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Frontrunning: February 3





  • RBA cuts interest rates to record low of 2.25% (SMH)
  • RBI keeps rates on hold (Reuters), India allows banks flexibility on big projects to reboot growth (Reuters)
  • BP slashes capital spending by 20% (FT)
  • Greek Retreat on Writedown May Move Fight to Spending (BBG)
  • Rosneft accounting move helps BP beat profit forecast (Reuters)
  • Amazon in Talks to Buy Some of RadioShack's Stores (BBG)
  • Behind Obama's budget proposals, a gloomy view of the future (Reuters)
  • How the Justice Department, S&P Came to Terms (WSJ)
  • Staples, Office Depot in Advanced Talks to Merge (WSJ)
 
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"Warren" Tops "Clinton" & "Bowling" Beats "Facebook" - Social Engagement & Investing In Q1 2015





Hillary Clinton isn’t a lock for the 2016 Elections: Google searches for US Senator Elizabeth Warren surpassed the former US Secretary of State just last month with a ratio of 6 to 5. Interest in bowling (+85% since October) is growing faster than Facebook (-4%) and Youtube (-2%), and there is a lot more interest in smoking marijuana than tobacco (58 vs. 19 on average). Those are just three of the surprising findings from ConvergEx's latest survey of social engagement using Google Trends.

 
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Invasion Of The "Zombie Crazies"





With the European Central Bank in QE mode, stocks should be catching a bid. Instead, they seem to be following commodities – down. But who knows? The situation is so crazy that only a disabled person could understand it. Why do we say that? Because a report released last week told us that one out of every three people on Social Security’s disability program is a mental defective. In Washington, DC, the rate of nuttiness among the disabled is even higher – 42%. No surprise there. Who better to understand what is going on in the financial world than a crazy person? Fortunately, America’s zombies are going crazy in ever-greater numbers.

 

 
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Frontrunning: January 30





  • Falling Prices Spread Pain Far Across The Oil Patch (WSJ)
  • ISIS Group Claims Responsibility for Attacks That Killed 27 in Egypt (NBC)
  • Russia Unexpectedly Cuts Key Rate as Economy Eclipses Ruble (BBG)
  • Greece’s Feisty Finance Minister Tries a More Moderate Message (NYT)
  • U.S. homeownership hits 20-year low, but new households growing (Reuters)
  • Indian Banks’ Shares Plunge as Bad-Loan Provisions Surge (BBG)
  • Underground Terror Network Said to Benefit Would-Be Jihadists in Europe (WSJ)
  • Russia warns West support for Kiev could lead to 'catastrophe' (Reuters)
 
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Market Wrap: Treasury-Equity Reallocation Trade Pushes Futures Lower, 10 Year Rises To 1.72%





While the US daytime trading session has lately become a desperate attempt to expand multiples on the declining earnings of the S&P500, thanks to recurring BOJ intervention in the USDJPY, to keep the S&P above the 100 SMA at all costs including generous central banker verbal intervention then it is during the US overnight session when global deflationary reality reasserts itself with a vengeance, and sure enough at last check, the 10 Year has rallied with 10Y yield hitting 1.71% before this morning’s 4Q GDP release, as well as following the latest deflation number of -0.6% out of Europe (worse than the -0.5% expected) which was the biggest price decline on the continent since 2009.  "Treasuries remained well bid overnight due to month-end index adjustments. Some talk of a  reallocation from equities to bonds trade going through in both Asia and continuing in Europe," ED&F Man head of rates and credit trading Tom di Galoma wrote in a note to explain the latest Great Unrotation, if only until the Virtu HFT algos get the full blessing of the Fed to ramp the USDJPY, and thus the stock market.

 
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Markets Drift Without Direction As Zombified BTFDers Unable To Frontrun Hawkish Fed





The bottom line is that unfortunately for the BTFDers, with the Fed no longer giving explicit buy signals with the "considerable time" language struck, and with an implicit economic upgrade suggesting a rate hike is still on the table, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to frontrun the Fed's "wealth creation" intentions.

 

 
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The New Greek Government Arrives In Its Residence: Finds No Power, No Wifi Password And No Toilet Soap





Things in Greece are bad. So bad, that the outgoing government of Antonis Samaras decided to not only leave the new inhabitants of the official residence of the Greek prime minister, the Maximos Mansion, without power, and without the WiFi password, but they decided to "borrow" all the soap in the toilet as well.

