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Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters





Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States' extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide."

 
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Shanghai Exchange Chairman Admits China Gold Demand Topped 2000 Tonnes In 2013





This is the final blow for those who still couldn't comprehend, after all evidence presented, the amount of Chinese non-government gold demand in 2013. At the LBMA forum in Singapore, one of the keynote speakers was chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) Xu Luode. In his speech he made a few very candid statements about Chinese consumer gold demand, that according to Xu reached 2,000 tonnes in 2013.

 
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BoJ Invisible Hand (Briefly) Rescues Nikkei From Sub-15,000 Plunge (Again)





UPDATE: That didn't last long... NKY back under 15k as JPY collapses

Heavy volume selling in Nikkei futures at the open sent the index down over 200 points and broke the oh-so-crucial 15,000 line. It appears - just as in August that 15,000 is the BoJ's line in the sand as a miracle buyer turned up and lifted the index all the way back to 15,000 (whiule JPY remained lower and US futures saw no bounce). Of course, for those who prefer to ignore the fact that the BoJ is almost the biggest holder of Japanese stocks in the world and bought more stock ETFs than ever before in August, this is a clear signal of BTFD'ers back to save the world. For the rest of the sane rational fact-checking market participants, that 'know' the BoJ's trigger to buy is a weak morning session, we wonder how much of this futures ramp is front-running... that will fade as JPY is not supportive at all.

 
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Futures Slide, Take Out August Lows, Russell 2000 Almost 1000





Whether it is the lack of any favorable news out of China (in fact, quite the contrary), which the BTFDers on Friday were praying for, or the worsening of the global Ebola pandemic with not only a second confirmed case hitting Texas but panicky reports of Ebola infections from Boston all the way to Los Angeles, or simply the lack of any words of encouragement from the Fed, the Friday rout has continued into the early Sunday night trading, and as of moments ago, the December E-mini future dropped to 1880.5 taking out the August lows, and sliding to levels last seen in May.

 
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America's Anti-ISIS Strategy Is In Tatters





A week ago we noted how critical the seige in Kobani was (and why it suggested President Obama's strategy was a fiasco given a lack of commitment from supposed allies such as Turkey). 7 days later.. and America's plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group's fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad. While John Kerry has today stated, "Kobani does not define strategy against Islamic State," the 'loss' is symbolic as The Independent's Patrick Cockburn notes, in both Syria and Iraq, ISIS is expanding its control rather than contracting.

 
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The Fight Against Ebola: "Boots On The Ground" In West Africa





The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa (which now accounts for 4,000 deaths worldwide) began in Guinea in December 2013. From there, it quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Cases also appeared in Senegal and Nigeria, and a separate outbreak appeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Today, Liberia lies is at the center of the epidemic . As President Barack Obama sends American military personnel to West Africa to help combat the epidemic, VICE News traveled to the Liberian capital of Monrovia to spend time with those on the front lines of the outbreak... the scenes are disturbing.

 
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Saudi Arabia's "Oil-Weapon" Hits Europe





We first exposed the "secret" US-Saudi deal in September which led to the inevitable bombing of Syria. We then progressed to explain the quid pro quo of the deal in lower oil prices (benefiting US consumers into an election and crushing Russian revenues). In today's Wall Street Journal we get the final piece of the puzzle as it is clear that what Saudi Arabia loses in 'price' it will make up in 'volume' as The Kingdon is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude. Simply put, "they are threatening [European] buyers" to discontinue sales if they don't agree with the full fixed deliveries. The 'oil weapon' grows stronger...

 
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Hussman Warns Beware ZIRP "Hot Potatoes": Examine All Risk Exposures





"Present conditions create an urgency to examine all risk exposures. Once overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes are joined by deterioration in market internals and trend-uniformity, one finds a narrow set comprising less than 5% of history that contains little but abrupt air-pockets, free-falls, and crashes."

 
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Why Is Syria The Most Important Country In The World Right Now?





