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Frontrunning: April 2

  • The revolving door continues: Mary Schapiro joins Promontory Financial (WSJ)
  • First Peek at Health-Law Cost (WSJ)
  • Abe warns over Japan inflation target: warns 2% inflation target may not be reached within two years (FT)
  • BoJ's Kuroda tested by divided board (Reuters)
  • Nanjing poultry butcher fourth person infected with H7N9 bird flu (SCMP)
  • What time do top CEOs wake up? (Guardian)
  • Cyprus Seeks More Time to Meet Targets in Talks With Troika (BBG)
  • Investors Ignore Negativity at Their Peril (WSJ)
  • Apple bows to Chinese pressure (FT)
  • One can only laugh: North Korea to restart nuclear reactor in weapons bid (Reuters)
  • Visa Demand Jumps (WSJ)
  • Bloomberg's refutation of Stockman: yes, yes but... look over there, stocks are up! (BBG)
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Fed Lies On The Record To Protect Bank Of America, Pulls Testimony

In late 2010, in a superficially stunning move, Bank of America was sued by, among many others, the New York Fed over the biggest bogeyman for the bank's balance sheet - its legacy portfolio of super toxic Countrywide mortgages it inherited in the worst M&A deal of all time (its purchase of CFC) and the inheritance of woefully inadequate mortgage issuance standards which ever since then (recall our prediction on this issue) has cost the bank billions in litigiation payments and reserves.  Obviously, the Fed had no concerns about collecting the money it itself creates, and it certainly doesn't care about legality and criminal financial impropriety, so why was it among the list of plaintiffs? Simple: as we suggested back then, and as has since been proven correct, it was simply so that Bill Dudley's henchmen have a first row view of everything going on in the putback litigation that has been the primary concern for BofA, but with a few of keeping the damage to a minimum. Sure enough, Ever since then the Fed has done everything in its power to mitigate potential losses to BofA as a result of Agent Orange selling hundreds of billions in biohazardous mortgages to anyone and anything with a pulse. It has gotten so bad that the Fed was last week caught lying under testimony, forcing the Fed to take back testimony in a parallel lawsuit between AIG and BofA, which has also involved the New York Fed, as a indirect guardian of BAC's cash hoard.

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Frontrunning: March 28

  • Lines Form as Cyprus Banks Reopen (WSJ)
  • Greek Bets Sank Top Cyprus Lenders - Banks at Heart of Cyprus Mess Were Bullish on Athens as Other Investors Fled (WSJ)
  • Hollande Economic Woes Masked by Cyprus Fig Leaf (BBG)
  • M&A Stumbles Amid March Deal Drought (BBG) ... but any minute now
  • Train hauling Canadian oil derails in Minnesota  (Reuters) - must be an evil pipeline riding first class
  • Slovenian Austerity After Cyprus Fails to Stem Yield Gain (BBG)
  • Banks Seek to Overturn Judge’s Ruling in Critical Mortgage Case (NYT)
  • Ships Costing U.S. $37 Billion Lack Firepower, Navy Told (BBG)
  • OECD still gloomy on eurozone recovery (FT)
  • BOJ's Kuroda says asset purchase limit already broken (Reuters)
  • Kuroda warns Japan debt ‘not sustainable’ (FT)
  • BOJ’s Kuroda Vows to Continue Easing Until 2% Target Achieved (BBG)
  • South Korea cuts economic forecast (FT)
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Frontrunning: March 27

  • What bread... What circuses... JPMorgan Chase Faces Full-Court Press of Federal Investigations (NYT)
  • European Regulators to Charge Banks Over Derivatives (WSJ) ... but forgive us if we don't hold our breath
  • Cyprus readies capital controls to avert bank run (Reuters)
  • Damage ripples through Cypriot economy (FT)
  • G4S readies guards as Cypriot banks prepare to open (Reuters)
  • Global pool of triple A status shrinks 60% (FT)
  • Customers Flee Wal-Mart Empty Shelves for Target, Costco (BBG)
  • BOE Says U.K. Banks Have Capital Shortfall of $38 Billion (BBG)
  • U.K. Banks Facing Capital Shortfall (WSJ)
  • Cyprus Details Bank Revamp (WSJ)
  • Kazumasa Iwata Joins Kuroda Naysayers as BOJ to Meet (BBG)
  • BRICS Nations Need More Time for New Bank, Russia Says (BBG)
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Frontrunning: March 26

  • Berezovsky Died of Hanging Without Struggle, Police Say (BBG)
  • BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF (BBG)
  • China pledges more investments to Africa (FT)
  • BOJ's Kuroda signals targeting longer-dated JGBs (Reuters)
  • North Korea orders artillery to be combat ready, targeting U.S. bases (Reuters)
  • Supreme Court to take up gay marriage for the first time (Reuters)
  • U.S. Cracks Down on 'Forced' Insurance (WSJ)
  • Japanese courts press Abe on electoral reform (FT)
  • Vietnam accuses China of attack on fishermen in South China Sea (Reuters)
  • Italy's High Court Overturns Knox Acquittal (WSJ)
  • Facebook’s Zuckerberg Said to Explore Forming Political Group (BBG)
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Frontrunning: March 25

  • Cyprus Salvaged After EU Deal Shuts Bank to Get $13B (BBG)
  • Last-minute Cyprus deal to close bank, force losses (Reuters)
  • Anxious, angry Cypriots face uncertain future (Reuters)
  • Spain Brings the Pain to Bank Investors (WSJ)
  • First Switzerland now... U.S. Seeks Answers in Liechtenstein on Tax Cheats (BBG)
  • Rebel Free Syrian Army founder loses leg in Syria blast (Reuters)
  • European Stocks Rise on Cyprus Deal as Italian Bonds, Crude Gain (BBG)
  • Michael Dell Likely to Sweeten Buyout Bid to Save Legacy (BBG)
  • Bankers’ pay premium is narrowing (FT)
  • Surgery Restoring Penis After Prostate Cancer Increasing (BBG)
  • Silent or supportive, conservatives give gay marriage momentum (Reuters)
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Frontrunning: March 21

  • Euro zone call notes reveal extent of alarm over Cyprus (Reuters)
  • Stagnant Japan Rolls Dice on New Era of Easy Money (WSJ)
  • Cyprus, European data batters shares and euro (Reuters)
  • UK cuts taxes to revive stagnant economy (FT)
  • "Quality Control" Rat Body Linked to Blackout at Fukushima (NYT)
  • North Korea issues fresh threat to U.S., South probes hacking (Reuters)
  • South Korea Says Chinese Code Used in Computer Attack (BBG)
  • Osborne paves way for Carney to retool Bank of England (Reuters)
  • Carney Gets ‘Escape Velocity’ Mandate With Limiter (BBG)
  • Osborne Pledges Five More Years of U.K. Austerity (BBG)
  • Bernanke Saying He’s Dispensable Suggests Tenure Ending (BBG)
  • Senate Passes Bill to Fund Operations (WSJ)
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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)
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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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