en Is Google Censoring Search Results To Protect Hillary? <p>Just yesterday, we noted how the media coverage of Clinton and Trump&#39;s health has become &quot;<strong>outright bizarre</strong>&quot; (see &quot;<a href="">American Electorate Loses As Partisan Media Coverage Of Candidate Health Turns Outright Bizarre</a>&quot;).&nbsp;</p> <p>In that post, we pointed out the following tweet from a <strong>New York Times columnist who was not &quot;enthused&quot; by all the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary&#39;s health</strong> and suggested that <strong>&quot;Google should fix this.&quot;</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Google should fix this. It shouldn&#39;t give quarter to conspiracy theorists <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) <a href="">August 21, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script src="//"></script></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Apparently Manjoo was not happy with the following interview with former <strong>New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani</strong>, where Rudy pointed out Hillary&#39;s health issues and suggested that people <strong>&ldquo;go online and put down, &lsquo;Hillary Clinton illness,&rsquo; and take a look at the videos yourself&rdquo;&nbsp; </strong><em>(skip to 7:30 for the relevant discussion on Hillary&#39;s health)</em>.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="361" src="" width="600"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, turns out that Google might have already &quot;<strong>fixed</strong>&quot; it.&nbsp; In fact, as <a href="">InfoWars</a> points out, Twitter was abuzz yesterday with people comparing searches for &quot;Hillary Clinton&#39;s He&quot; on Google vs. Bing and Yahoo.&nbsp; <strong>Apparently Google is convinced that people searching for &quot;Hillary Clinton He&quot; are really interested in Hillary&#39;s headquarters and/or her healthcare plan from 1993.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Well this is odd. <a href="">#HillarysHealth</a> <a href="">#HillaryClintonSearchTerms</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Kassy Dillon (@KassyDillon) <a href="">August 27, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Google has helpfully censored questions about Hillary&#39;s health. <a href="">#HillaryClintonSearchTerms</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) <a href="">August 27, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="">InfoWars</a> points out that<strong> just typing &quot;Hillary Clinton&quot; into Yahoo! serves up numerous suggestions on Hillary&#39;s health condition.</strong></p> <p><img alt="Yahoo Hillary Search" height="251" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But we&#39;re sure this is just an honest mistake.&nbsp; Google is probably so sure that Hillary&#39;s health isn&#39;t an issue that they just wanted to save their users some time.&nbsp; <strong>Outright bizarre, indeed.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1280" height="720" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Google New York Times Twitter Twitter Sun, 28 Aug 2016 17:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570862 at Confidence In The Fed Is Sinking Fast <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Michael Shedlock via,</em></a></p> <p>Once-revered central bank heads failed to foresee the housing bubble and the great financial crisis that followed.<em><strong> As a result, faith in the Fed has plunged.</strong></em></p> <p>People had high confidence in Alan Greenspan for much of his tenure, but that confidence tailed off towards the end. Confidence in Ben Bernanke declined further, and <strong>confidence in Yellen is at or near record lows.</strong></p> <p>The following chart shows the shift in confidence under the last three Fed chairs.<span id="more-40397"> </span></p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Shift in Confidence</strong></span></h3> <p><a href=""><img alt="Fed Confidence" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-40398" height="496" src=";h=496" width="529" /></a></p> <p><em>The above chart from the Wall Street Journal article <a href="" target="_blank">Years of Fed Missteps Fueled Disillusion With the Economy and Washington</a>.</em></p> <p>Bernanke had more negative marks than Yellen, but more positive marks as well.</p> <p>In the early 2000s, confidence in Chairman Alan Greenspan often exceeded 70%. <strong>An April Gallup poll found 38% of Americans had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Ms. Yellen, while 35% had little or none</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">How much confidence do you have in Janet Yellen?</p> <p>&mdash; Mike Shedlock (@MishGEA) <a href="">August 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><em>Note that St. Louis Fed president<strong> Bullard is worried about confidence in the Fed</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">Bullard Warns Yellen on Credibility, Sticks with Forecast &ldquo;1 Hike in Next 2.5 Years&rdquo;</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="508" height="422" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alan Greenspan Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Gallup Housing Bubble Janet Yellen None St Louis Fed St. Louis Fed Wall Street Journal Sun, 28 Aug 2016 16:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570865 at Nigel Farage: "Trump Is The New Reagan" <p>A few days after <a href="">wowing thousands of Republicans </a>at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, &quot;Mr. Brexit&quot; Nigel Farage, penned a letter (presented below) to the Daily Mail describing Trump as the &quot;new Ronald Reagan.&quot;&nbsp; Even though he <strong>stopped short of endorsing Trump</strong>, a decision he made after condemning Obama for interjecting himself into the Brexit discussion, he did note that he &quot;<strong>would not vote for Hillary Clinton even if she paid me.</strong>&quot;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;<strong>I did not endorse Trump, because I had condemned President Obama for telling us what to do in our referendum.</strong>&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;But I did say that if I was a US citizen I <strong>would not vote for Hillary Clinton even if she paid me.</strong>&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;<strong>Perhaps if I donate to the Clinton Foundation her views on me might soften.</strong>&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite his obvious distaste for Hillary, Farage, not one to hold back, also had some criticisms of Trump saying he has &quot;<strong>made a lot of mistakes</strong>.&quot;&nbsp; He also noted Trump&#39;s tendency to go off script saying that his &quot;<strong>acceptance speech in Cleveland appeared to be disjointed</strong>&quot; and &quot;<strong>didn&#39;t flow</strong>&quot;.&nbsp; That said, in the end, he points out that everyone makes mistakes noting that &quot;<strong>virtually everyone thought that Ronald Reagan was unfit to be the US President before he made a huge success of his two terms.</strong>&quot;</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><em><strong>Full letter from Nigel Farage to the <a href="">Daily Mail</a>:</strong></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Since I announced that I was going to stand aside as Ukip leader in the wake of the successful Brexit campaign, I&#39;ve had more time to do other things.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This included a trip to Cleveland for the Republican Convention and the adoption of Donald J. Trump as their Presidential candidate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I was astonished that everybody I met wanted to talk about Brexit &ndash; not just the delegates to the convention but ordinary people, including a group of US Navy veterans who told me we should have done it years ago.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There was a chance meeting, in a bar of course, with the delegation from Mississippi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They were wildly enthusiastic Brexiteers and told me that their State Governor Phil Bryant was delighted with the result and would love me to visit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So in what I thought would be the quiet days of August, I was happy to accept their invitation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The plan was simple: I would speak at a dinner hosted by the Governor to speak about the Brexit campaign and to draw parallels with voters in America, who are looking for many of the same things.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was not until I arrived and was having dinner at the magnificent Governor&#39;s Mansion in Jackson that I was told that on the following evening there would be a rally at which up to 15,000 people would come to hear Trump.