SWIFT

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The Next Big Short





At the end of the day, the current preposterous $325 billion market cap has nothing to do with the business prospects of this firm or the considerable entrepreneurial prowess of its leader and his army of disrupters. It is more in the nature of financial rigor mortis - the final spasm of the robo-traders and the fast money crowd chasing one of the greatest bubbles still standing in the casino.

 
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15 News Stories From 2015 You Should Have Heard About But Probably Didn't





In 2015, the iron fist of power clamped down on humanity, from warfare to terrorism to surveillance, police brutality, and corporate hegemony. The environment was repeatedly decimated, the health of citizens was constantly put at risk, and the justice system and media alike were perverted to serve the interests of the powers that be. However, while 2015 was discouraging for more reasons than most of us can count, many of the year’s most underreported stories evidence not only a widespread pattern that explicitly reveals the nature of power, but pushback from human beings worldwide on a path toward a better world.

 
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Art Cashin's 2015 Summary: From Caitlyn Jenner To Confederate Flags





Two Thousand Fifteen had high hopes at the start, but a sharp selloff in August nearly ripped us apart; Then Draghi and Yellen swore that hope hadn't departed, so we stuttered and sputtered to just get back where we started.... Hoverboards were this season's really, really hot toy; And Bruce Jenner's now Caitlyn - he's no longer a boy

 
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Dave Barry Answers - Was 2015 The Worst Year Ever? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)





We apologize, but 2015 had so many negatives that we’re having trouble seeing the positives. It’s like we’re on the Titanic, and it’s tilting at an 85-degree angle with its propellers way up in the air, and we’re dangling over the cold Atlantic trying to tell ourselves: “At least there’s no waiting for the shuffleboard courts!” Are we saying that 2015 was the worst year ever? Are we saying it was worse than, for example, 1347, the year when the Bubonic Plague killed a large part of humanity? Yes, we are saying that.

 
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Ukraine's Looming "19 Fukushimas" Scenario





With all the action in Syria, the Ukraine is no longer a subject for discussion in the West. In Russia, where the Ukraine is still a major problem looming on the horizon, and where some 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are settling in, with no intentions of going back to what's left of the Ukraine, it is still actively discussed. But for the US, and for the EU, it is now yet another major foreign policy embarrassment, and the less said about it the better. In the meantime, the Ukraine is in full-blown collapse - all five glorious stages of it - setting the stage for a Ukrainian Nightmare Before Christmas, or shortly after.

 
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This Is Canada's Depression: Surging Crime, Soaring Suicides, Overwhelmed Food Banks "And The Worst Is Yet To Come"





The news out of Canada - and especially out of Alberta, the heart of the country's oil patch - has just gone from disturbing to downright terrifying. 

 
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2015 Year In Review - Scenic Vistas From Mount Stupid





“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious, but the stupid have an answer for everything.” ~Edward Abbey

 
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Financial Warfare & The Big Reset: Koos Jansen Interviews Willem Middelkoop





Economic warfare aims to capture or otherwise control the supply of critical economic resources or destroying a country’s currency.  The US understands better than anybody else that a country can sometimes be hurt more by doing this than by bombing its infrastructure. The tool of exclusion from the dollar-denominated global financial system is described as a 'neutron bomb' constituting a more potent bomb than any military weapon. But recent developments signal the first stages of the US dollar’s decay.

 
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Fitch Warns Of "Historic Junk Milestone" As US Defaults Surge





Despite the rear-view-mirror-gazing optimists proclamations that default rates have been low (which matters not one jot when pricing the future expectations of default into corporate bond cashflows), Fitch just released its forecast for 2016 defaults and notes that more than $5.5 billion of December defaults has increased the trailing 12-month default rate to 3.3% from 3% at the end of November, marking the 13th consecutive month that defaulted volume exceeded $1.5 billion, closing in on the 14-month run seen in 2008-2009.

 
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Frontrunning: December 14





  • Oil prices drop towards 11-year lows on worsening glut (Reuters)
  • Third Avenue Seen by Top Investors as Fueling More Carnage (BBG)
  • Lucidus Has Liquidated $900 Million Credit Funds, Plans to Shut (BBG)
  • Investor nerves tested with yuan, oil, Fed in play (Reuters)
  • Junk Bonds Stagger as Funds Flee (WSJ)
  • Seattle lawmakers set to vote on allowing Uber, other drivers to unionize (Reuters)
 
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Playing Chess With Putin





"What’s it like playing chess with Obama?" asks a top aid of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Putin replies, "It's like playing chess with a pigeon. First it knocks over all the pieces, then it shits on the board, and finally it struts around like it won."

 
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6 Of 8 Trump Supporters Stand Behind Muslim Travel Ban; Muslims Furious





"We're gonna have to figure it out, we can't live like this. It's going to get worse and worse, we're going to have more World Trade Centers. It's going to get worse and worse, folks. We can be politically correct and we can be stupid but it's going to be worse and worse." Donald Trump said even as an AP summary of Muslim reactions to Trump can be summarized as follows: "He's trying to alienate not only the Muslim population of the United States but all the Muslims around the world."

 
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Assad Slams US Bombing Of Government Troops As Turkey Accuses Russia Of Violating Montreux Treaty





For the first time since the conflict in Syria began, coalition warplanes bombed Bashar al-Assad's troops in what may have been an "accident" or what may signal a dangerous strategic shift for the US. Meanwhile, Turkey says Russia violated the treaty governing passage in the Bosphorus by placing a soldier with a rocket launcher on the deck of the Caesar Kunikov.

 
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An Open Letter Calling For The Resignation Of Saudi-Sympathizing Politicians





"...Should you continue your flagrant support of Saudi Arabia by way of foreign aid and weapons sales, you are no longer to be trusted to hold an elected position of influence. You should therefore resign, effective immediately. The question is: Is your allegiance to the people of the United States, or are you beholden to another kingdom?"

 
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