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Ukraine Admits Resurgent Separatists Extend Control All The Way To Sea Of Azov

The Ukraine "ceasefire" may be raging, but don't tell that to the "rebel", "separatists", "pro-Russian terrorists" or whatever it is that the ethnic Russians in east Ukraine are called nowadays, because a few short hours ago even Kiev finally admitted that the insurgency, with or without Russian backing, has finally hit the beach of the Azov Sea, which implicitly means that the only thing that is prevent the formation of a land connection from Russia to Crimea is the city of Mariupol, which as Ukraine reported overnight, it is now massing heavy weapons for what may be the most critical fight of the entire Ukraine civil war to date.



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Poland Says Russian Gas Deliveries Tumble By 45%; Europe To Launch Sanctions On Friday, Russia Will Retaliate

Yesterday, when Gazprom was supposedly "troubleshooting its systems", we reported that in what was the first salvo of Europe's latest cold (quite literally, with winter just around the corner) war, Poland complained that up to 25% of its usual gas deliveries from Russia had been cut. Russia indirectly hinted that this was also a result of Ukraine using "reverse flow" to meet its demands, with Europe allowing Kiev to syphon off whatever gas it needs without paying Gazprome for it. It also led Poland to promptly admit it would halt reverse flow to the civil-war ridden country. Fast forward to today when Polish financial website Biznes reports that things are going from bad to worse in Russia's energy retaliation war, after Poland claimed a 45% shortfall in Russian natgas imports as of Wednesday.



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Full European Commission Statement On Next Round Of Russian Sanctions

"The set of measures adopted on Monday will enter into force on Friday 12 September 2014.  At the same time, it is my understanding that the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) before the end of the month will carry out a comprehensive review of the implementation of the peace plan on the basis of an assessment carried out by the European External Action Service (EEAS).  We have always stressed the reversibility and scalability of our restrictive measures. Therefore, in the light of the review and if the situation on the ground so warrants, the Commission and the EEAS are invited to put forward proposals to amend, suspend or repeal the set of sanctions in force, in all or in part. It is expected that the Council will consider these proposals urgently with a view to take action if appropriate." Herman Von Rompuy



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Ruble Plunges To Record Low As US Stocks Give Up Scotland "No" Poll Gains; Bond Yields Sliding

Well that didn't last long. The late-day exuberance inspired by a small sample size poll of Scottish independence voters has been entirely removed as America went back to war, the West prepares (boomeranging) new sanctions for Russia, and US macro data showed weakness (and for once bad news appears to be bad news). AUDJPY is in charge of stocks so far (as USDJPY fades back from 107). The Ruble has tumbled 4 days in a row and is now at record lows against the USD. Treasury yields are sliding this morning, as is the USD and gold is bouncing back modestly from early weakness...



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Initial Jobless Claims Surge Most Since June

For the 2nd week in a row, initial claims missed expectations and on the heels of last week's dismal payrolls data (which was "unbelievable" according to the smartest people in the room) it surged to 315k - the highest since June. Perhaps most critically, on both an adjusted and unadjusted basis, initial claims are highher year-over-year (SA 315k vs 307k, NSA 234k vs 229k respectively). Is this noise? It has been 7 weeks now from the mid-July lows... and the 4-week-average many look at, has risen for 4 of the last 5 weeks.



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Frontrunning: September 11

  • Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State (Reuters)
  • Obama Relying on Mideast Allies to Counter Islamic State (BBG)
  • Scotland Nationalists Claim U.K. Oil in 40-Year Campaign (BBG)
  • Scottish Polls Embolden Catalans Pushing Rajoy for Vote (BBG)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland: RBS will leave Scotland if voters back independence (Guardian)
  • Most Hedge-Fund Managers Are Overpaid, Unigestion Says (BBG)
  • China Inflation Softens to Four-Month Low (WSJ)
  • Munger Hosts Groupies, Mocks Wall Street, Praises Buffett (BBG)


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Futures Slide On Renewed Catalan Independence Jitters, Disappointing Chinese Inflation

