en Crude Crash Continues After Close: WTI Now $65 Handle, Lowest Since 2009 <p>Not 'off the lows'</p> <p>Big flush into WTI's close...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="313" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And Brent under $70... first time since May 2010</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="314" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To 5 year lows...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="305" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Houston, we really&nbsp; have a problem...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="359" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it's priced in right?</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="314" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Charts: Bloomberg</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="485" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Fri, 28 Nov 2014 18:35:08 +0000 Tyler Durden 498373 at WTF Chart Of The Day: Centrally Planned Confidence Edition <p>Because nothing says "spend on Black Friday" like a fractionally positive Dow Jones Industrial Average closing in the green with a last minute surge that gets its from red to just barely green... and completely unrigged.&nbsp;<strong><em> </em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="359" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WTF!!!</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="1184" height="709" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Black Friday Dow Jones Industrial Average Fri, 28 Nov 2014 18:18:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 498372 at Dow Record Close Despite Bond Yields, Bullion, & Black Gold Battering <p>Despite the best efforts of business media to paint a rosy picture of the Black Friday spend-fest, stocks had only one trajectory - from upper left to lower right - from the open. <strong>Small Caps were slammed </strong>but all major indices gave up significant knee-jerk &quot;energy schmenergy&quot; gains to close ugly. However, The Dow was pushed just into the green - and new record highs - to prove everything in the centrally planned world is awesome. Crude oil prices were monkey-hammered to 5-year closing lows. <strong>The USDollar gained on the day - after 3 down days</strong> - and combined with Swiss referendum expectations, gold faded notably (as did Silver with oil). Treasury yields tumbled 10-12bps on the week and <strong>HY credit notably underperformed</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ugly day for stocks...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 416px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the week&#39;s gains disappear...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stocks decoupled from USDJPY</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 318px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Credit markets were hit hard today - driven by HY energy collapse</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 340px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While stocks were ugly, it was commodities that took the proverbial biscuit today...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the dollar rallied from OPEC&#39;s decision after 3 down days...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 319px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Treasury yields plunged...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 321px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Charts: Bloomberg</p> <p>&nbsp;</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="671" height="380" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Black Friday Bond Crude Crude Oil OPEC Fri, 28 Nov 2014 18:10:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 498371 at Crude Crashes Most In Over 5 Years <p>Because nothing says global demand is picking up like the biggest collapse in crude oil prices since April 2009...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="302" /></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="958" height="482" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Crude Oil Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:50:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 498370 at 'Wealth' Creation In 1 Simple Chart <p>Explain...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Chart: 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="898" height="506" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:27:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 498369 at Today's Dow - America In A Nutshell <p>All consumption... no production...</p> <p><em>Dow Jones Industrials points...</em></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="552" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</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="704" height="648" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:59:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 498367 at As Japanese Bankruptcies Soar, Goldman Warns "Further Yen Depreciation Could Be A Net Burden" <p>It is no secret that one of the primary drivers of relentless S&amp;P 500 levitation over the past two years, ever since the start of Japan's mammoth QE, has been the use of the Yen as the carry currency of choice (once again as during the credit bubble of the early-2000s), whose shorting has directly resulted in E-mini levitation. One look at the intraday chart of any JPY pair and the S&amp;P500 is largely sufficient to confirm this. Those days, however, may be coming to an end, at least according to Goldman which overnight released a note saying that the Yen is "<strong>Almost at breakeven: Further yen depreciation could be a net burden."