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A Brief History Of US Money

Looking at the past 100 years of the US dollar's history, one theme becomes abundantly clear: in times of crisis, the US government has no issue with changing its own rules or breaking its own laws. And those "temporary" emergency measures have a nasty habit of quickly becoming permanent. As we see the US money supply exponentially accelerating since the 1970s, and the Federal Reserve more than tripling its balance sheet since 2008, it's only prudent to ask the question: Without constraints, are we in danger of destroying the purchasing power of our currency by making too much of it?



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SEC (Finally) Begins Investigation Into CYNK's 36,000% Rise (And Fall)

Over six weeks ago we were the first to bring the investing world's (and SEC's) attention to CYNK technologies - a revenueless, assetless 'social network' shell that rapidly exploded in price and market cap soared to $6 billion. Since then it has come crashing back to 'sanity' levels - i.e. worthless - and now, as WSJ reports, The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating. Their initial findings show a number of 'repeat offenders' linked to several stocks that suffered suspicious trading - just as we noted here...



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Occupation Forces

The US is unique in the world with regard to occupation. It has been estimated that the US has over 325,000 military personnel in over 1,000 overseas military bases in more than 150 countries, but statistics are widely conflicting. Generally, the American troops arrive to deal with some sort of conflict (either invited or uninvited), but unlike most other armies, they tend to remain for a long time beyond the stated “need.” There are those who praise this policy, stating that the US “keeps the world safe for democracy;” however, the US is known (at least to us outsiders) as a country that typically routs elected governments, installs corrupt and ineffectual puppet leaders, and seeks to control the occupied country as a satellite state. There are three major downsides to this policy...



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Confused How To Trade Jackson Hole? Goldman Explains

"With opinions mixed as to whether or not Jackson Hole will be the forum for Yellen to say something new, many are trying to figure out if it is a buy the rumor and then buy more after the fact event, a buy the rumor sell the fact event, or a do nothing with the rumors and then buy the fact if the USD is actually rallying after the fact event."



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Dilbert Explains The Tech Bubble With A Cartoon... From 1996

It's never different this time...



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Guest Post: Joblessness, Hopelessness, And Government Dependency

Of all the awful tensions roiling and coiling in American society, it’s only a little bit surprising that the racial module is blowing off now rather than, say, the stock market. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing: race riots in the summer; stock market crashes in the fall, revolutions in the spring.



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Bulgaria Halts South Stream Pipeline Again As NATO F-15s, Troops Arrive

As we detailed previously, Bulgaria had been an enthusiastic supporter of the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, whose construction has stoked tensions between the West and Moscow as it enabled gas supply to bypass troubled Ukraine (thus squeezing the desparate economy back into Russia's hands). In early June, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski ordered an initial halt (after Europe offered the nation's suddenly collapsing banking system a lifeline). This time, Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov has ordered Bulgaria’s Energy Holding to halt any actions in regards of the project as it does not meet the requirements of the European Commission. Of course, we assume this decision (to halt a 2nd time) is entirely independent of NATO's deployment of 12 F-15s and 180 troops to Bulgaria's  Graf Ignatievo Air Base.



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California Now Suffering Worst Drought Ever, 2014 Hottest Year On Record

While most headlines are focused on the devastating drought in California, which by some measures is the worst on record, there is another 'factor' that has exploded to record highs - the heat. As Bloomberg reports, the California heat this year is like nothing ever seen, with records that go back to 1895 and with 70 percent of the state’s pastures rated “very poor to poor,” according to the USDA, things do not appear to be about to get better any time soon as The International Panel on Climate Change warns this "hot weather" is becoming simply "weather."



