• Tim Knight from...
    10/06/2015 - 17:03
    As we head into another earnings season, the bulls better pray to whatever pagan gods they worship that company after company magically defy the downturn that the economy is quite obviously entering.

Consumer protection

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Frontrunning: September 28

  • Headline winner: "Read Beyond Massive Job-Cuts Headlines: Labor Market Is Fine" (BBG)
  • And speaking of lies: The More Yellen Talks Up Inflation, the Less Traders Believe Her (BBG)
  • How Some Investors Get Special Access to Companies (WSJ)
  • Victorious Catalan separatists claim mandate to break with Spain (Reuters)
  • Russia seizes initiative in Syria (Reuters)
  • Former VW boss Winterkorn investigated for fraud (Reuters)
  • Investors Pull Back From Junk Bonds (WSJ)
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Volkswagen Scandal Becomes "Investor's Nightmare" As German Government Dragged In

The fallout from the emissions scandal that triggered a harrowing plunge in Volkswagen's shares and now threatens to derail the German economy continues as Detusche Bank delivers a sobering assessment, the Green party blames Berlin, BaFin lanches an investigation, and the town of Wolfsburg panics.

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Crowdfunder Slammed Over Playing Cards

In a first for donation-based crowdfunding, the creator of a Kickstarter campaign has been ordered by a state court to pay civil penalties, restitution, and court costs for failing to deliver products to his contributors. Edward J. Polchlopek, aka Ed Nash, and his company, Altius Management, have been ordered to pay a total of $54,851.29 for failure to deliver decks of ‘retro-horror themed’ playing cards. 

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Frontrunning: June 18

  • WSJ urges Fed to blow uberest of all bubbles: Memo to Fed: Let the Economy Overheat (WSJ)
  • Gunman at large after killing nine at black South Carolina church (Reuters)
  • Nine Dead in Charleston Shooting Labeled a 'Hate Crime' (BBG)
  • Hong Kong Votes Down Beijing-Backed Election Plan (WSJ)
  • Greece Has Already Cost Investors $897 Billion This Year (BBG)
  • Merkel Maintains Tough Stance on Greece as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
  • Small U.S. frackers face extinction amid drilling drought (Reuters)
  • Brian Williams to Stay at NBC, but Lester Holt Will Be Anchor (WSJ)
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The Two Contending Visions Of World Government

U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed ‘Trade’ deals are actually about whether the world is heading toward a dictatorial world government - a dictatorship by the hundred or so global super-rich who hold the controlling blocks of stock in the world’s largest international corporations - or else toward a democratic world government - which will be a global federation of free and independent states, much like the United States was at its founding, but global in extent. These are two opposite visions of world government; and Obama is clearly on the side of fascism, an international mega-corporate dictatorship... What’s at stake here is nothing less than whether the future of the United States, and perhaps even of the world, will be democracy, or else fascism.

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Frontrunning: June 11

  • Pope urges Putin to make 'sincere, great effort' for Ukraine peace (Reuters)
  • Merkel Tells Tsipras It’s Time to Back Talk With Policy Action (BBG)
  • 'Greek tragedy' needs happy ending now: EU's Moscovici (Reuters)
  • Vulture Funds Circle Greece Targeting Europe’s Best Trading Bet (BBG)
  • Germany against third aid program for Greece under any circumstances, says daily (Reuters)
  • Biggest OPEC Members Pump Record Oil With Rally in Jeopardy (BBG)
  • Greek ruling reversing pension cuts will cost state 1 to 1.5 bln euros (Kathimerini)
  • China’s Former Security Chief Zhou Yongkang Sentenced to Life in Prison (WSJ)
  • MSCI backs itself into corner on China share inclusion (Reuters)
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Frontrunning: April 15

  • China growth slowest in six years, more stimulus expected soon (Reuters)
  • EU charges Google over shopping searches, to probe Android (Reuters)
  • A Chinese Paradox: Slow Growth Is Good, Stock Bubbles Welcome (BBG)
  • Draghi Seen Dispelling Duration Doubts About QE Program (BBG)
  • IEA Sees OPEC Supply Jumping Most in Four Years on Saudi Surge (BBG)
  • SEC Reaches Settlement with Former Freddie Mac  (WSJ)
  • Kerry says confident Obama can get final deal on Iran (Reuters)
  • Regulators Call for Short-Term Loan Changes to Handle ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ (WSJ)
  • Florida Doctor Linked to Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted for Medicare Fraud (WSJ)
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Meet Linebarger - The Government's Biggest Private Debt Collector

