This post was published at World Alternative Media
The most important deadline that we have faced so far is at midnight on Sunday, but I am not going to ask you for any money. I just want to say thank you to everyone that has donated, volunteered and prayed over the past six months. Without all of your efforts, it would have been impossible for us to be within striking distance of victory here in Idaho’s first congressional district with just a little more than four months to go until election day. When I first announced that I would be running, many people told me that it would be impossible for a political outsider to win in this district, but we are proving the naysayers wrong. We are so far ahead of where we thought that we would be at this point, and our opponents are literally freaking outover how well we are doing.
As the December 31st deadline approaches, my opponents have been sending out email after email in a desperate scramble for money. The reason why I know this is true is because we are on all of their email lists.
But I have decided that we are not going to do the same thing. Yes, we need support just as badly as they do, but I am simply going to trust the Lord that the resources will come in. We have already told our supporters what our needs are, and we are going to trust that the Lord will move in the hearts of those that are supposed to give.
The stakes in this race are exceedingly high. As we look at the numbers, it appears likely that one particular opponent is likely to emerge victorious if I do not win next May. If he wins, it will be a complete and utter disaster for the Trump movement.
This particular opponent fought to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, his campaign has repeatedly attacked my faith, and by lying over and over again he has demonstrated that he simply does not have the moral character to serve in Congress.
This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 30th, 2017.
In the year that President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris accord and downplayed global warming as a security threat, the US received a harsh reminder of the perils of the rise in the planet’s temperature: a destructive rash of hurricanes, fires and floods.
According to Bloomberg, the US recorded 15 weather events costing $1 billion or more each through early October, one short of the record 16 in 2011, according to the federal government’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. And that tally doesn’t include the recent wildfires in southern California, one of which grew to be the largest fire in state history, according to Bloomberg.
Among the most devastating events were hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and wildfires in northern California. The killer storms caused economic losses of more than $210 billion in the U. S. and across the Caribbean, and about $100 billion in insured damages, according to Mark Bove, a senior research scientist with Munich Reinsurance America in Princeton, New Jersey.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sat, 12/30/2017 –.
I have been thinking about the problem of politically rigged computers ever since 1980.
I was first tipped off to this problem by a highly skilled computer programmer. He told me that he could program a computer program that would be used to count the votes in local elections. He said he could program the outcome of the voting. He insisted that this would not be easily discovered. I believed him.
Not long afterwards, I read a book by Adam Osborne, who invented the ill-fated Osborne portable computer: Running Wild (1979). In that book, he warned against two areas of computer technology that could lead to disasters. One of them had to do with interbank transfers of data. He thought the programs could be rigged to favor the siphoning off of large amounts of money by means of tiny amounts in individual transactions. He said that this would not be identifiable. The other area was digitized voting. He said that it would be too easy to rig the computers to elect someone who in fact did not get the most votes.
Here is testimony under oath by a computer programmer who said that he wrote such a program that was used in an election.
This post was published at Gary North on December 15, 2017.
A few weeks ago, we expressed some level of astonishment that the rating agencies, in their infinite wisdom, decided to bestow an investment grade rating upon a new $3 billion bond issuance by the City of Chicago. Of course, this wouldn’t be such a big deal but for the fact that the state of Illinois is a financial disaster that will undoubtedly be forced into bankruptcy at some point in the future courtesy of a staggering ~$150 billion funding gap on its public pensions, a mountain of debt and $16.4 billion in accrued AP because they can’t even afford to pay their bills on a timely basis. Here are just a couple of our recent posts on these topics:
Illinois Pension Funding Ratio Sinks To 37.6% As Unfunded Liabilities Surge To $130 Billion Illinois Unpaid Vendor Backlog Hits A New Record At Over $16 Billion The State Of Illinois Is “Past The Point Of No Return” Alas, as Capitol Fax notes this morning, it seems as though Moody’s may finally be waking up to the farce that is their own municipal ratings system and is currently in the process of seeking comments from market participants on proposed changes for states’ general obligation credit ratings, which would include an increased emphasis on debt and pension obligations. Of course, with their GO rating just one notch above junk, all of those long-only bond funds that have scooped up billions in ‘juicy’ 4% Illinois paper over the past couple of months should probably take notice.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2017.
The past three Fed Chairs before Yellen all had their own crisis to deal with.
Volcker had the disaster of the early 1980’s as he struggled to tame inflation with double digit interest rates. That helped contribute to the Latin American debt crisis, and the subsequent global bear markets in stocks.
