• EconMatters
    11/30/2015 - 16:21
    The ISIS group sells most of its crude directly to independent traders at the wellhead for $20-$45 a barrel earning the group an average of $1.5 million a day.


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Frontrunning: October 1

  • After Rough Quarter, Investors Buckle Up (WSJ)
  • From heroes to bystanders? Central banks' growth challenge (Reuters)
  • Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say (WSJ)
  • Kremlin says Syria air strikes target list of groups, not just Islamic State (Reuters)
  • That’s information warfare? Russia accused of killing civilians in Syria (RT)
  • Euro zone factory growth eases in August despite modest price rises (Reuters)
  • How Glencore's Crazy Month Makes Greek Banks Look Tame (BBG)
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"Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death": The Loss Of Our Freedoms In The Wake Of 9/11

What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse. Since then, we have been terrorized, traumatized, and acclimated to life in the American Surveillance State.

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Frontrunning: August 13

  • China central bank tries to soothe global markets, says no reason for yuan to fall further (Reuters)
  • Huge blasts at Chinese port kill 44, with hundreds injured (Reuters)
  • China efforts to slow yuan fall hoist Europe shares, bond yields (Reuters)
  • Greek Economy Unexpectedly Surged Before Capital Controls (BBG)
  • Joe Biden Is Sounding Out Allies About a 2016 Bid (WSJ)
  • U.K. Tries to Kick-Start Shale Gas With Planning Speedup (BBG)
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The Song Remains The Same

We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.

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Frontrunning: June 12

  • Razor-edge U.S. Congress vote to decide fate of Obama Pacific trade pact (Reuters)
  • EU Readies for Default as Tsipras Drives Greek Finances to Brink (BBG)
  • Greece Can’t Plan a Barbecue, Let Alone a Currency, Nielsen Says (BBG)
  • IMF quits Greece talks amid ‘air of unreality’ as deal unravels (FT)
  • Greece Counts Cost of One Man's Gamble (BBG)
  • Merkel urges Greece and creditors to keep pushing for deal (Reuters)
  • Fearful ECB starts countdown on Greek funding lifeline (Reuters)
  • Greek stocks suffer further pummelling (FT)
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Frontrunning: June 1

  • Senate lets NSA spy program lapse, at least for now (Reuters)
  • Draghi Deflation Relief Means Little With Greek Threat Unsolved (BBG)
  • Tepid factory data add to Asian gloom (FT)
  • Citigroup Likely to Close Banamex USA (WSJ)
  • Frugality of High Earners in U.S. Shows Long Shadow of Recession (BBG)
  • Greece’s Tsipras Warns Bell May Toll for Europe (BBG)
  • Carnegie Mellon Reels After Uber Lures Away Researchers (WSJ)
  • Romário leads drive for Brazilian probe into Fifa (FT)
  • Faster than China? India's road, rail drive could lay doubts to rest (Reuters)
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Chinese Saturation Reached: World's Largest Smartphone Market Suffers First Drop In 6 Years

Less than two years ago, the number of smartphone shipments in China soared by roughly 100% year over year, rising over 80 million for the first time. Fast forward to Q1 of 2015 when according to IDC, the Chinese smartphone market - the largest in the world since 2011 when it overtook the US - has not only reached maturity but is now also fully saturated and as a result smartphone shipments suffered their first Y/Y decline, dropping 4.3% on an annual basis. As IDC notes, "this is the first time in six years that the China smartphone market declined YoY as the market continues to mature." Worse, on a quarter over quarter basis, the market contracted 8% on the back of a large inventory buildup at the end of last year.

