en Donald Trump Didn't Create Danger Of Presidential Dictatorship... He Inherited It <p><a href=""><em>Authored by James Bovard, op-ed via USA Today,</em></a></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><em><strong>Those who denounce Trump&#39;s constitutional depredations and anti-democratic pronouncements are clueless about the real threat.</strong></em></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 262px;" /></a></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><strong>Americans nowadays have a bad attitude towards presidents. </strong>Many people are denouncing Donald Trump as a dictator. But the real problem in this nation is the <strong>dictatorial illiteracy that has allowed modern presidents to commandeer far too much power.</strong></p> <div class="story-asset story-leadin-asset" id="module-position-QWTGVj7ylQU"> <p class="speakable-p-2 p-text">Trump&rsquo;s saber rattling, rude outbursts&nbsp;and rancorous tweets have spooked folks far and wide. But most Americans are not sufficiently informed on recent history to recognize where Trump poses dire threats beyond the usual Washington machinations. <strong>Most citizens are unaware that both political parties have perennially championed bureaucratic aggrandizement over civil liberties.</strong></p> <p class="p-text"><strong>Many of the experts who have condemned Trump are also clueless about how far federal control has stretched.</strong></p> <p class="p-text">Yale professor Samuel Moyn and Oxford professor David Priestland recently declared in a <em>New York Times</em> op-ed that &ldquo;there is no real evidence that Mr. <a href="">Trump wants to seize power</a> unconstitutionally, and there is no reason to think he could succeed.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p-text">But<strong> violating the Constitution is practically the job description for modern presidents.</strong></p> <p class="p-text">It was George W. Bush&rsquo;s White House, not Trump, that&nbsp;asserted a &ldquo;<a href="">commander-in-chief override</a>&rdquo; entitling&nbsp;presidents to ignore the law and the Bill of Rights. Congress utterly failed to thwart that outrageous claim.</p> <p><strong>Presidents have amassed vast authority because they are judged on their rhetoric and purported goals, not on their constitutional fidelity.</strong> Former president Barack&nbsp;<a href="">Obama&rsquo;s drone assassinations</a> of U.S.&nbsp;citizens were non-issues because observers think&nbsp;he&nbsp;&ldquo;meant well.&rdquo; When <a href="">Obama decided to bomb Libya</a> in 2011, his appointees made it clear that he&#39;d&nbsp;ignore the War Powers Act of 1973, enacted to prevent presidents from launching wars on their whim. When a federal judge ruled in May 2016 that the Obama administration&rsquo;s consumer subsidies under the <a href="">Affordable Care Act violated the Constitution</a>, the decision was almost completely ignored &mdash;&nbsp;perhaps because Obama&rsquo;s illegalities were progressive. When President Trump ended the subsidies, he was denounced for trampling congressional prerogatives.<br /> </p><p class="p-text">Much of the response to Trump is akin to a novice cable weather reporter who treats each morning&rsquo;s sunrise as a shocking development. <em><strong>Sen. John McCain,&nbsp;R-Ariz.,&nbsp;responded to Trump&rsquo;s media bashing by warning, &ldquo;That&#39;s how dictators get started.&rdquo; By this standard, practically every president since Thomas Jefferson has been a dictator in the making.</strong></em></p> <p class="p-text"><u><em><strong>Trump is being denounced as a dictator for rescinding Obama&rsquo;s executive decrees.</strong></em></u> Nothing frightens some Trump opponents more than his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced that decision as &ldquo;an&nbsp;<a href="">immoral assault</a> on the public health, safety and security of everyone on this planet.&quot; But&nbsp;Obama chose not to submit that agreement for <a href="">ratification to the Senate</a>. As <em>The Times</em> noted, Obama relied on &ldquo;<a href=";_r=0">bureaucratic bulldozing</a> rather than legislative transparency,&rdquo; issuing nearly 50% more &ldquo;major regulations&rdquo; than the&nbsp;Bush administration.</p> <p class="p-text">Many Trump opponents are not opposed to dictators per se;&nbsp;they simply want different dictates. Trump was widely denounced because his Justice Department refuses to compel every public school in the nation to make special bathroom and locker room accommodations for self-proclaimed transgender kids. But the Constitution did not grant the federal government jurisdiction over gender identity.</p> <p class="p-text"><strong>The news media bear&nbsp;much of the blame for Americans&rsquo; dictatorial illiteracy. </strong>None of Trump&rsquo;s actions yet rivals the odiousness of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which retroactively legalized torture and gutted habeas corpus. There was little uproar at the time thanks to blasé&nbsp;headlines such as this <em>Washington Post</em> gem: &ldquo;<a href="">Many rights in U.S. legal system absent in new bill</a>.&rdquo; Whitewashing torture was of no more significance than Congress creating a&nbsp;wool subsidy.</p> <p class="p-text">People who are clueless about past oppression are unlikely to effectively resist new abuses. <strong>If people never perceived or complained about the power grabs of the prior three presidents, they have scant standing to bewail Trump.</strong> This is especially true of top officials in previous&nbsp;administrations who set perilous precedents that Trump could exploit.</p> <p class="p-text">Trump, like recent presidents commanding armies of enforcement agents with sweeping prerogatives, is a threat to our rights and liberties. His recent comments endorsing <a href="">police roughing up arrestees</a> were appalling by any standard. Luckily, Trump&rsquo;s blather cannot negate local, state&nbsp;and federal laws against such abuses. On the other hand, Attorney General Jeff Sessions&rsquo; campaign to revive the drug war and asset forfeiture poses a far more direct peril.</p> <p class="p-text">The sheer amount of punitive power possessed by the federal government is one of the best gauges of potential tyranny. Do we really need&nbsp;<a href="">4,000 federal criminal laws</a> and <a href="">300,000 regulations</a> with criminal penalties to punish wayward citizens?</p> <p class="p-text">As Benjamin Constant wrote in 1815, &ldquo;<a href=";pg=PA176&amp;lpg=PA176&amp;dq=BENJAMIN+CONSTANT+degree+of+force,+not+its+holders,+which+#v=onepage&amp;q=BENJAMIN%20CONSTANT%20degree%20of%20force%2C%20not%20its%20holders%2C%20which&amp;f=false">It is in fact the degree of force</a>, not its holders, which must be denounced.&nbsp;...&nbsp;There are weights too heavy for the hand of man.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p-text">Unfortunately, many Trump opponents will never make an adverse inference against arbitrary power because they seek to put government itself back on a pedestal.</p> <p class="p-text"><em><strong>Trump won the election last year in part because he promised to &ldquo;make America great again.&rdquo; But America will not be great again until people expect and tolerate far less from presidents. And only illiterates believe that toppling Trump is the only &ldquo;dictator insurance&rdquo; that America needs.</strong></em></p> </div> <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="1110" height="484" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Barack Obama Bush Administration Business Climate change skepticism and denial Congress Department of Justice Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign federal government Foreign policy of Donald Trump headlines John McCain New York Times None Obama Administration Obama administration Politics Politics of the United States Senate The Apprentice Transparency United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Yale Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605659 at We Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Us <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></span></em></p> <p><strong>Warning:&nbsp;</strong>I'm going to jump all over the show today. Live with it.