en "Mommy, Am I Gonna Die?": Cop Aims For Dog, Shoots 4 Year Old, After Injured Mom Calls 911 <p><em>To Protect and Serve?</em> When Whitehill resident Andrea accidentally cut her arm on glass, her sister frantically called 911, &quot;I need a paramedic.&quot; Columbus Police Officer Jon Thomas responded to the house where he pulled out his gun and <strong>shot toward the family&#39;s dog (which he claims ran toward him), missed, and hit Andrea&#39;s four-year-old daughter Ava in the leg, shattering her bone</strong>.</p> <p><script height="360px" width="640px" src=""></script></p> <p>As <a href="">The Columbus Dispatch reports</a>, <em>Andrea also revealed that the cop never apologized or asked if Ava was okay and immediately left after shooting her</em>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A Columbus police officer accidentally wounded a 4-year-old girl in Whitehall on Friday when he fired at a charging dog, police said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A neighbor and the girl&rsquo;s uncle identified her as Ava Ellis, who was taken to Nationwide Children&rsquo;s Hospital, where police said she was in stable condition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The officer was at a house in the 4100 block of Chandler Drive investigating a hit-and-run case about 3:10 p.m., Columbus police spokeswoman Denise Alex-Bouzounis said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>As the officer was walking from the home to his patrol car, a woman a few houses away called out to him, saying her sister and the girl&rsquo;s mother, Andrea Ellis, had cut herself.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The officer was at the doorway when a dog charged at him, Alex-Bouzounis said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The officer fired once, missing the animal but striking the girl in the right leg. It was unclear whether the girl was hit directly or by a ricochet. The officer has not been identified.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Neighbors say the officer walked back to his patrol car after the shooting.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;He seemed a little disoriented, like he was really bothered,&rdquo; </strong>said Norman Jones, who called the police after hearing the shot. Columbus and Whitehall police arrived at the scene shortly afterward.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;Mommy, am I gonna die?&rdquo;</strong></em> four-year-old Ava Ellis asked her mother.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">The family created a Facebook page for Ava.</a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="390" src="" width="597" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">As Salon reports,</a> her mother Andrea wrote her account of the incident in a post. <strong>She names the police officer who shot her child, Jonathan Thomas, </strong>and says that, as soon as he saw the dog, who was eight to 10 feet away from him, he fired &mdash; in the direction of her eight-year-old niece and Ava.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Officer Thomas claimed that the dog charged at him, but Andrea&rsquo;s sister Brandie denies thi</strong>s, and says the pet was in the house when he shot at it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Andrea also revealed that the cop never apologized or asked if the four-year-old was okay and immediately left after shooting her. Neighbors have corroborated this account. Ava&rsquo;s mother wrote:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<em><strong>Officer Thomas then told my sister to stop yelling at him and walked back to his vehicle. Officer Thomas never said sorry, never said it was an accident, never said that he called for help or was going to call for help, never asked if Ava was ok, and never asked if he could check on Ava. </strong></em>Officer Thomas went back to his vehicle and started to pull away. My neighbors have even verified that he started pulling away before any help was there. Officer Thomas shot Ava and left knowing he shot Ava and not knowing the condition she was in.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The young girl was taken to a nearby hospital, and is in stable condition.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Inquisitr reported</a>&nbsp;that <strong>Ava started school in a wheelchair, and may walk with a limp for the rest of her life... and will likely forever mistrust the police...</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="597" height="390" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 514856 at It Begins - Managed High Yield Bond Fund Liquidates After 17 Years <p>Since <strong>inception in June 1998</strong>, UBS&#39; Managed High Yield Plus Fund survived through the dot-com (and Telco) collapse and the post-Lehman credit carnage but, based on the press release today, has been felled by the current credit cycle&#39;s crash. After 3 years of trading at an increasingly large discount to NAV, and plunging to its worst levels since the peak of the financial crisis, <strong>the board of the Fund has approved a proposal to liquidate the Fund</strong>. While timing is unclear, this is the worst case for an increasingly fragile cash bond market as <em><strong>BWICs galore are set to hit with &quot;liquidty thin to zero.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Having survived 17 years...</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img height="302" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>It&#39;s Over...</u></strong> (as The Fund Statement reads):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Managed High Yield Plus Fund Inc. (the &quot;Fund&quot;) (NYSE:HYF) announced today that the Board of Directors (the &ldquo;Board&rdquo;) of the <strong>Fund has approved a proposal to liquidate the Fund</strong> in 2016, subject to shareholder approval.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>After careful deliberation and a thorough review of the available alternatives, and based upon the recommendation of UBS Global Asset Management (Americas) Inc. (&ldquo;UBS AM&rdquo;), the Fund&rsquo;s manager, the Board has determined that liquidation and dissolution of the Fund is in the best interests of the Fund. </strong>A proposed plan of liquidation will be submitted for the approval of the Fund&rsquo;s shareholders at a special shareholders meeting of the Fund, which will be scheduled to be held in April 2016. If the shareholders approve the proposed plan, the liquidation and dissolution of the Fund will take place as soon as reasonably practicable, but in no event later than December 31, 2016 (absent unforeseen circumstances).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Further information regarding the liquidation proposal, including the plan of liquidation, will be included in the proxy materials that will be mailed to the Fund&rsquo;s shareholders in advance of the shareholders meeting.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><a href=""><strong>This is a nightmare for the corporate credit market, </strong>where, as we noted previously <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&quot;liquidity is thin to zero.&quot;...</strong></em></span></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>...discussing illiquid <em>corporate</em> credit markets is easier if you find yourself among polite company. You see, the lack of liquidity in the secondary market for corporate bonds is a somewhat benign discussion because although it unquestionably stems from a noxious combination of regulatory incompetence and irresponsible monetary policy, myopic corporate management teams and the BTFD crowd, not to mention ETF issuers, have also played an outsized role, so there&rsquo;s no need to lay the blame entirely on the masters of the universe who occupy the Eccles Building and on the &quot;liquidity providing&quot; HFT crowd that&rsquo;s found regulatory capture to be just as easy as frontrunning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But while explanations for the absence of liquidity vary from market to market, the response is becoming increasingly homogenous. Put simply: <strong>market participants are simply moving away from cash markets and into derivatives. Where market depth has disappeared, it&rsquo;s become increasingly difficult to transact in size without having an outsized effect on prices. This means that for big players - fund managers, for instance - selling into ever thinner secondary markets is a dangerous proposition. And not just for the manager, but for market prices in general.