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  • Weekend Reading: Losing Faith?

    33% of surveyed asset managers in latest BoA ML GFMS believe corporate profits will improve, down from 58% earlier in year $SPX $SPY pic.twitter.com/u8HC2l6PTB
    — Babak (@TN) August 15, 2017

    Last week, I penned the following:
    ‘Now, you would suspect the possibility of nuclear war might just be the catalyst to send markets reeling, but looking at the market’s reaction on Thursday, I suspect there will be t-shirts soon reading:
    ‘I survived the threat of nuclear war and the ‘great crash of 2017′ of 1.5%’’
    Of course, as markets touched on their 50-dma, the algos kicked in hard on Monday morning sending the markets surging higher. The reason, according to the media, was the reduction in global risk as Donald Trump briefed Kim Jung-Un about the U. S.’s retaliatory response should North Korea decide to attack Guam.
    I was able to acquire a copy:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.


  • FBI Unexpectedly Releases Confidential Employee Evaluations Of James Comey

    In an unexpected, impromptu release, on Tuesday morning the FBI’s “Records Vault” twitter account released a trove of information, divulging “Field Office and Headquarters Climate Survey Results” among which are annual results for the years 2013 through 2017, but more notably, the confidential employee evaluation results for now-former Director James Comey.
    FBI Field Office and Headquarters Climate Survey Results: — FBI Records Vault (@FBIRecordsVault) August 16, 2017

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


  • Social Media Teaches Neo-Nazis – And Everyone Else – An Important Lesson

    The white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville, VA last weekend seem to have forgotten why their grandpappies wore hoods on such occasions: If regular folks find out you’re crazy, they tend not to like you as much.
    Combine those exposed neo-Nazi faces with ubiquitous smart phones and the result is the mass-outing of hundreds of people who apparently expected to eulogize Confederate icons and threaten minorities with impunity.
    Some of the resulting press coverage:
    White nationalists are being outed on Twitter – and one lost his job
    (NY Post) – White nationalists who appeared at the deadly demonstrations in Charlottesville are being outed on social media – with at least one being fired from his job after his name and picture was posted online.
    Cole White, of California, was axed from his restaurant position in Berkeley on Sunday just hours after being publicly identified by a Twitter account known as ‘Yes, You’re Racist.’
    The page has been putting ‘Unite the Right’ protesters on blast following their violent, hate-fueled rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday night and Saturday.

    This post was published at DollarCollapse on AUGUST 15, 2017.


  • Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Weekend Edition

    Stocks bounced back a bit on Friday after the big selloff, while the metals continued their upward push into what could be some fairly stiff resistance.
    The task for told this week is to take out the psychological 1300 resistance and stick a close above it.
    As for silver, the 18 handle looms above.
    Stocks need to hang on to the bounce.
    With Twitter Man predicting that a trade war with China will commence on Monday, we’ll have to see what happens.
    Relatives came over from Maryland and Pennsylvania this weekend. I was able to obtain some much appreciated sleep and the time to go to the store. And it was nice to have some company. Periods of illness of a loved one can become isolating experiences. A visit from a friend, or a kind word and a smile or gesture from a stranger, become very welcome when keeping the long vigil of duty and love.

    This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 13 AUGUST 2017.


  • Mattis Warns Kim: “You Will Lose, Your People Will Be Destroyed”

    With anxiety briefly ticking down on The New York Times story about Trump’s “fire and fury” comments being off-the-cuff – as opposed to policy – The Pentagon just turned the dial back on the threats.
    Pentagon chief Mattis: N. Korea "should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime" pic.twitter.com/hHeX34fUwD
    — CNN (@CNN) August 9, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2017.


  • Stocks Catch A Bid On Report Trump’s Threat Was Improvised

    The S&P has caught a bid, and is now down just 0.1%, with the Nasdaq similarly wiping out most early losses, following a report that contrary to previous speculation that Trump’s bombastic “fire and fury” statement was a coordinated and pre-agreed upon indication of intent from the entire White House, it was in fact improvised. As the NYT writes, “President Trump delivered his ‘fire and fury’ threat to North Korea on Tuesday with arms folded, jaw set and eyes flitting on what appeared to be a single page of talking points set before him on the conference table at his New Jersey golf resort. The piece of paper, as it turned out, was a fact sheet on the opioid crisis he had come to talk about, and his ominous warning to Pyongyang was entirely improvised.”
    The NYT also adds that “in discussions with advisers beforehand, he had not run the specific language by them”, which has prompted a modest relief rally as it now appears that Trump’s widely reported statement was just another ad hoc outburst – in line with his daily Twitter rants – and one which will likely be moderated in future appearances after feedback from Trump’s advisors.
    To be sure, in the hours since, the president’s advisers have already sought to calm the situation, with Rex Tillerson assuring Americans that they ‘should sleep at night’ without worrying about an imminent war, as we reported earlier.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2017.


  • What’s Killing U.S. Productivity? America’s Narcissism Era.

    Yesterday, Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, spoke to the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota and then opened up the mic to questions from the audience. One question concerned today’s lack of true innovation rather than just innovations in social media. Kashkari responded as follows:
    Kashkari: ‘This is a big complicated topic. A big question mark in the economics profession is why is productivity growth in the U. S. economy so low. It’s much lower than it has been in prior decades. And, we think, you pull out your iPhone or Twitter or Facebook – you think, wow, all this stuff is happening. Well, some experts say the things that we’re creating now – that we’re innovating now – just aren’t that impactful. They don’t really move the needle very much. So if you compare Facebook and Twitter, which seem pretty cool, to electricity or the internal combustion engine, or the airplane, it’s just not that important.’
    Kashkari is on to something significant but we have to differ with him in this regard: this is not really ‘a big complicated topic.’ It’s a very basic concept: we are living in the most narcissistic era that America has ever experienced and it’s dragging down not only U. S. productivity but the country itself.

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on August 8, 2017.


  • Trump – Blumenthal Twitter War Goes Nuclear As Trump Fires Back

    Rainy day at the Summer White House in Bedminster, New Jersey. #TeamTrump keeping very busy working with @POTUS @realDonaldTrump to #MAGA! pic.twitter.com/iDSkbTddu0
    — Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) August 7, 2017

    Trump drew first blood this morning in what appears to be a growing twitter feud with Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal when he called the Senator a “phony Vietnam con artist.” Within an hour, Blumenthal launched a counter strike calling Trump a “bully.” It had all the makings of a heated 1st grade-ish Battle Royale.
    But, Trump has just taken things to a whole new level with the following tweet which seemingly confirms that the President is now locked in his first official Twitter War.
    “I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam,
    where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there.”

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


  • Russia To Cut Dependence On U.S. Dollar, Payment Systems

    Russia’s Mir credit card to go European #SPIEF pic.twitter.com/BYMg99X2wC
    — SPIEF (@SPIEF) September 27, 2016

    Russia will speed up work on reducing its dependence on U. S. payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency in response to U. S. sanctions, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
    Quoted by Reuters, Ryabkov said that “we will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U. S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need.” The reason for that is that “the US is using its dominating role in the monetary and financial system to impose pressure on foreign business, including Russian companies.’

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


  • Labor Market ‘Breadth’ Nears Record Low

    the acclaimed @zerohedge chart on bartenders: pop adjust food&drinking…the NFP growth from the 2007 peak i'll take the delta on the rocks pic.twitter.com/yL2DAiqfjy
    — tom keene (@tomkeene) August 4, 2017

    Tom Keene was out with a chart today referencing Zerohedge’s point that a large percentage of the non-farm payroll growth has been a result of lower paying industries, such as food and drinking places – or as they would put it, more bartenders.
    ***
    While a job is a job, the composition and strength of gains is quite important, as it gives us an understanding of aggregate health.
    If total growth is strong, but is the result of only a few sectors, the breadth of the overall market is weak. This typically provides us with a signal on where the overall market is heading – and this goes both ways.

