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Three Charts Of The Week: Money Printing Is Not Bringing Prosperity To Main Street

Furious money printing by the world’s major central banks is not generating real growth and prosperity - but professional economists never seem to get the word.



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Market Madness: Geopolitical Chaos Sparks Biggest "Dash-For-Trash" In 17 Months

Since The Fed's extension of Operation Twist (and subsequent unveiling of QE3) in 2012, the stocks of "weak balance sheet" companies are up over 100%. In that same period, the stock prices of "strong balance sheet" companies are up a mere 43%. The "dash-for-trash" that the Fed's financial repression forced upon an investing public has enabled the worst companies to not only survive (creating yet another mal-investment boom) but squeezed their share prices to thrive. The reason we bring this up  is simple... this last week of exuberant equity market performance in the face of unimaginable geopolitical possibilities saw "weak balance sheet" stocks outperform "strong balance sheet" stocks by their most in 17 months. In other words, amidst all the chaos and uncertainty 'investors' drove the biggest dash for trash since March 2013.



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A "Tone-Deaf" Obama Mocked By The NYT For Vacationing While The World Burns

For an administration in its sixth year, juggling presidential optics is nothing new. And with some rare exceptions, the public relations team around the president has remained consistently stubborn about refusing to let the never-ending stream of political, economic or international crises affect Mr. Obama’s daily schedule. The current myriad incidents are no exceptions: Moments after making a grim statement about Ukraine on Friday, the president popped into the East Room, where the first lady, Michelle Obama, was holding a mock state dinner for children to promote her Let’s Move nutrition initiative. “My big thing,” he confessed to the kids, “chips and guacamole!” There was plenty of laughter all around.



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"Buying The Car Was The Worst Decision I Ever Made" - The Subprime Auto Loan Bubble Bursts

It has been over six months since we first highlighted the growing deterioration in the quality of auto loans and mentioned the 's' word (subprime) as indicative that we learned nothing from the financial crisis. Since then, auto loans (and especially subprime in the last few months) have surged to record highs; and most concerning, recently has seen delinquencies and late payments spike. The reason we provide this background is that, thanks to The NY Times, this story is now hitting the mainstream media as subprime-quality car buyers (new and used) realize the burden they have placed on themselves thanks to exorbitantly high interest rates (and a rapidly depreciating 'asset'). As one car 'owner' exclaimed, "buying the car was the worst decision I have ever made."



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The Insiders' Case For A Stock Market Mini-Crash

Ssshh... The trade only works if everyone is lulled into staying on the long side until it's too late.



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American Political Discourse Summed Up In 1 Cartoon

Presented with no comment...



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President Obama Defends Israel, Condemns Hamas, Sends Kerry To Egypt To Fix It

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone today; The White House just released the clarifying statement of next steps...



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The 2 Charts That Have BofA Worried About A "Greater Correction" In Stocks

While the S&P500 rebounded sharply on Friday, BofAML's Macneil Curry warns evidence continues to say that this is a very late stage advance from which a greater correction is forthcoming. The recent deterioration in breadth (52wk highs failing to keep track with price), the negative seasonal period and divergences between the broader indexes say that risk/reward is skewing to the downside. Bottom Line: "The S&P 500 is vulnerable."



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Biggest Dutch Daily Calls For NATO Intervention To Protect MH17; Feinstein Tells Putin To "Man Up And Confess"

Facts be damned, everyone in the west, from the most crony politician to the biggest tabloid has "undisputed" proof Putin did it. But what now: what is the endgame? Once again the answer is simple: Western military intervention, this time in the conflict zone, under the guise of public anger against Putin, to reinforce the dwindling Ukraine army forces and to repel the separatists, in the process regaining the critical industrial regions of Ukraine which also are the location of vast natural gas deposits. Certainly showing to Gazprom just who was in charge of this key natural gas nexus wouldn't hurt either. After all the west has already invested so much in the current Ukraine government, it can't all be for nothing. And we know that because a few hours ago, the biggest Dutch newspaper, Telegraaf, openly asked for military intervention by NATO to protect MH 17 and calls Putin a "KGB liar."



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Are US Doors Really Open? A Quick Look At The "Other" Immigration

Reading through the media coverage one might think that anyone wanting to come to the US can do so with relative ease. After all, there is an ongoing debate on providing amnesty to illegals and the system seems to be so overloaded at the border down south that why not just take your chances? However, for skilled professionals and expats the reality is quite different. These days employment opportunities in the US need to be carefully balanced against subjecting yourself to US laws and regulations, some of which are unique in the developed world and can have serious consequences on your wealth, wellbeing and even personal freedoms....  As Churchill once said, "Americans will always do the right thing once they run out of options". I just hope us foreigners will still be around to see it.



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The Economist Touts "Cyberdream" Of Global 'National ID System'

Would you like to have a digital identity card that is automatically issued to you at birth?  In one European nation, residents use such a card when they go to the hospital, when they do their banking, when they go shopping and even when they vote.  This card has become so popular that this particular European country actually plans to start issuing them to millions of non-citizens all over the planet who request them.  Never heard about this?  Neither had I before this week.  The Economist is calling for the entire planet to adopt this “national identification system” that the little nation of Estonia has adopted.  The Economist is touting all of the “benefits” of a “national identification card”, but are there dangers as well?  Could adopting such a system potentially open the door for greater government tyranny than we have ever known before?



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Recovery Of Malaysian Airlines Black Box Caught On Tape: Separatists To Hand Over To International Delegation

With the rabbit hole of conspiracies getting deeper by the hour, video has emerged showing what appears to be the "black box" flight data recorder from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being taken from the crash scene. As NBC reports, the men in the video are wearing Ukrainian Emergency Ministry uniforms, but a senior Ukrainian official told a news conference Sunday that rebels had taken the black boxes. This fits with reports from The Hill that pro-Russian separatists have located the black boxes for the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet and will hand them over to international authorities, according to separatist leader Alexander Borodai. With the US having offered more "proof" that Russia was involved, perhaps some facts from the Black Box will help clarify details in this dreadful situation... though we are not confident.



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Over 50 Killed In Gaza As Israel Shelling Is "Fiercest Since 1967 War"

While the world's attention is focused on the tragic events in Ukraine, the fighting in Gaza has entered its 13th, and most deadly day, with at least 50 Palestinians killed on Sunday by Israeli shelling in a Gaza neighborhood, where "bodies were strewn in the street and thousands fled for shelter to a hospital packed with wounded, witnesses and health officials said." Reuters reports that the mass casualties in Shejaia, in northeast Gaza, were the heaviest since Israel launched its offensive, since expanded to a land offensive including tanks and troops. This has brought the total dead count on the Gaza side to over 400. According to elderly locals, today's Israeli shelling was the fiercest they had seen since the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured Gaza. Shifa hospital's director, Naser Tattar, said 17 children, 14 women and four elderly were among the 50 dead, and about 400 people were wounded in the Israeli assault.



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BRICS Plan To Become "Political Alliance" To Reform The International Financial System

As the world slowly turns against US Dollar hegemony, it appears the BRICS are pressing to fill any gaps. Having created the BRICS Bank "alternate to The West-controlled IMF or World Bank," Xinhua reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes the BRICS mechanism has been fully developed and can now transform into a political alliance to "reform the international financial system."



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