Frontrunning: May 27

  • FIFA Raided by Swiss Authorities in 2018, 2022 World Cup Probe (BBG)
  • Companies Send More Cash Back to Shareholders (WSJ)
  • Time Warner Cable Deal Stirs Debt Concerns (WSJ)
  • Qatar $200 Billion World Cup Under More Scrutiny Amid FIFA Probe (BBG)
  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island (Reuters)
  • The G-7's Problem: Can the World Deal With a Greek Default? (BBG)
  • SocGen Deal for Bache Illustrates Commodity-Trading Woe (WSJ)
  • China’s Naval Abilities Test Asia’s Insecurities (WSJ)

No Clues From Gartman About Today's Market Direction

"We begin then by saying without equivocation that we have changed our mind again regarding equities... Hence in our retirement funds here we reduced very slightly our long position in Apple directly and then wrote near-the-money calls  against the remaining position. Further, we sold just out-of-the money calls against the “tanker” shares we owned, and we used the money taken in from those calls to buy more derivatives sufficient to take us back to market neutrality."

Futures Flat After News Greek Deal Distant As Ever, Dollar Surge Continues

It had been a painfully quiet session in Asia (where Chinese levitation continues with the Shanghai Composite up another 0.6% oblivious of yesterday's rout in the US, because as we explained for China it is now critical to blow the world's biggest stock bubble) and Europe, where the only notable news as that for the first time in months the ECB had not increase the Greek ELA, keeping it at €80.2 billion on conflicting reports that Greek deposit withdrawals had halted even as Kathimerini said another €300MM had been pulled just yesterday, suggesting the ECB has reached the end of its road when it comes to funding nearly two-thirds of what Greek deposits are left in local banks. But the punchline came moments ago when Bloomberg reported that "Greece will likely miss a deadline for a deal with creditors by the end of the week as the two sides have made little progress during talks in recent days."

"Graccident" Will Trigger The Demise Of The ECB And The World's Toxic Regime Of Keynesian Central Banking

The euro-19 area is now close to having a 100% debt to GDP ratio, and that’s flattered by German surpluses from an export boom that is rapidly cooling, and the fact the for a few quarters Mario’s printing press has conferred huge interest rate subsidies on their depleted fiscal accounts. The pending Graccident will puncture that illusion, tipping most of Europe into acute fiscal crisis and political upheaval of the type that has already roiled Greece and was starkly evident in Spain’s elections last weekend. The odds that the European superstate and the ECB’s Keynesian monetary regime will survive the resulting upheaval are, thankfully, somewhere between slim and none.

Iraq Trolls US, Calls Latest Military Operation "We Are At Your Services, Hussein"

While some have argued that President Obama and his folly-prone foreign policy debacle is the laughing stock of the world, it seems, as DefenseNews reports, that the Iraqi military is directly mocking America. Just a day after defense secretary Ash Carter accused them of cowardice, an umbrella group for mostly Shiite militia and volunteer fighters, Hashed al-Shaabi, said it had dubbed a military campaign to cut off the Islamic State group in Anbar province as "Operation Labaik ya Hussein," which roughly translates as "We are at your service, Hussein."

Martin Armstrong Warns "Kiss Your Pension Fund Goodbye"

We have been warning for some time that government was eying up pensions. The amount in private pension funds is about $19.4 trillion. The question that has been debated in secret behind the curtain is how to justify to the people taking that over... Just how that is to be accomplished was finally settled by the Supreme Court without any justification constitutionally.

China's Third Bond Default Imminent: Coke Supplier To Miss Payment

Coca-Cola supplier Zhuhai Zhongfu Enterprise Co.will reportedly miss a principal payment on Thursday marking the third onshore default in China and underscoring the growing risks the country faces on a corporate debt pile that now totals some $14 trillion.

