en Texas County Enacts "Emergency Paper Ballots" After "Software Glitch" In Voting Machines <p>Just yesterday <a href="">we noted</a> several social media complaints from Texas voters who alleged that when they voted a straight republican ticket that voting machines were switching their presidential selection to Clinton/Kaine.&nbsp; While most undoubtedly dismissed these reports as conspiracy theories, new official reports from Chambers County, Texas suggest that there might be some truth to the voting machine "irregularities".&nbsp; According to an <a href="">NBC affiliate</a>, polling stations in Chambers County had to enact emergency protocols yesterday and revert back to paper ballots<br /> after a "glitch" was discovered in the county's voting<br /> machines. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The issue was actually discovered on Monday morning when Chambers County Clerk Heather Hawthorne was casting her own ballot and the voter next to her noticed that one of her votes was not filled in when she reviewed her electronic ballot&nbsp; Hawthorne told 12News on Tuesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An <strong>error in the voting machine programming by Election Systems &amp; Software (ES&amp;S) caused votes for one statewide court of appeals race not to be entered when a voter tried to vote straight ticket </strong>in either party according to a release from Chambers County.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ES&amp;S is the vendor that Chambers County contracts with to program their voting machines. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The <strong>Texas Secretary of State's office informed Hawthorne to create emergency paper ballots</strong> to continue voting until the problem could be fixed according to the release.</p> </blockquote> <p>Below is the official <a href="">press release</a> from the Chambers County Clerk:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Chambers COunty" width="600" height="654" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, these confirmed reports from Chambers County seem eerily similar to problems reported yesterday on social media from people who also experienced problems when voting a "straight republican ticket."</p> <p><img src="" alt="Texas" width="500" height="314" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The following report also surfaced in Arlington, Texas from a person who <strong>voted a straight republican ticket</strong> only to find just before submitting her ballot that her <strong>presidential choice had been switched to Clinton/Kaine</strong>.&nbsp; After reporting the error to polling officials, <strong>the voter was told that these errors "had been happening."</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Texas" width="500" height="321" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This Reddit user also noted multiple reports of voting errors across the state of Texas.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Texas" width="500" height="244" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, the real question is how many people submitted erroneous ballots before this "glitch" was caught and how many other "software glitches" exist in other counties around the country that will never be caught?</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="1098" height="524" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> fixed NBC Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575877 at Strong 5.5 Magnitude Quake Hits Central Italy, Rattles Rome <p>A strong, 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit a rural region in central Italy on Wednesday evening, and rattled Rome, just two months after a powerful temblor toppled villages in central Italy, killing nearly 300 people. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="282" /></p> <p>According to AP, there were no immediate reports of damage. But the quake shook centuries-old palazzi in Rome's historic center. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">M5.6 <a href="">#earthquake</a> (<a href="">#terremoto</a>) strikes 134 km NE of <a href="">#Roma</a> (<a href="">#Italy</a>) 5 min ago. Effects reported by witnesses: <a href=""></a></p> <p>— EMSC (@LastQuake) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>The earthquake was detected at 7:10pm local time, about 66km to the southeast of Perugia, striking a mountainous part of the Marche region and lasting several seconds. The Aug. 24 quake destroyed hilltop village of Amatrice and other nearby towns.</p> <p>According <a href="">to RT</a>, eyewitnesses reported a powerful tremor in the capital on the western side of the country, saying that centuries-old buildings were shaking.</p> <p><em>Details to follow</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="1564" height="881" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Italy Twitter Twitter Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:41:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 575918 at Earnings 'Magic' Exposed <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by 720Global&#39;s Michael Lebowitz via,</em></a></p> <p>Following the end of each fiscal quarter, SEC registered corporations release their financial statements. Typically, investors and the media place a lot of importance on these results. Consequently, stock prices tend to rise or fall based on how the financial results compare to a consensus of estimates made by Wall Street analysts.</p> <p><strong>Since the beginning of the current quarter (10/1/2016), 76% of the 113 S&amp;P 500 companies that have released earnings results have exceeded expectations.