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Greece May Need To Issue IOUs Schaeuble Says After Latest Failure To Reach A Deal





"German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble conceded the possibility that Greece may need a parallel currency alongside the euro if the country’s talks with creditors fail," Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile, "sideline" negotiations between Greek PM Tsipras and Angela Merkel breakdown in Riga.

 
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Shape Of Greek Endgame Emerges: IMF Discussed "Cyprus-Like" Plan After Tsipras Warned Of Looming Default





The IMF discussed a "Cyrpus-like" take it or leave it solution for Greece last week, FT reports. With the countdown to outright insolvency down to two weeks, PM Tsipras will meet EU leaders in Latvia on Thursday to make one last push for a last minute deal. Meanwhile, the fate of the Greek banking sector hangs in the balance as the ECB has come under fire for the monetary financing of the Greek government. 

 
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Greece Will Default On June 5 Without Deal, IMF Leaks





The ECB warns Athens that Greece is rapidly approaching the "end game", as Tsipras sticks to 'red line' rhetoric. Meanwhile, FinMin Varoufakis claims the country will pay wages and pensions this month, but a leaked IMF memo indicates Greece will default on June 5 if it does not strike a deal with creditors by the end of the month.

 
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Before You Buy That Rothko - How The CIA Covertly Nurtured Modern Art As A Cold War "Weapon"





For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art – including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – as a weapon in the Cold War.

 
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America's Achilles' Heel





Instead of collapsing quietly, the US has decided to pick a fight with Russia. It appears to have already lost the fight, but a question remains: How many more countries will the US manage to destroy before the reality of its inevitable defeat and disintegration finally catches up with it? As Putin said last summer when speaking at the Seliger youth forum, “I get the feeling that no matter what the Americans touch, they end up with Libya or Iraq.” But there is another question that deserves to be asked: Do the Americans “touch” themselves? Because if they do, then the next candidate for extreme makeover into a bombed-out wasteland might be the United States itself...

 
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Free Lunches, Fragile Fed Faith, & Minsky Moments





Investors are beginning to question the efficacy of these extreme central bank policies. More are joining the chorus of critics that believe policies have become counter-productive in both the short and long run.  If true, it could mean that a Fed hike might come sooner than markets believes; and may occur prior to the arrival of the desired and optimal economic conditions. There must be a lesson to learn for those investors who blindly follow central bank actions.  The lesson embedded in the dramatic re-pricing in European financial markets during the past 12 days may simply be that there are dangers when chasing assets irrespective of price levels. It seems to us that the ability of central banks to generate a Pavlovian or conditional investor response to their policy actions is now rightly being called into question.

 
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Cost Obsessions Around the World





Hookers for Brazilians, and MiGs for Russians... what cost is your country obsessed with?

 
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Greek Blame Game: At Whom Will History Point The Finger?





If Greece does indeed end up exiting the common currency or if the intractable nature of debt negotiations end up triggering an "accident" that plunges the country into social unrest and years of unprecedented economic hardship, no one wants to be "the one holding the murder weapon." 

 
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Un-Pax Americana: Where One Can Find US Special Ops Around The Globe





Over the past year, special-operations forces have landed in 81 countries.

 
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Futures Fizzle After Greece "Hammered" In Riga, Varoufakis Accused Of Being "A Time-Waster, Gambler, Amateur"





Even though no rational person expected that the Greek situation would be resolved at today's talks in Riga, Latvia, apparently the algos were so caught up in spoofing each other to new record highs that futures, after surging once more overnight following the latest Google miss which sent the company and the Nasdaq soaring, actually dipped modestly into the red following headlines that the latest Greek talks have broken down after a "hostile" Troika "hammered" the Greek finmin, who was accused by European finmins of "being a time-waster, a gambler and an amateur."

 
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Forget "Grexit", "Grimbo" Has Arrived





The new term follows in the footsteps of the classic (but now tired) “Grexit” and its underrated predecessor “Graccident,” and refers to two of the four outcomes Citi imagines are possible in the unfolding Greek drama. The bad news: both scenarios involve capital controls, deposit flight, and defaults.

 
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EU Formally (And Spitefully) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Gazprom





With talks between Greece and its creditors expected to go mostly nowhere in Riga later this week, and with speculation about an energy deal between Athens and Moscow (i.e. the precursor to the dreaded "Russian pivot") looking less like speculation and more like reality with each passing day, Europe is going the spite route by filing anti-trust charges against Gazprom.

 
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Asian Euphoria Sends Nikkei Above 20,000, Fizzles In Europe On More Greek Fears; US Futures Down





Whether it is in sympathy with the now relentless surge in the Shanghai Composite which tacked on another 2.44% overnight to close at a fresh multi-year high just shy of 4400, well more than double from a year ago, or because Mrs Watanabe was unable to read the latest Japan trade data whose first trade surplus in 3 years hinted that there will be no new easing by the BOJ any time soon, but overnight the Nikkei closed above 20,000 for the first time in 15 years, with "makers of chocolate, mayonnaise, potato chips and household appliances" helping lift the Tokyo market according to the WSJ. The now daily Asian euphoria however did not last long in the European session, and after opening higher, the Stoxx Europe 600 slipped into negative territory just an hour into trading, and was down 0.4% by midmorning, lead by a near 1% decline on Athens' mains stock index, which has since recouped losses stemming from the overnight report that the ECB is considering an up to 50% haircut on Greek bank collateral, a move that would wipe out the Greek financial sector with ease.

 
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