The Tanks Are Rolling In Post-Devaluation Kazakhstan - (www.zerohedge.com) Following the 20% devaluation of Kazakhstan's currency on Tuesday, the nation has quietly drifted into a very un-safe scenario. As the following clip shows, tanks and Humvees are lining the streets around Almaty as stores are closed and food is running desperately short. Local accounts note that the people are growing increasingly indignant. At a mere 192bps, the cost of protecting Kazakhstan sovereign debt from default (or further devaluation) seems cheap in light of this.
Europe Considers Wholesale Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution - (www.zerohedge.com) At first we thought Reuters had been punk'd in its article titled "EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap" which disclosed the latest leaked proposal by the European Commission, but after several hours without a retraction, we realized that the story is sadly true. Sadly, because everything that we warned about in "There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis" back in September of 2011, and everything that the depositors and citizens of Cyprus had to live through, seems on the verge of going continental. In a nutshell, and inReuters' own words, "the savings of the European Union's 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says." What is left unsaid is that the "usage" will be on a purely involuntary basis, at the discretion of the "union", and can thus best be described as confiscation.
Court overturns concealed-carry rule in blow to California gun law - (www.reuters.com) A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down a requirement by San Diego County that residents show "good cause" to carry a concealed firearm, a ruling that could force local governments across California to revisit the way they license handguns. A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on a 2009 lawsuit, ruled in a 2-1 decision that San Diego County's restrictions amounted to an unconstitutional infringement on citizens' Second Amendment rights to bear arms. Coupled with a California state law that largely bans the open carrying of firearms in public, San Diego County's "good cause" rules on concealed weapons effectively bar residents from carrying a gun altogether, the panel said.
Oil Industry Awash in Crude - (www.nytimes.com) Chalk one up for the oil producers, who have begun lobbying the Obama administration, Congress and the public to let them export the bounty of crude oil flowing out of new shale fields across the country. Opposing them are their erstwhile cousins, the independent refiners, who insist that they need abundant, economical domestic supplies of oil so they can compete with foreign refiners. It is a rare clash in a deeply guarded industry that involves arguments over national security, pricing at the pump and, after all is said and done, who will get a bigger share of earnings from the current drilling rush. “What we have here is a food fight for the profits that will come either from exports of crude oil or exports of refined products,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of energy and sustainability at the University of California, Davis, who testified before Congress recently in favor of lifting the ban. “It’s like an argument inside a family business but one that could result in huge market distortions that can either hurt the consumer or our national security.”
Six China shadow banks threatened with default over coal firm exposure: paper - (www.reuters.com) Six Chinese trust firms have lent more than 5 billion yuan ($824.6 million) to a delinquent coal company, state media reported on Friday, raising the prospect of further defaults in China's so-called shadow banking system. In addition, investors in a trust product already in default have pledged to seek repayment not only from the trust firm itself, but also from China Construction Bank (CCB) (601939.SS) (0939.HK), the country's second-largest lender, which acted as sales agent for the high-yield investment products issued by Jilin Province Trust Co Ltd. Analysts have warned of moral hazard caused by the widespread assumption among Chinese savers that even high-yielding investments carry implicit guarantees from state-owned banks. If a major default occurs, it could spark a panic in which investors abruptly stop buying such products, leading to bankruptcies among weak corporate borrowers who rely on non-bank financing to maintain their operations.