• Bruce Krasting
    12/18/2014 - 21:42
      The one thing that Jordan can't do in this war is appear to be weak.

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China Prepares To Bailout Russia

Earlier this evening China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange's (SAFE) Wang Yungui noted "the impact of the Russian Ruble depreciation was unclear yet, and, as Bloomberg reported, "SAFE is closely watching Ruble's depreciation and encouraging companies to hedge Ruble risks." His comments also echoed the ongoing FX reform agenda aimed at increasing Yuan flexibility which The South China Morning Post then hinted in a story entitled "Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis," which which noted that Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the ruble continues to plunge, that was signed in October. Furthermore, two bankers close to the PBOC reportedly said the swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeeze. Is 'isolated' Russia about to be bailed out by the world's largest economy China?



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IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar

This is it, folks; this is the endgame right in front of our faces. The year of 2014 is the new 2007, with all the negative potential but 100 times more explosive going into 2015. Our nation has wallowed in slowly degrading financial conditions for years, hidden by fake economic statistics and manipulated stock prices. All of it has been a prelude to a much more frenetic and shocking event. We expect a hailstorm of geopolitical crises over the next year to provide cover for the shift away from the dollar. Ultimately, the death of the dollar will be hailed in the mainstream as a “good and necessary thing.” They will call it “karma.” They will call it “progress.” They will even call it “decentralization” and a success for the free market. But it will not feel like a positive development for the American public, who will suffer greatly as the dollar crumbles.



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Will Putin's Next Step Be To Sell Gold?

"Russia is at a critical juncture and given the sanctions placed upon them and the rapid decline in oil prices, they may be forced to dip into their gold reserves, if it happens it will push gold lower." That is what, according to some people Bloomberg has quoted, is in the cards...



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The Secular Extinction Of Stock Market Bears

This week's Investors' Intelligence survey responses highlight the unprecedented reluctance of financial advisors to turn bearish...



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Previewing Putin's "Moment Of Truth" Annual Press Conference And Address To Russia

For those wondering how Russia managed to contain the rout in its currency today, when it dropped from highs of USDRUB 80 yesterday to about 60, and leading to the biggest stock market surge in decades, the answer will be revealed tomorrow at noon Moscow Time, when Putin's annual address press conference will take place. As the rumor goes, both the central bank, the finance ministry and the Prime Minister, did everything in their power to stabilize the Ruble ahead of Putin's appearance, both through direct sales of dollars as well as with the already noted 7 measures to stabilize the financial system. And this year, perhaps more than ever, Putin's role will be simple: restore confidence.  As Bloomberg reports, citing Mashla Lipman a political analyst in Moscow,  "This is a moment of truth. It’s no longer possible to go on in the same fashion. The economy is tumbling. The time has come for a definitive choice. Doing nothing won’t solve the problem."



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Veteran EM Fund Manager Warns "The Youngsters Are About To Be Schooled"

With Emerging Market debt, equity, and FX rates coming under significant pressure once again, 48-year-old veteran EM fund manager Stephen Jen has a message for the new breed of EM fund managers, brace for more pain. As Bloomberg reports, with echoes of 1997-98's crisis at hand, Jen explains, "many [current managers] became EM specialists after the term ‘BRIC’ was coined in 2001 and don’t know any serious crisis," adding "they are about to be schooled."



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"Neoconica" - America For The New Millennium

"...so many still maintain that America is the greatest nation in the world.  They swear that America represents all that is good; freedom, democracy, merit based capitalism and the rights of the individual.  That is true America does represent such things.  However, it is fraudulent to consider our current nation America.  America was a concept that promoted all that is good.  And so it would seem that the nation in which they find themselves cannot be America.  Their nation today represents the will of the political class at all costs, period.  Their sole motivation is themselves.  Very different from America.  And so perhaps a renaming on the nation is required, at least until or if the people decide to take it back and reintroduce the world to the concept that is America for as discussed below you cannot destroy a concept and so there is hope to bring her back.  But until then we need a name for this geographic region and its new societal system... It seems"Neoconica" is most fitting."



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Caption Contest: Dry-Cleaning Edition

Just the girl next door...



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How To Save Up To 100% On "Purchases"

While likely considered blasphemy in America, land of the free-to-consume-moar, there is another way...



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A Pessimist's Guide To The World In 2015

Skirmishes in the South China Sea lead to full-scale naval confrontation. Israel bombs Iran, setting off an escalation of violence across the Middle East. Nigeria crumbles as oil prices fall and radicals gain strength. Bloomberg News asked foreign policy analysts, military experts, economists and investors to identify the possible worst-case scenarios, based on current global conflicts, that concern them most heading into 2015.



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This Wasn't Supposed To Happen: 7 In 10 Americans To Save, Spend Gas "Tax Cut" On Bills Not Gifts

The lower-gas-price-tax-cut is "unequivocally good" meme is becoming more and more full of holes by the day. All that extra disposable income means moar iPhones, moar dining-out, and moar GDP... right? Wrong! As CBS reports, a new poll finds 73% of Americans will not use any extra cash from lower gas prices to buy additional gifts. What is even worse for America's credit-growth-dependent economy - 69% of Americans will use this extra disposable income to pay down outstanding bills and expenses. The final nail in the coffin of exuberance, two-thirds of Americans say they see no benefits from lower gas prices. But apart from that... keep the narrative going...



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Socialist On The Line Caption Contest

A busy day for The White House phone lines... If Cuba is "good" socialism and Venezuela is "bad" socialism, what does that make America?



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The Fracturing Energy Bubble Is the New Housing Crash

Let’s see. Between July 2007 and January 2009, the median US residential housing price plunged from $230k to $165k or by 30%. That must have been some kind of super “tax cut”.

The global oil price collapse now unfolding is not putting a single dime into the pockets of American households - the CNBC talking heads to the contrary notwithstanding.  What is happening is the vast flood of mispriced debt and capital, which flowed into the energy sector owning to the Fed’s lunatic ZIRP and QE policies, is now rapidly deflating. That will reduce bubble spending and investment, not add to economic growth. It’s the housing bust all over again.



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Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments

While the adverse impact on the Russian banking system has been mostly confined to the upper class - since there is virtually no middle class in the country to speak of - the second cold war of words, which rapidly morphed into a very hot financial war, is about to hit the very ordinary Russian on the street, because as Russia's Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker Sady Pridoniya and others, Russian suppliers are suspending food shipments to stores because of unpredictable FX movements. And it is about to get worse: very soon Russians may have to live without imported alcohol because at least on supplier of offshore booze, Simple, halted shipments in "a two-day pause” to see what happens with the ruble, Vedomosti reports.



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