• Sprott Money
    03/05/2015 - 04:16
    One interpretation is that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. Another is that we are being led to financial slaughter.

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Russia Warns NATO: Any Threat In Ukraine Will See Military Response

As Russia announces the expansion of its Navy by 50 vessels this year, including two new nuclear-powered submarines and an aircraft carrier, it appears NATO's sabre-rattling has drawn a response/threat/warning. Following British plans to send military 'advisers' into Ukraine (which NATO has stated are not confirmed), TASS reports, Russia's NATO envoy, Alexander Grushko, warns Russia will take all measures against possible NATO threat in Ukraine, adding that Russia’s response may include military measures. Of course all this military machismo comes as Russia and Ukraine hold emergency talks in Brussels over gas supply amid imminent cutoff threats for non-payment.



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US Will Never Gain Oil Market Crown, IEA Chief Says

No matter how much oil the United States produces over the next few years, it will never become the next Saudi Arabia in the global oil market, according to Fatih Birol, the new executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). What's especially interesting about this forecast is that it directly contradicts what Birol said only three months ago, and he gave no explanation for his change of mind. “The United States will never be a major oil exporter. Their import needs are getting less but the US is not becoming Saudi Arabia,” Birol told the conference. “Their production growth is good to diversify the market but it will not solve the world’s oil problems.”



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This Is What The Entire World Frontrunning The ECB Looks Like

When everyone, truly everyone, decides to frontrun the ECB's monetization of European assets (first bonds, and soon everything else too), this is what the outcome looks like.



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How To Reach Nasdaq 5000 In The New Paranormal

In November we exposed the market's ability to levitate magically when exchanges - most notably CBOE - break. Today we get another glimpse of the new paranormal. While the official CBOE site is not exposing it, numerous traders noted that CBOE options data was not being disseminated from around the open to shortly after 1030ET this morning. That 'coincidentally' occurred as NASDAQ ramped almopst unabated to 5000 (as VIX was clubbed from 13.9 to 13.1)...



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Can Greece "Just Print Drachmas"? Goldman Answers

"Ultimately... it would be very hard for Greece to introduce a viable new currency unilaterally."

- Goldman Sachs



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Bill Gross: "Central Banks Have Gone Too Far In Their Misguided Efforts To Support Economic Growth"

"None dare call it a “currency war” because that would be counter to G-10/G-20 policy statements that stress cooperation as opposed to “every country for itself”, but an undeclared currency war is what the world is experiencing. Close to the same thing happened in the 1930’s, a period remarkably similar to what many countries’ policies resemble today....  Negative/zero bound interest rates may exacerbate, instead of stimulate low growth rates in all of these instances, by raising savings and deferring consumption... Asset prices for stocks, high yield bonds and other supposed 5-10% returning investments, become stretched and bubble sensitive; Debt accumulates instead of being paid off because rates are too low to pass up – corporate bond sales leading to stock buybacks being the best example. The financial system has become increasingly vulnerable only six years after its last collapse in 2009.... Central banks have gone and continue to go too far in their misguided efforts to support future economic growth."

 



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The Three Acronyms That Best Describe This Era: TINA, TANSTAAFL And FUGAZI

TINA and the complacent belief in free lunches strip the resiliency from a system and leave it vulnerable to collapse...



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Mission Accomplished: Nasdaq 5000

Nothing to see here, move along.... (over/under on - number of times you will hear "it's different this time" today - 20/30)



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Housing Bubble Redux: Subprime Auto Market Begins To Crack

The deterioration in the subprime auto market is perhaps the clearest sign yet that we have learned literally nothing from the crisis years. That is, this is precisely the same dynamic and it will end precisely the same way: defaults will rise, investors in assets backed by these loans will suffer outsized losses, and the assets themselves will become completely illiquid.



