A month ago, Carl Icahn told told CNBC that he was "very nervous" about US equity markets. Reflecting on Yellen's apparent cluelessness of the consequences of her actions, and fearful of the build of derivative positions, Icahn says he's "worried" because if Yellen does not understand the end-game then "there's no argument - you have to worry about the excesssive printing of money!" Today he follows up that warning with an op-ed that states "we are in a major asset bubble that continues to grow," supporting Stiglitz comments that "these very strong stock market prices are in a sense a symptom of the weak economy, not a symptom that we are about to have a strong recovery to our real economy."
The prospect of renewed war has little effect on the public anymore. But in reality, we can’t begin to understand how it feels to live under the threat of bombs and shrapnel every day. As Americans, and Westerners, we are gifted with the option to not partake directly in war, but play the casual observer. Is this really human progress? Have we reached the pinnacle of human existence where men can live comfortably cheerleading for mass murder? Did anybody think to question this outcome of secular materialism before celebrating its benefits?
Bubble Market Stunner: Revenueless Biotech Goes Public, Drops, Trades For Six Days, Then Voids Entire IPOSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/12/2014 11:49 -0400
In what is certainly a historic, and quite stunning, market first, not to mention prima facie evidence that Janet Yellen was right about the biotech (and not only) bubble, last week the equity markets experienced something that has not happened in decades: a biotech firm went public, traded for six days, only to announce Friday that it would void its IPO and won't issue shares after all, thanks to a key investor's failure to follow through on a commitment to buy stock. In other words, days after going public, yet another darling of the momo bubble mania du jour, decided to undo everything, and went back to being private (and soon: bankrupt).
It's All About Erbil
With French government bonds trading at record low yields under 1.5%, it is hard to argue that the troubled socialist nation is 'priced' for either recovery or credit risk... but then again, thanks to Draghi's promise and domestic banks' largesse, none of that matters. With joblessness at record highs, the following chart of France's "recovery" shows near-record high bankruptcies and record-low profitability. Oh the beauty of socialism...as Europe's core diverges dramatically.
If You Like Your "Boots On The Ground", Here's More - Obama Plans To Send 75 More 'Advisers' To IraqSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/12/2014 11:06 -0400
Despite reassurances that there will be "no US combat troops in Iraq again" on Friday, it appears - thanks to nuance of spin - that President Obama has changed his mind...
*OBAMA SAID TO CONSIDER SENDING ABOUT 75 MILITARY ADVISERS TO IRAQ: CNN
The question we have is - when does a "military adviser" stop being an 'assassination consultant' and start being a troops' boot on the ground?
Despite the ongoing mainstream media meme that Russia is becoming 'isolated' from the rest of the world thanks to Western sanctions, it appears they have found a few new 'old' friends to become un-isolated with. On the heels of Russia's food-import-ban sanctions last week, Russian and Chinese officials have announced an agreement that China will start selling fruit and vegetables directly to Russia via a special logistics center in Russia's far east. Notably, this week saw Russia's GDP beat consensus expectations, Ruble rally, and stocks jump as German confidence plunged - can you say blowback?
Now that even the Fed has admitted the BLS' nonfarm payroll and unemployment rate are meaningless due to the "noise" from a record number of workers dropping out of the labor force, Janet Yellen is left with one fallback "favorite" indicator, the JOLTS survey (Job Openings and Labor Turnover). It is here that something rather unexpected just happened, when moments ago the BLS reported that US employers reported a whopping 4671K job openings in the month of June, beating expectations of a 4.6MM print and well above the downward revised 4,577K in May. This was the highest openings print since February 2001, and one which suddenly puts the "hawkish" Janet Yellen back in play as it suggests that slack in the labor market, at least based on the number of job openings, has not only filled the gap, but it is now overflowing!
The Central Bank of Ukraine has intervened 3 times this week... demanding the market listen to it that the Hryvnia is under-valued. However, with UAH reaching record lows over 13.5 this morning, it appears they are going to need more USDs to sell...
It took virtually no time from the announcement of the massive, 300-vehicle strong Russian humanitarian convoy destined to alleviate the crisis in east Ukraine, to its departure, leading many to assume - correctly - that the operation had been planned weeks in advance. However, with the trucks currently in transit from a point sourthwest of Moscow and set to enter Ukrainian territory through a customs checkpoint in the Kharkiv region, according to former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, a snag has appeared: Ukraine, which previously blessed the Russian convoy's entry into the country has had a change of heart and has announced it would not allow the convoy in its current state.
Anyone desperate to find clues to the "great American recovery" is strongly urged to stay away from Atlantic City, where shortly after the Revel hotel and casino filed for its second bankruptcy in 16 months, the struggling property announced it would shutter its doors for one final time in September, when not a single qualified buyer emerged during the bankruptcy auction. The good news: there will not be a Chapter 33 for the doomed from the beginning property. The bad news: the DOL will have to find a major seasonal adjustment to absorb the 3,100 jobs that were just lost. It also means that Atlantic City is set to close the year with 25% fewer casinos than it started with, following the shuttering of three other properties including the Showboat and Trump Plaza.
Yes, there is malpractice, but our current system is insane.
Russia Launches Another Military Drill In Northwest: 3000 Paratroopers, 30 Aircraft And Helicopters To Take PartSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/12/2014 09:02 -0400
As we said yesterday, it was only a matter of time before Russia announced yet another drill just to show to the west that it is by no means telegraphing any weakness through the timing of drills. We were about 12 hours early, because later that same day, Itar-Tass reported that some 3,000 paratroopers will be airlifted in two districts of Russia’s north-western Pskov region as part of command and staff exercises of the 76th air assault division starting on Monday, Airborne Force spokeswoman, Major Irina Kruglova said. As a reminder, Pskov is located right next to the Baltics, bordering Estonia and Latvia, both of which have been on a rather belligerent diplomatic track with the Kremlin, and thus will likely result in a substantial escalation in Russia-Baltic tensions, not to mention Ukraine as well, now that Putin is no longer counter-un-de-escalating, again.
Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer delivered his first speech on the global economy in Stockholm, Sweden yesterday. Fischer headed Israel’s central bank from 2005 through 2013 and is now number two at the Federal Reserve in the U.S. after Janet Yellen. Fischer’s comments that the U.S. is “preparing a proposal” for bail-ins is at odds with FDIC and Bank of England officials who have said that bail-in legislation could be used today and "I mean today ... "
Sadly, the Spanish missionary priest who became infected with Ebola treating patients in Liberia has died in hospital in Madrid. As AP reports, Father Miguel Pajares died despite receiving the experimental drug ZMapp, and is one of 3 patients to receive it (the American doctors in Atlanta being the other 2). This morning the WHO confirmed the use of "experimental, unproven" Ebola drugs such as ZMapp was ethical in this situation, as the death toll tops 1000 in what WHO called the "most severe and most complex outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history." Perhaps most concerning of all this morning is news that China is quarantining 8 of its West African nurses (as the death toll among health workers surges).