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Governor Bryant said he would like me to speak. I could scarcely believe it as I knew that no UK politician had ever spoken at a Republican election rally.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Trump campaign has been highly controversial. Some of his comments have not looked good and left him open to accusations of extremism.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At times he has appeared quite aggressive on the platform. I was curious: what would the man be like in person?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We met at a private gathering of major Mississippi donors to his campaign. I was surprised, even slightly overwhelmed, by the warmth of his welcome and his huge support for Brexit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As he said to me: &#39;Smart thing to do.&#39;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We talked for a few minutes and then I headed off to the Coliseum, the venue for the night&#39;s extravaganza.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I had never addressed a public meeting in the US before and certainly never spoken to a crowd of 15,000. I was anxious.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But I was told not to worry, it would be OK. I&#39;d be one of the early speakers, they said, and hardly anyone would listen to me as they would be waiting to hear from the main man.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So I waited in the wings &ndash; surrounded by swarms of stern- faced US Secret Service agents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Then, minutes before the event began, I was told there was a change of plan. Donald would introduce me. I couldn&#39;t really believe what I was hearing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of his aides said: &#39;He&#39;s gonna be your warm-up.&#39;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There were several well-known American politicians milling around, including Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, a man I have long admired.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He was desperate to speak, and had expected to, so was more than a little surprised and none too pleased to be told that the Brexit Englishman was going up instead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump took the stage to riotous applause and began to make his speech. About halfway through he moved on to the Brexit victory.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And then he called me up on stage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I told them that Brexit was the victory of the little people over the Establishment. They went wild.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I told them that if you can motivate non-voters to engage with the electoral process that anything was possible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I did not endorse Trump, because I had condemned President Obama for telling us what to do in our referendum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But I did say that if I was a US citizen I would not vote for Hillary Clinton even if she paid me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The atmosphere in the room was more like a rock concert than a political meeting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I know from speaking in hundreds of chilly village halls to audiences of 50 people or fewer in the early years of Ukip that this was an experience that for me would probably never berepeated. And I must say I loved every second of it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So what now do I think of Trump and his campaign? Often business people don&#39;t make good politicians.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They are used to having their own way and fire off lots of ideas, many of which are completely forgotten by the following morning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But in politics if you think out loud and throw ideas into the mix they simply can&#39;t be thrown in the waste bin as they get analysed and often ridiculed by the media pack.</p> <p>Trump is very new to politics and has made a lot of mistakes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When I watched his acceptance speech in Cleveland it appeared to be disjointed. It simply didn&#39;t flow.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But what I saw from just a few feet away in Jackson was something different. He was a better and more confident speaker.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He stuck in a disciplined manner to a script. I sensed that his new campaign team have him on the right track. I really don&#39;t believe that he is the monster painted by many.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is worth remembering that virtually everyone thought that Ronald Reagan was unfit to be the US President before he made a huge success of his two terms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump has embraced Brexit and all of the principles that led to that historic vote. Most of the crowd I met after the rally had never voted in their lives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They are the same people who made Brexit happen. They see Washington as distant and aloof, just as many Leave voters saw rule from Brussels.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The issue of open and loose borders in an age of increasing terrorist risk may well dominate western politics for many years to come.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump is strong on the immigration message and he is connecting, to the horror of the Washington establishment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hillary represents the status quo where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. She is part of the Establishment that has led us into an endless series of wars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Trump campaign is now about change. Having met him and having spoken to him, I am far less worried. If he becomes US President he will be able sensibly to make the big decisions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The morning after the convention I woke up wondering whether all of this had really happened. But I saw on US television that overnight there had been a bounce in the polls for Trump.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There was a renewed confidence among the Mississippi Republican team and a feeling the Trump campaign had turned the corner.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A very rattled, anxious-looking Hillary Clinton responded in a press conference and attacked my presence on the stage with Trump. She trotted out a series of wilful misinterpretations of things that I had said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was a similar kind of demonisation used by George Osborne and many of the Remain camp on me during the referendum campaign.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Along with Bob Geldof, Hillary simply cannot accept Brexit and still thinks it&#39;s wrong to even talk about immigration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She represents the failed past and would do better going out meeting American voters rather than attacking me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Perhaps if I donate to the Clinton Foundation her views on me might soften.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It does seem a little strange that I am now being used as a political football in the American presidential campaign. But it shows that Brexit is a truly global event.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Which brings me back to Theresa May, who has said that Brexit means Brexit. Given there is now a global debate on this issue she had better mean it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So far I have given her the benefit of the doubt. And I like the appointment of the three Brexiteers to do the job.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But she must not take too long to declare Article 50 and to set the clock ticking. By the end of this parliamentary term &ndash; 2020 &ndash; we must be out of the bureaucratic single market, have control of our borders and have regained our territorial fishing rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Anything less than this will be a betrayal of 17.4 million voters and would lead to huge public anger in this country and lead to even more dramatic political change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is already in the air at Ukip, with the leadership campaign. We have been a hugely successful political party.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We forced the issue of EU membership into mainstream debate in this country and without us there would have been no referendum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also managed to get many non-voters to turn out on June 23 and I&#39;m proud of our achievements.