Reuters

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Frontrunning: May 20





  • "May?" New Cold War May Emerge in Ukraine Crisis, Medvedev Says (BBG)
  • Wristslaps will be fast and furious: EU Commission charges HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Agricole with rigging (Reuters)
  • Credit Suisse Rises as U.S. Guilty Plea Ends 3-Year Probe (BBG)
  • After Martial Law Declaration, Thailand Waits for General's Next Move (WSJ)
  • China property slowdown spells trouble for Asia bonds (FT)
  • Russia Close to $400 Billion Gas Pipeline Deal in Pivot to China (BBG)
  • Dimon-by-the-Sea Shows London Banking’s Engine of Growth (BBG)
  • Modi Faces Greece-Sized Snag to Economic Revival (FT)
  • U.K. Inflation Accelerates on Airfare Surge (BBG)
 
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China "Sanctions" US, Bans Use Of Windows 8 On Government Computers





Considering the epic production and sales flop that Windows 8 has been, one probably does not need an actual sales ban from preventing anyone sane from using it let alone buying it, however in yet another symbolic step, banning its government employees from using the latest Windows operating system is precisely what China did in retaliation to yesterday's DOJ announcement it was charging five PLA members with hacking offenses against the US. According to Reuters, this latest blow to Microsoft came when the Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products. So Windows 8 lead to global warming? Who knew...

 
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Thailand Army Declares Martial Law





With Russia massing troops on the border with Ukraine, China doing the same with Vietnam, the already volatile situation in Libya and Syria imploding with every passing day, the only geopolitical variable that was missing was a martial law and/or national coup. Moments ago Thailand just declares the former and while the latter is still absent it too is likely just a moment of time. AP reports that "Thailand's army has declared martial law after six months of anti-government protests and political crisis, Associated Press said on Tuesday, citing an army statement issued in Bangkok." In other words, after not sternly not taking sides in the near civil war situation in Thailand for the longest time, the army finally picked a side: its own.

 
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Credit Suisse Admits Guilt In Aiding US Citizens Evade Taxes - Live Eric Holder Press Conference





As expected and discussed earlier in the day, Credit Suisse appears has become the first major bank to admit to doing anything wrong (though obviously unrelated directly to the financial crisis):

  • U.S. FILES CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST CREDIT SUISSE IN FEDERAL COURT
  • CREDIT SUISSE AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY IN TAX CASE SAYS U.S
  • CREDIT SUISSE PLEA WOULD END THREE YEAR U.S. INVESTIGATION
  • U.S. ALLEGES CREDIT SUISSE AIDED U.S. CITIZENS IN TAX EVASION

Expectations are for a $2.6 billion settlement ($1.9bn to DoJ & $0.7bn to NY) - notably more than the ~$475 million CS has reserved for the settlement - but Eric Holder's due to speak at a press conference at 6pmET to cover the details (but will anyone go to jail?)

 
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NYT's Jill Abramson Makes First Public Remarks Since Termination- Live Feed





The New York Times' ousted top editor Jill Abramson will have a chance on Monday to address the unusually scathing criticisms of her management style leveled by publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. when she makes her first public remarks since she was fired. But, as Reuters notes, it is unclear whether Abramson, who was the first woman to lead the Times newsroom, will mention the controversy over her firing when she delivers a commencement speech to students graduating from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

 
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ECB: Gold “Important” And No Plan To Sell Significant Quantity Of





The ECB, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Riksbank of Sweden announced a new gold agreement this morning. They announced they have no plans to sell significant quantities of gold and reaffirmed the importance of gold bullion as a monetary reserve asset.

 
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Frontrunning: May 19





  • Qatar Bank: Deutsche Bank to raise $11 bln with help from Qatar (Reuters)
  • AstraZeneca rejects Pfizer's take-it-or-leave-it offer (Reuters)
  • China Home-Price Growth Slowdown Spreads as Sellers Discount (BBG)
  • The new face of NSA: Mike Rogers (Reuters)
  • Putin orders troops near Ukraine to return home (AP)
  • Wall of Worry Rebuilt as Nasdaq Rout Sends Cash to High (Nasdaq)
  • Bank of England's Mark Carney highlights housing market's risk to UK economy (Guardian)
  • Greek Selloff Shows Rush for Exit Recalling Crisis (BBG)
  • Anti-austerity Greek radicals ahead in Athens local election (AFP)
 
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Mega Merger Monday Bonanza Postponed Indefinitely As USDJPY Slides Under 200 DMA





