China Says US "Militarization" Of South China Sea Shows Washington "Wants Nothing Better Than Chaos"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/30/2015 20:00 -0400
"China is extremely concerned at the United States' pushing of the militarization of the South China Sea region. "What they are doing can't help but make people wonder whether they want nothing better than chaos."
Global oil prices have returned to a state of flux. This is hardly news to any who follow the oil markets closely and yet prices continue to drive international headlines. While oil prices are notoriously difficult to predict, it has failed to deter the speculators. There are those warning that the latest dip is a precursor for $40 a barrel, a catastrophe for oil markets in some minds. On the other end of the spectrum are the optimists betting on a return to $100 by 2020. The World Bank has taken a typically middle-of-the-road approach, with forecasts of $57 a barrel in 2015. That said, given Iran’s potential revitalization, Russia’s murky outlook, and U.S. shale supply limits uncertain, prices will be responsive to supply and demand trends; at least in the short to medium term.
As Greece prepares to weather still more austerity in exchange for a third EU bailout program, the economy has fallen into a veritable tailspin, as retail sales collapse, doctors flee, and credit is nowhere to be found.
The manipulative smash on the gold price on Sunday night has once again led to a surge of buying of gold coins and bars across the globe. Both the Wall Street Journal and Reuters report on how bullion dealers are seeing a spike in demand for gold coins and bars in India and China and indeed Europe, Australia and the U.S.
What if Syriza were not just a particularly fluffy breed of miniature Europoodle but actual honest-to-goodness revolutionaries, ready to do whatever it takes? How would they act differently? And what would be the result? Given that the price is so high, perhaps it would be better after all if we just sat quietly, allowed the rich get richer as the poor get poorer, watched listlessly as the environment got completely destroyed by capitalist industrialists in blind pursuit of profit, and eventually curled up, kissed our sweet asses good-bye and died? Good luck selling that idea to young radicalized hotheads who have nothing to lose - except maybe you, if you happen to stand in their way as they change the world!
We suggest ECB President Mario Draghi has his work cut out for him today. As the entirely political catalyst for Greece's crescendo-like bailout capitulation, he will - we hope - be questioned long and hard on his actions over the last 2 weeks (and going forward) with regard the increasingly 3rd world nation. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, Draghi needs to help calm a still tense situation. The only way he can do this is with as much tranquility as he can muster, make sure everyone knows he is still prepared to do whatever it takes. It appears the markets (FX and equities for sure) are anticipating uber-dovishness and as we noted in the preview, he will likely crow of the lack of contagion from Greece, how well his tools have worked, and how Q€ is working... we wonder if the Greek reporters will be blocked from the press conference?
The Euro Summit statement (or Terms of Greece’s Surrender – as it will go down in history) was just annotated by Yanis Varoufakis as it pertains to ordinary Greek citizens. As the former finance minister writes "The original text is untouched with my notes confined to square brackets (and in red). Read and weep…"
While slightly later than expected, a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program has now been reached. As Reuters reports, the agreement will be greeted with alarm in several quarters, both in Washington and Tehran and internationally too, and could yet unravel. Internationally, the deal will accelerate unease in some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, but it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who remains the fiercest public critic and has issued a warning that the accord will "inevitably lead to a nuclear war." The deal profoundly changes the balance of power in the region, but averts the conflict that was likely otherwise, but as ECStrat notes, Iran offers exceptional investment opportunities, but the near term impact will be to continue oil’s decline back to its lows, potentially taking energy stocks with it.
"The idea was that with Greece out, Germany would be more likely to provide the financial support the eurozone needed because the German people would no longer perceive aid to Europe as a bailout for the Greeks. At the same time, a Grexit would be traumatic enough that it would help scare the rest of Europe into giving up more sovereignty to a stronger banking and fiscal union."
... It was on the table. And that means that to some extent, the genie is now out of the bottle. Brussels is officially discussing how to engineer Greece’s departure. The euro is not irreversible. Clearly, they will not do “whatever it takes” to keep it together.
"Russia intends to support the revival of Greece's economy by broadening cooperation in the energy sector. Accordingly we are studying the possibility of organising direct deliveries of energy resources to Greece, starting shortly."
For those who missed today's festivities in Brussels, here is the 30,000 foot summary: Europe has given Greece a "choice": hand over sovereignty to Germany Europe or undergo a 5 year Grexit "time out", which is a polite euphemism for get the hell out.
After ramping gloriously on Thursday and Friday, basking in the warm after-glow of an assured done-deal, the FX market appears to be deja-vu-ing all over again as EU leaders throw up all over Greek proposals. EURUSD is indicated 1.1085/1.1056 in pre-market - down around 100 pips from the Friday close - following what one official called "extensive mental waterboarding" of Greek PM Alexis Tsipras.
"In case no agreement could be reached, Greece should be offered swift negotiations on a time-out from the euro area with possible debt restructuring."