http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/%20http%3A/%E2%80%9Dhttps%3A/www.http%3A/howladerandco.com/%E2%80%9D en The Most Dangerous Fake News Of All Is Peddled By The Corporate Media http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/most-dangerous-fake-news-all-peddled-corporate-media <p><a href="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/06/27/the-most-dangerous-fake-news-of-all-is-peddled-by-the-corporate-media/"><em>Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/22/21.jpg"><em><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/22/21_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 514px;" /></em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>This is not the sort of thing you see in a confident, brave, and civilized nation, it&rsquo;s the sort of stuff you&rsquo;d expect to see toward the end. It&rsquo;s the stuff of craven war-mongers, of dishonest cowards, of a totally deranged&nbsp;and very dangerous media. The signs are everywhere; imperial decline is set to accelerate&nbsp;rapidly in the coming years.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ndash; From the April post:&nbsp;<a href="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/04/07/prepare-for-impact-this-is-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-u-s-empire/" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire"><strong>Prepare for Impact &ndash; This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire</strong></a></p> </blockquote> <p>Fake news, propaganda and garbage information is everywhere and I&rsquo;m not going to pretend otherwise. That being said, the key thing to understand is fake news from obscure websites you&rsquo;ve never heard of is not what represents the real, global danger of rampant dishonest information. <u><strong>The real danger of fake news is the stuff that&rsquo;s consistently being vomited onto the pages of &ldquo;respectable,&rdquo; billionaire-owned corporate media.</strong></u></p> <p>Obscure blogs and independent thinkers such as myself aren&rsquo;t influencing foreign policy, domestic policy or anything that really matters (look around you). While alternative media did indeed play a monumental role in the election of Donald Trump, how much really changed when it comes to the true power centers?</p> <p><strong>Not much, not much at all.</strong> Goldman Sachs and Wall Street are more in control than ever before, and neocons and other assorted interventionists seem to be running foreign policy.</p> <p>All of this reminds me of the famous saying, <em>&ldquo;if voting made any difference, they&rsquo;d make it illegal.&rdquo; </em>Indeed, the time has come for all of us to own up to the very real and present danger of corporate media, which seemingly exists to provide public relations for oligarchs and the foreign policy establishment. Not that this should be surprising, you&rsquo;d have to be the most naive creature on earth to think newspapers owned by billionaires are going to tell the public the truth. Indeed, I made the following observation earlier today on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">If you don&#39;t think it&#39;s bizarre that all the &quot;respectable&quot; newspapers are constantly pushing for more war, I don&#39;t know what to tell you.</p> <p>&mdash; Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) <a href="https://twitter.com/LibertyBlitz/status/879733605458743300">June 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Truth be told, it&rsquo;s way beyond bizarre, it&rsquo;s downright terrifying. Note that most major newspapers could barely catch their breath from demonizing Trump during his first three months, yet suddenly saw him as a heroic figure as soon as he lobbed a few bombs at Assad. This is like giving a puppy a treat for peeing on a wee wee pad. The corporate press is literally training Trump to wage as much imperial war as possible. It&rsquo;s crucial to understand that Trump, or any other administration really, can only do so much on the interventionist war front as the corporate press permits and pushes. Unfortunately, the corporate press is always pushing for war.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">When was the last time The New York Times came out strongly against a foreign policy establishment war?</p> <p>&mdash; Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) <a href="https://twitter.com/LibertyBlitz/status/879733281490653184">June 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Today provided yet another example of how the &ldquo;respectable&rdquo; oligarch-owned press unquestionably repeats government propaganda when it comes to foreign policy. Two days after Seymour Hersh blew a hole in the fairytale account of Assad using chemical weapons in April, and merely a few hours after Sean Spicer started conditioning the public for more war with evidence-free claims that another chemical attack was imminent, here&rsquo;s how the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/world/middleeast/syria-chemical-attack-trump.html?partner=rss&amp;emc=rss&amp;smid=tw-nytimes&amp;smtyp=cur" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em> covered</a> the April attack.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-45552" src="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-27-at-11.33.19-AM-1024x751.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 440px;" /></p> <p>Naturally, you have the photo of the hurt child to pull at your heartstrings underneath which is written, <em>&ldquo;after a nerve agent was used in an attack in April.&rdquo; </em>Of course, there is no proof that a nerve agent was used in the attack; in fact, there seems to be increasing proof that there wasn&rsquo;t. Yet, that doesn&rsquo;t stop<em> The New York Times</em> from doing it again and again later in the piece.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="story-body-text story-content"><em>WASHINGTON &mdash; American officials have seen chemical weapons activity at a Syrian air base <strong>that was used in the spring nerve gas attack</strong> on rebel-held territory, the Defense Department said on Tuesday, scrambling to explain what prompted a White House statement a day earlier that <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/syria-will-pay-a-heavy-price-for-another-chemical-attack-trump-says.html">Syria would &ldquo;pay a heavy price&rdquo;</a> if it carried out another one.</em></p> <p class="story-body-text story-content">&nbsp;</p> <p class="story-body-text story-content"><em>Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that what looked like active preparations for a chemical attack were seen at Al Shayrat airfield, which was struck in April <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/world/middleeast/us-said-to-weigh-military-responses-to-syrian-chemical-attack.html">by American cruise missiles</a> <strong>two days after the Syrian government dropped bombs loaded with toxic chemicals in northern <a class="meta-loc" href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/syria/index.html?inline=nyt-geo" title="More news and information about Syria.">Syria</a>.</strong> Another Defense Department official said that an aircraft shelter at Al Shayrat that had been hit by an American Tomahawk missile was being used for the preparation.</em></p> <p class="story-body-text story-content">&nbsp;</p> <p class="story-body-text story-content"><em>The United States and other world powers have accused Mr. Assad&rsquo;s forces of repeatedly using chemical weapons to subdue rebels seeking to topple his government. Chemical attacks killed <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/world/middleeast/blasts-in-the-night-a-smell-and-a-flood-of-syrian-victims.html">more than</a><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/world/middleeast/blasts-in-the-night-a-smell-and-a-flood-of-syrian-victims.html"> 1,000 people</a> near Damascus in 2013 <strong>and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/world/middleeast/syria-gas-attack.html">dozens more</a> in northern Syria in April of this year.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>The paper consistently states non-facts as facts in order to push a particular narrative. Meanwhile, here&rsquo;s some of what Seymour Hersh reported in German newspaper <a href="https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>Die Welt</em> </a>over the weekend:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, &nbsp;including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president&rsquo;s determination to ignore the evidence. &ldquo;None of this makes any sense,&rdquo; one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. &ldquo;We KNOW that there was no chemical attack &hellip; the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth &hellip; I guess it didn&rsquo;t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The Execute Order governing U.S. military operations in theater, which was issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, &nbsp;provide instructions that demarcate the relationship between the American and Russian forces operating in Syria. