Yesterday, in a vote that largely slid under the radar, the House of Representatives passed a resolution urging Obama to send lethal aid to Ukraine, providing offensive, not just "defensive" weapons to the Ukraine army. The resolution passed with broad bipartisan support by a count of 348 to 48. Russia's response came promptly: Washington's decision to supply Ukraine with ammunition and weapons would “explode the whole situation” in eastern Ukraine and Russia would be forced to respond “appropriately,” Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the end of February.“It would be a major blow to the Minsk agreements and would explode the whole situation,”
For those who follow the endless soap opera of domestic politics, the biggest storyo the weekend, if so far unsubstantiated, is the Post's report that the person behind Hillary Clinton's shocking e-mail story leak, is none other than Obama's personal advisor, Valeire Jarrett. "Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett leaked to the press details of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail address during her time as secretary of state."
Today's most under the radar news, just as Citigroup was to Congress, and the swaps push out language, so Boeing, that primary recipients of the generosity of America's Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, has been caught red-handed drafting the rules of none other than the Ex-Im bank itself! According to the WSJ: "when the Export-Import Bank sought to respond to critics with tighter rules for aircraft sales, it reached out to a company with a vested interest in the outcome: Boeing Co., the biggest beneficiary of the bank’s assistance." Or nothing more than a criminal conflict of interest, which, once again, is at the expense of America's infinite bailout piggybank: it's taxpayers.
One person who was obviously delighted by the latest Clinton scandal is her main Republican competitors, Jeb Bush, whose camp on Monday was quick to pounce on the email scandal, while also invoking the farcical IRS Lois Lerner "excuse" that emails were lost due to failed hard drives: "Hillary Clinton should release her emails. Hopefully she hasn’t already destroyed them,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said. But while one could ascribe victory to the Florida republican in this latest scrimish, the real victor of this spat between the so-called "left" and "right" is the firm that stand to benefit no matter who wins: Goldman Sachs.
"My hope is that as policy makers of the world continue to prescribe their remedies for the ailing economic patient, that they do not render it worse off... As with their predecessors, I suspect there is no doubt in the minds of our central bankers that they are the smartest they’ve ever been. Yet, I fear they are not the smartest they will ever be."
It would appear the powers that be are getting nervous. Yesterday, Fed Governor Jerome Powell (and Fisher and Plosser) stepped up the central bank’s push against what he termed congressional efforts to extend political influence over monetary policy, calling them "misguided" and "in violent conflict with the facts." Today we have Senator Elizabeth Warren trying to sound supportive of transparency but proclaiming that she opposes Rand Paul's "Audit The Fed" Bill because it promotes "congressional meddling in the Fed’s monetary policy decisions," and has "dangerous implications for financial stability and the health of the global economy."
Hillary Clinton isn’t a lock for the 2016 Elections: Google searches for US Senator Elizabeth Warren surpassed the former US Secretary of State just last month with a ratio of 6 to 5. Interest in bowling (+85% since October) is growing faster than Facebook (-4%) and Youtube (-2%), and there is a lot more interest in smoking marijuana than tobacco (58 vs. 19 on average). Those are just three of the surprising findings from ConvergEx's latest survey of social engagement using Google Trends.
Like her or hate her, Elizabeth Warren this week unequivocally told Fortune's Sheila Bair "No," she would not run for President, reflecting that for a Democratic nominee to win, "they need to speak to America’s families about the economic crisis in this country. It starts with the recognition that Washington works for the rich and powerful and not for America’s families." We bring this up, since, as OpenSecrets reports, despite her reputation as an anti-Wall Street populist, Warren would have been the wealthiest of the potential 2016 presidential candidates currently serving in Congress.
It is that time of the year when the President of the United States delivers his annual "State Of The Union" address. Despite the nation's voting choice in November, President Obama's retooled message is, "The American resurgence is real... Don't let anybody tell you otherwise." The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President's new message? Before he takes to the podium with his bullish optimism, he might want to consider the following charts...
Lazard's Antonio "Tax-Inverter" Weiss Withdraws Treasury Nomination (But End-Arounds Senate For 'Counsel' Role)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/12/2015 18:18 -0400
It appears Lazard's investment banker Antonio Weiss' "help" in tax inversions was just too 'unpatriotic' to scare President Obama off at the last minute.
- *ANTONIO WEISS SAID TO WITHDRAW NAME AS TREASURY NOMINEE
- *WEISS SOUGHT TO AVOID LENGTHY CONFIRMATION PROCESS (how thoughtful?)
The White House exclaimed "opposition to Weiss was unjustfied," so perhaps it was his $203 million in assets just would not have played well with Obama's new vision for the future. However, he has managed to get a position as "counselor" - which does not require Senate approval.
“Don’t look back - something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. So we enter 2015 with greater tensions than ever before and therefore the likelihood that the inevitable breakdown will release more destructive energy and be that much harder to recover from.
Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."
"I’m tired of being outraged!"
Within the last 90 days there has been more convoluted messaging coming from the financial media, the main stream, as well as academia than we can remember. The more one looks or tries to find relevant, useful, actionable insights – the more they get conjecture. Personally we’ll take our chances with not gambling at all or looking to any of the so-called “experts” for clues. It keeps becoming abundantly more clear by the day: without the “Chair” behind the curtain. OZ is more attainable than following the road to financial freedom these people want to point out.