Meanwhile, In The Skies Above ISIS' Capital...

Judging by these photos taken moments ago above the Islamic State (i.e. ISIS) capital of Raqqa, a triggerhappy remote-control operator in Whiteman Air Force Base is about to get jiggy with some jihadists located nearly 7000 miles away.

Japan's "Money Illusion" Will Fail, Goldman Warns

The Bank Of Japan (BOJ) says it is looking for consumer spending to stay on a recovery path, focusing on the relatively small increase in nominal wages rather than the steep slide in real wages. Goldman believes the BOJ’s view is founded on money illusion; and crucially, expect the positive effects to be clearly outweighed by the negative impact of lower real wages, and on a net basis see consumption falling. Simply put, once people wake up to the illusion of money, its impact will also fade.

"The People On Wall Street Aren't Seeing What's Really Going On In America"

Today's jobs data was almost 5 standard deviations below Wall Street's best-and-brightest's estimate and has already been dismissed by many as an 'anomaly' or 'unbelievable'. Despite the fact that the National Retail Foundation noted over 17,000 layoffs in August "calling into question how much momentum the economy really has," one member of the public was able to #NailTheNumber on CNBC's great payroll-guessing game. Ronnie Squires explains to a silenced CNBC anchor the real state of America...

16 Stunning Quotes From Global Health Officials On The Ebola Epidemic

Ebola continues to spread an an exponential rate. According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent of all Ebola cases have happened in just the last three weeks. At this point, the official numbers tell us that approximately 3,967 people have gotten the virus in Africa and more than 2,105 people have died. That is quite alarming, but the real problem will arise if this disease continues to spread at an exponential pace. We have never seen anything like this in any of our lifetimes, and the scary part is that this might only be just the beginning, as the following 16 quotes from health officials suggests...

When Will It All Run Out?

Nothing lasts forever (except central bank dovishness) in the real world. Here is an interpretation of when the world will run out of each metal or energy source...

JPMorgan's 16 Reasons Why The Fed Should Hike Rates (And 5 Excuses For Delaying)

Things are getting a bit hotter for the Federal Reserve regarding the tradeoff between growth and inflation, according to JPMorgan CIO Michael Cembalest. For the last few years, he notes, a zero rate policy was put on autopilot given excess labor and industrial capacity. Both are shrinking now, and when looking at a broad range of variables, some are clearly mid-cycle. If so, in a few months Fed governors will have to jump out of the 0% interest rate pot and remove some of the liquidity that it has infused into the US economy; and, Cembalest warns, despite today's jobs print, they may have to do so at a quicker pace than what markets are pricing in.

Oaktree's Howard Marks Explains The Difference Between Volatility And Risk

Volatility is the academic's choice for defining and measuring risk; but Oaktree Capital's Howard Marks warns Bloomberg TV's Stephanie Ruhle that "while volatility is quantifiable and machinable... it falls far short as 'the' definition of investment risk." In fact, he berates, "I don't think most investors fear volatility. In fact, I've never heard anyone say, 'The prospective return isn't high enough to warrant bearing all that volatility.' What they fear is the possibility of permanent loss." With $91 billion under management, perhaps it's worth listening to (and reading) his perspective: "In brief, if riskier investments could be counted on to produce higher returns, they wouldn’t be riskier. Misplaced reliance on the benefits of risk bearing has led investors to some very unpleasant surprises."

The Monetary Stimulus Obsession: It Will End In Disaster

Central bank stimulus is not leading to virtuous circles but to vicious ones. How can we get out? – Only by changing our attitudes to monetary interventions fundamentally. Only if we accept that interest rates are market prices, not policy levers. Only if we accept that the growth we generate through cheap credit and interest-rate suppression is always fleeting, and always comes at the price of new capital misallocations. The prospect for such a change looks dim at present. The near-term outlook is for more heavy-handed interventions everywhere, and the endgame is probably inflation. This will end badly.

53 Million Temps: All You Need To Know About The "Jobs Recovery"

The chart below shows the civilian employment to population ratio: a convenient indicator of the real state of the US labor market which does away with the labor force entirely, and the associated rhetoric of why it may or may not be plunging, and merely focuses on two simple things: total population and the total civilian population of the US. One thing is clear: the ratio crashed when the depression started and has flatlined since. Which, incidentally, may be all you, and the Fed, needs to know about the recovery.