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like an ops order &ndash; &lsquo;Here&rsquo;s what you are authorized to do,&rsquo;&rdquo; the adviser said. &ldquo;We do not share operational control with the Russians. We don&rsquo;t do combined operations with them, or activities directly in support of one of their operations.&nbsp; But coordination is permitted. We keep each other apprised of what&rsquo;s happening and within this package is the mutual exchange of intelligence.&nbsp; If we get a hot tip that could help the Russians do their mission, that&rsquo;s coordination; and the Russians do the same for us. When we get a hot tip about a command and control facility,&rdquo; the adviser added, referring to the target in Khan Sheikhoun, &ldquo;we do what we can to help them act on it.&rdquo; &ldquo;This was not a chemical weapons strike,&rdquo; the adviser said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon &ndash; you&rsquo;ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb &ndash; would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. Military grade sarin includes additives designed to increase toxicity and lethality. Every batch that comes out is maximized for death. That is why it is made. It is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The target was struck at 6:55 a.m. on April 4, just before midnight in Washington. A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered&nbsp;&nbsp;a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground. According to intelligence estimates, the senior adviser said, the strike itself killed up to four jihadist leaders, and an unknown number of drivers and security aides. There is no confirmed count of the number of civilians killed by the poisonous gases that were released by the secondary explosions, although opposition activists reported that there were more than 80 dead, and outlets such as CNN have put the figure as high as 92. A team from Médecins Sans Frontières, treating victims from Khan Sheikhoun at a clinic 60 miles to the north, reported that &ldquo;eight patients showed symptoms &ndash; including constricted pupils, muscle spasms and involuntary defecation &ndash; which are consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin gas or similar compounds.&rdquo; MSF also visited other hospitals that had received victims and found that patients there &ldquo;smelled of bleach, suggesting that they had been exposed to chlorine.&rdquo; In other words, evidence suggested that there was more than one chemical responsible for the symptoms observed, which would not have been the case if the Syrian Air Force &ndash; as opposition activists insisted &ndash; had dropped a sarin bomb, which has no percussive or ignition power to trigger secondary explosions. The range of symptoms is, however, consistent with the release of a mixture of chemicals, including chlorine and the organophosphates used in many fertilizers, which can cause neurotoxic effects similar to those of sarin.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Given the reporting of a journalist with decades of history calling out government b.s., you&rsquo;d think the <em>New York Times</em> would at least mention Hersh&rsquo;s reporting in their article. Nope, not a peep.</p> <p><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/06/us-warns-syria-against-launching-another-chemical-attack/531744/?utm_source=atltw" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>The Atlantic</em></a> does a similar thing. Here are a few excerpts from its Syria piece this morning. Let&rsquo;s start with the title.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-45554" src="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-27-at-11.46.47-AM-1024x393.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 238px;" /></p> <p>&ldquo;Another&rdquo; chemical attack. Meanwhile, it looks like the last one never even happened, yet does&nbsp;<em>The Atlantic</em> mention the report authored by Sy Hersh two days earlier? Of course not, but it does continue to repeat the fake news claim of an April chemical weapons attack over and over.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a statement Monday night accusing the Syrian government of potentially engaging in preparations for <strong>another chemical weapons attack.</strong> While the statement offered minimal details, it argued that a future attack<strong> &ldquo;would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.&rdquo; On April 4, a government-led <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/liveblogs/2017/04/news-today/521787/15864/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">chemical attack</a> in Syria&rsquo;s northwestern Idlib province resulted in the deaths of more than 80 civilians.</strong> According to Spicer, the Syrian government&rsquo;s latest preparations closely resemble those carried out prior to April 4.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>If indeed enacted, a new chemical weapons attack could have reverberating consequences throughout the international community. In response to April&rsquo;s attack, the U.S. launched 59 tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base&mdash;<strong>the nation&rsquo;s first military operation against an Arab government since President Obama&rsquo;s intervention in Libya in 2011.</strong> At the time, the administration referred to the strike as a &ldquo;one-off&rdquo; occurrence intended to deter future chemical attacks. But, in the wake of the operation, administration officials reported that President Trump had been deeply troubled by graphic images of Syrian children struggling to breathe. &ldquo;No child of God should ever suffer such horror,&rdquo; Trump said while announcing the strike.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>&ldquo;<em>The nation&rsquo;s first military operation against an Arab government since President Obama&rsquo;s intervention in Libya in 2011.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Since that went so well,&nbsp;we may as well do it again.</p> <p>Meanwhile, do you know anything about David G. Bradley, the man who owns Atlantic Media? I didn&rsquo;t think so. Here&rsquo;s a brief snippet mentioning him from a 2010 <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/washingtons-richest-power-players"><em>Daily Beast</em> article</a>&nbsp;about D.C. &ldquo;richest power players.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Far more visible is well-heeled entrepreneur and Atlantic Media publisher David G. Bradley, who owns The National Journal, The Atlantic, and Hotline. In 1979, a 26-year-old Bradley founded the Research Council of Washington. Over the years he zeroed in on health care and finance, and in 1997 he sold the company for more than $300 million.<strong> He is known for hosting monthly ultra-exclusive off-the-record dinners&mdash;a Valhalla of insiders, top journalists, foreign leaders, and White House officials&mdash;in his glass-enclosed office at the Watergate.</strong> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a joy for me,&rdquo; Bradley has <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/27/AR2009042700891_pf.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">said</a>. &ldquo;I launched it for the romance of it. It&rsquo;s more book club than it is clubhouse.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>I&rsquo;ll let you make your own determination as to whether or not this sort of thing is likely to lead to hard-hitting, power challenging journalism. <strong>Sounds like a bunch of elitists stroking each other to me.</strong></p> <p>Which brings me to the main point. <strong>The major newspapers do not hold power to account. They aren&rsquo;t working for the public interest, and you can see the results all around us.</strong> With government, corporate oligarchs and the media entirely aligned against the best interests of the population at large, the situation looks very bleak<strong>. The imperial train wreck appears unstoppable.</strong></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/LibertyBlitz/status/879696232951762945"><img class="alignnone wp-image-45576" src="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-27-at-12.45.45-PM-1024x599.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 351px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="337" height="218" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170627_corp.jpg?1498609078" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/most-dangerous-fake-news-all-peddled-corporate-media#comments American military Arab government B+ B.S. Business Chemical warfare Department of Defense Donald Trump Donald Trump goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Khan Shaykhun chemical attack My Lai Massacre Neocons New York Times Newspaper None northern Syria Pentagon Politics President Obama Research Council of Washington Seymour Hersh Shayrat missile strike Syrian and Russian Air Force Syrian government Twitter Twitter United States US military War White House White House Wed, 28 Jun 2017 03:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598796 at http://www.zerohedge.com Chinese Satellite Data Hint At Ominous Manufacturing Slowdown http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/chinese-satellite-data-hint-ominous-manufacturing-slowdown <p>Chinese factory activity contracted last month for the first time in nearly a year when the Caixin PMI dipped below 50, the threshold for growth. And now, early indicators for the month of June &ndash; including one satellite-based measure - suggest that there&rsquo;s more pain ahead for the manufacturing sector in the world&rsquo;s second-largest economy.