November 3: Daily Contrarian Reads

Meet Peter Kadzik: DOJ’s Man On Servergate And The Clinton Clans Crooked Consigliere

On Monday we were the first to note that Podesta’s friend Peter Kadzik was the DOJ representative chosen to head up a “thorough” review of the new Huma Abedin emails as revealed by a letter he wrote to Congress. Given Kadzik’s personal relationship with Podesta, it seemed like a “convenient” choice for the Clinton campaign…..In other words, the best friend of John Podesta, Clinton’s Campaign chair, at the DOJ will be in charge of a probe that could potentially sink Hillary Clinton.

October Merger Mania—-The Paroxysm Before The Crash

October was merger-mania month with a pre-election surge during the waning days: five of the largest 11 US-focused Mergers & Acquisitions in 2016 were announced in the last 10days of October, including two that broke all-time industry records.

Seven Warning Signs Of Recession Ahead

The US economy continues to show weakening conditions as new warning signs are flashing recession ahead. This is despite the best efforts of the FED and the US Government to ensure there is plenty of measures in place to continue to stimulate the economy.

Zombie Drillers: A Halloween Horror Story For Oil Markets

Investors may not realize it, but the Walking Dead is not the only zombie show running right now. The oil markets are at least as scary and have zombies that are much harder to kill than AMC’s popular program. While about 100 oil companies have gone bankrupt in 2015 and 2016, almost none of those companies have actually “died”. Instead, most of the firms are still pumping oil just as rapidly as before. That, in turn, has significant implications for investors in the market.

How Hillary Clinton Poisoned American Politics

FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information has the Clintonites falling back on their tried-and-true response to all the revelations coming from WikiLeaks and other sources – it’s all a Russian plot. Except, this time, the hysteria has reached such a fever pitch, and the conspiracy theories are so unhinged, that the political discourse in this country will be poisoned for years to come.

Draghi In The Dunce Chair—–Slammed By Germans for Expropriating Savers And Backdoor Socialization

While not quite as full of fire and brimstone as his June report in which Deutsche Bank’s chief economist, David Folkerts-Landau said that “The ECB must change”, and in which he accused Mario Draghi of putting not only the ECB’s future at risk, but the future of the entire Eurozone, with its destructive policies, overnight the German bank’s top economist released yet another subversive if quite accurate analysis which could have come from your typical, fringe (blog which has accused the central banks of all of this for many years), in which Folkerts-Landau once again exposes that “dark sides of QE”, listing “Backdoor socialisation, expropriated savers and asset bubbles.”

Red Ponzi Update: Fast-Growing China Provinces Can’t Quit Investment Addiction 

In the five fastest-growing provinces, total fixed-asset investment exceeded the sum of their gross domestic product in the first three quarters of this year, according to new data from 29 of 31 provincial governments. In Chongqing, Guizhou, Tianjin, Jiangxi and Anhui, combined total investment was 6.56 trillion yuan ($969 billion) versus their combined economic output of 6.37 trillion yuan, the data show.

Federal Reserve to Pensions: Suspend Disbelief Indefinitely

Add up all our great states and Moody’s math comes up with $1.75 trillion in what will be pension underfunding by the time we’ve said adios to fiscal year 2017. That represents a 40 percent jump from fiscal year end 2015. On a fundamental level, it is poor investment returns and insufficient contributions that have landed pensions in this pickle. “Poor” might be a bit kind considering the median return for state pensions in the last fiscal year was 0.52 percent, again, compared to a 7.5-percent assumption. As for insufficient, half of the states did not contribute enough to stave off further underfunding.

Inside The Durable Goods Report—-An Economy Stuck In The Mud

The statistics show that everything is stuck, at best. Durable goods shipments were down 0.5% year-over-year in September 2016 after being up almost 2% the month before; new orders were flat. Capital goods continue to see the worst of it, with new orders down almost 4% in the latest month while shipments fell by 5.2%. These circumstances are the continuation of two years of the wrong direction. To some, durable goods might show stabilizing, but in terms of capital goods businesses don’t appear to arrive at the same conclusion (and it’s not all energy-related).

Thanks For The “Bailout”, Angela: In Greece, Property Is Debt

The collapse of the real estate market shows why. The total number of transactions dropped by 74 percent from 2004 to 2014. People once hoped that if they came into property they could sell it and live easier; now they fear that they will be unable to sell it and the taxes will drag them down. If they did find a buyer, they would be unlikely to gain much, as prices of apartments have fallen by 41 percent since 2008, according to the Bank of Greece. Construction of homes has collapsed, dropping by 95 percent from 2007 to 2016. With no end to the crisis in sight, people will continue to dread coming into property.