Russia is trying to provoke the West once again...
- Ruble Sinks to 80 a Dollar Defying Surprise Russia Rate Increase (BBG)
- Oil slumps near $59 for first time since 2009 on oversupply (Reuters)
- Oil sinks, Russian moves fail to quell nerves (Reuters)
- Fed Seen Looking Past Low Inflation to Drop ‘Considerable Time (BBG)
- Students Among Dead as Pakistan Gunmen Kill 126 at Army School (BBG)
- Repsol to buy Talisman Energy for $13 billion (Reuters)
- Indonesia’s Rupiah Erases Decline After Central Bank Intervenes (BBG)
- Anti-Islam Rally Grows as Immigrant Backlash Hits Europe (BBG)
- Saudi Arabia is playing chicken with its oil (Reuters)
Silver bullion demand remains very robust as silver stackers continue to stack. 2014 has been another record-breaking year at the U.S. Mint which has sold 43.3 million silver eagle coins – up from 42.7 million coins last year.
The Russian Ruble has collapsed this morning. Despite a modest dead-cat-bounce-like rally in crude oil, the Ruble is down almost 3 handles smashing through the 61/USD level for the first time ever. Minutes after flash-crashing to 61.46/USD, officials, according to Reuters, halted trading in certain instruments to “prevent possible manipulation of equity futures market." Russia's 5Y CDS has broken above 500bps for the first time since 2009 (+21bps today), the RTS stock market is down over 6%, and 5Y bond yields are pushing towards 13%. It seems Putin is increasingly being put under pressure to do something...
- Sydney Siege Sparks Muslim Call for Calm Amid Backlash Fear (BBG)
- Oil Spilling Over Into Central Bank Policy as Fed Enters Fray (BBG)
- Biggest LBO of 2014: BC Partners to acquire PetSmart for $8.7 billion (Reuters)
- Tremble algos: the SEC has hired... "QUANTS" (WSJ)
- When the bubble just isn't bubbly enough: There’s $1.7 Trillion Locked Out of China’s Stock Rally (BBG)
- Oil price slide roils emerging markets, yen rises (Reuters) - may want to hit F5 on that
- Libya Imposes Force Majeure on 2 Oil Ports After Clashes (BBG) ... and will resume production in days
- Amid Crisis, Pimco Steadies Itself (WSJ)
Sydney Hostage Standoff Update: 5 Escape, Gunman Identified; Demands Islamic State Flag, Conversation With Prime MinisterSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/15/2014 07:27 -0500
The Sydney hostage standoff at the Lindt chocolate store on Martin Place continues well into its 13th hour, where the latest news is that five people have escaped with others still held inside as neighboring blocks remain locked down, authorities said ABC reports. The first three people who fled sprinted out of the Lindt Chocolat Cafe about six hours into the standoff, while two women wearing aprons frantically ran from a side exit and into the arms of heavily-armed SWAT team police officers waiting outside. At the same time, media personalities said they received calls from hostages during the standoff. It remains unclear exactly how many people remain inside the cafe.
In space, no one can hear you scream... unless you happen to be Venezuela's (soon to be former) leader Nicolas Maduro, who has been doing a lot of screaming this morning following news that UAE's Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut crude output "even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel" and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting.
One month ago, shortly after we reported that "Silver Coin Sales At US Mint Soar To Highest In Two Years" we learned that the "US Mint Sells Out Of Silver Eagles Following "Tremendous" Demand." That, however, did not prevent the mint from selling just about 5 million ounces in the period since the announcement, and as Reuters reported last week, "Strong investor demand lifted American Eagle Silver Bullion coin sales to a record for the second straight year, the U.S. Mint said on Tuesday." For those confused, it is clear that another year of record demand for physical silver explains why the price of silver is down 12.5% in 2014 after being down 36% last year. Why? Because as we said a month ago, "when it comes to precious metals, thanks to the BIS and the central banks, Paper beats Rock every time."
Who said economics can’t be fun?! How is it not absolutely brilliant that in the face of a collapsing shale oil industry – or at least, for the moment, of its financing model -, and the worst week for the Dow since 2011, the Thomson Reuters/UofMichigan consumer sentiment index shows American consumers are more optimistic than they’ve been in 8 years, and that “more consumers volunteered good news than bad news than in any month since 1984?? 1984! How does one trump that as a contrarian signal? And that I don’t mean to sound funny: that is serious.
Thousands Of Protesters Swarm Washington, NYC: "Don't Expect To See Obama Here, Black Issues Don't Matter To Him"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/13/2014 13:12 -0500
Those planning on visiting (or merely driving around) Washington or New York City today may want to consider a plan B. As Reuters reports, "thousands of demonstrators were expected in Washington and New York on Saturday to protest the killings of unarmed black men by U.S. police and to urge Congress to protect citizens. Organizers said the protests would be among the largest over police tactics and the killings of black males by officers in New York, Cleveland and Ferguson, Missouri. “It’s open season on black people now,” New York march co-organizer Umaara Elliott said in a statement. “So we demand that action be taken at every level of government to ensure that these racist killings by the police cease.”
While the price of oil is plunging, other price components are spiking higher...
- Oil slide hits European stocks, safe-haven assets sought (Reuters)
- IEA Cuts Global Oil Demand Forecast for 4th Time in Five Months (BBG)
- Cue constant pro-Abe propaganda out of Japan: Japan’s Secrecy Law Takes Effect as Abe Seeks Fair Vote Coverage (BBG)
- As if it has a choice: Japan’s GPIF Bets on Abenomics-Driven Recovery (WSJ)
- Heather Capital: How a $600 Million Hedge Fund Disappeared (WSJ)
- Senate Panel Votes to Authorize U.S. War on Islamic State (BBG)
- Japan’s 28 IPOs in 11 Days Give Abe a Lift as Startups Boom (BBG)
- U.S. authorities face new fallout from insider trading ruling (Reuters)
- Greek Stock Rout Means ASE Is 2014 Worst After Russia (BBG)
New oil projects are being scrapped in Norway amid falling production and low oil prices. The governor of Norway’s central bank says western Europe’s biggest oil producer is facing a major economic slowdown as crude prices continue to plunge. As Bloomberg reports, Oeystein Olsen said today after unexpectedly cutting rates and shocking markets to a new 5 year low in NOKEUR, "our job now is that we need to prevent a severe downturn in the economy... that is presently the major concern of the board."
Just 2 short months ago we noted S&P's warning that Greece will default again within 15 months and following comments by Prime Minister Samaras that the market's drop is due to fear that Syriza will win an early election and seek a Greek exit from the Euro. Pressuring parliamentarians and the public alike, he stated "the choice is simple," warning that Greek financing needs are only covered through the end of February without further aid from the EU (but we thought they were 'recovered'). Greek stocks have crashed further, Greek default risk has spiked, and 3Y bond yields are now well north of 10% (138bps inverted to 10Y).