</p> <p><strong>A reading published by San Francisco-based SpaceKnow Inc. which uses commercial satellite imagery to monitor activity across thousands of industrial sites signaled deterioration in the country&rsquo;s manufacturing sector for the first time since August. <em>The gauge, known as the China Satellite Manufacturing Index, fell to 49.6, below the 50 break-even level.</em></strong> The index incorporates satellite data from thousands of industrial sites across China.</p> <p>Satellite imagery has often proved eerily presceint in the recent past: In the US,<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-09/satellite-imagery-reveals-sharp-retail-spending-slowdown-after-election"> satellite data analyzing activity in retailers&#39; parking lots</a> pointed to significant activity weakness at core US retail locations, even as sentiment indicators were suggesting an uptick in sales following the election.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, small- and medium-sized enterprises showed the lowest level of confidence in 16 months, and conditions in the steel business remained lackluster, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-26/china-s-early-data-signal-that-growth-may-have-peaked-for-2017">according to Bloomberg.</a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/china_1.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/china_1_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 281px;" /></a></p> <p>Some other indicators have been slightly more sanguine: sales-manager sentiment stayed positive, and outlook of financial experts recovered.</p> <p><strong>Still, data suggest that output in China&rsquo;s economy slowed during the second quarter after a strong start to the year, with investment slowing, some credit becoming tighter and signs that curbs on the country&rsquo;s property market are starting to have an impact.</strong></p> <p>Should growth continue to slow, China&rsquo;s leaders would find themselves in an awkward position, with the country&rsquo;s twice-a-decade leadership transition expected to occur this fall when the 19th Party Congress convenes to appoint its new senior leadership. It&rsquo;s widely believed that China&rsquo;s President Xi Jinping will begin serving his second five-year term.</p> <p>Another gauge, Standard Chartered Plc&rsquo;s Small and Medium Enterprise Confidence Index <strong>slumped to a 16-month low at 54.7 &ndash; a sign that smaller companies are finding it harder to obtain credit as regulators move to damp financial risks. A sub-gauge of lending fell below 50, signaling deterioration, for the first time on record.</strong></p> <p>These data show that Chinese banks are growing reluctant to lend to small Chinese companies, preferring larger, more established peers, this leaves those companies in line to feel the brunt of the People&rsquo;s Bank of China&rsquo;s monetary tightening, as the central bank tries to ease the market off of its dependence on repeated liquidity injections.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Although the central bank will likely provide sufficient liquidity to avoid a liquidity crunch, banks may still prefer lending to bigger rather than smaller companies amid tighter liquidity conditions,&rdquo; according to Standard Chartered&#39;s Kelvin Lau and Hunter Chan.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>That could be the spark that ignites China&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-26/edge-uncontrollable-liquidity-event-definitive-guide-chinas-financial-system">&ldquo;Minsky moment&rdquo;</a> - the financial cataclysm that Kyle Bass and other perma-china-bears have been waiting for when China&rsquo;s overleveraged market crumbles to dust &ndash; might finally be in the offing. <strong>Indeed, though China&#39;s markets have been relatively calm recently, the PBOC&#39;s attempts to tighten liquidity have sparked some instability in recent months. Back in March, the central bank had to engage in mini bailouts when a jump in interbank rates caused some small regional lenders to default on their interbank loans after money market rates shot higher. Meanwhile, China&#39;s weakening credit impulse should give any China bulls pause. </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/chinacredit.JPG"><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/chinacredit_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 305px;" /></strong></a></p> <p>In one ominous sign, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/its-domino-effect-hong-kong-microcaps-crash-amid-marketwide-margin-call">Hong Kong microcap stocks crashed overnight</a> after a rumor that local exchanges might force all &ldquo;zombie companies &ldquo; <strong>to delist triggered a wave of margin calls. The selloff triggered worries about stability in the country&rsquo;s equity market, which has seen a series of spectacular crashes in individual names this year, despite the broader Hang Seng benchmark&rsquo;s strong performance.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/hongkong.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/hongkong_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 289px;" /></a></p> <p>Compounding worries for investors <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-09/chinese-companies-ask-employees-buy-their-stock-promise-cover-losses">is a report published by Caixin</a> a few weeks ago saying that two dozen Chinese companies asked their employees to buy their stock, promising to cover their losses &ndash; a transparent attempt at pumping up the price to fend off collateral calls on stock-backed loans.</p> <p>What&#39;s more, in a fantastic expose from earlier this month,<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-02/pledged-assets-are-not-there-reuters-goes-china-discovers-ghost-collateral"> Reuters reported</a> on how Chinese firms&#39; &quot;rehypothecating&quot; collateral between two and three borrowers, suggesting that billions, or maybe even trillions, of dollars&#39; worth of loans are based on so-called ghost collateral, leaving them effectively unsecured.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the S&amp;P Global Platts China Steel Sentiment Index remained at a lackluster level -- 38.12 out of 100 points. The gauge is based on a survey of about 75 to 90 China-based market participants including traders and steel mills.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Market participants do not expect any great improvement over the coming month,&quot; Paul Bartholomew, a senior managing editor at S&amp;P Global Platts in Melbourne, wrote in a release. &quot;Confidence in the export market has evaporated after two stronger months, as overseas customers are wary about buying when the price direction is so unclear.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>In addition to the ominous economic indicators, political tensions are worsening, too. Two weeks after Trump&#39;s ominous China &ldquo;tried and failed&rdquo; to contain North Korea tweet, the leaders of the two global powers appear to be getting closer to the default relationship that many expected after the election &ndash; <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/trump-increasingly-frustrated-china-over-north-korea-trade-reuters">that is to say, a hostile one.</a> The Trump report follows last night&#39;s news that the United States plans to place China on its global list of worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor, a step that according to Reuters could aggravate tensions with Beijing.<br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="297" height="143" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170627_china.jpg?1498598561" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/chinese-satellite-data-hint-ominous-manufacturing-slowdown#comments Banking Business Caixin China China Satellite Manufacturing Congress default Economic indicator Economy Economy of China Finance Financial markets Hang Seng 40 Hong Kong Interbank lending market Kyle Bass Kyle Bass Market liquidity Money North Korea People's Bank of China Recession Reuters Standard Chartered Systemic risk Wed, 28 Jun 2017 03:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598789 at http://www.zerohedge.com Jim Grant Explains The Gold Standard http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/jim-grant-explains-gold-standard <p><a href="https://mises.org/blog/jim-grant-explains-gold-standard"><em>Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,</em></a></p> <div class="body-content clearfix"> <p>Earlier this month in the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>,&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/goodbye-yellow-brick-road-1497643771" target="_blank">James Grant explored</a>&nbsp;the latest academic attack on the gold standard &mdash; this time in the form of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/James-Ledbetter/e/B001K82V9O/?tag=misesinsti-20" target="_blank"><em>One Nation Under Gold</em></a>&nbsp;by financial journalist James Ledbetter.