Enter the Golden Dragon ... China is moving closer to positioning itself as the physical gold trading hub of the world and the world’s gold price discovery centre. It is a natural progression for the largest economy in the world and for the world’s largest gold buyer, importer and indeed producer. The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) is launching its yuan denominated international bullion trading exchange next month.
The world’s central bankers have given companies the urge to merge. Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity has already reached $2.2 trillion this year according to Thomson Reuters Deals Intelligence, up 70% from this time a year ago. The deals are big, with eight acquisitions, each over $5 billion, being announced in just a single week in July. However CEO buying sprees do not create new jobs and new products that make our lives better, but are instead just wasteful malinvestments that destroy capital. The cost of capital is integral to making these assumptions. The lower the assumed interest rate or cost of capital, the higher the price for the acquisition that the models will justify. Once interest rates go up, these valuation models will be blown to pieces.
The Ferguson Morning After: Police "Come Under Heavy Gunfire", Arrest 31 Including Photographer, JournalistSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2014 10:20 -0400
The local authorities have tried everything: aggressive police, appeasing highway patrol, curfew, no curfew, and last night, the national guard. Nothing seems to work. Because what until 9 pm was a peaceful protest, it quickly, as documented here extensively, spiraled out of control. And as the crowd advanced, police fired stun grenades and tear gas at protesters. This escalation allegedly happened after, as Reuters reports, the police came under heavy gunfire leading to the arrest of 31 people, including a famous Getty photographer and yet another journalist.
More than 7,000 troops from China, Russia and four central Asia countries have gathered in Inner Mongolia for their biggest joint drills "to fight terrorists," but as one analyst notes, "it is kind of rare to have an anti-terrorist mission which uses battle tanks." Furthermore, as part of a drill:
*RUSSIA TESTING S-300, S-400 SYSTEMS IN ASTRAKHAN REGION: RIA
So, surface-to-air missile tests? Not very "de-escalation"-y. Perhaps this statement is a clue, "we are trying to exercise together to coordinate our troops to meet any potential eventuality."
As many have observed since Obama launched his own personal Iraq war, there is something rather farcical about the latest US intervention in the middile east, namely that US weapons are being used to destroy US weapons, captured by and in possession of ISIS jihadists. As Reuters summarizes the situation, rather poetically, "Islamic State’s captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL?" In other words US taxpayers are now paying for military missions, in which US taxpayer paid-for warplans and missiles are used to blow up other US taxpayer paid-for tanks, artillery, MRAPs, and various other weapons of death. How much? Here is the answer...
Well that didn't last long...
*ISRAEL ARMY SAYS 3 ROCKETS WERE FIRED FROM GAZA
*ISRAEL ARMY SAYS ROCKETS LANDED IN OPEN AREAS, NO INJURIES
The Israeli military has declared the cease-fire broken. So this is the escalation that will enable a pent-up de-escalation buying opportunity?
- Just how many rats are there? Steven Cohen's Firm Loses Another Top Executive (WSJ)
- Iceland Sees a Potential Volcanic Eruption, and Airlines Cower (Bloomberg)
- Iraqi forces battle to drive jihadists from Saddam's home town (Reuters)
- Israel, Palestinians Agree to Extend Gaza Truce for 24 Hours (BBG)
- Pimco now buying junk (BusinessWeek)
- Pakistan arrests 147 in Punjab towns as protests in capital continue (Reuters)
- Ex-Rabobank Employee Pleads Guilty in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
- Ebola Orphans Targeted by Aid Groups as Newest Victims (BBG)
- Two California youths accused of plotting high school shooting spree (Reuters)
- Only Rich Know Wage Gains With No Raises for U.S Workers (BBG)
A quick reminder of how geopolitics governs markets: on Friday, the market plunged 0.005% over fears Ukraine and Russia may be about to go at it all out after a fake report Ukraine shelled a Russian military convoy. On Monday, the same "market" soared just under 1% as the news that had caused the "crash" was refuted. That has been the dominant rinse, repeat theme for the past month and will continue to be well after Yellen's Friday speech at Jackson Hole (although one does wonder why she is not speaking on Wednesday when the symposium begins). Not surprisingly, with only modest re-escalation news overnight (that Russia is preparing further retaliatory sanctions against the West), which is simply "pent up de-escalation" in the eyes of Keynesian algos, futures are again up a solid 0.2% and rising, and the way the rampy USDJPY is being manipulated before its pre-market blast off, we may well see the S&P hit 1980, if not a new all time high before 9:30am, let alone during today's cash session. In any event, whatever you do, don't you dare suggest that algos should care one bit about Ferguson and its implications for US society.
