Nielsen

Frontrunning: October 7

  • A U.S. Default Seen as Catastrophe Dwarfing Lehman’s Fall (BBG)
  • Software, Design Defects Cripple Health-Care Website (WSJ)
  • Gunmen kill 5 Egyptian soldiers near Suez Canal, 2 people die in blast (Reuters); Egypt death toll rises to 53, streets now calm (Reuters)
  • Three retailers sell Apple iPhone 5C for $50 or less (Sun Sentinel)
  • New American Economy Leaves Behind World Consumer (BBG)
  • Dow's Exiles Often Have Last Laugh (WSJ)
  • Macy's Puts China Online-Expansion Effort on Hold Amid Economic Slowdown (WSJ)
  • Gold Befuddles Bernanke as Central Banks’ Losses at $545 Billion (BBG) - just ask the BIS gold selling team: they are unbefuffdled
  • Markit Group Said to Avoid U.S. Antitrust Claims as EU Proceeds (BBG) - being owned by the banks has benefits
  • Paulson leads charge into Greek banks (FT) - and scene for the Greek banking sector

Frontrunning: September 20

  • JPMorgan Guilty Admission a Win for SEC’s Policy Shift (BBG)
  • Pricing Glitch Afflicts Rollout of Online Health Exchanges (WSJ)
  • This will end well: Japan LDP Considers Draft Bill to Put Government in Control of Fukushima Cleanup (WSJ)
  • How a German tech giant trims its U.S. tax bill (Reuters)
  • Despite Merkel's Popularity, Angst Creeps In (WSJ)
  • Hank Paulson warns of regulatory conflict (FT)
  • Rajan Surprises With India Rate Rise to Quell Inflation (BBG)
  • Apple Begins Selling New iPhones (WSJ)
  • Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion (BBG)

Frontrunning: September 16

  • Summers Quit Fed Quest After Democrats Spurned Obama Favorite (BBG)
  • Geithner Still Not Interested in Fed Chair Slot (WSJ)
  • Gross’s Trade Sours as Bonds Lose Faith in Fed Guidance (BBG)
  • Bob Diamond calls for bank rules shake-up (FT)
  • Russia says may be time to force Assad's foes to talk peace (Reuters)
  • Iran Dials Up Syria Presence (WSJ)
  • Kerry Seeks to Sell Syria Deal (WSJ)
  • Shutdown of Japan’s Last Nuclear Reactor Raises Power Concerns (BBG)
  • Emerging Stocks Rise to 3-Month High as Bonds Gain on Fed (BBG)
  • Bernanke’s Maradona swerve hits bonds (FT)

CNBC Core Viewership Drops To Fresh 20 Year Low, Worst Nearly Since Inception

If last night the year 1993 was notable for India, as the Rupee had its largest plunge since March of that year two decades ago, today 1993 is just as memorable for CNBC. The reason: according to the latest Nielsen data, in July the financial network's prime (25-54 demographic) viewership just tumbled to a fresh 20 year low of just 37,000, the lowest since, you guessed it, March of 1993. Why is this a problem? Considering CNBC came on air in its current post-FNN incarnation in 1991, the core viewership is now about as low as it has ever been for the struggling broadcaster which as recently as 2007 was ranked as the 19th most valuable cable channel in the US.  Now: not so much.

Frontrunning: August 20

  • So no great rotation into EM? Capital Flows Back to U.S. as Markets Slump Across Asia (BBG)
  • Muslim Brotherhood leader arrested in Egypt (Reuters)
  • Allies Thwart America in Egypt: Israel, Saudis and U.A.E. Support Military Moves (WSJ)
  • Dear Bloomberg: when you buy the loans of a distressed retailer, you are not betting on a rebound, you are betting on being the fulcrum security in a bankruptcy: Kyle Bass Said to Bet on J.C. Penney Comeback With Loan Purchase (BBG)
  • Bubbles Bloom Anew in Desert as Buyers Wager on Las Vegas (BBG)
  • Britain rejects Spanish request for Gibraltar talks (Reuters)
  • U.K. Mortgage Lending Rises to Highest Since Lehman Collapse (BBG)
  • Pension Funds Dispute Math in Detroit Bankruptcy (WSJ)
  • Christie Says Gayness Inborn as He Signs Therapy Measure (BBG)

Fooling Most Of The People Most Of The Time... Except Latin America

When one thinks how easy it is to fool most people virtually all of the time, one must admit that the central planners, whose only remaining "policy transmission mechanism" is the manipulated stock market, are on to something. As the following chart from Nielsen shows, virtually the entire world is now more optimistic that "their country is in an economic recession" compared to last quarter for the simple reason that stock markets around the globe are much higher despite pervasive economic deterioration. Higher everywhere, except Latin America that is, and lo and behold, that is the only place where pessimism has increased.

