The Islamic State is nothing if not ambitious. Despite no record of current 'airplane' assets in their annual reports, ISIS has begun detaining and forcing Syrian pilots to train militant fighters to fly stolen aircraft. According to CNN Arabic, the pilots (and their planes and helicopters) were abducted when the terrorist group gained control of Tabqa military base. It appears that if beheadings, executions, and whippings are not enough to strike fear into the hearts of the locals, then (just as America is tryiung to do), an air assault will greatly demoralize. We can only imagine how this changes Obama's strategy (and just where are all the rest of Syria and Iraq's airplanes stored?)
20,000 Pakistan Riot Police Unleash Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets As Protesters Breach PM's Residence, 230 InjuredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/30/2014 17:54 -0400
UPDATE: *POLICE, PROTESTERS CLASH IN ISLAMABAD; AT LEAST 230 HURT: AFP
Against the background we initialliy explained here, and the escalation we discussed here, Imran Khan's "Pakistan Spring" has grown dramatically. The former cricketing-legend and erstwhile opposition leader's call for people to take to the streets to demand new 'unrigged' elections has 1000s of protesters breaching the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad. Along with anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri, Khan urged peaceful protest but, as AP reports, an estimated 20,000 police in riot gear are blocking the procession using tear gas and rubber bullets. Local hospitals report at least 100 injuries.
This seems to be the biggest question in financial markets for me right now because the math just doesn`t add up any way you slice it.
Expect market participants coming back from vacation, and probably everything that worked in August will get “taken out to the woodshed” in September.
- Obama Cools Talk of Strikes Against Islamic State in Iraq or Syria (WSJ)
- Separatists say will allow 'trapped' Ukrainian forces to withdraw (Reuters)
- Ukraine Fighting Surges as Russian-Backed Forces Gain (BBG)
- Missouri police sued for $40 million over actions in Ferguson protests (Reuters)
- BTFDividend stocks? Tesco Slumps as Retailer Slashes Dividend 75% on Forecast (BBG)
- In town halls, U.S. lawmakers hear voter anger over illegal migrants (Reuters)
- Obamacare’s Latest Threat Nears Turning Point in Court (BBG)
- Untangling the Mess of Austrian Bank Hypo (WSJ)
- The billion-dollar fall of the house of Espirito Santo (Reuters)
- Manhattan Condo Resale Prices Reach Record High (BBG)
- California Drought Squeezes Wells: State Considers Regulating Groundwater Use for First Time (WSJ)
UPDATE: Damage Control Spin begins... Josh Earnest: "In his remarks today, POTUS was explicit - as he has been in the past - about the comprehensive strategy we'll use to confront ISIL threat."
President Obama 'knows' how to handle Putin's 'continuation' (not 'invasion') - more sanctions (and costs for Europe) - but when it comes to beating the most "barbaric" terrorists known as ISIS, ISIL, or The Islamic State; he had this to offer... "I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet." Rest assured Americans - who have been told that ISIS could be crossing the borders every day and a constant threat, President Obama is 'working on it'. Perhaps most crucially, while we 'joke' that the administration has no strategy, it is noteworthy that Obama stated it was "not US policy to defeat ISIS, only reverse gains."
In the endless series of public statements by the Chief Golfer on the Ukraine.... situation... which nobody knows exactly what to call, here comes the latest one. Expect the GOTUS to dangle more threats of sanctions, red lines, hash tags, in short an all out European depression, as to how the US will respond to the latest regurgitated story of a Russian "invasion" (at least pre-retraction). The statement is scheduled for 4 pm, so expect Obama to talk around 5 pm.
In the USA, instead of "boots on the ground," we have 'humanitarian advisors' on the battlefield - because it's so important to manage the iPad -fiddling public's perception of how hawkish politicians are. However, for the various nations opining upon the ongoing events in Ukraine, finding just the right word is simply stunning... as descriptions of the conflict soften as one more from East to West. However, as Ian Bremmer notes, “Russia and Ukraine as sovereign countries are now at war and it’s going to be very difficult for the United States and Europe to deny that reality.”
1) Don’t go to school – if you want to learn then turn on CNN.
2) Don’t pay for medical care – if you get hurt then put on a band-aid and drink more water.
3) Don’t pay for transportation – if you have to get somewhere then teleport.
4) Don’t eat – if you HAVE to then cut your food into small pieces so it lasts longer (cough cough cough #McResources cough).
5) Don’t buy a house – if you have to live somewhere then pitch a tent in your local park.
Pending Home Sales fell 2.7% year-over-year making this the 10th month of falling YoY sales. This print beat expectations of a 3.5% decline but last month's data was revised lower to a 4.7% decline. MoM sales jumped 3.3% but the series has been extremely noisy in the last 6 months as the Northeast saw a seasonally-adjusted gain of 6.2% MoM (and Midwest fell 0.4%).
May 2013, President Kirchner: ""As long as I'm president, those who want to make money through devaluations, which other people have to pay for, will have to keep waiting for another government,"
Jan 2014: Argentina Devaluation Sends Currency Tumbling Most in 12 Years
Aug 2014: Argentina’s Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said today a devaluation of the peso, "obviously won't happen."
So what's next?
Ukraine accused Russia on Thursday of mounting an invasion in the southeast of the country in support of pro-Moscow separatist rebels. Ukraine's security and defense council said the border town of Novoazovsk and other parts of Ukraine's south-east had fallen under the control of Russian forces who together with rebels were staging a counter-offensive. "A counter-offensive by Russian troops and separatist units is continuing in south-east Ukraine," the council said in a post on Twitter. ... and then everything was promptly denied: CORRECTED-UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT POROSHENKO SAYS RUSSIAN TROOPS HAVE BEEN BROUGHT INTO UKRAINE (NOT 'RUSSIAN MILITARY INVASION HAS TAKEN PLACE')
Investors in European Bonds are running over each other all in an effort to front run what the Big Banks have been begging the ECB to begin a bond buying program. It is hilarious as European yields are already ridiculously low right now, how much lower do they think these yields can go?
Chinese Developers "Destocking" Desperation: Bikini-Clad Model Car Washes, iPhones, & Alibaba DiscountsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2014 15:33 -0400
We have presented numerous examples of the turmoil under the surface of China's unprecedentedly placid GDP headlines but, as The FT reports, the desperation of property developers should be the biggest canary in the coalmine that all is not well. Developers began cutting prices this year but have so far failed to revive flagging volumes and so are increasingly resorting to creative sales tactics to drum up interest. From discounts on Alibaba purchases up to $325,000 to car-washes by bikini-clad models, as "putting full effort into destocking has become the common choice of most developers. They’re still not optimistic about the market situation." So why are US investors so upbeat about China's 'recovery'?
Perhaps the only question emerging from this profile of the first document US citizen casualty fighting for the Islamic State, whose name earlier was revealed as Douglas McAuthur McCain, is whether he and John are related.