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Mario Draghi Op-Ed: "Lay Down Your Rights... In A New Institutional Order"





To complete monetary union we will ultimately have to deepen our political union further: to lay down its rights and obligations in a renewed institutional order.

 
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Decoupling Just Died: December New Orders Plunge Below Polar Vortex Level, Optimism Plummets To 2012 Levels





As the ISM data revealed moments ago, we were right to focus on the NSA data, because while the Seasonally Adjusted (and one still wonders why a survey needs seasonal adjustments - after all human psychology automatically adjusts for the seasons) New Orders number tumbled by 8.7, the biggest crash since the 13.1 crash now blamed on the Polar Vortex (can't blame the weather this time), it was the unadjusted New Orders number that was the stunner: at 53.5 this was the lowest number since before even the polar vortex: in fact it was the lowest since July 2013!

 
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ISM Manufacturing & Construction Spending Collapse To 6-Month Lows





Not decoupling-er. Completing this morning's triple whammy of ugliness, US construction spending in December dropped 0.3% (against expectations of a 0.4% rise) - the biggest monthly drop since June. On the back of a crash in new orders from 66.0 to 57.3 (and prices paid plunging to 30 month lows), ISM Manufacturing also tumbled from 58.7 to 55.5 - its lowest since June (missing expectations by the most since January). Unable to find a silver lining, ISM's Holcomb proclaimed "comments are a 'bit mixed'".

 
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Un-Decoupling? US Manufacturing PMI Tumbles To 11-Month Lows





So much for that whole "decoupling" meme... Just as China and then Europe saw weakness in their manufacturing PMIs, so the US data just hit, printing 53.9 (missing expectations modestly) and falling for 4 straight months to the lowest since January 2014's Polar Vortex. Production volumes are also the weakest since Jan 2014 and the employment sub-index collapsed. Markit warns, "this suggests a slowdown could become more entrenched."

 
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5Y German Bond Yield Goes Negative For First Time Ever





How do you say Japanization in German? 5Y German bonds just traded at -0.1bp yield (below Japan's 3bp 5Y yield)...

 
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European Bond Yields Accelerate To Fresh Record Low





The total and utter farce of European sovereign bond yields continues to accelerate on yet another round of rhetoric designed to entice yet more domestic financial institutions to monetize yet more domestic sovereign debt on to their delapidated deflation-devastated balance sheets and 'swap' with the ECB for freshly printed liquidity. As Central Bank front-runners, front-run each other in a race to the bottom, the rapidly Japan-ized EU bond market has seen risk (spread 10-20bps lower) tumbles and yields crash to new record lows this morning. EU bond yields have fallen for 3 years and the economy has cratered... so what is the purpose of ECB QE?

 
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2015 Starts As 2014 Ended: Crude Crumbles To Fresh Lows, WTI Tests $51 Handle





Reading headlines and social media commentary in last night's thin trading, one could have been excused for thinking the collapse of global crude oil prices was over and a new renaissance had begun as 'watchers' proclaimed WTI's spurt above $55 (for a nanosecond) as indicative of the lows being in. However, just hours later, following weak European data (and a recognition of massively offside speculative positioning), WTI has collapsed over $3 from the highs and is testing towards a $51 handle.

 
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Frontrunning: January 2





  • The year of dollar danger for the world (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
  • Draghi Says ECB Prepares Action as Deflation Risk Non-Negligible (BBG)
  • Obama Pivots to Lawmakers: New Plan to Advance Policy Goals by Working With Congress Draws Skeptics (WSJ)
  • Affordable Care Act Creates a Trickier Tax Season (WSJ)
  • Oil pares early gains, trades near $57 as supply glut prevails (Reuters)
  • Iran says Saudi Arabia should move to curb oil price fall (Reuters)
  • Pimco Fund Trails Peers in 2014 After Missing Rally (BBG)
  • Piketty rejects Légion d’Honneur award (FT)
  • UK manufacturing activity hits three-month low (BBC)
 
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Draghi Launches New Year With More QE Jawboning, Sending Euro To New 4 Year Low, Yields Lower, US Futures Higher





The new year has officially started because it wasn't even a day in and Mario Draghi was once again out and about, jawboning the Euro to a lower level than where it was when he said back in 2012 he would do "whatever it takes" to push it higher. The reason, as Reuters reports, why the Euro sank to a nearly 5 year low against the USD, was "clear indications that the European Central Bank will soon embark on outright money-printing." Actually, it was on just more hollow rhetoric by Draghi, who told German Handelsblatt that "the risk that we don’t fulfill our mandate of price stability is higher than it was six months ago." He also added that "it’s difficult to say” how much the institution will have to spend on government-bond purchases.

 
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For CNBC, 2014 Was The Worst. Year. Ever.





Another year of putting lipstick on the zombie known as the global economy, kept walking only thanks to $11 trillion in liquidity injections by the world's central banks and tens of trillions of new Chinese credit created out of thin air and promptly misallocated and embezzled, and the results are in. The bottom line: according to Nielsen, is that despite the S&P recording a whopping 53 all time highs, and the Dow rising over 18,000, the channel that was once must watch financial TV for mom and pop, and has since devolved into endless cheerleading of failed policies and rigged markets, namely CNBC, just suffered its worst year in, well, ever.

 
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And 2015 Starts Off With A Bang - First Chinese Default Of The Year Hits





Well that didn't take long... With the smell of fireworks still lingering in the air, Bloomberg reports that Chinese developer Kaisa Group defaulted on a HK$400 million ($51.6 million) loan triggered by forced repayment terms after the firm's chairman resigned. With shares already down over 50% in December alone, trading is suspended as the company faces what S&P calls "more challenges" ahead and the 2018 bonds have collapsed to just 43c on the dollar (yields over 42%).

 
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A Mania Of Manias





If the tech mania was based on magic, and the housing mania was based on a supposed fact that was historically untrue, today’s mania is a mania of manias, interlinked and resting on premises that are patently illogical, contradicted by both the historical record and current experience. Those premises are: central planning works, government debt promotes prosperity, and economic growth stems from central banks buying that debt with money they create from thin air. On these premises rest manias in governments, their debts, and central banking.

 
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The Century Of The Self: Controlling The 'Dangerous Crowd' In An Age Of Mass Democracy





"This series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy," begins Adam Curtis, as he describes the propaganda that Western governments and corporations have utilized stemming from Freud's theories (and his nephew Bernays). The words of Paul Mazur, perhaps ironically working for Lehman Brothers at the time, sum it all up: "We must shift America from a 'needs' to a 'desires' culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed... Man's desires must overshadow his needs."

 
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When BTFD Fails: Hedge Funds Say "Enough Is Enough", Start Covering Bullish Crude Bets





Having been trained well to BTFD in any and everything, after weeks of picking bottoms, clutching falling knives, and being run over, Bloomberg reports hedge funds finally pulled back from bets on higher oil prices - reducing their net-long position in WTI crude for the first time in four weeks, cutting their holdings by 5% in the week ended Dec. 23. “Traders just said enough is enough,” Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, said by phone. "They were tired of trying to guess the bottom of the market and missing. We don’t have a bottom yet and there’s still a ways to go."

 
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Meanwhile, In Hawaii





Rejoice mortals, for the daily update of Glorious Leader's Hawaiian vacation is nigh.

 
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