The "Great Unwind" Has Arrived

The world is in the waning days of a historic multi-decade experiment in unfettered finance. International finance has for too long been effectively operating without constraints on either the quantity or the quality of Credit issued. From the perspective of unsound finance on a globalized basis, this period has been unique. History, however, is replete with isolated episodes of booms fueled by bouts of unsound money and Credit – monetary fiascos inevitably ending in disaster. We see discomforting confirmation that the current historic global monetary fiasco’s disaster phase is now unfolding.

ESPN: Cutting The Cord Or Political Turn Off?

The catchphrase that seems to be picking up more and more steam is “cutting the cord” when referring to those that are dropping traditional cable TV for viewing choices or alternatives by other means. However, is “cutting the cord” really the reason for ESPN’s loss of millions viewers? Perhaps a large part of the underlying reason is: ESPN (like a few notable others such as NBC™) has seemingly transformed at near hyper-speed from sports reporting – to political sports reporting. The political edge now rampant throughout the shows, games, interviews, et al is overbearing, overburdening, and overdone.

Dow Dip-Buyers Evident After Futures Open With Another Mini-Flash-Crash

As Dow futures opened ahead of this evening's China open (after being closed since Wednesday), it appears someone (or something) decided it was time to test down 100 points to Friday's pre-ramp lows. Of course that mini-flash-crash has now been followed - since stops were run - with a 140 point ripfest, we assume gunning for the stops just above Friday's late-day highs...

Three Reasons Why Saudi Arabia Flip-Flopped On Iran. And Now Supports The US "Nuclear Deal"

To summarize: in order to get the Saudis to "agree" to the Iran deal, all the US had to do is remind King Salman, that as long as oil is where it is to a big extent as a result of Saudi's own record oil production, crushing countless US oil corporations and leading to the biggest layoffs in Texas since the financial crisis, the country will urgently need access to yield-starved US debt investors. If in the process, US corporations can invest in Saudi Arabia (and use the resulting assets as further collateral against which to take out even more debt), while US military corporations sell billions in weapons and ammo to the Saudi army, so much the better.

11,000 Icelanders Offer To House Syrian Refugees

The Icelandic government is reconsidering its national refugee quota after a social media campaign resulted in over 11,000 Icelanders (the "most peaceful nation in the world") offering up a room in their homes to refugees. As Europe struggles to cope with unprecedented levels of those seeking shelter, residents of the sparsely populated Nordic island country resorted to direct action to pressure their leaders.

This Is What A Short Squeeze Looks Like

Despite Brent crude prices easing modstly last week, WTI crude gained nearly 2% (after screaming higher the week before). With the 2nd largest speculative short position since 2006 in NYMEX futures and options, the prompt market is significantly unbalanced and extremely susceptible to upside catalysts.

The Collapse Of The NY Taxi Cartel

It is interesting that the free market has actually found a way to undermine a cartel that up until recently appeared to be completely safe. In some cities, Uber is being fought tooth and nail to protect the sinecures of the established taxi industry. It is a microcosm of the cronyism that is the rule almost everywhere these days. Just think about how greatly our lives would improve if all the regulations that have been designed for no other reason than to protect established businesses against competition from upstarts were rescinded.

Presenting Five Channels Of Contagion From China's Hard Landing

Before China’s bursting equity bubble grabbed international headlines, and before the PBoC’s subsequent devaluation of the yuan served notice to the world that things had officially gotten serious in the global currency wars, all anyone wanted to talk about when it came to China was a "hard landing." Now that the yuan devaluation has all but proven that China has landed, and landed hard, here are the five channels of contagion.

Europe's Biggest Bank Dares To Ask: Is The Fed Preparing For A "Controlled Demolition" Of The Market

"there is a sense that policy is being priced to “fail” rather than succeed... why should equities always rise in value? Why should debt holders be expected to afford their debt burden? There are plenty of alternative viable equilibria with SPX half its value, longevity liabilities in default and debt deflation in abundance. In those equilibria traditional QE ceases to work and the only road back to what we think is the current desired equilibrium is via true helicopter money via fiscal stimulus where there are no independent central banks.

The Case For Outlawing Cash

September is here. As expected, market volatility is increasing. The Great Zombie War is intensifying. And investors are getting scared. Now they even want to do away with the State’s own scrip... You see where this is going, don’t you? If the feds are able to ban cash, they will have you completely under their control. You will invest when they want you to invest. You will buy when and what they want you to buy. You will be forced to keep your money in a bank – a bank controlled, of course, by the feds.

 

When "Virtuous Debt" Turns Ferociously Vicious: The Mother Of All Corporate Margin Calls On Deck

More debt begets higher market value of equites which in turn improves the debt/equity ratio which gives the incentive to issue more debt ad infinitum. Or in a slightly simpler version, debt begets more debt.  We have seen the story before. In the shaded grey areas we highlight episodes when the virtuous relationship turns ferociously vicious. Remember, markets take the escalator up, but the elevator down. And the longer the escalator the further down the elevator goes.

Russian Military Presence In Syria Risks "Confrontation" With US-Backed Forces, Kerry Warns Lavrov

Amid reports that Russia is building a substantial military presence in Syria, a worried John Kerry called Sergei Lavrov on Saturday. Here, according to the State Department, is what was said: "The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL coalition operating in Syria."

Life In A Cashless World: How Cash Became A Policy Tool – An Interview With Dr. Harald Malmgren

Banks in the US and Europe are trying to develop a cashless transactions system. The concept is to establish a comprehensive ledger for a business or a person that records everything received and spent, and all of the assets held – mortgages, investment portfolios, debts, contractual financial obligations, and anything else of market value. There would be no need for cash because the ledger would tell you and anyone you were considering a transaction with how much is available and would be transactable at any specific moment. This is not a dreamy idea. Blythe Masters is leading a new business effort to develop a universal cashless system. Not only is she gathering significant investor interest, but the Federal Reserve and various US Government agencies have become keenly interested in the potential usefulness and efficiencies of a universal cashless system

The Concept Of Money And The Money Illusion

Awareness about the concept of money is making a comeback. Gone are the decades in which the global citizenry was fooled to leave this subject to economists, governments and banks – a setup that has proven to end in disaster. The crisis in 2008 has spawned debate about what money is, where it comes from and where it should come from.