July 23, 2014

8 Debt Reasons This Time Is Different

In today’s world, we have a huge amount of debt outstanding. Academic researchers Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have become famous for their book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly and their earlier paper This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises. Their point, of course, is that the same thing happens over and over again. We can learn from past crises to solve our current problems.

America's Ponzi Economy

By Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds

Depending on blowing the next bubble to temporarily prop up the economy is the height of foolhardy shortsightedness.

All the conventional policy fixes proposed by Demopublican politicos, technocrats and the vast army of academic/think-tank apparatchiks are the equivalent of slapping a coat of paint on a fragile facade riddled with dryrot. All these fake-fixes share a few key characteristics:

Can Putin Survive After Ukraine?

By George Friedman for Stratfor Global Intelligence 

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events. 

Beware of the Housing Recovery Shell Game

Take a look at housing stocks today. Look at Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN). Look at iShares US Home Construction (NYSEARCA: ITB). Look at SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEARCA: XHB). Housing is in trouble.

I’m not pointing these stocks out because I’ve got my Short-Side Fortunes newsletter subscribers short those three stocks – and making money on all three. It’s not that their stock prices are down fairly sizably today, though they are. It’s more about what their graphs look like, what their price action is and has been saying about housing.

Oil Companies Caught in Middle of Russia's Growing Isolation

By Nicholas Cunningham of  Oilprice.com 

The confrontation between Russia and the West took a turn for the worse with the downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17, and that could spell trouble for several major oil companies operating in Russia. 

Just one day earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on Russia over its ongoing role in the destabilization of Ukraine. The sanctions prohibited American banks from issuing loans with a maturity of over 90 days to four key Russian companies – Rosneft, Novatek, Gazprombank, and VEB.