Citigroup

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Frontrunning: June 20





  • Must be an early winter: Housing Falters as Forecasters See U.S. Sales Dropping  (BBG)
  • China Property Failures Seen as $33 Billion in Trusts Due (BBG)
  • Polish Prime Minister Says Recording Scandal May Trigger Early Election (WSJ)
  • Iraqi forces ready push after Obama offers advisers (Reuters)
  • Priorities: U.S. cuts aid to Uganda, cancels military exercise over anti-gay law (Reuters)
  • Kurds' Takeover of Iraqi City of Kirkuk Strengthens Their Hand (WSJ)
  • U.S. says government lab workers possibly exposed to anthrax (Reuters)
  • Netflix Up 21% With Tesla: The best U.S. stocks this month are ones that just a few months ago were the biggest losers (BBG)
  • Architects of Iraq Invasion Return to Blame Obama (BBG)
  • Nato claims Moscow funding anti-fracking groups (FT)
  • Lawmakers Skeptical GM Bosses Were Unaware of Defect (WSJ)
  • Corinthian Colleges Warns of Possible Shutdown (WSJ)
  • Taiwan's Quanta to start mass production of Apple's smartwatch in July (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: June 19





  • Currency Probe Widens as U.S. Said to Target Markups (BBG)
  • Battle for Iraq refinery as U.S. hesitates to strike (Reuters)
  • Ukraine forces battle separatists after truce 'refused' (Reuters)
  • Fed Dots Ignored as Investors Focus on Yellen’s Message (BBG)
  • Retirees Suffer as $300 Billion 401(k) Rollover Boom Enriches Brokers (BBG)
  • American Apparel ousts CEO; source says Dov Charney 'will fight like hell' (LA Times)
  • House Panel Is Subpoenaed as Trading Probe Heats Up (WSJ)
  • GM Officials Ignored Alert on Car Stalling (WSJ)
  • Russia’s $20 Billion Bond Void Filled by China to Mexico (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: June 18





  • Levin Hearing Ups Volume in High-Frequency Call to Action (BBG)
  • Ukrainian President Fires Central Bank Chief (BBG)
  • Argentina Plans Debt Swap (WSJ)
  • Fed Decision Day Guide From Dot Plots To Exit Strategy (BBG)
  • World Bank Economist: China May Face US-Style Financial Crisis (WSJ)
  • Premier Li says no hard landing for China, expects medium to high growth (Reuters)
  • Putin Talks Peace With Ukraine Leader After Gas Pipe Fire (BBG)
  • Poll Shows Erosion in President's Support (WSJ)
  • U.S. mortgage applications plunge in latest week (Reuters)
  • Ex-Goldman director goes to prison, still owes $13.9 million fine (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: June 17





  • Obama to tout manufacturing gains, highlight economic progress (Reuters)
  • Iraq Gunmen Attack North of Baghdad as Obama Weighs Plan (BBG)
  • Chinese Regulators Block Shipping Alliance Abandoned Deal (WSJ)
  • Russian $8.2 Trillion Oil Trove Locked Without U.S. Tech (BBG)
  • Ukrainian forces, rebels clash near Russian border (Reuters)
  • M&A talk lifts stocks, Iraq tensions ease slightly (Reuters)
  • Wealthy Clintons Use Trusts to Limit Estate Tax They Back (BBG)
  • Argentina vows to service debt despite new legal blow (Reuters)
  • Allergan's Bitter Pill for Morgan Stanley (WSJ)
  • Islamists kill 50 in Kenya, some during World Cup screening (Reuters)
  • American Express Revs Up Pursuit of the Masses (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: June 16





  • Iraq Army Tries to Roll Back Sunni Militants’ Advance (BBG)
  • Starbucks to Subsidize Workers' Online Degrees (WSJ)
  • ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise (BBG)
  • Medtronic Is Biggest Firm Yet to Renounce U.S. Tax Status (BBG), Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9 billion, rebase in Ireland (Reuters)
  • Oil Topping $116 Seen Possible as Iraq Conflict Widens (BBG)
  • Putin Seeks Paris Landmark as Hollande’s Russia Ties Defy Obama (BBG)
  • GM Says It Has a Shield From Some Liability (WSJ)
  • BOJ’s Bond Paralysis Seen Spreading Across Markets (BBG)
 
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DOJ Seeking More Than $10 Billion From Citigroup, Lawsuit Imminent





First it was JPM and Bank of America, now it is Citigroup's turn to confirm that in the New Normal, and especially with no volume to speak of, banks are nothing but piggybank utilities for the government to extract cash from whenever it so desires. From Bloomberg:

  • U.S. SAID TO SEEK MORE THAN $10 BLN IN CITIGROUP MORTGAGE PROBE
  • U.S. PROBE RELATES TO CITIGROUP'S MORTGAGE-BOND SALES

However, Citi appears less than excited at the prospect of paying $10 billion to buy itself out of trouble. In fact, as the price of justice is being negotiated, Citi has offered only 40 cents on the dollar to tip the scales of what is right and wrong under the Eric Holder regime. Sadly for it, the government wants more.

