Whether or not this is a direct result of the Snowden whistleblower affair is unclear, but the following BLS job posting just hit the tape. In brief: suddenly the Bureau of [insert favorite L and S words here] is just a little concerned about the "proper security and unauthorized disclosure" of its data and making sure it is not "vulnerable to purposeful denial-of-access or alteration by unauthorized persons." So we wonder: will the next whistleblower to emerge be from the BLS, and just what tidbits of ARIMA-X-12 "seasonal adjustments" will they unleash upon the world? We are confident at least one of our computer savvy, if temporarily unemployed readers, would be delighted to provide their skillset to the BLS.
Just one month after we discussed ArcelorMittal's 'demand' that Europe seek sanctions against China's steel tariffs (following unfair 'tit-for-tat-wine' Chinese trade practices, after EU solar panel tariffs), Reuters reports that the EU is indeed to press the WTO to rule against Chinese duties on imported steel. While history never repeats, it merely rhymes, this episodic collapse in economies, markets, and trade is now showing signs of the same desperation as during the Great Depression as intervention, devaluation, and now protectionism are brought to bear to save the domestic economy at all costs. The EU joins Japan in this rapidly escalating trade war with Beijing as they believe "retaliation by the Chinese is now recognized," something not allowed under WTO rules, "and so they have a good chance to win." This will not help either trade relations with the world's 'growth' engine or the credit-crunched nation's massive glut of commodities (and commodity-backed credit lines).
It appears the cracks in the armor of the central bankers created by an over-enthusiastic BoJ's impact on the quadrillion JPY JGB markets are now rippling through the global market place. While every talking head that dares to speak has proclaimed the weakness in bonds as nirvana for equity bulls, it seems they were wrong, very wrong. As bond market tremors ignite everywhere, so equity markets come a little unglued at the prospect that the Fed, ECB, BoJ, and PBOC may not be so omnipotent after all...
Moments ago, the following headline hit the tape:
ASMUSSEN SAYS ECB HASN'T SEEN NEED TO PUBLISH OMT LEGAL TEXT
That's right: the ECB is trying to get the German Constitutional court to pass the OMT (i.e., On Merkel's Tab) bond purchasing program, and yet there still is no legal term sheet. The photo below captures the reaction by the Karlsruhe Kardinals upon hearing this unmitigated idiocy.
Starting today, and continuing through tomorrow, the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) will consider the legality and conformability of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transaction programme (OMT) in particular. What does the press expect will be the outcome of the FCC's deliberations (spoiler alert: nobody will dare to threaten Deutsche Bank's towering mountain of derivatives, all $56 trillion of them, but let's pretend it is exciting). Here is a brief recap via Bruegel Think Tank.
Turkish Riot Police Storm Taksim Square, Central Banks Warns Of Intervention Due To Extreme Market VolatilitySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/11/2013 07:28 -0400
Over a week into "Occupy Taksim", the Turkish situation is nowhere near resolution. In fact, judging by the capital markets response to news that hundreds of police stormed Taksim Square this morning using tear gas to disperse protesters, where the lira declined overnight to the weakest level since December 2011, bond yields dropped 29 bps, Turkish CDS rose wider than Russia, and where even the central bank has warned it may start engaging in tightening operations, things are going to get much worse. Finally, a big demonstration is due in a few hours: will Taksim Square June 2013 be the "Waddel and Reed/May 2010" Syntagma Square flash crash equivalent? Find out shortly.
- Citigroup Facing $7 Billion Currency Hit on Dollar, Peabody Says (BBG)
- World has 10 years of shale oil, reports US (FT)
- ECB prepares to defend monetary policy in German court (FT)
- European Stocks Sink to Seven-Week Low as Treasuries Fall (BBG)
- Fitch warns on risks from shadow banking in China (Reuters)
- Obama administration to drop limits on morning-after pill (Reuters)
- ACLU asks spy court to release secret rulings in response to leaks (MSNBC)
- SEC Nets Win in 'Naked Short' Case (WSJ)
- SoftBank Raises Offer for Sprint to $21.6 Billion (WSJ)
- Chinese rocket launch marks giant leap towards space station (FT)
Overnight, following the disappointing BOJ announcement which contained none of the Goldman-expected "buy thesis" elements in it, things started going rapidly out of control, and culminated with the USDJPY plunging from 99 to under 96.50 as of minutes ago, which was the equivalent of a 2.3% jump in the Yen, the currency's biggest surge in over three years. Adding insult to injury was finance ministry official Eisuke Sakakibara who said that further weakening of yen "not likely" at the moment, that the currency will hover around 100 (or surge as the case may be) and that 2% inflation is "a dream." Bottom line, NKY225 futures have had one of their trademark 700 points swing days, and are back knocking on the 12-handle door. Once again, the muppets have been slain. Golf clap Goldman.
When the Big Brothers fight it out! Did you know that your new Samsung GS4 has 14 new sensors to send your personal info up into the cloud, everything from real time health info to location and travel history.
UPDATE: Nikkei futures now -500 from US day-session highs
In what must be quite a surprise to Goldman (as we discussed here), the BoJ has decided not to give in to the market's demands:
*BOJ REFRAINS FROM EXPANDING J-REIT, ETF PURCHASES (expected lifting of cap)
*BOJ LEAVES FUNDING TERMS UNCHANGED AFTER JGB YIELD VOLATILITY (expected extension from 1Y to 2Y)
The market's angry reaction... NKY -400 from US day-session highs, USDJPY gapped down 80 pips to 98.00, JGB Futs closed, JGBs unch. Full statement to follow:
"A brave new Huxley-world of the unlimited debt,” a world where “money is no longer earned but printed”
It seems the question on many people's minds, as scandal after scandal crashes on the shores of Obama's White House is best summed up by The Telegraph's Damian Thompson. Yet another non-US paper asks, will Obama last the duration of his second term in a surveillance context where what has been revealed is said to be worse than Watergate.
All the news recently about the U.S. government’s telephone and online surveillance programs got ConvergEx's Nick Colas thinking about a rich academic field: the psychology of observation. How do observers differ from actual actors in their explanations of events they either witness or in which they actually participate? Scores of academic studies point to a key difference. Actors tend to attribute their decisions to situation-specific inputs. Those observing these actions, by contrast, tend to ascribe their ultimate cause as tied to the personality of the actors involved. Same destination, but radically different interpretations of the journey. Even the process of being watched can change human behavior. Bottom line – observers and actors are rarely on the same planet, let alone the same page, when it comes to explaining a given event. Keep that in mind as you try to understand Fed policy, or a company’s management, or even your own family.
The short but profitable tale of how 483,000 private individual have "top secret" access to the nation's most non-public information begins in 2001. "After 9/11, intelligence budgets were increased, new people needed to be hired, it was a lot easier to go to the private sector and get people off the shelf," and sure enough firms like Booz Allen Hamilton - still two-thirds owned by the deeply-tied-to-international-governments investment firm The Carlyle Group - took full advantage of Congress' desire to shrink federal agencies and their budgets by enabling outside consultants (already primed with their $4,000 cost 'security clearances') to fulfill the needs of an ever-more-encroaching-on-privacy administration.
The list of egregious offenses by current governments reads like a modern day version of the Declaration of Independence, in which Thomas Jefferson so eloquently lists the British King's "long train of abuses", including:
- He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
- He has obstructed the Administration of Justice
- He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny
- For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments
Sound familiar? History shows that desperate, insolvent nations almost INVARIABLY resort to vain attempts at despotic control - capital controls, wage and price controls, border controls, people controls. And the worse things get, the more destructive the tactics become.