Tuesday, February 28, 2017

NY Teamsters Pension Becomes First To Run Out Of Money As Expert Warns "Pension Tsunami" Is Coming

"This is a quiet crisis, but it’s very real. There are currently 200 other plans on track for insolvency - that’s going to affect anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million people.  The prognosis is bleak minus some new legislative help. Municipal and state plans are the next to go down - that’s a pension tsunami that’s coming."

China Backs Russia To Veto Western-Backed UN Sanctions On Syria

China backed Russia on Tuesday, when both nations vetoed to protect the Syrian government from a UNSC resolution, blocking an attempt by Western powers to impose sanctions over accusations the Assad regime had (again) used chemical weapons.

Making The Same Mistakes Again (Remember The 'Lord Clive')

"Every night on American television news programs, pundits, politicians, and retired generals perform their sabre rattling, stating that the world at large had better cooperate with the US or else... If this does play out along the lines of the sinking of the Lord Clive, it will be the American people who will pay the price for their leaders’ reckless behavior."

Obamas To Make Over $60 Million From Book Deal

Several publishers are outbidding each other in a blockbuster auction for the global rights to two books by Barack and Michelle Obama, where the latest bid has surpassed a record $60 million for presidential memoirs.

Energy, Money, And The Destruction Of Equilibrium

"No matter what the economic leaders say, these actions prove to me and many others that their mental models of the world have failed. They’re able to hide behind authority and academic vocabulary which if put in plain terms for the lay person could be described as theft, ponzi, tyrannical and moronic."

Caught On Tape: Uber CEO Argues With Driver Over Declining Fares - "Take Responsibility For Your Own Shit"

“Bullshit.  Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”

Meanwhile, In Germany...

The floats at Karneval parades across southern and western Germany are known for their biting satire. As The Local reports, this year the main target of their derision was only ever going to be one man.

Lavrov Vs. McCain: Is Russia An Enemy?

If we believe the struggle is for “global democracy” and “human rights,” then that may put Putin on the other side. But how then can we be allies of President el-Sissi of Egypt and Erdogan of Turkey, and the kings, emirs and sultans of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman? But if the new world struggle is about defending ourselves and our civilization, Russia would appear to be not only a natural ally, but a more critical and powerful one than that crowd in Kiev.

RBOB Slides After Surprise Gasoline Inventory Build; New Record Glut In Crude

After a volatile day of White House rumors and denials, and OPEC headlines, WTI and RBOB ended the day lower ahead of tonight's API data which showed a slightly smaller than expected crude build (+2.5mm against expectations of +3mm). However RBOB prices tumbled after an unexpected build.

March Hike Odds Soar Above 75% After Hawkish Assault From Dudley, Williams

The Fed is really doing its best to convince the market that a March rate hike is coming, and it seems to be working.

The Dow Streak May Be Finally Over, But In February Everything Was Up

Just Buy The Dip? FBN Says Don't Overthink Stocks

For nine straight days, the buy-the-f##king-dip crowd has been ubiquitous...

Trump Proposes Cutting State Department Budget By 37%

The White House is proposing to cut spending by 37% for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development budget, in order to free up some of the billions in funding Trump has promised the Defense department.

Tax Strike? IRS Has Received 13% Fewer Returns This Year

As of the end of last week, the Internal Revenue Service had received 13.3% fewer tax returns from individual filers than last year (42.5 million versus 49.0 million).  Moreover, visits to the IRS.gov website are down 16.2%.  All this has put a crimp in tax refunds, which are down 14.4% versus last year ($103 billion versus $121 billion).

BofA's Institutional Clients Are Suddenly Selling Everything

Bank of America clients’ optimism continued to wane last week as clients sold US equities for the second consecutive week after having been net buyers the prior 14 weeks since the election. Even private clients who have been the most aggressive buyers in the past few months, joined the selling? What did they sell: pretty much everything.

Putting It All Together...

Population growth, economic growth, and resultant energy consumption are inexorably slowing. The Federal Reserve knows it can not stop this and is simply slowing the inevitable with interest rate cuts to incent greater consumption via skyrocketing credit/debt...

YouTube Users Now Watch 1 Billion Hours Per Day, Set To Surpass US TV Viewership

YouTube viewers world-wide are now watching more than 1 billion hours of videos a day, set to eclipse the 1.25 billion hours of television Americans watch daily. This stunning number represents a 10-fold growth since 2012, when YouTube users clocked in 100 million hours per day.

"It's T-Day" - Trader Warns "Standby For Disappointment"

"Trading on the back of U.S. stimulus could be a dead theme by Friday..."

