Las Vegas

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Case Shiller Reports "Broad-Based Slowdown For Home Prices", First Monthly Decrease Since November 2013





While the just revised Q3 GDP surprised everyone to the upside, the Case Shiller index for September which was also reported moments ago, showed yet another month of what it called a "Broad-based Slowdown for Home Prices." The bad news: the 20-City Composite gained 4.9% year-over-year, compared to 5.6% in August. However, this was modestly above the 4.6% expected. However, what was more troubling is that on a sequential basis, the Top 20 Composite MSA posted a modest -0.03% decline, the first sequential drop since February. And from the report itself: "The National Index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013. The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston."

 
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Proof That Golf And Economics Don't Mix





If anyone needed proof that golf and economics don't mix, it is the following two back-to-back tweets, one just sent out by Obama (or rather his teleprompter) attempting to do economics in under 140 characters, and the other describing what Obama is doing this very moment during his Las Vegas weekend trip.

 
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Frontrunning: November 21





  • They go all in: China’s PBOC Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2012 (BBG)
  • And all in-er: ECB's Draghi throws door to quantitative easing wide open as recovery wanes (Reuters)
  • Global Markets Rally: ECB Head Says Central Bank Is Ready to Expand Stimulus Program After China Cuts Rates (WSJ)
  • Obama unveils U.S. immigration reform, setting up fight with Republicans (Reuters)
  • U.S. increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Russia warns U.S. against arms to Ukraine as Biden due in Kiev (Reuters)
  • Ukraine slashed gold holdings in October, Russia added more - IMF (Reuters)
  • Abe Dissolves Japan’s Lower House of Parliament (WSJ)
 
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Obama Tells Mexican Viewers How He Will Fix Immigration By Executive Diktat - Live Feed





Having been shunned by all the major broadcast networks (unlike his predecessor 8 years ago), President Obama's 'prime time' address to the nation - which will be seen by dominant Spanish-language channel Univision viewers (and CNN and PBS) - will lay out the new steps he (and he alone in his executive order) is taking "to fix our broken immigration system." As Politico comments, Obama appears to be going all-in as he speaks from Las Vegas, as the cooperation talk has disappeared - “Make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act,” warned incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

 
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Brooklyn Resident With Ebola Symptoms Rushed To Bellevue





Joint statement by NYC Health Department and NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation

An individual who came to the United States from Mali, a country with limited Ebola transmission, was taken to HHC Bellevue Hospital Center today. Due to the individual's travel history and symptoms, the patient has been isolated, and an Ebola test will be performed. Results are expected later today.

 
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President Obama To Dictate Immigration Executive Order In Vegas On Friday





While what normally happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas; President Obama's decision to dictate his Immigration Executive Order from sin city will likely have repurcussions across the entire nation. As NY Times reports, Obama is preparing to use his executive authority to provide work permits for up to five million people who are in the US illegally, and to shield them from deportation. But these new arrivals will not receive one key benefit: government subsidies for health care available under Obamacare. The immigrants would also be unlikely to receive benefits like food stamps, Medicaid coverage or other need-based federal programs offered to citizens and to some legal residents. "The costs of extending these programs to millions of low-wage illegal immigrants would be enormous," said Senator Jeff Sessions "this is yet another danger posed to Americans by the president’s unconstitutional action."

 
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"ATM Jackpotting" Exposed - It's Not Just The Fed That Spits Out Free Money





While the central banks of the world have yet to directly unleash the helicopter drop of free money to the end-consumer, preferring instead to seek financial asset inflation (and all its unintended consequences), it appears there is another way to get 'free money' direct to the average Joe... "ATM Jackpotting." According to Wired, using a special button sequence and some insider knowledge, it is possible to reconfigure ATMs to believe they are dispensing one dollar bills, instead of the twenties actually loaded into the cash trays. Though industry sources claim this to be rare, they note that "independent operators and financial institutions are very tight lipped about this sort of thing."

 
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Why Every Banker On Wall Street Suddenly Wants To Be Jefferies' Managing Director Sage Kelly





Because, allegedly, according to a divorce complaint filed by his admittedly "cocaine-snorting" estranged wife and mother of two, former UBS healthcare banker poached by Jefferies in 2009, Sage Kelly (henceforth known as the "defendant") is quite an entertaining, all around swell guy who singlehandedly would have boosted Spain's GDP by several basis points. Here are the details from her recently filed affidavit.

