Treasury Department

Attention Finally Turns To Saudi Arabia's "Secret" US Treasury Holdings

If you were wondering how much US debt Saudi Arabia holds, you're out of luck because as it turns out, that's a state secret protected by a decades old "unusual Treasury blackout." “It’s mind-boggling they haven’t undone it. The Treasury didn’t want to offend OPEC [but] it’s hard to justify this special treatment at this point.”

When Correlation Is Causation - The Most Important Chart In The World If You're A Realtor In London Or NYC

If ever there was any doubts about the narrative of freedom-seeking China capital outflows driving the irrationally exuberant prices of homes in some of the world's largest cities to record highs, the following two charts will extinguish them entirely. As China continues to strengthen (as quietly as possible) its capital controls to slow the leak of money from the devaluing currency nation, and US authorities clamp-down on the anonymity of cash-only transactions, realtors in NYC, Miami, and London better hope that correlation is not causation.

The End Of The Luxury Housing Boom: US Treasury Launches Crack Down On Secret Buyers Of Luxury Real Estate

“We are seeking to understand the risk that corrupt foreign officials, or transnational criminals, may be using premium U.S. real estate to secretly invest millions in dirty money,” said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery. “Cash purchases present a more complex gap that we seek to address. These GTOs will produce valuable data that will assist law enforcement and inform our broader efforts to combat money laundering in the real estate sector.”

Obama To Hit New "Friend" Iran With Fresh Sanctions Over Contested Ballistic-Missile Program

On the heels of a “close call” in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, Washington is preparing new sanctions against a handful of companies and individuals tied to Tehran’s ballistic-missile program. "We've been looking for some time‎ at options for additional actions related to Iran's ballistic missile program based on our continued concerns about its activities,” an unnamed US official says. Iran calls the new actions "illegal."

Dave Barry Answers - Was 2015 The Worst Year Ever? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

We apologize, but 2015 had so many negatives that we’re having trouble seeing the positives. It’s like we’re on the Titanic, and it’s tilting at an 85-degree angle with its propellers way up in the air, and we’re dangling over the cold Atlantic trying to tell ourselves: “At least there’s no waiting for the shuffleboard courts!” Are we saying that 2015 was the worst year ever? Are we saying it was worse than, for example, 1347, the year when the Bubonic Plague killed a large part of humanity? Yes, we are saying that.

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Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has been telegraphing to markets that they are going to raise the fed funds rate by 25 basis points next month at its December Fed Meeting.

Frontrunning: November 20

  • French, U.S. Troops Enter Mali Hotel as Gunmen Hold Hostages (BBG)
  • Top suspect seen on CCTV in metro during Paris attacks (Reuters)
  • Paris Attacks’ Alleged Ringleader, Now Dead, Had Slipped Into Europe Unchecked (WSJ)
  • Global shares march on as alarm bells ring for metals (Reuters)
  • European Stocks Rise With Asian Shares as Zinc, Ringgit Advance (BBG)
  • World leaders arrive for summit amid heavy security (Reuters)

Futures Rise, Global Stocks Set For Best Week In Six Unfazed By Terrorism Concerns

Futures are modestly higher in early trading having tracked the USDJPY once again almost tick for tick, with the carry trade of choice rising to 123 shortly after Mario Draghi's latest speech pushed the dollar strong initially only to see most gains promptly evaporate against both the Yen and the Euro. European shares are likewise little changed, after gaining earlier, while Asian stocks rise; oil also advanced in early trading only to drop to its lowest overnight level moments ago, a few dimes over $40, with aluminum and copper both posting modest increases.

Welcome To Crickhowell - The Entire Welsh Town That Just Went 'Offshore'

Angered that Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. pay very little tax, an entire town in Wales decided to employ the exact same tax strategies used by big companies to reduce their own tax burdens. As the proprietor of the local smokery put it, the plan is "jolly clever." Doing this is not immoral or unpatriotic.