More Bad News For Jill Stein As Pennsylvania Judge Blocks Recount Petitions

As most people are still trying to figure out exactly what Jill Stein is doing and why she’s doing it, a judge in Montgomery County Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia, has decided he’s seen enough. After hearing arguments from attorneys representing Jill Stein’s campaign and the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Judge Bernard A. Moore dismissed the petitions of voters in 78 precincts to recount votes or forensically analyze voting machines due a lack of evidence and improperly filed petitions. Per The Times Herald of Montgomery County:
‘What we keep going back to is that our voting machines are not connected to the internet,’ said board of elections Solicitor Nicole Forzato. ‘Montgomery County takes great, great pride in being concerned about its infrastructure for IT generally, and they have gone through a vigorous process to make sure our technology general, including voter services technology and the voting machines are safe and secure to use. ‘ The judge did not give an explanation of his dismissal, but objections made by Forzato focused on two areas: first, that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the machines had been tampered with in any way and second, that the petitions were not filed properly with the proper fees.
Stein campaign attorney Ilann Maazel argued that voting machines throughout Pennsylvania were vulnerable to hacking. He stated that the effort to request a recount or analysis of the machines was to make sure every vote was counted.
‘We know that Donald Trump won the vote of machines in Pennsylvania. We want to know who won the vote of the people,’ Maazel said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2016.

Doug Casey on the Coming Collapse of the World’s Biggest Economy

Nick Giambruno: The entire European Union is looking shakier by the day. Donald Trump’s victory – which shocked Europe’s political and media elite – gives Eurosceptic parties, the Continent’s populists, even more political rocket fuel. What’s your take?
Doug Casey: The Social Democratic, Christian Democratic, Socialist, Communist, and similar parties have ruled Europe since the end of World War 2. They’re all pretty similar in that they promote massive welfare benefits, strong labor unions, large state bureaucracies, very high taxes, strict regulations, and an atmosphere of Cultural Marxism. Then, every few generations, the voters react and install a ‘fascist’ regime. These keep most of the socialist characteristics, but tend to be supported by, and friendly to, Big Business. That, and they add on nationalism, xenophobia, and militarism.
The last time this happened was in the 1930s. In those days it was spurred by the Great Depression. This time it will be spurred by the Greater Depression, plus massive waves of Muslim migrants from the Near East and Africa. So I expect to see more neo-fascist political parties everywhere.
Oddly, the Europeans can’t seem to imagine a libertarian alternative of private charities, limited government, minimal taxes, an unregulated economy, and intellectual/psychological freedom. It’s another reason the Continent is a sinking ship.

This post was published at International Man

Debt & Deficit Outlooks for France, Italy, Spain, & Portugal

Is ‘ugly’ the right word? After dragging Greece kicking and screaming through a never-ending vicious cycle of fiscal adjustment and output decline, the European Commission seems to be softening in its attitude towards other struggling Eurozone economies.
France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, among others, have all repeatedly been given extensions to reduce their debt and deficit levels after recurrent breaches of EU targets have gone unpunished, and the trend looks set to continue as our forecasts show that those economies will underperform again this year and next.
Does this mark a shift in mindset within the Commission as to whether the Growth and Stability Pact is fit for purpose? Or rather just tactical maneuvering – or indeed resigned acceptance – in tough political times, as the EU faces unprecedented challenges to its legitimacy and survival?
Under the EU’s Growth and Stability Pact, all Eurozone countries are required to bring their deficits below 3% of GDP and to work towards reducing debt down to 60% of GDP, and any country failing to do so is subject to strict deficit reduction targets under the corrective arm of the Excessive Deficit Procedure. Certainly, widespread acknowledgement of the self-defeating Catch-22 whereby austerity lowers growth and thereby weighs further on public finances has encouraged the EU authorities to allow leniency in a number of instances, but this is only part of the explanation.

This post was published at Wolf Street on November 30, 2016.

Keynesian Nirvana: Japanese Sinkhole That Was Repaired In Record Time, Sinks Again

In the world of Krugmanites, there is only one thing better for the economy than digging a hole and filling it back in.. and that is doing it twice. Just days after repairing a giant sinkhole, in the Japanese city of Fukuoka, in record time (and proudly telling the world), the sinkhole has collapsed once again (offering hope for Q4 GDP).
Japan appeared to have given a lesson in efficiency by hastily fixing the gaping 30 metres wide and 15 metres deep hole in Fukuoka in the south west of the country. As The Daily Mail reports, the city became the subject of international plaudits when footage emerged showing how dozens of construction workers laboured through the night with diggers, cranes and cement mixers to fix the 30m wide chasm.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2016.

RBS Fail Bank of England Stress Test

Ulster Bank Parent RBS Fails Bank of England Stress Test
‘Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)(RBS. L) will cut costs and sell assets to boost capital levels, it said on Wednesday after failing this year’s Bank of England stress test, which warned of a ‘challenging’ outlook for Britain’s financial system.
The state-backed lender rushed out a statement following the announcement to say it would take a range of actions, including selling off bad loans and cutting costs to make up the capital shortfall identified by the tests of around 2 billion pounds.
The unexpected result underlines the litany of problems RBS is grappling with, which include a mounting legal bill for misconduct ahead of the 2008 financial crisis and difficulties selling off assets such as its Williams & Glyn banking business.
The lender said it had agreed a plan of action with the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Bank of England’s enforcement arm, that should mean it does not have to tap markets to raise the money needed.’
From Reuters

This post was published at Gold Core on November 30, 2016.