What Is The Difference Between An ISIS Terrorist And A Freedom Fighter: "Appropriate Vetting"

As we reported yesterday, in addition to Turkey and Saudi forming an alliance to topple Syria's despised anti-Qatar nat gas pipeline leader, Bashar Assad, the US has now begun training and arming Syrian rebels. But how will the US know it is arming Syrian rebels, aka opposition "freedom fighters" and al-Nusra or Islamic State jihadists who will promptly turn around and use the same weapons and training against the US? The answer: "appropriate vetting." No, really.

Deflation Works!

Threatened with deflation, the authorities will want to turn the tide in the worst possible way. What’s the worst way to stop deflation? With hyperinflation. Yes, we may suffer a year or two more of sluggish growth... or even deflation. Stocks will crash and people will be desperate for paper dollars. But sooner or later, the feds will find their feet and lose their heads. Most likely, the credit-drenched world of 2015 will end... not in a whimper of deflation, but in a bang. Hyperinflation will bring the long depression to a dramatic close long before a quarter of a century has passed.

The Reason Why There Is No Wage Growth For 83% Of US Workers

For all who are still confused why there are no wage hikes despite the Fed's relentless efforts to micromanage the economy and stimulate wage growth via trickle-down record high stock market prices, the answer is that there is wage growth. Just not for 83% of the working population. 

Goldman Crushes The American Manufacturing Recovery Dream - Auto Sales Expectations Are Unrealistic

Auto sales have recovered to the 16.5-17 million range, and many observers predict further gains in coming years (despite, as we previously noted, missing expectations for the last few months). But to Goldman Sachs, the current sales pace already looks high relative to the medium-term fundamentals; and their assessment of scrappage rates, population growth, licensed drivers, and vehicle ownership suggests that trend demand for autos - excluding cyclical fluctuations - is only 14-15 million units per year.

Free Lunches, Fragile Fed Faith, & Minsky Moments

Investors are beginning to question the efficacy of these extreme central bank policies. More are joining the chorus of critics that believe policies have become counter-productive in both the short and long run.  If true, it could mean that a Fed hike might come sooner than markets believes; and may occur prior to the arrival of the desired and optimal economic conditions. There must be a lesson to learn for those investors who blindly follow central bank actions.  The lesson embedded in the dramatic re-pricing in European financial markets during the past 12 days may simply be that there are dangers when chasing assets irrespective of price levels. It seems to us that the ability of central banks to generate a Pavlovian or conditional investor response to their policy actions is now rightly being called into question.

Bursting Bund Bubble: 2 Charts And Some Lessons From History

As investors and traders ponder what’s next for the financial world’s safe haven asset par excellence, and as everyone from the world’s most famous bond traders to the ECB tries to comprehend how the market could have possibly become so thin so fast, we bring you a bit more in the way of visual proof that central planners have become the world’s greatest bubble blowers as well as a bit of history that may hold clues as to what's next.

In April There Were 26 Waiters And Bartenders For Every Manufacturing Job Added

It should come as no surprise that in the month of April America's attempts to rekindle a manufacturing renaissance have fizzled once again, with a tiny 1,000 manufacturing jobs added, following zero manufacturing jobs added the month before. Putting this in perspective, for every manufacturing job added in April there were 26 new waiters and bartenders confirming the "robustness" of America's jobs recovery.

Europe "Baffled" By Bizarre Varoufakis "Blueprint"

Amid tense negotiations between Greek PM Tsipras, the IMF, and EU creditors, some officials say the chances of an agreement have increased materially since Yanis Varoufakis was sidelined after infuriating his eurozone counterparts in Riga last month. Now, just when there appeared to be some hope that Athens may avert a catastrophic default, Varoufakis has reportedly distributed a new "blueprint" for Greece that has little in common with the plan advanced by the country's reshuffled negotiating team. 

Old Workers Hit New All Time High As All April Jobs Go To The "55 And Older"

Earlier we reported that all the jobs added in April were part-time, or over 400,000, while full-time jobs decreased by over 200,000 pushing them further under the pre-recession peak. Here is another stunning data point: of the 255K workers added in the household survey when broken down by age group, more than all, or 266K went to workers aged 55 and older also known as the age cohort which is realizing it is never going to retire under the Fed's centrally-planned regime.

Wholesale Sales YoY Worst Since Lehman As Inventories Grow At Slowest Pace In 2 Years

For the first time since July 2008, Wholesale Sales fell for the 4th month in a row in March (-0.2% vs +0.5% expectation). On a YoY basis, this is the worst sales drop since November 2008. Perhaps even more problematic is the weakness in inventories - which will drag Q1 GDP even lower - as the last time we saw a weaker inventory growth (+0.1% in March) was May 2013. Wholesale Inventories to Sales remain at Lehman (and 2000) highs.

Greek PM Seeks "Happy Ending" - Will Do Whatever It Takes

As next week's Eurogroup meeting's last chance to get more cash, ahead of the looming threat of a €780mm payments due to The IMF, rapidly approaches, the left-wing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has forecast a "happy ending" to fraught negotiations on the cash-for-reforms deal. EU creditors are less enthusiastic, as Reuters reports, noting talks were making progress, though not enough for a deal next Monday. Tsipras promised to do "whatever it takes in order to reach... an honest and mutually beneficial agreement with our partners", but gave no indication of yielding on the lenders' core demands for painful reforms.

Part-Time Jobs Soar By 437,000; Full-Time Jobs Tumble, Stay Firmly Under Pre-Recession Highs

For all the talk about a jobs recovery and about a US economy that has put the great financial crisis and recession of 2007/8 in the rear view mirror, don't tell it to those workers who desire a full-time job and instead are forced to settle with measly part-time offerings (mostly courtesy of Obamacare). Because as the chart below shows, as of April 2015, the number of full-time jobs remained well below the pre-recession peak, which incidentally was hit on December 2007, the month the last recession officially started.