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Econintersect News Briefs:

Household Debt Balances Increase as Deleveraging Period Concludes

by Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The New York Fed released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the third quarter of 2014 today. Balances continued to rise slightly, with an overall increase of $78 billion. The aggregate household debt balance now stands at $11.71 trillion, up 0.7 percent from the previous quarter, but still well below the peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.

Read more »

HSBC's Swiss Private Banking Unit Charged With Providing Unregistered Services to U.S. Clients

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged HSBC’s Swiss-based private banking arm with violating federal securities laws by failing to register with the SEC before providing cross-border brokerage and investment advisory services to U.S. clients.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: What To Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents are quite a common sight these days.

Read more »

Volcano Eruptions in Alaska could Cause Trans-Atlantic Chaos for Airlines

Planet May Be Ending an Era of Low Volcanic Activity

by Sean Pyne-O'Donnell and Britta Jensen, The Conversation

A volcanic eruption in Iceland caused massive disruption throughout Europe in 2010. A huge ash cloud grounded more than 100,000 flights and delayed 10m passengers, costing the aviation industry more than £2 billion. This wasn’t a freak event. New evidence shows such ash clouds are more common than we thought, and they can even cross the Atlantic from volcanic hot-spots in North America.

Read more »

The Charitable Causes Americans Care About Most

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

This chart shows which charitable causes Americans care most deeply about and what causes they are most likely to donate to.

Read more »

What We Read Today 25 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Read more »

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Growth Weakens in November 2014

Of the five regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all show manufacturing expanding in August 2014. A complete summary follows. The market expected this survey index at 10 to 14 (consensus 16.0) versus the 4 actual [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Read more »

November 2014 Chemical Activity Barometer Year-over-Year Gains Still Strong

from the American Chemistry Council

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), logged a 0.2 percent gain this month, following an upward revision in October which reflected zero growth, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). The year-over-year comparisons have moderated since the summer suggesting an economy continuing to face headwinds and modest gains. The CAB remains up 3.7 percent over this time last year.

Read more »

November 24 Weather and Climate Report: El Nino Races to be On Time for Christmas

Written by

NOAA acknowledges their forecast of an El Nino has been premature and they may have overestimated the intensity of such an event. They are now

more or less saying: "better late than never". Questions remain on the impact of an El Nino that will arrive late and weak but which may last longer than the NOAA Seasonal Outlook suggests.Read more »

Monetary Policy When the Spyglass Is Smudged. A Look at Gauging Economic Slack.

by Early Elias, Helen Irvin, and Oscar Jorda - FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

An accurate measure of economic slack is key to properly calibrating monetary policy. Two traditional gauges of slack have become harder to interpret since the Great Recession: the gap between output and its potential level, and the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate. As a consequence, conventional policy rules based on these measures of slack generate wide-ranging policy rate recommendations. This variability highlights one of the challenges policymakers currently face.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: Shoestring Travel Guide 2014

What are the most backpacker friendly cities in 2014?

Read more »

Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 24 November 2014: Lowest Since November 2010

Econintersect: Average gasoline prices fell an average of 7.1 cents nationwide this past week following the previous week's 4.7 cent fall from the week before. However, since 06 January 2014, gas prices have fallen 50.4 cents a gallon.

Average prices by region and a breakdown by grade follow after "Read more >>".

At the end of the article is a Gas Buddy graphic with access to local gasoline prices anywhere in the country.

Read more »

American Holiday Shoppers to Spend $61 Billion Online

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

The holiday season is the most important time of the year for both on- and offline retailers in the United States.

Read more »

Crash, Boom, Pop! Kickstarter Campaign Receives Major Boost

Econintersect: With three days to go the campaign to fund the comic book version of Steve Keen's "Debunking Economics"  has received a major boost.  A backer has pledged to add $2,000 for every 35 pledges received of $1 or more over the final three days of the Kickstarter campaign.  It has been 11 hours since Econintersect posted the last news article on this project and the pledges have increased by more than $1,100 from 27 individuals.  The total now stands at $20,216.  Econintersect urges readers to make pledges, even if small.  To get the pledges available from the backer needed to reach $35,000 some 200-300 additional pledges will be needed.  Go to Kickstarter.


