http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/news/italy-expected-cut-growth-forecasts-further en Missile Destroyer USS John McCain Collides With Oil Tanker Near Straits Of Malacca http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/uss-john-mccain-collides-merchant-ship-near-straits-malacca <p>Two months after <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-16/us-navy-destroyer-collides-merchant-vessel-japan">seven US sailors died after the US Navy Destroyer USS Fitzgerald </a>collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan, <a href="http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1283836/uss-john-s-mccain-collides-with-merchant-ship-near-strait-of-malacca/platform/hootsuite/">moments ago the US Navy said </a>that in an near replica of that incident, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with another merchant vessel, the Alnic MC, an oil/chemical tanker east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca on August 21. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USSJohnSMcCain?src=hash">#USSJohnSMcCain</a> involved in collision with a merchant vessel while east of the Strait of Malacca. Updates to follow. <a href="https://t.co/6bHUovT8eI">https://t.co/6bHUovT8eI</a> <a href="https://t.co/EVcYjHwXah">pic.twitter.com/EVcYjHwXah</a></p> <p>— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) <a href="https://twitter.com/US7thFleet/status/899413305814642688">August 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. Initial reports <a href="https://twitter.com/US7thFleet/status/899430396688990208">indicate the warship sustained damage to its port side aft</a>. No immediate word on any casualties. Search and rescue efforts are under way in coordination with local authorities, the Navy said.</p> <p>Here is the latest update <a href="http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1283874/uss-john-s-mccain-collides-with-merchant-ship-near-strait-of-malacca-update-912/">from the US 7th Fleet</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant (97), RSN helicopters and Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MV-22s and SH-60s from USS America are also responding. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined. The incident will be investigated. </p> </blockquote> <p>CNN reports that according to preliminary information there have been minor injuries from the collision, although a full accounting of the crew is still underway.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ryan Browne says preliminary information is minor injuries from USS John McCain collision. A full accounting of the crew is still underway</p> <p>— Steve Brusk (@stevebruskCNN) <a href="https://twitter.com/stevebruskCNN/status/899427386000887808">August 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>The <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-26/worlds-greatest-oil-chokepoints-and-why-yemen-matters">Straits of Malacca, </a>located between Malaysia and Singapore, is one of the world's most important naval chokepoints; it sees the transit of over 15 million barrels of oil per day, mostly headed toward China and Japan. As we reported <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-20/fueling-new-world-order-where-does-china-import-its-crude-oil">back in 2014</a>, "if one were so inclined, halting seaborne trade routes at the Strait of Malacca would hobble the entire Chinese economy overnight, something the Chinese leadership is surely aware of, and is certainly considering alternatives to, such as land pipelines into Iran (via India), as well as Kazakhstan and Russia."</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/03-overflow/20150326_choke_0.jpg" width="499" height="372" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140802_china3_0.jpg" width="500" height="410" style="width: 500px; height: 410px;" /></p> <p>The warship is named after John S. McCain, Sr., and John S. McCain, Jr., both Admirals in the U.S. Navy, and the grandfather and father, respectively, of the neocon Arizona senator. <strong>This crash comes days after the top three leaders aboard the USS Fitzgerald were relieved of command</strong>. That warship was damaged badly in a collision off the coast of Japan that killed seven sailors in June.</p> <p>According to MarineTraffic data, the merchant ship Alnic MC with which the guided US missile destroyer collided, is an oil/chemical tanker... </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Alnic MC oil/chemical tanker <a href="https://t.co/F3LNHVB5iu">pic.twitter.com/F3LNHVB5iu</a></p> <p>— Nicky Two Scoops (@SDgolferinMN) <a href="https://twitter.com/SDgolferinMN/status/899424695409422336">August 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>... which was built in 2008, and has a dead weight of 50,760 tons.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AlnicMC?src=hash">#AlnicMC</a> statistics: </p> <p>* Grosse Tons: 30040</p> <p>* Year Built: 2008</p> <p>* Deadweight: 50760 tons <a href="https://t.co/MtTsjdlIDH">pic.twitter.com/MtTsjdlIDH</a></p> <p>— Intel Crab (@IntelCrab) <a href="https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status/899418990057062400">August 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <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="599" height="296" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/merchant%20ship.jpg?1503275039" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/uss-john-mccain-collides-merchant-ship-near-straits-malacca#comments Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Charles F. Adams-class destroyers China Disaster Geography of Asia Geography of Malaysia Guided missile destroyer India Iran Japan John McCain John McCain Kazakhstan Naval warfare navy Police Coast Guard Science and technology in the United States Singapore Navy Strait of Malacca Twitter Twitter United States Navy USS Benjamin Stoddert USS Fitzgerald USS John S. McCain USS Towers Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:34:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 602010 at http://www.zerohedge.com Surprise! Sharp Racial Divide Found Over Robert E. Lee Statue http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/surprise-sharp-racial-divide-found-over-robert-e-lee-statue <p>News headlines in the United States have been dominated by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/10729/american-views-on-the-charlottesville-white-nationalists/" target="_blank">the fallout from the Charlottesville protests&nbsp;</a>throughout the last week. <strong>YouGov&nbsp;<a href="https://today.yougov.com/news/2017/08/16/trumps-domestic-crisis-charlottesville-and-white-n/" target="_blank">have polled&nbsp;</a>Americans to gauge their thoughts on a whole range of issues surrounding the violence</strong>. </p> <p>Notably, respondents were asked about the decision that led to the protests in the first place - <strong><em>the decision to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee</em></strong>. </p> <p>In perhaps the least surprising finding of the week - and most clear-cut - <a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/10747/sharp-racial-divide-over-robert-e-lee-statue/">Statista's Niall McCarthy points out </a>that the <strong>research uncovered sharp racial and partisan divides over the decision</strong>. </p> <p><a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/10747/sharp-racial-divide-over-robert-e-lee-statue/" title="Infographic: Sharp Racial Divide Over Robert E. Lee Statue | Statista"><img src="https://infographic.statista.com/normal/chartoftheday_10747_sharp_racial_divide_over_robert_e_lee_statue_n.jpg" alt="Infographic: Sharp Racial Divide Over Robert E. Lee Statue | Statista" width="600" height="428" /></a> </p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="https://www.statista.com/">Statista</a></em></p> <p>As can be seen from the infographic above, <strong>only 4 percent of blacks strongly disapprove</strong> of the decision to remove the statue <strong>compared to 40 percent of whites</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="732" height="462" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170820_lee.jpg?1503248393" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/surprise-sharp-racial-divide-found-over-robert-e-lee-statue#comments Carter family of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia First Families of Virginia Fitzhugh family of Virginia headlines Military personnel Politics Randolph family of Virginia Robert E. Lee Social Issues Stateless people Virginia YouGov Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601990 at http://www.zerohedge.com FX Week Ahead: Jackson Hole, And A Chance For Yellen To Fend Off Some USD Bashing http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/fx-week-ahead-jackson-hole-and-chance-yellen-dend-some-usd-bashing <p><em>By Shant Movsesian and Rajan Dhall MSTA</em></p> <p><strong>Coming off a mixed week for the USD, traders focus their attention on the Jackson Hole symposium which starts on Thursday, running through to Saturday. &nbsp;Within this, Friday&#39;s address by the Fed chair will take centre stage, and for all the &#39;will she, won&#39;t she&#39; talk about monetary policy, the market will be hanging on Janet Yellen&#39;s words, as the third rate hike for 2017 remains in the balance</strong>. &nbsp;As it stands, ECB sources (always an interesting one that) report that president Draghi will refrain from covering policy matters when he takes to the stand, and we saw this hit the EUR, helping to stabilise the USD index in the process.