First Things: General Keith Alexander, sworn to uphold the Constitution as a military officer and head of the National Security Agency which intercepts all of our electronic communications in order too protect and defend us and the Constitution, says that we must find a way to stop reporters from reporting leaks in the press.
Slip Sliding: Pending home sales (i.e. contracts to buy an existing home) fell 5.6% in September, m/m, the first time in 29 months that pending sales haven't increased y/y and is the biggest drop in 40 months,
Side Note: The Fed's Flow of Funds report shows that over $1.3 trillion in mortgage debt has been vaporized, mostly through foreclosures and short sales, by the collapse of the housing bubble. That makes a fair hole in the economy.
Entrails: NYSE margin debt has reached record highs. Some see this as a bearish signal that unwarranted exuberance has set in, others see it as a bullis vote of confidence in future gains. You
Safety First: Since the slaughter of 20 children at Newton elementary, over 28,000 more Americans have died from guns – 90 a day. Proud, ain't we, of our freedoms?
Joke's On Us: The only way to “rein in” NSA's unconstitutional arrogance is to defund the Beast. Too bad that – like Hoover in the days of old – the NSA holds markers on most of those who theoretically supervise it.
Strange Bedfellows: Israel and the Saudis have stumbled into an alliance opposing the current US-Iran rapprochement, sharing religious, political and economic animus; the enemy of my enemy...
Reminder: Nearly 45,000 Americans will die this year because they do not have health insurance and cannot afford medical care. The marketplace is not a solution for those who have no money to enter the market.
Running Totals: Since April, over 5,000 Iraqis have died in what is in essence a religious war between Sunni and Shia.
Paying The Price: In 2016 alone—the 24 states embracing Obamacare and expanding their Medicaid programs will receive $30.3 billion in additional federal dollars, while those not expanding will forego $35.0 billion they could have had to spend on their citizens.
Keeping Score: "The Republicans are winning, and have been for the past three years, if not the past thirty. They’re just too blinkered by fantasies of total victory to see it."
Sophomoric Enlightenment: In an article asking "Are Rising Energy Costs Responsible for Widespread Economic Recession?" the author breathlessly concludes it's "something no one would have thought of—high oil prices that take a slice out of the economy, without anything to show in return." Or 'the more it costs to get the oil, the less you make burning it.' Now that wasn't hard, was it?
If You Have To Ask: The WSJ wants to know "Whose side is your broker on?" Ask yourself this: what does your broker really do for a living, from whence does his income come? At the end of the day he takes money from you. How he maximizes that income is the real story.
The Parting Shot: