• Bruno de Landevoisin
    09/21/2014 - 14:52
    Dear Janet; If I may be so forward, as a concerned citizen of the Constitutional Republic of the United States, it is with great consternation that I feel compelled to write you this distressing...

Real estate

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US Equity Futures Unable To Rally Despite Avalanche Of Bad Global News





Something appears to have changed not only because the USDJPY is not some 100 pips higher overnight on, well, nothing but because the S&P, which is treading water, has yet to spike on no volume reasons unknown. That something may be algos which are too confused to buy ahead of this week's Fed announcement which may or may not have some notable changes in language or the Scottish referendum on the 18th. Or it could simply be that algos are no longer allowed to openly manipulate and rig the market on the CME as of today now that "disruptive market practices" are banned (why weren't they before)? In any case, keep a close eye on the market today: not all is at it has been for a while, unless of course it is still just a little early and the rigging algos (which haven't gotten the Rule 575 memo of course) haven't woken up just yet.

 
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Kohl's And The Rest Of The Retailers Are In Deep Trouble





When you see the headlines touting strong retail sales, you need to consider what you are actually seeing in the real world. RadioShack will be filing for bankruptcy within months. Wet Seal will follow. Sears is about two years from a bankruptcy filing. JC Penney’s turnaround is a sham. They continue to lose hundreds of millions every quarter and will be filing for bankruptcy within the next couple years. Target and Wal-Mart continue to post awful sales results and have stopped expanding. And as you drive around in your leased BMW, you see more Space Available signs than operating outlets in every strip center in America.

 
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Chinese Growth Slows Most Since Lehman; Capex Worst Since 2001; Electric Output Tumbles To Negative





China may need to expand its goalseek template to include the other far more important measure of Chinese economic activity, such as Industrial production, retail sales, fixed investment, and even more importantly - such key output indicators as Cement, Steel and Electricity, because based on numbers released overnight, the Q2 Chinese recovery is now history (as the credit impulse of the most recent PBOC generosity has faded, something we have discussed in the past), and the economy has ground to the biggest crawl it has experienced since the Lehman crash. What's worse, and what we predicted would happen when we observed the collapse in Chinese commodity prices ten days ago, capex, i.e. fixed investment, grew at the slowest pace  in the 21st century: the number of 16.5% was the lowest since 2001, and suggests that the commodity deflation problem is only going to get worse from here.

 
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Credit Suisse Warns Of "Self-Fueling Negative Feedback" In Scotland; Here's Who Is Exposed





Credit Suisse warns of a self-fuelling feedback loop of rising risks and costs to the Scottish financial and sovereign sectors, and a steady migration of capital, activity, jobs and taxes if the Scots vote "Yes". However, if the vote is a close "no", they warn "the cat is out of the bag," and risk remains.

 
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When A Hedge Fund Tells A Restaurant How To Cook





  • Olive Garden's breadsticks are part of the brand equity, as they come to every table. The breadsticks need to be of the highest quality, with a better taste and a firmer texture, and each table must receive hot breadsticks.
  • The pasta at Olive Garden must be significantly improved. It must be prepared at the proper water temperature, boiled in salted water, precisely timed to not overcook, and tossed with sauces for each dish instead of the current practice of ladling sauce on top of heaps of coagulated pasta.
  • We must rethink the amount of items from the flyer. Most fried foods are not authentically Italian and it slows service.
  • We will explore a few gluten-free options, as many consumers prefer gluten-free dishes (1) Based on extensive research and discussions with culinary experts and suppliers, we believe we can accomplish these goals at Olive Garden's current price points without hurting margins
 
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Frontrunning: September 12





  • Russia faces new U.S., EU sanctions over Ukraine crisis (Reuters)
  • Glasgow pulls no punches in welcome to 'Save the Union Express' (Guardian)
  • Pound Seen Tumbling Up to 10% on Scottish Yes Vote (BBG)
  • Moscow stifles dissent as soldiers return in coffins (Reuters)
  • Ukraine's leader sees no military solution of crisis, eyes reforms (Reuters)
  • Venezuela Threatens Harvard Professor for Default Comment (BBG)
  • Australia Raises Terror Alert to Highest Level in a Decade (BBG)
  • Activist Investors Build Up Their War Chests (WSJ)
 
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"Million-Dollar Parking Spots" – Peak Stupidity Has Arrived In Manhattan





What will $1 million buy in New York City? A diamond-encrusted Cartier men’s watch. A small fleet of 2014 Bentley Continentals. Or maybe your very own parking spot in SoHo... "Parking is in serious demand and has proven an excellent investment with no sign of a decline."

