• "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

R.T.M. ~ Frontrunning ~ 5th Ed., Vol.2 ~ Feb 1st - 5th

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#2
Weekly Forex Review - 1st to the 5th of February
Forex Reviews


Published on Jan 30, 2016

Weekly Forex Outlook and Review for the 1st to the 5th of February 2016.

Pairs and Markets Analysed this Week: EURUSD, AUDUSD ( 4 Hour ), NZDUSD ( 4 Hour ), USDCAD, USDCHF, Silver, AUDCAD, GBPAUD, AUDNZD, EURCAD and GBPNZD.

Thanks for watching and Happy Trading, if you watched this bio do not forget to comment, like and subscribe. Also comment "Happy Trading" below to let me know you read the bio as well.

I appreciate you all.
 

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#3
David Stockman-We Are Nearing the End
Greg Hunter


Published on Jan 31, 2016
Former White House Budget Director David Stockman contends, “We are nearing the end. I think the world economy is plunging into an unprecedented deflation recession period of shrinkage that will bring down all the markets around the world that have been vastly overvalued as a result of this massive money printing and liquidity flow into Wall Street and other financial markets.”

On gold, Stockman says, “I think it’s more of an insurance policy and an option on the ultimate failure of today’s form of central banking. When, finally, the Keynesians, who are running all the central banks, when they are totally repudiated, I think gold will soar in value.”


Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with financial expert and best-selling author of “The Great Deformation,” David Stockman.

All links mentioned are found on USAWatchdog.com:
 

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#4

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#6
So It Begins: Bloomberg Op-Ed Calls For An End Of Cash


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/31/2016 23:20 -0500

In a moment of curious serendipity, a little over 90 minutes after we showed what a dystopian, centrally-planned, cashless society unleashed in a negative interest rate world would look like ("by forcing people and companies to convert their paper money into bank deposits, the hope is that they can be persuaded (coerced?) to spend that money rather than save it because those deposits will carry considerable costs"), and briefly after we laid out the countless recent warnings from "very serious people" that cash is evil and should be banned:


... while warning to await a full-on coopted media assault about the dangers of cash "which is an anacrhonysm from a bygone era, and that the world will be so much better if only everyone dutifully exchanges the physical currency in their pocket for digital, traceable, and deletable 1s and 0s", none other than Bloomberg issued an editorial Op-Ed in which it had one simple message: "Bring On the Cashless Future."

For those who were amused by our warning that a cashless world may be coming, here is precisely why the warning was issued, in Bloomberg's digital ink:


Bring On the Cashless Future

Cash had a pretty good run for 4,000 years or so. These days, though, notes and coins increasingly seem declasse: They're dirty and dangerous, unwieldy and expensive, antiquated and so very analog.

Sensing this dissatisfaction, entrepreneurs have introduced hundreds of digital currencies in the past few years, of which bitcoin is only the most famous. Now governments want in: The People's Bank of China says it intends to issue a digital currency of its own. Central banks in Ecuador, the Philippines, the U.K. and Canada are mulling similar ideas. At least one company has sprung up to help them along.

Much depends on the details, of course. But this is a welcome trend. In theory, digital legal tender could combine the inventiveness of private virtual currencies with the stability of a government mint.

Most obviously, such a system would make moving money easier. Properly designed, a digital fiat currency could move seamlessly across otherwise incompatible payment networks, making transactions faster and cheaper. It would be of particular use to the poor, who could pay bills or accept payments online without need of a bank account, or make remittances without getting gouged.

For governments and their taxpayers, potential advantages abound. Issuing digital currency would be cheaper than printing bills and minting coins. It could improve statistical indicators, such as inflation and gross domestic product. Traceable transactions could help inhibit terrorist financing, money laundering, fraud, tax evasion and corruption.

The most far-reaching effect might be on monetary policy. For much of the past decade, central banks in the rich world have been hampered by what economists call the zero lower bound, or the inability to impose significantly negative interest rates. Persistent low demand and high unemployment may sometimes require interest rates to be pushed below zero -- but why keep money in a deposit whose value keeps shrinking when you can hold cash instead? With rates near zero, that conundrum has led policy makers to novel and unpredictable methods of stimulating the economy, such as large-scale bond-buying.

A digital legal tender could resolve this problem. Suppose the central bank charged the banks that deal with it a fee for accepting paper currency. In that way, it could set an exchange rate between electronic and paper money -- and by raising the fee, it would cause paper money to depreciate against the electronic standard. This would eliminate the incentive to hold cash rather than digital money, allowing the central bank to push the interest rate below zero and thereby boost consumption and investment. It would be a big step toward doing without cash altogether.

Digital legal tender isn't without risk. A policy that drives down the value of paper money would meet political resistance and -- to put it mildly -- would require some explaining. It could hold back private innovation in digital currencies. Security will be an abiding concern. Non-cash payments also tend to exacerbate the human propensity to overspend. And you don't have to be paranoid to worry about Big Brother tracking your financial life.

Governments must be alert to these problems -- because the key to getting people to adopt such a system is trust. A rule that a person's transaction history could be accessed only with a court order, for instance, might alleviate privacy concerns.

Harmonizing international regulations could encourage companies to keep experimenting. And an effective campaign to explain the new tender would be indispensable.

If policy makers are wise and attend to all that, they just might convince the public of a surprising truth about cash: They're better off without it.

To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net.

And so it begins. It will most certainly not end there.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-31/bloomberg-op-ed-calls-end-cash
 

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#7
Frontrunning: February 1


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/01/2016 07:30 -0500

  • Stocks cautious after rocky China data, bonds fly high (Reuters)
  • Oil falls on China data, fading prospect of OPEC action (Reuters)
  • Republican Vote in Iowa Caucus Hinges on Newcomer Turnout (WSJ)
  • When Trump tells supporters not to donate, they mostly listen (Reuters)
  • Goldman Sachs Employees Shift to Rubio as Bush Support Fades (BBG)
  • Four Theories on How Oil Has Hypnotized the Global Stock Market (BBG)
  • Global Yields Hit 12-Month Low With Japan 2-Year at Minus 0.16% (BBG)
  • Record China Factory Gauge Slump Adds to Monetary Policy Dilemma (BBG)
  • Euro-Area Factories Cut Prices as Deflation Risks Loom Large (BBG)
  • Oops: Cheap oil less of a boon for U.S. growth than in the past (Reuters)
  • February Is the Longest Month for Central Bank Watchers (BBG)
  • Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake have considered a deal for Twitter (Information)
  • Credit Suisse, Barclays to Pay $154.3 Million to Settle ‘Dark Pool’ Investigations (WSJ)
  • Death toll up to 70 from Islamic State Damascus attack (Reuters)
  • Toyota to stop Japan production for one week due to steel shortage (Reuters)
  • HSBC to Freeze Hiring, Salaries in 2016 Amid Cost Reductions (BBG)
  • Marissa Mayer to Make Case That Yahoo Can Be Turned Around (BBG)
  • Zika virus spreads fear among pregnant Brazilians (Reuters)
  • Google Defends U.K. Tax Accord as Legal, Not ‘Sweetheart Deal (BBG)
  • China Calls Lending Platform Ezubo a $7.6 Billion Ponzi Scheme (WSJ)
  • China-Built High-Speed Rail in Indonesia Gets Off to Bumpy Start (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- The E. coli outbreak that sickened more than 50 Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc customers in nine states last year is expected to be declared over. Investigators haven't been able to pinpoint the ingredient responsible for the contamination. (http://on.wsj.com/1Svlj84)

- Time Warner Inc and Hulu have been in talks since late last year about Time Warner buying into the streaming site as a part-owner. In the discussions about taking a 25 percent equity stake in Hulu, Time Warner has told the site's owners that it ultimately wants episodes from current seasons off the service, at least in their existing form, although that is not a condition for its investment. (http://on.wsj.com/23CeQ0x)

- A frigid January for initial public offerings - there were no U.S. IPOs for the month - is pointing to a hard winter for fledgling biotech firms and other private companies. (http://on.wsj.com/1PpNx3h)

- Crude-oil prices fell in early Asia trade, dragged by lackluster Chinese manufacturing data and dimming prospects of a coordinated production cut. (http://on.wsj.com/1WWiQV2)



FT

* J Sainsbury Plc has been advised that it should raise its offer for Home Retail Group Plc to at least 160p per share or preferably closer to 165p to support a bid and pressure Home Retail Plc's board to accept the deal.

* The new chief executive of Alstom SA Poupart-Lafarge said the sector in Europe is good for consolidation and it would "make sense" for Alstom to look at transformational deals.

* Ofcom urged Brussels to block the merger of telecoms operators O2 and Three, highlighting concerns that mobile phone bills for users in the UK would move sharply higher.

* Christine Tacon's probe of Tesco Plc's accounting practices has raised fresh concerns that the balance of power in the grocery supply chain lies far on the side of retailers.



NYT

- Microsoft Corp sank a data center on the ocean floor, where the sea water acts as a coolant, and plans to use the waves to power it. The results were encouraging enough to try a bigger version. (http://nyti.ms/1WVJflC)

- Europe is greatly increasing military and security spending on the fight against terrorism, a shift from austerity methods that dominated its policies in recent years. (http://nyti.ms/1mAo3BN)

- Anna Wintour, Condé Nast's artistic director, and Bob Sauerberg, its new chief executive, are trying to keep the publisher's many magazines profitable and relevant in the Internet age. (http://nyti.ms/1QBjepr)

- Barclays PLC and Credit Suisse will pay a combined $154.3 million to settle allegations that they misrepresented their private stock trading services. The systems, known as dark pools, are supposed to offer a haven to traditional traders and investors from predatory trading behavior. (http://nyti.ms/1QRLlT3)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** China Minerals Mining and its subsidiary Cassiar Gold Corp have filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia that seeks to reverse a portion of the British Columbia government's transfer of Crown land near the Yukon border in northern British Columbia to the Kaska Dena Council. (http://bit.ly/1SmwZvD)

** The rout in commodities has hit men harder than women in Alberta. Nearly 16,000 men in the western province have been laid off from September 2014 through the end of last year. Meanwhile, 22,800 women have found new positions over the same period, according to Statistics Canada. (http://bit.ly/1SmxjKV)

** The Canadian government is busy promoting its defense industry in Kuwait even as a United Nations report accuses a Saudi-led coalition, which includes Kuwait, of "widespread and systematic" bombing of civilians in Yemen. (http://bit.ly/1SmxUwk)

NATIONAL POST

** A class action lawsuit against Valeant Pharmaceuticals has alleged that the makers of Cold-FX sat for years on a study that suggested Canada's most popular cold and flu remedy was no more effective than a placebo in treating symptoms of the viruses. Valeant owns the product after buying Edmonton's Afexa Life Sciences in 2011. (http://bit.ly/1Kl7zM2)

** British Columbia's top court has torpedoed a popular consumer loyalty rewards program for pharmacies, a sort of frequent flyer plan for prescription drug users, over fears it can be abused to the detriment of health. (http://bit.ly/1Kl7Gat)



Britain

The Times

- Sharon White, the head of Ofcom, has expressed her concerns to Europe's regulators that the takeover of O2 by Three, its smaller rival, will lead to less competition and higher prices. (http://thetim.es/1UBiqlg)

- J Sainsbury Plc has been speaking to Home Retail Group Plc's leading shareholders and has been told by the company's largest investor that the offer must rise to at least 160p, or £1.3 billion. (http://thetim.es/1UBiwcS)

The Guardian

- A senior government minister has admitted the tax settlement between Google and the UK government "was not a glorious moment". The admission by the business secretary, Sajid Javid, came as a senior executive from Google claimed he could not say how much UK profit has been generated by the technology firm in the past decade, or how many meetings had been held between the company's executives and ministers. (http://bit.ly/1UBiC47)

- Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG are paying more than $150m to settle charges that they misled investors who used their dark pool trading platforms. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York attorney general are expected to announce the settlement on Monday. (http://bit.ly/1UBiHF2)

The Telegraph

- Hitachi will continue to invest in the UK even if the country votes to leave the European Union, according to its chief executive. Hiroaki Nakanishi, who is also chairman of the Japanese industrial giant, said he discussed with Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, last month how a British exit from the EU could be made "feasible". (http://bit.ly/1UBiNwd)

- Sky has backed the bid to merge Three with rival mobile operator O2 as Brussels competition watchdogs prepare to lay out their problems with the takeover. The European Commission is due to issue Hutchison with a formal statement of objections on Tuesday stretching to hundreds of pages. (http://bit.ly/1UBiUYA)

Sky News

- An investment firm owned by the taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group is in advanced talks to buy CitySprint, one of Britain's biggest same-day delivery companies. LDC has entered exclusive talks to buy CitySprint even as technology giants such as Amazon and Uber seek to exploit their distribution networks to win business held by traditional courier firms. (http://bit.ly/1UBj1nf)

- Britain's first new high street bank in more than 100 years has warned investors that an exit from the European Union could damage its prospects. In a copy of a circular to shareholders issued this week, the start-up lender said it faced "risks associated with a vote to exit the EU". (http://bit.ly/1UBjg1q)

The Independent

- The pay gap faced by black workers widens the more qualifications they obtain, according to research revealing the challenges faced by ethnic minority Britons pursuing professional careers. Black graduates leaving university earn an average of 23 per cent less than their white counterparts, the new analysis by TUC shows. (http://ind.pn/1UBjp51)


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-01/frontrunning-february-1
 

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#8
Rally Hobbled As Ugly China Reality Replaces Japan NIRP Euphoria; Oil Rebound Fizzles


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/01/2016 06:56 -0500


It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the, well, China shop is...



... leading to a 1.8% drop on the first day of February after Chinese stocks slid 23% in January with the nation’s manufacturing sector faces strong galewind challenges as the government plans to reduce excess industrial capacity and unleash troubling mass unemployment, while a weakening currency is spurring capital outflows.

And then it was about oil once again, when Goldman itself - which recently has been quietly changing its tone on oil to bullish - said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future, to wit: "The past week featured headlines suggesting that OPEC producers and Russia would meet in February to discuss a potential coordinated cut in production. Despite the sharp bounce in oil prices that these headlines generated, we do not expect such a cut will occur unless global growth weakens sharply from current levels, which is not our economists' forecast."

Throw in some very cautious words from the sellside about what the BOJ's move actually means and Friday's month-end window dressing 2.5% surge is now just a distant memory.

As a result European stocks declined after the Chinese PMI fell to a three-year low in January. Nokia tumbles, dragging technology shares to biggest decline. Euro rose for an 8th day against the yen amid speculation the European Central Bank won’t be as aggressive as the Bank of Japan in boosting monetary stimulus.

"Investors are getting conflicting signals about global growth, Daniel Murray, London-based head of research at EFG Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “It’s all very confusing and it’s making people nervous. Even the smallest macro event or data point can tip sentiment either way.”

Asian stocks remained buoyed by the BOJ momentum rose for a 4th day as shares in Tokyo extended Friday’s rally after the Bank of Japan stepped up its monetary stimulus. Chinese shares extended their steepest monthly selloff since the global financial crisis after an official manufacturing gauge missed estimates.

“The BOJ’s action on Friday helped -- it’s a situation where you get short-term relief when central banks make supportive announcements or ease policy,” Steven Milch, chief economist at Suncorp Wealth Management in Sydney, said by phone. “I’m not sure central bank actions are a panacea, but they do help in relation to investor sentiment. Uncertainty is clearly very high and it is possible that some markets have overshot on the downside. There’s a possibility that risk aversion and volatility diminish as we go forward.”

Here is where we stood as of this writing:

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 1924
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.1% to 342
  • FTSE 100 down 0.4% to 6057
  • DAX down 0.4% to 9757
  • German 10Yr yield up less than 1bp to 0.33%
  • Italian 10Yr yield unchanged at 1.42%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up 1bp to 1.52%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.9% to 122
  • Nikkei 225 up 2% to 17865
  • Hang Seng down 0.4% to 19596
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.8% to 2689
  • US 10-yr yield up 2bps to 1.94%
  • Dollar Index down 0.22% to 99.39
  • WTI Crude futures down 1.4% to $33.14
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $35.83
  • Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,122
  • Silver spot up 0.4% to $14.31
Looking at global markets, we start in Asia where equities traded mixed with the Nikkei 225 (+2.0%) the notable outperformer as participants continued to digest last week's BoJ decision while the ASX 200 (+0.80%) was pushed higher with strength in health care names. Shanghai Comp. (-1.8%) underperformed amid rising risks that the nation faces a structural downturn following soft Official Mfg. PMI at its lowest since Aug'12, offsetting better than expected Caixin PMI data. JGBs were bid throughout the session, with yields plummeting to record lows in the 2-yr and 10-yr following the Friday's stimulus move by the BoJ, as such the yield curve has notably steepened.

Asian Top News

  • Mitsubishi UFJ’s Profit Falls 27% on Bond Trading, Lending: 3Q net 253b yen, est. 249.8b yen
  • Nippon Steel Plans Purchase, Stock Buyback to Weather Slump: Cut its full-year profit forecast by more than a fifth, announced a stock buyback and said it’s in talks to take control of domestic partner Nisshin Steel Co
  • BOJ Rate Cut No Solace for Top Japan Fund That’s in Cash: J Flag’s Osezawa expects more market volatility to follow
  • Yen Bulls Burned After BOJ’s Surprise Spurs Biggest Rout in Year: Bullish yen positions had reached most in almost 4 yrs
  • Macau Gaming Revenue Falls 21.4% in Lull Ahead of Lunar New Year: Jan. casino rev. falls 21.4% y/y vs est. 22% drop
  • Rupee to Restrain Rajan as India Deficit Risks Stoking Inflation: 36 of 38 economists surveyed see repo rate left at 6.75%
European equities trade mostly in the red following sentiment brought about by the release of soft Chinese Official manufacturing PMI data, which printed at its lowest since Aug'12 and showed the 6th straight month of contraction. Furthermore, the poor official figures offset better than expected Caixin PMI data, which still came in below 50, thus demonstrating contraction, highlighting the weak outlook for the global economy.

