en Bridgewater Fires Back At NYTimes 'Sex Scandal' Story: Firm Is "Not For Everyone" <p>It seems the New York Times may have struck a nerve with its recent <a href=";smid=nytcore-iphone-share&amp;_r=1&amp;;">article</a> on Bridgewater which exposed a sexual harassment claim made by a former employee who described the fund as a “<strong>cauldron of fear and intimidation</strong>," an article which we discussed in a post titled "<a href="">Bridgewater's Culture Of "Probing" - Sex Scandal Strikes World's Largest Hedge Fund."&nbsp; </a>In a response today entitled "<a href="">The New York Times Story is a Distortion of Reality</a>", Bridgewater notes that while they've always been "reluctant to engage with the media" they had "no choice" but to respond to an article they viewed as "sensationalistic" and "inaccurate."&nbsp; </p> <p>While the letter generally attempts to discredit everything in the NYT article, we did find one point of agreement as<strong> Bridgewater pointed out that the firm is "not for everyone."</strong>&nbsp; While some might view that as a slight understatement, we suspect Mr. Tarui might, we're just happy they were able to find some level of consensus. </p> <p>Full response from Bridgewater below:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>"The New York Times Story is a Distortion of Reality"</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although we continue to be reluctant to engage with the media, we again find ourselves in the position of being left with no choice but to respond to sensationalistic and inaccurate stories, both to make clear what is true and to do our part in fighting against the growing trend of media distortion. To let such significant mischaracterizations of our business stand would be unfair to our hard-working employees and valued clients who understand the reality of our culture and values.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While we all would hope that we could count on the Times for accurate and well-documented reporting, sadly, its article "Sex, Fear, and Video Surveillance at the World's Largest Hedge Fund" doesn't meet that standard. In this memo we will give you clear examples of the article's distortions. We cannot comment on the specific case raised in the article due to restrictions we face as a result of ongoing legal processes and our desire to maintain the privacies of the people involved for fear that they too will be tried in the media through sensationalistic innuendos. Nonetheless, we can say that we are confident that our management handled the case consistently with the law and we look forward to its successful resolution through the legal process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To understand the background of this story, you should know that the New York Times reporters never made a serious attempt to understand how we operate.<strong> Instead they intentionally strung together a series of misleading "facts" in ways they felt would create the most sensationalistic story.</strong> If you want to see an accurate portrayal of Bridgewater, we suggest that you read examinations of Bridgewater written by two independent organizational psychologists and a nationally-renowned management researcher. (See An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan; Learn or Die by Edward Hess; and Originals by Adam Grant.)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Rather than being the "'cauldron of fear and intimidation'" the New York Times portrayed us as, Bridgewater is exactly the opposite. </strong>Bridgewater is well known for giving employees the right to speak up, especially about problems, and to make sense of things for themselves. Everyone is encouraged to bring problems to the surface in whatever ways they deem to be most appropriate. To be more specific, our employees typically report their business problems and ideas in real time through a public "issue log" and a company-wide survey that is administered quarterly. More sensitive matters are reported through an anonymous "complaint line," and all employees have access to an Employee Relations team charged with being a closed, confidential outlet outside of the management chain for handling issues of a personal nature.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The New York Times portrayed our taping of meetings as creating "an atmosphere of constant surveillance . . . that silence[s] employees who do not fit the mold." It is well known that Bridgewater's taping of meetings is instead done to enable employees to hear virtually all discussions happening at the firm for themselves. We make these tapes available to employees because we believe strongly that in order to have a real idea meritocracy, people need to see and hear things for themselves rather than through the spin of others. We also believe that bad things happen behind closed doors so that such transparency is healthy. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While we acknowledge that this culture of openness is not for everyone, our employees overwhelmingly treasure this way of operating. In our most recent anonymous survey, employees rated their agreement with the statement "I believe that Bridgewater's culture and principles are key to its success" a 4.4 out of 5. Many of our employees say they wouldn't want to work anywhere else because they so appreciate our unique idea meritocracy in which meaningful work and meaningful relationships are pursued through radical truth and transparency. The New York Times article doesn't square with common sense. <strong>If Bridgewater was really as bad as the New York Times describes, then why would anyone want to work here? </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The New York Times said that some employees "are required to lock up their personal cellphones each morning when they arrive at work" which made it sound like employees can't carry their phones around with them like employees at other companies do. This is wrong. The truth is that the vast majority of our employees freely carry around their cell phones; the only place they can't is on our trading floor, where cell phones are prohibited. This policy is to protect the confidentiality of trades in order to protect our clients' money. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The New York Times said that the company's culture makes it impossible for employees to have matters handled confidentially. That is also wrong. As stated above, we have clearly defined channels for reporting private matters that have been utilized by many employees over the years. These matters have always been kept confidential.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The New York Times said "over the last two years, the firm has lost billions of dollars for investors as a result of mixed performance." That is wrong as well. In 2015, our Pure Alpha fund had its 15th consecutive year of positive returns. This year, year-to-date, we have made $1.3 billion for our clients across our strategies. While that is less than expected, it is within our stated range of expectations. Notably, our clients who know us well have demonstrated their confidence in us by investing $12 billion in new assets over the last seven months.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Concerning legal matters, because Bridgewater is culturally committed to the pursuit of truth, we have always had a strong preference to not "settle" claims but rather to be judged by the appropriate legal or regulatory system, even though that is not the expedient thing to do. Like many organizations, we encounter frivolous claims made in an effort to extract financial gain. Most companies prefer to settle them because it saves time and legal costs—and avoids the sort of distorted publicity that we are now encountering. We choose to contest them instead. At the same time, we have clear policies and standards of behavior, and when we discover behavior inconsistent with them, we act decisively. We are proud to say that in our 40 year history we have had no material adverse judgments. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are far from perfect and we like to raise our imperfections to the surface so that we can deal with them honestly and transparently, while also protecting personal privacy. This approach is controversial and gives the media a lot of material to pick from to mischaracterize, but we believe that in the long run it is the best way for improving. It has been the biggest reason for our success. <strong>We look forward to continue being judged by our employees, our clients, and the legal and regulatory parties who are responsible for overseeing our behaviors, rather than by the media.