Is California in Recession? (Part XII)

November coincident indices from the Philadelphia Fed are out. Time to re-evaluate this assessment from a year ago in Political Calculations that California was in recession. Going by these [household survey based labor market] measures, it would appear that recession has arrived in California, which is partially borne out by state level GDP data from […]

Brandon Smith: The Fed Is A Suicide Bomber With A Deeper Agenda

Authored by Brandon Smith via, Central bankers are sociopathic in nature and sociopathic people tend to behave like robots. When one understands the motivations of central bankers, or at the very least what their goals are, their actions become rather predictable. The question is, what truly motivates these people? I believe according to the […]

The 10 Most Expensive Manhattan Apartments Sold For $500 Million In 2018

A sudden and sharp drop in luxury home valuations in Manhattan has baffled brokers and alarmed analysts who have begun warning about the possibility that softness in the high end of the market could soon spread throughout the market or portend a broader downturn nationwide, according to Bloomberg. And in the latest sign that the […]

The Calm Before The Storm

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via, Undoubtedly most of you know about some of the things that have happened this past week. The ban on “bump-fire” or “slide-fire” stocks came as a shocker to most. Many have tried to downplay it, but […]

India Wants Tech Platforms To Break Encryption, Scrub “Unlawful” Content

The government of India wants tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Google to remove content it deems “unlawful” within 24 hours of official notice, and develop “automated tools” which would “proactively identify and remove such material,” reports BuzzFeed, citing the publication of the proposed rules by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).  […]

Who Was Secretly Behind America's Invading And Occupying Syria?

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation, The invasion and occupation of Syria by tens of thousands of jihadists who were recruited from around the world to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, was financed mainly by US taxpayers and by the world’s wealthiest family, the Sauds, who own Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest oil company, […]

The Biggest Threat To The Market – Loss Of Confidence

Authored by Lance Roberts via, Yesterday, saw a record surge in the markets (and another epic buying program today). Such was not surprising given the extreme oversold condition in the market. More importantly, throughout market history, the biggest bull rallies have occurred during bear markets. $SPX +5% or greater days since 2000. Big picture, bulls DON’T want […]

UK Investigates 'Mole' Suspected Of Leaking Insider Trading Probe Details

After losing a series of high profile cases, the UK government has suffered yet another embarrassing failure in its efforts to hold white collar criminals accountable for financial fraud. But this time, instead of displaying a casual indifference toward crimes committed by the wealthy or an ineffectual prosecutorial strategy, the National Crime Agency (the UK’s […]

“The Worst Is Yet To Come Next Year…”

The day after The Dow soars by the most points in history, and on the biggest reversal day in stocks since 2010, Michael Snyder provides a little context for what is really occurring… When talking heads on mainstream news networks are using phrases such as “the worst is yet to come next year”, that is […]

Want To Live Longer? Make Sure You're A Fat, Coffee Drinking Alcoholic By Your 70s

A UC Irvine study has revealed that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee, and people who are overweight in their 70s, live longer than their skinny teetotalling counterparts.   Using data collected from 14,000 people in a 1981 Leisure World Cohort Study (LCWS), along with 1,600 participants who have enrolled in The 90+ Study launched in […]

Bad Faith, Pathos and G.O.P. Economics

As 2018 draws to an end, we’re seeing many articles about the state of the economy. What I’d like to do, however, is talk about something different — the state of economics, at least as it relates to the political situation. And that state is not good: The bad faith that dominates conservative politics at […]

U.S. stock funds attract cash for first time in six weeks: Lipper

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. fund investors eased into wild stock markets during the latest week, adding $5.2 billion, according to Lipper data on Thursday that reflected the first net positive flows for funds since December’s selloff began. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December […]

