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How Much Is Equity Research Actually Worth? Probably Less Than You Thought

October 24, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Over the past several months, investment banks all across Europe have scrambled to put a price tag on their equity research after years of giving it way as a ‘freebie’ in return for trading commissions.
Of course, for wall street’s titans of finance, …

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Gundlach Warns “The Order of The Financial System Is About To Be Turned Upside Down”

October 24, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

“I’m not a big fan of bonds right now,” may seem like an odd way for the so-called Bond King to begin, but in an audience at Vanity Fair’s Establishment Summit, DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach told Bethany McLean, “I haven’t been really [a fan of bonds] for the past four years, even though I manage them, and institutions have to own them for various reasons.”

Gundlach urged investors to be “light” on bonds.

As Vanity Fair’s William Cohan reports, Gundlach admitted “I’m stuck in it,” of his massive bond portfolio, adding that interest rates have bottomed out and been rising gradually for the past six years.

Gundlach said his job now, on behalf of his clients, “is to get them to the other side of the valley.”

When the bigger, seemingly inevitable hikes in interest rates come, “I’ll feel like I’ve done a service by getting people through,” he said.

 

“That’s why I’m still at the game. I want to see how the movie ends.”

But it can’t end well. To illustrate his point about the risk in owning bonds these days, Gundlach shared a chart that showed how investors in European “junk” bonds are willing to accept the same no-default return as they are for U.S. Treasury bonds, pointing out that this phenomenon has been caused by “manipulated behavior” by central banks.

European interest rates “should be much higher than they are today,” he said,

“…[and] once Draghi realizes this, the order of the financial system will be turned upside down and it won’t be a good thing.

 

It will mean the liquidity that has been pumping up the markets will be drying up in 2018…

 

…Things go down. We’ve been in an artificially inflated market for stocks and bonds largely around the world.

“My job is to find scary things,” Gundlach told McLean

“My critics say, ‘You find seven risks for every one that exists.’ Guilty. That’s my job. My job is to try to find out what can go wrong, not cover my ears and hum. It’s better to keep your eyes open.”

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In A Dramatic Pivot, Shia Militia Leader Tells US: “Get Ready To Leave Iraq”

October 24, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The Baghdad government and its paramilitary forces increasingly see American troop presence as the actual foreign menace.

A prominent Iraqi militia leader with close ties to Iran has told the United States to go home while also accusing US forces of not actually being interested in fighting ISIS: “Your forces should get ready to get out of our country once the excuse of Daesh’s presence is over,” said Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, the commander of the Shiite PMU group Asaib (Popular Mobilization Unit), through the group’s TV channel on Monday. The threatening statement was issued the same day Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi publicly rejected Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s earlier suggestion that Iraqi paramilitary units who have for years fought Islamic State terrorists are actually “Iranian” and not Iraqi nationals.  

On Sunday Tillerson controversially asserted that Iranian “militias” need to leave Iraq as the fight against Islamic State militants was coming to an end while in Riyadh where he engaged in rare high level talks with Abadi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. “Certainly Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fighting against (the Islamic State group) is coming to a close, those militias need to go home,” Tillerson said during a press conference in Riyadh, just before boarding a plane for Baghdad. “All foreign fighters need to go home,” he added.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday. Image source: Government of Iraq/Prime Minister’s office.

But Iraqi PM Abadi pushed back against the Secretary of State in a face to face meeting in Baghdad on Monday. Abadi’s words to Tillerson were publicized through a statement on the prime minister’s official Facebook page posted late Monday, which has been translated by Zero Hedge (emphasis ours):

Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi during his meeting with the American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson assured him that the fighters of al-Hash’d al Shaabi [PMU militias] are Iraqi fighters who fought terrorism and protected their country, they sacrificed in order to win against Daesh [ISIS], and that Hash’d al Shaabi is an official institution under the state. The Iraqi Constitution doesn’t allow for foreign armed groups under state institutions, and further said that we should encourage these fighters because they are the hope of our country and for the region.

And a separate statement issued earlier in the day by the prime minister’s media office warned, “No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters.” So it appears, based on today’s rebuttals, that the Iraqi government and its paramilitary forces increasingly see American troop presence as the actual foreign menace which potentially threatens Iraqi national sovereignty.

Interestingly, Abadi’s defense of the PMU forces appears to hinge on Article 9 section 1A of the Iraqi Constitution

Tillerson’s statements, however, are a reflection of the Washington foreign policy establishment’s increased frustration at Shiite-led Iran’s expanding sway in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq. US regional allies Saudi Arabia and Israel are arguably even more frustrated, reflected in the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric coming out of both countries, and the fact that the two former enemies are finding more and more common ground against Iran and Syria.

But the US and its allies have created the very situation and conditions they now find untenable. In Syria the West’s fueling of an international proxy war for regime change pushed President Assad to increasingly rely on Iranian forces in a now more than 6-year long war against both homegrown and foreign Sunni jihadists. Furthermore, Iran’s chief paramilitary ally in the region, Hezbollah, has played an even bigger role in pushing out ISIS and other al-Qaeda linked insurgents from Syria’s major cities.

In Iraq, Shiite parties have dominated politics since the U.S. toppled the Sunni-dominated secular Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Essentially, the neocons handed Baghdad to the very pro-Shia forces in Iraq that they now rant in frustration against, as is now commonly understood even among some of the very architects of Bush’s war.

