"The head of Germany's Bundesbank ripped into the European Central Bank on Thursday, saying emergency funding for Greek banks broke the taboo of financing governments and it was not up to central banks to decide who was or wasn't in the euro zone," Reuters reports.
As reports surface that Greece tapped IMF funds to repay the IMF, and as Christine Lagarde and company express their reservations about participating in a new Greek bailout program, the end appears to be nigh for Athens. According to Bloomberg, Europe is now drawing up the dreaded "Plan B", which just three days ago, supposedly didn't exist.
Thursday, in a long-awaited opinion, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York' three-judge panel ruled that the NSA program that secretly intercepts the telephone metadata of every American was illegal. It’s now up to Congress to vote on whether or not to modify the law and continue the program, or let it die once and for all. Lawmakers must vote on this matter by June 1, when they need to reauthorize the Patriot Act. A key factor in that decision is the American public’s attitude toward surveillance. Given the vast amount of revelations about NSA abuses, it is somewhat surprising that just slightly more than a majority of Americans seem concerned about government surveillance. Which leads to the question of why?
Greece tapped emergency reserves in its holding account at the IMF in order to make a 750 million euro payment to the Fund on Monday meaning that, as predicted, the IMF is now paying itself. Athens has one month to replenish the account. Meanwhile, the Fund has indicated it wants no part of another Greek bailout. And just to confirm how terminal the situation for Greece is, MarketNews just reported that Greece now has a paltry €90 million in cash reserves left. The end of the world's most drawn out tragicomedy is finally nigh.
It all started again in Asia, although not in China where the berserker mania bid for stocks has returned and the SHCOMP is now up nearly 5% in the past two days following the PBOC's latest easing, but in Japan where once again the massively illiquid JGB market, of which the BOJ owns roughly a third as of this moment, is going through yet another shock period (if not quite VaR yet) with last night's 10 Year JGB auction seeing the lowest Bid to Cover since 2009. This was the beginning, and promptly thereafter bond yields around the globe spiked once more, with 10-year Treasury yields climbing to a five-month high, as the global rout in debt markets deepened. The biggest casualty so far is the Bund, which having retraced some of the flash crash losses from two weeks ago is once again in panic selling mode, and while not having taken out the recent 0.8% flash crash wides, traded just shy of 0.75% this morning.
Seymour Hersh: Obama's Entire Account Of bin Laden's Death Is One Big Lie; This Is What Really HappenedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/11/2015 19:23 -0400
"The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? It was inevitable that the Obama administration’s lies, misstatements and betrayals would create a backlash... High-level lying nevertheless remains the modus operandi of US policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no." - Seymour Hersh
Hillary Clinton's family charities failed to live up to transparency promises made to the Obama administration during her tenure as Secretary of State, Reuters reports, noting that disclosures related to foreign donors are still not available on the Clinton Foundation's website. Meanwhile, New York Magazine tells the story of how the Foundation attempted to bully an influential charity monitor after winding up on its 'naughty' list.
Futures Jittery As Attention Returns To Greece; China Stocks Rebound On Latest Central Bank InterventionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/11/2015 06:48 -0400
With the big macro data out of the way, attention today and for the rest of the week will focus on the aftermath of the latest Chinese rate cut - its third in the past 6 months - which managed to boost the Shanghai Composite up by 3% overnight but not nearly enough to make up for losses in the past week; any resumption of the 6+ sigma volatility in the German Bund, which already has been jittery with the yield sliding to 0.52% only to spike to 0.62% shortly thereafter before retracing some of the losses; and finally Greece, which in a normal world would have concluded its negotiations during today's Eurogroup meeting and unlocked up to €7 billion in funds for the coming months. Instead, Greece may not only not make its €770 million IMF payment tomorrow but according to ever louder rumors, is contemplating a parallel currency on its way out of the Eurozone.
Earlier we detailed reports that The IMF was preparing a contingency plan in the event of a Greek default, and furthermore that Andrea Merkel was under increasing pressure to "let Greece go," and now, as Eurogroup ministers begin to gather for today's crucial 'deal-or-no-deal' meeting, Die Welt reports The Troika has 4 scenarios for Greece - one positive and three increasingly negative ranging from the need for further bailouts to paying staff in IOUs and issuing a parallel currency.
Members of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic bloc are pushing the Chancellor to let Greece leave the euro, with some lawmakers saying the EU would be better off without the Greeks. Meanwhile, German FinMin Schaeuble warns of "accidental" insolvency.
The system can certainly be given some sort of name, but a functioning democracy it’s not. If anything, a democracy is “A system of government in which power is vested in the people”. Makes us wonder how many clients of the 421 foodbanks and counting have voted Conservative and figured they were proudly doing their democratic duty.
Just a day after German President Joachim Gauck shocked his government by remarking in an interview that Germany should at least "consider" demands by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that the nation pay billions of euros in reparations for the Nazi occupation of Greece, ekathimerini reports that none other than 'helpful' Russians are willing to provide assistance in the World War II claims investigation.
The good news is that there will be no 25-year recession. Nor will there be a depression that will last the rest of our lifetimes.
The bad news: It will be much worse than that.
After the Saudis allegedly halted their air campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels on April 21 (allegedly because it promptly resumed the very next day to almost no public announcement), the Yemen civil war and the "skirmishes" by Houthi rebels along the border with the world's biggest oil exporter were quickly forgotten. Until this morning, when the Saudi press and social media has been overrun with reports that the Saudi city of Najran was shelled by Houthi mortars, an attack which Saudi advisor to the armed forces Ahmed Asiri said "will not pass without a response".
Facing a pensioner rebellion and a looming payment due to the IMF, Greece’s back is now truly against the wall. As Handelsblatt reports, even if a deal were reached with creditors this weekend, it may now be logistically impossible for Greece to make a €780 million payment scheduled for May 12. Oh well, there's always war reparations...