</p> <p>When your umbilical cord was severed, and you'd only just entered this world, you had approximately 100 billion brain cells. At some point in the future (hopefully very distant), an old man in sturdy boots and a trench coat will throw dirt on you and there'll be a whole lot less. </p> <p> Apparently it's like an expiring option.</p> <p>Our cells fizzle and die slowly during the course of our life and then much more rapidly until we're gone. It's basically Black and Scholes inside our skulls. </p> <p> The thing is, based on the sheer number of neurons we arrive on this planet with, we should all be geniuses at birth. We're not.</p> <p>It takes a good number of years for us to figure out that we shouldn't stick our bits in a toaster... or chew on barbed wire... or play with electricity in the bath while a&nbsp;2 year old would have no problem thinking those are perfectly reasonable things to do. This is despite the fact that at age 2 our brains are about 80% of the size of a fully grown adult and about 85% by early childhood.</p> <p>The reasons for this is due to the connections made between neurons - synapses.</p> <p>When we're only&nbsp;2 years old, we've not made and strengthened these necessary connections in our brains. A child’s brain actually has twice as many synapses as an adult’s brain, and in a process called pruning, the neural connections that are used and reinforced most often — like those used for language — are strengthened, while the ones that are not utilized as much fade and die. </p> <p> It's not, therefore, entirely about the number of neurons, but rather how they're trained to connect and the consistency of that training.</p> <p>The more connections made with regularity, the more adept we become at whatever that connection provides. If it's a series of connections allowing us to speak a language, then it's no surprise that a 2-year old still struggles while a grown adult manages the task perfectly well while driving a complex machine down the freeway and munching on an apple. </p> <p> It also explains why a relatively dim Joe Sixpack can be trained to perform a complex task and execute it efficiently (provided he's experienced sufficient repetition of the task). This could be a task which a genius, at first crack, may underperform at. </p> <p> <strong>It's true.&nbsp;Repetition is indeed the mother of skill.</strong> </p> <p> As investors we should try to remember this. </p> <p> What else? </p> <p> The terrible twos are pretty awful. You know why?</p> <p>Because at this age we start developing the synapses that allow us to experience emotion. Emotions such as frustration. </p> <p> So you know what we do?</p> <p>We practice those emotions. After all, if we're to control them we need to strengthen them. It's just a bit of a "terrible" experience for those around us while we're busy "practicing" frustration. But only once we've mastered those experiences and more fully developed, those connections do we begin to learn how to actually control them. </p> <p> It's a bit like hopping into a supercar when you don't really know how to drive. At first, you're a wee bit out of control, careening all over the place and figuring out how the accelerator works and the breaks and so forth. Eventually, we get the beast under control and we're off. </p> <p> <strong>As adults we can all lapse under stressful conditions.</strong> </p> <p> Have you ever been running late for some important meeting and you can't find your car keys? </p> <p> You go into a whirlwind rush. Blind panic. Where the fffff are my keys??? </p> <p> <em>"Honey! You seen my keys?"</em> </p> <p> Your darling loved one answers with, <em>"but I <strong>told</strong> you to put them on the hook."</em> </p> <p> What's your response? </p> <p> Typically it's something like this. </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" width="256" height="197" class="size-full wp-image-17639" /> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>You FFFFF!!!</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp;</em>Don't tell me that. Just help me find them.</p> <p>What's happening in your brain is that your rational brain has completely shut down at this point. In this state you simply can't function rationally. The 2-year old has taken over, and only once you've calmed down can you go about searching for your keys... thinking rationally where you had them last and so forth.</p> <p>You're literally returning to what a 2-year old experiences when they're still developing those neural connections and haven't fully developed them yet. The 2-year old brain doesn't understand context. It's reverting to our primary DNA, which actually tells us that we're going to die. </p> <p> So what does this have to do with investing?</p> <p>Well, I was thinking about this all as I wrote the weekly <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Insider subscription</a> letter. Take a look at this. </p> <p> <img src="" width="700" height="361" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18243" /></p> <p>On the 19th April of last year, after hearing the news that Mitsubishi Motors Group had "doctored" some of their fuel efficiency datam a number of investors went all 2-year old. Their brains reverted to our most basic DNA and yelled <em>"I'm going to fu****g die"</em>, their reaction being ironically somewhat self-fulfilling.</p> <p>Proof that we can go from rational to 2-year-old in the blink of an eye.&nbsp; </p> <p>You only needed to wait for one week to find the bottom. </p> <h3><strong>Yet Another Example</strong></h3> <p> I alluded to it in a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">post about the land of football, gorgeous women, and trading opportunities</a> in May of this year. </p> <p> Here's what it looked like at the time:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" width="700" height="383" class="wp-image-18245" /> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>"We're all going to die!"</em></p> <p><em></em>And here's what we did — an excerpt from the Insider trade alert: </p> <div class="page" title="Page 7"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <div class="column"><em>Buy the Jan 2019, 33 Strike (currently at 5.50) Simultaneously sell the Jan 2019, 40 Strike (currently at 3.15) For a spread cost of 2.4.</em></div> <div class="column"></div> <div class="column"><em></em><em>So if EWZ closes at or above 40 by Jan19 we will make 7 on the spread (40-33), less the cost of the spread (2.4) = 4.6/2.4 = 190%.</em></div> </blockquote> <div class="column">Of course, you could have just bought the ETF itself. Very vanilla and something a trained monkey could do. <p>Here's today's chart:</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" width="700" height="379" style="font-size: 13.008px;" class="wp-image-18244" /><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em style="font-size: 13.008px;">Jeezuz...nobody died. Whoudathunkit?</em></p> <p><em style="font-size: 13.008px;"></em><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Are we super genius?<br /> </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><br /> Hell no! We just refrained from going all 2-year old, took a breathe, and put things into context.<br /> </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><br /> There's another side to this.</span></p> <h3><strong>FOMO</strong></h3> <p> Have you ever been driving along behind some old dotty goat who's trawling along well BELOW the speed limit? You're agitated and then excited when you see that just ahead the lane goes to double lanes. Ah... at last a chance to drill past old Betty in her Suzuki snowflake, 1-point-nothing tin can that's been annoying you for ages.</p> <p>And then, we all know what happens next. </p> <p> Here comes the double lane and Betty, bless her socks, suddenly guns the car and is now going OVER the speed limit. Whaaat?? </p> <p> There is a reason for this. It's all about our DNA.