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Chinese Auto Sales Crash, Inventories Soar In November

Despite ongoing exuberance at auto sales in America (which disappointed) - as crashing credit standards enable every Tom, Dick, and Muppet to buy too much 'depreciating asset' for their incomes - there are numerous problems few are talking about for automakers worldwide. Aside from "plans to buy a car" tumbling in the latest confidence surveys, and inventories-to-sales surging, China just poured ice cold water on any hope of stability in that 'growth' market as auto dealers issue the highest inventory alert since June. November data from China shows demand plunging, sales collapsing, and inventories soaring - a triple whammy of "no, things are not 'stabilizing'."

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Can The Oil Industry Really Handle This Much Debt?

With at least 83 percent of these companies' operating cash being spent on debt repayments - the highest on record - the renewed collapse in crude oil prices of the last month has renewed focus on the tidal wave of defaults that the credit market is increasingly pricing in (and stocks not).

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Global Stocks Fall For First Time In Six Days As Commodity Rout Spills Over Into Stocks

As a result of the global commodity weakness, global stocks have fallen for the first time in six days as the sell-off in commodities continued, dragging both US equity futures and European stocks lower. However, putting this in context, last week the MSCI All Country World Index posted its biggest weekly gain in six weeks: alas, without a coincident rebound in commodity prices, it will be merely the latest dead cat bounce.

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Frontrunning: November 19

  • Soothing Fed sounds send shares, emerging markets higher (Reuters)
  • Belgian Police Conduct Raids in Connection With Paris Attacks (WSJ)
  • The Paris Attacks Can’t Lead to a Closed Europe (BBG)
  • Alleged Mastermind of Paris Attacks Was ‘Emir of War’ (WSJ)
  • U.S. Eyes Russia-Iran Split in Bid to End Syria Conflict (WSJ)
  • Despite tensions, Asia-Pacific nations close ranks against terrorism (Reuters)
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Black Market For Black Gold Ignites As Jobless Roughnecks Resort To Oil Theft

The allure of ill-gotten oil money remains strong. The lull in drilling has given oil companies more time to scrutinize their operations -- and their losses. As Bloomberg reports, during booms "they are moving at such a rapid pace there’s not a lot of auditing and inventorying going on," said Gary Painter, sheriff in Midland County, Texas, in the oil-rich Permian Basin; but "whenever it slows down, they start looking for stuff and find out it never got delivered or it got delivered and it’s gone." From raw crude sucked from wells to expensive machinery that disappears out the back door, drillers from Texas to Colorado are struggling to stop theft that has only worsened amid tens of thousands of lost roughneck jobs.

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The Bubble Finance Cycle - What Our Keynesian School Marm Doesn't Get, Part 2

Greenspan’s phony disinflation success led to the Fed’s embrace of fully mobilized and massively intrusive monetary policy in the guise of the Great Moderation and the wealth effects theory of financial asset levitation. In due course, Greenspan’s self-aggrandizing but purely experimental forays of massive central bank intrusion in the financial markets were supplanted by the hard-core Keynesian model of Bernanke and Yellen. Alas, they operated under the grand illusion that a domestic wage and price spiral would tell them when the domestic GDP bathtub was filled to the full employment brim, and therefore when to lift their foot from the monetary accelerator. It never happened, and they never did. The era of Lite Touch monetary policy was by now ancient history.

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Something Went Wrong On The Way To The Future

In very raw terms, if a man wanted to buy a house and a car in 1975 he had to work just under five years to pay for them.

If he wants a house and a car today, he has to work almost 11 years...

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Frontrunning: November 12

  • Stock futures little changed as Yellen comments awaited (Reuters)
  • Draghi stimulus hint underpins stocks, knocks euro (Reuters)
  • Black Friday's Losing Its Mojo and Retailers Might Be Relieved (BBG)
  • Macy’s Fights Downward Spiral With Bet on Off-Price Backstage Stores (WSJ)
  • Greece Comes to a Standstill as Unions Turn Against Tsipras (BBG)
  • Euro zone production falls more than expected in September (Reuters)
  • Valeant played a key role in building, operating Philidor RX (Reuters)
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Destroying The "Technology Always Creates More Jobs Than It Destroys" Meme

Believers in "technology always creates more jobs than it destroys" never address the knotty issues of taxpayer subsidies, secular trends of higher labor costs, the eradication of low-skill jobs that pay enough to live on without taxpayer subsidies, or the structural surplus of conventional labor and capital--the scarcity value of both are dropping to zero. While many hope that every low-skill person can become a high-skilled worker, training people doesn't create jobs for them.

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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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As Q3 Earnings Season Winds Down, A Summary Of Where We Stand And The 4 Main Themes From Conference Calls

With the third quarter earnings season almost over, and 90% of companies having reported, here is a quick look at where we stand and what has emerged as the 4 main themes during earnings calls.

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What America Has Devolved To: "Online Begging Has Become The New Economy"

There was a time when there were needs, and there were wants, and we knew the difference. Now? Now, no such boundaries exist. Your 4,000 Facebook friends should know if you can’t pay for your rent - or your plastic surgery. And who knows? They may just pay up.

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ObamaTrade Details Unveiled, Officials Warn "It's Worse Than We Thought"

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership means that America will write the rules for 21st century trade," according to President Obama, but as Reuters reports, U.S. unions, lawmakers and interest groups questioned the long-awaited text of a landmark U.S.-backed Pacific trade deal on Thursday. "It's worse than we thought,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told members and U.S. labor representatives said the agreement contained weak, poorly worded or unenforceable provisions, concluding "we do not believe those improvements are significant or meaningful for workers." It appears, that ObamaTrade may be a boon for factory and export economies like Malaysia and Vietnam, but - as expected - will achieve little for the average joe in America.

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Here Are The Five "Good News" That Can Cause A Market Selloff According To Bank of America

  • China PMI>50.5
  • US ISM>52
  • US payroll>225K
  • US banks rally: XLF>$26 would confirm stronger “domestic demand” expectations.
  • US dollar stable: if the Fed can hike without boosting dollar this is positive
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