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Meet Me In Singapore

Well, “the most important week of the year” got off to a relatively quiet start, all things considered. Of course Trump was anything but “quiet”. Or actually, he was quiet during U.S. business hours but his Twitter account lit up late Sunday evening with still more attacks on Canada and Europe. The man who on Saturday proclaimed the world “tariff-free” was, by Sunday evening, insisting that henceforth, “fair trade” will be called “Fool Trade”: Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal. According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2018 We are now literally ...

Chilean Criminals Have Turned to Avocado Theft, And Who Can Blame Them

Avocados, the lynchpin of millennial criticism, are proving that everyone wants a piece of the hottest food trend of the 21st century. Chile, one of the biggest exporters of avocados, is benefiting from increased demand. Specifically, the prices of avocados have grown 23% in the past year, and 9% in the past month. Sadly, these price increases haven’t come without repercussions While thefts have always existed, it has gone from people breaking into fields at night to organized armed groups assaulting producers in broad daylight, said Francisco Contardo, general manager of Chile’s avocado producers’ association. During the harvest season, from August to February this year, 10 bands were dismantled and 50 people were charged with theft. Now Chile has copied the avocado police of Mexico and C...

Goldman Reveals The Truth About The World Cup As Unmistakable Links Between ‘Fake’ Football And Global Economy Laid Bare

Well, it’s time for the World Cup and that’s a confusing time for a lot of Americans because it means having to (re)figure out why the rest of the world keeps referring to soccer as “football”. Of course that’s a misnomer. That’s just another example of what the President talks about when he says foreign interests are robbing America blind. They’re stealing our jobs all right, but they’re also stealing the name of our sports (#Sad). I imagine I’m preaching to the proverbial choir here because if you’re reading this, it means you have internet access which, like running water and electricity, is something that isn’t common outside of the United States (because #Shitholes). But on the off chance you’re someone who doesn’t live in America and somehow still has an interweb connection, let me e...

Because It Worked So Well Last Time, Argentina Will Borrow $50B From The IMF

In the year 2000, the International Monetary Fund provided a $40 billion bailout to Argentina, to help the country reduce its growing debt burden. In exchange, the IMF demanded—as it always does—crippling austerity, because the sort of lower-rung countries that require the IMF’s help must be punished for their profligacy. This led to the collapse of the Argentine peso, double-digit unemployment, the default the bailout was supposed to prevent (much to Paul Singer’s eventual glee), the terminal distrust of the Argentine people toward the international financial system and the rise of the Kirchner clan to the Casa Rosada. But like the country’s last default, all of that was like 100 years ago. So why not try it again without learning anything from history? The International Monetary Fund and...

The ‘Most Important Week Of The Year’? Full Week Ahead Preview

Is this the most important week of the year? Spoiler alert: almost certainly not. And that’s not to downplay the long list of important scheduled events. Rather, it’s just to say that invariably, scheduled events never end up being the ones that matter unless those scheduled events are elections. The two marquee events for markets this week are obviously the Fed and ECB meetings and I decided to eschew writing the usual Sunday evening week ahead preview in favor of in-depth posts on Powell and Draghi (and also in favor of eating pan seared Diver scallops at this new place that opened up down the street). The fate of emerging markets is in Jerome Powell’s hands and Draghi is about to try and see what happens when price discovery is allowed to resurface in European bond and credit markets. Y...

Frankfurt Set To Provide First-Ever Excitement

By Thomas Wolf (Der Wolf im Wald) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons No one has ever feared missing out on something in Frankfurt. No one enjoying a beer on a Cologne plaza or in a Munich brauhaus has ever said, “This is great, but it would be even better with a view of the Main.” No one gazing upon the splendor of Dresden’s rebuilt Alstadt thinks, “I’d really rather see that string of malls and department stores they built on what used to be the largest medieval city center in Germany.” Certainly, no one gorging on the culinary scene in Berlin longs for Handkäse, mit or ohne Musik. Some people in Frankfurt, however, are quite fearful of missing out—on the opportunity to do something should the global or local economies take a nosedive. So they are going to do something about...

