First Twitter, Now Facebook: Company Introduces New Political Ad Transparency Policy

Facebook must’ve seen this tweet, published three days ago by a ProPublica journalist after Twitter unveiled a sweeping new transparency policy that included new disclosure rules for ‘political’ and ‘issues-based’ ads…
Twitter is promising more transparency in political ads than Facebook.
I love seeing tech giants try to outdo each other on transparency pic.twitter.com/aXPOpLicoB
— Julia Angwin (@JuliaAngwin) October 24, 2017

…because Mark Zuckerberg’s social-media behemoth on Friday announced a virtually identical policy requiring more detailed disclosures not just for political and issues-based ads, but all ads being run by a given page.
Like Twitter, Facebook is trying out its policy in a test market (Facebook’s test market is Canada) before rolling it out in the US and worldwide. The policy, Facebook noted, will be in effect before the 2018 mid-term election.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – FANG’d

“Und der Haifisch, der hat Zhne
und die trgt er im Gesicht
und Macheath, der hat ein Messer
doch das Messer sieht man nicht.”
Berthold Brecht, Die Moritat von Mackie Messer, 1928
The results after the bell last night from the usual big cap tech suspects lit a fire until the Nasdaq 100, as you can see from the chart below.
That is the look of real pain for the big cap tech bears.
There will be an FOMC meeting next week. President Trump has also indicated that he will be naming the next Fed Chair.
And as usual with the beginning of a new month, we will be having a Non-Farm Payrolls Report on Friday November 3.
Have a pleasant weekend.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 27 OCTOBER 2017.

What You See Is Not What You Get in GDP

And here come the revisions.
The US economy, as measured by ‘real’ GDP (adjusted for a version of inflation) grew 0.74% in the third quarter, compared to the prior quarter. That was a tad slower than the 0.76% growth in Q2, but up from the 0.31% growth in Q1.
GDP was up 2.3% from a year ago.
To confuse things further, in the US, we cling to the somewhat perplexing habit of expressing GDP as an ‘annualized’ rate, which takes the quarterly growth rate (0.74%) and projects it over four quarters. This produced the annualized rate of 2.99%, or as we read this morning all over the media, ‘3.0%.’
This was the ‘advance estimate’ by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The BEA emphasizes that the advance estimate is based on source data that are ‘incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency.’ These revisions can be big, up or down, as we’ll see in a moment.
The BEA will release the ‘second estimate’ for Q3 on November 28 and the ‘third estimate’ on December 21. More revisions are scheduled over the next few years.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Oct 27, 2017.

Federal Prosecutors Are Investigating Wells Fargo’s FX Business

Last week, WSJ stoked fears that the Feds might be ramping up another probe into abuse and manipulation in the foreign exchange market when it reported that Wells Fargo had abruptly terminated four bankers from its FX business and transferred another. Now, Wall Street’s paper of record is reporting that Federal prosecutors are investigating Wells for abuses in its FX shop – but the scope of the investigated is limited to one disputed trade.
According to WSJ, prosecutors have subpoenaed information from Wells and from the recently fired bankers as they investigate a trade and ensuing dispute between Wells and one of its clients, Restaurant Brands International Inc.
RBI owns several fast-food franchises, including Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. In an amusing twist, both companies count Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as one of their largest shareholders.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

OCT 27 A/GOLD RISES BY $2.15 ON NEWS THAT TRUMP IS LEANING TO POWELL FOR NEXT FED CHAIR/CATALONIA VOTES TO SECEDE FROM SPAIN/

GOLD: $1271.15 UP $2.15
Silver: $16.75 DOWN 5 cents
Closing access prices:
Gold $1273.60
silver: $16.85
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: $1287.45 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1266.65
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $20.80(premiums getting larger)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1287.45
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1266.75

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on October 27, 2017.

