http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/article/article/%3Ca%20href%3D en "The Barricades Are Down" Syriza Is Already Rolling Back Austerity "Reforms" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/barricades-are-down-syriza-already-rolling-back-austerity-reforms <p><strong>It didn&#39;t take long for Syriza to start making changes in Greece. </strong>While these may be minor at the margin compared to the debt &quot;issues&quot;, as <a href="http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2015/01/28/greek-government-fast-forward-with-anti-austerity-measures/">KeepTalkingGreece reports</a>, Alexis Tsipras and his junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos pushed the Fast Forward button to <strong>restore a series of so-called &ldquo;reforms&rdquo;, that is austerity measures imposed by the country&rsquo;s lenders, the Troika</strong> - among the left-wing reforms are: <em> scrapping planned privatizations, scrapping fees in public hospitals and prescriptions, restore &ldquo;the 13th pension&rdquo; for low-pensioners and other actions that SYRIZA had promised before the elections</em>. <strong>And the iron barricades in front of Parliament have been removed.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2015/01/28/greek-government-fast-forward-with-anti-austerity-measures/"><em>Via Keep Talking Greece</em></a>,</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Iron Barricades</strong></span></p> <p>The first <em>revolutionary move</em> was conducted by alternate Minister responsible for Citizens&rsquo; Protection and Public Order. Yiannis Panousis removed the iron barricades in front of the Greek Parliament. The barricades were installed to protect the lawmakers from angry demonstrators after the huge anti-austerity protests from 2010 onwards.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE1.jpg"><img height="450" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>Before</em></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE2.jpg"><img height="398" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE2.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>After</strong></em></p> <p>Panousis, who is Professor for Constitutional Law, made the announcement Wednesday morning. Right after the first meeting of the new cabinet concluded, the barricades were removed.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Health sector</strong></span></p> <p>Alternate minister <a href="http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446471/andreas-xanthos-telos-sta-5-euro-sta-exoterika-iatreia-kai-sto-1-euro-stis-sudages/#.VMigHUMvb6E.twitter" target="_blank"><strong>Andreas Xanthos</strong></a> announced the &ldquo;targeted enhancement of the health sector&rdquo;, scrapping the<strong> 5-euro fee</strong> at public hospitals and the<strong> 1-euro fee</strong> per prescription as well as reductions in the patients&rsquo; economic participation on drugs.</p> <p>The unprecedented financial burden imposed on patients had quite some people stop taking their medication or seek charity organizations for life-saving drugs. KTG has reported many times about the plight in the Greek health sector.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Pensions</strong></span></p> <p>Alternate Minister for Social Funds, <a href="http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446470/stratoulis-stop-sti-meiosi-ton-sudaxeon-epanafora-13is-sudaxis-/" target="_blank">Dimitris Stratoulis </a>announced a stop in pension cuts and to restore the &ldquo;13th pension&rdquo; for pensioners receiving below &euro;700 per month. He also said that &ldquo;uninsured farmers will receive again the &euro;360 per month.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Minimum Wage</strong></span></p> <p>Minister for Labor and Social Solidarity, <a href="http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446458/skourletis-mesa-sta-prota-nomoshedia-i-epanafora-tou-katotatou-misthou-sta-751-euro-/" target="_blank">Panos Skourletis</a>, announced that the minimum wage will be raised to &euro;751 gross, while the collective bargains will be restored.</p> <p>Under Troika pressure in the name of so-called &ldquo;competitiveness&rdquo;, the minimum wage plunged down to &euro;580 gross and &euro;490 gross for those below 25 years old in 2012 with the effect that households could not even cover their monthly basic needs.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Rehiring in Public sector</strong></span></p> <p>Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform <a href="http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446446/katrougalos-oles-oi-apoluseis-pou-eginan-adisudagmatika-tha-anaklithoun-/" target="_blank">Giorgos Katrougalos</a> announced the re-hiring of those who were laid-off from the public sector in the scheme of &ldquo;mobility&rdquo;. According to Katrougalos, the lay-offs were against the Constitution.</p> <p>School guards, cleaners and teachers were laid-off in masses, after the Greek government decided to fire over night some 10,000 people in order to meet Troika&rsquo;s demands for a lean public administration. The lay-offs were not according to meritocracy criteria, the measure affected whole groups of employees.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Greek nationality to migrants&rsquo; children</strong></span></p> <p>Alternate Minister for Migration policy <a href="http://nonews-news.blogspot.gr/2015/01/blog-post_7075.html" target="_blank">Tasia Christodoulopoulou</a> announced that migrants&rsquo; children born and raised in Greece will be granted Greek nationality, probably also children that came here in very young age.