"The main goal of this attack was to damage the government, including by hijacking planes and destroying state installations," said Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman, as Reuters reports a well trained and heavily armed group of Taliban fighters attacked Pakistan's largest airport in an attempt to hijack a plane. 27 people were killed (including 10 militants ) as the Taliban spokesman added ominously, "this was just an example of what we are capable of and there is more to come. The government should be ready for even worse attacks." This attack comes a day after John Kerry's dismissal of threats by some released Taliban prisoners that they will return to the battlefield and kill Americans as "a lot of baloney."
- Attorneys Known for Large Civil Settlements Line Up to Sue GM Over Company's Handling of Defective Ignition Switches (WSJ)
- Pakistani Taliban attack airport in Karachi, 27 dead (Reuters)
- U.S. Official: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Has Declined to Speak to His Family (WSJ)
- Ukraine Gas Talks Resume in Brussels to Avoid Cut-off This Week (BBG)
- China's Central Bank Flexes Muscle (WSJ)
- China says Vietnam, Philippines' mingling on disputed isle a 'farce' (Reuters)
- World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes (BBG)
- Kraft Raises Prices on Maxwell House, Yuban U.S. Coffee Products (BBG)
- United Continental: One Sick Bird (WSJ)
Eurozone recessions, unemployment fiascos, toppling banks, crashing auto sales... didn’t exist, sez the Stoxx 600. But then an ugly thing happened.
Der Spiegel deemed it was the “end of capitalism”, while Die Welt described Mr Draghi as Europe’s Bismarck and as a near autocrat beyond control. Throughout history, currency debasement has been the easy option for emperors, kings, queens and governments. It is the easy option of central banks and of Goldman's Draghi today.
This past week has been all about "anticipation." The markets made little headway during the first half of the week as traders waited in an almost breathless anticipation of the announcement from the European Central Bank. When the news was finally received, investors were initially disappointed but David Tepper stepped into the fray with his ever bullish optimism. The more we read, the clearer it becomes that the world's Central Banks have become caught in a "liquidity trap" which is entirely based on circular logic... Central banks must create asset bubbles in the hopes of stimulating economic activity. When the bubble eventually pops the economic activity evaporates which requires the creation of another asset bubble.
- Canada Aims to Sell Its Oil Beyond U.S (WSJ)
- ECB Unanimity May Prove Fleeting (WSJ)
- Chinese military spending exceeds $145 billion, drones advanced: U.S. (Reuters)
- France to sell 10 warships to Russia next? BNP Executive Firings Sought by Top New York Bank Regulator Amid Probe (BBG)
- Vodafone says governments have direct access to eavesdrop in some countries (Reuters)
- Home Price Gains of 20% Vanish as Hottest Markets Cool (BBG)
- G-7 Heads Warn Moscow Before Facing Putin (WSJ)
- Barclays Fine Spurs U.K. Scrutiny of Derivatives Conflict (BBG)
- "Or Costs" - Obama Says Putin Running Out of Time Over Ukraine (BBG)
- Banca Monte Paschi Falls After Offering New Stock at 35.5% Discount (BBG)
As we reported yesterday, the third largest Chinese port of Qingdao is being investigated for after a source at a local warehouse said that "it appears there is a discrepancy in metal that should be there and metal that is actually there... We hear the discrepancy is 80,000 tonnes of aluminium and 20,000 tonnes of copper... It's either missing or it was never there - there have been triple issuing of documentation." This has resulted in a prompt and acute selloff of copper and other commodities as we further documents, but the problems may only now be starting and the banks. As Reuters reports, worries over a probe into commodity stockpile financing at China's Qingdao port appeared to deepen on Wednesday as Standard Bank Group and a part-owned unit of Louis Dreyfus Corp warned of potential losses and copper prices fell further."
