http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/%252520http%25253A/%2525E2%252580%25259Dhttps%25253A/www.http%25253A/howladerandco.com/%2525E2%252580%25259D en "It's Global & It's Viral" - DiMartino Booth Exposes The Fed's Biggest Fear http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/its-global-its-viral-dimartino-booth-exposes-feds-biggest-fear <p><a href="https://usawatchdog.com/fed-fears-new-record-high-credit-bubble-danielle-dimartino-booth/"><em>Via Greg Hunter&#39;s USA Watchdog blog,</em></a></p> <p>Former Federal Reserve insider Danielle DiMartino Booth says the <strong> record high stock and bond prices make the Fed nervous because it&rsquo;s fearful of popping this record high credit bubble</strong>. DiMartino Booth says,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The <strong>Fed&rsquo;s biggest fear is they know darn well this much credit has built up in the background,</strong> and the ramifications of the un-wind for what has happened since the great financial crisis is even greater than what happened in 2008 and 2009.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s global and pretty viral.&nbsp; </strong>So, the Fed has good reason to <strong>be fearful of what&rsquo;s going to happen when the baby boomer generation and the pension funds in this country take a third body blow since 2000</strong>, and that&rsquo;s why they are so very, very intimidated by the financial markets and so fearful of a correction.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><em>[ZH:As a reminder, The Fed is normalizing the balance sheet - and as Yellen said last night - &quot;so far so good&quot;... <strong>&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171122_fed3.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171122_fed3_0.png" width="560" /></a></p> <p><em>So far The Fed (since the end of September) has shrunk the balance sheet by 0.17%... or $7.3 Billion of a $4.5 trillion balance sheet]</em></p> <p><span id="more-19777">&nbsp;</span><strong>Why will the Fed not allow even a small correction in the markets? </strong>DiMartino Booth says,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Look back to last year when Deutsche Bank took the markets to DEFCON 1.&nbsp;<strong> Maybe you were paying attention and maybe you weren&rsquo;t, but it certainly got the German government&rsquo;s attention.</strong>&nbsp; They said the checkbook is open, and we will do whatever we need to do because we can&rsquo;t quantify what will happen when a major bank gets into a distressed situation.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I think <strong>what central banks worldwide fear</strong> is that there has been such a magnificent re-blowing of the credit bubble since 2007 and 2008 that<u><strong> they can&rsquo;t tell you where the contagion is going to be. </strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>So, they have this great fear of a 2% or 3% or 10 % (correction) and do not know what the daisy chain is going to look like and where the contagion is going to land.</strong>&nbsp; It could be the Chinese bond market.&nbsp; It could be Italian insolvent banks or it might be Deutsche Bank, or whether it might be small or midsize U.S. commercial lenders.&nbsp; They can&rsquo;t tell you where the systemic risk lies, and that&rsquo;s where their fear is.&nbsp; This credit bubble is of their making.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>In short, the Fed does not know what is going to happen,</strong> and according to DiMartino Booth, nobody does. DiMartino Booth contends,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think any of us know what the implications are for a $50 trillion debt build since the great financial crisis (of 2008).</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is impossible to say.&nbsp; We have never dealt with anything of this magnitude.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>On Bitcoin&rsquo;s rapid rise in value, </strong>DiMartino Booth warns,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;To me, <strong>Bitcoin is a reflection of panic. It&rsquo;s a reflection of people trying to get money into a safe place knowing the major governments of the developed world have got their printing presses running 24/7.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is a reflection of anxiety in fiat currencies and the fact it&rsquo;s not practical to go back to a gold standard.&nbsp; What scares me about Bitcoin is the central bankers are studying it to figure out how the blockchain works...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>They are going to be controlling our spending with blockchain technology that is being perfected in the crypto currency universe.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>On gold and silver,</strong> DiMartino Booth says,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;2017 is the record for quantitative easing (money printing) globally.</strong> We have never, not even in the darkest days of the financial crisis, central banks have never injected as much money as they have into the markets...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I am not a gold bug, but we do know that in times of corrections that there is no place to hide in traditional asset classes that you can get at your Merrill Lynch brokerage.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold and silver in the precious metals complex are the only places to hide and get true diversification and safety.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Full interview below:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L1NPNCcJEm0" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><em>Danielle DiMartino Booth has free information on her website <a href="http://dimartinobooth.com/">DiMartinoBooth.com. </a>She also offers a subscription service called &ldquo;Money Strong.&rdquo;&nbsp; <a href="https://subscription.dimartinobooth.com/">For a one month free subscription click here.</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="783" height="455" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_yell.jpg?1511456765" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/its-global-its-viral-dimartino-booth-exposes-feds-biggest-fear#comments Balance Bitcoin Bond Business Business Business economics Central Banks Deutsche Bank Economics Economy fed Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System Financial crisis of 2007–2008 German government Great Recession Merrill Merrill Lynch Precious Metals Quantitative Easing Systemic risk US Federal Reserve Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607818 at http://www.zerohedge.com Get Out Now: SocGen Predicts Market Crash, Bear Market For The S&P http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/get-out-now-socgen-breaks-crowd-predicts-bear-market-crash-stocks <p>While the charade of sellside analysts releasing optimistic, and in the case of <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-21/goldman-bets-rational-exuberance-unveils-its-sp-price-targets-sees-bull-market-lasti">Barclays and Goldman </a>"<em>rationally exuberant"</em>previews of the year ahead...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/18/barc%20rational.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/18/barc%20rational_0.jpg" width="500" height="123" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/18/goldman%20rational.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/18/goldman%20rational_0.jpg" width="500" height="143" /></a></p> <p>... is a familiar, long-running tradition on Wall Street, rarely has the intellectual dishonesty and cognitive dissonance been quite so glaring: take Goldman, which while admitting that valuations have never been higher, and the upside case never more reliant on just one piece of legislation which has a significant chance of not passing (GOP tax reform for those unaware), Goldman still has to temerity to predict not only no bear market in the next three years, but goes so far as to suggest an "irrationally exuberant" target of 5,300 in three years. </p> <p>And as of this morning, the penguins are on full parade, with virtually not a single big bank predicting the market will drop in the coming year. Here are the latest S&amp;P price targets, EPS forecasts and implied PE multiples, for the year ahead:</p> <ul> <li>Bank of Montreal, Brian Belski, 2,950, EPS $145.00, P/E 20.3x</li> <li>UBS, Keith Parker, 2,900, EPS $141.00, P/E&nbsp; 20.6x</li> <li>Canaccord, Tony Dwyer, 2,800, EPS $140.00, P/E 20.0x</li> <li>Credit Suisse, Jonathan Golub, 2,875, EPS $139.00, P/E 20.7x</li> <li>Deutsche Bank, Binky Chadha, 2,850, EPS $140.00, P/E 20.4x</li> <li>Goldman Sachs, David Kostin, 2,850, EPS $150.00, P/E 19x</li> <li>Citigroup, Tobias Levkovich, 2,675, EPS $141.00, P/E 19.0x</li> <li>HSBC, Ben Laidler, 2,650, EPS $142.00, P/E 18.7x</li> </ul> <p>Good luck with all those 20x P/Es in a world in which rates are rising and central bank balance sheets will start contracting in one year. </p> <p>Luckily, there