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Maybe we just ought to step aside for a while and see what happens...

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Becoming China: From Shale Malinvestment Boom To "We Are Overbuilt" Bust

Nothing highlighted a malinvestment-driven "if we build it they will come" boom (and subsequence complete bust) better than China's so-called "ghost cities." But now, thanks to The Fed's "lower for longer" enabling of every and any zombie company in the world, many previous oil-boomtowns across Texas and North Dakota are facing a real-estate crisis. As Bloomberg reports, the former bustling "man-camps" of towns like Williston, ND are now desolate with hundreds of skeletons or wood & cement as predictions that fracking would sustain production and a robust tax base for decades have failed completely.

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Paul Craig Roberts: Obama Deifies American Hegemony

Obama’s speech at The UN made clear that Washington accepts no responsibility for the destruction of the lives and prospects of millions of Muslims. The refugees from Washington’s wars who are overflowing Europe are the fault of Assad, Obama declared. Obama’s claim to represent "international norms" was an assertion of US hegemony, and was recognized as such by the General Assembly. The presidents of Russia, China, and Iran did not accept Washington’s definition of "international norms." The lines are drawn. Unless the American people come to their senses and expel the Washington warmongers, war is our future.

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Trump Sides With Putin On Syria: "You Should Let Russia Destroy ISIS As Opposed To Saying 'We're Jealous'"

"The people that want to come in and replace Assad, nobody knows who they are and they could end up being worse. We're constantly going out and siding with people and they turn out to be worse than the people who were there before."

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Paul Craig Roberts Warns "The Entire World May Go Down The Tubes Together"

Neoliberal economics is blind to reality and serves to justify the destruction of the economic prospects of the Western World. It remains to be seen if Russia and China can develop a different economics or whether these rising superpowers will fall victim to the “junk economics” that has destroyed the West. With so many Chinese and Russian economists educated in the US tradition, the prospects of Russia and China might not be any better than ours. The entire world could go down the tubes together.

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Fed Refuses To Comment On Yellen's Health

There was a very troubling 100 second interval at the end of Yellen's 50 minute, 5,000+ word speech in Amhert on Thursday, in which the 69-year old Yellen suddenly seemed unable to read the words on the page, was rereading the same phrase over and over, paused for long stretches at a time, and then had a violent reaction that forced her to end her speech prematurely. Watch it again below. But more disturbing was the Fed's reaction. As the WSJ reports, a Federal Reserve spokeswoman declined Friday to say if Chairwoman Janet Yellen resumed a normal work schedule or sought follow-up medical attention a day after she appeared ill near the end of a long speech in Amherst, Mass. Ms. Yellen returned to Washington on Friday.

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Weekend Reading: Fed Confusion

The current surge in dis-inflationary pressures is not just due to the recent fall in oil prices, but rather a global epidemic of slowing economic growth. While Janet Yellen addressed this "disinflationary" wave during her post-meeting press conference, the Fed still maintains the illusion of confidence that economic growth will return shortly. Unfortunately, this has been the Fed's "Unicorn" since 2011 as annual hopes of economic recovery have failed to materialize. However, it is these ongoing views of optimism that have collided with economic realities.

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Frontrunning: September 23

  • Global Stocks Steady Despite China Slowdown (WSJ)
  • European Recovery Saves Markets From China Gloom as Stocks Rally (BBG)
  • Pope starts U.S. trip with tone of conciliation (Reuters)
  • FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server (BBG)
  • Volkswagen chief faces grilling by board over diesel scandal (Reuters)
  • 'European Detroit' Fear Grips VW Company Town as Scandal Widens (BBG)
  • Berlin finds itself caught up in Volkswagen scandal (FT)
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The Clock Is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World's Reserve Currency

After 35 years of falling and now zero rates, the direction is only up for the cost of money, as is the cost to service debt, along with the burden to those who are most indebted (i.e. the U.S.). What should no longer be unthinkable is that the clock is ticking on America’s status as the holder of the reserve currency. If you still doubt this proposition, consider that China is in the process of setting up a third benchmark for oil, along with Brent and West Texas Intermediate, for trading oil futures contracts. And unlike the existing contracts, these will be traded in Renminbi. Who needs the dollar?

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Pentagon Warns Of Russia-Iran "Nexus" In Syria: "We Assume Russia Is Coordinating With The Iranians"

“We assume [the Russian buildup in Syria is] being coordinated with the Iranians. What we are seeing now is that there is some sort of Iran nexus."

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Frontrunning: September 22

  • Pressure builds on Volkswagen CEO as emissions-cheating probe spreads (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Relates to 11 Million Cars (WSJ)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Investigations Should Widen to Entire Auto Industry, Officials Say (WSJ)
  • Germany's Bosch makes VW's U.S. diesel components (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen scandal will have personnel consequences - state economy minister (Reuters)
  • Glencore Falls to Record as Mining Shares Lead Stock Losses (BBG)
  • Despite Slump, China’s Xi Jinping Pledges Economic Reforms (WSJ)
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Secret Cable Reveals US Plan To Overthrow Assad By Exploiting "Extremist Groups"

"Possible Actions: Publicize presence of transiting (or externally focused) extremist groups in Syria, not limited to mention of Hamas and PIJ. Publicize Syrian efforts against extremist groups in a way that suggests weakness, signs of instability, and uncontrolled blowback. The SARG,s argument (usually used after terror attacks in Syria) that it too is a victim of terrorism should be used against it to give greater prominence to increasing signs of instability within Syria."

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