http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/news/david-rosenberg-best-currency-may-be-physical-gold en How GDP Became A Joke, In One Chart http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/how-gdp-became-joke-one-chart <p>For all the rhetoric about above-trend US growth, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-13/ubs-makes-striking-discovery-ex-energy-us-gdp-growth-slowest-2010">one month ago UBS shattered the narrative of surging GDP </a>by showing just one chart, which revealed that excluding contributions from energy investment, which are about to hit a brick wall now that the price of oil has peaked and is reverting lower once again, US growth for the past 2 years has been slowing.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/07/UBS%20summary%201.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/07/UBS%20summary%201.png" width="525" height="399" /></a></p> <p>On the other hand, things get even more complicated thank to a chart released yesterday by UBS' global chief economist Paul Donovan who makes a point we have repeatedly underscored over the past decade, namely that economic data is largely worthless, and any instant snapshot reveals more about the political and "goalseeking" climate of the agency releasing the "data" than about the underlying economy itself. </p> <p>As Donovan shows, here are the <em><strong>no less than 6 answers </strong></em>one gets to the question of "<strong>how fast was the US growing at the start of 2015?</strong>."</p> <p>By way of context, recall that this was the quarter when the US was blanketed by deep snow, and when every "expert" was rushing to convince those who bothered to listen that the economy would suffer a sharp slowdown as a result of the weather and nothing but the weather (and yes, that included UBS). And when the number was first reported, that was indeed the case: <strong>with Q1 2015 GDP reportedly growing only 0.2%. The problem is that within just over a year, that 0.2% initial GDP print turned to -0.7%, before subsequently surging to 2% and ultimately 3.2%!</strong> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/UBS%20GDP%20Q1%202015.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/UBS%20GDP%20Q1%202015_0.jpg" width="500" height="408" /></a></p> <p>Here is the sarcastic take of UBS' own chief economist on this GDP travesty, which is even more sarcastic&nbsp; - and ironic - considering <em><strong>his </strong></em>entire job is to predict the exact number associated with said travesty:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Economic data is not very precise. Economists are trying to hit a target that is moving rapidly. Economic data is being revised more often, and the revisions are larger than in the past. The following chart shows annualized US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2015. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Growth was initially reported very weak, below consensus and barely moving. Then the data was revised to show the US economy was shrinking – and shrinking a lot (the number was –0.7% annualized). Then it was revised to show the economy was shrinking a bit. Then it was revised to show the economy was growing, but a long way below trend growth. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The growth number was then revised to be basically in line with trend growth. Now, US growth at the start of 2015 is thought to be 3.2%. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>So which number in the range of –0.7% to 3.2% is the economist supposed to be forecasting? An economist predicting 3.2% growth when the data was first released would have been ridiculed. According to the latest information we have, that economist would have been right.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, that terrible weather which at the time was used to justify why the economy ground to a halt - when in reality it was all a function of China's credit impulse crashing - would eventually serve as a the catalyst to grow the economy at a pace that has been recorded on just a handful of occasions in the past decade.</p> <p>No wonder then economists - especially those who work at the Fed but all of them really - their predictions and their analyses have become the butt of all jokes; and by implication, no wonder traders and algos no longer respond to economic "data."</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="725" height="444" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/ubs%20gdp%20teaser.jpg?1513183189" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/how-gdp-became-joke-one-chart#comments Business Economic growth Economy Economy of the United States Finance Financial services Gross domestic product Reality The Economist UBS US Federal Reserve Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:51:04 +0000 Tyler Durden 609078 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bill O'Reilly: Secret Tape Exists Of Woman Offered $200K To File Sexual Harassment Charges Against Trump (AUDIO) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/bill-oreilly-secret-tape-exists-woman-offered-200k-file-sexual-harassment-charges-ag <p><em style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; color: #333333;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: inherit; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; color: #000000;">Content originally published at&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; color: #1e439a; text-decoration-line: underline;"><a href="http://ibankcoin.com/" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.2; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; word-wrap: break-word; color: #1e439a;">iBankCoin.com</a></span></em></p> <p>Hours after several of Donald Trump's accusers <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/theyre-baaaaack-trump-accusers-call-congressional-investigation" target="_blank">assembled</a>&nbsp;for a Monday press conference to call on congress to launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against the President, Bill O'Reilly appeared on Glenn Beck's radio show to discuss what he claims is <strong>the existence of&nbsp;a tape showing a woman being offered $200,000 to accuse Donald Trump of 'untoward behavior.'