New Normal

President Obama Delivers Statement, Says Shooting "Possibly Terrorist-Related" - Live Feed

Having stated unequivocally last week that "we can't let this become the new normal.. enough is enough," following the Planned Parenthood shooting, President Obama - having seen a record amount of background checks for gun purchases over the Black Friday weekend - is set to make a statement (alongside his National Security Team) with regard the mass shooting in San Bernardino yesterday...

Paris Is Prologue

The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.

The Closing Of The Global Economy

"The political left is happy to see people cross borders but would gladly restrict the flow of capital and goods. The political right is happy to see capital and goods cross borders but would gladly build a fence to restrict the flow of people. I’m afraid that the compromise might be to restrict people, capital and goods."

Obama Blames Social Media As Russian PM Blasts "Irresponsible US Policy" For Strengthening ISIS

"The Islamic State has grown that strong due to the irresponsible policy of the United States," exclaimed Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev this morning, demanding that "really consolidated efforts" are needed to counter ISIS' terrorist threats. This comes just hours after President Obama toughened his rhetoric, vowing that the global coalition formed to destroy ISIS "will not relent," adding, rather oddly, that the group responsible for the Paris terror attacks is "a bunch of killers with good social media."

EU's Founding Treaty To Be "Reconsidered", Seeking End To Passport-Free Travel

Between the French (Interior Minister Cazeneuve: "we're face with a new kind of terrorism", and Hungary (PM Orban: "allowing people into our own back yard" who may then commit acts of terrorism was irresponsible), AP reports that the EU's founding treaty with regard to passport-free travel - the so-called Schengen Agreement - is to be reformed. "We want Europe, which has lost too much time on a certain number of questions, to note the urgency and take decisions today," exclaimed Cazeneuve, with Orban adding "the founding treaty is currently an obstacle to this and I believe it needs to be reconsidered." According to Cazeneuve, the reforms will happen by year-end.

The Great Fall Of China Started At Least 4 Years Ago

China’s producers couldn’t get the prices they wanted anymore, as early as 4 years ago, and that’s where deflationary forces came in. No matter how much extra credit/debt was injected into the money supply, the spending side started to stutter. It never recovered.

Swap Spreads Just Hit A New Record Negative Low: Goldman's Explanation Why

Having detailed the "perverted nonsense" that is the collapsing and negative US swap spreads (here, here, here, and here) and noted money manager's concerns that the big question remains whether there is "something bigger brewing under the surface that so far hasn’t been pinpointed yet," it appears Goldman Sachs feels the need to 'explain' the anomaly in what appears an effort to calm fears about the broken money markets. Of course, we don’t have to figure out what the “market” is saying about a negative spread because it isn’t saying anything other than “something” is wrong and even Goldman admits this signals funding and balance sheet strains are worsening since August.

Did Goldman Sachs Just Find The Smoking Gun In Today's FOMC Minutes?

The market's reaction to today's FOMC Minutes was, to some, a little odd given the "December is on" hawkish narrative being sold to the public. Stocks rallied, longer-dated bonds rallied, gold managed gains, and the US Dollar sold off... not exactly the reaction one would expect from a 'hawkish' Fed statement. But there is one thing that would explain those moves... and it appears Goldman Sachs found it buried deep inside the 12 pages of Minutes...