*FED ENDS THIRD ROUND OF QUANTITATIVE EASING AS PLANNED
*FED SEES `SOLID JOB GAINS’ WITH LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT
*FED REPEATS RATES TO STAY LOW FOR `CONSIDERABLE TIME’
And so now the “flow” has stopped; given that “bond buying” did not work, we are reminded of Alan Greenspan’s warning that “I don’t think it’s possible” for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. Full redline below.
From 1996 until his retirement in 2006, Dr. Bill worked full-time as Director of Research & Development at Hammer Nutrition. Among his many accomplishments, both academically and athletically, he is an AAMA Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner and the author of “What Should I Eat? A Food-Endowed Prescription For Well Being”.
DOES DISTILLED WATER LEACH MINERALS FROM OUR BODIES?
Absolutely, not…in fact just the opposite has been found to occur in cellular research studies. It is a mistaken belief that drinking pure distilled water reduces valuable minerals from living human tissues.
The conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Total SA’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, started the second the news broke of his death. Under mysterious circumstances in Moscow, his private jet collided with a snowplow just after midnight. De Margerie was the CEO of Total, France’s largest oil company.
He’d just attended a private meeting with Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, at a time when the West’s relationship with Russia is fraught, to say the least.
One has better odds of being struck by lightning at an airport then a snow plow, or any other ground support vehicles hitting a plane and killing all inside the plane, in my opinion. And I say that as someone who’s familiar with airports, having worked at Vancouver International Airport when I was in university; I was the one who would bring the plane into its parking bay. Continue reading »
Most defenders of the state assume that government services help the poor. And, sometimes, some poor people do benefit financially from government programs. But there’s a hidden cost: taxation and mandatory programs (Social Security, for instance) that hurt the needy by restricting their choices. Government taxes away income that low-income households could invest in improving their lives. At the same time, state-sponsored benefits create incentives that keep the poor trapped in poverty.
Many assume that government barely taxes the poor, but the reality is otherwise. The poorest fifth of Americans pay 16 percent of their incomes in taxes (including federal, state, and local). One in six dollars they earn goes straight to the government. For a family living at the margin, those taxes can be the difference between food on the table and hungry children. Continue reading »
Great Expectations, Pregnant Pandas and Last Wednesday’s Treasury Market
“I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.”
– Estella, Great Expectations
What sort of financial world is a world with no volumes, no volatility and steadily rising prices? The only historical example is perhaps the Soviet Union. When the marginal buyer of any product is the state, or its handmaiden the central bank, then simply nothing happens until the state comes out to play.Continue reading »
About 18 months ago, I had a very pleasant chat with a gentleman by the name of Luzi Stamm.
You may detect some measure of surprise in my words, and the reason for that is quite simple: Luzi Stamm is a politician; and, as regular readers will know, I am no fan of that particular class.
But Herr Stamm was different.
An MP representing the Swiss People’s Party, Stamm was spearheading a federal popular initiative which needed 100,000 signatures in order to comply with the Swiss parliamentary system’s rigid framework regarding referendums. (OK all you “referenda” people out there, I know, OK? But I’m going with “referendums,” so pipe down). Continue reading »
At least 25 FEMEN activists were arrested in Paris on Sunday after rallying topless in front of the Palace of Justice in protest against the sentence given to fellow activist Iana Zhdanova for “exhibitionism” on October 15. The activists included FEMEN’s Inna Schevchenko, who joined in chanting slogans such as “Feminist not exhibitionist” and “Not criminals” while holding signs reading “Naked and free” and “My body, my manifesto.” Zhdanova was given a fine of 1,500 euros ($1,897) by the Parisian court for destroying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wax statue at the Grevin museum in June.
Lockheed Martin Corp and U.S. defense officials have reached agreement on the terms of a contract worth about $4 billion for an eighth batch of 43 F-35 fighter jets, sources familiar with the deal said on Thursday.
The contract will lower the cost of the radar-evading warplane by about 3 percent and includes jets to be built for the U.S. military, Britain and other U.S. allies, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.
The cost of the U.S. Air Force model of the plane, which accounts for 27 of the 43 aircraft, will go down by nearly 4 percent, said one of the sources. Continue reading »
Ahead of tomorrow’s decision by the FOMC, Peter Schiff ventured on to CNBC to discuss the economy, the fed, and gold… among other things. Schiff rightly fears that while the Fed may well stop QE3 tomorrow, QE4 will not be too long behind it as he notes, rather eloquently, that “an economy that lives by QE, will die by QE” as the Fed’s total lack of willingness to allow stocks to fall (see Bullard 2 weeks ago) or a ‘cleansing’ recession leaves the nation’s economy in far worse shape than it was before the Fed’s intervention. Schiff calmly replies to the anchor’s questions (as she proclaims “I am not on the side of the Fed but…”), gently explains his view on gold when challenged about his ‘wrongness’, but when a guest starts hounding him for being dangerous to CNBC viewers wealth… Schiff (rightly) loses it – must watch!
