UPDATE: The Maidan are calling for the leaders to react "Don't give up like in Crimea"
On the day in which "pro-Russian separatists" are again claiming one after another city in east Ukraine, and when Russia has formally warned that any crackdown on protesters is "unacceptable" implicitly threatening retaliation should the promised use of special forces be implemented, moments ago Rustan Temirgaliev, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Miniisters of recently annexed by Russia Crimea, poured some more fuel into the fire and announced on his Facebook page that "the liberation of Southeast Ukraine has begun."
While the primary story regarding the Ukraine remains the stand off between Russia and Ukraine over nat Gazprom's gas deliveries and Kiev's overdue, and as of today - officially halted payments - not a weekend passes without some city in eastern Ukraine falling to what are now called "pro-Russian separatists" and this Saturday is no different. While last week it was the eastern cities of Luhansk, Donestk and Kharkiv that saw their government building taken over and occupied by the "separatists", today it was the turn of Slaviansk, where masked men armed with pistols and rifles stood guard near the police station as hundreds of locals gathered around, some building barricades with car tyres.
"The current levels of investor complacency are more usually associated with late stage bull markets rather than the beginning of new ones. Of course, if you think about it, this only makes sense if you refer back to the investor psychology chart above. The point here is simple. The combined levels of bullish optimism, lack of concern about a possible market correction (don't worry the Fed has the markets back), and rising levels of leverage in markets provide the "ingredients" for a more severe market correction. However, it is important to understand that these ingredients by themselves are inert. It is because they are inert that they are quickly dismissed under the guise that 'this time is different.' Like a thermite reaction, when these relatively inert ingredients are ignited by a catalyst they will burn extremely hot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what that catalyst will be or when it will occur. The problem for individuals is that they are trapped by the combustion an unable to extract themselves in time."
It was less than a month ago that we reported on the surprise resignation of Canada's finance minister which while officially attributed to a wish to begin "another chapter" in his life, we said "there is rife speculation that it was indeed his health that was the reason for this unexpected resignation." Sadly, today it was proven that it was indeed Flaherty's health that had forced this surprising decision, following news that the former finance minister has passed away.
With tensions rising ever faster in eastern Ukraine, the anti-government (pro-Russia) movement in Donetsk has taken dramatic steps to bolster itself by creating a "people's army," or National Army of Donetsk. As RT reports, masked men, who are mostly civil volunteers, but also police and army defectors, say they “defend their motherland from the fascist army that’s going to kill them.” They also demand “a referendum to be independent from Kiev” and are in favor of “being with Russia.” The importance of this move is the pro-Russian local forces are now organized to repel any Ukraine (government) attempts to re-take government buildings - and conjures ugly memories of the hell that Kiev suffered for multiple weeks.
Today it was NATO's turn to retaliate once more to the Russian arms build up aclong the border. only this time both with words and with actions, and by explicitly confirming that Lavrov was absolutely correct when he accused NATO of building up weapons around Russia and thus forcing Russia on the defensive, when US destroyer Donald Cook crossed the Bosphorus overnight and entered the Black Sea. Why? To "show America's commitment to the region."
- J.P. Morgan's Dimon Describes Year of Pain (WSJ)
- SAC Faces a Final Reckoning for 14 Years of Insider Scam (BBG)
- New Standards for $693 Trillion Swaps Market Increase Risk of Blowup (BBG)
- China says no major stimulus planned; March trade weak (Reuters)
- As we said in 2012 would happen: Record Europe Dividends Keep $3 Trillion From Factories (BBG)
- Blame it on the algo: Deutsche Bank Said to Find Improper Communication in FX Case (BBG)
- Coke Sticks to Its Strategy While Soda Sales Slide (WSJ)
- Ukraine’s Rust Belt Faces Ruin as Putin Threatens Imports (BBG)
- RBC Joins Goldman in Suing Clients After Singapore Crash (BBG)
- U.S. House panel to look at aluminum prices, warehousing (Reuters)
- Brooklyn Apartment Rents Jump to a Record as Leases Surge (BBG)
I contend that Lewis should have done a lot more to identify the parties involved and tell the full story of latency arbitrage in Sigma X.
Ealier we learned that a great number of Americans don't even know where the Ukraine is located. We also learned that those who actually were familiar with the location of the former USSR nation were the least interested in a US military intervention (as opposed to those who inexplicably thought Ukraine is right next to Omaha or in Alaska). And now, we learn that according to the Defense Ministry of the Ukraine, which is citing a "military expert", one Dmitry Tymchuk whose pretty maps have graced these pages in the past, Ukraine is sounding the alarm on what it reports is an imminent invasion by Russia into east Ukraine, which could take place as soon as tonight.
Update: as expected the denial of the propaganda didn't take long: PROTESTERS IN LUHANSK, UKRAINE, DENY HAVING EXPLOSIVES AND HOLDING HOSTAGES IN STATE SECURITY BUILDING
While the source of the most recent developments in the Ukraine is the country's state security services and should thus be taken with the usual mine of salt, Reuters is reporting that pro-Russian separatists have placed explosives in a building they seized in the eastern city of Luhansk and are using weapons to hold around 60 people against their will.
As we noted previously, the US remains convinced that "there is strong evidence suggesting some of [the pro-Russian] demonstrators were paid," and Russia, in the same vein, responded that they "are particularly concerned that the operation involves some 150 American mercenaries from a private company Greystone Ltd., dressed in the uniform of the [Ukrainian] special task police unit Sokol." So, this morning's 'claims', substantiated, we presume, by YouTube clips and CIA promises, that John Kerry blasted to his Twitter followers is remarkable: "it is clear that Russia special forces and agents have been the catalysts behind the chaos of the last 24 hours in Ukraine." Clear... proof?
- Russia's Gazprom says Ukraine did not pay for gas on time (Reuters)
- Ukraine Moves to Keep Control in East (BBG)
- Banks Set to Report Lower Earnings as Debt Trading Slumps (BBG)
- More DeGeners and Obama selfies needed: Samsung's lower first-quarter estimate highlights smartphone challenges (Reuters)
- Citi Is Bracing to Miss a Profit Target (WSJ)
- Another slam from GM? Safety group calls for U.S. probe of Chevy Impala air bags (Reuters)
- Japan drugmaker Takeda to fight $6 billion damages imposed by U.S. jury (Reuters)
- EU court rules against requirement to keep data of telecom users (Reuters)
- White House may ban selfies with president after Ortiz-Obama photo promotes Samsung (Syracuse)
Market tops usually feature something called rotation. This occurs when investors move out of former top performing companies or market leaders, into safer investments.
The blog posts and defenses of high frequency trading in the past week have come with dizzying high frequency. Flash Boys has struck many a nerve; the truth can be a bitter pill at times. And of course, the pro-HFT defenses are all made by many who are very, very staked in the status quo of our market structure. Now, bloggers using twitter is one thing; conflicted insiders using television to make their HFT defenses are another.