Nielsen

Revolving Door 2014: Former Head Of The FCC Joins Carlyle

There is no quicker route to success in the USSA than to go into “public service” regulating a massive industry and then flip back over to engage in M&A in the exact industry you were in charge of regulating.

Frontrunning: December 16

  • Tough Question for Fed: Time to Act? (Hilsenrath )
  • Merkel Begins Third Term Strengthened by SPD Partner Backing (BBG)
  • Wary of Roma, Europe cold-shoulders its new eastern workmates (Reuters)
  • New Medicines Emerge, but Few Blockbusters (WSJ)
  • SIP in the crosshairs: U.S. Exchanges Near Deal for Infrastructure Upgrade (WSJ)
  • Secret Inside BofA Office of CEO Stymied Needy Homeowners (BBG)
  • AIG Said to Near Sale of Plane Unit to AerCap (BBG)
  • Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup (NYPost)
  • Russian Bank Chief Weighs Firings as Costs Absorb Revenue (BBG)
  • Video Boom Forces Verizon to Upgrade Network (WSJ)
  • Chinese Manufacturing Slows (AP)

Frontrunning: December 11

  • Wall Street Exhales as Volcker Rule Seen Sparing Market-Making (Bloomberg)
  • GM to End Manufacturing Down Under, Citing Costs (WSJ)
  • U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Police Back Off After Failing to Stop Protest (WSJ)
  • First Walmart, now Costco misses (AP)
  • Dan Fuss Joins Bill Gross Shunning Long-Term Debt Before Taper (BBG)
  • China New Yuan Loans Higher Than Expected (WSJ)
  • China bitcoin arbitrage ends as traders work around capital controls (Reuters)
  • Blackstone’s Hilton Joins Ranks of Biggest Deal Paydays (BBG)

Black Friday Sales Tumble 13% On Thanksgiving Thursday Opening Scramble

If somehow the scramble to open stores earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day, until such time as the very Thanksgiving dinner had to be interrupted early for the annual rush out to the (un)friendly neighborhood Thug-Mart (Toys'R'Us opened at a ridiculous 5pm on Thanksgiving day) and punching people in the face just to get that 42 inch, 2010-model Plasma TV for $99, was supposed to boost overall sales instead of merely pulling them forward (see cash for clunkers), it didn't work. According to ShopperTrak, total Black Friday traffic plunged 11% and total sales fell 13.2%, the second consecutive year of declines following last year's 1.8%. The reason, as largely expected, is that a substantial portion of Friday shopping was pulled back to Thursday: as ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said, "if retailers continue to promote Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday buying season, he thinks the holiday will eventually surpass Black Friday in sales. "We're just taking Black Friday sales and spreading them across a larger number of days," Martin said."

Frontrunning: November 22

  • Wonder why: JPMorgan plans to keep pay roughly flat from last year (Reuters) - maybe this: Charles Schwab Warns "We Are In A Manipulated Market"
  • Democrats overturn filibuster rule, increasing Obama’s power (FT)
  • Day JFK Died We Traded Through Tears as NYSE Shut (BBG)
  • When even dictators snub Obama - Afghanistan rejects U.S. call for quick security deal (Reuters)
  • Obama Plunges in Investor Poll as Stocks Make New Highs (BBG)
  • Iran, six powers struggle to overcome snags in nuclear talks (Reuters)
  • Derision for China’s ‘rejuvenation index’ (FT)
  • Bottom is in: Paulson Said to Inform Clients He Won’t Add More to Gold (BBG)
  • German business sentiment rebounds strongly (WSJ)
  • WTO on verge of global trade pact (FT)

Frontrunning: November 12

  • China Pledges Greater Role for Market in Economy (WSJ), China vows 'decisive' role for markets, results by 2020 (Reuters)
  • China expected to cut growth target to 7% (FT)
  • World Trade Center Tower Debuts in Manhattan Leasing Test (BBG)
  • Job Gap Widens in Uneven Recovery (WSJ)
  • Khamenei’s conglomerate thrived as sanctions squeezed Iran (Reuters)
  • Swiss referendum on wages of high earners stirs debate (FT)
  • Obama to Nominate Massad to Head CFTC (WSJ)
  • Japan readies additional $30 billion for Fukushima clean-up (Reuters)
  • Target Fills Its Cart With Amazon Ideas (WSJ)
  • Shadow banks reap Fed rate reward (FT)

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.