“We’re Very Angry”: Why Trump Wants To Expand America’s Nuclear Arsenal

Shortly before the market close on Thursday, retailers stumbled on one single Reuters headline: Trump says he supports “some form” of border tax.
As Reuters elaborated, President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke favorably about an export-boosting border adjustment tax proposal being pushed by Republicans in the U. S. Congress, but did not specifically endorse it. Trump had previously sent mixed signals on the proposal at the heart of a Republican plan to overhaul the U. S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Traders Throw In The Towel On March Rate Hike

As we previously noted, while speculatrs had been reducing their shorts in Treasury futures, they had added to Eurodollar shorts – pushing their bets on Fed rate hikes to record highs. However, as Bloomberg notes, signals are starting to emerge that traders who built up that heavy short, or hawkish, eurodollar base since the start of 2016 could be starting to throw in the towel on a March Fed rate hike.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Gold Jumps Most In 2017 As ‘Mnuchin Moment’ Sparks Dollar Dump; Dow Tops 20,800

Mnuchin hit the reset button and then asset gatherers spent the day like this…
The Dow topped 20,800 shrugging off any fears from Mnuchin…thanks to a VIX slam…
Total panic bid right athe close to ensure 20,800 and to get the S&P green…
Making the 10th record close in a row – something that has only happened once before in the 100-year-plus history of The Dow…1987

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Mutiny Breaks Out Inside The World’s Most Successful Hedge Fund Over Donald Trump

Last August, we introduced readers to the hedge fund that we dubbed the “puppe master behind the US presidential election“, which also happened to be the most successful hedge fund in history : Setauket-based Renaissance Technologies (a recent analysis by LCH found that Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater, with $45 billion in absolute profits since inception, was the most successful but the ranking ignored Renaissance, which has return $10 billion more).
Formerly known best for making a staggering $55 billion since its founding, RenTec as it is better known in financial circles, also emerged as perfectly hedged when it comes to the outcome of the presidential election. On one hand, there was RenTec’s chain-smoking billionaire founder (in 2015 alone he made $1.7 billion) Jim Simons, who had donated some $10 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, second only to Saban Capital. In a June 2016 interview with CNBC, Jim Simons said that “if you compare the presidential candidates using the Sharpe ratio, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is ‘not a good investment.’”
Meanwhile, Rentec’s Co-CEO, billionaire Robert Mercer, emerged as the man who was pulling the string behind Donald Trump’s entire campaign. As the WSJ reported at the time, Mercer has longstanding ties to both people elevated to top posts in the Trump campaign. He and his daughter, Rebekah, not only poured money into the Trump campaign, but had recommended both Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon (they had invested $10 million in Breitbart News) and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who already worked for the campaign, to join the Trump team around the time it found itself in disarray with last summer’s scandals involving Tim Manafort. (Trump returned the favor, in part, by pouring that campaign money back into a data-analytics firm co-owned by Rebekah, who was later named to Trump’s transition team executive committee.)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – No Breakouts or Breakdowns Yet

After the bell the Trump Administration’s DOJ rescinded the ban on the use of private prisons for Federal prisoners. Progress!
Perhaps they can explore the use of private workhouses and poorhouses for those who will continue to become impoverished by policies that favor a redistribution of the wealth to the top few percent.
Oh wait, they already have those. It is called working for below poverty wages while having to compete with near slave labor working in deplorable conditions in authoritarian and plutocratic regimes.
Stocks were weak to sideways today. Unless something happens to trigger selling, I suspect we will see the major market indices hanging in there until at least the SNAP IPO comes out in early March.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 23 FEBRUARY 2017.

A Truth Bomb Just Went Off & It Annihilated The Fantasy Of A Strong Economy – Episode 1212a

The following video was published by X22Report on Feb 23, 2017
The EU is getting worried about the debt problem. The tax payers in Dallas are going to bailout the pensions. The everyday American is pumping up the real estate market. Fed’s national index drops signalling we are in a recession. Bundesbank prepares for record losses. UBS warns of credit crisis coming soon. Steve Mnunchin dropped a truth bomb, the economy is going to take more than 2 years to grow.

