Saturday, March 4, 2017

Economic News , Data & Views......March 4 , 2017.....Quick Hits For Saturday 1) Europe In Focus : UK Updates - Brexit / EU Exit Updates , Additional Items Of Note ; France Presidential Election Updates - Fillon Fights For His Political Life With Hail Mary Sunday Rally In Paris , Le Pen Battles EU / EP Regarding Misusing EU Fund Probe & Posting Actual ISIS Murder Photos , Macron Takes Advantage Of Fillon & Le Pen Controversies To Consolidate His Polling Status ; Netherlands Election Updates ; Greece Updates - Greece Talks With Its Creditors Continue today , Greece Data Of Note Courtesy Of Manos Giakoumis ; Polling Data ( Spain , Germany , Netherlands , Italy ) & Northern Ireland Election Results. 2) US Politics : Trump Tweet-storm From Earlier Today On Obama Tapping His Phones , Responses From Ben Rhodes , Additional Related Items ; Actual US Political News To Consider - Domestic & International. 3) Odds & Ends - North & South Korea News , Iraq / Syria / Libya Updates.



Telegraph echoes early reporting from The Times ....

Diane James on a roll....

MEP Diane James asks a simple and basic question - " Put it another way, could we have our money back please ? ”

And these are the savage cuts being made to by the bloody Tories.

Boris accepts Russian invitation to Moscow. First visit by UK minister in 5 years. "Guarded engagement" he says, not a reset of relations.

My advice to Boris, under no circumstances accept any party invitations from girls in the hotel - no matter how cracking looking.

Blair wants new coalition to keep Britain in Europe


Only personalities coming out in favour of Fillon now are handful of his businessmen friends (i.e., not worrying about political career...)

Fillon's castle in western France raided today. Follows radio of Fillon home in Paris earlier this week.

"But I'll believe it when I hear it," former Fillon associate says

Fillon campaign update from Vincenzo Scarpetta. If you are following the French Presidential Campaign , you should read this.

Fillon staging mass rally of supporters opposite Eiffel Tower tomorrow night. If numbers poor, could be gone by Monday morning. Juppe awaits

French centre-right presidential candidate Fillon now deserted by >60 Republican aides + MPs and allied UDI (28 MPs) party

in 2016: "No excuse for those who think the law of the streets > the Republic." Tomorrow, he marches against France's justice system

Francois Fillon's presidential campaign unravels as key supporters desert him, including, this morning, his chief spokesman.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen refused to attend a summons by judges over allegations of misusing EU funds

France's Le Pen loses ground in poll after state employee comments

Macron cements lead in French presidential race; Fillon crisis deepens

| Macron Overtakes Le Pen in France as Juppe Looms Over Fillon Bid - Bloomberg

France, BVA poll: Le Pen (FN-ENF): 26% ↑ Macron (EM-NI): 24% ↑ Fillon (LR-EPP): 19% ↓ Hamon (PS-S&D): 16% ↓...

France: (FN-ENF) and (EM-*) are fighting for the first place in first round. Other major candidates lose support (BVA poll).


FT covers Dutch Elections....

Thoughtful note from Pieter Cleppe on upcoming Dutch Elections !

Dutch elections: Wilders' Party for Freedom slides in opinion polls possible coalition scenarios are multiplying

Greece Updates.....

Labour Ministry says pending (from 2013) of 95,000 (vs 160,000 two years ago) will be processed by Oct 2017.

Excerpt from BoG governor presentation on change in cyclically-adj prim balance 2009-2016, acc to forecasts

Smoother interest burden and lower primary surpluses ensure debt sustainability acc to Bank of study, Stournaras in

We are in a trajectory of convergence [with institutions] on programme, government spokesman says in an interview.

After a break on Fri, discussions between gov't & institutions' mission chiefs resume on Sat at noon, fiscal issue in focus

Meeting of gov't with institutions' mission chiefs on fiscal issues on Mar 4 at noon, according to MoF sources.

