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CBO 'Admits' Assumption That US Never Falls Into Recession Again Is Wrong

From budget projections released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last week:

CBO now expects that output will fall slightly short of its potential, on average, even after the economy has largely recovered from the recent economic downturn.


We’ve thrown in the towel on our long-time assumption that the economy never again falls into recession.

Shocker: the business cycle lives!

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The Tanks Are Rolling In Post-Devaluation Kazakhstan

Following the 20% devaluation of Kazakhstan's currency on Tuesday, the nation has quietly drifted into a very un-safe scenario. As the following clip shows, tanks and Humvees are lining the streets around Almaty as stores are closed and food is running desperately short. Local accounts note that the people are growing increasingly indignant. At a mere 192bps, the cost of protecting Kazakhstan sovereign debt from default (or further devaluation) seems cheap in light of this.

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Guest Post: When German Interest Rates Hit 9% Per Week

Yields on United States 10-year bonds rose above 3% at the beginning of January.  The yield on the 10-year had reached its lowest point in history in July 2012 at 1.43% as a result of the Fed’s policy of Quantitative Easing.  Since then yields have doubled as markets have incorporated the impact of the Fed tapering their purchase of U.S. Government securities. This raises the question, how high could interest rates go from here?  Could interest rates move up to 3% per quarter? U.S. interest rates were that high back in 1981 when the yield on US 10-year Treasuries hit 15.84% and 30-year mortgage rates hit 18.63%. What about 3% per month?

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Today's Market Correlation Pair Is...

Not Bonds (which are rallying to their low yields of the day - and have almost removed the entire post-Yellen move)... Not USDJPY (which entirely disconnected from stocks when Europe closed)... but Gold... ding ding ding... is your new correlation pair du jour...

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Despite "Absolute Calm" Claim, Venezuela Appears Just A Little Out Of Control

President Maduro and his ministers have stated (fully supported by Argentina):


However, between armed groups reportedly firing shots (see clip below) into the Students Assembly and the disappearance of the protest leader, the protests appear to be anything but "calm."

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US Taxpayer "Bailed Out" BNP Paribas Probed By DoJ & Fed On Sudan, Iran, Libya Deals

TARP Recipient BNP Paribas got $4.9bn of bailouts from the U.S. Taxpayer - Today, as the WSJ reports we learn BNP Paribas has been funding transactions in Iran, Syria and other countries subject to U.S. Sanctions since 2002. The bank set aside $1.1 billion to settle investigations by the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve but as the NY Times reports, investigations are playing out on multiple fronts - centering on whether the firm did "a significant amount" of business in "blacklisted" countires (and routed the deals through the US financial system).

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Sliding Bid To Cover Leaves No Bad Aftertaste On Mixed 30 Year Auction

In a deja vu of yesterday's 10 Year auction, which saw a slide in the Bid To Cover even as the closing yield was well through the When Issued, so today's 30 Year saw a slide in the Bid to Cover (from 2.57 to 2.27, and well below the 2.46 TTM average) even as the closing yield of 3.69% priced through the When Issued by a whopping 1 bp. However, here the comparisons ends, because while in both the 3 and 10 year auctions from earlier this week, there was a surge in the Indirects, this time around the Indirects were more or less in line, rising to 46.0% from 45.3%, if above the 39.4% TTM average, while Dealers took down 40.8%, above the 38.1% in January. Directs ended up holding 13.9%. So a mixed auction overall, as if the market expect the Fed to continue buying the long end on one hand, even as tapering means the 30 Years will be the most convex instrument should tapering indeed mean the monetization of duration ends some time in the summer.

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Greed + Cartels = U.S. Sickcare/ObamaCare

Sickcare/ObamaCare is fundamentally broken at every level. The incremental nature of change makes it difficult for us to notice how systems that once worked well with modest costs have transmogrified into broken systems that cost a fortune. Only those with no exposure to the real costs of ObamaCare approve of the current sickcare system. Government employees who have no idea how much their coverage costs, well-paid shills and toadies like Paul Krugman, academics with tenure and lifetime healthcare coverage--all these people swallow the fraud whole and declare it delicious. Only those of us who are paying the real, unsubsidized cost know how unsustainable the system is, and only those inside the machine know how broken it is at every level. Greed + cartels = Sickcare/ObamaCare. Love your servitude, baby--it's affordable, really, really, really it is.

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Letta Resigns; Meet Italy's New Unelected Prime Minister

Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party has voted to back his proposal fore a new government... and Prime Minister Letta has resigned.


This will bring the 65th government in Italy since World War II and the 3rd consecutive government that would not have been elected (the last elected Prime Minister was Berlusconi in 2008).


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Gold Breaks Above $1,300

For the first time since in over 3 months, spot gold prices are back above $1,300 and continued to be the best performing asset since the December taper and the start of the year... $1,304.70 is the crucial 200DMA that has not been tested since over a year ago.

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... In Which We Find Joe LaVorgna Looking For "Some Impressive Weather-Related Snapback"

Word count of the word "weather" in Joe LaVorgna's latest note explaining away today's third consecutive miss in retail sales and initial claims: 8. The humor, however, is this punchline: "Eventually, though, we should see some impressive weather-related snapback in economic activity." Wait, so the weather will deposit a few thousand dollars in all tapped-out US consumers' bank accounts? You do learn something every day.

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Meanwhile In Turkey...

The Turkish Lira may have halted its record collapse against "reserve" currencies - for now - but the reality is that nothing has changed for the better in Turkey, and in fact things continue to get worse.

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What Are Stocks Doing?

The US equity market took 16 hours to fall 15 points and 90 minutes this morning to recover amid an absolutely dismal retail sales print. The full bulltard farce of disastrous news being great news is writ large in stocks as they decouple from any FX carry or bond market sense of reality.

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Chart Of The Day: Where Do Jobs Come From, And Where Do They Go To Die?

In short: young firms. As the following chart summarizing OECD data for the developed world, all the net job creation in the 21st century has come from firms that are 5 years old or less, having even created jobs during the peak years of the post-Lehman depression. And where do jobs go to die? Simple - old corporations, as firms older than 6 years having been net eliminators of jobs since the year 2001!

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Algos Ramp Risk At 10:15 Daily POMO Time... Even Though There Is No POMO

The machines have learned well that 1015ET is buying time... Why, you ask? Well, it's POMO time - when the Fed hands out its fully fungible, rehypothecatable, infinitely leveragable free-money and risk assets pop... apart from today, there is no POMO... USDJPY 102 was all that mattered - no excuses. At least the currency manipulation crack down has fully rooted out all the front-running, options-strike-searching behavior...

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