Wall Street Journal
When we first exposed in February how yet another bank - Bank of America - has been quietly preserving the post Glass-Steagall world in which cash depositing taxpayers are on the hook for a bank's stupidity, some shrugged it off and looked to stress test to solve all the problems. However, it appears - for once - the SEC is not willing to just ignore the bank's actions. Just as JPMorgan's CIO Office, aka the London Whale, took advantage of fungible, taxpayer-insured funding in the form of excess US deposits over loans, to corner the US credit market (in what was clearly a directional prop trade); so, as WSJ reports, The SEC is investigating whether BofA broke rules designed to safeguard client accounts, potentially putting retail-brokerage funds at risk in order to generate more profits using large complex trades.
The worldwide commodity glut is not a surprise to Austrian school economists - It is a wonderful example of the adverse consequences of monetary repression to drive the interest rate below the natural rate.
The cynicism among the informed classes has never been so deep. Even the pompom boys in the cheerleading clubs like CNBC and The Wall Street Journal express wonderment at the levitation of stock indexes and bond values. They chatter about a “correction” of 20 percent being a healthful tonic that would clear away some dross and quickly usher in a new episode of “growth” — or growthiness, which, like truthiness, became an acceptable approximation of the real thing. The truth, as opposed to truthiness, is they no longer believe their own bullshit about growthiness. Behind the financial jitters of the informed minority is the greater fear of social unrest.
Over the past year, special-operations forces have landed in 81 countries.
A U.S. drone strike in January targeting a suspected al Qaeda compound in Pakistan inadvertently killed an American and Italian being held hostage by the group, senior Obama administration officials said. As WSJ reports, the killing of American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto is the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally killed a hostage in a drone strike. We await President Obama's 'collateral damage' explanation.
In a stunning shun to Congressional lawmakers, WSJ reports that The Fed has failed to comply with a request that the bank-owned entity identify the individuals who leaked The FOMC Minutes to Medley Global Advisors a day before the official release in October 2012. Rep. Jeb Hensarling sent a letter to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on April 15 asking the Fed to name them by 5 p.m. EDT April 22. The deadline passed without any response by the Fed...
"To find the real source of the system's excessive fragility, the regulators will need to look much closer to home... The Federal Reserve remains the largest market manipulator ever, and the desperate yield-chasing, hair-trigger markets that it created were the primary cause of that crash and the inevitable ones yet to come."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe awoke on Wednesday to find a half-meter-wide drone, contaminated with trace levels of radioactive cesium, on the roof of his office in Tokyo. Of course this is nothing new for Washington where a drone crash-landed on The White House lawn in January and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan is looking to tighten laws governing drones (ahead of next year's G7-summit and the 2020 Olympics). Of course, the police have explained cesium isn't harmful to humans (though we suspect they aren't stupid enough to drink it).
The People’s Bank of China may have tripled holdings of bullion since it last updated them in April 2009, to 3,510 metric tons. It is worth noting that the U.S. refuses to allow their gold reserves to be publicly audited and the Bundesbank is having difficulty repatriating much of its gold stored with the Federal Reserve. This has led many analysts to speculate that the U.S.’s gold reserves have been leased out or sold or are encumbered as part of an ongoing effort to manipulate gold prices.
Deposed former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison today in connection with a crackdown on protesters during demonstrations against his rule in late 2012. Morsi assumed the Presidency in 2012 after Hosni Mubarak was toppled a year earlier during the Arab Spring. Morsi's "democracy" lasted all of 4 months before he granted himself special autocratic powers triggering unrest that would eventually lead the military to assume power.
China is looking to succeed where the United States has failed. Beijing — which, as a reminder, claims it will not use its regional infrastructure development initiatives as a tool of foreign policy — is now set to facilitate the construction of nearly $50 billion in power plants, roads, and railways in neighboring Pakistan. The proposal, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean via the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, is part of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious “Silk Road” Economic Belt, and importantly, will likely include financing for the completion of the "Peace Pipeline," which will carry natural gas from Iranian gas fields across Pakistan.
Anthrax Was As Important As 9/11 In "Justifying" the War on Terror, the Iraq War, and the Patriot Act
2010 Contrarian Prediction of the Disastrous Consequences of ZIRP & Free Money Policy In the Banking System, Year 5Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/17/2015 10:41 -0400
In 2010, contrary to nearly every pundit, analyst and economist popularly published, I proclaimed ZIRP would starve the banks. Fast forward 5 years and banks are looking famished and things are getting worse 'casue more bailouts are coming before we finish ending the last bailout program (ZIRP) - The Federal Reserve has decided to let U.S. banks make limited use of municipal bonds to meet liquidity requirements
"Fu$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.