Media Navel Gaze: July 18, 2016

Mark Kollar  Follow

The world is too much with us and the news too big this summer, likely helping the Pokemon Go craze go crazier as everyone looks for an escape. Bastille Day celebration was horrifically interrupted in France by a terrorist truck that stormed the main avenue of Nice killing more than 80 and injuring many, many more and then a failed and bloodied military coup in Turkey was the second big event that bookended the weekend. Blaring headlines and nonstop coverage make events like Brexit seem like a long, long time ago. 

Elsewhere, lots happening:

  • The GOP convention begins this week in Cleveland amid heightened security concerns as presumptive Donald names Indiana Gov. Michael Spence as his running mate;
  • Theresa May became Britain’s second female prime minister, appointing Boris Johnson, who backed Brexit unlike May as foreign secretary;
  • The US equity market stormed to record highs and yields to near-record lows, despite political and economic uncertainly elsewhere on the globe; the Dow gained 2 percent for the week to end at a record 18,516, helped in part by strong bank results, with better-than-expected numbers from JP Morgan Chase;
  • Germany sells negative bonds;
  • Hedge fund king Ackerman was dealt an Herbalife blow as the company settled with the SEC without being called a pyramid scheme, allowing in effect the nutritional-products distributer to stay in business; and
  • Capture This: Pokemon Go app takes US by storm, downloaded by 15 million users and counting, crashing system over the weekend and sending Nintendo stock up more than 90 percent; Cupid also enters the race with the app reportedly capturing hearts of users who meet (or probably literally bump into each other) in the chase.

LatAm Gaze:

  • A new poll from Datafolha shows that Brazilians are more optimistic about the nation’s economy, particularly regarding inflation, unemployment levels, and purchasing power, the strongest such results since December 2014.  
  • Citibank is ending its client relationship with Venezuela’s Central Bank and the Bank of Venezuela, citing “a revision of risks produced by Venezuelan clients.” President Nicolás Maduro deemed the move an “economic blockade” implemented by the United States. The bank also dismissed analyst pressure to sell its Banamex franchise in Mexico, citing a positive outlook on the region.  
  • Moody’s this week downplayed Brexit’s impact on Latin American markets, noting that LatAm exports to the UK and EU represent less than 1.7% of the region’s GDP. The MSCI EM Latin America index finished the week up 4.30%. 

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