Carlyle

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The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy: For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back





Between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 Billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 Trillion in federal business and support. Here is the visual representation of this stunning finding: for every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation’s most politically active corporations received $760 from the government.

 
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Frontrunning: March 6





  • 5 Things to Watch in February’s Jobs Report (WSJ)
  • Draghi Declares Victory for Bond-Buying Before It Starts (BBG)
  • Apple Pay Sign-Ups Get Tougher as Banks Respond to Fraud (WSJ)
  • As World’s Hottest Economy Unravels, Nigerians Feel the Squeeze (BBG)
  • EU discontent over French budget deal's 'political bazaar' (Reuters)
  • Foreign Takeovers See U.S. Losing Tax Revenue (WSJ)
  • Goldman Shareholders’ Hope for Bigger Payout Dashed by Fed (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Headed for 31% Surge This Year Amid QE, Citi Says (BBG)
  • Dollar revs up for jobs data, euro bonds rally on ECB (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: February 27





  • Central Banks With Negative Rates Spur Question of How Low to Go (BBG)
  • DHS to keep running: Congress edges toward domestic security funding patch (Reuters)
  • Setbacks for Tsipras Stir Discord in Greek Ruling Party (BBG)
  • Greece’s Challenge: Appeasing Its Creditors and Its Population (WSJ)
  • Buffett, a cheerleader for America, takes his checkbook abroad (Reuters)
  • Oil’s Big Swings Are the New Normal: Market has rarely been more volatile (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Left Behind as Russian Stock Gains Are Unmatched (BBG)
  • Brent rises to $61, set for first monthly gain since July (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: February 18





  • Greece to submit loan request to euro zone, Germany resists (Reuters)
  • Ukrainian forces start to quit besieged town (Reuters)
  • Bank of Japan maintains policy, no surprises (FT)
  • China Considering Mergers Among Its Big State Oil Companies (WSJ)
  • Soros Shifts to Europe, Asia as Investors Cut U.S. Equities (BBG)
  • Putin tells Kiev to let troops surrender as Ukraine ceasefire unravels (Reuters)
  • Venezuela Squanders Its Oil Wealth (BBG)
  • Swiss prosecutor raids HSBC office, opens criminal inquiry (Reuters)
 
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Audit The Fed - And Shackle It, Too





The monetary politburo has every reason to fear Rand Paul’s demand for a “policy audit” of the Fed. An honest one would show that its so-called “independence” has been monumentally abused in a manner which is deeply threatening to both political democracy and capitalist prosperity. Needless to say, we can’t have that audit soon enough. In short, what the nation really needs is not an “independent” Fed, but one that is shackled to a narrow and market-driven liquidity function. The rest of its current remit is nothing more than the self-serving aggrandizement of the apparatchiks who run it; and who have now managed to turn the nation’s vital money and capital markets into dangerous, unstable casinos, and the nations savers into indentured servants of a bloated and wasteful banking system.

 
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Frontrunning: February 11





  • Methodology change sees Indian economy grow faster than China's (Reuters)
  • Can Greek Businesses Even Survive? (WSJ)
  • Putin to travel to Minsk talks raising hopes of a deal over Ukraine (Euronews)
  • Ukraine contact group representatives deny ceasefire deal in Minsk (Reuters)
  • Moar buybacks! Hedge Fund-Backed Investor Puts Himself Up for G.M. Board (NYT)
  • Ukraine peace summit overshadowed by some of war's worst fighting (Reuters)
  • Time for non-non-GAAP excluding China: Tesla CEO threatens firings after dismal China sales - sources (Reuters)
  • Jon Stewart leaving Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show' (Reuters)
 
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Obama's Fed Nominee, Who Was Busted And Quit For "Impropriety", Reports Up To $40 Million In Assets





Three weeks ago, when reporting on Obama's close personal friend and Bank of Hawaii "community banker" appointee to the Fed board, Allan Landon, we emphasized an apparently trivial data point that had somehow managed to slip through the background due diligence process. Namely, that about a decade ago, the same Landon stepped down as board member from the Seattle Federal Home Loan Bank after he was found to have "failed to comply with a rule requiring the disclosure of conflicts of interest by a director by failing to make disclosure to the Seattle Bank board of their institutions' planned redemptions." The full story can be read here, but in a nutshell a banker that the president himself has appointed to join the US money printing authority was on the cusp of being investigated for embezzlement, and was forced to quietly disappear into the night despite denying "any wrongdoing." Today we learn just how much assets the banker who at least once was caught with "borderlineembezzlement " made during his humble tenure as a "community banker." The number: somewhere between $10 and $40 million.

