Here are some of the lessons we in the United States learned too late about allowing our freedoms to be eviscerated in exchange for the phantom promise of security. The over-arching principle is simply this: once you start down the road towards a police state, it will be very difficult to turn back.
The Western world consists of a tyranny in which brainwashed nonentities live in a constructed reality. Can enough of these people be rescued to make a difference? That is the question.
The Baltic Dry Index staged a recovery mid-year, hopefully rising amid promises of stability in China and an 'escape' velocity USA. All that centrally-planned hope and hype faith has been eviscerated on the altar of economic reality. With no ability to directly manipulate the Baltic Dry Index to 'pretend' everything is awesome, it remains among the best 'real' indicators of the state of the global economy... and it's in the toilet...
"The Chinese government has the right and the ability to recover the islands and reefs illegally occupied by neighboring countries"...
According to Bank of America, the smart money is taking advantage of this latest rebound in stocks to sell to who else: the traditionally biggest sucker in the room - retail investors.
The Trade-Weighted US Dollar has risen almost 19% over the past 18 months - the fastest pace of increase on record - and is now at its highest level since 2003. As we noted previously, this is not unequivocally good for American corporate profits... and if you believe The Fed's Stan Fischer - the worst effects of this soaring exchange rate are yet to come... Most of the impact of exchange rate moves come after that first year. So we’re only just getting into the business end of the impact of the dollar’s strength on the US economy. And the Fed are about to hike?
While there are many that continue to dismiss individual "economic data points" in order to promote a "bullish bias" for the equity markets, it is more important to accumulate the "weight of evidence." The rising inventory levels, weak consumption, and plunging imports all suggest that the domestic consumer is much weaker than currently believed. The last time this combination of data points collided was just prior to the start of the last recession. But then again, this is where "economic theory" collides with "Main Street realities." Place your bets carefully.
Despite plunges in new and pending home sales (current) and lumber prices (forward-looking), Homebuilder Sentiment surged in October to its highest in over 10 years. November appears to be ushering in some sense of reality check. Having revised up October to 65 (from 64), November saw sentiment drop to 62 - the first drop since May. The Southern and Midwest regions saw overall drops in sentiment as The West rose to new cycle highs. Both current and future sales expectations dropped notably but - despite all the blather about weather - prospective buyer traffic rose to its highest since October 2005!
"Apparently terrorist attacks are supportive of stocks… apparently! We have been wrong in times past, and we have been wrong badly before, but we cannot recall every having been as wrong as we were yesterday for we were certain that terrorism is a bad thing for equity investment... We were clearly and obviously wrong, and when wrong the only possible action to take is to get less wrong; to cover that which had been done and to retreat to the sidelines." - Dennis Gartman
The institutional academic system is broken. We need less systemic, traditional education that only provides knowledge of low utility and more alternative education that provides the right high-utility knowledge to thrive during today's global currency wars.
The already laughable story that the passport of a Syrian refugee had been found next to the bodies of one of the dead terrorists took an even more surreal twist when we learned hours ago that according to both French and US sources, the passport was most likely a fake.
It is important to keep in mind that the dollar’s attacks on gold always end the same way – in a painful knockout for the dollar. There have been no exceptions to this rule throughout monetary history, nor will there be this time. Hence the well-known market rule: “Any maximum of the gold price is not the last one.” It would be naive to believe that this golden rule is unknown to that grandmaster of patience, Vladimir Putin, and to Xi Jinping. By systematically increasing their gold reserves, Russia and China are relentlessly moving forward to strip the US dollar of its status as a global reserve currency. America’s standard military solution won’t work in this situation.
Over the past few years when it’s come to any criticism of business models, valuations, or other concerns encompassing the social media space, along with other dubious “hacking” inspired businesses emanating from Silicon Valley, the immediate rebuttal posed fell along the lines of first being looked as “you just don’t get it” (or just crawled out from under some rock) followed with, “It’s different this time.” But there are a growing number of clues that this won't end well...We’re going to find out much sooner than later. That we're sure of.
"I really hope I am wrong about everything I wrote. I hope those advocating for positive statements and solidarity will win the day. I hope EU politicians change course before it’s too late. I hope all of those things, but hope is not going to save Europe... Because if not, the backlash against Muslims generally, and refugees specifically, is likely to be sustained and unjustifiably harsh."
The paradox of the current global crisis is that for the last five years, all relatively responsible and independent nations have made tremendous efforts to save the United States from the financial, economic, military, and political disaster that looms ahead. And this is all despite Washington’s equally systematic moves to destabilize the world order, rightly known as the Pax Americana. But the US needs to think fast. Their resources are shrinking much faster than the authors of the plan for imperial preservation had expected. The point of no return will pass once and for all sometime in 2016, and America’s elite will no longer be able to choose between the provisions of compromise and collapse.