en FCC Unveils Plan To Roll Back Net Neutrality Rules <p>The Trump administration has just set in motion a plan to repeal virtually all of the U.S. government’s existing net neutrality rules — a move that could soon deliver a major deregulatory win to telecom/cable giants like AT&amp;T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon.&nbsp; Ironically, the move comes just as another Trump administration department, the DOJ, seems intent upon delivering a massive blow to AT&amp;T's efforts to acquire Time Warner. </p> <p>According to a <a href="">statement from FCC Chair Ajit Pai</a>, the move is intended to return the internet to the "light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“For almost twenty years, the Internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress.</strong> This bipartisan framework led the private sector to invest $1.5 trillion building communications networks throughout the United States. And it gave us an Internet economy that became the envy of the world."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“But in 2015, the prior FCC bowed to pressure from President Obama. On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake.</strong> It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades. Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Additionally, as a result of my proposal, the Federal Trade Commission will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015. Notably, my proposal will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop, the FTC, back on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy."</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="Pai" width="600" height="340" /></p> <p>Of course, as <a href="">Recode </a>points out, Obama's net neutrality rules were celebrated by websites and content providers who could be subjected to throttling by telecom and cable companies who own distribution networks.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Adopted in 2015 under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. government’s current approach to net neutrality subjects the likes of AT&amp;T, Comcast, Charter and Verizon to utility-like regulation. <strong>That legal foundation prevents them from blocking or throttling web pages, while banning content-delivery deals known as paid prioritization</strong>. And it grants the FCC wide legal range to review virtually any online practice it deems harmful to consumers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Such strong rules always have been popular in Silicon Valley, where startups in particular fear they could not compete without tough net neutrality safeguards.</strong> But they long have drawn sharp opposition from the telecom industry, which sued the FCC in 2015 in a bid to overturn them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before that case could come to its conclusion, however, Trump entered the White House, ushering in a new era of Republican control at the nation’s telecom agency. And Pai, a fervent opponent of utility-like regulation of net neutrality, set about undoing the Obama-era rules almost as soon as he took over the FCC.</p> </blockquote> <p>Pai said his full proposal will be released for public review tomorrow and will be voted on by the FCC on December 14th.</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="694" height="393" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ajit V. Pai Barack Obama Broadband broadband Comcast Comcast Communication Congress DOJ Economy of the United States Federal Communications Commission Federal Communications Commission federal government Federal Trade Commission Government Internet access Internet service provider Net neutrality Politics President Obama Technology Time Warner Trump Administration US government Verizon Verizon Communications Video on demand White House White House Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:11:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 607680 at Now We Know Why The US 30yr Treasury Curve Has Been Flattening Like A Pancake - Pension Fund Buying And Tax Reform <p>TL/DR: Tax reform creates pension fund incentive to buy 30yr bonds NOW.</p> <p>Currently, the top corp tax rate in the US is 35%. It looks most likely that rate will drop to 20% when tax reform passes. If you are a corp with an underfunded pension fund, you get a tax incentive to fund the pension THIS YEAR vs in the future when the corp tax rate drops to 20%. Why? Because contributions to the pension plan are tax deductible. You get a bigger tax deduction in 2017 then you will get in 2018 and onwards (assuming tax reform happens in something close to its current form...which it looks like it will).</p> <p>Multiple primary dealers have reported pension buying in the 30yr sector over the past month, and coincidentally, 30yr bonds have rallied while the front end has sold off for the past month. Pension funds have a favorite bond to buy...STRIPS (30yr zero coupon bonds - higher yield than normal coupon bonds, better asset/liability match..more price sensitive to changes in yield...bigger bang for your buck in a bond rally..and is a flattener to the yield curve). Pension funds don't trade very much....they tend to buy and hold. So these flows will SIGNIFICANTLY flatten the 30yr curve...and that is exactly what we have been seeing. </p> <p><img src="" alt="1 Month of US Yield Curve Changes" title="USYieldCurveChanges" width="312" height="179" /></p> <p>US Treasury yield changes (basis points) since Oct 24, 2017</p> <p> Mystery Solved.