It's square with a metal band, rotating dial...
*APPLE INTRODUCES 'APPLE WATCH' WITH SMALL DIAL ON THE SIDE FOR ZOOM, SCROLLING
It appears the market is disappointed in the watch and loved the payments...
On the day when Apple unveils "Apple Pay," enabling hackers to now get access not only to actor selfies but to their credit card numbers too; following smaller online retailers' lead - such as Overstock - the world's biggest marketplace, Ebay, has announced its PayPal unit will begin accepting bitcoin for payments. As Bloomberg reports, Ebay said at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference, "over the coming months we’ll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin. On the consumer side it will be a sleek experience." As we previously noted, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne's comments that "once we and some other major guys start accepting it things could change very quickly," and Ebay seems to agree, adding "we're at the right time for this, and to see how to propel it forward." Bitcoin prices have not reacted to this news as the virtual currency has become considerably more stable in recent months.
Here we go... Icahn's been adding and everyone's excited about a bigger screen (like Samsung), an iWatch (like Motorola and Samsung), payments (like NFC on Samsung phones), Health (like Samsung), or whatever magic Tim Cook and his 'innovators' have in store. Apple's launch of iPhone 6 et al. will take place shortly...
Treasury Secretary Lew's comments on tax reform yesterday indicate that in the absence of legislative activity to address the expatriation of US-based companies, the Treasury will lay out its own plans "in the very near future." Goldman interprets this to mean an announcement in the next couple of weeks. While the substance of the Treasury's forthcoming announcement is still unknown, Lew's comments seemed consistent with Jan Hatzius' expectation that the steps the Treasury will announce will be incremental and not enough to fundamentally alter the outlook for these transactions.
Whether because eaters around the world and in the US would rather eat even fattier, more expensive, more calorific equivalents such as MCD-spinoff Chipotle, or because the global consumer/eater can not even afford the cheapest form of a dollar meal, is unknown, but what is quite clear is that the company which was once the bellwether of the US commodity eater, McDonalds, just reported global comp store sales which saw a decline of -3.7% from a year ago, its worst monthly print in a decade!
Forty years ago many Americans celebrated the demise of the imperial presidency with the resignation of Richard Nixon. Today it is clear they celebrated too soon. Nixon’s view of presidential powers, summed up in his infamous statement that, “when the president does it that means it is not illegal,” is embraced by the majority of the political class. In fact, the last two presidents have abused their power in ways that would have made Nixon blush.
As President Obama prepares to unleash his ISIS 'defeat' strategery tomorrow, we thought it appropriate to gather together what we know so far about the terrorist organization. While their annual report (as we noted here), is chock full of ugly details of a well-organized and well-funded entity, the following brief clip from WSJ explains how The Islamic State is operating like a government, with a bureaucratic hierarchy; and how it is structured.
"Ukraine and Georgia's NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia's influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests. Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face." - US Ambassador to Russia William Burns, February 2008
These are questions that arise as a consequence of the digitization of the global/local supply chain in the peer-to-peer model. Just as we have reached Peak Central Planning and Peak Central Banking, we may have reached Peak Centralization not just in government and finance but in the corporate-cartel model of "low quality at high margins."
US equity markets are sliding this morning on the back of AUDJPY fun-durr-mentals as the USDollar pushes to new 15-month highs (AUD at 6-month lows). This has pressed Nasdaq red for September (joining the Dow, S&P, and Russell). Treasury yields are modestly higher but commodities are sliding with copper the worst... makes us wonder if this is follow-through from China's huge adjustment to CNY overnight.
Over a month after the crash of flight MH 17 over east Ukraine, and with the confiscated Air Traffic Control voice recording still kept confidential by a western-led task force for reasons unknown, overnight the Dutch Safety Board released its preliminary report on the causes of the crash. As the AP reported, it agency "stopped short of saying the Boeing 777 was shot down by a missile, but its findings appear to point to that conclusion. It also did not say who might have been responsible." Actually, what the Dutch report did say is the following: MH17 was struck by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft," causing it to break up over eastern Ukraine, a preliminary report into the deadly aviation disaster concluded Tuesday. And while the punditry eagerly tries to once again cast all the blame on a pro-Russian rebel fired missile, we are stunned that nobody has even mentioned the possibility of a bullet volley by a warplane taking down the Malaysian Boeing.
About a month ago we mocked the Albanian central bank when reports emerged that "two employees" had been charged with the theft of some $6.6 million in cash from the bank's vaults. Specifically, back in July the arrests come five weeks after a worker at the central bank admitted to stealing money over the course of four years, taking new bank notes printed in Switzerland when they arrived at his workplace and replacing them with old books. As it turns out, since there is a central bank involved, there is once again more than meets the eye, and the story has since mutated into something far more grotesque than even we could imagine, with news coming out late last week and over the weekend that not only was the theft by "two employees" a misdirection, but that the guilty party was none other than the Albanian version of Janet Yellen, the governor of the central bank himself Ardian Fullani.
As we warned earlier, there is the potential for broad risk premium re-pricing across European nations on the back of Scotland's independence referendum decision; and nowhere is that more evident in the last 2 days than in Spanish bonds. So-called "referendum risk" - in this case related to Catalan independence - has sent Spanish bond yields up over 17bps (over 8.1% - the biggest single day jump since before the EU was formed) and risk spreads are 12-15bps wider as the UK experience (with growing support for UKIP alongside faster economic growth) raises the issue that economic recovery alone may not be enough to reverse the rise in anti-elite, anti-establishment sentiment across Europe.