• Tag Archives Washington
  • “Get Out James Comey, You’re Not Our Homie”: Comey Mercilessly Heckled At Howard University Speech

    Former FBI Director James Comey was mercilessly heckled this afternoon as he attempted to deliver a speech at the Howard University convocation ceremony. As the Washington Post confirms, a group of 20 Howard students led the heckling session that persisted throughout Comey’s speech and included the following clever chants:
    “Get out James Comey, you’re not our homie.”

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


  • Active Volcano Mt. Rainer Shaken By ‘Swarm’ Of 23 Earthquakes

    Don’t panic – it’s only an active volcano. What’s the worst that could happen?
    Some two dozen earthquakes have shaken Washington State’s Mt. Rainer over the past two weeks – but seismologists say people who live nearby shouldn’t panic.
    ‘In the past, these swarms last a couple of days to a week or so and then die out,’ said Paul Bodin, of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.
    The first of the 23 quakes struck on Sept. 11 near the volcano’s summit. The largest of the quakes registered magnitude 1.6. During the same period, Mexico experienced two of the deadliest earthquakes in decades.

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


  • Is Identity Politics Brewing a Holocaust?

    Signs of American collapse are everywhere. Apparently no one notices. The world continues to vote with the US in the UN. When even Russia and China serve as handmaidens to US foreign policy by voting with Washington against North Korea, it appears that the image of America as the exceptional and indispensable country is a propaganda success even among Washington’s most threatened enemies. When Russia and China follow Washington’s lead, it shows the world that there is no alternative to Washington’s leadership.
    A country with a $20 trillion public debt, an even larger private debt, a work force drowning in debt and employed in third world lowly paid domestic services, a stock market pumped up beyond all reason by Federal Reserve liquidity and companies using their profits to repurchase their own stock, a military that’s been tied down for 16 years by a few lightly armed Muslims, a propaganda ministry instead of a media with public ignorance the consequence, and with a total collapse of morality in public and private institutions along with the disappearance of courage, is nevertheless able to make the entire world dance to its tune. Washington is the Wizard of Oz.
    Washington in the past 16 years has destroyed in whole or part seven countries, murdering, maiming, orphaning, widowing, and displacing millions of peoples. Yet Washington still presents itself as the great defender of human rights, democracy, and all that is good. The American people have voiced few words of protest against the massive crimes against humanity committed by ‘their’ government.

    This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 20, 2017.


  • Bill Blain: “One Fund I Met Is Convinced Bond Markets Are On The Edge Of A Precipice”

    Blain’s Morning Porridge – September 19th 2017
    ‘I had to phone someone so I picked on you. Hey, that far out so you heard him too..’
    There is a veritable hurricane of new issues hitting the market. Like the new Ukraine deal they are being priced to sell – perhaps racing to get down before the rains come. There is the sure and certain knowledge this feeding frenzy is going to stop. With a thumping great crunch.
    But the new issue bond market is always feast/famine. There is bigger stuff happening. I managed to spend some time yesterday in the West End of London, speaking with a number of clients about where they think markets are going. Three big themes emerged:
    Much of the current ‘noise’ is utter distraction – including what’s really going on in Washington, the nuances of the Brexit negotiations, Korea and all the other political rumour and sigh hitting markets. Some of stories emanating from Whitehall, Brussels, Berlin and Washington are tremendous – I’d love to share them, but… Strip out the political flummery and noise, and the prospects for global stock markets should be positive. Every major economy that matters is now in positive growth, after 10-years we finally seem to have shaken off the Global Financial Crisis, and stock markets (which high) are not impossibly overvalued. The reflation trade is on. The fly in the ointment is the bond market. One fund I met is convinced Global bond markets and credit are on the edge of precipice and about to take that terminal step forward. Others fear the unintended consequences of taper and the ‘End of QE’ triggering a reset across global financial asset values – especially across the bond markets.

