Neil Howe: What To Expect From The Fourth Turning We're Now In

"History’s fourth turnings are full of Hobson’s choices, full of grim choices. I think that the what the Fed got into -- back in 2000 as well 2009, 2010 and then with QE -- they got into that with a feeling of they had no choice; this is crisis intervention. And crisis intervention became a habit... I just think that the full consequences of it have not yet been fully perceived, and I think they will be when the financial markets ultimately reflect the damage that has been done to the economy as a whole. And I think that will happen probably over the next year and a half -- if it even takes that long."

The Lies End Now: "Most Transparent Administration Ever" Is No More: White House To Delete Its FOIA Regulations

"We have put in place the toughest ethics and transparency laws of any administration in history." - Barack Obama.

The lies end now. As reported moments ago, the White House is voiding a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA  (incidentally the same act that discovered none of Hillary Clinton's "personal" government-business emails since they were not even stored on government property!) which as USA Today explains, makes "official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office."

What Saudi Arabia Told The Bank Of England About Why Oil Crashed And Where It Is Headed Next

"Ladies and gentlemen. A few weeks ago, in Riyadh, I was at a small, private function along with the British central bank governor, Mark Carney. Mr Carney asked me two questions. First, why did the oil price drop? And the second, where is the price heading? I will tell you today what I said to him then."

- Ibrahim Al-Muhanna, Advisor to the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Saudi Arabia

New York Fed Propaganda: "The Story Of The Federal Reserve System" In Cartoons

To truly understand what The Fed does, we go to the source... "The Fed is best known for its influence in money and credit conditions in the economy in order to help the US economy experience strong growth in output and income, high employment, and stable prices." So factory output growth is now negative, income stagnant, the percentage of employed people in the population is catastrophic, and prices (oil collapse? stock explosion? record beef and beer prices?) are anything but stable.

The FBI's Secret Gun Vault Revealed

"On a military base in Quantico, Virginia, the FBI keeps a collection of over 7,000 guns, including weapons used by John Dillinger and other famous American gangsters," BBC reports.

The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy: For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back

Between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 Billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 Trillion in federal business and support. Here is the visual representation of this stunning finding: for every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation’s most politically active corporations received $760 from the government.

As Israel Votes, Meet The "Anyone But Bibi" Coalition

Israelis will elect a new parliament March 17. As WaPo notes, the main contest pits the right-wing Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against a surprisingly strong challenge from the Zionist Union, a center-left political alliance led by Isaac Herzog of the Labor party. Polls place Herzog's bloc ahead of Likud, but that's no guarantee of victory. Since Israel's first election in 1949, no single party has ever won an outright majority in the 120-seat Knesset, the name for the Israeli parliament. That means smaller political parties -- and there are 26 in total -- play a significant role in shaping the ruling coalition that forms the Israeli government after the ballots get counted. There appear to be three main scenarios for Israel's next coalition...

US Economic Data Is Having Its Worst Year Since At Least 2000

It's getting old but the percentage of missed expectations in economic data is now over 90% since the start of February with three more added to the long list today. This has pushed Bloomberg's US Macro Surprise index to its worst start to a year on record.

Traders "Furious" Market Didn't Close Higher

In what most traders dubbed an "extremely disappointing" performance, stocks ended Monday's session with modest gains of 1.35%... "Honestly, what more could the market ask for'?" queried one frustrated floor trader. "When the market can't gain at least 2% on disappointing manufacturing and housing data, something is very wrong."

 

Japan Ties China As America's Largest Creditor As Foreigners Dump A Record Amount Of Treasurys

Moments ago the January TIC data update was released, and while China continued selling US paper, liquidating another $5.2 billion in January and bringing its new total to the lowest since January 2013, Japan - yes that Japan whose central bank is now moentizing 100% of its own debt issuance because the country is now effectively insolvent and absent constant monetization of its debt it is finished - bought $8 billion in US debt, in the process trying China as America's largest foreign creditor for the first time in history, with both nations holdings $1.239 trillion in US TSYs.

A Return To Reality (In Charts)

The overall economic data has been significantly weaker than expected as of late, and it now looks like Q1-GDP will print somewhere below 2%.  The strong dollar is negatively impacting corporate earnings as exports are hit, and there is early evidence that the ECB's QE program will not likely be the success that many had hoped for. As stated previously, with market momentum now waning a bit of caution in relation to portfolio exposure seems prudent.  But then again, being prudent seems a bit ridiculous in a market that has been quoted as one that "can't go down." Of course, that has always been the case, just before it has.

Meet The Relentless, Mystery Buyer Of Chinese Stocks Even As China's Economy Grinds To A Crawl

unlike the late summer and early fall of 2014, when the rise in the Chinese stock market could be attributed to the PBOC's PSL "QE Lite", the relentless buying leg that started in mid-November has stunned most people, as nobody has been able to figure out just who is responsible for all this buying. Until now. According to Reuters, it is precisely China's trust firms, with total assets of $2.2 trillion, and who together with Banker Acceptances comrpise the bulk of China's shadow banking pipeline, are shifting more cash into frothy capital markets and over-the-counter (OTC) instruments instead of loans. In other words, instead of using their vast cash hoard of over $2 trillion to re-lend and stimulate China's economy, China's unregulated, shadow banking conduits are now directly buying stocks!

ICE Futures Broke Law "Thousands" Of Times In 20 Months, CFTC Fines Exchange 0.75% Of 2015 Revenues

From October 2012 to May 2014, the CFTC found that ICE Futures exchange submitted reports and data containing errors and omissions on every reporting day, with cumulative inaccuracies totaling in the thousands. The CFTC stated unequivocally that, those "who fail to meet their reporting obligations will be held accountable," and required ICE to pay a $3 million civil monetary penalty. With expectations of over $4 billion in revenues for FY 2015, the $3 million fine represents just 0.75% of the exchange's income... that will teach them!!!

Putin Warns "We Were Ready" To Use Nukes To Secure Crimea

Having re-emerged from his hibernation, Vladimir Putin is wasting no time getting back to business. Having paced 40,000 troops on "snap-readiness," AP reports that a documentary which aired last night shows Putin explaining that Russia was ready to bring its nuclear weapons into a state of alert during last year's tensions over the Crimean Peninsula and the overthrow of Ukraine's president, and admitted well-armed forces in unmarked uniforms who took control of Ukrainian military facilities in Crimea were Russian soldiers. In the documentary, which marks a year since the referendum, Putin says of the nuclear preparedness, "We were ready to do this ... (Crimea) is our historical territory. Russian people live there. They were in danger. We cannot abandon them."

Bob Shiller Asks "How Scary Is The Bond Market?" (Spoiler Alert: Not Very)

With the bond market appearing ripe for a dramatic correction, many are wondering whether a crash could drag down markets for other long-term assets, such as housing and equities. Bond-market crashes have actually been relatively rare and mild. According to our model, long-term rates in the US should be even lower than they are now, because both inflation and short-term real interest rates are practically zero or negative. Even taking into account the impact of quantitative easing since 2008, long-term rates are higher than expected. Regarding the stock market and the housing market, there may well be a major downward correction someday. But it probably will have little to do with a bond-market crash.