 
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We Live In A New World And The Saudis Are The First To Get It





We live in a new world, and the Saudis are either the only or the first ones to understand that. Because they are so early to notice, and adapt, I would expect them to come out relatively well. But I would fear for many of the others. And that includes a real fear of pretty extreme reactions, and violence, in quite a few oil-producing nations that have kept a lid on their potential domestic unrest to date. It would also include a lot of ugliness in the US shale patch, with a great loss of jobs (something it will have in common with North Sea oil, among others), but perhaps even more with profound mayhem for many investors in US energy. And then we’re right back to your pension plans.

 
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Frontrunning: December 4





  • Thanks Fed: Meet the high schooler who made $300K trading penny stocks under his desk (Verge)
  • Protesters block NY streets after officer cleared in chokehold death (Reuters)
  • U.S. Plans Probe of New York Police Chokehold Death (BBG)
  • Sharpton Leads Civil-Rights Meeting on Chokehold Decision (BBG)
  • Staten Island on Edge Over Grand Jury Decision In Death of Eric Garner (WSJ)
  • Draghi Tests Speed Limit as ECB Awaits Stimulus Evidence (BBG)
  • European Stocks Approach Seven-Year High Before Draghi Statement (BBG)
  • Britain targets multinationals that try to dodge taxes (Reuters)
  • Oil Trains Hide in Plain Sight (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: November 13





  • Moar central banks! Asian Stocks Rise Amid Stimulus Speculation; Topix Jumps (BBG)
  • Syria rebels in south emerge as West's last hope as moderates crushed elsewhere (Reuters)
  • Bufett's Berkshire to Buy Duracell Business From Procter & Gamble in $3B Deal (AP)
  • Weak Demand, Real-Estate Slump Signal Headwinds for China (WSJ)
  • China Slowdown Deepens as Leaders Said to Mull Cutting Target (BBG)
  • Saudis Reject Talk of OPEC Market Share War as Oil Slides (BBG)
  • Oil Tankers Stream Toward China as Price Drop Sparks Boom (BBG)
 
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A "Magical Fairyland" – How Global Multi-National Corporations Avoid Taxes In Luxembourg





“A Luxembourg structure is a way of stripping income from whatever country it comes from,’’ said Stephen E. Shay, a professor of international taxation at Harvard Law School and a former tax official in the U.S. Treasury Department. The Grand Duchy, he said, “combines enormous flexibility to set up tax reduction schemes, along with binding tax rulings that are unique. It’s like a magical fairyland.”

 
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Frontrunning: November 6





  • LOL@Fundamentals: European Stocks Fall as Investors Seek Stimulus Clarity (BBG)
  • Obama, Republicans sound conciliatory note but battles loom (Reuters)
  • Firms drop Pimco funds from managed accounts (Reuters)
  • Not All QE Is Created Equal as U.S. Outpunches ECB-BOJ (BBG)
  • Ukraine Accuses Russia of Sending Troops as Truce Wobbles (BBG)
  • Lenovo Slumps After Projecting China ‘Hypergrowth’ to End (BBG)
  • Palo Alto Networks discovers new malware targeted at Apple devices (Reuters)
  • IPO That Brought In $1 Billion in March Implodes in Denmark (BBG)
 
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Where Is Swiss Gold? – Location, Location, Location





With the Swiss gold stored at the Bank of Canada, now having been transferred out of the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa vault to an unknown location, the Swiss public would be wise to question the SNB on this move. The Swiss gold stored at the Bank of England in London seemingly being ‘actively managed’ one of the world’s largest centres for unallocated gold trading, the Swiss public would also be wise to enquire on this issue. And with significant historical quantities of Swiss gold that were stored with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York no longer there after the SNB seemingly brought their US vaulted gold holdings to zero, the Swiss public need to question why these particular holdings were targeted for sales from 2000-2005 and not domestically held gold.

 
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Frontrunning: October 30





  • "Soaring consumer confidence" - How the Economy Is Stoking Voter Anger at Incumbent Governors (WSJ)
  • Euro zone deflation worries shield German Bunds from upbeat Fed (Reuters)
  • Greece’s Euro Dilemma Is Back as Minister Sees Volatility (BBG)
  • Ukraine gas supplies in doubt as Russia seeks EU payment deal (Reuters)
  • Sterling Lads Chats Show FX Traders Matching Fix Orders (BBG)
  • NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russia Air Activity in Europe (WSJ)
  • U.K. SFO Charges Ex-Tullett Prebon Broker in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
  • Jerusalem on edge after shooting of rabbi (FT)
  • Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting far-right activist (Reuters)
  • Samsung seeks smartphone revamp to arrest profit slide (Reuters)
 
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