en IRS Scandal Deja Vu: Hillary Clinton's Email Server "Wiped Clean" <p>If, as one claims, one is innocent of i) using a personal email account to send out confidential information and/or to take advantage of one's political position to abuse opponents and ii) deleting said confidential emails against government regulations, what would one do when faced with a government subpoena demand? If <em>one </em>is the IRS' Lois Lerner, one would claim, against subsequently revealed facts, that a hardware error led to a permanent loss of all demanded emails, even though by email protocol definition, said emails are always stored on at least one off-site server. <strong>Or, if <em>one </em>is Hillary Clinton, one would just format the entire server. </strong></p> <p>This, <a href="">according to the Hill</a>, is precisely what Hillary Clinton has done as the recent <a href=""></a> scandal continues to grow bigger and impair ever more the already frail credibility and decision-making skills of the former first lady and democratic presidential hopeful.&nbsp; <strong>According to the head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has erased all information from the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat</strong>.</p> <p>“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement Friday.</p> <p>What difference does it make if she deleted all her emails? Well, apparently a lot.</p> <p>The key question is when said server formatting took place. This appears to have taken place <strong><em>after </em></strong>the first production request had come in, which means that Clinton may well be guilty of destruction of evidence. He said while it’s “not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”</p> <p>What's worse, the evidence destroyed officially is US government property, since it was all created when Clinton was an employee of Uncle Sam. </p> <p>Last week, Gowdy sent a letter to Clinton’s attorney asking that the email server be turned over to a third party in the hopes that an investigation could recover about 30,000 emails that her team deleted before turning the rest over to the State Department.</p> <p>Gowdy said "it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails."</p> <p>"<strong>Not only was the Secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server, ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest,” </strong>Gowdy said.</p> <p>Those intent on defending the former Secretary of State, such as the panel's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings may have their work cut out for them but that doesn't stop them from trying: Cummings said the letter the select committee received from Clinton's attorney detailing what happened the server proves she has nothing to hide.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"This confirms what we all knew — that Secretary Clinton already produced her official records to the State Department, that she did not keep her personal emails, and that the Select Committee has already obtained her emails relating to the attacks in Benghazi," he said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"It is time for the Committee to stop this political charade and instead make these documents public and schedule Secretary Clinton's public testimony now."</p> </blockquote> <p>Clinton has maintained that the messages were personal in nature, but Gowdy and other Republicans have raised questions over whether she might have deleted messages that could damage her expected White House run in the process.<br />&nbsp;<br />“I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department," Clinton said during a press conference in New York earlier this month.</p> <p>Sadly, there is nothing but her word to go by at this moment: a word whose credibility has now been fatally compromised by her recent actions.</p> <p>She said she had culled through more than 60,000 emails from her time at State and determined that roughly 30,000 of them were public records that should have been maintained.&nbsp; </p> <p>Gowdy said given Clinton’s <strong>“unprecedented email arrangement with herself and her decision nearly two years after she left office to permanently delete” information, his panel would work with House leadership as it “considers next steps.”</strong></p> <p>Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Gowdy and other members of the Benghazi panel in the past have hinted that the full House could issues a subpoena for Clinton’s server.</p> <p>The Hill concludes by treating the population to the next upcoming kangaroo court: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has suggested his panel could hold hearings over Clinton's use of private email, emphasizing his panel's jurisdiction over violations of the Federal Records Act.</p> <p>Will anything change as a result? Of course not, because the real decision-maker has already hedged its bets. Recall Blankfein has already indicated that despite his strong preference for a democrat president, one which would perpetuate the Fed's policies, "<a href="">he would be fine with either a Bush or Clinton presidency</a>." Which in a country controlled and dominated by lobby interests, and which happens to be the "<a href="">best democracy that money can buy</a>" is all that matters. </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="371" height="372" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> House Oversight Committee Testimony White House Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:32:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 503953 at "Electric Cars Are Doing More Harm Than Good" Professor Warns <p><em><strong>&quot;An electric car does not make you green... You&rsquo;re better off filling up at the pump,&quot;</strong></em> if you live in Canada. According to a <a href=";">new study by professor Chris Kennedy</a>, even if every driver in Canada made the switch - from gas to electric - the total emissions might not actually go down... since in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, <em><strong>electric cars generate more carbon pollution over their lifetimes than gas-powered cars</strong></em>. Paging Al Gore...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>As CBC reports</em>, <strong>trying to go green by replacing your gas guzzler with an electric car? In some provinces, that may actually be worse for the environment, a University of Toronto researcher says.