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Prominent Russian Politician And Putin Critic Shot To Death In Moscow: Live Feed From Murder Scene

Just nine hours after tweeting "Putin annexed Crimea and is now handing over Siberia to the Chinese," and three ours after calling for a "Russian Spring" march, prominent Vladimir Putin critic and opposition politician (who back in 1997 was also deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation) Boris Nemtsov, has been killed in the center of Moscow. As The BBC notes, the Russian opposition politician and former deputy PM was shot to death on a Moscow street. Life News is reporting he was shot in the chest four times on a street very close to Red Square.



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China Just Sided With Russia Over The Ukraine Conflict

Few asked throughout the Ukraine civil war is just whose side is China leaning toward, after all the precarious balance of power between NATO and Russia had resulted in a stalemate in which neither side has an obvious advantage (even as the Ukraine economy died, and its currency hyperinflated, waiting for a clear winner), and the explicit or implicit support of China to either camp would make all the difference in the world, and perhaps the world's most formidable axis. Today we finally got the answer.  China's ambassador to Belgium, was quoted as blaming competition between Russia and the West for the Ukraine crisis, urging Western powers to "abandon the zero-sum mentality" with Russia.  Reuters assessment of Xing speech: "an unusually frank and open display of support for Moscow's position in the crisis." At least it is not a warning to the US to back off or else. Yet.

 



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"Monetary Policy Is Bankrupt" Dr. Lacy Hunt Warns "Bonds, Not Stocks, Are A Good Economic Indicator"

"While the wealth effect is a theoretical possibility, it is not supported by economic fact. The stock market is not a good guide to the economy, but...the bond market is a very good economic indicator. When bond yields are very low and declining it’s an indication that the same is happening to inflation and that economic activity is weak. The bond yields are not here for any fluke of reason. They are here because business conditions in the US and abroad are quite poor."



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WTF Chart Of The Day - Fantasy February Edition

Presented with little comment but to say "Thank you Jim..."



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Homeland Security Shutdown Imminent After House Fails To Pass Stop-Gap Funding Bill

As we warned was entirely possible, with just hours to go until The Department of Homeland Security runs out of money at midnight:

*HOUSE FAILS TO PASS STOPGAP FUNDING FOR U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY

While more votes are expected tonight (and this weekend), as The Guardian reports, a handful of Republicans defied Boehner's leadership and joined with Democrats to defeat the bill.



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5 Things To Ponder: Weekend Catch Up

With the "Great Greek Tragedy" now behind the markets, for the time being, all eyes have turned towards the Nasdaq's triumphant march back to 5000.  (The graphics department at CNBC have been working overtime on banners and bugs for when it happens....watch for them.) For now, it is all about the hopes of a cyclical upturn in the Eurozone economy supported by the ECB's QE program starting next month. Market participants have been bidding up stocks globally in anticipation that the ECB's program will pick up where the Fed left off, and the flood of liquidity will find its way back into asset prices



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Puerto Rico's 3rd Largest Bank Fails

Based on Bloomberg data, Doral Bank is the 3rd largest (by assets) bank in Puerto Rico...or rather was. After a 58% collapse in the share price today, news broke after the close:

*PUERTO RICO'S DORAL BANK PLACED UNDER FDIC RECEIVERSHIP, BANCO POPULAR AGREES TO BUY DORAL BANK OPERATIONS

It appears Non-Performing Loans were over 40%. Popular will take the deposits (and 8 of Doral's 26 branches) and the FDIC eats the bad debt (estimates to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $748.9 million).



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The Net Neutrality Debate Proves The Opinions Are Far From Informed

As many of you know the FCC approved what is now considered the greatest change in the fundamental underpinnings of how the internet will be both used as well as “allowed” to be used. The regulation now known as Net Neutrality will supposedly make the internet more “fair” or “equal” to everyone. All I’ll ask you to ponder is this: How’s your cable bill working out for you? There’s a lot of known and unknowns still to be had as we sit here today. Why? Regardless of what you’ve heard or seen written in the press about this regulation; no one, and I do mean, no one knows the details to this new and sweeping regulation.



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Here Is What Americans Spent Their "Gas Savings" On

The math is clear - the next time anyone asks you what Americans spent their so-called "gas savings" on in Q4, and why retail sales in the end of 2014 (and the start of 2015) were so weak, show them this chart.



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Was The Government Lying Then, Or Now?

"Fight" inflation or... "encourage" it... let your government decide...



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Why Does Maryland Have The Most Millionaires Per Capita? The Answer Might Make You Angry

Over the past decade, there has been one area of the country which has experienced a massive economic boom. Thanks to wildly out of control government spending, the Washington D.C. region is absolutely swimming in cash. In fact, at this point the state of Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the entire nation and it isn’t even close.



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Trading Oil For HFT Idiots: Lesson Complete

Who could have seen this coming? In lesson 101, we 'taught' the HFT idiots that you "Sell API, and Buy DOE Inventories." In lesson 102, we 'taught' the HFT idiots that you then "Sell the DOE Rip." Today, we finish with a big "told you so dance" as we 'taught' the HFT idiots yesterday, no matter what WTI will ramp insanely into the Friday NYMEX close after rig count data. Next we get the insta-dump...



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Stocks Head For Best Month Since Oct 2011 As US Macro Crashes To 12-Month Lows

US Macro data has collapsed to 12-month lows with 38 data 'misses' and only 6 'beats. Earnings expectations have plunged most since Lehman (over 5% in the last 3 months) hovering at 10-month lows. So it makes perfect sense that, unless we see a late-day collapse today, the S&P 500 will post the best monthly performance since October 2011.



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The Economic Consequences Of Greece

The aim of the Greek bailout was not to restore prosperity to the country's people, but to save the eurozone. Given this, the new Greek government is entirely justified in questioning the terms that the country was given. As negotiations continue (Tsipras "war" vs the initial lost "battle)the single worst outcome of the current negotiations would be Greece's submission to its creditors' demands, with few concessions in return. Default and exit from the eurozone would allow Greece to begin correcting past mistakes and putting its economy on the path to recovery and sustainable growth. At that point, the EU would be wise to follow suit, by unraveling the currency union and providing debt reduction for its most distressed economies. Only then can the EU's founding ideals be realized.



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