It might look like a golden age for free speech: more than a billion tweets, Facebook posts and blogs every day. But beneath this surface, freedom of expression is dramatically retreating, and under this dictatorship of political correctness, the only "win-win" is for political Islam.
Saudi Arabia has informed Egypt that shipments of oil products have been halted indefinitely, suggesting a deepening rift between the two nations. In response, an Egyptian delegation suggested late on Sunday evening that it would visit Iran, Saudi Arabia's main political rival, to try to strike new oil deals. Such a visit would cement a break in Egypt's alliance with Saudi Arabia and "mark a seismic shift in the regional political order."
After a furious rally in the past week on hopes that Italy's oldest, and most insolvent, bank, Siena's Monte Paschi has turned the corner and would return to profitability while outside investors would finally help it in its seemingly endless quest to find $5 billion in outside capital, today BMPS shares plunged after first opening limit up in what can only be characterized as a roller coast market.
Moments ago Deutsche Bank stock, which has been well away from the headlines in the past two weeks, spiked following a Manager Magazin report according to which the Qatar and Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund together with Chinese investors would be willing to raise their stake in DB to 25% in the case of a capital increase.
Global hedge fund tycoon and political provocateur George Soros is leading a war of symbols, namely flags and banners either resurrected or conjured up by his myriad non-profit groups, to stir religious, racial, and ethnic tensions the world over.
Amid what some might call self-inflicted economic collapse, Saudi Arablia has announced a $5.3 billion bailout of its banking system as interbank borrowing rates near the highest since Lehman. In what the supposedly central bank calls "supportive monetary policy...on behalf of government entities," is easing liquidity constraints with 28-day repo agreements and is the second liquidty injection this year.
WTI Crude is now down 6% from last week's highs, back below $47 as supply concerns (Abu Dhabi production rise and ConocoPhilips' CEO comments) and OPEC freeze talks doubts have combined with the biggest collapse in speculative short positions in history (following the Saudi statement) - removing the last 'short-squeeze' leg of support from this dead-cat-bounce.
If oil were to drop back under $40, not only would it precipitate even more selling of oil as momentum strategies flip, but it would catalyze a liquidation by those SWFs who thought they were done selling equities, leading to a return of the same sellers that pushed the S&P back to the low 1,900s a short 6 months ago. So for all those curious where stocks are going next, the simple answer is: keep an eye on what oil does next.
The Saudi circular ref (low oil prices -> budget deficits -> more oil pumping -> even lower oil prices) continues to iterate toward it's ultimate conclusion which (spoiler alert) will not be pleasant... and the banking system bailouts have only just begun.
Today we got the first official confirmation of just how vast the 1MDB money-laundering scheme was and that it stretched to the very top. What is now also confirmed, is that at the heart of the fundraising operation was none other than Goldman Sachs.