• Monetary Metals
    01/28/2015 - 00:28
    It’s terrifying how fast the whole Swiss yield curve sank under the waterline of zero. Now even the 15-year bond has negative interest. The franc has reached the end.

Sears

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Guest Post: 8 Ways The Taper Is Going To Affect You And Your Family





The unelected central planners at the Federal Reserve have decided that the time has come to slightly taper the amount of quantitative easing that it has been doing.  When this news came out, it sent shockwaves through financial markets all over the planet.  But the truth is that not that much has really changed.  The Federal Reserve will still be recklessly creating gigantic mountains of new money out of thin air and massively intervening in the financial marketplace.  It will just be slightly less than before.  However, this very well could represent a very important psychological turning point for investors.  It is a signal that "the party is starting to end" and that the great bull market of the past four years is drawing to a close.  So what is all of this going to mean for average Americans?  The following are 8 ways that "the taper" is going to affect you and your family...

 
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Frontrunning: December 6





  • Nelson Mandela: 1918-2013 (Reuters)
  • South Africans Flock to Nelson Mandela’s Home to Mourn His Death (BBG)
  • Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden? Obama says won't choose between them for 2016 (Reuters)
  • Fukushima water tanks: leaky and built with illegal labor (Reuters)
  • Sears Holdings Files to Spin Off Lands' End Business (WSJ)
  • Way cleared for landmark global trade deal (FT)
  • U.S. Oil Prices Fall Sharply as Glut Forms on Gulf Coast (WSJ)
  • German Factory Orders Decline in Sign of Uneven Recovery (BBG)
  • FCC Unlikely to Bless a Comcast-TWC Deal: Regulator (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: December 4





  • EU Fines Financial Institutions Over Fixing Key Benchmarks (Reuters)
  • Euro-Area Economic Growth Slows as Exports, Consumption Cool (BBG) - someone has a very loose definition of growth
  • Ukraine Officials Scour Globe for Cash as Protests Build (BBG)
  • Oops: Franklin Boosted Ukraine Bet to $6 Billion as Selloff Began (BBG)
  • Japan Plans 18.6 Trillion Yen Economic Package to Support Growth (BBG) - or about 2 months of POMO
  • How Peugeot and France ran out of gas (Reuters)
  • Iran threatens to trigger oil price war (FT)
  • Abe Vows to Pass Secrecy Law That Hurts Cabinet’s Popularity (BBG)
  • Brazil economy turns in worst quarter for 5 years (FT)
  • Australia’s Slowdown Suggests RBA May Need to Do More (BBG)
  • Biden calls for trust with China amid airspace dispute (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: November 27





  • Winter storm lashes eastern U.S., threatens Thanksgiving travel (Reuters)
  • Fed Reveals New Concerns About Long-Term U.S. Slowdown (BBG)
  • Private equity keeps $789bn of powder dry (FT) - because they are "selling everything that is not nailed down"
  • Merkel and SPD clinch coalition deal two months after vote (Reuters)
  • Japan approves new state secrecy bill to combat leaks (BBC)
  • CLOs are the new black: Volatile Loan Securities Are Luring Fund Managers Again (WSJ)
  • Health website deadline nears (WSJ)
  • Norway Debates $800 Billion Wealth Fund’s Investment Options (BBG)
  • Set of global trade deals stalls (WSJ)
  • Berlusconi To Learn Fate In Senate  (Sky)
  • Silvio Berlusconi withdraws support from Italy’s government (FT)
 
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Frontrunning: November 26





  • M&A Mystery: Why Are Takeover Prices Plummeting? (WSJ)
  • Hedge-Fund Fight Club Traded Illegal Tips Not Punches (BBG)
  • Speed Traders Meet Nightmare on Elm Street With Nanex (BBG)
  • A new wave of U.S. mortgage trouble threatens (Reuters)
  • Penny Lane: Gitmo's other secret CIA facility (AP)
  • US hardens threat to leave Afghanistan with no troops (WSJ)
  • Russian Prison Stuns Captain of Greenpeace’s Bombed Ship (BBG)
  • ECB's Weidmann Warns Central Banks Might Be Too Dominated by Fiscal Concerns (WSJ)
  • China Air Move Splits Japan as Carriers Obey New Rules (BBG)
  • Inside the Breakup of the Pritzker Empire (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: November 21





  • When it fails, do more of it - Bank of Japan hints at extending ultra-loose monetary policy (FT)
  • PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves (BBG)
  • Fed casts about for endgame on easy-money policy  (Hilsenrath)
  • Big trucks still rule Detroit in energy-conscious era (Reuters)
  • Debt Limit Rise May Not Be Needed Until June, CBO Says (BBG)
  • Some Insurance Regulators Turn Down White House Invitation (WSJ)
  • Say Goodbye to the Car Salesman (WSJ)
  • U.S. drone kills senior militant in Pakistani seminary (Reuters)
  • French business sector contracts sharply (FT)
  • How Germany's taxman used stolen data to squeeze Switzerland (Reuters)
  • Fed casts about for endgame on easy-money policy (WSJ)
  • France, Italy call for full-time Eurogroup chief (Reuters)
 
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Guest Post: The American Model Of "Growth": Overbuilding And Poaching





The operative model of "growth" in America: rapid expansion/overbuilding in pursuit of poaching customers from existing competitors, a strategy that leads to massive overcapacity/redundancy and declining profits that then leads to mergers and shuttering hundreds of redundant outlets. Why has this doomed model of overbuilding and poaching sales become so dominant? Look no farther than the cheap-money policies of the Federal Reserve.

