Renaissance

"Democracy Is Overrated" Doug Casey's Top 5 Reasons Not To Vote

Although democracy is just one way to structure a state, the concept has reached cult status; unassailable as political dogma. It is, as economist Joseph Schumpeter observed, "a surrogate faith for intellectuals deprived of religion." Most of the founders of America were more concerned with liberty than democracy. Tocqueville saw democracy and liberty as almost polar opposites.

Should Recessions Be Feared & Avoided?

There is no reason to fear recessions or to intervene in them. They represent a healing process. Only by liquidating the malinvestments of the boom and rearranging the economy’s structure of production as quickly as possible to the actual wishes of consumers can a sound recovery be achieved. "Thus, what the government should do, according to the Misesian analysis of the depression, is absolutely nothing. It should, from the point of view of economic health maintain a strict hands off, 'laissez-faire' policy. Anything it does will delay and obstruct the adjustment process of the market."

The Democracy Of The Billionaires

Speaking of the need for citizen participation in our national politics in his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “Our brand of democracy is hard.” A more accurate characterization might have been: “Our brand of democracy is cold hard cash.” Cash, mountains of it, is increasingly the necessary tool for presidential candidates. Several Powerball jackpots could already be fueled from the billions of dollars in contributions in play in election 2016. When considering the present donation season, however, the devil lies in the details, which is why the details follow.

"Time To Panic"? Nigeria Begs World Bank For Massive Loan As Dollar Reserves Dry Up

Having urged "don't panic" just 4 short months ago, it appears Nigeria just did just that as the global dollar short squeeze forces the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari to beg The World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5bn in emergency loans to help fund a $15bn deficit in a budget heavy on public spending amid collapsing oil revenues. Just as we warned in December, the dollar shortage has arrived, perhaps now is time to panic after all.

George Soros Finally Suspends His Lifelong War Against Russia

On January 21st, George Soros, who has throughout his life been passionately opposed not just to communism but also to Russia, finally stated that the United States (and possibly the EU, but he says that the EU is in terrible economic shape itself) must now fund a new Marshall Plan for all of Europe, including, this time, even his bête noire: Russia. However, is he ending, or merely suspending, his lifelong war against Russia?

Chinese Rush To Buy Foreign Assets As Mammoth $1 Trillion In Capital Flees Country

When the RMB deval dust settled, some $1 trillion in capital fled China in 2015 as Chinese rushed to move money out of the country ahead of what many expect will be a much larger yuan depreciation. Estimating capital flight out of China isn't an exact science and different analysts look at different proxies to determine just how leaky the ship is, so to speak. For their part, Goldman has endeavored to break down the numbers on the way to shedding some light on where to look to assess the pace of the flows. 

Sprint Fires 2500: 8% Of Its Entire Workforce

Anyone who dares to question Obama's grand renaissance is supposedly peddling fiction. Meanwhile, in today's latest mass layoff event (which, oddly enough, has become a daily thing during the "recovery") some 2,500 Sprint workers  - 8% of the company's 31,000 total employees - have already received, or are about to be "peddled" pink slips.

Nigerian Currency Collapses After Central Bank Halts Dollar Sales To Stall "Hyperinflation Monster"

Having told banks and investors "don't panic" in September, amid spiking interbank lending rates and surging default/devaluation risks, it appears the massive shortage of dollars that we warned about in December has washed tsunami-like ashore in oil-producing Nigeria. Following the Central bank's decision this week to halt dollar sales to non-bank FX market operators, black market exchange rates spiked to 282/USD (vs 199 official) and CDS spiked to record highs implying drastic devaluations loom.

Angola's Currency Collapses To Record Low As "Hyperinflation Monster" Looms Over Africa

Just two weeks ago we warned of the looming "hyperinflation monster" in Africa with the continent appearing to be running out of dollars as some of Africa’s largest economies, including Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia and Mozambique, are restricting access to the greenback to protect dwindling reserves. Specifically we warned of Angola's already-soaring inflation hampering its ability to 'adjust' its currency towards its black market 'reality'. But that did not stop the central bank devaluing Kwanza by 15% over the weekend - the most since 2001 - to record lows as crude prices crush their economy and the flow of USDs.

2015 Year In Review: "Terminal Phase" Excess & Peak Cognitive Dissonance

Important pillars of the bull case evaporated throughout 2015. Global price pressures weakened, the global Credit backdrop deteriorated and the global economy decelerated. The huge bets on central bank policies left markets at high risk for abrupt reversals and trade unwinds – 2015 The Year of the Erratic Crowded Trade. Indeed, a global bear market commenced yet most remain bullish. Serious and objective analysts would view this ominously.

We're All Fascists Now

If Donald Trump is a megalomaniac salivating over taking control of American Weimar, then both Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio are führers in the making. The same goes for the rest of the field, where each and every candidate aspires to be the Celebrity-in-Chief. Trump only looks worse because he doesn’t have the benefit of a sympathetic media on his side.