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In Treasury markets, traders have <a href="">turned to futures</a> to mitigate illiquidty...&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="397" src="" width="572" /></a></p> <p>...<span style="line-height: 20.8000011444092px; font-size: 1em;">while corporate bond fund managers <a href="">utilize ETFs and other portfolio products</a> to avoid trading the underlying assets...</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 20.8000011444092px; font-size: 1em;"><a href=""><img height="338" src="" width="590" /></a></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 20.8000011444092px; font-size: 1em;"><a href=""><img height="234" src="" width="496" /></a></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 20.8000011444092px; font-size: 1em;">With the stage thus set, <a href="">Bloomberg has more</a> on the move to smaller trades and cash market substitutes:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Sometimes less is more. At least according to investment managers trying to navigate Europe&rsquo;s credit markets.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>TwentyFour Asset Management capped a bond fund to new investors at 750 million pounds ($1.2 billion) and JPMorgan Asset Management, which is marketing a 128 million-pound fund, said smaller investments are more flexible in a sell-off. <strong>Other managers are also limiting the size of their trades and using derivatives to avoid getting trapped in positions.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>It&rsquo;s become more difficult to buy and sell securities as Greece&rsquo;s financial crisis curbs risk taking and dealers scale back trading activity to meet regulations introduced since the financial crisis. The Bank for International Settlements warned of a &quot;liquidity illusion&quot; in June because bond holdings are becoming concentrated in the hands of fund managers as banks pull back.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><u><strong>&quot;Liquidity is generally poor in corporate bond markets and in the U.K. market it&rsquo;s thin to zero,&quot; </strong></u>said Mike Parsons, head of U.K. fund sales at JPMorgan Asset Management in London. &quot;You don&rsquo;t want to be in a gigantic fund where there&rsquo;s potential for a lot of investors rushing for the exit at the same time. Smaller funds are more nimble.&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><u><strong>&quot;Without enough strong liquidity, it&rsquo;s hard to execute bond trades in sufficient size or price to move portfolio risk around quickly or cheaply,&quot;</strong></u> he said. &quot;The bigger the position, the harder it is to find enough liquidity to sell it or buy it.&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Liquidity in credit markets has dropped about 90 percent since 2006, according to Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. That&rsquo;s because dealers are using less of their own money to trade as new regulation makes it less profitable.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Euro-denominated corporate bonds got an average of 5.3 dealer quotes per trade last week, up from 4.5 recorded in January and compared with a peak of 8.8 in 2009, according to Morgan Stanley data. That&rsquo;s based on dealer prices compiled by Markit Group Ltd. for bonds in its iBoxx indexes.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Liquidity is especially bad in the U.K. corporate bond market, which is being abandoned by companies looking to take advantage of lower borrowing costs in euros and investors seeking securities that are easier to buy and sell.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>NN Investment Partners said it seeks to manage difficult trading conditions by diversifying positions and capping trade size. <strong>The Netherlands-based asset manager avoids owning large concentrations of a single bond and uses derivatives such as credit-default swaps or futures that are easier to buy and sell, said Hans van Zwol, a portfolio manager.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;We really want to stay away from positions we can&rsquo;t get out of,&quot; he said.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><u><em><strong>The conundrum here is that the more reluctant market participants are to venture into increasingly illiquid cash markets, the more illiquid those markets become.</strong></em></u></p> <p><u><strong>And here are the fund&#39;s largest holdings...</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 565px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><u><strong><a href="">Of course, this should not be a total surprise, </a></strong></u>in light of the near-record up/downgrade ratio...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Credit-rating firms are downgrading more U.S. companies than at any other time since the financial crisis, </strong>and measures of debt relative to cash flow are rising.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 463px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s Ratings Services<strong> downgraded U.S. companies 297 times in the first nine months of the year, the most downgrades since 2009,</strong> compared with just 172 upgrades.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Deteriorating fundamentals...</strong></span></p> <p><strong>U.S. companies have increased borrowing to levels exceeding those just before the financial crisis, as firms pursue big acquisitions and seek to boost stock prices by buying back shares.</strong> According to one metric, the ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for companies that carry investment-grade ratings, meaning triple-B-minus or above, was 2.29 times in the second quarter. That&rsquo;s higher than the 1.91 times in June 2007, just before the crisis, according to figures from Morgan Stanley.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing more widespread weakness across more industry sectors in the U.S.,&rdquo;</strong> Ms. Vazza said. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s become broader than just the commodity story.&rdquo;</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The metrics that you measure health and credit by have peaked a while ago,&rdquo; </strong>said Sivan Mahadevan, head of credit strategy at Morgan Stanley. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;They are beginning to deteriorate.&rdquo;</strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>And as we noted earlier, <strong><u>the credit cycle has well and truly rolled over...</u></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 628px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And no lesser market veteran than Art Cashin is concerned, <u><strong>What are the signals you are looking for to stay on top in such a market?</strong></u></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">I continue to monitor the high yield market and see where that goes. The high yield market has been of some concern of the last several weeks. If that begins to show appreciable weakness than I would think the caution flags stay up.</span></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 323px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="965" height="485" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Art Cashin Bond Borrowing Costs Credit-Default Swaps Greece HFT High Yield Markit Monetary Policy Morgan Stanley ratings Royal Bank of Scotland Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 514869 at Gold Jumps As China Devalues Yuan By Most In 2 Months, "Boosts Reforms" Of Corporate Bond Bubble <p><strong>AsiaPac stocks are extending losses</strong> in early trading asit appears <a href="">our<strong> fears about the Chinese coporate bond market bubble</strong></a> are also on the minds of Chinese regulators as they look to &quot;boost reforms.