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Japan Says G-20 Accord Barring FX Devaluations Does Not "Rule Out Intervention" In The Yen





Earlier today, Japan's government spokesman Suga came as close as possible to admitting that there was in fact a tacit "Shanghai Accord" agreement when he said that the Group of 20's agreement to avoid competitive currency devaluation "does not mean Japan cannot intervene in response to one-sided currency moves." It got better: in an interview with Reuters Suga added that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's comment to the Wall Street Journal last week that countries should avoid "arbitrary intervention," was misunderstood and does not rule out intervention for Japan, Suga said.

 
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Barclays Warns "Grexit" May Return This Summer While Tsipras "Demonizes" IMF





"We continue to think Greece has the potential to return to the headlines, and we do not rule out the prospect of “Grexit” returning... We note the more fragile European political environment (Dutch referendum, UK’s EU referendum, likely snap elections in Spain, key elections in France and Germany in 2017) compared to previous episodes, and the possibility that the increased noise around Greece could potentially influence the UK referendum on EU membership. Furthermore, the ongoing migration crisis in which Greece plays a central role is exacerbating tensions at both domestic and European levels."

 
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Let The Carpet Bombing Begin: U.S. Deploys B-52s In Fight Against ISIS





Trump may have been on to something. According to Reuters, for the first time in 25 years, the U.S. Air Force deployed B-52 bombers to Qatar on Saturday to join the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This is the first time the B-52 has been based in the Middle East since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.  And, since the B-52's core competency is bombing, usually with the "carpet" adverb before it, one may wonder if it wasn't Trump's suggestion to unleash hell on ISIS that prompted the US military to make this move.

 
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"Where Else Can I Put My Money?" - China Starts Arresting People As Crisis It Created Comes Full Circle





Just like their foray into stocks, Chinese investors are finding out that it isn't easy to make money in short-term lending either. Defaults are on the rise and China's subprime lending bubble has burst.  And just like it responded to "malicious short sellers" when stocks went down, China is now arresting those involved in the shadow banking world.

 
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"The People Aren't Stupid" - Germany Takes Aim At The ECB, May Sue Draghi: Spiegel





The alienation between Germany and the ECB has reached a new level. Back in deutsche mark times, Europeans often joked that the Germans "may not believe in God, but they believe in the Bundesbank," as Germany's central bank is called. Today, though, when it comes to relations between the ECB and the German population, people are more likely to speak of "parallel universes."... Should it come to helicopter money, Berlin would have to consider taking the ECB to court to clarify the limits of its mandate. In other words: the German government and Draghi's ECB would be adversaries in a public court case.

 
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"This Is Devastating News For Republicans": Poll Finds Denying Trump Nomination Would Crush GOP





"If they broker him out, I’ll be fed up with the Republicans,” said Chuck Thompson, 66, a Trump supporter from Concord, North Carolina, who took the poll . Cited by Reuters, Thompson, a lifelong Republican, said he admires Trump’s independence from big campaign donors and takes that as a sign that the front-runner will be able to think for himself if he were to become president. If Trump loses the nomination, Thompson said he would quit the party. "The people want Donald Trump. If they (Republicans) can’t deal with that, I don’t need them," he said.

 
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The Global Bubble Has Burst - "Will Tear At The Threads Of Society"





Over time, Bubble Economies become increasingly vulnerable to economic stagnation, Credit degradation and asset price busts. Bubbles are fueled by Credit excesses that distort risk perceptions and resource allocation. Credit and asset price inflation will incentivize speculation, another key dynamic ensuring misallocation and malinvestment. In the end, Bubbles redistribute and destroy wealth. Major Bubbles will tear at the threads of society.

 
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Wells Fargo "Admits Deceiving" U.S. Government, Pays Record $1.2 Billion Settlement





Nearly a decade since the housing bubble burst the dirty skeletons still emerge from the closet, and still nobody goes to jail. In the latest example of how criminal Wall Street behavior leads to zero prison time and just more slaps on the wrist, overnight Warren Buffett's favorite bank, Wells Fargo, admitted to "deceiving" the U.S. government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages. Its "punishment" - a $1.2 billion settlement of a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit, the highest ever levied in a housing-related matter.

 
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Black Activists Heckle, Turn On Clinton; Accuse Him Of "Destroying Their Communities"





Bill Clinton spent more than 10 minutes confronting the protesters at a campaign rally in Philadelphia for his wife over criticisms that the crime bill he approved while president led to a surge in the imprisonment of black people. Clinton's speech devolved into confusion when several protesters heckled the former president mid-speech and held up signs, including one that read: "CLINTON Crime Bill Destroyed Our Communities."

 
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Shocking Photo: Nearly 30 Oil Tankers in Traffic Jam Off Iraqi Coast





Oil tankers are caught in a traffic jam near the Iraqi port of Basra, causing delays in loading. According to Reuters, around 30 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are sitting in the Persian Gulf, and the backlog could cost ship owners more than $75,000 per day. Some could be waiting for weeks to reach the port. Check out this shocking satellite photo of the tanker traffic jam just off the coast of Iraq.

 
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Weekend Reading: The Fourth Turning





“The typical investor has usually gathered a good deal of half-truths, misconceptions, and just plain bunk about successful investing.” With the month of April winding up the seasonally strong time of the year, earnings season just ahead and economic growth weak, the risks to the downside far outweigh “hope” of higher prices.  Or, is “bad news” still the bear market deterrent?

 
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The ECB Effect: European Telecom Issues Largest Ever Junk Bond After More Than 100% Upsizing





The market bond market, which is now frontrunning not just what the ECB has announced it will buy but what it may buy, just led to a record European junk bond issuance, when French cable and telecom operator Numericable "stunned the market" (as Reuters put it), when it upsized what was originally supposed to be a $2.25 deal by more than 100% to a whopping $5.2 billion bond deal on Wednesday. This was the largest single high-yield bond tranche ever issued.

 
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Frontrunning: April 8





  • Stocks up as investors look to end bruising week on a high (Reuters)
  • Treasuries Set for Two-Week Gain; Greenspan Warns of Global Risk (BBG)
  • Yellen, alongside Fed alum, says rate hikes on track (Reuters)
  • Oil Prices Lifted by Fed Comments on U.S. Economy (WSJ)
  • China says G20 summit should be about economics, not politics (Reuters)
  • Cameron Accused of Hypocrisy for Stake in Father's Offshore Fund (BBG)
 
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Europe Threatens To Require Visas From Americans And Canadians





According to Reuters, the European Union is considering whether or not to require US and Canadian citizens to obtain a visa before traveling to the bloc. Currently, the US enjoys a visa waiver program with the majority of the European Union that is reciprocated on both sides of the Atlantic. Of course, the introduction of the more restrictive process of obtaining a formal travel Visa would hinder tourism for the European Union, something the local economy desperately needs to remain intact.

 
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Are The Saudis And Russians Deliberately Sabotaging Doha?





The actions and intentions of Saudi Arabia and Russia - the two largest oil-producing nations attending the Doha meeting on 17 April - have dashed all hopes of any fruitful outcome. The most important meeting of the last three decades, which has promised to forge new friendships and a new cartel, is turning out to be the biggest farce, even before the curtain is raised.

 
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