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So Ukip needs to remain strong, to continue to be a threat, and has an opportunity gifted by Jeremy Corbyn&#39;s dragging of the Labour Party into Left-wing irrelevance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I won&#39;t comment on any of the leadership candidates &ndash; I will support whoever wins. But Ukip&#39;s management and decision making processes are no longer fit for purpose.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The days of being run by elected, often wholly inexperienced volunteers through a national executive committee are over.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new leader needs to be able to make decisions and to genuinely lead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He or she will need a team of real professionals to take Ukip to the next stage. The opportunities for the party are still great.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it needs real change if it is to continue to prosper.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <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="634" height="441" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> New York City None President Obama Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:58:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570855 at Pensions, Oy Vey <p><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></span></em></p> <p>Years ago it seemed that when you&nbsp;hit 65 you'd retire, receive a gold watch, and proceed to spend your&nbsp;pension money&nbsp;on a rocking chair and pot plants. Ten&nbsp;years later you'd be in a box and, since pot plants are cheap, the cost of keeping you alive wasn't prohibitive.</p> <p>Not anymore. Today things are different. My wife belongs to a running club and there are a bunch of octogenarians there who put us both to shame. Nope,&nbsp;today you retire and spend your pension on kickboxing classes and second wives, with&nbsp;no plan of dying anytime soon. </p> <p> This is really bad news for pension schemes across the developed world. <strong>Longevity is a problem when you can't pay for it.</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Your Pension Is Threatened As Life Expectancy Rises" width="550" height="372" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-15752" /></p> <p>Maybe, just maybe, we could keep Mabel and Bob around for 10 years of&nbsp;re-used tea bags and pot plants, but not 20 years of kickboxing.</p> <p>A&nbsp;suggestion put forward is that young people will simply have to hand over three times&nbsp;as much in taxes and work in their cubicles until they're 123 before collapsing from&nbsp;a heart attack, clutching&nbsp;their overfilled catheters. At the very least, we'll have robots changing their nappies though&nbsp;this doesn't seem like a credible solution.</p> <p>The fundamental problem with pensions is that you're saving for old age diapers, pot plants, and rocking chairs&nbsp;by&nbsp;<strong>handing those savings over to entities&nbsp;whose mandates force your capital into asset allocations that no longer make sense.</strong> Why, oh why would you buy a European government bond for a negative yield just because the rating agencies still class it AAA and your fund mandate says it's OK? </p> <p> For those who still watch TV, I'm told that every night is littered with advertisements for pension companies. Those pension fund companies, sucking in your pot plant money, are actively seeking more suckers so they can move into shinier, taller office buildings&nbsp;in the most&nbsp;<del>expensive</del>&nbsp;sought after part of town where they will hire more executives to help&nbsp;plan more adverts to bring in more money from more suckers. </p> <p> But we're not living in 1964 anymore. Technology has evolved and today I sit writing to you from a home office in a place of my choosing. I manage my wealth from this location but in truth I can -and often am - anywhere. I have friends, colleagues, and clients with multi billion dollar family offices who operate in much the same way. No shiny office buildings on the expense column. The shiny office buildings are there but they're leased to, you guessed it, pension and mutual funds.</p> <p>Remember: pension funds are the dumb money. Smart investors watch mutual fund flows in order to know where the dumb money is moving to and there is no better place to watch than these guys.</p> <p>And the&nbsp;government's even worse. They promise to take our money and return it to us in the future but instead use it to bomb sand&nbsp;on the other side of the world. It'd be better if they just used it to buy a boat and go fishing on weekends. At least then we wouldn't get the blowback of disastrous foreign policy I recently discussed in&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">7-step blueprint to the easiest short in recent history.</a></p> <h3><strong>New Election Cycle - Same Story</strong></h3> <p> Every new election cycle, no matter where you live (unless perhaps it's Kabul), your government will promise you greater security at less cost and they'll promise to protect pensions.</p> <p>Expecting your government to ring-fence pensions for protection is as silly as thinking your road tax goes on the roads. It doesn't. It's spent on a legion of new civil servants so that the government can live up to their other promise of job creation. <em>"Look, we just created a gazillion new jobs right here and look at that&nbsp;increased GDP."&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Don't be disheartened though. There is good news. According to a study published in the&nbsp;Journal of Epidemiology &amp; Community Health&nbsp;delaying retirement increases life expectancy. Clearly we just need to keep working.</p> <p>Our stern faced suits seem to be pushing forward without any&nbsp;credible plan implemented and if history is any guide&nbsp;-&nbsp;and it is - then debt and taxes will be tried first. And this brings me to debt. </p> <p> Before the <a href="" target="_blank">crucial demographic tipping point</a> is even directly upon us those stern suits have racked up an unconscionable amount of debt.</p> <p>According to a Citibank report, the total amount of unfunded government pension liabilities in OECD countries currently stands at $78 trillion. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>"If we focus on government pension liabilities for public sector workers and social security, our own analysis of twenty OECD countries indicates an average level of unfunded government pension liabilities of 190% of GDP. For that same cohort of countries, the reported amount of all government debt totals only 109% of GDP. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>In US dollar terms, we estimate global retirement underfunding sitting on government balance sheets for these twenty countries to total $78 trillion, compared to reported national debts totaling $44 trillion. Therefore, <strong>if the liabilities of social security and public sector worker underfunding are added as a form of ‘contingent debt’, total global government debt may be three times as large as people currently think it is.</strong> Whatever the calculation used, the numbers are staggering."</em></p> </blockquote> <p> And by the way,&nbsp;this figure isn't included in public debt to GDP ratios. You know, those ratios that everyone has been wringing their teeth and gnashing their hands over?</p> <p>That figure (the debt to GDP for these OECD countries) stands at $44 trillion, nearly half the pension liabilities. To understand the real debt we need to add the two but in truth it's meaningless. None of it is getting paid back! </p> <h3><strong>What to Do?</strong></h3> <p> Good question and one I've spent considerable waking hours pondering. </p> <p> You could take up smoking and junk food, hastening an early heart attack. Or you could take control of your own finances, save like hell, watch the markets like a hawk, and position yourself for&nbsp;the inevitable.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">--------------------------------------</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;"><img src="" alt="Kyle Bass Gold" width="550" height="138" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> <p>Many will label me a rich parasitic capitalist for saying this and they can eat sand because&nbsp;the truth is I expect to make a fortune over the coming decade from this folly and I sincerely hope you do too. </p> <p> - Chris </p> <p> <em>"Fund flows really come in handy. How you can really document that is to look at the&nbsp;mutual fund flows because you're tracking the worst investors on the planet."</em> — David Hay, CIO Evergreen Capital Management</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Liked this article?