</strong></p> <p><em>Here are the highlights:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The yen has depreciated quickly beyond ¥115/US$ from the ¥107/US$ level since the FOMC made the decision to terminate quantitative easing and the BOJ surprised with additional easing at the end of October. <strong>This has prompted concern over possible damage to Japan as a whole if the yen weakens further.</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Using industry input/output tables to investigate the costs and benefits of a weak yen, we find that the manufacturing sector still reaps forex translation gains under Japan’s current economic structure. <strong>However, in materials and nonmanufacturing industries that have limited opportunity to pass on forex-driven cost growth to exports, the costs of a weak yen far outweigh the benefits. According to our calculations, a 25% decline in the yen’s valueresults in a ¥4.1 tn net cost increase for Japanese industry as a whole since 2012 and a ¥10.5 bn increase in household sector import inducement</strong>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By contrast, the decline in commodity prices is a substantial relief. A 10% decline in commodity prices cancels out the increase in net cost borne by 14.5% yen depreciation. The 25% decline in commodity prices so far (oil price) offsets the net cost increase borne by 35% yen weakness. Calculating from the late 2012 rate of ¥78/US$, 35% depreciation works out to a rate of ¥120/US$. <strong>In other words, the combination of the oil price around US$80/bbl and the yen exchange rate of ¥120/US$ is just about at breakeven, netting out the benefit and cost of yen depreciation and oil price decline since Abenomics began.</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That said, our commodities research team sees limited scope for further decline in crude oil prices, while we expect the yen to depreciate further as the FRB and BOJ’s policies diverge. If further yen depreciation is not accompanied by real economic growth in the form of an export volume recovery and broad wage increases, and ends up merely producing forex translation gains, we believe it could very well place an increased burden on the Japanese economy as a whole. Needless to say, the cost burden will ease if the rapid decline in oil price over the last few days stabilizes at the low levels.</p> </blockquote> <p>Oddly enough, one can almost make the case that the collapse in crude price has been manufactured to allow Japan's QE to continue as long as possible. And yet, this is hardly comforting news to Japan's companies, which as shown in the chart below, are seeing a surge in bankruptcies unseen in recent history. This is how Goldman explains this:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>For the nonmanufacturing sector, yen depreciation means growth in net cost, increased burden for corporate and household sectors</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nonmanufacturing industries export little. Most of the goods they produce are consumed domestically. Imported intermediate products used as raw materials in the nonmanufacturing sector amount to only ¥8.6 tn, but we estimate that depreciation-linked input cost is ¥40.3 tn as this includes electricity/gas used at retail stores and event spaces as well as fuel (oil) costs for transporting goods. Nonmanufacturing sector exports, meanwhile, amount to just ¥18.5 bn. A 25% decline in the yen’s value raises the input cost by ¥10.1 tn, but this far exceeds the additional export receipt of ¥4.6 tn, resulting in a net cost increase of ¥5.5 tn. This additional cost must be borne by the “domestic sector” in Japan—i.e., the corporate or household sector. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Keeping personnel costs in check is key for companies forced to bear increased costs due to yen depreciation. Personnel costs have a high weighting in the nonmanufacturing sector, and if the yen continues to weaken it will be difficult to continue raising wages unless sales rise commensurately with cost increases. </strong>Cost increases in the nonmanufacturing sector due to yen depreciation have an ultimate ripple effect on the household sector because the&nbsp; higher costs are passed on to retail prices and/or they prompt companies to rein in personnel costs (see Exhibit 2). </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="248" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Costs of yen depreciation outweigh benefits for industry as a whole: Policies for addressing weak yen effect appear limited based on past experience </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A similar calculation made using input/output tables for 2005 results in a “net export” figure of ¥16.3 tn for the manufacturing sector. Even after&nbsp; subtracting nonmanufacturing sector “net cost” of ¥14.9 bn, net exports of ¥1.4 tn remain, indicating that policies to offset the impact of a weak yen had a positive impact on the Japanese economy as a whole. The secular rise in crude oil prices from 2005 significantly raised the cost of intermediate inputs—mining, oil, and coal products—for both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing. For industry as a whole, input costs affected by yen depreciation increased to ¥86.6 bn in 2012 from ¥71.8 tn in 2005. Over the same period, exports of goods and services from Japan declined to ¥70.3 tn from ¥73.2 tn due to yen appreciation, the global financial crisis, and the March 2011 earthquake. The lack of growth in exports is due partly to the global demand cycle, but a larger structural factor is that Japanese companies have lost global&nbsp; market share due to the shift of production overseas and increased competition with foreign products. