Bank of America

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Price Discovery And Emerging Markets





... things like a 50%+ drop in oil prices happen. Which at some point will lead more people to wonder what the real numbers are. For emerging nations, those numbers will not be pretty for 2015. They’re going to feel like they’re being thrown right back into the Stone Age. And they’re not going to like that one bit, and look for ways to express their frustration. Volatility is not just on the rise in the world of finance. It also is in the real world that finance fails to reflect. At some point, the two will meet again, and Wall Street will mirror Main Street. It will make neither any happier. But it’ll be honest.

 
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Frontrunning: January 9





  • Police Surround Paris Terror Suspects Near CDG Airport (BBG)
  • ECB Said to Study Bond-Purchase Models Up to 500 Billion Euros (BBG)
  • How OPEC Weaponized the Price of Oil Against U.S. Drillers (BBG)
  • German Industrial Production Falls Amid Plunge in Energy Output (BBG)
  • Car Loans See Rise In Missed Payments (WSJ)
  • Jim O'Neill threatens he will replace BRICs with ICs (BBG)
  • Oil heads for seventh weekly loss as supply glut drags (Reuters)
  • Armed man takes hostage in kosher grocery in Paris (AFP)
  • Janus Chairman Didn’t Know Details of Gross’s Investment (WSJ)
  • Kaisa Bondholders Dream of White Knight as Default Becomes Real (BBG)
 
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Chinese Developer Kaisa On Verge Of $5Bn Default; Who's Next?





“You never know where the skeletons in the closet are or what company will be next," warns one Chinese credit analyst and as the CNY30 billion indebted Chinese developer Kaisa Group (that we initially discussed here) admits it can’t say if it plans to meet a bond deadline today as a local news website said lenders took steps to preserve assets. The builder of residential communities and shopping centers must pay about $26 million in interest on its 10.25 percent 2020 debentures today (which appears unlikely) and its bonds have crashed to below 30c. The big question, as Bloomberg notes, is who's next?

 
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Frontrunning: January 8





  • French policewoman killed in shoot-out, hunt deepens for militant killers (Reuters)
  • The Bold Charlie Hebdo Covers the Satirical Magazine Was Not Afraid to Run (BBG)
  • Evans Says Fed Shouldn’t Rush Rate Rise as Inflation Undershoots (BBG)
  • Oil holds above $51 as traders search for floor (Reuters)
  • Gross Helps Fuel New Fund With His Own Cash (WSJ)
  • ECB warns Greek funding access hinges on keeping bailout (Reuters)
  • Greece Jolts QE Juggernaut as ECB Gauges Deflation Risk (BBG)
  • Analysts Say There's No Telling How Low Oil Prices Could Go (BBG)
  • Scientists find antibiotic that kills bugs without resistance (Reuters)
 
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10 Key Events That Preceded The Last Financial Crisis Are Happening Again





History literally appears to be repeating. The mainstream media and our politicians are promising Americans that everything is going to be okay somehow, and that seems to be good enough for most people. But the signs that another massive financial crisis is on the horizon are everywhere.

 
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2015 - Life In The Breakdown Lane





“Don’t look back - something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. So we enter 2015 with greater tensions than ever before and therefore the likelihood that the inevitable breakdown will release more destructive energy and be that much harder to recover from.

 
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Is Citi The Next AIG?





Something stunning and unexpected took place in the third quarter: Citigroup, or rather its FDIC-insured Citibank National Association entity, just surpassed JPM and is now the biggest single holder of total derivatives in the US. Furthermore, as the charts below show, while every other bank was derisking its balance sheet, Citi not only increased its total derivative holdings by $1 trillion in Q2, but by a whopping, and perhaps even record, $9 trillion in the just concluded third quarter to $70.2 trillion!

