Posts Tagged ‘Dow Jones’

Letter From New York 06 29 15 “You’re fired!” and other things from the day…

June 29, 2015

We are reaching the end of June and I find that a bit mind-boggling but here it is. On this, the penultimate day of June, the sun has come flirting with us at the end of a day of mostly grey with a refreshing warm/cool feel to the air. Coming in to the city today from Claverack, I rode past the Hudson River, churning brown with all the recent storms, just as the creek was as I left the house this morning for the train station. One of the conductors said the Hudson reminded him of the Danube, and I agreed.

It has been a wild day for the international money markets, all seriously rattled as the Greek crisis is playing out in real time. Prime Minister Tsipras of Greece has called for a national referendum on the deal for Sunday. The banks and markets there are all closed. If you are a Greek citizen you are allowed to only withdraw 60 Euros a day. Foreigners are exempt. The German market was down over three percent as was the French CAC 40. London and New York managed to hold to a 2% loss. It will be interesting, exciting and maybe a little frightening to watch what happens the rest of this week.

Tomorrow could be the day when Greece goes into default. Europe is warning Greek citizens a “no” vote on Sunday means an exit from the Euro. We will all be holding our breath, hoping the Greek conflagration doesn’t disrupt the world economy. Greece’s is a small economy, smaller than many of our individual states but the significance of current events is also around what this means for the Euro overall.

Puerto Rico also says it can’t pay its debts. Wonder what is going to come of that?

Sunday was Pride Weekend in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco with wild celebrations in the cities over the Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage. Not everyone was celebrating. Texas is resisting, to no one’s great surprise, offering to defend clerks who refuse to issue licenses. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is going to make the issue front and center in his campaign for the Republican nomination for President.

Upstate New York is breathing a sign of relief as the second of two escaped murderers was apprehended. David Sweat was captured around 3:20 yesterday afternoon, shot twice when he refused to thrown down his weapon and as he almost reached a line of trees that could have offered shelter. He is in Albany Medical Center in critical condition. His fellow escapee, Richard Matt, was killed five days ago.

Tunisia has arrested some suspected of having offered support and weapons to Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi, a 23 year old IS recruit, who gunned down 39 people, 30 of them British. IS has claimed responsibility; Britain is in shock.

While IS has lost a quarter of its territory in its “Caliphate,” it still controls some major cities and has demonstrated its abilities to strike by such actions as the recent taking of Palmyra. And it is exporting its religious terrorism to other places.

Boko Haram in Nigeria, which declares fealty to IS, has been using captured girls as fighters. Some of them have been trained to slit the throats of Boko Haram captives. As some are rescued as Nigeria and its allies experience some military successes, the plight of those who remain in captivity is being revealed.

Egypt’s highest prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, was killed in a bomb attack on his convoy.

“You’re fired,” has become an iconic line in the U.S. due to the popularity of “The Apprentice,” starring Donald Trump, a recent addition to the race for the Republican nomination. He made some choice remarks about Mexicans at the time and today NBC has told him, “You’re fired!” They have dumped his beauty pageants, as has Univision [no surprise] and underscored he will not be part of “The Apprentice” anymore.

And I’m fine with that.

The evening is arriving and I’m going off to have a bite to eat and then continue my consumption of a Louise Penny mystery, “A Fatal Grace.”

Letter From New York 03 19 15 Hard to believe…

March 19, 2015

It is a little after eight in the morning and to my left is the Hudson River with morning sun glinting off the water as we roll south. I am heading into the city for a few meetings and to organize for my departure to India. Most of the clothes I will be taking are in the apartment in the city and I need to sort and organize them, deciding what I will take. I have been warned to bring sweaters and a jacket or two as the nights will still be cool.

It is definitely still on the chill side today in New York. Sometime this winter will end but it is not today. It is good though that the sun is out and the day is bright; it lightens the feel of the day against the cold. Snow will come tomorrow, the first day of spring.

While I find it hard to believe after the winter the Northeast has had, this has been actually the warmest winter on record.

The front page of the NY Times is filled with exegesis of the victory of Netanyahu in Israel and attempts to parse what directions he will take as well as what twists and turns will come in his relationship with President Obama.

There is still a manhunt in Tunisia for accomplices in the killing there of 19 outside a museum. No one has claimed responsibility. Just now, as I was searching the news, my iPhone sent a breaking news alert from the BBC announcing that four people had been arrested.

The UN has stated that IS may have committed genocide against the religious minority Yazidis. There were about a half million of them, living mostly in the plains of Nineveh province in Iraq. They captured the world’s attention last year when many fled ahead of IS to Mount Sinjar where they remained trapped until the US led coalition managed to break the siege via aggressive airstrikes coupled with an offensive from the Kurdish Pesh Merga.

Hundreds have been killed. Women have been given to IS soldiers “as spoils of war.” That’s if they were lucky; many, including girls as young as six, were regularly raped. Boys as young as eight have been abducted and sent away to train as IS soldiers.

On the other side, the Iraqis have not been so innocent either if UN reports are correct. They have been taking revenge on Sunnis for the killings of Shia.

The land between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, the “cradle of civilization,” is a bloody mess.

The British have sent 35 trainers to Ukraine to help Ukrainian forces in defensive tactics. Putin’s spokesman has said this does not “strengthen trust.” He says it with a straight face, too.

In other British news, Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, his wife and Duchess of Cornwall, are making a visit today to the Oval Office.

Office productivity will probably take a nosedive today as March Madness descends on America. There are sixteen games today and sixteen tomorrow. Many will be hunched over their computers, not working but watching the games stream.

Apple is part of the Dow Jones index, as of today. The Times noted that blue chip stocks in the index tend to underperform. Not happy news, I’m sure, to my friends who have Apple stock.

In Basel, Switzerland, Buddy Elias passed away. He was the closest living relative of Anne Frank, who left behind a diary before being transported to Auschwitz, where she died.

The French are considering legislation to set minimum body index measures for models to fight anorexia. Over the last few years several models have died, including a French model that weighed 55 pounds at one point.

I am finishing this in the Acela Lounge, where I retreated after arriving in New York. The day is going to be a busy one and it would be challenging to find another time to write.