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Putin: It Is Time To Play Your Ace In The Hole

The entire world is watching Putin play poker with the Western politicians lead by Obama and followed by Washington quislings in London, Brussels and Berlin. America's goal since the end of the Cold War has been to weaken by financial, economic and, if necessary, military means any real competition to its global financial and resource domination through the petrodollar and dollar world reserve currency status. We hope Putin realizes the US is not playing games here, as this is a financial and strategic game to the death for Washington and it's Western allies that have foolishly followed the Goldman Sachs/central banking cartel's deadly sovereign debt recipe and for growth and prosperity. The time is up; the debts can never be repaid and sooner or later must be repudiated one way or the other.



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Game Over Japan: Real Wages Crash Most In 21st Century, Savings Rate Turns Negative

After two years of economic torture and financial destruction, Abenomics has finally claimed the Keynesian prize: real wages crash 4.3%, the most in the 21st century, and Japan's legendary savings rate, which peaked at 23% in 1975, just turned negative for the first time ever. Game over Japan.



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60 Prominent Germans Appeal Against Another War In Europe: "It Is Not About Putin. What Is At Stake Is Europe"

Two weeks ago, as the S&P was preparing to surge on the latest round of all time high market-goosing algo trickery by the FOMC, 60 prominent German personalities from the realms of politics, economics, culture and the media were less concerned with blinking red and green stock quotes and were focused on something far more serious to the future of the world: the threat of war with Russia. In a letter published by Die Zeit, numerous famous and respected Germans including a former president and former prime minister write "Wieder Krieg in Europa? Nicht in unserem Namen!", or, roughly translated, "War in Europe Again? Not in Our Names!" As the signatories note: "It is not about Putin. Heads of state come and go. What is at stake is Europe."



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Drilling Cutbacks Mean Service Companies Forced To Scrap Rigs

Despite the decline in oil prices, the U.S. is expected to boost production by 300,000 barrels per day in 2015, up to a yearly average of about 9.3 million barrels per day, according to the most recent government estimates. But the number of oil and gas rigs in operation is already beginning to drop. The fall off is an indication that exploration companies are beginning to pare back investments. Pulling back on drilling may result in a lower future production, which could hurt the growth prospects of some oil firms. However, the slowdown in drilling activity is having a much more immediate and acute effect on a separate set of companies – those supplying the rigs.



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Stocks Have Never Been More Expensive Based On Long-Term Growth Forecasts

As the S&P 500 pushes towards Goldman Sachs 2,100 year end target (for 2015!!) today, we thought it worth considering just how much awesomeness has been pulled forward, priced-in, exuberantly-chased. As the following charts show, based on bottom-up long-term-growth expectations, S&P forward P/E valuations have never been higher. But that's not all...



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"Will We Never Learn?" - Meet Subprime Auto 'Title Loans': 2014's Home ATM

The car is at the center of the biggest boom in subprime lending since the mortgage crisis, and The NY Times reports, similar to how a red-hot mortgage market once coaxed millions of borrowers into recklessly tapping the equity in their homes, the new boom is also leading people to take out risky lines of credit known as title loans. Will we never learn?!!



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Saudi Arabia Ready For $20, $30, $40 Oil

It’s unclear whether or not OPEC and Saudi Oil Minister Naimi are simply trying to put a scare into markets long enough to defend their market share – and if they can even keep up in this game of chicken – but the scare is there and the advantage is theirs.



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Christmas At The White House (In 1 Cartoon)

The global wish-granter-in-chief...



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"Everything Is Awesome"

As Politico's Michael Grunwald writes below (we believe non-satirically), the midterm election’s discontent was illegitimate. The point is that Americans should cheer up! And whose fault is all the collective doom? Well, Bill De Blasio already explained that, as Grunwald confirms, the press has a problem reporting good news. So sit back, grab a drink (though swallow it first) and enjoy reading why "everything is awesome" in America (apart from a record 101.5 million Americans not working, record numbers on foodstamps, record numbers on disability, a record wealth divide, a record - and deadly - racial divide, record poverty, and record child homelessness).



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The 'New Normal' In 2014 Summed Up In 1 Simple Chart

2014... same as 2013 - stocks up, economic growth down!



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Guest Post: We Just Enjoyed the Last Christmas In America

Why will Christmas 2014 be the last Christmas in America? It's simple: declining wages cannot support an ever-expanding mountain of debt. The Federal Reserve has played a game for six long years of lowering the cost of debt (i.e. the rate of interest borrowers must pay), which has enabled stagnating wages to support ever heavier debt loads. There is an endgame in sight to this financial trickery...



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WTF Chart Of The Day: Energy Stocks Edition

It appears that not only did Janet Yellen's soothing words from last week decouple the broad US equity market from any fears about oil prices, but energy stocks themselves now have absolutely no relationship with the underlying raw material that drives their business (and it's not like the Contango provides much support). Now where have we seen this before?



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