The De-Branding of a President

Promising to cut corporate taxes, roll back regulations on Wall Street, and get government off the back of business, Donald Trump was enjoying a honeymoon with the stock market and the CEOs of the most iconic brands in the U. S. What a difference four days can make.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 274 points. Also yesterday, Trump announced that he was cancelling his business advisory council on infrastructure. That move followed his prior day’s axing of his star-studded CEO councils on manufacturing and Strategy & Policy Forum. According to published reports, Trump was saving face by axing the councils after getting a heads up that the CEOs were leaving en masse.
The rapid move by top CEOs to distance themselves and their brands from the President came after Trump delivered impromptu remarks on Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, where he appeared to equate the KKK and neo-Nazi groups that protested in the weekend Charlottesville, Virginia rally with the protesters opposing them.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

Goldman Sees 50% Chance Of A Government Shutdown

As we pointed out earlier, the chances of government agreeing any kind of debt ceiling deal (and avoiding a government shutdown) is dropping fast as USA default risk spikes and the Treasury Bill curve inverts. Goldman Sachs is now concerned also…
Uncertainty in The White House is starting to make investors realize the chance of successfully navigating the debt ceiling crisis without a government shutdown are dwindling…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.

George Soros Is Betting Against U.S. Markets – Here’s What It Means

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
George Soros is betting against American markets.
Again.
U. S. regulatory filings revealed that, as of June 30, the Hungarian-born hedge fund billionaire is holding put options – options he would profit from only if the underlying securities fall in value – on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking major American indexes:
PowerShares QQQ Trust (Nasdaq: QQQ) SPDR S&P 500 ETF (AMEX: SPY) iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSE Arca: IWM) These index ETFs represent the tech-heavy Nasdaq, the broad S&P 500, and the small-cap Russell 2000 indexes – three of the four major market indexes in America. And Soros holds put options on all of them, which means he’s banking on the failure of not just one or two companies, but the markets as a whole.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Money Morning Staff Reports ‘ August 18, 2017.

People’s QE? It’s Venezuela with Tea and Cakes

It is sad to see that, facing the evidence of the failure of demand-side policies and money printing, many commentators propose some of the most outdated and failed policies in modern economic history. In the UK, Mr. Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the Labour Party, believes that the government spends too little. With a current 44.4% of GDP public spending, saying the government spends ‘too little’ is an insult to taxpayers and efficient public bodies alike.
But Mr. Corbyn wants to penalize the private sector creating the largest transfer of wealth from savers and taxpayers to government ever designed. The Peoples QE (quantitative easing).
In Europe, we are already used to the follies of magic solutions from populist parties. Syriza, Podemos, and others always come up with ‘magic’ and allegedly ‘simple’ ideas to solve large and complex economic issues, and always fail when reality kicks in, but there are few that match the monumental nonsense of the wrongly-called ‘Peoples QE’. It is the ‘Governments QE’, rather.
Why Is this People’s QE a Bad Idea? The analysis starts from the right premise. Quantitative Easing, as we know it, does not work, and creates massive imbalances. So what do they propose? Sound money? Erasing perverse incentives of printing money and unjustifiably low rates? No. Doing exactly the same, but passing the massive perverse incentive of currency debasement to politicians who, as we all know, have no perverse incentive whatsoever to overspend (note the irony).

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 18, 2017.

Watch These People Sign A Petition To Remove George Washington From The Dollar Bill

The race war in America is hitting a fever pitch, and though President Trump may have been partially joking this week when he warned that George Washington statues would be the next to be toppled, it looks like there are large swaths of Americans who actually think it might be a good idea.
Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer hits the streets to see if President Trump was right:

SHTF plan


This post was published at shtfplan on August 18th, 2017.

AUGUST 18/2017*/STEVE BANNON OUSTED/BREITBART PROMISES ‘THERMONUCLEAR WAR’/GOLD DOWN 35 CENTS/SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS ON 7TH CONSECUTIVE RAID/DEBORAH WASSERMAN SCHULTZ’S AIDE CHARGED.

GOLD: $1286.15 DOWN $0.35
Silver: $17.02 DOWN 4 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1284.50
silver: $16.99
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: $1291.88 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1287.95
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $3.93

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on August 18, 2017.

