Creditors

Futures Fade Early Bounce, Slide In Illiquid Tape As Yen Rises, Oil Drops

Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.

Despite Depression, Greece Forced To Hike VAT, Add New Taxes

The IMF wants debt relief now, but Germany wants the IMF to hold off until Merkel wins reelection. Meanwhile, the Greek depression resumes. These tax hikes are insane. The key question remains: Is the IMF bluffing about debt relief or not?

The Eurozone Is The Greatest Danger

Financial and economic prospects for the Eurozone have many similarities to the 1972-75 period in the UK, which this writer remembers vividly.  This time, the prospects facing the Eurozone potentially could be worse. The obvious difference is the far higher levels of debt, which will never allow the ECB to run interest rates up sufficiently to kill price inflation. More likely, positive rates of only one or two per cent would be enough to destabilise the Eurozone’s financial system. Let us hope that these dangers are exaggerated, and the final outcome will not be systemically destabilising, not just for Europe, but globally as well. A wise man, faced with the unknown, believes nothing, expects the worst, and takes precautions.

Frontrunning: May 18

  • Stocks sag as U.S. rate rise expectations revive (Reuters)
  • Clinton, Sanders hit final stretch of nominating contest (Reuters)
  • Bernie Sanders Wins in Oregon, But He Needed Kentucky, Too (NBC)
  • Clinton less than 100 delegates from nomination (The Hill)
  • Trump needs 66 delegates to officially clinch nomination (The Hill)
  • Japan GDP Rebound Not Enough to Stave Off Stimulus (WSJ)

Frontrunning: May 17

  • As Brexit vote looms, U.S. banks review their European commitments (Reuters)
  • Oil’s Strength Continues to Boost Global Stocks (WSJ)
  • Trump closing gap with Clinton, poll shows (Hill)
  • In Adjacent Pennsylvania Counties, Republicans Are Split on Donald Trump (WSJ)
  • Make America Gold Again: Calls for Everyone's Favorite Standard Are Back (BBG)

Two More US Energy Companies Go Bankrupt: Breitburn, Sandridge File Chapter 11

Just days after the latest two shale casualties filed for bankruptcy protection when both Linn Energy and Penn Virginia announced prepackaged Chapter 11, moments ago Sandridge announced it too was entering bankruptcy court when it filed a voluntarily petition under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of Texas to consummate a pre-arranged reorganization. This follows just hours after Breitburn Energy Partners announced it had filed Chapter 11 as it hopes to negotiate a restructuring of its balance sheet in court, continuing talks with creditors that began a month ago, CEO Hal Washburn said in a release.

Pure Troika Idiocy - The Greek Debt Slavery Regime Through 2059

Can Greece come up with €11,235,558,147 in June and July? Of course not. That is not the way the “bailout” works. In practice, the Troika gives Greece the money and Greece hands the money right back to the Troika plus a tiny bit extra from now until 2059. The repayment calculation assumes Greece can maintain a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP from 2017 until then, a ridiculous belief to say the least.

How Hedge Funds Invest Heavily In Washington D.C.'s Culture Of Corruption

If you want to get a sense of what’s motivating Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders voters, it’s a desire to take people like Robert Shapiro, remove them from the halls of power, and toss them into a cardboard box on the street. Of course, that won’t be happening any time soon, but that’s what a lot of people want. As we detail below, confirmed recently by Congressman X, Washington is infested by the secretive world of the dark money groups representing mercenary hedge funds in their insatiable quest for more and more money. In many ways, it’s merely a microcosm of America in 2016. A culture in which ethics has become so irrelevant, it isn’t even a nuisance; it simply never factors into the equation.

Are Newspapers Captured By Banks?

With Donald Trump going after Jeff Bezos' "capture" of The Washington Post this week, along with Facebook's alleged liberalization of the mainstream's news feeds, the topic of press independence is once again back out of conspiracy theory back-rooms and near top of mind for many average indoctrinated joes. Almost thirty years ago, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky claimed that media are “effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function," but as ProMarket's Luigi Zingales exposes, for Italy, there is some circumstantial evidence that Italian newspapers are captured by banks.

Heretical Thoughts And Doing The Unthinkable

According to the “social contract theory,” we all have our roles and responsibilities. As citizens, we have a duty to inform ourselves, pay our taxes, rat out our neighbors, vote, volunteer for military service, get frisked by the TSA... and let ourselves get robbed and bullied by every jackass in a position of power. Our leaders have responsibilities, too. They are supposed to respect the constitution, except when it is inconvenient for them. Our “leaders” – aka the Deep State – can change the terms any time they want. What kind of contract is it where one party can change the deal and the other can’t? And where the other party was never given the opportunity to negotiate it, or even approve it? It’s not a contract at all. It’s just part of the mythology of modern democracy.

MEPs Slam Latest Greek Bailout As "Social Armageddon"

Lawmakers in the European Parliament have sharply condemned the latest Greek bailout deal - reached after weeks of negotiations - which they say will lead to "Social Armageddon" and "too high a price to pay." As SputnikNews reports, heated exchanges over the state of play of the Greek macro-economic adjustment program were seen in the European Parliament this week, and divisions are also very evident within the Troika itself as obvious need for debt relief (IMF) is scuttled by Germany and the Eurogroup.

Central Banks And The Rise Of Extremism

Perhaps the world will have to wait it out to finally be graced with leaders who are willing to stand by their convictions and make hard, maybe even unpopular, choices. Such leaders might have to risk sacrificing everything political to be crowned the next true champions of conviction, giving us all a shot at a once again storied fate. Where does that leave us? Apparently angry. Very, very angry.

US Futures, European Stocks Drop As USDJPY Tumbles

One day after the biggest jump in stocks in two months on what has still been an undetermined catalyst, overnight global equities did a U-turn with European stocks falling toward a one-month low and U.S. stock index futures declining, as crude oil dropped toward $44 a barrel. A driver the move lower was a sharp reversal in the USDJPY which dropped 100 pips from yesterday's highs which took places just as Goldman predicted the USDJPY has finally bottomed, facilitated by a weaker dollar (also following a Goldman report yesterday forecasting the USD was about to surge).