Election Polling Data....

Spain, Invymark poll: PP-EPP: 33% UP-LEFT: 22% PSOE-S&D: 21% C's-ALDE: 13%

Germany, Civey poll: CDU/CSU-EPP: 33% SPD-S&D: 32% AfD-ENF: 10% LINKE-LEFT: 8% ↑ GRÜNE-G/EFA: 7% FDP-ALDE: 7%

Netherlands, Liss poll: VVD-ALDE: 17% PVV-ENF: 14% ↓ D66-ALDE: 12% CDA-EPP: 10% SP-LEFT: 11% ↑ GL-GREEN: 10%...

Netherlands, Liss poll: VVD-ALDE: 17% PVV-ENF: 15% D66-ALDE: 12% CDA-EPP: 10% SP-LEFT: 11% ↑ GL-GREEN: 10% ↓...

Netherlands, poll: PVV-ENF: 17% ↓ VVD-ALDE: 16% CDA-EPP: 14% ↑ GL-GREEN: 11% ↓ D66-ALDE: 11% ↑ PvdA-S&D:...

UK (Northern Ireland): Seats 2017 Pro-Westminster: 40 Pro-Irish Unification + Non-Sectarian, but Pro-EU: 40 + 10

UK (Northern Ireland): Full election results

UK (Northern Ireland): Historically the best election result for left-wing, pro EU, pro Irish unification party SF: 27.9%.

UK (Northern Ireland): Worst election result for Socialist SDLP (S&D) in the history of the party: 11.9%.

Italy, Ixé poll: PD-S&D: 27% ↓ M5S-EFDD: 27% LN-ENF: 13% FI-EPP: 13% FdI-EPP: 5% DP-*: 3% ↑ SI-LEFT: 3% ↓ AP-EPP: 3%

US Politics.....

Trump lawyers get 2-week extension in travel ban lawsuit

Trump expected to sign new executive order on travel ban on Monday

Not sure why AP refused to redact the email address of Mrs. Pence-what value did that bring to the story , as compared with potential harm ?

Updated sked: Trump having a NSC mtg today then meeting with Sessions and Kelly; then dinner w/Ross, Sessions, Kelly, Miller, McGahn, Bannon

. reports Trump went “ballistic” in Oval on Friday at Reince, Bannon, Spicer, Jared, Ivanka, McGahn, Dubke

Spokesman: Neither President Obama nor any other WH official ever ordered wiretapping of any U.S citizen

Graham: "I'm very worried" about Trump's wiretapping claims

Trump’s advisers push him to purge Obama appointees

1 hour ago
Trump now at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm. After morning of fuming about tapped phones his golf partners likely to get earful.


What a surprise.

No. They couldn't. Only a liar could do that.

Dear Pundits who lauded his speech. Is it still "presidential" to call your dignified predecessor "Bad (or sick) guy!"

No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.

Trump, at Mar-a-Lago, is clearly thinking about what intel community might have overheard via bugs.

This seems to be what Trump is talking about.

Recall that the existence of wiretaps (not ordered by Obama) was first reported on eve of inauguration

Actual US Political News....

Report: Trump furious over Sessions recusal

NEW: Democrats try new tactic to get Trump's tax returns

Ethics office clears Trump's pick for Securities and Exchange Commission: report

Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley rejects request for AG Sessions to explain prior statements at his confirmation hearing.

Paul Ryan slams Rand Paul for “publicity stunt” search for ObamaCare bill

Tillerson pushes back on White House’s proposed cuts to State Department and USAID

The Democratic Party is facing a demographic crisis

As Venezuela runs out of cash, Maduro continues to blame U.S. sabotage

Merkel plans US meeting with Trump in mid-March

German President 'very worried' about Trump and US-EU legacy

Odds & Ends......

North & South Korea News.....


North Korea Ambassador deemed " persona non grata " , expected to leave Malaysia within 48 hours.

Decision from the Constitution Court due during March....