</p> <p>Taking into consideration the SYRIZA program as announced by <a href="http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2015/01/21/tsipras-promises-just-taxation-hikes-in-low-pensions-minimum-wages-and-more/" target="_blank">Alexis Tsipras on January 2oth in Thessaloniki</a>, more anti-austerity changes are on the note book of the new government. So far all ministers made their announcements in television programs. The official announcements are expected next week in the Greek Parliament when the coalition will seek <em>vote of confidence</em>.</p> <p><strong>So far we heard no ministerial announcement on TV regarding the painful issue of over-taxation.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="398" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150128_GRE2.jpg?1422453943" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/barricades-are-down-syriza-already-rolling-back-austerity-reforms#comments Greece Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:23:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 501101 at http://www.zerohedge.com Russia May Condemn "Annexation" Of East Germany http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/russia-may-condemn-annexation-east-germany <p>Who says the Russians, increasingly isolated by the west (Europe and the US threatened over the past 24 hours to escalate sanctions yet again) and increasingly more <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-17/china-prepares-bailout-russia">welcome by China</a>, India and the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-01/everyone-saying-russia-isolated-heres-map">rest of the non-western world...</a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/09/20140901_isolated.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/09/20140901_isolated_0.jpg" width="503" height="241" /></a></p> <p>... don't have a sense of humor? Days after the speaker of the Russian Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, faced scathing criticism of Russia's<br /> annexation of Crimean peninsula when he spoke at the Parliament Assembly<br /> of Europe, he has come up with a novel suggestion when <strong>he asked a committee to study a proposal to condemn the reunification of Germany in 1990.</strong> </p> <p>The logic: (unlike in Crimea) there was no public referendum to merge the two nations, which in turn goes to the legality of the most powerful nation in Europe, a nation, which however as the following maps demonstrate, is still quite divided in most aspects <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/10/31/the-berlin-wall-fell-25-years-ago-but-germany-is-still-divided/">despite over 25 years of unity</a>:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.18.49.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.18.49_0.png" width="500" height="347" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.20.43.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.20.43_0.png" width="500" height="330" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.21.44.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.21.44_0.png" width="500" height="329" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.22.50.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.22.50_0.png" width="500" height="339" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.23.43.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.23.43_0.png" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.24.39.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.24.39_0.png" width="500" height="359" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.26.16.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2014-10-31-at-06.26.16_0.png" width="500" height="357" /></a></p> <p>More from DPA: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Russian lawmakers said Wednesday that they will discuss a proposal to condemn West Germany‘s "annexation" of East Germany. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sergei Naryshkin, the speaker of the State Duma, ordered the lower house of parliament‘s international affairs committee to look into the proposal from a Communist Party deputy, Russian news agencies reported. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The deputy, Nikolai Ivanov, said that the committee should prepare a declaration that condemns the annexation of the German Democratic Republic by West Germany. "<strong>Other than in Crimea, no public referendum was held in the GDR," </strong>Ivanov said according to the Duma‘s homepage. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moscow made Crimea a part of the Russian Federation in March, after a controversial referendum that was condemned by the West for being held under the presence of Russian troops. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Naryshkin has said that it would be wrong to compare German unification with Crimea. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"<strong>By the logic of those who call (Crimea) an annexation, you can easily say that the Federal Republic of Germany annexed the German Democratic Republic</strong>," Naryshkin said on Sunday. He added that Russia was against such logic, the RIA Novosti state news agency reported. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>East and West Germany unified in 1990, one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The unification was explicitly approved by the Soviet Union and the Western allied powers who had overseen Germany‘s partition during the Cold War.