Read more »

What We Read Today 24 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • FACT CHECK: Obama's Claims On Illegal Immigration (Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press, Business Insider) Obama's generalizations continue to be misleading as to specifics. He needs more analysts on his staff and fewer public relations people.

Read more »

November 2014 Texas Manufacturing Survey Rate of Growth Slows

Of the four Federal Reserve districts which have released their November manufacturing surveys, all are forecasting growth. A complete summary follows. [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Read more »

October 2014 Coincident Indicator Review: Economy's Rate of Growth Remains Nearly Constant

The above graph shows the index value for the US Coincident Index. A comparison of US Coincident Index, Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti business conditions index, Conference Board's Coincident Index, ECRI's USCI (U.S. Coincident Index), and Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) coincident indicators follows.

Read more »

Bitcoin Mining

by Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?


Read more »

Earnings and Economic Reports: Week Starting 24 November

Written by Merlin Rothfeld, Online Trading Academy

Econintersect: Here is a day-by-day rundown of the global economic calendar events for the coming week and the important earnings announcements each day, as well.

Video presentation follows the Read more >> jump.merlin-rothfeld-ptr-380px
Merlin Rothfeld

Read more »

New York Fed Chief Stands Firm Against Charges of Weak Oversight

Special Report From ProPublica

by Jake Bernstein, ProPublica.org

For almost two hours Friday, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York defended heated assertions from Democratic senators that his institution is too cozy with big banks to be an effective guardian of the financial system.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: How Plate Tectonics Helped Carve Tibetan Gorges

Between 2 million and 2.5 million years ago, uplift of crustal plates in southern Tibet caused a river to begin depositing sediments, resulting in a steep canyon.

Read more »

Watching TV Is the No.1 Leisure Activity in the U.S.

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

Eighteen years ago, on November 21, 1996, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 21 as World Television Day.

Read more »

Crash, Boom, Pop! Kickstarter Campaign in Final Days' Push

Econintersect:  Less than two weeks ago our article on the new project which has the objective of making the introduction to economics as easy as reading a comic book but as meaningful as the focus on observation and measurement of systems can make it.  At that time the amount pledged was approximately $7,800 of the $35,000 goal.  In the next few days after that the pledges nearly doubled and, as this is written, have increased further to more than $19,000.  The final push is on to gather an additonal amount of pledges approaching $16,000 to reach the goal by 27 November. 


Read more »

What We Read Today 23 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • House panel finds no intelligence failure in Benghazi attacks (Greg Miller, The Washington Post) Republicans officially conclude that there was appropriate State Department, U.S. military and CIA response to the attack on the Benghazi consulate in Libya which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, 11 September 2012. Allegations of interference by the Obama administration before, during or after the attack were dismissed. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee found that the Obama administration did not seek to mislead the public after the event.

Read more »

Nearly 36 Million People Live In Modern Slavery

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

Walk Free's Global Slavery Index defines slavery as people forced into labor, debt bondage, trafficking, sexual exploitation for money and forced or servile marriage and there are nearly 36 million of them across the globe.

Read more »

Credit Drives the Economy

Chart of the Week 20 November 2014

Written by , Online Trading Academy

Debt deleveraging is still continuing across the globe.  How this is playing out and what investors should be doing is the subject of this week's discussion.

Global interest rates are discussed in the video following the Read more >> jump.

Read more »

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Econintersect Analysis:

November 2014 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Drops Sharply - Well Under Expectations

Written by and

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined - falling for two out of the last seven months. The market expected this index to come in at 94.8 to 98.8 (consensus 96.5) versus the 88.7 reported.

Full story »

Case-Shiller Home Prices September 2014: Price Growth Continues to Decelerate

Written by

The non-seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities) for September 2014 (released today) rate of growth again declined but continues to show moderate year-over-year gain in housing prices.

Full story »

Second Estimate 3Q2014 GDP Revised Up, Corporate Profits Up Too

Written by Doug Short and

The second estimate of second quarter 2014 Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is now a positive 3.9%. This data point was +3.5% in the advance GDP estimate. The upward revision to the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected upward revisions to private inventory investment, to personal consumption expenditures, and to nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to exports and an upward revision to imports.