</p> <p>Back when we were restless creatures scrubbing for roots and berries our social status could have meant the difference between survival and death. It was pretty important that our social status remained as high as we could get it. Those at the bottom of the social rung could quite literally starve. Not pleasant. </p> <p> Today, we're not going to starve but our DNA doesn't recognise that. It still reacts the same way. </p> <p> We see this in any bubblicous market. In fact, I was cutting my teeth in the investment banking world in London during the dot-com boom and truthfully never understood at the time what was going down. (gimme a break I was just 20-something).</p> <p>EVERYONE was getting in on the IPOs and making fortunes. It was as much a social status activity as it was about making money. NOT participating meant that you were old Betty getting overtaken at speed. Not good says our brain. </p> <p> There is hope, though.</p> <p>Don't drive yourself around the bend letting your 2-year-old brain run the show. Breathe, relax, and put everything into context. Most of the time you should be doing nothing at all except observing. </p> <p> Good luck! </p> <p> - Chris </p> <p> <em>“Resisting temptation and instilling self-control are general human goals, and repeatedly failing to achieve them is a source of much of our misery.”</em> ? Dan Ariely</p> <p style="text-align: center;">--------------------------------------</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Liked this article? Then you'll probably like my other missives on</p> <p style="text-align: center;">this topic as well.&nbsp;<a href="">Go here to access them (free, of course).</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> A Time for Choosing Animal anatomy Apple Brain Brain Rules Cognitive neuroscience Cognitive science Computational neuroscience Neuroscience Philosophy of artificial intelligence Zoology Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:30:57 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 605662 at Hartford Could Default On Its Debt As Soon As Next Month, Moody's Says <p>Moody&rsquo;s latest warning about Hartford Connecticut is its most dire yet.</p> <p>In a report issued Thursday, the ratings agency&rsquo;s analysts said Hartford, Connecticut&rsquo;s once-proud capital city, could default on its debt as soon as next month, forcing the capital of the country&rsquo;s wealthiest state (on a per capita basis) into bankruptcy.</p> <p>If the city doesn&rsquo;t change course (and given its shrinking tax base and the departure last year of Aetna, a major insurance company that was founded in Hartford and had located its headquarters in the city for more than 150 years, reforms appear unlikely), receive a state bailout or strike some kind of deal with its creditors, Moody&rsquo;s says lenders can expect it to run up annual deficits in excess of $60 million through the next 20 years.</p> <p>Moody&rsquo;s (along with its rivals Fitch and Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s) <strong>downgraded Hartford&rsquo;s credit rating on Sept. 26 to Caa3 from Caa1, </strong>reflecting a view that creditors would only manage to recoup between 60% and 80% of their principal should Hartford default.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 258px;" /></a></p> <p>Of course, there&rsquo;s no guarantee that the state government will be there to support troubled Hartford. Four months into the fiscal year, Connecticut is the only state in the country that hasn&rsquo;t passed a budget as lawmakers the state&rsquo;s lame-duck Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy joust over how to close a $3.5 billion two-year budget deficit. In a reflection of the state&rsquo;s broader fiscal crisis (as is the case in many US states), Moody&rsquo;s says Hartford&rsquo;s public employee unions represent a &ldquo;significant constraint&rdquo; to cutting the city&rsquo;s deficit, as the <a href="">Hartford Courant </a>points out.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Moody&rsquo;s called Hartford&rsquo;s unions &ldquo;a constraint&rdquo; to trimming the city&rsquo;s deficit. &ldquo;Contractual salary increases and employee benefits are significant contributors to the city&#39;s long term structural imbalance,&rdquo; the report read.</strong> Unions would have to make &ldquo;significant concessions&rdquo; for Hartford to narrow those deficits, it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>High labor costs stem from &ldquo;decades of contractual salary increases and employee benefits,&rdquo; Moody&rsquo;s wrote, and those benefits &mdash; which include health insurance, pensions payments and workers compensation, among others &mdash; are expected to increase by $21 million in 2018.</strong> Moody&rsquo;s found that benefits and insurance costs have increased 6 percent each year for the last 10 years, compared to an annual increase of just 2 percent in the urban consumer price index during the same period.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Moody&rsquo;s called Hartford&rsquo;s unions &ldquo;a constraint&rdquo; to trimming the city&rsquo;s deficit. &ldquo;Contractual salary increases and employee benefits are significant contributors to the city&#39;s long term structural imbalance,&rdquo; </strong>the report read. Unions would have to make &ldquo;significant concessions&rdquo; for Hartford to narrow those deficits, it said.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>To circumvent this, Moody&rsquo;s suggests the state craft legislation that would open up the arbitration process and allow municipalities to renegotiate contracts - a process that, given the immense political power wielded by public employee unions in the state, appears unlikely to succeed, even as state and local finances rapidly deteriorate.</p> <p>Unfortunately for the city, Moody&rsquo;s says debt restructuring wouldn&rsquo;t be as effective a concession as the other strategies being pursued by the city&rsquo;s Democratic Gov. Luke Bronin. This is largely because the city would be forced to pay more in interest further down the road. Bronin his hoping to convince creditors to restructure <strong>some $600 million in debt. </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Of the three avenues being pursued by Mayor Luke Bronin &mdash; debt restructuring, increasing state aid and renegotiating labor contracts &mdash;<strong> debt service would be &ldquo;a smaller source for potential concessions&rdquo; than escalating state aid or negotiating with unions, Moody&rsquo;s said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Moody&rsquo;s said bondholders and city leaders discussed issuing new refunding bonds with a maturity of 30 years, rather than the previous cap of 20 years, which &ldquo;would provide principal repayment in full but over a longer period.&quot; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While that maneuver would reduce Hartford&rsquo;s immediate deficits, the city would be forced to pay more interest, increasing the cost of its debt, Moody&rsquo;s wrote.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bronin has said he is not interested in saddling Hartford with mounting interest for decades to come, and Moody&rsquo;s said it does not expect him to take this route.</p> </blockquote> <p>Bond yields on Hartford&#39;s muni debt have shot higher since the first spate of downgrades earlier this year...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 247px;" /></a></p> <p> for the state government, <a href="">WSJ </a>reported Wednesday that lawmakers have reached a preliminary deal, a sign that the budget impasse may soon be coming to an end.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this wouldn&rsquo;t be the first &ldquo;preliminary deal&rdquo; to fall apart at the last minute.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><u><strong>Read the Moody&rsquo;s press release in full below:</strong></u></p> <p><em>New York, October 19, 2017 -- The City of Hartford (Caa3 negative) is likely to default on its debt as early as November without additional concessions from the State of Connecticut (A1 stable), bondholders and labor unions, Moody&#39;s Investors Service says in a new report. How and when the concessions are realized will factor into bondholder recovery as well as the city&#39;s financial recovery.