FEB 23/GOLD RISES ON MNUCHIN INDECISION/SILVER BREAKS OUT OF THE 18.00 DOLLAR STRANGLEHOLD/OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER CLIMBS CLOSE TO 215,000 CONTRACTS (1.07 BILLION OZ) DESPITE YESTERDAY’S DROP/THE…

Gold at (1:30 am est) $1247.00 UP $15.00
silver was : $18.14: UP 20 CENTS
Access market prices:
Gold: $1249.50
Silver: $18.18
THE DAILY GOLD FIX REPORT FROM SHANGHAI AND LONDON
The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning
The fix for London is at 5:30 am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)
Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.
And now the fix recordings:
THURSDAY gold fix Shanghai
Shanghai FIRST morning fix Feb 23/17 (10:15 pm est last night): $ 1245.85
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1236.70 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $9.15
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Shanghai SECOND afternoon fix: 2: 15 am est (second fix/early morning):$ 1246.85
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1236.70 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME/2:15 am)
SPREAD/ 2ND FIX TODAY!!: 10.15
China rejects NY pricing of gold as a fraud/arbitrage will now commence fully
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
London FIRST Fix: Feb 23/2017: 5:30 am est: $1237.35 (NY: same time: $1238.05 (5:30AM)
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
London Second fix Feb 23.2017: 10 am est: $1247.90(NY same time: $1248.30 (10 am)
It seems that Shanghai pricing is higher than the other two , (NY and London). The spread has been occurring on a regular basis and thus I expect to see arbitrage happening as investors buy the lower priced NY gold and sell to China at the higher price. This should drain the comex.
Also why would mining companies hand in their gold to the comex and receive constantly lower prices. They would be open to lawsuits if they knowingly continue to supply the comex despite the fact that they could be receiving higher prices in Shanghai.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on February 23, 2017.

When It’s Time to Leave the Party

My good friend Michael Martin, author of The Inner Voice of Trading, once told me his surefire recipe for staying out of trouble in college. He would leave a party the first time a beer bottle was thrown against the wall. He would be halfway down the street by the time the cops showed up, lights flashing.
Shot:

Chaser:
Throw down one more shot for good measure, seen from a Toronto subway:

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on FEBRUARY 23, 2017.

Recession Concerns Grow After Gasoline Demand Slides Most In 16 Years

Two weeks ago, we reported that when Goldman observed the latest gasoline demand data, it said that either something must be wrong with the data, or the US is in a recession: as the firm’s commodity analyst Damien Courvalin put it, such a steep drop in in US gasoline demand “would require a US recession.” He added that “implied demand data points to US gasoline demand in January declining 460 kb/d or 5.2% year-on-year. In the absence of a base effect, such a decline has only occurred in four periods since 1960 during which time PCE contracted.”
Bloomberg’s Liam Denning confirms that “big dips in U. S. gasoline demand, especially of 5 percent or more, are almost unheard of outside of a recession or oil crisis.” Goldman then adds that “to achieve the 5.9% decline suggested by the weekly data, our model requires PCE to contract 6%, in other words, a recession.”
At this point Goldman – which naturally was aghast at the possibility that there is an under the radar consumer recession taking place at a time when the bank was predicting three rate hikes – quickly pivoted and explained that a far more likely explanation is that the latest weekly report was an aberration, and that there was simply something wrong with the data.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Kansas City Fed Survey: February Activity Highest Since 2011

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey business conditions indicator measures activity in the following states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, western Missouri, and northern New Mexico.
Quarterly data for this indicator dates back to 1995, but monthly data is only available from 2001. New seasonal adjustment factors were introduced in January 2017 and slight revisions were made to previous data as a result.
Here is an excerpt from the latest report:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the February Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity expanded further with continued strong expectations.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 02/23/2017.

RBC Warns “Seeing Clear Signs Of ‘Reflation Trade’ Unwinds”

Did Treasury Secretary Mnuchin play ‘reality’ bad-cop to President Trump’s ‘fantasy’ good-cop this morning?
RBC strategists Charlie McElligott and Mark Orsley reflect on Mnuchin’s 24 hour media blitz below as he reset tax plan expectations (lower) and pushed off infrastructure plans (later).
**BIG DEAL ALERT**: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has now interfaced with the financial media 4 times in the past 24 hrs (WSJ, CNBC, Fox Biz and Bloomberg TV), all of which were opportunities to emphasize the key stock / USD / rates event input being the scope of the Trump administrations ‘corporate tax cut plan’…but did not. In these 4 media interviews, Mnuchin:
Explicitly stated focus is now on individual tax cuts against tax code simplification for corporates (‘we’re mostly focused on middle-class tax cut’). I. E. a downgrading of aspirations from the prior-focus of ‘lower tax rates’ to now said ‘reform.’ Infers / implies changes in corporate tax code rather than emphasizing previous aspiration of 20% corp tax rate. Also proved out that BAT is still being debated (‘looking closely at border adjustment tax’ followed by ‘some issues with border adjustment tax’) which implies they know they can’t get to 20% corp tax rate without it (and thus the shift to individual tax cut prioritization). One could infer that if they are downshifting expectations on corp tax cut to corp tax simplification, the BAT itself becomes unnecessary complication, and this is an input into a weakening USD.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

So Who’s Pumping Up this ‘New Normal’ Housing Market?

