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European Union rejects Theresa May BREXIT plan

The EU tells Theresa May  Chequers Brexit plan ‘will not work’

Theresa May was left fighting to save her Chequers Brexit plan and with it her authority as prime minister after she was ambushed at the end of the Salzburg summit when EU leaders unexpectedly declared that her proposals would not work.

On Thursday night the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, hit back for the government, declaring there were no changes to the Chequers plan on the table and the EU’s demands on Northern Ireland were “impossible” for the UK to accept. “The PM has set out red lines that this country is not going to stay in the single market, we’re not going to stay in the customs union – I agree with her on those, that’s the government’s position,” Grayling said.

The prime minister was thrown on to the defensive – just over a week before the Conservative party conference – when EU leaders led by Donald Tusk and Emmanuel Macron rejected her Chequers plan as it stood, prompting hard Brexit Conservatives to demand it be abandoned.

http://www.theguardian.com

‘Economy looks like 1937’ says Hedge Fund legend Ray Dalio

A downturn is coming in about two years

Ray Dalio is the founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. Dalio is sharing his template for understanding debt crises which he says helped him and his fund foresee and navigate the financial crisis. He sat down with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget to discuss this new book and his outlook for the economy. Follwoing is a transcript of the video.

Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner discuss the 2008 financial crisis

The three bailed out Wall Street to help Main Street

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner reflected on the financial crisis during a forum in Washington, D.C. A decade later, the three officials who helped pull the U.S. out of the financial crisis now struggle with the choices they made, particularly considering that the public still sees the moves as a bailout for Wall Street.

The three spoke during a forum at the Brookings Institution in a talk moderated by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, who wrote “Too Big to Fail,” a chronicle of the crisis told from the inside of those who experienced it first-hand.

“We stepped in before the banks had collapsed and we did some things to fix the financial system which are very hard to explain because they are objectionable things,” Paulson said. “In the United States of America there’s a fundamental sense of fairness that the American people have. … You don’t want to reward the arsonist.”

Lehman Brothers went bust 10 years ago

Can it happen again?

In early 2007, the then chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, dismissed the idea that the slowdown in the US housing market had profound implications. It was, according to the man running the world’s most powerful central bank, just a local affair. Everybody knows what happened next. Within 18 months the local problem in the US subprime mortgage market had ballooned into the biggest global financial crisis since the 1930s. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt 10 years ago this week, it was the catalyst for a month of turmoil in which no financial institution was considered entirely safe.

Inevitably, the anniversary of those tumultuous weeks in late September and early October 2008 has prompted speculation about whether it could happen again. And, if so, what will be the cause? Looking around the global economy, there are plenty of potential candidates…

Boris Johnson says May’s Brexit plan ‘worse than status quo’

Tory Brexiteers have attacked Theresa May’s Brexit plan

Boris Johnson and other leading Tory Brexiteers have attacked Theresa May’s Brexit plan at an event putting the economic case for leaving the EU without an agreement on trade. The Economists For Free Trade report said the UK had “nothing to fear” from a “clean break” from the EU and using World Trade Organisation rules. This could give an £80bn boost to the tax base and cut prices by 8%, it said. But the claims were branded “Project Fantasy” by Labour MP Chuka Umunna. And Chancellor Philip Hammond said the economic assumptions behind the analysis were “not sustainable” and out of line with other forecasts.

Mr Hammond, who earlier on Tuesday announced Bank of England Governor Mark Carney would be extending his contract until January 2020 to provide continuity after Brexit, has issued a fresh warning of “some turbulence” if the UK left the EU in March without a deal.

Tesla will remain a publicly traded company

Shareholders:  “Please don’t do this”

Tesla will remain a publicly traded company, CEO Elon Musk said late Friday, just weeks after he floated the idea of going private in order to ward off short-sellers and volatility in the company’s stock.

In early August, Musk touched off a firestorm by saying on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share, adding that funding was “secured.” In the wake of that announcement, the billionaire and his company have been buffeted by skepticism, in addition to the threat of a regulatory probe.

However, in a post on Tesla’s website, Musk cited resistance from shareholders, in addition to other logistical hurdles, as rendering the proposition unattractive.

http://www.cnbc.com

Greece emerges from eurozone bailout programme

Greece is now free to borrow money on the financial markets

Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone bailout programme designed to help it cope with the fallout from its debt crisis. For the first time in eight years, Greece is now free to borrow money on the financial markets. As a condition of the loans, the Greek government was forced to introduce a series of unpopular austerity measures.
The Greek economy has grown slowly in recent years but is still 25% smaller than when the crisis began. Together with assistance from International Monetary Fund (IMF), the loans given to Greece since 2010 amounted to more than €260bn – the biggest bailout in global financial history. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) provided the country with €61.9bn (£55bn; $70.8bn) over the three years.

https://www.bbc.com

Why Turkey’s currency is plunging

Turkey’s currency and stock market kept on falling

Turkey’s currency and stock market kept on falling Monday, weighed down by investor fears about the country’s economic policies and worsening relations with the United States. The lira fell as low as 6.89 to the dollar Monday, down about 7 percent on the day and 45 percent since the start of the year. The main stock index fell 3.5 percent.

