Hedge fund manager exposes the ugly truth about America's energy revolution: it's like the housing bubble but larger!
- Asia shares rally, but on track for worst quarterly loss in four years (Reuters)
- Global Rally Shows Relief at End of $11 Trillion Stocks Meltdown (BBG)
- Glencore Extends Rebound as Turmoil Shows Signs of Easing (BBG)
- Putin wins parliamentary backing for air strikes in Syria (Reuters)
- China Cuts Minimum Home Down Payment for First-Time Buyers (BBG)
- German Unemployment Unexpectedly Rises in Sign of Economic Risks (BBG)
- Japan Industrial Output Slide Hints at Recession (WSJ)
We are a scant 40 years away from the futuristic world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control. Increasingly, the world around us resembles Dick’s dystopian police state in which the police combine widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining and precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage. In other words, the government’s goal is to prevent crimes before they happen: precrime.
"In the Twitter-storm furor over Turing’s recent one-drug price gouge attempt, the media has overlooked the reality that Martin Shkreli was created by the system. Shkreli is merely a rogue trying to play the gambit that Valeant has perfected." And there you have it: boost the prices of dozens of drugs in the span of 1-3 years anywhere between 100% and 800% and nobody notices (thank you insurance companies). But hike the price of one drug by 5,500% and suddenly all of America thinks you are satan incarnate.
- Stocks slip for fifth straight day, euro holds steady (Reuters)
- VW recall letters in April warned of an emissions glitch (Reuters)
- VW Cheating Scandal Threatens to Ensnare BMW as Probe Widens (BBG)
- Pope Francis set to address fractious U.S. Congress (Reuters)
- Norway Cuts Rates to Record Low to Save Economy From Oil Slump (BBG)
- Taiwan Cuts Rate for First Time Since 2009 as Exports Falter (BBG)
- Janet Yellen to speak at UMass on Thursday (Daily Collegian)
- A Big Bet That China’s Currency Will Devalue Further (NYT)
- Debt Relief for Students Snarls Market for Their Loans (WSJ)
"Mainstream America with their 401Ks are in a similar pickle. Expecting 8-10% to pay for education, healthcare, retirement or simply taking an accustomed vacation, they won’t be doing much of it as long as short term yields are at zero. They are not so much in a pickle barrel as they are on a revolving spit, being slowly cooked alive while central bankers focus on their Taylor models and fight non-existent inflation."
Bank profitability will remain under pressure for some time to come in light of the new capital regulations currently in the works. This will make it more difficult for banks to generate new capital internally, so they will have to tap the capital markets and dilute their shareholders further. It is no wonder that bank stocks remain way below the valuations they once commanded (we actually wouldn’t touch these stocks with a ten-foot pole). From a wider economic perspective, the new capital regulations are rendering banks moderately safer for depositors (as long as the markets don’t lose faith in government debt that is), but they also contribute to their ongoing “zombification”. Bank lending is going to remain subdued. This wouldn’t represent a big problem, if not for the fact that it is likely to provoke even more government activism.
If you were to tell someone that the life insurance they had purchased was “a bad bet” or (even more judgmentally) “sheer stupidity”, almost certainly that person would feel insulted.
While we already knew that China was selling - and following the record selling of FX reserves in August, so does everyone else - an even more interesting question emerged: who is buying? Thanks to the WSJ we now know the answer: "A little-known New York hedge fund run by a former Yale University math whiz has been buying tens of billions of dollars of U.S. Treasury debt at recent auctions, drawing attention from the Treasury Department and Wall Street."
What does it take to make you sit up and take notice of the problems surrounding society today? The events of the past few weeks should have been a warning shot across the bow for many. Our financial and distribution systems are in a delicate balancing act right now and any sudden shifts could send them tumbling off the cliff rendering the services they perform extinct in a matter of hours. What will it take to make you respond to the many crises taking place today?
The centrally-planned house of cards is finally starting to shake uncontrollably.
The global economy’s finance based spine is so out of whack that it is in need of a major readjustment. Cash or better yet “near cash” such as 1-2 year corporate bonds are my best idea of appropriate risks/reward investments. The reward is not much, but as Will Rogers once said during the Great Depression – “I’m not so much concerned about the return on my money as the return of my money.”
Aggressive Chinese Intervention Prevents Another Rout, Sends Stocks Soaring 5% In Last Trading Hour; US Futures JumpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2015 06:48 -0400
After a 5 day tumbling streak, which saw Chinese stock plunge well over 20% and 17% in just the first three days of this week, overnight the Shanghai Composite was hanging by a thread (and threat) until the last hour of trading. In fact, this is what the SHCOMP looked like until the very end: Up 2.6%, up 1.2%, up 2.8%, up 0.6%, up 2%... down 0.2%. And then the cavalry came in: "Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks," Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. Net result: the Composite, having been red just shortly before the close, soared higher by 156 points or 5.4%, showing the US stock market just how it's down.
The story behind the deadly chemical explosion that rocked China’s Tianjin port last Wednesday continues to evolve amid fears that the public could be at risk from the hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide stored at the facility. Indeed, new samples show that the cyanide level in the water around the site is some 28 times the safety standard. It looks as though determining who actually owns Ruihai will be complicated by the fact that in China, it’s not uncommon for front men to hold shares on behalf of a company’s real owners. In an effort to pacify the country’s censored masses, party mouthpiece The People’s Daily said 10 people, including the head and deputy head of Ruihai had been detained since Thursday. Finally, initial estimates put the cost of the blast at bewteen $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
The dance of the zombies goes on... During the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, these four retailers spent $34 billion on stock buybacks and dividends. But, alas, their cumulative net income during the period was only $13 billion. So they pumped 2.6X more into the casino than they earned! Last week’s tepid retail reports were not only a reminder that QE and ZIRP have by-passed main street entirely. The faltering department store sector is also a reminder that the monumental amount of Fed confected cash pooling-up in the canyons of Wall Street is breeding debt-laden zombies throughout the length and breadth of the land.