• Category Archives Government
  • Shocking New Stock Market Prediction Shows When We’ll Hit a Top

    The current bull market is in its ninth year, but Money Morning Liquidity Specialist Lee Adler’s newest stock market prediction shows that we are now in its final stages. In fact, he sees the S&P 500 hitting its final high sometime in the first quarter of 2018.
    As December unfolds, we’ve seen a breakout in stocks, and Adler’s technical analysis bumped up his long-term price target on the S&P 500 to 2,800. That’s based on his work with market cycles and published in his Wall Street Examiner Pro Trader Market Updates each week. Simply put, by rising above 2,630, the market’s character changed for the better, suggesting one more leg higher.
    However, December looks like the last chance to ride the current bull markethigher before conditions change and a bear market becomes likely…
    Stock Market Prediction: Expect a Market Top in Q1
    Pundits considered the U. S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) program as the punch bowl keeping the recovery party going and goosing the economy and the stock market for several years.
    However, as Adler has been warning, things will change in 2018…
    This Book Could Make You a Millionaire: The secrets in this book have produced 42 chances to double, triple, and even quadruple your money this year alone. Claim your free copy…
    And it already has, now that the Fed’s bond purchases are over. Plus, we’ve already seen the first of several planned hikes in short-term interest rates.
    So far, it has not made much of a dent.
    However, the forces of monetary policy and liquidity will be hostile to the markets in 2018. The Fed’s program, which it calls ‘normalization,’ is designed to reduce the size of its balance sheet.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 6, 2017.


  • Market Talk- December 8, 2017

    Asia started where the US markets off and confidence ahead of payrolls Friday, a government shut-down averted and hopes riding high for a BREXIT deal – which ran on the back of Sterling’s strength. For the Nikkei it felt important that we saw a 1.5% rally today taking us back to returning a roughly flat week. The GDP data certainly helped sentiment blasting the market 1.4% expectation and printing an impressive +2.5%. Yen lost a little as expected (0.4%), but that was a full big figure change and was in-place ahead of the US payrolls number. China’s economic data was also in the news with Trade figures better than forecast, resulting in a strong Hang Seng (+1.2%) and Shanghai (+1.1%) indices. Including the near 1% rally for the SENSEX also, these were strong and confident closes for Asia.

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


  • Weekend Reading: Recession Risk Hidden In Tax Bill

    Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,
    Since the election, equity bulls have been pinning their hopes on ‘tax cuts’ as the needed injection to support currently elevated stock prices. Stocks have advanced sharply since the election on these expectations, and while earnings have recovered, primarily due to the rise in oil prices, whatever economic growth was to come from tax reform has likely already been priced in.
    For some background on our views, both Michael Lebowitz and I have been discussing the tax bills as they are currently proposed since May of this year.
    The Spurious Math Of A Tax Cut Rally Corporate Tax Cuts – The Seen & Unseen 3-Myths About Tax Cuts Bull Trap: The False Promise Of Tax Cuts The Conundrum Of Debt, Tax Cuts & The Economy Tax Cuts – The Economic Cure-All Buy The Rumor – Sell The News
    We are currently in the second longest economic expansion since WWII. While Republican lawmakers are betting on jump-starting economic growth, the problem becomes the length of the current liquidity-driven expansion. All economic cycles end, and we are already closer to the end of the current expansion than not.

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


  • Can You Trust this Stock Market? Warning Signs Grow.

    Some of the same warning signs that emerged before the 1929 to 1933 market crash, the tech mania crash of 2000, and the epic Wall Street meltdown of 2008 are flashing red.
    If you have significant amounts of your 401(k) invested in equity mutual funds (that is, those invested in stocks), it’s time to take an objective appraisal of today’s market versus historic benchmarks.
    This is also a good time to remember that markets have lost as much as 50 percent of their value from peak to trough in the last 20 years. If that’s more pain than you’re prepared to suffer, it may be time to trim back your exposure.
    We’ll get to the specifics on today’s market shortly, but first some necessary background.
    In the market crash of 1929 to 1933, the stock market lost 90 percent of its value. It did not return to the level of 1929 until 1954 – a quarter of a century later.
    There is some basis to speculate that the bear market of October 2007 to March 2009, which included the epic Wall Street crash of 2008, would have produced far more serious pain than the 50 percent retracement in the S&P 500 that did occur – perhaps pain on the level of 1929 to 1933 – had it not been for the secret $16 trillion in almost zero-interest loans that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York sluiced into the major brokerage firms on Wall Street – which was on top of the hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout funds that were authorized by Congress.

