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US Sends "Tankbuster" Jets To Europe Over Russia Fears After Germany Says "A Large Scale War Could Develop"





Karl-Georg Wellmann, a lawmaker in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has warned that, despite its efforts to avoid arms being provided to Ukraine, Germany "will no longer be able to stop weapons deliveries from from the U.S. and Canada." Almost too coincidental to these comments, CNN reports, the U.S. Air Force is sending its A-10 "tankbusters" back to Europe in order to "increase rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority." As Wellmann ominously concludes, seemingly confirming Putin's warning yesterday that if Kiev aims at a military solution, war will never end, "a large-scale war could develop out of that."

 
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Treasury Shortage Is Back: 2 Year Plunges To -1.74% In Repo





 
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Greece To Run Out Of Cash In Under One Week





"February 24 is expected to be the first crucial day for state finances, as projections of cash flows see state coffers starting to run dry on that date.  The state of cash reserves – not robust before – has deteriorated further in recent days due to a shortfall in revenues, as a 1-billion-euro hole in January revenues is putting the execution of the state budget in jeopardy and hampering the management of cash reserves. Given these figures, the Finance Ministry estimates that cash reserves will run out next Tuesday.

 
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US Equities Give Up "Greece Is Fine" Gains





Who could have seen that coming... as we explained minutes after the Greek headlines hit yesterday, the Greek 'loan' extension was not news at all... and neither was Schaeuble's response...

 

 
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Greek Government Blasts Germany's Arrogance: "It's Like Being Asked To Surrender Back In The 1940s"





Germany's government has been "overtaken by arrogance" in its approach to debt negotiations, a Greek government source reportedly told Sky News. The senior Syriza politician likened Germany's current tactics to those of the Nazis, exclaiming "It's like being back in the 1940s, being asked to surrender." We are sure that will make negotiations run a lot smoother (but comes on the heels of various jibes at The Greeks by Wolfgang Schaeuble).

 
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US Industrial Production Misses (Again) As Manufacturing & Construction Growth Disappoint





With a mere 0.2% rise in manufacturing production (missing expectations of a 0.4% rise), and capacity utilization printing 79.4%, missing expectations of a rise to 79.9%, it is no surprise that overall industrial production missed expectations for the second month in a row. Motor vehicle production fell 0.6% in January and construction supply fell 0.3% - the most in 10 months.

 
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Beef Prices "Only" 24% Higher Than Year Ago As Cost Of Booze Resumes Climb





While the PPI report is full of useful, seasonally-adjusted data points, the two items the vast majority of American consumers should be most interested in are the prices of beef and veal, and the prices of alcoholic beverages. Here we have some good and bad news: the good news, is that while the beef/veal price index has risen to a new all time high of 255.2, the pace of annual increase is now slowing down, and is is now "only" up 24% from a year earlier. The bad news, is that the price of alcoholic beverages, after posting two straight months of annual price declines, has once again started rising.

 
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US Producer Prices Tumble Most Since 2009 (And It Wasn't All Energy-Related)





The drop in the price of energy will be initially blamed for the 0.8% MoM drop in Producer Prices Final Demand (far more than 0.4% drop expected) and the most on record. However, ex-food-and-energy, PPI also fell 0.1% (missing expectations of a 0.1% rise) and ex-food-and-energy-and-trade-services, PPI fell 0.3% - so it's not just the energy price drop (even though fuels and lubricants dropped 9.3% MoM). In fact the biggest MoM drop was in furnishings, computer hardware, and TV, video, and photo equipment.

 
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Housing Starts, Permit Miss Expectations On Drop In Single-Family Housing





Earlier today, we got a hint that hopes that the 5th dead cat "housing rebound" bounce have been indefinitely delayed after Mortgage Applications cratered by over 13% after tumbling 9% in the week before on even the most fractional of 10 Year yield increases. That hope suffered another embarrassing defeat moments ago when the Census Bureau reported that in January both housing starts and permits missed expectations, rising at 1070K and 1053K, respectively, once again missing Wall Street consensus of 1089K and 1067K. The reason: yet another drop in single-family housing. Because while multi-family, i.e., rental units, remained brisk and rose from 340K to 381K for the starts and from 360K to 372K for the permits...

 
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Hundreds Of Ukraine Troops Surrender As Besieged Town Of Debaltseve Falls To Rebels





Last week, German equities soared to record highs with the Dax surpassing 11K, not only on the imminent arrival of the ECB's Q€ which provides a risk-less bid to all asset classes, but on news that a second Ukraine ceasefire had been achieved in Minsk. Well, just like the first Minsk "ceasefire", one can promptly forget the just as "successful" second one, because overnight, after a several week siege, the Ukraine town of Debaltseve finally fell to rebel forces with "troops of Ukraine’s Armed Forces laying down arms en masse,” according to Donetsk rebel official Maxim Leschenko says, cited by Tass news service.

 
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The Catastrophic Costs Of Extend-And-Pretend Are About To Crush Europe





Extending imprudently massive loans to marginal borrowers always plants the seeds of disaster, and extending and pretending turns a potentially containable disaster into an uncontainable financial calamity. Yet this is the game plan of policymakers everywhere, from Europe to the U.S. to China--extend enormous loans to marginal borrowers and then mask the inevitable defaults with extend-and-pretend policies that vastly increase the size of the debt. By the time extend-and-pretend finally reaches its maximum limits, the resulting implosion is so large that the shock waves topple regimes, banks, currencies and entire nations.
 
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Frontrunning: February 18





  • 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)
 
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Stocks In Holding Pattern With All Eyes On Draghi And Whether ECB Will Pull Greek Liquidity





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.

 
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Forget Hacking - CIA Accuses Russia Of "Manipulating The World's Weather"





America appears to have found something else to blame the Russians (or North Koreans) for... The Weather. As The Daily Mail reports, CIA chiefs fear hostile nations are trying to manipulate the world’s climate... seriously.

 
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