http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml en Peso Plunges As White House Plans Nafta Withdrawal http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/peso-plunges-white-house-plans-nafta-withdrawal <p>The Mexican <strong>Peso is tumbling</strong> (and Loonie extending yesterday&#39;s timber-tariff-driven losses),<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/white-house-nafta-withdraw-trump-237632"> as Politico reports,</a> the Trump administration is considering an<strong> executive order on withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA,</strong> according to two White House officials.</p> <p><a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/white-house-nafta-withdraw-trump-237632">Politico reports </a>that a draft order has been submitted for the final stages of review and could be unveiled late this week or early next week, the officials said. The effort, which still could change in the coming days as more officials weigh in, would indicate the administration&rsquo;s intent to withdraw from the sweeping pact by triggering the timeline set forth in the deal.</p> <p>The approach appears <strong>designed to extract better terms with Canada and Mexico</strong>, and judging bvy the FX market&#39;s reaction, they agree...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_NAFTA2.jpg"><img height="316" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_NAFTA2_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_NAFTA1.jpg"><img height="314" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_NAFTA1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Trump in recent weeks has stepped up his rhetoric vowing to terminate the agreement all together.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;NAFTA&rsquo;s been very, very bad for our country,&rdquo; </strong>he said in a speech last week in Kenosha, Wis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we&rsquo;re going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Peter Navarro, the head of Trump&rsquo;s National Trade Council, drafted the executive order in close cooperation with chief White House strategist Steve Bannon. The executive order was submitted this week to the staff secretary for the final stages of review, according to one of the White House officials.</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="960" height="506" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170426_NAFTA2.jpg?1493221915" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/peso-plunges-white-house-plans-nafta-withdrawal#comments Alt-right American people of German descent Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Mexico North American Free Trade Agreement Peter Navarro Peter Navarro Politico Politics Steve Bannon The Apprentice Trump Administration Trump’s National Trade Council United States White House White House Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:54:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 594388 at http://www.zerohedge.com Canada's Housing Bubble Explodes As Its Biggest Mortgage Lender Crashes Most In History http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/canadas-housing-bubble-explodes-its-biggest-mortgage-lender-crashes-most-history <p>Call it Canada's "New Century" moment. </p> <p>We first introduced readers to the company we said was the "<em>tip of the iceberg in Canada's magnificent housing bubble</em>" <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-30/liar-loans-pop-canada%E2%80%99s-magnificent-housing-bubble">nearly two years ago, </a>in July 2015 when we exposed a major problem that we predicted would haunt Home Capital Group, Canada's largest non-bank mortgage lender: liar loans in particular, and a generally overzealous lending business model with little regard for fundamentals. In the interim period, many other voices - <a href="https://twitter.com/AlderLaneeggs">most prominently noted short-seller Marc Cohodes </a>- would constantly remind traders and investors about the threat posed by HCG.</p> <p>Today, all those warnings came true, when the stock of Home Capital Group cratered by over 60%, <em>its biggest drop on record</em>, after the company disclosed that it struck an emergency liquidity arrangement for a C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) credit line to counter evaporating deposits at terms that will leave the alternative mortgage lender unable to meet financial targets, and worse, may leave it insolvent in very short notice.</p> <p>As part of this inevitable outcome, one which presages the company's eventual disintegration and likely bankruptcy, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-26/home-capital-gets-c-2-billion-loan-will-miss-financial-goals">Bloomberg reports </a>that the non-binding rescue loan with an unnamed counterparty will be secured by a portfolio of mortgage loans originated by Home Trust, the Toronto-based firm said in a statement Wednesday. Home Capital shares dropped by 61% in Toronto to the lowest since 2003, dragging down other home lenders. Equitable Group Inc. fell 17 percent, Street Capital Group Inc. fell 13 percent, while First National Financial Corp. declined 7.6 percent. <strong>In short, the Canadian mortgage bubble has finally burst.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/20170426_HVG.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/20170426_HVG_0.jpg" width="500" height="265" /></a></p> <p>Some more details on HCG's emergency source of funding: Home Capital will pay 10% interest on outstanding balances and a non-refundable commitment fee of C$100 million, while standby fee on undrawn funds is 2.5%. The initial draw must be C$1 billion. The loan has an effective - and very much distressed - interest rate of 22.5% on the first C$1 billion, declining to 15% if fully utilized, according to a note from Jaeme Gloyn, an analyst at National Bank of Canada.</p> <p>Home Capital said the credit line is <strong>intended to “mitigate” a sharp drop in Home Trust’s high-interest savings account balances, which sank by $591 million from March 28 to April 24, at which point the total balance was $1.4 billion</strong>. Home Capital warned on Wednesday that further outflows are anticipated. </p> <p>Translated: what until last night was a depositor bank jog just became a sprint.</p> <p>The loan will provide Home Capital with more than C$3.5 billion in total funding, more than twice the C$1.5 billion in liquid assets it held as at April 24. It also has C$200 million in securities available for sale, and high interest savings account balances fell about 25% to C$1.4 billion over the past month. Home Capital relies on deposits to fund their mortgage loans; following today's announcement the company's liquidity is certain to get even worse as all non-distressed sources of cash are pulled.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/home-capital-plunges.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/home-capital-plunges_0.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>Cited by Bloomberg, Andrew Torres, founding partner and chief investment officer at Toronto-based Lawrence Park Asset Management said that "The company is facing a bit of a liquidity crunch and they felt they needed to resolve it quickly." He said the "steep" commitment fee and the interest rate on the loan "are surprising numbers for a company that was ostensibly investment-grade."