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Syria Shoots Down NATO-Member Turkey's Military F-4 Jet

Update: they are making it up as they go along:

TURKISH PM SAYS HAS NO FIRM INFORMATION ON ANY APOLOGY FROM SYRIA, WILL MAKE FURTHER STATEMENT AFTER SECURITY MEETING
TURKISH PM SAYS CANNOT SAY WHETHER TURKISH WARPLANE SHOT DOWN OR CRASHED, NO NEWS ON PILOTS - TURKISH TV

Looks like everyone is trying to position appropriately.

Update from Al Jazeera: Turkish PM says cannot say whether Turkish warplane shot down or crashed, no news on pilots.

Just when the geopolitical tensions in the middle east appeared to be abating, and Brent was on a gentle glideslope to whatever price will greenlight the NEW QE now that fears of an Iran war have been very much silenced, things change. Reuters reports that Syria shot down a Turkish warplane on Friday, according to Lebanon's al-Manar television reported, "risking a new crisis between Middle Eastern neighbours already at bitter odds over a 16-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad." "Syrian security sources confirmed to a Manar correspondent in Damascus that Syrian defence forces shot down the Turkish fighter jet," the Hezbollah-owned channel said." Here is the rub: Turkey is a NATO member, and by definition the alliance will have to come to Turkey's aid if requested. Syria, however is not just any country as has been made quite clear over the past several months of UN impotence: it is a critical staging ground for both Russia (which has a very critical regional naval base in the city of Tartus) and China, and according to the Jerusalem Post, the three countries are in preparation to conduct the "largest ever" war game. As such Syria, already gripped by fierce local fighting, where just like in Egypt and Libya the presence of US-based flipflop on the ground can be smelt from across the Atlantic, is merely a symbol. The real implication is how far can little escalations push until finally the showdown begins, with NATO on one side and Russia and China on the other?



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Biderman And Bianco Berate Bernanke, Buy Bullion, And Batter Bullishness

Critical of the market's reaction to the 'no new QE' news, Biderman and Bianco wholeheartedly believe yesterday's plunge was entirely due to the fact that the 'Bernanke Put' - that we have become so conditioned to expect - did not appear at the levels many expected. Despite a federal deficit of $100 billion per month, it seems the Fed is now in agreement with Biancerman that US growth is limping along at best but notably Jim Bianco believes the fiscal cliff will end up more of a bump in the road as he sees politicians being forced to agree to extend or roll-back (maybe at the very last minute) offsetting the abyss. However, with the debt ceiling looking like it will be hit before the election, it will be interesting to see what political parlance is used if-and-or-when Geithner borrows from the trust funds to keep the government going this time (or not). Positive on Gold longer-term, Bianco sees it like other markets: "Gold is a junky that has not got its money fix" and the only reason to believe Gold is a sell is if you think CBs are done - they are not! Finally the two discuss the fact that 'nobody wants to be bearish anymore' when looking at sentiment surveys - setting up a 'trap-door' for the market.



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Guest Post: The Solution to Concentrated Power: The Triple Ds

The solution to centralized power can be summarized as the three Ds: diffusion, decentralization, and devolution of power to local communities.  The concentration of power into the hands of a few bureaucrats in Europe has failed, just as concentrating monetary power into the (privately owned) hands of Federal Reserve bureaucrats has failed. Enabled by a captured Central State, financial power has become concentrated in five banks, media control has been concentrated into six corporations, and so on, ad nauseum. Concentrating centralized political power inevitably spawns State/private-capital cartels that stripmine taxpayer/citizens. This cannot be avoided or staved off with 1,000-page legislative bills and 30,000 pages of regulations, all of which serve to consolidate the power of centralized government and private capital.



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Risk Markets Remain Macro-Driven

As we discussed earlier, markets remain mired in their addiction to liquidity and the global macro-picture seems synchronized to this central bank largesse with an inability to function without at least the hope of more QE around the world. Nowhere is this more clear than in the extreme high levels of correlation across global risk assets. Barclays notes that the correlation between global equities, the USD, emerging market FX, high-grade credit, and commodities remains near cyclical highs and rising. Furthermore, 'safe haven' correlations are at record levels relative to risk assets (especially US Treasuries) and they remain tactically biased to fade any rally here as the correlations have driven an 'extreme valuation gap' between 'safe haven' and risky assets - which creates a strong potential for 'spasmodic relief rallies'.



