Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WalMart Carnage: Stock Plummets Most In 17 Years After Slashing Earnings Guidance, Blames Wage Hikes

Do you see what happens Larry when Wal-mart succumbs to "progressive" pressure and hikes minimum wage? This:  WMT CFO: 2017 RISE IN WAGES TO COST $1.5B; WMT PLANS REDUCTION IN CAPITAL EXPENDITURES THROUGH FY19; WAL-MART SEES FY2017 EPS DECREASING 6-12% VS FY2016.  In other words, the company just slashed its 2017 earnings forecast by up to a whopping 12%: the reason - the recent increase in wages.  So did the American worker win for once? Alas, no...

U.S. Government Objective: Provoke Nations Around The World To Start The Next War

from X22 Report:

The Numbers Say That A Major Global Recession Has Already Begun

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
The biggest bank in the western world has just come out and declared that the global economy is “already in a recession”.  According to British banking giant HSBC, global trade is down 8.4 percent so far this year, and global GDP expressed in U.S. dollars is down 3.4 percent.  So those that are waiting for the next worldwide economic recession to begin can stop waiting.  It is officially here.  As you will see below, money is fleeing emerging markets at a blistering pace, major global banks are stuck with huge loans that will never be repaid, and it looks like a very significant worldwide credit crunch has begun.  Just a few days ago, I explained that the IMF, the UN, the BIS And Citibank were all warning that a major economic crisis could be imminent.  They aren’t just making this stuff up out of thin air, but most Americans still seem to believe that everything is going to be just fine.  The level of blind faith in the system that most people are demonstrating right now is absolutely astounding.
Read More…

Russia Sends Its Only Aircraft Carrier To Syria, Signals It Is Just Getting Started

The Kremlin is adopting a “slightly” different strategy when it comes to combatting terror in the Mid-East than that adopted by the US and its Western and regional allies...

US Arming Of Kurdish Rebels In Syria Is "Unacceptable", Turkey Warns

"As allied countries wouldn’t tolerate arms shipments to groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, Turkey definitely can’t accept weapons aid to groups linked to PKK."

US Housing Rolling Over Wells Fargo Confirms, As Mortgage Applications Plunge

Earlier today the largest U.S. mortgage lender Wells Fargo reported results that beat expectations by the smallest possible increment. What caught our attention, however, was the fuel that keeps Wells Fargo's engine humming: mortgage applications. Unfortunately for the housing bulls, there was no good news here because after rushing higher in early 2015 on the latest false hope of an economic recovery or due to fears rates are rising, Wells' mortgage applications and the associated pipeline have declined ever since.

Stephen Hawking Warns About the Greatest Threat to Humanity

from The Daily Sheeple:

Stephen Hawking has been outspoken in recent years about the catastrophic dangers humanity faces in the 21st century. He said we should be cautious in attempting to contact aliens, warning that advanced extraterrestrial life may not be friendly toward us and could destroy the human race. He also stated we should be cautious in creating strong artificial intelligence. The renowned physicist joined Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Google executive Demis Hassabis in signing a letter that warned against a military artificial intelligence arms race.
Hawking even issued a warning to the scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) about the dangers of the Higgs Boson “God Particle,” claiming it could initiate “catastrophic vacuum decay” — a quantum bubble that expands at the speed of light and wipes out the universe.
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"No Brainer" AAPL Tumbles Back Into Red For 2015

eAAPL shares are down 1.75% this morning - the biggest loss since September - sending the "no brainer" stock price back into the red for 2015. Having been unable to break resistance at the 50-day moving average, and with AAPL back under $110, we are sure investors will be "swapping" their stock certificates for iPens.

The Death Of Hopium

The "engine of our economy", the "cradle of innovation", the "land of tomorrow" -- whatever breathless hyperbole the fawning media is using this week -- is a sham. Silicon Valley has become a factory of hype, funneling gobs of early-stage capital into whatever half-credible concepts it can think of, and then pimping the artificially-inflated initial results of those tarted-up ventures to whichever "greater fool" is willing to acquire it or buy its IPO. Let that idiot figure out if it will ever turn a profit... Once the public's faith in Tech is shaken, how far behind will its faith in the Fed follow? Change happens quickly once beliefs shift.

