In perhaps the most bizarre chapter in the developing Iran crisis, President Trump says the U.S. shot down an Iranian drone. While Iran says, “Nuh-uh. I had my invisible shields up.”
During a White House ceremony yesterday, the president said the USS Boxer took defensive action when an Iranian drone came within a threatening distance of the warship and refused to vacate the airspace.
According to President Trump, the Boxer responded in self-defense to the “provocative and hostile” action of the drone. (Provocative and Hostile is the name of the porn parody of this geopolitical crisis.)
Neither President Trump nor the Pentagon has spilled the beans on how the Boxer brought down the drone. But CNN is reporting the ship brought down the drone with electronic jamming. (And I hope you like jamming too.)
Meanwhile, in a transmission straight from another dimension, Iranian officials are saying “What drone? We have all our drones. Look at these awesome pictures of all the drones we haven’t lost.”
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters at the U.N. that “we have no information about losing a drone today.” While Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi took to Twitter to say, “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announced this morning that it has photographic proof that the drone is alive and well. They will release images taken from the drone before and after the U.S. claimed it was destroyed. (Just give us a few hours to whip something up in Photoshop.)
This is just the latest in the bizarre he-said/Iran-said situation developing in the Strait of Hormuz.
Since May, there have been numerous attacks on oil tankers off the coast of Iran.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard say they’re not responsible for the attacks (but they’ve also said “we totally could have done them if they wanted to, ‘cause our military is rad).
So either Iran is lying (probably yes) or there is a third-party with vessels in the Strait of Hormuz actively trying to start a war between Iran and the U.S (probably Russia).
Oil prices have risen sharply since May over concerns that the supply of oil will be disrupted by military action in the region.
This morning, the U.S. benchmark for crude oil rose 1.4% to $56.07 per barrel. While the international oil standard and boy who loves to party, Brent, rose 1.7% to $62.96 per barrel.
The Revolutionary Guard says that they continue to carefully monitor all movements of foreigners through the Strait — especially “the terrorist forces” of the U.S. and the British. (Which doesn’t exactly inspire hope for a peaceful resolution to all this craziness, does it?)
Bitcoin Rallies $1k in 30 minutes
Bitcoin rallied $1,000 in just 30 minutes yesterday, breaching the $10,000 resistance point and driving the fanboys wild.
At about 14:00 UTC, prices had dropped to a low of $9,280 after a rather crummy week in the press.
Facebook’s plans for its new crypto took a hammering from Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday — who hilariously called Facebook a toddler with matches who keeps burning the house down and promising not to do it again.
(Unrelated parenting tip: If your toddler burns down your house multiple times, it’s probably your fault for buying your weird arson baby matches again.)
President Trump followed up the onslaught with a couple of tweets of his own calling into question the legitimacy of all crypto.
However, in just 30 minutes yesterday, prices surged from $9,335 to a peak of $10,400. According to a bot-powered crypto report, the sudden rally was likely powered by the massive unwinding of short BTC/USD positions seen in the half-hour before 15:00 UTC.
Meanwhile, in China, bitcoin banked a major victory in “internet court.” (Internet court is just like regular court but instead of a jury of your peers, it’s a jury of SpongeBob memes.)
A Chinese judge ruled that bitcoin should be considered legal “virtual Internet property” and deserves to be treated like other assets. According to the judge, bitcoin has value, scarcity, and disposability, and therefore ought to enjoy the protection of Chinese property laws.
Crypto hounds are breathing a sigh of relief that bitcoin was able to rally after such a miserable week.
One Last Thing
AB Inbev is Crocodile Done-With-Doing-Business in Australia
AB Inbev, the world’s largest brewery, is officially saying hooroo to the Australian markets. (This article is brought to you by an Australian slang dictionary I spent $20 on and need to justify it as a work expense somehow.)
The company announced this morning it will hit the frog and toad and sell its Australian units to its Japanese mate Asahi for $16 billion AUD (or 11.3 billion real dollars).
AB Inbev said it would blow the dough from the sale to put another shrimp on the barbie (I’m sorry if you’re Australian and reading this) and pay off the colossal mountain of debt it built up while buying almost every other beer company in the world.
In the last two decades, the company locked down almost a third of the global beer market through acquisitions and buyouts. But it accrued more than $100 billion of debt in the process.
AB Inbev was having a squiz at listing some shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to drum up some cash. But then the trade war knocked the Chinese economy off its perch.