News that billionaire Marc Lasry's Avenue Credit Strategies Fund open-ended mutual fund has been slammed with redemptions in recent weeks will hardly ease fears about a capital outflow from the junk bond which has sent junk ETFs down 12% for the year and has become the main topic of discussion over the past week following a flurry of reports about panic among holders of below-investment grade bonds.
Judging by his prime-time speech last week, the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency will be marked by increased militarism abroad and authoritarianism at home. The centerpiece of the president’s speech was his demand for a new law forbidding anyone on the federal government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing a firearm. There has never been a mass shooter who was on the terrorist watch list, so this proposal will not increase security. However, it will decrease liberty.
Many people are cheering now that yesterday Marine Le Pen and her Front National (FN) party didn’t get to take over government in any regions in the France regional elections. They should think again. FN did get a lot more votes than the last time around, and, though she will be a little disappointed after last weekend’s results, it’s exactly as Le Pen herself said: “Nothing can stop us”.
While this may well be the most important week for capital markets in the past 9 years, when the Fed is widely expected to hike rates on Wednesday, precisely 7 years to the day since it cut rates to zero, here are the other key events to watch out for.
France's Far-Right Nationalist Party Swings From First To Worst; "Routed' In Regional Election Run-OffSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/13/2015 14:19 -0500
A week ago, fear was tangible as France's far-right Front National party won an unprecedented 2 provinces in the nation's first elections since the Paris terror attacks. With 40% of the votes, Marine Le Pen's party dominated the mainstream political parties and status quo maintainers were beginning to quake. Now, a week later, with turnout surging from 50% to 59%, Front National has been "routed" according to AP, failing to win any regions.
What stinks in Saudi Arabia ain’t the camel dung. It’s the monarchy of King Salman and his hot-headed son, Prince Salman. For decades they have financed terrorism under a fake religious disguise, to advance their private plutocratic agenda. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with money and oil. Saudi control of that oil wealth (from Iraq to Syria) via their ISIS agents, along with her clear plan to take out the US shale oil competition, or so Riyadh reckons, would make the Saudi monarchy a vastly richer state.
Earlier this morning we got another glimpse of reality behind the smoke-and-mirrors, mainstream-media-sponsored last-pillar-standing lovefest that is US auto sales when the business sales data showed a disheartening tumble in sales in October. So where are all the sales going that automakers report? The answer is simple... (and painful).
A tragic example of this was seen in Italy in recent days when a pensioner committed suicide after having his life savings wiped out in a bank bail-in. A pensioner from near Rome, hanged himself after his €100,000 (£72,000; $110,000) investment in Banca Etruria bonds were wiped out in a bail-in. A suicide note was left by the pensioner criticising the bank.
It was a relatively calm overnight session in which European stocks wobbled modestly, Japan was up, China was down following its weakest fixing since 2011 as the PBOC continues to aggressively devalue since the SDR inclusion (stoking concerns capital outflows are once again surging), EM stocks stocks were weak and the dollar was unchanged ahead of today's retail sales data and next week's Fed meeting, and then suddenly everything snapped.
"The move would arguably represent the biggest transfer of sovereignty since the creation of the single currency."
Jeremy Grantham Urges "Easily Manipulated" Americans To "Become More Realistic" About World's DemiseSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2015 23:10 -0500
Americans have a broad and heavy bias away from unpleasant data. We are ready to be manipulated by vested interests in finance, economics, and climate change, whose interests might be better served by our believing optimistic stuff "that just ain’t so." We are dealing today with important issues, one so important that it may affect the long-term viability of our global society and perhaps our species. It may well be necessary to our survival that we become more realistic, more willing to process the unpleasant, and, above all, less easily manipulated through our need for good news.
One lesson from military history is that once mobilization for war begins, it takes on a momentum of its own and is uncontrollable. This might be what is occuring unrecognized before our eyes.
While much of the financial media and Wall Street analysts continue to ignore the risks of a recession, there are some important warning signs that suggest this might be a bad idea. As Charles Gave noted earlier, "We are swimming in an ocean of ignorance... It seems all the painful economics lessons learned over the last 300 years have been forgotten"
Charles Gave: "I Cannot Remember A Time When Less Thinking Has Ever Been Done In The Financial Markets"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2015 09:48 -0500
"What I find most hilarious is that some serious commentators have been pontificating at considerable length about what the market’s participants think. These days, some 70% of market orders are generated by computers, and many of the rest by indexers. And computers do not think... I cannot remember a time when less thinking has ever been done in the financial markets, which is why I find today’s financial markets infinitely boring."
- Charles Gave
After Vicious Rollercoaster Session, Global Stocks Flat, US Futures Stage Tepid Rebound In Illiquid ChaosSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2015 06:53 -0500
After yesterday's rollercoaster session in both the S&P and in oil, where initially stocks soared alongside oil, only to promptly tumble as stops were taken out and as the refiners' inventory strategy was exposed after the DOE's latest weekly numbers were released, it has been a quieter session so far, though maybe not for China where stocks jumped at the open only to fizzle and close at the lows in what appears to be ever less intervention by the market manipulating "National Team."