en "World Is Losing Battle To Contain Ebola Epidemic," MSF Warns Response "Lethally Inadequate" <p>The <strong><a href="">CDC's worst nightmare is coming true</a></strong>. Despite reassurances from the government that it was 'contained', the <strong>Ebola outbreak in Nigeria is accelerating fast</strong>. Health Minister Chukwu said that 17 had now been infected and 271 were under surveillance (including most horrifyingly, 72 in Lagos). In addition, Congo is seeing cases increase rapidly, with WHO reporting 53 cases of Ebola (31 dead) and warning, perhaps ominously, that there is no link with the West Africa strain. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the situation in her country "remains grave," adding "People now don't see this as a Liberia or West Africa crisis. <strong>It could easily become a global crisis</strong>." Furthermore, <a href=""></a><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="">Doctors-without-Borders warns,</a> "the world is losing the battle to contain the Ebola epidemic."</span></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Map of <a href="">#Ebola</a> transmission in West <a href="">#Africa</a> <a href=""></a> (29 Aug 2014) <a href=""></a></p> <p>— WHO (@WHO) <a href="">August 29, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>*WORLD LEADERS ARE FAILING TO ADDRESS EBOLA EPIDEMIC, MSF SAYS</strong></li> <li><strong>*INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO EBOLA 'LETHALLY INADEQUATE', MSF SAYS</strong></li> <li><strong>*MSF: WORLD IS LOSING BATTLE TO CONTAIN EBOLA EPIDEMIC</strong></li> <li><strong>*MSF: NATIONS WITH DISASTER RESPONSE CAPACITY MUST ASSIST</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><em>Via Doctors Without Borders,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In West Africa, cases and deaths continue to surge. <strong>Riots are breaking out. Isolation centers are overwhelmed.</strong>&nbsp; Health workers on the front lines are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers. Others have fled in fear, leaving people without care for even the most common illnesses. Entire health systems have crumbled.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Ebola treatment centers are reduced to places where people go to die alone,</strong> where little more than palliative care is offered. It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities.<strong> In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rather than building new Ebola care centers in Liberia, we are forced to build crematoria.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) projected as many as 20,000 people infected over three months in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We are in uncharted waters. Transmission rates are at unprecedented levels, </strong>and the virus is spreading quickly through Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>We have been losing for the past six months. We must win over the next three.</strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p>Nigeria is bad and getting worse fast.. <a href="">(via Reuters)</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Nigeria has a third confirmed case of Ebola in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, <strong>bringing the country's total confirmed infections to 17, with 271 people under surveillance</strong>, the health minister said on Monday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>... </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Patrick Sawyer, the first case, came from Liberia, and then collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The shift to Port Harcourt shows how easily containment efforts can be undermined.</strong></span> Nigeria's government acted quickly at the end of July, setting up an isolation ward and monitoring contacts closely. But one of Sawyer's contacts in Lagos avoided quarantine and traveled east to Port Harcourt.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said in a press conference that <strong>72 people in Lagos, a city of 21 million people, were still under surveillance. Another 199 people were under surveillance in Port Harcourt.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Congo is accelerating... <a href="">(via WHO)</a></p> <ul> <li><strong>*WHO SAYS IDENTIFIED 53 CASES CONSISTENT W/EBOLA IN DRC, 31 DEAD</strong></li> <li><strong>*NO LINK BETWEEN WEST AFRICA, CONGO EBOLA OUTBREAKS, WHO SAYS</strong></li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"There are now 31 deaths," </strong>Eugene Kambambi, the WHO's head of communication in DR Congo, told AFP, citing Congolese authorities and stressing that the epidemic<strong> "remains contained" in an area around 800 kilometres north of the capital Kinshasa.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kabamba added that there were "53 confirmed, suspected or likely cases" of Ebola, while 185 people were under medical watch because they had admitted to contact with patients or were believed to have had dealings with people stricken by the highly contagious disease.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The government announced on August 25 that the DRC was facing its seventh Ebola outbreak since the disease was<strong> first identified in the former Zaire in 1976.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The health minister has ruled out any link with a serious Ebola epidemic sweeping parts of west Africa, at a cost of more than 1,500 lives, on the grounds that there had been no contact between those distant nations and Boende. The WHO has taken the same position.</strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p>And Liberia is a disaster... <a href="">(via CNN)</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Monday that the situation over the massive Ebola outbreak in her country "remains grave."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Our health delivery system is under stress. The international community couldn't respond quickly," Johnson Sirleaf told CNN's Nima Elbagir in an interview.