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="312" height="179" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Bond Business Corporate bond Coupon Finance Financial economics Fixed income analysis Flattener Government bonds Income drawdown Labor Money Pensions in the United Kingdom Social Issues U.S. Treasury Yield Yield Curve Yield curve Zero-coupon bond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:07:07 +0000 govttrader 607681 at Morgan Stanley: Tesla Will Surge To $400 Before Crashing To $200 <p>When it comes to Wall Street cheerleaders, Tesla has few closer friends than Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas (current price target of $379). To be sure, the relationship cuts both ways, with Jonas relentless enthusiasm 'for the EV maker granting Morgan Stanley a reserved spot for any future debt, convert and equity underwriting, as well as associated IB fees.&nbsp; Yet, following the recent volatility in Tesla's business model, in which the "production hell" that is Model 3 has been quietly relegated to the latest and greatest hype involving the company's truck (funded in turn by deposits for the new Tesla $250,000 <a href="">flying roadster</a>) as well as stock price, not even Jonas can pretend that it's smooth sailing ahead.</p> <p>And so, in his latest forecast released overnight which has the same interval of confidence as a bitcoin price prediction, Jonas previews the stock performance of Tesla over the coming year, writing that he expects "Tesla shares to be extremely volatile in 2018, divided into two stages: (1) The alleviation of production bottlenecks with strong cash inflow, and (2) mounting concerns over the sustainability of the competitive moat."</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="219" /></a></p> <p>His enthusiasm is even more constrained in his thesis:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Our Equal-weight rating on Tesla expresses our view that any number of positive and negative forces influencing the stock are more or less in equilibrium. While our $379 price target offers 20% upside from current levels, we believe such upside is less interesting on a risk-adjusted basis. From a shorter-term trading perspective, <strong>we anticipate Tesla’s stock price may&nbsp; reach highs in the range of $400 or more over the next few months before facing some more serious headwinds later in the year that could take the stock significantly below current levels.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While the upside forecast is hardly new for Jonas, the downside is certainly a headscratcher for the TSLA faithful, because if Musk is suddenly left without his biggest Wall Street fan, who else is left to drum up interest in a business model that would send PT Barnum in an orgasm of shivering delight.</p> <p>And just in case there is some doubt about Jonas' sincerity, he provides the following five bullets to justify why even he has gotten cold feet: </p> <ol> <li><strong>It is our working assumption that Tesla’s battery module production bottlenecks may be resolved in weeks. </strong>It is not possible to prove precisely when problems with zone 2 will be overcome, if they ever are at all. There is only evidence that Tesla is throwing its human and financial capital at the problem. Elon Musk stated that it is better to be late and get it right than to be early and get it wrong. We agree. Tesla is trying to make battery packs with extremely high levels of volume and unprecedented automation with bespoke high-speed robotics. In high-volume battery manufacturing, robotics is a core competency and a competitive advantage. </li> <li><strong>We believe that Tesla baked in flexibility to allow for a highly unpredictable production ramp. </strong>Tesla’s Model launch timeline was always seen as extremely aggressive. When the July 2017 launch date was originally communicated to the market, we had seen it as a stretch goal and a form of supply chain management to increase the probability of a successful volume ramp in 2018. Given Tesla’s experience with the Model S and X launches and the unprecedented level of vertical integration and automation of the battery assembly, we believe Tesla had negotiated unusual levels of flexibility with its supply base compared to its prior launches and the industry standard.</li> <li><strong>The motivation of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier base to be involved with the Model 3 project is a relevant factor in de-risking the ramp</strong>. It is our understanding that the Model 3 has been seen as a ‘trophy contract’ for the supply base. For any Tier 1 supplier wanting to be associated with the cutting edge of automotive technology (electric, autonomous) the Model 3 was a ‘must win.’ Tesla’s early success with Model S had a profound impact on its image in the supplier community. Where suppliers previously viewed Tesla with high degrees of&nbsp; skepticism/trepidation, many of the same suppliers were willing to prioritize supply of key systems and even to colocate key production facilities near Tesla’s factory. We believe flexibility on working capital during the sensitive early ramp phase could have reasonably been a part of the negotiation process.</li> <li><strong>The Model 3 working capital arrangement may be highly favorable to Tesla, at least in the short term, during the inflection of the ramp</strong>… substantially alleviating concerns over near term liquidity. Like many auto OEMs, Tesla pays its suppliers over many weeks (as long as 60 to 90 days depending on the supplier) while it collects from its customers far faster, particularly given Tesla’s ownership of its distribution channel. Tesla’s own financials bear this out as it collects on its receivables 10 to 20x faster than it pays its suppliers. During times of fast production growth (as we’d expect through 1Q/2Q18), this can pull forward significant amounts of cash which can serve to address much of the market’s concerns over near-term liquidity.