Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Curious News Items ( December 10 , 2014 ) - Update for 12/11/14 : What Do They Know? CME Implements Copper , Gold, Precious Metals Circuit Breakers Up To $400 Wide ( Effective as of 12/21/14 ) ......... US Treasury issuing Survival Kits For its Employees ...... Ukraine Government slashing and burning its public sector ( even as it admits it needs billions more in bailout monies - so that it can buy natural gas , coal and electricity from their Russian enemies ) ..... Venezuela edges closer to default ..... ECB's Draghi in check or checkmate regarding QE ......President Obama seeks unlimited war powers allegedly to fight ISIS ..... Greece slip sliding away - once again......Michael Scheuer defends torture program he designed for the CIA ( separated from birth from actor in Bourne Ultimatum ) .... More Fukushima nuclear disaster to chew on !

Odd tidings .....


-7.92%! Athens Stock Exchange in free fall after PM’s fearmongering speech

Posted by  in EconomyPolitics
I suppose Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had a noble cause when he arranged that his speech to the parliamentary group of Nea Dimokratia should be live on television. The plan backfired. The PM mainly and fiercely attacked left-wing SYRIZA “for bringing back Grexit fears”and had stock marketers sell off even […]
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OMG! Look what will happen if SYRIZA takes over the power…

Posted by  in Politics
OMG! Look at this horror scenario if the Greek Parliament will not elect the President, snap elections will take place and left-wing SYRIZA, “the communist dragon”, “the scare of markets”, “the euro destroyer”, “the Doomsday warrior” will climb to Greek government seats. Ετσι θα είναι η Κηφισίας αν βγει ο […]
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Updates 12/11/14.....

Tyler Durden's picture

What Do They Know? CME Implements Gold, Precious Metals Circuit Breakers Up To $400 Wide

With memorandum S-7258, titled "Implementation of New NYMEX/COMEX Rule Regarding Special Price Fluctuation Limits for Certain NYMEX and COMEX Metals Futures and Options Contracts" released moments ago by the CME Group, and set to become effective on December 21, 2014, and which seeks a 5 minute trading halt when "price movements in lead-month primary futures contracts result in triggering events"...  "as a measure that is consistent with promoting price discovery and cash-futures price convergence" in order to "deter sharp price movements that may, for example, be driven by illiquid central limit order books prevailing from time to time in otherwise liquid markets", one wonders why now, and what does the CME know about upcoming volatility, or lack of liquidity, in the precious metals space that nobody else does (and does any of this have to do with the "berserk" algo test from November 25?)?

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WTI Crude Crashes Into The $50s

UPDATE: WTI just traded with a $58 handle
Zee overnight stabilitee (and brief dead-cat-bounce this morning) has turned into a renewed bout of selling pressure and for the first time since July 2009, WTI has broken below the $60 level. Canada Heavy is trading $42.10 (down almst $4 today!), its lowest since April 2009. As Deutsche Bank warned last montha drop in the oil price to $60 a barrel "is likely to push the whole HY energy sector into distress," and sure enough - Energy credit spreads are wider once again, now at +952bps.

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Norway Central Bank, Slammed By Oil Plunge, Warns Of "Severe Downturn", Unexpectedly Cuts Rates

New oil projects are being scrapped in Norway amid falling production and low oil prices. The governor of Norway’s central bank says western Europe’s biggest oil producer is facing a major economic slowdown as crude prices continue to plunge. As Bloomberg reports, Oeystein Olsen said today after unexpectedly cutting rates and shocking markets to a new 5 year low in NOKEUR, "our job now is that we need to prevent a severe downturn in the economy... that is presently the major concern of the board."

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Greek Stocks Crash, Default Risk Spikes After PM GREXIT Comments

Just 2 short months ago we noted S&P's warning that Greece will default again within 15 monthsand following comments by Prime Minister Samaras that the market's drop is due to fear that Syriza will win an early election and seek a Greek exit from the Euro. Pressuring parliamentarians and the public alike, he stated "the choice is simple," warning that Greek financing needs are only covered through the end of February without further aid from the EU (but we thought they were 'recovered'). Greek stocks have crashed further, Greek default risk has spiked, and 3Y bond yields are now well north of 10% (138bps inverted to 10Y).

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Why Is The US Treasury Quietly Ordering "Survival Kits" For US Bankers?

The Department of Treasury is spending $200,000 on survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation. As FreeBeacon reportssurvival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States and includes a solar blanket, food bar, water-purification tablets, and dust mask (among other things). The question, obviously, is just what do they know that the rest of us don't ?


