May 21

Putin chess

- As Russia Dumps A Record Amount Of US Treasurys, Here Is What It Is Buying (ZeroHedge, May 21, 2014):

Last week we commented that based on TIC data, while “Belgium’s” unprecedented Treasury buying spree continues, one country has been dumping US bonds at an unprecedented rate, and in March alone Russia sold a record $26 billion, or 20% of its holdings.

So as Russia is selling a record amount of US paper, what is it buying? For the answer we go to Goldcore which tells us thatRussia Buys 900,000 Ounces Of Gold Worth $1.17 Billion In April.”

 Putin-Gold

 

 

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May 18

- Russia Dumping US Treasuries? But Why the Heck in Belgium? (Testosterone Pit, May 15, 2014):

Belgium is known for its surprises. For example, it got by amazingly well for a couple of years without a national government, and without breaking apart, to the endless chagrin of a lot of people. And it has a great variety of delicious beers, which I amply tested during the three years I was there. But now, that tiny country with a tiny economy is suddenly piling up a mountain of US Treasuries.

In March, according to new data from the US Treasury Department, it added another $40.2 billion to its existing mountain of Treasuries, now at the dizzying height of $381.4 billion, or 79% of GDP!

It put the country in third place, behind the second and third largest economies in the world, export machine China ($1.27 trillion) and former export machine, now money-printer Japan ($1.20 trillion). From August last year, Treasury holdings in Belgium have ballooned by 129%!

US-Treasuries-held-in-Belgium-03-2014

What the heck is going on? Continue reading »

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May 16

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

- The Fed Is The Great Deceiver — Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler (Paul Craig Roberts, May 12, 2014):

Is the Fed “tapering”? Did the Fed really cut its bond purchases during the three month period November 2013 through January 2014? Apparently not if foreign holders of Treasuries are unloading them.From November 2013 through January 2014 Belgium with a GDP of $480 billion purchased $141.2 billion of US Treasury bonds. Somehow Belgium came up with enough money to allocate during a 3-month period 29 percent of its annual GDP to the purchase of US Treasury bonds.

Certainly Belgium did not have a budget surplus of $141.2 billion. Was Belgium running a trade surplus during a 3-month period equal to 29 percent of Belgium GDP?

No, Belgium’s trade and current accounts are in deficit.

Did Belgium’s central bank print $141.2 billion worth of euros in order to make the purchase?

No, Belgium is a member of the euro system, and its central bank cannot increase the money supply.

So where did the $141.2 billion come from? Continue reading »

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May 15

Putin chess

- Russia Dumps 20% Of Its Treasury Holdings As Mystery “Belgium” Buyer Adds Another Whopping $40 Billion (ZeroHedge, May 15, 2014):

Back in mid-March, there was a brief scare after the start of the Ukraine conflict, when Fed custody holdings plunged by a record $104.5 billion (if promptly bouncing back the following week), leading many to believe that Russia may have dumped its Treasurys, or at least change its bond custodian. We noted that we wouldn’t have a definitive answer until the May TIC number came out to know for sure how much Russia had sold, or if indeed, anything. Moments ago the May TIC numbers did come out, and as expected, Russia indeed dumped a record $26 billion, or some 20% of all of its holdings, bringing its post-March total to just over $100 billion – the lowest since the Lehman crisis.

Russia TSY March

20140515_TIC1

But as shocking as this largely pre-telegraphed dump was, it pales in comparison with what Zero Hedge first observed, is the country that has quietly and quite rapidly become the third largest holder of US paper: Belgium. Or rather, “Belgium” because it is quite clear that it is not the country of Begium who is engaging in this unprecedented buying spree of US paper, but some account acting through Belgian custody.

This is how we explained it last month: Continue reading »

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May 11

- Japan Debt Update: ¥1,020,000,000,000,000.00 (ZeroHedge, May 10, 2014):

It’s been a while since we looked at Japan’s debt situation. Here is the dire update.

From Japan News:

Japan’s national debt totaled a record-high ¥1.02 quadrillion as of the end of March, up ¥33.36 trillion from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said.

The central government debt, which increased ¥7.01 trillion from the end of December last year, kept rising mainly due to ballooning social security costs in line with the aging of the population.

