Unbelievable, Must-See Video: Heroic Navy Sailor Stands Tall In the Middle of Oakland Tear Gas Firestorm … Holding Up the Cons
by Zero Hedge - October 31st, 2011 11:46 pm
Submitted by George Washington.
Here he is a couple of minutes before, standing with marine veteran Scott Olsen before Olsen was hit in the head and nearly killed by a projectile:
And even active service members are starting to come out to support them.
Note: By comparing the video above with prior videos of Scott Olsen’s shooting, I believe that video experts should be able to confirm the identity of the shooter and the guy who threw the tear gas canister in the middle of the group trying to rescue Scott Olsen.
by ilene - October 31st, 2011 10:53 pm
Courtesy of John Nyaradi.
Markets spooked out today on Halloween as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (AMEX:SPY), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (AMEX:DIA), PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ), and the iShares Russell 2000 Index (AMEX:IWM) all took a nose dive to end a crazy month.
The nose dive was mostly a correction related to last weeks Europe debacle; moving forward this week, it is unclear whether the rally will continue until the end of the year, or if it was just a short sigh of relief before things could get really ugly.
One thing is for certain: MF Global Holding’s (NYSE:MF) file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not a positive sign by any means. The bank failed for several reasons, including its purchase of European sovereign debt. I wonder how European banks are feeling today as well for purchasing European sovereign debt, it certainly wasn’t a sugar high from too much Halloween candy. Spain and Italy are likely next, proceed with caution.
In other news, business activity reports were mixed today; reports showed slowing business in Chicago but increased manufacturing in Texas, the mixed reports being a further reminder we are not out of the woods yet. Tomorrow is a big day with an ISM report, construction spending report, and motor vehicle sales.
To continue, the Bank of Japan sold off 7 trillion Yen to slow down its currency, thus strengthening the dollar.
And lastly, G-20 leaders are set to meet this Wednesday; topics of conversation include growing the world economy and further solving the European crisis.
Global Stock Market Summary:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (AMEX:SPY): -3.15, -2.45%
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (AMEX:DIA): -2.70, -2.21%
iShares Russell 2000 Index (AMEX:IWM): -2.06, -2.71%
by Zero Hedge - October 31st, 2011 10:23 pm
Submitted by testosteronepit.
By Wolf Richter www.testosteronepit.com
Tokyo’s organized crime exclusionary laws went into effect in October—and they’re already creating havoc. The laws criminalize doing business with boryokudan (“violent group” or colloquially yakuza). In an ingenious twist, paying off the yakuza in an extortion racket is also a crime. Now restaurants have to stop paying protection money. Even victims of blackmail—hush money is an outright industry in Japan—commit a crime if they pay.
First, there’s a warning. But if violations persist, authorities will add the business or person to a public list of perps who have a “close relationship” with the yakuza. Instant loss of face. And then the financial nightmare: customers flee, banks shut their doors, government agencies won’t renew licenses, office leases get terminated—all based on the organized crime exclusionary clauses in their contracts. Individuals may lose their jobs, as comedian and TV host, Shimda Shinsuke, found out.
If contact with the yakuza continues despite all this, a person risks up to one year in the hoosegow and a fine of ¥500,000 ($6,400).
It hit the golf industry hard.
“If customers are yakuza, we ask them to leave even if they’re in the middle of playing,” said the general manager of Akabane Golf Club (Mainichi, article in Japanese). He is also the chairman of the Council of Golf Clubs for the Expulsion of Organized Crime in Tokyo. How would he know if someone is a yakuza? “We refer the names of suspicious people to the police,” he said.
And the pizza delivery industry is in uproar.
“We don’t know if the address we deliver to is the place of a yakuza,” said the Delivery Business Safety Driving Council. But don’t panic. “One or two pizzas are OK,” the Council said, “but delivering a huge amount of pizza, knowing that the customer is a yakuza is a no-no.” They’re planning to invite police officers to a study meeting with store managers.
A famous temple in Tokyo is grappling with the new laws. A number of its members are yakuza, and the graves of top yakuza are always full of incense. They held a huge funeral for one in July, but no more. Small family-and-relatives-only funerals of yakuza are tolerated. Not big ones. “But it’s difficult to decline a request for a funeral made by a powerful…
by ilene - October 31st, 2011 10:18 pm
Pic credit: Jr. Deputy Accountant
It’s not often that the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and conservative Judicial Watch agree on anything, but the Obama administration’s lack of transparency has brought the two together. Obama’s Justice Department has proposed a regulatory change that would weaken the Freedom of Information Act. Under the new rules, the government could falsely respond to those who file FOIA requests that a document does not exist if it pertains to an ongoing criminal investigation, concerns a terrorist organization, or a counterintelligence operation involving a foreign nation.
