New Normal

Weekend Reading: The Coin Flip Market

The problem for individual investors is the “trap” currently being laid between the appearance of strong market dynamics against the backdrop of weak economic and market fundamentals. There will be a collision between the fantasy of asset prices and the reality of the underlying fundamentals. This will particularly be the case if the much anticipated rebound of economic growth and earnings fails to materialize.

Risks Of Loose Money - Exposing The Link Between Monetary Policy And Social Inequality

... what we are looking at is a flawed system that penalizes saving and encourages reckless spending and printing money. Although we all appear to be stuck in the same environment that combines negative interest rates and price inflation, we have the lower strata of society that is doomed to lose, as they end up spending more, discouraged by negative rates, and instead accumulate debt to keep up with the increasing prices. And then we have the “winners”, who know how to take advantage of the system and thrive in it...

Home Prices Are Soaring In America's 2nd Most Dangerous City

With home prices in San Francisco beyond the reach of all but the elitest of the elites, it appears the "just well off" are migrating to Oakland in search of affordable properties. Despite being the second most dangerous city in America, Bloomberg reports that Oakland’s housing market is still soaring even as growth cools in San Francisco as the East Bay city had California’s highest annual appreciation of home values and the biggest rent growth of the 50 largest U.S. cities.

Illinois Warns Of "Crippling Tax Hikes", "Devastating Impact" If Largest Pension Fund Admits Reality

Action this week by Illinois' biggest public pension fund to lower its expected rate of return, could "cripple" the state's already fragile finances, Governor Rauner has warned. "If the (TRS) board were to approve a lower assumed rate of return taxpayers will be automatically and immediately on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in higher taxes or reduced services... the unforeseen and unknown automatic cost increases would have a devastating impact."

Goldman "Explains" Why Yellen Lost Credibility: "In Our View, The Fed Has Been Unlucky"

"The May 18 minutes surprised virtually everyone by guiding strongly toward a rate hike in June or July, and Chair Yellen reinforced this message in her remarks at Harvard University on May 27. But the weak May employment report released on June 3 and increased concern about the UK referendum again triggered a sharp pivot, putting on hold the notion of further hikes. These dramatic shifts have frustrated many market participants. In our view, the Fed has been unlucky."

Two More Banks Start Charging Select Clients For Holding Cash

Last weekend, when we reported that Germany's Raiffeisenbank Gmund am Tegernsee - a community bank in southern Germany - said it would start charging retail clients a fee of 0.4% on deposits of more than €100,000 we said that "now that a German banks has finally breached the retail depositor NIRP barrier, expect many more banks to follow." Not even a week later, not one but two large banks have done just that.

More Crony Capitalism: Aetna Gives An Ultimatum To The DOJ - "If Humana Deal Is Blocked, We Exit Obamacare"

In a glaring example of crony capitalism, Aetna CEO Bertolini wrote that, despite Aetna’s past support for Obamacare, "unfortunately, a challenge by the DOJ to that acquisition and/or the DOJ successfully blocking the transaction would have a negative financial impact on Aetna and would impair Aetna’s ability to continue its support, leaving Aetna with no choice but to take actions to steward its financial health."

Paul Tudor Jones Terminates 15% Of Workforce After A Surge In Withdrawals

Paul Tudor Jones dismissed about 15% of the workforce at his Tudor Investment Corp, after losses and investor withdrawals at the $11 billion hedge fund. Tudor Investment earlier Tuesday informed the affected employees, which include positions ranging from money managers to support staff.