The Unexpected Beneficiary Of The West's Russian Sanction "Costs"

While the West keeps talking of "costs" for Russia - whether they be economic or social-freedom - it appears one company is benefiting from the post-sanctions period. OAO Moscow Exchange, the Russian stock exchange, is up 40% from Match 13th lows just before voters in Crimea voted to join Russia. As Bloomberg reports, daily equity trading volumes at the exchange surged to a record 72 billion rubles ($2 billion) in the first three weeks of March, compared with an average of 35 billion in February, the bourse said yesterday, as the exchange is "clearly benefiting from the current volatile environment."

Let Them Eat iPads: 14-Years Of Data Debunk Fed’s Inflation Shortfall Canard

The idea of “under-shooting inflation from below” is just ritual incantation. It provides the monetary central planners an excuse to keep the printing presses running red hot, but the true aim is not hard to see. After a 30 year rolling national LBO that has taken credit market debt outstanding to $59 trillion and to an off-the-charts leverage ratio of 3.5X national income, the American economy is saddled with $30 trillion of incremental household, business, financial and public debt compared to its historically sound leverage ratio of 1.5X GDP. We are at peak debt. Household, business and government balance sheets are tapped-out. The problem is not too little CPI inflation, but the unavoidability of a pay-back era of sustained debt deflation.

What Happens If A US President Stops Speaking, And Nobody Claps

... does it mean that everyone saw right through the endless bluster, hollow rhetoric and empty promises of the man tasked with reading from a teleprompter, and currently in charge of one of the world's most totalitarian states? Because either someone is getting fired for forgetting to turn on the "applause" sign, or Europeans no longer care for the lies uttered by Obama on all topics NSA-related (and all other topics too). One wonders: how long until the US president finally gets the same treatment in his own country?

Stocks Are Dumping (Again); All Indices Red Post-Yellen

Not only is it deja vu all over again (again) but our warning this morning of reality of a virtual reality world coming unglued is all too real. Biotechs and Momos are at the lows of the day; Nasdaq and Russell 2000 are now down 3% post-Yellen and all major indices (including the IBM-sponsored Dow) are now in negative territory post-Yellen. Financials, ahead of tonight's CCAR, are also fading fast (catching down to their credit counterparts). Of course, it's all about USDJPY... (oh sorry - fun-durr-mentals)

Russian Retaliation Continues? Government Dumps iPads, Switches To Samsung

A week after the White House appeared to shun Blackberry (and ignored Apple's iPhones) as the WSJ reported it was testing Android-based smartphone replacements from LG and Samsung, it seems the Russians have the same idea. Whether this is another swing of the sanctions "boomerang" is unclear but ITAR-TASS reports that, because South Korean tablets have better information security, the Russian government is switching from iPads to Samsung. Communications Minister Nikiforov added this "isn't related to politics." We are sure...

Highest Yield Since May 2011, Record Low Dealer Take Down, Make Today's 5 Year Auction A Whopper

Following yesterday's uninspiring 2 Year bond auction, today's 5 Year issuance of $35 billion was a whopper. Because while it was known well in advance that today's closing high yield of 1.715%, which priced through the When Issued of 1.732% by 1.7 bps, would be the highest since May 2011. However, the stunners were all within the internals. First, the Bid To Cover of 2.99 was the highest since September 2012, and an abrupt turn in the recent general downward trend in BTCs - who would have thunk that all it took for greater interest in US paper was higher yields . But it was the takedown where the real shockers lay.

Two Years Later, Larry Fink Confirms Zero Hedge Was Right

Two years ago, on April 2, 2012, long before it became abundantly clear to even the most clueless CNBC hacks, we said that there will be no capex boom as long as corporate management teams abuse ZIRP (and yes, it is all the Fed's fault as we further explained) to allocate capital, most of it courtesy of low-cost debt, by providing quick returns to activist investors through dividends and buybacks, instead of reallocating the funds to grow the company by investing in Capex (the latest proof of the unprecedented lack of capital spending growth increase came earlier today) and SG&A or at least M&A. Two years later after our post, whose conclusion has been proven empirically by what has happened in the US economy where CapEx still refuses to pick up despite endless lies of some recovery that refuses to materialize except in talking head year-end bonuses, none other than the head of the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock's Larry Fink admits we were right all along.

Will The Backlash Against Facebook Be The Doom Of Its Acquisition Spree?

Spending your inordinately over-valued 'currency' on an ever-reaching (and increasingly over-valued) portfolio of dreams may have been the stuff of expanding multiples and social media stock-lovers; but for the creator of Minecraft (among the world's most popular games), Facebook's move to buy Oculus was the last straw. As WSJ reports, Markus Persson just cancelled his company's deal with Oculus explaining that he "did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition." It seems shareholders are of similar mind, cutting Facebook's value by $6bn this morning after the $2bn acquisition.

