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Confidence Lost - (Or When Words No Longer Matter)





Words, numbers, earnings and more at one time had a believable meaning. But that was a very long time ago. So long – even the news media seems to have forgotten what the meaning of words like business, free markets, capitalism and others once meant. Now it's nothing but a televised version of crony styled capitalism cheerleaders rolled out one after another in such procession P.T.Barnum would be proud. The problem is the more they talk – the more people tune out. For no amount of words stated matter any longer. Nor do the myriad of “charts” “reports” or so-called “facts” they hold up as evidence. No one is listening or watching. And what’s worse? Nobody now cares.

 
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Oil-Producing Countries' Currencies Are Getting Crushed





While most people's attention has been focused on the demise of the Russian Ruble this year, since the June highs in Crude Oil, the oil-producing nations of the world have seen their currencies devalue rapidly. From Brazil to Nigeria and Algeria, the impact of lower oil revenues is starting to create a vicious circle for many of these nations... and having consequences for the very Petrodollar flows that the US relies upon...

 
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Frontrunning: November 14





  • "The hate us for our..." Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Ukraine and Russia take center stage as leaders gather for G20 (Reuters)
  • Moscow and Kiev trade accusations; U.S. warns Russia against escalation (Reuters)
  • Heartland Central Banker Calls Asset Bubbles Top Concern (BBG)
  • U.S. Said to Give Banks December Deadline in FX Probe (BBG)
  • Series of Failures Enabled White House Breach, Report Finds (WSJ)
  • Yen plumbs seven-year trough on likely Japan sales tax delay (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Chase Bankers Said to Lead Moscow Departure (BBG)
 
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Things That Make You Go Hmmm... Like Japan's Inevitable Apocalypse





Kuroda has fired the shot that looks likely to trigger the next phase of the crazy monetary experiment we’ve all been living in for the last five years. Unfortunately, the next phase is where things start to get nasty. Just because equity markets cheered the latest sugar rush he guaranteed them should not make smart investors lower their guard — quite the opposite, in fact. Colonel Kuroda has gone up-country into the Heart of Darkness, and all we can do is await the Apocalypse now.

 
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In Defense Of Peter Schiff





Economic forecasting is a dangerous job. As Mark Twain put it in his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.” Every wrong prediction could doom a career, or a bank account. Prudence and humility are the only sound tools for building one’s reputation. The talking heads on CNBC appear to know neither. They pledge allegiance to the flag of the tinkering bureaucracy. It explains the loss of ratings, and loss of confidence in the ability of “experts” to see what’s coming down the tracks. Refusing to learn from mistakes will lead to future blunders. Pundits that don’t heed this message are doomed to fail.

 
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France Stinks... Literally





Having promised that he would not run again if unemployment rates remain high, French President Francois Hollande faces not just record low approval ratings but feces-flinging-farmers. In a show of protest against expressing their anger at collapsing prices (due in part to sanctions against Russia), increased environmental regulations, cheap imports, and high costs, thousands took to the streets, dumping pumpkins, potatoes, and carrots, burning cars, flinging apples, and spraying shit all over a government building in Toulouse. The French are not amused...

 
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Prepare For ECB Disappointment: 'We Do Not Expect Any Additional Easing To Be Announced", Goldman Warns





"we do not expect any additional easing to be announced in addition to the various measures adopted between June and September. We expect Mr Draghi’s remarks to be focused on the Comprehensive Assessment of Euro area banks, and on the fact that the decline in oil prices is lowering headline inflation in most advanced economies."

 
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US Pension Plans Need Massive $110 Billion In 7 Years, Moodys Warns





Thanks to improving life expectancy and the Federal Reserve's financial repression lowering yields, US company pension funds have been hit by a double whammy. As Moody's warns, companies will have to find $110 billion in the next seven years to fund pension liabilities shortfalls. Moody's adds, "given these increasing liabilities and cash drains, we expect to see an acceleration in lump sum offers," as firms try to deriskOf course, if the pension funds just followed Japan's lead and went all-in on stocks, there would be no problem, right?

 
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Thoughts On Election Day: Relax, Both Parties Are Going Extinct





"Whichever side emerges victorious, both Republicans and Democrats should face up to a much bigger truth: Neither party as currently constituted has a real future." On this, another election day sham, it is key to not get discouraged. Things are changing at the grassroots for the better. The battle of decentralization vs. centralization, networks vs. hierarchies, will not be easily won, but it will be won. Keep fighting.

 
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How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed





The Petrodollar, long serving as the US leverage to encourage and facilitate USD recycling, and a steady reinvestment in US-denominated assets by the Oil exporting nations, and thus a means to steadily increase the nominal price of all USD-priced assets, just drove itself into irrelevance. A consequence of this year's dramatic drop in oil prices, the shift is likely to cause global market liquidity to fall.  This decline follows years of windfalls for oil exporters such as Russia, Angola, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Much of that money found its way into financial markets, helping to boost asset prices and keep the cost of borrowing down, through so-called petrodollar recycling. But no more: "this year the oil producers will effectively import capital amounting to $7.6 billion.

 
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Thoughts On Prosperity In America





After peaking in 1999 at 37%, the prosperity line has gradually declined since, and is now sitting at 34%. In between there was a housing boom and a global financial crash, both with noticeable effects on the line. That decline may not sound like much, but it will take years to rebuild all that wealth – assuming that the economy is moving in the right direction. And it was exactly at the bottom of the earnings scale that things got pretty bad. People earning less than $35,000 per year went from 31% at the turn of the century to 34% today, more or less matching the decline in percentage points at the top of the table. The new century brought a lot more discomfort to a growing number of Americans, fueling a lot of talk recently about income inequality in the country. Therefore, despite all the subsequent economic growth, large fiscal stimulus packages, unprecedented Federal Reserve intervention and booming capital markets, we could say that PROSPERITY IN AMERICA PEAKED IN 1999!

 
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Who Will Suffer From A Leveraged Credit Shakeout?





Marty Fridson, CIO at Lehmann Livian Fridson Advisors, has been a leading figure in the high-yield bond market since it was known as the "junk bond" market — and he sees as much as $1.6 trillion in high-yield defaults coming in a surge he expects to begin soon... “And this is not based on an apocalyptic forecast,” he warns.

 
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Overnight Futures Fail To Ramp As Algos Focus On New York's First Ever Ebola Case





And just like that, the Ebola panic is back front and center, because after one week of the west African pandemic gradually disappearing from front page coverage and dropping out of sight and out of mind, suddenly Ebola has struck at global ground zero. While the consequences are unpredictable at this point, and a "follow through" infection will only set the fear level back to orange, we applaud whichever central bank has been buying futures (and the USDJPY) because they clearly are betting that despite the first ever case of Ebola in New York, that this will not result in a surge in Ebola scare stories, which as we showed a few days ago, may well have been the primary catalyst for the market freakout in the past month.

 
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Why Advertising Revenue At CNBC Parent Comcast Declined By 5%





"For the third quarter of 2014, revenue from the Cable Networks segment increased 0.7% to $2.3 billion compared to $2.2 billion in the third quarter of 2013, reflecting a 5.1% increase in distribution revenue, partially offset by a 4.6% decline in advertising revenue, primarily due to a decline in ratings."

 
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