Transparency

IMF's Lagarde Responds To Tsirpas: Calls Use Of Credit Event As Negotiating Tactic "Simply Nonsense"

"Any speculation that IMF staff would consider using a credit event as a negotiating tactic is simply nonsense... this weekend’s incident has made me concerned as to whether we can indeed achieve progress in a climate of extreme sensitivity to statements of either side... I have decided to allow our team to return to Athens to continue the discussions... it is critical that your authorities ensure an environment that respects the privacy of their internal discussions and take all necessary steps to guarantee their personal safety... the IMF conducts its negotiations in good faith, not by way of threats, and we do not communicate through leaks."

Frontrunning: April 1

  • Saudi Arabia Will Only Freeze Oil Production If Iran Joins (BBG)
  • Japanese gloom ensures slow start to quarter for world stocks (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era (BBG)
  • Prices Sag in Warning to ECB Even as Manufacturing Picks Up (BBG)
  • China factories scent hint of spring, Europe still chilly (Reuters)
  • Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements (WSJ)

S&P Revises China's Credit Outlook To Negative On Growth, Debt Concerns - Full Text

Ripley's believe it or not world continues. Earlier today, Hong Kong's Hang Seng market entered a bull market, rising 20% from its February lows, just as Hong Kong retail sales plunged 20.6%, the bigest drop since 1999 and then moments ago, in a move that pushed the Chinese Yuan stronger at least initially, S&P revised its Chinese outlook to negative, saying the economic rebalancing is likely to proceed more slowly than had expected over next 5 years and warning about China's debt load.

Saudis To "Modernize" Economy As Interbank Rates Surge & Money Supply Collapses At Record Pace

For the first time since January 2009, 12-month Saudi interbank rates have breached 2.00% - double the 1% lows of August. This 'stress' is also evident in the record pace of collapse of Saudi money-supply and while Riyal forwards have rallied back from extreme bets on devaluation, they remain concerning for Saudi officials who to undertake some deep and fundamental changes to their economy, reforms that no amount of browbeating from organizations like the IMF could induce.

Partner At Blackstone Spun-off Private Equity Firm Arrested, Charged With Stealing $95 Million

In a shocking development, earlier today a highly reputable executive with a just as reputable private equity firm was arrested and charged with securities fraud. Andrew Caspersen, a Harvard Law School graduate and a partner at the Park Hill Group, an advisory firm that up until last fall had been a part of the Blackstone Group, was accused of defrauding numerous institutional investors out of $95 million through fake private equity investments.

IMF Politely Asks China To Explain Exactly How Large Its FX Forwards Book Is

In the wake of the August 11 "surprise" yuan devaluation, all anyone wanted to talk about was the rapidity with which China was liquidating its FX reserves. Before long, everyone realized that the headline number was a proxy for capital flight out of China. That made Beijing uncomfortable and so, the PBoC found more "creative" ways to intervene in FX markets. Now, the IMF wants clarity. 

Obama Administration Sets Record In Lack Of Transparency: Denies Information In 77% Of FOIA Requests

The Obama administration set a record for the number of times its federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn’t find a single page requested under the Freedom of Information Act. In more than one in six cases, or 129,825 times, government searchers said they came up empty-handed last year. Such cases contributed to an alarming measurement: People who asked for records under the law received censored files or nothing in 77 percent of requests, also a record. In the first full year after President Barack Obama’s election, that figure was only 65 percent of cases. The new data represents the final figures on the subject that will be released during Obama’s presidency. Obama has said his administration is the most transparent ever.

Norway’s Interest Rate Conundrum

We are experiencing 1970’s style stagflation, coming from the supply side, not demand. Prices are going up because Norges Bank continues to destroy the Norwegian Krone, turning it into the Nordic Peso. This is where they are “hiding” the damage to save rest of the economy. For example, housing prices will rise in NOK but fall in USD or gold (universal commodity) terms. It’s a shell game, leading to long term decline or even worse, an unexpected period of elevated inflation, requiring a rapid rise in interest rates. 

Frontrunning: March 8

  • Global Stocks Drop on Renewed Concerns About China (WSJ)
  • Iron Ore's Rally Stalls as Goldman to Citigroup Forecast Retreat (BBG)
  • EU and Turkey close to groundbreaking migrant deal (FT)
  • Carney's `Brexit' Stance Under Fire as BOE Accused of Bias (BBG)
  • Oil edges lower after Kuwait dents hopes for output freeze (Reuters)