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Leaked Document: Ukraine's Government Set To Eliminate... Everything

In reality, bureaucrats and politicians who produce nothing of value parasitically choke off the productive class through onerous taxation and regulation. This cannot last forever, because at some point they will have no hosts left to feed off of. Ukraine is the perfect example of this right now. In a leaked version of a new budget proposal (in Ukrainian), we are seeing the drastic extent to which bankrupt governments feed on their hosts.

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Venezuela Default Probability Has Never Been Higher; Maduro "Working To Raise Oil Prices"

With OPEC slashing demand expectations to 12 year lows, oil prices have re-cratered today putting further pressure on socialist-utopia Venezuala which needs $121/bbl to break-even. Credit risk for the South American nation has exploded today to record highs - implying a 93% probability of default and President Maduro has taken to the airwaves to calm a benefit-needy nation... tensions are mounting...

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European QE Postponed Indefinitely? Leaked EU Draft Shows "Lack Of Political Cover" For Draghi

Today things for the former Goldman banker went from bad to worse, when as the FT reports, the ECB lost its "normal political cover" to make a bold decision, in fact the boldest decision in the ECB's history: one which could lead to a political and legal retaliation by Germany itself. The reason, as FT's Peter Spiegel explains, is that unlike previously when EU summits resulted in "greenlighting" blueprints which, if only on paper, enabled Draghi to proceed unconstrained, this time there was no such blank checkcompact. The bottom line, as Spiegel concludes, is that "Draghi won’t have the normal political cover he needs to make a bold decision early next year – a problem only compounded by the European Commission’s decision last month to put off the day of reckoning for France and Italy over whether they will face sanctions for failing to live up to the EU’s crisis-era budget rules."


But during a heated debate, the top US diplomat came under fire from Republicans and Democrats who argued that if President Barack Obama wanted new powers to combat the militants, he should have drawn up a draft text to propose to the Senate. The US-led coalition has already carried out some 1,100 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq since September targeting IS extremists in a bid to defeat the group which has seized a large territory and imposed harsh Islamic law.
So far, the Obama administration has used the existing authorisation for use of military force against Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and their branches approved in the days after the September 11, 2001 attacks as the legal justification for going after IS. Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations committee: "I think we all agree that this discussion must conclude with a bipartisan vote that makes clear that this is not one party's fight against ISIL (IS), but rather that it reflects our unified determination to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL."
"Our coalition partners need to know it. The men and women of our armed forces need to know it. And ISIL's cadres of killers, rapists, and bigots need to understand it."
He asked the committee to help draw up a new authorisation which "provides a clear signal of support for our ongoing military operations against ISIL," referring to the group by another acronym. Kerry also urged that the text should not limit US actions geographically to just Syria and Iraq, and suggested it should be valid for three years with room for a possible extension.

READ MORE... 15_Billion_to_Avert_Financial_Collapse _Report


Maxim Shemetov / ReutersRepairmen work to repair the electricity network after what locals say was a night shelling in Donetsk on Dec. 9, 2014.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Western governments that war-weary Ukraine will need an extra $15 billion in aid over the coming weeks to avert financial collapse, the Financial Times reported.
This massive infusion would come on top of a $17 billion IMF bailout announced in April, which was intended to suffice until 2016. The earlier bailout was worth nearly 10 percent of Ukraine's total 2013 GDP of $177 billion, according to the World Bank.
Ukraine's economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius on Wednesday pleaded for increased support: "We want to expand the program given the difficult situation. Calculations are being made," Abromavicius said at a briefing, adding that it was too early to say how much extra cash would be needed.
Unidentified people with knowledge of the IMF's warning told the Financial Times that a 7 percent contraction in Ukraine's economy, which has drained Central Bank reserves and spawned torrential capital outflows, is to blame for the country's yawning fiscal gap.
Falling exports to Russia, previously Ukraine's largest trading partner, have also aggravated the situation, they said.
Ukraine is struggling to finance a war against Russia-backed separatists in its eastern regions, which has continued sporadically despite a cease-fire declared in September. These areas — Ukraine's industrial heartlands — previously provided almost 16 percent of the country's total economic output.
Unless it receives the extra cash, Kiev will be forced to seriously cut government spending or default on its debts, the report said.
Unidentified Western officials told the Financial Times that there is little support for handing over such a large sum to Ukraine, which has been accused of dragging its feet on promised administrative and economic reforms.

Material from Reuters is included in this report.

