Afghan President Hamid Karzai Slams U.S. Foreign Policy in Farewell Speech

You’ve got to hand it to the brain surgeons running America’s foreign policy. They possess an uncanny ability to seamlessly forge alliances, break alliances and turn former allies into existential enemies, while simultaneously demonizing regimes, making amends with demonized regimes, and then quickly forming alliances with the same bitter enemies... “I want to thank those countries who genuinely supported us. Western countries had their personal interest, the Western countries and the United States had their own personal goal,” Mr. Karzai said, adding "this war is for the personal interest of foreign policies and this is fight of outsiders in which Afghans are sacrificed."

World Proxy War I - Mapping The Foreign Troops Fighting In Syria And Iraq

If only a year ago, someone had suggested that World Proxy War I would break out on the territory of what used to be Iraq and Syria, they would be deemed insane and put away in the Marriner Eccles building or some other insane asylum. And yet, as AFP's latest map shows, as of this moment nearly 20 nations from around the globe have deployed boots on the ground to battle a terrorist threat, which at least according to the people of Iraq, was once again created by the CIA.

Frontrunning: September 24

  • A Month of Bombs Dropped in One Night of Strikes on Syria (BBG)
  • Air strikes in Syria hit Islamic State-held areas near Turkey (Reuters)
  • Pimco ETF Draws Probe by SEC (WSJ)
  • Shadowy al Qaeda cell, hit by U.S. in Syria, seen as 'imminent' threat (Reuters)
  • Yellen Warns on Market Calm Before ‘Considerable Time’ Up (BBG)
  • Dudley Says Fed Needs U.S. Economy to Run ‘A Little Hot' (BBG)
  • Websites Are Wary of Facebook Tracking Software (WSJ)
  • Just a joke now: Barclays Fined Twice in One Day for Compliance Failures (BBG)
  • Fired UPS worker kills two supervisors, self, in Alabama shooting (Reuters)

Futures Higher As Lowest German IFO Since April 2013 Prompts More Demands For ECB QE

If yesterday the bombardment, no pun intended, of bad news from around the globe was too much even for Mahwah's vacuum tubes to spin as bullish - for stocks - news, then tonight's macro economic updates have so far been hardly as bombastic, with the only real news of the day has Germany's IFO Business Climate reading, which dropped from 106.3 to 105.8, declining for the 5th month in a row, missing expectations, and printing at the lowest level of since April 2013! (More from Goldman below) Net result: Bunds yields were once again pushed in the sub-1% category, even if stocks today are higher because the European data is "so bad it means the ECB has no choice but to do (public instead of just private) QE" blah blah blah.

Citi Previews How It All Ends, In One Chart

Doesn't get any simpler than this chart showing global monetary policy response to "secular stagnation", i.e., the situation the world finds itself in right now.

Welcome To The Oligarchy – US Leads The Developed World In Low Wage Jobs

In an apparent attempt to advise investors on how they can take advantage of America’s transformation into a neo-feudal oligarchy in a 50-page research report, Morgan Stanley has put together some very interesting charts. We will be sharing many of them in the next few days but none is more telling and depressing than the one that shows how the U.S. leads the developed world in the share of low wage jobs...

FBI, DHS Go Full Scaremonger: Warn Police Of Airstrike-Inspired "Homegrown Extremists" & "Disgruntled Employee" Threats

While careful to note 'no specific threats' have been found, it appears the FBI and DHS have decided it's time to show why local police departments needed to be fully militarized after all. In the first bulletin, according to Bloomberg, US security officials warned federal and local police to watch for “homegrown violent extremists” who may be motivated to attack by airstrikes in Syria. In the second bulletin, the FBI and DHS assess that disgruntled and former employees pose a significant threat to US businesses due to their authorized access to sensitive information and the networks businesses rely on (no doubt inspired by today's dreadful occurrences at UPS in Birmingham). It's just a good thing all those local police forces have MRAPs, don't you feel safer already? However, don't forget, as The UK made clear, the definition of terrorist is a tricky one since even viewing ISIS propaganda constitutes a criminal offense.

Bread, Circuses, & Bombs - Decline Of The American Empire

History may not repeat exactly because technology, resource discoveries, and political dynamics change the nature of society, but it does rhyme because the human foibles of greed, lust for power, arrogance, and desire for conquest do not vary across the ages. The corruption, arrogance, hubris, currency debasement, materialism, imperialism, and civic decay that led to the ultimate downfall of the Roman Empire is being repeated on an even far greater scale today as the American Empire flames out after only two centuries. The pillars of western society are crumbling under the sustained pressure of an immense mountain of debt, created by crooked bankers and utilized by corrupt politicians to sustain and expand their welfare/warfare state. Recklessness, myopia, greed, willful ignorance, and selfish disregard for unborn generations are the earmarks of decline in this modern day empire of debt, delusion and decay.

The Rise Of The Teenage Intern: How China Keeps 'iGadget' Costs Down

China is increasingly relying on 'student interns' to make gadgets like iPhones in Western China, according to The Wall Street Journal, where lower wages make it harder to attract 'real' migrant workers. As the following brief clip explains, the government has created 'vocational' schools in very rural areas of China for high-school students but the quality of education (and 'jobs') is not what they had hoped...

The Fed Kills Emerging Markets For Profit

The Fed, by raising its rates and relinquishing its downward pressure on the US dollar, is about to kill off most of the emerging markets. That’s a whole lot of misery in one pen stroke. That’s a whole lot of millions of people who will see their dreams of better lives shattered, just as they were beginning to think they had a chance. It’s how the game is played. The weak must be sacrificed so the strong be stronger.

GDP = Waste

Any system that has no way to measure, much less prioritize opportunity costs (i.e. what else could have been done the capital, labor and resources) and maximization of utility is not just flawed - it is terribly misguided and structurally destructive.

Just 3 WTF Earnings Charts

If a picture paints a thousand words, these three charts should write an entire book about the "market's" earnings...

The Fed's Credit Channel Is Broken And Its Bathtub Economics Has Failed

Believing they are filling the macroeconomic bathtub with aggregate demand and full-employment jobs, Janet Yellen and her merry band of Keynesian money printers are simply blowing chronic, giant, dangerous bubbles on Wall Street. Easy money is always the wrong medicine, but most especially for an economy that is already and self-evidently saturated with too much debt. The implication of all of this, of course,is that our monetary politburo is out of business; that “monetary accommodation” is nothing more than a one time parlor trick of central bankers.