Today’s plunging oil prices will benefit a few. Motorists, once again, will be happy; but the pain will be earth-shaking for many others. Never mind the inevitable turmoil in global financial markets or the collapse of shale-oil production in the United States and what it implies for energy independence. The real risk lies in countries that are heavily dependent on oil. As in the old Soviet Union, the prospects for social disintegration are huge. Europe is already struggling to accommodate refugees from the Middle East and Africa, imagine what would happen if they imploded and their disenfranchised, angry, and impoverished residents all started moving north.
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?
In the US the rule of law, and with it liberty, have been lost. With few exceptions, Americans are too ignorant and unconcerned to do anything about it. The longer the rule of law is set aside, the more difficult it is to reestablish it. Sooner or later the rule of law ceases even as a memory. No candidate in the upcoming election has made the rule of law an issue. Americans, even well informed ones, dramatically over-estimate the knowledge of presidents and the neutrality of the information that is fed to them by the various agencies and advisors. Information is power, and presidents get the information that Washington wants them to receive.
Markets need to retreat from dependency on central bank stimulus which they falsely believe provides the magical elixir that fixes all economic and financial market woes.
"China 2016 Is US 2008" Felix Zulauf Warns "The Outcome Of A Major Yuan Devaluation Would Be Disastrous"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/22/2016 15:55 -0500
"China is to the current cycle what the US housing market was for the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. It will take years to correct the excesses that were built up in China... the consequences of a weaker yuan would be disastrous...If China devalues, all the other countries in the region will follow suit which will lead to a global deflationary shock. There is a real chance of a bigger correction than many investors realize..."
"China will exert a negative influence on the rest of the world by reinforcing the deflationary tendencies that are already prevalent. China is responsible for a larger share of the world economy than ever before and the problems it faces have never been more intractable...the EU is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down. The EU now is confronted with not one but five or six crises at the same time."
"It is time to accept that what we have done has worked brilliantly for twenty years but does not work anymore and move on. We are confident our process will eventually work again – for the laws of economics will never be repealed – but for now they are suspended and may be for some time; an indefinite period involving indeterminate levels of risk during which we think it would be wrong for us to be the stewards of your money."
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.
Each year more than one trillion dollars goes up in smoke. More accurately, it is stolen from the middle and working classes and shipped off to the one percent. We are talking about the massive yearly bill to maintain the US empire. What can we do to work for peace in 2016? First we must tune out the lying propaganda served up by the US mainstream media. We must educate ourselves so that we can help educate others.
Market-based Credit is unstable. This remains the fundamental issue – the harsh reality – that no one dares confront. Long-term stability in a Capitalistic system requires sound money and Credit (hopelessly archaic, we admit). Over the years, we've tried to differentiate traditional finance from unfettered “New Age” finance. The former, bank lending-dominated Credit, was generally contained by various mechanisms (including the gold standard, effective currency regimes, bank capital and reserve requirements, etc.). This is in stark contrast to the current-day securities market-based global financial “system” uniquely operating without restraints on either the quantity or quality of Credit created. There’s no precedence for such a globalized monetary fiasco, though there are a number of historical episodes that provide valuable insight.
101 years after the Christmas truces along the Western Front there is still no peace on earth. And the long suffering American taxpayers, who foot the massive bills generated by the War Party’s demented and destructive policies, have no clue that Imperial Washington is the principal reason.
“The SAC study includes chilling details. According to its authors, their target priorities and nuclear bombing tactics would expose nearby civilians and 'friendly forces and people' to high levels of deadly radioactive fallout. Moreover, the authors developed a plan for the 'systematic destruction' of Soviet bloc urban-industrial targets that specifically and explicitly targeted “population” in all cities, including Beijing, Moscow, Leningrad, East Berlin, and Warsaw.”
“I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here ... and ... around the world, that there is a ‘clash of civilizations.'” So said Hillary Clinton in Saturday night’s New Hampshire debate. Yet, that phrase was not popularized by Donald Trump, but by Harvard’s famed Samuel Huntington. That Clinton is unaware of the thesis, or dismisses it, does not speak well of the depth of her understanding of our world.
After The BOJ And ECB, Will Yellen Disappoint Next? SocGen Warns There Is "Risk The Market Will Be Wrong-Footed"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/16/2015 11:42 -0500
According to ScGen, the Fed is widely expected to start tightening policy on Wednesday and adds that "after the BoJ and ECB, we see a risk that the market will be wrong-footed for a third time, and that extreme positions built ahead of tightening will be reversed.... In particular, we are short US small cap equities vs large via being short Russell 2000 vs S&P 500.... As the Fed tightens and the market enters into a lower-liquidity environment (and higher-volatility regime), we think the premium on small caps is no longer justified."