Full story »

Stratfor: The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East

by George Friedman

Nuclear talks with Iran have failed to yield an agreement, but the deadline for a deal has been extended without a hitch. What would have been a significant crisis a year ago, replete with threats and anxiety, has been handled without drama or difficulty. This new response to yet another failure to reach an accord marks a shift in the relationship between the United States and Iran, a shift that can’t be understood without first considering the massive geopolitical shifts that have taken place in the Middle East, redefining the urgency of the nuclear issue.

Full story »

October 2014 CFNAI Super Index's Significant Backward Revision Moves the 3 Month Moving Average Into Negative Territory

Written by

The economy was growing slower in October 2014 based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average - and the economy has marginally dropped below the historical trend rate of growth.

Full story »

Monetary Theory is Non-Ergodic

Beware So-Called ‘Long-Run’ Monetarist Correlations

by Philip Pilkington

When I ran regressions plotting the money supply against the CPI I was told that I should average them over 5 year periods because this would supposedly iron out ‘volatility’ and show long-run trends. I responded in a post saying that I was dubious of this practice because I did not believe it would show long-run trends at all. Rather I thought it was being used to screw with the data. Here is a concrete example, drawing on the M3 and the CPI, showing why it is wise to be on your guard against these sorts of aggregation.


Full story »

Oil Price Slide – No Good Way Out

by Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World

The world is in a dangerous place now. A large share of oil sellers need the revenue from oil sales. They have to continue producing, regardless of how low oil prices go unless they are stopped by bankruptcy, revolution, or something else that gives them a very clear signal to stop. Producers of oil from US shale are in this category, as are most oil exporters, including many of the OPEC countries and Russia.

Full story »

Is There a Rental Shortage - Inflation Threat?

Written by

There is an obvious relationship between supply and demand. In the rental housing market, demand is eroding supply at a rapid rate according to recent data - likely due to changing demographics and preferences. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is based 40% on housing costs - so the logical conclusion is that a rapid rise in inflation is just around the corner.

Full story »

The UAE and Saudi War on the Muslim Brotherhood Could Be Trouble for the U.S.


The UAE Cabinet approved a list of 83 designated terrorist organizations on Saturday, including al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Much more significant, though, was the inclusion of many Muslim organizations based in the West that are believed to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Prominent among them are two American Muslim groups: the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society.

Full story »

October 2014 Existing Home Sales Had the Best Month in a Year

Written by

The headlines for existing home sales say that sales improved - with this is the first time in a year that home sales volumes grew year-over-year (seasonally adjusted data). Our analysis of the unadjusted data also is positive. The unadjusted three month rolling averages for sales are now only marginally negative but accelerating. Bottom line - this was a relatively good report.

Full story »

November 2014 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Jumps, Well Above Expectations, And Suggests Pickup in Growth

Written by

The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey growth jumped and continues well into expansion territory for the ninth month. Key elements remain in expansion. 

Full story »

October 2014 Leading Economic Index Up Sharply, Good Growth Predicted throught the Holiday Season

Written by

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. improved sharply 0.9% over last month. The index growth has been noisy but remains in a growth trend.

Full story »

October 2014 CPI Annual Inflation Rate Flatlined at 1.7%

by Doug Short and

The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) year-over-year inflation rate has remained constant at 1.7% for the last 3 months. Energy prices decreased whilst shelter increased countering energy's decline. The annual core inflation rate remains under the targets set by the Federal Reserve.

Full story »

Culture Shocks

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (51)

Written by , KeySignals.com

The recent policy maker induced market correction, suggested in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (45) Worlds in Motion[i] and initiated in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (46) “If At First You Don’t Succeed…..[ii] was swiftly executed; so that those who missed it were soon calling for a return to the easy money status quo that will lead to an equity market retracement and then additional gains. Policy makers have other ideas in mind however; and there will be no return to the pre-correction fundamental status quo. In fact, policy makers are now intent upon fundamentally changing the behaviour of market participants instead.

Full story »

A Tale of Two Economies -- It Was the Better of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

by Paul Kasriel, The Econtrarian

As quantitative easing comes to an end (apparently) by the Fed and is taken up by the European Central Bank (ECB), let’s compare the behavior of nominal domestic demand in each central bank’s economy and venture a reason for any differences.

Full story »

Residential Building Sector Again Mixed in October 2014, But Long Term Growth Still Trending Down

Written by

Residential building permits were a mixed bag. Although the amount of permits was higher than completions this month - the amount of permits continues to trend down.

