http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/contributed/contributed/news/In en Kunstler Fears "Violent Revolt" As "Soft Coup" Against Trump Looms http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/kunstler-fears-violent-revolt-soft-coup-against-trump-looms <p><a href="http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/meow/"><em>Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,</em></a></p> <p>For all his blunders and stumbles in his first half-year as President (cough cough), <strong>Donald Trump seems to have more lives than Schrödinger&rsquo;s Cat.</strong> Or maybe it just seems that way. Or maybe he isn&rsquo;t really there at all (like the news these days). Maybe Trump only represents one comic probability in an infinite number of universes of probability, both comic and tragic.<strong> I begin to understand why the folks in Hollywood are having a whack attack over the chief executive: you can&rsquo;t storyboard this bitch; it&rsquo;s like leaving The Three Stooges on their own in a sound stage to re-make <em>Gone With the Wind</em>.</strong></p> <p><strong>But then, you begin to wonder: is Russia really there, or is it, too, just another figment of possibility?</strong> Don&rsquo;t try to figure that out by reading the oracular observations of <em>The Washington Post</em>. These days Russia seems to be at once everywhere and nowhere, like the Devil north of Boston in 1693. For example, this fellow Jeff Sessions. Have you noticed that his name rhymes with Russians? Hmmmm. And wasn&rsquo;t he caught chatting with the Russian Ambassador at the very same convocation of Republicans that picked notorious <em>colluder</em> Donald Trump to stand for President? <u><strong>That&rsquo;s enough of your damn <em>evidence</em> right there!</strong></u></p> <p><strong>Yes, things are passing strange in the world&rsquo;s greatest democracy these days.</strong> To me, seeing the thing through an historical lens, it&rsquo;s looking more and more like the Salem Witch Frenzy meets the French Revolution with a spin of quantum confusion on top. Right now we&rsquo;re in the first phase, sheer political lunacy. Beliefs have become ungrounded from the facts of life. The guy whom fate or a prankish deity put in the White House doesn&rsquo;t even fit the template of the world&rsquo;s most infamous heads-of-state. I&rsquo;m sorry to dredge up old Adolf, but really, Hitler himself seemed to have a much firmer idea about what he was doing than Trump does.</p> <p><strong>The ObamaCare reform fiasco looks like a tipping point toward a strain of toxic political paralysis that might literally kill the government as we&rsquo;ve known it. </strong>Over the many months of debate, congress never even got around to raising the salient issue: that the 18-or-so-percent of the economy &ldquo;health care&rdquo; represents consists largely of outright racketeering. Well, they sure blew that one. The major parties are disintegrating before our eyes, despite the seeming sense of decorum that senators present on TV. The public may seem to be mentally on vacation, snoozing on the beach in the midsummer doldrums, but something vicious is in the wind offshore.</p> <p><u><strong>I&rsquo;d actually go further now than the &ldquo;soft coup d&rsquo;état&rdquo; scenario that has Trump run over by the 25<sup>th</sup> amendment. It will happen, of course, but it will not satisfy anybody. </strong></u>Mike Pence will prove to be as ineffectual and unpopular as Trump, and he will be drowning in financial and fiscal problems, and he will get no help from the legislature in resolving any of it, and before too long there may be a general in the White House &mdash; or attempting to run things from someplace else, if he can. <strong>The whole nauseating spectacle will be attended by violent popular revolt of region against region and tribe against tribe in a great civil explosion of long-suppressed angst.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Too many nasty forces are vectoring in on the scene to overthrow the dream state America has been languishing in.</strong></u> Most of them involve money (or &ldquo;money&rdquo;) and the questions of how can we possibly keep paying for the way we live in this country, and who exactly has been fobbing off with the former wealth of every rusted and busted community in the land?</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>It&rsquo;s going to start in the stock and bond markets and it will be soon. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And then the US Treasury will destroy the dollar trying (again) to save the banks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And the bank accounts will be frozen. And the loans will stop being paid.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And the SNAP cards are going to stop working, and pretty soon the just-in-time deliveries to the supermarkets, and the resupply to the gas stations,</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>...and there won&rsquo;t be much that Mike Pence can do about it. </strong></p> <p><strong>He&rsquo;ll be shoved aside and the military will have to try to restore order in the land. </strong>When they do, it will not be the same land we sang about back in the fifth grade. Up in a cloud somewhere over Ohio, maybe, Schrödinger&rsquo;s Cat will be gazing down on us, grinning.</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="267" height="144" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170721_kunstler.jpg?1500648520" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/kunstler-fears-violent-revolt-soft-coup-against-trump-looms#comments American people of German descent Bond Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Mike Pence Obamacare Ohio Politics of the United States Racketeering Salient The Apprentice U.S. Treasury United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:15:16 +0000 Tyler Durden 600226 at http://www.zerohedge.com "The Swarm Effect": Every Trader Today Has Just These Two Choices http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/swarm-effect-every-trader-today-has-just-these-two-choices <p>Few have dedicated as much time and effort into explaining the behavioral aspects of trading in a time of central planning (or "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-17/kocic-markets-current-metastability-will-lead-cataclysmic-events">metastability</a>") as Deutsche Bank's whimsical derivatives-philosopher, Aleksandar Kocic. </p> <p>Three weeks after becoming the first Wall Street strategist to <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-02/deutsche-market-broke-2012">quantify (and qualify) the concept of market "complacency</a>", and one week after explaining that the Fed has effectively created a state of "permanent state of exception" from conventional asset relations (and logic), one in which everyone is incentivized to perpetuate the "exception" (i.e., sticking their head in the sand and just BTFDing), where QE has become "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/deutsche-fed-has-created-universal-basic-income-rich-and-now-it-cant-get-out">universal basic Income for the rich</a>", and as a result the Fed is terrified to unwind 8 years of monetary policies, today Kocic released his latest meta-financial <em>stream-of-consciousness </em>explainer, which highlights the choices faced by the current crop of traders every single day. </p> <p>Picking up on a <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-19/one-banks-surprising-finding-its-not-complacency-paralysis">tangent touched upon </a>by Canaccord's Brian Reynolds on Wednesday, who wrote that the relentless lack of volume in recent years "<strong>is more reflective of paralysis than complacency among equity investors</strong>", and then pointing to the sharp rise in NYSE short interest, countered that "investors are not complacent. Their stances range from extremely aggressive to bearish", Kocic takes the analysis one step further and writes that "<strong>the current mode of market functioning is really not so much about complacency as a result of willful blindness or ignorance as it is about difficult choices and high costs associated with those choices." </strong></p> <p>Referencing one of our favorite psychological tropes, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness">namely the "learned helplessness" experimental framework</a>, Kocic writes that "<strong>more than eight years of monetary stimulus and forced status quo have created a situation where change has become impossible." </strong>And adds that "to facilitate a change that would improve market conditions, there have to be multiple concessions to those forces against which change is directed. This has set in place the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>swarm effect</strong></span>: <strong>You can say no, but it is inconsequential."</strong></p> <p>Never one to shy away from expanding a market analogy into the ontological arena, Kocic, in attempting another explanation for why the market volatility is so low, then writes that "<strong>the resulting calm of the markets we have been experiencing lately has a special quality to it, like the calm one sees in people who have been talked into believing that they have found their peace.</strong>"</p> <p>Just think of going deeper into your cave until you find your power animal... </p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/mKoF1VW.gif" width="444" height="184" /></p> <p>To be sure, it is an uneasy calm:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Markets are calm, but they are not content. Although nominally things do not look bad, there is no joy when it comes to the state of the US economy. Despite tapering of Fed purchases, rate hikes and&nbsp; announcement of balance sheet unwind, financial conditions have not tightened. This triggers flashbacks of the troubling aftermath of the 2004-2007 tightening cycle. Then, why is vol so low? This question continues to puzzle market players and inspire its commentators. <strong>We know there will be tears at the end, but can we be certain that if we internalize this message and “do the right thing” along the way, there won’t be tears in the meantime?