&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user237925/imageroot/2017/12/10/BOR.jpg" width="500" height="281" /><br /></strong></p> <p>O'Reilly told Beck that his lawyer listened to the tape and that there are at least <strong>three crimes </strong>contained on it:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>O'Reilly:<strong>&nbsp;There is a tape, Beck, an audio tape of an anti-Trump person offering $200,000 to a woman to accuse Donald Trump of untoward behavior.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beck: Is this tape going to be released?&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>O'Reilly: I may have to go to the US Attorney myself. I don't wanna have to do that and inject myself into the story, but <strong>I had my lawyer listen to the tape. He's listened to it. There are at least three crimes on the tape. </strong>So as a citizen, I may have to do this.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beck: I will tell you Bill, the first thing that you say - well I'm trying to get it, I'm trying to get it so it can be released. You weren't talking about getting it for YOU to release it, but it had to be out there. And I think the first time I said to you, I mean, if they don't - you've gotta bring it to the US Attorney.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>O'Reilly: Again, it's in the hands of someone who knows the seriousness of the situation.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beck: What is their hesitancy?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>O'Reilly</strong>:&nbsp;You know, I can't really get into that at this point. <strong>But I can tell you that Donald Trump knows about the tape</strong>. And I'm, for the life of me, sitting here going "Why on earth are you allowing a movement to try to smear you when you have a powerful - <strong>and I mean it's powerful</strong>&nbsp;- piece of evidence that shows that this is an industry. That there are false charges and money changing hands." It's so frustrating but I wanted your listeners to know it, it's there, it's amazing, and <strong>it will change the whole discussion if it ever gets out</strong>.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Watch below:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1tLStFrZqLg" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>O'Reilly first divulged the existence of the tape six weeks ago in a largely unnoticed interview with <em><a href="https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/bill-oreilly-allegations-tape-trump/2017/10/24/id/821821/" target="_blank">Newsmax</a><strong>:&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>O'Reilly told Newsmax on Monday that investigators working for him had uncovered an audio recording of "an anti-Trump attorney" offering an unidentified woman $200,000 to file sexual harassment charges against then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"It exists</strong>," O'Reilly said. "<strong>We have urged the person who has the tape to hand it over to the U.S. attorney, because my investigative team believes there are three separate crimes on the audio tape.</strong>"</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>O'Reilly tells Newsmax his attorneys have listened to the tape. O'Reilly stated he is not in possession of the recording, but the conversation is believed to have taken place before last year's presidential election.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"It's related to my situation</strong>," O'Reilly insists, "<strong>and when the tape emerges, you will see why. I can't say any more than that, but it is related to my situation.</strong>"</p> </blockquote> <p>With the 'Russiagate' witch hunt fizzling out amid revelations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe is stacked with several anti-Trump team investigators, O'Reilly warns that there's going to be a huge push to rehash sexual misconduct allegations against the President. While several of these claims have been <a href="http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/list-debunked-groper-allegations-corrupt-media-donald-trump/" target="_blank">debunked</a>&nbsp;or refuted, and Trump even <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-13/trump-threatens-sue-nyt-story-he-groped-and-kissed-women" target="_blank">threatening to sue</a> the NYT at one point, it will come as a surprise to exactly nobody if and when 'Russiagate' shifts into 'Gropegate' in 2018.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: inherit; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; text-align: center; color: #333333;">Follow on Twitter&nbsp;</span><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: inherit; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; text-align: center; color: #333333;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ZeroPointNow" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: 1.2; font-family: inherit; word-wrap: break-word; color: #1e439a;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; text-decoration-line: underline;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; color: #0066cc;">@ZeroPointNow</span></span></a></strong><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; 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text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; text-decoration-line: underline;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; color: #0066cc;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;">You<strong style="box-sizing: border-box; border-color: currentcolor; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;">Tube channel</strong></span></span></span></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/bill-oreilly-secret-tape-exists-woman-offered-200k-file-sexual-harassment-charges-ag#comments American people of German descent Bill O'Reilly Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump Glenn Beck Law Mass media Political views of Bill O'Reilly Politics of the United States Twitter Twitter United States Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:36:34 +0000 ZeroPointNow 609077 at http://www.zerohedge.com Cyberattacks: The Biggest Threat To OPEC http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/cyberattacks-biggest-threat-opec <p><a href="https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Cyberattacks-The-Biggest-Threat-To-OPEC.html"><em>Authored by Irina Slav via OilPrice.com,</em></a></p> <p>Oil and cybersecurity in one sentence certainly makes for a thrilling read, and there will be an increasing amount of information on the topic <strong>as the Internet of Things expands and the global oil industry adopts automation and digital technology.