</p> <p>Well, it was only investment grade because as usual the rating agencies never did their homework. For a real hint into the company's rating, look at the 22.5% interest rate, suggesting the company's days outside of bankruptcy are numbered. </p> <p>Home Capital Group's sudden collapse was actually visible from a distance. While in the summer of 2015, the termination of HCG was still debate, in recent months the company’s woes stemmed from allegations by the Ontario Securities Commission that Home Capital misled investors and broke securities laws. </p> <p>In other words engaged in those "liar loans" which we first warned about back in the summer of 2015. </p> <p>Meanwhile, founder Gerald Soloway will step down from the board when a replacement is named and Robert Blowes will assume the role of interim chief financial officer, the company said Monday. </p> <p>"The company anticipates that further declines will occur, and that the credit line would also mitigate the impact of those," Home Capital said.</p> <p>Amusingly, it was just two months ago when the company set new performance goals after reporting quarterly results, targeting revenue growth of 5% or greater, diluted earnings-per-share of 7% or greater and a return on equity of 15 percent or more over the long term, according to Bloomberg. It should add one more "performance goal" - stay out of bankruptcy for at least 3 months.</p> <p>"They did what appears to be to us a very expensive deal," said David Baskin, president and founder of Baskin Wealth Management in Toronto, a former investor in Home Capital stock. "<strong>Basically they blew up the income statement in order to save the balance sheet, which I guess if you’re facing an existential crisis is what you have to do."</strong></p> <p>The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) told Canada's BNN it does not comment on specific institutions it supervises, but that it maintains ongoing relationships with those institutions and is monitoring the Home Capital situation "closely."</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="288" height="104" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/homecapital.jpg?1493221715" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/canadas-housing-bubble-explodes-its-biggest-mortgage-lender-crashes-most-history#comments Bank of Canada Business Credit Line Economics Economy Finance Home Capital Group Housing Bubble Investment Grade Money Mortgage industry of the United States Mortgage loan Mortgage Loans New Century New Century Ontario Securities Commission Rating Agencies Subprime crisis impact timeline Subprime mortgage crisis Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:49:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 594387 at http://www.zerohedge.com Russia Has Withdrawn Half Of Its Fighter Jet Group From Syria http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/russia-has-withdrawn-half-its-fighter-jet-group-syria <p>In an unexpected development, the Russian General Staff announced on Wednesday that it has withdrawn almost half of its air grouping originally based at the Hmeymim facility in Syria.&nbsp; Cited by <a href="https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704261053021976-russia-withdraws-aircraft-syria/">Sputnik</a>, the chief of the Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security that "the number of terrorist units has decreased, which allowed us to<br /> withdraw almost half of the aircraft based at the Hmeymim airbase."</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/1030458634_0.jpg" width="500" height="271" /></p> <p>Rudskoi said that the Russian air group never exceeded 35 aircraft between November 10, 2016 and January 10, 2017. He also said that Russia is operating about 80 drones in Syria, and stressed that an analysis has shown that the Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted four times more airstrikes than the US-led coalition despite having fewer aircraft.</p> <p>"Comparative analysis of the results of activities by Russian aircraft and the international coalition's aircraft in Syria shows that having far fewer aircraft, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out three times more combat sorties and made four times more missile and bomb strikes," Rudskoi said.</p> <p>Since September 2015, the Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out constant airstrikes in Syria targeting terrorist positions at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In March 2016, the biggest part of Russian air forces left Syria in line with the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin, following successful task fulfillment.</p> <p>Predictably, there was no discussion if the recent air strike by the US was a factor in the decision to repatriate half of the Russian air support from Syria, neither was there a comment on whether the recent report by Iran's FARS that Russia was considering deploying ground troops to Syria was accurate.</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="1000" height="541" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/1030458634.jpg?1493219990" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/russia-has-withdrawn-half-its-fighter-jet-group-syria#comments American-led intervention in Syria Aviation Bashar al-Assad Foreign relations of Russia International relations Iran–Russia relations Khmeimim Main Operational Directorate Operation Inherent Resolve Politics Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War Russian military intervention in Syria Russia–Syria relations Syrian Civil War Vladimir Putin Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:24:03 +0000 Tyler Durden 594383 at http://www.zerohedge.com Why Taxation is Slavery: Words From Frederick Douglass http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/why-taxation-slavery-words-frederick-douglass <p><a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/why-taxation-is-slavery-words-from-frederick-douglass/">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;">What do you call it when someone takes 100% of your labor by force? Slavery.</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;">Slavery is being forced to work against your will for the benefit of your master, your owner. The only reason they own the products of your labor is because they own you. If you had exclusive control over what is done to and with your body,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/everyone-alive-believes-in-private-property/" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">the most basic right of self-ownership</a>, you would not owe anybody your labor.</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;">So then a lesser percentage of forced labor is also slavery, though to an obviously lesser degree.</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;">Whether a cent&nbsp;or a million dollars&nbsp;is taken without consent, it is theft.&nbsp;And if someone forces you to work for them 1% of the time, or 100% of a time, that is still slavery.</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;">Frederick Douglass was a slave, by any reckoning. So it is interesting to&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2plAtWz" target="_blank" title="My Bondage and My Freedom" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">read his own words</a>, on having his rightfully earned wages taken by force. In his book&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2plAtWz" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">My Bondage and My Freedom</em></a>, Douglass laments the state of his servitude, that all his hard work is confiscated from him.