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China Blasts Obama's "Paranoid, Narrow-Minded, Arrogant, & Hypocritical" Foreign Policy

Yeah but apart from that, US-China relations are excellent. Following President Obama's barbed comments aimed at China's new counter-terrorism laws (and their implications for US tech companies - as NSA spying 'facts' reduce China's appetite for American-made IT products), Beijing has blasted back. In one of the least holds-barred undiploatic statements in recent times, China (speaking through its official mouthpiece Xinhua), calls Obama's criticism "utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy." And with that they are just getting started...



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Poland Cuts Rates More Than Expected, 21st Central Bank "Policy Ease" Of The Year

Just hours after India's 'surprise' rate cut (which saw the SENSEX surge and then dump to close red), Poland has surprised the market with a bigger-than-expected rate cut. Despite two-thirds of econmomists expecting a mere 25bps cut, the Polish Central Bank slashed its benchmarket 7-day rate to just 1.5% - the lowest on record. Today's cut "makes up for inaction in previous months" after Poland held rate flat in January and February (but echoes Poland's Oct 'surprise' greater-than-expected ease of 50bps. Polish stocks dropped on the news (but recovered), banks are weaker, and the Zloty is selling off on this news (pushing back towards record lows)...

 



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ADP Employment Drops, Misses; Zandi Admits "Jobs Growth Slowing"

Another day, another missed data point. ADP Employment data shows 212k jobs added in February, which modestly missed expectations of 219k and is the weakest monthly gain in 6 months. This despite a strong prior revision, pushing the January number up from 213K to 250K to catch up to the BLS runrate. Despite the miss, that showed large businesses adding by far the fewest jobs, Mark Zandi as usual remains optimistic: "jobs growth is strong but slowing," and expects the economy "will return to full employment by mid-2016."



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Greece Said To Tap Social Security Capital To Fund T-Bill Rollover

Today's Greek T-Bill rollover auction came, and it was successful, even if it means the yield on the paper rose from 2.75% previously to 2.97% - the highest yield in 11 months, since the 3.01% in April of 2014. The problem is when looking at where the funds came from: as Bloomberg reported, also citing Kathimerini, today it was the turn of Greek Social Security funds to prop up the auction, with part of the reserves of other public entities held at Bank of Greece also used to cover the Treasury-bill auction. Bloomberg adds that the "investment of common capital reserves was necessary as no foreign investors participated in auction, Greek banks couldn’t buy additional securities as they weren’t allowed to increase their exposure to Greek Treasury bills." The biggest problem is that  about €750m of the T-bills maturing Friday were held by foreign investors who didn’t participate in today’s auction.



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Frontrunning: March 4

  • RBS to cut up to 14,000 jobs in investment banking unit (FT)
  • Doctors, patients scramble ahead of high court Obamacare decision (Reuters)
  • Rajan Cuts India Rates After Modi Agrees to Inflation Target (BBG)
  • Russia’s Putin Makes First Public Comments on Killing of Boris Nemtsov (WSJ)
  • House breaks impasse, passes security funding without provisions (Reuters)
  • How a 25-Year-Old Investor Spurred Lumber Liquidators’ Plunge (BBG)
  • Jeff Immelt’s Overhaul of GE Impeded by Falling Oil Prices (WSJ)
  • Sahara India Defaults on Luxury Hotel Loans From Bank of China (BBG)


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Market Wrap: Futures Slide Despite Latest Central Bank Easing Blitz

Just like yesterday, it has - so far - been mostly about Asia in the overnight session, where as reported previously, we got the latest central bank engaging in an "unexpected" rate cut, after Reserve Bank of India Governor Rajan cut rates in an unscheduled move days after the government agreed for the first time to give the central bank a legal mandate to target inflation. This was India's second rate cut in 2 months, and yet despite the Sensex surging to a all time high over 30,000, it subsequently ended up closing red on the day, down -0.7%, despite the Indian currency sliding 0.4% to 62.1463 to a dollar. Is the half-life of thany incremental rate cut in an unprecedented barage of global central bank easing now less than a day?



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This Is Why Obama Missed Netanyahu's Speech Today

By far the most important geopolitical event of the day, as straight-to-C Span-poluist-pandering as it may have been, was Israel Prime Minister's address to congress, in which for nearly one hour the Israeli leader bashed Iran, stopping just shy of fabricating even more evidence about how close Iran is to developing a nuclear weapon. Yet one person missed everything including the standing ovation at the end: president Barack Obama. As it turns out he had more important things to do...



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India Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate "Pre-Emptively" For Second Time In 2 Months

In a surprise move, the RBI just cut its main interest rates for the second time in two months, taking it from 6.75% to 6.50%, in what the central bank calls a “pre-emptive” policy move, but what is in reality merely a confirmation that so far in 2015 at least 20 central banks have lowered their interest rate.



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The Untouchables: Government Employee Can't Be Fired Despite Watching 6 Hours Of Porn A Day At Work

At the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), red tape is preventing the removal of a top level employee accused of viewing porn two to six hours a day while at work, since 2010. Even though investigators found 7,000 pornographic files on his computer and even caught him watching porn, he remains on the payroll.



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A Match Made In Subprime Hell

Just in time for both total auto loans and total student debt outstanding to top the $1 trillion mark, we get a match made in FICO hell as the subprime lending unit of AIG Springleaf, has purchased OneMain, another subprime lender that’s been relegated to Citi’s Citi Holdings trash bin for years. The deal creates a subprime lending powerhouse with some $14 billion in possibly-not-toxic receivables.



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Crude Parallels: A River Of Denials

Recency bias no doubt once again playing a role, but more likely it is this new-ish trend to deny any damaging economic possibility as it might disrupt the balance of financialism. Any system that cannot even countenance just a small possibility of contrary thought is not robust or “resilient” at all. As we saw in 2008-09, oil liquidations were entirely appropriate for economic conditions; how can “everyone” deny outright something even slightly similar?



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Japanese Bonds & Stocks Drop As Services PMI Tumbles Into Contraction

After three hopeful months of greater-than-50 prints for Japanese Services PMI, February saw it plunge back into contraction with a considerably worse than expected 48.5 print. This drags the overall composite PMI for Japan to 50.0, its weakest reading in 4 months as New Orders drop to May 2014 lows and employment craters to its lowest since Oct 2012. On the heels of last night's weak JGB auction and sell-off in stocks on relatively hawkish comments from economists, tonight is seeing more of the same as the Nikkei 225 is having the worst 2 days in 2 months and JGB yields are jumping once again. Abegeddon is back...



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Aussie Gold Production Surges To Its Highest Since 2003

Amid a booming housing market (home prices +14.4% YoY), and busting economy (PMI 44.2 from 55.1 2014 peak), Australia's Gold output in 2014 surged 4% to its highest since 2003. As Mining.com reports, the world's no.2 gold-producing nation (after China) has been forced to increase the grade of ore they were targeting and push their processing plants even harder, and mining consultants Surbiton Associates warns "it's not all good news."



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As 1000s Mourn At Nemtsov's Funeral, Seven Main Conspiracy Theories Emerge

Tens of thousands marched Sunday through Central Moscow to honor Boris Nemtsov, outspoken opposition critic of Vladimir Putin who was murdered Friday night and thousands more mourned today at his funeral (though notably not Putin himself) and more pointedly, The BBC reports, several EU politicians and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were barred from attending the funeral. Hours later, Mr Navalny accused the Russian authorities of responsibility for the murder, adding to slew of competing theories involving everything from the CIA to Islamic militants and Ukrainian nationalists.



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