• Tag Archives Donald Trump
  • A Plurality Of Voters Want Special Counsel To Investigate Clinton And Trump

    Despite Jeff Sessions’ surprising insistence during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week that there’s ‘no factual basis’ to appoint a special counsel to investigate actions by Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, a plurality of voters believe special prosecutors should be investigating both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, according to a recent study that was shared with the Hill.
    The latest Harvard CAPS/Harris survey found that 44 percent of voters surveyed said a special counsel is needed to investigate both campaigns, meanwhile twenty-seven percent said only Trump needs to be investigated, while 21 percent said only Clinton needs to be investigated and nine percent said neither should be investigated.
    The poll’s findings also showed that the number of voters who believe Special Counsel Mueller has found hard evidence of collusion is a paltry 38 percent, while 36 percent say there is no hard evidence yet and 27 percent saying they don’t know.
    Unsurprisingly, the survey concluded that the public believes the Mueller investigation is hurting American democracy more than it is helping by implying that powerful, politically-connected Democrats who have the implicit support of the FBI and Deep State intelligence apparatus are immune to prosecution, while an outsider like Trump is not.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.


  • How Tax Reform Can Still Blow Up: A Side-By-Side Comparison Of The House And Senate Tax Plans

    To much fanfare, mostly out of president Trump, on Thursday the House passed their version of the tax bill 227-205 along party lines, with 13 Republicans opposing. The passage of the House bill was met with muted market reaction. The Senate version of the tax reform is currently going through the Senate Finance Committee for additional amendments and should be ready for a full floor debate in a few weeks. While some, like Goldman, give corporate tax cuts (if not broad tax reform), an 80% chance of eventually becoming law in the first quarter of 2018, others like UBS and various prominent skeptics, do not see the House and Senate plans coherently merging into a survivable proposal.
    Indeed, while momentum seemingly is building for the tax plan, some prominent analysts believe there are several issues down the road that could trip up or even stall a comprehensive tax plan from passing the Congress, the chief of which is how to combine the House and Senate plans into one viable bill.
    How are the two plans different?
    Below we present a side by side comparison of the two plans from Bank of America, which notes that the House and the Senate are likely to pass different tax plans with areas of disagreement (see table below). This means that the two chambers will need to form a conference committee to hash out the differences. There are three major friction points:
    the repeal of the state and local tax deductions (SALT), capping mortgage interest deductions and the delay in the corporate tax cut. The House seems strongly opposed to fully repealing SALT and delaying the corporate tax cuts and the Senate could push back on changing the mortgage interest deductions. Finding compromise on these issues without disturbing other parts of the plan while keeping the price tag under the $1.5tn over 10 years could be challenging.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.


  • Pentagon “Mistakenly” Retweets Post Calling For Trump To Resign

    The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017

    Defense Secretary James Mattis will get an earful from his boss this morning, after an ‘authorized user’ of the Pentagon Twitter account retweeted – and then swiftly deleted – a tweet calling for President Donald Trump to resign after the president slammed Sen. Al Franken while remaining silent about Alabama Sen. Candidate Roy Moore.
    Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said in a statement that an authorized operator of the Defense Department’s official Twitter site ‘erroneously retweeted content that would not be endorsed by the Department of Defense. The operator caught this error and immediately deleted it.’
    Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White posted the same statement on Twitter.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.