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">Besides, I was now getting—as I have said—a dollar and fifty cents per day. I contracted for it, worked for it, earned it, collected it; it was paid to me, and it was rightfully my own; and yet, upon every returning Saturday night, this money—my own hard earnings, every cent of it—was demanded of me, and taken from me by Master Hugh. He did not earn it; he had no hand in earning it; why, then, should he have it? I owed him nothing. He had given me no schooling, and I had received from him only my food and raiment; and for these, my services were supposed to pay, from the first. The right to take my earnings, was the right of the robber. He had the power to compel me to give him the fruits of my labor, and this power was his only right in the case. I became more and more dissatisfied with this state of things…</span></p> </blockquote> <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;">Frederick Douglass sees correctly that the only “right” the government has to take your money, is the right of the robber. Yes, they have enough power to force you to give them money, and that is the only thing that makes it “legitimate”. Certainly no one argues that his slavery was justified by the food and shelter his master provided him.</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;">Douglass then muses about what conditions make slave-masters able to keep men enslaved.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate his power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery. The man that takes his earnings, must be able to convince him that he has a perfect right to do so. It must not depend upon mere force; the slave must know no Higher Law than his master’s will. The whole relationship must not only demonstrate, to his mind, its necessity, but its absolute rightfulness. If there be one crevice through which a single drop can fall, it will certainly rust off the slave’s chain.</span></p> </blockquote> <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;">And this is the same reason people accept taxation. We revere authority and accept government as necessary, and believe we get some benefit out of our slavery.</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;">How often do you hear people support something because “it is the law.”Is there no higher law than that which the government makes up for its own benefit, and then exerts through force? The force of government is the highest law we know.</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;">Is there no higher law than that which the government makes up for its own benefit, and then exerts through force? The force of government is the highest law we know.</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;">But as soon as we realize that it is never okay&nbsp;to be robbed, no matter how small, the injustice is a potent demonstration that we are at the mercy of a thieving gang who has convinced most people that somehow, in&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">this case</em>, theft and slavery are acceptable.</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;">In case you are hung up on the&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">percentage</em>&nbsp;of stolen labor: it is interesting to note that&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2plAtWz" target="_blank" title="Frederick Douglas" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Frederick Douglass</a>&nbsp;did not always have 100% of his wages stolen from him by his masters.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master.&nbsp;When I carried to him my weekly wages, he would, after counting the money, look me in the face with a&nbsp;robber-like fierceness, and ask, “Is this all?” He was satisfied with nothing less than the last cent. He would, however, when I made him six dollars, sometimes give me six cents, to encourage me. It had the opposite effect.&nbsp;I regarded it as a sort of admission of my right to the whole.&nbsp;The fact that he gave me any part of my wages was proof, to my mind, that he believed me entitled to the whole of them.&nbsp;I always felt worse for having received any thing; for I feared that the giving me a few cents would ease his conscience, and make him feel himself to be a pretty honorable sort of robber.</span></p> </blockquote> <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;">How often do people squeal that the rich need to pay their&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/how-governments-justify-theft-is-a-fallacy-wealth-was-created-before-taxation/" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">“fair share”</a>? It doesn’t matter how much any person earns, the government always wants to steal more. And somehow they have convinced millions of people that the thieves are the good guys, and the wage earners&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">deserve</em>&nbsp;to be enslaved and robbed.</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;">We also&nbsp;shouldn’t feel excited when we get out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/how-governments-justify-theft-is-a-fallacy-wealth-was-created-before-taxation/" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">tax refunds</a>, we should be all the more infuriated. The government knows and admits that it is our money, that we earned, to which&nbsp;they have no right. Yet they still take it, and we still stand by as helpless slaves while being robbed.The worst part is, that the robber undoubtedly thinks he is honorable in our circumstances! Welfare, roads, a military to “keep us safe”: our robbers, our slave masters, want us to</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 worst part is, that the robber undoubtedly thinks he is honorable! Welfare, roads, a military to “keep us safe”: our robbers, our slave masters, want us to&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">thank them</em>&nbsp;for giving back cents on the stolen dollar!</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;">But I won’t accept it. I won’t pretend with the rest of the slaves that it is just. Yes, I will give up my wages at the point of a gun, but that is the only right the government has over me, the right of the robber.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">He exhorted me to content myself, and&nbsp;be obedient. He told me, if I would be happy, I must lay out no plans for the future. He said, if I behaved myself properly, he would take care of me.&nbsp;Indeed, he advised me to complete thoughtlessness of the future, and taught me to depend solely upon him for happiness.&nbsp;He seemed to see fully the pressing necessity of setting aside my intellectual nature, in order to contentment in slavery.&nbsp;But in spite of him, and even in spite of myself, I continued to think, and to think about the injustice of my enslavement, and the means of escape.</span></p> </blockquote> <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;">That passage strikes an eery tone because anyone can see the government has the exact same advice for us, as Frederick Douglass’ master had for him. J<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">ust pay your taxes, vote, pay into social security, it will all be fine! Don’t worry, you don’t need anything but a government safety net to be happy and content.</em></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;">If people feel dependent on the government, they are terrified to be free! The government will take care of you, just as long as you abandon your intellect, and push away any thoughts of influencing your future. Leave your fate in the hands of the government.