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CNN And WaPo Working On 20-40 Sexual Misconduct Stories / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017

CNN and Washington Post are working on exposing “20-30 congressional members” for sexual harassment, claims Michael Trujillo, former LA City Commissioner and Hillary Clinton’s California Field Director during her 2008 bid for the White House.


The Fed’s Fantasy on Neutral Interest Rates / Frank Shostak / December 11, 2017

In her testimony to the Congress Economic Committee on November 29, 2017, the Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the neutral rate appears to be quite low by historical standards. From this, she concluded that the federal funds rate would not have to increase much to reach a neutral stance.

The neutral rate currently appears to be quite low by historical standards, implying that the federal funds rate would not have to rise much further to get to a neutral policy stance. If the neutral level rises somewhat over time, as most FOMC participants expect, additional gradual rate hikes would likely be appropriate over the next few years to sustain the economic expansion.

It is widely accepted that by means of suitable monetary policies the US central bank can navigate the economy towards a growth path of economic stability and prosperity. The key ingredient in achieving this is price stability. Most experts are of the view that what prevents the attainment of price stability are the fluctuations of the federal funds rate around the neutral rate of interest.

The neutral rate, it is held, is one that is consistent with stable prices and a balanced economy. What is required is Fed policy makers successfully targeting the federal funds rate towards the neutral interest rate.

This framework of thinking, which has its origins in the 18th century writings of British economist Henry Thornton1, was articulated in late 19th century by the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell.


Could Inflation Render a Central Bank Insolvent? / Graham Summers / December 11, 2017

In the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis, Central Banks began cornering the sovereign bond market via Zero or even Negative interest rates and Quantitative Easing (QE) programs.

The goal here was to reflate the financial system by pushing the “risk free rate” to extraordinary lows. By doing this, Central Bankers were hoping to:

1)   Backstop the financial system (sovereign bonds are the bedrock for all risk).

2)   Induce capital to flee cash (ZIRP and NIRP punish those sitting on cash) and move into risk assets, thereby reflating asset bubbles.

In this regard, these policies worked: the crisis was halted and the financial markets began reflating.

However, Central Banks have now set the stage for a crisis many times worse than 2008.


Near Record 5.6 Million Americans Were Hired In October, Most In Over 16 Years / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 

After a burst of record high job openings which started in June and eased modestly in August, today’s October JOLTS report  – Janet Yellen’s favorite labor market indicator – showed a sharp drop in job openings across most categories now that hurricane distortions have cleared out of the system, with the total number dropping from 6.177MM to 5.996MM, well below the 6.135MM estimate, the biggest monthly drop and the lowest job openings number since May, resulting in an October job opening rate of 3.9% vs 4% in Sept.

After nearly two years of being rangebound between 5.5 and 6 million, the latest drop in job openings despite the alleged improvement in the economy is another inidication that an increasingly greater number of jobs may simply remain unfilled in a labor market where skill shortages and labor imbalances are becoming structural.


NAFTA Update: Little Low Hanging Fruit / by Marc Chandler / December 12, 2017

On the eve of the WTO meeting that started yesterday, Japan and the EU struck a free trade agreement.  The combined market is for around 600 mln people and accounts for a little more than a quarter of the world’s GDP.  When the UK leaves, ostensibly at the end of March 2019, though with a likely standstill transition period, the EU side will be reduced and the agreement will cover a little less than a quarter of the world’s GDP.
There were 18 rounds of negotiations over four years.  Tariffs will be cut.  Some non-tariff barriers will be reduced.  There will be cooperation on standards and regulators.  The public procurement process will be opened.  The agreement has been dubbed “cars for cheese,” as Japan’s tariffs on European wine, diary and meat will be reduce, while the EU will end its duties on Japanese vehicles.
The US does not have a free trade agreement with either the EU or Japan.  Although the Trump Administration has indicated it prefers bilateral trade agreements to multilateral agreements, there seems to be little interest for individual countries to engage the US.  The UK may be an exception as it prepares to leave the EU, but here too, the America First inspired-agenda might not lend itself to reciprocity.


Voting Rights for Human Felons Versus Bank Felons

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase / By Pam Martens and Russ Martens / December 11, 2017 

In 2012, the Sentencing Project released a study that estimated that 5.85 million people would be ineligible to vote in the U.S. Presidential election that year because they had been convicted of a felony. In 22 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a set period of time thereafter. Usually, this includes while the individual is on parole and/or probation.