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


  • Defense Contractors on Cloud 9

    The backdrop: Money. More than ever before. The Senate is expected to pass by a wide margin a $700-billion defense bill today. When it comes to extravagant military spending, Congress is relentlessly bipartisan, and all bickering stops, as long as the bacon gets spread to every district and state.
    ‘The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but Trump hasn’t threatened to veto the measure,’ the Washington Post mused. ‘The bill helps him honor a pledge to boost military spending by tens of billions of dollars.’
    So who gets this money?
    It’s going to get spread around, but defense contractors are going to get a chunk of it, and they’ve been on cloud 9 all year. Their shares – fired up by plenty of saber-rattling – have mostly soared from all-time high to all-time high.
    These are some of the biggest defense contractors and their shares year-to-date as of this morning:
    Rockwell Collins (COL), to be acquired by United Technologies: $130.90, up 40.6% YTD United Technologies (UTX) is gobbling up Rockwell, got beaten down 8% since July, and is the exception: $113.04, up a measly 3.1% YTD Boeing (BA), after implementing a series of big layoffs in the US: $253.51, up 61% YTD Northrop Grumman (NOC): $274.23, up 16% YTD Orbital (OA) jumped 20% this morning to $132.60, up 48% YTD Raytheon (RTN) $183.06, up 26% YTD Lockheed Martin (LMT) $303.74, up 19.8% YTD Honeywell International (HON) $137.50, up 18.4% YTD Orbital jumped 20% this morning after the announcement that Northrop Grumman would acquire it for $134.50 a share, in a deal valued at $9.2 billion including the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 18, 2017.


  • Yesterday, All My Market Troubles Seemed So Far Away…

    We’re finally here. About 9 years after QE1 began, QT is about to start. If one believes that the stock market still is a discounting mechanism, then have nothing to fear with QT and that maybe it will actually be like ‘watching paint dry’ as Fed members so desperately want it to be. After all, the S&P 500 is at an all-time high. If you think, like me, that the stock market is not the same discounting tool as it once was because of the major distortion and manipulation of markets via central market involvement and the dominance of machines that are reactive instead of proactive in response to news, then we must review again the previous experiences when major Fed changes took place. After all, they were all well telegraphed as this week’s likely news has been.
    Before I get to that, let me remind everyone that the 3rd mandate of QE was higher stock prices. Ben Bernanke in rationalizing the initiation of QE2 in a Washington Post editorial back in November 2010 said in regards to QE1 and the verbal preparation for QE2: ‘this approach eased financial conditions in the past and, so far, looks to be effective again. Stock prices rose and long-term interest rates fell when investors began to anticipate the most recent action.’ He then went on to say ‘higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion.’ Yes, the belief in the wealth effect which hasn’t worked in this expansion. Hence, the record high in stocks last week and the 2.9% y/o/y rise in core August retail sales, both below the 5-year average and well less than the average seen in the prior two expansions.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/18/2017.


  • US Fires Latest Shot In China Trade War: Warns Beijing Is “Threat To World’s Trading System”

    It’s been at least a few weeks since the topic of trade war with China dominated the news flow, so moments ago U. S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer decided to poke that particular wound, in during a speech in Washington said that “China’s coordinated effort to create national champions and distort markets is a threat to the world’s trading system.”
    Some headlines from his speech, via Reuters:
    USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS THERE IS A GROWING FEELING AMONG VOTERS THAT GLOBAL TRADING SYSTEM NOT FAIR TO U. S. WORKERS USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS “WE WILL HAVE CHANGE IN TRADE POLICY” USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS U. S. CAN COMPETE IF CONDITIONS ARE FAIR USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS HE AND TRUMP BELIEVE U. S. SHOULD BE MORE PROACTIVE IN TRADE POLICY, DEMAND RECIPROCITY USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS HE AND TRUMP BELIEVE THAT TRADE DEFICITS MATTER USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS SCALE OF CHINA’S EFFORT TO SUBSIDIZE INDUSTRIES IS A THREAT TO WORLD TRADING SYSTEM USTR LIGHTHIZER SAYS 301 PROBE INTO CHINA’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PRACTICES COULD LEAD TO WTO CASES

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


  • Hurricane Equifax: 143 Million Impacted, 35% Loss In Equity Value, Suspicious 135 Strike Price Put Trades On Aug 21

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Recent hurricanes Harvey and Irman have caused massive destruction in Texas and Florida, respectively. And then we have Jose which may strike New York City. [Check Ventusky for the forecast map].
    But none of these hurricanes have the potential to impact as many people as Hurricane Equifax, the massive breach of 143 million Americans’ personal information (Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, birthdates and other information).
    According to the Washington Post, ‘The tale began on July 29, when the company’s security team detected suspicious network traffic associated with the software that ran its U. S. online-dispute portal. After blocking that traffic, the company saw additional ‘suspicious activity’ and took the portal’s software offline.
    At this point, Equifax’s retelling grows cloudy. The company said an internal review then ‘discovered’ a flaw in an open-source software package called Apache Struts used in the dispute portal, which it then fixed with a software patch. It subsequently brought the portal back online.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ September 17, 2017.