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


  • US Futures, Global Shares, Dollar All Jump On Brexit, Basel News, Averted US Shutdown; Payrolls Loom

    U. S. equity index futures have bounced on the last day of the week, along with European and Asian shares, oil and the dollar following overnight news that the UK and EU have reached a successful conclusion on Phase 1 of Brexit negotiations, that Congress averted a government shutdown with another can-kicking 2 week measure until December 22, after strong Chinese trade data and an upward revision to Japanese GDP, and ahead of the November nonfarm payrolls data which is expected to cement the December Fed rate hike.
    Setting the bullish mood this morning was Christmas coming early for Theresa May, who managed to forge an agreement – if only for the time being – with the EU in the early hours of Friday morning to pave way for phase 2, with talks set to move to trade with support being voiced by Senior Brexiteers, Gove and Johnson. In reaction to this, GBP initially hit a 6-month high, however once the agreement had been confirmed, the pound saw a “buy the rumour sell the news” price action, while gilts were met with selling pressreure with the price making a firm move below 124.00.
    Also after the close on Thursday, the House voted 235-193 and Senate voted 81-14 to pass the stopgap spending measure which will avoid a government shutdown and fund government through to Dec. 22nd, kicking the can on and averting a government shutdown for another two weeks.
    European stocks advance in a broad rally amid optimism over a newly-struck deal between Britain and the European Union to unlock divorce negotiations and proceed to discussing a future trade deal. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rises 0.7%, with the index heading for a weekly gain of 1.3%. Banks advance the most, up for a second day, as the sector emerged relatively unscathed from global regulators’ final batch of Basel III post-crisis capital rules, with few lenders needing to raise major new funds. Miners are also among the best indusreptry group performers, following copper prices higher. The FTSE 100 is trailing other European indexes, trading little changed, as the pound climb.

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


  • Homeless Swedes Out In The Cold

    Authored by Bruce Bawer via The Gatestone Institute,
    One reason there are so many immigrants in Sweden, both legal and illegal, is that the country’s welfare system is a bonanza for foreigners. Far from not being covered by the system, immigrants often enjoy preferential treatment These Swedes should not be sleeping on the streets. The Scandinavian welfare states were founded on a compact between the citizens and their government: the people would pay outrageously high taxes, and in return their government would guarantee them a magnificent safety net should they get sick or get fired. But ever since these countries chose to open their doors to mass Muslim immigration, that compact has been broken. A state-employed paper-pusher who gives citizens something for which they have already paid can hardly feel particularly virtuous, whereas handing out free stuff to aliens who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it can make that same government paper-pusher feel like a world-class Good Samaritan. Even more shattering is that millions of those Scandinavian citizens accept it. Marinated from birth in multiculturalism, millions of them dare not demand what they have coming to them — what they have paid for, what they deserve — lest they be viewed by others, and even by themselves, as bigots. The other day, I reported about the Church of Sweden’s strenuous efforts to appease Islam. Now comes the news that from December 15 to March 15, churches in the diocese of Gothenburg will be used at night as shelters for the homeless.
    Lovely idea. But there is a catch. The only homeless people who will be allowed in are foreigners — either immigrants from elsewhere in the EU, who are by definition legal, or illegal immigrants from outside the EU. In other words, native Swedes need not apply, even though the initiative is being paid for by taxpayer money.

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


  • Bitcoin Phase Transition or Plateau Move?

    Hackers have managed to get $70 million worth of Bitcoin, revealing the risk of all electronic forms of money to which cryptocurrencies are not exempt. The prices keep soaring and requests to add it to Socrates have been coming in so we are complying. With the futures about to begin, this should make it a more transparent market. The problem now is a single trade can be registered just buy one coin to put up prints that do not reflect volume. A future contract will help reveal the true depth of a market.
    If we accept the quotes as real, then Bitcoin’s market capitalization is now larger than that of major US banks Citigroup or JP Morgan standing at about $ 220 billion. The problem that emerges is the reclassification legally of Bitcoin. Because it is pretending to be a currency rather than a stock, governments can simply take the latest print and declare that to be a profit and tax you on that number. If the governments would accept Bitcoin as legal tender in payment of taxes, that would be fine. However, if they demand their own currency (dollars) which then forces one to sell Bitcoin to pay the tax, then the price will collapse and they will force you to pay the tax on the inflated number. You can claim you lost money selling it below that figure and they then allow a tax credit but spread out over 10 years. Bitcoin should swap everything to shares and that will eliminate the clash with the government.

