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Guest Post: How To Undermine Russia From Within





If The West really wants to 'win', turning Russian public opinion against Vladimir Putin should be the goal. Here’s how to do it.

 
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ECB Preview: Expect More Talk And No Action





New cycle lows in Eurozone inflation along with disappointing ISMs across various nations raise the probability of a dovish ECB meeting tomorrow, in Citi's view. However, as Deutsche expands upon, they do not see an obvious trigger for "actual" policy easing in the data and events since the last ECB Council meeting and any "action" will take the form of words, not deeds. Despite all the hope in the world, Deutsche warns there would have to be a substantive deterioration relative to current forecasts to elicit an asset purchasing/QE response from the ECB. Instead, more comments on Euro strength, stronger forward guidance, confirmation of the magic of OMT are more likely but so far the market is absolutely calling Draghi's bluff and saying 'put-up-or-shut-up' especialy in terms of EUR strength.

 
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Why Turkey Was Planning A False Flag Operation In Syria





You’ve probably heard about the recent leaked conversations involving Turkey. It was stunning to hear the highest-ranking Turks casually discussing how to provoke a false flag incident that would justify a large military intervention in Syria. This is a big deal because Turkish troops in Syria opens the door to NATO troops in Syria, which drastically expands the conflict. In case you didn’t know, a false flag is an incident that is designed to deceive people into thinking it was actually carried out by someone else. The same tactic is used by the world’s militaries and intelligence services to nefarious effect. Many believe the Reichstag fire incident that allowed Hitler to drastically expand his power was a false flag operation. So, why would the Turks propose doing such a thing in Syria?

 
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In A NYT Op-Ed, Venezuela's Maduro Explains Why It's The Rich That Are Revolting





After the success of Putin's op-ed, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has put pen to paper in a NY Times op-ed. Calling for "peace and dialogue," Maduro blames the US government for supporting the 2002 coup and funding the opposition support movements currently. Slamming the US media's biased perspective on his nation's "best [electoral] process in the world," the outspoken leader explains, "the claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people."

 
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Furious Russia Will Retaliate Over "Illegal And Absurd" Payment Block By "Hostile" JPMorgan





While everyone was gushing over the spectacle on TV of a pro-HFT guy and anti-HFT guy go at it, yesterday afternoon we reported what was by far the most important news of the day, one which was lost on virtually everyone if only until this morning, when we reported that "Monetary Blockade Of Russia Begins: JPMorgan Blocks Russian Money Transfer "Under Pretext" Of Sanctions." This morning the story has finally blown up to front page status, which it deserves, where it currently graces the FT with "Russian threat to retaliate over JPMorgan block." And unlike previous responses to Russian sanctions by the West, which were largely taken as a joke by the Russian establishment, this time Russia is furious: according to Bloomberg, the Russian foreign ministry described the JPM decision as "illegal and absurd."  And as Ukraine found out last month, you don't want Russia angry.

 
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David Stockman: "A Gang Of Unelected PhDs Have Staged An Economics Coup D'Etat"





America is being run by an unelected gang of essentially self-perpetuating PhDs. The notion of an economics coup d’ etat is not so far-fetched.  So the last 35 years have brought the greatest exercise in mission creep ever undertaken by an agency of the state. That explains why the monetary politburo persists in its absurd quest to force more debt into an economy which is already saturated with $59 trillion of the same. To pretend, as does Yellen and most of the monetary politburo that they must plow ahead printing money at lunatic rates because Congress so mandated it, is the height of mendacity. The Fed has seized power and is not about to let go - common sense be damned, and the constitution, too.

 
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Fort Hood Shooter, Three Others Reported Dead, 14 Injured, Obama Says "Will Get To The Bottom Of What Happened"





The Fort Hood shooting appears to be over, with the shooter reportedly dead of a self-inflicted wound and according to the latest CNN update, three other people dead, and as many as 14 others injured, some in critical condition. Reports of a second shooter are so far unconfirmed. CNN also reports that the name of the shooter is 34 year old Ivan Lopez. The shooting is also said to not be terrorism-related, but instead a "solider on solider" attack.

