• Sprott Money
    03/01/2015 - 23:51
    Clearly if Western governments were ‘merely’ drowning in debt-to-GDP ratios of roughly 100%, then theycould still argue that attempting to manage these debt-loads was legitimate rather than...

Reuters

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Futures Rebound On Collapse In Greek Negotiations, After Europe's Largest Derivatives Exchange Breaks





There was a brief period this morning when market prices were almost determined by non-central banks. Almost. Because shortly before the European market open, a technical failure on the Eurex exchange prevented trading in euro-area bond futures the day after Greek debt talks collapsed. And sure enough, after initially seeing significant downward pressure, which nobody could capitalize on of course courtesy of the broken Eurex, risk both in Europe and the US has since rebounded courtesy of the ECB, SNB and BIS, led by the EURUSD (because a Grexit threat which according to Commerzbank has been raised from 25% to 50% is bullish for the artificial currency), which is now at the level last seen just before yesterday's negotiations broke down, and US futures are about to go green.

 
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Moscow-Based Security Firm Reveals What May Be The Biggest NSA "Backdoor Exploit" Ever





In a world in which the NSA's fingerprints are already on every form of electronic communication and information exchange, the latest revelation - conveniently presented by a Russian-based security firm - may have just implicated the US digital supespy agency in the biggest "backdoor" infiltration scandal of all time... and with it crushed the future revenue potential of countless US technology corporations.

 
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The Last Time This Happened, US GDP Crashed By 5%





The last time US weather was this bad, annualized US GDP crashed from 2.3% to -2.9%.

 
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'Sceptical' Schaeuble Sounds Off: "I Feel Sorry For The Greeks & Their Irresponsible Government"





Whether this is more economic sabre-rattling or not, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is not making any Greek friends this morning. During a radio interview on Deutschlandfunk, Schaeuble exclaimed that he was against  a deal "just for the sake of a compromise," and lashed out that "I feel sorry for the Greeks. The new Greek government behaves irresponsible." As Reuters reports, Schaeuble remains "very sceptical" and nobody wants to give Greece any more money "without guarantees," which is odd because within the last year - trend-chasing asset managers had appeared willing to throw good money after bad at it until now.

 
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Markets Quiet Ahead Of Eurogroup Summit; US On Holiday





It has been a quiet start to the week, with US equity futures and European stocks mostly unchanged with all eyes on what progress (if any) will be made between Greece and the Eurogroup, where the press conference is scheduled for 7:00 pm GMT (expect significant delays) in what is otherwise expected to be a relatively subdued day with the US away from market and a light macroeconomic calendar.

 
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Thousands Of Government Supporters Rally In Athens, Demand "Give Greece A Chance" - Live Feed





In another 'odd' event for Europe's status quo, for the second time in a week, tens of thousands of pro-government supporters have taken to the infamous Syntagma Square in Athens to ensure Syriza knows exactly what tomorrow's 'negotiations' are all about. With the latest poll showing Syriza in an even more dominant position nationally (45.4% vs ND's 18.4%) and Merkel's party looking like it will lose in a landslide in Hamburg local election, it seems the people of Europe have expressed their will. As Germany's Sinn suggests, Grexit would be best, "if Greece doesn't exit the euro, it will keep adding new debt it will be unable to repay." Perhaps that is why the rally cries of "Give Greece a chance" are so loud...

 
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West Coast Ports Shut Down For Holiday Weekend: Supply Chain Halt Threatens Havoc On Reeling Economy





the latest news out of the West Coast is not good for anyone hoping for a quick resolution to the congestion problem. According to Reuters, after the clogged ports briefly reopened on Friday after a daylong closure, "shippers planned to re-impose a partial shutdown through the holiday weekend barring a settlement in stalled labor talks with the dockworkers union."

