Transparency

Stanley Druckenmiller's World View: "Catastrophic" Entitlement Spending, "Bizarre" & "Illusory" Asset Markets, & Beware The Taper

During an extended interview with Bloomberg TV, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller provided a seemingly fact-based (and non-status-quo sustaining, commission-taking, media-whoring) perspective on a very wide variety of topics. The brief clips below touch the surface, with the detailed annotated transcript below providing details, as Druckenmiller opines on the looming catastrophe in entitlement spending "when you hear about the National debt being $16tn; if you actually took what we promised to seniors and future taxes, present value to both of them, that number is $200tn," why the Fed exit will be a big deal for markets, "it is my belief that QE has subsidized all asset prices and when you remove that, the market will go down," and his changing views on Obama "I was drinking the hope and change Kool-aid... in hindsight, he probably needed more experience for this job." Looking back to the financial crisis, he warns, "...a necessary condition to have a financial crisis, in my opinion, is too loose monetary policy that encourages people to take undue risk and go on the risk curve and do silly things. We should have shut this down in 1998, 1999. The NASDAQ bubble, we should have raised rates, we didn’t. Then we got the implosion."

The Complete German Election Preview: The Worst Case Scenario

The 2013 German federal elections may bring about pretty complicated results. With Merkel's junior coalition partner's (FDP) support dropping below the mandated 5% to enter parliament (according to polls), as Deutsche Bank notes, there is no point in working through the numerous possible coalition scenarios and options. In that case, the task of governing Germany and providing joint leadership in European affairs will become much more complicated than it used to be in normal times of a clear-cut victory for one camp. All inter-camp coalitions may well have a built-in tendency towards paralysis and require special political tricks that allow the partners to show their true colors in clearly circumscribed policy issues while not rocking the boat. A few years from now, September 22, 2013, might be remembered as the day when German politics finally became normally complicated, as in other countries, too. There are two major political narratives that appear dominant currently.

 

Labor Force Participation Crisis? Don't Blame Demographics!

The Labor Force Participation Rate - in English, the percent of the population that is either in a job or looking for a job - fell yesterday to fresh 35 year lows. This is not a new trend, in fact since the end of 1999 (the dot-com bust) it has trended lower from well over 67% to the current 63.2%; which means the current unemployment rate would be almost 11% if the labor force was constant from when Obama took office. There appear to be at least four reasons (excuses) put forth for this dismal 'structural' trend but chief among them - and propagandized by most in the mainstream (given its lack of 'blame') - is the so-called 'aging of America' or demographics. There is only one problem with that 'myth'; it's entirely inconsistent with other Western economies who are experiencing exactly the same demographic shift. The collapse in the US labor force is, in fact, due to excess credit having fueled artificial growth for 3 decades; and now a government throwing free money at the population in the form of disability insurance (which has surged) and student loans (which are exponentially exploded). So who (or what) is to blame for the US' collapsing workforce? Simple, the unintended consequences of government interference.

Bond Blowout Starts Event Extravaganza Day

Just when the market thought it had priced in a new equilibrium without (or with - it is not quite clear) a Syria war, here comes Thursday with a data dump that will make one's head spin. Central bankers are once again on parade starting overnight, when the BOJ announced no change to its QE program and retaining its monetary base target of JPY270 trillion. The parade continues with both the BOE and ECB, the latter of which is expected to address the recent pick up in Eonia rates and take praise for the recent very much unsustainable "recovery" in the periphery even as Germany continues to slide lower (this morning's factory orders plunged 2.7% on exp. -1.0%), which in turn lead the Bund to pass above 2.0% for the first time since March 2011. Speaking of bonds blowing out, the US 10Y is now just 6 bps away from 3.00%, the widest since July 2011, and likely to breach the support level, taking out a boatload of stops and leading to the next big step spike in rates as the second selling scramble ensues. And just to keep every algo on its binary toes, today we also get a NFP preview with the ADP private payrolls at 8:15 am (Exp. 180K, down from 200K), Initial Claims (Exp. 330K), Nonfarm Productivity and Unit Labor Costs (Exp. 1.60% and 0.9%), Factory Orders (Exp. -3.4%), Non-mfg ISM  (Exp. 55), Final Durable Goods, EIA Nat Gas and DOE Crude Inventories, oh and the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg where Putin and Obama are not expected to share much pleasantries, and where John Kerry's swiftboat may not be allowed to dock.