Massive East Coast Internet Outage Pinned On Amazon Cloud Failure

"We've identified the issue as high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is also impacting applications and services dependent on S3. We are actively working on remediating the issue."

Number Of Distressed US Retailers Highest Since The Great Recession

"Moody's-rated US retailers rated Caa or Ca today make up just over 13% of our total rated retail portfolio, which is the highest level since the Great Recession.  As they struggle to survive, distressed retailers can take more desperate measures, including highly promotional pricing that can border on irrational.  This leaves stronger firms with the choice of either competing in a race to the bottom, or giving up sales in order to preserve margin."

Oil Spikes On OPEC/White House Headlines

A double-whammy of bullish news hit WTI crude futures shortly after 1300ET today sending prices soaring. First, The White House denied earlier rumors on changes to the ethanol mandate; and then Reuters confirmed OPEC production cut compliance steady at 94%.

Tech Tyrants Strike Back: Angela Warren, SGT Report & Stan Deyo

from Hagmann Report:
Tonight on the Hagmann and Hagmann Report…
Pizzagate broke during the weirdest and most furious General Election in anyones memory.  Those with eyes to see and even a tea spoon of discernment saw a demonized Hillary Clinton throw out disingenuous platitudes and generic rhetoric while her opponent, 45th President of the United States, President Donald J Trump worked overtime to quell his obvious incredulity, trusting that the people would respond on November 8, 2016.
And boy, did the people respond.  Special Team Hagmann “thank you’s” are in order to the great Americans in: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  You folks did it and this nation is grateful.  As a Kalifornia transplant, I am grateful.
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Those Systems That Aren’t Busy Being Born Are Busy Dying

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:
What we have is a bunch of sclerotic, dying institutions and systems resisting anything and everything that threatens to disrupt the status quo.
One way to understand the rising sense of disintegration and discord around the globe is to realize that those systems that aren’t busy being born are busy dying–and virtually none of our primary systems are busy being born.
The line is from Bob Dylan’s song It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding): “he not busy being born is busy dying.”
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Wikileaks Busts McCain in Russian Cash Treason Before Russian Ambassador Died (VIDEO)

by Barry Soetoro The Sleuth Journal:
Wikileaks BUSTS Senator John McCain asking Russia for Campaign Cash! Two days before Wikileaks revealed this shocking treasonous act, Russian UN Ambassador (Vitaly Churkin) DROPS DEAD from a heart attack!
Was Churkin killed to cover up McCain’s illegal campaign money scheme — or was Churkin only ‘relocated’ to protect McCain from treason charges?
US Senator John McCain keeps smearing Donald Trump and other free thinkers as being somehow “involved with Russia” or “agents of Putin.”
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by Geoffrey Grider, Now The End Begins:
Bush was asked about the media’s role in light of President Donald Trump’s recent characterization of the media as “enemies of America.” He noted he spent a lot of time during his two terms trying to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to embrace an independent press.
In a wide-ranging interview that shied away from directly criticizing the current commander in chief, former President George W. Bush said it’s critical for the media to hold accountable “people who abuse their power.” He also rejected the current administration’s controversial immigration policy.
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PIZZAGATE | NEW TUNNEL DISCOVERY. Connects At Least 4 Of Alefantis’s Properties

from Steemit:
As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without.”
There are miles of old abandoned water tunnels directly under a lot of Alefantis’s properties of interest. The picture above is of workmen in one of the tunnels circa 1900s.
First off there is a bit of background on the tunnels then there’s a map outlining all the properties of interest in relation to the tunnel network. I’ve also included examples of some of the tunnels discovered.
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Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Admits to Having Terror Cells Situated and Ready to Strike in US (VIDEO)

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:
A recent video posted this week shows Islamic Republic strategist, Hassan Abbassi, discussing the destructive potential of Iran’s hidden army within the US.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Abbassi admitted to having terror cells situation and ready to strike in the United States.
Abbassi: I’ll be brief. We have two million Iranians there. Be certain that I will raise a guerilla army from amongst them against you. You know this well. Look how vulnerable you were on 9-11 when four Arabs who don’t know how to fight managed to endanger your foundations.
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Poll: Half of College Students Believe Their Student Loans Will Be Forgiven

by Katherine Rodriguez, Breitbart:
Half of college students believe their student loans will be forgiven after graduation, according to a recent poll.
LendEDU, “a private firm that connects students and their families with student loans and loan refinancing,” conducted a survey that found 49.8 percent of students believe the government would forgive their student loans after graduation, the New York Post reported.
Despite what these students believe, there are actually a limited number of instances where the government can forgive student loans.
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Peru’s Silver Production Surged Early In 2016, Then Suffered Double-Digit Decline in December

