Belgium has raised its terror alert level from 3 to 4 for police forces (maintaining alert level 2 for everyone else) as it unleashes 10 raids in Verviers (near the capital) on returning Syrian fighters:
*BELGIAN SUSPECTED TERRORISTS OPENED FIRE AT POLICE DURING RAID
*BELGIAN POLICE KILLS TWO TERRORISTS, NO WOUNDED AMONG POLICE
Anti-terrorist operations continue (despite reassurances that this not linked to the Paris attacks) as prosecutors say the suspected terrorists planned large, imminent attacks.
"By our calculation the FX reserves portfolio on FX alone will have lost in the region of 60bn CHF, assuming EURCHF at 1.03 and USDCHF at 0.88. Though some of this is likely to have gained on bond holdings; this would be far outweighed by losses on FX." - Citi's Stephen Englander
How will the US government fund a sudden additional shortfall of $281 per American per year?
Market Wrap: "It's Turmoil" - Overnight Gains Wiped Out, Futures Trade Below 2000 On SNB "Shock And Awe"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2015 07:56 -0400
To paraphrase a trader who walked into the biggest FX clusterfuck in years, "it's total, unprecedented market turmoil." So while the world gets a grip on what today's historic move by the SNB means, which judging by the record 13% collapse in the Swiss Stock Market shows clearly that the SNB market put is dead and the SNB may be the first central-banking hedge fund which just folded (we can't wait to see what the SNB P&L losses on its EURCHF holdings will be), here is what has happened so far for anyone unlucky enough to be walking into the carnage some 2 hours late.
"It's Carnage" - Swiss Franc Soars Most Ever After SNB Abandons EURCHF Floor; Macro Hedge Funds CrushedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2015 07:07 -0400
Over a decade ago, George Soros took on the Bank of England, and won. Less than two hours ago the Swiss National Bank took on virtually every single macro hedge fund, the vast majority of which were short the Swiss Franc and crushed them, when it announced, first, that it would go further into NIRP, pushing its interest rate on deposit balances even more negative from -0.25% to -0.75%, a move which in itself would have been unprecedented and, second, announcing that the 1.20 EURCHF floor it had instituted in September 2011, the day gold hit its all time nominal high, was no more. What happened next was truly shock and awe as algo after algo saw their EURCHF 1.1999 stops hit, and moments thereafter the EURCHF pair crashed to less then 0.75, margining out virtually every single long EURCHF position, before finally rebounding to a level just above 1.00, which is where it was trading just before the SNB instituted the currency floor over three years ago.
Just yesterday, the SEC charged Canadian Aleksandr Milrud with orchestrating a lucrative market manipulation scheme that relied on "layering" in which a trader places orders solely to trick others into buying or selling at artificially inflated or depressed prices... So we found it ironic that twice today, Nanex exposed examples of the "spoofing" manipulation in crude oil futures (which soared) and S&P 500 e-mini futures (which soared)... These are your "most liquid and transparent capital markets in the world."
In all the drama over the recent terrorist events in France, Americans almost forgot that there is evil, pure, concentrated evil, as opposed to CentCom Twitter account hacking evil, in their own backyard and only the government can possibly protect them from it. Sure enough, what better way to remind them of just this than to merge a deranged lunatic, bombs, ISIS, and an attack on DC all into one. That is precisely what ABC blasted about an hour ago, when it reported that the FBI had arrested an Ohio man (different from the one who wanted to kill John Boehner) for plotting an Islamic State-inspired attack on U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off series of bombs aimed at lawmakers whom he allegedly considered enemies.
WTI Crude futures are up almost 6%, spiking above $48.50 into the close and options expiration... no fundamental catalyst for now... Once again, crude futures have been 'spoofed' all day so this is hardly a surprise.
Moments ago, the Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalon of the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg delivered the non-binding opinion on issue of Mario Draghi's "unconditional" OMT. Here are the details from Reuters and Bloomberg:
- EU COURT ADVISER SAYS OMT PROGRAMME IN LINE WITH EU LAW SO LONG AS CERTAIN CONDITIONS MET
- EU COURT ADVISER SAYS OMT LEGITIMATE SO LONG AS THERE IS NO DIRECT INVOLVEMENT IN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME THAT APPLIES TO STATE IN QUESTION
- EU COURT ADVISER SAYS ECB MUST OUTLINE REASONS FOR ADOPTING UNCONVENTIONAL MEASURES SUCH AS OMT PROGRAMME
In other words, Draghi's "unconditional" bazooka just became conditional, but it is still a bazooka, albeit one that will never actually be used since well over two years after it was revealed following Draghi's famous "whatever it takes" speech, it still has no legal termsheet or basis, and no definition on its pari passu or burden-sharing status. And it never will: after all it was merely meant as a precautionary device designed to scare away the bond vigilantes, and never to be actually implemented.
For Sale To The Highest Bidder – How Middle Eastern Governments Are Buying Off The US Political ProcessSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/14/2015 00:15 -0400
The quaint notion that the U.S. political system remotely resembles either a Republic or a Democracy should have been abandoned long ago. Any lingering illusions were surely extinguished last year, when an academic study empirically proved that the USA is nothing more than a corrupt oligarchy...
FBI Counter-Terrorism Expert: ISIS Likely Did NOT Hack Centcom … Anonymous Collective: Centcom Hackers Were In MARYLANDSubmitted by George Washington on 01/13/2015 16:02 -0400
Cyber Caliphate … Or Digital Diversion?
Fort Hood officials and Hazmat crews are on site in Killeen after a US soldier, who recently returned from West Africa, was found dead outside his home. So far there are no answers as to why the soldier was not in quarantine and no known cause of death... (for now there are no indications the soldier had Ebola)