Mainstream media business 'entertainment' appears to have been taken over by the #IceBucketChallenge, as they name-drop from CEO to CEO in the interests of ratings (as opposed to raising money for ALS). However, things took a much more serious turn today as not only did Alan Greenspan show us how he 'cools off' the economy but actor Vin Diesel issued the ultimate challenge to none other than Michelle Obama and Vladimir Putin...
More than 7,000 troops from China, Russia and four central Asia countries have gathered in Inner Mongolia for their biggest joint drills "to fight terrorists," but as one analyst notes, "it is kind of rare to have an anti-terrorist mission which uses battle tanks." Furthermore, as part of a drill:
*RUSSIA TESTING S-300, S-400 SYSTEMS IN ASTRAKHAN REGION: RIA
So, surface-to-air missile tests? Not very "de-escalation"-y. Perhaps this statement is a clue, "we are trying to exercise together to coordinate our troops to meet any potential eventuality."
As many have observed since Obama launched his own personal Iraq war, there is something rather farcical about the latest US intervention in the middile east, namely that US weapons are being used to destroy US weapons, captured by and in possession of ISIS jihadists. As Reuters summarizes the situation, rather poetically, "Islamic State’s captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL?" In other words US taxpayers are now paying for military missions, in which US taxpayer paid-for warplans and missiles are used to blow up other US taxpayer paid-for tanks, artillery, MRAPs, and various other weapons of death. How much? Here is the answer...
If the West continues its "destructive sanction policy," Kremlin spokesman Dmirty Peskov said Moscow will deploy additional 'protective' measures. Peskov warned, "we have said several times that Russia is not a fan of speaking in terms of sanctions and has not been an initiator. But if our partners continue their non-constructive and even destructive practices, then additional measures will be developed." Of course, this escalation is merely pent-up de-escalation and therefore good reason to buy US stocks, except bonds seem a little concerned this morning that Putin's blowback will dent global growth further.
If you don’t understand the concept of “order out of chaos,” then you’ll never understand a thing. Each supposed disintegration of global unity has eventually led to greater centralization, and this is something the skeptics seem to forget. The progression of crises suggests that the next war will lead to total globalization under the dominance of a minority of elitists posing as "wise men" who only wish to bring peace and harmony to the masses. In the meantime, the skeptics will continue to mindlessly debate in the face of all reason that the whole thing was a fluke, an act of random mathematical chance, leading coincidentally to the one thing the establishment rulers crave: total global totalitarian micromanagement.
As Russia's 300-strong 'humanitarian' convoy of white trucks slithered towards the Ukraine border, it appears, according to The Guardian, that, in spite of the market's exuberance at this morning's comments of "avoiding conflict," Vladimir Putin sent a real 'green' military Russian convoy across the Ukraine border late Thursday evening... "just saw a column of APCs and vehicles with official Russian military plates cross border into Ukraine."
Overnight weakness in Japan and Europe was no big catalysts for markets either way, but the moment Vladimir Putin uttered the words "avoid conflict" (as ooposed to saying 'destroy all of you'?), stocks took off. Weak jobless claims data sparked a dump but once cash markets opened, it was on like donkey kong as the worst volume day of a terrible volume week took stocks higher on the back of USDJPY. For the technically-minded, the S&P is testing up to its 50-day moving-average (DMA), Russell finding resistance at 100/200DMA, Trannies broke back above the 50DMA, and Nasdaq is on course for new highs. All this exuberance in stocks was shared by bonds as buyers bid 30Y yields to a 3.18% handle - lowest in 15 months (gaping divergence to stocks this week). USD oscillated but ended unch. Gold and silver limped higher as copper and crude were monkey-hammered. VIX ended at 3-week lows (after an opening slam lower) for day 15 of inversion. S&P futures volume 55% below average.
