It was about a month ago when it was revealed that the infamous JPMorgan physical commodities group, plagued by both perpetual accusations of precious metal manipulation and legal charges most recently with FERC for $410 million that it had manipulated electricity markets, was in exclusive talks to be sold to Geneva-based Marcuria Group. It was also revealed that Blythe Masters, JPMorgan’s commodities chief, "probably won’t join Mercuria as part of the deal." Of course, we all learned the very next day that Ms. Masters - an affirmed commodities market manipulator - and soon to be out of a job, had shockingly intended to join the CFTC trading commission as an advisor, a decisions which was promptly reversed following an epic outcry on the internet. This is all great news, but one thing remained unclear: just who is this mysterious Swiss-based company that is about to leave Blythe without a job? Today, courtesy of Bloomberg we have the answer.
When the drug-selling website Silk Road was shut down in October 2013, the event made international news. What didn’t make the news was how much the site’s purchasing clients were paying for the substances they were buying. Substance abuse comes with many costs. Emotional, health and career costs are just a few that we can name. However, Silk Road added yet another cost on top of its substance users’ problems: spending costs. For example, the buying price of heroin on Silk Road was nearly 2x greater than heroin’s average street price.
Having expressed her perspective of Russia Today's "whitewashed" coverage of Putin's invasion of Russia, Liz Wahl resigned live on air yesterday. This came on the heels of her colleague Abby Martin's recent comments voicing here disagreements with Russian policies on the same state-funded network. Russia Today has responded... "When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor...But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."
Smith & Wesson’s earnings report gave renewed momentum to a rally in gun-making stocks, which began amid a debate about firearms that followed the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 15 months ago. As Bloomberg notes, many gun enthusiasts have stocked up on weapons to avoid potential restrictions in response to the Sandy Hook incident, the second-deadliest mass killing at a school in U.S. history, and that has driven stocks like Sturm Ruger to handily outperform even the highest of high-beta momo indices like the Russell 2000. SWHC was up 16% after earnings - its biggest gain since the shooting - as it beat expectations once again.
China Sides With Russia On Sanctions; Ambassador Warns "Western Nations Would Be Hurting Themselves"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/07/2014 17:22 -0400
Amid a Russian spokesperson "hoping" tensions do not escalate into a new cold war with the US, China has come out (perhaps unsurprisingly) on Russia's side strongly condemning any sanctions:
"China has consistently opposed the easy use of sanctions in international relations, or using sanctions as a threat.”
The comments from China's Foreign Ministry reflect the country's close ties with Russia and confirm what Russia's ambassador to Canada noted, we "can always turn to China if the West follows through on threats of tougher sanctions," adding that "Western countries would largely be hurting themselves if they impose tougher sanctions."
Despite stocks being at record highs, sell-side strategists proclaiming today's jobs report as great, and the Fed comfortable tapering in the face of transitory weather-related macro weakness, the following chart suggests all is not well... Echoing Irving Fisher, it appears we have reached a permanently high plateau in the duration of unemployment in America...
While the volatility of Bitcoin has been considerable, perhaps merely reflective of the early days of a revolution, the fact that the "value experts" at the Fed have pronounced:
- *DUDLEY SAYS BITCOIN 'IS NOT VERY GOOD STORE OF VALUE'
- *DUDLEY SAYS 'U.S. DOLLAR WINS' OVER BITCOIN ACROSS MANY METRICS
..raised an eyebrow or two on our furrowed brows. We thought a look at the following two charts since the inception of Bitcoin and the inception of the Fed would help clarify "value" stability...
Another month down, another month in which US consumers deleveraged by paying down their credit cards. Although that is not exactly correct: as we showed recently, the New Normal source of credit has nothing to do with revolving debt, or credit cards, or any other old normal notions, and everything to do with student debt, which is used for everything except paying for tuition. That, and car loans of course. Sure enough, in February, of the $13.7 billion in new loans created, $13.9 billion, or 102% of all, was there to fund student and car loans. And looking further back at the data over the past year, of the $172 billion in new consumer debt, a stunning 96% has gone to new student and car loans.