Guest Post: Joblessness, Hopelessness, And Government Dependency

Of all the awful tensions roiling and coiling in American society, it’s only a little bit surprising that the racial module is blowing off now rather than, say, the stock market. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing: race riots in the summer; stock market crashes in the fall, revolutions in the spring.

Bulgaria Halts South Stream Pipeline Again As NATO F-15s, Troops Arrive

As we detailed previously, Bulgaria had been an enthusiastic supporter of the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, whose construction has stoked tensions between the West and Moscow as it enabled gas supply to bypass troubled Ukraine (thus squeezing the desparate economy back into Russia's hands). In early June, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski ordered an initial halt (after Europe offered the nation's suddenly collapsing banking system a lifeline). This time, Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov has ordered Bulgaria’s Energy Holding to halt any actions in regards of the project as it does not meet the requirements of the European Commission. Of course, we assume this decision (to halt a 2nd time) is entirely independent of NATO's deployment of 12 F-15s and 180 troops to Bulgaria's  Graf Ignatievo Air Base.

California Now Suffering Worst Drought Ever, 2014 Hottest Year On Record

While most headlines are focused on the devastating drought in California, which by some measures is the worst on record, there is another 'factor' that has exploded to record highs - the heat. As Bloomberg reports, the California heat this year is like nothing ever seen, with records that go back to 1895 and with 70 percent of the state’s pastures rated “very poor to poor,” according to the USDA, things do not appear to be about to get better any time soon as The International Panel on Climate Change warns this "hot weather" is becoming simply "weather."

WHO Urges "Exit Screening" Of All Travelers In Ebola-Infected Countries As Reported Cases Go Parabolic

In its strongest-worded statement yet, the World Health Organization is urging strengthened international cooperation to stop transmission of Ebola to other countries. Most critically, WHO urges: "Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection." Falling short on banning international travel, WHO does warn non-affected countries to strengthen the capacity to detect and immediately contain new cases. Of course, in the interests of avoiding panic, they reiterate the risk of infection on a flight is low - which seems odd given that we get a cold every time we fly...

Market Roulette: Dimes On Black, Dynamite On Red

The stock market is presently a roulette wheel with dimes on black and dynamite on red... The ‘buy the dip’ mentality can introduce periodic recovery attempts even in markets that are quite precarious from a full cycle perspective. Galbraith reminds us that the 1929 market crash did not have observable catalysts: “the crash did not come – as some have suggested – because the market suddenly became aware that a serious depression was in the offing... for it is in the nature of a speculative boom that almost anything can collapse it."


President Obama To Explain Boots-On-The-Ground In Ferguson, But Not In Iraq - Live Feed

Having been forced to face up to the tense realities of 'leading the free world', President Obama's early return to Washington from his vacation likely means something of note is coming. With Iraq now transitioning from a humanitarian crisis to helping a troubled nation, it seems the advisers 'boots' that are not on the ground around the Mosul Dam are very much on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri. The deployment of the National Guard in Ferguson was not run by the White House PR department and so it will be intriguing to see whether Obama backs it or questions it... Of course, as the signs show below, the people of Ferguson want to know when he will visit...

Nasdaq Surges Back To March 2000 Highs

The lack of World War 3 this weekend was the perfect catalyst for buying stocks back up towards record highs... because Putin must have folded, right? Oil prices slipped, with WTI briefly back under $96, which lifted Trannies 1.75% on the day (best performer) but the Nasdaq's break of cycle highs (to March 2000 highs) is the big news for bubble-watchers (though it's different this time remember). VIX broke back below 13 to almost a 4-week low close. Treasuries were weak all day especially after Europe closed with the long-end underperforming (30Y +6.5bps) - 3rd worst day of yeasr for 30Y - with yields rising back to Russian convoy "destroyed" headline levels. Gold dropped back under $1300 as silver rallied 0.5%. S&P futures volumes were 40% below average as AAPL flash-crashes but has almost round-tripped to 2012 highs.

Today’s Mindless Rally: Its Jackson Hole, Stupid!

There is no reason rooted in the real world for today’s frothy stock market rally. In every single region of the planet, the post-crisis, central bank fueled expansion cycle - tepid as it was in the global aggregate - is faltering badly. So with the global expansion cycle faltering, profit ratios at all-time highs and PE multiples in the nose-bleed section of history - nearly 20X reported earnings for the S&P 500 - there is only one thing left for the Wall Street robots to do. Namely, vigorously buy the latest dip because the Fed has yet another new sheriff heading for Jackson Hole purportedly bearing dovish tidings. To wit, after 6 years of pinning money market rates to the economic floorboard at zero, Janet Yellen espies an economy still encumbered by “slack”, and will therefore be inclined to keep Wall Street gamblers in free money for a while longer.