</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>This, in turn forces traders to make a decision: be aligned with the crowd (which is making money), or stay separate and continue suffering an indefinite, slow bleed:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Being long convexity means that your prospects are inversely correlated with the fate of the market. </strong>You will monetize only in an adverse scenario, when the rest of the market posts losses – your profits have negative correlation to the profits of the market. This is the main feature of an insurance policy - and a reason convexity carries a premium relative to other assets. <strong>By selling vol, your prospects are positively correlated with everyone else’s. Those assets generally trade at a discount -- you get paid to sell convexity. At the end, it is all about the decision whether to aligning your prospects with or against everyone else’s.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Kocic's punchline follows: a look into the mindset of today's traders. This is how Kocic breaks it down:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>At the moment, investors face a difficult choice. On one side, you are tempted to join the crowd. </strong>After all, the Fed is the “guarantor” so, despite the downsides, embracing the carry trade might not be a totally unsafe option (and you get rewarded for that). For most people who operate over a short time horizon, this is the only option. However, <strong>it is well known that collective IQ is always considerably lower than the average IQ </strong>(the evidence is purely empirical, but supporting examples are convincing). <strong>So, there is some wisdom in not joining the crowds (2008 financial crisis is a good example). </strong>If you can endure time decay and&nbsp; negative carry and are looking over a long time horizon, why not go against the consensus?</p> </blockquote> <p>From a practical standpoint, this results in just two possible decision "choices":</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Framed as a financial decision problem, one faces a choice between two scenarios: 1) A small probability of losing all of your money all at once at an undisclosed time in the future, or 2) A high probability of gradually losing small amounts over an indefinitely long period of time, keeping in mind that persistent small losses over an indefinite time period could lead to large cumulative losses.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>From this perspective, one can see why Canaccord's take of pervasive trader "paralysis" amid a background or pervasive bearishness has merit.</p> <p>So what are traders to do? Kocic may have just the right trade for you. Read on below for the full excerpt, as well as what the DB strategist believes is the right trade for this environment:</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The swarm effect: What to do when choices become difficult?</strong></span></p> <p><strong>Markets are calm, but they are not content</strong>. Although nominally things do not look bad, there is no joy when it comes to the state of the US economy. Despite tapering of Fed purchases, rate hikes and announcement of balance sheet unwind, financial conditions have not tightened. This triggers flashbacks of the troubling aftermath of the 2004-2007 tightening cycle. Then, why is vol so low? This question continues to puzzle market players and inspire its commentators. <strong>We know there will be tears at the end, but can we be certain that if we internalize this message and “do the right thing” along the way, there won’t be tears in the meantime</strong>? The <strong>current mode of market functioning is really not so much about complacency as a result of willful blindness or ignorance as it is about difficult choices and high costs associated with those choices</strong>. More than eight years of monetary stimulus and forced status quo have created a situation where <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>change has become impossible</strong></span>. To facilitate a change that would improve market conditions, there have to be multiple concessions to those forces against which change is directed. This has set in place the swarm effect: You can say no, but it is inconsequential.<strong> The resulting calm of the markets we have been&nbsp; experiencing lately has a special quality to it, like the calm one sees in people who have been talked into believing that they have found their peace.</strong></p> <p><strong>Safety third (after looking good and having fun)</strong></p> <p>The stakes are high, but what is one to do when nothing can be done? <strong>It is instructive to take a trip down memory lane once more, back to the early days of QE, around 2009 (it feels more distant than just eight years ago). </strong>Shortly after the Fed started its purchasing program, a select number of macro players, mostly non-rates specialists, came up with a theme that would keep most of the rates vol desks busy for over a year. <strong>The trade was high strike payers as a macro hedge against (“inevitable”) sell off in rates due to inflationary effects of excessive liquidity injection</strong>. The new macro theme was a welcoming development for the business that had lost its main customer and the street was happy to provide liquidity in times of stressed supply and strict risk management. For about a year, there was near euphoria about high strike payers. Everyone wanted to have a position. A typical structure, which the street saw a lot of, was 5Y30Y payers struck at 6%. With forwards around 4.50%, this was at the time a 150bp OTM, with premium trading in the 700bp range. Vol, although off of its all-time highs, was still elevated, about twice as high as today, and the skew about three times wider. But what had been conceived as a conceptually meaningful hedge in terms of delta, became a (troubling) vega and time decay exposure, that eventually drifted away from the strike, resulting in massive MTM losses. <strong>Currently, these strikes on 5Y30Y trade around 80c.</strong></p> <p>When it comes to trading options, there are many more considerations to take into account besides delta. <strong>Being long convexity means that your prospects are inversely correlated with the fate of the market. You will monetize only in an adverse scenario, when the rest of the market posts losses – your profits have negative correlation to the profits of the market</strong>. This is the main feature of an insurance policy - and a reason convexity carries a premium relative to other assets. <strong>By selling vol, your prospects are positively correlated with everyone else’s.</strong> Those assets generally trade at a discount -- you get paid to sell convexity. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>At the end, it is all about the decision whether to aligning your prospects with or against everyone else’s.</strong></span></p> <p>At the moment, investors face a difficult choice. On one side, you are tempted to join the crowd. <strong>After all, the Fed is the “guarantor” so, despite the downsides, embracing the carry trade might not be a totally unsafe option (and you get rewarded for that). </strong>For most people who operate over a short time horizon, this is the only option. However, it is well known that collective IQ is always considerably lower than the average IQ (the evidence is purely empirical, but supporting examples are convincing). <strong>So, there is some wisdom in not joining the crowds (2008 financial crisis is a good example). If you can endure time decay and negative carry and are looking over a long time horizon, why not go against the consensus?</strong></p> <p><em><strong>Framed as a financial decision problem, one faces a choice between two scenarios</strong></em>:<em><strong> 1) A small probability of losing all of your money all at once at an undisclosed time in the future, or 2) A high probability of&nbsp; gradually losing small amounts over an indefinitely long period of time, keeping in mind that persistent small losses over an indefinite time period could lead to large cumulative losses.</strong></em></p> <p><strong>The trade: Straddle/strangle switches</strong></p> <p>Assuming we have understood the problem correctly, the key question in our minds is: Can we find a compromise between these two difficult choices? We believe that straddle/strangle switches are a logical way to proceed.</p> <p>As a consequence of vol selling, the market is locally long gamma. This reinforces the local equilibrium, but positioning is different outside of the 25bp move on each side. At this point, we are sellers of gamma locally and are buyers of tails. We would strike 1X2 straddle/strangle switches so as to reduce local gamma exposure, and limit the downside, but adjust the strikes to keep the upside outside of the 50bp range. As a result, we have a high-leverage trade with limited downside, but the same upside as the 50bp wide strangle. We recommend: </p> <ul> <li><strong>Sell $100mn 3M10Y straddles vs. buy $200mn 3M10Y 24bp wide strangles, offer 38c</strong></li> </ul> <p>This is a long gamma position (2K). A 1X2 switch with a flat gamma profile is at struck 50bp wide (it trades at positive takeout), while a costless structure is 32bp wide (it is long gamma, around +1.6K). For comparison, a naked 24bp wide strangle costs 120c. The maximum downside on the trade is loss of premium plus additional 12bp running in case we either rally or sell off 12bp relative to forwards, a total of 147c, which is comparable to the maximum loss on the strangles. By changing the “bottom” profile of the strangles, we have managed to change the risk profile in such a way that we improved the time decay and payoff profile, without substantially changing the downside. This change of the “bottom” profile boils down to a change of P&amp;L distribution across different scenarios. <strong>The straddle/strangle switch makes money either if nothing happens or if we break out of the range. It loses money in case of limited repricing on both sides that remains in the range. A long strangle position monetizes only outside of the range, while anything within amounts to equal losses.</strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/kocic%20trade%20strangle_0.jpg" width="600" height="383" /></p> <p>Both trades have a similar time decay (in absolute terms), but the switch has about three times more leverage. 1M carry on both trades is around -40c, although it has less gamma exposure than naked strangle.