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Blowback: Protesters In Kiev Demand Resignation Of Ukraine President

While the CIA-staged government coups in Libya and Egypt at least managed to last nearly a year before the inevitable "Thermidorian reaction" resulted in a blowback response that saw the overthrow of the interim US-handpicked rulers, Ukraine may not last nearly that long. According to reports by both Russian Interfax and Ukraine's Unian press services, for the first time since the coup that overthrew Ukraine's president Yanukovich in late February, hours ago a group of protesters assembled in front of the parliament building and on Independence Square in central Kiev, with demands for the resignation of both the interior minister Avakov as well as the acting president Turchinov.



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Martin Armstrong "It's Not the Rich – It's The Total Cost Of Government That Is Killing The Economy"

"It is not what an individual needs that is the issue. Take all the money away from Bill Gates. How will this improve your life at all? The issue is how much is government consuming. But as long as they point to the 'rich' they get to waste your money.

The solution is not to raise taxes on the rich, for government will still spend more than it takes in regardless of who pays... It is taxes that we must address – not how much someone else makes."



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Monday Humor: So You Want To Be A Trader...

Months of BTFD momo mentality lost in days... so we thought this was appropriate



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Behind The Fed's Monetary Curtain: Wizards? Or Scarecrows Who "Do An Awful Lot Of Talking"

On the 'growth' side, Commercial and Industrial loans are rising at a double digit annual rate of change (although it is unclear whether this is an indication of business optimism or stress - after all, we did see a big jump in these loans leading into the last recession).  On the flip side, the bond market and the US dollar index seem to be flashing some warning signs about future growth. Simply put, the outlook for the economy is decidedly uncertain right now and we think so is the confidence in Janet Yellen. We think the more dire outcome for stocks would be if Toto fully pulled back the curtain on monetary policy and revealed it to be nothing more than a bunch clueless economists sitting in a conference room with no ability to control the economy or the markets. If US growth disappoints after all the Fed has done, how could anyone continue to view the Fed wizards as omnipotent? That would send the stock market back over the rainbow to the reality of an economy with big structural problems that can only be solved through political negotiation, something that has been notable only by its absence over – at least – the last 6 years. Are we headed back to Kansas?



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Guardian, WaPo Win Pulitzer For Proving Millions Of Conspiracy Theorists Right

After years of being mocked by the establishment and the majority of the herd, today millions of "conspiracy theorists" can pat themselves on the back because this Pulitzer's for you. Well, technically it is for the Guardian and WaPo, since these were the media outlets that Edward Snowden picked to release his trove of whistleblowing treasures, which the Pulitzer committee decided were "worthy" of the prize for their "revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security."



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Unrigged Market Soars On 3:30 PM Fundamental Bullish Catalyst

The US open was enough of an event to decouple stocks (up) from USDJPY (down) but as we approached the crucial 330ET "fundamental" stocks had caught down to USDJPY weakness (worth noting that USDJPY tagged 102 in the pre-open and plunged). The 330 Ramp - JPY and VIX driven - was right on time getting S&P to VWAP and up to its 100DMA and Nasdaq back above 4000. Away from the roller-coaster ride in hope, faith, and BTFD charity in stocks, Treasuries leaked higher in yield all day (with 5Y underperforming and 30Y unch). The USD was bid (+0.3%) led by EUR weakness. USD strength pressured commodities but Gold was bid (closing above $1325 at 3-week highs).  Credit markets did not buy the late-day spike exuberance... All major equity indices remain red year-to-date (and negative from 3/19's FOMC). All "normal" and full of unriggedness.



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Nasdaq Re-Loses 4,000

Just a few short hours ago we were treated to a plethora of talking-heads proclaiming "see, this is it... the dip to be bought." But now, led by Biotechs as well as more 'growth' weakness, the Nasdaq has piled back below the critical 4000 level and broken to new cycle lows... we anxiously await the 330 Ramp to see just how much damage they can do (though stocks did catch perfectly down to USDJPY's early weakness)



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"Priceless"

We joked about it as I pulled out a wad of cash I had recently procured from a street broker:

  • Cocktails: 175 pesos
  • Appetizers: 210 pesos
  • Capital controls: Priceless

It turns out there really are some things money can’t buy. Especially in worthless currency.