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Frontrunning: March 12

  • As reported here first: The U.S. Has Too Much Oil and Nowhere to Put It (BBG)
  • Dollar Drops From 12-Year High as S&P Futures, Bonds Gain (BBG); Dollar Bulls Retreat From 12-Year High to Euro With Fed in View (BBG)
  • Clinton Private Email Plan Drew Concerns Early On (WSJ)
  • ECB Bond Buying Not Needed With Economy Improving, Weidmann Says (BBG)
  • China Feb new yuan loans well above forecast (Reuters)
  • U.S. probing report Secret Service agents drove car into White House barrier (Reuters)
  • Kerry tells Republicans: you cannot modify Iran-U.S. nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • PBOC Pledges to Press on With Rate Liberalization Amid Slowdown (BBG)
  • China Prepares Mergers for Big State-Owned Enterprises (WSJ)
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On This Day 15 Years Ago...

Exactly 15 years ago today, who said it?

"You want winners? [This] is what my fund is buying today to try to make money tomorrow and the next day and the next? You want my top 10 stocks for who is going to make it in the New World? You know what? I am going to give them to you. Right here. Right now. OK. Here goes. Write them down..."

Fifteen months later, Money magazine reported that [his] list had cratered 82%... Accountability ruins the game.

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Frontrunning: February 9

  • Greek Risk Draws Global Concern on Lehman Echo Warnings (BBG)
  • Merkel to urge caution in U.S. as pressure builds to arm Ukraine forces (Reuters)
  • West Races to Defuse Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)
  • German-French Push Yields Ukraine Summit Plan With Putin (BBG)
  • Swiss Leaks lifts the veil on a secretive banking system (ICIJ)
  • Italy Lenders Seen Cleansing Books Amid Bad-Bank Plans (BBG)
  • G-20 Finance Chiefs Face Tough Test in Istanbul (WSJ)
  • Demand for OPEC Crude Will Rise This Year, Says Group (WSJ)... or rather prays
  • U.S. Banks Say Soaring Dollar Puts Them at Disadvantage (WSJ)
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Guest Post: 2014 - A Russian Viewpoint

"As a former military analyst myself I can tell you that by now the Russian intelligence community's "indicators and warnings" should be "flashing red" and that in all likelihood Russia is already preparing for war..."

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The Prison State Of America

Prisons employ and exploit the ideal worker. Prisoners do not receive benefits or pensions. They are not paid overtime. They are forbidden to organize and strike. They must show up on time. They are not paid for sick days or granted vacations. They cannot formally complain about working conditions or safety hazards. If they are disobedient, or attempt to protest their pitiful wages, they lose their jobs and can be sent to isolation cells. The roughly 1 million prisoners who work for corporations and government industries in the American prison system are models for what the corporate state expects us all to become. And corporations have no intention of permitting prison reforms that would reduce the size of their bonded workforce. In fact, they are seeking to replicate these conditions throughout the society.

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US Pension Plans Need Massive $110 Billion In 7 Years, Moodys Warns

Thanks to improving life expectancy and the Federal Reserve's financial repression lowering yields, US company pension funds have been hit by a double whammy. As Moody's warns, companies will have to find $110 billion in the next seven years to fund pension liabilities shortfalls. Moody's adds, "given these increasing liabilities and cash drains, we expect to see an acceleration in lump sum offers," as firms try to deriskOf course, if the pension funds just followed Japan's lead and went all-in on stocks, there would be no problem, right?

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Frontrunning: October 2

  • As we warned in May 2013... Gross Exposes $42 Trillion Bond Market’s Key Flaw in Exit (BBG).... hint: no liquidity
  • WTI Crude Slips Below $90 for First Time in 17 Months (BBG)
  • Traders Thank Fed for Once-in-Decade Surge in Profit (BBG)
  • Islamic State committing 'staggering' crimes in Iraq: U.N. report (Reuters)
  • Philippine Islamist militants threaten to behead German on October 17 (Reuters)
  • Draghi’s Buying Spree for the ECB Might Start Modestly (BBG)
  • Russian Officials Say No Plans for Capital Controls (WSJ)
  • Indians Join the Wave of Investors in Condos and Homes in the U.S. (NYT)
  • Leader of Mexican drugs cartel captured (FT)
  • Dallas Ebola patient vomited outside apartment on way to hospital (Reuters)
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