The Numbers Game

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (28)

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“# 40”

After the referendum a few weeks ago in Eastern Ukraine, which the Separatists and Russia alleged to be legal and the Ukrainian Government and EU said was a farce, the putative breakaway republic now wishes to merge with Russia[i].

Follow up:

“# 400”

The Obama Administration’s reticence to follow up on the case of the forty dead Ukrainians in Odessa, who allegedly were incinerated by pro-Russian separatists, follows its reticence to investigate what actually happened to the “Heavenly Hundred” in Maidan Square. As information emerges, which implicates Neo-Nazi Ukrainian elements in this latest outrage in Odessa, it is becoming clear that the Obama Administration has lost control of an intelligence operation which aims at destabilising the country[ii].

The revelation by Der Speigel[iii], that 400 mercenaries from a US PMC now known as Academi, formerly known as Xe and originally known as Blackwater, were embedded with Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine was possibly the reason for the reticence on the part of the White House. Having berated Russia for sending in destabilising mercenary forces, it would be hypocrisy to be seen doing exactly the same thing. If the ballistic evidence from the “Heavenly Hundred” and “Odessa Forty” (bodies which were shot before they were incinerated) leads back the “Four Hundred”, reticence may need to be replaced with an even vaguer form of diplomacy.

“# Sanction Buster

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (26) “Milking It For All It’s Worth[iv] suggested that a unified western response on Ukraine was implausible, because some of the coalition members had large economic exposures to Russia. France in particular looked compromised; therefore it came as no surprise last week that the French announced that they would continue with the sale of the French built Mistral warship to Russia[v].

America was once again reticent on this deal, as it has its own interest in the GE bid for the French company Alstom to think about. The EU adopted the subtle tactic of threatening more sanctions if the Ukrainian Presidential Election of May 25th had been prevented by Russian action[vi]. This is a meaningless position, since Kiev has already shown itself incapable of asserting authority in Eastern Ukraine.

Russia had no need to prevent the election, since it is practically meaningless in Eastern Ukraine. The EU therefore has no need to impose further sanctions, so its threats are just sound-bites that don’t bite.

“# Red October Sanction Buster

The prize for the most egregious case of European double-standards however, must go to Belgium. Its main exports are foie gras, beer and chocolates. This business must have been booming since October 2013, because Belgium has found the need to reinvest the revenues into US Treasuries; making it one of the largest holders after Japan and China. Russian holdings of US Treasuries seem to have fallen by the same amount that Belgian holdings have risen over the same period. Either Russian Treasury holding accounts have been reassigned to Belgian custody, or Belgium has been paying for Russian gas by bartering foie gras, beer and chocolates.

This revelation has once again been met by the reticence of the Obama Administration. Not only were US intelligence agencies allegedly asleep when Russia annexed Ukraine, but they also appear to have fallen asleep, way back in October 2013, when the preparations for annexation began. It is doubtful that they were asleep on either occasion; they have just pretended to be so. Having been tipped off as far back as October 2013, it begs the questions as to why this event was allowed to happen; unless of course it was always intended by both sides.

Unfolding developments with Iran were equally as interesting; given that the “Warmongers” identified in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (24) “The Short Good Friday[vii] are now on the warpath. P5 + 1 are allegedly close to a breakthrough deal with Iran[viii]. The window of opportunity for the “Warmongers” to derail this deal is therefore closing fast.

Napoleon advised never to interrupt an enemy who is making a mistake; so it was no surprise to hear the silence which greeted the vainglorious Iranian claims to have won the war in Syria[ix]. Boastful Iranian foreign policy experts claimed that the West has only succeeded in training a new generation of Al Qaeda expatriates, who will return to their countries of origin and create havoc. These expatriates have not left Syria yet and there is no P5 + 1 deal yet either. The return of said expatriates to said countries of origin, also provides the opportunity for western nations to engage more muscularly with the political governance of said countries. The boasting was then followed up with a commitment to maintain the development of its own ballistic missile programme[x].