The IT sector is the laggard in the Eurostoxx50 (-0.7%), following an EU proposal for tough new data protection laws, which German giant SAP say could put companies at a disadvantage to their US counterparts. Dax underperforms in terms of indices, with ThyssenKrupp weighing on the German bourse, following negative sentiment in the metals complex.

Nokia Oyj dragged a measure of technology stocks to the worst performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600, tumbling 11 percent after investors were disappointed by a court decision in a patent dispute with Samsung Electronics Co. Energy-related shares were also among the worst performers as the price of oil slid, with service provider Seadrill Ltd. leading declines.

Luxottica Group SpA fell 8.7 percent after quarterly sales missed analysts’ projections. The maker of Ray-Ban eyeglasses also said its co-Chief Executive Officer resigned. BT Group Plc rose 2.5 percent after quarterly profit beat estimates. Ryanair Holdings Plc gained 3.3 percent after forecasting fourth-quarter traffic will grow more than previously expected and saying it will return 800 million euros ($868 million) to investors via a share-buyback program.

European Top News

  • Nokia Drops as Samsung Patent Ruling Disappoints Investors: An arbitration court of the International Chamber of Commerce settled the amount of additional compensation Samsung needs to pay to Nokia, the Finnish company said Monday, without providing exact financial details
  • Euro-Area Factories Cut Prices as Deflation Risks Loom Large: Markit Economics said price pressures “remained on the downside” and output charges fell for a fifth month
  • Domestic Demand Offsets Exports to Keep U.K. Factories Afloat: Markit Economics said on its factory gauge climbed to a 3-month high of 52.9 from a revised 52.1 in Dec.; forecast was 51.6
  • Julius Baer to Boost Dividend 10% as U.S. Probe Nears End: Proposes to increase dividend to CHF1.10/shr, annual operating income misses analysts’ estimates
  • Ryanair Doubles Quarterly Profit, Plans $868m Buyback: Fiscal 3Q profit after tax increased to EU103m from EU49m y/y, aided by a 25% surge in passenger numbers to 20m, will return EU800m to investors via a share-buyback program
  • BT Profit Tops Estimates as Former Monopoly Pushes Into Mobile: 3Q adj. Ebitda GBP1.61b vs est. GBP1.58b, adds fiber broadband customers in 3Q
  • Bankia Shares Climb After Fourth-Quarter Profit Beats Estimates: 4Q net profit EU185m, beats EU134.2m estimate
  • Vallourec to Raise $1.1 Billion With Nippon Steel’s Help: Nippon Steel, Bpifrance to each own 15% of company after deal
In FX, a cagey start to FX trade this week, with AUD/USD the notable mover in the overnight markets after the China manufacturing PMIs disappointed. However, the mid .7000's look to be finding some support, so no further softening to report. Manufacturing PMIs the running theme for the day, but only the UK surprised (to the upside) to alleviate the heavy GBP tone from first thing. However, Cable running into fresh selling interest above 1.4300. USD/JPY has held 121.00-121.50; specs on the downside, and exporters capping. CAD (and the rest of the Oil related pairs) in consolidation mode despite slight WTI slippage. More comments from OPEC sources; Saudi's open to cooperated 'oil market management', but no immediate need for emergency meetings. More large 1.0800 EUR/USD strikes; strong bids ahead still in place.

In commodities, oil trades lower in the European morning, with the ongoing production-cut saga still dominating price action in the market. The latest comments today came from OPEC sources in Saudi press, who stated that they 'are ready to manage the market', with the usual caveat of OPEC and non-OPEC co-operation. An uptick was observed initially, however this move was pared following comments from the same source, which stated it's too early to talk about emergency OPEC meeting. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs see output cuts by Non OPEC members as highly unlikely. Brent and WTI have the USD 35.00 and USD 33.00 handles respectively, with any further price action today likely to be driven by further comments.

Aluminum was 0.6 percent lower at $1,509.50 a ton, and industrial precious metals platinum and palladium were also lower. U.S. natural gas futures fell 4.2 percent. Gold climbed 0.3 percent to $1,121.83 an ounce on haven demand.

Gold has started February in very positive fashion, as Chinese Official manufacturing PMI printed at its lowest since Aug'12, bolstering safe haven bids in the yellow metal. Furthermore, the poor official figures offset better than expected Caixin PMI data, which still came in below 50, thus demonstrating contraction, highlighting the weak outlook for the global economy which has had a knock on effect in the base metals. Copper on the LME trades in negative territory this morning and It's a similar story for other base metals, whose prices are consolidating some of Fridays BoJ inspired gains.

Following a busy day of global PMIs, today on the US calendar we’ll get the December core and deflator PCE data along with personal income and spending, manufacturing PMI, construction spending and the important ISM manufacturing and prices paid.



Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk and Bloomberg

  • European equities trade mostly in the red following sentiment brought about by the release of soft Chinese Official manufacturing PMI data
  • Oil trades lower in the European morning, with the ongoing production-cut saga still dominating price action in the market, however Brent and WTI hold the USD 35.00 and USD 33.00 handles respectively
  • Looking ahead highlights include: US ISM and PMI Manufacturing data with pre-market earnings from Sysco and Cardinal Health
  • Treasuries fall slightly in overnight trading as world equity markets mostly drop; today’s economic data brings personal income/spending, ISM.
  • China’s official factory gauge signaled a record sixth straight month of deterioration, raising the stakes for policy makers struggling to prop up the economy amid a second bear market in stocks since June and a currency at a five-year low
  • Currency interventions don’t work. That’s the gist of what the economist community is saying after Sweden’s central bank ratcheted up warnings that it may intentionally weaken the krona as it tries to spur inflation
  • Factories in the euro area slashed prices of goods by the most in a year in January, highlighting the deflationary risks that’s keeping alarm bells ringing at the European Central Bank
  • HSBC will impose a global hiring and pay freeze as part of its drive to cut as much as $5 billion in costs by the end of 2017. The measures will affect the consumer and investment banking businesses
  • Italy’s plan to use securitization to help relieve banks of their soured loans is an attempt to imbue securities backed by non-performing assets with some of the luster enjoyed by sovereign bonds, according to a senior official at the Treasury
  • Japanese banks extended losses in Tokyo following the central bank’s surprise move to start charging lenders for some of their deposits held at the institution
  • The central bank’s surprise move to negative interest rates on Jan. 29 could boost Japanese domestic demand, while the weaker currency that’s likely to result from the policy is a boon for exporters
  • Nigeria’s government is in talks for concessionary loans worth $3.5 billion from the World Bank and African Development Bank to help finance a planned record budget this year, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said
  • Iowans will have their say tonight on who should be the next U.S. president. Donald Trump (Republican) and Hillary Clinton (Democrat) leading narrowly in a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll released over the weekend
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields little changed. Asian, European stocks mostly lower; U.S. equity-index futures drop. Crude oil and copper drop, gold rallies
US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Personal Income, Dec., est. 0.2% (prior 0.3%)
    • Personal Spending, Dec., est. 0.1% (prior 0.3%)
    • Real Personal Spending, Dec., est. 0.2% (prior 0.3%)
    • PCE Deflator m/m, Dec., est. 0% (prior 0%)
    • PCE Deflator y/y, Dec., est. 0.6% (prior 0.4%)
    • PCE Core m/m, Dec., est. 0.1% (prior 0.1%)
    • PCE Core y/y, Dec., 1.4% (prior 1.3%)
  • 9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, Jan. F, est. 52.7 (prior 52.7)
  • 10:00am: ISM Manufacturing, Jan., est. 48.2 (prior 48.2)
    • ISM Prices Paid, Jan., est. 35 (prior 33.5)
    • ISM New Orders, Jan. (prior 49.2)
  • 10:00am: Construction Spending m/m, Dec., est. 0.6% (prior -0.4%)
  • 11:00am: ECB’s Draghi speaks at EU Parliament
  • 1:00pm: Fed’s Fischer speaks in New York
Top Global News

  • Barclays, Credit Suisse Agree to Dark Pools Settlements: Barclays will pay $70m, split evenly between SEC and New York the largest fine levied on a dark pool operator, Credit Suisse will pay $84.3m
  • Clinton, Trump Face First Real Test as Iowans Head to Caucuses
  • Record China Factory Gauge Slump Adds to Monetary Policy Dilemma: Manufacturing PMI fell to 3-yr low of 49.4 in Jan.
  • HSBC to Freeze Hiring, Salaries in 2016 Amid Cost Reductions: CEO Stuart Gulliver is seeking $5b in savings by 2017
  • Google Defends U.K. Tax Accord as Legal, Not ‘Sweetheart Deal:’ U.K. business chief says deal will change corporate behavior
  • Symantec Completes Veritas Sale, Adds $2b to Capital Return Plan: Said it received ~$5.3b in after-tax cash proceeds from completion of Veritas sale
  • Oil Bulls Jump in at Fastest Pace in Five Years on Rebound Hopes: Net-long position jumped 35% through Jan. 26: CFTC
  • Global Yields Hit 12-Month Low With Japan 2-Year at Minus 0.16%: Yield on a Bank of America index of sovereign bonds dropped to 1.39%, the least since February 2015
  • Bond-Market Inflationistas Say They’re No Fools as Losses Mount: Goldman sees inflation headed higher, recommends 10-yr TIPS
  • Marissa Mayer to Make Case That Yahoo Can Be Turned Around: CEO to detail new initiatives this week as proxy fight looms
  • Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Said Not Planning to Leave Co.: NYP
  • February the Longest Month for Investors Awaiting Central Banks: U.S., Japan, euro zone have no Feb. central bank meetings
  • ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Tops Weekend Box Office With $41m: Disney’s “The Finest Hours” opened in 4th place and the Open Road Films parody “Fifty Shades of Black” landed in ninth
  • IEX Debate Escalates With Public Knock to NYSE’s Systems: IEX posts letter saying NYSE has a ‘speed bump’ of its own
  • RCS Capital Files for Bankruptcy as Previously Announced: Company has said it will borrow $150m for restructuring
  • Blackstone Said to Shop Pactera Technology for Up to $1b: WSJ
  • FTC Review of TEVA/AGN Seen Closing in 2-3 Weeks: DealReporter
  • Sports Authority Confirms It Cut About 100 Jobs at Headquarters
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

We’re straight to Japan this morning where the BoJ fuelled rally has extended for a second day with the Nikkei and Topix both up 2% in early trading. The Yen is more or less unchanged around 121.2. Japan aside though, it’s been a broadly mixed start for the rest of Asia however. The Hang Seng (-0.42%) and Shanghai Comp (-1.03%) in particular are trading with a much weaker tone, in part reflecting some more soft data out of China. The January manufacturing PMI has printed at 49.4 - a three year low - which was below expectations of 49.6 and also down from 49.7 in December to mark the sixth consecutive sub-50 print. The non-official Caixin PMI was also weak at 48.4, albeit up 0.2pts from the prior month. Meanwhile, the non-manufacturing PMI has printed at 53.5, down 0.9pts from December. Elsewhere this morning we’ve seen the ASX gain +0.75% while the Kospi is slightly firmer. Credit indices are around a basis point wider while Oil markets are currently down 1.5%.

So Japan's decision to cut rates into negative territory must surely have increased the probabilities of an easier bias to rates across the globe. I've long been of the opinion that the US will have to do more QE again in the next downturn and that we could still be in the early stages of a global money printing era. While I still think this, it's possible that the recent international trend to negative rates will also be a big theme on and off in the years ahead. I'm no expert on the functioning of the US money market but it seems inevitable that the FED will also have to consider such a policy in the future. If growth continues to be structurally low and their peers are in negative rate territory they may have little choice. The FED's dot plot forecasts certainly look stratospheric at the moment.

Speaking of which, it’s hard to imagine that the Q4 GDP report we got on Friday will do much to help the FED’s case. The +0.7% qoq saar print was slightly softer relative to expectations of +0.8% but more importantly was a strong signal of significant further deterioration in underlying demand with our US economists highlighting that the most troubling aspect was the lack of any meaningful inventory liquidation. With demand slowing and the latter elevated, our colleagues highlight further downside risks through the first half of this year as stockpiles become unwound, with the danger being that real GDP growth falls below last quarter’s meager rate. Meanwhile the data confirmed just a +2.9% yoy gain for nominal GDP last quarter which was 0.1% higher than the forecast we had in our chart on Friday. The reading confirmed however that for just the third time since 1955 covering 118 hikes, the Fed raised rates in a quarter where nominal GDP growth on a yoy basis was below 4.5%. The other two occasions were also statistical anomalies that were corrected in the subsequent quarters. See Friday's EMR for the chart.

Friday’s price action was already being dictated by the BoJ however with the fall in global yields being a notable feature. 10y Bund yields finished nearly 8bps lower at 0.323% which is the lowest now since last May. 10y Treasury yields closed nearly 6bps lower and at 1.922%, finished at the lowest closing yield since April last year. The rally for risk assets saw the S&P 500 finish up +2.48% which helped to cap a second consecutive weekly gain in the process. European equities were up similar amounts (Stoxx 600 +2.20%) too while the better tone for risk was also helped by a decent finish to the week for Oil markets. WTI closed +1.20% at $33.62/bbl meaning it was up nearly +4.5% last week, but well over 20% from the low’s on the 20th of last month. The more impressive move has been in Brent however which was up +3.42% alone on Friday (to $35.99/bbl) and +9.5% over the five days last week (although both have weakened some 2% this morning).

In fact, Brent has closed higher on seven of the last nine trading days as rumblings around potential OPEC production cuts added to the positive sentiment generated from a dovish ECB and BoJ. As the US earnings season rumbles along however we’re gently reminded of the pain that is already evident at a micro level, with Chevron the latest big name to report. The oil giant reported its first quarterly loss since 2002 last quarter after posting weaker than expected earnings, while the company looks set to undergo a second bumper wave of job layoffs and capex cuts. Updating where we are with earnings season now, 201 S&P 500 companies have now reported their latest quarterlies with the current trend being 80% beating earnings guidance (which have been heavily beaten down) but just 48% beating revenue guidance. The latter continues to hover around the top end of recent quarterly trends however at 44%, 49% and 48% for Q3, Q2 and Q1 last year, however the number of positive earnings surprises is better than what we’ve recently seen at 74%, 75% and 73% respectively in the same time.

Wrapping up the rest of Friday’s data. While the latest GDP data failed to meet expectations, both Q4 ECI (+0.6% qoq) and Core PCE (1.2% qoq) printed in line with consensus estimates. The December advance goods trade deficit widened slightly to $61.5bn while the final January reading for the University of Michigan consumer sentiment print was revised down 1.3pts to 92.0 after the expectations print fell 3pts relative to December. Just to add some confusion to the data, the Chicago PMI printed at 55.6 on Friday which was well ahead of expectations of 45.3 and 12.7pts higher than the December reading. It was in fact the highest level in 12 months.

Meanwhile the first Fedspeak since the FOMC meeting last week saw San Francisco Fed President Williams acknowledge that he now sees slightly slower growth and inflation, along with slightly higher unemployment this year which argues for ‘just a smidgen slower process of normalizing rates’.

In terms of Fedspeak this week we’ve Fischer due to talk tonight and George scheduled to speak tomorrow evening. The other big focus of the week will of course be on the corporate earnings with 119 S&P 500 companies set to report with the highlights including Alphabet, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, Merck and Kraft Heinz. Over in Europe meanwhile we’ve got 75 Stoxx 600 companies set to report their latest quarterlies including Royal Dutch Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and BP.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...laces-japan-nirp-euphoria-oil-rebound-fizzles
 

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#9
Paul Craig Roberts: The West Is Being Reduced To Looting Itself


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/31/2016 22:00 -0500


Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

I, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented development plan, with the result being sufficient tax revenues from economic development to service the foreign loan.

Seldom, if ever, does this happen. What happens is that the plan results in the country becoming indebted to the limit and beyond of its foreign currency earnings. When the country is unable to service the development loan, the creditors send the IMF to tell the indebted government that the IMF will protect the government’s credit rating by lending it the money to pay its bank creditors. However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners. The money saved by reduced social benefits and raised by selling off the country’s assets to foreigners serves to repay the IMF.

This is the way the West has historically looted Third World countries. If a country’s president is reluctant to enter into such a deal, he is simply paid bribes, as the Greek governments were, to go along with the looting of the country the president pretends to represent.

When this method of looting became exhausted, the West bought up agricultural lands and pushed a policy on Third World countries of abandoning food self-sufficiency and producing one or two crops for export earnings. This policy makes Third World populations dependent on food imports from the West. Typically the export earnings are drained off by corrupt governments or by foreign purchasers who pay little while the foreigners selling food charge much. Thus, self-sufficiency is transformed into indebtedness.

With the entire Third World now exploited to the limits possible, the West has turned to looting its own. Ireland has been looted, and the looting of Greece and Portugal is so severe that it has forced large numbers of young women into prostitution. But this doesn’t bother the Western conscience.

Previously, when a sovereign country found itself with more debt than could be serviced, creditors had to write down the debt to an amount that the country could service. In the 21st century, as I relate in my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, this traditional rule was abandoned.

The new rule is that the people of a country, even a country whose top offiials accepted bribes in order to indebt the country to foreigners, must have their pensions, employment, and social services slashed and valuable national resources such as municipal water systems, ports, the national lottery, and protected national lands, such as the protected Greek islands, sold to foreigners, who have the freedom to raise water prices, deny the Greek government the revenues from the national lottery, and sell the protected national heritage of Greece to real estate developers.

What has happened to Greece and Portugal is underway in Spain and Italy. The peoples are powerless because their governments do not represent them. Not only are their governments receiving bribes, the members of the governments are brainwashed that their countries must be in the European Union. Otherwise, they are bypassed by history. The oppressed and suffering peoples themselves are brainwashed in the same way. For example, in Greece the government elected to prevent the looting of Greece was powerless, because the Greek people are brainwashed that no matter the cost to them, they must be in the EU.