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, electric cars generate more carbon over their lifetimes than gas-powered cars, said Chris Kennedy, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto, in an <a href="">interview with CBC&#39;s <em>The Current </em></a>Tuesday.</p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Hear the full interview on The Current</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>That&#39;s<strong><u> because those provinces generate much of their electricity by burning coal, so consuming more electricity &ndash; by charging your electric car battery, for instance &ndash; significantly boosts carbon emissions.</u></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>&quot;So&hellip; literally, if you&#39;re living in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Nova Scotia, an electric car does not make you green?&quot; asked Anna Maria Tremonti, host of <em>The Current</em>. &quot;You&#39;re better off filling up at the pump?&quot;</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>&quot;You&#39;re better off filling up at the pump,&quot; </strong></u>Kennedy agreed. &quot;Or if you really want to go for something greener, you should be buying a conventional hybrid car.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, <strong>in the rest of Canada, driving an electric car is the greener choice</strong>, he found.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He figured that out by looking at the carbon emissions generated by gas and electric cars over their entire life cycle, taking into account the source of electricity used to charge their batteries and how the gas used to fuel a conventional car is produced in different parts of the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The carbon emissions from electricity generation are measured in tonnes of CO2 emitted per gigawatt hour of electricity produced. That ranges from:</p> <ul> <li>Close to 0 for hydroelectric, nuclear and renewable energy.</li> <li>500 to 600 for natural gas power plants.</li> <li>1,000 for coal-fired power plants.</li> </ul> <p>For a given country or province, <u><strong>if average emissions were under 600 tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt hour, then switching from conventional to electric cars, buses and trucks will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions</strong></u>, Kennedy reported in a study published in the journal <a href="" target="_blank">Nature Climate Change</a> earlier this month.</p> <p>In some Canadian provinces, that reduction in emissions can be quite dramatic &ndash; B.C., Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland all produce less than 20 tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt hour of electricity, so driving an electric car can reduce emissions to close to zero.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ultimately, however, the study&#39;s goal isn&#39;t to help consumers make decisions about what car to buy, Kennedy said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The take-home message is actually for governments in some Canadian provinces and other countries: That they need to get their average emissions below the 600-tonne threshold so they can benefit from technology like electric cars.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Electrification,&quot; he said, &quot;is the most pivotal strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Just wait til China gets wind of this...</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="727" height="435" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> B+ Carbon Emissions China Natural Gas Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:44:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 503952 at MeeT YaWuNiK KooTeNaYi... <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="" width="1024" height="777" frameborder="0"></iframe><br /> . </p> <p style="text-align: center;">What do butterflies, spiders and shrimp heads share in common? </p> <p style="text-align: center;">Yawunik kootenayi ("Yield Koot"), a carnivorous four eyed koot with prominent business grasping appendages that lived 250 million years before the first fiat debt ponzi fueled LBO.</p> LBO Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:43:01 +0000 williambanzai7 503951 at Greece Prepares To Leave <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog</em></a>,</p> <p>Speculation and expert comments are thrown around once more &ndash; or still &ndash; like candy on Halloween. Let me therefore retrace what I&rsquo;ve said before. Because I think it&rsquo;s really awfully simple, once you got the underlying factors in place.</p> <p>But first, if one thing has become obvious after Syriza was elected to form a Greek government on January 25, it&rsquo;s that the party is not &lsquo;radical&rsquo; or &lsquo;extremist&rsquo;. Those monikers can now be swept off all editorial desks across the world, and whoever keeps using them risks looking like an awful fool.</p> <p><strong>All Syriza has done to date, when you look from an objective point of view, is to throw out feelers, trying to figure out what the rest of the eurozone would do.</strong> And to make sure that whatever responses it got are well documented.</p> <p><strong>Because of course Greece (through Syriza) is preparing to leave the eurozone. </strong>Of course the effects and consequences of such a step are being discussed, non-stop. They would be fools if they didn&rsquo;t have these discussions. And of course there will be a referendum at some point.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s just that one big caveat: <strong>Syriza insists on needing a mandate from its voters for everything it does, whether that may be kowtowing to Greece&rsquo;s EU overlords or walking away from them. At present, however, it doesn&rsquo;t have a mandate for either of these actions.</strong></p> <p>The best it can do is to drag out negotiations as much as it can, and let Europe openly assert its perceived superior power over the Greek population as much as it wants to, complete with more iron-fisted demands for austerity, more budget cuts, more asset sales. Tsipras and his people will let this go on until the Greeks are even more fed up with Brussels than they already were when they elected Syriza in the first place.