If You Like Your Exemption, Keep It: 90% Of Uninsured Won't Pay Obamacare Penalties

No insurance, no penalty appears to be Obamacare's new meme as The Wall Street Journal reports almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement. In the interests of socialism, the Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine (on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects). The exemptions are worrying insurers, as they could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise.

Here's The Dumbest Thing You'll Hear All Week

In an unbelievable display of arrogance and self-importance, the Australian government recently announced the most sweeping changes to their national security legislation since 9/11. Basically they’re telling everyone that they should just be afraid… and that the government must spy on citizens in order to protect them. This is how it always happens... and we can watch yet another country slide rapidly into a police state.

Steve Liesman's Worst Nightmare: Consumer Credit Growth Tumbles, Misses By Most In 8 Months

Growth in Consumer Credit dropped for the 2nd month in a row (at $17.25bn) missing expectations by the most since November 2013. The March/April credit impulse has now completely faded. Given that "debt is the great bridge between working hard and playing hard in this country," it would seem this news will disappoint Steve Liesman. Revolving credit dropped to its lowest since February as spend-what-you-don't-have appears to be fading also...

The Financialization Of American Business: How Cheap Debt Fuels The Bubble, Not Growth

Monetary central planning is failing to achieve Keynesian “escape velocity” because it has deeply impaired the engines of capitalist enterprise. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the grotesque financialization of American business that has occurred since the 1980s. As usual, this deformation is rooted in the massive growth of debt carried by non-financial businesses. At the end of the day, there is no mystery as to why trend GDP growth has fallen to just 1.8% per annum since the year 2000 - a rate which is barely half its trend during the previous half-century. Monetary central planning inherently deforms market capitalism by flooding the business sector with cheap debt, thereby turning it into an engine for the redistribution of existing wealth rather than the generation of new growth, jobs and enterprise.

CDC Director Frieden Testifies About "Combating The Ebola Threat" - Live Feed

Top U.S. health official are testifying at a congressional hearing to assess the threat from the Ebola virus ravaging Africa. Chairman Smith begins: “The Ebola virus had been contained in one small area of Central Africa for years. Even when there was an outbreak, such as in Uganda, international cooperation was able to prevent a broader spread of the disease. This hearing will examine current international efforts to meet the challenge of the worst outbreak of Ebola in history.” Speakers include CDC Director Tom Frieden...

Did The Creator Of The Experimental Ebola Drug Joke About Culling 25% Of The World's Population?

Charles Arntzen is the Regents’ Professor and Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Dr. Arntzen is known as a pioneer in the development of edible plant-based vaccines, and he has also been a key collaborator on what appears to be a promising new Ebola drug. The only problem is this guy is kind of creepy. In fact, he was apparently caught in 2012 joking about culling 25% of the world’s population to solve the challenging problem of feeding 8 billion people.

Don't Fight The Fed - Stocks Tumble Post-Yellen "Stretched Valuations" Warning

"Don't fight the Fed," unless she tells you to sell your favorite idiot-maker momo stock. For a few days, investors were anxious after Yellen's July 15th warning, then a barrage of disgruntled asset-gatherers explained how 'she knows nothing about stock valuations' (but we must trust her every word on the economy). Now - 3 weeks later, Dow and Trannies are down 4%, S&P and Russell down 3%, and Nasdaq down 2% from her warnings... still wanna fight the Fed?

Pentagon Confirms Russia Violated US Airspace 16 Times In Last 10 Days, "Not Just Training Missions"

Having admitted that a Russian fighter jet flew within 30 meters of a US spy plane (on the border of Russia) a month ago, The Washington Times reports defense officials confirming Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days - an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations.

"Iraq Is A Catastrophe", Obama May Announce Iraq Airstrikes Imminently, NYT Reports

White House: Iraq is approaching a "catastrophe"

Just in case there weren't enough potential GDP-boosting war hotzones around the world, Obama is now preparing to go back to ground zero, Iraq, where the NYT just reported he is "considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountain top after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said on Thursday."

Gold Jumps As Ukrainian Fighter-Jet Shot Down Over Donetsk

Gold futures broke above $1315 as a double whammy of NATO threats and Ukraine headlines spark safe-haven buying:

*FIGHTER JET SHOT DOWN OVER REBEL-HELD EAST UKRAINE: AFP

10Y Treasury yields are under 2.43% and JPY is strengthening once again as carry trades are unwound.

Separatist Donetsk People's Republic Gets A New Leader "To Beef Up The Military Wing"

A few hours ago, the existing head of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic in East Ukraine, Aleksander Borodai, current head of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR), and one of the Russian nationals that have taken top roles among the pro-Russia rebels, was said to be quitting his post. Moments ago RIA confirmed that Borodai is indeed out and would be replaced with Alexander Zakharchenko, a native of Donetsk, who heads a heavily armed rebel unit called Oplot. Contrary to some early erroneous speculation that this replacement is a sign of moderation of hostilities, Reuters reports, citing a source, that "He is being named to beef up the military wing."

