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Obamacare Data Hub Crashes For Second Time In Three Days, Verizon Blamed Again

The first and last time a critical data center for Obamacare crashed this past Sunday night, leading to becoming completely inaccessible and thus halting enrollment (assuming there had been any in the first place but of course allowing the government to blame any lack thereof on Verizon), we said "whether or not Verizon fixes the glitch any time soon, or merely lets it linger, one thing is becoming obvious: the Obamacare delay, which was hard fought by the Teaparty, and which was so opposed by the administration leading to the grotesque 16 day government shutdown, has all but become a reality with every passing day. Only instead of someone actually taking responsibility, said delay will be scapegoated on Verizon's data centers, faulty fiber-optic and copper cables, Cisco switches, Syrian hackers, millions of lines of faulty (Fortran?) code, inept contractors, end users who never read the Help.doc file, and everyone and everything else. Just never the government itself." Once again, we were proven correct when overnight the Connecticut state healthcare exchange, "Access Health CT", announced that the Obamacare data hub was "experiencing an outage" on Tuesday evening. The culprit - Verizon once again. Which answered our question: not Syrian hackers or Cisco but, conveniently, Verizon Terremark.

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Frontrunning: October 29

  • U.S. spy chiefs face Congress amid spying rift with Europe (Reuters)
  • Deutsche Bank income hit by €1.2bn of legal provisions (FT)
  • China's second tapering attempt fails: China central bank seeks to reassure money markets after rate spike (Reuters)
  • UBS Takes Action Against Staff in Foreign-Exchange Probe (WSJ)
  • Saudi Arabia frees man jailed for Mohammad tweets (Reuters)
  • Tax Revolts Hit Hollande as Farmers, Soccer Clubs Protest (BBG)
  • German parliament to meet over U.S. spying scandal (Reuters)
  • Google Nears Smartwatch Launch (WSJ)
  • How to end gridlock in DC? Pork projects (Reuters)
  • UBS ordered to increase capital reserves (FT)
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Ohio Runs Out Of Pentobarbital, Can't Execute Convicts

Ohio said on Monday that it does not have enough of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital to carry out a scheduled execution next month. As Reuters reports, Ohio is the latest U.S. state to face a scarcity after the European manufacturer banned its sale for lethal injections of prisoners sentenced to death. The European Union is opposed to the death penalty (physical as opposed to economic) and has put pressure on US States to stop the practice. If only there was an anonymous online exchange where 'drugs' could be bought and sold to meet the demands of those looking for a quick fix (or multiple executions) despite the oversight of various freedoms by governments.

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Superstorm Pounds UK: Leads To Deaths, Black Outs, Traffic Suspensions And Flight Cancelations

Almost exactly one year after Superstorm Sandy crushed the eastern seaboard of the USA, and 26 years after the last devastating storm to hit the south of England, the so-called St.Jude's Day storm - among the worst in recent memory - is battering the UK (and some of Europe) with winds up to 99 mph. So far there are 2 reported deaths, 220,000 homes without power, all SouthWest trains halted, and over 130 flights cancelled at Heathrow airport. Two nuclear plants have been shutdown and hundreds of trees have fallen blocking roads and rail links across as the storm begins to shift into mainland Europe...

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Critical Obamacare Data Center Crashes On Sunday

If Churchill were alive today, he would probably characterize the rollout of Obamacare as a humiliation, wrapped in an embarrassment, inside a mockery-punching bag injury. And overnight, in addition to all the other well-known gremlins that have plagued America's socialized healthcare from Day 1, insult was added injury, following a Reuters report that a "data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law went down on Sunday, halting online enrollment for all 50 states." In other words, on top of and in addition to all the other bad coding and website processing issues that have been exposed and promptly scapegoated on other (you see Obama knew all about the successes, but nothing about the failures of Obamacare), now the internet itself is starting to glitch up. Which is hardly surprising considering Al Gore's involvement in the latter.

