• Pivotfarm
    07/27/2014 - 17:57
    There never seems to be a day that goes by without someone predicting that China is going to go down the Yangtze and end up some creek without a paddle.

Reuters

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Pentagon Admits Armed Drones Flying Over Baghdad; Top Shiite Cleric Joins US Calling For Maliki Ouster





With Iraq closing a last minute deal with Russia to reinforce its depleted airforce by purchasing second-hand Su fighter jets, suddenly the US found itself scrambling: the last thing it wants is to hand over control of Iraq's skies to foreign-made warplanes. Which is perhaps why as CBS just reported, a Pentagon official has officially confirmed that the US is now flying armed drones over Baghdad. "The flights, which are not round the clock, are for the protection of the embassy and are not the precursor to air strikes" according to the same source.

 
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European Euphoric Expansion Caption Contest





Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (C) poses with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) at the EU Council in Brussels June 27, 2014 following the singing of Ukraine's trade agreement with EU. Euphoria ensues.

 
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Frontrunning: June 27





  • Yellen Spending Recipe Lacking Key Ingredient: Bigger Wage Gains (BBG)
  • Ukraine signs trade agreement with EU, draws Russian threat (Reuters)
  • GM Documents Show Senior Executive Had Role in Switch (WSJ)
  • Australian Report Postulates Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Lost Oxygen (WSJ)
  • World’s Biggest Debt Load Lures Distressed Funds to China  (BBG)
  • GPIF Rushing Into Riskier Assets Before Ready, Okina Says (BBG)
  • Japan Prices Rise Most Since ’82 on Tax, Utility Fees (BBG)
  • Italian Debt Swells to Rival Germany as Bond Yields Slide (BBG)
  • China’s Manhattan Project Marred by Ghost Buildings (BBG)
  • BOE's Carney Says Rates Won't Rise to Levels Previously Considered Normal (WSJ)
 
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Obama Asks For $500 Million To Equip Syrian Rebels As The ISIS Juggernaut In Iraq Spreads





As the war in Iraq goes from bad to worse, and as the Obama administration is tired of being humiliated by a bunch of extremist Al Qaeda tribesman, the president is once again pivoting to the place where it all started. It is here where he intends on arming the local Al Qaeda jihadists once again, and will request half a billion dollars from Congress to achieve just that. The good news: Obama will only arm just the "moderate" al Qaeda forces. So there is nothing to fear.

 
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Obama "Deeply Disappointed" By Supreme Court Decision To Limit His Power





"Today's SCOTUS decision is encouraging for all who believe in the checks and balances enshrined in our nation's constitution," is Darrell Issa's message following the Supreme Court's unanimous (9-0) decision cutting back the power of the White House to temporarily fill senior government posts when facing partisan opposition in Congress. The White House spokesman said President Obama was "deeply disappointed" and is 'reviewing' the decision. Simply put, President Obama used the recess appointment power to make an end run around a Senate that refused to confirm controversial nominees - thanks to this unanimous SCOTUS decision, that use of the power is all but dead.

 
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Head Of Fourth Largest Albanian Bank Assassinated In Broad Daylight





It was about two months ago when in a shocking development in the otherwise sleepy tax-evasion haven of Lichtenstein, the CEO of local Bank Frick, was murdered in the underground garage of the bank by a disgruntled former client. As readers may recall, the tragic event happened at a time when there was a spike in banker suicides, prompting us to wonder if "with the first open bank CEO murder, one wonders if there will be a change in the pattern." Two months later it appears as if the vector of death is indeed changing when, as Reuters reported, overnight the head of the fourth largest bank in Albania, Credins, was murdered, shot at least five times, as he entered his office in the capital Tirana.

 
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Germany Scores First: Ends Verizon Contract Over NSA Concerns





It appears Germany has come out swinging ahead of today's FIFA World Cup match:

*GERMANY ENDING VERIZON CONTRACT, CITING NSA: AP

Is this the "boomerang" that Putin warned Obama about?

