While the analogy of Vladimir Putin playing geopolitical chess (while the rest of the world plays checkers) has been a popular one, the French ambassador Gerard Araud has a different - somewhat stunningly honest - persepctive: Putin "is more a poker player really, putting all the money on the table; saying, 'Do the same' and of course we blink. We don't do the same." As Bloomberg reports, Araud goes on to express entirely un-Juncker-like, how Putin has outmaneuvered his opponents and humiliated Ukraine. Simply put, he adds, the Russian president "has won because we were not ready to die for Ukraine, while apparently he was," leaving the ominous question, "when is Putin going to stop? Whatever we decide is a disaster for us."
Back on January 26, a 58-year-old former senior executive at German investment bank behemoth Deutsche Bank, William Broeksmit, was found dead after hanging himself at his London home, and with that, set off an unprecedented series of banker suicides throughout the year which included former Fed officials and numerous JPMorgan traders. Following a brief late summer spell in which there was little if any news of bankers taking their lives, as reported previously, the banker suicides returned with a bang when none other than the hedge fund partner of infamous former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Khan, Thierry Leyne, a French-Israeli entrepreneur, was found dead after jumping off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex in Tel Aviv. Just a few brief hours later the WSJ reported that yet another Deutsche Bank veteran has committed suicide, and not just anyone but the bank's associate general counsel, 41 year old Calogero "Charlie" Gambino, who was found on the morning of Oct. 20, having also hung himself by the neck from a stairway banister,
“Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create jobs,” Clinton said to a crowd in Boston, reminding everyone of her views on spending from the past, "The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better than the private sector will spend it."
Among the 34 OECD countries, the US performed below average in mathematics and is ranked 27th, according to The Program For International Student Assessment (PISA). While the U.S. spends more per student than most countries, this does not translate into better performance (e.g. the Slovak Republic, which spends around $53k per student, performs at the same level as the US, which spends over $115k per student). Perhaps this is why...
Following the sad death of its first Ebola case, Mali's President has said he will not close his nation's border with Guinea, because "the incident showed it was impossible to completely seal his country." Mali's neighbors, on the other hand, are shutting borders, as Mauritania tries not to become Africa's 7th Ebola-infected country. This brings, according to The WHO, the number of cases of Ebola to 10,141 with 4,922 dead (so far). Americans should not worry though, for the 2nd week in a row, President Obama devoted his address to the subject of Ebola, explaining "basic facts" of how difficult it is to catch (despite the need to enforce mandatory quarantine for healthcare workers) and in 'USA USA USA'-esque language, explains how "Americans can beat" the deadly virus.
When it comes to the future of the US, the biggest question mark by far is anything relating to the Millennial generation, those Americans born between 1980 and 2000, which happens to be one of the biggest generations in US history. Here are the most relevant charts seeking to answer some of the outstanding questions.
Having previously shown just who did (and did not) benefit from the resurgence of household net worth, we thought it time to provide the context for why The Fed's stunningly obvious policy of juicing asset inflation in the hopes of engorging animal spirits among the general population and a renaissance in public spending is a total and utter wealth-inequality-driving farce. As Evergreen Gavekal indicates so obviously, the consumer isn't fooled by Fed policy; despite a major uptick in household net worth, spending remains anemic.
New York City health officials have released Morgan Dixon, the 30-year-old fiancée of recently diagnosed Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer, to her West 147th Street Manhattan apartment where, as WSJ reports, she will remain under mandatory quarantine. This 'good' news comes as New York's Department of Health issues a statement on the deteriorating condition of Dr. Spencer who "is entering the next phase of the illness, which is anticipated gastrointestinal symptoms." This was expected apparently, as NYC's health commissioner Mary Basset noted, "we've seen with this disease that it continues to get worse before it gets better." A large CDC team is actively involved.
Europe is fast turning into a freak comedy show. Very fast. Or maybe we should say it’s always been one, and it’s just that the Larry, Curly and Moe moves are only now coming out in droves. Or maybe, what do I know, we’re just starting to understand how much talent for farce and slapstick the boys from Brussels have always had. Someone finish off that inane union before it starts to do real serious harm. Because it will.
The Queen unleashed her first tweet on Friday from the official account of the British Monarchy, explaining her pleasure at opening a new exhibit at The Science Museum. The news media were exultant and instantly went to Social Media for their reaction... Unfortunately for The BBC, they live broadcast a less-than-BBC-esque remark from one @WolfgangDikface...
We are now less than a year away from the day when Robert Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox inspired an entire generation to expect nothing less from 2015 than flying cars. Sadly, as a result of the past 6 years of human "progress" being redirected to finding creative ways of preserving crony capitalism, the failed way of Keynesian life and masking insolvent banks as lipsticked pigs, the only automotive question we have of 2015 is whether there are any GM cars that haven't been recalled; cars which one hopes will never be airborne. And yet, there is one aspect of 2015 that the Back to the Future trilogy may have gotten correct: that "other" thing which every 80's kid wants to have more than anything: hoverboards.
Ffuture production losses could extend to a wider variety of staples: California represents almost one-fifth of all US States’ milk exports, a third of all vegetable and rice exports, almost half of all fruit exports and over 90% tree nut exports. What is equally striking is how distant the #2 States are in some cases in terms of production volumes. So if the drought continues into the foreseeable future (and this is a real possibility), here’s a really interesting question: who will make up for any shortfall in California’s gigantic contribution to US food production?
The recent slowdown in Chinese property sales, prices and early-cycle new starts has most impacted physical demand for (and sentiment towards) commodities exposed to the earlier stages of China’s construction cycle – steel and iron ore – which have underperformed commodities more exposed to latter stages of the construction cycle, such as copper. However, as the recent slowdown in new starts flows through to late-cycle, copper-intensive construction completions, we expect copper to come under further pressure.
"What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time. Any student of history knows that’s not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly."