http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/feed en Former Attorney for George W. Bush, Richard Painter, Says Alt-Right Websites Are Guilty of Treason http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/former-attorney-george-w-bush-richard-painter-says-alt-right-websites-are-guilty-tre <p>The former ethics attorney for the idiot Bush made reference to <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article139695453.html">an article</a> which said the FBI was investigating 'right wing' websites -- who might've been complicit in helping the, err, Russians win the election for their agent -- Donald J. Trump. You've got to be kidding me with this shit.</p> <p><a href="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/03/TREASON.png"><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/03/TREASON.png" width="600" height="277" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-66028" /></a></p> <p>A little background on Mr. Painter. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Professor Richard W. Painter received his B.A., summa cum laude, in history from Harvard University and his J.D. from Yale University, where he was an editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following law school, <strong>he clerked for Judge John T. Noonan Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit</strong> and later practiced at Sullivan &amp; Cromwell in New York City and Finn Dixon &amp; Herling in Stamford, Connecticut.</p></blockquote> <p> He also writes for Huffington Post -- where he shills all day.</p> <p>His Twitter feed reads like a disjointed Anti-Trump fanatic -- hedged by his role inside of the GW Bush administration. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">FBI uncovering evidence of treason. There is no other word for it.<a href="https://t.co/JLY7KZfQIY">https://t.co/JLY7KZfQIY</a></p> <p>— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) <a href="https://twitter.com/RWPUSA/status/844760167845548032">March 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>During the campaign, Mr. Painter was an outspoken advocate for Hillary -- writing an oped piece <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/31/opinion/the-real-clinton-foundation-revelation.html?_r=0">in the NY Times</a> saying she was the "only qualified candidate in the race and she should become president." </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"There is little if any evidence that federal ethics laws were broken by Mrs. Clinton or anyone working for her at the State Department in their dealings with the foundation."</p></blockquote> <p> Right (wink, wink).</p> <p>In short, the media, once again, have been caught trying to be duplicitous with their headlines -- painting Painter as a former republican distraught by the presence of Donald Trump in the White House -- a conscientious objector, when in fact he's nothing more than a life long liberal who happened to have a 2 year stint inside of GW's neocon heavy administration.</p> <p>Fuck off.</p> <p><strong>Content originally generated at <a href="https://ibankcoin.com/">iBankCoin.com</a></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/former-attorney-george-w-bush-richard-painter-says-alt-right-websites-are-guilty-tre#comments American people of German descent B+ Business Climate change skepticism and denial Department of State Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation GW Bush administration Harvard University headlines New York City Politics Politics of the United States The Apprentice Twitter Twitter United States United States Court of Appeals White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Yale University Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:48:37 +0000 The_Real_Fly 591649 at http://www.zerohedge.com 5 Maps That Show China's Biggest Limitations http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/5-maps-show-chinas-biggest-limitations <p><a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/editorial/5-maps-that-show-chinas-biggest-limitations"><em>Authored by George Friedman via MauldinEconomics.com,</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/chinas-strategy">As we wrote about in &ldquo;China&rsquo;s Strategy</a>,&rdquo; East Asia is split into four parts: <strong><em>The Pacific archipelago, the Chinese mainland, the Korean Peninsula, and Indochina.</em></strong> East Asia holds the second and third largest world economies: China and Japan. The relationship between them and the US define modern East Asian geopolitics.</p> <h3><u><strong>China&rsquo;s Power Can Be Seen from Outer Space</strong></u></h3> <p><strong><img src="http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/editorial/_5_Maps_That_Show_China%E2%80%99s_Biggest_Limitations_1.png" style="height: 653px; width: 600px;" /></strong></p> <p>The above map shows the countries of East Asia lit up at night. It reveals much about the power dynamics in this region. The centers of Chinese wealth and power&mdash;including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong&mdash;all hug China&rsquo;s long coastline. Geographic features in the interior divide the country. The rest of the country is in darkness.</p> <p>Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are major industrial powers that border these waters along China&rsquo;s coast. Much of the rest of East Asia is in darkness. North Korea&rsquo;s darkness is particularly striking.</p> <p>But relative to the bright lights of China&rsquo;s coast and Japan, much of Indochina and inner China are also undeveloped.</p> <h3><u><strong>Western China Is Nearly Uninhabitable</strong></u></h3> <p>The below map shows population density in China with the 15-inch isohyet overlaid on top.</p> <p><img src="http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/editorial/_5_Maps_That_Show_China%E2%80%99s_Biggest_Limitations_2.png" style="height: 442px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p>The area of China from this line to the coast gets enough rain to support a large population. North and west of the 15-inch isohyet, China is less populated and undeveloped.</p> <h3><u><strong>Geography Limits China&rsquo;s Expansion</strong></u></h3> <p><strong><img src="http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/editorial/_5_Maps_That_Show_China%E2%80%99s_Biggest_Limitations_3.png" style="height: 342px; width: 600px;" /></strong></p> <p>The distance from Beijing to Kazakhstan is almost 2,500 miles through desert and mountains. The Himalayas box China in on the southwest. They also stop conflict between India and China.</p> <p>Jungles on the border with Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand have always limited Chinese growth south.</p> <p>It is hard for China to grow westward. When China&rsquo;s power is ascendant, it can grow north, south, or east toward the Pacific. This is easier said than done. Japan continues to be the major regional power. China would still face certain defeat against Japan, especially with US support of the Japanese.</p> <p>So, China is mainly focused on two things. Controlling its chaotic domestic political and economic situation as growth rates have slowed. <a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/xi-jinping-takes-command-of-the-peoples-liberation-army">And building its military</a>. First for resistance and then for offensive action in the region.</p> <h3><u><strong>The Chinese Navy Is in No Position to Take Action</strong></u></h3> <p>The Chinese navy is still a decade away from exerting power over the islands, rocks, and shoals that limit China&rsquo;s freedom to navigate along its coast.