Merrill

Merrill
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Frontrunning: March 20





  • Cyprus works on Plan B to stave off bankruptcy (AP)
  • Cyprus seeks Russian bailout aid, EU threatens cutoff (Reuters)
  • Freddie Mac Sues Multiple Banks Over Libor Manipulation (BBG)
  • Bernanke Seen Keeping Up Pace of QE Until Fourth Quarter (Bloomberg)
  • Italian president seeks way out of political stalemate (Reuters)
  • Chinese factories struggle to keep staff (FT)
  • South Korean banks, media report network crash (CBC)
  • BlackBerry Inventor Starts Fund to Make Star Trek Device Reality (Bloomberg)
  • Osborne Should Be Fired, Voters Say in Pre-Budget Poll (Bloomberg)
  • Obama Begins First Visit to Israel as President (WSJ)
  • Anadarko finds ‘potentially giant’ oilfield (FT)
  • Britain's Osborne boxed in by austerity on budget day (Reuters)
  • MF Global reaches agreement with JPMorgan (FT)
 
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Frontrunning: March 19





  • Cyprus parliament ready to veto deposit tax (Reuters)
  • Power still out at damaged nuclear plant in Japan (AP)
  • CS' Dougan Calls Bankers Out-Earning Investors Unsustainable (BBG)
  • Citi in $730 Million Pact on Debt Suits (WSJ)
  • Bernanke Tightens Hold on Fed Message Against Hawks (BBG)
  • India Central Bank Cuts Lending Rate (WSJ)
  • ECB role in bailout comes under scrutiny (FT)
  • Putin Buddy Gets $7 Billion of Deals for Sochi Olympics (BBG)
  • BlackRock to Cut About 300 Jobs in Fink’s Reorganization (BBG)
  • Trade, economy top agenda as China's Xi meets U.S.'s Lew (Reuters)
  • Late Winter Storm Threatens Heavy Snow for Northern New England (BBG)
  • China Foreign Investment Rebounds as Confidence Returns (BBG)
  • Republicans differ on flexibility on taxes with Obama (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: March 18





  • Cypriot Bank Levy Is ‘Ominous’ for Bondholders, Barclays Says (BBG)
  • Euro, Stocks Drops; Gold, German Bonds Rally on Cyprus (BBG)
  • Total chaos:Cyprus tries to rework divisive bank tax (Reuters)
  • More total chaos: Cyprus Prepares New Deposit-Tax Proposal (WSJ)
  • Euro Slides Most in 14 Months on Cyprus Turmoil; Yen Strengthens (BBG)
  • Osborne to admit fresh blow to debt target (FT)
  • Even the Finns are giving up: Finnish Government May Relinquish Deficit Target to Boost Growth (BBG)
  • Moody’s Sees Defaults as PBOC Warns on Local Risks (BBG)
  • Australia Faces ‘Massive Hit’ to Government Revenue, Swan Says (BBG)
  • Inside a Warier Fed, Watch the New Guy (Hilsenrath)
  • Obama to Tap Perez for Labor Secretary (WSJ) - and with that the "minorities" quota is full
  • Finally, this should be good: BuzzFeed to Launch Business Section (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: March 11





  • One in four Germans would back anti-euro party (Reuters)
  • EU Chiefs Seeking to Stave Off Euro Crisis Turn to Cyprus (BBG)
  • Ryan Says His Budget Would Slow Annual Spending Growth to 3.4% (BBG)
  • Goldman leads decline as Wall Street commodity revenues plummet (Reuters)
  • South Korea and US begin military drills (FT) and North Korea cuts off hotline with South Korea (Reuters)
  • Karzai Inflames U.S. Tensions  (WSJ)
  • Algorithms Get a Human Hand in Steering Web (NYT)
  • Meeting Is Set to Choose Pope (WSJ)
  • More U.S. Profits Parked Abroad, Saving on Taxes (WSJ)
  • Banks rush to redraft pay deals (FT)
  • Fugitive Fund Manager Stuffed Underwear With Cash, Fled (BBG)
  • Post-Newtown Gun Limits Agenda Narrows in U.S. Congress (BBG)
  • China Hints at Shift in One-Child Policy (WSJ)
 
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Guest Post: Corporatism - State-Controlled Capitalism





The Dow is at a record high and so are corporate profits - so why does it feel like most of the country is deeply suffering right now?  Real household income is the lowest that it has been in a decade, poverty is absolutely soaring, 47 million Americans are on food stamps and the middle class is being systematically destroyed.  How can big corporations be doing so well while most American families are having such a hard time?  Isn't their wealth supposed to "trickle down" to the rest of us?  Unfortunately, that is not how the real world works. But now we have replaced capitalism with something that we like to call "corporatism".  In many ways, it shares a lot of characteristics with communism, and that is why nations such as communist China have embraced it so readily. Today, most big corporations are trying to minimize the number of "expensive" American workers on their payrolls as much as they can. Right now, the system is designed to continually funnel more money and more power to the very top of the pyramid.  The global elite are becoming more dominant with each passing day. The idea of a very tiny elite completely dominating all the rest of us goes against everything that America is supposed to stand for.  In the end, it will result in absolute tyranny if it is not stopped.