is the occasional honest bank, like Macquarie (whose Viktor Shvets has become one of our favorite commentators for his objective, no nonsence analysis) and - as of this morning - SocGen, whose strategist Roland Kaloyan has written a note which warns that with bond yields rising (see the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/chinese-stocks-plummet-shanghai-tumbles-most-17-months-bond-rout-spreads">crash in China overnight, </a>where the Shanghai Composite tumbled the most in 17 months on the realization that rising rates is bad for stocks), there is effectively no upside left in stocks, which coupled with the prospect of a US economy recession in 2020 will "crimp returns in 2019" Furthermore, in light of the record vol shorts, SocGen jumps on the VIX-squeeze crash bandwaon, warning vol positioning could "strongly deteriorate the risk reward profile of equity markets." </p> <p>In not so many words: <em>with little stock upside left, with the threat of rising interest rates slamming P/E multiples, with the economy in deep in late cycle, with equities trading at record valuations, with everyone short vol and just begging for a vol short squeeze, SocGen's advice is simple: <strong>get out now. </strong></em></p> <p>Here is SocGen:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>We are less enthusiastic about equities heading into 2018 </strong>– We do not see much upside on our major equity targets for the next 12 months. We expect stretched valuations and rising bond&nbsp; yields to limit equity index performances in 2018 and the prospect of a US economic slowdown in 2020 to further cramp returns in 2019. We also raise some concerns about the quantity of shorts on volatility, which could potentially strongly deteriorate the risk reward profile of equity markets. </p> </blockquote> <p>Specifically, with regards to the S&amp;P, SocGen reports that US equities are now at - or rather about 100 points above - their fair value: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The S&amp;P 500 has reached our target for the end of this cycle (2,500pts) and is now entering expensive territory. <strong>Indeed, on all the metrics, US equities are trading at levels only seen during the late-90s bubble. </strong>Since Trump’s election, the US equity market has risen 24%, but only half of this came from earnings growth. <strong>The other half has been driven by P/E expansion</strong>. According to our calculations, the US equity market is already pricing in potential tax reform. <strong>The rise in bond yields and Fed repricing should be headwinds against further US equity rerating.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>If that wasn't enough, SocGen also notes that its valuation model suggests "that upside on the S&amp;P 500 is limited: the US equity market is already pricing in a rebound in growth and inflation. <strong>The rise in bond yields and Fed repricing should be a headwind against further US equity rerating.</strong>" </p> <p>In practical terms, this means that SocGen is predicting that the S&amp;P, which is already 100 points above the bank's year end target of 2,500, will tumble to 2,000, or more than 20%, before rebounding modestly to 2,200 just as the US economy succumbs to a recession, at which point all bets are off. And not just the S&amp;P, but virtually all major European bourses are due for a bear market in the coming 12 months. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20bear%20market%201.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20bear%20market%201_0.jpg" width="600" height="516" /></a></p> <p>Here are some of the key arguments behind SocGen's bearish outlook, first a familiar discussion of the risk posted by the biggest vol short ever observed.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Equity volatility, both realised and implied, has been edging ever lower for quite some time now. Being invested in a simple systematic short VIX future volatility has been strongly rewarding: +290% over the last two years. However, when the tide turns (i.e. VIX spikes), the drawdown can be significant. <strong>The quantity of short positioning on VIX open in the market (see right chart) would potentially amplify any spike of the VIX. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20short%20vix.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20short%20vix_0.jpg" width="600" height="218" /></a></p> <p>The risk of a VIX surge ties into the question of how the market's risk/return profile will be shaped in the coming year based on what the prevalent VIX level is:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The risk /reward ratio as measured by the Sharpe ratio has been very attractive for US equities: good expected return supported by reasonable valuation and EPS growth, a very low Fed fund rate and an ultra-low volatility regime. At the current 12-month forward P/E, we <strong>factor in our Fed Fund scenario (2.25% by end-2018) and a different volatility regime. A change of VIX regime from 10% to 15% would push the US equity Sharpe ratio back to its historical average.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/us%20equity%20shape%20ratio.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/us%20equity%20shape%20ratio_1.jpg" width="600" height="328" /></a></p> <p>Then there is the already record stretched valuations, something even Goldman admitted earlier this week, with <strong>"US equities trading above their long-term average and at a level only seen during the dotcom bubble.</strong>"</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>US equities have not been in attractive territory valuation-wise for a while. Indeed, on all the main valuation metrics, US equities are trading above their long-term average and at a level only seen during the dotcom bubble. However, expected earnings growth for the next 12 months (12%) is below the 20y annual earnings growth average (14%).</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20valuations.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20valuations_0.jpg" width="600" height="165" /></a></p> <p>The last risk is that bond yields are going higher, forcing a contraction to PE multiples, as investors shift away from equities into bonds, as the dividend yield on US stocks at 2.0%, is now lower than the 10Y yield&nbsp; of 2.3%.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Under our scenario, US Treasures will reach 2.70% at the end of 2018. <strong>This should be a headwind for equity markets. Indeed, our US equity risk premium is at 2.9%, one standard deviation below the long-term average </strong>. Any increase in bond yields would push the equity market further into expensive territory relative to bonds <strong>The dividend yield offered by US equities (2.0%) is already lower than the current US longterm bond yield (2.3%).</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20higher%20bond%20yields_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 337px;" /></p> <p>Finally, SocGen points out something that few other analysts&nbsp; have admitted: half the S&amp;P rally since the Trump election has been on the back of multiple expansion, <strong>with just 48% the result of earnings growth. </strong>Furthermore, as SocGen calculates, assuming tax reform passes, a decrease in the US tax from 35% to 20% as planned by Trump’s tax reform would theoretically boost earnings by 8.5%. <strong>The 12-month forward P/E has risen 12% over the last 12 months. In other words, contrary to conventional wisdom, more than 100% of Trump's tax reform is already priced in. <br /></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Since Trump’s election, the S&amp;P 500 has risen 24%. Only half of this performance has been driven by earnings growth; the other half is from P/E expansion</strong>. Assuming that analysts have not factored tax reform into their earnings forecasts, <strong>tax reform expectations have been the driver of P/E expansion</strong>. The S&amp;P 500 index tax rate is currently 26.6%. Assuming that US companies generate 43% of their profits abroad (here) and pay 35% of their US profits on taxes (i.e. with no loopholes for US profits), the average tax rate outside the US would be 15.5%. <strong>A decrease in the US tax from 35% to 20% as planned by Trump’s tax reform would thus theoretically boost earnings by 8.5%. The 12-month forward P/E has risen 12% over the last 12 months.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20pe%20expansion.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20pe%20expansion_0.jpg" width="600" height="222" /></a></p> <p>Separately, turning to Europe, Socgen acknowledges the euro zone's economic recovery is in full swing but - in yet another bearish thesis - argues that the current valuations don't leave "much meat on the bone" and that the expected rise in the Euro could also weigh on exporters in particular, and European stocks in general. Additionally, with the European Central Bank set to progressively unwind its stimulus package, investors are increasingly wary of the amount of debt some companies have accumulated thanks to historically low interest rates.</p> <p>Cable group Altice, whose shares have collapsed more than 50% in the last 30 days due to concerns on its €50 billion euros pile of debt, and whose debt plunge has been seen by some as the catalyst for the recent junk bond swoon, is an example of what is likely to come, Societe Generale said. </p> <p>And while the French bank saw pockets of growth in Germany, France and in sectors such as financials, but warned that political risks are still present, notably in Spain with the Catalonia crisis and Italy which faces general elections in 2018. Oh, and the UK too: "We also recommend staying away from the UK as Brexit negotiations are accelerating and several scenarios are possible: only a soft Brexit would be supportive for the FTSE 100.</p> <p>And yet, after all that, not even Socgen is willing to bite the bullet, and warn that ahead of what clearly is "<em>a bear market is coming" </em>call, investors should dump risk: so ingrained is the desire to run with the penguin herd, that even the most contrarian calls are doused in such a big layer of caveats, Arnold could easily driver his hummer on top of. </p> <p>To wit: "But then again, should we be outright bears? After all, we do see some value pockets in the market and some specific themes (M&amp;A, consumer in the eurozone)."</p> <p>Which almost explains the report's cover page...</p> <p> <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/bear%20or%20not%20bear.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/bear%20or%20not%20bear_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 481px;" /></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="926" height="574" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/bear%20market%20teaser.jpg?1511470829" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/get-out-now-socgen-breaks-crowd-predicts-bear-market-crash-stocks#comments 8.5% Barclays Bear Market Bond Bond Business China Cognitive Dissonance Economy Equity Markets Equity premium puzzle European Central Bank European Central Bank Eurozone Fed Fund Finance Financial ratios France FTSE 100 Germany Investment Italy Market Crash Mathematical finance Money Price–earnings ratio Recession recovery Republican Party Risk Premium S&P S&P 500 SocGen SSE 50 Stock market Technical analysis US Federal Reserve VIX Volatility Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:02:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 607827 at http://www.zerohedge.com New Footage From Inside Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Reveals Princes Swapping Assets For Freedom http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/new-footage-inside-riyadh-ritz-carlton-reveals-princes-swapping-assets-freedom <p>A BBC reporter and film crew has gained rare access inside Riyadh&#39;s <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/world/middleeast/ritz-carlton-riyadh-saudi-princes.html?mtrref=www.google.com&amp;gwh=BC15F858DE3EB47C8277ED44A16F5F20&amp;gwt=pay" target="_blank">&quot;gilded cage&quot;</a> - the Ritz-Carlton which became a luxury prison after a dozen or more princes were detained during the shocking events which began with&nbsp;Crown Prince&nbsp;Mohammad bin Salman&#39;s (MbS) internal purge on November 4th.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/riyadh%20ritz.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/riyadh%20ritz_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 250px;" /></a></p> <p>BBC&#39;s tour was &quot;facilitated&quot; under highly controlled and coordinated conditions, as initial photographs and short cell phone videos <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/world/middleeast/ritz-carlton-riyadh-saudi-princes.html?mtrref=www.google.com&amp;gwh=BC15F858DE3EB47C8277ED44A16F5F20&amp;gwt=pay" target="_blank">produced during the first few days</a> of the crackdown <strong>revealed harsher and more restricted conditions</strong> as princes and/or their staff were forced to sleep on the floor camp-style in the middle of the luxury hotel&#39;s lobby.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-42098201/inside-saudi-arabia-s-gilded-prison-at-riyadh-ritz-carlton" target="_blank">new BBC broadcast</a>&nbsp;from inside the Ritz-Carlton,<strong> the princes are desperately scrambling to cut deals through their lawyers in order to secure release</strong>, this as new <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/alwaleed-bin-talal-hung-upside-down-and-beaten-us-mercenaries" target="_blank">unconfirmed reports of torture have emerged</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>When people were brought here around midnight on November 4th they were understandably angry. Some of them thought it would just be a show and it wouldn&#39;t last. And then when they realized they were here to stay they were furious.&nbsp;Almost everyone here - <strong>95% I was told - are willing to make a deal, to give back what are said to be substantial sums of money in order to get out of here.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9rCNMTR-5_g" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>The torture allegations began with an explosive&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5108651/American-mercenaries-torturing-Saudi-princes.html">Daily Mail</a>&nbsp;report, which said mercenaries purportedly employed by Academi, a successor to infamous US security contractor Blackwater, have been stringing up some of MBS&rsquo;s &ldquo;guests&rdquo; at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton by their feet and savagely beating them during interrogations. <strong>The claims have spread rapidly on Arabic-language social media, and even Lebanon&rsquo;s president Michel Aoun has accused MbS of using mercenaries.&nbsp;</strong>Still, the Daily Mail isn&#39;t the most reputable news organization, <strong>so these early torture reports should be taken with a grain of salt.</strong></p> <p>But what is certain is that the list of detained princes and businessmen, which has reportedly grown to multiple dozes, and which includes billionaires such as Alwaleed bin Talal and&nbsp;Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi - the first and second wealthiest men in the country, respectively - constitutes the kingdom&#39;s elite and internationally well-connected. As we&#39;ve consistently reported this is not a &quot;corruption purge&quot; as its being sold to international media, but in reality a <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/alwaleed-bin-talal-hung-upside-down-and-beaten-us-mercenaries" target="_blank">massive cash grab and shakedown</a>.</p> <p>As multiple <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-42099825/saudi-s-elite-is-being-held-in-the-ritz-carlton-in-riyadh" target="_blank">reports confirm</a>, the princes are <strong>frantic to swap assets for freedom</strong>, and royal accountants and lawyers are no doubt busy pouring through&nbsp;records <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-arrests-assets/saudi-arabia-swapping-assets-for-freedom-of-some-held-in-graft-purge-sources-idUSKBN1DH0YZ?feedType=RSS&amp;feedName=newsOne" target="_blank">while</a> &quot;separating cash from assets like property and shares, and looking at bank accounts to assess cash values.&quot;</p> <p>Reuters further detailed specific arrangements <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-arrests-assets/saudi-arabia-swapping-assets-for-freedom-of-some-held-in-graft-purge-sources-idUSKBN1DH0YZ?feedType=RSS&amp;feedName=newsOne" target="_blank">based on victims&#39; testimonies</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>One businessman had <strong>tens of millions of Saudi riyals withdrawn from his account after he signed.</strong> In another case, <strong>a former senior official consented to hand over ownership of four billion riyals worth of shares,</strong> the source said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Saudi government earlier this week moved from freezing accounts to issuing instructions for &ldquo;expropriation of unencumbered assets&rdquo; or seizure of assets, said a second source familiar with the situation.</p> </blockquote> <p>Though Western governments and media by and large continue towing the line of a healthy and necessary anti-graft crackdown underway, recent geopolitical tensions involving Lebanese PM Saad Hariri&#39;s release and return to Lebanon, as well as the Saudi war on Yemen and threatening rhetoric directed at Iran clearly demonstrate the glaring falsehood of the official narrative which is limited to fairy tale notions of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-21/mainstream-media-paint-power-grabbing-saudi-dictator-roguish-visionary-reformer" target="_blank">&quot;the visionary reformer prince&quot;</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>And no less than <strong>the&nbsp;US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is aggressively promoting this line</strong>, who when asked last week about&nbsp;agreements to hand over wealth for detainees&rsquo; freedom, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/us-treasury-secretary-says-saudi-arabia-is-doing-a-great-job-2017-11" target="_blank">told CNBC</a>: &ldquo;I think that the Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman) is doing a great job at transforming the country.