</p> <p><img src="http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/editorial/_5_Maps_That_Show_China%E2%80%99s_Biggest_Limitations_4.png" style="height: 755px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p>Many countries around China have claims over these islands. The region&rsquo;s other major players&mdash;Japan and South Korea&mdash;are both key US allies. They host large and permanent US military deployments. <a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/the-us-is-not-abandoning-asia">And like we recently mentioned</a>, the Philippines recently welcomed back US forces to their bases.</p> <p>This situation has created a stalemate. The US has no desire for a bad relationship with China. But it also doesn&rsquo;t want any power to control the region. And China still cannot challenge US hegemony in the seas.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/beijings-real-blueprint-in-the-south-china-sea">As we&rsquo;ve discussed before</a>, it talks of nationalism in the South China Sea mostly for domestic consumption. Japan and the other East Asian countries view China with increasing concern. They remain staunch US allies as a result.</p> <h3><u><strong>North Korea Is China&rsquo;s Bargaining Chip</strong></u></h3> <p><strong><img src="http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/editorial/_5_Maps_That_Show_China%E2%80%99s_Biggest_Limitations_5.png" style="height: 637px; width: 600px;" /></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/the-dark-night-north-korean-strategy">When we wrote about the North Korean strategy</a>, we said that North Korea appears dangerous with its nuclear weapons tests and its sly, bigoted strongman regime built around a top leader. Kim Jong Un is that leader and he has been consolidating his power.</p> <p>North Korea happens to also be one of the few areas China is weak. The Chinese intervened in the Korean War when US forces neared the Yalu River on the border between North Korea and China.</p> <p>North Korea&rsquo;s unpredictable behavior gives China a big bargaining chip in its relations with the US and the region. So, China favors keeping the status quo.</p> <h3><u><strong>China&rsquo;s Limitations Determine the Future of East Asia</strong></u></h3> <p>East Asia is the world&rsquo;s most dynamic economic region. Strong countries surround bodies of water over which there is competition. These are some of the world&rsquo;s most important sea lanes. <a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/leading-power-a-look-at-japan-vs.-china">Japan and China (in that order) are the region&rsquo;s two most significant powers.</a></p> <p>But <a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/the-strategy-of-the-united-states">as we wrote about last year</a>, the most powerful country in the Pacific, the US, is far away. Its Navy patrols and keeps freedom of movement across the Pacific. At the center of this power struggle is China. China&rsquo;s struggle against its domestic and geographic constraints is the key to understanding the future of this region.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Grab George Friedman&#39;s Exclusive eBook,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/the-world-explained-in-maps-free-ebook">The World Explained in Maps</a> reveals the panorama of geopolitical landscapes influencing today&#39;s governments and global financial systems. Don&#39;t miss this chance to prepare for the year ahead with the straight facts about every major country&rsquo;s and region&#39;s current geopolitical climate. You won&#39;t find political rhetoric or media hype here. The World Explained in Maps is an essential guide for every investor as 2017 takes shape. <a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/the-world-explained-in-maps-free-ebook">Get your copy now&mdash;free!</a></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="595" height="320" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170323_China.jpg?1490284083" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/5-maps-show-chinas-biggest-limitations#comments Archipelago bargaining chip big bargaining chip China China–United States relations Chinese navy East Asia East Asia Environment Foreign relations of China Hong Kong India Japan Kazakhstan KIM Nationalism navy North Korea South China Territorial disputes of China western China Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591608 at http://www.zerohedge.com Wrold Out of Whcak: Your Attention Please! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/wrold-out-whcak-your-attention-please <p><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/signup/">www.CapitalistExploits.at</a></span></em></p> <p><em>Market dislocations occur when financial markets, operating under stressful conditions, experience large widespread asset mispricing.</em></p> <p>Welcome to this week’s edition of&nbsp;“World Out Of Whack”&nbsp;where every Wednesday we take time out of our day to laugh, poke fun at and&nbsp;present to you&nbsp;absurdity in global financial markets in all its glorious insanity.</p> <p>While we enjoy a good laugh, the truth is that the first step to protecting ourselves from losses is to protect ourselves from ignorance. Think of the&nbsp;“World Out Of Whack”&nbsp;as your double thick armour plated side impact protection system&nbsp;in a financial world littered&nbsp;with&nbsp;drunk drivers. </p> <p> Selfishly we also know that the biggest (and often the fastest) returns come from asymmetric market moves. But, in order to identify these moves we must first identify where they live.</p> <p>Occasionally we find opportunities where we can buy (or sell) assets&nbsp;for mere cents on the dollar –&nbsp;because, after all, we are capitalists. </p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #339966;">In this week's edition of the WOW: Beware The Attention Seekers!</span></h3> <p> I'm getting sick and tired of stupidity. No, really. There really are some proper morons out there. Just the other day&nbsp;I read in the Telegraph that living near a busy road raises your chance of getting dementia by 12%. </p> <p> Being the sceptic grump that I am and taking very little&nbsp;at face value I was curious about this. After all, 12% seemed significant.</p> <p>15 seconds later (I'm a bit slow) and my stubby fingers had met with my phone to reveal the medical journals stats on dementia. Lo and behold, there's an 11% chance of getting dementia no matter where the hell you live. Further investigation revealed that the study in question actually showed that the risk of dementia caused by living near a busy road raised the odds&nbsp;<strong>TO 12%,&nbsp;</strong>not<strong> BY 12%.&nbsp;</strong>That little fact wouldn't grab as many readers&nbsp;attention, though, now would it. </p> <p> Key here is the abject failure to distinguish between relative and absolute risk. </p> <p> Absolute risk is 11% and relative risk, if your pad overlooks&nbsp;a noisy&nbsp;highway with Mac trucks belching fumes out 24/7, increases this by a "whopping" 1.32%.</p> <p>Think of it like this:&nbsp;Out of 100 people who are lulled to sleep at night by the comforting drone of 18 wheelers this&nbsp;<strong><em>"startling new research"</em></strong>&nbsp;reveals that 12 folks will be affected by dementia rather than 11. Now, I understand that there are those among us who desperately&nbsp;want that last 1.32% of longevity (you can find them scoffing&nbsp;the tofu at the buffet) but personally, I'm not so sure those extra days spent confusing my nurse, who's changing my soiled diaper with my wife while being fed sludge through a straw are worth worrying about.</p> <p>This sort of nonsense happens all the time.