</li> <li><strong>Following a hypothetical 1H18 pop in the share price, we could see scope for longer-term risks in the story to come to the fore. </strong>The key drivers of our downgrade last May are 2-fold: (1) our view that the global addressable market may not be as accessible as the market expects, and (2) increasing encroachment from consumer electrics and mega-tech firms who are planning comprehensive strategies focused on shared, electric and autonomous transport systems in direct competition with Tesla. We expect a steady and increasing amount of evidence to hit the market as 2018 develops that could stunt the enthusiasm of surmounting the Model 3 production hurdles. Admittedly, we cannot be precise with the timing of positive (1H) and negative (2H) catalysts that could move the stock significantly in the quarters ahead, leaving us EW on the stock.</li> </ol> <p>As a result of the above, <strong>Jonas now assumes only 1,000 Model 3 deliveries in 4Q, down from 10,000 deliveries previously. </strong>That said, he leaves his 2018 forecast of 120,000 Model 3&nbsp; deliveries unchanged, and some more details:&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>We took 2018 GAAP operating profit from ($688) to ($1,001). Our 2018 GAAP EPS (ex stock comp) estimates went from ($3.66) to ($6.17) and our US GAAP EPS estimate went from ($6.58) to ($9.00). From 2018 through 2020, our average GAAP OP forecast moved from positive $280mm to negative $70mm. From 2021 through 2025, our average GAAP OP forecast moved from $4,491 to $4,242…. A 5% cut. The cuts are even smaller in the out-years. Our Tesla Mobility forecasts remain unchanged. We roll forward our DCF start date to December 1st, and our price target remains unchanged at $379</p> </blockquote> <p>As of this moment, investors appear just as confused about Tesla's future as its former biggest fanboy, located almost exactly halfway betwen the two stated extremes...</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="316" /></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="300" height="168" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bitcoin Business Business Elon Musk GAAP Morgan Stanley Nationality Nikola Tesla Tesla Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Tesla, Inc. Transport Volatility Wireless energy transfer Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:53:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 607679 at Greetings FRoM WaSHiNGToN DC <p><a href="" title="GREETINGS FROM WASHINGTON DC"><img src="" alt="GREETINGS FROM WASHINGTON DC" width="1024" height="668" /></a></p> <script src="//"></script> Baseball Hall of Fame balloting Education Politics Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:34:38 +0000 williambanzai7 607675 at Did The DOJ Just Kill All Future Hope For Mega Media Mergers? <p>There is no doubt that AT&amp;T needs the Time Warner deal...badly. Their land-based distribution network, which is dependent on old copper telephone lines, is far inferior to their cable competitors which have since installed coaxial or fiber lines that supply far faster internet speeds to data-hungry homes and businesses.&nbsp; </p> <p>Of course, just a few years ago, AT&amp;T attempted to 'solve' their copper network problem by ignoring the value of land-based networks altogether and instead buying a satellite TV business, DirecTV, for $67 billion.&nbsp; <strong>Predictably, that decision has been a total disaster as DirecTV has done nothing but shed hundreds of thousands of subscribers ever since</strong>...something AT&amp;T management should have been able to predict if they didn't discredit the growing value of streaming services...a necessary oversight for a company with an inferior network.</p> <p>Now, rather than ignore the value of distribution, AT&amp;T has apparently decided to pursue mergers that allow them to control content...content which the DOJ feels could be held hostage to make their inferior network somewhat more attractive to customers thus stemming the tide of subscriber losses for AT&amp;T.</p> <p>Of course, as <a href="">we noted yesterday</a>, an incredulous AT&amp;T vowed that it's not possible for a vertical merger to put customers at a disadvantage, as the DOJ has alleged with their anti-trust lawsuit.&nbsp; Per <a href="">Axios</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Vertical" mergers that combine companies in two different industries (AT&amp;T is considered a telecom company and Time Warner is a content provider) are seen as less of an antitrust threat than "horizontal" mergers that combine two competing companies (such as AT&amp;T's unsuccessful attempt to purchase T-Mobile).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before joining the administration, DoJ Antitrust chief Makan Delrahim had said he didn't see problems with the proposed merger. He also said at his confirmation hearing that he would not allow political interference in merger reviews.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a similarly structured deal, Comcast was allowed to buy NBCUniversal in 2011, albeit with conditions designed to prevent Comcast from using its market leverage to hamstring competitors.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>That said, <a href="">AT&amp;T's own distribution plans</a> illustrate precisely how the company might use its newly acquired content to disadvantage other distribution companies and/or their customers.&nbsp; </strong>Using the model below, one could easily envision AT&amp;T offering popular content, like HBO, to their customers at a discount and then hiking up their carriage fees to customers of other cable providers to subsidize their own.