Full story »

Why Lower Oil Prices Won't Kill the Renewable Energy Boom

Money Morning Article of the Week

by Kent Moor, Money Morning

Whenever oil prices drop, everyone always wonders how it will affect wind and solar power.

It follows from the traditional assumption that renewables like these are only competitive when oil and natural gas prices are high.

After all, the early stages of wind and solar power came with a hefty front-loaded price tag, requiring massive government subsidies to both producers and end users to get off the ground.

Full story »

The Last Argument of Central Banks

by John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

For a central banker, deflation is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Death, Famine, Disease, and Deflation. (We will address later in this letter why War, in the form of a currency war, is not in a central banker’s Apocalypse mix.)  It is helpful to understand that, before a person is allowed to join the staff or board of a central bank, he or she is taken into a back room and given DNA replacement therapy, inserting a gene that is viscerally opposed to deflation.

Full story »

October 2014 Producer Price Inflation Continues to be Moderate (Same Headline as Last Month)

Written by

The Producer Price Index inflation continued to be slight. In all events, the intermediate processing continues to show a moderation of inflation in the supply chain.

Full story »

Stratfor: On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies

by George Friedman

We do not normally comment on domestic political affairs unless they affect international affairs. However, it is necessary to consider American political affairs because they are likely to have a particular effect on international relations. We have now entered the final phase of Barack Obama's presidency, and like those of several other presidents since World War II, it is ending in what we call a state of failure. This is not a judgment on his presidency so much as on the political configuration within it and surrounding it.

Full story »

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FOREX NEWS by DailyForex

Business Confidence Around The World Dips

Markit Global Business Outlook Surveys were started during the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 and involve input from more than 6000 companies from all over the world.

Oil Edges Down Ahead of OPEC

OPEC is considering exemptions for three nations from any potential oil-production cuts. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister told reporters that he didn’t know what OPEC should do at its next meeting but he didn’t anticipate a difficult meeting when the group meets on Nov. 27 to decide its response to slumping crude.

Euro Inches Higher on IFO

Investors are all but convinced that the European Central Bank is on the verge of additional easing and have already begun the sell-off which sent the common currency Euro to a 2-year low versus its major rival, the U.S. Dollar.

Forex Week in Review

Last week was again largely positive for the major markets with only Japan’s Nikkei losing ground. Get the analysis for November 24, 2014 here.

Gold Near 3-Week High

Gold was trading close to a three-week high on Monday, holding its ground from the previous session on hopes that a surprise rate cut in China would boost demand for bullion in the top consumer, though a strong dollar capped gains.

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Econintersect Investing:

Investing.com Technical Summary 25 November 2014

Investing.com Technical Analysis (as of Tue, 25 November 2014 05:00pm EDT)

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

Below, technical overviews and analysis for key stock indices, commodities and investing.com-logocurrency pairs, based on market activity at the close of the 25 November 2014 U.S. session. This information is a comprehensive summary derived from simple and exponential moving averages along with key technical indicators shown for specific time intervals.

Read more »

"Unloved" Pick of the Week: U.S. Silica Holdings Inc.

Money Morning Article of the Week

by David Zeiler, Associate Editor, Money Morning

Money Morning's "unloved" pick of the week is fracking sand supplier U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SLCA).

An unloved investment is one that's been beaten down - but is actually a great value. Investors then get an amazing entry point into a good long-term investment.

Read more »

S&P 500 Stretched Like A Spring

by Chris Ebert, Zentrader

Stock prices tend to act like a spring. The further they are stretched to their limits, the further they tend to snap back in the opposite direction.

Read more »

The Dismal Economy

X-factor Report 23 November 2014

by Lance Roberts, StreetTalk Live

What You Already Know

The market rallied sharply on Friday on the back of announcements that China was cutting its overnight lending rate and Mario Draghi promising to buy more bonds if necessary to ensure the return of inflation.

Read more »

Why the Plunge Protection Team Loves Fridays

by Rick Ackerman, Rick's Picks

The Plunge Protection Team has been hard at work lately, although not in the way some traders might imagine. The very name evokes the shadowy activities of a group of Svengalis believed to control the stock market through timely interventions in such key trading vehicles as the S&P 500 futures. In fact, the PPT, more blandly known as the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, was commissioned under President Reagan after the 1987 Crash to prevent meltdowns.


