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Putin To Western Elites: Play-Time Is Over

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago. Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin, this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946. In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?



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I Pledge Allegiance...

Being surrounded by people who have been taught, just as I was, to pledge allegiance to the state, is the unfortunate reality we are all confronted with. something that is so deeply engrained that the best I can do is teach my children to think for themselves and decide on their own. Figuring out how to best teach my children the danger of such blind allegiance is without a doubt the most difficult task I face as a father.



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Goldman, Morgan Stanley Warn European QE, While Fully Priced In, Is Neither Imminent Nor Likely

On balance, Morgan Stanley feels that broad-based QE, (i.e. large-scale purchases of government bonds) is further away for the ECB than the market currently believes. Presently they only assign a subjective 40% probability to such a step being taken; whereas the euro rates market is already pricing in the ECB resorting to a broad-based purchase programme with a very high probability of 80-100%. Goldman agrees warning specifically that "Sovereign QE is not imminent... and indeed may never happen." It appears no matter what, disappointment is guaranteed for the market.



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Careful What You Wish For: Plunging Yen Leads To 140% Surge In Bankruptcies

Due to the depreciation of the JPY, leading to soaring raw material costs (crushing SME profitability), TSR reports that Japanese bankruptcies year-to-date in 2014 are up a stunning 140% having unerringly surged since Abenomics was unleashed. Despite constant reassurance and propaganda from various political leaders each and every night that Japan is on the right track... it simply is not and if there is a better indicator of the death spiral Abe has unleashed than surging bankruptcies, we are unaware of one.



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The Dollar Decline Continues: China Starts Direct Convertibility With Asia's #1 Financial Hub

Earlier this week some of the biggest financial news of the year made huge waves all over Asia. Yet in the Western press, this hugely important information has barely even been mentioned. So what’s the news? The Chinese government announced that the renminbi will become directly convertible with the Singapore dollar... effective immediately.



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Disillusioned Millennials Dump Democrats, Blame Obama

In a sad reflection of the hope-and-change expectations, a new national poll shows likely voters in the so-called millennial generation prefer a Republican-led Congress after next week's elections, and young Hispanics are turning sharply against President Obama. As National Journal reports, the poll of 18-to-29-year-olds by Harvard's Institute of Politics (IOP) shows that young Americans are leaving the new Democratic coalition that twice elected Obama as the president's approval rating among Millennial tumbles from 47% in April to just 43% now (and nearly 60% of young Americans disapprove of Obamacare). However, the news is not all good as the future of the American electorate, generally hold Republicans in the lowest regard.



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Hillary Clinton: "Businesses Don't Create Jobs" – Why She's Never Been More Wrong

The idea that Hillary Clinton, or any of these politicians (like Bush, Romney and Obama) can create jobs is lunacy. It’s scary to realize just how demented our political leaders truly are. Hillary’s wrong on the idea that government creates jobs – the government destroys jobs. Here are seven reasons why...



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Goldman Warns Midterm Elections Raise Risk Around Fiscal Deadlines

The US midterm elections taking place on November 4 may very well lead to a shift in Senate control to Republicans from Democrats, according to Goldman Sachs. They argue that a Republican-controlled Congress could renew legislative activity – at least on small issues – but also increase (unwanted) uncertainty on some larger ones creating risk around fiscal deadlines.



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Caption Contest: "So Bullish It Hurts" Edition

Don't worry the pain will stop soon... (one way or another)



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Thank You US Taxpayers: Russia-Ukraine Agree Terms On Gas-Supply Through March

Good news for the cold-showering, snow-covered Ukrainians... Russia has reached an interim agreement to supply natural gas to Ukraine through March according to Bloomberg. Of course, this will be paid for by more IMF loans (thank you US Taxpayer), pushing Ukraine further into debt and more dependent upon the West.



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Jim Grant On Complexity: The Hidden Cost Of Central Bank Actions

Central banks are printing rules almost as fast as they’re printing money. The consequences of these fast-multiplying directives — complicated, long-winded, and sometimes self-contradictory — is one topic at hand. Manipulated interest rates is a second. Distortion and mispricing of stocks, bonds, and currencies is a third. Skipping to the conclusion of this essay, Jim Grant is worried: "The more they tried, the less they succeeded. The less they succeeded, the more they tried. There is no 'exit.'"



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Russia Weaponizes The Arctic: Will Build 13 Airfields And 10 Radar Stations To Meet "Unwelcome Guests"

Two weeks ago, Sweden was gripped by a ludicrous panic when it dispatched virtually its entire army, navy and airforce to hunt down what according to eyewitness reports (subsequently proven to be false) was a Russian sub that had broken down somewhere close to Stockholm. There was no sub. However, one angle that made the story plausible were rumors of a recent surge to Russian military transports and support units to the Artcic, in a scramble to defend its vast natural resource deposits located close to the North Pole. And not surprisingly, this weaponization of the Artic was confirmed two days ago when a senior military commander said that Russia will build at least 13 airfields and 10 radar stations in the Arctic to safeguard the nation's military security in the region.



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How Long Can The Shale Revolution Last?

A new study has cast serious doubt on whether the much-ballyhooed U.S. shale oil and gas revolution has long-term staying power.



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Algos Please Ignore: Citi Slashes Previously Reported Net Income Due To "Legal Investigations" Over FX Rigging Probe

Nothing to see here move along:

*CITIGROUP ADJUSTS 3Q DOWN ON $600M INCREASE IN LEGAL ACCRUAL, LOWERS CITI’S 3Q '14 NET  TO $2.8B FROM $3.45B
*CITIGROUP SAYS DOJ, CFTC, OTHERS PROBING CITI'S FOREX BUSINESS

When did company earnings become like GDP: first release is highest, second is lower, third lowest? Aren't you glad you bailed this trustful people out?



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Broken Stocks, Battered Bullion, & Bruised Crude

If a broken window is good for the Keynesian economy, then today's broken market (worse than the 2013 Nasdaq blackout) was certainly good for stocks as exchanges broke left and right, futures volume exploded and S&P almost hit 2,000 all on the back of a 2-week old headline from Japan. Today's market was volatile... everywhere. Silver and gold were smashed lower (-2.2% & -4.1% on week); US Dollar was pumped higher (+0.5% on the week) but weakened after GDP; Treasury yields unch today, notably flatter on week (30Y unch - almost broke 3.00% today, 5Y +9bps); HY Credit wider in whippy range (+10bps on week). VIX tested to 14 but closed near 15. Stocks end mixed: Trannies -1.2% (worst in a week), Nasdaq unch, Dow +1.1% (V +145 of Dow's 220pts). Post-FOMC - Energy is down 1%, Utes/Healthcare +1.6%.



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