Continue reading »

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Apr 29


Added: Apr 25, 2014

Description:

Trends Guru and forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente joins Sheila Zilinsky the Weekend Vigilante on his plan for a one-two punch to the globalist agenda and we take back the greatest country in the world

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Apr 25

- Furious Russia, Downgraded To Just Above Junk By S&P, Proposes “Scorched Earth” Retaliation Against NATO Countries (ZeroHedge, April 25, 2014):

Cyprus and Russia – what’s the difference (aside from the fact that the former was a money laundering offshore center of the latter until last year of course)?

If you said one is a lackey to statist, selfish banker interests, and after having its economy thoroughly destroyed by the great doomed European sociopolitical (and pathological) experiment, came crawling back to its Eurozone masters, while the other couldn’t care one bit about Pax Petrodollariana and the global central bank cabal, you are right. In which case it will also be clear why a few hours ago that joke of a rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, which also earlier announced it was “affirming” France at an AA rating making it very clear it will no longer accept being sued for telling the truth and downgrading sovereigns or otherwise have its offices abroad raided, not only upgraded Cyprus from B- to B (please deposits your funds in Cyprus banks now: they are safe, S&P promises), but – far more importantly – delivered a political message to the Kremlin, and downgraded Russia from BBB to BBB-, one short notch away from junk status. This was the first downgrade of Russia by S&P since December 2008.

WSJ reports: Continue reading »

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Apr 19

- “Everything we are told about deflation is a lie” (The Cobden Center, April 9, 2014):

“The European Central Bank has given its strongest signal yet that it is prepared to embrace quantitative easing to prevent the euro zone from sliding into deflation or even a prolonged period of low inflation.”
- ‘Draghi strengthens QE signal’, Financial Times, April 4, 2014.

Yes, heaven protect Europe’s embattled citizens and savers from a prolonged period of low inflation. How could they possibly survive it ? Continue reading »

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Apr 19

- George Carlin: The American Dream:


- The Political Conspiracy Behind the Bankruptcy of Detroit: Anatomy of a Crime  (WSWS, Feb 21, 2014):

The Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions was held Saturday February 15 at Wayne State University. The WSWS published an initial report on the meeting on February 17. Today we publish an edited version of the report to the Inquiry delivered by Larry Porter, assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party and chairman of the Workers Inquiry.
Video coverage of Lawrence Porter’s full report to the Inquiry

[Click for slide 1]

[Click for slide 2]

Why was Detroit taken into bankruptcy?

In my report, I have the responsibility of uncovering the evidence of a crime.

Continue reading »

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Apr 15

- The S&P 500 Enters “Vertical Straight Line Up” Formation (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

The comedy from yesterday continues. Sure enough it is market open on a Tuesday (remember – the market never goes down on Tuesday) – the two most bullish catalyst to momentum ignition vacuum tubes. The rest is indescriminate panic buying history.

20140415_es1

- European Stocks Tumble As Investors Rush Into “Safe Haven” Italian Bonds!? (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

Consumer confidence slumps in the core and Ukraine fears weighed heavily on European stocks despite getting a push from the insanity in US equity markets this morning. Europe closed at their lows of the day led by Italy and Portugal stocks fading fast. It would appear that these worried investors greatly rotated into safe-havens such as Italian government bonds – which broke to their lowest yield on record today… makes sense right?

- Russell 2000 Breaks Below Key Technical Level (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

For the first time since Novemeber 2012 (when QE4EVA was kicked off in style), the Russell 2000that long-heralded indication that everything is great in the US economy and the indicator that stocks are great at discounting the future that is undoubtedly rosyhas broken back below its 200-day moving-average. In the meantime, an oddly dominant algorithm is swamping options markets with millions of fake orders…”rigged?”

