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Frontrunning: November 21





  • They go all in: China’s PBOC Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2012 (BBG)
  • And all in-er: ECB's Draghi throws door to quantitative easing wide open as recovery wanes (Reuters)
  • Global Markets Rally: ECB Head Says Central Bank Is Ready to Expand Stimulus Program After China Cuts Rates (WSJ)
  • Obama unveils U.S. immigration reform, setting up fight with Republicans (Reuters)
  • U.S. increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Russia warns U.S. against arms to Ukraine as Biden due in Kiev (Reuters)
  • Ukraine slashed gold holdings in October, Russia added more - IMF (Reuters)
  • Abe Dissolves Japan’s Lower House of Parliament (WSJ)
 
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Algos Sell The News, Then BTFD Following Much Anticipated Abe Snap Election Announcement





After weeks of relentless flashing red headline barrage whose only purpose was to force snap algo buying of the USDJPY pair time after time after time, Japan is once again out of FX algo danging carrots after moments ago Abe confirmed what everyone had known already: he called a snap election to seek a mandate for his decision to delay by 18 months a further sales-tax increase that had been planned for next year; he also said he would dissolve the lower house of parliament on Nov. 21 in preparation for an election in December, without specifying a date. Cited by the WSJ, Abe said "To ensure the success of Abenomics, I’ve concluded that it shouldn’t be carried out next October and instead be postponed by 18 months,” the prime minister told a nationally televised news conference, stressing that the additional tax burden would risk putting the economy back into deflation. “I will seek the people’s judgment over our economic policy."

 
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ISIS Beheads Another American After Report "Jihadi John" Injured In Air Strike; Gen. Dempsey Arrives In Iraq





Perhaps in prompt and direct refutation that the infamous executioner "Jihadi John" had been injured, a few hours ago, ISIS release its latest execution video. Yet, oddly, as in several previous instances, the 15-minute video released Sunday doesn’t show the beheading according to the WSJ, but closes with a masked man clad in black standing above what he claims is Mr. Kassig’s severed head. The extremist spoke with a British accent, and appeared to be the same man who appeared in four videos released over the past few months showing the killing of British and American hostages, i.e., the same Jihadi John who was said to have been injured.

 
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Why The Rising U.S. Dollar Could Destabilize The Global Financial System





Simply put, the dollar's rise could destabilize the entire global financial system. To understand why this is so, we have to start with the source of the risk: the world's central banks.

 
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Frontrunning: November 13





  • Moar central banks! Asian Stocks Rise Amid Stimulus Speculation; Topix Jumps (BBG)
  • Syria rebels in south emerge as West's last hope as moderates crushed elsewhere (Reuters)
  • Bufett's Berkshire to Buy Duracell Business From Procter & Gamble in $3B Deal (AP)
  • Weak Demand, Real-Estate Slump Signal Headwinds for China (WSJ)
  • China Slowdown Deepens as Leaders Said to Mull Cutting Target (BBG)
  • Saudis Reject Talk of OPEC Market Share War as Oil Slides (BBG)
  • Oil Tankers Stream Toward China as Price Drop Sparks Boom (BBG)
 
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SNB Warning Gold Initiative "Fatal Error Of Judgment" Sparks EURCHF Peg Test





Having bounced modestly yesterday, EURCHF is testing new lows post its peg (at 1.2020 vs 1.20 peg) as the reality of the referendum on the "Save Our Swiss Gold" initiative starts to get priced in. The Swiss National Bank has decided to unleash some propaganda, as WSJ reports, Thomas Jordan, president of the Swiss National Bank, warned adoption of the so-called 'Save Our Swiss Gold' initiative would be a "fatal error of judgment." With the vote looming on Nov 30th, Jordan explains that maintaining stable prices would be harder to achieve if the call for gold repatriation and increased reserves is approved. The M.A.D. rhetoric has begun as not just stability but jobs are at stake, according to Jordan.

