A fire burning in a residence on the 50th floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago has been put out according to the city’s fire department.
The infamous John Hancock building in Chicago is on fire. CNN reports, and the following tweets show, flames visible halfway up and enormous plumes of smoke amid the freezing Illinois air. The fire is in the northeast corner of what appears to be the 50th floor of the building. The Chicago Tribune reports at least six ambulances were called to the scene. Authorities have shut down Michigan Avenue, which will be holding the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights Parade Saturday evening.
Saddled with a corporate media that marches in lockstep with the government, elected officials who dance to the tune of their corporate benefactors, and a court system that serves to maintain order rather than mete out justice, Americans often feel as if they have no voice, no authority and no recourse when it comes to holding government officials accountable and combatting rampant corruption and injustice. In the face of such abject injustice, outright corruption and overt inequality, it’s hard to feel empowered to believe the average citizen can make a difference.
Today’s America* is an ugly fraud. Today’s America* has nothing in common with the nostalgic images and grand successes of the nation as it were in her glory days. In fact, we would argue not only does America* lack any authentic representation of times past but is the antithesis of America. We have come full circle, back to the very thing our ancestors fought, died and ultimately persevered to escape.
"The global economy is awash as never before in commodities like oil, cotton and iron ore, but also with capital and labor—a glut that presents several challenges as policy makers struggle to stoke demand," WSJ notes, suggesting yet again that QE can cause deflation when those who have access to easy money overproduce but do not witness a comparable increase in demand from those to whom the direct benefits of ultra accommodative policies do not immediately accrue.
Over the past year, there had been a perplexing spike in suicide events involving bankers, especially those of Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan. Overnight, the first prominent public sector suicide shook the state of Missouri when its state auditor Tom Schweich died in St. Louis in what is said to be an apparent suicide, at the age of 54, around 9:48 am on Thursday, when Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said paramedics responded to an emergency call from his home. Schweich was then taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound. The Police chief was quoted by Kansascity.com, who said that “What we know at this point suggests an apparent suicide.”
- Stick to tapering and rates pledge, says Boston Fed chief (FT)
- Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders (Reuters)
- Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, some leave early (Reuters)
- Japan GPIF to Boost Share Allocation to About 25%, Nikkei Says (BBG)... or three months of POMO
- Japan Stocks Surge on Report GPIF to Boost Local Shares (BBG)
- China Growth Seen Slowing Sharply Over Decade (WSJ)
- Russia, Ukraine Edge Closer to Natural-Gas Deal (WSJ)
- Leveraged Money Spurs Selloff as Record Treasuries Trade (BBG)
- After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks (Reuters)
Today's jobs number is expected to come at 125,000, with a high estimate of 154,000 from John Hancock financial, and a low of 30,000 from Westpac Banking, and with a whisper expectation at 150,000 courtesy of yesterday's "stronger than expected" ADP re-revised print. A beat or miss at over 1 standard deviation will promptly wake the HFT algos from their deep slumber. Wait did we say miss? Hah. Anyway, just to put today's seasonally adjusted expected monthly job growth in context, below is a chart showing the average seasonal adjustment for each month of the year in the past decade. In October, seasonal adjustments subtract just over 1 million "jobs" (purely statistically of course, merely to smooth the underlying "noise"). This means that the final monthly print will be just over 10% of the actual X-12-ARIMA goalseeked statistical adjustment. Add to this another ~80K or so which will be "added" from the birth death adjustment, and one can see how in the grand scheme of things, the statistical error factor alone dwarfs what is the actual underlying data. To think that in this labyrinth of layered adjustments to an actual number, the BLS will somehow allow the final number to be disappointing means having a locked bid on the Alaska to Russia bridge market.
Only in public schools and universities is the fairy tale still taught that governments are representative of the people. The blue collared man on the street realizes the chips are stacked against him. For those who don’t have political connections, the pseudo fascist system that is still referred to as “capitalism” in the U.S. is akin to a casino game of chance. That is, the odds are always in the house’s favor. The house is the federal leviathan and its equivalent at the state and local level as well as the big, cartelized industries which feed off government protection. With Obamacare, the middle class will end up being liable for yet another entitlement program that, like any other government initiative, will cost more than was initially estimated. Worse yet, they will be bombarded with advertisements they paid for which attempt to convince them that Uncle Sam has once again delivered prosperity with a badge and a gun. The disheartening part is some Americans will be foolish enough to actually believe it.
New meaning to the words, use it or lose it.
Zero Hedge's feelings about commercial real estate are no secret. Yesterday's sale of the John Hancock Tower to Normandy was an interesting market test, with media reports claiming it implied either nothing much or only good things about CRE and CMBS recoveries. A contrarian (and realistic) analysis on the transaction out of Morgan Stanely implies that based on this deal, not all is good in CRE land. (hat tip to reader David).