- “Growth” Stocks Tumble To 7-Month Lows To “Value” As Bond Yields Collapse (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

It is perhaps worth reflecting on the smorgasbord of free advice given out by the talking-heads after last night’s closing ramp proclaiming the dip to be bought and that everything was fixed once again. It was not. Stocks are making fresh cycle lows and the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 are both now below the 200-day moving-average and appraoching the 10% (correction) from their highs. 10Y is back under 2.6% and the 30Y yield is back at 10-month lows… which perhaps explains why “growth” stocks are back at 7-month lows versus “value” stocks

- Gold Tumbles Most In 4 Months On China Demand Slowdown Fears (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

Gold prices are down almost 2% this morning (over $25) as last night’s slowdown in Chinese money-supply growth and fears that China’s insatiable gold demand has become less insatiable send the barbarous relic back towards $1300. Slowing GDP expectations, increasing restrictions on shadow-banking commodity-backed financing, and a need for liquidity are all factors weighing on the precious metal this morning.

- Copper Joins Precious Metals Rout, Tumbles Below $3.00 (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

The fears over ongoing commodity-financing restrictions and slowing money supply growth are contagiously spilling over into other collateral. Copper prices are in free fall this morning, crashing through critical levels (especially Dennis Gartman’s “long punt”) and back below the Maginot Line of $3.00. These are near 3-week low levels and the biggest drop since the cash-for-commodity financing deals came under real pressure.

- Stocks moderate slide after Nasdaq nears correction territory (CNBC, April 15, 2014)

H/t reader M.G.:

“Yesterday, these stocks were darlings. They are so desperate, they are telling lies to steal pennies……”

- U.S. Stocks Decline as Tech Selloff Resumes Amid Earnings (Bloomberg, April 15, 2014)

And the ECBs buying spree continous…..

- The “Shocking” Buying Spree Of America’s Mysterious Third Largest Treasury Holder Ramps Higher (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2014):

In summary: someone, unclear who, operating through Belgium and most likely the Euroclear service (possible but unconfirmed), has added a record $141 billion in Treasurys since December, or the month in which Bernanke announced the start of the Taper, bringing the host’s total to an unprecedented $341 billion!

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Apr 10

china russia flags

- It’s On: Gazprom Prepares “Symbolic” Bond Issue In Chinese Yuan (ZeroHedge, April 10, 2014):

Curious what the fate of the petrodollar is? Look no farther than this Interfax update blasted moments ago by Bloomberg: “Gazprom Considers ‘Symbolic’ Yuan Bond Issue, Interfax Says.”

Bloomberg adds that the gas giant is considering proposals from potential organizers to market bonds in yuan, Interfax reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

  • Gazprom unlikely be able to gain more than $300m due to mkt volume, newswire reports
  • No mandates, deal timeline yet
  • Issue may add new investors, become a “topical” public relations act amid tensions with U.S., EU

Well, yes. It’s called “symbolic” for a reason. More importantly, it is a symbol of what happens when one can “create” money de novo without the presence of the world’s increasingly defunct reserve currency, either secured by gas or by future cash flows, i.e., unsecured.

Confused? Read: Continue reading »

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Apr 09

- Another Chinese High Yield Bond Issuer Declares Bankruptcy (ZeroHedge, April 9, 2014):

Another week, another Chinese default.

A month after Chaori Solar’s default turned on its head a long-held assumption that even high-yielding debt carried an implicit state guarantee, another Chinese firm has succumbed to the inevitable outcome resulting from a lack of cash flows. As a reminder, a technical default late last month by a small construction materials firm, Xuzhou Zhongsen Tonghao New Board Co Ltd, was the first in China’s high-yield bond market. However, in that case the guarantor of that bond eventually agreed to fund the required interest payment, resulting in the first bailout of the first high yield default. Still if Xuzhou didn’t want the distinction of the first Chinese HY default, many are lining up for that particular prize – such as a small manufacturer of polyester yarn based in China’s wealthy Zhejiang province has declared bankruptcy, threatening its ability to meet an interest payment on a high-yield bond due in July.

According to Reuters, the firm sold 60 million yuan ($9.7 million) in bonds in a private placement in January 2013 at an interest rate of 11 percent. The next interest payment is due on July 23, while the bond matures in January next year. Continue reading »

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Apr 08

dollar-euro

- Meet ‘lowflation’: Deflation’s scary pal (RT, April 7, 2014):

Peter Schiff
By Peter Schiff

In recent years a good part of the monetary debate has become a simple war of words, with much of the conflict focused on the definition for the word “inflation.”

