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It's Official: "Bad Weather" Is 83 Times More Worrisome Than "Good Weather"





The new normal has morphed from a slow-to-no recovery to a "strong" recovery hampered only by bad weather. When data is bad, it's "due to bad weather;" when data is good, it's the recovery... As Google 'quantifies' below, bad weather is 83 times more worrisome than good weather is positive...

 
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South Carolina City Implements Law Requiring $120 Permit To Feed The Homeless





Civil rights are often lost in societies by politicians scapegoating unpopular minorities. This happened with jews, gypsies, etc in Nazi Germany and we must be very careful the same does not happen here. One human being should be able to voluntarily give food to another in all cases, without exception. The concept of a permit needed that costs $120 per week is fascist, anti-human and downright evil. Gandhi famously noted that: The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.

 
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Turkish Lira Sinks After New Alleged Recording Reveals More Erdogan Corruption; Opposition Calls For Resignation





It is almost remarkable that it was a few short weeks ago when the Turkish Lira was crashing to new daily record lows against all reserve currencies, and when Erdogan, embroiled in a bitter political corruption scandal, was firing judges and police officers left and right. Since then, things have quieted down, on the back of the return to surface calm across the broader Emerging Markets (even if nothing has actually been resolved fundamentally in the post-Taper era), however the Turkish graft scandal refuses to go away. As a result, today the Turkish Lira soared by over 200 pips following the release of a new recording which is allegedly a leaked telephone conversation in which the premier discusses plans how to hide at least $1 billion in cash (an amount which would buy about 20 Yanukovich-style presidential palaces) in the period when the Police was raiding various affiliated venues as part of a corruption investigation.

 
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World Governments Agree To Automatic Information Sharing





It’s like 34 drunken sailors holding each other up. That’s the best way I can think of to describe the latest product from the good idea factory that is the OECD. Over the weekend in yet another cushy five-star hotel, representatives from this unelected supranational bureaucracy announced plans for world governments to exchange all their citizens’ tax and financial data with one another. It’s a pathetic display of exactly the sort of tactics that governments embrace when they go broke. And most of these OECD countries ARE broke – Italy, Japan, the US, Spain, Greece, etc.

 
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S&P Fails To Hold Record Highs As Gold Outperforms





US equities tagged new highs early in the day-session sparked by USDJPY ignition and rotating to support from AUDJPY as stops were run and exuberance over shitty data reigned. "Most shorted" stocks dramatically outperformed early on providing the sacrifice required but while bond yields rose from their open last night, they end the day practically unchanged (10Y +1bps); The USD rallied into the open but EUR and AUD strength cracked it back to practically unchanged by the close. Copper flailed (on slowing China construction fears) but oil, silver, and gold all rallied around 1% on the day (though rolled over in the afternoon). VIX dropped but held 14% and remains notably divergent. Credit rallied but remains a laggard compared to equity exuberance. Stocks tanked into the close; catching down to VIX, credit, and USDJPY - what a "market" with the S&P losing its highs and closing red for 2014 once again.

 

 
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Troika Demands Greeks Drink "Extended Life" (aka Spoiled) Milk





"If you like your bailout, you can keep your bailout," is the message from the latest Troika mission to Greece; but there is one (or two) big 'but's... As ekathimerini reports, Greece is "very close" to a deal with the Troika for the next EUR8.8 billion with negotiations hanging on a few final things including... the troika wants Greece to extend the shelf life of fresh milk! Maybe they should just rename it 'greek yoghurt'.

 
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Is This The Top? HFT Firm Files For IPO





Having sold his 7-bedroom NY mansion, the CEO of Virtu Financial (the high-frequency-trading firm that accounts for 5% of US equity trading volume) appears to believe investors are ripe for him to IPO his firm. As The FT reports, New York-based Virtu is aiming to raise between $250-$350m from a listing that would make it the first electronic trading business that trades with its own funds to launch an IPO. The question, of course, is, will Virtu be the top-ticking, greater-fool-finding IPO of this bubble that Blackstone was for the last one?

 
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HAA HAA: Will Another Creditanstalt Be Revealed Once The Hypo Alpe Aldria "Black Box" Is Opened?





It would indeed be supremely ironic if the "strong" foreign law bond indenture would be tested, and breached, not by Greek bonds, as so many expected in late 2011 and early 2012, but by one of the last contries in Europe which is still AAA-rated. We would find it less ironic if the next leg of the global financial crisis was once again unleashed by an Austrian bank: after all history does rhyme...

 
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"The Stock Market Is A Mood Ring For Faith In The Fed"





Debt is the great palliative that has enabled the US and other major economies to escape reality, at least for a time. Ayn Rand described such behavior:

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

It is possible to steal from tomorrow to improve today but only at the cost of having less of a future. That is what both nations and citizens have been doing. The ability to continue doing so has about run its course.

 
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Russia Fires First Retaliatory Salvo, May Limit Ukraine Food Imports





Russia represents over 25% of Ukraine's exports and is the divided nation's largest trade partner. As Ukraine remains deep in its self-described "pre-default" state, the economy languishes vainly in the hopes of a trade deal with 'someone' and a bailout from 'someone' else. However, the IMF's first move to bail the nation out has now been met by a subtle punch to the country's kidneys as Interfax reports that Russia threatens to limit food imports on the basis of "veterinary and phytosanitary risks."

 
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Oil Spill Shuts New Orleans Port & Mississippi River





A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi near New Orleans remained closed Monday after two vessels collided and caused an oil spill on Saturday in foggy conditions about 30 miles west of New Orleans. As NBC news reports, the Lindsay Ann Erickson crashed with the Hannah C. Settoon, which was pushing two barges carrying barrels of light crude oil that spilled into the river. Clean-up efforts are underway.

 
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Ron Paul: "Leave Ukraine Alone"





The usual interventionists in the US have long meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine. In 2004 it was US government money that helped finance the Orange Revolution, as US-funded NGOs favoring one political group over the other were able to change the regime. These same people have not given up on Ukraine. They keep pushing their own agenda for Ukraine behind the scenes, even as they ridicule anyone who claims US involvement. If you asked most Americans how they feel, my bet is that you would discover they are sick and tired of the US government getting involved in every crisis that arises. And I bet if we asked the Ukrainians, a vast majority of them would prefer that the US — and Russia and the European Union — stay out their affairs and respect their sovereignty. So let’s keep our hands off of Ukraine and let them solve their own problems!

 
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Hedge Funds Most Short Into Latest All Time High Ramp Since September 2012





As we have repeatedly pointed out, the one surest way to generate profits in these manipulated, broken markets is to take advantage of the one legacy trade that makes zero sense in a world in which the global central banks are the ultimate providers of downside risk protection: i.e., going long the most shorted names. We did just this most recently past Friday, when we listed the latest hedge fund long hotel, as well as the names most shorted by the "sophisticated" investors, saying "anyone going long these names is virtually assured to outperform the market over the next year." One day later and this "strategy" is already generating outsized alpha, with the most shorted names solidly outperforming the market. And as the case may, this latest bout of "most shorted" outperformance is set to continue for one main reason. As the CFTC reported last friday, institutional investors using Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures turned bearish this month for the first time since September 2012.

 
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The Most Beloved, And Hated, Hedge Fund Stocks Are...





Step aside long-time hedge fund hotel darlings Apple and AIG, and make room for...

 
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Did IMF Just Win The War Of Ukraine Debt Annexation?





The Russians had dangled their multi-billion euro carrot - then swiftly removed it pending further details of who is really running the show (demanding a crackdown on the extremists who are trying to establish power). The Europeans have promised an even bigger carrot - predicated on, we presume, total abdication of sovereignty. But now the Americans are jumping in - Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "urged" Ukraine's interim leader Yatsenyuk to start talks with the IMF as he and Lagarde agreed the fund would be the best foundation for advice and financing (if sought by a fully established Ukrainian government). And the winner is...

  • *UKRAINE'S KUBIV PLANS TO INVITE IMF MISSION, UNIAN SAYS

Which means only thing - Russia is locked out and gas prices are about to take off.

 
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