&rdquo;</p> <p>Meanwhile the Saudi internal arrests have caused economic turmoil in some unlikely places. <a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-ethiopia-amoudi-1767220934" target="_blank">Middle East Eye this week reported</a> that the largely under-reported <strong>arrest of billionaire businessman &quot;Sheikh&quot; Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi threatens to &quot;disrupt the economy of an entire country&quot; - Ethiopia</strong>, which lies over 1000 km away. Amoudi is an Ethiopian-Saudi dual citizen with <strong>an estimated net worth of about $11 billion according to a 2016 Forbes profile.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/al%20amoudi.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/al%20amoudi_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 281px;" /></a><br />Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, an Ethiopian-Saudi dual citizen and the kingdom&#39;s second richest man. Image source: Twitter/@amggebre via Middle East Eye</em></p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-ethiopia-amoudi-1767220934" target="_blank">Middle East Eye</a>&nbsp;which bases its analysis on WikiLeaks diplomatic cables and other internal economic data:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;<strong>The Sheikh&#39;s influence in the Ethiopian economy cannot be underestimated</strong>,&quot; according to&nbsp;<a href="https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08ADDISABABA82_a.html" target="_blank">a diplomatic cable</a>&nbsp;from 2008 released by Wikileaks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nearly 10 years later, it&#39;s hard to put a dollar figure on Amoudi&#39;s total investments in Ethiopia, one of the world&#39;s poorest countries, yet one of the fastest growing in Africa.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His PR team does not comment on external figures and cautions against third party figures. <strong>One analyst put a $3.4bn value on his investments &ndash; or 4.7 percent of Ethiopia&#39;s current GDP.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The report characterizes the general atmosphere among Ethiopia&#39;s media and political punditry as hysterical and in &quot;freak out&quot; mode over Amoudi&#39;s detention and the potential seizure of the bulk of his assets:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Another said his companies <strong>employ about 100,000 people which would account for 14 percent of Ethiopia&#39;s small private sector</strong>, according to country&#39;s latest Labor Force Survey conducted in 2013. However, World Bank analysts cautioned that <strong>these figures will have increased significantly</strong> over the past four years as the sector has grown...&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;They are just freaking out left and right,&quot;</strong> said Henok Gabisa, a visiting academic fellow at Washington and Lee University in Virginia who researches Ethiopia.</p> </blockquote> <p>It will be interesting to see if any level of similar negative economic fallout resulting from the seizure of royal investments and assets could have lasting impact on American and other Western companies or allies. Perhaps only at that point would officials like&nbsp;Mnuchin change their tunes.</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="1200" height="600" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/riyadh%20ritz.jpg?1511472149" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/new-footage-inside-riyadh-ritz-carlton-reveals-princes-swapping-assets-freedom#comments cellular telephone Corruption Ethiopia Hadhrami people House of Saud Iran Kings of Saudi Arabia Lee University in Virginia Member states of the United Nations Middle East Middle East Mohammad Mohammad bin Salman Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi Nationality Reality Republicans Reuters Saudi Arabia Saudi government Twitter Twitter U.S. Treasury World World Bank World Bank Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:39:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 607829 at http://www.zerohedge.com 5 Tips For New Bitcoin Investors http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/5-tips-new-bitcoin-investors <p><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors"><em>Authored by Darryn Pollock via CoinTelegraph.com,</em></a></p> <div class="post-full-text contents"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Taking the plunge and entering the crypto space can be daunting. </strong>There is no centralized authority to hold your hand, and the <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/unverified-rumor-circulating-that-amazon-may-accept-bitcoin-by-october" target="_blank">rumors</a> and stories circulating around digital currencies can be fear-inducing.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_coin.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_coin_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 362px;" /></a></p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors"><em>image courtesy of CoinTelegraph</em></a></p> <p>However, <strong>with a few straightforward tips, negotiating that first Bitcoin transaction or trade can be a lot less stressful.</strong></p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;">1. Do your homework</span></h2> <p>There is plenty of hype, rumor, <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/neo-success-and-future-plans-a-talk-with-founder-of-chinese-ethereum" target="_blank">success stories</a> and tales of horror when it comes to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Make sure you understand exactly what you&rsquo;re getting into, and don&rsquo;t risk more money than you could afford to lose.</p> <p>Bitcoin is an exciting world to be in, but it is one that is complex and confusing if you only enter it on hype. Many people buy expensive cars, not knowing how the engine works, and that is fine because if it breaks there are mechanics and garages. In the cryptocurrency world, it is you against the world, it is decentralized and there is no one to hold your hand.</p> <p>Pawel Kuskowski, CEO &amp; co-founder of Coinfirm, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/cbovaird/2017/11/21/top-5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors/#55d58a411e80" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">gave this advice</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;The more you understand, the better off will be.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Don&rsquo;t simply speculate about the big money there is to be made, actually go out there and learn how Bitcoin and Blockchain work. Lucas Geiger, founder and CEO of Wireline, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/cbovaird/2017/11/21/top-5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors/#55d58a411e80" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">says</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;This may seem obvious, but I think the first thing is take time to understand the Blockchain. I say this strongly because few people will do this. If you don&#39;t have a high-level understanding of how a Blockchain stores secure data (such as coins), then you are investing in the equivalent of tulip bulbs.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>A good place to start is the beginning - with Satoshi Nakamoto&#39;s white paper. Crypto fund manager Jacob Eliosoff <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/cbovaird/2017/11/21/top-5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors/#55d58a411e80" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">wrote</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;If you have any technical bent whatsoever, take 10 minutes to leaf through the original 2008 Satoshi white paper. It&#39;s only eight pages, legible and an inspiring work of genius!&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>The great thing about the cryptocurrency ecosystem though is that there is a lot of material and information out there. Loads of websites and resources are aiming at trying to make the technology easier to understand.</p> <p>Even more than that, the investment world is also trying to simplify things by making Bitcoin more available to traditional investors. The introduction of <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/cboe-cme-bitcoin-futures-details-released" target="_blank">things like futures</a> will help people understand how Bitcoin works.