 
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And The Brand New Fastest Appreciating US City Is... (Hint: Not Cleveland)





For those living in Cleveland, where home prices rose a tiny 0.8% compared to last year (a number which is sliding every month), the latest dead housing cat bounce is almost over, and with the release of the September, or at the latest, October numbers, expect the first Top 20 US MSA to go back into annual price decline for the first time in two years. Those living in America's other cities are safe, for now. Then again, while still rising at a comfortable upper-single digit pace, all California cities as well as Las Vegas, are about to hit a brick wall, as the Y/Y pace of price increases is now grinding to a halt.

 
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California Leads Housing Slowdown As Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline For 4 Months In A Row





Following misses in yesterday's Markit Service PMI, Existing Home Sales and the Dallas Fed report, and today's Durable Goods numbers, we just made it a pentafecta for misses in US econ data, when the just released August Case-Shiller data for August confirmed once again that US housing is rapidly slowing down, when the Top 20 Composite Index (Seasonally Adjusted) posted another decline in August, its fourth in a row, declining by -0.15% and missing expectations of a modest 0.2% rebound (following last month's -0.5%) decline. The best summary of the situation came from S&P's David Blitzer: "The deceleration in home prices continues... The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities -- Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego." But who cares what the birth (and death) place of every housing bubble is doing, right?

 
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The Investing World In 10 Objects





What do an old German bank note, a current $100 bill, and an apple all have in common? The answer, according to ConvergEx's Nick Colas, is that these simple objects can tell us much about the current investment scene, ranging from Europe’s economic challenges to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s attempts to reduce unemployment. Colas takes an “object-ive” approach to analyzing the current investment landscape by describing 10 common items and how they shape our perceptions of reality. The other objects on our list: a hazmat suit, a house in Orlando, a barrel of oil, a Rolex watch, a butterfly, a heating radiator in Berlin, and a smartphone.

 
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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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This Time 'Is' Different - For The First Time In 25-Years The Wall Street Gamblers Are Home Alone





The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. Markets were most definitely not in the classic “price discovery” business. Instead, the stock market had discovered the “goldilocks economy." But what is profoundly different this time is that the Fed is out of dry powder. Its can’t slash the discount rate as Bernanke did in August 2007 or continuously reduce it federal funds target on a trip from 6% all the way down to zero. Nor can it resort to massive balance sheet expansion. That card has been played and a replay would only spook the market even more. So this time is different.  The gamblers are scampering around the casino fixing to buy the dip as soon as white smoke wafts from the Eccles Building.  But none is coming. For the first time in 25- years, the Wall Street gamblers are home alone.

 
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Frontrunning: October 14





  • No Happy Ending for Investors in Central Bank Fairy Tale (BBG)
  • Ebola Response Strains Hospitals (WSJ)
  • Obama, foreign military chiefs, to thrash out Islamic State plans (Reuters)
  • Draghi’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ Plan on Trial at EU Court (BBG)
  • Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Face Up to $870 Billion Capital Gap (BBG)
  • Iran’s Message to World: You Need Us to Fight Islamists (BBG)
  • Facing new oil glut, Saudis avoid 1980s mistakes to halt price slide (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Grannies Outprice Banks on Hryvnia Black Market (BBG)
  • HK police use sledgehammers, chainsaws to clear protest barriers, open road (Reuters)
  • Gazprom Quarterly Net Rises 13%, Misses Estimate on Ukraine Debt (BBG)
 
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The Home ATM Is Back: HELOCs Surge To 2008 Levels





While the memory of a financial market participant can be measured in nanoseconds, it appears that the average American has also become goldfish-like as RealtyTrac reports a total of 797,865 home equity lines of credit were originated nationwide, up 20.6% from a year ago and the highest level since 2008. As Jim Quinn so eloquently notes, after a two year Wall-Street-engineered fraudulent boost in home prices in the exact markets that led the bubble in 2003 through 2007, the delusional dolts are now acting like the increase in home equity is real: As RealtyTrac's Blomquist exudes, "this recent rise in HELOC originations indicates that an increasing number of homeowners are gaining confidence in the strength of the housing recovery."

 
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