Futures Slump As Asian Stock Bubble Calls A Timeout

Judging by the recent action in equity futures, the continuously rangebound US market since the end of QE may be entering its latest downphase, catalyzed to a big extent by the recent strength in the JPY (the EURJPY traded down to 2 year lows overnight), especially following yesterday's not one but two statements by Abe advisor Harada saying a USDJPY at 125 isn't "justified" and a 105 level would be appropriate. A level, incidentally, which would push the Nikkei lower by about 20% and crush Japanese pensions which are now mostly invested in stocks. Not helping matters was the pause in the Chinese and Hang Seng stock bubbles, with the former barely rising 0.3%, while the former actually seeing its first 1.6% decline after many days of torrid, relentless rises.

"We Have Come To The End Of The Road" - Greece Prepares For Default, FT Reports

Update: as always is the case in Europe, nothing is confirmed until it is officially denied by officials, so here you go: GREEK GOVT OFFICIAL DENIES FT REPORT GREECE PLANNING DEFAULT

It should hardly come as a surprise that after the latest round of Greek pre-negotiation negotiations with the Troika, in which the Greek representative was said to behave like a taxi driver, who "just asked where the money was and insisted his country would soon be bankrupt" and in which the Eurozone members "were disappointed and shocked at Athens' lack of movement in its plans, and in particular its reluctance to talk about cutting civil servants' pensions" that the next Greek step is to fall back - yet again - to square zero: threats of an imminent default. Which is precisely what, according to the FT, has happened "Greece is preparing to take the dramatic step of declaring a debt default unless it can reach a deal with its international creditors by the end of April."

China Stocks Soar To 7 Year High After Collapse In Exports; US Futures Slip On Continuing Dollar Surge

If there was any doubt that global trade is stalling, it was promptly wiped out following the latest abysmal Chinese trade data which saw exports tumble by 15% - the most in over a year - on expectations of a 8% rebound, with the trade surplus coming in at CNY18.2 billion, far below the lowest estimate. While unnecessary, with the Chinese GDP growth rate this Wednesday already expect to print at a record low, this was further evidence of weak demand both at home and abroad. Weakness was seen in most key markets, and the strength of China's currency was partly to blame, which again brings up China's CNY devaluation and ultimately QE, which as we wrote some time ago, is the ultimate endgame in the global reflation trade which, at least for now until the CBs begin active money paradropping to everyone not just the 0.01%, is only leading to inflation in stocks and deflation in everything else.v

Bundesbank Warns German Banks To Expect At Least 50% Losses On Austrian "Black Swan"

In a critical disclosure this past Friday which quietly flew under everyone's radar, the Bundesbank director responsible for bank supervision, Andreas Dombret, who is also a member of the board of the European Central Bank’s Single Supervisory Mechanism told Bloomberg in an interview in Johannesburg that "German banks should expect to lose at least half of their investments in bonds of Austrian bad bank Heta Asset Resolution AG and make the appropriate provisions... I think this situation has to be taken seriously by the German banks... if I were to put a number on this I would say it should be a minimum of a 50 percent provision for potential losses."

Greek Negotiator "Shocks" Eurozone Officials, Behaves Like "Taxi Driver": Hope Of Greek Deal "Blown"

The mood between Greece's leftist government and its euro zone partners, especially Germany, has deteriorated in the last few weeks, with personal recriminations flying between ministers and calls from Athens for Berlin to pay war reparations. The paper said at last week's meeting the Greek representative just asked where the money was "like a taxi driver", according to sources, and insisted his country would soon be bankrupt. The euro zone sources told the paper that Greece's creditors do not believe this is the case and that it would be a domestic political issue if Athens is unable to fully pay salaries and pensions.