</p> <p>It grabs our&nbsp;attention because our amygdala (that squishy almond shaped part of our brain that deals with fear)&nbsp;goes berserk trying to protect us from pain sending out "watch out, buddy" messages and getting us all lathered up with anxiety. There was a fascinating experiment done on this which I wrote about&nbsp;<a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/2016/01/risk-management-lessons-drunk-welshman/" target="_blank">some time ago.</a> </p> <p> In any event, the headlines for&nbsp;this <em>"startling"</em>&nbsp;piece of trivia on dementia sound frightfully scary but are actually&nbsp;complete bollocks. The problem, of course, is that, unless you're actually knowledgable in a particular area - in this instance medical research (which I'm not) - you're likely to accept at face value what you see.</p> <p>The same thing happens to folks evaluating financial markets. All too often&nbsp;there's a vested interest or bias to selling a particular narrative. When your bread gets buttered running, say, a fixed income fund, it shouldn't come as a&nbsp;surprise when you're found searching for metrics supportive of more <del>suckers</del> investors plonking their hard earned dollars into your fixed income fund. </p> <p> Other times, it's a matter of simply looking at the trees failing to see that <em>"whoah, we're&nbsp;actually in a forest"</em> and not using second order thinking. </p> <p> Recently, I came across&nbsp;headlines screaming that the US stock market was due to crash. Whoah! The primitive part of my brain can't help itself and&nbsp;kicks into action telling me to quickly find out more. How might&nbsp;I be at risk of&nbsp;being eaten by the lion it wants to know.</p> <p>Reading through the&nbsp;article I noted that lo and behold, the author had some "little known" indicator that said it was so. Urghh! Listen there are NO, none, zero&nbsp;<em>"secret"</em> indicators OK? Nada! There are just indicators, and if you don't know one&nbsp;that doesn't make it&nbsp;"secret". It just means you don't know it. </p> <p> For shits and giggles I read the report and, to summarise, the "indicator" was this:</p> <p>Household equity ownership was now at the same levels we'd experienced in the 1960s and in 2007. Notably, two previous market peaks. Investors holding equities in both of those periods got their shirts handed to them. Ergo, investors are again going to get their shirts handed to them. Run! </p> <p> Not so fast hombre... </p> <p> L<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">et's deal with the data first.<br /> </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><br /> Sure, equity ownership in both 2007 and the 60s was around the 30% mark, which is where we're at today. And sure, both periods experienced painful stock market crashes, but looking deeper, we find that equity ownership has reached these levels before, most notably in both 1998 and 2013.<br /> </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><br /> Take a look at the S&amp;P500 from 1990 through 2009 below:</span></p> <p><img src="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screen-Shot-2017-03-22-at-13.23.58-1024x487.png" width="650" height="309" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16514" /> </p> <p> As you can see the market ran another 60% from 2008 when equity ownership had reached these levels. Anyone short got hosed. Anyone long made 60%.</p> <p><img src="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screen-Shot-2017-03-22-at-13.24.43-1024x490.png" width="650" height="311" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16515" /></p> <p>Then in 2013 anyone short took a&nbsp;beating as the market ran another 40%. </p> <p> I'll also point out that the 87 crash took place when equity participation was at just 18% and, in fact, we've had stock market crashes when equity participation was well below current levels.</p> <p>So now&nbsp;we've got two instances where the market tanked at these equity participation levels. We've also got two instances where it did the opposite.</p> <p>Heck, I could come out screaming that, <em>"Hey! Look, equity participation levels indicate that we're about to rocket higher,&nbsp;somewhere between 40% and 60% from these levels. Look here is the data (selective, of course). Get in now, by George."</em></p> <p>Sheesh! I may as well flip a coin or go to Vegas and put it all on black because my odds are identical. Neither ideas impress me as a good ones. Both evaluations are just noise. </p> <p> So using this as a <em>"secret indicator"</em> is a bunch of hogwash designed to get your amygdala all hot and flustered.</p> <p>The problem is Joe Sixpack reads this, the mushy bit in his cranium does what it's supposed to do (go haywire), and next thing you know, Joe's shorting the market through some leveraged reverse ETF where not only is the risk that he's wrong at least 50/50 but the cost to entry in this particular trade means that even if&nbsp;he's right he doesn't stand to make much money. And if he's wrong he stands to lose a whole lot because those leveraged ETFs are terrible, terrible tools and Joe hasn't done his homework to figure out how they work. </p> <p> That is all as impressive as Miley Cyrus swinging naked on a wrecking ball - not so much. </p> <h3><strong>Back to Basics</strong></h3> <p> The way to think about this is taking it back to basics. </p> <p> L<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">et's say you've got $1m portfolio. If you invest $300k into equities, then you're at an equity participation level of 30%.</span></p> <p>Fine, but what if you only invested $100k a decade ago and that $100k now (due to appreciation) sits at a 30% equity participation rate? Well, you've actually got another $900k in "spare cash" sitting on the sidelines. The 30% equity participation is a red herring. </p> <p> Bull markets rarely end like that.</p> <p>No, they end with Darren and Julie mortgaging the house, selling Bobby the family&nbsp;Labrador, and asking the oldies for a loan to invest. Once they're fully invested with nothing left in the cookie jar you've got market exhaustion because there are literally no more suckers to come in. </p> <p> Incidentally, at the tops of markets what we find is that mutual fund flows continue even as the market has turned.&nbsp;If we go back to look at the data, what we notice is that net inflows for <del>dumb</del>&nbsp;mutual funds money typically continue even after the market has turned. Darren and Julie via mutual funds keep buying into the peak...just as the 20% (Pareto's law)&nbsp;begins to exit.&nbsp;The trade at this point is truly asymmetric as the boat is extremely one-sided. This is typically how bull markets&nbsp;end. </p> <p> The other thing that isn't even considered is where existing capital is invested.</p> <p>Let's go back to our theoretical $1m portfolio and say, for example, we've invested 50% into fixed income. So now we've got $500k invested. Let's further say that we're spooked by the fact we're eking out a piddly 1% yield and concerned that lending our money to bankrupt entities might not work out too well in the long run. A simple rotation of just 10%&nbsp;from&nbsp;our fixed income basket into equities translates into a 17% capital infusion into our equity bucket. Looking at just one <a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/02/bucket-economics-global-macro/" target="_blank">investment bucket</a>&nbsp;is akin to looking at just one tree in the forest.</p> <p>Clearly we need to look at more than just equity participation on it's own before jumping to a conclusion.</p> <p>Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not supporting buying US equities here. Valuations are far from low, and history provides sufficient evidence&nbsp;that buying high in order to sell higher&nbsp;can lead investors from&nbsp;going from BMW to Suzuki pretty swiftly. </p> <p> What I am suggesting is&nbsp;that you want to sit on the sidelines until you see favourable risk reward setups. The most favourable of all are where convexity exists and I don't see any in US equity markets either long or short here. </p> <h3 style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: #339966;">What Do You Think?