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SEC Reaches "Appropriate" Settlement With Freddie Mac Execs Who Will Pay Nothing And Receive No Punishment

Three former Freddie Mac executives who understated the amount of subprime exposure on the GSE's book by a factor of 28 came to terms with the SEC today on a settlement which imposes fees no one has to pay and "limitations on future behavior" that "will not limit [anyone] in any practical way."



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Deutsche Bank's Ominous Warning: A "Perfect Storm" Is Coming In 2018

"We could now be at a crossroads," warns Deutsche Bank in its annual default study report. As the 'artificial bond market' is exposed and yield curves flatten on Fed rate hikes so carry risk-reward is reduced and default cycles have often been linked to the ebbing and flowing of the YC through time with a fairly long lead/lag. With HY defaults having spent 12 of the last 13 years below their long-term average (with the last 5 years the lowest in modern history), "a perfect default storm could be created for 2018 if the Fed raises rates in 2015."

 



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It's April 15th - Do You Know Where Your Tax Dollar Went?

This will make every American feel much better about handing over that check today... as Simon Black notes today "I believe we have an obligation to starve the beast..."



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71 Mentions Of "Weather" In The Latest Fed Beige Book

There were the usual trite, forgettable highlights in the just released beige snow book, which as summarized by Bloomberg, had the following highlights:

FED: ECONOMY EXPANDED IN MOST REGIONS MID-FEB. TO END-MARCH;  HIGHER RETAIL SALES REPORTED BY MAJORITY OF REGIONAL FED BANKS; BEIGE BOOK: LABOR MARKETS STABLE OR SHOWED MODEST IMPROVEMENT; REGIONAL FEDS NOTED MODEST UPWARD WAGE AND PRICE PRESSURE;

One can ignore all of the above, because the only word that matters in the latest beige book was one: "Weather"



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Capitol Locked-Down After Mailman Lands Gyrocopter On Lawn To Deliver Campaign Reform Letter To Congress

Update: *LOCKDOWN LIFTED AT U.S. CAPITOL AFTER GYRO COPTER ARREST

US Capitol Police have locked-down buildings after a man landed a gyrocopter on the lawn. As The Tampa Bay Times reports, the man is a mailman from Ruskin named Doug Hughes who was attempting to deliver campaign reform messages to Congress.



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VIXterminated Below 13 Sparks Another Surge In Stocks

The slowly accelerating melt-up in stocks (amid earnings meeting massively lowered expectations, China's economy slumping, and US macro data hitting new multi-year lows) is aided and abetted by a collapse in VIX. Dow is above 18,000; S&P above 2,100, and Nasdaq above 5,000 - so everything is awesome. Trading volume remains well below a trending-lower average...



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The Madness Of Negative Bond Yields

Confidence in the system likely hangs by a much thinner thread than is currently widely perceived. Since “risk asset” prices are soaring in much of Europe, the underlying currents of suspicion are well masked, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t exist. While we believe that central bank and regulatory interventions in the market are a major reason why so many bond yields have dropped into negative territory, the role played by distrust in the banking system is probably quite large as well – a suspicion that seems to be confirmed by the strength of the euro-denominated gold price.



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Bullard Hints The Fed May Hike Rates Only To Cut Them Right After

BULLARD: CUT RATES IF ECONOMY SUFFERS SHOCK AFTER FED LIFTOFF



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Russian Ruble Extends Outperformance - Surges To Strongest Since November

Isolated Russia continues to see its currency dramatically outperform the US Dollar. Breaking below 50 today, this is the strongest the Ruble has been since Nov 2014... The Ruble is now up almost 22% against the US Dollar year-to-date.



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German 10Y Bond Yield Plunges To 10bps, Negative To 8 Years

German yields cratered-er today (as DAX flash-crashed into the close). 10Y yields are now at 10.5bps - record lows - and the entire German yield curve is now at negative rates to 8 year maturity. Must all be a signal of the economic success of Q€ right?



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Ahead Of Varoufakis' Meeting With Famous Sovereign Bankruptcy Lawyer S&P Downgrades Greece To CCC+

To think it was just recently in September of last year when the S&P, seemingly unaware of the tragic reality facing Greece in just a few months (by reality we meen democratic elections which overthrew the previous regime which was merely a group of Troika picked technocrats), upgraded Greece to B and said "The upgrade reflects our view that risks to fiscal consolidation in Greece have abated." Well, the risks have unabated, and two months after S&P flipflopped and downgraded Greece back to B- on February 6, moments ago it downgraded it again, this time to triple hooks, aka the dreaded CCC+. But, as City AM reports, the biggest news is that the Greek Finance Minister "will on Friday meet with infamous sovereign debt lawyer Lee Buchheit, who has helped numerous countries restructure their debt. Buchheit is a partner at top US law firm Cleary Gottlieb."



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DAX Just Flash-Crashed, Drags US Stocks Lower

No apparent headlines as the European close looms and DAX Futures just plunged on heavy volume...



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ECB Issues Statement On Mario Draghi Attacker

Following the incident at the ECB earlier today, in which Mario Draghi was attacked by a female protestor, moments ago the central bank issued the following statement.



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"Crude Cheap, Gold Fair, Stocks Rich"

Gold, crude oil and U.S. equities are dollar denominated, are notional inflation hedges, and have reliable long term price records. Two anomalies pop out in the relative value across this threesome...



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