- Greece to submit loan request to euro zone, Germany resists (Reuters)
- Ukrainian forces start to quit besieged town (Reuters)
- Bank of Japan maintains policy, no surprises (FT)
- China Considering Mergers Among Its Big State Oil Companies (WSJ)
- Soros Shifts to Europe, Asia as Investors Cut U.S. Equities (BBG)
- Putin tells Kiev to let troops surrender as Ukraine ceasefire unravels (Reuters)
- Venezuela Squanders Its Oil Wealth (BBG)
- Swiss prosecutor raids HSBC office, opens criminal inquiry (Reuters)
There was much confusion yesterday when algos went into a buying frenzy on news that Greece would submit a request for a 6 month loan extension, believing this means Greece has caved and will agree to a bailout programme extension as well. Nothing could have been further from the truth as we explained first moments after the headline struck, and also as Reuters validated moments ago when it said that "Greece will submit a request to the euro zone on Wednesday to extend a "loan agreement" for up to six months but EU paymaster Germany says no such deal is on offer and Athens must stick to the terms of its existing international bailout." But since the political nuances of diplomacy are lost on the math Ph.Ds who program the market-moving algos, the S&P did manage to roar above 2100 on what was another headfake and then forgot to sell off on the reality.
Vladimir Putin says he is "more optimist than pessimist" on Ukraine, but warns that there will be "no end to war if Kiev believes in a military solution." Noting that he believes there has been an "overall decrease" in military activity, he notes that Debaltseve was "possible to forecast," and then proclaims:
*PUTIN SAYS U.S. ARMS ALREADY BEING SUPPLIED TO UKRAINE
Of course, we already have "YouTube" proof of American military presence in Ukraine (which for Washington would have been good enough to wage war) but Putin offers no specific proof and adds rather pointedly that "most Ukraine troops want no part of fractricidal war."
UPDATE: *POROSHENKO SAYS UN MUST NOT ALLOW FULL-SCALE WAR IN EUROPE
As the game of chicken between Greece and the Eurogroup hots up, it appears another - potentially far more deadly - is escalating in Ukraine as neither side is willing to follow through on the terms of the Minsk Summit peace deal - removing heavy weaponry from the frontlines - as a key deadline passes without agreement. As The Guardian reports, The Ukrainian military have stated that "as soon as the militants cease fire, the Ukrainian side will begin to withdraw heavy weaponry from the frontline," and the pro-Russian separatists proclaim, "We do not have the right [to stop fighting for Debaltseve]," adding that as far as the truce, "we have everything ready for a mutual withdrawal. We will not do anything unilaterally – that would make our soldiers targets."
From a Citi global credit survey: "...over 65% of respondents said they believed action from central banks in Europe and the US would be the principal force driving credit index spreads [and] surprisingly, in a year with major political catalysts in Europe, and ongoing regional tensions in the Middle East and Russia, only 4% of respondents felt that geopolitical risk would be the major factor driving spreads.”
The chances of Greece being forced out of the euro zone have risen but a compromise agreement between Athens and its European partners is still possible, Greek media and investment banks said on Tuesday.
- Markets From Stocks to Debt to Euro Show Little No Panic (BBG)
- Greek Euro Exit Risk Increases as EU Delivers Ultimatum (BBG)
- Oil rises to $62, near 2015 high as Mideast risks support (Reuters)
- Texas judge blocks Obama plan to protect undocumented immigrants (Reuters)
- Oil Train Derails and Ignites Forcing West Virginia Evacuations (BBG)
- Battle rages for town where Ukraine rebels reject ceasefire (BBG)
- Chinese Firms Tiptoe Back Into Europe’s Battered Financial Sector (WSJ)
- Putin’s Paradise Becomes Economic No-Go Zone Where Cash Is King (BBG)
- Emerging fund managers stuck in buy-and-hold as trading shrivels (Reuters)
The attacks demonstrate a shocking vulnerability in the highly interconnected global banking system. The Kaspersky Lab report gives a fascinating insight into the hackers operation.
Futures Rebound On Collapse In Greek Negotiations, After Europe's Largest Derivatives Exchange BreaksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/17/2015 06:43 -0500
There was a brief period this morning when market prices were almost determined by non-central banks. Almost. Because shortly before the European market open, a technical failure on the Eurex exchange prevented trading in euro-area bond futures the day after Greek debt talks collapsed. And sure enough, after initially seeing significant downward pressure, which nobody could capitalize on of course courtesy of the broken Eurex, risk both in Europe and the US has since rebounded courtesy of the ECB, SNB and BIS, led by the EURUSD (because a Grexit threat which according to Commerzbank has been raised from 25% to 50% is bullish for the artificial currency), which is now at the level last seen just before yesterday's negotiations broke down, and US futures are about to go green.
In case anyone didn’t get ISIL’s message from their latest video in which 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians have their heads sawn off, here it is: “We’re executioners, not warriors.” The Big Prize, of course, is the grand fortress of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is surrounded by Islamic maniacs now and if Saudi Arabia falls apart, it’s game over for modern life as the West has known it (and much of Asia now, too). But Europe is a gigantic debt minefield that no one can really walk across. Other parts of it than Greece are just waiting to blow up, and will, and it’s unclear whether Europe is even paying attention to the blood-red welcome mat that was laid out in Libya last weekend.
This militarism will end one way or the other. Either enough Americans will wake up and demand an end to Washington’s foreign adventurism, or we will go broke and be unable to spend another fiat dollar on maintaining the global US empire.
While certainly a revision is pending after today's latest, disastrous Eurogroup meeting after which the two sides are further apart from reaching a deal than a week earlier, here is the latest set of questions asked by UBS clients on the topic of "what could go wrong" with the biggest Swiss bank's mutedly optimistic outlook on the "global recovery" (aided no doubt by the biggest intervention of central banks in history) which is characterizes as "uneven", especially when one considered that even UBS itself admitted last week that a "dislocation" in the market (which is "underestimating Grexit Risks") is necessary in order to overcome the Greek impasses.
After Conducting Navy Drills In East Mediterranean, Russia Puts Airborne Troops In Volgograd On AlertSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/16/2015 10:04 -0500
Moments ago, Interfax made it a trifecta when it reported that:
RUSSIA PUTS AIRBORNE TROOPS ON ALERT IN VOLGOGRAD REGION: IFX
ASSAULT LANDING UNIT OF AIRBORNE TROOPS ALERTED IN VOLGOGRAD REGION
As a reminder, Volgograd is about 150 miles east of Ukraine.