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Need To Manipulate Markets? Just Email The Bank Of England At hammer@bankofengland.co.uk

Meet Martin "The Hammer" Mallett, chief currencies dealer at the Bank of England in 2007, and, as WSJ reports, recipient of emails that were part of an alleged campaign to rig benchmark interest rates, according to evidence presented in a London trial Wednesday. Remarkably, as we have detailed extensively, the emails were sent out with daily suggestions for where a variety of banks should set Libor. Mallett was later fired for what the central bank described as "serious misconduct," although the bank said his departure wasn’t directly related to the currencies-rigging investigation.



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S&P Ramp Stalls At 50% Retracement (For Now)

Rumored - and denied - reports of an imminent Greek deal spewed momentum into stocks but for now, the 50% retracement level of the high-to-low swing is holding the exuberant equity market back...



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FIFA "Rampant" Corruption Exposed Following DOJ Indictment, 14 Arrested In Swiss Hotel - FBI/DoJ Press Conference Live Feed

That FIFA has been a hotbed of corruption, shady backroom dealings and outright crime for years, has been known to anyone who has a passing interest in football. Which is why we were surprised to learn this morning that none other than the US Attorney General, seemingly content with all the wristslaps handed out to criminal US foreign banks (and subsequent SEC waivers) gave FIFA the red card in a charge detailing "rampant" corruption in international soccer hours after 14 officials were arrested on accusations of a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through FIFA, whose office was searched in a series of dawn raids in Zurich.



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The Real Story Behind Deutsche Bank's Latest Book Cooking Settlement

On Tuesday, Deutsche Bank agreed to a $55 million SEC settlement tied to allegations it hid billions in losses by mismarking its crisis-era derivatives book. The bank has always contended its valuation methodologies were sound. Here is the real story...



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Shake Shak Slumps As "Chicken Spin-Off" Gains Disappear

Who could have seen that coming?



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EU Official "Denies" Report Of "Greek Deal Pending" Rumor Which Sparked Stocks, Euro Surge

UPDATE: Denial *GREEK CREDITORS NOT YET DRAFTING FINAL ACCORD, EU OFFICIAL SAYS

Another day, another rumor (not yet denied) of a report that Greece and its creditors are crafting a deal (well durr)... The result, vertical buying panic in US equities, USD dumped (on EUR strength), TSY yields spike 3bps, and Crude oil surges... what a "market"



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Humiliated McDonalds To Stop Reporting Monthly Sales

What do you do when month after month you have nothing but bad data to report. Simple: you have two choice - you either seasonally adjust the data (or in the case of US GDP, double-seasonally adjust it), or if that is not possible since unlike US GDP, your numbers are at least somewhat indicative of underlying reality, you stop reporting them altogether.



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Snapchat CEO Warns "Easy Money Policy" Has Created The Tech Bubble, "Matter Of Time Til It Bursts"

A month ago 24-year-old Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel gave global sheeple investors a glimpse at the reality in Silicon Valley's and how the second tech bubble will burst (via his leaked comments from 2013). Overnight he stepped up the rhetoric, as ReCode reports - itself in the midst of a stock-only buyout by Vox - Spiegel warns we are currently living through a tech bubble and that it’s a matter of when, not if, the tech bubble will burst. "People are making riskier investments and... there will be a correction," he warned, placing tha blame squarely on The Fed's shoulders, explaining that the bubble is being fueled by an "easy money policy" and low interest rates - that may not last much longer.



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WTI Crude Crumbles Back To 6-Week Lows (Under $57.50)

WTI Crude's late-day bounce yesterday is gone... and then some. Front-month (July) futures prices are back below $57.50 - their lowest since April 23rd (before the inventory "draw"s began). With OPEC's June meeting looming every closer, one wonders if this downward pressure on price is helping to solidify anti-Saudi rhetoric among the cartel members...



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Bill Gross: "My 'Short Of A Lifetime' Bund Trade Was Well Timed But Not Necessarily Well Executed"

Bill Gross just revealed another aspect of trading in the new (or any) normal: one may get the direction and the timing with laser-like precision (as Gross did on his Bund trade), but if said trade is excecuted in a way where the inherent "coiled spring" volatility of the Gross-defined "new normal" blows up the trade structure, the losses will make one wish never to have had the correct idea in the first place.



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EURUSD Plunge Continues: "It's Not All About Greece... Not Even Close"

Crude oil prices are tumbling as the USDollar pushes on to new highs driven by the continued stretch of renewed weakness in the Euro. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, however, "it’s not all about Greece. Not even close."



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With Greece "Nowhere Close" To Deal, Depositors Pull €300 Million From Banks In Single Day

Greece is "nowhere close" to a deal with its creditors and will miss a May deadline to strike a compromise ahead of an IMF payment due on June 5. Meanwhile, the ECB tightens the screws on the country's banking sector by refusing to lift the ceiling on the emergency liquidity that until now has helped to offset deposit flight.



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Frontrunning: May 27

  • FIFA Raided by Swiss Authorities in 2018, 2022 World Cup Probe (BBG)
  • Companies Send More Cash Back to Shareholders (WSJ)
  • Time Warner Cable Deal Stirs Debt Concerns (WSJ)
  • Qatar $200 Billion World Cup Under More Scrutiny Amid FIFA Probe (BBG)
  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island (Reuters)
  • The G-7's Problem: Can the World Deal With a Greek Default? (BBG)
  • SocGen Deal for Bache Illustrates Commodity-Trading Woe (WSJ)
  • China’s Naval Abilities Test Asia’s Insecurities (WSJ)


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No Clues From Gartman About Today's Market Direction

"We begin then by saying without equivocation that we have changed our mind again regarding equities... Hence in our retirement funds here we reduced very slightly our long position in Apple directly and then wrote near-the-money calls  against the remaining position. Further, we sold just out-of-the money calls against the “tanker” shares we owned, and we used the money taken in from those calls to buy more derivatives sufficient to take us back to market neutrality."



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Futures Flat After News Greek Deal Distant As Ever, Dollar Surge Continues

It had been a painfully quiet session in Asia (where Chinese levitation continues with the Shanghai Composite up another 0.6% oblivious of yesterday's rout in the US, because as we explained for China it is now critical to blow the world's biggest stock bubble) and Europe, where the only notable news as that for the first time in months the ECB had not increase the Greek ELA, keeping it at €80.2 billion on conflicting reports that Greek deposit withdrawals had halted even as Kathimerini said another €300MM had been pulled just yesterday, suggesting the ECB has reached the end of its road when it comes to funding nearly two-thirds of what Greek deposits are left in local banks. But the punchline came moments ago when Bloomberg reported that "Greece will likely miss a deadline for a deal with creditors by the end of the week as the two sides have made little progress during talks in recent days."



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