Meltdown

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"Nor Any Drop To Drink," Citi Maps The Liquidity Paradox





"From the BIS to BlackRock, and Jamie Dimon to Jose Vinals, everyone seems to be talking about market liquidity," Citi's Matt King writes, before taking an in-depth look at just how broken the 'markets' truly are. To summarize: no depth in the Treasury market, a duration mismatched powder keg in "long-term" mutual funds thanks to the fact that ZIRP has destroyed money market yields causing investors to find a new 'cash substitute,' and a magically shrinking repo market in the wake of new regulations ironically meant to promote stability.

 
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Junk Bonds "Even More Dangerous" Than Stocks, Icahn Says





"They're buying the yield and they think 'Oh, bonds are going to go up,' but when they start coming down, there's going to be a great run to the exits and at least in 2008 you had a bit of a safety net with the prop desks at banks, but now with the Volcker rule you can't even depend on that."

 
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A Hill Street Blues Financial World - Be Careful, Its Dangerous Out There





We heard from several central banks in the last few days, and what they had to say was just one more reminder that we are in a Hill Street Blues financial world. So, hey, let’s be careful out there - and then some!

 
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The Financial Markets Now Control Everything





The financial markets don't just dominate the economy - they now control everything.

 
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The Real Financial Crisis That Is Looming





There is a financial crisis on the horizon. It is a crisis that all the Central Bank interventions in the world cannot cure. It is a financial crisis that will continue to change the economic landscape of America for decades to come. No, we are not talking about the next Lehman event or the next financial market meltdown. Although something akin to both will happen in the not-so-distant future. It is the lack of financial stability of the current, and next, generation that will shape the American landscape in the future.

 
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Why Markets Are Manic - The Fed Is Addicted To The "Easy Button"





Honest price discovery is essential to capitalist prosperity since it is the miraculous mechanism by which capital is raised from savers and investors and efficiently allocated among producers, entrepreneurs and genuine market-rate borrowers. What the central banks have generated, instead, is a casino that is blindly impelled to churn the secondary capital markets and inflate the price of existing assets to higher and higher levels - until they ultimately roll-over under their own weight. The Easy Button addiction of our central bankers is thus not just another large public policy problem. It is the very economic and social scourge of our times.

 
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The Virtual Immunity Of The Well-Connected: Gen. Petraeus Edition





The leniency shown former CIA Director (and retired General) David Petraeus by the Justice Department in sparing him prison time for the serious crimes that he has committed puts him in the same preferential, immune-from-incarceration category as those running the financial institutions of Wall Street, where, incidentally, Petraeus now makes millions. By contrast, “lesser” folks – and particularly the brave men and women who disclose government crimes – get to serve time, even decades, in jail. Behold, the virtual immunity enjoyed by the well connected.

 
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2000x Normal Radiation Found In Tokyo Playground, Officials Deny Any Link To Fukushima





When a specially-designed robot dies within 3 hours of being exposed to Fukushima's radiation, it is clear something is not quite as propagandized in Japan; and today, as SCMP reports, extremely high levels of radiation have been discovered in a children's playground in Tokyo. While two hours of exposure to a child would be equivalent to the maximum does allowable in a year, Japanese officials say they do not think it is connected to the disaster at Fukushima. We are not sure whether that is supposed to reassure or terrorize locals?

 
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The Defaults Are Coming In HY Energy, UBS Warns





"Where are the defaults?" UBS asks, referring to the highly leveraged US shale complex. "They're coming," is the answer, as current bond prices assume oil prices in the 60s and 70s. 

 
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Frontrunning: April 16





  • Euro zone bond yields sink to historic lows (Reuters)
  • Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors (WSJ)
  • Russia says U.S. forced it to act on Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Bankers to China's Rescue (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia Adds Half a Bakken to Global Oil Market in a Month (BBG)
  • Valuations of Hong Kong's stock market operator go interstellar (Reuters)
  • Switzerland Attracts Fewer Firms as Politics Hurt Business Image (BBG)
 
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SEC Reaches "Appropriate" Settlement With Freddie Mac Execs Who Will Pay Nothing And Receive No Punishment





Three former Freddie Mac executives who understated the amount of subprime exposure on the GSE's book by a factor of 28 came to terms with the SEC today on a settlement which imposes fees no one has to pay and "limitations on future behavior" that "will not limit [anyone] in any practical way."

 
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The Changing World Of Work 2: Financialization = Insecurity





The Millennial Generation, if we're to believe various polls, aspires to either make boatloads of money on Wall Street, or secure a can't-be-fired job in the government. Given the dominance of finance and an economic backdrop of rising insecurity, these are rational choices. But all those Millennials hoping to work for Goldman Sachs does raise a question: when did playing financial games become so much more profitable than producing goods and services?

 

 
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"Contained?" Robot Dies 3 Hours After Entering Fukushima Reactor





We are sure this is nothing to worry about... and Japanese officials will re-iterate that everything is on track but when a snake-like robot sent to inspect a reactor containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant dies three hours into the operation, one might wonder just how "contained" the radiation situations really is.

 
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Days Of Crony Capitalist Plunder - The Deplorable Truth About GE Capital





GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.

 
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