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Frontrunning: October 28

  • Budget deficit priorities people: U.S. NSA spied on 60 million Spanish phone calls in a month (Reuters)
  • Stuck in countless scandals, Obama does what he does best: speak. Obama To Speak At Installation Of FBI Director James Comey (TPM)
  • Five killed as car ploughs into crowd in Beijing's Tiananmen Square (Reuters)
  • U.K. Storm Brings Power Cuts, Snarls Transport in South (BBG)
  • China Signals ‘Unprecedented’ Policy Changes on Agenda at Plenum (BBG)
  • Sandy's Legacy: Higher Home Prices (WSJ)
  • Merkel Enters Concrete SPD Talks as Finance Post Looms (BBG)
  • Keep arming those Syrian al-qaeda rebels: Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq (WaPo)
  • J.P. Morgan's Mortgage Troubles Ran Deep (WSJ)
  • Detroit’s public library contains story of city’s decline (FT)
  • Argentina elections: President loses in Buenos Aires province (BBC)
  • Phone-hacking: trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to begin (Guardian)
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Detroit Pensioners Face Miserable 16 Cent On The Dollar Recovery

As Citi's Matt King recent showed, when it comes to stepwise, quantum leap repricings of widely held credits, the revelation is usually a very painful, sudden and very dramatic one. This can be seen nowhere better than in the default of Lehman brothers, where while the firm's equity was slow to admit defeat it was nothing in comparison to the abject case study in denial that the Lehman bonds put in. However, as can be seen in the chart below, when it finally came, and when bondholders realized they are screwed the morning of Monday, Septembr 15 when the Lehman bankruptcy filing was fact, the move from 80 cents on the dollar to under 10 cents took place in a heartbeat.It is the same kind of violent and anguished repricing that all unsecrued creditors in the coming wave of heretofore "denialed" municipal bankruptcy filings will have to undergo. Starting with Detroit, where as Reuters reports, the recovery to pensioners, retirees and all other unsecured creditors will be.... 16 cents on the dollar!...  or less than what Greek bondholders got in the country's latest (and certainly not final) bankruptcy.

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LBO Multiples: The Latest Credit Bubble 2.0 Record

This week marked what we suspect will become an important inflection point when the world looks back at this debacle of a bubble. The Fed, having already warned in January of 'froth' in credit markets (and ths the fuel for 'hope' in stocks) proposed tougher underwriting standards for leveraged loans. Credit markets have underperformed since; but as Diapason Commodities' Sean Corrigan notes, the baleful impact of the central banks is still everywhere to be seen in the credit markets. From junk issuance to the rapid regrowth of the CDO business to the 'record' high multiples now being exchanged for LBOs; Central Banker's monomaniacal fixation on zero interest rates and artificial bond pricing is setting us up for the next, great disaster of misallocated capital and malinvested resources.

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Feds Confiscate Record $29 Million BitCoin Booty From Dread Pirate's Hard Drive

When three weeks ago, the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht - the creator of the now shutdown Bitcoin-only "alternative" marketplace Silk Road also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, some were surprised that the Feds only confiscated about $3.6 million worth in Bitcoins from Ulbrecht. Proving all doubters wrong, and that creating the first "libertarian" marketplace not subject to any rules and regulations, not to mention fiat monetary constraints, actually does pay quite well, moments ago it was revealed that Federal prosecutors had found an additional $29 million, or 144,336 BitCoins, belonging to the Dread Pirate. According to Reuters, the booty was discovered on "computer hardware" belonging to Ulbricht. The repossessed electronic money, whose encryption technologies seem to leave a bit to be desired, has now been impounded and will likely remain on the FBI's hard disks indefinitely.

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Germany Wants A German Internet To Keep The NSA Out

As the 'diplomatic' debacle continues to rage between the US and Europe (most loudly France and Germany) over the Obama administration's ongoing eavesdropping on its allies' cell phones, Reuters reports that (state-backed) Deutsche Telekom is calling for German comms companies to cooperate to shield local internet traffic from foreign intelligence services. "It is internationally without precedent that the internet traffic of a developed country bypasses the servers of another country," notes one academic, warning that if more countries wall themselves off, it could lead to a troubling "Balkanisation" of the Internet, crippling the openness and efficiency that have made the web a source of economic growth. Despite Obama's denials, the situation is not fading away, and Germany and France continue to demand a "no spying" agreement.

