Top Stories of the Week
I Did Get Germany to Pay for Lunch, so That’s Something
Alexis Tsipras was elected in January, running on the idea that it was time for Greece to stand up to its creditors. Tsipras and his far left Syriza party were ready to push back against the harsh austerity measure foisted upon his country. And so, for six months, Tsipras walked the walk. His finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, was young and talked trash with the old fuddy-duddies of the ECB and IMF. Tsipras ruffled feathers and refused to be silent, sure that he could show the nations of the Euro Zone that Greece wasn’t just going to accept the deal they were laying out.
And then, six months later, Tsipras accepted the deal the Euro Zone was laying out.
That’s right, after six months of posturing and puffery, Tsipras ultimately had to return to the Greek parliament, hat in hand, and insist that staying in the Euro was important enough that they had to accept the deal as offered. This week saw the last piece fall into place, as Germany’s parliament approved the deal in question, making the entire episode start to feel a touch pointless in the end.
If it Happened on the 15th, which is Divisible by 3 AND 5, I’m Not Sure How We Can Call it Prime Day
Amazon (AMZN) decided they wanted to distance themselves even further from traditional retail this summer. Beyond Black Friday or even Cyber Monday, Amazon launched Prime Day on July 15th, a series of sales meant to bring in a major mid-summer jump in sales. Making the sales available only to members of its Amazon Prime service, the company also hoped to recruit more people to the $99 a year membership.
Traditional retail did not take it laying down, though, with Wal-Mart (WMT) in particular offering up its own sales in response. At the end of the (prime) day, Amazon saw mockery on social media (which seems to be associated with any attempt to do anything, so it’s hard to read too much into it), but ultimately appeared to get enough response to seriously consider making it an annual event.
This Kind of Feels Empty without Someone’s Embassy Getting Stormed
Probably the biggest news of the week was the proposed nuclear deal with Iran that was released on Tuesday.
From there, one didn’t even really need to read the details to know what happened next. Benjamin Netanyahu and Congressional Republicans slammed the deal, insisting that it would essentially result in the Nuclear Holocaust within an hour of it going into effect.
There appears to be a long slog to get the deal through Congress, but one that should ultimately end well for Obama. Blocking the deal will require a resolution that Obama can veto, meaning Republicans will need to override that veto, something they don’t appear to have the votes to pull off.
Unreliable Information about Twitter Surprisingly Not Coming from Twitter
Every once in a while, things happen that demonstrate that the markets are not as rational as we would all like to think. Like when defunct Massachusetts retailer Tweeter saw its stock skyrocket some 700% in 2013 after traders clearly confused their ticker, TWTRQ, for that of Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) .
Well, Twitter, a company built on helping people share poorly researched and unconfirmed information, saw a fake Bloomberg article about potential buyout offers send shares jumping 7%.
Unlike the Tweeter story, which was mostly just funny, there are darker undertones here. The fake story was quite sophisticated in its mimicry of Bloomberg’s branding, making it appear as though unscrupulous traders took time building it in order to benefit from the chaos that would follow.
Google Has Good Earnings Report, Increases its Value by About One Greek Bailout
Shares of Google (GOOG) gained some 15% on Friday following a solid earnings report that showed increased revenues as well as a promise to continue cutting costs. The jump was a massive one, considering Google’s size. It means that Google essentially increased in value by about $50 billion overnight.
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