The combination of propaganda, financial power, stupidity and bribes means that there is no hope for European peoples.

The same is true in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK. In the US tens of millions of US citizens have quietly accepted the absence of any interest income on their savings for seven years. Instead of raising questions and protesting, Americans have accepted without thought the propaganda that their existence depends upon the success of a handful of artificially created mega-banks that are “too big to fail.” Millions of Americans are convinced that it is better for them to draw down their savings than for a corrupt bank to fail.

To keep Western peoples confused about the real threat that they face, the people are told that there are terrorists behind every tree, every passport, under every bed, and that all will be killed unless the government’s overarching power is unquestioned. So far this has worked perfectly, with one false flag after another reinforcing the faked terror attacks that serve to prevent any awareness that this a hoax for accumulating all income and wealth in a few hands.

Not content with their supremacy over “democratic peoples,” the One Percent has come forward with the Trans-Atlanta and Trans-Pacific partnerships. Allegedly these are “free trade deals” that will benefit everyone. In truth, these are carefully hidden, secret, deals that give private businesses control over the laws of sovereign governments.

For example, it has come to light that under the Trans-Atlantic partnership the National Health Service in the UK could be ruled in the private tribunals set up under the partnership as an impediment to private medical insurance and sued for damages by private firms and even forced into abolishment.

The corrupt UK government under Washington’s vassal David Cameron has blocked access to legal documents that show the impact of the Trans-Atlantic partnership on Britain’s National Health Service.

For any citizen of any Western country who is so stupid or brainwashed as not to have caught on, the entire thrust of “their” government’s policy is to turn every aspect of their lives over to grasping private interests.

In the UK the postal service was sold at a nominal price to politically connected private interests. In the US the Republicans, and perhaps the Democrats, intend to privatize Medicare and Social Security, just as they have privatized many aspects of the military and the prison system. Public functions are targets for private profit-making.

One of the reasons for the escalation in the cost of the US military budget is its privatization. The privatization of the US prison system has resulted in huge numbers of innocent people being sent to prison, where they are forced to work for Apple Computer, IT services, clothing companies that manufacture for the US military, and a large number of other private businesses. The prison laborers are paid as low as 69 cents per hour, below the Chinese wage.

This is America today. Corrupt police. Corrupt prosecutors. Corrupt judges. But maximum profits for US Capitalism from prison labor. Free market economists glorified private prisons, alleging that they would be more efficient. And indeed they are efficient in providing the profits of slave labor for capitalists.

Here is a news report on UK Prime Minister Cameron denying information about the effect of the Trans-Atlantic partnership on Britains’ National Health.

The UK Guardian, which often has to prostitute itself in order to maintain a bit of independence, describes the anger that the British people feel toward the government’s secrecy about an issue so fundamental to the well being of the British people. Yet, the British continue to vote for political parties that have betrayed the British people.

All over Europe, the corrupt Washington-contolled governments have distracted people from their sellout by “their” governments by focusing their attention on immigrants, whose presence is a consequence of the European governments representing Washington’s interests and not the interest of their own peoples.

Somthing dire has happened to the intelligence and awareness of Western peoples who seem no longer capable of comprehending the machinations of “their” governments.

Accountable government in the West is history. Nothing but failure and collapse awaits Western civilization.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-31/paul-craig-roberts-west-being-reduced-looting-itself
 

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#10

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#12
Asian Metals Market Update
By: Chintan Karnani, Insignia Consultants
The next seven days are crucial for gold, silver, copper, crude oil and the US dollar. Last week, negative interest rates by the bank of Japan is the result of currency wars. Every nation is banking on currency weakness to spruce growth. Gains in the Japanese yen will prevent a very quick rise for gold, silver and copper.


Gold and Silver Market Morning: Feb-1-2016
By: Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold/Silver Forecaster - Global Watch
The New York gold price closed Friday at $1,117.30 up from $1,114.50 up $2.80. In Asia on Monday, it lifted it to $1,121.35 ahead of London’s opening and then the LBMA set it at $1,122.00 up from $1,112.90 with the dollar index up at 99.40 up from 99.08 Friday. The euro was down at $1.0863 down from $1.0918 against the dollar. The gold price in the euro was set at €1,032.86 up from €1,019.33 a strong surge forward. Ahead of New York’s opening, the gold price was trading at $1,122.00 and in the euro at €1,032.44.
 

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#14
Frontrunning: February 2


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/02/2016 07:34 -0500

  • Punxsutawney Phil Does Not see shadow, signifying an early spring (CBS)
  • Front-Runners Give Ground as Rivals Make Mark in Iowa (WSJ)
  • Republican Cruz bests Trump in Iowa race, Clinton edges out Sanders (Reuters)
  • Iowa Narrows the Field (BBG)
  • Global stocks snap winning streak as oil pressure returns (Reuters)
  • ‘Dark Pool’ Settlements Bring Tangled Relationships to Light (WSJ)
  • BP Shares Plunge on Steep Loss Amid Oil Price Slide (WSJ)
  • UBS Shares Tank on Wealth-Management Performance (WSJ)
  • Oil slips toward $33 as hopes for production cut fade (Reuters)
  • Oil-Price Poker: Why the Saudis Won’t Fold ‘Em (WSJ)
  • Collapse in crude brings North Sea fields near end of production (FT)
  • Who could have seen this coming: For Once, Low Oil Prices May Be a Problem for World's Economy (BBG)
  • EU Publishes Proposals to Address U.K. Demands (WSJ)
  • Flood of Oil Asset Writedowns Seen Across Asia on Crude Rout (BBG)
  • Spin-off or sale? Yahoo turnaround plan in focus as earnings awaited (Reuters)
  • Euro-Area Labor Market Slowly Improves as Jobless Rate Falls (BBG)
  • Chinese football clubs go on global shopping spree (FT)
  • House Republicans to push Puerto Rico bill by end of March (Reuters)
  • BP CEO Says Debt Can Rise to Sustain Dividend During Oil Slump (BBG)
  • U.S. budget plan includes over $13 billion for new submarine (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest

FT

* EasyJet Plc plans to test a hydrogen fuel cell system that could save about 50,000 tonnes of fuel per year and cut carbon emissions. This would mean the airline would no longer need to use its jet engines during lengthy taxi operations, like moving the plane from the runaway to the gate.

* Tony Durrant, chief executive of Premier Oil Plc, said the UK oil regulator should have the power to step in and protect big equipment, such as pipelines or oil refineries. Durrant said such powers were needed to ensure that cash-strapped companies didn't allow old equipment to decline to the point where entire oilfields must close early.

* Alphabet Inc, Google's holding company, is set to become the world's most valuable company when stock market trading begins trading on Tuesday, following results that beat Wall Street estimates.

* Ryanair Holdings Plc plans to return 800 million euros ($871.52 million) to investors through its largest-ever share buyback, highlighting how Europe's leading budget airline has made significant progress to overhaul its aggressive image and poor customer service



NYT

- Wall Street got its first glimpse of the financial details of a new conglomerate called Alphabet Inc on Monday. Revenue increased 24 percent in the most recent quarter, positioning the outfit formerly known as Google to become the world's most valuable company. (http://nyti.ms/1KT4MVb)

- A former Yahoo! Inc manager, who lost his job, filed a suit in California on Monday saying the system, which has been used to fire hundreds of employees, is discriminatory and violates the law. (http://nyti.ms/1PRp3lI)

- American International Group Inc is sticking with a strategic plan that aims to streamline the company but falls far short of calls from activist shareholders like Carl Icahn to break into three. (http://nyti.ms/1Q9pvWz)

- SFX Entertainment Inc, the company created four years ago to capitalize on the popularity of dance music festivals, declared bankruptcy on Monday, after a troubled year in which the company's founder abandoned a takeover bid and its stock plunged by more than 95 percent. (http://nyti.ms/1Pc7Ld6)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Canada is losing medium skilled jobs at an alarming rate and the system is ill equipped to move workers to where they are needed, including high skilled positions in other industries, according to a new report being released on Tuesday by the CD Howe Institute, a Toronto-based economic think tank. (http://bit.ly/1o1z0k4)

** In a bid to break out of a depressed market for junior miners in general and nickel projects in particular, Royal Nickel Corp announced it was acquiring a stake in Salt Lake Mining, an Australian nickel and gold producer, as well as all of Vancouver-based VMS Ventures Inc, part owner of a copper mine in Manitoba. (http://bit.ly/1o1zo1Z)

** David Baazov, chairman and chief executive of Amaya Inc , owner of the popular PokerStars brand, said on Monday that he and an unnamed group of investors, with whom he is "in discussions", plan to make a takeover offer for all the shares of the company at C$21 per share, for a total valuation of about C$2.8 billion ($2 billion). (http://bit.ly/1o1zVB4)

NATIONAL POST

** Alberta Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous and Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd announced a new program on Monday, which would give companies building new petrochemical plants a total of C$500 million ($357 million) in royalty credits. (http://bit.ly/1o1Alap)

** Canada's biggest banks are relying more heavily on wholesale funding than their global peers, a situation that tends to raise the risk of periodic difficulties in refinancing debt, according to Moody's Investors Service. (http://bit.ly/1o1Azi0)

** A pregnant Canadian who travelled to Brazil in December told the National Post that she is facing aborting her baby because she has been refused testing for the Zika virus, which the World Health Organization on Monday declared a global emergency.



Britain

The Times

One of Britain's biggest retailers, Matalan, has been placed in Lloyds Banking Group's business support unit, which was set up to help troubled companies. It is understood that the heavily indebted fashion and homewares retailer approached Lloyds late last year and asked to be placed in the bank's support unit. (http://thetim.es/1PNwq7n)

Clydesdale Bank Plc <IPO-CLBP.L> has cleared the final big legal hurdle for its planned stock market flotation and separation from National Australia Bank. The demerger from its parent was approved by the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, Monday, allowing conditional trading in the shares of CYBG, the new entity covering the operations of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, to begin Tuesday. (http://thetim.es/1PNwJz0)

The Guardian

The founder of easyJet Plc has opened a discount food store that is selling everyday groceries for 25 pence each. Stelios Haji-Ioannou has launched easyFoodstore in an attempt to take advantage of the fast-growing discount market in the UK, which is led by Aldi and Lidl. (http://bit.ly/1PNClJt)

The Telegraph

BT Group Plc has revealed a management shake-up ahead of its 12.5 billion pounds takeover of Britain's biggest mobile company, EE, having also posted its best quarterly revenue growth in more than seven years. (http://bit.ly/1PNC0Xj)

EasyJet Plc passengers could be served waste water produced by their plane's fuel system, after the airline unveiled plans to trial zero-emission hydrogen technology. (http://bit.ly/1PNC4WV)

Sky News

Morrisons has announced plans to cut the cost of more than 1,000 "staple" products - in a move likely to add fuel to the ongoing supermarket price war. The UK's fourth-largest grocer will slash the prices of many items, including fruit and vegetables, by an average of 19%. (http://bit.ly/1PNyrk2)

Eight new projects in UK have been given 20 million pounds ($1.44 million) to research and develop driverless car technology. The money will be used to help improve the communications systems between vehicles and the urban environment - including "talking car technologies." (http://bit.ly/1PNALr0)

The Independent

The wealthy Indian Gupta family, which owns Liberty House Group and Simec, is looking at plans to float a minority stake in its international steel-to-industrial empire that could value the business at $1 billion. (http://ind.pn/1PNCAnR)


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-02/frontrunning-february-2
 

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#15
Groundhog Day Trading: Stocks Slide As Oil Plunge Returns; BP Suffers Biggest Loss On Record


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/02/2016 06:57 -0500


It certainly does feel like groundhog day today because while last week's near record oil surge is long forgotten, and one can debate the impact the result of last night's Iowa primary which saw Trump disappoint to an ascendant Ted Cruz while Hillary and Bernie were practically tied, one thing is certain: today's continued decline in crude, which has seen Brent and WTI both tumble by over 3% has once again pushed global stocks and US equity futures lower, offsetting the euphoria from last night's earnings beat by Google which made Alphabet the largest company in the world by market cap.

Among the drivers for today's oil weakness was news that Russia pushed their oil output to fresh post-soviet highs amid the recent price slump, as crude output reaches 10.9mln bpd in Jan'16. At the same time JBC said that far from dropping, OPEC output actually rose to 32.42m b/d in Jan vs 32.38m in December.

The oil story was so dominant overnight that not even the surge in Chinese equities did anything to boost sentiment, with the Composite higher by 2.3%. Perhaps a reason for this was that China's animal spirits are clearing fading, and as reported overnight, margin debt in China’s stock market shrank to the lowest level since December 2014, a sign that the stock market bubble has not only burst but is not coming back: the outstanding balance of margin debt on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges dropped for 22 straight days to 897.6 billion yuan ($136.4 billion) on Monday. According to Bloomberg, it fell below the lows reached during a summer rout when the Shanghai gauge tumbled more than 40 percent from mid-June through its August low.

Compounding the bad commodity news was BP's results, which posted a loss of $6.5 billion: the biggest in its history: 2015 was even worse for the London-based company than its 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe which resulted in a $3.72 billion loss, as the company took charges of more than $40 billion to cover the legal, operational and environmental costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.



Also not helping sentiment was a drop by UBS Group which slid after pretax profit at its investment bank trailed predictions.

"People are very spooked about what they can’t see, and at the moment they can’t see where global growth will come from,” Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management in London, told Bloomberg. “In a market like this, less certainty around the U.S. election cycle will add further nerves. The last thing investors need is more background noise.”

A quick summary of where risk stands now:

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.7% to 1918
  • Stoxx 600 down 1.4% to 336.7
  • FTSE 100 down 1.8% to 5953
  • DAX down 1% to 9664
  • German 10Yr yield down 4bps to 0.32%
  • Italian 10Yr yield down 1bp to 1.46%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.9% to 122
  • Nikkei 225 down 0.6% to 17751
  • Hang Seng down 0.8% to 19447
  • Shanghai Composite up 2.3% to 2750
  • US 10-yr yield down 2bps to 1.92%
  • Dollar Index down 0.04% to 98.97
  • WTI Crude futures down 3.4% to $30.54
  • Brent Futures down 3.4% to $33.09
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,125
  • Silver spot down 0.6% to $14.27
Looking at regional markets, we start in Asia where equities traded in mostly in negative territory with yet again oil prices the familiar culprit as hopes over cooperation between OPEC and Non OPEC members in regards to a production cut fades , alongside the tepid lead from Wall Street. As such, the ASX 200 (-1.00%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) were dragged lower by energy names, with the latter also pressured by a stronger JPY. However, the Shanghai Comp (+2.2%) outperformed as the PBoC injected more liquidity into the market via open-market-operations, subsequently providing ample liquidity ahead of the Lunar New Year, while the central bank continued to set a firmer CNY fix. JGBs fell albeit marginally so following a lacklustre auction which drew a lower than prior b/c as well as the widest tail in 10-months.

"It’s still a volatile market,” said Rafael Palma Gil, a Manila-based trader at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., which oversees about $1.8 billion in assets. “While central banks have become relatively more accommodating, this stance doesn’t remove the concern of a global economic slowdown, with the weakness in China."

Asian Top News

  • Nintendo Profit Falls 36% on Lack of Hit Games, Currency: Wii U, 3DS hardware sales languish despite Splatoon, Mario; 3Q oper. profit +5% to 33.5b yen vs est. 33.2b yen
  • Nomura Profit Falls as Firm Postpones Overseas Earnings Goal: 3Q net income 35.4b yen; est. 38.7b yen; bank is on track for sixth straight annual pretax loss abroad
  • China Eases Mortgage Down Payment to 20% for First Time Buyers: Will allow banks to cut the minimum required mortgage down payment to 20% from 25% for first home purchases
  • PBOC Said to Ask Lenders to Control Wealth Management Funds: China’s central bank has told lenders it will require greater control over the amount of wealth management product funds they give to brokerages and other financial institutions to manage
  • Singapore Seizes ‘Large Number’ of Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe: Officials investigate possible money laundering since mid-2015
  • Japan Trading Houses Facing $13 Billion Hit on Commodity Misfire: As raw-material prices fall, focus shifts to other businesses
  • China’s Top Macro Fund Wagers Against Consumption-Driven Growth: Congrong sees wage growth slowing abruptly in second quarter
  • China Hands Investors Risk-Free Returns as IPOs Lure $1 Trillion: Benchmark’s top performers in 2016 are all newly issued stocks
  • India Said to Ask Banks at Least $295 Million in Back Taxes: Notices may be issued by April
In Europe, oil once again dictates price action as this week's continued softness in WTI and Brent translates into weakness in the major indices , led lower by the energy sector. BP is a notable laggard and despite the market being prepared for bad numbers, trades in negative territory by 8.1% after posting Q4 earnings, consequently the FTSE 100 (-1.7%) is a marked underperformer. UBS (-7.9%) also reported earnings today, missing on expectations and warning of further FX headwinds.

European Top News

  • Euro-Area Unemployment Falls as ECB Weighs Stimulus Measures: Region’s jobless rate decreased to 10.4% from 10.5% in Nov., est. unchanged at 10.5%; rate at lowest since Sept. 2011
  • German Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low as Job Market Booms: Jobless rate fell to 6.2%, the lowest level since German reunification, from 6.3%; joblessness slid to seasonally-adjusted 2.73m
  • Sainsbury Agrees to Buy Home Retail for About $1.9b: Sainsbury will pay about 161.3p in cash and stock per Home Retail share, a 63% premium above the closing price prior to the emergence of discussions, to lead to profit synergies of GBP120m or more
  • Danske Bank Unveils $1.3b Share Buyback Program: Said will buy back another DKK9b ($1.3b) in shares; forecast 2016 net profit in line with 2015’s results, before goodwill impairments, 4Q adj. net DKK4.64b vs est. DKK3.74b
  • Sanofi, Merck Said to Consider Exiting Vaccine Joint Venture: Sanofi CEO Brandicourt is reviewing the alliance because of a lack of promising assets in the business’s pipeline; venture had sales of about $330m in first half of 2015
  • Kuoni Agrees to $1.4 Billion Takeover Bid From EQT Partners: EQT offering CHF370 per B share, 32% above Dec. 30 closing price
  • Raiffeisen Shares Jump After Lower Provisions Lift 2015 Profit: Full yr Net income was EU383m compared with loss of EU617m yr ago; profit was better than anticipated because of lower provisions for impairments
  • EU Nears Agreement on U.K. Demands After Talks Make Progress: Still ‘outstanding issues’ to resolve, EU President Tusk says
  • Fiat Offers New Settings for Diesel Motors to Make Them Cleaner: Carmaker says vehicles have no defeat device to cheat tests, says all its cars comply with emission regulations
In FX, it has been another range bound morning early London, though Asia saw some volatility with AUD/USD swinging up and down in the aftermath of the RBA — which offered little fresh insight overall. However, London markets are testing support levels at .7040, with .7005 seen lower down. USD/JPY lows were extended to 120.33 on Oil losses prompting a knock on effect on stocks, but since consolidating above 120.50.

