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"Jihadi John" Fears "Jealous" Terrorists Will Kill Him, Leaves ISIS

When Top Gear front man Jeremy Clarkson left the show, the crowds of fanatical followers faded fast. When Zayn left One Direction, the band's insatiable devotees started to question their faith in the boy band's message. And so, as IB Times reports, the exodus of ISIS front-man "Jihadi John" from the terror group - citing irreconcilable differences with his "jealous" former terrorist colleagues - one wonders if the cracks of caliphate are starting to show...



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It's Official: The Bar Can No Longer Be Lowered



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The Junk Bond Heatmap Has Not Been This Red In A Long Time

But for those equity investors caught in the artificial glare of the goalseeked stock market to appreciate how truly ugly it has gotten in the junk bond space, here is a heat map showing the YTD change in junk bond prices (relative box size indicates total outstanding debt amount) when seen in terms of either the 31 subsectors or the 805 issuer companies that make up Citi's junk bond tracking universe.



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BRICS Bank, AIIB Pledge Partnership, Loans To Be Issued In Yuan

Now that the AIIB and the BRICS bank have officially launched and are expected to begin operations soon, it appears that not only will the yuan play a key role for both institutions, but in fact, the two development banks will collaborate on their lending activities. 



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Venezuela's Hyperinflation Crack-Up Boom On Its Way To Outer Space

Venezuela’s hyperinflation is reaching its final stages. It is probably already far too late for the government to stop the complete collapse of its currency. The bolivar is in the process of transforming from a medium of exchange to tinder for wood-stoves. Venezuelans who had the presence of mind to convert their savings into gold or foreign currency in good time are likely to survive the conflagration intact. Governments never seem to learn. They all believe they can somehow overrule economic laws by diktat. This is not only true of Venezuela’s government, but of practically every government in today’s world. Central planning of money has been adopted everywhere. Venezuela merely shows us what the end game for every fiat money system looks like.



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Hillary Agrees To Testify Publicly Over Benghazi Deaths

With the FBI and DoJ now involved in yet another Hillary Clinton scandal - that she sent confidential emails from her personal email server - it seems the 'presidential' former Secretary of State has felt pressured to come somewhat clean. While some might argue "what difference does it make?" The Washington Post reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify on Oct. 22 before the House select committee investigating her role in connection with the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The testimony - before the committee formed last year - will be in a open setting (apparently against the wishes for privacy that committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy initially requested).



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Bubble, Bubble, Toil, & Trouble: When Authorities Buy Assets To Prop Up Markets

The Central Planners who thought that buying shares to prop up the stock bubble was an excellent fix are about to find out the true meaning of toil and trouble.



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Nothing To See Here: German Regulator Decides Deutsche Bank CEO Didn't Know About LIBOR After All

"German banking regulator Bafin cleared former Deutsche Bank AG co-Chief Executive Officer Anshu Jain of misleading the Bundesbank about his knowledge of the company’s role in attempts to manipulate benchmark interest rates," Bloomberg reports. This comes just three months after the very same regulator said that "Mr. Jain has been proven to have learned about discussion in the market concerning the susceptibility of the LIBOR to manipulation in 2008."



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Jim Grant: Financial Prices Should Be Discovered, Not Administered

"The modern financial animal is wont to assume that he or she lives in an age of science. The truth is we live in an age of pseudoscience. Far from dealing in science, central bankers, and, to a degree, investment bankers and security analysts, employ magical thinking... For an individual to fix Libor is a crime. For a central bank to suppress European bond yields is an act of financial statesmanship..."



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The Three Cs Keeping CFOs Up At Night: China, Commodities, Currencies

With two-thirds of companies still set to report, and as the second quarter earnings season continues and assures the first revenue and EPS recession since 2009, the question on everyone's lips is just how bad will/can it get. The answer will be determined largely by any/all of the following three "C"s which continue to define the ugly face of non-GAAP corporate earnings for the past 3 quarters which appear set to persist for the foreseeable future.



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Has The US Finished The Trap Assad Had Begun To Set For Turkey?

The US Syrian policy forces Ankara to walk a fine line between ISIS, Assad’s regime, Kurds, the US and its own interest. We will not rule out that Erdo?an could declare a state of emergency and postpone new elections. Whatever the result of the power struggle in Ankara may be, Turkey’s military will not accept the YPG and PKK armed to the teeth by the US.



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This Has Never Happened To Gold Before

For the first time since records began, hedge funds are net short gold futures, according to CFTC data...



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Paul Craig Roberts: The Eroding Character Of The American People

The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe "official sources" despite the proven fact that “official sources” lie repeatedly and never tell the truth? The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the "American character."



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Aussie Dollar Tests Long-Term Trendline As China Contagion Spreads

Last week, we asked "Is Australia the next Greece?" It appears, judging bu the collapse in the Aussie Dollar, that some - if not all - are starting to believe it's possible after last night's 15-month low in China Manufacturing PMI. As UBS previously noted, China's real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia's nominal GDP growth this last decade. With iron ore and coal prices plumbing new record lows, a Chinese (real) economy firing on perhaps 1 cyclinder, and equity investors reeling from China's collapse; perhaps the situation facing Australia is more like Greece than many want to admit.



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The Eurasian Big Bang: How China & Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s "nuclear weapons program."  And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S.  And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.



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