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2012, the structure of the Japanese economy was that manufacturing sector had net export value of just ¥5.5 tn, which was insufficient to offset the nonmanufacturing sector’s net cost of ¥21.8 tn, resulting in net cost of ¥16.3 tn for Japanese industry as a whole. A 25% decline in the yen’s value raises industry’s net cost burden by ¥4.1 tn, which is equivalent to 0.8% of GDP. The impact of weak-yen policy measures based on experiences when Japan was a net exporter, has clearly diminished. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bankruptcies precipitated by yen depreciation on the rise</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to a recent bankruptcy survey by Tokyo Shoko Research, there were 214 bankruptcies due to the weak yen in January-September 2014, which is 2.4 times the 89 seen in January-September 2013. Far more of the bankruptcies were in the nonmanufacturing sector—81 in transport, 41 in wholesale trade, 19 in services, and 11 in retail—than in the manufacturing sector (44), which is consistent with our analysis based on the input/output tables. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Surprisingly, the number of bankruptcies since 2013 due to yen depreciation far surpasses the number of bankruptcies in 2009-2011 due to yen appreciation. Presumably, in many cases in 2009-2011 the strong yen was not cited as the direct cause of bankruptcy because there were numerous other factors at work also, beginning with the sharp slowdown in the global economy and financing difficulties. Nevertheless, the 353 bankruptcies since&nbsp; 2013 attributed to the weak yen are 2.2 times greater than the 157 bankruptcies from 2009 to 2011 attributed to the strong yen (see Exhibit 3).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="375" /></a></p> </blockquote> <p>And it is not just corporations that are approaching their weak-yen breaking point. So are households:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Household burden increases with weaker yen </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let us turn to the household sector. The input-output table has a matrix of “import induction value by final demand categories”. This shows the value of goods and services imports induced by final demand categories such as household consumption, private business investments, public fixed investment and exports (see Exhibit 4). </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Household sector final demand totaled ¥279 tn in 2012, with imports accounting for ¥41.9 tn, or 15.0%, of household consumption. This includes gasoline and mineral fuels (oil, coal) needed to generate electricity for households. Taking into account the decline in the yen’s value since 2012, household sector import value has risen ¥10.5 tn to ¥52.4 tn. The ¥10.5 tn rise is equivalent to 3.6% of 2012 household sector disposable income of ¥287 tn.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2005, imports represented ¥32.8 tn of household final consumption. This figure rose ¥9.1 tn to ¥41.9 tn in 2012, and if we take the 25% decline in the yen’s value into account, the rise comes to ¥19.6 tn over seven years. Mining, oil, and coal products account for 50% of the rise since 2005, clearly showing how the rises in gasoline, kerosene and electricity prices due to yen depreciation increased households’ burden. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Household final consumption was largely unchanged during this period, rising just barely from ¥277 tn in 2005 to ¥280 tn in 2012. This means that domestic consumption of goods and services declined to the same extent that import consumption value increased. Disposable income declined just slightly over this period, to ¥287 tn from ¥290 tn, meaning that the rise in import costs for households due to yen depreciation was borne directly by households, causing them to curb their spending. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Food and fuel-related imports in the household sector totaled ¥22 tn in 2012, accounting for 54% of household sector imports of ¥41 tn. The recent decline in crude oil and other commodity prices is partially offsetting the impact of the weak yen, but not the rise in costs due to yen depreciation on the 46% of imports that are not food or fuel-related.</p> </blockquote> <p>Goldman's conclusion:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>If further yen weakness is not accompanied by real economic growth in the form of an export volume recovery and broad wage increases, and ends up merely producing forex translation gains, we believe it could very well place an increased burden on the Japanese economy as a whol</strong>e. Needless to say, the cost burden will ease if the recent rapid decline in oil price stabilizes at the low levels.