Obama's Minimum Wage Utopia Just Hit A Brick Wall

Who could have possibly seen this coming? Almost three years we first detailed how America has become an entitlement nation where "work is punished." It appears President Obama is about to discover this first hand as his populist 'raise the minimum wage' strategy is showing yet another major unintended consequence. On the same day as New York acts to mandate a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers, Seattle's $15 minimum wage law - which is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and off public assistance - has hit a snag. As Fox News reports, evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent. So not only is work 'punished' it is now 'disinentivized by mandate' as part-time America toils amid ever-rising costs of living.

A Middle-East Game Of Thrones

As President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is compared to Richard Nixon’s opening to China, Bibi Netanyahu must know how Chiang Kai-shek felt as he watched his old friend Nixon toasting Mao in Peking. The Iran nuclear deal is not on the same geostrategic level. Yet both moves, seen as betrayals by old U.S. allies, were born of a cold assessment in Washington of a need to shift policy to reflect new threats and new opportunities. Several events contributed to the U.S. move toward Tehran.

First China Arrests "Sellers", Now Bans "Defaulters" From Traveling

In consequence-less America, the stigma of defaulting on one's personal responsibilities is a badge of honor for a risk-seeking public. No matter what, the government has your back if you want to buy a fridge, boat, or car - serial defaulter or not. However, hot on the heels of their proclamation that "malicious selling" of stocks is illegal, the Chinese government has extended its punitive measures against defaulting citizens, who are now banned from traveling on high-speed trains.

"It's Laughable Really": Why No One, Especially Not Jamie Dimon, Will Be Held Accountable For London Whale

"Mr. Martin-Artajo is in Spain, where a court has refused to extradite him, and Mr. Grout is in France, which typically does not extradite its own citizens. Although the investigation in the United States officially remains open, it appears no one, in all likelihood, will be held legally accountable. 'When risky behavior is repeatedly tolerated or concealed, you have to wonder if higher-ranking people should have been targeted.'" 

Peter Schiff: Currencies Depend On Faith, Gold Doesn't

"My faith is that governments and central banks will continue to run up debt and debase currencies until a crisis brings the whole experiment to a disastrous conclusion. There is simply no historical precedent to reach any other conclusion. I also have faith that human beings will always prefer a piece of gold to a stack of paper. Separate a paper currency from its perceived value and you just have a stack of paper and ink. However, if they would just print it on softer and absorbent stock and put it on rolls, it might have some intrinsic value if we run out of toilet paper."

'Trump'ing Political Success Through An Irate Silent Majority

Richard Nixon made hay of the term “Silent majority” back in November 1969 to defend his Vietnam War policy.  It has since been used by American politicians to legitimize and expand the nature of a non-descript huge following they claim as their own, quite often asserting the existence of magnified populism and an implied democracy.  Nixon’s baton seems to have been now passed to Donald Trump, as he submits his candidacy for the highest political office in the land, and grabs the microphone to broadcast his unfiltered stand on immigration.  A message that questionably-qualified experts in the media are quick to devour, then defecate, on a public more receptive to shallow issues dealing with celebrities than anything of social significance or depth. 

Kiwi Pops After RBNZ Cuts Rates, Citing Commodity Price Pressures

While we know now that Greece is irrelevant, and China is irrelevant (fdrom what we are told by talking heads), it appears the commodity carnage of the last few months is relevant for at least one nation. Having already warned about Australia, it appears New Zealand has got nervous:

*NEW ZEALAND CUTS KEY INTEREST RATE TO 3.00% FROM 3.25%, FURTHER EASING LIKELY AT SOME POINT

The Central bank blames softening economic outlook driven by commodity price pressures. Kiwi interestingly popped on the news to 0.66 before fading back a little, despite RBNZ noting a further NZD drop is necessary.

12 Ways The Economy Is In Worse Shape Now Than During The Depths Of The Last Recession

When we discuss an "economic collapse," most people think of a collapse of the financial markets; and without a doubt, one is coming very shortly. But let us not neglect the long-term economic collapse that is already happening all around us. If you stand back and take a broader view of things, what has been happening to the U.S. economy truly is quite shocking. The following are 12 ways that the U.S. economy is already in worse shape than it was during the depths of the last recession...

Ottawans Outed - 1 In 5 Found To Be "Cheating Dirtbags Who Deserve No Discretion"

Canada's capital city, Ottawa, is, as MSN reports, also it's most potentially adulterous. Around 1 in 5 of the population is registered on Ashley Madison - the recently hacked social network for married people looking for an affair. The hotbed of infidelity was also the seat of power: The top postal code for new members matched that of Parliament Hill, according to Avid Live chief executive Noel Biderman in a newspaper report published earlier this year.

Forget Recession: According To Caterpillar There Is A Full-Blown Global Depression

There has now been an unprecedented 31 consecutive months of CAT retail sales declines. This compares to "only" 19 during the near systemic collapse in 2008.  In other words, if global demand for heavy industrial machinery, as opposed to unemployed millennials' demands for $0.99 Apple apps, is any indication of the true underlying economy, forget recession: the world is now in a second great depression which is getting worse by the month.

 

Greece Isn't The Problem; It's A Symptom Of The Problem

All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent.  It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.

China Just Started Nationalizing Its Stock Market

According to China Daily, the "recent overweighting to stem A-share plunge has made China Securities Finance Corp (CSF), central bank-backed refinancing institution, among top 10 shareholders of many listed-firms, reported Securities Times on Wednesday."

Biggest "Hedge Fund Hotel" Implodes After Judge Ruling Sends Caesars Stock Plummeting By 40%

Some know it as one of the longest running Las Vegas pre-bankruptcy dramas. But what Caesars Entertainment really is, is the biggest hedge fund hotel in "special situation" history: with "investors" such as Paulson, Omega, Canyon, Soros, JMB, Scoggin, Och Ziff and many others, this is quite literally the who is who of biggest and baddest US hedge funds.