</strong> Like so many quarters before, many investors and media pundits are supporting the naïve conclusion that earnings are better than expected. <strong>Unfortunately, few investors are paying attention to the measurement tool, expected earnings, to gauge its usefulness as a measure of earnings quality.</strong> In this article we uncover the crafty game that Wall Street and corporate investor relations departments&rsquo; play to put a positive spin on earnings releases and at the same time give the impression that stock prices are cheap based on forward looking earnings expectations.</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #008000;"><strong>Miraculous Results</strong></span></span></h3> <p>The graph below shows that actual aggregate earnings growth for the S&amp;P 500 has exceeded the corresponding consensus final expectation for earnings growth without fail since at least the second quarter of 2012.&nbsp; Not once has a quarter&rsquo;s earnings (green bar) been lower than the most recent earnings expectation (red bar).</p> <p><strong>Final Earnings Expectations versus Actual Earnings</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="earnings-beats-by-qtr" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17684" height="308" src="" width="621" /></a></p> <p><em>Data Courtesy: Standard and Poors</em></p> <p><strong>To comprehend how corporate earnings can regularly exceed respective expectations quarter after quarter, one must recognize how earnings forecasts are used to manipulate investor expectations.</strong> When one studies the trend of earnings forecasts from a year preceding the results to the weeks prior the results, one will notice two things. First, initial earnings forecasts, are crafted to tell a bullish long term story of strong earnings growth. <strong>Second, over the course of the ensuing year, the estimates are adjusted significantly downward to temper expectations and therefore make actual earnings that fall far short of the original forecast appear pleasantly surprising.</strong></p> <p>Consider that since the second quarter of 2012, earnings growth forecasts made a year in advance averaged 14.76%. Over the same five year period, actual earnings growth was 3.82%, or 75% below the original estimate. <strong>Of the last 17 quarters the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">best</span> one year advance estimate of earnings growth was overstated by 25%.</strong> Astonishingly, this period includes quarters where economic growth exceeded forecasts, so a worse than expected environment cannot always be blamed. <strong>The last four quarters have seen actual earnings growth (-2.70%) fall grossly short of one year advance forecasts for growth (+14.30%) by over 100%.</strong></p> <p>As time progresses from one year prior to any earnings release to three months, we find that earnings expectations were still grossly overestimated. At the three month time frame analysts should have a much better grasp of the factors that drive corporate performance. Despite the additional clarity, three month prior earnings expectations still averaged 32% higher than actual earnings from 2012 through the most recent quarter.</p> <p><strong>The following graphs illustrate the<a href="" target="_blank"><em> &ldquo;earnings game&rdquo;</em></a> being peddled by corporate America through their Wall Street enablers.</strong> The first graph shows the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">average</span> migration of earnings expectations over the course of the year preceding the actual results. The data covers the 17 quarters from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2016. Note the large forecasting error (labeled &ldquo;massive miss&rdquo; below) between expected results a year in advance and actual results. Also, notice the better than expected results (&ldquo;respectable beat&rdquo;) when compared to expectations at the end of the quarter immediately prior.</p> <p><strong>Earnings Expectation Migration</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="avg-decreases-and-beat" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17683" height="296" src="" width="614" /></a></p> <p><em>Data Courtesy: Standard and Poors</em></p> <p>The graph below highlights the consistency with which average earnings expectations have trended lower in each of the last 17 quarters.</p> <p><strong>Earnings Migration by Period</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="earnings-migration-by-qtr" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17685" height="324" src="" width="632" /></a></p> <p><em>Data Courtesy: Standard and Poors</em></p> <p>The black line represents quarterly forecasts of earnings growth one year in the future. The green line shows that, six months later, earnings growth has been revised downwards in every instance. Earnings expectations continue to get revised lower as shown by the red line, which represents earnings expectations three months prior to their release. &nbsp;The yellow line shows expectations in the quarter that earnings are due to be released. <strong>As you can see in every instance, earnings expectations are at their highest a year in advance, and lowest in the quarter they are due to be reported. Hardly a coincidence, we suspect.</strong> In Q2 2016 notice how earnings expectations declined from +13.70% a year ago to the final estimate of -3.80%.</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #008000;"><strong>Summary</strong></span></span></h3> <p>Consider the ploy that companies and Wall Street are using to fool the investing public.