  • Mueller Subpoena Spooks Dollar, Sends European Stocks, US Futures Lower

    Yesterday’s torrid, broad-based rally looked set to continue overnight until early in the Japanese session, when the USD tumbled and dragged down with it the USDJPY, Nikkei, and US futures following a WSJ report that Robert Mueller had issued a subpoena to more than a dozen top Trump administration officials in mid October.
    And as traders sit at their desks on Friday, U. S. index futures point to a lower open as European stocks fall, struggling to follow Asian equities higher as the euro strengthened at the end of a tumultuous week. Chinese stocks dropped while Indian shares and the rupee gain on Moody’s upgrade. The MSCI world equity index was up 0.1% on the day, but was heading for a 0.1% fall on the week. The dollar declined against most major peers, while Treasury yields dropped and oil rose.
    Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index fluctuated before turning lower as much as 0.3% in brisk volumes, dropping towards the 200-DMA, although about 1% above Wednesday’s intraday low; weakness was observed in retail, mining, utilities sectors. In the past two weeks, the basic resources sector index is down 6%, oil & gas down 5.8%, autos down 4.9%, retail down 3.4%; while real estate is the only sector in green, up 0.1%. The Stoxx 600 is on track to record a weekly loss of 1.3%, adding to last week’s sell-off amid sharp rebound in euro, global equity pullback. The Euro climbed for the first time in three days after ECB President Mario Draghi said he was optimistic for wage growth in the region, although stressed the need for patience, speaking in Frankfurt. European bonds were mixed. The pound pared some of its earlier gains after comments from Brexit Secretary David Davis signaling a continued stand-off in negotiations with the European Union.
    In Asia, the Nikkei 225 took its time to catch up to the WSJ report that US Special Counsel Mueller has issued a Subpoena for Russia-related documents from Trump campaign officials, although reports pointing to North Korea conducting ‘aggressive’ work on the construction of a ballistic missile submarine helped the selloff. The Japanese blue-chip index rose as much as 1.8% in early dealing, but the broad-based dollar retreat led to the index unwinding the bulk of its gains; the index finished the session up 0.2% as the yen jumped to the strongest in four-weeks. Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.2% with IT, healthcare and telecoms leading the way, as utilities lagged. Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai Comp down circa 0.5% as the PBoC’s reversel in liquidity injections (overnight net drain of 10bn yuan) did little to boost risk appetite, as Kweichou Moutai (viewed as a bellwether among Chinese blue chips) fell sharply. This left the index facing its biggest weekly loss in 3 months, while the Hang Seng rallied with IT leading the way higher. Indian stocks and the currency advanced after Moody’s Investors Service raised the nation’s credit rating.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.


  • Dollar Slammed, USDJPY Roiled On Trump Campaign Subpoena Report

    it has been a rocky session for the dollar which has dumped to a 4-week low, dragging with it USDJPY, the Nikkei and Treasury yields – and to a lesser extend US equity futures – all of which have slumped in the Japanese am session, following a WSJ report that Robert Mueller’s team “caught the Trump campaign by surprise” in mid-October by issuing a document subpoena to more than a dozen top officials.
    The campaign had previously been voluntarily complying with the special counsel’s requests for information, and had been sharing with Mr. Mueller’s team the documents it provided to congressional committees as part of their probes of Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. The Trump campaign is providing documents in response to the subpoena on an ‘ongoing’ basis, the person said.
    If confirmed, this would be the first time Trump’s campaign has been ordered to turn over information to Mueller’s investigation, even if subpoena has not – for now – compelled any officials to testify before Mueller’s grand jury.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.


  • Is Peter Thiel Trying To Break Up Google? This $300,000 Political Contribution Seems To Imply He Is…

    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.


  • House Passes GOP Tax Reform Bill In Major Victory For Republicans

    Update: The House has passed its tax reform package with a final vote of 227 yeas to 205 nays. And while the Republican leadership has ordered the caucus not to gloat about the legislative victory – possibly the biggest so far for President Trump – Paul Ryan and Co. will be able to go home to their constituents and enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.
    Their colleagues in the Senate won’t be so lucky.
    Senate leaders have said they’re working with holdouts like Ron Johnson as well as lawmakers like Bob Corker who are leaning toward voting against the bill in its current form. The Senate Finance is still marking up the bill, adding amendments and making alternations, but leaders say it’ll make it to a floor vote the week after Thanksgiving.
    Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee have wanted to see a bigger expansion of the childcare tax credit. Johnson has said more of the tax relief should go to LLCs via the pass-through rate and less generous breaks should be given to corporations.
    Here’s a list of the Republicans who voted ‘nay’.
    GOP no votes on the tax bill pic.twitter.com/QJ9vVdgPhG
    — Naomi Jagoda (@njagoda) November 16, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.


  • Duties Imposed Against Chinese “Dumping” Hurt American Consumers

    For years, special interests have called on the U. S. government to ‘level the playing field’ in the form of duties, levies, and other antiquated measures. Democrats and Republicans alike have aired their grievances over the trade deficit, grumbling about exporters hurting American workers by flooding the market with cheap goods. These complaints are deeply misguided.
    Over the last decade, China has been accused of tilting international trade in its favor. Is this true? No, it is demonstrably false, as Beijing’s subsidized exports greatly benefit American consumers far more than the Chinese population.
    You can’t tell that to the U. S. government, though.
    In late October, the Department of Commerce announced that China dumped aluminum foil on the U. S. market, selling the goods at ‘unfairly low prices.’
    Trade policy under Trump hasn’t been dramatically different from his predecessors, though. Who who monitor trade deals have forgotten about President Barack Obama’s 35% tax on Chinese tires and President George W. Bush’s 20% tax on imported steel.
    US Imposes Anti-Dumping Duties Before Trump’s stop in Beijing as part of his 12-day Asian tour, the U. S. government imposed duties ranging between 96.81% and 162.24% on Chinese aluminum foil. The preliminary report determined that China dumped nearly $400 million worth of aluminum foil imports on the U. S. market in 2016 at very low prices.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on November 16, 2017.


