Tuesday, December 27, 2016

US Government Can Legally Access Your Facebook Data (And Now We Know How)

The end of the year is approaching, and data concerning government abuses of power has begun pouring in.

US Home Prices Hit A Record High In October - What Happens Next?

US home prices have never been higher according to October's Case-Shiller data - surpassing July 2006's peak. The 5.1% YoY rise was slightly better than expected, but, with mortgage applications at Lehman lows and mortgage rates spiking to near 3-year highs since this data, the question is - what happens next?

"She Betrayed Our Country" - Afghan "Top Gun" Pilot Seeks US Asylum, Sparks Domestic Outrage

Niloofar Rahmani, a 25-year-old pilot lionised widely as the “Afghan Top Gun”, was scheduled to return to Afghanistan last week after a 15-month training course with the US air force. But on the eve of her departure, she declared she will not be returning, triggering a storm of criticism in Afghanistan for “betraying” her nation but also garnering support from activists.

Bitcoin Surges 20% In A Week As Chinese Volumes Hit Record High

The last 5 days have seen Bitcoin prices (in dollars) soar over 18% and over 20% in Yuan as volumes on Chinese exchanges continues to build, seemingly anticipating notable Yuan devaluation (confirmed by various derivative bets being placed on the Chinese currency) and/or further capital controls looming as yet another hot money Chinese bubble explodes in commodity-land.

Russia Warns Any Attempt By Obama To Arm Syrian Rebels Will Be Seen As A "Hostile Act"

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the just signed NDAA which eases restrictions on arming Syrian rebels and opened the way for deliveries of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, will be viewed as a hostile act by Moscow as it directly threatens Russian forces in Syria.

Taiwan Warns Beijing Threat "Growing By The Day" As Chinese Carrier Conducts Drills

Taiwan warned on Tuesday that "the threat of our enemies is growing day by day... we should always be maintaining our combat alertness", as Chna's carrier group sailed towards the island province of Hainan through the South China Sea on a "routine" drill.

Mega-Regions: What If We Redrew State Boundaries Today?

Most state boundaries were drawn during the 17th to 19th centuries. Many of the decisions were arbitrary or political. What might a map of the United States look like if we started fresh today?

Global Stocks, US Futures Rise In Thin Trading As Volumes Plunge

Most world markets have reopened following the holiday weekend, but trading volumes remain significantly muted. Asian and European shares advance modestly amid low volumes with U.K. and Ireland closed; S&P futures are little changed while the dollar rose and oil extended its longest winning streak in four months.

Trump Proves All Politicians Have A Price

Even the most forthright of politicians will prove a dastardly dealmaker if you scratch the surface hard enough. Trump’s laying bare the idea that not all politicians have a price. Don’t get me wrong: I also enjoy watching the Left lose its collective shit over Trump’s astounding election, but I still feel a great deal of glee watching congressional Republicans fumble all over one another, trying to stay in the good graces of the new president.

Europol Admits ISIS Actively Targeting Refugees To Carry Out Terrorist Attacks In The EU

“Some people might get radicalised or manipulated or used or utilised by terrorist groups after they enter the EU.  Given that it is in the interests of ISIS to inflame the migration crisis to polarise the EU population and turn sections of it against those seeking asylum, some infiltration of refugee camps and other refugee/migrant groups is likely.”

The War On Terrorism Just Keeps Making It Worse

The war on terror has failed more demonstrably than most wars: al-Qaeda numbered in the hundreds in 2001, but today – along with ISIS – it has tens of thousands of fighters and supporters spread across dozens of countries. Political leaders are not blameless, but they tend to be blamed for the wrong thing.

Le Pen Presidential Campaign Threatened By Russian Bank Failure

A problem has emerged for France's anti-immigrant, anti-Euro presidential frontrunner, Marine Le Pen, and it has little to do with being behind in the polls. It has everything to do with something far simpler: money, as the National Front leader is suddenly struggling to raise the €20 million ($21 million) she needs to fund the French presidential and legislative campaigns in 2017 after the party’s Russian lender failed.

The Suicide Of Germany

Of the 1.2 million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2014 and 2015, only 34,000 found work. The law that condemns incitement to hatred, presumably intended to prevent a return to Nazi ideas, is held like a sword over whoever speaks too harshly of the growing Islamization of the country.

India's Demonetization Debacle Highlights The Dangers Of Monetary Monopoly

The fundamental reason why we have grown to love (or learned to live with) central banks is that we cannot remember a time when they did not exist. So the argument is better the devil you know! But consider their track record...

Commodity Futures Plunge Following China Growth Downgrade

Refugee Admissions Surge 86% YoY As Obama Rushes Arrivals Ahead Of Trump Inauguration

In the first 84 days of fiscal year 2017, the Obama administration has accepted 25,584 refugees into the United States, an 86% increase over the same period last year.

Caution Satire...I'm sure the Sheeplez will think it;s real...

"Operation Cankles" - Russian Intervention Exposed

Did the Russians really rig the 2016 US election? You bet they did!

