George Soros Is Funding Facebook’s “Third-Party Fact Checking” Organization Targeting “Fake News”

Behind almost every liberal crusade of the past several decades, from the blocking of voter ID laws to the Syrian refugee crisis, there has been one man quietly pulling the puppet strings from the background: George Soros. So imagine our complete shock when we discovered Soros to be the financing source behind Facebook’s “third-party fact checking” organization retained to flag, and thus eliminate, “fake news.”
Just yesterday, Facebook posted the following press release to their website detailing their plans to use a “third-party fact checking organization,” known as The Poynter Institute, to flag “fake news.” The role of the “fact checkers” will be to review news stories and flag anything they deem to be “fake” so that it can be deprioritized on Facebook’s news feed.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2016.

Central Banker Sees “Scary” 2017

Barron’s Asia: When you look ahead to 2017, what keeps you awake at night?
Amando Tetangco: Short term, the Fed rate hikes — the timing and the magnitude. Of course, this would be related to the policies that the new U. S. administration will adopt. Medium-to-long term, the retreat from multi-lateralism. That is related to the performance of the global economy – the major and various economies, and emerging markets like China.
‘Scary stuff” – that’s not the kind of utterance one would expect to hear from a central banker, but in this interview posted on Barron’s Asia with Amando Tetangco of the Philippines, “scary” is just how the central banker defines the increasingly chaotic global environment. Between Donald Trump’s shock election, Brexit, Italians showing their prime minister the door and fallout from quantitative-easing programs, 2016 has been an unusually unruly year. Will 2017 be a kinder, gentler one? Sadly no, says the governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2016.

Why Gold Prices Today Are Trending Lower After Fed Rate Hike

It’s been a tough week for gold bulls of all stripes. Gold prices today (Friday) are mostly flat, up just 0.62% in afternoon trading.
This week, the Fed went ahead and raised rates by 0.25%. No surprise there. Effectively, the fed funds target rate has now moved up to a range of 0.5% to 0.75%.
While the Fed did follow through with an increase, keep in mind that these rates are low. Historically, they’re still extremely low.
***
Nonetheless, the short-term reaction in gold prices has been negative.
Up until the Fed’s rate hike announcement was official, the price of gold was still trading at $1,161 an ounce. Within just two hours, it had dropped to $1,142, then fell a little further on Thursday. As I write, gold is down by another $12 to $1,130, losing 17% since peaking this summer.
Existing bonds, which already pay a fixed coupon, are in a challenging environment, too, because increasing rates compete with them. So long-term bonds are tanking and have been since July.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 16, 2016.

New York Times Will Vacate 8 Floors In Its HQ To Generate “Significant Rental Revenue”

Remember when The NYT reported that its ad hoc campaign to boost revenue by selling subscriptions in response to the vicious back and forth with Donald Trump, was said to be a smashing success? Perhaps it was subscriptions for the crossword puzzle because it appears the monetary success was not smashing enough, and according to a just released note from executives Arthur Sulzberger and Mark Thompson, the newspaper will vacate at least eight floors in its iconic building, allowing it to “generate significant rental income” because it is “frankly, too expensive to occupy this many floors when we don’t truly need them.”
Maybe the lesson here is that when the newspaper business model no longer works, one can just pivot into a REIT?
The remaining staff will be consolidated on the remaining, redesigned floors in a “more dynamic, modern and open workplace, one that is better suited to the moment.” Furthermore, the NYT publisher and CEO will lose their corner offices, which they call a “vestige from a different era” and will “introduce more team rooms and common spaces.”
It is unclear if NYT would distribute pink slips as part of the cost-cutting effort, however as the letter adds, “in the end, these changes will impact every employee at 620 Eighth Ave. In the near term, we will have to move about 400 employees out of the building to nearby office space while the first phase of work is completed. We expect that group, which includes parts of marketing, technology, the newsroom, news services, corporate finance and print products and services pre-press operations, to move in the first quarter and return by the end of 2017. Your manager will notify you if your position is affected by this temporary move. We understand and appreciate the disruption this will inevitably cause and we will do everything in our power to mitigate it.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2016.

What’s Really Behind America’s Slumping GDP Growth?

On December 6, the Gallup organization together with the U. S. Council on Competitiveness published a jolting study demonstrating that the pervasive sense among Americans that the U. S. is in economic decline isn’t imagined. It’s real and it’s dangerous.
The study was conducted by Gallup’s Senior Economist, Jonathan Rothwell, with other Gallup experts and external scientists serving as reviewers to ‘ensure statistical and theoretical accuracy and objectivity,’ according to Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton.
The problem, in a nutshell, is this: real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita ran at a rate of 2.4 percent per year from 1929 to 1979. But since 2007, real GDP per capita has been a negligible 1 percent. Since the depths of the Wall Street crash in 2009, it has been a paltry 1.4 percent. (GDP per capita is the value of all goods and services produced in a country, divided by the number of people living in the country at the time.)
Jim Clifton adds this perspective in a letter attached to the report to drive home the point that America ‘is dangerously running on empty’:
‘Think of our country as a company, America Inc., which has more than 100 million full-time employees, with about $18 trillion in sales and $20 trillion of debt. The most serious problem facing it is no growth.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on December 16, 2016.

