If there was supposed to be any crackdown on opposition voices in Russia following the shocking death of Boris Nemtsov, it wasn't evident today during a rally in which tens of thousands converged in central Moscow this monring to mourn the veteran liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, whose killing on the streets of the capital has, according to AP, shaken Russia's beleaguered opposition. As AP reports, and as the photos below show, the mourners marched to the bridge near the Kremlin where Nemtsov was gunned down shortly before midnight Friday. "The march could serve to energize the opposition or it could prove to be a brief outpouring of emotions that once again dissipates in a climate of fear."
If not the economy or fundamentals, and if not the Fed, which as we know is still on sabbatical after its massive QE1-2-Twist-3 $3 trillion liquidity injection, just what has pushed stocks up to jawdropping all time highs? Here, courtesy of Deutsche Bank, is the answer...
Most Americans spend their lives working for others, paying off debts to others and performing tasks that others tell them that they “must” do. These days, we don’t like to think of ourselves as “servants” or “slaves”, but that is what the vast majority of us are. It is just that the mechanisms of our enslavement have become much more sophisticated over time.
Collecting debt is a dirty business which is why The Federal Government turns it over to the private sector. Meet one of the biggest players in the industry, law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. It has worked for small-town school districts, the city of New York and at one point, the largest tax collector in the country: the Internal Revenue Service. As CNN reports, based in Texas, Linebarger works for 2,300 clients nationwide and collects $1 billion for its clients each year. But the collection system is far from perfect, leading to some nightmare scenarios. Despite decades of scandals over the way the firm gets business (and even jail time for one of its top executives) Linebarger still lands lucrative government contracts...
The average American benefited in no way from the government/banker bailout. Their wages have deteriorated, their daily living expenses have risen, Obamacare has resulted in higher healthcare premiums, higher co-pays, more part-time jobs, less full-time jobs, and less healthcare choices for the working class, while Wall Street generates billions in risk free profits, bankers and corporate executives reap massive million dollar bonuses, and the .1% parties like its 1999. Rising wealth inequality has been systematically programmed into our economic system by bankers and their bought off puppet politicians in Washington D.C. – Corporate fascism at its finest.
"Russian scientists have now spotted a total of seven craters, five of which are in the Yamal Peninsula. Two of those holes have since turned into lakes. And one giant crater is rimmed by a ring of at least 20 mini-craters, the Siberian Times reported."
While the divergence between macro data 'dismalness' and equity price exuberance is by now well known, there is a greater threat looming to the rampapalooza that is underway. As forward Price-to-Earnings ratios have soared in the last year (aided and abetted - as Alan Greenspan explained - solely by The Fed's largesse) so bottom-up earnings growth expectations have cratered. So much so that veteran stock market investors and traders now see the divergence between multiple 'hope' and growth 'reality' as "ridiculous." Just how ridiculous? Worse than 1987, 2002, and 2011, when stocks fell over 20% upon realization of reality.
Another quarter of no “escape velocity” on main street and a further round of Kool Aid drinker speculation on Wall Street takes us just that much closer to the brink. Yet the Fed remains oblivious and continues to manufacture excuses and equivocations as to why ZIRP should extend into its 80th month and beyond. This is mis-governance on a colossal scale. So when the next thundering crash occurs - it is devoutly to be hoped that “audit the Fed” turns out to be the least of the threats descending on the Eccles Building.
WSJ Praises "Waiter, Bartender Recovery" While 74% Of Americans Believe They Will Work Until They DieSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/28/2015 - 18:44
The lines bethween the New Normal and the New Paranormal, between the real and the surreal are increasingly getting blurred when, having nothing else to praise about the US economy, the WSJ focuses on the "wage gains" of burger flippers... meanwhile 75% of Americans are confident they will work until their death.
Previously, the Obama administration attempted unsuccessfully to ban the AR-15. That didn’t work, so now Obama is going after the ammunition. This is yet another example of the war on preppers that is going on all over the nation. Whether you are a gun owner or not, this assault on our constitutional rights should disturb you greatly.
As Greece Scrambles To End Its Bank Run, JPM Throws A Wrench: Says Deposit Outflows Continued After "Deal"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/28/2015 - 16:42
Just when Greece thought it had bought itself some breathing room in its desperate attempt to rebuild confidence in its financial system, here comes JPM and effectively calls Yanis Varoufakis a liar, suggesting that Greek deposit outflows have continued at a brisk pace despite the bailout extension "deal."
"If you drop anybody into any momentous period in history, it’s really tough to perceive it at the time. It’s only when you look back on these things with the benefit of hindsight that you really see how historic they really are. But for many people right now who can forget the narrative and can forget what they're being told by various interested parties, if you can stand back far enough and take a practical look at what’s happening, I think it’s much easier to see certainly how far from normality things are today. "
Just a few short hours after the terrible murder of Russian opposition politician and outspoken Putin critic Boris Nemtsov, US' John Kerry was quick to condemn the actions of the "reformer" and demand Russia's "expeditious investigation," and President Obama has since issued a statement "admiring [Nemtsov's] struggle against corruption" Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the Nemtsov murder was "100% provocation... It looks like a contract killing."