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since then, political shenanigans at the White House have again undermined the greenback, with the past week see the manufacturing council disbanded by Donald Trump after a series of resignations prompted by his public address in response to the Charlottesville attack. &nbsp;We then saw rumours hitting social media that Gary Cohn had resigned, but despite being dismissed, cast doubt over the chief economic adviser&#39;s advocacy of the current administration.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ending the week we saw chief strategist Stephen Bannon removed (in whatever manner this entailed), and through all the above, risk sentiment wobbled (at best) again, and the funding currencies and safe havens led by the JPY and CHF regaining ground. &nbsp;Gold also pushed above $1300, but failed to maintain this key level into the weekend.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx1.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx1_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>Consequently, <strong>there will be little focus on the data this week, and to that end we see little on the schedule of note anyway</strong>. &nbsp;Markit release their version of manufacturing and services PMIs (Wednesday) which have been at odds with the ISM data lately, and the Jul readings for existing home sales are released on Thursday. &nbsp;Friday&#39;s volatile Durable goods orders will naturally be overshadowed by Yellen&#39;s address, but through the week, economic activity indices from Chicago, Richmond and Kansas are also out. &nbsp;</p> <p>In Europe, we get the national and composite PMI numbers midweek. &nbsp;On Monday, the German ZEW release their survey results, for comparison with the IFO institute who report on Friday along with the Q2 German GDP data early on in the European session. &nbsp;In all cases, the data will have to be pretty underwhelming to dent the bullish sentiment in the EUR. We saw 1.1700 giving way when the ECB minutes divulged the governing council&#39;s concern over the FX overshoot, and while this may have been addressed vs the CHF and JPY, both the spot and GBP rates continue to find strong demand on dips. &nbsp;</p> <p>EUR/USD managed to push down to 1.1660, but was swiftly back above 1.1700 again. Liquidity in the summer markets overemphasise the larger orders, with more buying interest noted here down to 1.1610. &nbsp;For EUR/CHF, 1.1225 is the first major support point to note, with much of the latest weakness down to broader risk factors which have naturally pulled USD/CHF back to 0.9600 (and lower) again. &nbsp;0.9770-75 still the level to overcome for those looking for a more meaningful correction and/or recovery in the USD. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx2.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx2_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>We saw EUR/JPY also giving back early week gains, which saw the 128.00 handle briefly surrendered, but as noted above, the JPY is quick to react to negative risk factors these days, and this is down to the net short positioning in the market. &nbsp;According to the representative CFTC data however, this has been trimmed by some 20% this past week. &nbsp;EUR longs have also contracted, but as above, there are plenty waiting to get back in at lower levels, and impulsively so. &nbsp;</p> <p>USD/JPY remains well placed to push lower again and retest the new August base at 108.60, through which lie the 2017 lows around 108.15. &nbsp;Fresh demand seen all the way into the low 107.00&#39;s if we do break lower, with the constant stream of surprises coming out of Capital Hill more than capable of seeing this achieved. &nbsp;This should be a broader JPY move however, with the likes of GBP/JPY also showing signs that the upturn has run its course. &nbsp;The commodity Dollars also looked to have topped out vs JPY, with the weekly charts on AUD, NZD and CAD near identical. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx3.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx3_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>Out of Japan, we get the latest CPI stats out on Thursday, and a continuation of a slow pick up will add to some of the more encouraging domestic growth signals we have been receiving of late. &nbsp;Manufacturing PMIs here are out on Tuesday. &nbsp;</p> <p>The China data slate is empty next week, as is that of Australia, so the AUD will be at the mercy of external factors which are split between the USD and general risk appetite. &nbsp;Hitting the low 0.7800&#39;s this week, we expect the market will be looking for a deeper retrace based on the technical breach of 0.7835-50, but closing well above here on the weekly charts puts this in the balance for now. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx4.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx4_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>Trade data in NZ offers a chance of some differentiation among the &#39;Antipodeans&#39;, with NZD tracking the AUD spot for the most part, and keeping AUD/NZD inside a 1.0650-1.0850 range; the upside does look more likely to give way. The recent NZ numbers have not been great, namely jobs growth in Q2. &nbsp;The fiscal clout from the budget surpluses has faded into the background also, though many anticipated this as much of this was fed back into social investment more than business. &nbsp;Gains above 0.7300 look tenuous for now, but demand ahead of 0.7200 sets up a near term stalemate. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx5.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx5_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>One of the more positive developments this week was the cordial start to the NAFTA talks, and although this may sound naive, did give the CAD some relief - as it did the MXN, which both ended the week up on both the USD and the JPY. &nbsp; As noted before, the greater risks lie at Mexico&#39;s door, but for the US, a positive outcome - for all - would temper some of the negative factors hitting USD sentiment at the moment. &nbsp;Nb, Mexican Q2 GDP on Tuesday for those who monitor levels in the current tri party accord.&nbsp;</p> <p>Canadian inflation on Friday drew an odd response from the CAD as yoy CPI up from 1.0% to 1.2% is little cause for excitement. &nbsp;Given pricing for another BoC rate hike this year is up around 80%, we see the risk to the downside on this basis alone, with some of the more recent domestic readings (trade and manufacturing sales) perhaps reflective of the aggressive CAD appreciation seen in the last few months. &nbsp;We still look for an eventual test of 1.2200-1.2000 lower down, but not &#39;all in one go&#39;! &nbsp;1.2750-1.2800 as expected has contained the upside, and next week will see whether the support just under 1.2600 will hold up for a more significant correction. &nbsp; Wholesale sales, retail sales (both for Jun) and corporate profits due for consideration next week.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx6.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx6_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>GDP for Q2 is the major event in the UK ahead; this released on Thursday along with the business investment levels as the CBI distributive trades survey. &nbsp;Last week, the focus was on the jobs report where we saw wage growth improving, but with the bears gaining the upper hand, GBP relief was short lived, with a deeper probe into the numbers showing real earnings down - as you would expect given the exchange rate fed rise in inflation. &nbsp;Jul PSNB and CBI industrial trends orders are out on the Tuesday.