As President Obama's attention has now drifted from the 'humanitarian' mission in Iraq (which initially saw major initial inflows of Jihadists from around the world) to his real goal, we thought the following, somewhat disturbing, map of foreign fighter inflows to Syria would serve to provide context for just what local 'moderate' terrorists will be fighting (for the US) against. Welcome to The New Normal Crusades...

 
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China Central Bank Crushes Hopes For A "Large-Scale Fiscal Or Monetary Stimulus"





Late into Friday's major market selloff, a completely unfounded rumor emerged out of nowhere, seeking to rekindle the BTFD spirits, that with central bank intervention from both the BOJ and ECB already priced in, and with the Fed still in taper mode (if not for much longer should the S&P dump accelerate), that the last central-planner wildcard, China, would join the fray and a major monetary gusher would come out of Beijing over the weekend to halt the slide. Alas, we have bad news for said BTFDers: just hours before futures are set to open on Sunday afternoon, the chief economist at China’s central bank said Saturday that he doesn’t see any reason for large-scale fiscal or monetary stimulus “in the foreseeable future” despite slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy and disagreements about the depth and timing of economic overhauls.... Part of China’s “new normal,” he said, is that “big stimulus” won’t be called for every time growth decelerates. “And secondly, the new norm will involve a lot of rebalancing in terms of changing the economic structure.”

 
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Ripple Effects Begin: Dubai Crashes Over 6.5%, Most In 14 Months





It appears the weakness in US equity markets (the last of the hot money flow darlings to be hit) is now rippling back down the bubble-complex of world equity markets. Dubai, infamous for its huge surge in the last 2 years and 36x over-subscribed IPO of a company with no actual operations - which marked the top before a 30% collapse - was open for business today and crashed 6.5%. This the Dubai Financial Markets General Index biggest daily drop in 14 months... the ripple effect is beginning.

 
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Why Everyone Should Be Watching PIMCO (In 2 Worrying Charts)





By now it is clear to everyone that the force-feeding of free-money into financial markets by The Fed et al. has led to a scale of financial repression never before witnessed as bond yields for even the riskiest of risky names collapse to record lows and cheap-financed share buybacks raise leverage to record highs and support an ever more fragile equity wealth creation machine. As Blackrock (and many others) have recently proclaimed, the corporate bond market is "broken" and the risk posed by investors trying to dump bonds is"percolating right under" the noses of regulators; so it is with grave concern we suggest the following two charts - showing the massive out-sized holdings of PIMCO's funds in the high-yield and emerging market debt markets leave a bond marketplace in fear that forced sales via redemptions are the straw that breaks the 'central bank omnipotence' narrative's back...

 
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Guest Post: Qatar's Jihad





Qatar may be tiny, but it is having a major impact across the Arab world. By propping up violent jihadists in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, while supporting the United States in its fight against them, this gas-rich speck of a country – the world’s wealthiest in per capita terms – has transformed itself from a regional gadfly into an international rogue elephant. Using its vast resources, and driven by unbridled ambition, Qatar has emerged as a hub for radical Islamist movements. In doing so, Qatar is destabilizing several countries and threatening the security of secular democracies far beyond the region. For the sake of regional and international security, this elephant must be tamed.

 
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King Dollar - Be Careful What You Wish For





It's so good to be the cleanest dirty shirt, right? Wrong...

 
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Draghi The Dictator: "Working With The Germans Is Impossible"





The war of words between Europe's unelected monetary-policy dictator Mario Draghi and Germany's "but it's us that pays for all this" Bundesbank has been gaining momentum since Jens Weidmann penned his Op-Ed slamming Draghi's OMT 'whatever it takes' as "too close to state financing" in 2012. A week ago, Weidmann stepped up the rhetoric by claiming ECB policy is "hostage to politics" and has lost its indepdendence - warning Draghi's dictatorial policies were leading Europe down a "dangerous path." But now, as pressure grows from the Spanish (record unemployment, record bad debt, record low yields), Italian (record unemployment, record debt-to-GDP, record low yields) and French (record unemployment, treaty-busting-deficits, record low yields) for Draghi to monetize more assets, he has struck back in Focus magazine, blasting Weidmann is "impossible" to work with because the Germans "say no to everything." Dis-union...

 
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