China Sends Warships, Fighter Jets To Intercept US Destroyer In South China Sea

Just days before Trump’s meeting with the Chinese president in Hamburg later this week for the G-20 summit, the Trump administration sent a guided-missile destroyer near Triton Island in the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported, a move “which may cause concern ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart.”
According to an anonymous official cited by Bloomberg, the U. S. Navy sent the destroyer USS Stethem within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island on Sunday, passing through the contested waters on the basis of “innocent passage.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

Did Martin Shkreli’s FBI Arrest Save Him From A “Hit” Ordered By The Wu-Tang Clan?

Just when you thought the bizarre antics of famed ‘Pharma Bro’, Martin Shkreli, couldn’t get any more outrageous, along comes a new book detailing how he was almost “whacked” by members of the Wu-Tang Clan after a twisted scheme, which somehow also involved Bill Murray, went horribly wrong. According to the book, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: The Untold Story,” it all started when Shkreli bought Wu-Tang Clan’s infamous record, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, for $2million.
Wu-Tang fans were outraged at the sale because Shkreli purchased the album for his own personal use and was explicitly prohibited from commercially releasing the record for all to enjoy.
Alas, the sale was apparently just a big scam designed to heighten interest in the record and make even more money. According to exclusive details from the Daily Mail, members of the Wu-Tang Clan had already plotted with Shkreli to stage a fake heist to ‘steal’ back the album, along with a little help from Bill Murray, from Shkreli’s home and then release it publicly. Here is how the original scheme was supposed to play out per the Daily Mail:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

Pension Apocalypse Is Coming

‘It’s unequivocal now: We are taking money from the new employees and using it to pay off this liability for the old employees,’ said Turner, a Gov. John Hickenlooper appointee. ‘And some might call that a Ponzi scheme.’ – Denver Post, 6/27/17
The people in Denver who bother to read the news, especially the ones who are or will be dependent on the Colorado public employees pension fund (PERA), were greeted with a shock Tuesday. PERA is now admitting to be 42% underfunded, down from an alleged 38% underfunding last year. How on earth is it possible for the underfunding of a pension to increase during a period of time when the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq and fixed income markets are hitting or are near all-time highs?
And what about the valuations of these funds using realistic mark to market prices for the illiquid assets, like private equity, commercial real estate and OTC derivatives? Harvard University is about to sell its private equity assets. My bet is that the value received will be covered up as much as possible. And we’ll never know where the fund was marked on its books. But judging of the failure vs. expectations of the SNAP and Blue Apron IPOs, private equity investments are likely over-marked on the books by at least 15-20%. A market to market here would devastate the stated funding levels of every pension fund.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on June 30, 2017.

Abe “Plunges Into Crisis” After LDP Suffers “Historic Defeat” In Tokyo Elections, USDJPY Slides

On Sunday Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party suffered what Reuters called a “historic defeat” in the Tokyo assembly election, and “plunged into a crisis” after losing to an upstart outfit in an vote that is seen as a harbinger for Japan’s national elections, and signaling trouble ahead for the premier who has suffered from slumping support after a series of political scandals.
“We must recognize this as an historic defeat,” former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba was quoted by NHK as saying. “Rather than a victory for Tokyo Citizens First, this is a defeat for the LDP,” said Ishiba, who is widely seen as an Abe rival within the ruling party.
“We must accept the results humbly,” said Hakubun Shimomura, a close Abe ally and head of the LDP’s Tokyo chapter. “The voters have handed down an extremely severe verdict.”
According to Bloomberg, the ruling LDP party was projected to win its lowest number of seats ever in the capital, a crushing blow for Abe, which sent the USDJPY sliding after suddenly the very fate of Abenomics is in question, as past Tokyo elections have been bellwethers for national trends. A 2009 Tokyo poll in which the LDP won just 38 seats was followed by its defeat in a general election that year, although this time no lower house poll need be held until late 2018.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

Gunmen Open Fire On Crowd Outside Mosque In Avignon, France

A shootout erupted around 10:30pm on Sunday night in Avignon, southern France, when two gunmen opened fire on a crowd outside the Arrahma mosque leaving either people injured, La Provence newspaper reports.
Gunmen open fire on crowd outside mosque in France leaving eight injured – Mirror Online — Tommy Robinson (@TRobinsonNewEra) July 2, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away

Recently, a Spanish group called ‘Ecologist in Action’ asked me to give them a presentation on what kind of financial crisis we should expect. They wanted to know when it would be and how it would take place.
The answer I had for the group is that we should expect financial collapse quite soon – perhaps as soon as the next few months. Our problem is energy related, but not in the way that most Peak Oil groups describe the problem. It is much more related to the election of President Trump and to the Brexit vote.
I have talked about this subject in various forms before, but not since 2016 energy production and consumption data became available. Most of the slides in this presentation use new BP data, through 2016. A copy of the presentation can be found at this link: The Next Financial Crisis.
Most people don’t understand how interconnected the world economy is. All they understand is the simple connections that economists make in their models.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