Keeping A Close Eye On Momentum In The US Equity Market

Authored by Steven Vanelli via Knowledge Leaders Capital blog,
Over the last 20 days, the US equity is showing early signs of exhaustion, and momentum is beginning to weaken.
In the following charts, we’ll highlight the various technical measures we calculate each day to illustrate the early turn in momentum. Our KLSU DM Americas Index represents the top 85% market-cap of the US and Canada.
First, after peaking near 80% above the moving average a month ago, now only 55% of stocks are above their own 20-day moving average.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Amazon: The Devil Is In The Details

Jeff Bezos/Amazon is the poster-child for the degree to which this entire economic and political system is profoundly corrupt. – Investment Research Dynamics
Amazon stock made a big after-hours ‘shock and awe’ move after it reported a huge headline ‘beat’ of its Q3 earnings. It’s a funny thing how the ‘beat the Street’ game works. Ninety days ago the consensus estimate for Q3 was $1.09, with one estimate as high as $1.59. The estimates were systematically ‘walked down’ over the last 3 months to a mean estimate of 2 cents and a high-end estimate of 26 cents. This is how the game is played.
Make no mistake, the Company knowingly ‘guides’ analysts down in order to engineer a ‘headline’ surprise. This is how absurd this game has become. The ‘beat the numbers’ game is one of the many frauds connected with corporate earnings reports. That said, AMZN’s EPS in Q3 2017 were the same as Q3 2016 – zero EPS growth. Bear in mind that GAAP acquisition accounting manipulation is heavily at play here. Acquisition accounting enables a company to boost revenues and hide expenses.
Here’s just a cursory look at the ‘Devil in the details’ (Short Seller Journal subscribers will get the in-depth, eye-opening analysis in the next issue released Sunday afternoon).
Amazon’s headline revenue ‘growth’ cost AMZN a lot money in terms of operating earnings. Despite the ‘marquee’ 34% sales ‘growth’ rate, AMZN’s operating income plunged nearly 40% year/year for Q3. This drop in operating income has accelerated, as YTD for the first 9 months of 2017, AMZN’s operating income has dropped 32%.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 27, 2017.

Fed Candidate Taylor Courts Trump And Downplays His Rule (Again)

Conveniently, since he remains a front runner (admittedly well behind Powell) to become the next Fed Chairman, John Taylor was able to inject a few soundbites into the media-sphere yesterday.
As Bloomberg reports, John Taylor, the Stanford professor who is among the finalists that President Donald Trump is considering to lead the Federal Reserve, argued Thursday that faster U. S. economic growth is possible if policy makers focus on reforms that encourage investment and hiring.
‘I would go back to the basic principles, that incentives matter, that tax rates matter, and apply those principles,’ Taylor told an audience at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
‘You want to have the supply of the economy increasing more rapidly and you can do that with new policies.’
Talk about hitting the right notes… Taylor thinks he can solve the productivity conundrum, in part by cutting… regulation.
As Bloomberg continues, Taylor compared growth and productivity growth in the U. S. over the past decade to rates before the financial crisis, when they were substantially higher. He said tax reforms and efforts to roll back regulation could help bring back those higher levels of growth. He also made a specific reference to the post-crisis reforms of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, designed to make banks safer and limit risk-taking on Wall Street, which the Trump administration aims to roll back. ‘As you look back at that, maybe there’s too much micro-managing of financial institutions,’ he said.
The report suggests Trump would have lapped it up.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Hyperinflation Chronicles, Part 1: Einstein’s Scribble, Newman’s Watch, And Dot-Blockchain

When governments create insane amounts of money, the recipients of that money tend to behave accordingly. Consider:
Einstein scribbled his theory of happiness in place of a tip. It just sold for more than $1 million.
(Washington Post) – He is known as one of the great minds in 20th-century science. But this week, Albert Einstein is making headlines for his advice on how to live a happy life – and a tip that paid off.
In November 1922, Einstein was traveling from Europe to Japan for a lecture series for which he was paid 2,000 pounds by his Japanese publisher and hosts, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, ‘Einstein: His Life and Universe.’ During the journey, the 43-year-old learned he’d been awarded his field’s highest prize: the Nobel Prize in physics. The award recognized his contributions to theoretical physics.
News of Einstein’s arrival spread quickly through Japan, and thousands of people flocked to catch a glimpse of the Nobel laureate. Impressed but also embarrassed by the publicity, Einstein tried to write down his thoughts and feelings from his secluded room at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on OCTOBER 27, 2017.

