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The Coming Chinese Crackup

The endgame of communist rule in China has begun, and Xi Jinping’s ruthless measures are only bringing the country closer to a breaking point...

Estonia Fears Being "Overrun By Russia In Minutes", Sweden Sends Troops To Baltic Sea Island

"Gotland is a big worry for us. It could be overrun by Russia in minutes and then all of us would be highly vulnerable to an attack," warned one politician recently as it appears NATO fear-mongering and Russia sabre-rattling is having a significant effect on many of the Baltic Sea's border nations. As The FT reports, Sweden will put troops back on the strategic Baltic Sea island of Gotland after a decade-long absence and will also step up military exercises around the island involving the army, navy and air force. “Hunting submarines is a priority area," Sweden's defense minister explained, adding that "everything we do is a part of underlining Swedish sovereignty."

The Crazy Man's Guide To The Bond Market

Betting on the end of what is a 30-year interest rate cycle may not a productive use of our time. However, the first thing you need to know about central banks is that they are the worst traders in the world. The worst.

NASA Scientist Warns "California Has One Year Of Water Left"

"We're not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we're losing the creek too... Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain."

Peak Crony Capitalism: First Citi Writes US Financial Laws, Now Boeing Tells Ex-Im Bank What To Do

Today's most under the radar news, just as Citigroup was to Congress, and the swaps push out language, so Boeing, that primary recipients of the generosity of America's Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, has been caught red-handed drafting the rules of none other than the Ex-Im bank itself! According to the WSJ: "when the Export-Import Bank sought to respond to critics with tighter rules for aircraft sales, it reached out to a company with a vested interest in the outcome: Boeing Co., the biggest beneficiary of the bank’s assistance." Or nothing more than a criminal conflict of interest, which, once again, is at the expense of America's infinite bailout piggybank: it's taxpayers.

Europe Has A Modest Proposal For Greece: "Don't Pay Wages For One Or Two Months"

The Greek media is ablaze with just what Europe's proposed solution to this issue may be. As Protothema and Capital report, the Troika proposed that Athens halt the payment of salaries and pensions for one to two months. This, according to Europe, would promptly tackle the problem of liquidity and find a solution to Greek problem of how to pay back bailout loan tranches to creditors when suffering from liquidity problems.

WTI Plunges To $45 Handle - Lowest Since January

While none of the catalysts are new (IEA warning temporary stabilization amid rising oil glut and increased US production), it appears the February bounce is done as our discussions of storage limitations gains traction among the ETF-driven knife-catchers. April WTI Crude futures have collapsed in the last few days from over $52 to a $45 handle now - the lowest since January and only marginally above cycle lows... As oil cratered so EURUSD slipped and S&P futures fell.

The New London Gold Fix And China's Gold Strategy

China now has the opportunity to take a dominant role in London, without having to direct its order flows through the fixing banks. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that from 20th March, China will be able to control the global physical gold market, which will permit her to manage the price. She has the deepest pockets, backed by the largest single stockpile.

Albert Edwards' "WOW!" Chart, Or Why "Draghi Makes Greenspan Look Like A Rank Amateur"

"Mario Draghi and the ECB’s manipulation of asset prices makes Greenspan’s Fed look like a rank amateur. More shocking though than the plunge in the euro, and more shocking even that 25% of sovereign eurozone bonds now trade in negative territory, is what has happened to eurozone equity valuations. For, as we approach the sixth anniversary of the US cyclical bull market, the PE expansion of eurozone equities is simply off the scale!" - Albert Edwards

The Great Immoderation: How The Fed Has Sown The Seeds Of The Next Recession

There was a point in 2010 when American capitalism might have had an opportunity to heal itself and commence on a long march toward sustainable growth and real wealth gains. But the monetary politburo would have none of it - keeping the pedal to the metal until this very moment... and the rest is history. The Fed and the other central banks around the world have fomented a new and even more virulent and dangerous financial bubble.

Drugs, Prostitution, Violence Plague Oil Boom Towns Gone Bust

Collapsing crude prices have left America's oil boom towns cash-strapped in the face of double-digit population growth and increased levels of drug trafficking and violent crime. As local governments struggle to cope, a prolonged slump for oil could imperil the stability of many once quiet communities. 

Currency Wars... Are Not Working

While none of the current batch of currency-devaluing Central Bankers would admit that their policies are designed to weaken the currency, enhance competitiveness, and hail a new bright future of growth for their nation (by printing money), it is clear that is the chosen textbook-based path chosen. However, as the following charts show, it's not working...