Reuters

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Pressures On The US Economy Just Increased





"Even if economic conditions continue improving, equity prices are bound to fall sharply at some point, inflicting painful losses on investors. This is what happened in 1987, roughly five years into the last structural bull market. Boom-bust cycles are inevitable because improving economic conditions encourage speculative excesses, which are then blown away as greed gives way to fear."

 
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The Iran Nuclear Talks (In 1 Lonely Photo)





With President Obama proclaiming this morning "it's too early to tell" if a nuclear-deal with Iran is still possible; and apparent confirmation this afternoon that differences are "still significant," the US is said to be discussing extending the nuclear-deal deadline. Yet again no consequences (for a newfound 'ally') and yet again John Kerry finds himself purposeless... and now we hear Vladimir Putin will be calling Iran's Rouhani tomorrow (one can only imagine the topic of conversation).

 
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Fear Of "Surge In Debt Defaults, Business Failures And Job Losses" Means Many More Chinese Rate Cuts





The PBOC, which cut rates for the first time in two years on Friday, will have its work cut out for it. And in the worst tradition of "developed world" banks, Beijing will now have no choice but to double down on the very same bad policies that got it into its current unstable equilibrium, and proceeds with a full-blown policy flip-flop, leading to a full easing cycle that reignites the bad-debt surge once more. And sure enough, today Reuters reports citing "unnamed sources involved in policy-making" (supposedly different sources than the unnamed sources Reuters uses to float trial balloons used by the ECB and the BOJ), that "China's leadership and central bank are ready to cut interest rates again and also loosen lending restrictions" due to concerns deflation "could trigger a surge in debt defaults, business failures and job losses, said sources involved in policy-making." In other words, China has once again looked into the abyss once... and decided to dig a little more.

 
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Why Tony Robbins Is Asking The Wrong Questions





Looking for answers to both financial safety as well as financial freedom in the same light or viewpoint where it seems one only needs to “think like a billionaire” or “tweak” or “slightly modify” perceptions on how one approaches these financial markets today – will hurt more than it will help. The Wall Street everyone believes they are dealing with today is just in name and memory. What made sense just 6 years ago not only doesn’t but rather if you try to apply any sense that resembles “common sense” you might as well be asking the Cheshire cat for a more straight answer. "How exactly are you handling the stresses and strains having to basically push sound fundamental theories or market underpinnings aside and now trade and position money at risk based solely on what some Central Bank will do next?" This is the avenue I wish Tony had driven or sought.

 
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The NYPD Does It Again





 
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The Average Hedge Fund Is Down -1% YTD, And The Redemption Requests Are Now Flooding In





A year ago, when we reported that "Hedge Funds Underperform The S&P For The 5th Year In A Row", we thought there is no way this underperformance can continue: after all who in their right mind could possibly anticipate that a "risk-free" centrally-planned world could last for 6 years (well, maybe the USSR). Back then we explained this now chronic, "new abnormal", regime as follows: "hedge funds are "hedge" funds and appear to have done a great job managing performance over time... but in the new normal world in which we live, where downside risk is irrelevant (until it runs you over), all that matters is return (not risk-reward)." And yes, as the chart below shows we were wrong: because as of this moment the average hedge fund is not only underperforming the market for a record, 6th year in a row but as Goldman pointed out last night, the return of the entire hedge fund universe as of NOvember 19 is... negative 1%.

 
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Frontrunning: November 21





  • They go all in: China’s PBOC Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2012 (BBG)
  • And all in-er: ECB's Draghi throws door to quantitative easing wide open as recovery wanes (Reuters)
  • Global Markets Rally: ECB Head Says Central Bank Is Ready to Expand Stimulus Program After China Cuts Rates (WSJ)
  • Obama unveils U.S. immigration reform, setting up fight with Republicans (Reuters)
  • U.S. increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Russia warns U.S. against arms to Ukraine as Biden due in Kiev (Reuters)
  • Ukraine slashed gold holdings in October, Russia added more - IMF (Reuters)
  • Abe Dissolves Japan’s Lower House of Parliament (WSJ)
 
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Wall Street Stunned As Iceland Dares To Jail Banker Involved In 2008 Crash





"this sentence is a big surprise to me as I did nothing wrong..."

