Simple: it reassigned, or fired, all the investigators and police officers.
With the world awash in liquidity and yet every one of the world's leaders spreading the "ogre of deflation" myth to ensure the administration of moar free money; we thought it interesting that with government identified inflation statistics entirely benign that the prices of US cattle and milk have reached record highs (and show no sign of stopping as Cattle is limit-up today again). The rise has been almost non-stop beginning in early 2009... now what else began to rise in an almost straight line then?
Venezuela can be proud: while the US stock market has gone exactly nowhere in 2014, the Caracas stock exchange of the socialist paradise has continued kicking ass and taking names, just today printing a fresh all time high. However, as everyone knows, there are trade offs to soaring stock markets in all socialist countries, be they paradises or not. By now everyone knows that Venezuela has had a rather systemic issue when it comes to procuring toilet paper, and from what we understand, the local population is still forced at times to wipe with stock certificates. Alas, things are about to get worse. As a result of Maduro's recent policies which have Lenin, Stalin and Engels positive beaming from the grave, the country may soon add another shortage to its growing list of daily product in short, or no, supply. Food.
4-Week Bills Price At Highest Bid To Cover Since 2011; Continue Trading Negative In Secondary MarketSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/22/2014 14:02 -0400
Today the ante was just upped once more, as the 4 Week Bill Bid to Cover rose yet again, from 6.4x to 6.6x. Logically, this print is now the latest and greatest highest Bid to Cover since December 2011, and the question remains: why the scramble for safety?
Comedy hour comes early today, courtesy of Japan's PM Shinzo Abe who just started speaking on the topic of "reshaping the world" at Davos. Like we said: pure comedy.
While Edward Snowden's legacy has already been felt in official, government circle most recently with Obama's amusing, if completely meaningless, theatrical reformation of the NSA (so wait, the Utah's superstasi spy center is now closed, right?), it is now the private sector's turn. Moments ago, Verizon - in what is hopefully the first such action of many - provided an extensive "Transparency Report" in which it disclosed the "number of subpoenas, orders, and warrants we received from law enforcement in the United States last year. We also received emergency requests and National Security Letters. The vast majority of these various types of demands relate to our consumer customers; we receive relatively few demands regarding our enterprise customers." So regular retail customers are being actively spied on, but corporations are safe. Good to know.
And sure enough, less than 24 hours later, here comes the now well-known Icahn Tweet-pump
Since tweeting about our large position in $AAPL on Aug 13, when the stock was 468 per share, we’ve kept buying shares of this ‘no brainer.’
— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) January 22, 2014
Following last night's implementation of emergency rule in Thailand for a period of 60 days, where the ongoing clashes between protesters and the government mean the economy is likely set to grind to a halt at least judging by the constant downward revisions in the country's GDP, the default risk of Thailand just jumped to a fresh one year high, rising to 159 bps, or double where it was in May of this year (but still well below the 240bps hit at the peak of the European crisis in September 2011). However, since tensions do not appear to be getting resolved, expect this particular CDS to continue drifting higher, especially following news that the Thai leader of a pro-government group was shot last night.
When it comes to the opinions of financial pundits and "experts", most can be chucked into the garbage heap of groupthink and consensus. However, one person whose opinion stands out is Elliott Management's Paul Singer. One of the most successful hedge fund managers has consistently stood against the grain of conventional wisdom over the past three decades and been handsomely reward, which is why his opinion is certainly one worth noting. Singer, together with Martin Wolf and several other panelists will be speaking at 45 minutes past the hour on a panel discussing one of the most pressing topics nearly 6 years after the Bear Stearns collapse: "Are Markets Safer Now." Watch their thoughts on the matter in the session live below.
There was more good news for the UK economy this morning; the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1% during the three months to December - the biggest ever quarterly increase in employment. This follows the IMF this week raising its (admittedkly terrible track record-based) forecast for the UK economy; it now expects it to grow 2.4% this year which is faster than any other major European economy. Nick Beecroft, Chairman of Saxo Capital Markets UK, is “optimistic” about Britain’s recovery, but has three concerns...
Things in the country whose central bank assets have climbed to ¥229 trillion, or 48 percent of the nation’s nominal gross domestic product, are about to get very interesting: on one hand, it will have no choice but to slow down monetization under its existing QE program. On the other, pernicious inflation is spreading doubts the BOJ will be able to boost QE in the near-future. What is a country stuck in a vortex between deflation and runaway inflation to do? "It may be too late to prevent long-term rates doing something crazy” should the BOJ hold off on tapering before inflation reaches the target, said Richard Koo, the chief economist in Tokyo at Nomura.