• Sprott Money
    03/01/2015 - 23:51
    Clearly if Western governments were ‘merely’ drowning in debt-to-GDP ratios of roughly 100%, then theycould still argue that attempting to manage these debt-loads was legitimate rather than...

Israel

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Frontrunning: August 20





  • Ferguson at Turning Point After Night of Relative Calm (BBG)
  • Gaza war rages on, Hamas says Israel tried to kill its military chief (Reuters)
  • Surge in Putin Patriotism Masks Pain of Sanctions (BBG)
  • Bank of England splits over rate hike for first time in 3 years (Reuters)
  • Putin Meeting Leaves Kiev With Tough Choices (WSJ)
  • European Gas Reverses Biggest Drop Since 2009 on Ukraine (BBG)
  • "Isolation"  Mongolia Seeks Economic Lifeline With Pivot to China, Russia (BBG)
  • Uber Picks David Plouffe to Wage Regulatory Fight (NYT)
  • China Levies Record Antitrust Fine on Japanese Firms (BBG)
 
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Futures Flat With All Headline-Scanning Algo Eyes On Today's FOMC Minutes





While everyone's (algorithmic) attention will be focused on today's minutes from the July 29-30 FOMC meeting for views on remaining slack in U.S. economy following recent changes in the labor market (especially a particularly solid JOLTS report which indicates that at least on the openings front, there is no more) and any signal of policy change by the Fed ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech in Jackson Hole on Aug. 22, a curious thing happened overnight when a few hours ago the BoE's own minutes show the first vote split since 2011, as Weale and McCafferty argue for a 0.75% bank rate. Then again, if the Russians are finally bailing on London real estate, the inflationary pressures at the top of UK housing may finally be easing. In any event, every FOMC "minute" will be overanalyzed for hints of what Yellen's speech on Friday morning will say, even if stocks just shy of all time highs know quite well she won't dare say anything to tip the boat despite her warnings of a biotech and social network bubble.

 
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Meanwhile In Pakistan





With all the other geopolitical war/conflict/droning hot spots around the world, one has so far managed to fly under the radar for the past few weeks, yet one which has the potential to generate a substantial disturbance in the central-planning farce: Pakistan.

 
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Cease-Fire Violated: Israeli Military Says 3 Rockets Fired From Gaza





Well that didn't last long...

*ISRAEL ARMY SAYS 3 ROCKETS WERE FIRED FROM GAZA
*ISRAEL ARMY SAYS ROCKETS LANDED IN OPEN AREAS, NO INJURIES

The Israeli military has declared the cease-fire broken. So this is the escalation that will enable a pent-up de-escalation buying opportunity?

 
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Frontrunning: August 19





  • Just how many rats are there? Steven Cohen's Firm Loses Another Top Executive (WSJ)
  • Iceland Sees a Potential Volcanic Eruption, and Airlines Cower (Bloomberg)
  • Iraqi forces battle to drive jihadists from Saddam's home town (Reuters)
  • Israel, Palestinians Agree to Extend Gaza Truce for 24 Hours (BBG)
  • Pimco now buying junk (BusinessWeek)
  • Pakistan arrests 147 in Punjab towns as protests in capital continue (Reuters)
  • Ex-Rabobank Employee Pleads Guilty in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
  • Ebola Orphans Targeted by Aid Groups as Newest Victims (BBG)
  • Two California youths accused of plotting high school shooting spree (Reuters)
  • Only Rich Know Wage Gains With No Raises for U.S Workers (BBG)
 
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Futures Levitate Because Any Re-escalation Is Simply Pent Up De-escalation





A quick reminder of how geopolitics governs markets: on Friday, the market plunged 0.005% over fears Ukraine and Russia may be about to go at it all out after a fake report Ukraine shelled a Russian military convoy. On Monday, the same "market" soared just under 1% as the news that had caused the "crash" was refuted. That has been the dominant rinse, repeat theme for the past month and will continue to be well after Yellen's Friday speech at Jackson Hole (although one does wonder why she is not speaking on Wednesday when the symposium begins). Not surprisingly, with only modest re-escalation news overnight (that Russia is preparing further retaliatory sanctions against the West), which is simply "pent up de-escalation" in the eyes of Keynesian algos, futures are again up a solid 0.2% and rising, and the way the rampy USDJPY is being manipulated before its pre-market blast off, we may well see the S&P hit 1980, if not a new all time high before 9:30am, let alone during today's cash session. In any event, whatever you do, don't you dare suggest that algos should care one bit about Ferguson and its implications for US society.

