Without Empathy or Remorse: The Psychopath Next Door, In the Office, In the Halls of Power

“What is good? All that enhances the feeling of power, the will to power, and the power itself in man. What is bad? All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is increasing – that resistance has been overcome.
Not contentment, but more power; not peace at any price, but war; not virtue, but competence. The first principle of our humanism is that the weak and the failures shall perish. And they ought to be helped to perish.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
There is a range in human behaviours. There may be a baseline, but not all are the same.
And this is why theories that assume that everyone has a basic world outlook that is the same like you, that all people have a natural desire to be friendly, helpful, and sharing falter out of either a good nature or from a good maximizing, selflessly reasoning behaviour, falter so badly when applied to the real world.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 13 AUGUST 2016.

A Stunning Admission From Deutsche Bank Why A Shock Is Needed To Collapse The Market, And Force A Real Panic

In what may be some of the best, and most lucid, writing on everyone’s favorite topic, namely “what happens next”in the evolution of the financial system, Deutsche Bank’s Dominic Konstam, takes a look at the current dead-end monetary situation, and concludes that in order for the system to transition from the current state of financial repression, which has made a mockery of all asset values due to central bank intervention, to a semi-credible system driven by fiscal stimulus, there will have to be a crash, one which jolts policymakers out of their stupor thatall is well simply because stocks are at all time highs.
And since a legitimate fiscal stimulus is what is needed to re-ignite the economy, US and global GDP will continue declining, even as stocks keep rising to new all time highs, not on fundamentals (which are all pointing in the opposite direction), but due to even more central bank intervention and financial repression, thus a Catch 22, which ultimately – according to DB – ends in the only possible way: with a major crash.
As Konstam puts it, “the status quo could continue for several years yet – if nothing ‘breaks’ in the system”but “without an external economic shock it is hard to see policymakers being prepared to take dramatic, fiscal action to jumpstart the global economy and bounce it out of a financial repression defined by low and falling real yields to one that at least initially is defined by rising nominal yields through higher inflation expectations.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2016.

If You’re Looking For A New Job, Skip The Applications And Phone A Friend

From Nick Colas of Convergex
Money, You’ve Fot Lots Of Friends

The St. Louis Fed may have inadvertently cracked the code on the ‘True’ value of social media. Economists at this Fed branch found that jobs which you find through personal contacts generally pay far more than those you might run across on your own. Or, as the old saying goes, ‘It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you.’
If you’re looking for a new job, skip the applications and phone a friend. That’s the ideal way to clinch a new position according to recent research by David Wiczer at the St. Louis Fed. He looked at the Survey of Consumer Expectations from 2013 to compare employment trends on those who ‘directly contacted organizations about posted vacancies or received referrals through their network.’ Here are his findings:
‘On average, salaries were 6 percent higher if workers found their job through their networks.’ This includes an average weekly salary of $772.20 (about $40 K per year) for those who got their job from a referral compared to $725.84 (around $38 K) for those who didn’t go through their network.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2016.

On This Day In 1914, The Fed For The First Time Ever Defnied It’s “Purpose” – The Outcome Was Ironic

As the Fed’s historical data service, FRASER, is kind enough to remind us, today is a historic day: on today’s date in 1914, the first Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve met.
Not only that, but Fraser was kind enough to release the full minutes from the August 13, 1914 meeting. While the bulk of the meeting is spent on the decision how to partition the US into the various regional Feds, and the bickering among various cities that had lobbied, unsuccessfully, to host a reserve bank to be, one particular section caught our attention: here is the earliest official justification by the Fed for its existence, and how the Federal Reserve defined its own purpose. In its own words (page 13):
It became clear, in the hearings, that comparatively few people realized, or seemed to realize, what the act was intended to accomplish; wnat the nature and functions of the reserve banks were to be; and how little change would occur in the ordinary financial relations of the communities, the business establishments, and the individual banks.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2016.

