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Have We Forgotten What An Authentic Market Is?





The irony of maintaining a veneer of authenticity over a fundamentally inauthentic market is rich: the more the authorities manipulate the market to maintain high valuations and suppress turbulence, the greater the odds of a collapse of trust as inauthentic markets cannot self-correct or discover the price of assets, capital and risk. Once risk has been effectively hidden by perception management, participants lack the essential information they need to make informed decisions. And so their decisions will be catastrophically mis-informed. This is how declines morph into crashes.

 
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Did Ukraine Attack Its Own Tanks? White House "Can't Confirm Russian Convoy Was Destroyed By Kiev"





Today's story of the day just took a major turn for the bizarre...

 
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Presenting The Quote Stuffing Trading Strategy Of The NY Fed's Favorite Hedge Fund: Citadel





As regular readers are well aware, when it comes to "more than arms length" equity market intervention in New Normal markets, the New York Fed's preferred "intermediary" of choice to, how should one say, boost investor sentiment aka "protect from a plunge", is none other than Chicago HFT powerhouse, Citadel. Yet one question had remained unanswered: just how does Citadel manipulated stocks? We now know the answer, and perhaps more importantly, it also links in to the true culprit behind the May 2010 Flash Crash, no not Waddell & Reed, but quote stuffing. Most importantly, the revelation that for Citadel quote stuffing is not just some byproduct of some "innocuous" HFT strategy, is that none other than the Nasdaq has now stated on the record, that the most leveraged hedge fund (at 9x regulatory to net assets), and the third largest after Bridgewater and Millennium, used quote stuffing as a "trading strategy."

 
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Germany Tapped Hillary Clinton: "It Was Unintentional"





About a year after it was first revealed that the US had spied not only on Angela Merkel but on virtually every German citizen, in a remarkable NSA-CIA tag-team joint venture, many were wondering why Germany is taking things so calmly (aside, of course, for the whole "Fed may need to bail out Deutsche Bank at any moment" bit). Turns out the answer is that Germany was doing the same all along and as the German press reveals today, the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has tapped at least one phone call of then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

 
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Guest Post: Top 7 Reasons To Buy Silver Now





When considering the catalysts for silver, let’s first ignore short-term factors such as net short/long positions, fluctuations in weekly ETF holdings, or the latest open interest. Data like these fluctuate regularly and rarely have long-term bearing on the price of silver. We're more interested in the big-picture forces that could impact silver over the next several years. The most significant force, of course, is governments’ abuse of “financial heroin” that will inevitably lead to a currency crisis in many countries around the world, pushing silver and gold to record levels; but here are seven more...

 
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Conditioned To Catch The Falling Knife





The numbers out last night were once again largely on the weak side of disappointing, with very little reaction and even less of an intuitive reaction. As Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow writes, this is the downside of everyone having the same positions. Simply put, we've been trained to catch the falling knife by the CBs, one of those trading strategies that will work until it doesn’t and when the knife slips you will really have a taper tantrum.

 
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Gazprom To Europe: We Own You (At Least Until 2016)





“Commercial shale gas production in Europe can begin not earlier than in 2016-2018 even with positive geological surveys. But production volumes will not bring about major changes in the European gas market due to a decline in conventional gas production,” Gazprom. Which, sadly for Europe, means that Putin will be dictating his terms on the energy-strapped continent for a long, long time.

 
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Bill Ackman On Why Using Debt To Buyback Stock Is Great And Much More: Full Q2 Investor Letter





Now that everyone is finally focusing on the strategy of bloating any available company with massive leverage in order to use the proceeds to either buyback stock or engage in "synergy-creating" M&A (leading to countless pink slips), which is affectionately known as "activism", here is Bill Ackman's latest, Q2, letter with his take on this topic of how massive leverage which is great for shareholders now, but a disaster waiting to happen for employees and bondholders in the future as soon as rates rise, is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

 
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Iraq Policy: Washington’s Puzzle Palace Keeps Getting Curiouser





"So there are no proxies and there is no functioning Iraqi state. If the Washington war party decides to keep bombing just exactly what purpose will be served - other then defending a map which is now heading for the dustbin of history?"

 
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ISIS And The Coming Escalation In Iraq





ISIS has attracted an entire generation of radicalized Sunni militants to the region. If one watches interviews with their enemies such as e.g. Peshmerga fighters, one topic that is occasionally mentioned is that they don't seem to fear death much. Combined with their well-known brutality, this undoubteldy makes them a formidable fighting force. However, there is evidently far more to ISIS than that. All of the above suggests that it will be exceedingly difficult to effectively destroy ISIS. It seems to us that if the goals the president has announced in recent days are to be achieved, nothing short of a full-scale invasion of Iraq (as well as of Syria for good measure) is likely to suffice – and even then, success is by no means guaranteed.

 
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Bubble Market Stunner: Revenueless Biotech Goes Public, Drops, Trades For Six Days, Then Voids Entire IPO





Glass breaking in slow motion reversed 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).

Huh?

 
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France's 'Recovery' In 1 Hard-To-Believe Chart





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.

 
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No Bid: Revel Casino To Close After No Buyer Emerges For Twice Bankrupt Property





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.

 
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