Welcome To The Fed's Theater Of The Absurd

In the current Theater of the Absurd, the world's most powerful central bank is relying on a novelty tune to maintain the hyper-speculative status quo. It would be humorous if it wasn't so tragic.

Pessimism Rising - Options Markets Signal Bears Beating Bulls

Amid the tightest range in stock market history, bearish sentiment toward stocks is rapidly worsening according to the options market. As Bloomberg reports, based on the number of puts trading compared with calls on single stocks, pessimism is higher now than any time since 2012 as "upside speculation has really fallen off a cliff." Contrarians may be rejoicing but without a QE-backing and central bank omnipotence in question, as one strategist noted, "perhaps these traders fear a greater correction coming down the pike."

UK Stock Market Tumbles Into 10% 'Correction' - Gone Nowhere Since Feb 2013

Just as The BoE starts to hint at raising rates sometimes, maybe, possibly, never... The FTSE 100 tumbles into yet another correction - down 10% from its record highs set shortly after Draghi unleashed Q€. At current levels, the UK stock market has seen no appreciation since Feb 2013...

The Baby Boom Will Never Retire - Half Have No Retirement Savings At All

If it were not for Social Security, half of retirees would be out in the street bringing back another Great Depression like atmosphere. This is in stark contrast to that 401(k) dreams pushed by Wall Street investment banks of endless Margaritas and walks on nameless sunny beaches. The sad reality is that retirement is no longer what people think.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras To Resign; New Elections Set For September 20

Update: GREEK PM TO HAND IN RESIGNATION TO PRESIDENT LATER ON THURSDAY -GOVT OFFICIALS 

"Greek state broadcaster ERT is reporting that the embattled prime minister will announce the vote later today. The PM has been meeting with government officials this afternoon and could resign from office having called the vote. September 13 and 20 have been touted as possible dates."

Iran Allowed To "Self-Inspect" Its Nuclear Sites By "Remarkably Naive And Reckless" UN

Given that self-regulation worked so well in the financial services industry, The United Nations, according to AP, has decided to allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate a site accused of being used to develop nuclear bombs. While the Obama administration was "confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program," John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said of the 'secret agreement' - since The UN normally does this work itself - "trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless."

Existing Home Sales Extrapolation Surges To Highest Since Feb 2007

By the miracle of NAR extrapolation and seasonal adjustment, the SAAR Existing Home Sales data just printed 5.59mm units - the highest since Feb 2007. Sales were dominated by increases in The West and The South with The Northeast falling. We have two questions for NAR - where are the buyers coming from... and how long is this sustainable?

Philly Fed Stagnant At 2015 Lows Amid Weaker Prices And New Orders

After July's hope-crushing drop in the Philly Fed manufacturing survey, August printed 8.3, modestly higher than expectations of a modest rise to 6.5. Prices Paid and Prices Received tumbled as did New Orders as deflation has firmly reappeared: "percentage of firms reporting reductions in prices received exceeded those reporting increases in prices received", but the headline index rose thanks to a pick up in employment and average workweek. The bottom line is that Philly Fed's survey is flatlining at the lowest levls in 2 years; and on a side note, the not-discussed-much Philly Fed non-manufacturing survey utterly collapsed from 51.4 to 2.7 in July.

Financial Pop Quiz

Think you know finance? Test your skills with this quick pop quiz.

For Caterpillar, This Is What The "Second Great Depression" Looks Like

The second great depression, which for industrial bellwether CAT started in December 2012 and has since resulted in 32 consecutive months of declining global retail sales and over a year longer than the decline observed during the great financial crisis, refuses to go away.

What "Smart" Money? Hedge Funds Underperform Market For Seventh Straight Year

"After roughly matching the S&P 500 through most of 1H 2015, funds lowered net exposures as the market declined in late June and failed to benefit as the index rebounded in July. The typical fund has returned +0.5% YTD, with equity long/short funds rising 1.3% and event-driven funds falling by 2.0%."