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She warned a bigger response is needed to prevent that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>"People now don't see this as a Liberia or West Africa crisis. It could easily become a global crisis."</strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *<br />"contained"</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="442" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="538" height="440" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> DRC Reuters Twitter Twitter Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:20:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 493812 at The Underbelly Of Corporate America: Insider Selling, Stock Buy-Backs, Dodgy Profits <p><em>Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,</em></p> <p><span><i>The hollowing out of corporate strengths to enable short-term profiteering by the handful at the top leads to systemic fragility.</i></span></p> <p><span><b>Anonymous comments on message boards must be taken with a grain of salt, but this comment succinctly captures the underbelly of Corporate America:</b>&nbsp;massive insider selling, borrowing billions to buy back their own stocks to push valuations to the moon so shares granted as compensation can be sold for a fortune, and dodgy accounting strategies that boost headline profits and hide the gutting of investments in long-term growth.</span></p> <div><b><span>Here&#39;s the comment:</span></b></div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div><i><span>&quot;I&rsquo;m occupying a vantage point that allows me to see what is going on inside the top Fortune 50 companies. I have never seen such rot before. Of the 50, at least 30 have debt at 120% of cash. Most have cut capex, R&amp;D and maintenance by 80%. Most have been borrowing money to do stock buy-backs, while simultaneously selling off business units and doing layoffs.</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><i><span>Of the 50, at least 20 have 100% insider selling. For some, you would have to go back decades to find a point where all of the acting board of directors are selling. In essence, they are paying the mortgage with their credit cards. Without bookkeeping games, there are no solid earnings. There will be no earnings growth.</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><i><span>&ldquo;Executive compensation based on stock performance&rdquo; is killing corporate America.</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><i><span>A black swan is not needed to make it fall, a gentle breeze will do just fine.&quot;</span></i><br /><em><span>(<a href="" target="resource">source message thread</a>)</span></em></div> </blockquote> <div><b><span>So let&#39;s try contesting these points.</span></b><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span>Where is the data showing insiders buying hand over fist at these valuations?</span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span>Insider selling has been raising red flags since March 2014:&nbsp;<a href="" target="resource">In-the-know insiders are dumping stocks</a></span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span>Where is the data proving Corporate America isn&#39;t borrowing billions of dollars and using the nearly-free money to buy back shares? Buying back shares reduces the float (stocks available for purchase by the public), reducing supply and creating demand which pushes prices higher.</span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span><a href="" target="resource">Stocks&rsquo; Biggest Gains Are an Inside Job</a>:&nbsp;<i>Companies spent $598.1 billion on stock buybacks last year, according to Birinyi Associates in Westport, Conn. That was the second highest annual total in history, behind only 2007, Birinyi calculated. The pace picked up in the first quarter of 2014, when companies spent $188 billion, the highest quarterly amount since 2007.</i></span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span>Where is the data showing Corporate America has added jobs?</span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color: black; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><a href="" target="resource">Who actually creates jobs: Start-ups, small businesses or big corporations?</a>&nbsp;<i>During the 1990s, American multinational companies added 2.7 million jobs in foreign countries and 4.4 million in the United States. But over the following decade, those firms continued adding positions overseas (another 2.4 million) while cutting 2.9 million jobs in the United States.</i></span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span>As for dodgy accounting: when the dodgy accounting has been institutionalized, it&#39;s no longer viewed as dodgy. Which brings us to the money shot of the comment:&nbsp;<b>&ldquo;Executive compensation based on stock performance&rdquo; is killing corporate America.</b></span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span>When executives and others at the top of the corporate pyramid have such an enormous incentive (stock options worth tens of millions of dollars) if they can push the stock price higher with buy-backs paid with borrowed money and accounting gimmicks that inflate headline earnings, then why wouldn&#39;t they do precisely that?</span><br />&nbsp;</div> <div><span><b>The profits are as bogus as the stock prices:</b>&nbsp;both are relentlessly gamed to make sure fortunes can be reaped in a few years by those at the top.</span><br />&nbsp;</div> <p><span>As the comment noted,&nbsp;<b>this hollowing out of corporate strengths to enable short-term profiteering by the handful at the top leads to systemic fragility.</b>&nbsp;No shock is needed to bring down these fragile corporate structures: existing debt and the slightest tremor of global recession will be enough to topple the rickety facade.