China Soars 7% Off The Lows, Global Stocks Continue Rising On Ongoing "Greek Deal Optimism"

Before taking a look at Europe, an update on China. Just a few short hours ago, when looking at the bursting of the Chinese bubble where stocks were down between 3% and 5% across the board in the first post-holiday trading session after the worst week in 7 years, we said that "without assistance (levitation) from the same PBOC that just clamped down on liquidity, the China bubble has burst." And then as if by request, minutes later we got, drumroll, levitation and the stickiest stick-save by the PBOC seen in months, when the Shanghai Composite staged an unprecedented 7% surge from the lows to close 2.2% higher after tumbling as much as 5% earlier in the session. And just like that, faith in the "wealth effect" is preserved.

Greece Capitulates: Tsipras Crosses "Red Line", Will Accept Bailout Extension

Under pressure from all sides (and most importantly from Mario Draghi who holds the fate of the Greek banking sector in his hands) Greece looks to have folded and is now set to accept an extension of its current bailout program. PM Alexis Tsipras now faces an uphill battle to unite Syriza around what is likely to be an unpopular agreement. If he fails, the country could plunge into political and social turmoil. 

Chinese Crash Continues After PBOC Cracks Down On Brokerage Liquidity

Just when you thought it was safe to buy the 12% collapse (the biggest since Lehman) in Chinese stocks, they re-plunge another 3-4% with no dip-buyers evident. The drivers are twofold: first, China PMI beat expectations modestly (uh oh no more QDII, QE, PSL, etc.); and second - and much more critically - The PBOC Operations Office has called for stricter regulation of brokerage liquidity (implicitly clamping down on the seemingly infinite expansion of margin lending required to fuel the boom). CHINEXT has entered a bear market (down 21.5%) and the rest of the Chinese complex is down 3-5% today (down 15-20% from the highs).

After The Charleston Massacre - Who Is A 'Terrorist'?

Wherever government officials sense a credible threat to their power, they invariably take every opportunity to crush it by any means necessary: this is the first principle of how governments function, and every libertarian is all too familiar with it. this latest tragedy, you can be sure, will be used to accomplish the same anti-libertarian ends: the calls to investigate “hate groups,” and even to ban “hate speech,” are already being heard. Of course, who and what constitutes a “hate group,” and who is hating whom are subjective evaluations that no government official is qualified to make...

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko Admits Overthrow Of Yanukovych Was A Coup

In a remarkable document, which is not posted at the English version of the website of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, but which is widely reported outside the United States, including Russia, Poroshenko, in Ukrainian (not in English), has petitioned the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (as it is being widely quoted in English):  "I ask the court to acknowledge that the law ‘on the removal of the presidential title from Viktor Yanukovych' as unconstitutional.”

"Who's Allied With Whom?" Putin & The Saudi Caravan

In principle, there could not be a more spectacular game-changer-in-waiting. A royal Saudi caravan offering tribute, in the form of incense, gold and myrrh (or higher oil prices)? No one knows, yet, how this will play out in the New Great Game in Eurasia, of which a major spin-off is Cold War 2.0 between the US and Russia. Putin and King Salman – very discreetly — had been in touch over the phone for weeks. The King’s son invited Putin to Riyadh. Accepted. Putin invited the King to Moscow. Accepted. But is this real life? Or smoke and mirrors? Who's allied with whom?

"What We Are Paying For Is 20 Years Of Blunder & Neglect"

There are effectively no tools left for governments and central banks to deal with another major crisis. Like Paris in 1940, they have no Plan B. They’re completely defenseless to support the financial system or the currency in the event of a major shock. We should all take a moment to appreciate this level of incompetence. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes decades of “blunder and neglect” to engineer financial vulnerability on this scale. But they’ve somehow managed to pull it off.

Russia Slams Extension Of European Sanctions; Pentagon Warns Of "Nuclear Saber-Rattling"

Over the past several months, tensions between Russia and the West have escalated meaningfully. While it’s certainly true that, since Crimea, US-Russia relations have deteriorated steadily (baskets of potatoes notwithstanding), recent events suggests the situation may come to a head more quickly than either side cares to admit. In the latest provocation, Europe has extended economic sanctions against Moscow for another six months or, until the Kremlin agrees to abide by the terms of the Minsk agreement which Europe, on the word of Kiev, assumes Moscow is violating. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter blasts Russian "nuclear saber rattling."

12 Signs That The United States And China Are Moving Toward War

If the United States and China are supposed to be such “great friends”, why are both sides acting as if war is in our future? There were years of diplomatic troubles before Japan finally made the decision to launch a “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor. Right now, it appears we are moving into a similar period of diplomatic trouble with China.

Wealthy Greeks Slam "Incompetent Communists Ruining The Country", Demand EU "Save" Greece

Despite the market's exuberant hope that everything will be contained and business-as-usual will resume shortly in Europe, the message from the wealthiest Greeks is very different... As The FT reports, not since the nation's civil war has Greek society been riven by deep divisions between left and right as Greece's financial plight reopens old wounds. "The government are incompetent and are ruining the country because they are communists and do not understand reality," said Maria, a banker. "But there has to be a deal. The EU has to save us," she said, fingering her golden necklace. "Right?"

The Fed Confirms It Is Above The Law: Yellen Tells Hensarling "No" On Leak Probe Documents

Just a few days after Jeb Hensarling accused The Fed of "willful obstruction" in the Congressional leak probe, demanding "immediate compliance" with the subpoena seeing "no legal basis to withhold records from Congress," Janet Yellen has responded in a letter: YELLEN REPEATS FED CAN'T PROVIDE DOCUMENTS ON LEAK PROBE. If this does not confirm The Fed is utterly above the law, we are not sure what it will take to convince skeptics of the need for an independent audit. As Hensarling previously noted, this appears to be "vigorous and coordinated obstruction.”

CEOs Now Make 300 Times More Than Their Employees (Again)

"Over the entire period from 1978 to 2014, CEO compensation increased about 997 percent," The Economic Policy Institute notes. Meanwhile, thanks in part to a stock market rally corporate management teams helped to engineer, the CEO-to-worker comp ratio is now back near its all-time high.