Sunday, March 19, 2017

Another Senior Russian Official Has Died

Since the day of Donald Trump's election, high-ranking Russian officials have been dropping like flies and today's reports that a top official of Russia's space agency has been found dead brings the total to eight.

Bitcoin's 'Fork' In The Road

The whole point about Bitcoin being a long term store of value is that there are only 21m coins, ever. Stability, security and scarcity are the differentiation properties of Bitcoin, a contentious Hard Fork attacks these properties and will be strongly reflected in the price.

Uber President Quits After Allegedly Deciding Series Of Scandals Were Just Too Much

Jeff Jones, the former Target CMO who joined Uber less than a year ago as President of Silicon Valley's priciest 'decacorn', is leaving the company after allegedly telling colleagues that the recent series of scandals were simply more drama than he signed up for.

Great News...

Philly Cinco De Mayo Celebrations Canceled Over Trump Immigration Crackdown

"Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE. They did not feel comfortable holding the event..."

The Broken Bond Market - All Noise, No Signal

The Fed tightens on Wednesday and bonds rally.  What the hay? GaveKal, Jeff Gundlach,  and Jim Bianco nailed it in that every spec and their mother are/were short 10-year Treasuries. But this is only a small part of the story: The global bond markets are broken. There are no signals, there is no noise.  Trying to infer any sense of economic or financial information from bond yields is futile.

Anti-Trump Nazi-Billboard Artist Reports Death Threats

"I've been called a communist, a Satan worshiper.  I've been told I'm a 'very, very sick person.' I'm not sure what that means. I haven't been answering the phone. My husband has because he's not afraid to talk to anyone, but he told me he received a couple death threats this morning. ... He said, 'They were coming to get us with their boys.’"

Morgan Stanley: "Only One Thing Will Allow Central Banks To Keep The Party Going"

"In our view, for the cycle to last another several years, we want to see more of the same – a continued environment of ‘ok’ growth and low inflation, which allows central banks to keep the party going."

Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama Protections On Student Loans

Just days after reports emerged that student loan defaults are soaring, the Trump administration has revoked rules put in place by Obama that barred student debt collectors from charging penalty fees on past-due loans...that should take care of that pesky 'moral hazard' problem...

FX Week Ahead

This week has not been one to savor for USD bulls, with the FOMC rate hike accompanied by a statement which failed to generate the fresh wave of hawkish sentiment markets had positioned for. Fresh US data will therefore be required to drive fresh direction...

Paul Ryan Reveals Latest Changes To Republican Healthcare Bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan revealed on Sunday the latest set of changes to the Republican healthcare overhaul bill, among which the provision for more generous tax credits for older Americans as well as the addition of a work requirement for the Medicaid program for the poor.

Warning Signs

Like gasoline, all of these warnings are inert and, other than smelling really bad, are harmless... Well, that is until your cousin “Randy” shows up and decides to have a quick smoke.

Abe School Scandal Set For Major Escalation After Donation Receipt Emerges

The Mainichi Shimbun has obtained a copy of a receipt for a deposit of 1 million yen that scandal-hit Moritomo Gakuen claims to have been donated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife Akie Abe, jeopardizing Abe's official denial of involvement,  further eroding Abe's credibility and support, and potentially culminating with Abe's resignation.

David Stockman Offers "More Proof Of Janet Yellen's Idiocy"

"Anyone buying stocks based on confidence that the Fed has their back notwithstanding Wednesday’s action surely deserves the pounding just ahead. What Yellen had to say doesn’t even reach the status of babbling; it was flaming incoherence..."

Germany Slams Trump's Claim That It Owes "Vast Sums" To NATO And The U.S.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen responded to Trump, rejecting the US president's claim: "There is no debit account at NATO," von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance's target for members to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense by 2024 solely to NATO.

The Long Run Economics Of Debt Based Stimulus

Attempting to spend a nation to prosperity using borrowed money is not without consequences.  In the short run, an illusion of wealth can be erected.  In the long run, that illusion slips into decay and disrepair.

North Korea "One Step Closer To ICBM Launch" After Successful Test Of "New Type" Rocket Engine

North Korea announced it has conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine that leader Kim Jong Un is calling a "revolutionary breakthrough" for the country's space program. The claim of a successful test of the high-thrust rocket engine would put North Korea a step closer to being able to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, the WSJ reported.

Is Denmark On The Brink?

"The Danes look at Sweden with absolute horror...Denmark is on the brink. And Europe is on the brink. We completely lost our culture, our values and our moral compass. What used to be good is now evil and vice-versa."