He handed over the reins to Greenspan in the summer of ’87 and within months, the new Fed Chairman faced the largest stock market crash since the 1920’s. That trial by fire was invaluable for Greenspan, as he faced a second crisis when the DotCom bubble burst at the turn of the century.
His successor, Ben Bernanke also did not escape without a record breaking financial panic when the real estate collapse hit the global economy especially hard in 2007.
But Yellen? Nothing. Nada. She has presided over the least volatile, most steady, market rally of the past century. Was she lucky? Or was this the result of smart policy decisions? I tend to attribute it more to luck, but it’s tough to argue that she made any large mistakes. Sure you might quibble about the rate of interest rate increases. And her critics will argue that economic growth, and more importantly, wage increases have been especially anemic under her watch, but to a large degree, those variables are out of her hands.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 13, 2017.
Everyone’s heard the story about the government’s promise to spend $1 trillion on fixing America’s aging critical infrastructure. But there’s another big money story that few investors know of…
Trump’s trillion-dollar pledge won’t come close to fixing our infrastructure. It’ll take $3.6 trillion to make this happen. And in the midst of this infrastructure crisis, one little-known company has launched an artificial intelligence coup that could save us billions.
Consider the dire straits of a massive network of critical infrastructure that industries, the environment and human lives all count on, every minute of every day:
S. dams are failing from coast to coast: 15,500 of our 90,500 dams now a high-hazard potential for public safety and the economy and it will take $60 billion to fix them. 180,000 people were recently evacuated in California because of fears that the largest dam in the U. S. would collapse. Pipelines have caused almost 9,000 significant accidents in only 30 years, hitting us with $8.5 billion in damages, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. The U. S. spends almost $3 billion every year just cleaning up spills in our waterways. The over 140 oil refineries in the U. S. are potential disasters waiting to happen, with more than 500 accidents since 1994, and explosions killing and threatening millions with fatal toxins.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 4, 2017.
Since the early 2000’s the amount of student debt outstanding has grown exponentially, along with annual tuitions, and now stands at nearly $1.5 trillion. Moreover, and not terribly surprisingly, defaults on that growing mountain of student debt have also surged as graduating students quickly discover that they just dropped $200,000 on a near-zero ROIC investment.
But while a lot of attention is given to the growing default rates on this particular future economic disaster in the making, less time is spent trying to understand which students are most susceptible to default. That said, the following series of charts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York help to shed some light on that particular topic.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who backed President Trump (just before giving his presidency a “50% chance of ending in disaster“) and infamously helped Hulk Hogan bring down Gawker.com, has allegedly set his sights on a new target: Google. According to The Mercury News, suspicions about Thiel’s next pet project were raised after he recently contributed $300,000 to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley just before he launched an antitrust lawsuit against the alleged search monopoly.
So far, high-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel isn’t saying publicly why he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign of a state attorney general who’s just launched an antitrust probe of Google. But it’s not the first time Thiel has handed cash to an AG who went after Google over monopoly concerns.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Nov. 13 that his office was investigating Google to see if the Mountain View tech giant had violated the state’s antitrust and consumer-protection laws. The Missouri attorney general said he had issued an investigative subpoena to Google. He’s looking at the firm’s handling of users’ personal data, along with claims that it misappropriated content from rivals and pushed down competitors’ websites in search results.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.
It’s that time of the year again when with just a few weeks left in the year, Goldman unveils its top trade recommendations for the year ahead. And while Goldman’s Top trades for 2016 was an abysmal disaster, with the bank getting stopped out with a loss on virtually all trade recos within weeks after the infamous China crash in early 2016, its 2017 “top trade” recos did far better. Which brings us to Thursday morning, when Goldman just unveiled the first seven of its recommended Top Trades for 2018 which “represent some of the highest conviction market expressions of our economic outlook.”
Without further ado, here are the initial 7 trades (on which Goldman :
Top Trade #1: Position for more Fed hikes and a rebuild of term premium by shorting 10-year US Treasuries. Top Trade #2: Go long EUR/JPY for continued rotation around a flat Dollar. Top Trade #3: Go long the EM growth cycle via the MSCI EM stock market index. Top Trade #4: Go long inflation risk premium in the Euro area via EUR 5-year 5-year forward inflation. Top Trade #5: Position for ‘early vs. late’ cycle in EM vs the US by going long the EMBI Global Index against short the US High Yield iBoxx Index. Top Trade #6: Own diversifed Asian growth, and the hedge interest rate risk via FX relative value (Long INR, IDR, KRW vs. short SGD and JPY). Top Trade #7: Go long the global growth and non-oil commodity beta through long BRL, CLP, PEN vs. short USD.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.
