• Bruce Krasting
    12/18/2014 - 21:42
      The one thing that Jordan can't do in this war is appear to be weak.
  • Marc To Market
    12/20/2014 - 12:21
    When the dollar falls, we are told it is logical.  The empire is crashing and burning.  When the dollar rises, the markets, we are told are manipulated.    Well, the dollar is...

Barack Obama

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Defiant North Korea Says Can Prove It Is Not Behind Hack "Without Resorting To Torture Like The CIA"





Surely, the punchline is that even a tiny backwater, dictatorship can now make fun of US "moral high ground" courtesy of the recent CIA torture disclosure. “We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the C.I.A. does,the North Korea statement said. Oops.

 
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The Burning Questions For 2015





"Most investors go about their job trying to identify ‘winners’. But more often than not, investing is about avoiding losers. Like successful gamblers at the racing track, an investor’s starting point should be to eliminate the assets that do not stand a chance, and then spread the rest of one’s capital amongst the remainder." So as the year draws to a close, it may be helpful if we recap the main questions confronting investors and the themes we strongly believe in, region by region.

 
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United States Of Newspeak – Obama Spins Executive Orders As "Presidential Memoranda" To Avoid Scrutiny





If there’s one thing we have learned about Barack Obama, it’s that he is a master of deception and absolutely loves to lie to the public. He seems to enjoy conning the plebs to such a degree, I think he actually receives blasts of dopamine every time he does it. The bigger the lie, the better the rush: "President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders. Like executive orders, presidential memoranda don’t require action by Congress. They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching. And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda."

 
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Frontrunning: December 18





  • Swiss National Bank Starts Negative Interest Rate of 0.25% to Stave Off Inflows (BBG)
  • Putin Strikes Uncompromising Stance Over Crisis Gripping Russia (BBG)
  • Sony cancels North Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers (Reuters)
  • U.S. Said Set to Blame North Korea for Sony Cyber Attack (BBG)
  • China’s Short-Term Borrowing Costs Surge as Demand for Money Grows (WSJ)
  • Russia Currency Market Bends But Doesn’t Break (BBG)
  • Jeb Bush Puts Pressure on Chris Christie for 2016 (WSJ)
  • From joy to outrage, Florida's Cuban-Americans greet new U.S. policy (Reuters)
  • Russians Quit London Luxury Homes as Only Super-Rich Stay (BBG)
 
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Mario Draghi: Goodbye ECB, Hello Italian Presidency?





While the entire financial world is hanging on to every Mario Draghi word in hope Europe finally improves the market's (if not the economy's) "fundamentals" to new record highs, and joins the rest of the "developed" world's central banks in injecting trillions of liquidity into the Div/0 P/E stocks "whatever it takes" (because in a world where only multiple expansion is left, the ECB is the last wildcard at least until the US is dragged right back into the global recession and the Fed admits any pipe dreams of a rate hike in 2015 were just that), something far more different may be taking place behind the scenes. According to at least one journalist, the Fiscal Times' Patrick Smith, "Draghi appears set to leave Frankfurt and return to his native Italy the first chance he gets."

 
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The 'Thin Blue Line' Serves No Purpose





Police misconduct has a cumulative effect on a culture. We do not forget all of the oversteps of the past; we merely file them away until we finally reach a breaking point. It is important for LEOs to understand that while they may have a relative immunity to legal reparations, they are not immune to the rage of the populace and will likely find their fragile warrior personas rather inadequate when that day arrives. For the true constitutional police out there, it is time to take sides, either with good American people or with the corrupt establishment. It is impossible to serve both. The illusion of the “thin blue line” is quickly fading. The only question now is: What is going to replace it? The establishment would have you believe there are only two options: total chaos or martial law. But there has always been a third alternative they seek to suppress: the return of community defense, the resurgence of localized responsibility and the victory of personal liberty over false security.

 
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The Game Is Rigged: Why Americans Keep Losing To The Police State





The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, we stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that our luck will change. The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. The people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the country and us. It’s time to change the rules of the game. For that matter, it’s time to change the game.