Eleven states in the U.S. are more harsh. They deny voting rights to ex felons who have served their time in prison and have successfully completed parole and probation.

If you’re a citizen of the United States and commit a felony, it’s a big deal. If you’re a Wall Street bank and commit a felony, it’s business as usual.

In January 2014, JPMorgan Chase was charged with two felony counts by the U.S. Department of Justice for its involvement with Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme but given a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning if it kept out of trouble for two years, the government would dismiss the charges. The bank also agreed to pay $1.7 billion into a restitution fund for the victims of Madoff’s fraud.

After reading the documents released by the Justice Department in connection with the settlement, the Los Angeles Times asked in a photo caption: “Bernie Madoff: Was he part of the JPMorgan ring, or was JPMorgan part of his ring?”

The Los Angeles Times had an excellent basis for asking that question. We took an in-depth look at the documents and exhibits released by both the Justice Department and the Trustee of the Madoff victims’ fund, Irving Picard, and found a labyrinthine series of frauds within frauds involving both Madoff and JPMorgan Chase. (See our article: JPMorgan and Madoff Were Facilitating Nesting Dolls-Style Frauds Within Frauds.)


Putin Orders Withdrawal Of Russian Troops During Surprise Syria Visit / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 9:31 AM

Drawing a stark contrast between himself and his counterpart in the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise appearance at Khmeimim Airbase in Syria – which has traditionally been used by the Russian air force – on Monday morning, where he ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, now that the ISIS insurgency that once controlled roughly one-third of the country’s land area has been effectively dismantled.

The Russian president was met by his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the airbase. Russian forces fighting with the Syrian Army during the country’s civil war were stationed at the base. Putin ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops to begin immediately, according to Russia Today.


Important Updates: Stocks, Bonds, Gold, Silver, Bitcoin. By Gregory Mannarino

Gregory MannarinoPublished on Dec 11, 2017

Syria – ISIS Is Defeated – The U.S. Is Next In Line / Paul Craig Roberts / December 11, 2017

Is the US really a superower or just the biggest collection of stupidity on the planet?

Syria – ISIS Is Defeated – The U.S. Is Next In Line

Washington has already lost the Syrian war once. Now it is about to lose it a second time.

A few days ago the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, declared a “complete victory” in Syria:
“Two hours ago, the (Russian) defense minister reported to me that the operations on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates have been completed with the total rout of the terrorists.”

The Iranian commander of the forces which support the Syrian and Iraqi governments sent a note to the U.S. to let Washington know that any remaining U.S. forces in Syria will be fought down:

“The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani sent a verbal letter, via Russia, to the head of the US forces commander in Syria, advising him to pull out all US forces to the last soldier ‘or the doors of hell will open up.’”

“My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it.”


Bitcoin Futures Stabilize At 8% Premium To Spot As ‘No Brainer’ Shorts Fail To Appear / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 8:30 AM

Despite broadly-spewed sentiment last week that Bitcoin futures would herald the end of Bitcoin as ‘shorts’ could finally capitalize on the ‘tulipmania’, for now, they have failed to turn up as the January-expiring futures are holding a 8% premium to spot prices and remain up around 19% from their opening print overnight.

Futures are holding around a $1000-$1300 premium to spot for the last few hours – implying quite a serious ‘term structure’ for Bitcoin credit.

Furthermore, instead of stabilizing Bitcoin as some had suggested, futures were actually more volatile than spot…

 “It is rare that you see something more volatile than bitcoin, but we found it: bitcoin futures,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia.


The Process Through Which the First Major Central Bank Goes Bust Has Begun / Graham Summers / December 11, 2017

In the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis, Central Banks began cornering the sovereign bond market via Zero or even Negative interest rates and Quantitative Easing (QE) programs.

The goal here was to reflate the financial system by pushing the “risk free rate” to extraordinary lows. By doing this, Central Bankers were hoping to:

1)   Backstop the financial system (sovereign bonds are the bedrock for all risk).

2)   Induce capital to flee cash (ZIRP and NIRP punish those sitting on cash) and move into risk assets, thereby reflating asset bubbles.

In this regard, these policies worked: the crisis was halted and the financial markets began reflating.

However, Central Banks have now set the stage for a crisis many times worse than 2008.