&quot; After the PBOC has fixed the Yuan stronger for 8 straight days, the onshore and offshore Yuan has weakened appreciably in the last 24 hours and <strong><u>PBOC has devalued Yuan by 177pips&nbsp; - the biggest in 2 months</u></strong> <em>(as PBOC researchers push to <strong>&quot;speed up Yuan internationalization&quot; </strong>and implicitly inclusion in the SDR basket).</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold jumped on the Yuan devaluation...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 407px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>AsiaPac stocks are lower again...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="319" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <ul> <li><strong>*CHINA&#39;S CSI 300 STOCK-INDEX FUTURES FALL 0.5% TO 3,400</strong></li> <li><strong>*MSCI ASIA PACIFIC INDEX DROPS 1.4%, EXTENDING DECLINE</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href="">As fears rise of a bubble in Chinese corporate bonds...</a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="311" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Reform it!</p> <ul> <li><strong>*CHINA TO BOOST CORPORATE BOND MARKET REFORM: 21ST HERALD</strong></li> </ul> <p>Good luck, as Commerzbank&#39;s Zhou concludes...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&quot;Global investors are looking for signs of a collapse in China, which itself could increase the chances of a crash... This game can&rsquo;t go on forever.&quot;</strong></em></span></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>The Yuan has been &#39;fixed&#39; stronger for 8 straight days... but<u><strong> tonight PBOC devalues Yuan by 177pips - the most in 2 months</strong></u></p> <ul> <li><strong>*CHINA SETS YUAN REFERENCE RATE AT 6.3408 AGAINST U.S. DOLLAR</strong></li> <li><u><strong>*CHINA WEAKENS YUAN FIXING MOST SINCE AUG. 13</strong></u></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="">And PBOC reseeacrhers are pushing for rapid internationalization of Yuan (and inclusion in the SDR basket)</a>... beginning their paper with the rather USD reserve Currency Status challenging statement:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>World History tells us that economic power is necessarily financial power, only to become the financial powerhouse before it can become an economic power.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>China must speed up yuan internationalization to develop the finance industry, PBOC research bureau head Lu Lei writes in People&rsquo;s Daily.</p> <ul> <li><strong>The yuan needs to be included in the SDR basket, Lu writes</strong></li> <li>China&rsquo;s current financial structure is dominated by indirect financing and doesn&rsquo;t make enough sense, Lu writes</li> <li>China should further improve stock market and increase the proportion of equity financing, Lu writes</li> </ul> <p><strong>Financial power is the inevitable direction of sustainable development of economic power</strong></p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="955" height="482" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond China Finance Industry fixed Reserve Currency Yuan Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:20:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 514870 at 'Socialist' Sanders Vs 'Crony' Clinton: First Democratic Debate Begins - Live Feed <p>Admittedly it&#39;s not Mayweather-Pacquiao, but <strong>Las Vegas is buzzing ahead of tonight&#39;s rumble-in-the-jungle between Bernie and The Battle-axe</strong>. While Joe Biden remains the most notable absentee (or will he?) there are three other &#39;debaters&#39; to carry water and towels for Hillary and Bernie as they <em><strong>drag one another left-er and left-er and more populist-er</strong></em>. In the pre-fight Sanders has lobbed some awkward Iraq War questions at &#39;hawkish&#39; Hillary but as Clinton&#39;s 2008 campaign manager notes, <strong><em>&quot;she&#39;s rolled out Latinos for Hillary, Women for Hillary, and met the leadership of Black Lives Matter; she has checked a lot of <span style="text-decoration: underline;">boxes </span>walking into this debate.&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>It&#39;s not different this time..</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 257px;" /></p> <p>And it&#39;s getting worse...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 271px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Search interest shows them neck and neck...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 595px; height: 380px;" /></a></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>This seemed to sum up the pre-show rather well...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">&quot;<a href="">@StreckerJosh</a>: The Hillary love fest on CNN is ridiculous. I feel bad for the other candidates...especially the non-criminal ones.&quot;</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Live Feed (via CNN)... <em>(click image below for link - if embed unavailable)</em></strong></u></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 286px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">USA Today offers six things to watch for during the debate...</a></p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_361795" style="width: 510px"><img alt="Hillary Clinton speaks in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Oct. 7, 2015. (Nati Harnik, AP)" class="wp-image-361795" height="361" src=";h=361" width="500" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Hillary Clinton speaks in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Oct. 7, 2015. (Nati Harnik, AP)</p> </div> <p class="p1"><u><b>1. Steam from the Hillary grilling</b></u></p> <p class="p1">If the CNN debate moderators treat this as their chance to grill Clinton on live TV instead of carrying out an actual debate where other candidates are allotted plenty of time to make their case, &ldquo;Democrats will likely be frustrated,&rdquo; said Pat Rynard, a former Democratic campaign staffer from Iowa.</p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_361796" style="width: 510px"><img alt="Vice President Biden in the Oval Office on Oct. 7, 2015. (Mark Wilson, Getty Images) " class="wp-image-361796" height="349" src=";h=349" width="500" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Vice President Biden in the Oval Office on Oct. 7, 2015. (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)</p> </div> <p class="p1"><u><b>2. The Biden shadow</b></u></p> <p class="p1">Even if he&rsquo;s not on the stage, &ldquo;Joe is a real part of the debate,&rdquo; said Democrat Patty Judge, a former Iowa lieutenant governor.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;Sadly,&rdquo; added Rynard, &ldquo;in terms of the media narrative, nothing in the debate may matter if Biden announces his intentions the next day and wipes out all the coverage. Hopefully that doesn&rsquo;t happen, but it&rsquo;s near when Biden has to make a decision for ballot purposes.&rdquo;</p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_361797" style="width: 510px"><img alt="Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event on Oct. 9, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Scuteri, AP)" class="wp-image-361797" height="329" src=";h=329" width="500" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event on Oct. 9, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz.<br />(Rick Scuteri, AP)</p> </div> <p class="p1"><u><b>3. Sanders&rsquo; fidelity to fixed talking points</b></u></p> <p class="p1">The liberal messenger could miss an opportunity if he expounds only a dry, policy-heavy message, Democrats said.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;He really refuses to deviate much from his economic inequality shtick on the campaign trail &mdash; which, to be fair, is a very powerful message that has gotten him far,&rdquo; said Rynard, who writes about presidential politics on the&nbsp;website Iowa Starting Line. &ldquo;(But) debates tend to favor interaction and candidates quick on their toes who can give punchy responses.