In a move that is certain to further escalate already stretched racial tensions in America's most cosmopolitan city, some 100 New York City buses will soon carry jarring anti-Islamic posters which feature photos of an ISIS beheading victim, his alleged executioner, Adolf Hitler, declare "Yesterday's moderate [Muslim] is today's headline" and proclaim "It's not Islamophobia, it's Islamorealism" as part of an "educational campaign." According to the NY Daily News, the ads, paid for by flame-throwing blogger Pamela Geller, at a cost of $100,000, are intended as an “education campaign” to warn of the “problem with jihad” and Islamic sharia law, Geller said.
In order to do prove its undying commitment to the US, moments ago the French Defense Ministry took a page right out of the Pentagon/CNN playbook, and released footage of French warplanes striking targets belonging to the Islamic State after taking off from an airbase. Paris announced earlier this week it was taking part in military air strikes against the militant group in Iraq. The video shows a pilot inspecting his aircraft, a French Rafale, before takeoff. The footage also shows several craft being refueled in mid-flight as well as infrared shots of the targets being bombed.
With all eyes firmly fixed on Europe's secessionist movements (most notably Scotland and Catalan), the growing tensions in America took a back seat for a moment. But, as Reuters reports, a recent poll found one-in-four Americans want their state to secede from The US with men more secessionist than women and the Southwest most aggrieved. By the evidence of the poll data as well as these anecdotal conversations, the sense of aggrievement is comprehensive, bipartisan, somewhat incoherent, but deeply felt. As Martin Armstrong warns, "Civil unrest is coming to America sooner than you think. This will ignite old feelings of discontent across both religion and race in America."
Yesterday it was the UK which scrambled a squadron of Typhoon jets when two Russian Tu-95 "Bear" Bombers had gotten too close to its shores, even if still located in international space. Then overnight, none other than the US did the same when two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes just over 50 miles away from the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday, among which identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and the same two "Bear" long-range bombers, which are known to carry tactical ICBMs with nuclear warheads among their arsenal.Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.
Given the pre-vote polls and 300 years of historical resentment, many were somewhat surprised at the overwhelming "No" vote in last night's Scottish Independence referendum. While we now know that the vote broke very cleanly between old ("no") and young ("yes") Scots, the following clip suggests the possibility that more was afoot than that. As the commentator blasts, "Busted! Absolutely busted!" You decide... As Martin Armstrong rages, "Is anything real anymore?"
US imperialism was once a fearsome force - mainly for ill. Under the latter heading, Washington’s savage destruction of Vietnam four decades ago comes readily to mind. But now the American Imperium has become just a gong show on the Potomac - even as its weapons have gotten more lethal and its purposes more spurious and convoluted. There is no more conspicuous proof than Obama’s quixotic “war” on ISIS.
Ayn Rand or US Congress? Directive 10-289: "All business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave, nor close, sell or transfer their business..." H.R. 5445: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no mail processing facility operating as of September 1, 2014, may be closed or consolidated prior to December 31, 2015."
As gold and silver prices tumble to multi-year lows, an odd thing is happening in the 'paper' precious metals ETF markets. Demand remains high for silver ETF exposure as 'someone' is aggressively unwinding gold ETF positions.. and yet the prices for both are falling rapidly. It appears the retail investor is taking advantage of the lower prices in silver to accumulate additional exposure as Credit Suisse notes, "the perception is that silver will do well, and should outperform gold as the economic recovery strengthens," adding that "belief in silver’s dual properties, as a financial asset and also as an industrial metal, appears to remain strong."
What has happened to America?
The Fed’s strategy of targeting higher stock prices to boost economic growth has done the exact opposite. This strategy has pulled money away from effective macroeconomic investments and into ineffective macroeconomic albeit effective short term microeconomic investments. The end result is that we have all time high stock prices but no economic growth. We will be stuck in this economic lull until the Fed is ready to admit defeat and allow for a new more effective strategy to be implemented.
Earlier in the week, perhaps reflecting on the fact that 90% of hedge fund managers are overpaid, California Public Employers Retirement System (CalPERS) announced it would cut its entire exposure to hedge funds. It seems the decision is becoming more popular, as Bloomberg reports, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the sixth-largest U.S. public pension, has decided to cut its hedge fund allocation by 1 percentage point to only 8% of the fund. The decision enables the fund to reduce equity exposure and raise fixed income exposure.
It has been quite an eventful week between Scotland's battle over independence, the Federal Reserve's FOMC announcement and the markets making new all time highs. The FOMC announcement was more comedy than anything else as the continued facade of the Fed's forecasting capabilities was revealed, it appears the biggest factor in the world of investing and for this weekend's list of "Things To Ponder" we have accumulated a few reads relating to the Fed.
As business media pats itself on the back for the BABA IPO, proclaiming how it's the most important, and biggest IPO of all-time and on "the most efficient and transparent" exchange, perhaps it was just oversight that they forgot to mention BABA's 7-second halt "glitch" this afternoon as BABA trading exceeded 25% of all volume at some points. But that was minor compared to the utter clusterfuck that occurred as AAPL shares started to tumble and, as Nanex points out, 100s of individual stocks instantly flash-crashed and dashed by over 1% at 1550ET as the Russell rebalanced. These are your unrigged, transparent, efficient markets...
Moments ago NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell concluded a press conference in which he discussed NFL player conduct, domestic violence, sexual assaults, sponsorships, and other things. The one thing that caught our attention is that when he was asked if he had considered resigning, his answer was a resounding "No." For all those wondering why the commissioner of this non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(6) organization has not considered calling it quits despite the ongoing public opinion firestorm, here is the reason. Or rather 44,107,000 reasons.