White House

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What Will You Do When Government Tyranny And Terrorism Work Hand In Hand?

The French are disarmed and utterly socialized. Millions of them march in Paris in a display of solidarity, but solidarity behind what solution? Even more government; the same government that created the problem in the first place? Even more centralization? The globalization of despotic security policies? The French have dug their grave, and now they are going to have to lie down in it. Americans do not have to follow the same path. We do not need more government. We do not need more surveillance, more police militarization or more troops on the streets. Make no mistake, many illusions are about to be shattered. You can be caught up in the storm as a helpless spectator and victim or you can become a barrier.

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Frontrunning: January 14

  • U.S. Index Futures Decline on Commodities Slump, Growth Concerns (BBG)
  • Al Qaeda claims French attack, derides Paris rally (Reuters)
  • Charlie Hebdo With Muhammad Cover on Sale With Heavy Security Precautions (BBG)
  • How an Obscure Tax Loophole Brought Down Obama's Treasury Nominee  (BBG)
  • ECB’s bond plan is legal ‘in principle’ (FT)
  • Charlie Hebdo fallout: Specter of fascist past haunts European nationalism (Reuters)
  • DRW to acquire smaller rival Chopper Trading (FT)
  • Oil fall could lead to capex collapse: DoubleLine's Gundlach (Reuters)
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"Boots On The Ground"? Obama To Seek Authorization For Military Force Against ISIS

Having unveiled his non-boots-on-the-ground strategy in September, President Obama's "promise" was quickly proved fragile when General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, indicated to the House of Representatives armed services committee that the strength of ISIS relative to the Iraqi army may be such that he would recommend abandoning Obama’s oft-repeated pledge against returning US ground troops to combat in Iraq. It seems another promise is about to be broken as Bloomberg reports Senator John Cornyn said President Obama told congressional leaders during meeting today at White House he would seek authorization for military force on Islamic State. Boehner’s office, in separate statement after meeting, said Republicans would work with him to build support.

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Charting The 2015 State Of The Union

It is that time of the year when the President of the United States delivers his annual "State Of The Union" address. Despite the nation's voting choice in November, President Obama's retooled message is, "The American resurgence is real... Don't let anybody tell you otherwise." The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President's new message? Before he takes to the podium with his bullish optimism, he might want to consider the following charts...

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Lazard's Antonio "Tax-Inverter" Weiss Withdraws Treasury Nomination (But End-Arounds Senate For 'Counsel' Role)

It appears Lazard's investment banker Antonio Weiss' "help" in tax inversions was just too 'unpatriotic' to scare President Obama off at the last minute.


The White House exclaimed "opposition to Weiss was unjustfied," so perhaps it was his $203 million in assets just would not have played well with Obama's new vision for the future. However, he has managed to get a position as "counselor" - which does not require Senate approval.

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Frontrunning: January 12

  • Earnings Pessimism Jumps as Oil Threatens S&P 500 Growth (BBG)
  • It’s Amateur Hour in the Booming Chinese Stock Market (BBG)
  • France mobilizes 10,000 troops at home after Paris shootings (Reuters)
  • European Stocks Gain With S&P 500 Futures While Oil Drops (BBG)
  • Nasdaq Looks to Operate Dark Pools for Banks (WSJ)
  • This Guy Called Bonds in ’14. You Listening This Time? (BBG)
  • Paris attacks boost support for Dutch anti-Islam populist Wilders (Reuters)
  • OPEC price war in Asia intensifies as oil falls below $50 (Reuters)
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The Cost Of Obama's "Free" Community College Plan To Taxpayers? $60 Billion

Yesterday, to much shock and dismay, Obama revealed his latest "noble" grand vision: provide a free community college education to millions of folks. Apparently now, far too late, even the community organizer-in-chief realized that with $1.2 trillion in student loans the Millennials will never be able to take their rightful place as the dynamo of US economic growth. What is Obama's solution? Another free lunch. Socialist unicorns and Marxist rainbows aside, what will Obama's "free" plan cost taxpayers? The answer: $60 billion over 10 years, according to a White House official.

