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White House In The Dark, On Lockdown Following D.C.-Wide Power Outage





NO INITIAL INDICATIONS OF TERRORISM IN WASHINGTON, D.C., POWER OUTAGES - U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

*STATE DEPT SAYS PEPCO EXPECTS TO RESTORE POWER IN 1-2 HOURS

The utility firm Pepco is currently investigating a Washington-wide black-out that has plunged The White House, State Department, The US Capitol, D.C. Metro, and even Oprah's TV Stage into darkness...Ironically, the outage occurred minutes after Rand Paul commented that "the time has come to take away the power from Washington D.C..."  Has anyone seen Kim Jong-Un today?

 
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Revolving Debt Crashes Most In Four Years, As Student, Car Loans Go Exponential; Bank Lending Freezes





There was only bad news in the just released Fed consumer credit report for the month of February. First, the "good credit", the one that consumer should load up on when they feel comfortable about the future, i.e., credit card, or revolving debt, continued its recent plunge, and in February crashed by $3.7 billion, following January's $1 billion plunge. This was the worst month for revolving credit since December 2010 and explains perfectly why the consumer has literally gone into hibernation - it has nothing to do with the weather, and everything to do with the unwillingness to "charge" purchases, which in turn is a clear glimpse into how the US consumer sees their financial and economic future.

 
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Scathing Assessment: "The UK Economy Is A Ticking Time Bomb"





Despite being an otherwise staid, traditional news service, the professional banking division of the Financial Times recently released an utterly scathing assessment of the British economy. It was entitled, “The UK economy is a ticking time bomb,” and the editor didn’t pull any punches in completely shattering the conventional fantasy that ‘all is well’, and that advanced economies can simply print and in debt their way to prosperity.

 
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Saudi Optimism Trumps Storage Concerns, Sends WTI Crude Surging





A constant stream of hyprocrisy from Fed officials (will print moar money if stuff happens), The EIA (storage is getting fuller and fuller, but production will be lower than expected), and Saudi Oil Minister Naimi's idiocy (increased production, demanding non-OPEC cooperation, but optimistic on prices recovering in the short-term) has sent crude asymmetrically rocketing higher... which is now apparently a good thing for US equities.

 
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SocGen's 4 Reasons Why The Euro Will Keep Falling





 
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Peak British Obesity?





A funny thing happened in Britain... as calorie intake has fallen by 8% in the last decade and 4.4% since 2010, driven both by eating out less and eating healthier at home, so obesity levels are stabilising versus recent years with the number of patients diagnosed as obese also declined by 15% yoy in 2013/14, following a 7% decline in 2012/13. In the US, however, the latest data shows that obesity is still rising...

 
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Jim Grant Warns: Cost Of "The Unmasking Of The [Fed-Driven] Mis-Allocation Of Capital" Is Dire





"The Fed is 'ever-interested' in doing something later," Jim Grant notes, explaining why he believes the timetable for rate hikes will be pushed back further as fear of allowing a free market in the "most critical" of prices - that of interest rates - would lead to the "unmasking of the misallocations of capital that will have come about through the levitation of asset prices." Grant further unleashes his verbal attack of truthiness when he points out that the central bank's persistent easy money policies is on display currently in the form of stifling American enterprise and sending millions of people from the workforce "more or less permanently."

 
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Solid 3 Year Auction Prices At Lowest Yield Since March 2014





Anyone wondering what the bond market thinks about the prospects of an imminent rate hike need but look at the high yield of the just concluded 3 Year auction, which saw a yield of only 0.865%, pricing through the 0.87% when issued, and the lowest since March of 2014. While one can barely see it on the chart below, the Bid to Cover was a fraction lower compared to March, at 3.252 down from the 3.330 TTM average. Completing the internal picture was an Indirect take down of 49.4% which was in line with recent auctions and solidly above the 12 month moving average of 37.6, while Dealers took 1% less than in March, at 39.5% of the final allotment, leaving Directs with 11.1% of the auction.

 
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Mohamed El-Erian Explains Why He Is Now "Mostly In Cash"





"The Fed has been pushing everybody into the public markets... it makes sense to reduce your exposure to the most trafficked assets."

 
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Caught On Tape: Fire Breaks Out On Docked Russian Nuclear Submarine





It wasn't a pleasant sight for hundreds of onlookers at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Russia's Archangelsk region overnight when an Oscar II-class nuclear sub undergoing repair work suddenly caught on fire.

 
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California: A Microcosm For Impending Global Water Crisis





The move by California to require mandatory cuts in water use for the first time in its history has highlighted the world’s looming water crisis and increased the focus on the links between sustainable water and sustainable energy. “We need a new paradigm,” says Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization. “The days when we could just go further into the mountains and find new sources of water are past. We need to make better use of the water we have.”

 
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"Let Them Eat Pickles" Chinese Soldiers In Yemen Starve As Refugees "Eat Like Kings"





"While on the navy ship, the soldiers ate pickles, but we had an eight course meal, and beer as well,"

 
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Was This It For America's "Hiring Spree"?





As the following chart shows, whereas in the past the total number of hires tracked closely the cumulative 1 year change in jobs, this time is has failed to do so, and as the chart below shows, the hires rate has dropped sharply, and at 4.916MM was not only the lowest since August but also represents the biggest two-month drop since Lehman!

 
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Greenspan 2003 Or Yellen 2015: "We Don't Know Enough About How The Financial System Works"





"...I don’t think we know enough about how the private financial system works under these conditions... If you are an institution that is doing well within the parameters under which you’re used to functioning, you will fight any change without any notion as to whether that change is good or bad. That’s because there’s a very large uncertainty premium associated with the change... "

 
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Why ECB's March Purchase Of €11 Billion In German Treasurys Will Be A Problem





As was largely expected, in the first monthly report of ECB Q€ purchases in which the European central bank reported a total of €47.4 billion in purchases, the one country with the largest proportional allottment was Germany, whose €11.1 billion in bond purchases represented a 23.4% of the total monthly purchase. This is somewhat less than the mandated capital key allottment to Germany, which as a reminder, is at 26%, however the remaining balance is where the €5.7 billion in supernational purchases came in.

 
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