The last time the major political parties disintegrated, back in the 1850s, the nation had to go through a bloody convulsion to reconstitute itself. The festering issue of slavery so dominated politics that nothing else is remembered about the dynamics of the period. Today, the festering issue is corruption and racketeering, but none of the candidates uses those precise terms to describe what has happened to us. Nobody knows where the shit show of 2016 is leading. The uncertainty around it is helping to sink what remains of the old economy, and one can easily discern a very dangerous set of feedbacks creeping into place.
"The events of 1929 taught us that the absence of any rise in prices did not prove that no crisis was pending. 1937 has taught us that an abundant supply of gold and a cheap money policy do not prevent prices from falling."
Anyone who thinks the adversarial relationship between Washington and Tehran has turned into “détente” due to the nuclear deal is living in Never-Never Land. Your bullshit-ometer should be making an awful racket in response to the shifting explanations given for the twenty-four-hour Iranian hostage scare involving two US Navy boats intercepted in the Gulf. The signing of the Iran deal means that we are in for a long series of provocations in the Gulf, and this is only the beginning. In order to keep all this in perspective, just remember that the long dance between Washington and Tehran involves at least four partners, including their hard-liners and ours.
“As chair of the G7, I need to seek solutions regarding the stability of the region as well as the whole world. I believe appropriate dialogue with Russia, appropriate dialogue with president Putin is very important.”
Three pressing questions about Bitcoin and blockchain answered
The economy was supposed to fire on all cylinders in 2015. Sufficient time had passed for the often-mentioned lags in monetary and fiscal policy to finally work their way through the system according to many pundits inside and outside the Fed. Surely the economy would be kick-started by: three rounds of QE and forward guidance; a record Fed balance sheet; and an unprecedented increase in federal debt to $18.63 trillion in 2015, a jump of 86%. Further, stock prices had gained sufficiently over the past several years, thus the so-called wealth effect would boost consumer spending. But the economic facts of 2015 displayed no impact from these massive government experiments.
A financial oligarchy has seized control of the country, and, since it can't control its own appetites, is running it into the ground. Thus, it would make sense for it to have some sort of back-up plan for when the whole financial house of cards falls apart. Ideally, this plan would effectively put down any chance of revolt of the downtrodden masses, and allow the oligarchy to maintain security and hold onto its wealth. Peacetime is fine for as long as it can placate the populace with bread and circuses, but when a financial calamity causes the economy to crater and bread and circuses turn scarce, a handy fallback is war.
"Your fund made 5.6% net last month, to finish the year up 20.45% net. Gains came from the short book.... Your fund remains long bonds, short equities."
On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear a petition from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) that sought to force the Department of Homeland Security to release details of a secret “killswitch” protocol to shut down cellphone and internet service during emergencies.
Europe has voluntarily begun the process of giving up its liberal and hard-fought-for freedoms. Free speech no longer exists, only -- straight out of totalitarian ideologies -- "responsible" free speech: "free" only if it does not "offend" anyone. The desire of many Europeans and other self-declared devotees of "human rights" to cover up, downplay or explain away what is happening in Europe, in fact represents the opposite of respect for others and equality before the law.
A combination of ECB minutes showing some members looking for more stimulus and Basel Committee publishing final risk rules which will mean stiffer capital demands from banks has sparked weakness in EUR (sending the USD higher) and sparking and instant slam-down in gold and silver.
The latest diplomatic spat to divide the EU worsened materially on Wedensday when Brussels opened an official inquiry into new media laws enacted in Poland. Although the laws have drawn criticism domestically as well as abroad, the Polish government views the probe as a violation of sovereignty by an increasingly intrusive Berlin.
While Chinese New Year seasonals are undoubtedly one factor in last night's "surprisingly good" Chinese trade data, the following chart shows the level of "bullshit factor" was extreme by anyone's measure. Three years ago we first brought China's 'fake' trade data and abundant discrepancies to the public's attention and despite an apparent crackdown by regulators, the gaping difference between imports from Hong Kong and exports to Hong Kong is downright embarrassing for China's SAFE as it is clear that capital outflows are being disguised as exports with "over-invoicing" back in play.
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.