</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="782" height="499" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/kocic%20trade%20strangle.jpg?1500659841" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/swarm-effect-every-trader-today-has-just-these-two-choices#comments Carry Trade Convexity Convexity Cumulative Losses Economy Market Conditions NYSE Short Interest Options Options strategies Risk Risk Management Short Interest Strangle US Federal Reserve Volatility Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:57:47 +0000 Tyler Durden 600243 at http://www.zerohedge.com Watch Live: First On-Camera Spicer-Less White House Press Briefing In A Month http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/watch-live-first-camera-spicer-less-white-house-press-briefing-month <p>Following the <strong>resignation of Sean Spicer</strong> (over the hiring of Anthony Scaramucchi), Deputy White House press secretary<strong> Sarah Huckabee Sanders is scheduled to give the White House’s first on-camera press briefing since June 29 </strong>at 2pmET. </p> <p>Grab your popcorn... </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_PR.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_PR.jpg" width="257" height="165" /></a></p> <p>Since Sean Spicer will be absent, we thought this "best of" compilation might satisfy some who miss him...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">R.I.P. Sean Spicer as White House Press Secretary, 2017 - 2017 <a href="https://t.co/y7QmJAroYH">pic.twitter.com/y7QmJAroYH</a></p> <p>— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow/status/888435212874649604">July 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says he will stay on through August.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It&#39;s been an honor &amp; a privilege to serve <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> &amp; this amazing country. I will continue my service through August</p> <p>&mdash; Sean Spicer (@PressSec) <a href="https://twitter.com/PressSec/status/888454528550490114">July 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p><p>Live Feed (due to start at 2pmET)...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8-oM21Td-JE" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="257" height="165" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170721_PR.jpg?1500659071" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/watch-live-first-camera-spicer-less-white-house-press-briefing-month#comments Arkansas Arkansas Republicans Donald Trump on social media Genealogy Huckabee Politics Sarah Huckabee Sanders Social media Spicer Twitter Twitter United States White House White House White House Communications Director White House Office of the Press Secretary White House Press Secretary Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600241 at http://www.zerohedge.com London Cop Gives 5 Year Old Girl $200 Ticket for Lemonade Stand http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/london-cop-gives-5-year-old-girl-200-ticket-lemonade-stand <p>Monsters. You're all monsters in England and should be stopped. When we had the chance, during world war 2, while our army was protecting you from becoming Hitler's lampshades, we should've put an end to the British people once and for all. But because we didn't, this is what I am writing about.</p> <p>An innocent 5 year old girl was partaking in the sale of lemonade in the street, a western tradition steeped with both sentiment and dignity, teaching the youth basic economics, was fined $200 by an <del datetime="2017-07-21T17:35:18+00:00">asshole</del> heroic cop for not having the proper permits.</p> <p>The girl has been selling cups of refreshing beverage with her father for 65 cents, next to their home, which was also adjacent to an ongoing music festival.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>One officer switched on a portable camera attached to his uniform and then proceeded to read a lengthy statement essentially telling the young girl she would be fined $195 (£150) because she didn’t have a trading permit.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>The girl burst into tears, asking her father again and again, “Have I done a bad thing?”</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The pair packed up their jugs of lemonade and walked home, with the young girl sobbing the whole way, according to her dad.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Spicer said that the whole situation left his daughter shaken and afraid.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> "I said maybe we can apply for the right permit and do it again at some stage. And she said, ‘That’s a bit scary,’” he told NBC’s News’ British partner ITV News.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> “We are very sorry that this has happened,” a spokesperson for the local authorities told NBC News’ British partner ITV News. "We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> “The fine will be canceled immediately and we have contacted Professor Spicer and his daughter to apologise.”</p></blockquote> <p> Sure, now fish and chips are revoking the fine, after public outcry. But it still doesn't negate the fact that the local police department is filled with reprobates.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Here was the little girl having the time of her life.</p> <p><a href="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/07/170721-lemonade-stand-mn-1050_be4f927dc38e9c1947c4eaef5ae67139.nbcnews-ux-600-480.jpg"><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/07/170721-lemonade-stand-mn-1050_be4f927dc38e9c1947c4eaef5ae67139.nbcnews-ux-600-480.jpg" width="600" height="338" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70715" /></a><br /> <em>Little girl selling lemonade, a right of passage in western society</em></p> <p>Wonderful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/london-cop-gives-5-year-old-girl-200-ticket-lemonade-stand#comments army Lemonade Music industry NBC Spicer Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:40:52 +0000 The_Real_Fly 600240 at http://www.zerohedge.com "May The Bursting Of The Student Loan Bubble Commence!" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/may-bursting-student-loan-bubble-commence <p><em>Authored by <a href="https://antoniusaquinas.com/">Antonius Aquinas</a> via <a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?p=50987">Acting-Man.com</a>,</em></p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The Looming Last Gasp of Indoctrination?</strong></span></h3> <p>The inevitable collapse of the student loan &ldquo;market&rdquo; and with it the take-down of many higher educational institutions will be <strong>one of the happiest and much needed events to look forward to in the coming months/years.</strong>&nbsp; Whether the student loan bubble bursts on its own or implodes due to a general economic collapse, does not matter <strong>as long as higher education is dealt a death blow and can no longer be a conduit of socialist and egalitarian nonsense for the inculcation of young minds.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-50992" height="263" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/think-for-food-1024x384.jpg" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Complain&hellip; declare bankruptcy&hellip; think for food&hellip; occupy&hellip; Decisions, decisions. [PT]</p> <p><span id="more-50987">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>The perilous condition of the student loan sector can be seen by looking at a few ominous pieces of data:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><ul> <li>The US has around $1.3 trillion in non-dischargeable loans to students</li> <li>Over 120 billion in student loans are already in default</li> <li>27% of students are a month behind on their payments*</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>As economic conditions deteriorate and there are even less meaningful jobs for college graduates than there are now, <strong>these numbers will only get worse.</strong></p> <p>Not only have colleges and universities been havens of leftist thought for many years, but they have become ridiculously expensive and beyond the reach of most middle-class income earners to afford without going into significant debt.</p> <p><strong>Moreover, the incessant barrage by the Establishment about the necessity of a college degree has distorted the labor market to where worthless, debt-ridden degrees are pursued instead of much needed blue-collar employment.&nbsp;</strong> The readjustment of the labor market to a proper balance will not only take time, but it will be a costly, painful process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/1-TOTALGOV.png" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-50988" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/1-TOTALGOV-1024x589.png" style="width: 600px; height: 345px;" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #3366ff;">Student loans granted by the federal government. The total outstanding is actually around $300 billion more, but the above loans are backstopped by the tax serfs. Note <em>when</em> this bubble took off.&nbsp; It happened just as the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of the housing bubble started. This is unlikely to be a coincidence &ndash; to us it looks like one of several methods that were used to re-inflate the credit bubble. Funny enough, the shorthand for this chart at the Fed&rsquo;s economic data web site is indeed &ldquo;TOTALGOV&rdquo;. You couldn&rsquo;t make this up. [PT]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Marxist Intellectual Wasteland</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>While the &ldquo;hard&rdquo; sciences have not been as affected by the Left, the social sciences have long been an intellectual wasteland devoid of any freedom of thought or opinion.&nbsp;</strong> Promotion and recognition of academic excellence is, more often than not, based on diversity and one&rsquo;s skin color instead of merit.</p> <p>Arguably, economic science has been the most corrupted discipline.&nbsp; Economics departments of major universities are now training grounds for employment in state and federal bureaucracies, the banking industry, and Federal Reserve where Marxism, Keynesianism, neo-Keynesianism or whatever kooky, nonsensical theory of the day can be put into practice.</p> <p>While higher education has long been hostile to the ideals of Western Civilization, it is now explicitly a bastion of anti-white discrimination and hostility especially against white heterosexual men.&nbsp; Few days pass these days without an incident, often with the approval of school authorities, blatantly attacking white Americans or symbols that supposedly represent them.