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President Obama Officially Unveils His "Free Community College For All" Plan - Live Feed

Having tested-the-waters with his "2 years of free community college for all" plan last night, President Obama will this afternoon explain how it's all going to work, how it will be paid for (and by whom), how it will not raise education costs, how it will ensure Americans become more productive and encouraged to seek and take work, and how it will wean people from suckling at the teat of the welfare state... Oh and how he will define 'responsible' students? (rather like moderate terrorists we suspect?). Or is this all a 'delaying tactic' as America's aging workforce crowds out the younger generation from all but burger-flipping?

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Obama's Latest Handout: Two Years Of Free Community College For Everyone

With the number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs nearly 71% higher than it was a decade ago, and the average graduate leaving college with $29,400 in debt (crushing their hopes of leveraging up to buy that American Dream-creating house), President Obama has unleashed a double whammy of ideas in the last few days. Reducing mortgage insurance and cutting down-payment restrictions for FHA loans (i.e. providing huge leverage to segments of society to repeat the mistakes of the last housing bubble); and now, as The LA Times reports, President Obama says he is rolling out a plan to make two years of community college free, or nearly so, to every student across the country. Because it's "fair"?

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Frontrunning: January 8

  • French policewoman killed in shoot-out, hunt deepens for militant killers (Reuters)
  • The Bold Charlie Hebdo Covers the Satirical Magazine Was Not Afraid to Run (BBG)
  • Evans Says Fed Shouldn’t Rush Rate Rise as Inflation Undershoots (BBG)
  • Oil holds above $51 as traders search for floor (Reuters)
  • Gross Helps Fuel New Fund With His Own Cash (WSJ)
  • ECB warns Greek funding access hinges on keeping bailout (Reuters)
  • Greece Jolts QE Juggernaut as ECB Gauges Deflation Risk (BBG)
  • Analysts Say There's No Telling How Low Oil Prices Could Go (BBG)
  • Scientists find antibiotic that kills bugs without resistance (Reuters)
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Goldman's 2015 Political Outlook: Will Congress "Audit" The Fed?

The 114th Congress formally convened yesterday. In what follows, Goldman Sachs presents its views on some of the central questions regarding the political and policy outlook for the coming year. In general, Goldman expects most of the deadlines Congress faces over the coming year to result in only limited uncertainty, though the debt limit increase that will be necessary later in 2015 is the main potential exception. Additionally, they expect legislation to "audit" Fed monetary policy decisions is likely to pass the House again in 2015, but enactment looks less likely.

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Obama's Fed Board Appointee Was Previously Busted, And Quit, For "Impropriety"

Yesterday, to much fanfare, the White House blasted that it was Obama's desire to appoint Allan R. Landon, a Hawaiian community banker, to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. To wit: "President Obama said, “Allan Landon has the proven experience, judgment and deep knowledge of the financial system to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy.  He brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, particularly as a community banker.” Apparently what he also brings as Bloomberg's Dawn Kopecki reminds us, is the usual near-criminal cronyism and corruption that we have all grown to love and expect from every single Fed governor in recent history. It turns out in 2005 Landon agreed to step down as SFHLB board member due to the "appearance of impropriety" when he "failed to comply with a rule requiring the disclosure of conflicts of interest by a director."

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Frontrunning: January 7

  • Twelve shot dead in Paris (Reuters)
  • Eurozone Consumer Prices Fall for First Time Since 2009 (NYT)
  • Euro's Drop is a Turning Point for Central Banks Reserves (BBG)
  • How $50 Oil Changes Almost Everything (BBG)
  • Mercedes-Benz Moving U.S. Headquarters to Atlanta (WSJ)
  • Greek 10-Year Bond Yields Exceed 10% for First Time Since 2013 (BBG)
  • How Even Dairy Farmers Get Squeezed by Rigging in the $5.3 Trillion Currency Market (BBG)
  • AirAsia jet tail found underwater, black box may be close (Reuters)
  • Italy Unemployment Rises to New High (Bloomberg)
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