PM says leftists causing ‘terror’ for investors, forcing polls

 Prime Minister Antonis Samaras delivers a speech during an event of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship in Athens on Wednesday.
Following another troubling day on the markets, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras accused SYRIZA on Wednesday of provoking “terror” among investors and insisted that Greeks do not want early elections, which will prompt voters to punish the leftist party if it forces snap polls to be held.
“We do not have to say anything; the terror they cause speaks for itself,” Samaras said during a speech at a trade conference in Athens after the local bourse shed another percentage point on Wednesday following a much bigger drop on Tuesday.
“They are trying to interrupt the country’s progress with the threat of early elections, using the presidential election as their vehicle and thereby going against the Constitution’s spirit,” he said. “Some people have been creating concern abroad about political instability and uncertainty.”
Samaras insisted that the majority of Greeks want a president to be elected by Parliament and do not want snap elections.
“Citizens do not want elections and markets do not want elections,” he said.
Samaras and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will cross swords one final time ahead of the first ballot on December 17, when they are both due to speak in Parliament a day earlier.
Speaking at a meeting of SYRIZA’s political secretariat, Tsipras expressed certainty that the government’s candidate for president, Stavros Dimas, would not be elected in any of the three upcoming ballots. Dimas needs to attract 200 or more votes in the first two rounds and 180 in the final ballot to be elected.
Sources told Kathimerini on Wednesday that the government hopes that in the first round of voting it will improve on its 155 seats and that there will be enough blank votes or abstentions to suggest that a victory in the final ballot on December 29 will be possible.
In Brussels, a European Commission spokeswoman welcomed the choice of Dimas as Greece’s presidential candidate.
“The selection of Stavros Dimas sends a strong message to Europe as he is a former commissioner and a committed European,” said Annika Breidthardt. , Wednesday December 10, 2014 (20:12)

Halandri, Zografou mayors face disobedience, breach of duty charges

 Halandri Mayor Simos Roussos speaks to the press in an undated file photo.
An Athens prosecutor on Wednesday filed charges against two mayors who are refusing to cooperate with the government in its efforts to check civil servants’ employment contracts.
The mayors of Halandri, Simos Roussos, and Zografou, Tina Kafatsaki, have both refused to cooperate with the Administrative Reform Ministry over civil servants’ evaluation and checks on employees whose fixed-term contracts were made permanent almost a decade ago.
They have been charged with disobedience and breach of duty, both of which are misdemeanors.
Three other mayors, those of Larissa, Patra and Rendi-Nikaia, may also be charged. , Wednesday December 10, 2014 (19:32)

TIMETABLE: Next steps to presidential elections and beyond

After Greece’s government announced that it would start the process of electing a new president early, here’s what the constitution says about what comes next:

DECEMBER 17: Parliament’s 300 lawmakers hold the first of three possible votes to appoint the head of state. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition needs a two-thirds supermajority -- equivalent to 200lawmakers -- for its candidate, Stavros Dimas, to be elected. It has 155 lawmakers in its bloc. If it fails to do so, a second round must be held after five days.

* All parties have the right to nominate a presidential candidate. The nominee can change during the election process.

DECEMBER 23: The coalition gets a second shot at electing the president, again with the threshold set at 200 votes. If it fails, a third and final round of voting is held after five days.

* Dec. 29: This is when things get serious. Samaras’s coalition has a last chance to elect Dimas as president, and this time the required supermajority drops to 180 lawmakers. If the government still cannot muster the support needed, parliament must be dissolved and elections called within the next 10 days. The vote must then be held within 21 days of the date elections are called.

JANUARY 25: By convention, the parliamentary election is held on a Sunday, meaning this is the first realistic date for the vote. Feb. 1 is also a possibility.

* Thereafter: If the party that places first has a majority, the leader gets a mandate to form a cabinet which is sworn in on the third day after elections. If there’s no clear majority, the president hands the mandate to the leader of the party with the most votes to form a government in three days and put it to parliament for approval. Failure to form a workable coalition means the mandate passes to the second-placed party and then the third-placed party, each of which has three days. If, as happened in 2012, each party fails to form a government with parliamentary support, they meet with the president to try and form a coalition. If that fails, we go to new elections.

FEBRUARY 28: Greece’s two-month bailout extension expires, potentially leaving the country without a financial lifeline or access to the bond markets.

[Bloomberg] , Wednesday December 10, 2014 (12:06) 


Venezuela weighs request for OPEC emergency meeting

Maduro: What does the US Senate think it is to pass sanctions on Venezuela?

 Tore retweeted
Watch: Former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer aggressively defends torture programme he designed

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