Q1 GDP To Be Revised Even Lower After February Trade Deficit Grows More Than Expected

As of this moment, the Atlanta Fed calculates Q1 GDP to be -0.7% (Bank of America has it at 0.6%). We expect this number to be promptly revised even lower following the latest disappointing trade data from the US, when moments ago the BEA reported that the US February deficit rose from $45.9BN to $47.1BN, missing the $46.2BN consensus estimate. This was the largest monthly deficit since August 2015's $50.5BN, and the number is likely only going to increase as the US is once again forced to start importing more oil with its own shale industry increasingly mothballed.

  • Apr 5, 2016 8:38 AM

Did Italy And Malta Actually Agree To Swap Oil Rights For Refugees

As the Syrian refugee crisis reaches a critical impasse, both in terms of European security and refugee human rights, Brussels has found itself having to deny accusations of a secret pact between Malta and Italy to swap refugees for oil exploration rights. The Maltese opposition leader has claimed that Malta and Italy cut a secret deal in which Malta would surrender oil exploration rights in an offshore area disputed with Italy, while Italy would return the favor by picking up Malta’s share of migrant rescues at sea.

  • Apr 5, 2016 7:46 AM

Frontrunning: April 5

  • Panama Papers: Biggest Banks Are Top Users of Offshore Services (WSJ)
  • Panama Papers probes opened, China limits access to news on leaks (Reuters)
  • Credit Suisse CEO Distances Bank From ‘Panama Papers’ (WSJ)
  • Fed's Evans says market more pessimistic on U.S. rate hikes (Reuters)
  • IMF's Lagarde Says Risks to Weak Global Recovery Are Increasing (BBG)
  • Apr 5, 2016 7:38 AM

Is The Allergan-Pfizer Deal Over? What Wall Street Thinks

Yesterday's stunning announcement by the US Treasury, which released a report titled  "Treasury Announces Additional Action to Curb Inversions, Address Earnings Stripping", and which was clearly aimed at ending not only all tax inversions, but the biggest pharma M&A deal in history, Pfizer's tax-inverting takeover of Allergan (pardon Actavis) hit AGN like a ton of bricks, sending the stock crashing 20%.  But is the deal over? Here are some Wall Street opinions.

  • Apr 5, 2016 7:11 AM

"Risk Off" - Global Stocks Slide As Yen Surges To 17 Month High; Bund Yields Plunge

The market's slumberous levitation of the past month, in which yesterday's -0.3% drop was the second largest in 4 weeks and in which the market had gone for 15 consecutive days without a 1% S&P 500 move (in March 2015 the sasme streak ended at day 16) may be about to end, after an overnight session, the polar opposite of yesterday's smooth sailing, which has seen a sudden return of global risk off mood.

  • Apr 5, 2016 6:49 AM

Was There A Run On The Bank? JPM Caps Some ATM Withdrawals

Under the auspices of "protecting clients from criminal activity," JPMorgan Chase has decided to impose capital controls on . As WSJ reports, following the bank's ATM modification to enable $100-bills to be dispensed with no limit, some customers started pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time. This apparent bank run has prompted Jamie Dimon to cap ATM withdrawals at $1,000 per card daily for non-customers. Of course, we are sure this is just another 'storm in a teacup' as why would anyone complain about a bank withholding people's money when they are assuredly tax evaders, terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers.

  • Apr 4, 2016 11:44 PM

Goldman Questions Rally, Fears Looming Event Risk Amid Record VIX Longs

Volatility (VIX) is now at its lowest level since before the August sell-off last summer yet CS Fear Barometer remains elevated leaving the spread between the two options-market-based indicators is at its widest ever. With the VIX ETF complex accounting for a record 85% of the outstanding open interest in the VIX futures market, the tail and the dog are now wagging each other in increasingly unstable trends, as Goldman sums up, the options market seems to be questioning the quality of the rally and continues to price in more adverse outcomes.

  • Apr 4, 2016 9:00 PM

Refugees Flooding Italy Surge 80%; Proposed Solution in Single Picture

Italy’s Interior minister Angelino Alfano warns the refugee “system is at risk of collapse” following an 80 per cent spike in the number of arrivals to Italy across the central Mediterranean Sea in the first quarter of this year compared to 2015.  Alfano fears that Syrians headed for Turkey will inetead head for Libya for an even more hazardous Mediterranean Sea crossing to Italy.

  • Apr 4, 2016 8:29 PM

Fed Sees Labor Market Worst Since 2009

Cast your mind back to Friday - when payrolls confirmed everything for everyone and enabled more crowing from an establishment clinging to smoke and mirrors. It appears The Fed disagrees with the 'awesome' jobs market that BLS proposes as today's Labor Market Conditions Index continues to push to its weakest since 2009, drastically divergent from the seemingly all-impotrant non-farm payrolls data.

  • Apr 4, 2016 8:00 PM

The Other Problem With Debt No One Is Talking About

Nearly 7 years have elapsed since the official end of the Great Recession.  By now it’s painfully obvious the rising tide of economic recovery has failed to lift all boats.  In fact, many boats bottomed out on the rocks in early 2009 and have been taking on water ever since.

  • Apr 4, 2016 7:35 PM

In Grotesque Irony Iran Warns Obama Not To Cross "Red Lines"

Today the farce that is Obama's foreign policy was finally complete: in a statement by Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff Brig-Gen Maassoud Jazzayeri, Iran actually used Obama's infamous "red line" phrase... against the US president when "Iran warned the US on Monday that any attempt to encroach on the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program would constitute the crossing of a "red line."

  • Apr 4, 2016 7:08 PM

A Quarter Century Of Monetary Voodoo

So far this year, Janet Yellen has not taken a single step in the direction of a “normal” monetary policy; our guess is that she never will. Why not? Is it because she is a witless tool of Deep State cronies? Is it because her economic theory is silly, superficial, and simpleminded? Or is it because she and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, have done so much damage to the normal world that there is nothing to go back to?

  • Apr 4, 2016 6:45 PM

Shocking Footage: Chicago Resident Gunned Down While Live-Streaming

While we recently shown the statistics behind Chicago's record gun violence spree, nothing could prepared us for this jarring example of just how bad gun violence in Chicago truly is. The following graphic footage shows a Chicago resident gunned down Thursday while live-streaming the entire event on Facebook, as he stood on a street corner. The man falls to the ground as the suspect stands over him continuing to fire shots.

  • Apr 4, 2016 6:01 PM