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


  • Watch Live: Jeff Sessions Announces Crackdown On Leakers

    AG Sessions: "This nation must end this culture of leaks." pic.twitter.com/umwtlFfbcZ
    — Fox News (@FoxNews) August 4, 2017

    US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are holding a press conference, briefing the media on leaks of classified material and the Administration’s efforts to crack down on future incidents.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.


  • Pound Plunges After BOE Votes 6-2 To Keep Rates Record Low, Cuts Growth Forecast

    MPC holds #BankRate at 0.25%, maintains government bond purchases at 435bn and corporate bond purchases at 10bn. pic.twitter.com/ccUHh8b2IG
    — Bank of England (@bankofengland) August 3, 2017

    The whispers about a potential rate hike by the recently hawkish BOE ended up being wrong, when moments ago the Bank of England announced that in a 6-2 decision it kept rates unchanged at 0.25%, largely as expected. Saunders and McCafferty dissented in favor of an immediate interest-rate increase, with Haldane refusing to join the dissenters.
    In separate unanimous decisions, the central bank also kept its bond purchase programs unchanged at GBP10BN and GBP435BN for corporate and government bonds respectively.
    The pound tumbled on the news…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2017.


  • “They’ve Just Taken Leopoldo”: Maduro Detains Opposition Leaders At Gunpoint

    The crackdown by Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro – now officially branded a dictator by the U. S. – on political opposition intensified Tuesday when intelligence agents detained opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma at gunpoint in their homes and took them into custody.
    The two politicians have been under house arrest for their involvement in anti-government protests and organizing, according to the BBC. Videos published online by family members of both men show them being led away in the middle of the night by agents from Sebin, the Venezuelan intelligence agency. Lopez’s wife Lilian Tintori said in a tweet: ‘They’ve just taken Leopoldo from the house. We don’t know where he is.’ She published grainy footage from the home’s security cameras showing her handcuffed husband being placed in the back of a car.
    Momentos en que @leopoldolopez es llevado por funcionarios del SEBIN. ( Sigue sin conocerse su pradero) pic.twitter.com/BrIURSa7q0
    — #SOSVenezuela (@aura_rojas) August 1, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2017.


  • Global Stocks Rise On “Growth Optimism”, Ignore Political Turmoil; Dollar, Oil Creep Higher

    S&P futures rose 0.1% on the last trading day of the month, trailing European and Asian markets boosted by China’s July Mfg. PMI, which despite declining from from 51.7 to 51.4, and missing expecations of 51.5, saw the construction index rise to its highest level since December 13, sending Chinese iron ore futures surging and the European commodity sector broadly higher.
    DCE Iron ore futures +6.43% pic.twitter.com/z7TDGWHOkQ
    — Sunchartist (@Sunchartist) July 31, 2017

    In equities, the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 0.1%, and the MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.3%, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reversed early losses to rise 0.25%. Stocks have rebounding from Friday’s selloff spurred by raw-material producers on “optimism the global economy is gathering momentum” amid “evidence points to resilient global growth, with investors assessing numbers from the world’s top three economies” according to Bloomberg.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.


  • Scaramucci: “Priebus Is A F**king Paranoid Schizophrenic”, Slams “Cocksucker” Bannon, Wants To “Kill” Leakers

    Update: After what was either (i) his first White House nervous breakdown or (ii) a carefully disguised distraction intended to give the media something other than Russia to discuss on this weekend’s political talk show circuit, Anthony Scaramucci has just issued the following statement via Twitter:
    I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump's agenda. #MAGA
    — Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 27, 2017

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


  • Macron’s Approval Rating Plunges, Only Chirac Was Worse

    Macron, deuxime plus forte chute de popularit en trois mois aprs Chirac pic.twitter.com/MGqywBGCic
    — Le JDD (@leJDD) July 23, 2017

    A Ifop poll released on Sunday showed that the approval rating of France’s new President Emmanuel Macron tumbled by 10 points, hitting 54% in his third month in office, as voters were “either confused by plans for the tax system, shocked by a dispute with the head of the army or unsettled by upcoming labor laws reform”, according to Journal dy Dimanche.
    According to Bloomberg calculations, the 10 point slump for Macron, elected in early May, was the second-biggest decline for a French president so soon after election. Jacques Chirac dropped 15 points from his May 1995 election to July, the Paris-based pollster said. The survey for JDD was conducted by phone and online July 17-22 among 1,947 respondents.

