Reuters

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Frontrunning: April 22





  • Because it just gets funnier: UK speed trader arrested over role in 2010 'flash crash' (Reuters)
  • ... and funnier: Mystery Trader Armed With Algorithms Rewrites Flash Crash Story (BBG)
  • Presidential hopeful Rubio reaches out to gay Republicans (Reuters)
  • Varoufakis Sees Differences Narrowing in Creditor Talks (BBG)
  • China Debt Mess Brings Out the Yin and Yang in Policy Makers (BBG)
  • Hedge Fund That Made 18% on Dollar Strength Now Bets on Drop (BBG)
  • Whistleblower Jim Marchese Scores Millions in Payout—Again (WSJ)
  • Release of Benghazi Report on Hillary Clinton Likely Pushed to Election Season (BBG)
 
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Asian Euphoria Sends Nikkei Above 20,000, Fizzles In Europe On More Greek Fears; US Futures Down





Whether it is in sympathy with the now relentless surge in the Shanghai Composite which tacked on another 2.44% overnight to close at a fresh multi-year high just shy of 4400, well more than double from a year ago, or because Mrs Watanabe was unable to read the latest Japan trade data whose first trade surplus in 3 years hinted that there will be no new easing by the BOJ any time soon, but overnight the Nikkei closed above 20,000 for the first time in 15 years, with "makers of chocolate, mayonnaise, potato chips and household appliances" helping lift the Tokyo market according to the WSJ. The now daily Asian euphoria however did not last long in the European session, and after opening higher, the Stoxx Europe 600 slipped into negative territory just an hour into trading, and was down 0.4% by midmorning, lead by a near 1% decline on Athens' mains stock index, which has since recouped losses stemming from the overnight report that the ECB is considering an up to 50% haircut on Greek bank collateral, a move that would wipe out the Greek financial sector with ease.

 
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Full Scapegoat Retard: Trader Arrested For 2010 Flash Crash





  • FUTURES TRADER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED ROLE IN 2010 FLASH CRASH
  • FUTURES TRADER CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY MANIPULATING STOCK MKT
  • SARAO HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH COMMODITIES, WIRE FRAUD: GOELMAN
  • SARAO WAS ARRESTED AT HIS HOME IN LONDON TODAY, GOELMAN SAYS
  • CFTC FILES CIVIL CASE AGAINST NAVINDER SINGH SARAO
 
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Saudi Arabia Orders Its National Guard To Enter Yemen War





Over the better part of the past month, the only entities actively involved in the proxy war in Yemen against the local Houthi rebel force have been air force units, mostly under Saudi command as part of Operation "Decisive Storm." Which probably explains why there has been little if any progress to note in pushing back said rebellion which, armed heavily thanks to the US government, has successfully managed to push the current president into an indefinite exile. That changed hours ago, when Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered the Saudi Arabian National Guard, widely regarded as the kingdom's best equipped military ground force, to take part in Riyadh's campaign against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen.

 
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Bill Gross Says Bunds "Short Of A Lifetime", As Mario Draghi Is About To Run Out Of Bunds To Buy





On one hand, Bill Gross says that "German 10yr Bunds = The short of a lifetime." On the other, the ECB is about to run out of bonds to monetize at current prices as the Bund yield slides every lower to the ECB's hard floor of -0.20%. End result: someone will be very hurt...

 
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European Banks Are Paid To Borrow For First Time Ever As Euribor Goes Negative





Mario Draghi said this week that the transmission channels for European Q€ were opening up and crowed how well his cunning plan was working (by well we assume he means stocks are up). Today we get the ultimate test of that 'transmission' as 3-Month EURIBOR fell below 0.00% for the first time ever (likely wreaking havoc on European derivative pricing models). In English that means banks are being paid to borrow from one another in the interbank money-markets (which sounds a lot like a 'glut' of excess cash) seemingly confirming ICMA's de Vidts fears: "We are scared about the [repo] market freezing," as the ECB is "driving without headlights in the dark." Of course this is yet another disturbing distortion on the heels of homeowners being paid to take out mortgages...