 
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For Anyone That Still Believes Collapsing Oil Prices Are Good For The Economy





Are much lower oil prices good news for the U.S. economy?  Only if you like collapsing capital expenditures, rising unemployment and a potential financial implosion on Wall Street.

 
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Gold Prices Kept Low ... For Now ... But Only For Americans





  • Germans can’t get their gold reserves. Do how did the Dutch get their 122 tonnes of gold?

  • Is Germany being prevented from holding gold to prevent independent foreign policy action?

 
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Even Obama's Personal Chef Is Leaving Him





One of the perks of being a president: having your own personal, taxpayer-funded chef. And in the case of Barack Obama, this means an instrumental player in the development of Michelle Obama's controversial "school lunch program", one who also happens to be "Executive Director of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, the first-ever White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition, and personal chef to the First Family." He name is, or rather his name was Sam Kass, because alongside pretty much everyone else close to Obama in recent few years, Chef Kass is done feeding the First Stomach and is also getting the hell out of Dodge the White House.

 
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Jobs, Shale, Debt And Minsky





We don’t see a whole lot of comprehension out there, so let’s try and link the obvious: employment to shale to plummeting oil prices to the debt the shale industry was built on (and which is vanishing). We know, people look at the US jobs report yesterday, and at the stock markets (Europe up some 2% across the board), and think salvation has landed on their doorstep, but the true story really is very different. We’ve been saying for weeks that lower oil prices would not be a boon but a scourge for the US economy, for several different reasons, and this is a big one. The losses to investors, the restructurings and bankruptcies, and perhaps even the bailouts, are a very much interconnected and crosslinked other. There’s no resilience – left – in a system like this, it bets all on red, and that makes it terribly brittle.

 
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Obama Undergoes Medical Tests, CT Scan Over Sore Throat





Who says the US president is unwilling to suffer great discomfort and intolerable pain in the pursuit of his noble, "leader of the free world" duties? Not flashing red headlines informing us about the constant state of the president's frail laryngeal area, that's for sure. From Bloomberg:

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA SEEKING TREATMENT FOR SORE THROAT, DOCTOR SAYS

And while the social media has been lit ablaze with alternative "theories" that may have caused Obama's throat discomfort, please join us as we observe a minute of silence in awe of America's suffering president.

 
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US Hostage Held By al Qaeda Killed In Botched Special Ops Rescue Attempt





Overnight, two hostages including an American photojournalist, 33-year-old Luke Sommers, who was held for more than a year by al Qaeda's Yemen branch, as well as a South African teacher, Pierre Korkie, were killed in a botched rescue attempt by US special operations forces. This was the second rescue attempt in as many weeks. According to the WSJ, Luke Somers, 33 years old, was killed by militants, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday. Several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, were also killed in the raid.

 
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Swedish Government Falls





  • SWEDISH PM LOEFVEN SAYS SWEDEN IN SERIOUS SITUATION
  • SWEDISH PM LOEFVEN SAYS WON'T ACCEPT NEW POLITICAL SITUATION
  • SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER LOEFVEN CALLS FOR NEW ELECTION IN 2015
  • SWEDISH PM SAYS NEW ELECTION TO BE HELD ON MARCH 22
  • SWEDISH GOVT: WILL NEVER ALLOW SWEDEN DEMS TO DICTATE RULES
  • SWEDISH PM LOEFVEN WON'T SEEK ANY FURTHER TALKS WITH OPPOSITION
 
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Guest Post: The Flawed 75% Tax Solution From Hollande And Piketty





Any economic sage should conclude that the cure for high taxation is, well, low taxation. Remember our job is not to maximize government revenues in the short run, but to improve living standards in the long run. France would do well to repudiate its native son Piketty, and move to align its policies with the Scotsman Adam Smith, who a long time ago advocated low-broad taxation and light-handed regulation of capital and labour markets.

 
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