• Bruno de Landevoisin
    09/21/2014 - 14:52
    Dear Janet; If I may be so forward, as a concerned citizen of the Constitutional Republic of the United States, it is with great consternation that I feel compelled to write you this distressing...

Reuters

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UK Suffers Biggest Capital Outflow Since Lehman As Scottish Vote Nears





Investors pulled $27 billion out of UK financial assets last month - the biggest capital outflow since the Lehman crisis in 2008 - as concern mounted about the economic and financial consequences if Scotland left the UK, according to Reuters. Furthermore, Morgan Stanley said daily equity flow data pointed to "some of the largest UK equity selling on record."

 
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Panic On The Streets Of London ... Can Scotland Ever Be The Same Again?





There is now less than one week of campaigning remaining before the Scottish Independence Referendum, which takes place next Thursday, September 18.

The pro-union ‘no’ vote campaign is back in the lead this week after the latest opinion poll from pollsters YouGov put them at 52%, marginally ahead of the pro-independence ‘yes’ campaign.

 
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Frontrunning: September 12





  • Russia faces new U.S., EU sanctions over Ukraine crisis (Reuters)
  • Glasgow pulls no punches in welcome to 'Save the Union Express' (Guardian)
  • Pound Seen Tumbling Up to 10% on Scottish Yes Vote (BBG)
  • Moscow stifles dissent as soldiers return in coffins (Reuters)
  • Ukraine's leader sees no military solution of crisis, eyes reforms (Reuters)
  • Venezuela Threatens Harvard Professor for Default Comment (BBG)
  • Australia Raises Terror Alert to Highest Level in a Decade (BBG)
  • Activist Investors Build Up Their War Chests (WSJ)
 
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China Holds “Gold Congress” - Positioning Itself As Global Gold Hub, “In China, Gold Is Money”





China Gold Congress in Beijing

The China Gold Congress is currently in full flight in Beijing. The three day Congress is China’s biggest gold industry event of the year, drawing in participants from across the Chinese and international gold sectors including central banks, mining companies, bullion banks and refiners.

The event, co-sponsored by the World Gold Council (WGC) and the China Gold Association, showcases China’s gold industry and acts as a focus point for what is now the world’s largest gold market in terms of demand and product innovation.

Discussions and forums during the event cover everything from reserve asset management for the official or central banking sector, through to investment products and mining supply. One of the key themes this year is the internationalisation of the gold market.

 
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Poland Says Russian Gas Deliveries Tumble By 45%; Europe To Launch Sanctions On Friday, Russia Will Retaliate





Yesterday, when Gazprom was supposedly "troubleshooting its systems", we reported that in what was the first salvo of Europe's latest cold (quite literally, with winter just around the corner) war, Poland complained that up to 25% of its usual gas deliveries from Russia had been cut. Russia indirectly hinted that this was also a result of Ukraine using "reverse flow" to meet its demands, with Europe allowing Kiev to syphon off whatever gas it needs without paying Gazprome for it. It also led Poland to promptly admit it would halt reverse flow to the civil-war ridden country. Fast forward to today when Polish financial website Biznes reports that things are going from bad to worse in Russia's energy retaliation war, after Poland claimed a 45% shortfall in Russian natgas imports as of Wednesday.

 
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Frontrunning: September 11





  • Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State (Reuters)
  • Obama Relying on Mideast Allies to Counter Islamic State (BBG)
  • Scotland Nationalists Claim U.K. Oil in 40-Year Campaign (BBG)
  • Scottish Polls Embolden Catalans Pushing Rajoy for Vote (BBG)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland: RBS will leave Scotland if voters back independence (Guardian)
  • Most Hedge-Fund Managers Are Overpaid, Unigestion Says (BBG)
  • China Inflation Softens to Four-Month Low (WSJ)
  • Munger Hosts Groupies, Mocks Wall Street, Praises Buffett (BBG)
 
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Putin To Head Military-Industrial Commission, Sees Nuclear Deterrence As Top Task





When we exposed the shift in Russia's military doctrine towards one of nuclear deterrence and pre-emptive strikes, many eschewed it as fantastical thinking of extremists. They were wrong. Speaking at a defense meeting this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he is taking charge of Russia's military-industrial complex:

*PUTIN SAYS NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE READY BY DEC, CALLS ENSURING NUCLEAR DETERRENT TOP DEFENSE TASK TO 2030

This does not seem like de-escalatory conversation as NATO continues to push - to justify its existence - and Putin now prepares an increasingly Cold-War-esque response threat (following an overnight nuclear missile test).