52 things learned by Kent Hendricks

Here are a few: Contrary to the beliefs of roughly 33% of Americans, Kansas is not the flattest state. In fact, it’s the 9th flattest state, and it’s one of only two Great Plains states to make the top ten (the other is North Dakota). The flattest state is actually Florida, the second flattest state […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/27/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “The Battle Over NAFTA 2.0 Has Just Begun” [Lori Wallach, The Nation]. “On the upside, NAFTA’s outrageous investor privileges and ISDS tribunals are dramatically reined in under NAFTA 2.0… For Mexico, ISDS is replaced by a new approach: Whereas ISDS allows investors to skirt domestic courts, the new process […]

Nomura Updates Its “Nightmare” Chart

One week ago, ahead of an especially violent selloff in the stock market – and yesterday’s historic rally – Nomura’s head of cross-asset strategy Charlie McElligott showed what has been dubbed a “nightmare” (or “forced goalseeking” according to some) chart, according to which plotting the current selloff since the Sept 20 high, and screening back […]

How I Freaked Myself Out: Economic Crisis Management Teams, 2009 vs. 2019

In the wake of the pre-holiday meltdown in the financial markets, I thought for a few minutes about who would be doing crisis management, especially after SecTreas Mnuchin’s ham-fisted attempt to calm the markets. My musings did not calm my nerves. Consider the January 2009 team and the (likely, barring further dismissals) January 2019 team, […]

That was then, this is now

[Andrew] Jackson imagined his role as that of a Roman tribune or dictator, summoned to executive power for a season for defend the plebeians against corrupt patricians.  That meant, among other things, slashing federal expenses and retiring the national debt. Jackson in fact worked hard to strike down “internal improvements” in only a single state, […]

On This Day: Art Cashin On One Of History's Most Famous Assassinations

By Art Cashin of UBS Financial Services On this day (+2) in 1916, one of history’s most celebrated but most inept assassinations began. In the retelling of most assassinations we hear how the victims might have been spared if….! You know the drill – if the guy guarding Lincoln’s box had not gone for a […]

Certainty Is Fraying

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, As we look ahead to 2019, what can we be certain of? Maybe your list is long, but mine has only one item: certainty is fraying. Confidence in financial policies intended to eliminate recessions is fraying, confidence in political processes that are supposed to actually solve problems rather than […]

Strategist Jim Paulsen predicts slow growth, rate cuts and bull run in 2019

A slowing economy and more cautious Federal Reserve next year could extend the longest bull run in history, Leuthold Group’s Jim Paulsen told CNBC on Thursday. The strategist is the latest to join a growing chorus, including Art Cashin of UBS and Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd, saying the Fed “is done raising rates and maybe will […]

Mueller Must Be Investigated For Destruction Of FBI Evidence: Giuliani

Special counsel Robert Mueller needs to be investigated for destruction of FBI evidence, President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said in an interview with Hill.TV’s John Solomon and Buck Sexton.  Referencing recent reports that Mueller’s office allowed text messages from former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to be destroyed, Giuliani levied harsh accusations at the […]

China To Take Over Kenya's Largest Port Over Unpaid Chinese Loan

No more Mr. Nice Chinese Guy. After years of “benevolent” handouts to various African countries by Beijing, all of which however came in the form of loans, of which few have led to viable, long-term projects and cash-flow generating assets, and led to accusations that China is pursuing a “new colonialism” of the African continent […]

US Jobs Outlook Crashes Most On Record

With consumer confidence in November printing near the highest levels since the dot com bubble, it was almost inevitable that in light of the recent economic and market turmoil, the December print would disappoint, and sure enough it did just that, when the Conference Board reported the December print dropped from 136.4 to 128.1, missing […]

“Something Is Wrong”: Deutsche Bank Spots An Odd Market Divergence

One of the closest correlations between major asset classes has been that between stocks and bonds. But not anymore, because as Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist notes in a Wednesday note, the historical relationship between stocks and bonds is breaking apart, prompting Slok to exclaim that “something is wrong“, as it could portend danger for […]