</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;">Frederick Douglass had incredible insight into the true nature of slavery. He was the self-aware slave that every master fears. Frederick Douglass was at times even placed in the same type&nbsp;of slavery we find ourselves in today, where we have the appearance of freedom. But it is really the worst of both worlds.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">I was to be allowed all my time, make all contracts with those for whom I worked, and find my own employment; and, in return for this liberty, I was to pay him three dollars at the end of each week; find myself in calking tools, and in board and clothing. My board was two dollars and a half per week.&nbsp;This, with the wear and tear of clothing and calking tools, made my regular expenses about six dollars per week. This amount I was compelled to make up, or relinquish the privilege of hiring my time. Rain or shine, work or no work, at the end of each week the money must be forthcoming, or I must give up my privilege. This arrangement, it will be perceived, was decidedly in my master’s favor. It relieved him of all need of looking after me. His money was sure.&nbsp;He received all the benefits of slaveholding without its evils; while I endured all the evils of a slave, and suffered all the care and anxiety of a freeman.&nbsp;</span></p> </blockquote> <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;">Precisely. We are “free”! Just so long as you give the government protection money at the end of each work week. If you can’t find work, you still need to buy healthcare, you still need to pay your property taxes, you still need to pay sales tax, and so on and so forth. We have all the stress of free men, without the benefit! And the government has all the benefits of a slave-holder, without all the intricacies of owning slaves.</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 criticisms that Frederick Douglass expresses of his masters are perfectly interchangeable with all the criticisms of the government. Heed his words. Douglass was 100% a slave at times, 99% a slave at other times, and even at a point 50% a slave, according to how much of his labor was confiscated.</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;">But he was still a slave. Don’t let the masters keep you a thoughtless slave.</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;"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/My-Bondage-Freedom-Frederick-Douglass/dp/030019059X/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1493217832&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=my+bondage+and+my+freedom&amp;linkCode=li3&amp;tag=joejarme-20&amp;linkId=bcb1c14196d632072cc29d01299d6c4a" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;"><img src="http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;ASIN=030019059X&amp;Format=_SL250_&amp;ID=AsinImage&amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;WS=1&amp;tag=joejarme-20" border="0" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; display: block; margin: 5px auto; height: auto !important;" class="aligncenter" /></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/why-taxation-slavery-words-frederick-douglass#comments Abolitionism in the United States African diaspora Frederick Douglass Identity politics Lecturers Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Slavery Social Issues United States Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:18:20 +0000 TDB 594377 at http://www.zerohedge.com Emmanuel Clinton Versus Marine LeTrump http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/emmanuel-clinton-versus-marine-letrump <p><a href="http://www.atimes.com/article/emmanuel-clinton-vs-marine-letrump/"><em>Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,</em></a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_macronlepen.jpg"><img height="320" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_macronlepen_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></em></p> <p>Here&rsquo;s the body count in the latest geopolitical earthquake afflicting the West: <em><strong>The Socialist Party in France is dead. The traditional Right is comatose. What used to be the Extreme Left is alive, and still kicking.</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Yet what&rsquo;s supposed to be the shock of the new is not exactly a shock.</strong> The more things veer towards change (we can believe in), the more they stay the same. Enter the new normal: the recycled &ldquo;system&rdquo; &ndash; as in Emmanuel Macron &mdash; versus &ldquo;the people&rdquo; &mdash; as in the National Front&rsquo;s Marine Le Pen, battling for the French presidency on May 7.</p> <p>Although that was the expected outcome, it&rsquo;s still significant. Le Pen, re-christened &ldquo;Marine&rdquo;, reached the second round of voting despite a mediocre campaign.</p> <p>She essentially reassembled &mdash; but did not expand &mdash; her voting base. I have <a href="http://www.atimes.com/article/play-france-prepares-tear-political-playbook/">argued</a> on Asia Times that <strong>Macron is nothing but an artificial product, a meticulously packaged hologram designed to sell an illusion</strong>.</p> <p>Only the<strong> terminally naïve may believe Macron incarnates change</strong> when he&rsquo;s the candidate of the EU, NATO, the financial markets, the Clinton-Obama machine, the French establishment, assorted business oligarchs and the top six French media groups.</p> <p>As for the stupidity of the Blairite Left, it&rsquo;s now in a class by itself.</p> <p>Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the domesticated hard-left of Insubordinate France, managed to equal the Catholic Right François Fillon in the final stretch. Yet the vapid PS candidate, Benoit Hamon, stole Mélenchon&rsquo;s shot at hitting the second round.</p> <p>As for Marine, she lost almost four points in the final tally. With one extra week of campaigning Fillon, despite Penelopegate, could have been equal with Marine.</p> <p><em><strong>Marine has only one extremely long shot on May 7. She will be frantically touring &ldquo;deep France&rdquo; to turn the second round into a debate on French identity and a clash of nationalists, patriots and sovereignists against pro-EU globalists and urban &ldquo;liquid modernity&rdquo; practitioners.</strong></em></p> <h3><u>So what do they want?</u></h3> <p>Frontists are ready to rip Emmanuel Clinton&rsquo;s neoliberal program to pieces, which will play very well in rural France and may even yield a few disgruntled Mélenchon votes.</p> <p>Unlike Fillon and Hamon, he has not gone public calling his supporters to vote Macron. Disgruntled Fillon voters may also be inclined to switch to Marine &mdash; considering Fillon was viscerally opposed to someone he described as &ldquo;Emmanuel Hollande.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>A quick look at the promises is in order. </strong>In a nutshell; Marine proffers a social model that &ldquo;favors the French people;&rdquo; Macron offers vague, &ldquo;profound reforms.&rdquo;</p> <p>Macron&rsquo;s plan to save 60 billion euros of public funds implies firing 120,000 functionaries; that is a certified recipe to a &ldquo;see you in the barricades&rdquo; scenario.</p> <p>Marine only says she wants to reduce the public deficit &mdash; aiming at reducing state medical aid, the French contribution to the EU, and fiscal fraud.</p> <p>Neither wants to raise the minimum wage and VAT. Both want to reduce the tax burden on companies and both want to fight the &ldquo;Uberization&rdquo; of work, favoring French companies (Marine) and European companies (Macron).