A well reasoned discussion of the Fed’s manipulation of markets and mal-investment hangovers is well worth the price of admission… but at around 6:35 when Scott Nations unleashes his tirade on Schiff, the fireworks start to fly… and Schiff (while being shouted over) reminds guests, anchors, and viewers alike “Go to YouTube, I am wrong a lot less often than most people on this program… and all you do is hassle me” that he was among the very few appearing on CNBC before the crash who foresaw it and the cataclysmic shift that has occurred (no matter what the perception of short-term memory traders)…“Think of all the bulls you paraded out here when Nasdaq was 5,000″
Absolute must watch…
We can’t help but feel the timing of this tirade against Schiff is spookily prophetic and will be in its own YouTube class in a few years…
n a strangely familiar case of deja vu all over again, stocks surged (alone in the cross-asset class world of economic reality) on the day before an FOMC statement. The Russell 2000 has had its best 10-day run in 3 years, best day of the year, and managed to scramble back to its 100- & 200-day moving-average. Dow 17,000 was another key technical level that was achieved. S&P 500 was levitated on volume around 40% below average into the green for October. VIX was banged under 15 and tracked stocks. Away from the equity-vol complex, asset-classes were unimpressed – HY credit, bonds, JPY, and the USD all diverged from stocks. USD weakened slightly, and commodities all gained on the day. TSY yields were up 2-3bps and HY closed practically unchanged. “Most shorted” stocks rose almost 3% – the biggest squeeze since Dec 2011 – smashing the Russell 2000 higher.
The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.
The last week or so has provided several examples of how Western governments aren’t using their increased spy powers for terrorism at all, but rather, are abusing them in almost every other manner imaginable. From tax collectionand raiding manufacturers of female undergarments, to confiscating counterfeit goods.
While powerful, all of that is just anecdotal evidence. What we really need to see are some hard numbers to prove that the “war on terror” is a gigantic fraud simply used to strip citizens’ of their civil liberties. Well, thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), we now have such numbers.
When it comes to trusting the Obama Administration and, increasingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no one is making it harder for Americans to do so than the White House and the bumbling gaggle of bureaucrats and political hacks that it employs.
For weeks now, the CDC chief, Dr. Thomas Frieden, has said that Ebola cannot be spread through casual contact — even as he also stated that persons suspected of being infected should avoid public transportation. President Obama has made similar statements. Continue reading »
You know something isn’t right in your country when you have a “religious police force.” You know something is really, really not right in your country when the head of that religious police force starts condemning twitter and saying its users will go to hell as a consequence. Talk about pathetic. Just more strange and panicked behavior from the Saudi government. From the BBC:
The head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis.Continue reading »
Anyone who has been following Edward Snowden’s heroic whistleblowing, and the reporting of Glenn Greenwald on the classified documents that prove egregious violations of the United States Constitution by the NSA, will also be aware of speculation that a “second leaker” had emerged earlier this year. It appears this person may have been identified by the FBI.
The FBI has identified an employee of a federal contracting firm suspected of being the so-called “second leaker” who turned over sensitive documents about the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list to a journalist closely associated with ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case.Continue reading »
When all else fails, and there is no growth, what you gonna call? Buybackbusters!
A week after IBM reported atrocious earnings, due to a variety of issues but most of all because it simply repurchased the least amount of stock in the past quarter in years (as it was approaching the limit of its buyback authorization), Big Blue is back to doing the one thing it does well: the buyback of things, in this case revealing its board has just authorized $5 billion in stock buybacks through April 2015 which means that with the $1.4 billion still under authorization, IBM is set to purchase about $3.2 billion in Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, each. And then, in April 2015, IBM will ask for an even bigger stock buyback authorization from its board. Which, clearly, the board – whose IBM stock will promptly rise as a result – will grant.
Attkisson speculated on how the Nixon controversy would have been handled in a world filled with today’s television and social media obsessions.
“Nixon would basically refuse to turn over tapes to Congress, his aides would refuse to testify to Congress or would take the Fifth or would lie to Congress with fair amount of impunity,” she said. “Woodward and Bernstein would be controversialized on social media by special and political interests. … Then at the end Nixon would go on a popular late-night comedy show, during which time he would humorously refer to his attackers as people who were political witch-hunters who believed in Area 51-type conspiracy theories.”
