Tuesday , March 19 2019
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Gregor Samsa

Gregor Samsa

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Articles by Gregor Samsa

Rory It Is…

2 days ago

The Irishman, Rory McIlroy wins the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass in Florida on St. Patrick’s Day with a score of 16 under par.  How cool is that?
I think our “Unleash the Leprechauns!” chant and blessing helped him along today.  You should have bet along with us.  See here.
In the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship 2019, Rory McIlroy made some clutch shots down the stretch, carding a 2-under 70 to finish the tournament at 16-under and one stroke clear of the field for his 15th-career PGA TOUR victory.
SUBSCRIBE to PGA TOUR now: http://pgat.us/vBxcZSh
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Week In Review – March 15

2 days ago

Summary
Bond yields mostly lower on the week as global growth expectations ratchet downward and yield chasing back in vogue, led by Brazil
Credit spreads tighter led by lower-tier credits
Major Latin FX rebounds after a few weeks of weakness
Dixie rejected right at 97.70 resistance. Chart traders and/or ‘bot in total control.  We was [sic] wrong but believe dollar moves higher into year-end
Pound continues to price soft Brexit or new Refie
Smart week for global equities
Brazil equities bounce big after their bout of weakness
S&P closes at its highest level since the bear market began in late September
VIX at the lowest level since October
Wheat and corn bounce on short covering due to….of course, what else, trade rumors.  The American farmer has been butchered by the trade wars

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NASA’s Pot of Gold

2 days ago

Is there a pot of gold at the end of a green aurora? We’re not sure, but these green lights are perfect for the #StPatricksDay holiday: https://t.co/vdxQ9QmhOR pic.twitter.com/vUKHMBSOjj
— NASA (@NASA) March 17, 2019

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Happy St. Patrick’s (Maweyn Succat) Day!

2 days ago

Another Blast From The Past (BFTP).  Hard to believe this was seven years ago.
Happy St. Patrick’s (Maweyn Succat) Day!
St. Patrick, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day. Simple, right? The man wasn’t even Irish! He was actually born in Britain around the turn of the 4th century. At 16 years old, Irish raiders captured him in the midst of an attack on his family’s estate. The raiders then took him to Ireland and held him captive for six years. After escaping, he went back to England for religious training and was sent back to Ireland many years later as a missionary. St. Patrick was actually born Maewyn Succat, according to legend; he changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin term for “father figure,” when he became a priest.  – Time
The Irish Comeback
Ireland

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Ten Plus Plus Great Weekend Reads – March 15

4 days ago

Markets
Active investors are depressed, but not depressed enough – FT
Over his long and illustrious career, Mr Buffett has beaten the market handily, but over the past 10 years, the return of Berkshire Hathaway shares is 274 per cent. Which looks impressive until you consider the S&P 500 has returned 273 per cent.  – FT
Liquidity is the scary absentee in stocks’ rebound – FT

The Flowless Stock Recovery

Economics
You Never Know When a Recession Will Sneak Up on – NY Times
Manufacturing Pullback Flashes Signs of Economic Slowdown – WSJ

Ballooning US debt piles put investors on guard – FT
Tail Risk: Global debt – when is the day of reckoning? – FT
Trump’s Twin Deficits Are Exploding – Forbes

Is modern monetary theory nutty or essential? – Economist
US Trade Policy Flux Hurting

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Careful When Locking Horns

5 days ago

Bull or bear … eventually the market comes for you when you least expect it pic.twitter.com/XXHlxqskl8
— ɢᴜʀᴜʜᴀᴠᴇɴ (@GuruHavenHQ) March 14, 2019

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QOTD: Just The Facts Ma’am

5 days ago

QOTD:  Quote of the Day

Court is one of those places where facts still matter – Judge Amy Berman Jackson,  March 13, 2019
Why do we believe Judge Jackson’s quote will be carved in stone, though the words may live in infamy?   Thank goodness, at least in her court, words and facts still have meaning.

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On This Day In History – March 14

6 days ago

Birthdays
1879 Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate (theory of relativity), born in Ulm, German Empire (d. 1955)

1958 Danny Meyer, American restaurateur (Shake Shack, Union Square Cafe), born in St. Louis, Missouri
1988 Stephen Curry, American basketball guard (NBA MVP 2015-16 Golden State Warriors), born in Akron, Ohio
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Events
1592 “Ultimate Pi day”: on this day at 6.53am is the largest correspondence between calendar dates and significant digits of pi, since the introduction of the Julian calendar (3.141592653)

1644 England grants patent for Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island)
1794 Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin machine revolutionizing the cotton industry in the southern US states
1801 Henry Addington becomes Prime

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More On Brexit…

6 days ago

Britain votes down a ‘no-deal’ #Brexit https://t.co/QPKwyVAtmn pic.twitter.com/6vX775bqGq
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 14, 2019

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Question of the Day: British Parliament

