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Another Keynesian Myth Refuted: Cold Winters Do Not Shrink The Economy

While weather may affect the economy, the recent contraction has little to do with winter’s bitter cold; the US economy is far too diverse and complex. Instead, we are witnessing the ongoing effects of failed monetary and fiscal policies. As the Wickersham Commission noted years ago, “These laws [of economics] cannot be destroyed by governments, but often in the course of human history governments have been destroyed by them.”



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Sometimes 0% Is Better Than -82%

You want winners? You want me to put my Cramer Berkowitz hedge fund hat on and just discuss what my fund is buying today to try to make money tomorrow and the next day and the next? You want my top 10 stocks for who is going to make it in the New World? You know what? I am going to give them to you. Right here. Right now...



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An Interview With Alasdair Macleod

Yesterday it was Ambrose Evans Pritchard, today, in this 2nd of a series of London interviews that Lars Schall conducted for Matterhorn Asset Management this summer, Lars has a City of London streetside conversation with Alasdair Macleod right outside the Dutch reform Church in Austin Friars near the Bank of England. Together they talked about, inter alia: the challenges for The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); China’s appetite for gold; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as THE future player in the gold market; and the problems related to Germany’s gold at the New York Fed.



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Arms Trade Treaty: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?

The right to bear arms in the United States has been and continues to be one of the most hotly debated pieces of legislation in our modern era. But, as Nicole Pontius of CamCode notes, the reality is that gun laws and arms regulation is not simply a human rights issue and it certainly does not only affect the U.S. Arms regulation also impacts national security, economic interests, global commerce and foreign policy. As Pontius adds, the latest political solution to help improve international arms regulation is the ATT, or the Arms Trade Treaty. Among a number of potential benefits of the ATT, this treaty would require governments to report all arms sales, thus preventing the sale and transfer of weapons likely to be used in violation of human rights all around the world. We wanted to take a closer look at this important piece of legislation - this infographic answers what it is, who is involved, and why we need it.



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4 Years Until The Next Recession? Not Likely!

David Rosenberg, in one of his recent missives, wrote: "...based on the current trend in the LEI and the level of the diffusion index, history suggests that the next recession is at least four years away." While anything is certainly possible, it is highly unlikely that the current economic environment is supportive of another four years of a "struggle along" economy. Given the artificial supports during recent years, the extreme extension in assets prices, record levels of margin debt and the chase for yield in "junk credits," it is highly possible that the next recessionary decline could be much larger than the historical average.



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Ebola Devastates West Africa: Revenues Down; Markets Not Functioning; Projects Canceled; GDP Plunges 4%

The market, in its infinitely rigged wisdom, has concluded that the worst Ebola outbreak in history is a non-event, even though it has put virtually all of western Africa on indefinite lockdown, and as Reuters reports, is "causing enormous damage to West African economies and  draining budgetary resources." In fact the damage from Ebola to Africa is already so acute, it is expected that economic growth in the region will plunge by up to 4 percent as foreign businessmen leave and projects are canceled, according to the African Development Bank president said. Revenues are down, foreign exchange levels are down, markets are not functioning, airlines are not coming in, projects are being canceled, business people have left - that is very, very damaging," African Development Bank (AfDB) chief Donald Kaberuka said in an interview late on Tuesday.



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Saxo Bank CIO Warns "It's Time To Be Defensive... Very Defensive"

"Germany will flirt with recession by Q4 of this year," warns Saxo Bank's Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen, adding that "the US is in worse shape than most people believe." It's important to underline, he notes, that major US investment houses, and certainly every single sales person we talk to, believe US is about to accelerate in growth not slow down. Jakobsen warns though that Q3 could be ok but the real damage will come in Q4 as the lead-lag factor of geopolitical risk, lack of reforms and excess global supply leads to low inflation. His conclusion, "it’s time to be defensive... very defensive."