Rig Count Drops Most In 7 Months As ‘Traders’ Panic-Buy Crude Futures

The US oil rig count dropped 5 to 763 last week, the biggest drop in 7 months. However, crude production from the Lower 48 has surged (rising the most since June last week) to the highest since July 2015. Even with today’s sheer farce panic-buying squeze higher in WTI crude, oil looks set for its 3rd weekly close lower as BNP notes the “whole supply surplus story is not likely to go away anytime soon.”
*U. S. OIL RIG COUNT DOWN 5 TO 763 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US *U. S. GAS RIG COUNT UP 1 TO 182 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US As we have noted previously, this inflection point in the rig count fits with the rolover in crude prices…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.

Gold Miners’ Q2’17 Fundamentals

The gold miners’ stocks have spent months adrift, cast off in the long shadow of the Trumphoria stock-market rally. This vexing consolidation has left a wasteland of popular bearishness. But once a quarter earnings season arrives, bright fundamental sunlight dispelling the obscuring sentiment fogs. The major gold miners’ just-reported Q2’17 results prove this sector remains strong fundamentally, and super-undervalued.
Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Companies trading in the States are required to file 10-Qs with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by 45 calendar days after quarter-ends. Canadian companies have similar requirements. In other countries with half-year reporting, some companies still partially report quarterly.
The world’s major gold miners just wrapped up their second-quarter earnings season. After spending decades intensely studying and actively trading this contrarian sector, there’s no gold-stock data I look forward to more than the miners’ quarterly financial and operational reports. They offer a true and clear snapshot of what’s really going on, shattering the misconceptions bred by ever-shifting winds of sentiment.
The definitive list of major gold-mining stocks to analyze comes from the world’s most-popular gold-stock investment vehicle, the GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF. Its composition and performance are similar to the benchmark HUI gold-stock index. GDX utterly dominates this sector, with no meaningful competition. This week GDX’s net assets are 19.9x larger than the next-biggest 1x-long major-gold-miners ETF!
Being included in GDX is the gold standard for gold miners, requiring deep analysis and vetting by elite analysts. And due to ETF investing eclipsing individual-stock investing, major-ETF inclusion is one of the most-important considerations for picking great gold stocks. As the vast pools of fund capital flow into leading ETFs, these ETFs in turn buy shares in their underlying companies bidding their stock prices higher.

This post was published at ZEAL LLC on August 18, 2017.

Why There Will Be No 11th Hour Debt Ceiling Deal

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com,
A new milestone on the American populaces’ collective pursuit of insolvency was reached this week. According to a report published on Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, total U. S. household debt jumped to a new record high of $12.84 trillion during the second quarter. This included an increase of $552 billion from a year ago.
Moreover, this marked the second consecutive record high on a quarterly reported basis for U. S. household debt. Indeed, this is a momentous achievement. From our vantage point, it is significant for several reasons.
One, it shows U. S. household debt has returned to its upward trend which had previously gone uninterrupted from the close of World War II until the onset of the Financial Crisis in late 2008. Second, it demonstrates that, like the S&P 500, new all-time highs are being attained with the seeming precision of a quartz clock. Is this just a coincidence?
More than likely, it’s no coincidence at all. More than likely, the mass quantities of central bank liquidity that have been injected into the financial system over the last decade have provided the plentiful gushers of cheap credit that have pushed up both stock prices and household debt levels. But remember, the easy stock market gains can quickly recede while the increased debt must first drown the borrowers before it can be expunged.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.

Greg Weldon: Gold is a ‘coiled spring… the breakout is here, fundamentals are in place, technicals are compelling’

