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Michael Whalen: Why the Streaming Music Business is Broken





Time for the musicians to learn the lessons that the video guys in Hollywood learned from them...

 
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Frontrunning: June 19





  • Greek PM optimistic on debt deal as banks bleed (Reuters)
  • Greek central bank chief says banking system stable (Kathimerini)
  • ECB Said to Confer on Emergency Greek Aid Amid Cash Flight (BBG)
  • More tax "avoidance": Citigroup to shift European retail banking HQ to Dublin (Reuters)
  • Florist's tip led police to Charleston shooting suspect (USAToday)
  • Asian shares edge higher on Fed caution, China sell-off intensifies (Reuters)
  • Toyota in damage control mode after American exec arrested (Reuters)
  • Venezuela Oil Loans Go Awry for China (WSJ)
 
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FBI Confirms No Major Terrorism Cases Cracked Via Unconstitutional Patriot Act Phone Spying





"FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating... Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations."

 
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Constitution 1 - 0 Government: NSA Starts Winding Down Bulk Data Collection





As we detailed earlier, in a chaotic scene during the wee hours of Saturday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill known as the USA Freedom Act - backed by President Barack Obama, House Republicans and the nation's top law enforcement and intelligence officials - which would have preserved the government's ability to search phone company records for suspected spies and terrorists. As AP reports, the failure to act means the NSA will immediately begin curtailing its previously-secret bulk data collection progreams with The DoJ noting that while it will take time to taper off the collection process, that process began Friday (according to an administration official). Sen. Rand Paul called the Senate's failure to allow an extension of the surveillance programs a victory for privacy rights, adding "we should never give up our rights for a false sense of security."

 
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Frontrunning: May 14





  • Amtrak train in Philadelphia wreck was traveling at twice speed limit (Reuters)
  • The engineer has no recollection of the crash and “no explanation” for what happened (WSJ)
  • Taliban claim attack on Afghan guesthouse that killed 14 (Reuters)
  • Chicago’s Junk Rating From Moody’s Puzzles Investors (BBG)
  • House votes to end spy agencies' bulk collection of phone data (Reuters)
  • Wesley Clark: The Penny-Stock General (BBG)
  • AOL’s Armstrong to Leave $213 Million Richer After Verizon Deal (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: May 13





  • Obama, McConnell missteps undercut trade pact in U.S. Senate (Reuters)
  • Bears Beware: Rout Puts Investors on Wrong Side of Central Banks (BBG)
  • U.S. Set to Rip Up UBS Libor Accord, Seek Conviction (BBG)
  • Greece’s Creditors Said to Seek EU3 Billion in Budget Cuts (BBG)
  • Amtrak train derails in Philadelphia, killing at least five (Reuters)
  • Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning (Reuters)
  • China Stimulus Aims at Restructuring Trillions in Local-Government Debt (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: May 12





  • Bonds Extend Global Rout as Europe Stocks Slide, Dollar Weakens (BBG)
  • Verizon Communications to Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion (BBG)
  • Fresh Nepal earthquake kills dozens, triggers panic (Reuters)
  • Sen. Shelby to Unveil Legislation Heightening Fed Scrutiny (WSJ)
  • Bill Gross: The Amount of Money I'll Give Away 'Is Staggering, Even to Me' (BBG)
  • U.S. rejects notion that Gulf rulers snubbing Obama summit (Reuters)... what about AIIB?
  • In Asia, Debt Market Gets Tougher (WSJ)
  • Iran’s Mahan airline defies sanctions in shadowy aircraft deal (FT)
 
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Here We Go Again: Verizon To Buy AOL Marking Another Tech Bubble Top





The last time AOL was involved in a mega merger was January 2000, when AOL acquired Time Warner for $182 billion in what was the mega deal of the last tech bubble, creating a $350 billion behemoth. Fast forward 15 years and here is AOL again in yet another period-defining if far, far smaller transaction once again, when moments ago Verizon announced that it would acquire AOL for $50/share, a deal value of $4 .4billion. And with that the golden age of digital (and in many cases robotic) content, has now been top-ticked.

 

 
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If European Countries Were US Corporations





The following map from Goldman compares the entire market cap of various European companies to assorted standalone US corporations. The result is just a touch eerie.

 
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Frontrunning: April 28





  • Maryland Governor Calls in National Guard to Control Baltimore Riots (BBG)
  • Fed Seen Delaying Liftoff to September to Push Down Unemployment (BBG)
  • Nepal PM says toll could rise to 10,000 (Reuters)
  • China Readies Fresh Easing to Tackle Specter of Debt (WSJ)
  • ‘Damned Lies’ Threaten to Overshadow U.K. GDP in Election Fight (BBG)
  • Uncertainty Over Impact of a Default by Greece (NYT)
  • Why the Cost of Hedging European Banks Stocks Has Soared (BBG)
  • Carinthia cash crunch gives Austria its own mini-Greece (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: April 23





  • Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors (Reuters)
  • China Warns North Korean Nuclear Threat Is Rising (WSJ), or another country realizes war is the only "exit"
  • Shares, euro sag after euro zone PMIs disappoint (Reuters)
  • China Manufacturing Gauge Drops to Lowest Level in 12 Months (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Said to Pay $2.14 Billion in Libor Case (BBG), or roughly a €20,000 per banker "get out of jail" fee
  • Brazil’s Petrobras Reports Nearly $17 Billion in Asset and Corruption Charges (WSJ)
  • Can This Oil Baron’s Company Withstand Another Quake? (BBG)
  • Bad for Q1 GDP: Raytheon sales fall amid weak U.S. defense spending (Reuters)
 
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A Practical Utopian’s Guide To The Coming Collapse: David Graeber On "The Phenomenon Of Bull$hit Jobs





Since the 1970s there has been a shift from technologies based on realising alternative futures to investment technologies that favoured labour discipline and social control. Hence the internet.

“The control is so ubiquitous that we don’t see it.” We don’t see, either, how the threat of violence underpins society, David Graeber claims.

 
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Frontrunning: April 22





  • Because it just gets funnier: UK speed trader arrested over role in 2010 'flash crash' (Reuters)
  • ... and funnier: Mystery Trader Armed With Algorithms Rewrites Flash Crash Story (BBG)
  • Presidential hopeful Rubio reaches out to gay Republicans (Reuters)
  • Varoufakis Sees Differences Narrowing in Creditor Talks (BBG)
  • China Debt Mess Brings Out the Yin and Yang in Policy Makers (BBG)
  • Hedge Fund That Made 18% on Dollar Strength Now Bets on Drop (BBG)
  • Whistleblower Jim Marchese Scores Millions in Payout—Again (WSJ)
  • Release of Benghazi Report on Hillary Clinton Likely Pushed to Election Season (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: April 20





  • Just How Leaky Is the Fed? More Than You May Realize (BBG)
  • Republican Presidential Candidates Spar Over Party’s Future (WSJ)
  • Euro Area Seeks Greece Roadmap to May Agreement (BBG)
  • The $320 Billion Bogey Needed to Placate U.S. Stock Market Bulls (BBG)
  • Seeking Obamacare alternative, Republicans eye tax credits (Reuters)
  • Gundlach Says Market Hasn’t Seen Full Impact of Fed Moves (BBG)
  • EU meets on migrant crisis as shipwreck corpses brought ashore (Reuters)
  • Canada’s Own Oil Pipeline Problem (WSJ)
 
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