If a family disagreed as broadly as we Americans do on issues so fundamental as right and wrong, good and evil, the family would fall apart, the couple would divorce, and the children would go their separate ways. Something like that is happening in the country. A secession of the heart has already taken place in America, and a secession, not of states, but of people from one another, caused by divisions on social, moral, cultural, and political views and values, is taking place. America is disuniting.
- Greece and China expose limits of 'whatever it takes' (Reuters)
- China no longer has a market: China Stock Sellers Frozen Out of 71% of Market (BBG)
- China’s Market Rescue Makes Matters Worse as Prices Lose Meaning (BBG)
- China Stocks Plunge as State Support Fails to Revive Confidence (BBG)
- China Market Rout Spreads From Stocks to Price of Pig Food (BBG)
- China’s State-Owned Firms Ordered Not to Cut Share Holdings (BBG)
- Greece Requests Three-Year Bailout in First Step Toward Meeting Creditors’ Demand (WSJ)
- Greece Faces Euro Exit Unless Demands Accepted by Sunday (BBG)
- China’s Stocks Enter Bear Market as Rate Cut Fails to Stop Rout (BBG)
- Stocks Tumble Around the World on Greek Crisis (WSJ)
- Some say back to the drachma for a Greek reboot (Reuters)
- Greece Imposes Capital Controls as Fears of Grexit Grow (BBG)
- Panic Sets in Among Hardy Hedge Fund Investors Remaining in Greece (NYT)
- Euro off Greece-driven lows after SNB intervenes (Reuters)
- Western Union to close in Greece for rest of week (Reuters)
- European banks, bonds shaken by Greek turmoil (Reuters)
Following yesterday's historic 6:3 Supreme Court decision enshrining the tax known as Obamacare, there was little surprise moments ago when in one of its last remaining decisions in re: Obergefell v. Hodges, the most liberal Supreme Court since 1960 just declared gay marriage legal nationwide. The decision, supported by all the women on the SCOTUS, came down in a 5:4 vote with Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer and Kenedy voting for, while Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented.
This is how fast America changes its mind...
One of the most consistent debates emanating out of Washington in the past 6 years has been that dealing with income tax. Whether high, low, "fair" or "unfair", said discussions, however, focus solely on tax paid at the Federal level, and largely ignore that "other" key tax: state. Which is surprising, considering some states such as California demand a total contribution amounting to a third of the highest marginal Federal tax bracket, which could make some wonder if those bracing sea breezes are really worth it. But what about the other states? Here is the full breakdown of the states with the top income tax rates, those with the lowest, and all the states inbetween.
That America has - or perhaps more accurately that the administration is desperate to create - a wealth divide, gender divide, and certainly ethnic divide, is hardly a secret. Yet all of those may pale in comparison to the transformation that the US is undergoing currently, according to the most recent Pew research study, one which finds that the world's one time superpower, is in the midst of two slow-motion dramas right now. "Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.
- Here comes JPM's next multibillion legal reserve: Federal Probe Targets Banks Over Bonds (WSJ)
- Mulally Bows Out of Microsoft CEO Race, Staying at Ford (BBG)
- United States sending more troops and tanks to South Korea (Reuters)
- Eurozone unemployment sticks at record high (FT)
- China-Japan 'Voldemort' attacks up ante in propaganda war (Reuters)
- Alternative Lenders Peddle Pricey Commercial Loans (WSJ)
- John McAfee: glad Intel dropping name from security software (Reuters)
- Jobless Benefits Bill Stays Alive Amid Talks on Offsets (BBG)
- Chicago Colder Than South Pole as Frigid Air Clamps Down (BBG)
- Former Miss Venezuela shot dead in attempted robbery (Reuters)
In the course of conducting public opinion surveys and demographic analyses, the Pew Research Center found a wide range of data milestones, breakthroughs, peaks and valleys in 2013, including record support for same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana; record levels of distrust of the federal government; record numbers of mothers who were the primary breadwinners for their families; and record numbers of Millennials living with their parents. Here is a look at the highs and lows Americans reached this year, according to Pew's data.
84% Of US Adults Don't Use Twitter, Only 4% Of Americans Over 30 Get Their News From Twitter, Pew Study FindsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/12/2013 10:39 -0400
When it comes to Twitter, there seems to be a discrepancy in the publicly available user data. Recall that according to the company's S-1 filing, Twitter's US monthly user base has risen from 10 million in 2010 to just shy of 50 million. And yet, according to a just released Pew Research poll, a whopping 84% of the US adults were not Twitter users, and perhaps more importantly, of the 16% of adult users, half admitted to using Twitter for news. Narrowing this down even further, close to half, or 45%, of Twitter news consumers were under 30, which implies that roughly 4% of American adults use Twitter as something more than just a place to vent occasionally, and actually have a productive use for the service. So in attempting to reconcile the two vastly differing sets of numbers: one from the company and one from Pew, one wonders: is Twitter merely the latest platform for "socializing" teens who unfortunately for Twitter's advertisers (who between Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Yahoo and so on, seem to have infinite advertising budgets) don't have access to a credit card? And what happens when, just like FaceBook, Twitter's coolness factor disappears and only the hardcore, and quite paltry, news users remain?
- Fashionable 'Risk Parity' Funds Hit Hard (WSJ)
- No 1997 Asian Crisis Return as China Trembles (BBG)
- Greece Faces Collapse of Second Key Privatization (FT)
- China Bad-Loan Alarm Sounded by Record Bank Spread Jump (BBG)
- Iranian official signals no scaling back in nuclear activity (Reuters)
- Asmussen Says Any QE Discussions at ECB Not Policy Relevant (BBG)
- Flat Japanese consumer prices aid Kuroda (FT)
- Vietnam Devalues Dong for First Time Since ’11 to Boost Reserves (BBG)
- World Bank Sees ‘Vulnerable’ Food System on Climate Change (BBG)
- Fed big-hitters seek to quash QE fears (FT)
- EU Leaders Set to Slow Support for Ailing Banks (BBG)
The Supreme Court struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (as we noted here), leaving states to decide on the legality of same-sex marriage. As the infographic below from Bloomberg shows, laws ban same-sex-marriage in 35 states, with five of those allowing civil union or domestic partnerships.
In what is likely to cause a storm of controversy, the Supreme Court ruled against the 17-year-old anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act:
*DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT PROVISION STRUCK DOWN BY TOP U.S. COURT
*SUPREME COURT VOTES 5-4 ON U.S. DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
*COURT SAYS MARRIAGE LAW VIOLATES EQUAL PROTECTION GUARANTEE
Kennedy: DOMA "humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples"
Scalia: "By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,"
"DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."
Full timeline and opinion below.
A surprising pick for Pope, Argentina's 76 year old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was not among the front-runners, is now the Pope of the Catholic Church. His chosen name is Pope Francis. He is the first non-European pope since 741.
In what is a modestly surprising development, Mirriam-Webster has reported that "socialism" and "capitalism" are the two most looked-up words of 2012, and thus, the words of the year. All we can say is, it is about time people learned the difference. And now that they know how the two differ on paper, they will get a front row seat to experience it in practice too.