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The Water Wars Are Coming

A century of government meddling has turned the issue of water rights on its head, and further centralized control of waterways in local, state, and federal governments. Just as the residents of Los Angeles fought over water with local farmers, the residents of Las Vegas will soon find themselves fighting with surrounding states over what’s left of Lake Mead. None of the power players seem to care that the current population settlements of the southwestern United States cannot last. One day the water will run out. The sooner this reality is confronted, the better.



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Crude Jumps After API Inventories Build Less Than Expected

The last three times that API inventories reported (each notably greater than expected), crude prices tumbled (only to ramp hilariously the next day following DOE inventory data). Against Bloomberg estimates of a 3.95 million barrel build, API printed only a 2.89 million barrel build; and WTI crude prices surged to the day's highs.



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As The Battle For Tikrit Begins, A Map Of Who Controls What

As the world awaits to see if following his speech, Israel's PM will now proceed with launching a full on assault on Iran just to show he means business, or at least stage yet another false flag intervention to greenlight war in the middle east, several hundred kilometers to the northeast, the biggest offensive in the "war on ISIS" is now taking place after thousands of Iraqi soldiers and Shi'ite militiamen seek to retake the northern Iraqi town and birthplace of Saddam Hussein, Tikrit. And since there is much confusion all around since pretty much everyone in the middle east is now involved in this war on Iraqi/ISIS soil, here is a simple map showing who controls what..



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This Is What Happens When The Government Cracks Down On Subprime Auto Loans

A running theme here has been the great rotation of bubble-blowing credit from subprime housing to subprime auto-loans. Amid government probes of underwriting standards and soaring delinquencies, it appears when the least-creditworthy Americans are cut off from debt servitude, bad things happen in car sales... FORD FEB. U.S. LIGHT-VEHICLE SALES FALL 2.0%, EST. UP 5.8% (miss!). Worst Still - US Domestic Vehicle Sales Worst Start To The Year Since 2010. Of course, the real blame - as we will be told - is the weather... It seems Obama's new American Dream of a brand new Ford or GM (or Maserati) in every driveway may be another broken promise.



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Treasury 'Short Overhang' Lifts After Actavis Prices 2nd Largest Bond Issue Ever

Just a day after Blackrock saw its biggest Bond ETF outflows in history ($525.8 million pulled on Monday), Actavis sold $21 billion of almost-junk 'BBB-' rated debt (at a minsicule yield of only 3.5%) in the 2nd largest bond issuance ever (2nd only to Verizon's massive $49 billion deal in 2013). The issue was oversubscribed 4.5x (around $90bn in the order book) as a ten-part offering varying from 18-month floaters to 30Y fixeds all went off below guidance. With Treasury liquidty disappearing fast, one wonders just how much rate-locking on this massive deal was responsible for a net short overhang on the Treasury complex the last few days...



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Only 17% Of Americans See The US As The World's Economic Superpower

Echoing former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ quip, “There is surely something odd about the world’s greatest power being the world’s greatest debtor,” it appears that economic reality is finally beginning to set in for Americans... Only hours ago, Gallup released a new poll showing that only a small minority (just 17%) of Americans still view the US as the world’s economic superpower.



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GDP Shocker: Atlanta Fed Calculates Q1 Growth Of Only 1.2%

While every other word from talking-heads and policy-makers relates various anecdotes (or simple lies) about US economic growth, The Atlanta Fed appears to have taken a 'data-dependent' perspective on the real economy (as opposed to smoke and mirrors). Based on their GDPNow "nowcasting" model, The Atlanta Fed projects Q1 2015 GDP growth os just 1.2% (less than half current sell-side economist consensus) and getting weaker...



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Caught On Tape: LAPD Guns Down Homeless Man In Broad Daylight

The following video of LAPD officers gunning down a homeless man in broad daylight is rightly getting a lot of attention. It’s not as if it was one officer dealing with a dangerous situation who panicked. There was a mob of police officers surrounding the victim, and rather than dealing with the situation like courageous, decent adults, they went ahead and treated the man like target practice.



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Greek Pensioners To Fund Ukraine's Government: Syriza Will Tap Pension Funds To Pay IMF

Just yesterday we warned that, among the 'solutions' the Greek government was exploring in its scramble for cash to pay back The IMF loan, was 'borrowing' from the nation's pension funds. Today we get the sad confirmation that indeed Greece will raid cash reserves in pension funds and other public sector entities to cover its funding needs. As Reuters reports, Greece will use short-term repo transactions to transfer the cash, but one government official said they could not be used to repay the IMF. As the radical left-wing government takes from the implictly wealthier Greeks (pension funders), it is giving free electricity, a rent allowance, and food stamps to the poor.



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Could Oil Prices Plummet A Second Time?

Are oil prices heading for a double dip? The surge in shale production has produced a temporary glut in supplies causing oil prices to experience a massive bust. After tanking to a low of $44 per barrel in January, falling rig counts and enormous reductions in exploration budgets have fueled speculation that the market will correct sometime later this year. However, there is a possibility that the recent rise to $51 for WTI and $60 for Brent may only be temporary. In fact, several trends are conspiring to force prices down for a second time.



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The Reason Why Everyone Who Bought BABA Stock And Held, Is Now Losing Money

Fake orders, fake customers... And that's just the beginning! Completing the bizarro circle, one can now buy classes on Alibaba that teach you how to fake Alibaba customers!



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Former CIA Head Pleads Guilty To Mishandling Classified Information, Faces Year In Prison

In a 'ripped from The Onion'-esque headline, WSJ reports that David Petraeus - the former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency - will plead guilty to a charge of mishandling classified information. The reitred military general, whose career was cut short by a very public affair with his biographer, reached a plea deal over sharing unauthorized information with her, in order to avoid an embarrassing trial. To summarize, the man trusted with all of the America's most secret secrets just plead guilty to pillow-talk-sharing of classified information...



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Peter Schiff Warns "Don't Be Fooled By The Madness Of Crowds"

Going into 2015 the economic outlook held by the U.S. investment establishment could not have been much more positive, and more unified. Pundits saw all the variables aligning to create the best of all investment worlds, a virtual "no-brainer" of optimism. High degrees of certainty can be dangerous. Herd mentality can cause investors to chase returns en masse and pile into positions that may already be overvalued. But herds can be spooked, most often by unexpected developments which can catch the herd wrong-footed and spark major movements when the masses scatter at the same time. When that occurs, those who resisted the herd may find themselves rewarded. We believe that we are approaching such a point.



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BoJ Is Losing Control As Demand Wanes For JGBs

Yesterday we warned that with the BOJ greedily sucking up all gross JGB issuance and stoking volatility in the process, all it will take is a couple of more weak debt auctions for things to go awry — and that’s just what happened overnight as demand was tepid at March's 10-year auction.



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