Scaramucci: Divorce Will Show “Who In Media Has Class And Who Doesn’t”

Just days after Anthony Scaramucci replaced Sean Spicer as the White House’s Comms director, the former SkyBridge Capital president, who is still finalizing the sale of his stake in the FoF business to China’s scandal-ridden, money laundering HNA (at what reports allege was a greatly overinflated acquisition price), the Mooch immediately teleported himself to the front page of every political, financial and gossip magazine courtesy of his now infamous New York Magazine telephonic meltdown, in which he slammed Reince Priebus as a “fucking paranoid schizophrenic” and Steve Bannon as a “cocksucker,” and who effectively catalyzed Trump’s decision to fire Priebus on Friday afternoon. And then, the “peak news” cherry on top hit when the Post reported that Scaramucci’s 38-year-old wife Deidre, who had grown tired of his “naked ambition”, and had filed for divorce “after three years of marriage after getting fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.”
News of his divorce has so far prompted at least two reactions from the new White House’s communications chief.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 29, 2017.

A Market Paradox: Unprecedented Cluster Of New All Time Highs On Negative Volume

By Dana Lyons of J. Lyons Fund Management
Stocks have recently witnessed an unprecedented cluster of new highs occurring on negative volume.
A number of stock bears have pointed to the supposed thin nature of the rally in justifying their skepticism. That is, the rally has been led by a relatively small number of stocks as opposed to broad participation. While we have seen anecdotes of such a condition, we can’t say that we fully subscribe to this concern. Factors such as the NYSE advance-decline line hitting new highs along with the various market cap indices, from small-caps to large-caps, also at new highs undermine the argument, in our view.
We will say that some of our proprietary breadth measures have not supported the recent rally. When such divergences have occurred in the past, stocks have eventually dropped, confirming the signals of our indicators. However, the timing of such a reckoning can be difficult. Outside of that condition, as we said, concerns about breadth have been mainly of an anecdotal nature.
Today’s Chart Of The Day is also best classified in the anecdotal category, though perhaps a little more alarming than some of the recent ‘warnings’ that we’ve seen. It deals with a recent odd spate of new 52-week highs in the S&P 500 on days in which declining volume on the NYSE actually exceeded that of advancing volume. There have actually been 6 such new highs in the past 3 months.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 29, 2017.

For a New Libertarian

[This talk was delivered at the 2017 Mises University.] Greetings to everyone at the Corax 2017 conference, and greetings also to the audience here at our annual Mises University. As you can see both events are happening simultaneously, so I couldn’t be with you in person this evening. But I very much appreciate being invited by Sofia and Martin to speak, and I would indeed have joined you in Malta any other week. And I admire Sofia and Martin for having the courage to leave Sweden and start this new venture in Malta, which by their account is not only warmer but also far more reasonable!
What I’d like to talk about today is libertarians, more than libertarianism itself. And I’ll ask you to consider whether libertarians have lost their way.
The title ‘For a New Libertarian’ is I hope an obvious play on the title of Murray Rothbard’s famous book For a New Liberty. It’s an underrated book, less well-known perhaps than The Ethics of Liberty. Lots of authors have the ego to call their books ‘a manifesto,’ but few books actually live up to such an bold subtitle. This book does.
I love Murray’s line: ‘libertarianism, then, is a philosophy seeking a policy.’ I wonder if he’d change that line today, if he could see where the ‘public policy’ branch of libertarianism has become. Or maybe he should have written ‘libertarianism is a philosophy seeking better libertarians.’
I also chose the title to make the important point that we don’t need a ‘new libertarianism’ or anything so grand. Thanks to the great thinkers who came before us, and still among us, we don’t have to do the hard work – which is good news, because not many of us are smart enough to come up with new theory! We can all very happily serve as second-hand dealers in ideas.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 29, 2017.

With LIBOR Dead, $400 Trillion In Assets Are Stuck In Limbo

In an unexpected announcement, earlier this week the U. K.’s top regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority which is tasked with overseeing Libor, announced that the world’s most important, and manipulated, benchmark rate will be phased out by 2021, catching countless FX, credit, derivative, and other traders by surprise because while much attention had been given to possible LIBOR alternatives across the globe (in a time when the credibility of the Libor was non-existent) this was the first time an end date had been suggested for the global benchmark, which as we explained on Thursday, had died from disuse over the past 5 years.
Commenting on the decision, NatWest Markets’ Blake Gwinn told Bloomberg that the decision was largely inevitable: ‘There had never been an answer as to how you get market participants to adopt a new benchmark. It was clear at some point authorities were going to force them. The FCA can compel people to participate in Libor. What can ICE do if they’ve lost the ability to get banks to submit Libor rates?’
And while the rationale for replacing Libor is well understood (for those unfamiliar, read David Enrich’s comprehensive account of Libor rigging “The Spider Network“), there are still no clear alternatives. Ultimately, as Bank of America calculates, “moving an existing $9.6 trillion retail mortgage market, $3.5 trillion commercial real estate market, $3.4 trillion loan market and a $350 trillion derivatives market is a herculean task.” A partial breakdown of the roughly $400 trillion in global Libor-referencing assets is shown in the table below.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 29, 2017.