The ultimate fear from the perspective of the US-Israel-Saudi axis remains the possibility of, in the words of Henry Kissinger, “a Shia and pro-Iran territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut” and the establishment of a supposed “Iranian radical empire.” For neocons, the next Middle East threat ever-looms ad infinitum (there will always be another boogeyman…and another, and another, and another…) as an excuse to maintain America’s “forever wars” in the region.

And of course, Iraqi PM Abadi understands all of this very well – he further knows that American officials believe in the principle of “sovereignty” until they simply don’t, that is, up until the point that US allied sovereign governments refuse to remain pliant puppets of American interests. In this case, the some 80,000 to 100,000 Iraqi PMU militias perceived by the US as being under Iranian influence and serving Iranian interests are considered by American and Saudi officials as intolerable, even while they fight ISIS.

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Inventory Levels Of These GM Plants Still In “Danger Zone” Even After 2 Hurricanes And 6,000 Job Cuts

October 24, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Over the past two months, General Motors’ stock has rallied nearly 30% on the notion that hurricanes in Texas and Florida solved the company’s nagging inventory problem.  But, even after two of the most devastating hurricanes in U.S. history wiped…

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Twitter To Crack Down On Revenge Porn Ahead Of Senate Intel Committee Hearing

October 24, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Via StockBoardAsset.com,

Last week, Twitter Safety released ‘a calendar of our safety work’ in approach to make the social media platform a much safer place. Twitter’s blog indicates “far too often in the past we’ve said …

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If You Want To Understand The Next 10 Years, Study Spain

October 23, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Some of you may be confused as to why a U.S. citizen living in Colorado has become so completely obsessed with what’s going on in Spain. Bear with me, there’s a method to my madness.
I b…

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Do Shifting Democrat Talking Points Confirm That “Trump Is Unlikely To Be Implicated” In Russia Probe?

October 23, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Over the past several weeks, the Russia-related talking points of Democrats and their mainstream media echo chambers have shifted from constantly insisting that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election to focus on a seemingly irrelevant amou…

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Top US General Describes Deadly Niger Ambush

October 23, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The top US general said on Monday that the American people, including the families of the fallen soldiers in Niger, deserve answers about this month’s deadly ambush which claimed the lives of four US soldiers, including that of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, whose widow Myeshia Johnson has been involved in an escalating feud with President Trump over the contents of his controversial phone call meant to deliver condolences.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, acknowledged that there was “a perception that the Department of Defense has not been forthcoming”about the mission and said that “we owe the families as much information as we can find out about what happened. The only thing I’m asking for here today is patience so that the information we provide you is factual.”

Gen. Dunford says there are “fair questions” on Niger ambush: “We owe the American people an explanation.” https://t.co/ZwR0HuQ8DQ pic.twitter.com/oZ0jLAI35P

— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2017

The general said that the four U.S. special operations personnel died Oct. 4 amid a “complex situation” and a “difficult firefight” and explained that they were ambushed by ISIS fighters with rockets and machine guns while leaving a village on a reconnaissance mission and heading back to their post.

12 US special operations forces accompanied by 30 Nigerien troops departed Oct. 3 on a reconnaissance mission from the capital to an outlying village. They left Oct. 4 to return to their operating base, and after leaving the village came under fire from about 50 local tribal fighters affiliated with ISIS and armed with rockets, machine guns and small arms. He said that they had set out with expectations that contact with the enemy was “unlikely.” The contact with the enemy happened south of the village and outside of the village borders.

At the beginning of the attack, a drone was not overhead but was sent up immediately after it started. The intelligence on the ground earlier in the day and before the mission did not indicate an incident would occur.

“I don’t have any indication right now to believe or to know that they did anything other than operate within the orders they were given,” Dunford told reporters.

Dunford also said that his assumption is that the troops originally thought they could handle the resistance, and didn’t call for support for an hour. An hour after that (two hours after the fighting began) French French Mirage jets arrived on the scene. As a result of the firefight, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright were killed. Sgt. La David Johnson was reported missing, and troops stayed in the area until his body was recovered on Oct. 6.

Dunford acknowledges many questions remain about what happened near Niger’s Mali border, including whether the U.S. had adequate intelligence and equipment for its operation, whether there a planning failure and why it  took so long to recover one the bodies. He also said US forces have been in Niger intermittently for more than two decades, and that some 800 U.S. service members are supporting a French-led mission to defeat the Islamic State, al-Qaida and Boko Haram in West Africa.

Many Americans have expressed surprise about the U.S. military operating in Niger. Congress has been repeatedly briefed about American presence on the ground, but Dunford explained why units are in country and said the U.S. can be proud of its counter-terrorism operations in the region. “The reason we’re in West Africa is because there’s a concentration of ISIS and Al Qaeda,” Dunford said, adding that the U.S. has had troops in Niger on-and-off for 20 years. “We have sent [U.S. special forces] there to operate in areas where there are extremist elements.”

Dunford said the Pentagon is still investigating the following open questions involving the ambush:

 

  • Did the mission change during the operation?
  • Did they have sufficient intelligence, equipment and training?
  • Was the pre-mission assessment of the threat accurate?
  • How did Sgt. Johnson become separated?
  • Why did it take so long to recover his body?

Dunford concluded that once all of the information about the situation is gathered, he will sit with the families who will have him in their homes to go over the details. After that, he will relay the details to the press.

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