• EconMatters
    11/30/2015 - 16:21
    The ISIS group sells most of its crude directly to independent traders at the wellhead for $20-$45 a barrel earning the group an average of $1.5 million a day.


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Pennsylvania Becomes First State To Use "Pre-Crime" Statistics In Criminal Sentencing

As technology generally continues to advance, one thing you can be sure of is the criminal justice system’s use of innovative new “tools” will grow exponentially. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a very dangerous thing. Pennsylvania’s new law that permits the use of data showing whether people are “deemed likely to commit additional crimes” in criminal sentencing, is a perfect example of how an over reliance on technology can be a threat to liberty and due process.

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American Oligarchy: 400 Families Represent 50% Of Money Raised by 2016 Presidential Candidates So Far

The American system of government is nothing like what we are told in school and via the oligarch-owned mainstream media. The country has become so captured and corrupted by sociopathic oligarchs, that a neo-feudal modern serfdom is emerging where the opportunities to enjoy rising standards of living for the vast majority of people was rapidly becoming a pipe dream. The Dark Ages almost look democratic by comparison.

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Trump Tops Pre-Debate Polls, Slams Koch Conference Attendees As "Puppets"

Another weekend of glad-handing and Sunday talk-shows and still The Donald dominates the GOP Presidential nominee race. With all eyes firmly glued on this week's debate, Trump had a few choice words for those who attended the Koch brothers' biannual conference (which he was not invited to), tweeting "I wish good luck to all the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers... Puppets?" As WSJ reports, Mr. Trump poses a more delicate short-term challenge for the GOP, thanks to high name recognition, celebrity appeal and a populist message that taps a powerful anti-Washington vein.  "I don’t think you should underestimate how frustrated people are," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday during a lunch at the Koch gathering. "Mr. Trump has tapped into some of that."

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First Default By U.S. Commonwealth In History: Puerto Rico Fails To Make Required Debt Payment

"Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today. This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth's liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico to ensure the essential services they deserve are maintained."

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Are We Being Forced Into A "Second American Civil War"… If So, Who Will Win?

A report from the U.S. Army War College discusses the use of American troops to quell civil unrest brought about by a worsening economic crisis. The report from the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute warns that the U.S. military must prepare for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States” that could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” [The report also warns of a possible “rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US.”]

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The 2015 Untrustworthies Report - Why Social Security Could Be Bankrupt In 12 Years

The so-called “trustees” of the social security system issued their annual report last week and the stenographers of the financial press dutifully reported that the day of reckoning when the trust funds run dry has been put off another year - until 2034. So take a breath and kick the can. That’s five Presidential elections away!

...Except that is not what the report really says.

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Earnings Shocker: Quarterly Increase In Wages Is Smallest On Record

The quarterly increase in US wages was just 0.2% - a third of the 0.6% rise expected - and a meager 2% increase Y/Y in line with all the other depressed BLS data, which dashes the "wage growth is looming" meme and crushed the 0.7% rise in Q1 that had so many hopeful of escape velocity any day now.

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Why Do So Many Working Age Americans Choose Not To Enter The Workforce?

You could call it the "Mystery of the Missing Worker" – why do so many people of working age chose not to enter the workforce? Here are the numbers, as of the most recent Employment Situation report: 250 million: the total number of people of working age in the United States; 149 million: the total number of people in that population that have a job; 8 million: the number of people who want a job but do not have one; leaving 93 million: the number of people who don’t work, and don’t want work. To put some context around that last number, it is 30% of the entire U.S. population. Why?

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Now It's Personal: Koch Brothers "Freeze Out" Donald Trump

With everyone asking 'what can derail this?', perhaps, there is something. As Politico reports, the massively influential Koch brothers are freezing out Donald Trump from their influential political operation - denying him access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings of grass-roots activists or major donors.

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New York Mayor de Blasio Demands A Federal Bailout For Puerto Rico

While the Puerto Rican creditors' bargaining power on the island is to put it mildly, negligible, especially after the budget director made the imminent default into a crusade of poor versus rich, saying he won’t redirect cash from its operating budget to make debt payments, an unexpected supporter has emerged thousands of miles from the beleaguered island: New York's socialist mayor Bill DeBlasio. As CBS reports "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded President Obama and Congress immediately come to the island's fiscal rescue." "It's the federal government's obligation to act, because they can't stand idly by and watch Puerto Rico fail," de Blasio told a crowd of hundreds of Puerto Rico boosters gathered on the steps of City Hall.

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Caught On Tape: The Moment Diver Discovers $1 Million In Gold From 300-Year-Old Spanish Shipwreck

For several weeks the Schmitt family had a million-dollar secret on their hands. Last month, it recovered $1 million worth of sunken Spanish coins and jewels off the Florida coast. The Schmitts are subcontractors to 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC which since 2010 has the salvaging rights to a fleet of Spanish ships, aka the "1715 Fleet", that wrecked off the Florida coast some 300 years ago. While $50 million has been pulled in from the fleet’s resting place so far, this is so far the biggest single haul. The moment of euphoric discovery has been caught on tape, and yes, the diver sounds just a little more excited than were he to discover pet rock.

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From Trump Tower To Clinton's Compound - The Homes Of The 2016 Presidential Candidates

As dozens now vie for residence in the big white one of Pennsylvania Avenue, MarketWatch, courtesy of LoanDepot.com and CoreLogic, unveil the homes (since most own more than one) and mortgages of the 2016 presidential candidates. With homeownership rates at multi-decade lows, and the American Dream disappearing for most, it appears it pays to be in government - from Trump Tower and Clinton's Compounds to Bernie Sanders' underwater mortgages and Carly Fiorina's five fireplaces...

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Frontrunning: July 24

  • Gunman kills two, wounds seven in Louisiana theater before killing himself (Reuters)
  • Health insurer Anthem to buy Cigna in $54.2 billion deal (Reuters)
  • Murder, Poisoning, Raids: It’s Election Season in Russia (BBG)
  • Lagarde Push for Greece Debt Relief Challenges Merkel (Bloomberg)
  • Fund Boss’s Gamble on Health Law Pays Off Big (WSJ)
  • Wall Street Cranks Up Its Outlook for Amazon After It Delivers Monster Earnings Report (BBG)
  • China's Richest Man Marks Push Into Hollywood With Jake Gyllenhaal Movie (BBG)
  • West Africa's alarming growth industry - meth (Reuters)
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How Monsanto, Exxon Mobil, & Microsoft Lobbyists Are Bundling Funds For Hillary

The pantsuit revolutionary is at it again. Once again demonstrating her populist chops by employing the services of lobbyists to bundle millions in campaign funds. It’s no wonder opinion polls on her have been plunging as of late.

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Frontrunning: July 22

  • Stocks sour as Apple results leave bitter aftertaste (Reuters)
  • Awkward Alliance Running Germany Exposed by Greek Crisis (BBG)
  • Apple Faces Old Question of What’s Next After Record Profit (BBG)
  • Lawmakers, White House Explore Tax Revamp for U.S. Firms Overseas (WSJ)
  • Digital Misfits Link JPMorgan Hack to Pump-and-Dump Fraud (BBG)
  • More Debt Traders at Risk as European Banks Report Results (BBG)
  • Iran rejects sanctions extension beyond 10 years (Reuters)
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