Duct Tape

Kunstler Warns "Being In This World Actually Entitles You To Nothing"

"It’s hard to accept that our set-up is about to stop working - especially something as marvelous as techno-industrial society. But that’s exactly what’s happening. If you want a chance at keeping on keeping on, you’ll have to get with reality’s program."

Amazon Hosts Robotics Competition To Figure Out How To Replace 230,000 Warehouse Workers

Amazon has mastered the art of moving bins around a warehouse floor with miniature robotic forklifts, but a solution to automating the simple task of picking individual items out of those bins has remained elusive.  And, with 1,000's of very expensive, sickly and generally needy humans currently fulfilling that task, you can bet Amazon is eagerly pursuing that solution with some level of urgency.

"Evidence Points To Another Snowden At The NSA"

"Rather than the NSA hacking tools being snatched as a result of a sophisticated cyber operation by Russia or some other nation, it seems more likely that an employee stole them. If Snowden could not have stolen the hacking tools, there are indications that after he departed in May 2013, someone else did, possibly someone assigned to the agency’s highly sensitive Tailored Access Operations."

The Lego Movie Economy

After the February jobs report, President Obama said “America’s pretty darn great right now.”  He then went on to disparage the “doomsday rhetoric” of the Republicans, which he said was pure “fantasy. I think that there is a good chance that this will enter the Hall of Fame of miss-timed statements, right up there with this jewel from Ben Bernanke in March 2007:  “At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the sub-prime market seems likely to be contained.”

Short Squeeze, Liquidity, Margin Debt & Deflation

Some things you CAN see coming, in life and certainly in finance. Quite a few things, actually. Once you understand we’re on a long term downward path, also both in life and in finance, and you’re not exclusively looking at short term gains, it all sort of falls into place. Of course, the entire global economy has been hanging together with strands of duct tape for decades now, but hey, it looks good as long as you don’t take a peek behind the facade, right?

Chronicling History's Greatest Financial Bubble

So far, it’s a different type of crisis – market tumult in the face of global QE, in the face of ultra-low interest rates and the perception of a concerted global central bank liquidity backstop. It’s the kind of crisis that’s so far been able to achieve a decent head of steam without causing much angst. And it’s difficult to interpret this bullishly. If Brazil goes into a tailspin, it will likely pull down Latin American neighbors, along with vulnerable Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and others. And then a full-fledged “risk off” de-risking/de-leveraging would have far-reaching ramifications, perhaps even dislocation and a collapse of the currency peg in China. China does have a number of major trading partners in trouble. Hard for me to believe the sophisticated players aren’t planning on slashing risk.

In Denmark You Are Now Paid To Take Out A Mortgage

With NIRP raging in the Eurozone and over €1.5 trillion in European government bonds trading with negative yields, many were wondering when any of this perverted bond generosity will spill over to other debtors, not just Europe's insolvent governments (who can only print negative interest debt because of the ECB's backstop that it will buy any piece of garbage for sale in the doomed monetary union). In fact just earlier today we, rhetorically, asked a logical - in as much as nothing is logical in the new normal - question: "Who will offer the first negative rate mortgage." Little did we know that just minutes after our tweet, we would learn that at least one place is already paying homeowners to take out a mortgage. That's right - the negative rate mortgage is now a reality.

"There Has Never Been A Crazier Moment In History"

Who can feel confident about the tending of things just now? The diminishing returns of the Information Age are about to bite our collective asses. The sum of all that digital magic is a nation completely incapable of telling itself the truth or acting honorably. Unemployment is down without employment being up. Candy Crush is making the world safe for democracy. We have the finest health care system in the world. ISIS is trying to compete with our homegrown videogame industry for supremacy in porno-violence (actually, I thought we already won that) but now we will obliterate all the bad guys in the world by remote control from the drone bunkers of Las Vegas, and that will show them. Thank goodness the long holiday season is almost upon us to juice the so-called economy ever-higher. There has never been a crazier moment in history.

Presenting ISIS-Beating "Mad Max" Battle Tanks And Buses

When it comes to fighting the barbaric beheaders formerly known as ISIS, Kurdish fighters appear to have gone to the 1979 movie "Mad Max" for inspiration. As The Daily Mail notes, while significantly outgunned by Islamic State, the Kurds have created a fleet of well-armored, elaborately-designed, ominous-looking battle-buses by converting tractors and trucks into tanks...

Things That Make You Go Hmmm... Like Is Japan Totally F##ked?

We have detailed the straitjacket into which the Japanese have been strapped for the past two decades numerous times in the last few years (in great detail here)  but as Grant Williams leaned back in his most comfortable chair after reading an article about proposed changes to the GPIF (Government Pension Investment Fund), Japan’s public pension fund; the thought popped into his mind - "Japan really is totally f##ked." What led him to that well-thought-out and eruditely expressed conclusion? Read on...