Recession Looms - Business Inventories-to-Sales Surge To Cycle Highs

Business Inventories were unchanged in August (less than the expected 0.1% rise) with manufacturers down 0.3% - bad for Q3 GDP but Business Sales tumbled 0.6% MoM (the biggest drop since January), down across the board. So clearly no inventory liquidation has started yet (so the pain is yet to come) and this has driven the inventory-to-sales ratio up to 1.37x - the highest in this cycle. The last 2 times the ratio was at this level, the US was in recession.

Is This The "Death" Of The Dollar?

For the first time since September 2013, The USD Index just signalled a "death cross." Three of the last four times that the 50-day moving-average crossed below the 200-day moving-average, The USD Index tumbled significantly.

Rate-Hike Odds Are Plunging - March 2016 Now A 'Coin-Toss"

If the aim of The Fed's communication strategy was to convince the market that rates will not rise for a very long time... then they have been successful. Just as Goldman Sachs forecast, a US rate-hike is now extremely unlikely before March 2016 and falling fast. In fact, all of the major regions are seeing the market's implied number of months until a rate-hike rising rapidly.

FBI, DOJ Probe Goldman On Malaysia Prime Minister's Slush Fund

Back in August, we brought you the story of 1MDB, the Malaysian development bank turned-Najib slush fund with deep ties to Goldman. About a month later, the FBI announced an investigation into the fund after Malaysia arrested a former official who was trying to fly to New York to urge US authorities to look into the whole debacle. Now, as WSJ reports, the FBI and DOJ are looking into Goldman's role.

Iran Sends "Thousands" Of Troops To Syria For Russian-Backed Assault On Key City

"The big battle preparations in that area are clear. There is a large mobilization of the Syrian army ... elite Hezbollah fighters, and thousands of Iranians who arrived in stages in recent days."

Elliott's Paul Singer: "In A World Of Intentionally Degraded Currencies, Gold Should Be In Everyone's Portfolio"

In a world where the value of paper money is affirmatively aimed at being degraded by central bank policy, it’s kind of surprising to me that gold can’t catch a bid...I like gold. I believe its under-owned. It should be a part of every investment portfolio, maybe five to ten percent."

US Retail Sales Tumble Most Since January, Signal Sustained Recessionary Environment

Retail Sales (ex Auts) dropped 0.3% in September, the 2nd drop in a row, the biggest drop since January (at the heart of the weather-driven economic weakness). For the first time since February, the 'Control Group' Retail Sales dropped (down 0.1% vs +0.3% expectations) as sales dropped in 7 of 13 categories (but notably autos rose significantly but was offset by a collapse in gas station spending). Notably 27 out of 27 'experts' agreed that the control group sales data woul dnot be negative.. wrong! Year-over-year data shows sustained stagnant growth in retail sales historically aligned with a recessionary environment.

Dennis Gartman Turns Bearish And Futures Hit Overnight Highs

"when this sort of thing happens following bullish moves it has almost always signaled the end of the bull-run. Couple this unanimity of price movement with the “reversals” noted above and we have a situation that  concerns us greatly. Indeed it concerns us enough to exit our long positions entirely upon receipt of this commentaryCertainly we do not like switching positions this quickly, for we appear to be flippant and foolhardy, but history tells us that we have no choice."

China Pumps & Europe Dumps As Gold Stalls At Key Technical Level

Gold had a busy night as China's significantly weaker Yuan 'Fix' sent the precious metal higher top test the 200-day moving average and Europe's open (Asia's close) sparked a modest flash-crash retracing the entire move.

