The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have made significant progress in setting up structures that would serve as an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank (which are dominated by the U.S. and the EU), according to RBTH. As WSJ reports, the U.S. would lose its veto power on the International Monetary Fund's executive board under a plan being considered by some emerging economies. The countries are fed up with the United States' failure to ratify a four-year-old deal to restructure the emergency lender. Yet more loss of credibility on the global stage and, as Brazil's FinMin Mantega sums up, "the IMF cannot remain paralyzed and postpone its commitments to reform."
Despite Janet Yellen's meet-and-greet with the unemployed and criminal classes, the absence of Ben Bernanke has seemingly empowered several Fed heads to be just a little too frank and honest about their views. The uncomfortable truthsayer this time is none other than Dallas Fed's Fisher:
*FISHER SAYS FED POLICIES HAVE MADE THE RICH 'MUCH RICHER' (but...)
*FISHER: UNCLEAR IF FED POLICIES WILL BENEFIT THE MIDDLE-CLASS
We wonder how President Obama, that crusader for fairness, equality and all time Russell 2000 highs, will feel about that? In the meantime, just like the Herp, QE is the gift that keeps on giving.. and giving... and giving... to the 0.001%.
Five years into the "recovery" and The Atlanta Fed thinks it's time to figure out where jobs come from (spoiler alert: there is no job tree). The Atlanta Fed has investigated trends in a variety of firm types to better understand why labor market progress continued to be slower than hoped for in 2013... the findings - when it comes to job creation, there is no simple solution. But Ben and Janet said?...
Yesterday we reminded those who fear the dreadful deflation ogre and its extreme monetary policy supporting fantasy that food inflation was in fact soaring. Of course, for those that do not eat Beef, Pork, Eggs, or Shrimp - everything's fine... except today we add yet another 'staple' to the extreme inflationary dilution of the average consumer's pocketbook... ORANGE-JUICE FUTURES RISE AS MUCH AS 1.5% TO TWO-YEAR HIGH
The potential geopolitical, economic, and asset implications of the tensions between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine are weighing on growth hopes around the world (and not just in Russia). Russia's promising outlook for 2014 is fading fast but a worst-case scenario that includes a disruption in energy flows would likely wreak more economic and asset damage. However, some context at the growth of the Russian 'empire' is worthwhile before extrapolating Putin's demise too soon...
"Pro-Russian Separatists" Attack Ukraine Soldiers With Guns, Molotov Cocktails, Local TV Station Reports (4 Killed, 12 Injured)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/16/2014 15:36 -0400
UPDATE: ABOUT 500 SEPARATISTS ATTACKED UKRAINE MILITARY BASE: TV5; Unconfirmed reports put the number of casualties higher, with four people killed and as many as 12 injured.
Having been on the receiving end of Ukraine special forces for the past 48 hours, it appears the "pro-Russian separatists" have decided to fight back: PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS ATTACK UKRAINE SOLDIERS; PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS ATTACK UKRAINE MILITARY BASE; SEPARATISTS USE GUNS, MOLOTOV COCKTAILS IN MARIUPOL: HROMADSKE. Considering the source is a local Ukraine TV station, one should take the news reported by Bloomberg, with a big grain of ketamine, however also considering the 3:30pm ramp appears to be late today (or was front run repeatdly earlier on in the day), this may just be the "bullish" catalyst the "market" needs to close at the day, if not all time, highs.
Curious why after nearly touching $200 in early trading IBM is down 4% in after hours trading? Perhaps this has something to do with it: as the chart below shows, in Q1 IBM reported only $22.5 billion in sales, well below the $22.9 billion expected by the street, and down 3.9% from a year ago. In fact, this quarter's revenue was the lowest for IBM since the first quarter of... 2009. Net Income (non-GAAP of course), which was $2.6 billion and which met reduced estimates, was down a whopping 22% from a year ago. But the punchline, one which Cisco is very familiar with, was this:"Revenues in the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — decreased 11 percent."
