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Frontrunning: August 22

August 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0
  • Trump commits to a ‘fight to win’ in Afghan war (Reuters)
  • Stay or Go? Some Trump Aides Are Pressed From All Sides (WSJ)
  • Futures higher as traders pick up beaten-down stocks (Reuters)
  • Divers Search Compartments of Ship for Missing Sailors (WSJ)
  • Why Do U.S. Navy Ships Keep Colliding? (BBG)
  • North Korea Threatens ‘Absolute Force’ as U.S., South Hold Drills (WSJ)
  • The Unintended Consequences of Quantitative Easing (BBG)
  • Ross Levinsohn Named CEO, Publisher of Los Angeles Times (WSJ)
  • Big protests expected as Trump plans Phoenix rally (Reuters)
  • Millennial Americans Are Moving to the ‘Burbs, Buying Big SUVs (BBG)
  • Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency (NYT)
  • BHP Flags Exit From Shale as Full-Year Profits Surge Five-Fold (BBG)
  • Elliott Notches Win as BHP Eyes Sale of U.S. Shale Assets (WSJ)
  • Oil prices steady ahead of U.S. stocks data (Reuters)
  • After U.S. destroyer collision, Chinese paper says U.S. navy a hazard (Reuters)
  • Macy’s Hires eBay Executive Amid Management Shakeup (WSJ)
  • China’s ‘big four’ banks raise billions for Belt and Road deals (Reuters)
  • Famed Plaza Hotel Is On the Block (WSJ)
  • Trump’s team and lawmakers making strides on tax reform plan (Politico)
  • Booming Metals Rally Signals Optimism on Global Growth (WSJ)
  • Could Puerto Rico Be the Next Hot Tax Haven? (BBG)
  • Muslim divorce law ‘unconstitutional’, rules India’s top court (Reuters)
  • South Korea, U.S. fail to reach agreement on possible revision to FTA deal (Reuters)
  • California Crackdown on Cars Reinforced by Road Emissions Uptick (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest:


– President Donald Trump said he would expand the U.S. mission in Afghanistan but take a different approach from his predecessors by being tougher on Pakistan and refraining from telegraphing troop levels.

– The U.S. Navy announced an “operational pause” and has begun a broad investigation after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel, leaving 10 sailors missing, the second such incident in as many months.

– Tronc Inc is undergoing a broad management shake up at its flagship newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, bringing in internet and media industry veteran Ross Levinsohn as its new chief executive and publisher.

– Activist investors scored a victory after BHP Billiton Ltd said it was looking to sell its onshore U.S. oil-and-gas operations.

– CNN is launching a daily news show for Snapchat called “The Update,” the latest reflection of how media companies are stepping up their interest in the mobile messaging platform.

– Jeep, the crown jewel of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and a world-wide symbol of American military and manufacturing might, has an interested Chinese suitor, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, the latest sign of an industry in the midst of a global reshuffling.



– In a growing number of online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon Communications Inc, T-mobile US Inc , Sprint Corp and AT&T Inc and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the control of the hackers.

– Tronc Inc, the parent company of The Los Angeles Times, abruptly replaced the newspaper’s top leadership on Monday. Ross Levinsohn, a longtime media executive who held a senior position at Fox’s digital group and was once considered a top candidate to lead Yahoo, was named publisher and chief executive of The Times.

– A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in damages to a medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s trademark Johnson’s Baby Powder on her perineum for decades.

– The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was conducting a scientific study of the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining said in a statement they were ordered to stop work because the Interior Department was conducting an agencywide budgetary review.

– Statements and evidence provided to German investigators by Zaccheo Giovanni Pamio, former head of thermodynamics in Audi’s engine development department, suggest that knowledge of emissions fraud reached higher in the ranks of management than Volkswagen has admitted. No members of the company’s management board have been charged, although investigations are continuing.



The Times

* The former chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group Plc and one of his top lieutenants are suing the bailed-out lender for hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid bonuses in a move that risks sparking public outrage.

* Nicholas Macpherson, the former Treasury mandarin who oversaw the introduction of quantitative easing eight years ago, has compared money printing to “heroin” for policymakers and said it is “time to move on”.

The Guardian

* Ford Motor Co has announced a car and van scrappage scheme allowing customers to trade in and scrap any brand of older vehicle for at least 2,000 pounds ($2,578.80) in a bid to get dirtier vehicles off the roads and boost its sales in UK’s flagging car market.

* Activist group Avaaz has hired lawyers and launched the first steps of a judicial review against Ofcom following its report into the 11.7 billion pound bid by Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-first Century Fox for the 61 percent of Sky Plc it does not already own.

The Telegraph

* French supermajor Total SA has become the second largest North Sea operator at a stroke with a surprise $7.45 billion (5.79 billion pounds) deal swoop on Danish oil and gas firm Maersk Oil.

* Britain is to keep all of Europe’s business standards after Brexit by applying to remain a full member of Europe’s three business standards agencies after March 2019, the head of the UK’s official standards agency told the Telegraph.

Sky News

* Theresa May is facing pressure to transform her approach to shaping Britain’s post-Brexit trade links amid scepticism from business leaders about the scale and ambition of a forthcoming trip to Japan.

