• williambanzai7
    08/29/2014 - 01:05
    “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive.” – George W. Bush

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"Tax Me More" Buffett To Finance Burger King's Tax Inversion Deal

President Obama would have proudly proclaimed Warren Buffett a true patriot in his bailing out of the banking system with expensive loans and his 'realization' that those earning more than $1 million should be tax-tax-taxed. However, the "Buffett Rule" appears to have one caveat... if you are making over a $1 billion, you're good to go with tax-avoidance strategies. In one of his career's most hypocritical moves Warren "tax-me-more" Buffett has decided that putting his money where his mouth is no longer makes sense.. and is funding $3billion of Burger King's "tax-inversion" takeover of Canada-based Tim Hortons. Somewhere on a golf course, a Presidential Putter is being snapped across a knee...



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"Widespread Slowdown In Home Price Gains": Case-Shiller Misses, Rises By Slowest Since 2012

The fourth (or is it fifth?) dead cat bounce in the US housing market is rapidly fading, as we just confirmed by the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index data for the month of June, which saw a Y/Y increase in home prices of just 8.07%, below the 8.3% expected, and the slowest increase since December 2012. As the report noted, "for the first time since February 2008, all cities showed lower annual rates than the previous month." On a monthly basis, the NSA index, Case-Shiller's preferred, rose by 1.0% for the 10 and 20-City composite, with the Seasonally Adjusted composite declining for the second consecutive month: the last time there were two consecutive monthly declines during a price declining phase was in late 2010.



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Ukraine's Poroshenko "Optimistic" Over EU Deal, Putin Warns Of Consequences

When two of the richest presidents in the world currently met this morning in Minsk, the tensions was palpable. As Poroshenko (net worth ~$1.3 bn) and Putin (~$440bn) prepared for talks, the threats, promises, and hopes were everywhere...

*POROSHENKO SAYS 'OPTIMISTIC' ABOUT TODAY'S MEETINGS IN MINSK, INTERESTED IN EU, CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENTS

But Vladimir Putin - having reminded everyone that Russian capital represents 32% of the Ukraine banking system (threat or statement?) warned any EU association pact may force Russia to scrap trade preferences.



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Durables Goods, Excluding Bumper Boeing Orders, Suffer Biggest Drop Of 2014

The headline print of a record-breaking 22.6% gain - smashing the 8.0% expectation - hides the extremely obvious factor of the largest civilian aircraft orders (an entirely one-off non-repeatable factor). Durables ex Transportation collapsed from a 3% gain to a 0.8% drop - the biggest drop in 2014, missing expectations by the most in 8 months. Perhaps even more concerning, non-defense ex-aircraft new orders dropped 0.5% (missing expectations of a 0.2% gain).



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The Status Quo's Model Of "How The World Works" Is Broken

The Status Quo is dysfunctional because its model of how the world works is broken. It won't matter if gridlock remains in place or one of the parties gets to impose its "brand" of policy-tweaks; since no one on the political spectrum has any concept that the current model described in these 12 points is broken, fixing the political dysfunction won't fix the systemic dysfunction.



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Ukraine Releases Video Of Captured Russian Troops; They "Entered Accidentally" Russia Claims As Putin-Poroshenko Meeting Begins

A Moscow military source told Russian news agencies that a group of soldiers had surrendered to Ukrainian forces after crossing the border by accident. Needless to say, Ukraine didn't buy it: "This wasn't a mistake, but a special mission they were carrying out," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing. Russian news agencies quoted a defence ministry source as confirming that Russian servicemen had crossed into Ukraine but saying they did so inadvertently.  "The soldiers really did participate in a patrol of a section of the Russian-Ukrainian border, crossed it by accident on an unmarked section, and as far as we understand showed no resistance to the armed forces of Ukraine when they were detained," the source said.