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a subtle game, but it&rsquo;s the only one open to Tsipras and his crew. Even if they&rsquo;ve long concluded that trying to negotiate a deal with Germany et al was a lost cause way before talks started, Syriza has to go through the motions until it is confident the people of Greece are ready to vote in a referendum on eurozone membership.</p> <p>A risky game, since it could bring back &lsquo;the old guard&rsquo; of the handful of families that have governed the country for decades and that were willing co-operators with the Troika, but at the same time it&rsquo;s the only game in town at the moment.</p> <p><strong>Tsipras needs to explain to the Greek people that the double mandate of staying inside the eurozone and at the same time ending austerity is in fact an empty mandate, because the eurozone refuses to allow it.</strong></p> <p>He needs to explain that this means the eurozone refuses to recognize the democratic values of one of its member states, voting to change policy. Brussels is in effect telling the Greek people on a daily basis that they don&rsquo;t matter. That&rsquo;s what Tsipras has to make clear, and then he can call the referendum.</p> <p>It should be obvious that this whole mandate question changes potential actions by Athens to a huge degree. But from what I read every day, it doesn&rsquo;t seem to be. Even within Tsipras&rsquo; own support base, perhaps some don&rsquo;t understand what is going on. Either that or they&rsquo;re part of the strategy. Judge for yourself:</p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;"><a href="" target="new"><span style="font-size:13px;color: #FF2222;font-weight:bold"> Greek Crisis Nears A Turning Point </span> </a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><i>Stathis Kouvelakis, who teaches political theory at King&rsquo;s College in London and is a member of Syriza&rsquo;s central committee, says the party has to face up to the reality of its recent retreat on its election pledges and the nature of the forces arrayed against it. In particular, Kouvelakis notes the successive steps taken by the ECB to restrict the flow of liquidity to the Greek economy, shutting down or limiting Greek access to various types of ECB financing.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>&ldquo;It should be clear, however, that these moves would bring about a dynamic that would breach fundamental constraints of the monetary union and would inevitably lead to the exit from it,&rdquo; Kouvelakis wrote in his latest post at Jacobin. &ldquo;In any case, the ECB&rsquo;s relentless blackmail with its provision of liquidity places onto the agenda every day the issue of regaining sovereignty over monetary policy.&rdquo; It was the stranglehold that prompted Tsipras in a recent interview with Der Spiegel to refer to the ECB &ldquo;still holding onto the rope that is around our necks.&rdquo;</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>But Kouvelakis argues that covering over the issues by renaming the troika &ldquo;the institutions&rdquo; or by using weasel words like &ldquo;creative ambiguity&rdquo; is not going to solve the problem. The initial euphoria over Syriza&rsquo;s victory has quickly faded, but it can be revived, he says, if the party faces reality. &ldquo;In order for this to happen, however, <b>the horns of battle have to blow again</b>, and the ensuing struggle has to be waged with all due seriousness and determination, not with PR stunts and rhetorical contortions.&rdquo;</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>He cited the widely quoted words from Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis earlier this month before the Greek Parliament, when he said <b>&ldquo;the country is at war, a social and a class war with the lenders&rdquo;</b> and that in this war &ldquo;we will not go like cheerful scouts willing to continue the policies of the memorandum.&rdquo; <b>This is the kind of talk the world needs to hear from Greek officials</b>, Kouvelakis says, &ldquo;not the language of facile optimism that creates illusions and causes confusion that tomorrow may prove costly.&rdquo;</i></p> </blockquote> <p>Kouvelakis reasons from a standpoint that is not covered by Syriza&rsquo;s present mandate. He at least should know this. Tsipras cannot afford to be seen by the Greek population as the man who hasn&rsquo;t done all he could to keep the country in the eurozone while negotiating an end to austerity. It makes no difference at this point what his personal ideas are on the issue.</p> <p>Kouvelakis does choose to let his personal opinions prevail. If Tsipras would do the same, a referendum would be much riskier for Syriza. The party was elected to represent its austerity-weary voters, not the subjective opinions of its leaders.</p> <p><strong>If Tsipras and Varoufakis should elect to give in to Brussels and Berlin, that decision would still need to be put before the people to vote on, because it would mean a prolongation of austerity. And that is not the mandate.</strong></p> <p>By the same token, if the leadership decides an exit is the only option, and that further negotiations are hopeless because Europe won&rsquo;t accept anything else than strapping the proud Greek people in a straitjacket, that too will have to be put before a vote.</p> <p>Of course Syriza, like any other government, keeps track of opinion polls, but they know there will come a moment when a referendum can no longer be postponed no matter what the polls say. In that, Greece is living up to its glorious past as the cradle of democracy.</p> <p>And that makes it all the more cruel that the country has been ruled for such a long time by anything but a democratic system. Maybe we can say the circle is round. But the connection that closes the circle is still very fragile, and nobody knows that better than Alexis Tsipras.</p> <p>Still, make no mistake: of course they&rsquo;re preparing to leave.</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="374" height="331" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Eurozone Germany Greece Monetary Policy Reality Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:01:36 +0000 Tyler Durden 503950 at Near-Term Dollar Conviction went MIA <p>The US dollar fell against most of the major and emerging market currencies in the past week. &nbsp; The price action has been choppy, and many participants lack near-term conviction. &nbsp;Month, quarter, and for many, fiscal-year end considerations also inject additional uncertainty. &nbsp;Next week can be more of the same. &nbsp;The week will be cut short by holidays that shut most European market in the second half of the week, and the North American market is unlikely to have full participation when the March employment data are reported on Good Friday, April 3.