</span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="530" height="514" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Black Swan Corporate America Insider Selling Recession Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:02:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 493811 at Central Bank Have Set the Stage For a Disaster That Will Make 2008 Look Like a Joke <p>The Central Bank policies of the last five years have damaged the capital markets to the point that the single most important item is no longer developments in the real world, but how Central banks will respond to said developments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let us take a moment to digest that. Before 2008, for the most part, when something happened in the world, an investor would think about how that issue would affect the markets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, that same investor will try to analyze how the Central Banks will <em>react</em> to that issue, not the impact of the issue itself. This is why, for various periods between 2008 and today, the markets would rally on terrible economic data and other economic negatives: traders believed that because the data was <em>bad</em> the Fed would be more inclined to engage in more easing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After all, why do we invest? We invest because we want to make money. And when it comes to investing, we prefer easy money: gains that have a high probability of success. And thanks to Central Banks cutting interest rates over 500 times and printing over $10 trillion in money since 2008, what&rsquo;s the easiest way to make money by investing today?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Front-run Central Banks policies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Consider Europe. In 2012, ECB President Mario Draghi promised to do &ldquo;whatever it takes&rdquo; to keep the Euro in one piece. Since that time, nothing has really improved in Europe&rsquo;s economy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>France is approaching a triple dip recession. Germany may re-enter recession before the year&rsquo;s end. Spain remains an economic basket-case. Portugal just suffered another major bank failure. And on and on.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And yet, bond yields on European Sovereign debt have fallen to <strong><em>multi-century lows</em></strong>. Germany&rsquo;s 10 year is now at 1%... an ALL TIME low. The reason for this? Investors, convinced that the ECB will buy sovereign bonds or, at a minimum, drive bond yields lower, have poured into European bonds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result, European bonds are now stretched to levels that far exceed a bubble. Remember, the entire sovereign debt crisis in Europe was based on the fact that most European countries are insolvent. When you include unfunded liabilities, most European countries are running <strong>Debt to GDP ratios north of 400%. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The basic premise of investing is that you should be compensated for your risk exposure. The riskier an investment, the higher your expected returns should be. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>However, thanks to Central Bank meddling, today this is no longer the case. In Europe, where lending money to sovereign nations is in fact a high risk proposition, you are given almost <em>nothing</em> in the way of yields.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This will not end well. In fact, the ending will likely be catastrophic as the fast money herd panics and tries to move out of the various assets it only bought based on the assumption that it could unload its position on someone willing to pay a higher price (likely a Central Bank) down the road.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t know when this will happen, but it WILL happen. And unlike stocks, when bond bubbles implode things tend to get VERY serious VERY quickly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This concludes this article. If you&rsquo;re looking for the means of protecting your portfolio from the coming collapse, you can pick up a FREE investment report titled <strong><em>Protect Your Portfolio</em></strong> at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This report outlines a number of strategies you can implement to prepare yourself and your loved ones from the coming market carnage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Best Regards</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Phoenix Capital Research</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Bond Capital Markets Central Banks France Germany Portugal Recession Sovereign Debt Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:50:05 +0000 Phoenix Capital Research 493810 at Gold Tumbles Most In 6 Weeks As USD Surges <p>It appears <strong>JPY weakness</strong> (or generalized USD strength) is mirroring the demise of precious metals (and oil) this morning. <strong>Gold's 1.7% drop is the biggest in 6 weeks</strong> and drops the yellow metal to near 3-month lows. Treasury yields are up 5-8bps at the long-end. Troublingly, for the carry bulls, equity futures are not playing along with the JPY weakness.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold and JPY inseparable...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="316" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>S&amp;P fuitures bumped back up to VWAP but are not following through with JPY carry...