Whereas economists up until the 1960′s or 1970′s mostly defined inflation as an expansion of the money supply, the vast majority now see it as simply rising prices. Since then the “experts” have gone further and devised variations on the word “inflation” (such as “deflation,” “disinflation,” and “stagflation”). And while past central banking policy usually focused on “inflation fighting,” now bankers talk about “inflation ceilings” and more recently “inflation targets”. The latest front in this campaign came this week when Bloomberg News unveiled a brand new word: “lowflation” which it defines as a situation where prices are rising, but not fast enough to offer the economic benefits that are apparently delivered by higher inflation. Although the article was printed on April Fool’s Day, sadly I do not believe it was meant as a joke.

Continue reading »

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Apr 07

- Government Confiscation And Lifting The Veil On “The 401(k) Scheme” (ZeroHedge, April 6, 2014):

From Presidential edicts of ‘MyRA’ being for your own good and “will never go down in value” to Poland’s ‘precedent-setting’ confiscation of public pensions funds for the good of the nation’s debt load; and from the IMF’s “one-off” wealth tax ‘idea’ to Europe’s recent consideration of ‘wholesale savings confiscations and enforced redistribution’, it appears Marc Faber’s warning that “from now onwards, the bailouts will also be at the expense of the asset holders, the well-to-do people. So if you have money I am sure the governments will one day take away 20-30% of my wealth,” is becoming more likely every day. As the following mini-documentary explains, confirming Ron Paul’s warning that “there is more chaos to come,” Jim Rogers’ fear that “they won’t take our bank accounts…they will take our retirement accounts,” is coming true.

- George Carlin: The American Dream (Video):

“…they want your fucking retirement money.

They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street.

And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later because they own this fucking place.”


A short excerpt from the video “Life Is Worth Losing” (2005).

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Apr 05

- Moody’s downgrades Ukraine to ‘default imminent’ (RT, April 5, 2014):

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Ukraine’s government bond rating one notch from Caa2 to Caa3, citing the current political crisis and deepening economic instability as reasons for its negative outlook.

The Caa rating is a credit risk grading pertaining to investments that are both very poor quality and entail a high credit risk. The current downgrade drops Ukraine from Moody’s “extremely speculative” rating to “default imminent with little prospect for recovery.”

Moody’s said the downgrade was driven by three factors, which “exacerbate Ukraine’s more longstanding economic and fiscal fragility.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

- Capital Controls and 200% Price Hikes in Ukraine – And Ukraine Is In Better Shape Than The US! (Activist Post, March 31, 2014):

In a TV address to a torn nation, Ukraine’s PM Yatsenyuk first implied heating prices would rise incrementally, and then later confirmed a plan to increase prices 100% in the next two years (and nearly 200% by 2017) as the cost of imported Russian gas is expected to rise to $500 from the current $84.

Not only did the Ukrainians have the hard rug of the consequences of statism pulled out from underneath them, but the move was followed with tougher capital controls, which restricted cash purchases to $1,300 per person per day after the Central Bank said “amid a tense situation in money markets” it is now broke. (We covered a reported shipment of gold out of Ukraine a couple of weeks ago) Continue reading »

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Mar 29

- Shocking – What Pento Said To Get Him Erased From CNBC (King World News, March 28, 2014)

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Mar 28

- Moody’s Puts Russia On Downgrade Review; Cites Event Risk, Investor Sentiment, And Weakening Economy (Zerohedge, March 28, 2014):

Hot on the heels of what S&P said was not a “politically motivated” shift to rating watch, Moody’s (who did not downgrade the USA and are not currently in a lawsuit over such terrible misrepresentations) has decided now is the time to put Russia on rating downgrade watch. The decision was triggered by 3 key factors: the weakening of Russia’s economic strength, potential shifts in investor sentiment, and susceptibility to event risk.

Full report below… Continue reading »

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Mar 27
Bill-Gates-01
Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates, lends $65bn to the US government (Image: Shutterstock)

- Apple, Microsoft hoard cash – US taxpayers pay the bill  (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, March 17, 2014):

In recent years, America’s technology giants have increased profits to epic levels. So you’d think this good fortune would prove a boon to the fragile American economy.

In theory, a river of tax dollars from America’s cash-rich technology firms ought to contribute towards a significant reduction of the US $17.5 trillion debt mountain.

