Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (38)

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Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

Follow up:

A confluence of events, in the global media space, provided key signals that history is rhyming again. Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets[i] predicted a point in time, where the economic growth which had been pulled from the future by QE disappeared into the past; causing speculators to question the value of inflated asset prices.

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (37) “The Third Man(date)” suggested that this point had been reached. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (25) “Pride and Extreme Prejudice[ii] explained the way that CEO’s have executed a strategy which fits the existing conditions of Stagflation in the developed economies. Companies cut costs, raise prices and invest in buybacks and mergers to match the stagflationary environment; the most recent examples of this being Microsoft and IBM.  In Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (36) “The Third Mandate”[iii] it was reported that Microsoft will shed 18,000 jobs; and book the cost saving as income to boost the appearance of corporate earnings whilst revenues fell.  IBM became one of the latest technology companies, to manipulate its earnings per share, by increasing its buy-backs; so that the free-float is now below levels last seen in 1999[iv].  1999 was the year when the last share-split occurred just before the technology stock bubble reached its apogee; so one can say that IBM has been investing in its own shares rather than economic growth for the last fifteen years. IBM effectively diluted shareholder value running into the technology stock bubble; and has since been buying back inflated shares rather than growing the bottom line. Along the way it has shed its hardware business units, so that it has effectively become a rent seeking IT services company, rather than a technology industry growth leader. IBM is therefore the kind of utility sector stock which Warren Buffett understands; and which survives by adhering to the conditions of Stagflation that drive its cash flows.

Phase Two

Bearing in mind that Warren Buffett now owns a huge chunk of IBM shares[v], the company has practically gone private in terms of its free float. Shareholders are therefore rewarded for income and balance sheet manipulation rather than economic growth.

Google appears to be the next technology company, which will be entreated to adopt the Stagflation survival strategy by its shareholders and investment bankers[vi]. The tactics suggested will probably be share buybacks and acquisitions. It’s growing cash pile, from the economic rent of advertising for free content provision, means that it could buy Time Warner for cash.

Share prices in companies, which adopt the Stagflation survival strategy, outperform and then drive the indexes on which they are listed higher. Share prices thus reflect real economic contraction rather than economic growth; and the situation which leads value investors to call bubble tops occurs.

The Q2/2014 earnings season to date suggests that companies are maintaining this strategy; as widening margins[vii] continue to be a larger driver of reported per-share earnings than increased sales.


The classic example of this bubble scenario was evinced by the media baron Rupert Murdoch last week. Murdoch’s commercial Stagflation strategy is to acquire a monopoly position[viii] in media content, which he can then charge customers for. Interestingly Warren Buffett, a Stagflation investor, also believes that media content should not be free.  

“Never interrupt your enemy, when he is about to make a mistake.”
(Napoleon Bonaparte)

One feels instinctively that a showdown, between the business models of Murdoch and Google is occurring. Murdoch has to keep acquiring, to survive the challenge from Google. Google’s growing cash pile reflects the fact that it is living off the cash cow of advertising rent, rather than real economic growth. In the real economy, where costs need to be cut in order to survive, Google’s monopoly position in search and advertising bring the essential scale cost savings to companies. Google’s revenue growth therefore reflects corporate downsizing and economic efficiency seeking in the real economy. Google is the big price deflator, which companies use to preserve their own margins. Google’s apparent growth phase is therefore finite, because it is limited by the ability of its customers to achieve cost savings. When companies have cut costs and shrunk their operations to the limit of sustainability, Google’s effective growth phase will be over. Cost savings for Google customers translate into overall downsizing for the real economy. The fact that Google is now on the radar screen to deliver shareholder value through buybacks, special dividends and M&A suggests that we are near to the end of this apparent growth phase. Google itself charges for some services. If the company signals that it is raising these prices, or that it is going to charge for more existing services which currently are free, it will be clear that the end of the apparent growth phase has occurred.

Thus far, since 2011, Google’s price war with Murdoch on advertising shows little sign of letting up; which is presumably why he has launched his latest offensive.

“# Follow Rupert and His Chums, on Their Next Global Adventure, Boys and Girls.”

Murdoch’s critics may also opine that the creation of this media monopoly position allows him to force public opinion to “subscribe” to his own worldview; which seems closely related to the resurgent “Warmongers” in Anglo-Saxon politics. Making policy and making money seem to be rhyming again. His latest announced acquisition, which would have been his largest to date, would have given him control of the plethora of Time Warner’s content; if the deal had been compensated consummated.  But it wasn't as Time Warner promised more fight than old Rupert wanted to take on.

