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Ron Paul Rages "Government Can't Help... It Can Only Hurt"

Three recent stories regarding three government agencies - the IRS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) - show why we should oppose big government for practical, as well as philosophical, reasons.

Oil Spikes Near $50 On Libya Turmoil Despite Highest OPEC Production Since 2008

In its ubiquitous manner, crude futures decided to try and run the stops at the US equity open but were unable to get to $50 (49.984 in July WTI) before fading back a little. Ths driver - according to the narrative-du-jour - is turmoil in Libya and ongoing Nigeria and France disruptions, which are both offsetting a surge in OPEC production to its highest level since 2008 in the minds of the machines. "The market is pretty much on hold until we get all this information," says Deutsche Bank's Jens Pedersen of the data dump and OPEC meetings this week. "We need to get that out of the way to see if there is a reason for oil to go higher."

FEMA Preparing For Magnitude 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake, Tsunami

Starting on June 7th, FEMA will be conducting a large scale drill that has been named “Cascadia Rising” that will simulate the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet tall. We have never seen such a disaster before in all of U.S. history. Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

Global Stocks Unchanged; US Futures Rise Above 2,100 As Traders Celebrate Memorial Day

With the US closed for Memorial Day and UK markets also offline, overnight volumes have been weaker than normal on little newsflow. The main story remains the stronger USD which not only led to the lowest Yuan fixing since February 2011 but pushed the USDJPY as high as 111.50 overnight before paring gains. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is unchanged on poor volume, after earlier rising above the 200 DMA for the first time in 2016. US equity futures were 0.2%, or 4 points higher, currently resting just above 2,101 with the last trading day of May tomorrow expected to push the cash market over 2,100 as well.

Trump's Decision To Debate Sanders In California Is His Most Genius Move Yet

If the Trump/Sanders debate proceeds as planned in California, you’re about to witness one of the most important moments of a 2016 general election that hasn’t even begun yet. To say such a debate would be an unmitigated disaster for Hillary Clinton would be the understatement of the century. Let’s explore why.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Slams Democracy, Says The "Tyranny Of The Majority Is An Unhealthy Development"

In his latest letter to investors, OakTree Capital's Howard Marks goes political (slamming Trump's tariffs and Bernie's minimum wage machinations), shedding some blinding light on the economic reality of America, the dismal failure (and increasing impotence) of central bankers, and the ongoing "tryanny of the majority" warning that if everyone wants to tax-the-rich, soon there will be no rich to tax. As he concludes, short-term fixes simply cannot create wealth out of thin air (see Venezuela), as Churchill once said "for a nation to try to tax [or stimulate or devalue] itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

All Eyes On Yellen: Global Markets Flat On Dreadful Volumes, Oil Slides

In a world where fundamentals don't matter, everyone's attention will be on Janet Yellen who speaks at 1:15pm today in Harvard, hoping to glean some more hints about the Fed's intentionas and next steps, including a possible rate hike in June or July. And with a long holiday in both the US and UK (US bond market closes at 2pm today), it is no surprise overnight trading volumes have been dreadful, helping keep global equities poised for the highest close in three weeks; this won't change unless Yellen says something that would disrupt the calm that’s settled over financial markets.

The Looting Stage Of Capitalism Begins: Germany's Assault On The IMF

Greece is being destroyed by the EU that it so foolishly joined and trusted. The newspaper headlines are nothing but fluff that provide cover for the IMF to succumb to presssure and violate its own rules. The cover lets the IMF say that a (future unspecified) debt writedown will enable Greece to service the remainder of its debt and, therefore, the IMF can lend Greece the money to pay the private banks. To call the looting of a country and its people a “bailout” is Orwellian.  The brainwashing is so successful that even the media and politicians of looted Greece call the financial imperialism that Greece is suffering a “bailout.”

"You Are Redefining Yourself As A Comic-Book Villain" - Nick Denton's Open Letter To Peter Thiel

"Peter, this is twisted. Even were you to succeed in bankrupting Gawker Media, the writers you dislike, and me, just think what it will mean. The world is already uncomfortable with the unaccountable power of the billionaire class, the accumulation of wealth in Silicon Valley, and technology’s influence over the media.... you are redefining yourself as a comic-book villain. However philanthropic your intention, and careful the planning, the details of your involvement will be gruesome."

Obama: "World Leaders Are Rattled By Donald Trump"

In a statement to the press, Obama said that world leaders are "rattled" by Republican nominee Donald Trump’s public statements. "They are paying very close attention to this election," the president told reporters. "I think it’s fair to say they are surprised by the Republican nominee. They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements, but they are rattled by it."

Nigeria Currency Devaluation Looms As FX Forwards Crash To Record Lows

Despite US equity investors' exuberance over bouncing crude oil prices, the world's crude producers continue to suffer and while Venezuela is in the headlines every day (having already collapsed into chaos), Nigeria appears the nearest to that abyss next. Having urged investors "don't panic" last year, and seeing dollar reserves drying up rapidly earlier this year, recent "lies" about the nation's statistics have raised fears of a looming devaluation as FX forwards have crashed to 291 Naira to the dollar (current peg is 199).

Eurogroup Agrees To Disburse €7.5BN To Greece Which Will Be Used To Repay Creditors

The short summary: Greece has promised to implement even more Draconian measures (which may or may not happen) in order to get money that was already promised to it, while the Eurogroup disburses just enough cash to cover the immediate funding needs of the creditors with a little left over to pay for government arrears while demanding even more austerity; future tranches may or may not be paid out if Greece complies with its promises (which will not happen) and meanwhile the Eurogroup says it may someday provide debt relief, once Greece ends its bailout program... which will never happen.