As Mystery Of China's Multi-Billionaire Default Deepens, A New "Bond Scare" Emerges

The fate of a defaulted $45 million Chinese corporate bond sold through an Alibaba-backed online WMP and belonging to the telecom company of one of China's biggest billionaires, was thrown into doubt on Monday, after a bank said letters of guarantee for the bonds were counterfeit, suggesting an entirely new "finance scare" is emerging in China.

The Future Of Passports (& Citizenship By Investment)

The argument for global passports is a familiar one - "You are in danger of being killed by terrorists. We will save you by removing yet another of your freedoms."

Bombshell: Mass Graves Of Syrian Civilians Found In Aleppo

by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, Your News Wire:
Mass graves belonging to Syrian civilians have been uncovered in Aleppo by the Russian Defense Ministry, who say that US-backed rebels are to blame.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov says that dozens of corpses were found that showed evidence of torture prior to their deaths, with most having gunshot wounds to the head.
Read More

New Gold Study Shows Emerging Markets Bringing More Demand

by Samuel Bryan, Schiff Gold:
The World Gold Council, a leading market development organization, released a study on global gold markets showing the retail investment market is “well positioned” for future growth. The study looked into four major markets: China, India, Germany, and the US and found healthy latent demand within every market. It also identified some interesting purchasing distinctions between developed and emerging economies.
Despite all the recent news concerning falling gold prices, world demand for gold bars and coins is still booming. Since 2006, global demand has gone from 430 tons to 1,051 tons in 2015, which is a monetary move from $10 billion to almost $40 billion, according to the study.
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2016: What Was And a Preview of 2017

by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
Historically speaking The Market Ticker used to publish an “annual review” including a set of predictions. Some years worked out pretty good, others not so much. But even the “bad” years weren’t too bad in retrospect; if you make a dozen predictions and get half right over a year’s time that really is quite a bit better than you might first think — although nowhere near good enough to dub yourself Nostradamus.
As I intended in my ticker entitled In Closing from February of 2014 I’ve wound things back around here quite a bit. Not completely, but materially. The software here was at version 41.4 when I penned that piece; it is currently 45.5. That’s more than four revisions greater, since there have been a bunch of “point” changes since — mostly bug fixes but a few enhancements too.
The post (thread) count was 228,802 when I penned that piece. It currently stands at 231,735. The Bar (for user-generated threads and comments, open to anyone who used to be a donor at any time in the system’s history) has been reopened this fall, and for the time being I intend to leave it accessible into 2017. You can find it from the “top” menu here if you’re signed in and once had donor-level access — or just go directly to our companion domain at tickerforum.org.
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The Shocking Retirement Crisis Coming Your Way

by Michael Covel, DailyReckoning:
The nation’s largest retirement system is in serious trouble…
The $303 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) just announced that it’s lowered its annual assumed rate of return to 7% from 7.5%.
That means retirees will have to contribute more money to the plan to make up the difference in expected return.
This shortfall is just a small piece of the massive U.S. state and local pension funds deficits that are going to explode in the next decade.
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Jim Cramer’s Christmas Gift To Short-Sellers

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:
Wall Street’s best contrarian indicator has spoken. Jim Cramer issued a strong buy on the Dow last Wednesday. He references the “generals” that are “leading the charge” higher in the stock market. He sees no end in sight to current move in market leaders. Those will prove, once again for Cramer, famous last words. It will be more like Custard making his last stand.
Perhaps the most amusing section of his maniacal diatribe was his assertion that Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM) are “cheap” because of Trump. A colleague and I were, serendipitously discussing GS as a great short idea last week. Cramer is a bona fide lunatic who must relish the thought of leading the retail stock lemmings to slaughter. The financials have gone parabolic since the election and now the hedge funds who whisper sweet nothings into Cramer’s ear need an exit. Please don’t give up your chair to the sound of CNBC’s Pied Piper.
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Japan Births Drop Hard as Tribe Decreases

from The Daily Bell:
While both global monetary and fiscal policies struggle to keep aggregate demand if not rising, then at least constant, demographics continues to wreak havoc on the best laid plans of central planners around the rapidly aging world. Just last week we reported that in 2016, the US population grew at the slowest pace since the Great Depression, largely driven by the collapse in household formation as the number of Millennials living at home with their parents has hit a 75 year high. -Zerohedge
Central banks didn’t go after Japan after the First World War but they certainly went after Japan during World Way II.
The most births post-war were in 1949, when birth soared to 2.696 million. Now they are under a million. Deaths will outstrip births, again, for the tenth year in a row.
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Obama: I Could Have Won if I Had Run for President Again

by Charlie Spierling, Breitbart:
President Barack Obama asserts that he could have won a third term against Donald Trump if he had run again on his claim of hope and change.
“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” he told his former campaign chief David Axelrod on a CNN podcast interview.
Obama blamed Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell for doing everything possible to obstruct his presidency, and blaming Democrats for it.
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