In case you forgot, Sharyl Attkisson is the former CBS News reporter who resigned from the network in March after expressing frustration that her stories covering the Obama Administration’s role in the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals were being spiked due to a desire to protect the President.
In 2013, Attkisson also expressed her belief that her computer had been hacked, which CBS News subsequently confirmed. CBS reported at the time: Continue reading »
Who can forget China’s ghost city of Ordos: back in late 2009, when the hollow shell behind China’s torrid growth was first revealed to the world, the city near China’s Mongolia border was cooler talk for weeks. Fast forward five years later, and Ordos is all but forgotten, having been eclipsed by a veritable army of much bigger “ghosts” that make up the “ghost town network” – a list of cities created by the China Investment Network, a business newspaper in Beijing, to determine which cities were the most ghostly. Below we present the 10 biggest ones.
The new court documents describe a second incident involving a 19-year-old woman who was in a DUI crash in Livermore on Aug. 7. On Harrington’s phone, Holcombe located two photos of that DUI suspect in a bikini accompanied by a text message from the day of the arrest from Harrington to Hazelwood: “Taken from the phone of my 10-15x while she’s in X-rays. Enjoy buddy!!!”
A “10-15x” is CHP code for a woman in custody. The woman may have been at a hospital to have X-rays taken after the crash
The worst thing about the government’s reckless response to the financial crisis of 2008, even worse than the trillions in taxpayer bailouts and backstops granted to the financial criminals that created the disaster, is the primary lesson that it sent to American society as a whole. Some people like to call it “moral hazard,” but in more pedestrian terms it really just boils down to: The Bad Guys Got Away with It. Continue reading »
There is more truth about American journalism in the film “Kill the Messenger,” which chronicles the mainstream media’s discrediting of the work of the investigative journalist Gary Webb, than there is in the movie “All the President’s Men,” which celebrates the exploits of the reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal.
The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy – even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism. They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses. The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn millions of dollars, are invited into the inner circles of power. They are, as John Ralston Saul writes, hedonists of power.Continue reading »
Elliott Capital’s Paul Singer has previously raised his concerns that “there is one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence“ – an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Different initiators of EMP have different pulses and different effects. But the bottom line is that EMP fries electronic devices, including parts of electric grids. In 1859, a particularly strong solar disturbance (the “Carrington Event”) caused disruption to the nascent telegraph network. It happened again with similar disruptions in 1921. Now, as Dr. Lika Guhathakurta discusses, “to bring our modern society to a halt, I don’t think we need an event that is as large as a Carrington Event. It could be much smaller, simply because of the connectedness of our power grid and also the entire technological system.”
The biggest sunspot on the face of the sun in more than two decades unleashed a major flare on Friday (Oct. 24), the fourth intense solar storm from the active star in less than a week.
Though there is some debate over the exact income a middle class household brings in, we do have an idea of who the middle class are — most working class people. Today’s bourgeoisie is composed of laborers and skilled workers, white collar and blue collar workers, many of whom face financial challenges. Bill Maher reminded us a few months back that 50 years ago, the largest employer was General Motors, where workers earned an equivalent of $50 per hour (in today’s money). Today, the largest employer — Wal-Mart — pays around $8 per hour.
The middle class has certainly changed. We’ve ranked a list of things the middle class can no longer really afford. We’re not talking about lavish luxuries, like private jets and yachts. The items on this list are a bit more basic, and some of them are even necessities. The ranking of this list is based on affordability and necessity. Therefore, items that are necessity ranked higher, as did items that a larger percentage of people have trouble paying for. Continue reading »
Following misses in yesterday’s Markit Service PMI, Existing Home Sales and the Dallas Fed report, and today’s Durable Goods numbers, we just made it a pentafecta for misses in US econ data, when the just released August Case-Shiller data for August confirmed once again that US housing is rapidly slowing down, when the Top 20 Composite Index (Seasonally Adjusted) posted another decline in August, its fourth in a row, declining by -0.15% and missing expectations of a modest 0.2% rebound (following last month’s -0.5%) decline. The best summary of the situation came from S&P’s David Blitzer: “The deceleration in home prices continues… The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.” But who cares what the birth (and death) place of every housing bubble is doing, right?
Making $700,000 per day with her ‘game app’ either gives Kim Kardashian the right to comment on Social Media superstardom or simply reflects an increasingly distracted American public disappearing into dystopian numbness. As the following clip shows, we all have a lot to learn from the curvy Kardashian… or perhaps its circular in its ponziness, social media is the parasite that is dependent on a farce like Kim to exist?
[In comparison this website has earned only €10 in the entire month of October (so far).]