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Greg Weldon, CEO and President of Weldon Financial. Greg has over three decades of market research and trading experience, specializing in the metals and commodity markets, and even authored a book in 2006 titled Gold Trading Boot Camp, where he accurately predicted the implosion of the U. S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce. He’s a highly sought-after presenter at financial conferences and is a regular guest on financial shows throughout the world.
Greg, thanks so much for joining us and it’s a real pleasure. How are you?
Greg Weldon: I’m great. Mike. Thanks for the invite.
Mike Gleason: Well, before we get into the metals specifically, Greg, to start out here, give us your thoughts on the U. S. stock market, the state of the U. S. economy, and the geopolitical environment, and so forth. Obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of exuberance still in the equity markets despite a lot of headwinds or black swans circling about, but yet things keep rolling along, and we keep seeing records made in the Dow. What are your thoughts about how long this might continue?
Greg Weldon: Well, you got a couple hours, I’d be happy to share all that with you, because there really is so much going on. I think you’re right to pick on the stock market to kind of center the viewpoint, because right now that kind of is, to me, a potential land mine. It’s not so much that the simple fact that the fundamentals and the expectations seem to have gotten a little bit out of alignment if you want to talk about the macro economy. You want to talk about you’ve gone through earning season. You want to talk about individual companies. You want to talk about certain businesses. That’s well and good. There’s always a place to look in the stock market where you can find opportunities.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 18 August 2017.

Bannon Ousted From The White House

Confirming earlier reports from Matt Drudge and the NYT, on Friday afternoon the White House confirmed that Trump decided to push out his chief strategist, and the man who according to many got him elected, Stephen Bannon.
‘White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,’ the White House said in an emailed statement.
And so, Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, the “nationalist firebrand” who helped to fuel Donald Trump’s dizzying rise to the presidency, is leaving the administration.
Before Bannon, Trump already fired two other aides who helped him win the White House – Reince Priebus and Michael Flynn – but the departure of Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, is perhaps the most significant change yet.
Reporting on the departure, the NYT says that Trump has decided to remove Bannon, and he and top aides “were debating when and how to dismiss” the strategist. Ultimately, Bannon was fired, although there was some confusion: “A person close to Bannon” said the chief strategist first decided to leave, according to the Times, having submitted his resignation on August 7, but the announcement was delayed after violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, the newspaper reported.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.

Whip It! Univ of Michigan Inflation Remains Unchanged at 2.6% (But Declines To 2.5% For 5-10 Yr Ahead)

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The University of Michigan survey of consumers just released their montly update on inflation expectations. If only The Fed’s Janet Yellen was watching consumer inflation expectations because consumers expect more inflation than The Fed’s inflation target of 2%. Apparently, The Fed is having trouble whipping inflation above 2%.
Consumer inflation expectations remained at 2.6% for August, but the expectations for inflation down the road fell to 2.5%.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ August 18, 2017.

Market Talk- August 18th, 2017

We didn’t really need an excuse for why equity markets were lower in Asia today, but we certainly found it in US markets irrespective of political uncertainties – if we were looking! Ahead of the weekend and a move into US Dollars the Nikkei lost 1.2% but interestingly the JPY only just moved back to the low 109’s. The index was weighed down by Insurers, Banks, Exporters and Energy providers and is back now to last seen in May. Unfortunately for many pension funds, the index now is less than 2% higher on the year and in danger of revisiting the April lows (18,350). So all eyes will be on the currency as a counter-weight for stocks – if they can detach it from its safe-haven title. A lot of the talk surrounded the Trump Presidency and all the rumours that his resignation was imminent. this saw the large cap Hang Seng suffer with mainstream and we saw the index close down 1.1%.
US markets had only completed part of its move when European markets closed yesterday and so today Europe finished that move – lower. FTSE, CAC and IBEX were the worst hit closing around -0.7% lower on the day. There was a bit of a safety support bid for German stocks (DAX -0.3%) which is interesting as the Bund has lost that support bid recently. It is worth keeping an eye on that US/Bund spread as this could well supply the future trend. The tragic events that took place in Spain has brought many sad headlines with only minor impact on markets. US politic headlines are back dominating our screens as we close the week, so it is not surprising we closed lower with weekend papers and Jackson Hole a concern.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 18, 2017.

Stocks Jump On Rumors That Bannon Firing Is Imminent

A decision is reportedly imminent from White House chief of staff John Kelly on whether Steve Bannon will keep his job, according to administration officials with knowledge of the situation. Axios reports that man West Wing officials are now asking “when,” not “if,” Bannon goes.
Axios points out that Bannon, who has run afoul of Trump in the past, is now suspected by the president of leaking about his West Wing colleagues.
Trump resents the publicity Bannon has been getting as mastermind of the campaign.
Many West Wing officials are now asking “when,” not “if,” Bannon goes.
Chief of Staff General John Kelly has been reviewing Bannon’s position.
A recent deluge of media coverage of Bannon – including Bannon’s explosive conversation with the American Prospect – have not escaped either the president’s or Kelly’s attention.
One White House source twists the knife: “His departure may seem turbulent in the media, but inside it will be very smooth. He has no projects or responsibilities to hand off.” Interestingly, the market is bouncing on these headlines (presumably this would be a win for Cohn).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.