Let me explain…

The 2008 crisis was triggered by large financial firms going bust as the assets they owned (bonds based on mortgages) turned out to be worth much less (if not worthless), than the financial firms had been asserting.


Fires And Floods – Weather Manipulation – Lasers In The Sky – Preparing Humanity For Agenda 21 – 30 – The Reality.

InvestmentWatch / BY  · 

by Ruby Henley

I have been interested in Agenda 21 – 30 for a quiet awhile, and I have questioned how the powers that be would “cull the herd.”  In other words how would they remove humanity from their desired “off limits to humans” land areas?  In fact, I live in an area, according to a map, is now a biosphere.  How will they remove me?

How will they put us in “stack cities?”  How will they remove us from these homes and areas of land set aside as strictly for animals and plants?

The original plan for Agenda 21- now 30 was written by Professor Weishaupt when he founded in 1776 the Order of the Illuminati; actually a fascist Nazi organization, which employs as their frontmen, government leaders, being their visible acting puppet.  Most of our ‘elected leaders sold their soul to the satanic bosses to keep them hidden from the public. Those leaders that commit treason or resign are disciplinary penalized by premature death.


VIX Briefly Tops 10 After NYC Pipe Bomb Explosion / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 8:13 AM

‘Panic-stricken’ traders briefly pushed VIX above 10 and S&P futures dipped a handful of points after an explosion hit midtown Manhattan…

However, that dip was bought as the situation was ‘contained’…


Great Again? Millennials Selling Plasma To Survive

The Daily SheeplePublished on Dec 11, 2017

Krauth’s 2018 Gold Forecast Looks a Lot Like the 1970s / by  • 

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original,click hereReposted with permission.

Pie-in-the-sky gold predictions are a dime a dozen at this time of year – calls for gold to hit $3,000… $6,500… $10,000 or even more.

Granted, most of these targets require at least the partial collapse of human civilization to work, although I have seen one or two loosely rooted in esoteric concepts like “economics,” “monetary policy,” and “central banking.”

Now… I’d be the first one to line up and sell an ounce of my gold holdings for $10,000 (provided the apocalypse hasn’t happened), but we can’t very well dream our way into profits; we’ve got to be realistic.

Here in the real world, gold is pushing against some stiffening headwinds, although you’ll see they’re hardly insurmountable.

After all, we’ve reaped tidy gold gains of 11% this year. I’ve got some great, historical charts you need to see that will prove my forecast is honest.

Because, as it turns out, the yellow metal’s future looks great from here…

Why You’ve Got to Look at the Great Secular Gold Bulls

When I was asked to put together my forecast for gold prices in 2018, the charts reminded me of gold’s previous secular bull performance.


ISIS-Inspired Muslim Suspect In Custody After NYC Pipe Bomb Terrorist Attack: Live Feed / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 7:53 AM

Update 3: The New York Post reports, an ISIS-inspired Bangladeshi national set off an homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, law enforcement sources said.

The suspected bomber – a 27-year-old who lived in Brooklyn – had wires attached to him and was armed with a five-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub, sources said.

Police took the man into custody.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the man was inspired by ISIS and originally from Bangladesh.


NFL’s Problem is Poor Product, not Disrespect

football.PNG / , Dec 11, 2017

President Trump has lambasted the NFL more than 20 times for players’ “Total Disrespect of Our Great Country.” Ratings are down for NFL games and Trump figures it’s because some players aren’t standing, hand over heart, and mouthing the words to the national anthem.

Trump may have made some political hay out of all this, but one only has to follow the money to learn the real reason pro football ratings are down–competition from college football. The fact is, “Their product isn’t very good these days,” Nick Bogdanovich told the Las Vegas Sun. He is the chief oddsmaker for William Hill, which operates 107 sportsbooks in Nevada.

The league that used to claim any team could win on “any given Sunday” has turned into a predictable “If you have a quarterback, you have a chance. If you don’t, you don’t,” as Ben Volin wrote of the Boston Globe at the finish of last year’s regular season. As evidence, he pointed to “the four quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs — Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan.”

Jimmy Vaccaro has been running sports books for four decades. He says, it used to be, “Nearly $4 on the NFL for every buck on a college game.” That is no longer the case. Now it is more like 60-40 with the college betting handle gaining.

