On Tuesday, someone broke into an underground vault in Sacramento, and cut several high-capacity internet cables. Nobody knows who this person is or why they did it, but since that time the FBI has revealed that it was not an isolated incident. They’ve been investigating 10 other recent attacks on the internet infrastructure of California, and they seem to be deeply troubled by the vulnerability of these cables.
Even after this somewhat catastrophic drop, BofAML warns the Chinese market looks expensive. Deleveraging is likely far from over, they add, concluding that the market is a "falling knife" and only direct buying by the government will mark the bottom. As Deutsche adds, "so large are the losses for the 20 million accounts opened from mid-April to mid-June that in aggregate no money has been made for 2 years."
Royal Dutch Shell is nearing a start to drilling in the Arctic, but has run into some hiccups. The U.S. government decided that Shell cannot actually drill both of its wells in the Chukchi Sea as planned. The Interior Department said that doing so would run afoul of its rules that protect marine life...
In the last few days there were dozens of separate attacks in Egypt from the Sinai up to Cairo. More than 60 people died while the Egyptian army used F16 attack plains to protect itself against it disgruntled population. It is clear that the Egyptian rulers will not be able to contain the current situation, today could be marked as the start of Egypt’s civil war.
Athens floods to Syntagma square to demonstrate their support for a "No" vote in what may be one of the biggest demonstrations in history.
America is better off when President Obama is out on the stump bloviating and boasting rather than in Washington actively doing harm. But the whoppers he just told the students at the University of Wisconsin are beyond the pale. Said our spinmeister-in-chief: "And the unemployment rate is now down to 5.3 percent. (Applause.) Keep in mind, when I came into office it was hovering around 10 percent. All told, we’ve now seen 64 straight months of private sector job growth, which is a new record — (applause) — new record — 12.8 million new jobs all told." That’s a pack of context-free factoids.
The referendum on Sunday will likely have a significant impact on the prospects of Greece reaching a new bailout agreement and the immediate future of the governing Syriza party. Following the expiration of the second bailout and the missed IMF repayment on 30th June, Greece has had to impose capital controls while negotiations between the country and its creditors have been put on hold until after the referendum. Eurozone officials have indicated that a “No” vote would likely mean a Greek exit from the currency union although the Greek government sees the vote as only pertaining to the terms of a bailout programme.
The ECB is moving to backstop Bulgaria's banking sector in an effort to get ahead of a Greek contagion."The ECB would provide access to its refinancing operations, offering euros to the banking system against eligible collateral," Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources.
The timing of the release of The IMF's 'Greece needs a debt haircut no matter what' report this week was odd to say the least. Being as it confirmed everything the Greek government has been saying and provided the perfect ammunition for Tsipras to spin Sunday's Greferendum as a Yes/No to debt haircuts - something everyone can understand (and get behind). It is understandable then that, as Reuters reports, Greece's eurozone allies tried to block the release of the damning report this week but the Europeans were heavily outnumbered and the United States, the strongest voice in the IMF, was in favor of publication, sources said. While The IMF concluded, "Facts are stubborn. You can't hide the facts because they may be exploited," one wonders if this move merely reinforces Goldman's concpiracy theory.
Stock buybacks have been in the news lately, as their growing size has lead to criticism, especially from politicians who believe they contribute to economic inequality. But the simplest critique of the practice of buybacks can be made on economic grounds, in terms of value created or destroyed.
"...If the S&P500 were to come down by 50% look at the bright side. The Millennial generation can finally buy into America’s future at a good price. Look at what they are facing right now: very little return on their savings and very lofty prices that they have to pay to invest in their future. So we often forget that these wrenching dislocating financial events, particularly for older generations, can create opportunities for the young, and often create space for something more durable for the times to be built. So I’ll just summarize it with Schumpeter’s phrase: creative destruction. That’s how I prefer to see what happens in a Fourth Turning."
"Introducing a new currency is a pipe dream and the likely result is a broken financial system reliant on a neighbor’s currency (the euro) and banking system. The choice is not 'do you accept the core’s terms your government has rejected?' Rather, it is 'do you want Greek banks to function independently?' and, de facto, do you want to be able to use the cash machine tomorrow?"