by Steve St. Angelo, SRSRocco Report:
While Peru’s silver production surged in the beginning of 2016, it experienced a double-digit decline in December versus the same month last year. Peru is the second largest silver producing country in the world, trailing Mexico by approximately 40 million oz, but now leading third-ranked China by a wide margin.
Peru started off 2016 with a bang by increasing silver production 14% in the first three months of the year:
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Trump Considers Quitting UN Human Rights Council

by Carol Adl, Your News Wire:
President Donald Trump is considering withdrawing the United States from the UN Human Rights Council.
The Trump administration has reportedly accused the UNHRC of being biased against Israel and are questioning its usefulness.
Press TV reports:
A final decision on whether the US would leave the council is expected to be made by the president himself, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as the new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, POLITICO reported, citing informed sources.
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Monday, February 27, 2017

Minimum Wage Massacre: Wendy's Unleashes 1,000 Robots To Counter Higher Labor Costs

In yet another awkwardly rational response to government intervention in deciding what's "fair", the blowback from minimum wage demanding fast food workers has struck again. Wendy's plans to install self-ordering kiosks in 1,000 of its stores - 16% of its locations nationwide.

The Cultural Purge Will Not Be Televised

"The idea that free speech has its limits somewhere around the point where it hurts somebody’s feelings is beyond idiotic and dangerous...Do you really want to live in a world where people sever business and personal relationships because a literal flash mob demands it? Where mobs get to pick and choose who you are allowed to associate with?"

North Korea Executes Five Officials With Anti-Aircraft Guns

North Korea executed five senior security officials with anti-aircraft guns because they made false reports that "enraged" leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea's spy agency said Monday.

BofAML Explains Why The Ag Economy Isn't Likely To Get Much Better In 2017

A look at why the grain commodity farmers of the U.S. are locked in a vicious cycle of a perpetually oversupplied market.

Up-Ending The Fed - Can Trump Reshape The Most Powerful Central Bank In The World?

"Dear President Trump, can you stand up to the orthodoxy that’s robbed the business cycle of its very cyclicality? Are you man enough to populate the Fed with leaders who are so strong there’s no need to audit the out-of-control institution?"

Gas Taxes Set To Surge In Roughly A Dozen States

"No one wants to see a gas tax, but you’ve got to get the money from somewhere..."

Boston Dynamics Unveils Its Latest "Nightmare-Inducing" Robot

“This is the debut presentation of what I think will be a nightmare-inducing robot” - Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics.

Trump To States With Recreational Pot: Drop Dead

"I do believe that you'll see greater enforcement of [federal law against marijuana]."

Artist's Impression Of The Oscars

As President Trump noted: "Oscar night was sad. They focused too much on politics (on attacking me) and messed things up after all."

China Accounts For Half Of All Global Debt Created Since 2005: Here Are The Implications

Debt in China has increased dramatically in recent years, accounting for roughly one-half of all new credit created globally since 2005. The country’s share of total global credit is nearly 25%, up from 5% ten years ago.

New Rules Force Banks To Charge For Research; Hedge Funds Push Back: "We Won't Pay For Crap"

New rules in Europe, known as Mifid II, will force banks to charge separately for their equity research rather than lumping the cost in with trading fees.  But as one European fund noted, research analysts are likely to be the biggest loses since "there will be a lot of c**p that clients won’t pay for and that is when the big cuts [to the analyst workforce] at the global banks will come."

So Who's Pumping Up This "New Normal" Housing Market?

Welcome to 'Landlord Land'. The housing market is "starkly different than a decade ago..."

GM Pickup Incentives Surge Over 80% As Auto Bubble Continues To Show Signs Of An Imminent Bust

"It’s taking a lot more incentives now to move the metal than it did last year or certainly the year before.  Things are slowing.  If this level of incentives continues, it certainly will eat into profits."

Second House Conservative Won't Back Trump's Obamacare Replacement

Just hours after Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said he would vote against Trump's draft ObamaCare replacement bill (that leaked last week), The Hill reports that another influential Republican Committee member, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) has said he will not back the bill.

Dr. Doom's Back: Marc Faber Warns Markets Will Fall "Like An Avalanche... Trump Can't Stop It"

"One man alone cannot make 'America great again'. That you have to realize...  that will start triggering selling, and then it will be like an avalanche..."

