- Hillary and Me: The 2008 campaign was a nightmare. Will 2016 be as bad? (Politico)
- What Timothy Geithner Really Thinks (NYT)
- Rebels declare victory in east Ukraine self-rule vote (Reuters)
- Race for AIG's Top Job Has Two Favorites (WSJ)
- America on the Move Becomes Stay-at-Home Nation for Millennials (BBG)
- Old, Fired at IBM: Trendsetter Offers Workers Arbitration (BBG)
- Bad luck Jonathan: Pressure Mounts on Nigerian President (WSJ)
- Iran leader slams West's 'stupid' missile stance before talks (Reuters)
- Conchita Wurst of Austria Wins Eurovision Song Contest (WSJ)
- Greek Finance Ministry expects Q1 GDP contraction of less than 1.5 pct (Kathimerini)
In what is becoming a weekly ritual, the German press continues to demolish the US case of "idealistic humaniatrian" Ukraine intervention. Recall, that it was a week ago that German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, hardly the most reputable source but certainly one which reaches the broadest audience, reported that dozens of CIA and FBI agents were "advising the Ukraine government." This conclusion is hardly a stretch and certainly based on facts considering the recent semi-secret jaunt by CIA head Brennan to Kiev. Fast forward one week when overnight the same Bild reported that about 400 elite mercenary commandos of the private US security firm, Academi, f/k/a Xe Services, f/k/a Blackwater "are involved in a punitive operation mounted by Ukraine's new government" against east Ukraine separatists.
Rebel vote-counter Roman Lyagin tells reporters in #Ukraine's Donetsk that 89.07% voted in favour, 10.19% against - 'final results' he says
— Marc Burleigh (@marcburleigh) May 11, 2014
America Now Backs Al Qaeda and Nazis
The most significant geopolitical event of the day is the east Ukraine independence referendum taking place in various cities across the region, less than two months after the Crimean case study which saw the region split away from Ukraine and join Russia, despite the fervent warnings by Kiev and the west that the result of the "rigged election" would not be accepted by anyone. As it turned out then, it only needed to be accepted by Russia which promptly took over the Black Sea territory. Today's vote is a carbon copy of what happened in Crimea, with the locals almost certain to vote in Independence from Kiev (even over Putin's "objections" who has managed to distance himself from the vote if quite willingly will accept its outcome), followed by another vote that annexes east Ukraine (and subsequently Transnistria) to Russia, promptly followed by the adoption of the Ruble as the regional currency.
And what's in it for you...
For the second time in a few short months, the Paramus Mall at Garden State Plaza is being evacuated. There are no reports that an active shooter is present but shots were heard fired. There is also a car fire (which some are noting could have been responsible for the 'popping sounds'). Police are on scene and shoppers are being evacuated as the anxiety is (as one would imagine) high. There are currently no reports of injuries.
A few short hours ago, a Russian delegation which contained the deputy premier of Russia Dimitry Rogozin was flying back from Moldova's capital Chisinau following his visit to Tiraspol as part of May 9 celebrations, when Ukraine scrambled fighter jets to intercept the Yak-42 carrying the Russian vice premier and forced it to promptly land back in Moldova.
Never in a million years did we think we’d ever use an article by Andrew Ross Sorkin as the basis of a blog post, but here we are. While probably entirely unintentional, his article serves to further solidify as accurate the prevailing notion across America that former head of the New York Federal Reserve and Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is nothing more than an addled, crony, bureaucratic banker cabin boy. Simply put, "Geithner is so bad, he actually makes Larry Summers look good."
When it comes to people-vs-tank videos, Tienanmen Square reigns supreme; but as tensions escalate hyperbolically in Eastern Ukraine, the following clip of a Mariupol soldier taking things into his own hands - and firing an RPG into the face of two oncoming tanks - confirms this nation's divide is growing wider by the day....
THREE DEAD, 25 WOUNDED IN MARIUPOL CLASHES, LOCAL GOVT SAYS
As RT reports, the Victory Day 'celebrations' spilled over into deadly clashes between police and pro-Russian separatists after Kiev’s forces are using heavy weaponry and tanks in the eastern city of Mariupol. Sadly, we suspect, Mariupol may become the next Odessa this weekend.
A bunch of folks in Hedge Fund Land have this idea that they can force a bit of a squeeze in the bond markets....
For those who believe they can predict the Apple's acquisitive future based on the company's historical M&A pattern, here is a summary of the company's acquisition history over the last two decades.
- Omnicom, Publicis call off proposed $35 billion merger (Reuters)
- Apple in talks for $3.2bn Beats deal (FT)
- Alibaba IPO Grew Out of ’80s Chaos and Guy From Goldman (BBG)
- Nigeria's president at WEF pledges to free kidnapped girls (Reuters)
- JPMorgan Joins Wells Fargo in Rolling Out Jumbo Offerings (BBG)
- It's 1999 all over again: Young Bankers Fed Up With 90-Hour Weeks Move to Startups (BBG)
- ECB stimulus talk knocks euro, peripheral yields (Reuters)
- Deutsche Bank Currency Crown Lost to Citigroup on Volatility (BBG)
- London Taxis Plan 10,000-Car Protest Against Uber App Use (BBG)
- Pfizer Holders Could Face Tax Hit in a Deal for AstraZeneca (WSJ)
- China’s Trade Unexpectedly Rises (BBG)
- 'We're already not in Ukraine' - rebel east readies secession vote (Reuters)
- Pro-Russian Separatists in Ukraine Reject Putin's Call to Delay Vote (WSJ)
- Vietnam’s Stocks Post Biggest Loss in Decade on China Tensions (BBG)
- Hedge Funds Extend Their Slide (WSJ)
- Carney Looks to Untested Tools as House Prices Boom (BBG)
- New Draghi Era Seen on Hold at ECB as Euro Area Recovers (BBG)
- Woman With Printer Shows the Digital Ease of Bogus Cash (BBG)
- Regulators See Growing Financial Risks Outside Traditional Banks (WSJ)
In a word... "mixed" Early ugliness gave way to another ramp job courtesy of USDJPY's 101.50 level holding - which managed to clamber the Dow to unchanged on the week and stabilize the S&P (after it bounced off its 50DMA). But... Nasdaq and Russell just could not get it together until the last few minutes thanks to a VIX slam, JPY ramp and 30Y dump. Yellen's testimony pushed some volatility through markets and perhaps provided the extra pressure on the small caps (after warning of valuations). The term structure steepened modestly with 30Y +1.5bps and the rest of the curve rallying 2-3bps (10Y unch). The USD rallied modestly off 19-month lows. Gold had its worst day in 3 weeks, breaking below 1300 and testing its 100DMA (tick for tick with silver on the day). Oil prices jumped back up to around $101 as Copper slipped back towards $3. And finally, we hesitate to mention it... today's market schizophrenia was enough to trigger a Hindenburg Omen.