“Rupert’s Bear Markets.”

Murdoch’s acquisition history[ix] suggests that he is a classic contrarian indicator, in terms of the prices paid for his targets.

Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets”

“Rupert’s Bear Market” signals seem to rhyme closely with the signals from Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets[x][xi]. Murdoch however does not care about the acquisition price paid; he is more interested in the monopoly position it creates in terms of control of content material and pricing. Since he values the monopoly position higher than the acquisition price paid, he becomes the only crazy bid for the target by default. He also likes to pay top-dollar, to make sure that nobody else with financial discipline can take the target from under his nose. The “Murdoch Premium” comes at the top the top of a company’s price chart and then adds on another multiple to make sure he is the exclusive winner. “Buy Low, Sell Murdoch” is therefore the best trading strategy for any stock investor.

“The Plot Thickens.”

In the meantime, readers can be thrilled by Rupert’s monopoly position version of current global events. In Rupert’s latest mystery adventure, the global crisis continues to degenerate. Russia has returned to the Bay of Pigs, with a new electronic surveillance post on Cuban soil[xii]. Prime Minister Netanyahu widened the scope of the Gaza incursion[xiii]. Ukraine became even more obscure. Initially, news surfaced that there were in fact two black-boxes from the downed Malaysian airliner; each of which was in the hands of the conflicting authorities in Kiev and Moscow[xiv]. This story then evolved to place both black boxes in the hands of pro-Russian rebels; as the media spotlight and international opprobrium where focused on President Putin[xv]. America fell short of directly holding Russia responsible for the tragedy, but inferred that it was culpable for creating the conditions which led to the tragedy[xvi]. These new chapters are parts of the same story being serialised in the Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness series.

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (30) “Adullamites[xvii] opined that:

Clearly, as 2016 approaches, the “Warmongers” wish to go global. Energy security is not just a European problem anymore. To compound the situation, President Putin has just announced that the American Shale Emperor has no clothes. It looks as if America is going to have another “Enron Moment” with Shale. If history is rhyming again, we will then see a bubble in technology created by loose monetary policy after the “Enron Moment”, followed by a financial crisis when the “irrational exuberance” after the “Enron Moment” expires; and then some large geopolitical event like “9/11” which will lead into the next phase of bubble creation. Along the way there will be a new American President to move things along. Looking at Ukraine, Iran, Syria and now Africa there is no shortage of potential geopolitical events to hand, for one to take one’s pick from. Since all are inter-related, the probabilities of history rhyming again are very high. (our emphasis)

A large geopolitical event like “9/11” has just occurred over Ukraine. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (37) “The Third Man(date)” observed American doubts of German intentions and capabilities in relation to Russia; highlighted by Europe’s poor energy security[xviii] and Russia’s energy wealth. The mutual suspicion boiled over into the public domain, in the form of a spat between the two nations about spying[xix]. America’s latest assertion, that the missile which shot down the Malaysian airliner was fired from Russian territory[xx],now puts pressure on Germany and the EU to declare their true intentions and capabilities. Europe is being forced off the fence. The loss of 193 Dutch lives[xxi] on the downed Malaysian airliner will be the purest test of EU (especially German) resolve and solidarity. France evinced this European spirit of solidarity, when it offered to cancel the sale of its Mistral warship to Russia[xxii]. France will of course demand solidarity from Germany, to compensate for this financial loss, in the form of looser EU fiscal rules and the green light for Mario Draghi to do rather than to keep saying “whatever it takes”. French solidarity was fleeting however and was soon followed by the commitment to make delivery; so presumably the reciprocal solidarity from the EU and the ECB was not forthcoming[xxiii]. The PIIGS, who derive nearly a third of their energy from Russia, will no doubt have noticed France leveraging its EU solidarity credentials; and will follow suit by cutting their purchases back. As luck would have it, a new “Stan” has just been born in Northern Iraq, which is able to supply their energy requirements. The confluence of events in Ukraine and Iraq, therefore supports the view that there is causality in addition to correlation between the two crises.

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (34) “Blowback”[xxiv] observed the Christian zeal within the GOP setting its own religious red line, of persecution of Christians, for military intervention in Iraq. The “Islamic Caliphate of ISIS” has now crossed this red line, by giving Christians in the Mosul region the ultimatum of conversion to Islam, tax or death[xxv]. America Christian resolve is now facing a test.

“It is the best of times, it will be the worst of times in 2060.”

Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years

This chapter of the story is however part of a much larger tale. Some of the bigger story was serialised recently, by the OECD in its publication entitled “Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years[xxvi]; which was covered in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (36) “By the Rivers of Babylon”. The narrative legend is that the developing nations will be harnessed to create global growth, which maintains the existing world order. The developing nations thus achieve growth but never get on level terms with their developed nation trading partners.

“Bada Bing… Bada Boom!”

Last week, the world clearly saw that the BRICS have written their own epilogue to this narrative; in which they create an alternative global trading system[xxvii] which no longer relies on US Dollar (or Euro) hegemony. The implicit threat to the US Dollar’s position as the global reserve currency, in addition to America’s loss of the privilege to price the world’s most important commodities, is large; and is also presumably worth fighting over. This fight must however occur in the nations who are undecided over which rival trade bloc to join, in order to help them make up their minds or lose everything for choosing the wrong side. As George W Bush once said,

You are either with us, or against us”.

The Swiss are hedging their bets, as they have always done in the great global conflicts. The recent inclusion of the RMB, in the Swiss currency reserves[xxviii], could be read as an attempt to go after the offshore share of forex trading. It could also be read as a signal of the first developed economy diversifying away from the US Dollar as a reserve currency. So far, the IMF has been able to avoid including the RMB in the basket of currencies which make up the SDR; because China’s currency does not freely float. The assumption in the West, is that China will work to loosen its capital account controls to make its currency eligible for the SDR. The signal out of the Fortaleza Summit is that the BRICS are developing an alternative basket to the SDR.

China’s huge US Dollar reserve surplus is funding this emerging parallel trade bloc. China’s response to America’s Pivot can now be seen in this new venture. From China’s perspective, this is not just a development charity however. Economic growth in this trade bloc will drive future Chinese export earnings; and allow the accumulation of foreign assets in territories that cannot easily be touched by American sanctions.

Hurling BRICS at the World Bank and the $

The new BRIC development bank is however deeply flawed[xxix]. China and India already borrow more from the World Bank than the capitalization of the new development bank. Clearly they intend to leverage themselves up, on China’s US Dollar reserve base, without the political and fiscal constraints placed on them by the World Bank. Given the paucity of reporting in Chinese and Indian capital markets, it is clear to see that this leverage will end in tears.

It is also clear to see that the World Bank will start tightening its oversight of its loans to BRIC countries as they leverage up. A situation in which the BRICS must then chose which lender to default on will develop in due course.

There is also the matter of the currency mismatch between the new BRIC development bank and the World Bank. The BRIC development bank is a US Dollar vehicle, whereas the World Bank is only a 10% US Dollar vehicle. The BRICS will thus have assets in US Dollars and the majority of liabilities to the World Bank in other currencies. Any future American policy which weakens the US Dollar, such as the permanent increase in the money supply, will trigger the risks associated with this currency mismatch. A debt crisis in the BRICS, which threatens global capital markets and wipes out China’s reserve US Dollar surplus, can thus be anticipated.

The BRICS hope that the value of the hard assets, which they create in their own countries, through borrowing in US Dollars will hedge them. The bubble in BRIC asset prices, which reflects this fall in the value of the US Dollar, will no doubt be a swift and profitable ride followed by a painful arrival. It would seem that China has decided that its US Dollar surplus is its biggest risk; and is therefore trying to use this surplus up as soon as possible.

The application of this surplus, to a bubble in BRIC assets, may however not be the best thing to do with the money. The point that is clearly made in all this strategic thinking, is that the US Dollar is viewed as a strategic risk by the BRICS. Their strategy is to create hard assets, with these risky US Dollar reserves, before the permanent creation of US Dollars dilutes the value of these risky US Dollar reserves that they own.

Portfolio flows suggest that the sheep have bought into the thesis that a new bull phase in emerging markets is under way[xxx]. They should be mindful of the danger inherent in this strategy. The new Indian Prime Minister is already flexing his muscles and trying to leverage this new BRIC development theme. He now wishes to renegotiate the WTO agreement achieved in Bali by his predecessor. Prime Minister Modi is a nationalist at heart; and intends to revert back to the system of subsidies which made the Indian economy appear to boom. Experience suggests that subsidies were the cause of the instability and corruption which brought the last government down. The Modi government has therefore promised “change”, but reverted back to type. Modi’s promise to encourage foreign technology investment also sounds a little hollow. Just before the new BRIC development initiative was announced, the Indian Defence Ministry signalled that foreign ownership of joint ventures would be allowed to rise from 26% to 49%. Lockheed Martin however, saw through this poorly concealed attempt to gain control of the increased technology transfer by maintaining the domestic 51% controlling share[xxxi]. The West has clearly understood the direction that the BRICS are heading in; so this time around the charge of the bulls into the emerging markets is not underwritten by the trend in geopolitics. Indeed the emerging marker bulls are charging into a deteriorating geopolitical situation.

