Having been picked by NASA, and funded by US taxpayers, to ship a cargo capsule to the Space Station, Elon Musk's SpaceX 9 Falcon Rocket has exploded shortly after takeoff due to what is being called an "anomaly."
It is impossible to wean an economy that relies on debt and leverage for its "growth" of excessive debt and leverage.
- FIFA Raided by Swiss Authorities in 2018, 2022 World Cup Probe (BBG)
- Companies Send More Cash Back to Shareholders (WSJ)
- Time Warner Cable Deal Stirs Debt Concerns (WSJ)
- Qatar $200 Billion World Cup Under More Scrutiny Amid FIFA Probe (BBG)
- Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island (Reuters)
- The G-7's Problem: Can the World Deal With a Greek Default? (BBG)
- SocGen Deal for Bache Illustrates Commodity-Trading Woe (WSJ)
- China’s Naval Abilities Test Asia’s Insecurities (WSJ)
Just because we do not acknowledge the binds that tie us to our servitude does not invalidate their existence, but rather significantly strengthens them.
It's not been a great week for Elon Musk. First he admits that Tesla sales in China were disappointing (which further tanked the stock down 15% in the last 3 weeks and over 36% off its record highs from last September) and then his SpaceX project suffered a significant setback in what Musk comedically called a "Full RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) event."
Disillusioned with the pillaging and predation of our supposed leaders who have circled away from all constraint, we in the center that cannot hold can only watch things fall apart as the orderly universe operated by the few at the expense of the many dissolves (in Aldous Huxley's phrase) into a world of planless incoherence.
Over the last 2 days, more than two dozen Russian military aircraft, in four groups, were tracked and intercepted conducting aerial maneuvers around Europe, according to NATO. As The Wall Street Journal reports, this activity is on a scale seldom seen since the end of the Cold War, prompting NATO jets to scramble in another sign of how raw East-West relations have grown. "There is a troubling trend... of sabre rattling" warned The White House, noting that NATO has intercepted over 100 incursions by Russia year-to-date to which the US Army chief of staff ominously warned, this is "Russian aggression," and "we have to reassure our allies."
- Russia Loses Oil Ally in De Margerie After Moscow Crash (BBG)
- Austria's Erste denies report it has failed stress tests (Reuters)
- Sweden gets two new sightings, as hunt for undersea intruder goes on (Reuters)
- Companies Try to Escape Health Law’s Penalties (WSJ)
- Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border (BBG)
- NOAA employee charged with stealing U.S. dam information (Reuters)
- Lower Oil Prices Seen Easing Japan’s Trade Pain (WSJ)
- Michigan becomes 5th U.S. state to thwart direct Tesla car sales (Reuters)
- Maglev Train Seen Making Washington-to-Baltimore Trip at 311 MPH (BBG)
The awful news overnight of Total CEO Christophe de Margarie's death in a freak plane crash caused by the jet hitting a snow-plough on the runway has taken a darker twist. As RT reports, Russian prosecutors claim the driver of the snowplough was drunk, and the air traffic controller for the jet was an intern. However, his lawyer, however, says he was completely sober, due to a heart condition preventing him from drinking claiming "he was so sober at the time of the crash," adding "we don't want the blame for the accident falling on an ordinary man." Investigators added that "bad weather conditions and the possibility of a mistake by the pilot will also be considered." ITAR-TASS reports that Putin has sent his condolences and reached out to Francois Hollande, "Vladimir Putin has long known de Margerie and had a close working relationship with him."
A recent weekend experience reminded me of how 99% of them are completely useless
It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees. Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”
In the aftermath of the recent Wall Street Journal profile piece that, rather meaninglessly, shifted attention to Bill Gross as quirky manager (who isn't) to justify El-Erian's departure and ignoring Bill Gross as the man who built up the largest bond fund in the world, the sole head of Pimco was eager to return to what he does best - thinking about the future and sharing his thoughts with one of his trademark monthly letters without an estranged El-Erian by his side. He did that moments ago with "The Second Coming" in which the 69-year-old Ohian appears to have pulled a Hugh Hendry, and in a letter shrouded in caveats and skepticism, goes on to essentially plug "risk" assets. To wit: "As long as artificially low policy rates persist, then artificially high-priced risk assets are not necessarily mispriced. Low returning, yes, but mispriced? Not necessarily.... In plain English – stocks, bonds and other “carry”-sensitive assets would outperform cash."
With Trader Monthly magazine having, ironically, gone out business long ago, all those traders whose egos demanded that their insider trading connections put them at least in one of the iconic "Top X under X" league tables, pardon, rankings, had to bide their time in expectation of one day when their prowess to frontrun others or move markets with repeated calls to 555-7617 (with or without references to Anacott Steel) would be appreciated by such sterling Wall Street "experts" as Anthony Scaramucci. Well, for this year's crop of some 30 traders under 30, the day has arrived. And while Forbes may not be Trader Monthly, the amusement, the hubris and the behind the scenes dealing to appear in such a list, sure are still the same...
A mere two months after the last widespread blackout to hit Venezuela, major parts of the nation are once again dark tonight as a power outage hit during President Maduro's evening address laying out his new economic philosophy (the inverse of Bernanke's):
*MADURO SAYS VENEZUELANS MUST SAVE MORE, CONSUME LESS
The blackoutt has affected some of the nation's oil refineries (even though they are often powered by separate generator plants). Maduro himself said this evening's blackout cause was "strange," hinting at "sabotage" and not caused by excess demand (since the same substation that was sabotaged in September has failed). Perhaps it is time to spend what little discretionary reserves the nation has left on infrastructure instead of Samsung trinkets and military bonuses to keep the people at bay.
Now that the All Time High (ATH) in the S&P is a distant memory (at least until the Syrian war becomes a widespread conflict involving all global powers and the US suddenly has to issue, and monetize, a few extra trillion) there are those momentum chasers who have an itch to BTFATH. To all of them we have a message: don't despair, and merely set your sights a little lower, on the globe that is, to Venezuela where the local stock market keeps crushing every upside resistance level and hitting new all time highs day after day after day, resulting in a YTD return of nearly 200%!