Mutual Assured Destruction

"There Will Be Blood" - The Whole Game Is About Containing Russia-China

BRICS is in a coma. What’s surviving is RC: the Russia/China strategic partnership. Yet even the partnership seems to be in trouble – with Russia still attacked by myriad metastases of Hybrid War. The – Exceptionalist – Hegemon remains powerful, and the opposition is dazed and confused. Or is it?

Don't Think Armageddon, Think "A Thousand Balls Of Flame... And Then Crickets!"

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh - an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. But most of the recent American warmongering toward Russia can be explained by the desire to find anyone but oneself to blame for one’s unfolding demise.

EU Commissioner's Dire Warning: "The Only Alternative To Europe Is War"

While the saying goes "good fences make good neighbors," it appears the leadership of The EU is starting to get frustrated with the lack of acquiescence among some of the 'union's' newer or more marginal members. In a somewhat stunning statement, following ongoing and contentious meetings to discuss solutions to the migrant 'problem', EU Commissioner Timmermanns appeared to warn disagreeable member states, "There is an alternative to everything. I believe in EU cooperation because of all other forms in history have been tried to help Europeans get on better, and with the exception of this one, all other forms have led to war - so let's stick to this one."

"Cancel All Student Debt" - The Petitions Begin

"Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:

Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.

I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private."

"In The End Capital Controls Will Probably Have To Be Imposed" - Eurogroup Official

One thing is becoming clear: Greece will almost certainly not last until the proverbial D-Day on February 28 before it either i) runs out of money, ii) is forced to sign a "bailout extension" deal with the Eurogroup thus crushing its credibility with the people, or iii) exits the Eurozone. Needless to say, two of the three above options are very unpleasant for Greek savers, assuming any are left. And it is those savers that the Eurozone is directly targeting when it does everything in its power to provoke a bank run with statement such as these: "The situation of the banks is getting more and more difficult every day," said a European official. "In the end, in order to safeguard the banking system, capital controls will probably have to be imposed."

The WSJ Looks At "Non-GAAP" Earnings, Is Horrified By What It Finds

The WSJ is shocked to learn that among the costs companies "exclude" from non-GAAP earnings include such items as regulatory fines, “rebranding” expenses, pension expenses, fines, costs for establishing new manufacturing sources, fees paid to the board of directors, severance costs, executive bonuses and management-recruitment costs, and much, much more.

Who Will Be Hurt The Most If Greece Defaults

Who owns Greece's public debt? That's the 322 billion-euro question, according to the Finance Ministry's figures from the third quarter of last year. Most of the debt has changed hands since a bailout in 2010, a second in 2012 and a restructuring involving private creditors that same year. Private owners now hold only 17 percent. The secondary market has become very thin — bear that in mind when looking at 10-year bond yields. A default would have to be absorbed instead by official creditors, holding the remaining 83 percent of outstanding loans and bonds. These include euro-area governments (62 percent), the International Monetary Fund (10 percent) through its participation in the two bailouts, and the European Central Bank (8 percent), which purchased bonds in 2010 through its Securities Market Program. The remaining 3 percent are repurchase agreements and assets held by the Central Bank of Greece. It is unclear where losses on that portion would fall.

As Greek Default Risk Soars To 66%, Morgan Stanley Warns ECB May Be Unable To Launch QE

"The Greek political turmoil is likely to complicate matters for the ECB’s preparation of a sovereign QE programme. The prospect of the ECB potentially incurring severe losses is likely to intensify the debate within the Governing Council, where sovereign QE remains controversial. It could also make the start of a buying programme already on January 22 even more ambitious. In addition, the spectre of default could create new limitations on any sovereign QE design."

How Finance Quietly Took The World Hostage

The punchline, and what is by far the scariest, is that rising from 19% to a record 30%, and by far the biggest use of funds, is finance, the one industry that doesn't actually lead to growth but merely finds ways to mask the lack of growth with pro-forma adjustments and stacks leverage upon leverage on ever declining underlying equity and cash flows, until the entire system crashes as it did in 2001, 2008 and, well, soon.

Unfractional Repo Banking: When Leverage Is "Limited" By Infinity

Today the FSB was kind enough to explain in two short paragraphs and one even simpler chart, just how the aggregate leverage for the participants in even the simplest repo chain promptly becomes exponential, far above the "sum of the parts", and approaches infinity in virtually no time.