</p> <p><strong>Of course, the higher education apparatchiks have had an easy time in their brainwashing task since the impressionable minds in their charge have been indoctrinated by twelve years of public &ldquo;schooling.&rdquo;&nbsp; Not only has the public school been a mechanism of social engineering, but it has constantly pushed its chattel to continue their &ldquo;education&rdquo; at the collegiate level.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-50990" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/protest-1024x683.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #3366ff;">Protests like the one shown above have increasingly flared up in recent years as the student loan bubble has grown. One may be inclined to sympathize with students to some extent considering that the cost of education has exploded into the blue yonder, but it is not quite that simple. Education is certainly an area of the economy that is highly sensitive to monetary inflation. For one thing, it is not easily &ldquo;tradable&rdquo; (although that may actually soon change). For another thing, as a long-range investment in human capital, college education is part of the higher stages of the economy&rsquo;s capital structure. A long period of time passes from the beginning of a college education to the production of a consumable service by those receiving it. Monetary inflation always steers investment spending toward the higher stages of the production structure, as it tends to push gross market interest rates below the natural interest rate determined by society-wide time preferences. This&nbsp; distorts relative prices in the economy and artificially boosts the perceived profitability of long-range investments. Many of these investments are unmasked as <em>malinvestments </em>as soon as the monetary pumping stops, and college education is definitely no exception to this rule. However, even at the current high cost of education, students obtaining marketable degrees should be able to cope with their debt load once they enter the job market. Of course, marketable degrees usually involve a lot more work than nonsense like &ldquo;gender studies&rdquo; and similar cultural Marxism-type indoctrination masquerading as education. As an aside, students of economics have to keep in mind that the majority of macro-economists would be completely superfluous in a free market economy. Most universities therefore offer economics studies designed to produce central economic planners. To paraphrase Hans-Hermann Hoppe, one will mostly be fed &ldquo;<em>viciously statist, incomprehensible gibberish</em>&rdquo;. There are exceptions though, but one has to choose one&rsquo;s <em>alma mater</em> very carefully if one is genuinely interested in being taught sound economic theory. To come back to the protesters above: if their student debt were to be canceled, their<em> creditors</em> would be forced to bear the losses. The vast majority of said creditors are tax serfs, who have lent them money <em>involuntarily</em>. By contrast, no-one forced these students to borrow money and spend it on obtaining useless degrees. [PT]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Strike the Root</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>The Trump Administration and most on the Right have failed to grasp the socialistic bias of American education.&nbsp;</strong> Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos has spoken about &ldquo;competition&rdquo; via school choice, vouchers, magnet and charter schools to increase school and student performance.</p> <p>The Administration&rsquo;s proposed 2018 education budget calls for an increase in federal spending on school choice by $1.4 billion, a $168 million increase for charter schools, and a $1 billion increase for Title I &ldquo;<em>to encourage school districts to adopt a system of student-based budgeting and open enrollment that enables Federal, State, and local funding to follow a student to the public school of his or her choice.</em>&rdquo;**</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/2-CPI-vs-education-CPI.png" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-50989" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/2-CPI-vs-education-CPI-1024x666.png" style="width: 600px; height: 390px;" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A chart illustrating the problem discussed in the lengthy caption above. CPI for education and CPI for all times, indexed (1993 = 100). From a theoretical standpoint, it is no surprise that the cost of education has escalated to such an extent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>These shopworn ideas and policies are not only fundamentally flawed and will make matters worse, but they will do nothing to counteract and or end the Left&rsquo;s domination of education.&nbsp;</strong> Instead, President Trump should do what he spoke of at times on the campaign trail and what President Reagan promised to do, but never did &ndash; abolish the Department of Education!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-50991" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/07/Student-debt-cartoons-1024x772.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 452px;" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #3366ff;">A few cartoons on student debt we have come across. Grandpa beats his grandson to the parental basement&hellip; and once you find out that there actually <em>was</em> a catch to that Bachelor&rsquo;s in English for the everyday low price of $78,000, you can always try and <em>epistemologize</em> for your food! :) [PT]</span></p> <p><em><u><strong>While the collapse of the student loan bubble may be the catalyst for a general financial downturn and will certainly be the cause of tremendous social pain and dislocation, it will, nevertheless, be a necessary prerequisite if America and, for that matter, the Western world is to ever break the grip of leftist ideology which rules it.&nbsp; May the bursting of the student loan bubble commence!</strong></u></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="579" height="325" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170721_debt.jpg?1500653219" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/may-bursting-student-loan-bubble-commence#comments Business Conduit CPI Creditors Department of Education Economic bubble Economy Education federal government Federal Reserve Finance Housing Bubble keynesianism Loans Money Occupy Personal finance Student loan Student Loans Trump Administration US Federal Reserve Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:33:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 600233 at http://www.zerohedge.com S&P Raises Outlook On Greece Ahead Of Bond Sale, Keeps B- Rating http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/sp-raises-outlook-greece-ahead-bond-sale-keeps-b-rating <p>Consider it a kiss to the bond investors who are expected to oversubscribe the upcoming latest &quot;triumphal&quot; Greek return to the bond markets, as <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/93fbcd88-6ada-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa">soon as next week</a>. Moments ago, rather unexpectedly, S&amp;P raised its outlook on Greece from Stable to Positive, but reaffirmed the Greek rating at B-. The rating agency, said it believes that &quot;recovering economic growth, alongside legislated fiscal reforms and further debt relief, should enable Greece to reduce its general government debt-to-GDP ratio and debt servicing costs through 2020.&quot;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>We have therefore revised the outlook on Greece to positive from stable while affirming our &#39;B-&#39; long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The positive outlook indicates our view that, over the next 12 months, there is at least a one-in-three probability that we could raise the ratings.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, buy the Greek bonds, but beware a repeat of what happened in 2014.</p> <p><em>Full S&amp;P note below (<a href="file:///C:/Users/Tyler%20Durden/Downloads/S&amp;P%20Greece.pdf">link</a>):</em></p> <p><strong>Outlook On Greece Ratings Revised To Positive; &#39;B-&#39; Long-Term Ratings Affirmed </strong></p> <p><strong>RATING ACTION </strong></p> <p>On July 21, 2017, S&amp;P Global Ratings revised the outlook on the Hellenic Republic (Greece) to positive from stable. We affirmed the &#39;B-/B&#39; long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings.</p> <p><strong>RATIONALE </strong></p> <p>The outlook revision reflects our expectation that Greece&#39;s general government debt and debt servicing costs will gradually decline, supported by economic recovery, legislated fiscal measures through 2020, and a commitment from Greece&#39;s creditors, specifically from the Eurogroup, to further improve the sustainability of its sovereign debt burden.</p> <p>The Eurogroup, in its statement on June 15, 2017, has agreed to facilitate market access for Greece through the creation of a cash buffer via disbursements over and above the amount needed for the Greek government to meet debt servicing obligations and pay down domestic arrears. In our opinion, this support is likely to pave the way for Greece to successfully reenter sovereign bond markets this year.</p> <p>We also understand that the Eurogroup has reiterated its intention to provide Greece with further extensions on loans from the European Financial Stability Facility, as well as deferrals on debt service at the conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) program in August of next year. These loans, contracted during Greece&#39;s second program, constitute the largest chunk of Greek government debt. Such additional measures, once put into effect, will further lengthen Greece&#39;s debt maturity profile--from more than 18 years presently--and reduce its annual gross financing needs. The amortization of Greek debt will peak in 2019 at about &euro;13.5 billion, an estimated 7% of GDP; however, we expect the government to issue market debt to smooth upcoming redemptions, including the 2019 maturities. In every other year from 2018 until 2023, we estimate that repayment obligations will be less than 4% of GDP.</p> <p>There are as yet no specifics on the precise form of further financial assistance to Greece, if any, after the current ESM program is concluded next year. However, given the considerable financial assistance and political capital invested in Greece by its European creditors since the start of the crisis, we believe that support--in the form of technical assistance and further measures toward long-term debt relief--is likely to remain strong in the years to come, albeit tied to conditionality.