• rcwhalen
    11/25/2015 - 08:58
    "This is legal?" Stephanie Ruhle on CDS after watching "The Big Short" (Bloomberg TV) 


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Russia Awakes: Accuses Ukraine's New Government Of "Armed Mutiny", Says It Poses "Real Threat To Our Interests, Citizens"

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said Russia had grave doubts about the legitimacy of those in power in Ukraine following President Viktor Yanukovich's ouster, saying their recognition by some states was an "aberration". "We do not understand what is going on there. There is a real threat to our interests and to the lives of our citizens," Medvedev was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. "There are big doubts about the legitimacy of a whole series of organs of power that are now functioning there."... Dmitry Medvedev said Monday, according to Russian news agencies, that the new authorities have come to power as a result of "armed mutiny," so their legitimacy is causing "big doubts."

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European Inflation Has Biggest Monthly Drop On Record

For those who have been following the abysmal loan creation in Europe, which recently dropped to an all time low today's inflation, or rather make that deflation, data out of Europe should not come as much of a surprise. Then again, with January inflation posting the biggest drop in history, when it tumbled by a record 1.1% from December levels, even the skeptics may be stunned by how rapidly deflation is gripping the continent.

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Frontrunning: February 24

  • Ukraine Seeks $35 Billion as Yanukovych Warrant Is Issued (BBG)
  • Ukraine's fugitive president wanted for mass murder (Reuters)
  • Polar Vortex to Bring More Snow on Return to U.S. This Week (BBG)
  • China property prices continue to rise (FT)
  • Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals (BBG)
  • Pentagon to propose shrinking Army, scrapping some jets (Reuters)
  • Hedge Funds Turn Bearish on S&P 500 as VIX Advances (BBG)
  • Draghi’s Data Jigsaw Takes Shape as ECB Readies Showdown (BBG)
  • China, eyeing Japan, seeks WW2 focus for Xi during Germany visit (Reuters)
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PLA Officer: China Must Establish South China Sea ADIZ; Will "Fight When Appropriate"

A Chinese military officer has said that establishing a South China Sea ADIZ is necessary to China’s national interest. Li Jie's comments come on the heels of remarks made by U.S. Captain James Fanell, director of intelligence and information operations at the US Pacific Fleet (full clip below) on China's preparation for war with Japan (and other regional nations) and sources saying that China’s Central Military Commission has directly given Chinese military the instruction: “Fight if it is appropriate to fight.”

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US And Israel Quietly Provide Military Support And Parts To Iran, Which In Turn Is Arming Syria

To summarize: in an act of complete disregard for the official diplomatic song and dance, both Israel and the US are now providing military support to Iran, which in turn is providing military support to Syria, which is also getting military support from Russia. And now, just to make things more interesting, the same labyrinth of "military support" is about to be unleashed in the Ukraine, whose western half is just as likely getting arms and military equipment (not to mention funding)from the West under the table, while Russia, whose main Black Sea port is in the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, is arming the Eastern part of the Ukraine.

What can possibly go wrong?

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EU Offers Conditional "Aid" For Ukraine's "Catastrophic, Pre-Default" Economic State

"There is no money in Ukraine's Treasury account," exclaimed 'Interim President' Oleksandr Turchynov to the Ukrainian parliament; adding that the Ukraine economy is in a "catastrophic state."


Hardly surprising given the months of protest; but with Russia 'conditionally' postponing its EUR2bn 'loan', the Europeans are riding to the nation's aid with promises of EUR20bn (if Ukrainian authorities meet certain conditions). But, as the map below shows, a great deal of the nation's wealth lies in the eastern (pro-Russia) region.

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G-20 Agrees To Grow Global Economy By $2 Trillion, Has No Idea How To Actually Achieve It

Apparently all it takes to kick the world out of a secular recession and back into growth mode, is for several dozen finance ministers and central bankers to sit down and sign on the dotted line, agreeing it has to be done. That is the take home message from the just concluded latest G-20 meeting in Syndey, where said leaders agreed that it is time to finally grow the world economy by 2% over the next 5 years. "We are putting a number to it for the first time -- putting a real number to what we are trying to achieve," Hockey told a news conference. "We want to add over $2 trillion more in economic activity and tens of millions of new jobs." There is only one problem: the G-20 has absolutely no idea how to actually achieve its goal of boosting global output by more than the world's eighth largest economy Russia produces in a year. Nor does it have any measures to prod and punish any laggards from this most grand of central planning schemes.