 
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How The China Boom Unravels: One Person At A Time





The dashing of youthful expectations of open-ended wealth and security for everyone with a college degree is highly combustible when combined with a popping real estate bubble, systemic corruption, the implosion of a shadow banking credit bubble and the impending global recession.

 
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Alan Greenspan's Nine Reasons "Why The Economy Stinks"





Yesterday, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was the keynote speaker at KPMG’s 2014 Insurance Industry Conference Tuesday, where he answered questions such as 1) where the economy is going, 2) why, and 3) when (if ever) is it likely to improve. The answers, as reported by Property Casualty 360, are: 1) nowhere fast, 2) because nobody is willing to invest, and 3) eventually, but nobody can tell when. He listed 9 specific reasons why the "economy stinks", although surprisingly, nowhere did he mention the fact that the current and future economic disaster is all a direct result of his ruinous reign at helm of the Fed where as a result of his "great moderation" and the Fed's catastrophic monetary policies conceived mostly under Greenspan himself, the economy is now perpetually stuck in a boom-bust cycle, and where every time a bubble bursts another has to replace it or else the entire western way of life will be gone in a heartbeat.

 
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Frontrunning: September 10





  • British PM begs Scots: Don't rip apart our UK 'family of nations' (Reuters)
  • Obama has become Bush: Obama’s Task: Rally U.S. Public, Allies in Terror Fight (BBG)
  • Alibaba's record IPO covered after first few roadshow meetings (Reuters)
  • Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years (BBC)
  • Combat Reversals Pressure Assad (WSJ)
  • Top LBO Fund Investors Pile on Leverage to Boost Returns (BBG)
  • BOJ's Iwata upbeat on economy, unfazed by post-tax hike slump (Reuters)
  • Carney Can’t Escape Housing as Debt Colors BOE Policy (BBG)
  • Detroit Clears Crucial Hurdle on Bankruptcy (NYT)
 
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US Equity Futures Levitate As Yen Fireworks Continue; All Attention Still On Scotland





While overnight US equity futures have done nothing notable, what everyone's attention has been fixed on, in addition to the GBP and the read-through to all things UK-ish ahead of the Scotland independence referendum, is the sudden flare up in USDJPY trading and volatility, which exploded by some 100 pips in the past 24 hours hitting fresh post-2008 highs, on what appears to be a major capital reallocation move (it surely is not driven by any news) and/or forced squeeze. What is more perplexing is the change in correlations signals, because while until recently the USDJPY was synonymous with the E-Mini, and thus the S&P, as of late the USDJPY pair has moved tick for tick with the 10Year yield: almost as if the NY Fed's favorite HFT trading shop was instructed to change its vast array of signal inputs away from the S&P and to force a gentle levitation in the 10Y.

 
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Trump Entertainment Files Bankruptcy For Fourth Time: Even The Donald Is Embarrassed To Be Associated





While the closing of Trumpe Entertainment was well-known, and a bankruptcy was speculated, as of moments ago it is now fact:

TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT SAID TO PLAN CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY FILING

Which means the Trump Entertainment brand, or whatever it will be called soon, has filed for bankruptcy for record 4 times in its brief but volatile history. It will certainly will not file for a 5th time.

 
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The China Boom Story: Alibaba And The 40 Thieves





Few dare ask if the Alibaba IPO isn't just the latest in an unending string of officially sanctioned thievery of the credulous or powerless. Is Alibaba worth $160 billion as advertised? Based on what earnings? By what accounting standards? How much of these net earnings will actually flow to shareholders? Or is the Alibaba IPO just another snatch-and-grab by U.S. investment banks anxious to skim their share of the China Boom Story before the whole flimsy backstage set implodes in the collapse of shadow banking and shoddy real estate development? We suspect the Alibaba IPO may well prove to be the high water mark of the China Boom Story in more ways than one...
 
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JPMorgan Stunner: "The Current Episode Of Excess Liquidity Is The Most Extreme Ever"





"The ECB's quantitative expansion is hitting the financial system at a time when broad liquidity is also very high. The rise in excess liquidity, i.e. the residual in the model of Figure 3, is supportive of all assets outside cash, i.e. bonds, equities and real estate. The current episode of excess liquidity, which began in May 2012, appears to have been the most extreme ever in terms of its magnitude and the ECB actions have the potential to make it even more extreme, in our view.... These liquidity boosts are not without risks. We note that they risk creating asset bubbles which when they burst can destroy wealth leading to adverse economic outcomes. Asset yields are mean reverting over long periods of time and thus historically low levels of yields in bonds, equities and real estate are unlikely to be sustained forever."- JPMorgan

 
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