AUGUST 12/ANOTHER OF OUR CRIMINAL BANKERS PATENTED GOLD/SILVER RAID AT THE COMEX/POOR ECONOMIC RESULTS FROM CHINA NAMELY FALTERING INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, AND FALTERING INVESTMENT DEMAND/ITALY’S N…

Gold:1335.80 DOWN $6.70
Silver 19.67 DOWN 31 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold: 1336.25
Silver: 19.71
.
For the August gold contract month, we had a small sized 1101 notices served upon for 110,100 ounces. The total number of notices filed so far for delivery: 12,780 for 1,278,000 oz or tonnes or 39.7511 tonnes. The total amount of gold standing for August is 43.9 tonnes.
In silver we had 0 notices served upon for nil oz. The total number of notices filed so far this month: 274 for 1,370,000 oz.
Let us have a look at the data for today
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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY A LARGE 3,864 contracts DOWN to 208,328 YET STILL CLOSE AN ALL TIME NEW ALL TIME RECORD AS THE PRICE OF SILVER FELL BY 15 CENTS WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING. In ounces, the OI is still represented by just over 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.041 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 149% of annual global silver production (ex Russia &ex China).

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on August 12, 2016.

18 Years Later – Pam Martens Sends Another Warning To The Fed & The Clintons

It is the same players that we saw enabling reckless behavior in 1998: Citigroup, the Fed, and the Clinton-led Wall Street Democrats. And, as Jesse notes, here we are again, almost eighteen years later, watching the same short term, selfish characteristics by the big money banks putting the entire economy of productive individualsat risk again…
“There’s something big and scary going on behind the scenes but, as usual, the public isn’t reading about it on the front pages of the newspapers.” Pam Martens and Russ Martens warn that big banks and big insurers send scary signals…
Yesterday, the broad stock market, as measured by the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, declined a modest 0.29 percent while big Wall Street banks like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase fell by triple that amount. Bank of America, which bought the big retail brokerage firm, Merrill Lynch, in the midst of the 2008 crash, fell by 8.6 times the rate of the decline in the S&P to give up 2.50 percent.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2016.

Goldman Warns CLO Investors To Beware The LIBOR Squeeze

Yesterday Goldman Sachs analyst Bridget Bartlett issued a warning to CLO investors to beware of the “LIBOR squeeze.” As the note points out, over 90% of the $900BN levered loan market has a LIBOR floor set at an average rate of 100bps. LIBOR floors in levered loans became popular in the aftermath of the “great recession” as a way to entice loan investors in a “lower-for-longer” interest rate environment that drove LIBOR rates down to 25bps.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2016.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, ‘Other Banks’ Ask Fed to Let them Dodge the Volcker Rule till 2022

Hidden behind the Fed’s flip-flop theatrics about raising rates. Nearly a decade after the first cracks of the Financial Crisis appeared – and six years since the Dodd-Frank law was enacted to prevent another Financial Crisis and to pave the way for resolving too-big-to-fail banks when they topple – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and ‘some other banks’ are still trying to delay implementation of the new rules.
These banks are asking the Fed to grant them an additional grace period of five years to comply with the so-called Volcker rule, ‘people familiar with the matter’ told Reuters.
The Volcker rule is one of the key elements in the massive and loopholey Dodd-Frank Act that is supposed to, among other things, limit the risk-taking associated with proprietary trading, in-house hedge funds, investments in external funds, and the like. The Volcker rules attempts to get banks out of the business of blowing their own capital on huge risky bets.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ August 13, 2016.

THE STOCK MARKET DID SOMETHING THAT HASN’T HAPPENED SINCE THE DOTCOM CRASH

Economic calamities can be tricky to predict. It’s easy enough to determine that an economy is on an unsustainable course, but trying to tell exactly when a recession or an economic collapse is going to occur, is nearly impossible. Still, there are always warning signs that can tell us when the end is very near.
We may have witnessed one of those warning signs this week, when the stock market passed an eerily familiar milestone. On Thursday, all three stock market indices closed at all-time highs. The S&P 500 closed at 2,185.79, Nasdaq at 5,228.40, and Dow at 18,613.52.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 13, 2016.

Chart of the Day – GOLD IS NOT TOPPING

I’m starting to see a lot of analysts now calling for gold to drop down into a bottom in October. It’s amazing how these guys can consistently get this wrong over and over again. Gold isn’t topping. Gold has been bouncing around in a range for the last 5 weeks giving the 200 day moving average time to catch up to price. Gold won’t top until the dollar cycle bottoms, and that intermediate cycle isn’t due to bottom until late September or early October.
Gold will be making a top in October, not a bottom. But it may have to churn in this range for the rest of August before the next leg up can begin.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 14 August 2016.