&nbsp;<a href="">Don't miss our future articles and podcasts, and</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="">get access</a>&nbsp;<a href="" style="line-height: 20.8px; font-size: 1em;">to free subscriber-only content here.</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> Bond Citibank Dumb Money Fund Flows None Rating Agencies Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:49:11 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 570863 at Dutch Central Bank Refuses To Publish Gold Bar List For Dubious Reasons <p>My hunt for the gold bar list of the Dutch official gold reserves started in 2015. On September 26 of that year I visited a conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, called&nbsp;<a href="">Reinvent Money</a>. One of the speakers was&nbsp;<a href="">Jacob De Haan</a>&nbsp;from the Dutch central bank (DNB) Economics and Research Division&nbsp;&ndash; you can watch his presentation by clicking&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>In his presentation De Haan repeatedly talked about the importance of transparency in central banking.</strong> These statements raised my eyebrows, as I&nbsp;<a href="">submitted a&nbsp;FOIA&nbsp;request</a>&nbsp;at DNB in 2013 to ask for all correspondence&nbsp;between DNB and other central banks in the past 45 years with respect to its monetary gold, which was not honored. <strong>From my experience DNB was anything but transparent.</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-11170" target="_blank"><img alt="De Haan DNB 2015" class="wp-image-11170" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 249px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Slide from is Jacob De Haan (DNB) at the Reinvent Money conference September 26, 2015. Red frame added by me. </em></p> <p>After the presentation I approached De Haan and asked him, if transparency is so important to DNB, why has it&nbsp;never published its gold bar list? An act of transparency that could be accomplished within minutes. <strong>De Haan offered me he would look into that. He gave me his email address and we agreed to stay in touch.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><em><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-11171" target="_blank"><img alt="Jan de Haan dnb" class="wp-image-11171" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 337px;" /></a> </em></p> <p><em>September 26, 2015, at the Reinvent Money conference. On the left is Jacob De Haan, on the right in the orange sweater is me. </em></p> <p>The next day I send De Haan an extensive email explicating my request at DNB to publish the gold bar list of the Dutch gold in excel sheet format. I wrote him it wouldn&rsquo;t take DNB any effort, as I assumed the bar list was&nbsp;readily available.</p> <p>De Haan never replied to my email, so I called his office in December 2015 to ask what the status was of my request. De Haan&rsquo;s secretary answered my inquiry was not rejected but still being processed.</p> <p>Weeks passed but I didn&#39;t get any reply from De Haan.</p> <p>On February 24, 2016, I decided to call DNB&rsquo;s press department to ask about my inquiry. DNB&rsquo;s spokesman, Martijn Pols, told me over the phone the subject was still being discussed internally, he even confirmed De Haan was involved in the decision making. <strong>DNB&nbsp;was considering releasing the document while carefully weighing al pros and cons, he said.</strong> <strong>In the conversation Pols stated DNB was aware the German central bank (the <a href="">Deutsche Bundesbank</a>) <a href="">released a bar list in October 2015</a>&nbsp;and there was a wish in Amsterdam to mutually harmonize this policy. I added that if DNB would go ahead with the publication their action would only be credible if the Dutch bar list would be complete (disclosing refinery brands, refinery bar numbers and year of manufacturing), in contrast to&nbsp;<a href="">the incomplete list the Germans had published</a>. Pols was aware of the format the Germans had chosen and took note of my comment. An ensuing question from my side what was holding back DNB in releasing the list could not be clearly answered.</strong></p> <p>Months passed without any news from DNB. On August 8, 2016 I decided to call Pols again for a status update. He said he would reply over email. A few days later I received an email&nbsp;from DNB Head of Commutations J.W. Stal.</p> <p><a href="">His email to me, translated from Dutch to English, reads</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Dear Mr Jansen, &hellip;. We can share the following information with respect to our gold reserves. <strong>DNB is transparent about the amount (weight) and the value of our gold assets. This information can be found in our annual reports. Thereby, several media have visited the gold vault and video recordings have also been made. However, we do not intend to publish a gold bar list. This serves no additional monetary purpose to our aforementioned transparency policy, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">however it would incur administrative costs</span>.&nbsp;</strong> If you have any further question please contacts us. Kind regards, J.W. Stal</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Of course, in this day and age any gold bar list from a central banks should be&nbsp;readily available in excel sheet format, and releasing a sheet would not incur any administrative costs.</strong></p> <p><a href="">My response to Stal&nbsp;translated</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Dear Mr Stal, <strong>If the sole reason not to publish the gold bar list is that such an action&nbsp;would incur administrative costs I must conclude DNB doesn&rsquo;t have the list readily available. Or is my conclusion erroneous? Does DNB have a complete gold bar list readily available or not?</strong> <strong>If not, this is worrying because the gold bar list forms one of the most important checks on the existence of the Dutch official gold reserves, which provide essential stability to our economy.</strong> <strong>Is the list in your possession or not?</strong> Kind regards, Koos Jansen</p></blockquote> <p><a href="">Stal replied</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Dear Mr Jansen, In response to your email of August 11, 2016, to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), we can inform you as follows on our gold reserves and the related gold bar list. <strong>DNB has internal gold bar lists, however the conversion of internal lists to documents for publication would create&nbsp;too many administrative burdens.</strong> We maintain our previous email, in which we stated publishing a gold bar list serves no monetary purpose other than transparency. And as previously noted, there are other ways for DNB to transparently communicate about&nbsp;our gold stocks. We trust to have informed you sufficiently. Kind regards, J.W. Stal<em>&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote> <p><strong>If DNB has its gold bar list properly (digitally) archived there should be no administrative cost whatsoever for publication. The argument presented by Stal makes absolutely no sense to me. If one owns over 600 tonnes of gold, why not have the physical&nbsp;assets&nbsp;accurately&nbsp;inventoried?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>What could possibly be the problem to release the bar list of the Dutch gold located in Amsterdam, New York, Ottawa and London?</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-11175" target="_blank"><img alt="The-Netherlands-Official-Gold-Reserves-Allocation" class="alignright wp-image-11175" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 145px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>I would like to remind you that DNB is the only Western central bank that in recent years has successfully repatriated a significant amount of gold (122.5 tonnes) from the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York through <a href="">a covertly executed operation</a>. This underlines DNB is fully aware of the importance of its gold reserves in our current fragile&nbsp;financial climate. I think&nbsp;DNB does have&nbsp;the bar list readily available, but it chooses not to publish it for political reasons &ndash; think, tensions between its custodians in New York and London.</strong></p> <p><strong>DNB claims to be transparent but in reality it&#39;s not.</strong></p> <p>If you click <strong><u><a href="">this</a></u></strong> link you can see the most recent video recording made inside the DNB vault at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam on April 26, 2016. The gold you see in the video aggregates to&nbsp;189.9 tonnes and includes the 122.5 tonnes repatriated from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November 2014. Note, <a href="">the gold at the Frederiksplein has been relocated to a different&nbsp;compartment inside the vault room after November 2014</a>, due to the increased volume by the repatriation.