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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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Frontrunning: September 25





  • JPMorgan eyes $4bn ‘pay for peace’ deal (FT)
  • Prosecutors Pursue Big SAC Settlement (WSJ) - in the US if you are rich enough, no crime is bad enough
  • Cruz's Defiant Stand Is Also a Lonely One (WSJ); Texas senator speaks for more than 14 hours (FT)
  • Iran Applies Brakes to U.S. Mideast Plans (WSJ)
  • Americans in Poll Doubt Economy Rebound in Defiance of Forecasts (BBG)
  • Big Banks Cut Basel III Shortfall by $112 Billion at End of 2012 (BBG) - the equivalent of 10 bridges to the Kalahari desert
  • Obama’s Jabs at Russia on Syria Shows Diplomacy Tensions (BBG)
  • ICAP Staff Face Criminal Charges Tied to Libor  (WSJ)
  • Alibaba Is Said to Shift Target for I.P.O. to U.S. From Hong Kong (NYT)
  • Home gold rush is over (Reuters)
  • Conoco in landmark Alaska drone flight (FT)
 
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Frontrunning: August 23





  • Lew warns Congress to strike debt ceiling deal (FT)
  • Central-Bank Moves Blur the View (WSJ)
  • Brazil, Indonesia launch measures to shore up their currencies (FT)
  • More mainstream media reminded about Fukushima - Radioactive ground water under Fukushima nears sea (AP)
  • Fukushima inspectors 'careless', Japan agency says, as nuclear crisis grows (Reuters)
  • New York Banker Arrested on Rape Charges in East Hampton (NYT)
  • This time they mean business, for real: CFTC Moves to Rein In High-Speed Traders (WSJ)
  • Britain operates secret monitoring station in Middle East (Reuters)
  • Moody’s considers downgrading top US banks (FT)
  • China's Bo calls wife mad after she testifies against him (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Sub-New Normal Growth Seen Vexing Next Fed Chief (BBG)
  • SEC calls for cooling-off period for more staff (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: August 22





  • SURPRISE - Goldman Sachs won a preliminary victory to limit losses from a wave of erroneous trades that roiled U.S. options markets (WSJ)
  • HP’s Whitman abandons 2014 revenue growth target (FT) - just keep doing those buybacks and ignore CapEx: revenue growth estimated in 2022
  • Republicans in Echo Before Big Burn Defy Affordable Care (BBG)
  • China's banks to take next step in rate reform push  (Reuters)
  • Berlin’s Consistency on Greece’s Rescue (FT) and lack thereof
  • Summers as Obama Voice of Authority Rides Car Rescue in Fed Race (BBG)
  • Cuomo in Manure Fight as New York Promotes Yogurt (BBG)
  • Yellen’s Ties From London to Shanghai Bypass White House (BBG)
  • Sanctions Gap Allows China to Import Iranian Oil (WSJ)
 
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Guest Post: Amazon.com Creates 5,000 Jobs, Destroys 25,000 In The Process?





The past few weeks have seen the tech and business media abuzz about a not-so-little warehouse in Tennessee. That's because this distribution center, opening its doors with a burst of fanfare and even a few visits from nearby politicians, isn't a jumping-off point for Macy's or Target. Instead, the warehouse is the latest in a series of new locations being opened by retail technology giant Amazon.com. The jobs this new mega-warehouse is purported to create: 5,000. However, as we discuss below, for every job Amazon "creates," four other jobs go away at a company like TJX.

 
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Guest Post: How Incremental Increases Can Lead To Systemic Collapse





Healthcare insurance illustrates how incremental increases can lead to systemic collapse.

 
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Fact Or Fiction: Hedge Funds To Offer New Perks





With June turning out to be an ugly month across most financial markets, Hedge Funds are once again losing money. The losses come on top of the industry’s already weakening reputation thanks to back to back years of underperforming major benchmarks. To try to keep their investors from leaving, many funds are turning to promotions usually reserved for far less glamorous industries.

 
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The One Problem With Wal-Mart's Recent Hiring Spree





... Is that it is for temporary workers.

 
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Bill Gross To Ben Bernanke: "It's Your Policies That Are Now Part Of The Problem Rather Than The Solution"





On practically every day of the past four years, we have said that it was the Fed's own policies that are causing the ever-deeper systemic weakness in the US (and now global with all central banks going "all in") economy, which in turn forces the Fed to intervene even more aggressively in an attempt to counteract, in turn generating ever more economic weakness, leading to even more intervention, which is why every incremental episode of QE is larger and longer, and why the economic baseline is ever lower in the most perverse feedback loop of the New Normal. Now, it is once again Bill Gross to catch up to Zero Hedge and conclude just this in his latest monthly letter: "It’s been five years Mr. Chairman and the real economy has not once over a 12-month period of time grown faster than 2.5%. Perhaps, in addition to a fiscally confused Washington, it’s your policies that may be now part of the problem rather than the solution. Perhaps the beating heart is pumping anemic, even destructively leukemic blood through the system. Perhaps zero-bound interest rates and quantitative easing programs are becoming as much of the problem as the solution." Which is why there simply is no way out as long as Bernanke stays in.

 
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Frontrunning: May 24





  • The deeper agenda behind "Abenomics" (Reuters)
  • BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda promises to stabilise bond market (FT)
  • Obama Sees Sunset on Sept. 11 War Powers in Drone Limits (BBG)
  • Lower CPMs for everyone: FTC Begins Probe of Google's Display-Ad Business (WSJ)
  • Apple’s Tax Magic Leaves Irish Bondholders Unmoved (BBG)
  • Asia Goes on a Debt Binge as Much of World Sobers Up (WSJ)
  • All hail Gazpromia: UK gas supply six hours from running out in March (FT)
  • Spain’s banks face €10bn more provisions (FT) ... and then more, and more, and more
  • Truck strike may have caused Washington state bridge collapse, officials says (Reuters)
  • P&G Says A.G. Lafley Rejoins as Chairman, CEO (BBG)
  • Five Key Things About the SAC Insider Case (BBG)
 
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