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Former JPM FX Salesman Claims He Was "Tossed Overboard In An Attempt To Make JPM Look Clean"

With banks eager to scrub the pervasive FX rigging and manipulation which has been one of the scandals plaguing the banking sector over the past two years, numerous lowly traders had been thrown under the legal bus as the traditional scapegoats meant to deflect attention from company insiders and senior management, many of whom were well aware of the illegal practices taking place. Increasingly more however, refuse to accept this fate.

Preview Of Today's ECB Announcement

With the ECB announcement due in a few minutes, followed by Draghi's press conference, today's ECB meeting should be a relatively dull affair as they are currently in 'wait and see' mode with regards to previous policy actions. As RanSquawk notes, general consensus among analysts is that the ECB are to keep rates on hold this month and avoid added stimulus.

Global Markets Flat, Coiled Ahead Of Today's Risk Events: OPEC And The ECB

There are just two drivers setting the pace for today's risk mood: the OPEC meeting in Vienna which started a few hours ago, and the ECB's announcement as well as Mario Draghi's press statement due out just one hour from now. Both are expected to not reveal any major surprises, with OPEC almost certainly unable to implement a production freeze while the ECB is expected to remain on hold and provide some more details on its corporate bond buying program, although there is some modest risk of upside surprise in either case.

RANsquawk Preview: ECB Rate Decision June 2016

ECB PREVIEW: ECB expected to stand pat with the recent uptick in energy prices likely to be expressed within the staff projections. As ever though, comments from President Draghi will be closely monitored

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide On Mediocre Manufacturing Data, Yen Surge

Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.

These Are The Two Most Important Questions Facing The Market

The two most important questions by far, those whose answer will determine not only the near term return of the S&P, but also global equity markets as well as that all-important commodity, oil, are the  following: Can the oil price hold up even as the dollar rises;  and, Can the CNY depreciate without hurting asset prices? Here is Deutsche Bank's attempt at an answer.

As Short Interest Soars To Record Highs, Chinese Stock Futures Flash-Crash 12.5%

Shortly after 1042am local, Chinese stock futures (CSI-300) flash-crashed over 12.5% on extreme heavy volume (while the cash CSI-300 remained unch). This move erased 3 months of gains but within 1 minute was back in the green with stocks up over 2.5%. The shocking collapse, exaggerated by a major lack of liquidity, was made more surprising by the fact that the last week has seen a record short position in the major Chinese stock ETF. Simply put, the heavy hand of market-central-planning has erased any and all depth in futures markets and positioning has become so tilted that price vacuums are likely to continue to occur.

Mizuho CEO Warns Japan Sales Tax Delay Is "Admission Abenomics Has Failed"

Yasuhiro Sato, president of Mizuho, Japan's second-largest bank by assets, said Abe's framing of the sales tax delay would determine whether it sparked concerns about the government's credibility regarding its plans for fiscal consolidation. "The worst scenario is [the government] will just announce a delay in the tax increase.  That could send a message that Abenomics has failed or Japan is heading for a fiscal danger zone and then it will harm Japanese government bonds' credit ratings."

Why This Friday's Payrolls Report Could See A Big Miss

When the main economic event this week hits this Friday at 8:30 am EDT, when the BLS releases the May payrolls report, Wall Street consensus wil be expecting a 160,000 print, a number which will have a big impact on market expectations for a Fed rate hike at the June or July FOMC meeting. However, consensus may be disappointed for one reason: the Verizon strike could chop off as much as 35,000 workers from the headline payrolls print.

The Global Bear Market In Freedom

Americans will be celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, to honor those who fought and died for the values they have traditionally cherished the most as a nation: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The world has changed dramatically in recent decades. The geopolitical situation is much more complex, with rising powers challenging America's supremacy. The intractable war on terror seems interminable. Old foes appear to spring back to life even more powerful than before. And things at home look dicey in terms of politics and economics. As we reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that others have made‎, it is an opportune moment to consider a very important question: is the US winning the fight for freedom?

The Source of Failure: We Optimize What We Measure

The problems we face cannot be fixed with policy tweaks and minor reforms. Yet policy tweaks and minor reforms are all we can manage when the pie is shrinking and every vested interest is fighting to maintain their share of the pie. Our failure stems from a much deeper problem: we optimize what we measure. If we measure the wrong things, and focus on measuring process rather than outcome, we end up with precisely what we have now: a set of perverse incentives that encourage self-destructive behaviors and policies.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Slams Democracy, Says The "Tyranny Of The Majority Is An Unhealthy Development"

In his latest letter to investors, OakTree Capital's Howard Marks goes political (slamming Trump's tariffs and Bernie's minimum wage machinations), shedding some blinding light on the economic reality of America, the dismal failure (and increasing impotence) of central bankers, and the ongoing "tryanny of the majority" warning that if everyone wants to tax-the-rich, soon there will be no rich to tax. As he concludes, short-term fixes simply cannot create wealth out of thin air (see Venezuela), as Churchill once said "for a nation to try to tax [or stimulate or devalue] itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

First Quarter GDP Revised Higher To 0.8%, Misses Expectations

Following the terrible initial Q1 GDP print of 0.5% released one month ago, there was some hope that following some subsequent favorable inventory and trade data, the number would be revised substantially higher, with the whisper estimate rising as high as 1% or more, above the consensus estimate of 0.9%. Moments ago the BEA reported that in its first revision of Q1 growth, the US economy grew at only 0.8% annualized, a modest rebound from the original GDP report, however still missing consensus estimates.