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the key triggers of the dollar's downside correction, which has extended into the second week, was the re-evaluation of the trajectory of Fed policy. &nbsp;Although yields at the long-end of the curve rose last week(~5 bp), rates at the short-end yields fell. &nbsp;The implied yield of the December Fed funds futures contract fell 5.5 bp to 40 bp. &nbsp;This was mirrored in the December Eurodollar futures contract, where the yield fell to 68 bp.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The technical issue that participants are wrestling with is whether the dollar's long overdue downside correction is over or another push down should be anticipated. &nbsp;The technical evidence is mixed, but on balance, it warns that the correction may not be over. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Dollar Index did post a key reversal on March 26 and saw some follow through buying on March 27. &nbsp;However, the momentum stalled at the minimum retracement of the Dollar Index decline from the high set on March 13 near 100.40. &nbsp;That retracement level is about 97.80, which is just below the 20-day moving average. &nbsp;It did not close above there even once in the past week. &nbsp;On the downside, the 96.50 area is has offered support.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Like the mirror of the Dollar Index of which it is the largest component, the euro staged a key downside reversal on March 26. &nbsp; The follow through selling stopped in front of $1.08. &nbsp; The $1.1070 area marks the top of the two week range. &nbsp;A move above there would likely target the $1.12 area.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The dollar did not trade above JPY120 since March 23. &nbsp;Although the dollar recovered from the slide to one-month lows (~JPY118.35), it was unable to resurface above the 5-day moving average which it is has failed to close above for a couple of weeks. &nbsp;Technical indicators warn of the risk that the lows may be re-tested in the days ahead. &nbsp;In the bigger picture, the dollar has been chopping around a broad trading range since last November.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sterling was firm ahead of the weekend, but it was worst performing major currency against the dollar in the past week (-0.50%). &nbsp; Soft inflation, uncertainty ahead of the election and some dovish BOE comments likely account for sterling's under-performance. &nbsp; &nbsp;The December short-sterling futures contract was essentially unchanged on the week after setting new contract highs ahead of the weekend. &nbsp; Sterling itself has repeatedly tried in vain to push above $1.50. &nbsp;On the downside, good bids were uncovered near $1.48. &nbsp;Technical indicators, like the RSI and MACDs, are constructive.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Australian dollar spent most of the week in the range established on Monday March 23 between $0.7765 and $0.7900. &nbsp;However, the drift lower in the second half of the week softened the technical tone. &nbsp;It closed at new lows for the week. &nbsp;The market is pricing in additional cuts, but many have been leaning against a move at the April 7 meeting. &nbsp; Still as the meeting approaches, the Aussie may come under more downside pressure. &nbsp;A break of the $0.7740 area would encourage a return to the recent lows below $0.7600.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Bank of Canada meetings on April 15 and comments from the central bank have discouraged ideas of another rate cut now. &nbsp;The bounce in oil prices failed to offer much support to the Canadian dollar, but the sharp sell-off in oil ahead of the weekend weighed on it. &nbsp; &nbsp;The US dollar finished the week near its best levels. &nbsp; &nbsp;Technical indicators suggest US dollar support may be stronger than resistance. &nbsp; The US dollar has been in a clear, even if choppy trading range against the Canadian dollar for two months. &nbsp;By rule of alternation, after having approached the bottom of the range, it should test the upper part of the range, which comes in clear to CAD1.28. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The market rejected the push in 10-year Treasury yield below 1.90% but failed to drive the yield above 2.0%. &nbsp;Soft auctions, the calendar effect, and next week's jobs data appeared to sap the market of near-term conviction. &nbsp; Technical condition of the market is neutral, but until a beachhead above 2.0% can be secured the risk seems to be on the downside.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We disagreed with those in February and early March, who claimed that oil prices bottomed. &nbsp;A new low in the May light crude contract was recorded on March 18. &nbsp;The geopolitical tensions in the Middle East spurred a strong advance. &nbsp;However, the possibility of a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, and no signs that the Mideast tensions are disrupting supplies deterred follow through buying. &nbsp; Immediate support is seen near $48.25. &nbsp;A break could see into the $46-$47 area before better bids are found. &nbsp; &nbsp;We are still unconvinced that a significant low is in place. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The S&amp;P 500 fell during the first four sessions last week before eking out a minor gain ahead of the weekend. &nbsp;It spent the entire last two sessions of the week below the 50-day moving average, something not seen since late-January/early February. &nbsp;The RSI is trying to turn higher after the recovery from the gap lower opening on March 26, but the MACDs have not bottomed. &nbsp;A move above 2080 would help lift the tone. &nbsp; Support is seen in the 2040-45 area.