Trump Says “Not About Race” As NFL Players, Owners Defy Calls To Stand For National Anthem

Update (6:45 pm ET): More NFL teams are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s call for the NFL to “change its policy” to stop players from kneeling for the National Anthem. The Tennessee Titans announced they are joining the Seattle Seahawks in deciding not to come out for the national anthem. The Seahawks announced nearly 30 minutes before kickoff that they would not stand because they ‘will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.’
The Titans followed 10 minutes later by saying they too would remain in the locker room during the national anthem. They posted a statement on their website noting they want to be unified as a team with the players deciding jointly that staying inside was the best course of action.
Looks like the approach of staying in the locker room, where players are hidden from public view, is catching on after the Pittsburg Steelers tried it earlier today.
So get used to seeing images like this:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets

The incoming economic data hasn’t changed its tone all that much in the last several years. The US economy is growing but more slowly than it once did and we hope it does again. It is frustrating for economic bulls and bears, never fully satisfying either. Probably more important is the frustration of the average American, a dissatisfaction with the status quo that permeates the national debate. The housing bubble papered over the annoying lack of income growth and eroding job security of the new millennium in a way the financial market gains of today can’t.
Rising home prices were able to assuage middle America’s income angst because well over 60% of occupied housing is occupied by the owner. The wealth effect may not be very strong overall but it does seem to be larger for the less wealthy. That is especially so with housing because it is a leveraged asset for most owners. The very wealthy may own their homes outright but the vast majority of Americans do not. So when the value of your house rises by even 10%, leverage of say, 10 to 1, means it can have a pretty dramatic effect on your net worth. A doubling or tripling of your net worth through the magic of borrowed money can go a long way in helping you forget that you haven’t had a raise in a long time.
The more recent financial market exuberance – bubble? I don’t know – doesn’t have the same impact for several reasons. First of all, only about 50% of Americans own stock. Second, the vast majority of it is not leveraged. Third, the average American just doesn’t have much in the way of savings regardless of how it is invested. No matter how high financial markets go, the average American just isn’t going to benefit much directly.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Joseph Y. Calhoun ‘ September 24, 2017.

“Go Out & Vote!” – Catalan Separatists Defy Spain, Distribute 1 Million Ballots Ahead Of Referendum

Following the confiscation of millions of ballots in recent days, and the Spanish governments’ pressure on local mayors to deter the October 1st independence referendum, AP reports that the grassroots groups driving Catalonia’s separatist movement defied Spanish authorities on Sunday by distributing one million ballots for the vote that Madrid has called illegal and vowed to halt.
Jordi Cuixart, president of the separatist group Omnium Cultural, announced the ballots were being distributed during a rally in Barcelona.
‘Here are the packs of ballots that we ask you to hand out across Catalonia,’ Cuixart said.
Catalonia’s separatists have pledged to hold the vote regardless of the central government’s wishes and rallied Sunday in public squares in Barcelona and other towns in the region.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.

The Demise Of The Dollar As We Know It: ‘A Break Is Coming… On A Worldwide Basis’

The significance of the shift taking place on a geo-political basis to unseat the U. S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency cannot be understated. It is, by all means, a complete upending of the financial and economic systems as we have come to know them. According to Keith Neumeyer, the Chairman of First Mining Finance and Chief Executive Officer of First Majestic Silver, the world’s purest silver producing mining company, the move is already taking place with countries like China, Russia, Venezuela and Iran already beginning to trade commodities with Yuan, Rubles and gold.
Amid a recent announcement about developments in the gold and silver mining industry discussed in the following interview with SGT Report, Neumeyer, who previously called out, in very public fashion, the manipulation of precious metals by a small concentration of market players, says that the global currency wars currently playing out on the monetary battlefield will lead to significant price increases in the world’s most trusted hard assets of last resort.

This post was published at shtfplan on September 24th, 2017.

Whatever The Fed Does… It’s Bullish

It’s Bullish…
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced the latest decision by the Federal Open Market Committee with respect to monetary policy. That decision contained two primary components:
No rate hike currently, although, as expected, announcements of further rate hikes in the future, and; The beginning of the process to cease reinvestment of the Fed’s balance sheet. The announcement was notable for two reasons:
The Fed did NOT hike rates because the underlying economic data, and, in particular, the inflation data, suggests the economy is too weak to absorb a further increase currently, and; The unwinding of the balance sheet is generally believed to be bullish for stocks. It is specifically the second point I want to address today, although, as shown below, commodities, PCE inflation, and interest rates currently suggests there is downside risk to current economic projections.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.