</strong></p> <p>Not that the establishment economics profession needs another book trashing gold. Among the university- and government-employed PhDs who hand down their wisdom about economics from on high, few have anything but disdain for the yellow metal.&nbsp;</p> <p>Grant knows this all to well and notes:&nbsp;<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>As if to clinch the case against gold - and, necessarily, the case for the modern-day status quo - Mr. Ledbetter writes: <em><strong>&ldquo;Of forty economists teaching at America&rsquo;s most prestigious universities &mdash; including many who&rsquo;ve advised or worked in Republican administrations &mdash; exactly zero responded favorably to a gold-standard question asked in 2012.&rdquo; </strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Perhaps so, but &ldquo;zero&rdquo; or thereabouts likewise describes the number of established economists who in 2005, &rsquo;06 and &rsquo;07 anticipated the coming of the biggest financial event of their professional lives. <strong>The economists mean no harm. But if, in unison, they arrive at the conclusion that tomorrow is Monday, a prudent person would check the calendar.</strong></p> </blockquote> </p><p><strong>Nevertheless, the gold standard has a reputation for being dark and nefarious.</strong> It&rsquo;s backward and limiting, and the sort of thing one ought to associate with crucifixion, as implied in William Jennings Bryan&rsquo;s <a href="http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5354/" target="_blank">famous Cross of Gold speech</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>But, as Grant sums things up, it&rsquo;s not as complicated as all that:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>What was the gold standard, exactly &mdash; this thing that the professors dismiss so airily today? A self-respecting member of the community of gold-standard nations defined its money as a weight of bullion. It allowed gold to enter and leave the country freely. It exchanged bank notes to gold, and vice versa, at a fixed and inviolable rate. The people, not the authorities, decided which form of money was best.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The gold standard was a hard task master, all right.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You couldn&rsquo;t devalue your way out of trouble. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You couldn&rsquo;t run up a big domestic budget deficit. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The central bank of a gold-standard country (if there was a central bank) was charged with preserving the convertibility of the currency and, in a pinch, serving as lender of last resort to needy commercial banks.<strong> Growth, employment and price stability took their own course.</strong> And if, in a financial panic or a business-cycle downturn, gold fled the country, it was the duty of the central bank to establish a rate of interest that called the metal home. In the throes of a crisis, interest rates would likely go up, not down.</p> </blockquote> <p>The reason gold is so unpleasant then, Grant writes, is that<em><strong> &ldquo;the modern sensibility quakes at the rigor of such a system.&rdquo;</strong></em> But, in an age when science and technology can solve all our problems, surely if we try really hard, we can devise an economic system that can create wealth out of thin air!&nbsp;</p> <p>Thus was the gold standard replaced by another standard:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>That system features monetary oversight by former university economics faculty &mdash; the Ph.D. standard, let&rsquo;s call it. The ex-professors buy bonds with money they whistle into existence (&ldquo;quantitative easing&rdquo;), tinker with interest rates, and give speeches about their intentions to buy bonds and tinker with interest rates (&ldquo;forward guidance&rdquo;).</p> </blockquote> <p>But why was this new standard adopted? <strong>Many economists would have us believe it was due to some rational embrace of more &ldquo;correct&rdquo; thinking.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>But, as with Keynesian economics in general - which was largely embraced because it tells powerful people what they want to hear = the new monetary system was embraced because governments couldn&#39;t pay their debts:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Addressing a national television audience on Sunday evening, Aug. 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced the temporary suspension of the dollar&rsquo;s convertibility into gold. No more would foreign governments enjoy the right to trade in their greenbacks for bullion at the then standard rate of $35 to the ounce.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>It&rsquo;s <strong>not a coincidence that this came at the end of a long period of guns-and-butter policy in which the US government spent freely on new wars and a growing welfare state.</strong> But there was a problem. Government&rsquo;s ability to give itself a raise by inflating the currency was restrained somewhat by the Bretton Woods system, which guaranteed the international value of gold at a fixed number of dollars.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Nixon yearned to be free of this restraint </strong>so he could spend dollars more freely, and not have to worry about their value in gold.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Nixon&rsquo;s move was, in short, the final and total politicization on money itself,</strong> and, as Grant notes,<strong><em> &ldquo;The Ph.D. standard is ... a political institution. It is the financial counterpart to the philosophy of statism.&quot;</em></strong></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="228" height="140" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170627_gold.jpg?1498608118" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/jim-grant-explains-gold-standard#comments Bretton Woods system Budget Deficit Central bank Convertibility Economic history of the United States Economy fixed Foreign exchange market Gold Gold coin Gold standard International trade Jim Grant Keynesian economics Mises Institute Mises Institute Monetary policy Money One Nation Quantitative Easing United States dollar US government Wall Street Journal Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598794 at http://www.zerohedge.com New Polls Suggest the People of the World Hate Trump -- IMPEACH THE ORANGE ORB NOW!!! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/new-polls-suggest-people-world-hate-trump-impeach-orange-orb-now <p>Enough of this charade. The people of the world have spoken, and just 22% of asked by Pew Research have confidence in President Trump -- down from Obama's stellar 64%. More than that, the only two nations in the world where Trump was more popular than Obama was Russia (shocker!) and Israel. </p> <p>Why doesn't Trump move to Jerusalem and become President there? He seems to love that wall so much -- plus he'd be closer to his friends in Russia.<br /> <a href="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/06/000_OQ93K-e1495460003763.jpg"><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/06/000_OQ93K-e1495460003763.jpg" alt="" width="768" height="432" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70051" /></a><br /> <em>He loves walls.</em></p> <p>Our dear friend from MSNBC, the impartial Chris Mathews, weighs in on this new impeachable offense.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qk9MJCYyTOo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Let's recap Trump's crimes. </p> <p>He worked with Russian hackers to access John Podesta's email box, revealing the DNC to be the corrupt organization we've all grown to adore.<br /> After becoming President, he took two scoops of iced cream, while everyone else took only one.<br /> He fired Comey and called Flynn 'a good guy.' Clearly, collusion -- execute all involved.<br /> He obstructed justice by claiming to have tapes. He had zero tapes. Impeach now.<br /> He didn't enjoy a Ramadan dinner -- something of a tradition in the White House.<br /> He might get a chance to nominate a second supreme court justice.