</p> <p>Moreover, we consider it to be significant that euro-area governments are in broad agreement on the outlines of a plan to link debt relief for Greece to any divergence of actual nominal GDP growth from growth assumptions in the ESM program&#39;s debt sustainability analysis.</p> <p>We note that the implementation of this plan, once finalized, is conditional on Greece&#39;s compliance with its ongoing loan program. While Greece is expected to exit the current program in 2018, its policymakers have legislated measures until 2020, including cuts to pensions and the income tax allowance, as well as structural reforms, such as changes to facilitate out-of-court debt workouts. This allowed Greece&#39;s creditors to conclude the second review of the current ESM program and to sanction a disbursement of &euro;8.5 billion (about 4% of GDP).</p> <p>We believe that implementation challenges of further fiscal measures and other potentially unpopular reforms--such as those related to the product and labor markets, public administration, and privatization--remain significant. Most of Greece&#39;s tax burden falls upon a subsection of the private sector under pressure from difficult credit conditions, an unpredictable business environment, and a challenging macroeconomic setting. Tax evasion remains widespread. Progress on privatizing state assets has been limited in comparison to the long-term privatization target of &euro;50 billion (about 30% of GDP). Finally, the liquidity positions of key government-related entities, including electric utility the Public Power Corporation, remain precarious due to payment arrears in the public and private sector.</p> <p>Even so, we anticipate broad compliance with the current program&#39;s targets until it ends in August next year. The recovering economy, boosted by July&#39;s ESM disbursement of &euro;0.8 billion (0.4% of GDP) for arrears clearance, will help authorities meet most of the fiscal conditionality, as indirect tax receipts (particularly VAT) should perform well. Incentives for the government to comply with the program remain considerable. The European Central Bank (ECB), which lends to Greece subject to program compliance, will continue to be a critical source of funding for Greece&#39;s banks until deposits return to the Greek financial system. The future return of deposits into the domestic financial system will, in turn, depend upon policy stability and further economic recovery. We therefore think Greece is likely to comply with the program&#39;s stipulations--albeit with delays--because the reversal of previously legislated reforms could render ineligible the pool of Greek government bonds that Greek banks use as collateral to access liquidity from the ECB. Another reason is that the prospect of additional debt relief, which also lowers the government&#39;s gross financing needs, could further encourage Greece to stay the course.</p> <p>Accordingly, we project that over 2017-2020 Greece will report general government primary surpluses of about 3% of GDP annually on average, alongside average nominal GDP growth of 2.8%, which should allow general government debt to decline to 158% of GDP in 2020 from 179% in 2016. Our debt-to-GDP projections are highly contingent on an acceleration of real and nominal GDP, though we do note that recent fiscal performance has been encouraging. Moreover, we do not exclude the possibility of a more flexible approach from Greece&#39;s creditors toward its compliance with the highly ambitious and potentially self-defeating medium-term primary surplus target of 3.5% of GDP. In 2016, the general government primary surplus was 3.9% of GDP, well above the program&#39;s target of 0.5%. While much of the fiscal outperformance during the year came from expenditure restraint, which weighed on growth, some of the adjustment was also on the revenue side. General government revenues increased by 3%, reflecting higher revenues from indirect taxes and higher personal income taxes.</p> <p>The Greek banking system remains impaired, though we do not view as imminent the risk of another round of recapitalization by the sovereign. Nonperforming exposures (NPEs) still constitute nearly half of systemwide loans. Initiatives to tackle the high stock of NPEs are underway, including for instance legislation to facilitate out-of-court restructuring, the development of a secondary market, and electronic auctions.</p> <p><strong>The ratings are constrained by Greece&#39;s high general government debt, which translates into the second highest debt-to-GDP ratio of all the sovereigns we rate; low economic growth rates that have eroded income levels over the past decade and caused price and wage trends to diverge markedly from the rest of the euro area; the highest unemployment rate in the euro area; and considerable structural challenges, such as adverse demographics, large social security deficits, and an impaired banking system that challenges the transmission of the ECB&#39;s monetary policy into Greece. The ratings are supported by the low cost of servicing much of Greece&#39;s general government debt burden; primary surpluses, which if sustained could gradually lower Greece&#39;s debt relative to GDP; ongoing support from creditors in the form of very long-dated concessional loans; and a new commitment to facilitate market access via the creation of liquidity buffers and further debt relief.</strong></p> <p>We project that the ratio of net general government debt to GDP will continue declining, after reaching 170% in 2016, but will not be below 150% of GDP until 2021. Greece&#39;s net general government debt remains the second highest of the 130 sovereigns we rate. However, the cost of new loans for Greece, under the current program, is significantly lower than the average cost of refinancing for the majority of sovereigns rated in the &#39;B&#39; category. We anticipate that even with the Greek sovereign&#39;s reentry into commercial bond markets, the proportion of commercial debt will remain less than 15% of total general government debt through to the end of 2020. We therefore expect a gradual reduction in interest costs relative to government revenues. The average remaining term of Greece&#39;s debt is an estimated 18 years, which is one of the longest among rated sovereigns. For this reason, Greece&#39;s official creditors as well as the International Monetary Fund have benchmarked the ratio of Greece&#39;s annual general government gross financing needs to GDP as a metric for debt sustainability, alongside the debt-to-GDP ratio.</p> <p><strong>OUTLOOK</strong></p> <p>The positive outlook indicates our view that, over the next 12 months, there is at least a one out of three probability that we could raise our &#39;B-&#39; ratings on Greece.</p> <p>We could consider an upgrade if commitments from the Eurogroup to provide further debt relief were approved, allowing for a further reduction in the costs of sovereign debt servicing and a further terming out of the government debt profile. Rating upside could also stem from a period of stable economic growth and a recovery of the labor market. We could also consider an upgrade if the banking sector further reduces its reliance on official funding, reflecting a gradual return of confidence and deposits to the system or access to market financing.</p> <p>We could revise the outlook back to stable if legislated reforms, critical to ongoing creditor support, are reversed, endangering further debt relief measures; or if growth outcomes are significantly weaker than our expectations, thereby restricting Greece&#39;s ability to continue fiscal consolidation and debt reduction.</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="392" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/UnFuck2_0_8.jpg?1500657028" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/sp-raises-outlook-greece-ahead-bond-sale-keeps-b-rating#comments 8.5% B+ Bond Business Credit Conditions Creditors Debt-to-GDP ratio Demographics Economy Economy of Greece European Central Bank European Central Bank European debt crisis Eurozone crisis Finance Financial crises Government debt Greece Greek government Greek government-debt crisis International Monetary Fund International Monetary Fund Monetary Policy Money Nominal GDP Personal Income Rating Agency ratings recovery Sovereign Debt Sovereigns Unemployment Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:16:36 +0000 Tyler Durden 600236 at http://www.zerohedge.com Oil Rig Count Falls By 1 As Analyst Warns Permian Reserves Are Grossly Exaggerated http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/oil-rig-count-falls-1-analyst-warns-permian-reserves-are-grossly-exaggerated <p><strong>For only the second time in the last 27 weeks</strong> (and 4th in the last 56 weeks), the number of US oil rigs fell last week (down 1 to 764 rigs). There is a growing concern that the rising <strong>rig count has now outpaced the lagged response to pricing and is due to rollover further</strong>...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 306px;" /></a></p> <p>Notably the Canadian oil rig count rose by 12 last week.</p> <p>WTI tumbled to a $45 handle heading into the data after tanker-tracker data suggested OPEC supply was the highest in 2017...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 352px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;To really see the market push much higher, we need to see a drumbeat that inventory levels are being pared like the main producers who are cutting production say is happening,&rdquo;&nbsp;</strong></em>Gene McGillian, market research manager at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn., says by phone to Bloomberg. <em><strong>Without that &ldquo;further gains are going to be kind of tough to come by.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>As a reminder, after rebounding last week, it looks like the Alaskan component of US oil production slowed this week as maintenance work continues in the Alaskan North Slope, but<strong> the Lower 48 saw production hit 2 year highs...</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170719_DOE3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170719_DOE3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And if the government is to be believed that is great news for &#39;Murica...