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Observations from the speculative positioning in the futures market:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. &nbsp;There was a marked increase of significant changes in the speculative positioning in the currency futures (10k contract of greater adjustment in gross positions). &nbsp;It was the most active week this year. There were six such adjustments. &nbsp;The gross short euro position jumped 21k contracts to a record 271.1k. &nbsp;Both bulls and bears cut sterling positions aggressively. &nbsp;The gross long position was cut by 11.2k contracts to 35.9k. &nbsp;The gross short position was cut by 10.5k contracts to 74.5k. &nbsp;A similar pattern was evident in the Australian dollar. &nbsp;The gross long position was cut by 11k contracts to 52.1k, and the gross shorts were reduced by 11.4k contracts, leaving 80.4k. &nbsp;Lastly, the next long Mexican peso position rose by almost 50% to 35k contracts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. &nbsp;The clear pattern was that speculators took advantage of the counter-trend moves to take profits or cut longs. &nbsp;The gross long positions were cut across the board, with the Mexican peso the lone exception.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. &nbsp;There were some interesting trend moves. &nbsp;The net short euro position has increased for three consecutive weeks after falling for four weeks. &nbsp;It was the fourth week that the net short sterling position has grown. &nbsp;At 38.6k contracts, it is more than twice the size at the end of last year. &nbsp;The net short yen position of 45.9k contracts is half of where it stood at the end of the 2014. &nbsp;This has been largely a function of shorts covering. &nbsp;The gross short position has fallen by 40k contracts in Q1, while the gross long position has risen by 10k contracts. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4. &nbsp;The speculative net short 10-year Treasury futures position increased to 180k contracts from 108k. The long were cut by nearly 10% to 350.4k contracts. &nbsp;The shorts rose 32k contracts to 530.2k. &nbsp;This year the gross long has risen by about 70k contracts while the gross short position has slipped 13k contracts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>5. &nbsp;Speculators cut their net long light crude oil futures position by 36.6k contracts to 206.9k. &nbsp;The gross longs were trimmed by 3.4k contracts to 513.6k. &nbsp;The gross short position rose 33.2k contracts to 306.7k.</p> <p>&nbsp;</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="800" height="572" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aussie Australian Dollar BOE Canadian Dollar Crude Crude Oil EuroDollar Futures market Iran Middle East Price Action recovery Technical Indicators Yen Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:30:51 +0000 Marc To Market 503949 at Proof Positive That the "Recovery" is a Lie and the Fed Is Only Interested in the TBTFs <p>By basing the whole &ldquo;recovery&rdquo; argument on fraudulent data, the Fed and Federal Government have backed themselves into a corner.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After all, anyone with a functioning brain knows that the unemployment data, and, GDP growth data are massaged at best and totally bogus at worst. By using these data points as bricks to build the argument that somehow spending $4 trillion in newly printed money (and issuing $11 trillion in new debt) was needed only reinforces one of two things:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp; None of the people in charge of steering the economy have a clue what they&rsquo;re doing &hellip;</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;">Or&hellip;</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;">&nbsp;</p> <p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp; The whole thing was in fact a giant lie used to cover up the fact that none of the money was spent to try and generate economic growth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>How do we know the US is not in recovery? It&rsquo;s really quite simple. If it were, the Fed wouldn&rsquo;t have any issue with raising rates. Take a look at the below chart. Every other recession going back to 1954 saw rates begin to rise a few years into the recovery.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 490px; height: 325px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s out latest &ldquo;recovery.&rdquo; We are now five to six years into it and rates are effectively at zero. The old adage says &ldquo;actions speak louder than words.&rdquo; You could literally skip all of the Fed FOMC minutes, speeches, and Q&amp;A sessions. The below chart is exponentially louder than anything Yellen or the other Fed leaders could say.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 490px; height: 325px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Fed and Feds can talk about recovery all they want. But it&rsquo;s just talk. If the US was truly in recovery, interest rates would be rising.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So&hellip; if the money wasn&rsquo;t spent on creating growth, why was it spent?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To stop the bond bubble from blowing up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The bond bubble was $80 trillion going into 2008. Today it&rsquo;s over $100 trillion. The US had $5 trillion in public debt going into 2008. Today it has over $18 trillion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Part of this money went towards expanding the already bloated government with endless programs and social spending. But a significant portion of it went towards rolling over old debt. The US never had an extra $5 trillion lying around to pay off its old debts to begin with. And so it has been issuing new debt to cover for old debt that was coming due.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Indeed, between October and November of last year, the Federal Government issued $1 trillion in new debt&hellip; because it didn&rsquo;t have the money to pay back old debt that was coming due. That&rsquo;s just $1 trillion. Total US debt is above $18 trillion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is no recovery. There is only the bond bubble. And everything has been done to prop it up because when it bursts (as all bubbles do), entire countries (including the US) will go bust. But the Fed doens&#39;t even really care about this... it cares about the&nbsp;<strong><u>$555 TRILLION in interest rate-based derivatives sitting on the TBTF bank balance sheets.