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Monday, March 31, 2014

Frontrunning: March 31

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/31/2014

  • US, Russia talks fail to end Ukraine deadlock (AP)
  • Russian forces 'gradually withdrawing' from Ukraine border (AFP)
  • Turkish PM Erdogan tells enemies they will pay price after poll (Reuters)
  • And Goldman arrives: Credit markets open to Argentina for first time in years (Reuters)
  • Regulators Twice Failed to Open GM Probes (WSJ)
  • Bad loan writedowns soar at China banks (FT)
  • Investors Breathe Life Into European Banks' Bad Loans (WSJ)
  • Euro zone inflation drops to lowest since 2009 (Reuters)
  • Yellowstone National Park rattled by largest earthquake in 34 years (Reuters)
  • Biggest ETF Flow From U.S. Debt Since ’10 Signals Rate Rise (BBG) - or just more confused algorithms
  • Swiss Antitrust Regulator Probes Eight Banks Over FX-Rigging (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Said to Mull Forgoing IPO Amid China Probes (BBG)
 
Overnight Media Digest
WSJ
* Congressional investigators looking into why General Motors Co took nearly a decade to recall vehicles with faulty ignition switches said on Sunday that federal regulators twice declined to open formal probes into complaints about the cars and that GM rejected a proposed fix for the problem in 2005 because it would have taken too long and cost too much. (http://r.reuters.com/tys97v)
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is close to appointing a Credit Suisse investment banker as its next chief financial officer. The appointment of Ewen Stevenson, who advised on the bailout of the 81 percent government-owned RBS, still needs to be approved by UK regulator Prudential Regulation Authority, according to a person familiar with the matter. (http://r.reuters.com/get97v)
* Caterpillar Inc, a maker of construction and mining equipment, on Tuesday will become the latest blue chip hauled before the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to explain strategies designed to shrink tax bills. Caterpillar officials are preparing to defend a corporate restructuring in the late 1990s that helped the company reduce U.S. taxes, particularly on sales of parts to foreign customers. (http://r.reuters.com/xys97v)
* The Food and Drug Administration's efforts to speed approvals of drugs to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria will be front and center on Monday as the agency considers two new antibiotics with possible advantages. The FDA's methods to advance new antibiotics so far haven't generally led to great new drugs, and there has been considerable debate over attempts to speed the approval process. (http://r.reuters.com/hat97v)
* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <IPO-ALIB.N> said Monday it agreed to pay $692 million to take a roughly 35 percent stake in Chinese department store operator Intime Retail (Group) Co in a bid to link more closely e-commerce and shopping at bricks-and-mortar retail stores. (http://r.reuters.com/mat97v)
* Blucora Inc is preparing an all-cash bid for Brookstone Inc that would challenge Spencer Sprit Holdings Inc's offer, which includes $120 million in cash and the assumption of Brookstone debt, among other things, according to people familiar with the matter. Spencer earlier offered to serve as the lead bidder at an auction for Brookstone, which is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection in the coming days. (http://r.reuters.com/pat97v)
* British entrepreneur Clive Cowdery plans to spend as much as $2 billion of investors' money in the United States over the next several years trying to replicate his success in scooping up life insurers in the UK. (http://r.reuters.com/tat97v)
* Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil trial against entrepreneur Sam Wyly and his deceased brother, Charles. In a 78-page complaint filed in July 2010, the agency accused the Wylys of using a web of offshore trusts to conceal more than $750 million of stock sales in companies on whose boards they sat. (http://r.reuters.com/wat97v)
* In a renewed effort to lure a bigger share of the advertising dollars that now flow to major TV networks, YouTube has told marketers it will offer audience guarantees to advertisers that make advance commitments, according to people familiar with the matter. (http://r.reuters.com/zat97v)
* The U.S. Supreme Court is wading into a messy debate over when software deserves a patent - an issue that is important to big technology companies such as Microsoft Corp and Google Inc yet has so far flummoxed the federal judiciary. The high court will hear oral arguments Monday in an appeal brought by Alice Corp, whose patents on a computer program to reduce risk in financial transactions were ruled invalid by lower courts. (http://r.reuters.com/fet97v)
 
