Reality

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Underappreciated risks to electronic bitcoin and all forms of investments and savings today, including gold, that are held electronically come in the form of modern warfare - involving as it does cyberwarfare and electromagnetic warfare. No electricity and no computer or internet access and you cannot access your savings, investments and money ...

The FCC Issues its Proposal On Net Neutrality; Protesters Are Tossed from Hearing

As spring unfolds here in the Northern Hemisphere, the future of the free and open Internet hangs in the balance. As such, I strongly believe everyone should have at least some understanding of what is at stake. When most people hear or read the words “net neutrality” their eyes glaze over with a feeling of confusion and despair: “I can’t remember, am I supposed to be for or against this?” This is exactly how the lawyers and lobbyists in D.C. want it, but unless the citizenry is informed we could lose the most important weapon of free speech in the history of mankind. The FCC voted on its proposal this week and it passed with a 3-2 vote... and this is a glimpse of the "room full of lawyers and cops... and a few real human beings speaking reality to them" before they were escorted out.

The Real Reason Draghi Will Do "Whatever It Takes" To Crush The Euro

In November we showed a chart showing the yawning chasm of exuberant faith-in-Draghi hope that was 2013-to-2014 earnings growth expectations in Europe. At the time we remarked - now prophetically - how it would seem Draghi's "whatever it takes" confidence-inspiring orgy of European asset-buying had driven the EUR almost 20% higher from the 2012 crisis lows... and in the meantime had crushed European competitiveness. The hockey-stock hope at the end of 2013 has not materialized - surprise - in fact earnings growth expectations have utterly collapsed in the last 2 months... time for a "whatever it takes" to weaken the EUR jawboning soon (all without the aid of a fallacious and Treaty-busting OMT).

UMich Confidence Tumbles, Misses By Most In 8 Years

After April's confidence-inspiring reflexive rebound (thanks to hope for the future more than current perceptions) back near post-crisis highs, it seems the less-than-frigid-weather and record-er highs in stocks were not enough to maintain the status quo enhancing exuberance. UMich confidence dropped and missed expectations by the most since June 2006. Maybe its fears of El Nino? Maybe its concerns at the bond market signals? Or maybe - the reality is that the average joe is not as cock-a-hoop as the man-on-the-TV says he should be. Economic conditions dropped to their lowest since November. Higher highs in stocks and lower highs in confidence - not what the Fed wants.

Yen Carry Slide Drags Futures To Lows

The perfectly expected if completely irrational overnight ramp in various Yen carry pairs tried, and failed, and both the USDJPY and EURJPY were tumbling to overnight lows as we go to print. This is happening despite a rout in India in which Narendra Modi's opposition block is poised for the biggest Indian election win in 30 years, with his BJP party currently leading in 332 of 543 seat - an outcome that is seen as very pro business (and seemingly pro asset bubbles: the INR soared and the Sensex was up as much as 6% in intraday trading before paring virtually all gains following what many say was RBI intervention). And while the Nikkei (down 200 points) did not help the mood this move was mostly in response to yesterday's US selling, which means as usual the culprit for lack of algo risk-taking overnight has been the Yen carry, which moments ago hit intraday lows, and is increasingly flirting with the 101 level (after which double digits, and Abe's second resignation, come very quickly).

Guest Post: Why Belgium Can Never Work

The political situation in Belgium - as Europe heads into elections - could well be the writing on the wall for every European country. Economists and politicians love to juggle with figures in the trees so you can not see the forest. Economics is not always easy, but we have noticed that you can do it with an island of 100 people to make it understandable. Let's call this island "Rainbowland"... as we show below, you do not have to be a genius to realize that a country such as " Rainbowland" can not survive in reality.

When The Head Of The European Central Bank Lies To Zero Hedge On The Record: Presenting Europe's "Plan Z"

We are happy to report that Zero Hedge is the first media outlet that Mario Draghi has very publicly, officially, and on the record, lied to. Because as we learned overnight, Europe most certainly had a "plan in place so that the markets don't basically collapse." Only it wasn't as Margio Draghi called it, Plan B. It was a different letter of the alphabet. Thanks to the FT's Peter Spiegel we now know that just over a year ago, in order to preserve the myth that Europe's power echelons are so "confident" with the Eurozone staying together they did not even consider a break up as a potential outcome, Draghi explicitly and on the record lied.

Presenting Europe's Plan Z.

Don't Blame "Boomers" For Not Retiring

Regardless of which side of the low labor force participation rate argument you stand on, it is hard to argue that it is simply a function of retiring "baby boomers." While political arguments are great for debate, it is the economics that ultimately drive employment. While the Fed has inflated asset prices to the satisfaction of Wall Street, it has done little for the middle class. It is ultimately fiscal policy that will help business create employment, the problem is that businesses need less of it while government officials keep piling on more. In the meantime, stop blaming "baby boomers" for not retiring - they simply can't afford to.

Homebuilder Confidence Plunges To 12-Month Lows

For the 5th month in a row, homebuilder hope has missed expectations. At 45 (vs 49 expectations), this is the lowest the NAHB survey has been at since May 2013, catching down to the reality of home sales and mortgage applications. On the bright side, realtors can't help but feel thr turn is coming sometime soon - the "future" hope index rose to its highest since January as the "current" reality index drops to 12 month lows. The West region continues to tumble.

Wall Street Has Always Been Corrupt Or About To Be Corrupted

When obnoxiously wealthy pricks with the ability to bribe stock exchanges to place their trading computers on the floor of the exchange and financially induce the Wall Street banks to funnel trades through their dark pools in order to know what is happening a nanosecond before everyone else, and use this information to front run unknowing investors to generate risk free profits, it’s wrong. It really is black and white. I don’t care that it is supposedly “legal”.  By complying with Regulation NMS the smart order routers of institutional investor firms like Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab simply funneled naïve investors into various snares laid for them by the unscrupulous high frequency traders. The bad guys always win and the good guys always lose on Wall Street. And no one does anything because they are all on the take. Lewis puts it in terms the average person can understand.