Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Today's Headlines

  • U.K. Will Seek to Soften Trump Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal. U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he’ll seek to work with the administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to “make a success” of the 2015 deal to stop Iran from being able to develop nuclear weapons. Trump criticized the deal during his election campaign and has chosen opponents of the agreement to fill senior positions in his White House team, leading to uncertainty about its future. In a speech on March 21, he said both that he would scrap the deal and strictly enforce it. “The government remains committed to the nuclear deal in Iran and we look forward to working with the new administration in the United States to make it a success,” Johnson told lawmakers in the House of Commons in London on Tuesday. “We in this country, in this government, do think there’s merit in the deal,” he said. “We should be positive about our engagement and keep it on the road.”
  • EU Leaders Blast May Government’s State of Brexit Preparedness. (video) European Union policy makers intensified their criticism of Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to leave the bloc, saying that the U.K. appeared clueless about the implications of Brexit. The pound sank to an intraday low after Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said it’s not clear that the U.K. knows what it wants and European lawmaker Manfred Weber demanded May’s government produce “clear proposals” as it prepares to trigger Brexit negotiations by the end of March. Weber made the comments after meeting U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis on Tuesday.
  • Shorting Australian Banks Is Back.
  • Mexico Set to Receive a $2.9 Billion Windfall From Oil Hedges, IMF Says. Mexico is set to earn about $2.9 billion from its oil hedges for 2016, reaping a windfall from plummeting crude prices for a second straight year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Mexico has spent an average of almost $1 billion a year over the past decade buying put options through deals with banks that have included Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to government documents. The payout for 2016 will be about $2.9 billion, the IMF said in an e-mailed response to questions on Tuesday after completing its annual review of the nation’s economy.
  • Nominating Mnuchin for Treasury Will Dredge Up Mortgage Meltdown Controversies. In 2009, during the depths of the financial crisis, Mnuchin joined with a group of former Goldman Sachs colleagues and billionaires to buy the remnants of IndyMac, which had collapsed after bingeing on reckless home loans during the frenzy of California’s subprime-mortgage boom. They changed the name to OneWest, turned it around and sold the bank for a big gain last year. Mnuchin may have personally gotten more than $200 million in proceeds from the sale, according to Bloomberg calculations. That doesn’t count any dividends or payments he might have received as chairman and chief executive officer of OneWest’s parent company. Mnuchin’s partners in the IndyMac deal included his former boss, the billionaire investor George Soros, and John Paulson, who made a fortune shorting the housing market and is now a prominent Trump supporter and adviser.
  • Goldman: Hedge Funds Are Poised to Get Beaten for the Eighth Year Straight. (video)
Wall Street Journal:
Fox News:
  • Trump's tax, infrastructure promises face pushback from GOP lawmakers. (video) President-elect Donald Trump vowed to rebuild the country’s infrastructure on the campaign trail -- but a closer look at his $1 trillion proposal to give the nation’s highways, bridges and railways a makeover shows the freshman politician faces a rough road of his own with members of the GOP.
  • OPEC to debate oil output cut next week but Iraq, Iran hesitateOPEC will debate an oil output cut of 4.0-4.5 percent for all of its members except Libya and Nigeria next week but the deal's success hinges on an agreement from Iraq and Iran, which are far from certain to give their full backing. Three OPEC sources told Reuters a gathering of experts from the oil producer group in Vienna had decided on Tuesday to recommend that a ministerial meeting next week debate a proposal from member Algeria to reduce output by 4.0-4.5 percent. But sources also said the representatives of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia had expressed reservations about their level of participation in the proposed deal.

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