As the market anxiously await Janet Yellen's Humphrey-Hawkins testimony this morning, hanging on every word and intonation, ConvergEx's Nick Colas is reminded of Harry Truman’s famous request: “Give me a one-handed economist!” The U.S. central bank clearly feels challenged by the cross currents of the global economy even as it reiterates confidence in domestic growth prospects. In an effort to help clear things up, Colas brings some 21st century data to the Fed’s distinctly old-school toolset and looks at the historical popularity of 10 Google search terms with a decidedly economic twist. Bottom line: the Google data is clear. The Fed needs to wait a while longer before raising interest rates.
The inability of the linear thinking ruling class to acknowledge the seriousness of our current circumstances and the implications of the era of depression and violence the country is about to experience can be witnessed on a daily basis by listening to mainstream media talking heads or politicians of all stripes who bloviate about economic improvement and progress just ahead. Could there be a better example of myopia, delusion and willful ignorance than the theme and opening line of Obama’s State of the Union speech: "The Shadow Of Crisis Has Passed" Do Obama and his advisors actually believe this Crisis is over? Or is he purposely misleading the American people about the seriousness of our circumstances because he has been instructed to do so by the men who really pull the levers of this country?
When Eric Holder announced his resignation, many breathed a sigh of relief thinking it can’t get much worse, but not so fast. The authoritarian streak and rampant cronyism of the Obama administration is a well oiled machine. You didn’t think you’d get off that easily did you? Enter Loretta Lynch.
Worried about the honesty of your drug mule? Concerned that your smugglers will demand higher and higher minimum wage? There's a drone for that. Once again technology has enabled 'progress' as AP reports police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. As AVWeb notes, drones carrying illegal drugs and contraband have been among the creative ideas used by smugglers, and crashes do happen from loss of control or perhaps weight-and-balance problems. Brings a whole new meaning to 'Breaking Bad'.
There is overwhelming evidence that the rampant money printing of the past decade or two has done nothing to generate sustainable growth in mainstream living standards and real wealth. Yet the monkeys keep rattling the cage, promising and demanding more ZIRP(and now N-ZIRP) and more fraudulent purchase of government debt with fiat credit congered by their printing presses. Consider some striking proof of failure...
We are currently experiencing disturbances in the force. Credit and volatility have never acted this way before, and I can quantify it exactly. Never before has the VIX gone from 11 to 20 in just four days. But it’s actually bigger than that. Volatility is itself volatile. You can measure the volatility of volatility; traders call it “vvol.” And the only times vvol has been this high since the advent of VIX options were in 2007, 2008, and 2011—all times of serious crisis. But we aren’t in a crisis now, are we? Well, we might be, if you think vvol has any predictive power, as we do.
Perhaps those sub-$50 Bakken prices tell us pretty much where global prices are ahead. And then we’ll take it from there. With 1.8 million barrels “that nobody needs” added to the shale industries growth intentions, where can prices go but down, unless someone starts a big war somewhere? Yesterday’s news that US new oil and gas well permits were off 40% last month may signal where the future of shale is really located. But oil is a field that knows a lot of inertia, long term contracts, future contracts, so changes come with a time lag. It’s also a field increasingly inhabited by desperate producers and government leaders, who wake up screaming in the middle of the night from dreaming about their heads impaled on stakes along desert roads.
A year ago, following the whole Supreme Court farce, a bevy of states proved there are more than just "idiot voters" left in the US, when they decided to sue Obamacare outright over one or more of its provisions. They were promptly shut down by a judicial system that is as corrupt as the government itself (needless to say, both working at the behest of their true financial puppetmaster: Wall Street). And yet, in the aftermath of the now epic fiasco that is Obamacare, and not to mention the violent reaction to the administration as demonstrated in the midterm elections, the president may have a tougher time to brush away the next round of adverse reactions against his latest hugely unpopular executive order, one involving the amnesty of over 5 million illegal immigrants. According to AP, Texas is leading a 17-state coalition in suing over the Obama administration's recently announced executive actions on immigration.
It isn’t just our economy that is crumbling. Something is happening to America that no amount of money will be able to fix. Everywhere around us we can see evidence of the social decay that is systematically eating away at the foundations of our society. It can be found on the streets of our inner cities, in dark basements in extremely rural communities, in the most prestigious boardrooms on Wall Street, and definitely in the halls of power in Washington. Bringing in an entirely different crop of politicians or printing gigantic mountains of money is not going to solve this problem, because it exists in the hearts of millions of ordinary men and women. The truth is that we really need to take a good, long look at ourselves in the mirror...
I believe aggressive empires with bloated bureaucracies, unsustainable debt loads, and chronic military overreach cannot compete against the now capitalist, relatively free-market Asia. The truth is Asia is rising and the debt-ridden Western democracies are failing. The world is an interesting place, and the American Dream still lives - just not so much in the United States any longer. But countries can change for the better; tyrannies are overthrown, and the Internet reformation is a big advantage for people desiring freedom and honest information around the world.
Don’t fence yourself in.
"Drop that plate right now!" – Florida police to 90-year-old WW2 vet Arnold Abbott as he tried to feed homeless people
Dear NSA Employees, You Now Have a Green Light to Loot and Pillage. It’s Time to Get Paid: Are you just another one of those frustrated NSA employees who feels that unconstitutionally spying on your fellow citizenry under false pretenses isn’t giving you same thrill it once did? If so, have no fear.
You have heard of the "No Fly List", right? Well, now the Tories are pledging that if they win the next election in the UK they will establish a list of “extremists” that will have to have their social media posts “approved in advance by the police” before they post them. There are also plans to ban “extremists” from broadcasting and speaking at public events. The stated goal of these proposals is to crack down on terrorism, but in the process the civil liberties of the British people are going to be flushed down the toilet. To help explain, below is a list of 72 types of Americans that are considered to be “extremists” and “potential terrorists” in official U.S. government documents.
Member of Senate Armed Services Committee Agrees
It seems as if the never-ending stream of American plebs being arrested for the most innocuous activities, things that were seen as completely normal just a few years ago, is continuing its irrational march forward toward peak nanny-statism, at which point everything will be criminalized.