So over the weekend, the world learned that Tiny Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner had accepted a job with private equity giant firm Warburg Pincus. The news was about as much of a surprise as a lie popping out of Barack Obama’s mouth every time he opens it. Nevertheless, the move is particularly hilarious in light of a profile article of Geithner in New York magazine from January of this year, in which the king of cronyism tried to distance himself from Wall Street. Here’s the money-shot paragraph from the piece...
Depending on the time of day, Bitcoin is up 100% (or 200% or 300%) or down 50% as the crypto-currency swings violently around in what appears a death spasm only to transform into a Tesla-like phoenician rise. But there is another crypto-related bubble that is exploding - and showing no signs of stopping. As Russia Today notes, the so-called "Snowden Effect" has seen Freedom of Information Act requests filed with the National Security Agency increase 888% this fiscal year.
Standard microeconomic theory shows that deviations of a price from its natural level bring forth bad results. One of the easiest ways to grasp the pernicious effects of price controls is when it is phrased in terms of the minimum wage. Long story short, the minimum wage acts as a price floor which stops people from selling labour services at a price below the mandated level. The final result is an increase in unemployment, partly from existing workers who lose their jobs and partly from new entrants to the labour market looking for a job but unable to get hired. It’s really not a very difficult theory to comprehend. Yet I’m always surprised at how few are able to apply this basic lesson.
...An unidentified local bank reported a 33 percent nonperforming-loan ratio for the solar-panel industry, compared with 2 percent at the beginning of the year, with the increase due to Wuxi Suntech, China Business News reported in September.... China’s lending spree has created a debt burden similar in magnitude to the one that pushed Asian nations into crisis in the late 1990s, according to Fitch Ratings.... As companies take on more debt, the efficiency of credit use has deteriorated. Since 2009, for every yuan of credit issued, China’s GDP grew by an average 0.4 yuan, while the pre-2009 average was 0.8 yuan, according to Mike Werner, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.... “The real situation is much worse than the data showed” after talking to chief financial officers at industrial manufacturers, said Wendy Tang, a Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities Co., who estimates the actual nonperforming-loan ratio to be as high as 3 percent. “It will take at least one year or longer for these NPLs to appear on banks’ books, and I haven’t seen the bottom of deterioration in Jiangsu and Zhejiang yet.”
Yesterday it was Carl Icahn explaining some uncomfortable truths to the mainstream media (who rapidly turned their cognitively dissonant backs on his status quo defying statements). Today, it is uber-bull Larry Fink's turn to unleash truth-hell...
- *FINK SAYS PENSION FUNDS TO START SELLING STOCKS TO REBALANCE
- *FINK SAYS STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT GROWING
- *FINK SAYS QE NOT HELPING WITH STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT
- *FINK SAYS CENTRAL BANKS' POWERS TO CREATE JOBS LIMITED
His remarks - coinciding with Europe's close and the end of POMO (and this EURJPY's levitation) has knocked half of this morning's gains off stocks...
On Friday October 5, 2012, the BLS released what was arguably the most important report of Obama's first term: the final jobs number, and unemployment rate before the November 2012 presidential election. As so many predicted, it "plunged" from 8.1% to 7.8% allowing the president to conduct countless teleprompted speeches praising the success of his economic recovery. It also served as the basis for the infamous Jack Welch tweet: "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers" and prompted the pro-Obama media to quickly brand all those who questioned it as conspiracy theorists... Well, as it turns out over a year later, the conspiracy theorists were once again, spot on: the Bureau Of Lies And Subterfuge manipulated the most important jobs report in Obama's career.
The Foreign Office has summoned the Spanish Ambassador amid a standoff over a ship that entered Gibraltar waters.
*U.K. CITES `ONGOING INCURSION' INTO BRITISH GIBRALTAR WATERS
*U.K. SUMMONS SPANISH AMBASSADOR OVER `CONCERNS' ABOUT GIBRALTAR
Sky reports, the Spanish survey ship has been in Gibraltar waters for more than 18 hours and repeatedly refused direct orders from the Royal Navy to leave. As a result, the Foreign Office has summoned Spanish Ambassador Federico Trillo to try and resolve the situation. One can't help but wonder if this is Rajoy's cunning plan to get the youth back to work... conscription?