</strong></p> </blockquote> <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="1200" height="800" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bridgewater New York Times Pure Alpha Reality Transparency Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567556 at "Free Speech Cage" Keeps Anti-Hillary Protesters Away From DNC Convention <p><a href="">Authored by The Daily Sheeple&#39;s Melissa Dykes</a>, via <a href="">;s Mac Slavo</a>,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Editor&rsquo;s Comment: It is time that the people of America faced the reality of how limited their &ldquo;choices&rdquo; for leaders really are, and <strong>how deeply the repression of real candidates and real issues goes.</strong> Every four years, they waste the time and energy of the general public &ndash; intentionally &ndash; to make a ritual out of giving consent to the psychopathic to rule over the sheeple. </em><em>These people do not represent or serve you or the issues of ordinary people. (Of course SHTF readers and anyone with two brain cells already know that.)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The tactics of stifling free speech, and making a mockery of those who have chosen to stand up against the system, only illustrates how far gone this country is, and how illusive the state of &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; really is. Politics, elections, power in the hands of a federal government &ndash; these people and institutions have long been accepted and normalized, despite the predatory nature of their activities, despite the phoniness, despite the broken promises and utter B.S. that they spew. Though most Americans recognize the futility and the corruption of these parties and politicians &ndash; who could ignore the release of damning information against the DNC? &ndash; they perform cognitive dissonance, and continue to support, endorse, vote for &ndash; and at least in spirit &ndash; &ldquo;elect&rdquo; their own oppressors, and by extension their own enslavement. When will this vicious cycle end, and how blatant must the tyranny become?</em></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>&ldquo;Free Speech Cage&rdquo; At The DNC Is A Truly Pathetic Image Of Modern American Freedom</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.</em> &mdash; The First Amendment</p> </blockquote> <p>Congress shall make no law&hellip; but they shall erect a &ldquo;free speech cage&rdquo;.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 434px; height: 270px;" /></a></p> <p>Yeah, this really looks like freedom. Look at these people. Is this a zoo, you might ask?</p> <p>No. It&rsquo;s protesters exercising their First Amendment rights to shout &ldquo;Hell no, DNC! We won&rsquo;t vote for Hillary!&rdquo; over and over outside the corrupt dog and pony show that is the Democratic National Convention &mdash; in a rusty metal cage that looks like something out of the horror film <a href=";linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=6738&amp;tag=sheeple-embd-20&amp;creativeASIN=B0038KSEVQ" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Silent Hill</a>.</p> <p><strong>What a sad, pathetic testament to modern American &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; this is.</strong></p> <p>And what a sad, pathetic circus sideshow <a href="" target="_blank">this whole fake, rigged &ldquo;selection&rdquo; process to nominate Hillary has been</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><em>(That cage is what the entire nation is about to become if Hillary becomes president, just by the way.)</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="434" height="270" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> B+ B.S. Cognitive Dissonance Corruption First Amendment Reality Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567581 at With All Eyes On Tonight's BOJ Announcement, A "Minor" Snag Emerges <p>With all eyes on the BOJ's decision in several hours, an announcement which is expected to contain some component of government deficit funding attached to it, or <em>helicopter-lite</em>, a "minor" snag has emerged in what Japan has affectionately titled the "<strong>emergency, peace of mind realization, overall spending measures</strong>" fiscal package...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="ja">Best name ever for a stimulus package <a href="">#Japan</a></p> <p>???????????</p> <p>emergency, peace of mind realization, overall spending measures</p> <p>via <a href="">@JDMayger</a></p> <p>— Andy Sharp (@sharp_writing) <a href="">July 28, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>... namely that <strong>only about a quarter of the total JPY 28 trillion in new stimulus is in the form of actual spending</strong>... assuming of course one would call JPY 7 trillion "minor."</p> <p>As <a href="">Bloomberg reports</a>, "about one quarter of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new 28 trillion yen ($267 billion) economic stimulus includes actual spending, according to a person familiar with the matter."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The person, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private, didn’t specify the period of time over which the 7 trillion yen would be spent. The money will be part of 13 trillion yen of "fiscal measures," with the rest of that sum covered by so-called zaito financing that’s used to raise money for projects at state-run companies, according to the person. <strong>The remaining 15 trillion yen in Abe’s total package is unclear; he has yet to offer a breakdown on the plan</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>An Abe has aggressively talked up the upcoming stimulus, investors have been looking for details of what it will actually contain and, more imporantly, how much of it will be new spending ahead of tonight's BOJ policy meeting, with economists expecting further monetary stimulus. The Nikkei newspaper reported earlier on Thursday that more than 6 trillion yen will be actual spending. Abe said the cabinet will review the overall plan next week.</p> <p>Such a small spending component means that any matched component to tonights BOJ's announcement will likely lead to disappointment. That is what Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo, believes. According to him Abe’s plans for more than<br /> 28 trillion yen ($265 billion) in stimulus may have a limited impact on<br /> the economy.</p> <p>“The point is how much real spending the government will have, and it looks the real fiscal spending could be about 5-6 trillion yen over several years,” he said. Or 7 trillion according to the latest disclosure. Maruyama said because “actual spending” may not be as large as the 28T yen number, <strong>“there may be limited impact on boosting the economy</strong>.” He concludes that “the size of the package looks magnified."</p> <p>Others agreed. </p> <p>Cited by Bloomberg, Yasunari Ueno, the chief market economist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo said the package is "<strong>all padding</strong>."</p> <p>“Tax revenues aren’t rising, and the funds for an extra budget are limited,” Ueno said. “<strong>This is all padding,” with the government pretending it has resources even though it doesn’t</strong>, he said. Ueno also said he doesn’t think this is the right time for such a spending package, given the nation’s high debt burden.</p> <p>In short, Abe wants his cake and to eat it too, as he realizes that any dramatic increase in Japan's debt load may be frowned upon by the rest of the world, and certainly by rating agencies. However, he also wants to crush the Yen and send the Nikkei soaring with another "shocking" liqudity injection.</p> <p>Finally, the <a href=";ftcamp=crm%2Femail%2F%2Fnbe%2FInTodaysFT%2Fproduct#axzz4FjKDWgLT">FT summarizes </a>all the various points of tension as follows:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Haruhiko Kuroda is set to dash market hopes for ”helicopter money” on Friday </strong>but there is a high chance the Bank of Japan governor will deliver more stimulus as he battles with falling inflation. According to surveys conducted by Bloomberg and TV Tokyo, about 80 per cent of analysts expect easing at the BoJ’s July meeting, although they are widely split on what form it will take.</p> <p>...</p> <p>A ¥28tn package would be 5.6 per cent of gross domestic product, a massive stimulus, but analysts said it will be spread over several years and much of it will not be “fresh water”, or actual new spending.</p> <p>...</p> <p>Currency traders have driven the yen down from ¥100 to ¥107 against the dollar in recent weeks, with a recent visit by former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke fuelling speculation about a radical shift in Japan’s monetary policy. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But while the odds of easing are higher than at any time since the adoption of negative interest rates in January, BoJ officials say there is no chance of helicopter money, leaving them with a dilemma: <strong>they fear whatever they do will now disappoint markets. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>And that is the punchline, because having soared as much as 700 pips from its recent pre "helicopter money" rumor lows, the Yen has now priced in far more than the BOJ will be able to deliver tonight. It is also why, <a href="">according to Reuters</a>, the Ministry of Finance is lobbying hard for BOJ to ease further and has prepared a statement it’ll publish if BOJ eases.