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Latest European Bailout Plan Fizzles In Record Time

UPDATE: The Bundesbank, as usual, ready to pur some 'reality-based' cold-water on the situation:

*BUNDESBANK SAYS IT'S CRITICAL OF ECB COLLATERAL DECISION

*BUNDESBANK SAYS IT WON'T ACCEPT COLLATERAL IT DOESN'T HAVE TO

They came, they spoke, they spiked EURUSD; but now just over 90 minutes later the full force and furor of the 3 horse-men (and 1 woman) of the Euro-zone have tried and failed to get any market belief in their constant tirade of the same facts and denials. No matter what Monti, Hollande, and Rajoy say, Merkel's reply summarizes to: "No Free Lunch" and while markets exhibit their 'spasmodic' response function to any comment from Europe, sooner now (rather than later) we revert to pre-bullshit levels. As a reminder, the half-life of the Spanish Bailout was 7 hours as we noted here which must make this total reversion particularly worrying for the 'elite'.



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RANsquawk Weekly Wrap - 22nd June 2012



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Merkel Reminds Europe Of The Golden Rule

After a series of idiotic pleadings by Europe's broke insolvent countries that everything is now all fixed, Merkel decided to put some order into the house and reminder everyone who actually still has money:

  • MERKEL SAYS DIRECT BAILOUT FUNDING OF BANKS VIOLATES TREATIES
  • MERKEL SAYS GERMAN TAXPAYERS WANT GUARANTEE ON HOW AID SPENT

Which is funny: because the Golden Rule is that he who has the gold, makes the rules. And the rule is, and has always been, that the "guarantee" for further bailouts will be even more gold. Physical not metaphorical.



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Photos From A "Fixed" Greece

Austerity: Many Greeks cannot afford to feed themselves as deep austerity measures imposed by Europe as part of the bailout agreement take their toll

Greece may have a new government that is the same as the old government, but what is important is that it is "fixed".



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Spain Utters The B-Word, Ruins The Party.... Update - False Alarm: The Taxpayer Rape Will Continue

Update: we have entered full retard rumor territory again:

  • GUINDOS SAYS NO PLAN TO APPLY LOSSES ON JUNIOR BANK BONDHOLDERS

In other words, no B-word; to summarize - Spain float rumors, does not like market response, denies rumor. Taxpayer rape must continue.

* * *

Spain just uttered the "B" word and ruined the party:

  • SPAIN SAID TO WEIGH IMPOSING LOSSES ON JUNIOR BANK BONDHOLDERS

What is the B-word you ask? Why Burdensharing of course. And we can see why it would be confusing - it never happened once in the past 3 years of central bank coordinated bailouts.



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On The Energy Cliff's Early Warning Signal

The XLE closed yesterday at 63 - only a buck above the June 1 lows. For the year, XLE is now down a whopping 8 bucks. And of course oil, which started the year at 103 and peaked at 110, has dropped to 78. Jefferies' David Zervos offers some critical insight into the energy sector bloodbath in the last few months, which of course begs the question - what in the world is going on? Shouldn't all this accomodative policy by the Fed, ECB, SNB, BoE and BOJ be sending commodities to the moon? The answer, he believes, is straightforward - central banks are NOT being accomodative enough. These downward trends in the energy and commodity complex should be a warning sign to anyone with a "price stability" mandate. For now we should look at this energy cliff as an early warning sign for stress in the system. And as such we should expect the usual central bank backstopping to come out in force if this trend picks up material steam! Its the same old story, reflation or bust - and Zervos is still betting the central bankers deliver the former!



