"By all measures, the U.S. stock market is currently frothy," warns Paul Singer, founder of $24.8 billion hedge fund firm Elliott Management, ominously concluding, "The apparent stability of the world financial system is superficial – financial asset prices are not real, the equilibrium is temporary, the lack of volatility is a trap, and when the whole thing goes haywire, there will truly be hell to pay."
"The most important thing we can convey about inequality as a current political theme is that it is sharply exacerbated by the current mix of governmental policies in the developed world, particularly in America. If policies were oriented toward unlocking America’s considerable growth potential (policies described elsewhere in this report), then the rise of asset markets would be balanced alongside considerable improvement in the economic conditions of the vast middle class. But that is not the case in America, where growth-suppressive policies exist alongside extreme monetary ease. This terrible combination is at the root of today’s perception of growing inequality, but the policymakers who are causing this set of circumstances are the ones railing (for political gain) against inequality... [the resultant] societal unrest that may make the current politically-useful “inequality” riffs, blaming the “1%” and attacking those “millionaires and billionaires” who refuse to “pay their fair share,” look like mere warm-ups for real class warfare."
If you're a woman looking for some fun... we strongly urge you to avoid Turkey. Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has some strong opinions on the female of the species. First, on Monday, he exclaimed women needed to be "morally upright" and "not laugh out loud in public." And now, the senior Turkish minister, that some women "don’t have self control and can’t stop themselves from climbing up a pole." Of course his actions sparked an avalanche of social media posts of women laughing-out-loud and on-the-pole... which is ironic given that Twitter reports that Turkey accounts for 43% of all global requests for content removal.
This week's US data onslaught begins today, with the ADP private payroll report first on deck (Exp. 230K, down from 281K), followed by the number of the day, Q2 GDP, which after Q1's abysmal -2.9%, is expected to increase 3%. Anything less and in the first half the US economy will have contracted, something the purists could claim is equivalent to a recession. The whisper numbers are to the downside since consumption and trade never caught up and the only variable is inventory as well as Obamacare, whose impact was $40 billion "contribution" in Q1 was entirely eliminated and instead led to a deduction, something we expect will be reversed into Q2. Following the backward looking GDP (which will be ignored by the sellside penguins if it is bad and praised if good) at 2:00 pm Yellen Capital LLC comes out with a correction on her call to short social networking stocks, as well as admit once again that the "data-driven" Fed really has no idea what it is doing and how it will tighten, but that tightening is imminent and another $10 billion taper to QE will take place ahead of a full phase out in October. Joking aside, the Fed is expected not to do much if anything, which may be just the right time for Yellen to inject an aggressively hawkish note considering her inflation "noise" refuses to go away.
"One reason we know voters will embrace populism is that they already have. It’s what they thought they were getting with Obama...He turned out to be something else altogether. Not long ago optimism was in vogue. Obama’s slogan then was “Yes we can.” Today it could be “It turns out we can’t.”"
The issue of impeachment is now no longer whispered about. Talk is prevalent and a recent poll indicated that 35% of the public believe the president should be impeached. Interestingly, the topic is being promoted more by Democrats than Republicans. Democrats don’t truly believe the President should be impeached, but they see it as a chance, likely their only chance, to bolster their election possibilities this November.
All of the Countries which the U.S. “Regime Changed” – Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – Have Descended into Brutal ChaosSubmitted by George Washington on 07/29/2014 16:08 -0400
Plus Iran, Syria and Ukraine ...
With an estimated net worth of $14 Billion, Zhou Yongkang, the man formerly in charge of China's vast security apparatus, was one of the nine most senior politicians in China until 2012. But now, as The BBC reports, state media have announced he is being investigated for "serious disciplinary violation", a term usually used to refer to corruption. The news ended months of speculation about his fate as numerous people in his sphere of influence are either under investigation or have been sentenced to death. This move confirms Xi Jinping's determination to root out corruption but could also be seen, given Zhou's influence, as an effort to eliminate a center of power in China's factional political system.
- The market in one sentence: Buying on Dips Pays Most in Five Years as Stocks Rebound (BBG)
- Europe subdued, Russia shares tumble on new sanctions (Reuters)
- Chinese Data Don’t Add Up (WSJ)
- Argentine Default Drama Nears Critical Stage (WSJ)
- Global Pressure Mounts on Israel to End Gaza Fighting (BBG)
- Ukraine troops advance as experts renew attempt to reach crash site (Reuters)
- Prospects Brighten for Republicans to Reclaim a Senate Majority (WSJ)
- Europe’s banking union faces legal challenge in Germany (FT)
- Investors Bet on China's Large Property Developers (WSJ)
- Hague court orders Russia to pay over $50 billion in Yukos case (Reuters)
America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On SolutionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2014 21:21 -0400
A house divided against itself will surely fall. America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse. In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago. What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation. Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are.
Corruption ceases to be corruption when it becomes the Status Quo; what was once recognized as corruption is seen as just another cost of doing business. Our political order is structurally corrupt: the key dynamic in every level of governance is favoritism and extortion.
- EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia (FT)
- U.S. lifts flight ban to Israel (Reuters)
- Russia says will cooperate with MH17 probe led by Netherlands (Reuters)
- Norway faces ‘concrete and credible’ terrorist threat (FT)
- Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
- But... but... PMI: Unilever Sales Growth Misses Estimates on Asian Slowdown (BBG)
- World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Stake (BBG)
- Qualcomm latest US tech company to reverse in China (FT)
- Hamptons Home Sales Rise as Buyers Find More Inventory (BBG)
History tells us that large governments almost invariably lead to waste, corruption, and overextension of power. It’s the large governments that rattle the sabers and constantly threaten warfare. It’s large governments that maintain police states, that spy on their citizens, and commandeer nearly every personal choice imaginable with regulatory agencies that tell us how to educate our children and what we can/cannot put in our own bodies. As Kohr theorized, bigness often leads to tyranny.
“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy Call it what you will—taxes, penalties, fees, fines, regulations, tariffs, tickets, permits, surcharges, tolls, asset forfeitures, foreclosures, etc.—but the only word that truly describes the constant bilking of the American taxpayer by the government and its corporate partners is theft. What Americans don’t seem to comprehend is that if the government can arbitrarily take away your property, without your having much say about it, you have no true rights. You’re nothing more than a serf or a slave.