In yet another in our series of taxpayer-funded Federal Reserve research that has achieved so much over the years, the New York Fed blog has released its perspectives on the Tulip-mania bubble of 1633-37. Hot on the heels of SF Fed's Williams comments that bubbles can only be seen in rear view mirror and then of course - and that there's always an exogenous factor to blame' - in the case of tulips, the New York Fed cites "beers" as the catalyst since 'shares' were exchanged in pubs... Ironically then, it seems even 380 years ago, the only thing that mattered was liquidity.
In a world in which "social media" is used by the US State Department to justify a way, it was only a matter of time before the ultimate Syrian social media-friendly infographic would appear. Here it is...
Once the Dec 2015 Corn futures started the overnight Globex session, a 1-lot algo appears to have gone into berserker mode this evening. With a 5-sigma range already and the bids and asks stretching 'oddly', just another example of the 'efficient' markets we are told to trust every day...
The apathy is deafening...
McCain Says Take The Deal; Assad Warns It's Obama's Problem: "We'll Do Anything To Prevent Another Crazy War"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/09/2013 19:22 -0500
The first clips from Charlie Rose's interview with Assad are being released and given the Russia-Syria discussions, Obama's skepticism, and now John McCain's 'dubious support' for "the US getting on board with Russia's proposal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons," we thought this brief view of Assad's response was telling...
JPMorgan Warns: Increasing Rates Have "Reduced The Remaining Refinance Opportunity By More Than 50%"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/09/2013 18:57 -0500
About an hour ago, Bank of America served the latest indication that the US housing "recovery" (also known as the fourth consecutive dead cat bounce of the cheap credit policy-driven housing market in the past five years) may be on its last breath. Namely, the bank announced that it will eliminate about 2,100 jobs and shutter 16 mortgage offices as rising interest rates weaken loan demand, said two people with direct knowledge of the plans and reported by Bloomberg. In some ways this may be non-news: previously we reported, using a Goldman analysis, that up to 60% of all home purchases in recent months have been, which of course shows just how hollow the "recovery" has been for the common American for whom the average home has once again become unaffordable. However, judging by an update presentation given earlier today by the CFO of none other than JP "fortress balance sheet" Morgan, things are rapidly going from bad to worse for the banking industry as a result of the souring mortgage market for which, absent prop trading, loan origination is the primary bread and butter.
As Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama prepares to give his "Syria Strike" speech tomorrow, we thought the fact that The White House had begun selling its 'official' Christmas 2013 ornament was worth pointing out. The theme - "Peace On Earth" of course, is positioned in a wrath of olive branches, peace doves and the reverse of the wonderful tree decoration states in oh-so-ironic-language, "Peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty," - a phrase from Woodrow Wilson's address prior to World War I. Happy Holidays everyone...
As Popular Opposition To Syrian Attack Grows; Obama "Skeptical", Reid Delays Vote & Assad Likens Obama To BushSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/09/2013 17:53 -0500
The last hour has seen a sudden escalation in the Syrian-Strike-Nado. Following earlier comments from Hillary Clinton, President Obama also confirmed the Russian offer on Syria is "potentially positive" though "skeptical" that it will be followed through on. Harry Reid then hits the tape with news of a delay in the 'test vote' - hardly a signal of resounding support. Then Assad, via his twitter account, compares Obama to Bush among other things. And then finally, Obama announces he has not made a decision on next steps if Congress doesn't support military strikes. Gold is modestly higher, oil slightly lower. Equities remain happy with the uncertainty and are extending gains. In the meantime, Reuters finds that 63% of Americans now oppose intervening in Syria.
Always on the look-out for a silver-lining, the world's commission-taking asset managers are flooding into the new cleanest dirty shirt of European stocks (the more beaten-down, the better) - apparently on the basis of the exuberance in surging PMIs. Aside from the fact Draghi himself already poured cold-water on people's belief in the strength of the European recovery last week, and our note this weekend on the 'roughness' of PMI survey "soft" data, investors remain unmoved and momentum has taken over now. However, as Goldman explains some of the optimism on the basis of recent manufacturing PMIs may not square with evidence of a structural break in the link between the PMIs and growth. While a reading of 50 may in pre-crisis days have indicated positive growth on the periphery, it today may only indicate flat (or even negative) growth, as the external financing constraint prevents better sentiment from translating into activity.
Two weeks ago, the Syrian regime reportedly ordered the use of chemical weapons, which U.S. sources state killed over 1400 people. Over one year ago, President Obama declared that any movement or use of chemical weapons would cross a “redline.” Right from the start, officials in the Obama White House assured the public that any decision to use force against Syria would not be designed to impose regime change. Why would the administration take such an option off the table? As strategists and policymakers have understood since time immemorial, any decision to use military force must be guided by a strategy. If Washington’s strategy is to stop Assad from using chemical weapons, demonstrate that America is committed to enforcing this international norm, and undermine states that support such atrocious actions, regime change remains the critical instrument for the United States. In fact, all other options are highly susceptible to failure. In the end, the failure to put the instrument of regime change on the table demonstrates a lack of resolve, commitment, or weakness—all of which will be interpreted by friend and foe alike as acquiescence in the face of states using chemical weapons.
The South Texas city of Harlingen is the cheapest place in the U.S. to live, according to the sixth annual cost of living index, a study conducted by the Council for Community and Economic Research. By contrast, the cost of living in Manhattan, one of the most expensive places to live in the world, is almost three times that of Harlingen. If someone with an annual income of $60,000 in Manhattan moved to Harlingen, she’d need to make just $21,768 a year to maintain her standard of living.
The Touch Move Rule...
Last week we presented the most recent map of US and Russian naval deployments in the Mediterranean surrounding Syria. Over the weekend, things appear to have heated up once more as yet more ships - mostly of Russian origin - arrive in what is rapidly becoming a formation in search of the tiniest provocation.
These days, you could put ‘safety and security’ in front of just about anything and get people to readily comply. Well, OK. After all, who is against ‘safety and security’? Only criminal terrorists, apparently. This is now the easiest way for governments to exact their agendas... whether it’s invading new countries, monitoring all Internet activity worldwide, or bailing out the big banks at taxpayer expense. Apparently the citizenry has become so scared that we collectively lay down and let governments walk all over us. At this point, the Founding Fathers’ list of grievances nearly pales in comparison to the indignities and injustices to liberty that people suffer today under their government. We’ve been talking about this trend for four years now. This is no longer theory. It’s real. It’s happening. And it’s coming soon to a bankrupt, insolvent nation near you. Have you hit your breaking point yet?
- Kerry to Syria: Turn over your chemical weapons!
- Syria to Kerry: Ok
- Kerry to Syria: I was being rhetorical. We will just bomb you anyway, as soon as we are done gassing you.