<br /> He has yet to release his taxes. </p> <p>This orange orangutan must leave the White House to make way for the whitest man to ever live -- Mike Pence. He's so white, his hair is white. His stance of electrocuting gays until they turn back to normal is somewhat alarming -- but I feel we can work with him in making America somewhat good again.</p> <p>This greatness business is arduous, hard work, and environmentally unfriendly. </p> <p>For the sake of the people of the world, in spite of Russia and Israel, we must impeach Trump now. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Content originally published at <a href="http://ibankcoin.com/">iBankCoin.com</a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/new-polls-suggest-people-world-hate-trump-impeach-orange-orb-now#comments American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Dismissal of James Comey Donald Trump Israel James Comey MSNBC Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections The Apprentice United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:35:14 +0000 The_Real_Fly 598801 at http://www.zerohedge.com Two Top House Dems Accused Of Ethics Violations http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/two-top-house-dems-accused-ethics-violations <p>Democrats have been having a rough time lately as the phony Russia collusion narrative crumbles (with a little help from noted fake news purveyor CNN) while some of the party&rsquo;s most venerated officials are facing allegations of misconduct &ndash; be it for colluding with the Clinton campaign <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-23/senate-judiciary-committee-opens-probe-loretta-lynch">(Loretta Lynch)</a> or for allegedly submitting a fraudulent loan application and improperly pressuring a regional lender <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-24/bernie-sanders-wife-under-fbi-investigation-bank-fraud">(Bernie and Jane Sanders).</a></p> <p>Add to that list Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), <strong>chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) who as <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/house/339603-high-power-dems-facing-ethics-scrutiny">the Hill reports</a> are facing possible ethics infractions and will appear before a panel at the recommendation of the Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE is an independent, bipartisan group that examines ethics complaints and forwards what it considers the most serious cases to the Ethics Committee.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/dems.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/06/10/dems_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 376px;" /></a></p> <p><em>John Conyers (D-Mich)</em></p> <p>While the ethics charges are less serious than the Senate probe into Lynch or the FBI investigation into the Sanderses, they represent another black eye for Democrats, <strong>whose unceasing criticisms of President Donald Trump&rsquo;s purported &ldquo;business conflicts&rdquo; have now been exposed as unvarnished hypocrisy.</strong></p> <p>In addition to Conyers and Lujan, Michael Collins, chief of staff to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), is also under review, the House panel announced.</p> <p>While the ethics committee wouldn&rsquo;t reveal the exact nature of the allegations, the Hill has a few ideas.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;As is typically the case, the Ethics Committee did not specify the allegations surrounding the three Democrats. <strong>But Luján has been the subject of complaints filed by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a conservative watchdog group, alleging the DCCC chairman violated ethics rules by soliciting campaign donations following the Democrats&rsquo; sit-in on the House floor in June 2016 to protest Republican inaction on gun reform.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;They protested for TWENTY-SIX LONG HOURS, but Republicans refused to lift a finger,&rdquo; read one DCCC solicitation at the time. <strong>&ldquo;We need to get 21,673 more gifts in the door today to kick them out of office.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>As for Collins? He appears to have violated rules regarding Congressional staffers seeking outside employment.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;In January, FACT filed a separate complaint against Lewis and Collins, alleging that Collins&rsquo;s role as both Lewis&rsquo;s chief of staff and campaign treasurer violated rules limiting outside employment by House staffers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Even in the limited instances where outside employment is allowed, the amount that can be earned is capped at $27,255,&rdquo; FACT said at the time. &ldquo;In this case, Collins was earning $27,495 as Lewis&rsquo; campaign treasurer, a prohibited salary for a prohibited position.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Conyers is suspected of continuing to pay a former staffer even though she no longer worked for him.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Conyers&rsquo;s office has been under OCE review over the last year surrounding allegations that a former staffer, Cynthia Martin, may have been paid during months when she was no longer employed by the office. In February, the OCE recommended that the Ethics Committee review whether Martin &ldquo;accepted compensation that was not commensurate with the work she was performing.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Each of the individuals involved told the Hill that they were cooperating with investigators and hoped to swiftly resolve the issue. Now, as we await the next step in this process, <strong>we can only hope that Maxine Waters, who liberals have hailed as a champion of the resistance despite her history of apparent conflicts and self-dealing, will be next.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="656" height="493" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/dems.JPG?1498582401" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/two-top-house-dems-accused-ethics-violations#comments Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Donald Trump Ethics Ethics Committee FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Foundation for Accountability John Conyers Judiciary Committee Maxine Waters Maxine Waters Office of Congressional Ethics office of Congressional Ethics Philosophy Politics Senate United States House of Representatives Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598774 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Ultimate Regulatory Reform: Abolish Fractional Reserve Banking! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/ultimate-regulatory-reform-abolish-fractional-reserve-banking <p><a href="https://antoniusaquinas.com/2017/06/27/the-ultimate-regulatory-reform-abolish-fractional-reserve-banking/"><em>Authored by Antonius Aquinas,</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/22/20170627_frac.jpg"><img height="451" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/22/20170627_frac.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>The Trump Administration has presented the first part of its plan to overhaul a number of Wall Street financial regulations, many of which were enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.&nbsp;</strong> The report is in response to Executive Order 13772 in which the US Treasury Department is to provide findings &ldquo;examining the United States&rsquo; financial regulatory system and detailing executive actions and regulatory changes that can be immediately undertaken to provide much-needed relief.&rdquo;</p> <p>In release of the first phase of the report, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin stated:<strong><em> &ldquo;Properly structuring regulation of the U.S. financial system is critical to achieve the administration&rsquo;s goal of sustained economic growth and to create opportunities for all Americans to benefit from a stronger economy.&nbsp; We are focused on encouraging a market environment where consumers have more choices, access to capital and safe loan products &ndash; while ensuring taxpayer-funded bailouts are truly a thing of the past.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Some of its highlights include:</p> <ul> <li>Community financial institutions &ndash; banks and credit unions &ndash; are critically important to serve many Americans</li> <li>Capital, liquidity and leverage rules can be simplified to increase the flow of credit</li> <li>We must ensure our banks are globally competitive</li> <li>Improving market liquidity is critical for the U.S. economy</li> <li>The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau must be reformed</li> <li>Regulations need to be better tailored, more efficient and effective</li> <li>Congress should review the organization and mandates of the independent banking regulators to improve accountability</li> </ul> <p><strong>Not surprisingly, most of the banking industry expressed support for the report,</strong> critics (mostly Democrats) pointed out that it would lead to the type of practices that produced the 2008 panic in the first place.