• Pivotfarm
    04/20/2014 - 17:08
    As the audience went from laughter to applause, Vladimir Putin responded to the question that he had just read out on a televised debate in Russia. What was the question?

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WTF Moment Of The Week: No One Bought Japanese Bonds For 36 Hours This Week

Here’s something you don’t see very often: For a day and a half this week, the Japanese government’s benchmark 10-year bonds attracted not a single successful private sector bid. At today’s artificially-depressed yields, no one wants this paper — except of course the Bank of Japan, which is buying up the bonds with newly-created yen. In a world of markets rather than manipulations, this kind of imbalance would be an automatic short candidate. Actually, this kind of imbalance would never occur and as one trader noted "I know this could end badly."

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So Much For The De-escalation? Kiev Says Military Operation In East Ukraine To Continue

Everyone knows that the half-life of these pointless diplomatic summits aimed at "de-escalating" geopolitical tensions is measured in days if not hours... But minutes? Moments ago from RT, and literally minutes after the final Geneva "agreement" was blasted, we get this: "Kiev says Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement." The agreement, which as a reminder, said "All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or  provocative actions." That's right: not just "pro-Russian separatist terrorists", but all sides.

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Krugman, Who Is Paid $25,000/Month To Study Inequality, Says "Nobody Wants Us To Become Cuba"

Krugman: "There's zero evidence that the kind of extreme inequality that we have is good for economic growth. In fact, there's a lot of evidence that it is actually bad for economic growth. Nobody wants us to become Cuba." Ah yes, inequality, the same inequality that the Fed - Krugman's favorite monetary stimulus machine - has been creating at an unprecedented pace since it launched QE. Just recall: "The "Massive Gift" That Keeps On Giving: How QE Boosted Inequality To Levels Surpassing The Great Depression." So while Krugman is right in lamenting the record surge in class divide between the 1% haves and the 99% have nots, you certainly won't find him touching with a ten foot pole the root cause of America's current surge in inequality. And, tangentially, another thing you won't find him touching, is yesterday's revelation by Gawker that the Nobel laureate is the proud recipient of $25,000 per month from CUNY to... study inequality.

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Full Geneva Statement On Ukraine "De-escalation"

Geneva Statement on Ukraine

Representatives of the European Union, the United States, Ukraine and the Russian Federation issued today the following statement...

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Big Blue: Stock Buyback Machine On Steroids

Those munificently rising stock prices and options cash-outs owe much to the Fed’s campaign to suppress interest rates and fuel stock market based ”wealth effects”, but the CEOs are doing their part, too. They have become full-time financial engineers who use the Fed’s flood of liquidity, cheap debt and soaring stock prices to perform a giant strip-mining operation on their own companies.  That is, through endless stock buybacks and M&A maneuvers they create the appearance of “growth” while actually liquidating the balance sheet equity and future asset base on which legitimate earnings growth depends. The poster boy for this deformation is IBM which for all intents and purposes has become a stock buyback machine on steroids. It had a bad hair day yesterday, reporting still another year/year decline in sales, but that goes right to the heart of the matter. During the last seven years IBM has been a stock traders dream, climbing an almost picture perfect chart from $94 per share in March 2007 to a recent peak of $212.

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John Kerry Speaks On Ukraine De-escalation: Live Webcast

First it was Lavrov announcing the "roadmap" to de-escalate Ukraine tensions. Now it is the turn of John Kerry.

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Russian Foreign Minister Announces Four Party Agreement On Steps To De-escalate Ukraine Crisis

Considering how successful diplomatic "solutions" to the Ukraine crisis have been in the past, it is no wonder almost nobody was paying attention to Geneva where today the four parties were holding talks to resolve the Ukraine situation, and moments ago they released, via Russia's Lavrov, a joint statement on "de-escalating the situation." From Bloomberg:


And, approrpiately enough, the Easter Egg:


In other words, more referendums? For now stocks aren't reacting bullishly (perhaps because as UBS recently suggested, war may be bullish for US stocks), however, oil is lower on the news.

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Weibo Opens Way Below IPO Price

Moments ago Weibo opened at a price that shocked pretty much everyone following the story of China's twitter, which had already cut overnight the number of shares it was taking public:


However, within moments of opening the underwriters did everything they can to avoid another Facebook and defended the IPO price, promptly sending the stock above $17.00 where it was trading as of this second. Will they succeed, or will the Chinese social networking invasion also be Candy Crushed? The next few hours will likely give the answer.

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Obama To Provide More Non-Lethal Aid To Ukraine Such As Helmets And Sleeping Bags

Moments ago, in a show of continued solidarity with the people of (West) Ukraine, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the latest batch of "non-lethal" aid to Ukraine. Among the items that would be shipped are:

  • Sleeping mats;
  • Water purification systems;
  • Medial supplies; and
  • Helmets

Why no healthcare plans? Hagel added that while US actions are "provocative" and "heighten tensions", the US supply of equipment to non-NATO member Ukraine is not meant to "provoke or threaten Russia" and will review providing Ukraine with more support, also saying that the US is offering "planners" to help NATO update plans. The same NATO which as we reported yesterday, is preparing to expand its air and water presence around Russia... also obviously in a way that is not meant to threaten provoke Russia.

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And The Highest Returning "Asset" Class In CNBC's 25 Years Is...

  No, not the S&P 500.

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Q1 Earnings Season Summary: More Than Half Have Missed Revenues

As it turns out, in their euphoria to lower EPS estimates, the sellside lemmings forgot all about revenues.  Oops.  Because according to the Deutsche Bank Q1 earnings tracker, while two thirds may have beat earnings, a stunning 51%, or a majority of the reporting companies have missed Q1 revenue estimates.

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Philly Fed Surges To 7-Month Highs As "Hope" Crashes To 1-Year Low

The Philly Fed Business Outlook survey surged to 16.6, beating expectations by the most since September and rising to 7-month highs. Most subindices rose with shipments surging and new orders rising but prices paid flat. The big worry though is that this six-month forward expectations collapsed to their lowest since April 2013. So the pent-up-weather-demand is being seen as entirely unsustainable by the survey respondents...

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RANsquawk Weekly Wrap - 17th April 2014

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Ukraine Bars Entry To Russian Men Aged 16-60

In a somewhat stunning turn of events, entry to Ukraine is being dramatically restricted to Russian men. Interfax reports, Ukraine border service officials "significantly restricting" entry of adult males from Russia.


Aeroflot notes on their website that entry will be denied to "all citizens of Russia male aged 16 to 60 years" and "citizens of Ukraine who are registered in Crimea."


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Watch As A Ukraine MiG "Buzzes The Trees" To Spook East Ukraine Civilians

A few days ago, in an attempt to regain the Krematorsk air base in the "separatist" eastern region, as part of the "counter-terrorist" offensive launched against the pro-Russians, Kiev also started what according to reports was an airborne press by Ukraine Mig fight jets. The condemnation by Russia to such an escalation against the country's own people was swift, and curiously, so was that by Ukraine's own troops which deserted the country's army to join eastern forces, taking with them an unknown number of tanks and APCs. So in what perhaps is a follow on attempt to preempt further escalation, Ukraine's air force has adopted a maneuver taken straight out of Top Gun's "Buzzing the Tower" approach, only this one involves "Buzzing the Tress." Watch as a Ukraine pilot does a fly by and narrowly misses hitting a tree.

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