Merrill

Merrill

Frontrunning: February 24

  • Ukraine Seeks $35 Billion as Yanukovych Warrant Is Issued (BBG)
  • Ukraine's fugitive president wanted for mass murder (Reuters)
  • Polar Vortex to Bring More Snow on Return to U.S. This Week (BBG)
  • China property prices continue to rise (FT)
  • Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals (BBG)
  • Pentagon to propose shrinking Army, scrapping some jets (Reuters)
  • Hedge Funds Turn Bearish on S&P 500 as VIX Advances (BBG)
  • Draghi’s Data Jigsaw Takes Shape as ECB Readies Showdown (BBG)
  • China, eyeing Japan, seeks WW2 focus for Xi during Germany visit (Reuters)

Frontrunning: February 20

  • Facebook CEO Raises Dealmaker Profile With $19 Billion Takeover (BBG)
  • WhatsApp’s Founder Goes From Food Stamps to Billionaire (BBG)
  • U.S. Feels Putin's Sharp Elbows in Ukraine (WSJ)
  • PBOC Drains Cash as Overnight Rate Slides to Lowest in 10 Months (BBG)
  • Fed Puts Rate Increase on the Radar (Hilsenrath)
  • Banks Flouting Bonus Rules in Denmark Set to Be Named by FSA (BBG)
  • Work Set to Resume on Upgrading Panama Canal (WSJ)
  • Euro-Area Recovery Loses Pace as Manufacturing Weakens (BBG) - uh, what recovery?
  • Ukraine Exposes EU Policy Disarray (WSJ)

Frontrunning: February 18

  • Carl Icahn wins again: Actavis to Buy Forest Labs for $25 Billion (WSJ)
  • ECB governing council member attacks German court ruling on OMT (FT)
  • China Tackles $1 Trillion Data Gap as Xi Changes Metrics (BBG)
  • FX Traders Facing Extinction as Computers Replace Humans (BBG)
  • BOJ Boost to Loan Programs Signals Room for More Easing (BBG) - actually no it doesn't as it was "factored in"
  • Four killed in Thai clashes; PM to face charges over rice scheme (Reuters)
  • Goodbye unsterilized SMP: Bundesbank Backs Measure to Boost Funds in Banking System  (WSJ)
  • Iranian Hacking to Test NSA Nominee Michael Rogers (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Clashes Leave Dozens Wounded as Putin Resumes Bailout (BBG)

Guest Post: The Merger Of State And Commerce

Today’s economic model was best summed up by dictator Benito Mussolini in one short sentence: “Fascism … is the perfect merger of power between the corporations and the state”.   But tyranny also has its life-cycle within the balance between the past and the future.  Once the past becomes far too much of a millstone for the future generations to carry any longer, governments fall and debt and servitude recede.   Empires can fall largely without violence and allow a new, freer system to emerge, as most of the satellite states of the Soviet Union achieved.   Or the legacy of fallen empire becomes violent chaos followed by renewed oppression, like the French Revolution. This bottom-up style revolution is happening to nations across our 21st Century.  The future lies in the balance.  The bell tolls for all Western nations, too. So, in the United States, it seems, liberty will have its chance again before too long.

Bank Of America Asks "Do Obamacare Costs Exceed The Benefits?"

Few laws cause as much high blood pressure as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Supporters of the law consider it the signature legislation of the Obama administration. Yet, in 2011 the House of Representatives passed the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law,” one of more than 40 attempts to scuttle the legislation. Public opinion polls are ambiguous: most Americans are against the law as a whole and yet most support many of its provisions. BofAML tries to slice through the partisan debate and show what serious research says about how the ACA will impact the labor market.

Frontrunning: February 14

  • Euro-Area Growth Eases Pressure on Draghi for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Germany Beats Growth Estimates With France Amid Recovery (BBG)
  • Argentina revises ‘bogus’ inflation figures (FT)
  • Wells Fargo edges back into subprime as U.S. mortgage market thaws (Reuters)
  • China Banks’ Bad Loans Reach Highest Since Financial Crisis (BBG)
  • Time Warner Cable Deal to Test Comcast CEO's Washington Clout (WSJ)
  • Risky Loans in Europe Banks’ Dark Corners to Be Exposed  (BBG) - yeah, right... sure
  • Gold Extends Climb Above $1,300 as Investors Boost SPDR Holdings (BBG)
  • SEC Takes Steps to Stem Courtroom Defeats (WSJ)

Frontrunning: February 12

  • Anti-Euro Party’s Le Pen Gains Supporters, French Poll Shows (BBG)
  • Carney Renews BOE Low-Rate Pledge to Fight Slack in Economy (BBG)
  • Bank of England hints at 2015 rate rise (Reuters)
  • ECB bond-buying intact and ready after court decision-Coeure (Reuters)
  • Canada scraps millionaire visa scheme, dumps 46,000 Chinese applications (SCMP)
  • Scrap this then? Vancouver facing an influx of 45,000 more rich Chinese (SCMP)
  • China's January Exports Power Higher, Up 10.6% (WSJ) ... and nobody believes the number
  • Emerging-Market Shakeout Putting Reserves Into Focus (BBG)
  • Wall Street's most eligible banker Fleming waits for suitor (Reuters)
  • Kazakh Devaluation Shows Currency War Stirring as Ruble Dips (BBG)

