• Tim Knight from...
    11/26/2014 - 19:43
    I read your post Pity the Sub Genius and agreed with a lot of what you wrote. However you missed what I think is the biggest killer of middle class jobs, and that is technological...

Berkshire Hathaway

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Another Hedge Fund Legend Calls It Quits: Phil Falcone Leaves Harbinger Group, Gets $20.5 Million Severance





Another day, another (former) hedge fund legend calls it quits, this time embattled one-time hedge fund legend (until that whole Securities Fraud charge appeared) Phil Falcone, whose Harbinger hedge fund was a decade ago the dream venue for most hedge fund traders and analysts, and who as of December 1, will no longer be CEO and Chairman of the Harbinger Group. But don't cry for Falcone: he will depart with a $20.5 Million lump sum payment. His replacement: the man who has already been intimately involved with Harbinger - Leucadia's Joe Steinberg, who on numerous previous occasions has provided critical funding to the embattled conglomerate.

 
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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 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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ECB Stress Test Fails To Inspire Confidence Again As Euro Stocks Slide After Early Rally; Monte Paschi Crashes





It started off so well: the day after the ECB said that despite a gargantuan €879 billion in bad loans, of which €136 billion were previously undisclosed, only 25 European banks had failed its stress test and had to raised capital, 17 of which had already remedied their capital deficiency confirming that absolutely nothing would change, Europe started off with a bang as stocks across the Atlantic jumped, which in turn pushed US equity futures to fresh multi-week highs putting the early October market drubbing well into the rear view mirror. Then things turned sour. Whether as a result of the re-election of incumbent Brazilian president Dilma Russeff, which is expected to lead to a greater than 10% plunge in the Bovespa when it opens later, or the latest disappointment out of Germany, when the October IFO confidence declined again from 104.5 to 103.2, or because "failing" Italian bank Monte Paschi was not only repeatedly halted after crashing 20% but which saw yet another "transitory" short-selling ban by the Italian regulator, and the mood in Europe suddenly turned quite sour, which in turn dragged both the EURUSD and the USDJPY lower, and with it US equity futures which at last check were red.

 
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Frontrunning: October 24





  • Doctor with Ebola in New York hospital after return from Guinea (Reuters)
  • Ebola Puts Spotlight on Bellevue, Key NYC Trauma Center (WSJ)
  • Uber Driver Transported Ebola-Positive Doctor in New York (BBG)
  • GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows (WSJ)
  • ECB Tries for Third Time Lucky in European Stress Tests (BBG)
  • Security tight in Canada as police probe Parliament gunman's ties (Reuters)
  • Why Madrid's poor fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone (Reuters)
  • Fed’s $4 Trillion Holdings Keep Boosting Growth Beyond End of QE (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: October 17





  • Obama open to appointing Ebola 'czar', opposes travel ban (Reuters)
  • Schools Close as Nurse’s Ebola Infection Ignites Concern (BBG)
  • How the World's Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control (BBG)
  • European Stocks Rise Amid Growing Pressure for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Putin Threatens EU Gas Squeeze Raising Stakes for Ukraine (BBG)
  • ECB to Start Asset Purchases Within Days, Says Central Banker Coeuré (WSJ)
  • Investors search for signs of end to stock market correction (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: October 16





  • Dallas County May Declare State of Disaster From Ebola Virus (BBG)
  • Markets on edge after worst turmoil in four years (Reuters)
  • Central bankers may have no quick fix as markets swoon, economy weakens (Reuters)
  • Risk of Deflation Feeds Global Fears  (Hilsenrath)
  • U.S. health official allowed new Ebola patient on plane with slight fever (Reuters)
  • Texas Hospital Fights Allegations About Ebola Protocols (BBG)
  • Treasuries Gain as Oil Drops Below $80 While Stocks Slide (BBG)
  • Greek Bonds Slump on Bailout Concern as Spain Misses Sale Target (BBG)
  • White House shifts into crisis mode on Ebola response (Reuters)
  • Obama Confronts Slippery Slope as Islamic State Advances (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: October 3





  • How you know it is all a lie: Pelosi Presses Obama to Talk Up Stronger U.S. Economy (BBG)
  • Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes Put Pressure on New York Fed (NYT), Uh, no they don't
  • Clashes Break Out at Hong Kong Protest Site (WSJ)
  • N.Y. Fed Lawyer Says AIG Got Billions Without Paperwork (BBG)
  • Ebola’s Disease Detectives Race to Track Others Exposed (BBG)
  • UPS, FedEx Want Retailers to Get Real on Holiday Shipping (WSJ)
  • No more mailman at the door under U.S. Postal Service plan (Reuters)
 
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Martin Armstrong Fears "Pension Funds Will Be Taken To Fund Infrastructure"





Behold Obama’s dream project – a global infrastructure fund. This idea was floated and endorsed at The G-20 in Cairns this weekend. “We have agreed to come away from government-financed growth measures to more private investment,” said Australia’s Finance Minister Joe Hockey. These are being called Public Private Partnerships (PPP), and will be extremely critical in the future for here lies the final destruction of the pension funds precisely as Japan bankrupted the Japanese Postal Saving Fund using that private money for political purposes to try to stimulate the economy, which failed. With PPP, public funds will be sold to the public as being a highly professional long-term investment that will further shrink economic growth and liquidity. They cannot possibly work.

