“Everybody knows that the Americans are dropping supplies to Daesh,” said Brig. Gen. Abed al-Maliki, a senior Iraqi army commander based in the city of Samarra, about 80 miles north of Baghdad, using another term for the Islamic State. “It’s just a show,” he said, sitting in the city’s army command headquarters. “If the Americans want to finish something, they will finish it. If they wanted to liberate Iraq, they could.”
The Sunlight is Fading … and America Is Falling Into Darkness
While it is unclear at this moment if this is merely the latest casualty of below normal Capex (or was the result of a gas leak), or if there was foul play involved, moments ago the NYC scanner was lit up with reports that a building had collapsed, following an explosion, on 7th street and 2nd avenue, in the East Village in Manhattan.
"Seeing the site of the accident was harrowing," said Lufthansa's CEO yesterday after the mysterious crash of the Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people aboard as local reporters said of the scene, we "can't even identify anything that looks like a plane.". But today, investigators are no further forward in understanding the reason for the unexplained accident. As NBC News reports, some Germanwings crew members have refused to fly until an explanation is found and the discovery of the "slightly damaged" black boxes is hoped to hold the key to explain the lack of communication from the crew, rapid descent, and apparent cessation of the un-override-able fly-by-wire auto pilot.
Must Have Been Wearing Tinfoil Hats ... And Living In Their Mom's Basement
"The amount a state needs to expend on guard labor is a function of how much legitimacy the state holds in its population’s reckoning... Why spy? Because it’s cheaper than playing fair. Our networks have given the edge to the elites, and unless we seize the means of information, we are headed for a long age of IT-powered feudalism."
- Dollar at 12-year peak versus euro, emerging markets spooked (Reuters)
- CIA sought to hack Apple iPhones from earliest days (Reuters)
- Draghi Urged Greece to Allow Troika Back Before It’s Late (BBG)
- Brent crude dips below $58 on strong dollar and supply (Reuters)
- Credit Suisse replaces CEO Dougan with Prudential's Thiam (Reuters)
- More "distressed" energy M&A: Verisk buys Wood Mackenzie for £1.85bn (FT)
- Prepare for a surge in defaults: Investors Are Buying Stocks and Bonds From Energy Producers Amid Oil Price Drop (WSJ)
- Private equity executive ordered to pay £72m to ex-wife (FT)
- Democratic donors unfazed by Hillary Clinton's use of private email (Reuters)
- Expensive Hepatitis C Medications Drive Prescription-Drug Spending (WSJ)
- 'ISIS Hackers' Almost Certainly Not ISIS Hackers (NBC)
While some may ISIS is 'deaf' to the new world as it spreads its message of Shariah Law across The Middle East, the terrorist organization appears to be trying to broaden the appeal of the militant group. As Newsweek reports, ISIS has released a video in which a pair of disabled sibling militants use sign language in an apparent bid to recruit fighters from the (apparently under-served) deaf and mute community. The video shows the brothers directing traffic in a busy road saying: “We will strike you soon, by Allah’s permission," and ends with a scene of the brothers setting up rockets.
- RBS to cut up to 14,000 jobs in investment banking unit (FT)
- Doctors, patients scramble ahead of high court Obamacare decision (Reuters)
- Rajan Cuts India Rates After Modi Agrees to Inflation Target (BBG)
- Russia’s Putin Makes First Public Comments on Killing of Boris Nemtsov (WSJ)
- House breaks impasse, passes security funding without provisions (Reuters)
- How a 25-Year-Old Investor Spurred Lumber Liquidators’ Plunge (BBG)
- Jeff Immelt’s Overhaul of GE Impeded by Falling Oil Prices (WSJ)
- Sahara India Defaults on Luxury Hotel Loans From Bank of China (BBG)
While faith in Japanese 'economics' is starting to falter (borne out by the split in the BoJ and endless macro data disappointments), trust in TEPCO and its governmental operators must be about to hit a new record low. Having promised and given up on the ice-wall strategy to stop radioactive water leaking into the ocean, Bloomberg reports TEPCO officials have admitted that it’s investigating the cause of a spike in radiation levels (23,000 becquerels/liter vs the legal limit of 90) in drainage water that it believes subsequently leaked into the Pacific ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant. The bigger problem, as NBC reports, TEPCO failed to report the leak for 10 months!
Just in case there wasn't enough on the calendar, between Yellen, Greece, consumer confidence, housing data, Richmond Fed, and of course stocks at another all time high, the latest news out of California is that a Matrolink commuter train struck at least two trucks between Oxnard and Camarilo, in a repeat of a similar tragic accident that took place in New York two weeks ago.
It may be hard to believe, but either one of the two status quo choices for U.S. President currently being force-fed down the American public’s throat will be almost unquestionably more imperial and warlike than Barack Obama. The reason is simple. Any society that apathetically stands by as one President after the other tramples on the Constitution will be subject to a litany of increasingly tyrannical, and even insane, leaders. If you still had any doubt, today we learn that Jeb Bush is actively surrounding himself with the exact same people who under the George W. Bush administration, masterminded the terrible tragedy known as the Iraq war.