Despite the great shale revolution, US exports posted a $0.4 billion decline to $188.9 billion in October driven by decreases in industrial supplies and materials ($1.3 billion), other goods ($0.2 billion), consumer goods ($0.2 billion), and capital goods ($0.1 billion). This was offset by a $2.7 billion increase in imports to $230.7 billion broken down by increases in industrial supplies and materials ($0.9 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($0.9 billion); capital goods ($0.8 billion); and consumer goods ($0.6 billion). End result: a September trade balance of $41.8 billion, which was higher than the highest forecast of $41.6 billion among 72 economists queried by Bloomberg, and the highest deficit print in 4 months.
Milan prosecutors ordered the seizure of a substantial batch of computer and telephone equipment from Apple's Italian HQ as part of an investigation into allegations of a one billion euro tax fraud. As L'Espresso reports, the allegations surround false representation of accounting records (EUR206mm in 2010 and EUR853mm in 2011) which were recorded by the Irish entity 'Apple Sales International' but, Italian authorities suggest were services rendered for business carried out in Italy. Beyond this investigation, it seems the growing tax divergences (and loopholes) that we have previously discussed (such as the Double Irish) are becoming a key focus for an increasingly cash-strapped European periphery (among others).
As we discussed two weeks ago, it would appear Germany's lack of willingness to throw itself on the pyre of self-sacrifice and not adopt a global Fairness Doctrine - as engendered by the US Treasury's (and IMF's) bashing of the core European nation's for maintaining its export strength and daring to keep Europe in tact and thus a periphery-damaging strong Euro - is gathering steam. None other than Europe itself is now 'probing' Germany's trade surplus, using enhanced powers over how euro nations manage their economies with the IMF urging German Chancellor Angela Merkel to curtail the trade surplus to an “appropriate rate” to help euro partners cut deficits.
One of the mysteries surrounding the insolvent, and already once bailed out Spanish banking sector, has been the question why reported bad loans - sharply rising as they may be - are still as relatively low as they are currently, considering the nation's near highest in the Eurozone unemployment rate, and in comparison to such even more insolvent European nations as Greece, Cyprus and Slovenia. Courtesy of the just completed bank earnings season, and a WSJ report, we now know why: it turns out that for the past several years, instead of accurately designating non-performing loans, banks would constantly "refinance" bad loans making them appear viable even though banks have known full well there would be zero recoveries on those loans. In fact, as the story below describes, banks would even go so far as making additional loans whose proceeds would be just to pay interest on the existing NPLs - a morbid debt pyramid scheme, which when it collapses, no amount of EFSF, ESM or any other acronym-based bailout, will be able to make the country's irreparably damaged banks appear even remotely viable.
Attention this week was focused on Europe's overall (disappointing) 0.7% inflation print - which sent Draghi back to drawing board - despite the world of sell-side strategists exclaiming that Europe has turned the corner and now is the time to load the boat. However, quietly out of sight for the mainstream, Greece just printed its worst deflation data on record. Consumer prices fell 2.0% on an annual basis as a combination of deep recession, wage cuts, and substantial spare capacity squeeze prices lower. Additionally, we already showed the dismal demise of the macro picture across the European union - heading in a very different direction that the stock markets.. but now, bottom-up, earnings are collapsing too... so remind us again why Europe is a "strong buy?"
Yeah, I know... It's different this time!
The cruelty inherent in animal factory farming is something that we as a species should find completely and totally unacceptable. Indeed, evidence shows that when people are exposed to the nightmarish conditions faced by factory animals prior to consumption they demand change. This is precisely why corporate interests have pushed ag-gag laws throughout the nation in an attempt to criminalize the exposure of these methods.
If there is one single event that could derail the euro experiment it is the German Federal Constitutional Court ruling on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and Outright Market Transactions (OMT).
NSA Spied on World Bank, IMF, UN, Pope, World Leaders, and American Politicians and Military OfficersSubmitted by George Washington on 11/01/2013 12:45 -0400
Proof that NSA Spying Is Not Very Focused On Terrorism
- US Blasts Germany's Economic Policies (WSJ)
- Citigroup, JPMorgan Said to Put Currency Dealers on Leave (BBG)
- Watchdog: Syria Destroys Chemical-Arms Equipment (WSJ)
- Kynikos Alumni Start Hedge Fund Betting on Declining Stocks (BBG)
- China state media calls for stern action after Tiananmen attack (RTRS)
- IMF warns of financial shock risk to Africa (FT)
- Insurers Oppose Obamacare Extension as Danger to Profits (BBG)
- BoJ content to ignore Fed tapering and go its own way (FT)
- U.S. attorney wants DOJ to take civil action against BofA (RTRS)
- NSA Fallout Hits AT&T's Ambitions In Europe (WSJ)
- Morning Humor from Hilsenrath - Fed Balance Sheet Not Seen Returning to Normal Until at Least 2019 (WSJ)
- Health Policies Canceled in Latest Hurdle for Obamacare (BBG)
- Was there anything RBS was not manipulating? RBS Said to Review Currency-Trading Practices Amid Probe (BBG)
- Sebelius to Testify Before House Panel (WSJ)
- And more humor: Spain's Statistics Institute Confirms End of Recession (WSJ) ... and now we await the triple dip
- Finally some credible reporting on Yellen's "foresight" - Yellen feared housing bust but did not raise public alarm (Reuters)
- Japan government moves closer to Fukushima takeover (FT)
- China to step up own security after new NSA allegations (Reuters)
- Blackstone Vies With Goldman in Spain Rental Housing Bet (BBG)
- In new U.S. budget talks, Republican proposal has flipped the script (Reuters)
Why China DOESN'T WANT the Yuan to Become the Reserve Currency
Ohio said on Monday that it does not have enough of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital to carry out a scheduled execution next month. As Reuters reports, Ohio is the latest U.S. state to face a scarcity after the European manufacturer banned its sale for lethal injections of prisoners sentenced to death. The European Union is opposed to the death penalty (physical as opposed to economic) and has put pressure on US States to stop the practice. If only there was an anonymous online exchange where 'drugs' could be bought and sold to meet the demands of those looking for a quick fix (or multiple executions) despite the oversight of various freedoms by governments.
- Top China Banks Triple Debt Write-Offs as Defaults Loom (BBG)
- PBOC suspends open market operations again (Global Times)
- Eurozone bank shares fall after ECB outlines health check plan (FT)
- O-Care falling behind (The Hill)
- Key House Republican presses tech companies on Obamacare glitches (Reuters)
- J.P. Morgan Faces Another Potential Huge Payouta (WSJ)
- Yankees Among 10 MLB Teams Valued at More Than $1 Billion (BBG)
- Free our reporter, begs newspaper as China cracks down on journalists (Reuters)
- Peugeot Reviews Cost-Saving Alliance With GM (WSJ)