</span></h3> <p> <a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/03/wrold-whcak-attention-please/"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user118858/imageroot/2017/03/12/Screen%20Shot%202017-03-22%20at%2010.12.45%20PM.png" alt="Wow Poll 22 March 2017" width="600" height="254" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/03/wrold-whcak-attention-please/">Cast your vote here</a> and also see what others think</em></p> <p>- Chris</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>"The way to build long-term returns is through preservation of capital and home runs"</em> — Stanley Druckenmiller</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="https://capitalistexploits.at/signup/">Don't miss our future missives and podcasts, and</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/signup/">get access</a>&nbsp;<a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/signup/" 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> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/wrold-out-whcak-your-attention-please#comments Capitalism Convexity Economic history of Europe Economic history of the Dutch Republic Economy Equity Markets Financial history of the Dutch Republic fixed Fund Flows Futures contract headlines NADA None Stock market US Federal Reserve Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:23:17 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 591647 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ford Warns "Used Car Prices Will Drop For Years" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/used-car-prices-will-drop-several-years-and-other-takeaways-fords-analyst-call <p>Earlier this morning <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/ford-stocks-slumps-post-election-lows-after-slashing-guidance">we noted</a> Ford's "CFO Let's Chat" meeting with analysts before which <strong>Ford announced weak 1Q adj. EPS guidance of 30c-35c, coming in well below analyst estimates of 47c, </strong>which they blamed on higher costs, lower volume &amp; unfavorable exchange rates.&nbsp; </p> <p>With the call now concluded, here are a couple of the key takeaways:</p> <p>First, the bad...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <ul> <li><strong>Volumes will start to fall off this year, next year</strong></li> <li><strong>Used car prices will drop for several years</strong></li> <li>European profit will fall this year</li> <li><strong>China sales down sharply in 1Q</strong></li> <li>India more difficult than expected</li> <li>All options on table including traditional restructuring</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>...and the good-ish...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <ul> <li>Favorable market factors offsetting higher commodity prices</li> <li>Inventory levels “in very good shape”</li> <li>Sedans play diminishing role in U.S. business; SUVs, trucks make up 73% of U.S. business</li> <li>Not seeing anything to suggest economy will “tip over”</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>And while Ford is confident they're not seeing "anything to suggest the economy will 'tip over'" (which is good, right?), their own presentation slides would seem to paint a slightly different picture.</p> <p>First, on Q1 2017 earnings by region, South America is expected to be flat...so that's at least not negative, which is nice...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%201.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%201_0.JPG" alt="Ford" width="600" height="322" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And while Ford pointed to their gross inventory days as a sign that the industry does not have an inventory problem, they snuck in at the very bottom of slide 9 the fact that <strong>overall industry inventory was up 13 days in February vs. last year... </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%202%20-%20Inventory.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%202%20-%20Inventory_0.jpg" alt="Ford" width="600" height="325" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...and<strong> industry incentive spending paints pretty much the same picture...</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%203%20-%20Incentives.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%203%20-%20Incentives_0.jpg" alt="Ford" width="600" height="324" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And for those of you holding out hope that current volumes aren't simply the result of a massive auto loan bubble, we present to you some details behind Ford Motor Credit's "consistent and predictable" U.S. loan portfolio.&nbsp; <strong>To summarize, loan terms up, lease mix up, charge offs up massively...all great news</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%203%20-%20FMCC.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford%203%20-%20FMCC_0.jpg" alt="Ford" width="600" height="327" /></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="703" height="285" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.03.23%20-%20Ford.JPG?1490288718" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/used-car-prices-will-drop-several-years-and-other-takeaways-fords-analyst-call#comments 1Q Business Business Economy Ford Ford Motor Company Gratuity Henry Ford Henry Ford family Inventory Sport utility vehicle Transport Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591619 at http://www.zerohedge.com The "Retail Apocalypse" Is Officially Descending Upon America http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/retail-apocalypse-officially-descending-upon-america <p><a href="http://theantimedia.org/retail-apocalypse-officially-america/"><em>Authored by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Consumerism has long been a defining element of American society,</strong> but retail giants are now shutting down thousands of their locations amid a <strong> long-anticipated &ldquo;retail apocalypse.&quot;</strong></p> <p>BI <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-retail-apocalypse-has-officially-descended-on-america-2017-3" target="_blank">reports</a> that over the next couple&nbsp;months, more than 3,500 stores are expected to close:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;<em>Department stores like JCPenney, Macy&rsquo;s, Sears, and Kmart are among the companies shutting down stores, along with middle-of-the-mall chains like Crocs, BCBG, Abercrombie &amp; Fitch, and Guess</em>.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Some stores, like Bebe and The Limited, are closing all of their locations to focus more on online sales. Other larger chains, like JC Penney, are &ldquo;<em>aggressively paring down their store counts to unload unprofitable locations and try to staunch losses,</em>&rdquo; <em>Business Insider</em> notes. Sears&nbsp;and K-Mart are following a similar trajectory moving forward.</p> <p>Sears is shutting down 150 Sears and Kmart locations, about 10% of their shops. JCPenney is shutting down 138 stores, about 14% of their total locations.</p> <p><strong>These closures are the consequence of several different factors.</strong> First, the United States has more shopping mall square footage per person than other parts of the world. In America, retailers reserve 23.5 square feet per person; in Canada and Australia, the countries with the second- and third-most space have 16.4 and 11.1, respectively.