In another sign of the trouble that has nearly brought down the Spanish bank system, the country’s banks borrowed 326.4 billion euros from the European Central Bank last month, the Bank of Spain reported. Spain is due to get a 125 billion euro bailout from its neighbors and the International Monetary Fund. Most of this money will then be loaned to its banks. This probably will leave the government in need of a bailout of its own. The national unemployment rate and a new recession makes that case increasingly likely. The ECB borrowing is another sign that recent downgrades of Spain’s sovereign paper may not capture how much trouble the country is really in.
Saudi Arabia and OPEC
Oil remains near an eight-month low ahead of a meeting of OPEC ministers. The market continues to gamble that Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the cartel, will prevail in its plan to keep production high, which should keep downward pressure on prices. Many other members of OPEC would like to see production throttled back to move the price of Brent back up to well over $100. These members believe that the global recovery, however weak, can sustain higher oil prices and that demand will not collapse under the weight of a worldwide recession. The “price hawks” that stand against the Saudis probably will lose the argument because the Middle East nation has large enough facilities to push more crude into the market on its own.
Twitter has set a group of alliances to make the use of video on the microblogging site more prevalent. It is not clear how this will make the company money. Critics still believe that, despite hundreds of millions of subscribers, Twitter is without a strategy to turn these people into a major source of revenue. That probably will not be changed by new video-centric alliances with several large media companies, which include TIME and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter announced:
Starting today, you can discover more interactive experiences inside any Tweet on twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com. When you expand Tweets containing links to partner websites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos and more.
You’ve probably expanded Tweets before to play videos from YouTube or see photos from Instagram. Now, a diverse and growing group of new partners like the The Wall Street Journal, Breaking News, and TIME also deliver rich content inside Tweets containing a link to those websites.
It’s easier than ever to discover breaking news and bylines. When you expand a Tweet linking to a news article by The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle or Der Spiegel Online, you can see a preview with the headline, the introduction and sometimes the Twitter accounts of the publisher and writer. You can continue to read the article, follow these accounts, and reply, favorite or retweet the Tweet.
Douglas A. McIntyre