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Frontrunning: November 1





  • US admits surveillance on foreign governments ‘reached too far’ (FT)
  • He must be so proud: Obama halted NSA spying on IMF and World Bank headquarters (RTRS)
  • Obamacare website gets new tech experts; oversight pressure grows (Reuters)
  • R.B.S. to Split Off $61 Billion in Loans Into Internal ‘Bad Bank’ (NYT)
  • Draghi’s Deflation Risk Complicates Recovery (BBG)
  • Abenomics: Nissan slashes full-year profit forecast 15% (FT)
  • Credit Suisse Dismisses London Trader Over 'Unusual Trading' Losses (WSJ)
  • RBS avoids break-up with 38 billion pounds 'internal bad bank' (Reuters)
  • Twitter Said to Attract More Than Enough Interest for IPO (BBG)
 


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Guest Post: 5 Ways To Create A Monopoly





It’s hard to maintain monopoly status in a free market when you have to deal with all that competition and whatnot. Between other companies’ low prices and new, updated products entering the market each day, it’s almost like Rich Uncle Pennybags is a thing of the past. But fret not! The politicians of the world would like to offer anyone dead set on controlling an entire industry the chance to shine. So come one, come all — government agencies, cronies, and all their friends — as we present the five best ways to create a monopoly and to ensure you never have to compete again.

 


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Is There A Radioactive Waste Land In Your Back Yard?





While nearly three years after the Fukushima disaster the world is finally focused, rightfully so, on the epic ecological and radioactive clusterfuck unfolding in Japan, where in a desperate effort to distract the population from what is going on in its back yard, the Premier has launched the most ridiculous monetary experiment doomed to failure, the reality is that the US itself harbors a veritable waste land of radioactive fallout, much of it hidden in plain sight. As the following interactive map from the WSJ shows, of the 517 active sites in the continental US, found on the Department of Energy's listing of facilities "considered" for radioactive cleanup through its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, some 43 have a "potential for significant radioactive contamination" through the time of the study. Find out if your state, city, or town is located next to a potential dormant and largely secret Fukushima, using the following handy interactive map.

 


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29 Uncomfortable Truths About Soaring Poverty In America





Did you know that the number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs?  Did you know that 1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless?  Anyone that uses the term "economic recovery" to describe what is happening in the United States today is being deeply insulting to the nearly 150 million Americans that are considered to be either "poor" or "low income" at this point.  Yes, things are great in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, but almost everywhere else economic conditions continue to steadily get worse.  The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a "Robin Hood mentality" that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead. Despite unprecedented borrowing by the federal government in recent years, and despite unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, poverty in the United States keeps getting worse with each passing year. The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding

 


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Second Tesla Goes Down In Flames Following Mexico City Crash





The last time a Tesla Model S struck an object in the road and burst into flames, it resulted in a rather dramatic stock price demise and a hastily put together PR blitz explaining that "there is nothing to see here, move along." We wondered at the time how soon we would hear the second 'crackle' of battery packs exploding and sure enough, less than a month later, Jalopnik reports (as the clip below shows) another Tesla Model S has caught fire in a Mexico city following a crash. How many Fiskers went up in flames before people started doubting that company's reassurances?

 


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Key Events And Issues In The Coming Week





In the upcoming week, the key event is the US FOMC, though we and the consensus do not expect any key decisions to be taken. Though a strengthening of forward guidance is still possible, virtually nobody expects anything of import to be announced until the Dec meeting. In the upcoming week we also have five more central bank meetings in addition to the FOMC: Japan, New Zealand, India, Hungary and Israel. In Hungary we, in line with consensus, expect a 20bps cut to 3.40% in the policy rate. In India consensus expects a 25bps hike in the repo rate to 7.75%. On the data front, US IP, retail sales and pending home sales are worth a look, but the key release will be the ISM survey at the end of the week, together with manufacturing PMIs around the world. US consumer confidence is worth a look, given the potential impact from the recent fiscal tensions.

 


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Frontrunning: October 23





  • Top China Banks Triple Debt Write-Offs as Defaults Loom (BBG)
  • PBOC suspends open market operations again (Global Times)
  • Eurozone bank shares fall after ECB outlines health check plan (FT)
  • O-Care falling behind (The Hill)
  • Key House Republican presses tech companies on Obamacare glitches (Reuters)
  • J.P. Morgan Faces Another Potential Huge Payouta (WSJ)
  • Yankees Among 10 MLB Teams Valued at More Than $1 Billion (BBG)
  • Free our reporter, begs newspaper as China cracks down on journalists (Reuters)
  • Peugeot Reviews Cost-Saving Alliance With GM (WSJ)
 


