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Sunday, July 22

22nd Jul - Weekender: Views & Off-Topics

In this week's edition, Olympics-related articles from, among others, Goldman Sachs. Also, climate change (=global warming) gets our attention, and plenty of other interesting pieces I came across this week. But before the articles, some market views:

The previous views have gone pretty well. I had been expecting a rally week in S&P and some strength in EURUSD (thinking two weeks ago that 1.21-12150 would be short-term bottom and couple of hundred points of upside was available, while expecting the SPX to rally from the lows towards a "lighten up"-target of 1360-1370)  

As the first chart shows, SPX reversed quite nastily on Friday - after some very bad European news - and guess what - the Europe will still be there after only couple of hours. The first support area (1350-1355) is now near, but I have no strong ideas or views at the moment. A lot depends on the European response to Spain.

Given that there is very little they can do now (see my Weekender: Euro Crisis for discussion), and that the rising channel's upside was not reached, I am beginning to believe that there will be a trend reversal - either by a direct break down, or some half-hearted bouncing around between "QE and credible Europe" and "everything is bad".

Everything is bad, and unless the expected policy response comes very soon, markets will sell off. But fears and thoughts are one thing and reality something else. Technically, buying a dip around 1353, targeting 1365 and looking at the newsflow and market reactions should make the picture clearer in few days.

Euro vs the dollar is also a mixed bag. In early Asian session the pair is trading below the earlier lows (1.2125 currently) and I would not touch the pair, as the levels are unclear, the direction depends on politics and the amounts and details of barrier- and regular option strikes near these levels is unknown. Just looking at the hourly chart shows that the Friday's negative performance was something to expect - just as I had warned in the morning.

Previously on MoreLiver’s:
Weekender: Trading & Markets (trading, economics, regulation...)
Weekender: Euro Crisis (that never ends, until it’s over)
Weekender: Weekly Support (weekly reviews and previews)
Weekender: Best of The Week (from past week’s posts)

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Goldman Sachs’ articles on Olympics
Impact of Olympics on Stock Markets – ZH
Gold Goes Where Growth Environment Is Best – ZH
The Olympics As A Winning FX Strategy – ZH
Would the Euro area Make a Medal-Winning Olympic Team? – ZH

Longform’s Olympics PrimerLong Form
Contributing editors Elon Green and Gretchen Gavett, both of whom are more than a little excited for the Summer Games in London, have pulled together 10 great stories about the Olympics, spanning history, scandal and science … and what it’s like to drink with gymnastics coach Béla Károlyi.

Crowd Psychology (Audio, 45min)BBC
Collective behaviour and how it can be managed is a burgeoning field of science, driven by the demands of music festivals, sporting events and managing protests such as those seen across Britain last summer.

Searching for Clues to CalamityNYT
The problem is, no one knows if there is a point at which a climate system shifts abruptly. But some scientists are now bringing mathematical rigor to the tipping-point argument.

Dicing With The ClimateKrugman / NYT
In the long run, we are all extinct.

Global Warming's Terrifying New MathRolling Stone
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is

World braced for new food crisisFT
The world is facing a new food crisis as the worst US drought in more than 50 years pushes agricultural commodity prices to record highs. Corn and soyabean prices surged to record highs on Thursday, surpassing the peaks of the 2007-08 crisis that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries. Wheat prices are not yet at record levels but have rallied more than 50 per cent in five weeks, exceeding prices reached in the wake of Russia’s 2010 export ban.

Transcript: Schmidt and Thiel smackdownFortune
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, and Peter Thiel, technology investor and entrepreneur, participated in a lively debate at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, CO, about the future of technology, and so much more. Fortune's Adam Lashinsky moderated.

No Death, No Taxes (Nov 2011)New Yorker
Libertarian, futurist, billionaire: a profile of Peter Thiel.

Why Did Reddit Succeed Where Digg Failed?technology review
Those in the know blame several factors, especially confusing changes to the site's design.

Do-it-yourself apps: Make your own Angry BirdsThe Economist
Homebrew apps have arrived

A Social Network Free of Adstechnology review
The dominant social networks cater too much to advertisers, says the man behind a Twitter-style network that users would pay for.

Latest psych and neuro newsThe British Psychological Society

The Special Issue SpotterThe British Psychological Society

The Pentagon's New Generation of Secret Military BasesMother Jones
How the Pentagon is quietly transforming its overseas base empire and creating a dangerous new way of war.

Darpa Wants You to Be Its Hackathon Guinea PigWired
If living in a college dorm for two months while you’re prodded by government officials in a “short-fuse, crucible-style environment” is your idea of summer fun, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like a word with you.

How a Medieval Friar Forever Changed FinanceView / BB
The system that generates these 21st-century accounting figures -- the numbers that run our nations and corporations -- was first codified by a Renaissance friar named Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli. He was at one time more famous, as a mathematician, than his collaborator Leonardo da Vinci.

Very SuperstitiousLapham’s Quarterly
As the world was becoming more ordered and codified via patriarchal religion and a burgeoning system of capitalism, magic was seen as a threat because it circumvented these structures: it offered a life outside the authority of the Church and the hierarchies it had carefully cultivated.

Sherlock Holmes in FairylandLapham’s Quarterly
The detective, while often a dispeller of superstition, was above all open-minded, willing to believe in what lies beyond our common perception at the very moment it became necessary to do so. What was impossible for Conan Doyle was that pure reason had covered the entire terrain of things, overturned every stone.

“Is he coming? Is he? Oh God, I think he is.”GQ
The story of the Norway massacre, as told by the survivors.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in ’72 (Jul 1973)Rolling Stone
By Hunter S. Thompson.

Life after the HiggsThe Economist

10 Reasons Countries Fall ApartFarnam Street
 “States don’t fail overnight. The seeds of of their destruction are sown deep within their political institutions.”

How to Write a Bestselling Business BookBusinessweek

The Strange Neuroscience of ImmortalityThe Chronicle
The scientific case for brain preservation and mind uploading.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Peter WinstonThe New York Observer
How does one of the world’s top chess prodigies just vanish from a New York street?

His Man in Macau: Inside the Investigation Into Sheldon Adelson’s EmpirePBS
A decade ago gambling magnate and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson looked at a desolate spit of land in
Macau and imagined a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls. Where competitors saw obstacles, including Macau’s hostility to outsiders and historic links to Chinese organized crime, Adelson envisaged a chance to make billions.

Top 10 trading commercials (and why)Futures

Ever heard the sound of a nuclear bomb going off?Daily Mail
Historian unveils one of the few surviving audio recordings of blast from 1950's Nevada tests

What Would Winston DoReuters Magazine
The world is in crisis-mode because political leaders refuse to lead, and “think” with their poll numbers. We could look to the heavens for a miracle. Or we could look to Winston Churchill

Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs Eleven Years Ago And The Results Are StaggeringBI
Some thought Lisbon would become a drug tourist haven, others predicted usage rates among youths to surge. Eleven years later, it turns out they were both wrong.

The ‘Busy’ TrapNYT
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

Act Fast, but Not Necessarily FirstHBR
Those of us who find time to step back and think about the big picture, even for a few minutes, have a major advantage. If every one else moves too quickly, we can win by going slow.

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