</em></p> <p>&quot;Our analysis projects operating deficits of $60 million to $80 million per year through 2036, the final maturity of its general obligation debt,&quot; says Nicholas Lehman, a Moody&#39;s AVP. &quot;Fixed costs &mdash; including pension contributions, benefits and insurance, and debt service &mdash; are driving large projected operating deficits of approximately 11% of revenues. &quot;</p> <p><strong>Hartford will look to bondholders to restructure roughly $604 million in general obligation and lease debt. Options for restructuring include refinancing debt by issuing new refunding bonds with a maximum maturity of 30 years, instead of the previous cap of 20 years. As well, the new bonds would be secured by a statutory lien on property taxes.</strong></p> <p>In the event of a default, bondholder recovery is extremely sensitive to the amount of concessions received from stakeholders, and how those concessions are allocated. Bondholder recovery analysis supports the Caa3 rating based on Moody&#39;s expectation the state and labor unions will provide significant concessions.</p> <p>Hartford has lobbied Connecticut for additional short- and long-term aid, which would be an additional revenue source to help resolve the fiscal imbalance. However, the availability of this support is highly unknown in the midst of a state budget impasse, as one of the key contentious elements within the budget is additional aid for Hartford.</p> <p>&quot;Beyond the short-term funding that may or may not come in fiscal 2018, the city has urged the state to participate in a long-term solution,&quot; Lehman says. &quot;One option is the state fully funding the existing payments in lieu of taxes formula, which has been underfunded for years; fully funding the payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) formula would provide the city with $52.3 million of additional revenue each year.&quot;</p> <p>Moody&#39;s says the additional grant revenue, or an amount equal to the additional PILOT payments, would provide significant improvement to the city&#39;s structural imbalance and would cut our projected annual operating deficits by more than half.</p> <p>Hartford unions are a constraint to significant labor spending cuts. Though the city has reduced its labor force, contractual salary increases and employee benefits are significant contributors to its long-term structural imbalance.<br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1004" height="519" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Budget Deficit Business Creditors default Economy Finance Fiscal policy Fitch fixed Government budget balance Labor Lehman Luke Bronin Moody's Investors Service ratings recovery state government Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605653 at Indiana AG: NFL Players Should Take A Stand... Against Black-On-Black Crime <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Curtis Hill, Atorney General of Indiana, via The Daily Caller,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The right to protest doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean that the protest is right.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="411" src="" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p>While the NFL kneeling saga continues, <strong>it is becoming less clear what the kneeling is about.</strong></p> <p><strong>When it began last season, the kneeling was a protest against alleged police brutality and the incidence of blacks killed by police.</strong></p> <p>This season, following criticism against kneeling NFL players by the president of the United States, NFL players picked up the pace in a series of kneelings, arm-lockings and various forms of unity expressions during the playing of the national anthem before the start of each game. <em><u><strong>Yet it is unclear what players are now protesting. Police brutality? Racism? Are they just mad at the president?</strong></u></em></p> <p><strong>Highly paid athletes protesting in the comfort of billion-dollar stadiums under the protective gaze of security personnel does little to evoke the image of historic civil rights protests of the &rsquo;50s and &rsquo;60s. </strong>Those valiant heroes of our past were largely ordinary people courageously taking&nbsp;extraordinary risks, at great cost, in the name of racial justice. They stood for freedom.</p> <p>It is that&nbsp;same freedom that now enables NFL athletes to protest whatever they choose in whatever manner they choose. So how have they chosen? They have chosen to protest during the anthem. They have chosen police officers killing blacks as their cause.</p> <p>Whether justified or not, loss of life caused by a police shooting is traumatic for the community. Given the legacy of racial injustice in America, that trauma is magnified greatly when the person killed by the police is black.</p> <p><strong>The lives of black men and women do indeed matter, and NFL athletes have every right to protest the tragic loss of any life, including black lives.</strong></p> <p>These players recognize that their NFL celebrity status affords them a unique platform to call attention to matters of importance and perhaps even a responsibility to speak out.</p> <p>And now that the world is watching, the NFL has an opportunity to speak out, in great force, on a tragedy of unspeakable proportion -<u><em><strong> the senseless loss of young black lives to black-on-black violence.</strong></em></u></p> <p>While it is true that each&nbsp;year a number of blacks die as a result of being shot or otherwise killed by the police, that number is but a fraction of the number of black people murdered by black people. <strong>In 2015, 259 blacks were killed by police, according to data collected by The Washington Post. Even if we were to presume that all 259 police shootings were unjustified, that number is dwarfed by the estimated 6,000 black lives senselessly murdered by other blacks.</strong></p> <p><em><u><strong>We live in a nation where blacks make up approximately 13 percent of the population and yet account for more than half of the murders. Shockingly, 90 percent of those victims are murdered by other blacks. Something is terribly wrong.</strong></u></em></p> <p><strong>Black-on-black youth gun violence is costing thousands of lives a year.</strong> Generations are being wiped out. Witnesses of these murders frequently are unwilling to cooperate with police, allowing many murderers to get away with it &mdash; meaning no justice for that life lost.</p> <p>To be sure, in the rare instance in which the police officer&rsquo;s actions are unjustified, that officer should account for his conduct &mdash; including arrest and prosecution for murder whenever warranted by the evidence. Even one unjust shooting is one too many.</p> <p><strong>But contrary to the tone of many protests concerning police shootings, not every police shooting is unjust.</strong> In fact, the overwhelming majority are proven to be a reasonable use of force often connected with violent criminal behavior.</p> <p>Yet none of the 6,000 murders of young black people was justifiable. None. Every single death was preventable. Every single murder demands justice. The killing must stop.</p> <p><strong>And the NFL&rsquo;s opportunity? Violence is a constant threat, and blacks are being murdered at alarming rates in cities all over this nation &mdash; including cities that host NFL franchises.</strong></p> <p>These NFL franchises and athletes can magnify the urgency of this tragic loss of life. Their actions on the field and off can unite them as men of influence who stand for justice. Rather than kneeling in silence, they should choose to stand as men of character and courage and tackle black-on-black violence.</p> <p><u><em><strong>How many more young black men will die at the hand of another black man between the final whistle of last Sunday&rsquo;s game and&nbsp;next Sunday&rsquo;s&nbsp;kickoff?</strong></em></u></p> <p>This tragedy deserves the attention of every American.