• bugs_
    04/01/2015 - 08:45
    Domestic energy production continues to increase despite the anticipated shale shakeout.  The precipitous decline in gasoline prices were welcomed by most but government exise tax revenue was in...

Norway

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Short-Term Gains & Long-Term Disaster





It’s time for the Japanese to get seriously scared now. Like many other countries, Japan – and its political class – creates a false image of enduring prosperity by letting its central bank increasingly buy up ever more of its sovereign bonds. It’s a total sleight of hand, there is nothing left that’s real. There’s no there there. This is of course the same as what happens in Europe. And it’s precisely because central banks buy up all these bonds, that their yields scrape the gutter. It’s a blueprint for killing off the last bit of actual functionality in an economy.

 
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Caught Between A Housing Bubble And Falling Crude Prices, Norway Will Invest Oil Riches In Foreign Real Estate





Just as the central bank runs out of viable options, the country's sovereign wealth fund (which once famously loaded up on Greek bonds) is set to buy "a lot" of Asian property with the country's oil riches.

 
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There’s Brussels And Then There’s Real People





There’s only one thing that can save the Union now: for Merkel to show compassion, with the Greeks, and with all other weaker members. And to stop the anti-Greek propaganda, immediately. Or else. It’s nonsense to pretend that this is merely a business issue, as is made clear by Parenteau above: there is very clearly plenty space to negotiate solutions with Greece that preserve everyone’s dignity. Refuse that, and you can kiss the EU goodbye. There’s alot more that plays into this than mere money issues. Ignore that, and you might as well dismantle the Union right now.

 
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Calm Ahead Of Today's Quad-Witching But Vol Surge Ahead





Quad-witching days are volatile on normal days, so in an environment of virtually zero liquidity, in which the market careens from one extreme to another simply based on whether the Fed utters one single word, in which volatility across asset classes is soaring, and in which it is all about igniting algo momentum, today's quadruple withicng should be memorable, which is good since there is virtually no macro data today to speak of. 

 
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Frontrunning: March 19





  • Fed May Not Hit Neutral Until 10th Anniversary of Lehman Collapse (BBG)... make that never
  • Global stocks and bonds roar Fed approval, dollar fights back (Reuters)
  • EU to tell Greece time, patience running out (Reuters)
  • U.S. likely to delay planned closure of two Afghanistan bases (Reuters)
  • Norway Signals Reduction After Unexpectedly Holding Rate (BBG)
  • Oil Falls to $55 as Kuwait Comments Refocus on Oversupply (Reuters)
  • Tsipras Heads to Summit as Merkel Tries to Defuse Greek Crisis (BBG)
  • Yahoo Pulls the Plug on China Operations (WSJ)
 
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Dollar Regains Most Of Yesterday's "Flash Crash" Losses. Oil Resumes Slide; 10Y Under 2%





If it was the Fed's intention to slow down the relentless surge in the dollar with yesterday's "impatient" removal which blamed the dollar strength on the "strength" in the US economy, it promptly failed after algos and a few carbon-based traders looked at the Atlanta Fed and realized that a 0.3% Q1 GDP print is anything but "strong." As a result the EURUSD, after soaring by nearly 400 pips yesterday in a market reminiscent of a third-world FX pair's liquidity especially following the previously noted USD flash crash, the dollar has recoupped nearly all losses, and the DXY is once again on the way up and eyeing the resistance area of 100.

 
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The Week The Fed Loses "Patience" - Previewing This Week's Main Events





This week's main event will be the FOMC announcement on Wednesday at 2:00 pm and the subsequent press conference, the conclusion of the March 2-day Fed meeting, in which it is widely expected that Yellen will announce the end of the Fed's "Patience" with an economy in which resurgent waiters and bartenders continue to skew the job market even if it means consistently declining wages for 80% of the US labor force. Here is a summary of what else to expect this week.

 
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Flash Boys' Michael Lewis Warns "The Problem's Not Just HFT, The Problem Is The Entire System"





As HFT shops begin to turn on each other, it seems appropriate to reflect on the impact that Michael Lewis' Flash Boys book had on exposing the ugly truth that many have been discussing for years in US (and international) equity (and non-equity) markets. As Lewis concludes, after explaining the attacks he has suffered from the HFT industry, "If I didn't do more to distinguish 'good' H.F.T. from 'bad' H.F.T., it was because I saw, early on, that there was no practical way for me or anyone else... to do it. ...  The big banks and the exchanges [have] been paid to compromise investors’ interests while pretending to guard those interests. I was surprised more people weren’t angry with them."

 
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In "Unprecedented Move" Nobel Peace Prize Chairman Demoted For Decision To Give Obama 2009 Award





In "an unprecedented move", the controversial head of Norway's Nobel Peace Prize committee was removed Tuesday and demoted to the rank of mere member.  Thorbjoern Jagland, a former Norwegian premier, drew criticism after becoming committee chairman in 2009 for awarding the prestigious Nobel to newly elected US President Barack Obama. He will be replaced by current Deputy Chair Kaci Kullmann Five.

 
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Peter Schiff Warns "Don't Be Fooled By The Madness Of Crowds"





Going into 2015 the economic outlook held by the U.S. investment establishment could not have been much more positive, and more unified. Pundits saw all the variables aligning to create the best of all investment worlds, a virtual "no-brainer" of optimism. High degrees of certainty can be dangerous. Herd mentality can cause investors to chase returns en masse and pile into positions that may already be overvalued. But herds can be spooked, most often by unexpected developments which can catch the herd wrong-footed and spark major movements when the masses scatter at the same time. When that occurs, those who resisted the herd may find themselves rewarded. We believe that we are approaching such a point.

 
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Steve Jobs Held Billions Of Dollars Offshore. Was He "Unpatriotic"?





At the end of September 2011, just days before his passing, the company that Steve Jobs founded had a $25 billion cash hoard. Nearly half of this was stashed overseas. His personal share of the untaxed offshore booty was obviously substantial. Did this make him ‘unpatriotic’?

Was the guy who revolutionized five industries and touched the lives of billions of people some nefarious traitor because he held so much money offshore? Of course not.

 
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How Far Is It From Kiev To Athens?





We don't get it, and we definitely don’t get why nobody is asking any questions. The IMF and EU make a lot of noise – through the Eurogroup – about all the conditions Greece has to address to get even a mild extension of support, while the same IMF and EU keep on handing out cash to Ukraine without as much as a whisper – at least publicly...

 
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"This Shorting Opportunity Is As Great As 2007-2009", Billionaire Crispin Odey Warns





"For me the shorting opportunity looks as great as it was in 07/09, if only because people are still looking at what is hap-pening and believe that each event is an individual, isolated event. Whether it’s the oil price fall or the Swiss franc move, they’re seen as exceptions. ... we used all our monetary firepower to avoid the first downturn in 2007-09, so we are really at a dangerous point to try to counter the effects of a slowing China, falling commodities and EM incomes, and the ultimate First World effects.  This down cycle is likely to be remembered in a hundred years . Sadly this down cycle will cause a great deal of damage, precisely because it will happen despite the efforts of the central banks to thwart it."

 
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Nuclear Specter Returns: "Threat of War Is Higher Than In The Cold War"





When asked if hybrid warfare could raise the danger of nuclear weapons being used, US diplomat Richard Burt - who helped put together the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty - answered: "The simple answer is yes. Both American and Russian nuclear arms are essentially on a kind of hair-trigger alert. Both sides have a nuclear posture where land-based missiles could be authorized for use in less than 15 minutes...that is a dangerous state of play."

 
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