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Russia Warns Obama's "Two-Faced" Strategy In Syria Will Lead To "Huge Escalation In Middle East & Africa"

If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama's new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that "such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa."



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"Million-Dollar Parking Spots" – Peak Stupidity Has Arrived In Manhattan

What will $1 million buy in New York City? A diamond-encrusted Cartier men’s watch. A small fleet of 2014 Bentley Continentals. Or maybe your very own parking spot in SoHo... "Parking is in serious demand and has proven an excellent investment with no sign of a decline."



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How You Know The Time For More QE Has Come

Yellen, we have a problem...



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Why US Interest Rates Can Never Rise (In 1 Chilling CBO Chart)

It’s not just homeowners who have to worry about rising interest rates, the Federal government might soon get a taste of its own medicine. From the admittedly partisan Republican Senate Committee on the Budget comes this report outlining how federal interest outlays will dovetail with other expenses in the future. "By the end of the budget window in 2024, however, CBO forecasts that interest payments will nearly quadruple to an astonishing $880 billion."



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In Venezuela First They Came For The Toilet Paper; Then They Came For The News Paper...

Bidet sales across Venezuela are set to soar as just months after running out of toilet paper, AP reports that Venezuela's oldest newspaper is shutting down due to falling advertising, mounting inflation and a lack of basic materials. In addition, at least nine Venezuelan regional newspapers have stopped circulation because of the shortages. Of course, this is likely great news for President Maduro who can now manage his people's minds direct from his Twitter feed... welcome to socialist utopia.



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Same $#!%, Different PIIGS

Desperate governments call for desperate measures. Unfortunately for us, citizens often end up paying for the mistakes of their governments. That’s not how it should be but, sometimes, that’s how it is. If and a when a government is no longer able to meet its obligations, capital controls, broad wealth confiscation measures, and other extreme burdens are often considered. Spanish bond yields just fell to their lowest levels in history but does that mean that your money is safe there? Absolutely not. It means that investors are complacent, not that Spain’s political risk has diminished. Portugal is in the same boat. While its borrowing costs continue to fall, its prospects for economic growth and its financial position continue to worsen. If you’ve got assets in Portugal then now would be a good time to contemplate how safe they really are. Unless you like bail-ins, that is.



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How To Test For Fake Gold And Silver

Many precious metals investors like the idea of physical bullion because, unlike paper money, it is difficult to counterfeit. That said, when there is a will, there is a way. In recent years, there have been extremely concerning cases of gold counterfeit, and investors that are not fully prepared can get duped. That’s why we worked with our friends at Silver.com to put together this handy infographic list of ways to test for fake gold or silver.



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You're More Likely To Be Shot By A Police Officer Than A Terrorist

Governments and mainstream media outlets have a great way of presenting sensational threats and evil villains. They want us to be terrified of men in caves, roving bands of barbarians, and deadly viruses that turn our insides out. Last night, for example, President Obama told the world that ISIL poses the most significant threat to global security. (Ironically al-Qaida no longer seems to be a threat, and ISIL, which no one had heard of until a few months ago, is now public enemy #1. It just goes to show how shallow and reactionary the security theater is...) But here’s the truth: If you live in the Land of the Free, you’re far more likely to get ‘accidentally’ shot by a police officer than blown up by a terrorist.



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Over 80% Of California Is Now In Extreme Drought

Just how dry is California? Here is The LA Times showing every map of California released by the U.S. Drought Monitor since 2011 (the last time there was any drought conditions). More than 80% of California is in extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and the state's condition isn't expected to improve in the near future; and 100% of California remains at least in drought for at least the 4th month in a row... and it's spreading to the rest of the nation.



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Australia's Part-Time Jobs Miracle

While we have grown used to eye-poppingly 'odd' data from China (and increasingly the US), last night's surge in Aussie employment is among the greatest statistical pieces of muppetry we have ever seen. As Bloomberg reports, Australian employers added a record number of jobs in August - great news, right? Confirming CBA's decision to hold rates (not cut) and instantly AUD exploded higher. However, since then AUD has collapsed back to fresh 6-month lows plunging over 300 pips in 4 days. The reason - "the market's skeptical," says one trader, as Aussie's miracle jobs recovery was thanks to a 121,000 surge in part-time employees (equivalent to 1.3 million added in one month in the US).



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A Brief History of Currency: The Infographic

Judging by the amount of currency destruction, all of it completely voluntary and reminiscent of what happened in the final days of the Roman empire, we urge readers to enjoy whatever fiat paper is around: it won't be there for much longer. So to help out in that regard, below is an infographic courtesy of Travelex showing a brief history of the world's major currencies over the ages.



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The Death Of Deflation In The Central Bank Era

At a global aggregated level deflation has been non-existent over the last 80 years. Prior to the twentieth century, Deutsche Bank notes that years of deflation were almost as common as years of inflation. However this all changed over the last 100 years or so as global currency links to precious metals broke down periodically and then collapsed as of 1971. Furthermore, since then inflation has had an upward bias relative to most of prior history, and as such, Deutsche warns, the longer-term investor has evidence that they must approach the current low levels of bond yields with extreme caution.



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Crude Oil Rip Sparks BTFD In Stocks But S&P Sub-2,000 3rd Day In A Row

For the 3rd day in a row, the USDollar flatlined as JPY & AUD weakness offset GBP & EUR strength (following Kuroda's speech this morning). Stocks dipped-and-ripped once again - as they always do into and after the EU close - with the S&P managing to scramble back into the green (but not 2,000 for 3rd day in a row) in a late-day buying panic (after some Draghi headlines saying nothing new). Not everyone was drinking the same bounce-back juice as stocks with HY credit, and JPY-carry not supportive at all. Stocks seemed to track WTI crude most closely today as oil jumped higher (abov $93) compressing the Brent-WTI spread to $5. Gold, silver, and copper slipped lower once again. The Treasury curve continued to bear flatten led by 5Y weakness.



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