* British wealth manager Rathbone Brothers has confirmed that it is in talks over a 2-billion-pound merger with UK-based financial services provider Smith & Williamson, in a bold move that would accelerate the consolidation of the w‎ealth management sector.


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مؤشرات الأسهم في الامارات العربية المتحدة تباينت عند نهاية جلسة اليوم؛ مؤشر سوق دبي صعد نحو 0.45%

August 22, 2017 Dana 0

 الأسهم في الامارات العربية المتحدة تغلق متباينة في نهاية تداولات يوم الثلاثاء، حيث صحبت المؤشرات للأعلى، وقد سُجلت مكاسب في قطاعات الإتصالات،الخدمات المالية والإستثمارات والخدمات. في المقابل، سُجلت خسائر في قطاعات السلع الأساسية،التأمين والبنوك والمصرفية، حيث قادت المؤشرات للأسفل. عند نهاية التداولات في دبي، مؤشر سوق دبي أغلق على ارتفاع عند 0.45%، بينما مؤشر أبوظبيضعُف بنحو 0.46%. من بين الأسهم القيادية اليوم […]

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“Blood On Your Hands”: Protesters Blame City Council For Violence In Charlottesville

August 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

“Why did you think you could walk in here and it would be business as usual?”

That was one of many harshly worded questions and insults lobbed at the Charlottesville Va. city council during a Monday night meeting that was beset by protesters angrily demanding an explanation for what they alleged was the city’s botched response to Aug. 11 “Unite the Right” rally. The rally, which revived a national conversation about the line between heritage and hate speech that continues to this day, devolved into violence as white nationalists, who had earlier marched through the University of Virginia’s campus carrying torches, clashed with counterprotesters. The weekend ended in tragedy when one of the young men in attendance rammed his Dodge Charger into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, and injuring dozens of others.

Protesters in Charlottesville, VA call for the resignation of city leaders during the first city council meeting since the deadly violence.

— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) August 22, 2017

At the council meeting, protesters “shouted down the mayor, “took over city council chambers,” “broke out into furious chants of ‘shame’ and “gave four hours of impassioned testimony.” Their efforts resulted in a small victory: The city authorized a third-party review of the city’s planning and response to the rally, according to the New York Times.

Of course, there was no shortage of drama:

“’I’m outraged! said Tracy Saxon, 41. “I watched my people get beat and murdered. They let Nazis in here have freedom of speech, and they protect them? And we can’t have freedom of speech?”


At one point, two people stood on the dais and unfurled a banner with the words “Blood on your hands!” as council members and the mayor left the room. The residents refused to cede control of the room until the authorities promised to release the residents who had been taken away and let people have their say.”

As the chaos intensified, most of the council members and the mayor briefly left the meeting. The sole council member who stayed behind negotiated with the protesters and agreed to scrap the agenda to instead allow each person the opportunity to speak:

Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, the only African-American on the council, was the sole ember who remained. He negotiated with residents to restore order in exchange for scrapping the meeting’s regular agenda and giving each person one minute to speak.


It took about a half-hour for order to be restored, and the meeting stretched for several hours, as speaker after speaker spoke about their anguish over what the community had experienced. Several people wept and said they had been unable to sleep since witnessing violence against their neighbors. “‘I’m not the same person I was that day,’ said Paul Hurdle, who shook as he described the mayhem on Aug. 12”

At one point, three protesters were ejected by the police, drawing a chant of “let them go!” from the crowd.

People demand the release of ejected patrons.

— Frances Robles (@FrancesRobles) August 21, 2017

The councilmembers repeatedly pleaded with the protesters for calm, stressing the fact that it had tried to deny a permit for the “Unite the Right” rally, but had been overruled by a federal court. But for whatever reason, the protesters rejected the council’s version of events, which has been documented in the media.

“’We tried really hard,’ Mayor Mike Signor said. “A federal judge forced us to have that rally downtown.”


His account was met with jeers, and the shouting continued.


Mr. Signer took the brunt of the community’s ire, as many people demanded his resignation.”

Once the chaos had subsided, the city council voted unanimously to drape statues of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson in black. Maybe if protesters escalate their tactics, at the next meeting the council will simply decide to tear the statues down, resulting in a progression of even more escalating social discontent within a society that according to Ray Dalio has not been so polarized since 1937…

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(22 AUGUST 2017)DAILY MARKET BRIEF 2:Still room to fade risk off trade

August 22, 2017 MQL5: Traders' Blogs 0

The current round of risky asset weakness and rise in volatility been partially blamed on Trumps decision to deploy additional troops into Afghanistan. In reaction to news of his announcement, the VIX spiked to a high of 16, US equities fought to susta…

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(22 AUGUST 2017)DAILY MARKET BRIEF 1:Are EU and US government yields set to recover?

August 22, 2017 MQL5: Traders' Blogs 0

Treasuries across the globe have in been in growing demand recently as investors are becoming increasingly worried about the monetary outlook on both side of the Atlantic. US yields have been moving within a downtrend channel since the beginning of the summer. US 10-year rate slid as much as 20bps, from 2.395% down to 2.20% as investors discounted a hawkish unwinding program for Janet Yellen. The 2-year rate fell 13bps to 1.30%. Similarly, Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield lost 22bps to 0.40%, while the 2-year rate gave up 16bps and returned to -0.71%.

