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Germany Openly Hostile To Putting Frenchman In Charge Of European Financial Affairs





Current finance minister Sapin, perhaps unsurprisingly, has admitted that France will miss EU deficit targets and needs more time to rein in public finances - proclaiming, as Reuters reports, that it may take until 2017 to bring it in line. Germany's response "nein, nein, nein" with Merkel demanding EU nations stick to commitments (rejecting any plans to 'bend rules') and Schaeuble blasting that Germany is "certain France is aware of its responsibilities." But the real stunner is that as France shows its utter ineptitude in managing an economy, EU President Juncker has placed former French finance minister Moscovici in charge of Europe's taxes and finances. German lawmakers exclaimed this is "not a wise personnel decision." The core splinters...

 
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AAPL Tests Key Techincal Support As iClock Disappoints





But... but... but... it's the best ever, the most innovative, "never been seen before" - apart from none of that is true (as we noted yesterday). It appears investors feel the same way as AAPL's stock price tumbles from pre-celebrity-naked-selfies to the critical 50-day moving-average...

 
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Islamic State's Ultimate Goal: Saudi Arabia's Oil Wells





For the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, Syria and Iraq were a good place to start their campaign, but in order to survive and prosper it knew from the outset that it had no choice but to set its sights on the ultimate prize: the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.

 
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Rates Rise By The Tiniest Amount, And This Happens...





Day after day we are told, just wait for rates to rise ("which they 'have' to because economic growth is so strong") and stocks will take off into the next leg of exuberance... why else would the Fed end QE and start more hawkish discussions? (aside from the fact they truly fear broken repo, exuberant markets, and lethargic politicians). Be careful what you wish for... Mortgage rates rose last week, back to the same level they have been at for 3-months, and refinancing activity (adjusted for holidays) collapsed to its lowest since 2008... and home purchase activity tumble back towards 20-year lows.

 
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Alan Greenspan's Nine Reasons "Why The Economy Stinks"





Yesterday, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was the keynote speaker at KPMG’s 2014 Insurance Industry Conference Tuesday, where he answered questions such as 1) where the economy is going, 2) why, and 3) when (if ever) is it likely to improve. The answers, as reported by Property Casualty 360, are: 1) nowhere fast, 2) because nobody is willing to invest, and 3) eventually, but nobody can tell when. He listed 9 specific reasons why the "economy stinks", although surprisingly, nowhere did he mention the fact that the current and future economic disaster is all a direct result of his ruinous reign at helm of the Fed where as a result of his "great moderation" and the Fed's catastrophic monetary policies conceived mostly under Greenspan himself, the economy is now perpetually stuck in a boom-bust cycle, and where every time a bubble bursts another has to replace it or else the entire western way of life will be gone in a heartbeat.

 
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Platinum Fixing Under The Microscope





First fines have been imposed for manipulation of the gold fixing, the silver fixing is even discontinued entirely. But is everything in order with the platinum fixing? Have there been manipulations – and are they part of a larger manipulation campaign?

 
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Meet The New Leadership Of Europe: Presenting The "Juncker Commission"





As reported ealier this morning, here, courtesy of Bloomberg, are the nominees for the next European Commission under the presidency of Jean-Claude "If Serioues Then lie" Juncker, with one from each of the European Union’s 28 countries. Job assignments were announced today by the incoming president, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg. What do these appointments mean for the European Union? The attached flash analysis from Open Europe should answer most initial questions.

 
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There Goes GDP: Wholesale Inventories Miss, Weakest Since May 2013





With GDP now basically an exercise in inventory expansion and contraction (Q2 inventory estimate amounted to 40% of GDP), this 'miss' in July Wholesale Inventories provides a worrying glimpse into Q3 GDP.  Against expectations on a 0.5% rise MoM, inventories rose only 0.1% (and June was revised lower) to the weakest inventory build since May 2013. This is the 3rd miss in a row.

