July 09, 2015

Who sat on the delete key? China rebounds and Greece inches towards a deadline

“The World in a Nutshell”
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IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ Honey… What Does This Button Do? Electronic mayhem in the US yesterday as United Airlines, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) went down due to “technical glitches.” The triple whammy is the biggest technical glitch in the US since… well a few weeks ago when the US visa system went down. To the best of our knowledge, the three outages were unrelated and were not, and I repeat, not due to a cyber attack. The NYSE went down for four hours but it did not affect other exchanges or NYSE listed stocks being traded there (no one is really sure how this system works). Some 4,700 United Airlines flights were affected by their outage, and the finance bro that lived on your hall freshman year was really annoyed for about 15 minutes when the WSJ site went down…   Good Read: Michael Lewis’ ‘Flash Boys’ that explains how exchanges work 
Chinese Roller Coaster Makes Investors Nauseous  The Shanghai and Shenzen stock markets reversed some of their losses today as China’s interventions into the stock market began taking hold. The indices rose 6.8 percent and 3.8 percent respectively following an almost six percent decline in Shanghai the day before. The ups and downs are enough to make even the most risk-loving investor a bit seasick. The government expanded its intervention by having the police investigate “malicious short selling” and banning big shareholders from selling their stakes. So basically, the Chinese government is arresting people doing the selling while financing those trying to buy… no wonder the stock market is “rising” again.
Greece… We’ve Run Out Of Lame Jokes This one is going to be short(er), as I am sure you’ve had enough already. Greek banks will remain closed until Monday (at least) and the economy continues to be completely strangled. In the meantime, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras went to the European Parliament (yes, it exists) in Strasbourg yesterday where he got a dressing down by former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt (see video below). Verhofstadt was aggravated at the lack of concrete reforms being put forward by the Greek government. We tweeted at Tsipras to offer our support at putting together a Greek proposal that is due today… we have not received a response yet. 

Informative (we hope) Read: The Pnut’s guide to the Greek crisis
Who’s The Orgy-Loving, Tax-Evading, Bribe-Making Former Italian PM? 
You guessed it… Silvio “Bad Boy” Berlusconi (BBB). This time he’s back in the news for a bribery conviction and was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday. He allegedly bribed former senator Sergio de Gregorio to switch parties, leading to the eventual downfall of the center-left government in 2008 headed by former prime minister Romano Prodi (Berlusconi is a member of the center-right Forza Italia party). Unsurprisingly, BBB’s lawyers said he denies the charges and will appeal.
On The Campaign Trail: Scott Walker Sees No Need For Strategy…
It’s the me, myself and I campaign for the Governor of Wisconsin and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker. The Governor apparently sees no use for a political strategist. Why? Well, because he’s got himself. And better yet, he believes he’s very well-versed in the matter based on the winning and unsolicited advice he offered Mitt Romney… before Mitt lost the 2012 election. You do you, Scottie boy. 
UK Unveils 2015 Budget Before Greece Yesterday was Britain’s first Conservative-only budget since 1996 delivered by Chancellor George Osborne, increasingly touted as the next prime minister. The budget advances a number of progressive and conservative reforms, confusing friend and foe alike.  It includes a raft of policies, among them debt reduction, welfare, productivity and a focus on the “North of England” (which no one seems to know where it is apparently). The Chancellor highlighted a new “living wage” and the closing of tax loopholes for “non-doms” (i.e. wealthy foreigners who live in London for about 8-10 minutes a year). Passing the budget involves two of Britain’s favorite things: rowdy politicians and lots of boozeRecommended Read: Main points from the Budget 2015
Revenge Of The Nerds: Reddit Volunteers Show CEO Pao Who’s Boss
The Reddit volunteer “moderators” responsible for temporarily shutting down one of the site’s most valuable entity’s (IamA, a forum that brings in 20 to 30 million page views per month) took to the New York Times Wednesday. Speaking loud and clear, they sung Victoria Taylor’s praises — the employee who managed IamA and was abruptly fired without explanation — and heavily criticized Pao’s management and lack of communication. Good luck, Pao. We’ve seen this one play out on the big screen before. 
Russia… Unhelpful Per Usual 
Russia vetoed a UN resolution that would have condemned the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. The Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin objected that the drafted text was “confrontational and politically motivated,” singling out Bosnian Serbs while ignoring that they too endured suffering during the war. The only problem with Churkin’s logic is that suffering during war is not a legitimate defense for committing genocide…
Worthwhile Video: 60 Minute’s Bob Simon on the “Shame of Srebrenica.” 
Reforms! I Need Zees Reforms! Guy Verhofstadt, former prime minister of Belgium, loses his cool at Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras in the European Parliament in the video below. 
  Guy Verhofstadt plenary speech on Greece with Alexis Tsipras 8-7-2015

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