6 days ago

I am listening to the live debate in the House of Commons about the vote, which just took place voting down a “no-deal Brexit,”  321-278, close enough to make us a little nervous.  Some MPs are up in arms that the vote is “indicative” and not policy.
Does the will of the House trump the will of the people? – MP of British House of Commons
We ask you again, are you surprised that in our post-Truth world we live that all things are indicative, nothing matters, nothing is binding, alternative facts, fake news, and now fake athletes?
You can now redefine your child, for a $400K bribe, as a football placekicker, and get him into Stanford.  Man, I smell pitchforks on this one!  AOC will be on the warpath.
Article 50 Extension Vote Tomorrow
The House of Commons votes tomorrow on extending

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Thank You, Mr. Gundlach

6 days ago

In our Monday post, we stated,
Absolutely stunning to see such large budget deficits as far as the eye can see with the actual and projected unemployment rate under 5 percent. What kind of budget deficit beast will we run if we have a recession?  Will demand for Treasury securities be there to finance, say, a $2 trillion deficit? – GMM
Jeff Gundlach illustrates our concern in a chart from his presentation today, Highway To Hell 

What Does Ray Dalio Think?
Wow,  more than $2.5 trillion-plus in new Treasury issuance hitting the market during the next recession.  No wonder Fed Chair Jay Powell looked a little pale during his 60 Minutes on Sunday night.
Given the structural changes taking place in the Treasury market, we are not so sure the markets can absorb such a large supply

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On This Day In History – March 13

7 days ago

Birthdays
1913 William J. Casey, American head of the CIA during the Iran-contra scandal (1981-87), born in NYC, New York (d. 1987)
1946 Yonatan Netanyahu, Israeli soldier who died leading rescue operation Entebbe in Uganda, born in NYC, New York (d. 1976

1950 Charles Krauthammer, American conservative political commentator and psychiatrist (The Washington Post), born in NYC, New York (d. 2018)
1956 Jamie Dimon, American business executive and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, born in NYC, New York

1960 Adam Clayton, English-Irish musician and rock bassist (U2-I Will Follow), born in Chinnor, England
Events
1639 Cambridge College, Massachusetts, renamed Harvard for clergyman John Harvard

1677 Massachusetts gains title to Maine for $6,000
1852 Uncle Sam cartoon figure made its debut in the

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Life In The “New Farm” Belt

7 days ago

We know the farm belt is in crisis,
President Donald Trump’s trade war is magnifying some of the toughest farm conditions since the crisis that bankrupted thousands of farmers in the 1980s — and threatening a constituency crucial to his reelection hopes. – Politico
Here’s a look at some of the new farms rising up over the past few years.

I’m completely obsessed by click farms – where thousands of machines are lined up to generate fake engagement. pic.twitter.com/NgDm4AWiCm
— Jamie Bartlett (@JamieJBartlett) March 11, 2019

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Corbyn calls for no deal to be taken off the table

7 days ago

Parliament not there yet on a second refi but the path is becoming clearer.  The House of Commons votes down a “no deal Brexit” tomorrow (highly likely) and then votes to extend Article 50 on Thursday (highly likely).   Then what?
TINA – There is no alternative.   The MPs will have to take it to the people.
A buyer of cable on dips.
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On This Day In History – March 12

8 days ago

Birthdays
1685 George Berkeley, Irish philosopher/bishop of Cloyne

1922 Jack Kerouac, American Beat writer (On the Road, Mexico Blues), born in Lowell, Massachusetts (d. 1969)

1932 Andrew Young, US ambassador to UN (1977-79)/(Mayor-D-Atlanta)
1947 Mitt Romney, 70th Republican Governor of Massachusetts and presidential candidate, born in Detroit, Michigan
1948 James Taylor, vocalist/guitarist (Up on the Roof), born in Boston, Massachusetts
Events
1455 First record of Johannes Gutenberg‘s Bible, letter dated this day by Enea Silvio Piccolomini refers to the bible printed a year before

1642 Abel Tasman is the 1st European to sight New Zealand, viewing the north-west coast of the South Island
1664 New Jersey becomes an English colony
1848 2nd Republic established in France

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BFTP: How to Become a Trillionaire And Other Thoughts

8 days ago

BTFP:  Blast From The Past
Time to repost our piece from January 2017, almost two weeks before the Trump administration took power.
We hit the big topics back then which are now making headlines today:  1)  Modern Monetary Theory;  2)  How Trump’s fiscal policy will lead to larger trade deficits, regardless of his “trade deals”;  and 3) Our call on spikey interest rates, which though gained some traction by breaking out in September 2018, which took the stock market down, but has yet to fully play out.  Give it some more time.
New Charts
Here are some up-to-date charts, which confirm some of our predictions back in January 2017.
Absolutely stunning to see such large budget deficits as far as the eye can see with the actual and projected unemployment rate under 5 percent. What kind

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On This Day In History – March 11

9 days ago

Birthdays
1596 Isaac Elsevier, book publisher
1870 Louis Bachelier, French mathematician (d. 1946)

