Jeff Sessions To Testify Tuesday Before Senate Intel Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
Sessions’ testimony will come less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey appeared before the committee and declined to say that President Donald Trump tried to interfere in the FBI’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 10, 2017.

10/6/17: Cart & Rails of the U.S. Monetary Policy

So, folks, what’s wrong with this picture, eh?

Let’s start thinking. The U. S. Treasury yields are underlying the global measure of inflation since the onset of the global ‘fake recovery’. Both have been and are still trending to the downside. Sounds plausible for a ‘hedge’ asset against global economic stagnation. And the U. S. Treasuries can be thought of as such, given the U. S. economy’s lead-timing for the global economy. Except for a couple of things: U. S. Treasury is literally running out of money (by August, it will need to issue new paper to cover arising obligations and there is a pesky problem of debt ceiling looming again); U. S. Fed is signalling two (or possibly three) hikes over the next 6 months and (even more importantly) no willingness to restart buying Treasuries again; U. S. political risks are rising, not abating, and (equally important) these risks are now evolving faster than global geopolitical risks (the hedge’ is becoming less ‘safe’ than the risks it is supposed to hedge);

This post was published at True Economics on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
One of the most challenging aspects of survival is handling a medical emergency when you’re in the middle of a crisis, especially if you’re nowhere near a quality medical facility.
That’s where Omar Hamada comes in. Omar is a 14-year veteran of the U. S. Army, 10 years of which were spent in the U. S. Army Special Forces. Currently, he works as an emergency room physician at one of the largest and busiest hospitals in Tennessee.
Omar has been working with me on Spy & Survival Briefing for several months, and recently he offered to lend his expertise to the Black Bag Confidential Weekly Drop.
Which means we want to hear from YOU.
If you want to know about wound care dos and don’ts, how to stabilize broken or sprained limbs, what medical supplies you should have in your bug-out bag or any other survival medicine topics, send your questions to spy@LFB.org.
Now let’s get to this week’s batch of reader mail.
I have a friend who used to work for FEMA and reads something like your survival email. Now he is a nervous wreck and has developed anxiety and IBS. Scaring people, the gold madness, etc…. not nice.
– John P.

This post was published at Laissez Faire on Jun 10, 2017.

Debt-Based Money Corrodes Society

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of The Daily Reckoning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
We open today’s reckoning with a hypothesis:
The current monetary system debauches the culture.
Long-suffering readers are familiar with our… diminished regard for paper money.
Paper money – or digital money nowadays – is the great bogeyman of the boom/bust cycle. It inflates bubbles of every model and make.
Meanwhile, paper money fuels big government… as oxygen fuels fire.
But paper money’s effects on the culture?
‘It has a very important impact on our culture,’ writes economist Jorg Guido Hulsmann.
Under ‘natural money’ like gold Hulsmann explains, prices tend to fall over time.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Brian Maher ‘ June 10, 2017.

Bill Maher: Trump Had “Worse Week” Than Me

Bill Maher had a pretty bad week – though it’s notable that he somehow managed to keep his job as host of HBO’s ‘Real Time’ after using an offensive racial epithet on air.
But having apologized for using the ‘n word” during an interview with Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, maybe Maher was just trying to put the incident behind him when he joked that President Trump had it even worse.
‘There is someone who had a worse week than me: Donald Trump,” Maher said. Maher said that former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, which the media billed as the Superbowl of politics, confirmed what Mahar and many other liberals believe to be the truth about Trump: That he repeatedly tried to pressure Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn – an act tantamount to obstruction of justice – then lied about it. But anyone who watched the testimony could see that, if anything, it destroyed both the collusion narrative – the idea that Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russians to sway the election – and the notion that Trump wrongly interfered with Comey.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 10, 2017.

Land of the grown adults living at home: 5 reasons why California will continue to have millions of Millennials living at home.

California has millions of young adults living at home with parents because they are unable to venture out into an expensive rental or a dilapidated crap shack costing close to $1 million. It is interesting to see many articles written by baby boomers sporting beer guts and how Millennials are ‘destroying’ many industries like chain restaurants (i.e., TGIFs, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc) or retail stores (i.e., Sears, K-Mart, etc), or are simply not buying homes. Of course Millennials have different habits. And getting stuck with an absurd 30-year mortgage on a dump is not a big aspiration for many. They are more into health and wellness, life experiences, and many are delaying marriage. So why do they need a home? The data is backing all of this up of course contrary to the house humpers that continue to sing the praises of $1 million crap shacks. California is in a major rental revolution. And Millennials will continue to live at home in mass for a few reasons.

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on June 10, 2017.

Illinois In Deep Financial Trouble

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza was ordered to make a ‘substantial’ dent in a $2 billion backlog of bills owed to Medicaid providers. The courts ruled that according to the State Constitution, it cannot reduce the pension payments to state employees. What is happening in Illinois is indicative of how governments are imploding and why I am warning get out of all State and Muni-debt before it is too late. Since State and local governments cannot ‘print’ (create) money, they are forced to borrow and raise taxes. Consequently, they have hit the ceiling in tax resistance. What is happening is people are gradually migrating because there is absolutely no hope for states like Illinois. The only way out will have to be bankruptcy and a default on all the pension promises.
A federal judge has now intervened ordering the Comptroller to now prioritize who it pays. This is turning into the clash of titans – the epic battle between medical expenses that constantly rise regardless of the business cycle and state employees demanding pensions. Caught in the middle are the average middle class American who is being exploited from both sides. The judge now ordered the state to pay up towards Medicaid to keep doctors and hospitals from cutting off care for the low-income families that rely on the program.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 10, 2017.

