Much has been said in the popular press about Italy's surprising economic recovery (which based on recent data is starting to lose steam), as well as its much improved fiscal picture (even if the country's public debt hits record highs quarter after quarter and the bad debt within its banking system just rose by 24% from the prior year, to €169 billion the highest since 1998). Little has been said about just how Italy managed to pull this economic miracle off. The answer: robbing private suppliers to pay Paul, or rather, the public sector. According to Reuters, the Italian state owes some 75 billion euros ($102 billion)to private suppliers, as reported by the Bank of Italy. The unpaid bills have starved companies of cash and triggered layoffs, factory closures and bankruptcies.
The reality of what happened in Cyprus is a far different matter. And the reason that this reality has not been featured as headline news is because doing so would reveal the following:
- Here come the gates which we predicted in 2010: SEC Is Set to Approve Money-Fund Rules (WSJ)
- Dick's cuts 400 jobs as golf now less popular (MW)
- Kerry arrives in Israel, pushes for peace (Reuters)
- Pay Penalty Haunts Recession Grads as U.S. Economy Mends (BBG)
- Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on Health-Law Subsidies (WSJ)
- Rebel Stronghold Donetsk Holds Breath as Shellfire Mounts (BBG)
- Business executive wins Georgia Republican runoff in U.S. Senate race (Reuters)
- Five held in China food scandal probe, including head of Shanghai Husi Food (Reuters)
- Jobs Hold Sway Over Yellen-Carney as Central Banks Splinter (BBG)
Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future.
Biggest Dutch Daily Calls For NATO Intervention To Protect MH17; Feinstein Tells Putin To "Man Up And Confess"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2014 13:26 -0400
Facts be damned, everyone in the west, from the most crony politician to the biggest tabloid has "undisputed" proof Putin did it. But what now: what is the endgame? Once again the answer is simple: Western military intervention, this time in the conflict zone, under the guise of public anger against Putin, to reinforce the dwindling Ukraine army forces and to repel the separatists, in the process regaining the critical industrial regions of Ukraine which also are the location of vast natural gas deposits. Certainly showing to Gazprom just who was in charge of this key natural gas nexus wouldn't hurt either. After all the west has already invested so much in the current Ukraine government, it can't all be for nothing. And we know that because a few hours ago, the biggest Dutch newspaper, Telegraaf, openly asked for military intervention by NATO to protect MH 17 and calls Putin a "KGB liar."
Ignoring for one second yesterday disastrous air crash in Ukraine, the 'boomerang' of sanctions continues to be thrown back and forth between the US and Russia. Having restricted Russian firm's access to USD funding, Putin has come out swinging. His first act was to demand that state departments and state-run companies will no longer purchase PCs built around Intel or AMD processors (which might explain AMD's slashing their outlook); but now he has hit out at the heart of what has made America great (in the eyes of some) - banning the use of foreign cars for officials in favour of home-produced cars.
Slowly but surely, all those cans that many hoped were kicked indefinitely into the future, are coming back home to roost. The biggest impact on global risk overnight have been undoubtedly the expanded Russian sanctions announced by Obama yesterday, which have sent the Russian Micex index reeling to six week lows (as it does initially after every sanction announcement, only for the BTFDers to appear promptly thereafter), with the biggest hits saved for the named companies such as Rosneft -5.6%, Novatek -5.1%, and others Alrosa -5.7%, VTB Bank -4.3%, Sberbank -3.4% and so on. Then promptly risk off mood spilled over into broader Europe and at last check the Stoxx600 was down 0.8%, with Bund futures soaring to record highs especially following news (from the Ukraine side) that a Russian warplane attacked a Ukrainian fighter jet. Not helping matters is the end of the dead cat bounce in Portugal where after soaring by 20% yesterday on hopes of a fresh capital infusion, Espirito Santo has once again crashed, dropping as much as 11%, driven lower following downgrades by both S&P and Moodys, as well as the realization that someone was pulling everyone's legs with the rumor of an equity stake sale.
Forget Generalities ... Let's Talk Specifics
- BRICS set up bank to counter Western hold on global finances (Reuters)
- Fed's Yellen Hedges Her View on Rates (Hilsenrath)
- China GDP Grows 7.5% in Second Quarter (WSJ)
- Get More Acquainted With Your Knees as Boeing Reworks 737 (BBG)
- Israel Warns Gazans of New Attack After Hamas Rejects Truce (WSJ)
- Israel poised for Gaza incursions after truce collapses (Reuters)
- China Housing Sales Fall in First Half of 2014 (WSJ)
- IBM to offer iPads and iPhones for business users (Reuters)
- Fed's George says strengthening economy warrants quick rate rise (Reuters)
Remember when Japan and Tepco lied it was in control of the Fukushima disaster recovery, when it lied radiation exposure was manageable (when concerned about radiation exposure, just raise the minimum safe dosage), or when it lied that it had any clue what it was doing when it proposed building an "ice wall" to freeze the radioactive ground water below the damanged plant? Turns out it also lied about the impact of Fukushima's radiation not only on locally produced food (which was served to a government official to "prove" its safety), but also on food as far as 20 kilometers away. According to Japan's Asahi, cleanup work at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in summer last year "may have" contaminated rice harvested from 14 locations in Minamisoma city, more than 20km north of the reactors.
Nomura has threatened to seek the immediate repayment of at least €100 million of loans to Espirito Santo Financial Group, prompting today’s sale by the Portuguese co. of a stake in Banco Espirito Santo, according to people with knowledge of the talks who asked not to be identified. Failure to repay the loan could have triggered multiple defaults across cos. within Espirito Santo group.
Russia Furious With UK Air Show Visa Refusal, Vows Reponse Before Ukraine Plane Allegedly Shot Down By RussiaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/14/2014 10:26 -0400
Clashes between Ukraine’s government forces and pro-Russia rebels in the east of the country have intensified since President Petro Poroshenko called off a cease-fire July 1. Putin and Merkel met as Russia warned of “irreversible consequences” after the Foreign Ministry said a Ukrainian army shell killed one person in the southern region of Rostov. Ukraine said its military didn’t fire on Russian territory and is ready to help investigate the incident. “Both leaders agreed that, unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine is degrading,” Peskov told reporters after Putin and Merkel met. The Russian leader expressed his “extreme concern” about Ukraine’s continuing offensive operations and today’s “tragedy,” Peskov said. Market shrugs.
Congratulations America: after severing ties with Russia, crushing cordial relations with China (leading to this stunning announcement by China's president), alienating France (which is now openly calling for an end to the petrodollar), the Obama administration - following not one, not two, but three spying scandals in just the past year - has managed to sour relations with Germany to a point where one wonders just who is a remaining US ally in Europe these days. According to Bloomberg, the German chancellor’s office has issued instructions to national intelligence services to limit cooperation with U.S. following alleged U.S. spying case, Bild reports without saying where it got information.
- Carl Icahn says 'time to be cautious' on U.S. stocks (Reuters)
- Banco Espirito Santo Lifts Lid on Exposure to Group (BBG)
- Slowing Customer Traffic Worries U.S. Retailers (WSJ)
- Insurgents enter military base northeast of Baghdad (Reuters)
- Obama tells Israel U.S. ready to help end hostilities (Reuters)
- Japan economics minister warns of premature QE exit, sees room for more easing (Reuters)
- Greek Banks See Quadrupling of Housing Loans by Next Year (BBG) ... to fund buybacks like in the US?
- Piggy Banks Being Raided Signal Swedish Housing Dilemma (BBG)
- London Seeks New Spenders as Russians Skip $719 Champagne (BBG)