ZeroHedge: Obama’s Anti-ISIS Strategy Summarized In 1 Cartoon

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"Do nothing stupid…"



Source: Cagle

Bonus Strategy Chart… (via William Banzai)


Remember of course, none of this matters…

Since, as long as Qatar has a strategy on how to progress on its Gazprom-bypassing pipeline to Europe, whether Obama had a strategy or not, is completely irrelevant.

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ZeroHedge: Chart Of The Day: Dear Future American Generations, You Are Screwed

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Faith that the future will be better than the present is slipping, as despite President Obama’s demands that Americans not be “cynics,” a new report shows there is a major lack of confidence that the next generation will have it better than the last one. As WSJ reports, most strikingly, only 16% of respondents agree that job and career opportunities will be better for the next generation than for their own – a drop from the 56% who were optimistic about this measure in 1999 and down even from the 40% who agreed in November 2009, well into the recession.



As WSJ adds,

In addition, a majority of those surveyed believe the recession permanently altered economic conditions in the U.S.


The numbers, while measuring individuals’ feelings rather than more objective measures such as employment or income, paint a picture of a workforce scarred by personal experience with unemployment or close proximity to others who suffered.


And despite more than six consecutive months of companies adding 200,000 or more jobs, workers are still pessimistic about their prospects for finding decent work. “Only 20 percent of currently employed work­ers feel extremely or very confident they could find another job if they were laid off,” the researchers found.

*  *  *

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ZeroHedge: Fed Unveils Only 11 Days Of POMO In September For A Mere $15 Billion

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As they say in England, we appear to be getting to the vinegar strokes of the Fed’s buying efforts. As expected, the NYFed announced its Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) schedule for September which covers just 11 days (including no Fridays at all) summing to a mere $15bn of Treasuries planned to be purchased… (with only 5 days in size).



Source: NY Fed

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ZeroHedge: Rand Paul Slams US Interventionists’ “Unhinged Foreign Policy” For Abetting The Rise Of ISIS

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Authored by Dr. Rand Paul, originally posted at The Wall Street Journal,

As the murderous, terrorist Islamic State continues to threaten Iraq, the region and potentially the United States, it is vitally important that we examine how this problem arose. Any actions we take today must be informed by what we’ve already done in the past, and how effective our actions have been.

Shooting first and asking questions later has never been a good foreign policy. The past year has been a perfect example.

In September President Obama and many in Washington were eager for a U.S. intervention in Syria to assist the rebel groups fighting President Bashar Assad’s government. Arguing against military strikes, I wrote that “Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster actually encourage instability?”

The administration’s goal has been to degrade Assad’s power, forcing him to negotiate with the rebels. But degrading Assad’s military capacity also degrades his ability to fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Assad’s government recently bombed the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

To interventionists like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we would caution that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria created a haven for the Islamic State. We are lucky Mrs. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Who Is Short Treasurys? (Spoiler: Pretty Much Everyone)

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Once upon a time, news and fundamentals mattered.

Then the Fed came and ever since then the main question has been where the highest concentration of shorts is, just to squeeze the margin call daylights out of them, and generate alpha (a strategy we highlighted back in 2012).

And while shorting crappy, illiquid stocks has not worked for a long, long time because under ZIRP capital is misallocated with reckless abandon usually ending up promptly in the most worthless companies, it was not until the past year when the shorting brigade decided to assault the most liquid, allegedly, instrument: the US Treasury bond itself.

It is here where said brigade has stumbled again and again, and where despite promises of an economic recovery and inflation (and thus higher rates), the 10Y, and especially the 30Y, continue to plough ever higher, much to the amazement of the “it’s all getting better brigade” signalling nothing but economic contraction and deflation for the future.

And, as Citi’s Amitabh Arora points out, things for TSY shorts are about to go from bad to worse. To wit:

Flow Analysis: Over the last 3 months we have seen good appetite for EGBs, net buying of USTs, and flat demand for JGBs. However, the buying of USTs hasn’t been in 10s where the main short is located. Hedge funds are accelerating their buying of EGBs (across the curve) and decreasing their selling of USTs. Real money has resumed their buying of USTs and has started to sell EGBs. 


