“Don’t look back - something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. So we enter 2015 with greater tensions than ever before and therefore the likelihood that the inevitable breakdown will release more destructive energy and be that much harder to recover from.
"Some folks are selling stocks..." and, according to The White House, President Obama is closely monitoring it. As The Hill reports, despite the meme that lower-oil-prices-are-unequivocally-good-news-for-Americans, the Obama administration is monitoring whether the fall in oil prices is affecting the US stock market. Just over 5 years ago, President Obama explained to the American public that "profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal," so we can rest assured that our leaders are (for now) "hesitant" to say whether the fall of the stock market, which came as crude oil trades briefly dipped below $50, was related to oil prices.. so blamed Europe.
While the predictions of Blackstone's Byron Wien (born in 1933) have been all over the place in the last few years, they nevertheless provide some color on just what the mainstream does not believe... This is the 30th year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. From "our luck running out on cyberterrorism" to "shock and awe no longer working in Japan", Wien's non-predictions range from The Fed to China and from Oil to Hillary Clinton...
2014 may go down as the year when gold and silver conspiracy “theories” became conspiracy “facts” as banks globally were found to have conspired to rig the prices of gold, silver, currency and many other markets.
"Catch and Release..."
US foreign policy just jumped the shark: a few days after both the FBI and the US State department were humiliated when it was revealed that it wasn't North Korea but a disgruntled, laid off Sony employee that was responsible for the "hack", and when the best possible course of action would have been to simply let this latest embarrassing incident fade from memory, moments ago Obama - currently not working out next to a rainbow or flashing his support of "Shaka" - just signed his first executive order of 2015, imposing even more sanctions against North Korea.
After years of being blocked by Democratic leader Harry Reid, The Washington Times reports, the Senate will finally get a chance next year to vote on legislation to force a broad audit of the Federal Reserve's decision-making. Ron Paul's flagship legislative efforts have been picked up by his son and now has the backing of the leader of the new Republican majority, Sen. Mitch McConnell, whose office says the legislation will earn a floor vote. While the bill is not a sure thing, it appears to have The Fed worried as Reuters reports, Yellen and other Fed officials are lobbying Capitol Hill to drop the audit push.
Forget targeted US airstrikes, ISIS faces a new existential threat. Citing an unnamed source in a Mosul hospital, Iraq's official pro-government newspaper, al Sabaah, said Ebola arrived in Mosul from "terrorists" who came "from several countries" and Africa. Mashable further confirms, three outlets reported that Ebola showed up at a hospital in Mosul. For now, it's unclear if any disease experts or doctors in Mosul are even able to test for the Ebola virus; but it would mark the first time the virus had been detected in an area controlled by ISIS, a group that doesn't embrace science and modern medicine.
Natalie Heimel and her fiancé, Edward Mallue Jr., a pair of captains in the Army, received two letters from President Obama in less than 24 hours as they prepared for their wedding ceremony at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in Hawaii. The first, a nicely worded regretful but congratulatory RSVP to their wedding invite... and the second, as Bloomberg reports, informing them that their wedding would have to be moved since President Obama wanted to play through.
Amid floods that have forced 100,000 people from their homes, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been forced to defend his recent golf outing with President Obama in Hawaii. As The Hill reports, Najib has come under fire at home, cutting short his trip on Friday to return to Malaysia amid headlines such as the Malaysia Chronicle's "Stop Playing Golf, Najib," which appeared above images of the flooding and of Najib on the golf course with Obama.
While North Korea had made it very clear that it had nothing to do with the Sony hack, it did demand a full UN-backed investigation, a proposal quickly shot down by none other than the US which always demands full "transparency" of all actions except when actions are its own, or when the resulting transparency would shine an unwanted light on the hypocrisy behind US national interests. Furthermore, in its first statements regarding The Interview, North Korea was actually quite cordial, and said nothing offensive regarding Obama. All that changed overnight when in its first official statement since its Internet went dark - something which if indeed North Korea did not hack Sony, as it claims, would be seen as a clear act of war if it were to happen to any other "developed" country - North Korea finally lost it and decided that the time to troll the US president has finally arrived, when, as the TV anchor says beginning 1:10 minutes in the clip blow, "Obama always goes reckless in speech and action like a monkey in a tropical jungle."
Will 2015 be the seventh (7th) consecutive year of the current bull market cycle? It is possible. But with 100% of all analysts and economists betting on that outcome, it is quite possible that something else will happen.
Coincidence? Maybe not. Just hours after President Obama de-escalated himself from war to vandalism on the alleged North korea hacking of Sony, DYN Research reports North Korea's internet connectivity with the rest of the world has been spotty all day. As North Korea Tech blogs reports, North Korea’s Internet connection does suffer from periodic outages. but “I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” said DYN's Doug Madory.
"if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait; the economy too, and now Sony/North Korea. Never any proof, you just have to believe what your government says."