</p> <p>The worst case for Yen shorts would be if the BOJ simply does what both the ECB and the Fed did in recent days and punts to September:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>From the BoJ’s point of view, the fiscal stimulus should boost growth and inflation. <strong>That gives it less reason to act itself and also argues for waiting until September, when the size of the package will be clear. But the BoJ also wants to show that monetary and fiscal policy are working together</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Alas, absent helicopter money, and assuming only 7 trilion yen, or $67 billion, in actual spending spread over several years will be unveiled, that will hardly allow the BOJ to substantially boost the amount of bonds it purchases any given month without hitting the biggest limitation of all: <strong>running out of securities to purchase and/or willing sellers. </strong></p> <p>Here <a href="">is the FT's conclusion</a>:<strong><br /></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Leaving helicopter money aside, the options in the central bank’s toolkit are deeper cuts in interest rates to below minus 0.1 per cent; an increase in the pace of asset purchases from ¥80tn a year; or buying more equity and real estate funds. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although the BoJ still believes its move to negative interest rates was highly effective, it is yet to overcome a strong backlash from the public and the financial sector, making another cut less tempting for now. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Buying more exchange-traded equity funds is an easy option but would be likely to disappoint markets by itself. That leaves the possibility of upping government bond purchases to ¥90tn or ¥100tn a year. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Buying more assets at the same time that the government mounts a new fiscal stimulus would show co-operation from the BoJ and look, on the surface, quite similar to helicopter money. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The BoJ thinks such a policy is completely different — it is already buying more bonds than the government issues every year — but if purchasing still more assets can convince markets of its determination to drive inflation to 2 per cent, it may be an attractive choice.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>In any case, it is difficult to envision an announcement by the central bank that does not disappoint a market which as recently as a week ago was expecting for money to literally fly out of helicopters.</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="533" height="301" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of Japan Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bond Federal Reserve Gross Domestic Product Japan Monetary Policy Newspaper Nikkei Rating Agencies Real estate Reuters Yen Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:07:52 +0000 Tyler Durden 567580 at Monte Paschi Bailout In Peril As 3 Banks Walk Out: Are More "Pensioner Suicides" Next? <p>Two days <a href="">ago we reported </a>that in a last ditch effort to prevent potential contagion within its banking system, one including bank runs and furious ordinary investors and depositors, ahead of Friday's stress test announcement which Italy's troubled Monte Paschi is widely expected to fail, Matteo Renzi's government was racing to organize a private bailout of the insolvent bank. Specifically, as of Monday night, the Italian government was, according to the FT, racing to secure a privately backed bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, including a plan to raise €5 billion of fresh capital so as to avert nationalisation.</p> <p>There was no assurance this last ditch effort would succeed, especially in light of Monte Paschi's market cap which has dropped to a paltry €800 million, suggesting that the bailout would be an effective "out of court" bankruptcy, structured as a quasi investment, with fresh money coming in from the new equity owners diluting existing stakeholders over 90%. </p> <p>There was also no assurance that any new funds would not meet the same fate as the €8 billion in capital already raised over the past two years, money which has since "vaporized" in the seemingly endless hole of Monte Paschi bad debt. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="258" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moments ago, we learned that this "private bailout" process appeared to be on the rock, <a href="">when Reuters reported </a>that Morgan Stanley and Italian lenders UniCredit and Intesa SanPaolo have walked away from Monte Paschi's "proposal" to back its proposed €5 billion cash call, "a source familiar with the matter told Reuters."</p> <p>As <a href="">Reuters confirms </a>the original story, "the troubled lender is trying to pull together a banking consortium to guarantee its proposed capital increase in the next 24 hours so it has a plan in place by the time the results of the European bank stress tests are released on Friday evening. Banking sources say the tests will show the bank has insufficient capital to withstand an economic downturn."</p> <p>Monte Paschi is not doomed just yet, as the process has so far received interest from Citigroup Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Not surprisingly, the last two banks are the ones who stand to lost the most should an Italian banking crisis flare out and spill across the border with either Germany or France.&nbsp; </p> <p>As Reuters adds, other banks including Societe Generale, UBS and Nomura are currently being contacted in a bid to share the cost of the proposed transaction which is said to involve Monte dei Paschi issuing stock at between 0.5 and 0.6 percent of its tangible book value, the source said. </p> <p>However, it is not looking good, and Reuters' source adds that "As things stand now, the consortium is weak. More banks need to come onboard." Another source, who is close to the Tuscan lender, said Monte dei Paschi is expected to release the guidelines of its rescue plan on Friday and is confident of reaching a pre-agreement with a sufficient number of banks "in due time."</p> <p>While we appreciate the optimism, we wonder if Italy is prepared for the alternative, namely the much dreaded "bail in"?</p> <p>We are confident the answer is no, for a simple reason: the last thing the increasingly unpopular Matteo Renzi government, which itself is facing a referendum in three months, can afford is more public anger stemming from the bail-in of the third biggest Italian bank, one which may spread to other, equally distressed, lenders.</p> <p>The problem, as <a href="">Bloomberg </a>wrote in an article earlier today, is that should Italy take the bail in route, millions of ordinary mom and pop investors could see a complete wipe out on their investments. Consider that at the zenith of the financial crisis, between July 2007 and June 2009, 80 percent of Italian banks’ bonds were sold to retail investors, according to regulator Consob. Through savers, banks funded themselves at a similar cost to the Italian government, whereas they gave professional money managers an extra percentage point in debt interest, the 2010 report found.</p> <p>Those doing the "funding" were people like Vincenzo Imperatore.</p> <p><strong>Vincenzo Imperatore wants you to know he was just following orders:</strong> Selling risky bonds to customers seeking safe retirement nest eggs was only part of the job. When financial markets shut during the financial crisis, depositors were Italian banks’ most reliable source of funding. “I was getting five, six calls a day from my bosses pushing me to sell them,” says Imperatore, who helped sell products to retail customers for six years at UniCredit SpA in the Naples region and has written two tell-all books about his experiences. “I was instructing the local salesmen to do the same.”</p> <p>And as documented extensively here, should Italy proceed with more bail-ins, the households that helped prop up the nation’s banks during the crisis are again on the front line of efforts to bolster Italy’s tottering financial system. <strong>The subordinated debt they hold may be first to take losses in a government-orchestrated recapitalization now being negotiated in Rome and Brussels. </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"</strong>It’s a popularity-destroying outcome Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is trying to avoid before a referendum later this year to overhaul the political system -- a vote he needs to win to stay in power."</p> </blockquote> <p>The amount of retail exposure is anything but trivial. Retail investors own <strong>almost half of the most vulnerable securities, </strong>a legacy of banks using their customers as a piggy bank for cheap funding.