"It is an elementary obligation of a human being to repay trust with sense of obligation and benevolence with loyalty. However, despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him. From long ago, Jang had a dirty political ambition. He dared not raise his head when Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were alive. But, reading their faces, Jang had an axe to grind and involved himself in double-dealing. He began revealing his true colors, thinking that it was just the time for him to realize his wild ambition in the period of historic turn when the generation of the revolution was replaced."... Or, in brief, if you don't like your uncle, you can execute your uncle.
Everyone has seen the 100-year US Dollar destruction chart; so here is the 200-year... a century without The Fed and a century with... which would you prefer?
From liquidity-driven perception to the Keynesian endpoint economic reality... just follow the arrows...
US equities close weak for the 4th day in a row - echoing last week but without some earth-moving data to save them tomorrow as NFP did last Friday. Bonds and gold were also hit hard and the USD was well bid on the day. The USD is now unchanged on the week though (with AUD down 2%) and 30Y bonds are also practically unchanged (though 5Y is +5bps on the week). JPY crosses were unable to get any traction in stocks before Europe closed but this afternoon saw them recouple and lift stocks back to unch on the day - only to disconnect into the close as stocks tumbled once again. The Russell 2000 ended back below its 50DMA (2nd day in a row) despite a ramp to try and save it. New 52-week lows spike to near 4-month highs. MOMO names rescued NASDAQ a little.
Because every nation deserves the spelling skills of its elected leaders. Courtesy of the White House, which has to write it, to find out how it's spelled:
Sometimes you just have to laugh...
Following what we can only imagine was uproar following our discussion of Fidelity "allowing self-directed IRA holders to 'invest' in Bitcoin," the company has very quickly reversed policy... As MarketWatch notes,
“On an individual basis, we allowed an investor to invest in that Bitcoin Investment Trust,” said Rob Beauregard, director of public relations at Fidelity, in a telephone interview Thursday morning. “We are no longer allowing that.”
The firm is not commenting on why that was allowed, and added "reviews are going on."
Since Dec. 9, the Pitchforks Movement has been staging rallies across Italy, blocking highways and rail and subway stations and protesting in front of public buildings. The protests are relatively small, comprising a few thousand people in each city, but they are widespread, stretching from Italy's poor south to its wealthy north. The Pitchforks Movement first gained notoriety in Sicily in January 2012 when a group of agricultural producers and trucking companies blocked highways on the island for nine days to protest rising fuel and fertilizer prices, a result of austerity measures instituted by the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti.
After the fireworks following yesterday's weak 10yr auction, tensions were high going into today's 30yr bond auction.
When I heard Kyle Bass discussing one of the reasons he was investing in Herbalife is because of possible future stock buybacks at all-time highs – I just shake my head as this isn`t going to end well folks!
With home prices in the UK driving people to live in boxes and Bob Shiller worried about the US, Bloomberg's Niraj Shah notes that the Knight Frank global house price index has risen to a record. The index, now 4% above the previous high in Q3 2008 is led by China and Emerging Nations (with Europe weakest) as investor speculation amid central bank liquidity fuels yet another bubble (that no one could see coming again).
Despite misses on stocks and gold, Citi FX Technicals' excellent "12 Charts of Christmas" performed well in 2013 directionally across FX, bonds, and commodities. This year, Tom Fitzpatrick and his team unveil 2014's most important charts - establishing a starting point for their outlook in the year ahead. From a slowing housing market to expectations of a strong USD; and from a "roll-over" in Consumer Confidence to strength in gold, they see the "repair process" continuing albeit at a slow pace but worry that the stock markets are looking more and more like 2000.
From Russia with love...
Bloomberg has been kind enough to summarize the epic confusion gripping the sellside on the topic of the Taper, which once again everyone thought would not take place until 2014, and now there is palpable panic may hit as soon as next week. Kudos to the Fed on its "transparent" communication strategy.
If one was to believe the picture that most Western media outlets are painting, Ukraine has been lost to Russia. Though the country fought valiantly to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union in Vilnius, Lithuania last month, President Viktor Yanukovych suspended negotiations with the EU at the last possible moment, betraying Ukrainians everywhere. Two recent energy deals that Ukraine has reportedly made, one with Russia and the other with Slovakia, however, show that the reality of the situation is slightly more complex.