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The Best And Worst Performing Assets Of 2015





With markets wrapped up for 2015 now, reviewing the performance of asset classes last year shows that it was one where negative asset class returns were aplenty, while those finishing in positive territory were few and far between. Indeed, of the 42 assets we monitor in Figure 5, just 9 finished with a positive return in Dollar-adjusted terms over the full year.  At the other end of the scale there were some notable losers.

 

 
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Frontrunning: January 4





  • China stocks tank, triggers circuit breaker (Reuters)
  • Stocks Slump Across Europe and Asia Following Shanghai's 7% Crash (BBG)
  • China Halts Stock Trading After 7% Rout Triggers Circuit Breaker (BBG)
  • Iran says Riyadh thrives on tension after relations cut (Reuters)
  • Saudis and Bahrain Face Off With Iran in Worst Clash Since 1980s (BBG)
  • Syrian rebel group backs Saudi move to cut ties with Iran (Reuters)
 
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2015 Year In Review: "Terminal Phase" Excess & Peak Cognitive Dissonance





Important pillars of the bull case evaporated throughout 2015. Global price pressures weakened, the global Credit backdrop deteriorated and the global economy decelerated. The huge bets on central bank policies left markets at high risk for abrupt reversals and trade unwinds – 2015 The Year of the Erratic Crowded Trade. Indeed, a global bear market commenced yet most remain bullish. Serious and objective analysts would view this ominously.

 
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On The Trail Of Dubai's Stolen Gold: A Robbed Client Breaks The Silence, And A Fascinating Detail Emerges





The deeper we dig into the story of Dubai's vaporized gold, the more skeletons just tumble out of the closet on what may be the world's biggest gold smuggling ring ever, one involving not just Turkey and Iran, but the mother of all gold smuggling: China itself...

 
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Carmen Reinhart Warns "Serious Sovereign Debt Defaults" Are Looming





As 2016 begins, there are clear signs of serious debt/default squalls on the horizon. We can already see the first white-capped waves.

 
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What's Ahead In 2016 - Key Events Of The Next 12 Months





Elections, elections, and more elections is the 'regime change' meme for 2016 but, as Bloomberg details, the key events of the year ahead vary from a California marijuana referendum to Brazil's Olympics, and from Davos to SCOTUS. No matter what, 2016 holds a lot of opportunity for volatility, and without The Fed's safety net, who knows what that means for markets...

 
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Red Or Green For The Year: Decision Time For US Markets On Last Trading Day Of 2015





It has come down to this: a year in which the US stock market (led by a handful of shares even as the vast majority of stocks has dropped) has gone nowhere, but took the longest and most volatile path to get there, is about to close either red or green for 2015 based on what happens in today's low-volume session following yesterday's unexpected last half hour of trading "air pocket" which brought the S&P back to unchanged for the year.

 
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Brazilian Real Crashes Most In 4 Years As Hope Fades





Following recent strength on the heels of hope for a new finance minister, news that Ruosseff has sent the minimum-wage-hike Bill to Congress appears to have crushed the hype of any fiscal rectitude and sent Real tumbling. Down over 4% - the most since September 2011 - BRL is back above 4.00 per USD, giving up all the recent gains.

 
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One Of The Two Most Crowded "Consensus Trades" Of 2015 Just Ended With A Whimper





One year ago, the two most crowded trades going into 2015 were being long the USD and short US Treasurys. While the former trade had questionable success, the latter most certainly did not work and while hedge-fund managers and other large speculators spent December 2014 setting the biggest bets against Treasuries in four years, fast-forwarding 12 months later we find that the smartest money in the room has fully abandoned those massive short Treasury bets.

 
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Warmongering Pays - US Foreign Arms Sales Soar 35%





If ever there was a clearer indication of America's "need for war" it was the latest Durable Goods orders data, which confirmed, absent defense spending, the US economy is in a tail-spin. However, as NYTimes reports, foreign arms sales by the United States jumped by almost $10 billion in 2014, about 35 percent, even as the global weapons market remained flat and competition among suppliers increased, thanks to multibillion-dollar agreements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

 
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The After-Christmas Hangover: Why There Is No Peace On Earth





101 years after the Christmas truces along the Western Front there is still no peace on earth. And the long suffering American taxpayers, who foot the massive bills generated by the War Party’s demented and destructive policies, have no clue that Imperial Washington is the principal reason.

 
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58 Facts About The U.S. Economy From 2015 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe





The world didn’t completely fall apart in 2015, but it is undeniable that an immense amount of damage was done to the U.S. economy. So don’t be fooled by all the happy talk coming from Barack Obama and the mainstream media.  When you look at the cold, hard numbers, they tell a completely different story.  The following are 58 facts about the U.S. economy from 2015 that are almost too crazy to believe...

 
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Brazilians Cancel Vacation Plans As 50 Million Metric Tons Of "Noxious Mud" Turns Ocean Brown





“I was really worried. Everyone who thought of going for the end of the year will have to cancel. Nobody is going to pay 2,000 reais for a holiday package to go to a place where people say the mud is."

 
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Frontrunning: December 23





  • Oil up after U.S. crude stocks drop, still close to 11-year lows (Reuters)
  • Global Stocks Rally; Mining, Metals Shares Lead Gains (WSJ)
  • OPEC Sees Demand for Its Crude Oil Falling for Rest of Decade (BBG)
  • The Trouble With Sovereign-Wealth Funds (WSJ)
  • U.S. Calls for 256% Tariff on Imports of Steel From China (BBG)
  • Iraqi troops expected to drive ISIS from Ramadi in days (Reuters)
 
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How Would World Markets Respond To 4% Chinese GDP Growth? UBS Explains "The Dragon's Tail"





"The most important channel through which the Dragon's Tail scenario can affect other markets is trade, although financial linkages and market contagion could also have a significant impact on some markets and asset prices."

 
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