- Citigroup is pleased: Obama signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill (Reuters)
- Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping (Reuters)
- 5 Things to watch at the December Fed Meeting (WSJ)
- Russia Tries Emergency Steps for 2nd Day to Stem Ruble Rout (BBG)
- Ruble crisis could shake Putin's grip on power (Reuters)
- Apple Curbs Russia Sales as McDonald’s Lifts Prices (BBG)
- Traders Betting Russia’s Next Move Will Be to Sell Gold (BBG)
- China Warms to a More Flexible Yuan (WSJ)
The rank economic cheerleading in the guise of “news” printed by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the rest of the financial press never ceases to amaze. But on the heels of Congress’ pathetic capitulation to Wall Street over the weekend you have to wonder if even the robo-writers who compose the headlines are on the take. How could anyone in the right mind label this weekend’s CRomnibus abomination “A Rare Bipartisan Success for Congress”? Apparently, that unaccountable plaudit was bestowed upon Washington by the WSJ solely because it avoided another government shutdown.
People are bombarded with sensation and that substitutes for thinking
- Oil slide hits European stocks, safe-haven assets sought (Reuters)
- IEA Cuts Global Oil Demand Forecast for 4th Time in Five Months (BBG)
- Cue constant pro-Abe propaganda out of Japan: Japan’s Secrecy Law Takes Effect as Abe Seeks Fair Vote Coverage (BBG)
- As if it has a choice: Japan’s GPIF Bets on Abenomics-Driven Recovery (WSJ)
- Heather Capital: How a $600 Million Hedge Fund Disappeared (WSJ)
- Senate Panel Votes to Authorize U.S. War on Islamic State (BBG)
- Japan’s 28 IPOs in 11 Days Give Abe a Lift as Startups Boom (BBG)
- U.S. authorities face new fallout from insider trading ruling (Reuters)
- Greek Stock Rout Means ASE Is 2014 Worst After Russia (BBG)
- Shale operaters Goodrich, Oasis Petroleum cut spending for 2015 as oil slides (Reuters)
- Greece to hold elections in January if president vote fails (Reuters)
- Norway’s Shock Rate Cut Drives Krone to Lowest Since 2009 (BBG)
- ‘Severe Downturn’ Threatening Norway, Central Bank Governor Says (BBG)
- Russia’s Fifth Rate Increase Fails to Halt Ruble Slide to Record (BBG)
- SNB Says Deflation Risks Increased as Franc Cap Maintained (BBG)
- China eases bank lending restrictions, PBOC targets 10 trillion yuan in loans for 2014 (Reuters)
- Mobius Says China’s Bull Market Is Just Getting Started (BBG)
- How Wal-Mart Made Its Crumbling China Business Look So Good for So Long (BBG)
- New Normal headlines: Global stocks up on hopes of China policy easing (Reuters)
- China inflation eases to five-year low (BBC)
- U.S. Lawmakers Agree on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill (WSJ)
- U.S. Braced for Blowback as CIA Report Lays Bare Abuses (BBG)
- CIA tortured, misled, U.S. report finds, drawing calls for action (Reuters)
- CIA Made False Claims Torture Prevented Heathrow Attacks (BBG)
- Oil Resumes Drop as Iran Sees $40 If There’s OPEC Discord (BBG)
- OPEC Says 2015 Demand for Its Crude Will Be Weakest in 12 Years (BBG)
- Greek yield curve inverted as politics raise default fears (Reuters)
Media World In Turmoil: Bloomberg Editor In Chief Out, Replaced With The Economist's John MicklethwaitSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/09/2014 10:59 -0500
While hardly as attention grabbing as the events in Congress today, moments ago the newsworld was shaken following news that the Editor in Chief of Bloomberg news, Matt Winkler, would step down and continue as editor-in-chief emeritus, working directly with Mike Bloomberg, to be replaced with the Editor in Chief of The Economist, John Micklethwait.
With every single hollow chatterbox repeating that crashing oil prices are "unambiguously good" it is clearly the case that the opposite is true. And sure enough, the first indications that the crude price crash is about to lead to some serious pain in the US came first yesterday from BP, which announced over the weekend that it would "slash 100s of mid-level supervisor jobs" around the globe, and moments ago, from ConocoPhillips, which added that as a result of plunging oil prices, it would slash its 2015 spending budget by a whopping 20%, cutting off some $3 billion in capital spending mostly involving "less developed project: spending which for those who remember their GDP calculation, means a proportional reduction in the US Gross National Product.