  • China’s 10-year Yield Bumping 4%

    Even before President Trump’s Asia trip, Chinese 10-year sovereign bond yields have been pushing higher. And that means we should expect the same for US 10-year T-Note yields.
    I wrote about this relationship back in May 2017, noting that a big spread between the yields in China and the US can mark an inflection point for US yields. To identify when the spread was getting to an actionable point, I used 50-2 Bollinger Bands. That designation means that the bands are set 2 standard deviations above and below a 50-day moving average. I have left that moving average off the chart just to help reduce visual clutter.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/16/2017.


  • House Set To Pass GOP Tax-Reform This Afternoon

    Last night, Sen. Ron Johnson surprised the GOP Senate leadership by coming out against the republican tax plan “in its current form”, the latest sign that the Republican push to pass comprehensive tax reform by New Year’s will struggle in the Senate. Still, that won’t stop the more Trump-friendly House of Representatives from passing their version of the bill, which they’re expected to do this afternoon following a meeting with the president.
    While the vote totals are expected to be tight, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady both said the bill will likely pass, and they wouldn’t be pushing for a vote unless they had it in the bag. President Trump will visit Capitol Hill ahead of the vote to rally support, but, according to the Hill, it appears there will be little need to twist arms. All three of the House’s major Republican factions have given the bill the green light.
    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and fellow leaders have been in a buoyant mood all week, signaling they have the 217 votes needed to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
    And the days leading up to the vote have been relatively drama-free, as the three main House GOP factions – the far-right Freedom Caucus, conservative Republican Study Committee and moderate Tuesday Group – have either backed the bill or stayed on the sidelines.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.


  • Watch Live: Trump Makes “Major Statement”

    Two days ago, President Trump tweeted that he would make a “major statement” upon his return from Asia. That time has come. Today at 3:30pmET, President Trump will let us all know… Is it war with North Korea? Rejoining TPP? Denouncing Roy Moore? Declaring victory over tax reform and healthcare repeal? Celebrating his relationship with China? Banning NYT and CNN? Admitting he really did collude with Putin?
    Of course, there’s a lot happening in Washington right now, and Trump’s hinted-at announcement could be in reference to one of any number of issues. Will he deliver an update on the administration’s position regarding tax reform as two bills that differ in dramatic fashion wend through Congress? Perhaps some type of security announcement? Or the revelation that the US has finally entered into talks with North Korea after Trump adopted a notably softer tone toward his favorite Asian antagonist over the weekend?


    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.


  • Russia’s Alleged Meddling In Catalan Vote: Playing The Blame Game

    Marine Corps veteran Tommy Waller, director of special projects at the Center for Security Policy, has warned President Trump about the EMP threat facing the United States.
    “Winston Churchill once said, ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it’…
    The surest way for history to be kind to President Trump is for him to write it, by being the first leader to truly address the existential threat of EMP.
    The first and foremost thing he must write is an Executive Order establishing his own EMP Commission in the White House – a task force that draws from the experience of the previous EMP Commission.”
    The grim warning is directed at North Korea and their ambitions to unleash a devastating atmospheric nuclear explosion above the United States that would collapse the nation’s power grid.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.


  • Is There Moore?

    The worm turns….
    Beverly Young Nelson, appearing with Gloria Allred, said that when she was 16 Moore groped her in a car, locked the doors, grabbed her neck in an attempt to force sexual contact and left her with bruises after she escaped. Her story will be subjected to scrutiny, but as a self-described Trump voter, Nelson has no apparent motivation to lie. She is the first accuser to say that Moore accosted her, and in fact says she feared he would******her.
    Well, are we sure of that? Gloria Allred has a long and well-documented axe to grind with anyone who isn’t a Democrat. Her very association with the story taints it.
    I’m not convinced, but I don’t get to vote in the special election. I will say this, however — there’s a claim Moore signed this Beverly’s High School Yearbook. Does the yearbook still exist and has that been seen in public? In other words, did he really do so?
    That would make my eyebrows go up. Oh, there are probably reasons for a 30ish year old adult man to sign a teen girl’s high-school yearbook (including, may I remind you, her asking him as someone she thought was ‘cute’ or maybe even more) but that signed yearbook certainly would go to credibility, and it would be the first piece of documentary evidence to back up the story.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-11-14.