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>We are entering a new age of American energy dominance according to Energy Secretary&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Rick-Perry-promises-new-age-of-American-energy-11248619.php">Rick Perry</a>. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>President Trump reflected that view in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/us/politics/trump-air-force-one-excerpt-transcript.html?smid=fb-nytimes&amp;smtyp=cur&amp;_r=0">comments</a>&nbsp;he made last week that <strong><em>&ldquo;&hellip;we&rsquo;ve got underneath us more oil than anybody, and nobody knew it until five years ago.&rdquo; </em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump was referring to tight oil production and today, that means the Permian basin.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Permian-Oil-Reserves-Are-Grossly-Exaggerated.html"><u><strong>But </strong></u>as OilPrice.com&#39;s Arthur Berman notes,</a> <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>global energy dominance by the United States is somewhere between aspirational and absurd.</strong></em></span></p> <p>So far in 2017, the U.S. has imported more than&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/supply/weekly/">9 million barrels</a>&nbsp;of crude oil per day, and net imports have averaged more than&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/supply/weekly/">7.3 million barrels</a>&nbsp;per day. <strong><em>How exactly can the world&rsquo;s biggest importer of oil become the supplier upon which other countries depend?</em></strong></p> <p>The recently released&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html">BP Statistical&nbsp;Review Of World Energy 2017</a>&nbsp;places the United States 10th in the global ranking of oil reserve holders between Libya and Nigeria (Figure 1). That&rsquo;s not bad but it hardly puts the U.S. in the same league as energy-dominant countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran, Iraq and Russia that have on average 4 times more proved reserves than the U.S.</p> <p><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/The-U.S.-is-the-10th-Largest-Oil-Reserve-Holder-in-the-World--1024x742.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6768 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/The-U.S.-is-the-10th-Largest-Oil-Reserve-Holder-in-the-World--1024x742.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 362px;" /></a></p> <p><em>(Click to enlarge)&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>Figure 1. The U.S. is the 10th Largest Oil Reserve Holder in the World. Source: BP and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.</em></p> <p>Perhaps the President and Secretary Perry have been reading John Mauldin&rsquo;s&nbsp;recent work of magical realism&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mauldineconomics.com/outsidethebox/shale-oil-another-layer-of-us-power" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Shale Oil: Another Layer of US Power</a>. It features a chart which shows that the U.S. is the largest oil reserve holder in the world (Figure 2)</p> <p><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Reserve-Chart-from-Mauldin_OTB_28-June-2017-1024x772.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6770 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Reserve-Chart-from-Mauldin_OTB_28-June-2017-1024x772.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 377px;" /></a></p> <p><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p><em>Figure 2. John Mauldin&rsquo;s Recoverable Oil Reserves chart. Source: Mauldin Economics and Rystad Energy.</em></p> <p><strong>The chart is so wrong that it defies explanation.</strong></p> <p>Its&nbsp;<a href="https://www.rystadenergy.com/NewsEvents/PressReleases/2017-annual-oil-recoverable-resource-review" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Rystad Energy source</a>&nbsp;data reveals that Mauldin has<strong> misrepresented&nbsp;<em>recoverable resources</em></strong>&mdash;all oil regardless of commercial value&ndash;as&nbsp;<em>reserves</em>&mdash;a specific volume that is commercial at today&rsquo;s oil prices.</p> <p>It also seems that Mauldin didn&rsquo;t show Rystad&rsquo;s data correctly. Saudi Arabia&mdash;and not the U.S.&mdash;is the largest holder of recoverable resources according to Rystad&nbsp;(Figure 3).</p> <p><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Rystad-World-Reserve-Estimate-June-2017-1024x744.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6771 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Rystad-World-Reserve-Estimate-June-2017-1024x744.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 363px;" /></a></p> <p><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p><em>Figure 3. Rystad Energy Global Oil Recoverable Resource Estimate. The chart shows Rystad&rsquo;s 2PCX category:&nbsp;proved reserves plus contingent resources plus risked prospective resources in undiscovered fields. Source: Rystad Energy and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.</em></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">Rystad&rsquo;s P1&nbsp;<em>proved</em>&nbsp;and P2&nbsp;<em>proved-plus-probable&nbsp;</em>reserve estimates put the U.S. behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text">There are many other errors in Mauldin&rsquo;s transcription of Rystad&rsquo;s data that can be seen by comparing his chart as my Figure 2 with Rystad&rsquo;s data in my Figure 3.&nbsp;That&rsquo;s what happens when energy amateurs masquerade as energy experts.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><u><strong>Assessing the Growth Potential of the Permian Basin</strong></u></p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><em><strong>So much for U.S. energy dominance today but what about the growth potential of the Permian basin?</strong></em></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield claims that output may exceed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.worldoil.com/news/2017/3/8/ceraweek-17-permian-has-room-to-grow-at-40bbl-says-oxy-pioneer" rel="noopener" target="_blank">160 billion barrels of oil</a>. Even credible sources like Wood Mackenzie believe that Permian Wolfcamp growth alone will add&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/conference/2017/pdf/presentations/alan_gelder.pdf" rel="noopener" target="_blank">3 million barrels</a>&nbsp;per day by 2024.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text">The EIA, however, estimated that 2015 Permian tight oil reserves were only 782 million barrels (Table 1). That seems low and is considerably less than the 5 billion and 4.3 billion barrels attributed to the Bakken and Eagle Ford plays, respectively.</p> <p><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Table_2-Tight-Oil-Proven-Reserves-1024x320.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6836 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Table_2-Tight-Oil-Proven-Reserves-1024x320.jpg" style="width: 499px; height: 156px;" /></a></p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p><em>Table 1. EIA 2015 Tight Oil Reserves. Source: EIA U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2014 <a href="https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/">https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/</a></em></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">I estimate that there are approximately 3.7 billion barrels of proved Permian tight oil reserves using 2016 10-K SEC filings for leading operators in the plays (Table 2).</p> <div class="wp-caption alignnone" id="attachment_6836"> <p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/PERMIAN-2016-TIGHT-OIL-RESERVE-TABLE-1-1024x515.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6883 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/PERMIAN-2016-TIGHT-OIL-RESERVE-TABLE-1-1024x515.jpg" style="width: 499px; height: 251px;" /></a></p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p><em>Table 2. Estimated 2016 Permian Basin Tight Oil Play Reserves. Source: Company 10-K Filings, Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.</em></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">All the companies in Table 2 differentiated Permian reserves from other company reserves. Those companies accounted for 47% of all tight oil production in 2016. I used that as a scaling factor to estimate the contribution of companies such as Anadarko, Apache, EOG and OXY that did not separate Permian from other company reserves in their 10-K filings.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><strong>The estimate is grounded on a reliable base of 1.7 billion barrels from company filings. The assumption that unknown company reserves will follow 2016 production ratios is reasonable but uncertain.</strong></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">I imagine that an estimate of only 3.7 billion barrels may surprise many who buy into the vision of American energy dominance. Others may accept the estimate but argue that Permian plays have significant growth potential that the Bakken and Eagle Ford do not.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text">Concho and Pioneer included tables in their 2016 10-Ks that projected future production from proven undeveloped (PUD) reserves. That data indicates that the two leading producers in the Permian tight oil plays anticipate PUD production to peak in 2019 (Figure 4).<br /><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Concho-Pioneer-Proved-Undeveloped-Future-Production-Expected-to-Peak-in-2019--1024x744.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6813 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Concho-Pioneer-Proved-Undeveloped-Future-Production-Expected-to-Peak-in-2019--1024x744.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 363px;" /></a></p> </div> <p class="wp-caption-text"><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p><em>Figure 4. Concho &amp; Pioneer Proved Undeveloped Future Production Expected to Peak in 2019. Source: Company 10-K Filings and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.</em></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">Concho&rsquo;s and Pioneer&rsquo;s combined peak 2019 PUD production volumes are approximately 25% of their combined 2016 daily production from the Permian basin. That means that the addition of future PUD production may only offset legacy production decline rates.</p> <div class="wp-caption alignnone" id="attachment_6813"> <p class="wp-caption-text">Anticipated PUD volumes are already included as proved reserves so however we view this data, it does not affect the implied reserves for the Permian basin. 