News That Matters...
The dance of the zombies goes on... During the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, these four retailers spent $34 billion on stock buybacks and dividends. But, alas, their cumulative net income during the period was only $13 billion. So they pumped 2.6X more into the casino than they earned! Last week’s tepid retail reports were not only a reminder that QE and ZIRP have by-passed main street entirely. The faltering department store sector is also a reminder that the monumental amount of Fed confected cash pooling-up in the canyons of Wall Street is breeding debt-laden zombies throughout the length and breadth of the land.
What happens when we roll back into the next official recession, unemployment soars, and consumers really stop spending? What is revealed when you look under the hood of this economic recovery is that it is a complete and utter fraud. The recovery is nothing but smoke and mirrors, buoyed by subprime auto debt, really subprime student loan debt, corporate stock buybacks, and Fed financed bubbles in stocks, real estate, and bonds. The four retailers listed below are nothing but zombies, kept alive by the Fed’s ZIRP and QE, as they stumble towards their ultimate deaths. The coming recession will be the knife through their skulls, putting them out of their misery.
We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.
- Greece Handed New Terms as Tsipras Approaches Decision Time (BBG)
- As U.S. Probes $12.7 Trillion Treasury Market, Trader Talk Is a Good Place to Start (BBG)
- Signs Swedish QE Backfiring as Liquidity Evaporates (BBG)
- ECB approves ELA funding requested by Greece- banking source (Reuters)
- Greek Millennials Can't Find Work But Actually Want to Keep the Euro (BBG)
- Greek deal or not, the euro is now a different beast (Reuters)
- Promoter’s Arrest Sheds Light on Cynk’s $6 Billion Surge (BBG)
- The World's Biggest Economies Are About to Feel the Impact of China's Slowdown (BBG)
- Senate Clears Trade Bill’s Way to Passage (WSJ)
Following the removal of Confederate Flag merchandise from WalMart; Sears, Ebay, ETSY, and prominent flag maker Valley Forge Flags have all joined the 'movement' and stopped selling the 'controversial' flag. However, as with any and all government-'suggested' actions, there are unintended consequences in the hypocrisy of implicitly banning this symbolic banner... sales of Confederate Flags are soaring everywhere else (as the "guns and ammo"-like threat of scarcity has led to a run on the products).
How can it be implied that the markets are too fragile to deal with an unexpected raise of interest rates to (gasp) 1/4 of 1%, if all the “data” we were told (or sold) has been showing signs of all this “improvement?” The question still remains: How does any Ivory Tower prognosticator, or Wall Street talking head, square all these circles? Simple – they don’t. They just act as if it they didn’t or won’t happen. Or, just continue to act as if we’re too dumb to answer. This is complacency, idiocy, and more – all turned up to 11!
Last week the government reported personal income and spending for April. After months of blaming non-existent consumer spending on cold weather, shockingly occurring during the Winter, the captured mainstream media pundits, Ivy League educated Wall Street economist lackeys, and Keynesian loving money printers at the Fed have run out of propaganda to explain why Americans are not spending money they don’t have. The corporate mainstream media is now visibly angry with the American people for not doing what the Ivy League propagated Keynesian academic models say they should be doing. An economy built upon the consumption of iGadgets, Cheetos, meat lovers stuffed crust pizza, and slave labor produced Chinese baubles, along with the production of enough arms to blow up the world ten times over, and the doling out of trillions to the non-productive class, is doomed to fail.
One of the strategies that has emerged in the post-squeeze normal is cornering the most illiquid stocks, and pushing them up, or down with relative ease due to the lack of liquidity and/or broad participation. But how does one go about quantifying what are the most illiquid stocks: is it the ones that trade the least on any given day (a double edge sword, because exiting a position would be that much more problematic after pushing the prices to any desired level), or is it simply those where individual trades have the highest price impact? One suggested answer is to look at the equities whose current float is a small fraction of their total outstanding stock.
Just when you thought you knew what the government's spy state was up to - thanks to Ed Snowden's heroics - along comes the National Security Analysis Cneter (NSAC). As PhaseZero exposes, they are not who you think they are. They are not the NSA or the CIA. The NSAC is an obscure element of the Justice Department that has grown from its creation in 2008 into a sprawling 400-person, $150 million-a-year multi-agency organization employing almost 300 analysts "for the purpose of monitoring the electronic footprints of terrorists and their supporters, identifying their behaviors, and providing actionable intelligence." Read that again "and their supporters." As PhaseZero concludes, this shadow government agency is considerably scarier than the NSA.
“Things always become obvious after the fact” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley
If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores?
Everyone swept up in the speculative tide of monumental student debt and dependence on state entitlements and/or Wall Street's speculative machine is not being carried to prosperity but to modern-day serfdom.
“What’s going on is the customers don’t have the f***ing money. That’s it. This isn’t rocket science.”
Blogger Ben’s work is already done. In his very first substantive post as a civilian he gave away all the secrets of the monetary temple. The Bernank actually refuted the case for modern central banking in one blog. The truth is the real world of capitalism is far, far too complex and dynamic to be measured and assessed with the exactitude implied by Bernanke’s gobbledygook. In fact, what his purported necessity for choosing a rate “somewhere” actually involves is the age old problem of socialist calculation.