Investment Wisdom of Top Endowments Are a Myth

“Between 2009 and 2016, college and university endowments underperformed market benchmarks by more than twice as much as other non-profit endowment funds, such as charitable foundations, according to the paper by Georgetown University’s Sandeep Dahiya and New York University professor David Yermack.”  –Institutional Investor Endowments and foundations have lagged behind a simple 60-40 portfolio of […]

Links 12/27/18

Japan to restart commercial whale hunts BBC 🙁 Rerouted cruise ship rescues two fishermen stranded in Caribbean MPR (Chuck L) Etna, sisma di magnitudo 4.8 a Catania: feriti lievi, case crollate e tanta paura. 600 sfollati La Stampa 🙁 A life on the tracks New Statesman (Chuck L) Greenland’s Rapid Ice Melt Persists Even in […]

Opening Bell 12.27.18

The Opening Bell is powered by The Water Coolest. (Confused? Don’t worry, we’ve made you a new friend.) You must be this tall to ride [The Water Coolest] Describe the stock market in five words: Roller Coaster Tycoon Death Coasters. The markets have had what CNBC would call a “roller coaster of a week.” The Donald threatening to fire Jerry […]

Verizon Writes Down Oath

You’d like to believe the people, mostly men, running America’s companies know more than you do. Now I’m not so sure. Did anybody think that Yahoo had value? Or AOL? If you haven’t switched to Gmail, the joke is on you. There’s been no investment in AOL’s e-mail product in seemingly a decade. Change your […]

Resource wealth depends on market orientation

This paper explores the effect of market orientation on (known or available) natural resource wealth using a novel dataset of world-wide major hydrocarbon and mineral discoveries. Our empirical estimates based on a large panel of countries show that increased market orientation causes a significant increase in discoveries of natural resources. In a thought experiment where […]

We Are Twelve Years Old

Wowsers, we have been so busy that we managed to miss commemorating the anniversary of this website, which launched on December 18, 2006. There are so many people who have been important to the success of this site over the years that I am a bit fearful of attempting a list, out of the risk […]

The Microeconomics of Christmas

Yves here. Help me. This sort of thing gives economists a bad name. I am sure readers will manage to have even more fun with this, erm, Christmas piece, but consider one looming consideration they miss: shopping is work. Some people don’t like shopping. Other people who are indifferent don’t have the time. So having […]

Government Shutdown Or Not, The Police State Will Continue To Flourish

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.” – Ludwig von Mises The government has shut down again.  At least, parts of the government have temporarily shut down over President Trump’s demand for a $5 billion border wall. Yet while […]

China Selling Hypersonic Anti-Ship Missiles; Travels 6X Speed Of Sound For “Rapid, Precision Strikes”

China has brought to market a hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missile, said to be the first of its kind on the international market for buyers seeking a “reliable and affordable deterrence against threats from the sea,” according to  “The system is intended for rapid and precision strikes against medium-size ships, naval task forces, and offshore facilities,” […]

The 10 Daily Habits Of Highly Prepared People

Authored by Daisy Luther via, For some people, preparedness is about the big things: the well-stocked retreat home, buying yet another firearm, or getting a super-fancy generator. While these things can certainly be classified as preparedness endeavors, it isn’t the expensive and dramatic gestures that make us truly prepared people. The way prepared people spend their […]

The 7 Space Predictions From Arthur C Clarke That Came True!

Authored by Riz Virk via, About a year ago, I was visiting Sri Lanka and had the pleasure of visiting Arthur C Clarke’s well-preserved office (you can read about my visit here if you like). Anyone who’s read that piece knows that I grew up as a big fan of Clarke’s science fiction, so it was […]

China Charges Canadian Citizen With Smuggling 'An Enormous Amount Of Drugs'

The feud between Ottawa and Beijing climbed to absurd new heights late Wednesday after Beijing announced that it would bring drug smuggling charges against a Canadian national recently detained in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Reuters reported Wednesday that a Chinese court in Dalian has formally charged Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg with smuggling “an enormous […]