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="T" width="600" height="381" /></a></p> <p>All of which begs the question of whether the DOJ is about to set a precedent that will effectively kill any and all hopes of future mega media deals between distribution companies and content providers...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>A number of telecom providers want to deploy their own streaming services with original programming to keep up with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. To do that, many are exploring entertainment acquisitions to keep up in the cutthroat race for content. AT&amp;T's bid for Time Warner was a litmus test for others who are also eyeing deals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>For example, Verizon and Comcast have both expressed interest in 21st Century Fox's entertainment business. This mirrors AT&amp;T's bid, because it would involve the acquisition of studio businesses as well as cable channels.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>...and what that precedent might mean for companies like Facebook and Google. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The legal fight may also bring a new focus on the question of media competition and the size of the most powerful players — notably Google and Facebook.</strong> </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>AT&amp;T and Time Warner execs originally pitched the deal as a way to build a stronger rival to the major platforms companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, which are gobbling up a growing share of programming and have drastically altered distribution models.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stephenson noted that these companies, in addition to Netflix, are also creating original content yet have so far been unchallenged by antitrust cops.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mark Cuban, who testified in favor of the deal at a congressional hearing last year, tweeted that Facebook and Google will be the big losers of DoJ's suit to block the deal. "Their media advertising, content and distribution dominance will be a defense at trial. That could create bigger issues for them."</p> </blockquote> <p>Then again, maybe AT&amp;T is right and this will all be exposed as a sham that goes back to Trump's feud with CNN...</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="722" height="376" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> AT&T Broadband Business Business Comcast Comcast Copper Culture of Philadelphia DirecTV DOJ Economy of the United States Google NBCUniversal Roberts family satellite TV Technology Television in the United States Time Warner Time Warner Verizon Video on demand Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:30:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 607661 at Russia Confirms Toxic Cloud Of "Extremely High" Radiation; Source Remains A Mystery <p>One month <a href="">after a mysterious radiation cloud </a>was observed over Europe, whose source remained unknown last week <a href="">speculation emerged </a>that it may have been the result of a "nuclear accident" in Russia or Kazakhstan, on Tuesday Russian authorities on Tuesday confirmed the previous reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains. In a statement, the Russian Meteorological Service said that it recorded the release of Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as "<strong>extremely high contamination</strong>."</p> <p>Earlier this month, France's nuclear safety agency earlier this month said that it recorded a spike in radioactivity, and said that "the most plausible zone of release" of this radioactive material "lies between the Volga and the Urals" from a suspected accident involving nuclear fuel or the production of radioactive material. The agency noted, however, that it is impossible to determine the exact point of release given the available data. Luckily, it said the release of the isotope Ruthenium-106 posed no health or environmental risks to European countries. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p><em>France’s Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety published this graphic </em><br /><em>to show radiation levels.</em></p> <p>At the time, Russia's state-controlled Rosatom corporation - <strong>the same company implicated in the Uranium One scandal </strong>- said in a statement that there had been no radiation leak from its facilities. That changed when the Russian meteorological service (Rosgidromet) reported that it had detected record levels of radiation in the villages located in Russia's Ural region adjacent to Rosatom's Mayak plant for spent nuclear fuel. Some calculated that the radiation exposure levels were up to 1,000x higher than the normal rate.&nbsp; <em><br /></em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">This Part of Russia is Literally Exposed to 1000x the Normal Radiation Rate <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— News Cult (@News_Cult) <a href="">November 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Mayak, located in the Chelyabinsk region, issued a statement on Tuesday denying it was the source of contamination. The plant said it has not conducted any work on extracting Ruthenium-106 from spent nuclear fuel "for several years." Full statement below:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“The contamination of the atmosphere with ruthenium-106 isotope registered by Rosgidromet is not linked to the activity of Mayak. The measurements which Rosgidromet has released suggest that the dose people might have received is 20,000 times less than the allowed annual dose and presents no threat at all to health.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Quoted by <a href="">Sputnik</a>, the Rosatom represtative stated that there were "no incidents or accidents at nuclear facilities in Russia".