&nbsp; Both opponents and those in favor as well as the clueless financial press fail to grasp the underlying cause of not only the recent crisis, but the majority of those which have occurred for the past century.</p> <p><strong>Quite simply: the fundamental cause of the 2008 financial crisis was fractional-reserve banking (FRB).&nbsp;</strong> FRB is the practice whereby banks keep a &ldquo;fraction&rdquo; of the funds deposited by customers in their vaults lending out the rest at interest and &ldquo;profit.&rdquo;&nbsp; Banks are thus inherently unstable since if all depositors came at once and demanded their money (a &ldquo;bank run&rdquo;), banks could not be able to redeem their deposits.&nbsp; Moreover, FRB encourages banks to engage in exceedingly speculative and risky behavior which creates unsustainable bubbles throughout the economy.</p> <p><em>The nation&rsquo;s central bank, the Federal Reserve, was created by the banksters and politicos to enshrine this immoral and economically ruinous practice into the heart of the American financial landscape.&nbsp; <strong>Any &ldquo;reform&rdquo; of Wall Street&rsquo;s financial practices that does not address FRB by doing away with it and the institution (the Fed) which enables it to exist, is doomed.</strong></em></p> <p><em>The banks, in collusion with the Fed, are able to expand the money supply through this process while enriching the banksters&rsquo; balance sheet.&nbsp; On the macro level, the creation of money through FRB is the genesis of the destructive boom-bust cycle.</em></p> <p><em>This is why banks and the entire financial system are so prone to reoccurring crisis and no regulation, reform, or Treasury Department &ldquo;findings,&rdquo; can make such a system &ldquo;stable.&rdquo;&nbsp;<strong> The only true reform is to abolish FRB and establish a monetary order that requires all financial institutions to keep 100% reserves of depositors&rsquo; assets.</strong></em></p> <p><em>The Treasury Department&rsquo;s recommendations are mere window dressing by the very banksters whose opulent livelihoods are predicated on FRB.</em></p> <p><em>The elimination of FRB would go beyond a beneficial financial revolution, but would affect the foreign policy of the USSA.&nbsp; Without the ability to create money via FRB, the murderous American Empire could simply not exist, nor would the nation&rsquo;s draconian domestic security state.</em></p> <p>With his selection of crony capitalists and members of Goldman Sachs to his economic team, it is apparent that President<strong> Trump does not understand the true nature of the nation&rsquo;s financial woes or what precipitated the last financial crisis</strong> and what will assuredly lead to a far bigger mess down the road.&nbsp; <em><strong>If he did, his next Executive Order would be to implement steps and procedures to eliminate the scourge of fractional reserve banking forever.</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="610" height="459" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170627_frac.jpg?1498599548" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/ultimate-regulatory-reform-abolish-fractional-reserve-banking#comments Bank Bank Run Banking Business Congress Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Economy Executive Order 13772 Fail Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System Financial crises Financial services Fractional Reserve Banking Fractional-reserve banking goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Great Recession Monetary policy Money Money Supply Systemic risk Treasury Department Trump Administration U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT US Federal Reserve Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598791 at http://www.zerohedge.com China Suspends Fuel Sales To North Korea http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/china-suspends-fuel-sales-north-korea <p>It appears <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/reuters-america-exclusive-chinas-cnpc-suspends-fuel-sales-to-north-korea-as-risks-mount-sources.html">President Trump&#39;s remarks</a> about the lack of progress made by China in pressuring North Korea has worked. <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/reuters-america-exclusive-chinas-cnpc-suspends-fuel-sales-to-north-korea-as-risks-mount-sources.html">Reuters reports</a> that<strong> CNPC - the main supplier of diesel and gasoline to North Korea - has halted sales,</strong> reportedly because the buyers could not pay.</p> <p>A week after the President said that &quot;<strong>while I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi &amp; China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!</strong>&quot;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi &amp; China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/877234140483121152">June 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>And China responded that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>China has &ldquo;played an important and constructive role&rdquo; in seeking peace on the Korean peninsula,</strong>&nbsp;Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>China strictly implements&nbsp;United Nations Security Council resolutions and isn&rsquo;t the crux of the North Korean issue, he said.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/reuters-america-exclusive-chinas-cnpc-suspends-fuel-sales-to-north-korea-as-risks-mount-sources.html">Reuters reports </a>that <strong>China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won&#39;t get paid,</strong> as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, three sources told Reuters.</p> <p><strong>China provides most of North Korea&rsquo;s food and fuel imports.</strong> It has backed the Kim dynasty since the Korean War, in part to keep U.S. troops away from its border. While China has taken some steps on North Korea -- including halting coal purchases this year after Kim&rsquo;s estranged half-brother was murdered in Malaysia -- <strong>its efforts haven&rsquo;t produced a breakthrough so far.</strong></p> <p>But perhaps the death of Otto Warmbier was enough to push the Chinese to this decision, but <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/reuters-america-exclusive-chinas-cnpc-suspends-fuel-sales-to-north-korea-as-risks-mount-sources.html">as Reuters notes</a>, while it&#39;s unclear how long the suspension will last, <strong>a prolonged cut would threaten critical supplies of fuel and force North Korea to find alternatives</strong> to its main supplier of diesel and gasoline, as scrutiny of China&#39;s close commercial ties with its increasingly isolated neighbour intensifies.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A source with direct knowledge of the matter said <strong>CNPC decided to put fuel sales on hold &quot;over the last month or two&quot; and described it as a &quot;commercial decision&quot;.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;It&#39;s no longer worth the risks,&quot; </strong>said the source. <strong>Chinese and international banks are stepping up compliance checks</strong> on companies dealing with countries on the U.S. sanctions list, such as North Korea, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The North Korean agents who mostly buy the diesel and gasoline have been unable recently to pay for the supplies</strong> -- CNPC normally requires upfront payments, the source said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reuters was unable to determine if the agents have <strong>started facing credit problems with Chinese and international banks worried about sanctions compliance issues.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The United States has pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, but Beijing has said its influence on North Korea is limited and it is doing all it can, and as <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/reuters-america-exclusive-chinas-cnpc-suspends-fuel-sales-to-north-korea-as-risks-mount-sources.html">Reuters concludes,</a> <strong>the sources in China saw no sign yet that Beijing is cutting crude oil to Pyongyang. </strong></p> <p>The big question now is - will this corner an apparently already crazy leader into some action we may all regret, or will the suffering of his people be the line he is not willing to cross as some diplomatic face-saving approach is found.