Joe Drape writes of the sportsbook legend,

And when Vaccaro says he is becoming bearish on the betting health of professional football, you lean in and listen. Last month, for three consecutive weeks, for the first time that he can remember, betting on college football at South Point surpassed betting on the NFL, by as much as $400,000.


Palestinian Protesters Attack US Embassy in Lebanon /  BY  / DECEMBER 10, 2017

The US Embassy in Lebanon went on lock-down today after demonstrators gathered outside on Sunday morning, as Pro-Palestinian protesters showed their outrage over U.S. President Donald Trump’s provocative decision to recognize illegally occupied Jerusalem as the Zionist entity’s capital city.

Evetns turned violent after protesters hurled projectiles at police, and also set fires to makeshift barricades erected on the street in front of the US Embassy secure compound, located north of Beirut, Lebanon.

Protesters also reportedly burned US, Israeli flags and an effigy of US President Donald Trump.

Later, angry protestors manged to pull down a portion of the front metal gates to the US Embassy.

Lebanese security forces deployed tear gas and water cannons to try and repel angry mobs.

Reuters reports:

“Late on Saturday Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.

Israel says that all of Jerusalem is its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.


J. Edgar Hoover And Collapse Of Rule of Law / by Karl Denninger / 2017-12-11 

The hits keep coming…..

The FBI has, in my opinion at least, had a relatively poor and spotty reputation for a very long time.  This hasn’t stopped me from being willing to provide assistance on a voluntary basis in certain circumstances (of course if you get subpoenaed your cooperation isn’t voluntary!)

There are plenty of reasons for people with a brain to be skeptical at best when it comes to the integrity of the FBI, and the issues are hardly new.  J. Edgar Hoover was an infamous political hack who abused his power and destroyed myriad people using that power as director of the FBI, serving until 1972.  As such to intimate or worse, state that the FBI is historically and currently an apolitical agency is a flat-out lie and anyone asserting same deserves to be hung by their genitals in a hungry pen full of feral pigs.  I remind you that the FBI’s Headquarters building remains named for him to this day — despite it being an established fact that he trashed the Constitution and Bill of Rights when it came to political opponents for some 40ish years neither the FBI or any other part of the Feral Government has struck his name from that building or the visage of the FBI itself.

It should not really surprise that we are discovering there’s more politically-aligned malfeasance within the FBI today.


Suspect In Custody After Pipe Bomb Explodes At Port Authority, Injuries Reported / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 7:53 AM

Update 2 : The Terrorist in NYC attack is injured and in custody. Bomb exploded prematurely. The suspect is reportedly a Muslim man from Brooklyn, east Flatbush area, Investigators are on the way to his home, for further investigations

* * *

A clip of the moment an alleged pipe bomb exploded at Port Authority around 6:30am on Monday morning has been released.


The collapse of major media / 

As I indicated in a recent article, the B-team, or even the C-team, is now heading up the national evening news in America. These anchors’ faces and voices (Muir, Glor, and Holt) are not even faint reminders of the so-called Golden Age, when father figures like Cronkite and Reasoner fed official truth into the brains of viewers. The new C-team is vague gloss from a paint job on a used car. This is an ominous sign for the news bosses in the upstairs suites. They can’t find adequate hypnotists anymore.

What happened?

Many things—among them, the father figures left the fold. They decided to sell real estate or take corporate work in PR. They saw the handwriting on the wall: the networks were fostering a youth movement, seeking younger and prettier talent. Why? Because Madison Avenue was convinced the younger viewer demographic was the important one, in terms of consumer buying power. Therefore, on-air news faces had to be younger as well. This sounded right, but it overlooked one vital fact. The young news anchors couldn’t pull off the appropriate level of mind control. They were merely bland robots. Friendly, nice, literate to the point of being able read copy. (Lester Holt at NBC is a bit older, but he comes across as a corpse someone dug up at a cemetery for a role in a Frankenstein remake.)

There is another gross miscalculation. The commercials, between news segments, are overwhelmingly pharmaceutical. Those drugs aren’t intended for the youth demographic. They’re for the middle-aged and the seniors, who want to toxify themselves for the rest of their lives.

So the commercials are playing to the older crowd, while the faces of the news are supposedly attracting younger viewers. It’s a mess. The news execs and programmers really have no idea what they’re doing.