Futures Positioning in US. Since 2010, the CFTC has published a supplement to their weekly commitments of traders report specific to financial products. Asset managers are long, while dealers, hedge funds, and other buy side investors are short. Using alternative positioning indicators, we assess where we can give credence to the CFTC data, and where there is more to the picture than the CFTC data reveals. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Has Ukraine Shot Itself In The Foot With Gas Pipeline Deal?

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Submitted by Igor Alexeev via,

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk pushed a bill through the Verkhovna Rada that would see his country’s gas transportation system sold off to a group of international investors. The provisions of the law would permit the transit of natural gas to be blocked. This decision may hurt the fragile industrial recovery in Germany and finish off Ukraine’s potential as a gas transit route to Europe.

Germany, which is the industrial heart of the European Union and a major creditor for its debtor nations, is facing the challenge of the double-edged consequences of its inverted Ostpolitik as it pertains to the trade in natural gas. Even the temporary transit risks ensuing from Kiev’s decision to block the pipeline may cause a business slump.

The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz offered an unnerving forecast for the German economy. The Columbia University professor, speaking at the conference in the southern German city of Lindau, described economic growth in the Eurozone as “sluggish.” The German economy in particular failed to grow during the second quarter, threatening the EU’s fragile industrial recovery.

In the years to come, coping with Kiev’s attempts to jeopardize the gas-transit system and cut off Europe from its quintessential energy source in the east could become a real headache for Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The most vivid example of Ukraine’s self-destructive policy that has the potential to affect European taxpayers is the recent sale of its gas transportation system.

The imminent agreement, with many conflicting political overtones, will allow sales of 49 percent of Ukraine’s gas transportation system to a cobbled-together coalition of foreign shareholders.

First, the non-transparent deal — sponsored by high-ranking government officials — is a textbook case of restrictive practices that violate World Trade Organization rules. Secondly, the pipeline itself is anything but an attractive offer. Read more »

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FSN: Keynesian Fairy Tale Alert: Establishment Citadel – Council On Foreign Relations – Peddles Helicopter Money Plan

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by David Stockman
David Stockman’s Contra Corner

Folks, take economic cover. There is already a rabid financial mania loose in the land as reflected in the irrational exuberance of the stock market, but, in fact, the fairy tale economics fueling the current financial bubble is fixing to leap into a whole new realm of lunacy. Namely, an out-and-out drop of “helicopter money” to the main street masses.

That’s right. The Keynesian brain freeze has so deeply infected the Wall Street/ Washington corridor that the grey old lady of the establishment, the Council On Foreign Relations, has lent the pages of its prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs, to the following blithering gibberish:

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FSN: A Free Way to Turn Your Unique Skill Into Real Money

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by Chris Campbell
Daily Reckoning

Back in early 2010, Micha Kaufman had an idea. He wanted to create a place where anyone could make money from their talents — no matter what those talents were.

“Today, everyone has a talent that someone else needs,” he said in an interview with U.S. News & World Report. “How cool would it be to put these amazing talents together in one place?”

When he plugged in the first line of code for his website, he probably never dreamed that it would soon rank as one of the top 200 websites in the world.

He named this website Fiverr.

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FSN: CBO: Obamacare Discourages Work

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from Zero Hedge

Remember all those allegations that Obamacare would be an unmitigated disaster for businesses, especially smaller companies? Well, now we have some facts. A week ago we noted that the Philly Fed found that Obamacare was a disaster for business, and now no lessor entity than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its latest forecasts, concluding “certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act will tend to reduce labor force participation.”

[...] Via Kevin Hall of,

the CBO does write, though, is that one of the downward pressures on the labor force is Obamacare. As the report finds:

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FSN: A Fraud by Any Other Name is Still a Fraud

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by Chris Hamilton
SRSRocco Report

Once upon a time, there was a thing called a “free-market” and for a time nations strove toward this ideal. To wit, a free market economy was a market-based economy where prices for goods and services would be set freely by the forces of supply and demand and allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy, and it typically entailed support for highly competitive markets and private ownership of productive enterprises.

But power and belief shifted and faith now resides in governmental fiscal policy (spend more, tax less) and central banker interest rate policy (make money ever cheaper) to avoid the free markets down-cycles and extend its up-cycles infinitely. The central bank high priests have determined free markets are better replaced by command economies and further the priests’ purport they know appropriate levels of demand and supply…and absent the achievement of these levels, they will enforce their will even if the Fed’s programs are the likely cause that retards the Fed’s from achieving their stated goals!

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