While one should remain skeptical of just exactly what will happen, the Senate voted in the majority on Tuesday in favor of the USA Freedom Act, adopting the same version of the bill that had overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last month by 338-88. The USA Freedom Act (theoretically) ends the NSA’s bulk collection of phone metadata, it allows that information to be stored instead by telecommunications providers, which could then be accessed by intelligence agencies with a warrant. While sold as reigning in the agency’s surveillance powers, the bill allows the NSA to resume collecting intelligence... Realistically it appears nothing more than a great PR effort to bury the spy state even deeper
What Wikileaks is doing would be utterly meaningless and unnecessary in any representative democracy. However, in a oligarchic corporatocracy such as the US, it is of critical importance.
Greece has received what The New York Times recently described as “dueling sales pitches” on two proposed natural gas pipelines, with the US pressing Athens to support The Southern Gas Corridor rather than Gazprom's Turkish Stream project. It appears Moscow may have made the more convincing case because, much to Washington's dismay, Greece is set to sign an MOU for the Greek portion of The Turkish Stream pipeline in June.
In its original meaning, “muckraking journalism” was all about exposing the awful power that corporations, trusts, and monopolies exercised over people and the broader public interest. So why doesn’t Seymour Hersh, considered the premiere “muckraker” of the past few decades, turn his fearless muckraking guns on private corporate power?
There are many half-truths perpetrated on individuals by Wall Street to sell product, gain assets, etc. However, if individuals took a moment to think about it, the illogic of many of these arguments are readily apparent...
Following overnight news that yet another former FIFX executive, this time Jerome Valcker, former top deputy to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, may be involved in the latest money laundering and corruption scandal, one involving a $10 million transfer of funds, which has been presented as an alleged payment of bribes over South Africa's bid to host the 2010 World Cup, moments ago the FIFA president announced he would hold an imprompty press conference. Will Blatter finally announced his resignation? Find out now.
The scandal-surrounded, junk-rated, state-managed Brazilian oil producer Petrobras managed to successfully issue a $2.5 billion notional 100-year bond yesterday. Mainstream media is cock-a-hoop over the fact that the 'market' seemed to soak this bond up so easily and at a yield of 8.45% (which was 20-30bps below guidance) amid an order book apparently up to asround $10 billion. However, for those with some math skills, the truth is that it cost Petrobras around $380 million more than market-implied levels to successfully launch the bond (and so it should).
If U.S. equities feel brittle, they should. Yes, central bank liquidity from Japan and Europe may well push global equity markets higher. But what we really need is a pullback – that classic 10% correction that flushes out weak hands, reestablishes the discipline of “Risk” in the “Risk-Return” equation, and shows capital markets how to do more than just follow central bank liquidity. So watch June’s price action in U.S. stocks very carefully, because this process needs to start now. The bull market that began in March 2009 is now an ancient bovine indeed. After all, better 10% now than 20% or more later in the year. The first is inconvenient. The second is unwelcomed.
In April we said that "sooner or later, in order to avoid liquidation and stave off severe disinflationary pressures, someone will have to call in "Helicopter Janet" and once the cash paradropping begins well, we'll see you in the Weimar Republic." Sure enough, the semi-official calls for helicopter drone cash drops have arrived.
As EURUSD surges towards 1.1200 once again, we note that it is now 300 pips stronger than 24 hours ago. This is the 2nd biggest collapse in the USD since March 2009... Treasuries and Bunds are getting monkey-hammered... and US stocks just want higher (as Dax slides)...
“The US Congress is largely at fault for all that’s happening,” the former chairman of the Federal Reserve said in Hong Kong on Tuesday. What’s interesting here is the tendency for Americans to view the AIIB as something that was ultimately created by the US — even if only inadvertently.
The system is corrupt… and dangerously dysfunctional. But why does no one say so? Opinion makers such as Paul Krugman and Larry Summers misunderstand intentionally. But who speaks for the next three decades? Everyone wants more credit, more inflation, more bubbles, more subsidies, and more special privileges. Who’s on the other side of the trade?
Just days after George Soros warned that World War 3 was imminent unless Washington backed down to China on IMF currency basket inclusion, the hacker collective CyberBerkut has exposed the billionaire as the real puppet-master behind the scenes in Ukraine. In 3 stunning documents, allegedly hacked from email correspondence between the hedge fund manager and Ukraine President Poroshenko, Soros lays out "A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine," expresses his confidence that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, “with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force," and finally explained Poroshenko's "first priority must be to regain control of financial markets," which he assures the President could be helped by The Fed adding "I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement."
10Y Bund yields exploded over 17bps today to top 71bps for the biggest absolute yield increase since August 2012. Initially triggered off hotter-than-expected EU inflation, one can't help but wonder if the magnitude and linearity of the move had an invisible hand helping it out "to make room for more ECB buying."
After scaring millions of freshly created stock market speculators with a 10% 'correction' last week, it appears the PBOC's wealth-effect-creating, fix-the-leverage-overhang-with-temporary-stock-exuberance strategy was put into action with a record-smashing 4.4mm new accounts opened. Since Friday's lows, CHINEXT - China's tech-focused index - is up an astounding 16% (the largest ever 2-day swing). The Shenzhen Composite has also soared over 12% to fresh highs but we note the broadest-based Shanghai Composite has yet to make it back to last week's highs (even though it is up 9% from last week's lows).