Following meetings with EU officials and then with IMF chief Christine Lagarde and ECB chief Mario Draghi on Wednesday evening, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is back at it on Thursday, in a frantic attempt to salvage a deal with creditors. He'll need to win over EU finance chiefs (who are collectively losing their will to keep Greece in the currency bloc) and the IMF as the EU summit kicks off in Brussels.
- This headline needs updating: Creditors set bailout ultimatum for defiant Greeks (Reuters)
- Greece’s Fragile Banks Leave Alexis Tsipras Few Options in Bailout Talks (WSJ)
- Dueling Greece Plans Presented as Ministers Race for Aid Deal (BBG)
- Icahn Cashes In His Netflix Chips (WSJ)
- Meet the Health-Law Holdouts: Americans Who Prefer to Go Uninsured (WSJ)
- ECB holds Athens lifeline unchanged as Bundesbank protests (Reuters)
- Supreme Court Guide: Six Big Decisions Remain (WSJ)
- The Rise of the Compliance Guru—and Banker Ire (BBG)
The Pentagon has released an 1,176-page book of instructions on the "The Law Of War" detailing acceptable ways of killing the enemy. The manual also states that journalists can be labeled "unprivileged belligerents," an obscure term that replaces the Bush era "unlawful enemy combatant." The Obama Administration’s definition of "enemy combatant" was vague enough, basically meaning any male of a military age who "happens to be there," and this shift appears to make the situation even more dangerous.
We have argued that as economic ties between China and Russia deepen Beijing could increasingly look to Moscow to meet China’s energy needs. This would of course only serve to further de-dollarize the global energy trade, dealing yet another blow to the petrodollar system. Sure enough, Russia has, for the first time in history, overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier.
As they say on stage, "break a leg" John...
Echoing the era of McCarthyism, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.
In principle, there could not be a more spectacular game-changer-in-waiting. A royal Saudi caravan offering tribute, in the form of incense, gold and myrrh (or higher oil prices)? No one knows, yet, how this will play out in the New Great Game in Eurasia, of which a major spin-off is Cold War 2.0 between the US and Russia. Putin and King Salman – very discreetly — had been in touch over the phone for weeks. The King’s son invited Putin to Riyadh. Accepted. Putin invited the King to Moscow. Accepted. But is this real life? Or smoke and mirrors? Who's allied with whom?
The West is impotent to prevent Armageddon. It is up to Russia and China, and as Washington has framed the dilemma, Armageddon can only be prevented by Russia and China accepting vassal status. This is not going to happen. Why would any self-respecting people submit to the corrupt West? The hope is that Washington will cause its European vassals to rebel by pushing them too hard into conflict with Russia. If European politicians were to break from Washington’s hegemony and instead represent European interests, Washington would be deprived of cover for its war crimes. The breakdown of the neoconservative unipower model would then be apparent even to Washington, and the world would become a safer and better place.
- 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)
"Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable," Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books, with the danger imminent if Chinese economic reforms fail forcing President Xi Jinping to "foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power." These "conflicts" would present themselves in the form of a Sino-Russo alliance which could draw the entire world into war.
- WSJ urges Fed to blow uberest of all bubbles: Memo to Fed: Let the Economy Overheat (WSJ)
- Gunman at large after killing nine at black South Carolina church (Reuters)
- Nine Dead in Charleston Shooting Labeled a 'Hate Crime' (BBG)
- Hong Kong Votes Down Beijing-Backed Election Plan (WSJ)
- Greece Has Already Cost Investors $897 Billion This Year (BBG)
- Merkel Maintains Tough Stance on Greece as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
- Small U.S. frackers face extinction amid drilling drought (Reuters)
- Brian Williams to Stay at NBC, but Lester Holt Will Be Anchor (WSJ)
The world is on the brink of the longest-lasting oil glut in at least three decades and OPEC’s quest for market share makes it almost unavoidable. Oil supply has exceeded demand globally for the past five quarters, already the most enduring glut since the 1997 Asian economic crisis, International Energy Agency data show. But as WolfStreet.com's Wolf Richter warns, if Iran and world powers reach an accord on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by their June 30 deadline, we’ll be watching the most magnificent oil glut ever building up into next year.
Rig counts went into free-fall after it became clear that OPEC was not interested in propping up the price of oil for the benefit of rapidly expanding shale oil producers. While that approach hurt OPEC’s income in the short term, it also immediately impacted rig counts in the shale oil fields. But - and here is the narrative - shale oil producers continue to make gains in production even as rig counts have been slashed because they are becoming more and more efficient.
"We have a problem with this, and that is central bank hubris. They now think that they are omnipotent, because, essentially the government has said we are going to pass over all control of the economy to the central banks, they say to everybody else including financial market participants that “you don’t know, you don’t understand, we have our models and they are right”. And that kind of hubristic approach is when you sow the seeds of your own destruction."
It’s easy to see evil in dead people. Stalin... Hitler... Pol Pot... people who tortured and killed just to feel good. The jaws of Hell must open especially wide to let them in. But who should go to the devil today?