Senate Democrats Defeat The President: Why Obama Is Rushing To Fast-Track The TPP

Moments ago, in an embarrassing setback for the president, Senate Democrats in a 52-45 vote - short of the required 60 supporters - blocked a bill that would give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to expedite trade agreements through Congress, a major defeat for the president and his allies who "say the measure is necessary to complete a 12-nation Pacific trade deal that is a centerpiece of the administration’s economic agenda." But don't count it out yet: the WSJ cites Mitch McConnell who told reporters shortly before the vote, which he expected to lose, that “This issue’s not over" adding that "I’m hopeful we’ll put this in the win column for the country sometime soon.”

Key Events In The Coming Week

Today’s Eurogroup meeting will be key in determining where Greece and its creditors negotiations currently stand. Over in the US today, it’s the usual post payrolls lull with just the labor market conditions data expected.

Free Trade Benefits Vs. Fears Of Foreign Goods

Meant to extend and widen trade and related commercial relationships between the participating countries, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has also been presented as a way for the U.S. to maintain his economic and political power in East Asia in the face of the rising influence of China in that part of the world. What should be most clear is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a free trade agreement. Parts of it may, no doubt, lower some trade barriers, thus making easier the production, sale and purchase of a wider variety of imports and exports. However, TPP, like all other trade agreements in the post-World War II era is a managed trade agreement.

Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama's New Global Economic Treaty

"If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door. If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving. And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read."

"We Will Evolve Through Crisis, Not Proactive Change..."

"I am not very optimistic about the fate of mankind as while our problems tend to evolve in exponential ways, our attempts at solving them move in linear fashion. That is true as much for the problems we ourselves create as it is for those that – seem to – ‘simply happen’. I think it would be very beneficial for us if we were to admit to our limits when it comes to solving large scale issues, because that might change the behavior we exhibit when creating these issues. The human capacity for denial and deceit plays a formidable role in this. We’re simply not smart enough to acknowledge our own limitations. Therefore, as Meadows says: "we are going to evolve through crisis, not through proactive change.""

Sanctions & Saber Rattling Doesn't Stop The US From Importing Russian Petroleum

Americans might be quite surprised to know that even with all the U.S. Government sanctions and threats of war with Russia, America still imports a significant amount of petroleum from the former communist country. How much petroleum does the United States import from Russia? Actually, a lot more when we focus on net imports...

Leaking Las Vegas: Forced Rationing Looms As Lake Mead Faces Federal "Water Emergency"

Leak Mead is the largest reservoir in the country when at capacity. On May 2, the water level was down to 1,078.9 feet above sea level, the lowest since it was being filled in May 1937. If the water level is below 1,075 feet elevation – 4 feet below today’s level – by January 1, 2016, it will trigger a federal water emergency... and water rationing.

Key Events In The Coming Week

Quickly looking at the potential market moving events this week, US payrolls on Friday will be the clear focus. In terms of expectations, our US colleagues are expecting a +225k print which matches the current Bloomberg consensus, while they expect the unemployment rate to drop one-tenth to 5.4%. Elsewhere, Thursday’s UK Election will be closely followed while Greece will once again be front and center.

Texas Republican Blasts Governor's "Embarrassing" & Irrational Response To Jade Helm

At least one Texas Republican thinks Governor Greg Abbott's move to call in the Texas Guard to monitor US military drills in the state is outright preposterous. "Let me apologize in advance that your letter pandering to idiots who believe that US Navy Seals and other US military personnel are somehow a threat to be watched has left me livid." It only gets better from there... "

The War On Cash: Transparently Totalitarian

"The War on Cash is the attempt by governments to phase cash out of their economies. Governments hate cash because they hate the financial privacy cash makes possible. And they prefer that you keep your money in a bank to help prop up an unsound fractional reserve banking system." As Ron Paul warned, “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”

Texas Governor Calls Up State Guard To Counter Jade Helm "Federal Invasion" Fears

The story of Jade Helm — the name for the upcoming military exercises in Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada — has taken a decisive turn for the absurd as Texas Governor Greg Abbott has now called on the Texas Guard to (literally) monitor military drills conducted by US special forces after local residents suggested the exercises could be the precursor to a federal invasion of Texas. Only in America.

Prove You're Not A Terrorist

Recently, France decided to crack down on those people who make cash payments and withdrawals and who hold small bank accounts. The reason given was, not surprisingly, to “fight terrorism,” the handy catchall justification for any new restriction governments wish to impose on their citizens. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin stated at the time, “[T]errorism feeds on fraud, money laundering, and petty trafficking." What we are witnessing is the creation of totalitarian control of your finances. The implication that you may have some sort of terrorist involvement is a smokescreen.