The Smartest Money Has Two Words Of Advice: "Sell Now" (And Is Doing Just That)

Yesterday, in the aftermath of first Apollo then Blackstone, it was the turn of that third mega Private Equity shop, Fortress, to "say that now is the time to exit investments as stocks rally and interest rates start to rise. "This is a better time for selling our existing investments than making new investments," Pete Briger, who oversee the New York-based firm's $12.5 billion business said on a call with investors yesterday. "There’s been more uncertainty that’s been fed into the markets." Ironically, this is precisely the opposite of what one will hear on the mainstream media, but such is life: for every smart money seller, there must be a willing sheep led to the slaughter.

Frontrunning: July 31

  • Ackman Says Pershing Square Takes 9.8% Stake in Air Products (BBG) - So is APD Carl Icahn's biggest ever short yet
  • Latest Hilsenplant: Summers Hedges His Doubts on Fed's Bond Buying (WSJ)
  • China Stocks World’s Worst Losing $748 Billion on Slump (BBG)
  • U.S. Spy Program Lifts Veil in Court (WSJ)
  • Abenomics on the rock again: Japan July manufacturing PMI shows growth at 4-month low (Reuters)
  • EADS to be renamed Airbus in shake-up (FT)
  • Goldman's GSAM has significantly increased its exposure to European equities (FT) - there is a reason why this is Goldman's worst division
  • Japanese Megabanks Post Mega Profit Gains (WSJ) - when one excludes MTM impact from rate surge of course
  • Ex-workers sue Apple, seek overtime for daily bag searches (Reuters)
  • Hong Kong Yuan Deposits Snap Eight-Month Increase on Cash Crunch (BBG)
  • Downtown NYC Landlords Remake Offices in Shift From Banks (BBG)

Frontrunning: July 23

  • Biggest Banks Face Fed Restoring Barriers in Commodities (BBG)
  • SAC to Employees: Cohen Didn't Read Dell Email at Heart of SEC's Case (WSJ)
  • Second (and Third) liens are back, and so is 2005: As Banks Retreat, Hedge Funds Smell Profit (WSJ)
  • Singapore funds benefit from Asian wealth (FT)
  • 2 years later the lies haven't changed one bit - Tepco hit over slow admission of radioactive leak (FT)
  • How big tech stays offline on tax (Reuters)
  • Hilton Leads Rush to Africa in Fastest Boom (BBG)
  • U.S. and UK fine high-speed trader for manipulation (Reuters)
  • Key witness takes stand in SEC case against Goldman's Tourre (Reuters)
  • Boomer Sex With Dementia Foreshadowed in Nursing Home (BBG)
  • Bentley SUV gives £800m boost to UK car industry (FT)

CNBC Viewership Collapse Continues; Cramer, Kudlow Audience At Record Lows

What can be said here that we haven't said countless times before? If the braintrust behind Comcast's acquisition of the CNBC package deal, not to mention assorted increasingly more desperate CNBC producers, had hoped that an artificial "wealth effect" created under a central planning world would lead to greater viewership, more retail stock market participation, and better advertising terms (not to mention revenues), they were wrong. Very, very wrong.

From 9/11 To PRISMgate - How The Carlyle Group LBO'd The World's Secrets

The short but profitable tale of how 483,000 private individual have "top secret" access to the nation's most non-public information begins in 2001. "After 9/11, intelligence budgets were increased, new people needed to be hired, it was a lot easier to go to the private sector and get people off the shelf," and sure enough firms like Booz Allen Hamilton - still two-thirds owned by the deeply-tied-to-international-governments investment firm The Carlyle Group - took full advantage of Congress' desire to shrink federal agencies and their budgets by enabling outside consultants (already primed with their $4,000 cost 'security clearances') to fulfill the needs of an ever-more-encroaching-on-privacy administration.