</u></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This situation will result in a Crash far larger than 2008. The markets involved are larger as is the risk and the leverage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve yet to take action to prepare for the second round of the financial crisis, we offer a FREE investment report <strong><em>Financial Crisis &quot;Round Two&quot; Survival Guide </em></strong>that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can pick up a FREE copy at:</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Best Regards</p> <p>Phoenix Capital Research</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Bond None Recession recovery Unemployment Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:03:37 +0000 Phoenix Capital Research 503948 at "I'm Not Stupid" Monsanto Lobbyist Refuses To Drink Weedkiller After Proclaiming "It Won't Hurt You" <p>&quot;Do as I say, not as I do,&quot; appears to be the message from a <strong>controversial lobbyist who claimed that the chemical in Monsanto&rsquo;s Roundup weed killer was safe for humans refused to drink his own words when a French television journalist offered him a glass</strong>... &quot;I&#39;m not stupid,&quot; he proclaims... you be the judge...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">In a preview of an upcoming documentary on French TV, </a>Dr. Patrick Moore tells a Canal+ interviewer that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, was not increasing the rate of cancer in Argentina.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div><iframe frameborder="0" height="270" scrolling="no" src=";vid=1122650" width="480"></iframe></div> <div style="width: 472px; font-size: 11px; background: #EBEBEB; border: 1px solid #D6D6D6; margin-top: 5px; padding: 4px 0 4px 6px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href=";sc_cmpid=SharePlayerEmbed" style="text-decoration: none; color: #666;" target="_blank"><span style="color: #000; font-weight: bold;">Extrait : Bientôt dans vos assiettes...</span> - Interview de Patrick Moore</a></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Entertaining transcript:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;You can drink a whole quart of it and it won&rsquo;t hurt you,&rdquo; </strong></span>Moore insists.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;You want to drink some?&rdquo;</strong> the interviewer asks. &ldquo;We have some here.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d be happy to, actually,&rdquo; </strong>Moore replies, adding, &ldquo;Not really. But I know it wouldn&rsquo;t hurt me.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;If you say so, I have some,&rdquo; the interviewer presses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not stupid,&rdquo; </strong>Moore declares.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;So, it&rsquo;s dangerous?&rdquo; the interviewer concludes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But Moore claims that Roundup is so safe that &ldquo;people try to commit suicide&rdquo; by drinking it, and they &ldquo;fail regularly.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Tell the truth, it&rsquo;s dangerous,&rdquo; the interviewer says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not dangerous to humans,&rdquo; </strong>Moore remarks. &ldquo;No, it&rsquo;s not.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;So, are you ready to drink one glass?&rdquo; </strong>the interviewer continues to press.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;No, I&rsquo;m not an idiot,&rdquo; </strong>Moore says defiantly. &ldquo;Interview me about golden rice, that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m talking about.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At that point, Moore declares that the &ldquo;interview is finished.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a good way to solve things,&rdquo; the interviewer quips.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Jerk!&rdquo; Moore grumbles as he storms off the set.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><em>Source:</em></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="300" height="259" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Fail Monsanto Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:39:18 +0000 Tyler Durden 503920 at The Bubble Machine Is Complete: Soaring Stocks Push Investors Into Bonds Whose Issuers Buy More Stocks <p>It’s no secret that central bank asset purchases and investors’ desperate hunt for yield have driven yields to record lows on everything from government bonds, to SSAs, to IG, to HY. <strong>This has regrettably had the effect of ensuring that spreads signal virtually nothing to investors about the riskiness of any particular issue as the market has become so distorted that it can no longer facilitate price discovery. </strong>This is great if you’re a company looking to <a href="">leverage</a> your balance sheet because it means you can borrow for next to nothing, and the beauty of the whole thing is that what looks like next to nothing to you looks great to investors who have seen yields on their risk free assets fall to zero or below, so finding buyers for new issues is easy (unless you’re a Australian iron ore <a href="">producer</a> that is). Corporates can then funnel the proceeds from new bond offerings back into their own stocks via buy backs, driving prices higher and artificially boosting the bottom line. Here’s what this looks like:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="461" height="334" /></a></p> <p><strong>As it turns out, there may be yet another circular dynamic at play which serves to push the bubble machine even further into hyperdrive.