</p> <p><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-11205" target="_blank"><img alt="elianne DNB gold" class="wp-image-11205 size-medium" src="" style="width: 651px; height: 370px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Courtesy RTLZ. DNB vault room, Frederiksplein in Amsterdam on April 26, 2016.</em></p> <p><strong>A few noteworthy comments from the DNB employee in the video:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Gold is the ultimate insurance and anchor in monetary systems.</strong> <strong>If there will ever be any financial instability we can use the gold to build a new monetary system and offer trust to the public.</strong></p></blockquote> Bank of New York Central Banks Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Bank of New York FOIA Netherlands Reality Transparency Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:25:04 +0000 BullionStar 570861 at Al Qaeda In Syria Changed Its Name And Now The US Is Arming Them <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Dan Wright via,</em></a></p> <p>Though many scoffed when the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Al-Nusra, <a href="" target="_blank">rebranded itself Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham</a>,&nbsp;<strong>that cosmetic change was apparently enough to convince the US government to start sending them arms. </strong></p> <p>In the recent push by rebels in the city of Aleppo, Al-Nusra/Al-Sham took a leading role and was reportedly&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">among the rebels groups who received US weapons</a>.<strong><em>&nbsp;Those weapons will first be used to kill Syrian government troops and after that, well, who knows?</em></strong></p> <p><img height="266" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>Many, if not most, of the rebel groups fighting the Syrian government are jihadist and few have any serious objection to Al-Nusra participating in their operations, especially given that Al-Nusra has proven to be one of the most effective groups on the battlefield. <strong>If Al-Sham and fellow Sunni jihadists prevail over Syrian government forces, a genocide will likely commence against religious minorities in Syria, starting with the Alawites and moving on to other Shiites.</strong></p> <p>From the Atlantic Council:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Fateh al-Sham&rsquo;s support extends beyond the immediate political and military opposition. Roshd Virtual University in Istanbul, Turkey offered 100 scholarships to the children of the fighters who participated in Aleppo&rsquo;s battle. The opposition&rsquo;s desperation to change the balance of power in Syria has made them&nbsp;<strong>embrace Fateh al-Sham and turn a blind eye to the fact that it was until recently the Nusra Front, an internationally designated terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;According the Syria analyst Charles Lister, there is a significant subsection of the Syrian opposition that does not oppose Fateh al-Sham&rsquo;s participation in Aleppo related military operations. Moreover, Lister said that <strong>opposition forces fighting in Aleppo received for the first time American weapons that are normally designated for forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS)</strong>. The opposition&rsquo;s takeaway is that the United States does not object to preserving the balance on the ground with the Syrian regime, even if doing so indirectly <strong>bolsters Fateh al-Sham</strong>.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>While it would be a mistake to say this is the first time the <a href="" target="_blank">US gave assistance to Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria</a>,&nbsp;it is a <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>pretty stunning digression from earlier claims from US officials that assisting Al Qaeda and ISIS was completely off limits. </strong></span>Now the US is arming them in one of the most crucial battlefields of the Syrian Civil War.</p> <p>Then again, Al-Nusra/Al-Sham claims it no longer is within the Al Qaeda network (though they also appear to still hold much of the same beliefs). <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>I guess a rebrand is all it takes for the US to take a group from sworn enemy to ally worthy of receiving anti-tank weapons.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>What could go wrong?</strong></em></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="725" height="321" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Turkey Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:18:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 570860 at "It May Take A Massive Program, Large Enough To Shock Taxpayers" - The Jackson Hole Post-Mortem <p>On Saturday, the 2016 edition of the Fed's Jackson Hole two-day symposium came to an end, and as many expected, following long bouts of rhetoric, circular statements and hollow bluster, much of it contradictory, both the participants and markets remain as confused as ever. </p> <p>In addition to Friday's <a href="">Yellen-Fischer one-two knock out punch</a>, below are some of the key quotes, courtesy of Dow Jones:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, <strong>I believe the case for an increase in the federal-funds rate has strengthened in recent months."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, Friday, in a keynote speech at the conference: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>When asked whether the Fed could raise rates at its meeting next month and again before the end of the year, he said Ms. Yellen's speech "was consistent with answering yes to both of your questions, but these are not things we know until we see the data."</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, Friday, in a CNBC interview: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"We should be on a program of gradual rate increases," though he added, "We can afford to be patient" when it comes to acting.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>-Fed governor Jerome Powell, in a Bloomberg television interview Friday: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"If the economy in the next few weeks performs consistent with my sense of the economy, then I think we ought to have a serious discussion at the September meeting" about raising rates.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, Saturday, in a WSJ interview: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"If we had a lot of good news and we got into the September meeting and other people wanted to go, I could support that--but again I'm talking about one increase and no planned increases after that."</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Saturday, in a WSJ interview: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"The case for raising rates in the near term "has been strengthened."</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, in a Bloomberg television interview Friday: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"I see a gradual...upward pace in interest rates as being appropriate." As to when the Fed might raise rates next, she said, "I go into every meeting with an open mind."</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, in an interview with CNBC Friday: </em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“We will act decisively as we move on... The bank will carefully consider how to make the best use of the policy scheme in order to achieve the price stability target. <strong>The “zero lower bound is no longer insurmountable” as a policy constraint “in practice”; “It is natural to assume another lower bound exists,” and the current rate is “still far from such a lower bound</strong>”</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said at the conference Saturday:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Negative rates work and are nothing extraordinary or immoral or absurd." </p> </blockquote> <p><em>- European Central Bank executive board member Benoit Coeure, at the conference Friday:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>A Fed rate increase "might trigger some reactions from our side, but we will also respond to other determinants of inflation."</p> </blockquote> <p><em>- Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens, in a WSJ interview Friday: </em></p> <p>* * * </p> <p>But while Wall Street has been busy trying to decipher what all these statements mean for the probability of a future rate hike, and whether one would take place in September, or December, or both, the real message that emerged was one noted previously: a common plea to their colleagues in the rest of government: <strong>"please help" as <a href="">Reuters put it.