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Selling subordinated debt to depositors was “the way they recapitalized the banking system,” according to Jim Millstein, the U.S. Treasury official who led the restructuring of U.S. banks after the financial crisis, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. By imposing losses on bondholders “you’re inflicting damage on the people who would otherwise be spending money in your economy,” he said. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>UniCredit, Italy’s largest lender, declined to comment on Imperatore’s recollection. The bank’s subordinated bonds available to retail investors trade close to par, indicating investors don’t expect to suffer losses, Bloomberg data show. <strong>The bank is considering raising as much as 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) from shareholders and selling its entire stake in Poland’s Bank Pekao SA to raise capital, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Unlike their fellow Europeans, Italians favor fixed income for their savings. According to Bloomberg, they held about €430 billion of bonds at the end of 2015, two-and-a-half times more than Germans and three-and-a-half times as much as Britons, according to a report by Assogestioni, a Milan-based investment industry association. Historically, government debt was among the few instruments that safeguarded savings from rampaging inflation. The average interest rate on new issues of Italian sovereign bonds was 14 percent in 1992. It dropped to 3.7 percent when the euro was launched a decade later, according to data from the Ministry of Economy.</p> <p><strong>Pensioner Suicides</strong></p> <p>The bigger issue for Renzi is the dire public reaction that will follow if Monte Paschi is forced to be bailed-in, and if this results in contagion spreading to other banks, slamming their junior securities in kind. </p> <p>It wouldn't be the first time.</p> <p>A retired school custodian in Urbino, central Italy, who asked not to be named, <strong>saw 112,000 euros in Banca Marche subordinated bonds, a large part of its life savings, wiped out</strong>. He said that the bank convinced him to swap senior notes into subordinated bonds in 2007. He realized he’d lost it all only when, alarmed by news of the bank’s imminent insolvency, he asked for more information at the local branch last year. </p> <p><strong>As BBG notes, bondholder losses became a hot topic last year when the national media covered the suicide of a pensioner near Rome after he discovered he had lost more than 100,000 euros in Etruria’s junior debt in December.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>Later in December, the European Commission supported Renzi’s plans to compensate bondholders for “potential misselling of bonds.” The government approved a decree in April to let bondholders of the four failed lenders banks be reimbursed for as much as 80 percent of their holdings if they have gross annual income of less than 35,000 euros or personal assets of less than 100,000 euros.</p> <p>“It is strikingly similar to what banks did before with Argentina and Parmalat,” said the lawyer Bisello. “Many of my clients are factory workers, pensioners, who lost all the savings they had. Some of them were told that investing in subordinated bank bonds was just a way to earn higher interest, but just as safe as investing in Italian government bonds.”</p> <p>The bottom line: if over the next 24 hours Monte Paschi is unable to obtain the needed €5 billion in funds it needs from a consortium of outside investors, and if Europe remains resolute in its denial of a government-backed bailout, the only possible step would be a bail in, one which could spark the next leg of Europe's banking crisis. </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="276" height="182" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of America Bank of America Book Value Citigroup Credit Suisse Deutsche Bank Fail fixed France Germany Italy Jim Millstein Monte Paschi Morgan Stanley Nomura Reuters Stress Test Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:59:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 567573 at Nobody Knows Who's Paying For The Privately Funded Democratic National Convention <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,</em></a></p> <p>Earlier this week, in my article titled,&nbsp;<strong><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to Hillary Clinton is in Deep Trouble – “Hordes of Wall Street Executives” Descend Upon Philly">Hillary Clinton is in Deep Trouble &ndash; &ldquo;Hordes of Wall Street Executives&rdquo; Descend Upon Philly</a></strong>, I highlighted&nbsp;how all the&nbsp;Wall Street executives and lobbyists who avoided the RNC were excitedly flooding into the Democratic Convention. Here&rsquo;s an excerpt:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>Lobbyists are being welcomed back into the fold of the Democratic Party as the Obama era draws to a close.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Presumptive Democratic nominee&nbsp;<span class="rollover-people">Hillary Clinton</span>&nbsp;has accepted more than $9 million in bundled donations from registered lobbyists, while the DNC has rolled back the lobbyist bans that Obama put into place.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;In 2008 and 2012, there was no integration with the [Obama] campaign,&rdquo; said Al Mottur, a senior Democratic lobbyist at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, adding that he would have liked to have helped.&nbsp;&ldquo;Now, the campaign is welcoming &mdash; they&rsquo;re open to us. That&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;ve done as much work for her as I&rsquo;ve done on her behalf.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>For 2016, the DNC reversed the prohibition on lobbyist cash entirely, both for the party and the convention, giving corporations and lobbyists the opportunity to participate fully. </em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Clinton&rsquo;s candidacy is also a draw for those on K Street, many of whom have been involved with the family for years.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;The community is supporting her, there is no question about that,&rdquo;said David Castagnetti of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen &amp; Thomas. His firm is also kicking off the convention with a party on Monday&hellip;</em></strong><span id="more-36306"> </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Hordes of industry executives will descend on the city to celebrate Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s nomination for president and renew close associations that vexed the Democratic standard-bearer throughout her primary battle with Bernie Sanders. </em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Blackstone, one of the nation&rsquo;s largest private equity firms, will hold an official reception in Philadelphia on Thursday featuring its president, Tony James, sometimes mentioned as a possible Treasury Secretary in a Clinton administration. </em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Hedge fund managers and top Democratic donors including Avenue Capital&rsquo;s Marc Lasry and Boston Provident&rsquo;s Orin Kramer will also be on the scene as will Morgan Stanley executive and former top Clinton aide Tom Nides. Executives from Citigroup, JPMorganChase and other large banks will also prowl the streets and bar rooms of Philadelphia.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Republicans with ties to the financial industry will also be there, a sharp contrast to Donald Trump&rsquo;s convention in Cleveland,&nbsp;which Wall Street largely shunned over fears of the GOP nominee&rsquo;s populist agenda on trade, immigration and Wall Street reform.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>To prove the point, yesterday&nbsp;I read a perfect followup&nbsp;piece by David Dayen, which was published at the <em>New Republic</em>. &nbsp;What follows are several choice&nbsp;excerpts from the must read article titled,&nbsp;<span><a href="" target="_blank">The DNC Is One Big Corporate Bribe</a>:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>To get to the Democratic National Convention, you take the subway to the AT&amp;T Station and walk to the Wells Fargo Center. Along the way, you&rsquo;ll stroll by the Comcast Xfinity Live complex, where delegates and honored guests can booze it up. You&rsquo;ll also see the &ldquo;Cars Move America&rdquo; exhibit, an actual showroom sponsored by Ford, GM, Toyota, and others. Finally, you&rsquo;ll reach your seat and watch Democrats explain why we have to reduce the power of big corporations in America.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Party conventions have always been collection points for big money. But many major corporations&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sat out last week&rsquo;s Republican gathering&nbsp;</a>for fear of Trump contamination. <strong>There&rsquo;s no such reticence here in Philadelphia; in fact, it feels like they&rsquo;re making up for that lack of investment.