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Frontrunning: March 26

  • Saudi Arabia, allies launch air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters (Reuters)
  • Pilot on Crashed Jet Was Locked Out of Cockpit, NY Times Says (BBG)
  • Why Bombing This Tiny Oil Producer Is Roiling the Energy Market (BBG)
  • U.S.-led coalition, Iraqis pound Islamic State in Tikrit (Reuters)
  • Munger Says Prepare for Harder World as Buying Power Slides (BBG),Mocks Greek ‘Idiotic Idea’ You Can Vote Yourself Rich (BBG)
  • The Central Banker Who Saved the Russian Economy From the Abyss (BBG)
  • Bank of Canada says foreign buyers complicate housing market (Reuters)
  • Investors Scoop Up Companies’ Bonds (WSJ)
  • Espirito Santo Probe Turns Mariana Mortagua Into Portuguese Star (BBG)


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Another Middle East War Breaks Out: Saudis Begin Bombing Yemen, US Military Taking Action

Update: *OBAMA AUTHORIZED LOGISTICAL AND INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO GULF, U.S. MILITARY TAKING MILITARY ACTION TO DEFEND SAUDI BORDER, TO DEFEND AGAINST HOUTHI VIOLENCE (so US weapons are being used on both sides)

John McCain - "This is as bizarre as it is misguided – another tragic case of leading from behind.

Earlier today we reported that, on very short notice, Saudi Arabia had moved heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, "raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict." In other words, Saudi Arabia was preparing for war. Moments ago all these warnings were borne out when Al-Arabiya reported that the latest middle-east war is now official after Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf States had launched a bombing campaign against Yemen.



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33 Strange Facts About America That Most Americans Would Be Shocked To Learn

Did you know that about one-fourth of the entire global prison population is in the United States?  Did you know that Apple has more money than the U.S. Treasury?  Did you know that if you have no debt and also have 10 dollars in your wallet that you are wealthier than 25 percent of all Americans?  Did you know that by the time an American child reaches the age of 18, that child will have seen approximately 40,000 murders on television?  There are some things that are great about the United States, and there are definitely some things that are not so great.  Once upon a time we were the most loved and most respected nation on the entire planet, but those days are long gone.



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Presenting The Theater Of War; Who Controls Yemen?

Curious to learn more about Yemen, and why over just 24 hours it has become the location of the latest war in the middle east? Then the following brief summary on the balance of power, or lack thereof, in Yemen from Stratfor should provide some useful background information.



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How The Education System Destroys Social Networks

The system to which we have become accustomed is not of our choosing, and it certainly isn’t organic to the social order. It has been inflicted on us, one piece of legislation at a time. It is the result of an imposed, rather than evolved, order. The most important question is this: What are the alternatives? Bring back apprenticeships. Bring back remunerative work for the young. Look beyond the central plan, and don’t get trapped. Rethink the claim that staying in school is an unmitigated good.



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Montreal Students Clash With Riot Police In Austerity Protests

"The Revolutionary Student Movement organized the Tuesday’s evening march. The group has claimed it is 'an association of young Communists and revolutionary anti-capitalists,'" RT reports. Police used rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas to disperse the crowd with made the always dangerous mistake of not providing law enforcement with a protest itinerary.



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The Fed's Artificial Steepening Of The Yield Curve

To be blunt about it, the Federal Reserve under interest rate targeting clearly and artificially shifted the treasury curve toward steepness; they did so as a means to influence investor behavior and, as silly as it sounds, mood. In other words, the yield curve is not made solely out of actual market and fundamental conditions, but of influence from decidedly non-market political action (actually only threats of action that have been forced only since 2007). Given that station, there is no real reason to believe that absolute levels bear any similar resemblance to signals of past function... in other words - waiting for curve inversion as a signal of recession is no longer valid.



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Japanese Stocks Could See Repeat Of 2013 Plunge

“The market isn’t going to continue going up in a straight line,” said Ayako Sera, a Tokyo-based market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank speaking to Bloomberg. Amid a central bank fueled furious rally, some investors see a replay of the May 2013 correction in store for Japanese equities.



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"Danger, Will Robinson!"

Some people never learn. Even though we’ve experienced two horrific stock market crashes in the last fifteen years, with losses of 40% to 80%, the professional monkeys posing as investment experts ignore facts, history, and common sense. Will the Ivy League MBA’s heed these warnings? Not a chance. They think they are the smartest guys in the room.



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Fortescue Has An Idea For Arresting Iron Ore Price Slide: Start A Cartel

Fortescue chairman suggests price collusion as a decent idea for driving up iron ore prices, drawing the attention of Australian regulators. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley turns bearish citing a number of issues including cash flow and inability to refinance debt.



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Bank Of Japan's 10 Trillion Equity Portfolio "Not Large" Says Bank Of Japan

"The central bank's portfolio has a book value of around 5.7 trillion yen. But soaring share prices have lifted its market value past the 10 trillion yen mark -- nearly 2% of the tally for all Tokyo Stock Exchange shares," Nikkei notes. While this may seem like a lot, Haruhiko Kuroda begs to differ.



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Putin Security Council Slams Obama Attempts At "New World Order"

"The Strategy emphasizes the US desire to proceed with the formation of a new global economic order. Significant efforts by the US and its allies will be directed to the formation of anti-Russian policy states, with which Russia has established partnership relations, as well as to reduce Russian influence in the former Soviet Union. [The US will] continue the policy of preserving the global dominance of the United States [and] increasing the combat capabilities of NATO," a statement on the Russian Security Council's webpage says.



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Lessons From The German Hyperinflation Of The 1920s

The German hyperinflation episode in the early 1920s is often quoted as an example of the dire consequences of excessive money printing – a leading industrial economy succumbing to the dangers of currency debasement promoted by incompetent central bankers. Alas, the reality is more complex than that, particularly when certain geopolitical and economic constraints of that time are taken into consideration. And as we shall see, we can draw some important lessons from that episode that can help us gauge the effectiveness of our very own currency debasement in the 21st century.



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BofA's Modest Proposal For Greece: "A Negative Shock May Be Necessary"

Either Greece will stop trying to save the failed past and look into the future, treating the crisis and the adjustment program as opportunities to finally implement urgently needed reforms, or the country will be eventually forced to exit the euro, in our view.  Economics 101 teaches us that an economy can survive within a monetary union only if it has fiscal policy room and structural flexibility to respond to asymmetric shocks. In our view, Greece had none and has none. We see no solution for Greece within the Eurozone without reforms.



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