For years now, I have been warning about the relationship of interdependency between the U. S. and Saudi Arabia and how this relationship, if ended, would mean disaster for the petrodollar system and by extension the dollar’s world reserve status. In my recent articles ‘Lies And Distractions Surrounding The Diminishing Petrodollar’ and ‘The Economic End Game Continues,’I point out that the death of the dollar as the premier petrocurrency is actually a primary goal for establishment globalists. Why? Because in an effort to achieve what they sometimes call the “global economic reset,” or the “new world order,” a more publicly accepted centralized global economy and monetary framework is paramount. And, this means the eventual implementation of a single world currency and a single global economic and political authority above and beyond the dollar system.
But, it is not enough to simply initiate such socially and fiscally painful changes in a vacuum. The banking powers are not interested in taking any blame for the suffering that would be dealt to the masses during the inevitable upheaval (or blame for the suffering that has already been caused). Therefore, a believable narrative must be crafted. A narrative in which political intrigue and geopolitical crisis make the “new world order” a NECESSITY; one that the general public would accept or even demand as a solution to existing instability and disaster.
That is to say, the globalists must fashion a propaganda story to be used in the future, in which “selfish” nation-states abused their sovereignty and created conditions for calamity, and the only solution was to end that sovereignty and place all power into the hands of a select few “wise and benevolent men” for the greater good of the world.
This post was published at Alt-Market on Wednesday, 15 November 2017.
Ever since 2012 (see “How The Fed’s Visible Hand Is Forcing Corporate Cash Mismanagement“) we have warned that as a result of the Fed’s flawed monetary policy and record low rates, corporations have been incentivized not to invest in growth and allocate funds to capital spending (the result has been an unprecedented decline in capex), but to engage in the quickest, and most effective – if only in the short run – shareholder friendly actions possible, namely stock buybacks.
We got a vivid confirmation of that recently when Credit Suisse showed that the only buyer of stock since the financial crisis has been the corporate sector’, i.e. companies repurchasing their own shares…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.
103 years ago, in 1914, the Federal Reserve opened-up for business as the carnage in northern France was getting under way.
And it brought to a close the prior magnificent half-century era of liberal internationalism and honest gold-backed money.
The Great War was nothing short of a calamity, especially for the 20 million combatants and civilians who perished for no reason discernible in any fair reading of history, or even unfair one.
Yet the far greater calamity is that Europe’s senseless fratricide of 1914-1918 gave birth to all the great evils of the 20th century – the Great Depression, totalitarian genocides, Keynesian economics, permanent warfare states, rampaging central banks and the follies of America’s global imperialism.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2017.
The Trump Rally pushed ahead relentlessly through a summer full of high omens and great disasters, all which it swatted off like flies. Even so, all was not perfect in the market as nerves began to jitter midsummer beneath the surface even among the most longtime bulls. Wall Street’s fear gauge (the CBOE Volatility Index) lifted its needle off its lower post to a nine-month high after President Trump’s comments about ‘fire and fury’ if North Korea didn’t toe the line. (Mind you, the high wasn’t very far off the post because of how placid the previous nine months had been.)
As volatility stirred languidly over the threat of nuclear war, stock prices took a little spill with all major stock indices seeing their biggest one-day drop since May. The SPX fall amounted to a 1.4% drop in a day – nothing damaging. The Dow dropped about 1% in a day. But beneath the surface, the market is looking different and shakier.
For example, trading narrowed to fewer players as more stocks in the Nasdaq 100 finally moved below their fifty-two week lows than moved above them. Likewise in the S&P. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Hindenburg omen,’ and tends to precede major crashes.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 November 2017.
At last, there are signs a sense of reality is dawning on the EU’s negotiators about the futility of trying to force the UK to agree to a divorce settlement before talking about trade. However, there are still vestiges of a hope that Britain won’t leave the EU after all. Donald Tusk, the current European Council President, indicated it was still an option as recently as this week, but these hopes are wishful thinking.
It has taken thinly-veiled threats from the UK to leave without a deal, unless actual trade talks commence by next month. You can be certain the point has been made more forcefully to EU leaders in private, as well as at the negotiating table, than admitted in public. The EU’s problem is Brussels desperately needs Britain’s annual net contribution of 8bn, which is almost the entire annual cost of running the Brussels establishment. Brexit is nothing short of a disaster for the EU’s finances, and the EU is desperate for Britain’s money. Therefore, negotiations from the EU’s side have been frozen and unable to move onto the subject of trade. Impasse. A game of chicken, to be lost by the first to panic.
