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Did The Winter War Just Begin? Russian Gas Supplies To Europe Plunge 15%, Ukraine Transit Slashed 54%





Just a week ago, the Russian energy minister made the first public 'threat' of gas supply "throttling" disruptions to Europe but judging by the data that has just been released, it appears the 'throttling' has begun. Bloomberg reports that Russian gas supplies to Europe fell 15% year-over-year in Q3 - the most in over two years - as natural gas transit through Ukraine plunged 54% year-over-year. In 2013, Gazprom sent 60% of its supply via Ukraine pipelines, in August that dropped to 39%, and in September only 34%. Of course, Europe remains confident its storage efforts will buffer any "Winter War" disruptions, as we noted here, but as Citi warned previously, "if colder weather arrives, storage levels will be drained," and then there is the Spring (and German industry needs).

 
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Frontrunning: September 29





  • This is why the locals are furious at the US: U.S-led raids hit grain silos in Syria, kill workers (Reuters) explaining this
  • Billions Fly Out the Door at Pimco: About $10 Billion Is Withdrawn After Departure of Gross (WSJ)
  • Pimco’s Ivascyn Takes on Gross With Unconstrained Fund (BBG)
  • Revealed - the Troika threats to bankrupt Ireland (The Independent)
  • Private Bad Debt Build-Up Casts Shadow on Greek Rebound (BBG)
  • Fed Questions Bank Maneuver to Reduce Hedge Funds' Dividend Taxes (WSJ)
  • Yuan-Euro Direct Trading Begins Tomorrow as China Promotes Usage (BBG)
  • Geneva Report warns record debt and slow growth point to crisis (FT)
  • Greenberg Team to Grill Bernanke, Geithner on AIG Bailout (BBG)... sadly only metaphorically
 
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Frontrunning: September 26





  • Mystery Man Who Moves Japanese Markets Made More Than 1 Million Trades  (BBG)
  • Draghi’s Trillion-Euro Pump Finds Blockage in Spain: Euro Credit (BBG)
  • Apple plays defense on iPhone 6 bending, software concerns (Reuters)
  • U.S. to Shield Military From High-Interest Debt (WSJ)
  • U.S. Outgunned by Extremists on Social Media Battlefield (BBG)
  • Yen Weakens on Pension Fund Reform; Aussie Drops to 7-Month Low (BBG)
  • Secretive Russian oil giant has no fear of sanctions (Reuters)
  • Ride-Sharing Services Face Legal Threat From San Francisco, Los Angeles (WSJ)
  • Putin’s Sell-Treasuries-for-BRICS Bonds Plan Has Limits (BBG)
 
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No More Foreplay: Russia Threatens European Gas Supply Disruptions





It appears Vladimir Putin is willing to hit'em while they're down. Early European equity weakness (and safe-haven flows) on asset-freeze threats have accelerated as Bloomberg reports, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak threatens gas supply disruptions if the EU continues to re-export Russian gas to Ukraine. 3Y German bond yields have plunged to -4.1bps, a record low close and European stocks are closing on their lows of the day.

 
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Frontrunning: September 24





  • A Month of Bombs Dropped in One Night of Strikes on Syria (BBG)
  • Air strikes in Syria hit Islamic State-held areas near Turkey (Reuters)
  • Pimco ETF Draws Probe by SEC (WSJ)
  • Shadowy al Qaeda cell, hit by U.S. in Syria, seen as 'imminent' threat (Reuters)
  • Yellen Warns on Market Calm Before ‘Considerable Time’ Up (BBG)
  • Dudley Says Fed Needs U.S. Economy to Run ‘A Little Hot' (BBG)
  • Websites Are Wary of Facebook Tracking Software (WSJ)
  • Just a joke now: Barclays Fined Twice in One Day for Compliance Failures (BBG)
  • Fired UPS worker kills two supervisors, self, in Alabama shooting (Reuters)
 
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Citi Previews How It All Ends, In One Chart





Doesn't get any simpler than this chart showing global monetary policy response to "secular stagnation", i.e., the situation the world finds itself in right now.

 
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Why Institutions Are So Desperate For The Retail Investor To Come Back





Every media outlet, newspaper, ant TV channel has a simple message for you, dear retail investor: please come back already, and buy, buy, buy... what every bank, prop desk, hedge fund, mutual fund, pension fund, and central bank, is so desperate to sell.

