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CEO Hikes Minimum Wage To $70K, Capitalist Tragicomedy Ensues

Three months ago, Dan Price had an idea. He would raise the pay floor at his Seatlle-based payments processing company and become a rebel hero to the 120 people who worked for him. This is the story of how one man's unwitting crusade against the disappearance of the American Middle Class went horribly awry.



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The Tide Has Turned And These Charts Predict The Next Stop

Be prepared for the now imminent equity valuation reset.  It is true the Fed now has the ability to manipulate the market well beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.  However, it is also still true that when the bursting bubble achieves full momentum the Fed will be helpless to stop it.   While the Fed feels increasingly omnipotent they will once again learn, that while natural laws can be bent, they cannot be broken.



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Monsters Of Ukraine: Made In The USA

Once again, in our endless search for foreign monsters to destroy, we’re creating yet more foreign monsters who will provide the next excuse for future crusades. It’s a perpetual motion machine of foreign policy madness – and the War Party likes it that way.Yes, your tax dollars are going to arm, train, and feed neo-Nazis in Ukraine. That’s what we bought into when Washington decided to launch a regime change operation in that bedraggled corner of southeastern Europe. Your money is also going to prop up the country’s war-stricken economy – albeit not before corrupt government officials rake their cut off the top.



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Something Just Snapped: Container Freight Rates From Asia To Europe Crash 23% In One Week

It appears that the recent spike in shipping rates was analogous to the dead cat bounce in crude oil prices: a speculator-driven anticipation for a sustainable rebound that never took place. And now, just like with crude prices, it is all crashing down.... again.  According to Reuters, shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe dropped 22.8 per cent to $400 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended last Friday, data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index showed.



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The Population Bomb

Each person you add has to be fed from poorer land, drink water that has to be pumped from deeper wells or transported further or purified more, and have their materials sourced from other depleting resources. And so there is a disproportion there. When you figure that we are going to have to try and feed several billion more people and that the agricultural system itself, the food system supplies something like 30% of the greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere. Those greenhouse gases are changing the climate rapidly, yet rapid climate change is the big enemy of agriculture -- you can see that we are heading down a road that leads to a bridge that’s out. And we are not paying any attention to trying to apply the brakes



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Citadel Barred From Trading In China After Regulator Accuses "Automated Trading" Unit Of Manipulation

Define irony: for the past 7 years, Wall Street's worst kept secret is that Citadel, the world's most levered hedge fund, has been the NY Fed's just slightly more than arms-length enforcer of market stability, by which we mean spoofer, buyer and otherwise "plunge protector" in the equity and E-mini futures markets. Which is why Citadel must have been shocked to learn late last week that China had suspended trading at a brokerage account used by Citadel in China.



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The Politicians’ War On Uber

Hillary Clinton gave a speech warning that the new “sharing economy” of businesses such as the ride-hailing company Uber is “raising hard questions about workplace protections.” Democrats hate what labor unions hate, and a taxi drivers’ union hates Uber, too. Its NYC website proclaims, “Uber has the money. But we are the PEOPLE!” Lawsuits and politicians’ attacks against one company have a chilling effect on others. The “independent contractor” assault will destroy all sorts of companies we’ll never even know about because now they won’t come into existence. Some of the entrepreneurs who dreamed of starting them will look at the additional costs, crunch the numbers and decide there’s not enough profit potential to risk investing their money. Who knows what odd but popular sharing-economy innovations aren’t happening even now—ones we’d use and love—because businesspeople with great ideas are frightened by the Clintons, deBlasios and lawyers?



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Is This The Most Successful Trade Of The Last Decade?

If the longs use VIX products as hedging instruments, then why would anyone take the other side? Because, being short volatility can be very profitable, according to Goldman. Year-to-date this short vol index is up 56%, and selling the front-month VIX has earned a massive 114 vol points... The introduction of weekly VIX futures (and the exponential decay implied by these volatility-inducing instruments) offers, according to Goldman Sachs, even more opportunity for active risk takers to sell vol, scrape premium, and face unlimited downside risk... playing the contango collapse game until there are no more musical chairs left.



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If Price Insensitive Buyers Become Sellers, Will The Entire Market Collapse?

"If circumstances cause these price-insensitive buyers to turn around and become price-insensitive sellers, there are not a lot of candidates to take the other side. Be prepared for the possibility that some of the same assets that have again and again risen to prices that many investors said were impossible show more downside volatility than investors have bargained for."



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To Social Media's Horror - It 'Is' Different This Time

The world of everything Social has been the undisputed benefactor of all this “free money.” After all, wasn’t the term “Unicorn” applied and accepted with all its connotations as being a mythical creature that lived and breathed in the land of make-believe? It is incontrovertible that if not for the “free money” provided by QE, many, if not most of what currently falls under the social media umbrella would not only never had come into existence (let alone with Billion dollar price tags), but the perceived “hands off – unquestioning” attitude by Wall Street itself wound not be allowed. This in my opinion is an absolute wanton abandonment of business fundamentals and principles. However, it seems there is a change of mood (or realization the jig is truly up) on Wall Street.



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Dramatic Footage: How Venezuelans Get Milk Powder

It's been a sad week for Venezuela. First, on Wednesday we showed what happens to local supermarkets when formerly Latin American paradises run out of other people's money. Then, the next day we showed what happens when in the aftermath of scenes such as the one above the social mood turns violent, and how what was once supposed to be a socialist utopia paradise ends uplooking like a warzone. Today we show how the local population is forced to act like stampeding animals when it comes to obtaining even the most basic of staples, in this case milk powder.



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The Surveillance State Goes Mainstream: Windows 10 Is Watching (& Logging) Everything

If Edward Snowden's patriotic exposure of all things 'super secret surveillance state' in America were not enough, Newsweek reports that, as 10s of millions of hungry PC users download the free upgrade, Windows 10 is watching - and logging and sharing - everything users do... and we mean everything.



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The Fed's Circular Logic Exposed In 1 Simple Chart

Hope, quite simply, just isn’t close to enough for a real recovery. There is an undeniable element of troubling prevarication in the whole attempt to coax unearned optimism, as taken to the extreme it means that policymakers will never quite be honest about especially realistic downsides. That may even mean, in their zeal to “fool” consumers, they fool themselves on the circular logic.



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US Police Kill 118 People In July, Highest Monthly Total Of 2015

Despite a notable spike in violence across Baltimore in the months since the riots and the persistence of violent crime in Chicago, the number of people killed by police across the country posted M/M declines in April, May, and June. In July, the trend was broken.



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The 2016 "Dream" Ticket

Who needs bread and circuses...



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