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Russian Fighter Jet Flies Repeatedly Within 1000 Yards Of US Warship In The Black Sea

As we reported last Friday, a second US warship, the destroyer Donald Cook, crossed the Bosphorus last week and entered the Black Sea at precisely the time when NATO was arguing that its encroaching presence around Russia should not spook anyone. Apparently it spooked someone, namely Russia, which over the weekend decided to give the Americans a warm welcome. As AP reports, "A U.S. military official says a Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region."



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White House Admits CIA Director Brennan Was "Secretly" In Kiev

Late last night we asked if, as the Russian media had reported and only the Russian media, CIA director John Brennan had secretly visited Kiev over the weekend: "Brennan landed in Ukraine on Saturday under an assumed name and held a "series of secret meetings" with the country's "power bloc" Interfax reported, citing an unidentified official in the Ukrainian parliament.  The person who said this to Interfax in a phone talk added that John Brennan came to Ukraine not under his real name.  According to some yet unconfirmed information, the decision to suppress protesters in Slavyansk, a city in Ukraine's east, with force was advised to Ukraine's authorities by Brennan."  One can further admit the meeting was "secret" - if only in intent - not only because of Brennan's assumed fake name (why the secrecy? but because until Russian Interfax- of all places - had reported about what is certainly a key meeting in a nation in which disinformation and counterpropganda is rife - Brennan's meeting was completely unmentioned by the US press. Until today, when moments ago White House speaker Jay Carner confirmed that indeed the CIA director was in Kiev last weekend.



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Guest Post: How To Get A Job Despite The Economy

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, we work in the economy we have, not the economy we might want or wish to have at a later time. And what characterizes the economy we have? It's bewildering because nothing works like it's supposed to. For example, getting a college degree was supposed to guarantee a good job and an 80% lifetime wage premium over people without college degrees. But in the economy we have, getting a college degree no longer guarantees a good job, or indeed, a job of any kind: 53% of recent college graduates under the age of 25 are unemployed or doing work they could have done without going to college. The payoff for getting a college degree is declining while the risks of becoming a debt-serf due to crushing student loans is rising.



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Morning Euphoria Fizzles As Biotechs Turn Red Again

So much hope, so much faith, so much euphoria that the early bounce in high beta crap, which sent biotechs by more than 3%, would finally stick... All for nothing.



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San Fran Fed Asks How Important Are Hedge Funds In A Crisis

Finds the answer is: "very"



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When The Fed’s Refi Madness Ended, Bank Mortgage Profits Evaporated

During the course of its massive money printing campaign after the financial crisis of 2008, the Fed drove the 30-year mortgage financing rate down from 6.5% to 3.3% at its mid-2012 low. The ostensible purpose was revive the shattered housing market which had resulted from the crash of its previous exercise in bubble finance. But what it really did was touch off another of those pointless “refi” booms which enable homeowners to swap an existing mortgage for a new one carrying a significantly lower interest rate and monthly service cost. Such debt churning exercises have been sponsored repeatedly by the Fed since the S&L debacle of the late 1980s.



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As MOMO Fever Fades, These Are The Stocks Goldman Is Rolling Into

As we reported over the weekend, a rather concerned Goldman proclaimed the great momo rally - that one that led to so much gains in 2013 and to many losses so far in 2014 - dead, and in a sign that far less euphoria is coming over the horizon, said that while momentum stocks will hardly recover their panic buying highs, suggested that the best the S&P 500 can hope for - if history is any guide - is for a 5% rise in the broader market over the next 6 months (what it didn't add is that hardly any algos, and certainly no self-respecting TBTF banker, get out of bed for a measly 1% return per month). Perhaps more imprortantly, what Goldman also remarked on was what it thought would be the stocks that should benefit from the rotation out of momo names and into slower growth, low valuation, low momentum names.



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