Americans today are blissfully distracted by their iGadgets, plotting out their holiday shopping strategies, leasing new cars, eating out, and buying advance tickets to the new Star Wars movie. They don’t see the wicked winter squalls ahead which will try their souls. We are experiencing the lull before the storms, but the storms are surely coming. The potential for catastrophe is high and burying our heads in the sand is not a strategy.
It's no secret that the US has played an outsized role in facilitating Syria's five-year civil war by funneling money and guns to a hodgepodge of opposition groups. It's also no secret that The Pentagon's latest "train and equip" program was a disaster of epic proportions. But rest assured, if Washington can make it worse, Washington will make it worse, which is why we weren't surprised that the 2016 NDAA authorizes more taxpayer money for the funding of "moderate" Syrian rebels.
14,000 Refugees Due For Deportation From Sweden Have Vanished: "We Simply Do Not Know Where They Are"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/29/2015 - 17:29
Over half of all the illegal migrants slated for deportation in Sweden have mysteriously disappeared. The National Border Police Section reports that of the 21,748 individuals due to be sent home after their asylum applications were turned down, a whopping 14,140 have simply vanished off the police radar. "We simply do not know where they are”, said a spokesman for the local police.
We can hear the mainstream media now - "Great News Everyone!! The American consumer is back" - online sales on Black Friday rose 10% to $1.7 billion which ComScore says shows "strong spending." The only problem is - which we suspect will be oddly missing from the mainstream narrative, as ShopperTrak reports total sales on Black Friday crashed 10% to $10.4 billion. While blame has been placed on early opening on Thanksgiving, that is false too since spending on that day also plunged 10%. So, the sales news is unequivocally bad - which is hardly surprising given the collapse in consumer confidence.
The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.
EU Reaches Deal With Turkey, Will Pay €3 Billion To Stem Refugee Outflow But Not Everyone Wants To Pay UpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/29/2015 - 15:37
As previewed earlier today, moments ago the EU and Turkey reached a deal in which Europe would give Erdogan another €3 billion to be embezzled accordingly (perhaps to buy more tankers for Erdogan's son with which to ferry ISIS oil, or to build a new annex for his palace, or just to recycle the money and purchase even more F-16s from the US), in exchange for which Turkey would promise to close its borders to millions of outpouring Syrian refugees and agree to accept deported refugees already located in Europe.
So now, here we are in the lull just as we were before that Sept. meeting, And what is happening this time? Well, don’t look now, but there indeed looks to be trouble brewing on the global stage (or should I say “international developments”) that could turn out to be just as big of a headache to the Fed’s reasoning’s on whether or not to “just do it.” Just one of those issues is – once again: China.
The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Europe has hit an all-time high of 142,000, according to The World Health Organization. "Despite all the efforts to fight the disease," WHO officials note that the rise of the epidemic is primarily attributed to Eastern Europe, where new diagnoses have more than doubled. But it is comments from European Centre for Disease Prevention Control acting director Andrea Ammon that raised a number of witch-huntery eye-brows when she explained migrants and refugees were at a high risk of infection after they arrived in Europe, because social exclusion made them more likely to engage in risky behavior.
Financial crises can happen quickly, like the bursting of the tech stock bubble in early 2000, or slowly, like the late-1980s junk bond bust. The shape of the crash depends mostly on the asset in question: Equities can plunge literally overnight, while bonds and bank loans can take a while to reach critical mass. China’s bursting bubble is of the second type. "If, as seems likely, the government has succeeded in getting funding to higher risk sectors by relaxing bond approvals," wrote Christopher Wood of brokerage CLSA in a recent note, "it is all rather scary, given the regulatory failures exposed by the A share boom-bust cycle."
Perhaps Voltaire said it best: "To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?"
“If the ECB merely does on 3 December what is effectively priced by the market, we could collectively wake up on 4 December feeling a bit deflated, like a child discovering on Christmas day that his parents ‘only’ gave him what he/she had asked for, without the ‘little extra’ that would have kept him/her smiling all day long."
French police fired teargas Sunday to disperse climate change activists in Paris who threw objects at them during a demonstration ahead of key UN talks. Riot police took action after a small group of masked protesters in the Place de la Republique square began chanting "State of emergency, police state", after 24 climate activists were arrested under France's new "state of emergency" laws.