Ethereum Soars After JPMorgan, Intel, Microsoft And Others Form Blockchain Alliance

Step aside bitcoin, there is a new blockchain kid in town: Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and other corporate giants are joining forces to create a new type of distributed ledger system based on the virtual currency network Ethereum.

Debunking The Big Lie

There is no such thing as good monetary policy. There is no such thing as effective monetary policy, or monetary policy that does no harm. There are only the times when most people see no overt symptoms, when they don’t realize the damage being done.

Banks "Gag" Analysts From Discussing Politics On Air

Major banks are cracking down on market - and especially currency - analysts talking publicly about politics for fear of appearing to take sides, with HSBC taking its main global currencies commentator off air in an intensification of the crackdown.

Deep State War? Russian Officials Keep Dying Unexpectedly

Are we witnessing a battle between the deep state and Russia in a spy versus spy plotline or is this all just a freak coincidence?

Oscars Viewership Tumbles To Second Lowest In History

According to Nielsen, the 89th Annual Academy Awards brought in an average of 32.9 million viewers on Sunday night: that was the second lowest viewership in Oscar history and is down from the 2016 broadcast, which brought in 34 million viewers.

Guess 'Who' Just Figured Out The Fed Is Behind The Curve

"It’s like the Federal Reserve is Wayne Gretzky’s poorly coordinated older brother. Instead of skating to where the puck is going, the Fed can’t even skate to where the puck is, and is instead busy skating to where it has been."

Oscars Debacle – Movies More Costly As Dollar Devalued

by Mark O’Byrne, Gold Core:
Cost of Best Picture winners show very significant devaluation of the dollar

  • Average cost to make an Oscar winning film is over $43 million – in gold terms, this is over 106,000 ounces
  • Four $15 million films show nearly 100% difference when priced in gold ounces
  • Oscar fiasco was courtesy of error by accountants PWC
  • Whilst the price of the films remained the same, the cost in gold ounces fell from 11.53% of the cost to make the Departed, in 2009 to just 6.4% in 2012
  • In an error prone, irrational and volatile world, gold retains value over time … Read More

  • Academic Research May Not Be Accurate 85 Percent of the Time

    from The Daily Bell:
    Universities in America have typically been dominated by a liberal
    bias. … The mindset of employees at such institutions is quite different than one might think. We’re not going to name any names in this essay; this isn’t about a person or individual University. It’s about the intellectual class, really the only public intellectual class in America with any respect; the Ivory Tower. If you haven’t heard this expression before, it refers to the high brow raised lip attitude class of University Professors and their associates. They have influence on every aspect of society. -ZeroHedge
    This article states that academia is changing for the better after so many years of getting worse. It also makes the point that academia doesn’t really have any power, certainly not the way business does.
    The intellectual class, the article says, is like Adam Smith’s hidden hand. They are subtle advisers who don’t control things “like the Illuminati does.”
    Read More

    After Bashing Trump, Self-Absorbed Celebs Award Wrong Winner at Oscars

    by Dan Lyman, Infowars:
    The Hollywood elite invested their biggest night into relentlessly bashing the president, spreading fake news and worshipping at the altar of globalism, only to blow their pinnacle moment in a textbook illustration of the Trump Effect.
    Warren Beatty took the stage with Faye Dunaway to announce the winner for “Best Picture,” where he predictably used the moment to virtue signal and make a final convoluted jab at Trump and the “deplorables” – before committing what is considered the biggest disaster in Oscars history.
    “Our goal in politics is the same as our goal in art — and that’s to get to the truth,” he said. “[Movies] show us the increasing diversity in our community and a respect for diversity and freedom all over the world.”
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    Radical Leftists Are Warning That The Trump Years Will Be ‘Apocalyptic’ – And They Just Might Be Right

    by Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream:
    Is the United States about to plunge into an apocalyptic nightmare from which it may never recover? During the Obama era conservatives often warned of such scenarios, but now things have completely shifted. At the moment, conservatives are generally more optimistic than they have been in many years, but quite a few liberals are warning that the Trump years could have absolutely disastrous consequences for this country. They are concerned that Trump’s policies could burst the giant debt bubble that we have been living in and trigger economic collapse, they are concerned that widespread civil unrest could soon erupt in our cities, they are concerned that our rapidly deteriorating environment and major natural disasters could soon kill millions, and they are also concerned that faltering relationships with other nations could lead us into World War III.
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    The US Stock Market is Highly Overvalued. Here’s why…