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>As&nbsp;Politico&rsquo;s Ben White&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">reported on Monday</a>, private equity firm Blackstone has a meet-and-greet on Thursday. Independence Blue Cross, the southeastern Pennsylvania arm of the large insurer, held a host-committee reception Tuesday; their chief executive is the finance chair of that host committee. The same day, Le Meridien hotel had a private event for Bloomberg LP, and the Logan Hotel hosted &ldquo;Inspiring Women, a Luncheon Discussion.&rdquo; The sponsors included Johnson &amp; Johnson, Walgreens, AFLAC, the Financial Services Roundtable (the industry trade lobby), and New York Life. (How many people were they serving, given the number of corporations involved?)</em><em> </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Facebook commandeered a bar inside the Wells Fargo Center for delegates and guests. Twitter rented out an entire restaurant, bestowing attendees with free breakfast, lunch and an open bar.</strong> (Full disclosure: I had a slider and some salad. The way I see it, I&rsquo;ve boosted their market value through the free labor of tweeting and deserve something back.) And when the speeches end, convention-goers fan out to a sea of mostly industry-sponsored parties. A particular favorite of convention delegates&nbsp;is the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Distilled Spirits Council kickoff</a>, which in Philadelphia featured music from Jason Isbell and former Eagle Joe Walsh.</em></p> </blockquote> <div> <div class="article-text-wrap"> <div class="article-text-grid"> <p>So Twitter and Facebook were prominently represented at the DNC. Were they also at the RNC, and if not, isn&rsquo;t that relevant? Particularly in light of the following&hellip;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Facebook Admits Blocking WikiLeaks&rsquo; DNC Email Links, but Won&rsquo;t Say Why</a></p> <p>Moving along&hellip;</p> </div> </div> </div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>None of this is considered money toward the convention, which is being entirely privately funded for the first time. The donors who are actually paying for the festivities in Philly are anonymous.&nbsp;So God (and Debbie Wasserman Shultz) only knows where it all comes from. And clearly the DNC wants to keep it that way.&nbsp; </em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>The DNC&rsquo;s&nbsp;host committee&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">refuses to disclose the names</a>&nbsp;despite a court order, allowing corporate benefactors to hide behind anonymity.</strong> The 2014 &ldquo;CRomnibus&rdquo; budget law massively increased contribution limits for political convention committees, which can&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">raise up to $800,000</a>&nbsp;from a single donor per year. And overlooked by emails showing possible anti-Bernie Sanders bias by DNC officials in the Democratic primaries, the WikiLeaks trove released last Friday actually detailed&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">how the DNC woos big donors</a>&nbsp;with gifts and perks.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The whole spectacle is not technically considered lobbying, but it may have a more insidious effect. Not only are elected officials compromised by their proximity to big money&mdash;a version of this happens daily in Washington, after all&mdash;but the delegates, usually the grassroots activists most likely to pressure their members of Congress to stand up for Democratic values, get caught up in the muck as well.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Former Attorney General and corporate lawyer Eric Holder took time off from his work with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Uber</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airbnb</a>&nbsp;to address the convention. Former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, now Global Chief Communications Officer for McDonald&rsquo;s, showed up in a video. Howard Dean praised Hillary Clinton on health care, but strangely left out her support for the public option. Perhaps that&rsquo;s because he&rsquo;s a&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry</a>, which doesn&rsquo;t want government insurance plans driving down prices. Even former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who added her praise of Clinton to others&rsquo; on Tuesday night, has&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">her own lobbying firm</a>. And Tuesday closer Bill Clinton also has a certain, er, comfort with the corporate world.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>I don&rsquo;t know about you, but I feel like&nbsp;I need&nbsp;a shower after reading that.</p> <p>So while we&rsquo;re on the topic of blatant corporate ownership of the Democratic Party, let&rsquo;s finish this piece off with an observation about the TPP. As longtime Clinton ally and former DNC head, Terry McAuliffe admitted the other day, Hillary Clinton will flip her faux opposition to the TPP and support it if elected President.</p> <p>As <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Politico</em></a> reported:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>PHILADELPHIA &mdash; Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, longtime best friend to the Clintons, said Tuesday that he believes Hillary Clinton will support the TPP trade deal if elected president, with some tweaks.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;I worry that if we don&rsquo;t do TPP, at some point China&rsquo;s going to break the rules &mdash; but Hillary understands this,&rdquo; he said in an interview after his speech on the main stage at the Democratic National Convention. &ldquo;Once the election&rsquo;s over, and we sit down on trade, people understand a couple things we want to fix on it but going forward we got to build a global economy.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Pressed on whether Clinton would turn around and support the trade deal she opposed during the heat of the primary fight against Bernie Sanders, McAuliffe said: <strong>&ldquo;Yes. Listen, she was in support of it.</strong> There were specific things in it she wants fixed.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Later, McAuliffe&rsquo;s spokesman sought to clarify the governor&rsquo;s remarks after this story published, saying he was simply expressing what he wants Clinton to do if she is elected president. &ldquo;While Governor McAuliffe is a supporter of the TPP, he has no expectation Secretary Clinton would change her position on the legislation and she has never told him anything to that effect.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, you&rsquo;d have to mired&nbsp;in hopeless denial or an utter moron to not understand this. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton&nbsp;has been&nbsp;signaling her true intentions in public statements regarding the TPP all along. Here is what <a href="" target="_blank">her campaign&nbsp;has said</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m continuing to learn about the details of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership,</strong> including looking hard at what&rsquo;s in there to crack down on currency manipulation, which kills American jobs, and to make sure we&rsquo;re not putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers.&nbsp; <strong>But based on what I know so far, I can&rsquo;t support this agreement.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;As I have said many times, we need to be sure that new trade deals meet clear tests:&nbsp; They have to create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security.&nbsp; The bar has to be set very high for two reasons.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;First, too often over the years we haven&rsquo;t gotten the balance right on trade.&nbsp; We&rsquo;ve seen that even a strong deal can fall short on delivering the promised benefits.&nbsp; So I don&rsquo;t believe we can afford to keep giving new agreements the benefit of the doubt.&nbsp; The risks are too high that, despite our best efforts, they will end up doing more harm than good for hard-working American families whose paychecks have barely budged in years.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;Second, we can&rsquo;t look at this in a vacuum. Years of Republican obstruction at home have weakened U.S. competitiveness and made it harder for Americans who lose jobs and pay because of trade to get back on their feet. Republicans have blocked the investments that we need and that President Obama has proposed in infrastructure, education, clean energy, and innovation.&nbsp; They&rsquo;ve refused to raise the minimum wage or defend workers&rsquo; rights or adequately fund job training.