 
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Frontrunning: March 8





  • Firms Send Record Cash Back to Investors (WSJ)
  • And in totally opposite news, from the same source: Firms Race to Raise Cash (WSJ)
  • China warns over fresh currency tensions (FT)
  • Hollande faces pressure over jobs pledge (FT)
  • Obama efforts renew ‘grand bargain’ hopes (FT)
  • Shirakawa BOJ Expansion Gets No Respect as Stocks Cheer Exit (BBG)
  • Japan’s Nakao Defends Easing as China’s Chen Expresses Concern (BBG)
  • Boeing Had Considered Battery Fire Nearly Impossible, Report Says (WSJ)
  • ECB Chief Plays Down Italy Fears (WSJ)
  • China moves to make its markets credible (FT)
  • Euro Group head says UK at risk of 'sterling crisis' (Telegraph)
 
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Frontrunning: March 7





  • French unemployment rises again to highest since 1999 (Reuters)
  • BoJ rejects call for monetary easing (FT)
  • North Korea threatens pre-emptive nuclear strike against US (Guardian)
  • Firms Race to Raise Cash (WSJ)
  • Time Warner Will Split From Magazine Unit in Third Spinoff (BBG) - slideshows, kittens, "all you need to knows" coming to Time
  • U.S. economy, world's engine, remains in "neutral": Fed's Fisher (Reuters)
  • BOE Keeps QE on Hold as Officials Weigh More Radical Measures (BBG)
  • Jobs start to go as US sequestration cuts in (FT)
  • BofA Times an Options Trade Well  (WSJ)
  • Congress Budget Cuts Damage U.S. Economy Without Aiding Outlook (BBG)
  • Dell’s Crafted LBO Pitch Gets Messy as Investors Circle (BBG)
  • Dell says Icahn opposes go-private deal (Reuters)
  • Portugal Rating Outlook Raised to Stable by S&P on Budget Plan (BBG)
  • China’s Richer-Than-Romney Lawmakers Reveal Reform Challenge (BBG)
 
Tyler Durden's picture

Frontrunning: March 6





  • Kuroda to Hit ‘Wall of Reality’ at BOJ, Ex-Board Member Says (BBG)
  • Venezuelans mourn Chavez as focus turns to election (Reuters)
  • South Korea says to strike back at North if attacked (Reuters)
  • Milk Powder Surges Most in 2 1/2 Years on New Zealand Drought (BBG)
  • As Confetti Settles, Strategists Wonder: Will Dow's Rally Last?  (WSJ)
  • Pollution, Risk Are Downside of China's 'Blind Expansion' (BBG)
  • Obama Calls Republicans in Latest Round of Spending Talks (BBG)
  • Ryan Budget Plan Draws GOP Flak (WSJ)
  • Samsung buys stake in Apple-supplier Sharp (FT)
  • China Joining U.S. Shale Renaissance With $40 Billion (BBG)
  • Say Goodbye to the 4% Rule  (WSJ)
  • Traders Flee Asia Hedge Funds as Job Haven Turns Dead End (BBG)
  • Power rustlers turn the screw in Bulgaria, EU's poorest country (Reuters)
 
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Merrill Of America Cuts JCP Price Target To $13 On Pending Revolver Draw





When we reported on JCPenney's horrendous quarterly results, we made the comments that when "speaking of [the] credit facility, JCP had no borrowings under its 2012 Revolver, and about $1.3 billion available net of L/Cs. Expect these numbers to change." The reason we pointed this out, is that the second a retailer goes from "unused Revolver" to "used Revolver", the bankruptcy deathwatch drums begin their steady beat. Indeed, it was only a matter of time before even the traditionally slow sellside brigade figured out that JCP's liquidity is horrifying and about to get much worse, and moments ago Bank of America downgraded JCP by $3 to a $13 price target on expectations of an imminent revolver draw. To wit: "JCPenney intends to self-fund its transformation, but we think it will need to draw down on the revolver as early as this quarter." This explains why Ackman is down another $60 million in the name at last check.

 
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Guest Post: There Is No Asset Bubble?