“For Future Reference.”

All eyes should now switch to China, to see if it also reverts to type; and follows a domestic agenda which vitiates against the Western themes of globalization.

“Get Off the Fence Again Europe!”

For our young readers, who follow the money, there is also an exciting European sub-plot with a Trans-Atlantic twist in the tale.

“Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money and ‘PIIGS’ Get Slaughtered”

The report entitled “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money and ‘PIIGS’ Get Slaughtered”[xxxii] suggested that the strategy of the PIIGS, to gain negotiating power with the EU by generating primary budget surpluses, would meet with firm German resistance in 2014.

“The Song Remains the Same.”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (35) “Red Lines and Green Lights

This resistance has recently been heard in the voices of the “Three Teutonic Tenors”[xxxiii] Schaeuble, Dombret and Weidmann. The fear in Germany, is that the combination of loose Eurozone fiscal policy and loose ECB monetary policy will create economic overheating and an asset bubble in the domestic economy. The latest fiscal and economic data, suggest that this fear is well grounded. In June, Germany reported booming tax receipts from a strong economy; in addition to the secondary boost of lower debt servicing costs at the company and sovereign level[xxxiv].

Last week, Schaeuble continued to undermine Italy’s bargaining position by demanding total fiscal reform[xxxv]. Having undermined Italy, he then attacked France; by suggesting that there was no more EU leeway to accommodate the expanding French budget deficit[xxxvi]. Not content to remain within European borders, he then started to undermine Stanley Fischer’s new “Third Mandate”. Schaeuble has acknowledged that the new move to “Macroprudential” regulation mandates for central banks is now a de facto status quo. His line of attack is now directed at the potential for this new status quo to combine with perpetual QE, in order to create the kind of asset bubbles which Jens Weidmann has already warned about[xxxvii].

Weidmann harmonised with Schaeuble, by opining that the debt crisis in Europe could flare up again at any moment[xxxviii]. He then followed with a haunting aria; which opined that higher interest rates were needed from the ECB, in order to prevent national governments from going further into debt and breaking fiscal deficit limits[xxxix]. Weidmann ended on the strong note that the notion of fiscal union is dead; and has been replaced with the concept of individual sovereign responsibility[xl]. The evidence from the lending data out of Germany, totally contradicts the assertions of a bubble developing by Weidmann and Schaeuble. The picture painted is one of abstemious German borrowers taking down smaller loans and repaying them faster[xli]. The pace of deleverage in Germany is actually accelerating as Draghi threatens to do more unconventional easing; because Germans themselves believe it will be short-lived and end in crisis.

Germany is now fully committed to engineering another crisis; by the very nature of the cognitive bias which seems to afflict its citizens and policy makers. The arrival at the convergence point, described in Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets[xlii], now means that the growth which was creating these primary surpluses has gone. With no growth, there can be no further tax revenues to generate the primary surpluses. Tighter deficit rules, will slash fiscal spending and hence growth further; whilst creating another set of temporary primary surpluses.

By applying the German solution, the PIIGS therefore keep contracting their economies; into positions which ultimately will require a fiscal bailout from Germany. It can therefore be observed that Germany is simply getting the final price of this final bailout down to the lowest value possible, without triggering revolutions in the PIIGS (and France) which will break the whole Eurozone up. Germany is currently in the process of plumbing the depths, to see where the new bailout low water mark is, in political and financial terms.

It is becoming clear that even in EU economies, which have growth, that the growth is not strong enough to create the tax receipts to reduce budget deficits even further. George Osborne became the latest finance minister to discover this alarming fact; as he tries to boost the British economy further in order to win the General Election in 2015[xliii]. The deficit will need to expand even further as votes are bought with fiscal spending. The winner of the 2015 election will therefore face an expanding deficit. This may be met with severe public spending cuts. It is however more likely to be met by Mark Carney’s balance sheet; as the Bank of England follows the Fed’s Helicopter strategy of permanent deficit monetisation.


“Interest Rate Policy for Anachronisms.”
Are the monetary policies in the US and the Eurozone diverging quickly enough?

