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Stuck In Reverse And Descending Into Trauma

While the media continue to just about exclusively paint a picture of recovery and an improving economy, certainly in the US – Europe and Japan it’s harder to get away with that rosy image -, in ordinary people’s reality a completely different picture is being painted in sweat, blood, agony and despair. Whatever part of the recovery mirage may have a grain of reality in it, it is paid for by something being taken away from people leading real lives.



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WTI Crude Crashes Below $70 For First Time Since June 2010

Houston, we have a problem...



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OPEC Decision Is "Major Strike Against The American Market", Russian Tycoon Says

As we warned yesterday, the last time that U.S. oil drillers got caught up in a price war orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, it ended badly for the Americans. OPEC's decision not to cut production, and Nigeria's comments on the need for burden-sharing among non-OPEC members, ensures a crash in the US shale industry according to Leonid Fedun (Russia's Lukoil board member). The Russian finance minister's comments that oil at $80 in coming years is moderately optimistic and as Fedun ominously warns, this is a "major strike against the American market." Isolated, much?



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Oil Prices Collapse After OPEC Keeps Oil Production Unchanged - Live Conference Feed

But, but, but... all the clever talking heads said they wil have to cut...

*OPEC KEEPS OIL PRODUCTION TARGET UNCHANGED AT 30M B/D: DELEGATE

WTI ($70 handle) and Brent Crude (under $75 for first time sicne Sept 2010) are collapsing... as will US Shale oil company stocks and bonds (and thus all of high yield credit) tomorrow. The Saudis are "very happy" with the decision, Venzuela 'stormed out, red faced, furious.' Commentary from various OPEC members appears focused on the need for non-OPEC (cough US Shale cough) nations to "share the burden" and cut production (just as the Saudis warned yesterday).



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NATO To Deploy Tanks In Eastern Europe Shortly After VP Of Europarliament Says Ukraine-Russia War Imminent

Just when global financial markets had shrugged off Ukraine as yet another 'storm in a teacup', it appears events are escalating rapidly once again. This morning saw European Parliament's Vice President Saryusz-Wolski warn "Russia's pressure on Ukraine is mounting high, further war imminent," to which Ukraine's President Poroshenko rapidly responded (via Twitter) rather ominously that a "third world war does not scare us," having noted earlier than Ukraine needs to achieve NATO membership. This then prompted NATO's top military commander to warn, he is "very concerned" that Russia's military build-up in the annexed Crimean region could be used as a launchpad for attacks across the whole Black Sea region; leaving the alliance confirming that NATO plans to deploy tanks in Eastern Europe.



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Oil Slumps To 4 Year Low Ahead Of OPEC, Eurozone Yields New Record Lows: Summary Of Overnight Events

While the US takes the day off after another near-record low volume surge to a new all time high in the S&P500, a level which is now just 125 points away from Goldman's year end target for 2016, the rest of the world will be patiently awaiting to see if oil's next step, as a result of today's OPEC meeting will be to $60 or to $100. For now at least the answer is the former (see more here from the WSJ), with Brent recently touching a fresh 4 year low in the mid-$75s, as WTI doesn't fare much better and was down 2% at last check to $72.20 after touching a low of $71.89. It appears the prepared remarks by the OPEC president to the 166th conference have not eased fears that despite all the rhetoric OPEC will be unable to get all sides on the same story, even though the speech notes "ample supply, moderate demand and warns that "if falling price trend continues, “long-term sustainability of capacity expansion plans and investment projects may be put at risk."



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Guest Post: Did They Want More Violence In Ferguson? 10 'Coincidences' Too Glaring To Ignore

Was it a conspiracy or was it incompetence?  Those appear to be the only two alternatives that we are left with after this week's violent protests arcoss the country...



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Stimulate This! Thoughts On Intergenerational Fairness

Since this is the season for giving thanks in the US, we might give some consideration to the unsung heroes who have been underwriting a big chunk of our economic recovery of late. Actually, we literally owe our future to them - in more ways than one. Since there are no free lunches in economics (that we all must agree on), somebody has to pay for this. And it should be obvious by now who that will be: our children and grandchildren (and at this rate, probably their children and grandchildren too).



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Jamie Dimon's Daughter Is Asking You For A Favor



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"Now That's What I Call A Bubble"

"Then when the [Bank] called time and the bubble began to deflate, everyone watched in disbelief as layer upon layer was painfully peeled back and the mess of what had really been going on became plain for all to see."



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Guest Post: A Rant - What I Learned From Ferguson

"There are good people of all races/creeds/colors/whatever that want to just live and let live. Seek out those people, give them a voice, cherish them. Or, as we say in the prepper community – prep, train and form teams."



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"We Are A Nation Built On The Rule Of Law"

Having explained to the residents of Ferguson that "first and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law," we thought the following 'discussion' of the difference between "laws" and President Obama's executive orders would help clarify a few things...



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"This Is Madness"

Despite near-record Treasury short speculative-positioning, 30Y Treasury yields just hit a 2.93% handle - in line with the yield at the Bullard lows in mid-October. The S&P 500 is 200 points higher... Discuss...



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"We Blew It," Chuck Schumer Says Democrat Focus On Obamacare Was Wrong

With friends like this, who needs Republicans. President Obama may be turning over in his golf cart this Thanksgiving weekend as no lessor Democrat than Chuck "get back to work, Mr. Chairman" Schumer said Tuesday night that Democrats acted wrongly in using their new mandate after the 2008 election to focus on the issue rather than the economy at the height of a terrible recession. As National Journal reports, Schumer exclaimed, we "blew the opportunity the American people gave [us]." Little late to distance yourself from this cluster-tax chucky boy...



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