Saturday, February 27, 2016

Markets At Risk As "Tepid, Uninspiring" G20 Proves Investor Hopes Were "Pure Fantasy"

They came, they saw, they released a vacuous statement littered with empty promises. Now what?


Japan Hits Demographic Tipping Point With First Official Population Decline In History

According to data released yesterday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in the latest 5 year census, Japan’s population declined last year for the first time in nearly a century. The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said the latest census shows that Japan’s population as of Oct. 1, 2015, was 127,110,047 - a decline of 947,305, or 0.7 percent, since the last census conducted in 2010. 

NY Times To Hillary: Release Those Damn Bank Speech Transcripts

"Voters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups. Public interest in these speeches is legitimate, and it is the public — not the candidate — who decides how much disclosure is enough. By stonewalling on these transcripts Mrs. Clinton plays into the hands of those who say she’s not trustworthy and makes her own rules."

"We Need Shed No Tears For The Capitalists" - Key Highlights From Buffett's 2015 Annual Letter

Earlier today Berkshire Hathaway released its 2015 annual report, which among other things includes Buffett's traditional annual observations and insights. Buffett brushes past last year’s disappointing stock performance, muses on the future of America while taking a swipe at Donald Trump, dwells on Berkshire’s ties to Brazilian PE firm 3G, talks about Berkshire’s big 2015 deal, defends manufactured-housing unit Clayton Homes, bashes inequality and capitalists (just not the crony kind), and concludes with a summary of the biggest risks facing America.

"Let's Pray This Works": Syria "Ceasefire" Begins After Russia Takes "Total Control" Of Country

A tenuous ceasefire went into effect on Saturday in Syria where the skies are momentarily free of Russian warplanes. Virtually no one thinks the deal will hold as Russia and Hezbollah have reserved the right to hit al-Nusra, which operates in many of the same areas as the "moderate" rebels that are subject to the agreement. As for the opposition, they, like a HY manager in a junk bond rout, fear they're "headed towards being liquidated."

Why A Hedge Fund Manager Who Made A Killing From Subprime Is Buying Bitcoin

"Bitcoin is interesting to me as a route for capital flight. I am not opining on the long-term viability of bitcoin - I do think there is something there - but I am long bitcoin specifically to capture capital flight from China."

The Donald's Odds Against Hillary

America is crossing into a new era. Trump seems to have caught the wave, while Clinton seems to belong to yesterday. A note of caution: This establishment is not going quietly.

"There’s A Feeling Of Bits Of Ice Cracking All At Once" - This Is The 'Big New Threat' To Oil Prices

"There’s a feeling of various bits of ice cracking all at once" in the oil market, with both crude-oil and gasoline inventories at extremely high levels. People are worried about a short-term issue, particularly in the U.S., particularly at Cushing."

The Quagmire To End All Quagmires

There are few good reasons to go to war, but the US faces the danger of being dragged into World War III for the worst of reasons. In Syria, the US will either fold or go all in. On past form, it will choose the latter and rue it ever after. Few Americans, inside or outside the government, realize either that those are the choices or that the stakes are so high. Sadly, such realizations may come only when their sons and daughters are drafted, or as the image of a mushroom cloud fills the screens of their mobile devices.

Caught On Tape: U.S. Test Fires Nuclear ICBM, Warns "We Are Prepared To Use Nuclear Weapons"

"Democracy Is Overrated" Doug Casey's Top 5 Reasons Not To Vote

Although democracy is just one way to structure a state, the concept has reached cult status; unassailable as political dogma. It is, as economist Joseph Schumpeter observed, "a surrogate faith for intellectuals deprived of religion." Most of the founders of America were more concerned with liberty than democracy. Tocqueville saw democracy and liberty as almost polar opposites.

Hypocrisy Defined: Hank Paulson Tells China "Let Failing Companies Fail"

"Do as I say, not as I do" is the clear message of hypocrisy spewed forth by former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson this week. Having presided over the largest redistriubution of taxpayer funds to bailout the banking system, while exclaiming fire and brimstone should they not be saved, he now has some advice for an over-levered, over-capacity, systemically-stymied China - "let failing companies fail."

How The Seeds Of Revolution Take Root

What motivates a populace to rebel against a regime?

