SWIFT

Mystery Man Behind $100 Million Central Bank Heist Revealed As Bangladesh Moves To Sue Fed

The incredible story behind the cyber heist that resulted in an $81 million loss for the central bank of Bangladesh continues to get more intriguing. Bangladesh is looking to sue the NY Fed for lapses in protocol, while Philippine officials race to untangle a complex web of bad actors and shady go-betweens that looks like it may lead back to one Kim Wong, who 15 years ago was accused of connecting then-Senator Panfilo Lacson to drug lords. Meanwhile, a cyber security expert who spoke to the police and the media was kidnapped from a motorized rickshaw by men in plainclothes who blindfolded him, threw him in a vehicle, and drove away.

Mystery Of New York Fed Robbery Has Central Banks Asking Who's Next

From the NY Fed, to a local branch of a commercial bank in the Philippines, to a remittances company, to three casinos, and then... nothing. A cold trail. Who's at the end of the central bank heist rabbit hole? And do any of the people along the paper trail actually know who's pulling the strings? 

Frontrunning: March 14

  • Fed to sit tight on rates at March meet, hint at hikes to come (Reuters)
  • Election setback a 'wake-up call' for Merkel, media and politicians say (Reuters)
  • Germany’s Merkel under renewed attack after populists’ poll success (FT)
  • Temperatures Rise on Eve of Next GOP Contests (WSJ)
  • Carl Icahn setting up son to take his place: sources (Post)
  • Turkey Vows Swift Retaliation After Bomb Kills 37 in Capital (BBG)

Central Bank Rally Fizzles: Equity Futures Lower As Attention Turns To "Hawkish Fed" Risk

While Asia was up on China's bad data, and Europe was higher again this morning to catch up for the Friday afternoon US surge, US equity futures may have finally topped off and are now looking at this week's critical data, namely the BOJ's decision tomorrow (where Kuroda is expected to do nothing), and the Fed's decision on Wednesday where a far more "hawkish announcement" than currently priced in by the market, as Goldman warned last night, is likely, in what would put an end to the momentum and "weak balance sheet" rally.

The Fed's Got A Problem

Of course, if things were as good economically as we are told by Wall Street and the mainstream media, would the ECB really be needing to drop further into negative interest rate territory and boost QE? By fully committing to hiking interest rates, and promoting the economic recovery meme, changing direction now would lead to a loss of confidence and a more dramatic swoon in the financial markets. Such an event would create the very recession they are trying to avoid.

Asian Surge Continues As Rally Stalls In Europe; S&P Futures Unchanged

While Asian stocks continued their longest rally since August overnight, led higher for the third consecutive day on the back of Japan (+1.3%), Australia (+1.2%) and China (+0.4%) strength, European stocks have as of this moment halted their longest rally since October (Stoxx -0.1%) and U.S. index futures are little changed. Oil slipped from an eight-week high despite yesterday's massive rise in US oil inventories on hopes Saudi Arabia may be forced to cut production as its budget strains grow actue and the kingdom is forced to seek a $10 billion loan, its first material borrowing in a decade.

Chesapeake Founder Aubrey McClendon Dies In Car Crash One Day After Federal Indictment

Just one day after the DOJ unveiled its had indicted Chesapeake Founder and former CEO Aubrey McClendon on federal charges of conspiring to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases, moments ago the Oklahoma Police announced that he was found dead in a car accident, when while traveling in a 2013 Chevy Tahoe at a high rate of speed he crashed while driving on a two-lane highway and was engulfed in flames.