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Saturday Satire: Candidate Profile - Hillary Clinton





Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to officially announce her candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Sunday, putting an end to months of speculation about her plans. Here are some key things to know about the first Democrat to declare her candidacy...

 
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White House Admits, US States Need To Be Better Prepared For Fiscal Volatility





“What the Great Recession has shown is that things have fundamentally changed,” The White House warned this week and, as Bloomberg reports, states would have to cut spending or raise revenue by a combined $21 billion in the event of a recession, further exacerbating economic weakness, Moody’s Analytics found in a stress test of state finances. While investors are willingly buying bonds with both hands and feet, The White House warns, states "need to be much more prepared for very volatile fiscal conditions than they had been in the past."

 

 
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Behind On Your Student Loans? These States Will Take Your Driver's License





Before you think about holding out for a taxpayer government-sponsored bailout on your student loans, you may want to check the laws in your state because as it turns out, you may end up losing your driver’s license or worse, your barber’s license.

 
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"See No Evil?" - Meet Jason Villalba: The Texas Rep. Who Wants To Criminalize Citizens Filming Police





“Don’t mess with Texas.” Unless of course you are a thieving, violent cop; in which case Jason Villalba wants to make it open season on citizens by denying them their First Amendment rights.

 
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Parasite Turns On Parasite: HFT Sues Other HFTs For "Egregious Manipulation" Of Treasury Securities





The beginning of the end of high frequency trading has arrived, and it has done so in a most unexpected fashion: with an HFT turning on other HFTs and revealing on the record, for the entire world to see, just how truly parasitic, manipulative and "market-rigging" the algorithms truly are.

 
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The Global War On Pensioners





Pensioners are under attack. With yields depressed across asset classes, public pension funds in the U.S. are diving into risky investments in order to justify clinging to unrealistic investment rate assumptions. In Europe, low rates are causing corporations to adopt lower discount rates to determine the present value of their pension liabilities, dramatically increasing EU pension deficits. While in Greece, the government is robbing the public purse to make good on its commitments to the IMF.

 
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10 Google Search Traffic Charts For The Fed To Consider





As the market anxiously await Janet Yellen's Humphrey-Hawkins testimony this morning, hanging on every word and intonation, ConvergEx's Nick Colas is reminded of Harry Truman’s famous request: “Give me a one-handed economist!”  The U.S. central bank clearly feels challenged by the cross currents of the global economy even as it reiterates confidence in domestic growth prospects. In an effort to help clear things up, Colas brings some 21st century data to the Fed’s distinctly old-school toolset and looks at the historical popularity of 10 Google search terms with a decidedly economic twist. Bottom line: the Google data is clear. The Fed needs to wait a while longer before raising interest rates.

 
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Frontrunning: February 18





  • Greece to submit loan request to euro zone, Germany resists (Reuters)
  • Ukrainian forces start to quit besieged town (Reuters)
  • Bank of Japan maintains policy, no surprises (FT)
  • China Considering Mergers Among Its Big State Oil Companies (WSJ)
  • Soros Shifts to Europe, Asia as Investors Cut U.S. Equities (BBG)
  • Putin tells Kiev to let troops surrender as Ukraine ceasefire unravels (Reuters)
  • Venezuela Squanders Its Oil Wealth (BBG)
  • Swiss prosecutor raids HSBC office, opens criminal inquiry (Reuters)
 
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The Last Time This Happened, US GDP Crashed By 5%





The last time US weather was this bad, annualized US GDP crashed from 2.3% to -2.9%.

 
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Another Bubble Pops: Price Of Farmland Suffers First Annual Decline Since 1986





One of the bigger asset bubbles in recent US history has nothing to do with stock, bonds or commodities, We are talking about farmland. And yet, like all other bubbles - be they the result of retail euphoria or central bank rigging - this one too must come to a close, and as the WSJ reports, the first crack in the farmland bubble are appearing, after farmland values declined in parts of the Midwest for the first time in decades last year "reflecting a cooling in the market driven by two years of bumper crops and sharply lower grain prices, according to Federal Reserve reports on Thursday." the average price of farmland in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s district, which includes Illinois, Iowa and other big farm states, fell 3% in 2014, marking the first annual decline since 1986, which makes farmlands the only asset class that had not seen a down year in nearly three decades!

 
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Full Circle: Obama Asks Congress For Troop Deployment In Iraq, War Authorization On Islamic State





Update: OBAMA ASKS CONGRESS TO AUTHORIZE WAR AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE: AP

Several years ago, Obama impressed a handful of crusty, old people in Norway who believed the recent Illinois senator's vision of a world without war, validated by his eagerness to end the war in Iraq and withdraw US troops to their native country. He got an award for it. Today, Obama will finally complete the circle started in August when, under the premise of "humanitarian intervention", allegedly meant to save a group refugees stranded on a mountain, Obama launched an airborne coalition effort to destroy the same group of radical jihadist extremists that the US was assisting when they were merely fighting the Assad regime in Syria. Because today is when Obama will officially request that those same troops that he so liberally pulled out in compliance with his Nobel Peace Prize, be put back in Iraq in order to declare war on, drumroll, a nation that doesn't technically even exist: the Islamic State.

 
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Frontrunning: February 10





  • Greek defense minister says Greece has Plan B if EU rigid on deal (Reuters)
  • Germany rejects Greek claim for World War Two reparations (Reuters)
  • Greece to Seek $11.3 Billion in Financing to Avoid Funding Crunch (BBG)
  • Lazard Sees $113 Billion Greek Debt Cut as ‘Reasonable’ (BBG)
  • U.S. Navy Considers Setting Up Ship Base in Australia (BBG)
  • Dalio’s Bridgewater Fund Said to Rise 8.3% in January (BBG)
  • As U.S. Exits, China Takes On Afghanistan Role (WSJ)
  • EU money funds cut exposure to bank debt (FT)
  • China Inflation Drops to Five-Year Low in January (WSJ)
  • Oil-Price Rebound Predicted (WSJ)
 
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Over Half Of Young American Adults Live With Their Parents In These 12 States





In 12 U.S. states, over half of 25-year-olds lived with their parents in 2012-13.  The states: York are: New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Washington D.C.

 
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