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China’s Monumental Debt Trap - Why It Will Rock The Global Economy





Needless to say, Greece is only the poster child. The McKinsey numbers above suggest that “peak debt” is becoming a universal condition, and that today’s Keynesian central bankers and policy apparatchiks are only pushing on a giant and dangerous global string. So now we get to ground zero of the global Ponzi. That is the monumental pile of construction and debt that is otherwise known on Wall Street as the miracle of “red capitalism”. In truth, however, China is not an economic miracle at all; its just a case of the above abandoned Athens stadium writ large.

 
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"We Just Need To Print More Money" Bank Of Japan's New Board Member Clarifies Endgame





The Abe administration nominated a major proponent of reflationary monetary policy to the central bank’s board, buttressing Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s efforts to save the nation from the dread of deflation. As Bloomberg reports, economist Yutaka Harada, who will replace Ryuzo Miyao, has said Japan can beat deflation by printing money in a 2013 book "Reflationary Policy Revives Japan’s Economy." So far that is not working so try harder... “The nomination is a good news for Kuroda... he will keep a majority on the board and win what he wants." Why such good news? As deputy director at the finance ministry’s Policy Research Institute, Harada exclaimed, "we just need to print money."

 
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These Are The "Highest Conviction" Hedge Fund Strategies And Most Crowded Trades





What are the other "highest conviction trades", i.e., most crowded trades, for the hedge fund community? SocGen has the answer.

 
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Frontrunning: February 4





  • Arab World Unites to Condemn ‘Barbaric’ Death of Jordanian Pilot (BBG)
  • Jordan hangs two Iraqi militants in response to pilot's death (Reuters)
  • As Oil Prices Climb, Some Harbor Doubts (WSJ)
  • Taiwan plane cartwheels into river after take-off, killing at least 19 (Reuters)
  • Seven dead as commuter train hits car near New York City (Reuters)
  • Apollo’s 600% Profit on Oil Company Leaves Rivals Behind (BBG)
  • Greece's rock-star finance minister Yanis Varoufakis defies ECB's drachma threats  (Telegraph)
 
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These Were The Best Performing Assets In Volatile January





Much was said about the outperformance of the Nikkei relative to other asset classes in various months in 2014. Outperformance in Yen terms that is: for 2014 the Nikkei was actually down in USD terms. However, somehow we doubt if as much will be said about January's best performing asset - again, in local currency terms - which was the Russian stock market. Actually, come to think of it, we doubt anything will be said in the mainstream media about January's two best performing assets in USD terms either: silver and gold.

 
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Asian Markets In Turmoil - Weak Japanese Bond Auction; Surprise Aussie Rate Cut; India Holds Rates, Cuts Reserve Ratio





UPDATE: *INDIA'S CENTRAL BANK KEEPS BENCHMARK POLICY RATE AT 7.75%, CUTS SLR TO 21.5% OF NDTL FROM 22%

UPDATE: Dow Futs -80 points, S&P Futs -9pts

Following the 15th surprise rate cut of 2015 (Singapore, Europe, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Peru, Albania, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, Russia and now Australia), the Aussie Dollar has cratered to its lowest since May 2009 against the US Dollar at 0.7650 (and bond yields crashed by the most since 1997 to record lows). Aussie stocks kneejerked higher (on an extremely dovish RBA statement) but are fading (as are Chinese stocks). Perhaps even more concerningly indicative of the central banks losing control, following this morning's weak Japanese auction (or more properly expressed - BoJ monetization farce), USDJPY (under 117), Japanese stocks (down 350 points from US session highs), and JGBs (yields up 6-8bps) are all being sold.

 
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"Warren" Tops "Clinton" & "Bowling" Beats "Facebook" - Social Engagement & Investing In Q1 2015





Hillary Clinton isn’t a lock for the 2016 Elections: Google searches for US Senator Elizabeth Warren surpassed the former US Secretary of State just last month with a ratio of 6 to 5. Interest in bowling (+85% since October) is growing faster than Facebook (-4%) and Youtube (-2%), and there is a lot more interest in smoking marijuana than tobacco (58 vs. 19 on average). Those are just three of the surprising findings from ConvergEx's latest survey of social engagement using Google Trends.

 
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The Euro Tragedy & Its Consequences For Gold





Until now, central banks have restricted monetary policy to domestic economic management; this is now evolving into the more dangerous stage of internationalisation through competitive devaluations. The gold price is an early warning of future monetary and currency troubles, and it is now becoming apparent how they may transpire. The ECB move to give easy money to profligate Eurozone politicians is likely to have important ramifications well beyond Europe, and together with parallel actions by the Bank of Japan, can now be expected to increase demand for physical gold in the advanced economies once more.

 
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Bill Gross Slams Broken Capitalism: "Policymakers Must Promote A Future Which Offers Hope As Opposed To Despair"





"Officials at the Federal Reserve – the most powerful and strongest of Parker Brothers – seem to now appreciate the hole that they have dug by allowing interest rates to go too low for too long.... While there is no better system than capitalism, it is incumbent upon it and its policymakers to promote a future condition which offers hope as opposed to despair. Capitalism depends on hope – rational hope that an investor gets his or her money back with an attractive return. Without it, capitalism morphs and breaks down at the margin. The global economy in January of 2015 is at just that point with its zero percent interest rates."

 
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Chinese Stocks Drop 3rd Day In A Row On Margin Crackdown As Yuan Tumbles To Record Discount Versus Fix





Chinese stocks are trading lower again (on margin crackdowns) - the first 3-day drop in 3 weeks - back into the red year-to-date. Despite weakening the fix this evening, the 'market price' for USDCNY is trading at a record 1.93% discount to the official rate - inching ever closer to the 2% peg limit. At 6.2522, the market is just 40 pips away from forcing policy makes to intervene (selling the USD and and buying Yuan) - which realistically is perhaps a positive for the Chinese to unload some USD reserves. This move comes as China’s currency overtook Canada’s dollar to rank fifth for global payments last month with a record market share of 2.17% and HSBC this evening forecast the Yuan will overtake the Japanese Yen as Asia's most-used Global FX in Q2. De-dollarization continues...

 
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What Would You Do?





Suppose you could print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Fun, you think? Here's how it plays out. 

 
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The Surprising Consequences Of The Global Frenzy For Positive Yield





As central banks rush to depreciate their currencies and push yields into negative territory, what's becoming scarce globally is real yield in an appreciating currency.

 
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New Gold Rush? 10 Ounces Of "Historic Nuggets" Stolen From San Francisco Museum





Three masked men smashed an SUV into the front-windows of The Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco's financial district at around 230am Tuesday, making off with 10 ounces of "historic gold nuggets." As AP reports, robbers in Northern California have targeted precious metals in museum displays before and the tactics of the heist have marked other recent robberies in the area. The men escaped in a second vehicle, according to KGO, and the vehicle reportedly headed east across the Bay Bridge. Local coin dealers said the robbers may have difficulty selling the nuggets unless they melt them down. No dollar bills, Euros, or Japanese Yen notes were stolen during the robbery.

 
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