In Brief – N.20 – September 6, 2015

Angela Merkel welcomed the change in attitude of Tsipras government. German Chancellor also welcomed the work of the Greek government to reach an agreement on a new international bailout.

Hundreds of thousands protested in Brazil to oust embattled President Dilma Rousseff over corruption allegations. They called for the impeachment of Rousseff, whom they also blamed for the economy’s worst slump in 25 years.

Oil prices might continue downward. The number of US rigs exploring for oil reached 672, marking the fourth consecutive week of increases, Baker Hughes Inc. said on August 14, 2015.

According to Reuters, Japan‘s economy shrank at an annualized pace of 1.6% in Q2 2015 as exports slumped and consumers cut back spending, adding pressure on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Eurozone economic growth slowed. GDP in euro area eased to 0.3% in Q2 2015, missing expectations, wrote the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). France stagnated with 0% and Germany posted a tepid expansion with 0.4%.

In an interview to BBC, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis expressed his disbelief in the potential of the bailout deal that Greece agreed with international creditors. “Ask anyone who knows anything about Greece’s finances and they will tell you this deal is not going to work,” he noted.

David Petraeus – former CIA Director – was fired for almost nothing compared to this,” a US-based source commented on the private e-mail server of Hillary Clinton, Democratic Candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

Several DOD officials fear that the US and its NATO allies would be unable to fight effectively in case of a conventional war with Russia. This surprises more optimistic analysts and former intelligence officers given that there are nukes.

This is just a beginning in Yemen. According to Iranian sources, one lets “the Saudi coalition” gain some ground with a view to better re-taking it because “its tactical weakness are so obvious, this is mostly a question of time.”

Greece has repaid on August 20, 2015 a €3.4 billion loan to the European Central Bank (ECB) on time, following the German parliament’s approval of a €23 billion third bailout package.

Meanwhile ROK and the US are conducting joint military exercises, North and South Korea have been exchanging fire along the countries’ western border. There might be concern too about progress allegedly made by the North in the field of submarine ballistics.

Currency war is ongoing. Kazakhstan’s currency, the tenge, has plunged in value by 23% against the dollar (USD) after the government decided to move to a free float.

China is moving to a “new normal,” of slower yet safer and more sustainable growth. This involves giving the market a more decisive role in the economy, wrote the IMF in its annual assessment of the economy.

Republicans made “statements (which) misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work” of Iran’s nuclear program, said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced resignation on August 20, 2015 as he called for snap elections. “(I want) to submit all of what I did to the Greek people so that it decides anew,” Tsipras said.

Tension has been mounting dramatically between the two Koreas. North has declared itself in a “quasi-state of war” with South and ordered troops to get ready for combat.

Iran’s “economy is and will continue to be in a significant hole even after sanctions relief occurs,” US President Barack Obama said.

Rumors have been growing about a possible QE4 by the Fed, considering the impact of BRICS, especially China, lower economic growth forecast.

Brazil, former star among the BRICS, has technically entered into recession with its GDP plunging by 1.9% in Q2 2015. Canada took a similar path.

Democrat Barbara Mikulski is 34th member of US Senate to commit to voting for Iran Deal, enough to assure President Barack Obama will prevail in effort to push nuclear agreement through Congress.

Bill Gross told Bloomberg Business that if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in September 2015, policy makers are increasingly likely to wait at least six months before a second hike.

Tangible results have been achieved for a political deal in Libya, but concrete solutions to the conflict will only be reached when all parties agree on a final draft, said UN Envoy Bernardino Leon.