FT
Outgoing chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, Sir Win Bischoff, calls for informal banking regulation opposed to the rule-book style of regulation followed by regulators.
UK's financial services sector is set to add up to 26,000 jobs in the year to June according to an industry survey by the CBI employers' group and PriceWaterHouseCoopers.
The Libyan Investment Authority has accused France's second-biggest bank Societe Generale of funnelling bribes worth tens of millions of dollars to associates of Saif al-Islam, the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Glencore Xstrata Plc has reached a preliminary deal for a $1 billion contract for access to railway and port facilities with Mauritania as part of its plans to expand into iron ore mining.
The London-listed telecom giant Vodafone has acquired an e-money licence to expand in Europe, with plans to launch M-Pesa in Romania, after the success of its mobile payment system in sub-Saharan Africa.
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Putin Calls Obama To "Draw Attention To Ukraine Extremists", Obama Replies With Request For Putin To Pull Out

by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2014

Moments ago the White House made a fine point of announcing that - for the first time since the Ukraine crisis erupted and led to the unanswered annexation of Crimea by Russia - Putin called the White House first to discuss what was vaguely enough described as "a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine." However a more detailed read through of what actually happened reveals that there is less here than meets the eye (as a rational person would suspect since any truly good news would have been divulged during market trading hours).

As the Kremlin's own interpretation of the call between the two leaders discloses, "Vladimir Putin drew Barack Obama’s attention to continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities and law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev with impunity."

Here, Putin undoubtedly is focusing on last night's storming of the parliament by the "Right Sector" neonazis, which initially had been insturmental in the violent Ukraine coup and have now become a huge nuisance to the acting government. Which, as we noted yesterday, meant they suddenly had become Putin's best friend. Because in bringing attention to their actions, the Kremlin makes it quite clear that the Russian case of neofascists running rampant in Kiev, was in fact at least partially accurate.

Kremlin goes on:

In light of this, the President of Russia suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilise the situation. The two presidents agreed that specific parameters for this joint work will be discussed by the Russian and US foreign ministers in the near future.

Vladimir Putin also pointed out that Transnistria is essentially experiencing a blockade, which significantly complicate the living conditions for the region’s residents, impeding their movement and normal trade and economic activities. He stressed that Russia stands for the fair and comprehensive settlement of the Transnistria conflict and hopes for effective work in the existing 5+2 negotiation format.

Simply said, Putin called Obama to make it quite clear that the Russian is nowhere close to de-escalating, and in fact is bringing even more attention to the old party line - that Russia is concerned about the living conditions of Russians and other "compatriots" in Ukraine. The implicit threat here is that should the neonazis continue to act with "rampant impunity" then Russia will have no choice but to intervene.

How about the flip side? Here is the White House's version of events from The Hill:

President Obama called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back his troops from Ukraine’s border on Friday during a phone call between the two leaders. Obama noted that the Ukrainian government has pursued “a restrained and de-escalatory approach” in the crisis, the White House said.

He urged Russia to support Ukraine’s democratic process and to "avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.” The phone call, which was initiated by Putin, comes a day after Agence France-Presse reported nearly 100,000 Russian troops had lined up along their border with Ukraine, according to a Ukrainian official.

“President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners,” the White House said in a statement.

...

Obama made it clear to Putin, the White House said, that de-escalation in the crisis can only happen if Russian pulls its troops back and doesn’t take steps “to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

During the phone call, Obama also reiterated the United States “strongly opposes” Russia’s actions, which he said violated Ukraine’s sovereignty. Obama also expressed this message to Russia in an interview that first aired on “CBS This Morning” on Friday.

Russia’s troop buildup, Obama said in the interview, “may simply be an effort to intimidate Ukraine or it may be that they've got additional plans.”

To summarize, Putin calls Obama to inform him, and thus the international community, just under what conditions Russia will continue to push on inside Ukraine - namely a real or false flag provocation by "extremists" against Russians, while Obama drones on, pun inteded, about de-escalating and threatening with "costs." Sounds about right.