Gold Price Moves Since QE3 Have Been A Warning To Mainstream Economists, Not Cause For Celebrations

A little over two years ago, in the middle of April 2013, there was a gold crash that came seemingly out of nowhere. Worse, for gold investors anyway, that crash was repeated just a few months later. Where gold had stood just shy of $1,800 an ounce at the start of QE3, those cascades had brought the metal price down to just $1,200. For many, especially orthodox economists, it heralded the end of the “fear trade” and meant, unambiguously, that the recovery had finally at long last arrived. However, gold price activity since QE3 has been a warning, and a big one, not cause for victory celebrations.

"My Love Is Real" Kenyan Lawyer Offers Cows, Sheep, & Goats For Obama's Daughter

"I got interested in her in 2008," Kenyan Felix Kiprono tells The Nairobian newspaper, and now, in an official marriage request, the lawyer has offered US president Barack Obama 50 cows, 70 sheep, and 30 goats in exchange for his 16-year old daughter Malia's hand in marriage. As AFP reports, Kiprono dismissed the notion he might be a gold-digger, adding that he and the young Obama would lead "a simple life," and he will teach Malia how to milk a cow. This is not the first time a Kenyan has offered livestock in exchange for a President's daughter...

Asia Scholar Lays Out "Three Ways China And The US Could Go To War"

"Beijing has not yet declared a formal air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, unlike the one it established over part of the East China Sea in 2013, nor could it today enforce such a zone effectively with its current fighters. However, with its reclamation activities continuing, and the Obama Administration apparently having decided to challenge China’s claims, the US and China are now potentially closer to an armed encounter than at any time in the past 20 years. Here are three ways the US and China could go to war..."

The Only Question That Matters In Today's Markets

There’s only one question that matters today in markets: why is the government bond market going up and down like a yo-yo? How is it possible that the deepest and most important securities in the world are currently displaying all the trading stability of a biotech stock?

NATO General Warns, Putin Is A "Dangerous Gambler... Willing To Use Nuclear Weapons"

Hot on the heels of George Soros' warnings that we stand on the verge of World War 3, demanding Washington back off its anti-Yuan pressure, it appears "the good guys" are fighting back with their own good-cop, bad-cop propaganda. As Sputnik News reports, General hans-Lothar Domrose, NATO Commander of the Brunssum Allied Joint Force Command, said in an interview with German magazine Focus Online that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a tough-minded, forward-thinking politician who is capable of foreseeing situations, but also regards him as a dangerous "gambler," who "is willing to use nuclear weapons against NATO troops."

Why China Is So Desperate To Blow The Most Epic Stock Bubble

The Shanghai Composite is on the verge of 5,000 and has more than doubled in the past year but this may just be the beginning. The reason: if the Chinese stock bubble bursts, that will be the beginning of the end of the greatest con game in history.

Fukushima May Be At Risk Of Imminent "Hydrogen Explosion"

Containers holding contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of hydrogen explosions, The Telegraph reports, with 10% of them found to be leaking. The discovery was reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which raised concerns surrounding the potential hazards of accumulated hydrogen building up in the containers warning that "a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode." TEPCO officials reassuringly note that they "think the possibility of an occurrence of hydrogen explosion from these storage facilities is extremely low, since there is no fire origin, or anything that generates static electricity nearby," but this is the same company that a recent IAEA report blasted for "failing to implement adequate safeguards at Fukushima – despite being aware of the tsunami risk."

 

The Coming Capital Controls Are Designed To Protect The Banks From You

If governments have proven anything to us over the last seven years, it is that they will do anything to keep the banks from going down.  If just 10% of people hit their breaking points and withdrew their money in cash - there wouldn’t be enough cash in the system to support this demand. And the banks would subsequently collapse. When a government is bankrupt, the central bank is nearly insolvent, the banking system is illiquid, and an entire population suffers from interest rates that are either negative or below the rate of inflation, capital controls are a foregone conclusion. In fact, we expect the next round of capital controls will be designed to protect the banks... from you.