2017 – The Year Without an Arctic Summer?

They are calling this in the Year without an Arctic Summer. The Greenland Ice Sheet is gaining near record amounts of ice this year. Very little melting has occurred this summer, which is about to start coming to an end. Europe has been unusually cool once again after last year ice wiped out crops all the way down into Spain creating shortages of vegetables. With the sun activity declining and the North Pole reversing direction in 2000 heading toward Europe rather than Canada, things are not exactly supporting the Global Warming crowd. Since 1860, the magnetic pole shift has more than doubled every 50 years. That is rather significant. In geological terms, this is extremely rapid and could be the prelude to a pole shift nobody understands.
Still, during the past 150 years, the pole shift has been in the same direction. The most astonishing fact is that since 2000, the magnetic North Pole has shifted nearly half of the total distance of the past 50 years! In other words, the pole shift has apparently picked up speed so much so that they have had to re-calibrate airports and their GPS signals so planes can still find them. Europe is getting colder. Friends in Scotland have relayed that had a spectacular summer this year – it lasted a whole two days! The earth is changing rapidly. We are overdue for a major pole shift (see Maya Report). The poles flip on the Sun every 11 years. We have no idea what the net result will be on Earth since the last flip was well before recorded history.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 6, 2017.

Gamblers Laundered $50M In Stolen Bangladesh Reserves For “Elite North Korean Hackers” By Playing Baccarat

More than a year after a mysterious group of hackers infiltrated the SWIFT system for interbank payments and stole $100 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh’s custody account at the New York Fed, Filipino authorities have been unable to recover $81 million that seemingly disappeared into the Manila air.
After being transferred to four accounts set up with fake credentials at the Jupiter Street Makati City, branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) in the Philippines, the money eventually found its way to an FX broker called Philrem, which split $50 million between two casinos and the remaining $31 million was delivered to a ‘Weikang Xu’ in cash.
Not much is known about what happened to the $31 million after it was moved to Manila. But after receiving unreleased documents from the Philippines Senate investigation, Bloomberg has published the most comprehensive account to date explaining how two casino junket operators helped launder $50 million in the VIP rooms of Manila’s casinos by betting on games of Baccarat.
According to Bloomberg’s anonymous sources, North Korea and its ‘elite’ hacking squad ‘the Lazarus Group’ are believed to be behind what was the largest cyberheist in history.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.

Doug Noland: Data and a Carefree Bond Market

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin . To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
July non-farm payrolls gained 209,000 versus estimates of 180,000. June payrolls were revised 9,000 higher to 231,000. It’s worth noting that manufacturing added 16,000 jobs (est. 5,000) in July, the strongest gains since March. So far in 2017, manufacturing employment has been expanding at the briskest pace in years, with y-t-d gains of 82,000 dwarfing comparable 2016’s zero and 2015’s 12,000. The unemployment rate dipped a tenth in July to 4.3%. Unemployment bottomed at 4.4% during the previous cycle low back in 2007. In fact, the unemployment rate has not been lower than the July level since February 2001.
The recent narrative holds that the economy has been in an extended ‘soft patch’. In general, economic data have somewhat missed expectations. ‘US Car Sales Continue to Skid, Drop 5.7% in July.’ The decline in automobile sales was viewed as confirmation of a slowing manufacturing sector. Ongoing travails in retail also support the view of economic stagnation. The labor participation rate remains a dismal 62.9%.
The narrative of a weakening in both economic activity and inflationary pressures serves the markets well. With Fed funds now near the Federal Reserve’s ‘neutral rate,’ rate normalization has apparently about run its course. Even after Friday’s stronger-than-expected job gains, the market places the probability of another 2017 hike at less than 40%. What could be more bullish than so-called rate ‘normalization’ that avoids any tightening of financial conditions whatsoever? The Carefree Bond Market has been cruising along the PCH with the top down in a slick new autonomous sports car.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ August 5, 2017.

Is U.S. or China the World’s Economic Superpower?

Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the world has had one undisputed economic superpower: the United States.
But while the U. S. has enjoyed its moment in the sun, the balance of power has been slowly shifting towards the inevitable rise of China. It’s been a long time coming, but China now has the manpower, influence, and economic might to compete at a similar level – and if you ask people around the world, they’ve certainly taken notice.
Economic Superpowers
The United States and China combine for 39% of global GDP, 53% of estimated economic growth in the coming years, and 23% of the world’s population.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on August 5, 2017.

State and Local Pensions Average 0.6% Return In 2016 (Despite 7.6% Return Assumption and Chronic Underfunding)

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The US Federal government is spending at a fast and furious rate. US Federal Spending is rising at a staggering $428,253,120 per day while US Federal TAX Revenue is only rising at $129,857,760 per day. That is almost a ratio of 2x tax revenue.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ August 5, 2017.

Vicente Fox Drops F-Bomb Live On CNN; Says Trump Just “Trying To Save Face” With Voters On Border Wall

Last night the Washington Post dumped it’s latest ‘bombshell’ White House leaks in the form of full transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from back in January…which, in Trump years, feels like it was about 20 years ago (we covered it here: Trump Phone Call Transcripts Leaked: “New Hampshire Is A Drug Infested Den”).
Among other things, the full transcripts revealed Trump describing the border wall as a politically important issue but otherwise the “least important thing that we are talking about,” an admission that will come as a surprise to a lot of folks who voted for him. Meanwhile, he also attempted to hedge his insistence that Mexico pay for border wall by proposing a “formula” that would allow the two countries to split the costs, a compromise, and likely the goal of his grandstanding all along, that would seemingly allow both candidates to declare victory politically.
Here are some of the relevant exchanges from the January call:
Trump: “Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important. But in terms of dollars – or pesos – it is the least important thing.”
“On the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, ‘Mexico will pay for the wall,’ and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall. I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.