Having allegedly won the war in Syria, Iran now intends to win the war with P5 + 1. Talking, as though these conflicts have been won, is however extremely premature and courts disaster.

“# 200”

When David Cameron recently suggested that the British mission in Nigeria, to find the “Two Hundred”, would have more political and economic scope than just search and rescue a little bell rang. Senator McCain left no doubt as to what lengths President Obama should go to[xi].

“# Coming Soon to a Cinema Near You”
Jeux Sans Frontieres

The bell was initially rung in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (22) “Jeux Sans Frontieres[xii]; when it was explained how America had cut its dependency on the Light Sweet blend of Crude Oil, known as BONNY Light, produced in Nigeria. America can therefore intervene in Africa without threatening its Crude supplies. It was also explained how Africa was a subject close to the hearts of Christine Lagarde and Stanley Fischer.

President Obama has belatedly seized upon the issue of the “Two Hundred”, as an opportunity to find a much needed foreign policy success, at a time when his foreign policy is collapsing around him. Nothing was said, except by Senator McCain[xiii], when the “Two Hundred” were initially abducted however now it has become a global cause celebre.  

Senator McCain was also prescient on President Putin’s intentions and capabilities, well before the current crisis in Ukraine began[xiv]. He was also an advocate of military intervention in Syria very early in the civil war. McCain’s prescient calls are starting to embarrass the White House into being more pro-active.

Further embarrassment has come first in March from Hillary Clinton’s concurrence with Senator McCain’s assessment of President Putin’s intentions and capabilities[xv]; and then when Bill also concurred with this view at the recent gathering at the Peterson Foundation[xvi]. Under such pressure, President Obama thought he was going for the lowest fruit on the foreign policy tree in Nigeria. Closer inspection of the real issue in Nigeria however, before jumping in, would show that this is a side-door back into the room where the President’s Middle East foreign policy problems are contained.

“# Obama Don’t Surf”

As the Obama Administration remains in pacifistic paralysis over Ukraine and Syria, China decides to chance its arm in the South China Sea[xvii]. Having first thanked President Putin for unhinging the “Pivot” and selling it cheaply priced oil and gas (previously earmarked for Europe but now under sanction) by being the first nation to recognize  “Novo-Crimea” through investment[xviii], China has now repaid the favour in spades by directly threatening the “Pivot” with new oil rigs in territory contested by Vietnam. America is now stretched on two fronts simultaneously.

“# Ibn Sina”

This follows up on China’s bold seizure of America’s traditional foreign oil franchise in the UAE from right under its nose, when the drilling concessions recently came up for renewal[xix]. China is now making its move on Saudi Arabia; and has been received with alacrity by Aramco[xx]. The price of non-intervention in Syria has been expensive for America, even if it does have Shale Oil to fall back on.

The Vietnamese have responded by torching Chinese interests[xxi], which hints at the problems China will face as it expands into South East Asia. The tactic of using the 60th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu, as the backdrop to the attacks, presumably adds gravitas to the Vietnamese reaction. The Chinese diaspora in Asia must be watching the situation very nervously; and quietly asking if President Xi will follow President Putin’s example of annexing ethnic Chinese occupied territory. This is so much of a powder keg that Dr. Doom himself has headlined it as his major global-macro risk[xxii].

“# Sexy’s Back”

As all the global-macro risks in Ukraine, Syria , Africa and Asia blow up, President Obama’s “unsexy”[xxiii] incremental foreign policy will go up in smoke with them. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (25) “Pride and Extreme Prejudice[xxiv] observed the reappearance of the “sexy” school of foreign policy, made famous by Tony Bliar. With all this “see I told you so” pressure building, it is clear that the next American President will ostensibly have to be a “War President”. American global leadership is being threatened; and some will argue that since the Sequester has refilled the Treasury kitty that “sexy” foreign policy is where the future deficit spending should be aimed. Emerging market investors should bear this in mind, just in case they were tempted to increase their exposure. Campaign funding from the Defence and Oil establishments will be channelled in expectation of this political outcome.

