• Phoenix Capital...
    10/07/2015 - 18:54
    If you think this sounds like some kind of conspiracy theory, consider that France just banned any transaction over €1,000 Euros from using physical cash. Spain has already banned transactions...


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Actavis Purchase Of Allergan Makes It A "$100 Billion Merger Monday"

This may not quite be the blow-off top in the merger bubble as companies rush to frontrun the ECB and buy whatever still isn't nailed, but it is getting close. Because while earlier today Baker Hughes announced it would accept the Halliburton offer to buy it unchallenged in a $35 billion transaction leading many to wonder just how much lower the price of oil is still set to drop, moments ago the Allergan "White Knight" swooped from up on high, and as had also been leaked in recent weeks, Actavis agreed to buy the botox- maker which Ackman and Valeant had been so eagerly chasing for months in order to let the roll-up pharma pad its non-GAAP books with another 2-3 years of pro forma "synergies" add backs.  This means that between Halliburton and Actavis, today we have had the first $100 billion "Merger Monday" in over a decade.

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Frontrunning: November 14

  • "The hate us for our..." Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Ukraine and Russia take center stage as leaders gather for G20 (Reuters)
  • Moscow and Kiev trade accusations; U.S. warns Russia against escalation (Reuters)
  • Heartland Central Banker Calls Asset Bubbles Top Concern (BBG)
  • U.S. Said to Give Banks December Deadline in FX Probe (BBG)
  • Series of Failures Enabled White House Breach, Report Finds (WSJ)
  • Yen plumbs seven-year trough on likely Japan sales tax delay (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Chase Bankers Said to Lead Moscow Departure (BBG)
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Frontrunning: November 12

  • Banks to Pay $3.3 Billion in FX-Manipulation Probe (BBG)
  • Symbolic being the key word: U.S., China sign symbolic emissions plan, play down rivalry (Reuters)
  • Europe (so really Russian sanctions) is the new "snow in the winter" - Carney Sees Europe Stagnation Impact as Growth Outlook Cut (BBG)
  • Eurozone Industrial Output Points to Weak Third Quarter Growth (WSJ)
  • Not everyone around Abe is insane: Kuroda Ally Flags Warning on Delaying Sales-Tax Increase (BBG)
  • Hong Kong to scrap daily yuan conversion limit to boost stock investment (Reuters)
  • Barclays Falls After FX Settlement Delay Reduces Discount (BBG)
  • Some unhappy Yahoo investors asking AOL for rescue (Reuters)
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Frontrunning: November 11

  • No Sign of Thaw in Obama’s Brief Encounters With Putin (BBG)
  • Japan Lawmakers Prepare for Snap Elections as Abe Mulls Tax (BBG)
  • Global stocks rise, Brent crude hits four-year low (Reuters)
  • U.S., China to Drop Tariffs on Range of Tech Products (WSJ)
  • ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Rule Would Raise Bar for Bank Capital (WSJ) ... and mean even bigger taxpayer bailouts
  • Pot in New York: $100 Ticket. No Charges. No Record. No Nothing (BBG)
  • Microsoft unveils first Lumia smartphone without Nokia name (Reuters)
  • Davos-Man Ackermann Lured to Cyprus Bank by Billionaires (BBG)
  • Alibaba, Apple Talks on Payments Tie-Up Focused on China (WSJ)
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Frontrunning: November 10

  • Obama urges China to be partner in ensuring world order (Reuters)
  • China Sees Itself at Center of New Asian Order (WSJ)
  • Xi Dangles $1.25 Trillion as China Counters U.S. Refocus (BBG)
  • China's Xi, Japan's Abe hold landmark meeting after awkward handshake (Reuters)
  • Revenue Softness Worries Stock Investors (WSJ)
  • How BOJ’s Kuroda Won the Vote for Stimulus Expansion (WSJ)
  • Bonus Season Brings More Pain for Traders (WSJ)
  • Russia’s Military Encounters Risk Clash in Europe (BBG)
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Frontrunning: November 7

  • The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare (Matt Taibbi)
  • Explains the midterm results: Optimism precedes job data (Reuters)
  • EU Dream Ebbs Amid Weak Growth, Putin's Jets, 25 Years After Wall Came Down (BBG)
  • SEC Probing Trading Activity at Apple Supplier GT Advanced (WSJ)
  • Boehner touts bills to repeal Obamacare, build Keystone (Reuters)
  • China Gold Buying Means Price Floor to Standard Chartered (BBG)
  • High-Speed Ad Traders Profit by Arbitraging Your Eyeballs (BBG)
  • Central Banks Can’t Be ‘Only Game in Town’ Boosting Economies (BBG) - less talking, more getting to work
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Frontrunning: November 5

  • From Yes We Can to Probably Not (BBG)
  • How Mitch McConnell did it (Politico)
  • Tough road ahead for Obama after Republicans seize Senate (Reuters)
  • Election 2014: Who were the big winners and losers? (USA Today)
  • GOP Senate Takeover Puts Fed on Hot Seat (WSJ), and other fables
  • GOP Won by Recruiting the Right Candidates (WSJ)
  • McCain could shake up U.S. defense in powerful new Senate role (Reuters)
  • Investors Pulled Record Amount From Pimco’s Flagship Fund in October (WSJ)
  • Taliban group threatens to attack India following border blast (Reuters)
  • Oil Import Decline to U.S. Revealed by Louisiana as Truth (BBG)
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Bank Of America Psycho Killer Was Busy Helping Hedge Funds Avoid Taxes During His Business Hours

The most bizarre story of the weekend was that of Bank of America's 29-year-old banker Rurik Jutting, who shortly after allegedly killing two prostitutes (and stuffing one in a suitcase), and called the cops on himself.  The answer, as the WSJ has revealed, is just as unsavory: "he had been part of a Bank of America team that specialized in tax-minimization trades that are under scrutiny from prosecutors, regulators, tax collectors and the bank’s own compliance department, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal."