Collecting debt is a dirty business which is why The Federal Government turns it over to the private sector. Meet one of the biggest players in the industry, law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. It has worked for small-town school districts, the city of New York and at one point, the largest tax collector in the country: the Internal Revenue Service. As CNN reports, based in Texas, Linebarger works for 2,300 clients nationwide and collects $1 billion for its clients each year. But the collection system is far from perfect, leading to some nightmare scenarios. Despite decades of scandals over the way the firm gets business (and even jail time for one of its top executives) Linebarger still lands lucrative government contracts...

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Is China Starting To Crackdown On Alibaba's "Illegal Operations"?

It appears the Chinese government has decided it is time to remind the nation's richest man (and millions of retail investors in America) who is in charge. According to a report released by the Chinese government - citing closed-door meetings in July 2014 that were kept quiet so as not to affect the September IPO - there are at least 19 problems with Alibaba's various platforms. As Bloomberg reports, Alibaba failed to properly oversee merchants and allowed the sale of counterfeit products on its e-commerce platforms, according to a Chinese government report. The report concludes, rather ominously, "Alibaba not only faces the biggest credibility crisis since its establishment, it also casts a bad influence for other Internet operators trying to operate legally." While Alibaba has tried to clean-up its image, the report cites issues with counterfeit goods, merchant screening, false advertising, and lax controls.

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Bill Dudley Explains Why The New York Fed Is Not A Subsidiary Of Goldman Sachs - Live Webcast

Just days after the NY Fed ousted an employee for providing confidential information to a Goldman Sachs banker (who formerly worked at the NY Fed - and has since been fired by Goldman), Bill Dudley - the president of the NY Fed - will face a very skeptical Senate Banking Committee this morning investigating so-called "regulatory capture." Of course, their eyes were finally opened after Carmen Segarra, a former employee, leaked 47.5 hours of taped conversation (as we discussed in detail here), exposing the dismal reality of the relationship between the 'regulator' and the 'regulated' as New York regulators were deferential to Goldman bankers for a supposedly "shady" deal. Dudley's defense (not denial) so far:  "We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close to the firms we supervise. Of course, we are not perfect. We sometimes make mistakes."

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Meet The New Leadership Of Europe: Presenting The "Juncker Commission"

As reported ealier this morning, here, courtesy of Bloomberg, are the nominees for the next European Commission under the presidency of Jean-Claude "If Serioues Then lie" Juncker, with one from each of the European Union’s 28 countries. Job assignments were announced today by the incoming president, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg. What do these appointments mean for the European Union? The attached flash analysis from Open Europe should answer most initial questions.

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Putin Considers Banning Jack Daniel's

We knew the blowback from western sanctions against Russia would get serious - and Europe is already finding that out the hard way - but Vladmimir Putin appears to have gone 'cruel-and-unusual' in his latest step. As ITAR-TASS reports, Russian consumer-protection agency Rospotrebnadzor will decide in next few days whether to seize Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Honey Liqueur after 'reportedly' finding "suspicious" chemicals in batch of flavored whiskey on sale in Sverdlovsk stores. Luckily Jack Lew has told us this will not impact the US economy (unless of course, you are Jack Daniels).

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As "Housing Recovery" Fizzles A New Scheme Emerges: Boost FICO Scores By Changing The Definition

Now that the the fourth dead cat bounce in US housing since the Lehman crisis is rapidly fading, and laundered Chinese "hot money" transfers into US luxury real estate no longer provides a firm base to the ultra-luxury segment, the US government is scrambling to find ways to boost that all important - and missing - aspect of any US recovery: the housing market. This is further amplified by the recent admission by the Fed that it is in fact encouraging asset bubbles, not only in stocks but certainly in all assets, such as houses. Well, the government may have just stumbled on the solution to kick the can yet again and force yet another credit-driven housing bubble, a solution so simple we are shocked some bureaucrat didn't think of it earlier: changing the definition of the all important FICO score, the most important number at the base of every mortgage application.

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