Why is Turkey currency so weak? One reason is that cheap borrowing rates in major economies like the U.S. are rising, attracting investors’ money away from emerging economies like Turkey. Ultra-low interest rates in the U.S. and Europe had for years encouraged companies in Turkey to borrow in foreign currencies. That helped the economy, which booked 7 percent growth last year. But now the U.S. Federal Reserve is raising rates. That draws capital away from Turkey, weakening the currency. And it makes it more expensive for Turkish companies to repay the foreign currency debts, raising economic concerns that can further weaken the currency.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Saudi Arabia bought 5% stake in Tesla

The Saudi Public Investment Fund bought the shares in secondary markets

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a significant position in Tesla shares, according to the Financial Times. The media outlet said the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund bought a 3 percent to 5 percent stake in the electric car maker, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The stake is worth $1.9 billion to $3.2 billion at the company’s current share price. The Saudi fund approached CEO Elon Musk about buying newly issued shares, the report said, but Tesla declined. Instead the Public Investment Fund bought the shares in secondary markets.

Reuters later confirmed the Saudi fund bought a stake “at just below 5 percent” of the company, according to a source familiar with the matter.

https://www.cnbc.com/

The UK would vote to stay in the European Union by 53% to 47% if asked again.

45% of people support a People’s Vote on the final deal, while 34% do not

UK voters would back remaining in the European Union by 53% to 47% if a referendum was held now, according to a comprehensive new poll published today.

A YouGov survey for the ‘pro-remain People’s Vote campaign’ found that 45% want a say on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations with 34% opposed.

Exactly half of respondents said the final decision over whether to leave the EU without a deal should be taken by the public in a second referendum, while a quarter said the British parliament should decide.

Opponents of the UK’s exit from the bloc said the YouGov study of more than 10,000 adults showed public opinion was shifting.

https://www.rte.ie/

Berkshire Hathaway profit surges

Economy gives Buffett a boost

Berkshire Hathaway Inc, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, on Saturday said quarterly operating profit rose 67 percent, as insurance underwriting rebounded and several business units benefited from a growing economy.

Results easily topped analyst forecasts. Underwriting profit at the Geico auto insurance unit more than quintupled, the BNSF railroad benefited from demand to ship consumer products, grain, petroleum and steel, and the Berkshire Hathaway Automotive car dealership financed more vehicle purchases.

“Good results across the board,” said Doug Kass, who runs the hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management Inc in Palm Beach, Florida. He has previously sold Berkshire shares short, betting on a decline, but is not doing so now.

http://www.reuters.com

Tesla could make it through 2018 without running out of money

Tesla Q2 earnings

Tesla reported second-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the close of market. The company lost more than expected but also brought in more revenue: more than $4 billion. Importantly, although Tesla yet again spent a lot of money in the quarter, it retained $2.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet and slowed its cash burn — remarkable, given the problems it encountered with its Model 3 roll-out.

That’s about $1 billion less that it had at the end of 2017 — but just $500 million less than what it had at the end of the first quarter. The company now expects to hold total capital expenditure under $2.5 billion for the full year while adding to its overall cash position.

http://www.businessinsider.com

Turkey could be the next emerging market to fall into crisis

The Turkish lira has now lost 27% of its value this year

Economists had been expecting the bank to hike rates to fight inflation, which topped 15% in June. Many observers said the unorthodox decision showed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who supports lower interest rates, has increased his influence over the central bank.

http://www.cnn.com

Venezuela’s inflation rate may hit 1,000,000 percent

Hyperinflation in Venezuela

 When the International Monetary Fund predicted this year that hyperinflation in Venezuela could top 13,000 percent, it seemed as if the South American country’s economic outlook could not get any worse.

It just did. With the situation in the country deteriorating faster than expected, the IMF has unveiled a far more severe prognosis, saying that Venezuela’s hyperinflation is poised to reach an annualized rate of 1 million percent by year’s end. That inflation rate is set to catapult socialist Venezuela into a rogue’s gallery of nations that have suffered the worst inflation rates in history.

Venezuela’s “is one of the most severe hyperinflation situations that we’ve known about since the beginning of the 20th century,” said Robert Rennhack, deputy director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department.

http://www.washingtonpost.com

The City of London just suffered a major defeat from the EU over plans for Brexit

Major blow to the UK’s financial services sector

The European Union late last week dealt a major blow to the UK’s financial services sector in the lead up to Brexit, after negotiators rejected the plans for the sector laid out by the British government in Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial white paper. According to a report from the Financial Times, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, last Friday told EU ministers that the financial services elements of May’s Brexit plans could not be accepted as they threatened to rob the bloc’s “decision-making autonomy” when it comes to finance.

The UK, earlier in July, proposed a new relationship between the highly interconnected financial services sectors of the UK and the EU that would involve a system of so-called “equivalence.” Under the plans in the white paper, the government said i t will seek to improve on existing requirements for equivalence of rules between the EU and outside countries.

Equivalence is a framework whereby the EU acknowledges that the legal, regulatory and supervisory regime of a non-EU country is as good as its own, and therefore allows that state access to the financial services sector within the bloc. Countries like Singapore and the USA already use a similar system to trade financial services with the EU.

http://www.businessinsider.com

BREXIT: Prepare for the worst

Brussels and Westminster run out of time

Even with the current heatwave and hosepipe ban, there is a chill in the air when it comes to Brexit. Repeat after me in a gravelly, Northern accent: “Winter is coming.” Britain is sweating under the pressure of a loud ticking countdown, and the EU is nervously glancing at its watch, looking away, and then frantically checking the time once again. Project Fear is becoming Project Reality as both Brussels and Westminster run out of time. Since Theresa May triggered Article 50 in March 29 last year, formally notifying the EU of Britain’s exit, the prime minister started a two-year process. In just two years, Britain would have to negotiate both its divorce and future relationship with the bloc.

In many ways, the British government has only got the ball rolling, producing its starting position on trade post-Brexit. And even then, it caused cabinet disarray, resulting in resignations from ministers including Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson. As time runs out, there are those who bracing themselves for the worst case scenario. Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019 (and with a transition period until December 31, 2020), but they could be doing so without completing a deal with the bloc.