Reuters

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Currency Wars Intensify As Russia Buys 18.6 Tonnes Of Gold In June





Aggressive buying of gold and particularly silver by Russia will likely lead to defaults on the COMEX gold and silver futures exchanges and potentially an international monetary crisis. As sanctions, economic war and currency wars intensify we expect Russian and Russian ally buying of gold and selling of dollars to intensify ...

 
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Frontrunning: July 29





  • EU finalises Russian sanctions as BP warns of impact on business (FT)
  • Geopolitical Risk Rises for Global Investors (BBG)
  • Jaded Argentines brace for looming debt default (Reuters)
  • In Argentina, Mix of Money and Politics Stirs Intrigue Around Kirchner (WSJ)
  • Mom ‘Trusting God’ for Ebola-Infected U.S. Doctor’s Life (BBG)
  • Thanks NSA: Tech Companies Reel as NSA's Spying Tarnishes Reputations (BBG)
  • Goldman unit eyes foray into China amid metals financing scandal (Reuters)
  • Cash out time: London’s Gherkin Tower Offered for Sale by Its Lenders (BBG)
  • Apenomics strikes again: McDonald’s Japan axes profit guidance amid food safety scandal (FT)
  • Do you see what happens Larry when you are the only USDJPY bid? Nomura Profit Falls More Than Estimated on Broking Slump (BBG)
 
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Futures Levitate As FOMC Begins Two-Day Meeting





Overnight markets have been a continuation of the relative peace observed yesterday before the onslaught of key data later in the week, with the biggest mover standing out as the USDJPY, which briefly touched 102 before sliding lower then recouping losses. This sent the Nikkei 225 up 0.57% despite absolutely atrocious Japanese household spending data, coupled with a major deterioration in employment: at this rate if Abenomics doesn't fix the economy it just may destroy it. Aside from that the last 24 hours could be summed as having a lot of noise but not a lot of excitement. This was best illustrated by the S&P500’s (+0.03%) performance which was the second smallest gain YTD. And while the SHCOMP is starting to fade its recent euphoria and China was up only 0.24%, Europe continues to cower in the shade of Russian sanctions as both German Bund yields rose to record highs, and Portugal's BES tumbled by 10% once again to 1 week lows. Today Europe is expected to formally reveal its latest Russian sanctions, which should in turn push Europe's already teetering economy back over the edge.

 
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Israel Destroys Hamas Media Broadcast Outlets In Massive Explosion - Live Feed





Operation Protective Edge entered its 22nd day on Tuesday, as Israeli ground forces continued their incursion into Gaza following the government rejection of a cease-fire draft proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend. Earlier in the evening, Haaretz reports the Israeli Air Force struck Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh's home in Gaza and then Reuters notes that Hamas said that its broadcast outlets, Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio were also targeted. The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent.

 
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China Raids Multiple Microsoft Offices, Media Demands "Severe Punishment"





With Chinese state media calling for "severe punishment" against American tech firms for helping the U.S government to steal secrets and monitor China, Reuters reports that Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu were raided this weekend. Chinese officials declined to give any reasons for the inspections. Whether this is ongoing blow-back from NSA revelations or a back-door Russia retaliation is unclear, but it is an escalation from the ongoing Windows 8 ban. Microsoft's only response, "we're happy to answer the government's questions."

 
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US May Send Military Aid To Ukraine; Accuses Russia Of Violating Nuclear Arms Treaty With ICBM Launch





If the specter of the second cold war descending into outright smoldering status doesn't send the S&P promptly to all time highs, nothing will. Moments ago the White House accused Russia of violating the 1987 missile treaty, in response to a still unspecified ICBM launch, calling the "breach" a "very serious matter." Bloomberg added that at issue was a ground-launched ICBM missile. And just so it is clear that the US is now picked the "escalation" of the prisoner's dilemma,  also moments ago AGP reported that the US is now weighing the risks of aiding Ukraine militarily. Specifically, senior American military officers are discussing the possibility of "providing Ukraine with more precise intelligence that would allow it to target missiles held by pro-Russian forces, US officials said Monday."

 
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Here's How Obama Can Halt "Tax Inversions" Without Congress (& Why It Doesn't Matter)





As the topic of "unpatriotic" 'tax inversions' becomes a political issue, we thought it interesting to examine how big an economic issue it really is. How much income tax do U.S. companies actually pay every year to the Federal government? As ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, the simple answer is “Not much”, at least as compared to any other major source of revenue. In Fiscal 2013, Colas adds, the total was $274 billion, or just 9.9% of all tax and withholding receipts. Your political leanings will inform your opinion about whether that number is too high or too low, of course; but we point out that, as Reuters reports, a former  international tax counsel at Treasury explains Obama could "slam dunk" dictate an end to 'tax inversions' without Congressional approval (by invoking a little known 1969 tax law)

 
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Mapping The Global Contagion From Portugal's Systemic Banking Crisis





As multiple entities of one of Europe's largest banking dynasties rapidly crumble into bankruptcy, there are bound to be ramifications. With even the Portuguese President fearing Espirito Santo's systemic impact, we thought the following chart from Thomson Reuters would highlight the fact that is far more than just a Portugal thing... it has notable consequences for large businesses from Brazil to Mozambique.