Deutsche: The Market Broke In 2012, “This Is What Everyone Is Talking About”

Two weeks after Deutsche Bank’s whimsical, James Joycean derivatives strategist, Aleksandar Kocic disaggregated the market’s current sweeping complacency regime in a florid stream-of-consciousness report, and warning that the market’s current “metastability” would lead to “cataclysmic events”, with a crash becomes increasingly more likely the longer price discovery in the market (one not propped up by Federal Reserve) is delayed, in his latest note from this week he takes on a more practical – if just as abstract – target; quantifying complacency, both in a market sense and as a metaphysical concept (long-term readers of Kocic are all too aware that when it comes to fusing markets and philosophy, mostly of the post-modernist bent, nobody even comes close).
While we offer readers a TL/DR, Cliff Notes recap at the end of this post for those with little patience for parallels between existentialist, information overload and the decay of the VXX, we urge following Kocic’ narrative, if for no other reason than to comprehend to what abstract levels of market intellectualization the current phase of market ‘breakage’ – courtesy of central banks of course – has prompted such otherwise dry commentary as cross-asset derivative analysis.
We start with Kocic’s definition of ‘complacency’, which the DB explains ‘carries a negative connotation — there is something narcissistic about it. It implies unhealthy inward-looking perspective: One imagines of being in a better position than he really is, missing an opportunity to improve. When used in the market context complacency implies a state of comfort that is out of sync with perceived levels of risk. It is almost always identified with shortsightedness, a mistake associated with overlooking the long-term consequences. In the same way a boxer who drops his guard runs a risk of being knocked out, complacent markets are facing a potentially painful encounter with reality.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

Bears Need to Beware of Saudi Aramco IPO’s $2 Trillion Price Tag

Saudi Aramco could be valued at $2 trillion, making the Saudi Aramco IPO worth a massive $100 billion. That will make it the biggest IPO ever once the company goes public.
But the media is overlooking one key aspect of the Aramco IPO and is instead only focusing on the deal’s size.
Even though Saudi Arabia is only selling a 5% stake in the company, it will still potentially raise $100 billion. That’s more than four times the size of the current record set by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and its $25 billion 2014 IPO.
But Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors says the valuation isn’t the only thing that ‘makes the Aramco IPO uniquely important in the history of stock markets.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 30, 2017.

Deutsche Bank (The Teutonic Titanic) And EU Bank Stocks Post Financial Crisis

Despite the trillions of dollars, pounds, yen, euros pumped into the global financial system since 2008, the banking industry has, for the most part, never fully recovered.
An example of how bad the European and the global economy remains is the asset balance sheets of the central banks for the US, UK, ECB and Japan.
Things have never been the same since the financial crisis.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 30, 2016.

It’s All Falling Apart, The Entire Illusion Is Coming To An End – Episode 1321b

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 2, 2017
The task force which is looking into voter fraud is proceeding forward but 29 states will not cooperate with the government. Trump and Moon Jae In met at the White House and they will proceed with a new plan with NK. Duterte has virtually wiped out the IS from his country. The IS has been spotted on the belt and road system, the deep state pushing the agenda of disrupting this new economic system. Qatar has one day before the deadline is up and they refuse to meet any of the demands of the gulf nations. The OPCW put out a report which is based in fiction, the investigators never visited the site, never did an investigation, the entire report is fake.

Gold is Weak in Real Terms

Intermarket analysis is a rather new field in technical analysis but one of my favorites because it is critical in understanding Gold. Asset classes like stocks and bonds are enormous and aren’t as influenced by as many factors as Gold. Trends in stocks, interest rates, commodities and currencies impact Gold in one way or another. We have written many articles over the years analyzing Gold with respect to its outlook and standing in real terms. Gold, when in a true bull market outperforms against all currencies and the global equity market. Unfortunately that is not the case at present. In real terms, Gold is weak, getting weaker and it could be a reflection of the metal’s worsening fundamentals.
In the first chart we plot Gold along with Gold against foreign currencies (FC) and Gold against stocks (inverse). While Gold (in nominal terms) has yet to break its 2017 uptrend, Gold/FC has and the Gold/Stocks ratio remains on the cusp of a major breakdown. Gold/FC has broken down from a mini head and shoulders top, lost its 200-day moving average and closed at a 6-month low. Meanwhile, the Stocks/Gold ratio is on the cusp of a breakout to a 2-year high. In short, Gold against both currencies and equities is weak and likely to get weaker.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 3 July 2017.