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Frontrunning: October 25

  • Contractors describe scant pre-launch testing of U.S. healthcare site (Reuters)
  • Carney Says BOE Revamp Offers Wider Access to Cheaper Funds (BBG)
  • Help wanted in Fukushima: Low pay, high risks and gangsters (Reuters)
  • Merkel and Hollande to change intelligence ties with US (FT)
  • Twitter IPO pegs valuation at modest $11 billion (Reuters)
  • NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts (Guardian)
  • Officials alert foreign services that Snowden has documents on their cooperation with U.S. (WaPo)
  • Scottish Nationalists Lose Vote After Plant Threatened With Axe (BBG)
  • Fernández contemplates a train wreck in Argentine elections (FT)
  • Irish Government will consider ‘best options’ for bailout exit (Irish Times)
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Japan Drowns In Food, Energy Inflation; China's Liquidity Tinkering Continues As Does SHIBOR Blow Out

Nearly one year into the Japan's grandest ever monetization experiment, the "wealth effect" engine is starting to sputter: after soaring into the triple digits due to the BOJ's massive monetary base expansion, the USDJPY has been flatlining at best, and in reality declining, which has also dragged the Nikkei lower dropping nearly 3% overnight and is well off its all time USDJPY defined highs. But aside for the wealth effect for the richest 1%, it is not exactly fair to say that the BOJ has done nothing for the vast majority of the population. Indeed, as the overnight CPI data confirmed, food and energy inflation continues to soar "thanks" to the far weaker yen, even if inflation for non-energy and food items rose by exactly 0.0% in September. Oh, it has done something else too: that most important "inflation", so critical to ultimately success for Abenomics - wages - is not only non-existant, in reality wages continue to decline: Japanese labor compensation has been sliding for nearly one and a half years!

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Guest Post: The Growing Rift With Saudi Arabia Threatens To Severely Damage The Petrodollar

The number one American export is U.S. dollars.  It is paper currency that is backed up by absolutely nothing, but the rest of the world has been using it to trade with one another and so there is tremendous global demand for our dollars.  The linchpin of this system is the petrodollar.  For decades, if you have wanted to buy oil virtually anywhere in the world you have had to do so with U.S. dollars.  But if one of the biggest oil exporters on the planet, such as Saudi Arabia, decided to start accepting other currencies as payment for oil, the petrodollar monopoly would disintegrate very rapidly.  For years, everyone assumed that nothing like that would happen any time soon, but now Saudi officials are warning of a "major shift" in relations with the United States.  In fact, the Saudis are so upset at the Obama administration that "all options" are reportedly "on the table".


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Frontrunning: October 24

  • Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On (BBG)
  • More Democrats voice Obamacare concerns as website blame goes around (Reuters)
  • Contractors Point Fingers Over Health-Law Website (WSJ)
  • Jury Decides Against BofA on 'Hustle' Program (WSJ)
  • Credit Suisse to overhaul interest rates trading business (FT)
  • Home Builders Target Higher End (WSJ)
  • The Many Lives of Iron Mountain (NYer)
  • Busy tourist season nudges Spanish unemployment lower (Reuters)
  • Morgan Stanley Joins BofA in Broker Recruiting Truce (BBG)
  • Ending World’s Longest Nonstop Flight Adds Five Hours (BBG)
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Guest Post: America Held Hostage On The Edge Of Constant Crisis

America, as a nation and a culture, is now being held hostage and tortured into submission on a grand scale using economic terror by the elitist establishment which dominates BOTH major political parties.  The goal?  To push our society to conform completely with the concepts of globalization, bureaucratic micro-management, and greatly reduced living standards.  We are being conditioned to accept defeat and failure, and like children, to cry out for a parental authority to save us in our state of helplessness and fear, even if that authority was the cause of our fear from the very beginning. With so many near misses culminating so close together, it may be wise to consider what could happen in the the next three months while we wait for debt debate theater part deux.  Like a prisoner in Abu Ghraib, America is trapped, waiting for the next humiliation, the next degradation, or the next session of pain.  Are we merely being acclimated to the idea of incessant crisis?  Are we learning to become apathetic at the edge of the chasm?  Or, are we being driven to madness, mass-madness, by a concert of  elitist interrogators seeking our acquiescence? Again, the central purpose of torture is to acquire consent.  Not just extorted consent, but voluntary consent. The globalist establishment wants us to beg them to save us from the tortures they create.  If we never give them this, they will never win.

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