&nbsp; </p> <p>The Mayak nuclear processing plant, located in the Urals, has also come out with a statement saying that "atmospheric pollution with ruthenium-106 that was found by Rosgidromet is not connected to the work of Mayak," since the work on the separation of ruthenium-106 from spent nuclear fuel (and the production of ionizing radiation sources on its basis) has not been carried out for many years at the facility. </p> <p>Earlier, Rosgidromet confirmed that the the monitoring systems have detected an increase in the concentration of ruthenium over several parts of Russia. However, according to the press release, the concetration does not exceed the maximum permissible concetrations. The head of Rosgidromet, however, said that the automatic monitoring system detected an increase in the concentration of Ru-106 not only in Russia, but also in neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. According to him, the concentration in Romania was 1.5-2 times higher than the concentration in Russia. </p> <p>The exact source of the spike, however, remains a mystery, though IRSN suggested that the cause might be an accident.</p> <p>Mayak has been responsible for at least two of Russia's biggest radioactive accidents. In 2004 it was confirmed that waste was being dumped in the local river. Nuclear regulators say that no longer happens, but anti-nuclear activists say it's impossible to tell given the level of state secrecy. Also on Tuesday, Greenpeace said that it would petition the Russian Prosecutor General's office to investigate "a possible concealment of a radiation accident" and check whether public health was sufficiently protected.</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="777" height="456" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bulgaria Chemical elements Disaster Environment France’s Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Greenpeace Kazakhstan Mayak Nature Nuclear and radiation accidents and incidents Nuclear physics Nuclear safety and security Physics Poland radiation Radioactivity Radiobiology Romania Russian Meteorological Service Ruthenium southern Urals Technetium Transition metals Twitter Twitter Ukraine Uranium Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:11:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 607673 at Biggest Short Squeeze In 11 Months Sends S&P 500 Surging Above 2,600 <p>Equity investors, corporate boards, and momo machines are panic-buying stocks this morning, sending the S&amp;P 500 above 2600 for the first time ever... as the yield curve crashes to decade flats...</p> <p>VIX down, Stocks Up...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="380" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While USDJPY momo is helping, stocks are quite decoupled...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="316" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And so are bonds...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 314px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it&#39;s all about the squeeze... the biggest short squeeze since December...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 304px;" /></a></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="2215" height="1401" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Business Corporate finance Equity securities Finance Financial economics Financial markets Financial regulation Fixed income Investment Mathematical finance Momo Momo Money S&P 500 Short Stock Stock market Technical analysis VIX Yield Curve Yield curve Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:11:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 607672 at Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Resigns <p>Zimbabwe&rsquo;s Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda had barely finished reading the rules and regulations of how impeachment proceedings would proceed against President Robert Mugabe when the 93-year-old leader and former revolutionary surprised his colleagues by officially resigning the presidency &ndash; something he had been reluctant to do even after the military placed him under house arrest last week.</p> <p>Both Reuters and the Associated Press confirmed that Mugabe had resigned, citing an announcement made by Mudenda.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: President Robert Mugabe has resigned, Speaker of Parliament confirms</p> <p>&mdash; Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) <a href="">November 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation... with immediate effect,&quot; said speaker Mudenda, reading Mugabe&#39;s letter.</p> <p>&quot;My decision to resign was voluntary on my part.&quot;</p> <p>Zimbabwe&#39;s Parliament has erupted in cheers as the speaker announces the resignation of President Robert Mugabe. The speaker stopped impeachment proceedings to say they had received a letter from Mugabe with the resignation &quot;with immediate effect.&quot; It is an extraordinary end for the world&#39;s oldest head of state after 37 years in power.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>Mugabe&rsquo;s resignation came days after the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party fired him as its leader and ordered him to step down. In his place, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who Mugabe dismissed as vice president earlier this month, will take over as interim leader and the leader of ZANU-PF, the country&#39;s ruling party. Mnangawa will also be ZANU&#39;s candidate in presidential elections next year, the party said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Drama! Drama!</p> <p>As The Speaker was presiding over the impeachment, Justice Minister Bonyongwe interrupted him, carrying a letter. Speaker Mudenda then asked MPs to excuse him. They grumbled.