Sanctioned Russian Bank Shuts US Accounts To “Protect” Russian Clients

The sanctioned Russian bank – Bank Rossiya – is “taking measures to protect its Russian clients” from potentially unfair actions by US banks by shutting correspondence accounts in the US. Furthermore, the bank, which is oh so grateful for the support of Vladimir Putin (who opened a personal account with the bank soon after the sanctions), added it will meet all obligations and will not need additional support as will concentrate only on its Russian clients and work only in Rubles.




In order to protect customers from fraud Bank foreign financial institutions AB “RUSSIA” decided to work exclusively on the domestic market and only one currency – the national currency of the Russian Federation – the ruble.

In this regard, a number of U.S. banks sent notification of the closure of correspondent accounts. In the near future similar notice will be sent to other foreign financial institutions. These changes in the Bank’s work will not affect the implementation of the obligations of the Bank before its clients and partners.

All obligations of the Bank will perform on time and in full. Bank’s activities are not in need of financial support, including from the state regulator.

AB “RUSSIA” will take part in the development and implementation of the national payment system and its activities will be focused exclusively by national rating agencies.

AB “RUSSIA” expresses sincere gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation and the Russian citizens for the Bank’s credibility.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

UMich Confidence Drops To 4-Month Lows, Biggest Miss Since October

While the government’s survey of consumer confidence saw new cycle highs – progressing the multiple expansion dream – the University of Michigan (private) survey has been falling for 3 months and is now at its lowest since November. Both current conditions (reality) and expectations (hope) missed expectations (overall index missed by the most in 5 months) but “hope” did rise modestly from 69.4 to 70.0. Must have been a ‘winter stormy’ week when UMich surveyed consumers…



via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Vid: Kim Jong Il Unmasked – Michael Malice’s Unauthorized Autobiography of North Korea’s Supreme Leader

Kim Jong Il, who was the supreme leader of North Korea until his
death in 2011, was a leading authority on gymnastics, cinema,
literature, war, cooking, and the arts. He wrote 1,400 works when
he was in college, including a senior thesis that was an
achievement comparable to Columbus’ discovery of America. He
revolutionized the opera, personally discovered that Paleolithic
man originated on the Korean Peninsula, and came up with a theory
of art that was as impactful on modern culture as the Copernican
Revolution. Why did the supreme leader always wear sunglasses?
That’s because his eyes were constantly bloodshot from staying up
all night figuring out ways to help his country.

These are details from celebrity ghostwriter (and former editor
of Overheard in
New York
) Michael
new book Dear
I'm so Ronery |||Reader:
The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il
a strange,
tragic, and humorous first-person account of the supreme leader’s
life. On March 18, 2014, at an event held at New York City’s
Museum of Sex and
sponsored by the Reason
, The New York Times columnist John
sat down with Malice to discuss the book.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Michael Young on Central Intelligence Arabists

At a
time when intelligence services have come to play an outsized role
in American foreign policy, Hugh Wilford’s informative and highly
enjoyable book America’s Great Game:
‘s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the
Modern Middle East imparts some especially important lessons.
Among these lessons, reviews Michael Young, is the fact that spies
cannot substitute for diplomats. Allowing them to pursue political
agendas, then as now, defeats the purpose of having a non-partisan
intelligence agency.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Stocks Soar At Open In Daily Deja Vu Yen Implosion

Presented with little comment aside to ask… sustainable? Every string will be pulled today to ensure that the S&P 500 closes in the green for Q1, this is just the beginning salvo…





“we don’t need  no steenking news…”


In english – the algos, in all their glory, used the power of JPY to spark momentum into stocks and run all the stops through the open… we suspect this will not last given the total lack of follow through in any other asset class.


as we noted earlier…

As an add on, Copper has retraced 50% of its CCFD-liquidity-driven downswing…


So China is fixed too?


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Bank of America No Longer Even Bothers To Blame The “Weather” Or “Storms” For Weak Consumer Spending

Two weeks ago, when Bank of America found that its weekly retail spending data has continued coming in far weaker than expected compared to 2013, it did the laughable: it blamed not the weather in general, but one storm in particular, to wit: “once again adverse weather potentially impacted spending last week, as the storm “Titan” moved across the US over the weekend of March 1st and 2nd and was followed by yet another cold spell.” Two weeks later, after shockingly BofA finds precisely the same weakness continuing into the end of a balmy March, it no longer even bothers looking for excuses. The sad reality: there are none.

Our weekly internal BAC card (credit+debit) retail ex. gas spend data for last week (ended March 21st) rose 2.7% over the same week last year, broadly in line with the 3.0% increase the prior week and sharply above the 1.7% YoY spending growth in February and 1.0% for January. However, while retail spending thus appear on an accelerating path away from the cold months, growth rates remain well below last year’s numbers of 5.3% and 3.5% for the third and second week of March, respectively. Finally, note that our internal data is often not a good predictor of the official Census Bureau data.


