“I was absolutely shocked by what I read... What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.”
As WSJ reports, last week's geopolitical chaos and distraction was ideal for a news dump, and the White House didn't disappoint: On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five U.S. territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. It seems the costs of healthcare soared in these five territories due to uneconomic mandates - which woul dhave been a disaster PR-wise for the administration and so, under cover of catastrophe, WSJ reports all of a sudden last week HHS discovered new powers after "a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language," that enabled them to 'selectively exempt' American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands from Obamacare. And all while vacationing...
Furious money printing by the world’s major central banks is not generating real growth and prosperity - but professional economists never seem to get the word.
Since The Fed's extension of Operation Twist (and subsequent unveiling of QE3) in 2012, the stocks of "weak balance sheet" companies are up over 100%. In that same period, the stock prices of "strong balance sheet" companies are up a mere 43%. The "dash-for-trash" that the Fed's financial repression forced upon an investing public has enabled the worst companies to not only survive (creating yet another mal-investment boom) but squeezed their share prices to thrive. The reason we bring this up is simple... this last week of exuberant equity market performance in the face of unimaginable geopolitical possibilities saw "weak balance sheet" stocks outperform "strong balance sheet" stocks by their most in 17 months. In other words, amidst all the chaos and uncertainty 'investors' drove the biggest dash for trash since March 2013.
For an administration in its sixth year, juggling presidential optics is nothing new. And with some rare exceptions, the public relations team around the president has remained consistently stubborn about refusing to let the never-ending stream of political, economic or international crises affect Mr. Obama’s daily schedule. The current myriad incidents are no exceptions: Moments after making a grim statement about Ukraine on Friday, the president popped into the East Room, where the first lady, Michelle Obama, was holding a mock state dinner for children to promote her Let’s Move nutrition initiative. “My big thing,” he confessed to the kids, “chips and guacamole!” There was plenty of laughter all around.
It has been over six months since we first highlighted the growing deterioration in the quality of auto loans and mentioned the 's' word (subprime) as indicative that we learned nothing from the financial crisis. Since then, auto loans (and especially subprime in the last few months) have surged to record highs; and most concerning, recently has seen delinquencies and late payments spike. The reason we provide this background is that, thanks to The NY Times, this story is now hitting the mainstream media as subprime-quality car buyers (new and used) realize the burden they have placed on themselves thanks to exorbitantly high interest rates (and a rapidly depreciating 'asset'). As one car 'owner' exclaimed, "buying the car was the worst decision I have ever made."
Presented with no comment...
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone today; The White House just released the clarifying statement of next steps...
While the S&P500 rebounded sharply on Friday, BofAML's Macneil Curry warns evidence continues to say that this is a very late stage advance from which a greater correction is forthcoming. The recent deterioration in breadth (52wk highs failing to keep track with price), the negative seasonal period and divergences between the broader indexes say that risk/reward is skewing to the downside. Bottom Line: "The S&P 500 is vulnerable."
Biggest Dutch Daily Calls For NATO Intervention To Protect MH17; Feinstein Tells Putin To "Man Up And Confess"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2014 - 13:26
Facts be damned, everyone in the west, from the most crony politician to the biggest tabloid has "undisputed" proof Putin did it. But what now: what is the endgame? Once again the answer is simple: Western military intervention, this time in the conflict zone, under the guise of public anger against Putin, to reinforce the dwindling Ukraine army forces and to repel the separatists, in the process regaining the critical industrial regions of Ukraine which also are the location of vast natural gas deposits. Certainly showing to Gazprom just who was in charge of this key natural gas nexus wouldn't hurt either. After all the west has already invested so much in the current Ukraine government, it can't all be for nothing. And we know that because a few hours ago, the biggest Dutch newspaper, Telegraaf, openly asked for military intervention by NATO to protect MH 17 and calls Putin a "KGB liar."
Reading through the media coverage one might think that anyone wanting to come to the US can do so with relative ease. After all, there is an ongoing debate on providing amnesty to illegals and the system seems to be so overloaded at the border down south that why not just take your chances? However, for skilled professionals and expats the reality is quite different. These days employment opportunities in the US need to be carefully balanced against subjecting yourself to US laws and regulations, some of which are unique in the developed world and can have serious consequences on your wealth, wellbeing and even personal freedoms.... As Churchill once said, "Americans will always do the right thing once they run out of options". I just hope us foreigners will still be around to see it.
Would you like to have a digital identity card that is automatically issued to you at birth? In one European nation, residents use such a card when they go to the hospital, when they do their banking, when they go shopping and even when they vote. This card has become so popular that this particular European country actually plans to start issuing them to millions of non-citizens all over the planet who request them. Never heard about this? Neither had I before this week. The Economist is calling for the entire planet to adopt this “national identification system” that the little nation of Estonia has adopted. The Economist is touting all of the “benefits” of a “national identification card”, but are there dangers as well? Could adopting such a system potentially open the door for greater government tyranny than we have ever known before?