Only it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

Today, the 1,067 biggest non-financial firms in the United States, according to Moody’s the credit rating agency, have amassed cash and liquid investments totalling $1.48 trillion – a sum equivalent to the entire economy of Spain.

Of this $1.48tn corporate cash mountain, 22% is held by just four companies. Combined; Apple, Microsoft, Google and Cisco Systems retain $331bn in cash, with $255bn held in foreign subsidiaries sheltered from US tax.

Cash mountains

But instead of this cash sitting idly in a Bermudan bank vault, new research by the Bureau shows that a substantial amount of the tech giants’ offshore cash is in fact lent to the US government.

‘US taxpayers pay interest to tech giants on their offshore cash held there for tax reduction purposes

Continue reading »

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Mar 26



- Collapse and Systemic Failure at All Levels Coming to U.S.-Dmitry Orlov (USA Watchdog, March 19, 2014):

Dmitry Orlov is a Russian blogger who writes about the parallel between the U.S and the USSR.  Orlov lived through the financial collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, and he thinks the U.S. is on the same trajectory.  Orlov contends, “The trajectory is defined by this sort of incompetent militarism where more and more money results in bigger and bigger military fiascos around the world and less and less of actual foreign policy that can be pursued or articulated.  There are massive levels of corruption.  The amount of money that is being stolen by the U.S. Government and its various appropriations processes is now in the trillions of dollars a year.  Runaway debt, the United States now has a level of debt that is un-repayable.  All we’re waiting for is interest rates to go across the magic threshold of 3% and the entire budget of the country explodes.  There are also all types of other tendencies that point in the direction of collapse and systemic failure at all levels.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 26

Debt-Bomb

- US now spending 26% of available tax revenue just to pay interest (Sovereign Man, March 25, 2014):

By the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire had become a has-been power whose glory days as the world’s superpower were well behind them.

They had been supplanted the French, the British, and the Russian empires in all matters of economic, military, and diplomatic strength. Much of this was due to the Ottoman Empire’s massive debt burden.

In 1868, the Ottoman government spent 17% of its entire tax revenue just to pay interest on the debt.

Continue reading »

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Mar 20

- S&P Brings Out The Big Policy Guns – Downgrades Russia To Outlook Negative (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2014):

S&P, still deep in the mire of a legal battle with the US government, has decided now is an opportune time to cut the ratings outlook on Russia:

  • *RUSSIAN FEDERATION OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE FROM STABLE BY S&P
  • *S&P SEES EU-U.S. IMPOSING FURTHER SANCTIONS

Russia remains a BBB credit (but with the outlook shift remains open to a downgrade with 24 months). S&P has cut 2014 GDP forecast to 1.2% and 2015 to 2.2%. Of course, we are sure, this would have nothing to do with currying favors with the US government (who threatened them when they downgraded the USA). Full report below.

S&P Reduces Russian Federation outlook to Negative from Stable.

Below is the full report: Continue reading »

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Mar 19

- Has The World Gone Mad (Again)? (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2014):