Of course, the data would be a great predictor if it was “predicting” a bullish print.

We wonder how many months of balmy spring, summer and fall weather it will take before economists finally admit that the drop in consumer spending has nothing to do with climatic conditions (hint:, and everything to do with the fact that consumer are tapped out. Wild guess here: many.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

The Guardian’s Deputy Editor Claims the UK Government Threatened To Shut The Paper Down

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Mr Johnson said the whole attitude in the UK was that national security trumped press freedom and that the newspaper should not publish a word…We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position.


– Paul Johnson, deputy editor of The Guardian

As if you didn’t already recognize the serious threat to press freedom in the UK following authorities holding Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda for eight hours under “terrorism” laws as he transferred through London’s Heathrow airport. It’s not just the traditional press at risk in the UK either, the government is hard at work censoring the internet itself via ridiculous filters.

Now we find out from the Irish Times that:

The Guardian newspaper was threatened with closure by the British government over the Edward Snowden spying affair, the Radiodays Europe conference has been told.


The paper’s deputy editor Paul Johnson said Britain’s intelligence agencies visited them and told them they would be closed if they persisted in printing Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance involving the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United Statesand the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK. Mr Snowden is now in Russia, where he has temporary asylum. He is wanted by the US authorities on espionage charges.


Speaking at the Conference Centre Dublin (CCD), Mr Johnson said the Snowden material was much more difficult to work on than the WikiLeaks tapes because of the intense scrutiny the newspaper was subjected to by the British intelligence services.


Mr Johnson revealed that a senior civil servant had told the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, that the “prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the foreign secretary, the home secretary and the attorney general have got a problem with you”.


Mr Johnson said the whole attitude in the UK was that national security trumped press freedom and that the newspaper should not publish a word. This was in contrast to the US, where the Snowden revelations had led to a debate about how far intelligence agencies should go to protect the state.


“We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position,” he said.

Full article here.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

February Personal Outlays Sustained By Service Spending Surge; Durable Goods Spending Slides

Moments ago the BEA reported February personal income and spending which were expected to show a modest pick up following what all economists have classified as the “polar vortex” winter doldrums. While it remains to be seen whether and if spending, and income, will indeed pick up considering the deplorable state of the US household’s earnings prospects, both metrics came precisely in line with consensus estimates at 0.3% (if not those of DB’s always amusing permabull Joe LaVorgna who expected a 0.6% increase in spending).


The personal savings rate picked up by the smallest possible margin, rising from 4.2% to 4.3% in February as a resuit of a downward revision in January spending (from 0.4% to 0.2%), amounting to $544.5 billion in February, compared with $535.9 billion in January.


The good news: US consumers can still be tapped for half a trillion in savings when it comes to bean counts of purchases.

Next, we highlight the danger of taking any data out of the government at face value. Recall that last month, the spending on services according to spending data, hit an all time record of over $70 billion:


Well, the is no longer the case, as the Jan service spending data has been revised well lower, to just $50 billion, however at the expense of a continuation in spending in February, when another $26 billion was forked over for “services” mostly of the healthcare kind:


As for spending on real, durable goods? It declined for the third month in a row, down by another $2.3 billion to $1250 billion, the lowest since March of 2013.

At least the US has Obamacare to keep spending afloat.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

A.M. Links: Obamacare Enrollment Passes 6 Million, Russia Condemns U.N. Crimea Resolution, Possible MH370 Debris Spotted

  • President Obama announced yesterday that more than 6
    people have signed up for health coverage through the
    Obamacare exchanges ahead of the March 31 deadline. Secretary of
    Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius
    said a year ago
    that having 7 million people enrolled is what
    “success looks like.”
  • A New Zealand military plane has spotted
    possible debris
    from MH370.
  • Russia has
    a United Nations resolution declaring the March 16
    referendum in Crimea invalid.
  • NSA cheerleader and Chairman of the House Intelligence
    Committee Chairman
    Mike Rogers (R-Mich.)
    won’t seek re-election in November.
  • Legislation allowing gay couples in England and Wales to get
    married will go into effect tomorrow. Polling shows that 20 percent of British
    adults say that they would turn down an invitation to a same-sex
  • Republican New Jersey Governor
    Chris Christie
    says that the lane closure scandal that has hit
    his administration will not affect whether or not he decides
    to run for president in 2016.

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from Hit & Run

Kurt Loder Reviews Noah

Kurt Loder
reviews Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. He writes that the
film opens with a rush of imaginative filmmaking whose energy,
unfortunately, can’t be maintained. It is a serious project
from a director whose visionary gifts have never been in question.
But it sometimes feels like two, maybe three movies contending for
narrative dominance. The filmmakers must surely be praying there’s
one audience for all of them.

View this article.

from Hit & Run