</p> <p><strong>NFL players may be just the right men to start this protest and stand up against black-on-black violence and give voice to a movement whose time has come in order to save the lives of young black men.</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="1056" height="599" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abuse Anti-black racism in the United States Black Lives Matter Indiana Injustice National Football League None Police brutality Political repression Politics Race and crime in the United States Social Issues Structure U.S. national anthem protests Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605650 at "I Was Stunned, Brokenhearted": General Kelly Defends Trump, Blasts Congresswoman For "Selfish Behavior" <p>Making another appearance at the daily White House press briefing today, General Kelly defended President Trump's recent call to the wife of a fallen soldier saying that he "expressed his condolences in the best way he could," adding he was "stunned" and "brokenhearted" at Democratic Representative Frederica Wilson’s criticism of what was supposed to be a private call between Trump and a killed military servicemember’s family.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing.</strong>&nbsp; A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the President of the United States to a young wife."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"And, in his way, he tried to express that opinion that he was a brave man, a fallen hero.&nbsp;</strong> He knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted.&nbsp; And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.&nbsp;<strong> That was the message.&nbsp; That was the message that was transmitted."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation.</strong>&nbsp; Absolutely stuns me."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"And I thought at least that was sacred.&nbsp; <strong>You know when I was a kid growing up a lot of things were sacred in our country.&nbsp; Women were sacred</strong> and looked upon with great honor...that's obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases.&nbsp; <strong>Life, the dignity of life, was sacred,</strong> that's gone.&nbsp; <strong>Religion, that seems to be gone as well.</strong>&nbsp; Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"But, I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or a woman to die on the battlefield...I just thought that might be sacred."</strong></p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video: Gut-wrenching stuff as Gen. Kelly describes his emotions upon seeing Democratic Rep. Wilson parading around blasting Trump <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Kelly concluded his remarks with a plea to the press pool, and to America at large, to please hold sacred the sacrifices of our service men and women.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, lets not let this last thing that is held sacred in our society,</strong> a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for their country, lets try to somehow keep that sacred."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"But it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress."</strong></p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video: Kelly describes Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson as engaging in "selfish behavior" for disclosing private phone call to blast Trump <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Why do we have a sneaking suspicion that plea fell on a room of mostly deaf ears?</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="550" height="308" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Brokenhearted Business Houck Politics Twitter Twitter White House Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605656 at S&P Spikes Into The Close After Politico Reports Again Powell Is Leading Fed Candidate <p>One week after <a href="">Politico reported </a><strong>for the second time </strong>that Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, were leaning toward Fed governor Jerome "Jay" Powell for Fed Chair, <a href="">Politico's Ben White </a>and Josh Dawsey decided to triple down, and with minutes left until the close, Politico reported - for the third time in three weeks - that "<strong>Powell is the leading candidate to become the chair of the U.S. central bank after President Donald Trump concluded a series of meetings with five finalists Thursday, three administration officials said.</strong>"</p> <p>Repeating what it had said one week ago, and then a week prior (which is fine, algos and millennial traders these days have short memories) the authors repeated that "Trump hasn’t yet made a final decision" and that "<em>Powell, known as Jay, has been heavily favored by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is leading the Fed chair search for Trump.</em>"</p> <p>As for the other candidates, Politico had this to say: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Some Republicans are opposed to Yellen’s renomination because of her strong support of post-crisis financial rules and because she has moved only gradually to pull back the Fed’s stimulus of the economy. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Warsh has faced backlash from the left for being particularly concerned with the prospects for inflation heading into the financial crisis, and both he and Taylor are seen as monetary policy hawks, who might raise rates faster — at the expense of new jobs for those still on the sidelines of the workforce, Democrats worry. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And Cohn is a former Goldman Sachs president who is tied to the administration’s efforts to ease financial regulations.</p> </blockquote> <p>What is amusing is that whereas recent news from either WSJ or Bloomberg that Trump was leaning toward Warsh of Taylor pushed stocks higher, the report that Trump was leaning toward the biggest possible dove in the group was an even stronger buy signal, as we commented moments ago:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Hawkish Fed Chair is bullish<br />Dovish Fed chair is bullisher</p> <p>— zerohedge (@zerohedge) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Sure enough, the market's kneejerk reaction to the BBG headline was euphoric, which coming seconds before the close, was sufficient to slamming the VIX back in the red and send the S&amp;P green, after spending all day in the red, and suffering the biggest drop in nearly 2 months this morning.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="269" /></a></p> <p>As for the online betting markets, Powell is now what is called a "done deal."</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="258" /></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="1160" height="629" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Business Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy of the United States goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Mnuchin Monetary Policy Politico Politics S&P Steven Mnuchin the U.S. central bank United States US Federal Reserve Warsh Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:17:28 +0000 Tyler Durden 605657 at Buy-The-Black-Monday-Echo-Dip - Stocks Dip & Rip After China Bubble Warnings <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; StockCats (@StockCats) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><em>&quot;Saved...&quot;</em></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>NOTE: Before we start - something went very funky in the last couple of minutes of the market today - TRUMP SAID TO BE LEANING TOWARD POWELL FOR FED CHAIR: POLITICO - a Dovish pick...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 322px;" /></a></p> <p>For a brief moment there this morning, some reality poked its head out of the cave after PBOC&#39;s Zhou raised fears of asset bubbles needing to be controlled, Hong Kong stocks crashed, Spain appeared to invoke Article 155, and AAPL slid on sales concerns... but that did not last long as commission-takers reminded the machines that 1987 can never happen again.. ever.. and that every dip is beholden to be bid...