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  • “Tick, Tick, Tick” Comey Ally Scrambles To Explain Why “Next Trump Bombshell” Didn’t Arrive Today

    As we noted late last week, Benjamin Wittes, the Brookings Institution senior fellow and noted ally of former FBI Director James Comey, took to twitter to claim that another ‘bombshell’ story, presumably related to the multiple investigations into whether the Trump camp colluded with the Russians, was in the works. However, unlike previous warnings from Wittes, this one contained a caveat: the ‘fuse’ on the story is of an uncertain length, and that the next salvo could arrive as soon as Monday.
    But with no major bombshell forthcoming, Wittes returned to Twitter Monday to offer a few clarifications.
    3 things:
    1) Not all ticks are related to Comey.
    2) Fuse length remains uncertain.
    3) Interesting preemptive defense of collusion happening.
    — Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) June 26, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

  • Assange Outlines The Six Reasons “Why The Democratic Party Is Doomed”

    Julian Assange, a man who has certainly taken his fair share of the blame for Hillary’s loss last November, has just taken to Twitter to list out the 6 reasons why the “the Democratic party is doomed.”
    Why the Democratic party is doomed: 1. The Democratic establishment has vortexed the party's narrative (cont) — Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) June 25, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 25, 2017.

  • Here Is The Full Text Of The Republican Healthcare Bill

    What's next for the ACA marketplaces? Two more important dates, which @bjdickmayhew described to me perfectly. pic.twitter.com/nlyey0lRvb
    — Bob Herman (@bobjherman) June 22, 2017

    Update 2: Here is a live feed of Senators offering up their initial reactions:
    Lindsey Graham is encouraged…
    …while Chuck Schumer is not…
    All very shocking.

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

  • Futures, European Stocks Flat As Oil Suddenly Tumbles; Pound Slides

    Maybe not too much of a surprise to see oil prices fall, given how much the G10 economic surprises index has collapsed in recent weeks. pic.twitter.com/aXkvHOzZMt
    — Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) June 20, 2017

    European stocks were flat after starting off strongly earlier, dragged lower by energy stocks. Asian stocks, U. S. futures little changed as oil tumbled with Brent tumbling as low as $45.85/bbl to the lowest intraday since November 30 and taking out a 38.2% Fib support, after a one-minute spike in volume to a day-high 5,208 lots just after 6am, with WTI mirroring Brent’s momentum, and falling as much as 98c to $43.22, lowest since November 14.
    As Reuters’ Jamie McGeever points out, “maybe not too much of a surprise to see oil prices fall, given how much the G10 economic surprises index has collapsed in recent weeks.”
    The pound sank for a second day, with the GBPUSD tumbling to 1.2661, alongside gilt yields as Britain central bank governor Mark Carney reversed the earlier BOE “vote split” hawkishness and said he is still worried about the impact Brexit will have on the U. K. economy and said he “now is not the time” to raise rates. Sterling weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers, and gilt yields declined as Carney said that domestic inflation pressures remain subdued. Speaking at London’s Mansion House on Tuesday, he also highlighted the weakness in the economy and the increased uncertainty as the nation formally starts talks to exit the European Union.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.

  • Martin Shkreli, Disclosing $70 Million Net Worth In 2015, Says “Doesn’t Have Any Cash” Left

    Ahead of Martin Shkreli’s fraud trial which begins next week, the disgraced biopharma executive appeared in court Monday, asking the judge to cut his bail from $5 million to $2 million, citing a lack of funds and the need to pay for his defense and back taxes. He faced were two problems: as prosecutor Alixandra Smith countered, Shkreli has plenty of cash as per his own relentless twitter boasts, and also his self-disclosed net worth.
    According to Reuters, Smith said at Monday’s hearing that Shkreli had reported his net worth at $70 million when he was arrested in 2015, although as Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, conceded most of that is locked up in stock: while Shkreli still owned a share of Turing Pharma worth $30 to $50 million he could not sell it without the consent of the other partners in the company.
    And then there are the tweets. In addition to his self-reported assets, Smith said that Shkreli has plenty of cash citing a recent series of boasts he’s made on social media.
    Quoted by Bloomberg, Smith said that in a May 26 post, Shkreli offered a $100,000 bounty to find Seth Rich’s killer. She also said he flaunting purchases like a $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album, an unreleased Lil Wayne album, a Picasso, a World War II-era Enigma code breaking machine and had recently promised a Princeton University student $40,000 for solving a mathematical proof.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.