  • The White House Is Being Warned: North Korea Is Planning A “Devatstaing EMP Attack” On America

    Marine Corps veteran Tommy Waller, director of special projects at the Center for Security Policy, has warned President Trump about the EMP threat facing the United States.
    “Winston Churchill once said, ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it’…
    The surest way for history to be kind to President Trump is for him to write it, by being the first leader to truly address the existential threat of EMP.
    The first and foremost thing he must write is an Executive Order establishing his own EMP Commission in the White House – a task force that draws from the experience of the previous EMP Commission.”
    The grim warning is directed at North Korea and their ambitions to unleash a devastating atmospheric nuclear explosion above the United States that would collapse the nation’s power grid.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.


  • White House Considering Mohamed El-Erian For Fed Vice Chair

    In what will come as a big surprise to many Fed watchers, moments ago the WSJ reported that among other candidates, Mohamed El-Erian, former deputy director of the IMF, former head of the Harvard Management Company, Bill Gross’ former partner at Pimco until the duo’s infamous falling out, and one of the few people who – together with John Taylor – actually deserve the nomination, is being considered for the Fed Vice Chairman role. DJ also added that Kansas banking regulator Michelle Bowman is also being considered. From the WSJ:
    The White House is considering economist Mohamed El-Erian as one of several candidates to potentially serve as the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman, according to a person familiar with the matter.
    The process of selecting the Fed’s No. 2 official began this month after President Donald Trump nominated Fed governor Jerome Powell to succeed Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen when her term expires next February.
    The WSJ adds that there is a broad range of candidates under consideration for post, and that the White House will focus on monetary policy experience for post.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 14, 2017.


  • Living in the Shadow of a Volcano: The US National Debt in Perspective

    Every once in a while, a mainstream news outlet publishes a piece about the national debt. Here and there, politicians trot out the surging debt as a talking point to make some political hay. Now and then, an economist will wave the red flag. But by-and-large, the national debt just kind of looms over us.
    We’ve gotten used to the shadow it casts, and we generally don’t give it much thought. It’s kind of like people living at the foot of a volcano. They know it’s there. It might cause some low-level anxiety. But they really don’t pay much attention to it – until it erupts.
    So, just how bad is the national debt? We all know it’s pretty bad. But would you believe it’s actually worse than you probably think?
    The headline number is operating debt. It currently stands at $20.5 trillion. It spiked $608 billion in just eight short weeks after Pres. Trump signed a bill raising the debt ceiling limit for the next three months in September. And Trump wants to do away with the debt ceiling altogether.
    The national debt is currently over 105% of total GDP. That’s the highest level in history except for a two-year spike at the end of World War II.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 14, 2017.


  • Senate Begins “Marking Up” Tax Reform Plan As Post-Thanksgiving Vote Looms

    The House is expected to vote on and, hopefully, pass its tax reform package on Thursday, but the Senate’s plan still hasn’t made it out of committee. Luckily for the Trump administration – which badly needs this legislative victory to stave off a donor mutiny – this could soon change: To wit, the Finance Committee has started the process of ‘marking up’ the bill, that is, the process of adding amendments and making alterations. But the process still needs to run smoothly if McConnell is to meet his deadline of starting floor consideration the week after Thanksgiving.
    Every day, the chances that the bill will pass by the administration’s year-end deadline appear to dim, something evidenced by the murmurs about trying to convince a Democrat or two to break ranks and support the Trump plan.
    ‘The first day of the Senate Finance Committee hearing featured Republicans and Democrats exchanging jabs over the proposal to slash corporate taxes and reduce individual rates, while closing some tax breaks.
    The House is expected to pass its version of the bill Thursday as Republicans seek to put a bill on President Trump’s desk by year’s end.
    It’s a heavy lift, given the tight time frame and differences between the chamber’s bills, though so far Republicans are hitting their marks.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 14, 2017.


