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Spain Bailout Brings Brief Relief: Seven And A Half Things

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Spain's bailout agreement over the weekend is providing temporary relief to global markets.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Spain's bailout agreement over the weekend is providing temporary relief to global markets.

Thing One: Relief Rally: Global financial markets, having been pulled back from the abyss over the weekend, are throwing a little victory celebration this morning. Don't get too tipsy, though, markets. The abyss is still not far away.

The occasion for the joy is Europe's agreement to bail out Spain's banking sector with 100 billion euros in walking-around money. That has stock markets, the euro and Spanish government bonds jumping this morning, the Financial Times notes. Though the bailout cash will essentially be borrowed by the Spanish government, Spain avoided painful new austerity measures in the deal, which has Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy high-fiving himself all over the place, the FT writes. More broadly, investors can breathe easier that a Spanish bank run has been temporarily averted, which could have sparked global market contagion. "It is not much of an exaggeration to suggest that the world economy and financial system was on the verge of plunging headlong into an abyss," Brown Brothers Harriman currency strategists wrote this morning. "The most important thing to be aware of now is that an important step back has taken place."

But the market's relief may be short-lived, Reuters warns. The first test could come as soon as this Sunday, when Greece votes in yet another parliamentary election, Bloomberg notes. There's a risk Greece ends up leaving the euro zone, leading to still more bank losses, in Spain, Italy and elsewhere. The question of who's next to be bailed out is just one of many still lingering after this weekend's bailout, which has not solved Europe's bigger problems. This pattern of ignorance, delay and panicked disaster-aversion is par for the course with this crisis, the Wall Street Journal points out -- a sentiment echoed by Paul Krugman and expanded to include not only Europe but also U.S. policy makers. We are all Europe now.

Update: The market's rally this morning was indeed short-lived. The euro was recently down to less than $1.25 against the dollar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently down about 37 points, and the Nasdaq Composite was down a bit, too. Investors are still concerned about the details of the bailout and increasingly doubt it will do much to help Spain and Europe in any event. They also have immediately turned their attention to Italy, where 10-year bond yields have jumped to about 6 percent.

Thing Two: Health Care Reform Not Entirely Dead: Though the U.S. Supreme Court may soon vaporize President Obama's health-care reform law, some parts of it will stick around anyway. Insurance giant UnitedHealth said on Monday that it would keep following some aspects of the law even if it's struck down, like continuing to offer dependent coverage for children of customers up to the age of 26.

Thing Three: Dimons Are Forever: The chairman of the board of the New York Federal Reserve just can't understand why everybody wants JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to be kicked off the board of the important bank regulatory arm, the Wall Street Journal's Jon Hilsenrath writes: "He said Mr. Dimon appears to have done nothing wrong, that critics attacking the Fed have a "false understanding" of how it works, and that it is "foolish" to say Mr. Dimon's presence on the New York Fed board creates an appearance of a conflict when the law requires bankers to serve on such boards."

Thing Four: China Falls Back On Old Habits: China's exports jumped more than 15 percent in May from a year earlier, despite a global slowdown, The New York Times writes, which should help China's faltering economy but also make its trading partners angry, the NYT writes: "Underpinning China’s export success is a combination of long-term investments in automation and short-term depreciation of the currency." That currency depreciation is what tends to infuriate China's trading partners, particularly the U.S.

Thing Five: Facebook Follies: The Facebook IPO keeps finding new ways to embarrass everybody involved. The Wall Street Journal has on its front page today a tick-tock of the first disastrous day of trading, which finds Nasdaq CEO Bob Griefeld on an airplane and out of touch for several critical hours. In a separate story, the WSJ suggests that Facebook's days of "wild user growth," which may have inspired some to buy the company's stock, are over. Even Bill Keller of The New York Times lines up to take a shot, writing an op-ed that he never trusted this whole Facebook thing anyway.

Thing Six: Commerce In Hit-And-Run Case: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's office is investigating Commerce Secretary John Bryson in a felony hit-and-run case, according to various news reports: "According to the written statement by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, Bryson was behind the wheel of a Lexus which rear-ended another vehicle waiting for a train to pass in the city of San Gabriel at about five in the evening. The statement says Bryson spoke with the three males in the other car, then drove away, hitting their Buick again in the process." Bryson then hit another car and was found unconscious in his car after the accident(s), which resulted in only minor injuries.

Update 2: The Commerce Department says Bryson suffered a seizure before the accidents.

Thing Seven: Making Fewer Lawyers: Pretty much everybody, including many lawyers, can agree that there are too many lawyers around. Law schools are reacting by culling their numbers, the Wall Street Journal writes: "[E]xperts say that the planned reductions by at least 10 of the roughly 200 laws schools accredited in the U.S., suggest a new reality is sinking in: The legal profession may never return to its prerecession prosperity."

Thing Seven And One Half: Prometheus Math Unsound: "Prometheus" sounds sort of awesome, and we're still totally going to see it, but astronomy nerds beware: Famous genius and inaccuracy-spotter Neil deGrasse Tyson caught a glaring error in the movie's math, Uproxx notes.

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Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

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Corporate Earnings:

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Heard On The Tweets:

@zerohedge: Does Spain really believe that by declaring its bank system officially insolvent, it will halt a bank run?

@cate_long: So Spain is repeating America's mistake in 2008/09 of saving the banks which do very little lending. The 1% strategy...

@justinwolfers: Unfortunately, Greece had bet it all on I'll Have Another to win the Belmont.

@ryanavent: At current odds, if everyone in Greece put €344 on Greece to win Euro 2012 and Greece won, they could pay off their entire government debt.

@FareedZakaria: The years 2000-2007 were the period of the weakest job growth in the US since the Great Depression http://t.co/RJidww8B

-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.

And you can follow us on Twitter, too: @markgongloff and @byKhadeeja

Around the Web

Spain bailout cheers markets - FT.com

Doubt clouds robust Spain bailout - FT.com

Spain bailout offers calm before more storm - CBS News

Spain's Bailout Gives Rajoy Best Chance to Fix Banks - Businessweek

What's Next For Spain's Bailout Plan? : NPR

Is the Spain Bailout Too Small?

Spain bailout could provide US gains

US Stock Futures Surge On Spain Bailout News

Spain Bailout Shows Why Greece Euro Exit Would Lead to Eurozone Crisis

Spain bailout: Shock and awe but no solution

Won Leads Gain in Asian Currencies on Spain Bailout, China Data