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Confidence In Central Planning Saved With Last Second All Time High Ramp

Once Europe closed, US equity markets rolled over on what is a new 'lowest-volume-day-of-the-year' led by recent winner Russell 2000. The Dow is now red on the week and the Nasdaq up 11 days in a row. Today was not about stocks though (aside from the close). While CAD saw its best gain in over 2 years, it was US Treasuries (as EUR weakened and Bund yields plunged) that made the flashing red headlines with 30Y back at 15-month lows (at 3.10%) and 10Y -3.5bps at 2.36% as the yield curve flattened even further. 2s30s dropped below 260bps - its flattest since Dec 2012. Un-de-escalation concerns evident in TSYs and credit finally started to bleed into VIX and stocks. Gold, silver, and oil limped higher as US weakened (and copper fell). A desperate buying panic into the close smashing S&P futures to VWAP magically enabled the S&P to close at the confidence-inspiring centrally-planned 'wealth effect' level of 2000.07!!



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Chinese Developers "Destocking" Desperation: Bikini-Clad Model Car Washes, iPhones, & Alibaba Discounts

We have presented numerous examples of the turmoil under the surface of China's unprecedentedly placid GDP headlines but, as The FT reports, the desperation of property developers should be the biggest canary in the coalmine that all is not well. Developers began cutting prices this year but have so far failed to revive flagging volumes and so are increasingly resorting to creative sales tactics to drum up interest. From discounts on Alibaba purchases up to $325,000 to car-washes by bikini-clad models, as "putting full effort into destocking has become the common choice of most developers. They’re still not optimistic about the market situation." So why are US investors so upbeat about China's 'recovery'?



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30Y Treasury Yield Plunges To Fresh 15-Month Lows

Someone is gonna be wrong...



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CBO Thinks Millions Of Americans Aren't Going To Sign Up For Obamacare

According to government's own projections, the 'universal coverage' provided by the Affordable Care Act will still yield almost 4 million Americans who will prefer to pay an average tax of more than $1,000 to the government for 2016, rather than buying health insurance that year... and the total number of nonelderly uninsured Americans projected for calendar 2016 is some 30 million.



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NATO Canada Has A Message For Russian Soldiers

NATO Canada tweeted: "Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost & 'accidentally' entering Ukraine"



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Canadian Dollar Surges Most In 2 Years As "Tax Inversion" Euphoria Hits FX

It appears the Tim Horton's / Burger-King deal has sparked a serious surge in Canadian Dollar demand. CAD is up almost 1% today - its best daily gain since June 2012 - pushing to its highest in a month. We suspect the momentum of the initial "tax inversion" flow merely triggered stops and broke key technical levels (200-day moving average) to extend the move as it seems the 'Canada as an offshore tax-haven meme' is a bit of reach...



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Argentina – Sliding Down A Slippery Slope

Update: The official and black-market Peso has collapsed further today to new record lows.

It is actually quite sad to watch the continued downfall of Argentina's economy under the inept ministrations of its government. The only good thing that can possibly come from this is that it will set yet another example for others so they may avoid making similar mistakes. Unfortunately the example is being set on the backs of the country's citizens, who are seemingly forced to live from crisis to crisis. Politicians rarely pay the price for their atrocious policies, and we are quite sure Ms. Kirchner and her cronies have feathered their nests in ways the average citizen cannot even dream of (most recently, corruption allegations have caught up with Ms. Kirchner's vice president. Rampant government corruption has long been a hot topic in Argentina under Ms. Kirchner's rule). It is not as though Argentina didn't have great potential. If only politicians would leave its economy alone and stopped inflating the currency into oblivion, the country could easily and quickly regain its former prosperity.



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2nd American ISIS Fighter Killed In Syria, CNN Reports

The anti-ISIS operation, Naharawan al-Sham, who distributed images of the first American to be killed fighting for ISIS yesterday, has according to CNN announced a second American was killed in battle representing ISIS. So far, neither ISIS (which often comments on death of its "martyrs") or Naharawan al-Sham has released any images or evidence of the second death.



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