Corruption

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Futures Push Higher Ahead Of Data Deluge, Yellen Capital Statement





This week's US data onslaught begins today, with the ADP private payroll report first on deck (Exp. 230K, down from 281K), followed by the number of the day, Q2 GDP, which after Q1's abysmal -2.9%, is expected to increase 3%. Anything less and in the first half the US economy will have contracted, something the purists could claim is equivalent to a recession. The whisper numbers are to the downside since consumption and trade never caught up and the only variable is inventory as well as Obamacare, whose impact was $40 billion "contribution" in Q1 was entirely eliminated and instead led to a deduction, something we expect will be reversed into Q2. Following the backward looking GDP (which will be ignored by the sellside penguins if it is bad and praised if good) at 2:00 pm Yellen Capital LLC comes out with a correction on her call to short social networking stocks, as well as admit once again that the "data-driven" Fed really has no idea what it is doing and how it will tighten, but that tightening is imminent and another $10 billion taper to QE will take place ahead of a full phase out in October. Joking aside, the Fed is expected not to do much if anything, which may be just the right time for Yellen to inject an aggressively hawkish note considering her inflation "noise" refuses to go away.

 
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Former Aide To Bill Clinton Speaks – "My Party Has Lost Its Soul"





"One reason we know voters will embrace populism is that they already have. It’s what they thought they were getting with Obama...He turned out to be something else altogether. Not long ago optimism was in vogue. Obama’s slogan then was “Yes we can.” Today it could be “It turns out we can’t.”"

 
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Guest Post: Why Impeachment Is Necessary





The issue of impeachment is now no longer whispered about. Talk is prevalent and a recent poll indicated that 35% of the public believe the president should be impeached. Interestingly, the topic is being promoted more by Democrats than Republicans. Democrats don’t truly believe the President should be impeached, but they see it as a chance, likely their only chance, to bolster their election possibilities this November.

 
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China's Billionaire Ex-National Security Chief Investigated For "Serious Disciplinary Violation"





With an estimated net worth of $14 Billion, Zhou Yongkang, the man formerly in charge of China's vast security apparatus, was one of the nine most senior politicians in China until 2012. But now, as The BBC reports, state media have announced he is being investigated for "serious disciplinary violation", a term usually used to refer to corruption. The news ended months of speculation about his fate as numerous people in his sphere of influence are either under investigation or have been sentenced to death. This move confirms Xi Jinping's determination to root out corruption but could also be seen, given Zhou's influence, as an effort to eliminate a center of power in China's factional political system.

 
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Frontrunning: July 28





  • The market in one sentence: Buying on Dips Pays Most in Five Years as Stocks Rebound (BBG)
  • Europe subdued, Russia shares tumble on new sanctions (Reuters)
  • Chinese Data Don’t Add Up (WSJ)
  • Argentine Default Drama Nears Critical Stage (WSJ)
  • Global Pressure Mounts on Israel to End Gaza Fighting (BBG)
  • Ukraine troops advance as experts renew attempt to reach crash site (Reuters)
  • Prospects Brighten for Republicans to Reclaim a Senate Majority (WSJ)
  • Europe’s banking union faces legal challenge in Germany (FT)
  • Investors Bet on China's Large Property Developers (WSJ)
  • Hague court orders Russia to pay over $50 billion in Yukos case (Reuters)
 
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America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On Solutions





A house divided against itself will surely fall.  America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse.  In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago. What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation.  Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are. 

 
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The Rot Within, Part III: Our Political Order Is Defined By Favoritism And Extortion





Corruption ceases to be corruption when it becomes the Status Quo; what was once recognized as corruption is seen as just another cost of doing business. Our political order is structurally corrupt: the key dynamic in every level of governance is favoritism and extortion.

 
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Frontrunning: July 24





  • EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia (FT)
  • U.S. lifts flight ban to Israel (Reuters)
  • Russia says will cooperate with MH17 probe led by Netherlands (Reuters)
  • Norway faces ‘concrete and credible’ terrorist threat (FT)
  • Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
  • But... but... PMI: Unilever Sales Growth Misses Estimates on Asian Slowdown (BBG)
  • World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Stake (BBG)
  • Qualcomm latest US tech company to reverse in China (FT)
  • Hamptons Home Sales Rise as Buyers Find More Inventory (BBG)
 
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The Future Is Smaller - That's The Only Way This Works





History tells us that large governments almost invariably lead to waste, corruption, and overextension of power. It’s the large governments that rattle the sabers and constantly threaten warfare. It’s large governments that maintain police states, that spy on their citizens, and commandeer nearly every personal choice imaginable with regulatory agencies that tell us how to educate our children and what we can/cannot put in our own bodies. As Kohr theorized, bigness often leads to tyranny.

 
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The Stealing Of America By The Cops, The Courts, The Corporations And Congress





“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy Call it what you will—taxes, penalties, fees, fines, regulations, tariffs, tickets, permits, surcharges, tolls, asset forfeitures, foreclosures, etc.—but the only word that truly describes the constant bilking of the American taxpayer by the government and its corporate partners is theft. What Americans don’t seem to comprehend is that if the government can arbitrarily take away your property, without your having much say about it, you have no true rights. You’re nothing more than a serf or a slave.

 
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Frontrunning: July 19





  • Fighting erupts in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive (Reuters)
  • Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation (BBG)
  • Israel kills militants entering from Gaza, death toll tops 500 (Reuters)
  • The other Gaza: In violent weekend, at least 40 people shot in Chicago (Reuters)
  • Barclays Dark Pool Drew Early Alarms (WSJ)
  • Finance Industry Bonus Hit in Poll as Revenue Disappoints (BBG)
  • Severstal to Sell North American Units (WSJ)
  • Yum, McDonald's apologize as new China food scandal brews (Reuters)
  • Yellen Wage Gauges Blurred by Boomer-Millennial Workforce Shift (BBG)
  • Ukraine Offers to Hand Over Malaysia Airlines Probe to Dutch (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: July 18





  • Ukraine Says Malaysian Airliner Shot Down Near Russian Border (BBG)
  • Downing of airliner seen as pivotal moment in Ukraine crisis (Reuters)
  • Malaysian Air Flight Took Route Avoided by Qantas, Asiana (BBG)
  • Russian-Made Missile Hit Malaysia Jet, U.S. Officials Say (BBG)
  • Netanyahu Orders Military to Ready Wider Gaza Incursion (BBG)
  • Silvio Berlusconi Underage Sex Conviction Overturned (WSJ)
  • But... but... "economic patriotism" - AbbVie to Buy Shire for $54.8 Billion as Drug Deals Surge (BBG)
  • SEC targets 10 firms in high frequency trading probe - SEC document (Reuters)
  • Art bubble pop: Sotheby's to Lay Off 'Modest' Number of Employees (WSJ)
  • Moar Abenomics: Hermes Sales Trail Estimates as Japanese Revenue Declines (BBG)
 
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Market Rigging Explained





Michael Lewis probably said it best when he told 60 minutes that the stock market is rigged. To the fantastic claims made by HFT that they provide liquidity, perhaps we should ask, what kind of liquidity? To the now obviously ludicrous claim that "everyone's order uses the same tools that HFT uses", we'll just say, the data shows otherwise. ... What is shown here is as close to automatic pilfering as one can get. It probably results in a few firms showing spectacularly perfect trading records; it definitely results in people believing the market is unfair and corrupt.

 
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