An Insider’s View Of The Bitcoinization Of Venezuela

With Venezuela ‘almost’ defaulting on their government debt this week, Daniel Osorio, of Andean Capital Advisors, has had a front-row seat in the collapse of the socialist utopia, spending at least a week every month in the almost-failed state.
In a brief but fascinating interview on CNBC, Osorio discussed the fact that as Washington unleashes ever tougher sanctions on Maduro, China and Russia are all that’s left for the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world.
Then exposed the realities of living under Maduro’s crazed policies:
“Venezuela was one of the richest per-capita nations in the world… but now, hyperinflation is a very difficult thing to understand until you have to buy lunch…“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.

German Establishment Routed: AfD Second In Former East Germany; Result “Less Market Friendly Than Expected”

The first sellside comments on today’s German elections – which as a reminder was a disaster for the German establishment, following the worst showing for the CDU/CSU since 1949 and the worst result for the SPD since 1945 with support for both parties tumbling since the 2013 elections…
… have started to trickle, in and according to SEB, the result is ‘less market-friendly’ than expected.
Quoted by Bloomberg, SEB cross-asset strategist Thomas Thygesen said that the result is a victory for Angela Merkel as expected, but her mandate going into negotiations about deeper euro integration does not look quite as strong.
“It looks like marginally less market-friendly than expected,’ Thygesen said adding that ‘I’d say this is in line with our expectation that the euro would pause around $1.20 vs dollar and then maybe retrace a couple of percent over the autumn.’
‘The AFD above 10% suggests that even here the stakes are high: if the European project doesn’t fly this time in a way that voters like, Germany could look less politically stable in a few years.’
A note from Pantheon’s Claus Vistesen is similarly concerned about the election outcome and the viability of the upcoming coalition:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.

In Major Disappointment, Merkel Wins German Election Despite Worst Result Since 1949; AfD Surges To Enter Parliament

Germany, ARD exit poll: Far-right #AfD (ENF) second strongest party in former Eastern Germany. #btw17 #Wahl17
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) September 24, 2017

Update: FX markets just opened and as expected there is some Euro-selling pressure in the early going…
Update: here is the latest breakdown according to ARD:
Merkel’s CDU/CSU projected to win 32.9% of votes SPD projected to win 20.8% AfD projected to win 13.1% FDP projected to win 10.5% Greens projected to win 8.9% Left projected to win 8.9% The following Bloomberg projection of the Bundestag’s projected seat breakdown shows just how strong the AfD surge has been in context, and how splintered Germany’s establishment is as a result.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.

The Killing of History ~John Pilger

One of the most hyped ‘events’ of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, ‘They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way’.
In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its ‘exceptionalism’, Burns’ ‘entirely new’ Vietnam war is presented as ‘epic, historic work’. Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.
Burns says he is grateful to ‘the entire Bank of America family’ which ‘has long supported our country’s veterans’. Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.
I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war ‘was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings’.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 22, 2017.

Technical Scoop – Weekend Update Sep 24

Weekly Update
It is the Kim and Donald show. As in Kim Jong Un the North Korean Supreme Leader, and Donald Trump the US President. Donald Trump threatened to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea and made fun of Kim as the ‘Rocket Man.’ Kim responded by calling Donald Trump a ‘mentally deranged U. S. dotard.’ For those not in the know, a dotard is someone who is old, useless, and demented. Also refers to someone who is lethargic and dull. The two have been exchanging colourful threats and insults back and forth now for some time. North Korea followed the latest one up by suggesting they might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific. Trump called Kim a ‘madman.’
If this were the WWE, we suppose this might pass as entertainment. Instead, these are two world leaders threatening to blow the world to smithereens. While the ongoing ‘tit for tat’ threats passed back and forth between North Korea’s testing of missiles into the ocean and sometimes over Japan have at times negatively impacted markets, the markets now seem to be ignoring the two with their ongoing spat. Except it is difficult to ignore Donald Trump’s threats to destroy North Korea and then realizing that North Korea has the capability to do a lot of destruction as well.
Lost in the shuffle is that China, and to a lesser extent Russia, have said that if the US were to attack North Korea then they would have to get involved and support North Korea. Recall that during the Korean War 1950 – 53 the Americans had pushed deep into North Korea and appeared to be on the cusp of seizing the entire peninsula. China responded by sending in 500,000 troops to assist the North Koreans and they successfully pushed the Americans back to the DMZ zone where the war ended in a stalemate and armistice.
Also lost in the shuffle was the Fed meeting this past week. The Fed announced that they will be starting to cut its $4.5 trillion balance sheet starting in October. Initially it will be $10 billion a month. Fed chair Janet Yellen said that it will be gradual and predictable. The Fed left interest rates unchanged at 1.25% to 1.50%; however, they expect to raise interest rates one more time this year, probably in December and then three hikes in 2018. The somewhat more hawkish tone sent interest rates slightly higher, steadied the stock markets that merely inched their way higher, caused the US$ to jump higher and gold sold off.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 24 September 2017.