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_oil.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_oil.jpg" style="width: 599px; height: 260px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>OPEC is no exception in this digitalization drive,</strong> but unlike its non-OPEC counterparts, the cartel has emerged as <strong>much more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.</strong></p> <p>An analysis of <a href="http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Cybersecurity/Pages/GCI-2017.aspx">data</a> collected from 134 countries by the International Telecommunication Union has revealed that <u><strong>some of the world&rsquo;s biggest oil producers, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, and the UAE, are <a href="http://energyfuse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cyberreadiness-1.png">lacking</a> in the cybersecurity department. </strong></u>This means that, compared to European producers and the United States, OPEC members are pretty much unprepared for a major cyberthreat.</p> <p><u><em><strong>What is the likelihood of such a threat actually materializing?</strong></em></u> Well, the general opinion in cybersecurity circles is that everything that can be hacked will be hacked at some point. Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s oil and gas industry, for example, has been a favorite target for <a href="http://www.arabianbusiness.com/160-000-cyberattacks-day-in-saudi-arabia-630120.html">numerous attacks</a> over the last few years, including the Shamoon virus, which in 2012 wiped clean the disks of more than 30,000 computers at Aramco, and according to reports from the cybersecurity industry, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-saudi-shamoon/shamoon-virus-returns-in-new-gulf-cyber-attacks-after-four-year-hiatus-idUSKBN13Q38B">reared its ugly head again</a> in 2016.</p> <p><strong>Overall, about half of all cyberattacks in the Middle East target the oil and gas industry, which suggests the answer to the above question is &ldquo;Pretty high,&rdquo;</strong> but the worse thing is that this likelihood is only going to get higher in the future. <span style="color: #800000;"><strong class="related"> <a href="https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Brent-Spikes-As-This-Major-Pipeline-Breaks-Down.html">Related:&nbsp;Brent Spikes As This Major Pipeline Breaks Down</a></strong></span></p> <p>Middle Eastern producers are following in the footsteps of their non-OPEC counterparts in adopting digital technology and automation to improve efficiencies in the post-2014 world, where efficiency has come to the fore in oil and gas. The problem, of course, is that the more you digitalize, the more vulnerable you become to attacks through digital channels.</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://www.tradearabia.com/news/OGN_332980.html">study</a> from Siemens and Ponemon Institute found that as digital tech adoption in the Middle East oil industry rises, so does cyber risk. What&rsquo;s more, this risk is no longer limited to IT operations: the operational technology area is gaining prominence as a preferred target for cybercriminals.</p> <p>The reason, according to Siemens and Ponemon Institute, is the convergence between IT and OT in the oil and gas industry. &ldquo;Attackers have identified this convergence of IT and OT as a key opportunity to penetrate an organisation. As a result, an emerging trend of cyberattacks is designed to disrupt physical devices or processes used in operations. In a digital environment, industrial cyber is the new risk frontier,&rdquo; says Siemens&rsquo; Vice President and Global Head of Industrial Cyber, Leo Simonovich.</p> <p><strong>The cybersecurity industry is sounding an alarm and it seems those in the Middle East that can afford it are hearing it and heeding the warning to improve their cybersecurity capabilities.</strong></p> <p>The UAE has a Dubai Cyber Security Strategy. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia launched a National Cyber Security Center, and last month <a href="https://globalriskinsights.com/2017/11/saudi-arabia-cyber-security-authority-challenges/">announced</a> the set-up of a National Authority for Cyber Security, seeking to utilize international expertise and best practices to prop up government and critical infrastructure defenses. Iraq is seriously lagging behind and Iran is seen by cybersecurity insiders as more a <a href="https://theconversation.com/following-the-developing-iranian-cyberthreat-85162">source</a> of cyberthreats than as a potential victim.</p> <p><strong>This sounds all well and good, but the trends in cybercrime point to a desperate need to do more.</strong> Cybercriminals do not sit on their hands while potential victims work to improve their defenses. While cybersecurity service providers continue to warn businesses and other organizations that they need to become more pro-active with regard to their cybersecurity measures, the hackers are coming up with new ways to undermine existing defenses. This is true for all industries, but it is especially true for oil and gas in the Middle East&mdash;national energy infrastructures are called critical for a reason, after all.</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="611" height="265" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_oil.jpg?1513176907" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/cyberattacks-biggest-threat-opec#comments Arms industry Computer network security Computer security Cyberattack Cybercrime Cyberwarfare Dubai Economy Information governance International Telecommunication Union Iran Iraq Middle East Middle East National Authority for Cyber Security National Cyber Security Center National security OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Ponemon Institute Saudi Arabia Security Security engineering Siemens and Ponemon Institute Technology Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:28:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 609067 at http://www.zerohedge.com America's Wage Hope Hammered - Real Earnings Suffer Longest Slump Since 2009 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/americas-wage-hope-hammered-real-earnings-suffer-longest-slump-2009 <p>For the first time since November 2009, <strong>real average hourly earnings tumbled for the 4th month in a row.