Bank of America Net Interest Margin Drops To All Time Low, FICC Revenues Tumble 11%

While yesterday's JPM results missed from the top to the bottom, coupled with a surprising and aggressive deleveraging of the bank's balance sheet which has shrunk by over $150 billion in 2015 mostly on the back of a decline in deposits, Bank of America reported numbers which were largely the opposite when it printed a modest beat on both the top line with $20.9 billion in revenues (adjusted sales of $20.6Bn vs Exp. $20.5Bn), down $500 million from a year ago, and the bottom line: generating $0.35 in adjusted earnings in the quarter, 2 cents better than the $0.33 consensus estimate.

Futures Continue Slide On Latest Chinese Economic Disappointments, Gold Hammered

When China was closed for one week at the end of September, something which helped catalyze the biggest weekly surge in US stocks in years, out of sight meant out of mind, and many (mostly algos) were hoping that China's problems would miraculously just go away. Alas after yesterday's latest trade data disappointment, it was once again China which confirmed that nothing is getting better with its economy in fact quite the contrary, and one quick look at the chart of wholesale, or factory-gate deflation, below shows that China is rapidly collapsing to a level last seen in 2009 because Chinese PPI plunged by 5.9% Y/Y, its 43rd consecutive drop - a swoon which is almost as bad as Caterpillar retail sales data.

It Begins - Managed High Yield Bond Fund Liquidates After 17 Years

Since inception in June 1998, UBS' Managed High Yield Plus Fund survived through the dot-com (and Telco) collapse and the post-Lehman credit carnage but, based on the press release today, has been felled by the current credit cycle's crash. After 3 years of trading at an increasingly large discount to NAV, and plunging to its worst levels since the peak of the financial crisis, the board of the Fund has approved a proposal to liquidate the Fund. While timing is unclear, this is the worst case for an increasingly fragile cash bond market as BWICs galore are set to hit with "liquidty thin to zero."

Ludicrous Proposal By Venezuela's Maduro To Combat Oil Price Damage

Venezuela’s economy is in desperate trouble. The country is highly dependent on oil reserves and has no significant substitute for black gold in the near term. That reality makes Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s recent efforts to tout the country’s technology industry laughable.

Deconstructing Money

from The Victory Report:

How Modern Life Destroys Survival Instinct

by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Our world today would seem magical to our ancestors. Our needs are met almost immediately, we have clean water at the turn of a knob, heat at the push of a button, and light with the flip of a switch. Food is purchased in a box, ready to heat, and a person can prepare a meal in under 6 minutes using the microwave oven that’s a fixture in most modern kitchens.
Our world is clean, convenient, and loaded with abundant resources, things that took significant time and effort to produce in days gone by.
But all of this convenience comes at a high price, one we don’t even realize exists until a situation arises in which the ready answers aren’t there, the food is not available, and the dial on the thermostat no longer has any effect at all.
Read More

Mom Of Benghazi Victim Makes Big Claim About Gowdy And Hillary Everyone Needs To See

from Western Journalism:

The mother of one of the four victims of the 2012 Benghazi attack wants answers, and she believes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is someone who must provide them.
When questioned about the accusations that the House Select Committee on Benghazi has become too focused on Clinton for political reasons, Patricia Smith (mother of Sean Smith) responded, “First of all, it is about Hillary. It was her department, her area, her bailiwick. She did all the instruction of what should be done there. Why shouldn’t they talk to Hillary about it?”
Smith praised the work of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and its chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy. “I think he’s doing a good job,” the mother told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Tuesday.
Read More

Keep eating that pacific ocean fish....