A few select headlines from the day that made us, well, wonder…

  • OBAMA’S GOAL IS FOR RUSSIA TO STEP BACK IN CRIMEA, LEW SAYS (hope and change?)
  • CHINA SHOULD LOOSEN RESTRICTIONS OVER HOME PURCHASES: SEC. NEWS (but, but, but the reforms?)
  • DONETSK GOVERNOR (AND BROTHER) HAD MOAT DUG OUT ON RUSSIAN BORDER (and filled with crocodiles?)
  • BEIJING TO SPEND 20M YUAN TO CHANGE WEATHER TO CUT SMOG: DAILY (winning the war on weather and hence the economy)
  • PUTIN SPOKESMAN SAYS UKRAINE FORCES MUST CHOOSE SIDES: BBC (hhmm, tough decision)
  • FLAHERTY SAYS DECISION TO LEAVE POLITICS WAS NOT RELATED IN ANY WAY TO HIS HEALTH (just being pissed off)
  • CARNEY SAYS LOW RATE ENVIRONMENT IS CONDUCIVE TO COMPLACENCY (and water is wet and we’ll keep doing it)
  • IRS INFORMS EMPLOYEES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION DATA BREACH (shame really)
  • UKRAINE FAILS TO SELL DEBT AT DOMESTIC AUCTION: FIN MIN. (but TSLA did – shoulda sold stock)
  • BANK OF CANADA’S POLOZ SAYS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT RECENT ECONOMIC SOFTNESS IN CANADA IS ALL DUE TO THE WEATHER. (wait what?)
  • ESTONIA’S PRESIDENT ILVES SAYS EU RESPONSE “SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT THE PRICE OF GAS” (what else is there?)
  • U.S. TREASURY CORRECTS TICS DATA RELEASED EARLIER TODAY (#Ref/0)
  • KERRY SAYS PUTIN SPEECH “DIDN’T JIBE WITH REALITY” (YouTube reality?)
  • UKRAINE MAY SEEK COMPENSATION FOR CRIMEA ASSETS: PETRENKO (we don’t recognize it unless you pay us?)
  • MERKEL SAYS NO CHANGE IN RUSSIA G-8 STATUS FOR NOW (nope, they’d have to really cross the red line)
  • RUSSIA FELT ROBBED BY BREAKUP OF SOVIET UNION, PUTIN SAYS (uh oh)
  • CYPRUS OPPOSES MORE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA: FOR’N MINISTER (RIK) (just capital controls is good)
  • SUGA: WILL DEAL APPROPRIATELY WITH PUTIN’S PLANNED JAPAN VISIT (umm what?)
  • PUTIN: RUSSIA WILL NEVER SEEK CONFRONTATIONS IN WEST, EAST (fingers crossed?)
  • JAPAN HALTS TALKS WITH RUSSIA ON VISA ISSUANCE (and nobody cared)
  • WHITE HOUSE CARNEY “I WOULDN’T IF I WERE YOU” INVEST IN RUSSIA (what do you think of TWTR?)
  • JAPAN DISPLAY STARTS TRADING 15% BELOW IPO PRICE IN TOKYO (shoulda IPO’d in USA)
  • VIETNAM DELAYS SOME BAD DEBT CLASSIFICATION UNTIL APRIL 2015 (will all be fixed by then)
  • SUGA: ABENOMICS WILL WITHOUT DOUBT LEAD TO ECONOMIC REVIVAL (yep no dooubt about it)

Has the world gone totally mad?

And then there’s this:

  • Fed Tightening May Begin Sooner Than Thought: Hildebrand in FT (not holding our breath) Continue reading »

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Mar 18

- Meet The Brand New, And Shocking, Third Largest Foreign Holder Of US Treasurys (Zerohedge, March 18, 2014):

Something hilarious, and at the same time pathetic, happened earlier today: at precisely 9 am the US Treasury released its delayed Treasury International Capital data (which was supposed to be released yesterday but was delayed because it snowed) which disclosed all the latest foreign Treasury holdings for the month of January. Among the key numbers tracked and disclosed, was that China’s official holdings increased from $1.270 trillion to $1.284 trillion, that Japan holdings declined by a tiny $0.2 billion, that UK holdings increased by $7.8 billion to $171 billion, and that holdings of Caribbean Banking Centers, aka hedge funds, declined by $16.7 billion. Here is Reuters with the full data summary (save it before this article is pulled).

So why is it hilarious and pathetic? Because just three short hours later, the Treasury - that organization that has billions of dollars at its budgetary disposal to collate, analyze and disseminate accurate and error-free dataadmitted that all the previously reported data was in effect made up!

Continue reading »

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Mar 17

- Russia Hints It May Force Ukraine Into Default, “May Ask Ukraine For Its $20 Billion Share For Ex-Soviet Debt” (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2014):

Rook to G7, check.

  • KYIV DEEMS THE ISSUE OF SOVIET-ERA DEBTS UNSETTLED, MOSCOW RESERVES THE RIGHT TO INSIST THAT UKRAINE REPAY $20 BILLION TO RUSSIA – RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY
  • RUSSIA MAY ASK UKRAINE TO PAY ITS $20B SHARE FOR EX-SOVIET DEBT

Pidgeon playing checkers response time.