</a></strong></p> <p>In other words, the push for a transition from monetary to fiscal policy was the true agenda behind this year's Jackson Hole. </p> <p>To be sure, while fiscal policy was not on the formal agenda for the conference, it was a steady part of the dialogue as policymakers thought through policies for a post-crisis world. <strong>One of the central worries is that households and businesses have become so cautious and set in their outlooks - expecting little growth and little inflation - that they do not respond in expected ways to the efforts central banks have made.</strong> </p> <p>Or, as the <a href="">WSJ unexpectedly reported </a>a day before the Jackson Hole start, central banks are now failing, and as even Hilsenrath blasted <strong>"years of Fed missteps" </strong>have led to populism, and disillusion with the system. The result has been a historic collapse in confidence that the Fed "<strong>will do the right thing for the economy.</strong>"</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>As <a href="">Reuters' Howard Schneider summarized in his Jackson Hole post-mortem,&nbsp;</a> "mired in a world of low growth, low inflation and low interest rates, officials from the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank said their efforts to bolster the economy through monetary policy may falter unless elected leaders stepped forward with bold measures. These would range from immigration reform in Japan to structural changes to boost productivity and growth in the U.S. and Europe."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Without that, they said, <strong>it would be hard to convince markets and households that things will get better, and encourage the shift in mood many economists feel are needed to improve economic performance worldwide</strong>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During a Saturday session at the symposium, such a slump in expectations about inflation and about other aspects of the economy was cited as a central problem complicating central banks' efforts to reach inflation targets and dimming prospects in Japan and Europe. </p> </blockquote> <p>The ECB - currently waging a <a href="">silent war with Deutsche Bank and Germany over the fate of NIRP </a>- was perhaps the most vocal, after its executive board member Benoit Coeure said the bank was working hard to prevent public expectations about inflation from becoming entrenched "on either side" - neither too high nor too low. But the slow pace of economic reform among European governments, he said, was damaging the effort. "<strong>What we have seen since 2007 is half-baked and half-hearted structural reforms. </strong>That does not help supporting inflation expectations. That has helped entertain disinflationary expectations,” Coeure said.</p> <p>What Coeure did not acknowledge is that it is the ECB's role in keeping rates at record low levels as a result of its government (and now corporate) debt monetization that has allowed Europe's government to completely ignore structural reforms. After all, if the market no longer signals a reaction to governmen policies, either favorable or otherwise, what is the point of putting one's political career at risk if interest rates won't budge.</p> <p>Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda followed a similar path and said he is in regular talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about opening Japan to more immigration and other politically sensitive changes needed to improve potential growth, currently estimated at only around one percent annually. As noted before, Fed Chair Janet Yellen devoted the final page of her keynote talk on possible monetary policy reforms to a list of fiscal and structural policies she feels would help the economy. </p> <p>Kuroda came very close to also admitting defeat, <strong>acknowledging that household expectations have not moved, </strong>and said the BOJ was prepared to continue its battle to figure out how to shift them. Essentially, the BOJ will double down on what is now no longer working, but is effectively hurting both the Japanese banks and the economy.</p> <p>"Japanese inflation dynamics remain vulnerable," Kuroda said. "It could be that long-term inflation expectations are yet to be anchored in Japan" at the bank's 2 percent target. </p> <p>This, despite, <strong>"flooding the financial system with cash, and voicing a steady commitment to their inflation targets" </strong>in an effort to make people believe they will be met.&nbsp; The conclusion one can draw is that while central banks retain some credibility among markets, at least inasmuch as rising asset prices are concerned, the general public now openly ignores any central bank forecasts, and why not: <a href="">with Fed interest rate "forecasts" such as this one</a>, it is clear that not even the Fed has any idea what is coming.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="415" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Where does all this confusion leave us?&nbsp; According to one economist, what happens next may put the past 7 years of simple "financial repression" and central bank failure to shame: in a lunch address by Princeton University economist Christopher Sims, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>"policymakers were told that it may take a massive program, large enough even to shock taxpayers into a different, inflationary view of the future</strong></span>."</p> <p>"Fiscal expansion can replace ineffective monetary policy at the zero lower bound," Sims said. "It requires deficits aimed at, and conditioned on, generating inflation. <strong>The deficits must be seen as financed by future inflation, not future taxes or spending cuts</strong>."</p> <p>In other words, openly monetizing the debt with the intent of generating runaway inflation: think helicopter money on steroids, a strategy that ultimately risks the dollar's status as a global reserve currency. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Is a "shock" fiscal stimulus on the table? As Reuters concludes, "it was not clear whether such ideas will catch on. <strong>But there was a broad sense here that the other side of government may need to up its game</strong>." </p> <p>And as central bank policies continue failing, it will. As Deutsche Bank's Dominic Konstam said over the weekend, "we are inclined to expect persistent financial repression with low real rates <strong>at least until as and when the US economy slows enough to provoke a reactionary fiscal response.</strong>" </p> <p>So there it is: all it will take for central banks to get their wish - world governments shocking "taxpayers into an inflationary view of the future - is for the economy to collapse. Because if the Lehman bankruptcy launched the greatest wealth transfer in history from the middle class to the world's wealthiest, so the next US recession</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="620" height="465" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of Japan Central Banks Cleveland Fed Dallas Fed Dennis Lockhart Deutsche Bank European Central Bank Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Germany Janet Yellen Japan Lehman Mexico Monetary Policy Monetization Recession Reserve Currency Reuters St Louis Fed St. Louis Fed Sun, 28 Aug 2016 14:37:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 570857 at The Script: Ocwen Lawyer Spoon-Fed Foreclosure Questions and Answers to Robo-Witnesses <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Ocwen" width="963" height="571" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-53181" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #000000;"><em><strong>"My conclusion is that it's pretty clear—from what she's saying and the document that she attaches—that they've been doing what I've been saying they were doing all along: telling clients want to say. These are listed out for the attorneys to ask the witness, and the answers that the witness needs to give are right there. I find that to be extremely telling. It's exactly what we thought was going on. When they talk about training of the witness, they're teaching them what to say at trial, and it doesn't matter whether it's true or not."</strong></em></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;">~</p> <h3 style="text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank">Ocwen Lawyer Spoon-Fed Questions and Answers to Robo-Witnesses</a></h3> <p> Excerpted from <a href="">The DBR</a>...</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">A Royal Palm Beach attorney alleges an attorney for embattled mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. improperly spoon-fed questions and answers to unqualified witnesses testifying in foreclosure cases against Florida homeowners.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Foreclosure defense attorney Thomas Ice said he's uncovered a script that was provided to Atlanta-based Ocwen witnesses to crush homeowner defenses and allegations of robo-witnesses by financial services sector employees who have no first-hand knowledge of mortgage details.