New York Times

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"Will We Never Learn?" - Meet Subprime Auto 'Title Loans': 2014's Home ATM





The car is at the center of the biggest boom in subprime lending since the mortgage crisis, and The NY Times reports, similar to how a red-hot mortgage market once coaxed millions of borrowers into recklessly tapping the equity in their homes, the new boom is also leading people to take out risky lines of credit known as title loans. Will we never learn?!!

 
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"Everything Is Awesome"





As Politico's Michael Grunwald writes below (we believe non-satirically), the midterm election’s discontent was illegitimate. The point is that Americans should cheer up! And whose fault is all the collective doom? Well, Bill De Blasio already explained that, as Grunwald confirms, the press has a problem reporting good news. So sit back, grab a drink (though swallow it first) and enjoy reading why "everything is awesome" in America (apart from a record 101.5 million Americans not working, record numbers on foodstamps, record numbers on disability, a record wealth divide, a record - and deadly - racial divide, record poverty, and record child homelessness).

 
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Make No Mistake, The Oil Slump Is Going To Hurt The US Too





If you only paid attention to the mainstream media, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the US is going to get away from the collapse in oil prices scot free. It’s a crying shame. The US has come so close to becoming energy independent. But it’s going to have to get its head around the idea that it could become a big oil importer again. In the end, the US energy boom may add up to nothing more than an illusion dependent upon the artificially cheap debt environment created by the Federal Reserve’s easy money policy.

 
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2014 Year In Review (Part 2): Will 2015 Be The Year It All Comes Tumbling Down?





Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."

"I’m tired of being outraged!"

 
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Defiant North Korea Says Can Prove It Is Not Behind Hack "Without Resorting To Torture Like The CIA"





Surely, the punchline is that even a tiny backwater, dictatorship can now make fun of US "moral high ground" courtesy of the recent CIA torture disclosure. “We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the C.I.A. does,the North Korea statement said. Oops.

 
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Did The American Consumer Just Unwittingly Call The Top?





Who said economics can’t be fun?! How is it not absolutely brilliant that in the face of a collapsing shale oil industry – or at least, for the moment, of its financing model -, and the worst week for the Dow since 2011, the Thomson Reuters/UofMichigan consumer sentiment index shows American consumers are more optimistic than they’ve been in 8 years, and that “more consumers volunteered good news than bad news than in any month since 1984?? 1984! How does one trump that as a contrarian signal? And that I don’t mean to sound funny: that is serious.

 
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New York Times on Benefits of Gold as Geopolitical Weapon in Currency Wars





The New York Times is the paper of Paul Krugman and the Federal Reserve and central banks. It rarely has a critical word to say about central banks and the current fiat monetary system. Conversely, it rarely has a positive word to say about gold. The article suggests a realisation that currency wars are set to intensify with gold again becoming an important monetary and geo-political asset.

 
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Debunking Keynesian "History": The Gold Standard Had Nothing To Do With Panics And Busts





In our own era, the Fed prints excess dollars without concern that they be redeemable in gold. Which means that our capital misallocation is extensive and long-term, our recessions are long and deep, our growth trend is shallow, and our complacency about how right we are in contrast to the benighted past is callow and pitiable.

 
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5 Things To Ponder: Crude Oppositeness





This weekend's reading list is a collection of articles discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of the dive in crude oil prices.

 
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And Now, Expert Financial Advice From Jessica Alba





In a world in which neither the Fed, nor the sellside (Goldman was forecasting $100 oil for years to come as recently as October 29), and certainly not tenured economists have any idea what lies beyond the next corner, perhaps the best place to look for financial answers are Hollywood celebrities such as Jessica Alba. So, in our pursuit of truth, financial answers and the Hollywood way, we give you... Jessica Alba.

 
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Frontrunning: December 11





  • Shale operaters Goodrich, Oasis Petroleum cut spending for 2015 as oil slides (Reuters)
  • Greece to hold elections in January if president vote fails (Reuters)
  • Norway’s Shock Rate Cut Drives Krone to Lowest Since 2009 (BBG)
  • ‘Severe Downturn’ Threatening Norway, Central Bank Governor Says (BBG)
  • Russia’s Fifth Rate Increase Fails to Halt Ruble Slide to Record (BBG)
  • SNB Says Deflation Risks Increased as Franc Cap Maintained (BBG)
  • China eases bank lending restrictions, PBOC targets 10 trillion yuan in loans for 2014 (Reuters)
  • Mobius Says China’s Bull Market Is Just Getting Started (BBG)
  • How Wal-Mart Made Its Crumbling China Business Look So Good for So Long (BBG)
 
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Systemic Failure: "Doctors Prescribing Meds Based On Drug Company Kickbacks" Edition





Corruption and lack of ethics is now endemic to American life and the economy.

 
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"We Tortured Some Folks": CIA Lied To Congress, Senate Torture Report Reveals





In what we are confident everyone will find to be absolutely shocking news, moments ago the Senate Torture report was released. The key finding, hold on to your hats, is that the CIA "misled" Congress. As for the timing of the release, which takes place at the same time as Jonathan Gruber (Ph.D) is being grilled in the House, it is hardly a coincidence that Obama does everything in his power to deflect attention to what took place under the Bush administration, commenting that "torture techniques did significant damage to America’s standing” in the world. So what did the droning of thousands of innocent civilians do to the same "standing"?

 
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Wall Street Moves To Put Taxpayers On The Hook For Derivatives Trades





Wall Street has for some time attempted to put taxpayers on the hook for its derivatives trades. A previous attempt failed, but now Wall Street is trying to sneak it into a bill needed to keep the government running. You can’t make this stuff up.

 
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