• Pivotfarm
    08/03/2015 - 15:25
    The quest for perfection is man’s unattainable goal. Man can never be perfect if we are to believe the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Man is man’s wolf and all of that.

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To Social Media's Horror - It 'Is' Different This Time

The world of everything Social has been the undisputed benefactor of all this “free money.” After all, wasn’t the term “Unicorn” applied and accepted with all its connotations as being a mythical creature that lived and breathed in the land of make-believe? It is incontrovertible that if not for the “free money” provided by QE, many, if not most of what currently falls under the social media umbrella would not only never had come into existence (let alone with Billion dollar price tags), but the perceived “hands off – unquestioning” attitude by Wall Street itself wound not be allowed. This in my opinion is an absolute wanton abandonment of business fundamentals and principles. However, it seems there is a change of mood (or realization the jig is truly up) on Wall Street.



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Dramatic Footage: How Venezuelans Get Milk Powder

It's been a sad week for Venezuela. First, on Wednesday we showed what happens to local supermarkets when formerly Latin American paradises run out of other people's money. Then, the next day we showed what happens when in the aftermath of scenes such as the one above the social mood turns violent, and how what was once supposed to be a socialist utopia paradise ends uplooking like a warzone. Today we show how the local population is forced to act like stampeding animals when it comes to obtaining even the most basic of staples, in this case milk powder.



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The Surveillance State Goes Mainstream: Windows 10 Is Watching (& Logging) Everything

If Edward Snowden's patriotic exposure of all things 'super secret surveillance state' in America were not enough, Newsweek reports that, as 10s of millions of hungry PC users download the free upgrade, Windows 10 is watching - and logging and sharing - everything users do... and we mean everything.



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The Fed's Circular Logic Exposed In 1 Simple Chart

Hope, quite simply, just isn’t close to enough for a real recovery. There is an undeniable element of troubling prevarication in the whole attempt to coax unearned optimism, as taken to the extreme it means that policymakers will never quite be honest about especially realistic downsides. That may even mean, in their zeal to “fool” consumers, they fool themselves on the circular logic.



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US Police Kill 118 People In July, Highest Monthly Total Of 2015

Despite a notable spike in violence across Baltimore in the months since the riots and the persistence of violent crime in Chicago, the number of people killed by police across the country posted M/M declines in April, May, and June. In July, the trend was broken.



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The 2016 "Dream" Ticket

Who needs bread and circuses...



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Here's The Bad News That Nobody Is Telling You About The Record Lows In Initial Jobless Claims

It is absolutely normal for employers to completely miss the signs of impending doom. The 2007 extreme occurred just before the carnage of mass layoffs that was to begin a couple of months later. Employers were still clueless that the end of the housing bubble would have devastating effects. If they were clueless then, they are in an advanced state of delirium and delusion now. The devastating 1973-74 bear market, which cut the value of stocks by 50%, was in its early stages. This was an early example of employers being late to the funeral. Similar employer hoarding of workers has been associated with bubbles in the more recent past and has led to massive retrenchment, usually within 18 months or so.



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Russian Military Helicopter Crashes During Air Show Celebrating Airborne Forces Day, One Pilot Dead

August 2 is the day when Russia celebrates its Airborne Forces, only this year something went very wrong, and it was all caught on tape.



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As China Admits It Lied About Its Local Debt Levels, Local Billionaires Are Quietly Liquidating Their Assets

Overnight something unexpected happened: Sheng Songcheng, the director of the statistics division of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), was quoted by the National Business Daily on Saturday whereby he essentially admitted China had been lying about not only its local debt exposure but the level of NPLs across the economy.  The punchline: Sheng warned about the risks of local government debt, saying that 2 trillion yuan in bond swaps may not be able to fully cover maturing debt, according to the report. What he really said, as paraphrased by Bloomberg, is that "local govt's tended to not report all their debts when audited in June 2013, thus the 2 trillion yuan debt swap plan arranged this year may not cover all debts due, Sheng cited as saying."

Oops.



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We're Not All Gordon Gecko - Dan Loeb Defends 'The Activist' Investor

Lately, a varied chorus of powerful union bosses, politicians and candidates, an asset management company executive, and a few ivory tower types have asserted that activism is short term in nature, engaged in by “hit and run”  investors who care only about making a quick buck while leaving a company and its employees in ruins. It might surprise people to hear that we agree completely that the sort of activism they describe is abominable.  Luckily, it does not really exist, and certainly not at Third Point.  Activists today are very different from corporate raiders of the ‘80’s (about whom these criticisms might have been leveled fairly).



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China's 1929 Moment

Bubbles collapse, period; and government interventions don't stop them. Furthermore, we are beginning to see a crack widen in the foundations of China's capital markets that could end up undermining the whole economy. If Plan A fails, it is time for Plan B...



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Are We Being Forced Into A "Second American Civil War"… If So, Who Will Win?

A report from the U.S. Army War College discusses the use of American troops to quell civil unrest brought about by a worsening economic crisis. The report from the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute warns that the U.S. military must prepare for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States” that could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” [The report also warns of a possible “rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US.”]



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Varoufakis: "In 1967 There Were The Tanks And In 2015 There Were The Banks"

"This was nothing but a coup. In 1967 there were the tanks and in 2015 there were the banks. But the result is the same in the sense of having overthrown the Government or having forced it to overthrow itself."



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The Tide Has Turned And These Charts Predict The Next Stop

Be prepared for the now imminent equity valuation reset.  It is true the Fed now has the ability to manipulate the market well beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.  However, it is also still true that when the bursting bubble achieves full momentum the Fed will be helpless to stop it.   While the Fed feels increasingly omnipotent they will once again learn, that while natural laws can be bent, they cannot be broken.



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Venezuela Increasingly Looks Like A War Zone

While mocking socialist paradises everywhere is a recurring theme especially once they have completely run out of other people's money to burn through, what always follows next is far less amusing - complete social collapse, with riots, civil war and deaths not far behind. That is precisely what the video shown below has captured. In the clip, a demonstration against Venezuela's poor transportation services quickly turned violent. End result: one person dead from a gunshot wound, more than 80 arrested and four shops looted on the Manuel Piar Avenue in San Felix.



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