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Amid Probe, NY Governor Cuomo Orders Mass Deletion Of Government Emails

In an Onion-esque story almosty too unbelievable to be real, IB Times reports, in a memo obtained by Capital New York, Cuomo officials announced that mass purging of email records is beginning across several state government agencies. The timing of the announcement, which followed through on a 2013 proposal, is worth noting: The large-scale destruction of state documents will be happening in the middle of a sprawling federal investigation of public corruption in Albany.



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Arms Race 2.0: Top Navy Admiral Warns China Now Has More "Fairly Amazing Submarines" Than The US

Overnight we learned from Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee's seapower subcommittee that China "is building some fairly amazing submarines and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States," “They may not be the same quality, but their submarine forces are growing at a tremendous rate. They now have more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than we have,” the admiral told the lawmakers. “They are producing some fairly amazing submarines and they are actually deploying them.”

Welcome to the second arms race.



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German Comedy: Yanis Varoufakis "Puts The 'Hell' In Hellenic"

While we noted their 'nein'-ness with regard Greece earlier, it appears the Germans have take to satire to make their point... The following brilliant clip begins with a confident man exclaiming "We are Germans... we truly are a fearless bunch of mother-f##kers..." who then quakes in his jackboots  "except for one man... V for Varoufakis."

 



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Ukraine To Halt Currency Trading Again Any Minute

With Prime Minister Yatsenyuk putting his foot down and squeezing the central bank to lift capital controls, Ukraine's currency is totally collapsing this morning. Up over 5 handles to a fresh record low of 33.75/USD, we suspect currency trading will be halted any minute. While we discussed the endgame for Ukraine last night, on the street, things are dire with ATM lines, shelves emptied, and local currency exchanges marking up levels dramatically more than the 'official' rates...



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Greece Suffers Biggest Bank Run In History: January Deposits Plunge To 2005 Levels

Moments ago the Bank of Greece presented its latest, January, deposit data. And it's a doozy: following a record €12.2 billion monthly outflow, greater in absolute and relative terms than anything experienced during any of the previous Greek crises and bailouts, the total amount of Greek corporate and household deposits has now tumbled to just €148 billion. This number is in line with some of the more pessimistic expectations, and brings the total cash holdings at Greek banks to the lowest level since August 2005.



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From One Non-Profit To Another - Jay Carney Moves To Amazon

As one wit noted, it appears former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is moving from one non-profit organization to another. As Politico reports, Carney joins Amazon on Monday as senior vice president for Worldwide Corporate Affairs - reporting directly to Jeff Bezos and topping current veteran PR Chief Paul Misener.



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Despite Record Stocks & Surging Wage Inflation, Consumer Comfort Plunges Most In 10 Months

What do people have to be 'uncomfortable' about?!! Stock markets around the world are at record highs... real wages just jumped by the most MoM since 2008... So why oh why did Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort Index plunge to its lowest of the year, falling by the most since May 2014? Perhaps, just perhaps, the market is a red herring... distracting the plebeians from the reality of the economy?



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Europe's "Them" & "Us" Fiscal Faux Pas

Oh well, some are more equal than others. One day after Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem says France won’t get any more lenience... "France must respect EU budge rules," ... the EU over-rules him "France gets more time to meet EU budget rules."



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The One Number The Market Is Focused On: Real Hourly Wages Surge Most Since Lehman Deflationary Shock

In today's deluge of macro data, one number stood out: the parallel release by the BLS of the real average hourly earnings, which is simply taking the previously reported nominal hourly wage data, and applying whatever deflator gets released in parallel by the BLS. And, not surprisingly, after the nominal jump in January wages, a number which may very well be revised lower as has been the case so often before, courtesy of the headline deflation, the real jump in hourly wages was even higher. In fact, rising to an inflation adjusted $10.55/hour from $10.42 in December, it meant real wages rose by 1.2%, which was the best jump in hourly wages since... the months following the Lehman collapse. Because everyone remembers how the deflationary vortex in the aftermath of the Lehman bankruptcy led to a sense of wealth and eagerness to spend deflation adjusted wages.



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Capital Goods Shipments Tumble, 6th Miss In A Row

Despite proclamations that "the shadow of crisis has passed," November durable goods orders were weak, December durable goods orders were weaker, and while January's noisy headline Durable Goods Orders beat expectations (+2.8% vs +1.6% exp), ex-Transportation it missed  (printing +0.3% vs +0.5% exp.). A quick glance at YoY core capex and it is clear that the crisis has anything but passed. Capital Goods shipments fell a greater than expected 0.3% (against expectations of a 0.2% rise) for the sixth miss in a row and 3rd drop in the last 4 months.



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US Posts First Negative Inflation Print Since Lehman On Gas Price Plunge

As previewed earlier today, January CPI data was historic in that, 6 years after Lehman, the US just reported its first negative headline CPI print, with overall inflation, or rather deflation, in January coming at -0.1%, in line with expectations, and down from the 0.8% in December. On a monthly basis, CPI tumbled by 0.7% from December, driven almost entirely by collapsing energy prices. Excluding the Great financial crisis, one has to go back a few years to find the last time the US posted annual headline deflation.... all the way back to August 1955, or just about the time Marty McFly was trying not to dance with his mother.



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Initial Jobless Claims Surge Most Since 2013

After last week's holiday-shortened exuberance over initial jobless claims, this week's slam back to reality is quite a shock to the "everything is awesome" crowd. Initial jobless claims jumped 31,000 to 313,000 - the biggest percentage rise since December 2013. Continuing claims dropped modestly but remain up around 3.5% over the last quarter - near the worst since 2009.



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"NEIN" - Germany's Bild Has A Message For Greece: "No More Billions For Greedy Greeks"

One day ahead of a key vote in the German Bundestag whether to ratify the 4-month Greek bailout extension, the biggest-selling, mass-market newspaper (or tabloid as some call it) with a circulation of 2.5 million, Bild, has made it very clear just how it feels about the latest Greek can kicking event.



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WTI Follows Algo-Idiot-Inventory Template: Slides Back Below $50

Yesterday we exposed the deja vu-ness of the API vs DOE inventory price moves in WTI. Today we begin to get some confirmation as a growing divergence between excess supply (and weak demand) for WTI and rising demand for Brent push the spread over $11 and the contango above $2...



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Frontrunning: February 26

  • Goldman Employees Reaped $2 Billion From 2008 Options Last Year (BBG)
  • On Bush turf, Obama blames immigration woes on Republicans (Reuters)
  • Tougher Internet rules to hit cable, telecoms companies (Reuters)
  • Russia's Gazprom says can exempt rebel-held areas from Ukraine gas contract (Reuters)
  • Allianz Says Pimco Seeing ‘Substantially’ Lower Outflows (BBG)
  • Merkel Faces Stepped-Up Dissent on Greek Bailout in Party (BBG)
  • SEC Probes Companies’ Treatment of Whistleblowers (WSJ)
  • 2-Year Trek From Turf to Table Delays Cheaper U.S. Beef (BBG)
  • Turkish jets violate Greek air space (Kathimerini)


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