General Electric

There Is An Alternative To Yellen's Keynesian Bubble - Stockman Rages "Abolish The Fed"

The approximate hour Janet Yellen spent wandering in circles and spewing double talk during her presser yesterday was time well spent. When the painful ordeal of her semi-coherent babbling was finally over, she had essentially proved that the Fed is attempting an impossible task. And better still, that the FOMC should be abolished. The alternative is real simple. It’s called price discovery on the free market; it’s the essence of capitalism.

"There Is A General Softening In The Consumer's Ability To Pay" - Why Credit Card Companies Are Crashing

On the day in which the government reported modestly stronger than expected retail sales for the month of May, signalling a return to strength for spending and the US consumer - the driving force behind 70% of US GDP - a far more ominous statistic was revealed by credit card company Synchrony Financial, which earlier today announced in a regulatory filing that it expects write-off rates to climb 20 to 30 basis points over the next 12 months, and will increase reserves for soured loans beginning this quarter.

The Saudi 9/11 Blackmail Explained: The K-Street Lobby Racketeers Have It Covered

U.S. officials have warned of “diplomatic and economic fallout from the [looming 9/11] legislation.” So what sort of economic fallout do they envision? Part of the concern is no doubt related to the impact on global financial markets from a Saudi fire sale, but there’s a potentially even bigger concern at play. Specifically, Saudi Arabia pays Washington insiders an exorbitant amount of money to put the monarchy’s interests ahead of what’s best for the American people.

Futures Wipe Out Most Overnight Losses Following Dramatic Rebound In Crude

Following yesterday's OPEC "production freeze" meeting in Doha which ended in total failure, where in a seemingly last minute change of heart Saudi Arabia and specifically its deputy crown prince bin Salman revised the terms of the agreement demanding Iran participate in the freeze after all knowing well it won't, oil crashed and with it so did the strategy of jawboning for the past 2 months had been exposed for what it was: a desperate attempt to keep oil prices stable and "crush shorts" while global demand slowly picked up.  And whether it is central banks, or chronic BTFDers, just 12 hours after oil opened for trading with a loud crash, the commodity has nearly wiped out all losses, and both brent and WTI were down barely 2%, leading to both European stocks and US equity futures virtually unchanged on the session. 

Why Manufacturing Matters

It’s not the more fickle and systemic nature of the FIRE economy that makes manufacturing particularly important. It goes well beyond that...

Frontrunning: April 1

  • Saudi Arabia Will Only Freeze Oil Production If Iran Joins (BBG)
  • Japanese gloom ensures slow start to quarter for world stocks (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era (BBG)
  • Prices Sag in Warning to ECB Even as Manufacturing Picks Up (BBG)
  • China factories scent hint of spring, Europe still chilly (Reuters)
  • Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements (WSJ)

Five Years After Fukushima, 16 U.S. Cleanup Ships Are Still Contaminated With Radiation

The Fukushima disaster was over five years ago, and may have been largely forgotten by the general public and the media (perhaps because the Japanese olympics are just four years from now), but its effects still linger. Perhaps nowhere more so than for those who took pare in the Fukushima clean up effort: as Starts and Stripes reports, sixteen U.S. ships that participated in relief efforts after Japan’s nuclear disaster five years ago remain contaminated with low levels of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

U.S. Futures Slide, Crude Under $39 As Dollar Rallies For Fifth Day

Following yesterday's dollar spike which, which topped the longest rally in the greenback in one month, the prevailing trade overnight has been more of the same, and in the last session of this holiday shortened week we have seen the USD rise for the fifth consecutive day on concerns the suddenly hawkish Fed (at least as long as the S&P is above 2000) may hike sooner than expected, which in turn has pressured WTI below $39 earlier in the session, and leading to weakness across virtually all global risk assets.

"We Need Shed No Tears For The Capitalists" - Key Highlights From Buffett's 2015 Annual Letter

Earlier today Berkshire Hathaway released its 2015 annual report, which among other things includes Buffett's traditional annual observations and insights. Buffett brushes past last year’s disappointing stock performance, muses on the future of America while taking a swipe at Donald Trump, dwells on Berkshire’s ties to Brazilian PE firm 3G, talks about Berkshire’s big 2015 deal, defends manufactured-housing unit Clayton Homes, bashes inequality and capitalists (just not the crony kind), and concludes with a summary of the biggest risks facing America.

Oil Slides Dragging Global Stocks, US Futures Lower, After Saudi Aramco Supply Comments

After the biggest two-day surge in oil in seven years, early in the overnight session both Brent and WTI continued their run for a third day, entering a bull market, 20% up from recent lows hit just last week (still 15% down on the year) when Saudi Arabia spoiled the momentum party after  the world’s biggest crude exporter said it’s keeping up investments in energy projects while diesel consumption in China dropped for a fourth consecutive month, signaling an industrial slowdown. And thanks to the near record correlation between equities and oil, global stocks and US equity index futures initially rose only to slide following the Saudi comments.

Global Stocks Surge, Oil Soars As Hopes For Central Bank Stimulus Return

"There is hope of more stimulus in March and potential for even more stimulus in Japan and China, so if we get concrete positive economic news the rebound could last into next week,” said John Plassard, senior equity- sales trader at Mirabaud Securities. “I told my clients to fasten their seatbelts and wait for better news, and this is finally happening."... "The turnaround in sentiment came amid signs central banks may be prepared to act after $7.8 trillion was erased from the value of global equities this year on China’s slowdown and oil’s crash."

Frontrunning: January 14

  • Islamic State launches militant assault on Indonesia's capital (Reuters)
  • Three winners emerge in $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot (Reuters)
  • European Stocks Tumble, Credit Markets Weaken on Growth Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks and commodity currencies floored by new oil plunge (Reuters)
  • China Bear Market Looms as PBOC Fails to Stop Flight to Safety (BBG)
  • Anxious phone calls, tense moments before Iran's Supreme Leader okayed U.S. sailors' release (Reuters)