European Union

9 In 10 Americans Are Disillusioned With Democracy

Recent polls exposed Americans lack of trust when it comes to government. But there is another aspect to this eye-opening poll. The poll provides a devastating picture of American fidelity to the larger US system. Americans don’t believe in their political system anymore. People don’t trust their government and they don’t trust elections either.

Greece To Manufacture Kalashnikovs For Russia... On One Condition

Amid rising social unrest as yet another bailout is negotiated to pass-through Greek government hands to the banks, this week brought some potentially good news for the Greek economy. Following Tsipras and Putin's meetings this week, ekathimerini.com reports that Defense Minister Panos Kammenos unveiled a new partnership with Russia to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles "ending the prospect of Greece's defense industry shutting down." There's just one small condition.

Frontrunning: June 1

  • Japan PM delays sales tax hike, puts fiscal reform on back burner (Reuters)
  • Japanese Shoppers Keep Wallets Shut Despite Sales-Tax Delay (BBG)
  • Global stocks limp into June on oil and data slips (Reuters)
  • Euro zone factory growth remained tepid in May - PMI (Reuters)
  • China's factories steadying but weak, hopes for quick recovery fade (Reuters)

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide On Mediocre Manufacturing Data, Yen Surge

Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.

European Freedom Of Speech Threatened As Social Networks Vow To Combat Self-Determined "Hate Speech"

Social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft have vowed to tackle online hate speech in less than 24 hours as part of a joint commitment with the European Union to combat the use of social media by terrorists. Although these social networks are saying that there will be an attempt to balance out free expression and what they consider to be dangerous, the fact that the lines have already been blurred between the two inside the EU is quite concerning.

The New Battle Of Britain

Europeans are vanishing, as the peoples of the Maghreb and Middle East, South Asia and the sub-Sahara come to fill the empty spaces left by aging and dying Europeans whose nations once ruled them. Absent the restoration of border controls across Europe, and warships on permanent station in the Med, can the inexorable invasion be stopped? Or is “The Camp of the Saints” the future of Europe? An open question. But if the West is to survive as the unique civilization it has been, its nations must reassume control of their destinies and control of their borders. Britain ought not to go gentle into that good night the EU has prepared for her. And a great leap to freedom can be taken June 23.

Frontrunning: May 31

  • Major Bourses on Course to End Month Sharply Higher (WSJ)
  • Brent crude lower on strong Middle East oil output (Reuters)
  • Treasuries Lose Their Lead Over Shares as Fed Moves Toward Shift (BBG)
  • Lost Decade for Value Stocks Tests Faithful Who Say End is Nigh (BBG)
  • Iraqi army pause at southern edge of Falluja as IS fights back (Reuters)
  • Risky Reprise of Debt Binge Stars U.S. Companies Not Consumers (BBG)

The Endless Dodge - Why Washington Doesn't Come Clean On The Downing Of MH-17

"The objective, quite simply, was to heap as much abuse on the Soviet Union as possible... The American media swallowed the U.S. government line without reservation... The perception we wanted to convey was that the Soviet Union had cold-bloodedly carried out a barbaric act... The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first."

Global Stocks Unchanged; US Futures Rise Above 2,100 As Traders Celebrate Memorial Day

With the US closed for Memorial Day and UK markets also offline, overnight volumes have been weaker than normal on little newsflow. The main story remains the stronger USD which not only led to the lowest Yuan fixing since February 2011 but pushed the USDJPY as high as 111.50 overnight before paring gains. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is unchanged on poor volume, after earlier rising above the 200 DMA for the first time in 2016. US equity futures were 0.2%, or 4 points higher, currently resting just above 2,101 with the last trading day of May tomorrow expected to push the cash market over 2,100 as well.

The Global Bear Market In Freedom

Americans will be celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, to honor those who fought and died for the values they have traditionally cherished the most as a nation: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The world has changed dramatically in recent decades. The geopolitical situation is much more complex, with rising powers challenging America's supremacy. The intractable war on terror seems interminable. Old foes appear to spring back to life even more powerful than before. And things at home look dicey in terms of politics and economics. As we reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that others have made‎, it is an opportune moment to consider a very important question: is the US winning the fight for freedom?

All Eyes On Yellen: Global Markets Flat On Dreadful Volumes, Oil Slides

In a world where fundamentals don't matter, everyone's attention will be on Janet Yellen who speaks at 1:15pm today in Harvard, hoping to glean some more hints about the Fed's intentionas and next steps, including a possible rate hike in June or July. And with a long holiday in both the US and UK (US bond market closes at 2pm today), it is no surprise overnight trading volumes have been dreadful, helping keep global equities poised for the highest close in three weeks; this won't change unless Yellen says something that would disrupt the calm that’s settled over financial markets.