 
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Austrian "Freedom" Party Demands Bailout For Swiss Franc Speculators (From "Monstrous Monetary Policy")





The phrases "it's just not fair" and "waa waa waa" were not seen in Austria's Freedom Party's statement demanding a bailout for Swiss-Franc-denominated borrowers (i.e. people who were willing to speculate on FX rates with their house as collateral in order to get a lower interest rate in order to afford a bigger home that they really couldn't afford in real risk-adjusted terms). What Austria needs, general secretary Franz Kickl exclaimed is "a general regulation and an offer to all Franc borrowers," adding that "it cannot be that Austrian borrowers are the only ones who keep their losses even they are indemnified in Hungary, Croatia and perhaps even in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia." Which does sound oddly like 'waa waa waa'?

 
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Frontrunning: January 26





  • Alexis Tsipras: the Syriza leader about to take charge in Greece (Guardian)
  • Tsipras to form anti-bailout Greek government after big victory (Reuters)
  • Tsipras Forges Anti-Austerity Coalition in EU Challenge (BBG)
  • East Coast braces, flights canceled as 'historic' blizzard bears down (Reuters)
  • Rebels press Ukraine offensive, Obama promises steps against Russian-backed 'aggression (Reuters)
  • Syriza Victory Brings Hope for Immigrants of EU Access (BBG)
  • For Saudis, Falling Demand for Oil Is the Biggest Concern (BBG)
  • Oil prices fall on market relief over Saudi policy (Reuters)
 
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Obamacare Website Funneling Private Consumer Data To Private Companies





The government’s health insurance website is quietly sending consumers’ personal data to private companies that specialize in advertising and analyzing Internet data for performance and marketing... but it's for your own good - The Obama administration says HealthCare.gov’s connections to data firms were intended to help improve the consumer experience.

 
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Frontrunning: January 22





  • ECB to decide on bond-buying plan to revive euro zone (Reuters)
  • Draghi Is Pushing Boundaries of Euro Region with QE Program (BBG)
  • Investors Wonder Whether ECB Will Do Enough (WSJ)
  • Treasuries Drop With Bunds Before ECB; U.S. Futures Rise (BBG)
  • European shares hit seven-year high (Reuters)
  • At least eight civilians killed in shelling of Ukrainian trolleybus (Reuters), both sides blame each other
  • OPEC Will Blink First in Battle With Shale Drillers, Poll Shows (BBG)
  • China Injects $8 Billion Into Banking System (WSJ)
  • New York says Barclays not cooperating in 'dark pool' probe (Reuters)
 
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This Is How The US Government Convinces A Newspaper To Kill A Story





The timidness with which mainstream media in the U.S. approaches news has been well documented. In fact, the inability of traditional media to do a reasonable job of holding powerful interests accountable has been one of the primary drivers behind the ascendency of alternative news. Despite this reality, one thing we know less about is specifically how the power structure goes about suppressing news it doesn’t want reaching the plebs. Until now...

 
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Frontrunning: January 21





  • Obama Targets Income Gap in Address That Shapes 2016 Election (BBG)
  • Republicans Reject Obama’s Main Economic Proposals (WSJ)
  • Senate’s Shelby Says White House Bank Tax Is Dead on Arrival (BBG)
  • Is Dollar Next? Investors Reassess After Swiss Shock: Currencies (BBG)
  • Bank of Japan Cuts Price Forecast, Maintains Record Stimulus (BBG)
  • Pound Weakens After BOE Policy Makers Drop Call to Raise Rates (BBG)
  • Putin not flinching on Ukraine despite economic crisis (Reuters)
  • Indonesia will not make public full preliminary AirAsia crash report (Reuters)
  • Party Hasn't Stopped for Russians at Davos Even With Ukraine Sanctions (BBG)
 
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Presenting The 2015 "Shadow Of Crisis Has Passed" State Of The Union - Live Webcast & Full Speech





UPDATE: Full SOTU Speech released - "THE SHADOW OF CRISIS HAS PASSED"

By now it is well known that The State of The Union tonight will be about President Obama's Robin-Hood Agenda. Furthermore, it is entirely clear that his proposals have no chance of becoming law. As WaPo's Marc Thiessen notes, Obama is not delusional, his move is completely and transparently political... And just as Eric Cantor suggests will merely serve to inflame the GOP. From taxes to cyber security and from community college to housing... in 50-65 minutes, all will be clear...

 
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Frontrunning: January 20





  • Obama to focus on middle class in State of Union address (Reuters) - all 4 of them?
  • European Stocks Buoyed by ECB Hopes (WSJ)
  • China's 2014 economic growth misses target, hits 24-year low (Reuters)
  • Federer on Swiss Franc Shock: "Does It Mean I've Got to Win Now?" (BBG)
  • First-time buyers help Christie’s reach record sales (FT)
  • So it was the NSA? U.S. Spies Tapped North Korean Computers Prior to Sony Hack (BBG)
  • Why Chinese Developer Kaisa's Default Risk Has Money Managers Spooked (BBG)
  • Morgan Stanley Misses Estimates on Drop in Bond-Trading Revenue (BBG)
 
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