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Secret Memo Reveals US Was Aware Of Americans Killing Zimbabwe Lions; Only Concern Was Getting Caught

"One safari operator accused an American, by name, of killing a lion illegally and then smuggling its hide out through South Africa.  Given the rampant smuggling of other animal products across Zimbabwe's southern border (reftel), this is not unlikely.  As reported in reftel, American hunting dollars are vital to Zimbabwe's conservation efforts, but there are also serious risks that Americans could be implicated in smuggling and poaching operations."



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Chinese Stocks Extend Yesterday's Plunge Despite Regulators "Asking" Insurers To Stop "Net Sales"

Following last night's afternoon session plungefest (with ChiNext's biggest drop in a month), as it appeared the government experimented with 'free' markets briefly, regulators have "asked" insurance companies to be "net sellers" of stocks going forward. With margin debt dropping for the 4th day in a row (to fresh 4-month lows), Markit noted that accusations of foreigners short selling shares is “overblown” by Chinese market regulators and not the cause of a recent rout in the stock market, according to the SCMP. The requests and threats appear to not be working as CSI-300 futures open down 0.7%.



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"Greed Is King" - What We Learned Talking To Chinese Stock Investors

During a short stay in Shanghai a few weeks ago on unrelated business, we had an opportunity to witness the ground zero of the China market frenzy at its peak and its nascent plunge. Chinese retail investors make up 85% of the market, a far cry from the U.S. where retail investors own less than 30% of equities and make up less than 2% of NYSE trading volume for listed firms in 2009. Combined with the highest trading frequencies in the world and one of the lowest educational levels, describing China’s market as immature is an understatement.



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Why Do So Many Working Age Americans Choose Not To Enter The Workforce?

You could call it the "Mystery of the Missing Worker" – why do so many people of working age chose not to enter the workforce? Here are the numbers, as of the most recent Employment Situation report: 250 million: the total number of people of working age in the United States; 149 million: the total number of people in that population that have a job; 8 million: the number of people who want a job but do not have one; leaving 93 million: the number of people who don’t work, and don’t want work. To put some context around that last number, it is 30% of the entire U.S. population. Why?



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China Says US "Militarization" Of South China Sea Shows Washington "Wants Nothing Better Than Chaos"

"China is extremely concerned at the United States' pushing of the militarization of the South China Sea region. "What they are doing can't help but make people wonder whether they want nothing better than chaos."



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Least Transparent Ever: IRS Used "Wholly Separate" Message System To Hide Communications

Lerner then asks whether OCS is automatically archived. When informed it was not, Lerner responded “Perfect.”



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This Is The 714 Sq. Foot Hovel In LA That Can Be Yours For Just $1.1 Million

This is full on mania and with inventory building up, people are starting to crunch the numbers more carefully.  I’m curious, how does someone justify a 144% increase on this place?  As we all know, real estate is essentially a game of musical chairs, especially in boom and bust California.  Someone is trying to cash in on a lottery ticket here for Venice.



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Does This Look Like An Accidental Relationship To You?

Monetary policy divergence manifests itself first in currencies, because currencies aren’t an asset class at all, but a political construction that represents and symbolizes monetary policy. Then the divergence manifests itself in those asset classes, like commodities, that have no internal dynamics or cash flows and are thus only slightly removed in their construction and meaning from however they’re priced in this currency or that. From there the divergence spreads like a cancer (or like a cure for cancer, depending on your perspective) into commodity-sensitive real-world companies and national economies. Eventually – and this is the Big Point – the divergence spreads into everything, everywhere.



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Now It's Personal: Koch Brothers "Freeze Out" Donald Trump

With everyone asking 'what can derail this?', perhaps, there is something. As Politico reports, the massively influential Koch brothers are freezing out Donald Trump from their influential political operation - denying him access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings of grass-roots activists or major donors.



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"Why Commodities Defaults Could Spread", UBS Explains

"In the wake of the commodity price swoon one of the recurring questions is will the stress in commodity markets spillover to other sectors?," UBS asks. Spoiler alert: the answer is "yes."



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Shorting The Buyback Contradiction

“To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality  ?  Ayn Rand



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"Moscow Must Burn": Ukraine's "Christian Taliban" Pledges Anti-Russian "Crusade"

"I would like Ukraine to lead the crusades. Our mission is not only to kick out the occupiers, but also revenge. Moscow must burn."



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LinkedIn Pumps'n'Dumps As Revenue Growth Rate Continues To Slow

Despite early exuberance at beating top and bottom lines (and users), it appears those looking for hyper-growth opportunities are selling into the machines. An initial 12% spike in the stock after hours has been completely destroyed into the red as investors realize growth rates continue to tumble, capex is rising, and organic growth is slow.



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Brazil's Economy Slides Into Depression, And Now Olympians Will Be Swimming In Feces

Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games. An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.



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