</p> <p>But this was it. He announced the letter had come. Mugabe has resigned!</p> <p>&mdash; Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) <a href="">November 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mugabe came to power in 1980 after Zimbabwe gained its independence from the UK. He was ousted earlier this month after he fired Mnangagwa and appointed his much-younger wife, Grace, 52, in his stead. Mugabe, it was widely believed, was positioning Grace to succeed him as ruler of Zimbabwe.</p> <p>Once an shining example of economic progress, Zimbabwe&#39;s economy began crumbling in the early 2000s as Mugabe seized land from white farmers and turned it over to friends of his government. The country&#39;s currency experienced a hyperinflationary spiral that rendered the savings of millions of Zimbabweans worthless. The recent unrest has sent many Zimbabweans scrambling to buy bitcoin, which recently traded at $13,000 on Golix, the country&#39;s primary bitcoin exchange. That&#39;s a more than 50% premium over its global price. Bitcoin&#39;s global price of around $8,000.</p> <p>Mugabe baffled many of his countrymen on Monday when he refused to resign during a widely watched public address, insisting instead that he would lead the next Congress. In response, both opposition and Zanu-PF lawmakers said they would immediately begin impeachment proceedings.</p> <p>The president furnished his resignation after only three cabinet ministers showed up for a cabinet meeting he called for Tuesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">@ZimMediaReview</a><br />Me: How many ministers attended today&#39;s cabinet meeting?<br />Zim &quot;journalists&quot; : ????<br />Me: hmm...<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Zimbabwe</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Thandekile Moyo (@Mamoxn) <a href="">November 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The BBC tweeted footage of Mudenda reading Mugabe&#39;s resignation letter aloud:</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></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="501" height="200" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Africa Congress Emmerson Mnangagwa Grace Mugabe Politics Reuters Robert Mugabe ZANU-PF ZANU–PF Zimbabwe Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party Zimbabwe's Parliament Zimbabwean general election Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:54:39 +0000 Tyler Durden 607670 at Journalist Sara Carter Slams DOJ Attempt To Discredit FBI Informant And Stonewall Uranium One Investigation <p><em>Submitted by <a href=""></a></em></p> <p>Several weeks ago a bombshell report by John Solomon and Alison Spann of&nbsp;<em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Hill</a></em>&nbsp;revealed that an undercover FBI informant embedded deep within the Russian nuclear industry had uncovered evidence as early as the fall of 2009 of a massive&nbsp;plot by Russia to corner the American Uranium market. Evidence of the scheme was in the hands of the FBI an entire year before the Obama administration approved the sale of Uranium One to Russia&rsquo;s state-owned Energy giant, Rosatom &ndash; which has since <strong>been&nbsp;exporting &lsquo;yellowcake&rsquo; uranium to Canada, Europe and elsewhere&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">via a Kentuky&nbsp;trucking firm</a>.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="135" src="" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="225" /></a>Based on what the FBI knew &ndash; including evidence which purportedly includes a video of Russians preparing&nbsp;<em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">briefcases of bribe money</a></em>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;<strong>the deal never should have gone through. </strong>Moreover, both Robert Mueller and current deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were directly involved &ndash; and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Justice Department officials appear to be covering for them.</p> <p><u><strong>Mueller&rsquo;s FBI knew&hellip;</strong></u></p> <p>Key among the troubling revelations from&nbsp;The Hill&nbsp;is&nbsp;the undercover informant&rsquo;s claim that&nbsp;<strong>Obama&rsquo;s FBI, headed at the time by director&nbsp;<a href="">Robert Mueller</a>,&nbsp;knew that &ldquo;Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President&nbsp;Bill Clinton&rsquo;s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State&nbsp;Hillary Clinton&nbsp;served on a government body&nbsp;that provided a favorable decision to Moscow</strong>&rdquo;&nbsp;&ndash; a deal which would eventually grant the Kremlin control over&nbsp;<strong>20 percent of America&rsquo;s uranium supply</strong>,&nbsp;as detailed by author Peter Schweitzer&rsquo;s book&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Clinton Cash</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">New York Times</a>&nbsp;in 2015.</p> <p>The FBI mole&nbsp;also gathered extensive evidence that&nbsp;<strong>Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm, Transport Logistics International (TLI) in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act&nbsp;</strong>&ndash; engaging in a scheme of bribes and kickbacks involving the company which would have&nbsp;transported the U.S. uranium sold to Russia in the &rsquo;20 percent&rsquo; deal.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;<strong>The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns.&nbsp;And&nbsp;none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions</strong>,&rdquo; a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.