10-K reserve and PUD production forecasts are based on 2016 SEC oil and gas prices. Higher prices would mean higher reserves and PUD production although few now anticipate substantial price changes over the period covered by Concho&rsquo;s and Pioneer&rsquo;s estimates.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><u><strong>Tank Theory</strong></u></p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><strong>Permian tight oil reserves implied by this study are less than accepted estimates for the Bakken and Eagle Ford plays. Permian production, however, has already reached peak Eagle Ford levels and is still increasing</strong> (Figure 5).</p> </div> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Permian-Tight-Oil-Production-Has-Reached-The-Eagle-Ford-Peak-Is-Still-Increasing--1024x743.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6841 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Permian-Tight-Oil-Production-Has-Reached-The-Eagle-Ford-Peak-Is-Still-Increasing--1024x743.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 363px;" /></a></p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><em>Figure 5. Permian Tight Oil Production Has Reached The Eagle Ford Peak &amp; Is Still Increasing. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.</em></p> <p><strong>To many, this implies that Permian production will continue to increase and will eventually eclipse output from the older tight oil plays. </strong>That may be true but, without additional reserves from new plays or deeper layers, <strong>it may only reflect rate acceleration followed by steep decline once peak production is reached. Concho&rsquo;s and Pioneer&rsquo;s future production forecast suggests that peak production may occur sooner than later.</strong></p> <p class="wp-caption-text">This study represents one scenario that may provide context for the claims and expectations about future production potential for the Permian basin. &nbsp;Aside from weak growth in the offshore Gulf of Mexico, or some return to growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford plays, it is the only current basis for the crude oil portion of emerging American energy dominance.</p> <p class="wp-caption-text"><strong>For the U.S. to move into the top tier of oil producing countries, reserves must at least double from accepted estimates by BP, EIA and other credible organizations </strong>(Figure 6).</p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><a class="lightbox" href="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/The-U.S.-Must-Double-Reserves-To-Become-an-Oil-Dominant-Producer-Even-Doubling-or-Tripling-Permian-Reserves-Not-Nearly-Enough--1024x745.jpg"><img class="wp-image-6842 size-large" src="http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/The-U.S.-Must-Double-Reserves-To-Become-an-Oil-Dominant-Producer-Even-Doubling-or-Tripling-Permian-Reserves-Not-Nearly-Enough--1024x745.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 364px;" /></a></p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><em>Figure 6. The U.S. Must Double Reserves To Become an Oil-Dominant Producer Even Doubling or Tripling Permian Reserves Not Nearly Enough. Source: BP, EIA and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.</em></p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><strong>In some upside scenario in which Permian reserves of 3.7 billion barrels somehow double or triple, that still will not be nearly enough for the U.S. to become energy dominant in oil.</strong></p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone">Engineers commonly think of reserves as a tank - you can drain the tank with the best technology at very high rates, and perhaps make some money along the way, but ultimate production is limited by the size of the tank.</p> <p class="wp-caption alignnone"><strong>I have presented an estimate of tank size using as a basis data from the companies that know most about the plays. If it is even close to correct, American energy dominance should be recognized as just another expression of alternative facts.</strong></p> <p>* * *</p> <p>As if more confirmation was needed...<strong>the Permian basin has been leading the increase in horizontal oil rig count (+184%)</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig2.png"><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig2.png" style="width: 512px; height: 319px;" /></strong></a></p> <p>But,<strong> the horizontal oil rig count changes from May 2016 by producers&#39; sources of funding shows that junk bond funded rigs have plateaued!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig3.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170721_rig3.png" style="width: 512px; height: 317px;" /></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="1175" height="599" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170721_rig4.jpg?1500656824" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/oil-rig-count-falls-1-analyst-warns-permian-reserves-are-grossly-exaggerated#comments Bakken Formation Bond Business Crude Crude Oil Energy and the environment Ford Geology of North America Geology of the United States Gulf of Mexico Iran Iraq Mexico Natural Gas Oil reserves OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Peak oil Permian Basin Petroleum Petroleum politics Saudi Arabia Tight oil U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Unconventional oil Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:07:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 600235 at http://www.zerohedge.com "Everything Will Collapse" German Judge Warns As Refugees Flood System With Appeals http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/judge-warns-german-courts-will-collapse-migrants-flood-system-appeals <p>Hundreds of thousands of migrants who&rsquo;ve appealed decisions by Germany&rsquo;s immigration courts have brought the country&rsquo;s legal system to the brink of collapse, a German judge warned on Friday.</p> <p>More than 1.3 million migrants have arrived in Germany since the beginning of 2015.<strong> Since then, the sheer number of cases filed has overwhelmed the civil courts of the country,</strong> said Robert Seegmuller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges, <a href="https://www.rt.com/news/397014-german-courts-overwhelmed-refugees/">speaking to the publishing house Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,&rdquo;</strong> Seegmuller told RND. <strong>&ldquo;We are now completely stretched to our limits.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Seegmuller had been complaining since spring about the number of lawsuits being filed against the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.</strong> Thousands of applicants have challenged decisions delivered on their cases by the office, including deportation orders back to potentially unsafe countries such as Afghanistan. RND estimates there are approximately 250,000 asylum-related cases waiting to be brought before the courts.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run. At some point, everything will collapse,&rdquo;</strong> Seegmüller warned. <strong>&ldquo;Things may go well for a while, but not permanently.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Just like in the US, where illegal immigrants have plotted to launch mass appeals to slow down the immigration process, the German legal system is struggling with a shortage of judges and other personnel, the judge added.</p> <p>In recent months, Germany&#39;s migrant situation, which had been pushed off the front pages after the late 2015 and early 2016 turmoil, one again reemerged drmatically, following reports that a group of right-wing German soldiers allegedly plotted the assassinations of left-wing politicians, intending to blame the crimes on migrants. One suspect had obtained a second identity as a Syrian refugee, leading to a review of some 100,000 asylum decisions, which in turn has throttled the German immigration system, nearly bringing it to a standstill, and created an even greater backlog of admissions.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.21refugees.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.21refugees_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 363px;" /></a></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="586" height="426" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.07.21refugees.JPG?1500637685" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/judge-warns-german-courts-will-collapse-migrants-flood-system-appeals#comments Administrative court Administrative law Afghanistan Appeal Association of German Administrative Law Judges Federal Office for Migration and Refugees German Interior Ministry Germany Government Government of Russia Immigration to the United Kingdom Judiciary of Germany Law Law Migration Court Politics Russian law Social Issues Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:47:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 600208 at http://www.zerohedge.com 5 Articles About the State Taking Parent’s Rights http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/5-articles-about-state-taking-parent%E2%80%99s-rights <p><a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/5-articles-about-the-state-taking-parents-rights/">Via The Daily Bell</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The state is deciding who is fit to be parents, keeping parents from treating their sick kids, and arresting parents if their kids skip school. Oh but don’t worry about that smart device in the home. All that info it’s collecting on your kids could never fall into the wrong hands.</p> <h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; font-weight: 500; line-height: 1.1; color: #303030; margin-top: 20px; font-size: 24px;">1.&nbsp;<a href="http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/20/oregon-has-decided-this-couple-isnt-smar" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">State Decides If You Are Smart Enough to Keep Your Kids</a></h3> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Parents in Oregon have had two of their children taken away by the state. There is no evidence, or even accusation, of abuse or neglect. But the parents have low IQs. So the state can take your kids if they decide you are too dumb.</p> <h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; font-weight: 500; line-height: 1.1; color: #303030; margin-top: 20px; font-size: 24px;">2.