&rdquo;</p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_359779" style="width: 510px"><img alt="Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. (AP)" class="wp-image-359779" height="375" src=";h=375" width="500" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. (AP)</p> </div> <p class="p1"><u><b>4. Two debates in one</b></u></p> <p class="p1">One debate will likely be a policy contest&nbsp;between&nbsp;Clinton and Sanders, both of whom have declined to stray into personal attacks, observers&nbsp;said.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;She will continue to move herself to the left in order to appeal to undecideds and to those who are leaning to Sanders but not firmly in his camp,&rdquo; Judge said of Clinton. &ldquo;She will also try to continue to distance herself from the Obama administration to give herself room to take on Biden if he gets into the race.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">The second debate could feature hard swings from&nbsp;the low-polling contenders,&nbsp;especially O&rsquo;Malley, who has gotten increasingly personal in drawing contrasts with Clinton.</p> <p class="p1">Watch for gun control, trade, banks and foreign policy to take center stage, said Michael Cheney, a professor of communication and economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield.</p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_361798" style="width: 510px"><img alt="Martin O'Malley talks on stage during the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on Sept. 19, 2015 in Manchester. (Scott Eisen, Getty Images) " class="wp-image-361798" height="333" src=";h=333" width="500" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Martin O&rsquo;Malley talks on stage during the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on Sept. 19, 2015 in Manchester. (Scott Eisen, Getty Images)</p> </div> <p><u><strong>5.&nbsp;O&rsquo;Malley&rsquo;s moment?</strong></u></p> <p class="p1">Many Democrats worry that Sanders&rsquo; &ldquo;socialist&rdquo; label and Clinton&rsquo;s struggles with her email controversy would badly hinder them in the general election, Rynard said.</p> <p class="p1">O&rsquo;Malley has&nbsp;run&nbsp;a serious campaign and impressed&nbsp;Democrats who go see him. But he&nbsp;barely attracts national media coverage, and many voters haven&rsquo;t noticed him yet.</p> <p class="p1">Cutter said: &ldquo;This is the last best chance for Martin O&rsquo;Malley.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">O&rsquo;Malley needs to pull votes from Sanders, she said.&nbsp;&ldquo;If he doesn&rsquo;t distinguish himself as the person more likely to achieve results for a progressive agenda, rather than just a protest,&rdquo; Cutter said, &ldquo;then he&rsquo;s out.&rdquo;</p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_361799" style="width: 510px"><img alt="Democratic presidential candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee. (Getty Images)" class="wp-image-361799" height="372" src=";h=372" width="500" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Democratic presidential candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee. (Getty Images)</p> </div> <p class="p1"><u><b>6. The invisible Democrats</b></u></p> <p class="p1">It&rsquo;s now or never for Webb and Chafee,&nbsp;neither of whom do any real campaigning, Rynard said.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;At this point, they&rsquo;re just taking up space,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p class="p1">Democrats said they&rsquo;re hesitant to take either candidate seriously when even low-polling GOP candidates such as Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham throw energy into reaching out to early state voters.</p> <p class="p1">But debates are fertile ground for earning a bump in the polls, strategists noted.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;The best debaters,&rdquo; Sefl said, &ldquo;are those who don&rsquo;t look like they rehearsed their one-liners thousands of times, and who know how to demonstrate command of the issues without being the annoying kid from class who always raised their hand to every question.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><u><strong>Spot The Difference...</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 1481px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We suspect this debate will be a little &quot;drier&quot; than The Trump Show, so here is a Drinking Game to make it a little more enjoyable...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 449px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And for the kids and non-drinkers...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 599px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course - as we noted earlier - the biggest &#39;donkey&#39; in the room is...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="456" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="762" height="363" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bernie Sanders fixed Illinois Iraq Joe Biden Las Vegas Obama Administration Wed, 14 Oct 2015 00:52:29 +0000 Tyler Durden 514868 at CLSA Just Stumbled On The Neutron Bomb In China's Banking System <p>Two weeks ago, <a href="">using Macquarie data</a>, we found something disturbing at China's micro level: not only are a quarter of Chinese firms with debt unable to cover their annual interest expense currently...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="377" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>.... but when just looking at the commodity sector, roughly half of all companies are in the same dire straits, as a result of the collapse in commodity prices which translates into a drop off in cash flow which makes just the annual all-in cash interest payment impossible .</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="391" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the weekend, Hong-Kong based CLSA decided to take this micro-level data and look at it from the top-down. What it found was stunning.</p> <p>According to CLSA estimates, <strong>Chinese banks' bad debts ratio could be as high 8.1% a whopping 6 times higher than the official 1.5% NPL level reported by China's banking regulator! </strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="359" /></a></p> <p>As Reuters reports, the estimate is based on analysis of outstanding debts for more than 2700 A-share companies (ex-financials) and their ability to repay loans. Or in other words, if one backs into the true bad debt, not the number given for window dressing purposes by Chinese "regulators", based on collapsing cash flows, what one gets is a NPL that is nearly 10% of all outstanding Chinese debt.</p> <p>Reuters has some more details on the methodology:</p> <ul> <li>Two consecutive years of a co's interest coverage (EBITDA/interest expense) below 1x or losses for two successive years qualifies for debts to be treated as "bad" in CLSA's analysis.</li> <li>By these measures, wholesale &amp; retail and manufacturing sectors boast the highest implied NPLs at 21.1% and 15.8% respectively, taking into account total debt</li> <li>While China's real estate sector has been the most aggressive in adding debt, profitability at developers in tier-1 cities has held up well, muting the overall NPLs for the sector</li> <li>Developers in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, however, show high implied NPLs</li> <li>As bad debts rise, burden falls on PBOC to ensure sufficient liquidity so that Chinese banks can gradually absorb the credit costs, CLSA says.</li> </ul> <p>Yes, the PBOC's burden most certainly rises, and what a burden it is: here's why. </p> <p>The chart below shows the history of total Chinese bank assets: as of the latest official data, the number is roughly $30 <strong>trillion</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="410" /></a></p> <p>If one very conservatively assumes that loans are about half of the total asset base (realistically 60-70%), and applies an 8% NPL to this number instead of the official 1.5% NPL estimate, <strong>the capital shortfall is a staggering $1 trillion.