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Did Saudi Arabia Just Suffer Its Largest Foreign Capital Flight In 15 Years?

The last few days have been almost the worst for the Saudi Arabian stock market in 4 years. Between low oil prices, a new King's big social welfare budget, and now "war," it appears this year's dead cat bounce from last year's exuberance is dying rather rapidly. However, what is perhaps even more troublesome for The Kingdom than the net worth destruction and potential blowback from instigating war against the Houthis is the fact that this month saw the largest drop in foreign curreny reserves on record (over 15 years) for the Arab nation... somewhat suggesting capital flight on a scale never seen before in one of the richest states in the world.



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China's Demographic Destiny Disaster (In 2 Simple Charts)

China’s economy is slowing, and the debate is raging over whether the country is headed for an abrupt hard landing or whether the slowdown will stabilize into a soft landing that may already be underway. However it plays out, Schwab's Jeff Kleintop notes, one thing is clear: A return to the double-digit growth rates of years past seems unlikely. Demographics are destiny.. and China faces two unstoppable trajectories.



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Treasury Collateral Shortage Crosses The Atlantic, Makes European Landfall

We're just a little over two weeks into PSPP and signs are already beginning to show that the ECB is effectively breaking the market. "The soaring cost of borrowing government bonds in secured lending markets highlights the distortions caused by the ECB's asset-purchase scheme, which analysts say could clog up Europe's financial system," Reuters notes.



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China's Stock Bubble Leaves BNP Speechless: "What Happens Next Is An Unknown-Unknown"

BNP is out with a note calling China’s equity bubble “a microcosm for the overall economy: unsustainable growth in leverage masking ever-deteriorating fundamentals and increasing future downside risks. Margin purchases are now accounting for almost 20% of equities daily turnover which itself has soared to wholly unprecedented levels in another sign of self-feeding speculative frenzy. What happens next is clearly an ‘unknown-unknown’."



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Why Is Russia Building Massive Underground Bomb Shelters?

Did you know that the Russians have a massive underground complex in the Ural mountains that has been estimated to be approximately 400 square miles in size?  In other words, it is roughly as big as the area inside the Washington D.C. beltway.  Back in the 1990s, the Clinton administration was deeply concerned about the construction of this enormous complex deep inside Yamantau mountain, but they could never seem to get any straight answers from the Russians.  The command center for this complex is rumored to be 3,000 feet directly straight down from the summit of this giant rock quartz mountain.  And of course U.S. military officials will admit that there are dozens of other similar sites throughout Russia, although most of them are thought to be quite a bit smaller.  But that is not all that the Russians have been up to.



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The World's Greatest Oil Chokepoints, And Why Yemen Matters

About half the world's oil production is moved by tankers on fixed maritime routes, according to Reuters. The blockage of a chokepoint, even temporarily, can lead to substantial increases in total energy costs and thus, these checkpoints are crucial to global energy security. While Hormuz remains the largest chokepoint (and along with Bab el-Mandeb explains why Yemen matters so much), Malacca (as we noted previously) is quickly becoming another area of potential problems.



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Caught On Tape: Saudi Warplanes Bomb Yemen

Yesterday we saw the tracers against the dark night sky, tonight we get the video of Saudi warplanes bombing various Houthi positions. All looks quite "decisive" to us...



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It's The End Of March And 99.85% Of California Is Abnormally Dry Already

With NASA scientists warning about California only having one year of water left, it appears The Kardashians and March Madness continue to distract Americans from the ugly looming reality of water shortages. With summer around the corner, the US Drought Minitoring service reports today that a stunning 99.85% of California is "abnormally dry," and 98.11% of the state is in drought conditions leaving over 37 million people in harm's way.



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The US Housing Bubble In One Chart: Home Prices Outpace Wage Growth 13:1

If there is one chart that most clearly captures the unsustainable US home price appreciation bubble, it is the following which was released overnight from RealtyTrac: home price appreciation nationwide has outpaced wage growth by a 13:1 ratio!



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The US-Iran "Misunderstanding"

Lost in translation?



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China "Is Not Another US", Does Not Seek "Yuan Hegemony"

"The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been depicted by a few overseas media outlets as if China is building its own version of the Bretton Woods system. The Bretton Woods system is a product of the old days. The new global trends created the AIIB and there is no room to look back to the old days of one currency's hegemony," a state-controlled news outlet says, just as China pushes for yuan dominance in the AIIB.



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3 Things: No Money, Wall Street's Big Scam, Bottom 80%

Much of the commentary from the more liberal leaning media has continued to tout that the rise in asset markets over the last few years are clear evidence of economic prosperity in this country. However, is that really the case? In order for rising asset prices to be reflective of overall economic prosperity, the "wealth" generated by those rising asset prices should impact a broad swath of the American populous. Let's take a look to see if that is the case.



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That Ain't No Margin Debt: THIS Is Margin Debt

We find it amusing how many people try to read into the tealeaves when looking at the NYSE margin debt, when the real action is half way around the world. Because, in the imortal words of Crocodile Dundee, "That is not margin debt. This is margin debt."



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Building Explodes, Collapses In Manhattan, Multiple Injuries Reported - Live Webcast

While it is unclear at this moment if this is merely the latest casualty of below normal Capex (or was the result of a gas leak), or if there was foul play involved, moments ago the NYC scanner was lit up with reports that a building had collapsed, following an explosion, on 7th street and 2nd avenue, in the East Village in Manhattan.



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