The euro advanced against all major peers, posting the biggest gains versus the currencies of raw-material producing nations including South Africa’s rand and the New Zealand and Austrian dollars. It climbed 0.2 percent to $1.0913, while the yen appreciated 0.2 percent to 120.79 per dollar.

Malaysia’s ringgit dropped 1.3 percent against the U.S. dollar. Bank accounts related to possible money laundering associated with state-investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd. were seized by authorities in Singapore and the Swiss Attorney General announced it’s pursuing an investigation into alleged diversion of funds

CAD and other Oil related FX losses contained. USD/CNH pushing through 6.6200.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which measures returns from 22 raw materials, fell 0.7 percent, dragged down by falling oil prices. Gold retreated from a three-month high.

WTI and Brent continue to edge lower as North American participants come to their desks, with market expectations of an OPEC- Non-OPEC agreement to cut production waning . Brent is above the USD 33.00 handle, but only just and WTI trades below USD 31.00. Price action in today's session will likely be dictated too by any further comments from OPEC or energy ministers, if not, then participants will await the release of API Crude Oil inventors to guide price action.

Gold was marginally softer overnight with the precious metal remaining near 3-month highs having touched USD 1,130.11/oz yesterday , near its 200 DMA of USD 1,131.25, while growing confidence in the yellow metal was reflected by holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rising 1.82%. Analysts have noted that this 200 DMA offers an important level of resistance with traders keeping one eye on the jobs report on Friday. Sport gold has retraced some of its gains in recent trade, and has just broken below the 1125.00 level.

Base metals rallied, with zinc climbing to the highest in almost three months, as news of further stimulus in China increased expectations of greater demand from the world’s top commodity consumer.

The move higher, which saw zinc lift 1.3 percent to $1,669 a metric ton and copper push to a three-week high, was amplified by short-covering, according to Citigroup Inc. analyst David Wilson.

In terms of the day ahead, this morning in Europe the focus looks set to be on the labour market reports where we’ll see the latest unemployment rate print for Germany and the Euro area in particular. Euro area PPI is also due out this morning. It’s a much quieter afternoon for data in the US with just the February IBD/TIPP economic optimism reading, along with January vehicles sales data due up. Away from the data we’ll hear from the ECB’s Coeure this morning while later this evening the Kansas City Fed’s George is due to speak on the US economic outlook and monetary policy at 6.00pm GMT. Earnings season continues with 31 S&P 500 companies set to report including Pfizer, Yahoo and Exxon Mobil.

Global Top News:

  • Clinton Narrowly Edges Sanders in Iowa; Cruz Upsets Trump: Rubio comes in third in GOP contest marked by high turnout, Clinton’s victory is razor-thin in Iowa Democratic caucus; Iowa Results Slow Clinton’s March Toward the Nomination; Rubio May Consolidate Support as Alternative to Cruz, Trump
  • Google Parent To Overtake Apple as World’s Most Valuable Company: Alphabet 4Q adj. EPS $8.67 vs est. $8.09; 4Q rev. ex-TAC $17.3b vs est. $16.9b
  • BP Profit Falls 91%, Missing Estimates, as Oil Slump Deepens: 4Q adj. net $196m vs Est. $815m; net loss for the year was $6.5b, the most in at least 30 yrs; adj. profit drops y/y for 6 straight quarters
  • Anadarko Cuts Spending as It Seeks to Rebound From Record Loss: Capital budget reduced by almost half to about $2.8b
  • UBS Drops as Quarterly Profit Slumps at Wealth, Securities Unit: At the wealth-management unit 4Q pretax profit fell 47% to CHF344m, investment bank had drop of 63% to CHF80m, below estimates of analysts in a Bloomberg survey; raises div. to 85 centimes for 2015 from 75 centimes
  • Pentagon Said to Seek 35% Fund Boost for Islamic State Fight: Will seek a 35% increase in funding for the fight against Islamic State in its next budget, bringing the request for U.S. military efforts against the terrorist group to $7.5b
  • Goldman Censured by Hong Kong Regulator Over Wing Hang Deal: Goldman Sachs was censured by Hong Kong’s securities regulator for breaching the city’s takeovers code while advising Wing Hang Bank Ltd. on its acquisition by a Singaporean lender
  • Google Search Probe by U.S. Should Get New Look, Utah Says: Utah, D.C. urge FTC to revisit case in light of EU complaint
  • Fidelity Writes Down Snapchat Holding by 2 Percent: Snapchat had raised funds at $16b valuation last year
  • Yahoo’s Employee Ranking Targeted in Mass Termination Lawsuit: Accused in a lawsuit of manipulating employee performance evaluations to justify firing hundreds of workers in order to meet its financial targets
  • Monsanto-Created Weedkiller Is Most Used in History, Study Says: About 18.9b pounds of glyphosate have been used globally since sales began in 1974
  • Texas Shale Drillers Lure $2b in New Equity to Permian: Drillers in the Permian Basin, the biggest U.S. shale field, have raised at least $2b from share sales over past 8 weeks


Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk and Bloomberg

  • WTI and Brent continue to edge lower as North American participants come to their desks, with market expectations of an OPEC/ non-OPEC agreement to cut production waning
  • Continued softness in WTI and Brent translates into weakness in the major indices, with BP underperforming following poor Q4 earnings
  • Highlights include, API crude oil inventories, dairy whole milk powder auction, comments from ECB's Coeure and Fed's George
  • Treasuries rise overnight as world equity markets resume slide amid declining oil prices ahead of today’s vehicle sales and ISM reports.
  • Australia’s central bank will weigh a strengthening jobs market against the impact of recent global financial turbulence in deciding whether to ease policy further, as bank Governor Stevens and his board kept the cash rate at a record-low 2%
  • India’s central bank kept the benchmark repurchase rate at 6.75% for a second straight meeting as it awaits details of the government’s budget later this month, providing support for a currency battered by China-led market turmoil
  • China’s central bank said it will allow banks to cut the minimum required mortgage down payment to 20% from 25% for first-home purchases to the lowest level ever as it steps up support for the property market
  • China Banking Regulatory Commission Chairman Shang Fulin said at a meeting with lenders last month that banks need to avoid risks that could cause systemic problems for the banking sector
  • U.S. Treasury Department will issue an estimated $250 billion in net marketable debt in the January-March quarter, compared with $165 billion estimated three months ago, according to a statement released Monday in Washington
  • After seeing their borrowing costs rise to their highest level since 2012, U.S. companies may have at least one ray of hope: yield-starved foreign money managers are now holding a record percentage of U.S. corporate bonds outstanding, according to Federal Reserve data
  • Nomura, dragged down by its money-losing business outside Japan, posted a 49% drop in third-quarter profit and said an earnings goal for overseas operations will be reached later than initially targeted
  • BP Plc reported a 91% decline in fourth-quarter earnings after average crude oil prices dropped to the lowest in more than a decade; the company’s shares fell the most since August
  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign declared victory in the closest- ever Iowa Democratic caucus while Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won the state’s Republican caucuses in an upset over billionaire Donald Trump
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields little changed. Asian, European stocks lower; U.S. equity-index futures drop. Crude oil and gold fall, copper rallies
US Event Calendar

  • 9:45am: ISM New York, Jan. (prior 62)
  • 10:00am: IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism, Feb., est. 47.6 (prior 47.3)
    • Wards Domestic Vehicle Sales, Jan., est. 13.70m (prior 13.46m)
    • Wards Total Vehicle Sales, Jan., est. 17.30m (prior 17.22m)
Central Banks

  • 1:00pm: Fed’s George speaks in Kansas City
  • 7:00pm: Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Wheeler speaks in Christchurch
  • 9:30pm: Bank of Japan’s Kuroda speaks in Tokyo
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

The relentless rally that we had seen across rates market so far this year finally paused for breath yesterday. European sovereign bond yields edged anywhere from 3 to 6bps higher (10y Bunds were up 3bps to 0.349%) while 10y Treasury yields finished the session up 2.8bps at 1.949% and off the recent cycle lows. In fact bond yields edged higher despite Oil prices trending steadily lower over the past 24 hours. The soft China manufacturing data as well as some chatter of pushback on an OPEC meeting to discuss potential production cuts combined to send WTI down $2 (-5.95%) and back below $32/bbl.

European equity markets closed with losses yesterday although the Stoxx 600 (-0.19%) did manage to stage a bit of a rebound into the close. In fact sentiment improved from the afternoon session in the US as the S&P 500, after being down as much as 1% managed to recoup all of the day’s losses to at one stage trade with a modest gain, before finishing near unchanged (-0.04%) by the closing bell. Dovish comments from Fed Vice-Chair Fischer helped the positive momentum. Fischer warned as to risks of a slowdown in US growth and inflation given recent global developments with risks of a persistent tightening of financial conditions. The Fed official also acknowledged the possibility of the unemployment rate overshooting the longer-run normal level based on FOMC projections.

Looking at markets this morning, aside from China it’s been a broadly weaker start across the region with no sign of that momentum carrying over from the US session last night. The BoJ-inspired rally in Japan has stuttered with the Nikkei currently down -0.64%, while the Hang Seng (-0.74%), Kospi (-0.75%) and ASX (-1.00%) are also lower. The moves aren’t being helped by another 2% drop for Oil, while US equity futures are also down around half a percent despite a bumper set of results from Alphabet which saw shares up over 9% in extended trading last night, leaving the company in pole position to overtake Apple as the world’s most valuable company today. The outlier in markets this morning is in China where the Shanghai Comp is up a sharp +2.33% despite no obvious newsflow. Meanwhile the RBA has left its cash rate unchanged at 2% as expected.

The other main overnight development has come in the US Presidential race, with the Iowa caucus in full swing. In what appears to be a surprising swing (given recent momentum) and with 85% of the votes accounted for in the Republican vote, Texas Senator Cruz looks set to beat Donald Trump after accumulating 28% of votes to Trump’s 24%. Significant also is the performance of third placed Senator Rubio, who has won 23% of votes which appears to be more than expected. Meanwhile it’s a closely thought contest for the Democrats with Clinton leading Sanders by less than 1%. The third Democratic who had been in the race, O’Malley, has dropped out. Expect confirmation of the final votes soon.

Back to markets. Yesterday’s economic data was centered on another disappointing ISM manufacturing print out of the US (48.2 vs. 48.4 expected and the fourth consecutive sub-50 reading). The print was 0.2pts higher than the downwardly revised December data but much was made of the drop in the employment component to 45.9 (-2.1pts) and the lowest since June 2009. This of course comes before Friday’s employment report. Meanwhile the December core PCE print was slightly below expectations at 0.0% mom (vs. +0.1% expected) while the same can be said for the deflator (-0.1% mom vs. 0.0% expected). Personal income was up a slightly better than expected +0.3% mom in December (vs. +0.2% expected) while personal spending missed (0.0% mom vs. +0.1% expected). Meanwhile construction spending notably undershot relative to consensus estimates at +0.1% mom (vs. +0.6% expected).

Moving on. Yesterday we also got some comments from ECB President Draghi who made reference to the effectiveness of recent QE measures, specifically that ‘second-round effects’ were occurring while reiterating that the ‘weaker than anticipated growth in wages together with declining inflation expectations call for careful analysis ahead of the upcoming meeting next month. Draghi also made some comments on the UK and specifically that ‘a solution that would anchor the UK firmly within the EU while allowing the euro area to integrate further would boost confidence’. As far as Brexit negotiations, EU President Tusk is set to send a draft proposal at some point this morning which is set to be the used to form the basis of discussion for EU heads of state at the February 18th/19thsummit around the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Tusk highlighted that good progress has been made with the hope that both sides can come to agreement ahead of a possible UK referendum as early as June.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, the other notable takeaway from yesterday’s newsflow was the Fed’s latest survey of senior loan officers. The survey, covering Q4, showed that lenders were said to have tightened lending standards on commercial and industrial loans, and expect to tighten further in 2016. The survey did however suggest that banks had moderately eased standards for mortgages and auto loans for households.

In terms of the day ahead, this morning in Europe the focus looks set to be on the labour market reports where we’ll see the latest unemployment rate print for Germany and the Euro area in particular. Euro area PPI is also due out this morning. It’s a much quieter afternoon for data in the US with just the February IBD/TIPP economic optimism reading, along with January vehicles sales data due up. Away from the data we’ll hear from the ECB’s Coeure this morning while later this evening the Kansas City Fed’s George is due to speak on the US economic outlook and monetary policy at 6.00pm GMT. Earnings season continues with 31 S&P 500 companies set to report including Pfizer, Yahoo and Exxon Mobil.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-02/groundhog-day-trading-stocks-slide-oil-plunge-returns
 

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#16
Caught On Tape: Chinese Investors Find Out They Got Fleeced By A $7 Billion Ponzi Scheme


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/01/2016 22:40 -0500


When it comes to all things China, the old adage “go big or go home” certainly applies.

The country’s monumental expansion in the wake of the financial crisis was financed by borrowing on a massive scale, as the country’s debt burden rose from “just” $7 trillion in 2007 to more than $28 trillion today. That’s big.

Last year, at the peak of the country’s equity bubble, margin financing outstanding amounted to 18% of the SHCOMP’s free float market cap. Also big.

When the PBoC moved to devalue the yuan last August, Beijing ended up triggering an enormous amount of volatility that reverberated through global markets and culminated with an 8% one-day decline for the SHCOMP on August 24 and a 1,000 point drop in the Dow the same day. Again, big.

On Monday we got the latest “big” news out of China when Beijing announced it had arrested 21 people over a $7.6 billion P2P fraud Ezubao. 900,000 people were defrauded, making the fiasco the biggest ponzi scheme in history by number of victims.

Ezubao’s model was simple: they pitched the “business” as a P2P lending company through which investors could fund a variety of projects. The problem: 95% of the projects didn’t exist. Ezubao just made them up and used the new money to repay existing investors who were promised annual returns of between 9% and 15%.



(the locked door at Ezubao's office in Hangzhou)

Zhang Min, the former president of Yucheng Group, Ezubao’s parent, calls the company “a complete Ponzi scheme.”

Yes, a “complete ponzi scheme”, and one that was quite lucrative for Yucheng chairman Ding Ning who allegedly bought extravagant gifts for friends including a CNY12 million pink diamond ring and a CNY50 million green emerald.

The company's assets have been frozen since December. Investments were pitched to unsuspecting Chinese as "high yield, low risk."

"According to more than one suspect confessed, Ding Ning and several closely related group of female executives, their private life extremely extravagant, spendthrift to suck money," a highly amusing Google translation of the original Xinhua story reads.

Ding Ning paid his brother CNY100 million per month, Xinhua says.

"Police used two excavators and dug for 20 hours to unearth 80 bags of evidence that Ezubo executives had buried six meters underground on the outskirts of Hefei, a city in the eastern province of Anhui," Bloomberg adds.

On thing we've discussed at length over the past year is the extent to which China is teetering on the verge of social unrest. Between the stock market meltdown, the cratering economy (which will invariably lead to massive job losses) Chinese policymakers are going to have their hands full explaining what went wrong to the country's 1.4 billion people (see here for more).

Needless to say, the revelation that 900,000 people were defrauded in a ponzi scheme run through China's largely unregulated P2P space won't help matters. "Cases of illegal fund-raising related to peer-to-peer lending have grown quickly in the past two years, according to the local authorities, and officials pledged in December to tighten regulation of the industry," The New York Times writes. "Because of the enormous sums involved and the large investor base, the collapse of a major online-financing platform could raise concerns over confidence in the security of such investments."

Here's a clip of Ezubao's defrauded "clients" protesting late last month. Expect more of this to come. And not just as it relates to ponzi schemes.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...d-out-they-got-fleeced-7-billion-ponzi-scheme
 

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#17
Gold & Silver Market Morning: Feb-2-2016
By: Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold Forecaster
If the U.S. sees a downturn for at least one quarter the E.U. will fare far worse. The E.U. wants a weaker euro to grasp at other nations exports, but is now unlikely to get it. The real answer lies in going to the consumer and boosting his income, job security and the value of his assets. Until this happens economic prospects in the developed world are unlikely to improve.
 

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#18
Google Parent To Overtake Apple as World's Most Valuable Company
Google parent Alphabet Inc. is poised to become the world's most valuable company, taking the crown away from Silicon Valley rival Apple Inc. after reporting higher profit and sales fueled by a booming advertising business that's supporting ambitious new projects. [Full Story]

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#19

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#20

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#21
The Great Minarchist/Anarchist Debate - Jeff Berwick on The Richie Allen Show
TheDollarVigilante


Published on Feb 1, 2016
Jeff is interviewed by Richie Allen on the Richie Allen show, topics include: the upcoming Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco, Mexico 19-21st Feb, debt slavery, wealth inequality and central banking, state of the nation lies, government cannot create jobs, gross interference in the markets, free market vs the environment & natural rights, great prosperity without government, the coming economic collapse, bank bail-ins, getting prepared, Bitcoin, Gold and Silver, the war on cash, any reduction in state power is a win.

The Richie Allen Show on David Icke's website: http://www.davidicke.com/richie-allen...

