Citigroup

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Open Letter To Janet Yellen





Dear Chairman,
 
I would like one member of the FOMC to take the time to tell the American public the truth about the last seven years and monetary policy...

 
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How The Eurodollar Brought About The Rise Of London Banking





Bankers who took up their business in the Square Mile of London’s banking heart could smell the Eurodollars in the air. As Anthony Sampson wrote, “Young British bankers and their foreign counterparts began to earn higher salaries than other bankers. Skyscrapers shot up by the old classic architecture near St. Paul’s Cathedral. Far Eastern and Arabic banks appeared, as did Mercedes and Cadillacs to cart bankers around the thin London streets.” The Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries needed dollars for trade but wanted to avoid adverse US policy by not keeping or borrowing money in the United States. So they stuck funds in the London offices of British and American banks, causing the City of London to grow as a banking center and recoup some prewar financial glory.

 
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Which European National Central Bank Is Most Likley To Become Insolvent, And What Happens Then?





In the aftermath of the ECB's QE announcement one topic has received far less attention than it should: the unexpected collapse of risk-sharing across the Eurosystem as a precursor to QE. This is what prompted "gold-expert" Willem Buiter of Citigroup to pen an analysis titled "The Euro Area: Monetary Union or System of Currency Boards", in which he answers two simple yet suddenly very critical for the Eurozone questions: which "currency boards", aka national central banks, are suddenly most at risk of going insolvent, and should the worst case scenario take place, and one or more NCBs go insolvent what happens then?

 
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Frontrunning: March 18





  • Hilsenrath: Fed to Markets: No More Promises (WSJ)
  • Fed set to ditch 'patient' rate vow as it eyes U.S., world growth (Reuters)
  • Fannie, Freddie could need another bailout (Reuters)
  • Alibaba Stock-Sale Lockup Is Ending (WSJ)
  • Netanyahu Sweeps Aside Herzog’s Challenge to Win Israel Vote (BBG)
  • Oil Bonds Lose Investors $7 Billion in 10 Days (BBG)
  • There’s a mysterious $1.1 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP’s budget (WaPo)
  • ECB's Celebration of Its New $1.4 Billion Tower Is Spoiled by Protesters (BBG)
 
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The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy: For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back





Between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 Billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 Trillion in federal business and support. Here is the visual representation of this stunning finding: for every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation’s most politically active corporations received $760 from the government.

 
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"The Only Mystery Is Why Everyone Persists In Talking About A Recovery"





There is no mystery anywhere to be found in the fact that US retail sales don’t follow the jobs trend. Not if you look at what kind of jobs they are, let alone at all the other made up and manipulated numbers that are being thrown around about the US economy. The only mystery is why everyone persists in talking about a recovery. That recovery will never come, simply because all 90% of Americans do is pay for the other 10% to get richer. There are many other factors, but that all by itself makes a recovery a mathematical mirage.

 
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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.

 
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Flash Boys' Michael Lewis Warns "The Problem's Not Just HFT, The Problem Is The Entire System"





As HFT shops begin to turn on each other, it seems appropriate to reflect on the impact that Michael Lewis' Flash Boys book had on exposing the ugly truth that many have been discussing for years in US (and international) equity (and non-equity) markets. As Lewis concludes, after explaining the attacks he has suffered from the HFT industry, "If I didn't do more to distinguish 'good' H.F.T. from 'bad' H.F.T., it was because I saw, early on, that there was no practical way for me or anyone else... to do it. ...  The big banks and the exchanges [have] been paid to compromise investors’ interests while pretending to guard those interests. I was surprised more people weren’t angry with them."

 
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Frontrunning: March 13





  • Again as first reported here: Record U.S. Oil Glut May Fill Storage, Cut Prices (BBG)
  • IEA sees renewed pressure on oil prices as glut worsens (Reuters)
  • No EU unanimity on renewing Russia economic sanctions (Reuters)
  • Tsipras says Greece doing its part in euro zone deal (Reuters)
  • ECB Set to Buy Fewer Bonds as Price Gains Ease Crunch (BBG)
  • These Americans Are Getting Rich Trading Derivatives Banned in the U.S. (BBG)
  • U.S. 2015 profits forecast to grow 1.7 percent; oil, dollar are concerns (Reuters) - in a month this will say "decline"
  • Manhunt for shooting suspects grinds on in Ferguson, Missouri (Reuters)
 
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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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Everyone Is Guessing When It Comes To Oil Prices





Predicting and diagnosing the trajectory of oil prices has become something of a cottage industry in the past year. But along with all of the excess crude flowing from the oil patch, there is also an abundance of market indicators that while important, tend to produce a lot of noise that makes any accurate estimate nearly impossible.

 
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Zombie Banks Finance Buybacks, Dividends With Preferreds They May Never Redeem





"Much of the money for buybacks and higher dividends is coming from the banks issuing preferred shares. To investors they look a lot like bonds that pay interest. But for regulators, preferred shares serve as a cushion against any future losses, in part because they never have to be repaid," Reuters notes, suggesting TBTFs are effectively robbing Peter to pay Paul.

 
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Frontrunning: March 9





  • ECB Starts Buying German, Italian Government Bonds Under QE Plan (BBG)
  • Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals (BBG)
  • Is Apple Watch the Timex digital watch of the Internet era? (Reuters)
  • Tesla shedding jobs in China as sales target missed (Reuters)
  • Malaysia Airlines says expired battery on MH370 did not hinder search (Reuters)
  • Gunmen kill more than 12 Islamic State militants in eastern Syria (Reuters)
  • GM Plans Share Buyback, Averting Proxy Fight (WSJ)
  • Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting (Reuters)
 
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Every German Bund Will Soon Trade At -0.20%, Citigroup Predicts





The ECB’s move to restrict PSPP purchases to sovereign bonds with yields at or above the deposit facility rate (-20bps) has far reaching implications for the German bund curve. Citi's prediction: bunds will be bought until yields converge on -0.20bps.

 
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What Wall Street, And Twitter, Expect From Today's Payrolls Number





The one thing to note about today's "decisive" jobs number, is that most are scrambling to warn that they really have no idea what it will be due to yet another unprecedented instance of cold weather and snow in the winter (see "Goldman Warns Snow May Leads To Lower Jobs Number, But Snowstorms Will Result In Higher Wages"). The reality is that, based on recent ADP trends and the shale patch reality and recent ISM/PMI surveys, today's NFP should print well below 200,000 (unless some 100,000 bartenders were hired in the deep of winter), not where Wall Street consensus expects it, at 235,000 (on a range of 150K to 370K.

 
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