</p> <p>It took the BoE&#39;s highlighting of their concerns over the Brexit process ahead to curtail Cable strength towards the 1.3300 level, and now the market has been &#39;directed&#39; towards this key and ever-present (!) factor, rebounds see the market jumping in to sell quickly and 1.2900+ being given short shrift. &nbsp;There is no disputing the fact that we tread cautiously from here, and especially so given the EU talks have stalled, with the UK keen to press ahead with transitional agreements, but Europe equally keen to resolve withdrawal terms first. &nbsp;</p> <p>The low 1.2800&#39;s are providing some strong support in the meantime, but we should all now be familiar with current market persistence in maintaining well established themes. We still expect GBP to push lower, and it is now all about how much breathing space we get between down-legs. &nbsp;Expect very little of this against the EUR as we continue to grind up towards the resistance zone in the 0.9150-0.9250 area. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx7.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx7_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>We also get Q2 growth in Norway on the Thursday, which is the stand out release in Scandinavia. &nbsp;Just as we see in AUD/NZD, there is little to differentiate between the NOK and SEK at the present time, with steadfast parameters in NOK/SEK at 1.0120 and 1.0360 having noticeably contained trade in the past 5 weeks. &nbsp;Parity was momentarily breached at the start of Jul, but strong GDP numbers in Sweden could not generate a fresh move to test these levels. NOK - and CAD - correlations with Oil price have faded at these generally more comfortable levels.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx8.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/fx8_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 252px;" /></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="600" height="343" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/yellen%20staring_1.jpg?1503273712" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/fx-week-ahead-jackson-hole-and-chance-yellen-dend-some-usd-bashing#comments Australia Bank of England BOE Business CAD China CPI Currency pair Donald Trump Economy European Central Bank European Union Exchange rate federal government Foreign exchange market International finance Janet Yellen Japan Japanese yen Markit Mexico Monetary Policy Money Norway recovery Scandinavia Synthetic currency pair White House White House Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:08:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 602009 at http://www.zerohedge.com NASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone "Supervolcano" Eruption, There's Just One Catch http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-19/nasa-unveils-plan-stop-world-ending-supervolcano-eruptiontheres-just-one-catch <p>A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, <strong><em>could actually cause it to blow... triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170819_yellow1.jpg"><img height="319" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170819_yellow1.jpg" width="560" /></a></em></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-05/sudden-1400-quake-swarm-prompts-question-if-yellowstone-erupted-what-would-be-left">As we have detailed recently</a>, government officials have been closely monitoring the activity in the Yellowstone caldera.</p> <p>However, <a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/nasas-risky-plan-to-save-us-from-yellowstone_08192017">as SHTFplan.com&#39;s Mac Slavo details</a>, <strong>scientists at NASA have now come up with an incredibly risky plan to save the United States from the super volcano</strong>.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4803246/NASA-reveals-risky-plan-COOL-Yellowstone.html" target="_blank">A&nbsp;NASA&nbsp;scientist has spoken out</a> about the true<a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/snyder-warns-a-full-blown-eruption-of-the-yellowstone-supervolcano-would-have-the-potential-of-being-an-extinction-level-event_06192017" target="_blank"> threat of super volcanoes</a> and the risky methods that could be used to prevent a devastating eruption.&nbsp;Lying beneath the tranquil and beautiful settings of<a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/montana-earthquake-increased-super-volcano-eruption-concerns_07062017" target="_blank"> Yellowstone National Park </a>in the US lies an enormous magma chamber,<a href="https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/yellowstone-supervolcano" target="_blank"> called a caldera.</a> It&rsquo;s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at NASA, it&rsquo;s also one of the<a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/russian-analyst-calls-for-nuclear-attack-on-yellowstone-national-park_03312015" target="_blank"> greatest natural threats to human civilization</a> as we know it.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Brian Wilcox, a former member of the<a href="https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/overview/" target="_blank"> NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense</a>, shared a report on the natural hazard that hadn&rsquo;t been seen outside of the agency until now.&nbsp;Following&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170724-would-a-supervolcano-eruption-wipe-us-out" target="_blank">an article published by BBC about super volcanoes last month</a>, a group of NASA researchers got in touch with the media to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat Yellowstone poses, and what they hypothesize could possibly be done about it.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>&ldquo;I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,&rdquo; </strong>explains Brian Wilcox of <a href="https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/">Nasa&rsquo;s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology. </a><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">&nbsp;</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>&ldquo;I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Yellowstone currently leaks about 60 to 70 percent of its heat into the atmosphere through&nbsp;stream water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks, while the rest of the heat builds up as magma and dissolves into volatile gasses.&nbsp;The heat and pressure will reach the threshold, meaning an explosion is inevitable. When <a href="http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170817-nasas-ambitious-plan-to-save-earth-from-a-supervolcano" target="_blank">NASA scientists considered the fact that a super volcano&rsquo;s eruption </a>would plunge the earth into a volcanic winter, destroying&nbsp;most sources of food, starvation would then become a real possibility. &nbsp;Food reserves would <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4803246/NASA-reveals-risky-plan-COOL-Yellowstone.html" target="_blank">only last about 74 days, according to the UN</a>, after an eruption of a super volcano, like that under Yellowstone. &nbsp;And they have devised a risky plan that could end up blowing up in their faces. &nbsp;Literally.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>Wilcox hypothesized that if enough heat was removed, and the temperature of the super volcano dropped, it would never erupt.</strong> But he wants to see a 35% decrease in temperature, and how to achieve that, is incredibly risky.&nbsp;One possibility is to simply increase the amount of water in the supervolcano. As it turns to steam. the water would release the heat into the atmosphere, making <a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/research-team-slams-global-warming-data-in-new-report-not-a-valid-representation-of-reality-totally-inconsistent-with-credible-temperature-data_07142017" target="_blank">global warming alarmists</a> tremble.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font">&ldquo;Building a big aqueduct uphill into a mountainous region would be both costly and difficult, and people don&rsquo;t want their water spent that way,&rdquo; Wilcox says. &ldquo;People are desperate for water all over the world and so a major infrastructure project, where the only way the water is used is to cool down a supervolcano, would be very controversial.