America becomes ‘Landlord Land.’
‘A housing recovery that is highly dependent on real estate investors is a bit of a double-edged sword,’ explained Daren Blomquist, senior VP at ATTOM Data Solutions. ‘Rapidly rising home values have been good for homeowner equity, but also have caused an affordability crunch for the first-time homebuyers the housing market typically relies on for sustained, long-term growth.’
So the housing market is ‘starkly different than a decade ago,’ said Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital. ‘As such, it’s imperative for all market participants to understand the nuances of the New Normal Real Estate Market.’
They were both commenting on a joint white paper by ATTOM and Clear Capital, titled ‘Landlord Land,’ that analyzes who is behind the US housing boom that drove home prices to new all-time highs, and in many markets far beyond the prior crazy bubble highs – even as homeownership has plunged and remains near its 50-year low.
First-time buyers are the crux to a healthy housing market, but they aren’t buying with enough enthusiasm. In 2012, buyers with FHA-insured mortgages – ‘who are typically first-time homebuyers with a low down payment,’ according to the report – accounted for 25% of all home purchases. In 2013, their share dropped to about 20%, in 2014 to 18%. Then hope began rising, briefly:

This post was published at Wolf Street on Feb 23, 2017.

Voters Should Blame the Fed for Trump’s Rise to Power

Peter Schiff recently appeared on CNBC’s ‘Future’s Now’ letting millions of American voters know that if they’re frustrated with Trump, they should blame the Federal Reserve. ‘If the economy was in good shape, not only would he have not been elected, he wouldn’t have been the Republican nominee.’
Peter explained why Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is reluctant to raise interest rates because of the fallout from removing cheap borrowing from investors and consumers. ‘What was inappropriate was slashing rates in the first place. It was inappropriate to leave them as low as they were as long as they were. [Yellen’s] afraid of the consequences when she tries to remove this unprecedented accommodation.’

This post was published at Schiffgold on FEBRUARY 22, 2017.

Retailers Tumble After Trump Says He Is “In Favor Of Border Tax”, Hints At Nuclear Arms Race

Moments ago retailers stumbled on one single Reuters headline: Trump says he supports “some form” of border tax.
As Reuters adds, President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke favorably about an export-boosting border adjustment tax proposal being pushed by Republicans in the U. S. Congress, but did not specifically endorse it. Trump had previously sent mixed signals on the proposal at the heart of a Republican plan to overhaul the U. S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.
“It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States,” Trump told Reuters in an interview, using his most positive language to date on the proposal.
Trump had sent conflicting signals about his position on the border adjustability tax in separate media interviews in January, saying in one interview that it was “too complicated” and in another that it was still on the table.
“I certainly support a form of tax on the border,” he told Reuters on Thursday.
“What is going to happen is companies are going to come back here, they’re going to build their factories and they’re going to create a lot of jobs and there’s no tax.” Trump also said his administration will tackle tax reform legislation after dealing with Obamacare, the health insurance system put in place by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Reality Catching Up With Expectations

The stock market is a major leading indicator that rallies on optimism in the economy. Stocks represent the sum progress of companies in the present with a premium for what is expected in the future. Often these economic expectations mirror stock prices, but eventually, the stock market leans ahead of its skis requiring commensurate ‘realized’ economic growth and profits to avoid faltering. With economic sentiment surging to 11-year highs despite 8 years of slow GDP growth, we are now witnessing signs of economic acceleration to justify some of this ebullience.
Global trade is one way to view the ebbs and flows of the actual economy. US exports and imports fell sharply during the global fossil fuel recession from 2014 to 2016. As Oil bottomed at $26 in early 2016 and ballooned back above water to $56, the forward-looking stock market and trade flows also rebounded. As we often say, strong moves in Oil and Copper are good leading indicators for our economy.
The euphoric Trump sentiment elevating stocks is also being supported by real numbers coming out of Europe. The Eurozone has been a significant drag on global growth since 2011 and now could be considered a leader. Unlike our Fed, their Central Bank has kept its foot on the gas with continued Quantitative Easing (QE) in spite of an accelerating manufacturing sector that may be exceeding the robust US performance. Virtually all of Europe has kicked into a higher gear since November reaching 70-month high expansion rates in new orders, backlogs, and production. Even France has turned from perennial laggard to one of the leaders of the important Eurozone. Japan, UK, and China are also showing signs of actual growth that justifies rising expectations coincident.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 02/23/2017.