This should come as no surprise as we warned of at least $3b in bonds that are due very soon: Continue reading »

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Mar 14

- Markets fear Russia has cut US treasury bill holding over Ukraine crisis (Guardian, March 14, 2014):

Transfer of more than $100bn out of US prompts speculation Russia is moving funds out of reach of possible sanctions

Financial markets were on high alert last night over the Ukraine crisis amid speculation that the Kremlin had pulled its vast US treasury bill holdings out of New York.

News that more than $100bn had been shifted out of the US in the past week – at least three times more than at any time since the financial crisis – prompted fears that Russia is preparing for a western backlash in the form of sanctions and is moving its funds to safe havens beyond US influence.

The bills were transferred out of the US central bank’s deposit vaults last week, as the Obama administration increased the threat of sanctions in response to the growing crisis in east Ukraine. Last year the most moved in a week was $32bn. Analysts said that if the switch can be credited to Russia, it represents about 80% of the country’s holdings in US Treasury bonds.

Continue reading »

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Mar 14

- The First $3 Billion of a Ukraine Bailout Immediately Go to Russia (Acting Man, March 14, 2014):

This is really too funny. Apparently, the Ukraine owes $3 billion to Russia in bonds that have been issued under UK law. One of the stipulations of the bonds is that if the Ukraine’s debt-to-GDP ratio should exceed 60%, the bonds will become immediately callable.

Once the Ukraine gets funding from the IMF,  this is of course going to happen right away – its debt-to-GDP ratio will then most definitely exceed 60%, so the first $3 billion of any aid the Ukraine receives in the form of loans will right away flow into Russia’s coffers.

Of course there may be litigation first, but as Greek bondholders have found out, all those who held bonds issued under UK law were actually paid in full, while everybody else had to accept the ‘PSI’ and could basically go pound sand.

Of course it was all ‘voluntary’, but funny enough, the holders of Greek bonds issued under UK law didn’t turn out to be as altruistic as all the other ones. At least we have not heard of any ‘voluntary’ contributions made by them. It seems rather doubtful that Mr. Putin will be eager to become a voluntary contributor to bailing out a government which he deems illegitimate. Instead he’s going to take his money and run – or alternatively, make as-of-yet unspecified demands.

According to NBC:

As Western leaders prepare a bailout package for embattled Ukraine, they face a startling irony: Thanks to the almost bizarre structure of a bond deal between Ukraine and Russia, billions of those dollars are almost certain to go directly into the coffers of the Putin government.

Continue reading »

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Mar 14

- Foreigners Sell A Record Amount, Over $100 Billion, Of Treasurys Held By The Fed In Past Week (ZeroHedge, March 14, 2014):

A month ago we reported that according to much delayed TIC data, China had just dumped the second-largest amount of US Treasurys in history. The problem, of course, with this data is that it is stale and very backward looking. For a much better, and up to date, indicator of what foreigners are doing with US Treasurys in near real time, the bond watchers keep track of a less known data series, called “Treasury Securities Held in Custody for Foreign Official and International Accounts” which as the name implies shows what foreigners are doing with their Treasury securities held in custody by the Fed on a weekly basis. So here it goes: in the just reported latest data, for the week ended March 12, Treasurys held in custody by the Fed dropped to $2.855 trillion: a drop of $104.5 billion. This was the biggest drop of Treasurys held by the Fed on record, i.e., foreigners were really busy selling.

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Mar 12

- “Magic” Collateral: A Frank Look At The Sheer Credit Horror About To Be Unleashed In China (ZeroHedge, March 11, 2014):

While the world is terrified about what China – where corporate bond defaults are now permitted – may be about to unleash on the world, most are all too happy to remain in a state of delightful ignorance. We decided to take a peek behind the scenes.

Recall that as we have repeatedly shown in the calendar of coming Chinese bond default, on March 31, a borrower named “Magic” (no comment) is set to default on a CNY196 million Trust.

magic citic

The default may or may not happen, as there is always a high likelihood it will simply be bailed out as has happened frequently in the past, but regardless of the final outcome, here is what is really going on behind the scenes.

From Bank of America: Continue reading »

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Mar 11

- How low does this go before there’s a currency crisis? (Sovereign Man, March 11, 2014):

How’s this for irony -

In our modern monetary system, the term ‘fiat currency’ refers to this absurd notion of paper currency that is conjured out of thin air by central bankers and backed by nothing but hollow promises.

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