It is a great pity that Obama Doctrine will be written up as a policy failure in posterity. The aggressive acts by China and Russia, reflect their endemic and systemic political and economic weakness; which have caused them to deflect internal dissent onto foreign threats. In economic terms, China is facing a Credit Crunch and Russia is stagnating under the weight of an uncompetitive Oligarchy. All America had to do was sit back and wait for them both to collapse in on themselves. Unfortunately, restless “Warmongers” in the America have been stimulated into action by the baiting from China and Russia, in addition to the coaxing of Israel over Iran.

The only way for the GOP to stand a chance in 2016 is by focusing on external threats rather than domestic policies. The global political capital and domestic financial capital built up by the Obama Administration is now at risk of being squandered to weaken the country again in financial terms and hence to truly weaken its global leadership. The same thing happened after Clinton Doctrine however.

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (26) “Milking It For All It’s Worth[xxv] observed the signals of Stagflation developing in the rent seeking behaviour of CEO’s; which Janet Yellen appeared to be oblivious towards, despite the latent inflation warnings from risk asset prices posted by the soon to be banished Jeremy Stein. Yellen’s inflation critics have recently become more vociferous[xxvi]; and there is a growing sentiment amongst the Wall Street economists that wage inflation is getting sticky. Former Chairman Greenspan got in on the act, with his characteristic obfuscation that whilst he sees no inflation he wouldn’t rule it out[xxvii].

These economists have however failed to observe that wage inflation is running way behind both asset price inflation and the rise in prices of goods and services, as CEO’s seek to support their share prices by raising product prices. Despite the inflation fears, consensus in the economist community is developing that the US Housing market is stalling, so that the Fed will have room to ease off the breaks and perhaps consider some more gas in due course.

The New York Fed did its best to reinforce this growing consensus, with the latest release of its home price expectations data[xxviii]. Home price expectations in April fell, for the fourth month, to a new low growth rate of 3.77%. The bond markets have begun to discount the Stagnation part of the Stagflation. Yellen’s signals that interest rates will remain low for longer have only reinforced this discounting mechanism.

Perversely, she has signalled that economic rent seeking behaviour can be extended well beyond the QE exit, because the interest rate backdrop will remain low. Bond investors and rent seeking CEO’s have therefore mutually reinforced the price action, in order to create an abnormally low interest rate picture. The knock on effect to the equity market has come from the Stagnation price signal from the bond market. Equity bears are now discounting the weak growth predicted by the low interest rate picture. Neither the Bond Bulls nor Equity Bears have begun to discount the Inflation piece of the Stagflation story yet, because they cannot see it yet. Rent seeking CEO’s are however busily baking it in.

“# HAWK”, Eagle and Turkey, all under the same roof

The growing concern about the state of the housing market also extends into the Federal Government. Mel Watt recently announced a new roadmap for the GSE’s[xxix]. This new roadmap looks suspiciously like the old roadmap, which directed drivers to the Crash of 2008. The GSE footprint will not be shrunk, based on the simplistic reasoning that it would destabilize the housing market if it was.

By way of disclaimer, for the next housing crisis, a new acronym named Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) has been created, which covers the consumer protection base on the regulator’s checklist[xxx]. Mortgage borrowers will now be bombarded with information, which is supposed to prevent them from getting into difficulty. The real problem is that house prices are so high, that they have no way of not getting into difficulty unless they have higher salaries. The new HAWK acronym just provides a legal shield, to prevent the lenders from getting sued when the mortgages default again. It may also provide a shield to the investment bankers who securitise these loans and the financial fiduciaries who buy them for their investors.

Presumably the Fed will have no problem stuffing HAWK eligible bonds onto its balance sheet either, when the time comes to bail this sector out. Well informed HAWKs will now allegedly not take on mortgages which they can’t afford, so that there will be no repeat of the Subprime debacle. One can imagine the Vultures on Wall Street circling around the HAWKs (just as they encircled the Housing Turkeys last time) and securitizing the new allegedly less risky “HAWK Mortgages”.