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Frontrunning: November 4

  • Republicans expect gains, but many races close on election day (Reuters)
  • Ahead of tough election, White House blames dismay with Washington (Reuters)
  • On Election Day, a Tale of the Young and the Old (WSJ)
  • Because the recovery: Sprint to Cut 2,000 Jobs as Mobile Customers Keep Leaving (BBG)
  • Ukraine's rebel leader is sworn in, crisis deepens (Reuters)
  • Brilliant: Burkina Faso Army Promises Religious Leaders It Will Step Down (BBG)
  • More Unknowns Leave Central Banks Facing Greater Internal Strife (BBG)
  • Scapegoat found: IBM to Change Leadership at Global Services Unit (WSJ)
  • Explains why Europe just slashed its GDP forecast: Don’t Be Fooled by Warm Spell as Cold Air About to Return (BBG)
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Frontrunning: November 3

  • To salvage his presidency, Obama faces pressure to reboot - but will he? (Reuters)
  • Pro-Russian separatist Zakharchenko wins Ukraine rebel vote (Reuters)
  • Russia's Recognition of Ukrainian Separatist Election Is 'Incomprehensible,' Germany Says (Moscow Times)
  • Man Running World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Tackles China Riddle (BBG)
  • Russian Supply Underpins Global Oil Glut (WSJ)
  • Argentina accuses Procter & Gamble of tax fraud, says suspends operations (Reuters)
  • ECB Skips Fireworks for Day One of New Role as Supervisor (BBG)
  • HSBC Hit by $1.7 Billion of Provisions (WSJ)
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The Zombie System: How Capitalism Has Gone Off The Rails

"Solutions to the world's problems are not produced in a meeting between Bill Gates and George Soros... Renewal has to come from below... Limiting the influence [of the richest] is of the utmost importance... so that today's upper-class, high-finance capitalism can once again revert to being a capitalism of the real economy and the societal center."

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FBI To Probe Accounting Fraud At Multi-Billion REIT

While the Fed and the BOJ were by far the biggest news of the past week, explicitly admitting that the world simply can not exist without one central bank passing the monetization torch to someone else, a surprising, and scare for its shareholders, development took place when REIT American Realty Capital Properties, with a then-market cap of over $10 billion, announced, under the cover of the Fed ending QE3, that it had overstated its adjusted funds from operation, a cash flow key metric used by REITs, from the first- and second-quarters of 2014.As the WSJ reminds us, while the amount of money involved, some $23 million, was "relatively small", the irregularities resulted in the resignation of the company’s chief financial officer, Brian Block, and chief accounting officer, Lisa McAlister.The result: a crash in the stock that wiped out nearly 30% or nearly $4 billion in market cap.

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BofA Banker Arrested In Hong Kong For Double Murder Of Two Prostitutes, One Victim Was Stuffed In A Suitcase

The excesses of 1980s New York investment banking as captured best (and with just a dose of hyperbole) by Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho may be long gone in the US, but they certainly are alive and well in other banking meccas, such as the one place where every financier wants to work these days (thanks to the Chinese government making it rain credit): Hong Kong. It is here that yesterday a 29-year-old British banker, Rurik Jutting, a Cambridge University grad and current Bank of America Merrill Lynch, former Barclays employee, was arrested in connection with the grisly murder of two prostitutes. One of the two victims had been hidden in a suitcase on a balcony, while the other, a foreign woman of between 25 and 30, was found lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, the police said in a statement.

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Frontrunning: October 31

  • Futures rally after BOJ ramps up stimulus (Reuters), Japan's central bank shocks markets with more easing as inflation slows (Reuters)
  • Kuroda Jolts Markets With Assault on Deflation Mindset (BBG)
  • Japan Mega-Pension Shifts to Stocks (WSJ)
  • Russia Raises Interest Rates (WSJ)
  • Oil-Price Drop Has Saudi Officials Divided (WSJ)
  • Not anymore, the BOJ is here: Fed Exit Could Spark Slump in All Markets, ATP CEO Says (BBG)
  • Wal-Mart Weighs Matching Online Prices from Amazon (WSJ)
  • Euro-Area Inflation Picks Up From Five-Year Low on Stimulus (BBG)
  • Big Banks Brace for Penalties in Probes  (WSJ)
  • Ex-UBS Trader Defense Could Be Threat to U.S. Forex Cases (BBG)
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Jim Grant On Complexity: The Hidden Cost Of Central Bank Actions

Central banks are printing rules almost as fast as they’re printing money. The consequences of these fast-multiplying directives — complicated, long-winded, and sometimes self-contradictory — is one topic at hand. Manipulated interest rates is a second. Distortion and mispricing of stocks, bonds, and currencies is a third. Skipping to the conclusion of this essay, Jim Grant is worried: "The more they tried, the less they succeeded. The less they succeeded, the more they tried. There is no 'exit.'"

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