 
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JPMorgan Explains: The Problem Is The Inexorable Rise In Entitlement Payments





As he visited clients around the nation, JPMorgan CIO Michael Cembalest noted a number of questions repeated... why can’t the US spend more on infrastructure? why can’t the US spend more on worker retraining? why is less money being spent on training, employment and related social services? why is energy spending falling? The answer, ne explains below, to all these questions is the same: these categories are declining since they are being squeezed out by the inexorable rise in entitlement payments.

 
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Citi Warns "Unwise To Short The Dollar"





 
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From The Small To The Big: Earthquakes, Avalanches, & High-Frequency Trading





Given our understanding that the number of large avalanches is positively correlated to the number of small avalanches, it seems pretty clear that (as Nanex and Zerohedge has been saying) the damaged market microstructure is mirrored in the increasing number of flash crashes since Reg NMS. Unfortunately, our murky understanding of how the microstructure causes the macrostructural changes can be used by the regulatory authorities to avoid investigation. They can't see a smoking gun. Accordingly, our modest proposal for dealing with HFT is this--nothing. Don't bust trades--let them stand. We'd be curious to see the response of the various Ivy-League endowment funds and pension funds when they suffer brutal, near-instantaneous, multi-billion-dollar losses. How would real companies, producing real products, react to a sudden monkey-hammering of their stock price, especially if it triggered debt covenants? Maybe they would all exit the market en masse. It might even force a real change.

 
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Fort Hood On Lockdown After Shooting, Multiple Victims Reported; Shooter At Large - Live Webcast





Fort Hood, Texas, was was the place of an infamous mass murder that took place in November 2009, when 13 people were shot by a US Army major in what is the worst shooting to ever take place at an American military base.  Moments ago news hit that there is another reported shooting situation at Fort Hood with the shooting suspect said to still be at large.

FORT HOOD, TEXAS, ON LOCKDOWN AMID SHOOTING REPORTS: SHOOTING SUSPECT STILL AT LARGE; `MULTIPLE VICTIMS' AMID SHOOTING: KCEN TV

Live webcast from KCEN.TV below

 
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Polish Magazine Lays Out What A Russian Invasion Would Look Like





Polish magazine "Fakt" has laid out the following scenario of just how a Russian invaston would look like, sweeping the Baltics, Belarus, and all of Ukraine, in one offensive wave.

 
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Guest Post: The Obamacare Ship Of Fools





It was so fitting that Obama sauntered into the Rose Garden on April Fools day to proclaim the wonderful success of Obamacare. We are the fools for allowing this fool and his fellow fools in Congress to further bankrupt our country with this disastrous government run clusterf*ck. Their is so much propaganda, spin, disinformation and outright lies circulating in the captured mainstream media that the dumbed down, distracted, disinterested American populace believe the sound bites from Obama and the talking heads on MSNBC and the rest of the Obama loving media. You may have noticed the non-stop 30 second ads trying to convince iGadget addicted morons to sign up for Obamacare over the last three months, building to a crescendo in the last few weeks. Let’s assess the tremendous success  the Savior was blustering about yesterday. He sold the plan to the American public back in 2009 with a number of promises.

 
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Jon Stewart On HFT: "It's Not American; It's Not Even Capitalism. It's Cheating"





John Stewart is stunned by the world of HFT (where "stock exchanges sell the right to advance information to high frequency traders [by locating their computers closest to the exchange]") and the mainstream media's immediate jump to defend it "as good for us", but as Michael Lewis explains "anyone whose livelihood is dependent on Wall Street [from CNBC, FOX and even the SEC] is invested in this... it sounds like a conspiracy." As Lewis explains, HFTs "function on volume and volatility" alone and "they know the prices before you do... which is illegal if it's a person, but as a computer, meh?"

 
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Dow Fails To Hold 2014 Gains As Treasury Yields Hit 7-Month Highs





Biotechs ended positive but for the 10th day in a row saw the early pump, dumped (as did a number of the momo names). But the big news is the Dow getting back into green for 2014...and then failing to hold it! Trannies and the S&P both hit new record highs. Treasury yields continue to press higher with 5Y now at 7-month highs (testing 1.80%) as 30Y yields are up 11bps on the week. The USD rallied modestly all day (ahead of tomorrow's hope-strewn ECB meeting) but commodities were mixed with general flatness interrupted by significant spikes in gold and silver around 8amET. Copper faded during the US day session. VIX was slammed under 13 into the close but faded back higher into the close.

 
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