 
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The Prison State Of America





Prisons employ and exploit the ideal worker. Prisoners do not receive benefits or pensions. They are not paid overtime. They are forbidden to organize and strike. They must show up on time. They are not paid for sick days or granted vacations. They cannot formally complain about working conditions or safety hazards. If they are disobedient, or attempt to protest their pitiful wages, they lose their jobs and can be sent to isolation cells. The roughly 1 million prisoners who work for corporations and government industries in the American prison system are models for what the corporate state expects us all to become. And corporations have no intention of permitting prison reforms that would reduce the size of their bonded workforce. In fact, they are seeking to replicate these conditions throughout the society.

 
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The Utter Craziness Of Monetarism Is On Full Display





And thus the utter craziness of monetarism is on full display, in that after arguing that declining oil prices are good for American consumers, they are also suggesting that monetary policy is “too tight”, and thus oil prices are contradictorily “too low.” That betrays the central aspect of this orthodox embracing of lower energy prices as nothing more than a shaky rationalization – they still are not comfortable with low prices but accept them lest anyone get worried about what they really suggest. Orthodox monetary theory is, when stripped of its academic trappings, dedicated to high oil prices and low wages.

 
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China's Christmas Present To The World: Beijing Eases Again, Sets Non-Bank Deposit Reserve To Zero





In another Christmas surprise, China once again decided to adjust the cost of money, only this time instead of hiking, it eased, and in an effort to shore up the world's second-largest economy, China Business News reported that the PBOC will waive reserve requirements for non-bank deposits.  As the WSJ adds, at a meeting with big financial institutions on Wednesday, the People's Bank of China told participants that they will soon be able to add deposits from nonbank financial institutions to their calculations of their loan-to-deposit ratios, according to the executives. The move would add considerably to the banks' deposits and allow them to lend more. Chinese stocks, which had been pricing in further easing by the PBOC for the past 3 months, a period during which the Shanghai Composite soared over 50%, were delighted by the latest easing move and surged even more, surging higher by the most in the past three weeks.

 
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The Greater Abomination: Washington's Lies About TARP's "Success" Are Worse Than The Original Bailouts, Part I





The mainstream economics narrative is so far down the monetary rabbit hole that the blinding clarity of the chart below has no chance whatsoever of seeing the light of day. That’s because it dramatizes the real truth regarding all the Fed gibberish about “accommodation” and “stimulus”. Namely, that what lies beneath its “extraordinary measures”, such as ZIRP, QE, wealth effects and the rest of the litany, is a central banking regime that systematically destroy savers. Period. TARP wasn’t “repaid” with a profit. It was simply perpetuated and  morphed into a new form of destructive state subvention and malinvestment.

 
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Greece On The Edge After Second Failed Presidential Vote





A week after the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, was unable to push through his nominee for president, Stavros Dimas, in a vote in parliament that needed 200 votes to pass, hours ago the second presidential vote took place and just like last week it again failed to secured the needed 200 votes, with just 168 lawmakers voting for the designated appointee. This means that in the third and final voting round next week, on December 29 - a trading day where bad news will propagate like wildfire in the absence of any market liquidity and means Kevin Henry will have to work overtime buying ETFs - New Democracy's Samaras has to find (or bribe) another 12 votes or else Greece is facing a snap election where the anti-bailout/anti-austerity leftist Syriza party is expected to win, and set off a chain of events that may result in Greece being kicked out of the Eurozone at least if the jitters seen during the summer of 2012 are any indication.

 
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Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion: Shale Was About Land Gambling With Cheap Debt, Not Technological Miracles





The shale patch can exist in its present form only if it has access to nigh limitless credit, and only if prices are in the $100 or up range. Wells in the patch deplete faster than you can say POOF, and drilling new wells costs $10 million or more a piece. Without access to credit, that’s simply not going to happen. That’s about all we need to know. Shale was never a viable industry, it was all about gambling on land prices from the start. And now that wager is over, even if the players don’t get it yet. So strictly speaking my title is a tad off: we’re not drilling our way into oblivion, the drilling is about to grind to a halt. But it will still end in oblivion.

 
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2014 Year In Review (Part 1): The Final Throes Of A Geopolitical Game Of Tetris





Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."

 
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