“The Nightmare Scenario” Revisited: Albert Edwards Lays Out The Next “Black Monday”

Is it the onset of a recession or the fear of a recession that causes a crash? That is what SocGen’s bear (or, as he calls himself this time, wolf) Albert Edwards contemplated on the 30th anniversary of Black Monday, before reaching the conclusion that it’s the latter. Having taken several weeks off from publishing his ill-named global strategy “weekly” report to meet with clients, Edwards finds that most clients “seem to harbour similar fears as I, namely that the QE-driven bubble will burst at some stage and lay low the global economy, just as it did in 2007.” Yet where clients differ, is on the timing of said burst:
“despite my bearish (or is it wolfish) howling, virtually no clients think the denouement will come any time soon and that the equity bull market should have at least 12-18 months left to run. Most can see nothing on the immediate horizon that might burst this bubble.”
So, doing his public service to boost the overall sense of dread, and perhaps fear, Albert takes it upon himself to reprise recent discussions with clients, and in his latest letter explains “what might catch them out in the near term.” To do this, Edwards focuses first and foremost on the catalysts behind the abovementioned 1987 “Black Monday” crash.
A retrospective macro-narrative was inevitably wrapped around the ?Black Monday? 19 October 1987 equity market crash. My 30-year recollection is pretty good: 1987 saw a buoyant equity market rising briskly through most of the year as the oil price recovered from the previous year?s collapse (from $30 to $8, see chart below). After a year in the doldrums the US economy started to accelerate notably through 1987 as the impact of 1986 interest rate cuts and a lower dollar worked. By the time of the Oct crash the US ISM had surged from 50 at the start of the year to over 60 – a level seldom ever reached (see chart below). Amazingly the ISM has just last month exceeded 60.0 for only the second time since 1987. Spooky!

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Oh C’mon CNBS (Amazon) – OUTRAGEOUS LIE ALERT!

CNBC should be taken off the air for this outrageous pumping of a scam.
And a scam it is.
Here’s from the Amazon Q, off their own page:
Date Sales COGS Sales/Cog % Fulfillment Net % Profit 2016/Q2 21116 19180 10.09% 3878 -1942 -9.20% 2016/Q3 22339 21260 5.08% 4335 -3256 -14.58% 2016/Q4 30629 28958 5.77% 5719 -4048 -13.22% 2017/Q1 23734 22440 5.77% 4697 -3403 -14.34% 2017/Q2 24745 23451 5.52% 5158 -3864 -15.62% 2017/Q3 28768 27549 4.42% 6420 -5201 -18.08% Sales (of goods) in gross, cost of said goods, mark-up over cost, fulfillment expense, net (Sales – COGS – Fulfillment) and finally, profit on sales of goods ignoring SG&A and Marketing, which of course are real costs (in other words, this is better than “operating earnings” as it excludes the cost of labor and other day-to-day expenses normally in SG&A!)
Note that their margin on product sales (sales minus fulfillment and cost of products) for products has gone from a negative 9.2% margin to a negative 18.08 percent margin!

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-10-27.