</strong></p> <p>In other words, while China has been injecting incremental liquidity into the system and stubbornly getting no results for it leading experts everywhere to wonder just where all this money is going, <strong>the real reason for the lack of a credit impulse is that banks have been quietly soaking up the funds not to lend them out, but to plug a gargantuan, $1 trillion, solvency shortfall which amounts to 10% of China's GDP!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="359" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Real estate Reuters Wed, 14 Oct 2015 00:44:47 +0000 Tyler Durden 514867 at The Fukushima Wasteland: "Terrifying" Drone Footage Of Japan's Abandoned Nuclear Exclusion Zone <p>While the world has had decades of opportunities to observe <a href="">nature slowly reclaiming </a>the consequences of human civilization, particularly at the site of the original nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, there has been far less media coverage for obvious reasons, of that <em>other</em> nuclear disaster, Fukushima, <a href="">where as we reported last night</a>, one year after giving up on its "ice wall" idea Tepco has renewed the strategy of encasing the radioactive sarcophagus in an ice wall. </p> <p>It was not precisely clear why this time the idea is expected to work after it was nixed last summer.</p> <p>What is clear is that something has to be done, because as renewed interest in the aftermath of the results of the 2011 disaster once again builds ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the public is realizing just how vast the Japanese wasteland truly is.</p> <p>And capturing just that, is this eerie drone overflight of the Fukushima graveyard shown in the clip below:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For those curious for more, here, courtesy of photographer Arkadiusz Podniesinski who donned protective gear to visit the "<strong><em>terrifying</em></strong>" - in his words - ghost towns of Futaba, Namie and Tomioka last month, we get an up close an personal photo essay of this generation's Chernobyl. </p> <p>This is what he found: supermarket aisles strewn with packets. A school blackboard covered with notes for an unfinished lesson. Cars tangled with weeds in an unending traffic jam.</p> <p>These are eerie pictures from inside the 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima nuclear plant, <a href="">courtesy of Guardian</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="375" /></a></p> <p>The photographer, Arkadiusz Podniesinski, stands on one of the main streets of Futaba. The writing above him says: “Nuclear energy is the energy of a bright future.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="370" /></a></p> <p><em>A street that has been taken over by nature.</em> Four years after the catastrophe – which drove 160,000 people from their homes – much of the region is still too dangerous to enter. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="373" /></a></p> <p><em>The KFC Colonel and mannequins left standing in a supermarket.</em>&nbsp; “Here time has stood still, as if the accident happened yesterday,” says Podniesinski of the most-contaminated areas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="374" /></a></p> <p><em>An aerial photograph of abandoned vehicles.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="372" /></a></p> <p><em>An aerial photograph of dump sites, taken by a drone.</em> Contaminated radioactive topsoil from the fields has been bagged for removal and there have been efforts to clean deeper layers. To save space, the soil is stacked in layers. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="375" /></a></p> <p><em>A restaurant table with crockery left behind by guests.</em> The huge task of decontaminating the area, site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, continues. Thousands of workers move from street to street through villages, spraying and scrubbing the walls and roofs of houses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="374" /></a></p> <p><em>Car bumpers overgrown with weeds.</em> Some of the people Podniesinski spoke to doubt the official line that the area will be safe again in 30 years. “They are worried that the radioactive waste will be there for ever,” he says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="377" /></a></p> <p><em>A classroom on the first floor in a school. There is still a mark below the blackboard showing the level of the tsunami wave. On the blackboard are words written by former residents, schoolchildren and workers in an attempt to keep up the morale of all of the victims, including “We can do it, Fukushima!”</em></p> Japan Wed, 14 Oct 2015 00:19:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 514851 at Is Washington Actually Trying To Start World War III? <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,</em></a></p> <p>Why has Barack Obama airdropped <strong>50 tons</strong> of ammunition into areas that &ldquo;moderate rebels&rdquo; in Syria supposedly control?&nbsp; <strong>This is essentially the equivalent of poking the Russians directly in the eyes.&nbsp;</strong> Much of this ammunition will end up in the hands of those that the Russians are attempting to bomb into oblivion, and so to Russia it appears that we are attempting to make their job much harder.&nbsp; And of course the truth is that there aren&rsquo;t really any &ldquo;moderate rebels&rdquo; in Syria at all.&nbsp; Nearly all of the groups that are fighting are made up primarily of radical jihadists and/or hired mercenaries.&nbsp;</p> <p>Personally, I don&rsquo;t see anyone over there that you could call &ldquo;the good guys&rdquo;.&nbsp; <em>At the end of the day, the U.S. supports just about anyone that wants to get rid of the Assad regime, and the Russians are working very hard to keep Assad in power.</em>&nbsp; <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Just like the civil war in Ukraine, the conflict in Syria is in great danger of being transformed into a proxy war between the United States and Russia, and many fear that these conflicts could eventually be setting the stage for World War III. </strong></span></p> <p>The ferocity of Russian airstrikes in Syria <a href="" target="_blank" title="has surprised observers all over the planet">has surprised observers all over the planet</a>, and over the past couple of days these airstrikes have been extended&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="to include some new areas">to include some new areas</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Russian Air Forces have extended the range of their airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria to four provinces, focusing primarily on demolishing fortified installations and eliminating supply bases and the terrorists&rsquo; infrastructure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the last 24 hours Russian aircraft have attacked terrorist positions in the Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa provinces of Syria. In total, 64 sorties targeted 63 Islamic State installations, among them 53 fortified zones, 7 arms depots, 4 training camps and a command post.</p> </blockquote> <p>When I read reports like this, I am deeply troubled.&nbsp; The Obama administration claims that it has been bombing ISIS positions in Syria for over a year.&nbsp; <strong>So why in the world do these targets still exist?</strong></p> <p>Was the U.S. military incapable of finding these installations?</p> <p>That doesn&rsquo;t seem likely.</p> <p>So why weren&rsquo;t they destroyed long ago?</p> <p>Did the Obama administration not want them destroyed for some reason?</p> <p>What seems abundantly clear is that the Russians are doing what the Obama administration was either unwilling or unable to do.&nbsp; There is now mass panic among ISIS fighters, and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="thousands of them are fleeing the country">thousands of them are fleeing the country</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>An estimated 3,000 Islamic State fighters as well as militants from other extremist groups have fled Syria for Jordan fearing a renewed offensive by the Syrian army in addition to Russian airstrikes, a military official has told RIA news agency.