It all started so “harmless.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wanted to access the information of a person being investigated for mass murder so, the FBI said, it could try to prevent more terrorist attacks. A couple months later this has morphed into a situation where the FBI is offering to help police departments across America access secured information of any electronic device connected to criminal investigations and where members of the United States Senate are moving forward with legislation to force technology companies to give the government access to secured, including via encryption, electronic devices information.
One day after stocks were this close from hitting new all time highs on what have been either ok earnings, if looking at non-GAAP data, or atrocious earnings, based on GAAP, and where any oil headline is now immediately translated as bullish by the oil algos, so far futures are relatively flat, while European stocks were at their moments ago in anticipation of the latest ECB announcement due out in just one hour. However, unlike last month's "quad-bazooka", this time the market expects far less from Draghi. “Having pulled put the monetary bazooka in March, the market is sensibly expecting no further policy measures from the ECB,”
- After big New York wins, Trump and Clinton cast themselves as inevitable (Reuters)
- Eastern States Take Turn in Presidential Primary Spotlight (WSJ)
- China's Stocks Tumble Most in Seven Weeks to Break Trading Calm (BBG)
- Oil falls on end to Kuwaiti strike, supply outlook (Reuters)
- Oil price's decline weighs on global stock markets (Reuters)
The only achievements of the American neoconservatives are to destroy in war crimes millions of peoples in eight countries and to send the remnant populations fleeing into Europe as refugees, thus undermining the American puppet governments there, and to set back the chances of world peace and American leadership by creating a powerful strategic alliance between Russia and China. This boils down to extraordinary failure. It is time to hold the neoconservatives accountable, not elect another puppet for them to manipulate.
- Early Warning Signs of Recession Flash Faintly in U.S. Jobs Data (BBG)
- Who Needs Buybacks? One S&P 500 Variant Just Rallied to a Record (BBG)
- The unpredictable new voice of Saudi oil (FT)
- Saudi's Other Warning Makes Oil Traders Sweat After Doha Failure (BBG)
- U.S. oil investors rush for protection at $35 as Doha talks collapse (Reuters)
- Trump candidacy: Where some fear to tread others see a path to victory (Reuters)
For a huge period of time, Apple was an absolutely awful stock. It had its ups and downs, but the 1983 to 2003, a period of two entire decades, the stock went nowhere.
On Sunday Toyota was one of many Japanese companies to announce that it will suspend most car production across Japan as a result of critical supply chain disruption caused by the recent destructive earthquake and numerous aftershocks. The earthquakes reflected the vulnerability of Japanese companies to supply chain disruptions caused by natural disasters, and also highlighted the "just in time" philosophy pioneered by Toyota and followed by many others.
Don't expect any optimistic emails from Tim Cook to Jim Cramer for a long time, because according to a just released report in Japan's Nikkei, Apple will continue its reduced production of iPhones in the April-June period in light of sluggish sales, according to parts suppliers notified of the plan. The website reports that slow sales of the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which debuted last autumn, have forced Apple to adjust inventories. It lowered production for the January-March quarter by about 30% from the year-earlier period. With sales still sluggish, the U.S. company has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter.
It has never - ever - been more expensive to "dine out" relative to "eating at home."
The "most transparent administration ever" appears to be making no friends in the tech industry. Following its debacle with Apple, the Obama administration now faces a suit from Microsoft that, in their words, stands up for "customers’ constitutional and fundamental rights – rights that help protect privacy and promote free expression." As Microsoft's Brad Smith notes, with rare exceptions consumers and businesses have a right to know when the government accesses their emails or records, and the suit centers around the fact that since cloud storage accelerated, it’s becoming routine for the U.S. government to issue orders that require email providers to keep these types of legal demands secret. Microsoft believe that this goes too far.
The Greater Depression has started. Most people don't know it because they can neither confront the thought nor understand the differences between this one and the last. As a climax approaches, many of the things that you've built your life around in the past are going to change and change radically.
- Cruz, Sanders score decisive victories in Wisconsin (Reuters)
- Clinton Can’t Get to New York Fast Enough After New Sanders Win (BBG)
- Trump, Clinton Have Single-Digit Leads in Pennsylvania (BBG)
- Panama law firm says data hack was external, files complaint (Reuters)
- ‘Panama Papers’ Puts Spotlight on Boom in Offshore Services (WSJ)
- Barclays partners with Goldman-backed bitcoin payments app (FT)
There is a growing recognition of the increasing tail wagging the dog nature of the internet's control over election outcomes. We recently detailed "the hidden persuaders" at work showing how the internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do. Confirming all of this to be chillingly true is Andrés Sepúlveda, who rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal - "I'm 100 percent sure it is."
We cannot be sure what shape the next crisis will take, although it seems likely that it will be yet another “deflation scare”, mainly caused by falling asset prices. However, we do know what the last crisis of the current system will look like. It will entail a crumbling of the public’s faith in fiat money and the institutions that issue and administer it.
And so the great "oil production freeze" rumor, which helped halt oil's plunge after it hit a 13 year low in early February and forced a 50% short squeeze higher,has died after Bloomberg released an interview with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which when asked if Iran needs to join freeze, he said: "without a doubt. If all countries including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, OPEC countries and all main producers decide to freeze production, we will be among them."