</p> </blockquote> <p>And, if that fails, there is always the matter of the Confederate South...</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="720" height="409" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Russian%20Duma.jpg?1422459612" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/russia-may-condemn-annexation-east-germany#comments China Germany India Unification Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:02:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 501100 at http://www.zerohedge.com S&P Gives Up AAPL-Bounce Gains, Dow Negative Post-QE3 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/sp-gives-aapl-bounce-gains-dow-negative-post-qe3 <p>But they said it was over...</p> <p>AAPL-Bounce go bye bye...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_aapl1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_aapl1.jpg" width="600" height="624" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And for those who said the Greek election is not affecting US stocks...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_aapl3.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_aapl3.jpg" width="600" height="457" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As The Dow has now given up all its gains post-QE3...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_aapl2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_aapl2.jpg" width="600" height="424" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="984" height="1024" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150128_aapl1.jpg?1422460052" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/sp-gives-aapl-bounce-gains-dow-negative-post-qe3#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:47:49 +0000 Tyler Durden 501099 at http://www.zerohedge.com Crude Supplies Surge To Highest Since At Least 1982 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/wti-tumbles-back-towards-44-handle-after-api-build-goldman-downgrade <p>EIA Inventory build was double expectations at 8.87 million barrels...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil2_0.jpg" width="600" height="318" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With Total Crude Supply at its highest since at least 1982...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil3.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil3_0.jpg" width="600" height="315" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Remember how exuberant yesterday's small gains in Crude Oil were perceived to be? Yeah - that's all over, with WTI back near a $44 handle - following a large 12.7 million barrel inventory build according to API (EIA reports the 'main event' at 1030ET today - which Saxo Bank warns <strong><em>"a bigger-than-expected build would likely push the mkt over the cliff edge."</em></strong>) Additional weakness overnight is also likely due to <strong>Goldman's shift to a 'sell' for the next 3 months</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil_0.jpg" width="600" height="405" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Goldman downgrades to "sell"</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>We downgrade commodities to Underweight on a 3-month basis</strong> and upgrade to Overweight on a 12-month basis. Despite the large declines in commodity prices, we see risks as still skewed to the downside over the near-term. Lower oil prices are also driving cost deflation across the broader commodity complex. And roll yields remain negative for most commodity markets, weighing on returns. <strong>We expect WTI oil prices close to $40/bbl for most of 1H 2015, which should slow supply growth and balance the global oil market by 2016. </strong>We then expect oil prices to move to the marginal cost of production (US$65 for WTI and US$70 for Brent). This suggests a strong recovery from current prices, but the timing is uncertain and <strong>we would wait for signs of stabilisation (less inventory build and better roll yields) before shifting to a more positive stance on commodities.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>But, as Bloomberg reports, the market is “waiting on <strong>the main event of the day, which is the EIA inventory data,”</strong> says Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“A bigger-than-expected build would likely push the mkt over the cliff edge</strong>, while a not so strong build could be the ammunition the bulls need to trigger some sort of recovery”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The mkt is stuck in a tight range, looking for a breakout, but it is unclear in which direction that breakout will be,” says Hansen. <strong>“The mkt is torn between general belief you don’t want to miss the opportunity to buy, while at the same time the fundamentals don’t support the recovery”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Hope springs eternal though...