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Frontrunning: May 25

  • Oil nudges $50 a barrel as investors bet on shrinking overhang (Reuters)
  • From hinterland to wonderland: China's 'teapot' refinery boomtowns (Reuters)
  • Peter Thiel Has Been Secretly Funding Hulk Hogan's Lawsuits Against Gawker (Forbes)
  • China Wants to Set Prices for the World's Commodities (BBG)
  • Big Banks Ladle On the Risk (WSJ)
  • China Said to Plan Asking U.S. on Timing of Fed Rate Hike (BBG)

These Are The Most Widely Held Stocks By Hedge Funds

"Hedge fund portfolio density rose to record levels in March, exceeding even the Financial Crisis highs. Hedge fund returns continue to grow more dependent on the performance of a few key stocks. The typical hedge fund has 68% of its long-equity assets invested in its 10 largest positions."

Google's Paris Office Raided In Tax Evasion Probe

French investigators are raiding Google's (GOOGL.O) Paris headquarters as part of a probe over tax payments, a source close to the finance ministry told Reuters on Tuesday. Investigators have been probing Google's offices in central Paris since 0500 am (0300 GMT), said the source, who declined to be named.

Stronger Dollar Sends Futures Higher, Oil Lower, Asian Stocks To Two Month Lows

Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.

UN Plots War On Free Speech To Stop "Extremism" Online

The United Nations Security Council wants a global “framework” for censoring the Internet, as well as for using government propaganda to “counter” what its apparatchiks call “online propaganda,” “hateful ideologies,” and “digital terrorism.” To that end, the UN Security Council this week ordered the UN “Counter-Terrorism Committee” — yes, that is a real bureaucracy — to draw up a plan by next year. From the Obama administration to the brutal Communist Chinese regime, everybody agreed that it was time for a UN-led crackdown on freedom of speech and thought online — all under the guise of fighting the transparently bogus terror war.

Firebombing At Google Office Damages Google Earth Demo Car

Less than a month after a still unexplained suicide took place inside a conference room at Apple headquarters, there seems to be more trouble in Silicon Paradise. According to CBS, an incendiary device ignited a fire late Thursday night at the offices of digital giant Google, damaging a Google Earth demo car and leaving a large singe mark on one of the buildings, authorities said.

Frontrunning: May 20

  • Lacking new ideas, G7 to agree on 'go-your-own-way' approach (Reuters)
  • Japan's Aso tells G7 FX stability vital, no competitive devaluations (Reuters)
  • Snubbed by West, Russia rolls out red carpet for Asian leaders (Reuters)
  • The Fed Has Something to Prove to Wall Street (BBG)
  • Trump's Supreme Court list: all conservative, some provocative (Reuters)
  • Nasdaq Raises Lawsuit Threat Over SEC’s IEX Speed-Bump Plan (WSJ)

"The Peak Is Behind Us" - Silicon Valley Real Estate Bubble Has Now Also Burst

Not long ago we pointed out that the second tech bubble had officially burst, and the extent of the layoffs is increasingly significant. It's taken a few months, but the economic slowdown and downshift in the once bustling Silicon Valley jobs front has now worked its way into the real estate market... "The seemingly inexhaustible well of very high-end buyers has proven exhaustible after all. The peak is behind us, and that's becoming clearer and clearer to builders and buyers"

Frontrunning: May 18

  • Stocks sag as U.S. rate rise expectations revive (Reuters)
  • Clinton, Sanders hit final stretch of nominating contest (Reuters)
  • Bernie Sanders Wins in Oregon, But He Needed Kentucky, Too (NBC)
  • Clinton less than 100 delegates from nomination (The Hill)
  • Trump needs 66 delegates to officially clinch nomination (The Hill)
  • Japan GDP Rebound Not Enough to Stave Off Stimulus (WSJ)

Ex-Google Engineers Launch "Otto": Completely Driverless Truck Testing Underway

Movement in the autonomous vehicle space accelerated once again. Four ex-Google engineers, including the man who built Google’s first self-driving car,  announced “Otto”, an autonomous truck retrofitting business. The service isn’t vaporware. “Otto” is currently operating on Nevada highways.

Can Big Oil Survive At Today's Prices?

Data suggests that oil producers need prices in the $70-80 range to survive. That is unlikely in the next year or so. Without more timely price relief, the future looks grim for an industry on life support.