keeping it at the very lowest investment grade rating, and instead of cutting it from BBB to single B or CCC where its CDS and bond yield implies the company should be trading, it kept it a BBB-.

The Democracy Of The Billionaires

Speaking of the need for citizen participation in our national politics in his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “Our brand of democracy is hard.” A more accurate characterization might have been: “Our brand of democracy is cold hard cash.” Cash, mountains of it, is increasingly the necessary tool for presidential candidates. Several Powerball jackpots could already be fueled from the billions of dollars in contributions in play in election 2016. When considering the present donation season, however, the devil lies in the details, which is why the details follow.

Frontrunning: January 27

  • Global stocks, dollar struggle ahead of Fed as oil falters (Reuters)
  • Bond Bulls Bank on Fed Mention of Market Chaos as Drag on Growth (BBG)
  • Fees on Mutual Funds and ETFs Tumble Toward Zero (WSJ)
  • China Climbs Back Up Janet Yellen's Worry List (BBG)
  • The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States (BBG)
  • New Jersey Gov. Christie backs Atlantic City takeover plan (Reuters)

Frontrunning: January 26

  • China shares end at 14-month lows after late selling frenzy (Reuters)
  • China Dec gold imports through Hong Kong highest since 2013 (Reuters)
  • China Contagion Fades as European Stocks Pare Drop, Oil Rises (BBG)
  • Apple set for slowest ever iPhone sales growth (Reuters)
  • Saudis, Russia Seen by Iraq as More Flexible on Oil-Output Cuts (BBG)
  • China Probes NEV sector for subsidy fraud (China Daily)

Banksters Win Again - "Audit the Fed" Bill Fails In The Senate

Rand Paul’s signature “Audit the Fed” legislation failed to garner the 60 votes needed in the Senate to move the measure forward. Of course, this is merely the latest in a never-ending series of banker victories, and a truly devastating blow against liberty, free markets, transparency and any hope for government by the people and for the people. Ensuring that light is never shined on the Fed’s shady, corrupt and unaccountable bailout activities has always been a key goal of the American oligarchy, and they succeeded once again.

European Nations Throw Up On EU Plan To Seize Border Sovereignty, Impose Standng Border Force

“Strengthening Frontex, creating a kind of border guard would by all means be needed, beneficial,” he said on his way into a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. “But the way the commission proposed it—for it to be a structure independent from nation states—is astounding.” He added: “There’d be an undemocratic structure reporting to no one knows who.”

The Eerie Echo Of 2007: It Really Is Bear Stearns, All Over Again

In a supreme twist of irony, Bear Stearns is back - maybe not the firm itself - but the people who were in charge of its distressed and junk bond trading group, and just like the summer of 2007, it is an ex "Bear"-run hedge fund that was the first to gate, just as the credit cycle is turning and the default cycle has begun, as we explained last week, just one day before everyone's attention finally focused on junk debt.