 
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Frontrunning: September 23





  • U.S., backed by Arabs, launches first strikes on fighters in Syria (Reuters, BBG)
  • But not all all back: Turkey Bars Kurds From Entering Syria to Fight Islamic State (BBG)
  • Dollar Weakens on Airstrikes; Europe Stocks Drop (BBG)
  • Ready for Rate Riot? Emerging Markets Set to Follow Fed (BBG)
  • White House fence jumper had ammunition, machete in car, prosecutors say (WaPo)
  • El-Erian "would have done things differently" (Reuters)
  • Eurozone business growth slows in September, PMI survey finds (BBC)
  • Shrinking Bond Desks Taken by Journeymen as Masters Fade (BBG)
  • Manufacturing Rebound Relieves Growth Concerns in China (BBG)
  • Former Trader Quits Playboy Club to Open Own Restaurant (BBG)
 
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Gateway Policies: ISIS, Obama And US Financial Boots-On-The-Ground





President Obama’s neo-Cold War is not about ideology or respect for borders. It is about money and global power. The current battle over control of gateway nations - strategic locations in which private firms can establish the equivalent of financial boots-on-the-ground - is being waged in the Middle East and Ukraine under the auspices of freedom and western capitalism (er, “democracy”). In these global gateways, private banks can infiltrate resource-rich locales fortified by political will, public aid and military support to garner lucrative market advantages. ISIS poses a threat to global gateway control that transcends any human casualties. That’s why Congress decided to authorize funds to fight ISIS despite the risk. The common thread of today’s global gateway nations appears to be oil.

 
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Frontrunning: September 19





  • Scots spurn independence in historic vote but demand new powers (Reuters)
  • Salmond’s Journey as Scotland’s Leader Ends Short of Destination (BBG)
  • European Stocks Rally to 6 1/2-Year High on Scottish Vote (BBG)
  • Jack Ma Planning Personal Roadshow With Clinton to Immelt (BBG)
  • Some consumers say Apple is losing its 'cool' factor (Reuters)
  • Gold IPhones at $3,600 as China Delay Fuels Black Market (BBG)
  • This Man's Job: Make Bill Gates Richer (WSJ)
  • Mom-and-Dad Banks Step Up Aid to First-Time Home Buyers (BBG)
  • France says it launches first air strikes in Iraq (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: September 18





  • House votes to arm Syrian rebels (Reuters).... aka ISIS
  • Fed Plots Cautious Course on Rate Rises  (Hilsenrath)
  • Scots vote in independence referendum to seal the United Kingdom's fate (Reuters)
  • Yes or No, the Winner of the Referendum Is Brand Scotland (BBG)
  • Draghi Loan Plan Missing Estimates Hampers ECB Stimulus (BBG) - get with the spin, it simply means "Moar QE"
  • Obama Plans to Tightly Control Strikes on Syria (WSJ)
  • IMF warns of risks from 'excessive' financial market bets (Reuters)
  • Russia Praises Ukraine's Autonomy Law for Rebel Areas (WSJ)
 
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ECB's First TLTRO A "Failure": European Banks Take Less "Free" ECB Loans Than Worst Case Expectation





As part of Draghi's attempt to reflate the ECB's balance sheet by €1 trillion, a key variable was the extension of the LTRO (1&2) program, in the form of the Targeted LTRO, or TLTRO aka LTRO 3 & 4, whose initial take up results were announced earlier today. It was, in a world, a flop. Because while the consensus was for European banks to take anywhere between €100 and €300 billion in nearly zero-cost credit from the ECB (at 0.15%) to engage in carry trades in today's first round TLTRO operation (ahead of the second TLTRO in December), moments ago the ECB announced that banks, which head already been actively paying down the first two LTRO carry programs, of which only €385 billion had been left of over a €1 trillion total at inception, were allotted a tiny €82.6 billion across 255 counterparties.

 
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Frontrunning: September 17





  • -0.07%: Germany Secures Record Low Funding Cost at Bond Auction (WSJ)
  • Pentagon Sees Possible Role for U.S. Ground Forces Against Islamic State Militants (WSJ)
  • China Joins ECB in Adding Stimulus as Fed Scales Back (BBG)
  • Stealthy or Normal? Analysts Diverge on PBOC’s Action (BBG)
  • Sony Forecasts Massive $2B Loss as Smartphones Lag (AP)
  • Islamic State campaign tests Obama's commitment to Mideast allies (Reuters)
  • Brent Crude Rebounds as Libya’s Sharara Oilfield Shut (BBG)
  • Market calm over Scottish vote at odds with disaster warnings (Reuters)
 
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Subprime Is Back With A Vengeance





This is where our economies are perverted. It’s the final excesses and steps of a broke society. It’s madness to the power of infinity. The only thing that’s certain is that in the end, your money will all be gone. That’s how Mario Draghi ‘saves’ the EU for a few more weeks, and that’s how the big boys of finance squeeze more from what little you have left (which is already much less than you think). A world headed for nowhere.

 
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