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;At least 3,000 militants from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), al-Nusra and Jaish al-Yarmouk have fled to Jordan. They are afraid of the Syrian army having stepped up activities on all fronts and of Russian airstrikes,&rdquo;</em> the RIA source said.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The mainstream media in the United States is not talking much about this, are they?</strong></p> <p>But the U.S. media is reporting on this latest airdrop of ammunition to rebel groups in Syria.&nbsp; For example, the following comes from&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="CNN">CNN</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>U.S. military cargo planes gave <strong>50 tons of ammunition</strong> to rebel groups overnight in northern Syria, using an air drop of 112 pallets as the first step in the Obama Administration&rsquo;s urgent effort to find new ways to support those groups.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Details of the air mission over Syria were confirmed by a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly because the details have not yet been formally announced.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>C-17s, accompanied by fighter escort aircraft, dropped small arms ammunition and other items like hand grenades in Hasakah province in northern Syria to a coalition of rebels groups vetted by the US, known as the Syrian Arab Coalition.</p> </blockquote> <p>If you were the Russians, how would you feel about this?</p> <p>I know how I would feel.</p> <p>And just as Joe Biden has previously admitted, the &ldquo;moderate middle&rdquo; in Syria simply does not exist.&nbsp; The following is an extended excerpt from a piece that was originally written by <a href="" target="_blank" title="investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed">investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="first">first</a>&nbsp;Russian airstrikes hit the rebel-held town of Talbisah north of Homs City, home to al-Qaeda&rsquo;s official Syrian arm, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the pro-al-Qaeda Ahrar al-Sham, among other local rebel groups. Both al-Nusra and the Islamic State have claimed responsibility for vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) in Homs City, which is 12 kilometers south of Talbisah.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that as part of &ldquo;US and Turkish efforts to establish an ISIS &lsquo;free zone&rsquo; in the northern Aleppo countryside,&rdquo; al-Nusra &ldquo;withdrew from the border and reportedly reinforced positions in this rebel-held pocket north of Homs city&rdquo;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>In other words, the US and Turkey are actively&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="sponsoring">sponsoring</a>&nbsp;&ldquo;moderate&rdquo; Syrian rebels in the form of al-Qaeda, which Washington DC-based risk analysis firm Valen Globals&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="forecasts">forecasts</a>&nbsp;will be &ldquo;a bigger threat to global security&rdquo; than IS in coming years.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Last October, Vice President Joe Biden&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="conceded">conceded</a>&nbsp;that there is &ldquo;no moderate middle&rdquo; among the Syrian opposition. Turkey and the Gulf powers armed and funded &ldquo;anyone who would fight against Assad,&rdquo; including &ldquo;al-Nusra,&rdquo; &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank" title="al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)">al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)</a>,&rdquo; and the &ldquo;extremist elements of jihadis&nbsp;who were coming from other parts of the world&rdquo;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>In other words, the CIA-backed rebels targeted by Russia are not moderates. They represent the same melting pot of al-Qaeda affiliated networks that spawned the Islamic State in the first place.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>It has been well documented that many of these so-called &ldquo;moderate rebel groups&rdquo; in Syria have fought alongside ISIS and have sold weapons to them.&nbsp; So this false dichotomy that Barack Obama keeps trying to sell us on is just a giant fraud.&nbsp; The following comes from a recent&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="Infowars report">Infowars report</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In September, 2014 a commander with the FSA admitted cooperating with ISIS and the al-Nusra Front.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army&rsquo;s gatherings in &hellip; Qalamoun,&rdquo; <a href="" target="_blank" title="Bassel Idriss">Bassel Idriss</a> said. &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In July of 2014 a report in Stars and Stripes documented how the 1,000 strong Dawud Brigade, which had previously fought alongside the FSA against al-Assad, had <a href="" target="_blank" title="defected in its entirety to join ISIS">defected in its entirety to join ISIS</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The same month factions within the FSA &mdash; including Ahl Al Athar and Ibin al-Qa&rsquo;im &mdash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="pledged services to the Islamic State">pledged services to the Islamic State</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Members of the Islamic State claim to cooperate with the FSA and buy weapons provided by the U.S.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We are buying weapons from the FSA. We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti tank weapons,&rdquo; ISIS member <a href="" target="_blank" title="Abu Atheer">Abu Atheer</a> told al-Jazeera. &ldquo;We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>U.S. anti-tank weapons are playing a critical role in the Syrian conflict.&nbsp; As reported by <a href="" target="_blank" title="the Washington Post">the Washington Post</a>, U.S.-made anti-tank missiles are being used by the rebels to destroy lots of Russian-made tanks that are being used by the Syrian army&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>So successful have they been in driving rebel gains in northwestern Syria that rebels call the missile the &ldquo;Assad Tamer,&rdquo; a play on the word Assad, which means lion. And in recent days they have been used with great success to slow the Russian-backed offensive aimed at recapturing ground from the rebels.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since Wednesday, when Syrian troops launched their first offensive backed by the might of Russia&rsquo;s military, <a href=";" target="_blank" title="dozens of videos">dozens of videos</a> have been posted on YouTube showing rebels firing the U.S.-made missiles at Russian-made tanks and armored vehicles belonging to the Syrian army. Appearing as twirling balls of light, they zigzag across the Syrian countryside until they find and blast their target in a ball of flame.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Like I said earlier, this is looking more and more like a proxy war between the United States and Russia.</strong></p> <p><strong>Could that be what Obama actually wants?</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Obama is poking China in the eyes lately too.&nbsp;</strong></span> <a href="" target="_blank" title="CNN is reporting">CNN is reporting</a> that U.S. warships may soon be sailing into territorial waters around the Spratly Islands.&nbsp; These are islands that the Chinese government claims ownership over, but the U.S. government disputes that claim, and Obama seems determined to flex his muscles in the area&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The United States (US) may soon deploy war ships near China&rsquo;s artificial islands in the South China Sea.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It wants to send a message that it does not recognize China&rsquo;s territorial claims over the area.