With Jeremy Stein safely packed off back to Harvard, there is no one in authority left to opine that the real risk is in the elevated price of the houses and not the information provided to the purchasers. Once the Fed and the FHFA are back in sync, the housing bubble can inflate some more.

“# Johnson Crapo”

In a typically American example of the left hand doing the opposite to the right hand, whilst Mel Watt was affirming Fannie and Freddie’s footprint size, the Johnson Crapo Bill which will phase them out was passed by the Senate Banking Committee[xxxi]. Go figure.

“# Magic Numbers”

Last week, President Xi Jinping started to engineer public perceptions in order to appear to economically outperform. Observers were told to recalibrate their monitors in order to prepare for a period of below average economic activity, as the shadow banking bubble continues to get deflated[xxxii] and no further fiscal stimulus is applied[xxxiii]. At the same time however, the PBOC is urging banks to focus on lending to home buyers rather than to developers[xxxiv]. In this way, housing demand is boosted rather than housing supply; allegedly bringing the market into a more sustainable balance and stimulating economic activity. China’s April Home Sales came in down 18%[xxxv], so it would appear that the authorities now wish to reverse the trend and put a floor underneath the economic contraction. Simultaneously, the real estate developer sector in the cities is starting to get bailed out, using government guarantees for real estate loans[xxxvi].

Speculation in housing has been shifted from the developers to the buyers. The policy makers are deliberately stimulating a housing bubble amongst buyers, to soak up the oversupply from the developers. The policy makers have effectively doubled up, by guaranteeing both the developers and the mortgage borrowers at the same time. The house of cards will fall in, when the government guarantees on the mortgages get called in at the same time that the government is also getting called on its developer guarantees.

Hidden, behind the magician’s curtain, is the fact that Chinese bad loans have now risen to the level they were at in 2005, before it all went wrong[xxxvii]. This curtain has however now been pulled back to reveal a situation as challenging as it was before the global credit crisis. What is visible, is a massive failure of companies to pay suppliers for goods and services[xxxviii], which is being passed along the supply chains throughout the economy.  The debt crisis in China has just become a liquidity crisis. This was the tipping point, when it occurred in America and Europe, so let’s see how China behaves.

In another attempt to massage the numbers, the PBOC announced that it was going to create a new benchmark interest rate[xxxix], which is not as volatile as the current ones, in order to signal policy decisions to the markets. The truth is, that the current volatile rates are signalling the symptoms of a debt crisis that has become a liquidity crisis, all too well for the policy makers’ comfort. A new benchmark, that they can manipulate to hide the truth, is now under construction.

“# Zelig”

The parlour game[xl] being played by Mario Zelig and the Bundesbank had a new round of charades last week. Having committed to do something stimulative at his last press conference, Zelig was then told by the Bundesbank exactly what the stimulus would involve[xli].  The rules are that, as long as the stimulus cannot be defined as deficit monetization and can be justified by citing the threat of deflation, there are no rules.

The heavily leaked plans signalled that negative interest rates will be combined with specific asset backed security buying in June, which will focus on the collateral in the form of loans to SME’s. In Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (26) “Milking It For All It’s Worth[xlii] we looked forward to the day when Zelig’s bluff would get called. It was said that

“One day, he will have to dance as well as sing all characters simultaneously though, which will be an interesting performance to watch”.


The latest Eurozone Q1/2014 GDP data was the day when he started to dance the dance[xliii]. The German economy continues to grow, whilst the weaker economies have stalled and actually started to reverse in the case of Italy[xliv]. It would seem that the compromise stimulus allowed by Germany, was tailored to fit this diverging scenario. Germany needs tighter liquidity, whilst the rest of Europe still requires looser monetary policy. The knee-jerk reaction from the market, was to conclude that the divergence in economic performance had not been addressed in the leaked policy response by the ECB.