Ukraine, Lebanon Demand US "Weapons, Aviation, Air-Defense Equipment"

Now that the US is exhibiting all the tact of a neocon bull in a china world, and has resumed airborne assaults in Iraq (with US marines on the ground merely for decorative purposes) it is hardly surprising that the rest of the world - at least those who are supposedly allied ideologically with Washington (if only for the time being) - suddenly feels entitled to US assistance. Not surprisingly, the first one to knock on the door of US military handouts is none other than the Kiev, whose parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, said in an interview with BNS, that the country needs "modern weapons, aviation, air-defense equipment from U.S., European partners."

Is The Correction Over?

While the markets are currently suggesting that the "dip" is over, there are several immediately prevailing risks that could catch unwitting investors.

Ferguson Curfew Cancelled As National Guard Arrives; Holder Demands To "Remove The Damn Tanks"

The Missouri Governor Jay Nixon gave "no heads up" to the White House before deploying The National Guard and has now made another abrupt decision as The National Guard closes in on Ferguson:


We presume when there are military tanks rolling through the streets of a town, there is no need for the actual implementation of a curfew... This once again rubs the administration's nose in it as AG Holder's comments from last week hang in the air: "get those damned tanks out of there."

Pope Francis Gets Involved In Geopolitics, "Endorses Use Of Force" Against ISIS Jihadists

Pope Francis, who until now has had an aura of pacifism "above all else", if now and then bashing the occasional banker for creating record wealth disparity around the globe, just shattered his reputation of a man of peace at all costs, and moments ago endorsed the use of force in Iraq to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities. He added that ays the international community — and not just one country — should decide how to intervene. He did not clarify just which superpower the last statement was a direct jab against.

Mapping The Militarization Of America's Police Force Since 2006

A few months ago we warned about the SWATification of America, mapping the surplus military gear by state.

Having  already documented America's conversation to a turnkey totalitarian banana republic (confirmed over a year later by Edward Snowden), we note the following six charts from The NY Times that show the spread of military-style equipment - including aircraft, vehicles, body armor, grenade launchers and assault rifles - since the creation of the free Defense Department program in the 1990s.

What's So Special About A 17x PE Multiple?

Is there something particularly notable about a 17x trailing PE multiple on the S&P 500? According to Deustche's David Bianco, there is especially during mid to late cycle expansions, i.e., after three (or much more in this case with the S&P 500 now repoting 5+ years of EPS growth) years of rising earnings. In fact, as DB calculates, the only two periods of a PE over 17 after 3 years from the last EPS decline are 1965-66 and 1996-98 (Figure 2) below. And right now. It should be self-explanatory that both of those historic periods ended with a sharp equity correction.

Dozens Of Flash-Crashes - Including AAPL - As BATS Breaks

It was just Friday when a pithy Bob Pisani noted that investor confidence in markets is up because there have been no market malfunctions recently... he spoke too soon. As Nanex's Eric Hunsader reports, an apparent malfunction at BATS-Y has caused dozens of flash crashes... including in AAPL.

UK Home Prices Have Biggest August Plunge On Record As Russian Sanctions Sink In

London home prices fell in August by 5.9%, the plunge the biggest since Dec 2007 (and 2nd biggest drop on record). Since western sanctions on Russian oligarchs hit 3 months ago, home prices have fallen in London (especially the highest-end regions, such as Kensington -7%) and now that weakness is accelerating and spreading across the entire UK. As Rightmove reports, the 2.9% drop in UK home prices is the worst August on record. How long before the UK pulls back on its 'support' for US sanctions? Costs, indeed?

Disinformation War Escalates: Ukraine, Rebels Accuse Each Other Of Attacking Refugee Convoy

Eager to move on from Friday's disinformation fiasco, Ukrainian military spokesmen said the bus convoy had been in an area of fierce fighting between government forces and the separatists. As Reuters reports, it had come under fire from rebel Grad and mortar launchers, they said, causing an unknown number of casualties.  And in keeping with the endless flow of BS emanating from east Ukraine, where civilians are merely collateral damage to an epic information war, and just to confuse everyone if not the algos which today are stricly in "de-escalation" mode, the separatists promptly accused Ukraine of the attack, when a rebel leader denied his forces had the military capability to conduct such an attack, and accused Kiev forces of regularly attacking the area and also using Russian-made Grad missiles.