"We're Gonna Need A 4th Arrow" Japanese Manufacturing PMI Misses, Slips To 7 Month Lows

It would appear that monetizing more than 100% of your debt and constant daily reassurances that everything is awesome are not enough to create real world economic growth. Japanese manufacturing PMI slipped to 51.5 in February (missing expectations of 52.2), its lowest since July 2014 as New Orders & Employment slowed. Perhaps most worrying for the deflation-death match Abe is wagering, Output prices tumbled. Japanese stocks don't care of course, having entirely decoupled from JPY when The BoJ scared the FX carry markets with its 'hawkish' bias and 5-4 vote.

Today's Financial Thermopylae Beckons - But Don't Count On The Greeks

The global financial system desperately needs a big, bloody sovereign default - a profoundly disruptive financial event capable of shattering the current rotten regime of bank bailouts and central bank financial repression. Needless to say, Greece is just the ticket: A default on its crushing debt and exit from the Euro would stick a fork in it like no other. But don’t count on the Greeks.

Caught On Tape: Caracas Mayor, Who Live-Tweets His Arrest, Detained In His Office By Maduro Police

Three hours ago, when the NY Fed trading desk was patting itself on the back for another day without hitches or major glitches in the "market" (except for that HFT-snafu in the USDCAD of course), one person was live-tweeting his arrest.  The person is Antonio Ledezma, who is not only the mayor of Caracas but the leader of Venezuela's, and around 5:20 pm local time, he was taken to the intelligence service’s headquarters in Caracas after the local police broke into his office and arrested him. The moment of the arrest was captured on video.

Meet The Bureaucrat Who Had The Courage To Tell The Truth (& Will Be Jobless Tomorrow)

Meet Guan Tao. He oversees the foreign exchange of China’s $4 trillion stockpile of reserves (so he has an incredibly unique view of capital flows and currency movements in and out of the country), and he just admitted that capital flight from China is accelerating suggesting that outflows could be considerably higher than official channels show.

Greece And The Endgame Of The Neocolonial Model Of Exploitation

With the bankruptcy of Greece now undeniable, we've finally reached the endgame of the Neocolonial-Financialization Model. There are no more markets to exploit with financialization, and the fact that the mountains of debt are unpayable can no longer be masked. At this point, the financial Aristocracy has an unsolvable dilemma: writing off defaulted debt also writes off assets and income streams, for every debt is somebody else's asset and income stream. When all those phantom assets are recognized as worthless, the system implodes.

Meet IETA: Greece's "State Of The Art" Euro Printing Facility

While the ECB is responsible for determining the euro-zone's supply of bank notes, it doesn't actually print them; instead it outsources the work to central banks of a few euro-zone countries (one of which is Greece). As WSJ reports, the Greek central bank's bank-note printing facility is called IETA. Built in 1941, the Attica plant today is outfitted with "state-of-the-art machinery," and has been responsible for printing batches of €10 notes, according to the ECB. One wonders how tempted the Greeks will be to take matters into their own ink-stained hands, should the ECB/Germany/Eurogroup pull the plug without acquiescing to their non-ultimatum "take it or leave it" offer...

Element Of Surpwhat? Pentagon Reveals Details Of Iraq Military Offensive Involving Up To 25,000 Troops

First, the US openly allows potential Jihadist elements (don't worry, the answered "moderate" on the questionnaire) to call in B-1B strikes, and now in all its Sun Tzu-esque brilliance, the Pentagon is handing out not only issuing press releases on its military invasion calendar, but its troops deployment numbers as well. According to Reuters, the United States sees an Iraqi military offensive involving 20,000-25,000 troops to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in April-May, a U.N. military official said on Thursday.

Washington Unable To Mind Own Business: Urges Greece, EU "Tone Down Rhetoric"

In its role as global hall monitor, Washington appears to have jabbed its nose into the Greece-EU talks:

*LEW SPOKE WITH SAPIN, DIJSSELBLOEM, VAROUFAKIS TODAY: OFFICIAL
*U.S. URGES SIDES IN GREEK TALKS TO TONE DOWN RHETORIC: OFFICIAL

Treasury Secretary Lew "urges compromise" and explains he is in touch with Eurogroup, IMF, and Greece putting the onus back on Varoufakis' shoulders by urging them to reach a deal of face additional hardhsip.

Greece Update: Working Group Ends Without Result, However "Statement Drafted That May Be Basis For Compromise"

In typical European fashion, today's Greek negotiations have ended in a Schrodingerian fashion: on one hands reports are now trickling in that the Greek Eurogroup working group has concluded their meeting after 7 hours without a result while on the other, Market News is reporting that Eurozone deputies have "drafted a statement that could well serve as a basis for a compromise between Greece and the Eurozone, to be examined by finance ministers Friday."

"Someone Has A Problem"

When you owe someone $340, it is YOUR problem.
When you owe someone $340 BILLION, it is THEIR problem.

How Germany Is Blowing Up The European Union

If Greece gives in, Germany will have won, but its bully status will come to bite it in the face. European nations don’t accept bullying, and certainly not from Germany. It’ll be a Pyrrhic victory: the beginning of the end. If Greece however stands firm in its demands, it’s also curtains for the EU. If Greece leaves, it won’t leave alone. Only the third option, Germany caving to Greek demands, can save the EU. But Merkel and Schäuble have prepped their people to such an extent with the wasteful lazy Greeks narrative that they would have a hard time explaining why they want to give in. The EU may thus fall victim to its own propaganda

No Economy Is An Island

"Is it possible, in a global economy in which the United States' principal competitors are experiencing slow growth, disinflation or deflation, wage stagnation or slowing of wage growth, and slumping currencies relative to the US$, that the U.S. economy can be an island of relative prosperity unto itself?" (Spoiler Alert: No!)

US Government Proposes "Sugary-Food Tax" To Curb Obesity

The totalitarian arm of the ever-growing government appears to know no limit. In today's "oh no they didn't" moment, the US Government's diet panel has dictated proposed one more oppression of American's freedom to choose:

*GOV'T PANEL PROPOSES SUGARY-FOOD TAX TO FUND NUTRITION PROGRAMS, CURB OBESITY

On the bright side, the government approves of "lean meat" as compatible with healthy eating. The bill, introduced by Rep. Juan Candelaria, D-New Haven, would impose a tax of 1 cent per ounce on soft drinks - including sweetened teas, energy drinks and soda - and candies that are high in sugar and calories. So, expensive non-refined foods are good? And the poorist people - who can't afford to eat the way the government dictates - will pay all the taxes?

It's Official: Global Economy Back In Contraction For First Time Since 2012 According To Goldman

After spending the past year deteriorating with each passing month, as global acceleration dipped decidedly in the negative camp, the only thing that kept the Goldman Global Leading Indicator "swirlogram" somewhat buoyant was that "Growth" measured in absolute terms had remained slightly positive. Not any more: according to Goldman's latest global economic read, the world is now officially in contraction, following a sharp plunge in both acceleration and growth in February.