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10 Charts That Capture The Market’s Confused Zeitgeist

In lieu of his traditional morning commentary, and while preparing for the key meeting this week, Nomura’s derivatives guru decided to pass-along a few charts “which capture the current market zeitgeist” along with the conclusion that the overall “output still speaks to the investors positioned for the end-of-cycle “Slow-flation” narrative: Long Global DM Bonds / Rates, Under-positioned for Equities rally and now tilting “Short Dollar” via tactical Longs developing in Gold, Commods and even Bitcoin.” Of course, with the US economic expansion just 6 days away from being the longest on record (unless the NBER decides in the next few months that the recession started some time in Q2), it is not difficult to see why end-cycle trades dominate – both on Wall Street and the Fed, which is doing everything in its power to extend the weakest recovery on record my at least a few months, even if it is kicking and screaming. So, without furhter ado, here are – as McElligott calls them – the goods: 1. Bitcoin: bitcoin is a play on escaping “negative yielding debt”, as global central banks tilt back to “easing” and currency devaluation in 2019.   2. Gold: this best way to “short the USD” is the most inversely-correlated asset to US short-term real yields in the past 20 years.   3. Fund Performance: Performance beta across assets/factors shows continued de-risking into...

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“Empty Shelves & Massive Job Cuts” Loom As Zimbabwe Abandons USDollar… Again

After a decade of dollarization to escape from the hyperinflationary hell of Mugabe’s money-printing, Zimbabwe has implicitly re-introduced the ZimDollar as the nation’s sole legal tender – banning the use of currencies such as the USDollar and South African Rand in favor of its so-called RTGS dollar. As a reminder, Zimbabwe abandoned its own dollar in 2009 after years of hyperinflation had destroyed trust in the local unit, but, after a hoped-for economic turnaround, promised by new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is yet to materialise, As Reuters reports, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said in a video posted on Twitter “The march towards full currency reform is part of our transitional stabilisation programme…This move is really beginning to restore full monetary policy.” Additionally, the central bank also hiked its overnight lending rate to 50% from 15% as a part of a set of measures to protect the RTGS dollar introduced in February. Jee-A Van Der Linde, an economist at South Africa-based NKC African Economics warned that banning the use of currencies such as the U.S. dollar and South African rand could create panic since Zimbabwe did not have large foreign-currency reserves to back the RTGS dollar. There was nothing standing in the way of the Zimbabwean central bank printing money as it had done in the past, he added. Van Der Linde is not alone in his skepticism, as TechZim...

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Frustrated Beto Donors Having Second Thoughts Despite Crucial Endorsement from Former Roommate

Former congressman and failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke needs to make a splash at the first Democratic primary debate in Miami this week if he wants to revive his failing presidential campaign. O’Rourke is floundering at 3.3 percent in the Real Clear Politics polling average, as Democratic primary voters line up behind old favorites (Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders) and flock to intriguing newcomers (Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris). The enthusiasm he managed to generate as a Senate candidate running against Ted Cruz in Texas hasn’t carried over onto the national stage. MORE: Woke to Broke: Beto’s Fall from Grace Even some of Beto’s earliest supporters and financial backers are frustrated and beginning to look elsewhere, BuzzFeed News reports:   BuzzFeed News spoke to more than a dozen small-dollar donors. . .who said they gave O’Rourke money on the day he announced his run for president — in what was, for many of them, their first-ever political donation. Back then, they were excited, energized, and hopeful about the campaign. As O’Rourke has slipped in the polls and out of the national spotlight, most echoed Simental’s feelings of disappointment, frustration, and confusion, even as they still supported O’Rourke’s candidacy. And many share a feeling that O’Rourke’s relative absence from national media at the beginning of his campaign is partly at fault for his struggles. “Oh my God, I think he...

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Smollett Asked Police To Stop Filming After Alleged Hate Crime

Almost 70 hours of released police video show actor Jussie Smollett and his manager asking police officers to stop filming him in the aftermath of the alleged hate crime he experienced in January. In the video from ABC 7 Chicago, Smollett, whose face is blurred, is seen still wearing the rope he claimed his assailants put around his neck. He is heard telling the officers that there is bleach on him. He then removes the rope, and his manager asks the police officers if their body cams are recording him. “Yeah, this is all being audibly and visually recorded,” the officer responds. Smollett says that he does not want to be filmed. “Ok so can you turn it off?” the manager asks the police officers. The officer confirms that Smollett and the manager are giving them permission to turn off the camera, then does so. Other released videos show footage of the Osundairo brothers, who Smollett allegedly paid to stage the attack, in a taxi to meet Smollett prior to the staging. The brothers are wearing what appear to be hazmat suits with their faces obscured. An Illinois judge recently appointed a special prosecutor to review actions of Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx during the investigation into the attack. Foxx initially said she was recusing herself from the case, but later clarified that she meant that in a...

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Judicial Crisis Network’s New Ad: Dems Must Release SCOTUS Nominee List

The Judicial Crisis Network launched a new ad campaign on Tuesday that calls on Democrats to release their list of potential Supreme Court judge nominees. The ad campaign, costing 1.1 million dollars, will be up for two weeks as the candidates gather for the debates in Miami this week. Former vice president Joe Biden is the focus of the ad, as he is the frontrunner for the Democrats. In 2016, when President Donald Trump ran for office, he released his list of nominees to the public. The ad compared Democratic candidates to Trump, saying, “Trump released his list. Why won’t you?” The ad says Trump was “open and honest” with the public in his 2016 campaign, and derides Biden and other Democrats for not releasing their lists. Democratic presidential nominees need to release their list to the public so that “American people can judge for themselves,” said Judicial Crisis Network’s Chief Counsel and Policy Director Carrie Severino. According to the Judicial Crisis Network webpage, “the Judicial Crisis Network is dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice in America.” “We support legislative and legal efforts which oppose attempts to undermine the rule of law; unconstitutionally expand the power of government; politicize the enforcement of the law; threaten American sovereignty; supplant American law with foreign or international law; or bias the legal system on behalf of politically favored groups or individuals.” The post Judicial Crisis Network’s New Ad: Dems Must Release...

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