20120715-215812.jpgGood morning

The headlines:

  1. Hilary Clinton visits Egypt.

    Link: how to smooth a Middle East crisis – send a woman?

    Hills is attempting to persuade the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military to end their stand-off by engaging in talks.

    To summarise, Egypt has a constitutionally-elected president (Mursi) without a constitutionally-elected government, in place of which there’s martial law, and a military with legislative powers. There is violent division along Muslim-Coptic Christian lines. And then the glaring elephant with the whole democracy vs military rule situation.

    And the United States sent Hilary Clinton. A white, female, methodist, democrat. To a Muslim state. To tell both sides to just settle down?

    It will truly be a miracle.

    I mean – I’m a Hilary fan. But there are realities at play that just don’t care about the American version of political correctness.

  2. The JP Morgan trading losses may be as high as $7.5 billion.

    Link: the growing whale.

    Jamie Dimon said that the losses had reached $5.8 billion, and may go as high as $7.5 billion, on the famous Bruno Iksil trades (wrote about it here, here and here).

    Ironically, the share price went up on Friday after the announcement, as investors expressed their relief that “it wasn’t worse”.

  3. Ohio launches a class action suit.

    Link: whale-hunting.

    The Ohio Attorney General filed a motion against JPM for the aforementioned whale losses. Ohio Pension funds have lost money on the share price drop ($27.5 million or so). Hence the suing.

    The accusation is fraud and/or “false and misleading information” that led to the losses. Which, honestly, might be a bit hard to prove. This, after all, was mostly a timing issue – because the truth is now out. Here’s my thought process:

    The bulk of the shares must have already been held – seeing as pension funds don’t usually make big trade moves all-of-a-sudden. So the argument is that maybe you would have sold them? But if the news had come out earlier, you still would have made the same losses before you could sell them. The market reacts to information. That information was released. The share price fell. Your knowing sooner or later would not have made the difference to the loss.

    Ah well – they’re suing anyway. Maybe hoping for a settlement.

    But I’ll bet that the pension funds are still holding the shares. And now the lawsuit will drive the shares lower.

    Maybe everyone else can sue the Ohio Attorney General when that happens.

  4. The African Union has a new head.

    Link: Welcome to Dlamini-Zuma.

    Four rounds of voting. The South African Minister of Home Affairs won. That’s all, really.

  5. Merkel says attempts to avoid oversight will fail.

    Link: she won’t allow it.

    That’s what she said: Joint-control and supervision – the stance will not be softened.

  6. Italy’s borrowing costs fall.

    Link: and everyone is still ignoring the Ratings Agencies.

    The story is getting old. Moody’s drops Italy by two ratings levels; Italy’s debt auction is oversubscribed; Italy’s borrowing costs drop from 5.3% (last auction in June) to 4.65%.

    In other related news, Berlusconi may return to lead his party in the next elections (April 2013). Get the party started again, and all that jazz.


That’s all for now

Have a good day.