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>So, NASA came up with an alternative plan.</strong></span> They believe the most viable solution could be to<a href="http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170817-nasas-ambitious-plan-to-save-earth-from-a-supervolcano" target="_blank"> drill up to 10km down into the super volcano and pump down water at high pressure. </a>The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font">&ldquo;Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,&rdquo; Wilcox says. &ldquo;Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Of course,<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4803246/NASA-reveals-risky-plan-COOL-Yellowstone.html" target="_blank"> drilling into a super volcano comes with its own risks</a>, like the eruption that scientists are desperate to prevent. Triggering an eruption by drilling would be disastrous.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;The most important thing with this is to do no harm,&rdquo; Wilcox says.</strong></span></em></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">&nbsp;</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.&rdquo;</strong></span></em></p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>The cooling of Yellowstone in this manner would also take tens of thousands of years, but it is a plan that scientists at NASA are considering for every super volcano on earth.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;When people first considered the idea of defending the Earth from an asteroid impact, they reacted in a similar way to the supervolcano threat,&rdquo; Wilcox says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;People thought, &lsquo;As puny as we are, how can humans possibly prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.&rsquo; Well, it turns out if you engineer something which pushes very slightly for a very long time, you can make the asteroid miss the Earth. So the problem turns out to be easier than people think. In both cases it requires the scientific community to invest brain power and you have to start early. <strong>But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.</strong>&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>So what would happen?</strong></u></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://players.brightcove.net/2540076170001/ByveBcs0_default/index.html?videoId=4689418265001#t=9s" width="560"></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="560" height="319" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170819_yellow1.jpg?1503166432" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-19/nasa-unveils-plan-stop-world-ending-supervolcano-eruptiontheres-just-one-catch#comments Caldera California Institute of Technology Climate forcing agents Doomsday scenarios Environment Geology Geothermal Global Warming Igneous rocks Magma NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense National Aeronautics and Space Administration Supervolcano United Nations Volcano Volcanology Yellowstone Caldera Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone National Park Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601966 at http://www.zerohedge.com Problems Too Big And Too Many To Fix: Trump Will Be The Fall Guy http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/problems-too-big-and-too-many-fix-trump-will-be-fall-guy <p><a href="https://mishtalk.com/2017/08/19/trump-will-be-the-fall-guy/"><em>Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The axe fell on Steve Bannon Friday.</strong></p> <p>Mid-day, mainstream media proclaimed stocks were up because of the firing. Stocks closed the day down. <strong>Apparently, stocks were both up and down due to Bannon.</strong></p> <p>Now <strong><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/business/media/bannon-said-to-be-planning-his-return-to-breitbart-news.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Bannon is Back on the Outside</a>, back at Breitbart, and happy to be there.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Stephen K. Bannon has always been more comfortable when he was trying to tear down institutions &mdash; not work inside them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With his return to Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon will be free to lead the kind of ferocious assault on the political establishment that he relishes, even if sometimes that means turning his wrath on the White House itself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hours after his ouster from the West Wing, he was named to his former position of executive chairman at the hard-charging right-wing website and led its evening editorial meeting. And Mr. Bannon appeared eager to move onto his next fight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;In many ways, I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on,&rdquo; he said Friday. &ldquo;And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Among those already in Mr. Bannon&rsquo;s sights: Speaker Paul D. Ryan; Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader; the president&rsquo;s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and Gary D. Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who now directs the White House&rsquo;s National Economic Council.</p> </blockquote> <h3><u><strong>Thanks But No Thanks</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Trump thanked Bannon for his help during the campaign, but not for his tenure in the White House</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton - it was great! Thanks S</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/898870621584596993">August 19, 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">Trump explicitly thanks Bannon for his time on the campaign. Not his 7 months in the W.H. as chief strategist.</p> <p>Nothing to see here. <a href="https://t.co/gqDRj5I2zJ">https://t.co/gqDRj5I2zJ</a></p> <p>&mdash; Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) <a href="https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/898873636035203074">August 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>New York Times Parting Shot</strong></u></h3> <p>The New York Times editorial, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/opinion/farewell-steve-bannon-trump.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Exit Steve Bannon</a>, gave Banon a swift kick on his way out the door.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Mr. Bannon&rsquo;s exit is, of course, a relief. As the well-financed Pied Piper of the alt-right Breitbart crowd, Mr. Bannon at the pinnacle of White House policy making was a nightmare come to life.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But Mr. Bannon, who promptly returned to Breitbart as its executive chairman on Friday, still poses a danger for our broader politics. Outside the White House, he is freer to rally his forces against anyone who doesn&rsquo;t toe his nationalist-protectionist line. A Bannon-led right-wing backlash against Mr. Trump, who unleashed the worst impulses of nationalists in service to himself, would be a fitting comeuppance.</p> </blockquote> <h3><u><strong>More Fun to Throw Mud</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Clearly, it&rsquo;s far more fun to throw mud than have it thrown at you.</strong></p> <p>Lost in the Bannon and Trump bashing is one key question: Who is really the bigger threat, Hillary, Trump, or Bannon?</p> <h3><u><strong>Why We Are Where We Are</strong></u></h3> <p>We are in this mess because Obamanomics, war-mongering, Fed policies, and social handouts created a budget mess but did not solve any problems. People revolted, and Trump got elected.</p> <p>When it comes to trade and protectionism, Trump is wrong. So is Bannon.</p> <p><strong><em>Those who think Hillary would have been any better on trade policy are mistaken. If you believe differently, then please take <a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/06/29/todays-quiz-donald-trump-bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-who-said-it/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Today&rsquo;s Quiz: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton &ndash; Who Said It?