 
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Frontrunning: April 21





  • The Fed Still Wants Easy Money (BBG) - you don't say
  • ECB Is Studying Curbs on Greek Bank Support (BBG)
  • Banks Paid to Borrow as Three-Month Euribor Drops Below Zero (BBG)
  • Baoding Tianwei is first state-owned Chinese enterprise to default (Reuters)
  • Major Chinese Developer Says It Can’t Pay Dollar Debts (BBG)
  • Wall Street Has No Idea How Much Money Venezuela Has (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Find Different Paths to Profits (WSJ)
  • Does the Collapse of a Chinese Developer Signal the Start of More Defaults? (BBG)
  • Retail Traders Wield Social Media for Investing Fame (WSJ)
 
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"Too Many Zeros": China's Stock Bubble Proves Too Much For Computers





"The exchange's trading turnover exceeded 1 trillion yuan ($161.28 billion) for the first time on Monday, but the data could not be properly displayed because its software was not designed to report numbers that high," Reuters reports, in what looks like further evidence that China's self-feeding equity mania is reaching epic proportions. On the bright side, it's not often in today's market that man overcomes software, so score one for human traders.

 
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WalMart Workers Take "Plumbing" Mystery To Labor Board





Last week, we documented the mysterious case of WalMart’s move to shutter multiple geographically distinct locations across the US for “plumbing issues.” Once we dug a bit deeper into the history of the affected stores we noticed that one store in particular — the Pico Rivera, CA location — has been at the forefront of wage and working condition protests for the better part of three years. Now, as NY Times reports, "a claim set to be filed on Monday by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union with the National Labor Relations Board says that the closings were in retaliation for a history of labor activism at one of the shuttered stores, in Pico Rivera, Calif."

 
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Monsanto Furious At World Health Organization For Claiming Weedkiller Causes Cancer





Following Monsanto lobbyist comments recently that he's "not stupid" enough to drink the weedkiller that he also proclaimed was safe enough that "you can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you;" Reuters reports that the maker of the world's most widely used herbicide, Roundup, wants an international health organization to retract a report linking the chief ingredient in the weedkiller to cancer. The company said on Tuesday that a report, issued on Friday by the WHO, was biased: "The WHO has something to explain." However, as one scientist noted, "there are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate...can promote cancer and tumor growth."

 
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Did Greece Just Launch Capital Controls: "Mandatory Cash Transfer" Decreed Due To "Extremely Urgent Need"





We warned last week that capital controls were inevitable and it apears the first steps have been taken (very quietly):

*GREECE ISSUES DECREE: LOCAL GOVTS OBLIGED TO TRANSFER DEPOSIT RESERVES AT CENTRAL BANK

So, following the pension fund raid, the Greek government is now centralizing all Greek cash citing an extremely urgent and unforeseen need.". One wonders if this is Krugman's "advice."

 
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As Gazprom CEO Arrives In Athens, EU (Coincidentally) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Russian Giant





As the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, arrives in Athens tomorrow (for talks with Greek PM Tsipras about "current energy issues of interest," which we suspect will include finalizing the "Turkish Stream" pipeline heralded by many as Greece's potential get-out-of-Troika-jail-card), he will face an increasingly anxious European Union. Fresh from its suit against Google, the WSJ reports, the EU's competition regulator plans to file formal antitrust charges against Russia’s state-owned gas company OAO Gazprom on Wednesday. This re-opens a suit from 2012 saying that it suspected the company of abusing its dominant position in those countries’ natural-gas supply. It appears Europe is getting nervous...

 
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Greek Debt Crisis Coming To Head - Contagion?





If and when Greece finally defaults it will be able to place the blame squarely at the feet of the European elites. If an agreement has not been reached by Friday when the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers meet in Riga it is quite likely that Greece will default.

 
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Frontrunning: April 20





  • Just How Leaky Is the Fed? More Than You May Realize (BBG)
  • Republican Presidential Candidates Spar Over Party’s Future (WSJ)
  • Euro Area Seeks Greece Roadmap to May Agreement (BBG)
  • The $320 Billion Bogey Needed to Placate U.S. Stock Market Bulls (BBG)
  • Seeking Obamacare alternative, Republicans eye tax credits (Reuters)
  • Gundlach Says Market Hasn’t Seen Full Impact of Fed Moves (BBG)
  • EU meets on migrant crisis as shipwreck corpses brought ashore (Reuters)
  • Canada’s Own Oil Pipeline Problem (WSJ)
 
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Despite Urges And Threats, Greece Remains Defiant, Won't "Budge On Red Lines" Even As Russia Denies Gas Deal





Hopes ran high among Europe's unelected bureaucratic oligarchy and the Troika of official creditors that the Greek government, after the ECB openly dropped hints of a Greek IOU currency in the immediate future, would finally relent over the weekend and admit that all of its promises to its voters were a lie and that the Tsipras government would finally pick up where the Samaras government left (and was booted) off. There was even a perfect venue: Washington D.C., where Varoufakis and Obama met for the first time just hours before. The hopes were promptly dashed after Greece, once again, said it would not "renege on election pledges to end austerity measures as creditors pressed for a compromise."

 
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