 
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Silver Manipulation To End In Default; $150 Per Ounce Possible - Video





Manipulation of the silver market was covered in a just released ‘Get REAL’ Special on Silver. Key topics discussed in the interview include * The fix is in: Old boys, pints of beer, big cigars and top hats, * the risk of manipulation through HFT, computer trading and ‘dark pools,' * “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss,'  * The importance of owning allocated and especially segregated silver

 
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Frontrunning: July 28





  • The market in one sentence: Buying on Dips Pays Most in Five Years as Stocks Rebound (BBG)
  • Europe subdued, Russia shares tumble on new sanctions (Reuters)
  • Chinese Data Don’t Add Up (WSJ)
  • Argentine Default Drama Nears Critical Stage (WSJ)
  • Global Pressure Mounts on Israel to End Gaza Fighting (BBG)
  • Ukraine troops advance as experts renew attempt to reach crash site (Reuters)
  • Prospects Brighten for Republicans to Reclaim a Senate Majority (WSJ)
  • Europe’s banking union faces legal challenge in Germany (FT)
  • Investors Bet on China's Large Property Developers (WSJ)
  • Hague court orders Russia to pay over $50 billion in Yukos case (Reuters)
 
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The Italian Government Owes Over $100 Billion To Private Suppliers





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.

 
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Runaway Ebola-Infected Woman Dies As US Doctor Tests Positive For Virus





It continues to go from worse to worser for Africa's "deadliest ever" Ebola epidemic which has officially claimed well over 600 lives, and unofficially many more. Following the death of a Liberian government worker two days ago who collapsed in the international airport of Nigeria's 20-million megacity, Lagos which resulted in a "red alert" Nigeria clamping down into a quasi-quarantine state, sending specialists to airports and seaports fo containment, overnight we got an update on the other major Ebola story from last week, namely the female patient whose family broke her out of a hospital in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, and who had been on the loose of several days, leading to a nationwide hunt. She has passed away, dying in an ambulance on the way to hospital, Reuters reports. And while the US public has been generally unaware of the severity of the breakout, this may soon change following news that a 33-year-old US doctor in Liberia was the latest to test positive for the disease.

 
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Singapore Takes More Steps To Becoming Global Gold Hub





Singapore’s plans to become a gold and precious metals hub took a key step on Thursday. Jim Rogers, Jim Sinclair and Marc Faber have extolled the virtues of owning physical coins and bars in Singapore. “Individuals are making a mistake if they’re holding all their assets in one country.…I still have the majority of my gold in Switzerland, but I am already moving gold to Asia,” Faber recently said.

 
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US Evacuates Libya Embassy Following Biggest Local Violence Since Gadhafi Ouster





The middle east is burning again: first it was the fascinating ascent of the brutal Al-Qaeda spinoff ISIS, creating its own Caliphate in northern Iraq and in the process taking over a third of Syrian territory as well as all of its oil infrastructure. Then, the latest iteration of the Israel vs Gaza conflict has now claimed over 1000 lives and is dragging virtually all neighboring countries into it as well. And the cherry on top is that the Libyan "liberation" by the US has just gone full circle, as the country is is now witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since Gadhafi’s ouster. End result: nearly two years after the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, moments ago the US once again shuttered its embassy in Libya, this time in Tripoli, evacuating more than 150 Americans to Tunisia.  This is happening just 24 hours after the US Secretary of State was literally next door in Egypt, assuring the region that peace and stability are just around the corner.

 
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Ebola Victim On The Run In West Africa Capital





It's gone from bad (Mapping Africa's "Totally Out Of Control" Ebola Epidemic)  to worse, (Head Doctor Fighting Africa's "Out Of Control" Ebola Epidemic Contracts The Virus), to much worse (Liberian Man Tested For Ebola In World's Fourth Most Populous City), to having run out of comparaitves - although we are leery of using a superlative just yet as we have a feeling Africa's Ebola's epidemic will deteriorate before it gets better. But the latest news is bad enough: as Reuters reported moments ago, Sierra Leone officials appealed for help on Friday to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after testing positive for the deadly disease.

 
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