</p> <ul> <li><em>First, they grossly overestimate earnings for the upcoming year. B<strong>y overestimating earnings, they tout financial ratios based upon inaccurate expected earnings and sell investors on a bright future.</strong> How many times have analysts claimed that forward looking price to earnings ratios are constructive for price gains? How &ldquo;constructive&rdquo; would they be if the expectations were reconciled to reality and lowered by 75%?</em></li> <li><em><strong>Second, they progressively lower expectations prior to the earnings release so that financial results are effectively underestimated.</strong> The same analysts that peddled double digit earnings growth a year earlier somehow can now claim that earnings are better than they expected.</em></li> </ul> <p>If actual earnings varied somewhat randomly from above expectations to below expectations, we would likely fault the analysts and corporations with being poor forecasters. But when such one-directional forecasting errors routinely and consistently occur, it is more than bad forecasting.<strong> At best one can accuse Wall Street analysts and the companies that feed them information of incompetence. At worst this is another pure and simple case of institutions gaming the system through a fraud designed to prop up stock prices.&nbsp; </strong>Take your pick, but in either case it is advisable to ignore the spin that accompanies earnings releases and apply the rigor of doing your own analysis to get at the veracity of corporate earnings.</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="714" height="349" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corporate America Fail Reality Standard And Poors Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575908 at Is the Fed Fix in for the election? <h1 class="post_title" style="font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; font-size: 25px; line-height: 1.4em; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.9px; color: #40271c !important;">&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px; background-color: #f8f8f8;">The following article by&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px;">David Haggith</a><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px; background-color: #f8f8f8;">was first published on&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px;"><a href="">The Great Recession Blog</a>:</em></h1> <div class="singlepost entry" style="border-bottom-left-radius: 5px; background-color: #f8f8f8; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-color: #610906; border-top-style: solid; font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; margin-top: 4px; padding: 2px 4px 1px; width: 647.953125px; font-size: 16px; color: #40271c;"><img src="" alt="Dow Jones Industrial Average looks rigged" width="500" height="194" style="float: left; margin-right: 6px; margin-left: 6px; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; padding: 4px; box-shadow: none !important; border-style: none !important; opacity: 1 !important;" class="attachment-single-post-thumbnail size-single-post-thumbnail wp-post-image" /><br /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">As we near Halloween, the US stock&nbsp;market looks like it’s whistling past the graveyard near the end of&nbsp;a year that I predicted&nbsp;would be the dawn of “the Epocalypse.” (By that, I meant an economic apocalypse, the likes of which we’ve never seen.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">So far, however, that prediction has not manifested. In fact, the market’s fibrillating heartbeat in this graph exhibits a preternatural and eery calm. But it is too calm — too calm to be natural. The stock market plunged on my predicted schedule at the start of the year in what turned into the worst January in the US stock market’s history. Then, suddenly, it was resurrected, great death defied; but, after a rapid recovery it lost consciousness and now behaves more like the walking dead.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I have never&nbsp;seen a more rigged looking stock market.&nbsp;<em><strong>The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has been flatlining in the narrowest range possible for almost four months.</strong></em>&nbsp;Coincidence, or has the Fed clandestinely set a threshold below which it will not let the market fall, just like it does openly for inflation — in order to make sure that nothing happens economically that would push&nbsp;voters toward Donald Trump?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">Is the Federal Reserve rigging&nbsp;the stock market in order to drag itself&nbsp;through this monstrous election cycle alive?</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While the Fed is barred by law from buying stocks, it has been creating money for its banking proxies to buy stocks ever since the Great Recession hit. It’s common knowledge and also&nbsp;<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">confessed this year by Fed officials</a>, that&nbsp;the Fed has been&nbsp;pumping up the stock market; but I’m asking are they taking new extraordinary measures behind the scenes? The market&nbsp;now looks like it&nbsp;has been pushed as high as it will go and is being held against that ceiling by some mysterious levitating force.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Donald Trump recently&nbsp;made it clear that he’d love to put a stake in the heart of the Federal Reserve by firing Janet Yellen … if he could. The prospect of such&nbsp;an acrimonious relationship with a president, telegraphed so clearly by a candidate with a strong chance of winning, surely puts the Fed in a fearful state of self-preservation. All creatures in a state of self-preservation — especially the hideous ones — will do nearly anything to survive.