Nielsen

Frontrunning: February 14

  • John Kerry just got happier: Berkshire Hathaway, 3G Buying Heinz for $72.50 a Share, or $28 Billion - ~20% premium to last price (CNBC)
  • US Airways, AMR to Merge (WSJ) - can thousands of workers spell "synergies"?
  • Draghi, Carney show ascent of "whatever it takes" central bankers (BBG) ... to preserve the Goldman way of life
  • Euro zone economy falls deeper than expected into recession (Reuters)
  • Soros has made $1 billion betting against the Japanese Yen (WSJ)
  • Ex-Analyst at SAC Felt Pressured for Tips  (WSJ)
  • Desalination Seen Booming at 15% a Year as World Water Dries Up (BBG)
  • China's 'Wall' Hits Business (WSJ)
  • Israel publishes some details as Australian spy mystery deepens (Reuters)
  • Tata Motors Profit Falls 52% (WSJ)
  • AB InBev Will Sell Corona Unit to Salvage Modelo Takeover (BBG)
  • "Blade Runner" Pistorius charged with murdering girlfriend (Reuters)
  • In Ohio and beyond, Obama sees model for manufacturing revival (Reuters)

Six More Equity Offerings Price After The Close As The Greater Fools Start Getting Second Thoughts

It appears that not only we are tracking the phaseout in equity inflows, all of which are simply the reversal of the massive $220 billion surge in bank deposits in the month of December due to fears of Fiscal Cliff dividend and capital gains tax increases (explained previously), and which as today's ICI update indicates have trickled down to just $683 million - the lowest weekly inflow year to date. Among the others who are keeping track of the weekly reduction in inbound capital euphoria, in addition to the six companies which priced equity offerings on Monday as was shown previously, are these fine corporations and existing stakeholders, including Apollo, KKR, Carlyle, Blackstone, Thomas H. Lee, and Bain,  who just can't wait to get out while the getting is good, split once again evenly between secondaries and follow ons.

Greek Consumers Most Pessimistic On Earth: 40% Have No Disposable Income

Chronicling the collapsing Greek socioeconomic reality would be an interesting business school case study of what a zombie monetary regime kept alive at all costs does to the "weakest link(s)" (most recently "Greek Economy Grinds To A Halt As New Construction Implodes By 66.6%"), if only there weren't real men and women suffering as a result of the stupidity and greed of a few entrenched individuals who will stop at nothing to see their paper wealth preserved at all costs. The latest salvo of the utter misery Greek society finds itself in comes from Nielsen research, which reports that Greeks are now the most pessimistic consumers on the planet, with the Greek consumer confidence index dropping to 35 points in the last quarter of 2012. That is the lowest level among a total of 58 countries surveyed and 11 points lower than the same period last year in Greece. It gets worse. As Kathimerini reports: "Four out of 10 Greeks told the same survey that they no longer have any disposable money left after covering their basic needs, which is the highest rate ever recorded in Greece and the biggest in the October-December period in Europe. A year earlier (in Q4 2011) that rate had stood at 34 percent and in Q4 of 2010 it had been at 25 percent." Obligatory spin: once nobody has any disposable income, things can only get better. Unless, as Rajoy might add, they get much worse.

Frontrunning: February 12

  • The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed (Esquire)
  • G7 fires currency warning shot, Japan sanguine (Reuters)
  • North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test (NYT)
  • Italian Police Arrest Finmeccanica CEO (WSJ)
  • Legacy, political calendar frame Obama's State of the Union address (Reuters)
  • China joins U.S., Japan, EU in condemning North Korea nuclear test (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Fading as Emerging-Market Banks Gain Share (BBG)
  • Berlin Conference 2.0: Drugmakers eye Africa's middle classes as next growth market (Reuters)
  • Barclays to Cut 3,700 Jobs After Full-Year Loss (BBG)
  • US Treasury comment triggers fall in yen (FT)
  • ECB Ready to Offset Banks’ Accelerated LTRO Payback (BBG)
  • Fed's Yellen Supports Stimulus to Spur Jobs (WSJ)
  • Libor Scrutiny Turns to Middlemen (WSJ)
  • Samsung Girds for Life After Apple in Disruption Devotion (BBG)