It was supposed to be a blistering Mega Merger Monday following the news of both AT&T'a purchase of DirecTV and Pfizer's 15% boosted "final" offer for AstraZeneca. Instead it is shaping up to be not only a dud but maybe a drubbing, with AstraZeneca plunging after its board rejected the latest, greatest and last offer, European peripheral bond spreads resume blowing out again, whether on concerns about the massive Deutsche Bank capital raise or further fears that "radical parties" are gaining strength in Greece ahead of local elections. But the worst news for BTFDers is that not only did the USDJPY break its long-term support line as we showed on Friday, but this morning it is taking even more technician scalps after it dropped below its 200 DMA (101.23) which means that a retest of double digit support is now just a matter of time, as is a retest of how strong Abe's diapers are now that the Nikkei has slid to just above 14,000, while China, following its own weak housing sales data, saw the Shanghai Composite briefly dip under 2000 before closing just above it. Overall, it is shaping up to be a less than stellar day with zero econ news (hence no bullish flashing red headlines of horrible data) for the algos who bought Friday's late afternoon VIX slam-driven risk blast off.

 
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Russia's "Holy Grail" Gas Deal With China Now "Only One Digit Away"





We have previously profiled the "holy grail" gas deal between Russia and China on several occasions, and noted last week how it is expected to be signed this week - pending some final price negotiations. It appears that was spot on as Reuters reports, Russian state-run Gazprom said it was still "one digit" away from finalising a 30-year gas supply deal with Beijing which is expected to crown Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China next week. On the heels of Russia's de-dollarization meetings, the coming week appears a crucial one for the history books of the US Dollar as reserve currency (or will China leverage Russia's need to diversify from Europe and stall the deal once again?)

 
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Bitcoin, Gold And Silver As Bail-ins and Capital Controls Loom





Underappreciated risks to electronic bitcoin and all forms of investments and savings today, including gold, that are held electronically come in the form of modern warfare - involving as it does cyberwarfare and electromagnetic warfare. No electricity and no computer or internet access and you cannot access your savings, investments and money ...

 
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Bernanke Shocker: "No Rate Normalization During My Lifetime"





Forget all the talk about "dots", "6 months", or any other prognostication from the Fed's new leadership about what will happen in the near and not so near future. For the real answer prepare to shelve out the usual fee of $250,000 for an hour with the Chairsatan, or read Reuters' account of what others who have done so, have learned. The answer is a stunner. "At least one guest left a New York restaurant with the impression Bernanke, 60, does not expect the federal funds rate, the Fed's main benchmark interest rate, to rise back to its long-term average of around 4 percent in Bernanke's lifetime. "Shocking when he said this," the guest scribbled in his notes. "Is that really true?" he scribbled at another point, according to the notes reviewed by Reuters."

 
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Ukraine's Richest Man Mobilizes Private 'Army' After Assets Threatened





Rinat Akhmetov - Ukraine's richest man with an estimated worth of $11.4 billion - has, as Reuters reports, acquired almost feudal status in the industrial hub of Donetsk in the past 20 years - but the separatist rebellions there have altered the dynamics of power. This is not acceptable to the billionaire and so he has demanded his miners and metalworkers join police on patrol on Mariupol. As pro-Russian rebels declaring independence seized public buildings across the steel and coal belt which is the basis of his colossal fortune, he issued repeated written statements in support of a united Ukraine... but the media-shy 47-year-old, who has a workforce of 300,000 people on his payroll in the Donbass, has to tread carefully around local sensitivities and has avoided specifically condemning the action of the separatists.

 
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Frontrunning: May 16





  • Bank of England sees 'no housing bubble' (Independent)
  • ‘If the euro falls, Europe falls’ (FT)
  • India's pro-business Modi storms to historic election win (Reuters)
  • Global Growth Worries Climb (WSJ)
  • Bitcoin Foundation hit by resignations over new director (Reuters)
  • Blackstone Goes All In After the Flop (WSJ)
  • SAC's Steinberg loses bid for insider trading acquittal (Reuters)
  • Beats Satan: Republicans Paint Reid as Bogeyman in 2014 Senate Races (BBG)
  • Tech Firms, Small Startups Object to Paying for Internet 'Fast Lanes' (WSJ) - but they just provide liquidity
  • U.S. Warns Russia of Sanctions as Ukraine Troops Advance (BBG)
  • Major U.S. hedge funds sold 'momentum' Internet names in first-quarter (Reuters)
 
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David Stockman Debunks More Keynesian Rubbish From Europe's Jon Hilsenrath





Once upon a time Wall Street Journal reporters were economically literate. Now, apparently, when they muster-in for the job they get a Keynesian chip implant while signing their HR forms. Otherwise, how can you explain the bullshit penned this morning by Brian Blackstone on the EU’s “disappointing” Q1 GDP report. He didn’t say Keynesian economists say you need more inflation to get jobs and growth. He just declared it!

 
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