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I can’t say that I know the Fed is doing anything new or different than what it has done for the past seven years; but I can say with certainty that this stock market doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen in the past seven years … or even that I’ve seen anytime in my career.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">John Rubino of&nbsp;<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;"></a>&nbsp;calls it “The Boredom Before the Storm” and observes&nbsp;…</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">With all the surprising and disturbing things going on – Brexit, China’s soaring debt, US/Russia/China saber rattling, the unique US presidential race, the cyber attack that shut down big parts of the US Internet – you’d think that an unsettled world would be reflected in skittish financial markets.&nbsp;Instead we’re getting the opposite, with stock price movements becoming more and more placid as the year goes on.</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Indeed. Like Rubino, I find it strange&nbsp;that, with so much disturbing news around the world, the stock market looks like a sea that is a smooth&nbsp;as glass (compared to how the market’s ups and downs have looked at&nbsp;<em>any</em>&nbsp;other time). You’d think there was never a season&nbsp;more calming to the nerves of investors than the last four months, even as Wall Street daily screams out its fears about a possible Trump victory.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">In case you don’t think the above graph&nbsp;looks highly suspect, consider that the Dow has now closed below its fifty-day moving average every day without falling below its two-hundred-day moving average for thirty-two sessions. That may not sound like any technical big deal, but what that means is that&nbsp;<em><strong>the Dow&nbsp;has traded within the range of those two averages for the longest time in&nbsp;<a href=";dist=bigcharts" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">twenty-seven years</a>!</strong></em>&nbsp;In fact, the current stretch&nbsp;is three days longer (<em>and running</em>) than what the Dow&nbsp;managed back in 1989. (That’s just as far back as I had time to research&nbsp;to try to find a period&nbsp;that came close.)</p> <hr /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;"><a href=";tag=greatre-20&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;camp=2025&amp;creative=165953&amp;creativeASIN=091298645X" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;" rel="nofollow">Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. “Reads like a detective story. You’ll never trust a politician again – or a banker.”</a></p> <hr /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">Is the White House also in on the fix … if a fix it is?</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">At a time when Barrack&nbsp;Obama has been boasting&nbsp;that his administration brought the national deficit down (and when I suspect the Obama Admin. would&nbsp;like to tamp&nbsp;it down as much as possible to make Democrats look good for the election),&nbsp;<em><strong>Federal government spending just leaped 67% in August over the month before and 23% over the year before.</strong></em>&nbsp;Another way of saying that is that this spending surge created a&nbsp;<em>deficit</em>&nbsp;for August that was 40% higher than last August’s deficit.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Why would the Obama administration risk losing its bragging rights over lowering the deficit so close to the election unless something more important than those bragging rights was at stake? (The president can, after all, do things by executive order to slow spending.) It could, of course, simply be that the King Pin and his henchmen recognized no one was buying their&nbsp;story, so they gave up maintaining the charade. Or … it could be that the economy began sinking so badly that massive efforts were needed to shore things up behind the scenes. Or … ?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While I don’t know the reasoning for the spending explosion&nbsp;at a time when the Obama wants to firmly establish his legacy as our savior&nbsp;from the Great Recession, I will note that there is nothing like a massive burst&nbsp;of last-minute government spending on top of whatever the Feral Reserve might be doing to superficially&nbsp;float&nbsp;the economy a little longer. If your boat starts leaking badly and you’re only a hundred yards from shore, the best solution is to power quickly toward shore, not spend time trying to make lasting repairs.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">No October surprise this October … so far … boo!</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">October has a reputation for being a nasty&nbsp;month for the stock market. It’s the month in which you had usually better buckle your seatbelt because October&nbsp;has&nbsp;seen more stock market crashes than any other month.&nbsp;<em><strong>Sixty-percent of the largest one-day drops in the US stock market have happened in October.</strong></em></p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This Halloweenish month&nbsp;has broken more volatility records than any other month.