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Obama Deploys Eric Holder To Ferguson; Speaks About Race

Moments ago while taking a break from his vacation, the president announced that he would drag away the US attorney general Eric Holder neck deep in workload (which involves if not prosecuting criminal bankers, who as we know as too systemic to prosecute, then certainly punishing them by demanding their shareholders pay legal charges that amount to pennies on the dollar from the crime proceeds) to Ferguson on Wednesday, where he will meet with federal law enforcement authorities. And while Obama touched on the topic of the ongoing military campaign in Iraq, which he admitted would be a long-term "strategy", the most important excerpt of the speech by a president somewhat out of his comfort zone, were the following comments on the topic of race, where he was on thin ice: condemn the rioting too hard, and he could cost the democrats the "race" vote in the midterms; condemn the police response, and he would appear to be pandering to rioters and looters and put the police union vote in jeopardy.



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WHO Urges "Exit Screening" Of All Travelers In Ebola-Infected Countries As Reported Cases Go Parabolic

In its strongest-worded statement yet, the World Health Organization is urging strengthened international cooperation to stop transmission of Ebola to other countries. Most critically, WHO urges: "Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection." Falling short on banning international travel, WHO does warn non-affected countries to strengthen the capacity to detect and immediately contain new cases. Of course, in the interests of avoiding panic, they reiterate the risk of infection on a flight is low - which seems odd given that we get a cold every time we fly...



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Market Roulette: Dimes On Black, Dynamite On Red

The stock market is presently a roulette wheel with dimes on black and dynamite on red... The ‘buy the dip’ mentality can introduce periodic recovery attempts even in markets that are quite precarious from a full cycle perspective. Galbraith reminds us that the 1929 market crash did not have observable catalysts: “the crash did not come – as some have suggested – because the market suddenly became aware that a serious depression was in the offing... for it is in the nature of a speculative boom that almost anything can collapse it."

 



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President Obama To Explain Boots-On-The-Ground In Ferguson, But Not In Iraq - Live Feed

Having been forced to face up to the tense realities of 'leading the free world', President Obama's early return to Washington from his vacation likely means something of note is coming. With Iraq now transitioning from a humanitarian crisis to helping a troubled nation, it seems the advisers 'boots' that are not on the ground around the Mosul Dam are very much on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri. The deployment of the National Guard in Ferguson was not run by the White House PR department and so it will be intriguing to see whether Obama backs it or questions it... Of course, as the signs show below, the people of Ferguson want to know when he will visit...



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Nasdaq Surges Back To March 2000 Highs

The lack of World War 3 this weekend was the perfect catalyst for buying stocks back up towards record highs... because Putin must have folded, right? Oil prices slipped, with WTI briefly back under $96, which lifted Trannies 1.75% on the day (best performer) but the Nasdaq's break of cycle highs (to March 2000 highs) is the big news for bubble-watchers (though it's different this time remember). VIX broke back below 13 to almost a 4-week low close. Treasuries were weak all day especially after Europe closed with the long-end underperforming (30Y +6.5bps) - 3rd worst day of yeasr for 30Y - with yields rising back to Russian convoy "destroyed" headline levels. Gold dropped back under $1300 as silver rallied 0.5%. S&P futures volumes were 40% below average as AAPL flash-crashes but has almost round-tripped to 2012 highs.



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Today’s Mindless Rally: Its Jackson Hole, Stupid!

There is no reason rooted in the real world for today’s frothy stock market rally. In every single region of the planet, the post-crisis, central bank fueled expansion cycle - tepid as it was in the global aggregate - is faltering badly. So with the global expansion cycle faltering, profit ratios at all-time highs and PE multiples in the nose-bleed section of history - nearly 20X reported earnings for the S&P 500 - there is only one thing left for the Wall Street robots to do. Namely, vigorously buy the latest dip because the Fed has yet another new sheriff heading for Jackson Hole purportedly bearing dovish tidings. To wit, after 6 years of pinning money market rates to the economic floorboard at zero, Janet Yellen espies an economy still encumbered by “slack”, and will therefore be inclined to keep Wall Street gamblers in free money for a while longer.



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Ebola Panic Reaches New Highs: Korean Bar Bans "Africans"

With race-relations in American at a boiling point, it is perhaps worth a glance at Asia for some context. As Media Equalizer's Brian Maloney reports, one restaurant in South Korea is refusing to serve black people due to fears over Ebola! As he concludes: imagine the uproar were this sign to appear anywhere in the US...



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