 
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Leverage, Derivatives, And The Heresy Of Opposing The 'Status Quo Institutions'





Does the use of leverage (properly defined) and derivatives (properly defined) create trading risks that wouldn’t be there if you just bought the Vanguard 60/40 fund and called it a day? Sure. But we believe risk-balancing strategies mitigate far more dangerous risks to a public pension portfolio – particularly an over-reliance on equity markets. Public pensions are complex entities whose liability structures are often many times greater than the size of their investment portfolios. The common practice to resolve this dilemma has been to pursue an equity-dominated asset structure that has greater chances of achieving the required return to make the entire structure work. The problem is that equities are themselves leveraged, but it’s hidden leverage and thus hidden risk.

 
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Frontrunning: August 27





  • Islamic State executes soldiers, takes hostages at Syria base (Reuters)
  • Buffett Burger King Funds Flip Obama’s Inversion Calculus (BBG)
  • Equities Reach Record $66 Trillion as S&P 500 Hits 2,000 (BBG)
  • Central Banks Playing Own Version of Plaza-opoly With FX (BBG)
  • Russia court closes McDonald's branch for 90 days (Reuters)
  • Finland Says NATO an Option After Russia ‘Violates’ Border Laws (BBG)
  • Netanyahu Hit With Domestic Criticism Over Gaza Truce (BBG)
  • Biggest Danish Fund Readies for Rate Shock as Exit Narrows (BBG)
  • Nonprofit Hospitals' Profits Fall (WSJ)
 
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"Tax Me More" Buffett To Finance Burger King's Tax Inversion Deal





President Obama would have proudly proclaimed Warren Buffett a true patriot in his bailing out of the banking system with expensive loans and his 'realization' that those earning more than $1 million should be tax-tax-taxed. However, the "Buffett Rule" appears to have one caveat... if you are making over a $1 billion, you're good to go with tax-avoidance strategies. In one of his career's most hypocritical moves Warren "tax-me-more" Buffett has decided that putting his money where his mouth is no longer makes sense.. and is funding $3billion of Burger King's "tax-inversion" takeover of Canada-based Tim Hortons. Somewhere on a golf course, a Presidential Putter is being snapped across a knee...

 
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Frontrunning: August 26





  • That will teach the UAE who's boss: U.S. Won’t Consult Syria on Militant Strikes: White House (BBG)
  • Putin Set to Meet Poroshenko as Ukraine Tensions Escalate (BBG)... but the de-escalation algo?
  • Tim Hortons’ Canadian Fans Squeamish of American Hookup (BBG)
  • Israeli air strikes target more Gaza high-rises (Reuters)
  • How Steve Ballmer Became a Rookie Basketball Mogul (WSJ)
  • Buffett to Help Finance Burger King Tax-Saving Deal (BBG)
  • U.S. Factories Keep Losing Ground to Global Rivals (WSJ)
  • Boehner, Camp Profit From Corporate Bid to Avoid U.S. Tax (BBG)
  • Experimental U.S. hypersonic weapon destroyed seconds after launch (Reuters)
  • The Neo-Neocons (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: August 21





  • FTW: Europe Stocks Rise as Data Signals Need for Stimulus (BBG)
  • More de-escalation: Dozens die in Ukraine in street battles, Donetsk shelling (Reuters)
  • Calm largely holds in Missouri after grand jury opens shooting investigation (Reuters)
  • Attorney General Eric Holder Vows Thorough Probe of Ferguson Shooting (WSJ)
  • World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Slows Emerging Market Investment (BBG)
  • Market Chilly to Argentine Debt Proposal (WSJ)
  • Israeli air strike kills three Hamas commanders in Gaza (Reuters)
  • Retooled Hamas Bloodies Israel With Help From Hezbollah (BBG)
  • Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers (WSJ)
  • Fed Debates Early Rate Increases (WSJ)
 
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Fed Fueled M&A Destroys Capital





The world’s central bankers have given companies the urge to merge. Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity has already reached $2.2 trillion this year according to Thomson Reuters Deals Intelligence, up 70% from this time a year ago. The deals are big, with eight acquisitions, each over $5 billion, being announced in just a single week in July. However CEO buying sprees do not create new jobs and new products that make our lives better, but are instead just wasteful malinvestments that destroy capital. The cost of capital is integral to making these assumptions. The lower the assumed interest rate or cost of capital, the higher the price for the acquisition that the models will justify. Once interest rates go up, these valuation models will be blown to pieces.

 
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