</p> <h2><u>2. Be cautious</u></h2> <p>In any investment there will be risk, but that risk is somewhat magnified by Bitcoin&rsquo;s newness and extreme volatility. Eliosoff <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/cbovaird/2017/11/21/top-5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors/#55d58a411e80" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">emphasized</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;This is still an extremely high-risk space. Don&#39;t invest money you can&#39;t afford to lose!&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>It is tempting to be bold and brazen, throwing money at Bitcoin after hearing the success stories, but especially as a first timer, caution is the better part of valor. There is no reason to look to become a millionaire overnight with Bitcoin, and by sinking huge amounts of capital in it from the start, you will be met with more problems than solutions.</p> <p>Marshall Swatt, a serial entrepreneur, suggested:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p dir="ltr">&quot;Start small and invest a small portion of your capital.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/cbovaird/2017/11/21/top-5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors/#55d58a411e80" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">from Tim Enneking</a>, managing director of Crypto Asset Management, advises:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Don&rsquo;t chase Bitcoin prices. Decide on a entry point and stick with it. With Bitcoin, you&rsquo;re almost always right in terms of foreseeable price action &ndash; it&rsquo;s your timing that might be off. So, be patient, and let the Bitcoin price come to you.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>There are a number of investing strategies that work really well with Bitcoin, and those that offer the most success are often the most cautious.</p> <p>Things like &lsquo;<a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/dollarcostaveraging.asp" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dollar Cost Averaging</a>&rsquo; - putting in the same amount of money into an investment at the same time each week or month - is great for Bitcoin as it helps you ride out the lows, as well as the highs.</p> <h2><u>3. Diversify effectively</u></h2> <p>Most new digital currency enthusiasts hear first about Bitcoin, but there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies out there, and some have grown much faster than even Bitcoin. Diversification is wise, particularly since many of these &ldquo;altcoins&rdquo; perform well when Bitcoin drops. Tech entrepreneur <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/cbovaird/2017/11/21/top-5-tips-for-new-bitcoin-investors/#55d58a411e80" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Oliver Isaacs</a> writes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Hedge against volatility and don&rsquo;t put all of your eggs in one basket. Much like investing in the stock market or FX, you should diversify your funds as a risk management technique.&quot;&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/ronnie-moas-sets-new-sights-for-2018-14000-on-the-cards" target="_blank">Famed stock picker Ronnie Moas</a> is a strong believer in diversification. It is easy to become infatuated with one cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, but it is important to hedge your bets.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Do not put all your Crypto money into Bitcoin,&rdquo; Moas warns. &ldquo;You must diversify across at least a dozen of the more than 1,000 names. Focus on names in the top 50.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <h2><u>4. Keep coins off the exchanges</u></h2> <p>There is still a lot of hacking and thievery that goes on in the crypto space, and it is important to take precautions. It isn&rsquo;t too hard to make hackers&rsquo; lives difficult. Use the exchanges for just that: exchanging. Once you have bought a currency, move the money off the exchange and into a wallet that only you control, such as a hardware wallet.</p> <p>A lot of people have been burned on exchange hacks - <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/karpeles-suggests-potential-for-mtgox-revival" target="_blank">none more so than the major Mt. Gox one</a> - but even recently, <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/tracing-66000-bitcoins-what-we-should-learn-from-btc-e-story" target="_blank">things like BTC-e and the charges against their CEO</a> would have caused many people to lose out on huge amounts of money.</p> <p>Matthew Unger, founder and CEO of iComply Investor Services Inc. suggested:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Just like you keep some cash in your wallet, some in your bank account and perhaps the really valuable stuff in a safe, you need to manage digital currencies in the same way.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <h2><u>5.&nbsp;Get ready for a wild ride</u></h2> <p>Bitcoin is notorious for its volatility, so much so that many traditional investors are terrified of it. A massive drop in Bitcoin&rsquo;s price does not spell permanent disaster, but it is hard to stay committed when you start heading into the red.</p> <p>Diversification is a great strategy to help with that, but it takes some thought and effort. Of course, the most famous (and so far, successful) Bitcoin strategy of all is to &lsquo;hodl&rsquo; - or hold onto - &nbsp;your investment no matter the market volatility.</p> <p>You can also buy and forget, as not keeping an eye on the market can help keep you from worrying about the dips and miss the volatility.</p> </div> <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="690" height="416" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_coin.jpg?1511455578" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/5-tips-new-bitcoin-investors#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Cryptocurrencies Currency Digital currencies Economics of bitcoin Finance Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Money Mt. Gox None Price Action Risk Management Volatility Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607816 at http://www.zerohedge.com America Is Smoking Less But Getting Fatter http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/america-smoking-less-getting-fatter <p>On the day of peak gorging, we are reminded that<strong> America is facing a sustained obesity crisis</strong>. As<a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/11896/america-is-smoking-less-but-getting-fatter/"> Statista&#39;s Dyfed Loesche notes</a>, many doctors are warning that<strong> the fat scourge is reaching epidemic proportions</strong>.</p> <p>Some experts believe that <strong>obesity is responsible for more ill health than smoking</strong>. Diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are just three prominent illnesses that are caused by obesity.</p> <p>Official&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2016.htm#fig10" target="_blank">figures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention</a>&nbsp;(CDC) shows that <strong>while the smoking rate in the United States has dropped, with obesity it&rsquo;s the other way round</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/11896/america-is-smoking-less-but-getting-fatter/" title="Infographic: America is Smoking Less but Getting Fatter | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: America is Smoking Less but Getting Fatter | Statista" height="428" src="https://infographic.statista.com/normal/chartoftheday_11896_america_is_smoking_less_but_getting_fatter_n.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="https://www.statista.com/">Statista</a></em></p> <p>The overall rate of adults (20 years or older) who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more has increased from 30.5 to 37.7 percent in the course of four years. People with a BMI between 25 and 30 are considered overweight.</p> <p><strong>One of the reasons smokers cite why they don&#39;t want to quit is that ex-smokers get fat.</strong></p> <p><em>Disclaimer: this infographic is in no way intended to prevent people from quitting to smoke because they could gain weight. </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="480" height="268" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_smoke.jpg?1511454531" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/america-smoking-less-getting-fatter#comments Bariatrics Body mass index Body shape Center for Disease Control Epidemiology of obesity Health Health Hospitality Human body Human weight Medical signs Medicine Obesity Obesity in the United States Overweight Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607813 at http://www.zerohedge.com Lessons From Squanto http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/lessons-squanto <p><a href="https://economicprism.com/lessons-from-squanto/"><em>Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Governments across the planet will go to any length to meddle in the lives and private affairs of their citizens.&nbsp;</strong> This is what our experiences and observations have shown.