Over a year ago, Argentus Maximus started a thread entitled ‘The setup for the big trade’. Besides wishing I had acted on his observations on PM prices, these passages stuck with me from his first weeks of writing:
“Now an interesting item for discussion right now is what fundamental news is being prepared to make the markets jump next week.
It may sound crazy, but I expect some or all of the following to tick a few boxes : invasion of a country, assassination or death of political leaders, corporate leadership resignation, rise of new parties, natural disaster events, mass public protest on the streets to demand political-social change, fall of a power. You know, the sort of random significant events the average person could never predict, and the markets will have to revalue prices violently when said information comes out ......... off the charts, ... soon to be on the charts!”
“Now if anybody thinks we are getting average daily news items this week, I will not try to differ with them, as this is an admittedly subjective side to what I do, but just allow the rest of this week bring us whatever it will.”
It seems his observations hold just as true now, if not more so. To be honest, I am having trouble keeping all of the global, regional and nation-level geopolitical developments all in frame as a single interconnected whole – there are simply too many simultaneous events. It certainly feels like the time remaining on the clock is rapidly running out for at least one of the players, and the little buttons on top are getting whacked at an ever more furious pace.
So below is a little collection of (un)connected news items from the last few weeks. Along with the ongoing/escalating situation in Ukraine, the soon-to-emerge results of the Indian elections, the recent reelection of a decidedly anti-IMF, cool-towards-EU government in Hungary, the first frenzied, now sidelined MH370 story, there is certainly a lot going on out there. A lot of expensive lead crystal balls in the air at the moment.
Kyrgyzstan's leader accepts government's resignation
"The prime minister holds extensive executive powers in Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous country that neighbors China and lies on a drug trafficking route out of Afghanistan."
Funny that Reuters would choose THESE specific national characteristics to highlight the essence of the country. One also wonders who selected the successor cabinet and head of government.
Kazakhstan prime minister Akhmetov resigns
“His successor will face a major task of preparing Kazakhstan's integration into the Eurasian Economic Union which will unite Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. The union, to be formed by 2015, is widely seen as a regional counterbalance to the European Union.
Kazakhstan is the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia.” <-- 'Nuff said
Dreams dashed... or simply a ride into the sunset with a saddlebag so large and heavy that requires a robotic steed to carry all that weight?
"The existence of a probe surrounding JPMorgan’s role in the energy market has been known since August, when it was reported by several news organizations, including Bloomberg News, and subsequently disclosed by the New York-based bank. What wasn’t known was prosecutors’ interest in Masters. "
But perhaps Ruprecht will still join her in (a now slightly destabilized) Caracas to wade knee-deep as she considers her career options.
I don't want to get Turd in trouble, but could he have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of PM advocates worldwide in a bid to single-handedly free the markets from manipulation?
(h/t to Pining, of course, for this skillful bit of photojournalism)
“She informed “us of her intention to leave the firm, take some well-deserved time off and consider future opportunities,” Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and investment-banking head Daniel Pinto said in a memo on April 2.”
One half of the dynamic duo managing the largest ponzi coupon... err... I mean bond funds has left the building, leaving a visibly irate (to say the least) Mr. Gross.
"In an internal memo to employees in January, El-Erian said he was looking forward to something different and had no plans as of then. He plans to write a book about the rise and fall of central banks, a person familiar with the matter said on March 31. "
In a single-story dwelling, with no hot tubs or nailguns, I hope.
April 8, 2014
Apparently a nasty (?) computer/connectivitybug is going around, and someone seems to want to make sure to raise concerns over the security of financial institutions specifically, and all internet users in general:
Heartbeat Heartbleed Bug Breaks Worldwide Internet Security Again
U.S. Regulators Warn Banks About Heartbleed Bug
NSA Abused Heartbleed Bug For Years, Left Consumers Exposed To Attack (ZH)
Image cannot be displayed Image cannot be displayedKathleen Sibelius is apparently leaving... perhaps to also reflect, and consider future career options. Perhaps write a book on the rise and fall of central planning...
...to be replaced by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, current director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sylvia gave the order to shut down the federal government in a budget dispute with republicans in October. She seems like a charming and competent administrator, I'm sure she'll make everything all better.
Apparently, jail is only for 'little people':
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Italian Court Weighs Community Service for Berlusconi
"Mr. Berlusconi, 77, had originally been sentenced to four years in prison, but that was reduced to one year under a law aimed at controlling prison overcrowding. Because of his age, he is unlikely to face any time behind bars. Instead, the court may choose to place him under house arrest or allow him to do community service, as his legal team has requested."
And the rich keep getting richer...
Strauss-Kahn Seeks to Start $2 Billion Hedge Fund
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Just because one is framed for something does not necessarily mean they are not guilty...
I am pretty sure this gentleman has learned some valuable lessons on the value of allegiances and the cost of enemies over the last few years. There is also a high likelyhood that his fortune was amassed with the tacit toleration (if not blessing) of the larger, more powerful benefactors who supported Yanukovych's regime.
This guy certainly appears a little less confident than he was just 6 months ago…
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The example set by Khodorkovsky and other fallen oligarchs further to the east did not go unnoticed, surely. The idea seems tempting that the jailed Russian tycoon was set free in part to deliver an ultimatum to his expatriate and satellite-country colleagues. The newly freed, significantly less rich (but still breathing) ex-oligarch certainly settled in a central location that many people of many different backgrounds visit:
Mikhail Khodorkovsky granted residency in Switzerland
One would think that with Berezovsky and Litvinenko serving as examples, oligarchs would wise up, and not do things like "lambasting Moscow's interference in Ukraine." Or if they do, one might wonder if it's not at the behest of the stage manager with a passion for hunting and gold bars.
I mean for crying out loud, even Dave is leaving?
Stephen Colbert says he has 'huge shoes to fill' replacing Letterman
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