Wall Street Journal
We have been warning about the 'global war on pensioners' for a while (most recently here, here, and here) but the soul-destroying images of Greek pensioners' hopes being crushed bring that central-bank-driven repression front-and-center...
Have you noticed that events have begun to accelerate?
The time of deflationary confiscation is coming closer for the remaining Greek bank depositors. Those who kept their cash in safe deposit boxes at banks are out of luck too: the government has decreed they may not take it out. This is something one needs to keep in mind – if one wants to keep cash outside the banking system, one cannot leave it in a bank safe deposit box either. The government will confiscate it when push comes to shove and the banks need to be rescued.
While a skim of the FOMC Minutes suggest the committee is balanced on when (or if) to raise rates, WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath has just provided some more color confirming that "Fed officials are cautious about overseas developments but appear unalarmed," suggesting their confident economic growth forecasts point to a September rate hike (unless the whole world collapses obviously).
Greece formally requested a three-year bailout from the eurozone’s rescue fund Wednesday and pledged to start implementing some of the overhauls demanded by creditors by early next week. Crucially for Greece’s creditors, the letter says the government would start implementing some measures, including on taxation and pensions, by the beginning of next week, though it doesn’t go into details. The letter is a first step toward fulfilling a demand by international creditors, who have given Athens until Sunday to come up with tougher measures they would impose in return for desperately needed financing that could keep the country from bankruptcy and even worse economic turmoil.
In Spain, only Vladmir Putin is more disapproved of than Angela Merkel. Such is the level of polarization that Germany's chancellor has created in Europe that, as WSJ reports, even domestically she is being deriled for saddling Greeks with "soup kicthens upon soup kitchens." As Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research, a leading Berlin think tank notes, "Germany has, at the end of the day, helped determine most of the European decisions of the last five years," and therefore, "what is happening now is a defeat for Germany, especially, far more than for any other country."
While not predicting that Tehran and six world powers will strike a deal by the new July 10 deadline, a senior Iranian oil official says his country hopes to nearly double its crude exports immediately if and when sanctions are lifted and hopes that OPEC will accommodate this growth by capping production by the cartel’s other members. “We are like a pilot on the runway ready to take off,” Mansour Moazami, Iran’s deputy oil minister for planning and supervision, told The Wall Street Journal inTehran on July 5. “This is how the whole country is right now.”
"Greece would survive, have new powerful friends, have bargaining chips that neither Europe nor America could ignore; China would have projected the use of the Yuan right in to Europe, and Russia would have more than a toe-hold for military power right inside NATO. If I was Tsipras or Varoufakis I would be on the phone right now."
Two short months ago, Yelp's share price collapsed following dismal earnings. Within days the company had an idea for pumping its stock back up - announce the investigation of a possible sale... Now weeks later, the CEO has been forced to admit: YELP CEO SAID TO DECIDE AGAINST FINDING A BUYER FOR NOW. We are sure there was just so much demand and that the company had so much organic growth ahead that he decided against it... traders are not amused - Yelp is down 8% and halted.
The oil price collapse of 2014-2015 began one year ago this month (Figure 1). The world crossed a boundary in which prices are not only lower now but will probably remain lower for some time. It represents a phase change like when water turns into ice: the composition is the same as before but the physical state and governing laws are different. The market must balance before things get better and prices improve. That can only happen if production falls and demand increases. That will take time. The most likely case is that oil prices will decrease in the second half of 2015 and that financial distress to all oil producers will increase. The hope and expectation that the worst is over will fade as the new reality of prolonged low oil prices is reluctantly accepted.
The Home Sales Fallout Ratio gives us an idea of the trend of contracts (aka 'pending home sales') falling through and failing to close. It is telling us that, while sales are at a 9 year high, trouble is brewing in the current version of the bubbly housing market. This could be a harbinger of mass destruction should mortgage rates begin a persistent rise from here.
"A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed. Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus."
It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.
With a DoJ probe having predictably gone nowhere, a group of pensioners and retirement funds are suing Wall Street and Markit for colluding to monopolize the CDS market. Amusingly, Citadel has been subpoenaed to discuss how it was shut out of creating a CDS trading platform by the "oligopolistic" activities of TBTF banks, even as the firm looks set to dominate the market for IR swaps.