Thursday, January 12, 2017

Soros Lost $1 Billion Following Trump Election

While Carl Icahn infamously made a killing following the "surprise" Trump election, another prominent hedge fund manager was not nearly as lucky. According to the WSJ, "George Soros lost nearly $1 billion as a result of the stock-market rally spurred by Donald Trump’s surprise presidential election."

Justice Department Launches Probe Into FBI, DOJ Actions During Presidential Campaign

The Justice Department Inspector General has launched a review of the actions of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Department of Justice leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Curve Steepens, USDJPY Spikes After Medicore 30Y Auction Tails Despite Jump In Indirects

If yesterday's 10Y Treasury reopening was "Yuuge", then today's 30 Year reopening of Cusip RU4 was just a little more subdued.  Printing at 2.914%, it tailed the When Issued fractionally by 0.3bps, with the high yield coming well below December's 3.152%.

Why Are Wal-Mart And Boeing Laying Off Workers If The U.S. Economy Is In Good Shape?

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
The stock market has been on quite a roll in recent weeks, but signs of trouble continue to plague the real economy. Earlier this week, I talked about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping America. Major retail chains such as Sears and Macy’s are closing stores and laying off workers, but I didn’t think that Wal-Mart would be feeling the pain as well. Unfortunately, that is precisely what is happening. USA Today is reporting that approximately 1,000 jobs will be cut at Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas by the end of this month…
Walmart’s plan to lay off of hundreds of employees is the latest ripple in a wave of job cuts and store closures that are roiling the retail industry.
The world’s largest retailer is cutting roughly 1,000 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., later this month, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak about it.
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Kellyanne Conways Discusses The "Trump Effect" On Economy

"First of all, you already see the Trump effect.  You see that manufacturing jobs are already coming back to the U.S., or staying here.  Plans to build factories in Mexico, to ship jobs over the border there, take them away from hardworking Americans have stopped.  That's the Trump effect.  You see that the stock market loves that fact that he was elected."

13 Contrarian Economic Predictions For 2017

Given that most predictions end up being wrong, why not just take a look at what passes for conventional wisdom and do the opposite?

What Does The Future Hold For 'Average Joes'? (Spoiler Alert: Feudalism)

What does the future hold for average people? Feudalism. And they’ll welcome it with open arms, convinced that they are embracing a smart, fair system that eliminates poverty. The greed, entitlement, and lack of ambition that seems inherent in many people today will have them slipping on the yoke of servitude willingly.

PCR “If Donald Trump Is For Real, The CIA/Secret Service Will Surely Assassinate Him!”

from The Richie Allen Show:

Gen. Mattis: "Russia Is The Principal Threat To US Security"

"The world order is under biggest attacks since WW2, from Russia, terrorist groups, and China’s actions in the South China Sea,” Gen. Mattis told John McCain, agreeing with the bellicose senator that Russia is trying to break up NATO, and adding that Russia is the "principal threat" to the United States's security.

Trump’s Rising Civil War With the CIA

by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:
Remember when, before the US election, Trump said that if they lost it would be because the election was rigged?
Here was Barack Obama’s response to that.
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Leading French Presidential Candidate Le Pen Spotted At Trump Tower

As we detailed earlier, leading French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, is in New York for an unexpected visit. While she has no public agenda to meet with Donald Trump, she has just been spotted there drinking coffee.

'Protectionist' Obama Escalates Trade War, Slams China With Subsidized Aluminum Complaint

With all the partisan narrative defining Trump as a tariff-setting, anti-trade, economy-buster, we thought it ironic that free-trade-wunderkid Obama just escalated trade wars by bringing his administration's 16th trade-enforcement complaint against China with WTO, urging tariffs on subsidised Chinese aluminum, after accusing them of funneling artificially cheap loans from state-run banks to producers.

"Disappointed" Fiat-Chrysler Responds To EPA Accusations

Just days after Fiat-Chrysler's (FCA) commitment to Trump, the Obama administration's EPA has, as we previously noted, accused the carmaker of cheating on di4esel emissions tests (a la Volkswagen). FCA just responded, denying the charges.

Gold Leads As Dow Dive Erases 2017 Gains

VIX is spiking (admittedly to just above 12) as US equity markets are tumbling following the path of the USD (biggest drop in 6 months). The Dow just gave up all its 2017 gains (with Small Caps -0.8% on the year) as gold leads all asset classes.

Think The Aftermath Of The Election Was Bad? Wait Until Inauguration Day

After Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and was elected the next president of the United States, all hell broke loose in America. Violence and hatred spread like a pandemic virus. Then, things settled down, although the defeated liberals were still unhappy. Cities went back to normal, and anti-Trump vitriol returned mainly to its verbal form. But maybe they were just saving their energy for the inauguration on the 20th.

RBC Explains Why The Market Is Dumping, Adds "This Is Not The Big Short"... Yet

"The driver for the acceleration of ‘reversal trades’ yesterday into the overnight was the Barnum-esque circus of a press conference yesterday from President-elect Trump. Expectations were built for a more “Presidential” tone, with more granular ‘policy talk.' We got a “goat rodeo” instead, and it spooked a lot of the TACTICALLY long reflation crowd."

Fiat Crashes After EPA Accuses Carmaker Of Cheating Emissions Tests, "Skirting Rules & Got Caught"

The EPS is investigating whether Fiat-Chrysler software was a "defeat device" (like Volkswagen's), says FCA "skirted rules and got caught."

