A Post Western World? A Disturbing Interview With Prof. Harry Redner

The political and economic issues broadly discussed in the media usually revolve around political cycles, terrorism, foreign policy, rising debt levels, sluggish economic performance, academic underachievement, environmental problems, ageing demographics and so forth.  In our view, this all ties into a major cycle of history that has been with us for some time, and which has been gaining traction since the 1990s: the end of "Western Civilization" and the transition towards a globalized society.

France Escalates - Sends Aircraft Carrier To Fight ISIS

Seemingly not satisfied with the domestic blowback from their interventionist-driven Washingtonian foreign policy, Francois Hollande - lagging badly in the polls - has decided to double-down following the recent terror attack in Nice. As Sputnik News reports, France will send artillery to Iraq and its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to assist the US-led coalition’s efforts in Syria and Iraq in the coming months.

A Collision-Course With Crisis: Making The Wrong Choices For The Wrong Reasons

Life is full of examples where folks make bad choices for noble reasons. Not every decision is a winner: sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don't. That's completely understandable and defensible. Fate is fickle, and no one is 100% right 100% of the time. But what's much harder to condone is when people embrace the wrong decision even when they have ample evidence and comprehension that doing so runs counter to their welfare.

"If You Can't Touch It, You Don't Own It"

The pending Brexit has, not surprisingly, caused a shakeup in the investment world, particularly in the UK. Of particular note is that, recently, asset management firms in Britain began refusing their clients the right to cash out of their mutual funds. Of the £35 billion invested in such funds, just under £20 billion has been affected. The lesson to take away here is that, if you can’t touch it, you don’t own it. Banks and fund management firms can freeze your wealth, so that you can’t access it. Governments and banks can confiscate your wealth. If you don’t have the power to put your hands on your wealth on demand, you don’t own it.

The Market For Lemons, The Market For Bullshit, And The Great Cascading Credence Crash Of 2016

The underlying problem is, I think, a very strange one. But it’s a risk faced by any society that both undergoes rapid technological change, and contains organized interest groups. (Formal or informal.) Something really bad is happening to all our bullshit. In fact, I’ve begun to worry that there’s actually a sort of crash or cascading failure going on in the bullshit market. If there is, I think it’s driven, as previous bullshit crashes were, by changing technology.

Goldman: The Last Two Times P/E Multiples Expanded This Much, The Result Was A Historic Crash

"The current P/E expansion cycle is now one of the largest in history. Since September 2011, S&P 500 forward P/E has grown by 75% (from 10x to 18x). This expansion has only been surpassed twice since 1976, when the multiple rose by 111% from 1984-1987 (ending with the 22% Black Monday collapse) and by 115% from 1994-1999 (ending with the Tech Bubble pop)." - Goldman Sachs

The Essence Of Trump's Appeal To The Flyover Zone: "We Are Not Winning Anymore"

...Massive debts, no good jobs, faltering productivity, soaring entitlements, declining net investment and drastically shrinking household incomes add up to an unprecedented assault on America’s vaunted middle class. In fact, the middle class is shrinking markedly as an empirical matter and fading rapidly as an aspirational possibility. It is profoundly misguided Wall Street/Washington policy regime that has given rise to this massive economic failure. For more than three decades they have sown the wind. Trump is the whirlwind they are now reaping...

In First "Emergency" Decree, Erdogan Seizes Thousands Of Hospitals, Schools, Charities

In his first "emergency powers" decree, published by the Anadolu state news agency, Erdogan authorised the closure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 hospitals over suspected links to the Gulen movement. The government also announced it would seize the properties of all these schools, universities and private institutions.

Blue Lives Matter: Is Police Exceptionalism Leading America Toward Second Civil War?

Lurched back and forth in the ever-quickening spiral of an American empire circling the drain, we - as a people - have chosen battle lines on nearly every issue from politics to foreign policy, domestic surveillance to policing. Thrust back into national focus, the last issue - policing in the U.S. - might even surpass in contention the ongoing race to the White House.

"Policymakers Have Been Calling A 'Depression' A 'Recovery' For Nearly A Decade"

"I'd like to think that logic and reality will prevail; that distaste for being told how great the world is has become sufficiently revolting and obviously false to stir the world’s populace to end the imbalances. But that, again, will take time, perhaps a good deal of time; until then, whenever it hopefully is, central banks continue to operate with impunity even though the risks of their intemperance rise exponentially..."

The Speech Bounce: Trump "Nearly Even" With Clinton In Latest Reuters Poll

It appears the "doom-and-gloom" reality-check that President Obama (and Hillary Clinton) prefer to ignore, is working. Between FBI Director Comey's shocking decision over Hillary's emails and the Convention Bump, Trump appears to have hit enough correct notes with his polarizing speech to give him enough of a bounce to be virtually tied with Hillary in the latest Reuters poll.

A Fully Automated Stock Market Blow-Off?

About one month ago we read that risk parity and volatility targeting funds had record exposure to US equities. It seems unlikely that this has changed – what is likely though is that the exposure of CTAs has in the meantime increased as well, as the recent breakout to new highs should be delivering the required technical signals. All these strategies are more or less automated (essentially they are simply quantitative and/or technical strategies relying on inter-market correlations, volatility measures, and/or momentum). We believe this is an inherently very dangerous situation.

Mystery Over Munich Shooter's Motive: David Ali Sonboly Had "No Connection To ISIS", Obssessed With Mass Shootings

What was initially said to be a coordinated attack killing 9 and injuring 16, involving up to three gunmen, has since been attributed to a lone, 18-year-old German-born male student with both German and Iranian citizenship, identified moments ago as David Ali Sonboly. As authorities try to piece together the motive behind the latest mass killing the emerging picture is that of a mentally disturbed young man with an obssession for killing sprees, and who had undergone psychiatric treatment.

At Least 80 Killed After Suicide Bombing Attack In Kabul Claimed By ISIS

At least 80 people were killed and 231 injured when a huge blast rocked a mass demonstration by members of the mainly Shia Hazara minority in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The attack was claimed by terrorist group Islamic State: "Two fighters from Islamic State detonated explosive belts at a gathering of Shi'ites in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan," said a brief statement on the group's Amaq news agency.

America Needs A Good, Old-Fashioned Economic Depression

A good, old-fashioned, pre-1929 depression (like the short-lived, eleven-month depression in 1920-1921, before the days of “modern” central banking and “enlightened” Keynesian intervention “cures”) is the only tonic that can clear out the malinvestment built up since the beginning of the fiat money era.

18-Year-Old German-Iranian Is Behind Munich "Shooting Rampage" Which Killed 10 Including Gunman

After another day of tragedy and drama, where the police had earlier suggested that as many as three gunmen were behind a deadly shooting in a shopping center in Munich, Germany moments ago the local police reported that the gunman was in fact a lone 18-year-old of German and Iranian origin who is believed to have carried out the "shooting rampage" on his own, killing at least nine people before later apparently killing himself.