Maxine Waters: “They’re Trying To Kill Me!”

California Democrat Maxine Waters thinks white nationalists and the KKK are trying to kill her.
At least she suggested as much during a House subcommittee hearing on terrorism and illicit financing when she asked what she and others could do about white nationalists and KKK members who threaten them on the Internet.
‘What can we do to deal with the KKK, the white nationalists, the extremists, the alt-right?’ Waters, who serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services, asked during a Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance hearing. ‘They’re on the internet, they’re Breitbart. If you look at the YouTube, you see how much they want to kill me and others. What can we do?”
‘Extremists radicalized by foreign terror groups are not the only terrorists with the capacity to target and kill American citizens,’ Waters said. ‘Indeed, domestic terror attacks have become more frequent in recent years.’ The hearing was intended to discuss ‘lone-wolf’ terrorist threats, with a focus on the financial aspects of terror plots, according to PJ Media.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.

Stanley Fischer’s Well-Timed Fed Exit

Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer’s surprise announcement of early retirement triggers the obvious question as to whether this could be the fore-runner to a serious market and economic deterioration ahead. Monetary bureaucrats, even if signally bad at counter-cyclical fine tuning, sometimes have a reputation for intuition about how to time their own career moves ahead of crisis. In this case, such suspicion may be wide of the mark given the personal circumstances. Even so, the exit of a Fed Vice-Chair, who in many respects has been the pioneer and the dean of the prevailing doctrine in the global central bankers club, is pause for thought.
The Early Years When Professor Fischer published his famous paper ‘On Activist Monetary Policy with Rational Expectations’ (NBER working paper no. 341, April 1979), the fiat money world was well into the third stage of disorder following the collapse of the international gold standard in 1914. But things were at a temporary resting point where the skies seemed to be getting clearer. After the violent terminal storms of the gold exchange standard (early 20s to early 30s), and then of the Bretton Woods System, it seemed to many that the ‘monetarist revolutionaries’ had found a better practical monetary navigation route. The Bundesbank, the Federal Reserve, the Swiss National Bank, and even the Bank of Japan were pursuing an ersatz gold rule of low percentage increases in the monetary base or a related aggregate.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Sept 10, 2017.

Here’s Hartford’s Risky Plan To Strongarm Concessions From Its Creditors

After Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin had warned Thursday that the capital of the wealthiest state in the US could be broke in as little as two months, city officials scheduled a conference call with bondholders to begin restructuring talks, according to Bloomberg.
As we noted earlier, Hartford’s financial troubles have been compounded by a broader crisis in the state government. But the city’s yearslong descent into insolvency has been hastened by corrupt and incompetent political leaders, fleeing middle-class residents – and now the hollowing out of the insurance industry that once provided a crucial tax buffer. Last year, insurance giant Aetna announced that it intended to move its headquarters to New York City, though it would leave thousands of employees to continue working in Hartford, the decision was still a financial – as well as a reputational – blow.
According to Bloomberg, city officials, who’re being advised by law firm Greenberg Traurig, will try to convince creditors that restructuring is necessary to guarantee the city’s fiscal stability. Of course, to wrangle better terms from its creditors, it helps to have leverage. And in a recent column, the Hartford Courant’s Dan Haar reveals one ‘shocking’ strategy reportedly being contemplated by city officials: Asking that the state withhold aid unless the city’s creditors agree to concessions.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.

California Dreaming – More than a third of California households have virtually no savings.

A lot of people do not equate California with poverty. You certainly don’t think of poverty when you look at real estate values in places like San Francisco even though the homeless issue is right in your face. The reality is that most people do not live lavish lifestyles. In fact, a new report highlights that more than one-third of California households have virtually no savings. These households would not have the ability to live at the poverty level for three months if one paycheck in the household was lost due to a job loss. You also have more than 2 million young adults living at home with their parents since the rent is too high. This isn’t the California that is presented in Hollywood movies.
California and the evaporation of the middle class
The reality is, the middle class is slowly disappearing in California. There was a time not long ago when a blue collar worker was able to purchase a home in many California locations. But there has been an aggressive gentrification. Now many people feel it is necessary to go into big debt simply to purchase a crap shack.

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on Sept 8, 2017.

The Week in Review: September 9, 2017

As Houston continues to deal with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Florida stands prepared for the impact of Irma. It is during times of crisis like this, when government feels the greatest need to control, that sound economics is most needed. This is why laws on “price gouging,” no matter their intent, bring tragic consequences. This is also how government intervention in insurance markets has only increased the costs of flooding. Unfortunately, there are still those who see the damage done by these storms as a good thing for the economy. Of course, such a dangerous misunderstanding of economics may qualify such pundits for one of the vacant Federal Reserve positions.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 9, 2017.