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_low1.jpg"><img height="315" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_low1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Despite all the hype, all the hope, and all the Phillips-curve-ian academic discussion...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_low11.jpg"><img height="315" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_low11_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Real wage growth just is not there</strong>...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_low.jpg"><img height="313" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_low_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Still it must happen soon, right?</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="965" height="506" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_low1.jpg?1513176643" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/americas-wage-hope-hammered-real-earnings-suffer-longest-slump-2009#comments Income in the United States Real wages Wage Wages and salaries Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:06:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 609066 at http://www.zerohedge.com ManY LeVeLS INDeeD... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/many-different-levels-indeed <p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/38147565895/in/dateposted-public/" title="G-MAN MAGAZINE"><img src="https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4559/38147565895_5f5477a11f_z.jpg" alt="G-MAN MAGAZINE" width="495" height="640" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/many-different-levels-indeed#comments Baseball Hall of Fame balloting Education Politics Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:06:39 +0000 williambanzai7 609074 at http://www.zerohedge.com A Question For Every Investor http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/question-every-investor <p><em>Authored by <a href="http://www.720global.com/">720Global&#39;s Michael Lebowitz</a> via <a href="https://realinvestmentadvice.com/a-question-for-every-investor/">RealInvestmentAdvice.com</a>,</em></p> <p>Recently we received the following question from a subscriber:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #993300;"><em>&ldquo;If a correction in the stock or bond markets comes, the Central Banks will buy stocks with printed money, like the Japanese Central Bank, etc. Will there ever be a shakeout of the garbage and junk in the system? I am losing all confidence</em>.&rdquo; &ndash;Ron H.</span></p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Questions like Ron&rsquo;s that suggest the decay of capitalism and free markets should raise concerns for anyone&rsquo;s market thesis, bullish, bearish or agnostic. What stops a central bank from manipulating asset prices? When do they cross a line from marginal manipulation to absolute price control? Unfortunately, there are no concrete answers to these questions, but there are clues.</strong></em></p> <p>Global central banks&rsquo; post-financial crisis monetary policies have collectively been more aggressive than anything witnessed in modern financial history. Over the last ten years, the six largest central banks have printed unprecedented amounts of money to purchase approximately $14 trillion of financial assets as shown below. Before the financial crisis of 2008, the only central bank printing money of any consequence was the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC).</p> <p><a href="http://realinvestmentadvice.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1-graph-1.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-25983" height="354" src="http://realinvestmentadvice.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1-graph-1.png" width="584" /></a></p> <p>The central banks&rsquo; goals, in general, are threefold:</p> <ul> <li><em>Expand the money supply allowing for the further proliferation of debt, which has sadly become the lifeline of most developed economies.</em></li> <li><em>Drive financial asset prices higher to create a wealth effect. This myth is premised on the belief that higher financial asset prices result in greater economic growth as wealth is spread to the masses. </em> <ul> <li><em><span style="color: #993300;"><strong>&ldquo;And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion</strong></span><strong><span style="color: #993300;">.&rdquo;</span>&ndash; </strong>Ben Bernanke Editorial Washington Post 11/4/2010.</em></li> </ul> </li> <li><em>Lastly, generate inflation, to help lessen the burden of debt.</em></li> </ul> <p>QE has forced interest rates downward and lowered interest expenses for all debtors. Simultaneously, it boosted the amount of outstanding debt. The net effect is that the global debt burden has grown on a nominal basis and as a percentage of economic growth since 2008. The debt burden has become even more burdensome.</p> <p>The wealth effect is putting riches in the hands of a small minority of the population, with negligible benefits, if any, flowing to the majority of the population. Bernanke&rsquo;s version of the virtuous circle, as highlighted above, is far from virtuous unless you are in the upper five to ten percent of households by wealth. &nbsp;To understand how a real economic virtuous circle works, we recommend you read our article <em><a href="https://realinvestmentadvice.com/the-death-of-a-virtuous-cycle/">The Death of the Virtuous Cycle</a></em> and watch <em><a href="https://realinvestmentadvice.com/the-animated-virtuous-cycle/">The Animated Virtuous Cycle</a></em>.</p> <p>Inflation has been low since 2008 and deflation continues to be a chief concern of most central bankers. Because QE, in all cases, was focused on financial asset prices and not the prices of everyday goods and services, the inflation they aimlessly seek has not occurred.</p> <p>To summarize our views, largely ineffective monetary policies are providing few economic benefits. They are increasing the debt burden and furthering socially destabilizing trends. Worse, these policies are packed with consequences that lie dormant and have yet to emerge. <strong>One of our concerns, which is being heralded as a positive, is the massive distortions in financial asset prices worldwide.