Ever since the mysterious, unexpected bursting of ISIS on the global stage one year ago with much fanfare and even more carefully produced with just the right amount of lighting beheading video clip, we said from the very beginning that entire rehashed sequence of events in the middle east is about one thing: removing Syria's Assad from power just so the nat gas infrastructure from Qatar can traverse the territory and enter Europe, eliminating Russia's energy dominance over the continent. Today we got the latest confirmation of this in an AP report according to which "Turkey and Saudi Arabia have converged on an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad."
It would appear America's transformation into a "Big Brother" police state is not endorsed by every branch of the government after all.
Turkey is currently trying to decide which of the two similar though competing projects - the Eurasian or the European Energy Union - would be more beneficial for the country. Russia’s attempts to build an ever closer relationship with Turkey - and the latter’s openness to such gestures - will complicate regional energy geopolitics further. Thus, Brussels and Ankara are likely to disagree on strategically important energy security issues over the coming years unless Turkey and the EU can achieve tighter cooperation under the framework of the European Energy Union. But if Turkey instead starts to pursue a more independent policy, particularly one at odds with the European Union, the Eurasian region will experience ever more unstable and competitive energy geopolitics.
Quickly looking at the potential market moving events this week, US payrolls on Friday will be the clear focus. In terms of expectations, our US colleagues are expecting a +225k print which matches the current Bloomberg consensus, while they expect the unemployment rate to drop one-tenth to 5.4%. Elsewhere, Thursday’s UK Election will be closely followed while Greece will once again be front and center.
Following yesterday's early MNI rumor that a Chinese QE is being "considered" and which sent the Shanghai Composite surging 3% and led to an initial boost in US stock futures, overnight the PBOC scrambled to once again deny such speculation. Of course, going full "cold Turkey" on Chinese stimulus would be too much for the market to handle, so in a piece by the WSJ also released overnight, the author said the PBOC would pivot from outright QE to mere LTRO, which is also not new and was reported over a week ago here in "China Floats QE Trial Balloon, PBoC May Launch LTROs." In any event, for now at least, Asian stocks are not happy despite Apple's latest blockbuster results, and neither is Europe, with the Stoxx 600 down 1%, and even the E-mini is hugging 2100 unable to levitate on any imminent central bank intervention.
This new nothingness is creating a youth, a political system and an economic outlook which is based more in peoples’ heads and minds than it is in reality.
At a certain point, even central bankers will realise they can go no further.
While sentiment towards gold in the West is abysmal - even as gold languishes at record lows when adjusted for inflation - Asian demand remains insatiable. It would be wise for investors to inform themselves as to why this should be so. Demand for gold in Asia is often written off by Westerners as an irrational impulse of uneducated Asian peasant farmers and workers.
As the Greek negotiations with the eurogroup and the ‘institutions’ show us with intense and increasing clarity, the notion of the euro being a boat to lift all tides turns out to be full-on bogus. Southern Europe’s nations will be either thrown out or allowed to stay only as debt servants. For now, Germany and Holland prefer to keep everyone on board, but that may still change. It would therefore seem like a good idea for Greece and Italy to make their moves while they can. What Tsipras and Varoufakis must accomplish is to make people understand that what Europe does to the refugees, it will do to its own citizens too.
"The EU and US need to hear the pleas coming from the southern European countries, as well as those of the refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe has reached large scale, with profound and irreversible consequences. Greece is paying a disproportionately high price, although Greece played no role in triggering this catastrophe. The EU and the US have the moral obligation, which is also consistent with their long-term interests, to take the necessary steps to put an end to the suffering of those in war zones, while at the same time preventing Greece’s collapse under the mounting pressure of refugees."
- Obama’s Drone-Strike Rules to Be Reviewed (WSJ)
- Hostage locations difficult to track - and may be getting harder (Reuters)
- Varoufakis Said to Take Hammering From Riled EU Ministers (BBG)
- EU Frustration Mounts as Greeks Try to Bypass Aid Process (BBG)
- Kleiner Perkins seeks almost $1 million in costs in Pao case (Reuters)
- Google Misses, Caps Costs as Growth Slows (WSJ)... stock surges
- Oil prices trade near 2015 highs on Yemen worries (Reuters)
- Pentagon Announces New Strategy for Cyberwarfare (NYT)
- Bloomberg Oil at $65 Seen Freeing 500,000 Barrels From Shale Fracklog (BBG)
- ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao: It Was Wits, Not Bits (WSJ)
With Turkish enforcement now granted a green light to detain anyone, for any reason, the next inevitable crackdown was only a matter of time - that on free speech. Overnight we got a vivid example of just that when a university student in southern Turkey has been handed a one-year suspended sentence for retweeting a satirical article about a governor from Zaytung, a mock news portal in Turkey, daily Cumhuriyet has reported.
- The Fed Still Wants Easy Money (BBG) - you don't say
- ECB Is Studying Curbs on Greek Bank Support (BBG)
- Banks Paid to Borrow as Three-Month Euribor Drops Below Zero (BBG)
- Baoding Tianwei is first state-owned Chinese enterprise to default (Reuters)
- Major Chinese Developer Says It Can’t Pay Dollar Debts (BBG)
- Wall Street Has No Idea How Much Money Venezuela Has (BBG)
- Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Find Different Paths to Profits (WSJ)
- Does the Collapse of a Chinese Developer Signal the Start of More Defaults? (BBG)
- Retail Traders Wield Social Media for Investing Fame (WSJ)
Noam Chomsky: "The Idea Of A Media Which Does Not Repeat US Propaganda Is Intolerable To American Leaders"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2015 21:32 -0400
"Take the New York Times -- the greatest newspaper in the world. Take one example, at the first article that appeared today, that the tentative [nuclear] agreement with Iran was reached. It’s a thinkpiece, by Peter Baker, one of their main analysts. He discusses in it the main reasons to distrust Iran, the crimes of Iran. It’s very interesting to look at. The most interesting one is the charge that Iran is destabilizing the Middle East because it’s supporting militias which have killed American soldiers in Iraq. That’s kind of as if, in 1943, the Nazi press had criticized England because it was destabilizing Europe for supporting partisans who were killing German soldiers."
While this week sees the peak of Q1 earnings season, it will be a generally quiet week on the macro economic front for both EM and DM, with the emphasis on the latest seasonally adjusted manufacturing sentiment surveys, US durables and Japan trade.