An Austrian Province Just Requested A State Bailout

Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling has said repeatedly that the Austrian government isn’t liable to cover Carinthia’s guarantees." Herr Schelling's warning is about to be tested. Yesterday, Carinthia officially asked Vienna for financial support. The spokeswoman said Carinthia would run out of money in June without help, confirming local media reports. No Austrian province has ever gone bankrupt and there is no legislation on how to handle such an event.

When To Put On Bill Gross' Big Bund Short: Citi Explains

With only six weeks (or one Graccident) to go until Bund purchases are forced out to 7-year maturities, and with traders warning that nearly every piece of PSPP-eligible German government paper will eventually trade special in repo despite the ECB’s feeble attempt to remedy the situation via its Securities Lending Program, the world wants to know: “when do I sell Bunds?”

Statue Of Liberty Evacuated Following Bomb Threat, Suspicious Package

The Statue of Liberty was evacuated Friday afternoon after someone called in a bomb threat and parks police reported a suspicious package, law enforcement sources tell NBC4 New York. The NYPD's bomb squad was called to the scene, along with EMS workers. A security sweep of the island is also being conducted. As yet, no devices have been found.

The 'Relentless' Greek Debt Payment Schedule

Greece, which owes €324 billion to the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and euro zone governments, faces a relentless debt payment schedule over the next few months.

Crude Drops After US Rig Count Decline Extends To Record 20 Weeks

For a record-breaking 20th week, US rig counts declined. Total rigs dropped 22 to 932 (the 4th smallest drop since Nov 2014) while oil rigs fell 31 to 703 (down over 56% from the highs). With the very modest production drop (all due to Alaska with the Lower 48 flat) it appears any slowdown in drilling rigs has not dampened enthusiasm to pump, baby, pump. WTI initially popped but is fading now...

Electric Car Sales Plunge To 4 Year Lows

But low oil prices are supposed to be unequivocally good? On the day when Ford lays off 700 Michigan plant workers in small cars and hybrids manufacturing, The Detroit News reports that, according to Edmunds.com, sales of electric cars and hybrids are at the lowest level since 2011. What is even more worrisome, motorists who leased those first-generation cars, and have decided not to buy them, are turning them in, leaving dealer lots full of low mileage cars at huge discounts to new ones. As Edmunds concludes, while "the government's going to keep pushing it, there is time to pause right now."

Of Bonds & Bankers: Impossible Things Are Commonplace

There was once a time, perhaps, when unprecedented things happened only occasionally. In today’s financial markets, unprecedented things are commonplace. The Queen in Lewis Carroll’s ‘[Alice] Through the Looking-Glass’ would sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. She is probably working in the bond markets now, where believing anything less than twelve impossible things before breakfast is for wimps.

When Wall Street's Weathermen Begin To Panic

Having prpmised silver-linings after each and every disappointing data item of the last two months, it appears even the sell-side's most ardent optimist has thrown in the towel (along with Goldman) as Deutsche's Jo Lavorgna stokes the "no rate hike please" meme after today's dismal durable goods data...

"Greece Can No Longer Withstand The Waves Of Desperate People Arriving From War Zones"

"The EU and US need to hear the pleas coming from the southern European countries, as well as those of the refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe has reached large scale, with profound and irreversible consequences. Greece is paying a disproportionately high price, although Greece played no role in triggering this catastrophe. The EU and the US have the moral obligation, which is also consistent with their long-term interests, to take the necessary steps to put an end to the suffering of those in war zones, while at the same time preventing Greece’s collapse under the mounting pressure of refugees."

Gold Monkey-Hammered, Crude Clubbed As Nasdaq Surges

Amid the 'glorious' earnings last night, Nasdaq is on its own today, surging to higher highs as The Dow and S&P are unch to down. As this exuberance exudes, gold and silver are being smashed lower... which is odd given The ECB's threat to pull Greek financing. Crude prices are also tumbling post-Durable Goods.

A Plot To Hold Down Oil Prices Or Just A Happy Coincidence?

The recent unprecedented surge in oil imports has again prompted a review of things here. In a prior story, we wrote that the lack of capacity to process light sweet crude at refineries produced via shale plays could be playing a role in the stock build. As mentioned previously, refineries over the next 24 months are expected to add 700,000 B/D in capacity to handle this type of crude. In the meantime, we have noticed an unusual amount of crude being imported, possibly as a result of this imbalance in refinery capacity. Or could it be that a more sinister plot is afoot?