The Signs Of Desperation In A "Twilight Zone Of Ignorance"

Idiocy and mendacity are a bad combo in the affairs of nations, especially in elections. The present case in the USA displays both qualities to near-perfection: on one side, a boorish pseudo-savior in zero command of ideas; on the other side, a wannabe racketeer-in-chief in full command of her instinctive deceit. Trump offers incoherent rhetoric in opposition to the current dismal order of things; Clinton offers empty, pandering rhetoric in defense of that order. Both represent an epic national drive toward political suicide.

US, Russia Clinch "Breakthrough" Syria Deal Over Vodka, But There Is A Catch

The US and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria's peace process back on track, including a nationwide truce effective from sundown on Monday. There was just one catch: the terms of the latest deal are a secret, and nobody knows what was actually decided, as both sides agreed not to release the documents publicly.

Stock Market Bubble Will Pop, Social Mood Will Get Extremely Ugly

Buying equities will put additional pressure on corporate CEOs to cut expenses and to postpone investments, fostering even greater Main Street resentment toward the financial elite. Consumer confidence won’t rise as consumption and economic growth stagnate. Having so clearly sided with owners of capital, rather than the employees of capital, global central banks are likely to become an easy target for populist ire.

Negative Rates & The War On Cash, Part 2: "Closing The Escape Routes"

History teaches us that central authorities dislike escape routes, at least for the majority, and are therefore prone to closing them, so that control of a limited money supply can remain in the hands of the very few. The existence of escape routes for capital preservation undermines the viability of the banking system, which is already over-extended, over-leveraged and extremely fragile. In the 1930s, gold was the escape route, so gold was confiscated. This time cash serves that role...

US Paid Iran Another $1.3 Billion In Cash In Form Of Swiss Francs, Euros And Other Currencies

One month ago, a scandal erupted when it emerged that the US had made a $400 million cash delivery to Iraq (in foreign currencies) to facilitate the release of 4 US hostages held by the regime; many promptly called it a ransom payment. Overnight the WSJ confirmed that this was just a part of a bigger shippment of cash, when it reported that the Obama administration followed up a planeload of $400 million in cash sent to Iran in January with two more such shipments in the next 19 days, totaling another $1.3 billion.

The Swiss Begin To Hoard Cash

"Because of the low interest rate level, we note increasing demand for insurance solutions for the storage of cash," said Philipp Surholt at Zurich Insurance Group AG, among underwriters reporting a surge in such requests. "We’re seeing demand for coverage for sums ranging from 100 million to 500 million francs."

Traders Return From Vacation To Find S&P Futures Flat, Oil And Dollar Lower, Amid Flurry Of M&A

The return from summer holidays has started in much the same way as we left off August, with another subdued session that has seen European stocks little changed, Asian shares advance and S&P futures are modestly in the green amid a flurry of M&A. The US dollar weakened, with the Bloomberg Dollar Index down 0.2% for the 2nd day in a row as prospects for a U.S. interest-rate hike this month remained subdued.

Negative Rates & The War On Cash, Part 1: "There Is Nowhere To Go But Down"

As momentum builds in the developing deflationary spiral, we are seeing increasingly desperate measures to keep the global credit ponzi scheme from its inevitable conclusion. Credit bubbles are dynamic - they must grow continually or implode - hence they require ever more money to be lent into existence. As the peak of a credit bubble is reached, all these necessary factors first become problematic and then cease to be available at all. Past a certain point, there are hard limits to financial expansions, and the global economy is set to hit one imminently.

Europe Debates The Burkini: "We Will Colonize You With Your Democratic Laws"

"Beaches, like any public space, must be protected from religious claims. The burkini is an anti-social political project aimed in particular at subjugating women... It is not compatible with the values ??of France and the Republic. Faced with such provocations, the Republic must defend itself." — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. But according to the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, the high court's ruling against burkini bans, "far from appeasing [Muslims], will instead increase passions and tensions."

The Chinese Are Buying Gold, Selling Treasuries - Should You?

Since July of 2011, two of the largest and most important asset classes in the world, US Treasury debt and gold valuations, have been moving in contradiction to supply and demand data.  US Treasury rates have fallen by a third since the vast majority of previous buyers since have ceased accumulating... and gold has fallen about 25% on increasing physical demand.  These are simply not the hallmarks of a free market.  However, the only thing investors should be more afraid of than a free market correction or potential market crash is the absence of free markets...

Finland Unleashes Helicopter Money In "Greatest Societal Transformation Of Our Time"

Finland is about to launch an experiment in which a randomly selected group of 2-3,000 citizens already on unemployment benefits will begin to receive a monthly basic income of 560 euros (approx. $600). That basic income will replace their existing benefits. The pilot study, running for two years in 2017-2018, aims to assess whether basic income can help reduce poverty, social exclusion, and bureaucracy, while increasing the employment rate.