</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_oil1_0.jpg" width="600" height="390" /></a><br /></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="955" height="502" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150128_oil3.jpg?1422459560" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/wti-tumbles-back-towards-44-handle-after-api-build-goldman-downgrade#comments Crude Crude Oil recovery Saxo Bank Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:35:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 501097 at http://www.zerohedge.com Greek Credit Risk Spikes, Default Probability Tops 70% http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/greek-credit-risk-spikes-default-probability-tops-70 <p>Greek default risk has surged in recent days and today as it becomes clear what Syriza expects from Europe, short-term CDS are at post-crisis highs with <strong>5Y CDS implying a 76% probability of default</strong> (based on standard recovery assumptions - which may be a little high in this case). Given the domestic bank dominance in the buying of domestic government debt, <strong>Greek banks are getting hammered</strong> as everyone's favorite hedge fund trade is an utter bloodbath. Greek stocks overall are down and <strong>GGBs are tumbling once again - back at 16 month lows</strong> (given back all the ECBQE hope bounce). Perhaps not surprising moves, given new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis reality-exposing comments yesterday, <strong><em>"the problem with the bailout is that it wasn’t really a bailout... it was an extend and pretend, it was a vicious cycle, a debt-deflationary trap, which destroyed our social economy."</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Greek Default Risk is spiking...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_1_0.jpg" width="600" height="314" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And Greek bonds are tracking that risk...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_3.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_3_0.jpg" width="600" height="307" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Greek stocks are collapsing...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_2_0.jpg" width="600" height="314" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>led by an almost halving in banks...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_4.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_GRE_4_0.jpg" width="600" height="315" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We leave it to new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to conclude:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“The problem with the bailout is that it wasn’t really a bailout,” </strong>Varoufakis, 53, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Jan 26.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“It was an extend and pretend, it was a vicious cycle, a debt-deflationary trap, which not only destroyed our social economy but also showed that the cost of our so-called bailout for the average German, the average Italian, the average Slovak was maximized.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="503" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150128_GRE_1.jpg?1422457912" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/greek-credit-risk-spikes-default-probability-tops-70#comments CDS default Default Probability recovery Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:14:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 501098 at http://www.zerohedge.com US-Ally Jordan To Breach Western Protocol, Will Exchange Hostages With ISIS http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/jordan-said-breach-western-protocol-will-exchange-hostages-isis <p>Several days after a Japanese hostage held by the Islamic State <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/isis-hostage-execution-has-japan-questioning-engagement/">was executed</a>, with a second Japanese hostage, freelance journalist Kenji Goto likely awaiting the same fate unless the Jordan releases an ISIS prisoner, the middle eastern US-ally is about to dramatically breach western protocol of not negotiating with terrorists, and as the newswires reported earlier, <strong>is prepared to exchange said imprisoned ISIS would-be suicide bomber</strong>, however not for the Japanese captive of ISIS but for one of its own pilots held by the Islamic militants. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/mother-of-japanese-hostage-makes-plea-for-sons-life-1422433868?mod=djemalertNEWS">WSJ has more details</a>: "Mohammad Momani, Jordan’s minister in charge of media affairs and communications, said in a statement on state-run media that his government is prepared to release Sajida al-Rishawi, who faces death by hanging for her role in the 2005 hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan, if Islamic State releases pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh unharmed."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“Jordan’s position from the beginning was to safeguard the life of our son, the pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh,” Mr. Momani said in the statement, released by Petra News Agency.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Jordanian statement came just hours before the supposed expiration of a deadline imposed by Islamic State for Jordan to release the prisoner in exchange for freelance Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. </p> <p>However, as the WSJ notes, Mr. Momani didn’t mention Mr. Goto. Which likely means that the Japanese hostage is out of luck as there are no more bargaining chips, and Jordan would rather get one of its own in exchange for the ISIS captive, and since Japan has refused to pay to release its hostages, the freelance journalist's day are sadly numbered.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Junko Ishido, the mother of Mr. Goto, a freelance journalist, asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to exert every possible effort in negotiations with Jordan to free her son. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I can’t think of anyone besides Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who can negotiate with Jordan,” she said. “As a mother, I sincerely hope that Kenji can once again set foot on Japan.” Ms. Ishido said her request for meetings with Mr. Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was declined. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At a Wednesday morning cabinet meeting, Mr. Abe condemned Islamic State. “This is a despicable act and I feel strong resentment. We are asking Jordan for its cooperation, and this policy will not change,” he said. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the video released Tuesday the narrator also urged the Japanese government to pressure Jordan to accept the demand. </p> </blockquote> <p>As a result, Jordan has accepted the demand, only it has decided it has no use for the Japanese captive.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Jordanian pilot referred to in the video was captured in December after his plane crashed in Syria. The Jordanian Armed Forces said it was trying to verify the authenticity of the latest video. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Jordanian pilot’s father, Safi al-Kasasbeh, urged Jordan’s government and King Abdullah II to act swiftly to secure the release of his son. “The father of the pilot, his relatives and the tribes in the south call on the king and the government to act as quickly as possible to rescue the Jordanian pilot,” he said.</p> </blockquote> <p>In conclusion:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Hassan Abu Hanieh, an Amman-based independent expert on Islamic groups, said: “It is obvious that [Islamic State] is trying to pressure Jordan.” He said Islamic State tried again to offer a deal “in a manner that would implicate Jordan.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>And now Jordan has folded. Just out from Bloomberg:</p> <ul> <li>ISLAMIC STATE RELEASE NEW VIDEO: TBS</li> <li>VIDEO SHOWS MAN CLAIMING TO BE FROM ISLAMIC STATE: TBS</li> <li>MAN SAYS THAT ISLAMIC STATE WILL RELEASE HOSTAGES IN VIDEO: TBS</li> <li>MAN IN VIDEO DOESN'T SPECIFY WHICH HOSTAGE TO BE FREED: TBS</li> </ul> <p>While we feel for the Japanese hostage, who is merely a pawn in the latest middle-eastern power struggle, the bigger news here is that a nation which is widely perceived as part of the western Middle-east alliance has just caved in and is willing to "negotiate with terrorist." This means that an unexpectedly emboldened ISIS will make hostage taking from an art into a science, and likely go global quite quickly with this new preferred tactic.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="740" height="440" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/kenji%20goto.jpg?1422456451" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/jordan-said-breach-western-protocol-will-exchange-hostages-isis#comments Japan Mohammad Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:47:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 501096 at http://www.zerohedge.com Baltic Dry Index: 666 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/batic-dry-index-666 <p>Forget The Hindenburg Omen and The Hilsenrath Omen, today we have the real deal as <strong>The Baltic Dry Index hits the ominous 666 level - the lowest print for this time of year on record</strong>. Of course, just like with oil - this is brushed off as over-supply (not under-demand) and we are sure someone will opine how positive this drastic deflation of shipping rates is for global business... but still - this is the <strong>lowest print since September 2012 (and practically the lowest since the recession)</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At 666, The Baltic Dry is practically at post-recession lows...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_BDIY.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01/20150128_BDIY_0.jpg" width="600" height="433" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>and is the lowest ever on record for this time of year...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_BDIY1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01-overflow/20150128_BDIY1_0.jpg" width="600" height="459" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Charts: Bloomberg</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="853" height="653" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150128_BDIY1.jpg?1422451755" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/batic-dry-index-666#comments Baltic Dry Recession Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:33:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 501095 at http://www.zerohedge.com Another Bailout: FXCM To Forgive 90% Of Its Mostly Foreign "Negative Balance" Customers http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/another-bailout-fxcm-forgive-90-its-mostly-foreign-negative-balance-customers <p>Two weeks after FXCM was on death's door, and only a last minute vulture investment by Jefferies prevented the company from filing, FXCM has decided that it can't afford to blow up the bulk of its clients who traded the EURCHF on the wrong side, and as the company reported moments ago, will forgive their negative balances. In other words, another bailout for HFTs, and the rich and those habitually addicted to gambling in rigged markets, who just happen to be the lifeblood of companies like FXCM.