 
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Frontrunning: June 26





  • Minorities Seen Driving U.S. Household Growth (Reuters)
  • GM prepares to recall some Cruze sedans with Takata air bags (Reuters)
  • PBOC Halts Repos as China Money Rate Climbs to Seven-Week High (BBG)
  • Ukraine Optimism Wavers on Peace as Cease-Fire Winds Down (BBG)
  • Economic Rebound Seen Undercut by Weak Pay as Vote Winner (BBG)
  • Cracks Open in Dark Pool Defense With Barclays Lawsuit (BBG)
  • The Survivor: How Eric Holder outlasted his (many) critics (Politico)
  • IBM, Lenovo Tackle Security Worries on Server Deal (WSJ)
  • Militants take Iraqi gas field town, president calls parliament session (Reuters)
  • Carney Surprises Confounding Markets as BOE Manages Guidance (BBG)
 
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Putin Fires Warning Shot - Russia May Bar Firms Using Foreign Banks





With the cease-fire on shaky ground in Ukraine, and the ongoing proxy war between the US and Russia growing in intensity (once again ignited in Syria); it seems Putin has fired a significant warning shot across the bow of the west. Reuters reports that Russia is considering banning state companies and other strategically important firms from holding accounts at foreign-owned banks. As Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger notes if this actually happens, it would be a very big deal with significant negative implications to the global economy, and certainly an escalation in the friction between these two geopolitically crucial nations.

 
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Syrian And Iraqi Al-Qaeda Groups Merge As US Troops Arrive: The Full Iraq Update





Here are the most notable news updates from overnight events in Iraq.

 
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Frontrunning: June 25





  • Obama Administration Widens Export Potential for U.S. Oil (BBG)
  • WTI Pares Gains as U.S. Export Ruling Seen Limited (BBG)
  • Senator Cochran defeats Tea Party rival in Mississippi Republican runoff (Reuters)
  • Militants attack Iraq air base, U.S. assessment teams deploy (Reuters)
  • Maliki rules out national emergency govt (AFP)
  • Koch to Start EU Power Trading as It Plans LNG Expansion (BBG)
  • Obama Said to Ready Sanctions on Russian Industries (BBG)
  • Ghana Sends Plane With $3 Million to Calm World Cup Team (BBG)
  • Ghana’s First Hedge Fund Planned by Ex-Exchange Regulator (BBG)
  • SEC Is Gearing Up to Focus on Ratings Firms (WSJ)
  • Abe Declares Deflation End as Growth Plan Confronts Skeptics (BBG)
 
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Japan is Dropping Hints of a Potential Exit Strategy





Weak GDP growth with major currency devaluation? This is called stagflation. And it’s causing the Bank of Japan some doubt.

 
 
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WTI Crude Spikes Higher: US Deploys Special Ops Troops In Iraq, Obama Eases Oil Export Ban





It is unclear for now what the catalyst for the $1.70 spike in oil prices is but WTI just touched $107.50 in a hurry. It appears a combination of a WSJ story reporting the Obama administration has quietly cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in four decades, allowing energy companies to chip away at the long-standing ban on selling U.S. crude overseas (which could theoretically enable them to buy crude (bid price up) and sell for higher prices abroad as we show below); and and Reuters reports that the U.S. military began deploying assessment teams to Iraq with about 40 special operations personnel already in the country (which could mean risks are rising).

 
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Pro-Russian Separatists Down Ukraine Chopper As Putin Revokes Right To Military Intervention





In a rather stunning step for the West's propaganda machine, 'devil-incarnate' Putin has asked the Russian parliament to revoke the right of military intervention in Ukraine. As The BBC reports, Vladimir Putin's move was aimed at "normalising the situation" in the conflict-torn eastern regions of Ukraine, his press-secretary said. Ukraine added that this move was a "first practical step" towards settling the crisis in the east. Presidential spokesman Peskov said the move was linked to Monday's launch of talks between Kiev and separatist leaders in the east (with the case-fire deadline ending Friday). One can only wonder, why now? for Putin's gesture of peace? Cold showers enough in Kiev? Or is it that oil prices are high enough to help thanks to the Iraq situation and his Syrian 'aid' is needed as Ukraine festers? However, it appears things are moving a little beyond his and Ukraine's control, as AFP reports, pro-Russian rebels have downed a Ukraine army helicopter, killing all on board.

 
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