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ECB Officially Announces Easing Of Collateral Rules, Confirms Europe Has Run Out Of Assets

Goodbye European Central Bank. Hello Salvation Army Bank.

or in other words:

"THE ECB RATES THIS SPIDERMAN TOWEL-BACKED CURRENCY AAA+++



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Diagnosing Liquidity Addiction

Over the last few weeks markets have recovered from the significant stresses that were building towards the end of May (until yesterday's slow realization). The recovery has been in no small part due to expectations of intervention and that fresh rounds of QE and their equivalents will soon be implemented around the developed world. Deutsche Bank believes that markets are now addicted to stimulus and can’t function properly without it. There is little evidence yet to suggest that markets in this post crisis world have the ability to prosper in a period without heavy intervention, though empirically asset prices benefit from liquidity but that the environment remains fragile enough for them to struggle to maintain their levels when the liquidity stops. Critically, they agree with us that the structural problems the West faces mean that QE and its equivalents and refinements will likely need to be around for several years to come to ensure that the financial system and its economies don’t relapse into a depressionary tail-spin. There is no evidence that we are currently close to being able to wean ourselves off our liquidity addiction. The hope would be that with further injections we can prevent the worst case scenario but the base case remains for the stress and intervention cycle repeating itself as far as the eye can see. Central banks still have much to do.



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The USD Trap Is Closing: Dollar Exclusion Zone Crosses The Pacific As Brazil Signs China Currency Swap

When the US Dollar is ultimately dethroned as the world's reserve currency (and finally gets rid of all those ridiculous three letter post-Keynesian economic "theories") nobody will have seen it coming. Well, nobody except for the following headlines: ""World's Second (China) And Third Largest (Japan) Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade", "China, Russia Drop Dollar In Bilateral Trade", "China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System", "India and Japan sign new $15bn currency swap agreement", "Iran, Russia Replace Dollar With Rial, Ruble in Trade, Fars Says", "India Joins Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone, Will Transact With Iran In Rupees." And while the expansion of the "dollar exclusion zone" was actually quite glaring to anyone who dared to look, one thing was obvious: it was confined to Asia. No more courtesy of the following FT headline: "Brazil and China agree currency swap." More: "Brazil has provided a vote of confidence in China’s efforts to promote the renminbi as a reserve currency by becoming the biggest economy yet to agree a swap deal with Beijing. Brazil and China announced the R$60bn (US$29bn) local currency swap after a bilateral meeting between Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, and Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, on the sidelines of the Rio+20 environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro."



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Waiting For Godot

In the next days Greece will present her magic tricks at court and while the Dukes and Barons cheer in the wings it will be up to the Red Queen, this would be the bearer of the Holstein emblem, to decide if the tricks performed are worth the cost. There is a very good chance of the hand wave of dismissal here and then the theatrical event of the season, “Off with their Heads,” will begin. Then the savant of Madrid will be allowed in to show his wares claiming they are all of silk but coarse wool is closer to the truth. The money, if it comes, will be provided by the EFSF by the way because the ESM is not yet in existence. Then the plan is to transfer the loan to the ESM which will be senior to the holders of the Spanish sovereign debt. So this morning you must rush out and by the debt of Spain. You love to be subjugated; you delight in the masochism of the whip. Losing money is what you live for and why you breathe. Oh no; this is not you? Well then; maybe better not.



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Frontrunning: June 22

  • Mario Monti: We Have a Week to Save the Eurozone (Guardian)
  • Europe Central Bank Prepares to Relax Collateral Rules (WSJ)
  • EU Banks' Risk in Eyes of Beholder: Worry Is That Lenders Are Boosting Gauge of Their Health (WSJ)
  • Europe finally learns about subordination: Bailouts' Creditor Hierarchy Scares Private Bondholders (WSJ)
  • Merkel Isolated in Race for Euro Crisis Solution (Spiegel)
  • Fed’s Re-Twist May Lift Treasury Repurchase Agreement Rates (Bloomberg)
  • China Said to Propose Keeping Limit on Local Government Loans (Bloomberg)
  • Moody’s Downgrade Hits 15 Top Banks (FT)
  • IMF Challenges Berlin’s Crisis Response (FT)
  • Colombia to Auction Rights in 2013 to Gold and Coal, Not Coltan (Bloomberg)


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