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Frontrunning: August 26

  • That will teach the UAE who's boss: U.S. Won’t Consult Syria on Militant Strikes: White House (BBG)
  • Putin Set to Meet Poroshenko as Ukraine Tensions Escalate (BBG)... but the de-escalation algo?
  • Tim Hortons’ Canadian Fans Squeamish of American Hookup (BBG)
  • Israeli air strikes target more Gaza high-rises (Reuters)
  • How Steve Ballmer Became a Rookie Basketball Mogul (WSJ)
  • Buffett to Help Finance Burger King Tax-Saving Deal (BBG)
  • U.S. Factories Keep Losing Ground to Global Rivals (WSJ)
  • Boehner, Camp Profit From Corporate Bid to Avoid U.S. Tax (BBG)
  • Experimental U.S. hypersonic weapon destroyed seconds after launch (Reuters)
  • The Neo-Neocons (WSJ)


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De-Escalation Algo Pushes Futures To Overnight Highs

It is unclear exactly why stock futures, bonds - with European peripheral yields hitting new record lows for the second day in a row - gold, oil and pretty much everything else is up this morning but it is safe to say the central banks are behind it, as is the "de-escalation" algo as a meeting between Russia and Ukraine begins today in Belarus' capital Minsk. Belarusian and Kazakhstani leaders will also be at the summit. Hopes of a significant progress on the peace talks were dampened following Merkel’s visit to Kiev over the weekend. The German Chancellor said that a big breakthrough is unlikely at today’s meeting. Russian FM Lavrov said that the discussion will focus on economic ties, the humanitarian crisis and prospects for a political resolution. On that note Lavrov also told reporters yesterday that Russia hopes to send a second humanitarian aid convoy to Ukraine this week. What he didn't say is that he would also send a cohort of Russian troops which supposedly were captured by overnight by the Ukraine army (more shortly).



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10 George Orwell Quotes That Predicted Life In 2014 America

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.



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How Serious Is The California Drought?

A picture paints a thousand words... but these 3 before-and-after images in California (over a period of just 3 years) suggest only 3 words - "What a Disaster"



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The 'Sunni Turn' Against The 'Shiite Crescent': How The Strategic Stupidity Of Washington (And Its Allies) Created ISIS

The Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) is being touted as the newest “threat” to the American homeland. We are told by everyone from the President on down that if we don’t attack them – i.e. go back into Iraq (and even venture into Syria) to root them out – they’ll soon show up on American shores. ISIS didn’t blast Sykes-Picot to pieces: we did, and now we must live with the consequences. Nemesis has taken her pound of flesh. The best course now is to learn the lesson every child has to absorb before he can attain adulthood in more than merely a physical sense: actions have consequences. Applied to the Middle East, this lesson can only have one meaning: stay out and keep out.



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A Tale Of 2 Americas: "Baby Massage" & iPads Versus ".38 Revolver" & Antichrist

Based on the results of a decade of search data, NY Times offers a rather disturbing portrait of the very different subjects that occupy the thoughts of richer America and poorer America. Offering a glimpse into the day-to-day thinking behind the nation's inequality, searches in the hardest places to live include health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games, religion and Antichrist!? In the easiest places to live, cameras, iPads, and baby massage are highly correlated to ease-of-living.



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Ron Paul On Ferguson: The War Comes Home

America’s attention recently turned away from the violence in Iraq and Gaza toward the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. The increasing use of military equipment by local police is a symptom of growing authoritarianism, not the cause. The cause is policies that encourage police to see Americans as enemies to subjugate, rather than as citizens to "protect and serve.”



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Forensic Expert Says Foley Murder Video "May Have Been Staged"

While there have been many suggestions, some of very dubious nature others not so much, that the ISIS video showing the execution of James Foley may have been staged, faked or otherwise fabricated (especially after Scotland Yard warned that sharing or merely viewing the infamous YouTube clip of Foley's murder is a crime and is punishable under anti-terror laws, stunning virtually everyone), it wasn't until today that an actual forensic expert opined - apparently one who isn't afraid of the criminal charges headed their way - that something may be wrong with the 4 minute 40-second clip. The Telegraph reports that an "international forensic science company which has worked for police forces across Britain, suggested camera trickery and slick post-production techniques appear to have been used."



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Lacy Hunt: The World Economy's Terminal Case Of Debt Sclerosis

Today, the world economy is in uncharted territory. Never before has the developed world carried this much debt. Never before have the central banks of those same countries expanded their balance sheets so much. Never before has so much sovereign debt been outright monetized. Never before have major financial institutions been officially designated as “too big to fail” and thereby been granted special license to assume gigantic risks. Dr. Lacy Hunt, economist and current executive vice president of Hoisington Investment Management Company, expects the macroeconomic situation to get worse from here...



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