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


  • What’s The Best Company To Work For Where You Live?

    With unemployment in the US purportedly reaching its lowest level in 17 years (that is, according to the Department of Labor’s flawed household survey) employees who once would’ve been too fearful to leave their jobs are now actively looking for opportunities. With that in mind, many have probably wondered what’s the best company to work for where they live?
    Well, HowMuch.com gathered data compiled by Forbes into an infographic to try and map out the best and largest employers in every country.
    Forbes recently released a ranking of the best companies in the world using a variety of different perks and benefits, like the quality of food served to employees, parental leave policies or whether companies allow their employees to nap while on the job.
    HowMuch mapped these companies by paying attention to their market capitalization to get a feel for how large an organization needs to be to afford such high-quality benefits. One company therefore represents each country, color-coded by market cap. Red countries have an employer worth over $100 billion, and dark blue countries boast relatively small employers under $10 billion.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.


  • US Homelessness Rate Rose This Year For First Time Since 2010

    Here’s one statistic about the US economy that you probably won’t find in President Trump’s twitter feed.
    Thanks to a surge in homelessness centered around several large west coast cities, the overall rate of homelessness in the US ticked higher this year, the first increase since 2010, according to a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its annual Point in Time count Wednesday, a report that showed nearly 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January. That figure is up nearly 1 percent from 2016.
    Of that total, 193,000 people had no access to nightly shelter and instead were staying in vehicles, tents, the streets and other places considered uninhabitable. The unsheltered figure is up by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.
    Increases are higher in several West Coast cities, where the explosion in homelessness has prompted at least 10 city and county governments to declare states of emergency since 2015.
    The homelessness crisis is only one byproduct of the burgeoning wealth inequality in the US caused by the Federal Reserve’s decision to pump trillions of dollars of ‘stimulus’ into the markets.
    Central-bank money printing has caused asset valuations to balloon while wages for everyone but the most highly skilled workers have stagnated, as the chart below illustrates.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.


  • Does Trump’s Tax Plan Single Out Family Trusts As A Way To Subsidize Corporate Tax Cuts?

    According to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center, the Senate’s recently passed tax plan will increase the after-tax income of folks in every income bracket. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and plenty of arguments to be had between the Left and Right over how the tax savings scraps should be divvied up, but in the aggregate individual tax payers should see their net incomes increase in 2019.
    But when it comes to the taxation of business income, one group of small business owners is about to get a massive tax increase, on a relative basis, compared corporations and other pass-through entities: Family Trusts.
    As the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, many small businesses in the U. S. are organized as family trusts as a way to preserve an enterprise for succeeding generations, protect against estate taxes or a divorcing spouse or other claimants who might try to seize a stake. But while the Senate tax bill provides a massive tax cut for corporations and individually-owned pass-through corporations, small businesses organized as family trusts will see no changes making them much less competitive on a pro forma basis.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.


  • Crackdown Comes To Wall Street: Morgan Stanley Fires Harold Ford Jr Over Alleged Sexual Misconduct

    Ten years after leaving Congress, Harold Ford Jr could be the canary in the coal-mine for Wall Street as the global awakening to sexual abuse strikes a bulge-bracket bank.
    Harold Ford Jr. ‘has been terminated for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,’ Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Michele Davis said in a statement to Bloomberg News.
    Huffington Post reports that the bank’s human resources department investigated claims he harassed a woman he met in a professional capacity.
    In two interviews with HuffPost, the woman alleged that Ford engaged in harassment, intimidation, and forcibly grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard. The incident took place several years ago when Ford and the woman were supposed to be meeting for professional reasons. Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to cease contact.
    The email, which was reviewed by HuffPost, shows that the woman emailed Ford after he repeatedly asked her to drinks. She asked him not to contact her anymore, citing his inappropriate conduct the evening where he forcibly grabbed and harassed her. Ford replied to the email by apologizing and agreeing not to contact her.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.


