• Category Archives Government
  • Trump Sports Feud Escalates: Demands NFL Chief “Tells Them To Stand”

    Update 4: In the latest escalation in his feud with the NFL, Trump just (re)blasted Commission Roger Goodell in a tweet, saying he was trying to “justify” the actions of players who don’t stand for the National Anthem. His tweet was sent in response to a statement Goodell released earlier today criticizing Trump for “disrespecting” NFL owners by suggesting they fire players for protesting.
    Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country. Tell them to stand!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017

    Update 3: As the feud between the president Stephen Curry intensifies, on Saturday afternoon his team the Golden State Warriors, stood with him and announced they will not be attending the White House visit at all. In a statement, the Warriors said that “while we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House,” the statement read, “we accept President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited.”
    It added that “we believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them,” the statement continued. “We’re disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have an open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.
    As a result, “in lieu of a visit to the White House” the Warriors will use their trip to D. C. to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion-the values that we embrace as an organization.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Trump Sports Feud Escalates: Warriors Respond “The President Has Made It Clear We Are Not Invited”

    Update 3: As the feud between the president and the Warriors escalates, moments ago the basketball team issued a statement release in which it said that ‘President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited’ and that “in lieu of a visit to the White House” the Warriors will use their trip to D. C. to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion-the values that we embrace as an organization.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.


  • “Thousands Could Die” – Puerto Rico Scrambles To Evacuate River Valley As Dam Fails

    Days after Hurricane Maria passed over the island and made its way west toward the Dominican Republican, Puerto Rico is still struggling with the initial response to the storm – rescuing people stranded in remote villages, and moving thousands into government shelters. Meanwhile the island’s first responders are making due without electricity, gas or cell phone service after the storm dealt a knockout blow to its infrastructure.
    In what was perhaps the most destructive blow to the island’s aging infrastructure, the NWS warned Friday that the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico would soon fail, prompting the agency to issue a flash flood emergency warning for Isabela and Quebradillas municipalities. Now, authorities are scrambling to evacuate the residents of the river valley below the dam before their communities are entirely submurged. If the authorities don’t act quickly, “thousands could die” one official in charge of the rescue response said.
    According to federal reservoir data, the lake behind the dam, Lago de Guajataca, rose more than three feet between Tuesday and Wednesday, when the storm was still directly over the island. More recent data were unavailable. With floodwaters gushing into the Guajataca river valley, Reuters reports that emergency officials were scrambling Friday and Saturday to evacuate its nearly 70,000 residents before their villages have been completely submerged.
    Video published by CBS shows waters gushing over the top of the 90-year-old dam, sending a wall of water racing into the valley below.


    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Japan’s Lonely Single Men Are Settling For Virtual Reality “Wives Of The Future”

    In a country where over 70% of unmarried men between 18 and 34, and 60% of women, have no relationship with a member of the opposite sex, and where birthrates are among the lowest in the world after Japanese women gave birth to fewer than one million babies in 2016 for the first time since the government began tracking birth rates, Bloomberg reports on an industry that’s profiting off the reluctance of young Japanese men and women to find a human partner.
    ***
    What Bloomberg calls the ‘virtual love industry’ in Japan has blossomed into a multi-million-dollar concern as unmarried men and women increasingly turn to simulated digital offerings for companionship. Inventors create applications that essentially allow users to build a ‘virtual wife’ or ‘virtual husband’. While we imagine virtual companions bring badly needed comfort to millions of lonely Japanese, as Bloomberg notes, the industry does have a dark side: Some virtual-reality offerings promote unrealistic and even damaging portrayals of women as submissive. And men as domineering and menacing.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • LeBron Calls Trump “Bum” For Withdrawing Steph Curry’s White House Invite

    Update: As one might have imagined, the responses to Trump’s comments have been far-ranging and explosive but perhaps the best known and most stunning was from LeBron James who called the president a “bum” for rescinding Curry’s invite (after Curry had he wouldn’t go)…
    U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
    — LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Commerzbank to Merge with French BNP