Following yesterday's significant volume and major short-squeeze ('most shorted' ramped 4% off the lows), today saw neither with volumes light and equity performance prety much balance across the board. Most of the strength occurred overnight with stocks dumping off the open, ramped on Europe's close, modestly sold on Yellen's speech, then ramped into the close. The Dow and Trannies made it all the way back up to unchanged from the March FOMC statement/press conference. Every status quo hugging asset-getherer heard what they wanted from Yellen - except that Treasuries sold off at the short-end and flattened dramatically to near 5-year lows (not exactly the dovish hype headlines are made of). Copper jumped and oil dumped with gold and silver treading water on the day. VIX was monkey-hammered lower and stocks tracked it. Bottom line, while stock bulls hear dovishness, bond traders are calling Yellen's bluff.
While Fed's Fisher explains how Fed policy has benefited the rich, President Obama (and Joe Biden) are in front of the teleprompter to explain how great it all is for the rest of Americans...
*OBAMA SAYS STOCK MARKET SOARING, TOO MANY AMERICANS STRUGGLING
cue class warfare...
Now the vacuum tubes are really in trouble. Bloomberg reports that the NY AG Schneiderman is making good on his threat to go after (it remains to be seen if this is more than a publicity stunt, and actual enforcement actions follow) several New York HFT firms. Bloomberg reports:
- NY AG SAID SEEKING INFO ON SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH DARK POOLS
- NY AG SAID TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO FIRMS INCLUDING JUMP TRADING
- NY AG SAID TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO FIRMS INCLUDING CHOPPER
- NY AG SAID TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO FIRMS INCLUDING TOWER RESEARCH
Surely Goldman was in no way aware of this coming crack down wave on HFT traders when it washed its hands of the entire industry, and effectively gave up on the trading space in its current format.
In a curious departure from convention, the Goldman-backed, HFT-evading pseudo dark pool IEX, made famous in Michael Lewis' blockbuster "Flash Boys" has decided to post daily volume stats of its operations. And whether it is due to the advertising by the iconic bookwriter, or because increasingly more brokers are switching over to IEX, it appears that new trading venue is gaining traction: according to its own reporting, on April 15, IEX recorded its highest volume day yet, recording nearly 38 million single-counted trades.
While the law has been something the US government and General Motors have been willing to 'bend' or break in the past (absolute priority 'shifts' in bankruptcy), we suspect this latest move by Mary Barra's new GM will do more PR damage. Simply put, as many suspected given Barra's testimony and comments in the past, Reuters reports that General Motors Co will ask a bankruptcy court to block any litigation of the alleged deaths associated with the ignition switch problem since they are related to the automaker's pre-2009 bankruptcy. Of course, as we noted here, the Feds are probing the company over whether they knowingly committed bankruptcy fraud.
As the EU seeks a closer association with Moldova, the 97% pro-Russian state of Transnistria (that we first warned was next here) is accelerating its move towards independence. As Bloomberg reports, despite condemnation by Moldova's government of the "direct defiance", the Transnistria Assembly has approved an appeal to Russia to recognize the region's independencee. Neighboring Romania is "worried" and there are growing 'actions' by the so-called "Supreme Soviet" in the region's capital. But, according to local news wires, there is a much bigger thing for government to worry about - modeling politicians.
While overall the beige book was an absolute snoozer, almost as boring as Yellen's earlier appearance at the economic club of New York, and its core message were quite bullish, namely that:
EIGHT OF 12 FED DISTRICTS SAY GROWTH `MODEST OR MODERATE'
FED SAYS ECONOMIC GROWTH `INCREASED IN MOST REGIONS' OF U.S.
FED SAYS LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS `MIXED BUT GENERALLY POSITIVE'
... confirming that the Beige Book contributors did not get the "ignore the dots" memo, the only "exciting" thing that everyone was looking for: what the Fed thought about the weather. Because with 103 instances of the word "weather" in the report (granted less than the 119 in February), it sure thought a lot.