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Markets On Edge, Follow Every USDJPY Tick





It is still all about the Yen carry which overnight tumbled to the lowest level since November, dragging the Nikkei down by 4.8% which halted its plunge at just overf 14,000, only to stage a modest rebound and carry US equity futures with it, even if it hasn't helped the Dax much which moments ago dropped to session lows and broke its 100 DMA, where carmakers are being especially punished following a downgrade by HSBC of the entire sector.  Also overnight the Hang Seng entered an official correction phase (following on from the Nikkei 225 doing the same yesterday) amid global growth concerns and has filtered through to European trade with equities mostly red across the board. Markets have shrugged off news that ECB's Draghi is seeking German support in the bond sterilization debate, something which we forecast would happen a few weeks ago when we pointed out the relentless pace of SMP sterilization failures, with analysts playing down the news as the move would only add a nominal amount of almost EUR 180bln to the Euro-Area financial system. Elsewhere, disappointing earnings from KPN (-4.3%) and ARM holdings (-2.5%) are assisting the downward momentum for their respective sectors.

 
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Frontrunning: January 31





  • Even Obama's fans has turning on him: "The Decline and Fall of 'Hope and Change'"
  • European Stocks Drop, Head for Worst January Since 2009 (BBG)
  • Euro-Area Inflation at 0.7% Builds Rate Pressure on ECB (BBG)
  • Japan’s Inflation Accelerates as Abe Seeks Wage Gains (BBG)
  • Unpossible - this is the USSA: Detroit Debt Proposal Favors Pension Funds (WSJ)
  • Keystone Report Said Likely to Disappoint Pipeline Foes (BBG)
  • YHOO still pretending someone cares about it: Yahoo says detected hacking attempt on email accounts (Reuters)
  • How Google's Costly Motorola Maneuver May Pay Off (WSJ)
  • Mexico Surpassing Japan as No. 2 Auto Exporter to U.S.  (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: January 21





  • Hilsenrath: Next Cut in Fed Bond Buys Looms - Reduction to $65 Billion Could Be Announced on Jan. 29 (WSJ)
  • China Workforce Slide Robs Xi of Growth Engine (BBG)
  • Obama pulls the race card: Obama Says Race May Blunt Poll Standing in Interview (BBG)
  • Chinese firm's IPO deal switches banks as chairman's daughter moves from JPMorgan to UBS (SCMP)
  • China and Russia may hold joint naval drill in the Mediterranean (RT)
  • Iran invite to Syria talks withdrawn after boycott threat (Reuters)
  • Seven Chinese IPOs Halt Trading After 44 Percent Share  (BBG)
  • U.S. military says readying plans for Olympic security assistance (Reuters)
  • Thank you Bernanke: Investors Most Upbeat in 5 Years With Record 59% Bullish in Poll (BBG)
  • From His Refuge in the Poconos, Reclusive Imam Fethullah Gulen Roils Turkey (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: January 13





  • Full onslaught 1: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Aides Pressed Hard for Endorsements (WSJ)
  • Full onslaught 2: Feds investigating Christie's use of Sandy relief funds (CNN)
  • Iran nuclear deal to take effect on January 20 (Reuters), Iran to get first $550 million of blocked $4.2 billion on February 1 (Reuters)
  • Sen. McCaskill didn’t want to be in same elevator with Hillary Clinton (Hill)
  • The banks win again: Basel Regulators Ease Leverage-Ratio Rule for Banks (BBG)
  • Ireland's Rebound Is European Blarney (NYT)
  • Democrats prove barrier for Obama in quest for trade deals (FT)
  • Federal Reserve Said to Probe Banks Over Forex Fixing (BBG)
 
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Is Inflation Understated?





It’s ironic that in a day and age where Keynesian economics is the “accepted view” we still don’t pay enough attention to what Keynes said about inflation: "By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some..." The problem today is that some people believe inflation is lower than it actually is. The Consumer Price Index CPI is used to measure the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living. Now it measures the cost of maintaining a certain level of satisfaction. You can argue the magnitude of the inflation understatement but you can’t argue that the official numbers are accurate. Under reporting inflation has led to many predictable outcomes.