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Meet The Philly Fed's New President (No, He Didn't Work At Goldman)

With Philly Fed's 10th president, Charles Plosser retiring effective March 1, 2015, algos were wondering if he would be replaced with another former Goldman partner, or if his seat would be filled with yet another academic. The answer, as the Pgilly Fed reported moments ago, is the latter. Meet the new president of the Philly Fed: Patrick T. Harker, 56, currently president of the University of Delaware, former dean of the Wharton School at UPenn, and a member of the Philadelphia Fed's board of directors. His career academic background: Harker has a Ph.D. in civil and urban engineering, a master's degree in economics, and an M.S.E. and B.S.E. in civil engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Wait, so no econ PhD? There may be some hope yet...



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Lehman Moment For Austrian "Bad Bank" Means Worse Coming

Not "contained." Just six short months ago, the 2Y bonds of Austria's bank bank - HETA Asset Resolution AG - were trading well above par as the world and his mom reached for yield (~6%) in all the wrong places. Today, following the "spectacular development" over the weekend that the bank will be wound down due to the discovery of an $8.5bn "hole" in its balance sheet, the 2Y HETA bonds are trading below 50c on the dollar (at a yield of 54%). This is indeed Austria's "Lehman" moment as for the first time in the new European 'bail-in' era, senior debt is getting a massive haircut.



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WTI Explodes Higher, Brent Unchanged As Algos Reminisce

It is deja vu all over again - just as it did last week - after dumping into Monday open, the machines ramp WTI (on no news and certainly not on the back of any data which was all abysmal).



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ISM Manufacturing Tumbles To 13-Month Lows, Employment Slumps, Construction Spending Plunges

Despite a collapse in US macro data in February, Markit somehow managed to conjure a better than expected 55.1 print for US Manufacturing PMI. Under the covers employment creation was the slowest since July and inflationary pressures loom as selling prices rose notably. ISM Manufacturing printed 52.9 - a small miss vs 53.0 expectations - down for the 4th month in a row to 13-month lows, with employment at its weakest since June 2013. Construction spending's modest rebound in (seemingly un-weather-affected) December (after dropping in November) has been destroyed with a 1.1% drop in January (against expectations of 0.3% rise) for the biggest drop in 8 months.



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Theater Of The Absurd: Spain To Provide 14% Of Funds For Third Greek Bailout

The ink is not even dry on the much fought extension of the Greek bailout, so hated in Greece because it perpetuates the "austerity" memorandum conditions and already Spain is stoking the anti-austerity fire in Athens even more when moments ago Spain's Guindos revealed that not only is a third Greek bailout imminent, and will cost Europe's taxpayers between €30 and €50 billion, but that Spain, whose banks were completely insolvent as recently as 2 years ago and were only "saved" thanks to the ECB's direct and indirect (repo) bond monetization pathways will provide between 13% and 14% of the funding!

  • "THIRD GREEK RESCUE' TO BE EU30B-EU50B: SPAIN'S DE GUINDOS
  • SPAIN TO PROVIDE 13-14% OF EU30B-EU5O 3RD GREEK RESCUE: GUINDOS

What makes the announcement doubly ironic (the broke bailount out the insolvent, or is the bankrupt saving the liquidating?), is that just hours earlier Spain’s deputy minister for the European Union Inigo Mendez de Vigo said that "Greece should do less talking, do more reforms." But why if Spain will be so kind as to provide the funding needed for the next Greek bailout, and the bailout after that, and the one after



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Crude Carnage Continues Amid Saudi Production & Storage Limits

Crude oil prices are once again following the path of least deja vu resistance this morning. Having spiked into NYMEX close on Friday (exactly as they did following the rig count data the previous week), WTI is back to a $48 handle this morning following news that Saudi Arabia has increased production to its higest level since 2013. Iraq (another OPEC nation) stirred the pot further by forecasting increased supplies in the next month. This comes as US production hits record highs and vital Oklahoma storage tanks will fill up even sooner than expected, driving the "JK" spread above $2.50 (April delivery drastically cheaper than May). As on analysts noted, as "Cushing continues to fill massively, we could see a '3' handle on WTI."



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