• Pivotfarm
    05/21/2015 - 16:48
    Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve believes that the partying on Wall Street and in the financial institutions may “lead to trouble”.
  • EconMatters
    05/21/2015 - 13:17
    The 2nd tallest building in the world, Shanghai Tower, will open to the public mid 2015 during a time when China's own economy is going through the darkest period in recent years.     

Reuters

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Frontrunning: April 16





  • Investigators hunt for clues in marathon bombing (Reuters)
  • Investigators scour video, photos for Boston Marathon bomb clues (Reuters)
  • 'Act of Terror' Kills at Least Three, Injures About 140 as Bombs Wreak Carnage on Marathon Crowd (WSJ)
  • Brent Crude Below $100 (WSJ)
  • Slower China Growth Signals Days of Miracles Are Waning (WSJ)
  • Central Banks at Ease Limit Risk Political Backlash (BBG)
  • Merkel plans to quit midterm, says author (FT)
  • Monte Paschi Prosecutors Seize $2.3 Billion of Nomura Assets (Businessweek)
  • Treasuries back on investors’ buy lists (FT)
  • J.C. Penney Said to Seek Ways to Separate Real Estate for Cash (BBG)
  • Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown (Reuters)
  • Putin Calls for Stimulus Plan After Recession Alarm (BBG)
  • TIPS in Longest Selloff Since ’08 as U.S. Bancorp Cuts (BBG)
 
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Large Explosions Reported At Boston Marathon; Numerous Injuries And Casualties





North Korea's daily war bluffs may be (rightfully) ignored by the market, but an unexpected and tragic development comes out of Boston, where local media reports of two explosions and numerous injuries:

AT LEAST 12 INJURED IN BOSTON MARATHON BLAST: BOSTON HERALD
BOSTON BLAST SEEM CENTERED IN `TRASH CAN': BOSTON HERALD
CNN CITES SOURCE ON REPORTS OF DEVICE AT BOSTON MANDARIN HOTEL
AT LEAST 3 DEAD AT BOSTON MARATHON, FOX NEWS CITES SOURCE
BOSTON POLICE SAY "SECONDARY DEVICES" ARE STILL BEING FOUND

 

 
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Frontrunning: April 15





  • Venezuela Says Chávez Successor Wins Vote (WSJ)
  • China growth risks in focus as first quarter data falls short (Reuters)
  • Japan Gets Calls From U.S. to Europe Not to Drive Down Yen (BBG)
  • EU Set to Clash on Bank Deal as Germany Sees Treaty Limit (BBG)
  • Dish Launches $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint (WSJ)
  • Commodities Tumble, Stocks Slide as China Growth Slows (BBG)
  • Top fund managers take home $8bn less (FT)
  • Obama Programs Derided by Republicans as Pejorative Entitlements (BBG)
  • Gene swapping makes new China bird flu a moving target (Reuters)
  • McDonald's Cranks Up The Volume on 'Value' (WSJ)
  • UK pension deficits set to rise by £100bn (FT)
 
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Bird Flu Spreads To Beijing, Province Of Henan; Death Toll Rises To 13





If China needed a deflationary boost (if only for chicken prices which will certainly result in inflation for all other food products, especially after the recent floating pig fiasco fades from memory), it certainly got it with the constantly escalating Bird Flu scare, which has resulted in 13 casualties of the 60 total infections reported so far, a mortality rate which at least to date is double that of the 2003 SARS epidemic, which claimed one in ten of the 8000 people it infected worldwide. What is most disturbing is that after being largely confined to the Yangtze River Delta, and primarily China's Shanghai business hub, the H7N9 epidemic spread to Beijing on Friday when the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a seven year-old child in the capital of Beijing had been infected by the H7N9 bird flu virus, while on Sunday two people in the central Chinese province of Henan were reported infected - the first cases found in the region.

 
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China Takes Another Stab At The Dollar, Launches Currency Swap Line With France





One more domino in the dollar reserve supremacy regime falls. Following the announcement two weeks ago that "Australia And China will Enable Direct Currency Convertibility", which in turn was the culmination of two years of Yuan internationalization efforts as summarized by the following: "World's Second (China) And Third Largest (Japan) Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade", "China, Russia Drop Dollar In Bilateral Trade", "China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System", "India and Japan sign new $15bn currency swap agreement", "Iran, Russia Replace Dollar With Rial, Ruble in Trade, Fars Says", "India Joins Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone, Will Transact With Iran In Rupees", and "The USD Trap Is Closing: Dollar Exclusion Zone Crosses The Pacific As Brazil Signs China Currency Swap", China has now launched yet another feeler to see what the apetite toward its currency is, this time in the heart of the Eurozone: Paris. According to China Daily, as reported by Reuters, "France intends to set up a currency swap line with China to make Paris a major offshore yuan trading hub in Europe, competing against London." As a reminder the BOE and the PBOC announced a currency swap line back in February, in effect linking up the CNY to the GBP. Now it is the EUR's turn.