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 322px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Small Caps and Nasdaq remain red on the week as The Dow pushes on...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 390px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Once US equity markets were open for action - risk-off became risk on...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Everything the same...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 584px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>VIX briefly spiked above (drum roll pls) 11 before being beaten back once again...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Volatility</a> is currently at 10, on <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackMonday</a> it was 150&hellip;my how times have changed.</p> <p>&mdash; Rick Rieder (@RickRieder) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The decoupling remains...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 312px;" /></a></p> <p>Tech stocks tanked today (FANGs and AAPL leading the way) but did not bounce like the main indices...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trannies tumbled early, driven by a plunge in airlines (but even that was bid)</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>United shares fell as much as 12 percent, which would be the biggest drop since October 2009 on a closing basis, after the airline&rsquo;s profit outlook disappointed investors. </strong>UAL&rsquo;s forecast for a pretax profit margin of no more than 5 percent this quarter means it will fall further behind industry leader Delta, according to JPMorgan.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 309px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Healthcare stocks extended their gains - despite no deal..</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Financials were the big dip that was bought...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Treasury yields were all lower (and the curve flatter) on the day...<strong>something seems to be happenening between the close of Asia and the close of Europe...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And as the yield curve flattens to bank stocks keep outperforming!!</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the 3rd day in a row, the dollar index reversed its early trend (this time from weaker to stronger) after Europe closed... The dollar index bounced perfectly of unchanged for the week...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 311px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>EURUSD has been the week&#39;s biggest gainer so far of the majors and Cable the loser...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold jumped overnight with everything else (mirroring USDJPY as usual)</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WTI slid to one-week lows on the heels of rising inventory concerns...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bitcoin continued its rebound, erasing the week&#39;s losses...</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 314px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So now what?</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 321px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</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="600" height="95" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bitcoin Business China Dow 30 Mathematical finance People's Bank of China Technical analysis Twitter Twitter US Federal Reserve VIX Yield Curve Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:06:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605655 at Spot The Odd One Out: 'War On Drugs' Edition <p>USA, USA, USA!!!</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The rise of mass incarceration in the U.S. in 10 seconds (Animated version of Fig.1.1 from Incarceration Nation: <a href=""></a>) <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Peter K. Enns (@pete_enns) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><a href=""><em>As we noted previously</em></a>, <strong>the over-criminalization of America is a relatively recent trend.</strong> As <a href="">Holly Harris notes</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>It wasn&rsquo;t always like this. In 1972, for every 100,000 U.S. residents, 161 were incarcerated. By 2015, that rate had more than quadrupled, with nearly 670 out of every 100,000 Americans behind bars. </em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The over-criminalization of America is rooted in federal laws and regulations</strong>, and state and local governments have followed suite. here is Harris&#39;s account:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>The burgeoning U.S. prison population reflects a federal criminal code that has spiraled out of control. No one&mdash;not even the government itself&mdash;has ever been able to specify with any certainty the precise number of federal crimes defined by the 54 sections contained in the 27,000 or so pages of the U.S. Code. In the 1980s, lawyers at the Department of Justice attempted to tabulate the figure &ldquo;for the express purpose of exposing the idiocy&rdquo; of the criminal code, as one of them later put it. The best they were able to come up with was an educated guess of 3,000 crimes. Today, the conservative Heritage Foundation estimates that federal laws currently enumerate nearly 5,000 crimes, a number that grows every year. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Overcriminalization extends beyond the law books, partly because regulations are often backed by criminal penalties. That is the case for rules that govern matters as trivial as the sale of grated cheese, the precise composition of chicken Kiev dishes, and the washing of cars at the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health. State laws add tens of thousands more such crimes. Taken together, they push the total number of criminally punishable offenses in the United States into the hundreds of thousands. The long arm of the law reaches into nearly every aspect of American life. The legal scholar Harvey Silverglate has concluded that the typical American commits at least three federal felonies a day, simply by going through his or her normal routine. </em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Federal policies reward states for building prisons and mandating harsher sentences:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>...federal incentives for states that safely decrease their prison populations and reconsider ineffective sentencing regimes...would represent a stark reversal of legislation signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, which did just the opposite, offering federal dollars to states that imposed harsher criminal penalties and built more prisons, which contributed to the explosion of incarceration rates during the past two decades. </em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>How did we become a Gulag Nation of tens of thousands of laws and regulations and mandatory harsh sentences for non-violent crimes--a society imprisoned for administrative crimes that aren&#39;t even tried in our judiciary system?</strong> I would suggest two primary sources:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>First, the relentless expansion of central-state power over every aspect of life. </strong>As I describe in my book <a href=";tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1468065084" target="resource">Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change</a>, <strong>the state has only one ontological imperative: to expand its power and control.</strong> There are no equivalent mechanisms for reducing the legal/regulatory burdens imposed by the state; various reforms aimed at reducing the quantity of laws and regulations have not even made a dent in the over-criminalization of America.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The second dynamic is the political reality that the easiest way for politicos to be seen as &quot;doing something&quot; is to pass more laws and regulations criminalizing an additional aspect of life.