 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rick Santelli & Jim Grant On Hazlitt's Timeless Wisdom



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March for Jesus Christ 2014

FOCUS ON JESUS CHRIST


Organized by the Military Brethren


In 1843 Father Pierre-Jean De Smet wrote:
"It is now about 29 years since the Indian nation of the Flat-Head acquired a slight knowledge of Christianity through the means of four poor Iroquois Indians, who wandered to the other side of the Rocky Mountains. Anxious to obtain missionaries to instruct them, they sent, about 20 years ago, a deputation of three of their chiefs to St. Louis. All three died of sickness. As their deputies did not return, they appointed five others. These were massacred in passing through the Territory of the Sioux. In 1834, a third delegation arrived; - an Iroquois accompanied its bringing his two children along through a dangerous desert of 3000 miles, for no other purpose than to get them baptized. They only met with promises, on account of the scarcity of missionaries at that time. Not dissatisfied by this new refusal, they deputed in 1839, other messengers to communicate to the bishop of St. Louis, the desire of the nation to obtain priests. I was then deputed by the bishop and my superiors to accompany the deputies on their return..."
Progress and Prospects of the Catholic Mission to the Rocky Mountains
Philadelphia
1843




To bring Christianity to the Bitterroot Valley was a struggle. To keep Christianity in the Bitterroot Valley will be a struggle.



I. Mission Statement:
Christians of the Bitterroot Valley

Walk for Jesus Christ

Holy Saturday, April 19, 2014
Starting at 6:41 am (Sunrise)
Starting point Angler's Roost Bridge
Finish in Lolo, Montana
To stand and show solidarity with Christians here and around the world.



II. Concept:
40 mile route divided into 14 checkpoints. The checkpoints are separated by three miles.
We are asking valley churches to man checkpoints, and lead the march from their checkpoint to the next checkpoint.






III. Checkpoints / Time Estimate: (Name your checkpoint after a book in the Bible), Location – Sponsor Church


*Start Point / 0645: Angler’s Roost Bridge, (At Least 2 Churches Needed) – Grantsdale Community Church, &
*CP #1 / 0745: South 1st & Baker Street in Hamilton – First Christian Church

CP #2 / 0845: Donaldson’s North Precast Gate –

*CP #3 / 0945: Alpine Granite Accent –Corvallis United Methodist Church
*CP #4 / 1045: Tucker Crossing – In One Hope Ministries

*CP #5 / 1145: 5th Avenue & Highway 93 in Victor – Bitterroot Valley Church of the Nazarene

CP #6 / 1245: Spotted Farm Paints Sign –

CP #7 / 1345: Post & Pole Sign –

CP #8 / 1445: Renaissance Fair Sign –

CP #9 / 1545: Luby Lane –

CP #10 / 1645: Heacock Avenue & Highway 93in Florence –

CP #11 / 1745: South of East Carlton Creek Road –

CP #12 / 1845: Park & Ride at Rowan Road –

End Point / 1945: School Crossing at Lolo School, (At Least 2 Churches Needed) –



IV. For more information:
Follow us on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/military-bitterroot

Follow us on Twitter:
@Walk_April_19

Our Blog:
pushbackwithprayer.blogspot.com

V. Next planning event:
March for Jesus Christ Next Planning Meeting
7:00 pm, Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Groff Room, Farmer's State Bank, Victor, Montana

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Putin Asks For, And Is Granted Permission By Parliament To Use Military In Ukraine