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;As a result, America is less competitive than we should be. Workers have fewer protections, the potential positive effects of trade are diminished, and the negative effects are exacerbated. We&rsquo;re going into this with one arm tied behind our backs.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was Secretary of State.&nbsp;</strong> I appreciate the hard work that President Obama and his team put into this process and recognize the strides they made.&nbsp; <strong>But the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don&rsquo;t believe this agreement has met it.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>This statement is so flimsy, and so void of any details, it&rsquo;s essentially worthless. Especially from someone who publicly and ebulliently <strong><a href="" target="_blank">supported the TPP 45 times</a></strong> in the past. Notice that on several occasions she explains that she can&rsquo;t support it&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;based on what I have seen.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;Meanwhile, she only specifically takes issue with two topics, currency manipulation and &ldquo;<em>putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em>Even here, she doesn&rsquo;t get into specific changes she would demand in order to support the deal, and she doesn&rsquo;t say a word about the<strong><a href="" target="_blank"> sovereignty destroying ISDS system</a></strong> that has generated so much justifiable outrage.</p> <p>In fact, she spends half the statement talking about Republicans while&nbsp;diverting attention away from the TPP, something which is par for the Hillary Clinton course&nbsp;when it comes to being confronted with a question&nbsp;that makes her uncomfortable.</p> <p>So what is she signaling in that statement? It&rsquo;s simple really, she&rsquo;s saying she can&rsquo;t support it now, but fails to&nbsp;specify what actual&nbsp;changes would be necessary to change her opinion. She thinks this gives her a future opening&nbsp;to vigorously support the agreement once a few&nbsp;superficial tweaks are made. She&rsquo;ll then claim this was consistent with her position all along.</p> <p>This woman is a compulsive liar with no conscience, and if you expect her to do anything but aggressively push the TPP once in office, you&rsquo;ve lost all capacity for rational thought.</p> <p>Finally, just to prove the point. Here&rsquo;s a brief paragraph describing&nbsp;Tim Kaine&rsquo;s career long love affair with destructive &ldquo;free trade&rdquo; agreements.</p> <p>From <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Bloomberg</em></a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Kaine appears to have had a similar conversion to being a skeptic of trade deals over just the past week. <strong>He was one of just 13 Senate Democrats to vote with the president for fast-track last year and has a long history of backing trade deals.</strong> But an aide confirmed he now opposes the TPP, after previously talking positively about much of it.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>As&nbsp;&nbsp;P. T. Barnum reportedly said:<em> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a&nbsp;sucker born every&nbsp;minute.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>The Democrats are banking&nbsp;on 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="320" height="236" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Avenue Capital Bernie Sanders China Citigroup Comcast Donald Trump fixed Ford Global Economy Marc Lasry Marc Lasry Morgan Stanley national security Nomination None President Obama Private Equity Robert Gibbs Toyota Twitter Twitter Wells Fargo Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:41:03 +0000 Tyler Durden 567578 at What Happens Next? <p>For the <strong>4th day running</strong>, US equity markets have cratered overnight into the European close... and begun their bounce back - will today be any different?</p> <p>What goes down must be bid up...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="1263" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>VIX 12 handle here we come...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="376" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bear in mind, as Bloomberg notes,<strong> U.S. stocks are in a rare holding pattern.</strong> Since the S&amp;P 500 Index hit four consecutive all-time highs on July 14, the benchmark gauge has alternated between gains and losses, finishing every day less than 0.5 percent from the previous close. <strong>The eight-day streak, the longest since 1995, highlights the indecision of the market after a five-month rally lifted the S&amp;P 500 to its first record in more than a year.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="276" /></a></p> <p>One way or another we suspect - between BoJ tonight and GDP tomorrow, that tight range will be broken.</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="1703" height="1066" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Equity Markets Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:32:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 567577 at Bernie Sanders Leaves The Democratic Party <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Emily Zanotti, originally posted at,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The nomination was barely sealed up at the Democratic National Convention before Bernie Sanders, who had campaigned against Hillary Clinton for the party&rsquo;s nod, went back to being an Independent.</strong></p> <p class="add-banner-after">Sanders, who considers himself, officially, an Independent in Congress because his views lean&nbsp;further left than the Democratic party&rsquo;s platform, caucuses with Democrats. But until declaring an intention to run for the presidency in 2015, he had rarely, if ever, identified as a member of the Democratic Party (he&rsquo;s been in politics since 1979).</p> <p>And now, <strong>despite pleading with his base to support Hillary, even though they&rsquo;re&nbsp;concerned that she&rsquo;s too moderate,&nbsp;<a href="">Sanders will return to Vermont and to his seat in the Senate</a>,&nbsp;and he&rsquo;ll do it with no official party affiliation</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Bernie Sanders tells <a href="">@bpolitics</a> breakfast w/reporters he&#39;ll return to the Senate as an Independent, not a Dem: &#39;I was elected as an Ind.&#39;</p> <p>&mdash; Susan Page (@SusanPage) <a href="">July 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to resign as Chairwoman of the DNC after leaked emails revealed she&rsquo;d tried to keep Sanders from challenging Clinton for the party&rsquo;s nomination, might even be vindicated&mdash;sort of.</p> <p><strong>Sanders has struggled all along with whether to call himself a Democrat,</strong> even <a href="">ducking the question of his party affiliation, raised by local Vermont media</a>, just days after he declared. He later tried to reinforce that he was, indeed, a Democrat. But Sanders certainly wasn&rsquo;t a party player&mdash;and that&rsquo;s e<a href="">xactly the concern Wasserman Schultz voiced in the Wikileaks document dump</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In an April 24 email she received with an article describing the ways Sanders felt the DNC was undermining his campaign, she wrote back, &ldquo;Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>If Wasserman Schultz&rsquo;s job was to ensure that a Democrat got the Democratic party nomination, then she might have been doing her job correctly (even if Bernie&rsquo;s supporters would disagree).</strong></p> <p>There&rsquo;s the additional complication, of course, that Wasserman Schultz was a vocal Clinton supporter, a Clinton surrogate and is now a senior adviser to the campaign, as she&rsquo;s been officially booted from her DNC duties. <em><strong>But if anyone is vindicating her position, it&rsquo;s Sanders, dumping the Democratic party as soon as it was no longer useful.</strong></em></p> <p><a href="">According to the Wall Street Journal</a>, the Vermont senator announced he will be leaving the Democratic Party when he returns to work in the U.S. Senate this week.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><em><strong>&quot;I was elected as an independent; I&rsquo;ll stay two years more as an independent,&quot;</strong></em></u> Sanders, 74, said at the Bloomberg Politics breakfast on Tuesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As an elected official in Congress, <strong>Sanders caucused with the Democrats, but considers himself an independent due to his far-left-leaning views.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When asked if Sanders considers himself a Democrat or an independent after the event, a campaign aide stated, <em><strong>&quot;He ran for president as a Democrat but was elected to a six-year term in the Senate as an independent.