 
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Frontrunning: June 13





  • Tea Party struggles to repeat Cantor-style shock in Tennessee (Reuters)
  • Iran Deploys Forces to Fight al Qaeda-Inspired Militants in Iraq (WSJ)
  • Oil Rallies as Militant Advance in Iraq Threatens Crude (BBG)
  • Gold Set for First Back-to-Back Weekly Gain Since April (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Get Stung by Slow Markets (WSJ)
  • Sterling nears 5-year high after Carney speech (FT)
  • Britain Warns Boom in Real-Estate Prices Threatens Economy (WSJ)
  • East Europe Leaders Urge EU Unity to Counter Russia (BBG)
  • Formula One Said to Be Valued at $8 Billion as Malone Seeks Stake (BBG)
  • Dumb and dumber: Abe Plans Company Tax Cut in 2015 as Kuroda Warns on Budget (BBG)
 
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China's "Evaporated" Collateral Scandal Spreads To Second Port





The biggest news in the sage surrounding Chinese evaporated collateral troubles at Qingdao, which as noted is merely the 3rd largest Chinese port, is that this scandal has now spread to a second Chinese port: Penglai, which is also located in the Shandong province. Putting some size numbers for context: Qingdao's copper inventory is about 50,000 tons, compared to 800,000 tons in Shanghai, analysts say. There's "little evidence" for now that traders in Shanghai fraudulently have pledged collateral to banks, said Sijin Cheng, an analyst with Barclays Research in Singapore. Little evidence will become "lots" in the coming days when we expect more "discoveries" at all other bonded warehouses as the relentless inflow of commodities finally reverses and the beneficiaries finally demand possession. As everyone who has followed even the simplest Ponzi schemes knows, this is the part of the lifecycle when many tears are shed by most.

 
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How Is This Not A Massive Conflict Of Interest?





Henry Ford once said, “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” We hope this brief discussion raises that 'understanding'.

 
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Western Banks Scramble As China's "Rehypothecation Evaporation" Goes Global





While we have warned about the problem with near-infinitely rehypothecated physical/funding commodities/metals, be they gold or copper, many times in the past, and most recently here, it was only this week that China finally admitted it has a major problem involving not just the commodities participating in funding deals - in this case copper and aluminum - but specifically their infinite rehypothecation, which usually results in the actual underlying metal mysteriously "disappearing", as in it never was there to begin with. It would appear our fears of global contagion (through various transmission channels) are now coming true as WSJ reports that as many as a half-dozen banks are trying to determine whether the collateral for loans they made to commodities traders was used fraudulently by a third party to obtain other loans. As we detailed previously, it appears the day when the Commodity Funding Deals finally end is fast approaching... and as we note below, why that will certainly be a watershed event.

 
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5 Things To Ponder: The Central Bank Edition





This past week has been all about "anticipation." The markets made little headway during the first half of the week as traders waited in an almost breathless anticipation of the announcement from the European Central Bank. When the news was finally received, investors were initially disappointed but David Tepper stepped into the fray with his ever bullish optimism. The more we read, the clearer it becomes that the world's Central Banks have become caught in a "liquidity trap" which is entirely based on circular logic... Central banks must create asset bubbles in the hopes of stimulating economic activity. When the bubble eventually pops the economic activity evaporates which requires the creation of another asset bubble.

 
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"Stress Test" Reviewed: Tim Geithner Is "A Grifter, A Petty Con Artist"





Timothy Geithner is likely to go down in American history as one of the most dangerous, destructive cronies to have ever wielded government power. The man is so completely and totally full of shit it’s almost impossible not to notice. The last thing we’d ever want to do in our free time is read a lengthy book filled with Geithner lies and propaganda, so we owe a large debt of gratitude to former Congressional staffer Matt Stoller for doing it for us. Stoller simply tears Geither apart limb from limb, detailing obvious lies about the financial crisis, and even more interestingly, Geithner’s bizarre bio, replete with mysterious and inexplicable promotions into positions of power..."Geithner is at heart a grifter, a petty con artist with the right manners and breeding to lie at the top echelons of American finance..."

 
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The Purchase Of Our Republic





The massive consolidation of wealth, combined with the removal of any limits on money in campaigns, has allowed for the purchase of our government. Americans know that something is wrong, deeply wrong. They see signs of the problem everywhere: income inequality, growing concentration and power of mega corporations, political donations/corruption, the absence of jobs with decent salaries, the explosion of the US prison population, healthcare costs, student loan debt, homelessness, etc. etc. However, the true causes and benefactors behind these problems are purposely hidden from view. What Americans see is Kabuki Theater of a functioning form of capitalism and democracy, but beyond this veneer our country has devolved into the exact opposite.

 
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Frontrunning: June 5





  • Inside the White House's decision to free Bergdahl (Reuters)
  • Dimon’s Raise Haunts BNP Paribas as U.S. Weighs $10 Billion Fine (BBG)
  • Jobs Are on the Line as Banks' Revenue Slides (WSJ)
  • Wall Street Adjusts to the New Trading Normal (WSJ)
  • Nothing like objective, intense probes: GM recall probe to clear senior execs, finds no concerted coverup (Reuters)
  • ECB ready to cut rates and push banks into lending to boost euro zone economy (Reuters)
  • China Should Resist Further Stimulus, IMF Says (BBG)
  • Carney Finds Ally in Draghi as Key Rate Kept at 0.5% (BBG)
  • Assad wins Syria election with 88.7 percent of votes (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: June 4





  • U.S. sets new import duties on Chinese solar products (Reuters)
  • U.S.-China Solar-Products Dispute Heats Up (WSJ)
  • China Mulls Offshore Yuan Gold Trade in Free Trade Zone (BBG)
  • Insider-Trading Probe Could Snarl a Deal for Icahn (WSJ)
  • KCG Holdings Suspects Its Trading Code Was Stolen (WSJ)
  • ‘Period. Full Stop’ Is the New ‘At the End of the Day’ (BBG)
  • Draghi not so goof for bonds: Investors Flag Risk of ECB Disappointing After Europe Bond Rally (BBG)
  • But great for stocks: Equity Traders See Draghi Turning Throttle Up on Rally (BBG)
 
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