US Encourages Corporations To Engage In M&A "Inversion" Bubble, Then Shames Them By Demanding "Economic Patriotism"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/16/2014 09:32 -0400
To summarize: the US government first allows corporations (or "people" per SCOTUS) to not only inflate their stock to record highs (via a debt funded, stock buyback scramble facilitated by the Fed's ZIRP bubble), the same companies then engage in the only logical activity that makes sense for the bottom line, one which leaves no tax payments for the US whatsoever, and then the US hopes corporations will show some "economic patriotism." In other words, shame them into adding even more capital misallocation on top what is already the worst case of central-planning since the fall of the USSR. Add this to the "less cynicism, more hope" recent appeal by Obama, and at this rate US GDP will explode courtesy of soaring healthcare fees as everyone ends up in psychotherapy from the resulting cognitive bias of doing the one thing the US government allows, permits and encourages, the very same thing that the same government subsequently shames everyone into having done in the first place!
Moments ago the US Supreme Court - the same Supreme Court which two years ago upheld Obamacare but as a tax, something the administration has since sternly denied - dealt Obamacare its biggest legal blow to date, and alternatively handing Obamacare opponents their largest court victory yet, when in a 5-4 vote SCOTUS ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare law that requires closely held private companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control.
Having had his omnipotence slightly reduced by SCOTUS and Verizon losing out over NSA spying concerns, we can only imagine President Obama's dismay while watching (aboard AF1) the Europeans trump the Americans once again...
"Today's SCOTUS decision is encouraging for all who believe in the checks and balances enshrined in our nation's constitution," is Darrell Issa's message following the Supreme Court's unanimous (9-0) decision cutting back the power of the White House to temporarily fill senior government posts when facing partisan opposition in Congress. The White House spokesman said President Obama was "deeply disappointed" and is 'reviewing' the decision. Simply put, President Obama used the recess appointment power to make an end run around a Senate that refused to confirm controversial nominees - thanks to this unanimous SCOTUS decision, that use of the power is all but dead.
Moments ago, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court gave the NSA monopoly rights to electronic data, communication and exchange after it decided that Police must obtain a warrant before searching mobile devices after arresting someone, stating "privacy interest outweigh police convenience". So... Americans still have privacy rights despite all the Snowden revelations - amusing. According to the WSJ, "the court, in a unanimous ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, said both the quantity and quality of information contained in modern handheld hand-held is constitutionally protected."
Argentina's attempt to work around SCOTUS decision in favor of the 'holdouts' was rejected (under anti-evasion orders) last night leaving Argentina no alternative but to threaten to default on its debt. The government called it "impossible" to pay bond service due on June 30, because payment to holders of restructured bonds could not be made unless the 'holdouts' were paid $1.33 billion at the same time (and Argentina's economy minister argues could be up to $15 bn) which the distressed country clearly does not have. For the first time in 12 years, Argentina has agreed to negotiate with the 'holdouts' (has renegged on that negotiation) who refused to participate in two restructurings that followed Argentina's 2002 default but it seems increasingly likely that an even of default looms for Argentina. One good thing may come from the victory of the 'hold-outs': the government will find it difficult to rack up more debt.
After 2 days of weakness following the SCOTUS decision against them, Argentina unveiled a plan to restructure their debt - swapping existing foreign law debt to local law (more manipulatable and less legally enforceable) bonds, though Citi warns "implementing [the swap] may be technically challenging.". This 'voluntary swap' action is not a clear 'default event' but CDS spreads surging to over 3000bps and longer-dated bond prices tumbling once again suggest the market believes the path is clear as holdouts will once again hold out. As we explained here, there are five main scenarios and it appears, given these actions - that Argentina is playing hardball and will restart negotiations over the debt exchange. As Jefferies warns, "there's a high chance of default," but Argentina's economy minister Kicillof explained "everyone stay calm, the reconstruction of Argentina is not jeopardized." This plan was then ordered in violation of the anti-evasion policy SCOTUS set in place.
As reported yesterday, The SCOTUS dealt a major blow to Argentina hopes it would avoid making payments on its "holdout" bonds when it enforced a lower-court ruling that said Argentina can't make payments on its restructured debt unless it also pays holdout hedge funds headed by Elliott Management, best known for briefly seizing an Argentina ship in late 2012. The immediate result was a major rout in the country's sovereign bonds, which also sent Argentina CDS soaring. Sadly for Argentina, this would hardly be the end of it, and about an hour ago, Standard & Poor added insult to injury and lowered its long-term foreign currency rating on Argentina to CCC- from CCC+ citing a "higher risk of default on the country's foreign currency debt." As a result, yesterday's drop in bonds has continued, if at a more moderate pace, and the country's USD bond due 2024 hav continued to sink in intraday trading. So what is next for the cash-strapped Latin American country for which the road ahead is suddenly quite "challenging" and default appears increasing like the only way out? For the answer we go to Citi's Jeffrey Williams who has laid out the five most likely developments.
This is Washington, where nothing makes sense.
"Well, of course, Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again."
The Empire will protect itself from itself, from its own greed, corruption, malfeasance, incompetence and especially from its oppressed and enslaved citizens.
Still living with the misguided idea that the bulk of government spending goes to defense? Wrong. As the just released Treasury refunding presentation shows, for yet another year in a row, the bulk of government outlays was for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Social Security, both amounting to just shy of $900 billion in 2013, a sizable increase compared to the prior year. Defense spending? It declined once again to just over $600 billion, as did Interest outlays, which net of the Fed's remittances on interest payments, declined from under $500 billion to just about $400 billion in the past year.
Tyranny, even when discussing villains like Hitler, Mao and Stalin, does not have a single pedigree. Tyranny is a process, rarely gained via force until the defense mechanism of the host is destroyed. Hitler took seed in the ideas of Otto von Bismarck which preceded him by more than half a century. The process is well underway in America.
Back in September we, somewhat naively, penned "US Totalitarianism Loses Major Battle As Judge Permanently Blocks NDAA's Military Detention Provision" in which we said that "the war against the true totalitarian terror won a decisive battle." Sadly, the "victory" lasted for about 10 months. Today, US totalitarianism strikes back with a vengeance.
- U.S. APPEALS COURT THROWS OUT PERMANENT INJUNCTION THAT HAD LIMITED U.S. GOVERNMENT'S USE OF INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION -- COURT RULING
In other words, every legal decision will be binding... until Obama's cronies in the 13 circuit courts of the appellate system get a tap on the shoulder. And good luck with the SCOTUS.
If the constitutional scholar was hoping he would quietly avoid a major showdown over the constitutionality of the biggest spying scandal since Nixon (whether legal or not remains to be determined) and which would likely have led to an early POTUS retirement if current president was republican, the ACLU just slammed the door shut on the possibility. Moments ago, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its "dragnet" collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program is illegal and asking a judge to both stop it and order the records purged. And, as the NYT reports, "the lawsuit, filed in New York, could set up an eventual Supreme Court test." Only once that happens it will be too bad that InTrade is no longer available, to take the other side of a trade that believes the SCOTUS will for once do the right thing and preserve the constitution when everyone knows the decision to formally enact a Big Brother state will pass along political party lines and America will officially become the country that for 5 decades, at least superficially, it was waging "cold war" against.