TECHNOCRACY INC: Now Charging for Roads By the Mile

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has published a transport strategy that outlines his vision of the future of transportation in Britain’s capital. The strategy conforms to his pledge to be London’s ‘greenest mayor’ as it will reduce motor vehicle traffic while simultaneously encouraging walking and cycling. As a way to discourage motor vehicle journeys, Khan plans to charge drivers a distance-based fee for using city roads. While the scheme is likely to represent an important new revenue stream for the city (or the firm that wins the contract), the plan also seems to resemble parts of the global elite’s technocratic agenda.
First of all, London’s proposal is not the only one of its kind. Various forms of road charging are in use in countries around the world, with many more proposed; the type that charges motorists based on the distance they drive is often called a ‘vehicle miles traveled tax’ (VMT tax). This type of scheme has so far been implemented in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Switzerland, as well as in several locations around the United States, such as Oregon with its OReGO program. Other similar schemes are being tested in countless locations internationally. Numerous think tanks and governments – including the UN and EU – have been urging the adoption of VMT taxes for some time, in what is clearly a coordinated international push.
An obvious problem with this idea is that charging for road use according to distance driven will discriminate against lower-income people and small business, but favour wealthier individuals and larger corporations. When Khan says, ‘we have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option’, he is clearly saying that using a car would become less affordable under the scheme. This broadly fits with the UN’s Agenda 21 plan, which aims to reduce the use of motor vehicles by the general public – as we shall see.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 30, 2017.

Chapter 27: Capitalization

Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous (Proverbs 13:22).
AnalysisPoint five of the biblical covenant is succession. It asks: ‘Does this outfit have a future?’
This verse is clear: a good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren. We are not told how a good man is supposed to accumulate capital in order to leave it to his grandchildren, but there is no question that this is a moral responsibility. We must therefore begin any discussion of capital with a moral premise: Christian economics is not value-free economics.
In an economy in which there is exclusive state ownership of capital, meaning the tools of production, there is no way that a man can accumulate capital to leave to his grandchildren. He cannot legally own capital. He surely cannot bequeath what he does not own. This verse is therefore a powerful denial of all forms of socialism. This is not apparent on the initial reading, but the conclusion is inescapable. There is no possibility under socialism of an inter-generational transfer of wealth within a family. Capital is not owned by families. It is owned by the state. Therefore, a good man cannot fulfill his responsibilities to God and to his heirs under socialism. This leads to an inescapable theological conclusion. Socialism is inherently immoral.
The focus of this verse is inheritable wealth. Wealth can come in many forms. It can be in the form of consumer goods. They can be sold for money. They can also free up money for investing, since the heir will not have to spend money to buy something equivalent. In most cases, however, inheritable wealth is in the form of either money or readily marketable assets.
This verse deals with family wealth. The section of Deuteronomy 28 that deals with positive national sanctions includes capital in the form of lending, i.e., money.
The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them (vv. 12 – 13).

This post was published at Gary North on July 01, 2017.

Rand Paul Warns The Healthcare Bill “Is Going Nowhere”

Despite President Trump’s ever-optimistic overtures that something ‘great’ will happen with the GOP healthcare reform bill, Senator Rand Paul is dropping some painful truth bombs this morning on Fox News, warning “I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with the bill we have.”
Senate Republicans decided last week to delay a vote on their healthcare bill after it became clear it lacked the votes for passage. But, as The Hill reports, Paul, who has been a vocal critic of the Senate’s healthcare bill, does not see any light at the end of this tunnel…
“We’re at an impasse,” he said. “So right now this bill, which is not a repeal, has become the kitchen sink.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.

Chapter 26: Profit

Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
‘For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:14 – 23).
AnalysisPoint four of the biblical covenant is sanctions. It asks: ‘What do I get if I obey? Disobey?”
The free market rests on a legal system that reflects God’s delegated ownership rights to individuals, families, and other institutions. This is a system of delegated responsibility: a stewardship program. Ownership establishes responsibility.
This parable is about personal responsibility. It is therefore about personal motivation. It is about economic sanctions: positive and negative. It rests on an assumption: turning a profit is morally mandatory. As a goal, this is not an option. The fate of the third servant makes this clear.
‘He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vv. 24 – 30).

This post was published at Gary North on June 30, 2017.

Economic Alert, It Has Begun, The Collapse Is Spreading State By State – Episode 1321a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 2, 2017
Retail is now dependent on government food stamp money. The economic system is breaking down and each state is now feeling the effects. Illinois, Connecticut, Maine, NJ and many other states are started to feel the economic collapse. With the states failing we are now on the precipices of a failing pension system, this failing pension system will hit hard as the economic system fails. GDP estimates are now converging with each other. The corporate media is now pushing the idea that the next recession will be caused by climate change.