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Congressional Panel Accused Of Leaking Insider Information, Refuses To Comply With Probe





The biggest congressional leakage scandal in the past year is the most recent one to cross the rabit hole of all-out absurdity: According to Reuters, the Ways and Means panel said on Friday it should not have to comply with a federal regulator's demand for documents sought for an insider-trading probe involving the staff director of a subcommittee and a lobbyist. The House Ways and Means Committee argued in a court filing that U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York should deny the Securities and Exchange Commission's attempt to subpoena documents from the committee and its healthcare subcommittee staff director Brian Sutter.

 
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India’s Central Bank To Sell Gold On The Market In Exchange For Gold At The Bank Of England





India’s gold policy over the last several years is about as dysfunctional as any government policy we have ever seen, and that’s saying a lot. In a nutshell, Indians were buying too much gold for their government’s comfort, so the “authorities” stepped in with duties and import restrictions in an attempt to stifle the trade. So smuggling soared. Fast forward to today. It appears the government has finally realized they can’t stop their citizens penchant for gold, so they have decided to dump central bank gold onto the market. They are justifying this act with a so-called 'swap' into phantom gold at the Bank of England - the favored global hub of shady, rent-seeking, banker oligarchs. This begs the question of who really needs the gold, the RBI, or London bankers?

 
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Ukraine's New Interior Minister Promises To Retake Crimea From Russia





The most surprising news of the day comes not from the contested region, but from Kiev where Ukraine's president Poroshenko appointed a new Ukraine defense minister, Valeriy Heletey. His first promise? To not only re-engage Russia in Crimea, but to be victorious in doing so. From BBC: New Ukrainian Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey has promised that the army would retake Crimea, restoring the country's territorial integrity. "Addressing parliament in Kiev, he said: "There will be a victory parade... in Ukraine's Sevastopol." Lt Gen Heletey, 46, was approved by MPs in Kiev after being recommended by Mr Poroshenko as someone who would work day and night to restore the military capability of the country's armed forces. His remark about Sevastopol was applauded by the chamber. We are confident Putin had a different, and far more amused reaction to the statement.

 
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Meet Decheng Mining: The Chinese Firm Which Rehypothecated Its Metal (At Least) Three Times





For all the theoretical explanations about China's profound commodity rehypothecation problems, the one thing that was missing was an empirical case study framing just how substantial the problem is. After all, it is one thing to say banks expect "X millions in losses", but totally different to see the rehypothecation dominoes falling in practice. Today, courtesy of Bloomberg we got just such an example.

Meet Decheng Mining.

 
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"Hurricane" Arthur Looms - Evacuations Ordered; State Of Emergency Declared





Not so happy 4th of July for residents and visitors of the Outer Banks. As Bloomberg reports, Arthur strengthened off the coast of North Carolina to become the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, packing maximum winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour. Officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order and a county-wide state of emergency has been declared.

 
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Frontrunning: July 3





  • Obama Decries Big Bonuses at Bank Trading Desks as Risky  (BBG)
  • India central bank seeks to swap gold to improve reserves quality (Reuters)
  • There goes Q3 GDP: Arthur Strengthens to Become First Atlantic Hurricane (BBG)
  • Airports Serving U.S. Tighten Checks on Stealth-Bomb Threat (BBG)
  • Fear, cash shortages hinder fight against Ebola outbreak (Reuters)
  • Brent Declines as Libya Rebels Say Ports Are Open (BBG)
  • Shiites Train for Battle in Iraqi Holy City (WSJ)
  • Dimon’s Cancer Has 90% Cure Rate With Demanding Therapy (BBG)
  • Goldman says client data leaked, wants Google to delete email (Reuters)
  • ECB Watchers in the Dark Look to Draghi for Illumination (BBG)
 
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Too Big To BNProsecute: How Yet Another Criminal Bank Got Away With Just A Slap On The Wrist





nowhere is it clearer that nothing at all has changed when it comes to crony capitalist behind the scenes muppetry, than in the latest Reuters exclusive of the white glove treatment "evil" BNP got in order to make sure the full wrath of US justice doesn't damage the criminal money launderer too severely. "The New York state banking regulator on Monday separately decided not to pull BNP's banking license in the state, despite a criminal guilty plea, because of the risk it could put BNP out of business."

 
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Polish Central Bank Head Refuses To Resign Over Tape Scandal As It Would Set "Dangerous Precedent"





  • BELKA `REJECTS' NOTION TAPED COMMENTS SHOW HIM CUTTING ANY DEAL
  • BELKA SAYS POLISH CENTRAL BANK ISN'T COZY WITH GOVT
  • BELKA REITERATES HE DOESN'T PLAN TO RESIGN
  • BELKA: RESIGNATION FROM C.BANK WOULD CREATE DANGEROUS PRECEDENT
 
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Did Las Vegas Just Become China's Billionaire New Money-Laundering Mecca?





