"Saudi leaders have said that if troops do go in, they won't leave until they have degraded the Houthis' ability to fight. The Houthis are apt guerrillas. A fight on the ground could prove bloody and lengthy," CNN notes. Unfortunately, it now appears that this “bloody and lengthy” conflict just got a little closer to becoming reality as Reuters reports that Houthi rebels have gained access to a military base at the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the 4th largest oil-shipping chokepoint in the world.
The Long US Dollar, Short US Treasuries trades were the 'most crowded' earlier this year and while both have derisked modestly from record highs, this week saw the net speculative position in EURUSD futures surge more negative and has never been shorter. Along similar 'strong dollar' lines, as Bloomberg reports, net long positions in Gold have dropped to their lowest since Dec 2013 and outright Gold short positions rose for the seventh week in a row to the highest since data began in 2006.
Bad News For America's Biggest Housing Bubble: San Francisco Home Prices Suffer Biggest Drop In Three YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/31/2015 - 13:50
It was not only the annual growth rate of only 7.9%, matching the lowest since the European debt bubble burst in 2010, but also the sequential rate of price drops, at -0.9% - the biggest monthly drop in three years, or since January 2012 - that will once again be a subject for concern of housing watchers. Because should the price decline resume its acceleration without any emerging tailwinds to prop up the local housing market, then there will surely be some severe fallout such as this peak housing bubble example, in which as Curbed reported last week, a run down shack which listed for $799,000 sold for 50% more, or $1.2 million a few weeks later!
Houthi rebels have reportedly entered the military base at the stratgeic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, according to Reuters. This is the 4th largest oil-shipping chokepoint in the world... Oil has pushed modestly higher on the news but remains driven more by the headlines from Switzerland...
While we wait to see which “well capitalized” bank will be the next to crumble under the weight of mountainous writedowns occasioned by the sudden souring of “riskless” assets, we get to read the DuesselHyp post-mortem, which shows that the bank was effectively AIG’d by Eurex.
"The utterances of the Yellen/Zhou duo who kicked off yesterday’s rip make absolutely clear why the central bankers will never stop stimulating. They have embraced a spurious “inflation deficiency” doctrine, and have thereby, in effect, lashed themselves to the wheel of a doomsday machine."
Venezuela, Argentina, and... China? are the 3 best performing stock markets in March in USD terms (with Ukraine close behind). It is the Greeks that have borne the brunt of global derisking through The Ides, Athens Stock Index down over 15% and the worst-performing stock market in the world for March. Year-to-date, Russia joins the 3 amigos at the top of the list (up almost 11% in USD terms) and Ukraine remains the clear laggard, down almost 33% in USD terms. The best performing global stock market in 2015 in local currency terms is... Denmark!?
Having already proven that their institutions are above the law in the aftermath of the financial crisis, executives at the “Too Big to Fail and Jail” banks have decided it’s time to teach Senate Democrats a lesson. Not being content with trillions in taxpayer backed bailouts to protect and further consolidate virtually all wealth within their oligarch fiefdoms, these bankers are irate at the notion that a commoner would dare criticize their unassailable crony privilege. What Wall Street wants is one hundred Chucky Schumers in the Senate.
Update, and just as expected: IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATORS MAY MISS 3RD DEADLINE: U.S. OFFICIAL
"The United States and Europe reportedly want the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on Iran to be automatically reversible, meaning that if Iran violates the deal at any point, the UNSC sanctions will automatically be re-imposed on Tehran. Russia opposes such a scenario, saying in such a case the UNSC should decide what to do. Moscow says automatic imposition of sanctions goes against the mechanism of the Security Council. China also reportedly shares Russia’s viewpoint and is against the imposition of automatically reversible sanctions on Iran."
"The overnight general collateral rate jumped to 0.38% this morning. The GC rate has seen sharp moves at quarter end in the past, although today's jump is the largest we have on record."
Following February's drop from 'recovery' cycle highs (which has now been erased by previous revisions! why are confidence measures seasonally-adjusted anyway?), despite surging gas prices, terrible economic data, and dismal weather, March consumer confidence explodes higher. Printing 101.3, massively beating expectations of 96.4, this is just shy of the cycle highs in January. Of course, it's all hope... the present situation index actually dropped notably from 112.1 to 109.1 as future expectations surged from 90.0 to 96.0, but fewer people plan to buy homes or major applicances in the next 6 months.
In the midst of a near-nationwide blackout that grounded planes and froze rail traffic and which officials say could be terror-linked, armed gunman have taken a prosecutor hostage in an Istanbul court house.