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Failed Chinese Local Bond Offering Leads To PBOC Easing Confusion





An inauspicious start to China's local government debt swap initiative has the PBoC scrambling to determine the best way to facilitate the successful issuance of new municipal securities as several provinces have reportedly canceled or delayed offerings. Now, the question is whether Chinese LTROs will be enough, or whether outright QE will ultimately be the only option.

 
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Frontrunning: April 28





  • Maryland Governor Calls in National Guard to Control Baltimore Riots (BBG)
  • Fed Seen Delaying Liftoff to September to Push Down Unemployment (BBG)
  • Nepal PM says toll could rise to 10,000 (Reuters)
  • China Readies Fresh Easing to Tackle Specter of Debt (WSJ)
  • ‘Damned Lies’ Threaten to Overshadow U.K. GDP in Election Fight (BBG)
  • Uncertainty Over Impact of a Default by Greece (NYT)
  • Why the Cost of Hedging European Banks Stocks Has Soared (BBG)
  • Carinthia cash crunch gives Austria its own mini-Greece (Reuters)
 
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UK Economy Grows At Slowest Pace Since 2012 Two Weeks Ahead Of National Election





With US Q1 GDP set to be a huge disappointment to initial estimates of 3% growth set at the beginning of the year, and since plunging to 1% or lower when it is reported later this week because, well, it inexplicably snowed in the winter for the second year in a row, earlier today we learned that US harsh weather cross the Atlantic and landed in the UK where ONS reported that the economy grew at a tepid pace of just 0.3% in the first quarter, well below consensus estimates of 0.5%, and at the lowest pace since Q4 2012 when GDP posted a 0.3% drop.

 
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S&P Futures Hug 2100 After China Denies QE, European Stocks Slide





Following yesterday's early MNI rumor that a Chinese QE is being "considered" and which sent the Shanghai Composite surging 3% and led to an initial boost in US stock futures, overnight the PBOC scrambled to once again deny such speculation. Of course, going full "cold Turkey" on Chinese stimulus would be too much for the market to handle, so in a piece by the WSJ also released overnight, the author said the PBOC would pivot from outright QE to mere LTRO, which is also not new and was reported over a week ago here in "China Floats QE Trial Balloon, PBoC May Launch LTROs." In any event, for now at least, Asian stocks are not happy despite Apple's latest blockbuster results, and neither is Europe, with the Stoxx 600 down 1%, and even the E-mini is hugging 2100 unable to levitate on any imminent central bank intervention.

 
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Greece €400 Million Short For Wage And Pension Payments, Rushes To Pass Troika-Friendly Laws





According to Bloomberg, the Greek government is €400 million short of the amount needed for payment of pensions and salaries this month, citing a Kathimerini report. Surprisingly, this takes place even as Greece’s IKA, OGA pension funds have been informed by the government that amount needed for payment of pensions will be deposited today, while the Greece’s OAEE pension fund has said payment of pensions won’t be a problem. In other words, someone is not telling the truth: either there is enough money or there isn't. And if the latter case is valid, then either the government or the pensions are now openly lying to the population.

 
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Is This A Blow-Off Top? Four Ways To Tell





Those who lived through the last two speculative blow-off tops know the impossibility of predicting the final top. How can we tell if stocks are in the final blow-off stage of a bubble? There are four basic give-aways...

 
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Legalizing Marijuana & The Increasing Pace Of Social Change In America





This is how fast America changes its mind...

 
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Who Is Really Choosing America's Next President?





“We are anointing an aristocracy that’s getting a stronger and stronger grip on democracy,”

 
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How This Debt-Addicted World Could Go The Way Of The Mayans





We are paying a high price for too many elites and their ‘frivolous cravings’. Nowadays many countries’ social and political structure relies on debt-driven consumption and increasing levels of entitlements. Blame the policy-makers as the “permanent lie [has become] the only safe form of existence.”

 
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Q2 GDP 'Excuse' Emerges: Up To 16,000 West Coast Port Truckers Go On Strike





The collapse of Q1 GDP has been placed squarely on the shoulders of weather (too hot, too cold, and definitely not just right) and the dockworkers strike which shut 29 seaports. As Q1 GDP plunged, so Q2 was lifted hockey-stick-like to keep the growth dream alive but so far in Q2, data has not shown the bounce expected... so we are going to need a bigger excuse. We have found one! As NBC Los Angeles reports, truck drivers who haul goods from the nation's busiest port complex in Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike Monday in the latest action as part of a long-running labor dispute (it wasn't immediately clear how many of the 16,000 truckers would walk off the job).

 
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The Limits Of Propaganda





As we recently noted, the US government is in the process of launching an all-out war on truth. Those who express views contrary to the party line out of Washington will be labeled a threat. But Washington's propaganda isn't working at all well in the rest of the world, be it Russia or China or Latin America. In all of these places, Washington's message control has more or less failed. This is why the people in Washington are in a bit of a panic, and labeling internal dissidents as a “threat” is just them flailing in search of an answer. They can't stop lying, and they can't even pretend to rule the world if everyone knows that they are lying, so their only option is to try to squelch every voice except their own. They may succeed at this within the US (some would say they already have) but as far as the rest of the world - good luck!

 
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Meet IBR, The Student Loan Bubble's Dirty Secret





Some borrowers are allowed to remain in a perpetual state of default even as they avoid actual payment default and in the end, their loans are legally discharged at the expense of the US taxpayer. Meanwhile, the payments they aren't making appear to be classified by the Department of Education as both "in repayment" and "current." 

 
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Ron Paul Exposes The Real War On The Middle Class





One of the great ironies of American politics is that most politicians who talk about helping the middle class support policies that, by expanding the welfare-warfare state, are harmful to middle-class Americans. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state would benefit middle-class Americans by freeing them from exorbitant federal taxes, including the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax.

 
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