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The Need To Escape Collapsing Empires

I believe aggressive empires with bloated bureaucracies, unsustainable debt loads, and chronic military overreach cannot compete against the now capitalist, relatively free-market Asia. The truth is Asia is rising and the debt-ridden Western democracies are failing. The world is an interesting place, and the American Dream still lives - just not so much in the United States any longer. But countries can change for the better; tyrannies are overthrown, and the Internet reformation is a big advantage for people desiring freedom and honest information around the world.

Don’t fence yourself in.



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"Gold Is Money And Nothing Else" - JP Morgan's Full December 1912 Testimony To Congress

In December 1912, no lessor man than J.P.Morgan testified to Congress to "justify Wall Street," during investigations over alleged manipulation and collusion. The transcript reads like it could have been given yesterday (as nothing ever changes) but at its heart the banker laid out 33 "Morgan Epigrams" which appear - in the ensuing 102 years - have been lost to greed and arrogance... The irony is wondrous: "Securities do not always prove good", "Money is gold, and nothing else", "I think manipulation is always bad."



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Everything You Need to Know About The Swiss Gold Referendum

On November 30, Swiss nationals head to the polls on three separate issues: abolishing a flat tax on resident, non-working foreigners, an immigration cap, and a proposal on Swiss gold reserves. As Visual Capitalist notes, the one we are most interested in is the latter section of the ballot, and today’s infographic sums up everything you need to know about the upcoming Swiss gold referendum.



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"We Are Living In An Aberrational World"

"We are living in an aberrational world. It’s all driven by an orgy of money printing...it sure feels to me that we’re nearing the day that it spins out of control. By the end of this year or by the start of next year, without QE, the market is going down."

"To maintain your sanity, you need to turn off the hype machines of some of the financial media like CNBC."



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You’ve Been in This Business Too Long If...

What follows is a top 10 list of challenges only people who have tied their personal fates to Wall Street will probably understand.  And for those of you who’ve managed to avoid these pitfalls, read on to see what you’ve been missing.  And pat yourself on the back.



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In Preparation For Tonight's Ferguson Decision

As America holds its breath for tonight's (expected) grand jury verdict over the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown - by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th - Missouri officials have said they have reached an understanding with protest leaders, as NY Times reports, on the conduct of demonstrations expected after the decision whether to indict Wilson or not comes down. Despite this 'understanding' it is clear that law-enforcement is 'prepared'...



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What Record Stock Buybacks Say About Economic Growth

For all the obfuscation surrounding the topic of stock buybacks and corporations returning record amounts of cash to their shareholders, the bottom line is as simple as it gets.



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5 Things To Ponder: Rising Risk

There are things going on with the financial markets currently that seem just a bit "out of balance." For example, asset prices are rising against a backdrop of global weakness, deflationary pressures and rising valuations. More importantly, there is a rising divergence between sentiment and hard data. While weather can't be blamed yet, it will likely be the main "excuse" in the months ahead as early record snowfall is already impacting economic production. However, it isn't just the manufacturing data that seems "out of whack."



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Stocks Close At Recordest Highs As All Central Banks Go All In

Despite the knee-trembling awesomeness of a double-whammy promise of liquidity, US equity markets ended the week on a decidedly down note. The realization that Draghi's all talk (no impact on US stocks) and PBOC's move is not a liquidity surge and has limited impact on the economy left stocks tumbling once the opening OPEX levels had printed. The USD rose notably on the day after EUR plunged under 1.24 on Draghi (USD +0.9% on the week). Despite USD strength, gold rose 1% (as did Silver) on the week, rising for the 3rd week in a row for the first time in 4 months (and the 3rd Friday surge in a row). Oil rose 1% on the week, breaking an 8-week losing streak but Copper prices fell around 0.3% on the week, having given back the kneejerk gains post-PBOC today. Treasury yields dropped after kneejerking higher on PBOC. 30Y at 3.01% had its 2nd lowest weekly close since May 2013. VIX melted down into the close to 13.01. Late-day buying panic lifts stocks off their lows leaving Dow & S&P at all-time recordest highs of all-time ever in history (as small caps closed red).



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The Broken Market Chronicles: For The Third Year In A Row, The "Most Shorted Names" Generate The Highest Return

For the 3rd year in a row, the best performing, highest-alpha strategy is to go short the most hated names and just sit back and collect those performance fees, because when nothing makes sense, the worst shall be the first.



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"Me, The People"

Democracy ruled...



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HFT War Stories: The Algo That Couldn't Count

This is the first installment in a series of HFT War Stories, submitted anonymously by high frequency and algorithmic traders highlighting the perils of their profession. Today we look at a $2 Billion near miss that never made the news. The public only hears about these types of SNAFUs if they blow up a firm. Hundreds more go unnoticed by anyone but the traders who lived through them.



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The Levered Canary In The Coalmine: High Yield Is Flashing A "Sell Signal", Says Barclays

The growing divergence between equity and credit markets this year have seldom been far from our pages (especially how, over many cycles, credit has led and stocks followed at trend turns), and now it appears Barclays also recognizes this fact. As they note, in 2007, as hints of the financial crisis were unveiled, spreads in the high yield market increased sharply. Meanwhile, the equity market climbed to a new record high. Had equity investors heeded the warning being sent from high yield, significant losses may have been avoided... and currently high yield sell signals suggest equity investors should position defensively!



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