Testimony

"It's An Attack On Higher Education": Connecticut Seeks To Tax Yale Endowment As Plug To Surging Deficit

In the aftermath of Connecticut yield spreads blowing out to the widest ever over fears of surging budget deficits, a proposed Connecticut bill is seeking a share of Yale's endowment gains as a source of state tax revenue. According to the introduced legislature, schools with funds of $10 billion or more, which is clearly aimed at Yale as that is the only university to fit the criteria. Yale’s record $25.6 billion fund is the second largest in U.S. higher education.

The Stock Market Is A Monetary Policy Junkie - Quantifying The Fed's Unprecedented Impact On The S&P

The bulls will presumably argue that this Fed impact is now part of the accepted wisdom, and that P/Es should remain higher than history in order to reflect the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen Put. The bears will suggest that if ever there were a time for the scales to fall from investors’ eyes over the Wizard-of-Oz-like nature of the Fed, then this is it. We are inclined to the latter view. Betting on the Fed’s ability to generate continued market levitation seems like a dangerous game to us, but as Newton long ago opined, “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”

Explosive Accusation: Belgium Had "Advance And Precise" Warning About Terrorist Attacks, Did Nothing

In what, if true, is the most incendiary allegation of the day, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reports that Belgian security services and other Western intelligence agencies had "advance and precise intelligence warnings" regarding Tuesday’s bombings. According to the paper, "the security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the underground railway as well."

Brazil's President Digs In: "I Will Never Resign Under Any Circumstances!"

It's all falling apart for Brazil's embattled President Dilma Rousseff whose political career could be over in a matter of months. With the impeachment committee in place and VP Michel Temer's PMDB set to break from the government, the fate of Lula's Worker's Party hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, the economy continues to collapse as last month was the worst February on record for jobs. As for the central bank, Alexandre Tombini is attempting to use reverse FX swaps to keep the BRL just weak enough to help the economy adjust and just strong enough to permit a Selic cut (or two). What could go wrong?

Mystery Of New York Fed Robbery Has Central Banks Asking Who's Next

From the NY Fed, to a local branch of a commercial bank in the Philippines, to a remittances company, to three casinos, and then... nothing. A cold trail. Who's at the end of the central bank heist rabbit hole? And do any of the people along the paper trail actually know who's pulling the strings? 

Gawker Ordered To Pay Hulk Hogan $115 Million In Sex Tape Lawsuit

In a closely watched trial by the media community, shortly after 7pm on Friday night, and less than six hours after starting deliberations, the jury sided with ex-pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and awarded him $115 million in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker Media. The trial lasted two weeks. The award consists of $55 million for economic injuries, and $60 million for emotional distress. It may also mean the end of Gawker.

"It's All F**ked": Brazil Descends Into Chaos As Rousseff, Lula Wiretaps Trigger Mass Protests

On Wednesday evening, it all fell apart in Brazil when the judge spearheading government corruption probes released wiretaps which seem to prove that Dilma Rousseff indeed appointed former President Lula to chief of staff in order to shield him from prosecution. When the tapes were released, Congress broke into a shouting match and Brazilians poured into the streets in 17 of 26 states calling for an overthrow of the government.

Will The Fed Follow The BoJ Down The NIRP Rabbit Hole?

At this point, one wonders why any central banker would chase down the NIRP rabbit hole only to find themselves the protagonist in the latest retelling of "Krugman in Wonderland," but alas, the experiment continues. The only question now is this: will the FOMC take the plunge? Here's a chronological list of Fed NIRP commentary.

Fed Mouthpiece Parses Timid Janet's Latest Pronouncement

"Federal Reserve officials reduced estimates of how much they expect to raise short-term interest rates in 2016 and beyond, nodding to lingering risks to the economic outlook posed by soft global economic growth and financial-market volatility."

Al-Qaeda Robs US-Armed Syrian Rebels (Again), Takes TOWs, Ammo, Tank

In the latest embarrassment for US-armed and trained Syrian rebels, Division 13 was overrun in Maarat Numan on Sunday when al-Nusra (who has a history of making a mockery of the US effort in the country) seized TOWs, ammo, and armored vehicles. 40 FSA fighters were kidnapped. Meanwhile, The Pentagon wants to restart the ill-fated trained and quip program.