"The objective, quite simply, was to heap as much abuse on the Soviet Union as possible... The American media swallowed the U.S. government line without reservation... The perception we wanted to convey was that the Soviet Union had cold-bloodedly carried out a barbaric act... The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first."
With the US closed for Memorial Day and UK markets also offline, overnight volumes have been weaker than normal on little newsflow. The main story remains the stronger USD which not only led to the lowest Yuan fixing since February 2011 but pushed the USDJPY as high as 111.50 overnight before paring gains. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is unchanged on poor volume, after earlier rising above the 200 DMA for the first time in 2016. US equity futures were 0.2%, or 4 points higher, currently resting just above 2,101 with the last trading day of May tomorrow expected to push the cash market over 2,100 as well.
In early June the Swiss will be called upon to make a historic decision. Switzerland is the first country worldwide to put the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (of $2,500 per month for every man, woman, and child for doing absolutely nothing) to a vote and the outcome of this referendum will set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of this debate. The main argument of the supporters of this initiative is that it would support the people that will, or already do, lose their jobs to automation and technological progress; a defensive move against “the rise of the robots” as they put it. The promise of a free lunch is by no means a new thing in politics. Getting “something for nothing” is an age-old shiny trinket that has been dangled before the eyes of the public since time immemorial...but at the end of day, someone will have to pay for it.
"I don’t see Brexit as a panacea, but merely the chance to manage one’s own affairs and to conduct one’s own debates over what should or should not be done by the state in one’s name...In Britain’s case, the change would inevitably give rise to economic winners and losers and it may easily be imagined to involve some additional, net short-term expense of time and effort as the country moves to adapt. But to pretend, for example, that Europe will maliciously shut out UK exports or discourage the tourists and holiday-homers from visiting in their droves and so risk a devastating retaliation from its biggest source of external income is worse than a joke."
What do financing your retirement as well as finding affordable healthcare and the possibility of losing your job all have in common with each other?
- Stocks sag as U.S. rate rise expectations revive (Reuters)
- Clinton, Sanders hit final stretch of nominating contest (Reuters)
- Bernie Sanders Wins in Oregon, But He Needed Kentucky, Too (NBC)
- Clinton less than 100 delegates from nomination (The Hill)
- Trump needs 66 delegates to officially clinch nomination (The Hill)
- Japan GDP Rebound Not Enough to Stave Off Stimulus (WSJ)
Perhaps the world will have to wait it out to finally be graced with leaders who are willing to stand by their convictions and make hard, maybe even unpopular, choices. Such leaders might have to risk sacrificing everything political to be crowned the next true champions of conviction, giving us all a shot at a once again storied fate. Where does that leave us? Apparently angry. Very, very angry.
The United States' European missile defense shield goes live on Thursday almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe. As a result, Reuters notes that "Russia is incensed at such of show of force by its Cold War rival in formerly communist-ruled eastern Europe where it once held sway. Moscow says the U.S.-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols."
Japanese banks may soon pay borrowers to accept loans if they can raise funds at even cheaper rates. Negative interest-rate lending is increasingly becoming a reality since the Bank of Japan started levying charges on idle cash. Lenders can now borrow for three months in the Tokyo interbank market at a record-low 6 basis-point annualized rate, versus 17 basis points since the BOJ move in January. They may eventually be able to be paid to borrow and then profit by paying less to lend, according to Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. This is also known as shoving money down people's throats... and then paying them for it.
In what has been an approximate repeat of the Monday overnight session, global stocks and US futures rose around the world as oil prices climbed toward $44 a barrel, with risk-sentiment pushed higher by another plunge in the Yen which has now soared 300 pips since the Friday post-payroll kneejerk reaction, and was trading above 109.20 this morning. At the same time base metals regained some of Monday’s steep losses following Chinese CPI data that came in line while PPI declined for 50 consecutive months however showed a modest rebound from the prior month on the back of China's recent, and now burst, speculative commodity bubble.
"none of the structural headwinds that seem to have plagued the global economy in recent years (a mix of excessive indebtedness, deteriorating demographics, rising political uncertainty as well as the end of the China growth miracle and the commodity supercycle) have been resolved."
The Vision for 2030 is mostly smoke and mirrors. Saudi Arabia probably cannot replace the money it will lose if oil goes out of style and so is doomed to downward mobility and very possibly significant instability. It has been a great party since the 1940s; it is going to be a hell of a hangover.
Latest Shock From Europe's Refugee Crisis: Austria Right-Wing Party Sweeps First Round Of Presidential ElectionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/24/2016 14:22 -0400
The fallout of popular anger emanating from Europe's refugee crisis continued today with a dramatic result from the first round of Austria's presidential election, where initial results showed that the candidate of the Freedom Party, Austria's right-wing, anti-immigrant party has swept his competition, gathering over 35% of the vote and leaving the other five candidates far behind.
Erdogan may have finally gone too far following the arrest of a Dutch-Turkish journalist, Ebru Umar, who was detained early on Sunday at her home in Turkey for tweets deemed critical of the Turkish president according to her Twitter account. Or maybe not: after all Europe needs Turkey now more than ever to halt the mass flow of Syrian refugees within its borders or else virtually all ruling parties in Europe are threatened with being replaced in any upcoming elections. And Erdogan knows this.