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="251" height="162" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170627_Fuel.jpg?1498613367" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/china-suspends-fuel-sales-north-korea#comments China China National Petroleum Corporation China–North Korea relations Crude Crude Oil Foreign Ministry Forms of government Geography of Asia KIM Korea Member states of the United Nations North Asia North Korea North Korea Otto Warmbier Politics Republics Reuters Sino-Russian relations since United Nations United Nations Security Council Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:33:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 598798 at http://www.zerohedge.com Lindsey Graham Asks Very Simple Question About 'Unmasking'; Massive Evasion Effort Ensues http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/lindsey-graham-asks-very-simple-question-about-unmasking-massive-evasion-effort-ensu <p>For months now, Senator Lindsey Graham has been trying to get an answer to a very simple question, namely <strong>'if his conversations are 'incidentally' captured while he's overseas talking with a foreign leader who's being surveilled by the U.S. intelligence community and his name is subsequently unmasked, is he, as a United States citizen and/or as a U.S. Senator, legally entitled to know that he's been unmasked?'</strong></p> <p>And while the entire world is being distracted by the "Russian meddling" narrative, Graham's question highlights the single most important issue that should be "top-of-mind" for Americans as it <strong>gets to the heart of whether the various intelligence agencies in this country can be transformed into political weapons of mass destruction.</strong></p> <p>As we pointed out a couple of months ago, the timing of Susan Rice's requests to unmask conversations conducted by Trump officials that were 'incidentally collected', and the subsequent leaking of that information to the press, would seem to highlight the urgent need for clarity on this topic (see "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-03/confirmed-susan-rice-unmasked-trump-team">Confirmed: Susan Rice "Unmasked" Trump Team</a>").</p> <p>Meanwhile, a recently revealed FISA court order should also raise some serious concerns as it found that, under the Obama administration, NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens "<strong>with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court"</strong>...an issue which the court described as a <strong>"very serious Fourth Amendment issue."<br /></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Since 2011, NSA's minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702.&nbsp; The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that <strong>NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government's failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an<strong> institutional 'lack of candor' on NSA's part</strong> and emphasized that <strong>'this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'"</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/05/24/2017.05.24%20-%20FISA%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/05/24/2017.05.24%20-%20FISA%202_0.jpg" alt="FISA" width="600" height="563" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Therefore, given the gravity of the question and the implications behind it, one would think that the nation's top intelligence community lawyer, Bradley Brooker, would have been more prepared to answer Senator Graham's question earlier today when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.&nbsp; Instead, Graham got nothing more than a couple of smirks from behind a massive stone wall.</p> <p>The line of questioning started off simply enough...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Graham:</strong></span>&nbsp; "Lets get back to 702.&nbsp; I'm overseas talking to a foreign leader, which I do a lot, if they're collecting on that foreign leader, I want to know <strong>is it possible for somebody in the administration to get ahold of the conversation and unmask me.&nbsp; Is that possible?"</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The answer to that question was a very simple, <strong>"Yes."</strong></p> <p>So far so good...but then apparently things got much more complicated with Graham asked whether it was possible for him to know whether that unmasking occurred:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Graham:</strong></span>&nbsp; <strong>"Is it possible for me to know if that happened?"</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Can I find that out?&nbsp; I want to know.&nbsp; Do I have the legal right as a United States Senator to find out if my government is monitoring conversations between me and a foreign leader?"</p> </blockquote> <p>After a few attempts at stonewalling, Graham once again tried to rephrase is question:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Graham:</strong></span>&nbsp; "So what's the answer here?&nbsp; Am I ever going to get to know the basic facts?&nbsp; Because if I'm going to be monitored overseas...maybe there's a good reason to monitor the person I'm talking to, I just want to know what consequence, as a Senator, flows my way.&nbsp; <strong>If somebody in my own administration doesn't like me, if another administration outside my party doesn't like me, should I be worried about that conversation falling into the hands of political people that may be one day used against me?"</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“I don’t mind if you’re listening, I do mind if someone can take that information and use it politically."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Alas, no answer ever came...which, we suspect, is an answer all by itself, albeit not that one that most of us would like.</p> <p><em><strong></strong></em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3P9q2GoF3dc" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="618" height="373" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.06.27%20-%20Graham%202.JPG?1498587589" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/lindsey-graham-asks-very-simple-question-about-unmasking-massive-evasion-effort-ensu#comments Edward Snowden FISA court Global surveillance Government International Republican Institute Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham Mass surveillance National security National Security Agency Obama Administration Obama administration Politics Surveillance Susan Rice Trump Tower wiretapping allegations U.S. intelligence United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598785 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ron Paul: Republican Healthcare Plan Fails The "Jimmy Kimmel Test" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/ron-paul-republican-healthcare-plan-fails-jimmy-kimmel-test <p><a href="http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/june/26/republican-healthcare-plan-fails-the-jimmy-kimmel-test/"><em>Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace &amp; Prosperity,</em></a></p> <p><span>This week the Senate Republican leadership unveiled its Obamacare replacement plan.<strong> Like its House counterpart, the misnamed Senate plan retains most of Obamacare&rsquo;s core features.</strong></span></p> <p><span>Both the House and Senate plans allow states to obtain waivers providing relief from some Obamacare mandates, although the waivers in both bills are too restrictive to be of much value. For example, the Senate&#39;s bill does not allow states to have waived two of Obamacare&rsquo;s most destructive mandates &mdash; guaranteed issue and community ratings.</span></p> <p><span><strong>The healthcare debate is dominated by emotional rhetoric about how government-run healthcare is necessary to protect the vulnerable.</strong> For example, in May, Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel delivered a touching monologue about his newborn son&rsquo;s open-heart surgery. Mr. Kimmel ended his monologue with a plea to retain Obamacare so all children can obtain life-saving treatment. After the monologue became a national sensation, many suggested that any Obamacare replacement plan be judged by a &quot;Jimmy Kimmel test.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span><strong>Every decent human being supports a healthcare system that ensures children have access to medical care. </strong>However, this does not mean every decent person should support government-run healthcare. In fact decent people should oppose all forms of nationalized medicine.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Government intervention in healthcare distorts the marketplace with mandates, subsidies, and price controls. </strong>As is the case with any goods or services, price controls in healthcare result in shortages and even price increases as providers look for ways to offset their losses caused by the controls. This is why many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket under Obamacare.</span></p> <p><em><span>Government-run healthcare can be deadly. Anyone who doubts this should consider the case of Laura Hillier, an 18 year-old Canadian who passed away from leukemia while on a government medical treatment wait list. This is one of many horror stories from Canada, and other countries with nationalized healthcare, of individuals who died while waiting for their turn to receive medical treatment.</span></em></p> <p><em><span>One need not look to Canada to find casualties of government intervention in healthcare. In 2013 Sarah Murnaghan, a ten-year-old cystic fibrosis patient, almost died because of federal rules forbidding children her age from receiving organ transplants. Public outcry eventually forced the government to allow Sarah to receive the transplant, but how many Sarahs have died because of government organ transplant rules?