5 Things To Ponder: Perspicacious Observations

This past week has seen the market repeatedly attempt new "all-time" highs only to be found wanting. There has been plenty of headline data for the "bulls" to feast on from the ECB announcing a program to buy bonds, surging ISM data and improvement in productivity. However, the underlying data has kept the "bears" in the game with new orders and employment showing weakness, unit labor costs shrinking and the realization that the ECB's plans are likely be ineffectual.

Stocks Close At Record High On Worst Jobs Number Of 2014

Worst jobs data of the year? BTFATH. For the 9th day in a row, S&P 2,000 was all that mattered. Thanks to the standard Friday v-shaped recovery, the Dow scrambled back to green on the week and S&P 500 hit its Maginot 'retirement on' line - all on the back of USDJPY 105.00 pinning. Trannies and S&P hit new record highs and S&P had its best day in 2 weeks (led by exuberant growthy Staples & Utilities this week). Russell ended the week red as the late-day buying-panic sent Nasdaq just green with Dow and S&P. But, away from stocks, US Treasuries had their worst week in a year with 30Y +16bps (but 2Y only +2bps). The US dollar rose to new 14-month highs with its biggest week in 10 months. Despite the USD strength, Copper manage to close marginally higher even as PMs dropped 1.6% and oil plunged almost 3% (WTI under $93) in a very volatile week. High-yield credit markets closed with their worst week in the last 5. Bad news is great news still - just six years into the 'recovery'.

Why Draghi's ABS "Stimulus" Plan Won't Help Europe's Economy

Simply put, the reason why Mario Draghi's impressively-pitched ABS 'stimulus' QE-lite plan won't help can be summed up in 2 words "unencumbered assets." There is simply a lack of the right quality collateral, that has not already been swapped with the ECB (or delevered off balance sheets), for this to make a difference. However, as Bloomberg reports, the plan will not even get that far.. because the market for these assets is incapable of supporting this size of buying. As one major ABS asset manager notes, it takes him about three months to buy 1 billion euros of these securities, "the number that's circulating the market is 500 billion euros, but where is he going to get it from?" Add to that the report from Die Welt that The ECB lacks sufficient expertise for ABS purchases, and as another major European ABS manager concludes, "I don't see either a capital relief for banks or the banks giving more credit to the real economy." Still, it's fun to believe Draghi's promises, right?

Europe Needs A New Source Of Oil And Gas, Fast

Summer is over and many Europeans may have to keep warm this coming winter by thinking about their summer holidays while wrapped in blankets, praying for a short winter or for the world to come to its senses. It both cases, they may well be disappointed. The never-ending conflicts in the Middle East, mayhem in Libya, uncertainty in the Gulf and a war in Ukraine are all going to take a toll on the energy supplies this winter. Result? Many cold Europeans, many angry Europeans and many very pissed off Europeans. And what does history tell us about cold, angry, pissed-off Europeans?

Argentina Goes Full-Venezuela - Plans To Regulate Prices, Profits, & Production

Just weeks after defaulting (yet again) on its debt (whether technically or not), and shortly after raising the minimum wage by 31% (to $523 a month) amid runaway inflation, it appears Argentina has gone full-Venezuela. As WSJ reports, the great minds that 'run' Argentina have decided to pass legislation (dubbed "the supply law") letting the government regulate private-sector prices, profit margins and production levels. The opposition is up in arms, "this is absolutely ridiculous. It's part of a very primitive ideology that says government officials should decide what people should make, how much they should make and how much they should charge," adding that "we already know exactly what it is like to suffer from these kind of interventionist economic policies," in Venezuela.

CNBC Viewership Plunges To 21 Year Lows

The punchline: this was the lowest rated month in the core demographic since February 1993! In fact, in CNBC's entire Nielsen-rated history, there is only one month in history when demo viewership was lower, back in November 1992, when demo viewership was just 1000 less at 27,000.

The Real Reason American Capitalism Is Failing

What does it take to produce prosperity? Property rights – you have to believe that you can control and enjoy what you produce. Stable money – you have to be able to count on the medium of exchange. Freedom of action – you have to be able to go on with your business without too much state intrusion. Meanwhile in the US, the planners… regulators… controllers… meddlers… and zombies – all those who prevent real prosperity – grew bolder and more numerous.