Wall Street Journal
Though "another Lehman Brothers" isn't likely to happen with banks, it is very likely to happen with commodity firms and countries that depend directly or indirectly on commodity prices.
Main Street is vulnerable to leveraged trading algorithms and Brazilian bonds because it’s not just exotica that is overleveraged. Risk-off, in short, is no longer just a temporary swing of the pendulum, guaranteed to reverse in a year or two. As amazing as this sounds, we’ve borrowed so much money that as hedge funds go, so goes the world.
Ever since it started making complicated bets against some leveraged ETFs, Miller’s Catalyst Macro Strategies Funds has since grown from $500,000 in assets at the start of the year to about $170 million. It achieved a more than 50 percent return this year, placing it far ahead of its competitors.
Important pillars of the bull case evaporated throughout 2015. Global price pressures weakened, the global Credit backdrop deteriorated and the global economy decelerated. The huge bets on central bank policies left markets at high risk for abrupt reversals and trade unwinds – 2015 The Year of the Erratic Crowded Trade. Indeed, a global bear market commenced yet most remain bullish. Serious and objective analysts would view this ominously.
"If the president’s announced sanctions ultimately aren’t executed, it would demonstrate a level of fecklessness that even the president hasn’t shown before."
The unfolding correction of the visible excesses of the credit inflation - such as overinvestment and malinvestment - will destroy incomes and profits; the Great Unwind of the less visible effects, such as the sovereign wealth fund liquidations, are a giant pin aimed squarely at the monumental worldwide bubbles in stock, bonds and real estate.
The S&P 500 closed at 2052 on November 18,2014. That was 405 days ago, and despite the rips and dips in the interim the broad market average has gone nowhere.
The aristocracy’s control over all the mainstream ‘news’ is ironclad - and this includes the political magazines as well as ‘intellectual’ magazines. American ‘news’ media stifle democracy in America; they’re not part of democracy, in America. They’re like poison that’s presented as being ‘medicine’ instead. Suckers don’t just swallow it; they come back for more of that propaganda. A press like this makes it impossible for there to be intelligent, informed, rather than misinformed and/or stupid, voting in national political elections in the United States.
Market-based Credit is unstable. This remains the fundamental issue – the harsh reality – that no one dares confront. Long-term stability in a Capitalistic system requires sound money and Credit (hopelessly archaic, we admit). Over the years, we've tried to differentiate traditional finance from unfettered “New Age” finance. The former, bank lending-dominated Credit, was generally contained by various mechanisms (including the gold standard, effective currency regimes, bank capital and reserve requirements, etc.). This is in stark contrast to the current-day securities market-based global financial “system” uniquely operating without restraints on either the quantity or quality of Credit created. There’s no precedence for such a globalized monetary fiasco, though there are a number of historical episodes that provide valuable insight.
"Anyone who has studied microeconomics knows... that an income transfer, as opposed to a gift in-kind, gets you to a higher level of utility," but as WSJ reports, putting theory under the tree is another matter. After years of studying the economics of gift-giving, economists have found that some gifts are valued more highly than others, and that some gift-givers seem to be better than others...
According to WSJ, "the Obama administration pursued secret communications with elements of Syria’s regime over several years in a failed attempt to limit violence and get President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power, according to U.S. and Arab officials. Early on, the U.S. looked for cracks in the regime it could exploit to encourage a military coup, but found few.”
"This is a dangerous movie for Wall Street, the government, and the establishment in general. ... cuts through the crap and reveals those in power to be corrupt, greedy weasels who aren’t really as smart as they want you to think they are. The finale of the movie is sobering and infuriating."
At 108 four-year colleges, at least half of all students hadn’t paid even $1 of what they owe within three years of leaving college. Those colleges got more than $10 billion in federal student loans and grants last year.
People are waking up to the darkness in American policing, and the cops don't like it one bit...
A new whistleblower has leaked a catalog of cell phone surveillance devices used by the military, intelligence agencies, and local police departments, including the controversial ‘Stingray’ spying tool. At this point, it’s painfully obvious that America is the home of the Police-Surveillance State. Privacy is a dying notion in a nation of fools determined to be safe rather than liberated. If you give a damn, now is the time to stand up and be heard.