Transparency

Microsoft Sues Obama Administration "To Keep Secrecy The Exception, Not The Rule"

The "most transparent administration ever" appears to be making no friends in the tech industry. Following its debacle with Apple, the Obama administration now faces a suit from Microsoft that, in their words, stands up for "customers’ constitutional and fundamental rights – rights that help protect privacy and promote free expression." As Microsoft's Brad Smith notes, with rare exceptions consumers and businesses have a right to know when the government accesses their emails or records, and the suit centers around the fact that since cloud storage accelerated, it’s becoming routine for the U.S. government to issue orders that require email providers to keep these types of legal demands secret. Microsoft believe that this goes too far.

Angola Could Be OPEC's First Member To Fall

The Angola crisis is a warning to the other struggling OPEC countries. Though the larger nations are better off, sustained low prices will test their financial stability as well. The weak links have started to give way, and a few others might find themselves in the same situation as struggling Angola. A nation facing such a severe financial crisis will begin to question the necessity of remaining in OPEC.

 

Sales Of Short-Term Health Plans Soar As Americans Flee Expensive Obamacare

When it comes to Obamacare, the devil is in the details. As the years go by, Americans are quickly recognizing that not only is Obamacare not helping them out, it’s actually crushing their paychecks to such an degree they’re finding it necessary to pursue alternatives. This has resulted in a mad dash into non-ACA compliant short-term health insurance plans, or the kind of plans Obamacare was specifically designed to replace.

Frontrunning: April 13

  • China trade surprise gives stocks a lift (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan profit hurt by drop in investment banking revenue (Reuters)
  • About 40,000 Verizon workers launch strike (Reuters)
  • Regulators Set to Reject Some Big Banks’ ‘Living Wills’ (WSJ)
  • More Startups Are Getting Lower Valuations Than Joining the Billion-Dollar Club (BBG)
  • Closures and court cases leave Turkey's media increasingly muzzled (Reuters)

Fleecing The American Taxpayer: The Profit Incentives Driving The Police State

Everywhere you go, everything you do, and every which way you look, we’re getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense. "The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.”

As Ukraine Collapses, Europeans Tire Of US Interventions

On Sunday Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk resigned, just four days after the Dutch voted against Ukraine joining the European Union. Taken together, these two events are clear signals that the US-backed coup in Ukraine has not given that country freedom and democracy. They also suggest a deeper dissatisfaction among Europeans over Washington’s addiction to interventionism.

 

Frontrunning: April 1

  • Italian Bank Stocks are Surging on the Back of Rescue Reports (WSJ)
  • European Stocks Rise Led by Italian Banks; Emerging Markets Gain (BBG)
  • Oil price dips on prospects for producers' meeting (Reuters)
  • U.S. shale oil firms feel credit squeeze as banks grow cautious (Reuters)
  • U.S. banks' dismal first quarter may spell trouble for 2016 (Reuters)
  • Miserable Year for Banks: Stocks Suffer as Rates Stay Low (WSJ)

U.S. Futures Jump In Tandem With Soaring Italian Banks On Hopes Of Government Bailout

it has been a rather quiet session, which saw Japan modestly lower dragged again by a lower USDJPY which hit fresh 17 month lows around 170.6 before staging another modest rebound and halting a six-day run of gains; China bounced after a slightly disappointing CPI print gave hope there is more space for the PBOC to ease; European equities rose, led by Italian banks which surged ahead of a meeting to discuss the rescue of various insolvent Italian banks, while mining stocks jumped buoyed by rising metal prices with signs of a pick-up in Chinese industrial demand.

28 Blank Pages: Washington’s Cover-Up Of The Saudi Role In The 9/11 Terrorist Attack Continues

Do Americans have the right to learn whether a foreign government helped finance the 9/11 attacks? A growing number of congressmen and senators are demanding that a 28-page portion of a 2002 congressional report finally be declassified. The Obama administration appears to be resisting, and the stakes are huge. What is contained in those pages could radically change Americans’ perspective on the war on terror.

Head Of "Transparency International" In Chile Resigns After "Panama Papers" Revelations

The president of the Chilean branch of Transparency International resigned on Monday after documents from a Panamanian law firm showed he was linked to at least five offshore companies.
For those who are unfamiliar, Transparency International is a German-based organization that seeks to monitor and root out corporate and political corruption worldwide.

"Risk Off" - Global Stocks Slide As Yen Surges To 17 Month High; Bund Yields Plunge

The market's slumberous levitation of the past month, in which yesterday's -0.3% drop was the second largest in 4 weeks and in which the market had gone for 15 consecutive days without a 1% S&P 500 move (in March 2015 the sasme streak ended at day 16) may be about to end, after an overnight session, the polar opposite of yesterday's smooth sailing, which has seen a sudden return of global risk off mood.