    According to a the latest spin, the German federal government’s withdrawal from the Commerzbank has left the favored shotgun wedding merger. Commerzbank is the Frankfurt money house which will be merged with the French BNP Paribas. This is being presented as if it were a strong German-French merger which is suggesting that there is a deeper European banking union unfolding. Additionally, they are also going to merge a troubled Italian bank into BNP.
    Behind the curtain, the concern is that Commerzbank could not be merged with Deutsche bank because they have the same portfolios that are in trouble. BNP Paribas is about 10 times the size of Commerzbank. Therefore, the real world view is this is just a shotgun wedding rather than a new German-French merger.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Chapter 3: Purpose Precedes Planning

    Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
    Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’ (Genesis 1:26 – 28). For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 3:5).
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
    AnalysisThe economic principle of purpose before planning is an implication of point one of the biblical covenant: God’s transcendence, yet also His presence. It has to do with sovereignty. Sovereignty is a legal classification. In economics, it refers to ownership. God was the Creator. He created the world out of nothing. He did not purchase or rent the ‘stuff’ of creation. Rather, He spoke it into existence. So, He is the cosmic Owner. The owner possesses sovereign control over his property. In God’s case, He possesses absolute control.
    The New Testament teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. This means three persons, yet one God. Paul identified Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity, as the creator.
    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:15 – 20).

    This post was published at Gary North on September 20, 2017.


  • Weekend Reading: Yellen Takes Away The Punchbowl

    September 20th, 2017 will likely be a day that goes down in market history.
    It will either be remembered as one of the greatest achievements in the history of monetary policy experiments, or the beginning of the next bear market or worse.
    Given the Fed’s inability to spark either inflation or economic growth, as witnessed by their dismal forecasting record shown below, I would lean towards the latter.
    The media is very interesting. Despite the fact there is clear evidence that unbridled Central Bank interventions supported the market on the way up, there is now a consensus that believes the ‘unwinding’ will have ‘no effect’ on the market.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • Pound Flash Crashes After Moody’s Downgrades UK To Aa2

    In an otherwise boring day, when Theresa May failed to cause any major ripples with her much anticipated Brexit speech, moments ago it was Moody’s turn to stop out countless cable longs, when shortly after the US close, it downgraded the UK from Aa1 to Aa2, outlook stable, causing yet another flash crash in the pound.
    As reason for the unexpected downgrade, Moodys cited “the outlook for the UK’s public finances has weakened significantly since the negative outlook on the Aa1 rating was assigned, with the government’s fiscal consolidation plans increasingly in question and the debt burden expected to continue to rise.”
    It also said that fiscal pressures will be exacerbated by the erosion of the UK’s medium-term economic strength that is likely to result from the manner of its departure from the European Union (EU), and by the increasingly apparent challenges to policy-making given the complexity of Brexit negotiations and associated domestic political dynamics.
    Moody’s now expects growth of just 1% in 2018 following 1.5% this year; doesn’t expect growth to recover to its historic trend rate over coming years. Expects public debt ratio to increase to close to 90% of GDP this year and to reach its peak at close to 93% of GDP only in 2019.
    And so, once again, it was poor sterling longs who having gotten through today largely unscathed, were unceremoniously stopped out following yet another flash crash in all GBP pairs.
    Full release below:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • In the Murk- The Live Nightmare Formerly Known As Puerto Rico

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Kunstler. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Welcome to America’s first experiment in the World Made By Hand lifestyle. Where else is it going? Watch closely.
    Ricardo Ramos, the director of the beleaguered, government-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, told CNN Thursday that the island’s power infrastructure had been basically ‘destroyed’ and will take months to come back
    ‘Basically destroyed.’ That’s about as basic as it gets civilization-wise.
    Residents, Mr. Ramos said, would need to change the way they cook and cool off. For entertainment, old-school would be the best approach, he said. ‘It’s a good time for dads to buy a ball and a glove and change the way you entertain your children.’

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by James Howard Kunstler ‘ September 22, 2017.