An odd thing has been happening in the last few months. Since the Chinese government began to crackdown on 'junkets' and 'corruption', Macau - the hub for Chinese billionaires to smuggle their money out of China - has seen revenues disappointing. So much in fact that, as Reuters reports, gambling revenue in Macau fell 3.7% in June on an annual basis, the first decline in more than four years. It could be coincidence, however, that as Macau has seen growth collapse, Las Vegas has seen Baccarat (the preferred game of China's rich) surge. In May, as Macau growth slumped, Las Vegas Baccarat surged over 85%. While slots (the staple indicator of the 99% in America) continues to decline (-4.4% in May), it seems rich foreigners are finding creative new ways to wash their money out of China.

 
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Frontrunning: July 2





  • France's Sarkozy faces corruption probe in blow to comeback hopes (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Says Military Offensive Against Rebels Yielding Results (WSJ)
  • JPMorgan Investors Show Support for Dimon in Cancer Fight (BBG)
  • World’s ATM Moves to Frankfurt as Yellen’s Fed Slows Cash (BBG)
  • Argentina Seen Backtracking on Fernandez Vows as Legacy at Risk (BBG)
  • Palestinian teen killed in possible revenge attack (Reuters)
  • The Bill and Hillary Clinton Money Machine Taps Corporate Cash (WSJ)
  • London House Prices Surge the Most Since 1987, Nationwide Says (BBG)
  • Last Jew in Afghanistan faces ruin as kebabs fail to sell (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: July 1





  • Ceasefire over, Ukraine forces attack rebel positions (Reuters)
  • No Good Iraq Options for Obama as Russia, Iran Jump In (BBG)
  • Japan’s Cabinet Agrees to Allow Military to Help Defend Allies (BBG)
  • Obama says to reform immigration on his own, bypassing Congress (Reuters)
  • South Stream Pipeline Project in Bulgaria Is Delayed (NYT)
  • Foreign Banks Still in the Dark About Missing Metals in China (WSJ)
  • Quelle indignity: several bankers at French bank BNP Paribas will face demotions and cuts to their pay and bonuses (FT)
  • Symantec Warns of Hacker Threat Against Energy Companies (BBG)
  • Shrinking Office Spaces Slow Recovery (WSJ)
  • Rand Paul Slams ‘Fat Cats’ With Hedge Fund in Top Donors (BBG)
 
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Second Half Kicks Off With Futures At Record High On Lethargic Yen Carry Levitation





BTFATH! That was the motto overnight, when despite a plethora of mixed final manufacturing data across the globe (weaker Japan, Europe; stronger China, UK) the USDJPY carry-trade has been a one-way street up and to the right, and saw its first overnight buying scramble in weeks (as opposed to the US daytime trading session, when the JPY is sold off to push carry-driven stocks higher). Low volumes have only facilitated the now usual buying at the all time highs: The last trading day of 1H14 failed to bring with it any volatility associated with month-end and half-end portfolio rebalancing - yesterday’s S&P 500 volumes were about half that compared to the last trading day of 1H13.

 
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Japanese Man Self-Immolates Over Abe's Increasingly Militarist Shift





Under Article 9 of its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defense; but, as The BBC reports, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants a new interpretation of the constitution to be agreed on. This has brought major protests in Japan, climaxing this weekend when a man set himself on fire in central Tokyo in protest at a proposed law which could allow Japan to deploy its military overseas. With stocks falling, JPY strengthening, an economy collapsing, and a surging disapproval rating, it seems Abe needs a 4th arrow - war?

 
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Obama Lied: US Sending 300 Additional Troops Into Iraq, Including Detachment Of Helicopters And Drone Aircraft





The lukewarm war waged by the Nobel peace prize winner is getting warmer by the day. Just out from Reuters:

  • UNITED STATES SENDS UP TO AN ADDITIONAL 300 TROOPS INTO IRAQ, DETACHMENT OF HELICOPTERS AND DRONE AIRCRAFT - PENTAGON

Note that "this time" it is not just "military advisors" but outright troops: According to the Pentagon, the deployment is “separate and apart” from military advisers deployed to Iraq.  This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat. This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed,” Obama says in letter to Congress.

 
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Europe Gives Bulgaria A Bank System Lifeline As Battle Over "South Stream" Pipeline Heats Up





Earlier today Reuters reported that the European Commission said on Monday it had approved a Bulgarian request to extend a credit line of 3.3 billion levs ($2.30 billion) in support of banks that have come under speculative attack. “The Commission concluded that the state aid implied by the provision of the credit line is proportionate and commensurate with the need to ensure sufficient liquidity in the banking system in the particular circumstances,” the EU executive said in a statement. The statement said Bulgaria’s banking system was “well capitalised and has high levels of liquidity compared to its peers in other member states. For precautionary reasons, Bulgaria has taken this measure to further increase the liquidity and safeguard its financial system”. The move follows runs by jittery depositors on two major Bulgarian commercial banks in the space of a week. And while this latest backstop of the Bulgarian bank system should provide a respite from bank insolvency fears (if only for the time being), one wonders about Europe's true intentions.

 
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