The Richie Allen Show on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCScs...

Free copy of 'The Market for Liberty' courtesy of the Mises Institute: https://mises.org/library/market-libe...

TDV Investment and Internationalization Summit: http://anarchapulco.com/workshops/tdv/

Anarchapulco, Anarchast's Annual Conference: http://anarchapulco.com

The Dollar Vigilante on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DollarVigila...

The Dollar Vigilante: http://dollarvigilante.com

Anarchast: http://anarchast.com/
 

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#22
Shipping & Energy 02/02:

Norway Waves License Fee for Laid-Up Offshore Vessels
http://gcaptain.com/norway-waves-license-fee-for-mothballed-offshore-vessels/#.VrD4lJX2bIU

EEX exchange looks beyond freight to steer through dry shipping storm
http://www.reuters.com/article/ship...trade-idUSL8N15G2VM?virtualBrandChannel=11563

IMB: Piracy Hotspots Persist Worldwide Despite Reductions in Key Areas
http://gcaptain.com/imb-piracy-hots...despite-reductions-in-key-areas/#.VrD5PZX2bIU

Port Of Oakland’s Second-Largest Terminal Operator Files For Bankruptcy
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...rgest-terminal-operator-files-for-bankruptcy/

Former Petrobras exec sentenced over Vantage Drilling contract
http://www.reuters.com/article/brazil-corruption-petrobras-idUSL2N15G1SH

Philly Shipyard Starts Building Four Vessels For American Petroleum Tankers
http://gcaptain.com/philly-shipyard...-for-american-petroleum-tankers/#.VrD6cJX2bIU

Dry Bulk Plunge Continues: Baltic Dry Index Sets New Record Low of 314
http://shipandbunker.com/news/world...s-baltic-dry-index-sets-new-record-low-of-314

Seadrill Deepens Cost Cuts to Ride Out CEO's Worst Rig Slump
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...s-cost-cuts-to-ride-out-ceo-s-worst-rig-slump

Peak Oil Review - Feb 1
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-02-01/peak-oil-review-2016-feb-1

U.S. coal for electricity plummets to 45-year low
http://www.mining.com/u-s-coal-for-electricity/

Managing Risk Through A Downturn
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Managing-Risk-Through-A-Downturn.html

OPEC Negotiations Could Draw Lessons from 1998 Deal
http://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/opec-negotiations-could-draw-lessons-from-1998-deal

BDI Hits 310, No Gains Yet This Year
http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/bdi-hits-310-no-gains-yet-this-year

AMP slams multiple errors in Jones Act report
http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?...ultiple-errors-in-jones-act-report&Itemid=231

Longshoremen rescue man from Columbia River
http://tdn.com/news/local/longshore...cle_d7b37a5e-70b3-5b52-9dc2-b0d9ac582fac.html

More turbulent water ahead as container shipping industry faces a $5bn loss this year
http://theloadstar.co.uk/turbulent-water-ahead-container-shipping-industry-faces-5bn-loss-year/
 

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#24
UPDATE: Federal Reserve Going Back To ZIRP
Fabian4Liberty


Published on Feb 2, 2016
 

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#26
Fear, IRA's, And Junk Silver
By: Andrew Hoffman
The PPT can huff and puff until its cancerous, tar-filled lungs are empty. Central banks can take rates to unprecedentedly negative levels; and the MSM can create all the – pardon my French – bulls–t rumors about potential Saudi Arabia and Russian production cuts. The Cartel can fix the silver “fix”; the Spanish government can “outlaw” Catalonian secession; the Troika can pretend Greece is “bailed-out”; and the BLS can claim 5% unemployment to its heart’s desire. But when all is said and done, “Economic Mother Nature” and the “unstoppable tsunami of reality” are rolling through such petty manipulations like Neo at the end of the Matrix.


Thoughts from the Frontline - Tokyo Doubles Down
By: John Mauldin
I’ve been busily writing a letter on oil and energy, but in the middle of the process I decided yesterday that I really needed to talk to you about the Bank of Japan’s “surprise” interest-rate move to -0.1%. And I don’t so much want to comment on the factual of the policy move as on what it means for the rest of the world, and especially the US.


Gold Seeker Closing Report: Gold and Silver End Near Unchanged
By: Chris Mullen, Gold-Seeker.com
Gold saw modest losses in Asia and London before it bounced back to $1130.44 by a little before 10AM EST and then dropped to a new session low of $1122.41 in the next couple of hours of trade, but it then rallied back higher into the close and ended with a gain of 0.04%. Silver rose to as high as $14.39 and ended with a loss of 0.28%.
 

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#28
Hugo Salinas-Gold Repriced at End of Contraction Phase
Greg Hunter


Published on Feb 2, 2016
Renowned retail billionaire Hugo Salinas Price says, “We are now in the contraction phase. When I call a debt on somebody, that party is going to call in the debts to him . . . and there is a cycle going on where everybody is going to try to collect from everybody else. So, it reinforces itself. When we come to the end of this contraction phase, we’re going to find a world where there is no other recourse but to revalue gold so that it makes debts payable. It makes money much smaller and less weight. Then we will have a lot of gold money that has gone up in value. Some people say (gold will be repriced to) $8,000 per ounce. Some people say it will be $10,000 per ounce, and others are going as far as $50,000 per ounce. I don’t know what the value of gold will be, but it will have the effect of diminishing the weight of debt on the world. I don’t know when this will take place, but I think that is coming, and it has to come. That will be the outcome of this century of inflation we have had. I think we are approaching a revaluation of gold.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Mexican billionaire Hugo Salinas Price.
 

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#29
Frontrunning: February 3


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2016 07:42 -0500

  • Oil lifts stocks off lows, yen and low-risk debt in favor (Reuters)
  • Yes, this agaim: Oil gains after Russia says open to talking with OPEC (Reuters)
  • More forecasts: Oil Prices Could Jump 50% by the End of 2016 (BBG)
  • New Risks for Trump After Iowa Loss (WSJ)
  • Yuan Gap Widens Again as Depreciation Bets Swamp PBOC Fightback (BBG)
  • Germany Struggles to Assess Security Threats Ahead of Carnival Season (WSJ)
  • Marco Rubio becomes early hope for mainstream U.S. Republicans (Reuters)
  • Dollar Bears Awaken Before Jobs Report as BOJ-Stoked Rally Fades (BBG)
  • Yahoo to Cut 15% of Workforce, Explore Strategic Options (WSJ)
  • Merck's Top-Selling Diabetes Drugs Fall Short of Sales Estimates (BBG)
  • Euro-Area Price Cuts Intensify Pressure on Draghi to Act (BBG)
  • Syngenta Agrees to $43 Billion ChemChina Takeover (WSJ)
  • China seeks food security with $43 billion bid for Syngenta (Reuters)
  • Starboard Takes 6.7% Stake in Marvell Technology (WSJ)
  • Australian asylum ruling paves way for deportation of infants (Reuters)
  • Perks Keep Getting Nicer—for Some Workers (BBG)
  • Greek military to oversee response to refugee crisis (Kath)
  • Putin Prepares to Court Foreign Investors Wary of Past Stumbles (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Exxon Mobil Corp posted its weakest annual results in more than a decade and BP PLC suffered a loss as big as that booked in the aftermath of the worst offshore oil spill in its history, showing the extent of the damage that the 20-month crude-price slump can inflict on even the biggest and most secure oil companies. (on.wsj.com/20FwfmA)

- The global retreat from risk intensified Tuesday, sending the Dow industrials to a 295.64-point decline and pushing U.S. crude futures to their deepest two-day drop since the financial crisis. (on.wsj.com/20FzeLM)

- Beaten in Iowa but unbowed, Republican Donald Trump returned Tuesday to the state that has served as his campaign home base facing a new set of challenges in what is likely to be a must-win primary. (on.wsj.com/1VK6CgM)

- Yahoo Inc has effectively hung a for-sale sign on its Web properties, signaling the possible end of a 20-year run by an Internet icon. The company on Tuesday said it would explore "strategic alternatives" as part of a restructuring that will eliminate roughly 15 percent of its workforce. (on.wsj.com/1JWbNd5)



FT

* Microsoft Corp is paying about $250 million to buy Swiftkey, maker of a predictive keyboard powered by artificial intelligence that is installed on hundreds of millions of smartphones.

* Luxembourg is going to launch an official initiative to promote the mining of asteroids for minerals. Collaborating with U.S. and European commercial partners, it aims to help create a new space industry to exploit asteroids for metals and other materials that are scarce on Earth.

* The United States and European Union have agreed a new deal for transferring data across the Atlantic. A top U.S. director of national intelligence will sign a pledge that the U.S. government will avoid "indiscriminate mass surveillance" of EU citizens when their information is sent from Europe to the United States.

* One of Britain's biggest supermarket chains J Sainsbury Plc agreed on Tuesday to pay 1.3 billion pounds ($1.87 billion) to acquire Home Retail Group Plc, while analysts at Sanford Bernstein say is "a carefully crafted deal".



NYT

- State-owned China National Chemical Corporation is nearing a deal to acquire Syngenta AG of Switzerland, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of agriculture chemicals and seeds, people with knowledge of the discussions said on Tuesday. (http://nyti.ms/20oMHe5)

- Facing investor demands for action, Yahoo! Inc said it would lay off workers and explore possibilities that include sale of some assets. (http://nyti.ms/1o4MThi)

- Experts on financial distress told lawmakers in Washington that Puerto Rico's financial troubles are so complex that bankruptcy alone would not solve them, and might make them worse. (http://nyti.ms/1SEM5uV)

- After a bitter face-off for more than a decade between Argentina and a group of disgruntled New York hedge funds, both sides have come to the negotiating table with fresh hopes of a resolution. (http://nyti.ms/1PyGjtJ)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Canadian pension plans took a major hit in January from the turmoil in global markets, suffering a drop in their funding solvency as bond yields fell and their investment portfolios posted losses, according to pension consulting firm Aon Hewitt. (http://bit.ly/1SFqRNm)

** China has reduced the sentence for Huseyin Celil, the Canadian man imprisoned for life on militant-related charges and for endangering state security. (http://bit.ly/1X2GgYU)

** Like oil producers around the world, Norway's national energy company Statoil has taken the axe to almost every part of its business. But Statoil is swimming against the tide in one important respect. It is among a handful of energy companies that has so far maintained its dividend, and it may be the only one that is actually considering raising the payout. (http://bit.ly/1Ssh5jw)

NATIONAL POST

** Ontario's largest credit union, Meridian, is trying to kick off the spring home buying season as temperatures outside make it look like April has already arrived in some parts of the country. (http://bit.ly/1NODYFE)

** Canadian auto sales soared 9.6 percent in January, with 11 different brands reporting double-digit growth. Continuing the trend of the past several months, pickup trucks and SUVs drove the sales increase, with light truck sales up 17 percent and passenger car sales down 3.8 percent, according to data from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. (http://bit.ly/1SXAAQD)

** Wal Mart Canada is bringing its "click and collect" online grocery service to Toronto this week. In Toronto, the service will be offered initially at 12 stores. It takes orders up to 21 days in advance and carries a pickup fee of C$ 3 ($2.14). (http://bit.ly/1SshP88)



Britain

The Times

British Gas is set to cut 500 jobs as Centrica Plc, its parent company, battles to trim costs as part of a sweeping restructuring drive. (http://thetim.es/1QZD7Z8)

The executive in charge of EDF's project to build an 18-billion-pound ($25.91-billion) nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset has quit the French state-controlled electricity company for a job in the United States. (http://thetim.es/1QZENBS)

The Guardian

Sainsbury's has agreed terms to buy Home Retail Group Plc, the owner of Argos, in a 1.3 billion pounds ($1.87 billion) deal which will create a combined food and non-food retailer that can take on Amazon and John Lewis. (http://bit.ly/1QZIckm)

The Financial Conduct Authority has told companies selling complex financial bets to do more to protect customers from losses and guard against money laundering. (http://bit.ly/1QZIYxM)

The Telegraph

Vodafone Group Plc has resumed talks with cable TV billionaire John Malone to discuss an asset swap with Liberty Global Plc. (http://bit.ly/1QZJP1m)

The boss of easyJet Plc has moved to quash speculation she is poised to leave the low-cost airline after confirming for the first time that she spurned an approach from Marks and Spencer Group Plc to take charge of the struggling retailer. (http://bit.ly/1QZK4JT)

Sky News

The Treasury has taken a step towards what could be a record-breaking privatisation by appointing advisers to oversee a 17-billion-pound ($24.47-billion) auction of chunks of Bradford and Bingley. (http://bit.ly/1QZKujw)

The Royal Automobile Club said it expected the cost of both petrol and diesel at the pumps to start to rise soon following seven consecutive months of average falls in petrol costs as world oil prices collapsed. (http://bit.ly/1QZKNLa)

The Independent

TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc lost more than 100,000 customers following the hacking attack in October, in which four million customers were warned that their personal data was put at risk. (http://ind.pn/1QZLB2q)


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-03/frontrunning-february-3
 

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#30
Europe Falls, U.S. Futures Rise As Oil Halts Two-Day Plunge


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2016 06:55 -0500

While the biggest news of the night had nothing to do with either oil or China, all that mattered to US equity futures trading also was oil and China, and since WTI managed to rebound modestly from their biggest 2-day drop in years, continuing the trend of unprecedented, HFT-driven volatility which has far surpassed that of equities and is shown in the chart below...



... despite the API reporting a jump in oil inventories, rising back over $30, and with China falling only 0.4% overnight after the National Team made a rare, for 2016, appearance and pushed stocks to close at the day's high, US E-minis were able to rebound from overnight lows in the mid-1880s, and levitate above 1900. Whether they sustain this level remains to be seen.

However, as noted above, the biggest news was neither oil nor China whose rigged volatility is now watercooler humor talk across trading floors, but the BOJ's Kuroda, who as reported previously, made many headlines overnight during a speech on NIRP such as the follolwing:

  • KURODA: POSSIBLE TO CUT NEGATIVE RATE FURTHER IF NEEDED
  • KURODA: BOJ NEEDS TO DEVISE NEW TOOLS IF MEASURES INSUFFICIENT
  • KURODA: BOJ WILL DO WHATEVER IT CAN TO REACH PRICE TARGET
What was disturbing about these is that not only was the BOJ unable to push the USDJPY, or Nikkei (which plunged 3.2%) higher, but the Japanese currency surged overnight wiping out almost all post-NIRP losses, and suggesting that central bank credibility is virtually gone. A few more "emergency actions" like the BOJ's and not all the HFT algos igniting upward momentum will be able to offset the avalanche of selling that is "pent up" and just waiting for the central bank admission of terminal failure, before all markets around the global are concurrently halted "due to market reasons."

But while US equity futures are enjoying today's crude levitation, Europe’s benchmark equity gauge dropped for a third day, with Italian banks leading losses, and the Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on investment-grade companies surpassed 100 basis points for the first time since October 2013. The yen strengthened for a third day. Oil recovered after its biggest two-day drop in almost seven years, buoying Russia’s ruble, and zinc climbed to the highest in almost three months.

Where we stand now:

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.3% at 1905
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.4% to 333.2
  • FTSE 100 down 0.8% to 5874
  • DAX down 1.3% to 9461
  • German 10Yr yield down less than 1bp to 0.3%
  • Italian 10Yr yield down 2bps to 1.47%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up less than 1bp to 1.59%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 2.1% to 119
  • Nikkei 225 down 3.2% to 17191
  • Hang Seng down 2.3% to 18992
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.4% to 2739
  • S&P/ASX 200 down 2.3% to 4877
  • US 10-yr yield up less than 1bp to 1.85%
  • Dollar Index down 0.22% to 98.66
  • WTI Crude futures up 1.5% to $30.33
  • Brent Futures up 1.5% to $33.20
  • Gold spot up less than 0.1% to $1,130
  • Silver spot up 0.6% to $14.39
Looking at regional markets, we start in Asia where the oil slump continued to linger and weigh down on global markets with local markets tracking Wall Street losses as WTI returned to sub-USD 30/bbl levels. Nikkei 225 (-3.2%) underperformed in the region as the dampened sentiment brought forth from oil with pressure also coming from a firmer JPY. ASX 200 (-2.3%) was unable to escape the grasp of the plunge in the energy complex, with the decline in oil dragging the index into negative territory. Shanghai Comp (-0.4%) abided by the trend set between the regional bourses as the index shrugged off the better than prior Caixin PMI readings in which the services figure printed a 6-month high. JGBs were supported by the risk off sentiment in the region alongside spill over buying in USTs, with yields falling to record lows across the curve.

Asian Top News:

  • China Said to Plan Loosening of Limits on Foreign Fund Outflows: China’s central bank plans to loosen controls on when foreign investors can bring money in and out of the country through QFII quotas, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter
  • Lenovo Tumbles as Sputtering PC, Phone Demand Hammers Sales: Rev. declines for the 1st quarter in more than 6 years
  • Billionaire Ruias Said to Hold Refinery Talks With Aramco, NIOC: Exploratory talks began last month on sale of Essar Oil stake
  • Panasonic Cuts Full-Year Oper Profit Forecast as China Slows: Lowers full-yr oper. profit forecast 4.7% to 410b yen; est. 426.6b yen; sales view down 5.6% to 7.55t yen; est. 7.88t yen
  • Hong Kong Property Stock Gloom Seen Deepening in Options Market: Traders paid most in 4 yrs in Jan. to hedge against losses on Sun Hung Kai Properties
  • BOJ Will Look Into Media Report Foreshadowing Negative Rates: Report by Nikkei news service came while Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and board were in closing stages of 2-day policy meeting
  • Yuan Basket Plan Gets Momentum as Singapore-Style Fix Floated: Former central bank adviser proposes 15% band on basket
  • Banker’s Accounts Said to Be Frozen in Singapore 1MDB Probe: Banker said to have been relationship manager for 1MDB Global
  • Billionaire Ruias Said to Discuss Refinery Deal With Aramco: Exploratory talks began last month on sale of Essar Oil stak
European equities opened relatively flat this morning, brushing off the firm risk off sentiment in Asia, which came in spite of positive Chinese services PMI data. As we head into the North American crossover equities are broadly in negative territory however, with a bid in oil preventing a more pronounced selloff. The SMI (-0.0%) outperforms its major counterparts, after Syngenta (+5.7%) confirmed yesterday's reports that they will be acquired by ChemChina , with the touted figure exceeding USD 43b1n or CHF 475/shr, the largest ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese conglomerate. Elsewhere, luxury names perform well in Europe following LVMH's (+5.9%) beat on headline revenue, which they posted after the European cash close yesterday.

