The Economist

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The Oil Glut And Low Prices Reflect An Affordability Problem





The oil glut we are experiencing now reflects a worldwide affordability crisis. Because of a lack of affordability, demand is depressed. This lack of demand keeps prices low–below the cost of production for many producers. If the affordability issue cannot be fixed, it threatens to bring down the system by discouraging investment in oil production.

 
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"World-Leading Economist" And Advisor To Chancellor Osborne Busted For Smoking Crack





One of Chancellor George Osborne’s senior advisers on economic policy has been captured on video smoking crack cocaine in a drugs den. Prof Douglas McWilliams, who last year ­estimated we would all be £165 a year better off by the election, is seen inhaling it through a glass tube at a flat in North London. Red-faced and slurring his speech, he later told the dealer he had “too much” and that he had spent the day on a binge. Two rocks of the deadly drug can clearly been seen on a table beside the dazed professor. The grainy footage, seen by the Sunday Mirror, will heap embarrassment on the Chancellor and raise serious ­questions about his choice of adviser.

 
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USA Is The 16th Best Place To Be Born In The World





In 1988, America was the best place to be born in the world. Based on The Economist Intelligence Unit's quality-of-life index - which links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys (how happy people say they are) to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries - USA was #1. Fast forward 25 years or so... and The United States now ranks 16th, just above South Korea and just below Taiwan and Belgium.

 
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Normality Seems As Distant As Ever: The Global Economy's Chinese Headwinds





Last year, the global economy was supposed to start returning to normal. Interest rates would begin rising in the United States and the United Kingdom; quantitative easing would deliver increased inflation in Japan; and restored confidence in banks would enable a credit-led recovery in the eurozone. Twelve months later, normality seems as distant as ever – and economic headwinds from China are a major cause.

 
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Mapping The Next Nation To Join The Currency War





With China devaluation looming as the great unspoken Black Swan trade, and on the heels of the Swiss National Bank folding on its 'peg', we thought a quick glance at the world's "pegged" currencies would be useful as a guide to where the next shoe (and pant legs) will drop. With global FX implied volatility at EU crisis highs, the markets clearly expect more to come...

 
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The Reason For Hyperinflation-phobia





In 1923 Hitler said, Believe me, our misery will increase. The scoundrel will get by. But the decent, solid businessman who doesn’t speculate will be utterly crushed; first the little fellow on the bottom, but in the end the big fellow on top too. But the scoundrel and the swindler will remain, top and bottom. The reason: because the state itself has become the biggest swindler and crook. A robbers’ state! Hitler wasn’t talking about hard money, he was talking about excessive money printing by a robber state. Krugman himself echoes these words, "It’s basically about revenue: when governments can’t either raise taxes or borrow to pay for their spending, they sometimes turn to the printing press." Out of control government that can’t borrow or tax enough to pay its bills? Zimbabwe, Iran, Venezuela... what country is next?

 
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Jim Rogers is Wrong!





Here's why bankers are the ones driving Lamborghinis and not farmers as Jim Rogers has been saying

 
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The Full Breakdown Of Greece's New Cabinet





Alexis Tsipras has announced his new cabinet to lead Greece forward - with or without Europe. As was expected the economist Yanis Varoufakis was given the key position of Finance Minister, and another influential economist, Nikos Dragasakis was appointed Deputy Prime Minister...

 
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Stab, er... I Mean... Beggar Thy Neighbor - It's ALL OUT (Currency) WAR! Pt 2





The Japanese fire at the Europeans. The Europeans fire at the Japanese & Chinese. The Chinese fire scattershot at everybody else in Asia. England & America prep to teach those they consider muppets not to play with guns. It's World War Money, if you know what I mean...

 
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A Winter Wonderland Of Fear: US Cities To Ban Unregulated Sledding





"Shutting down sledding hills is inspired by the same sort of simpering caution that keeps Americans shoeless in airport security lines and, closer to home, keeps parents from letting their kids walk a few blocks to school alone, despite the fact that America today is as safe as the longed-for “Leave It to Beaver” golden age."

 
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Occam's Oil





We are once more in the hands of Occam’s Razor, namely that oil prices are falling hard because demand is falling hard. The scale gives us insight into the nature of the slowing of the global economy, to which the US is a full part, meaning that comparisons only with past and serious downslopes is not a welcome development; nor should it be “unexpected.” Mainstream commentary seeks to reject this simple and basic argument because it cannot fathom, predicated on its penchant for nothing but parroting economic “authority”, that the world could fall so deeply into recession once more drowning not just in oil but also “stimulus.” Once you get past the idea that “stimulus” isn’t, logical sense is restored.

 
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