Hong Kong

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Banker Suicides Return: DSK's Hedge Fund Partner Jumps From 23rd Floor Apartment





The summer, thankfully, has been largely bereft of the dismal trend of bankers committing suicide, but as Bloomberg reports, Thierry Leyne, a French-Israeli banker and partner of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former chief of the IMF, was found dead Thursday after apparently taking his own life by jumping off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex in Tel Aviv. This is the 16th financial services executive death this year.

 
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Burst Chinese Housing Bubble Leads To First Annual Price Decline Since 2012; Prices Drop In Record 69 Cities





It has been over six months since the Chinese housing bubble has popped. What's worse, as overnight housing numbers out of China confirmed, the government has so far failed to contain the fallout, and according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which is anything but, after a fifth straight monthly decline, Chinese home prices have now wiped out all price gains in the past year. This was immediately spun as bullish by media outlets and sellside experts as "raising expectations the government will have to implement more economic support measures to cushion the blow." I.e., buy stocks because central banks will push risk prices artificially higher yet again. In other words, bad is still good and failure continues to be success.

 
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Overnight Futures Fail To Ramp As Algos Focus On New York's First Ever Ebola Case





And just like that, the Ebola panic is back front and center, because after one week of the west African pandemic gradually disappearing from front page coverage and dropping out of sight and out of mind, suddenly Ebola has struck at global ground zero. While the consequences are unpredictable at this point, and a "follow through" infection will only set the fear level back to orange, we applaud whichever central bank has been buying futures (and the USDJPY) because they clearly are betting that despite the first ever case of Ebola in New York, that this will not result in a surge in Ebola scare stories, which as we showed a few days ago, may well have been the primary catalyst for the market freakout in the past month.

 
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Equity Levitation Stumbles After Second ECB Denial Of Corporate Bond Buying, Report Of 11 Stress Test Failures





If the ultimate goal of yesterday's leak was to push the EUR lower (and stocks higher of course), then the reason why today's second rejection did little to rebound the Euro is because once again, just after Europe's open, Spanish Efe newswire reported that 11 banks from 6 European countries had failed the ECB stress test. Specifically, Efe said Erste, along with banks from Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece, had failed the ECB review based on preliminary data, but gave no details of the size of the capital holes at the banks.

 
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Hong Kong Chief: Can't Have Democracy Or The Poor Will Have A Say





Clearly, Leung Chung-Ying, Hong Kong's embattled leader, did not get the Jean-Claude Juncker memo that "when things are bad, you have to lie." As The NY Times reports, Leung - rather stunningly - said overnight that it was unacceptable to allow his successors to be chosen in open elections, in part because doing so would risk giving poorer residents a dominant voice in politics. Instead, rather unsurprisingly, he backed Beijing's position that all candidates to succeed him as chief executive, the top post in the city, must be screened by a "broadly representative" nominating committee appointed by Beijing, and offered several thinly veiled warnings on Monday that it was risky for the protesters to try the patience of the national authorities.

 
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Frontrunning: October 21





  • Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough (Reuters)
  • China GDP Growth Rate Is Slowest in Five Years (WSJ)
  • Oil at $80 a Barrel Muffles Forecasts for U.S. Shale Boom (BBG)
  • Carney Faces Scrutiny on Worst Payments Outage Since 2007 (BBG)
  • Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols (Reuters)
  • Gold Buying Rebounds in India on Diwali Jewelry Sales (BBG)
  • China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud (Reuters)
  • Greece Said to Seek Recycling of Bank Funds for Exit (BBG)
 
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"Either You're The Butcher... Or The Cattle"





The common people are the cattle being led to slaughter. We are kept docile with incessant propaganda from the mainstream media; marketing messages to consume from Madison Avenue; filtered, adjusted, manipulated economic data fed to us by government agencies; an endless supply of iGadgets and other electronic distractions; government education designed to keep us ignorant; 24/7 reality TV on six hundred stations to keep us entertained; corporate toxic processed food to keep us obese and tame; and an endless supply of Wall Street supplied debt to keep us caged in our pens with no hope of escape. The butchers of the deep state have maintained control for decades, but we’re entering a new era.