Signs That The Silicon Valley Tech Bubble Is About To Burst

“I got here in 97 and it was like it is now – incredibly packed, impossible to commute, high apartment costs.  We’re seeing overvalued companies, funded based on hopes and dreams and aspirations and not good business models. Companies counting users and eyeballs rather than profits. There are a lot of similarities."

Trump Wins: G-20 Drops 'Anti-Protectionist, Free-Trade, & Climate-Change Funding' Pledge

"This is not a good outcome of the meeting," a G20 delegate quoted Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann as saying.

Bitcoin Crashes Down to Near $1000 as China Sets New Parameters to Monitor Identities of Users

by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:
As we have mentioned numerous times in previous articles here at The Daily Economist, Bitcoin’s primary kryptonite is not in the digital currency itself, but in the third parties that would seek to manipulate its original scope for their own benefits.
By this I refer to the supplemental constructs that have emerged to help facilitate Bitcoin use such as with currency exchanges, or the introduction of capital controls by sovereign entities that countermand the crypto-currencies benefits of transparency and security.
Read More

Online Observers Accuse Obama Of Improper Intervention In Hawaii Immigration Ruling

by William Craddick, The Disobedient Media:
An unannounced trip that Barack Obama took to Hawaii just days before a ruling from a Honolulu federal judge on Donald Trump’s new immigration restrictions has lead to accusations of improper meddling as observers noted that Obama at one point may have been within five minutes of U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson’s house.
On March 13, 2017, local Hawaiian news station KHON2 published pictures indicating that Barack and Michelle Obama had made an unannounced trip to Oahu after one of their viewers submitted photos of Obama at Buzz’s Original Steak House in Lanikai. The paper reported that Obama spent March 14th playing golf in at the Midway Golf Club in Kailua before joining “friends” in a private room at Noi Thai Cuisine at Royal Hawaiian Center for dinner. There was no information on the identity of the individuals Obama dined with. Online users have noted that the most direct path from Kailua to Noi Thai would have taken Obama within five minutes of Judge Watson’s residence.
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Senator Hints That Trump May Resign: “I Think He Is Going To Get Himself Out”

by Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan:
It’s no secret that there is a concerted effort underway to do everything possible to remove President Donald Trump from office.
From Russian ties to business conflicts of interests, both Democrats and Republicans are actively working to find chinks in the President’s armor.
But for those with hope of change in their hearts, Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein says there is a possibility that Trump will eventually remove himself from office by filing his own resignation.
Speaking to a crowd during a town hall-style Questions and Answers session, Feinstein was asked how Congress is going to deal with Trump’s alleged illegal activities:
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The Record Year The U.S. Imported Nearly A Half Billion Ounces Of Silver

by Steve St. Angelo, SRSRocco Report:
How many precious metals investors know the year the United States imported a record amount of silver? This figure is so great, there is no other single year in U.S. history that comes anywhere close to this amount. Even more impressive than that, it turns out to be more than double the global annual mine supply that year. It is such an unbelievable amount, its record has never been surpassed to this day.
Actually, I was quite surprised by the data when I was researching through some old official records. Even though the United States currently imports a lot of silver to supply its growing jewelry, industrial and investment demand, it pales in comparison to the nearly half a billion ounces imported this record year.
Read More

Training and arming Jack Booted Thugs...Great...

Alarming Survey Shows 1 in 5 Cops “Angry,” Support “More Physical & Aggressive Policing”

by Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project:
As video recordings of police encounters have risen exponentially over recent years, we’ve witnessed a wide range of behaviors in cops. While some do act nobly — such as saving a life or de-escalating a situation — far too many cops behave in inexplicable, even barbaric, ways that result in rights violations, brutality or death.
An interesting report is providing quantifiable insight into this phenomenon. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey of “7,917 sworn police and sheriff’s officers in 54 departments with at least 100 officers.”
The results, while predictable, provide rather troubling data for the law enforcement profession.
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Is Donald Trump About to Massively Expand America’s Imperial Wars?

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
– Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
Many people voted for Donald Trump based on his pledge of “America First.” The idea behind this partly relates to the very legitimate concern that the U.S. Empire and its military-industrial-contractor benefactors have been squandering an enormous amount of treasure and tax money on foreign adventurism, funds which could be of much greater use at home helping struggling Americans, fixing our broken economy and infrastructure. I’m starting to become increasingly concerned that rather than winding down America’s foreign adventures, Trump and his team are preparing to expand them.
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