There has been a lot of chatter in recent days about the plunge in commodity prices - capped off by this week’s slide of the Bloomberg commodity index to levels not seen since 2002. That epochal development is captured in the chart below, but most of the media gumming about the rapidly accelerating “commodity crunch” misses the essential point. To wit, the central banks of the world have shot their wad. The Bloomberg Commodity index is a slow motion screen shot depicting the massive intrusion of worldwide central bankers into the global economic and financial system. Their unprecedented spree of money printing took the aggregate global central bank balance sheet from $3 trillion to $22 trillion over the last 15 years. The consequence was a deep and systematic falsification of financial prices on a planet-wide scale.
- Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote (Reuters)
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Remains Popular Despite Tough Bailout Deal (WSJ)
- Beijing's stock rescue has $800 billion bark, small market bite (Reuters)
- Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens (Telegraph)
- Why Investors Shy Away From China’s $6.4 Trillion Bond Market (WSJ)
- Oil Rigs Left Idling Turn Caribbean Into Expensive Parking Lot (BBG)
- Bank of America replaces CFO in management shake-up (Reuters)
- The Financial Buzz? Pearson to sell Financial Times (Reuters)
What do El Paso, New York, and Chicago have in common? They are among the top 20 cities from which Americans are fleeing in droves...
Richard Nixon made hay of the term “Silent majority” back in November 1969 to defend his Vietnam War policy. It has since been used by American politicians to legitimize and expand the nature of a non-descript huge following they claim as their own, quite often asserting the existence of magnified populism and an implied democracy. Nixon’s baton seems to have been now passed to Donald Trump, as he submits his candidacy for the highest political office in the land, and grabs the microphone to broadcast his unfiltered stand on immigration. A message that questionably-qualified experts in the media are quick to devour, then defecate, on a public more receptive to shallow issues dealing with celebrities than anything of social significance or depth.
How hard do you work compared to the rest of the world?
- Stocks sour as Apple results leave bitter aftertaste (Reuters)
- Awkward Alliance Running Germany Exposed by Greek Crisis (BBG)
- Apple Faces Old Question of What’s Next After Record Profit (BBG)
- Lawmakers, White House Explore Tax Revamp for U.S. Firms Overseas (WSJ)
- Digital Misfits Link JPMorgan Hack to Pump-and-Dump Fraud (BBG)
- More Debt Traders at Risk as European Banks Report Results (BBG)
- Iran rejects sanctions extension beyond 10 years (Reuters)
You know it's bad when... With most of California experiencing "extreme to exceptional drought," and the crisis now in its fourth year, state officials recently unleashed the first cutback to farmers' water rights since 1977, ordering cities and towns to cut water use by as much as 36%. With the drought showing no sign of letting up any time soon, and the state’s agricultural industry suffering (a recent study by UC Davis projected that the drought would cost California’s economy $2.7 billion in 2015 alone), Yahoo reports farmers have begun desperately turning to "water witches" who "dowse" for water sources using rods and sticks.
Since last week's FOX News poll, Donald Trump has extended his gains dramatically in the race to be GOP Presidential nominee. According to ABC-Washington Post latest poll, 24% of Republicans prefer Trump (up from 18% last week) with Scott Walker nudging ahead of Jeb Bush. Notably the poll was taken from Thursday to Sunday and so does include some reaction from Trump's McCain comments...
In what seems a lot like a strawman for just how much they can pressure the population, AP reports California water regulators proposed a first-of-its-kind, $1.5 million fine for a group of Central Valley farmers accused of illegally taking water during the drought. This would be the first such fine for holders of California's oldest (most senior) claims to water, and follows suits from the farmers to the government arguing their 'law changes' are illegal.
Demagogue or not, The Donald continues to gain support among Republicans for the GOP Presidential nomination, according to the latest FOX News poll, and among Republican primary voters, Trump now captures 18 percent: more than his closest competitor, Walker.
- Greece licks wounds after bailout vote, ECB move expected (Reuters)
- Lose-Lose: Pushing Greece Out of Euro Is Costlier Than Write-Off (BBG)
- EMU brutality in Greece has destroyed the trust of Europe's Left (Telegraph)
- Schaeuble Shrugs Off Greek Vote Saying Euro Exit Is Best (BBG)
- Merkel’s tough tactics prompt criticism in Germany and abroad (FT)
- Investors Get Caught in Oil’s Slippery Wake (WSJ)
- Obama Girds for Battle With Congress on Iran Deal (WSJ)
- Tsipras Braves Parliament on Aid as Greek Outlook Worsens (BBG)
- European markets rise before Yellen speech, Greek vote (Reuters)
- China’s Growth Beats Economists’ Forecast as Stimulus Kicks In (BBG)
- China stocks drop again, positive data shrugged off (Reuters)
- Yellen intensifies Republican outreach amid Fed probe, Senate bill (Reuters)
- Iran deal holds both promise and peril for Hillary Clinton (Reuters)
- Iranians Party Into the Night as Khamenei Backs Accord (BBG)
"Exchanges around the world are avidly wooing high-frequency traders, those controversial speed demons of Wall Street. Despite the often explosive debate over this kind of trading in the U.S., bourses in Mexico, Turkey, South Africa and beyond are trying to lure HFT types to boost business," Bloomberg reports.
- Greece Capitulates to Creditors’ Demands to Cling to Euro (BBG)
- Euro zone strikes deal with Greece after all-night struggle (Reuters)
- Tsipras Moves From Predator to Prey at Euro 'Torture' Summit (BBG)
- Euro’s Greek Boost Evaporates as Analysts Predict Losses to Come (BBG)
- Greek Fury Meets Resignation at Demands for Concessions (BBG)
- Poland Blames ‘Carefree’ Greek Populists for Tough EU Aid Deal (BBG)
- Europeans Press for Iran Nuclear Deal on Monday (WSJ)
- Iran nuclear talks: Deal 'near completion' (BBC)
- In speech, Clinton to put wages at heart of economic policy (Reuters)
- China’s Incendiary Market Is Fanned by Borrowers and Manipulation (NYT)