A Completely Serious USA Today Tells College Students To Parlay Summer Jobs Into FANG ‘Fortune’

Remember the good old days when you got a summer job so you could still afford to buy Sour Diesel, MDMA and some of Sam Zell’s “pussy on the block” in the interim period between semi-annual student loan disbursements? Yeah, well those days are gone. It wasn’t so long ago that college students were smart. They were expert  arbitrageurs who, despite being almost universally illiterate, intuitively understood that if you could make do with the 14th edition of the Biology 101 hardcover instead of the 15th edition the syllabus calls for, you could pocket the difference between the $250 your student loan check allots and the $6.99 you would pay for last year’s version of the same text, always available at the shady used bookstore on the strip. Those arb profits could then be diverted to Pabst Bl...

Fake Currency Exchange Acquires Actual Broker-Dealer License

By AntanaCoins (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons It is in the nature of bitcoin—insofar an imaginary thing can be said to have a nature—to be at once a transgressive, revolutionary experiment in blowing up the global sovereign financial oligarchy, and a thing for squares to co-opt and buy and sell and get rich on. This duality is reflected in Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. For less than a month after announcing plans to introduce high-speed trading to the bitcoin world, Coinbase is also eagerly going straight. Coinbase announced it would acquire securities dealer Keystone Capital in a bid to become a fully SEC-regulated broker dealer, the company said Wednesday. “If approved, Coinbase will soon be capable of offering blockchain-based securities, un...

Uber Relies On CEO So Much That Even The CEO Of Uber Is Troubled By It

(Getty Images) Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made headlines the other day by encouraging employees to say they ‘have the D’, which despite its phallic connotation, is actually a strategy from Harvard Business School to make meetings more efficient. Today, the CEO was able to make headlines once again by establishing that the company can’t function without him. At the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on May 30, Recode’s Kara Swisher asked the tech executive, “What’s the thing that scares you the most, right now, as CEO?” “What scares me the most is that the company’s too dependent on me making decisions,” Khosrowshahi responded. I can’t blame the all of the Uber employees for wanting to rely on Dara’s intuition. Travis Kalenick was the equivalent of a dad that says he’s going to...

Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay.

Yeah so, as Heisenberg readers know, I do a fair amount of my midday pontificating/bullshitting from various spots on the island where I reside, and while there’s decent WiFi by the pier (the site of the aerobics classes I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a piece about Italian credit) and also by this quaint little oyster bar that I am not at all sure has proper refrigeration units, I try to make it back to the old bungalow in time to do my U.S. market wrap. Unfortunately I didn’t make it back today, so this coming to you live from an actual dock (Otis Redding style) and you can attribute any errors to a bad connection and/or to various distractions (as Sam Zell would say, “pussy on the block“). I really did think this was going to be a lackluster, uneventful session and indeed it was ri...

Susquehanna Is The Mark Zuckerberg Of The Winklevii’s Bitcoin Play

(Getty Images) Remember the Winklevii’s not-so-short-lived plans for a bitcoin ETF? We don’t, either. But the two were serious enough about the doomed enterprise to engage Susquehanna International Group to help out with the endeavor, in much the same way they once asked Mark Zuckerberg to help them out with a little coding. And like Zuckerberg before it, Susquehanna has turned that request for help into a potentially profitable little business line. Susquehanna International Group in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., just outside Philadelphia, is one of the largest players in trading traditional investments like stocks, options and exchange traded funds, or E.T.F.s. Over the last two years, the privately owned company has also built up a trading desk of around a dozen people that buys and sells millions ...

At G-7 Meeting, World Leaders To Ponder Most Effective Way To Extract Agitated Man-Child From Control Booth

US trade policy is a conundrum. That’s from a Goldman note out last weekend and it serves as an amusingly deadpan reminder of just how utterly confused the rest of the world is when it comes to what Donald Trump’s vision is for the future of international commerce. And you know what? Just take a minute to let that sink in. In the surreal reality that is 2018, Donald Trump’s opinion on the future of international commerce not only matters, but is in fact the controlling factor when it comes to the near-term outlook for global trade. Imagine doing some kind of game theoretic experiment where the outcomes are related to geopolitics and where one of the players is a chimpanzee (you know, just to see what would happen). That’s what we were all accustomed to prior to 2017. Trump would do impromp...