  • Senator Al Franken Officially Confirms His Resignation In Senate Speech

    Update (11:55AM EST): After weeks of speculation, the #MeToo movement has just claimed its latest conquest with Senator Al Franken of Minnesota officially confirming his resignation on the Senate floor.
    ‘Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.’
    Of course, Franken’s resignation came only after he once again denied the validity of the allegations against him saying “some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember differently.”
    It’s unclear if Franken recalls this picture “differently”…


    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.


  • Finally, An Honest Inflation Index – Guess What It Shows

    Central bankers keep lamenting the fact that record low interest rates and record high currency creation haven’t generated enough inflation (because remember, for these guys inflation is a good thing rather than a dangerous disease).
    To which the sound money community keeps responding, ‘You’re looking in the wrong place! Include the prices of stocks, bonds and real estate in your models and you’ll see that inflation is high and rising.’
    Well it appears that someone at the Fed has finally decided to see what would happen if the CPI included those assets, and surprise! the result is inflation of 3%, or half again as high as the Fed’s target rate.
    New York Fed Inflation Gauge is Bad News for Bulls (Bloomberg) – More than 20 years ago, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan asked an important question ‘what prices are important for the conduct of monetary policy?’ The query was directly related to asset prices and whether their stability was essential for economic stability and good performance. No one has ever offered a coherent answer even though the recessions of 2001 and 2008-2009 were primarily due to a sharp correction in asset prices.

    This post was published at DollarCollapse on DECEMBER 6, 2017.


  • Here’s Why Trump’s Lawyer Is Denying that Deutsche Bank Got a Subpoena

    A lawyer who is part of President Donald Trump’s legal defense team, Jay Sekulow, has denied the news reports that Deutsche Bank has received a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office for banking records related to Trump and his family members.
    In a statement to Reuters, Sekulow stated:
    ‘We have confirmed that the news reports that the Special Counsel had subpoenaed financial records relating to the president are false. No subpoena has been issued or received. We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources.’
    But in the same article that relayed that statement from Sekulow, Reuters’ reporters Arno Schuetze and Karen Freifeld undercut the credibility of Sekulow’s statement by writing the following:
    ‘A U. S. federal investigator probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U. S. presidential election asked Deutsche Bank for data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday, but Trump’s lawyer denied any such subpoena had been issued.’

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on December 7, 2017.


  • A Potential Government Shutdown Is Literally Just Hours Away, But Congressional Leaders Insist That Everything Will Be Just Fine

    Either the Republicans are going to give Democrats virtually everything that they want, or the federal government will shut down at the end of the day on Friday. We have been through this process time after time, and in every single instance the Republicans have always folded like a 20 dollar suit. Unfortunately, it looks like the Democrats are going to win big this time around too. The spending agreement is essentially an updated Obama budget that fully funds Planned Parenthood, that contains no money for a border wall, and that doesn’t reflect any of President Trump’s other important priorities either. On Thursday, the House is expected to pass this horrible bill, and the Senate is expected to take up the matter on Friday. According to Bloomberg, right now this plan would keep the government open through December 22nd…
    The House Rules Committee approved a rule setting the bill up for a floor vote Thursday, after which the Senate will have until the end of the day Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown. A formal check of how members would vote on the Dec. 22 deadline came back showing widespread support, said Representative Dennis Ross, a member of the vote-whipping team.
    So even if this plan gets through both the House and the Senate, we will be facing another government shutdown deadline in just a few weeks.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 6th, 2017.


  • Got It Figured Out Yet?

    Has the light come on yet?
    Why do you think the US Congress passed the Sexual Assault Taxpayer Bailout Act by unanimous vote in 1995 — and Bill Clinton signed it? Why has it not been repealed — and in fact, even today there is no bill on the floor of either House or Senate to repeal it, nor has Trump called for it to be repealed and stated he will refuse to sign any other bill (which is within his power) until it is?
    The Hollyweird cabal’s escapades are not just limited to harassment. We all know about the Michael Jackson allegations. Then there’s Epstein — and his connections to both the entertainment and political “industries.” Epstein, I remind you, was convicted and yet of all the people who I’ve ever read about being convicted of that sort of offense he’s the only one who was basically given a slap on the wrist instead of decades in prison.
    Worse, all of the others connected to him were not pursued. At all. Herr Clinton was of course one of those persons but hardly the only one. Number of prosecutions of those others? Zero.
    So let’s ask the inconvenient question: Is all of this in the political and media sphere nothing more or less than a monstrous blackmail scheme and that is why it never came out until it suddenly was forced into the public eye by some damning revelations that could not be silenced once they got circulating on Social Media?