There are two problems with the Obama proposal to allow federal officials to affirmatively assert that a requested document doesn’t exist when it does. First, by not citing a specific exemption allowed under the FOIA as grounds for denying a request, the proposal would cut off a requestor from appealing to the courts. By thus creating an area of federal activity that is completely exempt from judicial review, the proposal undercuts due process and other constitutional protections. Second, by creating a justification for government lying to FOIA requestors in one area, a legal precedent is created that sooner or later will be asserted by the government in other areas as well.
by Zero Hedge - October 31st, 2011 9:40 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
China Manufacturing PMI prints at 50.4, down from 51.2, when consensus was expecting an increase to 51.8. This is the lowest print in 32 months, and the lowest since February 2009. But wait, before concluding that this is very bad news, uh, ahem… well, sorry, we haven’t taken the CNBC spin school yet. It’s bad news and the hard landing is coming. We leave the spin to the professionals. Oh wait, yes, China will go ahead and ease immediately if not sooner. Because the PBoC has surely completely forgotten how much fun it was to see pork prices rise by triple digits year over year, and because it knows all too well that no matter what it does the Fed will never, ever print, and thus export metric tons of inflation straight across the Pacific. How’s that for spin?
by Zero Hedge - October 31st, 2011 9:06 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Say you are the head back office guy at MF Global, it is the close of trading on Thursday, the firm has already completely drawn down on its revolver, and all the resulting cash in addition to all the firm’s cash at your disposal in affiliated bank accounts, up to and including petty cash, has been used to satisfy margin demands due to declining collateral value, yet the collateral calls just won’t stop, and impatient voices on the other side of the phone line demand you transfer even more cash over immediately or else risk default proceedings commenced against you within minutes. What do you do? Do you go ahead and tell your superior that the firm is broke even though the co-opted media is trumpeting every 5 minutes that "MF Global is fine", knowing full well you will be immediately fired for being the bearer of bad news, or do you assume that courtesy of your uber-boss being the former head of the Vampire Squid, and thanks to infinite moral hazard which after Lehman made sure nobody would ever fail ever again, that there is simply no way that you will be left without some miraculous rescue, if only you can last one more day, and as a result proceed to "commingle" some client funds with the firm’s cash.
It turns out that at MF Global you do the latter… over and over… until you have literally stolen hundreds of millions from the firm’s client accounts in hopes that the miracle rescue will come on Friday… then over the weekend… and then you realize no miracle is coming, partly because your actions have been exposed, partly because miracles only exist in fairy tales. The next thing you know, your firm is bankrupt and hundreds of clients are about to learn that all their money is gone. Poof. This is not a fictional tale. This is precisely what very likely happened at MF Global in the past 72 hours. And someone has to go to jail. That someone, if indeed this criminal act is proven to have taken place, should be none other than Jon Corzine himself.
The sad truth of just how low Wall Street has fallen comes to us courtesy of the New York Times:
Federal regulators have discovered that
by ilene - October 31st, 2011 8:38 pm
Courtesy of John Nyaradi.
US Dollar ETFs such as PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (AMEX:UUP) and PowerShares DB 3x Long US Dollar Index Futures (AMEX:UUPT) rose today against the Japanese Yen after the Bank Of Japan sold off nearly 7 Trillion Yen to weaken the currency.
The US Dollar rose significantly compared to the Japanese Yen today, and several US Dollar ETFs reacted sharply to the upward trend. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (AMEX:UUP) ETF rose 1.94% today, as it directly correlates to US dollar prices. Today was also a good day to be investing in the PowerShares DB 3x Long US Dollar Index Futures ETN (AMEX:UUPT), as it rose 6.09% today. This ETN tracks the US Dollar on a long position, and today’s rise created enormous wealth in this currency ETF.
The Japanese intervention, though strong, is likely to be short lived, as Japan’s Yen continues to face higher prices due its perceived perception as a safer currency then US Dollars or Euros. This “safer” currency mentality likely comes from fears about Europe and a possible Chinese bubble. (AMEX:UUP) and (AMEX:UUPT) are likely to be contenders for profitable dollar ETF trading, as long as The Bank Of Japan keeps injecting Yen into the system, and Europe remains on firm footing after last weeks debacle.