Chinese Leverage to Kill Petro-dollar

The Chinese Govt is greatly irritated by the requirement to use USDollars in payment for crude oil in the global market. The Beijing officials finally have some leverage in arranging for a major deal to pay for crude oil in RMB currency, their Yuan. The negotiations have been in progress for a couple months. The development is not covered well in the financial press, not even in the alternative media. It will happen, just a matter of time. Its effect will be far reaching and likely devastating.
The global currency reserve status for the USDollar is at severe heightened risk. It will not be deposed via financial markets, like with a bond market failure or a COMEX gold market default with bust. Such is folly to imagine as likely to occur. The Western bankers are expert at rigging the financial markets, one and all. Their central bank bond support has extended to stock market support, soon to corporate bond wide support also. The USGovt is hanging onto its power base in increased isolation. The assaults are on many flanks and platforms.
ESSENCE OF PETRO-DOLLAR
Its essence is the sale of crude oil universally in USDollar terms. Typically the payment form is the USTreasury Bill. The OPEC crew typically sock their surplus petro dollars in USTreasury Bonds. The sale proceeds never exit the USD form. The deal was struck in 1973 by the Rockefeller agent named Heinz Kissinger. It came in the wake of the abrogated Bretton Woods Gold Standard, which Nixon violated with force and audacity. In fact, the arrangement was suggested by the US side of the table. Nevermind that it was Rockefeller who hatched the idea of a tripled oil price, the exact opposite of what has been inscribed in the historical annals. The other little item in the Petro-Dollar defacto standard treaty is that the Saudis, along with the Gulf Arab neighbors, would buy USMilitary hardware exclusively. The USGovt would provide them with plenty of regional conflict. Over the four decades since, the Arabs have accumulated a few cool $trillion in USTBonds. The TIC Report on foreign bond assets is a gigantic fabrication. Most Saudi bond holdings have been hijacked and stolen, used as the core to the USDept Treasury’s vaunted Exchange Stabilization Fund. They will never see at least $3 trillion in sequestered bonds. A joke here, since the ESFund is the most secretive multi-$trillion fund in human history.

This post was published at GoldSeek on July 30, 2017.

How Bad Is Venezuelan Inflation? It Is Giving Bitcoin A Run For Its Crypto-money

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Just how bad is inflation in Venezuela? A computer game with infinitely spawning enemies has a better exchange rate than the Venezuelan Bolivar.
Venezuela has a staggering inflation rate. Thanks to Venezuela’s horrid fiscal and monetary policies. there are 8,493.97 Bolivars per US Dollar in the black market.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ July 29, 2017.

Gold And Silver – Value Remains Irrelevant To Price

Value is subjective, reflective of one’s feelings or opinions. In the minds of those who value gold, throughout the ages and around the world, this precious metal is deemed to have an intrinsic value superior to most other assets. The well-used adjective, intrinsic, is also subjective, construed as essential, belonging naturally in its association with gold. In the end, ‘intrinsic value’ is elusive, a figment of one’s mind.
There are many, and we fall in this camp, who associate gold with an inherent preservation of wealth. This has been true throughout history but with intervening failures during some time frames. Failure may not be the most apt expression, but many detractors are happy to point out those times when gold did not retain its status as a wealth preserver, and in fact, losses were on the table for many who paid a price higher than for what their gold was sold. It happens. The net result of gold being a wealth preserver holds true, but with periodic, and some times substantial, yet temporary, reversals. This time will be no different.
Price is objective, not dependent upon one’s feelings or opinions for price is an actual number. The subjective value of gold is somewhat intertwined with the objective price of gold through the natural laws of Supply and Demand. The latter are a function of what is available [Demand], in relation to the desire to have what exists [Supply], The desire to acquire can be greater or less than what is available, and that is what eventually determines price.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on July 29, 2017.

Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting, Q3 2017

Global Monetary Architecture
The quarterly Incrementum Advisory Board meeting was held last week (the full transcript is available for download below). Our regulars Dr. Frank Shostak and Jim Rickards were unable to attend this time, but we were joined by special guest Luke Gromen of research house ‘Forest for the Trees’ (FFTT; readers will find free samples of the FFTT newsletter at the site and in case you want to find the link again later, we have recently added it to our blog roll). Below we add a few remarks on a topic Luke Gromen is paying a great deal of attention to.
For readers not familiar with FFTT, Luke has a very special ‘big picture’ focus, namely the current global monetary architecture and the ways in which it might change. The US dollar has been the world’s senior currency for many decades, but history suggests that this mantle will eventually be passed on. Accumulation of dollar reserves by foreign central banks has soared since the turn of the millennium, and the most conspicuous increase has taken place in China, which has long surpassed former top reserve holder Japan.

This post was published at Acting-Man on July 29, 2017.

Confirmed: NFL Fans Tuned Out Last Year Because Players Protested The National Anthem

Authored by Kati Pavlich via Townhall.com,
The NFL took a massive ratings dive last year after a number of players, led by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, refused to stand for the National Anthem. At the time, NFL officials claimed they didn’t exactly know why ratings were down and even used the 2016 presidential election as an excuse for why more people weren’t watching.
But according to a new survey from J. D. Power, NFL fans did in fact tune out in droves because of the disrespect and protest of the National Anthem before games. From ESPN:
National anthem protests were the top reason that NFL fans watched fewer games last season, according to a new survey released by J. D. Power. The pollster said it asked more than 9,200 people who attended either one football, basketball or hockey game whether they tuned into fewer games and why. Twenty-six percent of those who watched fewer games last season said that national anthem protests, some of which were led by Colin Kaepernick, were the reason.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

Doug Noland: Five Years of Whatever it Takes

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin . To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
July 25 – Bloomberg (Paul Gordon and Carolynn Look): ‘Five years ago today, Mario Draghi was talking about bumblebees. The European Central Bank president’s speech in London on July 26, 2012, became instantly famous because of his pledge to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro. But for all the power and clarity of that phrase, he started his remarks more obliquely. ‘The euro is like a bumblebee. This is a mystery of nature because it shouldn’t fly but instead it does. So the euro was a bumblebee that flew very well for several years. And now – and I think people ask ‘how come?’ – probably there was something in the atmosphere, in the air, that made the bumblebee fly. Now something must have changed in the air, and we know what after the financial crisis.’ At the time, the currency bloc was being buffeted by soaring bond yields in peripheral nations as speculators bet the union’s fundamental flaws would rip it apart. Draghi’s answer was to state unequivocally that the immediate crisis fell under the ECB’s responsibility and he would deal with it. ‘The ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.’ That pledge was followed by a program to buy the debt of stressed countries in return for structural reforms, and in that respect the words alone proved to be enough. Yield spreads collapsed even though the program has never been tapped.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ July 29, 2017.

The Empire Strikes Back: Japan Jacks Up US Beef Import Tariffs To 50%

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership angered the Japanese, provoking fears of a bruising trade showdown between the world’s largest and third-largest economies. On Friday, the Japanese instituted a new policy that will do little to assuage those concerns.
After Japan signed a sweeping trade agreement with the European Union, a move that pundits warned would weaken the US’s position as a dominant player in the global economy, the country has taken another dramatic step clearly aimed at retaliating against the US: Japan said it would impose a temporary 50% tariff on frozen beef from the US and several other countries.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

Happiness Is a Normal Yield Curve

‘I never liked quantitative easing. Flattening the yield curve is not stimulative; flattening the yield curve is anti-stimulative.’
– Ken Fisher
‘There is a limit to how much the United States Treasury can borrow.’
– Alan Greenspan
‘In other words, we have the models we have because of inertia and theology, but also because all we can do is all we can do.’
– Kit Webster
‘[T]he specific manner by which prices collapsed is not the most important problem: A crash occurs because the market has entered an unstable phase, and any small disturbance or process may have triggered the instability. Think of a ruler held up vertically on your finger: This very unstable position will lead eventually to its collapse, as a result of a small (or an absence of adequate) motion of your hand or due to any tiny whiff of air. The collapse is fundamentally due to the unstable position; the instantaneous cause of the collapse is secondary.’
– Didier Sornette, French geophysicist

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on July 29, 2017.