European Top News:

  • Euro-Area Price Cuts Intensify Pressure on Draghi to Act: Euro area’s manufacturing and services industries cut prices at the fastest pace in almost a year in Jan.
  • U.K. Services Firms Start to Crack as Risks Mount: Confidence at U.K. services companies fell to the lowest in 3 yrs in Jan.
  • Swatch Sales Growth Forecast Draws Skepticism Amid Asia Slowdown: Watchmaker forecast sales gain “well over” 5% this year; 2015 oper. profit missed ests.
  • LVMH Shares Surge as Louis Vuitton Maker Beats Asian Blues: Fashion and leather-goods lead 4Q performance; 4Q organic revenue up 5%, topping the 3.9% estimate
  • BBVA Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates on Lower Provisions: BBVA 4Q net EU940m vs est. EU824.9m, Provisions for bad loans fell to EU157m in 4Q vs EU513m yr earlier
  • ABB Profit Margin Widens as Cost Cuts Help Offset Slowdown: 4Q Ebita margin rises 60bps to 11.7%; sees Chinese growth in 2016, at slower pace
  • Lundin Suffers Biggest Loss as Oil Collapse Forces Impairments: 4Q loss widened to $493m vs loss $436m yr ago; booked an impairment charge of $296m, FX loss of $129m
  • EU Bank Rules Divide at Euro-Area Border in Draft Cameron Deal: Draft deal foresees separate rules for euro, non-euro banks, provisional pact needs endorsement of all EU leaders at summit
  • Novo Nordisk CEO Sees Limited Scope for U.S. Price Increases: 4Q profit misses ests. on diabetes drug Victoza
  • Statoil Seen Deepening Cuts to Keep Dividends Amid Oil Rout: Adjusted net seen dropping 33% in 4Q, seen extending investment cuts to 30% compared to 2014
In FX, the yen climbed 0.5 percent to 119.36. It’s taken back more than half of its decline against the dollar triggered when Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Friday unexpectedly cut the rate on excess reserves held by financial institutions at the central bank to minus 0.1 percent.

The New Zealand dollar jumped as the nation’s central bank signaled it won’t rush to cut its official cash rate further as inflation hovers near zero. A report Wednesday showed employment in New Zealand rebounded more than economists expected in the fourth quarter while the jobless rate tumbled to near a seven-year low.

In commodities, unlike yesterday's rout, WTI and Brent have seen a bid since the European traders have been at their desks despite a build in API inventory levels from yesterday's session, which printed at a build of 3.8mln. Once again we have seen some comments from Iran and Russia both stating they are willing to cooperate with OPEC in regards to the price of oil, however the rhetoric is largely a reiteration.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 1.6 percent to $30.37 a barrel in New York after falling 11 percent on Monday and Tuesday, the most since March 2009. Analysts are projecting prices will soar more than $15 by the end of 2016. New York crude will reach $46 a barrel during the fourth quarter, while Brent in London will trade at $48 in the same period, the median of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg this year show.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index rallied 0.4 percent for the first advance in three sessions as oil rebounded from the biggest two-day drop in almost seven years.

Zinc for delivery in three months led metals higher, gaining 0.7 percent to $1,685.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Lead climbed to the highest in about a month, with copper, aluminum and nickel also higher.

Some notable headlines in the space:

  • Oman's Foreign Minister says there is no agreement on the timing of an OPEC meeting, but he expects it will be announced soon (RTRS)
  • Iran are calling for closer ties between Russia, Iraq and Venezuela on energy issues according to the Iranian Supreme Leader. (RTRS)
  • Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov says they are ready for talks with OPEC if there is a consensus, according to IFX. (BBG)
Looking at today’s calendar, It’s a busy afternoon of data in the US this afternoon where a lot of focus will be on the January ADP employment change print ahead of Friday’s payrolls. Remember the employment component of the ISM-manufacturing was particularly poor last month. Speaking of which, the aforementioned ISM nonmanufacturing print will be of focus while we’ll also get the final revisions to the services and composite PMI’s for the US. There’s little in the way of Central Bank speakers due up, however earnings season rolls on with 31 S&P 500 companies set to report including General Motors and Merck.

Global Top News:

  • ChemChina Agrees to Buy Syngenta in Record $43b Deal: ChemChina offered $465 a share in cash, is ~20% higher than the stock’s last close; acquisition would be biggest ever by a company in China
  • Yahoo Signals It’s Open to Sale in What May Be Final Flip- Flop: Co. to cut ~15% of staff, shutter some offices and units and exit product lines; to consider putting the company’s core assets up for sale, ; 4Q adj. EPS beats est.; sees 1Q adj. Ebitda, rev. ex-TAC below ests.
  • Editas Raises $94.4m in First U.S. IPO of the Year: Sold 5.9m shares for $16 apiece, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after offering them for $16 to $18 each
  • Oil Seen Surging About 50% by Fourth Quarter as Supply Eases: WTI seen averaging near $46 a barrel in Q4; Brent at about $48; U.S. sees domestic oil output falling by 620,000 barrels a day
  • America Supplies OPEC With Oil Freed From 40-Year Export Ban
  • Chipotle Served With New Subpoena as Criminal Probe Expands: Says 2016 will be a “very difficult year,” says EPS Should Be “around” break even in 1Q, est. $1.95
  • SunEdison Evaluating ‘Least Bad’ Options for Closing Vivint Deal: Deal hinges on flipping Vivint portfolio of rooftop systems
  • 3M Boosts Dividend as $10 Billion Share Buyback Authorized: A Quarterly payout of $1.11/shr an 8% increase
  • Gilead Seeks Deals as U.S. Hepatitis C Sales May Flatten: 4Q EPS beats ests., adds $12b to buyback plan
  • Bill to Privatize U.S. Air-Traffic Control Bans In-Flight Calls: U.S. air-traffic control system would be spun off to a nonprofit corporation and airline passengers wouldn’t be allowed to talk on mobile phones
  • Exxon Faces First Downgrade Since Depression as Oil Rout Worsens: Chevron’s debt rating cut by S&P for first time since 1987
  • Starboard Said to Take 6.7% of Marvell; Hires Advisers: WSJ: Starboard sees opportunity for Marvell by cutting costs, for instance by exiting mobile-device business, WSJ reports
Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk and Bloomberg

  • Brent and WTI have retaken USD 33.00 and USD 30.00 bbl respectively, shrugging off yesterday's API data
  • In FX, GBP was the main mover in London trade, aided by positive services PMI data and ahead tomorrows 'Super Thursday'
  • Looking ahead, highlights include, US ADP Employment Change and ISM Non-Manufacturing, comments from ECB's Draghi and Knot
  • Treasuries lower in overnight trading despite continued selloff in global equity markets as oil stabilizes; 10Y yield closed yesterday at 1.84%, lowest since April 3.
  • China’s central bank plans to loosen rules on when foreign investors can bring money in and out of the country, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter
  • The gap between the Chinese yuan’s exchange rates at home and abroad expanded to the biggest in three weeks, a sign that international traders are reviving bets against the currency after getting burned by the central bank earlier this year
  • “The markets are a gift in the sense that there are prices out there that make no sense,” Bill Miller, whose Legg Mason Opportunity Trust has lost 23% year-to-date, said in a Bloomberg interview, “Almost everything is a buy in my opinion”
  • Banks complaining that regulation is damaging Europe’s €5.6 trillion ($6.1 trillion) market for borrowing and lending securities as repo agreements showed a sharp drop in the availability of securities to use as collateral
  • Bankers in Europe have the most to fear in 2016 job cuts as cost reductions haven’t been enough to revive the profitability of the region’s lenders which were slower than their U.S. counterparts to eliminate jobs, reduce salaries
  • Confidence at U.K. services companies fell to the lowest in three years last month as a mounting litany of threats took its toll with indicators of sentiment and order backlogs giving little reason for optimism
  • Analysts are projecting prices of New York crude will reach $46 a barrel during the fourth quarter, while Brent in London will trade at $48 in the same period, the median of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg this year show
  • The San Francisco Bay area is the first region to host a Super Bowl and like other businesses, local pot shops are offering promotions aimed at the throngs of visitors in town for the festivities
  • Enrollment for food stamps remains near record levels even as the unemployment rate has fallen by half. About 45.4 million Americans, roughly one-seventh of the population, received aid last October, the most recent month of data
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields mostly lower, led by Australia (-10bp). Asian, European stocks lower; U.S. equity-index futures drop. Crude oil, gold, copper rally
US Event Calendar

  • 7:00am: MBA Mortgage Applications, Jan. 29 (prior 8.8%)
  • 8:15am: ADP Employment Change, Jan., est. 193k (prior 257k)
  • 9:45am:
    • Markit US Services PMI, Jan. F, est. 53.7 (prior 53.7)
    • Markit US Composite PMI, Jan. F, (prior 53.7)
  • 10:00am: ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite, Jan., est. 55.1 (prior 55.3)
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Hopes of an OPEC production cut meeting are fading fast with Persian Gulf Arab oil producers the latest to weigh in by rebuffing earlier claims which had helped to send Oil markets into a bull market. Instead, the focus is turning back to what is still a difficult fundamental picture with Oil markets succumbing to a second consecutive sharp loss yesterday. WTI (-5.50%) plummeted back below $30/bbl, eventually closing at $29.88/bbl. It’s holding around that level this morning too. The energy sector was also rocked with the news of S&P downgrading credit ratings on some of the big US drillers including Chevron and Hess, while in Europe Shell was cut by one notch to A+ and to its lowest rating on record. Weaker than expected results were announced from BP, although there was a slither of positivity to take from Exxon’s results after earnings came in ahead of analyst forecasts (which may show how low expectations have fallen more than anything).

All told risk assets were hit hard yesterday. European equity markets finished broadly 2% lower, while the S&P 500 finished with a -1.87% loss as a poor day for financials also added to the woes. Credit indices were under considerable pressure also with both CDX IG and Main finishing around 5bps wider. Sovereign bond yields resumed their downward spiral after briefly pausing for breath on Monday. 10y Bund yields were down over 4bps by the close of play at 0.305% while 10y Treasury yields collapsed 10.4bps and at 1.846% are at the lowest now since April last year (yields have now fallen over 40bps since the turn over the year). It won’t come as much surprise to hear then that Fed Funds rates are following a similar path. In fact, the probability of just the 1 rate hike this year has fallen below 50%. That’s after we started the year with the market pricing in a 93% probability that the Fed would move at least once in 2016.

Clearly the BoJ move last week has heated up the negative rates chatter and an eye-catching headline which caught our eye on Bloomberg yesterday was one which reported that $7.1tn of global government debt is now trading with a negative yield. JGB yields are currently negative up to the 8.5 year maturity mark with 9y and 10y yields currently 0.2bps and 5.9bps respectively – the latter close to joining Switzerland as the only country with negative 10y benchmark yields.

That takes us to the latest in Asia this morning where equity markets have followed the lead from Oil-led selloff yesterday. Bourses have declined across the region, led by Japan where the Nikkei is -3.29%, while the Hang Seng (-2.75%), Shanghai Comp (-1.64%), Kospi (-0.84%) and ASX (-2.33%) have also tumbled. Asia and Australian credit indices are 3 to 6bps wider while US equity index futures are pointing towards a slightly softer start. There has been some Chinese data for us to digest meanwhile, with the non-official Caixin services PMI for January showing a 2.2pt gain last month to 52.4 and in fact the highest since July last year. That’s of course in stark contrast to the manufacturing print we got earlier in the week. The data has however supported a 0.7pt gain for the composite print to 50.1.

Moving on. Yesterday also saw the Kansas City Fed President, Esther George, weigh in with some hawkish comments. Given her reputation as a renowned hawk within the voting committee the comments weren’t seen as hugely surprising. She said that recent market volatility is ‘not all that unexpected, nor necessarily worrisome’ and that ‘monetary policy cannot respond to every blip in financial markets’. George reiterated her view that the committee should continue the gradual adjustment of moving rates higher, while opining that the US economy has proven to be resilient to a wide range of shocks including sluggish growth abroad.

Yesterday’s economic data was a bit of a sideshow. US total vehicle sales were up a better than expected 17.5m annualized rate last month (vs. 17.3 expected) having dipped to 17.2m in December, while the February IBD/TIPP economic optimism print was up 0.5pts for this month to 47.8 (vs. 47.6 expected). Meanwhile in Europe we saw the Euro area unemployment rate nudge down one-tenth to 10.4% in December (expectations had been for no change), falling to a new four-year low in the process.

Staying in Europe, it was noted yesterday that the ECB’s favored measure of inflation expectations, the 5y5y breakeven rate briefly broke below 1.5% intraday before settling at the lowest close since January 2015 (a record low) which of course was just before ECB QE1 was announced. It’s significant that the rate has failed to break higher with any bounce in Oil prices and is something to consider ahead of the ECB next month.

Speaking of which, the ECB’s Mersch generated a few headlines yesterday after comments to the WSJ. The ECB Board Member said that the Bank needs to reassess its monetary policy stance ‘in view of the deterioration since our December analysis’ and that ‘everything is on the table’. Mersch also suggested that ‘we have no constraint in the use, the diversity, or the volume of our toolbox as we see fit’.

Looking at today’s calendar now, this morning in Europe will see the final revisions to the services and composite PMI’s for the Euro area, Germany and France, while we’ll also get prints for Spain, Italy and the UK. Euro area retail sales data covering the December month is also due out this morning. It’s a busy afternoon of data in the US this afternoon where a lot of focus will be on the January ADP employment change print ahead of Friday’s payrolls. Remember the employment component of the ISM-manufacturing was particularly poor last month. Speaking of which, the aforementioned ISM non-manufacturing print will be of focus while we’ll also get the final revisions to the services and composite PMI’s for the US. There’s little in the way of Central Bank speakers due up, however earnings season rolls on with 31 S&P 500 companies set to report including General Motors and Merck (both pre-market).


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-03/europe-falls-us-futures-rise-oil-rebounds-two-day-plunge
 

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#31
Germany Unveils "Cash Controls" Push: Ban Transactions Over €5,000, €500 Euro Note


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2016 07:43 -0500


It was just two days ago that Bloomberg implored officials to “bring on a cashless future” in an Op-Ed that calls notes and coins “dirty, dangerous, unwieldy, and expensive.”

You probably never thought of your cash that way, but increasingly, authorities and the powers that be seem determined to lay the groundwork for the abolition of what Bloomberg calls “antiquated” physical money.

We’ve documented the cash ban calls on a number of occasions including, most recently, those that emanated from DNB, Norway’s largest bank where executive Trond Bentestuen said that although “there is approximately 50 billion kroner in circulation, the Norges Bank can only account for 40 percent of its use.”

That, Bentestuen figures, “means that 60 percent of money usage is outside of any control." "We believe," he continues, "that is due to under-the-table money and laundering.”

DNB goes on to say that after identifying “many dangers and disadvantages” associated with cash, the bank has “concluded that it should be phased out.”

On Tuesday we got the latest evidence that officials across the globe are preparing to institute a cashless “utopia” when Handelsblatt reported (in a piece called "The Death of Cash) that the Social Democrats - the junior partner in Angela Merkel’s coalition government - have proposed a €5,000 limit on cash transactions and the elimination of the €500 note.



Berlin is using a familiar scapegoat to justify the plan: the need to fight "terrorists" and “foreign criminals."

“Limits on cash transactions would discourage foreign criminals from coming here to launder money,” says a paper penned by the Social Democrats. “If sums over €5,000 have to pass through traceable bank transactions, laundering would be severely hampered, it adds.”

On Wednesday, we got confirmation of the plan from Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister who told reporters that Germany is proposing a euroarea ban on cash transactions over €5,000 to combat terrorism financing and money laundering.

“Since money laundering and terrorism financing are cross-border threats,” it makes sense to adopt a bloc-wide “solution”, but “if a European solution isn’t possible, Germany will move ahead on its own,” he added.

This comes at a rather convenient time for policy makers in Europe. Rates are already sitting at -0.30% and are likely to be cut by an additional 10bps in March. But that’s not likely to do anything to curb the disinflationary impulse. Mario Draghi isn’t anywhere close to his inflation target and it says a lot about how ineffective the ECB has been when everyone is relieved to see annual inflation running at the “brisk” pace of 0.4%.

As a reminder, the gradual phasing out of cash strips the public of its economic autonomy. Central bankers can only control interest rates down to a certain “lower bound.” Once negative rates are passed on to depositors - and trust us, that’s coming - people will simply start pulling their money out of the bank. The more negative rates go, the faster those withdrawals will be.

When you ban cash you eliminate this problem. In a cashless society with a government-managed digital currency there is no effective lower bound. If the economy isn’t doing what a bunch of bureaucrats want it to do, they can simply make interest rates deeply negative, forcing would-be savers to become consumers by making them choose between spending or watching as the bank simply confiscates their money in the name of NIRP.

Obviously, banning transactions above €5,000 is a long way from a wholesale ban on cash and several other countries have similar limits on cash transactions. Still, there’s no reason why the same rationale (i.e. fighting terror financing) can’t be applied to smaller sums - or all cash transactions. After all, it’s not as though “foreign criminals” only transact in amounts over €5,000 and since “follow the money” is usually the best way to get to the bottom of a perceived “problem,” having a ledger of everything someone or some group does financially would likely be an effective way to crack down on illicit activity.

