Media Navel Gaze: July 11, 2016
The world seemed to explode last week, with shocking violence (Texas, Minnesota, and Louisiana) made even more horrific and real by the digital coverage complete with live narration on Facebook Live, making all of us spectators to the events. Mark Zuckerberg commented on his FB page that events “shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day,” which seemed for a while to get more coverage than President Obama’s comments.
- The jobless numbers for June came in much stronger than expected (non- farm payroll at up 287,000), giving a boost to markets in the US amid signs of an expanding US economy even as rates remain relatively low and are expected to do so with record low yields here and negative yields overseas;
- The Dow ended up 1.1 percent for the week to close at 18,146, and the S&P briefly traded in record-high territory to end up 1.28 percent to close at 2,129; The 10-year note closed at a record low of 1.366 percent;
- Brexit fallout continued with focus on weak sterling, job migration and who will be the next British PM;
- Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was suspended from the blood-testing business for two years;
- Presumptive Clinton was called careless but not guilty in the FBI email probe but a new GOP probe seems likely on whether she lied to Congress during this e-ordeal;
- The Allen & Co huddle in Sun Valley seemed to produce mostly talk about potential deals following such recent announcements of DreamWorks Animation sale to Comcast;
- Soccer great Lionel Messi found guilty of tax fraud that comes with potential jail time (but that will be highly unlikely); and
- Serena and Andy held court as Wimbledon champions.
- Brazil's government is considering selling its Sao Paulo and Rio airports to help reduce a large fiscal deficit next year, according to interim president Michel Temer. The airport sales, still “up in the air,” would be part of Brazil's plans to sell several assets in an effort to revamp the company and reduce a budget deficit estimated at $51.59 billion this year.
- While the Mexican peso is one of the emerging-market currencies that have depreciated the most against the U.S. dollar, losing around 7% since the beginning of the year, the chief of the Bank of Mexico this week affirmed the bank's priority is to maintain the purchasing power of the Mexican peso by keeping a tight rein on inflation. The peso hit a record low of around 19.50 pesos to the dollar two weeks ago.
- Venezuela's falling crude output and financial struggles have put a damper on its 15-year assistance program to Cuba. Venezuela's state-run oil firm PDVSA cut its exports to Cuba this year, explaining why Cuba has recently ordered some join ventures and state-owned firms to reduce power usage.