FBI Report Accidentally Exposes The Severity Of The Police State

A recently published FBI report accidentally proves that while the police claim cops face growing threats from rowdy populations – like in Ferguson – the opposite is true. The governemnt places a higher priority on their own than on the lives of those they claim to “serve,” “protect,” and “work for.” It cares more about exonerating the police of their crimes than providing justice to those they abuse. There is no justice when the criminal is the cop.

China Manufacturing PMI Drops To 8-Month Lows, Teeters On Brink Of Contraction

From exuberant credit-fueled cycle highs in July, China's official Manufacturing PMI has done nothing but drop as the hangover-effect from the credit-impulse weighs once again on the now commodity-collateral crushed nation. At 50.3 (missing expectations of 50.5 for the 2nd month in a row), this is the lowest print since March. All 5 components dropped led by notable weakness is outout and new orders (new export orders biggest MoM drop in 17 months) with medium- and small-enterprises heading deeper into contraction (at 48.4 and 47.6 respectively) as the Steel industry PMI craters to 43.3. Japan's PMI dropped marginally to 52 and then HSBC's China Manufacturing confirmed the government data and flash reading with a 50 print - the lowest since May as New Export Orders growth slowed for the 2nd month.

"Why Anyone Believes Printing Money Will Leave Us Better Off Is Beyond Me"

The big selloff in 2015 will come from housing and housing-related investments as the marginal cost of capital rises through regulation and through “margin calls” on banks as their profit-to-GDP ratios grow too high for the economy to function properly. The dividend society is here and the true manifestation of Japanisation is not a future event but a thing we are living in right now…

Swiss Gold Referendum Fails: 78% Vote Against "Protecting The Country's Wealth"

Whether as a result of an unprecedented scare campaign by the Swiss National Bank (most recently reinforced by Citigroup), or due to confidence that Swiss gold is as safe abroad as it is at home, or simply due to good old-fashioned "hanging chads", today's most awaited event has come and gone and the result - according to early projections by Swiss television SRF - is that the Swiss population overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its reserves in gold in a landslide vote, with about 78% voting against what AP politely termed "protecting the country's wealth by investing in gold."

The Environment: Depleting Resources

The bottom line is this: we, as a species, all over the globe, have already mined the richest ores, found the easiest energy sources, and farmed the richest soils that our Environment has to offer. So, if we are getting less and less net energy for our efforts, and the other basic resources we need to support exponential economic growth are requiring a lot more energy to extract because they are depleting, then does it make sense to keep piling up exponentially more money and debt?

The Imploding Energy Sector Is Responsible For A Third Of S&P 500 Capex

"US private investment spending is usually ~15% of US GDP or $2.8trn now. This investment consists of $1.6trn spent annually on equipment and software, $700bn on non-residential construction and a bit over $500bn on residential. Equipment and software is 35% technology and communications, 25-30% is industrial equipment for energy, utilities and agriculture, 15% is transportation equipment, with remaining 20-25% related to other industries or intangibles. Non-residential construction is 20% oil and gas producing structures and 30% is energy related in total. We estimate global investment spending is 20% of S&P EPS or 12% from US. The Energy sector is responsible for a third of S&P 500 capex."

"Panic Selling" Saudi Stocks Crash Into Bear Market Following OPEC Decision

It's not just Shale oil stocks in the US that are hurting. Following the OPEC decision to not cut production and squeeze US producers, Saudi Arabia's major stock market index has tumbled into a bear market, giving up all the year's gains. As one analyst noted, "investors are afraid if oil stays where it is, it will negatively impact the government revenues, thus creating potential headwinds on government spending." Dubai stocks - our long-time favorite bubble index - has also been hammered, down over 7% intraday at its worst...

Cheap Oil A Boon For The Economy? Think Again

The oil industry is no longer what it once was, it’s not even a normal industry anymore. Oil companies sell assets and borrow heavily, then buy back their own stock and pay out big dividends. What kind of business model is that? Well, not the kind that can survive a 40% cut in revenue for long. Cheap oil a boon for the economy? You might want to give that some thought.

Woman Killed Following Black Friday Shooting In Downtown Chicago Nordstrom

For most people "a deal to die for" is just a saying, but tragically for a 22-year-old woman who was working in a Chicago Nordstroms off North Michigan Avenue it became all too real when she shot during Black Friday shopping and died a day later, in what according to initial reports was a domestic-related incident leading to a panicked stampede out of the store by holiday shoppers who were convinced they were caught in the latest Chicago consumerism-gone-wild crossfire.

The Increasing Cracks In The Silicon Valley Mirror

There’s probably no other place more enthralled with its own state of being today than Silicon Valley. Now probably more than ever the tech capital just might be believing their own hype more now, than in the “glory days” of the 90’s.

'We Are Entering A New Oil Normal"

The precipitous decline in the price of oil is perhaps one of the most bearish macro developments this year. We believe we are entering a “new oil normal,” where oil prices stay lower for longer. While we highlighted the risk of a near-term decline in the oil price in our July newsletter, we failed to adjust our portfolio sufficiently to reflect such a scenario. This month we identify the major implications of our revised energy thesis.  The reason oil prices started sliding in June can be explained by record growth in US production, sputtering demand from Europe and China, and an unwind of the Middle East geopolitical risk premium. The world oil market, which consumes 92 million barrels a day, currently has one million barrels more than it needs.... Large energy companies are sitting on a great deal of cash which cushions the blow from a weak pricing environment in the short-term. It is still important to keep in mind, however, that most big oil projects have been planned around the notion that oil would stay above $100, which no longer seems likely.

Russia's Patience Is Wearing Thin

With the western propaganda flying thick and heavy, it's more important than ever to cut through the chaff and learn what we can about the most important geopolitical realignment (and renewed tensions) in recent memory.