The Anatomy Of Panic: How A Rumor Mutated Into A Three-Day Chinese Bank Run

Yesterday we showed the end result of what happens in a China, in which bankruptcy and default are suddenly all too real outcomes for the country's hundreds of millions of depositors, when the risk of losing all of one's money held in an insolvent bank becomes a tangible possibility in "What A Bank Run In China Looks Like: Hundreds Rush To Banks Following Solvency Rumors." Today, we look in detail at all the discrete elements that culminated with hundreds of Chinese residents lining up in front of a bank in Yancheng and rushing to withdraw their money only to find their money not available (at least until the regional government was forced to step in with a bail out to avoid an even greater panic).Why is this a useful exercise? Because since we will certainly see many more example of it in the near future, it pays to be prepared. Or least it certainly prevents one from losing all of their money...

Bursting Biotech Bubble Bounce Fades Fourth Day In A Row

It's deja vu all over again in Biotech bubble land. For the 4th day in a row, and opening salvo of hope-fueled buying has faded quickly into a sea of red-faced selling as The Nasdaq Biotech Index holds down 13% from the highs at is 100-day-moving-average. Will 4th time be the charm for the revival of the bubble? or is today the break?

A Dark Cloud Of Disillusionment

The US would be better served these days to literally mind its own business. With Detroit in bankruptcy, why would we send Kiev billions of dollars? American urban infrastructures — water, sewer, gas, and electric lines — are falling apart. We have no idea how we’re going to manage most of the crucial economic activities of daily life in ten years, when the illusions of shale gas and shale evaporate in a dark cloud of disenchantment... We’re having no conversation about these things and the political landscape in this country is a wasteland of mirages and dust devils. That is the true weakness of the USA now. We’re incapable of seeing the disorder in our own house. Why should we even glance overseas at others?

The Real Inflation Fear - US Food Prices Are Up 19% In 2014

We are sure the weather is to blame but what happens when pent-up demand (from a frosty east coast emerging from its hibernation) bumps up against a drought-stricken west coast unable to plant to meet that demand? The spot price (not futures speculation-driven) of US Foodstuffs is the best performing asset in 2014 - up a staggering 19%...

Candy Crushed - IPO Drops 15%

Having IPO'd at $22.50, King Digital Entertainment - the maker of Candy Crush - opened disappointingly this morning at $20.50 and is trading down tro $19.20!... just keep repeating the mantra that KING is not ZNGA and we are sure the levitation will resume. Of course, this would have nothing to do with the record-setting levels of earnings-less IPOs that are occurring.

Hong Kong Goes Swiss: Will Disclose American Worker Financial Data To IRS

With Switzerland long dead as an offshore tax haven for US savers unwilling to fund Uncle Sam's central-planning machine (and who can blame them - isn't monetizing the deficit precisely what the Fed is for?) and with Cyprus banks, shall we say, compromised, many have been forced to look for greener tax-evading pastures, as far away as the Pacific Rim, especially that oasis of mega wealth creation, Hong Kong. Only this time the US is paying attention as SCMP reports that Hong Kong tax officials will soon be able to pass information about the finances of Americans working in Hong Kong to their US counterparts under an agreement signed yesterday as part of Washington's global crackdown on tax evasion. In other words, for tax purposes, Hong Kong is now effecitvely under IRS control.

The Sheer Idiocy Of The Markets In One Chart - Oculus Edition

While we have no idea if Facebook is right in paying $2 billion (mostly in overvalued stock, thank you momo dot com 2.0 bubble-chasing "investors"), and frankly we don't care what bears noting is that while the idiocy of Facebook's CEO is still up for debate, the idiocy of the markets is once again beyond a reasonable doubt. Presenting Oculus... Innovative Sciences - a company which has absolutely nothing in common with Oculus VR, and which is up over 4% this morning because... it shares the same name as the Facebook acquisition - the same deep fundamental analysis that lead "investors" to decide that both Tweeter (TWTRQ) and Nestor (NEST) are undervalued.

Air France Flight Diverted Over Russia, Forced To Land, Due To Last Minute Military Exercise

Remember the "last minute" ICBM launch by Russia just as the Crimean tensions were peaking? Moments ago Russia revealed another such unexpected "military exercise" which resulted in a French Airbus380 airplane, with over 500 passengers and crew on board being diverted from Shanghai to Paris after Russia without a warning decided to shut down a part of its airspace.