Bill Gross receives a mile high welcome from Janus CEO Dick Weil and President Bruce Koepfgen
It has been a night of relentless and pervasive disappointing economic data from just about every point on the globe: first the Chinese HSBC manufacturing data was well short of expectations (50.2 vs. Exp. 50.5), which was promptly spun as bullish and a reason for more stimulus by the PBOC even though the central bank has been constantly repeating it will not engage in western-style shotgun easing. Then Japanese wages, household spending and industrial production came in far below expectations - in fact at levels which suggest Japan is once again in a recession - which once again was spun as bullish, because the BOJ has no choice but to do more of the same failed policies that have made Abenomics the laughing stock of the world. Finally, moments ago Europe reported the lowest inflation data in 5 years, as well as core CPI sliding to just 0.7%, and which was, wait for it, immediately spun as bullish for risk as once again the local central bank would have "no choice but to ease." In other words, thank god for horrible news: because how else will the rich get even richer?
It appears the leadership in Spain has reached its panic-point. Following Catalonia's President Artur Mas signing of a decree calling for an ultimately democratic referendum on independence for the region, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy uttered this mind-numbing phrase:
CATALAN VOTE PROFOUNDLY ANTI-DEMOCRATIC, RAJOY SAYS
It appears Rajoy's perspective on democracy and the will of the people is a little different as the situation has become serious enough that he has gone full-Juncker.
With the revelations of systemic, widespread corporate criminality of banking institutions in recent years, it is clear that global Bank CEOs are becoming the new Drug Lords.
Yesterday we reported that the biggest riot over the weekend was not in Ferguson (although things there are hardly stable after a local police officer was shot in the violent town overnight) but in Hong Kong, where students and other mostly young people are protesting the recent loss of their democratic vote powers and thus "the loss of their freedom." Since then things have gotten from bad to worse when late last night Hong Kong declared the start of the Occupy Central disobedience campaign, leading to violent skirmishes with the police, which over the past hour have included the use of tear gas by the police as well as the first outright warning by the cops demanding that the student protesters disperse or risk being fired upon.
Another rabbit hole takes us to a rather strange place...
No, this is not Ferguson: it is, according to many, the world's most capitalist city, Hong Kong, where over the past few hours, around 50,000 students are said to have massed on late Saturday, demanding more democracy, as tensions grew over Beijing's decision to rule out free elections in the former British colony.
When one thinks of Japan and natural disaster, the things that usually come to mind are earthquakes, tsunamis, radioactive lizards, the occasional massive nuclear power plant explosion. Not volcanoes - those are usually delegated to the sole country that dared to give bankers the middle finger, Iceland. And yet, overnight Japan declared a level 3 alert (on a scale of 1 to 5) when a volcano in central Japan erupted, sending ash clouds down the mountain’s slope for more than 3 kilometers. According to RT, at least one person has died and 70 were injured, while aircraft have been forced to divert to avoid the dangerous area. Medics confirmed the death of at least one person, while 70 more were reported to be injured, NHK reported. Thirty of the injured have been sent to hospital in critical condition, health officials added. One can only hope there were no nuclear power plants in the immediate vicinity of the volcano.
High-yield credit canaries are singing again... Blackrock will be in full panic mode...
When the blood is flowing in the streets...
A new armed group in Algeria calling itself the "Caliphate Soldiers" - a re-splinter from Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS - has, according to AP, beheaded a Frenchman abducted in Algeria in a video posted online on Wednesday, after giving a 24-hour deadline to Paris. Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old hiker from the southern French city of Nice, was kidnapped on Sunday by Jund al-Khilifa, which demanded France stop its air strikes against IS in Iraq.
35 breaches of The White House perimeter... "don't worry, we got this!"
It has been several years since the disjointed, confused, and extremely disorganized Occupy Wall Street movement made any headlines. Alas, in the interim, the career prospects of those who comprise its up prime age demographic have gone nowhere but down while inversely impacting the nominal free time of said cohort, which is why we were somewhat surprised it took as long as it did for the same individuals, best known for camping out in Zucotti Park (until it started snowing of course), to stage a daring comeback. Which they did today, following a weekend in which New York City was overrun with "The People's Climate March", protesting against climate change by... leaving behind them tons of non-biodegradable garbage. It is this same group that has once again made its way all the way down into the Financial district, and specifically in front of the TV studio formerly known as the NYSE.
So with regards to BABA’s $230 billion market cap at week’s end, you can say this: None dare call it price discovery! What it shows is that Wall Street is well and truly off it rocker. The Chinese swindlers behind BABA didn’t even have to tap their home market. These preposterously over-valued shares were sold overwhelmingly to Wall Street - to the gamblers, speculators and robo-traders that have occupied what was once a reasonably honest capital market. So why did Wall Street capitalize an opaque mass merchant operating in a precarious economy at 27X sales? The answer is that Wall Street is a momentum driven casino that is now over-valuing everything that moves and all that stands still. That’s the ultimate evil of monetary central planning. Having destroyed honest price discovery in the financial markets, the Fed now “accommodates” the speculators one meeting at a time - in deathly fear of a hissy fit.