Wall Street Journal
"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.
- Splintered Spanish vote points to fraught coalition talks (Reuters)
- Brent Oil Falls to 11-Year Low in London as Global Glut Persists (BBG)
- Oil prices hit lowest since 2004 as supply balloons (Reuters)
- U.S. Probes Theranos Complaints (WSJ)
- Driver plows onto Las Vegas Strip sidewalk 'like bowling ball', one dead (Reuters)
- Yellen, Bull Markets and Extinction in a Seven-Year Stock Rally (BBG)
"The key to understand the situation here is that this is not normalizing, and we don’t have a precedent. We really don’t. We’re kind of all being soothed and reassured by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg and the financial authorities that we’ve been down this path before, we’ve been down it many times, more often than not we’ve had rising markets as a result and, really, there’s nothing to worry about. The issue with that is there are many things this time that are entirely different..."
“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious, but the stupid have an answer for everything.” ~Edward Abbey
Natural-gas fell to the lowest ever inflation-adjusted price in its history of NYMEX trading on Wednesday as extremely warm weather continues to limit demand. As we recently explained, the glut in nattie is worse than that facing the crude complex, and while the glut in oil is expected to continue for the next year or so before balancing in late 2016, the pain for liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be just beginning. As one trader warned "this market is in real trouble...just wait for the bankruptcies."
As concerning and hateful as so much of Trump’s commentary is, we can at least be sure he speaks from his own twisted mind. This is precisely why he appeals to so many people in this day and age of completely captured politicians. People like the fact that every word out of his mouth hasn’t been carefully placed there by some billionaire patron. On the exact opposite end of that spectrum we find Marco Rubio. A man so incapable of free-thought, he becomes the ideal target for billionaires looking to craft the perfect puppet. Forget Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio is now the establishment GOP’s pick, and they will do everything in their power to get him the nomination.
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker may have forgotten to disclose a few things. Like millions in hedge fund investments. And millions in real estate investments. And millions in "other" investments. He's "extremely disappointed" in someone, although it wasn't immediately clear if it was himself.
"In short, the age of unconventional monetary policy begun by the 2007-09 financial crisis might not be ending."
- Jon Hilsenrath
As in George Orwell’s 1984, the IMF is dividing the world into warring factions - the West vs. the BRICS. To avoid the coming conflict that the neoconservatives’ pursuit of American hegemony is bringing, the Russians have relied on fact-based, truth-based diplomacy. However, neocon Washington relies on lies and propaganda and has many more and much louder voices. Consequently, it is Washington’s lies, not Russia’s truth, that most of the Western sheeple believe. The Western peoples are so dimwitted that they have not yet understood that the “war on terror” is, in fact, a war to create terror that can be exported to Muslim areas of Russia and China in order to destabilize the two countries that serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral, hegemonic power.
The real problem for the Fed will be how foolish it will look if it does raise by 25 basis points and is then forced by a slowing economy to lower rates back to zero soon after liftoff. At that point, the markets should finally understand that the Fed is powerless to get out of the stimulus trap it has created. But it looks like the Fed would rather look foolish later when it's forced to cut rates, than look foolish now by not raising them at all. The Fed’s rocket to nowhere will hover above the launch pad for a considerable period of time before ultimately falling back down to Earth.