Australia

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"Bulletproof" Fortescue Pulls $2.5 Billion Offering Amid Slumping Iron Ore Prices





Investors are wary of debt from fourth largest iron ore miner as slumping demand and a supply glut crush prices.

 
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Washington Retaliates: Shifts Anti-Missile Battery Into Poland, Begins Rapid-Response Drills





As the world continues its push towards de-dollarization, Washington responds to Russian military preparedness by conducting drills in Moscow's backyard. 

 
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Sweden Slides Further Into NIRP: Cuts To -0.25%; Expands QE





Ahead of The Fed's 'impatience' today, and amid a tumbling EUR, the oldest central bank in the world has decided it is time to go further into the illustrious ranks of NIRP/QE'ers:

*RIKSBANK CUTS KEY RATE TO -0.25%, TO BUY GOVT BONDS FOR SK30 BLN

So as opposed to Denamrk's roundabout QE, Sweden just jumps in and monetizes that debt direct by expanding their QE program and shifts from small NIRP to bigger NIRP. All this while suggesting the labor market is strengthening and inflation has bottomed out. The reaction - SEK is plunging and OMX surges.

 
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It's Official: Americans R Stoopid





As Americans, we tend to be pretty full of ourselves, and this is especially true of our young people.  But do we really have reason for such pride?  According to a shocking new report from the Educational Testing Service, Americans between the ages of 20 and 34 are way behind young adults in other industrialized nations when it comes to literacy, mathematics and technological proficiency.  Even though more Americans than ever are going to college, we continue to fall farther and farther behind intellectually.  So what does this say about us?  Sadly, the truth is that Americans are stupid.

 
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The Much-Touted Growth Prospects Of BRICS Is Nothing More Than A Commodity-Boom-Fuelled Mirage





"The boom years of the past decade and a half were the exception and not the rule. Australia and Canada will have a bit of rough patch in the years to come, but will manage through as they always do. The much touted growth prospects of many of the BRICs will prove to be nothing more than a commodity-boom-fuelled mirage."

 
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America's European "Allies" Desert Obama, Join China-led Infrastructure Bank





It appears the sea of de-dollarization has reached the shores of Europe. With Australia and UK having already moved in the direction of joining the China-led AIIB, The FT reports that France, Germany, and Italy have now all agreed to join the development bank as 'pivot to Asia' appears to be Plan B for Europe. As Greg Sheridan previously noted, "the saga of the China Bank is almost a textbook case of the failure of Obama’s foreign policy," but as The FT concludes, the European decisions represent a significant setback for the Obama administration, which has argued that western countries could have more influence over the workings of the new bank if they stayed together on the outside. As Forbes notes, this leaves Obama with 3 uncomfortable options...

 
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"Colossal Defeat" For Obama As Australia Joins China's Regional Bank





Having attacked its "closest ally" UK for "constant accomodation" with China, we suspect President Obama will be greatly displeased at yet another close-ally's decision to partner up with the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As The Australian reports, "make no mistake," the decision by Australia's Abbott government to sign on for negotiations to join China’s regional bank, foreshadowed by Tony Abbott at the weekend,  "represents a colossal defeat for the Obama administration’s incompetent, distracted, ham-fisted dip­lomacy in Asia." It seems de-dollarization continues...

 
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China Options Limited As Repo Rate Hits Record





Money is getting tight in China where the PBoC finds itself stuck between easing to counter economic deceleration and exacerbating capital outflows. 

 
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China Becomes World's Third Largest Weapons Dealer





China overtakes Germany to become the world's third largest arms exporter just as Western military spending outside the US fails to keep pace with China and Russia.

 
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The Week The Fed Loses "Patience" - Previewing This Week's Main Events





This week's main event will be the FOMC announcement on Wednesday at 2:00 pm and the subsequent press conference, the conclusion of the March 2-day Fed meeting, in which it is widely expected that Yellen will announce the end of the Fed's "Patience" with an economy in which resurgent waiters and bartenders continue to skew the job market even if it means consistently declining wages for 80% of the US labor force. Here is a summary of what else to expect this week.

 
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Frontrunning: March 16





  • Germans Tired of Greek Demands Want Country to Exit Euro (BBG)
  • Weak euro powers European stocks to new highs (Reuters)
  • Siemens Cheers Euro Slump as Emerson Eases Dollar’s Sting (BBG)
  • A Police Gadget Tracks Phones? Shhh! It’s Secret (NYT)
  • If Economists Were Right, You Would Have a Raise by Now (BBG)
  • iWatch: who’s going to pay $17K for a device that will be obsolete in two years? (Barrons)
  • Ferguson Suspect Said to Claim He Wasn’t Firing at Police (BBG)
  • Why Bankers Are Leaving Finance for No-Salary Tech Jobs (BBG)
 
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Futures Rebound After EUR Finds 1.05 Support; China Stocks Soar; Im-"Patient" Fed On Deck





It started off as the perfect storm for futures: after Sunday night's latest plunge in WTI, which saw it drop to the lowest price since Lehman, the double whammy that has now forced Deutsche Bank to become the first major institution to forecast no growth for S&P500 EPS in 2015, namely the strong dollar, reared its ugly head and the EURUSD seemed dangerouly close to breaching the all important 1.04-1.05 support level we first noted last week. However, overnight parties tasked with preserving "financial stability" appear to have once again stepped in, and not only has the EURUSD rebounded off 1.05, but crude is now just barely down from the Friday close as all firepower is put to the same use, that sent the Shanghai Composite soaring by 2.3% overnight, and which sent the Dax over 12,000 for the first time ever.

 
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Indeed This Time Is Different: Because It’s Far Worse





Suddenly the narrative that “everything is awesome” is showing to not be as “awesome” as it was first proclaimed. Merely a few months have passed since the ending of QE and praises of awesomeness everywhere are morphing into questions more akin to “Oh no: not again!” And with that we are now watching those who pushed, pulled, and levitated that narrative scramble desperately to push another narrative back onto the stage that worked so many times before: “Every sell off over the last 6 years has shown to be a profitable buying opportunity.” i.e., Just buy the dip (JBTFD). Yet it would seem these dips; are far different.

 
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Mortgage Regulation Australian Style





It's a total shock that maniacs who borrow nearly 100% on interest only terms to lose rental money to speculate on housing capital gains would love low interest rates. And with the lowest mortgage rates in Australian history, coinciding with the sloppiest lending standards in Australian history, combining with the highest property prices in Australian history, added to the highest household debt to income ratio in Australian history, what would you expect the biggest idiot of a treasurer in Australian history to do?

 
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