Brussels has once more been transformed into a warzone after at least three explosions ripped through the city on Tuesday morning killing what will likely end up being dozens of people. Up next: lockdown.
This morning's Brussels suicide attacks have led to risk-off sentiment across European asset classes, with Bunds higher and equities firmly in the red, although if the Paris terrorist attacks of November are any indication, today's tragic events may be just the catalyst the S&P500 needs to surge back to all time highs. FX markets have also been dominated by events in Brussels, with USD and JPY strengthening, while EUR and GBP softening throughout the European morning.
"...you cannot expect to train a monster like this in Turkey and expect to use it against your enemies alone. One should expect that ISIS would turn against the regime in Ankara and in Turkey at some point. When Turkey was buying the oil from ISIL, it knew very well that was a way... to finance ISIL. So Turkey now is paying the price of playing with a devil and creating a monster that it cannot control anymore."
It’s been observed for quite some time that Google isn’t just a private corporate behemoth, but that its executives are often times more intricately involved in U.S. foreign policy than most people would find appropriate. It’d be one thing if this support was for a sane and humanitarian foreign policy, but we all know it’s precisely the opposite. In fact, certain Google executives have demonstrated a particular interest in overthrowing governments throughout the Middle East, which has achieved nothing but sow chaos and result in the creation of powerful new terrorists groups such as ISIS.
It’s spy thriller stuff; no one is talking. But there are indications Russia would not announce a partial withdrawal from Syria right before the Geneva negotiations ramp up unless a grand bargain with Washington had been struck. Tradeoffs seem to be imminent. And that would imply a power shift has taken place above Obama - who is essentially a messenger, a paperboy.
Turkey says it has identified the man who detonated an explosive belt in a bustling Istanbul shopping district on Saturday. The attack is now believed to have been ISIS-inspired. Meanwhile, Kurds in Silopi thought Erdogan might let them celebrate the Persian new year. They were wrong.
For the fourth time this year and the second time in seven days, one of Turkey’s major cities has been hit with a deadly suicide bombing. Just six days after an explosion ripped through a transit hub in Ankara’s Kizilay neighborhood killing 34 people and wounding more than 100, a bustling shopping street in Istanbul was shaken by a powerful blast on Saturday.
The migrant crisis is over and Europe is fixed. Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu was in Brussels on Friday in an effort to hammer out a deal with EU officials that will help stem the flow of asylum seekers into Western Europe. As it turns out, eurocrats aren't very good at negotiating with an autocrat's messenger, which is why Europe came away with a set of promises that are impossible to enforce and Erdogan got €6 billion plus accelerated EU membership.
It may be option expiration day (always leading to abnormal market activity) but it remains all about the weak dollar, which after crashing in the two days after the Fed's surprisingly dovish statement has put both the ECB and the BOJ in the very awkward position that shortly after both banks have drastically eased, the Euro and the Yen are now trading stronger relative to the dollar versus prior. As DB puts it, "the US Dollar has tumbled in a fairly impressive fashion since the FOMC on Wednesday with the Dollar spot index now down the most over a two-day period since 2009" which naturally hurts those countries who have been rushing to debase their own currencies against the USD.
The timing of the Russian withdrawal could not be more fortuitous, as it occurs at the very pinnacle of the European refugee crisis, a crisis that was caused by Europe’s backing of the Saudi-Turkish attempt to overthrow Assad. Is Russia gambling on receiving some modicum of European gratitude for helping to stem the flight of refugees to its borders, with the pay-off in terms of easing sanction and enabling its long stalled pipeline projects to be completed.