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Contra Club

Financial Burbling

In the 18th century, Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli modeled dynamics of pressure in the motion of fluids. His work would form the basis of how we understand flight, particularly the motion of air across a wing surface. The curve of the wing produces different pressures above and below, providing lift. That places a great deal…

From Ruble To Rubble….And Back?

It is a good bet that the ruble is by now egregiously undervalued, even in light of the oil price decline and economic sanctions. Russia’s central bank is actually known for being quite conservative. Instituting massive rate hikes in such a situation is certainly a better approach than wasting foreign reserves in market interventions….

Contra News & Views

That Was Quick: Energy Junk Bond Losses Hit $40 Billion, Spreads Widen To 1000 Bps

A borrowing binge by energy companies in recent years to finance new sources of oil has pushed a measure of leverage among the lowest-rated firms above its 2009 peak, according to CreditSights. The $203 billion of bonds outstanding have lost 14 percent this quarter and are poised for their worst performance since the end of 2008, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show. More than $40 billion of value already has been wiped out, Bloomberg index data show…….

The CIA’s “Tortured” Quest For Power And Budgets


By their nature, bureaucracies seek to expand and defend their power, prominence and resources, and the CIA is no exception. The agency’s detention and torture program is a perfect example of how national security institutions pursue their organizational interests at the expense of even the most obvious interests of the nation they are supposed to serve…….