CULT CRIMES & MEDIA MIND CONTROL: Natural Born Killers (1994)

Shawn Helton
21st Century Wire
The 1994 cult film Natural Born Killers, is an examination of media manipulation, archetypal psychology and the violence embedded within American pop culture.
Although it’s been more than two decades since Natural Born Killers (NBK) first shocked viewers with its adrenaline fueled brutality, biting satire and darkly ironic media montages, the enigmatic picture’s overall depiction of the American media complex is just as effective today.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on AUGUST 13, 2016.

Get Ready for More OPEC Rumors this Month

Oil Soars as Saudi Energy Minister Uses Oldest Trick: Talking his Book
By Martin Tiller, Oil & Energy Insider:
In financial markets, very few things are predictable; if they were we would all be fabulously wealthy. Some things, though, definitely fall in the category of ‘extremely likely’. A couple of weeks ago, in a regular webinar for Energy Trader Team members, I said that, while the fundamentals for oil still looked terrible, I expected something to happen over the next few weeks that would push oil higher, maybe even back to the $50 level.
Sure enough, that thing happened yesterday and triggered a roughly 5 percent one day spike in WTI, a move up that is continuing so far today. It was not anything concrete like a dramatic fall in inventories: in fact the big red bar for two days ago indicates the release of that data, which showed another larger than expected build. No, what set the market ablaze was a prominent OPEC member using the oldest trick there is: talking his book.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Martin Tiller ‘ August 13, 2016.

Nightmare at the Mall: Brick-and-Mortar Retail Totally Loses it

Stunning acceleration of a trend.
On the surface, it was the same lackadaisical data we’ve become inured to in this wondrous economy. But beneath the surface, there lurked a nightmare for the already struggling brick-and-mortar retailers.
Total retail sales in July, at $457.7 billion, remained stubbornly flat from June, and ticked up a measly 2.3% from a year ago, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not inflation, according to the Commerce Department.
As crummy as it was, it was propped up by sales of motor vehicles and parts, the largest category at 21% of total retail sales. They rose 1.1% for the month and 2.4% year-over-year to $93.2 billion. Auto sales have been booming. In terms of unit sales, they set an all-time record last year, funded by cheap debt and loosy-goosy underwriting standards; so comparisons this year are on top of a year that may be hard or impossible to beat for a while, with the industry already talking about a ‘car recession.’
And here’s what else propped up retail sales: Sales by ‘non-store retailers,’ which includes e-commerce, soared 14.1% from July last year to $47.7 billion, now accounting for 10.4% of total retail sales. Their share has doubled since 2002.

This post was published at Wolf Street on August 12, 2016.

Doug Noland’s Credit Bubble Bulletin: Inflation

(Email from reader T. B.) ‘These various stages of capitalism, or finance, are interesting and descriptive. But I think the progression is rather simply explained as an ongoing perversion of capitalism caused by inflation: credit expansion or any kind of money-supply inflation.
Have you seen Henry Hazlitt’s colorful statement about the consequences of inflation? If not, just consider this: ‘It [Inflation] discourages all prudence and thrift. It encourages squandering, gambling, reckless waste of all kinds. It often makes it more profitable to speculate than to produce. It tears apart the whole fabric of stable economic relationships. Its inexcusable injustices drive men toward desperate remedies. It plants the seeds of fascism and communism. It leads men to demand totalitarian controls. It ends invariably in bitter disillusion and collapse.’ Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, page 176
Isn’t this a nearly perfect short description of what is happening to us?’
Yes, it is. Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993) was a brilliant thinker and prolific writer. He was a noted journalist throughout the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and Great Depression periods. Hazlitt learned his economics from some of the masters. He was friends with Benjamin Anderson (‘Chase Economic Bulletin’ and ‘Economics and the Public Welfare’). From Wikipedia: ‘According to Hazlitt, the greatest influence on his writing in economics was the work of Ludwig von Mises, and he is credited with introducing the ideas of the Austrian School of economics to the English-speaking layman.’
As an admirer of Hyman Minsky, I view ‘Minskian’ analysis as the authority on critical aspects of financial evolution and institutional and Capitalistic development. At the same time, when it comes to economic analysis more generally, I am an ‘Austrian’ at heart. Minsky seemed to hesitate when it came to discussing the profound impact finance and financial evolution had on the underlying economic structure. From the standpoint of my analytical framework, this void is filled superbly by Austrian thinking. When it comes to understanding the nature and destructive capacities of inflation, the ‘Austrians’ put the ‘Keynesians’ to shame.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 13, 2016.

