White House

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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.

 
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The 9/11 Commissioners Were Conspiracy Theorists





Must Have Been Wearing Tinfoil Hats ... And Living In Their Mom's Basement

 
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Frontrunning: March 12





  • As reported here first: The U.S. Has Too Much Oil and Nowhere to Put It (BBG)
  • Dollar Drops From 12-Year High as S&P Futures, Bonds Gain (BBG); Dollar Bulls Retreat From 12-Year High to Euro With Fed in View (BBG)
  • Clinton Private Email Plan Drew Concerns Early On (WSJ)
  • ECB Bond Buying Not Needed With Economy Improving, Weidmann Says (BBG)
  • China Feb new yuan loans well above forecast (Reuters)
  • U.S. probing report Secret Service agents drove car into White House barrier (Reuters)
  • Kerry tells Republicans: you cannot modify Iran-U.S. nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • PBOC Pledges to Press on With Rate Liberalization Amid Slowdown (BBG)
  • China Prepares Mergers for Big State-Owned Enterprises (WSJ)
 
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US To Send Drones, Humvees To Ukraine, Boost Russia Sanctions As Moscow May "Deploy Nuclear Weapons In Crimea"





So much for the second Minsk ceasefire. A few hours ago, the US returned to its strategy of escalating Russian "costs" when it placed sanctions on eight Ukrainian separatists and a Russian bank, warning that recent attacks by rebels armed by Russia violated a European-brokered ceasefire in the war-torn country. The Russian response to the latest sanction pending, but the response may have been hinted at earlier today when an official from Russia's Foreign Ministery said the nation has the right to deploy nuclear arms in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. And finally, indicating that the semi-hot escalation between the US and Russia is close to getting out of control, Vice President Biden told Ukraine's president Wednesday the U.S. will send more aid to the country, which U.S. officials said will include small drones and armored Humvees.

 
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Which States Have The Most Student Debt





As part of Obama's most reent push to change the bankruptcy law and promote legislation that facilitates the reduction or outright forgiveness of student debt, the White House provided a full state-by-state breakdown of where the 43.2 million borrowers on the hook for some $1.135 trillion in student loans. Here are the results...

 
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Next Mega-Bailout On Deck: White House Studying "New Bankruptcy Options" For Student-Loan Borrowers





It appears that just as the administration is finally figuring out what HFT is, it also decided to take a look at the charts above and has made a decision: the next bailout is about to be unveiled, and it will involve a "streamlined" bankruptcy law allowing students to discharge their student debt.

 
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White House Admits "Strong Dollar Is Headwind For Growth" As Greenback Surges At Fastest Pace In 34 Years





Forget 2013's "taper tantrum", FX markets are roiling over a full-blown "rate-hike-rage" as the USD Index surges to a new 12 year high, rising 23% in the last 8 months - the fastest surge since 1981. Not only is this dramaticaly bad for the US equity earnings picture but the carnage being unleashed across developed and emerging market currencies is almost unprecedented. Despite reassurance from The Fed that a strengthening dollar is positive for US jobs, The White House has now issued a statement that a "strengthening USD is a headwind for US growth."

 
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Venezuela's Maduro Mocks Obama, Grants Himself "Special Powers" To Defend Against "Imperialist Aggression"





Perhaps because the soap-opera factor of the puppet proxy civil war in east Ukraine is dying down, it is time for another geopolitical diversion, and it appears that the administration's attention this time has fallen on Venezuela. Yesterday Obama issued and signed the executive order which declared Venezuela a national security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials. Maduro had a prompt response: "President Barack Obama, representing the US imperialist elite, has personally decided to take on the task of defeating my government and intervening in Venezuela to control it,”and "I have put together a special law that gives me special powers to preserve the peace, the integrity and the sovereignty of the country before any situation that presents itself due to this imperialist aggression.

 
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Frontrunning: March 10





  • Dollar at 12-year peak versus euro, emerging markets spooked (Reuters)
  • CIA sought to hack Apple iPhones from earliest days (Reuters)
  • Draghi Urged Greece to Allow Troika Back Before It’s Late (BBG)
  • Brent crude dips below $58 on strong dollar and supply (Reuters)
  • Credit Suisse replaces CEO Dougan with Prudential's Thiam (Reuters)
  • More "distressed" energy M&A: Verisk buys Wood Mackenzie for £1.85bn (FT)
  • Prepare for a surge in defaults: Investors Are Buying Stocks and Bonds From Energy Producers Amid Oil Price Drop (WSJ)
  • Private equity executive ordered to pay £72m to ex-wife (FT)
  • Democratic donors unfazed by Hillary Clinton's use of private email (Reuters)
  • Expensive Hepatitis C Medications Drive Prescription-Drug Spending (WSJ)
  • 'ISIS Hackers' Almost Certainly Not ISIS Hackers (NBC)
 
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Some Folks Are Way Out Of The Loop... Like Obama 8 Times





It’s a remarkable irony, notes Sharyl Attkinson, that the same U.S. president whose administration has gone to great lengths to monitor journalists, whistleblowers and the public, claims to be oddly in the dark regarding basic information on some of his biggest controversies. Here are eight instances in which President Obama said he heard it on the news - or way after-the-fact - just like ordinary Americans.

 
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"There Are Huge Gaps" In Clinton's Email Release, Benghazi Probe Chief Blasts





"There are gaps of months and months and months," exclaims Rep. Trey Gowdy (who leads the committee investigating Hillary Clinton's handling of the Benghazi attack in September 2012) as the 'transparent' release of Clinton's email includes no emails at all from a seemingly critical Tripoli visit (where she has been photographed using her Blackberry). Gowdy ranted on CBS "Face The Nation" yesterday that "it strains credibility to believe if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there is not a single document to turn over to Congress." Clinton, for now, is staying very quiet on this matter...

 
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Germany Has Had Enough With US Neocons: Berlin "Stunned" At US Desire For War In Ukraine





While Russia's envoy to NATO notes that statements by the deputy head of NATO testify to the fact that the leaders of the bloc want to intervene in Russia’s internal politics, and are "dreaming of Russian Maidan," Washington has a bigger problem... Germany. As Der Spiegel reports, while US President Obama 'supports' Chancellor Merkel's efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis, hawks in Washington seem determined to torpedo Berlin's approach. And NATO's top commander in Europe hasn't been helping either with sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove's comments as "dangerous propaganda."

 
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Why Westerners Are Flocking To Al Qaeda And ISIS: The Documentary





On the fourth anniversary of the Syrian War, Al Jazeera is out with a new documentary that explores why young, Western Muslims feel increasingly compelled to join the fight and also looks at the ideological divide between al-Qaeda’s Syrian arm, al-Nusra and ISIS.

 
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By Demanding Encryption Backdoors, US Government Is Undermining Global Freedom & Security





One of the biggest debates happening at the intersection of technology and privacy at the moment revolves around the U.S. government’s fear that the American peasantry may gain access to strong encryption in order to protect their private communications. Naturally, this isn’t something Big Brother wants to see, and the “solution” proposed by the status quo revolves around forcing technology companies to provide a way for the state to have access to all secure communications when they deem it necessary. “It’s stunningly shortsighted for the FBI and NSA not to realize this... By demanding backdoors, these US government agencies are putting everyone’s cybersecurity at risk.”

 
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