&nbsp;That makes it especially odd that&nbsp;the VIX, which tracks market volatility, hasn’t been this steady in any month since the months that preceded the Great Recession. (Everyone thought everything was fine then, too.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">As&nbsp;<em><strong>short volatility market positions continue to build – largely as a consequence of central banks suppressing volatility to prevent recessions</strong></em>&nbsp;– maverick money manager Jesse Felder is warning the end result of the volatility trade could be a very painful lesson for investors with significant stock market repercussions. Having started out at Bear Stearns before co-founding his own multi-billion-dollar hedge fund, Jesse Felder is now more at home educating the masses on the truth in financial markets through his blog&nbsp;<em>The Felder Report</em>…. &nbsp;<em><strong>Felder expresses his concern that the lack of volatility will inevitably create more volatility, the likes of which have never been seen before.&nbsp;“I’m not calling for a stock market crash&nbsp;…&nbsp;but if you want to look at what’s the probability of that type of an event, it’s probably got to be as high as it’s ever been.”</strong></em>&nbsp;(<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;"><em>Business Insider</em></a>)</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Felder also says in a television interview that another sign of “way too much complacency” in the stock market is that…</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;"><em><strong>…we’re seeing financial stress; everybody’s dismissing it…. It’s big-time denial.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Investor complacency or even irrational exuberance are the hallmarks of&nbsp;the final days&nbsp;before a stock-market bust because markets crash when people are most blind. (If they weren’t blind, they’d see the problem&nbsp;coming and avert catastrophe.) Everyone was complacent in 2007 about all warnings, just as no one now seems to care that the market has plowed its mushy head into a ceiling that is slowly squishing down upon it.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This October looks more sloppy than choppy, and that’s …</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <ul style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-left: 35px;"> <li>in spite of just entering another&nbsp;period of weak earnings reports,</li> <li>in spite of the European Central Bank talking about backing away from quantitative easing,</li> <li>in spite of the US national debt hitting twenty-trillion dollars,</li> <li>in spite of the Federal Reserve edging toward a possible interest-rate hike&nbsp;now that inflation and employment have met the Fed’s stated targets,</li> <li>in spite of the Bank of Japan holding back on its QE,</li> <li>in spite of China looking like another round of collapse is imminent,</li> <li>in spite of the largest and oldest banks in Europe teetering on collapse,</li> <li>in spite of the great European unwind called&nbsp;“Brexit,”</li> <li>in spite of a proxy war between the US and Russia flaring&nbsp;up in the Middle East,</li> <li>and in spite of that scary, red-haired Chucky doll named Trump.</li> </ul> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Hmm. Is history’s calmest stock market in the midst of all that a sign of peak complacency or irrationality? Or is it a sign that the market is being firmly fixed in place by the Fed and the government? Either way, looks like a crash is imminent. You decide. I’ll just note that&nbsp;the&nbsp;market looks as calm as&nbsp;the eye in the middle of the hurricane that is, itself, surrounded by hurricanes.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While the ride has been mysteriously quiet for the last four months, note that the trend over those months is ever so gradually downward. So, if the fix is in, it is a fix that is barely holding, despite all the Fed and the government can throw at it.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="" alt="Zombie economists create US 20116 recession" width="199" height="252" style="max-width: 97%; padding: 4px; height: auto; float: right; margin-right: 6px; margin-left: 6px; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; box-shadow: none !important; border-style: none !important; opacity: 1 !important;" class="alignright size-full wp-image-48292" />Are investors&nbsp;just treading water, as some commentators explain, waiting until the election decides who is president. If so, that’s something&nbsp;they have&nbsp;not done&nbsp;<em>with&nbsp;this level of calm</em>&nbsp;in any previous&nbsp;election cycles. Or are the Fed and the Gov lifting with all their combined might in hidden ways&nbsp;to try to hold up a lowering ceiling so that no one will suspect the Obama-praised Obama&nbsp;recovery&nbsp;is already dead?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I don’t actually know. I just want to make the stinking peculiarity of this zombie economy abundantly clear.</p> </div> Bank of Japan Bear Stearns Central Banks China Donald Trump Dow Jones Industrial Average European Central Bank Federal Reserve fixed Irrational Exuberance Janet Yellen Japan Market Crash Middle East National Debt Obama Administration Quantitative Easing Recession recovery Volatility White House Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:28:51 +0000 Knave Dave 575916 at Stocks Stall As Oil Retraces Inventory Spike, Tumbles To $48 Handle <p>Stocks are starting to catch down to oil&#39;s disappointing pump&#39;n&#39;dump...</p> <p><strong>Oil was unable to hold $50...