Nomination

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The Midterm Election: Prospects For A Republican Senate Majority





In the four months since we last wrote about the upcoming midterm election, the outlook has changed only incrementally. As Goldman notes, although there were a few surprising retirements and primary election results over the last few months, none of these seem to have significantly affected the overall prospects for control of the House or Senate. However, as the election draws near, the potential effects of a Republican Senate majority seem likely to become more of a focus for market participants.

 
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Iraq's Maliki Steps Down "To Stop Bloodshed", Blames CIA, Supports Abadi As New Prime Minister





Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to step aside and support his nominated replacement in the post, according to Shiite lawmakers via AP. In an statement on state-run TV, Maliki declared support for al-Abadi, leaving his post "to not let one Iraqi blood drop be shed because of me." Of course, what really matters is what concessions were offered. In the past, Mr. Abadi has worried that American military presence was exacerbating sectarian tensions. Perhaps most notably, Maliki stated "Intelligence apparatuses behind the sectarian strife in the region." - CIA?

 
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ISIS And The Coming Escalation In Iraq





ISIS has attracted an entire generation of radicalized Sunni militants to the region. If one watches interviews with their enemies such as e.g. Peshmerga fighters, one topic that is occasionally mentioned is that they don't seem to fear death much. Combined with their well-known brutality, this undoubteldy makes them a formidable fighting force. However, there is evidently far more to ISIS than that. All of the above suggests that it will be exceedingly difficult to effectively destroy ISIS. It seems to us that if the goals the president has announced in recent days are to be achieved, nothing short of a full-scale invasion of Iraq (as well as of Syria for good measure) is likely to suffice – and even then, success is by no means guaranteed.

 
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Iraq's Maliki Refuses To Go: Says Only He Has The "Right To Represent State", Accuses US Of Intervening





  • MALIKI SAYS AL-ABADI NOMINATION IS LEGALLLY WORTHLESS
  • MALIKI SAYS IRAQ FACES A SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION
  • MALIKI SAYS U.S. STATE DEPT. TOOK SIDE OF THOSE VIOLATING LAW
  • MALIKI SAYS NO ONE BUT HIM HAS RIGHT TO REPRESENT STATE, DAWA
  • MALIKI SAY PEOPLE, SECURITY FORCES ARE IN A HOLY BATTLE
 
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Is Anyone In Control? The Iraq "Post Coup" Confusion Deepens





While the US is alternating between bombing the north of Iraq, and occasionally paradropping MREs and jugs of water to keep up the "noble" facade of intervention, it is very much unclear if Iraq currently has a government and in fact, who is in charge. As reported yesterday, current PM al-Maliki, seemingly unhappy with relinquishing power when a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi was chosen, decided to conduct what many described as a military coup and encircled the residence of the president. Since then things have gotten quite confusing.

 
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Frontrunning: August 7





  • Russia bans all U.S. food, EU fruit and vegetables in sanctions response (Reuters)
  • Snowden receives three-year Russian residence permit (Reuters)
  • Headline of the day: Europe's Recovery Menaced by Putin as Ukraine Crisis Bites (BBG)
  • Americans worry that illegal migrants threaten way of life, economy (Reuters)
  • Almost 90% of Uninsured Won't Pay Penalty Under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 (WSJ)
  • Germany’s Bond Advance Sends 2-Year Note Yield Below Zero (BBG)
  • Gaza War’s Critics in Crosshairs as Israelis Back Offensive (BBG)
  • The 1% May Be Richer Than You Think, Research Shows (BBG)
  • Bank of America Near $16 Billion to $17 Billion Settlement (WSJ)
  • Deep Water Fracking Next Frontier for Offshore Drilling (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: July 18





  • Ukraine Says Malaysian Airliner Shot Down Near Russian Border (BBG)
  • Downing of airliner seen as pivotal moment in Ukraine crisis (Reuters)
  • Malaysian Air Flight Took Route Avoided by Qantas, Asiana (BBG)
  • Russian-Made Missile Hit Malaysia Jet, U.S. Officials Say (BBG)
  • Netanyahu Orders Military to Ready Wider Gaza Incursion (BBG)
  • Silvio Berlusconi Underage Sex Conviction Overturned (WSJ)
  • But... but... "economic patriotism" - AbbVie to Buy Shire for $54.8 Billion as Drug Deals Surge (BBG)
  • SEC targets 10 firms in high frequency trading probe - SEC document (Reuters)
  • Art bubble pop: Sotheby's to Lay Off 'Modest' Number of Employees (WSJ)
  • Moar Abenomics: Hermes Sales Trail Estimates as Japanese Revenue Declines (BBG)
 
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Meanwhile In Europe: Juncker Approved, Hague Out, Lord Hill To Brussels: What Does It Mean?





