The Indian Election Is Over: The Full Summary

Congress party President Sonia Gandhi concedes defeat after coalition led by Narendra Modi’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party sweeps Indian election.
BJP bloc leads in 335 seats and Congress-led bloc in 59, according to NDTV tally of count as of 4:39 p.m. in Mumbai.
BJP alone set to cross majority mark of 272 seats from 543 up for grabs: Election Commission data
“India has won,” Modi says on Twitter
BJP poised for biggest victory for any single Indian party in 30 years on pledge to revive growth, improve governance
Congress heading for wost-ever performance after graft scandals, economic slowdown, elevated inflation

Frontrunning: May 16

  • Bank of England sees 'no housing bubble' (Independent)
  • ‘If the euro falls, Europe falls’ (FT)
  • India's pro-business Modi storms to historic election win (Reuters)
  • Global Growth Worries Climb (WSJ)
  • Bitcoin Foundation hit by resignations over new director (Reuters)
  • Blackstone Goes All In After the Flop (WSJ)
  • SAC's Steinberg loses bid for insider trading acquittal (Reuters)
  • Beats Satan: Republicans Paint Reid as Bogeyman in 2014 Senate Races (BBG)
  • Tech Firms, Small Startups Object to Paying for Internet 'Fast Lanes' (WSJ) - but they just provide liquidity
  • U.S. Warns Russia of Sanctions as Ukraine Troops Advance (BBG)
  • Major U.S. hedge funds sold 'momentum' Internet names in first-quarter (Reuters)

Yen Carry Slide Drags Futures To Lows

The perfectly expected if completely irrational overnight ramp in various Yen carry pairs tried, and failed, and both the USDJPY and EURJPY were tumbling to overnight lows as we go to print. This is happening despite a rout in India in which Narendra Modi's opposition block is poised for the biggest Indian election win in 30 years, with his BJP party currently leading in 332 of 543 seat - an outcome that is seen as very pro business (and seemingly pro asset bubbles: the INR soared and the Sensex was up as much as 6% in intraday trading before paring virtually all gains following what many say was RBI intervention). And while the Nikkei (down 200 points) did not help the mood this move was mostly in response to yesterday's US selling, which means as usual the culprit for lack of algo risk-taking overnight has been the Yen carry, which moments ago hit intraday lows, and is increasingly flirting with the 101 level (after which double digits, and Abe's second resignation, come very quickly).

Scotiabank On Treasuries & The Fed: "You Got Some 'Splaining To Do"

Treasuries are still cheap. The FOMC statement says that “even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels” the committee may keep “the target federal funds rate below levels” viewed as normal in the longer run. Whenever we read this, we think of Desi Arnaz screaming, “Lucy! You got some ‘splainin’ to do!” Treasury prices do not care if Q4 is around 4%. Economic data matters little for the time being. Prices are being driven more by positions, relative value, and future Fed policy. Markets know the Fed is ending QE. What it really wants to know is the terminal Fed Funds level in the new ‘world order’. In the meantime, stay long.

David Stockman Debunks More Keynesian Rubbish From Europe's Jon Hilsenrath

Once upon a time Wall Street Journal reporters were economically literate. Now, apparently, when they muster-in for the job they get a Keynesian chip implant while signing their HR forms. Otherwise, how can you explain the bullshit penned this morning by Brian Blackstone on the EU’s “disappointing” Q1 GDP report. He didn’t say Keynesian economists say you need more inflation to get jobs and growth. He just declared it!

US Officially "Takes No Position" On China's Provocative Actions In Disputed Waters

In a somewhat stunningly hypocritical step for a nation that seems so hell-bent on proclaiming Russia's provactive actions as tantamount to World War over Ukraine, the White House has issued a statement "taking no position" on China's "disputes" in the China Seas...


So - the Chinese undertook "provacative actions" into the "disputed territory" of another sovereign (allied) nation... and the US retaliates with no sanctions, no damnation, no hellfire? Good to know who your friends are...