</p> <p>Another reason retail brick and mortars are failing is the growth of e-commerce. Between 2010 and 2013, visits to shopping malls declined 50%, according to data from real estate research firm Cushman and Wakefield. Meanwhile, online sales from huge online outposts, like Amazon, have exploded.</p> <p>Back in 2015, <em>Forbes</em> <a href="http://fortune.com/2015/11/06/amazon-retailers-ecommerce/" target="_blank">observed</a> this trend:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;</strong><em><strong>Earlier this year, the stock market value of Amazon.com surpassed that of Walmart, </strong>a turn of events that many saw as indicative of how badly brick-and-mortar big box retailers have lagged behind in building up their e-commerce</em>.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170323_cmbx.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170323_cmbx_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<em>Walmart is now hustling to bridge the gap, pouring billions into its tech to claw back some market share. Target, also a laggard, is similarly spending as much on tech as on its 1,800 stores. Both those companies, though, generate digital sales that are still only a small percentage of total sales, and a fraction of Amazon&rsquo;s</em>.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>At that time, <em>Business Insider</em> <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-survive-the-retail-apocalypse-2015-11" target="_blank">noted</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<em><strong>The list of failures is getting longer by the day. </strong>Macy&rsquo;s? Cooked &ndash; down 42% over the past six months. Nordstrom? Down 20% over the same timeframe. Dick&rsquo;s Sporting Goods? Awful earnings sent this athletic retailer lower more than 10% yesterday alone. There&rsquo;s absolutely no way to sugarcoat it&mdash;the retail sector is crashing</em>.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Though Americans increasingly prefer to shop online, their preferences are also changing. Shoppers are choosing to spend their money on &ldquo;<em>restaurants, travel, and technology than ever before, while spending less on apparel and accessories</em>,&rdquo; <em>Business Insider</em> <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-survive-the-retail-apocalypse-2015-11" target="_blank">reports</a>.</p> <p>Further, as longtime retail analyst Howard Davidowitz <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jun/19/-sp-death-of-the-american-shopping-mall">observed</a> in 2014, <em><strong>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s going on is the customers don&rsquo;t have the fucking money. That&rsquo;s it. This isn&rsquo;t rocket science.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>As prosperity declines, shopping habits shift, and major retailers like Macy&rsquo;s, Sears, and JCPenney close their doors, their decisions are likely to have ripple effects on smaller stores in shopping malls. <em>Business Insider</em> explains that in addition to dwindling attendance and income for mall owners, major department store closures can trigger &ldquo;&lsquo;<em>co-tenancy clauses&rsquo; that allow the other mall tenants to terminate their leases or renegotiate the terms, typically with a period of lower rents, until another retailer moves into the anchor space</em>.&rdquo;</p> <p>As fewer retail giants seek retail space, many malls are facing dire fates<em>, and many </em><strong>expect low-performing malls to be hit hardest by the changing scope of retail, noting roughly 30% of malls will face increased risk of shutting down.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170323_retail.jpg"><img height="314" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170323_retail_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shopping malls first became popular in the economically fruitful era of the 1950s and 60s. Inspired by major department stores of the 19th century &mdash; like Sears and Macy&rsquo;s, which are now struggling &mdash; 20th-century malls grew rapidly, in part, because of government subsidies provided in the form of tax breaks. <em>Smithsonian Magazine </em>has <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/death-and-rebirth-american-mall-180953444/" target="_blank">explained</a> that over the decades, real estate developers overshot their expectations, constructing increasing numbers of malls despite a lack of population growth. By 1999, the downward trend we see intensifying today had already begun:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<em>Shopping centers that hadn&rsquo;t been renovated in years began to show signs of wear and tear, and the middle-aged, middle-class shoppers that once flooded their shops </em><a href="http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_viewpoints_laborday_99/" target="_blank"><em>began to disappear</em></a><em>, turning the once sterile suburban shopping centers into </em><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=9qTdSl2CkzkC&amp;pg=PA145&amp;lpg=PA145&amp;dq=Good+Housekeeping,+%E2%80%9CDanger+at+the+Mall%22&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=QuTEuhd6rE&amp;sig=8LkCxC9a_chutGbCjygGYbiZAaU&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=D01qVI7GHMWZyATUiYKYDA&amp;ved=0CCYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=Good%20Housekeeping%2C%20%E2%80%9CDanger%20at%20the%20Mall%22&amp;f=false" target="_blank"><em>perceived havens for crime</em></a><em>. Increasingly rundown and redundant, malls started turning into ghost towns&mdash;first losing shoppers and then losing stores</em><em>.</em>&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Almost twenty years later, the trend has only intensified, and retailers are evidently bracing for an even deeper plunge. As <em>CNBC</em> <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/05/the-retail-apocalypse-summed-up-perfectly-in-one-chart-commentary.html" target="_blank">noted</a> earlier this year:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;<em>At $12.7 billion, U.S. department store revenue is $7.2 billion lower than it was in 2001, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Expect these trends to continue</em>.&rdquo;</strong></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="958" height="502" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170323_retail.jpg?1490291661" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/retail-apocalypse-officially-descending-upon-america#comments Australia Big-box store Business Census Bureau Department store Distribution business) Fitch J. C. Penney JC Penney JCPenney Kmart Market Share Real estate Retailing Sales Sears Sears Sears Holdings Shopping Smithsonian Trade U.S. Census Bureau Walmart Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591623 at http://www.zerohedge.com NSA To Provide "Smoking Gun" Proof Obama Spied On Trump http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/nsa-provide-smoking-gun-proof-obama-spied-trump <p>Yesterday, Republican Devin Nunez Nunes held an explosive press conference outside the White House in which he told reporters that communications from the Trump team were picked up and disseminated within the government during the 2016 campaign.&nbsp; </p> <p>Not surprisingly, the comments ruffled some liberal feathers and the mainstream media launched an immediate smear campaign calling for Nunes to resign his post immediately.&nbsp; </p> <p>Now, according to<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/23/potential-smoking-gun-showing-obama-administration-spied-on-trump-team-source-says.html"> Fox News</a> sources, <strong>congressional investigators expect that a potential “smoking gun” from the NSA establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee as early as tomorrow.