 
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Germany Openly Hostile To Putting Frenchman In Charge Of European Financial Affairs





Current finance minister Sapin, perhaps unsurprisingly, has admitted that France will miss EU deficit targets and needs more time to rein in public finances - proclaiming, as Reuters reports, that it may take until 2017 to bring it in line. Germany's response "nein, nein, nein" with Merkel demanding EU nations stick to commitments (rejecting any plans to 'bend rules') and Schaeuble blasting that Germany is "certain France is aware of its responsibilities." But the real stunner is that as France shows its utter ineptitude in managing an economy, EU President Juncker has placed former French finance minister Moscovici in charge of Europe's taxes and finances. German lawmakers exclaimed this is "not a wise personnel decision." The core splinters...

 
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Frontrunning: September 10





  • British PM begs Scots: Don't rip apart our UK 'family of nations' (Reuters)
  • Obama has become Bush: Obama’s Task: Rally U.S. Public, Allies in Terror Fight (BBG)
  • Alibaba's record IPO covered after first few roadshow meetings (Reuters)
  • Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years (BBC)
  • Combat Reversals Pressure Assad (WSJ)
  • Top LBO Fund Investors Pile on Leverage to Boost Returns (BBG)
  • BOJ's Iwata upbeat on economy, unfazed by post-tax hike slump (Reuters)
  • Carney Can’t Escape Housing as Debt Colors BOE Policy (BBG)
  • Detroit Clears Crucial Hurdle on Bankruptcy (NYT)
 
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Albania Central Bank Governor Arrested Over Theft Of $7 Million From Bank Vaults





About a month ago we mocked the Albanian central bank when reports emerged that "two employees" had been charged with the theft of some $6.6 million in cash from the bank's vaults. Specifically, back in July the arrests come five weeks after a worker at the central bank admitted to stealing money over the course of four years, taking new bank notes printed in Switzerland when they arrived at his workplace and replacing them with old books. As it turns out, since there is a central bank involved, there is once again more than meets the eye, and the story has since mutated into something far more grotesque than even we could imagine, with news coming out late last week and over the weekend that not only was the theft by "two employees" a misdirection, but that the guilty party was none other than the Albanian version of Janet Yellen, the governor of the central bank himself Ardian Fullani.

 
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Frontrunning: September 9





  • Showtime for Apple: Big phones, smart watches and high expectations (Reuters)
  • Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney Signals Spring Rate Rise (WSJ)
  • Quebec Shows Scots Question Returns Even If Answer Is No (BBG)
  • Hush money with a 9 year vesting period: Ex-SAC Fund Manager Martoma Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison (BBG)
  • Dreams on hold, Brazil's 'new middle class' turns on Rousseff (Reuters)
  • Fed to Hit Biggest U.S. Banks With Tougher Capital Surcharge (WSJ)
  • Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader, cleric to 20 years in jail (Reuters)
 
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Merkel Ally Slams Draghi's Plan To "Buy Junk Paper"





While Italian and Spanish political (and business) leaders are lauding Mario Draghi's plan to buy more assets and print more money, it appears not everyone is so excited. As Reuters reports, Christian Social Union chairman and Bavaria state premier Horst Seehofer (who is well known as an ally of Angela Merkel), blasted the ECB's plan: "It's only going to frighten a lot of people when ECB chief Mario Draghi opens up the central bank's money tap and at the same time buys junk paper," somewhat breaking the political taboo of criticizing the potential independence of the central bank.

 
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"You Can Take Your Scottish Freedom... But You'll Never Take Our Gold"





We can see it now, a wine-stained David Cameron staggers slowly towards Hadrian's Wall eying the hordes of Scottish gentlefolk staring at him; he glances back at his supporters (who cheer somewhat begrudgingly) before rapidly returning his eyes to the Scots and proclaiming... "you can take your freedom; but you'll never take our... Gold." As Reuters reports, an independent Scotland could lay claim to a part of the United Kingdom's 310-tonne gold reserves if votes go in favour of the "Yes" campaign this month, with ownership of Britain's bullion hoard up for negotiation along with other assets.

 
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Anxious EU Leaders Delay Russian Sanctions For "Few Days"





Whether it is confidence in Poroshenko's statements that "the ceasefire is holding" or fears over Russia's threats of "asymmetric" retaliation, Europe's leaders - having convinced the Finns not to veto - emerged from their emergency meeting and declared tough new funding sanctions on Russia's big three oil companies... will be "delayed a few days." It would seem - as we noted earlier - Europe is debating whether or not it can last the winter cold better than Russia can withstand the funding lock.

 
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