  • German Elections Void of Any Critical Discussion

    The German Bundestag election campaign has seen a total black-out of any discussion of the major crisis that is building in Europe. Nobody is mentioning that Euro crisis, ECB monetary policy, disintegration of the EU, refugee crisis, pension crisis, the municipalities on the brink of insolvency, or the drastic increases in taxation coming AFTER the election that will only lower disposable incomes and extend deflation.
    The politicians, and the press, are in full swing to hide the real trend at foot. The press is running stories why the Germans Love Merkel, yet she has never won even 40% of the popular vote. Even the press outside of Germany is in on the ‘selling’ of Merkel because she is the leader of Europe – good – bad – indifferent.
    Perhaps the monetary policy of the ECB has set the stage for a serious monetary crisis over the coming years that will seriously disrupt the German economy, in one way or another, depending upon the industry. Mario Draghi has experimented with negative rates which has kept the Eurozone governments on life-support – but they have not used the time to reform anything.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Big Brother Walmart Tries to ‘Help’ You: ‘It’s Like Magic’

    On the bleeding edge of ‘in-fridge delivery.’
    It’s great that Walmart is out there on the bleeding edge of technology, coming up with stuff and testing gizmos and doing things differently before it gets run over by Amazon. It’s trying to stay relevant in the era of online shopping and Millennials. Stopping Amazon is a dirty job, but someone has got to do it.
    But good grief – connect the lock of our home to the Internet so that Walmart can get into our fridge?
    And so soon after the Equifax hack that showed just how easy it is to crack open corporate IT systems even when they contain the crown jewels of consumer data?
    How easy must it be to hack the software in a mere door lock, the connection from the door lock to the server, the app that runs that thing, the communication system with Walmart…. One vulnerability in the chain, such as a missed security update on the server of some obscure middleman, and suddenly hackers can let themselves and others into our home at will.
    And this: Install security cameras inside our home and connect them to the Internet so that, when the system gets hacked, everyone else can see what’s going on inside our home?
    My home used to be my castle.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Sep 22, 2017.


  • “Get Out James Comey, You’re Not Our Homie”: Comey Mercilessly Heckled At Howard University Speech

    Former FBI Director James Comey was mercilessly heckled this afternoon as he attempted to deliver a speech at the Howard University convocation ceremony. As the Washington Post confirms, a group of 20 Howard students led the heckling session that persisted throughout Comey’s speech and included the following clever chants:
    “Get out James Comey, you’re not our homie.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • WTI Hovers Above $50 As US Oil Rig Count Slides To 3-Month Lows

    With crude production rebounding back to pre-Harvey levels, and refinery demand coming back on-line, WTI has trod water around $50 all week. The US oil rig count dropped for the 6th straight week (down 5 to 744), back at its lowest level since early June.
    *U. S. OIL RIG COUNT DOWN 5 TO 744 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US *U. S. GAS RIG COUNT UP 4 TO 190 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US As Bloomberg reports, it looks like shale billionaire Harold Hamm might be right in saying U. S. producers are being more cautious than government output forecasts seem to imply.
    At least that’s what the Baker Hughes weekly drilling report suggests, showing producers idled five oil rigs this week, adding to 19 parked over the previous five weeks.
    The numbers released every Friday increasingly make it look like the drilling boom might have peaked, and that should impact output down the road.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • Janet Yellen’s 78-Month Plan for the National Monetary Policy of the United States

    Past the Point of No Return
    Adventures in depravity are nearly always confronted with the unpleasant reality that stopping the degeneracy is much more difficult than starting it. This realization, and the unsettling feeling that comes with it, usually surfaces just after passing the point of no return. That’s when the cucumber has pickled over and the prospect of turning back is no longer an option.
    In late November 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put in place a fait accompli. But he didn’t recognize it at the time. For he was blinded by his myopic prejudices.
    Bernanke, a self-fancied Great Depression history buff with the highest academic credentials, gazed back 80 years, observed several credit market parallels, and then made a preconceived diagnosis. After that, he picked up his copy of A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, turned to the chapter on the Great Depression, and got to work expanding the Fed’s balance sheet.

    This post was published at Acting-Man on September 22, 2017.


