President Obama and Italian PM Matteo Renzi have been deep in discussion for minutes... here's the press conference...
- Fed Shies Away From June Rate Hike (Hilsenrath)
- Europe Stocks Fall Most in Three Weeks Amid Greece as Banks Drop (BBG)
- China Futures Tumble on Trust Curbs, Expansion of Short Selling (BBG)
- Oil slips below $64 as ample supplies weigh (Reuters)
- Fed officials lean all ways on rate hikes, data in focus (Reuters)
- Eurozone deflation eases in March (FT)
On March 16, 1936, the government of the United States published the very first edition of the Federal Register - which would contain a complete set of every rule, regulation, code, and proposal issued by each of the executive agencies. The first edition was sixteen pages. Every single work day since then, without fail, the government has published the Federal Register. President Obama has averaged nearly 80,000 pages per year, far and away the highest of any President in US history. We've seen this theme countless times throughout history.
The Russian President tops TIME's 100 most influential people list even as 60% of voters were Americans. Guess where President Obama landed...
Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers - “One thing that irritates me is that the F.B.I. has gone beyond just covering up, trying to avoid disclosure, into what I call aggressive deception,” He says the al-Hijjis’ “urgent” pre-9/11 exit suggests “someone may have tipped them off” about the coming attacks. “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” he said, adding, “I am speaking of the kingdom,” or government, of Saudi Arabia, not just wealthy individual Saudi donors.
There are in fact problems that are too big for Central Banks to manage.
The Middle East’s ongoing descent into chaos and China’s impending ascendancy to the status of global superpower are just two of the many threats that the US, European Union and Russia all share. Each of these issues should certainly occupy a higher position on their respective agendas than the breakup of Ukraine or the insolvency of Greece. Leaders of all three governments would be well-advised to set aside their differences, or at least to prevent those differences from obstructing cooperation on more important issues. Unlike its predecessor, the Second Cold War will not be bilateral. Today’s world is far more chaotic, kinetic and dangerous than it was fifty years ago.
The era of infrastructure investment and multilateral banks and financial institutions controlled, in large part, by Washington - often as an aggressive strategic policy tool - has come to an end.
Yesterday it was only the US that got the full benefit of the market-wide stop hunt that sent the US market soaring on its biggest opening ramp in 2015 following the worst payroll data since 2013, because Europe was closed for Easter Monday. Which means today it was Europe's turn to celebrate atrocious US data (yes, yes, snow - because somehow tremendous January and February jobs data was not impacted by snow), and in the first European trading session of the week, equities have started off on the front-foot.
What could possibly go wrong? Clearly having not learned their lesson from 'interfering' in free markets (and all the deflation-creating over-supplying, crony-capitalizing, taxpayer money-wasting malinvestment that goes with it), NBC News reports, The White House has announced a goal to train 75,000 workers in the solar industry by 2020, many of them veterans. In a sentence only President Obama could utter, he explains "these are good-paying jobs that are helping folks enter the middle-class." Climate 'fixed', folks 'fixed', veterans 'fixed' middle-class-economics 'fixed'... and we are sure it will be unequivocally good for America (until trade wars pick up once again).
- Samaras Says He’d Join Alliance to Keep Greece in Euro (BBG)
- Tensions with Warren camp could loom over Clinton campaign (Reuters)
- Ackman Report on Herbalife in China Figures in Probe (WSJ)
- Al Shabaab storms Kenyan university, 14 reported killed (Reuters)
- Iraq’s Four-Mile Line of Supertankers Fuels Shipping-Rates Surge (BBG)
- Menendez's fate could sharpen Republicans' edge in Senate (Reuters)
- IRS Chief Chides Ted Cruz Over 'Abolish the IRS' Mantra (BBG)
- Yemen Houthi fighters backed by tanks reach central Aden (Reuters)
Current policy coming from the Fed seems to be geared to create a never-ending series of booms and busts, with the hope that the busts can be shortened with more debt and easy money. Yet one major driver behind the financial crisis in 2008 was too much debt - much of which led to taxpayer-funded bailouts. In spite of this, the best the Fed can come up with now is to lower interest rates to boost demand to induce households and governments to borrow even more. Interfering with interest rates, however, is by far the most damaging policy. The economy is not a car, and interest rates are not the gas pedal. Interest rates play a critical role in aligning output with society’s demand across time. Fiddling with them only creates an ever-growing misalignment between demand and supply across time requiring an ever larger and more painful adjustment.
"The country seems to be on the verge of total collapse," the UN says, citing civilian deaths and children in "desperate need." Meanwhile, Saudi and Houthi troops are engaged in "heavy" border clashes as the coalition continues its bombing raids.
It's business as usual in Washington. President Obama has just signed another Executive Order declaring a National Emergency to deal with cyber threats:
*OBAMA ORDER CREATES NEW AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO CYBER THREATS TO BE USED IN 'TARGETED MANNER'
*OBAMA ORDER ALLOWS SANCTIONS FOR CYBER THREATS
This new authority, yet another layer of government oversight, we are sure is for your own protection and in Obama's words will "augment work to fight cyber threats." All your internet is belong to us...