October 28: Daily Contrarian Reads

ALBERT EDWARDS: The Market’s ‘Catastrophic Distortions’ Will Cause a Collapse

In a note highlighting the “catastrophic distortions” caused by central bank quantitative easing, Albert Edwards, the Societe Generale über-bear strategist, says that the US is actually doing it worse than other countries…..The Fed, Lapthorne noted, allowed firms to borrow easily, and as their debt increased they bought back their own stock instead of kick-starting economic growth with capital investments.

Market Guru David Rosenburg: “We are Late In The Game

Late in the game: that is precisely where we are. And it’s not even an opinion any more. It is a market…..The yield curve is flattening. Leading economic indicators are sputtering. Uber-tight credit spreads and ultra-low cap rates in real estate serve as confirmations of late-cycle pricing.

With QE Near Dead, It’s More And More Pretzel Time

Reception of and belief about QE have been very much cult-like and it was thus too thinly constructed to withstand being so thoroughly debunked. This is not even close to making the best of a bad situation; it is instead claiming positive attributes that just don’t exist, being downright offensive to common sense. How anyone, let alone El-Erian, wrote that paragraph (contained within an article further rationalizing the latest of the “rising dollar”) without awareness of its very basic flaw can at best be described as intentionally obtuse while still bordering upon nakedly deceiving. The world of the near future is going to be bad, worse than everything “we” have been expecting, but take heart, the Fed’s monetary policy will reflect just that. Translating it from the original mainstream thought-bubble language truly reveals its truly absurd premise.

Crony Capitalism Alert: Carlyle Group Presses For More Subsidies to Keep Nuke Plants Alive

Nuclear power will come to an end in the U.S. if the industry doesn’t get more government support, according to Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s largest investment firms.The nation’s nuclear reactors need more subsidies to keep running, such as a federal carbon tax that’ll reward them for their zero-emissions power, Bob Mancini, co-head of Carlyle Group’s power unit, said at a conference in New York.

America’s Latest Hostage—–How Hillbama Kidnapped The FBI

When FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 that the Department of Justice would not seek the indictment of Hillary Clinton for failure to safeguard state secrets related to her email use while she was secretary of state, he both jumped the gun and set in motion a series of events that surely he did not intend. Was his hand forced by the behavior of FBI agents who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Did he let the FBI become a political tool?

Now Comes The Pushback—–Imperial Washington On The Defensive

The track record of US interventionism is so universally disastrous that slowly but steadily the rest of the world is pushing back against a US foreign policy that is making their own lives less safe. Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, for example, gave an interview to a German newspaper recently in which he singled out US foreign policy as a force for harm rather than good in the world

Here It Comes—-House GOP Prepares For Years of Clinton Investigations

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah congressman wrapping up his first term atop the powerful House Oversight Committee, unendorsed Donald Trump weeks ago. That freed him up to prepare for something else: spending years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton……“It’s a target-rich environment,” the Republican said in an interview in Salt Lake City’s suburbs. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”

Ma Bell’s Swell New Business—-US Taxpayers Paying AT&T Millions To Spy On Them

On Monday, The Daily Beast published a hugely important story about AT&T’s in house, for profit surveillance operation called Project Hemisphere. The program has nothing to do with information sharing legally required under a warrant, but rather consists of a business line through which the telecom giant stores customer data longer than peers in order to turn around and sell it to government agencies (no warrant required). This allows law enforcement to use secret and never disclosed evidence to build a cases against citizens via a shady and unaccountable practice known as parallel construction.

Why The Clintons Are “Broke” No More—Leaked Emails Show How Bill Got Rich

One of Bill Clinton’s closest confidants outlined in a lengthy 2011 memo how he and another aide helped secure at least $50 million in speaking fees and other ventures for the former president – in addition to raising “the bulk” of funds for the controversial Clinton Foundation…..The 12-page memo from Doug Band, released Wednesday by WikiLeaks, was designed to highlight the crucial role he – and his global strategy company Teneo – played in procuring money for the ex-president and Clinton’s namesake

Rents Are Too Damn High: NYC Retail Vacancies Soar As Commercial Rents Start To Rollover

Cushman & Wakefield recently released their 3Q 2016 New York City retail rental update and it’s pretty much universally bad news for commercial real estate owners in Manhattan.  Retail rental rates declined YoY in 9 out of the 11 Manhattan submarkets tracked by Cushman while vacancy rates soared to over 20% in several markets with the “Lower Fifth Avenue” corridor registering the highest vacancy rate in the city at 29.3%.