U.S. Weeks Away From A Recession According To Latest Loan Data

While many “conventional” indicators of US economic vibrancy and strength have lost their informational and predictive value over the past decade (GDP fluctuates erratically especially in Q1, employment is the lowest this century yet real wage growth is non-existent, inflation remains under the Fed’s target despite its $4.5 trillion balance sheet and so on), one indicator has remained a stubbornly fail-safe marker of economic contraction: since the 1960, every time Commercial & Industrial loan balances have declined (or simply stopped growing), whether due to tighter loan supply or declining demand, a recession was already either in progress or would start soon.
This can be seen on both the linked chart, and the one zoomed in below, which shows the uncanny correlation between loan growth and economic recession.

And while we have repeatedly documented the sharp decline in US Commercial and Industrial loan growth over the past few months (most recently in “We Now Know “Who Hit The Brakes” As Loan Creation Crashes To Six Year Low“) as US loans have failed to post any material increase in over 30 consecutive weeks, suddenly the US finds itself on the verge of an ominous inflection point.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 10, 2017.

Goldman: “The Last Time The Market Acted Like This Was At The Tech Bubble Peak”

Yesterday’s dramatic “rotational” divergence between tech stocks and the rest of the market, which as Sentiment Trader pointed out the only time in history when the Dow Jones closed at a new all time high while the Nasdaq dropped 2% was on April 14, 1999, stunned many and prompted Bloomberg to write that “a crack has finally formed in the foundation of the U. S. bull market. Now investors must decide if any structural damage has been done.”
This year’s hottest stocks, companies from Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. to Netflix Inc. and Nvidia Corp., buckled Friday, spurring losses that sent the Nasdaq 100 to its biggest drop relative to the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 2008. An alternative explanation is that the purge in tech stocks, responsible for half the market’s gains in 2017…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 10, 2017.

Is Another Spanish Bank about to Bite the Dust?

Stockholders and junior bondholders fear a ‘bail-in.’
After its most tumultuous week since the bailout days of 2012, Spain’s banking system is gripped by a climate of fear, uncertainty and distrust. Rather than allaying investor nerves, the shotgun bail-in and sale of Banco Popular to Santander on Tuesday has merely intensified them. For the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, shareholders and subordinate bondholders of a failing Spanish bank were not bailed out by taxpayers; they took risks in order to make a buck, and they bore the consequences. That’s how it should be. But bank investors don’t like not getting bailed out.
Now they’re worrying it could happen again. As Popular’s final days showed, once confidence and trust in a bank vanishes, it’s almost impossible to restore them. The fear has now spread to Spain’s eighth largest lender, Liberbank, a mini-Bankia that was spawned in 2011 from the forced marriage of three failed cajas (savings banks), Cajastur, Caja de Extremadura and Caja Cantabria.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 10, 2017.

In “Personal Blow” Theresa May’s Two Closest Advisors Quit After Election Debacle

In the aftermath of the stunning loss by Theresa May’s Conservative party in the UK General Elections, bookmakers quickly made Labour’s Jeremy Corbin the odds-on favorite to become the UK’s next Prime Minister, implying May would resign shortly. That contingency, however, got a last minute reprieve when May announced on Friday she would seek to form a minority government with the help of a small Northern Irish party, the far-right Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), extending her political career if only for the immediate future. However, the turmoil within the Conservative Party re-emerged on Saturday when Theresa May was forced to part ways with her two closest advisors, after the PM was warned she faced a leadership challenge unless she sacked Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 10, 2017.

Doug Noland: Crowded Longs, Shorts and a New Z1

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin . To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
It was a week that saw Mario Draghi cling stubbornly to ultra-dovish monetary policy, the UK’s Brexit strategy thrown into even greater disarray after Prime Minister May’s failed election gambit, and the former Director of the FBI essentially testify that our President is a scoundrel. And then there’s the Middle East…
In the midst of it all, after trading at a 24-year low 9.37 Friday morning, an abrupt reversal had the VIX ending the week at 10.70. Looking at the S&P500’s slight (0.3%) decline for the week, one might be tempted to think comfortably ‘boring.’ Market internals, though, were anything but boring or comforting. Friday’s session saw the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) swing wildly. After trading to an all-time high 5,898 in the first hour of U. S. trading, the index sank over 4.0% to 5,658 before closing the session down 2.44% at 5,742. Amazon traded in an intraday range of 1013 to 927. Looking at ‘FANG’ plus Microsoft and Apple, major market cap was evaporating in a hurry. By the end of Friday’s session, Facebook had declined 3.3%, Apple 3.9%, Amazon 3.2%, Microsoft 2.3%, Netflix 4.7% and Google 3.4%. The semiconductors (SOX) traded at a multi-year high 1,149 early in Friday’s session, then sank 7.0% before recovering somewhat to close the day down 4.3% at 1,090. Biotech (BTK) rose 1.5% in the morning to an all-time high and then closed the session slightly lower.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ June 10, 2017.

Mall Tenants Seek Shorter Leases As America’s Relics Of The 80’s Teeter On The Brink

As if things weren’t bad enough for America’s mall owners, what with the having to filling their retail space with high schools, grocers and churches, it seems that retailers have grown so uncertain about the future of these 1980s relics that they’re only willing to sign 1-2 leases these days.
As Bloomberg points out this morning, leases renewals used to be 5-10 years in length but are increasingly only being signed with 1-2 year terms. Meanwhile, thousands of stores are closing each year and it’s only expected to get worse over time.

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

Trump Hints He Has Comey Tapes, Tells Press: “You’re Going To Be Very Disappointed, Don’t Worry”

Trump just dropped an awful lot of bombs in a very short period of time during a brief press conference with the Romanian President held in the White House Rose Garden.
First, on the issue of the infamous ‘Comey tapes,’ Trump hinted that they do, in fact, exist and he will “tell you about it over a short period of time.”

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