Opening Bell: 8.20.18

Healthier Greece still a mess; China pushes Trump; Turkey too; Proud freaky mom pees in the shower; and more!
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Greece’s Bailout Is Ending. The Pain Is Far From Over. [NYT]
Greece is reaching a milestone in one of the most ruinous financial crises to hit Europe. On Monday, the country will officially end its reliance on over 320 billion euros, or about $360 billion, of bailouts, opening a path to a new era of financial independence. The economy is slowly returning to growth, and European leaders are declaring an end to a debt crisis that nearly broke up the euro.
But the price of Greece’s apparent turnaround has been steep. A wrenching downturn, combined with nearly a decade of sharp spending cuts and tax increases to repair the nation’s finances, has left over a third of the population of 10 million near poverty, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Greeks

Exclusive: China shifts to Iranian tankers to keep oil flowing amid U.S. sanctions - sources [Reuters]
The shift demonstrates that China, Iran’s biggest oil customer, wants to keep buying Iranian crude despite the sanctions, which were put back after the United States withdrew in May from a 2015 agreement to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
The United States is trying to halt Iranian oil exports to force the country to negotiate a new nuclear agreement and to curb its influence in the Middle East. China has said it is opposed to any unilateral sanctions and has defended its commercial ties with Iran.
The first round of sanctions, which included rules cutting off Iran and any businesses that trade with the country from the U.S. financial system, went into effect on Aug. 7. A ban on Iranian oil purchases will start in November. Insurers, which are mainly U.S. or European based, have already begun winding down their Iranian business to comply with the sanctions.

JP Morgan is back to predicting a Tesla stock plunge because funding was ‘not secured’ [CNBC]
After the note, Tesla shares plunged more that 7 percent in Monday's premarket session, to $283.51 a share.
The firm slashed its December price target for Tesla shares back to $195 from $308, representing 36 percent downside to Friday's close.
"We are reverting to valuing Tesla shares on the basis of fundamentals alone, which entails a $113 reduction in our price target back to the $195 level where it stood prior to our August 8 note," analyst Ryan Brinkman said in a new analysis. He told clients the price target increase to $308 on that date had been based on a 50 percent probability that Musk had in fact secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. Musk made that claim in a tweet on Aug. 7.

U.S. Rebuffs Effort to Tether Bank Fine to Pastor’s Release [WSJ]
The jailing of Andrew Brunson has triggered the worst crisis between the two countries in decades and helped push the Turkish currency to record lows in recent months. The rejection of a possible trade sets the stage for the U.S. to impose another round of penalties against Ankara as soon as this week.
The administration wants Turkey to release Mr. Brunson and other citizens it holds on disputed terrorism charges, as well as three Turkish nationals who work for the U.S. government.
Turkey, seeking a gesture in exchange, asked the U.S. to drop an investigation into Halkbank, which is facing potentially crippling fines for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

PepsiCo to Buy SodaStream for $3.2 Billion [Bloomberg]
PepsiCo will pay $144 a share in cash for the Israeli company, the companies said in a statement Monday. That’s 11 percent higher than Friday’s closing price and would be the Purchase, New York-based company’s largest acquisition in eight years.

Mum branded 'disgusting' after revealing shower habit - which she thought was completely normal [Mirror]
The woman shared her story on Mumsnet to see what other parents thought.
She wrote: "Dh [darling husband] thinks it's disgusting. I think it's fine.
"The warm water makes me need a wee and I'm not going to get out, soak the floor, dry off and all that.
"It's environmentally friendly as less toilet flushing.
"The water washes the wee away and it's only wee.

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