Atlanta Fed Increases Q3 Real GDP Forecast To 3.0% As Catastrophe Bonds Plunge (Fed Not Likely To Raise Rates Again Until September 2017 Meeting)

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2017 is 3.0 percent on September 8, up from 2.9 percent on September 6. The forecast of the contribution of inventory investment to third-quarter real GDP growth increased from 0.87 percentage points to 0.94 percentage points after this morning’s wholesale trade report from the U. S. Census Bureau.

Of course, these GDP numbers do not yet include the horrific damages caused by Harvey or Irma (while Jose is pushing out into the Atlantic Ocean). The damage to housing, commercial real estate and automobiles from Harvey and Irma will be quite extensive.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ September 8, 2017.

Wave Good-Bye To The Dollar’s Reserve Status

‘Paper Money Eventually Returns To Its Intrinsic Value – Zero’ – Voltaire
Set aside all other financial, economic and political concerns continuously shoved in our collective faces by the mainstream media. It’s a distraction – to a large degree intentional.
These are the ONLY events that matter right now: this, ‘China Begins To Reset The World’s Currency System,’ and this, ‘Venezuela Is About to Ditch the Dollar in Major Blow to US: Here’s Why It Matters.’
Once the dollar is no longer regarded or used as the reserve currency, third-world poverty will engulf everyone in this country below the upper half percent wealth stratum…except those who possess a fair amount of physical bullion. I just bought more gold and silver coins from a friend yesterday who had an uncontrollable urge to get their house painted and needed to sell some to me to fund it. It won’t matter what the house looks like in a couple years but they would never take my word on that.
The level of assumed entitlement in this country by the middle class is absurd…

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 9, 2017.

Mueller Requests Interviews With 6 Members Of Trump’s “Inner Circle”

In one of the Washington Post’s tamest Friday-night bombshells to date, the Jeff Bezos-owned paper of record alleges that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is trying to interview six current and former White House aides, a sign that ‘the probe that has dogged Trump’s presidency is starting to penetrate a closer circle of aides around the president.’
However, a closer look at exactly who Mueller is hoping to question appears to contradict WaPo’s interpretation: While his list reportedly includes a handful of senior figures like former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer, names like Hope Hicks, Don McGahn, James Burnham and Josh Raffel aren’t as widely known to the public – and hardly qualify as “senior aides.”

Still, the Post’s anonymous sources claimed that these individuals may have been privy to important decisions, like Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and the White House’s initial reluctance to address warnings about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s integrity, and the reasoning behind them.
Of course, Mueller, who has been keenly interested in the process that ultimately led to the ouster of his friend, and potential witness, James Comey, has continued to press the issue even after Comey himself said he believed Trump’s conduct during a meeting where the president allegedly asked his then-FBI director to “let go” of the investigation into gaps in Flynn’s security clearance disclosures didn’t rise to the level of obstruction of justice.

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden.

Irma – Yes All Staff Have Evacuated Florida

All our staff have evacuated. We were all under mandatory evacuation orders. So thank you for all the concern. Our decision to leave was primarily due to the fact that the storm shifted to the West and the likelihood of power outages potentially lasting days or weeks was the real deciding factor. Generators also depend upon natural gas. If the storm is intense above Sarasota, then there is a potential that even the gas could be turned off. While Irma is not forecast to strike Cuba, it should cyclically speaking. We will see what happens. If this is correct, then Irma may impact the West even more than the Eastern part of Florida.
This is the 32nd (Pi) Catagory 5 Hurricane since 1924. That is not a good number cyclically speaking. Only five times has more than one Category 5 hurricane formed during the same season -1932, 1933, 1961, 2005, and 2007. Only in 2005 have more than two Category 5 hurricanes formed, and only in 2007 has more than one made landfall at Category 5 strength.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 8, 2017.

An Open Letter To The Okaloosa County Commission

Would you consider it perfectly ok if Mack Busbee, the Okaloosa Property Appraiser, owned a title company and thus made money on real estate transactions in the county while responsible for setting their valuations?
Think about that while reading the following.
Okaloosa County’s Commission just voted to raise its millage by 11% next year. For having the temerity to speak against such an increase I was personally attacked by Commissioner Boyles who read into the record the details of my property ownership, implying that I was a “fat cat” who should not complain.
Yes, Mr. Boyles, I can afford it. I can also attend a 5:01 PM meeting 30 miles from where working people and our military had just gotten off work 1 minute prior — and thus couldn’t protest personally.
A bit of investigation leads me to believe there may be more motivating Commissioner Boyles than being called out by a voter for promoting a tax increase — and a 47% budget increase over the last five years.
Commissioner Boyles owns a title company and personally profits from increased real estate churn. Ad-valorem tax increases hurt renters more than homeowners as rental property does not enjoy either homeowner’s exemption or valuation escalator caps.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-09-09.

