U.S. companies rush to insulate themselves against Venezuela's currency, economic woes - (www.reuters.com) A growing number of U.S. companies say they can't cope with Venezuela's sinking bolivar currency, prompting some of them to remove their operations in the South American nation from their consolidated financial reports. In other cases, they have exited the country altogether through a sale or by simply shuttering their businesses there. Many of those recently taking such action are medium-sized or small companies, which means that the tumbling currency and a deeply troubled Venezuelan economy have tended to have a disproportionately greater impact on their results than suffered by bigger entities with business in the country. The restructuring moves can shield the financial results of parent companies such as batteries and razors maker Energizer Holdings, automated teller machine and bank vault provider Diebold Inc and printing and publishing company RR Donnelley & Sons from Venezuela's economic troubles. But they can also signal that the Venezuelan business is no longer regarded as worth fighting for, and support from the American headquarters cannot be counted on.
Dollar Bulls Stunned by What Went Wrong in Drop to 4-Month Low - (www.bloomberg.com) Dollar bulls are pondering what’s left of the rally that had pundits talking of dollar hegemony just months ago. The U.S. currency slid toward the lowest in almost four months a day after stagnant retail sales became the latest data to undermine prospects for Federal Reserve interest-rate increases. The greenback climbed nine straight months through March on speculation the first hike in almost a decade was looming. The dollar’s decline brought it to the lowest level in almost three months against the euro. “It’s not surprising that we’ve seen a healthy retracement,” Robert Sinche, a strategist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said in a phone interview. Sluggish economic growth isn’t “consistent with early Fed tightening that we think is probably needed to support the next leg up for the dollar.”
Vermont House Votes To Remove Philosophical Vaccine Exemption - (www.vpr.net) After a prolonged debate over legislation that would make it harder for parents to exempt their children from the state's mandatory immunization law, the Vermont House voted 85 to 57 Tuesday evening to remove the philosophical exemption to the law. Jericho Rep. George Till strongly supported the elimination of the exemption. He argued that parents still had other options if they didn't want to vaccinate their children, including the religious exemption. "Nothing in this amendment forces a parent to vaccinate their child,” Till said. “I vote to protect children and adults in our schools who are especially vulnerable to these dangerous vaccine preventable diseases."
Greece's Varoufakis says debt swap fills Draghi's 'soul with fear' - (www.reuters.com) Repayment of what Greece owes to the European Central Bank should be pushed into the future, but it is not an option because it fills ECB chief Mario Draghi's "soul with fear", Greece's finance minister said on Thursday. Yanis Varoufakis said Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, cannot risk irritating Germany with such a debt swap because of Berlin's objection to his bond-buying program. Varoufakis first raised the idea of swapping Greek debt for growth-linked or perpetual bonds when his leftist government came to power earlier this year, But Athens has since dropped the proposal after it got a cool reception from euro zone partners. The outspoken minister, who has been sidelined in talks with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders, brought it up again on Thursday, saying 27 billion euros of bonds owed to the ECB after 6.7 billion euros worth are repaid in July and August should be pushed back.
Exposed: GeorgeStephanopoulos Hid $50K Clinton Foundation Donation From Viewers - (www.breitbart.com) While reporting on, and aggressively defending the Clinton Foundation from numerous scandals and ethical issues, George Stephanopoulos, the star and poster boy of ABC News, hid his own conflict of interest from viewers. According to Politico, Bill Clinton’s former war room soldier and press secretary, the current anchor of “Good Morning America” and “This Week,” has donated at least $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. This is a bombshell of a black eye for ABC News. Since ABC News hired Stephanopoulos as its chief anchor and chief political correspondent, many questioned how a former-Democrat operative could remain neutral in the role of a news anchor. Even before Hillary Clinton entered the 2016 presidential race, on numerous occasions Stephanopoulos exposed himself as a Democrat operative working as a news man.
Dollar Weakens as Bond Rout Abates While S&P 500 Futures Climb - (www.bloomberg.com)
Dollar Bulls Stunned by What Went Wrong in Drop to 4-Month Low - (www.bloomberg.com)
As default looms, Greece seeks to push back key July payments to ECB - (www.fortune.com)
5 Big Banks Expected to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, but Punishments May Be Tempered - (www.nytimes.com)
China's fiscal spending jumps 33.2 percent yr/yr in April - (www.reuters.com)
BRICS Bank Invite to Greece Has Jim O’Neill Thinking It’s a Joke - (www.bloomberg.com)
U.S. companies rush to insulate themselves against Venezuela's currency, economic woes - (www.reuters.com)
Stan Druckenmiller Sees ‘Massive’ Problem Caused by Aging - (www.bloomberg.com)