Obama Administration

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Frontrunning: December 22





  • Police officers' slaying raises pressure on New York mayor (Reuters)
  • People Call for Cooling of Racial Tensions After Murder of NYPD Officers (BBG)
  • The $6.3 Trillion Frenzy That Vanquished Treasury Bears (BBG)
  • China Investigates Possible Stock-Price Manipulation (WSJ)
  • Citigroup Was Wary of Metals-Backed Loans (WSJ)
  • UPS Turns Parking Lots Into Sorting Centers to Add Speed (BBG)
  • U.S. Move to Normalize Cuba Ties Boosts Firms’ Asset Claims (WSJ)
  • Meredith Whitney’s Fund Said to Drop 11% as Office Put on Market (BBG)
  • Railcar Bottleneck Looms for Oil (WSJ)
 
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Conrad Black: The Saudis Fear Western Alliance With Iran; Crashing Oil Is Their Retaliation





"The oil-price weapon, in the face of the terminal enfeeblement of the Obama administration, is the last recourse before the Saudis and Turks, whatever their autocues of racist rhetoric, invite Israel to smash the Iranian nuclear program from the air."

 
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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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2014 Year In Review (Part 1): The Final Throes Of A Geopolitical Game Of Tetris





Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."

 
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Frontrunning: December 19





  • Icahn, Paulson Suffer Large Losses as Energy-Related Bets Sour (WSJ)
  • Oil Investors Keep Betting Wrong on When Market Will Bottom (BBG)
  • U.S. to sell final $1.25 billion shares of Ally Financial from bailout (Reuters)
  • Ally Financial Gets Subpoena Related to Subprime Automotive Finance (WSJ)
  • Russia's parliament rushes through bill boosting banking capital (Reuters)
  • How a Memo Cost Big Banks $37 Billion (WSJ)
  • ECB considers making weaker euro zone states bear more quantitative easing risk (Reuters)
  • How the U.S. Could Retaliate Against North Korea (BBG)
 
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"It's A Huge Crisis" - The UK Oil Industry Is "Close To Collapse"





With great delight we present the latest blowback from Obama's "brilliant" strategy to cripple Putin: in addition to the default wave about to crush America's own shale industry, America's biggest foreign ally and military partner when it comes to "ideologically pure missions of liberation" - the UK, and specifically its North Sea oil industry which according to the BBC is in a "crisis" and according to Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers' association Brindex, the industry was "close to collapse".  "It's almost impossible to make money at these oil prices", said a director of Premier Oil. "It's a huge crisis. It's close to collapse. In terms of new investments - there will be none, everyone is retreating, people are being laid off at most companies this week and in the coming weeks. Budgets for 2015 are being cut by everyone."

 
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White House Confirms Sony Hack Is "National Security" Matter, Merits "Approporiate Response"





Absent YouTube clips of young North Korean hackers actually attacking Sony, the Obama administration appears to have made up its unequivocal mind that they are responsible... (even as they say the Sony hack origin is still under investigation) and now...

*SONY HACK BEING TREATED AS NATIONAL SECURITY MATTER: EARNEST
*EARNEST SAYS SONY HACKING MERITS 'APPROPRIATE RESPONSE'

The White House spokesman added that daily meetings are being held on the attack. We wonder just how soon it will be before the Nobel Peace Prize winner decides it's time to take 'action'.

 
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Frontrunning: December 18





  • Swiss National Bank Starts Negative Interest Rate of 0.25% to Stave Off Inflows (BBG)
  • Putin Strikes Uncompromising Stance Over Crisis Gripping Russia (BBG)
  • Sony cancels North Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers (Reuters)
  • U.S. Said Set to Blame North Korea for Sony Cyber Attack (BBG)
  • China’s Short-Term Borrowing Costs Surge as Demand for Money Grows (WSJ)
  • Russia Currency Market Bends But Doesn’t Break (BBG)
  • Jeb Bush Puts Pressure on Chris Christie for 2016 (WSJ)
  • From joy to outrage, Florida's Cuban-Americans greet new U.S. policy (Reuters)
  • Russians Quit London Luxury Homes as Only Super-Rich Stay (BBG)
 
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A Modest Proposal To Fix Obamacare: "Change The Name"





Slowly but surely, Obamacare has transformed from the most admired law of the land to the most loathed and despised. What is truly outrageous, or perhaps hilarious, is that this transformation has not been lost on the Obama administration itself. And now, engaged in unprecedented damage control, the former Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, on Wednesday suggested a simple fix to the “bad brand” of Obamacare: change the name. As Politico reports, “I think we may need to call it something in the future different"...

 
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Should You Believe What They Tell You? Or What You See?





Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass... The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.

 
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The Game Is Rigged: Why Americans Keep Losing To The Police State





The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, we stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that our luck will change. The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. The people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the country and us. It’s time to change the rules of the game. For that matter, it’s time to change the game.

 
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Profit Recession On Deck Due To Surging Dollar And Plunging Crude, Deutsche Warns





While there will be much debate over the economic pros and cons to tumbling oil prices (there is no debate if the plunge is confirmed to be the result of a global collapse in demand: that would scream global recession) with a definitive answer unlikely to be forthcoming for at least several quarters, when it comes to corporate profitability the outcome is already known, because between plunging oil prices and the soaring dollar, what is most likely next in store for the US economy may or may not be a full-blown economic recession, but a profit recession seems virtually inevitable.

 
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Glenn Greenwald Previews The Senate Torture Report





Curious what to expect out of today's 600-page mega dump by the Senate Intelligence Committee revealing US torture techniques and practices, aka the "torture report"? The the following explainer by the Intercept's Glenn Greenwald should provide some useful pointers.

 
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Obamacare Architect Gruber Testifies Before "Stupid America" - Live Webcast





Today at 9:30am Eastern, the two key people behind Obamacare will testify under oath before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. One of them is Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS Administrator and the person who was tasked with managing the implementation of Obamacare: a process that was a complete disaster as those who tried to sign up on the healthcare.gov website in late 2013 will recall (and whose overhaul cost over $2 billion).  On the other hand, Jonathan Gruber has recently gained notoriety after a series of videos with him were leaked, in which he bragged that deception and “the stupidity of the American voter” allowed Obama to ram his pet healthcare program into law.

 
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