USA USA USA #15? Despite aerial bombardment, growing tensions with every neighbor, and the almost ubiquitous daily car-bombs, Israelis are "happier" than Americans according to Bloomberg's world happiness index. Happiness, it appears, is most abundant a long way from the equator with Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Canada all topping the list; whereas the unhappiest nations are all in Saharan or sub-Saharan Africa (apart from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan).
Futures Fizzle After Greece "Hammered" In Riga, Varoufakis Accused Of Being "A Time-Waster, Gambler, Amateur"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/24/2015 06:59 -0400
Even though no rational person expected that the Greek situation would be resolved at today's talks in Riga, Latvia, apparently the algos were so caught up in spoofing each other to new record highs that futures, after surging once more overnight following the latest Google miss which sent the company and the Nasdaq soaring, actually dipped modestly into the red following headlines that the latest Greek talks have broken down after a "hostile" Troika "hammered" the Greek finmin, who was accused by European finmins of "being a time-waster, a gambler and an amateur."
Some economic facts that you did not know...
- Because it just gets funnier: UK speed trader arrested over role in 2010 'flash crash' (Reuters)
- ... and funnier: Mystery Trader Armed With Algorithms Rewrites Flash Crash Story (BBG)
- Presidential hopeful Rubio reaches out to gay Republicans (Reuters)
- Varoufakis Sees Differences Narrowing in Creditor Talks (BBG)
- China Debt Mess Brings Out the Yin and Yang in Policy Makers (BBG)
- Hedge Fund That Made 18% on Dollar Strength Now Bets on Drop (BBG)
- Whistleblower Jim Marchese Scores Millions in Payout—Again (WSJ)
- Release of Benghazi Report on Hillary Clinton Likely Pushed to Election Season (BBG)
"The outlook for Chinese demand, in contrast to optimistic forecasts of producers, is skewed heavily to the downside," BNP says, in a new note warning of further deflationary pressures and protracted weakness in iron ore prices. For those who still think a "hard landing" can still be avoided, look no further for evidence to the contrary.
While this week sees the peak of Q1 earnings season, it will be a generally quiet week on the macro economic front for both EM and DM, with the emphasis on the latest seasonally adjusted manufacturing sentiment surveys, US durables and Japan trade.
The entire global financial system resembles a colossal spiral of debt. Just about all economic activity involves the flow of credit in some way, and so the only way to have “economic growth” is to introduce even more debt into the system. Unfortunately, any system based on debt is going to break down eventually, and there are signs that it is starting to happen once again.
To maintain its hegemony, the U.S. must by all means prevent the emergence of rival powers and impede possible current as well as future threats that could emanate from oil states. The ideal condition for enforcing its own goals at a low cost would be the fragmentation of antagonistic power centers through ethnic and religious strife, civil wars, chaos and deep-seated mistrust in the Middle East – always following the well-known premise of ‘divide and rule.’ In fact, we are currently experiencing tremendous changes towards such a chaotic state of affairs.
Neither Russia nor China is an imminent threat to the US, but a cataclysmic event is looming in the economic front, one which will forever change the perception of America by the rest of the world; or how we, Americans, perceive ourselves. It’s back to what that great cartoonist (and sociopolitical commentator), Walt Kelly, told us a half century ago as America struggled during the Vietnam War:
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”
While today's macro calendar is empty with no central bank speakers or economic news (just the monthly budget (deficit) statement this afternoon), it’s a fairly busy calendar for us to look forward to this week as earnings season kicks up a gear in the US as mentioned while Greece headlines and the G20 finance ministers meeting on Thursday mark the non-data related highlights.
Giving up the spotlight is never easy. The United States, like many aging celebrities, is struggling to share the stage with new faces, especially China. The upcoming meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank – two institutions dominated by the US and its Western allies – provide an ideal opportunity to change that. The US must come to terms with the reality that the world has changed. The longer the US remains in a state of denial, the more damage it will do to its interests and its global influence, which remains substantial, if more constrained than before.
As usual, US stocks are the last to “get it.” But this won’t last for long. The S&P 500 is sitting on the ledge of a massive cliff. And when it finally tumbles, the move will be both fast and violent.
The full breakdown of the biggest energy deal in the past decade and the 14th largest ever corporate takeover.
The only one tilting at windmills now is Washington, which is stuck between persisting on the idea that this institution is somehow lacking when it comes to Western underwriting “standards” and executing a completely humiliating mea culpa which isn’t really an option given The White House’s steadfast refusal to support the Chinese venture.