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="328" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="505" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Precious Metals Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:37:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 493809 at ISM Manufacturing Surges With New Orders At 10-Year High; Construction Spending Jumps Most In Over 2 Years <p>ISM <a href="">Manufacturing has risen almost without hesitation for the seven months from the January collapse to new 3-year highs</a>, <strong>printing at a dramatic 59.0, its biggest beat in over a year, just shy of the recovery cycle's highs in 2011, roundly rejecting the manufacturing signals heard around the world</strong>. New orders grew for the 15th month in a row to the highest reading since 2004! Earlier, Markit's US PMI missed expectations and fell modestly from preliminary data to 57.9, but moved to its highest since April 2010.<strong> Construction spending also surged, rising 1.8% (smashing expectations) - its biggest MoM gain since May 2012.</strong></p> <p>Construction spending continues to flip flop from great to terrible to great etc.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="315" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But the story of the day was the ISM index, which following last week's blistering Chicago PMI, just printed at 59.0, well above the 57.0 expected, and up from the 57.1 last month. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="317" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>New Orders surged to 10-year highs... beware the extrapolators off this high...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="313" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But sadly left employment behind once again...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="313" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The breakdown:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="592" /></a></p> <p>A sampling of what the "unbiased" selection of ISM respondents said:</p> <ul> <li>"Business is looking good for food manufacturing. Packaging materials prices are staying in check, minimum wage is up a bit, but manageable." (Food, Beverage &amp; Tobacco Products)</li> <li>"The commercial building business is good, our business is up." (Fabricated Metal Products)</li> <li>"Overall business conditions are flat. World issues taking a toll on business. Consumers are cutting back on spending." (Transportation Equipment)</li> <li>"Overall business is improving. Order backlog is increasing. Quotes are increasing. Much more positive outlook in our sector." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances &amp; Components)</li> <li>"Business in the energy sector continues to remain very robust with no signs of backing off in the near future." (Computer &amp; Electronic Products)</li> <li>"Demand in the United States is consistent and geopolitics remain a concern." (Chemical Products)</li> <li>"International markets are slower due to Euro holidays, political unrest and slowing Chinese markets. North American business off slightly." (Wood Products)</li> <li>"Business is strong. Labor is becoming a difficult issue." (Furniture &amp; Related Products)</li> <li>"Demand is strong. Numbers are up over last year." (Machinery)</li> <li>"Strongest month in years. Business is solid...Awesome!" (Primary Metals)</li> </ul> <p>From the ISM' Holcombe: "The August PMI® registered 59 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from July's reading of 57.1 percent, indicating continued expansion in manufacturing. This month's PMI® reflects the highest reading since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 66.7 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from the 63.4 percent reading in July, indicating growth in new orders for the 15th consecutive month. The Production Index registered 64.5 percent, 3.3 percentage points above the July reading of 61.2 percent. The Employment Index grew for the 14th consecutive month, registering 58.1 percent, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage point below the July reading of 58.2 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 52 percent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from the July reading of 48.5 percent, indicating growth in inventories following one month of contraction. The August PMI® is led by the highest recorded New Orders Index since April 2004 when it registered 67.1 percent. At the same time, comments from the panel reflect a positive outlook mixed with caution over global geopolitical unrest."</p> <p>The main reason for this dramatic beat: a surge in New Orders, which on a seasonally adjusted basis rose to 66.7 from 63.4, the highest number since April 2004. This can be explained by the whopping 38% who responded they are seeing better conditions and just 48% same, compared to 29% Better and 57% same in July. And then there is the infamous seasonal adjustment factor. In short this is how the SA and NSA New Orders look for 2014:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="419" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ironically, employment actually declined from 58.2 to 58.1 despite this unprecedented surge in alleged new orders, the bulk of which is certainly on the back of ExIm bank Boeing orders and subprime funded GM auto construction.</p> <p>Even more ironically, stocks faded on this great news... we are sure Yellen will have some excuse for why the foot needs to remain to the floor...</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="957" height="506" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Boeing Chicago PMI ETC recovery Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:10:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 493808 at The Chart Obama Does Not Want Merkel To See <p>The weekend's headlines reeled from the collapse in <a href="">global manufacturing PMIs</a> and with them the last best hope for the world's economies to reach escape velocity all on their own. <strong>However, there was one nation that did not plunge...</strong> there was one country whose growth (based on the soft survey data) is at 10-month highs. Perhaps this is the chart that President 'we need moar sanctions and costs' Obama does not want Angela 'umm, wait a minute' Merkel to see...