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China & Germany Sign Yuan-Settlement Pact And Obama Heads To Saudi Arabia

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2014 – 22:04Lots of moves appear to be afoot on the macro front at the moment. Today’s deal between the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and Germany’s Bundesbank seems quite significant given the importance of Germany within the global economy generally and the E.U. specifically. And with that in mind, let’s not forget that Obama is currently in Saudi Arabia trying to restore ties with the Medieival Kingdom, i.e., he is trying to figure out a way to arm al-Qaeda in Syria without the American public finding out about it. It appears that becoming entrenched in a Syrian civil war is still very much on the table…  The months ahead should be very interesting to say the least.

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West Desperate To Break Russia-China Axis, But “Money Talks” Straight To Putin

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2014 – 21:30Among other things, there is one major obstacle to the West’s “costs” imposition on Vladimir Putin and his Russian economy – China. So far, a Xi Jinping has described, China has been a “sleeping lion” but today “the lion is awake” and with the Chinese President’s first trip to Europe, as WSJ reports, western leaders are hoping to enlist his support over the crisis in Ukraine. However, privately, European diplomats concede that China’s relationship with Russia remains solid and that was evidenced by their most recent investment in Russia’s $10bn state-backed Direct Investment Fund (which just happens to be run by a former Goldman Sachs banker. It seems “money talks” once again and China will likely continue to play the middle ground.

Moody’s Puts Russia On Downgrade Review; Cites Event Risk, Investor Sentiment, And Weakening Economy

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2014 – 18:02

Hot on the heels of what S&P said was not a “politically motivated” shift to rating watch, Moody’s (who did not downgrade the USA and are not currently in a lawsuit over such terrible misrepresentations) has decided now is the time to put Russia on rating downgrade watch. The decision was triggered by 3 key factors: the weakening of Russia’s economic strength, potential shifts in investor sentiment, and susceptibility to event risk. Full report below…

The First Russian Casualty: World’s Largest Aluminum Company, Rusal, Warns It May Default

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2014 – 15:50

While it is easy to blame western sanctions for the recent tribulations at the world’s largest aluminum company, Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal, the reality is that the industry specific issues plaguing aluminum makers, certainly including former Dow Jones Industrial Average member Alcoa, which involve a fair share of manipulation of physical inventories at assorted global warehouses are much more responsible than some theatrical rhetoric flaring up between the West and East in the past month. Regardless of the cause, as FT reports, Rusal just announced it is on the verge of insolvency after it warned of “material uncertainty” about its future, and that it has asked its creditors to delay repayment on a maturity from its $10 billion debt pile due next month.

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Fall Guy? Port Authority Chairman Resigns Amid Christie’s “Report” Exoneration

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2014 – 15:15

“They can’t make up facts,” Governor Christie blasts in his press conference, “read the report!” It seems the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson, did not need to read it all and gave his resignation to Christie before the ongoing news conference – effective immediately. Mr. Samson, as WSJ reports, was a strong ally of Christie and had been under intense scrutiny for weeks, after investigations into the lane closures led the media, legislators and federal prosecutors to examine the intersection of Mr. Samson’s private business interests and his leadership of the bistate authority. Fall guy?