 
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Ukraine, Lebanon Demand US "Weapons, Aviation, Air-Defense Equipment"





Now that the US is exhibiting all the tact of a neocon bull in a china world, and has resumed airborne assaults in Iraq (with US marines on the ground merely for decorative purposes) it is hardly surprising that the rest of the world - at least those who are supposedly allied ideologically with Washington (if only for the time being) - suddenly feels entitled to US assistance. Not surprisingly, the first one to knock on the door of US military handouts is none other than the Kiev, whose parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, said in an interview with BNS, that the country needs "modern weapons, aviation, air-defense equipment from U.S., European partners."

 
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All Eyes On Jackson Hole: Key Events In The Coming Week





The main event of the week will be Yellen's long awaited speech at the Jackson Hole 3-day symposium taking place August 21-23. The theme of this year's symposium is entitled "Re-Evaluating Labour Market Dynamics" and Yellen is expected to deliver her keynote address on Friday morning US time. Consensus is that she will likely highlight that the alternative measures of labour market slack in evaluating the ongoing significant under-utilisation of labour resources (eg, duration of employment, quit rate in JOLTS data) have yet to normalise relative to 2002-2007 levels. Any sound bite that touches on the debate of cyclical versus structural drivers of labour force participation will also be closely followed. Unlike some of the previous Jackson Hole symposiums, this is probably not one that will serve as a precursor of any monetary policy changes but the tone of Yellen's speech may still have a market impact and set the mood for busier times ahead in September.

 
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Risk On After Ukraine's "Convoy Shelling" Hoax Forgotten





Friday's main event, Ukraine's alleged attack of a Russian military convoy, has come and gone, and as we mused on Friday has promptly faded into the memory of all other fabricated headlines released by the country engaged in a major civil war and an even more major disinformation war. To be sure, Germany's DAX has recovered virtually all losses, US futures are up about 9 points, and the 10 Year is back to 2.37%. One wonders what algo-slamming headline amusement Ukraine has in stock for us today, although anyone hoping for a quick "de-escalation" (there's that word again) will have to wait following yesterday's meeting of Russian, Ukraine, German and French ministers in Berlin where Russia's Lavrov said he saw no progress on Ukraine cease-fire, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in Berlin, adding that a cease-fire should be unconditional.

 
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Obama Putting Vacation On Hold, Returning To Washington For "Unspecified Meetings"





Earlier we joked that "it is rumored, although unlikely, that a city devolving into a state of emergency and actual curfew, will be enough for the president to take a break from his golf game and make a teleprompted statement later today." Just a few short hours later, in a stunning development and in what may well be a first for the president, Obama announced he planned to take a break in the middle of his Martha's Vineyard vacation and return to Washington on Sunday night for "unspecified meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers."

 
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Futures Continue Levitation On More "Deescalation" Hopes Despite UK Warning Russia Of "Serious Consequences"





There were headlines for everyone this morning, but especially for fans of what is increasingly known as Russia's "Schrodinger Invasion" of East Ukraine: one which may or may not be happening depending on i) one's point of view and ii) how one is observing it.

 
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14 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy's Bubble Of False Prosperity May Be About To Burst





The record-breaking outflows in high-yield bonds are not the only indication that the U.S. economy could be on the verge of very hard times. Retail sales are extremely disappointing, mortgage applications are at a 14 year low and growing geopolitical storms around the world have investors spooked. For a long time now, we have been enjoying a period of relative economic stability even though our underlying economic fundamentals continue to get even worse. Unfortunately, there are now a bunch of signs that this period of relative stability is about to end. The following are 14 reasons why the U.S. economy's bubble of false prosperity may be about to burst...

 
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The Odd Man Out In The Middle East: The Shifting Role Of "Puppetmaster" Qatar





Qatar, the world's richest nation per capita (and awkward home of US central command in The Middle East), has used its wealth to fund Hamas in the Gaza Strip, bankrolls (as we detailed here) Islamists fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, and backed the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt - before he was deposed. As Bloomberg reports, they have additionally let other extremist groups raise money in Qatar, according to the U.S. Treasury Department - all in an effort to 'support' the gas pipelines that the tiny nation needs to maintain its uber-wealth. Qatar’s support for militants has angered its neighboring conservative monarchies... so, it is an intriguing shift that now, as Bloomberg reports, finds the terrorist-funding-nation mediating between Israel and Hamas to end the Gaza conflict.

 
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