You may find what is happening at one Wal-Mart in Ohio very hard to believe. At the Wal-mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio employees are being asked to donate food items so that other employees that cannot afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner will be able to enjoy one too. On the one hand, it is commendable that someone at that Wal-Mart is deeply concerned about the employees that are so poor that they cannot afford to buy the food that they need for Thanksgiving. On the other hand, this is a perfect example that shows how the quality of the jobs in this country has gone down the toilet.
The ECB tried to "do whatever it takes" this morning by floating QE rumors (Constancio - QE is a possibility but not discussed in any detail) with the endgame being a weaker EUR (since a stronger EUR has crushed Eurozone corporate earnings). But, the Fed was having none of that, and as POMO started it dominated the ECB's "weak" kung-fu, ramping stocks and EURUSD to new highs... as we chronicled on Twitter... banging EURJPY (the all-important carry driver of all thinsg risk) to new 4-year highs).
The GOP's normal press conference is hotting up:
- *BOEHNER SAYS OBAMACARE SHOWS `PATTERN OF BROKEN PROMISES'
- *BOEHNER SAYS OBAMACARE `NEEDS TO BE SCRAPPED NOW'
Much is made of the expected hockey-stick - any quarter now - in US GDP growth (whether it's a lower fiscal drag or rise in CAPEX or any range of miracle-driven hope factors). Credit Suisse is not so sure; not just in the short-term, but in the long-term of the potential for US GDP growth. They note that basic growth accounting provides links between potential GDP to the size of the labor force, its productivity, and the capital assets – both public and private – it has available to work with. The problem - longer-term for the US, is, as CS notes, the following four exhibits collectively speak to the recent slowdown in potential, and do not augur positively for future growth.
As a result of yesterday's report that Census was caught manipulating the September 2012 jobs report, the BLS provided the following response via CNBC:
"the incident has been reported to the Commerce Dept Inspector General Office for investigation. We no further (sic) comment."
In other words, one part of the government - the Commerce Department - will investigate another part of the government - the BLS. We can only assume the NSA will certify the findings of the Commerce Department? Rinse. Repeat.
The last week has seen retailers begin to push "the promotional panic button" as holiday sales are expected to collapse to the weakest since 2009 (as we discussed here, here, and here). As Bloomberg reports, faced with wary shoppers and a shorter holiday season, retailers are piling on deals as they jockey for market share and are faced with "too much inventory, which doesn't bode well for 2014." U.S. retail sales excluding autos and gasoline grew 0.2% in October, half the month-earlier gain leaving this year likely to be the worst and most promotional shopping season since 2008 and perhaps Wal-Mart's $98 32-inch flat-screen TV is just the start of the deflationary spiral that benefits the stagnant incomes of the middle-class.
Over three years after current Warburg Pincus Managing Director and former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner welcomed everyone to the recovery, here is where we stand: "According to Markit, optimism is improving among developed economies while emerging markets still show low levels of confidence. Subdued expectations about future activity have led to restrained hiring plans. On net, only 14% of companies worldwide expect to add employees." And just in the U.S. this number is 19%. Per the WSJ: "Companies continue to fret about further disruptions from unresolved fiscal issues, and are still particularly cautious about committing to hiring in this uncertain environment," says Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist. That is all.
With Richmond, CA's plans to use eminent domain to "help" underwater homeowners still ongoing (as suits from mortgage-backed securities owners such as PIMCO, Blackrock, and DoubleLine having been initially dismissed), it appears the "wealth transfer" scheme is gaining traction around the nation. As we warned it would, the appeal of this "bailout" - with no thought to the unintended consequence of crushing an entire investing class out of the market (and its implicit rate-increasing result) - is just too strong for local government and sure nough New Jersey town Irvington is moving in that direction. As AP reports, Irvington's plan would focus on using eminent domain to purchase so-called "private label" security mortgages, or ones that are not backed by the U.S. government.