1903 Dorothy Schiff, American owner and publisher (NY Post), born in NYC, New York (d. 1989)
1903 James Franklin Hyde, American inventor who created silica, born in Solvay, New York (d. 1999)
1916 Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister (Labour: 1964-70, 1974-76), born in Huddersfield, England (d. 1995)
1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born American media mogul (NY Post, News of the World, FOX-TV), born in Melbourne, Victoria
Events
537 Goths lay siege to Rome

1744 English auction house Sotheby’s holds its first-ever auction (of books) in London
1789 Benjamin Banneker and Pierre Charles L’Enfant begin to lay out Washington, D.C.
1862 Abraham Lincoln removes George McClellen as

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Week In Review – March 8

9 days ago

Summary
Big rally in DM bond markets as ECB throws in the towel and sees gloom ahead and the very weak nonfarm payroll number on Friday
U.S. credit gave some back last week
Dixie ready to breakout
EM FX hit again, led by Latin majors
Most equity markets down moderately with the NIKKEI leading, down 2.67 percent
Russell down 4.26 percent.  Watch this schpace
Grains, led by Wheat continue to get crushed.  Market seems to be anticipating big trade conflict coming
Commentary:   Once again, Mr. Market sets a huge bull trap after last week’s close above the key level of 2800 and rejected the rally at 2816.88 just 6 bps below the high of the recent bear market.   The S&P closed the week below its 200-day moving average with the key level to the downside is now 2713.88.  The 200-day at 2750

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The Politics of Semantics

10 days ago

Are you surprised in our “post-truth” world the 2020 Presidential election is going to be framed by one word,  “Socialism?”
What exactly is socialism?
Bernie Sanders likes to call himself a democratic socialist but immediately identifies with the Scandinavian countries,
“When Bernie is asked, ‘Are you a socialist?’ he doesn’t deny it, and he immediately talks about Scandinavia. He uses them interchangeably. But if you look at his history, he knows the distinction,” Schwartz said.  – Politifact
Has Bernie Mislabeled Himself? 
Yet Bret Stephens, the conservative New York Times columnist, in his Friday column had this little gem,
…Nordic countries like Denmark (often mislabeled “socialist”)  – Bret Stephens, March 8th
But then Stephens goes on to say this in the very same article,
Few

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The Haines Bottom – March 9, 2009

10 days ago

Man, I miss that guy…

Full #HainesBottom moment, from 10 years ago — which we paid tribute to just now @CNBC @SquawkStreet pic.twitter.com/r226g1v6VQ
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) March 8, 2019

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Meet The Mets

10 days ago

Today In 1963: "Meet the Mets", the official song of the New York #Mets is introduced to the public for the first time! #MLB #History pic.twitter.com/2oay60ysr3
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) March 9, 2019

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Ten Plus Great Weekend Reads – March 8

11 days ago

Chinese stocks tumble as ECB and China data spark concerns – FT
Why bulls on Wall Street are becoming an endangered species – FT
Here’s why recent stock gains could be just a bear-market rally – MarketWatch
Man credited with calling the 2008 crisis says the next 20 years in the stock market will ‘break a lot of hearts’ – MarketWatch
Death of Bond Volatility Has Pimco Fearing for Europe’s Future – Bloomberg
China’s trading day is starting to influence global markets – Economist
Why Stock Investors Shouldn’t Watch Business TV – Fortune
Hiring Growth Slowed in February as Employers Struggled to Find Workers – WSJ

How Hot Is Your City’s Job Market? – WSJ
Tech Is Splitting the U.S. Work Force in Two – NY Times
Prices of prime properties around the world are falling – Economist
Global

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On This Day In History – March 8

12 days ago

Birthdays
1702 Anne Bonny, Irish pirate (date of birth is approximate), born in Kinsale, Ireland (d. 1782)
1841 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, US 59th Supreme Court justice (1902-32), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1935)

1936 Gabor Szabo (any relation to the great Wall Streeter, Andy Szabo?), Hungarian jazz guitarist (Perfect Circle)

1939 Jim Bouton, pitcher (NY Yankees)/author (Ball Four), born in Newark, New Jersey
Events

1531 Henry VIII recognized as supreme head of Church in England by the Convocation of Canterbury
1702 Queen Anne becomes Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland upon the death of King William III
1817 The New York Stock Exchange is founded

1838 US mint in New Orleans begins operation (producing dimes)
1854 US Commodore Matthew C. Perry‘s second trip to Japan

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Jeremy Grantham: “This one [bubble]… a decline of a different nature”

12 days ago

Great and super fascinating interview with investing legend, Jeremy Grantham, one of the best bubble spotters out there.
“I arrived in 1964, and America was a fairly equal place with fairly rapid mobility between socioeconomic classes,” Grantham told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost. “Now it’s worse than the U.K.”
Grantham also said the wealth inequality in the U.S. is approaching that of countries like Brazil and Chile.
We wrote about the nature of this bubble, a “steel bubble” and how its decline will be different than that of past bubbles — that is a rapid popping — which is Grantham’s main thesis,
This asset bubble is different.
It is larger, encompasses almost all asset classes, may inflate much further, will  likely last longer than many expect, and will be harder to burst because the

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