The racially charged protests and demonstrations that have swept the country as a result of perceived police misconduct involving African American “suspects” has created what St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson calls “The Ferguson Effect”, whereby law enforcement are now more reluctant to use force to counter illegal activity for fear of prosecution or, more poignantly, for fear of finding themselves cast as the villain that catalyzes widespread civil unrest.
So let's say that somehow Greece kicks every can left until the end of 2015. Surely Greece will be out of the woods then, right. Wrong. Because for Europe's most devastated country, it is only then that the debt nightmare officially begins.
Now what? The Fed says they are going to raise rates. The QE spigot has been turned off. The hedge funds are selling their buy and rent hovel investments, cash buyers are dwindling, the flippers who appeared in 2005 are back, Boomers are looking to sell and downsize, young people are already in debt up to their eyeballs thanks to the government doling out student loans like candy, the number of full-time good paying jobs continue to dwindle, and the rigged 37% price increase has priced millions of people out of the market.
"What's mine is yours, for a fee," is the mantra of the new normal "sharing economy," as various segments of our heretofore under-utilized assets are variously 'rented' out for the enjoyment of others. However, as a report by the Rhode Island Department of Health suggests, perhaps we are sharing just a little too much. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the US, with health officials pointing the finger at casual sex arranged through social media as "the perfect storm." With gonorrhea up 30%, HIV infections up by 33%, and syphilis soaring a shocking 79% in the last year alone, perhaps they have a point.
The “inconsequential” war certainly and drastically changed America, of that there is no doubt. Whether for the good, or bad, you’ll have to decide for yourself. On the positive side, the war did cement American independence. It proved that to defeat America on its home ground, a very, very large army, and a great commitment to prolonged and bloody war, was going to be needed. On the negative side; the war left the country with constitutional revisionism, centralized power, protectionism, mercantilism, expansionism, blind patriotism, and militarism. That decentralist small-government thingy conceived by the Founding Fathers didn’t last very long, did it? One must wonder “War, what is it good for? Was it all worth it?”
The most important takeaway from the tragic events in France is that we need to stay as vigilant as ever in defending our freedoms. As the aftermath of the Hebdo attack has shown, governments will misuse any opportunity they see to further restrict our freedom and arrogate more power to themselves. This is especially easy when people are faced with an understandably emotionally tense situation like 9/11 or other terrorist attacks. However, thanks to the Internet we are less prone to accept State propaganda and are able to get a more objective view of what is really happening in the world around us.
There appears to be little or nothing in the monetarists' handbook to enable them to assess the risk of a loss of confidence in the purchasing power of a paper currency. Furthermore, since today's macroeconomists have chosen to deny Say's Law, otherwise known as the laws of the markets, they have little hope of grasping the more subtle aspects of the role of money in price formation. It would appear that this potentially important issue is being ignored at a time when the Eurozone faces growing systemic risks that could ultimately challenge the euro's validity as money.
There have been 21 quarters since 1960 in which corporate profits were down notably from recent highs at the same time as stocks were making new highs. Without going into great depth of analysis, one can tell by the inauspicious dates that these circumstances have not worked out well in the past... the average drawdown over the 2 years following these quarters was -18.6%.
You can’t build a solid economy on the jelly of unaffordable housing, unpayable debts, and unsustainable asset prices. But that’s what we’ve got. The only way to get down to something more reliable... more real... and healthier... is to wash away the financial glop and goo that has accumulated during the last 30 years.
Game theorists know that a Plan A is never enough. One must also develop and put forward a credible Plan B – the implied threat that drives forward negotiations on Plan A. Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, knows this very well. Many people in Europe seem to believe that Varoufakis, an experienced game theorist but a political neophyte, does not know how to play the cards that Greece has been dealt. They should think again – before Greece walks away with the pot.
Successive rounds of government bond monetization have worked to destroy the Treasury, JGB, and EU core markets while the post-crisis regulatory regime has seen dealers back away from providing liquity in the secondary market for corporate credit just as the very same monetary policy that broke government bond markets has led to an explosion of new issuance from corporate borrowers, creating the potential for a self-feeding catastrophe in the event of selloff in corporate bonds.
The primary job of modern American regulators is to protect entrenched status quo interests. Protecting the public doesn’t even factor into the equation.
Just days after David Cameron's "I promise a referendum" victory in the British elections, which JPMorgan warns now looks likely to happen as early as 2016, France's far-right National Front party has called for an in/out referendum on the EU at the same time as the UK holds its vote. As EUObserver reports, Florian Philippot, an MEP and the party’s deputy head wrote to French President Francois Hollande this week, "the time has come to ask everybody in Europe Yes or No - if they want sovereignty to decide on their own future."