 
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Japan's Abe Explains Why Government Knows Best





Faced with dramatically declining demographics, sliding macro fundamentals, cost pressures on firm margins, slumping support among the people, and a recently rising JPY, Shinzo Abe, Japan's Prime Minister has decided an Op-Ed is the way to go to unveil his 'government knows better' concerted effort to raise Japanese worker's pay. The collective denial is strong among the leadership - no better expressed than this gem: "Abenomics, I am proud to say, has been successful in a more fundamental sense: we have rebooted Japan’s collective psyche." However, Abe's approval rating has never been lower - falling dramatically in the last month or two.

 
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Frontrunning: January 6





  •  'Life-threatening' cold bites Midwest, heads east (Reuters)
  • Gold Analysts Get Most Bullish in a Year After Rout (BBG)
  • Asian Stocks Fall Most in Three Weeks on China Services (BBG)
  • Angela Merkel in skiing accident, cancels visits (Reuters)
  • High-Speed Traders Form Trade Group to Press Case (WSJ)
  • Toyota and Honda post record China sales (FT)
  • China Shadow Banking Risks Exposed by Local Debt Audit (BBG)
  • J.P. Morgan to Pay Over $2 Billion to U.S. in Penalties in Madoff Case (WSJ)
  • Corruption trial of Trenton, N.J., mayor starts Monday (Reuters)
  • Car Makers at Consumer Electronics Show Tout Ways to Plug Autos Into the Web (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: December 30





  • Americans on Wrong Side of Income Gap Run Out of Means to Cope (BBG)
  • Michael Schumacher battles for life after ski fall (Reuters)
  • Professors for hire: Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward (NYT)
  • Chinese police kill eight in Xinjiang 'terrorist attack' (Reuters)
  • How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan (BBG)
  • Unemployment Benefits Lapse Severs Lifeline for Longtime Jobless (BBG)
  • Japan's homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up (Reuters)
  • China Local-Government Debt Surges to $3 Trillion (WSJ)
  • How unexpected: Britons less inclined to pay down mortgage debt (Reuters)
 
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Japanese Automakers Prepare For Abe 'Shrine Visit' Blowback





Japanese automakers may have regained some of their lost ground in China, though the recovery has come at a cost as they sacrifice profit for volume, but Abe's shrine visit may spark a repeat of last year when consumers boycotted Japanese cars, and thousands of Japanese cars were vandalized and businesses attacked by mobs (after the Senkaku debacle began). “The Japanese government is always making trouble," notes on potential Chinese car buyer, adding, "there are so many other choices, so why them? I know most of them are made in China now, but why help them make money?" In Shanghai, the Japanese consulate urged its nationals to be cautious as there’s a risk of worsening sentiment given the “strong anti-Japanese” tone in Chinese media reports.

 
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Frontrunning: December 19





  • Traders Seek an Edge With High-Tech Snooping (WSJ)
  • Gold Drops Below $1,200 an Ounce for First Time Since June (Bloomberg)
  • SAC Manager Guilty as Insider Focus Turns to Martoma (Bloomberg)
  • Why Ukraine spurned the EU and embraced Russia (Reuters)
  • Target confirms major card data theft during Thanksgiving (Reuters)
  • Zuckerberg is no suckerberg: Company to Sell 27 Million Class A Shares While CEO Will Offer 41.4 Million (WSJ)
  • Facebook, Zuckerberg, banks must face IPO lawsuit (Reuters)
  • Swiss Christmas Trees Feel Chill as Franc Helps Rivals (BBG)
  • Iran, six powers to resume nuclear talks after snag (Reuters)
  • Dolphins Suffering From Lung Disease Due to Gulf Oil Spill, Study Says (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: December 12