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Ice represents St. Lucie County homeowner Thomas Rolle in foreclosure litigation brought by Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Ocwen took over servicing the mortgage in early 2013, and the lenders initially brought in national law firm Quintairos Prieto Wood &amp; Boyer to handle the litigation.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Attorneys for both sides exchanged exhibits during trial preparation, but Ice said <strong>a group of documents inadvertently emailed during the exchange exposed an in-house strategy to feed witnesses a list of prepared questions and answers.</strong></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">In several documents, former Quintairos Prieto Wood &amp; Boyer attorney Erin Prete outlined litigation tactics in a series of emails to colleagues addressing foreclosure defenses and strategies for debunking them. In one email thread, she provided a list of questions focused on default notices sent to homeowners to begin the foreclosure process.</p> <p style="margin: 12px auto 6px; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; display: block; text-align: center;"><strong> <a href="" title="View NOD NJT Q's on Scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;">NOD NJT Q's</a></strong></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-IJJDHh01SDi5q1ZKq24W&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Those notices have proven pesky for lenders, who have repeatedly been tripped up in court by sloppy paperwork, incorrect mailing addresses and other administrative slipups during mortgage transfers, giving homeowners handy defenses at trial.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">In addition to questions on default notices, <strong>Prete provided answers and a witness preparation form</strong>, which Ice said "provides all the documents that will be exhibits at trial to the witness."</p> <blockquote style="padding-left: 30px;"><p style="padding-left: 30px;">"This is the exact opposite of the relationship that they pretend to have in the courtroom—that the witness is the records custodian who culled through the bank's records and provided the relevant ones to the attorney," Ice said.</p> </blockquote> <p> <a href=""><img src="" alt="ocwen witness prep" width="784" height="548" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-65160" /></a></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Prete, who left Quintairos Prieto to join Gasdick Stanton Early in Orlando, did not respond to requests for comment by deadline. Her emails to other attorneys indicate an attempt to ensure testimony by Ocwen employees on mortgage transfers and so-called document boarding would overcome hearsay objections, Ice said.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Courts consider testimony from servicers describing mortgage transfer documents to be hearsay unless servicer employees testify to a fact-checking process to verify the information in the documents.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">"I have been working with Ocwen <strong>on ensuring their witnesses have the information necessary to testify</strong> to the boarding process at Ocwen. I received confirmation today that the witnesses have been provided this information," Prete wrote in a Nov. 26, 2013, email to several attorneys. "As a reminder, I have attached case law and sample trial questions to ask for all prior servicer business records that we may need the witness to testify to. Please feel free to use these questions or create your own based off the case law requirements. I have also attached prior emails I have sent on this topic for anyone who didn't receive them before."</p> <p> <a href=""><img src="" alt="prete email" width="967" height="504" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-65162" /></a></p> <p style="margin: 12px auto 6px; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; display: block; text-align: center;"><strong> <a href="" title="View Ocwen Trial Questions on Scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;">Ocwen Trial Questions</a></strong></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-0j5AHAGMwcneBOKZ4W1I&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">Among the questions:</p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 60px;">• Is this boarding process routinely followed by Ocwen? Yes.<br /> • Do you have any reason to believe the information provided by the prior servicer is not trustworthy? No.<br /> • Are these records made at or around the time the event occurred by a person with knowledge? Yes.</p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">"My conclusion is that it's pretty clear—from what she's saying and the document that she attaches—<strong>that they've been doing what I've been saying they were doing all along: telling clients want to say,"</strong> Ice said. "These are listed out for the attorneys to ask the witness, <strong>and the answers that the witness needs to give</strong> are right there. I find that to be extremely telling. It's exactly what we thought was going on. When they talk about training of the witness, <strong>they're teaching them what to say at trial, and it doesn't matter whether it's true or not.</strong>"</p> <p style="margin: 12px auto 6px; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; display: block; text-align: center;"><strong> <a href="" title="View Ocwen Transfer Project Management Plan on Scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;">Ocwen Transfer Project Management Plan</a></strong></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-6KiTZ1qTP7ohu45HfUj5&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><strong>Thin Line</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">Attorneys not involved in the litigation say there's a thin line between witness preparation and unethical coaching, especially when trying to establish the foundation for business records to be admitted into evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">"I do not feel it is appropriate for any attorney in any case to sit down with a client and give them a canned answer," said Kelly Kronenberg partner Adam Barnett."</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">"The act of witness preparation is leveling the playing field so that the witness can tell what he or she knows against a skilled professional who is trained to turn every careless word to his or her client's advantage," said Fort Lauderdale attorney Thomas Messana of Messana P.A. "Testimony is not a conversation. It is a highly stylized, precise question-and-answer format in a strange language and very unnatural setting—all very different from everyday life."</p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">Messana saw no unethical behavior if Prete listened to the client representative's rendition of the facts before trial, prepared a script based on her understanding of that statement and then sent it to the witness for confirmation.</p> <p style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;">"Now <strong>if the lawyer, never having met with the client representative, prepared a script of suggested testimony, that is a big problem,</strong>" he said.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: #000000;"><a href="" title=""></a></span></h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 12px auto 6px; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; display: block; text-align: center;"><strong> <a href="" title="View Foreclosure Judge Won't Seal Docs in Witness-Coaching Case on Scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;">Foreclosure Judge Won't Seal Docs in Witness-Coaching Case</a></strong></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-dAkurIP5e9CdahSlkN0T&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p style="margin: 12px auto 6px; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; display: block; text-align: center;"><strong> <a href="" title="View Seal Order on Scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;">Seal Order</a></strong></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-w0m0zxbbdqxcNollmbnK&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> default Deutsche Bank Florida Testimony Sun, 28 Aug 2016 14:36:08 +0000 4closureFraud 570856 at German Economy Minister: "TTIP Talks Have Failed" <p>In the latest blow for Obama's global trade agenda, German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that free trade talks between the European Union and the United States have failed, citing a lack of progress on any of the major sections of the long-running negotiations. "In my opinion the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it" <a href=";utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=AP">ZDF quoted the minister</a>, according to a written transcript of the interview to be aired on Sunday. “<strong>[They] have failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands.