Mark Gongloff is off the newsletter this morning, so today's 7.5 Things are brought to you by Jillian Berman.
Thing One: Obummer: Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president last night, in a speech that reminded us all of how not-so-great things are going in America. There was some discussion of hope, but the speech sure didn’t have that hopey-changey feeling of many of his campaign speeches in past elections.
Instead, Obama defended his record, arguing that he brought the economy back from crisis and that electing Mitt Romney would only slow that recovery. He asked Americans to give him more time to pursue a path that’s not “quick and easy,” in order to revive America.
Obama defined himself during the speech as a defender of the middle class, in contrast to Romney, saying that his policies would “fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known.” Some of those plans include creating more manufacturing jobs, slowing the cost of college tuition and promises not to cut taxes on millionaires.
Thing Two: Has Europe Been Saved? The European Central Bank may have just saved Europe yesterday, at least if you’re judging by the stock market. The Nasdaq stock exchange closed at its highest level in more than 10 years Thursday after ECB President Mario Draghi announced a plan that involves potentially unlimited bond-buying to save the euro.
According to the proposal, the bank would print money to buy government bonds of troubled countries like Spain and Italy. In taking the dramatic step -- a move that would’ve been unimaginable just three years ago -- Draghi was sure to highlight what it means for the region, noting “the euro is irreversible,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
But it’s not just investors and European policymakers that are excited about the ECB’s plan, President Obama is possibly singing Draghi’s praises as well. By promising to do what it takes to lift the eurozone economy, Draghi may have eliminated the risk of a pre-election eurozone meltdown, a scenario that would certainly be a disaster for Obama’s hopes of a second term, according to the Financial Times.
Thing Three: It's Jobs Day! After all the political convention pomp and circumstance, the politicians are about to get a reality check this morning as the Labor Department says how many jobs the U.S. economy created last month. Today’s number will likely only give Obama a passing boost or set him back temporarily, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s because voters will likely judge Obama’s job record on how they perceive it -- as a successful push out of recession or a too sluggish recovery.
Though us normals can only offer our predictions for the jobs numbers -- a Bloomberg survey of economists estimates employers added 125,000 jobs and the unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent -- Obama was well aware of the figure hours before he spoke at the DNC last night, according to Zero Hedge.
Thing Four: London Whale Harpooned: The London Whale may have just been harpooned. A Senate subcommittee launched an investigation into JPMorgan’s “London Whale” trading loss worth billions of dollars, Reuters reports, citing “a source familiar with the investigation.” The committee chaired by Michigan Democrat Carl Levin has been interviewing current and former employees in JPMorgan’s chief investment office, where the bets resulting in the giant loss originated.
Meanwhile, the bank announced Thursday that it named Craig Delany as the new head of the CIO unit, according to The New York Times. Delany will be replacing Ina Drew, whose resignation was one of the more public casualties of the scandal.
Thing Five: BP Blame Game: Well isn’t that nice. BP executives wanted to evade responsibility for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and instead place the blame on “blue collar rig workers” for the disaster, according to a Justice Department report cited by Reuters. The allegations come just two days after the Justice Department accused BP of “gross negligence and misconduct” in court papers. The government’s case against BP is scheduled to go to trial in January unless the two sides reach a settlement first.
Thing Six: Sucks To Be UBS: It’s rough out there for UBS. The National Credit Union Association sued UBS Friday, accusing the Swiss bank of misrepresenting the risk to potential buyers when it was selling mortgage-backed securities to two credit unions. And the bank will likely face more bad PR next week when a former trader that lost the bank $2.3 billion through unauthorized trades heads to trial. He’s accused of fraud and falsifying records as early as 2008.
Thing Seven: Fed Members' Millions: The richest member of the Federal Reserve is former private equity executive Jerome Powell, and he’s also one of the newest members of the central bank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Powell has assets valued somewhere between $23 million and $72 million. Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assets are chump change by comparison: reportedly somewhere between $1 million and $2.3 million, plus he’s taking home a up to $1.1 million more thanks to royalties from his economics textbooks.
Thing Seven And One Half: The Zombies Are Coming! The Zombie Apocolypse is real, kind of, at least according to the Department of Homeland Security. The agency launched a tongue and cheek campaign based on the logic that if Americans are prepared for a zombie attack, they’ll also be ready for a real disaster like a hurricane, earthquake or terrorist attack.
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Calendar Du Jour:
8:30 a.m. ET: Non-Farm Payrolls for August
Heard On The Tweets:
@ReformedBroker: There are no such things as facts anymore.
@moorehn: He is the Johnny Cash of politics. RT @mattseaton: Love Barney Frank's delivery: like a foghorn full of gravel #DNC2012
@kevinroose: Breaking: Michelle Obama can levitate. http://nyti.ms/Q7AfqZ
@LaMonicaBuzz: Hoping jobs report is less of a downer than last night's Giants game. Wonder if Dallas Fed's Fisher & NY Fed's Dudley had friendly wager?
@morningmoneyben: Raise your hand if you ever got biz-zay to James Taylor in college.#dontlie
@zerohedge: As Of This Moment, Obama Knows Tomorrow's NFP Number http://tinyurl.com/chozfle
And you can follow me on Twitter, too: @markgongloff