</span></em></p> <p><strong><em><span>The Jimmy Kimmel test is a valid way to evaluate healthcare proposals. However, there should also be a Laura Hillier or Sarah Murnaghan test forbidding adoption of a new healthcare system that increases healthcare costs, creates healthcare shortages, or allows government to deny anyone access to healthcare.</span></em></strong></p> <p><span><u><strong>The free market meets all these tests.</strong></u> In a free market, doctors voluntarily donate their time to help those in need, while private charities and churches fund charity hospitals and clinics. Such a system flourished in the days before Medicaid and Medicare, and would quickly return if the welfare state is eliminated.</span></p> <p><span>Congress should be working to repeal all federal interference in healthcare, including by shutting down the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA raises the cost of medicine, denies Americans access to effective treatments, and prevents individuals from learning about cost-effective ways to improve their health.</span></p> <p><span>Unfortunately, a Congress that so quickly abandons its promise to repeal and replace Obamacare<strong> will not restore free-market healthcare</strong> &mdash; or otherwise reduce the welfare-warfare state &mdash; <strong>unless forced to do so by an economic crisis or demands from a critical mass of pro-liberty Americans.</strong></span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="231" height="159" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170627_paul.jpg?1498574059" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/ron-paul-republican-healthcare-plan-fails-jimmy-kimmel-test#comments Congress Federal assistance in the United States Food and Drug Administration Health Health Health in Canada Healthcare reform in the United States Internal Revenue Code Jimmy Kimmel Live! Labor Medicaid Medicare Medicare Medicare Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Politics Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson ratings Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity Senate Social Issues Statutory law United States Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598756 at http://www.zerohedge.com "CNN Caught Cold" In Undercover Sting - Producer Admits Russia Fake News Story Pushed For Ratings http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/cnn-exposed-undercover-sting-producer-admits-russia-story-fake-news-pushed-ratings-0 <p><u><strong>Update</strong></u>: President Trump has noted the series of CNN &#39;Fake News&#39; stories once again...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/879678356450676736">June 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS &amp; ABC? What about the failing <a href="https://twitter.com/nytimes">@nytimes</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/washingtonpost">@washingtonpost</a>? They are all Fake News!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/879682547235651584">June 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Content originally published at&nbsp;<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/">iBankCoin.com</a></em></p> <p>The investigative journalists at Project Veritas have done it again! Known for their undercover sting operations, such as the one which exposed the DNC&#39;s highly organized network of professional agitators sent to disrupt Trump rallies, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-18/massive-voter-fraud-exposed-project-veritas-part-2-weve-been-busing-people-around-50" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">voter fraud</a>, or the undercover operation which led to the arrests of Antifa thugs <a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/01/17/as-project-veritas-exposes-disruptj20-plot-to-cause-inauguration-chaos-deplorables-out-organizer-as-potential-pizzagate-pedo/#sthash.aarzI75I.dpbs" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">planning to disrupt an the inauguration &quot;deploraball&quot; event. </a></p> <p>This time,&nbsp;the organization led by James O&#39;Keefe has<strong> infiltrated CNN</strong>...</p> <p><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/06/nocrime.png" style="height: 278px; width: 560px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A PV journalist covertly&nbsp;filmed a&nbsp;candid discussion with CNN [<a href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/john-bonifield" target="_blank">health</a>]&nbsp;producer John Bonifield, where the &quot;Very Fake News&quot; network employee admitted that the whole Russia story against President Trump is nothing more than a ratings grab by CNN&#39;s CEO Jeff Zucker - based on the fact that most of CNN&#39;s liberal audience wants to see the President go down in flames.</p> <p>Bonifield also admitted&nbsp;that he <u><strong>hasn&#39;t seen any evidence of President Trump committing a crime.</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>John Bonifield: Even if Russia was trying to swing an election, we try to swing their elections, our CIA is doing shit all the time, we&#39;re out there trying to manipulate governments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I haven&#39;t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I know a lot of people don&#39;t like him and they&#39;d like to see him get kicked out of office....<strong> but that&#39;s a lot different than he actually did something that can get him kicked out of office.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Russia is for ratings! </strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>PV Journalist: Why is CNN constantly like &quot;Russia this, Russia that?&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bonifield: Because it&#39;s ratings. Our ratings are incredible right now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>My boss,<strong> I shouldn&#39;t say thi</strong>s, my boss yesterday we were having a discussion about this dental shoot and he was like I just want you to know what we&#39;re up against here. Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords. For a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN [Jeff Zucker] said in our internal meeting, <strong>he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we&#39;re done with it. Let&#39;s get back to Russia. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But all the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school, you&#39;re just like, that&#39;s adorable. That&#39;s adorable. This is a business.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>True feelings about Russia...</strong></u></p> <p>John Bonifield was asked directly what he thinks about Russia... and responded with what many on the right have been saying for months; If it was something really good, it would have already leaked:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>PV Journalist: But honestly, you think the whole Russia shit is just bullshit?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bonifield: Could be bullshit. I mean,<strong> it&#39;s mostly bullshit right now.</strong> Like, we don&#39;t have any giant proof. Then they say, &quot;well there&#39;s still an investigation going on.&quot; I don&#39;t know, if they were finding something we would know about it. They way these leaks happen, they would leak it. They&#39;d leak. <strong>If it was something really good, it&#39;d leak.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I just feel like they don&#39;t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think <strong>the President is probably right to say, like &quot;look, you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Watch:</p> <div><iframe frameborder="0" height="348" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qj3erw7Gn94?feature=oembed" width="618"></iframe>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p><u><em><strong>UPDATE: Full video here:</strong></em></u></p> <div> <div><iframe frameborder="0" height="348" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jdP8TiKY8dE?feature=oembed" width="618"></iframe>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="717" height="348" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.06.27%20-%20CNN_0.JPG?1498565790" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/cnn-exposed-undercover-sting-producer-admits-russia-story-fake-news-pushed-ratings-0#comments Alt-right American people of German descent Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial CNN Deception DeploraBall Donald Trump Entertainment Fake news Inauguration of Donald Trump James O'Keefe Keefe Planned Parenthood Politics Politics of the United States ratings Sting operation Television in the United States The Apprentice United States WWE Hall of Fame Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598738 at http://www.zerohedge.com