 
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Guest Post: 11 Economic Crashes That Are Happening Right Now





The stock market is not crashing yet, but there are lots of other market crashes happening in the financial world right now.  Just like we saw back in 2008, it is taking stocks a little bit of extra time to catch up with economic reality.  But almost everywhere else you look, there are signs that a financial avalanche has begun.

 
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Guest Post: The Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets Of America





Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities?  It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City.  As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness.  In addition to the thousands of "tunnel people" living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night.  The federal government tells us that the recession "is over" and that "things are getting better", and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight.  So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?

 
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Frontrunning: April 12





  • Korean Nuclear Worries Raised (WSJ)
  • Och-Ziff, With Strategy from a 30-Year-Old Debt Specialist, Racks Up Big Score (WSJ)
  • Japan's big "Abenomics" gamble: how to tell if it's paying off (Reuters)
  • Kuroda walks a two-year tightrope (FT)
  • China Rebound at Risk as Xi Curbs Officials’ Spending (BBG)
  • BOJ Said to Consider Boosting Outlook for Inflation (BBG) - for energy prices? Absolutely: by double digits
  • Cyprus May Loosen Bank Restrictions in Days (WSJ)
  • Cyprus mulls early EU structural funds (Reuters)
  • Russia slashes 2013 growth forecast (FT)
  • Japan, U.S. Agree on Trade-Talks Entry (WSJ)
  • IMF Trims U.S. Growth Outlook in Draft Report Citing Fiscal Cuts (BBG)
  • Mexico Is Picking Up the Peso (WSJ)
 
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Overnight Sentiment: Lower





There was little in terms of overnight newsflow to spook algos, but the tone is decidedly sour this morning following a lack of either the now traditional Japan or Europen-open buying ramps. The primary reason for this may well be the ongoing decline in the USDJPY which failed to breach the 100 barrier yesterday, coming as close as 99.95 before the Mrs. Watanabe onslaught had to be called off despite some more jawboning from Kuroda whose headlines are now summarily ignored, and which appears to have set a line in the sand for Japan, whose market naturally closed lower following this strengthening in its currency. Similarly troubling was the dip in the SHCOMP which closed down -0.58%, this despite the epic M2 and credit injection reported yesterday: if new liquidity can't send the market higher, what can?

 
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Cyprus Denies Gold Sale





The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) said last night however that selling the island’s gold had not been on the table. “Such an issue has not been raised, has not been discussed and is not being discussed at the moment,” CBC spokeswoman Aliki Stylianou said. Stylianou added that sale of the gold was a matter handled exclusively by the CBC board. A spokesperson for the Central Bank of Cyprus told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that reports of the $523 million gold sale have not been, “raised, discussed or debated,” with the bank’s board of directors. The Central Bank of Cyprus denied the gold sale after reports on Reuters said that Cyprus officials had agreed to sell around 400 million euros in excess gold reserves to contribute to the country's bailout. Stylianou, the spokesperson for the Central Bank of Cyprus said that the gold sale was, “never discussed nor are there current or future plans to do so on the board’s agenda.” Reuters based its story on a draft report from the European Commission which assessed the nation's financing needs.

 
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Frontrunning: April 11





  • Obama to report to his bosses today: Obama Meets With Blankfein, Dimon and Moynihan Today (BBG)
  • 2007 is here all over again: Seeking Relief, Banks Shift Risk to Murkier Corners (NYT)
  • Kuroda Calls BOJ Inflation Target 'Flexible' (WSJ)
  • Lagarde warns over three-speed world (FT)
  • N. Korea’s Retro Propaganda Calls U.S. Boiled Pumpkin (BBG)
  • Luxembourg To Ease Bank Secrecy Rule, Share Data In 2015 (BBG)
  • Bank of Korea Keeps Policy Steady (WSJ)
  • BOE Stimulus Dilemma Persists as Inflation Seen Higher (BBG)
  • EU Sounds Alarm on Spain (WSJ)
  • Qatar gives Egypt $3bn aid package (FT)
  • RBNZ Says Deposit Insurance May Increase Risk of Bank Failure (BBG)
  • Plosser Calls for Reducing QE Pace Citing Gains in Labor Market (BBG)
  • Obama budget aims to kick start deficit-reduction talks (Reuters)
 