Frontrunning: September 3

  • Mediterranean 'Ballistic Targets' Were Part of Israeli Test – Defense Ministry (RIA)
  • Microsoft to Buy Nokia’s Devices Unit for $7.2 Billion (BBG)
  • Long-Term Jobless Left Out of Recovery (WSJ)
  • Swiss banks apologize for assisting tax cheats (Reuters)
  • As Obama pushes to punish Syria, lawmakers fear deep U.S. involvement (Reuters)
  • India Looking to Expand Rupee-Payment System (WSJ)
  • Citigroup Dialing Back Its 'Alternative' Holdings (WSJ)
  • Libya Seeks New Solutions to Oil Crisis (WSJ)
  • Lenovo Chief Yang Shares Bonus With Workers a Second Year (BBG)

Fiction, Fact... Or Scandal?

* * * We make no claims that any of the presented is in any way accurate or representative of the truth. It is sourced from a "hack" by €Wagn3r of what the hacker purports to be numerous emails of one Colonel Anthony James MacDonald, his wife, and various other "Pentagon officers." However, if accurate, the exposed data sheds some critical, if circumstantial, light on the events that transpired in the days ahead of the Wednesday, August 22 "nerve gas" chemical attack alleged to have been executed by Syria's president al-Assad, and presented "beyond a doubt" as such, and as the basis for full-scale military operations and "surgical strikes" targeting Syrian assets, which in the coming days will involve a Congressional vote to determine the fate of the Syrian government and ostensibly of ten of thousands of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. While we doubt the Pentagon, the US Military, or any person in the administration will officially address these "hacked" emails, the world has a right to be aware of the existence of this information, and to come their own conclusions about the veracity of the official "case" for Syrian involvement * * *

How The Times Have Changed: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam Use Chemical Weapons

Remember all of the propaganda ahead of the USA’s “democracy unleashing” invasion of Iraq in 2003. It went something like this: “We have evidence that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and even worse he has a histroy of using them, even against his own people!” Well unsurprisingly, Mr. Hussein had a little help from his friends. The United States of America. Let’s bear this in mind as our Noble Peace Prize winning President attempts to involve us in another unconstitutional war based on the fact that chemical weapons have been used. The message is clear: one man's propaganda bogeyman is another (CIA supported) man's mustard gas.

Julian Assange Reveals "Google's Covert Role In Foaming Uprisings"

It has been revealed, thanks to Edward Snowden, that Google and other US tech companies received millions of dollars from the NSA for their compliance with the PRISM mass surveillance system. So just how close is Google to the US securitocracy?

"Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do"

That Google was taking NSA money in exchange for handing over people’s data comes as no surprise. When Google encountered the big bad world, Google itself got big and bad.

BATS And DirectEdge To Merge, Terms Not Disclosed

When you add High Frequency Trading exchange 263 and  High Frequency Trading exchange 264 (read all about DirectEdge over the years here), you get a whole lot of happy algos. It also means that MtGox is on its way to becoming the world's most stable exchange. We now expect the market to crash in celebration. We joke, of course, but if anyone trips over the BATS extension cord that sends AAPL under $500 and the NYSE Arca and NASDAQ shutting down again, we take no responsibility. Finally, in continuing the spirit of full transparency and openness of everything HFT-related, the terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

What's Driving Treasury Yields?

The 10Y Treasury yield has jumped nearly 130bp from its low point in early May. Given the tight ranges and low volatility of yields during the most of QE era, this kind of move in just over 3 months seemed stunning to some investors. Consequently, the question that has come up often recently is: what has been driving Treasury yields? As UBS' Boris Rjavinski notes, several years ago a rate strategist would give you a straightforward and predictable answer: inflationary expectations, economic growth projections, and current and future monetary policy. But now, as Rjavinksi notes, central banks and politics in the driver seat. Volatility will remain elevated as we await key messages from the Fed in September, and U.S. political calendar will start to heat up as we approach the “drop-dead” dates to fund the government and extent the dent ceiling.