&nbsp; What gives?</p> <p>For one, politicians&nbsp;have an aversion to freedom and liberty.&nbsp; They want to control your behavior, choices, and decisions.&nbsp; What&rsquo;s more, they want to use your money to do so.</p> <p><strong>Here in the United States, bureaucrats, flush with authority, will stand in the way of a fellow who&rsquo;s striving to find his own way by his own means.&nbsp;</strong> Licenses, permits, fees, employer identification numbers, state board of equalization registrations, workers compensation insurance&hellip;you name it.&nbsp; All this &ndash; and more &ndash; are needed prior to hanging out your shingle and making your first sale.</p> <p>Many cities in the land of the free require school kids to get a permit just to operate a lemonade stand.&nbsp; And don&rsquo;t even think of opening an auto shop, let alone a medical practice.&nbsp; You&rsquo;ll spend your first year&rsquo;s profits getting your hazardous materials business plan approved by the fire department.&nbsp; What a waste of time and resources so you can store a couple tanks of oil and gas and keep a couple waste drums to put the dirty rags in.&nbsp; Does all this rigmarole make you safer?</p> <p>After that, your time will be spent keeping up the requisite documentation and reporting.&nbsp; Actually acquiring and serving customers will be secondary.&nbsp; <em><strong>Then, after paying federal, state, and local taxes, you&rsquo;ll be left with less money than if you&rsquo;d just kept your day job.&nbsp; Why bother with the risk if there&rsquo;s no reward?</strong></em></p> <h3><u><strong>Perpetuating Mistakes</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Certainly, some government programs were initiated with well-meaning intentions.</strong>&nbsp; Food stamps, for instance, are issued so people can buy food so they can eat. &nbsp;Isn&rsquo;t that a good thing?&nbsp; On surface, the answer is yes.&nbsp;<strong> But below the surface unintended consequences simmer.</strong></p> <p>By making more and more people dependent on the government for their daily bread, the government is, in effect, crippling them.&nbsp; The assistance, in many cases, does more harm than good.&nbsp; It completely snuffs out a person&rsquo;s aspirations.&nbsp; Some may even put their ingenuity to the task of gaming the system.</p> <p><strong>You see, nothing demoralizes a person like being dependent upon the benevolence of the state.&nbsp;</strong> Yet once someone has slipped onto the receiving end of its disbursements, breaking free is exceedingly difficult.&nbsp; To do so, a dependent must go from being comfortably poor to being uncomfortably poor.</p> <p>&ldquo;Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,&rdquo; goes the English proverb.</p> <p><strong>Politicians, unfortunately, have missed the wisdom of this axiom entirely.</strong></p> <p>Instead, like most of their plans, they&rsquo;ve set up programs that make people indefinitely reliant.&nbsp; Moreover, they don&rsquo;t give a lick that their schemes are giant money sucks with few redeeming qualities.</p> <p><strong>Up and down, in and out of the economy these programs go.&nbsp; Entire industries, like defense contractors, are fully dependent upon the government&rsquo;s cheese.&nbsp; Other promised transfer payments, like social security and Medicare, are fully entrenched into the fabric of society.</strong></p> <p>This is why it&rsquo;s impossible to cut the federal budget, even if many of these programs are mistakes. &nbsp;It doesn&rsquo;t matter if the nation can afford them or not.&nbsp; Politically, these mistakes cannot be undone.&nbsp; They must be perpetuated.</p> <h3><u><strong>Lessons from Squanto</strong></u></h3> <p>Over the last decade the federal debt has increased from $9 trillion to over $20 trillion.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s more than double in just 10 years.&nbsp; <strong><em>Where has this debt based money gone?&nbsp; Where has it been spent?</em></strong></p> <p><strong>A good part of it has been frittered away paying for social transfer payment programs.&nbsp;</strong> An abundance of it has collected in and around Washington and Wall Street.&nbsp; Whatever else, the Pentagon has pumped out to its preferred contractors.</p> <p>What will happen when the federal government tacks on another $11 trillion over the next decade?&nbsp; What if they double the debt again, taking it to $40 trillion?&nbsp; We don&rsquo;t know, exactly.&nbsp; But there&rsquo;s a good chance we&rsquo;ll all find out.</p> <p><strong>In the meantime, one thing is certain.&nbsp; A day of reckoning always arrives at the worst possible time.&nbsp; But, in this case, the approaching day of reckoning will be especially difficult.</strong></p> <p>The federal government&rsquo;s balance sheet has been larded up with massive amounts of debt.&nbsp; This debt is needed to fund programs that several generations of Americans have become wholly reliant upon.&nbsp; These people expect that these programs will support them until the day they die.</p> <p>What will happen when the debt charade breaks down and these dependents are cutoff from their expected payments?&nbsp; What sort of madness will prevail when half the populace realizes in unison that they&rsquo;ve been snookered?</p> <p>Indeed, there will be an ugly shock and a painful adjustment.&nbsp; Given the scope and complexity of the impending break down this could go on for decades.&nbsp; However, those with the will and desire to pick up the pieces and make something of them will be greatly rewarded.</p> <p><strong>Remember, the Pilgrims didn&rsquo;t receive monthly government checks when the Mayflower first landed at Plymouth Rock.</strong>&nbsp; So, too, Squanto didn&rsquo;t show up at the first Thanksgiving feast with a bucket of extra crispy KFC purchased using a government issued EBT card.&nbsp; Rather, <strong>Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to sow and fertilize native crops and trade furs with other native tribes, and they reaped the fruits of their labors for a lifetime.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_squanto.jpg"><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_squanto.jpg" style="width: 373px; height: 264px;" /></strong></a></p> <p>The point is,<u><strong> the day will come when government dependent industries and recipients of government transfer payments, including FDR&rsquo;s promised social security, will be abandoned.</strong></u>&nbsp; Thus, taking steps today to ensure your financial independence from the state is of grave importance.</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="373" height="264" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_squanto.jpg?1511454890" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/lessons-squanto#comments American folklore American studies federal government Film Medicare Medicare Medicare Pentagon Squanto United States United States federal budget Wampanoag people Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607815 at http://www.zerohedge.com Putin Calls On All "Large-Scale Enterprise" To Be Ready To Convert To "Military Production" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/putin-calls-all-large-scale-enterprise-be-ready-convert-military-production <p>Be it a sudden surge in the effectiveness of Russia's international espionage and cyber warfare operations or a mere figment of the imaginations of a frightening group of politicians in the West who fear they're slowly losing control over the masses in their respective countries, one thing is certain, Russia is increasingly being blamed for some very serious "meddling" in foreign affairs.&nbsp; </p> <p>The problem, of course, is that while everyone from Hillary Clinton to Angela Merkel and Theresa May, among others, attempt to saddle Russia with the blame for their waning popularity, their farcical attempts to identify a scapegoat as a method for sowing unity within their own fractured political parties could very well result in real world consequences, including a return to cold war era military build ups.</p> <p>As the latest evidence of that fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called on all "large-scale enterprise" to be ready to "increase military production" on a moments notice should the need arise.&nbsp; Per <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vladimir-putin-russia-business-war-production-sochi-military-talks-a8069951.html">The Independent</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Russian business should be prepared to switch to production to military needs at any time, said Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. The Russian president was speaking at a conference of military leaders in Sochi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“The ability of our economy to increase military production and services at a given time is one of the most important aspects of military security,” </strong>Mr Putin said. <strong>“To this end, all strategic, and simply large-scale enterprise should be ready, regardless of ownership.