Moments ago, a Lufthansa Germanwings Airbus A320, flight 4U9525, on a Barcelona to Dusseldorf route, was reported to have crashed in the area of Digne, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in southern France, an area which French president Hollande said is "very difficult to access." According to Plane Finder, the Germanwings plane, callsign D-AIPX, was a 24 year old A320 and part of the Germanwings fleet. According to Plane Finder, the Germanwings plane, callsign D-AIPX, was a 24 year old A320 and part of the Germanwings fleet. According to initial press reports the plane had 142 passengers on board, with another 6 in the flight crew.
- Germanwings Airbus crashes in France, 148 feared dead (Reuters)
- Greece promises list of reforms by Monday to unlock cash (Reuters)
- Merkel Points Tsipras Toward Deal With Greece’s Creditors (BBG)
- Banks Shift Bond Portfolios -Move to ‘held to maturity’ category aims to guard against rising rates, shield capital (WSJ)
- Beijing to Shut All Major Coal Power Plants to Cut Pollution (BBG)
- As Silence Falls on Chicago Trading Pits, a Working-Class Portal Also Closes (NYT)
- Oil below $56 as Saudi output near record, China activity slows (Reuters)
It is a centrally-planned "market" and everyone is merely a bystander. Last night, following a dramatic China PMI miss, which as previously reported tumbled to the worst print since early 2014 and is flashing a "hard-landing" warning, the Shanghai Composite first dipped then spiked because all a "hard-landing" means is even more liquidity by the PBOC (which as we suggested a month ago will be the last entrant into the QE party before everyone falls apart). Then, this morning, a surprise beat by the German (and Eurozone) PMI was likewise interpreted by the algos as a catalyst to buy, and at this moment both European stock and US equity futures are their session highs. So, to summarize, for anyone confused: both good and bad data is a green light to buy stocks. In fact, all one needs is a flashing red headline to launch the momentum igniting algos into a buying spasm.
It was just a matter of time before Western governments used the trumped up "War on Terror" as an excuse to drastically ratchet up the very real war on the use of cash and personal privacy that they are waging against their own citizens.
As previously observed (skeptically), a main reason for the surge in the DAX, and thus the S&P, on Friday was premature hope that the Greek talks earlier were a long-overdue precursor to a Greek resolution, and as we further noted yesterday, subsequent bickering and lack of any clarity as we go into today's critical "final ultimatum" meeting between Merkel and Tsipras, is also why the Dax was lower by 1.1% at last check, even if the EURUSD continues to trade like an illiquid, B-grade currency pair whose only HFT purpose is to slam all stops within 100 pips of whatever the current price may be.
"The Obama administration, facing defiance by allies that have signed up to support a new Chinese-led infrastructure fund, is proposing the bank work in a partnership with Washington-backed development institutions such as the World Bank." And with that, one giant shift towards de-dollarization is now in the books.
It appears clear that the war reparations 'issue' will not go away anymore. Either Berlin pays what legal experts determine should be paid, or it risks becoming a pariah in its own neighborhood. That the Germans in the 1950s and 1960s, at home and in schools, chose not to tell their children anything about their crimes cannot serve as an excuse to silence the children of its victims. It seems the only way to save the European Union, that Germany has made its economy so dependent on, is for Germany to pay up.
QE makes sense only from a Keynesian/socialist perspective and ignores the long-term cost of low interest rate policies to individual investors and financial institutions.
China and Russia have taken the lead in establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, seen as a rival organization to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which are dominated by the United States with Europe and Japan. These banks do business at the behest of the old Bretton Woods order. The AIIB will dance to China and Russia's tune instead.
In the first part of this series we discussed Greece and its ongoing negotiations with the European Union – particularly with Germany – and how the complicated history between these two countries makes it exceedingly difficult for the Greek people to accept the terms on offer from the EU. This time we will turn our attention north, to a different kind of conflict. This one has also wrought economic devastation to a European country, but of a much higher intensity. It is the first civil war that the European continent has seen since the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, when the regional superpower of Yugoslavia was ultimately broken up amidst a series of separatist and independence movements. Today’s conflict will almost certainly result in a similar outcome for its host country. I’m talking, of course, about Ukraine. Let’s take a closer look.
Fraud grows in good times because rescission is rarely sought (or granted) when asset values rise. Fraud is not a problem, till it is.
There’s only one thing that can save the Union now: for Merkel to show compassion, with the Greeks, and with all other weaker members. And to stop the anti-Greek propaganda, immediately. Or else. It’s nonsense to pretend that this is merely a business issue, as is made clear by Parenteau above: there is very clearly plenty space to negotiate solutions with Greece that preserve everyone’s dignity. Refuse that, and you can kiss the EU goodbye. There’s alot more that plays into this than mere money issues. Ignore that, and you might as well dismantle the Union right now.
Debt, Distraction, Currency Wars, Itchy Fingers
And then there were none. Like dominoes, US allies have fallen in line on the heels of the UK's decision to join the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment bank and now, the stanuchest supporter of Washington's position on the venture looks set to defect as well.