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Overnight Sentiment: Keep Ignoring Fundamentals, Keep Buying





Futures green? Check. Overnight ramp in either the EURUSD or USDJPY carry funding pair? Check? Lack of good economic news and plethora of economic misses? Check. In short, all the ingredients for continued New Normal record highs, driven only by the central bank liquidity tsunami are here. The weakness started with Australia's stunning unemployment jump overnight which saw a 36,100 drop in jobs on just 7,500 expected. A miss in Chinese auto sales was next, with 1.59MM cars sole in March, below the 1.596 expected, and even despite the surge in M2 and loan data, the Shanghai Composite closed down once again, dropping 0.29% to 2219.6. Nikkei continued its deranged liquidity-fueled ways, rising 1.96% even as Kuroda is starting to become quite concerned about the rapid move in the Yen, saying he "may adjust policy before the 2% target is reached if the economy and other indicators are growing rapidly." They aren't, and won't be, but if the Nikkei225 is confused for the economy, he just may push on the breaks which would send the only reason for the latest rally, the USDJPY tumbling. Finally, looking at Europe, Italy sold well less than the maximum €6 billion targeted in 2016, 2017 and 2028 bonds, which dented some of the enthusiasm for Italian paper although with Japanese money desperate to be parked somewhere, it will continue going into European and all other fixed income, distorting market signals for a long time. In short, expect the central-bank risk levitation to continue as all the deteriorating fundamentals and reality are ignored once more, and hopium and P/E multiple expansion are the only story in town.

 
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Europe Extends Confiscatory Non-Template 'Template' To Interbank Deposits





While every European leader, banker, street-sweeper has made a point to use the phrase "Cyprus was not a template" in the last few weeks since D-Boom dropped his tape-bomb, it appears that in reality plans continue to push ahead to indeed 'legalize' these confiscations. As Reuters reports, European Union ministers will consider a proposal this week to impose losses on short-term interbank deposits of lenders. The proposal is part of wider talks to consider when depositors should be bailed-in. Of course, it makes sense that banks should 'not' get special treatment for their overnight lending operations to one another, but the EU leaders want to ensure that these 'sacred' deposits do not escape confiscation, "while it is acknowledged that bailing in interbank liabilities may carry certain risks; on balance, it is preferable... that these liabilities are not excluded from bail-in". Of course, this will worry the ECB as they have worked so hard to unfreeze the interbank lending market post-crisis (with their direct backstops and intermediation). So while there is no template, and Cyprus is unique, it appears the new 'resolution' laws provide a clear plan (not template) for reaching all the way down the capital structure just as they did in Cyprus (and is legally correct from a pari passu basis).

 
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Cyprus Suspends Probe Into Who Withdrew Money Early





In a day full of stunners, we next get news from Cyprus, where a few weeks after the start of the "investigation" into who pulled their cash out of the country's doomed banking system in advance of the confiscation news on March 16 (and where even the current president was implicated in transferring over €20 milion in family money to London) the parliamentary committee tasked with tracking down the leaks, has suspended its probe. As it turns out, it was "all the central bank's fault", which was charged with providing the data. The head of the Cypriot parliament's ethics committee, which was due to look into a list detailing transfers of more than 100,000 euros from the two major banks - Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank - said on Tuesday that the list fell short of what he had requested. "It was with great disappointment and anger that, when we opened the envelope, we realized it contained data for only 15 days even though we had asked for a year," lawmaker Demetris Syllouris told reporters. "This kind of behavior is unacceptable."

 
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Here We Go: Cyprus To Sell €400 Million In Gold, About 75% Of Its Total Holdings, To Finance Part Of Its Bailout





Curious why every bank and their grandmother, and most recently Goldman today, has been lining up to push the price of gold as low as possible? Here's why:

  • CYPRUS TO SELL 400 MLN EUROS WORTH OF GOLD RESERVES TO FINANCE PART OF ITS BAILOUT - TROIKA DOCUMENTS - RTRS

Or about 10 tons of gold. But... the bailout was prefunded and there was no need to provide any additional cash? What happened: was the deposit outflow discovered to have been even greater than the worst case scenario and thus Cyprus needed even more cash? As for the buyers? We will venture a guess: central banks buying at the lows.

Finally: congratulations Cypriots. You are now handing over your gold for the one time, unbeatable opportunity to remain a vassal state to the Eurozone. But at least you have your .

 
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