</p> <p><strong>Marine&rsquo;s absolute priority is to reduce social aid to foreigners and restitute &ldquo;buying power&rdquo; especially to pensioners and low-income workers. She&rsquo;s vague about unemployment.</strong></p> <p>Macron&rsquo;s &ldquo;profound reforms&rdquo; are centered on unemployment insurance and pensions. He&rsquo;s keen on a universal unemployment protection managed by the state. Everyone would be covered, including in the case of being fired. Marine and Macron coincide on one point; better reimbursement of costly health benefits.</p> <p>Europe is at the heart of the Marine vs Macron fight; that&rsquo;s Frexit against a &ldquo;new European project.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Everyone in Brussels &ldquo;voted&rdquo; Macron &nbsp;as he proposes a budget for the eurozone, a dedicated Parliament, and a dedicated Minister of Finance. In short; Brussels on steroids.</strong></p> <p>Marine&rsquo;s Frexit should be decided via a referendum &mdash; a direct consequence of the frontist obsession with immigration. Marine wants to reduce legal admission of immigrants to 10,000 people a year (it&rsquo;s currently 200,000), tax employment of foreign workers, and suppress social aid. In contrast, pro-immigration Macron aims at what he calls an open France, &ldquo;faithful to its values.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>On foreign policy, it&rsquo;s all about Russia. Marine wants a &ldquo;strategic realignment&rdquo; with Moscow especially to fight Salafi-jihadi terror.</strong></p> <p>Macron &mdash; reflecting a French establishment as Russophobic as in the US &mdash; is against it, although he concedes that Europe must come to terms with Russia even as he defends the current sanctions.</p> <h3><u>About that Wall of Cash</u></h3> <p><strong>If the coming, epic clash could be defined by just one issue that would be the unlimited power of the Wall of Cash.</strong></p> <p>Macron subscribes to the view that public debt and expenses on public service are the only factors responsible for French debt, so one must have &ldquo;political courage&rdquo; to promote reforms.</p> <p>Sociologist Benjamin Lemoine is one of the few who&rsquo;s publicly debating what&rsquo;s really behind it &mdash; the interest of financiers to preserve the value of the debt they hold and their aversion to any negotiation.</p> <p><strong>Because they control the narrative, they are able to equate &ldquo;political risk&rdquo; &mdash; &nbsp;be it Marine or Mélenchon &mdash; with the risk to their own privileged positions.</strong></p> <p>The real issue at stake in France &mdash; and across most of the West &mdash; revolves around the conflicting interests of financial masters and citizens attached to public service and social justice.</p> <p><strong><em>The coming clash between Emmanuel Clinton and Marine LeTrump won&rsquo;t even begin to scratch the surface.</em></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="935" height="498" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170426_macronlepen.jpg?1493213702" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/emmanuel-clinton-versus-marine-letrump#comments Emmanuel Macron European Union Eurozone Fillon affair France François Fillon French people French presidential election Frexit Jean-Luc Mélenchon Macron Marine Le Pen National Front New Normal Nicolas Sarkozy North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics of France Socialist Party Socialist Party Unemployment Unemployment Insurance Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:15:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 594363 at http://www.zerohedge.com In Warning To North Korea, US Releases Video Of Overnight Minuteman III ICBM Launch http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/us-air-force-releases-video-minuteman-iii-icbm-launch <p>As reported on Tuesday evening, overnight the US Air Force conducted a test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM from Vanderberg Air Force base near Lompoc in California, in what was a clear signal of nuclear deterrence aimed squarely at North Korea. </p> <p>Col John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, who oversaw the launch of the long range missile, said that "Team V is once again ready to work with Air Force Global Strike Command to successfully launch another Minuteman III missile. These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities. We are proud of our long history in partnering with the men and women of the 576th Flight Test Squadron to execute these missions for the nation."</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170425_icbm2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170425_icbm2.jpg" width="504" height="271" /></a></p> <p>As Vanderberg confirmed overnight, the missile launch was conducted as planned, and was successful, with the ICBM travelling approximately four thousand two hundred miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.</p> <p>This is the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1zl65aQGM4">statement Vanderberg released </a>shortly after the launch:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>On April 26 airmen from F.E. Warren, Offutt And Vandenberg Air Force Bases conducted an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman Three missile. Today’s test launch used an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile pulled randomly from a silo on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, which was then transported and reassembled at Vandenberg, and launched by crew members of the 625Th strategic operations squadron aboard the U.S. Strategic Command Airborne Command Post Navy E6B Aircraft. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ICBM was equipped with a test reentry vehicle, and traveled approximately four thousand two hundred miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These ICBM test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the weapon system, <strong>providing valuable data to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>It <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1zl65aQGM4">also released the following video </a>of the ICBM launch, which we are confident will be closely watched by everyone in the Kim Jong-Un administration.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h1zl65aQGM4" width="500" height="281" 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="634" height="332" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/ICBM%20launch.jpg?1493209217" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/us-air-force-releases-video-minuteman-iii-icbm-launch#comments 576th Flight Test Squadron 576th Flight Test Squadron 625th Strategic Operations Squadron Global Strike Command Intercontinental ballistic missile KIM Kim Jong-Un administration LGM-30 Minuteman LGM-30 Minuteman chronology Military Military technology Minuteman III North Korea Nuclear warfare Nuclear weapons of the United States Politics Spaceflight United States Air Force United States Department of Defense US Air Force Vandenberg Air Force Base Vanderberg Air Force Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:03:15 +0000 Tyler Durden 594348 at http://www.zerohedge.com S&P: These Ten Retailers Will File For Bankruptcy Next http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/sp-these-ten-retailers-will-file-bankruptcy-next <p>Three weeks ago, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-06/these-eight-retailers-will-file-bankruptcy-next-according-fitch">we reported that </a>Fitch had put together a list of 8 retailers who were likely next in line to file for bankruptcy. The rating agency speculated that distressed legacy "bricks and mortar" outlets such as 99 Cents Only, rue 21, Gymboree and True Religion would follow what has already been a historic surge in retailers filing for Chapter 11 protection and/or shuttering stores. The Fitch list is below:</p> <ul> <li>Sears Holdings Corp (roughly $2.5 billion);</li> <li>99 Cents Only Stores LLC;</li> <li>Charming Charlie LLC;</li> <li>Gymboree Corp.;</li> <li>Nine West Holdings Inc.;</li> <li>NYDJ Apparel LLC;</li> <li>rue21, Inc.; and</li> <li>True Religion Apparel Inc.