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-07.


  • What Is Money? (Yes, We’re Talking About Bitcoin)

    Good ideas don’t require force. That describes the Internet, mobile telephony and cryptocurrencies.
    What is money? We all assume we know, because money is a commonplace feature of everyday life. Money is what we earn and exchange for goods and services. Everyone thinks the money they’re familiar with is the only possible system of money – until they run across an entirely different system of money. Then they realize money is a social construct, a confluence of social consensus and political force– what we agree to use as money, and what our government mandates we use as money under threat of punishment. We assume that our monetary system is much like a Law of Nature: since it’s ubiquitous, it must be the only possible system. But there are no financial Laws of Nature for money. In the past, notched sticks served as money. In other non-Western cultures, giant stone disks (rai, a traditional form of money on the island of Yap) and even salt served as money.

    This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2017.


  • House Set To Vote On Stopgap Spending Bill Tomorrow

    Update (5:30 pm ET): House Republicans are moving ahead with a plan to avoid a shutdown after the House Rules Committee approved a rule change that will allow Republicans to bring a two-week stopgap plan up for a floor vote Thursday, allowing the senate until end-of-day Friday to avoid a shutdown. The plan helped Speaker Paul Ryan override conservative GOP lawmakers who were pressing for a longer extension to get more leverage over Democrats and the Senate.
    The decision on a stopgap bill with a Dec. 22 end-date came after Ryan and his leadership team held discussions on overall budget strategy with the leaders of the restive House Freedom Caucus. A formal check of how members would vote on the Dec. 22 deadline came back showing widespread support, said Representative Dennis Ross, a member of the vote-whipping team.
    The Freedom Caucus will discuss the stopgap at a meeting tonight, according to a House Republican aide. Votes from the group’s three-dozen members may not be needed if Democrats support the stopgap plan.
    As part of the talks, the Freedom Caucus has sought and Republican leaders are weighing a plan to attach the House’s fiscal year 2018 defense spending bill to a second resolution to keep the government funded after Dec. 22, according to Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and Representative Mac Thornberry, the Texas Republican who leads the House Armed Services Committee, according to Bloomberg.
    * * *
    Update: After Trump once again raised the prospect of a shutdown while speaking with reporters following a cabinet meeting today, Nancy Pelosi had a few choice words for the president…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.


  • US Officials Confirm Mysterious Cuba Attack Victims Suffered Brain Abnormalities

    In the most specific finding to date about physical damage, AP reports that doctors treating the U. S. Embassy victims of mysterious, invisible attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain the hearing, vision, balance and memory damage.
    Medical testing has revealed the embassy workers developed changes to the white matter tracts that let different parts of the brain communicate, several U. S. officials said, describing a growing consensus held by university and government physicians researching the attacks. White matter acts like information highways between brain cells.
    As AP details, loud, mysterious sounds followed by hearing loss and ear-ringing had led investigators to suspect ‘sonic attacks.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.


  • Pound Tumbles Amid Brexit Chaos, “Headline Havoc”

    Uh oh, hold your fire. A DUP source: "No deal this week". Hopes now fading fast in No10 of Theresa May going back to Brussels on Thursday too. — Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) December 6, 2017

    Cable traders are suffering through a news overload this morning, with the optimism and euphoria which sent the pound to two month highs as recently as 2 days ago fading fast on speculation whether UK PM Theresa May will be able to engineer a Brexit breakthrough in time. And following overnight speculation that her cabinet may revolt, and what one desk dubbed “headline havoc” this morning in which DUP sources saying that there will be no deal this week, it’s looking increasingly in jeopardy.
    Overnight the Telegraph and Bloomberg reported that Theresa May is facing a revolt from inside her Cabinet over her plan to keep U. K. regulations aligned with the European Union after Brexit, “a split that threatens to undermine her chances of breaking the deadlock in negotiations.” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove “will lead a Cabinet revolt against Theresa May over fears she is forcing a soft Brexit” the Telegraph reported. While this is hardly the first time we’ve heard this sort of speculation, considering the closeness to the EU Council Summit next Thursday/Friday, the clock is ticking for May to come up with a solution.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.