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What's Next For Portugal?





The Portuguese government is on the rocks. The junior coalition partner the People’s Party (CDS-PP) will hold a meeting this afternoon to determine whether to support the government, if it withdraws support in parliament, elections seem inevitable, although they could be delayed for some months. Such a move would seriously hamper Portugal’s economic reform program, which is already off track. Portugal has only met its deficit targets due to one-off measures while competitiveness adjustments have slowed and contingent liabilities remain a hidden risk. With the country on the cusp of an unsustainable debt burden any delays would likely be the final straw which pushes Portugal into needing some form of further assistance. Things must be getting serious in Portugal, they just announced a short-selling ban on select banking stocks - how long before capital controls?

 
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Visualizing When Higher Education Doesn't Pay Back





College is usually a good investment, but that is not the case for every single school in America. As the following infographic shows, you may want to rethink your decision before handing over that big tution check.

 
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The 6th Longest Bull Market In History





From the lows in March 2009, the S&P 500's 4.3 year rally is now the 6th longest of the 24 bull markets of the last 113 years of data. Interestingly, of those bull markets, the average performance has been +127.36% (over 3.16 years)- the current market's performance is +127.72%.

 
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Where The Action In Cairo Is Right Now





While images projected on every media channel show lasers, fireworks, and celebrations, there are tensions rising still. As Al Jazeera reports, police are arresting crews of local TV stations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and as BBC Arabic notes, there are stores being ransacked in Qena and gun shots and clashes in Alexandria. As Stratfor notes, pro-government and opposition demonstrators have gathered in several places across Cairo (as indicated in the image below) and while no military force has been used to disperse the crowds yet - the military seems content to pre-position forces in a standby role and maintain order through a show of potential force - the skirmishes that are being reported hint at the potential for future instability.

 
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Wednesday Humor: The Next Paradigm In Wearable Computers





The iWatch; Google Glass; the convergence between body and computer continues at a torrid pace, yet nobody knows just what the winning formula will be to make lazy, internet addicted consumers even lazier if more connected to the binary void. One proposal for what will certainly be an "out of the box" (or "in the box" as the case may be) next generation product, and one which may appear avant garde, controversial and even shocking, comes from the Onion which as usual is years ahead of its time in a world which is now straight from, well, the Onion which represents "a wearable computing device that streams videos into one eye, the internet into the other, and sucks your cock all at the same time." In short (to pardon the pun), a gold mine.

 
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Mortgage Apps Plunge At Fastest Rate In Over 3 Years





We were promised by the cognoscenti of PhD economists that higher mortgage rates would not affect the so-called housing recovery. They devoutly prayed to the god of momentum that "rates were still low historically" and "housing is on a self-sustaining path" and numerous other truisms that always fail at the turning points. Well, it appears from mortgage application data that things are not looking so hot. Whocouldanode that smashing interest rates higher at the margin (remember its the marginal impact - not absolute since the majority who can have refi'd or purchased down to new low rates with their fixed cash flow and this bid up house prices via their new found affordability) would crush the dreams of an organic (not 'hedgie-driven flip-dat-house REO-to-Rent'-based) recovery. And don't forget the drag from these higher rates to come, and what happened the last two times mortgage rates spiked at this pace. This collapse year-over-year in mortgage apps is as bad as that in 2006 when the last bubble burst...

 
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The Tanks Have Been Deployed





Courtesy of the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, we can see that the tanks in Cairo are now deployed. Surely this will add at least another 10 points to the Stalingrad and Propaganda 500 on anywhere between 2 and 3 contracts in today's hilarious zero volume revolutionary melt up.

 
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Egypt's Pope, Grand Sheik, And ElBaradei To Present Political Roadmap





While the situation remains fluid, and the US state department remains in the dark as far as it wants the public to know, Reuters is reporting that Egypt's state news agency MENA states "Egypt's leading Muslim and Christian clerics and the leader of the liberal opposition alliance Mohamed ElBaradei will jointly present a roadmap for a political transition shortly." Of course, use of the word 'coup' is expressly forbidden but as @RichardEngel asks (rhetorically), "Is it a coup if the people ask for the military's help?  The brotherhood clearly thinks it is."

 
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Morsi Is Now "Under The Protection Of The Army"





Game Over?

 
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Live US State Department Briefing On Egypt





State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki is doing her best not to appear like she is speaking for a dictatorship, and won't take sides, here are some headlines:

*PSAKI: MURSI SPEECH LACKED SPECIFIC STEPS, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, MURSI MUST RESPOND TO POPULAR CONCERNS
*PSAKI WON'T SPEAK TO UNCOMFIRMED REPORTS OF COUP, NO STEPS TAKEN ON RESCINDING U.S. MILTIARY AID TO EGYPT
*PSAKI: US EMBASSY IN CAIRO, CONSULATE IN ALEXANDRIA CLOSED

Live now.

 
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Dow Surges Despite Weak Data, European Crisis, And Military Coup





Uncertainty over global oil supply chain amid a 'tanks on the street' and a coup in Egypt, no worries. Portugal increasingly prone to testing Draghi's OMT 'promise' as Cabinet collapses, don't sweat it. US growth implications terrible given trade balance and ISM services, all good. It appears to us like US equity market algos were not told that today is a half-day as they progressed with the BTFD ramp in the first half after some serious declines early on.

 

 

 
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NSA Strikes Again?





A tweet from Gehad El-haddad, the media spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood & Senior Adviser to Freedom & Justice Party, indicates that the NSA (or Snowden) may be busy.

 
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Coup Under Way In Egypt, President Advisor Says, Warns About "Considerable Bloodshed", "Tanks On Streets"





The Egypt drama is reaching its inevitable, and largely expected, conclusion. From Reuters:

  • EGYPT PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER SAYS MILITARY COUP UNDER WAY
  • NO MILITARY COUP CAN SUCCEED AGAINST POPULAR RESISTANCE WITHOUT CONSIDERABLE BLOODSHED -MURSI AIDE
  • MURSI ADVISER SAYS EXPECTS ARMY, POLICE VIOLENCE TO REMOVE PRO-MURSI DEMONSTRATORS
  • EGYPT BROTHERHOOD SPOKESMAN SAYS TANKS ON STREETS, VIA TWITTER
  • SEVERAL HUNDRED EGYPTIAN SOLDIERS, TOGETHER WITH ARMOURED VEHICLES, PERFORM MILITARY PARADE ON MAIN ROAD NEAR PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - REUTERS WITNESS

In other words, if Morsi leaves, you get a Civil War.

 
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Stocks Soar On Egypt Coup News, Ongoing Portugal Crisis





Update: The melt up on no volume insanity continues

One has to laugh. Following overnight news of an ongoing collapse in the Portuguese government and an epic surge in Portuguese bond yields, not to mention the ongoing military coup in Egypt, the S&P just hit highs as trading volume disappears and the BTFD algos take over.

 
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With Morsi Ultimatum Ticking Down, Egyptian Army Take Control Of State TV Building - Live Feed From Cairo





With just a few short hours to go until the military-coup-deadline, the situation is rapidly moving from bad to worse in Egypt. Following Reuters reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood's refusal to meet with army officials - "We do not go to invitations (meetings) with anyone. We have a president and that is it," Sky News Arabiya reports that the Egyptian army now completely controls the State TV buildingThe miltary will make a statement at 5pm local (10amET).

 
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