Transparency

How Many Calories Does A Dollar Buy?

Whether you like it or not, America, the number of calories packed into fast-food eats are getting harder to ignore. McDonald’s, Subway and Panera Bread - and as of this week, Starbucks - have already begun voluntarily posting calorie counts on their menus, ahead of an anticipated federal mandate requiring all restaurants with more than 20 locations to do so. In the interest of openness and transparency, and as Marketwatch notes, assuming for a moment that you’re less worried about your waistline than about getting the most calories for the least amount of money, here are the highest-calorie menu items at 10 of the nation’s top fast-food restaurants offers the most bang for your buck.

Italy Embroiled In Latest Derivative Loss Fiasco Through Another Mario Draghi-Headed Scandal

It was roughly four years ago when details surrounding such Goldman SPV deals as Titlos first emerged, that it became clear how for over a decade, using deliberately masking transactions such as currency swaps, Greece had managed to fool the Eurozone into believing its economy was doing far better, and its debt load was far lower than it actually was in order to comply with the Masstricht treaty's entrance requirements. As for the Pandora's Box that was opened following the disclosure of just how ugly the unvarnished truth in Europe is, following the Greek disclosure, leading to the general realization that the European experiment has failed and it is now only a matter of time before its final unwind, any comment here is unnecessary - ths has been widely discussed here and elsewhere over the past several years. Now it is Italy's turn. Overnight, the FT reported that "Italy risks potential losses of billions of euros on derivatives contracts it restructured at the height of the eurozone crisis."

Guest Post: Extreme Energy, Extreme Implications

If oil and gas is a profoundly dynamic phenomenon, then so too must be environmental risk and conflicts over natural resources - and we are not getting the full picture from the mainstream media, according to Michael T. Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College. As risks multiply, conventional sources evaporate and we are left with “extreme” energy, renewables may be the only way to avoid war and disaster.

Pivotfarm's picture

China’s central bank issued a statement that the Chinese banking system had liquidity levels that were “reasonable” today. There by hangs a tale. ‘Reasonable’ is that which may fairy and properly be required of an individual (a case of prudent action observed under a set of given circumstances).

Guest Post: Who Are The Real Traitors?

Over the course of decades we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the love of material possessions, the lure of a debt based faux wealth, the money for nothing entitlement promises of dishonorable politicians, the evil of currency debasement, the effectiveness of mass media propaganda, and the belief that we could sacrifice freedom and liberty for promises of safety and security made by a cabal of powerful rich men. Power has been concentrated into the hands of the few, who operate in secrecy and despise the people. They don’t want transparency or open debate. Freedom of speech is nothing but a thorn in their side. They believe they are smarter than the serfs and have no morality when it comes to committing illegal acts and disregarding the Constitution. They are not acting in the public interest. Their abuse of power and looting of the national wealth have put us on a path towards a bloody revolution. This is not a time for conformity, obedience or submission. It’s time to stand up and expose the evil doers. It’s time to rally around those who care about this country. Who are the real traitors? You know the answer.

Pivotfarm's picture

G8: Smile!

Apparently, the highlight of the round-up of the G8 summit in Lough Erne might just have been that David Cameron went for a morning dip to swim a couple of lengths. That’s about as far as he might have got anyhow, considering that little all else was decided.

FOMC Scenarios And What's Priced In

While Fed officials are at pains to point out that their two policy tools (asset purchases and rates) the markets continue to link them and the latest increase in Taper chatter has dragged expectations for the first rate hike dramatically forward. Just a month ago, expectations were as late as Jan 2016 but Fed Funds futures have collapsed in recent weeks to imply rate hikes begin in Jan 2015 - a level of 'tightening' not seen since early Summer last year. Bernanke has stated that his communication is aimed at "reducing the risk that market misperceptions of [FOMC] intentions would lead to unnecessary interest rate volatility," but just as with Kuroda, the market seems to not be agreeing and, as we note below, there appears a good, bad, and ugly 'taper' scenario for today.

Google Challenges Surveillance Gag Order: Squares NSA Secrecy Against First Amendment

It appears that unlike the president, whose rating is plunging in the aftermath of PRISM-gate, US corporations are not eager to double down on their privacy intrusive ways, and some are becoming increasingly concerned about what all the recent exposure may do to their bottom line. Such as Google, which earlier today became only the first company to challenge the long-standing gag order issued by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), arguing that the company has a First Amendment right to speak about information it is forced to give to the government. From Google: "Greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately." And yes, GOOG, which once upon a time pretended its motto is "don't evil" and since transformed it to "be evil, just don't get caught", still refer to "constitutional rights" - how quaint.

Guest Post: Rumors Of OPEC's Demise Exaggerated

A mixed picture is starting to emerge from the Middle East in terms of oil production. Several members of the 12-member OPEC oil cartel are embroiled in turmoil or struggling to ensure post-war political gains. Oil production from the Middle East declined by 1.5 million barrels per day in 2009. Production from most Middle East countries has slowed down or leveled off, though gains from Iraq have offset some of those declines. With economic recovery seemingly on the horizon, a new OPEC may be developing from the ashes of the recession.

G-8 Signs Information Sharing Agreement To "Fight The Scourge Of Tax Evasion"

Anyone holding substantial deposits (read over $/€100,000) in G-8 banks: consider this your formal warning All data about such deposits will soon be shared among all "developed" countries, and any (every) country which needs to "resolve" its failing banking sector will use the Cyprus bail-in model and use "tax evaded" deposits to provide a liquidity buffer to its crumbling, and NPL-impaired assets. Oh, and what insolvent socialist manifesto can be released to the public without at least one mention of the phrase "fair taxes." Welcome to the second ComIntern, this time with extra global oomph.

Edward Snowden Is Conducting A Live Q&A Session

Eager to take advantage of NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden's current unincarcerated status and to ask him questions about his motives or thoughts? Here is your chance courtesy of the Guardian which is holding a live Q&A session with the famous leaker. As the Guardian notes: "He will be online today from 11am ET/4pm BST today. An important caveat: the live chat is subject to Snowden's security concerns and also his access to a secure internet connection. It is possible that he will appear and disappear intermittently, so if it takes him a while to get through the questions, please be patient." Some more from the Guardian:

  • Edward Snowden is answering your questions about the NSA leaks live
  • Post your questions in the comment section below and recommend your favorites
  • We are posting Snowden's replies above the line
  • You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #AskSnowden

The live blog can be reached at the following link.

Key Events And Market Issues In The Coming Week

In the week ahead, we get the usual middle-of-the-month batch of early business surveys, including the New York Empire, Philly Fed and Eurozone Flash PMIs. The second key focus will be a number of important monetary policy meetings, including the FOMC, as well as the Swiss, Norwegian Turkish and Indian policy decisions. The latter two are particularly interesting in the light of the recent EM weakness. The main event this weak will be the FOMC meeting after the recent market focus on the timing of tapering of the QE3 program. Swings in bond markets related to the FOMC meeting could be the primary source of FX volatility this week.