Black Friday

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Frontrunning: November 24





  • Grand jury expected to resume Ferguson police shooting deliberations (Reuters)
  • PBOC Bounce Seen Short Lived as History Defies Bulls (BBG)
  • Home prices dropped in September for the first time since January (HousingWire)
  • UPS Teaches Holiday Recruits to Fend Off Dogs, Dodge NYC Taxis (BBG)
  • US oil imports from Opec at 30-year low (FT)
  • Hedge Funds Bet on Coal-Mining Failures (WSJ)
  • Putin Woos Pakistan as Cold War Friend India Buys U.S. Arms (BBG)
  • How the EU Plans to Turn $26 Billion Into $390 Billion (BBG)
  • The $31 Billion Bet Against Brazil’s New Finance Minister (BBG)
 
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There Goes The Shopping Spree: Nor'easter May Hit East Coast For Thanksgiving





Forget Black Friday and Q4 GDP... it appears, from the most recent forecasts that from Wednesday on this week, the eastern US faces a 'White Five-Day' as Accuweather reports "an increasing likelihood for a swath of heavy snow stretching from eastern Pennsylvania through New York's Hudson Valley and across much of New England before all is said and done." Furthermore, as WaPo notes, Wednesday’s possible storm has a chance to develop into a legitimate Nor’easter (though current models offer 3 scenarios).

 
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Frontrunning: November 20





  • Banks Had Unfair Advantage From Commodity Units (Bloomberg)
  • Report Notes Deals Between Goldman, Deutsche and Others Drove Up Aluminum Prices (WSJ)
  • Goldman, Morgan Stanley Commodity Heyday Gone as Units Faulted (BBG) - because when you can no longer manipulate, you move on...
  • Lenders Shift to Help Struggling Student Borrowers (WSJ)
  • Immigrants face major hurdles in signing up to new Obama plan (Reuters)
  • Distressed Debt in China? Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Buyers Say (BBG)
  • Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds (Reuters)
  • Amazon Robots Get Ready for Christmas (WSJ)
 
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The Biggest Myth About Investing In Europe





The BTFDippier of the fast money is already rotating into a long-Europe mode: their entire thesis is that sooner or later the whales will have no choice but to follow the momentum chasers right back into Europe, because where else are they going to go: in the "safety" of the S&P's 19x GAAP P/E?  In theory this would be a great strategy, if only in a world in which nobody actually does any fundamental homework and the only thing that matters is frontrunning the next great sucker. In practice, it is fatally wrong. As the following observation from hedge fund Lyxor shows, while CTA and momentum strats have indeed bailed on Europe in recent months, the so-called smart money, the "global macro" funds never left.

 
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iPhones Are For Amateurs: With 22 Days To Go, The "Black Friday" Line Has Started





"We could have started later, but then we wouldn’t be sure to get first in line," says Vickey Torres, camped outside the Beaumont Best Buy 22 days before Black Friday. "Some people say we’re crazy."

 
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From "Black Friday" To "Black Five-Day"





"It used to be called Black Friday, then it became Thursday, now it’s a week long...Maybe we should just call it November."

 
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Frontrunning: November 12





  • Banks to Pay $3.3 Billion in FX-Manipulation Probe (BBG)
  • Symbolic being the key word: U.S., China sign symbolic emissions plan, play down rivalry (Reuters)
  • Europe (so really Russian sanctions) is the new "snow in the winter" - Carney Sees Europe Stagnation Impact as Growth Outlook Cut (BBG)
  • Eurozone Industrial Output Points to Weak Third Quarter Growth (WSJ)
  • Not everyone around Abe is insane: Kuroda Ally Flags Warning on Delaying Sales-Tax Increase (BBG)
  • Hong Kong to scrap daily yuan conversion limit to boost stock investment (Reuters)
  • Barclays Falls After FX Settlement Delay Reduces Discount (BBG)
  • Some unhappy Yahoo investors asking AOL for rescue (Reuters)
 
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The System Is Terminally Broken





