- Chinese Stock Plunge Leaves State Media Speechless (BBG)
- China’s Market Selloff Accelerates (WSJ)
- Any Deal on New Greek Bailout Funds Put Off Until Weekend (WSJ)
- ECB keeps ELA funding limit for Greece unchanged for third day in a row (Reuters)
- Impoverished Greek City Stands With Alexis Tsipras (WSJ)
- Why It Won’t Be a Default If Greece Misses IMF Payment Next Week (BBG)
- Valeant Makes Takeover Approach to Zoetis (WSJ) - or how Ackman assures himself another good T+3 quarter
- Obamacare ruling puts Supreme Court on hot seat in U.S. presidential race (Reuters)
According to the IG's deputy Timothy Camus, two "lower-graded" employees at the IRS center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, erased 422 computer backup tapes that contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner. It gets better: the tapes were erased in March 2014, months after congressional investigators requested all of Lerner's emails, and months after Zero Hedge, among many others, said to simply track down the server back ups. And the punchline: according to George, the workers might be incompetent, a lead investigator said Thursday, but there is no evidence they were part of a criminal conspiracy to destroy evidence.
- This headline needs updating: Creditors set bailout ultimatum for defiant Greeks (Reuters)
- Greece’s Fragile Banks Leave Alexis Tsipras Few Options in Bailout Talks (WSJ)
- Dueling Greece Plans Presented as Ministers Race for Aid Deal (BBG)
- Icahn Cashes In His Netflix Chips (WSJ)
- Meet the Health-Law Holdouts: Americans Who Prefer to Go Uninsured (WSJ)
- ECB holds Athens lifeline unchanged as Bundesbank protests (Reuters)
- Supreme Court Guide: Six Big Decisions Remain (WSJ)
- The Rise of the Compliance Guru—and Banker Ire (BBG)
With a DoJ probe having predictably gone nowhere, a group of pensioners and retirement funds are suing Wall Street and Markit for colluding to monopolize the CDS market. Amusingly, Citadel has been subpoenaed to discuss how it was shut out of creating a CDS trading platform by the "oligopolistic" activities of TBTF banks, even as the firm looks set to dominate the market for IR swaps.
The problem for investors is that inorganic measures to boost profitability, like cost-cutting, wage suppression, layoffs, and stock buybacks, are finite in nature. Eventually, these options are exhausted. There are only so many employees that can be terminated, wages can only be suppressed for so long, and there is a finite number of shares that can ultimately be repurchased from shareholders. The question that investors need to be asking is what happens when companies inevitabilty reach "the end of road." Importantly, with the Fed determined to begin hiking interest rates, despite weak economic data, the end may be nearer than most are currently expecting.
The completion of this pattern will take time to unfold. But it predicts a MASSIVE collapse in stocks.
With an agreement in principle on the table, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras now turns his weary eyes towards Syriza party hardliners whose support he will need in order to pass the new deal through parliament. Should the political stalemate prove intractable, Greece may need to call a referendum or snap elections.
“If you distort markets for long periods of time and then you remove those distortions, you’re subject to unanticipated volatility,” TCW's Jerry Cudzil tells Bloomberg, adding that the firm is "as defensive as [it's] been since pre-crisis.”
With a Greek default, shortly followed by a Grexit, a collapse of the "irreversible union" (but... but... "political capital"), and ultimately the end of the latest European monetary union experiment (the latest in a long and illustrious series of prior failures) now seemingly imminent, the blame game has begun. As the NYT noted overnight "the recriminations that would then fly would be so bitter that they would inflict a second round of damage." But who is really to blame? Simple: anyone and everyone who willingly and voluntarily was complicit with the great "can kicking" bailout fiction of the past 5 years...
European shares remain higher, close to intraday highs, with the autos and travel & leisure sectors outperforming and basic resources, utilities underperforming. Meeting of finance officials to reach a deal over Greek aid ended in frustration, forcing leaders to call for an emergency summit for Monday. ECB plans to hold an emergency session of its Governing Council on Friday to discuss a deterioration in liquidity at Greek banks, three people familiar said. German airwave auction raises $5.7b to top 2010 sale. Bank of Japan leaves monetary policy unchanged as forecast. Shanghai Composite Index capped its worst weekly decline in seven years.
Through a series of "fairly complicated" and "quite amazing" legal maneuvers, Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies has devised a way for employees to invest their retirement savings tax free in Medallion fund which has averaged 72% annually for the past ten years.
Chinese stocks had a tough night with CHINEXT dropping back into official correction once again and the rest of the Chinese stock euphoria fading systemically. In fact, Chinese stocks have gone nowhere in the last month - which is a major problem for a margin-loan-driven ponzi-fest. However, there is a much more worrying canary in China's coalmine which as one analyst warns means "investors are becoming more fearful than greedy." The "No-Brainer" China IPO Trade has tumbled in the last few weeks as limit-up gains disappear, and is nearing a bear market.
As Chinese stock market capitalization topped $10 trillion for the first time in history, so the spectre of total and utter speculative mania looms as the balance of margin loans tops $2.2 trillion and remains among the most obvious early warning systems for an increasingly fragile government-sponsored equity bubble. The problem, as Bloomberg reports, is that any pullback by margin traders would undercut one of the biggest drivers of the rally leaving the "regulator trying to slow down the growth without triggering panic," as Bocom's chief China strategist explains.
As expected, earlier today the pro-ECB top European Union court found that Draghi's impromptu announcement of an OMT, which was basically the wrapping of his "whatever it takes" policy from 2012 to prevent the collapse of the Eurozone when peripheral bond yields were hitting daily records, was perfectly legal.
On the heels of resignations from co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, Deutsche Bank loses another high profile employee as the bank's global head of commercial real estate departs for Blackstone. Jonathan Pollack's departure comes just one month after the bank's head of structured finance Elad Shraga left to start his own fund and seems to lend credence to the idea that Deutsche Bank may be in trouble.