Venezuela Avoids Default With Critical PDVSA Debt Payment

On Wednesday, when looking at the imminent principal payment on $842 million in debt issued by Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA , we warned that the state – which had previously activated a 30-day grace period on over $586 million in interest payment due over the past month – may be bankrupt shortly for one specific reason: unlike the rest of the country’s debt, the PDVSA bonds have no grace period in the bond indenture for an event of default. It is also why some suggested that Venezuela was shoring up dollars by not repaying other debt, to have funds available for this particular issue.
In retrospect, that appears to be the case because on Friday, PDVSA said that unlike the various other “technical glitches” that had accompanied Venezuela’s previous interest payment, it has transferred funds to make a principal payment on debt due Friday amid jitters among investors that the energy producer could default as soon as today.”
According to Bloomberg, the Caracas-based firm said it paid $842 million on bonds that fully mature in 2020. The statement didn’t mention the $108 million interest payment that was also due Friday, but has a 30-day grace period. Petroleos de Venezuela SA owes an additional $1.2 billion by Nov. 2 for notes that mature that day.
That said, we still have to get confirmation from the transfer agent that payment was indeed made, and didn’t get lost in yet another “technical glitch.”
Some generic big picture observations from Bloomberg:
A default for PDVSA would have been disastrous at a time when access to credit has already been severely curtailed, refineries are running at less than half of their capacity and oil output has tanked to less than 2 million barrels a day. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has insisted that his government will continue to honor its international obligations even as imports shrivel to save cash for debt payments causing shortages of goods to worsen in a nation already suffering a deep recession and hyperinflation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PRECIOUS METALS MARKET: Where We Go From Here

As the U. S. Stock Market Bubble continues upward toward a giant pin, there are some interesting developments that precious metals investors will find quite interesting. Yes, there’s still a lot of life left in the precious metals, even though pessimistic market sentiment has frustrated a lot of gold and silver investors.
Also, even though precious metals investment demand in the U. S. has fallen 40+% compared to the same time last year, it continues to be strong in other parts of the world. For example, German physical gold bar and coin demand increased 8% in the first half of 2017 versus the same period last year, while U. S. fell by 45%. Moreover, flows into European Gold ETF’s hit a record during the second quarter of 2017:

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on OCTOBER 27, 2017.

The $2 Trillion Hole: “In 2019, Central Bank Liquidity Finally Turns Negative”

In all the euphoria over yesterday’s “dovish taper” by the ECB, markets appear to have forgotten one thing: the great Central Bank liquidity tide, which generated over $2 trillion in central bank purchasing power in 2017 alone – and which as Bank of America said last month is the only reason why stocks are at record highs, is now on its way out.
This was a point first made by Deutsche Bank’s Alan Ruskin two weeks ago, who looked at the collapse in global vol, and concluded that “as we look at what could shake the panoply of low vol forces, it is the thaw in Central Bank policy as they retreat from emergency measures that is potentially most intriguing/worrying. We are likely to be nearing a low point for major market bond and equity vol, and if the catalyst is policy it will likely come from positive volatility QE ‘flow effect’ being more powerful than the vol depressant ‘stock effect’. To twist a phrase from another well know Chicago economist: Vol may not always and everywhere be a monetary phenomena – but this is the first place to look for economic catalysts over the coming year.”
He showed this great receding tide of liquidity in the following chart projecting central bank “flows” over the next two years, and which showed that “by the end of next year, the combined expansion of all the major Central Bank balance sheets will have collapsed from a 12 month growth rate of $2 trillion per annum to zero.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

J. Edgar Hoover: “Need To Convince Public That Oswald Is Real Assassin”

Amid the thousands of new files released yesterday – though less than expected – were two intriguing memos to, and from, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on November 24th, 1963 – the day that Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald as the gunman was being transported to the Dallas County Jail after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
In a memo issued by Hoover, he appeared to be particularly concerned that the public would have to be compelled to believe that Oswald was a lone actor – not part of a larger conspiracy.
“There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead.”
In the 1964 Warren Report on Kennedy’s assassination, NBC notes, Hoover was firm in stating that he hadn’t seen “any scintilla of evidence” suggesting a conspiracy – a sentiment he expressed in other public forums, as well, but not in words as blunt as those he used the day Oswald was killed.
Referring to Nicholas Katzenbach, the deputy attorney general at the time, Hoover dictated:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.