</strong> Consider a few of these facts below and whether they are sustainable:</p> <ul> <li><em>U.S. yields have been among the lowest ever on record dating back to 1776</em></li> <li><em>U.S. equity valuations have risen to levels rarely observed and from this perch have always been followed by massive losses</em></li> <li><em>Over $9 trillion in sovereign bonds yields in many European countries and Japan have negative current yields</em></li> <li><em>European junk-grade debt now trades at yields lower than U.S. Treasuries</em></li> <li><em>Veolia, a French BBB rated company, recently issued a 3-year bond at a yield of -.026%.</em></li> <li><em>Italian 3-year government bonds yield -0.337%, despite the 3<sup>rd</sup> highest debt to GDP ratio of all developed nations (132%)</em></li> <li><em>Argentina, which has defaulted 6 times in the past 100 years, issued a $2.75 billion 100-year bond paying a paltry 8% interest</em></li> <li><em>The BOJ owns over 75% of all Japanese ETFs</em></li> <li><em>The Swiss National Bank owns 19.2 million shares of Apple, or 3% of total shares outstanding, and $84 billion in aggregate of U.S. stocks</em></li> </ul> <p>Yes, Ron, the central bankers have clearly crossed the line between free markets and government controlled markets. To answer your question about the<em> &ldquo;shakeout,&rdquo;</em> we must wait until the inevitable day comes and asset prices are in free-fall. When this occurs, we will learn the full extent of their support and how far they have crossed the line. We like to think the central bankers are willing to endure the short-term pain of such a situation and allow the natural cycle of economies and asset prices to run their course. The reality, however, is that the pattern of their actions in the post-financial crisis era argue that they are unlikely to relinquish their grip. To the extent that authority and power is extended to the Fed through the U.S. Congress, it does not seem likely for career politicians to urge action that may be painful in the short-term but highly beneficial in the long-term.</p> <p>This premonition was supported by recent statements from the October 2017 Federal Reserve minutes and appointed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell respectively. Fed Minutes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #993300;"><em>&ldquo;In light of elevated asset valuations and low financial market volatility, several participants expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances,&rdquo; further &ldquo;They worried that a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy.&rdquo; </em>Jerome Powell<em>, </em>in prepared remarks to Congress stated: &ldquo;(the Fed) <em>will respond with force to threats to the nation&rsquo;s stability</em>.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Putting two and two together, one can quickly figure out that falling asset prices and the &ldquo;damaging effects&rdquo; they will inflict on the economy will not be tolerated by the Fed.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>Ron, while we cannot answer your question with certainty, we are relatively confident the Fed and other central banks&rsquo; influence on markets will only increase in time as they continue to perpetuate the debt and economic problems they helped create. Naturally, the next question for consideration is to what extent markets may be bigger than the Fed? That is an article for another day.</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="712" height="423" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_QE.jpg?1513176109" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/question-every-investor#comments Apple Bank Bank of Japan Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bond Business Central Banks China Congress Deflation Economic bubbles Economy ETC Federal Reserve Financial crises Financial crisis Financial crisis of 2007–2008 Great Recession Inflation Japan Macroeconomics Money Money Supply Reality Swiss National Bank Swiss National Bank Systemic risk U.S. Congress US Federal Reserve Volatility Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:46:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 609063 at http://www.zerohedge.com WTI/RBOB Steady Despite Huge Gasoline Build, New Crude Production Record http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/wtirbob-steady-despite-hugh-gasoline-build-new-crude-production-record <p>Despite last night&#39;s surprisingly large API-reported crude draw, WTI/RBOB prices were sliding in early trading but as the DOE data printed prices stabilized despite a<strong> smaller crude draw than API and a much bigger gasoline builds</strong> than expected. <strong>Production surged on the week to a new record high</strong>.</p> <p>Bloomberg&#39;s Mitch Martin noted that the Brent pipeline leak and another in Canada have <strong>U.S. refineries running hard to capture the widening crude differentials.</strong> That&#39;s leading to oversupply in the gasoline market, which has seen inventories build for three straight weeks; a fourth is expected, increasing supply by 1.8 million barrels. Distillates also are expected to build, rising 1.1 million barrels, even as crack spreads recovered to more than $20 a barrel.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>API</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><span style="color:#008000;"><strong>Crude -7.382mm (-2.89mm exp) - biggest draw in 4 months</strong></span></li> <li>Cushing -2.704mm (-2.5mm exp)</li> <li>Gasoline +2.334mm</li> <li>Distillates +1.5384mm</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing U.S. inventories really continue to fall,&rdquo;&nbsp;</strong></em>Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, says. <em><strong>Investors will focus on whether we see large builds in gasoline and distillates, which may hold back crude from rallying strongly, &ldquo;but I don&rsquo;t think you can underestimate the strong demand from the refiners.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>DOE</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><span style="color:#008000;">Crude -5.12mm (-2.89mm exp)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#008000;">Cushing (-2.5mm exp) - biggest draw since Sept 09</span></li> <li><span style="color:#ff0000;">Gasoline +5.66mm (+2.3mm exp)</span></li> <li>Distillates -1.37mm (+1.2mm exp)</li> </ul> <p>A 5th weekly build in gasoline inventories (much larger than expected), and unexpected distillates draw, as crude (and Cushing) stocks are reduced...