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump,</strong> according to sources.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the <strong>National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday.</strong> The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – <strong>including what one source described as a potential “smoking gun” establishing the spying.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, <strong>adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Because Nunes’s intelligence came from multiple sources during a span of several weeks, and he has not shared the actual materials with his committee colleagues, he will be the only member of the panel in a position to know whether the NSA has turned over some or all of the intelligence he is citing.</p> <p>If true, of course, this could put a 'slight' taint Obama's claim of a "scandal free" eight years in the White House.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>For those who missed it, here was Nunes's press conference from yesterday:</p> <p><iframe src="https://share.grabien.com/share.php?id=177521&amp;userid=6379&amp;playercolor=black&amp;playersize=520&amp;code=3491d253712b02da08c694e61a5a219e" width="520" height="293"></iframe></p> <p>The FBI is not cooperating with the House of Representatives' investigation into the NSA's surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, the chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee, Devin Nunes said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.</p> <p>In the aftermath of today's most stunning news report, namely the confirmation that Trump may have been right all along following the admission of House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes that the communications of Trump's aides and the president himself had been "incidentally" monitored, Nunes held an explosive press conference outside the White House in which told reporters that communications from the Trump team were picked up and disseminated within the government during the 2016 campaign. Nunes said sources within the intelligence community presented him with the information. He spoke to the press after briefing the administration.</p> <p>Nunes said that he had briefed the president about his concerns over the "incidental" collection of data, adding that the president "needs to know" that these intel reports exist, and adding ominously that "<strong>some of what I've seen seems to be inappropriate.</strong>" </p> <p>Nunes also said that Trump, others in the transition team were put into the intelligence report and asked if Trump should be in these "normal" reports.</p> <p>But what was perhaps most troubling in Nunes presser is that in the aftermath of Monday's Congressional hearing with James Comey in which the FBI director said on the record there had been no surveillance of Trump, is the House Intel Commission chair's statement that the FBI is not cooperating with the investigation. </p> <p>"We don’t actually know yet officially what happened to General Flynn," Nunes said of how communications from Gen. Flynn's calls were leaked to the press. "We just know that his name leaked out but we don't know how it was picked up yet. That was one of the things that we asked for in the March 15th letter, was for the NSA, CIA, and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done." </p> <p><strong>"And I'll tell you, NSA is being cooperative," </strong>Nunes continued,<strong> "but so far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter, which is now a couple of weeks old.”</strong></p> <p>Nunes also reported that as of now, he <strong>"cannot rule out" President Obama ordering the surveillance. </strong></p> <p>Finally, and contrary to earlier media reports, Nunes clarified that <strong>the surveillance was not related to the FBI's investigation into possible collusion with Russia. This surveillance, he emphasized to reporters, does not "have anything to do with Russia.</strong>" As a reminder, this has been the strawman argument proposed by much of the liberal media, which has said that a wiretapping of Trump or his aides, would <strong>only </strong>confirm that his relations with Russia were suspect and thus prompted a FISA warrant. </p> <p>If Nunes is correct, and Trump was being wiretapped for reasons having nothing to do with Russia, that entire narrative falls apart, and the press will now have to spend the next few weeks building up an entirely new narrative to "justify" why Trump was being wiretapped on Obama's watch.</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="696" height="427" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/Obama%20-%20Arrogant_3.JPG?1490307978" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/nsa-provide-smoking-gun-proof-obama-spied-trump#comments Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Devin Nunes Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox News Government House Intel Commission House Intel Committee House Intelligence Committee House of Representatives James Comey Michael T. Flynn Mike Pence national security National Security Agency National Security Agency Obama Administration Obama administration Permanent Select Committee Politics Presidency of Donald Trump President Obama SPY Trump Administration United States United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence United States intelligence agencies White House White House Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:43:01 +0000 Tyler Durden 591646 at http://www.zerohedge.com Are Enviro's Trying To Kill Farming In California? 2017 Water Allocations Imply 'Yes' http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/are-enviros-trying-kill-farming-california-2017-water-allocations-imply-yes <p>Several times over the past two months we've written about the <strong>historic floods that have descended upon California during the 2016-2017 rainy season</strong> (see <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-13/stunning-and-after-pictures-california-drought-and-devastating-rain-storms?page=1">here </a>and <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-23/dramatic-drone-footage-shows-extent-san-jose-floods">here</a> for some examples).&nbsp; In fact, the <strong>flooding was so severe that it very nearly caused the complete failure of a major dam in Northern California</strong> and resulted in the evacuation of 200,000 residents in neighboring cities (see "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-12/thousands-are-evacuating-after-californias-oroville-dam-predicted-fail-minutes">Nearly 200,000 People Are Evacuating Over "Imminent Failure" Of California's Oroville Dam - Live Feeds</a>").&nbsp; </p> <p>Needless to say, per the following chart, 2016/2017 was the wettest year that has been recorded in the state of California in decades and likely one of the wettest ever.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Cali%20Rain.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Cali%20Rain_0.JPG" alt="Rain" width="600" height="457" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And while the flooding had devastating consequences for several Northern California towns, those consequences were, at least, somewhat offset by the state's sprawling network of canals and reservoirs, on which taxpayers and farmers have spent billions of dollars going back to the early 1900's, that allow for the quick and easy movement of water around the state for storage purposes.</p> <p>Moreover, that excess water storage was welcome news to California's farmers in the Central Valley because it implied that after years of drought, fallowed acreage, economic losses and 0% water allocations from the state and federal water projects, that they might actually get a full allocation for the 2017 crop year and live to fight another day.