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Artist's Impression Of American Santa

Over-burdened...



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College Students Across America Protest Santa Claus

After weeks of preparation by an umbrella group that calls itself the Santa Claus Repudiation Organization Offering Greater Education, students at campuses across America spent Christmas Eve protesting what they consider a dangerous symbol of everything that is wrong with the world today.



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Caught On Tape: China's 'Not-So-Shadow' QE

Who needs helicopters? While China slashes reserves and unleashes its stealth-QE ('Pledged Supplementary Lending' - PSL), the streets of Hong Kong's salubrious Wan Chai district were awash with freshly-minted notes when a security van overturned spilling 15 million Hong Kong Dollars to the wind... We await the 'accidental' overturning of a security-van in Ferguson soon (if this works) to 'quell the masses'.



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SF Fed Warns US Equity Valuations Will Be Cut In Half In Next Decade

When "the retirement of the baby boomers is expected to severely cut U.S. stock values in the near future," is the ominous initial sentence from no lesser maintainer-of-the-status-quo than the San Francisco Fed's research department, one begins to recognize the Federal Reserve's overall need to hyper-inflate asset prices at whatever cost for fear of the 'wealth' destruction looming. As the following study reports, projected declines in stock values - based on the latest demographic and valuation data - have become even more severe. Our current estimate suggests that the P/E ratio of the U.S. equity market could be halved by 2025 relative to its 2013 level.



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Japanese 10Y Yield Drops To Record Low; 2s Sell Subzero After BOJ Indirectly Buys Record Foreign Stocks

While the rest of the world was preparing to celebrate Christmas, China was busy easing its economy into growth, and its stock market into low earth orbit, by lowering non-bank deposit reserve rates to zero as reported previously, while Japan was enjoying the consequences of the BOJ monetizing 100% of all gross JGB issuance, when overnight the Japanese Ministry of Finance not only sold $22 billion in 2 Year paper at a negative yield of -0.003%: the first time ever a government note (not bill) has sold at a negative yield, but the Japanese 10 Year yield dropped to 0.31%, declining below the previously all time low hit on April 2013 when the BOJ first announced its unprecedented QE program.



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Why Holiday Gifts Receive More Ughs Than Oohs

Behavioral economists study human errors. People don’t always make the best choices for themselves, so there’s good reason to doubt whether they will always make the best choices for others. If you’ve ever received a useless gadget, a horrendous tie or some kind of bowl, you’ll know that when people buy Christmas presents, they can blunder badly.



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A Happy, If Unhedged, Christmas, And Open Thread

Oh the economy outside is frightful,
But my 80-inch Big Screen's delightful,
And since our economy’s got no place to go,
Let It Blow! Let It Blow! Let It Blow!!



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Ruble Rallies 34% After Biggest Russian Intervention In 5 Years

Since the Russian Ruble troughed at almost 80 RUB/USD, it has rallied an impressive 34% erasing most of the dramatic devaluation of December. However, as The CBR just announced, this 'strength' came at a price. Russia burned through $15.7 billion of reserves in the week ending Dec 19th - the biggest percentage weekly drop in reserves since Jan 2009, leaving reserves below $400 billion (still a significant amount) for the first time since Aug 2009. While CBR explained much of this will come back as repo trades mature, Vladimir Putin turned inward, blaming the government for "defects" in restructuring the economy.



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China's Christmas Present To The World: Beijing Eases Again, Sets Non-Bank Deposit Reserve To Zero

In another Christmas surprise, China once again decided to adjust the cost of money, only this time instead of hiking, it eased, and in an effort to shore up the world's second-largest economy, China Business News reported that the PBOC will waive reserve requirements for non-bank deposits.  As the WSJ adds, at a meeting with big financial institutions on Wednesday, the People's Bank of China told participants that they will soon be able to add deposits from nonbank financial institutions to their calculations of their loan-to-deposit ratios, according to the executives. The move would add considerably to the banks' deposits and allow them to lend more. Chinese stocks, which had been pricing in further easing by the PBOC for the past 3 months, a period during which the Shanghai Composite soared over 50%, were delighted by the latest easing move and surged even more, surging higher by the most in the past three weeks.



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CDC Admits Its Researchers Were Exposed To Ebola Several Days Ago

Somehow news about Ebola in the US managed to get past the Ron Klain media gauntlet.



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Caught On Tape: What Happens When A California Driver Finally Snaps

In the idyllic foothills of the Sierras amid the forested beauty of Tahoe National Forest, it appears the California drought finally got to Deirdre Orozco. As the following crazy clip shows, the 50-year-old Santa Clara woman went full Mad Max on two young female drivers after they reportedly made "a rude gesture" to Orozco after she had been tailgating. The dramatic cellphone video of the event has ended with Orozco being charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of false imprisonment, unlawful use of a badge, reckless driving and resisting arrest. Happy Holidays America.



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"Happy" Holidays From Jim Grant

Having previously reduced the world's predicament to two short paragraphs, Jim Grant has outdone himself with this holiday card this year...



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50 Numbers From 2014 That Sound Fake But That Are Actually Real

2014 was quite a bizarre year. The past 12 months brought us MH370, Ebola, civil war in Ukraine, civil unrest in Ferguson, the rise of ISIS and the fall of the Democrats in the midterm elections. Our world is becoming crazier and more unstable with each passing day, and we have a feeling that things are going to accelerate greatly in 2015... despite record-er-est US stock prices.



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The Christmas Hope: A To-Do List for a Better World

"I’ve seen enough of the world in my 68 years to know that wishing is not enough. We need to be doing. It’s not possible to solve all of the world’s problems right away. For most people, putting an end to world hunger, poverty, disease and the police state may seem too insurmountable a task to even tackle. But, there are practical steps each of us can take to hopefully get things moving in the right direction..."



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Fukushima Children Thyroid Cancer Rate Continues To Rise

Fukushima prefecture has been conducting regular checkups of over 360,000 people who were in Fukushima in March 2011 and were age 18 or under when the nuclear crisis struck. As WSJ reported in August, a study by researchers in Fukushima prefecture found 57 minors in the prefecture have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer so far and another 46 are showing symptoms that suggest they may also have the disease. Today, as The Japan Times reports, four more children are suspected of suffering from thyroid cancer in the latest survey bringing the total to 107 out of 385,000 now surveyed. This is dramatically higher than the normal "between 5 to 11 cases per million people," that Okayama University professor Toshihide Tsuda cites for national statistics between 1975 and 2008.



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