- Once-Unthinkable Criminal Pleas by U.S. Banks Get Investor ‘Meh’ (BBG)
- The E-Mail That Helped Catch Barclays: ‘ISDAfix Is Manipulated’ (BBG)
- CFTC Said Preparing ISDAfix Probe Talks in Weeks: Credit Markets (BBG)
- Islamic State takes control of Syria's Palmyra in westward advance (Reuters)
- Tensions High as Greece Gets Smallest Aid Rise Yet (BBG)
- The Rise of the $50,000 Rental (BBG)
- U.S. says South China Sea reclamations stoke instability (Reuters)
- First Hanergy Now Goldin: Hong Kong Stocks Drop Like Stones (BBG)
Since yesterday's fake AVP tender offer was nothing but a targeted attempt to force a short squeeze in one of the market's most shorted stocks, the best way to be positioned for future such criminal activity is to go long precisely the most shorted stocks, the names which in any other universe would be the first to crash, burn and file bankruptcy, but in this parallel centrally-planned universe may just be the biggest winners.
- The fake: Avon-Offer Hoax Shows It’s Easy to Put One Over on SEC’s Edgar (BBG)
- And the real: US buyout group TPG snaps up UK discounter Poundworld (FT)
- El Niño near-certain to last through summer: U.S. climate center (Reuters)
- Oil Sands Land Becomes Alberta’s Hot Real Estate as Oil Rebounds (BBG)
- SEC a stumbling block in banks' forex guilty pleas: sources (Reuters)
- Pimco’s Stocks Chief Maisonneuve to Leave as Funds Closed (BBG)
- Bank of America’s Woes Test ‘Fixer’ CEO (WSJ)
- Puerto Rico Governor, Lawmakers Agree on Revenue Proposal (BBG)
Real Estate is a highly “illiquid” asset class ‘most of the time’. It always has been and always will be. However, some times, such as now - and from 2003 to 2007 as a prime example - when liquidity is flowing like water, Real Estate’s illiquidity is masked. Speculators can do no wrong. Simply having access to short-term or mortgage capital to purchase Real Estate guaranties a double-digit return. This continues until one day, suddenly, it doesn’t; and, the snap-back to the true, historical illiquid nature of the Real Estate sector happens suddenly and is amplified at first. This creates a snowball effect from which both house supply and illiquidity surge at the same time. Price then becomes the liquidity fulcrum and will drop, relentlessly ripping speculators faces off, until capital begins to view the asset class as a relative value once again.
The oil market rebalancing has started: weak prices in 1Q15 pushed producers to cut capex while supporting demand. But, as Goldman Sachs details below, while the rally in oil prices has closed the valuation gap to equities, these trade on historically high multiples and oil itself is now trading at a premium to its own still weak fundamentals in their view. Goldman therefore views this rally as derailing this rebalancing and setting the stage for sequentially weaker prices, especially with oil speculative length as long as when oil traded at $100/bbl.
- Bonds Extend Global Rout as Europe Stocks Slide, Dollar Weakens (BBG)
- Verizon Communications to Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion (BBG)
- Fresh Nepal earthquake kills dozens, triggers panic (Reuters)
- Sen. Shelby to Unveil Legislation Heightening Fed Scrutiny (WSJ)
- Bill Gross: The Amount of Money I'll Give Away 'Is Staggering, Even to Me' (BBG)
- U.S. rejects notion that Gulf rulers snubbing Obama summit (Reuters)... what about AIIB?
- In Asia, Debt Market Gets Tougher (WSJ)
- Iran’s Mahan airline defies sanctions in shadowy aircraft deal (FT)
In the coming months, however many hours Clinton spends introducing herself to voters in small-town America, she will spend hundreds more raising money in four-star hotels and multimillion-dollar homes around the nation. The question is: "Can Clinton claim to stand for 'everyday Americans,' while hauling in huge sums of cash from the very wealthiest of us?" This much cannot be disputed: Clinton's connections to the financiers and bankers of this country - and this country's campaigns - run deep. As Nomi Prins questions, who counts more to such a candidate, the person you met over that chicken burrito bowl or the Citigroup partner you met over crudités and caviar?
On Saturday night, a man whose name still seems to be unknown, but who was wearing a “F##k the Police” t-shirt, came out in front of police past the official curfew. This is what happened next...
Baltimore, Maryland is in many ways the perfect microcosm for these United States of America.
If you still don’t get that, you’ll be in for a rude awakening in the years ahead.
Earlier today the US Census released its latest quarterly data, which confirmed that for what is left of America's middle class, owning a home has become virtually impossible, with the homeownership rate tumbling from 64.0% to 63.7%, which is tied for the lowest historic print since the first quarter of 1986, with the only difference that then the trendline was higher. Now, as can be seen on the chart below, it isn't. At this rate, by the end of the 2015 and certainly by the end of Obama's second term, the US homeownership rate will drop to the lowest in modern US history.
- Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors (Reuters)
- China Warns North Korean Nuclear Threat Is Rising (WSJ), or another country realizes war is the only "exit"
- Shares, euro sag after euro zone PMIs disappoint (Reuters)
- China Manufacturing Gauge Drops to Lowest Level in 12 Months (BBG)
- Deutsche Bank Said to Pay $2.14 Billion in Libor Case (BBG), or roughly a €20,000 per banker "get out of jail" fee
- Brazil’s Petrobras Reports Nearly $17 Billion in Asset and Corruption Charges (WSJ)
- Can This Oil Baron’s Company Withstand Another Quake? (BBG)
- Bad for Q1 GDP: Raytheon sales fall amid weak U.S. defense spending (Reuters)
- The Fed Still Wants Easy Money (BBG) - you don't say
- ECB Is Studying Curbs on Greek Bank Support (BBG)
- Banks Paid to Borrow as Three-Month Euribor Drops Below Zero (BBG)
- Baoding Tianwei is first state-owned Chinese enterprise to default (Reuters)
- Major Chinese Developer Says It Can’t Pay Dollar Debts (BBG)
- Wall Street Has No Idea How Much Money Venezuela Has (BBG)
- Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Find Different Paths to Profits (WSJ)
- Does the Collapse of a Chinese Developer Signal the Start of More Defaults? (BBG)
- Retail Traders Wield Social Media for Investing Fame (WSJ)
For the 2nd day in a row, WTI crude prices are falling (back below $55) after Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said production in the world's biggest crude exporter would stay near record peaks around 10 million barrels per day in April. The investment community remains divided over the future (perhaps more a reflection of time horizons): BofA notes Large Speculators bought crude contracts for the 3rd consecutive week - the longest streak since June 2014; but Blackstone (among other private equity firms) have stayed on the sidelines (despite plenty of cash to put to work) as public markets have exuberantly filled the void so far this year: Oil producers have been able to “raise a lot of debt and, in some cases, equity publicly at values that we wouldn’t touch."
Energy companies “biding their time in the hopes they don’t have to face the music.”
Financial engineering is one of the worst ills perpetuated by the Fed’s regime of cheap debt and money market subsidies for speculation. And these deformations are turbo-charged by the tax code which creates a powerful bias toward loading capital structures with tax deductible debt, and to delivering returns as lightly taxed capital gains rather than ordinary income. In fact, stock buybacks and LBOs are the bastard offspring of the IRS and Federal Reserve.