Another weekend of glad-handing and Sunday talk-shows and still The Donald dominates the GOP Presidential nominee race. With all eyes firmly glued on this week's debate, Trump had a few choice words for those who attended the Koch brothers' biannual conference (which he was not invited to), tweeting "I wish good luck to all the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers... Puppets?" As WSJ reports, Mr. Trump poses a more delicate short-term challenge for the GOP, thanks to high name recognition, celebrity appeal and a populist message that taps a powerful anti-Washington vein. "I don’t think you should underestimate how frustrated people are," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday during a lunch at the Koch gathering. "Mr. Trump has tapped into some of that."
Those possessing the anti-capitalist mentality — so ascendant in our culture today — often critique market actors as being solely motivated by “greed.” Surely economic systems based on nobler motivations, they say, would better promote the long-run interests of the planet. These ideas ran through my head when I read about the new probate court “fees” approved by the Connecticut legislature this month, reinforcing its status as being among the worst states in which to die. The “fees” were justified on an expected budget shortfall of $32 million that the legislature wanted to fill, but I wondered: Where was the outcry from the greed-police?
Chinese stocks are opening flat to marginally higher - still lower from Friday's close - despite the government unleashing yet more 'measures' in the name of stability. Having banned 5 accounts - reportedly including Fed-favorite Citadel - China is blaming excess market volatility on short-term short-sellers and has put in place curbs on short-selling that force traders to hold for at least one day. On the bright side, margin traders reduced exposure for the seventh day in a row, reducing outstanding balances to 5-month lows.. which leaves the median China stock trading at a remarkable 61x reported earnings (compared with 12x in Hong Kong).
Due to popular demand, we appended to the 2013 speech detail first released last week the full breakdown of Hillary's and Bill's 2014 and 2015 speeches which had been provided previously as part of her mandatory disclosure in May of this year. In summary since 2013 Bill Clinton has been paid $26.6 million for 94 speeches; Hillary's grand total is slightly less: $21.7 million for 92 private appearances.
Something surprising happened on Friday afternoon: in the latest daily COMEX update 25,386 ounces of Registered gold had been "adjusted" out of registered and into eligible. This reduction in deliverable Comex gold pushed the amount of registered Comex gold to an all time low: at 351,519 ounces registered Comex gold has never been lower! It also means that as of Friday's close there was a whopping 123.8 ounces in potential paper claims to every ounces of physical gold.
"Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today. This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth's liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico to ensure the essential services they deserve are maintained."
"As precious as gold..." That was how then-president Hu Jintao described Caofeidian during his visit in 2006. It was pledged to be "the world’s first fully realised eco-city" – yet 10 years and almost $100bn later, only a few thousand inhabitants have moved to this land reclaimed from the sea.. as yet another 'centrally planed' idea is completely FUBAR.
Is Barack Obama trying to kill the economy on purpose? He promised to fundamentally transform America, and he is doing it in hundreds of different ways. These new greenhouse gas regulations are just one example. Our nation is being gutted like a fish, and most Americans don’t seem to care. What in the world will it take for this country to finally wake up?
"With these stupid governments printing trillions and trillions of new currency units," warns investor Doug Casey, "it's building up to a catastrophe of historic proportions." In an excellent brief interview with Reason magazine Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch, Casey expounds on the US noting that "as any institution gets larger and older it inevitably becomes corrupt and fails." What to do? "I wouldn't keep significant capital in banks," he exclaimed, "most of the banks in the world are bankrupt. That didn't stop the "brain dead" Greeks who left their money in banks as all the signs were on the wall, he notes as he addresses whether gold is a good investment in 2015, and offers back-handed bright side: Catastrophes create many opportunities to earn a profit.
Jimmy Carter Rages At What The U.S. Has Become: "Just An Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2015 - 18:41
"It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over."
Having a security clearance comes with a certain amount of responsibility and those who are privy to potentially sensitive information are expected to exercise good judgement. In other words, whether or not the information carried a giant red "top secret" stamp isn’t the relevant question, nor is "no harm no foul" a legitimate after the fact defense. And that, apparently, is the difference between a Clinton and say a Manning or a Snowden - that is, holding Hillary (or any other member of what Jimmy Carter would call America’s "political oligarchy") to the same standards as everyone else turns out to be an uphill battle.
We are delighted to report that about 7 years after it was glaringly obvious to everyone except the Fed of course, now - with the usual half decade delay - even the NY Fed has finally figured out what even 5 year olds get. "A new study from the New York Federal Reserve faults these policies for enabling college institutions to aggressively raise tuitions. The implication is the federal government is fueling a vicious cycle of higher prices and government aid that ultimately could cost taxpayers and price some Americans out of higher education, similar to what some economists contend happened with the housing bubble."
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…
The Fed would have needed to hike rates by 800 bps in the wake of the dot-com collapse in order to prevent the housing bubble. That would have purged the system and gradually, the FOMC could have eased by around 300 bps over the next four years. That policy course would have prevented the speculative bubble that brought capital markets the world over to their knees in 2008. And why didn’t the Fed do this? Because "such a large increase in interest rates would have depressed output more than the Great Recession did." In other words, thanks to Alan Greenspan, the US economy cannot function under a normalized monetary policy regime.