We would argue that the cost to society of creating an economy wherein people’s economic decisions are completely dictated by small groups of economists far outweighs any benefits that would accrue from using a centrally planned digital currency to deter crime.

As for how a cash ban would go over in Germany, we seriously doubt the public would take it laying down given that only 18.7% of transactions in the country involve plastic cards.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...sh-ban-transactions-over-€5000-€500-euro-note
 

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#33

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#34
The customer ISN'T always right: Elon Musk takes exception to Tesla buyer's letter of complaint and cancels his $130k car
  • Tesla buyer who'd paid a $5k deposit for a Model X is banned by the CEO
  • Customer had written an open letter of complaint about a launch event
  • Don't mess with Musk: Tesla boss tells buyer his order has been cancelled


Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-3429875/Elon-Musk-cancels-Tesla-buyer-s-car-order-letter-complaint.html#ixzz3z7J5XXKL
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#35
RANsquawk Preview: BoE Rate Decision 4th January 2016
RAN squawk


Published on Feb 3, 2016
 

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#36
CURRENCY RESET - Full Interview with Jim Willie
FinanceAndLiberty.com


Published on Feb 3, 2016
This is Finance and Liberty's full interview with Jim Willie recorded on Jan 5th, 2016.

SPONSOR: http://SDBullion.com

FINANCE AND LIBERTY:
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Title and video graphics by Josiah Johnson Studios ►http://JosiahJohnsonStudios.com

DISCLAIMER: The financial and political opinions expressed in this interview are those of the guest and not necessarily of "Finance and Liberty" or its staff. Opinions expressed in this video do not constitute personalized investment advice and should not be relied on for making investment decisions.
 

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#38
Frontrunning: February 4


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2016 07:29 -0500

  • EU Slashes 2016 Inflation Forecast to 0.5% as Growth Seen Slower (BBG)
  • Bank of England cuts UK growth forecasts (FT)
  • Investors Cast Wary Eye on Fed Rate Increases (WSJ)
  • U.N. halts Syria talks as government closes in on Aleppo (Reuters)
  • Credit Suisse Drops as Investment Bank Slump Deepens Losses (BBG)
  • Six OPEC states ready for emergency meeting with non-OPEC members — Venezuela's minister (TASS)
  • Redstone seen resigning as Viacom chair after stepping down at CBS (Reuters)
  • A Divided Libya Struggles Against Islamic State Attacks (WSJ)
  • Shell Profit Drops 44%, Matching Estimates, as Crude Tumbles (BBG)
  • Delta Names Bastian CEO as Anderson Departs After Merger Success (BBG)
  • WikiLeaks' Assange 'unlawfully detained' in Ecuador embassy, U.N. panel to rule, BBC says (Reuters)
  • Oil Seen `Lower for Longer' by Morgan Stanley as Forecasts Cut (BBG)
  • Weatherford Cutting 6,000 More Jobs as Oil Downturn Worsens (BBG)
  • Beer, Cars and Mortgages? Super Bowl Ads Go Financial This Year (BBG)
  • Dunkin' Donuts reports surprise drop in U.S. store sales (Reuters)
  • Bond Markets Are Underestimating the Fed, Goldman and Pimco Warn (BBG)
  • The Secretive Hedge Fund That's Generating Huge Profits for Yale (BBG)
  • Democratic hopefuls Sanders and Clinton spar over 'progressive' credentials (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Investors are rethinking their expectations for interest-rate increases this year, converging on a view that the U.S. Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise rates in March and possibly not even for the rest of the year. (http://on.wsj.com/1meG5MI)

- Sharp Corp has decided to enter exclusive talks with Taiwanese electronics assembler Foxconn over a takeover, people familiar with the matter said Thursday, in a last-minute turnabout that could clear the way for one of the most prominent investments by a foreign company in Japan. (http://on.wsj.com/1PBxm35)

- Media mogul Sumner Redstone is stepping back from the helm of an entertainment empire that includes some of the most iconic names in American business. Redstone has resigned as chairman of CBS Corp and will be succeeded by Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, the company said Wednesday. (http://on.wsj.com/1SHSghN)

- Millions of pounds of provisions, stuffed into three-dozen 747 cargo planes, arrived at Caracas from countries around the world in recent months to service Venezuela's crippled economy. But instead of food and medicine, the planes carried another resource that often runs scarce here: bills of Venezuela's currency, the bolivar. (http://on.wsj.com/20rjq2z)



FT

* DraftKings is planning to launch in the UK looking for international revenues to "mitigate the risk" of being regulated out of the U.S. The company had planned to make its games available to British users on Wednesday night, but the launch was delayed because of technical issues.

* Mondelez International Inc warned investors that it has braced for a further downfall in economic conditions in emerging markets, as the company gave a cautious outlook for the year.

* Bain and TPG are among several private equity firms weighing potential approaches for Yahoo Inc's core internet business, after the struggling company announced it was exploring options for the unit.

* ChemChina sought to pre-empt political opposition to its $43.8 billion bid for Syngenta AG, saying that China's biggest overseas takeover should not alarm politicians wary of the attempt to shore up the country's food security



NYT

- Bad debts have been a drag on economic activity ever since the financial crisis of 2008, but the threat appears to be rising, and China is the biggest source of worry. (http://nyti.ms/1R4rZdL)

- In the latest sign that automakers are still struggling to understand the scope of the Takata Corp airbag crisis, Honda Motor Co Ltd said on Wednesday that it would expand its recall by more than a third in North America. (http://nyti.ms/1Qe1dL0)

- Media mogul Sumner Redstone, under pressure from shareholders and facing a lawsuit challenging his mental competence, has resigned as executive chairman of CBS Corp . The company's board announced on Wednesday that it had appointed Leslie Moonves, the CBS chief executive, as his successor. (http://nyti.ms/1Pjg5YI)

- State-owned China National Chemical Corporation, known as ChemChina, has clinched a deal to buy Syngenta AG, a giant in farm chemicals and seeds, for $43 billion, underscoring China's desire to secure a sustainable food supply for its population of 1.4 billion people. (http://nyti.ms/20aIIMT)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Lowe's Inc got it right the second time. The U.S. home improvement chain has won a C$3.2 billion ($2.34 billion) deal to acquire Quebec based Rona Inc by taking some savvy steps to get key stakeholders in the province on board. (http://bit.ly/1SXHEga)

** Quebec Economy Minister Dominique Anglade warned in an interview that her government would intervene in future takeovers of Quebec based companies if the offers are non solicited. (http://bit.ly/20bdZ2a)

** TransCanada Corp said it has an agreement with the Canadian arm of Zurich based ABB for the manufacture of at least 22 electrical stations in the Montreal area. The deal is valued at "several million dollars".

NATIONAL POST

** The National Energy Board shouldn't make a decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project "by a show of hands", a lawyer for a group of Canada's largest oil companies argued Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1PC3B20)

** Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Emanuella Enenajor says that, based on her calculations, the Canadian government could spend as much as an additional C$15 billion ($10.95 billion) annually and still meet its goal of lowering the debt to GDP ratio. (http://bit.ly/1SJUe1g)

** Colorado based Intrawest, which operates popular North American ski properties including Mont Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario, said season pass sales increased six percent compared to the prior year. (http://bit.ly/1NRIgMx)



Britain

The Times

Graham's The Family Dairy is to supply Starbucks Corp with cream and milk in all its Scottish outlets, making the Bridge of Allan company the exclusive supplier to 68 coffee shops. (http://thetim.es/1PVq4Jq)

GlaxoSmithKline Plc claimed yesterday that it would hit a key sales target two years early, saying that its strategy was paying off in defiance of calls for the company to be broken up. (http://thetim.es/1PVqoYI)

The Guardian

Sports Direct has backed down from its legal battle with Rangers football club and abandoned efforts to prevent disclosure of the pair's joint venture, which has made the Old Firm club about 4 pence from every pound spent in its Ibrox store. (http://bit.ly/1PVsMhT)

EasyJet Plc founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's budget food store, which charges just 25p each for everyday groceries, has been forced to close temporarily after less than two days as it has run out of stock. (http://bit.ly/1PVsUhA)

The Telegraph

Tens of millions of mobile phone customers in Britain could see their bills frozen as part of a plan by Hutchison to gain approval for its 10.25 billion pounds ($14.96 billion) merger of Three and O2. (http://bit.ly/1PVs6t4)

Sky News

Ford Motor Co is to shed hundreds of jobs in the UK and Germany as part of a programme to save $200 million a year. The group said it was launching a voluntary redundancy programme as it looked to slash costs across its European business, in the face of mounting regulatory costs. (http://bit.ly/1PVr2VZ)

David Cameron is to pledge an extra 1.2 billion pounds ($1.75 billion)of UK aid to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis as he co-hosts a major international conference in London. (http://bit.ly/1PVshEC)

The Independent

Britons take 12 years longer than they think they will to pay off their debts, according to a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. (http://ind.pn/1PVsnMt)


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-04/frontrunning-february-4
 

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#39
Futures Flat As Dollar Weakness Persists, Crude Rally Fizzles


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2016 06:59 -0500

After yesterday's torrid, chaotic moves in the market, where an initial drop in stocks was quickly pared and led to a surge into the close after a weaker dollar on the heels of even more disappointing US data and Bill Dudley's "serious consequences" speech sent oil soaring and put the "Fed Relent" scenario squarely back on the table, overnight we have seen more global equity strength on the back of a weaker dollar, even if said weakness hurt Kuroda's post-NIRP world and the Nikkei erased virtually all losses since last Friday's surprising negative rate announcement. Oil and metals also rose piggybacking on the continued dollar weakness as the word's most crowded trade was suddenly shaken out.

“We’ve seen commodities across the board in a swift move higher, with the common denominator the weaker dollar,” said Robin Bhar, a London-based analyst at Societe Generale SA. “Everything from gold to oil has benefited. Dwindling expectations of higher rates are affecting markets across the board. Clearly the Fed may struggle to raise rates more than once or twice this year.”

Oil was largely unchanged after rebounding from its biggest drop in almost seven years. Futures were fractionally in the green at $32.36 a barrel after earlier climbing as much as 2.1%. Continuing the on again/off again "OPEC emergency meeting" theme, Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio Del Pino says 6 OPEC members are open to holding an emergency meeting if one is called. To be sure, Saudi Arabia will just say no, while those who are trying to discover which OPEC oil exporters will go bankrupt first, look no further than these 6 countries.



In other oily news, Shell reported its 4Q profit dropped 44% on tumbling crude prices. Elsewhere, Aramco cut its March Arab Light crude price to Asia by 20c, while leaving March Light crude pricing to U.S. unchanged.

“Seems to be the market is trying to settle into a $30-$35 range -- it seems when we get to around $30 we see some verbal intervention come in with the reaction to buy more driving prices toward $35 before we run out of steam,” says Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen. "Traders are coming back in today and seeing price levels they probably didn’t expect at this time yesterday."

Looking forward, while the US docket has a lot of macro data and at least two central bank speakers on deck, the key tell will be how stocks respond to data: if bad news is once again good for stocks, one can bury the rate hike narrative and just sit back and await admission from Yellen that it has relented and that, as Goldman hinted last night, the number of rate cuts will be dropped from 4 to 3, 2, 1 or even 0 as the US economy stalls.

For now, here is where we stand:

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 1910
  • Stoxx 600 up 0.5% to 331
  • FTSE 100 up 1.5% to 5922
  • DAX up 0.7% to 9502
  • German 10Yr yield up 4bps to 0.32%
  • Italian 10Yr yield up 7bps to 1.51%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up 8bps to 1.63%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 1% to 121
  • Nikkei 225 down 0.9% to 17045
  • Hang Seng up 1% to 19183
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.5% to 2781
  • S&P/ASX 200 up 2.1% to 4980
  • US 10-yr yield up 2bps to 1.91%
  • Dollar Index down 0.63% to 96.67
  • WTI Crude futures up 0.9% to $32.57
  • Brent Futures up 0.5% to $35.20
  • Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,147
  • Silver spot up 0.6% to $14.78
Looking at regional markets around the globe, we start in Asia where equities traded mostly in the green, bolstered by the turn around in energy stocks following WTI crude futures rising by over 8% in the US, while also drawing comfort from a late rally on Wall Street. As such, the ASX 200 (+2.1 %) had been underpinned by energy and material names, while the Shanghai Comp (+1.5%) was also led higher by the energy, in addition the PBoC strengthened the CNY by the most since December 4th. However, Nikkei 225 (-0.9%) bucked the trend as exporters felt the brunt from the recent strength in the JPY, subsequently erased the majority of its BoJ stimulus inspired gains. JGBs finished trade flat in what was quiet session for Japanese paper.

Asia Top News

  • China Sets 6.5% to 7% Growth Target, First Range Since 1990s: NDRC chief says downward pressure on growth “relatively big”
  • Sharp Soars on Report It’s Giving Preference to Foxconn Bid: Deal would hand Apple iPhone assembler surprise victory
    • Sharp Says Bailout Talks to Continue With Both Foxconn, INCJ
    • Sharp Reports Fifth Straight Loss as Bailout Talks Continue
  • Toshiba Widens Loss Outlook Amid Accounting Scandal Fallout: Net loss is expected to be a record 710b yen ($6b) in FY ending March; compares with an earlier forecast for a 550b yen loss and 505.5b yen loss analyst est.
  • Japan Tobacco Forecast Below Estimates Amid Stalling Sales: Sees FY oper profit forecast 566b yen vs est. 607.8b yen.
  • China’s Catch-22 Signals Stronger Yuan Surprise to Goldman Sachs: Higher yuan fixings to drive rally in risk assets, Brooks says
  • Citigroup Plans Sale of Yen Bonds After BOJ Minus Rate Policy: Would be first yen bond by major foreign issuer since BOJ move
  • China’s Biggest Ponzi Scheme Shows Rot in Internet Financing: Regulator says 1,000 of China’s 3,600 P2P sites are “problematic”
Another choppy session for European equities, which have largely remained in positive territory since the open, but endured some volatility. The USD has been the main driver of price action over the past 24 hours which has continued it's trend lower following dovish comments from the Fed and disappointing US data. Consequently an uptick has been seen in oil; WTI Mar'16 and Brent April'16 have taken USD 32.00 and USD 35.00 handles respectively, leading to an uptick in the energy sector which outperforms in Europe and bolsters indices.

European Top News

  • EU Slashes 2015 Inflation Forecast to 0.5% as Growth Seen Slower: Cut its prediction for euro-area economic expansion to 1.7% of GDP this yr, down from a 1.8% forecast in Nov.
  • EU Cuts U.K. Economic Outlook, Says Output Gap Has Closed: Sees GDP rising 2.1% in 2016 and 2017, down from the 2.4% and and 2.2% forecasts in Nov.
  • Daimler Strikes Cautious Tone, Citing More Risks in Economy: Sees only slight gains in rev. and earnings this year, with the rate of increase in unit sales “rather lower” than in 2015
  • Draghi Says Weak Global Inflation No Reason for ECB Inaction: Draghi said the fact that inflation is weak globally won’t stop ECB from adding stimulus for the euro area if needed
  • ChemChina Said to Seek Jumbo Commitments on Syngenta Bridge Loan: Banks asked to contribute $5b each to acquisition loan
  • Vodafone Service Revenue Shows Europe Rebound, Asian Growth: 3Q organic service rev. growth of 1.4% matches ests., reaffirms its earnings forecast for the full yr
  • Beijing Enterprises to Buy EEW as China Acquisitions Ramp Up: Agreed to buy energy-from-waste company EEW from EQT Partners for EU1.44b
  • AstraZeneca Sees 2016 Profit Dip as Crestor Gets Competition: 2016 sales to fall by low to mid single-digit percentage; core oper. profit per share will fall by a low to mid single-digit percentage from $4.26 last yr; 4Q core EPS 94c vs est. 94c
  • Munich Re Jumps Most in Four Years After Dividend Beats Forecast: Proposes dividend of EU8.25 a share for 2015 vs Bloomberg div. forecast of EU8; 4Q earnings unchanged at EU700m
  • Goldman Sees Pound Tumbling by as Much as 20% on ‘Brexit:’ Bank predicts decline to $1.15-$1.20 if U.K. leaves EU
  • Osborne Hails EU Pact for Protecting London as Finance Capital
  • Statoil Deepens Cuts to Maintain Dividends Amid Crude Slump: Statoil cuts investments to $13b, 35% lower than 2014; introduces scrip dividend, maintains 22c for quarter
  • Biggest Danish Mortgage Bank Seeks IPO as Capital Woes Mount: Nykredit is seeking an IPO as looks for ways to generate enough funds to meet increasingly heavy capital requirements
In FX, it has been all about the dollar: the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, retreated 0.4 percent after sliding as much as 1.9 percent last session.

Yesterday's sharp turn in the USD set the tone for early European trade, with the constant questioning on whether the Fed should hike again finally taking its toll on the greenback. As stocks and Oil were in the red, USD/JPY took the brunt of the action, but with the inverse relationship with commodities lifting Oil, stocks soon followed. The yen gained 0.1 percent to 117.73 per dollar following a 1.7 percent surge, while the euro traded at $1.1118.

This has tempered losses here, attentions switching to the rest of the majors. EUR gains have extended towards 1.1200 now, while AUD and NZD tip 0.7200 and 0.6700 respectively, but CAD gains have really gathered momentum with Oil higher, with 1.3700 the latest big figure breach.

The won strengthened the most since October after falling every other day this week. The ringgit climbed 1.6 percent, buoyed by crude’s recovery given Malaysia is Asia’s only major net exporter of oil. A Bloomberg gauge of emerging-market currencies climbed 0.2 percent after rallying 1.2 percent on Wednesday.

The pound extended its biggest jump since October before the BOE’s interest-rate decision and economic forecasts. Cable gains may be seen to be a little audacious ahead of the BoE/QIR, but we have still managed to push new highs through the 1.4600's. EUR/GBP back above 0.7600 though. EM also on the mend, BRL and TRY outperforming RUB, MXN and ZAR for now.