</a></em></strong></p> <p>We would have a no-fly zone over Syria, had Hillary won. That would have risked a confrontation with Russia. Hillary wrecked Libya, and of course Obama and Bush had extremely misguided warmongering policies in the Mideast.</p> <p><strong>Obamacare was a failure, but no one on either side seems able or willing to fix it.</strong></p> <p><strong>So here we are, with everything broken, and we still cannot get anything done. </strong>Republicans want more military spending and Democrats want more social spending. Warmongers on both sides want more war.</p> <h3><u><strong>Art of Compromise</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Compromise in Washington is more military spending and more social spending.</strong></p> <p>Repetitive &ldquo;compromises&rdquo; sent deficits soaring out of sight. On top of it all, the Fed blew massive bubbles in just about everything.</p> <h3><u><strong>Problems Too Big and Too Many To Fix</strong></u></h3> <p>One thing I expect Trump will get right, at least from a public union standpoint, regards appointments to the supreme court.</p> <p><strong>Overall, I hoped Trump would do better on many fronts. </strong>It was not to be. Trump could not drain the swamp. Partisan politics interfered, there was too much infighting, and there is nonsensical Russia bashing on both sides of the aisle.</p> <p><strong>The problems are too big and too many to fix. If you think Hillary would have fixed them you are delusional</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">To the victor, goes the blame. Trump will be the fall guy when this mess blows up.<a href="https://t.co/99d7BrUfak">https://t.co/99d7BrUfak</a></p> <p>&mdash; Mike Mish Shedlock (@MishGEA) <a href="https://twitter.com/MishGEA/status/898995917151510528">August 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <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="296" height="200" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170820_blame.jpg?1503254553" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/problems-too-big-and-too-many-fix-trump-will-be-fall-guy#comments Alt-right Bannon Breitbart News Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Politics Politics of the United States Steve Bannon United States US Federal Reserve White House White House White House’s National Economic Council Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601997 at http://www.zerohedge.com Builders Complain Of Record Labor Shortages: Up To 75% Of Employers Can't Find Workers http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/builders-complain-record-labor-shortages-75-employers-cant-find-workers <p>Late last <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-31/ohio-factory-owner-eager-hire-workers-there-just-one-problem">month we reported the remarkable anecdote </a>of an Ohio factory owner who has numerous blue-collar jobs available at her company, but has one major problem: she is struggling to fill positions because so many candidates fail drug tests. Regina Mitchell, co-owner of Warren Fabricating &amp; Machining in Hubbard, Ohio, told The New York Times this week that four out of 10 applicants otherwise qualified to be welders, machinists and crane operators will fail a routine drug test. While not quite as bad as the adverse hit rate hinted at by the Beige Book, this is a stunning number, and one which indicates of major structural changes to the US labor force where addiction and drugs are keeping millions out of gainful (or any, for that matter) employment.</p> <p>Mitchell said that her requirements for prospective workers were simple: “I need employees who are engaged in their work while here, of sound mind and doing the best possible job that they can, keeping their fellow co-workers safe at all times." And yet, almost nobody could satisfy these very simple requirements. </p> <p>Whether it was due to pervasive drug abuse, or for some other reason, but fast forward two weeks when in response to a special question in the July <a href="http://eyeonhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/July2017-SplQ-REPORT-EXTERNAL-FINAL.pdf">NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index </a>(HMI) survey, US homebuilders said that <a href="http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/08/share-of-builders-reporting-labor-shortages-rises-again/">labor and subcontractor shortages have become even more widespread </a>in July of 2017 than they were in June of 2016.</p> <p>This is a concern as the inventory of for-sale homes recently struck a 20-year low. And while economists and the public cry for more inventory, many builders are pressed to meet demand. A labor and subcontractor shortage in the building industry has worsened over the past year, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index survey of single-family builders.</p> <p>The July 2017 HMI survey asked builders about shortages in 15 specific occupations that were either recommended by Home Builders Institute (NAHB’s workforce development arm) or that NAHB found to be particularly significant when tabulating Bureau of Labor Statistics data for a recent article on Young Adults &amp; the Construction Trades.&nbsp; <strong>Shortages (either serious or some) were at least fairly widespread for each of the 15 occupations, ranging from a low of 43 percent for building maintenance managers to a high of around 75 percent for the three categories of carpenters </strong>(rough, finished and framing).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/Labor-shortgage-17.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/Labor-shortgage-17_0.jpg" width="500" height="531" /></a></p> <p>In addition to workers employed by single-family builders, the HMI survey asked about shortages of subcontractors, which have become even more widespread lately.&nbsp; In the July 2017 survey, the incidence of shortages was higher for subcontractors than for labor directly employed by builders in each of the 15 occupations. <strong>At the top of the chart, for example, 85% of builders reported a shortage of framing subcontractors, compared to “only” 77% who reported a shortage of framers directly employed.</strong></p> <p>According to the NAHB, historically, this has not always been the case: an average shortage calculated across the 9 trades that NAHB has covered in a consistent way since 1996 shows that labor and subcontractor shortages used to track each other fairly closely.&nbsp; Since 2013, however, a persistent gap has opened, with the 9-trade shortage for subcontractors running 5 to 7 percentage points higher.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/Labor-and-Subs-17.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/Labor-and-Subs-17_0.jpg" width="500" height="319" /></a></p> <p>One possible reason for the shortages proposed by the NAHB, is that some workers who were laid off and started their own trade contracting businesses during the housing downturn have returned to working for larger companies. This would improve the availability of workers directly employed by builders slightly, while shrinking the pool of firms available for subcontracting.</p> <p>The 9-trade average shortage for labor has increased from a low of 21 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2016, and now 63 percent in 2017.&nbsp; And this trend has been very consistent.&nbsp; For each of the construction occupations covered in both years, the shortage percentage, whether for labor directly employed or subcontractors, increased between 2016 and 2017—with the sole exception of excavator subcontractors, for which the percentage remained roughly the same.</p> <p>In an ominous coincidence, the 9-trade average labor shortage <strong>is now at its highest since 2000 (which marked the end of an extended period of strong GDP growth that tightened many labor markets </strong>and drove the overall unemployment rate down to 4.0 percent).&nbsp; <strong>The current labor shortage seems especially severe relative to housing starts, which have only partially recovered from their post-2006 decline.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/Labor-and-Starts-17.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/Labor-and-Starts-17_0.jpg" width="500" height="331" /></a></p> <p>NAHB's conclusion: "the historical pattern has been quite consistent across construction occupations.&nbsp; <strong>Shortages for most of the occupations are more widespread now than at any time since 2000.