  • Cry For Argentina! Issuing 100 Year Sovereign Debt As Fiscal Deficits Grow To Worst Since 2000

    Cry for Argentina.
    Argentina, which has defaulted on its debt seven times, is now faced with the worst fiscal gap since 2000.
    (Bloomberg) Argentina is planning to sell its first 100-year bond a year after returning to global capital markets, as it grapples with a soaring budget deficit.
    The bond, which will be used to shore up its budget and refinance debt, may be priced as soon as Monday and yield about 8.25 percent, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because the deal is private. Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc are managing the sale. The debt-issuance plan was announced on Twitter by the Argentine Finance Ministry, which hasn’t provided further details.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 19, 2017.

  • Argentina Unexpectedly Announces Sale Of 100-Year Bonds

    One year after Argentina emerged from its latest sovereign bankruptcy, and at a time when the Latin American nation grapples with a surging budget deficit, Argentina surprised markets by announcing (on Twitter) its intention to sell its first 100-year bond, taking advantage of a world starved for yield.
    The issuance, expected to price on Monday with a potential yield of 8.25% according to Reuters IFR – we expect this number to come down as the offering will likely be many times oversubscribed – came as a surprise, as Finance Minister Luis Caputo has said Argentina would meet the rest of its financing needs in non-dollar currencies after selling $7 billion in dollar bonds in January. According to Reuters, Citi and HSBC are acting as lead book runners on the deal, while Nomura Securities and Banco Santander are co-managers.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.

  • Global Liquidity Reaching a Tipping Point

    ICYMI! Global #liquidity is close to its tipping point! pic.twitter.com/jqrOoaexHo
    — jeroen blokland (@jsblokland) June 16, 2017

    This week the Fed announced that they are going to begin reducing their $4.2 trillion balance sheet starting this year. Here’s what Louis-Vincent Gave at Gavekal Research said about this yesterday (see Louis-Vincent Gave on Tech, Fed Balance Sheet, and More):
    ‘In our system today, there are four central banks that matter a lot and have a disproportionate impact on global markets: the Fed, the Bank of Japan, the ECB, and People’s Bank of China. Starting from really six months ago, we’ve gone from zero central banks tightening to now two, because (in addition to the Fed) the Chinese central bank is also tightening.’
    Here’s an updated chart from Moody’s illustrating where central banks across the globe are currently, showing, as Louis says, US and China tightening while Japan and the ECB maintaining a loose policy stance (h/t @SoberLook):

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/16/2017.

  • Cab Drivers Union Says Chicago Taxi Industry Near Collapse

    In addition to repaying loans on their medallions, taxi operators also have to pay thousands of dollars each year in city expenses, like the ground transportation tax and medallion license renewal fee – expenses that rideshare drivers are not subject to. (Cab Drivers United/ Twitter)
    Ghana-born John Aikins has been a cab driver in Chicago for two decades. About 15 years ago, he decided to go into business for himself by taking out a loan with his wife to purchase a medallion – a city-issued license to operate a taxi – for $70,000. Paying it off within a few years thanks to a steady stream of passengers, they took out loan for a second medallion five years ago, using the first as collateral. Watching his medallions appreciate in value over the years, Aikins planned to eventually sell or lease them to other drivers, a common practice in the industry. ‘I hoped it would be my retirement investment, and I had planned to retire this year,’ Aikins told In These Times.
    But with the introduction of Uber and other rideshare companies to the city – which can operate without the expensive, city-issued medallions – Aikins has seen his clientele plummet over the past three years, making it increasingly hard to keep up with his medallion loan payments.

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

  • Trump Blasts Deputy AG: “I’m Being Investigated By Man Who Told Me To Fire The FBI Director! Witch Hunt”

    I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

    President Trump’s latest twitter target seems to be his own Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who he blasts for the hiring of a Special Counsel to investigate the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, after writing a letter himself explicitly calling for the firing of James Comey.
    “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt”
    Of course, Trump’s message isn’t crystal clear on exactly who the subject of the tweet is and has left some wondering whether he might actually be referring to Special Counsel Mueller. That said, we would note that if Mueller did, in fact, weigh in on the firing of Comey it would almost certainly make him a conflicted party in any obstruction investigation.
    Moreover, since Rosenstein did, in fact, draft a letter calling for the termination of James Comey, a letter which Trump revealed publicly on May 9th, it would seem more logical that the tweet is directed at him. Here is an excerpt from our post back in May:

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

  • EU Reach Bailout Deal With Greece Once Again

    #IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde to propose approval in principle of new Stand-By Arrangement for #Greece. #Eurogroup pic.twitter.com/6yfuRHRjXd
    — Manos Giakoumis (@ManosGiakoumis) June 15, 2017

    Update: it appears there isn’t really a deal, but merely a can kicking. As the WSJ adds, the Greek “agreement” merely unlocks a key disbursement of bailout fund but puts a decision on debt relief off until next year. Specifically, the agreement reached in Luxembourg among the finance ministers of the eurozone unlocks 8.5 billion for Greece and puts off a final decision on debt relief until August of next year.
    In other words, Europe agrees to pay Greece so Greece can then turn around and repay Europe the July 7 billion debt payment; meanwhile no firm, long-term deal has been reached.
    As the WSJ put its, “the creditors’ refusal to lighten the burden of Greece’s crushing debt reflects a mix of mistrust and indifference that leaves the depleted country with bleak prospects for the future and at risk of needing yet another bailout.”

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

  • Pound Spikes As BOE “Hawkish” Vote Surprises Traders

    MPC holds #BankRate at 0.25%, maintains government bond purchases at 435bn and corporate bond purchases at 10bn. pic.twitter.com/0XX5V47QZg
    — Bank of England (@bankofengland) June 15, 2017

    The pound sharply reversed overnight losses (the result of weaker than expected UK retail sales 0.90% Y/Y, exp. 1.7%) rising as much as 0.3% to 1.2794 after the BOE announced it kept rates at 0.25%, however the hawkish surprise was the 5-3 vote, far closer than the 7-1 expected, as two more MPC members , Saunders and McCafferty joined Forbes in calling for a rate hike on the back of rising inflation concerns.
    BANK OF ENGLAND KEEPS KEY INTEREST RATE AT 0.25%; VOTE 5-3 SAUNDERS, MCCAFFERTY JOIN FORBES IN VOTE FOR BOE RATE HIKE Amid market chatter that Forbes would no longer favor a rate hike, the fact that three policy makers voted for a hike sees algo names jumping on the headline, BBg reported.
    As the BOE stated, “Our Monetary Policy Committee has voted 5-3 to keep Bank Rate at 0.25%. The committee voted unanimously to continue with the programmes of corporate bond purchases and UK government bond purchases.” The result on the currency was immediate, sending cable surging on the news of the growing split within the MPC.

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

  • Deputy AG Rosenstein: Trump Can’t Fire Special Counsel Mueller

    As noted earlier, on Monday evening Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of the conservative news site and TV network Newsmax, caused a media uproar when he said during an interview on “PBS NewsHour” that Trump is thinking about firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian election interference.
    As NBC noted last night, it is open to question how reliable Ruddy’s comments are. “He is often described as a close friend of Trump’s, and reporters spotted him leaving the White House on Monday. But a source familiar with the visit told NBC News that any meeting Ruddy was to have had with the president was postponed. Still, his remarks prompted this reply on Twitter from Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, who said the committee would simply reappoint Mueller and then advised the president: “Don’t waste our time.”

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

  • North Korea Releases US Student Following Rodman Visit

    First photo: Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea for the 5th time. He wouldn't tell me if he's spoken to Trump or anyone from the US gov't. pic.twitter.com/aeEvEhkNwD
    — Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) June 13, 2017

    Rex Tillerson announced on Tuesday that North Korea has released Otto Warmbier, an American who was serving a 15 year jail sentence somewhere in the bowels of the hermit kingdom. The announcement came just hours after Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea for an unexpected trip, as reported last night. Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from Cincinnati, was sentenced in March after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.
    At the direction of the President, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea,’ Tillerson said in a statement. ‘Mr. Warmbier is en route to the U. S. where he will be reunited with his family.’
    What he really meant is that Dennis Rodman’s unique style of “diplomacy” appears to have achieved what neither Tillerson himself, nor the previous administration had been capable of.

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

  • Trump: “Fake News Media Has Never Been So Wrong Or So Dirty”, Slams 9th Circuit

    Trump wasted little time before launching his opening salvos on Twitter on Tuesday morning, when the President first went after the “Fake News Media” just after 6:30am, accusing the press of publishing false stories.
    “The Fake News Media has never been so wrong or so dirty. Purposely incorrect stories and phony sources to meet their agenda of hate. Sad!” Trump lashed out in his first tweet on Tuesday.
    The Fake News Media has never been so wrong or so dirty. Purposely incorrect stories and phony sources to meet their agenda of hate. Sad!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2017

    It was not immediately clear which particular story (or stories) prompted Trump’s ire this morning. The president’s latest tweet came hours before Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and shortly after Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of the conservative news site and TV network Newsmax, said during an interview on “PBS NewsHour” that Trump is thinking about firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

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

  • Asian Metals Market Update: June-07-2017

    It seems all terror attacks in democratic nations happen before an election. I rarely find any terrorist attack after an election. I am confident that once UK and German elections are over, Europe will not see terror attacks for quite a long time. In Europe or the UK all terrorists were known to the law enforcement agencies and still they slept. It is very easy to radicalize anyone these days. Give a dissatisfied person/unemployed person a mobile phone with an internet connection and continuously send him links for radicalization. The person will get radicalized very quickly. Some get self-radicalized due to the content provided by facebook, twitter, whatsapp and other social networking platforms. This is a side effect of social networking. This is causing a big demographic change in the world. It is very easy to show all lies as truth in the virtual world. Islamic religious heads are doing the same along with NATO nations. This is also one key reason why gold has to rise in the long run and the US dollar/paper assets needs to be dumped.
    In India social networks (whatsapp, facebook etc) are changing the behavioral aspects of people, demand of any consumer product gets affected by social media. Social media is now a big cause for divorce in India and is growing. Productivity in offices gets reduced due to increased social media usage. However businesses are also lowering selling costs due to social media publicity. Demographic disruptions caused by social media will only increase the demand for physical gold in India.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 June 2017.

  • BofA: “If Bonds Are Right, Stocks Will Drop Up To 20%”

    This (simple yet powerful) chart from @zerohedge warrants a PhD thesis in #Finance #stocks #bonds #markets pic.twitter.com/w61rDBFkPT
    — Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) June 2, 2017

    Quickly skimming the front pages of the financial press in recent days reveals one recurring, and puzzling, story: the diverging and contradictory signals being sent by the bond (deflationary) and stock (inflationary) markets.
    Attempts at an easy reconciliation are doomed to fail as this paradoxical divergence has stumped everyone, including the person who is allegedly in charge of the US economy, Trump’s top economic advisor, former Goldman COO Gary Cohn, who last week made the “embarrassing” admission that over the long run, the bond market – with its bearish signal – will be right. Recall the following exchange last Friday captured by Pedro da Costa:
    CRAMER: What do you make of the fact that rates are going down so precipitously? Is it that trading partners keeping their currencies down and causing money to come here, or are the bond market right and we just saw a peak in employment and maybe even earnings?
    COHN: I don’t think there’s a simple answer or a simple factor here, but remember the bond market takes a longer-term view of what’s going on. I think people are taking a longer-term view on our economy, our economy growth, and where they think policy’s going.

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

  • This Is What President Trump Will Be Doing During Jim Comey’s Testimony

    I'm told by two WH sources that Pres. Trump does not plan to put down Twitter on Thursday. May live tweet if he feels the need to respond.
    — Robert Costa (@costareports) June 6, 2017

    While the rest of the ‘free’ world will likely be glued to their screens to wait for the “smoking gun” during former FBI Director Jim Comey’s testimony on Thursday, AP reports that President Donald Trump appears unphased – scheduling a speech addressing religious conservatives at the same time as Comey speaks.

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

  • The Answer To El-Erian’s Quandary: It’s “A Perfect Storm” Melt Up

    On Saturday, Pimco’s Mohamed El-Erian referenced one of our recent charts showing the dramatic divergence in yields and stocks, which he said “this (simple yet powerful) chart from @zerohedge warrants a PhD thesis in Finance.”
    This (simple yet powerful) chart from @zerohedge warrants a PhD thesis in #Finance #stocks #bonds #markets pic.twitter.com/w61rDBFkPT
    — Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) June 2, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 5, 2017.

  • May Vows “Enough Is Enough”, Slams “Evil Islamist Extremism” As “One Of Great Challenges Of Our Time”

    After the third deadly terrorist attack on UK soil in less than three months (and one which paradoxically took place just days after the UK lowered its “imminent attack” terror alert), Prime Minister Theresa May – facing a crucial election on Thursday – vowed to (finally?) step up Britain’s fight against Islamist extremism, saying ‘enough is enough’ after Saturday night’s terrorist attacks left seven dead and 48 injured.
    Calling for the country to unite, which incidentally is what she did after the last two terror attacks in a well-meaning gesture that achieved nothing, the British Prime Minister said in a Sunday statement that “it is time to say enough is enough, everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.” It was not immediately clear just what #hashtag campaign on Twitter would embody this particular vow.

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