Thailand Police & Military Step Aside As Anti-Government Protesters Reach PM's Office; Declare VictorySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/02/2013 - 23:56
As the "peoples' coup" in Thailand gets the blessing of the country's Military leader (who stated he would not intervene), the police have also undertaken an unexpected reversal of strategy by removing barriers from the heavily fortified police and government buildings. The government no longer wants to confront the protesters in the 3rd of fighting with 3 dead and at least 230 injured. As AP reports, the protesters have made no attempts (yet) to enter Government House but are milling around the entrance. The government has 'asked' people to stay inside and police helicopters are reportedly dropping leaflets warning demonstrators to move out of the rally sites (on grounds of insurrection and possibel death penalty). The anti-government protesters have declared "victory" as the police state "there will be no tear gas today."
Although the GAO has made clear the limitations of its data, its $394 million tally for work through March 31 has been widely cited as the price tag for the entire launch of the "Affordable" Care Act. However, as Bloomberg's Peter Gosselin finds, looking at the full range of ACA-related contracts for just 10 firms, more than $1 billion worth of contract awards. Perhaps even more mind-blowing is that more than one third of the funds going to the top contractors working on the federal exchanges were awarded in the last six months - even as it was clear the project was failing.
One economic myth is that paper money is wealth. The proponents of big government oppose honest money for a very specific reason. Inflation, the creation of new money, is used to finance government programs not generally endorsed by the producing members of society. It is a deceptive tool whereby a “tax” is levied without the people as a whole being aware of it. Since the recipients of the newly created money, as well as the politicians, whose only concern is the next election, benefit from this practice, it’s in their interest to perpetuate it. For this reason, misconceptions are promulgated about the “merits” of paper money and the “demerits” of gold. Simply put, “Easy” money causes hard times.
Slowly but surely the Chinese currency is catching up to the world's reserve and moments ago, according to SWIFT, the Yuan just surpassed the Euro in trade (remember trade: that's how countries once upon a time would generate capital flows in a time when central banks weren't there to literally print domestic funding needs) finance usage leaving just the USD in front.
YUAN OVERTAKES EURO IN TRADE FINANCE USAGE: SWIFT
YUAN IS SECOND MOST-USED CURRENCY IN TRADE FINANCE: SWIFT
One of the following is a festering over-stuffed rotten-at-the-core pool of entrails due to pop any second; and the other is a huge dead aquatic animal. While the explosion following the London Whale's exposure was impressive, we suspect the following (graphic) clip of a real sperm whale may be more analogous to what follows in stocks after the Fed tries to exit...
It seems only apropos the current exuberance that, having been put on hold due to the economic crisis, an ambitious project to build the world's biggest ship and create "a community that offers unique lifestyle opportunities" is back on track and seeking investors. With calls for wealth taxes increasing and "the 1%" becoming increasingly separate from the rest of the world, what better way that the ironically named "Freedom Ship," which as IBTimes reports, will be a vast floating city that will be more than a mile long and 25 storeys high. It will cost $10bn to build and will constantly circumnavigates the globe; and while US residents may still need to pay taxes, residents of other countries "may realise tax savings by residing in or running businesses in the Freedom Ship Community."
A mere two months after the last widespread blackout to hit Venezuela, major parts of the nation are once again dark tonight as a power outage hit during President Maduro's evening address laying out his new economic philosophy (the inverse of Bernanke's):
*MADURO SAYS VENEZUELANS MUST SAVE MORE, CONSUME LESS
The blackoutt has affected some of the nation's oil refineries (even though they are often powered by separate generator plants). Maduro himself said this evening's blackout cause was "strange," hinting at "sabotage" and not caused by excess demand (since the same substation that was sabotaged in September has failed). Perhaps it is time to spend what little discretionary reserves the nation has left on infrastructure instead of Samsung trinkets and military bonuses to keep the people at bay.
"Surely this can't go on forever", asks a pensive Lou Rukeyser on New Year's Ever 1999, to which a youthful Liz-Ann Sonders replies ever-exuberantly, "this is a magical environment for the stock market, for the year 2000, things look terrific." The other guests in this wonderfully brief moment of deja vu from the peak of the previous bubble are just as cock-a-hoop, "the danger signs are still a ways off," and none other than Laszlo Birinyi concludes, "the individual is flush with cash, and continues to be positive," confirming once again that the money-on-the-sidelines fallacy is just that.
As might be expected as political and economic policy failures pile up and citizens become increasingly mad, the status quo is becoming increasingly authoritarian. In the latest disturbing news from a desperate power structure, the conservative government in Spain has passed an Orwellian bill titled the Citizens’ Security Law, which allows for fines of up to 600,000 euros ($816,000) for “unauthorized” street protests, and a 30,000 fine for merely having signs with “offensive” slogans against Spain or for wearing a mask. This law is a perfect example of the increasing neo-feudalism being implemented across the globe by a corrupt, decadent and depraved status quo.
As we showed back in April, the marginal cost of production of gold (90% percentile) in 2013 was estimated at between $1250 and $1300 including capex. Which means that as of a few days ago, gold is now trading well below not only the cash cost, but is rapidly approaching the marginal cash cost of $1125... Of course, should the central banks of the world succeed in driving the price of gold to or below its costs of production (repressing yet another asset class into stocks) then we fear the repercussions will backfire from a combination of bankruptcies, unemployment, and as we have already seen in Africa - severe social unrest (especially notable as China piles FDI into that region).
"NSA's Mission Is Of Great Value To The Nation" - The Complete "Authorized" NSA Thanksgiving Dinner Talking PointsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/02/2013 - 19:00
It seems getting an 8 pm "escape" from friends and family this Thanksgiving to rush into the nearby World Wrestling Federation Walmart may have been a welcome reprieve for some. Those some in question being NSA agents, and just in case their friends and family got a little too pesky, boisterous or simply inquisitive, all the employees of the National Security Agency and the Central Security Services received a prepared memo with preauthorized talking points designed to "guide" conversations over the Thanksgiving dinner table. Plastered at the head of the 2-page propaganda is a Douglas Adams-like (or was that Isaac Asimov) in its simplicity bullet point: "(1) NSA's mission is of great value to the Nation." How was it that "defenders" of the fatherland during the Third Reich were being brainwashed again? But we digress.
Until early May of this year, trends in US macro fundamentals and US stock markets were 'relatively' well correlated. However, since the first stirrings of Taper concerns, the relationship has seemingly explicitly inverted. Day after day we see markets react to "good" or "bad" news but over time, as the following chart shows, the Fed's total farce has been exposed. Simply put, if the last 7 months of market-macro relationships hold (which makes sense in a world entirely driven by Fed liquidity), the Bulls should be praying for the economic fundamentals to collapse or things will get painful fast for stocks.
The two bullet points below from a just released update by Yum Brands explain all you need to know about the "magic" of half-off retail discounts.
- YUM BRANDS- IN CHINA, LIMITED-TIME "HALF PRICED" BUCKET PROMOTION YIELDED AN ABOUT 16% INCREASE IN KFC SAME-STORE SALES FOR FIRST 10 DAYS OF NOVEMBER
- YUM BRANDS - IN CHINA, KFC SAME-STORE SALES WERE DOWN APPROXIMATELY 8% FOR THE REMAINDER OF NOVEMBER
So, sales were up 16% for the 10 days in which margins were crushed, then down 8% for the remaining 20 regular margin days. And the net impact on the bottom line is...
As far as our well-being is concerned, government intervention in the economy is no more effective than the straw aeroplanes and wooden headphones of some bewildered “cargo cult.” In truth, it probably does more harm.