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Global Stocks Pause Ahead Of GDP Report; Nasdaq Hits Fresh Record High

Despite yesterday's whopping beats by Amazon and Google which sent the Nasdaq to new record highs after hours, this morning futures S&P futures are little changed ahead of the closely watched Q1 GDP report, European stocks and Asian equities are slightly lower, oil is higher after Russia said it had reached the 300kbpd oil cut per the OPEC pact, and the dollar was modestly in the red.

French Selection Ritual, Round Two: Slightly Premature Victory Laps

There is no political constituency for liberty or anything remotely resembling classical liberalism (= libertarianism) in France.I t is clearly time to once again focus on the only thing that one can actually hope for in politicians, and that is entertainment value; luckily we have good news on that front.

S&P: These Ten Retailers Will File For Bankruptcy Next

Sears Holdings; DGSE Companies; Appliance Recycling Center of America; The Bon-Ton Stores; Bebe Stores; Destination XL Group; Perfumania Holdings; Fenix Parts; Tailored Brands; Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores

The IMF Is Not Done Destroying Greece Yet

Austerity is over, proclaimed the IMF this week. And no doubt attributed that to the ‘successful’ period of ‘five years of belt tightening’ a.k.a. ‘gradual fiscal consolidation’ it has, along with its econo-religious ilk, imposed on many of the world’s people. Only, it’s not true of course. Austerity is not over. You can ask many of those same people about that. It’s certainly not true in Greece.

In Today's Fiat Money Financial System, 'The House' Always Wins

Perhaps the rules of the game have always favored the bankers.  Loaning out deposits at a higher interest rate than the yield paid is cornerstone to fractional reserve banking.  However, the extreme maltreatment of individual depositors and borrowers that has persisted following the 2008 credit crisis is a downright disgrace. 

Seven Charts For Bullish Investors To Ignore

Wall Street still exudes widespread optimism that 2017 will provide another year of solid gains for stocks amid stable albeit unspectacular economic growth and only gentle interest rate rises. However, as The FT details, all is not well in reality, and the following seven charts will hearten investors of a more bearish persuasion...

Fitch Downgrades Italy To BBB From BBB+

"Italy's persistent track record of fiscal slippage, back-loading of consolidation, weak economic growth, and resulting failure to bring down the very high level of general government debt has left it more exposed to potential adverse shocks. This is compounded by an increase in political risk, and ongoing weakness in the banking sector which has required planned public intervention in three banks since December."

A Ukraine On The Verge Of Disaster Benefits No One

All the provocateurs in Ukraine should be aware that playing the nationalist card can be dangerous and can even result in a defeat that, when compared to 2014-2015, would be dramatically worse, condemning Ukraine to an economic, social and political crisis without precedent or a way out. It literally could be the beginning of the disintegration of Ukraine as we know it today.

Maduro Preparing To Swap Venezuela's Gold For Dollars

“The national government, through the central bank, is going to try to swap gold held as reserves for dollars to stay in power unconstitutionally,” according to the letter signed by National Assembly President Julio Borges.