Thursday, December 29, 2016

Obama Mocked By Russian Embassy: "Everyone Will Be Glad To See The Last Of This Hapless Administration"

Russia Warns Of "Proportional Response" To Obama's "Paranoia"

"The US sanctions against Russia are the signs of a real paranoia..and are futile and counter-productive... I can only reconfirm that this hysteria obviously, deals a blow on the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect...."

US Retaliates Against Russia For "Hacking The Election": Expels 35 Diplomats, Closes Compounds, Issues Sanctions

As promised (or threatened), in retaliation for "Russian hacking" of the US elections, so far without providing a shred of evidence, the Obama administration announced the US will kick out 35 Russian diplomats and shutter 2 Russian compounds in the US. When announcing the steps, Obama said "all Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions."

Full Statement By President Obama On US "Actions In Response" To Russian Hacking

"Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government's aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests.... All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions."

3 Things: Records Are Records For A Reason

First, 'record levels' of anything are records for a reason. It is the point at which previous limits were reached. Therefore, when a ‘record level’ is reached, it is NOT THE BEGINNING, but rather an indication of the MATURITY of a cycle. While the media has focused on employment, record stock market levels, etc. as a sign of an ongoing economic recovery, history suggests caution.  The charts below suggest that current levels should be a sign of caution rather than exuberance.

Bonds & Bullion Bounce But Banks Bruised As Dollar Dumps

Unrelenting “PM-Bullish, Everything-Else-Bearish” Headlines-To Usher Out 2016, And Foreshadow 2017

by Andy Hoffman, Miles Franklin:
It’s my last article of what I believe is the penultimate year of survival for history’s largest; most destructive; and for the first time, global, fiat Ponzi scheme.  Fittingly, on this typical quiet week of paper-thin holiday trading, the headlines are exploding with potentially cataclysmic, “PM-bullish, everything-else-bearish” items.
For the first time since 2011 – when on Labor Day Eve; coincident with the Swiss National Bank committing to their ultimately fatal, hyper-inflationary decision to peg the Franc to the Euro; the Cartel passed its “point of no return” when “dollar-priced gold” hit an all-time high of $1,920/oz; and subsequently, went all-in suppressing prices on a 24/7 basis – gold and silver prices will end the year higher than when the year started.  Including, in many cases, dramatic gains – depending on which currency you’re measuring prices in.  Not to mention, surging physical premiums in the world’s two largest gold consumers, China and India.
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Pot calls Kettle Black...

Michael Moore Urges Civil Disobedience At Trump's Inauguration, Warns "It's Going To Be A Lot Worse"

"... if your head is still spinning from that mindf***, or you can't quite believe a malignant narcissist will now sit in the Oval Office, or if you are simply still working your way through the 17 stages of grief, then I am here to say to you, 'There's no crying in TrumpLand -- Let's get to work!'"

AVATAR Robotic Kiosk Ready To Detect Lies In Travelers

by Suzanne Finch, Activist Post:
When you engage in international travel, you may one day find yourself face-to-face with border security that is polite, bilingual and responsive—and robotic.
The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR) is currently being tested in conjunction with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to help border security agents determine whether travelers coming into Canada may have undisclosed motives for entering the country.
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UN Condemns Illegal Israeli Settlements

by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
Strangely, though, there is no word yet out of Tel Aviv on whether Israel will be declining the record-setting $38 billion aid package the Obama administration promised earlier this year.
From the way Israel is reacting you would think that someone had dropped a nuke on Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Netanyahu summoned the US ambassador to deliver an official diplomatic protest.
He went public with his condemnation, too, calling the recent actions against Israel “reckless and destructive” and excoriating John Kerry and President Obama for their own part in this fiendish skullduggery.
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Inside Another Record-Setting Streak For The S&P 500

The S&P 500 has now tied a record with 9 consecutive days trading within the range set 10 days ago; what are the ramifications of the streak and its resolution?

"Grizzly Steppe" - FBI, DHS Release "Report" On Russian Hacking

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have released a joint report seeking to explain how investigators linked the Russian government to hacks on various Democratic political organizations. The report is, in a word, lacking.

Can The Canadian Oil Industry Recover In 2017?

Even with the recovery in conventional oil and gas looking positive in 2017, the lack of major capital investment in oil sands that has become the norm in the past decade will be painful with no relief in sight.

US Denies It Created ISIS, Accuses Turkey Of Spreading "Fake News"

"The United States government is not supporting DAESH. The USG did not create or support DAESH in the past. Assertions the United States government is supporting DAESH are not true."

Obama Under "Intense Pressure" To Release Evidence Proving Russians Hacked The Election

“My guess is they will have information that indicates course of conduct and links to activities that suggest motivation,” but no smoking gun that will convince those who aren’t already convinced, a White House official said.

Republicans Consider Obamacare Repeal Without A Replacement Strategy

"They haven’t come to a consensus in the House and the Senate about the possible replacement plans. They don’t know what to do. They’re like the dog that caught the bus."

Soaring Direct Demand for 7Y Treasury Suggests Great Rotation May Be Ending

For those keeping an eye on yesterday's 5Y and today's 7Y auctions as an indication of whether the great rotation from bonds into stocks may be gradually ending, the answer was a resounding yes.

A Tale of Two Housing Markets: Hot, And Not So Hot

Though housing statistics such as average sales price are typically lumped into one national number, this is extremely misleading: there are two completely different housing markets in the U.S. One is hot, one is not so hot.