  • Suddenly, ‘De-Dollarization’ Is A Thing

    For what seems like decades, other countries have been tiptoeing away from their dependence on the US dollar. China, Russia, and India have cut deals in which they agree to accept each others’ currencies for bi-lateral trade while Europe, obviously, designed the euro to be a reserve asset and international medium of exchange.
    These were challenges to the dollar’s dominance, but they weren’t mortal threats.
    What’s happening lately, however, is a lot more serious. It even has an ominous-sounding name: de-dollarization. Here’s an excerpt from a much longer article by ‘strategic risk consultant’ F. William Engdahl:
    Gold, Oil and De-Dollarization? Russia and China’s Extensive Gold Reserves, China Yuan Oil Market
    (Global Research) – China, increasingly backed by Russia – the two great Eurasian nations – are taking decisive steps to create a very viable alternative to the tyranny of the US dollar over world trade and finance. Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it. So long as Washington dirty tricks and Wall Street machinations were able to create a crisis such as they did in the Eurozone in 2010 through Greece, world trading surplus countries like China, Japan and then Russia, had no practical alternative but to buy more US Government debt – Treasury securities – with the bulk of their surplus trade dollars. Washington and Wall Street could print endless volumes of dollars backed by nothing more valuable than F-16s and Abrams tanks. China, Russia and other dollar bond holders in truth financed the US wars that were aimed at them, by buying US debt. Then they had few viable alternative options.

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


  • Gold Drops, USD Pops As Mulvaney/Ryan Signals Tax Plan Coming September 25th

    OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told Fox Business this morning that the target date for the release of details around a renewed tax plan is September 25th (presumably 2017) and that has triggered USD-buying and gold-selling.
    REVENUE NEUTRALITY `NOT ON THE TOP OF OUR LIST’: MULVANEY CAN’T BALANCE U. S. BUDGET LONG-TERM ON CURRENT GROWTH: MULVANEY TRUMP’S FRUSTRATED WITH SLOW PACE OF WASHINGTON ON TAX:MULVANEY TRUMP `ADAMANT’ ABOUT GETTING CORPORATE RATE TO 15%: MULVANEY These remarks follow Trump’s meeting with Congressional leaders Tuesday evening on the subject. As Reuters reports:

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


  • Cold War II Expands to Asia

    September is not unfolding as expected. Then again, as Yogi Berra said, ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’
    Just a few weeks ago, this month was supposed to bring an angry stand-off in Washington and possibly a government shutdown or debt default. Those could still happen, but President Trump’s deal with the Democrats pushed it back to December.
    ***
    That’s probably good because many other things need the government’s attention: Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires, to name a few. Yet as costly and lethal as those are, they’re minor compared to the threat of nuclear war.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on SEPTEMBER 12, 2017.


  • Debt Nightmare: Does Anyone Actually Care That Our Exploding National Debt Is Destroying Our Future?

    When will America finally wake up? The borrower is the servant of the lender, and we now have a colossal 20 trillion dollar chain around our collective ankles. We have willingly enslaved ourselves, our children and our grandchildren, and yet our addiction is so insatiable that we continue to add more than 100 million dollars to our debt load every single hour of every single day. The national debt is sitting at a grand total of $20,162,176,797,904.13 at this moment, but now that the debt ceiling has been lifted that number is expected to shoot up very rapidly toward 21 trillion dollars by the end of the year. The national debt had been held down by accounting tricks to keep it under the debt limit for many months, but every time this has happened before we have seen the national debt absolutely explode back to projected levels once the debt ceiling was raised.
    But very few of our ‘leaders’ in Washington seem to care that we are in the process of committing national suicide. There is no possible way that we will be able to continue to be the most powerful economy on the planet if we continue down this road. During Obama’s eight years in the White House, we added more than 9 trillion dollars to the national debt. That certainly improved things in the short-term, because if we could go back and take 9 trillion dollars out of the economy over the past 8 years we would be in an absolutely nightmarish economic depression right now.
    But even with all of this borrowing and spending, our economy has still only grown at an average rate of just 1.33 percent a year over the last 10 years.
    And by going into so much debt, we are literally destroying the future for our children and our grandchildren.
    What we are doing to them is beyond criminal, and people should be going to prison over this. But instead we just keep rewarding these Congress critters by sending the same cast of characters back to Washington over and over again.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on September 11th, 2017.