&quot;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 449px; height: 320px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>Source:</em></a></p> <p>Let&#39;s not forget that, <a href="">as The Guardian reports,</a><strong> Bernie Sanders has been invited to continue his underdog bid for the White House by the Green party&rsquo;s probable presidential candidate</strong>, who has offered to step aside to let him run.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Jill Stein, who is expected to be endorsed at the party&rsquo;s August convention in Houston, told Guardian US that <strong>&ldquo;overwhelming&rdquo; numbers of Sanders supporters are flocking to the Greens rather than Hillary Clinton.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stein insisted that her presidential bid has a <strong>viable &ldquo;near term goal&rdquo; of reaching 15% in national polling,</strong> which would enable her to stand alongside presumptive nominees Clinton and Donald Trump in televised election debates.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>But in a potentially destabilising move for the Democratic party, and an exciting one for Sanders&rsquo; supporters, the Green party candidate said she was willing to stand aside for Sanders.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><em><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration &ndash; everything is on the table,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;If he saw that you can&rsquo;t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he&rsquo;d be welcomed to the Green party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement,&rdquo; she said.</strong></em></u><br />&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <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="449" height="320" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Nomination Wall Street Journal White House Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:21:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 567574 at USDJPY Surges On Headline Government Pressuring BOJ To Boost Stimulus; Bloomberg Denies <p><strong>Update</strong>: Looks like we may have a lost in translation moment here, because shortly after the Reuters report (which recall is first and foremost an FX dealer and so loves USDJPY volatility), bloomberg reports that the <strong>&quot;MOF draft statement cited by Reuters simply affirms that govt still plans a package</strong>.&quot; Hardly the dramatic &quot;pressuring&quot; of the BOJ Reuters would have its FX trading clients believe.</p> <p>As Bloomberg paraphrases the Reuters piece, the BOJ is considering specific steps for expanding monetary stimulus Friday to address signs of weakness in inflation, Reuters reports, citing people familiar.</p> <ul> <li>BOJ would aim to maximize boost of its measures by timing its action with the govt&rsquo;s big spending package: sources</li> <li>Ministry of Finance lobbying hard for BOJ to ease further and has prepared a statement it&rsquo;ll publish if BOJ eases</li> <li>&ldquo;We welcome the BOJ&rsquo;s decision and will deploy all necessary policy steps including a scheduled big stimulus package,&rdquo; says a draft statement seen by Reuters</li> </ul> <p>Bloomberg adds the following:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>USD/JPY little changed at 105.35 vs 104.49/105.43 range, rose back above 105.00 as traders responded to Reuters report that MOF has prepared a statement for release if BOJ eases policy; move over 105.00 may have tripped intraday shorts, trader in New York said.</p> </blockquote> <p>* * *</p> <p>Another spurious headline, this time from Reuters: <strong><em>&quot;Japan&#39;s MOF has prepared a draft statement in the event of BOJ action,&quot;</em></strong> has sparked another vertical ramp, stop run in USDJPY...</p> <p>Full Reuters headline:<u><em><strong> </strong></em></u></p> <ul> <li><strong>YEN WEAKENS ON REPORT THAT JAPANESE GOVERNMENT IS PRESSURING BANK OF JAPAN TO EXPAND STIMULUS</strong></li> </ul> <p>So much for an &quot;independent&quot; central bank,</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 320px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we noted,</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BOJ&#39;s favorite tactic: use media &quot;leaks&quot; to take out upside stops ahead of major events</p> <p>&mdash; zerohedge (@zerohedge) <a href="">July 28, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Strongly suggesting Kuroda will get back to work tonight.</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="955" height="509" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of Japan Japan Reuters Volatility Yen Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:54:35 +0000 Tyler Durden 567571 at Corrupt Or Just Stupid? Markets Hand Corporations An Unlimited Credit Card <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by John Rubino via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>In the sound money community it&rsquo;s generally understood that abandoning the last vestige of the gold standard in 1971 gave major countries effectively-unlimited credit cards &ndash; which corrupted them irredeemably.</strong></p> <p>Now &ndash; with government bonds yielding either next to or less than nothing &ndash; that<strong> corruption has begun to spread to corporations, </strong>whose bonds are being snapped up by yield-deprived investors. For example:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Japan stock investors learn to love corporate debt</a></h2> <p>(Nikkei) &mdash; A shift is taking place in the Japanese stock market. Companies that take risks rather than playing it safe and transform themselves to seize growth opportunities are the new darlings among investors. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, managers shunned debt. But the Bank of Japan&rsquo;s &ldquo;a new phase of monetary easing,&rdquo; which began in the spring of 2013 was a game-changer. The BOJ&rsquo;s ultraeasy monetary policy has sharply lowered borrowing costs. Among Japanese companies that have taken on more debt since the central bank&rsquo;s new policy, 70% have seen their market capitalization rise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thus, from both a corporate and an investor perspective, debt is not necessarily a bad thing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The positives of negative</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier this year, the BOJ introduced negative interest rates for the first time to try and restore the moribund economy to health. The BOJ set an interest rate of minus 0.1% for some current account deposits held by commercial financial institutions at the central bank. Under normal conditions, borrowers must pay interest rates to their creditors. Under negative interest rates, lenders, in effect, pay borrowers to take their money.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Japan corporate debt July 16" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-11889" height="318" src="" width="538" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Corporate Japan is adjusting to the reality of negative interest rates. The BOJ&rsquo;s below-zero rates have pushed corporate bond yields sharply lower as well. A financial subsidiary of Toyota Motor recently issued three-year bonds paying an annual interest rate of 0.001%. This translates to yearly interest of just 1,000 yen ($9.43) per 100 million yen borrowed. Many market participants believe it is only a matter of time before yields on corporate bonds slip into negative territory, just as those on government bonds have.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hulic, a real estate company, is taking advantage of the new environment. Backed by a 250 billion yen line of credit from 10 financial institutions, Hulic bought Grand Pacific Le Daiba, a big hotel in Tokyo&rsquo;s Odaiba district, from railway operator Keikyu for just over 60 billion yen in May.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Without [this] funding capacity, our company would not have the ability to procure properties, and would not be able to maintain its growth potential,&rdquo; said Hulic President Manabu Yoshidome, a former banker.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nearly 60% of listed Japanese companies are now effectively debt-free. But if they remain risk-averse and complacent, they will have a hard time generating growth and winning investor support.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>That last sentence is chilling. </strong></u>In a credit bubble, a rock-solid balance sheet becomes &ldquo;risk-averse and complacent&rdquo; while borrowing record amounts of money to make historically-huge acquisitions is just good business.</p> <p>Since corporate CEOs, being human, find it hard to resist the siren call of empire, expect the negative interest rate world to generate a deluge of M&amp;A which in turn produces mal-investment on a scale that dwarfs that of the junk bond, and housing bubbles.