In the days leading up to the next ECB meeting, it will be interesting to watch the communications explain how the leaked policy decision fits the divergence scenario. The emotional market response has been to say that the policy does not fit the situation; closer inspection suggests however that it does.  Germany has still managed to avoid monetising budget deficits and transferring its own fiscal surplus to its weaker neighbours.

As long as bond investors are satisfied that this status quo will not break up the Eurozone, the situation can be perpetuated. There is no incentive for governments to stimulate growth by running into deficit; and there is no incentive for companies to expand because they see no growth on the horizon. Governments do nothing, except apply fiscal austerity and CEO’s make their P&L by raising prices rather than output whilst keeping wages low. Eurosclerosis is baked in; in the same way that Stagflation has been baked into the American economy. Interest rates in Europe are already at historic lows in all countries; but this has not stimulated borrowing and growth. Low interest rates have created the lack of urgency to do anything more, either in relation to austerity or to investment for growth, at all. Europeans are happy to do nothing as long as the ECB takes the pressure off them to do anything.

Source: and Bloomberg
“# Stagflation = Eurosclerosis”

In fact, Eurosclerosis is a name that specifically describes European Stagflation. There are some countries who have figured this out however, such as Finland[xlv]; and where the democratic process actually works they are starting to vote against this economic model.

“# May 22nd 25th

Ironically, it is the Far Right in Europe who have seen through the thin veil of German creditor and industrial self interest in the policy reaction to the Credit Crisis of 2008. They have understood that the situation is a kind of reverse Versailles Agreement, which consigns them as losers to forever be wage and debt slaves to Germany.

Germany has inserted its own clause on “deficit monetization verboten”, in order to avoid the kind of hyperinflation that undermined the Weimar Republic. 

It is interesting to observe that the Ukrainian Presidential Election was scheduled to occur shortly after the European Parliamentary Election. Such apparent coincidences never turn out to be such. The European Union, which is currently suffering from a lack of democratic legitimacy, is currently trying to discredit its challengers by framing them as Neo-Nazis. The EU would also like to portray the crisis in Ukraine as an existential threat to European democratic values from undemocratic Russia.

The Russian threat is supposed to bring the Europeans closer together. In practice however, nothing is so black and white in the eye of the voter. The Ukrainian democrats rely upon Neo-Nazis to do their dirty work; and these Neo-Nazis share the same platform as their Neo-Nazi brothers and sisters who are rebelling against EU hegemony. The heart and soul of Europe is up for grabs; and its people remain undecided.

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

Portugal has recently exited its bailout programme[xlvi], so ostensibly it is now self-supporting and more likely to negotiate more strongly with the EU going forward, rather than just lying down and taking it.

“# Bruegel’s ‘Flatterers’ Will Get You Nowhere”

Having seen the negative market reaction to the latest ECB leak (and the threat from nations following the Finnish lead), Jean-Claude Trichet’s Bruegel Group, hastily proffered an alternative that looks more like American QE without the insinuation that it is deficit monetization[xlvii]. To get around the monetization clause, Bruegel suggests buying EU Bailout Bonds which are not semantically linked to any nation’s officially published budget deficit.

Clearly his fear of Germany, when he was in charge at the ECB, precluded him from suggesting this. Now he doesn’t have to sell the semantics of deficit non-monetization to Germany from the ECB Chair. Presumably, Mario Zelig will embrace this suggestion until the Bundesbank rule it in or out. Presumably also, the “PIIGS” will promote this solution; from alleged positions of strength, now that they are out of bailout purgatory.

The problem for the “PIIGS” however, is that they have killed all their growth by adhering to austerity. Just as they emerge from their bailouts, they are therefore just about to fall back into the bailout zone as growth stalls. Debate about the Bruegel solution is going to get very vociferous, as is the volatility in the European markets based on the divergent trends in growth.

Since Europeans don’t want to do anything, it’s more likely that any ECB purchases of Bailout Bonds will reinforce this inertia even further, by removing yet another economic imperative to act. Fitch recently illustrated the scope and the risk inherent in this inertia[xlviii].