Pay-To-Play: Chicago Tribune Blasts Rahm As Data Reveals 70% Of Donors Get Lucrative City Hall Contracts

What do you get when you combine the most corrupt city in the United States with a mayor that got his political debut serving in the Clinton White House? Well, according to data presented by the Chicago Tribune today, it may just all add up to the second most sophisticated ‘pay-to-play’ operation in history…you know, because no one will ever come close to beating the Clintons at their own game.
After reviewing more than 500 contributions made to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel of at least $5,000 since July 2015, the Tribune reports today that nearly 70% of them came from people who have received, or are seeking, lucrative contracts with City Hall. Frankly, we are ‘shocked.’
As Mayor Rahm Emanuel ramps up his campaign fundraising toward a possible third term, he continues to rely on donors who have received City Hall benefits, ranging from contracts and zoning approvals to appointments and personal endorsements from the mayor, the Chicago Tribune has found.
With the February 2019 mayoral election still a year and a half away, Emanuel has collected $3.1 million in high-dollar contributions. And more than $2.1 million of it – nearly 70 percent – has come from 83 donors who have benefited from actions at City Hall.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.

Morgan Stanley Asks “If Employment So Good,” Why Is This Happening To Credit Card Delinquencies…

In a new downgrade of subprime lenders Capital One and Synchrony, Morgan Stanley sought to answer the nagging question of why subprime credit card losses are suddenly soaring, per the chart below, “if employment is so good.”

After reportedly spending the entire month of August analyzing that question, Morgan Stanley came to many of the same conclusions that we note a regular, recurring basis. Apparently, those soaring delinquencies have something to do with stagnant wages in the face of soaring healthcare costs, rising rents and a pullback in consumer credit extension…who could have guessed that?
Investors ask, “Why are card losses rising if employment is so good?” Our deep dive & quant work shows subprime is stretched from higher rent, healthcare costs & low wage growth, with lower credit availability a coming drag.
A Tale of Two Consumers, with the subprime consumer increasingly at risk, driving up net charge-offs (NCO) and lowering EPS: The economy is solid and unemployment is very low, but credit card delinquencies have been increasing… so we spent the month of August delving into what is really going on with the US consumer. We found that the average consumer is in good shape but the financial pressures on subprime consumers are high and, critically, rising

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.

$102 Billion In Credit Card Debt, Student And Auto Loans Was Just “Wiped Away”

While there were few surprises on the surface of today’s latest monthly Federal Reserve consumer credit report, which showed that in July total consumer credit increased by $18.5 billion, more than the $15.0 billion expected, on the back of a $2.6 billion increase in revolving credit coupled with $15.9 billion in non-revolving credit…

… there was one quite notable observation which stood out in today’s report: a huge historical revision from November 2015 to December 2015, as a result of which some $102 billion in consumer credit was wiped out from the historical record, as shown below, first in revolving, i.e. credit card, debt which was “reduced” by $27 billion:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.

Where Are We Going?

“My favorite poet is Aeschylus, who once said: ‘And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, almost against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.’
What we need in the United States is not division. What we need in the United States is not hatred. What we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but love and wisdom and compassion toward one another, a feeling of justice to those who still suffer in our country.”
Robert F. Kennedy
It is not so much where are you going Lord, but rather, where are we as a people choosing to go. At the moment it appears to be on a darker path, led by fury and passions as old as Babylon and evil as sin. It is an old story. Nevertheless, let us not despair.
Gold has broken out and is holding its level above the high set in the aftermath of the Trump election upset. Silver is holding its level on the 18 handle.
Now gold seems to be consolidating, most likely for the attempt to push higher to take on the intermediate highs and resistance around 1370-1380. More pullbacks to test the breakout are not unexpected.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 08 SEPTEMBER 2017.

Kim, Don, Gary, & Irma Spark Dollar Exodus As Gold Gains Most Since Brexit

Catastrophic storms, worst week for macro data since July, debt ceiling to be cancelled, Gary Cohn off the list for Fed Chair (amid resignation chatter) and Korean hydrogen bombs… gold spikes, dollar dumps, bond yields plunge, and… stocks limp less than 1% lower…
Bonds (red) & Bullion (orange) surged on the week, stocks (blue) and the dollar (USDJPY green) tumbled…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.