By continuously intervening in all of the markets, the Fed has destroyed the information transmission system that is built into freely trading markets. Time is starting to run out for ability of the U.S. to keep kicking the can of collapse down the road. We’ve come full circle, only with China in the Midas throne this time around.  Eventually the world is going to revert back to a gold-backed currency system.  When this happens, the U.S. will be required to demonstrate that it possesses the amount of gold that it reports to own. The only caveat here is that we believe that the U.S. will start WW3 before it’s forced to reveal the truth about its empty gold vault. That’s how broken our system really is…

 
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Christmas In October - Desperate Measures





Our entire economic paradigm is built upon desperate measures. Zero interest rates, $3 trillion of QE, systematic accounting fraud, fudged economic data, and doling out subprime loans to auto renters and University of Phoenix wannabes have failed to revive our moribund economy. Delusions don’t die easily. But they do die. We are reaching the limit of this delusionary dream built upon debt, denial, and deception. Make sure you wolf down that Thanksgiving feast before 5:00 pm. There are HDTV’s to fight for at 6:00 pm.

 
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Babson's Warning





"[A] crash is coming, and it may be terrific... The vicious circle will get in full swing and the result will be a serious business depression. There may be a stampede for selling which will exceed anything that the Stock Exchange has ever witnessed. Wise are those investors who now get out of debt."

 
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Down And Out In Rio: What To Expect At The World Cup





Sticker shock. Expect to pay a lot. Hellishly hot in the summer and shockingly less sexy than advertised. But the city and local people, called Cariocas, are clean and the crime is greatly exaggerated. The Marvelous City is amazing in many ways. But if you look closely, you see the same old corruption and thuggery, the same painful poverty and injustice, that plague many states. And then there's the Brazilian prostitutes, called programas, who frequent the bars and brothels of Copacabana and Ipanema as well as Central Rio... People in Rio and Brazil are the same as anywhere. They want the same things. Happiness, diversion, laughter, distraction, the so-called good things in life. A slightly larger piece of the pie. The World Cup is just a showcase and a distraction. Bread and circus on a grander scale.

 
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Welcome To Terminus





The fragility of our debt financed oil dependent just in time global supply chain system is beyond the comprehension of the average zombie American. They are too distracted by mass consuming the products dependent on that very same fragile scheme. They are clueless zombie-like dupes who believe $20 bills magically appear in ATMs, Funyuns and Cheetos miraculously materialize on Wal-Mart shelves, gasoline endlessly bubbles up from the ground into the hose they stick in their $40,000 monster SUVs “bought” with a 0% seven year loan from Ally Financial, and that enchanted plastic card with a magnetic strip empowers them to fulfill every craving like a zombie feeding on a dead carcass. However, the cracks in this delusionary foundation are visible for all to see.

 
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Goldman's Payroll Preview: Optimistic But Worried About Weather





Goldman forecasts a gain of 200k non-farm payroll jobs tomorrow (against a 196k consensus +/-25k). Factors arguing for a solid print include the recent trend, an improvement in most employment indicators already released for the month, the compressed holiday hiring period, and a potential "couriers and messengers effect." On the negative side, Goldman warns cold weather is a downside risk. With respect to other aspects of the release, in general they note that the December report has not shown an overwhelming tendency to contain back-revisions in one direction or the other; and forecast an unchanged unemployment rate at 7.0%, and a 0.2% month-on-month gain in average hourly earnings.

 

 
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3 Things To Ponder Over Christmas





While you enjoy your gifts, the traditional Christmas ham and the annual re-gifting of Aunt Meg's 12-pound fruit cake (or go to the movies and eat Chinese food) here are "3 Things To Ponder"  regarding the retail shopper this holiday season.

Of course, the reason that retailers are having to so heavily discount in the first place is because of weak wage growth, still high unemployment and rising healthcare costs which are reducing disposable income.  Of course, as I discussed yesterday, if healthcare costs due to the Affordable Care Act rise by just $100 per month per capita that is a $72.25 billion diversion of discretionary incomes away from retail spending.  This could mean that retailers will be fighting an uphill battle for quite some time to come.

 
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