</li> </ul> <p>Putting this list in context, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017">over the weekend we presented a chart </a>from Credit Suisse showing that on an annualized basis, some 8,640 - or more - stores would be closed in 2017, the highest number on record.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/CS%20retail%20stores.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/CS%20retail%20stores_0.jpg" width="500" height="336" /></a></p> <p>As we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017">further showed</a>, the number of announced store closures so far in 2017 - whether in bankruptcy or otherwise - is already staggering:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/store%20closings%20announced_1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/store%20closings%20announced_1_0.jpg" width="500" height="337" /></a></p> <p>Additionally, as <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/brick-and-mortar-stores-are-shuttering-at-a-record-pace-1492818818">the WSJ previously observed</a>, the number of bankruptcies so far this year has already come close to the total in 2016, with 14 retailers filing compared with 18 last year. </p> <p>And it's only just beginning. </p> <p>Taking a cue from their peers at Fitch, analysts at S&amp;P Global Market Intelligence likewise released a list of 10 publicly traded retailers they consider most at risk of default within the next 12 months. As the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/s-ps-warning-here-are-10-public-retailers-most-in-danger-of-bankruptcy-1493202600">WSJ notes</a>, the firm’s analysis is based on industry factors, such as intensity of competition and barriers to entry, as well as company-specific metrics.</p> <p>“The shift to online shopping has left a lot of financial distress in its wake,” Jim Elder, director of risk services at S&amp;P, wrote in a research note. “The results from the first quarter do not suggest that a quick recovery is on the horizon.” As expected, some (surprisingly not all) retailers disputed S&amp;P’s analysis; the rest pointed to previous statements or didn’t respond to requests for comment. </p> <p>Also notable: while there were some similarities between the Fitch and S&amp;P lists, namely Sears, most of the names in the two lists diverged, suggesting that between Fitch and S&amp;P up to 17 retailers may be going under soon.</p> <p>Here’s S&amp;P’s ranking, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/s-ps-warning-here-are-10-public-retailers-most-in-danger-of-bankruptcy-1493202600">courtesy of the WSJ</a>:</p> <p><strong>1. Sears Holdings Corp.</strong></p> <p>Sears has been buying time by making cost-saving maneuvers that include the sale of its Craftsman brand and the closure of 150 stores. On Friday, the retailer said it would shutter 92 Kmart pharmacies and 50 Sears Auto locations this year. Sears “is determined to remain a viable competitor in retail and we are taking all necessary actions to improve our performance,” said a spokesman for the company.</p> <p><strong>2. DGSE Companies Inc.</strong></p> <p>The Dallas-based seller of precious metals and jewelry has been struggling with declining sales. It has a market value of about $43 million. Following a leadership change in December, the company said it “eschewed the unsuccessful strategies of recent years” and expects to post a profit in the first quarter for the first time in four years.</p> <p><strong>3. Appliance Recycling Center of America Inc.</strong></p> <p>The recycler and seller of household appliances, with about 18 retail locations under the ApplianceSmart banner, has a market value of less than $10 million.</p> <p><strong>4. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.</strong></p> <p>The department store chain, with dual headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., and York, Pa., reported a $63 million loss in 2016 and expects comparable sales to decline in 2017. It operates about 263 stores. Although it had more than $2.5 billion of revenue last fiscal year, it has a $13 million market value.</p> <p><strong>5. Bebe Stores Inc.</strong></p> <p>The mall-based women’s apparel chain, which was popular for its fitted clothing in the early 2000s, has suffered from declining foot traffic and a consumer shift toward more subtle styles. Last week, the company said it would close its remaining 168 locations and only sell online.</p> <p><strong>6. Destination XL Group Inc.</strong></p> <p>The chain sells men’s big and tall apparel in about 344 stores. The company said in March it would slow store expansion, increase marketing spending and improve its digital operations. It projected a net loss for 2017 on about $470 million to $480 million in revenue. “We strongly believe the analysis by S&amp;P Global Research is misguided and does not in any way, shape, or form fairly represent our company’s current financial position,” said David Levin, CEO of Destination XL. “Our financial condition is extremely healthy.”</p> <p><strong>7. Perfumania Holdings Inc.</strong></p> <p>The specialty retailer, which sells perfumes and fragrances, has been facing dwindling foot traffic to its stores in malls and tourist-dependent areas. The company has a market cap of about $14 million.</p> <p><strong>8. Fenix Parts Inc.</strong></p> <p>A small reseller of automotive parts reclaimed from damaged vehicles. It has a market value of less than $25 million.</p> <p><strong>9. Tailored Brands Inc.</strong></p> <p>Tailored Brands, which primarily sells men’s apparel, has been struggling amid increased competition from several e-commerce players. Comparable sales at Men’s Wearhouse, the company’s largest brand, fell 2.2% in the fourth quarter and are expected to decline in fiscal 2017. Shares are down nearly 50% this year. The S&amp;P’s analysis is “extremely misleading” because it “does not take into account debt maturities and our first debt maturity is not until 2021,” a company spokeswoman said.</p> <p><strong>10. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc.</strong></p> <p>The retailer, which was spun off from Sears Holdings in 2012, closed 160 stores in fiscal 2016 as part of an effort to cut costs. As of Jan. 28, the company or its independent dealers and franchisees operated a total of 1,020 stores. It had $2 billion in revenue last fiscal year, but has lost money for three straight years.