• EconMatters
    11/30/2015 - 16:21
    The ISIS group sells most of its crude directly to independent traders at the wellhead for $20-$45 a barrel earning the group an average of $1.5 million a day.


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Ukraine Region Declares Independence Sending Dollar Bonds To Record Low; Russian Ruble Tumbles To 5 Year Low

The events in the Ukraine continue to deteriorate. Moments ago Lawmakers in Ukraine’s Lviv region, declared independence after backers evicted appointed governor overnight. Lviv’s parliament formed executive committee with department heads in Governor Oleh Salo’s administration that will take over functions of regional government, Oksana Dmetryv, a spokeswoman for Speaker Petro Kolodiy, said today by phone from Lviv. Protesters also seized headquarters of security services in Lviv, a region of 2.5 million people bordering Poland. Elsewhere, there were reports of more military vehicles crossing through Kiev: if there are any more Molotov Cocktail video follow ups we will be sure to capture them.

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Frontrunning: February 19

  • Ukraine leader denounces coup bid, West weighs sanctions (Reuters)
  • Time to buy Imodium calls: Kuroda Easing Doomed as Yen Seen Missing 120 Level (BBG)
  • Teens Disappear From U.S. Workforce (BBG)
  • Fed Sets Rules for Foreign Banks (WSJ)
  • Quant Funds Feel Investor Bite After Underperforming (BBG)
  • China Probes Qualcomm, InterDigital Over Monopoly Concerns (WSJ)
  • Capital One says it can show up at cardholders' homes, workplaces  (LATimes)
  • SEC Gains Power to Take Profit Made From Insider Trading (BBG)
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This Is How Ukrainian Protesters Attack An Armored Personnel Carrier

Watch as sparks fly between a Ukrainian military APC, possibly the same one we revealed earlier, as it gets into some blazingly close encounters with the Kiev protesters. It is unclear who won however it is quite clear that at this point the proxy war in Ukraine between Russia/Gazprom and the European Union/US State Dept/Saudi/Qatar can be upgraded to "hot."

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3 Dead In Ukraine Riots; Police "Impose Order By All Means Envisaged"; Tell All Women To Leave - Live Feed

Despite the ongoing efforts of the rest of the world to ignore what is rapidly escalating into a potential pivot point in global geopolitics, Ukraine has gone from bad to worse in the last few hours with 3 dead and hundreds injured:


The riot police have been told to 'impose order by all means envisaged' and it appears they are rapidly moving towards that goal.

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Frontrunning: February 18

  • Carl Icahn wins again: Actavis to Buy Forest Labs for $25 Billion (WSJ)
  • ECB governing council member attacks German court ruling on OMT (FT)
  • China Tackles $1 Trillion Data Gap as Xi Changes Metrics (BBG)
  • FX Traders Facing Extinction as Computers Replace Humans (BBG)
  • BOJ Boost to Loan Programs Signals Room for More Easing (BBG) - actually no it doesn't as it was "factored in"
  • Four killed in Thai clashes; PM to face charges over rice scheme (Reuters)
  • Goodbye unsterilized SMP: Bundesbank Backs Measure to Boost Funds in Banking System  (WSJ)
  • Iranian Hacking to Test NSA Nominee Michael Rogers (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Clashes Leave Dozens Wounded as Putin Resumes Bailout (BBG)
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India To "Look Into" Easing Gold Price Controls

Two weeks ago, gold jumped to a then-2014 high, following reports out of India that the head of India's Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi was pushing the government to cut its duty on gold and other restrictions. Today, now that the upward move in gold has finally resumed, it appears that the nation with the world's most draconian gold capital controls, is finally starting to crack under pressure from the people, as well as a surge in gold smuggling via illegal channels to unprecedented levels. Reuters reports that India "will look into relaxing gold imports curbs, but won't let its current account deficit (CAD) balloon, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Monday."

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Ethiopian Airlines Co-Pilot Hijacks Plane, Seeks Swiss Asylum; Will Go To Prison Instead

For a plan that culminated with a hijacked plane landing in Geneva, Switzerland, it was anything but a "Swiss watch" execution.