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/18/health/american-baby-treatment-charlie-gard-case/index.html" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Charlie Gaurd’s Parents Still Fighting– U.S. Dad Speaks Out</a></h3> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The psychopaths in the British government are still trying to prevent a baby with a rare disease from getting treatment in America. The U.S. Congress has granted the child citizenship in order to circumvent British authorities. Now an American dad of a child recovering from a similar condition speaks out.</p> <h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; font-weight: 500; line-height: 1.1; color: #303030; margin-top: 20px; font-size: 24px;">3.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/20/parents-trying-to-control-kids-can-lose-custody-california-high-court-rules/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">California Court Makes it Easy for State to Take Kids</a></h3> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">If your child faces a “substantial risk” of injury or illness, the state of California can take them away to protect them. So that just about covers everyone. Of course the all knowing state has a perfect record of keeping children safe… right?</p> <h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; font-weight: 500; line-height: 1.1; color: #303030; margin-top: 20px; font-size: 24px;">4.&nbsp;<a href="http://wkrg.com/2017/07/19/mcso-releases-list-of-parents-wanted-for-not-sending-children-to-school/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Parents of Truant Children Told to Turn Themselves in to Police</a></h3> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The Mobile County Sheriff’s website alerts the public to an elderly home invasion, a body found in the trash, and a murder suspect on the loose. On another page, they list with pictures the parents of “truant” children. Parents are being told to turn themselves in for their crime of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/how-government-literally-makes-people-go-insane/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">failing to send their kids to school</a>. The Sheriff’s Office&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Mobilecountysheriffsoffice/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">posted on Facebook</a>&nbsp;to shame and intimidate parents.</p> <h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; font-weight: 500; line-height: 1.1; color: #303030; margin-top: 20px; font-size: 24px;">5.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.marketplace.org/2017/07/20/world/how-voice-activated-speakers-are-lending-virtual-hand-parents" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Media Selling Smart Speaker as &nbsp;Perfect for Entertaining Kids</a></h3> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">So with all the risks, the state poses to parents, why on earth would anyone introduce a smart speaker into their home? Already&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/domestic-abuse-a-smart-device-called-the-police/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c; text-decoration: none;">a smart speaker has called police</a>&nbsp;during a domestic disturbance. Is it an innocent play thing that makes parenting easier or a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/how-nothing-to-hide-leads-to-nowhere-to-hide-why-privacy-matters-in-an-age-of-tech-totalitarianism/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c; text-decoration: none;">spy device</a>&nbsp;that could be used to assess your parenting?</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/5-articles-about-state-taking-parent%E2%80%99s-rights#comments British government Childhood Education Law Parenting Sheriff’s Office SPY U.S. Congress Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:44:11 +0000 TDB 600234 at http://www.zerohedge.com Is Iran In Our Gun Sights Now? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/iran-our-gun-sights-now <p><a href="http://buchanan.org/blog/iran-gun-sights-now-127370"><em>Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War.</p> <p>Why is containment surrender? <strong><em>&ldquo;Because freedom is threatened everywhere so long as this dictatorship stays in power,&rdquo;</em></strong> says Gingrich.</p> <p><strong>But how is our freedom threatened by a regime with 3 percent of our GDP that has been around since Jimmy Carter was president?</strong></p> <p>Fortunately, Gingrich has found a leader to bring down the Iranian regime and ensure the freedom of mankind. &ldquo;In our country that was George Washington and &hellip; the Marquis de Lafayette. In Italy it was Garibaldi,&rdquo; says Gingrich.</p> <p>Whom has he found to rival Washington and Garibaldi? Says Gingrich, &ldquo;Maryam Rajavi.&rdquo;</p> <p>Who is she? The leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, or Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which opposed the Shah, broke with the old Ayatollah, collaborated with Saddam Hussein, and, until 2012, was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State.</p> <p>At the NCRI conference in Paris in July where Gingrich spoke, and the speaking fees were reportedly excellent, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani were also on hand.</p> <p><strong>Calling Iran&rsquo;s twice-elected President Hassan Rouhani, &ldquo;a violent, vicious murderer,&rdquo; Giuliani said, &ldquo;the time has come for regime change.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Bolton followed suit.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Tehran is not merely a nuclear weapons threat, it is not merely a terrorist threat, it is a conventional threat to everybody in the region,&rdquo; </strong>he said. Hence, &ldquo;the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs&rsquo; regime in Tehran.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>We will all celebrate in Tehran in 2019, Bolton assured the NCRI faithful.</strong></u></p> <p>Good luck. Yet, as The New York Times said yesterday, all this talk, echoed all over this capital, is driving us straight toward war. &ldquo;A drumbeat of provocative words, outright threats and actions &mdash; from President Trump and some of his top aides as well as Sunni Arab leaders and American activists &mdash; is raising tensions that could lead to armed conflict with Iran.&rdquo;</p> <p><em><strong>Is this what America wants or needs &mdash; a new Mideast war against a country three times the size of Iraq?</strong></em></p> <p>After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, would America and the world be well-served by a war with Iran that could explode into a Sunni-Shiite religious war across the Middle East?</p> <p><strong>Bolton calls Iran &ldquo;a nuclear weapons threat.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>But in 2007, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies declared with high confidence Iran had no nuclear weapons program. They stated this again in 2011. Under the nuclear deal, Iran exported almost all of its uranium, stopped enriching to 20 percent, shut down thousands of centrifuges, poured concrete into the core of its heavy water reactor, and allows U.N. inspectors to crawl all over every facility.</p> <p><em><strong>Is Iran, despite all this, operating a secret nuclear weapons program? Or is this War Party propaganda meant to drag us into another Mideast war?</strong></em></p> <p>To ascertain the truth, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should call the heads of the CIA and DIA, and the Director of National Intelligence, to testify in open session.</p> <p>We are told we are menaced also by a Shiite Crescent rising and stretching from Beirut to Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran.</p> <p><strong>And who created this Shiite Crescent?</strong></p> <p>It was George W. Bush who ordered the Sunni regime of Saddam overthrown, delivering Iraq to its Shiite majority. It was Israel whose invasion and occupation of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 gave birth to the Shiite resistance now known as Hezbollah.</p> <p>As for Bashar Assad in Syria, his father sent troops to fight alongside Americans in the Gulf War.</p> <p>The Ayatollah&rsquo;s regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij militia are deeply hostile to this country. But Iran does not want war with the United States &mdash; for the best of reasons. Iran would be smashed like Iraq, and its inevitable rise, as the largest and most advanced country on the Persian Gulf, would be aborted.</p> <p>Moreover,<strong> we have interests in common</strong>: Peace in the Gulf, from which Iran&rsquo;s oil flows and without which Iran cannot grow, as Rouhani intends, by deepening Iran&rsquo;s ties to Europe and the advanced world.</p> <p>And <strong>we have enemies in common</strong>: ISIS, al-Qaida and all the Sunni terrorists whose wildest dream is to see their American enemies fight their Shiite enemies.</p> <p><strong>Who else wants a U.S. war with Iran, besides ISIS?</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, their number is legion: Saudis, Israelis, neocons and their think tanks, websites and magazines, hawks in both parties on Capitol Hill, democracy crusaders, and many in the Pentagon who want to deliver payback for what the Iranian-backed Shiite militias did to us in Iraq.</p> <p><strong>President Trump is key.</strong> If he does the War Party&rsquo;s bidding, that will be his legacy, as the Iraq War is the legacy of George W. Bush.</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="440" height="344" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170721_iran.jpg?1500649791" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/iran-our-gun-sights-now#comments Afghanistan al-Qaeda Basij militia Central Intelligence Agency DIA Foreign Relations Committee Foreign relations of Iran Government Hizballah Iran Iraq Iraq War Iraqi insurgency Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Israel Italy John R. Bolton Middle East Middle East Military Military history by country National Council of Resistance national intelligence National Intelligence Neocons New York Times Nuclear program of Iran Pentagon Persian Gulf Politics Politics of Iran Politics of Iraq Proxy wars Saddam Hussein U.S. Department of State U.S. intelligence United Nations Uranium War Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:27:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 600227 at http://www.zerohedge.com