</p> </blockquote> <p>Needless to say, none of this is preventing the momentum-chasing algos to push the USDJPY up some 100 pips in the overnight session to offset the tumble in energy companies and push the S&amp;P higher, and send it almost back to the highest level seen since 2007. And once the USDJPY trigger the 119 buy stops, all bets are off, if only for the Japanese economy. The Nikkei and the S&amp;P 500 on the other hand, well those will keep rising as more economic devastation rains on Japan's economy thanks to Abenomics. </p> <p>Then again, with <a href="">Paul Krugman now openly advising Abe</a>, it should come as no surprise that Japan's economy is in the late stages of a total and unprecedented collapse.</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="634" height="476" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abenomics Crude Crude Oil fixed Global Economy Japan Krugman Market Share Nikkei None Paul Krugman Quantitative Easing recovery Yen Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:20:18 +0000 Tyler Durden 498366 at The Price Of Oil Exposes The True State Of The Economy <p><em>Submitted by <a href="">Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatice Earth blog</a>,</em></p> <p><center><a href="" target="new"><img border="0" src="" /></a><br /><span style="font-size:10px;">Jack Delano <b> Cafe at truck drivers&rsquo; service station on U.S. 1, Washington DC </b> Jun 1940 </span></center> </p><p>We should be glad the price of oil has fallen the way it has (losing another 6% today as we write this). Not because it makes the gas in our cars a bit cheaper, that&rsquo;s nothing compared to the other service the price slump provides. That is,<strong> it allows us to see how the economy is really doing, without the multilayered veil of propaganda, spin, fixed data and bailouts and handouts for the banking system.</strong></p> <p>It shows us the huge extent to which consumer spending is falling, how much poorer people have become as stock markets set records. It also shows us how desperate producing nations have become, who have seen a third of their often principal source of revenue fall away in a few months&rsquo; time. Nigeria was first in line to devalue its currency, others will follow suit.</p> <p>OPEC today decided not to cut production, but whatever decision they would have come to, nothing would have made one iota of difference. The fact that prices only started falling again after the decision was made public shows you how senseless financial markets have become, dumbed down by easy money for which no working neurons are required.</p> <p>OPEC has become a theater piece, and the real world out there is getting colder. Oil producing nations can&rsquo;t afford to cut their output in some vague attempt, with very uncertain outcome, to raise prices. The only way to make up for their losses is to increase production when and where they can. And some can&rsquo;t even do that.</p> <p>Saudi Arabia increased production in 1986 to bring down prices. All it has to do today to achieve the same thing is to not cut production. But the Saudi&rsquo;s have lost a lot of clout, along with OPEC, it&rsquo;s not 1986 anymore. That is due to an extent to American shale oil, but the global financial crisis is a much more important factor.</p> <p>We are only now truly even just beginning to see how hard that crisis has already hit the Chinese export miracle, and its demand for resources, a major reason behind the oil crash. The US this year imported less oil from OPEC members than it has in 30 years, while Americans drive far less miles per capita and shale has its debt-financed temporary jump. Now, all oil producers, not just shale drillers, turn into Red Queens, trying ever harder just to make up for losses.</p> <p>The American shale industry, meanwhile, is a driverless truck, with brakes missing and fueled by on cheap speculative capital. The main question underlying <b>US shale is no longer about what&rsquo;s feasible to drill today, it&rsquo;s about what can still be financed tomorrow</b>. And the press are really only now waking up to the Ponzi character of the industry.</p> <p>In a <a href="" target="new"><span style="font-size:13px;color: #FF2222;font-weight:bold">pretty solid piece</span></a> last week, the Financial Times&rsquo; John Dizard concluded with:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><i>Even long-time energy industry people cannot remember an overinvestment cycle lasting as long as the one in unconventional US resources. It is not just the hydrocarbon engineers who have created this bubble; there are the financial engineers who came up with new ways to pay for it. </i></p> </blockquote> <p>While Reuters on November 10 (h/t Yves at NC) talked about <a href="" target="new"><span style="font-size:13px;color: #FF2222;font-weight:bold">giant equity fund KKR&rsquo;s shale troubles</span></a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><i>KKR, which led the acquisition of oil and gas producer Samson for $7.2 billion in 2011 and has already sold almost half its acreage to cope with lower energy prices, plans to sell its North Dakota Bakken oil deposit worth less than $500 million as part of an ongoing downsizing plan. </i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Samson&rsquo;s bonds are trading around 70 cents on the dollar, indicating that KKR and its partners&rsquo; equity in the company would probably be wiped out were the whole company to be sold now. Samson&rsquo;s financial woes underscore how private equity&rsquo;s love affair with North America&rsquo;s shale revolution comes with risks. The stakes are especially high for <b>KKR, which saw a $45 billion bet on natural gas prices go sour</b> when Texas power utility Energy Future Holdings filed for bankruptcy this year.