</p> <p><em>From the press release:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>FXCM to Forgive Majority of Clients Who Incurred Negative Balances</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>FXCM Inc.announced today its decision to forgive approximately 90% of its clients who incurred negative balances in certain jurisdictions, on January 15, 2014 as a result of the Swiss National Bank announcement on that date. FXCM will notify the applicable clients and adjust applicable client account statements in the next 24-48 hours. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"FXCM worked diligently to reach this decision and we are extremely appreciative of our clients for their patience and loyalty as we worked through this," said Drew Niv, CEO of FXCM. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The SNB announcement, extreme price movements and the resulting lack of liquidity were exceptional and unprecedented events causing many market participants to incur trading losses. These events were unforeseen and beyond the control of FXCM. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>FXCM will also notify certain clients (such as institutional, high net worth, and experienced traders who generally maintain higher account balances) requesting payment of negative balances, pursuant to the terms of the FXCM master trading agreements.&nbsp; This group represents approximately 10% of clients who incurred negative balances&nbsp; which comprises over 60% of the total debit balances owed.</p> </blockquote> <p>Because without whale clients, no exchange can continue to skim off the bid/ask margin while suckering in more "overnight wannabe millionaires" with 200x leverage.</p> <p>So who are the generous beneficiaries of this Jefferies-funded bailout? For the answer we go <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/overseas-forex-trades-laid-fxcm-low-1422399725">to the WSJ</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Retail foreign-exchange broker FXCM Inc. was nearly felled by outsize bets made by foreign customers who aren’t subject to U.S. regulations, according to people familiar with regulators’ review of the firm. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While some U.S. clients lost money when the Swiss National Bank scrapped a cap on the country’s currency, <strong>the bulk of the losses were borne by clients at FXCM’s affiliates in London, Singapore and other locations abroad, the regulators said. Those affiliates weren’t subject to leverage caps imposed by U.S. regulators, allowing overseas clients to make bigger bets—and take bigger losses. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result, FXCM said its customers owed the firm about $225 million, potentially putting the company in violation of capital requirements and forcing it to take a $300 million rescue from investment firm Leucadia National Corp. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The fallout illustrates both how a firm’s losses abroad can find their way to U.S. shores and that even relatively strict U.S. regulation can’t prevent losses in less-regulated jurisdictions. While regulators don’t believe the firm’s near-collapse posed any broader risks to the financial system, the incident is prompting them to consider whether their capital and leverage requirements are adequate for firms like FXCM, the people familiar with the review said. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the U.S., the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association, a self-regulator, currently limit leverage on transactions for retail, or individual, currency investors at 50 to 1. That means an investor can borrow $50 for every dollar put in. This is because currency moves are typically small. Many overseas jurisdictions have much looser limits, particularly in Europe.</p> </blockquote> <p>It may not be Mrs. Watanabe exactly: meet Monsier Trepreau:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Maxime Trepreau, a 33-year-old engineer from Houilles, France, placed a bet on the euro to rise against the Swiss franc several months ago, after seeing the position recommended by an analyst on Daily FX, an FXCM-owned website. On the morning of Jan. 15, Mr. Trepreau saw the value of his account rapidly declining, despite an automated order he had to exit from the position and keep losses to a minimum if the trade went the wrong way. Currency traders say liquidity evaporated as the euro made a sudden fall, which would make it difficult to execute preset orders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By the time his order was executed, Mr. Trepreau’s loss of €50,000 (more than $56,000 at today’s rate) had eaten up all of the funds in his FXCM account and left him with a negative balance of €2,000.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Trepreau says FXCM hasn’t told him whether he is on the hook for that amount. Mr. Trepreau believes he shouldn’t be.</p> </blockquote> <p>And just like Apple, the bulk of marginal growth when it comes to FX gambling is now in Asia:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>In 2014, 41.5% of FXCM’s business by volume came from Asia; followed by 35.9% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa; 13% from the U.S.; and 9.6% from the rest of the world, according to its website.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In shart, thank you Dick Handler: Mrs. Watanabe, and Mr. Trepreau, are most grateful.