Reuters

Bitcoin Battered After "Governance Coup"

Naysyers are warning that the recent plunge in Bitcoin prices - from almost $318 at its peak during the Greek crisis, to $221 yesterday - due to growing power struggle over the future of the cryptocurrency that is dividing its lead developers could spell the end of the cryptocurrency. On Saturday, a rival version of the current software was released by two bitcoin big guns. As Reuters reports, Bitcoin XT would increase the block size to 8 megabytes enabling more transactions to be processed every second. Those who oppose Bitcoin XT say the bigger block size jeopardizes the vision of a decentralized payments system that bitcoin is built and represents a "governance coup.". However, the turmoil in the price also coincides with some rather notable global macro events from Asia (where Bitcoin is extremely popular).

China Rushes To Inject Hundreds Of Billions In Liquidity To Offset Yuan Intervention

Now that the PBoC has created a situation where it’s forced to prop up the yuan via open FX ops just about as often as it’s forced to prop up the SHCOMP via China Securities Finance, concerns are growing about liquidity and a severe tightening of money markets, prompting the PBoC to inject hundreds of billions in emergency funding.

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Druckenmiller’s fund recently bought $300 million worth of SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), an ETF that tracks the price of gold. It’s a huge bet, even for a big-time trader like Druckenmiller. He put 20% of his fund’s money into this trade, and it’s his largest position.

Frontrunning: August 19

  • $1 trillion in Emerging Market outflows in the past 13 months (FT)
  • German lawmakers back third Greek bailout (Reuters)
  • Dutch government faces test in "junkie" Greece debate (Reuters)
  • China c.bank offers selected banks medium term lending facility (Reuters)
  • Another "expert network" busted: Promontory settles over StanChart probe (FT)
  • Angola to Ship Most Crude in Four Years to Meet Asian Demand (BBG)
  • Hackers dump data online from cheating website Ashley Madison (Reuters)
  • Yuan’s Devaluation Brings Losses for Some (WSJ)

Chinese Intervention Rescues Market From 2-Day Plunge, Futures Red Ahead Of Inflation Data, FOMC Minutes

With China's currency devaluation having shifted to the backburner if only for the time being, all attention was once again on the Chinese stock market roller coaster, which did not disappoint: starting off with yesterday's dramatic 6.2% plunge, the Shanghai Composite crashed in early trading, plunging as much as 5% in early trading and bringing the two-day drop to a correction-inducing 11%, and just 51.2 points away from the July 8 low (when China unleashed the biggest ad hoc market bailout in capital markets history) . And then the cavalry came in, and virtually the entire afternoon session was one big BTFD orgy, leading to a 1.2% gain in the Shanghai Composite closing price, while Shenzhen and ChiNext closed up 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.

The 8 Trillion Black Swan: Is China's Shadow Banking System About To Collapse?

Between micromanaging the economy, equities, the yuan, and public opinion, there's no question that China has its hands full these days. But with everyone's attention now focused sqaurely on Beijing's plunge protection team and the PBoC's "controlled" yuan devaluation, the market may be ignoring the biggest risk of all...

Cyanide Thunderstorms Feared As Mystery Deepens Around $1.5 Billion Tianjin Explosion

The story behind the deadly chemical explosion that rocked China’s Tianjin port last Wednesday continues to evolve amid fears that the public could be at risk from the hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide stored at the facility. Indeed, new samples show that the cyanide level in the water around the site is some 28 times the safety standard. It looks as though determining who actually owns Ruihai will be complicated by the fact that in China, it’s not uncommon for front men to hold shares on behalf of a company’s real owners. In an effort to pacify the country’s censored masses, party mouthpiece The People’s Daily said 10 people, including the head and deputy head of Ruihai had been detained since Thursday. Finally, initial estimates put the cost of the blast at bewteen $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

China Stocks Crash, More Than Half Of Market Halted Limit Down; PBOC Loss Of Control Spooks Global Assets

Just hours after the PBOC announced a modestly "revalued" fixing in the CNY, which curiously led to weaker trading in the onshore Yuan for most of the day before a forceful last minute intervention by the central bank pushed it back down to 6.39 it was the local stock market spinning plate - which had been relatively stable during the entire FX devaluation process - that China lost control over, and after 7 days of margin debt increases the Shanghai Composite plunged by 6.2% in late trade, tumbling 245 points to 3748, just 240 points above its recent trough on July 8, a closing level some 27% off its June peak.

Frontrunning: August 18

  • China stocks slump 6 percent on fears of further yuan depreciation (Reuters)
  • U.S. Lacks Ammo for Next Economic Crisis (Hilsenrath)
  • Emerging Markets Extend Slide as Commodities Fall; Pound Jumps (BBG)
  • China yuan to move both ways, more 'adjustments' unlikely: central bank economist (Reuters)
  • Playing Chinese markets is as simple as 'follow the leader' (Reuters)
  • PBOC Injection Shows China Worries About Outflows (WSJ)
  • Russia Fails to Soothe Oil Concerns as Citi Joins Ruble Bears (BBG)

Greece Faces Snap Elections As Lawmakers Abandon Tsipras

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has lost the support he needs to win a confidence vote, setting up the possibility of snap elections. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's bulletproof reputation will be tested on Wednesday when the Bundestag will be forced to vote on the Greek bailout without an assurance that the IMF will ultimately shoulder a portion of the burden.

Donald "I Am Batman" Trump Reports For Jury Duty After Failing To Respond To Five Prior Summonses

Over the weekend, the Donald came to Iowa, saw, and then left in his chopper. But not before declaring himself to be America's latest caped crusader. So having gone back to New York, what is keeping the Donald occupied today? The answer: jury duty. Perhaps the reason the media is particularly fascinated with Trump's appearance in court is because it was his first time in six that he decided to respond to a jury duty summons: "The real estate mogul's service came after a state judge in March fined him $250 for failing to respond to summonses to serve jury duty five times since 2006."