Over the past month ISIS has been getting angrier (""God Willing, We Will Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House" - A Deeper Look Inside ISIS") and angrier ("ISIS Issues Threat To White House; Secret Service Taking "Appropriate Steps") until today it released a video in which it warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if continuing US raids hit its militants. The video, released by Reuters, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood".
Eager to move on from Friday's disinformation fiasco, Ukrainian military spokesmen said the bus convoy had been in an area of fierce fighting between government forces and the separatists. As Reuters reports, it had come under fire from rebel Grad and mortar launchers, they said, causing an unknown number of casualties. And in keeping with the endless flow of BS emanating from east Ukraine, where civilians are merely collateral damage to an epic information war, and just to confuse everyone if not the algos which today are stricly in "de-escalation" mode, the separatists promptly accused Ukraine of the attack, when a rebel leader denied his forces had the military capability to conduct such an attack, and accused Kiev forces of regularly attacking the area and also using Russian-made Grad missiles.
While it remains to be seen if Obama can put an end to what has been the hottest M&A trend in 2014, namely engaging in tax redomiciling "inversion" deals, it is clear that the C-suite is delighted to continue pursuing deals which minimize the cash outflows to the US Treasury, with some 52 redomiciling deals done since 1983, 22 taking place since 2009 and another 10 being finalized and many more in the works. But what is the track record of tax inversions when it comes to the bottom line, namely investor returns. According to a Reuters calculation, "companies that have done such "inversion" deals have failed to produce above-average returns for investors."
National Guard Sent To Ferguson After Night Of "Molotov Cocktails, Shootings, Looting And Vandalism "Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/18/2014 07:42 -0400
After three consecutive days of rioting and looting in Ferguson, MO, despite a second night of curfews which was honored by few if any, Missouri's governor said on Monday he would send the National Guard into the violent suburb to "restore calm" after authorities forcibly dispersed yet another crowd overnight. Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order deploying the U.S. state militia, saying demonstrators had thrown Molotov cocktails and shot at police as well as a civilian, a description of the night's events diverging widely from some eyewitness accounts. State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told a late night news briefing: "Molotov cocktails were thrown, there were shootings, looting, vandalism and other acts of violence that clearly appear not to have been spontaneous."
- Yellen Dashboard Warning Light Glows as Millions Work Part Time (BBG)
- More US drones boosting global GDP: Unidentified war planes, explosions heard in Libyan capital (Reuters)
- London Home Asking Prices Plunge Most in More Than Six Years (BBG)
- Carney - Rate Hike before Pay Recovers (Times)
- No Fed fireworks, but plenty of clues, expected at Jackson Hole (Reuters)
- Kurdish, Iraqi forces in control of Mosul dam (Reuters)
- China Pushes Cleanup of Banks (WSJ)
- Russia Widens Ruble Trading Band in Move Away From Managed Rate (BBG)
- Dollar General Makes $9.7 Billion Family Dollar Counterbid (BBG)
- Autopsy finds unarmed teen killed by police was shot six times (NYT)
- Bull Market Waning as Barclays Sees 1% Gain for S&P 500 (BBG)
- Credit Suisse Caught Up in Espírito Santo Mess (WSJ)
The farcical process and complete lack of transparency would have to make any fair minded person concerned about the new LBMA Gold Price. The Gold Anti Trust Action Committee (GATA) will allege that the LBMA and the western bullion banks are engaged in a rebranding and repackaging exercise in order to maintain a cosy gold and silver cartel of bullion banks and ultimately control over precious metal prices.
As we reported last night, when the Ferguson curfew hitting at midnight, while most of the protesters dispersed, many still remained on the streets despite a clear warning by the police department that anyone still rioting/looting/protesting would be arrested. Which is when things went from bad to worse for yet another sequential night, and culminated with the arrest of seven people and the shooting of an unknown person who is currently in critical condition.