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="825" height="525" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/EURCHF_0.jpg?1422454177" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/another-bailout-fxcm-forgive-90-its-mostly-foreign-negative-balance-customers#comments Apple Commodity Futures Trading Commission France Gambling Leucadia Middle East Swiss Franc Swiss National Bank Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:10:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 501094 at http://www.zerohedge.com FOMC Decision, GREEK WEAKNESS, OIL WEAKNESS http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/fomc-decision-greek-weakness-oil-weakness <p><strong><a href="http://www.financialjuice.com/zerohedge">Follow Zerohedge in Real-Time on Financialjuice</a></strong></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lrrJ6SuDiMA?autoplay=1" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.financialjuice.com/news/gif/2801.gif" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.financialjuice.com/zerohedge"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user22400/imageroot/2013/08/ZH.png" /></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/fomc-decision-greek-weakness-oil-weakness#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:49:58 +0000 Pivotfarm 501093 at http://www.zerohedge.com Canada Just "Revised" All Of Its 2014 Job Gains 35% Lower http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/canada-just-revised-its-2014-job-gains-35-lower <p>Who can forget the farce conducted by Canada's labor statistics office back in August when, as we reported, "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-15/canada-releases-atrocious-jobs-data-then-revises-it-above-highest-estimate-following">Canada Releases Atrocious Jobs Data; Then Revises It Above The Highest Estimate Following Public Outcry</a>." It was then that we got our first hint that when it comes to massaging data, Canada is on par with China and even the US. </p> <p>Well, Statistics Canada just outdid itself moments ago when it reported that those 185,700 jobs gains it had previously reported for all of 2014... well, it was only kidding, and after a second look, <strong>the number has been revised a whopping 35% (!) lower to only 121,300</strong>. How long until a lightbulb goes over the BLS' head and the US department of seasonal adjustments decides to do the same?</p> <p>The "revised" numbers:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/canada%20employment%20by%20class.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/01/canada%20employment%20by%20class_0.jpg" width="600" height="475" /></a></p> <p><em>From <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150128/dq150128a-eng.htm?HPA">Statcan</a>:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Employment gains in 2014 amounted to 121,000 or 0.7%, with the bulk of the growth in September and October. In the 12 months to December, the unemployment rate declined 0.5 percentage points to 6.7%.</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Following the release of population estimates based on the most recent Census of Population, a standard revision is applied to the Labour Force Survey estimates. This review is based on these revised estimates released today, which are different from those published on January 9 (see note to readers). </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The employment growth rate of 0.7% observed in 2014 was the same as that of 2013, and below the rate of 1.8% recorded in 2012.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Employment growth in the year was concentrated among men aged 25 and older.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There were more private sector employees (+88,000 or +0.8%) compared with December 2013. The number of public sector employees and self-employed was little changed. Adjusted to the concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 5.7% in December, while the US rate was 5.6%</p> </blockquote> <p>Just like in the US, Canada's participation rate also declined:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The population aged 15 and older grew by 1.1% in 2014, a faster pace than employment. As a result, the employment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 61.3%. The labour market participation rate trended downward throughout 2014, falling 0.6 percentage points to 65.7% in December 2014—the lowest since 2000. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The downward trend in labour force participation was partly due to population ageing. There was an increase in the share of Canadians aged 55 and older, who are less likely to participate in the labour market. Furthermore, the participation rate among people aged 55 and older declined 0.9 percentage points over the 12 months. At the same time, the rate for women aged 25 to 54 declined 0.8 percentage points, also contributing to the downward trend.</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, as a result of the above revisions, the Canadian unemployment rate was revised higher from 6.6% to 6.7%. </p> <p>Perhaps it is about time to put the National Weather Service in charge of all "data collection and manipulation." And while we are at it, maybe we can put them in charge of the Federal Reserve too?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="811" height="642" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/canada%20employment%20by%20class.jpg?1422452745" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-28/canada-just-revised-its-2014-job-gains-35-lower#comments China Federal Reserve National Weather Service Unemployment Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:47:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 501092 at http://www.zerohedge.com