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


  • Scaramucci: “If The Leaks Don’t Stop, I’m Going To Pare Down The Staff”

    One day after new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci scoured through his Twitter account, deleting any tweets (mostly critical of Trump) that could be a “distraction” for the White House, on Sunday morning the former Goldman employee pledged that as one of his first steps, he would “take dramatic action” to halt the biggest problem plaguing the Trump White House: the endless torrent of leaks.
    “I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks,” Scaramucci told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” adding that while he could not control leaks coming from the intergovernmental agencies, he would take action in the White House communications department.
    “If the leaks don’t stop, I’m going to pare down the staff because it’s not fair to the president, to America, and to the people in government” he threatened while adding that “everyone can stay if the follow protocol against the leaks.”

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


  • Bonds Are Currencies – A Derivative Of Currencies

    I saw a thought-provoking retweet on Mark Yusko’s twitter feed and I wanted to clarify the idea conveyed: ‘When bonds yields nothing, they aren’t much different than currencies.’
    ***
    This comment is somewhat misleading because bonds are indeed a derivative of currencies. It’s basic financial economics that Mark Yusko learned in the same Robert Leftwich finance course at U of Chicago that I took.
    The tweet references sovereign-issued bonds. Sovereign bonds are simply a sovereign’s currency issued to investors who are willing to bear the ‘time value’ risk connected to the sovereign, where ‘time value risk’ is the sum of ‘credit risk’ – the risk of getting repaid – and ‘opportunity cost’ – the foregone cost of spending that capital now or investing it in an alternative asset that might yield more.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on July 21, 2017.


  • Spicer Resigns As White House Press Secretary, Replaced By Anthony Scaramucci

    It’s official: moments ago the much anticipated departure of (now former) White House press secretary and communications director, Sean Spicer took place, when according to the NYT, Spicer resigned on Friday morning, “telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.”
    Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to person with direct knowledge of the exchange.
    News of Spicer’s resignation was promptly greeted with trolling by many…
    R. I. P. Sean Spicer as White House Press Secretary, 2017 – 2017 pic.twitter.com/y7QmJAroYH
    — The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 21, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 21, 2017.


  • BANK ASSETS ARE EPHEMERAL – HERE TODAY GONE TOMORROW

    It is not only paper gold which is Fake. Few investors realise that most of their investments are Fake.
    Fake news and Fake assets are everywhere. Let’s start with social media which dominates major parts of the world. Facebook for example has 2 billion active users. WhatsApp has 1.2 billion users and Instagram 700 million. There will obviously be quite a lot of overlap between the various social media. But what it is clear that these three Apps reach billions of people and their power is much bigger than that of any other media; Social Media has more impact than newspapers or than television and is the only media that 2-3 billion people follow regularly. Most people and in particular young people don’t watch television and don’t read the papers. They get all their ‘news’ from social media.
    SOCIAL MEDIA SOURCE OF FAKE NEWS
    Social media is instant gratification. You post something or you send a message and you get a message back or a number of likes which generates dopamine and makes you momentarily happy. But as I have experienced from our many grandchildren, social media is a perfect source of Fake news. Many young people using social media will be receivers of Fake News or bullying. Social media is perfect for spreading false rumours which are very often difficult to get rid of. Trump’s Twitter account is another example of alleged Fake News. Trump accuses the papers and television of Fake News and they accuse him of the same.
    This is the world we live in today – a world with Fake markets, Fake assets, Fake values, Fake money, Fake people and Fake news.

    This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on July 20, 2017.