In Brief – N.16 – June 28, 2015

Greece’s default is approaching. “The demands of the creditors are irrational, the discussions lasted 45 minutes,” a Greek government source told news agency AFP.

Son and brother of two former US Presidents, Jeb Bush has formally launched his 2016 White House campaign in Miami. Armed with big political donors and a powerful family, Bush is the GOP’s strongman.

Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE are poised to win at least 220 orders for competing narrow-body jets at the Paris Air Show, a haul of at least $23 billion, sources told Bloomberg Business.

Saudi Arabia opened its $590 billion stock market to foreign investors who are allowed to own up to 5% of each Saudi stock. It will potentially be the 7th largest Emerging Markets (EM) equity market by market capitalization, which places it just behind South Africa ($543 billion), but ahead of Russia or Mexico.

Time is running out for Greece,” Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany’s Bundesbank, told a conference in Frankfurt. “The willingness to do a deal and act is lacking, (…) we need to ensure that Greece can stand on its own legs without the help of partners (…) that’s why the ball is clearly in the court of the Greek government,” he added.

“A period of higher volatility is a phenomenon that is frequently observed not long after the start of a large quantitative program (QE), when short-term rates are pressed against their lower bound,” said Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, in Brussels. “We need a strong and comprehensive agreement with Greece, and we need this very soon,” he added.

PSA and Bolloré Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement covering distribution and production of a Bolloré electric car at PSA Peugeot Citroën plant in Rennes and a joint commitment to developing shared mobility solutions, including carsharing schemes.

Altran, global leader in innovation and high-tech engineering consulting and General Electric (GE) announced they will form an alliance focused on delivering the next generation of Industrial Internet solutions that support secure connected assets and objects; industrial analytics and data science; and machine data management.

North America, with $51 trillion in private wealth, remained the world’s wealthiest region in 2014. But for the first time, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) overtook Europe (Eastern and Western Europe combined) to become the world’s second-wealthiest region with $47 trillion, according to a BCG study.

No rate hike yet, the US economic growth expected at 1.8-2% this year (2015) is strong enough. “Despite a soft first quarter, the fundamentals underlying household spending appear favorable and consumer sentiment remains solid,” the Fed Chair Janet Yellen said.

According to the OFCE, the conjunction of favorable factors (oil price decline and depreciation of the euro) will trigger a more sustained growth momentum in all countries of the European Union (EU), with a GDP growth at 1.6% in 2015 and 2% in 2016.

The European Commission (EC) welcomed political agreement on the proposal for a regulation on reporting and transparency of securities financing transactions (known as SFTR) that aims to avoid that banks circumvent other rules by moving those activities to the shadow banking sector.

Stop austerity, support Greece, change Europe” read a large banner which demonstrators have flown on the Greek parliament’s front in Athens. “If we don’t have an honorable compromise and an economically viable solution, we will take the responsibility to say a big no to the continuation of a catastrophic policy,” warned Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Airbus won $57 billion of aircraft orders at Paris Air Show 2015. Its main competitor Boeing announced orders and commitments for a total of 331 airplanes, valued at $50.2 billion at list prices.

US sources confirmed Greece has not enough money to pay the IMF and will thus go into default. “We don’t see how Greece without any further Troika assistance could make its first payment due June 30,” a source said.

LOT encountered a cyber-attack that affected its ground operation systems, the Polish Airlines announced. As a result we’re not able to create flight plans and outbound flights from Warsaw are not able to depart. (However), it has no influence on plane systems,” read a communiqué.

“The cornerstone of China’s foreign policy is to enhance cooperation with developing countries, including African nations,” said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a meeting with his Cameroonian counterpart in Beijing on June 18, 2015.

A new “report describes how we can move from the current system of coordination by rules to joint decision-making within common institutions,” said ECB President Mario Draghi who called for “a quantum leap in European integration.”

“Achieving this positive outcome was never going to be easy, but it proves that the power of a good idea, no matter where it comes from, can win out over the stasis of gridlock,” said US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the passage of Trade Promotion Authority.

Americans overall may underestimate the value of their wasted food, they estimated wasting $640 in household food each year, according to the American Chemistry Council. Meanwhile, there are still 800 million hungry people in the world.

The market is “extremely overheated – especially in high yield bonds,” billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn tweeted. “If more respected investors had warned about the market in 2007, we might have avoided the crisis in 2008,” Icahn added.

Federal Reserve (Fed) Governor Jerome Powell told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that there could be two interest-rate hikes this year (2015) as he said the stock market isn’t showing signs of being in a bubble.

“How will this scandal end?” Russian President Vladimir Putin asked his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov about the NSA’s spying of France’s top officials. “I think that both sides will try to blanket the scandal and forget about it,” Lavrov replied.