At the open, Europe looked in the abyss, and with no help coming from China, it did not like what it saw: And then the answer came from the Swiss National Bank, which stepped in to prevent the collapse just as Europe was opening. Because seemingly out of nowhere, a tremendous bid came in to life the EURCHF, buying Euros (against the CHF and the USD) and selling Europe's last left safety currency. We now know that it was the SNB, the same central bank which is the proud owner of well over $1 billion in Apple stock.
- Doubts over City of London’s “fintech” in age of cyber war - Thousands left in “financial limbo” after tech “error” - 600,000 RBS customer payments go "missing" in "system failure”
- WSJ urges Fed to blow uberest of all bubbles: Memo to Fed: Let the Economy Overheat (WSJ)
- Gunman at large after killing nine at black South Carolina church (Reuters)
- Nine Dead in Charleston Shooting Labeled a 'Hate Crime' (BBG)
- Hong Kong Votes Down Beijing-Backed Election Plan (WSJ)
- Greece Has Already Cost Investors $897 Billion This Year (BBG)
- Merkel Maintains Tough Stance on Greece as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
- Small U.S. frackers face extinction amid drilling drought (Reuters)
- Brian Williams to Stay at NBC, but Lester Holt Will Be Anchor (WSJ)
- Razor-edge U.S. Congress vote to decide fate of Obama Pacific trade pact (Reuters)
- EU Readies for Default as Tsipras Drives Greek Finances to Brink (BBG)
- Greece Can’t Plan a Barbecue, Let Alone a Currency, Nielsen Says (BBG)
- IMF quits Greece talks amid ‘air of unreality’ as deal unravels (FT)
- Greece Counts Cost of One Man's Gamble (BBG)
- Merkel urges Greece and creditors to keep pushing for deal (Reuters)
- Fearful ECB starts countdown on Greek funding lifeline (Reuters)
- Greek stocks suffer further pummelling (FT)
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is set to address parliament Friday as difficult discussions with creditors have reached yet another stalemate. In Germany, some reports suggest there's now tension between German Chancelor Angela Merkel and FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble regarding how the EU paymaster should handle Greece going forward. Meanwhile, Tsipras and Putin will hold a phone call Friday to discuss "business and energy."
It had been a painfully quiet session in Asia (where Chinese levitation continues with the Shanghai Composite up another 0.6% oblivious of yesterday's rout in the US, because as we explained for China it is now critical to blow the world's biggest stock bubble) and Europe, where the only notable news as that for the first time in months the ECB had not increase the Greek ELA, keeping it at €80.2 billion on conflicting reports that Greek deposit withdrawals had halted even as Kathimerini said another €300MM had been pulled just yesterday, suggesting the ECB has reached the end of its road when it comes to funding nearly two-thirds of what Greek deposits are left in local banks. But the punchline came moments ago when Bloomberg reported that "Greece will likely miss a deadline for a deal with creditors by the end of the week as the two sides have made little progress during talks in recent days."
The Shanghai Composite is on the verge of 5,000 and has more than doubled in the past year but this may just be the beginning. The reason: if the Chinese stock bubble bursts, that will be the beginning of the end of the greatest con game in history.
It was about two years ago when we summarized all the known and confirmed rigged markets. Since then things have gone from bad to worse for believers in fair and efficient markets, with not only countless more banks now admitting they rigged Libor and FX. It all culminated with yesterday's settlement in which five of the world's biggest banks, including JPM, Citi and Barclays, agreed to plead guilty in a currency-rigging probe. And, to Bloomberg's dismay, the public yawned.
One Barclays FX trader, when he became the main Euro trader for Barclays in 2011, was desperate to be invited to join the Cartel because of the trading advantages from sharing information with the other main traders of the Euro.After extensive discussion of whether or not this trader “would add value” to the Cartel, he was invited to join for a “1 month trial,” but was advised “mess this up and sleep with one eye open at night.”
As the live webcast from US AG Loretta Lynch indicates, moments ago the DOJ announced five global banks including Citi, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBS would plead guilty to criminal charges to conspiring to manipulate FX Prices, and would pay some $5.6 billion in combined penalties to resolve a long running U.S. investigation into whether traders at the banks colluded to move foreign currency rates in directions to benefit their own positions.
UBS will pay $545 million, plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, and go on DoJ "probation" for three years for its role in forex manipulation. The market's assessment of how things turned out for the bank: "It couldn't have been better."
"Banks want assurances from U.S. regulators that they will not be barred from certain businesses before agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges over the manipulation of foreign exchange rates, causing a delay in multibillion-dollar settlements," Reuters reports, reinforcing the idea that 'guilty' pleas from Wall Street on FX rigging will ultimately mean absolutely nothing because once the fine print is inserted into the settlements and once the SEC grants every bank's request for a waiver, it will back to business as usual.
"UBS officials are confounded by the outcome, some of the people familiar with the negotiations said. The bank believes it provided early cooperation which helped prosecutors break open the foreign-exchange investigations and, as a result, was promised immunity by the antitrust division of the Justice Department."
- Bonds Extend Global Rout as Europe Stocks Slide, Dollar Weakens (BBG)
- Verizon Communications to Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion (BBG)
- Fresh Nepal earthquake kills dozens, triggers panic (Reuters)
- Sen. Shelby to Unveil Legislation Heightening Fed Scrutiny (WSJ)
- Bill Gross: The Amount of Money I'll Give Away 'Is Staggering, Even to Me' (BBG)
- U.S. rejects notion that Gulf rulers snubbing Obama summit (Reuters)... what about AIIB?
- In Asia, Debt Market Gets Tougher (WSJ)
- Iran’s Mahan airline defies sanctions in shadowy aircraft deal (FT)