Frontrunning: May 23

  • Global shares sink, following 7.3 percent drop in Japan's Nikkei (Reuters)
  • When all fails, pull a Kevin Bacon: Japan Economy Chief Warns Against Panic Over Stock Sell-Off (BBG)
  • White House Feeds IRS Frenzy by Revising Accounts (BBG)
  • In any scandal, lying to Congress is tough to prove (Reuters)
  • Debt limit resets at higher level, budget impasse grinds on (Reuters)
  • China factory data to test political calculations (FT)
  • European Leaders Saying No to Austerity (BBG)
  • And yet, nobody wants in anymore: Iceland’s new coalition government suspends EU accession talks (FT)
  • Oil Manipulation Inquiry Shows EU’s Hammer After Libor (BBG)
  • The Fed Squeezes the Shadow-Banking System (WSJ)
  • Diamond Said to Weigh Backing Barclays Alumni in Venture (BBG)
  • Spain’s Private Jets Disappearing as Tycoons Cut Flights (BBG)

Friendly Reminder: CNBC Viewership Plunges To Eight Year Lows

Update: we decided it may be an opportune time to remind readers of this particular fact... not opinion, not propaganda, not insinuation. Fact, which apparently has forced a once informative medium, and now purely propaganda infomercial, to stoop so low to be in need of trolling websites to generate incremental eyeballs.

One of the main, unintended consequences of this development to prop up markets at all costs, even if it means removing all logic and reliance on fundamental data, has been the complete evaporation of interest in any finance-related media, forcing the bulk of financial outlets to rely on such cheap gimmicks as slideshows, pictures of kittens, trolling and generally hiring liberal arts majors straight out of school to copy and paste articles while paying them minimum wage, and providing absolutely no insight (and then wondering why the Series ZZ preferred investors will never get their money back, let alone the A round). However, nowhere is this more obvious than in the relentless imploding viewership of once financial media titan, CNBC, which lately has become a sad, one-sided caricature of its once informative self, whose only agenda is to get the most marginal Joe Sixpack to dump his hard-earned cash into 100x P/E stocks, and where according to data from Nielsen Media Research, the total and demographic (25-54) viewership during the prime time segment (9:30am - 5:00 pm) just tumbled to 216K and 40K - the lowest recorded viewership since mid 2005 and sliding.

Frontrunning: May 6

  • Lesson From Buffett: Doubt Yourself (WSJ)
  • Gold Bulls Split With Buffett as Traders Say Sell (BBG)
  • Apple Misses IPhone Customers as Global Carriers Balk (BBG)
  • Russia extends Cypriot loan by 2 years, cuts interest: troika document (Reuters)
  • Tax Rewrite in Play in Capitol (WSJ)
  • No early warning for U.S. on Israeli strikes in Syria (Reuters)
  • Germany riveted at start of neo-Nazi murder trial (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Investors Urged to Split Chairman Role, Oust Directors (BBG)
  • Leniency for Offshore Cheats (WSJ)
  • Brussels steps up efforts over tax avoidance (FT)
  • Ambulance chasing: Mesothelioma Doctors, Lawyers Join Hunt for Valuable Asbestos Cases (WSJ)
  • Web Sales-Tax Bill Set to Face Bumps (WSJ)
  • Colleges Cut Prices by Providing More Financial Aid (WSJ)

Frontrunning: April 25

  • UK economy shows 0.3% growth (FT)
  • Texas University Fund Sold $375 Million in Gold Bars (BBG)
  • Spain Jobless Rate Breaches 27% on Recession Woes (BBG)
  • Letta calls for easing of austerity policies (FT)
  • Italy Led by Letta Brings Berlusconi Back as Winner (BBG)
  • Fed Debate Moves From Tapering to Extending Bond Buying (BBG)
  • South Korea wants talks with North on shuttered industrial zone (Reuters)
  • Republicans advance bill to prepare for debt ceiling fight (Reuters)
  • Republicans claim White House failed to warn on severity of cuts (FT)
  • Xi meets former US heavyweights (China Daily)
  • Next BoE chief Carney says clear framework key to policy success (Reuters)
  • Chinese roll out red carpet for Hollande (FT)