Frontrunning: February 5

  • Obama to meet with Goldman's Blankfein, other CEOs Tuesday (Reuters)
  • Chinese Firms Shrug at Rising Debt (WSJ)
  • McGraw-Hill, S&P Sued by U.S. Over Mortgage-Bond Ratings (BBG)... but not Moody's or Fitch
  • Dime a Dozen: Dollar Stores Pinched by Rapid Expansion (WSJ)
  • Dell Board Said to Vote Monday Night on $24 Billion LBO (BBG)
  • BOJ Governor Shirakawa to step down on March 19 (Reuters)
  • Alberta may offer more to smooth way for Keystone (Reuters)
  • Facebook Is Said to Create Mobile Location-Tracking App (BBG)
  • Barclays takes another $1.6 billion hit for mis-selling (Reuters)
  • Apple App Advantage Eroded as Google Narrows IPhone Lead (BBG)
  • Texas School-Finance System Unconstitutional, Judge Rules (BBG)
  • World Risks ‘Perfect Storm’ on Capital Flows, Carstens Says (BBG)

The Stock Market Is Back To December 2007 Levels; Here Is What Isn't

This past week, America's premier financial comedy channel, which lately specializes in such "epic financial journalism" as the real billionaire hedge husbands of New York (because sagging Nielsen ratings are always a direct corollary of central market planning) wasted no time in advising its few remaining viewers that the market, which soared past 1,500, has now regained levels last seen before the start of the recession in December 2007. Sadly, this is the only thing that has been regained. Below we present some things that have not been regained since the last time the S&P 500 was at 1500.

Piers Morgan Vs Alex Jones - The "Gun Fight" At The CNN Corral

With the Notre Dame vs Alabama game a complete one-sided demolition, the night was in desperate need of some entertainment... until Piers Morgan and Alex Jones stepped in. While the headline topic was "guns", it was 13 minutes of unbridled spitting, stuttering, and screaming, which achieves nothing in converting anyone on the fence on either side of the "gun control" argument, but certainly helps with CNN's sagging Nielsen ratings, which after having become disinformation central following the Obamacare "rejection" and the NYSE floor "flooding", is now slowly but surely converting itself into the Jerry Springer show for Gen Y. If nothing else, this is far more fun than watching the all too controlled Notre Dame implosion.

Frontrunning: December 19

  • Republicans put squeeze on Obama in "fiscal cliff" talks (Reuters)
  • Inquiry harshly criticizes State Department over Benghazi attack (Reuters)
  • Banks See Biggest Returns Since ’03 as Employees Suffer (BBG)
  • Italy president urges election be held on time (Reuters)
  • Bank of England Says Sterling Hurting Economy (WSJ) - there's an app for that, it's called a Goldman BOE chairman
  • China slowdown hits Indonesian farmers (FT)
  • China dispute hits Japanese exports (FT)
  • Market to get even more monopolized by the HFT king: Getco wins Knight with $2 bln sweetened offer (Reuters)
  • MF Global Cases Focus on 'Letters' (WSJ)
  • UBS fined $1.5 billion in growing Libor scandal (Reuters)
  • Spotlight swings to interdealer brokers (FT)
  • China Widens Access to Capital Markets (WSJ)
  • With Instagram, Facebook Spars With Twitter (WSJ)

Frontrunning: November 7

  • Obama Wins Re-election With Romney Defeated in Key States (Bloomberg, Reuters)
  • Romney's last, greatest 'turnaround' falls short (Reuters)
  • Control of Congress set to remain split (FT)
  • Republicans to Hold Most Governor Offices Since 2000 (Bloomberg)
  • Economic Unease Looms After Win (WSJ)
  • Storm-lashed New York, New Jersey scramble as weather threatens (Reuters)
  • Democrats Assured of Keeping U.S. Senate Majority (Bloomberg)
  • Greece to vote on austerity, protests intensify (Reuters)
  • France offers businesses €20bn tax break (FT) ... Wait, what?
  • Putin Fires Defense Chief in Rare Move (WSJ)
  • China premier Wen calls for deeper cooperation on disasters (China Daily)
  • China wrestles over democratic reform (FT)
  • Top-Performing Won Threatens to Hurt Korea Export Rebound (Bloomberg)