A chorus of European and American economists then began their own song; with the observation that Greece does indeed need a third bailout despite its current primary surplus[xliv]. This choral symphony then ended, on a discordant note, with exaltation to both the Fed and ECB in the name of the Taylor Rule. This part of the chorus is totally Anglo-Saxon; and therefore very discordant with singing of the “Three Teutonic Tenors”. The Anglo-Saxons wish to see the ECB embark on a QE model similar to the Fed’s. According to Taylor’s golden rule of macroeconomics, the Fed is now too slack and the ECB is too tight in monetary policy terms[xlv]. The Fed should therefore tighten as the ECB eases.

As has already been stated in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (37) “The Third Mandate” however, zero interest rates and the expanded balance sheets of central banks have rendered all conventional economic models useless anachronisms. The Taylor Rule is one such anachronism. Jeremy Stein understood this, but he has now been muzzled by Yellen. The most important economic global indicator is now the value of the NASDAQ index. The level of this index confirms that Fed policy is indeed too loose. Since the NASAQ pulls European equity indexes around, with more force than the ECB, its current lofty heights suggest that ECB  policy has room to loosen. The new dynamic input for a modern version of the Taylor Rule, updated to accommodate Stanley Fischer’s “Third Mandate” on central bank “Macroprudential Regulation”, is therefore the value of the NASDAQ. This rule is however subjective rather than formulaic; so that only the Fed knows what the correct value for the NASDAQ benchmark input, which prices all other asset classes, should be. The objective of the  Anglo-Saxon chorus is too make sure that there is still a wall of global liquidity to hold up asset prices, this time supplied by the ECB, whilst the Fed gives the impression of being prudent. The Fed will appear to be prudent until the Congress can legislate the permanent expansion of the US money supply, which is temporarily supporting the whole global superstructure, into existence. This legislation will come with the combination of Stanley Fischer’s “Third Mandate” and the Fed’s permanently expanded balance sheet of assets.

“No Corporate Jets Here, Just the Helicopter.”

The added twist in the tale will come at Jackson Hole later this summer. The Fed has set up the Helipad by disinviting attendees from Wall Street[xlvi]. The objective, of distancing the central bankers from the real beneficiaries of QE and replacing them with a more formal academic ensemble, is to project the appearance of the kind of “Macroprudential” rigour; which is an elaborate cover for the next blind leap of faith into the economic unknown.  The Fed intends to land the Helicopter at Jackson Hole onto the “Middle Class” landing pad. To underline the point, the gatekeepers to the “1%” have been excluded. This of course runs the risk that the excluded throw their teddy bears into the corner; and scream “inflation”, followed by “rate hikes”, when they see the wealth being redistributed. What is more likely however is that the “1%” will first rebalance their portfolios in favour of the big inflation call, before their gatekeepers then make the call on their behalf.

“The Cute Bear Necessities of Macroprudential Life on Wall Street.”

Wall Street has bought into the “Macroprudential” story big time. The bear market in fixed income sales and trading staff has been outweighed by the bull market in compliance officers[xlvii], as Wall Street cooks its books to appear compliant with the Fed’s new “Third Mandate”. Once again Wall Street and “20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.” are saving themselves, after having got themselves into an even bigger hole during the QE period. The behaviour of the bond market and risk assets, since Jeremy Stein toyed with the notion of deflating the risk asset bubble during the Taper, has illustrated to the Fed that there can be no orderly exit of its portfolio without a massive market disruption and a recession. The Taper should therefore be viewed as the Fed experimenting with the effect of balance sheet reduction, to test the results in real time. This experience has been frightening for the Fed. The Fed’s priority therefore, is now to save itself first and the economy second. The only way it can pull this off, is by convincing the markets that it is in the best interest of the economy (and savings portfolios) for it to maintain an expanded balance sheet. This expanded balance sheet will also serve as the basis of the permanently expanded money supply. The Fed will avoid the nasty capital loss from the spike in interest rates, once the inflationary expectations of this strategy become fully discounted, by holding its bond portfolio to maturity. The final payment of the par value of these maturing bonds, will represent the permanent creation of the expanded money supply. The rise in interest rates will subdue economic activity sufficiently, to negate the stimulating impact of the permanently expanded money supply. The rise in interest rates will also act to curb inflation. The Fed will therefore have done nothing for the real economy, but will have done everything for its own portfolio and risk asset prices in general. The zero-sum game, in this act of self-interest and self-preservation, will be cloaked in the obscure “Macroprudential” language of the new “Third Mandate”.