&nbsp; </strong>The exceptions are shortages that are at their all-time worst since NAHB first started asking the questions in 1996.&nbsp; <strong>For directly employed labor, the shortage of painters is now at its worst ever.&nbsp; </strong>For subcontractors, in addition to painters, <strong>shortages of framing crews and electricians are also at their all-time worst</strong>.&nbsp; For excavator subcontractors, the 2016 and 2017 shortages are essentially tied for worst all time.</p> <p>But what is most troubling is that despite such "record" labor shortages, wages across both the construction sector, and certainly across the entire labor market, just refuse to rise. If a historic lack of qualified workers fails to boost wages.... what will?</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="915" height="606" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Labor-and-Starts-17.jpg?1503272440" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/builders-complain-record-labor-shortages-75-employers-cant-find-workers#comments Beige Book Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Construction Economy Fail General contractor Home Builders Institute Housing Market Housing Starts Labor NAHB National Association of Home Builders National Association of Home Builders New York Times Ohio Shortage Subcontractor Unemployment Unemployment Wells Fargo Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:41:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 602008 at http://www.zerohedge.com Barclays Installs Desk Sensors To Monitor Employees http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-19/barclays-installs-sensors-monitor-how-long-employees-spend-their-desks <p>As we reported <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/wisconsin-firm-microchips-employees-its-inevitably-next-thing-and-we-want-be-part-it">last month, </a>a Wisconsin company called Three Square Market has become the first company in the US to offer microchip implants to its employees. The firm, which designs software for breakroom markets, wants employees to use microchips to help facilitate vending-machine payments. <strong>The firm wanted to use its employees as test subjects for their product. And though the program was strictly voluntary, it marks an uncomfortable beginning of a trend that could someday result in all humans being involuntarily microchipped. </strong></p> <p><strong>Now, across the pond, companies are escalating efforts to monitor their employees.</strong></p> <p>Barclays Plc has installed devices at its London headquarters that track how much time bankers spend at their desks. While a spokesperson for the bank says the devices aren&rsquo;t meant <strong>to evaluate employees&rsquo; performance, their introduction has clearly spooked members of the rank-and-file,</strong> who leaked the story to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-18/barclays-puts-in-sensors-to-see-which-bankers-are-at-their-desks">Bloomberg.</a></p> <p>The devices are manufactured by OccupEye and use heat and motion sensors to record how long employees are spending at their posts.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/08/19/2017.08.19barclays.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/08/19/2017.08.19barclays_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 249px;" /></a></p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-18/barclays-puts-in-sensors-to-see-which-bankers-are-at-their-desks">Bloomberg,</a> employees inundated management with questions about the devices after they first appeared under their desks. The bank reportedly didn&#39;t neglected to inform some employees ahead of time.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Managers were peppered with queries when investment bank staff in London discovered black boxes stuck to the underside of their desks in recent months, according to several Barclays employees who asked not to be identified speaking about their workplace<strong>. They turned out to be tracking devices called OccupEye, which use heat and motion sensors to record how long employees are spending at their posts.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>There was a &ldquo;phased roll-out&rdquo; of the devices, and Barclays staff and the Unite union were notified before they were installed, although the bank did not send out a specific memo about them, according to spokesman Tom Hoskin. </strong>The Barclays employees said they don&rsquo;t remember being informed about the boxes, but spokespeople for the bank said there have been no official human-resources complaints.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The devices, <strong>made by Blackburn, U.K.-based Cad-Capture, </strong>are pitched as a way for companies to find out how they can reduce office space, providing a multicolored dashboard to show managers which workstations are unoccupied and analyze usage trends.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The sensors aren&rsquo;t monitoring people or their productivity; they are assessing office space usage,&rdquo;</strong> the bank said in an emailed statement. <strong>&ldquo;This sort of analysis helps us to reduce costs, for example, managing energy consumption, or identifying opportunities to further adopt flexible work environments.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While the devices could be part of CEO Jes Staley&rsquo;s efforts to reduce the company&rsquo;s real-estate footprint, Barclays employees have a reason to be paranoid. According to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-18/barclays-puts-in-sensors-to-see-which-bankers-are-at-their-desks">Bloomberg,</a> many investment banks have been taking steps to more closely monitor their employees as banks face shrinking profit margins in key businesses like trading.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Investment banks are increasingly using technology to keep tabs on how their staff spend their time. <strong>Barclays has introduced a computer system to track how much is earned from every client, allowing bosses to determine how much time traders, analysts and salespeople should spend with each customer.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>An officer with UK trade union Unite said the union was promised that data collected from the boxes wouldn&rsquo;t be used to evaluate employees.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;We were given assurances that the boxes did not monitor individuals or their performance,&rdquo; </strong>Unite national officer Dominic Hook said in a statement. The union &ldquo;will keep a close eye on the situation to make sure that the sensors are never used to spy on staff or as a means to measure productivity.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Lloyds Banking Group, which, like Barclays has been trimming its London office space, also uses similar devices. Sources inside major US investment banks like J.P. Morgan Chase &amp; Co., Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup Inc. told <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-18/barclays-puts-in-sensors-to-see-which-bankers-are-at-their-desks">Bloomberg </a>that they don&rsquo;t use devices like these.<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="729" height="363" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.08.19barclays.JPG?1503173407" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-19/barclays-installs-sensors-monitor-how-long-employees-spend-their-desks#comments Bank Barclays Barclays Bloomberg L.P. Business Business CAD Citigroup Clan Barclay Economy Finance Financial services goldman sachs Goldman Sachs increasingly using technology Investment banking Labor Lloyds Office SPY Technology Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601972 at http://www.zerohedge.com US Lawmakers Draft Bill 'Protecting' Cryptocurrencies From Government Interference http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/us-lawmakers-draft-bill-protecting-cryptocurrencies-government-interference <p>Several members of the US Congress are drafting legislation that is intended to recognize certain digital currencies and <strong>&#39;protect&#39; them against interference from the federal government</strong>. The question is - does the &#39;protection&#39;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170820_btc.jpg"><img height="337" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170820_btc_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/us-lawmakers-draft-bill-protecting-cryptocurrencies-from-gov-interference"><em>CoinTelegraph reports </em></a>that the bill, which will provide protection to cryptocurrencies that <strong>comply with certain minimum requirements to prevent them from being used by those engaged in illegal business practices like drug traffickers and terrorists, </strong>is expected to be filed in September 2017, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/19/congress-considering-validating-bitcoin/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">DailyCaller</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Based on a reliable source,<strong> at least one Republican senator and two Republican congressmen are working on the draft legislation.