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is according to a Financial Times report quoting a senior U.S. official who said its ships will sail within 12-nautical-mile zones that China claims as its territory around the Spratly Islands within the next two weeks.</p> </blockquote> <p>If Obama sends warships into that area, there is a very real chance that they could get shot at.&nbsp; According to&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank" title="Newsweek">Newsweek</a>, the Chinese are saying that they will not permit U.S. ships to violate those territorial waters under any circumstances&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>We will never allow any country to violate China&rsquo;s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight</strong>,&rdquo; Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in response to a question about possible U.S. patrols. &ldquo;We urge the related parties not to take any provocative actions, and genuinely take a responsible stance on regional peace and stability.&rdquo;</p> <p>Such exchanges appear to be moving China and the U.S. toward a much feared, yet long expected,&nbsp;military confrontation. Just as unsettling, both sides seem confident they can prevail.</p> </blockquote> <p>Over the past couple of years our relations with China have really gone downhill very rapidly, and if the trading relationship between the two largest economies on the planet breaks down, that would have massive implications for the entire global economy.</p> <p>In addition to everything above, the civil war in Ukraine continues to rage on.&nbsp; The United States funded, equipped, trained and organized the forces that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government in Ukraine, and then once those thugs (which actually included some neo-Nazis) took power, the Obama administration immediately recognized them as the legitimate government of Ukraine.</p> <p>The Russians were absolutely infuriated by this, and they have been providing soldiers, equipment and supplies to the rebel groups that are fighting back against this new government.&nbsp; Of course the Russians deny that they are doing this, but it is exceedingly obvious that they are.</p> <p>The rebel groups that the Russians have been backing have been doing very well and have been steadily taking ground, and this is not how the power brokers in D.C. envisioned things playing out in Ukraine.&nbsp; So in a desperate attempt to shift the momentum of the conflict, a bill is going through Congress that would provide &ldquo;lethal military aid&rdquo; to the government in Kiev.&nbsp; Initially the bill would have provided 200 million dollars in lethal aid, but now it has been upped to 300 million dollars.&nbsp; There are some that believe that the final figure will be significantly higher.</p> <p><strong>Once this bill gets passed, it will be an extremely important event.&nbsp; For the Russians, it will mean crossing a red line that never should have been crossed.&nbsp;</strong> You see, the truth is that Ukraine is Russia&rsquo;s most important neighbor.&nbsp; Just imagine how we would feel if the Russians helped overthrow Canada&rsquo;s government and then start feeding weapons to the new pro-Russian government that they helped install.&nbsp; That is exactly how the Russians view our meddling in Ukraine.</p> <p>Earlier this year, <a href="" target="_blank" title="I wrote an article">I wrote an article</a> in which I discussed an opinion poll that showed that 81 percent of all Russians now view the United States negatively, and only 13 percent of Russians have a positive view of this nation.&nbsp; Not even during the height of the Cold War were the numbers that bad.</p> <p><strong>The stage is being set for World War III, but most Americans are completely and totally oblivious to all of this because they are so wrapped up in their own little worlds.</strong></p> <p>Most Americans still seem to assume that the Russians and the Chinese are our &ldquo;friends&rdquo; and that any type of conflict between major global powers is impossible.</p> <p><em><strong>Well, the truth is that conflict has already begun in Ukraine and Syria, and tensions are rising with each passing day.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>It won&rsquo;t happen next week or next month, but we are on the road to World War III.</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="424" height="361" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama China Global Economy Iraq Joe Biden Obama Administration Turkey Ukraine Wed, 14 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 514859 at ON To WaSHiNGToN... <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" title="ON TO WASHINGTON"><img src="" alt="ON TO WASHINGTON" width="666" height="1024" /></a></p> <script src="//"></script> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 23:47:17 +0000 williambanzai7 514865 at HSBC Is Now "Highly Risk Averse" Amid Growth Worries, Loss Of Central Bank Put <p>Earlier today, we brought you one graphic from HSBC which shows that based on at least one metric, the world is already in recession:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="281" /></a></p> <p>That graph is part of a larger thesis HSBC has developed about how a confluence of circumstances have conspired to make asset allocation a somewhat vexing task. The so called “tricky trinity” is comprised of the following three factors:</p> <ul> <li><strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Global growth is decelerating</span></strong></li> <li><strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The absence of a policy put</span></strong></li> <li><strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Risk premia offers a limited buffer&nbsp;</span></strong></li> </ul> <p>These are all ideas that we have of course discussed at great length.&nbsp;</p> <p>As for decelerating global growth, here’s what we said earlier: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>...the entire world seems to be decelerating in tandem with China’s hard landing (which most recently manifested itself in another negative imports print).&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>For evidence of this, one might look to the WTO, whose chief economist Robert Koopman <a href="">recently opined</a> that “it’s almost like the timing belt on the global growth engine is a bit off or the cylinders are not firing.” And then there’s the OECD, which <a href="">recently slashed</a> its global growth forecasts. The ADB joined the party as well, citing China, soft commodity prices, and a strong dollar on the way to cutting its regional outlook. Even Citi has <a href="">jumped on the bandwagon</a> with Willem Buiter calling for better than even odds of a worldwide downturn.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">And here is HSBC:&nbsp;</span><span style="white-space: pre; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;"> </span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>At this point we find few investors that believe growth is likely to accelerate. Rather, consensus growth expectations have moderated significantly in recent months. Our leading indicators found a peak in June and have since declined gradually. <strong>As we pointed out in our most recent publication, the downturn has been fairly broad-based with peaking or past peak cyclical data in all regions and most types of data. Only consumer data continues to improve. However, given the broad-based decline in other data we doubt that consumers are going to be able to withstand this cyclical story.</strong></em></p> <p><em><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></em></p> <p><em>The global PMI story is similar and we can now see that the manufacturing sector numbers have fallen to a 26-month low, which has resulted in a deterioration of the service sector as well. That said, global PMI was still at an expansionary 52.8 in September. Growth on this metric is low but still positive. In effect, September data verifies the slowdown that our leading indicators started to highlight in July. While the current decline in manufacturing data is clearly in the minds of many investors, the slowdown in the service sector PMI is a cause for concern. <strong>That said, if our leading indicators are correct, we are unlikely to see a stabilisation of global growth numbers over the coming 3-6 months. This presents global asset markets with a significant growth problem at the time of fairly limited risk premia in US equity markets, for example.