</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_doe1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 318px;" /></p> <p>As Bloomberg notes, <strong>crude production topped 9.7 million barrels a day in last week&#39;s data for the first time since weekly records began in 1983.</strong> Even more importantly, the EIA&#39;s monthly assessment of crude production - seen as more accurate than the weekly figures - caught up with the more frequent data in September, after lagging for the previous 5 months.</p> <p>The last week saw another surge to record highs...</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_doe2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 297px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WTI/RBOB prices extended yesterday&#39;s losses ahead of the DOE data (despite API&#39;s big crude draw) but the algos managed gains after the print even as crude drew less than API and gasoline&#39;s build build...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_doe3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_doe3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 362px;" /></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="963" height="477" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_doe2.jpg?1513179484" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/wtirbob-steady-despite-hugh-gasoline-build-new-crude-production-record#comments API Barrel Benchmark Business Crude Distillates Energy industry Gasoline Petroleum industry Price of oil Pricing Units of measurement World oil market chronology from Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:38:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 609072 at http://www.zerohedge.com Semiconductor Reversal Pattern May Spell Trouble For Bulls! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/semiconductor-reversal-pattern-may-spell-trouble-bulls <p><img src="https://i1.wp.com/kimblechartingsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/semiconductor-pic.jpg" width="275" style="background-position: 0px 0px, 10px 10px; background-size: 20px 20px; background-image: linear-gradient(45deg, #eeeeee 25%, transparent 25%, transparent 75%, #eeeeee 75%, #eeeeee 100%), linear-gradient(45deg, #eeeeee 25%, white 25%, white 75%, #eeeeee 75%, #eeeeee 100%); display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">Since the 2009 stock market lows, investors have looked to the Semiconductor sector for strong returns and market leadership.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">Just check out the performance numbers vs the broader stock market:&nbsp;<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SMH?p=SMH" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #2ea3f2; outline: 0px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">Semiconductor ETF</span>&nbsp;(SMH)</a>&nbsp;+494% vs &nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">S&amp;P 500</span>&nbsp;+262%.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">With numbers that double those of the S&amp;P 500, it’s fair to say that the Semiconductors have provided important leadership for this bull market.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">And that leadership has become much more apparent (and “visual”) in the past 18-24 months. Just look at that rally and outperformance!&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">&nbsp;See chart below.</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">Semiconductors (SMH) vs Broader Market (SPX) Performance Chart</span></p> <p><a href="https://i1.wp.com/kimblechartingsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/performance-semi-conductor-spy-since-2009-low-dec-13.jpg" target="_blank" title="Semiconductor Reversal Pattern May Spell Trouble For Bulls!, chris kimble chart"><img src="https://i2.wp.com/kimblechartingsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/performance-semi-conductor-spy-since-2009-low-dec-13-640x368.jpg" width="640" height="368" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-40146 size-large" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px; color: #0000ff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE</span></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">If you look closely at the chart above, you’ll note the recent downturn/pullback for SMH. &nbsp;That brings us to the importance of our next chart – a “monthly” bar chart that highlights why the Semiconductors have pulled back here.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">Semiconductors Testing 2000 Highs</em></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">The Semiconductor ETF (SMH) recently tested its 2000 price highs (see points 1 &amp; 2 on the chart below), before reversing lower to test uptrend price support (point 3). This action created a bearish reversal pattern and gave market bulls a strong reason to put SMH on their radar.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; outline: 0px; background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; font-size: 14px; color: #303030; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;">This post was originally created for&nbsp;<a href="https://www.seeitmarket.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #2ea3f2; outline: 0px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; outline: 0px; background: 0px 0px;">See It Market</span></a>s. To see the potential double top and rest of this post,&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #2ea3f2; outline: 0px; font-weight: bold;"><a href="https://www.seeitmarket.com/semiconductor-reversal-pattern-spell-trouble-bulls-17579/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #2ea3f2; outline: 0px;">CLICK HERE</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0.25em; margin-bottom: 0.75em; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; color: #303030;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13.008px; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; color: #000000;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0in; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext;">Chart pattern analysis with brief commentary:&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></strong></strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0in; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: normal; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext;">There is a ton of news and opinions about markets and stocks that make&nbsp;the decision-making process more difficult than it needs to be.