Progressivism as a Weapon of Mass Destruction


As the president and Secretary Kerry do their part to misdirect attention from the real issues of our time to the fake ones, the nation and the world reap the increasingly rotted fruits of progressivism. What has done more to cause destruction, poverty, disinformation, failure, and death than this cult, premised upon the false superiority of its proponents? Absolutely nothing. Economies lie in ruin, nations are at each other's throats over bailouts and citizens are pitted against one another for preferential treatment and spoils coerced from others. All while the darkness of human nature parades smugly before us calling itself "hope and change".
Progressivism is merely the current euphemism for centralized power vested in a class of people who believe their own propaganda, or know it is a lie but tell it anyway. It is not enough merely to note that it has failed every time it has been tried. It must also be said that it has done irreparable damage to humanity wherever it has been practiced. Progressivism is human vice incarnate, the indulgence and celebration of the erasure of the constraints that human experience and wisdom have devised to limit evil. The name has been changed to protect the guilty.
Historically, before the current iteration that we are witnessing in the United States, the quest by elitists for unlimited power over their fellow men, pursued initially under the guise of peaceful change, has usually progressed from societal "improvements" and the well-intended promise of social benefit, to oppression, persecution, and murder. The time line may vary, some are more sudden and violent, some more gradual and subtle, but the outcome has always been the same: the dominance of rulers over the ruled, with all rights and possessions, including life, sacrificed to appease to the insatiable hunger of a soulless state and its foolish enablers.
Along the way, what is lost is immeasurable. Human freedom, the right of each individual to live a life determined by his own needs, skills, and choices, bounded by laws which recognize the need of ethical limits on our interactions, dissolves or, more accurately, is banned. The progressive understands that the usurpation of total control cannot be achieved where humans are permitted to make informed decisions based on accurate information. Thus, it is necessary first to alter the flow and content of the information on which individuals make decisions which, in its totality, directs events that promote one outcome over another. As such, every repressive regime has depended upon disinformation, presented as "news", meant to shape opinion to favor the illusory virtues of the regime. The success of this process increases in direct proportion to the cultivated pollution of the knowledge of the people.
Because this part of the process snares the weakest and most vulnerable, whether emotional or intellectual, more drastic action is needed to defeat the rest. Those who seek or know the truth are the real enemy of any repressive state. Thus, assuming they still intend to exercise judgment, they must have their choices taken from them in the name of some greater good. Should they still demand freedom, they must be cowed, humiliated, imprisoned, and ground into the dust. To achieve this, in part, the progressive will warp and twist every established truth to make truth seem ugly and defective, under the guise of "progress".
A significant tool in this arsenal of fraud is the appeal to "science". After all, the progressive argues, "science" is independent of motives or partisan influence. Only a troglodyte disagrees with "science". The progressive needs you to believe that the science he has bought is pure and true, and is only what he says it is. Science has always been sacrificed on the altar of total power.
Beware those who speak of "settled science", and are prepared to act on that conclusion. It was settled science to some that the Jews were genetically inferior. Similarly, those who have historically favored the oppression and servitude of blacks have implicitly invoked settled science to advance the inherent lie that as a people they are genetically incapable of equality on their own, and that a paternalistic hand is necessary to compensate for their historic deficiencies. While this was done in the past to keep them in literal bondage, it is done now to keep them in philosophical bondage, dependent upon the entitlements given to them by their political keepers.
Global warming is merely the latest scientific straw man to walk the stage, dressed in invisible clothes and armed with self-righteous indignation and the power of the state. It's always about control, and is always based on lies. When people stop believing the lies progressives tell to control their choices and behavior, and refuse to grant them power in the name of false benevolence and phony virtue, the spell will be broken. Of course, this simply cannot be allowed.
The problem, as serious Americans grasp, is that there is nowhere else we can go if progressivism completely destroys freedom here. The rest of the world has already succumbed. For generations, others have fled here when like-minded zealots destroyed their countries, because this was someplace else to go, a haven of freedom left on Earth in which a person could not only survive, but advance, on hard work and merit. Now, many of them voice their fear that this magnificent country to which they have fled is becoming increasingly familiar to what they left behind. There is no place left like the United States as it was before the cancer of progressivism.
Progressives intend that the "land of opportunity" shall become the land of servitude. With their backs against the last wall, threatened with mass destruction of all they know and love, some citizens will surrender to the inevitability of serfdom that progressives have always planned for them, despite the evidence and lessons of history. Others, Americans who recognize the danger and cherish what is threatened and will not be regained, will defend themselves, their families and their future. Before 2008, not many of us ever thought we'd have to confront that choice in our lifetimes. Now, only a few short years later, it is on our doorstep.

Look what has already been lost because we have failed thus far to defuse the destructive power of progressivism, and the historic malice or complicity of its proponents, both left and right. The hour is late and the opportunities are shrinking rapidly. It is our time to defeat progressivism, or it will surely destroy all we hold dear as free Americans.

