Top 10 Stories of 2014
1. Oil Crash
The price of oil crashed in 2014. WTI Crude is down nearly 40%. It's a combination of deflation in economic growth, inflation expecations, and geo-politics. OPEC is in disarray, and Saudi Arabia is keeping pressure on oil prices in order to stifle Russian agression (for the US) and US shale producers. There are big economic implication to crashing oil prices, and some have argued it's akin the the housing bubble of the mid-2000's. Almost all of the job and wage growth in America post-2009 is tied to oil and gas production.
2014 Oil Price
Image Source Hedgeye.com
2. Stagnant Economy
The real economy remained week. The labor participation rate remaines at generational lows, and median incomes have remained depressed.
Labor Force Participation Rate
Image Source econsnapshot.com
3. Monetary Manipulation
The Federal Reserve ended QE3, their third money-printing experiment by which they print currency and purchase assets like US treasuries and mortgage bonds. Major US stock indices reached record highs throughout the year. US treasuries have also been reaching record highs (record low yields) which is warning sign for 2015.
Stocks and Bonds
Image Source Zerohedge.com
4. Islamic State
Islamists militants in Syria and Iraq declared a caliphate, and brutally executed several non-military hostages including reporters and NGO aid workers.
Image Source longwarjournal.org
5. Republican Wave
Republican won political contests across the country this year. They retook control of the Senate, and expanded their majority in the House.
Image Source motls.blogspot.com
6. Nihilists & Narratives
From Michael Brown to Lena Dunham, there was much ado about nothing. Michael Brown, a young black hoodlum, was shot by Darren Wilson, a young white cop, after robbing a store and attacking the police officer upon confrontation. The grand jury in Ferguson opted to not indict officer Wilson for Brown's death, and the nihilist community organizers went on parade, err, rampage. Lena Dunham wrote a book and falsely accussed a Republican coed of rape. She's now facing a libel suit. In the same book she described creepy molestation of her younger sister.
Image Source barbwire.com
7. Nanny State
New York City remains the top city for aspiring nannies. A cop killed a man for selling "loosies", or individual cigarettes.
I Can't Breath
Image Source time.com
8. Russian Provocation
As the Ukrainian revolution successfully deposed the Russian-sponsored dictator, Russia intervened by annexing a region of Ukraine called Crimea.
Flexing Vs. Flexible
Image Source slate.com
9. Gruber Talk
Obamacare remains one of the most destructive pieces of legislation ever passed into law, and one of the laws' advisors and architects, Jonathan Gruber, was exposed for making lots of politically incorrect statements.
Image Source intellectualtakeout.org
10. Comet Landing
A team of scientists successfully landed a satellite on a comet. It was around 10 years in the making. Another achievement of the mind of man.
Image Source bbc.com