Having previously provided a quick-and-dirty test to check whether you are a terrorist, we thought the following simple table would help readers test themselves (or their friends) for 'authoritarianism'.
A person might think that oil prices would be fairly stable. Prices would set themselves at a level that would be high enough for the majority of producers, so that in total producers would provide enough–but not too much–oil for the world economy. The prices would be fairly affordable for consumers. And economies around the world would grow robustly with these oil supplies, plus other energy supplies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work that way recently. Here are at least a few of the issues involved.
Darth Alekseyevich Vader, a former electrician and official candidate in Ukraine's parliamentary elections, has promised to turn Ukraine into a "galactic empire." However, it appears the dream of galactic uberlordship is ending as a Kiev polling station has denied his ability to cote after he refused to remove his mask. As The Telegraph reports, he left the polling station unable to vote but promising that it did not mean his "empire will not win."
Our entire economic paradigm is built upon desperate measures. Zero interest rates, $3 trillion of QE, systematic accounting fraud, fudged economic data, and doling out subprime loans to auto renters and University of Phoenix wannabes have failed to revive our moribund economy. Delusions don’t die easily. But they do die. We are reaching the limit of this delusionary dream built upon debt, denial, and deception. Make sure you wolf down that Thanksgiving feast before 5:00 pm. There are HDTV’s to fight for at 6:00 pm.
As was leaked on Friday, when the market surged on news that some 25 banks would fail the ECB's third stress test (because in the New Normal more bank failures means more bailouts, means the richer get richest, means more wealth inequality), so moments ago the ECB reported that, indeed, some 25 banks failed the European Central Bank's third attempt at collective confidence building and redrawing of a reality in which there is about €1 trillion in European NPLs, also known as the stress test.
While the analogy of Vladimir Putin playing geopolitical chess (while the rest of the world plays checkers) has been a popular one, the French ambassador Gerard Araud has a different - somewhat stunningly honest - persepctive: Putin "is more a poker player really, putting all the money on the table; saying, 'Do the same' and of course we blink. We don't do the same." As Bloomberg reports, Araud goes on to express entirely un-Juncker-like, how Putin has outmaneuvered his opponents and humiliated Ukraine. Simply put, he adds, the Russian president "has won because we were not ready to die for Ukraine, while apparently he was," leaving the ominous question, "when is Putin going to stop? Whatever we decide is a disaster for us."
Among the 34 OECD countries, the US performed below average in mathematics and is ranked 27th, according to The Program For International Student Assessment (PISA). While the U.S. spends more per student than most countries, this does not translate into better performance (e.g. the Slovak Republic, which spends around $53k per student, performs at the same level as the US, which spends over $115k per student). Perhaps this is why...
Following the sad death of its first Ebola case, Mali's President has said he will not close his nation's border with Guinea, because "the incident showed it was impossible to completely seal his country." Mali's neighbors, on the other hand, are shutting borders, as Mauritania tries not to become Africa's 7th Ebola-infected country. This brings, according to The WHO, the number of cases of Ebola to 10,141 with 4,922 dead (so far). Americans should not worry though, for the 2nd week in a row, President Obama devoted his address to the subject of Ebola, explaining "basic facts" of how difficult it is to catch (despite the need to enforce mandatory quarantine for healthcare workers) and in 'USA USA USA'-esque language, explains how "Americans can beat" the deadly virus.
Having previously shown just who did (and did not) benefit from the resurgence of household net worth, we thought it time to provide the context for why The Fed's stunningly obvious policy of juicing asset inflation in the hopes of engorging animal spirits among the general population and a renaissance in public spending is a total and utter wealth-inequality-driving farce. As Evergreen Gavekal indicates so obviously, the consumer isn't fooled by Fed policy; despite a major uptick in household net worth, spending remains anemic.
New York City health officials have released Morgan Dixon, the 30-year-old fiancée of recently diagnosed Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer, to her West 147th Street Manhattan apartment where, as WSJ reports, she will remain under mandatory quarantine. This 'good' news comes as New York's Department of Health issues a statement on the deteriorating condition of Dr. Spencer who "is entering the next phase of the illness, which is anticipated gastrointestinal symptoms." This was expected apparently, as NYC's health commissioner Mary Basset noted, "we've seen with this disease that it continues to get worse before it gets better." A large CDC team is actively involved.
Europe is fast turning into a freak comedy show. Very fast. Or maybe we should say it’s always been one, and it’s just that the Larry, Curly and Moe moves are only now coming out in droves. Or maybe, what do I know, we’re just starting to understand how much talent for farce and slapstick the boys from Brussels have always had. Someone finish off that inane union before it starts to do real serious harm. Because it will.
The Queen unleashed her first tweet on Friday from the official account of the British Monarchy, explaining her pleasure at opening a new exhibit at The Science Museum. The news media were exultant and instantly went to Social Media for their reaction... Unfortunately for The BBC, they live broadcast a less-than-BBC-esque remark from one @WolfgangDikface...
We are now less than a year away from the day when Robert Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox inspired an entire generation to expect nothing less from 2015 than flying cars. Sadly, as a result of the past 6 years of human "progress" being redirected to finding creative ways of preserving crony capitalism, the failed way of Keynesian life and masking insolvent banks as lipsticked pigs, the only automotive question we have of 2015 is whether there are any GM cars that haven't been recalled; cars which one hopes will never be airborne. And yet, there is one aspect of 2015 that the Back to the Future trilogy may have gotten correct: that "other" thing which every 80's kid wants to have more than anything: hoverboards.