Putin Says The Petrodollar Must Die, "The Dollar Monopoly In Energy Trade Is Damaging Russia's Economy"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/14/2014 11:15 -0400
PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA SHOULD AIM TO SELL OIL AND GAS FOR ROUBLES GLOBALLY, AS DOLLAR MONOPOLY IN ENERGY TRADE IS DAMAGING ECONOMY
The US is clearly now pushing Russia towards war. But if you read the signs correctly, Russia has been preparing for exactly this outcome for many years.
While the conflict in Ukraine rages on, EU member states havedecided to impose (not so much more stringent)economic sanctions against Russia, which was predictably followed by Russian counter-measures. The question which isn't being asked often enough, is whether these sanctions will actually improve the situation. Here's an analysis following four concrete questions:
1. Can things get even worse in Russia?
2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?
3. Can the West contribute to a sharpening of the crisis?
4. How can the West protect itself against this conflict?
Although the US seems intent in playing the drums of war, perhaps realizing that its economic power is slowly headed for oblivion, to join the likes of Japan and the UK, American firms waving international flags don’t have the appetite for war that neocon elitists in the State Department or star-studded bellicosarians in the halls of the Pentagon have. Not at all! And here is where the feared industrial-military complex hopefully falls apart as globalist firms give their overall support to peace as a preferred alternative to the specter of a nuclear holocaust. Russia doesn’t want any military confrontation, nor does China, nor do American and European corporate entities that see no future in suicide. Americans need not drink the kool-aid offered by John McCain and his ilk in the Pentagon, Congress or the State Department; nor should they listen to the sad sack windmill-mouthpiece they have enlisted in the White House: Barack Obama.
One can’t help when looking at all the geopolitical as well as threats of non-containment of the deadly Ebola virus and wonder: Who’s in control here? Here’s a hint – it’s not the people lining up to give the message via oratory salvos. One thing has now been shown in vivid detail: The more messaging put out along these same lines will only make it abundantly clear to any and all opposition that those in charge haven’t a clue.
The last 3 months have seen Russia's "de-dollarization" plans accelerate. First Gazprom clients shift to Euros and Renminbi, then the UK signs currency swap agreements with China, then NATO ally Turkey cuts ties and mulls de-dollarization, Switzerland jumps in the currency swap agreements, and BRICS create their own non-US-based funding vehicle, and then finally this week, Russia's oligarchs have shifted cash holdings to Hong Kong. But this week, as RT reports, Russian and Chinese central banks have agreed a draft currency swap agreement, which will allow them to increase trade in domestic currencies and cut the dependence on the US dollar in bilateral payments. “"The agreement will stimulate further development of direct trade in yuan and rubles on the domestic foreign exchange markets of Russia and China," the Russian regulator said.
If you are getting a strong sense of déjà vu from current news flow, well, join the club. Everything feels so… familiar. And not necessarily in a good way. When we hear phrases like “Bubble markets”, “M&A cycle”, “historically low yields”, and “retail investor buying”, our minds automatically flash back to prior periods of history when those phrases last dominated the headlines. It isn’t hard to come up with a “Top 10” list of phrases with strong historical - and emotional - antecedents. So, today we did just that. Fair warning, however: just because a tune sounds familiar doesn’t mean you actually know the song. It could just be what the kids today call a “Sample” – a snippet of a song put in another song. Yep, what we’ve got here is something out of hip hop, not rock. Don’t especially like rap? Too bad, homey.
- Russia bans all U.S. food, EU fruit and vegetables in sanctions response (Reuters)
- Snowden receives three-year Russian residence permit (Reuters)
- Headline of the day: Europe's Recovery Menaced by Putin as Ukraine Crisis Bites (BBG)
- Americans worry that illegal migrants threaten way of life, economy (Reuters)
- Almost 90% of Uninsured Won't Pay Penalty Under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 (WSJ)
- Germany’s Bond Advance Sends 2-Year Note Yield Below Zero (BBG)
- Gaza War’s Critics in Crosshairs as Israelis Back Offensive (BBG)
- The 1% May Be Richer Than You Think, Research Shows (BBG)
- Bank of America Near $16 Billion to $17 Billion Settlement (WSJ)
- Deep Water Fracking Next Frontier for Offshore Drilling (BBG)