</strong> The state and its elites justify the state&#39;s relentless expansion of power and control by claiming <em>problems can only be solved by centralizing power further and increasing the number and severity of penalties.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Criminalization is the ultimate expansion of the state&#39;s monopoly on coercive violence.</strong> As the state expands its power to imprison or punish its citizens for an ever-wider range of often petty infractions, increasingly via a bureaucratic administrative process that strips the citizens of due process, <strong>another pernicious dynamic emerges: <em>the informal application and enforcement of formal laws and regulations.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>In other words, the laws and regulations are enforced at the discretion of the state&#39;s officials.</strong> This is the systemic source of <em>driving while black</em>: a defective tail-light gets an African-American driver pulled over, while drivers of other ethnic origin get a pass.</p> <p><strong>This is also the source of America&#39;s systemic blind eye on white-collar crimes while the War on Drugs mandates harsh sentences with a cruel vengeance.</strong> When there are so many laws and regulations to choose from, government officials have immense discretion over which laws and regulations to enforce.</p> <p>Prosecutors seeking to increase their body count will use harsh drug laws to force innocents to accept plea bargains, while federal prosecutors don&#39;t even pursue white-collar corporate fraud on a vast scale.</p> <p><strong>The over-criminalization of America has undermined justice, the rule of law and the bedrock notion that <em>everyone is equal under the law</em></strong>, i.e. <em>legal egalitarianism</em>.</p> <p><strong>The over-criminalization of America breeds corruption</strong> as the wealthy and powerful evade the crushing burden of over-regulation by either buying political favors in our pay-to-play &quot;democracy&quot; (money votes, money wins) or by hiring teams of attorneys, CPAs, etc. to seek loopholes or construct a courtroom defense.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the peasantry are offered a harsh plea bargain.</p> <p><strong>The over-criminalization of America is one core reason why the status quo has failed and cannot be reformed.</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="550" height="399" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Crime Criminal justice Criminal law Department of Justice Department of Justice ETC Government Heritage Foundation Incarceration in the United States Law Law Law of the United States Mass incarceration Morality Prison Prohibition of drugs Prosecutor Reality Twitter Twitter Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605648 at GE Options Are Pricing In Massive Dividend Cuts <p>GE shares are languishing at more than four year lows (as the broader market soars to record highs) and GE credit risk stands at 8 month highs (almost dopuble the post-crisis lows hit in June). As Goldman analyst Joe Ritchie warns, a significant earnings per share/free cash flow reset looms and the prospect of a dividend cut is dragging the stocks lower.</p> <p>Ricthie says<strong> he would &quot;ideally want to get more positive&quot;</strong> with the stock hitting 52-week lows and sentiment at its most bearish since initiating coverage four years ago, however, <strong>a fresh look at fundamentals &quot;leaves us incrementally bearish.&quot;</strong></p> <p>Expects new CEO John Flannery to make changes necessary to position the company better for longer-term prosperity.</p> <p><strong>GE&#39;s stock dividend yield has never been so high to its corporate bond yield...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 312px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And as Susquehanna&#39;s derivative strategist Chris Jacobson notes, <strong>GE options are pricing in a dramatic cut in dividends in the next few years.</strong></p> <p>In fact, GE options are implying ~71c of cumulative dividends between now and January 2019, compared with the ~$1.20 that would be expected without any action</p> <p><a href=""><img height="251" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>As Chris Whalen recently noted</em></a>, <strong>traders continue to puzzle over the latest management changes at General Electric Co</strong>, the once iconic symbol of American industrial prowess.&nbsp; Over the past year, GE&#39;s stock price has slumped by more than 20% even with the Fed&#39;s aggressive asset purchases and low rate policies.&nbsp;&nbsp;Just imagine where GE would be trading without Janet Yellen.&nbsp;</p> <p><span>To be fair, though, much of GE&rsquo;s reputation in the second half of the 20th Century came about because of financial machinations more than the rewards of industry.&nbsp; A well-placed reader of </span><span>The IRA</span><span> summarizes the rise and fall of the company built by Thomas Edison:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;For years under Welch, GE made its money from GE Capital and kept the industrial business looking good by moving costs outside the US via&nbsp;all kinds of financial engineering.&nbsp; Immelt kept on keeping on. That didn&#39;t change until it had to with the financial crisis.&nbsp; No matter what, untangling that kind of financial engineering spaghetti is for sure and has been a decade long process.&nbsp; No manager survives presiding over that.&nbsp; Jeffrey Immelt is gone.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><span><strong>Those transactions intended to move costs overseas also sought to move tax liability as well, one reason that claims in Washington about &ldquo;overtaxed&rdquo; US corporations are so absurd.&nbsp; </strong>Readers will recall our earlier discussion of the decision by the US Supreme Court in January not to hear </span><span><a href="" target="_blank"><span>an appeal by Dow Chemical</span></a></span><span> over a fraudulent offshore tax transaction. </span></p> <p><span><strong>The IRS also caught GE playing the same game.&nbsp;</strong> Indeed, US corporations have avoided literally tens of </span><span>trillions</span><span> of dollars in taxes over the past few decades using deceptive offshore financial&nbsp;transactions.&nbsp; Of note, the Supreme Court&rsquo;s decision not to hear the appeal by Dow Chemical leaves offending US corporations no defense against future IRS tax claims.</span></p> <p>Like other examples of American industrial might such as IBM (NYSE:IBM), GE under its new leader John Flannery seems intent upon turning the company into a provider of software.&nbsp; Another reader posits that &ldquo;they&rsquo;re going to spend a decade selling the family silver to maintain a dividend and never make the conversion they would like and never get the multiple they want.&nbsp; GE is dead money at a 4% yield, which given some investors objectives &ndash; retirees and the like --&nbsp;might not be such a bad thing.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>The question raised by several observers is whether the departure of Immelt signals an even more aggressive &ldquo;value creation&rdquo; effort at GE that could lead to the eventual break-up of the company.&nbsp;</strong> Like General Motors (NYSE:GM), GE has been undergoing a decades long process of rationalizing its operations to fit into a post-war (that is, WWII) economy where global competition is the standard and the US government cannot guarantee profits or market share or employment for US workers.</p> <p>GE&#39;s decision this past June to sell the Edison-era lighting segment illustrates the gradual process of liquidation of the old industrial business.&nbsp;&nbsp;Henry Ford observed that Edison was America&rsquo;s greatest inventor and worst businessman, an observation confirmed by the fact that Edison&rsquo;s personal business fortunes declined after selling GE.&nbsp; In fact, the great inventor died a pauper.&nbsp; And of the dozen or so firms that were first included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over a century ago, GE is the only name from that group that remains today.