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The legislators, however, have requested that should not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue and the complexity of the proposed solution.</p> <p dir="ltr">A source close to the effort <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/19/congress-considering-validating-bitcoin/">told TheDC,</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;the <strong>center piece of the plan is to mainstream digital currency so it can be treated just like the American dollar. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">First, there is a new entity that is considering issuing a brand new digital currency that is compliant with anti-money laundering laws unlike any other in circulation.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Although cash has some of the same problems being used to pay for illegal activities, the perception that digital currencies are being used for illegal activities is seen as the primary roadblock to wholesale acceptance by the American public.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/19/congress-considering-validating-bitcoin/">The source told TheDC </a>the new model is going to follow federal laws that prevent money laundering. This is a break through and could lead to the use of digital currencies replacing the dollar for many transactions.<strong>&nbsp; The legislation is expected to be introduced in early September.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The source asked the members of Congress involved in drafting the bill not be identified yet, explaining, &ldquo;this is a very complicated issue and staff are working through some issues that have in the past stopped alternative currencies from being launched.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">They continued that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;<strong>...the law needs to be changed to protect digital currencies from federal government harassment to make sure that a complaint currency can be backed by value, the currency cannot be treated like a security or investment, and that transfers are protected against taxation. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">The bottom line is that Congress needs to remove all the obstacles to a vibrant digital currency that has voluntarily taken the initiative to keep the bad guys from using it.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">What is perhaps most ironic here is that government lawmakers are attempting to codify rules to stop government lawmakers interfering with the free and open exchange of a decentralized currency... by setting rules that potentially interfere with the free exchange of said currency.</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="707" height="397" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170820_btc.jpg?1503251830" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/us-lawmakers-draft-bill-protecting-cryptocurrencies-government-interference#comments Alternative currencies Banknote Congress Cryptocurrencies Currency Digital currencies E-commerce Economy federal government Finance Financial cryptography Money Money laundering Politics U.S. Congress Virtual currency Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601996 at http://www.zerohedge.com In Nationwide Address, Trump To Unveil "New Path Forward" On Afghanistan Tomorrow http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/trump-address-nation-tomorrow-new-path-forward-afghanistan <p>With the anti-neocon Steve Bannon out, and nobody left in Trump's inner circle to halt the simmering push for war in Aghanistan, North Korea, the Middle East and virtually everywhere else courtesy of Generals Kelly and McMaster, this morning <a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-military-idINKCN1B00FN?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&amp;utm_content=5999900704d30118d05e37a4&amp;utm_medium=trueAnthem&amp;utm_source=twitter">Reuters reported</a>, quoting Defense Secretary Mattis that Trump has a made a decision on the United States' strategy for Afghanistan after a "sufficiently rigorous" review process.</p> <p>However, Mattis did not provide details on when the White House would make an announcement or what the decision was on Afghanistan, where fighting still rages more than 15 years after U.S. forces invaded and overthrew a Taliban government. The Defense Secretary said he is satisfied with how the administration formulated its new Afghanistan war strategy. But he refused to talk about the new policy until it was disclosed by Trump. </p> <p>"I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous and did not go in with a pre-set position," Mattis told reporters traveling with him aboard a military aircraft to Jordan. "The president has made a decision. As he said, he wants to be the one to announce it to the American people."</p> <p>As reported earlier in the year, soon after taking office in January the Trump administration began a review of U.S. policy on Afghanistan, which has expanded into a broader South Asia review. After Trump met with his national security aides on Friday to review an array of options for Afghan strategy, the White House said no decision had been made on whether he would commit more troops to America's longest war. However, Trump tweeted on Saturday: "many decisions made, including on Afghanistan".</p> <p>U.S. officials have told Reuters that the president was expected to be briefed on options ranging from a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to a modest increase. Out bet is on the latter, and scrap the "modest" part: after all, if there was ever a time Trump need a "war diversion" it is now. </p> <p>Luckily, we won't have long to wait: according to a statement issued moments ago by the White House, "<strong>Trump will address our Nation's troops and the American people tomorrow night at 9:00 pm (EDT) from Fort Meyer in Arlington, VA, to provide an update on the path forward for America's engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia."</strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/trump%20adfghanistan_0.jpg" width="600" height="224" /></p> <p>Meanwhile, signaling that the U.S. military expects its mission to continue, Bloomberg reports that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army's new special operations corps, declaring that "we are with you and we will stay with you." </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Gen. John Nicholson's exhortation of continued support for the Afghans suggested the Pentagon may have won its argument that America's military must stay engaged in the conflict in order to insure terrorists don't once again threaten the U.S. from safe havens in Afghanistan. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nicholson, speaking prior to the White House announcement, <strong>said the commandos and a plan to double the size of the Afghan's special operations forces are critical to winning the war</strong>. "I assure you we are with you in this fight. We are with you and we will stay with you," he said during a ceremony at Camp Morehead, a training base for Afghan commandos southeast of Kabul.</p> </blockquote> <p>Furthermore, as Bloomberg notes, the Pentagon was awaiting a final announcement by Trump on a proposal to send nearly 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The added forces would increase training and advising of the Afghan forces and bolster counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and an Islamic State group affiliate trying to gain a foothold in the country.