Movement in the autonomous vehicle space accelerated once again. Four ex-Google engineers, including the man who built Google’s first self-driving car, announced “Otto”, an autonomous truck retrofitting business. The service isn’t vaporware. “Otto” is currently operating on Nevada highways.
The object of this exercise appears to be perpetual debt-servitude as well as placing almost everyone fully and finally under the complete control of the powers that be, who are no longer just the powers in government. The distinction between state power and corporate power is so blurry now as to be almost impossible to parse. The two are effectively the same thing, working hand in hand for their mutual benefit
- Trump, Clinton press closer to general election showdown (AP)
- Acela primaries: Winners, losers (Hill)
- Trump Says He's `Presumptive Nominee' as Clinton Wins Four (BBG)
- In the battle for Hollywood endorsements - and cash - Clinton rules (Reuters)
- U.S. Oil Rises Above $45 a Barrel for First Time Since November (BBG)
- Spin: Near-Zero Growth Happens Often in Slow-Motion U.S. Economy (BBG)
- Futures sharply higher as oil extends gains (Reuters)
- Global Stocks Gain on Rising Commodities Prices, China (WSJ)
- Pound in freefall as Boris Johnson sparks Brexit fears (Telegraph)
- Pound Slides Most Since 2009 as Johnson Backs ‘Brexit’ Campaign (BBG)
- Oil Glut Will Persist Into 2017 as IEA Sees Prices Capped (BBG)
- Japanese Seeking a Place to Stash Cash Start Snapping Up Safes (WSJ)
- World shares heat up as Bank of Japan goes sub-zero (Reuters)
- Stocks Rally With Bonds as BOJ Ends Grim January on High Note (BBG)
- Japan Follows Europe Into Negative Interest Rate Territory (WSJ)
- Decision On Oil Cut Only Possible If All Exporters Agree, Russian Energy Minister Says (BBG)
- Trump overshadows Republican debate even as he sits it out (Reuters)
- Trump skips debate, wins on social media (Reuters)
Outspoken UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has received numerous death threats during his tenure as a European parliamentarian, spoke for the first time last night about being the victim of an assassination attempt after his car was sabotaged, causing a terrifying motorway crash. As The Daily Mail reports, Farage careered off a French road after a wheel on his Volvo came loose while he was driving from Brussels back to his home in Kent. When the police arrived at the scene, they told him that the nuts on all of the wheels had been deliberately unscrewed...
- The World's Richest People Got Poorer This Year (BBG)
- Oil hovers near 11-year lows on abundant supply, slowing demand (Reuters)
- Oil-Producing States Battered as Tax-Gushing Wells Are Shut Down (BBG)
- A Bold Few Traders Earn Billions Flouting Rivals (WSJ)
- Islamic State ruling aims to settle who can have sex with female slaves (Reuters)
- Winter Storm Snarls Republican Presidential Traffic (BBG)
- Donald Trump Urges Supporters to the Polls (BBG)
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.
- Stock futures little changed as Yellen comments awaited (Reuters)
- Draghi stimulus hint underpins stocks, knocks euro (Reuters)
- Black Friday's Losing Its Mojo and Retailers Might Be Relieved (BBG)
- Macy’s Fights Downward Spiral With Bet on Off-Price Backstage Stores (WSJ)
- Greece Comes to a Standstill as Unions Turn Against Tsipras (BBG)
- Euro zone production falls more than expected in September (Reuters)
- Valeant played a key role in building, operating Philidor RX (Reuters)
Yesterday morning, when previewing the day's tumultuous events, we said that "Futures Are Firm On Hope Draghi Will Give Green Light To BTFD." And boy did Draghi give a green light, that and then some, when his press conference unleashed one of the biggest one-day US equity rallies in 2015. This morning it has been more of the same, with global market momentum on the heels of Draghi's confirmation that Europe's economy is again backsliding (it's a good thing, if only for stocks), leading to momentum for US equity futures, which together with soaring tech/cloud, earnings if no other, are on their way to take out recent all time highs.
It is a generally quiet week on the economic front, with updates mostly on the housing front where following today's euphoric NAHB Housing Market Index, we have housing start and permits, blaims and existing home sales. Elsewhere, Fed speakers continue to speak, with Lacker, Dudley (again) and Powell confusing traders once more. The big news this week is earnings as some of the most prominent companies report, including IBM, Verizon, GM, Ebay, Coke, Boeing, Amazin, AT&T, CAT, Microsoft and P&G.
Some people will never learn... ever. What is happening today is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The iceberg has been struck, we’re taking on water, and this sucker is going to sink. Game Over.
It's time to trade in your Jag, Mercedes, BMW (and maybe your Prius, Volvo, Lexus, etc.) before the Days of Rage start. The resistance will take the form of subverting the signifiers of wealth that exemplify the few who have benefited so greatly while everyone else lost ground.
"China, the world’s largest car market by sales, has been the main engine of profitability for the likes of BMW, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz car division and Audi in recent years, helping paper over structural weakness in Europe. But according to one Chinese dealer representative: “the cash cow is dying”.