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Frontrunning: March 22

  • Brussels Rocked by Deadly Attacks With Blasts at Airport, Subway (BBG)
  • Death count climbs in Brussels blasts (Reuters)
  • Europe on High Alert After Blasts in Belgium (WSJ)
  • Brussels Phone Users Urged to Text Not Call as Networks Jammed (BBG)
  • U.S. Embassy Urges Citizens in Brussels to Shelter in Place (BBG)
  • Oil prices swept lower after Brussels blasts spook investors (Reuters)
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Belgium Cancels All Air, Rail Traffic Into/ Out Of Brussels; Military Deployed

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. 

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Global Markets, S&P500 Futures Fall After Brussels Bombings

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.

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Turkey Is Now Paying The Price For "Creating ISIS Monster It Can No Longer Control"

"...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."

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Clinton Emails Reveal Google’s Role In Attempting To Oust Syria's Assad

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.

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Sweden's Refugee 'Crisis' Has "Gone Past The Breaking Point"

"No modern welfare state has had an inflow of refugees per capita that’s equivalent to Sweden’s...We’ve gone past the breaking point... people may start wondering whether it's worth paying taxes."

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Is There A US-Russia Grand Bargain In Syria?

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.

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Turkish Turmoil As ISIS Blamed For Weekend Attack; Video Shows Police Using Water Cannons On Peaceful Kurds

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.

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New CCTV Footage Shows Moment Of Deadly Istanbul Suicide Attack

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.

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Caught On Tape: Turkey Shoots At Kurds Waving White Flag In Cizre

Two days ago, the Obama administration accused ISIS of committing genocide. Where, one might ask, is the accountability for Washington's NATO ally Erdogan?

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EU, Turkey Strike Migrant Deal; Erdogan Gets €6 Billion

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.

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US Ally: Democracy, Freedom Have "Absolutely No Value Any Longer"

Concerns about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian leanings have been at the fore in the nation’s political dialogue since he assumed the presidency, and appear to have been well founded, as in a televised speech today he declared “democracy, freedom, and the rule of law have absolutely no value any longer.”

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On Opex Day, It's All About The Dollar: Futures, Oil Levitate As USD Weakness Persists

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.

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