Crude oil bottom likely to Propel Dow Industrials higher

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
Maureen Dowd
The chart below clearly illustrates that a relationship exists between crude oil and the Dow. For most of the 1st half of 2015, oil traded sideways, and the Dow followed suit. Then, around July of 2015, oil broke down, and the Dow followed in its footsteps. We see a similar pattern from Nov-Dec 2015; oil headed lower, and the Dow once again followed in its footsteps; so much for the argument that states lower oil prices are conducive for the markets.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 12 August 2016.

A Treasure Trove of Nuggets From the MSM

It is summer slack season, with no FOMC meeting in August and so into the void go our friends in the mainstream media, with all sorts of noise to distract investors. Here’s one that was anticipated…
Fed should raise interest rates this year, Williams says
From NFTRH 406 (July 31), after the July FOMC meeting in which they fretted about inflation not being high enough (ha ha ha):
‘Yes yes, I know the Fed does not see enough inflation yet. And that is just the point. They told us last week that there is not enough inflation and damned if they are not going to keep trying to promote it. It is also worth considering that while they will probably send various expectations managers to their assigned microphones, there is no meeting in August and there is a lot of room for asset price appreciation between now and September 21, per their wishes I assume (by their policy inactions and their inflationary words).
What they didn’t tell us is that they are not stupid (misguided in my opinion, but not stupid) and they know that something built on inflation (metaphor: a substance with opiate-like qualities) must have ongoing inflation (opiates) in order to keep the markets (metaphor: patient) stable. Withdrawal of these substances would mean a come-down and financial detox that would seem like hell on earth to those who think any of this is normal or organic in anyway (like a Keynesian intellectual, for instance).
The game of Whack-a-Mole is ongoing and institutionalized. It is an exciting time to be an investor a casino patron. But we need to be aware of things like the music stopping, how many chairs there are when the music stops and our own egos, bias and limitations.’
Mr. Williams, from the article; if giving an interview directly to the Washington Post is not expectations management, I don’t know what is…
‘As the economy gets closer to its goals, we can again pull our foot off the gas a bit and hopefully execute a nice, soft landing over the next couple of years,’ San Francisco Fed President John Williams told the Washington Post in an interview conducted this week.
Then over at MarketWatch, we find an MSM that has done a 180 turn on its tone from the Brexit hysteria.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 12 August 2016.

Gold And Silver – Panic PM Selling By Elite Overt

The Military Industrial Complex [MIC], economic war, and massive amounts of newly created debt, year after year after year, have the common purpose of protecting the Federal Reserve fiat Ponzi scheme to preserve the failing ‘dollar’ as the world’s reserve currency. Except for phony accounting, all banks are failing, massively underfunded and totally insolvent. Everything possible is being done to prop up these banks to keep the illusion of financial stability alive, even resorting to stealing from depositors.
Why anyone maintains fiat money in a bank is a mystery defying fiscal self-responsibility. All retirement accounts, at least in the United States, will be subject to government confiscation replacing everyone’s investments with worthless government bonds. After all, who more than the federal government can better manage your own funds?!
All local police forces are being militarized. There are even rumors that the UN wants to have all police under their foreign umbrella of control. If that ever happens, it will be proof positive that the end game is in its final stages.
If the elites are so focused on preserving their fiat Ponzi scheme and so intent on wrecking the gold and silver markets, you can be 100% assured that acquiring both or either metal is the smartest move one can make to escape the certainty of the Western world financial calamity that is destined to follow. It did not happen, as expected by so many, in 2013. It did not happen in 2014, 2015, and 2016 is nearing the end of the 3rd Qtr, the latter half of 2016 viewed by many, again, as to when the monetary system will fall apart, or begin to fall apart.
The lesson to be learned is to never underestimate the ability of those in control to remain in control, even to the extent of wrecking the entire financial system, destroying the middle class, and now destroying vestiges of national sovereignty.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on August 13, 2016.