Estimated Chinese Gold Reserves Surpass 20,000t

My best estimate as of June 2017 with respect to total above ground gold reserves within the Chinese domestic market is 20,193 tonnes. The majority of these reserves are held by the citizenry, an estimated 16,193 tonnes; the residual 4,000 tonnes, which is a speculative yet conservative estimate, is held by the Chinese central bank the People’s Bank of China.
I’m aware I’ve been absent from writing about the Chinese gold market for a long time, so for some of you it can be burdensome to pick up where we left a few months ago. It is not feasible for me to explain the entire structure of the Chinese gold market again; my suggestion would be to follow the links provided in the text for more background info. Most knowledge is covered in previous BullionStar posts, Mechanics Of The Chinese Domestic Gold Market, Chinese Cross-Border Gold Trade Rules, Workings Of The Shanghai International Gold Exchange.
To substantiate my estimates on above ground gold reserves in China mainland, we’ll first discuss private gold accumulation in China through the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), after which we’ll address official purchases by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and its proxies that operate in the international over-the-counter market.
Chinese Private Gold Accumulation
A few days ago, you could read on the BullionStar Gold Market Charts page that withdrawals from the vaults of SGE in June accounted for 156 tonnes. Year to date SGE withdrawals have reached 984 tonnes, which is 16 % shy of the record year 2015 when 1178 tonnes were withdrawn by this time. Since 2013 gold demand in China has remained extremely elevated – don’t let the World Gold Council tell you anything different – which exposes spectacular years of physical gold accumulation by the Chinese.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 29 Jul 2017.

It Just Doesn’t Let Up with Wells Fargo

New scandal: another 570,000 (800,000?) customers become victims.
Wells Fargo – ‘a community-based financial services company,’ as it says – revealed late Thursday, after it learned that The New Times would blow its cover, that it had wrongfully charged 570,000 of its auto-loan customers for comprehensive and physical damage insurance (CPI) since 2012 though they already had their own insurance.
‘In response to customer concerns,’ Wells Fargo became aware of this issue in July 2016. It initiated a review of the ‘CPI program’ – as it calls this profit center – ‘and related third-party vendor practices,’ namely those of the insurance supplier National General. In September 2016, ‘based on the initial findings,’ it scuttled its ‘CPI program.’ It then hired a consulting firm to figure out what was going on.
The consequences were profound. The added insurance premium raised the car payment. If the increase was $50 per month on a particular vehicle, the total amount of additional money extracted from that customer over the duration of a six-year loan would be $3,600. Since many of these auto loans were set up on automatic payment on the customers’ accounts at Wells Fargo, these additional monthly amounts eventually drained the bank accounts and caused them to be overdrawn.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jul 29, 2017.

28/7/17: 1H Marker: Russia on Track to a Weak Recovery in 2017

/ Saturday, July 29, 2017
A quick top level update on the Russian economy from Bofit and Fitch Ratings.
Fitch Ratings today: ‘The recovery in Russia continues to gain traction. Domestic demand is responding to greater confidence in the economic policy framework, particularly as the inflation-targeting regime becomes entrenched. Activity in Turkey has bounced back rapidly from the coup attempt, with growth hitting 5% yoy in 1Q17. Momentum was supported by government incentives, including temporary fiscal measures and a jump in the Treasury commitment to the fund that backs lending to SMEs.’
Chart from BOFIT confirms the above:

This post was published at True Economics by Constantin Gurdgiev.

Anthony Scaramucci’s Wife Has Filed For Divorce

Having broken up with “fucking paranoid” Priebus and “cocksucker” Bannon yesterday in an expletive-filled rant to a New Yorker mag reporter, the newly-appointed White House communications director – and alleged all round hatchet boy – has an even bigger relationship problem.
As PageSix reports, the political ambitious former FOFer has been been dumped by his blonde wife because of his ‘naked political ambition,’ according to multiple sources. Deidre Ball, who worked as a vice president in investor relations for SkyBridge Capital, the firm he founded in 2005 and sold to ascend to the White House, has filed for divorce from ‘The Mooch’ after three years of marriage after getting fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.
One source told Page Six, ‘Deidre has left him and has filed for divorce.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

Bank of America: “Tick Tock”

The drums of doom from BofA’s Michael Hartnett (most notorious for his recent prediction of when “the Fed will crash the market“, and warning that “The Most Dangerous Moment For Markets Will Come In 3 Or 4 Months“) are beating louder, and in his latest Flow Show report titled “Tick Tock”, he doubles down on his recent forecast that “positioning is becoming more consistent with autumn top in risk assets”, but more importantly than just making a forecast, Hartnett lays out the key catalysts that would confirm an imminent market “crack”: a dollar swoon (DXY < 90), unambiguous US labor/consumer weakness (payroll <100K) and flatter yield curve.
In terms of recent market moves, Hartnett points out the euphoria still is prevalent, with BofA’s proprietary Bull & Bear indicator now 7.6, edging up toward “sell” level of 8…

… now just shy of euphoria territory:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.