</strong>”</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="278" /></p> <p>He added that in 14 rounds of talks, the two sides <strong>haven't agreed on a single common item </strong>out of 27 chapters being discussed. Among the stumbling blocks is a US objection to opening public tenders to European companies. “For me, that goes against free trade," Gabriel previously commented regarding the issue.</p> <p>But more than just disagreement on general principles, Gabriel singled out the US as the party making strong demands with no concessions: "We mustn't submit to the American proposals," said Gabriel, who is also the head of Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Gabriel accused Washington of being "angry" about the deal that the EU struck with Canada, known as CETA, because it contains elements the U.S. doesn't want to see in the TTIP. </p> <p>Despite strong misgivings among many EU member states over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, especially by farmers in the European block, both Washington and Brussels had pushed for a deal by the end of the year. As <a href=";utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=AP">AP reports</a>, Sigmar Gabriel compared the TTIP negotiations unfavorably with a free trade deal forged between the 28-nation EU and Canada, which he said was fairer for both sides. </p> <p>As AP adds, Gabriel's ministry isn't directly involved in the negotiations with Washington because trade agreements are negotiated at the EU level. But such a damning verdict from a leading official in Europe's biggest economy is likely to make further talks between the EU executive and the Obama administration harder. Surprisingly, Gabriel's comments contrast with those of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said last month that TTIP was "absolutely in Europe's interest."</p> <p>European critics of the TTIP have claimed that the treaty is dangerous as it could place the interest of international corporations above those of the nations they operate in, and undermine European standards for labor and environmental protections. Germany, where support for the TIIP has plunged over the past year, has seen a number of popular protests demanding that the TTIP never be implemented. </p> <p>A recent survey, <a href="">conducted by YouGov for the Bertelsmann Foundation</a>, showed that only 17 percent of Germans believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a good thing, down from 55 percent two years ago. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="498" height="273" /></a></p> <p>Even in the US, support for Obama's trade agenda has tumbled, with only 18% supporting the deal compared to 53 percent in 2014. </p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong> </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="254" /></a></p> <p>The European public has been unhappy with TTIP as the contents of the deal remain largely secret. However, recent leaks suggest that it will affect food safety laws, environmental legislation, banking regulations and open the EU for GM crops. Opponents of the deal have been staging protests in a number of European cities. The most recent one took place in Berlin last weekend, with activists calling for a nationwide demonstration on September 17.</p> <p>With Gabriel saying the TTIP is effectively dead, Germany joins France, whose president Hollande said in early <a href="">May that the "TTIP is doomed" </a>adding that France "will never accept" challenges to its farming and culture in exchange for better access to U.S. markets. "That's why at this stage, France says no," the Socialist leader said at a conference on left-wing politics. French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl then said that negotiations "are totally blocked" and that a halt to talks "is the most probable option."&nbsp; </p> <p>"Europe is giving a lot ... but receiving very little in return," he concluded. Which, incidentally, is precisely how the US wanted it. It remains to be seen if the US will offer concessions to Europe now that the TTIP debate is all but finished, or if the US will demand strict adherence to rules that now clearly benefit mostly US corporations. </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="900" height="500" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> European Union France Germany Obama Administration Sun, 28 Aug 2016 13:38:56 +0000 Tyler Durden 570853 at Central Banks Double Down on the Mistakes of 2008... Creating the Greatest Bubble in Financial History <p>The common consensus in the financial community today is that the Fed and other Central Banks have somehow managed to end the business cycle. The result of this is that we&rsquo;ve entered a period of sustained growth (albeit low growth) that will continue in perpetuity until something magical happens and stronger growth returns.</p> <p>On the surface, this argument is embarrassingly naive. <strong><u>And it is astounding that grown adults actually believe it.</u></strong></p> <p>The Fed and other global Central Banks are largely being run by academics with zero real world experience. For centuries leaders and their advisors have tried to generate perpetual growth. None have succeeded. <strong>So the idea that this current group of Central Bankers, isolated from the private sector for their entire careers, somehow understand economics better than any other group of humans in history is a ludicrous.</strong></p> <p>We don&rsquo;t even have to look back far to see where this ends. <strong><u>A mere 15 years ago</u></strong>, the financial world believed that Alan Greenspan was an economic genius who had brought the world to an era of the New Economy in which we saw non-stop productivity gains.</p> <p>Today we laugh at the ignorance of this. Not content to have created the since largest stock bubble in financial history, Greenspan doubled down on his foolishness by creating a housing bubble that was three standard deviations away from historic norms.</p> <p>&nbsp;The fact that he handed off that mess to Ben Bernanke (another ivory tower economist with zero real world experience) before it nearly took down the entire financial system is the greatest accomplishment of his career.</p> <p>And yet, today, a mere decade later, the investment community has fallen for the same nonsense. Ben Bernanke is hailed by mainstream media outlets as <em>The Hero </em>(!!!) because he, like Greenspan, has doubled down on his idiocy and created yet another bubble&hellip; <strong><u>this one in an even more senior asset class (sovereign bonds).</u></strong></p> <p>Bernanke, also like Greenspan, has handed this mess off to Janet Yellen, who, like her predecessors, has zero real world experience in the private sector.<strong> And yet, she is now sitting atop the largest asset bubble in financial history.</strong></p> <p>Today, the bond bubble is over $60 trillion in size. This alone means it is more than FIVE times the size of the US housing bubble. Moreover, this bubble is global in nature, <strong><u>with 30% of global bond yields in negative territory thanks to Central Bank meddling.</u></strong></p> <p>On top of this, because sovereign bonds are the supposed &ldquo;risk free&rdquo; rate against which all other asset classes are priced&hellip; when sovereign bonds are in a bubble, EVERYTHING is in a bubble: corporate bonds, muni bonds, etc.</p> <p>All told, the bond bubble is now $199 TRILLION in size. It is over TWO times the size of global GDP. And because the Fed never bothered to actually crack down on the derivatives markets (the securities thank permitted the housing bubble to become a <em>systemic</em> issue), <strong>there are now $555 trillion in derivatives trading based on bond yields.</strong></p> <p>This is the greatest bubble in history&hellip; <strong><u>seven times global GDP</u></strong> and backstopped by nothing more than monetary printing presses run by the equivalent of an Alan Greenspan in every major economy.</p> <p>We know how this ends. We&rsquo;ve been through it twice in the last 16 years alone. And the stock market is already making clear where this is eventually headed.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 460px; height: 284px;" /></p> <p>On that note, we are already preparing our clients for this with a 21-page investment report titled the <strong><em>Stock Market Crash Survival Guide.</em></strong></p> <p>In it, we outline the coming crash will unfold&hellip;which investments will perform best&hellip; and how to take out &ldquo;crash&rdquo; insurance trades that will pay out huge returns during a market collapse.</p> <p>We are giving away just 1,000 copies of this report for FREE to the public.</p> <p>To pick up yours, swing by:</p> <p><a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>Best Regards</p> <p>Graham Summers</p> <p>Chief Market Strategist</p> <p>Phoenix Capital Research</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Alan Greenspan Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bond Central Banks ETC Housing Bubble Janet Yellen Market Crash Muni Bonds new economy None Sun, 28 Aug 2016 13:08:06 +0000 Phoenix Capital Research 570851 at