 
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Why Chinese Growth Forecasts Just Crashed To A Paltry 3.9% - And Are Going Even Lower - In One Chart





Sadly for China's social instability, Chinese growth is going not only to 3.9% but much, much lower. The reason? Quietly, over the past 5 years, China raked up an epic debt load, which by 2015 is expected to hit a whopping 252% of GDP, or a 100% of GDP increase in debt, just to keep its growth dynamo running. A dynamo which has now fizzled, as can be seen best in the Chinese housing bubble which as we have reported previously, has now burst, and China is desperate to keep imminent hard landing, as controlled as possible. Here is Exhibit A...

 
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Frontrunning: October 20





  • Stick to tapering and rates pledge, says Boston Fed chief (FT)
  • Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders (Reuters)
  • Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, some leave early (Reuters)
  • Japan GPIF to Boost Share Allocation to About 25%, Nikkei Says (BBG)... or three months of POMO
  • Japan Stocks Surge on Report GPIF to Boost Local Shares (BBG)
  • China Growth Seen Slowing Sharply Over Decade (WSJ)
  • Russia, Ukraine Edge Closer to Natural-Gas Deal (WSJ)
  • Leveraged Money Spurs Selloff as Record Treasuries Trade (BBG)
  • After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks (Reuters)
 
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Mind "The Asian Dollar Short" - Another Ticking Time Bomb Gifted By The Central Banks





Not everything is as it seems. While the PBOC may be taking a stand on monetarism and its character, it has been very curious that the yuan has not fully participated in the dollar turmoil marking so many other “dollar” dependent nations. While the yuan’s appreciation trend may have been altered, that has not led again to the kind of disorder that marked the currency earlier in the year. Maybe that is due, at least in part, to these expectations that the PBOC will eventually relent on its new approach, but we also think that the PBOC is at least looking the other way on some of the “old tricks” that supported the Chinese version of the dollar short.

 
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Welcome To Arcadia – The California Suburb Where Rich Chinese Stash Cash In McMansions





The surge in foreigners buying up U.S. real estate has been well documented in recent years. Of all this buying, no nation has demonstrated a bigger increase in purchases than China. In fact, it is estimated that 24% of all foreign purchases of domestic real estate this year have come from China, up 72% from last year. In some California communities, 90% of real estate buyers are from China. Yes, 90%. Naturally, many of them are buying multi-million dollar homes in “all cash” transactions. Well it appears that one of those communities is the 57,000 person Los Angeles suburb known as Arcadia. The suburb had a relatively insignificant Asian population of 4% in 1980, but it is now 59%.

 
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Peak Ebola? Even Goldman Is Now Warning About The Ebola Fear Factor





News about the spread of the Ebola virus has been an increasing focus for market participants in recent days. Despite rising media coverage, Ebola seems to have had little discernible effect on consumer sentiment to date. However, as Goldman Sachs notes, the "fear factor" associated with Ebola appears more significant than in past instances of pandemic concern. While expert opinion sees the likelihood of a significant outbreak of Ebola in the US as very low, it is likely any negative macroeconomic consequences are most likely to be transmitted through fear or risk-aversion channels.

 
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Meet The Proposed Tax That Could Crush High-End NYC Real Estate





“The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.” There is absolutely nothing healthy about this reality. When such a high percentage of properties are built solely to serve as bank accounts, and not a space to live in, you’ve got a severe case of malinvestment on your hands.  If you are an oligarch and you didn’t see this coming, we don’t know what to tell you. The pied-à-terre tax is now on the agenda in New York City.

 
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Everything Breaks Again: Futures Tumble; Peripheral Yields Soar, Greek Bonds Crater





Yesterday afternoon's "recovery" has come and gone, because just like that, in a matter of minutes, stuff just broke once again courtsy of a USDJPY which has been a one way liquidation street since hitting 106.30 just before Europe open to 105.6 as of this writing: U.S. 10-YEAR TREASURY YIELD DROPS 15 BASIS POINTS TO 1.99%; S&P FUTURES PLUNGE 23PTS, OR 1.2%, AS EU STOCKS DROP 2.54%.

Only this time Europe is once again broken with periphery yields exploding, after Spain earlier failed to sell the maximum target of €3.5 billion in bonds, instead unloading only €3.2 billion, and leading to this: PORTUGAL 10-YR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD CLIMBS 30 BPS TO 3.58%; IRISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DECLINE; YIELD RISES 20 BPS TO 1.90%; SPANISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD JUMPS 29 BPS TO 2.40%.

And the punchline, as usual, is Greece, whose 10 Year is now wider by over 1% on the session(!), to just about 9%.

 
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