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Venezuela Revokes CNN Journalist Credentials Amid "War Propaganda"

"The CNN team was informed that their correspondent credentials were revoked," Venezuela's Information Ministry vice-president Francisco Perez stated. Ironically, for CNN, the decision was announced vis Perez' Twitter account, following Maduro's proclamations last night that "Enough! I won't accept war propaganda against Venezuela." Interestingly, given the opposition's need to raise the awareness among the 'poor' in Venezuela if they are to succeed, local television networks have provided almost no live coverage of the protests against Maduro. While just one "journalist" has his credentials revoked, Maduro has threatened, to expel the whole network from the country if it did not "rectify" the way it has covered deadly political protests.

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China Plans Massive 1,500 Tonne Gold Storage Vault

The Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society is prepared to spend at least HK$ 1 billion to set up a gold vaulting warehouse in mainland China that will be able to store a massive 1,500 tonnes of gold. Owning gold directly and in a fully allocated, fully segregated account and with an ability to take delivery remains vital.

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Ukraine May Or May Not Have A Crisis Deal As S&P Warns Of Sovereign Default

Several hours ago, and a day after the latest truce lasted about a few minutes before the the shooting returned and resulted in the bloodiest day of Ukraine's protests so far, there was hope that the situation in Ukraine may finally be getting resolved, when Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich announced plans for early elections in a series of concessions to his pro-European opponents. As Reuters reported earlier, Russian-backed Yanukovich, under pressure to quit from mass demonstrations in central Kiev, promised a national unity government and constitutional change to reduce his powers, as well as the presidential polls. He made the announcement in a statement on the presidential website without waiting for a signed agreement with opposition leaders after at least 77 people were killed in the worst violence since Ukraine became independent 22 years ago. This comes in the aftermath of S&P's announcement overnight that the Ukraine will default in absence of favorable changes.

So is this the favorable change that everyone has been expecting. Nope.

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Frontrunning: February 21

  • RBS plans dramatic scaling back, to fire 30,000 of its 120,000 workers (FT)
  • Zuckerberg’s Data Stance Faces Privacy Backlash in Europe (BBG)
  • WhatsApp Shows How Phone Carriers Lost Out on $33 Billion (BBG)
  • Markets flooded with cash, should Fed prep to stamp out risk? (Reuters)
  • Venezuela threatens to expel CNN over protest coverage (BBC)
  • Firm Stops Giving High-Speed Traders Direct Access to Releases (WSJ)
  • Obama Budget to Delete Proposal to Limit Social Security (BBG)
  • Energy Holdings Prepares for a Breakup (WSJ)
  • EU Struggles to Streamline Bank-Failure Plan for Weekends (BBG)
  • Madoff said JPMorgan executives knew of his fraud (Reuters), and JPM admitted as much when it settled with the DOJ
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Truce Broken - At least 50 Dead As Ukraine Protests Re-Ignite - Live Feed

At least 50 are dead, according to Reuters, and hundreds injured as fresh fighting broke out in central Kiev this morning breaking the apparent truce that was in place last night. Who is to blame is up for discussion but of little import in the end as the death toll mounts and live ammunition is being used by the police. A Ukrainian presidential statement said dozens of police were killed or wounded during the opposition offensive hours after Yanukovich and opposition leaders had agreed on a truce... Other witnesses said they saw government snipers firing into the civilian crowds during the clashes..."What truce? There is no truce! It is simply war ahead of us! They are provoking us..."

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Frontrunning: February 20

  • Facebook CEO Raises Dealmaker Profile With $19 Billion Takeover (BBG)
  • WhatsApp’s Founder Goes From Food Stamps to Billionaire (BBG)
  • U.S. Feels Putin's Sharp Elbows in Ukraine (WSJ)
  • PBOC Drains Cash as Overnight Rate Slides to Lowest in 10 Months (BBG)
  • Fed Puts Rate Increase on the Radar (Hilsenrath)
  • Banks Flouting Bonus Rules in Denmark Set to Be Named by FSA (BBG)
  • Work Set to Resume on Upgrading Panama Canal (WSJ)
  • Euro-Area Recovery Loses Pace as Manufacturing Weakens (BBG) - uh, what recovery?
  • Ukraine Exposes EU Policy Disarray (WSJ)
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GE Sues IRS For $658 Million Tax Refund

As goes GE so goes...? Not satisfied with the increasing offshoring of taxation (amid the Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich and so on), US corporations are increasingly digging elsewhere in the vain hope of finding "revenue" to keep the shareholder dream alive. While GE is not alone in this, its latest move perfectly summarizes the farce that US accounting (and tax) regulations have become (and Immelt's angelic position advising Obama on jobs and the economy). As Reuters reports, GE is suing the Internal Revenue Service for a $658 million tax refund related to a tax loss the company claimed as it exited the reinsurance market more than a decade ago.

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