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The Layoffs Return: Energy Giants Chevron, Saipem To Fire Over 10,000 Workers

Overnight, US energy major Chevron announced it will cut 1,500 jobs globally "as the company aims to reduce internal costs in multiple operating units and the corporate center." According to Rigzone, "the San Ramon, Calif.-based energy company will cut 950 positions in Houston, 500 positions in San Ramon and 50 positions internationally." But it's not just the US, because moments ago Italy's biggest oil and gas industry contractor Saipem announced that not only is it cutting its guidance, sending its stock plunging, but also reported that it plans to cut 8,800 workers by 2017.



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The Fate Of China's Monetary Policy Is In The Hoofs Of Pigs

It seems China's efforts to stabilize their economy stock market knows no bounds - nowhere better exemplified than the 5% spike in an hour last night after injecting $100bn into the sovereign (rescue) fund - and western observers applaud the efforts as if they are costlessly saving the world. However, there are costs to all this leveraged asset bubble creation (and maintenance) and, as China People's Daily reports, nowhere is that more evident than the surging price of pork (on if China's main CPI components). As Deutsche Bank warns, in the past 15 years, the PBoC has never cut interest rates when inflation was picking up (whether driven by food or more broad-based); so the fate of an 'easy money' inspired stock market bubble remains in the hands hoofs of pigs as the policy stance will be forced to turn from loosening to neutral in Q4 as inflation rises.



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It's Bounce Or Else For This Key Stock Market Gauge

This series reached an extremely skewed -462 yesterday (18 New Highs minus 480 New Lows). If this reading gets any worse, it will be one indication that the uptrend since 2009 is in jeopardy.



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Tsipras Threatens Snap Elections As Syriza Rebellion Threatens To Derail Bailout

With creditors now on the ground in Athens, and with a third prior actions vote in parliament due at the first of August, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras spoke out about the new bailout "deal", debt re-profiling, the referendum, party politics, and the possibility of early elections in an interview with Sto Kokkino radio station.  



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Frontrunning: July 29

  • Fed expected to push ahead with rate hike plan (Reuters)
  • Upbeat earnings lift European stocks ahead of Fed (Reuters)
  • Chevron to Cut 1,500 Jobs (Rigzone)
  • Can Windows 10 Revive PC Sales? (WSJ)
  • U.S. Junk-Bond Buyers Left in Dark as Private Deals Become Norm (BBG)
  • Jeb Bush Drawing Big Bucks From GOP Establishment (WSJ)
  • Myriad of Greek Risks Means Money Managers in No Hurry to Return (BBG)
  • Gas production at Gazprom set to hit post-Soviet low (FT)


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Violent Government Buying Spree Sends Chinese Stocks Soaring At Close Of Trading; Yellen On Deck

On a day when market participants will care about only one thing - how hawkish (or dovish) the FOMC sounds at 2:00 pm (no Yellen press conference today) - Chinese stocks provided the usual dramatic sideshow and traded unchanged or modestly negative for most of the day despite the latest $100 billion injection, the close of trading on Wednesday was a mirror image of what happened in the last hour on Monday, as various Chinese "plunge-protection" mechanism went into a furious buying frenzy and government-backed funds rushed to buy anything that trades in the last 60 minutes of trading in what may be the most glaring example of banging the close yet.



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3-Year-Old London Child Deemed "Extremist"; Placed In Government Reeducation Program

The United Kingdom has gone batshit crazy. There’s simply no other way to put it...



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Supply And Demand In The Gold And Silver Futures Markets

The bear market in bullion is an artificial creation. This artificial, indeed fraudulent, increase in the supply of paper bullion contracts drives down the price in the futures market despite high demand for bullion in the physical market and constrained supply. 



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The End Draws Near For Syria's Assad As Putin's Patience "Wears Thin"

In a defiant speech delivered over the weekend, Syria's Bashar al-Assad insisted that "defeat ... does not exist in the dictionaries of the Syrian Arab army," even as the strongman admitted that his military faced a debilitating shortage of manpower. Meanwhile, WSJ says Russian officials are "showing more openness to discussing alternatives to Mr. Assad as his regime loses territory."



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Drivers, Beware: The Costly, Deadly Dangers Of Traffic Stops In The American Police State

Clearly, the language of freedom is no longer the common tongue spoken by the citizenry and their government. With the government having shifted into a language of force, “we the people” have been reduced to suspects in a surveillance state, criminals in a police state, and enemy combatants in a military empire.



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Chinese Stocks Rise After Government Injects $100bn Into Sovereign (Rescue) Fund; Sell-off 'Blame' Shifts To Hong Kong

Despite the reassurances from western media and talking heads that China is unimportant (both its stock market and economy), Asian economies continue to show signs of contagion from China's slowdown as Thai exports weaken and Hong Kong trade tumbles. But it is the blame game that is top of mind tonight as Chinese regulators switch attention to Hong Kong brokers in their "investigation into malicious sellers." As SCMP's George Chen notes, first they blame a "foreign force," and now they blame Hong Kong, always careful not to blame themselves. After 3 down days, Chinese stocks look are opening slightly higher as there is little follow-through from yesterday's PPT rescue or today's panic-buying in US markets especilaly in light of an additional $100bn injection into the sovereign (rescue) fund.



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Ron Paul Slams Gen. Wesley Clark: Is He Kidding, Internment Camps?

"Last week, Retired General Wesley Clark, called for the government to identify people most likely to be radicalized so we can 'cut this off at the beginning.' That sounds like 'pre-crime'!...These statements and others like them most likely reflect the frustration felt in Washington over a 15 year war on terror where there has been no victory and where we actually seem worse off than when we started. The real problem is they will argue and bicker over changing tactics but their interventionist strategy remains the same."



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Trump Is "The Best Thing To Happen To Politics In A Long Time," Mark Cuban Says



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Could Trump Win?

The American political class has failed the country, and should be fired. That is the clearest message from the summer surge of Bernie Sanders and the remarkable rise of Donald Trump. But can Trump win?



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The True Minimum Wage Is $0 Per Hour

The minimum wage is not what is commonly referred, as is being proven again as parts of the US experiment directly with this boundary. In New York, fast food workers have been given a $15 per hour minimum wage which is being celebrated by the same fast food workers who will bear the brunt of the experimentation. Some of them will be happy with the results, but there will be clear losers – the full wrath of redistribution is usually unseen which is why it persists.



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