Throughout 2013, whilst sovereign governments were applying austerity and Mario Zelig was “doing whatever it takes”, reported bad bank loans jumped 8.1%. One can only guess at what the figure was like for unreported bad loans, which were conveniently classified as current for stress test purposes. Sovereign nations are emerging from bailout purgatory, but commercial banks are still in hell. The ECB needs to look more carefully at the banks rather than at the sovereigns, who are trying to leverage over achieving primary surpluses to cut even sweeter bailout deals.

“# Stagflation Wager”

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (27) “Phase Two” opined on how Warren Buffett had joined the economic rent seekers in a wager on Stagflation. His portfolio shift continues, with a new stake in the classic economic rent business model of Verizon[xlix]. What Mr Buffett perceives is the greatest economic rent seeking opportunity of them all; which is the charging for the distribution of content over the internet. Ultimately the creator and the consumer of the virtual content will end up sharing this economic rental charge levied by the real telecommunication network owners. Currently, this matter is being hauled through the courts[l].

Buffett’s painful experience, at the hand of the free content over the internet business model, in newspapers has switched this habitual technophobe onto the rent seeking model of the internet. Buffett’s competitive intelligence agents and insider connections must have convinced him that the rent seeking model is within reach. The oligopoly in internet service provision in America, is dominated by Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Buffet has covered the base with Verizon, for the day when these three can start charging economic rent for content, in addition to the rent they charge for phone network membership. It’s equivalent to his owning Burlington Northern, only this time the traffic is digital information rather than goods and commodities.

“# 2016”
Democratic Party Still Seen More Favorably Than GOP

In Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (27) “Phase Two” it was said that,

“The latest episode of “Monica Gate Phase Two” destroys any pretence of civility. It’s a dirty business and it is going to get a lot dirtier.”

Karl Rove recently plumbed new depths, when he suggested that Hillary Clinton was suffering from brain damage after a blood clot operation sustained from a fall in 2012[li]. Rove’s medical prognosis was greeted with outrage. Rush Limbaugh’s comment that her “only achievement” is to be “female” was an own goal[lii]. The depths to which her critics have sunk, illustrate just how electable Hillary Clinton is. In Age of Foolishness, Age of Wisdom (27) “Phase Two” it was said that:

“The fact is that Hillary Clinton is more of a Hawk than the whole of the GOP hopefuls put together[liii]; and this is their problem”.

 The polls show that the GOP is still way behind. On domestic issues they fail, even with the albatross known as Obamacare around the Democrats necks; so the only way for them to close the gap is on foreign policy. Being the Party of War, as the global-macro scene moves towards global conflict, doesn’t work however, since Clinton is more of a “Hawk” than they all are. This is why they must scrape the barrel for ways to undermine Clinton.

“# Team Hillary”
Putting the ‘F’ Back in Federal Reserve

“Team Hillary” was first observed in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (15) “Putting the ‘F’ Back in Federal Reserve[liv]. Looking at her bench and their home stadium on “Tracy Island” at Fifty-First and Park, it is not hard to see why her opponents feel so intimidated. 

“# Reset”
Beyond the Pale

It should also be remembered that she was the architect of the “Strategic Reset Button” with Russia[lv], which recently has been disconnected. Who better to rewire it back to a Cold War setting? Her timing remains flawless.

“# Perfect Timing 2016”
Hillary Clinton talks tough on Iran at Jewish conference

Just as Secretary Hagel finished a Middle East trip[lvi], during which he tried to convince skeptical GCC members of America’s tough stance in the upcoming P5 + 1 talks with Iran, in Israel Clinton just happened to be there also[lvii], to give her own view of the upcoming talks and her take on the whole Iran, Palestinian and Hamas issue. Needless to say, she took a dim view of Iranian sincerity and of the Palestinian/Hamas issue. She has therefore distanced herself from the White House, so that she can have a clear run in 2016.


