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Futures Flat With All Headline-Scanning Algo Eyes On Today's FOMC Minutes

While everyone's (algorithmic) attention will be focused on today's minutes from the July 29-30 FOMC meeting for views on remaining slack in U.S. economy following recent changes in the labor market (especially a particularly solid JOLTS report which indicates that at least on the openings front, there is no more) and any signal of policy change by the Fed ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech in Jackson Hole on Aug. 22, a curious thing happened overnight when a few hours ago the BoE's own minutes show the first vote split since 2011, as Weale and McCafferty argue for a 0.75% bank rate. Then again, if the Russians are finally bailing on London real estate, the inflationary pressures at the top of UK housing may finally be easing. In any event, every FOMC "minute" will be overanalyzed for hints of what Yellen's speech on Friday morning will say, even if stocks just shy of all time highs know quite well she won't dare say anything to tip the boat despite her warnings of a biotech and social network bubble.



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Worst. Recovery. Ever.

Literally.



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Pulitzer Prize Winner: Obama Is "The Greatest Enemy Of Press Freedom In A Generation"

James Risen is not just a phenomenal reporter, he is also an extremely courageous and honorable American patriot. The Obama Administration is threatening the pulitzer prize winning journalist with prison unless he reveals the source behind one of his stories. The fact our own government would resort to threats of incarceration in order to instill fear in the press to prevent it from doing its job is quite telling and extremely dangerous. Mr. Risen understands this danger more than just about anyone else, which is why he has previously stated he is prepared to go to jail in order to defend the First Amendment from Obama, who he calls "the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation."



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China Bond Default Risk Reignites, Despite "Never Anticipating Any Risks"

When, six months ago, we first brought the market's attention to Chaori Solar - China's first corporate bond default in history - there were 2 narrative sin play: 1) it's all good, government knows the contagion risk and will bail them out (that happened), or 2) if government bails them out, it will merely delay the inevitable and stoke further risk exposure (that happened too). However, as Bloomberg reports, the consequences are coming as bondholders met today to discuss the value of any assets left (Chaori’s liabilities were more than 700 million yuan greater than its assets). With China's TSF collapsing last month, perhaps demand is finally waining for these high-risk assets, but expectations of implied government support remain, as one Chaori 'loser' laments, "never anticipated any risks with the securities."



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Things That Make You Go Hmmm...Like Gold's Sudden Ignorance Of Geopolitical Risk

This time really is different, jokes Grant Williams, as it appears the New Cold War is, suggested by the chart below, apparently not even remotely troubling. In fact, gold is trading below where it was when the Russians first dipped their toes in Ukraine to test the water. Curious, opines Williams, but when it comes to gold, there are the thinkers; there are the traders, like the millions day-trading GLD for a penny here and there; and then there are the holders. The question for all of them is the same: why? The last time the world faced a meaningful threat of a large-scale conflict between East and West, the gold price soared. This time it hasn’t moved. Why?



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Why So Much Anger In Ferguson? 10 Facts About The Massive Economic Gap Between White & Black America

When people feel like they don't have anything else to lose, they are likely to do just about anything. Many in the mainstream media seem absolutely mystified as to why there is so much anger in Ferguson, but as I pointed out yesterday, all of this anger did not erupt out of a vacuum. Economic conditions in Ferguson, and for African-Americans as a whole, have been deteriorating for years. Sadly, many white Americans are totally oblivious to any of this.



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Jack Lew's Worst Nightmare - China's Currency Should Be 20% 'Weaker'

The constant chant from Washington over the past few years has been one of falling just short of labeling China "a currency manipulator" and proclaiming unilaterally that the Yuan is being artificially maintained at a lower level than it should be. However, as Bloomberg Briefs' Fielding Chen notes, based on a trade-weighted basket, China's currency is actually 20% over-valued. Having stayed close in value to this basket until 2007, China's policy since has been a stronger-than-market currency, but as the world increasingly de-dollarizes, and the Yuan gains more global prominence, the following chart suggests the direction of the next trend in China's currency.



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This Is Your Recovery, And This Is Your Recovery Without Drugs

The arrogance, hubris and contempt for morality displayed by the ruling class is breathtaking to behold. They think they are untouchable and impervious to norms followed by the rest of society. They may have won the opening battle, but will lose the war. Discontent among the masses grows by the day. The critical thinking citizens are growing restless and angry. They are beginning to grasp the true enemy. The system has been captured by a few malevolent men. When the stock, bond and housing bubbles all implode simultaneously, all hell will break loose in this country. It will make Ferguson, Missouri look like a walk in the park.



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Under What Conditions Can The US Army Engage Citizens: The Army's "Civil Disturbances" Primer

With events in Ferguson deteriorating from day to day, despite the arrival of the Missouri National Guard, some have asked what further escalation steps are possible. The answer is not pleasant.



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Ferguson Tonight: Tensions Boil Over Again, "Ferguson Ain't America No More, You Can't Even Walk" - Live Feed

UPDATE: Shots Fired. Protesters throwing projectiles. Protesters forming line in front of Police. Police responding..."Get that camera out of my fucking face." -- officer who pointed gun at protestors. Protesters maced, Reporters cordoned off.

UPDATE: Tactical teams have moved in to move protesters along. Community leaders are trying to calm both sides.

Following the death of another young black male in St.Louis, tonight has all the possibility of being another one of violence in Ferguson, Missouri. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commented, the Mike Brown shooting has "ripped open old wounds," and calls for "vigorous" prosecution.



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Japanese Trade Deficit Streak Hits 40 Months, Biggest Miss Since October

Any day, week, month, year now... Japan's adjusted trade balance missed expectations by the most since October 2013 (back over a JPY1 trillion deficit) as the QQE-ing, j-curve-any-minute-now nation awaits the arrival of the competitive pickup for the 40th month in a row. Exports beat expectations (which we are sure will be the headline crowed about by all) but imports surged by 2.3% (against expectations of a 1.5% drop). It appears you single-handedly devalue yourself to prosperity in an interconnected world after all - whocouldanode? As we said before, "Monetary debasement does NOT result in an economic recovery, because no nation can force another to pay for its recovery."



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Guest Post: Obama's Frightening Ferguson Fiasco

In the past, the president has been quick to weigh in on issues regarding race. Waiting until all the facts of a case are confirmed may be a better approach.



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Fed Fueled M&A Destroys Capital

The world’s central bankers have given companies the urge to merge. Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity has already reached $2.2 trillion this year according to Thomson Reuters Deals Intelligence, up 70% from this time a year ago. The deals are big, with eight acquisitions, each over $5 billion, being announced in just a single week in July. However CEO buying sprees do not create new jobs and new products that make our lives better, but are instead just wasteful malinvestments that destroy capital. The cost of capital is integral to making these assumptions. The lower the assumed interest rate or cost of capital, the higher the price for the acquisition that the models will justify. Once interest rates go up, these valuation models will be blown to pieces.



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Obama Goes Gray In 42 Seconds

This is what 5 years of golf courses gets you...



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After 18% Rise & 8 Days Up In A Row, Hertz Withdraws 2014 Guidance & Crashes

Presented with little comment... because if this doesn't wake people up to the unreality of the stock 'market', nothing will. Hertz has ripped higher 8 days in a row, surging over 18% in that period as analysts and talking heads piled on proclaiming how wonderful it is.. and then:

*HERTZ HAS DECIDED TO WITHDRAW 2014 FINANCIAL GUIDANCE
*HERTZ EXPECTS TO BE WELL BELOW LOW END OF 2014 GUIDANCE

Must be a one-off idiosyncratic issue right?



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