As the president and Secretary Kerry do their part to misdirect attention from the real issues of our time to the fake ones, the nation and the world reap the increasingly rotted fruits of progressivism. What has done more to cause destruction, poverty, disinformation, failure, and death than this cult, premised upon the false superiority of its proponents? Absolutely nothing. Economies lie in ruin, nations are at each other's throats over bailouts and citizens are pitted against one another for preferential treatment and spoils coerced from others. All while the darkness of human nature parades smugly before us calling itself "hope and change".
Progressivism is merely the current euphemism for centralized power vested in a class of people who believe their own propaganda, or know it is a lie but tell it anyway. It is not enough merely to note that it has failed every time it has been tried. It must also be said that it has done irreparable damage to humanity wherever it has been practiced. Progressivism is human vice incarnate, the indulgence and celebration of the erasure of the constraints that human experience and wisdom have devised to limit evil. The name has been changed to protect the guilty.
Historically, before the current iteration that we are witnessing in the United States, the quest by elitists for unlimited power over their fellow men, pursued initially under the guise of peaceful change, has usually progressed from societal "improvements" and the well-intended promise of social benefit, to oppression, persecution, and murder. The time line may vary, some are more sudden and violent, some more gradual and subtle, but the outcome has always been the same: the dominance of rulers over the ruled, with all rights and possessions, including life, sacrificed to appease to the insatiable hunger of a soulless state and its foolish enablers.
Along the way, what is lost is immeasurable. Human freedom, the right of each individual to live a life determined by his own needs, skills, and choices, bounded by laws which recognize the need of ethical limits on our interactions, dissolves or, more accurately, is banned. The progressive understands that the usurpation of total control cannot be achieved where humans are permitted to make informed decisions based on accurate information. Thus, it is necessary first to alter the flow and content of the information on which individuals make decisions which, in its totality, directs events that promote one outcome over another. As such, every repressive regime has depended upon disinformation, presented as "news", meant to shape opinion to favor the illusory virtues of the regime. The success of this process increases in direct proportion to the cultivated pollution of the knowledge of the people.
Because this part of the process snares the weakest and most vulnerable, whether emotional or intellectual, more drastic action is needed to defeat the rest. Those who seek or know the truth are the real enemy of any repressive state. Thus, assuming they still intend to exercise judgment, they must have their choices taken from them in the name of some greater good. Should they still demand freedom, they must be cowed, humiliated, imprisoned, and ground into the dust. To achieve this, in part, the progressive will warp and twist every established truth to make truth seem ugly and defective, under the guise of "progress".
A significant tool in this arsenal of fraud is the appeal to "science". After all, the progressive argues, "science" is independent of motives or partisan influence. Only a troglodyte disagrees with "science". The progressive needs you to believe that the science he has bought is pure and true, and is only what he says it is. Science has always been sacrificed on the altar of total power.
Beware those who speak of "settled science", and are prepared to act on that conclusion. It was settled science to some that the Jews were genetically inferior. Similarly, those who have historically favored the oppression and servitude of blacks have implicitly invoked settled science to advance the inherent lie that as a people they are genetically incapable of equality on their own, and that a paternalistic hand is necessary to compensate for their historic deficiencies. While this was done in the past to keep them in literal bondage, it is done now to keep them in philosophical bondage, dependent upon the entitlements given to them by their political keepers.
Global warming is merely the latest scientific straw man to walk the stage, dressed in invisible clothes and armed with self-righteous indignation and the power of the state. It's always about control, and is always based on lies. When people stop believing the lies progressives tell to control their choices and behavior, and refuse to grant them power in the name of false benevolence and phony virtue, the spell will be broken. Of course, this simply cannot be allowed.
The problem, as serious Americans grasp, is that there is nowhere else we can go if progressivism completely destroys freedom here. The rest of the world has already succumbed. For generations, others have fled here when like-minded zealots destroyed their countries, because this was someplace else to go, a haven of freedom left on Earth in which a person could not only survive, but advance, on hard work and merit. Now, many of them voice their fear that this magnificent country to which they have fled is becoming increasingly familiar to what they left behind. There is no place left like the United States as it was before the cancer of progressivism.
Progressives intend that the "land of opportunity" shall become the land of servitude. With their backs against the last wall, threatened with mass destruction of all they know and love, some citizens will surrender to the inevitability of serfdom that progressives have always planned for them, despite the evidence and lessons of history. Others, Americans who recognize the danger and cherish what is threatened and will not be regained, will defend themselves, their families and their future. Before 2008, not many of us ever thought we'd have to confront that choice in our lifetimes. Now, only a few short years later, it is on our doorstep.

Look what has already been lost because we have failed thus far to defuse the destructive power of progressivism, and the historic malice or complicity of its proponents, both left and right. The hour is late and the opportunities are shrinking rapidly. It is our time to defeat progressivism, or it will surely destroy all we hold dear as free Americans.