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A day earlier, the president had spoken of a need to catch up and overtake the West in military technology. <strong>“Our army and navy need to have the very best equipment — better than foreign equivalents,” he said. “If we want to win, we have to be better.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/11/23/Putin%20Popcorn_0.JPG" alt="Putin" width="500" height="342" /></p> <p>As the Independent notes, Russia's military expenses will cross 3 trillion roubles, or 3.3% of GDP in 2017, which would be a record were it not for one-off costs in 2016. Over the next two years, spending is forecast to be cut back slightly, to approximately 2.8% of GDP.</p> <p>Though that budget remains less than 30% of the combined Nato budget in Europe, many countries are increasing their military spending in response to the "Russian threat". Nato military command has also been restructured — it says in response to Russian cyber and military threats.</p> <p>Meanwhile, last Monday British Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK would lead a response to counter “Russian hostility” saying <strong>“we know what you are doing and you will not succeed."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"It is Russia's action which threaten the international order on which we all depend.&nbsp; Since then, Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbass, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and <strong>mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Deploying its <strong>state-run media organization to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in a attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"So I have a very simple message for Russia.&nbsp; <strong>We know what you are doing.&nbsp; And you will not succeed."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NWtFXuwnml0" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, <strong>all of this increasing hostility has been born out of Hillary Clinton's inability to simply admit that she lost an election</strong>...no, it was $100,000 worth of Russian Facebook ads that changed the course of human history forever...</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="620" height="465" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/Putin_2.jpg?1511455990" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/putin-calls-all-large-scale-enterprise-be-ready-convert-military-production#comments army Business Cyberwarfare Europe Foreign policy of Vladimir Putin Government Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur Independent politicians Military National security NATO NATO–Russia relations North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics Politics of Russia Russia Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin War Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607817 at http://www.zerohedge.com "They Went After The Women Who Came Forward" - Former Obama HHS Secretary Exposes The Clintons http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/they-went-after-women-who-came-forward-former-obama-hhs-secretary-exposes-clintons <p><a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/they-went-after-the-women-who-came-forward-former-obama-hhs-secretary-exposes-the-clintons-for-attacking-the-women-who-accused-bill-clinton-of-sexual-assault_11222017"><em>Authored by Alex Thomas via SHTFplan.com,</em></a></p> <p>In the &ldquo;post Weinstein&rdquo; world we now find ourselves in we have seen dozens and dozens of prominent figures in Hollywood, politics, and the media be accused of a wide range of sexual attacks on women.</p> <p><strong>From groping all the way to rape, powerful establishment figures are being outed as sexual predators across the country, with the mainstream media declaring that all accusers must, at least initially, be believed.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_clint.jpg"><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_clint.jpg" style="width: 481px; height: 232px;" /></strong></a></p> <p><strong>Amazingly, at the same time, mainstream media&nbsp;talking heads have either specifically ignored the numerous allegations against Bill Clinton or actually claimed that his accusers are <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2017/11/20/nbcs-mitchell-smeared-broaddrick-discredited-blasts-trump-official-roy-moore/" target="_blank">discredited and cannot be believed.</a> (Keep in mind all other accusers are automatically assumed to be telling the truth.)</strong></p> <p>With that being said, it was only a matter of time before that dam broke as well and now, with a series of explosive comments by an Obama and Clinton ally, one can hope that Bill Clinton may finally be brought to justice with Hillary forever shamed for her role in attacking the women who came forward.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/22/politics/sebelius-clinton-white-house-behavior/index.html" target="_blank">an interview</a> conducted on a CNN podcast by former Obama chief adviser David Axelrod, <strong>former Obama Health and Human Services Secretary&nbsp;Kathleen Sebelius opened up about the cover-up and subsequent attacks on the women who accused then President Clinton in the 1990&rsquo;s.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><strong>&ldquo;Not only did people look the other way, but they went after the women who came forward and accused him,&rdquo; </strong></u>Sebelius stunningly detailed. Keep in mind this is a fact that the alternative media has reported on literally hundreds and hundreds of times while being attacked as right-wing conspiracy theorists for&nbsp;doing so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>&ldquo;And so it doubled down on not only bad behavior but abusive behavior. And then people attacked the victims,&rdquo;</strong></u> Sebelius continued.</p> </blockquote> <p>Sebelius made clear that her criticism extends directly to Hillary Clinton herself who was widely known to be the driving force behind the attacks on her husbands accusers.</p> <p>An article written about the podcast by CNN <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/22/politics/sebelius-clinton-white-house-behavior/index.html" target="_blank">couldn&rsquo;t hide</a> from the fact that this is absolutely Hillary&rsquo;s problem as well.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>Sebelius extended her criticism to Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton White House for what she called a strategy of dismissing and besmirching the women who stepped forward - a pattern she said is being repeated today by alleged perpetrators of sexual assault - saying that the criticism of the former first lady and Secretary of State was &ldquo;absolutely&rdquo; fair.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Sebelius noted that the Clinton Administration&rsquo;s response was being imitated, adding that &ldquo;you can watch that same pattern repeat, It needs to end. It needs to be over.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The comments came during a conversation with David Axelrod on the latest episode of &ldquo;The Axe Files,&rdquo; a podcast produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Of course the notoriously left wing, anti-Trump network couldn&rsquo;t simply report on Sebelius&rsquo;s comments without also attacking Republicans who have seemingly done the exact thing that the network has defended the Clinton&rsquo;s for doing.</strong></p> <p>One can imagine that like Donna Brazile, Sebelius will be attacked by Clinton&rsquo;s army of media shills and then eventually attempt to backtrack a few days later when the pressure becomes too much to handle.</p> <p>Regardless,&nbsp;the cat is out of the bag. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton (as well as the entire machine around them) actively and purposefully attacked the numerous women who accused Bill of everything from groping to rape.</p> <p><u><em><strong>They absolutely did not &ldquo;stand by&nbsp;them.&rdquo;</strong></em></u></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="481" height="232" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_clint.jpg?1511447667" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/they-went-after-women-who-came-forward-former-obama-hhs-secretary-exposes-clintons#comments Bill Clinton Clinton administration Clinton’s army David Axelrod Donna Brazile Hillary Clinton Kathleen Sebelius Lewinsky scandal Politics Rodham family the University of Chicago Institute of Politics United States Vast right-wing conspiracy White House White House Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607803 at http://www.zerohedge.com Rediscovering America: A Quiz On Thanksgiving http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/rediscovering-america-quiz-thanksgiving <p><a href="http://www.insidesources.com/rediscovering-america-quiz-thanksgiving/"><em>Authored by Roger Beckett via InsideSources.com,</em></a></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171122_tnx.png" style="width: 271px; height: 150px;" /></p> <p>Today, Americans will celebrate their oldest tradition: <strong><em>the observance of Thanksgiving, which dates back to 1621. </em></strong>The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, provides an <strong>opportunity to test your knowledge of the history and customs of the nearly 400-year-old holiday.