  • U.S. SHALE OIL PRODUCTION UPDATE: Financial Carnage Continues To Gut Industry

    As the Mainstream media reports about the next phase of the glorious U. S. Shale Oil Revolution, the financial carnage continues to gut the industry deep down inside the entrails of its horizontal laterals. The stench of fracking fluid must be driving shale oil advocates utterly insane as they are no longer able to see financial wreckage taking place in these companies quarterly reports.
    This weekend, one of my readers sent me the following Bloomberg 45 minute TV special titled, The Next Shale Revolution. If you are in need of a good laugh, I highly recommend watching part of the video. At the beginning of the video, it starts off with President Trump stating that the U. S. has become an energy exporter for the first time ever. Trump goes on to say, ‘that powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a new energy revolution.’ While I have to applaud Trump’s efforts for putting out some positive and reassuring news, I wonder who is providing him with terribly inaccurate energy information.
    I would kindly like to remind the reader, the United States is still a NET IMPORTER of oil. We still import nearly six million barrels of oil per day, but we export some finished products and a percentage of our shale oil production. Thus, we still import a net of approximately three million barrels per day of oil.
    A few minutes into the Bloomberg video, both Pioneer Resources Chairman, Scott Sheffield, and Continental Resources CEO, Harold Hamm, explain how advanced technology will revolutionize the shale oil industry and bring down costs. I find that statement quite hilarious as Continental Resources and Pioneer continue to spend more money drilling for oil and gas then they make from their operations. As I stated in a previous article, Continental Resources long-term debt ballooned from $165 million in 2007 to $6.5 billion currently. So, how did advanced technology lower costs when Continental now has accumulated debt up to its eyeballs?

    This post was published at SRSrocco Report on November 14, 2017.


  • UBS Makes A Striking Discovery: Ex-Energy, US GDP Growth Is The Slowest Since 2010

    Last week, UBS released its Global Economic Outlook forecast for 2018-2019, which coming in at over 220 pages and with more than 270 charts, is rather “difficult to summarize” as UBS’ chief economist Arend Kapteyn snarkily notes. Still, as Kapteyn helpfully summarizes, the 3 charts below capture some of the main themes from the report, the first of which is a doozy and crushes the Trump “economic recovery” narrative .
    Message 1: The 2017 global growth acceleration was largely (70%) a commodity bounce. This applies even to the US which was 20% of the global growth improvement but, as the 1st chart below shows, it was entirely energy investment. Once you strip that out ‘underlying’ growth is only 1% or so (ex inventories) – the slowest since 2010 – and a significant amount of rotation now needs to take place from energy to non-energy investment just to sustain the current growth pace. The surveys suggest that is possible but the surveys have also consistently overstated growth so far. As Kapteyn adds, due to “skepticism about that rotation is why we are about 20bp below consensus for US growth next year.” It also means that contrary to conventional wisdom, the US consumer has not only not turned the corner, but continues to retrench and with the personal savings rate plunging to 10 years lows, there is little hope that personal consumption expenditures will be a significant driver of US growth for the foreseeable future.
    More details from UBS:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2017.


  • Why Populism Isn’t Going Away

    The vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump has baffled the main stream and the establishment. Most market participants and observers didn’t believe ex ante that they were possible, and as a result were completely surprised when the unexpected happened. Ever since the term populism has become socio-politically relevant in modern-day public discourse. Google Trends illustrates that there was a veritable explosion in search queries for the term ‘populism’ last year:
    ***
    But, populism – regardless of its political flavor – merely represents a symptom. The generally surprising results were consequences of the economical erosion of the past years Although there are idiosyncrasies in every country that foster the rise of populist movements, the ailing foundation of the economy provides the fertile soil and is the major driver of people’s dissatisfaction and the associated voting decisions. To assert that populism is the reason for this process of political change is in our opinion far too simplistic. An analysis of stating that economic erosion is responsible for the rise in populism is supported by by a McKinsey study, which examines the trend in real household incomes in 25 industrialized nations.1 McKinsey arrived at the striking conclusion that real incomes of 65 to 70 percent of households in developed countries either stagnated or even declined between 2005 and 2014. The following chart illustrates the trend in household incomes in selected countries. (The y axis shows the percentage of households with stnating or declining income between 2005 and 2014):
    ***
    The momentousness of this study becomes obvious when considering that the object under review are 25 industrialized countries with a population of more than 800 million people, generating 50 percent of global GDP.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on November 13, 2017.