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></strong><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0in; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: normal; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;">I believe&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;">the&nbsp;</span></span></strong><em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0in; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; border: 1pt none windowtext;">Power of the chart Pattern&nbsp;</span></em><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0in; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: normal; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext;">provides all you need to see what is taking place in an asset and&nbsp;determine the action to take.&nbsp;</span></strong><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0in; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: normal; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext;">This approach&nbsp;has worked well for me and our clients and I encourage you to test it for yourself.</span></strong><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 10pt; line-height: inherit; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0.25em; margin-bottom: 0.75em; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0.25em; margin-bottom: 0.75em; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; 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font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; text-decoration-line: underline;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><br /></strong></span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="1191" height="684" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user182769/imageroot/performance-semi-conductor-spy-since-2009-low-dec-13.jpg?1513179013" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/semiconductor-reversal-pattern-may-spell-trouble-bulls#comments Business Economy Finance Financial economics Foreign exchange market PHLX Semiconductor Sector S&P 500 SEMI Stock market Technical analysis Technology Twitter Twitter Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:30:16 +0000 kimblecharting 609071 at http://www.zerohedge.com "You're Fired... Again": Omarosa Is Leaving The White House http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/youre-fired-again-omarosa-leaving-white-house <p>One of Trump's oldest familiars, Senior White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman who is much more famous for being the former star of the initial season of "The Apprentice" - as well as a longtime supporter of President Trump - is leaving the White House next month. Her resignation will be effective Jan. 20, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told The Associated Press. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Omarosa Manigault Newman will leave the White House next month <a href="https://t.co/JlhF4Pqsq8">pic.twitter.com/JlhF4Pqsq8</a></p> <p>— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) <a href="https://twitter.com/jbillinson/status/940956644489547778?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Technically, Manigault Newman serves as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, although the Trump aide and long-time supporter was better known for her role on the first season of "The Apprentice." She was famous enough to go by one name: Omarosa. </p> <p>According to The Hill, Manigault Newman had served as Trump's chief adviser on African-American issues in the White House. In June, she attacked the Congressional Black Caucus for "showboating" and refusing to meet with President Trump. </p> <p>Her resignation comes just days after deputy national security adviser Dina Powell announced she would step down from her position early next year. The decision by Manigault Newman comes at the start of what’s expected to be a round of departures heading into the new year.</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="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/omarosa.jpg?1513178933" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/youre-fired-again-omarosa-leaving-white-house#comments American people of German descent Business Donald Trump Economy of the United States Manigault national security Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault Politics The Apprentice Twitter Twitter United States White House White House White House Office White House staff Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:29:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 609070 at http://www.zerohedge.com Could Central Banks Dump Gold In Favor Of Bitcoin? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/could-central-banks-dump-gold-favor-bitcoin <p><a href="http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/12/could-central-banks-dump-gold-in-favor.html"><em>Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><em>All of which brings us to the &quot;crazy&quot; idea of backing fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies, an idea I first floated back in 2013, long before the current crypto-craze emerged.</em></p> <p><strong>Exhibit One: here&#39;s your typical central bank, creating trillions of units of currency every year</strong>, backed by nothing but trust in the authority of the government, created at the whim of a handful of people in a room and distributed to their cronies, or at the behest of their cronies.</p> <p><strong>And this is a &quot;trustworthy&quot; currency?</strong></p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2017/BOJ12-17.png" width="550" /></p> <p><strong>Exhibit Two: central banks can&#39;t become insolvent, we&#39;re told, because they can create as much currency as they want, whenever they want.</strong> And this is a &quot;trustworthy&quot; currency?</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2017/Fed-money-printing.