&quot; </em>&ndash;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Hill</a></p> </blockquote> <p>In short,&nbsp;<strong>the FBI had ample evidence of the Russian plot&nbsp;before&nbsp;the Obama administration approved the Uranium One deal.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Iron-Clad Gag Order Lifted</strong></u></p> <p>The FBI informant &ndash; outed five days ago as energy consultant William Campbell&nbsp;-was &ldquo;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">threatened</a>&rdquo; by Obama admin AG Loretta Lynch to keep quiet, according to his attorney &ndash; former Reagan Justice Dept. official and former Chief Counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee Victoria Toensing. After Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-VA) demanded Campbell be allowed to testify in front of Congress, the gag order was lifted.</p> <p><strong>Sessions And The DOJ are running Interference</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="151" src="" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="227" /></a>In a move which can only be interpreted as an effort to protect the&nbsp;FBI, the Obama administration and the Clintons,&nbsp;<strong>AG Jeff Sessions and several Justice Dept. officials have been casting&nbsp;doubt on the value of Campbell&rsquo;s&nbsp;evidence, along with the need for a Special Counsel to investigate.</strong></p> <p>Via John Solomon of&nbsp;<em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Hill</a>:&nbsp;</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;both Attorney General&nbsp;Jeff Sessions&nbsp;in testimony last week and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a letter to the Senate last month&nbsp;tried to suggest there was no connection between Uranium One and the nuclear bribery case.Their argument was that the criminal charges weren&rsquo;t filed until 2014, while the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval of the Uranium One sale occurred in October 2010.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This is, allegedly, a lie which has rubbed several Congressional republicans the wrong way:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>Attorney General Sessions seemed to say that the bribery, racketeering and money laundering offenses involving Tenex&rsquo;s Vadim Mikerin occurred after the approval of the Uranium One deal by the Obama administration. But we know that the FBI&rsquo;s confidential informant was actively compiling incriminating evidence as far back as 2009</strong>,&rdquo;&nbsp;Rep. Ron DeSantis, (R-Fla.) told The Hill.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It is&nbsp;<strong>hard to fathom how such a transaction could have been approved without the existence of the underlying corruption being disclosed</strong>.&nbsp;I hope AG Sessions gets briefed about the CI and gives the Uranium One case the scrutiny it deserves,&rdquo; added DeSantis, whose House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees is one of the investigating panels.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a similar rebuke last week to Rosenstein, saying the deputy attorney general&rsquo;s first response to the committee &ldquo;largely missed the point&rdquo; of the congressional investigations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The essential question is whether the Obama Justice Department provided notice of the criminal activity of certain officials before the CFIUS approval of the Uranium One deal and other government decisions that enabled the Russians to trade nuclear materials in the U.S</strong>,&rdquo;&nbsp;Grassley scolded.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="132" src="" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="182" /></a>Meanwhile,</strong> John Solomon and journalist Sara Carter&nbsp;<strong>have copies of the FBI informant&rsquo;s evidence</strong>, and Carter just annihilated&nbsp;the DOJ in an&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">explosive report</a>&nbsp;laying out the players, the timeline, and the evidence at hand.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;By the time the sale of Uranium One was approved by the Obama Administration, the FBI&rsquo;s investigators had already gathered substantial evidence and the bureau was also aware of Russia&rsquo;s intentions to enter the U.S. energy market and its desire to purchase a stake in American uranium,</strong>&rdquo; Carter writes.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:&nbsp;</strong></p> <ul> <li>FBI mole William Campbell was a highly valued FBI asset - paid $51,000 by FBI officials at a celebration dinner in Chrystal City, VA, where Campbell&#39;s attorney says they thanked him for his service.</li> <li>Campbell&nbsp;<strong>was required by the Russians, under threat, to launder large sums of money -&nbsp;which allowed the FBI to uncover a&nbsp;massive Russian &quot;nuclear money laundering apparatus</strong>&quot;</li> <li>Campbell collected over 5,000 documents and briefs over a six year period</li> <li>Campbell uncovered a Russian plot to penetrate the Obama administration and gain approval for the Uranium One sale, including a 2010 email which describes&nbsp;&quot;<strong>Russia&#39;s intent on expanding&nbsp;its Uranium&nbsp;expansion in the United States.&quot;&nbsp;</strong></li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>&ldquo;The attached article is of interest as I believe it highlights the ongoing resolve in Russia to gradually and systematically acquire and control global energy resources,&rdquo; said Fisk,&nbsp;who titled the subject line of the email &lsquo;Russian uranium.&rsquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;The article attached to Fisk&rsquo;s email, was a Reuters report in June, 2010, titled&nbsp;&lsquo;Despite price falls, ARMZ confident of Uranium One shareholder approval. -<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Sara Carter</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;<strong>This is not just about bribery and kickbacks but about a U.S. company that was transporting yellow-cake for the Russians with our approval</strong>,&rdquo; an unnamed U.S. Intelligence official told Carter, adding &ldquo;<strong>This should raise serious questions</strong>.&nbsp;At the time everyone was concerned about Russia&rsquo;s ties to Iran, we still are. And of course, Russia&rsquo;s intentions and reach into the U.S. energy market.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>And after all of that, </strong>Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn&rsquo;t think there&nbsp;is&nbsp;&ldquo;enough basis&rdquo; to appoint a second Special Counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal.</p> <p>Moreover, Carter reports that &ldquo;<strong>several Justice Department officials, who formerly commended Campbell, have spoken on background to other news agencies disparaging Campbell and his work at that time&rdquo; </strong>&ndash; despite the FBI&rsquo;s glowing review and $51,000 check.</p> <p><strong>Carter writes:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;In a story by Michael Isikoff, published on Yahoo,&nbsp;a <strong>DOJ official involved in the case stated that Campbell was a &ldquo;disaster&rdquo; as a potential witness and that &ldquo;there was no question that Campbell&rsquo;s credibility was such that the prosecutors had to restructure the case</strong>,&rdquo;&nbsp;the source said.&ldquo;He got cut out of the case entirely.&rdquo; It is important to note that Campbell was going through 35 intense radiation treatments after being diagnosed with cancer during his time with the FBI, according to hospital records.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After years of effective reporting and working in harms way, the cancer diagnosis and treatment had a profound effect on Campbell&rsquo;s ability to interact with in the final stages prior to the indictments, &nbsp;said Toensing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>She said her client is ready to present Congress with all he knows and called the stories a &ldquo;smear job.&rdquo; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;This is what the left do-provide false talking points to compromised reporters who are willing to regurgitate whatever they are fed,&rdquo; </strong>said Toensing.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Keep in mind &ndash;&nbsp;all it took for Rod Rosenstein to establish Mueller&rsquo;s Special Counsel on Russian influence was a&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">dubious</a>&nbsp;Russian hacking report by a discredited DNC-linked security firm and a hearsay memo from former FBI director James Comey, stating that President Trump asked him to go easy on former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.</p> <p>If the DOJ continues to stonewall the Uranium One investigation and Campbell&rsquo;s testimony is given the runaround, one has to wonder if any of the 5,000 documents &ndash; or even the Russian bribe video &ndash; will mysteriously appear in the public domain for the world to see.</p> <p><em>Follow on Twitter @<a href="">ZeroPointNow</a></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="300" height="169" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Committee of Foreign Investment Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States Congress Corruption Department of Justice DOJ FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation Iran Jeff Sessions Judiciary Committee national security New York Times None Obama Administration Obama administration Racketeering radiation Reuters Rod Rosenstein Rosatom Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate Senate Intelligence Committee Testimony Twitter Twitter U.S. intelligence United States United States Department of Justice United States intelligence agencies Uranium Uranium Uranium One Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:52:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 607654 at Chinese Online Lenders Are Crashing After Credit Crackdown <p>The ADRs of several Chinese lenders, such as <strong>recently IPO&#39;d Qudian and Hexindai</strong>, are <strong>crashing following a&nbsp;report from <a href="">Netease&nbsp;</a>that the country has decided to halt approvals for new online microlenders</strong>, citing risky cash-loan businesses at some firms.</p> <p>Bloomberg reports that the<a href=""> Netease report</a> raised concern that the lenders, some of which just recently listed in the U.S., could be subject to further restrictions.</p> <p>ADRs of Qudian (green) and&nbsp;China Rapid Finance (blue) fell as much as 20 percent, with Hexindai (red) and Yirendai also dropping...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="366" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Adding to the pain, state-backed business publication Yicai Global&nbsp;earlier said<strong>&nbsp;Qudian suffered a data leak related to millions of student users,</strong> citing a Nov. 20 article from local media outlet Yibencaijing.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Once again the greedy, make-a-quick-buck, what-could-go-wrong, US equity market <em>investor </em>is left holding the bag... <em><strong>Will they ever learn?</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="1723" height="1051" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business China Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:51:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 607669 at