Chaos Hits Barcelona’s Tourist Industry

It’s not just the weather that’s heating up in Spain’s second city.
By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. It’s finally happened. After years of surging public opposition to unrestrained growth of the city’s tourist industry, Barcelona has witnessed a rash of coordinated attacks against tourist targets in the last week. It all began last Friday when a gang of four masked men slashed the tires of an open-top bus filled with holidaymakers and sprayed the windscreen with the slogan ‘Tourism kills neighborhoods.’
Responsibility for the ambush was claimed by Arran, the youth wing of the radical separatist CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) party, which was also behind a video posted this week of members vandalizing tourist bicycles. In recent months at least seven hotels have been vandalized by protesters in Barcelona. And graffiti telling tourists to go home has become a ubiquitous part of the urban landscape.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Aug 5, 2017.

A Cannabis Company Just Bought A Whole California Town

Authored by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,
As cannabis grows increasingly acceptable in society and more states legalize it, everything from cannabis churches and resorts to yoga and restaurants are cropping up. And now, there will be an entire cannabis-inspired town.
American Green is a cannabis company based in Arizona, but they just bought the small California town of Nipton, located in San Bernardino County, and plan to convert into a municipality with a cannabis theme.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.

August 5/Absolutely phony jobs report sends gold down $10.50 and silver down 34 cents/GLD loses another 4.48 tonnes of gold/ Silver loses 945,000 oz/

GOLD: $1258.70 DOWN $10.50
Silver: $16.30 DOWN 34 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1259.00
silver: $16.30
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1275.00 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1269.40
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $5.60

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on August 5, 2017.

Two-Thirds Of Rising Global Growth Is Due To Emerging Markets, And 9 Other Interesting Facts

For all the talk about a “coordinated global recovery”, it may come as a surprise that 57% of the acceleration in global GDP this year has come from a handful of commodity exporters (those whose food/metals/fuel exports are > 40% of total), which together combine for just 17% of global GDP growth. A slightly different way of looking at the same data, is that 66% of the global acceleration in GDP is due entirely to emerging markets.
Another way of representing the dramatic reliance on Emerging Markets for global economic growth: in 2017 the EM vs DM contribution to growth was split roughly 75%/25%, while as shown in the charts below, the gap between EM and DM manufacturing PMIs is at an all time high!

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.

Weekend Reading – Are Stocks Really The Great “Wealth” Equalizer?

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,
Just recently, the New York Post a very interesting article entitled ‘Millennials should start taking stocks seriously.’ While I am sure the author is well-intentioned, it is a very misguided article in its assumptions.
The author jumps right in with both feet:
‘Many millennials are missing the chance to accumulate significant assets.’ There are so many problems with that statement alone its tough to find a starting point.
First, the stock market is not, and never has been, the ‘solution’ to building wealth. If you look around the world, there might be a very small handful that have actually built a fortune by investing alone. That is the exception, not the rule.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.

We Can’t Do Anything About…..

…. (stupendously high medical prices | ridiculous college costs | cops shooting unarmed Australian women | etc)
Really?
We can’t do anything peaceful and lawful about it? Oh, I fully understand why these outrageous practices exist. You see, the hospital administrator, doctor and pharma companies have no fear when they refuse to quote you a price or bill you at 10x what an insured person who has consumed their deductible would pay through their insurance, the college dean and provost have no fear when they cause your 18 year old son to rack up $50,000 a year in student loans and the cop has no fear when he shoots an unarmed Australian woman through the window of his cop car — and across the body of his partner.
Everyone seems to think that the concept of “fear” in this regard means doing something illegal and for which they’d immediately go to prison, which is why they’re not (obviously) interested. Oh really?
I would like to put a different postulate forward: You really don’t give a ****.
Seriously, you don’t.
In fact you approve of what they’re doing each and every day.
You don’t care that your 17 year old son is about to get bent over the table by a university in regard to college cost. You in fact endorse your kid being forced to pay half the kid’s tuition sitting next to him in Calc class simply because you have more money than his parents do. In fact you have already gone so far as to conspire with that administrator in screwing your own son by filling out a FAFSA form!

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-08-05.

XIV Hanging On By A Thread – VIX Still Setting Records

After seeing the largest corrective move to the downside in a month last week the XIV has since then moved mostly sideways. This is likely in anticipation of the Non-Farms Payroll Report scheduled for release on Friday, August 4th.
While the action on the smaller degree time scale is still somewhat sloppy I am still looking for a fairly deep retrace on the XIV on the larger time frames. It is really just a matter of whether we will see another high prior to that larger degree top occurring or if the XIV is ready to let go from current levels.
There are several price levels that should be key in helping give us a better idea if the XIV will be able to continue to hold on or if it is indeed ready to drop from current levels.
I have been discussing the ultra-low levels that we have been seeing in the VIX for the past several weeks. Last week I noted that the VIX broke its ten-day streak of closing under the 10 level by closing at 10.11 on July 27th. This was truly a historic streak as the previous streak was only two consecutive trading sessions.
So while the VIX did break this streak of closing under 10 the VIX was still trading under 11 on July 27th. This streak has continued into this week as the VIX closed at 10.44 on Thursday, August 3rd. This left the VIX with now 18 consecutive trading sessions closing under the 11 level breaking yet another record of for the VIX. Furthermore, the VIX has now closed under the 11 level at least in every single month of this year, something that it has never even come close to doing before.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 6 August 2017.