August 04, 2015

Libor ‘ringmaster’ guilty, Greek stock market, Chinese defector wanted, Barry’s new energy policy, etc.



“In Texas we make bacon a little differently.” -Ted Cruz, former US Senator from Texas and GOP 2016 candidate (watch the video below to find out just what he means…)



Libor: The ‘Ringmaster’ Is Found Guilty

Thomas Hayes, a 35-year-old former trader at UBS and Citigroup, was found unanimously guilty by a London jury yesterday for being the “ringmaster” in the Libor rigging scandal. Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is a benchmark interest rate on which a lot of financial instruments are priced (like your credit card debt). Hayes led a group of 25 traders across 10 banks that artificially set the Libor to benefit themselves at the expense of other investors and the broader public (although they were “more Austin Powers than James Bond“). Hayes felt the practice was so commonplace that “not even Mother Teresa wouldn’t manipulate Libor if she was setting it and trading it.”

Fun Read: Twelve great quotes from the trial 


Greece: Turns Out Bank Closures Are Bad For You

The Athenian stock market suffered its worst day since someone began keeping track of it (1985), closing down 16.2 percent with financial stocks losing almost a third of their value on its first day of trading since it was shut down five weeks ago. The fall of banking stocks should come as no surprise as banks have basically been closed for the past five weeks (we hear that’s bad for business). That’s not all, Greek manufacturing had the worst recorded monthly contraction ever according to Markit (the company that keeps track of this stuff). Quite a dramatic turnaround for a country that was the fastest growing in the EU last November (at a whopping 0.8 percent growth rate). 
 The Pnut Dispatch from Athens


China Wants Its Secrets Back

The Chinese government has demanded the return of a high-profile defector to the US, Ling Wangcheng (LW). His brother, Ling Jihua (LJ) had been expelled from the inner sanctum of Chinese leadership after covering up a Ferrari crash that killed his son and another woman in his car. LJ was rumored to have passed incriminating information on senior leaders to his brother. The US may use this as a way to get back at China for hacking… well everything. 

US Fights Proxy War Against Itself In Syria

The US announced yesterday that it would defend moderate rebels (trained by the US) in Syria. The rebels had been attacked by Al-Nusra Front, a Turkish-backed extremist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile Turkey continued shelling the US-backed Kurdish PKK. Given that the US backs Turkey, this essentially means that the US is fighting a proxy war against itself in Syria… sounds productive.

Obama Threatens War Against Carbon

President Obama, currently in Rambo mode, unveiled a comprehensive plan Monday to cut emissions from US power stations by nearly a third in 15 years through switching to renewable energy sources. The Clean Power Plan was announced ahead of attempts to secure a global climate change treaty in Paris at the end of the year. Critics argued that it would bankrupt the coal industry (before they even saw the proposal) with Ted Cruz saying “the data and facts don’t support global warming“… except they do.

#Pnut4Prez: Fox’s Heavy Hand In GOP Playing Field

Fox is only allowing candidates who fall within the “top 10†in the most well-respected national polls will be able to partake in the GOP debate this Thursday. The verdict will be in today at 5pm. In the meantime, it looks like Donald Trump (whose popularity is up to 26 percent from 11 percent), Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are all definitely in. Fourth through sixth place is slotted for Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee. The last four are likely to be filled by Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich (who has been climbing the ranks since his late announcement July 21)… or really anyone that bothers to show up that night.

Keeping Our Eye On…



Mafia Boss Used ‘Sheep Code’ to Evade Police

Feared Italian Mafia Boss Matteo Denaro has been on the run from much less feared Italian police since 1993 (not hard). In a major breakthrough, investigators arrested 11 suspects linked to the Sicilian Don after cracking his highly sophisticated sheep code. He had written messages to his men with such classics like “the sheep need shearing” and “I’ve put the ricotta cheese aside for you, will you come by later?” Investigators said “‘we are pretty sure these messages had nothing to do with dairy products.” Don Corleone is rolling in his grave.
  Making Machine-Gun Bacon with Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz, GOP 2016 presidential candidate, gives your Sunday brunch the twist you never wanted by teaching the American public how to make bacon using an assault rifle…
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