16/12/16: The Root of the 2007-2010 Crises is Back, with a Vengeance

There are several fundamental problem in the global economy, legacies of the past 20 years – from the mid 1990s on – that continue to drive the trend toward secular stagnations (see explainer here: One key structural problem is that of excessive reliance on credit (or debt) to drive growth. We have seen the devastating effects of the rapidly rising unsustainable levels of the real economic debt (debt that combines government obligations, non-financial corporate debt and household debt) in the case of 2008 crises.
And we were supposed to have learned the lesson. Supposed to have, because the entire conversation about structural reforms in banking and capital markets worldwide was framed in the context of deleveraging (reduction of debt levels). This has been the leitmotif of structural policies reforms in Europe, the U. S., in Australia and in China, and elsewhere, including at the level of the EU and the IMF. Supposed to have, because we did not that lesson. Instead of deleveraging, we got re-leveraging of economies – companies, households and governments.

This post was published at True Economics on Friday, December 16, 2016.

The Alarming Truth About the Fed’s Rate Hike

After holding off on an interest rate hike pre-election to help Clinton, Yellen finally pulled the trigger on Wednesday…
For the first time in a year, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate a quarter of a percentage point to 0.50%.
The stock market game didn’t like the news. The Dow Jones closed down 118 points for the day.
And predictably, market ‘experts’ drew all the wrong conclusions from the Fed’s move.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 16, 2016.

‘Faithless’ Electors Will Not Receive Intelligence Briefing, NPR Says

The list of Democrat electors that demanded an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election prior to casting their vote continued to grow. As of last night we noted that 40 democrats had signed the petition and, as of this morning, the list has grown to 55. Not surprisingly, the list is loaded with disaffected Hillary supporters from Democratic strongholds like California and Virginia.
Original 10:
Christine Pelosi (CA) Micheal Baca (CO) Anita Bonds (DC) Courtney Watson (MD) Dudley Dudley (NH) Bev Hollingworth (NH) Terie Norelli (NH) Carol Shea-Porter (NH) Clay Pell (RI) Chris Suprun (TX)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2016.

Major Economic Warning Sign: The Euro Is Heading For Parity With The U.S. Dollar

The collapse of the euro is accelerating, and it looks like we could be staring a major European financial crisis right in the face early in 2017. On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell all the way to $1.0366 at one point before rebounding slightly. That represents the lowest that the euro has been relative to the U. S. dollar since January 2003. Ever since 2011, I have been relentlessly warning that the euro is heading for parity with the U. S. dollar. When the EUR/USD was trading at about $1.40 that must have seemed like crazy talk, but I never wavered. I just kept warning people that the euro was going to weaken greatly relative to the U. S. dollar. Here is one example from March 2015: ‘How many times have I said it? The euro is heading to all-time lows. It is going to go to parity with the U. S. dollar, and then it is eventually going to go below parity.’ After Thursday, we are almost there, and once we do hit parity that is going to be a sign that all sorts of chaos is about to erupt in Europe.
For years, so many people that write about our coming economic problems have been proclaiming that the death of the U. S. dollar is imminent.
But I have always taken a different approach. I have always maintained that the collapse of the euro comes first, and that the death of the U. S. dollar happens some time later.
So many people have wanted to get rid of all of their dollars in anticipation of the coming crisis, but that is a huge mistake.
First of all, without exception everyone needs an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of expenses in case there is a job loss, a health emergency or all hell breaks loose for some reason.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 15th, 2016.

Trump Rally and Irrelevant Dow Theory; what’s next Stock Market Crash

Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity. R. I. Fitzhenry
In September we penned a second article in the Alternative Dow theory series, titled ‘Dow theory no longer relevant-Better Alternative exists where we stated that the Dow theory as it stood was no longer relevant. Here is a brief excerpt from that article.
The transports topped out in November of 2014, and according to the Dow theory this is a big negative; the Dow industrials should have followed suit. Instead, the Dow soared higher paying no heed to this theory proving to a large degree that this theory has lost its value. After all, it is a theory and the definition of a theory is ‘a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.’
That is why way back in 2006 we offered a Dow theory Alternative that has proved to be far more accurate and reliable than the Dow theory. Just to let this sink in, the transports topped out almost two years ago and instead of trending lower the markets have surged to new highs. If you look at the above chart, the Transports appear to be finally gathering momentum and to break out. In the Dow theory alternative, we stated it was the Utilities that lead the way as opposed to the Dow transports, well let’s see if that holds true.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 16 December 2016.