Frontrunning: October 29

  • Markets Go Dark Ahead of Storm (WSJ, RTRS, BBG, FT)
  • MF Global Problems Started Years Ago (WSJ)
  • Major Greek daily reprints Swiss accounts list, editor who published list to go on trial for violating data privacy laws (RTRS)
  • Coming soon to a USA near you: Hong Kong government imposes a property tax on overseas buyers (Bloomberg)
  • The pain in Spain is endless: Spain’s Pain Seen Intensifying as Slump Deepens Plight (BBG)
  • Las Vegas Sands Discusses Possible Settlement With Justice Department (WSJ)
  • Why Does the SEC Protect Banks’ Dirty Secrets? (BBG)
  • Honda slashes forecast on China territorial spat (AFP)
  • UBS shares jump on expected radical overhaul (Reuters) ...so if UBS cuts 150% of workforce, shares will hit +?
  • CEOs Seeking Global Range Tilts Market to 8,000-Mile Jets (Bloomberg)

Why Asset-Allocators Are Anxious And Balanced-Funds Are Baloney

Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) is broken. That is how we interpret Niels Jensen's (Absolute Return Partners) latest missive as he draws a concerning line between the number of managers who rely sheep-like on the diversifying 'artifacts' of MPT in a new normal world of undiversifiable systemic risks. The shifts in intra- and inter-asset class correlations (both long- and short-term) have been incredible both in terms of direction change and magnitude - for example (as Nielsen notes) - In the 2000-03 bear market commodities were an excellent diversifier against equity market risk with the two asset classes being virtually uncorrelated (+0.05). Nowadays, the two are highly correlated (+0.69). This shift to a risk-on / risk-off world, fed by central bankers, makes the empirical Sharpe ratios of olde and track records of your favorite balanced-fund manager entirely useless for any investor seeking protection from not just volatility risk but ultimate risk - the permanent loss of capital.

Frontrunning: August 1

  • Bundesbank’s Weidmann Says ECB Shouldn’t Overstep Mandate (Bloomberg)
  • Hollande and Monti Vow to Protect Euro (FT) - be begging Germany to death
  • Monti Calls French, Finns to Action as Italy Yields Rises (Bloomberg)
  • not working though: Banking license for bailout fund is wrong: German Economy Minister (Reuters)
  • Switzerland is ‘New China’ in Currencies (FT)
  • Regulator Says no to Obama Mortgage Write-Down Plan (Reuters) - tough: there will be socialism
  • Gauging the Triggers to Fed Action (WSJ)
  • When domestic monetization is not enough: Azumi Spurns Calls for Bank of Japan to Buy Foreign Bonds to Curb Yen (NYT)
  • Indonesia’s July Inflation Accelerates on Higher Food Prices (Bloomberg) - remember: the Deep Fried black swan
  • China Manufacturing Teeters Close to Contraction (Bloomberg)
  • Spain Introduces Regional Debt Ceilings to Achieve Budget Goals (Bloomberg) - yes, they said "budget goals"

With Total Viewers Sliding To 7 Year Lows, Is CNBC Fading Into Obscurity?

In the past 24 hours, some readers have been surprised to learn that as Jeff Reeves of InvestorPlace states, total Q2 CNBC viewership as calculated by Nielsen, has tumbled to to the lowest it has been since Q3 2005. This merely confirms that the trendline in our periodic observations of CNBC traffic was more than merely seasonal or VIX-related: it has been one long secular decline, peaking in the quarter of Lehman's demise and down hill ever since.

Is Central Planning About To Cost The Jobs Of Your Favorite CNBC Anchors?

Something funny happened when last August CNBC hired access journalist extraordinaire Andrew Sorkin to spiff up its 6-9 am block also known as Squawk Box: nothing. At least, nothing from a secular viewership basis, because while the block saw a brief pick up in viewership driven by the concurrent (first of many) US debt ceiling crisis and rating downgrade, it has been a downhill slide ever since. In fact, as the chart below shows, the Nielsen rating for the show's core 25-54 demo just slid to multi-year lows. And as NY Daily News, the seemingly ceaseless slide has forced CNBC to start panicking: "CNBC insiders tell us executives at the cable business channel are “freaking out” because viewership levels are down essentially across-the-board, particularly with its marquee shows, “Squawk Box” and “Closing Bell." “Their biggest attractions have become their biggest losers,” says one TV industry insider familiar with the cable channel’s numbers. According to Nielsen ratings obtained by Gatecrasher, from April 2011 to April 2012, “Squawk Box” is down 16 percent in total viewers and 29 percent in the important 25-54 demographic bracket that advertisers buy." Yet is it really fair to blame the slide of the morning block's show on just one man?