Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro chatter: Could this be the bailout before Spain's bailout?


Graffiti on a Deutsche Bank cash machine in Madrid.


Pablo Blazquez Dominguez

Need to know:
As the voracious blogger Joe Weisenthal has tweeted, "InSpain in the membrane."

The EU has agreed to lend Spain $125 billion to bail out its banks. The figure is likely more than Spain needs but is aimed at soothing investor jitters and heading off a bank run, Reuters said.

Some speculate a full-on bailout could be next for Spain, but the Spanish government continues to insist that its reforms are sufficient to keep Spain from going the way of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

The three countries already have received international bailouts and become locked into austerity deals. Citizens are increasingly fighting against bailout-imposed austerity, particularly in Greece, whose political and financial future remains undecided ahead of next week’s elections.

Want to know:
The New York Fed is standing by its man.

The chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York told the Wall Street Journal he supports JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, a fellow board member critics say should relinquish his spot. Some say Dimon’s service on the board is a conflict of interest, particularly as government agencies are investigating a more than $2 billion trading loss at his bank.

Bankers are legally required to be included on the board of the New York Fed, which monitors the activities of several of the nation’s largest banks.

Regardless, Dimon won’t be sticking around too long. He’s in the last year of his second three-year term on the New York Fed’s board.

Dull but important:
China may have a little more wiggle room when it comes to economic policy.

Consumer prices in China rose at their slowest pace in two years in May, suggesting that inflation may be more stable than previously thought. Industrial production growth in the world’s second-largest economy also slowed on a year-over-year basis in May.

The data comes on the heels of China’s first interest rate cut in nearly four years and suggests the Chinese government may have more leeway to support its slowing economy than previously thought.

But there was at least one big bright spot in China in May: exports surged 15.3 percent.

Just because:
Here’s to hoping uncle Warren offers to pick up the tab.

One anonymous bidder has bought the chance to have lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett for $3.5 million. The figure is the most anyone has paid to eat with the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO.

A foundation that provides services to the homeless in San Francisco has been auctioning off lunches with Buffett for the past 13 years. This year’s winner beat out 10 other bidders and may see it as an investment with a potentially high pay-off.

Hedge fund manager Ted Weschler, last year’s auction winner, was able to turn his lunch with Buffett into a job at Berkshire Hathaway.

Strange but true:
Tombstones have gone high-tech.

Across the nation, an increasing number of tombstones are using QR codes and geolocation services to make the grieving process more interactive, USA TODAY reported.

For $55 for five years, families can have aluminum tags with QR codes affixed to their loved one’s tombstones. The codes can link to any website the family chooses and the service.

At least one tombstone tech provider also is making virtual gravesite visits a reality. Monumark allows friends and loved ones around the world to pull up location information and tombstone images online.