Futures Flat, Global Stocks Rise As Treasury Yields See Biggest Monthly Jump In Over A Year

The August market doldrums were on display on the last day of the month as S&P futures were fractionally lower on non-existent volume, while both Europe and Asia were modestly in the green; ten-year Treasury yields headed for the biggest monthly jump in more than a year while the dhe dollar gained for a sixth day against the yen in the longest winning streak since March. European stocks advanced for a second day, adding to a monthly gain as oil trimmed its advance in the best month since April.

After Its "Predatory Tax Grab", Europe Prepares Crackdown On Amazon, McDonald's

With Europe desperate to boost its dwindling public coffers and only starting tits anti-tax avoidance campaign, AAPL is only the start in the European Commission's crackdown.  As the WSJ writes, following today's ruling that Apple got an unfair advantage over its competitors because of help it got from Ireland government’s, the EU’s antitrust regulator is likely next to turn to two other ongoing tax investigations on its docket: and McDonald's.

Frontrunning: August 30

  • EU demands Apple pay Ireland up to 13 billion euros in tax (Reuters)
  • Dollar Advances as Treasuries Drop on Rate Outlook; Stocks Rise (BBG)
  • Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan hit by suspected suicide car bomb (Reuters)
  • France, joining German Economy Minister, urges halt to trade talks with U.S. (Reuters)
  • Euro zone monthly economic sentiment falls more than expected (Reuters)

Futures Flat, Global Stocks Higher As Dollar Resumes Rise

The quiet overnight market had been focused on the upcoming comments by Stanley Fischer, who is set to give a Bloomberg TV interview at 6:30am ET, where he was expected to expand on his recent hawkish comments. Heading into Fischer's appearance, the dollar strengthened, global stocks rose, oil hovered around $47, while US index futures were largely flat and Treasuries fell.

Apple Ordered To Repay $14.5 Billion In "Illegal" Tax Benefits, Stock Falls 2%

As the FT reported first yesterday, the EU has judged that the Irish government granted Apple "undue tax benefits" and moments ago announced the specific size of the penalty when it ordered the tech giant repay up to €13 billion ($14.5 billion) plus interest. According to the EU, the Irish deal slashed Apple taxes from 2003 to 2014, and allowed Apple to avoid tax on almost all EU profit.

Jack Lew Furious After Europe Set To Hit Apple With "Largest Tax Penalty Ever"

Just minutes after the excitement over Apple's new product announcement hit, The FT drops a rather more painful headline stating that Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland. Despite Treasury Secretary Lew's pleas/demands just a week ago that the EU back off, the company will have to pay billions of euro in back taxes to Dublin as the European Commission moves to redraw the boundaries on aggressive tax avoidance by the world’s biggest corporations.

Frontrunning: August 26

  • Global equities set 2-week low before Yellen speech, dollar dips (BBG)
  • Lochte signs new endorsement deal, legal woes persist in Brazil (Reuters)
  • Blackstone Unleashes Cash Hoard in Texas Shale Oil Land Grab (BBG)
  • China to prosecute former statistics bureau chief for corruption (Reuters)
  • Turkey fires on U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Syria offensive (Reuters)

In Surprising Twist, Ackman Named As Potential Buyer Of Icahn Herbalife Stake

Having won the battle with Bill Ackman over the existential legality of Herbalife, who owns 18% of the nutritional company, has found himself in a curious place: with no further upside catalysts and with the company levered to the neck with recent buyback-funding debt issues, there is litle upside left. In fact, the stock has been drifting lower ever since the settlement. Which is why, perhaps it is not surprising, that as the WSJ reported overnight, Icahn has been quietly shopping his stake in Herbalife to a group "including the company’s arch-nemesis William Ackman,

Frontrunning: August 25

  • Stock futures lower as countdown to Yellen speech begins (Reuters)
  • Italy quake death toll nears 250 as rescuers search demolished towns (Reuters)
  • Central bankers eye public spending to plug $1 trillion investment gap (Reuters)
  • Chelsea Clinton Plans to Stay on Board of Family Foundation (WSJ)
  • Bond Traders Are Desperate for Direction From Yellen in Jackson Hole (BBG)

The Chimera Of 'Stable' Money

'Stable' money was a chimera. It did not bring stability to the world economy. It did not counter the instability emanating from deposit banking. It actually added to the severity of booms and busts. To function efficiently, capitalism needs a foundation of sound money, not stable money.

Marx & Markets

Investors should check their ideologies and personal politics at the door. The fact is, that strong and enduring capital markets can only survive in truly capitalist economies, preferably with strong representative governments. With accretive capital formation in question, it occurs to us that the largest global capital markets have become little more than tools for Marx’s "ruling class" - in this case well-funded politicians and their patrons - to socialize the factors of production. Whether such a conclusion is good, bad or irrelevant to market performance is the focus of this report.

"Evidence Points To Another Snowden At The NSA"

"Rather than the NSA hacking tools being snatched as a result of a sophisticated cyber operation by Russia or some other nation, it seems more likely that an employee stole them. If Snowden could not have stolen the hacking tools, there are indications that after he departed in May 2013, someone else did, possibly someone assigned to the agency’s highly sensitive Tailored Access Operations."