No Longer Quiet On The Eastern Front (Part 3)

The Middle East’s ongoing descent into chaos and China’s impending ascendancy to the status of global superpower are just two of the many threats that the US, European Union and Russia all share.  Each of these issues should certainly occupy a higher position on their respective agendas than the breakup of Ukraine or the insolvency of Greece.  Leaders of all three governments would be well-advised to set aside their differences, or at least to prevent those differences from obstructing cooperation on more important issues.  Unlike its predecessor, the Second Cold War will not be bilateral.  Today’s world is far more chaotic, kinetic and dangerous than it was fifty years ago.

Spelling Out The Big Reset

Wiping out creditors by inflation is the easy part. Re-establishing money to restart the world economy is the harder one.

IMF Payment Sends Greek Yields Lower; Athens Warns "Next Month Is A Different Matter"

A central bank official, according to The FT, said that Greece has repaid the €450m it owed the International Monetary Fund today. Bond yields have fallen across the Greek curve with 10Y GGBs now at 11.1% (down 70bps from Tuesday's highs). Greek stocks are not as impressed and are giving back their gains. Tsipras, on return from Moscow, explained Greece "was not a beggar...asking other countries to solve its problem," but as a senior Greek official earlier this week said that while it would be able to make Thursday’s IMF repayment, it will still exhaust its cash reserves very soon and "next month is a different matter." HSBC points out that the real crisis point looms on the 12th May and FinMin Varoufakis warns the "asymmetric union" that they "have learned nothing from economic history."

Putin And Tsipras Are Meeting: Here Are The Main Highlights

While Germany has pre-emptively, and somewhat defensively, come out proclaiming Russian aid to Greece as 'no big deal' - a "routine event" - we suspect the signal that it would send would not be entirely great for the EU (and Obama's) 'Russia is evil' meme. Nonetheless, as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Russian President Vladimir Putin today - just one day before The IMF loan repoayment is due, topics for discussion vary from lifting sanctions (bilaterally) or bankrolling a bailout to gas discount from Gazprom. Here's a summary...

Germany Slams "Stupid" Greek Demands For "Incomprehensible" €278 Billion In Reparations

Yesterday we reported that in what may have been an attempt to stun the world, if not so much Germany, with the law of large numbers, Greece calculated that Germany owes it a whopping €278 billion in World War II reparations, or about a third of what Germany reported was its GDP in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Greece, Germany does not appear to be rushing to wire the funds. As Reuters reported earlier today, Germany's economy minister had one word for the Greek demand: "stupid."

Russia To Offer Greece New Loans, Gas Price Discount

Russia may offer Greece a discount on gas deliveries and new loans when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visits Moscow this week, the Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday, citing one source in the Russian government. A Kremlin spokesman said last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tsipras planned to discuss economic ties and EU sanctions on Moscow when they meet for talks, which Kommersant said would take place on Thursday. "We are ready to consider the issue of a gas price discount for Greece," the newspaper said quoting an unnamed Russian government source.

Greek Minister Slams Troika's "Unbelievable Prejudice" As EU Proclaims Tsipras' Government "Cannot Survive"

The rhetoric, threats, and promises continue to increase as Greece, its international creditors (i.e. Troika), and its potential pivot partners from Russia to China to Iran all vie for attention. With EU officials proclaiming "[the Greek] government cannot survive," suggesting Tsipras divorce himself from the extreme left of his party; and with 68% of Europeans polled believing Greece is a drag on the EU economy, Greece's last best hope perhaps remains with a pivot to another Troika (Russia, China, and Iran) as energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis denounced Greece’s international creditors for treating the country with "unbelievable prejudice and as a colony." This all on the day when FinMin Varoufakis 'promises' Christine Lagarde that Greece will repay its IMF loan on April 9th (somehow?).

Pitchfork Populism & The Ghost Of 1937

With the Fed supposedly steeling itself at last to remove a little of its emergency ‘accommodation’, it has suddenly become fashionable to warn of the awful parallels with 1937 as an excuse The Fed must not act today. We strongly refute the analogy. Instead, the real Ghost of ’37 takes the form of mean-spirited and, counter-productive 'pitchfork populism' politics and the spectre should not be conjured up to excuse the central bank from further delaying its overdue embarkation on the long road back to normality and policy minimalism.