&nbsp; </p> <p>Therefore, <strong>you can imagine our complete 'shock' to learn that, despite record precipitation, California's Central Valley Water Project has only allotted farmers 65% of their contracted water allocations for 2017</strong>.&nbsp; Which, combined with the state's restrictions on groundwater pumping (the "<a href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/">Sustainable Groundwater Management Act</a>"), will make it almost impossible to economically farm ground in the state of California over the coming years.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20AG.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20AG_1_0.jpg" alt="Ag" width="600" height="432" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All of which, of course, <strong>begs the question if farmers can't get full allocations of water to which they're contractually entitled in a year of massive floods and literally overflowing reservoirs, then will they ever receive such allocations again?</strong></p> <p>And while you ponder that question perhaps you can also take a guess as to who <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>didn't</strong></span> have to take a haircut on their water allocations this year<strong>...if you guessed 'all the pet projects of California's environmentalists', then you're absolutely correct.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Wildlife.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Wildlife_0.jpg" alt="Wildlife" width="600" height="432" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, if nothing else, at least this just goes to expose the fact that Trump was right, once again, when he <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fea527c86dfe42c78609619c5ce7fd59/trump-vows-solve-californias-water-crisis">told a group of farmers</a> in Fresno last May that "there is no drought" in California...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"There is no drought. They turn the water out into the ocean."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive."</p> </blockquote> <p>...<strong>because poor water allocations to farmers was never about the "drought"...it was always about a group of well-orchestrated environmentalists looking to shut down the ag industry in their liberal 'safe space' of California.</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="844" height="539" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.03.23%20-%20Ag%20Tease.JPG?1490299248" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/are-enviros-trying-kill-farming-california-2017-water-allocations-imply-yes#comments California California State Water Project Central Valley Disaster Drought Environment Feather River Geography of California Groundwater Hydrology Northern California Oroville Dam Oroville, California Physical geography Reservoirs Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Water Water in California Water storage Weather Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591637 at http://www.zerohedge.com Wikileaks Releases "NightSkies 1.2": Proof CIA Bugs "Factory Fresh" iPhones http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/nightskies-12-wikileaks-latest-leak-says-cia-bugging-factory-fresh-iphones-2008 <p>The latest leaks from WikiLeaks' Vault 7 is titled “Dark Matter” and claims that the CIA has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008 through suppliers.&nbsp; The full documents are expected to be released after a 10 a.m. EDT “press briefing” that WikiLeaks promoted on its Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">RELEASE: CIA <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vault7?src=hash">#Vault7</a> "Dark Matter" <a href="https://t.co/pgnfeODXVB">https://t.co/pgnfeODXVB</a> <a href="https://t.co/vkI16f3vMD">pic.twitter.com/vkI16f3vMD</a></p> <p>— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) <a href="https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/844897244155392002">March 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Here is a live stream of the pending press briefing with Julian Assange:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">LIVE: WikiLeaks press briefing in some minutes: CIA <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vault7?src=hash">#Vault7</a> "darkmatter" ask questions with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AskWL?src=hash">#AskWL</a> <a href="https://t.co/ldG78exSsu">https://t.co/ldG78exSsu</a></p> <p>— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) <a href="https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/844908911274569728">March 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>And here is the full press release from <a href="https://wikileaks.org/vault7/darkmatter/?cia">WikiLeaks</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Dark Matter", which contains<strong> documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac Computer firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB).</strong> These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Among others, these documents reveal the<strong> "Sonic Screwdriver"</strong> project which, as explained by the CIA, is a <strong>"mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting"</strong> allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick "even when a firmware password is enabled". <strong>The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStake" are also included in this release. While the DerStake1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. <strong>Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.</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="1177" height="883" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/Assange_8.jpg?1490277502" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/nightskies-12-wikileaks-latest-leak-says-cia-bugging-factory-fresh-iphones-2008#comments Apple Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Computer surveillance Computing Cyberwarfare Espionage Ethernet Firmware Government Instant messaging IPhone MacOS operating system Politics Technology Technology Twitter Twitter Unified Extensible Firmware Interface Vault 7 WikiLeaks Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:28:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 591588 at http://www.zerohedge.com Valeant: The End Of The Michael Pearson Era http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/valeant-end-michael-pearson-era <p><a href="http://sirf-online.org/2017/03/23/valeant-the-end-of-the-michael-pearson-era/"><em>Authored by Roddy Boyd via The Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation,</em></a></p> <p>Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the corporate poster-child for price-gouging, tax-inversion and hedge-fund manager <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/business/dealbook/william-ackman-valeant-pershing-square.html?_r=0">wealth destruction</a> <strong>quietly severed all ties with J. Michael Pearson</strong>, its former chief executive officer and longtime guiding light, in January according to its annual <a href="https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/885590/000119312517092858/d330204ddef14a.htm">proxy statement</a> filed this morning.</p> <p>While Pearson <strong>stepped down from Valeant in May 2016</strong>, and struck a <a href="http://98zo02bh3v9r369dtffl01cj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/pearson-sep-agreement.pdf">wide-ranging</a> separation agreement that <strong>paid him $83,333 per month for consulting</strong>&ndash;especially the much-touted and at least <a href="http://www.drugchannels.net/2016/06/valeant-reveals-bad-news-about-its.html">temporarily disastrous</a> Walgreens contract&ndash;his primary job was to cooperate with the seemingly eternally expanding roster of civil and criminal investigations.