It is now painfully obvious that Ben Bernanke blew it big-time by not raising rates three years ago when the economy and markets enjoyed tailwinds. The former Federal Reserve chairperson, who has claimed the mantle of savior of the global economy, foolishly kept rates at zero until tailwinds turned to headwinds, at which point he handed Janet Yellen the unenviable task of raising rates as the headwinds are strengthening.
Jerome Kerviel, who was convicted of causing a record trading loss of €4.9 billion at Societe Generale SA, won a payout of more than 450,000 euros in a Paris employment lawsuit over claims he was unfairly dismissed. "It’s a scandalous decision," said Arnaud Chaulet, a lawyer representing Societe Generale.
For the second quarter in a row, US worker productivity fell in Q1 (down 0.6% QoQ). Outside of 2015's weather-driven debacle, this is the weakest two quarter tumble in productivity since Q4 2012. Unit labor costs rose 4.5% QoQ in Q1 (revised up from 4.1%) as output actually fell 0.6% (implying a 3.9% rise in compensation). This is the 3rd quarterly drop in output in a row.
A relentless stream of selling by Bank of America's "smart money" clients stretching for over 4 straight months, or 18 consecutive weeks, is finally over. As BofA's Jill Carey Hall reports, last week, during which the S&P 500 was flat from the prior week, BofAML clients were net buyers of US stocks for the first time in 19 weeks, breaking a record-long selling streak that began in mid-January.
Taiwan's exports fell 9.6% y/y in May, marking the 16th straight month of decline. The results were slightly better than estimates of a 9.9% fall, however significantly worse than April where exports fell 6.5% y/y. Imports also fell 3.4% y/y, leaving a $3.5 billion trade surplus for May.
The bad news for Valeant shareholders just keeps coming. After repeatedly cutting its guidance in the past several months, earlier today VRX once again cut guidance dramatically, sending shares plunging by 10% in the premarket. In its just released Q1 results, which missed non-GAAP EPS expectations of $1.37 by 10 cents, the company took the knife to its latest set of full year 2016 projections.
Stock whisperer Yellen said all the right things yesterday, when she sounded more optimistic than pessimistic on the economy but while the economy is "strong" it is most likely not strong enough to weather a rate hike in the immediate future. As a result, the S&P 500 climbed toward a record on Monday (and continued rising overnight) after Yellen said she expects to raise interest rates only gradually and held off from specifying any timeframe, a shift from her May 27 stance that a move was probable “in the coming months.” This was interpreted that both a June and July rate hike are now off the table, with September odds rising modestly.
A bomb was placed inside a car and detonated as a bus carrying riot police passed during rush hour traffic in Istanbul today, killing seven police officers and four civilians, and leaving 36 wounded. The explosion occurred on a busy intersection near an Istanbul University building, forcing officials to cancel exams. The blast caused the police bus to overturn from the force, and a nearby hotel was gutted and the windows were blown out - fortunately the hotel was closed and had no guests.
In the true Orwellian fashion now typifying 2016, a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth has been quietly introduced in Congress - its lack of fanfare appropriate given the bill’s equally subtle language. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight, however, the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information.
According to the Ukrainian security service (SBU), a man was arrested last month who planned multiple attacks in France during the Euro 2016 tournament (set to kickoff on Friday). "We did a big job, had a large team of security agents work on it. The bulk of the credit goes to the military counter-intelligence unit of the SBU."said Vasily Gitsak, the agency's head. Gritsak said the SBU suspected a "Russian connection" in the alleged terrorist plot, but would not go into details.
“US war doctrine has been changed. US nuclear weapons are no longer restricted to a retaliatory force, but have been elevated to the role of preemptive nuclear attack... The United States has refused Russian offers to discuss Washington’s missile defence programme, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov was quoted as saying on Sunday, calling the initiative ‘very dangerous’.”
An Associated Press count of pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses and a survey of party insiders known as superdelegates shows Clinton with the overall support of the required 2,383 delegates. Now the presumptive nominee, she will formally accept her party's nomination in July at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
"Clinton is a deeply flawed and worrisome candidate. Her record as Secretary of State was one of the worst in modern U.S. history; her policies have enmeshed America in new Middle East wars, rising terrorism and even a new Cold War with Russia. Clinton is intoxicated with American power. She has favored one war of choice after the next: bombing Belgrade (1999); invading Iraq (2003); toppling Qaddafi (2011); funding Jihadists in Syria (2011 till now). The result has been one bloodbath after another, with open wounds until today fostering ISIS, terrorism, and mass refugee flows"
Across the United States, some residents have to pay far more state and local tax than others. The amount you pay depends heavily on the state you reside in with New Yorkers suffering under the heaviest tax burden according to website Wallethub.
"Those who criticize Trump or others who see the world for what it is, and attack them for raising important issues about the judicial bias and prejudice that permeates our federal judiciary in particular, are not being honest with the American people. Our federal legal system and its judiciary is politicized, frequently intellectually dishonest and in some quarters even totally corrupt."
Based on a new report by Fathom Consulting, it appears that China is also dramatically misreporting what may be the one most critical for social stability metric, its unemployment rate, which when stripped away of the political propaganda, is more than three times greater than the officially reported rate. According to Fathom, China's underemployment Indicator has tripled to 12.9% since 2012 even while the official jobless rate has hovered near 4% for five years.
"It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee's clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer. Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race."
"...in politics, just as in other aspects of American life, sleaze reigns supreme; honesty and dishonesty so intertwined in our lives that often we have difficulty differentiating between those who commit crimes and their victims; those leaders who have our best interests and welfare at heart, and those paladins of sleaze who politically take advantage of us for their personal enrichment."