Wall Street Journal
Anthrax Was As Important As 9/11 In "Justifying" the War on Terror, the Iraq War, and the Patriot Act
2010 Contrarian Prediction of the Disastrous Consequences of ZIRP & Free Money Policy In the Banking System, Year 5Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/17/2015 10:41 -0400
In 2010, contrary to nearly every pundit, analyst and economist popularly published, I proclaimed ZIRP would starve the banks. Fast forward 5 years and banks are looking famished and things are getting worse 'casue more bailouts are coming before we finish ending the last bailout program (ZIRP) - The Federal Reserve has decided to let U.S. banks make limited use of municipal bonds to meet liquidity requirements
"Fu$k the Fundamentals!": Negative Rates In EU Will Absolutely Wreck the Very System the ECB Sought to SaveSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/14/2015 12:09 -0400
The dude that called the Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis in 2010 is making it clear that the ECB is playing with fire, but will never admit it's getting burned.
A look ahead into next week's macro forces.
Politics in America is controlled by money in America. But of course none of that, however accurate, makes it right.
It had to happen sooner or later... in the new normal of yield-reaching, collateral-shortage-ing, money-printing economalypse, the Swiss government has become the first ever to issue a 10Y sovereign bond at a negative yield. As WSJ notes, while several European countries have sold government debt at negative yields up to five years of maturity - which means investors effectively pay for the privilege of buying it - no other country has previously stretched this out as long as 10 years. Mission Accomplished Central Bankers?
The full breakdown of the biggest energy deal in the past decade and the 14th largest ever corporate takeover.
Previously, Elliott Management's Paul Singer has explained that he believes "there is one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence" - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Today we dig deeper into that risk... Why are we writing about EMP? Because in any analysis of societal risk, EMP stands all by itself.
"We hope that public figures in other countries can respect China's judicial sovereignty and independence," was the abrupt response from Beijing, clearly aimed at Hillary Clinton, after the yet-to-announce-her-run-for-president-ness, denounced as "inexcusable" the detention of five women activists. On suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble", the five women face a jail sentence of up to five years, and so Clinton, using direct social media channels, tweeted, "The detention of women's activists in China must end. This is inexcusable". China's Foreign Ministry said the matter was an internal affair.
It appears time for the Oracle of Omaha to start pressing his bought-and-paid-for Washington well-be-dones as his immensely profitable rail freight business - built on the back of massive deflation-inducing malinvestment in US Shale businesses thanks to ZIRP and QE - is running out of steam. As WSJ reports, in March, oil-train traffic was down 7% on a year-over-year basis amid safety concerns and with lower crude prices, "the extra cost of rail makes it a tougher choice," notes on analyst, adding that the WTI-Brent spread needs to increase "for the economics of crude by rail" to make sense.
The swell of anti-Russian propaganda, confrontation and attempted intimidation by NATO has increased, and if it continues to do so it is likely that Moscow will take action, thereby upping the stakes and the danger even more. It is time that NATO’s nations came to terms with the reality that Russia is a major international power with legitimate interests in its own region. Moscow is not going to bow the knee in the face of immature threats by sabre-rattling US generals and their swaggering acolytes. It is time for NATO to forge ties rather than destroy them — and to build bridges rather than glitzy office blocks.
Barron’s should have published its gushing cover story on Jamie Dimon’s stewardship of JPMorgan today – as an April Fool’s joke.
“Everybody knows that the Americans are dropping supplies to Daesh,” said Brig. Gen. Abed al-Maliki, a senior Iraqi army commander based in the city of Samarra, about 80 miles north of Baghdad, using another term for the Islamic State. “It’s just a show,” he said, sitting in the city’s army command headquarters. “If the Americans want to finish something, they will finish it. If they wanted to liberate Iraq, they could.”
In addition to Janet Yellen's confused ramblings at 3:45 pm on Friday, which did all they could to push the S&P to close green for the year, the other catalyst that sent stocks higher on Friday afternoon was the unconfirmed rumor reported by the WSJ that Intel would purchase Altera, the news of which briefly sent INTC stock higher than the entire market cap of Altera on what can only be described as the latest short squeeze. Yet one entity that appears unhappy with this news is none other than Goldman Sachs which likely was snubbed as an advisor or an underwriter by Intel in recent months, and which all else equal, once again slaughtered the muppets who listened to its recommendation to Sell Intel stock (just days after another comparable slaughter by Goldman on SanDisk longs this time on the Conviction Buy side).
Despite all the talk of a "positive climate" Greek talks with their creditors have ended badly for the desperately cash-strapped nation. As WSJ reports, Greek proposals for a revised bailout program don’t have enough detail - are "piecemeal and vague" - to satisfy the government’s international creditors, eurozone officials said. Furthermore, as Dow Jones reports, EU finance ministers are unlikley to meet again until mid-April (and in the meantime, Greece has to pay salaries, pensions, and most critically IMF debts due on April 9th). It appears clear that the EU is prepared to let Greece entirely run out of money in an effort to squeeze Tspiras as much as possible (though that action will likely further force a pivot to Putin).