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The Decline Of Small Business And The Middle Class





It is not coincidental that the middle class and small business are both in decline. Entrepreneurial enterprise and small business have long been stepping stones to middle class incomes and generational wealth, i.e. wealth that is passed down to future generations rather than consumed. As the headwinds to entrepreneurial enterprise and small business rise, the pathway to middle class prosperity narrows.

 
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Frontrunning: May 9





  • Omnicom, Publicis call off proposed $35 billion merger (Reuters)
  • Apple in talks for $3.2bn Beats deal (FT)
  • Alibaba IPO Grew Out of ’80s Chaos and Guy From Goldman (BBG)
  • Nigeria's president at WEF pledges to free kidnapped girls (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Joins Wells Fargo in Rolling Out Jumbo Offerings (BBG)
  • It's 1999 all over again: Young Bankers Fed Up With 90-Hour Weeks Move to Startups (BBG)
  • ECB stimulus talk knocks euro, peripheral yields (Reuters)
  • Deutsche Bank Currency Crown Lost to Citigroup on Volatility (BBG)
  • London Taxis Plan 10,000-Car Protest Against Uber App Use (BBG)
  • Pfizer Holders Could Face Tax Hit in a Deal for AstraZeneca (WSJ)
 
Tyler Durden's picture

Leaked Documents Show How Blackstone Fleeces Taxpayers Via Public Pension Funds





The following story by David Sirota at PandoDaily is simply excellent. It zeros in on the secretive and rapidly expanding relationship between private equity firms and the public pensions that invest in them. It shows a crony capitalist love affair greased by lobbyist influence peddlers known as “placement agents”, as well as non-public agreements between PE firms and public pensions chock full of conflicts of interest, extremely high fees and underperformance. Unbelievably, in many instances the trustees of the public pensions are not allowed to know what funds the “fund of funds” invest in. This makes due diligence impossible, and in one particularly egregious example it led the Kentucky Retirement Systems to unknowingly invest in SAC Capital despite the fact it was under SEC investigation at the time.The chief villain in this article will be no stranger to readers of this site. It is Blackstone...

 
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IMF Approves Loan (To Pay Ukraine's Gazprom Bill): Putin 1 - 0 IMF





After 'billing' Ukraine this morning, Gazprom must be jubilant this evening as news exudes from Washington that...

  • *IMF APPROVES UKRAINE LOAN OF $17 BLN OVER TWO YEARS
  • *UKRAINE EXPECTS FIRST TRANCHE OF IMF AID MAY 5-MAY 8: FIN MIN

But,

  • *IMF SAYS IMMEDIATE UKRAINE LOAN DISBURSEMENT TO BE $3.2 BLN

So that won't even cover the $3.49bn they already owe to Gazprom? (In fact, $2.2bn is approved for dissemination to Gazprom)

 
Tyler Durden's picture

In Latest European "Stress Test" Farce, ECB Assumes No Deflation Even Under Severe Systemic Shock





Earlier today the EBA published its common methodology and scenario for the 2014 EUwide bank stress test. The adverse scenario covers the period 2014 to 2016 and at least on the surface is generally tougher than the adverse scenarios in previous similar exercises, resulting in a severe negative deviation of EU GDP growth of 7% from its baseline level by 2016. So far so good. But where the whole thing disintegrates into yet another sham spectacle confirming just how insolvent European banking truly is, is one simple observation: not even under the adverse scenario does the ECB contemplate the possibility of deflation!

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Death & Taxes: A Letter From A Private Banker





One of the founding fathers of the United States famously remarked that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. And as tax day rolled around once again in the US, individuals the length and breadth of the country were participating in the annual ritual of filing their income tax returns with the federal government. Outside of the United States, banks, custodians, brokers and investment advisers are also working to meet a tax deadline coming soon—registration with the United States Internal Revenue Service to comply with FATCA. And so the diminished privacy that has become a feature of our modern lives now looks set to pervade the conventional banking system. Citizens will render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but the wisest among them will continue to avail of the privacy and asset protection offered in certain jurisdictions.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Guest Post: When Will Capitalism Come To Wall Street?





Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what Capitalism is all about,” and nowhere is this description more embraced than on Wall Street. There, the idea of the meritocracy, where those that produce the most financial value get to take home the biggest rewards is almost a cliche  All of which begs the question, why do most hedge funds exist?  If Capitalism existed on Wall Street, and compensation was tied to the creation of economic value, most of the “absolute return industry” would go out of business. To understand why, we need to go back a decade.

 
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Ruble Tumbles Despite Russian Rate Hike





The USDRUB rate is back above 36.00 - nearing its record lows - despite a surprise Russian rate hike this morning aimed at stalling the capital outflows. It seems Lavrov's comments that Kiev will face "bloody justice" geopolitical angst is trumping any arbitrage or macro data flows for now. Russian stocks are also fading.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

China Goes Dark: PBOC To Keep Goldbugs Clueless About Its Gold Buying Spree





Now that everyone is breathing down the PBOC's neck to finally reveal - with a five year delay - just how much gold it does hold, the Chinese central bank has done a U-turn on its indirect transparency and, as Reuters reports, has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, "in a move that would help keep purchases by the world's top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves."

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Sorry Janet: Technology Is Deflationary





We all know the Federal Reserve is terrified of deflation, because they keep telling us that deflation is the equivalent of death and inflation is the equivalent of oxygen. What they fail to mention is that inflation is only oxygen for debtors barely able to service their debt and those who profits from debt, i.e. bankers and financiers. For everyone earning a wage or salary, inflation is the equivalent of death by a thousand cuts and deflation is the elixir of life. When prices decline, our money goes further, i.e. our purchasing power increases. Only bankers, governments and other parasites that live off the carrion of debt fear deflation and try to destroy the purchasing power of wages with everything in their power.

 
Capitalist Exploits's picture

A Blueprint for Investing in Frontier Markets





The majority of global growth in the next decade will instead be generated by "frontier markets". in fact, over the past five years, 43 of the 47 highest-growth economies have come from the frontier.

 
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