The Washington Examiner reports, that the second largest employer in America is Kelly Services - a temporary work provider. The company, started in 1946, serves 99% of the Fortune 100 and had revenues of $5.5bn in 2012. As The Examiner concludes, echoing our and Mr. Stockman's previous thoughts, it's a sad state of affairs for our country that the recovery, or lack thereof, is being fueled by a shift from full-time to part-time work.
Did Edward Snowden just accept a Venezuela asylum offer? He did for a few minutes following a tweet by Russian politician Alexey Pushkov, but subsequently did not after the tweet was deleted. Welcome to the New Normal age of twitter diplomacy...
Moments ago ECB's Asmussen had some less than jovial words for EURUSD longs. To wit via Reuters: ASMUSSEN SAYS THERE WAS UNANIMITY ON ALL DECISIONS LAST THURSDAY INCLUDING THE RATE DECISION; ASMUSSEN SAYS ECB FORWARD GUIDANCE GOES BEYOND 12 MONTHS; ECB'S ASMUSSEN SAYS IF NEEDED WE HAVE A RANGE OF STANDARD AND NON-STANDARD MEASURES WE CAN DEPLOY. And the punchline: ASMUSSEN, ASKED ON NEW LTRO, SAYS I WOULD NOT RULE OUT THIS. The intention, of course, was to crush the EURUSD now that redenomination risk is, supposedly, gone. We can't wait until said risk returns and Mario Draghi comes back urging everyone to buy, buy, buy the EURUSD. Of course, end result for those who listened to us a week ago and faded Stolper's latest EURUSD long at 1.3060, a 260 pip gain with which we close the latest Stolper fade reco.
The overthrow of President Mohamad Morsi by popular demand and supported by the army inaugurates yet another volatile episode in Egypt’s long and turbulent transition. Macro stabilisation in Egypt hinges on a swift and cohesive transition, and given the current bloodshed, that appears unlikely - which leaves Barclays 'muddle-through scenario' - where political/religious divides delay formation of civilian government - as the most likely; postponing fiscal reforms indefinitely, and undermining further the fiscal and debt sustainability of the already-troubled nation. This is a major problem, since, after all; among the main reasons behind the mass protests of 30 June were the continued deterioration in most socioeconomic indicators, faltering public services (notably provisions of fuel and electricity), rising risks of macroeconomic instability and slow progress in implementing socioeconomic and fiscal reforms over the past year.
In case you missed the late announcement, Ben Bernanke is scheduled to deliver a speech on Wednesday afternoon, covering the Federal Reserve Bank’s track record through its 100 year history. Presumably, he’ll also spend time defending current policies, in both prepared remarks and the question-and-answer session to follow.
In advance of what could be a market-moving talk, it seems appropriate to consider what’s been said in the past about the Fed’s policy record. I suggest seeing if you can name the source of each of the following excerpts...
When it comes to changing the "measurement" rules in the middle of the game, nobody does it quite like Japan: in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear explosion, when radiation was soaring (and still is with Tritium levels just hitting a record high but who cares - Goldman partners have to earn record bonuses on the back of the irradiated island) Japan's solution was simple: double the maximum safe irradiation dosage. Done and done. Now, it is time to do the same to that other just as pesky, if somewhat less lethal indicator: inflation. Reuters reports that the Japanese government plans to adopt a different measure of inflation to the central bank's.
China’s biggest private shipbuilder, China Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group, last week filed for a profit warning as it expects a loss in the first half of 2013. That was the good news. The bad news is that Rongsheng appealed for government aid last Friday and said it was cutting staff as it was delaying payments to suppliers to deal with tightened cash flows. It also called on its shareholders for financial help and said it was in talks with banks and other financial institutions to renew existing credit lines. In other words a complete liquidity collapse.
If Portugal had hoped that as a result of this weekend's political manoeuvering, which preserved the tenuous majority of the Coelho coalition cabinet by granting the previously resigned CDS-PP leader Paulo Portas the vice-premiership, thus "forcing" him to rescind his resignation and prevent a government collapse, it would project a vision of political stability, it may need to reevaluate as moments ago the leader of the Socialist Party (the biggest opposition party) Antonio Jose Seguro reaffirmed a call for Portugal to have early elections. Quote Seguro: "Our country is faced with the need to negotiate a new program, which may be called a precautionary program or anything else. Only a new government would have the democratic legitimacy to negotiate a new aid program for our country." Seguro spoke to reporters in Lisbon after meeting Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva.
Today, something happened that has not happened since the Lehman collapse: the 1 Month Gold Forward Offered (GOFO) rate turned negative, from 0.015% to -0.065%, for the first time in nearly 5 years, or technically since just after the Lehman bankruptcy precipitated AIG bailout in November 2011. And if one looks at the 3 Month GOFO, which also turned shockingly negative overnight from 0.05% to -0.03%, one has to go back all the way to the 1999 Washington Agreement on gold, to find the last time that particular GOFO rate was negative.
Overnight news began in China where the CPI came in 2.7% versus consensus of 2.5% although PPI continues to decline at a faster pace than expected (-2.7% v -2.6%). While nobody believes the actual print, that the PBOC is telegraphing an inflationary "leak" shows its willingness to continue with pro-tightening measures which is why despite an Alcoa "beat", the SHCOMP was up only 0.37%. Elsewhere in China, Bloomberg news quoting Xinhua said that some district governments of Ordos of Inner Mongolia is struggling with finances and had to borrow money from companies to pay salaries of municipal employees. Ordos is the infamous "ghost town" spurred by the mining boom in Inner Mongolia. The Bloomberg article noted that Ordos local government entities have CNY240bn of debt versus CNY37.5 billion of revenue last year. And while the Alcoa "beat", helped handily by a hilariously "tapered" consensus into reporting day, did little for China it was the catalyst that pushed global stocks higher worldwide.
What can be said here that we haven't said countless times before? If the braintrust behind Comcast's acquisition of the CNBC package deal, not to mention assorted increasingly more desperate CNBC producers, had hoped that an artificial "wealth effect" created under a central planning world would lead to greater viewership, more retail stock market participation, and better advertising terms (not to mention revenues), they were wrong. Very, very wrong.
The Osama Bin Laden raid was suspect from the very beginning. Not only were key initial descriptions of the assault completely incorrect (such as him being armed and his wife being killed), but the manner in which his body was rapidly tossed into the ocean was beyond bizarre... even Tony Soprano keeps a body longer than that. Well it seems the “most transparent administration ever” has made sure that the American public never receives any information beyond the propaganda of Zero Dark Thirty.
With the Western (and Japanese) media focused almost entirely on the actions of their central-planners-in-chief and how effective they are, it seems human's omnipotence over complex systems is being greatly challenged by the ongoing Fukushima disaster. The Japan Times reports that TEPCO said Sunday that 600,000 becquerels per liter of tritium has been detected in groundwater at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant - 18% higher than levels a week earlier. Furthermore, the utility also said it had measured a seawater tritium level of 2,300 becquerels per liter - the highest so far - near the water intakes of reactors 1 to 4. So it is that in a nation already suffering from a dreadfully declining demographic dilemma, the citizens are being exposed to highly cancerous substances still.