Speaking of the need for citizen participation in our national politics in his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “Our brand of democracy is hard.” A more accurate characterization might have been: “Our brand of democracy is cold hard cash.” Cash, mountains of it, is increasingly the necessary tool for presidential candidates. Several Powerball jackpots could already be fueled from the billions of dollars in contributions in play in election 2016. When considering the present donation season, however, the devil lies in the details, which is why the details follow.
Tom DeMark: "Today Is An Interim Low" Followed By A 5-8% Rebound, Then Another Selloff; China To Fall FurtherSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/20/2016 20:49 -0500
We're going to have a two-step affair: a low today, maybe tomorrow and then we rally and people take a deep breath. After we see that rally, maybe anywhere from a week and a half to three weeks, we decline again and I think that's coincident with the Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng Index declining.
The "Wallstrom Affair" - How Saudi Arabia Reacts When Politicians Expose The Truth About The KingdomSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/05/2016 14:55 -0500
A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, dared to denounce the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for their "medieval methods" and their "cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression." The backlash was fast and furious: Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen, and The GCC condemned her "unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," proclaiming they wouldn’t bet against anti-Swedish riots following soon. Yet there is no "Wallström affair." Outside Sweden, the western media has barely covered the story.
Operating largely out of public view - in tax court, through arcane legislative provisions and in private negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service - the wealthy have used their influence to steadily whittle away at the government’s ability to tax them. The effect has been to create a kind of private tax system, catering to only several thousand Americans. This is precisely what Obama will be remembered for by history, bailing out and protecting the 0.01%, at the expense of everyone else.
On Monday, Zimbabwe announced that this small, economically devastated country would officially make the Chinese Yuan its legal tender as it seeks to increase trade with Beijing. In exchange for becoming not only a military but also financial colony of China, $40 million of its debts to Beijing would be canceled. China was delighted it cost it only a $40 million debt write off to acquire its first official African colony.
- Battered oil wins respite, lifts stocks (Reuters)
- Oil Halts Decline as Emerging Market Stocks Climb on China (BBG)
- Bonds Set to Beat Stocks Globally in 2015 After China Falters (BBG)
- SpaceX Falcon rocket nails safe landing in pivotal space feat (Reuters)
- China Leaders Flag More Stimulus After Top Economic Meeting (BBG)
- SEC to Retrench Case Against SAC’s Steven A. Cohen (WSJ)
Official Washington is awash with tough talk about Russia and the need to punish President Putin for his role in Ukraine and Syria. But this bravado ignores Russia’s genuine national interests, its “red lines,” and the risk that “tough-guy-ism” can lead to nuclear war. In short, Russia is being offered only the binary choice: to acquiesce to the “benevolent” hegemon, or to prepare for war.
There's been no shortage of discussion about the weather among economists this year as "snow in the winter" took the blame for a bevy of bad data in H1 while summer is Citi's new scapgoat for any weakness in August and September payrolls. Meanwhile, unseasonably mild temps took the fall for poor October retail sales and now, going into the winter, it's all about El Nino.
Based on last week’s developments, which included the launch of an investigation into the world’s largest oil company and the rejection of the most politicized energy project to date, the “above ground” problems for the energy industry are growing much worse. That could complicate the future fortunes of oil and gas companies.
In what amounts to a contravention of the recently inked nuclear deal, Iran has reportedly purchased passenger jets from the UK and is now using them to transport The Quds Force to the front lines in Syria.
It is now open season on "climate change deniers" everywhere.
As FT reports, "some of the European Central Bank’s top decision-makers met banks and asset managers days before major policy decisions, and on one occasion just hours before, copies of their diaries reveal."
One of the most dangerous trends in America today is occurring on college campuses. These are the places we grew up viewing as laboratories for free speech, youthful energy and resistance to the status quo. Unfortunately, what they’re turning into are anti-intellectual wastelands in which America’s supposedly “best and brightest” are being transformed into unthinking, mentally shackled, emotionally stunted automatons. The only thing being produced on college campuses these days seem to be frightened, thoughtless worker-bees, conditioned to shut-up and instinctively worship authority.