</p> <p><strong>Two more-or-less random illustrations of the ability of easy money to turn corporate CEOs into raging idiots:</strong></p> <p>William F. Farley is not a household name today, but during the junk bond bubble of the 1980s &ndash; when credulous investors lent money to almost literally anyone with a plan to acquire almost literally anything &ndash; this guy was a roll-up artist who eventually bought and ran the Fruit of the Loom underwear company. As <a href="" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a> tells it:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Farley would soon establish himself as a nationwide leader in leveraged-buyout transactions. Over the next decade, Farley Industries would grow to encompass numerous companies within the manufacturing, mining, and apparel industries, the largest acquisition of which was Northwest Industries, for $1.4 billion in July 1985.[8] This acquisition brought Farley national attention for its size and boldness.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Farley served as president and CEO of Fruit of the Loom from 1985 to 2000. During that time, Fruit of the Loom&rsquo;s revenue grew dramatically, from $500 million to almost $2.5 billion. At its peak, Farley Industries employed over 30,000 employees worldwide.[2] Even while the company&rsquo;s revenue was rising sharply, its debt proved increasingly unwieldy amid the shifting economy. In 1999 Fruit of the Loom posted a net loss of $576 million, and Farley stepped down from his position.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Illustrating the absurdity of credit bubble dynamics, at the peak of his illusory power, </strong>Farley actually considered running for president &ndash; and was taken seriously by many who mistook access to cheap capital for actual expertise, intelligence, and/or character.</p> <p>And then of course there&rsquo;s the legendary Chuck Prince, whose famous &ldquo;dance&rdquo; quote solidified his place in the pantheon of truly dumb bankers. A Time Magazine piece from 2007 (just as, we now know, the housing bubble had begun to burst) captures the judgmental if not moral corruption of easy money:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Citigroup&rsquo;s Chuck Prince wants to keep dancing, and can you really blame him?</a></h2> <p>Citigroup chief executive told the Financial Times that the party would end at some point but there was so much liquidity it would not be disrupted by the turmoil in the US subprime mortgage market. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He denied that Citigroup, one of the biggest providers of finance to private equity deals, was pulling back.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you&rsquo;ve got to get up and dance. We&rsquo;re still dancing,&rdquo; he said in an interview with the FT in Japan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now the prospect of Chuck Prince dancing is in itself unsettling. But his account amounts to quite an elegant explanation of why financial bubbles persist. Even if Citigroup&rsquo;s executives were worried that private equity valuations have gotten too frothy and loan terms too loose, it would make little sense for them to pull back. Because they can never know for sure when the music&rsquo;s going to stop, and they&rsquo;d be crazy to forego all those underwriting fees for the year or two or three before it does. So they keep dancing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Then again, maybe some of us are just too eager to call this boom a bubble. Yesterday Moody&rsquo;s reported that global defaults of speculative-grade debt (a.k.a. junk) in the second quarter were at their lowest level since 1995. I would bet that default rate is about to start rising, but still: The world&rsquo;s big corporations are doing spectacularly well at the moment. Can you blame Chuck Prince for wanting to throw more money at them?</p> </blockquote> <p>The crucial thing to understand about credit bubble dynamics is that borrowing money from people desperate to lend and using the proceeds to overpay for assets<strong> requires only monkey-level intelligence. </strong>So while a bubble is inflating it&rsquo;s <strong>impossible for most of the media, banking and political communities to tell the legitimate operators from the hopelessly corrupt and/or extremely stupid.</strong> That&rsquo;s the world we&rsquo;ve created by handing monetary printing presses to governments, and by extension to corporate CEOs.</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s bubble is global, as capital sloshes from one country to the next in search of safety and/or yield. So this time around virtually all major governments have been corrupted, and now every country&rsquo;s major corporations are about to suffer the same fate. <strong>We have, in short, the mother of all crack-up booms coming our way.</strong></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="238" height="139" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of Japan Bond Borrowing Costs Citigroup Corruption Creditors default Default Rate Housing Bubble Japan Monetary Policy Nikkei Private Equity Real estate Reality Time Magazine Toyota Yen Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:41:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 567570 at Did The DNC Hire Actors (At Below Minimum Wage) To Work At The Convention? <p>Great news... The Democrats are &#39;creating jobs.&quot;</p> <p>Following the exposure of a <a href="">fake Trump job advertisement designed by The DNC to embarrass Trump</a>, it is interesting that a Craigslist ad calling for <strong><em>&quot;Actors Needed for National Convention&quot; </em></strong>has surfaced...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="340" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether the ad is real or fake is unclear, but the text suggests below minimum wage compensation (7-plus hours work for $50) and the number of walkouts from the Convention indicates perhaps a need for cheering happy seat-fillers...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><strong>Actors Needed For National Convention (Philadelphia)</strong></u><br /><strong>compensation: $50.00</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking for 700 people to be utilized as actors during the National Convention.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We currently have a number of empty seats that will need to be filled as we are currently removing a number of people and need to refill their seats for the remainder of the conference.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You will be paid $50.00 each night for the remainder of the convention.<strong> You will be required to cheer at all times and will be asked to dress properly and possibly wear some promotional material.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Which makes sense if one looks at the following <strong>shocking video</strong> from film director, Josh Fox, best known for his Oscar-nominated anti-fracking documentary Gasland, captured inside the DNC...</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><em>As reports, </em></a>Fox tells the camera...<em><strong> &quot;This is amazing, this place is empty. There is nobody left in here. I mean this whole stadium, look at this,&quot;</strong></em> as he pans his cellphone to show the lack of cheering Dems.</p> <p>He continues in disbelief, adding, <strong>&quot;This is not voter enthusiasm.... I can&#39;t believe my eyes. I&#39;ve never seen anything like this. </strong>This is the primetime of the Democratic National Convention right after the nomination of Hillary Clinton and this place is emptied out like crazy. I&#39;m stunned.&quot;</p> <p><em><strong>&quot;This is insane. The whole California delegation is pretty much gone,&quot; </strong></em>he adds. &quot;I mean this has got to be something very worrisome for the Democrats. Voter enthusiasm wins elections.&quot;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 471px; height: 336px;" /></a></p> <p>The director goes on to explain that<strong> the states that Hillary won got seating up close to the stage and the Bernie state delegates were sent up to the cheap seats</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 480px; height: 613px;" /></a></p> <p>Is it then totally surprising that The DNC needed to hire &#39;seat-fillers&#39;?</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><u><strong>And here is proof:</strong></u></p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">PROOF: &quot;Seat filling&quot; delegate&#39;s place if they leave their seats. <a href="">#DNCinPHL</a> <a href="">#DNCWalkout</a> <a href="">#DemExit</a> # <a href="">#NeverHillary</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Griefage (@Griefage) <a href="">July 28, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <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="480" height="286" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Nomination Twitter Twitter Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:20:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 567567 at