Apple

Frontrunning: March 6

  • 5 Things to Watch in February’s Jobs Report (WSJ)
  • Draghi Declares Victory for Bond-Buying Before It Starts (BBG)
  • Apple Pay Sign-Ups Get Tougher as Banks Respond to Fraud (WSJ)
  • As World’s Hottest Economy Unravels, Nigerians Feel the Squeeze (BBG)
  • EU discontent over French budget deal's 'political bazaar' (Reuters)
  • Foreign Takeovers See U.S. Losing Tax Revenue (WSJ)
  • Goldman Shareholders’ Hope for Bigger Payout Dashed by Fed (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Headed for 31% Surge This Year Amid QE, Citi Says (BBG)
  • Dollar revs up for jobs data, euro bonds rally on ECB (Reuters)

Thanks For The Corporate Bond Bubble, Fed

Once upon a time businesses borrowed long term money - if they borrowed at all - in order to fund plant, equipment and other long-lived productive assets. Today American businesses are borrowing like never before - to fund financial engineering maneuvers such as stock buybacks, M&A and LBOs, not the acquisition of productive assets that can actually fuel future output and productivity. 

Let’s see. The Eccles Building has grown its balance sheet by 9X since the turn of the century, but real net investment in the business sector has plunged by 33%!

High Frequency Robber Barrons

Over the weekend Barron's engaged in another attempt by the pro-HFT media lobby to make it seem that frontrunning HFT parasites (now available on a laser near you) are good for the "little guy." An attempt which fails when one actually scratches the surface even by the smallest amount.

Frontrunning: March 5

  • China Lowers Growth Target to About 7% (WSJ)
  • Obesity Is Hurting the U.S. Economy in Surprising Ways (BBG)
  • Embattled Hillary Clinton urges State Department to release emails (Reuters)
  • Washington Strips New York Fed’s Power (WSJ)
  • U.S. Supreme Court split over Obamacare challenge (Reuters)
  • Citigroup Loses $800 Million as It Exits Turkey’s Akbank (BBG)
  • Justice Who Once Tried to Kill Obamacare Now Potential Savior (BBG)
  • Buyers of Espírito Santo Debt Face Financial Uncertainty (WSJ)

NFIB Chief Economist Warns "Bubble In US Net Worth Has Reached Unsustainable Heights"

"The relationship of U.S. net worth to GDP appears to have reached unsustainable heights," warns NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg, adding that a massive decline in the value of assets is "more likely" than a massive increase in GDP. Logically this seems unavoidable, unless you believe that we are truly wealthier now, even with an economy that is delivering a rather poor performance (historically weak output and sales growth) in real terms. It would seem not to be 'whether' we will adjust but when.

Nasdaq 5,000 Is Different This Time... But Not In A Good Way!

So today what is different is not the Wall Street spiel that Nasdaq is anchored by the likes of Apple rather than Webvan. Since the two days of March 9 and 10 in the year 2000 when the Nasdaq closed over the 5,000, the financial markets have been converted into central bank managed gambling halls and the global economy has bloated beyond recognition by 15 years of non-stop financial repression. Back then, a few hundred stocks were wildly over-valued based on monetizing eyeballs; now the entire market is drastically overvalued owing to the false financial market liquidity generated by $14 trillion of central bank asset monetization - mostly public debt - since the turn of the century. As a result, the global financial system and economy are orders of magnitude more fragile and vulnerable to collapse than they were 15 years ago.

China Blasts Obama's "Paranoid, Narrow-Minded, Arrogant, & Hypocritical" Foreign Policy

Yeah but apart from that, US-China relations are excellent. Following President Obama's barbed comments aimed at China's new counter-terrorism laws (and their implications for US tech companies - as NSA spying 'facts' reduce China's appetite for American-made IT products), Beijing has blasted back. In one of the least holds-barred undiploatic statements in recent times, China (speaking through its official mouthpiece Xinhua), calls Obama's criticism "utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy." And with that they are just getting started...

Frontrunning: March 4

  • RBS to cut up to 14,000 jobs in investment banking unit (FT)
  • Doctors, patients scramble ahead of high court Obamacare decision (Reuters)
  • Rajan Cuts India Rates After Modi Agrees to Inflation Target (BBG)
  • Russia’s Putin Makes First Public Comments on Killing of Boris Nemtsov (WSJ)
  • House breaks impasse, passes security funding without provisions (Reuters)
  • How a 25-Year-Old Investor Spurred Lumber Liquidators’ Plunge (BBG)
  • Jeff Immelt’s Overhaul of GE Impeded by Falling Oil Prices (WSJ)
  • Sahara India Defaults on Luxury Hotel Loans From Bank of China (BBG)

Treasury 'Short Overhang' Lifts After Actavis Prices 2nd Largest Bond Issue Ever

Just a day after Blackrock saw its biggest Bond ETF outflows in history ($525.8 million pulled on Monday), Actavis sold $21 billion of almost-junk 'BBB-' rated debt (at a minsicule yield of only 3.5%) in the 2nd largest bond issuance ever (2nd only to Verizon's massive $49 billion deal in 2013). The issue was oversubscribed 4.5x (around $90bn in the order book) as a ten-part offering varying from 18-month floaters to 30Y fixeds all went off below guidance. With Treasury liquidty disappearing fast, one wonders just how much rate-locking on this massive deal was responsible for a net short overhang on the Treasury complex the last few days...

Frontrunning: March 3

  • 3 days after Zero Hedge, here's Bloomberg: Company Cash Bathes Stocks as Monthly Buybacks Set Record (BBG)
  • Israel's Netanyahu to address Congress in speech that has strained ties with Obama (Reuters), Risks Diplomatic, Political Pain If Speech Falls Flat (BBG)
  • Before Key Speech, Netanyahu Hails U.S. Ties (WSJ)
  • $1.92 bilion FX rigging charge: Barclays Posts Loss as Foreign-Exchange Provisions Rise (WSJ)
  • Barclays Awards Jenkins First Bonus as CEO, Cuts Pay Pool (BBG)
  • Exxon’s Russia Exposure Surges as Long View Outweighs Sanctions (BBG)
  • Obama says Iran must halt key nuclear work for at least a decade (Reuters)
  • Yellen Turning from Friend to Foe for Dollar Bulls (BBG)

"We Are Failing To Deliver On Our Obligations As Americans"

"...we are failing to deliver on our obligations as Americans, that is undeniable.  We are allowing the political class to plunder our wealth, negate our freedoms and desecrate our Constitution.  Sadly we have become the immoral populace our founding fathers warned all future generations not to become... The duty and obligation is ours and so too then are the failures and successes of our society. We are 15 years in to what is absolute denial regarding the competence of our nation’s policymakers. Yet here we sit, silent and indifferent to our own demise; so completely antithetical to the character of a true American."

The "Cashless Economy" Is A Myth

Forget what you think you know about credit and debit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, Apple Pay and any other modern conveniences meant to displace physical currency. The truth is that transactional currency ($1 through $20 bills) in circulation per capita today in America is essentially where it was, inflation adjusted, in 1994: $661 then and $649 today. Simply put, despite the mainstream media buzz, the “Cashless economy” is myth.