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Egypt To Begin Crackdown On Pro-Mursi Supporters Tonight, "A Move Which Could Trigger More Bloodshed"





Nearly a month after Egypt underwent a truly embarrassing, if mostly for the US department of state, coup and days after international "mediator" US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns left Cairo, having made no headway in finding a compromise between the army-installed government and supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, it appears that the catalyst to push the already unstable social situation into a state of borderline civil war, is about to be unleashed following a Reuters report that "Egyptian police are expected to start taking action early on Monday against supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi who are gathered in protest camps in Cairo, security and government sources said on Sunday, a move which could trigger more bloodshed."

 
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Apple 2 - 0 Samsung; Are The Lobbying Dollars About To Pay Off Again?





Last week we witnessed the almost unprecedented veto intervention in the Apple-Samsung patent debate. Last night, after the market had closed, the hits kept coming for the South Korean company as the Cupertino crushed showed the ITC that Samsung's infringements should mean a sales and import ban in the US. As Reuters reports, the decision is likely to inflame passions in the long-running dispute since the decision will now - once again - go to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to review them and decide whether to side with the American company that 'donated' $16.5mm to his campaign or the South Korean market-share 'stealer' that only gave $3.7 million in offerings at the altar of hope-and-change. While some are calling foul so soon after the veto, with South Korean government officials 'observing' closely, even the US Trade Representative is against the proposed Samsung ban, citing "competitive conditions and the effect on the US consumer."

 
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Guest Post: Chesapeake Gives Up On New York Fracking





It hasn’t been a great year for Chesapeake Energy, just coming down from a management meltdown and now giving up on its leases in New York over the state’s ban on high-volume fracking. It’s a battle that’s been on for two years over thousands of acres of natural gas leases in New York, where fracking has been banned for five years. The problem was that the landowners leased the acreage to Chesapeake before the advent of hydraulic fracturing, and now they don’t want these leases extended under the original terms, according to a report by Reuters. The report says that Chesapeake has now notified the landowners that it is giving up the fight, and that the decision should be finalized next week. But there’s more to this than a simple court case...

 
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Stock Market Bubbles And Record Margin Debt: A (Repeating) History Of Ignoring All Warnings





It is well-known that as part of the S&P500's ascent to new records, investor margin debt has also surged to all time highs, surpassing for the past three months previous records set during both prior, the dot com and the housing, stock market bubbles. And as more attention has shifted to the topic of speculator leverage once more, inquiries into the correlation between bets upon bets and stock performance are popping up once more, in this case in a study by Deutsche Bank titled "Red Flag! - The curious case of NYSE margin debt." Of particular note here is a historical comparison of margin-debt warnings that have recurred throughout history but especially just before major stock bubble crashes, such as in the period 1999/2000, 2007/2008 and of course today, which have time and again been ignored. Here is what was said then, what is being said now, and what is ignored always.

 
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Frontrunning: August 9





  • JPMorgan Nears Settlement With SEC on London Whale Loss (BBG)
  • Without even a wristslap: Iksil to face no U.S. charges in 'Whale' probe (Reuters)
  • China’s Credit Expansion Slows as Li Curbs Shadow Banking (BBG)
  • China slowdown shows signs of abating (FT), even as...
  • Australia central bank Lowers Growth Outlook as Economy Transitions From Mining (BBG)
  • SAC Business Plan Goes to Judge, Plan Would Allow Firm to Maintain Business Operations but Restrict Its Ability to Move Assets (WSJ)
  • Another buyer of Herbalife? - Norway’s oil fund plans to turn active (FT)
  • Mark Carney plays down scepticism over interest rate policy (FT)
  • Orders Evaporate for Celebrity Perfumes (WSJ)
 
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Gold Markets Get Strange – Is Economic Danger Near?





Traditionally, metals markets are supposed to be a solid fundamental signal of the physical and psychological health of our overall economy. Steady but uneventful commodities trade meant a generally healthy industrial base and consumption base. An extreme devaluation was a signal of deflation in consumer demand and a flight to currencies. Extreme price hikes meant a flight from normal assets and currencies in the wake of possible hyperinflation. This is how gold and silver markets were originally designed to function – however, welcome you to the wacky world of 2013, where bad financial news is met with the cheers of investors who believe stimulus will last forever, where foreign investors dump the U.S. dollar in bilateral trade while mainstream dupes argue that the Greenback is invincible, and where everyone and their uncle seems to be buying precious metals yet the official market value continues to plunge. The reason our entire fiscal system now operates in a backwards manner is due to one simple truth - every major indicator of our economy today is manipulated by our central bank...

