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Germanwings Co-Pilot "Deliberately Destroyed" Airplane, Identified As 28-Year Old German Citizen

In one of the most chilling segments of this morning's press conference describing what was found on the cockpit voice recorder, screams were heard from passengers and crew as the realisation of what was about to happen struck them all. Prosecutor Brice Robin's findings state that when the German Captain left the cockpit - following what appeared to be - the 28-year-old German co-pilot (who was alive to the end) refused to re-open the door and began an "intentional", "controlled", and "steady" descent as he "seems to have sought to destroy the plane." Nothing indicates that this was a terrorist incident.



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Kansas Fed Plunges To 2-Year Lows, New Orders Crash: "Economy Not As Strong As Media Portrays"

How can it be? Services PMI was at 6-month highs. The Kansas City Fed Index tumbled to -4 in March (against expectations of +1) and was last below this level in Feb 2013. KC Fed has now missed for 6 of the last 8 months and the report is a disaster across the board. New orders plunged to -20 (2nd lowest print since Lehman), order backlogs imploded, average workweek collapsed to -17 (lowest since Lehman), and future capex expectations fell to a five-year low. As one respondent noted, "we do not see the economy as being as strong as a portrayed in the national media reports."



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The 10 Things Germany Needs To Do To Save The Eurozone (And Itself)

The political pressure on Germany is rising in Europe. The country faces a choice: Continue business as usual or change the strategy? Only the latter option may give it real influence on shaping the future course of economic and political affairs in Europe. Playing defense is the comfortable choice, but it may be the wrong strategy. What needs to be done? Below is a proposal for saving the Eurozone in a way that would safeguard Germany’s interests, too



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One Month After Austria's Black Swan Shocker, The ECB Quietly Asks Banks to "Detail Their Exposure"

Doing what it does best, a month after the fact and long after the black swans have left the stable so to say, Mario Draghi's ECB has finally asked Eurozone banks "to detail their exposure to Austria and provisions they plan to make after the country halted debt repayments by a "bad bank" winding down defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria," financial sources told Reuters.



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Dow Breaks Below Key "Bullard Bounce" Trendline

Paging Jim Bullard...



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Three Triggers That Will Send Oil Crashing Again

Oil prices bounced back on March 24 on a sliding U.S. Dollar, and then again overnight on Middle East turmoil, but the pain may not be over yet.



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US Services PMI Surges To 6-Month Highs, Decouples From Hard Data Reality

Who could have seen that coming? Markit reports that US Services PMI surged to 58.6 in March (considerably better than the 57.0 exp) and the highest in 6 months. Despite the total collapse in US Macro data, the survey says... everything is awesome.



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S&P Tumbles Into Red Year-To-Date, Gold Goes Green

With Trannies now down almost 6% year-to-date, the S&P just fell back below the red-line for 2015, joining The Dow. Small Caps and Nasdaq remain up 2% for now. Bonds, gold, and silver are back in the green for 2015.



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Lufthansa CEO Press Conference - Live Webcast

Having now discovered more of the disturbing facts about the last 30 minutes of the Germanwings flight, the Lufthansa CEO holds a press conference...



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Middle East Proxy War: Presenting The Massive "Decisive Storm" Coalition

On one side of the latest proxy war in the Middle East are Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebel forces and their prominent backer, Iran. On the other side are the Suuni states led by Saudi Arabia and henceforth dubbed as the "Decisive Storm" coalition. Here they are.



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Bonds & Crude Dump, The Dollar & Stocks Jump As Top Houthi Leaders Reportedly Killed

After overnight strength in oil (post-Yemen) and bonds and gold (and weakness in stocks), the last few minutes have seen some of this reverse as chatter crosses the wire of the death of top Houthi leadership in Yemen. Oil prices are tumbling, the dollar is surging, and bond yields are spiking. Stocks are starting to creep off the lows...



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What Will End the 34-Year US Treasury Bond Bull Market?

The collapse of phantom-wealth bubbles could occur in the next year or two, or be delayed for another 5 to 6 years. But the implosion of phantom-wealth bubbles is assured by the internal dynamics of bubbles.



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Initial Jobless Claims Drop Back Below Dreaded "300k" Level

After last week's initial jobless claims drop - which nevertheless held the 4-wk average above 300k - this week saw the number drop once more. Against expectations of 290k, claims printed 282k, leaving the 4-week average at 297k, conveniently below the 300k mark. This means that since the end of QE3, initial jobless claims are unchanged as the trend of improvement has clearly stalled.



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Saudi Arabia Imposes Naval Blockade On Red Sea Strait, Deploys 150,000 Troops As Iran Condemns Military Action

As noted earlier, the biggest significance of any Yemen conflict has little to do with its own domestic oil production, which at 133,000 bpd is negligible, but due to its location, which not only shares a border with Saudi Arabia, but more importantly due to the Bab el-Mandeb strait which connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden: it is the fourth-biggest shipping chokepoint in the world by volume (3.8 million barrels a day of oil and petroleum products flowed through it in 2013) and is just 18 miles wide at its narrowest point. It’s located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, and connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. And since to Saudi Arabia preserving the logistics of oil supply is critical, it is hardly surprising that as Egypt's Ahram Gate reported earlier, the Saudi-led Firmness Storm coalition imposed a naval blockade on Bab El-Mandab strait earlier today. The Saudi navy's western fleet has also secured Yemen's main ports including Aden and Midi.



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Futures Tumble As Yemen War Starts; Oil, Gold Surges

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, this morning's futures reaction to last night's shocking start of a completely unexpected Yemen proxy war, which has seen an alliance of Gulf State launch an air, and soon land, war against Yemen's Houthi rebels, is what one would expect: down, and down big. This is surprising, because on previous occasions one would expect the NY Fed, or its pet hedge fund, Citadel, or the BOJ or ECB (via the CME's "Central Bank Incentive Program") to aggressively buy ES to prevent a slide, something has changed, and for the BTFDers, that something may be very fatal with the e-Mini rapidly approaching a 1-handle yet again. The offset to tumbling stocks, as previously observed, is oil, with WTI soaring over 6% in a delayed algo response to the Qatar headlines.



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