Read more »

Insider Trading 21 November 2014: Charles Schwab Selling

by Asif Suria

Insider buying decreased last week with insiders buying $68.12 million of stock compared to $73.83 million in the week prior. Selling increased a little with insiders selling $1.69 billion of stock last week compared to $1.67 billion in the week prior.

Sell/Buy Ratio: The insider Sell/Buy ratio is calculated by dividing the total insider sales in a given week by total insider purchases that week. The adjusted ratio for last week went up to 24.94. In other words, insiders sold almost 25 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares unfavorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 22.67.

Read more »

The Week Ahead: Investing in the Age of Complacency

by Jeff Miller, A Dash of Insight

The upcoming calendar has plenty of data in a holiday-shortened week. There could be OPEC or Black Friday news. In spite of this avalanche of information, I expect commentators to look for an organizing principle. In a week when many will be giving thanks, there will be scrutiny of the new market highs.

Many will ask: Are investors too complacent?


Read more »

Trefis: Highlights Week Ending 21 November 2014

Written by

Below is a summary of the activity at Trefis during the past week that Trefis thought Econintersect readers would find interesting.

Trefis is a financial community structured around trends, forecasts and insights related to some of the most popular stocks in the US. It provides the unique feature of allowing the user to model future valuation based upon projected changes in components of each business. It also provides communication capabilities among members, including consensus of member analysis compared to Trefis staff analysis and blogging opportunities for members.

Click on graphic for larger image and go to Trefis interactive page.

Click "Read more..." to see our clickable table of contents with the most covered companies (more than 1 article) of the week identified.

Read more »

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 21 November 2014

U.S. stocks gain on Chinese rate cut, Draghi comments; Dow rises 0.51%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

China's move to loosen monetary policy coupled with the European Central Bank's hints at taking similar steps to stimulate its economy sent U.S. stocks rising on Friday. investing.com-logo

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.51%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.52%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.24%.

The S&P 500 VIX index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 5.01% at 13.58.

Read more »

Low Risk High Reward Trading and Investing

Online Trading Academy Article of the Week

by Sam Seiden, Online Trading Academy

As the old saying goes, "risk and reward go hand in hand." I can't tell you how many times I have heard that in the trading and investing world. Most people think the more reward you try to attain, the more risk you need to take on. Many years ago, I heard this so often that I believed it. However, after many years of trading experience I could not disagree more. It is very possible to attain plenty of reward taking on minimal risk if you know what to look for when analyzing price charts.

Read more »

Precious Metals Corner:

My Secret Gold Investing Strategy

Special Report from Money Morning

by Keith Fitz-Gerald, Money Morning

Gold has taken a tremendous beating in recent weeks and is now tumbling along at four-year lows of $1,160/ounce.

Things are so bad that you can actually buy the Central Fund of Canada Ltd. (NYSEMKT: CEF) - a popular gold and silver bullion investment vehicle - at a 10% to 11% discount to the price of gold, because traders think the price of gold will drop even lower.

Read more »

Live Market Commentary:

Market Commentary: Markets Close Mixed, Sideways Trading All Afternoon

Written by

Closing Market Commentary For 11-25-2014

The averages have closed all over the place. The DOW closed flat and in the red while the small caps closed fractionally higher in the green. Volume was low for most of the afternoon with some moderate trading at the close.

By 4 pm the averages looked weak and uninspiring as we suspected would be the case as we move towards the holiday on Thursday.

Read more »

Video of the Day:

There is a report in The Sun claiming Kim Kardashian had commissioned an 'artistic statue' of her bottom, How would the art judge such an object: Art or artefact?

video of day picture

Forex Trader:

Investing.com Technical Summary 25 November 2014

Investing.com Technical Analysis (as of Tue, 25 November 2014 05:00pm EDT)

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

Below, technical overviews and analysis for key stock indices, commodities and investing.com-logocurrency pairs, based on market activity at the close of the 25 November 2014 U.S. session. This information is a comprehensive summary derived from simple and exponential moving averages along with key technical indicators shown for specific time intervals.

