Reality

Europe Has A Solution For The Unemployment Problem: Fake Jobs

Candelia is one of a number of so-called “Potemkin” companies operating in France. Everything about these entities is imaginary from the customers, to the supply chain, to the banks, to the “wages” employees receive and while the idea used to be that the creation of a “parallel economic universe” would help to train the jobless and prepare them for real employment sometime in the future, these “occupations” are now serving simply as way for the out-of-work to suspend reality for eight hours a day.

In Denial: We Pursue Endless Growth At Our Peril

Humans desperately need a new story to live by. The old one is increasingly dysfunctional and rather obviously headed for either a quite dismal or possibly disastrous future. One of the chief impediments to recognizing the dysfunction of the old story and adopting a new one is the most powerful of all human emotional states: Denial. But here we are, 40 years after the Club of Rome and 7 years after the Great Financial Accident of 2008, collectively pretending that neither was a sign warning of the dangers we face -- as a global society -- if we continue our unsustainable policies and practices that assume perpetual growth.

Robert Shiller: Unlike 1929 This Time Everything - Stocks, Bonds And Housing - Is Overvalued

Q. How else does this period of apparent equity overvaluation compare to equity booms in the past?

Robert Shiller: This time around, bonds and, increasingly, real estate also look overvalued. This is different from other over-valuation periods such as 1929, when the stock market was very overvalued, but the bond and housing markets for the most part weren't. It's an interesting phenomenon.

Biker Breastaurant Shootout Arrests Threaten To Blow Hole In County Budget

In a hilariously absurd twist of fiscal fate, we can now add "incarcerated bikers" to the list of things which are imperiling state and local government finances in America. It should also be noted that this serves to validate an important point we made earlier this month. Namely, that when it comes to "true biker shootouts", accurately assessing the fallout ahead of time is virtually impossible.

Is The Oil Glut Real?

The age of propaganda is now upon us; where perception trumps the truth, until that is, the house of cards burns and falls, which it always does. With such blatant data manipulation going on, why shouldn’t we question the extent of stated “glut” in oil? The longer perception is distorted to create a false reality, the worse things will get in the end. We saw this before in 1999/2000 with the internet bubble and in 2008/2009 with the housing bubble, and it will not end well. If producers are dumb enough to get roped in to turning the spigot on when oil does rise (just as they appear to have done this morning) then, once again, prices won’t hold.

How Japan's Unemployment Rate Dropped Even As 280,000 People Lost Their Jobs

Yesterday Japan amazed everyone when it reported that its unemployment rate had dropped yet again, this time to 3.3%, the lowest since April 1997. The paradox is that while the number of Japan's unemployed dropped by 20,000, the number of those employed plunged by 280,000! Or as Goldman calls, it "growth in jobholders looks to have peaked amid a lack of recovery momentum in the economy"

Frontrunning: May 29

  • Former House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges (Reuters)
  • Blatter expected to win re-election despite soccer corruption scandal (Reuters)
  • NYSE Looks to Ease Late-Day Pileup (WSJ)
  • What Will Happen to a Generation of Wall Street Traders Who Have Never Seen a Rate Hike? (BBG)
  • Japan spending slump casts doubt on central bank optimism  (Reuters)
  • Unclear rules, market volatility take toll on bank capital  (Reuters)
  • Greece Told Budget a Red Line for Creditors Venting at G-7 (BBG)
  • The Economist Who Realized How Crazy We Are (Michael Lewis)
  • Pimco Said to Have Considered Goldman’s Cohn for Top Job (BBG)

The Stock Market - A Picture Of Excess

It is unknowable how much more pronounced these excesses can become, especially in light of extremely loose monetary policy around the world. Things could easily become quite dicey as soon as tomorrow, but it is just as easily possible that valuations will continue to expand for some time yet. However, these data do indicate one thing: risk has increased enormously, and it will keep increasing the longer the bubble persists. Frankly, the situation also scares us a bit, because we expect that governments and their agencies (such as central banks) will find it extremely difficult to deal with the next crisis. They have become quite overstretched as a result of the last one. After having gone “all in” last time around, what are they supposed to do for an encore? The only options that come to mind are repressive measures such as capital controls, confiscation of private wealth, and a host of other unpleasantries.

Oil Prices Drop To 7-Week Lows - Here's Why

WTI Crude hit new 7-week lows, dropping below $57 (front-month) for the first time since April 15th's 'inventory draw' rip. In addition to reports from Reuters of leaked details about OPEC not expectated to cut production (did anyone really expect that), a combination of renewed inventory builds (as reported by API last night) and reports that Iraq is increasing its supply to new record highs is forcing futures prices to catch down to physical markets.

Virtu Revenue In Peril: Reuters, BATS Launch Crackdown On Algo FX Manipulation

Recall that back in December it was first reported that both Deutsche and Barclays "algos" were busted for FX rigging: something we alleged was taking place about 3 years ago. And now, six months later, exchanges are finally admitting that this too conspiracy theory was in reality fact, and quietly have started to clean up their game before the DOJ comes knocking. As the WSJ reports, Thomson Reuters Corp. and BATS Global Markets Inc. will limit the practice known as “last look", also known as quasi-FX spoofing, on their platforms in coming weeks "in a move aimed at increasing transparency in the foreign-exchange market.""