Iran

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Frontrunning: July 6





  • Greece Bailout Referendum: They Voted ‘No’. Now What? (BBG)
  • Varoufakis Quits as Greece Enters New Showdown With Europe (BBG)
  • Merkel to Meet Hollande as Greece Told to Make Next Move (BBG)
  • German line hardens after Greek referendum 'No' (Reuters)
  • BOJ keeps rosy view of regional Japan, watching markets after Greek upset (Reuters)
  • Oil falls on Greece vote, China stock market turmoil (Reuters)
  • China Urges U.S.-Iran Compromise 36 Hours to Nuclear Deadline (BBG)
  • U.S. and Iran: the unbearable awkwardness of defending your enemy (Reuters)
 
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Greece, China, & Russia – A Plan B For Tsipras





"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."

 
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The Superpower Conundrum - The Rise and Fall of Just About Everything





The rise and fall of great powers and their imperial domains has been a central fact of history for centuries.  It’s been a sensible, repeatedly validated framework for thinking about the fate of the planet.  So it’s hardly surprising, when faced with a country once regularly labeled the “sole superpower,” “the last superpower,” or even the global “hyperpower” and now, curiously, called nothing whatsoever, that the “decline” question should come up.  Is the U.S. or isn’t it?  Might it or might it not now be on the downhill side of imperial greatness?

 
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Crude Carnage Continues - WTI Hits $55 Handle, Brent Tests $60





Trading at its lowest since early April, WTI Crude has re-tumbled again today to a $55 handle as Greferendum deleveraging and Iran chatter send futures down 2.5%... Brent crude neared a break below the crucial $60 level in early trading.

 
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Chinese Stocks Plummet Despite Government Threats To Shorts, Europe Lower, US Closed





The Greece impasse set to culminate on Sunday continues to have a massive impact on at least one stock market, unfortunately it is the wrong one, located on a continent which is mostly irrelevant to the future of the Greek people (unless that whole AIIB bailout does take place of course). We are, of course, talking about China which as noted earlier, started off horribly, plunging over 7% with over 1000 stocks hitting 10% limit down, then in the afternoon session mysteriously recovering all losses and even trading slightly higher on the day, before the late selling returned once more, and the Shanghai Composite plunged to close down 5.8%: an unimaginable 20% total roundtrip move!

 
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Is Saudi Arabia Leaving The U.S. Behind For Russia?





The news from the recent St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which took place from June 18 to 20, inspired a torrent of speculation on the future direction of energy prices. But the real buzz at the conference was the unexpected but much publicized visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, as an emissary of the King. The unusually high level delegation from a long-time ally and protectorate of the U.S., like Saudi Arabia, visiting a Russian sponsored economic conference, in a country sanctioned by the U.S. was news enough but could be the first sign of an emerging partnership between the two greatest global oil producers.

 
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China Crash Accelerates, Drags Composite Under 4000; US Futures Flat Ahead Of Nonfarm Payrolls





If it was Greece's intention to crush the Chinese stock market instead of Europe's, well - it succeeded.  Because despite the PBOC and politburo throwing everything but QE at the stock market, China stocks closed down sharply on Thursday after another wild trading day as investors shrugged off regulators' intensified efforts to put a floor under the sliding market, by cutting trading fees and easing margin rules, which has now crashed 25% in about two weeks wiping out $2.5 trillion of the peak $10 trillion in Chinese stock market cap as of June 14. This ultimately resulted with the Shanghai Composite closing under 4000 for the first time since April.

 
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A Short History: The Neocon "Clean Break" Grand Design & The "Regime Change" Disasters It Has Fostered





To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what is the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody tangle now enmeshing the Middle East lie in Lebanon: or to be more precise, in the Lebanon policy of Israel.

 
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Russia Or China - Washington's Conflict Over Who Is Public Enemy #1





America’s grand strategy, its long-term blueprint for advancing national interests and countering major adversaries, is in total disarray. Top officials lurch from crisis to crisis, improvising strategies as they go, but rarely pursuing a consistent set of policies. Some blame this indecisiveness on a lack of resolve at the White House, but the real reason lies deeper. It lurks in a disagreement among foreign policy elites over whether Russia or China constitutes America’s principal great-power adversary.

 
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Crude Crashes To $56 Handle - 10-Week Lows





Following today's record production and renewed inventory build, it appears the $57 to $62 range of the last 3 months is about to be tested ... especially as Kerry et al. assure the world an Iran deal is "very very close" and they are working "very very hard." WTI (Aug) is now trading with a $56 handle - its weakest since mid-April...

 
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The Countries That Are Destroying Themselves





In the race to get to the top what does it matter that we destroy the planet along the way?

 
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Ukraine Halts Russian Gas Purchases After Price Talks Fail





It has been a bad day for deals and deadlines all around: first Greece is about to enter July without a bailout program and in default to the IMF with the ECB about to yank its ELA support or at least cut ELA haircuts; also the US failed to reach a nuclear deal with Iran in a can-kicking negotiation that has become so farcical there is no point in even covering it; and now moments ago a third June 30 "deal" failed to reach an acceptable conclusion when Russia and Ukraine were unable to reach an agreement on gas prices at talks in Vienna on Tuesday. As a result, Ukraine is suspending its purchase of Russian gas.

 
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