Is America Still A Serious Nation?

Is America still a serious nation? Consider. While U.S. elites were denouncing Donald Trump as unfit to serve for having compared Miss Universe 1996 to “Miss Piggy” of “The Muppets,” the World Trade Organization was validating the principal plank of his platform. America’s allies are cheating and robbing her blind on trade.

Frontrunning: September 30

  • Asia stocks slide as Deutsche sours mood, oil pulls back (Reuters)
  • Deutsche Bank Drops to Record as Some Clients Reduce Exposure (BBG)
  • Deutsche CEO tries to reassure staff as shares plunge (Reuters)
  • Oil falls as investors cash in on OPEC deal rally, dollar rises (Reuters)
  • Three Chinese fishermen killed in confrontation with South Korea coastguard (Reuters)

Will The ECB Buy Stocks?

With The SNB and BOJ already neck deep in their equity-buying experimentation, and even Janet Yellen hinting at it for The Fed, the most pressing question on most liquidity-hunting central-planer-watchers is - when will Draghi start buying stocks? The short answer, from ABN AMRO, is ECB equity purchases are unlikely in the near term.. and even so, The ECB would be increasing the risk on its balance sheet for uncertain, and at best modest gains in economic growth and inflation.

The Central Bank Power Shift From West To East, Game Of Thrones Style

The Fed clings to status quo. Other central banks are vying to knock it down, or at least loosen its grip on them. But the Fed behaves as if it has no idea there are other powerful central banks that want to grab and harness its power. It carries on refusing to acknowledge that there may come a time, sooner rather than later, where its power is attacked. The ramifications of such an attack will impact the standing of the U.S. in the world.  The Fed can carry on being oblivious, but Game of Thrones illustrates the struggles playing out right now.

Frontrunning: September 29

  • Stocks Jump as OPEC Splits Markets; Indian Assets Drop on Attack (BBG)
  • In U-Turn, Saudis Choose Higher Prices Over Free Oil Markets (BBG)
  • Congress Passes Spending Bill to Keep Government Running (WSJ)
  • Wells Fargo chief Stumpf heads to Hill with pressure mounting (Reuters)
  • Lawmakers Won’t Let Wells Fargo Forget Its Scandal Anytime Soon (BBG)

Crude Declines As OPEC Deal Doubts Emerge; Futures Roll Over

After oil soared over 5% yesterday, its biggest jump since April, overnight skepticism and doubts have emerged about the viability and compliance with the deal, coupled with a boost in production by non-OPEC producers, and as a result WTI has dipped back under $47, down 0.5%, suggesting that the OPEC surge may be short-lived, and modestly pressuring US equity futures.

Libertarian Gary Johnson Has Another "Aleppo Moment"

If the rest of the world was already laughing violently, watching the spectacle that is America's presidential election, we wonder how it would react if it knew that there is actually a third candidate for the US presidency, one who can't name a single foreign world leader.

"When Hillary Gets Scared, She Plays The Russia Card"

That Hillary in power will try (and possibly) succeed in going to war once again, this time targeting Russia or its allies (the Syrian state, the Ukrainian Russian separatists), is frightening.  The electorate is malleable, its collective memory short. What should be universally acknowledged truths (the Iraq War was based on lies) are in fact not grasped adequately by the masses. If they were, how could anybody vote for hideous Hillary?

Peak Debt Complacency: Carmen "Different This Time" Reinhart Urges Debt Restructuring

[The establishment] needs no reminder of the historical record, but it bears noting that more than a dozen advanced economies received debt relief in one form or another during the depression of the 1930s. The approach to unwinding current debts is likely to vary considerably across countries, but it is time to place greater emphasis on debt restructuring (which comes with a menu of options) than on accumulating more debt.

The Banquet Of Consequences Is Being Served (By The Central Banking Cartel)

Last week, the Federal Reserve decided to keep US interest rates unchanged, marking its 96th month of life at the zero bound. Apparently, for all of its "data dependence", the Fed feels the economy could still benefit from *just* a little more of its ZIRP happy juice. But as anyone with a little common sense will tell you, More is not always better. It's quite possible to have too much of a good thing. And in its pursuit to kick the can for a little longer, the Fed has crossed a dangerous line.