</strong> As JPM notes, soaring equity prices have had the effect of altering investors’ asset allocations, effectively tipping the balance towards equities even as money flows into bond funds:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em><strong>Retail investors remain strong buyers of bond funds. YTD retail investors poured more money into bond than equity funds, with the former attracting $73bn YTD vs. $47bn for equity funds. </strong>This pattern of higher bond vs. equity fund buying has been repeated in every year since 2009 with the exception of 2013’s Great Rotation…</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>We note that the speculative motive has been important for most of the past seven years as the almost steady decline in bond yields have provided strong capital gains to investors…</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But we note there is another reason that has motivated retail investors to buy bond funds, which is the large capital appreciation of equities in recent years. <strong>Equity prices have risen by 50% in the US and by 30% globally over the past three years and this has made retail investors more overweight equities vs. bonds even as they bought more bond than equity funds over the same period…</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>This is reflected in the US Flow of Funds data released last week for Q4. The equity weighting for US households stood at 35% at the end of the year, six percentage points above its level of three years ago and above its previous 2007 peak. In other words US households appear to be very overweight equities by historical standards and have thus an incentive to buy even more bonds funds to prevent their equity overweight from becoming more extreme. Similarly, US pension funds and insurance companies appear to be overweight equities and underweight bonds as can be seen in (<strong>ZH</strong>: note that we have discussed this on a number of occasions, see <a href="">here</a> and <a href="">here</a>). <strong>This increases their incentive to buy even more bonds to prevent their bond weighting from falling too much as equity prices rise…</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Household, p<span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">ension, and insurance fund allocations:</span></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="444" height="271" /></a></p> <p>The bigger picture for pension funds:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="550" height="378" /></a></p> <p>And at the 30,000 foot level, the picture remains the same:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>Most of the rise in equity allocations is due to price appreciation. With new equity issuance very limited compared to outstandings, the world as a whole can only raise its equity holdings by pushing up its price. &nbsp;T<strong>he equity weighting of the global investor stands decisively above the bond weighting, a sharp contrast to the 2008-2012 period when the bond weighting was above that of equities for most of the time. By now, the shares of bonds and cash are below their 25-year averages while the share of equities is 2% above its historical average...</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="233" height="255" /></a></p> <p>The result is ever more demand for bond funds, driving borrowing costs still lower and stamping out the last vestiges of the market’s price discovery mechanism:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>The more equity prices increase, driven by either hedge funds or investors with low equity allocations, such as Japanese pension funds or economic agents with high cash allocations such as corporates and EM households, the higher the incentive by other investors, such as US pension funds and US households, who are already very overweight equities to buy bonds to prevent their bond allocation from falling too low or their equity allocation from rising too high vs. historical averages. In other words, higher equity prices can increase bond demand by investors who are already very overweight equities, thus boosting bond prices and depressing bond yields further.&nbsp;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>* &nbsp;* &nbsp;*</p> <p>Summing up, central banks first drove interest rates to the zero bound which encouraged corporates to borrow and drove investors into riskier assets. The lower yields went, the more desperate investors became, and the more debt companies issued. Rather than spend the proceeds on capex, <strong>companies funnelled the money back into their own stocks, driving up equity prices, which distorted the asset allocations of the very investors who just bought their bonds, which means that ironically, re-leveraging companies utilizing financial engineering to boost their share prices have actually managed to kill two birds with one stone by not only inflating the value of their equity, but by simultaneously ensuring they’ll be still more demand for their debt. </strong>Meanwhile, the central banks of the world are now <a href="">buying ETFs</a> and will soon be <a href="">buying</a> individual stocks, which will serve to further drive up equity prices creating demand for corporate debt only to have the companies buy back stock, and around we go.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;">The bubble machine is thus complete.&nbsp;</span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="444" height="271" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Borrowing Costs Central Banks Insurance Companies Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:29:03 +0000 Tyler Durden 503947 at Santelli Stunned As Janet Yellen Admits "Cash Is Not A Store Of Value" <p>Intended warning or unintended slip? After <a href="">Alan Greenspan's confessional admission</a> that</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>"<strong>Gold is a currency. It is still, by all evidence, a premier currency. No fiat currency, including the dollar, can match it</strong>,"</em></p> </blockquote> <p>we found it remarkable that during the Q&amp;A after her speech today that Janet Yellen, when asked about negative rates, admitted that</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong><em>"cash in not a very convenient store of value,"</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>seemingly hinting at Bernanke's helicopter and that there will be no deflation in The US ever... <em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p>Rick Santelli then sums it all up perfectly... <em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em><strong>"deflation is clearly the boogeyman... and the only thing that will save the middle class."</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><em>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *<strong><br /></strong></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Yellen: "cash is not a convenient store of value"</strong></em></span></p> <p><iframe src="" width="480" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>* * *</p> <p>So if cash is not a very convenient store of value... what is? Biotechs? As Rick Santelli explains... this is the scariest thing she has ever said...