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Exhibit three: and here&#39;s what happens when trust in the currency is lost due to excessive currency issuance:</strong> the currency goes from 10 to the US dollar to 5,000 to $1 and then to 95,000 to $1, on its way to 2,000,000 to $1:</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2017/bolivar12-17.png" width="550" /></p> <p>Yes, this was once a &quot;trustworthy&quot; currency.</p> <p><strong>While many people expect China to issue a gold-backed currency some day, they overlook the inconvenient reality that China is creating far more fiat currency than it is adding in gold reserves.</strong> They also overlook that <em>gold-backed means nothing if the currency isn&#39;t convertible into gold</em>.</p> <p>If it isn&#39;t convertible, it isn&#39;t gold-backed. Claiming there&#39;s gold somewhere in a vault doesn&#39;t make a currency gold-backed, as the central bank can devalue the currency it issues at will. Gold-backed means the currency is pegged at X units of currency to 1 unit of gold, and X units of currency can be exchanged for 1 unit of gold.</p> <p><strong>All of which brings us to the &quot;crazy&quot; idea of backing fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies,</strong> an idea I first floated back in 2013, long before the current crypto-craze emerged: <a href="http://www.oftwominds.com/blognov13/bitcoin-RC11-13.html" target="resource"> Could Bitcoin (or equivalent) Become a Global Reserve Currency?</a> (November 7, 2013)</p> <p><em>Since there is no real-world commodity backing the digital currency, its value must be based on scarcity and its ubiquity as money. The two ideas are self-reinforcing: there must be demand for the digital money to create scarcity, and the source of demand is the digital currency&#39;s acceptance as money that can be used to buy commodities, goods, services and (the ultimate test) gold. </em></p> <p><strong>Speaking of gold, correspondent Liberty Philosopher recently posed a scenario that was new to me:</strong> if gold continues losing value, could central banks dump their gold in favor of cryptocurrencies?</p> <p>Yes, I realize this is anathema to those who anticipate a gold-backed currency becoming the dominant form of centrally issued currency, but the idea of governments that have debauched their currencies building reserves of decentralized and limited-in-issuance cryptocurrencies may not be as farfetched as you might imagine.</p> <p><strong>Here is Liberty Philosopher&#39;s commentary:</strong></p> <p><em>My understanding is that gold is kind of a reserve asset held by governments that provides the ultimate assurance that they are able to pay their debts. If the value of the assets they hold, which are a guarantee of their ability to pay, begins to erode, and the erosion in value is not a temporary or passing phenomenon, but a continuous and long-term trend, this would imply that the ability of governments to ultimately pay their debts would be eroding. If the value of gold begins to decline, governments who have gold reserves, but whose ability to pay their debts may be somewhat in question, would come under pressure to fortify their reserves as proof that they remained able to pay their debts. </em></p> <p><em>If the price of gold were to continue to decline, my thought is that governments would be under pressure to sell the reserve asset that was declining in value, because the continuing decline in value would call into question their ability to repay their debts. They couldn&rsquo;t just sit there and allow their reserves to decline in value year after year. They would have to act. If the need for having some kind of &ldquo;hard&rdquo; currency reserve remains (creditors may not want to accept newly printed bank notes in lieu of &ldquo;hard&rdquo; reserves), and they are forced to begin selling their gold reserves, what other hard reserve asset could they obtain or purchase? I think they could become purchasers of the most valuable cryptocurrencies as a replacement for their gold reserves. </em></p> <p><strong>The ideal reserve gains in purchasing power over time.</strong> If Venezuela had purchased bitcoin in size when it was $100, or even $1,000 in January 2017, its own currency wouldn&#39;t be heading to near-zero quite so quickly.</p> <p><strong>In my book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0178MQI1M/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0178MQI1M&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=CGXPIKGVST4OBTXU" rel="nofollow" target="resource">A Radically Beneficial World</a></strong>, I proposed that nations which had debauched their centrally issued fiat currency could acquire the <em>labor-backed currency</em> I propose as reserves.</p> <p>The acquisition of decentralized cryptocurrencies as reserves may sound crazy now, but as central banks destroy the purchasing power of their fiat currencies, <strong>all sorts of ideas that seem crazy now will start looking practical once the death spiral of the current unstable monetary regime begins. </strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>I&#39;m offering my new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077S8PJ5Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B077S8PJ5Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=d3a935e067cb9a216e52fce67fa627b6" target="_blank"> Money and Work Unchained</a> at a 10% discount ($8.95 for the Kindle ebook and $18 for the print edition) through December, after which the price goes up to retail ($9.95 and $20). </em><a href="http://www.oftwominds.com/Money-Work-free.pdf" target="resource"><em>Read the first section for free in PDF format. </em></a><em>If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by <a href="https://www.patreon.com/charleshughsmith" target="resource">becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com</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="279" height="168" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_bit.jpg?1513175779" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/could-central-banks-dump-gold-favor-bitcoin#comments Bitcoin Business Central Banks China Creditors Currency Economy Finance Foreign exchange market Gold standard Monetary hegemony Money pdf Purchasing Power Reality Reserve Currency World currency Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:16:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 609062 at http://www.zerohedge.com