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The Euthanasia Of The Saver

American banks have largely gained from low interest rates, British banks have suffered losses as a result and in the Eurozone they have been hugely detrimental to banks’ profitability. The ones who have undoubtedly lost out were those quintessential Keynesian villains: the savers. The medicine prescribed by the central banks to correct their “bad” ways has cost them billions. And given that yields have continued to go down since McKinsey's report was published, their misery has only increased. More high fives from Keynes! And yet, even within those groups the impact has been uneven. Who in the household segment is suffering the most because of ultra-low interest rates? The retirees, of course.

"China Has A Massive Debt Problem", And Why It Is About Get Much Massiver

"China has a $28 trillion problem. That’s the country’s total government, corporate and household debt load as of mid-2014... equal to 282 percent of the country’s total annual economic output," Bloomberg notes, adding that efforts to deleverage this massive debt burden aren't compatible with the measures Beijing needs to take to boost economic growth. But if you thought the debt problem was bad now, it's going to get worse because as Reuters notes, China is about to activate the ABS machine.

EU Formally (And Spitefully) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Gazprom

With talks between Greece and its creditors expected to go mostly nowhere in Riga later this week, and with speculation about an energy deal between Athens and Moscow (i.e. the precursor to the dreaded "Russian pivot") looking less like speculation and more like reality with each passing day, Europe is going the spite route by filing anti-trust charges against Gazprom.

Corporate Profits Vaporizing

"...the ladder that has supported the move to record high U.S. corporate profit margins is beginning to snap. It may be a long way down."

Why Europe Lets People Drown

That Europe let almost 1000 people die in the Mediterranean in one night shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, at least not to those who are still occasionally awake. The Club Med migrant crisis has been going on for a long time, and the EU’s only reaction to it has been to slash its budget and operations in the area, not to expand them. So when the New York Times opens with “European leaders were confronted on Monday with a humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean..”, they’re a mile and a half less than honest. Brussels has known what was going on for years, and decided to do less than nothing.

Bank Of England Exposes US Cronyism: Questions Why Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Is Not Too Big To Fail

If you thought currency-wars were a problem, just wait until crony-wars begin. In a stunning show of disagreement among the omnipotent, The FT reports that a Freedom of Information Act request has confirmed The Bank of England wrote to US authorities seeking clarity about Berkshire’s absence from a provisional list of "systemically import" (Too Big To Fail) financial institutions (SIFIs). The US Treasury declined to comment...

Stop The Presses: Nobel-Prize Winning Economist Slams QE

"An alternate, more sophisticated approach to explaining why QE may not work to stimulate aggregate consumption is, perhaps, because the demographic mix of the U.S. (and most parts of the developed world) has shifted toward older people. Unlike 30 or 40 years ago, the enormous baby boomer generation, and even retirees, are much wealthier (including human capital) than in the past, and they are wealthier than current generations earlier in their life cycle.  So the wealth effect does not lead to an increase in consumption and, potentially, has the opposite outcome."

- Robert Merton

As Gazprom CEO Arrives In Athens, EU (Coincidentally) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Russian Giant

As the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, arrives in Athens tomorrow (for talks with Greek PM Tsipras about "current energy issues of interest," which we suspect will include finalizing the "Turkish Stream" pipeline heralded by many as Greece's potential get-out-of-Troika-jail-card), he will face an increasingly anxious European Union. Fresh from its suit against Google, the WSJ reports, the EU's competition regulator plans to file formal antitrust charges against Russia’s state-owned gas company OAO Gazprom on Wednesday. This re-opens a suit from 2012 saying that it suspected the company of abusing its dominant position in those countries’ natural-gas supply. It appears Europe is getting nervous...

Caught On Tape: National Guard Troops Patrol California City, Conduct New Jersey "Homeland Response Drill"

While there are still three months until Operation Jade Helm officially opens, various documented reports of substantial national guard drills and troop exercises are starting to trickle in early. As Paul Joseph Watson notes, the first documented proof of National Guard drills comes from Ontario, California where National Guard troops can be seen patrolling residential streets and practicing traffic control. In the video troops, followed by a humvee, are seen marching close to an elementary school and single family homes.

Despite Urges And Threats, Greece Remains Defiant, Won't "Budge On Red Lines" Even As Russia Denies Gas Deal

Hopes ran high among Europe's unelected bureaucratic oligarchy and the Troika of official creditors that the Greek government, after the ECB openly dropped hints of a Greek IOU currency in the immediate future, would finally relent over the weekend and admit that all of its promises to its voters were a lie and that the Tsipras government would finally pick up where the Samaras government left (and was booted) off. There was even a perfect venue: Washington D.C., where Varoufakis and Obama met for the first time just hours before. The hopes were promptly dashed after Greece, once again, said it would not "renege on election pledges to end austerity measures as creditors pressed for a compromise."

China Cuts Reserve Ratio Most Since 2008 In Scramble To Preserve Equity Bubble, Boost Economy

As we observed yesterday when we showed that if comparing the collapse in China's housing market with that of the US following their respective peaks then China is already a recession, we added that "as shown in the chart below [China] has recently engaged in several easing steps, with many more to come according to the sell-side consensus." Sure enough, just a few hours later, the PBOC announced its second Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) for all banks since February 4, when China had its first industry-wide RRR cut since May 2012. The move will be effective Monday, April 20.