Senate Tax Debacle: Certain Pass-Through Entities Face Marginal Tax Rates Over 100% Under Current Bill / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017

As the House and Senate continue to try to reconcile their two versions of a tax plan, the taxing structure for pass-through entities (s-corps, LLC’s, etc.) continues to be somewhat controversial, if not completely nonsensical. As we pointed out last week, the Senate bill somewhat randomly chose to exclude pass-through entities organized as family trusts from tax cuts which would ultimately leave them on the hook for much larger tax bills due to the elimination of other deductions. It’s unclear whether this bizarre exclusion was just an oversight or an intentional political hit on an easy target that no one in Washington DC would dare defend publicly: rich families organized as trusts.

Now, a new note from the Tax Policy Center lays out some scenarios whereby the marginal tax rate for high-income pass-through entities could soar to over 100%.  Of course, while two rational people can debate the impact of a ~40% tax rate on a person’s desire to work, we’re almost certain that a taxing structure that takes more than 100% of your marginal income will be a slight disincentive.  Here’s an example of how it works from the Wall Street Journal:

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher,the Tax Foundation found. Analyses by the Tax Policy Center, which is run by a former Obama administration official, find similar results, with federal marginal rates as high as 85%, and those don’t include items such as state taxes, self-employment taxes or the phase-out of child tax credits.


Say Hello To Your New Boss! An Algorithm…

The Daily SheeplePublished on Dec 11, 2017

US Futures Hit New All Time High Following Asian Shares Higher; European Stocks, Dollar Mixed / by Tyler Durden / Dec 11, 2017 6:57 AM

U.S. equity index futures pointed to early gains and fresh record highs, following Asian markets higher, as European shares were mixed and oil was little changed, although it is unclear if anyone noticed with bitcoin stealing the spotlight, after futures of the cryptocurrency began trading on Cboe Global Markets.

In early trading, European stocks struggled for traction, failing to capitalize on gains for their Asian counterparts after another record close in the U.S. on Friday. On Friday, the S&P 500 index gained 0.6% to a new record after the U.S. added more jobs than forecast in November and the unemployment rate held at an almost 17-year low. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 reclaimed a 26-year high as stocks in Tokyo closed higher although amid tepid volumes. Equities also gained in Hong Kong and China. Most European bonds rose and the euro climbed. Sterling slipped as some of the promises made to clinch a breakthrough Brexit deal last week started to fray.

“Strong jobs U.S. data is giving investors reason to buy equities,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. “The better-than-expected jobs number supports the outlook that there is a synchronized global economic upturn led by the U.S.”

The dollar drifted and Treasuries steadied as investor focus turned from US jobs to this week’s central bank meetings. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index pared early gains as losses for telecom and utilities shares offset gains for miners and banks. Tech stocks were again pressured, with Dialog Semiconductor -4.1%, AMS -1.9%, and Temenos -1.7% all sliding. Volume on the Stoxx 600 was about 17% lower than 30-day average at this time of day, with trading especially thin in Germany and France.

The dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 93.801 against a basket of major currencies, pulling away from a two-week high hit on Friday.


Friday’s COT Report: A WTF Moment For the Ages? / Ed Steer / Monday, 11 December 2017

09 December 2017 — Saturday


The gold price was up a dollar or so in Far East trading on their Friday, but was turned lower once London opened.  That tiny downturn lasted until at, or shortly after, the 10:30 a.m. GMT morning gold fix in London — and the price began to tick higher from that point.  The big price slam that I was expecting on the release of the jobs numbers never materialized, but the volume between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. in New York yesterday was amazing.  That tiny rally in gold was capped and turned lower starting around 9:40 a.m. EST.  That tiny sell-off ended at precisely 1:30 p.m….which was the COMEX close.  That tick is not visible on the Kitco chart below, but stands out clearly on the New York Spot [bid] chart.  From that juncture the price began to creep higher until shortly after 3 p.m. in the thinly-traded after-hours market — and it didn’t do much after that.

The low and high ticks certainly aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Friday session in New York at $1,248.20 spot, up $1.40 on the day, but a new intraday low was set just after 8:30 a.m. in New York, albeit not by much.  Considering the ‘quiet’ price action, net volume was pretty heavy at something under 263,000 contracts, with at least 54,000 contracts of that amount coming between 8:35 and 8:50 a.m. EST.  One wonders what that was all about — and in light of yesterday’s dramatic changes in Friday’s COT Report, I’m now ultra-sensitive about things like yesterday’s price activity.