Reuters

Iran Defies Obama, Orders Expansion Of Missile Program

Earlier today, we outlined Washington's plan to slap new sanctions on Iran in connection the October test-firing of Tehran's next generation, surface-to-surface ballistic-missile Emad. It didn't take long for Iran to hit back, with President Rouhani now reportedly ordering the Defense Ministry to "expedite" missile development.

Obama To Hit New "Friend" Iran With Fresh Sanctions Over Contested Ballistic-Missile Program

On the heels of a “close call” in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, Washington is preparing new sanctions against a handful of companies and individuals tied to Tehran’s ballistic-missile program. "We've been looking for some time‎ at options for additional actions related to Iran's ballistic missile program based on our continued concerns about its activities,” an unnamed US official says. Iran calls the new actions "illegal."

Frontrunning: December 31

  • Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful (Reuters)
  • Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers (Guardian)
  • Midwest Flooding Might Make the Oil Glut Worse (BBG)
  • From Oil Glut to Shortage? Some Say It Could Happen (WSJ)
  • Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Waiting to Get Money Back (WSJ)
  • China Fires a Warning Shot at Yuan Speculators With Bank Bans (BBG)

Something Just Broke In The U.S. Silver Market

After looking over all the figures, it seems as if something broke in the U.S. Silver Market this year. By that, we mean the normal supply and demand forces no longer make sense.

Puerto Rico To Default On Some Bonds January 1 - Live Feed

“To make a total payment will be almost impossible. If a partial payment is made: what bonds should we pay? It is an assessment that is being done. It is highly unlikely that there will not be default, in whole or partially.”

Frontrunning: December 30

  • Oil rebound fizzles, sending global shares lower (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia Won’t Change Oil Production (WSJ)
  • China suspends forex business for some foreign banks (Reuters)
  • Republicans come up short in search for diverse voters in 2016 election (Reuters)
  • Oil Prices Become a Problem for U.S. Steelmakers (BBG)
  • Oil-Producing States Battered as Tax-Gushing Wells Are Shut Down (BBG)

China Suspends Foreign Banks' FX Trading As Offshore Yuan Spread Signals Massive Outflows

For the first time since the August collapse, Offshore Yuan is trading over 1000 pips weaker (relative to the USDollar) than onshore Yuan, signalling outflows are once again escalating. Following the chaos in HIBOR money-markets, Offshore Yuan has crashed to 6.5970 (below August spike lows) to the weakest since Dec 2010. On the heels of this recent divergence between on- and off-shore Yuan, China has suspended some foreign banks from FX trading, we suppose to try and stem the capital outflows.

Sweden's First Month Of 'Islamic Multiculturalism' - Rapes, Acquittals, & Severed Heads

Some 30 Muslim men thought that the woman was in violation of Islamic sharia law, by being in Sweden unaccompanied by a man. They thought that she should therefore be raped and her teenage son killed. At first, the woman did not want to call the police. "She felt sorry for him [the rapist] ... and was afraid he would be deported back to Iraq." Two Swedish citizens were convicted by a Gothenburg Court of joining an Islamist terror group in Syria and murdering two captives. Video evidence showed one victim being beheaded. One week after Sweden raised its terror alert level to the highest ever, the police raised another alarm -- saying their weapons are simply not good enough to prevent a potential terror attack.

The "Perks" Of Being An ISIS Jihadist

In addition to receiving a salary and a constant stream of weapons courtesy of regional Sunni benefactors, and on top of being allowed to live in a perpetual state of dark, bacchanalian revelry, Islamic State soldiers also recieve 20% of the "loot" in captured territory and belong to a kind of militant Sam's Club which guarantees a 50% discount on a variety of fun items.