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since sanctions began the plunge in Euro-Area PMIs has been commensurate with the rise in Russia's (oh and according to survey-data, US is as good as it has ever been)...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="320" /></a></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong>Seems pretty clear who is paying the price and suffering the costs of Western sanctions...</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When does Europe draw its own red line around Obama's sanctions?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="948" height="506" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> headlines Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:47:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 493807 at Piers Morgan Leaves CNN, Warns NRA Not To "Crack The Champagne" Just Yet <p>According to Piers, this is <strong>breaking news</strong>. Which, incidentally, may explain not only his show's abysmal ratings, but why he is now unemployed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>BREAKING NEWS: I am no longer a <a href="">@CNN</a> employee.</p> <p>— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) <a href="">September 2, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>I was offered a new 2-year deal by <a href="">@CNN</a> boss Jeff Zucker to host 40 big interview 'specials'.</p> <p>— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) <a href="">September 2, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>But after considerable thought, I decided not to accept it - and to try pastures new.</p> <p>— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) <a href="">September 2, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>I had a fantastic time in my 4 years <a href="">@CNN</a> and have huge respect for Jeff &amp; all the people who work there. Great company, great network.</p> <p>— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) <a href="">September 2, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As for his parting words:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>I wouldn't crack the champagne open too quickly though, <a href="">@NRA</a> - I haven't finished with you lot yet.</p> <p>— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) <a href="">September 2, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> NRA ratings Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:27:54 +0000 Tyler Durden 493806 at "One Of The Defining Investment Moments Of The Next Few Years" <p>Some very spot on observations (which contain the amusing line: "<em>inflation has been a modern day (last 100 years) phenomenon tied to the evolution of central banks (the Fed started in 1913) and the gradual demise of precious metal currency systems</em>") of what will be the biggest&nbsp;<em><strong>trouble with the credit bubble</strong></em>, from Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>One of the more interesting stories of yesterday was a €1bn 50 year private placement bond issued by the Spanish Government with a 4% coupon. It’s a measure of how far things have come in a couple of years that such a deal could be launched. It was also a day when 2 year French yields traded below zero for the first time ever. We still live in remarkable financial times. Back to the Spanish deal, although current low levels of inflation make this deal look optically attractive on a real yield basis we thought we'd look at the rolling average 50 year level of inflation in Spain to highlight what real returns might potentially be over the lifetime of the bond. I hope I survive to see it mature but I hope I won't be writing about it then. Anyway the average annual inflation over the last 50 years in Spain is 7.0% and as the graph in today's pdf shows the last time the 50-year rolling average was below 4% was in 1956. Clearly prior to this the average rate of inflation was constantly below this level as <strong>inflation has been a modern day (last 100 years) phenomenon tied to the evolution of central banks (the Fed started in 1913) and the gradual demise of precious metal currency systems.</strong> So it’s a measure of how buoyant fixed income markets are that investors are prepared to ignore that last half century's inflation record and the current fiat currency world when pricing long-term bonds. This is not a Spain-specific issue but on a slow news day the story stood out. The same would be true for most countries issuing similar long-dated debt today. Indeed yields elsewhere would likely be even lower.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="356" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Herein lies our dilemma with bonds. We've been a member of the lower yields for longer camp for a number of years now due to our near-term growth and inflation outlook and our belief that financial repression is rife. <strong>However we also think that debt restructuring or inflation will eventually be the only way of successfully reducing debt burdens for many countries with the latter route the most likely. </strong>As such whilst bonds are a near-term safe haven they are also likely to be very poor real investments longer term. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Timing the big switch in view on this will be one of the defining investment moments of the next few years</strong></span>. <strong>Let's hope we're lucky.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>* * * </p> <p>Perhpas <em>"pray" </em>to the likes of Yellen <em>et al </em>is a better way of phrasing it?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="643" height="382" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Central Banks fixed Jim Reid Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:18:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 493805 at Ex-NSA Director, US Intelligence Veterans Write Open Letter To Merkel To Avoid All-Out Ukraine War <p>Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 <a href="">blew the whistle on the NSA's spying programs</a> more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian "invasion."