Demolishing the American War Brief Piece by Piece
Much data and events next week. Politics risks trumping economics.
The Obama Administration believes military action will send a powerful message. In that, they are correct. Where they are wrong is in what message it will send and in what way that message will elicit a response. In much of the world where people share the religion common to much of Syria, the message will be: America attacks yet another Moslem nation. In the rest of the world, where governments have already declined participation in any message-sending action (except for the one exhibiting the quintessential Napoleon Complex), the message will be: there they go again, doing something they would never want done to them, and demonstrating that they alone think they can decide what deaths constitute a moral obscenity and what constitute mere unfortunate collateral damage.
The most likely path of collapse to take place within the U.S. includes economic destabilization caused by a loss of the dollar's world reserve status and petro-status. This fiscal crisis event will likely not occur in the midst of a political vacuum. The central banks and international financiers that created our ongoing and developing disaster are not going to allow the destruction of the American economy, the dollar, or global markets without a cover event designed to hide their culpability. They need something big. Something so big that the average citizen is overwhelmed with fear and confusion. A smoke and mirrors magic trick so raw and soul shattering it leaves the very population of the Earth mesmerized and helpless to understand the root of the nightmare before them. The elites need a fabricated Apocalypse. Enter Syria...
In early April, the status quo was exuberant when none other than Goldman Sachs issued a "sell" on the barbarous relic that has become so indicative of the exuberance of central planning. At the time, we were skeptical (to say the least) and, just for extra Muppetting, the bank also suggested its clients buy Treasuries. Well, now that the full details of holdings changes have been released for Q2, it is perhaps clearer than ever before that as the bank was telling its clients to "sell, sell, sell" it was itself "buy, buy, buy"-ing the Gold ETF (GLD) with both arms and feet. In Q2, Goldman Sachs added a stunning (and record) 3.7 million 'shares' of GLD. As Paulson dumped his GLD, Goldman lapped it up to become the ETF's 7th largest holder.
"In the spring, the risks to growth seemed to be fading. The economy was weathering the fiscal shock. Politicians decided to delay battles over the budget and the debt ceiling, passing a continuing resolution to fund the budget through September and postponing the debt ceiling drop-dead date to some time in the fall. Meanwhile, financial markets in Europe had settled down, the European economy showed signs of improvement, and commodity prices were stable. In their June directive the FOMC made it official: “The Committee sees the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished since the fall.” Unfortunately, we seem to be entering another of those periods of elevated risk. Three concerns are emerging."
- Bank of America
The economic theory behind why minimum wage hikes are not good for prosperity is so simple and has been repeated so many times, it’s almost not worth addressing anymore. Yet every year, some ill-informed politician comes out loudly proclaiming that higher wages mandated by the government will help the poor and reduce income inequality, so apparently we have to keep going down this road until it sinks in.
The rise of Tomahawk force began in 1983 during the Reagan buildup, but the demise of the Evil Empire did not slow down its development one bit. By the end of the century the United States had about 150 surface ships and attack submarines that could launch these deadly cruise missiles and an inventory of nearly 5,000 missiles. Tomahawks have a range of seven hundred miles. This means that from their offshore platforms they can reach three-fourths of the world’s population. And during the last two decades they have been used in just this “stand-off” manner against targets in Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, and others—teaching presidents that they could meddle freely without getting bloodied.
The market is rallying today on August performance gaming. The talking heads will claim this move has something to do with fundamentals, but the reality is that the move up yesterday and today consists of fund managers doing whatever they can to end this month with their holdings as high as possible. Nothing else.
Financial Times: "World Is Doomed To An Endless Cycle Of Bubble, Financial Crisis And Currency Collapse"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/28/2013 10:37 -0400
It's funny: nearly five years ago, when we first started, and said that the world is doomed to an endless cycle of bubble, financial crisis and currency collapse as long as the Fed is around, most people laughed: after all they had very serious reputations aligned with a broken and terminally disintegrating economic lie. With time some came to agree with our viewpoint, but most of the very serious people continued to laugh. Fast forward to last night when we read, in that very bastion of very serious opinions, the Financial Times, the following sentence: "The world is doomed to an endless cycle of bubble, financial crisis and currency collapse." By the way, the last phrase can be written in a simpler way: hyperinflation. But that's not all: when the FT sounds like the ZH, perhaps it is time to turn off the lights. To wit: "A stable international financial system has eluded the world since the end of the gold standard." Q.E.D.
Still confused what that fateful FOMC day just three weeks away from today may bring, in the aftermath of a Jackson Hole symposium which was mostly focused on the adverse side effects of Quantiative Easing and the proper sequencing of unwinding the Fed's nearly $4 trillion balance sheet? Here is the explanation straight from the firm whose chief economist has dinners with none other than the Fed shadow Chairman, Bull Dudley, on a frequent basis. To wit: "First, we expect Fed officials to adjust the “mix of instruments” somewhat away from QE towards forward guidance at the September meeting, which appears to be an appropriate strategy in light of these results. Second, we expect that the FOMC will focus most if not all of the tapering on Treasury purchases rather than (current coupon) MBS purchases, consistent with the evidence that the latter are more effective in lowering mortgage rates and easing financial conditions." So: $10-15 billion reduction in TSY monetization announced in September, enacted in October, and a seismic shift in FOMC communication away from actual intervention to promises of such, aka forward guidance. Judging by the recent track record of "forward guidance" so far, the global market volatility exhibited so far may well be just a walk in the park compared to what is coming.
Murder (acquitted), armed robbery (convicted), kidnapping (convicted), and now foreclosure... It really hasn't been a good decade (or two) for O.J. Simpson. As NYPost reports, after 3 years of non-payment, none other than JPMorgan will foreclose on Simpson's 4,233 square feet, four-bedroom home in Florida. Still, he won't be entirely homeless, he has a 'big house' to share with a few 'friends' for the next 33 years...
With the Case-Shiller 20-City index up double-digits for the 4th straight month, Bob Shiller has some choice words for the CNBC interviewers about the 'housing recovery'. "Housing is a market with momentum," he notes, "and right now, the momentum is up;" but he adds that while house prices are 'recovering', he remains much less sanguine about this recent move. But it is once he has explained the potential concerns that may weigh on the housing market that Shiller comes into his own as he explains "none of this is real, the housing market has gotten very speculative."
Must see clip as Shiller scoffs at the current sentiment, the resurgence of 'flipping', and that the housing market is "driven by irrational exuberance."
These issues did not simply go away based on the fact that people were on vacation. So expect volatility to increase going forward.
German Government CONFIRMS: Key Entities Not To Use Windows 8 with TPM 2.0, Fearing Control by ‘Third Parties’ (Such As NSA)Submitted by testosteronepit on 08/26/2013 13:13 -0400
German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology: "Loss of Control Over the Operating System and the Hardware"