  • J.P. Morgan to Pay Over $1 Billion to Settle U.S. Criminal Probe Related to Madoff (WSJ)
  • Ford board aims to pin down CEO Mulally's plans (Reuters)
  • Raising Minimum Wage Is a Bad Way to Help People (BBG)
  • Japan Lawmakers Demand Speedy Pension Reform (WSJ)
  • EU reaches landmark deal on failed banks (FT)
  • In which Hilsenrath repeats what we said in August: Fed Moves Toward New Tool for Setting Rates (WSJ)
  • Senators Vow to Add to Iran Economic Sanctions in 2014 (BBG)
  • Centerbridge in $3.3bn LightSquared bid (FT)
  • Banks, Agencies Draw Battle Lines Over 'Volcker Rule' (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: December 11





  • Wall Street Exhales as Volcker Rule Seen Sparing Market-Making (Bloomberg)
  • GM to End Manufacturing Down Under, Citing Costs (WSJ)
  • U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Police Back Off After Failing to Stop Protest (WSJ)
  • First Walmart, now Costco misses (AP)
  • Dan Fuss Joins Bill Gross Shunning Long-Term Debt Before Taper (BBG)
  • China New Yuan Loans Higher Than Expected (WSJ)
  • China bitcoin arbitrage ends as traders work around capital controls (Reuters)
  • Blackstone’s Hilton Joins Ranks of Biggest Deal Paydays (BBG)
 
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Abe Approval Rating Plunges (But Japan Is Not Venezuela, Yet)





Japan's PM Shinzo Abe has seen his approval ratings collapse for the first time since his 'devalue-to-glory' strategy was unveiled a year ago. Kyodo News reported, support for Mr. Abe fell 10.3ppt to 47.6%, while Japan News Network reported a 13.9-point fall to 54.6% as WSJ reports, public concern over the controversial secrecy bill (designed by Kafka, inspired by Hitler) and its nationalist overtones merely exacerbated Japanese people's concerns about their pocketbooks (as incomes stagnate and costs rise). As Abe plays lip service to economic issues (with a very Maduro-like speech recently on profit margins and wage increases), there is little but public outrage to hinder his plans as his ruling Liberal Democratic Party has big majorities in both houses of parliament, with no election scheduled until 2016. So much for Abenomics...

 
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Auto Makers' Channel Stuffing Highest Since 2005





While the abundance of commercials for cars across all media this time of year is nothing new, the manufacturers (and even more so the dealers) are likely getting more desperate. As Bloomberg reports, inventory climbed to almost 3.4 million cars and light trucks entering November - at 76 days of supply, that was the highest for the month since 2005. This should come as no surprise as we previously noted GM's post-crisis highs in channel stuffing as hope remains high that the recent slowdown in sales does not continue. The question, of course, is, "will manufacturers be responsible and curb production to keep inventory in check, or are some going to resort to old, bad habits and churn it out and then throw incentives on them." We suspect we know the margin-crushing answer.

 
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Thanksgiving Frontrunning And Market Summary





  • The second coming of Obamacare website - will it work? (Reuters)
  • Winter Storm Moves North as Macy’s Waits to Make Parade Call (BBG)
  • Eyeing holiday sales, more U.S. retailers to open on Thanksgiving (Reuters)
  • It's all Verizon's fault: H-P Will Replace Verizon in Hosting HealthCare.gov Website (WSJ)
  • Bitcoin Service Targets Kenya Remittances With Cut-Rate Fees (BBG)
  • Embattled Thai PM easily survives no-confidence vote, protests persist (Reuters)
  • For U.S. stores it is ugly out there: in more ways than one (Reuters)
  • Japan and S Korea military flout China air zone rules (FT)
  • UBS Restructuring Forex Unit (WSJ)
  • Trader Messages Scrutinized as UBS Bans Chats Among Firms (BBG)
  • ECB warns on external risks to eurozone financial system (FT)
 
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