  • Fed Vice Chair, Stanley Fischer…Exit Stage Left: “This One’s Gonna Hurt”

    This one is going to hurt. Stanley Fischer is one, if not, our favorite economist.
    As Larry Summers points out in his recent piece in the Washington Post,
    The Fed and the international monetary system will be weaker for his departure from official responsibility. It is the end of an era. – Larry Summers, September 7
    Our friend, Terence Reilly, over at the Wall Street Blog sums it up best.
    When the pressure is on we like to have what we term ‘adults’ in the room. The ‘adults’ are not only the smartest people in the room but they are people who know how and when to make a decision. Stanley Fischer is one of those ‘adults’. Dr Fischer, former professor at MIT, vice chairman of CitiGroup, and chief economist of the World Bank, and former Governor of the Bank of Israel, resigned his position as vice chair of the Federal Reserve. Fischer played the role of intelligent hawk who we felt comfortable leaving in charge of the store. As this critical time approaches of the Fed removing stimulus his absence alone makes us less confident in the ‘adults’ left in the room. In one of his last public speeches as part of the Federal Reserve Dr Fischer warned about historically high asset valuations.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.


  • Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and Irma: It’s Time for the Public to Reclaim the National Budget

    After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy, most rational nations would have imposed restrictions on coastal building and devoted meaningful portions of the national treasury to fund scientific research to limit future loss of life and economic hardships from such monster storms. And yet, here we are in 2017 facing the current reality: vast swaths of a major economic hub, Houston, lies in ruins from the flooding unleashed by Hurricane Harvey while the entire State of Florida awoke this morning to the chaos unleashed yesterday and overnight by the bizarre 415 mile-wide Hurricane Irma, with a reported 4.5 million homes and businesses currently without power in Florida, a state where temperatures routinely reach into the 90s in September and air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury.
    The leadership in Washington has not reflected that of a rational nation for many years now and, tragically, U. S. citizens, for the most part, have allowed their democracy to become a spectator sport.
    We currently have a President who has withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, putting at risk international cooperation to combat global warming and sea level rise, two clear contributing factors to the increasing frequency of the so-called 500-year storm. As David Dayen wrote recently at the New Republic:
    ‘The city [Houston] suffered a ‘500-year flood,’ defined as one with a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in a given year based on past experience, in 2015. It had another 500-year flood in 2016. And it’s experiencing something much bigger than a 500-year flood right now. Maybe it’s time to admit that past performance is no longer any indication of future results.’

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on September 11, 2017.


  • Blowing Off The Roof

    Of all the absurd Washington pantomimes none has been as reliably entertaining and maddening as the annual debates to raise the debt ceiling. Although the outcome was always a foregone conclusion (the ceiling would be raised), the excitement came when fiscal conservatives bemoaned the perils of runaway debt and ‘attempted’ to exact spending restrictions through threats ‘to shut down the government,’ (which often led to news coverage of tourists being turned away from national parks.) On the other side of the aisle Democrats would rail that the ceiling must be raised ‘because America always pays her bills.’ Lost was the irony that ‘paying’ bills with borrowed money was fiscally responsible, and that raising the ceiling actually enabled America to continue to avoid paying its bills. After these amateur theatrics, the ceiling would be lifted and Washington would go on as if nothing happened. But at least the performance threw occasional light on the nation’s debt problems.
    But this week the news dropped that President Trump had made a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to permanently scrap the ‘debt ceiling’ so that government borrowing can occur perpetually without the need to air the nation’s fiscal dirty laundry. Given how much the national debt has exploded in recent decades, and how reluctant Congress has been to address the problem, it should be no surprise that the proposal has finally been made. The only shock is that it happening when the Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress.
    The news came just a day after the President stunned the Republican party by abruptly siding with Congressional Democrats over the best way to deal with current debt ceiling negotiations. These developments should make it clear, as I described in the weeks after Trump moved into the White House, that budget deficits during the Trump administration will be far larger than just about anyone predicted. In fact, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Debt’ is reaching for his crown and the coronation profoundly affect the fate of the U. S. dollar and the American economy.

    This post was published at Euro Pac on September 8, 2017.


