Over the last five years, we have developed an unhealthy obsession with the Federal Reserve, in particular, and central banks, in general, and there is plenty of blame to go around. Investors have abdicated their responsibilities for assessing growth, cash flows and value, and taken to watching the Fed and wondering what it is going to do next, as if that were the primary driver of stock prices. The Fed has happily accepted the role of market puppet master, with Federal Bank governors seeking celebrity status, and piping up about inflation, the level of stock prices and interest rate policy. We don't know what will happen at the FOMC meeting, but we hope that it announces an end to it's "interest rate magic show."
- Global stocks rally as investors scent fresh stimulus (Reuters)
- Japan's Nikkei 225 Rises 7.7% for Biggest Gain Since October 2008 (BBG)
- China's Stocks Advance for Second Day Amid Stimulus Speculation (BBG)
- Abe Pledges Corporate Tax Cut as Investments Slump (BBG)
- U.S. to shift 50 staff to boost office handling Clinton emails (Reuters)
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Says China Doesn't Want a Currency War (BBG)
- One Thing China Got Right (BBG)
The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain’s security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead, the Guardian reported. "The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition. That didn’t only include the “non-lethal assistance” boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale”."
For the fifth time in two decades, Turkish soldiers have launched a ground incursion into Iraq in pursuit of PKK "terrorists" who have orchestrated a series of deadly attacks on security personnel over the past several days. Of course Turkish soldiers aren't the only ones fighting Kurds in Iraq. So is ISIS. And that means that just like in Syria, Turkey (with Washington's implicit blessing) is at best distracting from and at worst impeding the battle against Islamic State, the same Islamic State which is being used by Ankara as a cover for the PKK crackdown.
Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you; fool me a third time, you must think we are all just idiots!! Following The ECB's Benoit Coeure "internal procedure error" where he leaked the imminent actions of the central bank to a group of well-heeled hedge fund managers - who proceeded to dump EURUSD ahead of the announcement, The ECB has decided - in all its arrogant wisdom - to decamp to Luxembourg to speak, once again, to participants in the world of high finance behind closed doors. The media aren’t invited (though the ECB will publish some prepared remarks from the board members.).
Today the US made a dramatic diplomatic escalation ahead of what is now assured to be the second major showdown between the US and Russia in Syria, over a Qatari gas pipeline no less, when according to Reuters, it asked Greece to deny Russia the use of its airspace for supply flights to Syria, a Greek official said on Monday, after Washington told Moscow it was deeply concerned by reports of a Russian military build up in Syria.
The violence in two of the world's conflict hot spots escalated materially over the weekend after a Houthi rocket attack in Marib killed 45 UAE soldiers, prompting the delpoyment of an additional 1,000 Qatari troops and triggering stepped up Saudi airstrikes. Meanwhile, in Turkey, roadside bombings blamed on the PKK mean Ankara will look to plunge the country deeper into civil war ahead of elections in November.
September is here. As expected, market volatility is increasing. The Great Zombie War is intensifying. And investors are getting scared. Now they even want to do away with the State’s own scrip... You see where this is going, don’t you? If the feds are able to ban cash, they will have you completely under their control. You will invest when they want you to invest. You will buy when and what they want you to buy. You will be forced to keep your money in a bank – a bank controlled, of course, by the feds.
"There is a general understanding that joint efforts in the fight against terrorism should go hand by hand with the political process in Syria. Assad agrees to this and has also agreed to early parliamentary elections and to include healthy opposition."
- U.S. Treasury's Lew says China will be held accountable on currency (Reuters) ... but not Japan
- Bank of Japan Not Convinced of Need for Further Easing (WSJ)
- Stocks Advance With Commodities on Signs of European Revival (BBG)
- IMF Says China Slowdown, Other Risks Threaten Global Outlook (WSJ)
- Xi Says China No Threat, Announces Military Cuts at Parade (BBG)
- China holds massive military parade, to cut troop levels by 300,000 (Reuters)
- Migrants leave Budapest for Austrian frontier; pressure builds for EU action (Reuters)
Third Greek Bailout Suddenly In Jeopardy: Creditors Warn Cash May Be Delayed If Elections Don't Go As DesiredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/01/2015 11:14 -0400
Just when everyone was convinced that the main "risk off" event of the summer, namely the Greek bailout, was safely tucked away and that having abdicated its sovereignty to its creditors and Germany in particular, who now hold the Greek banking system hostage courtesy of draconian capital controls, that Greece would continue to receive its monthly cash allotment just so it could repay creditors from its first two bailouts and would not make headlines for the foreseeable future , Market News just reported that suddenly even the Greek bailout is no longer on autopilot as a result of the upcoming elections in three weeks, whose outcome is anything but assured.
Perhaps the greatest nightmare for investors in a commodity stock is that the commodity in question goes the way of coal. After more than a century of dominance in the U.S. and abroad, coal appears to have entered into a structural decline. A funny thing happened on the way to the graveyard for coal companies though – one of the industries greatest detractors, George Soros, appears to be stepping in as a supporter.
Meet Wang Xiaolu, the journalist detained by Chinese authorities is being held responsible for the “chaos” in China’s stock market.
Yesterday, the FT triumphantly proclaimed: "Beijing abandons large-scale share purchases", and that instead of manipulating stocks directly as China did last week on Thursday and Friday, China would instead focus on punishing sellers, shorters, and various other entities. We snickered, especially after the Shanghai Composite opened down 2% and dropped as low as 4% overnight. Just a few hours later we found out that our cynical skepticism was again spot on: the moment the afternoon trading session opened, the "National Team's" favorite plunge protection trade, the SSE 50 index of biggest companies, went super-bid and ramped from a low of 2071 to close 140 points higher, ending trading with a last minute government-facilitated surge, and pushing the Composite just 0.8% lower after trading down as much as -4.0%.
With 30% of Venzuelans eating two or fewer meals per day, social unrest is mounting rapidly in President Nicolas Maduro's socialist utopia. As WSJ reports, soldiers have now been deployed to stem rampant food smuggling and price speculation, which Maduro blames for triple-digit inflation and scarcity. "Due to the shortage of food... the desperation is enormous," local opposition politician Andres Camejo said, and nowhere is that more evident than the trampling death of an 80-year-old woman outside a state-subsidized supermarket.