</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="480" height="311" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/adios_0.jpg?1493211653" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/sp-these-ten-retailers-will-file-bankruptcy-next#comments Aéropostale Bebe Stores Inc. Business Chicago metropolitan area Cook County, Illinois Credit Suisse default DGSE Companies Inc. Economy of the United States Fitch Global Market Intelligence Gymboree Hoffman Estates, Illinois Kmart Precious Metals Rating Agency recovery Sears Sears Sears Holdings Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Tailored Brands Walmart Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:01:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 594359 at http://www.zerohedge.com Mnuchin: "Trump To Propose Biggest Tax Cut In History", But It May Be DOA In Congress http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/mnuchin-trump-propose-biggest-tax-cut-history-it-may-be-doa-congress <p>Speaking at at an event hosted by The Hill this morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a grand introduction for today's main event: he said President Trump's forthcoming tax plan <strong>will be the "biggest" tax cut in history, </strong>even if he provided few clues as to what will actually be contained in the package, set to be unveiled at 1:30pm today. </p> <p>As previewed last night, Mnuchin confirmed that the proposal would cut tax rates for businesses to 15%, with the rate applying to both corporations and owner-operated businesses known as "pass-throughs." The 15% rate was also part of Trump's campaign plan. Mnuchin said that Trump thinks that's "absolutely critical" for driving economic growth. As the Hill adds, <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/finance/330606-treasury-secretary-says-trump-to-propose-biggest-tax-cut-in-history">Mnuchin also said </a>that the administration wants to simplify the personal tax system and that most Americans should be able to file their taxes on a large postcard, although so far there has been virtually no discussion, or leaks, on whether personal income taxes would be affected</p> <p>“The average American should have simple taxes,” Mnuchin said, adding that many people won't end up paying any taxes under the administration's plan. </p> <p>Mnuchin also said that Trump's proposal won't include infrastructure spending. “This plan is just tax reform,” he said.</p> <p>According <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/finance/330606-treasury-secretary-says-trump-to-propose-biggest-tax-cut-in-history">to The Hill</a>, the Treasury secretary and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn met Tuesday night with Brady and other top GOP lawmakers. Mnuchin called the meeting "very successful" and that lawmakers are all in agreement that tax reform is a top priority in order to help boost the economy. </p> <p>Still, many questions remained unanswered, especially since as Mnuchin said, the BAT is now effectively gone as a revenue offset. As a result, the new White House plan is likely to resemble Trump's campaign tax plan, which was estimated to cost trillions of dollars over 10 years. In fact, while the leaks have been generous on the spending boosts, so far little if nothing at all has been revealed on how Trump's plan will be funded, aside from "3% growth", which not even the ever cheerful Goldman Sachs believes is possible.</p> <p>Addressing this <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/jpmorgan-trumps-tax-plan-will-be-virtually-impossible-pass-through-congress">issue, earlier today JPM said that </a>"it will be virtually impossible to pass through Congress." In other words, for all its huge bluster, absent substantial trimming, the plan is Dead on Arrival in the House.&nbsp; That is also a structural problem since a tax-reform bill that increases the deficit could be challenging to pass with just Republican votes under budget reconciliation, since reconciliation bills cannot add to the deficit outside of the 10-year budget window. Tax cuts that lose revenue either need to pass with Democratic support or expire. </p> <p>This, however, did not appear to deter Mnuchin, who said the administration's goal is for a tax bill to be permanent. However, “if we have it for 10 years, that’s better than nothing,” he said. He also said that the White House is focused on tax reform rather than tax cuts, noting that tax reform is "the center and the core" of Trump's economic plan. Trump has been "very involved" in the tax-reform efforts, Mnuchin said.&nbsp; </p> <p>So how does Mnuchin hope to pass Trump's plan? He said said that he hopes that Democrats will work with Republicans on taxes; needless to say, they won't.</p> <p>As The Hill further adds, Mnuchin also touched on the debt ceiling, vowing that it would be lifted later this year. He said he had already begun talks with Congress and that the issue would not become a political crisis. Once again, this may be optimistic since a tax plan without offsetting revenue gains will add at least an additional $2 trillion to the US debt, something which conservative Republicans will defy. </p> <p>"Again, this is a discussion we're having with the House and Senate. I do think we need to raise the debt ceiling" he said, for obvious reasons. "There's no question about that. People agree ... we're not going to let this become an issue." He added: "By the way, we're not going to do one of these wait to the last minutes either. So we'll get the debt limit done in plenty of time." </p> <p>Mnuchin also said he does have the money to manage the government through the summer, and he noted that the Treasury took in a huge amount of revenue on April 18, the deadline for filing last year's taxes. "We have the cash flow to manage the government. Matter of fact, we had one of the largest days ever of collecting tax receipts on April 18."</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="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/mnuchin%20the%20hill.jpg?1493218445" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/mnuchin-trump-propose-biggest-tax-cut-history-it-may-be-doa-congress#comments Business Business Congress Debt Ceiling Donald Trump Gary Cohn goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Mnuchin National Economic Council Personal Income Politics Republican Party Senate Steven Mnuchin United States White House White House Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:55:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 594376 at http://www.zerohedge.com WTI/RBOB Jump On Largest Crude Draw In 2017 Offset By Major Product Build, Rising Production http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/wtirbob-jump-despite-major-product-build-rising-production <p>Update: As expected the machines finally noticed the huge builds in products and RBIOB has erased its kneejerk gains...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 346px;" /></a></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>As we detailed earlier, WTI/RBOB prices were at the lows of the day after <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-25/wtirbob-tumble-after-surprise-crude-gasoline-builds">last night&#39;s huge surprise inventory data from API</a>, but kneejerked higher after DOE reported a surprisingly large crude draw (the biggest since Dec 2016. However, it&#39;s clear that refineries are on fire as gasoline and distillates inventories surged by the most in at least 3 months. <strong>US crude production rose once again</strong> to its highest since August 2015.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>API</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>Crude +897k (-1.75mm exp)</strong></li> <li><strong>Cushing -1.971mm</strong><strong> - largest since Feb 2014</strong></li> <li><strong>Gasoline +4.445mm (+500k exp) - largest since Jan 2016</strong></li> <li>Distillates -36k</li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>DOE</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>Crude -3.64mm (-1.75mm exp) - biggest since 2016</strong></li> <li>Cushing -1.203mm</li> <li><strong>Gasoline +3.369mm (+500k exp) - biggest in 3 months</strong></li> <li><strong>Distillates +2.651mm (-1mm exp) - biggest since first week of Jan</strong></li> </ul> <p>As Bloomberg notes, the U.S. refining system is absolutely on fire: up another 347,000 barrels a day last week to 17.3 million barrels a day processing. It&#39;s huge. And that explains the major builds in products (gasoline/distilates) and surprise draw in crude...