Opening Bell 12.18.18

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Don't poke the bear [The Water Coolest]

Go home markets, you're drunk.

The Dow fell 500 points on Monday to its lowest level since October 2017. The S&P and Nasdaq shared similar fates, hitting levels that had dumbfounded investors saying, "I'm not even mad, that's amazing."

And equities weren't the only markets caught with their pants around their proverbial ankles. Oil has had a rough go at it with West Texas crude closing below $50 for the first time in 14 months.

A laundry list of incendiary factors are contributing to the dumpster fire: a pending US government shutdown, trade war uncertainty, jitters over Brexit, mounting concerns in the EU, weak oil prices, volatility in Asia ... Elon Musk not tweeting under the influence etc.

One of the biggest drags on US markets has been the Feds expected rate hikes. F*ckin dot plots. Jay Powell and the FOMC will meet tomorrow to decide if and when the next hike will take place. The options? (A) as expected, this month, or (B) delayed until 2019.

Put simply, this decision will likely be a defining plot line in Jerry Fed Rates straight-to-DVD biopic. No pressure.

Stocks Close at 14-Month Low in Broad Sell-Off: Markets Wrap [Bloomberg]

Catch a case [The Water Coolest]

Johnny Law is breathing down Goldman's neck. Malaysian officials have filed criminal charges against the most hallowed of Wall Street firms related to its role in the 1MDB bond debacle. Its unclear if the Malaysian government's jurisdiction extends to 200 West.

The Southeast Asian country is shooting from the hip after failing to get DJ D-Sol to the negotiating table for settlement talks. Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas, whose "name" has to be Google Translator fail, is seeking $2.7B of misused funds and $600M in fees paid to Goldman.

What is being called the biggest fraud since the financial crisis was lead by notoriously rotund Malaysian playboy "Jho Low" who remains on the run. Goldman banker, Tim Leissner, aka Mr. Kimora Lee Simmons, has already plead guilty to US bribery charges.

Noticeably absent (read: laying low in international waters) is former CEO Lloyd Blankfein whose last days with the firm were allegedly marred by 1MDB fallout. US officials have opened an investigation related to the allegations against the firm.

Goldman’s Woes Mount as Malaysia Slaps First Criminal Charge [Bloomberg]

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