Morgan Stanley Beats Despite 9% Drop In Revenue, Helped By Cost-Cutting, Strong FICC; Shares Jump

Following the example set by the other banks, earlier today Morgan Stanley, the last big bank to report earnings,  said its profit fell 12% in Q2 on a 9% drop in revenue even as the company weathered volatile markets that affected its investing and corporate clients. The EPS of $0.75, however, beat sharply lowered expectations of $0.60 on the back of sharp cost-cutting measures, pushing its shares up 3% in the premarket.

Frontrunning: July 20

  • Trump Goes on Offense as Republicans Try to Move Past Missteps (BBG)
  • Trump could seek new law to purge government of Obama appointees (Reuters)
  • Behind the scenes, Ryan touts his agenda in Cleveland, not Trump's (Reuters)
  • U.S. Set to Seize $1 Billion in Assets Tied to Malaysian Fund 1MDB (WSJ)
  • 21st Century Fox Negotiating Exit of Fox News Chief Roger Ailes (WSJ)

In Surprising Move, Twitter Permanently Bans Conservative Commentator Milo Yiannopoulos

On Tuesday night, in a surprising move, Twitter permanently banned conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos from using its service. Yiannopoulos, an editor for prominent conservative website Breitbart.com, has been known for making provocative statements on Twitter and elsewhere. Twitter said the suspension was part of a wider move to block a number of user accounts for abuse and harassment after Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones on Monday drew renewed attention to the issue and announced she would quit the social media site.

US Futures Rise To Session Highs, Set For Another Record Open; Global Stocks Jump

After yesterday's positive close in the Dow Jones, which hasn't had a losing day since July 7 and which took the series of consecutive green closes to 8 in a row - the longest stretch since 2013 - the index will look to lock in its 9th green day in a row with futures currently trading well in the green. It's not just the US - equities edged higher in Asia and Europe as positive earnings results from some of the world’s biggest companies countered concern the global economy is losing steam. The dollar strengthened while gold retreated.

Trump 'Close Friend' Unleashes Economic Reality Check: America Is "Lost In The Black Hole Of Entitlement"

"Citizens everywhere are unhappy with their governments and angry with their leaders. They are no longer interested in a political rhetoric that they do not understand and that has no value in their lives. Monetary policy, trade policy technological disruption and the array of issues that make up globalization are simply a parade of unintelligible horribles to the average working class citizen."

If Trump Tries To Remove ISIS, Will He Be Removed?

If Trump really does try to wipe ISIS out – or drastically reduce the power of NATO – will he be risking his own health and well-being? The US is run by corporatist and military entities. Will they hesitate to intimidate or remove Trump if he tries to end ISIS? Western war-interests always need an enemy after all.

'Pokemon Go' Bubble Bursts: Nintendo Tumbles As Indonesia Issues "National Security Threat"

Indonesian officials have warned that 'Pokemon Go' is a "national security threat," and military headquarters have banned personnel from playing the game while on duty, according to Jakarta Post. It appears the 'Pokemon Go' bubble is bursting, after surging 120% in 8 days, Nintendo is down over 12% today (as the bubble passes over to McDonalds Japan, which is up 12%, after reports of sponsoring 'Pokemon Go' in Japan).

Who Really Won The Oil Price War?

It is probably a tie... Although the Saudis caused damage to U.S. shale, they also hit the global oil industry hard; and while they managed to preserve their market share, they paid a heavy price in terms of oil revenues.

Obama Administration Explains Its Own "Plagiarism" Was Merely "Inspiration"

With the 'p' word being lobbed around by Republican and Democrat today as Melania and Michelle battled to the death over who is the plagiarizer-est, we are reminded that it wasn't too long ago that the media turned a blind eye when President Barack Obama was busted plagiarizing from Deval Patrick... and today The White House press secretary explained "Obama didn't plagiarize... he was 'inspired by'" the former Massachusetts Governor.

We Need More Borders And More States

Thanks to the competitive nature of 'states', many states will often find it difficult to project their power into neighboring states, and thus borders represent a very-real impediment to a state's power. This can then open the door to greater freedom, and even save lives as certain states impoverish or make war on their own citizens. This principle was illustrated yet again this week as the Venezuelan regime opened its border with Colombia to allow Venezuelans the opportunity to purchase food and other supplies on the Colombian side of the border.

Prominent Gold Skeptic Willem Buiter Says "Gold Looks Pretty Good"

“Gold, in times of uncertainty and especially in days of uncertainty laced with negative rates, looks pretty good. It competes with other fiat currencies, the dollar, the yen, the euro. And if these currencies now yield negative interest rates or are at risk of negative yields in the U.K. and the United States, then the currency that at least has a zero interest rate, looks better" - Willem Buiter

America Is Being Divided And Conquered Into Oblivion

"The single event that changed my life more than any other was TARP, aka the banker bailouts. The unfairness, extreme greed and selfishness with which the status quo bailed out financial criminals while leaving the public high and dry changed me forever. When it comes to shaping American history, it is equal in importance to the attacks of 9/11. I couldn’t contemplate why government officials were putting so much money and energy into bailing out people like me, while ignoring everyone else. It felt irrational, unethical and dirty."