If yesterday's non-record, red-tick close can be attributed to algos applying the wrong ISM seasonal factor to the day, believing it was Wednesday instead of the permabullish Tuesday, today there is no such excuse, which is why we fully expect the unallowed redness with which futures are currently trading to promptly morph into a non-red color especially with the USDJPY doing it best to ramp to 103.000 levels overnight, stopping out all shorts, and push spoos to fresh record highs. It is an algo world after all. It appears that already record low volatility is being pushed even lower in anticipation of numerous imminent data releases, including today's ADP and Services ISM (first, second and final release), tomorrow's ECB announcement and Friday's payrolls number. Which while good for low volume levitation means bank trading revenues continue to deteriorate forcing banks to pitch M&A deals to clients, which in turn result in even more synergies and more layoffs: because in order to preserve the bottom line, crushing real employment further is perfectly acceptable collateral damage.
La banque d'un monde qui KLEPTMANE!
With Eric Holder suddenly playing hardball with the banks (most notably not US banks), it has not gone unnoticed among the largest European newspapers. The potential $10 billion penalty for BNP Paribas - France's largest bank - for alleged dealings with a sanctioned Iran has been called a "masterful slap," by Le Monde and Le Figaro said the U.S. was making an example of BNP to deflect criticism it had been "lenient with the American banks responsible for the financial crisis." This could make for an awkward week for Obama, not only facing Putin as he visits Europe to celebrate D-Day but as the allies themselves turn on him with France's Hollande likely to raise the matter and, as Bloomberg reports, newly elected National Front party called on the French government to "defend the national interest" in the case.
The officially released agenda of the prestigious Bilderberg club meeting (attendees listed here) is not true, claims Russia Today show host Daniel Estulin, a longtime watcher of the ‘secret world govt’ group. He says he obtained the real agenda for this year’s gathering in Copenhagen. An insider leaked the list of talking points for the ongoing Bilderberg conference to the investigative journalist last week, he said. The list has nine items, seven of which he shared... from Nuclear diplomacy and the disturbing rise of Nationalism; it was a focus on Barack Obama's foreign policy that drew our attention most closely...
With the NSA already reigning supreme when it comes to the capture of virtually every form of instantaneous electronic communication and interchange, aka the "flow" of data, there is one final threshold that the US superspy agency needed to cross before the biggest brother of all would have full control over not only the flow of information, but its stock too: a photographic database of virtually everyone. And courtesy of not only programs like Facebook, but also its access to government photographic data, the NSA is focusing on just that. As the NYT reports, the agency is "harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents... The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,”
June is seasonally a poor month for gold and technical damage means gold could be manipulated lower again before half year end ... As one astute commentator said on Twitter this week, being able to acquire cheaper gold given the state of the world today is "like being given discounts on life-rafts on the Titanic ... "
With tear-gas flying in the streets of Turkey, Ukraine's civil-war raging in the south and east, US drones based in Japan to oversee the South China Sea, and Europe's extremist parties gaining significant traction, today we get one more piece of considerably worrisome geopolitical news that global stock markets must ignore. The Sunday Times reports that Israel is to deploy three submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf that are meant to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents. Iran is not happy, warning that "anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us."
Francois Hollande is not having a good week - disastrous elections over the weekend, followed by record high numbers of jobseekers (destroying his promise to deliver jobs), and now his banking system is under attack; as the WSJ reports:
US JUSTICE DEPT SEEKS >$10B BNP PENALTY FOR SANCTIONS EVASION: WSJ
A final resolution (and a guilty plea) of the yearslong investigation of the French bank is likely weeks away, WSJ notes but it does remain ironic that in flexing his enforcement muscles, DoJ's Eric Holder is about to crucify yet another non-US bank.
There are over 40.7 million foreign-born residents living in America. Iceland, Bermuda, and Samoa have the lowest level of foreign-born population in the United States but it is Mexico that is head, shoulders, and torso above the rest with 28.2% of the foreign-born population from just aross the border. Russia, interestingly, is 20th (just ahead of Iran in 21st place). We can only hope not all Russian immigrants are currently HFT "traders."
Having watched Tim Geithner's disgusting defense of the tax-payer-backed re-inflation of a corrupt and knowingly devastating banking system on Jon Stewart's Daily Show, and watching the US fine (no jail time for anyone) a Swiss bank which admits its guilt over billions of fraud yet allow them to remain a prime dealer of US Treasuries; we thought the following story from a '3rd world banking system' would open a few eyes in the US this weekend as 'we remember'. As AP reports, a billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam in Iran, the largest fraud case since the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.
Vladimir Putin has concluded his lengthy interview having covered everything from "the end of the unipolar model of the world" - i.e. de-dollarization - to US and Europe's responsibility for Ukraine's "full-scale civil war." The Russian leader noted that he's "trying to help Ukraine" but following the loans from the IMF asks "where's our money?" and warned that US sanctions have had little effect on the Russian economy but will have a boomerang effect. The following distills his 120 minute discussion... Putin "expects common sense to prevail."
Using espionage for gain in negotiations is an age-old tactic; but are the norms of 'appropriate' espionage changing?
The Eurasian crescent of Russia and China would be made all that much stronger if the two nations had a toehold on the Straits of Hormuz, and were able to shut traffic - either tanker or military, with the US Fifth Fleet located in Bahrain - into the Gulf at their bidding. Which is why it was not surprising that not even 24 hours after Russia and China announced the "holy grail" energy deal, that RIA reported Russia is already preparing to lock in the Tehran regime with a deal to build not one but 8 (!) more nuclear power plants in the country.
While we are no experts in either geography (did Iran and Kazakhstan just get a lot closer?) or inter-continental ballistic missile identification (was anyone else test-firing nuclear missiles last night), the skies over Iran were glowing last night with what the news agency astrological experts said was "according to previous experiences, guessed to be the final stages of a long-range ballistic missile launcher." This is good news, for Iran, but, according to the Russian Navy blog, they are preparing for another ICBM test-firing next week... so Norway might want to be on the look-out.
A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass - at the expense of the United States.