Thursday Humor? Oman To Join Saudi "Anti-Terror Alliance"

While we can understand shifting regional alliances, we - and everyone else - laughed out loud when reading that in order to show his "ideological proximity" to the Saudis, Oman’s defense minister sent a letter to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which the small Gulf nation decided to join the... wait for it, Islamic Military Alliance Against Terrorism.

Relationship Between The Dollar And Inflation Expectations Has Completely Reversed Since Summer

At least since 2003 (which is when our data on TIPS begins), the dollar and breakeven inflation expectations have had a negative relationship. Said differently, when the dollar strengthens (as it has done recently) inflation expectations tend to fall and vice versa. This has reversed completely since the summer.

Dan Loeb Will Pay More Than $2 Million To His New 32-Year-Old Head Quant

Dan Loeb will pay Matt Ober, a quant, pardon "data scientist" who left WorldQuant for Third Point more than $2 million according to a breach of contract claim filed by his former employer. Ober, 32, will start next month as Third Point’s "chief data scientist."

Gold Surges Above $1150 On $3.5 Billion Bid, Bitcoin Dips

Gold is up 5 days in a row and is surging above $1150 today (up most since before election) as someone decided to buy $3.5 billion notional of the precious metal into the European close.

Republicans Now More Confident Than Anytime Since Obama Was Elected

Despite Bloomberg's consumer comfort index declining for the first time since Trump's election (from 46.7 to 46.0) with confidence in the economy and personal finances dropping, Republicans' confidence soared to the highest since March 2008 - erasing all of the post-Obama-election decline.

RBC Explains What Time To Expect Today's Pension Fund Sell Orders

Expect mechanical pension asset-rebalancing into bonds from stocks (on acct of massive relative performance gap MTD / QTD), most-clearly evidenced by the programmatic ~ half-hour long selling-waves seen in SPX at 9:35am, 11:55am and 3:35pm.  Expect this flow to continue through the new year, as market liquidity simply is not deep enough to ‘take it.’

Russia: Mass Graves Full Of Tortured Civilians Discovered In Aleppo

Russian military forces have discovered mass graves in eastern parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo, with many of the bodies reportedly showing signs of torture.

Italy Slams ECB For Revealing It Has A "Bank Run" Problem

"It would have been useful, if not kind, to have a bit more information from the ECB about the criteria that led to this assessment," Italy's economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan told Il Sole 24 Ore, as he slammed the ECB. "I was a bit surprised to receive the news, out of the blue and on Christmas day."

Three Mini-Bubbles Are Bursting

The world has gotten so used to ultra-low interest rates that even economists and money managers seem to be shocked by what happens when rates start creeping back towards normal levels. Some of the mini-bubbles that formed in an essentially free-money environment are now starting to leak.

China Cuts Dollar Weight In FX Basket In Desperate Attempt To "Project Image Of Yuan Stability"

With the Yuan's relentless plunge to all time lows clearly bothering China and threatening to breach  the symbolic level of 7 Yuan to the dollar, overnight Beijing decided to do something about it. Only, instead of actually implementing much needed, and long overdue economic reforms, banking sector deleveraging or financial liberalization, China again took the easy way out.

How to Prevent the Government From Having Total Control of Your Life

by Doug Casey, Casey Research:
“I know the cops are there.”
The receptionist looked around. She didn’t know what the man on the phone was talking about.
There were no cops in the lobby. Just a delivery man standing in front of her desk, trying to drop off a package.
But the man on the phone was right. The cops were there. Three dozen of them, watching every exit in the building…plus an undercover FBI agent posing as the delivery man.
He was carrying a package of 1,000 gold coins—worth $1.5 million.
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A Pivotal Year For Mankind

by F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook:
The year 2016 has been pivotal one for mankind. The foreign and economic policies of the USA are in shambles as the Obama era ends. A new President, one with no political experience, takes office in some days having promised to “make America great again.” He has promised to “drain the swamp” of special interest corporate influence in Washington yet has chosen his cabinet from the banks of those special Wall Street interests, has chosen his national security and Pentagon figures from US military generals, and has chosen no fewer than five cabinet members who are billionaires, and seeks counsel of geopolitical architects of war such as Henry Kissinger.
The European Union is nearing a dissolution of the Brussels construct that is so anti-democratic. Not only Brexit, but now also likely in coming months Italy, Hungary, Greece, even France are possible candidates to leave the dysfunctional European Union. The Euro project has created deeply divided EU. The refugee crisis that has been created by Brussels, and by the German government, is causing social unrest and conflict unprecedented in peacetime.
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Confiscating Gold

by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:
The assault on gold is by no means casual. The hunt for money and the global effort to eliminate cash to be able to increase taxation is also targeting gold. All the sales pitches that gold will survive have ignored the fact that government is well aware of gold and people using it to store wealth. China has imposed gold import restrictions, and India’s demonetization and gold confiscations have provided a blueprint for other governments to follow, and the success to them is that there have not been riots and bloodshed in the streets of India like has unfolded in Venezuela.
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Trends Generated By Jubilee 2016 Will Continue Into 2017 And Beyond

by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:
There were numerous trends established or maintained in 2016. In fact, the seeds planted in 2016 from Jubilee Year are bound to sprout in 2017 or 2018 with the kind of chaos and economic destruction that will give rise to further globalism.
Gold, silver and bitcoin as we have regularly commented, are the assets to consider as we approach grimmer times. (A little more on repercussions at the end of this analysis.)
By remaining disciplined in our approaches, we were able to enjoy significant returns for our own portfolio and hopefully for yours. In fact, it was quite a year at TDV. From the very first day of 2016 gold and silver rocketed higher.
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