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>We dohave a suggestion for GE management to perhaps cut costs and push a little more back to shareholders - <a href=""><strong>perhaps stop the practice of having an empty private jet fly along side the CEO&#39;s private jet... just in case of delays</strong></a>...</p> <p><strong>When Jeff Immelt traveled, he wanted to take no chances of running late.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 324px;" /></a></p> <p>The<strong> former GE CEO used to have an empty private plane follow his own on trips</strong>, the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal&#39;s Thomas Gryta and Joann S. Lublin report</a>&nbsp;in a story about the new CEO&#39;s cost cutting&nbsp;efforts.<strong> The extra jet was meant as a spare in case the primary plane suffered mechanical problems.</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s not exactly the most frugal or environmentally-friendly solution, which may be&nbsp;why crew members were told not to openly discuss the two planes, according to the report. <strong>They sometimes parked far away from each other&nbsp;to avoid raising eyebrows. </strong>A GE representative confirmed to the WSJ that the jets were used on &quot;limited occasions for business-critical or security purposes.&quot;</p> <p><strong>The news comes as current GE CEO&nbsp;John Flannery prepares to cut costs, including laying off thousands of employees.</strong></p> <p>Finally, we note that as one of the longest-lasting Dow members, GE&#39;s comparative rise and fall relative to the market may be interesting...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>For the 3rd time in the last 50 years, The Dow is trading at 1000x the price of GE shares - it has not ended well for the market.</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="977" height="408" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Business Business Chris Whalen Dividend Dividend yield Dow 30 Dow Chemical Company Dow Jones Industrial Average Dow Jones Industrial Average Economy Economy of the United States Ford GE Capital GE Capital General Electric General Electric General Motors Internal Revenue Service Janet Yellen Jeff Immelt Jeff Immelt Market Share Private Jet U.S. Supreme Court US Federal Reserve US government Wall Street Journal Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605639 at An Outraged George W. Bush Lashes Out At Trump: "Bigotry Seems Emboldened" <p>Former President George W. Bush came out swinging against the current administration on Thursday, and while he did not name President Castro, Dubya blasted that "bigotry seems emboldened" in the U.S., while urging the country to accept "globalization" - the same globalization which both the IMF, the BIS and even the Federal Reserve now agree and warn has led to record wealth inequality in the US - while rejecting "white supremacy."</p> <p><strong>"Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed," </strong>Bush said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Former Pres. George W Bush: "Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication." <a href=""></a></p> <p>— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Without explicitly naming Trump or any other politicians, Bush criticized the “governing class”, although it was not immediately clear if the president who invaded Iraq included himself in that grouping.&nbsp; </p> <p>"Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts in recent years", Bush said during a speech for the George W. Bush Institute, in which he also slammed conspiracy theories and Trump's favorite topic, fake news: "<strong>Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication."</strong></p> <p>It is unclear if that statement was serious or sarcastic considering, well... it's self-explanatory.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="387" /></p> <p>The former president was right in stating that public confidence in the country's institutions has declined in recent decades, which of course would imply that other presidents, Trump's predecessors are at fault.&nbsp; "Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy," he said. </p> <p>Making it obvious that he had Trump in mind during his speech, Bush warned against Russia’s attempts to meddle in the United States election, calling on the nation to confront “a new era of cyber threats.” </p> <p>"The Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other" he said allegedly referring to the $100,000 reportedly spent by Russian "actors" both before and after the US election - <a href="">something which Clinton's own campaign chair mocked </a>- and added that “America must harden its own defenses. Our country must show resolve and resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy and that begins with confronting a new era of cyber threats,” Bush said during a forum for the George W. Bush Institute in New York City.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">George W. Bush on Russian election interference: "This effort is broad, systemic, and stealthy...ultimately, this effort won't succeed." <a href=""></a></p> <p>— ABC News (@ABC) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Bush extended his critique to the ideological level, saying that there are signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned and warned that support for socialism appears to be rising "especially among the young, who never experienced the galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War or never focused on the ruin of entire nations by socialist central planning."</p> <p>"Some have called this Democratic de-consolidation. Merely, it seems to be a combination of weariness, frayed tempers and forgetfulness," he said. “Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy."</p> <p>During his speech, Bush also warned that democracies face "new and serious threats" today. Economic, political and national security challenges proliferate "and they're made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the Democratic spirit itself is at issue and the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand."</p> <p>“We cannot wish globalization away,” he continued later, urging society to "adapt" to economic and social and change. Bush, who advocates free trade, promoted multilateral and bilateral<br /> trade deals during his presidency. Trump is now demanding that the North<br /> American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico be<br /> renegotiated, under the threat of a U.S. withdrawal.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="">The Hill</a>, a spokesman for Bush denied that the former president was criticizing Trump in Thursday's speech.</p> <p>"This was a long-planned speech on liberty and democracy as a part of the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Initiative," Freddy Ford told The Hill. "The themes President Bush spoke about today are really the same themes he has spoken about for the last two decades."</p> <p>Surprisingly, W. had no introspective insight to explain how the collapse of democracy may have started with Trump's predecessors, including both president Obama and, of course, Dubya himself, or what specific aspects of the US political process may have led to the general popular revulsion with "establishment" system , which - as much as Putin would love to take credit - started long before any alleged Russian inolvement. </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="460" height="262" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> ABC News American people of German descent BIS Bush Bush family Bush Institute Donald Trump Fake news Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Ford George H. W. Bush George W. Bush George W. Bush Institute International Monetary Fund Iraq Livingston family Mexico national security New York City Politics President Obama Russian government Schuyler family Sons of the American Revolution Twitter Twitter United States US Federal Reserve Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:35:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 605641 at