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The Fed Will Raise Rates Only Insofar As They Are Irrelevant

If the Fed raises the short-term interest rates next month, it will do so only as a token. And it will continue doing so only as long as it has no negative effect on asset prices. Higher rates, in other words, will only happen as long as – and only insofar as – they are irrelevant. Should higher rates begin to do the work of tightening credit, as they are supposed to, the Fed will back off and fly to the aid of Wall Street and fellow bankers coast to coast. They have rigged the system to function on fraudulently low interest rates; now the fraud has gotten into its bones. The economy – especially the Wall Street economy – depends on cheap money. It will fall in a heap without it.

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Frontrunning: November 16

  • Belgian Police 'Arrest' Public Enemy No.1 (Sky News)
  • France Widens Crackdown at Home as Bombs Rain on Islamic State (BBG)
  • Putin Goes From G-20 Pariah to Player at Obama Turkey Talk (BBG)
  • Paris Attacks: 150 Raids as France Goes to 'War With Terrorism' (NBC)
  • 'Rocket Launcher Found' In French Police Raids (Sky)
  • Geopolitical worries lift oil after Paris attacks, but glut weighs (Reuters)
  • Japan's economy falls back into recession again (BBC)
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Incumbents Are Being Swept From Office Around The World

Evidently, voters are in a very bad mood just about everywhere. Unfortunately, they are bereft of good choices in most places. Usually one essentially gets to exchange one bunch of psychopathic looters for another – so it is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Very often, things will simply go from bad to worse, as the underlying basic problems are usually misdiagnosed, resp. there is no-one willing to actually tackle them. Investors should pay very close attention to this trend...When the performance of financial markets diverges from underlying social mood trends, it is usually time to be very careful.

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The Stench Of Freddie Mac Is Back - An $18 Billion Spree Of Crony Capitalist Thievery

Washington’s capacity to foster crony capitalist larceny and corruption never ceases to amaze. But as we recently noted, Wall Street’s shameless thievery from US taxpayers is about to get a whole new definition.

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The World's Biggest Bond Bubble Continues To Burst As China Suffers More Defaults

“Debt wasn’t a problem during the boom years because profits kept growing. But it’s not sustainable when the economy slows."

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Frontrunning: November 10

  • Bonds Rise as China Drags Down Metals, Selloff in Stocks Resumes (BBG)
  • European Stock Rally Runs Out of Steam Amid China Growth Concern (BBG)
  • Obama's immigration action blocked again; Supreme Court only option left (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Cyberwar’s Hottest Front (WSJ)
  • With $170.4 Million Sale at Auction, Modigliani Work Joins Rarefied Nine-Figure Club (NYT)
  • IEA Sees OPEC Market Share Growth in 2020 as Rivals Stagnate (BBG)
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Venezuela Default Countdown Begins: After Selling Billions In Gold, Caracas Raids $467 Million In IMF Reserves

While ridiculous, Venezuela's decision to liquidate some of its gold is perhaps understandable under the circumstances: Venezulea relies on crude oil for 95% of its export revenue, and with prices refusing to rebound, the only question is when do all those CDS which price in a Venezuela default finally get paid. What is even more understandable is what Venezuela should have done in the first place before dumping a fifth of its gold, but got to do eventually, namely raiding all of the IMF capital held under its name in a special SDR reserve account.

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Demand 'Stimulus' Has Not Worked - It's Time To Tell The Truth About Debt

Repeated dosages of quantitative easing to kick-start economic recovery have proved totally ineffective everywhere. Yet central bankers are talking about doing it again – in larger amounts. The obsession with spending rather than saving has led governments everywhere to suppress interest rates to near zero. Under this destructive economic model governments are the worst offenders. In their craze to spend cheap money they allocate resources blindly into projects of dubious viability, for which there was no public demand in the first place. Result: huge taxpayer-borne losses.

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Greece May Open Border Fence With Turkey, Accept Refugees In Exchange For Release Of Bailout Cash

Perhaps realizing that another wave of social unrest and failure to obtain creditor cash may well lead to a violent social upheaval, Tsipras seems to be contemplating a Plan B, one which would see Greece accept thousands of refugees destined for Europe in exchange for getting the earmarked cash without any reform.

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The Rigging Of The American Market

Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward. But this debate ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market. The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market.

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Greek Bad Debt Rises Above 50% For The First Time, ECB Admits

Today we got yet another tortured admission of just how ugly Greek balance sheets are, the ECB has admitted what we knew months ago, namely that more than  half of all Greek loans are now nonperforming, and that as much as 57% of the loans made by Piraeus Bank the bank which fared worst, are at risk with the other Greek banks not much better off.

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Tsipras Blames Western Military Meddling For Syria Crisis: "You Reap What You Sow"

"I feel ashamed of Europe's inability to effectively address this human drama, and of the level of debate ... where everyone tries to shift responsibility to someone else. And now, those who sowed winds are reaping whirlwinds."

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Puerto Rico Bond Yields Hit Record Highs: Jack Lew Was Wrong Again

10-year Puerto Rico general obligation bond yields spiked to 12.3% - the highest on record - as the island’s Government Development Bank's $354 million of principal and interest due on December 1st looms. Puerto Rico is now 450bps 'riskier' than Greece, which means Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was wrong again in not taking the German FinMin's offer in July to swap Puerto Rico for Greece...

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Venezuela Sells Billions In Gold To Repay Its Debt

Venezuela has two immediate bond payments due this and next week amounting to $3.5 billion. Where did the near-insolvent country obtain the funds needed to make these debt payments? The answer: it has been dumping its gold, which its former ruler Chavez worked hard in 2011 to repatriate from London, and which its current president Maduro, just four short years later, is busy sending back to its creditors.

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