Fake orders, fake customers... And that's just the beginning! Completing the bizarro circle, one can now buy classes on Alibaba that teach you how to fake Alibaba customers!
The deterioration in the subprime auto market is perhaps the clearest sign yet that we have learned literally nothing from the crisis years. That is, this is precisely the same dynamic and it will end precisely the same way: defaults will rise, investors in assets backed by these loans will suffer outsized losses, and the assets themselves will become completely illiquid.
Although it may be unrealistically optimistic, I believe my paraphrase of a Churchill quote:
- Invade Syria already, we know you will: Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians (Reuters)
- Greece Struggles to Get Citizens to Pay Their Taxes (WSJ)
- Doubts Shadow Deal to Extend Greek Bailout (WSJ)
- In surprise result, Chicago's Mayor Emanuel faces election run-off (Reuters)
- Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline bill (Reuters)
- Another sign of the top: Cushman & Wakefield Going Up for Sale (WSJ)
- Lure of Wall Street Cash Said to Skew Credit Ratings (BBG) ... and threat of DOJ lawsuits also
- Oil rises to $59 as Saudis say demand growing (Reuters)
The political-financial drama Grexit was greenlighted for a 5th season, as new characters and new narratives have reinvigorated a series that was clearly flagging in mid-2014. Given the sleepy subplots that dominated the 2014 series, industry insiders were anticipating a cancellation. Insiders would neither confirm nor deny the rumor, but they promised a "show unlike any other" this season.
Having put Russia on review in mid-January, Moody's has decided (somewhat unsurprisingly) to downgrade Russia's sovereign debt rating to Ba1 (from Baa3) with continuing negative outlook. The reasons:
*MOODY'S SAYS RUSSIA EXPECTED TO HAVE DEEP RECESSION IN '15, CONTINUED CONTRACTION IN '16
*MOODY'S SEE RUSSIA DEBT METRICS LIKELY DETERIORATING COMING YRS
We assume the low external debt, considerable reserves, lack of exposure to US Treasuries, and major gold backing were not considered useful? Moody's concludes the full statement (below) by noting that they are unlikely to raise Russian sovereign debt rating in the near-term.
- Greece requests euro zone loan extension, offers big concessions (Reuters)
- Germany Rejects Loan Request Saying Greece Must Meet Conditions (BBG)
- Did the Fed Just Enter the Currency Wars (BBG)
- French consumer prices fall for first time since 2009 (Reuters)
- Oil falls sharply after U.S. crude inventories rise (Reuters)
- High-Speed Firm Virtu Revives IPO Plans (WSJ)
- Fed Tiptoes Into Rate-Hike Debate (Hilsenrath)
- Rajoy’s Nemesis Is Back: Anti-Graft Editor Targets Vote (BBG)
Today, for the first time, the ECB released minutes from its historic January 21-22 meeting during which the ECB unleashed QE. While hardly containing anything earthshattering, here are the main highlights.
The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014. The rise in overall violations of freedom of information was evident in all continents, but for America - the bastion of press freedom in the land of the free and "the most transparenet administration ever" - fell once again... to 49th!!
- Greece will do 'whatever it can' to reach deal with EU (Reuters)
- ECB Urges Greek Political Deal as Emergency Cash Is Tight (BBG)
- Fighting rages in run-up to Ukraine ceasefire (Reuters)
- Eurozone GDP Picks Up, Thanks to Germany (WSJ)
- Two J. P. Morgan Executives Connected to Asia Hiring Probe Pushed Out (WSJ)
- Putin's High Tolerance for Pain and Europe's Reluctance to Inflict It (BBG)
- Indigestion Hits Top U.S. Food Firms (WSJ)
- Alibaba's Jack Ma seeks to reassure employees over U.S. lawsuits (Reuters)
After paying governments, you'll be paying corporates...
The future of Europe now depends on something apparently impossible: Greece and Germany must strike a deal.
Star News Anchor’s Fib In Context
Ukraine 'Peace' Talks In Tatters: Defiant Putin "Won't Tolerate Unipolar World"; Hollande Proposes "Strong Autonomy" For Rebel RegionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/07/2015 15:00 -0400
Just as the existing 'truce' in Ukraine has been made a total farce as 1000s of military and civilians have been killed, so any 'hope' that this weekend's "peace efforts" will result in anything but more talk is rapidly diminishing... Germany's Merkel exclaimed honestly that it's "uncertain whether this will be successful," seemingly resigned to the fact as she added, "but it's at least worth making an attempt." French President Hollande admitted that Ukraine's eastern regions likely need "strong autonomy." Ukraine's Poroshenko blustered that he "trusts" Merkel, that the economy is collapsing (more money please), that the country does not need peacekeepers and a lack of arms is fueling conflict (so send us weapons) while pushing for a Russian withdrawal and quick cease-fire. Finally Vladimir Putin blasted that Russia is unwilling to tolerate a post-Cold War global system dominated by one absolute leader, to which US VP Joe Biden remarked simply "get out of Ukraine." But apart from that, talks are going great...
The current controversy enveloping the news anchor for NBC Brian Williams is both growing in furor as well as out right shock. As many of you have probably heard he has come under direct fire that is quite real as opposed to the fictional accounts he’s been extolling about a helicopter incident he had in Iraq a few years ago. The main stream media (especially that of television) is currently in the death throes of any semblance of credibility, let alone believability. As more and more incidents resembling the likes of these continue, the quicker as well as scope of their ratings failures will persist. For this is no longer a symptom – it’s now a full-blown metastasized cancer plaguing the main stream media as a whole.