  • Mueller Requests Interviews With 6 Members Of Trump’s “Inner Circle”

    In one of the Washington Post’s tamest Friday-night bombshells to date, the Jeff Bezos-owned paper of record alleges that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is trying to interview six current and former White House aides, a sign that ‘the probe that has dogged Trump’s presidency is starting to penetrate a closer circle of aides around the president.’
    However, a closer look at exactly who Mueller is hoping to question appears to contradict WaPo’s interpretation: While his list reportedly includes a handful of senior figures like former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer, names like Hope Hicks, Don McGahn, James Burnham and Josh Raffel aren’t as widely known to the public – and hardly qualify as “senior aides.”

    Still, the Post’s anonymous sources claimed that these individuals may have been privy to important decisions, like Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and the White House’s initial reluctance to address warnings about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s integrity, and the reasoning behind them.
    Of course, Mueller, who has been keenly interested in the process that ultimately led to the ouster of his friend, and potential witness, James Comey, has continued to press the issue even after Comey himself said he believed Trump’s conduct during a meeting where the president allegedly asked his then-FBI director to “let go” of the investigation into gaps in Flynn’s security clearance disclosures didn’t rise to the level of obstruction of justice.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden.


  • Trump Acts Like Businessman At Last

    There is no doubt that the feud between Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress has been astonishing. Even some Republicans support trying to impeach him thinking he will be a liability in 2018. Trump is responding like a businessman and not a politician, Many of his supporters hoped for this and voted for him to drain the swamp.
    The elite Republicans remain anti-Trump because they too like the swamp the way it is. However, the elite Republicans may find that turning their back on Trump may find things get crazier in 2018. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said that Trump doesn’t understand how Washington works. What McConnell does not understand is the people are fed up with the way Washington works.

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


  • White House Denies Cohn Report, Says Considering “At Least Six” For Fed Chair

    Denying yesterday’s WSJ report that Trump has “fired” Gary Cohn from his future role as Fed chair due to his strong opposition to Trump’s handling of the Charlotteville tragedy, Bloomberg reports that the White House is considering “at least a half-dozen candidates to be the next head of the Federal Reserve, including economists, executives with banking experience and other business people”
    The breadth of the search goes against the narrative that has taken hold in Washington and on Wall Street that the Fed chair nomination is a two-horse race between National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February. Actually, according to many, including online betting markets, the race has – for a while – been between mostly Yellen and Kevin Warsh, who as of today are both neck and neck in their online odds of being nominated Fed chair on February 4.

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


  • Why the War Party Loves to Call Foreign Leaders Insane

    When the US government decides it doesn’t like a foreign regime, it’s become something of a tradition for US politicians – with the help of a compliant media – to portray those leaders as irrational, unhinged, or even downright insane.
    This was true of Saddam Hussein, and it was true of Slobodan Milosevic. In both cases, a foreign head of state was condemned as irrational in order to help justify US invasions and bombings of foreign nations that were no threat to the United States.
    The US narrative usually goes something like this – as described by Ronnie Lipschutz:
    Why would so-called rogues – and these are the only countries that, according to Washington, threaten US forces, allies, or interests – choose to [threaten the US]? No rational reason can be given, and so irrational ones are offered instead. They hate us, but for no reason since we have no designs on them. They desire vengeance, but for no reason since we have never offended them. They wish to injure us, for for no reason, since they have only been injured through their interference with our pusuit of order.
    This narrative helps to reinforce the credulous American public’s naive acceptance of the idea that the US government is an untrammeled force for good in the international sphere, and that any opposition to the US must be based on irrational, evil motives.1 If any other head of state is angry with the United States, it’s simply because he absurdly desires world conquest, or to massacre innocents. Or he may even be insane.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Sept 07, 2017.


  • How the Dow Jones Today Will Respond to Trump’s Debt Ceiling Deal with Democrats

    The Dow Jones today is starting the day flat after U. S. President Donald Trump shocked Washington by making a surprise deal with Congressional Democrats on raising the debt ceiling. Dow Jones futures are down five points in premarket hours as Trump’s economic agenda is now in question and Florida braces for Hurricane Irma.
    Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
    Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change Dow Jones 21,807.64 54.33 +0.25% S&P 500 2,465.54 7.69 +0.31% Nasdaq 6,393.31 17.74 +0.28%

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Garrett Baldwin ‘ September 7, 2017.