 
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Ebola Remains a Risk - Deaths in Nebraska and New York





The Ebola crisis has faded from headlines but remains a risk after the death of another Ebola patient in Nebraska and the death of a suspected victim in New York yesterday. This brings the number of confirmed deaths to two in the U.S. and possibly three if the New York victim is confirmed as having had Ebola.

 
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Retail Rapture: UK Grocery Sales Drop 1st Time In 20 Years, Dollar General To Shut 4000 Stores





For the first time since it began collecting data in 1994, Kantar Worldpanel, the market researcher, reported a decline in UK grocery sales by value, as The FT reports the biggest UK grocers were "losing market share hand over fist," as analysts warn "there are phoney price wars, and there are real price wars. This is a real price war." This comes on the heels of Goldman report claiming 20% of British grocers are surplus to requirements. But it's not just Britain... in the the cleanest dirty shirt world-economic-growth supporting decoupled economy of the USA, Reuters reports Dollar General may need to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its acquisition of Family Dollar.

 
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Frontrunning: November 20





  • Banks Had Unfair Advantage From Commodity Units (Bloomberg)
  • Report Notes Deals Between Goldman, Deutsche and Others Drove Up Aluminum Prices (WSJ)
  • Goldman, Morgan Stanley Commodity Heyday Gone as Units Faulted (BBG) - because when you can no longer manipulate, you move on...
  • Lenders Shift to Help Struggling Student Borrowers (WSJ)
  • Immigrants face major hurdles in signing up to new Obama plan (Reuters)
  • Distressed Debt in China? Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Buyers Say (BBG)
  • Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds (Reuters)
  • Amazon Robots Get Ready for Christmas (WSJ)
 
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These 7 Firms Paid Their CEO Over 60% More Than Uncle Sam





Seven of the 30 largest U.S. corporations paid more money to their chief executive officers last year than they paid in U.S. federal income taxes, according to a new study by Center for Effective Government and Institute for Policy Studies. As Reuters reports, the study said the seven companies, which in 2013 reported more than $74 billion in combined U.S. pre-tax profits, came out ahead on their taxes, gaining $1.9 billion more than they owed... and at the same time their CEOs were paid - on average - over $17 million each. While some of the firms dispute the findings, the study concludes its findings reflected "deep flaws in our corporate tax system."

 
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Open The Floodgates: Chinese Inquiries On US Real Estate Soar 35% After Easing Of Visa Rules





In a nation in which 1 out of every 3 homes is unaffordable, you’d think the primary goal of public policy wouldn’t be to ensure real estate becomes even more out of reach for the average citizen. It’s bad enough that American financial oligarchs have leveraged free money polices of the Federal Reserve to purchase tens of billions of dollars in real estate only to rent it back to people who were kicked out of their homes during the 2008 crisis, but the government is now going out of its way to allow Chinese (and other foreign criminals) to launder money via U.S. property.

 
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Stunning Photos Of Record Snow Covering Upstate New York: 100 Total Inches Of Snow Expected





As previously reported, the anticipated Polar Vortex 2.0 has struck, pushing temperatures in all 50 states to below freezing, while heavy snow prompted a state of emergency in western New York and contributed to the deaths of four people. According to Reuters, it was the coldest November morning across the country since 1976, according to Weather Bell Analytics, a meteorologist consulting firm. It remains to be seen how many GDP percentage points were wiped out as a result, unless of course, this time it will be different from last winter. But it was the situation in upstate New York, especially around Bufallo and parts of Erie County, where things got most dire and where 60 inches (1.5 m) of snow accumulated, with more falling, said Steven Welch of the National Weather Service near Buffalo. It gets worse: forecasters are calling for more snow on Thursday, as much as three feet more, for a total of up to 100 inches over four days - a year's worth for the region!

 
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Gold Rises After Unusual Russian Central Bank Gold Buying Announcement





Russia’s central bank bought about 150 metric tons of the metal this year, announced Governor Elvira Nabiullina yesterday. The pronouncement immediately created buying in the market, prompting gold to rise to a two week high at $1,200 an ounce.

 
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