Tsipras Heads To Moscow As IMF Withdraws Athens Staff; Greek Default Risk Hits Post-Crisis High

Amid growing pressure from their 'Troika colleagues' with Eurogroup Chair Dijsselbloem noting there is "still a long way to go" on Greek proposals and The IMF withdrawing its staff in Athens; new prime minister Alexis Tsipras heads to Russia to meet with Putin early next week. As Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov noted - somewhat intriguingly - "Greece has not asked [Russia] for financial aid... yet," as Tsipras is expected to seek agreement for a 'road map' of initiatives on the political and economic levels. Greek default risk has resurged in the last few days to its highest since the last 'restructuring'...

Frontrunning: April 3

  • Iranians celebrate, Obama hails 'historic' nuclear framework (Reuters)
  • Iran Nuclear Accord Hailed as Landmark After Marathon Talks (BBG)
  • Two New York City women accused of planning 'terrorist attack' (Reuters)
  • Cyprus Lifts Capital Controls Two Years After Deposits Bail-In (BBG)
  • Jury Hits Chrysler With $150 Million Penalty in Boy’s Death (WSJ)
  • Greece says ready to make IMF payment on April 9 (Reuters)
  • Germanwings Co-Pilot Set Plane to Go Faster Before Crash (BBG)
  • IBM hire advisers to deal with restless investors - sources (Reuters)

Ukraine "Loses" Five Indian Airplanes, Shake-Up Of Secret Service & Army Underway

The appointment of a number of non-Ukrainians to important government posts appears to have been implemented as a move aimed at curbing corruption. This was almost certainly under “orders” of Western powers which are currently financing Ukraine’s government. The IMF wants to get its money back one day, and that won’t be possible unless some things change rather dramatically. However, we believe this also means that the Minsk agreement will not hold forever. In US neo-con circles the idea of Kiev negotiating with the rebels in the East is detested – only unconditional surrender is held to be acceptable.

Chaos In Yemen: Chinese Troops Arrive As US-Armed Rebels Set Sights On Central Bank

Yemen descends into chaos as rebels storm the central district in the key port city of Aden (the site of a local branch of Yemen's central bank) while Al Qaeda militants stage raid on a Mukalla prison freeing 300 inmates. Meanwhile, a Saudi soldier was killed along the border while Chinese soldiers arrived to evacuate civilians.

Greece Said To Prepare "Grexit", Drachma, Bank Nationalization Plans

"Greece is drawing up drastic plans to nationalise the country's banking system and introduce a parallel currency to pay bills unless the eurozone takes steps to defuse the simmering crisis and soften its demands," The Telegraph reports, contradicting officials' "categorical" denial that the country faces a cash crunch and possible default as early as April 9. Will the curtain finally fall on the long-running tragicomedy that is the Greco-Euro standoff? 

What Would Happen If Martial Law Was Declared In America?

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of concern that an upcoming eight week military exercise on U.S. soil known as “Jade Helm” is actually a dress rehearsal for the imposition of martial law in this country. As our world becomes increasingly unstable, and as our society rapidly decays from within, many believe that it is only a matter of time before the executive branch will have sufficient excuse to use the extensive martial law powers that it has been accumulating since 9/11. When that day arrives, what will our nation look like? What would actually happen if martial law was declared in America?

Guest Post: The "Person In The Street" Is Correct: The Fed Keeps Interest Rates Low

In the case of the U.S., which thanks to its pool of capital, political and military power, enjoys the exorbitant privilege of having the world's reserve currency, an expansive Fed will not even necessarily "throw seniors under the bus", as one of Bernanke's critics once mentioned, suggesting that monetary expansion erodes life savings of senior citizens. A lot of the monetary expansion results in investment bubbles all over the planet. Some even have "credited" Bernanke with triggering the Arab "Spring", as food prices in the Middle East rose from mid-2010 to an unsustainable level after quantitative easing was re-started. It looks like Bernanke, or at least the institution he presided, is more powerful than he seems to think.

Asia's Other Export Boom — "Second-Hand Smog" To California

"Approximately 10 percent of ozone pollution in California’s San Joaquin Valley is estimated to be coming from outside of the state’s borders, particularly from Asia," a study by UC Davis notes, as evidence mounts that China may be "exporting" its abundant supply of smog.

If We're Going To Borrow Against The Future, Let's Borrow To Invest

We are at an important juncture as a global society: either we immediately prioritize a new trajectory focused on creating a positive, functional future or -- by continuing the consumptive, extractive, exploitative status quo -- we will default into a nasty nightmare. What will determine which future path we take is our collective narrative. It's the story we tell ourselves -- who we are, what we value.

The "Revolver Raid" Arrives: A Wave Of Shale Bankruptcies Has Just Been Unleashed

Back in early 2007, just as the first cracks of the bursting housing and credit bubble were becoming visible, one of the primary harbingers of impending doom was banks slowly but surely yanking availability (aka dry powder) under secured revolving credit facilities to companies across America. This, in effect, was the first snowflake in what would ultimately become the lack of liquidity avalanche that swept away AIG and unleashed the biggest bailout of capitalism in history. Back then, analysts had a pet name for banks calling CFOs and telling them "so sorry, but your secured credit availability has been cut by 50%, 75% or worse" - revolver raids. Well, the infamous revolver raids are back.

Goldman Confirms Global Economy Enters 4th Month Of Contraction

While global equity markets hover near record-er highs, global GDP growth expectations have erased their February dead cat bounce hopes and tumbled back towards cycle lows. This is all confirmed by the latest data from Goldman Sachs whose Global Leading Indicator remains mired in "contraction" for the 4th month in a row...