• GoldCore
    12/18/2014 - 13:54
    Russia supplies China with hi-tech military hardware. Russia has negotiated two major natural gas deals with China in the last year. China expects to double its gas usage by 2030. From a Chinese...

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Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities

Unfortunately for the bulls, various falling knife-catchers, and those who hope the Russian situation will stabilize imminently with or without capital controls, it appears things in Russia are about to get a whole lot worse because as the WSJ reports, the next driver of the Russian crisis is likely to come from within the banking system itself because "global banks are curtailing the flow of cash to Russian entities, a response to the ruble’s sharpest selloff since the 1998 financial crisis."



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Commodity Trading Giant Exits Physical Gold Due To "Lack Of Physical With A Documented Origin"

If the world's fifth largest trader of commodities has chosen to outright not trade gold, and thus not generate value for its shareholders over risks and fears that another, or two, or three, or a countless number of other prior "owners" may come knocking one day and demanding delivery of gold whose origin could not be documented by its trading intermediaries, and whose ownership link Gunvor is unable to trace, then just what on earth is really going on with the world's physical gold inventory (here's looking at you, Chinese gold-backed Commodity Funding Deals), and just what is the catalyst that will unleash what is essentially the infamous US mortgage robosigning scandal onto the gold arena, at which point owners of gold realize the gold they thought they owned, even if held safely in a deposit box deep in a gold vault in a safe offshore location, in reality "belongs" to someone else?



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ISIS Unleash "Scorpion" Bombs In Iraq

Just when you thought you had seen it all, Islamic State militants turn up the amplifier of terror to 11. As The Mirror reports, ISIS is launching bombs containing live scorpions as the latest terror weapon in Iraq. Canisters of the creatures are being blasted into towns and villages, according to a British military expert who has just returned from the country. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, ex-head of chemical and biological weapons for the Army and Nato, said: "it's madness. IS have improvised devices to launch them." The weapon harks back to the scorpions stuffed into pots and launched by Iraqis thousands of years ago – in 198 AD.



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The Great Generic Drug Rip-Off

What happens when rapacious cartels run out of billion-dollar-profit products? They jack up the price of what was previously low-cost. And why are they able to raise prices by 388% to 8,000% at will? Because they can.



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Mapping The Surge In World Conflict Intensity

The World is changing and the balance of power with it. The traditional post Cold-war unipolar US dominance is being increasingly tested. As BBVA notes in the following charts, World Conflict Intensity is on the rise (and has been for over a decade) as the world's balance of power adapts to the new economic shift. Social, political and economic systems are becoming increasingly interconnected; and new actors will arise and will start to make new demands.



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Today's Equity Market Set 2 Stunning Records

While nothing surprises us anymore with regard the thing we used to call a "market", today's equity market activity broke two stunning records that we suggest are closely related to one another...



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The Pigmen Win Again



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"The Limits Of Reason" - Are Libertarians More Rational Than Others?

Are libertarians are more rational than most people? "Not at all, not at all, but we're rational enough to realize none of us has all the answers. To paraphrase Dirty Harry, politicians and planners and control freaks gotta know their own limitations."



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Memo To WSJ: The CRomnibus Abomination Was Not "A Rare Bipartisan Success"

The rank economic cheerleading in the guise of “news” printed by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the rest of the financial press never ceases to amaze. But on the heels of Congress’ pathetic capitulation to Wall Street over the weekend you have to wonder if even the robo-writers who compose the headlines are on the take. How could anyone in the right mind label this weekend’s CRomnibus abomination “A Rare Bipartisan Success for Congress”? Apparently, that unaccountable plaudit was bestowed upon Washington by the WSJ solely because it avoided another government shutdown.



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JPMorgan Warns, Don't Expect Recent Market Volatility To Alter Fed Tightening Path

The recent increase in financial market volatility has raised some questions about any rhetorical response from the FOMC tomorrow. While we see some risk of this occurring, we think the most likely outcome is that the Committee refrains from highlighting the latest flare-up in the markets. In particular, we think they will still drop the 'considerable time' language while also indicating they are in no rush to raise rates.



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Michael Lewis: "8 Things I Wish For Wall Street"

It's a wonderful life on Wall Street, yet here is a holiday wish list to make it even better...



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What Tight Lending Conditions: Underwriting Standards Mirror Those Before Subprime Crash, OCC Finds

The myth of harsh lending conditions in the US is probably only matched in its disconnect from reality by the just as entertaining narrative of the "one-time, non-recurring" harsh winter crushing Q1 GDP. A narrative which even needed support from none other than former Fed Chairman Bernanke who allegedly was denied a mortgage refinancing on the $672K loan he still owes for his 3-bedroom, 2100 square foot home (a story which is about as credible as 17 year olds making $72 million by cornering the penny-stock market). For the truth we go to the Office Of the Comptroller of the Currency, which just reported in its annual survey that for the third year in a row, U.S. banks relaxed loan underwriting standards, "a trend mirroring the lax lending just before the financial crisis." To wit: "This year's survey showed a continued easing in underwriting standards, with trends very similar to those seen from 2004 through 2006," said Jennifer Kelly, senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision.



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