Putting America’s Record-Breaking $20 Trillion Debt In Global Context

The U. S. federal government just passed a record $20 trillion in publicly held debt. That’s bigger than the entire economy of every country in the European Union, combined.
As notes, the debt will only grow higher unless President Trump and the U. S. Congress can agree to unprecedented spending cuts combined with tax increases.
Don’t count on that happening anytime soon. Most people think that an eye-popping $20+ trillion debt is insurmountable, and in fact, it is the largest in the world by far.
But when you look at another fiscal measure – the ratio of debt-to-GDP – the U. S. is not in the worst situation…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.

In Marketing and in Markets, Don’t be the Mark!

I have made countless posts lampooning the mainstream media and its eyeball harvesting, click baiting content. This content and especially the associated headlines (let’s recall the classic R. I. P. Bond Bull Market as Charts Say Last Gasps Have Been Taken, dated Dec. 2016 as but one example) are designed to whip up emotions, draw attention and thereby gain traffic and ad dollars (diminishing though they are these days). is and always will be ad-free, by the way.
So sure, the bond bull market may well have ended in the Brexit and NIRP dominated summer of anxiety (in fact I believe it did), but any good contrarian would have seen the trade setup to go bearish on bonds in the middle of that hysteria, not a half a year later when Bloomberg used Louis Yamada’s chart to make a big headline. From a post in June 2016 about the Silver/Gold ratio and the prospects for a future ‘inflation trade’ right at the height of the bond bull…
‘All of this as the world sits in Treasury bonds and global NIRP garbage. Perfect. More and more it is looking like Brexit may have been an exclamation point.’

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 24 September 2017.

**** The NFL

It’s quite simple folks: You never have the right to use your professional position, while on the job, to advocate for a political position or perspective outside of that which your boss explicitly endorses and supports.
If you choose to do so anyway then you ought to be immediately fired for cause.
When I ran MCSNet anyone who did such a thing would have been instantly fired. This would have been true even if I supported the political position in question personally because to choose to do so without the explicit endorsement and participation of the corporation is to abuse your position at the firm for your personal political advocacy.
That is simply not your decision as an employee to make. Such an action constitutes gross insubordination and that’s a fireable offense anywhere I’ve ever worked from the most-lowly job to the most-prestigious.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-09-24.

Trump Bars Breitbart From Alabama Rally As Feud With Bannon Escalates

Apparently, this is what Steve Bannon meant when he swore he would never turn on his old boss during a series of interviews he gave after leaving the West Wing.
The simmering feud between Breitbart and President Donald Trump intensified on Friday as the Trump communications team barred a Breitbart reporter from the press pool during a Trump rally in Alabama, where the president was campaigning for Luther Strange (aka “Big L”) – his pick to permanently fill the Alabama senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump announced his support for Strange weeks ago, eliciting howls of outrage from Bannon and Breitbart, who have accused Strange of being a ‘swamp creature’ and blasted him for his association with former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned earlier this year following a widely publicized sex scandal. Strange served as attorney general of Alabama (Sessions’ old job) under Bentley, and has been working with Trump for months after being appointed by Bentley to temporarily fill Sessions’ old seat.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.

U.S. Retirement Market Ponzi Fueled By Record Concentration In Stocks By Young Americans

For the U. S. Retirement Market Ponzi Scheme to continue, there must be a new group of suckers to pay for the individuals who are receiving benefits. Without a new flow of funds, the Ponzi Scheme comes crashing down. Such was the case for the individuals who invested in the $65 billion Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme that came crashing down in 2008.
Interestingly, the U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that investigated Madoff Securities in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006, found no evidence of fraud or the need for legal action by the commission. The failure of the SEC to find any wrong-doing by Bernie Madoff should provide Americans with plenty of reassurance and confidence that their 401k’s are the highest quality sound investments in the market.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on SEPTEMBER 24, 2017.