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 318px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Crude stocks fell -3.6 million bbl to 529 million bbl last week, a faster draw down than normal at this time of year.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/crude%20draw%204.26_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 465px;" /></p> <p>As Reuters adds, crude stocks tightened last week by about -5.7 million bbl compared with 2016 and -7.6 million bbl compared with 10-yr average</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/04/19/drawdown%20crude%202_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 465px;" /></p> <p>Crucially, as Bloomberg&#39;s Javier Blas details: <strong>Saudi Arabia cutting production? Not much, if you believe the U.S. oil imports figures.</strong> Last week, the U.S. bought from the kingdom 1.19 million barrels of oil, up from 1.18 million barrels the previous week. Imports from Kuwait and Iraq also rose last week. So far, OPEC cuts are not really translating into lower U.S. imports from key players in the Middle East.</p> <p>US Crude production continues to trend higher with lagged rig counts - now at the highest level since Aug 2015 (and on pace for record production levels by the end of July 2017 if this trend continues).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>Prices were already retesting the post-API lows heading into the DOE priont but price for both WTI and RBOB snapped higher (despite the major build in the latter)</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/04/21/20170426_DOE1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 339px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Bloomberg&#39;s Javier Blas notes,<strong> the market is starting to lose faith in the re-balancing story, with hard data not showing yet a significant draw in inventories (particularly of crude). </strong>In the meantime, U.S. production (weekly figures) continues to march up. In recent weeks, the EIA has pegged U.S. domestic output growing at 30,000-50,000 barrels a day and further confirmation of the growth will undermine the bulls.</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="1865" height="1055" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170426_DOE1.jpg?1493217568" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-26/wtirbob-jump-despite-major-product-build-rising-production#comments API Barrel Benchmark Business Commodity markets Crude Distillates Economy Iraq Kuwait Measurement Middle East Middle East OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Petroleum Petroleum industry Price of oil Pricing Reuters Saudi Arabia Units of measurement Western Canadian Select World oil market chronology from Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:39:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 594375 at http://www.zerohedge.com Fannie Introduces "Innovative Solutions" Allowing Student-Debt-Laden Millennials To Buy A Home http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-25/fannie-introduces-innovative-solutions-allowing-student-debt-laden-millennials-buy-h <p>So what do you do when a massive student loan bubble results in crippling leverage for an entire generation of your population rendering them financially unqualified to obtain mortgage financing and their &#39;God-given right&#39; to a slice of the &#39;American Dream&#39;?&nbsp;<strong> Well, you simply change the rules to allow mortgage lenders to ignore all that pesky student debt</strong>...anything less would simply be evil and potentially racist, sexist and all sorts of other -ist words.</p> <p>Luckily, Fannie Mae is right on top of the issue and has just<a href="http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/financial-news/2017/student-loan-debt-6546.html"> released </a><strong><a href="http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/financial-news/2017/student-loan-debt-6546.html">new rules</a> allowing millennial borrowers to, among other things, simply exclude student loans, credit cards and auto loans that are &quot;paid by someone else&quot;</strong>...wink wink...when applying for a new mortgage.&nbsp; As an added benefit, taxpayer subsidized mortgage loans can also now be used to repay student debt...Hooray for taxpayers!</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Fannie Mae announced new policies that will help more borrowers with student debt qualify for a home loan. <strong>These innovations address challenges and obstacles to homeownership due to a significant increase in student loan debt over the past decade </strong>and provide access to credit for qualified borrowers. The new solutions give homeowners the opportunity to pay down student debt with a mortgage refinance, <strong>allow borrowers to exclude non-mortgage debt paid by others as part of the loan application process</strong>, and make it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a mortgage loan by allowing lenders to accept student debt payments included on credit reports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance:</strong></span> Offers homeowners the <strong>flexibility to pay off high interest rate student debt</strong> while potentially refinancing to a lower mortgage interest rate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Debt Paid by Others:</strong></span> Widens borrower eligibility to qualify for a home loan by <strong>excluding from the borrower&rsquo;s debt-to-income ratio non-mortgage debt, such as credit cards, auto loans, and student loans, paid by someone else. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Student Debt Payment Calculation:</strong></span> Makes it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a loan by allowing lenders to accept student loan payment information on credit reports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We understand the significant role that a monthly student loan payment plays in a potential home buyer&rsquo;s consideration to take on a mortgage, and we want to be a part of the solution,&rdquo; said Jonathan Lawless, Vice President of Customer Solutions, Fannie Mae. &ldquo;These new policies provide three flexible payment solutions to future and current homeowners and, in turn, allow lenders to serve more borrowers.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>You know, because more debt is exactly the cure for millennials suffering the financial consequences of too much debt.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>But, at least this should help with inflating Housing Bubble 2.0.</p> <p><img alt="Housing" height="297" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/04/25/Housing%20Bubble_0.JPG" width="450" /></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="717" height="539" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/Student%20Debt_1.JPG?1493134697" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-25/fannie-introduces-innovative-solutions-allowing-student-debt-laden-millennials-buy-h#comments Business Debt-to-income ratio Economy Fannie Mae Fannie Mae Finance Housing Bubble Loans Money Mortgage Mortgage industry of the United States Mortgage loan Mortgage Loans Personal finance Refinancing Student Loans United States housing bubble Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:29:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594223 at http://www.zerohedge.com