USA USA USA #15? Despite aerial bombardment, growing tensions with every neighbor, and the almost ubiquitous daily car-bombs, Israelis are "happier" than Americans according to Bloomberg's world happiness index. Happiness, it appears, is most abundant a long way from the equator with Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Canada all topping the list; whereas the unhappiest nations are all in Saharan or sub-Saharan Africa (apart from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan).
What do retail investors do on volatile days like Friday’s jolt lower on the S&P 500? Thanks to one very large online broker’s publicly available order flow, we now know...
Noam Chomsky: "The Idea Of A Media Which Does Not Repeat US Propaganda Is Intolerable To American Leaders"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2015 21:32 -0400
"Take the New York Times -- the greatest newspaper in the world. Take one example, at the first article that appeared today, that the tentative [nuclear] agreement with Iran was reached. It’s a thinkpiece, by Peter Baker, one of their main analysts. He discusses in it the main reasons to distrust Iran, the crimes of Iran. It’s very interesting to look at. The most interesting one is the charge that Iran is destabilizing the Middle East because it’s supporting militias which have killed American soldiers in Iraq. That’s kind of as if, in 1943, the Nazi press had criticized England because it was destabilizing Europe for supporting partisans who were killing German soldiers."
After Spate of Mass Shootings, Americans Turn Pro-Gun
Extreme optimism - whether in the form of stock valuations, consumer spending, or happiness surveys like the one mentioned below - tends to be followed by corrections; because to get to an extreme point in a data series, extreme behavior is usually required. That is, a lot of really optimistic investment decisions have to be made to push financial markets to cyclical highs, and these kinds of moves tend to exhaust themselves and produce big moves in the other direction. Hence the 2008 low following the 2007 high.
The economic data has continued to disappoint on virtually all fronts, earnings are weak and markets are grossly extended. Yet, investors are more bullish than ever...
The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we - the permanent underclass in America - will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private. It really doesn’t matter what you call them - the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex - so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.
Capitol Locked-Down After Mailman Lands Gyrocopter On Lawn To Deliver Campaign Reform Letter To CongressSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/15/2015 13:51 -0400
Update: *LOCKDOWN LIFTED AT U.S. CAPITOL AFTER GYRO COPTER ARREST
US Capitol Police have locked-down buildings after a man landed a gyrocopter on the lawn. As The Tampa Bay Times reports, the man is a mailman from Ruskin named Doug Hughes who was attempting to deliver campaign reform messages to Congress.
A funny thing happened in Britain... as calorie intake has fallen by 8% in the last decade and 4.4% since 2010, driven both by eating out less and eating healthier at home, so obesity levels are stabilising versus recent years with the number of patients diagnosed as obese also declined by 15% yoy in 2013/14, following a 7% decline in 2012/13. In the US, however, the latest data shows that obesity is still rising...
With more than three quarters of US workers trapped in what we will call “wage growth hell,” and whose only chance at seeing a pay hike appears to rest on holding out for a promotion that’s probably not forthcoming, it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that self-reported consumer spending hit a three-year low for March.
Almost one quarter of Americans regularly "take drugs to affect their mood and help them relax" according to the latest poll by Gallup; but which states are the most (and least) medicated?
People in the United States feel under threat, both from beyond our borders and within them and as Reuters reports, when asked about both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was a pretty darn close call. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds a third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, the world is certainly worried about America with about one quarter (of respondents from 65 countries) naming the United States as the greatest threat to world peace.
Much of the commentary from the more liberal leaning media has continued to tout that the rise in asset markets over the last few years are clear evidence of economic prosperity in this country. However, is that really the case? In order for rising asset prices to be reflective of overall economic prosperity, the "wealth" generated by those rising asset prices should impact a broad swath of the American populous. Let's take a look to see if that is the case.
With the bond market appearing ripe for a dramatic correction, many are wondering whether a crash could drag down markets for other long-term assets, such as housing and equities. Bond-market crashes have actually been relatively rare and mild. According to our model, long-term rates in the US should be even lower than they are now, because both inflation and short-term real interest rates are practically zero or negative. Even taking into account the impact of quantitative easing since 2008, long-term rates are higher than expected. Regarding the stock market and the housing market, there may well be a major downward correction someday. But it probably will have little to do with a bond-market crash.
With all deference to Dr. Richard Fisher, the surging dollar is not good for either the economy or ultimately a stronger labor market. This is particularly the case when the dollar is only stronger because the rest of the world is on the brink of recession and or deflation. The negative impact of a surging dollar in a weak economic environment will more than likely outweigh any positive inputs for the U.S. consumer. Time will tell, but the evidence is mounting that the we are likely closer to the end of the current economic cycle than the beginning.