The Lightbulb Goes Off In China: "If You Don't Pay Me And I Pay Others, I Am The Sucker"

Just last month we highlighted how the collapse in China's shadow-banking system, it's concomittant credit crunch, and vicious circle of commodity-financed credit creation could spread contagiously to the rest of the world - through refusal to pay. It seems we were prophetic as Reuters confirms that money owed to Chinese firms by their customers has reached a record high. As China's economy continues to cool, companies are waiting longer and finding it harder to get paid for goods and services they've already sold, leading to record amounts of receivables - and potential write-offs - on corporate balance sheets. As one Chinese business owner exclaimed: "If you don't pay me and I pay others, aren't I just a sucker? I'm not that stupid." Receivables on average (across 2300 firms) reached $160.49 million at the end of last year, more than double the $65.9 million average at the end of 2009 and median collection time for billings crawled up from 71.4 days to 90.42 days (the first time above 90 days). "It's a pretty loud warning bell," warns a Peking professor.

Guest Post: Why Belgium Can Never Work

The political situation in Belgium - as Europe heads into elections - could well be the writing on the wall for every European country. Economists and politicians love to juggle with figures in the trees so you can not see the forest. Economics is not always easy, but we have noticed that you can do it with an island of 100 people to make it understandable. Let's call this island "Rainbowland"... as we show below, you do not have to be a genius to realize that a country such as " Rainbowland" can not survive in reality.

Rocket Carrying Russia's Most Advanced Communications Satellite Crashes During Take Off

Two days ago Russia retaliated against US sanctions by banning the US from using the International Space Station after 2020, and by barring the use of Russian rockets as launch vehicles for US military satellites. Then, moments ago, a Russian Proton rocket, with advanced satellites on board, crashed during take off, during the activation of the third rocket stage some 9 minutes into the launch.

The International Brotherhood Of Burger Flippers Will Not Take It Any More

Having unsuccessfully lobbied its slave-driving masters with one-day strikes and angry tongue-lashings, Thursday sees the fast food workers’ movement wants to broaden its reach as it pushes for a $15-an-hour wage (that restaurant companies say is unrealistic). In addition to 150 strikes across the US, NY Times reports, support protests will take place in 80 cities in more than 30 countries, from Dublin to Venice to Casablanca to Seoul to Panama City. "Fast food workers in many other parts of the world face the same corporate policies — low pay, no guaranteed hours and no benefits," warned one union leader but judging by the response from the restaurants association, "These are made-for-TV media moments - that’s pretty much it." Workers generally have the same message - "I don’t make enough money to take care of my kids," but as we have noted before (and as Motoman Robot below indicates) raising the minimum wage will have unintended consequences few strikers consider, "it would have consequences on hiring patterns for Main Street businesses across the country."

Dow Dumps To Red For 2014 As Treasury Yields Tumble Again

Despite two desperate attempts to juice stocks overnight via JPY, US equities opened red and got redder. The selling climaxed when Europe closed and stocks rallied handsomely "off the lows" proving Tepper wrong and the rest of CNBC right (right?) The S&P ramped back up perfectly to VWAP (thank you Michelle) as 330ET BTFD'ers ensured it closed back above the all-important 50-day-moving-average. The Dow did not bounce like its higher-beta short-squeezing cousins and dropped back into the red for 2014. Away from stocks, bonds just kept rallying - but everyone said that couldn't happen - to new multi-month low yields for 10Y and 30Y (-13bps on the week). Commodities lost ground with gold back under $1300 as the USD ripped and dipped to close unchanged on the day. VIX popped back over 13 with its biggest rise in 5 weeks.

When The Head Of The European Central Bank Lies To Zero Hedge On The Record: Presenting Europe's "Plan Z"

We are happy to report that Zero Hedge is the first media outlet that Mario Draghi has very publicly, officially, and on the record, lied to. Because as we learned overnight, Europe most certainly had a "plan in place so that the markets don't basically collapse." Only it wasn't as Margio Draghi called it, Plan B. It was a different letter of the alphabet. Thanks to the FT's Peter Spiegel we now know that just over a year ago, in order to preserve the myth that Europe's power echelons are so "confident" with the Eurozone staying together they did not even consider a break up as a potential outcome, Draghi explicitly and on the record lied.

Presenting Europe's Plan Z.