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>According to a senior U.S. military officer in Kabul, increasing the number of American troops would allow the military to quickly send additional advisers or airstrike support to two simultaneous operations. Right now, the official said, they can only do so for one. The officer said it would allow the U.S. to send fighter aircraft, refueling aircraft and surveillance aircraft to multiple locations for missions. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The officer was not authorized to discuss the details publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity. Afghan military commanders have been clear that they want and expect continued U.S. military help. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pulling out American forces "would be a total failure," Col. Abdul Mahfuz, the Afghan intelligence agency chief for Qarahbagh, north of Kabul, said Saturday. And he said that substituting paid contractors for U.S. troops would be a formula for continuing the war, rather than completing it.</p> </blockquote> <p>As such, anyone harboring any hope that with two generals whispering strategy in Trump's ear, and with anti-interventionist Bannon out of the picture, that Trump will announce an accelerated withdrawal of US troops from the war-battered country, should probably not hold their breath. Meanwhile, keep a close eye on Mattis, Kelly and McMaster: once Trump announces the inevitable boost in military activity in Afghanistan first (and soon, everywhere else), it will be the three generals who - together with Goldman Sachs when it comes to domestic policy - are now officially in control of the U.S. executive branch. </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="1374" height="741" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trump%20mcmaster%202.jpg?1503259500" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/trump-address-nation-tomorrow-new-path-forward-afghanistan#comments Afghan army Afghan intelligence Afghanistan Afghanistan–United States relations Alt-right America's military American people of German descent Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration goldman sachs Goldman Sachs International relations Invasions of Afghanistan James Mattis Middle East Middle East Military Military history by country national security North Korea Pentagon Politics Reuters South Asia Steve Bannon Taliban Taliban The Apprentice Trump Administration United States US military War War in Afghanistan White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:06:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 602003 at http://www.zerohedge.com Marc Faber: In The Age Of Cyber-Terrorism, Every Investor Must Own Gold http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/marc-faber-age-cyber-terrorism-every-investor-must-own-gold <p><a href="https://www.hardassetsalliance.com/our-blog/marc-faber-in-the-age-of-cyber-terrorism-every-investor-must-own-gold-1#.WZnSGSiGPAR"><em>Authored by Shannara Johnson via Hard Assets Alliance,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Take it from &ldquo;Dr. Doom&rdquo;: own some <a href="https://www.hardassetsalliance.com/education/how-to-buy-prcious-metals-like-a-pro-the-most-indepth-guide-for-investors#.WYTAFlWGOUk" target="_blank">physical gold</a> and keep it out of the banking system.</strong></p> <p>Dr. Marc Faber, a legendary investor and the editor/publisher of the <em>Gloom, Boom &amp; Doom Report</em>, is well known for his contrarian investing style.</p> <p>In a recent <a href="http://www.hardassetsalliance.com/go/v34q48/HAA" target="_blank">Metal Masters interview</a> with the Hard Assets Alliance, he noted that the<strong> biggest geopolitical risk for Americans today is not a conventional war but rather cyber-attacks that could take down the US power grid.</strong></p> <p>In such a scenario, gold would become an irreplaceable medium of exchange. But it&rsquo;s not the only reason to own gold today.</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Diversified Assets Outside the Banking System</strong></span></h3> <p>Faber grew up in Switzerland right after World War II, a tough time that caused his family to distrust paper money and taught him the importance of precious metals as a safety net.</p> <p>Faber remembers how his father talked about rich people as millionaires.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&ldquo;</em>That, in the &lsquo;50s and &lsquo;60s and &lsquo;70s, was a lot of money. Today, a million is nothing at all&mdash;small change. Unfortunately. When people talk about, &lsquo;Oh, there is no inflation in the system,&rsquo; this is nonsense. Compared to assets, money has lost a tremendous amount of purchasing power.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>After working on Wall Street for over two decades, Faber&rsquo;s assets consisted mainly of bonds, equities, and real estate. He says it was in the 1990s when he realized that &ldquo;it&rsquo;s good to have a diversified asset outside the banking system and not financially related&rdquo; and began to purchase some <a href="https://www.hardassetsalliance.com/education/gld-vs.-physical-gold-which-is-the-better-investment-now#.WYTAT1WGOUk" target="_blank">physical gold</a> every month.</p> <p><strong>The Fed largely ignores gold as an asset, he says, because &ldquo;gold is an embarrassment to central banks.&rdquo;</strong></p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>When the Lights Go Out, Bitcoin Goes Too</strong></span></h3> <p>Regarding a possible war, Faber believes it&rsquo;s unlikely that anyone will ever invade China or the United States. He thinks the true vulnerability lies in &ldquo;wars that are fought not with tanks&mdash;they are fought by, say, somebody could switch off the light in New York, or the electricity, or the Internet. If you switched off the Internet, what would happen?&rdquo;</p> <p>This is where the merits of <a href="https://www.hardassetsalliance.com/resources-and-tools/charts/gold-price/usd/oz" target="_blank">gold bullion</a> become obvious, he says: &ldquo;In these times, you actually want to have access to something physical that is a recognized medium of exchange.&rdquo;</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;Gold Is Driven by Money Printing&rdquo;</strong></span></h3> <p>When the Fed pursues loose monetary policies, Faber states, the people who benefit the most are the super-elite, the 0.01%. They have been moving ahead while the average American suffers:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;50% of American people have no assets. &hellip; They don&rsquo;t benefit from money printing. Actually, they&rsquo;re hurt because their cost of living is going up, and it&rsquo;s going up more than the CPI would indicate.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>He believes &ldquo;that the recovery, globally, is very weak&rdquo; and the rapidly growing unfunded liabilities are a clear threat that could lead to another financial collapse.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;By being in equities and by <a href="https://www.hardassetsalliance.com/education/the-best-place-to-buy-gold-5-options-with-pros-and-cons#.WYTA81WGOUk" target="_blank">being in gold</a>, and also having some exposure to bonds, you have some diversification,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Then you can hope when the hour of truth occurs, you will only lose, say, 50% of your assets, but your neighbor loses everything. So relatively speaking, you will have done very well.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.hardassetsalliance.com/go/v34q48/HAA" target="_blank">Click here to watch the full interview with Marc Faber for more advice on how to weather a crisis.</a></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.hardassetsalliance.com/go/v34q48/HAA" target="_blank"><img class="img-responsive" src="https://images.hardassetsalliance.com/images/Image_1_20170815_HAA.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 306px;" /></a></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="681" height="393" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170820_faber.jpg?1503253272" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/marc-faber-age-cyber-terrorism-every-investor-must-own-gold#comments Asset Bank Banking Bitcoin Bitcoin Bond Central Banks China Contrarian investing CPI Economic history of Italy Economy Finance Hard Assets Alliance Inflation Investment Marc Faber Money Precious Metals Purchasing Power Real estate recovery Switzerland US Federal Reserve Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601995 at http://www.zerohedge.com