None

The Stock Market - A Picture Of Excess

It is unknowable how much more pronounced these excesses can become, especially in light of extremely loose monetary policy around the world. Things could easily become quite dicey as soon as tomorrow, but it is just as easily possible that valuations will continue to expand for some time yet. However, these data do indicate one thing: risk has increased enormously, and it will keep increasing the longer the bubble persists. Frankly, the situation also scares us a bit, because we expect that governments and their agencies (such as central banks) will find it extremely difficult to deal with the next crisis. They have become quite overstretched as a result of the last one. After having gone “all in” last time around, what are they supposed to do for an encore? The only options that come to mind are repressive measures such as capital controls, confiscation of private wealth, and a host of other unpleasantries.

Military "Accidentally" Sends Live Anthrax To 9 States Via FedEx

The US military inadvertently shipped live anthrax samples to labs in nine states and one lab in South Korea. The army says it simply doesn't know what went wrong at the Dugway, Utah site from which the samples originated. Dozens of people are now being treated for possible exposure.

Guest Post: Cuba - Figuring Out Pieces Of The Puzzle

In spite of all of the 'apparently good' outcomes of Cuba’s experimentation with equal sharing of wealth; in recent years Cuba seems to be moving away from the planned economy model. Instead, it is moving to more of a “mixed economy,” with more entrepreneurship encouraged. While we don’t have explanations for all of the things that are going on, here are a few insights on what is happening...

"New Silk Road" Part 2: Cold War Or Competition?

In Part 1 of “The New Silk Road,” we examined the China’s plan for rebuilding the Silk Road, stretching from Europe to Asia. In Part 2, we look at currently proposed projects, and geopolitical rivalries that could stall and hamper progress. Until very recently, it was widely assumed that the US would lead its western allies in a campaign against the Russian/Chinese deal to develop the Silk Road, but events have been reversing with remarkable speed.

FIFA "Rampant" Corruption Exposed Following DOJ Indictment, 14 Arrested In Swiss Hotel - FBI/DoJ Press Conference Live Feed

That FIFA has been a hotbed of corruption, shady backroom dealings and outright crime for years, has been known to anyone who has a passing interest in football. Which is why we were surprised to learn this morning that none other than the US Attorney General, seemingly content with all the wristslaps handed out to criminal US foreign banks (and subsequent SEC waivers) gave FIFA the red card in a charge detailing "rampant" corruption in international soccer hours after 14 officials were arrested on accusations of a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through FIFA, whose office was searched in a series of dawn raids in Zurich.

"Graccident" Will Trigger The Demise Of The ECB And The World's Toxic Regime Of Keynesian Central Banking

The euro-19 area is now close to having a 100% debt to GDP ratio, and that’s flattered by German surpluses from an export boom that is rapidly cooling, and the fact the for a few quarters Mario’s printing press has conferred huge interest rate subsidies on their depleted fiscal accounts. The pending Graccident will puncture that illusion, tipping most of Europe into acute fiscal crisis and political upheaval of the type that has already roiled Greece and was starkly evident in Spain’s elections last weekend. The odds that the European superstate and the ECB’s Keynesian monetary regime will survive the resulting upheaval are, thankfully, somewhere between slim and none.

Russia Tells France It Gives Up On Mistral Ship Deal

With French ministers crowing about their better-than-expected GDP data (+0.7%) as some trend reversal that heralds a revolution, it appears Vladimir Putin is about to put a dent in their hopes and dreams. As Sputnik News reports, Moscow has finally given up on the $1.3 billion deal for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers and plans to build its own. Even worse for France, now Russia will discuss only the sum that Paris should pay Russia for the failed contract. However, as with everything in the world, there may be aulterior motive, as China comes sniffing as a white knight for the amphibious vessels (at a reduced price) and then sells to its 'ally' Russia (who has already pocketed the contract cancellation fees).

How The Saudis Wag The Washington Dog

In real democracies, governments would do what the citizens who put them in office want them to do. The United States and other Western democracies make a mockery of that ideal. But, even so, there are limits; governments cannot defy public opinion on matters of great moment indefinitely. Enabling the Saudi ruling class, and the rulers of the other Gulf states, to direct American foreign policy to the extent that they do, and to get away with whatever they please, is hardly the least of it; but neither is it the only cause for concern.

Mario Draghi's Slippery Downward Slope

There has to be a very clear line between central banks and governments. The latter should never be able to influence the former, because it would risk making economic policy serve only short term interests (until the next election). Likewise the former should stay out of the latter’s decisions, because that would tend to make political processes skewed disproportionally towards finance and the economy, at the potential cost of other interests in a society. This may sound idealistic and out of sync with the present day reality, but if it does, that does not bode well. It’s dangerous to play fast and loose with the founding principles of individual countries, and perhaps even more with those of unions of sovereign nations.

Ron Paul Rages: Janet Yellen is Right, She Can’t Predict The Future

Some say that eliminating the welfare-warfare state and the fiat currency system that props it up will cause the people pain. The truth is the only people who will feel any long-term pain from returning to limited, constitutional government are the special interests that profit from the current system. A return to a true free-market economy will greatly improve the lives of the vast majority of Americans.

The "New Era" Is An Old Story

It’s not monetary easing, but the attitude of investors toward risk that distinguishes an overvalued market that continues higher from an overvalued market that is vulnerable to vertical losses. That window of vulnerability has been open for several months now, and the immediacy of our downside concerns would ease (despite obscene valuations) only if market internals and credit spreads were to shift back toward evidence of investor risk-seeking. Eventually, the final refuge of speculation is to abandon historically reliable measures wholesale, resting faith instead on the advent of some new era in which the old rules simply don’t apply.