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong>1. The first credited Thanksgiving was celebrated at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. How long was the first Thanksgiving feast?</strong></p> <p>A. One day<br />B. Three days<br />C. Five days<br />D. One week</p> <p><strong>2. What was the name of the Native American leader of the Wampanoag Indian tribe who forged an alliance with the English settlers and attended the First Thanksgiving feast with 90 of his men?</strong></p> <p>A. Massasoit<br />B. Powhatan<br />C. Sacagawea<br />D. Geronimo</p> <p><strong>3. The Pilgrims arrived at what would become Plymouth Plantation aboard the Mayflower. The ship on which they originally set sail was taking on water so the passengers and crew transferred to the Mayflower. What was the name of the ship on which the Pilgrims originally sailed?</strong></p> <p>A. Mary Celeste<br />B. RMS Carpathia<br />C. Mary Rose<br />D. Speedwell</p> <p><strong>4. George Washington was asked by the U.S. Congress to establish a day of Thanksgiving. What was the year of America&rsquo;s first Thanksgiving, as designated by the federal government?</strong></p> <p>A. 1788<br />B. 1789<br />C. 1790<br />D. 1791</p> <p><strong>5. While Washington declared the first Day of Thanksgiving to be observed by the government, which president made it a national holiday?</strong></p> <p>A. Theodore Roosevelt<br />B. James Madison<br />C. Abraham Lincoln<br />D. Ulysses S. Grant</p> <p><strong>6. What is the name of the author and editor who led the national campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday?</strong></p> <p>A. Sarah Josepha Hale<br />B. Walt Whitman<br />C. Jacob Riis<br />D. Nellie Bly</p> <p><strong>7. Which common Thanksgiving food likely was not served at the first Thanksgiving?</strong></p> <p>A. Turkey<br />B. Ham<br />C. Pumpkin<br />D. Corn</p> <p><strong>8. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Thanksgiving would be moved up an entire week, at the request of Fred Lazarus Jr., whose family owned F&amp;R Lazarus in Columbus, Ohio, and the national Federated Department Stores chain. This was done to make the Christmas shopping season longer and more profitable for businesses. What company did Federated eventually own?</strong></p> <p>A. Lord &amp; Taylor<br />B. Sears, Roebuck and Company<br />C. F.W. Woolworth Company<br />D. Macy&rsquo;s</p> <p><strong>9. Which of America&rsquo;s Founding Fathers wanted the turkey to be America&rsquo;s national bird, rather than the eagle?</strong></p> <p>A. George Washington<br />B. Samuel Adams<br />C. Benjamin Franklin<br />D. James Madison</p> <p><strong>10. Which president first pardoned a turkey at the urging of his son who had taken a liking to the bird and given it the name &ldquo;Tom&rdquo;?</strong></p> <p>A. Theodore Roosevelt<br />B. Abraham Lincoln<br />C. Ulysses S. Grant<br />D. Grover Cleveland</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-B, 5-C, 6-A, 7-B, 8-D, 9-C, 10-B</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="271" height="150" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171122_tnx_0.png?1511453479" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/rediscovering-america-quiz-thanksgiving#comments Ashbrook Center Ashland University in Ohio B+ Day federal government Food and drink Fred Lazarus Jr. Lazarus Macy's, Inc. National Thanksgiving Proclamation Ohio Plymouth, Massachusetts Public holidays in the United States Sears Thanksgiving Time Turkey U.S. Congress Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607811 at http://www.zerohedge.com Guggenheim CIO Warns "Everything Is Liquid Until You 'Need' To Sell" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/guggenheim-cio-warns-everything-liquid-until-you-need-sell <p>The holidays came early to the world&#39;s investor class, as instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Scott Minerd, <a href="https://www.guggenheimpartners.com/perspectives"><em>Global CIO of Multi-billion-dollar Guggenheim Partners</em></a>, dropped his <strong>12 lessons for today&#39;s meltup-market participants.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_minerd1.jpg"><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_minerd1_0.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 264px;" /></strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/ScottMinerd">In a series of tweets, </a>Minerd offers some clear-cut advice for the complacent many...</p> <p>He begins by noting &quot;<strong><em>The rally in risk assets is probably not over, but strength is an opportunity for investors to move towards the exits.</em></strong>&quot;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The rally in risk assets is probably not over, but strength is an opportunity for investors to move towards the exits.</p> <p>&mdash; Scott Minerd (@ScottMinerd) <a href="https://twitter.com/ScottMinerd/status/932599358666797056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Then explains...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Merkel&#39;s failure to effect a coalition increases the<strong> risks of longer QE from #ECB.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The<strong> myth of higher long term rates</strong> in the US ignores the risk that the business cycle&#39;s terminal rate may be lower than many think.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With the neutral rate stuck at zero, a <strong>December rate hike will move the #Fed into restrictive territory.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Senate plan to delay a corporate tax cut into 2019 is likely to create a <strong>massive drag on the US economy. Bad policy!</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The shape of the yield curve is telling us that we are on track for a recession</strong> and that monetary policy is becoming restrictive. The #tax bill is not a reason to rethink this signal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Market phase has moved from recovery to fundamental and now to speculative. </strong>There&#39;s little price appreciation now, just clipping coupons. It is time to become more conservative and book gains.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To paraphrase Hemingway, <strong>credit downturns happen slowly and then all at once. </strong>Don&#39;t let yourselves be surprised by a sudden increase in spreads and defaults.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are at a moment in time where <strong>complacency in the markets will be badly punished in accounts, bonds, and careers.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>People who snooze will get run over by the bear market in risk assets.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The markets have had a great run, and it is <strong>easy to get complacent </strong>after such a long period of returns.</p> </blockquote> <p>Ending with some crucial advice for everyone...&quot;<strong>Everything is liquid until you NEED to sell. Plan accordingly</strong>.&quot;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Everything is liquid until you NEED to sell. Plan accordingly.</p> <p>&mdash; Scott Minerd (@ScottMinerd) <a href="https://twitter.com/ScottMinerd/status/933094737787023361?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p><a href="https://www.guggenheimpartners.com/perspectives/macroeconomic-research/stocks-for-the-long-run-not-now">As Minerd concluded recently</a>, based on the historical relationship between market cap to GDP ratios and subsequent 10-year returns, today&rsquo;s market valuation suggests tha<strong>t the annual return on a broad U.S. equity portfolio over the next 10 years is likely to be very disappointing</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_minerd.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_minerd_0.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 340px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>As such, investors may want to seek better opportunities elsewhere.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//players.brightcove.net/1242843969001/S1uvdXn0_default/index.html?videoId=5604622817001" 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="1097" height="517" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_minerd1.jpg?1511452536" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/guggenheim-cio-warns-everything-liquid-until-you-need-sell#comments Bond Business Economy European Central Bank Finance Financial market Financial risk Funds Investment Investor Money Senate US Federal Reserve Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607808 at http://www.zerohedge.com