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In Absurd Fiasco, Entire Market Spike Was Due To A CNBC Grammatical Mistake

In Absurd Fiasco, Entire Market Spike Was Due To A CNBC Grammatical Mistake

The farce that is this “market” just took a whole new turn for the surreal.

As we reported earlier, the reason why stocks surged just after 5am EDT is because of a CNBC headline, according to which the US Treasury Secretary said that a US-China trade deal “is” – present tense – 90% complete: a clear indication that a trade deal with China is once again a possibility.

This was quickly propagated by Bloomberg…

  • U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN SAYS U.S.-CHINA TRADE DEAL IS 90% COMPLETE

Investing in Emerging and Frontier Markets

… which triggered a flurry of algo buying.

Doubling down, CNBC also tweeted as much saying in a (since deleted) tweet that:

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a U.S.-China trade deal is “about 90% of the way there.” https://t.co/3Q0wvJKKxD pic.twitter.com/of6yH5y3rs”

The problem: CNBC made a huge grammatical mistake, because instead of saying “is”, Mnuchin was actually using the past tense, and what he really said – for those who listened to the video – is that “we were about 90% of the way’ on China trade deal.

Oops.

CNBC also promptly deleted its tweet which said the deal “is” 90% completed, and the current on CNBC headline now says “Mnuchin: ‘We were about 90% of the way’ on China trade deal and there’s a ‘path to complete this.”

The deleted tweet was also revised:

Embedded video

“We were about 90% of the way” on a China trade deal and there’s a “path to complete this,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. https://cnb.cx/2IL7EMc

So basically Mnuchin said absolutely nothing new, and not only that, he did not provide any optimism that a deal was coming, but as we said earlier, was merely recapping what was already known.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mnuchin’s Bizarre Statement Rattles Markets

Mnuchin’s Bizarre Statement Rattles Markets

Mnuchin

If he thought it would inspire confidence in the markets, his bizarre announcement did just the opposite.

Over the weekend, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued a statement saying that he “conducted a series of calls today with the CEOS of the nations six largest banks,” which included Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, and the bank executives “confirmed that they have ample liquidity available” for consumer and business lending operations. To which, the collective response from the whole world seemed to be: “Wait, who said anything about not having ample liquidity?”

Mnuchin also said that the major banks “have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly.” Again, since few expected otherwise, the “clarification” from Mnuchin only seemed to sow more fear and confusion.

Mnuchin was scheduled to hold another call with the President’s Working Group on financial markets – commonly referred to as the “Plunge Protection Team” – which includes the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He said that the FDIC and the Comptroller of the Currency might participate as well. “These key regulators will discuss coordination efforts to assure normal market operations,” Mnuchin’s statement said.

The curious statement intended to reassure the markets prompted the opposite response. “This is the type of announcement that raises the question of whether Treasury sees problems that the rest of the market is missing,” Cowen & Co. analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote in a note to clients. “Not only did he consult with the biggest banks, but he is talking to all of the financial regulators on Christmas Eve. We do not see this type of announcement as constructive.” Related: Chinese Refiners Aren’t Buying U.S. Crude

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

SWIFT Caves To US Pressure, Defies EU By Cutting Off Iranian Banks

Shortly after Trump reimposed nuclear sanctions on Tehran on November 5, the international financial messaging system SWIFT announced the suspension of several Iranian banks from its service. “In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, SWIFT is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system,” SWIFT said.

The Belgium-based financial messaging service added:

“This step, while regrettable, has been taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system.”

SWIFT’s decision has further undermined EU efforts to maintain trade with Iran and save an international deal with Tehran to curtail its nuclear program, after President Donald Trump pulled the US out in May. Being cut off from SWIFT makes it difficult for Iran to get paid for exports and to pay for imports, mostly of oil.

As a further note, the EU was one of the few entities not to receive a sanctions waiver from the US earlier this week.

The European Commission was understandably displeased, and on Wednesday said it found the SWIFT decision “regrettable”

“We find this decision rather … regrettable,” Commission foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told a briefing.

As we reported over the weekend, last Friday Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned SWIFT it could be penalized if it doesn’t cut off financial services to entities and individuals doing business with Iran. However, by complying with Washington, SWIFT now faces the threat of punitive action from Brussels.

Washington has been pressuring SWIFT to cut off Iran from the financial system as it did in 2012 before the nuclear deal. Six years, ago the EU imposed sanctions on Iranian banks, forcing SWIFT, which is subject to EU laws, to cut financial transactions with at least 30 of Iran’s financial institutions, including the central bank.

Iranian banks were reconnected to the network in 2016 after the Iran nuclear deal came into force, allowing much needed foreign cash to flow into Tehran’s coffers.

US Threatens SWIFT With Sanctions If Iran Isn’t Cut Off

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatened the global financial messaging service SWIFT on Friday that it could be penalized if it doesn’t cut off financial services to entities and individuals doing business with Iran. The warning came just days ahead of the US re-imposition of all US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, which will take effect at midnight tonight and cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors.

Speaking to reporters, Mnuchin was quoted by Reuters as saying that “SWIFT is no different than any other entity,” adding “We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institutions that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure.”

The Trump administration has been pressuring allies to cut Iranian oil imports to “zero” next month although on Friday the US agreed to grant exemptions to 8 countries that import Iran oil; the countries include Japan, India, and South Korea according to Bloomberg. China, the leading importers of Iranian oil remains in discussions with the US on terms but is among the eight, as is Turkey which will likely receive an exemption, the country’s energy minister said on Friday. The full list of countries receiving waivers will be released on Monday.

By cutting Iran off from SWIFT, Iran would lose its ability to be paid for its exports and to pay for imports. Washington has been pressuring SWIFT to cut Iran from the financial system as it did in 2012 before the nuclear deal. Six years ago the EU imposed sanctions on Iranian banks, forcing SWIFT, which is subject to EU laws, to cut financial transactions with at least 30 of Iran’s financial institutions, including the central bank.

Iranian banks were reconnected to the network in 2016 after the Iran nuclear deal came into force, allowing much needed foreign cash to flow into Tehran’s coffers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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