&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><img src="" width="600" height="222" /><br /></em></p> </blockquote> <p>On the absence of a policy put, the message is simple: central banks have lost credibility, but the market is still largely dependent on QE. The BoJ and the ECB will eventually have trouble finding enough supply to purchase, which means that they will have literally monetized everything that isn’t tied down and <strong>yet still, both the eurozone and Japan are mired in deflation</strong>. We’ve seen the same dynamic unfold in Sweden where, for the first time, QE actually broke and just three months later, the Riksbank is being forced to look at purchasing muni bonds just to avoid the possibility that the scarcity of collateral created by central bank purchases doesn’t end up causing things (yields, the SEK) to move in the “wrong” direction (i.e. higher). And of course there’s the Fed, which is stuck in the impossible position of accidentally accelerating EM capital outflows whether it hikes or whether it holds. In a market that’s still largely hooked on stimulus, it is not good when central planners run out of options, creditbility, <em>and</em> lose the narrative all at the same time. And that is exactly what's happening now.&nbsp;</p> <p>Back we go to HSBC:<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><span style="white-space: pre; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;"> </span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em><strong>Clearly, in this slow growth outlook it is easy to rely on central banks to provide an economic put. However, as our eurozone economics and fixed income strategy team highlighted in The ECB &amp; QE: Constraints will test credibility from 22 September 2015, there are constraints on what the ECB can do.</strong> The chief limitations are negative yields and the relative lack of Bunds in a capital key driven QE program. Most notably, it is worth highlighting that such constraints limit the ability of the ECB to defend a weak EUR or to reignite growth and inflation expectations.</em></p> <p><em><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></em></p> <p><em>The ECB, however, isn’t the only central bank that faces constraints to its unconventional monetary policy program. Investors continually question the limits of the BoJ’s JPY80trn asset purchase program whilst giving the benefit of the doubt. At present the BoJ owns 30% of JGBs outstanding but at the current run rate that would reach 50% by December 2018. <strong>How long can the BoJ keep buying 100% of the government’s new deficit issuance? </strong>The BoJ will have to do this to meet its asset purchase target in 2015. At the same time, it is not clear who will sell to the BoJ going forward as the GPIF is close to being done with its rebalancing, whilst life insurers and megabanks are limited in their ability to reduce JGB dependence due to ALM and regulatory considerations.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></em></p> <p><em><strong>As we look at the success of QE it appears that the marginal benefit of further monetary policy is constrained. </strong>As this prospect starts to affect consumers and corporates alike, their belief in economic fortunes starts to become more volatile. This behavioural effect on global growth is not fully priced into financial markets, in our view. If anything, the distribution of future economic outcomes is becoming more extreme.&nbsp;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, on risk premia<span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>Monetary policy in the post crisis period has been like one giant blanket that has kept investors sheltered from the stiff breeze of structural stagnation. This blanket has also encouraged investors to move further and further into riskier assets. <strong>In effect, risk premia has slowly been pushed down. The eurozone crisis and now the EM crisis highlight that depressed risk premia are unlikely to unravel in a slow and gradual manner. Rather, once risk premia reach unsustainable levels, then only one proverbial straw will break the camel’s back. At the moment, EM assets are in the maelstrom of this unravelling.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>There, ladies and gentlemen, is the "tricky trinity" and in a nutshell, the takeaway is fairly simple, so we'll just leave you with the bank's conclusion:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>Going into year-end and looking at the financial landscape for 2016, <strong>we cannot help but remain highly risk averse.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>So sell it all we suppose. Or don't.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="331" height="225" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Central Banks China Equity Markets Eurozone fixed Japan Monetary Policy Muni Bonds Recession Willem Buiter Tue, 13 Oct 2015 23:30:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 514864 at How To Create A Gun-Free America In 5 'Easy' Steps <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Austin Bragg via,</em></a></p> <p><em><u><strong>Want to create a gun-free America in 5 easy steps?</strong></u></em></p> <p>Here&#39;s all there is to it:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em><strong>Step 1: Elect.</strong>&nbsp;</em></strong>For a gun-free America, the first thing you&#39;ll need is two-thirds of Congress. So elect a minimum of 67 Senators and 290 Representatives who are on your side.</p> <p><strong><em><strong>Step 2: Propo</strong></em></strong><em><strong>se.</strong>&nbsp;</em>Then, have them vote to propose an amendment to the Constitution which repeals Second Amendment gun rights for all Americans.</p> <p><em><strong>Step 3: Ratify.</strong>&nbsp;</em>Then convince the legislators of 38 states to ratify that change.</p> <p>At this point, the Second Amendment is history, but you&#39;ve done nothing to decrease gun violence. All you&#39;ve done is remove the barrier for Congress to act.</p> <p><em><strong>Step 4: Legislate.</strong>&nbsp;</em>You need to enact &quot;common sense&quot; reform.</p> <p>You can try to do what Australia did and...ban all guns? That&#39;s not at all <a href="">what they did</a>, but whatever, fuck it. Go big or go home, right?</p> <p>It will have to be passed by Congress and signed by the president.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Great! The law is passed and guns are now illegal.&nbsp; The only thing left to do is...</p> <p><strong><em><strong>Step 5: Enforce.</strong>&nbsp;</em></strong>Guns won&#39;t just disappear because you passed a law. You need to confiscate some&nbsp;<a href="">350 million guns</a> scattered among 330 Million Americans.</p> <p>Sure, you can try a buy-back program like Australia, but like Australia that will still leave behind anywhere from <a href="">60 percent to 80 percent</a> of privately owned firearms.</p> <p>The rest you have to take.</p> <p>You&#39;ll need the police, the FBI, the ATF or the National Guard&mdash;all known for their nuanced approach to potentially dangerous situations&mdash;to go door-to-door, through <a href="">3.8 million square miles</a> of this country and take guns, <em>by force</em>, from thousands, if not, millions of well-armed individuals. Many of whom would rather start a civil war than acquiesce.</p> <p><strong>So inevitably gun violence, which is currently at <a href="">a historic low</a>, will skyrocket.</strong></p> <p><strong>But <em>that</em> is how you get a gun-free America in five easy steps.</strong></p> <p><em>(For more in that vein, <a href="">read this piece</a> by Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review.)</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1204" height="640" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Australia FBI Tue, 13 Oct 2015 23:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 514855 at