 
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USGS Reports 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake In Russia Near Ukraine Border, Then Retracts It Blaming "Mislocation"





Something surprising happened about an hour ago: at 2:15 pm, the USGS reported that a major 6.8 Magnitude earthquake had taken place in Russian territory, 16 kilometers WNW of Klintsy, in a location that is close to the Russian border with both Belarus and Ukraine. What is curious is that some 20 minutes later, the USGS decided that no quake had actually taken place. In fact not only was the earthquake promptly scrubbed from the USGS website but the link we had sent out as notification of the earthquake.

 
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Obama Unveils His Executive Order To Share Your Confidential Information With Corporations: Live Webcast





As reported earlier, today Obama will unleash his latest executive order, one which will set the stage for "information sharing and analysis organizations" (ISAOs) - or, in political jargon "hubs where companies share cyber threat data with each other and with the Department of Homeland Security."  In regular parlance, what Obama will do is merely codify the second coming of the Patriot Act. Click here to make it easier for the NSA watch you watch the president.

 
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Patriot Act 2: Obama Executive Order Will Promote Sharing Of Confidential Information With Corporations





Here come the "information sharing and analysis organizations", or ISAOs.

 
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Fighting Rages After Ukraine "Ceasefire" Deal; Ukraine Ultranationalist Leader Rejects Peace Agreement





"A ceasefire is due to come into effect from Sunday under the agreement, which also envisages a withdrawal of the heavy weapons responsible for many of the 5,000 casualties in the conflict that broke out almost a year ago. Kiev said pro-Russian rebels had built up their forces across separatist-held zones since the deal and both sides accused each other of killing civilians." There is still hope that on Sunday morning things will be different. Yet, one element that is certain to undermine any deal, in addition to the now usual suspects because after all this is a proxy civil war with far greater geopolitical interests involved, is Ukraine’s ultranationalistic Right Sector, whose leader Dmitry Yarosh today said his radical movement rejects the Minsk peace deal and that their paramilitary units in eastern Ukraine will continue “active fighting" according to their "own plans."

 
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300 US Troops In Iraq Under "Severe Threat" After ISIS Seizes Nearby Town





While military officials have stated that their "advisers" are not involved in the fighting, WaPo reports that ISIS militants have seized an Iraqi town within two miles of the Ayn al-Asad base where 300 US military advisers are stationed. The region remains under "severe threat" and the local council has called for "immediate and urgent military reinforcements” after the attack on the town of al-Baghdadi, which began in the early morning." It seems those non-boots-on-the-ground advisers are about to get a taste of what President Obama promised they would not...

 
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Dijsselbloem Says "Very Pessimistic" About A Deal On Monday As Greek Deposit Flight Hits €1 Billion Per Day





The game of words continues, and following reports both yesterday and today that first Germany, and then Greece would compromise, and in the case of the latter even do "whatever it can" to reach a deal, it is time for Europe's bad cop, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, to pour cold water on the party and crush Greek enthusiasm even more when he said moments ago that he was "very pessimistic" about the chances that a meeting he will chair on Monday of euro zone finance ministers would reach a final debt deal with Greece.  Cited by Reuters, he said that Greek voters' expectations of their new government were "a mile high", Dutch finance minister Dijsselbloem was asked whether a plan to resolve Athens' financial problems would be achieved on Monday. He replied, in a remark aired on Dutch television: "I’m really still very pessimistic about that now."

 
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Greece Willing To Do "Whatever It Can" To Reach Deal After Greek Liquidity Situation Deteriorates Rapidly





"Greece will make every effort to reach an agreement with its euro zone partners at Monday's meeting of euro zone finance ministers on how to transition to a new support program, its government spokesman said on Friday. "We will do whatever we can so that a deal is found on Monday," Gabriel Sakellaridis told Skai TV. "If we don't have an agreement on Monday, we believe that there is always time so that there won't be a problem." The reason for this rapid about face? "Senior bank officials have told Kathimerini that almost all the liquidity available to Greece (59.5 billion euros) has been absorbed and that banks’ total dependence on the Eurosystem amounts to 90 billion. The rapid deterioration in liquidity conditions has been attributed to the uncertainty that arose when the snap general elections were called as well as the new government’s inability to reach a swift agreement with the country’s creditors." As usual: money threatening to walk, walks.

 
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