Fukushima Tomioka the abandoned city

from Noguchi Katsuya:


by Jon Schwarz, The Intercept:

On October 3, a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Kunduz, Afghanistan, partially destroying it. Twelve staff members and 10 patients, including three children, were killed, and 37 people were injured. According to MSF, the U.S. had previously been informed of the hospital’s precise location, and the attack continued for 30 minutes after staff members desperately called the U.S. military.
The U.S. first claimed the hospital had been “collateral damage” in an airstrike aimed at “individuals” elsewhere who were “threatening the force.” Since then, various vague and contradictory explanations have been offered by the U.S. and Afghan governments, both of which promise to investigate the bombing. MSF has called the attack a war crime and demanded an independent investigation by a commission set up under the Geneva Conventions.
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And What’s Going to Happen at the Next Recession?

from Wolf Street:

Six years after the recession ended, we are due for another recession. Many experts say that the government is “out of bullets” to fight the next severe downturn. That’s quite false because 2008 marked the start of a new era in which our leaders manage the business cycles using strange and awesome tools. We’ll learn the long-term effects of these tools slowly, probably only decades later.
“All is not lost until you run out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas.” — Pilots’ wisdom.
Expect the next recession
Free market economic systems produce greater growth than any other system yet tried. Business cycles — and recessions — are a price we pay for the growth. They’re unpredictable, literally so: the consensus of economists has never predicted one. They can destroy years of growth, and change the course of nations. The 2008 crash did both, as shown by this slide from a typically excellent analysis by Brad DeLong.
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Financial Collapse to Wipe Away All the Lies-Rick Ackerman

from USA Watchdog:

Financial analyst Rick Ackerman says the mother of all market meltdowns is a sure thing.
It is just a question of when, and when it starts, it will simply implode at a stunning pace. Ackerman explains, “We’re in a situation now where any day something can happen. I think that the black swan will be something like the stock market starting down for no apparent reason. That in itself would trigger the implosion, and I think the only thing that is propping up the markets now is the mentality of . . . how bad can things be if the stock market is trading within shooting distant of all-time highs? I think the stock market is the main buttress of this enormous hoax that has been going on with easing (QE or money printing).”
Ackerman says when the end game finally crescendos, it will be stunning and quick. Ackerman contends, “It will be literally overnight. There are investors who say I’m smart and I’m nimble, and I’ll be out of this at the first sign of trouble.


from Natural Gas Europe:
Russia takes advantage
The involvement of Russia in the Syrian war is a development of macro-historical proportions. It is the first time in history that Russia intervenes directly, and with formidable military force, in the Middle East, within a stone’s throw from the Saudi Peninsula where immense hydrocarbon reserves are securing the world’s energy. Even during the height of the might of the former USSR in the wars back in 1967 and 1973, Moscow was adamant about not investing military and was cautiously supporting either Egypt or Syria via aid and training. Apart from the wider geopolitical change of balances that are observed, there are consequent micro-trends that directly affect the natural gas sector in the region.
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Impact of Released TPP Agreement

by James Hall, BATR:
As the details in the TPP agreement become known, the worries mount. The BATR RealPolitik Newsletter October 8, 2015 edition, TPP Deceitful Deal is Done, has a number of significant articles on the TPP agreement and links to the recently released sections of the document. Finally, the opportunity to examine the particulars allows for citing specifics. What are you supposed to believe, your own evaluation of the terms or the Summary of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement provided by the government?
Two sections prove enlightening. Start out with the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter is “A Disaster for Global Health” and read the Expert Analysis: “Pharmaceutical Provisions in the TPP” (PDF, HTML).
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Bill Fleckenstein Answers Important Questions On The Gold Market And QE4

from KingWorldNews:
Overnight equity markets were generally lower, as were the SPOOs, but once trading got under way the market scrambled back to unchanged, which is where it sat through midday before it began to leak in the afternoon. By day’s end the indices had lost about 0.75%…
In Volatile Markets, Is Wealth Preservation King?
In a King World News interview I spoke with the man who predicted the Swiss National Bank would experience staggering losses and that the Fed would also experience massive losses that will destabilize the global financial system! His company is the only one in the world offering a precious metals investment service outside the banking system, with direct ownership and full control by the investor. He has also become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, and major global events.
Read More…

Elite Preparing to “Insulate From Revolution, Rebellion, Anarchy” After an Economic Collapse