Frontrunning: February 11

  • Frustrated by Karzai, U.S. Shifts Afghanistan Exit Plans (WSJ)
  • Yellen Testimony Guide From Payrolls Report to Emerging Markets (BBG)
  • Gold hits three-month high, shares up ahead of Yellen (Reuters)
  • Tightfisted New Owners Put Heinz on Diet (WSJ)
  • Senator describes "gruesome" bin Laden photos (Reuters)
  • More reasons for the ongoing economic contraction: U.S. Winter Storm Seen Spreading Snow, Sleet Across South (BBG)
  • Barclays Cuts Up to 12,000 Jobs as Quarterly Profit Falls  (BBG)
  • Boeing Considering 787-Size Medium-Range Jetliners (WSJ)
  • AOL Chief Apologizes for ‘Distressed Babies’ Comment (BBG)

Frontrunning: February 10

  • Yellen's first test (Reuters)
  • Let weak banks die, says eurozone super-regulator (FT)
  • Yellen, Carney Face Explaining Policy as Benchmarks Near (BBG)
  • Commerzbank Said Seeking Debt Buyers in $6.8 Billion Spain Exit (BBG)
  • Junk Yield Premiums Soar on China’s Looming First Default (BBG)
  • Millions Trapped in Health-Law Coverage Gap (WSJ)
  • Mandel Tops Best-Earning Hedge Funds for Clients in 2013 (BBG)
  • Swiss Brace for Sour EU Relations After Immigration Vote (BBG)
  • Detroit Bankruptcy Talks to Resume (WSJ)

Frontrunning: February 7

  • Here is why AAPL bounced off $500: Apple Repurchases $14 Billion of Own Shares in Two Weeks (WSJ)
  • German Court Refers OMT Decision to Europe's Top Court (WSJ)
  • Inflation Fuels Crises in Two Latin Nations (WSJ)
  • U.S. job growth seen snapping back from winter chill (Reuters)
  • Google to own $750 million Lenovo stake after Motorola deal closes: HK exchange (Reuters)
  • Frigid Winter Spells Trouble for U.S. Economy (BBG)
  • Winter Games to open, Putin keen to prove doubters wrong (Reuters)
  • Regulators Ready to Proceed on Bank Leverage Limit (WSJ)
  • Abe Eyes Window for Biggest Military-Rule Change Since WWII (BBG)

Frontrunning: February 6

  • Draghi as ECB Master of Suspense Keeps Investors on Edge (BBG)
  • Abe lays out detailed plan for expanding defense powers (Nikkei)
  • Inflation Fuels Crises in Two Latin Nations (WSJ)
  • Obama walks into crossfire of Asian tensions (FT)
  • Harvard Makes Professor Disclose More After Blinkx Slides (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Rework Currency Positions in Market Drop (BBG)
  • Canada, U.S. Strike Tax-Information Sharing Deal (WSJ)
  • Indonesia calls for greater clarity from Fed on tapering (FT)
  • Sony to cut 5,000 jobs, split off PC, TV operations (Reuters)

Frontrunning: February 5

  • Goldman to Fidelity Call for Calm After Global Stock Wipeout (BBG)
  • Turnabout on Global Outlook Darkens Investor Mood (Hilsenrath)
  • EU Said to Weigh Extending Greek Loans to 50 Years (BBG)
  • Second Storm Hitting Northeast Halts Planes, Schools (BBG)
  • Small Banks Face TARP Hit (WSJ)
  • As Sony prepares PCs exit, pressure mounts for reboot on TVs (Reuters)
  • IBM Uses Dutch Tax Haven to Boost Profits as Sales Slide (BBG)
  • ECB faces dilemma with inflation drop (FT)
  • London Subway Strike Snarls Traffic as Union Opposes Cuts  (BBG)

Paul Singer's "Vision" Of The Coming "Riot Point" And The Fed's "Formula For Destruction"

"As we and others have said, the Fed is overly reliant upon models that do not account for real-world elements of instruments, markets and traders in the derivatives age. Models cannot possibly take into account unpredictable interactions among huge positions and traders in new and very complicated instruments. Thus, the Fed should be careful, humble and conservative. Instead, it is just blithely plowing ahead as if it knows exactly what is going on. Intelligent captains sail uncharted waters with extra caution and high alert; only fools think that each mile they sail without sinking the vessel further demonstrates that they are wise and the naysayers were fools. This is a formula for destruction. The crash of 2008 should have been smoking-gun evidence of the folly of this approach, but every mistake leading up to the crash, especially excessive and “invisible” leverage and interest rates that were too low, has been doubled down upon in the years since."