As China 'Buys Low' To Build SPR, Washington Forced To Sell Strategic Crude To Meet Budget

The signs of regime change are everywhere. From embarrassment by Russia's success in Syria to China's creation of its own 'World Bank' and SWIFT alternative, the trend of de-empirization are growing, but tonight's news that Washington will sell oil from its strategic reserve in order to meet budget constraints and avoid default (as China takes advantage of low prices to build its own reserves) is simply stunning in its analogy of the shifting world order.

Fear Of The Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim

While 'zombies' may be the personification of our darkest fears, they embody the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent. Why else would the government feel the need to monitor our communications, track our movements, criminalize our every action, treat us like suspects, and strip us of any means of defense while equipping its own personnel with an amazing arsenal of weapons? For years now, the government has been carrying out military training drills with 'zombies' as the enemy. “We the people” or, more appropriately, “we the zombies” are the enemy in the eyes of the government.

Greek Creditors Refuse To Make Next Loan Payment - German Press

Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung reports that just two (or is it three, this past summer is one big blur) months after Greece voted through its third bailout, one which will raise its debt/GDP to over 200% on a fleeting promise that someone, somewhere just may grant Greece a debt extension (which will do absolutely nothing about the nominal amount of debt), its creditors have already grown tired with the game and are refusing to pay the next Greek loan tranche of €2 billion.

It's On: Obama Sends Destroyer To Chinese Islands, China Vows Military Response

Update: According to reports in on Monday evening, the USS Lassen has indeed sailed within 12 nautical miles of China's islands in the Spratlys.  

For weeks, the US was rumored to plan a "freedom of navigation" exercise in the contested Spratly islands which, as we’ve pointed out several times this month, amounts to sailing by China's man-made outposts just to see if the PLA will shoot. Moments ago, the wires lit up with news that President Obama has green-lighted the exercise. The USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, is now set to sail within 24 hours.

In Latest Obamacare Fiasco, Most Low-Income Workers Can't Afford "Affordable Care Act"

Billy Sewell began offering health insurance this year to 600 service workers at the Golden Corral restaurants that he owns. He wondered nervously how many would buy it. Adding hundreds of employees to his plan would cost him more than $1 million — a hit he wasn’t sure his low-margin business could afford. His actual costs, though, turned out to be far smaller than he had feared. So far, only two people have signed up. “We offered, and they didn’t take it,” he said.

Schadenfreude - How The US Is Helping China Create A New Financial Order

There are two general schools of thought amongst noted contrarians and libertarians regarding China’s overriding objectives. One school has it that China is very much a part of the One World Government philosophy and their primary goal is to acquire a more powerful seat at the IMF. Having done so, they will settle in and be content to be one of the leading jurisdictions that run the world collectively. The other school suggests that China means to become the most powerful nation in the world - to replace the US in every way as the world’s dominant nation. And that’s the case here. The world’s most powerful (and most oppressive) political/economic power structure has begun to go under the bulldozer. Its replacement will hopefully be a better one.

Is The Yield Curve Still A Dependable Signal?

To the extent the Federal Reserve decides to increase interest rates, it should be apparent that such a move would be inconsistent with their prior actions. In fact, it may likely be a desperate effort to re-load the monetary policy gun as opposed to a signal of domestic economic strength. Not only is this a departure from the past, this would lead many to question the Fed’s motives. It is worth keeping in mind that blind trust and confidence in the Fed has propelled many markets much higher than fundamentals justify. The bottom line is that NIM and the Taylor Rule-adjusted curve are both flashing warning signs of economic recession, while the traditional yield curve signal is waving the all clear flag.

What Recovery? Record Number Of Americans Become Blood Plasma "Sellers" To Make Ends Meet

Having previously explained President Obama's recovery in charts, we thought words and pictures would be a better indicator of the dire situation facing so many Americans that get missed by the business media's spotlight. With 9.4 million more Americans below the poverty line than before the crisis, as The LA Times reports, it's disturbing to see so many people so destitute - even if they're working - that they've resorted to selling body fluids to make ends meet. The going rate for plasma donation, which can take a couple of hours, is about $25 or $30. But Octapharma is offering $50 for the first five visits, "when you get that $50, you feel good," one plasma 'seller' said, "I paid my gas bill."

Complacency Reigns At Epic Levels: "Few Are Ready For What Is Coming"

Accounting fraud remains at the heart of the fix instituted by Ben Bernanke and the ploy has been copied by authorities throughout the global financial system, including the central banks of China, Japan, and the European Community. That it seemed to work for the past seven years in propping up global finance has given too many people the dangerous conviction that reality is optional in economic relations. The recovery of equity markets from the disturbances of August has apparently convinced the market players that stocks are invincible. Complacency reigns at epic levels. Few are ready for what is coming.

Peak Housing 2.0: Sam Zell Dumps 23,000 Apartments In 2007 Deja Vu

Why is the deal particularly notable? Because Zell has traditionally had a very keen nose about such things as "market peaks": the 74 years old is credited with calling the top of the real-estate market in 2007, when he sold another of his companies, Equity Office Properties Trust, to Blackstone for $23 billion. Soon after, the commercial-property market crashed as prices fell and debt defaults surged when it became apparent that subprime was not contained.

The Inherent Problem Of Eternal Bullishness

The inherent problem of "eternal bullishness" is the "wilfull blindness" to the underlying data in an effort to chase short-term returns. This leads to the unfortunate problem of being "all-in" on every hand which has a devastating consequence when a mean reverting event occurs. In the end, it does not matter IF you are "bullish" or "bearish." The reality is that both "bulls" and "bears" are owned by the "broken clock" syndrome during the full-market cycle. However, what is grossly important in achieving long-term investment success is not necessarily being "right" during the first half of the cycle, but by not being "wrong" during the second half.

US Stock Market Breadth Is Collapsing Again

With 1998/99 analogs abounding, we thought it worth looking at a more ominous similarity. The breadth of the US equity market is "narrowing" dramatically; and bad breadth was a big flashing red feature of 1999.

Pavlov's Market

It was only a couple of months ago that a rapidly rising dollar was pushing the global economy closer to a new crisis. It seems unlikely that the conditions that made a rapidly rising dollar a problem in August have all been resolved by October. Those who bought stocks last week in response to hints of more easing from Draghi – and the rate cut in China – may find themselves in the same position as Pavlov’s dogs, wondering why no meal follows the ringing of the bell.