Just 13 short months ago - two months before then President Yanukovich was ousted - Russia lent Ukraine $3 billion (by buying their Eurobonds). As Reuters reports, the terms of that loan included a condition that Ukraine's total state debt should not exceed 60% of its GDP. As of last month, based on Moody's estimates, Ukraine has violated that condition with a debt-to-GDP of 72% (and will likely rise to 85% of GDP in 2015).. and so, according to Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov, "Russia has the right to demand early return of this loan." With European aid 'contingent on major reforms' and possibly taking up to 1 year, this leaves the good old IMF (i.e. the US and European taxpayer) to bridge Ukraine's 'gap' and ironically bailout Russia.
Two months ago we reported that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis have put the world "on the brink of a new Cold War." That warning has now escalated as the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner told Der Spiegel news magazine, according to excerpts released on Friday, that tensions between Russia and European powers over the Ukraine crisis could result in a major conflict or even nuclear war, adding that "a war of this kind would unavoidably lead to a nuclear war."
Update: the hostage-takers are dead. However, according to Reuters at least four hostages at the Kosher supermarket have been killed according to Reuters, citing a police source. Additionally, and take this with a grain of salt, CNN adds that the female suspect in the Paris grocery siege escapes.
Even as the Charlie Hebdo shooting suspects, who have holed up in the town of Dommartin with a hostage in tow, are engaged in what is likely a final showdown with the police, a second hostage situation appears to have developed in a Kosher grocery in eastern Paris, where according to preliminary reports the shooter from the Montrouge policewoman killing yesterday, has taken several hostages. According to AFP, Fresh shooting broke out in eastern Paris on Friday, with reports that an armed man had taken a hostage at a kosher grocery store. "The gunman was suspected of being the same man who killed a policewoman in southern Paris on Thursday, who is thought to have links to the assailants who stormed." AFP just added that at least 5 hostage are involved in the parallel hostage situation.
- Police Surround Paris Terror Suspects Near CDG Airport (BBG)
- ECB Said to Study Bond-Purchase Models Up to 500 Billion Euros (BBG)
- How OPEC Weaponized the Price of Oil Against U.S. Drillers (BBG)
- German Industrial Production Falls Amid Plunge in Energy Output (BBG)
- Car Loans See Rise In Missed Payments (WSJ)
- Jim O'Neill threatens he will replace BRICs with ICs (BBG)
- Oil heads for seventh weekly loss as supply glut drags (Reuters)
- Armed man takes hostage in kosher grocery in Paris (AFP)
- Janus Chairman Didn’t Know Details of Gross’s Investment (WSJ)
- Kaisa Bondholders Dream of White Knight as Default Becomes Real (BBG)
While the trading world, or at least the kneejerk reaction algos, is focused on today's US nonfarm payrolls due out in just 2 hours (consensus expects 240K, with unemployment declining from 5.8% to 5.7%) the key event overnight came out of China, (where inflation printed at just 1.5% while PPI has imploded from -1.8% in September to -2.2% in October to -2.7% in November to a whopping -3.3% in December because as per BofA "soft domestic demand over-capacity issue have kept inflation pressures low") and Europe, after a Bloomberg report that as recently as Wednesday, ECB staff "presented policy makers with models for buying as much as 500 billion euros ($591 billion) of investment-grade assets... options included buying only AAA-rated debt or bonds rated at least BBB-, the euro-area central bank official said. Governors took no decision on the design or implementation of any package after the presentation." In other words less than two weeks before the fateful ECB meeting and Mario Draghi not only still hasn't decided on which of three public QE version he will adopt, but the ECB has reverted back to a private QE plan. Not surprisingly the EURUSD jumped back over 1.18 on the news (and USDJPY and stock markets dropped) on the news that Europe still is completely unsure how to proceed with QE despite the endless jawboning.
The attacks pose threats to our already under attack freedoms - freedom of the press, freedom of privacy, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, expression and thought. Unless as a race we change direction - the prospect for greater instability in the form of terrorism and war in the near future is very high ...
Schools in Chicago, Boston and other large cities closed on Thursday as sub-zero temperatures and bitter winds gripped central and eastern United States for a third day and, as Reuters reports, meteorologists warned there was little relief in sight. A stunning 83.8% of America was freezing this morning (and 12.9% below zero) as an Arctic air blast from Canada hit the U.S. Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with many parts around minus 10 Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), the National Weather Service said.
For those hoping that the recent brief dip in Brent crude below $50 - most notably Venezuela's intrepid socialist leader Nicolas Maduro whose numbered days get shorter with every day Brent closes red, and countless bondholders of junk- debt capitalized shale companies - would mean that Saudi Arabia's vendetta against OPEC would finally be put on hiatus, we have bad news: the vendetta just wen nuclear because as Reuters reports, there is "no chance of OPEC output cut."
Despite stressing time and again that the ECB cannot dictate policy within individual nation states in Europe, Reuters reports Draghi's henchmen are playing 'bad cop' to Germany's 'good cop' for now as they threaten the withdrawal of Greek financial system funding if reforms are not carried out post election. Greek stocks are falling once again (led by the banks) and default risk has soared, with 5Y CDS +250bps at 1555bps.
- French policewoman killed in shoot-out, hunt deepens for militant killers (Reuters)
- The Bold Charlie Hebdo Covers the Satirical Magazine Was Not Afraid to Run (BBG)
- Evans Says Fed Shouldn’t Rush Rate Rise as Inflation Undershoots (BBG)
- Oil holds above $51 as traders search for floor (Reuters)
- Gross Helps Fuel New Fund With His Own Cash (WSJ)
- ECB warns Greek funding access hinges on keeping bailout (Reuters)
- Greece Jolts QE Juggernaut as ECB Gauges Deflation Risk (BBG)
- Analysts Say There's No Telling How Low Oil Prices Could Go (BBG)
- Scientists find antibiotic that kills bugs without resistance (Reuters)
Following yesterday's shocking murder of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, there has been much confusion and many rapidly moving parts in the hours that followed as authorities try to catch the two remaining killers, the 32 and 34-year old Kouachi brothers, after earlier the youngest of three French suspects turned himself in to police after, as BFM TV reported, he saw his in social media. The arrest was confirmed by an official at the Paris prosecutor's office said. Several people linked to two other suspected attackers were also in custody, the news agency AFP reported. The manhunt for the two remaining suspects goes on.
Market Wrap: Evans' "Catastrophe" Comment Blasts Overnight Futures Into Overdrive, 10-Year Rises To 2%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/08/2015 06:56 -0500
After subdued trading in the overnight session until a little after 8pm Eastern, algos went into overdrive just around the time the Fed's 2015 voting member and uberdove Charlie Evans told reporters that "raising rates would be a catastrophe", hinting that the first rate hike would likely be - as usual - pushed back from market expectations of a mid-2015 liftoff cycle into 2016 or beyond (but don't blame the US, it is the "international situation's" fault), in the process punking the latest generation of Eurodollar traders yet again. Whatever the thinking, S&P futures soared on the comments and were higher by just under 20 points at last check even as Crude has failed to pick up and the 10Y is barely changed at 2.00%.