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The darts of destruction E-mail
Thursday, 07 August 2014 09:45

By Columnist Charles Payne

Union-backed protests and lots of media coverage have helped the cause, but the biggest blow may have come from the NLRB which ruled the company is a “joint employer” with franchisees.

This ruling opens McDonald’s up to an assortment of local legal issues of its 12,600 franchisees and of course, makes it easier to argue for higher wages, even $15 an hour.

Birds of Prey

And I ran, I ran so far away

I just ran, I ran all night and day

I couldn't get away

Flock of Seagulls

The market is running from a flock of birds including a hornero , the unassuming national bird of Argentina which has defaulted on its debt again in its battle of wills versus a few American hedge fund managers. There should not be a contagion element to the news, but it is unnerving anytime sovereign debt obligations are ignored.

The story goes back to the 2001 default that saw Argentina give bondholders a choice of two exchanges that would have met 75 percent haircuts. Just about every holder took the offer, but about 7 percent of them held out and after years of legal wrangling they won the right to be fully compensated. Argentina balked, and that brings us to this morning when the default became official: the face amount of $1.5 billion is not a lot of money, but it’s an ugly showdown and to a certain degree, is weighing on the market this morning.

The tone of the Fed yesterday wasn’t hawkish, but there are cracks in the veneer that says the monetary policymakers can ignore the danger of their ways in perpetuity. In fact, one of their own said as much with a dissenting vote. On Wall Street, the Fed has major credibility, but that could slip if they persist in keeping rates at current levels much longer. The irony is that the Fed thinks it’s what Wall Street wants, but at this point, even the crybabies of Wall Street know it’s too much of a good thing.

So, this brings up talk about a black swan event and once again, I don’t see it with the things we know, but there is a bear that could become a greater risk. News from Russia has moved the needle of the market a couple times this week, and the high-stakes game of sanctions has entered a new phase. I guess the world and the market could use a dove right about now… or a couple of wise owls.

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