The airline has been working with its banks and the relevant authorities and understands that the funds – less than $5 million – have now been frozen. Although the sum stolen was relatively small in corporate terms and appears to have been tracked and frozen quite quickly, the incident - yet again - highlights the threat posed by cybercrime to today’s banking and financial systems.
- Police enforce curfew in Baltimore, disperse protesters (Reuters)
- Saudi king resets succession to cope with turbulent times (Reuters)
- Euro-Area Bank Lending Increases for First Time Since 2012 (BBG)
- Riksbank Increases Bond Purchases as Key Rate Left Unchanged (BBG)
- Greek Banks Get More Funds as ECB Weighs Collateral Discount (BBG)
- Greek bank deposits drop 1.36 pct in March for sixth month in a row (Reuters)
- Sarao Remains in Jail After Failing to Pay Bail at Hearing (BBG)
Today we get a two-for-one algo kneejerk special, first with the Q1 GDP release due out at 8:30 am which will confirm that for the second year in a row the US economy barely grew (or maybe contracted depending on the Obamacare contribution) in the first quarter, followed by the last pre-June FOMC statement, in which we will find out whether Janet Yellen and her entourage of central planning academics will blame the recent weakness on the weather and West Coast port strikes and proceed with their plan of hiking rates in June (or September, though unclear which year), just so they can push the economy into a full blown recession and launch QE4.
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.
The sudden closure of Corinthian Colleges' remaining campuses has displaced some 16,000 students. If all of their student debt is canceled — which is possible — it will cost taxpayers more than $200 million. With the government cracking down on the for-profit education space and with nearly 90% of students at for profit-colleges dependent on loans, the demise of the for-profit model could end up costing taxpayers quite a pretty penny.
Thus, the mistaken conceit of monetarism is on full display, especially in Japan, as they boil down their efforts to substitute financial wealth for true wealth as if they could simply conjure industrious creation from nothing. And Japan is proving useful as the full and complete refutation of every facet of such a notion, even if the mainstream resists so far confessing it.
For the second month in a row, Richmond Fed printed below 0 - which has prompted renewed QE from the Fed, or a recession, in the past. At -3 (worse than the -2 expected), this is the 5th miss of the last 6 months. Under the surface, components improved but New Order Volume, capacity utilization, and shipments all printed a negative contractionary level. While the data bounced, it remains a weak bounce off 2 year lows.
An inauspicious start to China's local government debt swap initiative has the PBoC scrambling to determine the best way to facilitate the successful issuance of new municipal securities as several provinces have reportedly canceled or delayed offerings. Now, the question is whether Chinese LTROs will be enough, or whether outright QE will ultimately be the only option.
The 20th century could be categorized as THE century when communications took off and we started living in each other’s pockets. Lives had been ruined by war, trouble and strife. Wealth had been redistributed beyond belief.
While preserving the farce of the S&P's relentless rise no matter the earnings recession, the 1% GDP or the negative funds flow, has been entirely a central bank mandate in the past month (one which will soon inlude the PBOC), the good news for the BOJs and the NYFeds of the world is that the stock buyback hiatus is almost over, and starting this week the bulk of companies can come right back and proceed to repurchase their stocks at all time highs. And what a come back it will be. According to Goldman, the pace of buybacks is now absolutely off the charts, with nearly $1 trillion in buyback announcements expected in just this calendar year, a mindboggling number, one which is the same size as the largest annual Fed Quantiative Easing amount in any one year going back to the great financial crisis.
Central Bankers bet the financial system that their academic theories would work, despite the countless real-world examples showing that printing money does not generate growth.
Well, the Nasdaq finally did it. So if you invested in the Nasdaq at the peak of the dotcom bubble, you are just finally breaking even 15 years later. Unfortunately, the truth is that stocks have not been soaring because the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong. Just like the last two times, what we are witnessing is an irrational financial bubble. Sometimes these irrational bubbles can last for a surprisingly long time, but in the end they always burst. And even now there are signs of economic trouble bubbling to the surface all around us.
The evidence is mounting...
Operating and reported earnings have turned sharply lower over recent quarters which has historically been associated with major market peaks. As shown below, it is also important to notice that revenue has tended to lag these downturns in earnings previously. This is because the measures used to substantially boost profitability from each dollar of revenue generated through accounting gimmickry, share repurchases, and cost cutting are finite in nature. When the effect of those manipulations fade, so does the inflated profitability generated from each dollar of revenue. This will be something worth watching closely over the next few quarters particular as the commentary of a "continued secular bull market" continues to hit the headlines.
Today, China remains central to the notion that the world is in recovery. It is believed to be growing at 7%: not as rapid as the 9% growth we’re used to seeing, but still dramatically higher than any of large country... Only the whole thing is bogus.