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California – A Food Powerhouse In Peril

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?



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On The Coming Collapse Of Copper

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.



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New York Fed's Conference Evokes Violent Thoughts Against Wall Street

"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."



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Martin Armstrong On The Danger Of Conspiracy Theories

If you want to hide something in plain view, exaggerate it to the point it becomes extreme and convert it to a conspiracy theory.



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The American Dream Is Still Possible, Just Not In The US

We fear many Americans who don't travel internationally might have become somewhat immune to the intrusive, arbitrary nature of today's American government and its institutions. It is still possible to achieve the American Dream of a simple life with opportunity for wealth creation, fun, freedom and good times without an overly intrusive, threatening government ... just not in the United States.



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Putin Warns Of Risk Of Major Conflict, Says Dollar Losing Reserve Currency Status

Having been relatively quiet for a while, Russia's leader Vladimir, speaking in Sochi (following meetings with Middle East crown princes who confirmed Russia as a key partner - "isolated"?), has unleashed his most aggressive statements with regard the failing world order: PUTIN SAYS U.S. DOLLAR LOSING TRUST AS RESERVE CURRENCY, WORLD WITHOUT RULES IS POSSIBILITY; ANARCHY GROWING. Adding that the risk of major conflicts involving major countries is growing, as well as the risk of arms control treaties being violated, Putin exclaimed that the US-led unipolar world is like a dictatorship over other countries and that "US leadership brings no good for others," and calls for a new global consensus.



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The Farce Of European Stocks (In 1 Simple Chart)

If, as the smart chaps on financial media continuously remind hungry investors, "earnings are the mothers milk of stock market rallies" then WTF is going on in the chart below... (Hint: "perenially too optimistic")



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50% Of American Workers Make Less Than $28,031 A Year

The Social Security Administration has just released wage statistics for 2013, and the numbers are startling. Last year, 50 percent of all American workers made less than $28,031, and 39 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000. We are witnessing the slow-motion destruction of the middle class, and very few of our leaders seem to care.



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Yale Researcher: 12% Of Liberia's Most Populous County May Have Ebola By December 15

 

“Our predictions highlight the rapidly closing window of opportunity for controlling the outbreak and averting a catastrophic toll of new Ebola cases and deaths in the coming months,” said Alison Galvani, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and the paper’s senior author. “Although we might still be within the midst of what will ultimately be viewed as the early phase of the current outbreak, the possibility of averting calamitous repercussions from an initially delayed and insufficient response is quickly eroding.” The model developed by Galvani and colleagues projects as many as 170,996 total reported and unreported cases of the disease, representing 12% of the overall population of some 1.38 million people, and 90,122 deaths in Montserrado alone by Dec. 15. Of these, the authors estimate 42,669 cases and 27,175 deaths will have been reported by that time.



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The World Series Of Real Estate

With The Royals and The Giants flip-flopping scores like an HFT-trader on FOMC day, we thought a glance at the two teams' local real estate markets might give some context for who comes out the weekend the winner... As RealtyTrac notes, the San Francisco Giants may have one of the most Equity Rich real estate regions, but the Kansas City Royals hit a home run with home prices.



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When The Line Between Halloween & Real Life Terror Gets Blurred

"There's negative people everywhere and they are going to give me grief about it but it's all in good fun." Too soon?



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Spanish Tenants Wake Up To The Horror Of A Wall Street Landlord

Having grown weary of reality in America (after becoming the biggest landlord in the land of the free to borrow cheaply), Wall Street moved into the distressed property purchase ponzi in Spain (as we noted here) and, surprise, the Spanish are not happy with their new slumlords. After Madrid's local government sold 5,000 rent-controlled apartments to Goldman and Blackstone, having told tenants their rental conditions would remain the same, dozens of people have received demands for higher rent, been told their rents will increase dramatically, been threatened with eviction or moved out to escape the insecurity as old contracts expire.



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New York, New Jersey Begin Mandatory Quarantines In Ebola Response

Despite the constant confirmation that New York "is prepared, and has been prepared for months" for an Ebola outbreak (that is extremely difficult to catch apparently), it appears Governor Cuomo and NJ's Christie are more concerned than they are letting on. Having earlier admitted that the CDC's screening guidelines are "insufficient" for New York regions' population density, Reuters reports that Cuomo and Christie are considering "enhanced screening" where "all healthcare workers will be mandatorily quarantined." Cue "state of emergency" proclamation and civil liberties 'interrupted'...



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5 Things To Ponder: To QE Or Not To QE

Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. “You will know that the financial markets have reached peak instability and volatility when Britney Spears rings the opening bell.”



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Stocks Shrug Off Ebola, Surge Most Since 2011, Still A Red October

Ebola in NYC, no problem. Crappy housing data, all good. School shooting in WA, buying opportunity... and that is how the S&P 500 broke back above its 100-day-moving-average (proving the world is fixed again), and had its biggest low-to-high swing since Dec 2011. It wasn't all great BTFD news today though as small caps underperformed - though still green (just like last Friday), and only Trannies and Russell are green in October. Despite equity exuberance, Treasuries rallied modestly today (ending the week up 8-9bps on the week). HY credit slightly underperformed stocks but compressed 27bps - the biggest weekly drop in spreads since July 2013. The USD rose for the first time in 3 weeks led by JPY and EUR weakness. Oil fell once again, copper rose (since China data), gold and silver mirrored USD's gains. VIX closed down 5 from last week's close just above 16, but like small cap, and JPY carry, decoupled this afternoon. The last 2 weeks were the biggest squeeze of "most shorted" stocks since July 2013.

 



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