UMich Students Demand ‘No-Whites-Allowed’ Safe-Space To Plot “Social Justice” Activism

A student activist group at the University of Michigan is demanding campus officials provide them with ‘a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize and do social justice work.’
The demand is one of several lodged by ‘Students4Justice,’ who this month ratcheted up campus demonstrations to pressure administrators to cave, complaining in a newly launched petition that President Mark Schlissel has snubbed their demands.
The clamor for a segregated space for students of color to organize social justice efforts comes even as the public university builds a $10 million center for black students in the center of campus.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Kellyanne Conway Blasts CNN Reports That She’s Been “Benched” From TV Appearances

Earlier this week “fake news” CNN, citing White House ‘sources’, reported that Kellyanne Conway had been “benched” from making TV appearances after she gave an interview last week in which she said that Genereal Michael Flynn enjoyed the “full confidence” of President Trump just hours before he was dismissed from his post.
But, appearing on the Hannity TV show last night (which would be difficult if she were actually banned from TV appearances) Conway blasted the CNN reports saying simply that “somebody’s trying to start up trouble.” Per The Hill:


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Reconsider holding these Dividend Aristocrat Stocks

On May 23, 1719, one of the greatest financial bubbles in the history of the world kicked off when the Compagnie Perpetuelle des Indes was granted a monopoly by the French monarchy over all the trading rights of all French colonies worldwide.
The company’s stock price quickly soared, from 300 livres per share to more than 1,000 just a few months later.
It was quite a jump. But the enthusiasm continued for more than 18-months.
In fact there was such a frenzy to buy shares that it wasn’t uncommon for the stock price to double in a single day.
By November, share price had surpassed 10,000.
Based on modern-day calculations, a share price of 10,000 livres would have valued the company at more than the entire GDP of France at the time.
That would be like Google or Amazon having a $20 TRILLION stock market capitalization today. Insane.
As with all bubbles throughout history, that one burst as well… quickly and violently.
Call it ‘reversion to the mean’. Stein’s Law. Or just plain old common sense.
It’s pretty simple – there are certain anomalies that are too absurd to last. And nature always finds a way to correct them.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on February 22, 2017.

Bannon Rips “Corporatist” Media: “They’re Not Going To Give The Country Back Without A Fight”

Shortly after taking center stage at CPAC, Steve Bannon once again unleashed on the media, quickly calling the press the “opposition party” as he did in his infamous NYT interview, during his conversation with Reince Priebus.
‘If you look at the opposition party, how they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition, how they portray the administration, it’s always wrong,” Bannon said. ‘If you remember, the campaign, by the media’s description, was the most chaotic, the most disorganized, most unprofessional, had no idea what they were doing. And then you saw [the media] all crying and weeping’ on election night.
“It’s not gonna get better, it’s gonna get worse,” Bannon said.
“They are corporatist globalist media who are diametrically opposed to the economic nationalist agenda that President Trump presents. ‘[Trump] is going to continue to press his agenda as economic conditions get better, as jobs get better, they are going to continue to fight. If they think they are going to give you your country back without a fight, you are mistaken. Every day, it is going to be a fight.””

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

BEIJING: Emerging from the Smog of Western Hostile Propaganda and Humiliation

Open your eyes and see for yourself. Unclog your ears and hear. Discard your preconceptions, of all those propaganda refrains that are accompanying the myriad of brainwashing tunes that are being spread by the Western indoctrination media.
For decades, smearing Beijing, while negating its greatness, has been one of the most effective weapons used by the US and Europe in their cultural anti-revolutionary war against all those great independent nations of the planet, especially China.
For those who want to taste the reality, the best advice would be: enter Beijing and let Beijing speak for itself, without an intermediary or ‘interpreter’. But could it be done? Aren’t biases already too deeply engrained in the psyche of most of the people worldwide, people that are bombarded by professional disinformation campaigns manufactured by the Empire and its mouthpieces?
‘I used to cry almost every night, from hopelessness and pain,’ I was once told by one of the greatest contemporary concert pianists, Yuan Sheng, who decided to return to his native Beijing many years ago. ‘When I lived in New York, when I read and heard all those lies about my country and my city, I felt so helpless. I couldn’t explain the truth, as nobody around me was willing to listen.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on FEBRUARY 22, 2017.