  1. East Ukraine separatists seek union with Russia
  2. Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
  3. Einsatz gegen Separatisten: Ukrainische Armee bekommt offenbar Unterstützung von US-Söldnern [Translation: Use against separatists: Ukrainian army apparently gets support of U.S. mercenaries]
  4. Milking It For All It’s Worth
  5. France Rejects Blocking Mistral Warship Sale to Russia
  6. Ukraine crisis: France, Germany threaten Russia over poll
  7. The Short Good Friday
  8. Iran Nuclear Deal Takes Shape, Powers Poised to Expand Ties
  9. Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures
  10. Exclusive: Iran pursues ballistic missile work, complicating nuclear talks
  11. McCain: Send U.S. Special Forces to Rescue Nigerian Girls
  12. Jeux Sans Frontieres
  13. McCain on Nigeria: I would've used every asset, satellite, drones, to go after Boko Haram
  14. McCain Prescient On Russia and Putin: 1999
  15. Hillary Clinton Calls Putin "Tough Guy With Thin Skin" in UCLA Visit
  16. Bill Clinton Just Gave A Grave Warning About Putin's Plan For Ukraine
  17. China's Oil Rig Gambit: South China Sea Game-Changer?
  18. China Prepares Massive Investments in Crimea
  19. China's CNPC signs UAE oil deal
  20. Saudi increases crude output to slake China’s thirst
  21. Protestors torch factories in southern Vietnam as China protests escalate
  22. Nouriel Roubini Just Presented A New List Of Risks To The Global Economy
  23. Barack Obama Explains His Foreign Policy In Five Sentences
  24. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (25) “Pride and Extreme Prejudice” May 10th 2014
  25. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (26) ”Milking It For All It’s Worth” May 14th 2014
  26. Yellen Wage Signals Showing Slack May Be Missing Cost Speedup
  27. Greenspan Says ‘Mistake’ to Say Inflation No Longer on Horizon
  28. Survey of Consumer Expectations - May 2014
  29. Mel Watt Outlines Course Correction for Fannie and Freddie
  30. FHA Program Aims to Expand Credit; Lower Risk
  31. Johnson-Crapo Bill Clears Senate Banking Committee
  32. China’s New Credit Declines
  33. Xi Says China Must Adapt to ‘New Normal’ of Slower Growth
  34. China Central Bank Asks Banks to Approve Mortgages in Timely Way
  35. China April Home Sales Decline 18% as Credit Remains Tight
  36. At least 6 Chinese cities had to bail out their real estate markets last month
  37. Chinese Bad Loans Rise Most Since 2005 as Economy Slows
  38. China firms slow payments, file lawsuits, as unpaid debt weighs on finances
  39. Zhou Plans Anchor After China Monetary-Policy Gyrations
  40. Milking It For All It’s Worth
  41. Bundesbank Willing to Back ECB Stimulus Measures to Battle Low Inflation
  42. Milking It For All It’s Worth
  43. Euro-Area Growth Missing Forecast Keeps Pressure on ECB
  44. Italian GDP Unexpectedly Falls Threatening Recession Exit
  45. Finnish Finance Minister Ousted as Party Head Over Austerity
  46. Portugal Laden With $293 Billion Debt Exits Bailout Plan
  47. ECB Urged to Buy Bailout Bonds; Rate Cut Won’t Aid Growth
  48. European banks' bad loans hit €1tn
  49. Buffett’s Berkshire Discloses $528.7 Million Verizon Bet
  50. Net Neutrality an Oxymoron as FCC Decides Winners and Losers
  51. Karl Rove: Hillary may have brain damage
  52. Rush Limbaugh: Hillary's 'Only' Achievement Is 'Being Female'
  53. Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died
  54. Putting the ‘F’ Back in Federal Reserve
  55. Beyond the Pale
  56. Hagel in Israel to meet with Netanyahu, Yaalon and Peres
  57. Hillary Clinton talks tough on Iran at Jewish conference

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