This morning and last night saw three developments with importance for the UK’s Europe debate:

William Hague resigned as Foreign Secretary, replaced by Phillip Hammond, with the Cabinet becoming more Eurosceptic overall,
In nominating Lord Hill – the current leader of House of Lords – as the UK’s European Commissioner, Number 10 prioritised a ‘fixer’ and avoiding by-election over sending a heavy-hitter,
MEPs approved Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President by 422 votes to 250, marking the starting point of a more politicised European Commission.

 
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Frontrunning: July 14





  • Secret Path Revealed for Chinese Billions Overseas (BBG)
  • Traders Flood U.S. With $3.4 Trillion of Bond-Auction Demand (BBG)
  • Just in time to cover bad earnings in a massive $3.8 billion "one-time charge": Citi says to pay $7 billion to settle securities investigation (Reuters)
  • Troubled Epirito Santo family loosens grip on Portugal's BES (Reuters)
  • BES puts in place new executives after central bank push (Reuters)
  • Bank of China-CCTV drama may reveal power struggle in Beijing (SCMP)
  • Portugal speeds up Banco Espírito Santo management changes (FT)
  • Dark pool probe builds pressure on Barclays boss (Reuters)
  • Russia Vows to Respond After Shelling From Ukraine (BBG)
  • Ukraine forces end rebel airport blockade (Reuters)
  • Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since '70s (WSJ)
 
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Futures Levitate As Portugal Troubles Swept Under The Rug





Another round of overnight risk on exuberance helped Europe forget all about last week's Banco Espirito Santo worries, which earlier today announced a new CEO and executive team, concurrently with the announcement by the Espirito Santo family of a sale of 4.99% of the company to an unknown party, withe the proceeds used to repay a margin loan, issued during the bank's capital increase in May. This initially sent the stock of BES surging only to see it tumble promptly thereafter even despite the continuation of a short selling bank in BES shares this morning. Far more impotantly to macro risk, it was that 2013 staple, the European open surge in the USDJPY that has reset risk levels higher, while pushing gold lower by over 1% following the usual dump through the entire bid stack in overnight low volume trading. Clearly nothing has been fixed in Portugal, although at least for now, the investing community appears to have convinced itself that the slow motion wreck of Portugal's largest bank even after on Sunday, Portugal’s prime minister said taxpayers would not be called on to bail out failing banks, making clear there would be no state support for BES.

 
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Frontrunning: June 30





  • Facebook Researchers Manipulated News Feeds in 2012 Study (BBG)
  • Argentina at Brink of Default as $539 Million Payment Due (BBG)
  • Hedge fund correlation risk alarms investors (FT)
  • As China Flexes Muscle, Obama Frets Over Rival’s Weakness (BBG)
  • As caliphate declared, Iraqi troops battle for Tikrit (Reuters)
  • Dubai Caps Worst Month Since 2008 as Real Estate Stocks Tumble (BBG)
  • Russian Advisers Ready Iraq to Use New Combat Aircraft (BBG)
  • Blackstone Readies Big-Bet Hedge Fund (WSJ) - so what was GSO?
  • Pope says communists are closet Christians (Reuters)
  • Thomson Reuters revising FX trading standards (Reuters)
 
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Hillary Clinton, NATO, Yanukovich, Uranium: What Wiki-Leaked Cables Reveal About Ukraine's New President





While barely covered in the western media as a result of the curious blackout of recent developments in the Ukraine civil war, for nearly a month Ukraine has had a new president, 48 year old billionaire businessman, Petro Poroshenko. In order to cut through the fog, we decided to go straight to the source on what the US has to say about the country's new leader, who for now at least, appears to be in the good graces of both Putin and the US, namely the leaked Wikileaks cables. Readers will hardly be surprised to learn that he features quite prominently.

 
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"Stress Test" Reviewed: Tim Geithner Is "A Grifter, A Petty Con Artist"





Timothy Geithner is likely to go down in American history as one of the most dangerous, destructive cronies to have ever wielded government power. The man is so completely and totally full of shit it’s almost impossible not to notice. The last thing we’d ever want to do in our free time is read a lengthy book filled with Geithner lies and propaganda, so we owe a large debt of gratitude to former Congressional staffer Matt Stoller for doing it for us. Stoller simply tears Geither apart limb from limb, detailing obvious lies about the financial crisis, and even more interestingly, Geithner’s bizarre bio, replete with mysterious and inexplicable promotions into positions of power..."Geithner is at heart a grifter, a petty con artist with the right manners and breeding to lie at the top echelons of American finance..."

 
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