• Phoenix Capital...
    07/11/2014 - 11:24
    So… just WHO actually has a CLUE about the true state of the banks in Europe? More importantly, who will actually bother WARNING investors about the risks therein?  

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Doug Casey: "America Has Ceased to Exist"

"America is a marvelous idea, a unique idea, fantastic idea. I’m extremely pro-American. But America has ceased to exist,” says Doug Casey in this fascinating interview with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie. Casey warns of the political, social, and economic challenges the US must conquer as well as lessons we can learn from failed states.



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High-School Bathroom Cleaner: "$15/Hr Salary Will Change Everything"

"I’m not exactly sure how my life will be at $15 per hour. I’ve never made that much money, and I’ve been doing custodial work since I was 15."



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What "Rosy" Job Numbers? Wal-Mart CEO Slams Recovery Mirage

When the CEO of the world's biggest company doubts the veracity of US economic data, you know you have a problem. After quarters of disappointing growth in the face of miraculous equity market performance; Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon warns that shoppers aren’t returning at the pace one might expect years after the recession peaked, despite mainstream media interpretation of the data showing unequivocal growth. Simply put, he exclaims, "the unemployment numbers particularly have been difficult to read with the number of people dropping out of the work force," adding that if we see a further drop in the participation rate it would fit with the fact that "middle-class and lower-class are still economically challenged, only spending during holidays and for family occasions," adding that traction has only come at the top-end.



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How To Die Poor

The trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no respect for it. Markets have been around for at least 2,000 years. Since then they have evolved in many directions, with fancy and sophisticated techniques… and elaborate systems and complicated instruments that take a PhD to understand. But despite all the brain power put into trying to figure them out, markets still surprise, confound and puzzle everyone. You’d think Janet Yellen and other central bankers would take a step back and stand in awe. Heaven and hell are full of people who thought they could take the risk out of markets. Some went broke. Some blew their brains out... others both.



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Freedom: Summed Up In One Image

Braveheart's William Wallace would be proud...



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Debt: Eight Reasons This Time Is Different

Many seem to believe that if we worked our way out of debt problems in the past, we can do the same thing again. The same assets may have new owners, but everything will work together in the long run. Businesses will continue operating, and people will continue to have jobs. We may have to adjust monetary policy, or perhaps regulation of financial institutions, but that is about all. I think this is where the story goes wrong. The situation we have now is very different, and far worse, than what happened in the past. We live in a much more tightly networked economy. This time, our problems are tied to the need for cheap, high quality energy products. The comfort we get from everything eventually working out in the past is false comfort.



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Gaza Today, In One Photo

While the world was busy preparing to watch the Brazilian drubbing in the world cup, one which Goldman did not predict, this is what happened in Gaza today.



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"Treasuries - As A Relative Asset Class - Look Cheap"

Long-duration Treasuries continue to look attractive; a view that Scotiabank's Guy Haselmann has unwaveringly maintained for the past six months for a variety of diverse reasons. Of all of the various reasons, private pension demand is the most interesting and compelling (and the least understood). The bottom line is that PBGC rule changes will cause persistent and incremental demand over time that overwhelms net visible secondary market supply.  Concerns about funding status will trump the private defined benefit plan manager’s fiduciary desire to ‘maximize return per unit of risk’. There are other factors, but the point is that Treasuries as a relative asset class looks attractive.



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The Immigration Scandal For Dummies

Who could have seen this coming?



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Stock Buyback Shocker: Companies Using Secured Bank Loans To Repurchase Stock

"US lending to businesses is reaching record levels but banks are privately warning that the activity should not be seen as evidence of an economic recovery." And the stunner: "Much of the corporate lending is going to fund payouts to shareholders, finance acquisitions and fuel the domestic energy boom, bankers say, rather than to support companies’ organic growth."



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RANsquawk - FOMC Minutes Preview 9th July 2014



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Russell Rout Continues - Loses Post-Fed "All-Clear" Gains

A middle of the day co-ordinated VWAP ramp (thanks to VIX) lifted stocks briefly - aftewr the Russell neared unchanged for 2014 - but the last 2 days - the worst in 3 months - pushed small caps into negative territory post-Yellen's June Fed "all-clear". All major equity indices in the US remain notably red post-payrolls. Trannies (miraculously) recovered to unch on the day. Momo names and growth-sensitive stocks have been slammed since the exuberant payroll highs of last week. Treasury yields continues to slide. with the 10Y now 7bps lower in yield post-payrolls (and stocks caught down to that reality) FX markets saw early USD weakness then stability but AUDJPY was in charge of stocks today. Despite early USD weakness, commodities were all rammed lower around the US open - only to recover 'efficiently' back to unch on the day. VIX closes at 12.15 - 3 week highs.



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"Don't Worry, Be Happy" Fed Financial Stress Index At Record Low For 3rd Week

Feeling stressed? Worried about the financial markets? Don't be - the Fed has an index for that. The St. Louis Fed 'financial stress index', constructed from 18 weekly data series (6 interest rates, 6 yield spreads, and 5 others) fell to a record low for the 3rd week in a row signaling all-clear... right? Just one thing, in a world entirely disintermediated by central banking largesse, just how relevant are these 'market' indications of financial stress? As Bloomberg warns, the financial stress index has now been below zero for 130 consecutive weeks, the longest period since 2008.



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Consumer Credit Card Debt Tumbles, Non-Revolving Credit Soars Most In 15 Months

Remember that epic spending spree that took place in March when consumers cleaned out their savings account and which resulted in a surge in March retail spending in consumer outlays? Now we know that in addition to borrowing from their savings, consumers also "charged" it, because as we reported last month, the April consumer credit soared by an unprecedented $8.8 billion, the most since 2007, and a clear outlier in recent years. April, incidentally is precisely when the credit card statements for March purchases would come due so while impressive, the surge in revolving credit wasn't quite surprising. However, what is perhaps more notable now that the Fed just released the May consumer credit numbers, is that the month after the March spending spree, funding largely on credit, consumers hunkered down once more, and the May increase in revolving credit was a paltry $1.8 billion, much lower than the April surge, and the lowest since February. In other words, after the spending binge, came the credit card bills, and with them, the spending hangover.



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Martin Armstrong On The Recurring Battle Between Socialism and Capitalism

This battle has been fought many times in history. "This is why you see politicians doing everything possible to kill democracy for that falls whenever socialistic/communism rises. That collapses the economy sucking in everything like a black-hole and then the pendulum swings back and you get freedom once again..."



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