 
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Frontrunning: August 8





  • Fukushima: "300 metric tons of contaminated water were likely leaking into the ocean daily" (WSJ)
  • Unexpected strength in China trade data eases some gloom (Reuters) - actually, perfectly expected data fakery
  • Pimco, BlackRock Seek to Bar California Mortgage Seizures (BBG)
  • How will Amazon's Bezos change The Washington Post? (Reuters)
  • Montreal Maine Railway Files for Bankruptcy After Crash (BBG)
  • Fed Belongs to Everybody as Public Says It’s Our Money in Crisis (BBG)
  • Local Russian TV channel broadcasts rare critical segment about Putin (Reuters)
  • Loeb’s Reinsurer With No U.S. Staff Gains From Obama’s Jobs Act (BBG)
  • As Berlusconi star fades, daughter Marina tipped as new leader (Reuters)
  • Detroit Rattles Muni Market (WSJ)
 
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As Kenyan Airport Burns, Keynesians Predict Economic Boost





If destruction is nothing but a boost to the economy as the global Keynesian brotherhood of voodoo priests believes, than Kenyan (not to be confused with Keynesian of course) GDP is about to go vertical.

 
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Frontrunning: August 7





  • Libor Settlements Said to Ease CFTC’s Path in Rate-Swaps Probe (BBG)
  • Manhattan Homes Under $3 Million Never Harder to Buy (BBG)
  • Just two years late: Abe Pledges Government Help to Stem Fukushima Water Leaks (BBG)
  • Chesapeake drops energy leases in fracking-shy New York (Reuters)
  • Hedge Fund Magnetar Won't Face Charges Tied to Mortgages (WSJ)
  • U.S. envoy leaves Cairo after talks declared over (Reuters)
  • Credit-Crisis Oracle Rajan to Head India’s Central Bank (BBG)
  • Bank of England Changes Policy Tack (WSJ)
 
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US Files Criminal Charges In Benghazi Attack





Nearly a year after the Benghazi embassy attack that left four Americans dead including ambassador Chris Stevens, it seems that the deaths of US citizens have "made a difference" after all in the eyes of the amusingly named US Department of Justice, which moments ago filed criminal charges related to the Libyan attack. Alas, that's all we know because as the WSJ reports, the charges were filed under seal. It probably means that is all that shall be known until one day, several years from now long after Eric Holder has left the building, the DOJ will unseal the charges and disclose it never had a case to begin with.

 
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US Evacuates Personnel From Yemen Following Droning Of Four Al Qaeda Militants





Embassy evacuations are so last week. In an apparent escalation of the threat level to some unspecified color, earlier today the U.S. Air Force flew some American personnel out of Sanaa, Yemen, the Pentagon said, as the United States told its citizens to leave the country and ordered the evacuation of non-essential government staff "because of a terror threat." Reuters quotes Pentagon spokesman George Little who said in a statement  that "in response to a request from the U.S. State Department, early this morning the U.S. Air Force transported personnel out of Sanaa, Yemen, as part of a reduction in emergency personnel."  He did not specify which types of personnel were involved or where they were taken. "The U.S. Department of Defense continues to have personnel on the ground in Yemen to support the U.S. State Department and monitor the security situation," the statement said.

 
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Frontrunning: August 6





  • Washington Post Company Chairman and CEO Donald Graham talks about the sale, what it means for the future of The Post (WaPo)
  • Private-equity firms are adding debt to companies they own to fund payouts to themselves at a record pace (WSJ)
  • U.S., U.K. Urge Citizens to Leave Yemen (WSJ)
  • India Names Rajan Central Bank Governor as Rupee Plunges (BBG)
  • Family Offices Chasing Wealthy’s $46 Trillion in Assets (BBG)
  • UK 'bad bank' repays $2.9 billion to taxpayers in first half (Reuters)
  • Sony rebuffs Daniel Loeb’s push for entertainment spin-off (FT)
  • Public Pensions Up 12% Get Most in 2 Years as Stocks Soar (BBG)
  • Hidden Billionaire Found With Food Fortune in California (BBG)
  • Fonterra under fire over milk scare; more product recalls (Reuters)
  • Crédit Agricole Profit Rises After Greek  (WSJ)
 
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Jeff Bezos To Buy Washington Post Newspaper And Its Publishing Assets For $250 Million





 
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Japan Finally Admits The Truth: "Right Now, We Have An Emergency At Fukushima"





Tepco is struggling to contain the highly radioactive water that is seeping into the ocean near Fukushima. The head of Japan's NRA, Shinji Kinjo exclaimed, "right now, we have an emergency," as he noted the contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier and is rising toward the surface - exceeding the limits of radioactive discharge. In a rather outspoken comment for the typically stoic Japanese, Kinjo said Tepco's "sense of crisis was weak," adding that "this is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster. As Reuters notes, Tepco has been accused of covering up shortcomings and has been lambasted for its ineptness in the response and while the company says it is taking actions to contain the leaks, Kinjo fears if the water reaches the surface "it would flow extremely fast," with some suggesting as little as three weeks until this critical point.

 
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