- U.S., Russia to push for new Syria peace talks (Reuters)
- Elite Syrian Unit Scatters Chemical Arms Stockpile (WSJ)
- Obama to nominate Summers as Fed chief: Nikkei (Reuters)
- Boehner Wants Joint Talks on Debt, Budget (WSJ)
- House Republicans go for broke in fiscal battles (Reuters)
- Pimco, BlackRock Together Received More Than a Quarter of Verizon's $49 Billion Bond Deal (WSJ)
- Insane financial system lives post-Lehman (Gillian Tett)
- JPM to add $2.5 billion to its litigation reserves in the second half of the year (WSJ)
- Goldman’s Zurich offices visited over working-hours complaint (FT)
- Syrian Rebels Hurt by Delay (WSJ), U.S. seeks quick proof Syria ready to abandon chemical weapons (Reuters)
- Lavrov Brings Acerbic Pragmatism to Syria Meet With Kerry (BBG)
- Five years after Lehman, risk moves into the shadows (Reuters)
- U.S. shares raw intelligence data with Israel, leaked document shows (LA Times)
- Japan to raise sales tax, launch $50 bln stimulus (AFP) - so 1) lower debt by sales tax, then 2) raise debt through stimulus.
- Blackstone’s Hilton Files for $1.25 Billion U.S. Initial Offer (BBG)
- Second Life Bankers Thrive in Dubai as Boutiques Boost Fees (BBG)
- Brussels probes multinationals’ tax deals (FT)
- Wall Street's Top Cop: SEC Tries to Rebuild Its Reputation (WSJ) ... and fails
- Tablet sales set to overtake PCs (FT)
- The end of angst? Prosperous Germans in no mood for change (Reuters)
I’ll scratch your back and you can scratch mine is the motto of the National Security Agency according to the latest revelations made about the data stored by the immense surveillance program of the NSA, which routinely provides intelligence data with Israel.
Moments ago The Hill reported that the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the US and one of Obama's staunchest supporters, is expected to consider a resolution, "subject to fierce internal debate, that will call for changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — setting up a potential floor vote this Wednesday before the convention closes." In other words, the one constituency that was supposed to be among the biggest benefactors from Obamacare is about to launch a formal criticism of Obamacare as "frustration has grown within labor as the Obama administration has failed to offer a fix to temper union worries over the law."
But at least "they passed it."
The definition of what makes an “enemy” may vary from person to person. But we would say that, generally, an enemy is one who has an active ability to do irreparable harm to you or your essential values. He is motivated by destruction, the destruction of all that you hold dear. He is capable and unrelenting. He is a legitimate threat. He will not compromise. He will not waver. He will do anything to wound you. He will not stop. He is possessed. Americans have spent the better part of a century being told who their enemies are with very little explanation or substantiation. We have blindly rallied around our patriotic prerogative without knowing the root cause of the conflict or the nature of the target we are told to annihilate. We have been suckered into war after war, conjured by international interests in order to lure us into accepting greater centralization and concentrated globalism. As a culture, we're sorry to say, we have been used. We are a tool of unmitigated doom. We are the loaded gun in the hand of the devil. When one applies the above definition of “the enemy” to Syria, one comes away with very little satisfaction. So, the question arises: If Syria is not the real enemy, who is?
- Kerry to Syria: Turn over your chemical weapons!
- Syria to Kerry: Ok
- Kerry to Syria: I was being rhetorical. We will just bomb you anyway, as soon as we are done gassing you.
White House – NOT U.S. Intelligence Agencies – Prepared Report about Syrian Chemical Weapons
All the latest updates and developments in the lethal Syrian foreplay farce.
Current US Treasury issuance is relatively low due to sequestration and (at least temporarily) less US warmongering in the Middle East. That's about to change, of course, now that the US is getting ready to launch a Cruise missile attack on Syria (we’re already been arming and financing the opposition rebels, including groups directly linked to al-Qaeda for several years now). Bernanke and the Fed doves would like nothing better than another “controlled” war in the Mideast, because with war comes massive debt issuance, and with massive debt issuance comes the transmission mechanism (QE) for monetizing that debt and mainlining it onto the Wall Street banks' broken balance sheets. And yes, they’re still broken, and Ben is still bailing them out at the expense of the American middle class. Make no mistake, Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and every other complicit banker on the Street has no problem with this, or any other, war, regardless of whether such a conflict would destabilize the entire region and would almost assuredly pull Russia and China into the fray. The more the merrier, just keep letting that free QE monopoly money roll in from the 4X weekly Federal Reserve Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO’s). And with the significant financing needs for a large war effort in the Middle East, say good-bye to “Taper.”