</p> <p>The deal with Pearson was supposed to last through this December and the use of the word &ldquo;initial&rdquo; in the contract&rsquo;s wording was a suggestion it might be renewed. Valeant, in the Proxy, <a href="http://98zo02bh3v9r369dtffl01cj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/VRX_Pearson_Mar17.png">says</a> it last paid him in October, and in December its board of directors determined no more payments would be made<strong><em>: &ldquo;In December 2016, the Board determined that we are not in a position to make any further payments to Mr. Pearson, including in connection with his then-outstanding equity awards with respect to 3,053,014 shares.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>Pearson&rsquo;s agreement was terminated in January, for unspecified reasons.</strong></u></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170323_VRX.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170323_VRX_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>Assuming that Valeant&rsquo;s language isn&rsquo;t implying that the company simply doesn&rsquo;t have the cash available to pay Pearson, then <strong>a legitimate question becomes whether he did anything to violate the terms of his agreement through non-cooperation</strong>. Given that it paid him $1 million annually with full-benefits, allowing him to have an office, an assistant and legal fees paid for, this doesn&rsquo;t seem to be in his best interests.</p> <p><strong>Also of note is the timing of the cessation of payments to Pearson in October given that charges against Philidor Rx Services were filed on <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/former-valeant-executive-and-former-philidor-ceo-charged-manhattan-federal-court">November 17. </a></strong>While it is highly unlikely that Valeant&rsquo;s board would have a sense of when&ndash;or even if&ndash;additional charges might be brought, their own counsel was assuredly aware that federal prosecutors have a long-standing practice of refusing to negotiate settlements with companies where they are actively pursuing indictments against current leadership.</p> <p><em>(Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation readers will recall our investigative work from <a href="http://sirf-online.org/2015/10/19/hidden-in-plain-sight-valeants-big-crazy-sort-of-secret-story/">October 2015</a> that began an ongoing re-examination of the company&rsquo;s ethics and business practices that has forced its share price to $10.86 in recent trading, down from over $257 in July, 2015.)</em></p> <p>A call to Scott Hirsch, Valeant&rsquo;s Communications chief, seeking comment was not returned.</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="962" height="508" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170323_VRX.jpg?1490294519" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/valeant-end-michael-pearson-era#comments Business Economy Investigative Reporting Foundation J. Michael Pearson Law Michael Pearson Philidor Rx Services Proxy Statement Proxy statement S&P/TSX 60 Index S&P/TSX Composite Index Stock market Valeant Pharmaceuticals Walgreens Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591630 at http://www.zerohedge.com People Are Ditching Chicago In Record Numbers As Windy City Leads U.S. In Population Loss http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/chicago-domestic-migration <p>In just the latest sign that things are about to get a whole lot worse for the city of Chicago, especially in their efforts to deal with that pesky little <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-16/illinois-pension-funding-sinks-376-unfunded-liability-surges-130bn">$130 billion pension problem</a>, the latest population statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that people are abandoning the Windy City in record numbers.&nbsp; Per the table below from <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170323/BLOGS02/170329938">Crain's</a>, the population of metropolitan Chicago has now declined two years in a row, a rate of decline that is accelerating,<strong> with over 65,000 people choosing migrate to other safer areas of the country. </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The metro area declines are heavily concentrated in Cook County, but show signs of spreading to outlying counties, too. For instance, the bureau estimates that DuPage County lost 3,000 people in the past two years, and that Will and Grundy counties had small population losses last year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The bureau did not break down the data by municipality, so it's impossible to tell for sure if the Cook County decline was in Chicago proper, suburban areas, or both.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One particularly stunning figure: <strong>net domestic migration, with an estimated 89,000 more people moving from the Chicago area to other portions of the country in the past year than those who moved in.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Migration%201_0.jpg" alt="DOmestic Migration" width="600" height="446" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And while some "policy analysts" (a.k.a. "Rahm Emmanuel Drones") tried to suggest that the mass exodus from Chicago is just a reflection of the general migratory patterns afflicting all of the MidWest...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Liz Schuh, principal policy analyst for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency<br /> for Planning, said the figures are "of concern for the region's<br /> continued economic success."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Residents often choose to stay in or migrate to a region because of economic opportunity and quality of life,"</strong> she added. While the region has recovered from the recession, and indeed has the largest workforce since recording began, "that recovery has lagged our peers."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Others suggested that the region, like much of the Rust Belt, eventually will return to slow-growth form after those who wanted to leave during the recession but couldn't do so for economic reasons finally are gone.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"But data also suggest that African-Americans are now leaving the region at a significantly faster rate than whites,</strong> Paral added. <strong>That suggests that rising crime rates and the loss of jobs on Chicago's South and West Sides are continuing to encourage residents to look elsewhere for a better life.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>...<strong>we would be willing to bet that it just might have something to do with those spiking murder rates..but that's just a hunch.</strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/23/2017.03.23%20-%20Chicago_1_0.jpg" alt="Chicago Murders" width="600" height="515" /></p> <p><a href="http://heyjackass.com/">(Chart per HeyJackAss!)</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="534" height="401" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/Chicago%20Teaser_12.JPG?1490276041" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/chicago-domestic-migration#comments Census Bureau Chicago Chicago metropolitan area Cook County, Illinois DuPage County, Illinois Geography of Illinois Geography of the United States Illinois Recession Recession recovery Rust Belt Social Issues U.S. Census Bureau United States Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591580 at http://www.zerohedge.com