Wall Street Journal
Just hours after being force to admit that they were hacked (by Russians apparently), an inspector general's report shows that The IRS has rather remarkably continued to pay refunds on hundreds of thousands of fraudulent tax returns in recent years, and sent dozens of checks to the same addresses, including in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. While some progress has been made, $2.3 billion of real US taxpayer's money was wrongfully refunded to fake US taxpayers... but with this new cyber-attack, we suspect that number will soar.
When we first brought the world's attention to the 330ET daily ramp in US equity markets, we were shrugged off as conspiracy wonks once again, but 2 years later - as trading activity has become increasingly focused in smaller and smaller windows during the trading day, so the mainstream media has finally been forced to admit that the US equity market has become nothing but Ebay - where everyone waits til the last second.
The ‘war’ word is being increasingly heard internationally as the U.S., EU, Russia and China adopt provocative postures over various disputes including Ukraine and in the Pacific. War with the U.S. is “inevitable” if the U.S. involves itself in the dispute which has arisen over the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea according to China's state controlled newspaper the Global Times.
Rare is the person who is a realist. We collectively live in a world of pretend and extend. Every one of us wants our present civilization to continue, though for countless millions the world has already turned upside down as unemployment has soared and war and terrorism proliferate. The very structure of life in our world is threatened because madmen have undermined the financial system through the creation of debt instead of wealth. We have collectively borrowed against our children’s future until their very future is in doubt.
Meet Martin "The Hammer" Mallett, chief currencies dealer at the Bank of England in 2007, and, as WSJ reports, recipient of emails that were part of an alleged campaign to rig benchmark interest rates, according to evidence presented in a London trial Wednesday. Remarkably, as we have detailed extensively, the emails were sent out with daily suggestions for where a variety of banks should set Libor. Mallett was later fired for what the central bank described as "serious misconduct," although the bank said his departure wasn’t directly related to the currencies-rigging investigation.
American consumers may have pocketed most of their gas savings thus far, but there are two discretionary items where they aren’t holding back spending: bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.
On June 5, all eyes will be on OPEC as the group convenes in Vienna to discuss its course for the second half of 2015.
China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world. It is also seen by many as the first shot in a battle between east and west for dominance in Eurasia. For the world at large, its decisions about the Road are nothing less than momentous. The massive project holds the potential for a new renaissance in commerce, industry, discovery, thought, invention, and culture that could well rival the original Silk Road. It is also becoming clearer by the day that geopolitical conflicts over the project could lead to a new cold war between East and West for dominance in Eurasia.
If any evidence was needed that the market is dying at the zero bound, it came in this week’s violent 15-minute rip when the algos read the Fed’s release to mean there will be no rate hike in June. It put you in mind of monetary rigor mortis - the last spasm of something that’s already dead but doesn’t know it. The Great Financial Bubble dying at the zero bound has been inflating with just three interruptions - 1987, 2000 and 2008-09 - for the last 33 years. As a result, the market value of stocks, bonds and other debts have simply become decoupled from national income.
The reason everything is being built for the wealthy, is because all the gains from the oligarch recovery have gone to the wealthy. This is no accident. It’s how the bailouts were designed, and how the status quo operates. Our socio-economic system since 2008 can be best described as serfdom, and nothing is going to change until people admit this, rather than hanging on to false hopes that they one day too will become an oligarch. It’s not gonna happen.
“It is unacceptable, illegal and corrupt for anyone at the Fed to deliver inside information that could provide a financial advantage to the privileged few and lead to the manipulation of financial markets”: Hensarling
Asked whether he would repeat an assurance he gave in late 2012 that Greece wouldn't default, Wolfgang Schäuble told The Wall Street Journal and French daily Les Echos that “I would have to think very hard before repeating this in the current situation.” To which Moody's had just one thing to add: "there is a high likelihood of an imposition of capital controls and a deposit freeze."
UBS will pay $545 million, plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, and go on DoJ "probation" for three years for its role in forex manipulation. The market's assessment of how things turned out for the bank: "It couldn't have been better."
During the Iraq war more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers died, countless others were severely injured, and the total cost to U.S. taxpayers was more than 2 trillion dollars. But now whatever the U.S. military accomplished during that war is being completely undone by ISIS. On Monday, we learned that ISIS had fully taken control of the strategically important city of Ramadi. Despite nine months of airstrikes by the U.S. military, ISIS continues to move forward and take new territory. So what will the U.S. do if ISIS actually takes control of the entire country?
Shortly after 6pm London time yesterday, The ECB's Benoit Coeure told a non-public audience of hedge funds in London that "the central bank would moderately front-load its purchases in its quantitative easing program because of the seasonal lack of market liquidity in the summer." The reaction was a 50 pips drop in EURUSD... but this was inside information was not released to the trading public until around 8am London time - and resulted in a 150 pip plunge. In other words, a select private group of head funds in London were leaked ECB front-loading news 14 hours before The ECB deemed it 'correct' to publicly release the comments... due to what The ECB calls "an internal procedure error."