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.
- Quid pro quo Clarice: Iran seeks give and take on Islamic State militants, nuclear program (Reuters)
- Alibaba’s Banks Said to Boost IPO Size to Record $25 Billion (BBG)
- European Stocks Fall Amid China Concern as Tesco Slides (BBG)
- Tesco Suspends Executives, Probes Error That Triggers New Profit Warning (WSJ)
- Kurds say they have halted Islamic State advance on Syrian town (Reuters)
- Because luck and managing money is genetic: Financial Elite's Offspring Start Their Own Hedge Funds (WSJ)
- Islamic State Onslaught Spurs Mass Exodus of Syrian Kurds (BBG)
- Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity From Fossil Fuels (NYT)
Having released the Turkish hostages, because "Turkey refused to agree to the US demand for 'active support of the coalition'," ISIS have come out swinging (in its first 'official' statement since President Obama unveiled his 'strategy' for "degrading and destroying" them), with a call for all followers of Allah to make the coalition campaign the "last crusader campaign," and calls Obama "vile", more foolish than Bush, and a "mule of the Jews." Warning Americans and Europeans that "you will pay a great price, when your economies collapse," ISIS blasts Kerry, "the uncircumcised old geezer," for his "false arguments." The statement concludes by telling ISIS followers, "if you can kill a disbelieving American or European - especially the spiteful and filthy French - or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be."
8 in 10 "Yes" voters said they were motivated more by 'hope' than 'fear'. 6 in 10 "No" voters said they were motivated by 'fear' of independence and the "No" vote was almost entirely secured by overwhelming support from those aged above 55. So in a nutshell, old people filled with fear blocked independence. Going forward, the older generation problem will naturally resolve itself. So we know that the youth will be deciding the future. Thus, the real question becomes, what will influence the youth?
As I was shorting S&P Futures late Thursday night it once again hit home how close financial markets are to some major shocks all due to ridiculous amounts of liquidity by Central Banks all over the world.
Given the pre-vote polls and 300 years of historical resentment, many were somewhat surprised at the overwhelming "No" vote in last night's Scottish Independence referendum. While we now know that the vote broke very cleanly between old ("no") and young ("yes") Scots, the following clip suggests the possibility that more was afoot than that. As the commentator blasts, "Busted! Absolutely busted!" You decide... As Martin Armstrong rages, "Is anything real anymore?"
As business media pats itself on the back for the BABA IPO, proclaiming how it's the most important, and biggest IPO of all-time and on "the most efficient and transparent" exchange, perhaps it was just oversight that they forgot to mention BABA's 7-second halt "glitch" this afternoon as BABA trading exceeded 25% of all volume at some points. But that was minor compared to the utter clusterfuck that occurred as AAPL shares started to tumble and, as Nanex points out, 100s of individual stocks instantly flash-crashed and dashed by over 1% at 1550ET as the Russell rebalanced. These are your unrigged, transparent, efficient markets...