On the other side of the spectrum, PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bearish (AMEX:UDN) and its brother ETN PowerShares DB 3x Short US Dollar Index Futures (AMEX;UDNT) reacted negatively to the dollar rising, as (AMEX:UDN) dropped nearly 2% today while (AMEX:UDNT) dropped a whopping 5.22%. Both of these ETFs track the dollar inversely, with (AMEX:UDN) and (AMEX:UDNT) shorting the market. It is likely that as the Japanese Yen recovers from the Bank of Japan’s sell off, the US dollar will fall and (AMEX:UDN) and (AMEX:UDNT) will be very profitable investments and an easier way to make money on a falling US dollar. However, if the current “fiat” currency rally continues, in which markets continue to rise on continued positive Euro and US economic sentiment, then these ETFs would be the first on the chopping block.
Lastly, the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (AMEX:FXY) ETF reacted very negatively to the Bank of Japan’s Yen sell-off, dropping nearly 3.13%. This ETF will likely rebound in the next few days as the Yen corrects its down spell, but in the…
by ilene - October 31st, 2011 7:54 pm
Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal of The Business Insider
Image: Eric Wilkinson
There was a lot of confusion this morning about what kind of impact the bankruptcy of futures dealer MF Global would have on trading operations.
One place the impact was felt big: The floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
He explained to us what happened.
The gist: MF Global is the clearing firm for a huge chunk of the traders on the floor of the exchange. That means, essentially, that they guarantee that all trades get paid out, a role that the Chicago Board of Trade used to play directly, but which was outsourced to third parties as part of the CBOT’s move towards being publicly held. Importantly, MF is/was the clearing firm for many sub-firms, which means that many traders ultimately were having their trades cleared through MF Global, even if they didn’t know it.…
by ilene - October 31st, 2011 7:45 pm
Courtesy of Mish
In an extremely risky move, Papandreou calls for referendum on EU debt deal
Prime Minister George Papandreou has stated his intention to hold a referendum on last week’s agreement in Brussels for Greece’s bondholders to accept a 50 percent haircut and the country to receive some 130 billion euros in loans from its eurozone partners.
Speaking to PASOK MPs, Papandreou also said that he would ask for a vote of confidence in Parliament. This is likely to take place next week. The referendum could happen later this year.
Papandreou said he had faith in Greeks making the right decision. “Let us allow the people to have the last word, let them decide on the country’s fate,” he said. He said handing the vote over to Greeks was «an act of patriotism."
The premier insisted that calling snap polls – ahead of elections scheduled for 2013 – would be “simply dodging the issue.”
The vote of confidence – likely to be held next week – would come just over four months after a similar vote that Papandreou sought, and won, to bolster his government ahead of a Parliamentary vote on austerity measures.
The premier’s bombshell came a day after an opinion poll, carried out by To Vima, found that 60 percent of Greeks regard last Thursday’s EU debt deal as «negative» or «probably negative."
Things will become unglued in a hurry if Greek voters decide to tell the EU where to go. Moreover, but less importantly, Papandreou just may not survive the next vote of confidence.
by Sabrient - October 31st, 2011 7:22 pm
Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Courtesy of David Brown, Chief Market Strategist, Sabrient
So why did the Dow drop 275+ points, the S&P 500 32 points and the NASDAQ nearly 53 points? The S&P closed at 1253, still above the range-bound area of 1220 to 1120 that had held it captive from August 2 until October 21. Of course I don’t actually know, but I can give you a few clues. First, October had delivered an incredible +13% gain to the S&P 500. One of the best months in history! Last week produced mediocre economic data and an EU plan, while spectacular in goals, had few details or actual deals. And while Q3 continued to deliver solid earnings gains, there were plenty of disappointments. Another clue should have been that the week with all the EU hoopla ended with a paltry 0.5% gain for the S&P on Friday. With no clear progress from EU or the gridlock in our congress over the weekend, a stout round of profit-taking on Monday makes sense. Oil was down and the dollar was up sharply. Neither helps the market generate positive movement.
It would seem that we need specificity from the EU on its resolution of the current Euro crisis. We need our dysfunctional congress to end its gridlock and move our economy forward. Finally, we need the banks to resume lending and the cash-rich corporations to begin spending. Let’s face it: the alternatives to equities right now are the moribund opportunities in the fixed income market or the continually crashing real estate universe.
Market Stats. However, not all is lost. October ended with Net Revisions at 10.8 for the last 30 days for our 100 highest rated stocks, (its highest reading since early August). Even better, the forward quarters estimated valuation score for the same stocks is 6.43 compared to 4.84 back at the market high on May 2, 2011 (nearly a 50% increase). Finally, the secular 5-year forecast for earnings growth of these stocks reached 12.95%/year, the highest since early 2007. Results for the top 300 and 1000 stocks had similar highs.