Reuters

Austria To Pay Migrants €500 To Go Back Where They Came From

Europe is having a decidedly difficult time coping with the influx of asylum seekers streaming into the bloc from the war-torn Mid-East. For its part, Austria has suspended Schengen and plans to deport 50,000 refugees. Fortunately, the country has a plan to boost "voluntary" repatriations.

Frontrunning: February 2

  • Punxsutawney Phil Does Not see shadow, signifying an early spring (CBS)
  • Front-Runners Give Ground as Rivals Make Mark in Iowa (WSJ)
  • Republican Cruz bests Trump in Iowa race, Clinton edges out Sanders (Reuters)
  • Iowa Narrows the Field (BBG)
  • Global stocks snap winning streak as oil pressure returns (Reuters)
  • ‘Dark Pool’ Settlements Bring Tangled Relationships to Light (WSJ)

Zika Virus Threatens "Disaster In Rio" Olympics As WHO Declares Global Emergency

WHO SAYS ZIKA, MICROCEPHALY 'PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY' - HIGHEST LEVEL OF ALERT

From the initial discovery in the heart of Ugandan forest darkness to mysterious genetically-modified Mosquitoes in Brazil, the newest threat to human health (most notably pregnant women) is the ominous-sounding Zika virus. The epidemic is spreading from its epicenter in Brazil - threatening disaster at the Olympics with "female athletes to consider participation "very carefully"", to Colombia (with 2100 pregant women infected), and further north in America with CDC confirming 6 cases in Texas.

Meet China's Latest $1.8 Trillion "Problem"

China's mid-tier banks are piling up exposure to the riskiest subset of borrowers at a time when economic fundamentals are deteriorating on a near daily basis. Meanwhile, this exposure is being carried on a line item that allows the banks to avoid provisioning for the losses that will almost certainly materialize in the not-so-distant future. At one bank, this one line item is larger than the entire Philippine banking system.

Frontrunning: February 1

  • Stocks cautious after rocky China data, bonds fly high (Reuters)
  • Oil falls on China data, fading prospect of OPEC action (Reuters)
  • Republican Vote in Iowa Caucus Hinges on Newcomer Turnout (WSJ)
  • When Trump tells supporters not to donate, they mostly listen (Reuters)
  • Goldman Sachs Employees Shift to Rubio as Bush Support Fades (BBG)
  • Four Theories on How Oil Has Hypnotized the Global Stock Market (BBG)

"Time To Panic"? Nigeria Begs World Bank For Massive Loan As Dollar Reserves Dry Up

Having urged "don't panic" just 4 short months ago, it appears Nigeria just did just that as the global dollar short squeeze forces the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari to beg The World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5bn in emergency loans to help fund a $15bn deficit in a budget heavy on public spending amid collapsing oil revenues. Just as we warned in December, the dollar shortage has arrived, perhaps now is time to panic after all.

The Bank Of Japan - Ringing In The Keynesian Endgame

The time for more insanity has come... It is the Keynesian mantra: the fact that the policies recommended by Keynesians and monetarists, i.e., deficit spending and money printing, routinely fail to bring about the desired results is not seen as proof that they simply don’t work. It is regarded as evidence that there hasn’t been enough spending and printing yet.

Switzerland Asks Malaysia To Explain $4 Billion In Misused Money From Goldman Backed Slush Fund

In the latest news out of the 1MDB saga, "Switzerland's chief prosecutor said on Friday a criminal investigation into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had revealed that about $4 billion appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies."

"The amount of the allegedly misappropriated funds amounted to approximately $ 4 billion, whose purpose is the subject of further study"...

Weekend Reading: Mental Floss

The real enemy of investors is not these fairly routine 10 or 20% downturns. The real enemy is the bear market that is associated with a recession or crisis, the one that knocks your equity block down by 40 or 50%. And actually it isn’t even the depth that is the real enemy. For most investors the enemy is time.

Russian-OPEC Production Cut Remains A Long Shot

Coordination on production cuts between OPEC and Russia has always been a long shot, and probably still remains an unlikely development. The big difference this time around, though, is Russia’s change in tone. Saudi Arabia had hinted at its willingness last year to undertake a 5 percent production cut if Russia did the same, but up until now Moscow never really took the idea seriously. However, don’t get too excited.