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Frontrunning: October 22





  • Despite budget win, Obama has weak hand with Congress (Reuters)
  • Carney Brings In McKinsey for Bank of England Strategy Rethink (BBG)
  • Bill Gates Buys Stake in Spanish Construction Company FCC (WSJ)
  • Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Seeks New Term in Race Arabs Sitting Out (BBG)
  • J.P. Morgan Aimed to Limit Damage (WSJ)
  • EU Lawmakers Reject Draghi Call for Bank Bondholder Clemency (BBG)
  • Wall Street Profits May Halve in Second Half (WSJ)
  • Petrobras-led group wins Brazil oil auction with minimum bid (Reuters)
  • Apple to Refresh IPads Amid Challenges for Tablet Share (BBG)
  • Italy plans to offer guarantees on govt bond derivatives (Reuters)
  • Berkshire Beats Apple as Favorite Stock of Tiger 21 Group (BBG)
 


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Key Events And Issues In The Coming Week





Last week, the main area of focus was the political situation in the US where Democrats and Republicans finally agreed upon a short term fix to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling. The conclusion of this saw equity markets rally to all time highs in Europe and the US, with the USD continuing to slide as markets turn their attention to the Fed’s QE programme and push back expectations of when the central bank will begin to pull back on asset purchases. With the government now reopen, attention will turn to the numerous data releases that were delayed but will now take place over the next two weeks, including the jobs report which is due on Tuesday. The release of this report will once again be used to help predict when the Fed will begin to taper QE however, recent comments from Fed members have suggested that October is likely to be too soon trim bond buying due to the lack of key macroeconomic data and the unknown economic impact as a result of the government closing for 16 days.

 


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Comrades-In-Arms Clash: France's Hollande Fumes At America Following Latest NSA Spy Gaffe





It was only two months ago that France's socialist president, Francois Hollande, in his quest to show just how great his allegiance was to the eat tax the rich "fairness doctrine" and socialist causes espoused by the glorious leader on the other side of the Atlantic, and to said glorious leader himself, that France was prepared to almost singlehandedly invade Syria (and surrender shortly thereafter) on the basis of several fabricated YouTube clips. So strong was the socialist bond. Less than 60 days later, how quickly the alliances within the second coming of the Comintern have changed: over the weekend, Spiegel and Le Monde revealed that the US NSA secretly monitored tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account. The spy agency monitored 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8 this year, Le Monde reported in its online version, citing documents from Snowden. And so, recently demoted to B-grade economic status in Europe, France - America's European lap dog in virtually everything - is suddenly apopleptic and shocked, shocked, that spying went on here.

 

 


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Mexico Overtakes US As World's Fattest Country; Begins Regulating Food Consumption





Mayor Bloomberg's crusade to micromanage what New Yorkers put in their mouth has so far failed, but that just means the attempt to impose the first "New Normal" nanny state, in which individual calorie consumption is regulated for the greater good by the even greater government, has simply shifted its geographic location. In this case to Mexico, which according to the OECD has surpassed the US as the world's fattest country and is "notorious for its love of sweets, fried foods and pastries" where as the WSJ reports, the lower House of Congress passed on Thursday a special tax on junk food that is seen as potentially the broadest of its kind, part of an ambitious Mexican government effort to contain runaway rates of obesity and diabetes.

 


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Fourth Day Of Hope For "Imminent Deal" Should Be Sufficient For New Record High Close





If mere hope of an "imminent" deal starting on Thursday and continuing through Monday, with no actual deal but who cares about details, was enough to push the DJIA up by 600 points, then all it would take to set a new record market high today, is for another day to pass - one day before the October 17 X-Date when one Senator can filibuster the US through the deadline on their own, and when the House still has to have a voice on what the Senate has been doing - without an actual debt deal. After all, the market is so "centrally-planned" all that is needed is knowledge that Bernanke will get to work, and is getting to work to the tune of $85 billion a month, mixed in with some hope. And with today's "market for idiots" facilitating POMO of over $5 billion which guarantees a green close, all that is needed is a complete failure in talks for the SPX to go limit up on even more hopes things will be fine any second now... if not right now.

 


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Key Events And Issues In The Coming Week





The ongoing government shutdown will continue to affect the quality and/or the release schedule of official macro data. In the meantime, survey data is probably the best set of indicators to follow. The Empire (NY) and Philly Fed surveys are likely the highlight for this week. The US TIC data will get released as scheduled on Wednesday. Given the evidence of large capital outflows in recent months it will be interesting if this trend has abated. Data that will likely not be released this week includes September CPI, Housing Starts, and Industrial Production. It's ok: one can just draw a trendline and extrapolate. That's what the BLS does.

 


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