Gold surged 1.6% in euros to €928/oz after the historic ECB announcement to adopt negative interest rates. Cheap money, financial repression and currency debasement are classic recipes for short term financial and economic gains. Throughout history, they have been the easy options for emperors, kings, queens and governments. They are the easy option for the ECB and central banks today.
It was interesting this week to watch the media explode in a frenzy of reporting over the "stronger than expected" auto sales. The increase in auto sales to 16.9 million units was certainly a welcome number. However, was it really the "long awaited" sign of economic recovery that it was portrayed to be?
- Inside the White House's decision to free Bergdahl (Reuters)
- Dimon’s Raise Haunts BNP Paribas as U.S. Weighs $10 Billion Fine (BBG)
- Jobs Are on the Line as Banks' Revenue Slides (WSJ)
- Wall Street Adjusts to the New Trading Normal (WSJ)
- Nothing like objective, intense probes: GM recall probe to clear senior execs, finds no concerted coverup (Reuters)
- ECB ready to cut rates and push banks into lending to boost euro zone economy (Reuters)
- China Should Resist Further Stimulus, IMF Says (BBG)
- Carney Finds Ally in Draghi as Key Rate Kept at 0.5% (BBG)
- Assad wins Syria election with 88.7 percent of votes (Reuters)
In today's abnormally quiet overnight session one could hear a pin, or the USDJPY, drop: with everyone focusing on the ECB announcement in one hour, not a single algo is willing to make any big moves, or even start some momentum ignition, ahead of Draghi's announcement, which absent launching full scale QE, which it won't, will be a disappointment which means the EUR will ultimatly move higher after a kneejerk lower as the market forces Super Mario to do even more next time. As Bloomberg adds, a cut in refi and deposit rates is fully priced in and latest price action suggests investors brace for disappointment if ECB stops short of signaling asset purchases or other liquidity measures to combat deflation.
Frustrated with their representation in government, residents in two of California’s northern counties are heading to the polls to decide whether they should consider seceding from the state. As Reuters reports, campaigns in both Del Norte and Tehama counties are underway to convince residents that permanently separating from California is in their best interests. As many as 16 counties in northern California could potentially join the movement, AP reports, though official secession would require approval by the state legislature as well as the US Congress. If they all decide to seek separation, the counties would make up about a quarter of California’s territory..."We have the water, forests, timber, we have the minerals. We have unspoiled agricultural land. We would be the wealthy state if we were allowed to go back and use our natural resources ourselves."
"Banks are worried about their exposure," warns one warehousing source, "there is a scramble for people to head down there at the minute and make sure that their metal that they think is covered by a warehouse receipt actually exists." The rehypothecated catastrophe that we discussed in great detail here (copper financing), here (all commodities), and here (global contagion) appears to be gathering speed as the China's northeastern port of Qingdao has halted shipments of aluminum and copper due to an investigation by authorities after they found "there is a discrepancy in metal that should be there and metal that is actually there."
Amid a rising backlash and assertions of desertion, a rally in US Army Sgt. Gowe Bergdahl's Idaho hometown - celebrating his release after 5 years of 'captivity' - has been canceled. The small mountain community's city administrator, Heather Dawson said town officials called off the June 28 rally, because the town "will be unable to safely manage the number of people expected," but residents of Hailey say they will support Bergdahl either way when he returns.
It seems like it was only yesterday when the US, under the guise of a fabricated WMD threat, was invading Iraq to liberate its oil deposits. Fast forward to this week, when as Reuters reports, the US will deliver the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in what Baghdad's envoy to the United States called a "new chapter" in his country's ability to defend its vast borders with Iran and other neighbors. Which merely shows that since the US has "sanctioned" virtually every other potential customer of US weapons, it now has no choice but to invoice defense machinery deliveries (and boost factory orders and GDP) to former enemies. It also means that in several years, when Iraq reverts to a posture that is unfriendly to the US, and when the US shale boom is long gone and foreign sources of petroleum are once again all the rage, the US will have to fight its own fighter jets in the name of yet another war of democratic liberation and emancipation.