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Don't Show This To Warren Buffett (Gold vs. The Financial System)

Warren Buffett once famously chided that all the gold in the world would form a cube of 67 feet (20 meters) on each side. In doing so, he was attempting to argue that there was no point in owning gold since all the gold in the world would be an unproductive, useless hunk of metal. What’s ironic (and completely lost on the venerable Mr. Buffett) is that you could make the same argument about the paper-based financial system.



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Greece Warns It May Default On IMF Loan As Soon As Next Week

Now that the Greek topic is back to overall debt sustainability, a few hours ago Greece Kathimerini reported that the Euro Working Group "discussed Greece’s imminent funding problems on Thursday amid mounting concern about how the country will meet its obligations next months." This follows a suggestion earlier in the day by the Greek Minister of State for Coordinating Government Operations Alekos Flambouraris that "Greece might delay payment to the International Monetary Fund if it cannot find the necessary money." But wait, how does a country "delay" a debt payment? It doesn't: "According to officials familiar with the subject. such a move would constitute a “clear default,” with consequences for a large number of other loans Greece has received."



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The Global Economy Is Not "Off The Lows"

On the day when the MSCI World Stock Index hits a fresh record high - enthused by the exuberance of the US markets - we thought it more than a little ironic that Global GDP growth expectations for 2015 just hit a fresh record low...



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The Herbalife Ice Cube Has Almost Melted: Presenting "Cash From Operations"

Ponzi schemes, alleged or otherwise, can only exist as long as they generate more cash than they burn. Sadly for Herbalife, the tipping point beyond which every pyramid sheme implodes, has almost arrived. Just ask Bernie Madoff. Presenting cash from operations.



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EU Fixed? Spanish Credit Risk Up 30% Since Greek Elections

Despite some compression today in anticipation of ECB QE (as if that was not anticipated enough in the idioctically marginal yields across European peripheral bonds), it appears Europe is 'not' fixed. With Brexit odds around 1 in 6 and Podemos' lead in Spain extending, it appears redenomination risk (as we discussed, clearly lacking in many spreads) is re-emerging. Since the Greek election, Spanish credit risk is up 30%... more than Greece!



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3 Things - High Yield Warning, Yellen's Employment & Economy

While the economy is showing some signs of impact from falling oil prices, a port strike in California, weak global demand for exports and an exceptionally cold winter; the markets are pushing all-time highs. There is much hype being placed on the ECB's plans for launching QE in March, however, much remains to be seen as to just how effective it will be in a negative interest rate/deflationary enviroment. But then again...there is always "hope."



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German Bank Predicts Apple Stock Tumbles Over 50% As Shares Roundtrip To $60

One bank which dared to go dramatically against the grain is Germany's Berenberg Bank, which earlier today forecast that AAPL's price will crash to $60, a plunge of more than 50%, due to two things: the law of large numbers, and over-reliance on one single product as the iPhone accounts for 85% of AAPL's operating profit. Putting this in perspective, the vast majority of sellside analysts have a price target well over $100, even the bears. .



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The Pathetic 'Talk Therapy' Of Janet Yellen

What in god’s name does Janet Yellen think she is doing? Just a few weeks ago she established the ridiculous Fedspeak convention that “patient” means money market rates will not rise from the zero bound for at least two meetings. Now she has modified that message into “not exactly”.



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Do Not Show Jim Bullard This Chart!

It's fact-checking time once again. Having questioned the credibility of Dallas Fed's Richard Fisher previously, we thought this morning's comments by St.Louis Fed's Jim Bullard were worth investigating:

*DOLLAR EFFECTS ARE MARGINAL ON U.S. ECONOMY, SHOULDN'T INHIBIT GROWTH, FED'S BULLARD SAYS

Which just seems odd given the rest of the world's competitive devaluation efforts to 'improve' their economies. What we found will not surprise... but do not show this chart to Bullard.



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Full Circle: The First Anti-Government Protest In Greece Turns Ugly

The first anti-government rally in Athens turned ugly as anti-authoritarian protesters started to smash the windows of a pastry shop and two jewelry shops and put two vehicles and several garbage bins on fire. According to latest information, there was no intervention by riot police although squads were standing near by.



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Economic Composite Index Suggests Restocking Cycle Is Over

While economic indicators make "very poor bedfellows" for managing portfolios, they do provide some indication as to the relative risk of owning assets that are ultimately tied to economic cycles. Despite commentary to the contrary as of late, economic cycles have not been repealed, and the current economy is likely running on borrowed time. It is important to notice, that despite the "hype" of the mainstream media about the economic recovery, activity never rose past previous peaks in this cycle.



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How To Trade Oil For HFT Idiots 102

Yesterday we provided the initial template for how to trade oil if you are an HFT idiot. Today we move to the next step in the evolution... In a perfect mirror of last week's trading, Oil dumped on API inventories this week, pumped on DOE inventories (both massively more than expected builds) and then dumped it all back the next day on absolutely no news whatsoever - back to a $48 handle. Tomorrow we have 'rig count' data - which by now we know is entirely irrelevent for now to any changes in supply - but last week created a manic meltup into the NYMEX close... trade accordingly.



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10 Year Sells Off Above 2% On Weak, Tailing 7 Year Auction

Define irony: after earlier in the week speculators went massively short the 2Y and 5Y, pushing the repo rate "super special" and deep in negative territory on hopes of disappointing auctions, it was the 2 and 5 Year auctions earlier this week which were surprisingly strong forcing yet another round of mistimed short covers. And as fate would have it, it was today's 7 Year "belly" auction that was ignored by most. It was also the 7 Year that just priced in a surprisingly weak auction, coming to life with a yield of 1.834%, stopping well through the 1.826% When Issued. Confirming the weakness was also the Bid to Cover, which at 2.369 was the lowest since November of 2013.



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FCC Votes In Favor Of Obama's Net Neutrality - Has The Slippery Slope To Web Censorship Begun?

"An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life," according to President Obama and it appears his perspective on the heavy hand of government regulation inserting itself into the last bastion of freedom and dynamism in the US economy, is how best to achieve "openness." Having pressured FCC's Tom Wheeler, the vote just came down: U.S. FCC APPROVES NET NEUTRALITY INTERNET RULES IN 3-2 VOTE. While potentially good for a consumer's pocketbook, the handing over of "fair-use" decision to the government, as we previously noted, could be the first step on a slippery slope to increased censorship. Welcome to "internet of political things."



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