Following yesterday's confusing exuberance, which saw the sluggish market rise in the last hours of trading as the latest Scottish poll showed a reverse of the "Yes" momentum (and fading Gartman's latest reco of course), overnight European jitters have re-emerged once more following a speech by Catalonia's Artur Mas, who has long pushed for independence of the region, and who said that while there are different ways Catalonia can vote, the important issue is that Catalans vote somehow. Mas says Spanish govt will likely try to block Catalan vote "the reasons why the central government is blocking the vote are political not legal", which in turn has once again brought attention to Europe's artificial, unstable and temporary political and monetary union, which threatens a reversion of the nightmare days from 2012 when Mario Draghi was promising he would do everything in his power to send the EUR higher (as opposed to now).



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Summarizing The President's Speech

We'll be bombing a sovereign nation (Syria).
We'll be arming terrorist groups while fighting them.
The US Economy is Great.



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The Era Of Widespread Biometric Indentification And Microchip Implants Is Here

Are you ready to have your veins scanned every time you use your bank account?  Are you ready to use a "digital tattoo" or a microchip implant to unlock your telephone?  Once upon a time we read about such technologies in science fiction novels, but now they are here.  The era of widespread biometric identification and microchip implants is upon us, and it is going to change the way that we live.  Proponents of these new technologies say that they will make our private information and our bank accounts much more secure.  But there are others that warn that these kinds of "Big Brother technologies" will set the stage for even more government intrusion into our lives.  In the wrong hands, such technologies could prove to be an absolute nightmare.



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11 Ways You Know You Live In A Country Run By Idiots

You live in a country run by idiots when...

 



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Goldman Declares The "End Of The Iron Age"

Back in the summer of 2008, when crude seemed poised to take out $150, Goldman decided to declare the start of a commodity supercycle and boosted its oil price forecast to $200. Shortly thereafter crude cratered, plunging to the low double digits, and causing many to scratch their heads whether Goldman was merely taking advantage of the pre-Lehman panic to sell into the euphoria. The same questions, but inverted, will likely follow today's just as seminal note, one which this time calls for the end of a supercycle, this time of iron, with "The end of the Iron Age."



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What Petrodollar: Russia, China To Create SWIFT Alternative

Russia and China are discussing setting up a system of interbank transactions which will become an analogue to International banking transaction system SWIFT, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told PRIME on Wednesday after negotiations in Beijing. "Yes, we have discussed and we have approved this idea," he said.



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President Obama Unveils The "It's Different This Time" ISIS Strategy - Live Feed

Previewing tonight’s televised prime-time address to the nation, The Onion reports that White House aides confirmed that President Obama will reassure Americans that the impending military campaign against ISIS will be the exact same type of open-ended, drawn-out conflict that they are used to. “The president’s message is clear: This will be just another one of our routine intractable engagements in the region - it’s going to be unending, it’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to affect our credibility within the international community. There will not be any surprises for folks to worry about.”

And in The President's own words, "But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."



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The Black Swan Of Scotland

Billions of dollars have already been lost in just a few days, since everybody realized the UK may actually split up. Many more billions will be lost in the coming week, as measures of volatility go through the roof. Neither the Yes side nor the No side have gone into this thing terribly prepared; there are a zillion questions surrounding the independence issue that won’t be solved before the vote takes place. Passports, currencies, central banks, monetary unions, there’s too much even to mention. Somewhere, emanating from the old crypts and burrows in which Britain was founded, we fear a hideous force may emerge to crush the Scottish people’s desire for self-determination, if only because that desire is a major threat to some very rich and powerful entities who found themselves as unprepared as Downing Street 10.



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Paul Krugman: "We’ll Only Feel Prosperous During Bubble Periods"

While hardly able to match the wit, sophistry or, allegedly, satire of yesterday's MarketWatch grandslam in market insight "Why This Stock Market Will Never Go Down", we are confident readers will enjoy the following interview from none other than the Nobel prize winner in Keynesianomics, Paul Krugman, who in this interview with Princeton Magazine, had some comments on bubbles, inflation,  student loans, minimum wages, artificially low rates, the Fed's dual mandate, and, of all things, Bitcoin.



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