The 'Relentless' Greek Debt Payment Schedule

Greece, which owes €324 billion to the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and euro zone governments, faces a relentless debt payment schedule over the next few months.

Crude Drops After US Rig Count Decline Extends To Record 20 Weeks

For a record-breaking 20th week, US rig counts declined. Total rigs dropped 22 to 932 (the 4th smallest drop since Nov 2014) while oil rigs fell 31 to 703 (down over 56% from the highs). With the very modest production drop (all due to Alaska with the Lower 48 flat) it appears any slowdown in drilling rigs has not dampened enthusiasm to pump, baby, pump. WTI initially popped but is fading now...

Electric Car Sales Plunge To 4 Year Lows

But low oil prices are supposed to be unequivocally good? On the day when Ford lays off 700 Michigan plant workers in small cars and hybrids manufacturing, The Detroit News reports that, according to Edmunds.com, sales of electric cars and hybrids are at the lowest level since 2011. What is even more worrisome, motorists who leased those first-generation cars, and have decided not to buy them, are turning them in, leaving dealer lots full of low mileage cars at huge discounts to new ones. As Edmunds concludes, while "the government's going to keep pushing it, there is time to pause right now."

Of Bonds & Bankers: Impossible Things Are Commonplace

There was once a time, perhaps, when unprecedented things happened only occasionally. In today’s financial markets, unprecedented things are commonplace. The Queen in Lewis Carroll’s ‘[Alice] Through the Looking-Glass’ would sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. She is probably working in the bond markets now, where believing anything less than twelve impossible things before breakfast is for wimps.

When Wall Street's Weathermen Begin To Panic

Having prpmised silver-linings after each and every disappointing data item of the last two months, it appears even the sell-side's most ardent optimist has thrown in the towel (along with Goldman) as Deutsche's Jo Lavorgna stokes the "no rate hike please" meme after today's dismal durable goods data...

"Greece Can No Longer Withstand The Waves Of Desperate People Arriving From War Zones"

"The EU and US need to hear the pleas coming from the southern European countries, as well as those of the refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe has reached large scale, with profound and irreversible consequences. Greece is paying a disproportionately high price, although Greece played no role in triggering this catastrophe. The EU and the US have the moral obligation, which is also consistent with their long-term interests, to take the necessary steps to put an end to the suffering of those in war zones, while at the same time preventing Greece’s collapse under the mounting pressure of refugees."

Gold Monkey-Hammered, Crude Clubbed As Nasdaq Surges

Amid the 'glorious' earnings last night, Nasdaq is on its own today, surging to higher highs as The Dow and S&P are unch to down. As this exuberance exudes, gold and silver are being smashed lower... which is odd given The ECB's threat to pull Greek financing. Crude prices are also tumbling post-Durable Goods.

A Plot To Hold Down Oil Prices Or Just A Happy Coincidence?

The recent unprecedented surge in oil imports has again prompted a review of things here. In a prior story, we wrote that the lack of capacity to process light sweet crude at refineries produced via shale plays could be playing a role in the stock build. As mentioned previously, refineries over the next 24 months are expected to add 700,000 B/D in capacity to handle this type of crude. In the meantime, we have noticed an unusual amount of crude being imported, possibly as a result of this imbalance in refinery capacity. Or could it be that a more sinister plot is afoot?

Worst Drop In Core Durable Goods Since December 2012

Having missed expectations for 5 of the last 7 months, Durable Goods New Orders jumped 4% MoM in March - the biggest jump since the July Boeing aberration (all driven by a 112% surge in defense Aircraft new orders). Durable Goods New Orders (ex-Transports) fell 0.2% MoM (missing expectations of a 0.3% rise) for the biggest YoY drop since 2012, and under the covers it is ugly - Capital Goods New Orders non-defense, ex-aircraft have now fallen for 7 straight months, missing expectatons dramatically (-0.5% vs +0.3% exp.). These numbers have never fallen for this long a period without a recession.

"Crash Boys" - Michael Lewis Slays The Regulators In The Sarao Scapegoating Debacle

"One day while Sarao is busy trying to trick the U.S. stock market into falling, the market collapses, more sensationally than it has ever collapsed. And instead of digging some hole in Hounslow in which he might hide for a decade or so, or fleeing to Anguilla, where he has squirreled away his profits, he stays in his parents’ home and keeps right on spoofing the U.S. stock market -- and then is shocked when people turn up to accuse him of wrongdoing. He’s not some kind of exception to the standard operating procedure in finance. He’s a parody of it."

Frontrunning: April 24

  • Obama’s Drone-Strike Rules to Be Reviewed (WSJ)
  • Hostage locations difficult to track - and may be getting harder (Reuters)
  • Varoufakis Said to Take Hammering From Riled EU Ministers (BBG)
  • EU Frustration Mounts as Greeks Try to Bypass Aid Process (BBG)
  • Kleiner Perkins seeks almost $1 million in costs in Pao case (Reuters)
  • Google Misses, Caps Costs as Growth Slows (WSJ)... stock surges 
  • Oil prices trade near 2015 highs on Yemen worries (Reuters)
  • Pentagon Announces New Strategy for Cyberwarfare (NYT)
  • Bloomberg Oil at $65 Seen Freeing 500,000 Barrels From Shale Fracklog (BBG)
  • ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao: It Was Wits, Not Bits (WSJ)

Futures Fizzle After Greece "Hammered" In Riga, Varoufakis Accused Of Being "A Time-Waster, Gambler, Amateur"

Even though no rational person expected that the Greek situation would be resolved at today's talks in Riga, Latvia, apparently the algos were so caught up in spoofing each other to new record highs that futures, after surging once more overnight following the latest Google miss which sent the company and the Nasdaq soaring, actually dipped modestly into the red following headlines that the latest Greek talks have broken down after a "hostile" Troika "hammered" the Greek finmin, who was accused by European finmins of "being a time-waster, a gambler and an amateur."

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash

The war on cash is escalating. Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods). Today, as Mises' Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of "any cash or coins" in safe deposit boxes.