North Korea

Obama To Hit New "Friend" Iran With Fresh Sanctions Over Contested Ballistic-Missile Program

On the heels of a “close call” in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, Washington is preparing new sanctions against a handful of companies and individuals tied to Tehran’s ballistic-missile program. "We've been looking for some time‎ at options for additional actions related to Iran's ballistic missile program based on our continued concerns about its activities,” an unnamed US official says. Iran calls the new actions "illegal."

Warmongering Pays - US Foreign Arms Sales Soar 35%

If ever there was a clearer indication of America's "need for war" it was the latest Durable Goods orders data, which confirmed, absent defense spending, the US economy is in a tail-spin. However, as NYTimes reports, foreign arms sales by the United States jumped by almost $10 billion in 2014, about 35 percent, even as the global weapons market remained flat and competition among suppliers increased, thanks to multibillion-dollar agreements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Dave Barry Answers - Was 2015 The Worst Year Ever? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

We apologize, but 2015 had so many negatives that we’re having trouble seeing the positives. It’s like we’re on the Titanic, and it’s tilting at an 85-degree angle with its propellers way up in the air, and we’re dangling over the cold Atlantic trying to tell ourselves: “At least there’s no waiting for the shuffleboard courts!” Are we saying that 2015 was the worst year ever? Are we saying it was worse than, for example, 1347, the year when the Bubonic Plague killed a large part of humanity? Yes, we are saying that.

Frontrunning: December 3

  • Mario Draghi Is About to Become the World's Market Risk Manager (BBG)
  • Five Things to Ask Mario Draghi From Negative Rates to QE (BBG)
  • Leaving behind baby and bombs, couple sows panic in California (Reuters)
  • Couple's motive in California rampage a mystery for police, family (Reuters)
  • In Grim Ritual, Barack Obama Again Calls for Stricter Gun Control After Mass Shooting (WSJ)
  • Islamic State Defeat Impossible Without Ground Force, Kerry Says (BBG)
  • OPEC States Push for Output Cuts in Face of Saudi Opposition (BBG)

Stocks Jump On Hope For More Central Bank Intervention After Japan's Quintuple Recession, Syrian Strikes

As so often happens in these upside down days, was the best thing that could happen to the market, because another economic slowdown means the BOJ, even without sellers of JGBs, will have no choice but to expand its "stimulus" program (the same one that led Japan to its current predicament of course) and buy up if not government bonds, then corporate bonds, more ETFs (of which it already own 50%) and ultimately stocks. Because there is nothing better for the richest asset owners than total economic collapse.

Why The Neocons Hate The Donald

Trump, for all his contradictions, gives voice to the “isolationist” populism that Rubio and his neocon confederates despise, and which is implanted so deeply in the American consciousness. Why us? Why are we paying everybody’s bills? Why are we fighting everybody else’s wars? It’s a bad deal! This is why the neocons hate Trump’s guts even more than they hate Paul.

Frontrunning: November 12

  • Stock futures little changed as Yellen comments awaited (Reuters)
  • Draghi stimulus hint underpins stocks, knocks euro (Reuters)
  • Black Friday's Losing Its Mojo and Retailers Might Be Relieved (BBG)
  • Macy’s Fights Downward Spiral With Bet on Off-Price Backstage Stores (WSJ)
  • Greece Comes to a Standstill as Unions Turn Against Tsipras (BBG)
  • Euro zone production falls more than expected in September (Reuters)
  • Valeant played a key role in building, operating Philidor RX (Reuters)

Is It Time To Renounce U.S. Citizenship While You Still Can?

The number of people abandoning the “greatest country in the world” just hit a record high... Unthinking Americans are puzzled when they read about the increasing number of people renouncing their citizenship, but as one consultant who really gave up his citizenship warned "the U.S. government is placing an increasing number of hurdles on Americans who want to renounce their citizenship. So he thought it was time to do just that."

America - In Search Of A Cause?

America is a nation divided, not only upon the means we should use to attain our ends in the world, but upon the ends themselves.

Back From The Future: A Presidential Address At The End Of The Fourth Turning

"We know now just how wrong everybody was....and to the rest of the world: we are done with you. Yes we wronged you but we were driven by vain men who harmed us as well as you. Even the interventions across the globe were nothing more than a way to loot the treasury. In the guise of democracy and freedom we brought war and death. We are sorry. I am sorry."

"Doubt May Be Uncomfortable, But Certainty Is Absurd"

The uncertainties are awkward, but we’re all trapped in a gigantic mess not of our own making. As Voltaire is believed to have said, doubt may be uncomfortable, but certainty is absurd. Almost as absurd as believing that a tiny group of unelected bankers can read the runes of the global economy and manage the price of money accordingly.

The 'Problem' With Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders’s entry into the presidential race has sparked a nationwide conversation about socialism and its potential to remedy the real and perceived pathologies suffered by Americans. The underlying problem with socialists like Bernie Sanders is that they do not actually believe (or understand) in economics at all. As Ludwig von Mises himself has pointed out, socialism is not an economic theory — it is a theory of redistribution.