 
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Swiss Franc Tumbles On Threats NIRP Coming To Bern Next





We have recently noted the increasing pressure on the Swiss National Bank (SNB) over its peg to the EUR in the midst of a capital flood from Europe. The slow bleed strengthening of CHF against EUR had many concerned the SNB would be forced (by exogenous factors) to adjust the peg. But, this morning, it appears they tried to draw a red line... CHF has plunged after SNB's Mosler said negative interest rates remain an option should its minimum exchange rate (peg) come under threat. So, first NIRP in Europe, then in Japan (as per our overnight discussion), and now the Swiss warning NIRP is coming there next...

 
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One Bank Has Had Enough: FBN Says "Time To Turn The Boat Around" Switching To Bearish Outlook, 1870 Target





The sensitivity to headlines reflects an attempt by many firms to salvage performance for 2014 by augmenting their exposure aggressively over the past several weeks. Similar to the countless number of jockeys who have failed in the grueling 1.5 mile Belmont Stakes by asking for their horse to start its kick too far in front of the finish line, these funds moved too soon as year-end still sits far off on the horizon. This incremental positioning grossly inflated the average monthly NYSE closing TICK which extended to +338 on Monday. Thus, the muscle for a protracted selloff is intact.

 
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Frontrunning: September 10





  • British PM begs Scots: Don't rip apart our UK 'family of nations' (Reuters)
  • Obama has become Bush: Obama’s Task: Rally U.S. Public, Allies in Terror Fight (BBG)
  • Alibaba's record IPO covered after first few roadshow meetings (Reuters)
  • Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years (BBC)
  • Combat Reversals Pressure Assad (WSJ)
  • Top LBO Fund Investors Pile on Leverage to Boost Returns (BBG)
  • BOJ's Iwata upbeat on economy, unfazed by post-tax hike slump (Reuters)
  • Carney Can’t Escape Housing as Debt Colors BOE Policy (BBG)
  • Detroit Clears Crucial Hurdle on Bankruptcy (NYT)
 
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Markets Digest Wristwatch, NIRP Monetization, Catalan Independence News; Push Yields, USDJPY Even Higher





Overnight the most notable move has been the ongoing weakness in rates, with USTs reversing earlier Tokyo gains after BoJ Deputy Governor Iwata, in addition to commenting on a lot of things that didn't make much sense,  said he didn’t see any difficulties in money market operations even if BoJ bought bought government debt with negative yields, as InTouch Capital Markets notes. As a reminder, yesterday we noted that in a historic first the "Bank Of Japan Monetizes Debt At Negative Rates." As Bloomberg notes, this may be interpreted that BoJ may target negative yields to penalize savers, which "all boosts the appeal of yen-funded carry trades." In other words, first Europe goes NIRP, now it's Japan's turn! So while this certainly lit the fire under the USDJPY some more, which overnight broke about 106.50 and hit as high as 106.75 on Iwata's comments, it does not explain why the 10Y is currently trading 2.52% - after all the fungible BOJ money will eventually make its way into US bonds and merely add to what JPM has calculated is a total $5 trillion in excess liquidity sloshing in the global market.

 
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America's Demographic Crash In One Chart





While the Japanification of markets has been a much-discussed topic in recent years, the two nations share another disturbing trend. In 2012, the land of the rising sun saw sales of adult diapers exceed those of baby diapers... and as the following chart from The Wall Street Journal shows, that trend is rapidly occurring in the land of the free...

 
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Ebola Outbreak Doubles In 3 Weeks, WHO Warns "Conventional Means Of Control Not Working"





The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed 2,288 people (with 4,269 cases) according to the World Health Organization, but is accelerating dramatically. In a rather stunning admission, WHO warns, conventional means of controlling the outbreak are not working as the last 3 weeks have seen the number of cases and deaths double.

 
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Obama Outperformed Reagan? Hardly!





Last week, Adam Hartung qualified for the "Mark Twain Award" if there was such a thing. In his article, "Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth & Investing," Adam goes to some length to try and show that unemployment rate, the S&P 500 and economic growth are currently better under the current administration than they were during the Reagan administration. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When considering that President Obama has been able to achieve real economic growth of just 2.04% annually despite historically low levels of inflation and interest rates combined with massive government interventions and balance sheet expansions; it makes his overall performance even more disappointing.

 
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