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Off the Cuff: Market Mayhem

After the recent carnage, what's next?
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 9:12 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Alasdair MacLeod discuss:

  • The Market Meltdown
    • What the heck just happened?
  • The Next Round of Bailouts
    • If you hate the problem, wait till you see the solutions
  • Gold
    • Ready for a return to the limelight?
  • Ebola
    • Is the media selling us too much fear?
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Prudent Precautions To Take Now

Panic? No. Prepare? Yes.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 9:34 AM

Executive Summary

  • Who is at risk of contracting ebola?
  • What are the odds of the current string becoming more virulent?
  • The worrisome responses governments are considering
  • Should a pandemic occur, here's what you need to survive it

If you have not yet read Part 1: Ebola! available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Those At Greatest Risk

Those at greatest risk of catching Ebola have close and prolonged contact with Ebola victims. Caregivers seem particularly at risk probably because of their proximity (closeness) and the length of time they are in contact.

One measure of how much we need to fear a particular virus is how effective it is in crossing hosts. Some viruses are really incredible at it, such as measles which infects an average of 18 other people from each sick person.

The chart below puts Ebola at the very low end of infectivity:

(Source)

There are a host of complicating factors at work in determining just how infective a virus is, and one of those factors is whether or not you can look at the person while they are in the transmissive phase and see that they are sick. If you can, you may avoid them or take extra precautions.

Again, the Ebola victims are in obviously bad shape by the time they are in the infective stage.

However, I think we are going to have to nudge Ebola over to the right a bit on that above chart because it now seems probable that the mode of infection for this current strain is a whole lot easier than initially thought.

The CDC still claims that the only way to catch Ebola is by direct contact with fluids from an infected person.

However, it's been known since 2012 that direct contact is not necessary as this study rather conclusively proved that... [Sign In/Enroll to read the full article] » Read more

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Dreamstime

The Market Crumbles

How bad could things get from here?
Monday, October 13, 2014, 11:33 PM

~ Is a market crash possible here?

For so many years the stock markets has done just one thing: Go up.  And then up some more; until everyone "knew" that the stock market could never go down again, and that the Fed would ride to the rescue if it ever started to go down.

Well, for better or worse, the Fed is now committed to ending QEternity here in October 2014. A decision they cannot easily undo.

And various markets around the globe are in trouble. » Read more

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Off the Cuff: Volatility With A Vengeance

Suddenly erupting all around us
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 1:23 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • What Is Market Volatility Telling Us?
    • Sign of a top, or preparing for another leg up?
  • Have Capital Flows Changed the Story?
    • Is too much money entering the US for the markets to correct?
  • Where Is Gold Heading From Here?
    • Long-awaited bullish signals are appearing
  • Society's Happiness Drought
    • Why do we have so much, yet feel so unsatisfied?
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Desperately Seeking Substance

Pursuit of the superficial is creating a social depression
Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 9:50 PM

Executive Summary

  • As we increasingly revere the superficial, we increase our subconscious craving for substance
  • What the success of Breaking Bad tells us about our confidence in meritocracy
  • The hopelessness of achieving the sold "American Dream" has created a cultural social depression
  • Healthy, authentic social mores will be found in our own making of them, not the idiot box

If you have not yet read The Schizophrenia Tormenting Our Society & Economy available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we set the stage for an analysis of American TV as a reflection of the cultural schizophrenia created by a widening gap between the few at the top of the celebrity/wealth pyramid and everyone else. TV’s winner-take-all competitions reflect the normalization of our acceptance of a society that produces few winners and an abundance of losers, and of the partial redemption offered by temporary recognition or social-media popularity.

On the surface, such shows reflect our culture’s belief in merit as the arbiter of success: the “best” competitor wins fair and square.  But beneath this superficial elevation of meritocracy are a variety of questions about the critical role of judges (experts) and the rewards of recognition, however fleeting: if the public spotlight is inaccessible, attracting a large number of “likes” for “selfies” photos offers a consolation form of popularity.

That such adulation of celebrity and the gaze of others trigger the loss of an authentic self is never mentioned; asking why draws a blank, as that interpretation of celebrity simply doesn’t exist on the cultural stage.

Let’s continue our exploration of TV’s subtexts by examining the ground-breaking series, Breaking Bad.

The Many Subtexts of Breaking Bad

Let me start by stipulating I am no expert on the series Breaking Bad, or indeed, on any TV series; I am commenting not on the plots or characters per se but on the series’ subtexts.

Many have noted the implausibility of a schoolteacher in America not having health insurance (and also not qualifying for Medicaid), not to mention the premise (that a schoolteacher starts manufacturing one of the most destructive and addictive drugs on the planet, crystal meth, to pay for his cancer treatments).

James Howard Kunstler recently took note of... » Read more

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The Global Slowdown

Economies across the globe are weakening notably
Monday, October 6, 2014, 8:46 PM

I am on record as saying that the end of the US Fed money printing (a.k.a 'QE') is a bigger deal than the equity markets of the west and Japan have factored in.

Further, I don't think that the ECB has sufficiently picked up the baton from the US Fed and I seriously doubt that they will be able to expand their money printing efforts much beyond that already announced due to pressure from a reluctant Germany. » Read more

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Off the Cuff: Financial Repression

Pressure builds beneath the central planners' stranglehold
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 3:43 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • Financial Repression
    • Central banks have 'cornered the market' for global capital
  • Reason Behind The Dollar's Rise
    • The smart money is getting out of riskier assets
  • Global Flows of Capital
    • The Fed hands the money-printing baton to the EU & China
  • Intergenerational Friction
    • Likely one of the defining issues of the future
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Unpacking the Propaganda

Debunking the increasingly fact-free financial media
Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 7:06 PM

Almost daily there's some article or another in the US financial press that is little more than marketing collateral for Wall Street.

Broken down, the message is always some version of: Now is a great time to buy stocks!

It's gotten to the absurd stage where everything justifies higher stock prices. » Read more

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Stanford

Attempting To Sustain The Unsustainable

Only makes the inevitable crash worse
Monday, September 29, 2014, 8:32 PM

The general theme of the 2008 financial rescues engineered by the world's central banks was: Do more of the same.

The same things that got us into trouble -- namely too much debt and increasingly expensive energy -- simply increased after the 2008 crisis.

By a lot. » Read more

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Off the Cuff: The Tail Wags Harder

The system is more visibly serving itself vs the public
Friday, September 26, 2014, 5:16 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish Shedlock discuss:

  • Topping Markets
    • Signs of an imminent correction continue to mount
  • Central Banks Gone Wild
    • No longer hiding their rampant asset purchases
  • Perpetual War
    • The military-industrial complex is the tail wagging the dog