 
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Wal-Mart's Response To The Weakest Holiday Season Since 2009: $98 TVs





The last week has seen retailers begin to push "the promotional panic button" as holiday sales are expected to collapse to the weakest since 2009 (as we discussed here, here, and here). As Bloomberg reports, faced with wary shoppers and a shorter holiday season, retailers are piling on deals as they jockey for market share and are faced with "too much inventory, which doesn't bode well for 2014." U.S. retail sales excluding autos and gasoline grew 0.2% in October, half the month-earlier gain leaving this year likely to be the worst and most promotional shopping season since 2008 and perhaps Wal-Mart's $98 32-inch flat-screen TV is just the start of the deflationary spiral that benefits the stagnant incomes of the middle-class.

 
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Guest Post: Take It To The Bank





If one was a foreigner visiting for the first time, one would think Space Available was the hot new retailer in the country. Thousands of Space Available signs dot the bleak landscape, as office buildings, strip malls, and industrial complexes wither and die. At least the Chinese "Space Available" sign manufacturers are doing well. The only buildings doing brisk business are the food banks and homeless shelters. However, reports like the recent one from SNL Financial – Branch Networks Continue to Shrink - are emblematic of the mal-investment spurred by the Federal Reserve easy money policies, zero interest rates, and QEternity... In a truly free, non-manipulated market the weak would be culled, new dynamic competitors would fill the void, and consumers would benefit. However, extending debt payment schedules of the largest zombie entities and pretending you will get paid has been the mantra of the insolvent zombie Wall Street banks since 2009.

 
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Holiday Spending Plans Collapse





It seems, as Jim Quinn notes, the 99% are not cooperating with the 1% plan for economic recovery. As Gallup reports, average Americans plan on spending 10% less for Christmas gifts this year than last year. Not only that, but they are spending 19% less than they spent in 2007 and 18% less than they spent in 1999. The average American is spending less because they have less as the talking heads on CNBC and the rest of the MSM tell me that things are great. Opening stores on Thanksgiving will not save anyone and perhaps more critically, the last 2 times the November forecast for holiday spending slumped - the US entered recession!

 
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Frontrunning: October 30





  • Morning Humor from Hilsenrath - Fed Balance Sheet Not Seen Returning to Normal Until at Least 2019 (WSJ)
  • Health Policies Canceled in Latest Hurdle for Obamacare (BBG)
  • Was there anything RBS was not manipulating? RBS Said to Review Currency-Trading Practices Amid Probe (BBG)
  • Sebelius to Testify Before House Panel (WSJ)
  • And more humor: Spain's Statistics Institute Confirms End of Recession (WSJ) ... and now we await the triple dip
  • Finally some credible reporting on Yellen's "foresight" - Yellen feared housing bust but did not raise public alarm (Reuters)
  • Japan government moves closer to Fukushima takeover (FT)
  • China to step up own security after new NSA allegations (Reuters)
  • Blackstone Vies With Goldman in Spain Rental Housing Bet (BBG)
  • In new U.S. budget talks, Republican proposal has flipped the script (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: October 29





  • U.S. spy chiefs face Congress amid spying rift with Europe (Reuters)
  • Deutsche Bank income hit by €1.2bn of legal provisions (FT)
  • China's second tapering attempt fails: China central bank seeks to reassure money markets after rate spike (Reuters)
  • UBS Takes Action Against Staff in Foreign-Exchange Probe (WSJ)
  • Saudi Arabia frees man jailed for Mohammad tweets (Reuters)
  • Tax Revolts Hit Hollande as Farmers, Soccer Clubs Protest (BBG)
  • German parliament to meet over U.S. spying scandal (Reuters)
  • Google Nears Smartwatch Launch (WSJ)
  • How to end gridlock in DC? Pork projects (Reuters)
  • UBS ordered to increase capital reserves (FT)
 
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IB Hikes Margins Again, This Time On Super-MOMO Stocks





Wondering why the highest of high-beta muppetry stocks are not screaming higher with the market? Confused why these high-flyers that CNBC promoted all day as time for a bounce are actually below their opening levels? Wonder no more: Interactive Brokers just hiked the margins on the following Super-MoMo stocks once again (following a first hike on Monday and once again yesterday) and as we hope everyone understands by now, its all about the leverage.

 
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Frontrunning: October 9





  • Janet Yellen, a Backer of Pushing the Fed's Policy Boundaries (WSJ)
  • Jos. A. Bank proposes to buy Men's Wearhouse for $2.3 billion (Reuters)
  • J.P. Morgan to Cull Business Clients (WSJ)
  • RBS Said to Pass Currency Trader Chats to FCA Amid Probe (BBG)
  • Prosecutors give SAC settlement ultimatum (FT)
  • U.S. builders hoard mineral rights under new homes (Reuters)
  • Bill Comes Due for Brazil's Middle Class (WSJ)
  • US expected to slash aid to Egyptian government (AP)
  • Samsung launches world's first smartphone with curved screen (Reuters)
  • Microsoft’s $7.2 Billion Nokia Bet Not Luring Apps (BBG)
  • China raises hurdles for foreign banks (FT)
 
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