New York Times

China Is Now Conducting "Security Reviews" On Foreign Tech Products

"China must find a middle ground and determine which things can be imported but have to be secure and controllable; which things may be imported, digested and absorbed for re-innovation; which things can be developed in collaboration with others; and for which things we must rely on our own strength and indigenous innovation." - Xi Jinping

As Insurance Losses Mount So Do Refusals: "Sorry, We Don't Take Obamacare"

A McKinsey study shows Obamacare insurers lost money in 2014 and the losses doubled in 2015. Amazingly, the study concludes there’s nothing to worry about because “30 percent of insurers nationwide were profitable.” Meanwhile, outright refusals to accept Obamacare mount. “Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare” is now a frequent response.

Who Rules The World? Part 1

The Western picture of world order is that “ever since the end of the Cold War, the overwhelming power of the U.S. military has been the central fact of international politics.” This is particularly crucial in three regions: East Asia, where “the U.S. Navy has become used to treating the Pacific as an ‘American lake’”; Europe, where NATO -- meaning the United States, which “accounts for a staggering three-quarters of NATO’s military spending” -- “guarantees the territorial integrity of its member states”; and the Middle East, where giant U.S. naval and air bases “exist to reassure friends and to intimidate rivals.” The problem of world order today is that “these security orders are now under challenge in all three regions” because of Russian intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and because of China turning its nearby seas from an American lake to “clearly contested water.” The fundamental question of international relations, then, is whether the United States should “accept that other major powers should have some kind of zone of influence in their neighborhoods.”

Election 2016: Alien Vs Predator

"To those who abandon the Republican Party in this hour of crisis, I say: Good riddance! Go now, and never come back. Your bad advice and dogmatic arrogance brought America from a lone pinnacle of greatness in 2001 to second-rate status in 2016, the fastest decline of a dominant power since Napoleon invaded Russia. Go pester the Democrats, and do as much damage to them as you did to us Republicans... There's a war on... three different wars, in fact. To remain neutral is moral cowardice; to choose the wrong side would be downright wicked."

Heretical Thoughts And Doing The Unthinkable

According to the “social contract theory,” we all have our roles and responsibilities. As citizens, we have a duty to inform ourselves, pay our taxes, rat out our neighbors, vote, volunteer for military service, get frisked by the TSA... and let ourselves get robbed and bullied by every jackass in a position of power. Our leaders have responsibilities, too. They are supposed to respect the constitution, except when it is inconvenient for them. Our “leaders” – aka the Deep State – can change the terms any time they want. What kind of contract is it where one party can change the deal and the other can’t? And where the other party was never given the opportunity to negotiate it, or even approve it? It’s not a contract at all. It’s just part of the mythology of modern democracy.

Washington's Military Addiction (And The Ruins Still To Come)

In a Washington that seems incapable of doing anything but worshiping at the temple of the U.S. military, global policymaking has become a remarkably mindless military-first process of repetition It’s as if, as problems built up in your life, you looked in the closet marked “solutions” and the only thing you could ever see was one hulking, over-armed soldier, whom you obsessively let loose, causing yet more damage. But don’t bother to blame the politicians and national security nabobs in Washington for this.  They’re addicts.  They can’t help themselves.  What they need is rehab.  Instead, they continue to run our world.  Be suitably scared for the ruins still to come.

"We Are Unsure Whether To Wear A Helmet Or A Diaper" - Merger Arb Funds Crushed

While company officers - who have given up on major stock upside as a result of busted M&A - and investment bankers are lamenting the bursting of the M&A bubble, some of the biggest losers are on the buyside, where merger arbs have seen billions in paper profits turn into billions in paper losses in moments upon the announcement of deal termination. Indeed, broken deals have whipsawed hedge funds that focus on merger arbitrage. As the NYT poetically puts it, according to one "arb" the current mood of the industry: "Every day is like showing up unsure of whether to wear a helmet or a diaper."

Finance + Stress = Suicide (Or Trump)

The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014. For the first time in history the life expectancy of white American women had decreased, due primarily to drug overdose, suicide and alcoholism. The demographic groups that are experiencing the highest rates of drug overdose, suicide and alcoholism are also the most likely to be supporters of Donald Trump in his campaign for the U.S. Presidency. It does not take a Nobel Laureate to observe a high level of distress among white middle-class Americans. Trump simply taps into that angst.

London's New Mayor To Donald Trump: Let Muslims In Or They Will Attack The US

London's new mayor Sadiq Khan brushed aside Trump's suggestion that he would exempt him from his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, and said that "this isn't just about me - it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world," he said. Quoted by the Telegraph, Khan added: "Donald Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both of our countries less safe - it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of extremists."

US Senator Shocked - "Are Americans OK With White House Propaganda?"

"Washington is in the process of replacing self-evident truths with self-serving spin. This is dangerous...For no one is entitled to his or her own facts - yet this New York Times story makes clear that the executive branch feels empowered to proclaim its own narratives."