Just a day after the premeditated execution of two NYPD officers in New York by a deranged, suicidal psychopath, two more police officers have been shot in America today. In St.Louis, an off-duty officer was shot multiple times and remains in critical condition while in Tarpon Springs, Florida, 45-year-old officer Charles Kondek - a 17-year-veteran and father of 5 children - was shot and killed early Sunday morning.
"My name is Jasmine and I support President Obama's move to give affordable auto insurance for everyone."
- Citigroup is pleased: Obama signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill (Reuters)
- Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping (Reuters)
- 5 Things to watch at the December Fed Meeting (WSJ)
- Russia Tries Emergency Steps for 2nd Day to Stem Ruble Rout (BBG)
- Ruble crisis could shake Putin's grip on power (Reuters)
- Apple Curbs Russia Sales as McDonald’s Lifts Prices (BBG)
- Traders Betting Russia’s Next Move Will Be to Sell Gold (BBG)
- China Warms to a More Flexible Yuan (WSJ)
Thousands Of Protesters Swarm Washington, NYC: "Don't Expect To See Obama Here, Black Issues Don't Matter To Him"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/13/2014 13:12 -0500
Those planning on visiting (or merely driving around) Washington or New York City today may want to consider a plan B. As Reuters reports, "thousands of demonstrators were expected in Washington and New York on Saturday to protest the killings of unarmed black men by U.S. police and to urge Congress to protect citizens. Organizers said the protests would be among the largest over police tactics and the killings of black males by officers in New York, Cleveland and Ferguson, Missouri. “It’s open season on black people now,” New York march co-organizer Umaara Elliott said in a statement. “So we demand that action be taken at every level of government to ensure that these racist killings by the police cease.”
Because you can always bet on the "stupidity of the American voter" and win.
"Every new law requires enforcement; every act of enforcement includes the possibility of violence. There are many painful lessons to be drawn from the Garner tragedy, but one of them, sadly, is the same as the advice I give my students on the first day of classes: Don’t ever fight to make something illegal unless you’re willing to risk the lives of your fellow citizens to get your way."
Venezuela "Boosts" Reserves With Rocks, Other "Easily Converted To Cash" Stuff; Suffers Major BlackoutSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/04/2014 13:05 -0500
With its bonds trading at 50% of face value, CDS implying an 84% chance of default, a black-market FX rate that signals massive devaluation is likely, and a teetering-on-the-brink of social unrest population entirely dependent on President Maduro's generosity (and the military junta), it is perhaps not entirely surprising that they are trying any trick in the book to bolster reserves. The Venezuelan Central Bank issued a statement today (akin to Europe's hookers-and-blow GDP adjustment) that enables them to count a whole new set of 'assets' as potential international reserves including "stones" and "precious metals held in their vaults on behalf of foreign financial institutions." Hey presto... new reserves. And if that wasn't enough, a massive blackout just hit Caracas...
With the average hedge fund down 1% year-to-date, it is perhaps no surprise that investors are pushing back against the fee structure... Pension funds and other investors called for changes Tuesday in the way hedge funds charge fees. The proposed changes were outlined in a statement by the Alignment of Interests Association (AOI), a hedge fund investor group to which many pension funds belong. The group said that hedge funds should only charge performance fees when returns beat benchmarks, and that fee structures should better link fees to long-term performance.
The scripted quality of the Ferguson events seemed as formally predictable as an 1856 minstrel show, and the parallel is worth reflecting on because the nation appears determined to explode again in some kind of a civil war — bearing in mind Karl Marx’s advisory that “history repeats, first as tragedy, then farce.” As is the case with many show-biz extravaganza’s of our time the script had many authors. A week after the grand jury decision and the riot that followed, the Michael Brown incident is already disappearing down the national memory hole. Why? Mainly because anyway you cut it Michael Brown was a poor candidate for martyrdom.
Meet 28-year-old Navy vet Mark Paffrath - the latest confirmation of the relentless bull market in fascism in America today...
When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating.
Case Shiller Reports "Broad-Based Slowdown For Home Prices", First Monthly Decrease Since November 2013Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/25/2014 09:21 -0500
While the just revised Q3 GDP surprised everyone to the upside, the Case Shiller index for September which was also reported moments ago, showed yet another month of what it called a "Broad-based Slowdown for Home Prices." The bad news: the 20-City Composite gained 4.9% year-over-year, compared to 5.6% in August. However, this was modestly above the 4.6% expected. However, what was more troubling is that on a sequential basis, the Top 20 Composite MSA posted a modest -0.03% decline, the first sequential drop since February. And from the report itself: "The National Index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013. The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston."
Forget Black Friday and Q4 GDP... it appears, from the most recent forecasts that from Wednesday on this week, the eastern US faces a 'White Five-Day' as Accuweather reports "an increasing likelihood for a swath of heavy snow stretching from eastern Pennsylvania through New York's Hudson Valley and across much of New England before all is said and done." Furthermore, as WaPo notes, Wednesday’s possible storm has a chance to develop into a legitimate Nor’easter (though current models offer 3 scenarios).
It isn’t just our economy that is crumbling. Something is happening to America that no amount of money will be able to fix. Everywhere around us we can see evidence of the social decay that is systematically eating away at the foundations of our society. It can be found on the streets of our inner cities, in dark basements in extremely rural communities, in the most prestigious boardrooms on Wall Street, and definitely in the halls of power in Washington. Bringing in an entirely different crop of politicians or printing gigantic mountains of money is not going to solve this problem, because it exists in the hearts of millions of ordinary men and women. The truth is that we really need to take a good, long look at ourselves in the mirror...
- Banks Had Unfair Advantage From Commodity Units (Bloomberg)
- Report Notes Deals Between Goldman, Deutsche and Others Drove Up Aluminum Prices (WSJ)
- Goldman, Morgan Stanley Commodity Heyday Gone as Units Faulted (BBG) - because when you can no longer manipulate, you move on...
- Lenders Shift to Help Struggling Student Borrowers (WSJ)
- Immigrants face major hurdles in signing up to new Obama plan (Reuters)
- Distressed Debt in China? Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Buyers Say (BBG)
- Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds (Reuters)
- Amazon Robots Get Ready for Christmas (WSJ)