August 13, 2015

Chinese market contortions, Clinton's emails, Kos crisis, Labour leadership and Deviants…


“What makes America special is our capacity for change.” – President Obama’s letter to the NYTimes editor. Wait for his letter to the Pnut editor… Coming soon-ish.   



China: Onward And Downward?

The Chinese central bank continued to confuse the market with its currency interventions this week. After allowing the Yuan to depreciate twice they stepped in late yesterday to support the currency by holding a press conference (very rare) and allowing state banks to sell dollars and buy Yuan (making their currency rise again).

Why is this happening? We have two theories:
  • Voluntary devaluation: Weaker Yuan, means exports grow (because they are cheaper) and the currency becomes “mature” because now its price is determined by the market and not the government. This can sometimes be called a “currency war” as you boost your economy at the expense of others.  
  • Involuntary devaluation: This is what happens when enough money leaves the country because things are worse than they seem. After the stock market crash last month almost $1 trillion left China.
This brings to mind a famous Chinese curse that goes “may you live in interesting times.” It is certainly poignant today…    

Clinton: Please Make This Go Away!

Hoping to finally put an end to the email controversy Hillary Clinton asked her staff to hand over her email server and thumb drive to the Department of Justice yesterday (why she didn’t do this before is beyond us). Republican contenders for the presidency used this as an opportunity to fight with someone other than Donald Trump, calling her actions criminal and untrustworthy. 

It’s not just emails though… Bernie Sanders, the other Democratic party candidate, just took the lead in a New Hampshire poll…       



Jimmy Carter Announces He Has Cancer 

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, announced Wednesday that he has cancer that has spread to different parts of his body. In a statement, he said that it was found during a liver surgery. Residing in Atlanta, the 90-year-old former president plans to undergo surgery at Emory Healthcare. More information will be provided in coming weeks. 

UK Opposition Party On The Road To Somewhere 

Britain’s opposition Labour Party lost the general election unexpectedly in May. They promptly started looking for a new leader. Here’s the line-up:
  • Jeremy Corbyn: Former 100-1 outsider now looking close to victory, anti-austerity, anti-nukes, pro-nationalisation (of everything). Has a beard.
  • Andy Burnham: Former political advisor (but “not in Westminster bubble“) and Health Minister, against welfare cuts, really really likes football (soccer).
  • Yvette Cooper: Former Treasury and Welfare Minister, helped Bill Clinton get elected in 1992, promises a “fairer” society. Bravely had a fight with Twitter.
  • Liz Kendall: Seen as “Blair-ite,” accepts some current budget cuts, the candidate the Conservatives most fear (and least likely to get elected), likes Dr. Dre.
There’s been a surge in of support for Corbyn (it crashed the Labour website). This terrifies a lot of Labour MPs, as he really likes Syriza.

Greece, Winding Down Euro Crisis, Gets Migrant Crisis

Mayhem erupted on the Greek island of Kos yesterday as Greek police had locked up 1,000 migrants in the island’s stadium without food or water overnight. The picturesque island serves as an entry point into Europe for refugees from Syria and Afghanistan looking to flee their war-torn homelands. The island is less than 10 miles from the Turkish mainland. For once, Greece isn’t in the news due to the Euro crisis… but it still isn’t pretty.  

Good Read: Documentary on the crisis in Kos via Vice News

China: What Does This Button Do? 

Two massive explosions (see video) in the port city of Tianjin last night left 44 dead and over 500 injured. So far it is considered an industrial accident and that a shipment of explosives in the port lit fire and exploded. The twin explosions registered as much as 21 tons of TNT (the mid-range for a conventional bomb). The biggest accidental explosion in history was in Halifax in 1917 with 3,000 tons of TNT exploding… 


Keeping Our Eye On…

  • The Middle East: The U.S. is fighting against ISIS with Turkey who is bombing the Kurds who are also against ISIS. Confused? Some simple literature (almost) clarifies the issue. 
  • MH17: As an homage to Stalin’s Photoshop skills, a Russian propaganda recording points the finger at the U.S. Even as the Dutch uncover evidence of potential foul play on the crash site, Putin insists a global tribunal against Russia is unnecessary.  
  • Space: In comforting news, the Universe gave up on us and is slowly dying. Temporarily distract yourself tonight through Friday with the mesmerizing Perseid meteor shower.


What Did You Find While Swimming This Summer? 

For most people a good day at the lake is one where you don’t get a sunburn or indigestion but for a teenage girl in Germany it’s when you find an $18,000 gold bar in the water while doggy paddling around. The best part of the story, however, isn’t that she found the gold, it’s that she gave it to the police. If there was ever a time when “finders keepers” applied, this would be it…      

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IVY is a collaborative community of 15,000+ next generation innovators who are redefining entrepreneurship, arts, policy and philanthropy. Our mission is to spark great new ideas, advance important causes, and provide unparalleled opportunities for learning and growth.
IVY is a collaborative community of 15,000+ next generation innovators who are redefining entrepreneurship, arts, policy and philanthropy. Our mission is to spark great new ideas, advance important causes, and provide unparalleled opportunities for learning and growth.
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