What really strikes us is the universal belief by the majority of analysts, economists and commentators, that there is currently "no evidence" of an asset bubble.  This idea was further confirmed by Bernanke's testimony last week he explicitly stated: "I don't see much evidence of an equity bubble" In the long term it will ultimately be the fundamentals that drive the markets.  Currently, the deterioration in the growth rate of earnings, and economic strength, are not supportive of the speculative rise in asset prices or leverage.  The idea of whether, or not, the Federal Reserve, along with virtually every other central bank in the world, are inflating the next asset bubble is of significant importance to investors who can ill afford to once again lose a large chunk of their net worth. It is all reminiscent of the market peak of 1929 when Dr. Irving Fisher uttered his now famous words: "Stocks have now reached a permanently high plateau."  The clamoring of voices that the bull market is just beginning is telling much the same story.  History is repleat with market crashes that occurred just as the mainstream belief made heretics out of anyone who dared to contradict the bullish bias.

 
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Frontrunning: March 5





  • As ZH has been saying for months... Draghi Will Need to Push the Euro Down Some More (WSJ) ... but careful with "redenomination risk"
  • Senate Report Said to Fault JPMorgan (NYT)
  • EU Opens Way for Easier Budgets After Backlash (BBG)
  • China Moves to Temper Growth - Property Bubble Is a Key Concern (WSJ)
  • China bets on consumer-led growth to cure social ills (Reuters)
  • Italian president mulls new technocrat government (Reuters)
  • Grillo says MPS won't back technocrats (ANSA)
  • The Russians will be angry: Euro Chiefs Won’t Rule Out Cyprus Depositor Losses (BBG)
  • China Bankers Earn Less Than New York Peers as Pay Dives (BBG)
  • Investors click out of Apple into Google (FT)
  • Community colleges' cash crunch threatens Obama's retraining plan (Reuters)
  • Alwaleed challenges Forbes over his billions - Calculation of $20bn net worth is flawed, says Saudi prince (FT)
  • Guy Hands Dips Into Own Pockets to Fund Bonuses at Terra Firma (BBG)
  • North Korea to scrap armistice if South and U.S. continue drills (Reuters)
 
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Guest Post: Meet Mary Jo White: The Next SEC Chief And A Guaranteed Wall Street Patsy





Obama’s nominee to head the SEC, Mary Jo White, is just another gatekeeper appointed to make sure no one ever goes after the Wall Street crime syndicate.  As I have written about many times in the past, Obama does not nominate anyone to a high position of power in government who will not behave like a good little lapdog for Wall Street. Despite Obama’s propagandist statement about how “you don’t want to mess with Mary Jo,” her background implies she will function as a useful servant to the financial oligarchs.  Forget for a second about that fact at her recent firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP her clients included the usual suspects such as such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), and UBS AG, but she is actually known as the prosecutor who popularized the “slap Wall Street on the wrist” approach.

 
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Frontrunning: March 4





  • Must defend against Chinese colonial expansion and get the Nigerian oil: U. S. Boosts War Role in Africa (WSJ)
  • BOJ nominee Kuroda sets out aggressive policy ideas (Reuters)
  • China becomes world’s top oil importer (FT)
  • Baby Cured of HIV for the First Time, Researchers Say (WSJ)
  • Obama to nominate Walmart's Burwell as White House budget chief (Reuters)
  • Wal-Mart Anxious to Combat Amazon’s Lead in Web Vendors (BBG)
  • Nasdaq executing trades at a loss (FT)
  • Spending cut debate casts pall over Obama's second-term agenda (Reuters)
  • Russell Indexes to Reclassify Greece as Emerging Market (BBG)
  • Bond Bears Collide With Swaps Showing Low Rates (BBG)
  • Buffett Deputies Leaving Billionaire in the Dust Get More Funds (BBG)
  • Brazil's leftist president fights to win back business (Reuters)
  • U.S. Special Forces train Syrian Rebels in Jordan (Le Figaro)
  • Carlos Slim Risks Losing World’s Richest Person Title as Troubles Mount (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: February 28





  • Grillo kills move to break Italy deadlock (FT)
  • Abe nominates Kuroda to run BoJ (FT)
  • More WMT bad news: Wal-Mart Chief Administrative Officer Mars to Leave: WSJ (BBG)
  • Japan's Abe: Islands Are Indisputably Ours (WSJ) - Except for China of course
  • Low-key departure as pope steps down, to enter the final phase of his life "hidden from the world" (Reuters)
  • Cuts unlikely to deliver promised budget savings (Reuters)
  • European Union caps bankers’ bonuses (FT)
  • White House, Republicans dig in ahead of budget talks (Reuters)
  • Jockeying Stalls Deal on Cuts (WSJ)
  • Argentina Says It Won’t Voluntarily Comply With Bond Ruling (BBG)
  • Italian president says forming new government cannot be rushed (Reuters) - or happen at all
  • Central Banks Spewing Cash Must Plan Exit Timing, Rohde Says (BBG)
  • China Regional Targets Cut in Sign Debt Concerns Heeded (BBG)
  • RBA Says Up to 34 Central Banks Holding Australian Dollars (BBG)
 
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