</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Santelli: "deflation is the boogeyman... and the only thing that can save the middle class is lower prices"</strong></em></span></p> <p><iframe src="" width="480" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="436" height="178" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Janet Yellen Rick Santelli Sat, 28 Mar 2015 03:30:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 503938 at Pentagon "Loses Track" Of Equipment From $750mm Bomb-Spotting Program, Finds On eBay & Craigslist <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog</em></a>,</p> <p><img alt="Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 10.26.13 AM" class="alignnone wp-image-22556" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 204px;" /></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>The Pentagon lost track of sensitive equipment from a $750 million program to help U.S. soldiers spot roadside bombs &mdash; and some of it wound up for sale on eBay, Craigslist and other websites, according to a Navy intelligence document obtained by&nbsp;The Intercept.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>The report went on to state that &ldquo;more than 32,000 pieces of equipment were issued&rdquo; under the program, and the items &ldquo;are NOT for civilian use and are controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.&rdquo;&nbsp;The devices went missing because the military units had poor control over equipment distributed to them, according to the intelligence brief.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>JIEDDO has been heavily criticized over the years for expending large sums of money without attaining clear results.&nbsp;According to a 2012 report&nbsp;by the Government Accountability Office, JIEDDO had spent over $18 billion yet lacked an effective way to oversee its programs.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ndash; From the Intercept article:&nbsp;<a href="">Sensitive Military Gear Ended Up on eBay, Craigslist</a></p> </blockquote> <p>Another day, another example of the inconceivable incompetence of the U.S. government.</p> <p>Just yesterday, I published a post titled,&nbsp;<strong><a href="" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Can’t Make This Up – U.S. Providing Aid in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq Alongside Iranian Troops">Can&rsquo;t Make This Up &ndash; U.S. Providing Aid in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq Alongside Iranian Troops</a></strong>. Here&rsquo;s an excerpt in case you missed it:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>The U.S. has started providing Iraq with aerial intelligence in the stalled battle to oust Islamic State from Tikrit, drawing the American military into closer coordination with Iranian-backed militias spearheading the offensive. </strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Military officials said they aren&rsquo;t working directly with Iran.&nbsp;But the intelligence will be used to help some 20,000 Iranian-backed Shiite militia fighters who make up the bulk of the force that has been struggling for weeks to retake the strategic city.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Quite interesting, since last I checked Iran was the most evil, horrific existential threat to humanity on planet earth.</p> <p>However, it appears providing aid to&nbsp;Iran in Iraq and <strong><a href="">losing $500 millions in weapons to al-Qaeda</a></strong> in Yemen wasn&rsquo;t bad enough. America had to put a cherry on top of it all by losing military equipment from a $750 million program, some of which ended up for sale on eBay and Craigslist. Can&rsquo;t make this up indeed.</p> <p>From the <em>Intercept</em>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>The Pentagon lost track of sensitive equipment from a $750 million program to help U.S. soldiers spot roadside bombs &mdash; and some of it wound up for sale on eBay, Craigslist and other websites, according to a Navy intelligence document obtained by&nbsp;The Intercept.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The March 12, 2014 document is titled &ldquo;Diversion and Illegal Sales of Restricted USG Optical Systems&rdquo; and is marked &ldquo;For Official Use Only.&rdquo; It lists 13&nbsp;websites where the military equipment was listed for sale, including Craigslist, eBay, and, among others. &ldquo;Items have been marketed as sporting goods; hunting equipment; bird-watching equipment and camping supplies,&rdquo; the report notes.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The report went on to state that &ldquo;more than 32,000 pieces of equipment were issued&rdquo; under the program, and the items &ldquo;are NOT for civilian use and are controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.&rdquo; <strong>The devices went missing because the military units had poor control over equipment distributed to them, according to the intelligence brief.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The bomb-detecting equipment was provided as part of a larger program called RCOS/Keyhole, which was funded by the Pentagon&rsquo;s bomb fighting agency, known as the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), and administered by the U.S. Navy.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>JIEDDO has been heavily criticized over the years for expending large sums of money without attaining clear results.&nbsp;<a href="">According to a 2012 report</a>&nbsp;by the Government Accountability Office, JIEDDO had spent over $18 billion yet lacked an effective way to oversee its programs.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The Intercept&nbsp;found&nbsp;<a href=";hash=item2a481602b0">an eBay listing from Dec. 2014</a>&nbsp;for one of the pieces of equipment listed in the the NCIS document &mdash; the OASYS-BAE Systems Universal Thermal Monocular; it was listed for sale in Dec. 2014 for $6,000, with free standard shipping. Another item,&nbsp;<a href="">currently listed for sale</a>, is&nbsp;a CNVD-T Clip-On Night Vision Device Thermal System; it is&nbsp;advertised for&nbsp;$16,599.00 in &ldquo;new condition!&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>NCIS did not respond to email queries or a phone message requesting comment on the report.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Naturally.</p> Iran Iraq Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:05:47 +0000 Tyler Durden 503946 at