Presenting America's Own "Ghost Cities"

Dead Piglet Inscribed With "Mother Merkel" Found At German Mosque

"Leaving a dead pig with the words 'Mutti Merkel' on it isn't just tasteless, but demonstrates fundamental failings of democratic education and conviction"...


from The Daily Sheeple:

A space rock calculated to be as wide as a two story building is tall which exploded with the equivalent of 13,000 tons of TNT entering Earth’s atmosphere was missed by NASA on February 6th. Completely.
This is despite the fact that NASA has a whole entire program specifically dedicated to spotting potentially dangerous space rocks entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA made the announcement after the fact, but the agency was itself informed of the event by another agency, which many have speculated is the military. (Other guesses are the NSA, which spies on everything everywhere, including space.)
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Gold And Silver – February Heralding End Of Down Trend?

by Michael Noonan, Edge Trader Plus:

Applying market logic:
We often state that the market is replete with logic, even for those who do not know how or do not like to look at charts to explain the markets. Charts that explain developing market activity have been superior to all fundamental analysis over the last several years. For us, that statement would include for as long as charts have been maintained, starting with Japan’s rice market, a few hundred years ago.
Most market participants have some [unrequited] need to have fundamentals be the driving force behind their market comprehension.
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America’s Plan B: Supporting Terrorists Till The Bitter End

from The News Doctors:

At a time when the international community is looking forward to the possibility of putting an end to the bloody conflict in Syria that has dragged on for years, while putting their hopes behind the agreement that was achieved between the US and Russia on February 22 regarding the cessation of all hostile activities in Syria, certain forces in the United States carry on banging the war drum.
As it has been pointed out by the The Wall Street Journal:
Defense Secretary Ash Carter; Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan have voiced increasingly hawkish views toward Moscow in recent White House meetings, calling for new measures to “inflict real pain on the Russians,” a senior administration official said.
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A Cease-Fire to Re-Load or to Build Peace?

from Washington’s Blog:

A cease-fire, even a partial one by only some of the parties to the war in Syria, is the perfect first step — but only if it’s widely understood as a first step.
Almost none of the news coverage I’ve seen speaks to what purpose the cease-fire serves. And most of it focuses on the cease-fire’s limitations and who predicts someone else will violate it, and who openly promises to violate it. The big outside parties, or at least Russia, plus the Syrian government, will go right on bombing selected targets, which will go right on shooting back, while Turkey has announced that ceasing to kill Kurds would just be taking the whole thing a bit too far (Kurds the United States is arming against other people the United States is arming, by the way).
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20 Steps: The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Prepper

from The Sleuth Journal:

No one really knows how many preppers exist in the world, but it is safe to say that there are more than three million in the United States alone.  Even though this sounds like a huge segment of the population, this is still only slightly more than 1% of the total US populace.
So, the bigger question is this: who is going to take care of the remaining 99% percent of the population when a major disruptive event occurs?
My guess is that most folks believe that the government will step in.  Yeah right; just like they did with Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.
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Brexit Panic Sets In

from Wolf Street:

Referendums are tricky in the EU. This time around, a referendum will be held in the UK, the EU’s second biggest net provider of funds — and most importantly, not a member of the single currency. The vote in all likelihood represents the biggest political decision British voters will make in their lifetime.

Feeding the Fear

The fear on both sides of the English Channel is palpable. Brexit panic has sent the pound sterling spiraling to 2009 lows against the dollar. It didn’t take long for the UK’s business elite to begin sounding the alarms: 200 CEOs, chairmen and chairwomen, representing 1.2 million employees and 33 FTSE 100 firms, put their names to a letter warning that “British business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs.” Or else.
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In Collapsing Venezuela, “Paramilitaries Roaming Neighborhoods, Shooting” At Dissenters

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

Venezuela is in complete chaos as a result of their economic collapse.
And as a result, state-rationed food and groceries have run out, prices are hyper-inflated and millions of people are waiting in huge lines for any goods that are available. Black markets have gone boom, with neighbors making necessities available to other neighbors, but they must avoid crackdown from a jealous State that is desperate to hang onto power.
The free-fall of oil prices on the global stage has snapped the South American socialist nation into sudden and harsh disaster. Venezuela has slightly more oil than Saudi Arabia, and trades the second largest volume, after OPEC, and was even more vulnerable than Russia to the economic warfare that has taken place in the last few years.
Read More

Drug-Producing GM Corn to be Grown in California

by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News:
Absent even a shred of science-based evidence showing it to be safe, a new variety of genetically modified (GM) pharmaceutical “corn” awaits its planting somewhere in Central California, where authorities have agreed to allow a San Luis Obispo-based biotechnology company to grow it in the open air without any safety testing.
A clear act of ecoterrorism against the local agriculture system, the Applied Biotechnology Institute’s (ABI) expected planting of GM corn near Lockwood has generated a chorus of outrage within the local community. Like every other GMO in existence, ABI’s GM corn, which produces an enzyme known as trypsin that is found naturally in animals, has the potential to contaminate nearby crops and unleash an agricultural apocalypse.
There is so much opposition to the crop that ABI has decided to plant it in secret at an undisclosed location, where those with enough bravery to uproot or otherwise destroy it won’t have the chance. And the county’s agricultural advisory committee sees nothing wrong with the effort, which it speciously likens to growing natural corn.
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