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“Clearly Awful News”: UK Subprime Lender Provident Crashes Most On Record, CEO Quits

August 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

UK subprime lender Provident Financial Plc crashed the most on record, its stock plunging over 73%, on what analysts called a “quadruple whammy”: a profit warning forecasting a full-year loss, scrapping its dividend, a regulator probe into its Vanquis Bank unit, and the departure of CEO, the aptly named, Peter Crook. “This is without doubt a disaster,” said Shore Capital’s Gary Greenwood. “Future profit performance will depend on management’s ability to rescue the situation, which is highly uncertain. We expect that further heads will roll.”

As a result, shares of the Bradford, UK-based company dropped more than 73% to 521 pence in London morning trade. The stock is down 82% this year, wiping more than 3 billion pounds from its market value.

In what may be the beginning (of the end) of yet another subprime bubble bursting (we have lost count which one this is), in its second profit warning in two months, the subrime lender said it now expects a “pre-exceptional loss” for the home credit business of between 80 million pounds ($103 million) and 120 million pounds, after previously predicting a 60 million-pound profit. The company also cited further deterioration at its home credit business after a botched roll-out of new technology this year, when it scrapped a more-than-century-old model of self-employed door-to-door agents. Crook, who was CEO for a decade, said in June that many of its 4,500 salesmen and debt collectors quit or stopped working as hard when they were informed they would be replaced by a smaller number of iPad-toting full-time staff, according to Bloomberg.

Peter Crook

Meanwhile, the company said the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is investigating the Vanquis Bank credit-card unit, and the regulator had previously ordered Provident to stop offering a particular repayment product, the company said Tuesday. Provident scrapped its interim dividend and said a full-year payout is also unlikely. Manjit Wolstenholme will temporarily run the firm as executive chairman. Provident said Tuesday that the FCA ordered the company to stop offering “repayment option plans” in April 2016. The products had been contributing about 70 million pounds in revenue a year.

“Given that the FCA investigation has the potential to be material to the company, investors are likely to take the view that this investigation should have been disclosed when it was known,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Peter Lenardos said in a note. “The shares are not investible until greater clarity is received, which may not be until next year,” he said, calling the probe, loss, dividend suspension and CEO’s departure a “quadruple whammy.”

As Bloomberg reports, While Provident didn’t make any mention of the broader U.K. economic environment or Brexit, its profit warning comes as the Bank of England cautions that the nation’s consumer credit market is overheating after years of low interest rates and low defaults bred complacency. Crook had previously said Provident’s business model was more resilient to an economic downturn than the big banks; he was wrong.

Meanwhile, as revenue from its old sales force continues to decline, its new technology isn’t panning out either.

The routing and scheduling software designed to help the 2,500 full-time digital-savvy staff replacing the door-to-door salesmen “has presented some early issues, primarily relating to the integrity of data,” Provident said, while “the prescriptive nature of the new operating model has not allowed sufficient local autonomy to prioritize resource allocation.”


Debt collection performance has fallen to 57 percent this year from 90 percent at the end of 2016, according to the statement. Likewise, weekly sales were running at about 9 million pounds lower in the same period.

Putting the company’s operations in context, Provident serves 2.4 million British customers, many of them unemployed or on
Extending credit to the working class had been good to
Provident: its stock had tripled over a decade that saw other British
banks collapse or get bailed out in the financial crisis; of course, it has given up most of it back now that the time has come to collect that money.

Ironically, Provident was
started in 1880 by Joshua Waddilove, a philanthropist and social
reformer who saw extending door-to-door credit as a way to alleviate

* * *

Meanwhile, one look at the sellside commentary this morning reveals that virtually everyone thinks this particular subprime lender is about to be New Centuried:

RBC (Peter K Lenardos)

  • Expect ongoing substantial losses for shares and “would not be buyers at any price”
  • Recent share correction was making RBC warm to Provident; today’s announcement means “shares are not investible until greater clarity is received, which may not be until next year at the earliest”

SHORE CAPITAL (Gary Greenwood)

  • Dividend withdrawal and CEO resignation is a “disaster,” and company’s ability to rescue the situation is “highly uncertain at present, making accurate forecasting extremely difficult”
  • Sees risk the FCA decides to review sales of Repayment Option Plan product in the period prior to that announced
  • Cannot rule out the need for equity issuance and expects “further heads will roll” after CEO departure
  • Suspends recommendation (previously buy)

JEFFERIES (Phil Dobbin)

  • “Clearly awful news” which will deeply impact the share price
  • FCA review adds more uncertainty on top of profit warning for home credit business
  • Notes that home credit is a short duration business and will need to see momentum turning soon

LIBERUM (Portia Patel)

  • Notes 2016 NAV was 541p and given the uncertainty ahead and suspension of dividends, expects a realistic trading range to be 1x-2x NAV (541p – 1082p)

Source: Bloomberg

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