Beijing Not Amused After Tillerson Says US Will Block Chinese Access To South China Sea Islands

During his confirmation hearing as Trump's SecState, Rex Tillerson said a failure to respond to China had allowed it to “keep pushing the envelope” in the South China Sea and added that "we’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first the island-building stops and second your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed."

Trump : Head Of US Intel "Denounced Fictitious, Illegally Circulated Report"

"James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts.Too bad!"

Trump Bump Dumps - Confidence Collapses As Inauguration Looms

Despite the latest Small Business Optimism explosion of confidence (in December), the most up-to-date surveys of US consumer confidence appear to be crumbling after the 'Trump Bump'...

Amazon To Create 100,000 New Jobs In The US

The latest company to join Trump's "make American jobs great" bandwagon, Amazon on Thursday announced that it plans to create an additional "100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months."

Trump Blasts CNN's "FAKE NEWS", Says "Credibility Will Soon Be Gone!"

@CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!

Live Stream: Russia, Iran and International Alliances To Take Center Stage At Mattis Confirmation Hearing

With two days of grueling confirmation hearings in the books, it's time for Retired Marine General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense, to field some questions.  In his prepared remarks, Mattis is expected to emphasize the importance of international alliances and bringing "business reforms to the Department of Defense by instilling budget discipline."

Marine Le Pen In New York For Unexpected Visit, May Meet Trump

The leader of the French National Front Marine Le Pen, who according to a recent poll, has regained the lead in the first round vote of this year's French presidential election as the momentum of her main challenger Fillon has fizzled, is in New York on an unannounced visit less than four months before the election, according to a senior campaign official cited by Bloomberg.

"Deeply Concerned" Schumer To Vote Against Sessions, Fears For "Immigrant, Gay, Disabled, & Young" Americans

In a tweet-tempest this morning, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has confirmed he opposes Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to serve as attorney general.

Turkish Lira Spikes Most In A Month As Erdogan Compares FX Traders To Terrorists

"It's clear that the speculation on the forex rate has no depth... Our central bank and other banks must thwart these games,"

Import Prices Rise At Fastest Rate In Almost 4 Years As Energy Costs Soar

With survey after survey warning of stagflationary impulses - stagnant growth and higher input prices - today's US import prices will do nothing to assuage those fears as the year-over-year rise of 1.8% is the hottest since March 2012. The main drive of the jump is the rise in energy costs as ex-fuel, input prices declined 0.1% YoY.

Over 100,000 More Americans Are On Jobless Benefits Now Than Before Trump's Election

Continuing jobless claims are up over 100,000 since Donald Trump's election victory and stand at 4-month highs. This is the biggest percentage rise in claims since May 2009, all happening as small business optimism, consumer confidence, and stocks soar to cyclical highs.

Gold Tops $1,200 As Dollar Dumps Below Key Technical Level

For the first time since before Thanksgiving, the price of gold has risen above $1,200 (now up 13 of the last 15 days) and outperforming all other asset classes year-to-date. This latest jump comes as the USD Index tumbles further post-Trump's press conference, breaking below the key 50-day moving-average for the first time since September...

American Troops "Roll Into Poland" In Largest Deployment Since The Cold War

"American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia."

Blame The Press If Trump Didn't Discuss His Economic Agenda

"The other lesson not learned is that at a press conference, you can’t hope to get the questions you want to have answered unless you ask them. If investors were left disappointed on details relevant to the economy and policies, it’s because no one raised the issues in any substantive way."

Peter Thiel Explains Why Hedge Funds Changed Their Mind About Trump, Says "Age Of Apple Is Over"

"There were hedge fund people I spoke to about a week after the election. They hadn’t supported Trump. But all of a sudden, they sort of changed their minds. The stock market went up, and they were like, ‘Yes, actually, I don’t understand why I was against him all year long."

Senate Takes First Step To Repeal Obamacare With 51-48 Vote

Early on Thursday morning, in a 51-48 vote, the Senate took the first concrete step toward dismantling Obamacare, when it voted to instruct key committees to draft legislation repealing Barack Obama's signature health insurance program.

Hoover's Folly

It is premature to make investment decisions based on rhetoric and threats. It is also possible that much of this bluster could simply be the opening bid in what is a peaceful renegotiation of global trade agreements. Regardless, we must pay close attention as trade conflicts and their consequences can escalate quickly.

The Cost Of Being An American Tourist

Good news for globe-trotting Americans: most countries around the world are free or very cheap to get in to. But, as this map from shows, some countries do charge through the nose for a visa. And it's not the ones you would expect.

Nomi Prins: More Corporate Defaults, Central Bank Desperation in 2017

by Jim Rickards, DailyReckoning:
Nomi Prins joined Yahoo Finance and The Final Round’s Jen Rogers to discuss the events facing 2017 – including increased corporate defaults, market volatility and the impact of oil under Rex Tillerson at the U.S State Department.
When posed the question about economic growth and the incoming Trump administration Prins did not mince words saying, “Ultimately what is going to happen is he’s not going to be able to push a “mega fiscal budget” through a Republican Congress, nor will he try. Nor will he be able to sustain the kind of growth that he has promised. There may be a PR element, but in terms of actual conversions and the practical realities of the economy, that was weak to begin with for so many people, that’s not going to be a reality. That is going to take its toll on not just our stock market, but will add uncertainty into the rest of the world that is looking at these expectations.”
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