Two months ago, when we reported that the NSA has successfully inserted illegal access protocols into the Android OS, thus granting it back door access into nearly three quarters of all cell phones, the news was met with skepticism and resistance: how could an open-sourced architecture be so frail and open to penetration was the most common complaint. We wonder if today's news, broken by Germany's Spiegel, according to which the NSA can spy not only on Android smartphones but tap user data on all iPhone and BlackBerry devices "including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been", will be met with the same skepticism or if the realization that every form of privacy is now gone, has finally dawned on the population. Spiegel reports, citing"internal NSA documents that the NSA has the capability of tapping user data from the iPhone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The documents also indicate that the NSA has set up specific working groups to deal with each operating system, with the goal of gaining secret access to the data held on the phones." While at this point it should come as no surprise that the NSA pervasively spies on Americans without a warrant or clearance, and has access to every device permitting electronic communication, the bigger question is: if everything is being spied on, what is left? Is carrierpigeons.com about to IPO?
While one can speculate if the sarin gas attack on August 22 was ordered and orchestrated by Saudi/Qatari petrodollar interests, with the assistance of the CIA and the funding of al Qaeda, and executed by the Syrian "rebels" (there is much circumstantial evidence pointing in the false flag direction: here, here, here and here), the reality is that since the narrative behind Obama's offensive Syrian air strikes has been staged as punishment for Assad, the onus is on the affirmative proof, namely clear and unequivocal evidence that it was Assad who ordered the attack. So far, despite repeated vows and promises that such proof exists, none has been presented, aside from numerous YouTube clips which show an attack did take place (and even that is in question). When it comes to the actual perpetrator, John Kerry and company are reduced to emotional pleadings to the audience to look at pictures of dead children redirecting from the most important question of all: did Assad actually do it. The reason for such Copperfieldian tactics is that there simply is no link - Reuters reports that "No direct link to President Bashar al-Assad or his inner circle has been publicly demonstrated, and some U.S. sources say intelligence experts are not sure whether the Syrian leader knew of the attack before it was launched or was only informed about it afterward." And yet Obama's entire publicly stated motive is to punish Assad... for something there is zero evidence he did.
Numerous Intelligence Officials Question Administration’s Claims
As the US Congress considers whether to authorize American military intervention in Syria, its members should bear in mind a basic truth: While Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has repeatedly used extreme violence to retain power, the United States – and other governments in the Middle East and Europe – share responsibility for turning Syria into a killing field. The US government’s misguided move from potential mediator and problem solver to active backer of the Syrian insurrection was, predictably, a terrible mistake. It is time for the US to help stop the killing in Syria. That means abandoning the fantasy that it can or should determine who rules in the Middle East.
As the U.S., led by the Obama Administration, moves towards yet another possible war in the Middle East, using covert terrorists as proxies and enacting violent policy based on dubious or non-existent evidence and far flung accusations, we realize that with all the blathering voices out there telling us what to think, what to do, what to fear, who to admire, who to worship, how to live, and what to aspire, perhaps it is time for each of us to solemnly question what we stand for, and what America is supposed to stand for? Really, think about it. What are we here for? What purpose do we serve in the grand scheme of things? What are our defining principles? Have we lost track of ourselves as Americans so completely that we cannot even explain in a reasonable fashion what kind of people we want to be, and what kind of world we want to live in?
Just when the market thought it had priced in a new equilibrium without (or with - it is not quite clear) a Syria war, here comes Thursday with a data dump that will make one's head spin. Central bankers are once again on parade starting overnight, when the BOJ announced no change to its QE program and retaining its monetary base target of JPY270 trillion. The parade continues with both the BOE and ECB, the latter of which is expected to address the recent pick up in Eonia rates and take praise for the recent very much unsustainable "recovery" in the periphery even as Germany continues to slide lower (this morning's factory orders plunged 2.7% on exp. -1.0%), which in turn lead the Bund to pass above 2.0% for the first time since March 2011. Speaking of bonds blowing out, the US 10Y is now just 6 bps away from 3.00%, the widest since July 2011, and likely to breach the support level, taking out a boatload of stops and leading to the next big step spike in rates as the second selling scramble ensues. And just to keep every algo on its binary toes, today we also get a NFP preview with the ADP private payrolls at 8:15 am (Exp. 180K, down from 200K), Initial Claims (Exp. 330K), Nonfarm Productivity and Unit Labor Costs (Exp. 1.60% and 0.9%), Factory Orders (Exp. -3.4%), Non-mfg ISM (Exp. 55), Final Durable Goods, EIA Nat Gas and DOE Crude Inventories, oh and the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg where Putin and Obama are not expected to share much pleasantries, and where John Kerry's swiftboat may not be allowed to dock.