The British negotiators have deliberately presented themselves as willing to be helpful. They have insisted Britain will meet her legal requirements, though they must be itemised and justified. And that will not include funding the broader EU budget, amounting to 238bn on commitments incurred but not paid for, which is the basis of Brussels’ claim on Britain. Nor will it fund Brussel’s own budget shortfall, which is most likely where any money paid over will go first.
This post was published at GoldMoney By Alasdair Macleod.
From Peter Dickmeyer:
‘According to Kotlikoff, a long-time activist for fiscal rectitude, the problem stems in large part from the fact that the US government has been spending almost all of Americans’ approximately $795 billion in social security payroll taxes to pay current bills, rather than investing them to fund retirees’ benefits.
The upshot is that on a net basis, the US government has no money to pay all the benefits that have been promised. Politicians know that defaults will occur, they just haven’t figured out how to finesse this.
However even in the best of cases, Kotlikoff is correct on one crucial point: America is unable to meet its obligations as they become due. That is the definition of bankruptcy.
In a sense, it should hardly come as a surprise that politicians are hiding this fact.’
This post was published at Deviant Investor on October 28, 2017.
In 2016, I wrote a piece at mises.org highly critical of inflation targeting. At that time the idea of a 2% inflation target was fast becoming mainstream. Since then it has become a routine yardstick for assessing economic policies.1 It was a hit with politicians, liberal economists, and borrowers around the world because with inflation running below that level in most major economies it was a license to keep printing money. And now, with inflation closing in on 2%, the easy money crowd has done exactly what I expected and trotted out phase II: the new target is to average 2%. In other words since we were below 2% for so long, a rise to 3% or 4% for a while is somehow desirable.
The 2%, one-size-fits-all rate, was probably chosen for the reasons above plus it was an innocuous sounding round integer, which level existed for a while during some past economic upswings. However, common sense dictates that one size doesn’t fit all. There are situations where zeroish inflation is appropriate, where healthy competition – internal and external – plus innovation and automation are rampant. On the other hand, during supply shocks, such as the oil crisis of the 1970s, higher than 2% must be tolerated to avoid disaster.
The scary thing is that inflation targeting involves deliberately inflating as a routine policy tool for managing the economy. This is a blatant departure from a central bank’s traditional duty to protect the purchasing power of a currency. In a massively indebted country, such as ours, downgrading this ‘sacred duty’ multiplies the risk of instability. Nevertheless, the idea managed to work its way into mainstream thinking without scaring as many people as it should have.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Oct 25, 2017.
The European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, made a lot of bank executives very happy this Tuesday by abandoning its multi-year pledge to break-up too-big-to-fail lenders. Despite the huge risk they still pose to Europe’s rickety financial system, big European banks like Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, ING, and Santander can breathe a large sigh of relief this week in the knowledge that they will not have to split their retail units from their riskier investment banking arms.
Breaking up the banks would remove much of the risk from today’s government-backed banks, such as derivatives and other instruments that were heavily involved in the Financial Crisis. Without these hedge-fund and investment-banking activities, even large banks would be smaller, less interconnected, and could be allowed to fail without jeopardizing the entire global financial system.
According to the Commission, such a drastic measure is no longer necessary since the main rationale behind ring-fencing core banking services from investment banking divisions – i.e. to make Europe’s financial system less disaster prone – has ‘already been addressed by other regulatory measures in the banking sector.’ That’s right: Europe’s banking system is already safe, stable and secure. Bloomberg:
This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 25, 2017.
The U. S. Deepwater Offshore Oil Industry is a trainwreck in the making. The low oil price continues to sack an industry which was booming just a few short years ago. The days of spending billions of dollars to find and produce some of the most technically challenging deep-water oil deposits may be coming to an end sooner then the market realizes.
Drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico hit a peak in 2013 when the price of oil was over $100 a barrel. However, the current number of rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen to only 37% of what it was in 2013. This is undoubtedly bad news for an industry that fetches upward of $600,000 a day for leasing these massive ultra-deepwater rigs.
One of the largest offshore drilling rig companies in the world is Transocean, headquartered in Switzerland. They lease ultra-deepwater rigs all over the globe. When the industry was still strong in 2014, nearly half of Transocean’s fleet of 27 ultra-deepwater rigs were leased in the Gulf of Mexico. Even though Transocean was quite busy that year, its ultra-deepwater rig utilization was 89% during the first half of 2014, down from an impressive 95% in 1H 2013.
The term utilization represents the total number of working rigs in the fleet. So, in 2013, Transocean had 95% of its rigs busy drilling oil wells. But if we look at the following chart, we can see the disaster that has taken place at Transocean since the oil price fell by more than 50%:
This post was published at SRSrocco Report on OCTOBER 25, 2017.