The War on Drugs Has Cost Taxpayers Over 1 Trillion Dollars

The “war on drugs” costs Americans a staggering amount of money every year that it persists. Despite the billions they receive, federal, state and local law enforcement have a proven inability to stem the flow of drugs on the nation’s streets.

Wholesale Inventories Sink Q4 GDP Hope, Sales-Ratio Signals Looming Recession

Q4 GDP expectations are off to a bad start as October wholesale inventories dropped 0.1% (missing expectations of a 0.2% rise and well down from the September surge of 0.5%). Wholesale inventories rose only 3.7% YoY, the lowest since Sept 2013 but sales have now been negative YoY since December. This leaves the crucial inventories-to-sales ratio at 1.31 - post-crisis highs, and deep in recession territory.

And The European Markets Break (Again)

For the second day in a row, European stock markets have broken. Today, it is even more serious as Euronext warns of a "data issue" which means no levels are being disseminated for AEX, CAC40, BEL20, and PSI20.

The Dollar Is Dumping

The USD is getting pummeled this morning (following China's 'devaluation' to the weakest Yuan since 2011 overnight) as all the majors are bid against the greenback. USD Index is now below the post-ECB lows from last week... The USD is now at its weakest since early November.

Ever Greater Distortions Hint At Rising Crash Probabilities

Government interference by both central banks and regulators (the latter are desperately fighting the “last crisis”, bolting the barn door long after the horse has escaped, thereby putting into place the preconditions for the next crisis) has created an ever more fragile situation in both the global economy and the financial markets. As the below charts and data show, price distortions and dislocations have been moving from one market segment to the next and they keep growing, which indicates to us that there is considerable danger that a really big dislocation will eventually happen.

Angela Merkel Is Time's Person Of 2015, Followed By ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi And Donald Trump

When Time magazine announced the short list of its Persons of the Year for 2015, there was some consternation that the winner could be ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or, maybe even worse according to the US press, Donald Trump. Instead, according to the just announced final results, the two gentlemen are in positions #2 and #3 respectively, with the winner being Germany's iron chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose position however in the aftermath of Europe's historic refugee crisis, has been downgraded from "iron" to quite shaky in recent weeks.

Freeport McMoRan, World's Second Largest Copper Miner, Suspends Dividend

FCX announced today that its Board has suspended its annual common stock dividend of $0.20 per share. This action will provide cash savings of approximately $240 million per annum and further enhance FCX’s liquidity during this period of weak market conditions. FCX’s Board will review its financial policy on an ongoing basis and authorize cash returns to shareholders as market conditions improve.