Martin Armstrong, 2010-2011

In an effort to put the Martin Armstrong saga to bed, I post below quotes and links to two articles he put out in 2010 and 2011 just before being released from prison. Please read not just the quotes provided but his full articles as they are both excellent in content and logic. His 2010 article sounds a lot like ‘Bill Holter’ as I have done this math and logic several times for readers over the years. Back then he said ‘$5,000 gold is ‘VERY CONSERVATIVE’ …while he now says it will be as high as gold can go. In the second article he takes on ‘manipulation’ which he has since changed his tune on.
I would simply ask ‘why’? Why has he done a 180 degree turn in his thought process? Why did his ‘change’ of heart begin as soon as he was released from prison? Why do people even follow him now as his logic and reporting of history is flawed? I have no doubt he is a brilliant man as he was a pioneer of the derivatives industry, but how brilliant is it to claim that gold was devalued in 1934 …and then go on to explain ‘why’ it happened?

This post was published at JSMineSet on December 16th, 2016.

“When Gold Goes Above 1430 We Whack It”

As it goes in silver, so it goes in gold. In London at least.
In a bid to have UBS reinstated as a defendant in a London Gold Fix antitrust lawsuit, plaintiffs documents submitted to a New York Court last week include explosive chat room transcripts of UBS and traders from different banks encouraging each other to ‘push,’ ‘smack,’ and ‘whack’ gold prices.
***
The transcripts are equally as startling as those described of banks of the London Silver Fix and UBS given to the court the previous day and described last week in this article.
On December 6th attorneys for plaintiffs in a consolidated class action against banks of the London Gold Fix and UBS, asked the court for leave to amend with a Third Amended Complaint. The TAC includes additional facts based on a ‘limited set of cooperation materials’ produced by former defendant Deutsche Bank, as part of a settlement agreement and further statistical analysis.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2016.

No Demand, No Problem: Inflation Pressures Surge

Businesses expect their input prices to jump by 4.6% in 2017. ‘Activity in the region’s service sector held steady’: that’s how the New York Fed today introduced the December results of its Business Leader Survey, which covers the region’s service sector. ‘Steady’ in this case means a negative 0.6 in the diffusion index of Business Activity, where everything below zero indicates that conditions deteriorated over the past month.
The last time the Business Activity index was positive was in July. It has been negative for much of the time over the past 12 months. In the current survey, 27% of respondents reported that conditions improved over the month, and 27% said conditions worsened.
And this is happening in the thriving service sector in the New York Fed’s district (State of New York, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey, Fairfield County in Connecticut, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands).
In the chart below, the Current Conditions index (blue line) indicates whether the reality, as businesses are experiencing it, is improving or deteriorating. Now at -0.6.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 16, 2016.

New York Time Will Vacate 8 Floors In Its HQ To Generate “Significant Rental Revenue”

Remember when The NYT reported that its ad hoc campaign to boost revenue by selling subscriptions in response to the vicious back and forth with Donald Trump, was said to be a smashing success? Perhaps it was subscriptions for the crossword puzzle because it appears the monetary success was not smashing enough, and according to a just released note from executives Arthur Sulzberger and Mark Thompson, the newspaper will vacate at least eight floors in its iconic building, allowing it to “generate significant rental income” because it is “frankly, too expensive to occupy this many floors when we don’t truly need them.”
Maybe the lesson here is that when the newspaper business model no longer works, one can just pivot into a REIT?
The remaining staff will be consolidated on the remaining, redesigned floors in a “more dynamic, modern and open workplace, one that is better suited to the moment.” Furthermore, the NYT publisher and CEO will lose their corner offices, which they call a “vestige from a different era” and will “introduce more team rooms and common spaces.”
It is unclear if NYT would distribute pink slips as part of the cost-cutting effort, however as the letter adds, “in the end, these changes will impact every employee at 620 Eighth Ave. In the near term, we will have to move about 400 employees out of the building to nearby office space while the first phase of work is completed. We expect that group, which includes parts of marketing, technology, the newsroom, news services, corporate finance and print products and services pre-press operations, to move in the first quarter and return by the end of 2017. Your manager will notify you if your position is affected by this temporary move. We understand and appreciate the disruption this will inevitably cause and we will do everything in our power to mitigate it.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2016.

Market Report: Fed rate up – more to come

This week the Fed announced the widely expected rise in the Fed Funds Rate to a target of 0.5 – 0.75%, with the expectation that there will be three more rises over the course of 2017. Predictably, the gold price got hit yet again, sliding $26 dollars from last Friday’s close to $1132.50. Silver lost 88 cents to $16.05 by early European trade this morning.
Gold is now up only 6.3% on the year in dollars, having been as much as up 29% mid-year. Silver is up 16% having been up 49% on 2nd August. Gold’s weakness is the counterpart of dollar strength, but with industrial metals rising strongly (copper is up 22% since 1st October, while gold is down 14%) valuations are getting stretched. The strength in base metals has helped silver relative to gold, reflected in the chart of the gold/silver ratio.

This post was published at GoldMoney on DECEMBER 16, 2016.