Is It Time to Get into Crash Positions, Or Will The Market Just Enter A Glide Path Rather Than A Tailspin

After a dizzying 500+ point drop in the Dow on Friday, should we brace for impact? There are plenty of fundamental and technical reasons to view the swoon this week as the initial downturn that presages a crash landing.  But if we look at the last equivalent spike down in October 2014, we're not so sure. Both spikes (October 2014 and August 2015) smashed through the lower Bollinger band, but the volume in last week's plummet was nothing special compared to the 2014 swoon.

Introducing The Gigantic And Dangerous Wall Street Loophole You’ve Never Heard Of

The following story is guaranteed to make you sick. Once again, we’re shown that following trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts and backstops, TBTF Wall Street banks immediately went ahead and focused all their attention obtaining loopholes in order to transfer risk and make billions upon billions of dollars in the financial matrix, as opposed to adding any benefit whatsoever to society.

7 Million People Haven't Made A Single Student Loan Payment In At Least A Year

How bad is America's $1.3 trillion student loan problem, you ask? As WSJ reports, "nearly seven million Americans have gone at least a year without making a payment on their federal student loans, a staggering level of default that highlights how student debt continues to burden households despite an improving labor market."

Who Would Win A War In The South China Sea: The Pentagon Infographic

Should the dispute between China and its neighbors over Beijing's land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea escalate from a war of words to a war of missles and bullets, how do the potential combatants match up from a maritime military perspective? The Pentagon explains.

Paul Craig Roberts: "America Is A Gulag"

America is a gulag. We are ruled by a government that is devoid of all morality, all integrity, all compassion, all justice. The government of the United States stands for one thing and one thing only: Evil. You are part of the new Captive Nation.

How Big Are China's Man-Made Military Outposts? The Pentagon Explains

Apparently, someone at the Pentagon thought that between the four-year civil war in Syria, the heightened violence in Turkey, the proxy war in Ukraine, and the threat of a new war in the Korean Peninsula, the geopolitical situation wasn’t unstable enough, because on Thursday the DoD issued a report entitled "Asia Pacific Maritime Security Strategy," in which a considerable amount of space is spent discussing China’s land reclamation efforts in the Spratlys.

The Federal Reserve Is Not Your Friend

Imagine that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was a corporation, with its shares owned by the nation's major pharmaceutical companies. How would you feel about the regulation of medications?  Whose interests would this corporation be serving? Or suppose that major oil companies appointed a small committee to periodically announce the price of a barrel of crude in the United States. How would that impact you at the gasoline pump? Such hypotheticals would strike the majority of Americans as completely absurd, but it's exactly how our banking system operates.

Mal-Asia: Politcal, Currency Crises Converge As Stocks Head For Bear Market

As the great EM unwind continues unabated, we’ve noted that in some hard-hit countries, the terrible trio of falling commodity prices, decelerating Chinese demand, and looming Fed hike has been exacerbated by political turmoil. Now, we turn to Malaysia where an already tenuous situation just got worse as PM Najib Razak is now facing calls for a no-confidence vote amid allegations he embezzled some $700 million from the country's development fund.

China Tests Most Dangerous Nuclear Weapon of All Time

Coincidence? As China enters the currency wars, crushing carry around the world, it just happens that it also conducted a flight test of its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this month (and China’s acquisition of a MIRVed capability is one of the most dangerous nuclear weapons developments that no one is talking about).

These Currencies Could Be The Next To Tumble In Global FX Wars

Shockwaves from China’s devaluation have conspired with sluggish global demand and an attendant commodities slump to wreak havoc on developing market currencies the world over. On the heels of Kazakhstan's dramatic move to float the tenge, here's which currencies are next in line to tumble.

A Different Perspective On Market Valuations

When paying a premium for equities, or any asset for that matter, one runs the serious risk of capital impairment. Worse, most professional investment managers falling prey to the bullish sentiment currently surrounding this period of extreme valuations will likely not live up to their overriding fiduciary duty – the preservation of wealth. Following the herd may have its benefits at times, but following the herd over a cliff never ends well.  As Seth Klarman warned. “Risk is not inherent in an investment; it is always relative to the price paid”

Is The Oil Crash A Result Of Excess Supply Or Plunging Demand: The Unpleasant Answer In One Chart

Courtesy of the following chart by BofA, we have the answer: while for the most part of 2015, the move in the price of oil was a combination of both supply and demand, the most recent plunge has been entirely a function of what now appears to be a global economic recession, one which will get far worse if the Fed indeed hikes rates as it has repeatedly threatened as it begins to undo 7 years of ultra easy monetary policy.

Weekend Reading: Is This The Big One?

"The combined levels of bullish optimism, lack of concern about a possible market correction (don't worry the Fed has the markets back), and rising levels of leverage in markets provide the 'ingredients' for a more severe market correction. However, it is important to understand that these ingredients by themselves are inert. It is because they are inert that they are quickly dismissed under the guise that 'this time is different.' Like a thermite reaction, when these relatively inert ingredients are ignited by a catalyst, they will burn extremely hot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what that catalyst will be or when it will occur. The problem for individuals is that they are trapped by the combustion an unable to extract themselves in time."