"There are gaps of months and months and months," exclaims Rep. Trey Gowdy (who leads the committee investigating Hillary Clinton's handling of the Benghazi attack in September 2012) as the 'transparent' release of Clinton's email includes no emails at all from a seemingly critical Tripoli visit (where she has been photographed using her Blackberry). Gowdy ranted on CBS "Face The Nation" yesterday that "it strains credibility to believe if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there is not a single document to turn over to Congress." Clinton, for now, is staying very quiet on this matter...
Judging by the euphoric exaggeration and fanboyism on mainstream media this morning, today's Apple Watch (not iWatch, definitely not iWatch) unveiling promises to be "world-changing" for the 'wearables' industry (as well as numerous "first time ever..." comments). Of course, there are 'watches' on the market already, but as Reuters Jason Fields 'jokes', the Apple Watch, of course, does more. The face is high resolution and in color. It even has apps that allow you to do a few of the things you’d be able to do if only you could muster the strength to dig your hand into the front pocket of your jeans, or do a little digging in your handbag.
- ECB Starts Buying German, Italian Government Bonds Under QE Plan (BBG)
- Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals (BBG)
- Is Apple Watch the Timex digital watch of the Internet era? (Reuters)
- Tesla shedding jobs in China as sales target missed (Reuters)
- Malaysia Airlines says expired battery on MH370 did not hinder search (Reuters)
- Gunmen kill more than 12 Islamic State militants in eastern Syria (Reuters)
- GM Plans Share Buyback, Averting Proxy Fight (WSJ)
- Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting (Reuters)
It was not all smiles and jokes as Mario Draghi's European QE officially launched in Europe, with Greece leaving the proverbial turd in the monetary punch bowl.
Greece "Risks Bankruptcy" As Europe Rejects Varoufakis Payment Plan; Another Referendum Fiasco EnsuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/08/2015 18:43 -0400
The longest running European "Union" soap-opera may finally be coming to its anticlimatic end.
The availability and cost of floating storage, and the magnitude of the crude oil contango will be critical in helping form the price path of oil," Soc Gen says. If that's the case, we could see crude go far lower over the coming months.
"Secret" documents and power struggles aside, regulators are just as inept now as ever and bank stress tests are completely meaningless, as the Fed neither then, nor now, has any methodology for how to calculate capital in case of the same kind of counterparty failure chain as happened during Lehman, and when no amount of capital would have been sufficient to preserve the financial sector.
It wasn't even a full 24 hours after Greece raided at least some of the funds of its pension and other public entities in order to make a €310 payment to the IMF, the first of four this month (the balance is 350 million on March 13, 580 million on March 16 and another 350 million on March 20), that the insolvent country resumed doing what it does best: dispensing hollow threats. This time it was its foreign minister and leader of the Independent Greeks party - Syriza's junion coalition partner - Nikos Kotzias, who showed how to bluff like the best of them, when he threatened that "there will be tens of millions of immigrants and thousands of jihadists, if you take out Greece" the minister said on before EU foreign ministers meeting in Riga.
Two men from Russia’s southern region of the North Caucasus, have been detained, according to FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, suspected of the murder of Boris Nemtsov. As Reuters reports, The Investigative Committee, the state body leading the investigation, named the two men as Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, and said they were "involved in the organization and execution of the killing," of Nemtsov. Opposition politicians fear scapegoating once again as past high-profile killings in Russia have led to people being jailed for pulling the trigger - often hired hitmen from the Caucasus - while investigators have failed to track down those who ordered the assassinations.
Chris Mayer: No Big Theme in US Stocks, Just “Special Situations and Quirky Opportunities” (Sprott’s Thoughts)Submitted by Sprott Money on 03/07/2015 07:16 -0400
There’s a big macro theme playing out in Europe – a once soft economic environment that allowed lots of inefficiency is becoming tougher and forcing companies to restructure, says Chris Mayer, author of Capital & Crisis and Mayer’s Special Situations.
Dalian Iron Ore prices have been cut in half in the last year (which must mean over-supply and not under-demand, right?). Amid China's growth target cut, Iron Ore prices there have crashed to below $60 - a record low - and that is having dramatic impacts across many regions. As we recently noted, Aussie gold miners are producing desperately to generate cashflow, but despite the booming housing market in some areas, as Reuters reports, the drop in iron ore and coal prices (the nation's 2 biggest exports) have led former boom towns to bust as "reality comes into the marketplace."
Greece Proposes To Become A Tax-Collecting Police State: Will "Wire" Tourists And Unleash Them As "Tax Inspectors"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/06/2015 15:14 -0400
"We propose the following: that large numbers of non-professional inspectors are hired on a strictly short-term, casual basis (no longer than two months, and without any prospect of being rehired) to pose, after some basic The very 'news' that thousands of casual "onlookers" are everywhere, bearing audio and video recording equipment on behalf of the tax authorities, has the capacity to shift attitudes very quickly, spreading a sense of justice across society and engendering a new tax compliance culture - especially if combined with the appropriate communication of the simple message that the time has come for everyone to share the burden of public services and goods."
- Yanis Varoufakis
Despite Tsipras Complaining That "ECB Has Rope Around Our Neck" Greece Finds Enough Cash To Make IMF PaymentSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/06/2015 12:10 -0400
While the biggest economic event of the week was the US February jobs report, one of the lingering concerns following last week's report that Greece is in financial dire straits, is whether the Eurozone member nation would default on its IMF loan as soon as today when it had a scheduled €310 million payment due to the IMF. Earlier today, in the build up to the NFP report, it was reported that indeed Greece had managed to dig deep under the cushion and find just enough cash to make the required partial loan repayment thus avoiding a technical default. As Reuters reports, "struggling to scrape together cash and avoid possible default, Athens made a 310 million euro (223.37 million pounds) partial loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund, while Tsipras pleaded to be allowed to issue more short-term debt to plug a funding gap."
There is a major new buyer in the gold market - Apple ... New Apple watch could use up to one third of total annual gold supply... Each watch to use up to two ounces of gold... May have enormous ramifications for gold market and propel prices higher
- 5 Things to Watch in February’s Jobs Report (WSJ)
- Draghi Declares Victory for Bond-Buying Before It Starts (BBG)
- Apple Pay Sign-Ups Get Tougher as Banks Respond to Fraud (WSJ)
- As World’s Hottest Economy Unravels, Nigerians Feel the Squeeze (BBG)
- EU discontent over French budget deal's 'political bazaar' (Reuters)
- Foreign Takeovers See U.S. Losing Tax Revenue (WSJ)
- Goldman Shareholders’ Hope for Bigger Payout Dashed by Fed (BBG)
- Europe Stocks Headed for 31% Surge This Year Amid QE, Citi Says (BBG)
- Dollar revs up for jobs data, euro bonds rally on ECB (Reuters)