“US Commercial Banks Buy the Taper….. Hope to Sell the Fact.”
Keep An Eye on Commercial Bank Liquidity Trends

It looks like the Fed will not be the only institution holding its bond portfolio to maturity. Whilst the Fed has been cutting back on its US Treasury purchases, during the Taper period, the US commercial banks have been loading up with the spare capacity supply[xlviii]. In the same instance, these banks have been cutting back on their commercial lending. Not only have the banks been anticipating a weaker economic picture as a result of the Taper; they have also created this same weaker economic picture by replacing their commercial loans with US Treasuries. The banks have been taking duration risk rather than credit risk. This duration risk is now a risk to their P&L’s; if interest rates rise as expected after the Taper ends. The economy however will weaken, as interest rates rise and also because the banks have taken duration risk rather than credit risk. As the economy weakens and the Fed steps back in however, this duration risk will be a source of their profits. The banks have set themselves up for the next easing cycle; or so they believe. In fact they think that this is a certainty, because they have cut back their commercial lending and taken duration risk instead. What they have not understood however, is that the Fed and the Treasury may be about to land the Helicopter; to unload some real price inflation with a permanent increase in the money supply and wealth redistribution. Duration risk, when faced with inflation is not a good place to be. It is an even worse place to be; if the owner of the duration risk has also made sure that there is no commercial activity in the economy, to pay the taxes that back the interest and principal payments on the long duration bonds owned.


  1. Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets”
  2. Pride and Extreme Prejudice
  3. Microsoft Eliminating 18,000 Jobs as Nadella Streamlines
  4. IBM Stock Buybacks Reduce Share Count Below 1 Billion
  5. Phase Two
  6. Google Has A Massive, Growing Pile Of Cash
  7. Fattening Profit Margins Continue To Be The Dominant Driver Of Earnings Growth
  8. Here's The Insanely Long List Of Things Rupert Murdoch Would Own If He Bought Time Warner
  9. UH-OH: Look What Happened The Last Two Times Rupert Murdoch Did A Mega-Deal
  10. Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets”
  11. Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets”
  12. Russia to reopen electronic listening command post in Cuba
  13. Netanyahu Orders Military to Get Ready for Wider Gaza Incursion
  14. Second Malaysian plane's 'black box' found in Ukraine: Reuters witness
  15. Malaysian Air Data Boxes in Rebel Hands as Officials Seek Access
  16. MH17: US intelligence says Russia 'created conditions' for plane disaster
  17. Adullamites
  18. EU Struggles to Turn Outrage Into Action After Plane Shootdown
  19. After Germany expels CIA chief, will US spies back off?
  20. Obama Seen Gaining on Putin as U.S. Prods EU on Sanctions
  21. Dutch Deaths in MH17 Prompt Angry Calls to Rutte for Action
  22. France Prepared to Cancel Warship Sale to Russia
  23. France Confirms Future Warship Delivery to Russia
  24. Blowback
  25. Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum
  26. Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years
  27. BRICS Ink $50 Billion Lender in World Bank, IMF Challenge
  28. Central Banking
  29. Hurling BRICS at the World Bank and the $
  30. Emerging ETFs Turn Positive for 2014 as Outflows Reversed
  31. Modi’s Offer to Defense Companies Not Enough for Lockheed
  32. “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money and ‘PIIGS’ Get Slaughtered”
  33. Red Lines and Green Lights
  34. Merkel Budget Gets Double Boost in June on Revenue and ECB Rates
  35. Schäuble Calls on Italy to Pursue Structural Reform
  36. Germany's Schäuble Opposes Deficit Leeway for France
  37. Schäuble: Central banks should help prevent asset bubbles
  38. ECB's Weidmann says euro zone debt crisis could flare up again
  39. ECB's Weidmann Says Won't Put Off Rate Rise Due to Public Finances
  41. German Thrift Damps Lending as Cheap Money Is Distrusted
  42. Terminal Velocity (14) – “Goldilocks Economy and the Three Bear Markets”
  43. Osborne Facing Deficit Challenge
  44. Greece Seen Needing Third Bailout as Bonds Insufficient
  45. Are the monetary policies in the US and the Eurozone diverging quickly enough?
  46. Wall Street Cut From Guest List for Jackson Hole Fed Meeting
  47. Big banks are firing traders but hiring lawyers
  48. Keep An Eye on Commercial Bank Liquidity Trends

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