</p> <p><em>Via <a href="">AntiWar</a> and <a href="">ConsortiumNews</a>, highlights ours</em></p> <p><strong>MEMORANDUM FOR: </strong>Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany<br /><strong>FROM: </strong>Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)<br /><strong>SUBJECT: </strong>Ukraine and NATO</p> <p>We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. <em>We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.</em></p> <p>You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.</p> <p>President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift."</p> <p>Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on "intelligence" that was dubious, at best.</p> <p>Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.</p> <p><strong>Experience With Untruth</strong></p> <p>Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: "<strong><em>Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know."</em></strong></p> <p>Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.</p> <p>That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were "increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence" and told him flatly, "Powell’s presentation does not come close" to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to "widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."</p> <p>Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, <strong>it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can "shock and awe</strong>." In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.</p> <p>If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available "proof" of an invasion from Russia, <strong>our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative</strong>. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.</p> <p>We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.</p> <p>Lavrov warned pointedly of "fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene." Burns gave his cable the unusual title, "NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES," and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that "Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO."</p> <p>Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. <strong>Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. "Yats is the guy," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, "Fuck the EU."</strong></p> <p><strong>Timing of the Russian "Invasion"</strong></p> <p>The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.</p> <p>According to the "press service of the President of Ukraine" on August 18, Poroshenko called for a "regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives," said Poroshenko, adding, "we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances."</p> <p>If the "new circumstances" meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to "regroup," to "rearrange" the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.</p> <p>Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the "Russian invasion." That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that "the Russians are coming." (<strong>Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)</strong></p> <p><strong>No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support</strong></p> <p>The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.</p> <p>At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.</p> <p>This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.</p> <p><em>For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity</em></p> <ul> <li><strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical &amp; Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)</strong></li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer &amp; CIA analyst (ret.)</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel &amp; Special Agent, FBI (ret.)</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)</li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="2500" height="1581" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama FBI fixed Germany Iraq Middle East national intelligence None Ukraine Vladimir Putin Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:02:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 493798 at The Manufacturing World Suddenly Goes Into Reverse: Global August PMI Summary <p>While yesterday everyone was focusing on the ongoing escalation in Ukraine, or BBQing, the real story was the sudden and quite dramatic collapse, or as we called it, "<a href="">bloodbath</a>" in global manufacturing as tracked by various PMI indices.</p> <p>Here, via Bank of America, is the bottom line: as the below table shows, <strong>out of the 26 countries that have reported so far, 9 reported improvements in their manufacturing sectors in August, while 15 recorded a weakening, and 2 remained unchanged. </strong>A reading above 50 reflects expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction. In this regard, there were 5 countries in negative territory and 21 in positive. In particular, Brazil, Greece, Korea and Turkey moved from contraction to expansion, while Australia and Italy did the reverse. The biggest concern: virtually every core and pierphral Eurozone country of note (from France and Germany to Spain and Italy) saw substantial contraciton. Which, as is well-known in the New Normal, is the stuff new all time S&amp;P500 highs are made of.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="646" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="596" height="642" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Australia Bank of America Bank of America Brazil Eurozone France Germany Greece Italy New Normal Turkey Ukraine Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:50:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 493804 at