“It’s going to get a lot hotter in the United States over the next 100 years, and worse going forward," notes a report cited by Bloomberg.The report, below, fearmongers the mutually assured destruction that will happen if something is not done right now about global warming (despite the implications being out to the year 2200) concluding... "The risks are much more perverse and cruel than we saw with the financial crisis, because they accumulate over time...a business-as-usual approach is actually radical risk-taking." Can you guess who sponsored the report and used those M.A.D. words?
"The one unlimited resource we have on the planet is the human brain – the current strategy of 1% capitalism is failing because it is killing the Golden Goose at multiple levels. Unfortunately, the gap between those with money and power and those who actually know what they are talking about has grown catastrophic. The rich are surrounded by sycophants and pretenders whose continued employment demands that they not question the premises."
Following last night's 94-page extravaganza on gold, this infographic, part four in our 2014 Gold Series (part 1, part 2, & part 3 here), covers the five best reasons to own gold: 1) Gold helps investors diversify their portfolios; 2) Gold is a great store of value; 3) Gold helps protect against inflation and other risks; 4) Gold demand is driven by a growing east, while grades are dropping and new discoveries are more scarce; and 5) Gold stocks are as cheap as they have ever been, using the GDX as a proxy. The reasons to own gold have not changed since the peak in 2011.
Against a background of having lost control of all western border crossings, Iraqi officials are concerned that ISIS fighters are advancing on the Haditha Dam, the second-largest in Iraq. With militants pouring in from the north, the northeast and the northwest, The NY Times reports, army officers told employees to stay inside and to be prepared to open the dam’s floodgates if ordered to do so. "This will lead to the flooding of the town and villages and will harm you also," warned one worried employee but this would not be the first time that the Iraqi government and ISIS have engaged in dam warfare, as the closure of the Falluja dam earlier in the year starved areas downstream in the provinces of Najaf and Diwaniya of water needed for crops. The situation is growing more grave as Maliki rejected calls for a caretaker government and has forced Iran's hand to help. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia noted "the Iranians are playing in a big way in Iraq."
US equity indices are showing signs that a pullback may be developing, Citi's FX Technicals group notes, as the S&P 500 Index, the NASDAQ Composite Index and the Dow Industrials Index all posted bearish key days yesterday. A short-term correction on the order of 3%-6% may be developing on the back of this. The Dow Transports Index, which has been the leading US equity Index this year, has already been showing signs of stress as well. The VIX Index is also turning higher from low levels and should head up towards at least 14% if not 18% if the pullback in equities materializes.
Remember when in January 2014, Q1 GDP was expected to rise 2.6%? Well, here comes the final Q1 GDP revision and it's a doozy: at -2.9%, far below the -1.8% expected and well below the -1.0% second revision, it is an absolute disaster, and is the worst print since Q1 2009.
First it was gold, now it is HFT - poor Barclays just can't get away with any market rigging crime these days: "In sum, Barclays’ courting of high frequency traders, and its willingness to falsify the extent of high frequency trading activity in its dark pool, was contrary to Barclays’ representations to clients that Barclays operated with “transparency” and provided a safe venue in which to trade. As described by one former senior Barclays Director: “there was a lot going on in the dark pool that was not in the best interests of clients. The practice of almost ensuring that every counterparty would be a high frequency firm, it seems to me that that wouldn’t be in the best interest of their clients . . . It’s almost like they are building a car and saying it has an airbag and there is no airbag or brakes.”
Spend more than a few minutes watching CNBC (yes all 2,000 of you) and you will be told how great things are, how great things will be, and how (no matter how bad the immediate 'event' is) the hockey-stick of future exceptionalism will always be there. In the interests of full disclosure, that is wrong and these four charts show why... a friendly reminder of the state of the union...
Obamacare, the Stimulus, TARP, Fast and Furious, support of the Egyptian regime change, Libyan Leading from Behind, four American killed in Benghazi, blaming a video for the Benghazi attacks, the IRA targeting, NSA email and phone file storage, Syrian Red Line, the Russian takeover of Crimea, the VA handling of veterans, release of Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo, the onslaught of children crossing the Mexican border, two years of lost emails of the key IRS individual and now Iraq. I can’t imagine any previous U.S. President having so many scandals attributed to his administration and virtually none of them adequately answered or resolved.
Forget Maradonna's "Hand Of God", and Luis Suarez' "Jaws Of Doom"; Goldman Sachs just issued their latest set of updated predictions for the FIFA World Cup and unleashed a "kiss of death" on USA. The bank (whose win rate on predictions so far has been a lowly 30%) forecast the odds of USA making it to the 2nd Round (the knockout stage) is 81.6% (with Portugal a lowly 5.3% likely). Given the variance of results so far, we hope they are right; but their odds seem a little long (and they have Belgium beating USA in the next round).
"No" is not a word one hears very often in the new normal centrally-planned, no consequence world in which the world increasingly finds itself. As ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, there is good reason not to scare people off as the power of the word “No” in human interaction shows its psychological heft is inversely proportional to its length. From early childhood, Colas points out, we learn that “No” signifies a negative outcome, and that wiring stays with us the rest of our lives. Studies using brain-imaging scans show this in detail. Subjects who hear the words “Yes” and “no” exhibit dramatically different brain activity. “No” gets processed slightly more slowly, but with powerful negative emotion. The result is less trust and cooperation from the person who hears “No”. If that is your desired result, “No” is your word of choice. But if it isn’t, try something else.
In what appears to be the first real action post-Flash Boys, NY AG Eric Schneiderman will announce at 4pm ET that Barclays will be sued over fraud allegations related to its Dark Pool's preferential treatment of high-frequency traders. As Bloomberg notes, Barclays runs one of the market's largest dark pools. This comes 2 months after the NY AG sent requests for information to various major HFT shops. It seems, just as we noted here, that a potential scapegoat is being primed 'just in case' this 'market' can't withstand the Fed's pullback.
Just imagine how strong the rally would have been if US GDP had contracted by 5%? The early weakness in US equities was instantly dismissed the moment US stock markets opened for trading to the general algo public (and POMO began to be disseminated). The S&P retraced a perfect Fib 61.8% of its losses of yesterday's highs and absolutely decoupled from the reality of FX (USDJPY for example) and bond (Treasury) markets suggesting today's low-volume levitation (after big volume pre-open plunge) is nothing but a dead cat bounce. Of course, the ammo for the magical ramp was a short-squeeze and a "VIX-Smash" but even that could not keep pace with the idiocy in stocks. Gold, silver, copper, and oil all rose along with stocks. Late-day VIX-slam lifted the S&P to unch on the week (same as "most shorted" stocks) but was unable to extend. As we 'joked' before the open, "If the complete collapse of the US economy doesn't send the S&P to new all time highs, nothing will."