US Equities Surge To Last Week's "Europe Is Fixed" Highs

Remember last Monday - the day after Banco Espirito Santo was bailed out and Europe was fixed... before the world's geopolitical chaos rotated to aa on the Spinal Tap amplifier of doom - well US equity futures have levitated on de minimus volume, with the help of AUDJPY, to last week's highs. And all that before Rasmussen threatened Russia, US unleashed airstrikes and Russia stopped its military drill. Treasuries are 0-1bps higher in yield. Silver and oil are rising notably.

Syria 2.0: US Starts Sending Arms To Kurdish Fighters

While Einstein defined insanity as repeating the same behavior and expecting different results, it appears President Obama's administration defines that action as US foreign policy. Just as they did in Syria (where the US 'trained' moderate Al Qaeda terrorists, instead of "sending troops" - ensuring no 'boots on the ground' blowback), AP reports that the US is sending arms to the Kurds as their new proxy mercenary force in Northern Iraq. We are sure the result will be different this time?

Frontrunning: August 11

  • Maliki digs in as U.S. pushes for new Iraq government (Reuters)
  • Ukraine's forces say close to taking rebel-held Donetsk (Reuters)
  • Anger Over Michael Brown Shooting Leads to Looting (WSJ)
  • German Economy Backbone Bending From Lost Russia Sales (BBG)
  • Kinder Morgan to Consolidate Empire (WSJ)
  • Early Failure to Detect Gaza Tunnel Network Triggers Recriminations in Israel (WSJ)
  • You’ll never guess how much BuzzFeed raised from Horowitz (FT)
  • The dumb money is now chasing Chinese oligarchs: Norway’s Wealth Fund Buys $576 Million of Mayfair Area (BBG)
  • Clinical trial to start soon on GSK Ebola vaccine (Reuters)
  • No drone skeet shooting any time soon (WSJ)

Futures Higher On Geopolitical Tensions Which Are Either Easing Or Looming

Since there is nothing on today's data docket, it will be all about, you guessed it, geopolitical risks, where "consensus" is best summarized by these two Bloomberg headlines:

  • Stay USD Long as Geopolitical Risks Loom
  • USD is mixed and world stock markets rise as concerns over geopolitical risks ease

That pretty much covers it, although in addition to the Ukraine civil war one can now add an Iraq coup to the list of geopolitical fiascoes instigated by US foreign policy.

Military Coup In Iraq: Prime Minister Maliki Refuses To Step Down; Security Forces On Alert, Encircle Presidential Palace

Just days after the US launched a campaign that implicitly aides the current regime headed by the supposedly outgoing PM, al-Maliki, it appears that latest US intervention has already led to "unexpected" consequences, this time with the prime minister appearing to have just staged a coup overthrowing Iraq's president President Fouad Massoum moments ago.

Guest Post: The U.S. Airstrikes In Northern Iraq Are All About Oil

This week, President Barack Obama announced that he was authorizing American airstrikes in Iraq. He described his intervention as a “humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain” and as an effort “to protect our American personnel.” One word that he didn’t mention is “oil,” but it lies near the center of American motives for intervention.

The Wonders Of The Modern World: China's Amazing Tower Of Garbage

When it comes to ancient wonders of the world, there is the tower of Babel, and to a lesser extent, the leaning tower of Pisa. Sadly, modern wonders leave something to be desired: case in point, this 30 metres high garbage mountain at the crossroad of Huanghe avenue and Zhufeng street of Shijiazhuang, central China's Hebei province. The garbage mountain has been piled up as high as a 9-story Building in the last 30 years. The local village committee now is dealing with these wastes: best of luck. And to think all it took were several trillion in non-performing loans...

Hussman On "The Greatest Risk That Investors Face Here"

Our impression is that today’s near-absence of risk premiums is both unintentional and poorly appreciated. We shudder at how much risk is being delivered – knowingly or not – to investors who plan to retire even a year from now. Barron’s published an article on target-term funds last month with this gem (italics mine): “JPMorgan's 2015 target-term fund has a 42% equity allocation, below that of its peers. Its fund holds emerging-market equity and debt, junk bonds, and commodities.” We don't believe that risk has been permanently removed from risky assets. The belief that it has is itself the greatest risk that investors face here.

Ukraine Fighting Rages On As Russia Calls For Another Ceasefire: Ukraine Demands Total Surrender

With Ukraine shelling having killed 52 civilians in the city of Horlikva (Donetsk region) over the last two weeks alone, Russia is growing increasingly vocal of the need for a humanitarian cease-fire (notably with Germany also "concerned about the humanitarian situation" in Ukraine). However, as AP reports, fighting raged once again today as Ukrainian forces killed 1 and injured 10 in Donetsk, ignoring calls for a cease-fire. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said the only way for the rebels in Donetsk to save their lives would be to "lay down their arms and give up." Meanwhile, just as we warned, the mainstream media is starting to pick up on the 'other' border dispute that Russia is involved in as Putin mediates talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"The Train Wreck Is Coming," David Stockman Warns, "All Hell Will Break Loose"

Train wreck is a pretty good term to describe what is coming.  But this train wreck isn’t simply going to hit a wall out of the blue. Actually, it has been forming and accumulating and expanding for many years now, and yet it has simply been ignored, particularly by the financial markets which have ridden this bubble to these extreme and historic heights. The only issue is, when does it hit the wall?  The answer to that question is it’s not very far down the road, and I can promise you that is when all hell is going to break loose.”

Common Sense Likely To Silence The Drums Of War

Although the US seems intent in playing the drums of war, perhaps realizing that its economic power is slowly headed for oblivion, to join the likes of Japan and the UK, American firms waving international flags don’t have the appetite for war that neocon elitists in the State Department or star-studded bellicosarians in the halls of the Pentagon have.  Not at all!  And here is where the feared industrial-military complex hopefully falls apart as globalist firms give their overall support to peace as a preferred alternative to the specter of a nuclear holocaust.  Russia doesn’t want any military confrontation, nor does China, nor do American and European corporate entities that see no future in suicide. Americans need not drink the kool-aid offered by John McCain and his ilk in the Pentagon, Congress or the State Department; nor should they listen to the sad sack windmill-mouthpiece they have enlisted in the White House: Barack Obama.

Muddled Messaging Ripe For Opposition

One can’t help when looking at all the geopolitical as well as threats of non-containment of the deadly Ebola virus and wonder: Who’s in control here? Here’s a hint – it’s not the people lining up to give the message via oratory salvos. One thing has now been shown in vivid detail: The more messaging put out along these same lines will only make it abundantly clear to any and all opposition that those in charge haven’t a clue.

Hundreds Of Yazidis Found In ISIS Mass Grave, Many Buried Alive

If the stated purpose of US intervention in the "country formerly known as Iraq", which saw the fourth consecutive US president launching military strikes in a nation now absolutely destroyed thanks to US involvement, was humanitarian (it isn't) and allegedly to "protect" the Yazidi ethnic minority members stuck on a mountain near Sinjar, then it needs some fine-tuning. The reason: as Reuters reports, Islamic State militants have slaughtered at least 500 Yazidis during their latest offensive in the north, with Iraq's human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani adding that the ISIS jihadists also buried alive some of their victims, including women and children. Some 300 women were kidnapped as slaves, he added.

Retail Investors About To Get Fleeced Again

According to the recent AAII Asset Allocation Survey by retail investors, cash levels in July dropped to the lowest level since 1999 at only 15.8%. It appears that the average retail investor has once again been led astray by monetary pumping.