 
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Frontrunning: November 12





  • Banks to Pay $3.3 Billion in FX-Manipulation Probe (BBG)
  • Symbolic being the key word: U.S., China sign symbolic emissions plan, play down rivalry (Reuters)
  • Europe (so really Russian sanctions) is the new "snow in the winter" - Carney Sees Europe Stagnation Impact as Growth Outlook Cut (BBG)
  • Eurozone Industrial Output Points to Weak Third Quarter Growth (WSJ)
  • Not everyone around Abe is insane: Kuroda Ally Flags Warning on Delaying Sales-Tax Increase (BBG)
  • Hong Kong to scrap daily yuan conversion limit to boost stock investment (Reuters)
  • Barclays Falls After FX Settlement Delay Reduces Discount (BBG)
  • Some unhappy Yahoo investors asking AOL for rescue (Reuters)
 
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Inside The Mind Of An Oligarch – Sheldon Adelson Proclaims "I Don't Like Journalism"





while almost all oligarchs are extremely wealthy (or have access to extreme wealth), not all people with extreme wealth are oligarchs. The term oligarch is reserved for those with extreme wealth who also want to control the political process, policy levers and most other aspects of the lives of the citizenry in a top-down tyrannical and undemocratic manner. They think they know best about pretty much everything, and believe unelected technocrats who share their worldview should be empowered so that they can unilaterally make all of society’s important decisions. The unwashed masses (plebs) in their minds are unnecessary distractions who must to be told what to do. Useless eaters who need to be brainwashed into worshipping the oligarch mindset, or turned into apathetic automatons incapable or unwilling to engage in critical thought. Either outcome is equally acceptable and equally encouraged. These oligarchs and the centralized institutions they control pose the greatest threat to humanity at this time.

 
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One Of Largest Russian Gold Miners On Verge Of Bankruptcy





While some companies, those lucky few which have no debt on their balance sheet, have the option to mothball projects and wait for the lack of supply to catch up with demand and also price (at least in a world in which physical supply and demand still have some bearing on trading of paper gold) others, those who have creditors breathing down their neck, whose extraction cash costs are above the spot price and who aren't hedged, are essentially out of options. One such company is Russian gold producer Petropavlovsk, which is now worth just $60 million and is in a perilous financial situation, with speculation it may even default on $310 million in convertible bonds in February. 

 
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What The Swiss Gold Referendum Means For Gold Demand





The referendum for the Swiss Gold Initiative is scheduled for November 30th and the propaganda war - between the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Swiss Parliament on one side and the Swiss People's Party (SVP) on the other - has begun and we expect it to escalate as the day draws ever nearer. Having already questioned the 'location, location, location' of Switzerland's current gold stash, and examined the initiative in great depth here, JPMorgan notes that not only might the forthcoming Swiss gold referendum stabilize gold prices at a time when Gold ETF demand continues to decline, but warns, it also appears that markets under-appreciate this event.

 
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A "Magical Fairyland" – How Global Multi-National Corporations Avoid Taxes In Luxembourg





“A Luxembourg structure is a way of stripping income from whatever country it comes from,’’ said Stephen E. Shay, a professor of international taxation at Harvard Law School and a former tax official in the U.S. Treasury Department. The Grand Duchy, he said, “combines enormous flexibility to set up tax reduction schemes, along with binding tax rulings that are unique. It’s like a magical fairyland.”

 
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Frontrunning: November 7





  • The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare (Matt Taibbi)
  • Explains the midterm results: Optimism precedes job data (Reuters)
  • EU Dream Ebbs Amid Weak Growth, Putin's Jets, 25 Years After Wall Came Down (BBG)
  • SEC Probing Trading Activity at Apple Supplier GT Advanced (WSJ)
  • Boehner touts bills to repeal Obamacare, build Keystone (Reuters)
  • China Gold Buying Means Price Floor to Standard Chartered (BBG)
  • High-Speed Ad Traders Profit by Arbitraging Your Eyeballs (BBG)
  • Central Banks Can’t Be ‘Only Game in Town’ Boosting Economies (BBG) - less talking, more getting to work
 
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Saudi Cut In Oil Price For US May Lead To Price War





Saudi Arabia’s move to cut the cost of its oil to US customers has injected fear into the oil markets, bringing the price of OPEC crude below $80 and suggesting to some observers that the cartel is preparing for a global price war.

 
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"Saudis Have Good Reason To Be Concerned" Warns Ex-CIA Officer, As ISIS Enters World's Largest Oil Exporter





For the longest time there has been speculation whether Jihadist forces, be they ISIS, Nusra or other regional groups, had managed to spread beyond the Iraq conflict zone and infiltrate the world's oil mecca: Saudi Arabia. We now know the answer: according to Bloomberg, a Saudi citizen suspected of organizing the attack on Shiite worshipers in the oil-rich Eastern Province returned from fighting in Iraq and Syria, according to Saudi-owned newspapers. In short, ISIS has arrived in the world's largest oil exporter, which begs the question: was yesterday's news of an oil pipeline explosion, quickly downplayed by Saudi sources as "maintenance-related", in fact what most assumed at first, namely an act of sabotage? And how long until the next "planned maintenance" pipeline explosion?

 
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