President Obama commemorates 50 years of "believing"... in jobs and freedom
Despite trillions of dollars of interventions and zero interest rates by the Federal Reserve, combined with numerous bailouts, supports and assistance from the Federal Government, the economy has yet to gain any real traction particularly on "Main Street." Are we currently experiencing the second "Great Depression?" That is a question that we can continue to debate currently, however, it will only be answered for certain when future historians judge this period. One thing is for sure. With the lowest rate of annualized economic growth on record there is a problem currently that is not being adequately recognized. The depression may indeed be on "Main Street" once again with the only difference being that the "breadlines" are formed in the mailbox rather than on street corners. And while many are quick to dismiss comparisons to the Great Depression, there is one important difference: the rate of population growth which, as opposed to the depression era, has been on a steady and consistent decline since the 1950's.
While Nigel Farage personal view that it is 'probable' that Assad did what the US and British are accusing him of, he notes "it is not absolutely certain," and before we go to war, "we must have absolute proof and certainty." Commenting on the British and US seeming enthusiasm for another Middle Eastern 'war', Farage provides a few minutes of common sense in this brief clip when he notes that Europe remains split - though "moral outrage" at the accusations will likely mean they support the attacks (adding that "moral outrage alone is not enough to warrant attacks."). The UKIP leader then warned that "military intervention in Syria could lead to something far bigger, and even more worrying than we are seeing at the moment." Finally, Farage notes that "whenever we get involved in the Middle East, we tend to make things worse, not better," and as ghastly as the actions being committed are, there is nothing the British (or American) military can do to make things better.
While unlikely to surprise too many people, the chairman of the ironically-named "MainStreet Bank" used over one-third of the TARP-supplied funds his bank received to buy himself a luxury home. Darryl Woods plead guilty to using $381,000 of the TARP funds to buy waterfront Florida property "at a time when many Americans were losing their homes," the US District Attorney exclaimed. Disgustingly, Mr Woods had previously written to TARP regulators describing Mainstreet as a small community bank and saying the funds "will provide vitally needed infusions to a bleeding patient." As The BBC reports, his wrongdoing was uncovered when regulators began examining how the money was used - which has so far uncovered 140 cases of misused funds...
As we reported last week, as a result of spiking yields and due to an odd confluence of calendars and cash yields, today's 5 Year might end up as a 7 Year reopening (specifically 7 Year Series P-2018 CUSIP 91282RE2). It did: as a result of falling in the indicated yield range and having a 1.5% cash coupon, today's 5 Year is effectively a 7 Year bond reopening. From the TSY: "Although a new 5-year note offering was announced on Thursday, August 22, 2013, the interest rate of 1-1/2 percent determined at today's auction for these securities matches that of an outstanding 7-year note with the same maturity and interest payment dates. In accordance with Treasury's past procedure, the 5-year notes will be considered an additional issue of the outstanding 7-year notes of Series P-2018 (CUSIP No. 912828RE2) originally issued August 31, 2011." Curiously this happened even as someone was dumping the 5 Year aggressively into the auction, which closed at 1.624%, a fraction away from the 1.625% permitted range, and tailing materially from the WI which was trading at 1.620% at 1 pm.
When it comes to the accuracy of its reporting, PressTV is somewhere just left (or right) of Debka, so take this with a metric ton of salt. However, it bears reporting on the off chance it is accurate. From PressTV:
US troops backed by tanks and fighter jets have been mobilized along the Jordan-Syria border, as the West appears to be moving toward military action against Damascus, reports say.
That said, we would wait for confirmation from at least SyriaNow before lending much if any credibility to this report.
Until now, the loudest and most material opponent to a Syrian invasion by the "liberating" powers was Russia. Moments ago, China joined the anti-western axis. BBC reports: "Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have "catastrophic consequences" for the region." Adding to the picture, Interfax reported moments ago that representatives of Russia and China have withdrawn from a UN Security Council session on Syria. And since both countries have UN veto power, just like back in 2012 when this whole scenario was being replayed, there can be not joint UN resolution.
At a time when we claim to be seeking a permanent solution to the circular situation which exists between Israel and Palestine (Palestinians), it is incongruous to reality that we fail to see what is happening all around the Middle East. The old United Arab Republic, Syria and Egypt, have over 90 million people divided and fighting, whether in open civil war or through socioeconomic confrontation. It has less to do with political regimes, and so-called dictatorships such as those of Mubarak and Assad, and more to do with the existing distribution of wealth and power. And equity may or may not come through dialogue (hopefully) or civil struggle (unfortunately).
With a debt once again jumping higher, GDP stalling, crime soaring, unemployment surging, and homelessness rife - oh, and the money-men (women) proclaiming that "Greece should never have entered the Euro" - the government is now backtracking on a previous decision that "expired foodstuffs will be made available for purchase as of September 1st." Unsurprisingly, the announcement of the new regulation on Monday sparked angry reactions from consumers, and prompted the Consumer Ministry to explain on State TV that the directive had been misinterpreted by media reports and does not represent a public health hazard.
India Central Bank Scrambles With Currency Collapse Fallout: Gives USD To Oil Companies, Everyone Else Tough LuckSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/28/2013 - 11:26
The aftermath of the biggest crash in the Indian rupee in history is becoming clear: business are scrambling to refine budgets, import and export activity is disappearing as there is zero clarity what the actual transaction prices net of FX are, purchases of hard assets are exploding as people are desperate to protect what little purchasing power they have left, capital controls are being instituted virtually everywhere, and the overall economy - at least that part that is reliant on foreign trade flows - is grinding to a halt. In fact, it got so bad, that moments ago the 1 month USDINR forward hit a ridiculous 70.
Financial Times: "World Is Doomed To An Endless Cycle Of Bubble, Financial Crisis And Currency Collapse"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/28/2013 - 10:37
It's funny: nearly five years ago, when we first started, and said that the world is doomed to an endless cycle of bubble, financial crisis and currency collapse as long as the Fed is around, most people laughed: after all they had very serious reputations aligned with a broken and terminally disintegrating economic lie. With time some came to agree with our viewpoint, but most of the very serious people continued to laugh. Fast forward to last night when we read, in that very bastion of very serious opinions, the Financial Times, the following sentence: "The world is doomed to an endless cycle of bubble, financial crisis and currency collapse." By the way, the last phrase can be written in a simpler way: hyperinflation. But that's not all: when the FT sounds like the ZH, perhaps it is time to turn off the lights. To wit: "A stable international financial system has eluded the world since the end of the gold standard." Q.E.D.
Pending home sales missed expectations for the first time in 3 months, falling 1.26% MoM (vs a 0.0% expectation). This forward-looking measure of housing based on actual contract signings suggests that all the anecdotal evidence of an artificial echo-boom in real estate coming to an end. With the West down 4.9% and Northeast down 6.5% MoM (the biggest 3-month drop in 3 years), even the much-vaunted fair-and-balanced National Association of Realtors are forced to admit that "higher mortgage interest rates and rising home prices are impacting monthly contract activity." Whocouldanode?