Reuters

"Audit The Fed" Bill Gains Momentum, Yellen Starts Damage Control

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.

As Greek Default Risk Soars To 66%, Morgan Stanley Warns ECB May Be Unable To Launch QE

"The Greek political turmoil is likely to complicate matters for the ECB’s preparation of a sovereign QE programme. The prospect of the ECB potentially incurring severe losses is likely to intensify the debate within the Governing Council, where sovereign QE remains controversial. It could also make the start of a buying programme already on January 22 even more ambitious. In addition, the spectre of default could create new limitations on any sovereign QE design."

AirAsia Wreckage Reveals Latest Plane Crash Mystery

Earlier today from Reuters we learned that "a body recovered on Wednesday from the crashed AirAsia plane was wearing a life jacket, an Indonesian search and rescue official said, raising new questions about how the disaster unfolded. Why is this surprising? Because  the fact that one person put on a life jacket suggests those on board had time before the aircraft hit the water, or before it sank. And yet the pilots did not issue a distress signal..."

"Non-Political" Draghi Demands Full Federalization Of Europe, Centralized Stock Market

With GREXIT once again knocking on the Euro's door, Mario Draghi has come out swinging (or jawboning). As Reuters reports, the non-political, non-meddling, completely independent central bank chief explains, structural reforms were needed to "ensure that each country is better off permanently belonging to the euro area," adding that Euro zone countries must "complete" their monetary union by integrating economic policies further and working towards a capital markets union. Brussels Uber Alles... (or else "the threat of an exit (from the euro) whose consequences would ultimately hit all members").

Frontrunning: December 31

  • Behind the Scenes at Sony as Hacking Crisis Unfolded (WSJ)
  • Oil Set for Biggest Slump Since 2008 as OPEC Battles U.S. Shale (BBG)
  • Praet Warning of Oil Effects Signals Higher Chance of ECB QE (BBG)
  • U.S. Opening Door to More Oil Exports Seen Foiling OPEC Strategy (BBG)
  • Venezuela confirms recession, inflation hits 63.6 percent in Nov (Reuters)
  • U.S. to station 150 armored vehicles in Europe (Reuters)
  • China Stocks Rise to Finish Off Big Year (WSJ)
  • RBS Suspends Bonuses of 18 Traders Amid FX Rigging Fine (BBG)

Frontrunning: December 30

  • U.S. agency gives quiet nod to light oil exports (Reuters)
  • China’s Stocks Fall to Pare Biggest Monthly Advance Since 2007 (BBG)
  • The Cartel: How BP Used a Secret Chat Room for Insider Tips (BBG)
  • BRICs Busted as Stocks Diverge Most on Record on Outlook (BBG)
  • Petrobras deadline prompts some bondholders to push for default (Reuters)
  • AirAsia Captain at His Happiest When Flying, Family Says (BBG)
  • UK housing crisis: brick stocks hit record low (Telegraph)

Wreckage Of Missing AirAsia Flight Found, Bodies Retrieved

The mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian flight MH-370 may remain forever, but at least the families of the 162 victims of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 will get some closure when a few hours ago, Indonesian rescuers pulled wreckage and bodies from the sea off the coast of Borneo on Tuesday.  While the plane has yet to be found, and the possibility of finding survivors is slim, the Indonesian navy said some 40 bodies had been recovered as dusk fell.

Disappeared AirAsia Plane Likely "At Bottom Of Sea"; No Signal Detected

One would have thought that more than half a year after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia flight MH-370 airlines would have taken precautions to keep track of airplanes at any given moment. One would be wrong, and as the latest mystery surrounding AirAsia's missing jet deepens, it has become clear that like with its Malaysian predecessor, nobody has any clue where the plane may be, so the speculation begins. Cue Reuters, which reports that the plane "could be at the bottom of the sea after it was presumed to have crashed off the Indonesian coast, an official said on Monday, as countries around Asia sent ships and planes to help in the search effort."

Frontrunning: December 29

  • European Stocks Drop as Greece’s ASE Tumbles After Vote Results (BBG)
  • AirAsia Stock Drops Most Since 2011 After Flight Vanishes (BBG)
  • Libya's NOC says firefighters had managed to extinguish the blaze at three of 6 burning oil tanks (BBG)
  • Bomber kills 11 Shi'ite pilgrims north of Baghdad (Reuters)
  • Hillary Clinton Faces Uphill Fight for White, Rural Vote (WSJ)
  • Yen’s Slump Seen Longest Since Gold Standard Ended (BBG)
  • The 94% Plunge That Shows Abenomics Losing Global Investors (BBG)
  • Sony's 'The Interview' makes $18 million in opening weekend (Reuters)

Search For Disappeared Air Asia Flight Suspended: Summary Of The Facts So Far

About 12 hours after AirAsia flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board disappeared and lost all contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 am local time (11:17 pm GMT Saturday), the aircraft searching for any clue of what may happened to the second unexplained disappearance of an airplane flying in the region, have been called off due to nightfall even as ships will continue their search through the night. As Sky News reported, "Rescuers scouring the Java Sea have halted their search because it is getting dark, Indonesia's transport ministry said.  Hadi Mustofa said: "We ended at 5:30 pm (1030 GMT) because it was getting dark. The weather was also not too good as it was getting really cloudy. "Tomorrow we will begin at 7 am, or even earlier than that if the weather is good."

Air Asia Confirms Lost Contact With Indonesia Flight After Crew Asked For "Unusual Route", 155 Passengers On Board

UPDATE: *SINGAPORE AVIATION: SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ACTIVATED

An Air Asia Indonesia flight from Surabaya in east Java to Singapore carrying 155 passengers has gone missing, Air Asia has confirmed. As Bloomberg reported, the flight departed Surabaya at 5:20am local time and lost contact soon after... Contact was lost at 6:17 a.m. local time (23:17 GMT on Saturday), after the crew asked for an “unusual route.” The latest discussions are that the loss of contact could be weather-related.

2014: The Year Propaganda Came Of Age

Joseph Goebbels had nothing on US and European media today.

That propaganda as a strategic and political instrument has been refined to a huge extent over the past 70-odd years since Goebbels first picked up on Freud’s lessons on how to influence the unconscious mind, and the ‘mass-mind’, as a way to ‘steer’ an entire people, not just as a means to make them buy detergent. These days, the media can make people believe just about anything, and they have the added benefit that they can pose as friends of the people, not the enemy. But there is a reason why such a large ‘industry’ has developed on the web with people writing articles that don’t say what the mass media say. That reason for is, obviously, first and foremost that not everybody believes whatever they are told. The problem is equally obvious: not nearly enough people are being reached to make a true difference, and to question the official narratives.