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

It is no secret that the world is teetering dangerously close to disaster.
Saving the system may be impossible, even if the powers that be delay or diffuse the worst of it for some time to come.
Most people have no idea what to expect if it comes crashing down.
But others have been prepping for years to make sure they can survive if the power, the food supply, or the entire society ceases to be functional.
Read More

Your Data Isn’t Safe in the USA

from Nestmann:
In 2013, former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden stunned the world by revealing top-secret details of the agency’s data collection practices. Ever since, individuals and companies all over the world have been trying to figure out how to keep their data safe from Uncle Sam’s prying eyes.
The NSA isn’t content to simply vacuum data out of cyberspace, although it collects enormous amounts of data that way. It also actively undermines data security in a variety of ways. For instance, what the NSA calls “active implants” are installed on “network infrastructure devices” to conduct “targeted copying.” In plain English, this means the NSA is using sophisticated hacking tools to subvert the Internet’s security architecture at its most basic level.
Read More

How to Think Critically | Fighting Against Propaganda

from Stefan Molyneux:

Obama: ‘Americans’ Suspicion Of Government Is Paralyzing’

President suggests Christians holding back America from doing “big things”
by Steve Watson, Infowars:
In a somewhat under the radar “interview,” The President made some candid comments that reveal more than usual regarding his end of office agenda, noting that he finds American’s common skepticism of government “paralyzing”.
In what is billed as a ‘conversation’ with with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson, for the November issue of The New York Review of Books, Obama bemoaned the notion that Americans’ “conceptions of government can get us in trouble.”
Speaking about his idea of ‘progress’, Obama noted:
“Whenever I hear people saying that our problems would be solved without government, I always want to tell them you need to go to some other countries where there really is no government.”
Read More

Warning On The Markets And A Look At The Destruction Of A Culture And A Nation

from KingWorldNews:
“(Today we will revisit one of the most devastating economic events in recorded history. It all began with the efforts of a few, well-intentioned government officials.)
Originally, on this (-2) day in 1922, the German Central Bank and the German Treasury took an inevitable step in a process which had begun with their previous effort to “jump start” a stagnant economy. Many months earlier they had decided that what was needed was easier money. Their initial efforts brought little response. So, using the governmental “more is better” theory they simply created more and more money.
But economic stagnation continued and so did the money growth. They kept making money more available. No reaction. Then, suddenly prices began to explode unbelievably (but, perversely, not business activity).
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The Truth About the Federal Reserve: A New Strategy for Conveying It

from TomWoodsTV:

United Nations Doctor Outlines 5 Key GMO Dangers in Recent Talk

by Christina Sarich, Natural Society:
Dr. Judy Carman, an appointed expert on GMOs, has much to teach us about the dangers of biotech’s tinkering with our food supply. Not only does she point out some very obvious flaws in the regulatory process of approving genetically modified organisms in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, but she also details the holes in the argument of ‘substantial equivalency’ that companies like Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, and Syngenta try to use as reason to continue selling GM crops to the world. Dr. Carman points 5 significant points about GMOs and the lack of sufficient scientific testing in a recent talk.
1. GMOs are Not ‘Substantially Equivalent’ to Non-GMO Foods
Proving GMOs substantially-equivalent to their non-GM counterparts is a laughable task. As Dr. Carman points out, there is no definition by regulatory agents of what is needed in an organism to pass and what is recognizable in one that would fail. She says “it’s like trying to fail at a speed test when there is no speed.”
Read More

A Desperate Sweden Looks To "Fix" Broken QE With Massive Muni Monetizing Madness

Way back in June we documented the “curious” case of Sweden’s broken QE and when we used the term “broken”, we didn’t just mean that inflation expectations weren’t moving higher. We meant that bond yields were rising as the adverse impact from the illiquidity "premium" surpassed the price appreciation benefit from frontrun central bank buying. Fast forward three months and Sweden looks set to “solve” the broken QE problem and by extension ensure it can stay in the currency war games by expanding the list of eligible assets to muni bonds.


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