So, now paranoid North Korea ( which believes the US is out to get them anyway ) , has proof the US is out to get them.


Jordan executes 15 this morning. First executions is 2 years. Largest mass execution in 11 years. One question on the executions - why now ?


( Inverse chronological order to get sense of murkiness )

Early morning airstrikes conducted by against in . LNA withdrew from RasLanouf yesterday after BDB huge advances

Unconfirmed pictures showing aftermath of alleged LNA *airstrikes* against a medical center used by SDB in Ras Lanuf city.

Libyan armed faction entered Es Sider oil port, airport at Ras Lanuf after clashes - officials, residents - Reuters…

East Libyan forces target rival brigades with air strikes around oil ports

Libyan oil source says as of last night militias had not captured oil ports but have taken nearby residential complexes.

as ever, situation is fast-moving and fighting continuing today.

Airstrikes reported by pro-LNA accounts near the harbor gate of As Sidr. Reports, also, about an important number of LNA forces in Brega.

Yesterday according to reports 16 LNA fighters were killed, 3 were killed today so far. No reliable sources about SDB and allies casualties.

The BDB retreating after a night of airstrikes from the LNA's Air Force. BDB cannot maintain control over the oil crescent area.

1 hour ago
LNA AF targeted SDB and allies near the desalination plant in Ras Lanuf and it seems that an offensive has been launched to retake the city.

1 hour ago
NOC condemns the *raid* inside the HQ in Tripoli by a group loyal to NSG / Ghwell. بيـــــــــــــــــــــان

Libya state oil company reviewing schedules to keep tankers away from conflict ports (Reuters)

NOC building in stormed/attacked by forces loyal to Salvation Gov ( Ghwell). This comes after BDB attack on oil crescent.

Benghazi Defense Brigades along with some PFG elements led by Jathran & other Islamist brigades among attackers of oil terminals.

NOC's Sanallah condemns attack on NOC building by forces loyal to Salvation Gov (Ghwell) in the capital .

Mufti/BDB doing their best to drag into a war with LNA/East - It's their best case scenario. Some in helping with that.

There are reports released by local witnesses regarding the arrival of an armed convoy, number of vehicles unknown, near the city of Hun.

Last night, renewed airstrikes carried out by LNA against Saraya Defend Benghazi and allies near Ras Lanuf and As Sidr according to reports.

Russia tells Libya's GNA Prime Minister to hold inclusive national dialogue…


1 hour ago
NEW MAP: Once again huge advances vs. in eastern . Government forces are approaching lake (approx. 16 km).

16 yrs after 9/11, U.S. guns still falling in hands of AlQaeda. TOW launched by Hay'at Tahrir al Sham in province at Assad forces.

All kind of groups controlled Manbij in last 6yrs. FSA, ISIS, SDF &soon maybe regime. "Most people will just go with the flow," source says.

Source adds many in city ok with giving Manbij to regime. People tired of fighting. Some scared regime punishes them for joining revolution.

I'm here with a tribal source from Manbij. He tells me Manbij city will also be handed to regime soon. And government offices will open too.


Updated sked: Trump having a NSC mtg today then meeting with Sessions and Kelly; then dinner w/Ross, Sessions, Kelly, Miller, McGahn, Bannon

Chemical weapons used in Mosul ? Second incident reported of ISIS using some form of CW...

At least 40 Islamic State fighters killed in air strike in Mosul.

. has taken this deliberate action to reassure Coaltion mbrs & partner forces, deter aggression and keep focus on defeating

Too many people are barefoot leaving . Terrible situation in the rain. .

10/17/16-2/28/17 6,993 reported killed 22,168 wounded in Ninewa from Mosul campaign

18 children die of malnutrition in according to , an account that has continuously reported on the situation inside.

Worth following this thread for updates from Sinjar mountain, the traditional homeland of the Yazidi people. Clashes with Peshmarga today:

23. Let me leave you with a happy image. 2.5 hours from Mosul in northern Iraq, I bumped into this wedding. (It's not all war here)