    by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:
    This is really starting to get out of control.
    No doubt you’re familiar with the S&P 500, the stock index that measures the performance of the largest US companies.
    And as we’ve discussed before, one of the most important benchmarks in measuring whether stocks are overvalued or undervalued is the Price/Earnings, or P/E ratio.
    Looking back through more than a century of financial data, the long-term average P/E ratio for the S&P 500 has been about 15.
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    Hillary Clinton Calls For RESISTANCE In New Video: “We Need To Stay Engaged… I’ll Be With You Every Step Of The Way”

    by Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan:
    Last month we noted that Hillary Clinton is looking to start her own “fabulous” TV show in an effort to remain relevant following a disastrous Presidential election loss in 2016. The show, according to an insider, would be “completely controlled” and will likely focus on undermining the efforts of President Donald Trump, while whipping her supporters into a frenzy.
    Now, in a three minute video address to fellow Democrats, the former Secretary of State says she is going to keep the fight going with the help of former President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle, who incidentally, recently started their own organization aimed at marginalizing the new Trump administration.
    Read More

    Dutch Parliament to Debate Leaving the Eurozone: Nexit on the Way?

    by Mish Shedlock, Mish Talk:
    Potential Eurozone disruption possibilities keep compounding.
    For example, the Netherlands Parliament will now debate leaving the Eurozone.
    In long-winded wording for a potential “Nexit”, Reuters reports Dutch relations with euro up for debate after lawmakers commission probe
    The Netherlands’ future relationship with the euro will be comprehensively debated by its parliament following elections in March after lawmakers commissioned a report on the currency’s future.
    Read More

    Why Preppers Should Focus on Diversifying Firearm Calibers

    by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:
    Ready Nutrition Readers, as you may have deduced from the title, this piece is a recommendation to acquire firearms of diverse calibers. Let us discuss some of the calibers and the reasons why it is prudent to prepare in such a manner. I’m not recommending any particular firearm, per se, except in one instance here that I’ll cover later for a reason that will be self-explanatory.
    Firstly, forget about what will happen in the SHTF event. Whatever it is, the reason for preparing by obtaining diversities among firearms calibers is to ensure you can obtain ammo for it. This is not detracting from reloading whatsoever. I guarantee, however, that situations will arise in which you have to load a firearm and don’t have time to sit around with your RCBS “Rock Chucker” press or your Lee Handloader. You have a need to employ a firearm at the moment, and time is of the essence.
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    Will Russia Attack the Dollar By BUYING GOLD? – Alasdair Macleod

    by The Doc, Silver Doctors:
    In early trade this morning, gold was trading at $1260, up $25 since last Friday’s close. Silver was at $18.40, up 40 cents on the same timescale.
    Gold and silver broke out on the upside from a two-week consolidation yesterday, with gold breaching the $1250 level, and silver clearing $18.00. Comex volume has picked up on these break-outs, characteristic of a bullish move. In early European trade this morning, gold was trading at $1254, up $19 since last Friday’s close. Silver was at $18.26, up 27 cents on the same timescale.
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    Donald Trump Was Right Not to Attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Here’s Why

    by Alexander Mercouris, The Duran:
    Given the extent of the information war the media is currently waging against President Trump, with more and more essentially fake stories being published in order to discredit him, he would have been extremely unwise to sit down with his mortal enemies and have dinner with them.
    The battle between the media and the Trump administration continues to heat up.
    President Trump has asked the Justice Department to order the FBI to carry out an investigation into the illegal leaks from the US intelligence community that brought down his former National Security Adviser General Flynn. The President has also accused The New York Times of making up its story that nine anonymous investigators told it that the FBI is investigating multiple contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence agents. Reince Priebus, the President’s Chief of Staff, says he was “greenlighted” by the FBI to refute this story.
    Read More

    Russia Already Knows Man-Made Climate Change Is a Hoax. Now It’s Time For the West to Wake Up

    from Russia Insider:
    Climate change is a fanatical western dogma based on fabricated data. And Russia is a proud and unapologetic heretic
    It’s becoming more and more difficult to hide the fact that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax based on sloppy science.
    Earlier this month, a former top scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) blew the whistle on a key (and fraudulent) climate report issued just before the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in 2015:
    Dr. John Bates, led NOAA’s climate-data records program for ten years and reveals stunning allegations in a lengthy Daily Mail exposé posted February 4. His main charge is that the federal government’s top agency in charge of climate science published a flawed but widely accepted study that was meant to disprove the hiatus in global warming. Bates accuses the study’s lead author, NOAA official Tom Karl, of using unverified data sets, ignoring mandatory agency procedures, and failing to archive evidence — all in a “blatant attempt to intensify the impact” of the paper in advance of the conference.
    Read More