- Marchers again swarm New York to protest death at hands of police (Reuters)
- N.Y. Police Chokehold Evidence to Stay Secret as Protests Spread (BBG)
- Obama to announce choice of Ash Carter for defense chief Friday: White House (Reuters)
- Boehner vows to avoid government shutdown with help from Democrats (Reuters)
- Brent Heads for 5-Year Low as Saudi Discounts Spur Competition (BBG)
- Will Cheap Oil Lead to Big Mergers? (WSJ)
- Bank of Russia Ramps Up Ruble Support (WSJ)
- China Bad-Loan Level Seen Understated After Economy Slows (BBG)
- Uber Snags $41 Billion Valuation (WSJ)
- Fall of the Bond King: How Gross Lost Empire as Pimco Cracked (BBG)
- Hong Kong 'Occupy' leaders surrender as pro-democracy protests appear to wither (Reuters)
- Ashton Carter, Ex-Pentagon No. 2, Emerges as Obama Favorite for Defense Secretary (WSJ)
- Oil, the Ruble and Putin Are All Headed for 63. A Russian Joke -- for the Moment (BBG)
- New U.S. oil and gas well November permits tumble nearly 40 percent (Reuters)
- Swedish government on brink of collapse (AJ)
- China says Britain has no moral responsibility for Hong Kong (Reuters)
- Indian Labs Deleted Test Results for U.S. Drugs, Documents Show (BBG)
As reported two weeks ago, following to a stunning announcement by the head of Ukraine's central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, we learned that (virtually) all of Ukraine's gold was gone, or - in the parlance of Jon Corzine - had "vaporized." And as we also predicted two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine's people - the vast majority of whom are innocent pawns in a vast game of realpolitik between the west and east - finally got angry and demanded some answers. That time came earlier today when as Interfax.ua reported "a Kyiv-based court has instructed Kyiv prosecutors to bring an action against National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Valeriya Gontareva on charges of abuse of power or misuse of office to obtain illegal profit, the Vesti newspaper reported on Tuesday."
The selling is because the dominant Common Knowledge regarding energy sector stocks is that they move up and down with the price of oil. Common Knowledge is not what everyone knows; that’s the consensus. Common Knowledge is what everyone knows that everyone knows, and it’s the driving force behind the Game of Sentiment. Everyone knows that everyone knows energy stocks are tied to oil prices, we just took another sharp leg down in oil prices, and so energy stocks must be sold. The fact that energy stocks are down “proves” the relationship (a wonderful example of Soros’s concept of reflexivity), which adds to the selling. The reality (not that it matters) is that energy stocks are barely correlated with the price of oil, and their correlation with each other is barely driven by oil prices. What’s really driving this across-the-board decline is the fact that “long energy” has become a very crowded trade.
In a surprise development involving the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, earlier today security officials announced that the Lebanese army had captured the wife and daughter of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria nine days ago. According to Reuters, the woman was identified as Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi, by a Lebanese security official and a senior political source. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported she had been detained in coordination with "foreign intelligence." The official spin is clear: in Reuters' words, "the arrest is a blow to Baghdadi and could be used as a bargaining chip against his group, which has captured many foreign, Iraqi and Syrian prisoners and declared a caliphate in territory it has seized in Syria and Iraq." Unless, of course, it isn't, and it merely sets off the ISIS leader even more.
It is no wonder Venezuela is suffering... Venezuelan bond prices have collapsed around 51 - the lowest close in at least 5 years as yields surge to around 21% yield. The market is pricing in extremely high probability of default (around 63% over 2Y, and 80% based on 5Y CDS) which, as Bloomberg reports, is surging as "every $1 drop in oil is around $770 million of lost revenue, so their ability to pay has taken a big hit."
What was truly notable in Weidmann's statement is his open jab at the stupidity of Keynesian economics itself. To wit from Bloomberg: ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann says at event in Berlin that consumer prices in euro area “are strongly influenced by the energy prices, which are at the moment experiencing a positive supply shock.” The punchline: "There’s a stimulant effect coming from the energy prices - it’s like a mini stimulus package." But wait a minute, isn't deflation under Keynesian voodoonomics, the biggest bogeyman imaginable? It turns out deflation is only bad when it impacts... the S&P 500.