  • Equifax Breach Is a Reminder of Society’s Larger Cybersecurity Problems

    The Equifax data breach was yet another cybersecurity incident involving the theft of significant personal data from a large company. Moreover, it is another reminder that the modern world depends on critical systems, networks and data repositories that are not as secure as they should be. And it signals that these data breaches will continue until society as a whole (industry, government, and individual users) is able to objectively assess and improve cybersecurity procedures.
    Although this specific incident is still under investigation, the fact that breaches like this have been happening – and getting bigger – for more than a decade provides cybersecurity researchers another opportunity to examine why these events keep happening. Unfortunately, there is plenty of responsibility for everyone.
    Several major problems need to be addressed before people can live in a truly secure society: For example, companies must find and hire the right people to actually solve the overall problems and think innovatively rather than just fixing the day-to-day issues. Companies must be made to get serious about cybersecurity – at a time when many firms have financial incentives not to, also. Until then, major breaches will keep happening and may get even worse.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/22/2017.


  • London Bans Uber; Company Vows Court Challenge

    In a stunning blow to the world’s most valuable private company (purportedly worth some $70 billion), London’s taxi and livery car regulator has said it won’t renew Uber’s operating license once it expires at the end of the month. The regulator said Uber “is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.”
    “TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibilit in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications. These include: It’s approach to reporting seriouis criminal offences. It’s approach to how medical certificates are obtained. It’s approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained. It’s approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London, software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gianing full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • Fed QT Stocks, Gold Impact

    This week’s landmark Federal Open Market Committee decision to launch quantitative tightening is one of the most-important and most-consequential actions in the Federal Reserve’s entire 104-year history. QT changes everything for world financial markets levitated by years of quantitative easing. The advent of the QT era has enormous implications for stock markets and gold that all investors need to understand.
    This week’s FOMC decision to birth QT in early October certainly wasn’t a surprise. To the Fed’s credit, this unprecedented paradigm shift had been well-telegraphed. Back at its mid-June meeting, the FOMC warned ‘The Committee currently expects to begin implementing a balance sheet normalization program this year’. Its usual FOMC statement was accompanied by an addendum explaining how QT would likely unfold.
    That mid-June trial balloon didn’t tank stock markets, so this week the FOMC decided to implement it with no changes. The FOMC’s new statement from Wednesday declared, ‘In October, the Committee will initiate the balance sheet normalization program described in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee’s Policy Normalization Principles and Plans.’ And thus the long-feared QT era is now upon us.
    The Fed is well aware of how extraordinarily risky quantitative tightening is for QE-inflated stock markets, so it is starting slow. QT is necessary to unwind the vast quantities of bonds purchased since late 2008 via QE. Back in October 2008, the US stock markets experienced their first panic in 101 years. Ironically it was that earlier 1907 panic that led to the Federal Reserve’s creation in 1913 to help prevent future panics.
    Technically a stock panic is a 20%+ stock-market plunge within two weeks. The flagship S&P 500 stock index plummeted 25.9% in just 10 trading days leading into early October 2008, which was certainly a panic-grade plunge! The extreme fear generated by that rare anomaly led the Fed itself to panic, fearing a new depression driven by the wealth effect. When stocks plummet, people get scared and slash their spending.

    This post was published at ZEAL LLC on September 22, 2017.


  • Why is NASA Covering Up Elon Musk’s Mistakes?

    On June 28th, 2015, Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a Dragon resupply ship not into space, but rather into the Atlantic Ocean. It was a catastrophic failure that cost taxpayers $112 million. The payload that was meant to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) went up in a huge plume of smoke and flames. However, even though SpaceX did not complete their mission, they still received all but twenty percent of the full payment. Standard NASA protocol is to release a report on every launch accident, but to this day – two years later – there is still no formal statement as to what went wrong on the SpaceX accident.
    Per NASA, there won’t be one released anytime soon. The Agency recently announced that it will in fact not publicly release a report on their investigation into the disastrous explosion of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. They had originally committed to reporting their results by the summer of 2017, but have instead passed the buck to the FAA.
    ‘Since it was an FAA licensed flight, NASA is not required to complete a formal final report or public summary, and has deferred any additional products related to the matter at this time,’ the agency’s Public Affairs Office (PAO) stated. ‘The data is important for historical purposes, but the mishap involved a version of the Falcon 9 rocket, the version 1.1, that is now no longer in use.’ Apparently, the fact that SpaceX is no longer using that version of the Falcon 9 after this $112 million ‘mishap’ of taxpayer funds means the American taxpayers have no right to know what happened. Strangely, that storyline did not work for a competing firm’s similar failure that occurred eight months prior.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 22, 2017.