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Mon, 27th March 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Latest Posts

US “Too Big To Fail” Banks Top $1 Trillion – What Happens Next?

For the first time ever, the market cap of America’s “Big Four” banks topped $1 trillion having surged 30% since Donald Trump was elected president. While to some this is cause for celebration, we note that the last time a nation’s “big four” banks topped $1 trillion in market cap did not end well…

As Bloomberg notes, the four biggest U.S. banks were worth the most on record versus China’s “Big Four” this month, as JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup were worth over $250 billion more than Industrial & Commercial Bank, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China combined.

The four Chinese banks, the world’s most profitable, were worth about the same as the U.S. foursome as recently as June.

However, as the chart above shows, while the American quartet’s combined market value closed above $1 trillion for the first time last month, China achieved that goals in June 2015… and it did not end well.

US to ban large electronic devices on flights from 8 Middle Eastern nations

Airline passengers traveling from eight Middle Eastern nations, including Jordan and Egypt, will be barred from carrying large electronic devices into the main cabin under new regulations from the Trump administration.

The new rules, which come into effect on Tuesday, also apply to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a US official. Passengers from the eight countries will have to check laptop computers and other large devices, such as tablets, into the hold on all flights bound for airports in the US. But the restrictions will not apply to flights leaving the US for the same countries, according to the official, who requested anonymity.

The move marks the latest attempt by the Trump administration to tighten security after Mr Trump vowed during the presidential race to do more to tackle terrorism. It comes one week after his administration issued a revised travel ban that temporarily bars citizens of seven largely Muslim countries from entering the US. The revised order, like the first one, has been blocked by the courts, preventing implementation for the time being.

UN inspector: North Korea has doubled the size of its facility for enriching uranium

Yukiya Amano is director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Speaking in an interview with the Journal
  • North Korea is rapidly advancing its capacity to produce nuclear weapons on two fronts: the production of plutonium at its Yongbyon nuclear facility and the enrichment of uranium (has doubled the size of its facility for enriching uranium in recent years)
  • “This is a highly political issue. A political agreement is essential,” Mr. Amano said, but added. “We can’t be optimistic. The situation is very bad. We don’t have the reason to be optimistic. “Comparing North Korea to Iran, he said: “The situation is very different. Easy comparisons should be avoided.”

Global banks may have helped launder $80 billion in Russian money

A series of top-flight global banks assisted in helping Russian criminals launder enormous sums of money, the Guardian reports.

HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks that played a role in a scheme from 2010-2014 that laundered at least $20 billion and up to $80 billion.

An estimated 500 people were involved in laundering the money and include oligarchs, Moscow bankers and people connected to the government.

This looks like the first report in what will be a series. Leaked documents include details of about 70,000 banking transactions, including 1,920 that went through UK banks and 373 via US banks. The transactions used the offshore system to hide and move money.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -8.50 points.Nasdaq Unchanged

Nasdaq unchanged.  Dow down about -0.04%

The S&P index is ending the day down about -0.20% on the day to 2273.50. The high reached 2379.55. The low 2369.66.
The Nasdaq was unchanged at 5901.50. The high reached 5915.12. The low 5888.
The Dow was down about 8.5 points to 20906. The high reached 20955. The low extended to 20885.
In other markets:
  • 2 year yield fell -2.6 bp to 1.288%
  • 5 year yield fell -3.1 bp to 1.986%
  • 10 year yield fell -3.7 bp to 2.462%
Spot gold is up $5 to $1234.39. The high reached 1235.78. The low 1229.15.
WTI Crude oil is trading at $48.21, down -$0.57
The snapshot of the major currencies shows the NZD is the strongest while the GBP is the weakest (PM May will trigger Article 50 on March 29th). The USD was mixed with the dollar gaining against the GBP. It was down against the AUD and NZD and little changed against the other major currencies.