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Frontrunning: February 17

  • Venezuela's Lopez says ready for arrest at Tuesday march (Reuters)
  • Record Chinese liquidity sends Shanghai Composite back to green for the year (WSJ)
  • Deflation Threat Worries G-20 Roiled by Emerging Markets (BBG)
  • Neither U.S. nor EU has strategy for Ukraine (Reuters)
  • AngloGold Ashanti Chairman Steps Down (WSJ)
  • Italy Yields Seen Climbing as Renzi Gets Mandate (BBG)
  • Group Led by Starr Near Deal to Buy MultiPlan (WSJ)
  • Thai PM under siege, lengthy protests take toll on economy (Reuters)
  • The Value of Annoying Co-Workers (WSJ)
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If America Continues To Go Down This Path, This Is What Life Will Be Like...

Becoming more like Europe is not a good thing.  But that is the path that we are currently on.  For the most part, Europeans live in a socialist “Big Brother” system in which the government completely dominates your life from the cradle to the grave.  Of course there are differences from country to country, but generally speaking the lives of most Europeans are very tightly regulated.  You see, the truth is that high levels of individual liberty and freedom are considered to be “dangerous” by the European elite.  They believe that if we are all allowed to just do whatever we want that it would result in utter chaos.  They are convinced that life is better when those that are smarter (them) control the lives of everyone else.

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Spot The Real Liquidity Bubble

Hint: it's neither the Fed nor the Bank of Japan...

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The Crisis Circle Is Complete: Wells Fargo Returns To Subprime

Those of our readers focused on the state of the housing market will undoubtedly remember this chart we compiled using the data from the largest mortgage originator in the US, Wells Fargo. In case there is some confusion, as a result of rising interet rates (meaning the Fed is stuck in its attempts to push rates higher), the inability of the US consumer to purchase houses at artificially investor-inflated levels (meaning housing is now merely a hot potato flipfest between institutional investors A and B), and the end of the fourth dead-cat bounce in housing (meaning, well, self-explanatory), the bank's primary business line - offering mortgages - is cratering. So what is a bank with a limited target audience for its primary product to do? Why expand the audience of course. And in a move that is very much overdue considering all the other deranged aspects of the centrally-planned New Normal, in which all the mistakes of the last credit bubble are being repeated one after another, Reuters now reports that the California bank "is tiptoeing back into subprime home loans again."

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TEPCO Hid Record Fukushima Radiation Levels Before Olympics Bid

Days before Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympics last September, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe stated that Fukushima contaminated water was "under control." Now, as Reuters reports,  the nation's nuclear watchdog has uncovered that, following  "uncertainty about the reliability and accuracy of the September strontium reading," which prompted a re-examination of samples, levels of Strontium-90 were five times the levels previously recorded. The Japanese NRA blasted TEPCO, “We did not hear about this figure when they detected it last September. We have been repeatedly pushing TEPCO to release strontium data since November. It should not take them this long to release this information." One can only wonder why - when the promise of $500 million of government support is on the line... and new cracks are appearing.

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The "Sick Man Of Europe" Is Back - German Economy Barely Grows In 2013

Everyone knows that without the German export-driven growth dynamo, the European economy would quickly wither and disappear into nothingness. Which is why today's report that the German economy grew by just 0.4% last year, its worst performance since the global financial crisis in 2009, with strong domestic demand only partially offsetting the continued negative impact of the euro crisis, should be reason for significant concern to all especially since all the artificial, goalseeked GDP readings from the periphery are just that, and are completely meaningless in the grand scheme of things - should Germany's growth falter, as it clearly has been over the past two years, may as well put the lights out.

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Frontrunning: February 14

  • Euro-Area Growth Eases Pressure on Draghi for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Germany Beats Growth Estimates With France Amid Recovery (BBG)
  • Argentina revises ‘bogus’ inflation figures (FT)
  • Wells Fargo edges back into subprime as U.S. mortgage market thaws (Reuters)
  • China Banks’ Bad Loans Reach Highest Since Financial Crisis (BBG)
  • Time Warner Cable Deal to Test Comcast CEO's Washington Clout (WSJ)
  • Risky Loans in Europe Banks’ Dark Corners to Be Exposed  (BBG) - yeah, right... sure
  • Gold Extends Climb Above $1,300 as Investors Boost SPDR Holdings (BBG)
  • SEC Takes Steps to Stem Courtroom Defeats (WSJ)
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