America’s Supernova: The Final Stage Of Collapse

I started observing the slow-motion train-wreck in process in 2001 – a year removed from my perch as a junk bond trader on Wall Street and living several thousand miles away from NYC and DC in the Mile High City, where the view is a lot more clear than from either coast.
The United States has been in a state of collapse for several decades. To paraphrase Hemingway’s flippant description of the manner in which one goes bankrupt: two ways: slowly than suddenly (‘The Sun Also Rises’).
The economic decay was precipitated by the advent of the Federal Reserve; then reinforced by FDR’s executive order removing gold from the citizenry’s ownership, the acceptance of Bretton Woods, and the implementation of what is capriciously termed ‘Bretton Woods Two’ – Nixon’s completely disconnecting the dollar from the gold standard. If you study the monetary and debt charts available on the St. Louis Fed’s website, you’ll see that post-1971 both the money supply and the amount of debt issued at all levels of the system (public, corporate, household) began gradually to go parabolic.
I would argue the political collapse kicked into high-gear during and after the Nixon administration, although I know many would argue that it began shortly after the Constitution was ratified in 1788. At the Constitutional Convention, someone asked Ben Franklin if we now had Republic or a Monarchy, to which Franklin famously replied, ‘a Republic, if you can keep it.’

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on August 18, 2017.

Gartman: “This May Be One Of The Most Important Days In The Future Of Equity Markets”

Having staked his reputation one week ago that the “bull market has come to an end“, the jury is still out on Dennis Gartman’s latest forecast, although one thing is becoming clear – the period of record low volatility has come to an abrupt end and the question is whether it now reverts (much) higher, or resumes its drift lower on more vol-selling and expectations that central banks will keep it all under control. And while we wait and see which way risk inflects, in his latest overnight note, the “world-renowned commodity guru” is out with an even more bombastic prognostication: “this may well be one of the most important
days in the future of the equity markets for a very long while” as it will either confirm or deny a rather unique technical pattern.
Below is the key excerpt from his latest, overnight note, with whose contents – we must admit – we largely agree:
STOCKS HAVE AGAIN FALLEN UNANIMOUSLY… AND MATERIALLY in global terms and what had heretofore been a rare circumstance when all ten markets incumbent in our International Index have fallen has now become commonplace for this happened one week ago today and it has happened yet again. Indeed, in the course of the past week, we’ve now seen three such ‘unanimous’ days, for on Tuesday stocks ‘unanimously’ rose. Such ‘unanimous’ days had, until this week, been a truly rare event and had in the past marked major turning points in the market, marking final periods of exhaustion to the upside or to the down. It is interesting that with all of these violent price movements, stocks in global terms as measured by our Index have move barely at all, for last week our Index was 11,168 and this morning it is 11,226, or 0.5% higher.
We do not and we have not ‘trusted’ equity valuations for quite some long while, believing that the markets individually and collectively have gone to levels that are not justified by earnings or economic fundamentals. The one fundamental that has been at work over the past several years has been the monetary expansions by the main monetary authorities: the Fed; the ECB and the Bank of Japan. Those authorities are now preparing to end their experiments with QE, and if they not prepared to end them they are at least prepared to slow down the seriousness of their expansions. This we find disconcerting.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.

“They’re Going Thermonuclear”: Breitbart Declares “War” On The White House

The love affair between Breitbart, whose former head Steve Bannon was just fired by Donald Trump, just turned to hate, as confirmed by Joel Pollak, a Breitbart Editor, who moments ago tweeted one word:
#WAR
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) August 18, 2017

As Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains, “Joel is a Breitbart editor. They’re going thermonuclear, I’m told. ”
Joel is a Breitbart editor. They're going thermonuclear, I'm told. Story tk on Axios. — Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 18, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.