In commodities, WTI and Brent are rather flat on the session as markets take a breather following the dramatic price action in yesterday's session. The OPEC saga takes a back seat for now and there is no more news on that front anyway. Instead the USD dictates price action in oil, with the risk event in that respect coming in tomorrow's NFP report.

Gold remained near yesterday's highs in European trade having posted the best day of gains in 2-weeks yesterday, to trade above USD 1140, a level which it has not taken since early November. This came after dovish comments from the Fed and disappointing US data including services and ISM non-manufacturing PMI's which saw the USD soften.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which measures returns on raw materials, extended the previous session’s advance as it rallied 0.6 percent.

Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil company, deepened investment cuts and offered to pay dividends in stock as a collapse in crude prices eroded earnings. The company said it plans to reduce capital expenditure to $13 billion this year from a revised $14.7 billion in 2015, after reporting a 63 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday. Statoil boosted a target for 2016 cost savings to $2.5 billion from $1.7 billion.

Spot gold climbed for a fifth day, the longest run of gains in five months, as expectations of continued low U.S. interest rates seeped through the market. The metal soared to the highest in three months at $1,147.47 an ounce. Investors increased holdings in exchange traded funds for a 13th time, the longest run in three years.

Aluminum for delivery in three months climbed to the highest this year on the LME, reaching $1,543.50 a metric ton, and lead advanced for the eighth day in a row, the longest run since June 2014.

On today's calendar, we get the first estimates of Q4 nonfarm productivity (expected to fall by 2% on the back of weak output growth) and unit labour costs (expected to gain 4.3%) data, along with the latest initial jobless claims data. December factory orders data follows this along with the final revisions to January durable and capital goods orders. It’s a busy day for earnings also with 33 S&P 500 companies due to report with ConocoPhillips a highlight in the energy sector.

Top Global News:

  • Credit Suisse Plunges as Investment Bank Slump Deepens Losses: 4Q net loss CHF5.8b, hurt by a goodwill impairment of CHF3.8b; biggest qtrly loss since 2008 and below the CHF4.3b loss est. of 5 analysts in a Bloomberg survey
  • Redstone Tough-Guy Era May Be Drawing to a Close in Hollywood: Sumner Redstone resigned as chairman of CBS; to be replaced by CEO Les Moonves; Redstone may relinquish the executive chairmanship of Viacom
  • Delta Names Bastian CEO as Anderson Departs After Merger Success: CEO Richard Anderson, will step down later this year to make way for his longtime second-in-command, Ed Bastian
  • China Eases Rules on Foreign Investor Quotas, Fund Withdrawals: Relaxed restrictions on the amount of money foreign investors can bring into China, curbs on when they can take funds out, QFII allocations no longer subject to $1b cap
  • Cisco to Buy Jasper for $1.4 Billion, Adding IoT Management: Closely held company helps connect new devices to Internet
  • Shell 4Q Profit Drops 44% as Crude Prices Tumble: 4Q CCS net ex-items $1.8bm matches est. $1.8b
  • Yum Tops Profit Estimates After Taco Bell, KFC Sales Grow: 4Q adj. EPS 68c, est. 66c, rev. $3.95b, est. $4.03b; same- stores sales gained 4% at Taco Bell and 3% at KFC
  • GoPro Forecasts Another Quarter of Disappointing Sales: Sees 1Q rev. $160m-$180m vs est. $287.3m, sees FY2016 rev. $1.35b-$1.5b vs est. $1.59b; Brian McGee to succeed Jack Lazar as CFO
  • Allstate Quarterly Profit Declines 41% as Auto Claims Rise: 4Q oper. EPS $1.60 vs est. $1.35
  • MetLife Profit Falls 45% on Private Equity, Hedge Fund Slump: 4Q oper. EPS $1.23, est. $1.36
  • Weatherford Cutting 6,000 More Jobs as Oil Downturn Worsens: Plans to lay off an additional 6,000 workers, about 15% of its workforce; follows loss of 14,000 workers in earlier cutbacks
  • Oil Seen ‘Lower for Longer’ by Morgan Stanley as Forecasts Cut: Now sees oil mostly falling through 2016, compared with a previous outlook for prices to rise each quarter
  • Goldman Sachs With Pimco Warn Bond Gains Will Turn Into Losses: Goldman’s Hatzius sees 10-yr yield rising to 3% by yr-end
  • Price Spike on $750 Pill Was Shkreli’s, Turing Tells House: Turing, Valeant set to testify at hearing on drug pricing
  • Santorum Says He’s Suspending Campaign, Endorsing Rubio
  • Jefferies Said to Cut Fixed-Income Staff Linked to Mortgages
  • Super Bowl Tests Twitter’s Dominance in Ads Paired With Live TV
Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk and Bloomberg:

  • Another choppy session for European equities, which have largely remained in positive territory since the open, but endured some volatility.
  • WTI and Brent are rather flat but holding yesterday's gains, as markets take a breather following the dramatic price action yesterday
  • Today's highlights include BoE's 'Super Thursday', US weekly job numbers, factory orders and challenger job cuts and comments from Fed's Rosengren
  • Treasuries lower overnight, led by long-end, as declining consensus for further Fed rate hikes this year pressures USD, helps rally oil, global equity markets.
  • Federal Reserve officials Lael Brainard and William Dudley said policy makers need to take into account tighter financial conditions when they meet next month to decide whether to raise interest rates again
  • Goldman Sachs and PIMCO say bonds are poised to fall and traders aren’t prepared for how far the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates
  • The slowdown in emerging economies is posing a major threat to recovery in the euro area, the European Commission said as it trimmed its 2016 growth forecast and warned inflation would be much slower than expected, cut forecast to 0.5%
  • Mario Draghi said the fact that inflation is weak globally won’t stop the European Central Bank from adding stimulus for the euro area if needed
  • Credit Suisse posted the biggest quarterly loss in seven years as it wrote off goodwill and set aside provisions for litigation, while a drop in trading deepened losses in the securities unit. The shares slumped to the lowest since 1991
  • Jefferies cut employees from its fixed-income unit this week, with a focus on staff handling products tied to mortgages, according to people with knowledge of the matter
  • As Japan’s stocks sink, pension funds are loading up. Trust banks, which buy on behalf of retirement savings managers, added ¥271 billion ($2.3 billion) of equities last week, the most since March 2009 and a net ¥1.4 trillion in 10 straight weeks of buying
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields mostly higher, led by Greece (+9bp). Asian, European stocks higher; U.S. equity-index futures rise. Crude oil, gold, copper rally
US Event Calendar

  • 7:30am: Challenger Job Cuts y/y, Jan. (prior -27.6%)
  • 8:30am: Non-farm Productivity, 4Q P, est. -2% (prior 2.2%)
    • Unit Labor Costs, 4Q P, est. 4.3% (prior 1.8%)
    • Initial Jobless Claims, Jan. 30, est. 277k (prior 278k)
    • Continuing Claims, Jan. 23, est. 2.24m (prior 2.268m)
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, Jan. 31 (prior 44.6)
  • 10:00am: Factory Orders, Dec., est. -2.8% (prior -0.2%)
    • Factory Orders Ex Trans, Dec. (prior -0.3%)
    • Durable Goods Orders, Dec. F, est. -4.5% (prior -5.1%)
    • Durables Ex Transportation, Dec. F (prior -1.2%)
    • Cap Goods Orders Non-defense Ex Air, Dec. F (prior -4.3%)
    • Cap Goods Ship Non-defense Ex Air, Dec. F (prior -0.2%)
Central Banks

  • 7:00am: Bank of England Bank Rate, est. 0.5% (prior 0.5%)
  • 8:30am: Fed’s Kaplan speaks in Dallas
  • 5:00pm: Fed’s Mester speaks in New York
  • 7:30pm: Reserve Bank of Australia issues monetary policy
DB's Jim Reid completes the overnight wrap

Indeed after a 2-day 11% slump which was the largest in almost seven years, WTI oil rose 8.03% yesterday to close at $32.66/bbl. The move was the second largest one-day gain in the last five months. Interestingly the huge surge came despite more scary supply data after US crude inventories were said to have risen past the 500million barrel mark for the first time since 1982 based on weekly data (although based on monthly data you’ll have to go back to 1930 to find the last time we saw higher inventory levels). We had briefly thought that headlines on the wires suggesting that Venezuela, Iran and Russia had agreed to an emergency meeting with 3 other OPEC and non-OPEC members was the cause for yesterday’s rally, however the story never really gained traction after the initial leak.

Instead, much of yesterday’s move was attributed to a huge fall in the Dollar which came about after fears of a soft non-manufacturing ISM print were realized (53.5 vs. 55.1 expected, -2.3pts from December) with concerns about the employment component in particular. Some dovish comments from the Fed’s Dudley also played a role. More on that and the data later but in terms of the price action, the Dollar index finished -1.60% weaker which was the biggest daily fall since December 3rd, while the Greenback finished down 1.70% against the Euro which was also the weakest day since the ECB failed to meet high hopes two months ago.

Risk assets swung wildly in response. Despite the gains for Oil, the S&P 500 was down as much as -1.7% in early trading as financials dragged risk assets lower. The rebound kicked into gear with around two-hours in the session left as slowly but surely the energy sector began to reflect the huge gains for Oil, eventually culminating with the S&P 500 recording a +0.50% gain. The Dow was up a more impressive +1.13% by the close although the Nasdaq (-0.28%) failed to fully recover from earlier steep falls. US credit indices mirrored the moves with CDX IG trading as much as 4bps wider intraday, before finishing 1bp tighter by the end of play.

Meanwhile in the rates space we saw 10y Treasury yields fall as low as 1.792% intraday (24 hour high-to-low range of over 10bps) and the lowest in 12 months post the data, before then tracking the Oil move and retracing much of that to finish up 4bps on the day at 1.886%. It had been a much different tone during the European session where risk assets took another hammering (Stoxx 600 -1.54%) on the back of that financials weakness while European bond yields continued their move lower. In fact, 10y Bunds (currently 0.273%) are now under 3month Treasuries for the first time since October 2007 which is another of the interesting stats one can reel off about these heavily repressed government bond markets.

This morning in Asia we’ve seen Oil extend gains in early trading (WTI +0.81%) which is generally helping equity bourses trade higher as we go to print. There’s been little additional newsflow but it hasn’t stopped the Hang Seng (+1.36%), Shanghai Comp (+1.25%), Kospi (+1.34%) and ASX (+2.13%) all following the late US rebound and posting decent gains. The Nikkei (-0.68%) is bucking the overall trend and extending the post BoJ fallout there (it’s currently just +0.16% above where it was in the minutes prior to the negative rate announcement). US equity index futures are currently up half a percent, while in credit markets the Asia iTraxx has rallied back 5bps tighter.

Meanwhile, there’s some news out of China to report as yesterday various news agencies were reporting that the head of the National Development and Reform Commission has said that China’s growth target is set to be 6.5% to 7% this year. DB’s Chief China Economist, Zhiwei Zhang, pointed out that this is the first time China has set an annual growth target in a range rather than a specific number. The growth target for 2015 was 7%. In his mind the wide target range reflects the lack of consensus on growth potential in the policy circle. He highlights that some may believe growth faces severe pressure and a lower target is conducive to more sustainable growth. While others may think cutting the target in the first year of the new five year plan period makes it difficult to achieve the overall target, which is above 6.5% on average.

Back to yesterday’s data. A big focus of that ISM non-manufacturing data (which was the weakest since February 2014) was the aforementioned weakness in the employment component which tumbled 3.9pts to 52.1 and a 12-month low. This of course comes after the soft employment component in the manufacturing ISM. Yesterday’s data does however support our US Economists view of the non-manufacturing converging (by moving lower) to the manufacturing data with the gap now shrinking to 5.3pts from 7.8pts in December. Fears of a soft payroll print on Friday were unsurprisingly raised post the data, however some pointed towards a slightly better than expected ADP employment change reading (205k vs. 195k expected) last month. Elsewhere we saw the final US services PMI revised 0.5pts lower at 53.2.

In terms of that Fedspeak then, it was the cautious comments from NY Fed President Dudley, in an interview with MNI, which initially gained attention when he warned that financial conditions have tightened considerably and that should this remain in place by the time of the March meeting, then the Fed will need to take this into account. Dudley also commented on the weakening outlook for the global economy and acknowledged that the Fed committee is assessing the implications for the labour market and inflation, as well as the balance of risks to the outlook. Later on we heard from Governor Brainard who specifically referred to weakness in emerging markets as posing a risk to US growth. Clearly current market pricing (sub-50% for one rate hike this year) is in contrast to the Fed dot plots, but recent Fed comments have certainly weighed in with a much more dovish tone (Esther George aside).

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, the European data yesterday was firmly focused on the final revisions to the January PMI’s where in the end we saw no change to the Euro area services PMI at 53.6, and so down 0.6pts from December. The composite was revised up a very modest 0.1pts to 53.6 so as to be down 0.7pts from the prior month, albeit near the top of the recent range. Regionally we saw the composite print for Germany reaffirmed at 54.5, however France was revised down 0.3pts to 50.2. We also got the data for Italy where we saw the print fall 2.2pts to 53.8, while Spain was up a modest 0.1pts to 55.3. The UK was also up a solid 0.8pts to 56.1.

Onto today’s calendar now. It’s a quiet start to the day this morning in the European session with no data to report of before attention turns over to the BoE MPC meeting around midday where of course the focus will be on the Bank’s policy outlook assessment (minutes and inflation report will be released). This afternoon in the US we’re kickstarting with the first estimates of Q4 nonfarm productivity (expected to fall by 2% on the back of weak output growth) and unit labour costs (expected to gain 4.3%) data, along with the latest initial jobless claims data. December factory orders data follows this along with the final revisions to January durable and capital goods orders. Fedspeak wise we’ve got Rosengren due to speak shortly after this is out (7.15am GMT) followed by Kaplan (1.30pm GMT) this afternoon and then Loretta (10.00pm GMT) this evening. Also due this morning are comments from ECB President Draghi (8.00am), shortly followed by fellow ECB council member Knott. The IMF’s Lagarde is also due to speak on emerging and developed markets this afternoon at 3pm GMT. It’s a busy day for earnings also with 33 S&P 500 companies due to report with ConocoPhillips a highlight in the energy sector.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-04/futures-flat-dollar-weakness-persists-crude-rally-fizzles
 

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#40
Meet The World Leader Who Stole His Citizens' Gold


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2016 20:30 -0500




Submitted by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Even before his coronation in 1626, King Charles I of England was almost bankrupt.

His predecessors King James and Queen Elizabeth had run the royal treasury down to almost nothing.

Costly war and military folly had taken its toll. The crown had simply wasted far too much money, and brought in too little.

To make matters worse, King Charles was constantly at odds with parliament.

The English government was completely dysfunctional, with constant bickering, personal attacks, and very little sound decision-making.

Parliament refused to pass the taxes that Charles needed to make ends meet. But at the same time, the King was legally unable to levy his own taxes without parliamentary approval.

So, faced with financial desperation, he began to look for alternative ways to raise revenue.

One way was relying on practically ancient, obscure laws to penalize his subjects.

The Distraint of Knighthood, for example, was based on an act from 1278, roughly three and a half centuries before Charles’ coronation.

The Act gave him the legal authority to fine all men with a minimum level of income who did not present themselves in person at his coronation.

Charles also commandeered vast amounts of land, restoring the boundaries of the royal forests to where they had been during the time of King Edward I in the 13th century.

He then fined anyone who encroached on the land, and resold much of it to industries that were supportive of his reign.

King Charles even resorted to begging; in July 1626, he requested that his subjects “lovingly, freely, and voluntarily” give him money.

When that didn’t work, the King levied a Forced Loan, effectively confiscating people’s funds under the guise of ‘borrowing’ it.

He raised about £250,000, the equivalent of about $7.5 billion today.

Emboldened by his success, Charles eventually seized assets directly, including all the gold on deposit being held at the Royal Mint– money that belonged to the merchants and goldsmiths of England.

At one point Charles even forced the East India Company to ‘loan’ him their pepper and spice inventory. He subsequently sold the products at a steep loss.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should.

Today there is no shortage of nations facing fiscal desperation. Most of Europe. Japan. The United States.

In the Land of the Free, the government has spent years… decades… engaged in the most wasteful folly, from multi-trillion dollar wars to a multi-billion dollar website.

US debt just hit $19 trillion a few days ago. And it’s only going higher.

We can already see the government’s financial desperation.

Over the years, the government has effectively levied a ‘forced loan’ totaling more than $2.6 trillion on the Social Security Trust Fund, whose ultimate beneficiaries are the taxpayers of the United States.

Bottom line, they’re ‘borrowing’ YOUR money.

Last year the government stole more from Americans through ‘Civil Asset Forfeiture’ than all the thieves in the United States combined.

In December, the US government confiscated $19.3 billion from the Federal Reserve, which, by the way, was already very thinly capitalized.

Even if you want to believe the propaganda, it’s clear that these are not the actions of a healthy, solvent government that embraces liberty.

In fact, the government published over 80,000 pages of laws, bills, regulations, and executive orders last year. Just this morning they published another 308 pages.

It’s impossible for anyone to keep up with all of these rules. And yet each can carry civil and criminal penalties, including a fine now for not having health insurance.

As Mark Twain used to say, history may not repeat, but it certainly rhymes.

Financially insolvent governments of major superpowers do not simply go gentle into that good night.

They don’t suddenly turn over a new leaf and start embracing economic freedom.

Instead, they get worse. More desperate. More destructive.

Should we honestly believe that they can continue racking up more debt than has ever existed in the history of the world without any consequences?

This is madness. At some point, fiscal reality always catches up. Maybe not at $19 trillion. Maybe not even at $20 trillion.

Maybe it takes 3 months. Or 3 years. But somewhere out there is a straw that can break the camel’s back. And that has serious consequences.

Never forget that if something is predictable, then it’s also preventable.

And facing such obvious trends, it makes all the sense in the world to take some simple, rational steps to put together your own Plan B.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-03/meet-world-leader-who-stole-his-citizens-gold