Sunday, May 10, 2020

Notes From All Over, Early Morning Edition -- Biggest International Story Of The Week? Already? And It's Only Sunday? -- Sunday, Mother's Day, May 10, 2020

Sour grapes: Saudi Aramco is seeking to review price of SABIC deal. Wow. Are you kidding? My hunch: the fix is already in. At Reuters
Saudi Aramco is looking to restructure its deal to acquire a controlling stake in petrochemicals maker SABIC after a more than 40% drop in SABIC’s value following a slump in oil prices in coronavirus pandemic.
  • transaction priced at 123 riyals; $70 billion share of SABIC; represented 70% of SABIC;
  • today: shares trading at 70 riyals; entire SABIC now valued at less than $60 billion; Aramco's stake now worth about $40 billion
  • ouch
Iraq unsettled: nominee for finance minister derailed; interim named. 

Negative rates: Swiss National Bank forced to lower overnight lending rate to minus 0.75%; analysts say the negative interest was necessary to avert major damage to Switzerland; the SNB was also stepping up foreign currency purchases to dampen the rise of the franc; comment: Saudi princes flocking to Switzerland?
Restrictions on public life imposed by the Swiss government to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 were limiting Swiss economic activity to 70-80% of normal levels at an economic cost of 11-17 billion francs per month.
Asked by Tribune de Geneve if Swiss rates could go even more negative, he said: “We still have room to manoeuvre if necessary, but today we are focusing on interventions on the foreign exchange market to limit the pressure on the franc.”
He said the SNB had no plans at this stage to increase its gold holdings of 1,040 tonnes. 
Subways, trains, buses: empty around the world; not sure if riders will return -- Washington Post;

Minnesota, coronavirus update: 25 of the 26 new deaths occurred among residents of long-term care facilities; LTC facility deaths, at 434, account for more than 81% of all corona-virus-associated deaths. Of the 26 new decedents: ten were in their 90s, nine in their 80s, five in their 70s, and two in their 60s. The median age of all decedents remains at 83 years of age. Worthington pork processing plant:
  • 2700 employees; all have been tested
  • 1200 tested positive
  • 90% were asymptomatic;
  • 12 were hospitalized;
  • no deaths;  
Waffles On The Patio 
Mother's Day

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