"I was on a panel with Alan Greenspan a week ago... I said, you mean to say that the Federal Reserve is not independent? He immediately said, Marc, I never said the Fed was independent. In other words, the Fed and the Treasury and the government is basically one and the same."
"Japan is engaged in a Ponzi scheme"
"The oil price decline is not necessarily very good for the US - if oil prices went lower, it may actually have an adverse impact on the US economy"
It appears, just as we warned two weeks ago, that the 'dumping strategy' designed to punish Obama's nemesis Putin could have morphed into a Saudi Arabian strategy to keep its foot on the neck of the US Shale Oil industry. In an awkward headline for mainstream media to explain, The Kingdom has raised prices of its Arab Light crude exports to Asia and Europe but cut prices to the USA significantly, potentially pressuring domestic suppliers with foreign 'cheap' imports. While not a primary course of US oil, we suspect the signaling of this move is more worrisome for Shale capex (especially as we noted Saudi Arabia can survive 7.9 years at lower prices) Forget currency wars, meet oil wars...
Despite the Obama Administration continuing to insist that its strategy in Syria is "working," The Telegraph reports that two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the US to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda. Rather stunningly, the Syrian Revolutionary Front, one of the largest "vetted, moderate" US-backed rebel forces, has been effectively wiped out; and has handed over all their weapons and bases including US-provided anti-tank missiles and GRAD rockets. Simply out, "as a movement, the SRF is effectively finished," but apart from that US foreign policy is 'nailing it'. As The Telegraph concludes, for the US, the weapons they supplied falling into the hands of al-Qaeda is a realisation of a nightmare.
The short answer, of course, is "nothing" - Congress, or the presidency, have been irrelevant ever since the Fed fully took over the US some time in late 2008. Since then, it has been the role of the central printer of the US, working on behalf of the US banking syndicate, to "get to work", and cover up the fact that Congress, its make up, or its decisions, are now inconsequential. Still, there are those whose job is to overanalyze everything, and those, whose ideological persuasion, is to believe that what there is a difference between the "left" and the "right." Still, since someone has to pay attention to the proceedings in the most farcical and polarized, if only for public consumption purposes, Congress in history may as well present what The Hill thinks will happen. Here are the five areas to watch.
U.S. Ignoring Earthquake Risks to Nuclear Plants
While the Obama administration continues its schizophrenic approach in countering the threat of Ebola spreading on US soil, on one hand demanding that states eliminate mandatory quarantines of citizens in their Ebola response protocol since a ban on travel from west Africa is considered out of the question, while on the other the Pentagon just approved a mandatory 3 week "isolation" of troops returning from Ebola missions, yesterday Canada announced a far more practical solution: America's northern neighbor said it was suspending visa applications for residents of Ebola-hit nations in a bid to prevent the deadly virus from crossing its borders.
When it comes to Ebola, the story that the government is telling us just keeps on changing. At first, government officials were claiming that it was very difficult to spread the Ebola virus. Some of them were even comparing it to HIV. We were given the impression that we had to have “direct contact” with someone else’s body fluids in order to have any chance of catching the virus. But of course that is not true at all. Now authorities are admitting that Ebola is “aerostable”, that it can be “spread through droplets”, and that it can remain on surfaces for up to 50 days. That is far different information than we have been getting up until this point.
Over the last 2 days, more than two dozen Russian military aircraft, in four groups, were tracked and intercepted conducting aerial maneuvers around Europe, according to NATO. As The Wall Street Journal reports, this activity is on a scale seldom seen since the end of the Cold War, prompting NATO jets to scramble in another sign of how raw East-West relations have grown. "There is a troubling trend... of sabre rattling" warned The White House, noting that NATO has intercepted over 100 incursions by Russia year-to-date to which the US Army chief of staff ominously warned, this is "Russian aggression," and "we have to reassure our allies."
The US midterm elections taking place on November 4 may very well lead to a shift in Senate control to Republicans from Democrats, according to Goldman Sachs. They argue that a Republican-controlled Congress could renew legislative activity – at least on small issues – but also increase (unwanted) uncertainty on some larger ones creating risk around fiscal deadlines.
- "Soaring consumer confidence" - How the Economy Is Stoking Voter Anger at Incumbent Governors (WSJ)
- Euro zone deflation worries shield German Bunds from upbeat Fed (Reuters)
- Greece’s Euro Dilemma Is Back as Minister Sees Volatility (BBG)
- Ukraine gas supplies in doubt as Russia seeks EU payment deal (Reuters)
- Sterling Lads Chats Show FX Traders Matching Fix Orders (BBG)
- NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russia Air Activity in Europe (WSJ)
- U.K. SFO Charges Ex-Tullett Prebon Broker in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
- Jerusalem on edge after shooting of rabbi (FT)
- Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting far-right activist (Reuters)
- Samsung seeks smartphone revamp to arrest profit slide (Reuters)
"Reporters on the ground aren’t necessarily ideological, Attkisson says, but the major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts. Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into 'casting agents,' told 'we need to find someone who will say...' that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,"
In a sudden reversal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that the state will release the quarantined American nurse who had been confined in a hospital isolation tent upon arrival from West Africa despite showing no signs of Ebola. As USA Today reports, Kaci Hickox, 33, was the first person pulled aside at Newark Airport on Friday under Christie's new strict mandatory quarantine-for-21-days rules. It appears, as Reuters reports, Christie got a tap on the shoulder as The White House has told states that have imposed mandatory quarantines for some travelers from Ebola-hit West Africa that the policy could impede the fight against the disease. Additionally,Hickox plans to sue.
ECB Stress Test Fails To Inspire Confidence Again As Euro Stocks Slide After Early Rally; Monte Paschi CrashesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/27/2014 06:09 -0500
It started off so well: the day after the ECB said that despite a gargantuan €879 billion in bad loans, of which €136 billion were previously undisclosed, only 25 European banks had failed its stress test and had to raised capital, 17 of which had already remedied their capital deficiency confirming that absolutely nothing would change, Europe started off with a bang as stocks across the Atlantic jumped, which in turn pushed US equity futures to fresh multi-week highs putting the early October market drubbing well into the rear view mirror. Then things turned sour. Whether as a result of the re-election of incumbent Brazilian president Dilma Russeff, which is expected to lead to a greater than 10% plunge in the Bovespa when it opens later, or the latest disappointment out of Germany, when the October IFO confidence declined again from 104.5 to 103.2, or because "failing" Italian bank Monte Paschi was not only repeatedly halted after crashing 20% but which saw yet another "transitory" short-selling ban by the Italian regulator, and the mood in Europe suddenly turned quite sour, which in turn dragged both the EURUSD and the USDJPY lower, and with it US equity futures which at last check were red.
"This is simple payback for Washington's threats, banking fines and penalties against institutions and nations de jure that fail to march to the US tune of dictating trade and financial arrangements. The world is now ganging up on the United States because Washington has terrorized smaller nations around the world for decades as the big bully on the block."
The Social Security Administration has just released wage statistics for 2013, and the numbers are startling. Last year, 50 percent of all American workers made less than $28,031, and 39 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000. We are witnessing the slow-motion destruction of the middle class, and very few of our leaders seem to care.