</i></p> </blockquote> <p>And today, Tracy Alloway at FT mentions <a href="" target="new"><span style="font-size:13px;color: #FF2222;font-weight:bold">major banks and their energy-related losses</span></a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><i>Banks including Barclays and Wells Fargo are facing potentially heavy losses on an $850 million loan made to two oil and gas companies, in a sign of how the dramatic slide in the price of oil is beginning to reverberate through the wider economy. [..] if Barclays and Wells attempted to syndicate the $850m loan now, it could go for as little as 60 cents on the dollar.</i></p> </blockquote> <p>That&rsquo;s just one loan. At 60 cents on the dollar, a $340 million loss. Who knows how many similar, and bigger, loans are out there? Put together, these stories slowly seeping out of the juncture of energy and finance gives the good and willing listener an inkling of an idea of the losses being incurred throughout the global economy, and by the large financiers. There&rsquo;s a bloodbath brewing in the shadows. Countries can see their revenues cut by a third and move on, perhaps with new leaders, but many companies can&rsquo;t lose that much income and keep on going, certainly not when they&rsquo;re heavily leveraged.</p> <p>The Saudi&rsquo;s refuse to cut output and say: let America cut. But American oil producers can&rsquo;t cut even if they would want to, it would blow their debt laden enterprises out of the water, and out of existence. Besides, that energy independence thing plays a big role of course. But with prices continuing to fall, much of that industry will go belly up because credit gets withdrawn.</p> <p>The amount of money lost in the &lsquo;overinvestment cycle&rsquo; will be stupendous, and you don&rsquo;t need to ask who&rsquo;s going to end up paying. Pointing to past oil bubbles risks missing the point that the kind of leverage and cheap credit heaped upon shale oil and gas, as Dizard also says, is unprecedented. As Wolf Richter wrote earlier this year, the industry has bled over $100 billion in losses for three years running.</p> <p>Not because they weren&rsquo;t selling, but because the costs were &ndash; and are &ndash; so formidable. There&rsquo;s more debt going into the ground then there&rsquo;s oil coming out. Shale was a losing proposition even at $100. But that remained hidden behind the wagers backed by 0.5% loans that fed the land speculation it was based on from the start. WTI fell below $70 today. You can let your 3-year old do the math from there.</p> <p><strong>I wonder how many people will scratch their heads as they&rsquo;re filling up their tanks this week and wonder how much of a mixed blessing that cheap gas is. They should. They should ask themselves how and why and how much the plummeting gas price is a reflection of the real state of the global economy, and what that says about their futures.</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="558" height="472" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barclays fixed Global Economy KKR Natural Gas OPEC Private Equity Reuters Saudi Arabia Wells Fargo Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:57:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 498365 at About Those Eyeball-Based Valuations: "Half Of Twitter Accounts Created In 2013 Have Already Been Deleted" <p>Still paying a #Div/0 valuation for Facebook or Twitter based on expectations of exponential growth in eyeballs, or rather "<em>eyeballs</em>"? Then perhaps read this first.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>... many of the “users” on social media sites aren’t real people at all – they’re celebrity staff tweeting on behalf of their employer, or PRs promoting a company, or even fake accounts for people that don’t exist at all.<strong> In fact, half of all Twitter accounts created in 2013 have already been deleted.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These fake accounts are often created by unscrupulous firms that will beef up your follower count in return for cold hard cash.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Twitter is in the centre of public interest and politicians or companies are often ranked by number of followers or re-tweets or the like – so, there is a whole “web optimisation” industry offering services to make you look better on Twitter – <strong>everybody can buy 10,000 followers for $5</strong>,” Pfeffer said.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>Source: <a href="">Forbes</a></em><a href=""></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="552" height="350" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Twitter Twitter Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:44:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 498364 at The US Consumer Is So Exuberant, Best Buy's Website Just Died <p>Apple-esque marketing gimmick or spend-more-than-you-can-afford US consumer in full rampage...?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="224" /></a></p> Best Buy Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:10:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 498363 at