"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under Allah...."
In 2015, the iron fist of power clamped down on humanity, from warfare to terrorism to surveillance, police brutality, and corporate hegemony. The environment was repeatedly decimated, the health of citizens was constantly put at risk, and the justice system and media alike were perverted to serve the interests of the powers that be. However, while 2015 was discouraging for more reasons than most of us can count, many of the year’s most underreported stories evidence not only a widespread pattern that explicitly reveals the nature of power, but pushback from human beings worldwide on a path toward a better world.
- Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful (Reuters)
- Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers (Guardian)
- Midwest Flooding Might Make the Oil Glut Worse (BBG)
- From Oil Glut to Shortage? Some Say It Could Happen (WSJ)
- Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Waiting to Get Money Back (WSJ)
- China Fires a Warning Shot at Yuan Speculators With Bank Bans (BBG)
The $1.15 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last Friday and quickly signed by President Obama is just the latest triumph in the plutocratic management of politics that has accelerated since 9/11...proof that Washington can work. Mainstream media didn’t stop to ask: “Yes, but work for whom?” Instead, the anchors acted as amplifiers for official spin - repeating the mantra-of-the-hour that while this is not “a perfect bill,” it does a lot of good things. “But for whom? At what price?” went unasked. Secrecy today. Secrecy tomorrow. Secrecy forever. They are determined that we not know who owns them.
My overriding theme and the central drama for the coming year is that unexpected events can take on greater importance as the Federal Reserve ends its near-decade-long Zero Interest Rate Policy. Consensus premises and forecasts will likely fall flat, in a rather spectacular manner. The low-conviction and directionless market that we saw in 2015 could become a no-conviction and very-much-directed market (i.e. one that's directed lower) in 2016. There will be no peace on earth in 2016, and our markets could lose a cushion of protection as valuations contract. (Just as "malinvestment" represented a key theme this year, we expect a compression of price-to-earnings ratios to serve as a big market driver in 2016.) In other words, we don't think 2016 will be fun.
An analysis of terror attacks since 2002 suggests U.S. efforts to combat terrorism - i.e., the "War on Terror" - have led to a dramatic increase in death and suffering from terrorism.
Following Vladimir Putin's 'endorsement' of The Donald, explaining his hope for "a more substantial, deeper relationship," with America, Trump has reciprocated the show of respect by thanking the Russian president for the "great honor." This mutual back-patting stunned MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, who exclaimed, Putin "is a person who kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries," to which Trump responded, silencing Scarborough, "he's running his country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in our country."
12 hours after his dramatic campaign statement to shut out Muslims arrivals into the US, Donald Trump doubled down and in a series of interviews early on Tuesday, he repeatedly told anchors such as CNN's Chris Cuomo that "we're at war - get it through your head" in his latest heated exchange, during which he reminded America how quickly people have forgotten "World Trade Center #1 and World Trade Center #2."
You didn’t think the surveillance state would give up that easily did you? Of course not. Unsurprisingly, fresh off the heels of the Paris terror attacks, the usual authoritarian suspects in the U.S. government are running around exploiting the tragedy in a bid to further erode privacy and civil liberties.
In the aftermath of the weekend's horrific attack, several realities have become clear. Taking history into account, three things will undoubtedly occur in response to the terror attacks in Paris.
"The Populist Upsurge is Real" When A Liberal College Professor Finds Common Ground With The Tea PartySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/11/2015 18:00 -0500
People are going to be pissed off no matter who wins this election and that is a very important social dynamic that is vastly under appreciated by the majority of mainstream pundits and analysts out there. The truth is, the American public is tricked into thinking they disagree with each other on the big issues, when in reality there’s enormous overlap. Until we stop being tricked, the status quo will continue to suck the economy dry through their religious-like embrace of corruption and crony capitalism. Unfortunately, the people who could benefit the most from reading this post, will never see it.
Free speech is not something that people would normally see as a realm of economics, but in many ways, an economic understanding of the support and opposition to free speech can shed a lot of light on what’s happening now in the West.
Hillary Clinton Sends Letter To FTC Demanding Review Of Pharma Industry, Turing's "Anticompetitive Practices"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/19/2015 09:44 -0500
For those wondering if Hillary Clinton's feud with the pharmaceutical industry in general, and with Turing Pharma's Martin Shkreli in particular, is over we just got the answer: it is only just getting started. Moments ago Reuters reported that Clinton has sent a letter to the FTC for recommendations on "changing laws to prevent anticompetitive practices", with a focus on Turing which has become a poster child for all that is wrong with the US specialty pharma industry, and the pharmaceutical industry in general.
With Republicans In Disarray, And No Debt Ceiling Deal, All Eyes Turn To November 18 When The US Runs Out Of CashSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/09/2015 10:29 -0500