Germany's DAX Slumps Into "Correction" - Down 10.25% From Highs

Germany's DAX stock index has plunged once again, to the same level as in October 2013 as European economic realities (coupled with sanctions retaliation fears) miss expectations drastically. The DAX is now in "correction", down 10.235% from its June record highs as it appears the more the US sanctions Russia, the more Europe crumbles...

WTF Headline Of The Day: US Forfeits $480 Million Loss On Nigerian Dictator Scam

While we assumed everyone knew that correspondence from Nigerian leaders requesting funds were always fradulent, it appears the US government decided the opportunity was worth the risk...

*U.S. FORFEITS OVER $480 MILLION STOLEN BY FORMER NIGERIAN DICTATOR

The DoJ describes it as "the largest forfeiture ever." Oh well - we hear Rwanda is looking to issue some bonds..."We might go for double that or more, up to $1 billion."

Meanwhile, Kiev Is Burning Again

While we assume NATO's Rasmussen's appearance in Kiev is not responsible, Kiev is burning once again. As RT reports, activists and police have clashed in the Ukrainian capital’s center after communal workers tried to dismantle an activist camp, following a months-old conflict over the camp with the city administration.

Nigeria Declares State Of Emergency: "Everyone In The World Is At Risk" From Ebola, CDC Issues Level 1 "All-Hands Call"

With over 932 dead, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its highest level alert for an all-hands on deck response to the crisis in West Africa (that is spreading across the world). While President Obama proclaimed we are prepared and itis "not easily transmitted," it appears that is not entirely true. Meanwhile, CDC Director Frieden's "deep concerns" have been confirmed as Nigeria’s health minister has declared a health emergency as the deadly Ebola virus gained a foothold in Africa’s most populous nation, according to news reports. Nigerian authorities moved quickly late Wednesday, gathering isolation tents as five more cases of the Ebola Virus were confirmed in Lagos (the world's 4th most populous city with 21 million people). Most international flights from West Africa are also now screening passengers.

"Stop Putin" Coalition Cracking: Greece Laments "Blind Obedience To Cold War Strategies Of Brussels And Washington"

It was all fun and games while the grand western "Pariah Putin is evil" alliance was calling the shots, lobbing one sanctions after another, and Russia was quietly sitting there and taking it all. But once Europe realized that suddenly its food exporters are about to see their revenues plunge (and ostensibly lead to even more domestic deflation as all the excess produce floods domestic markets) and lead to gaping trade deficits, suddenly cries that Putin's retaliation is "unfair" have filled the air. What's worse, the moment Russia retaliated, the grand alliance started to crack. Enter Greece which has hundreds of millions in food exports to Russia, and which was the first country to hint that it may splinter from the western "pro-sanctions" alliance.

Gold Jumps, Germany Dumps, S&P Slumps As NATO Tells Russia "To Step Back From The Brink"

NATO's Chief Anders Rasmussen is unleashing his latest set of 'back down or else' comments this morning towards Russia:

*RASMUSSEN TELLS RUSSIA 'TO STEP BACK FROM THE BRINK'
*NATO: INTL COMMUNITY TO `REACT DECISIVELY' IF RUSSIA INTERVENES

And ironically Rasmussen proclaims Russia faces further isolation if it continues down this path... by which he means Russia will become even closer to its BRICS allies. The market's reaction to this tone is bad... stocks dropping, gold popping, and Bunds to record low yields...

RBI Governor Fears Market Crash With "World Less Capable Of Bearing The Cost"

Outspoken non-status-quo thinker Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan may be set to have his central banker card revoked... for telling too much truth (here in 2012, here in 2013, and most recently here). Having previously noted that "international monetary cooperation has broken down," the WSJ reports that Rajan warned Wednesday that the global economy bears an increasing resemblance to its condition in the 1930s, with advanced economies trying to pull out of the Great Recession at each other’s expense. Simply put, he concludes, "we are taking a greater chance of having another crash at a time when the world is less capable of bearing the cost."

Europe Furious That Putin Dares To Retaliate To Sanctions, Blames Economic Slide On Kremlin

Either Europe is run by a bunch of unelected idiots, or... well, that's about it. After blindly doing the US' bidding over all propaganda matters Ukraine-related, and following just as blindly into round after round of US-inspired sanctions, sanctions to whose retaliation Europe would be on the frontline unlike the largely insulated US, Europe appears to be absolutely shocked and is apoplectic that after several rounds of sanction escalations, Russia finally unleashed its own round of sanctions and yesterday announced a 1 year ban on all European food imports, something which will further push Europe into a triple-dip recession as already hinted by Italy yesterday.