Follow up:

Econintersect Opinion:

What does the Health Care Debate Reveal About Us, and Our Future?

by Fabius Maximus, FabiusMaximus.com

Summary: Today we have a glance at the debate about one of the most important domestic public policy debates of our time, repeated in every generation since 1945, that illuminates the moral and intellectual nature of America at this point in time. The photo below captures it perfectly, the aggressive ignorance resulting from generations of skillful propaganda on a weak people. Renewal is an inherent capacity of individuals and societies; we desperately need it (more on how to do this in another post). This is the second of two posts today.

"Of course we want to have universal health care! We aren't barbarians!"

- attributed to Margaret Thatcher, said in 1993 at Washington, DC (hat tip to Delong)

This is America today

Read more »

Five Good Reasons Saudi Arabia Will Not "Swing" and Why $80 Is the New Normal

Written by

Now the dust from the Shock & Awe of the 30% drop in oil prices has started to settle, two things are clear: (a) Saudi Arabia did not engineer anything (b) they don't have a Machiavellian plan to stick one up the wildcatters in North Dakota, or the Russians...the Iranians...the Venezuelans, or even the genius from The Daily Telegraph who was bemoaning the fact that if oil prices go down it will be hard to import inflation into U.K.

Read more »

Handing More Control to Patients Could just be Cost-Cutting in Disguise

by Lisa Kidd, The Conversation

In Austerity Britain, few cutbacks capture the public ire like those directed towards the beloved NHS. In the public consciousness at least, it seems the NHS must remain outside the whims of party politics. As such, few policies are as divisive as the rationing of healthcare. Often perceived solely as an economic measure, many objective observers would argue it has no place in the health professional’s toolkit.

Read more »

George Friedman: An Understated Problem and Possible Consequences

Written by

Random Thoughts from the High Desert

A "Failed Presidency" sounds like bad news for the President. In this case, however, we may be seeing the demise of the U.S. as we have known it.

Imperial President

Of course it would not be appropriate in an initial article on the subject for George Friedman to go that far, but I am not constrained by multiple client contracts so I can state the obvious.

Read more »

Chinese-style Globalization Resumes

by LEAP/Europe 2020, Leap2020.eu

This month a number of international events show us what Chinese-style Globalization means in terms of global governance:

Read more »

No Cut in Rates? Will Rajan Bite The Bullet?

Written by Sunil Chandra

All the Clamor for a Rate Cut...

As he gets ready to present the Fifth bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, Governor Rajan must be wondering about the clamor for an interest rate cut from all corners of the country.

Read more »

Australia and China after their FTA

Report from the East Asia Forum

by Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The past week has seen big breakthroughs in Asia Pacific economic diplomacy. At the APEC summit, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe broke the diplomatic ice in the China-Japan relationship. The United States and China paved the way towards extending the successful International Technology Agreement through the WTO. They also did a game-changing deal that will entrench deep cuts to carbon emissions through to 2025-30. China brought trans-regional (as opposed to Eastern and Western Pacific) integration back to centre stage in APEC's quest for open regionalism. And in Brisbane, the G20 summit has crafted a global recovery strategy around broad-based cooperation on productivity-enhancing reforms and infrastructure investment, re-focused on the WTO and brought climate change back into play.

Read more »

Ideological Foundations of Mainstream Neoclassical Economics: Class Interests as “Economic Theory”

by Prof. Ismael Hossein-Zadeh

This appeared originally at Global Ressearch, 12 November 2014.

There is now a widespread consensus that mainstream/neoclassical economists failed miserably to either predict the coming of the 2008 financial implosion, or provide a reasonable explanation when it actually arrived. Not surprisingly, many critics have argued that neoclassical economics has created more confusion than clarification, more obfuscation than elucidation. Economic "science" has, indeed, become "an ideological construct which serves to camouflage and justify the New World Order" [1].

Read more »

Common Currency: A Forex Scandal that Epitomises the Blindness in the Banking Crisis

by Andre Spicer, The Conversation

The biggest open secret in the financial world has been confirmed. Regulators in the UK, the US and Switzerland have announced massive fines for some of the world’s largest banks for a manipulation of global currency markets that in its callous ubiquity says so much about the banking behaviours that sparked the global financial crisis.

Read more »


Written by

In a previous post, I presented a framework called “WMDs, Germs, and Economies” (WMDs, Germs, and Economies: Part I). This post will delve a little deeper in the middle layer, focusing on civilizations.

First of all, what is a civilization?

Read more »

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