</strong> as market participants realize EIA data show <strong>unexpected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week was largely due to a decline in inventories on West Coast, isolated area market tends to ignore. </strong></p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;PADD 5 might as well be Mars,&rdquo; </strong></em>Bob Yawger, director of futures division at Mizuho Securities in New York, says by phone.<strong><em> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no way of getting West Coast barrels East of the Rocky Mountains.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Removing the 2.26m bbl West Coast crude draw from total, stocks would result in +1.7m bbl</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="398" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And stocks are waking up...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With stocks having tagged stops at the 100DMA...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="442" src="" width="600" /></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="1586" height="1053" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Mars Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:25:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 575915 at Rents Are Too Damn High: NYC Retail Vacancies Soar As Commercial Rents Start To Rollover <p><a href="">Cushman &amp; Wakefield</a> recently released their 3Q 2016 New York City retail rental update and it's pretty much universally bad news for commercial real estate owners in Manhattan.&nbsp; Retail rental rates declined YoY in 9 out of the 11 Manhattan submarkets tracked by Cushman while vacancy rates soared to over 20% in several markets with the "Lower Fifth Avenue" corridor registering the highest vacancy rate in the city at 29.3%.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>During the third quarter, <strong>asking retail rents for direct and sublease space decreased from one year ago in nine of the 11 Manhattan retail submarkets</strong> that are tracked statistically by Cushman &amp; Wakefield. Lower Manhattan’s financial district and the Upper Fifth Avenue corridor (49th-60th Streets) were the two submarkets that had asking rental upticks year-over-year, closing at $418 and $3,213 per square foot (PSF), respectively.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Similarly to the second quarter, both the Times Square bowtie and the Herald Square/West 34th Street corridor’s availability rates remained unchanged, closing at 22.2% and 22.4%. <strong>The Lower Fifth Avenue corridor (42nd-49th Streets) kept its hold on the highest availability rate for the sixth consecutive quarter, closing the third quarter at 29.3%</strong> followed next by the <strong>Meatpacking district at 23.4%.</strong> Lower Manhattan registered the highest year-over-year asking rental rate increase at 4.8%, while its availability rate remained stable at 10.2% compared with the second quarter. The Upper Fifth Avenue shopping area, 49th-60th Streets, continues to command the highest asking rental rate both locally and globally at $3,213 PSF for direct and sublease space and $2,982 PSF for direct space only.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="NYC Retail Rent" width="600" height="230" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ironically, commercial real estate owners on 5th Avenue's most posh stretch, between 49th - 60th streets, continued to push rents to all time highs despite vacancy rates soaring over 50% from 10.1% in 4Q 2015 to 15.9% in 3Q 2016.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="NYC Retail Rent" width="600" height="320" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But the expensive real estate on 5th Avenue isn't the only area where retailers are balking at rental rates.&nbsp; Vacancies are soaring in most Manhattan submarkets, including Madison Avenue...</p> <p><img src="" alt="NYC Retail Rent" width="600" height="395" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...and Third Avenue as well.</p> <p><img src="" alt="NYC Retail Rent" width="600" height="404" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, as Cushman points out, the correction in NYC commercial rents is likely just getting started as they warn that <strong>"it may be some time before velocity picks up and available retail space is absorbed faster than it becomes available on the market."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Rising availability rates on a year-over-year basis in almost every major statistical retail submarket in Manhattan has created uncertainty in the market, while new stores become available daily, adding new supply</strong>.&nbsp; Further compounding this uncertainty is sluggish leasing demand from retailers, whose overall margins compressed by <strong>pressure from e-commerce retailers such as</strong>. <strong>Asking rents have just started to decline in all of these submarkets</strong>, and it may be some time before velocity picks up and available retail space is absorbed faster than it becomes available on the market.</p> </blockquote> <p>Frankly, we're shocked that retailers would balk at the opportunity to secure 1,500 square feet of retail space on 5th Avenue for a mere $400,000 per month...that seems like such a bargain.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="900" height="600" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Commercial Real Estate Madison Avenue New York City Real estate Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:19:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575891 at Lack Of Demand Greets Sale Of 5 Year Treasuries In Another Tailing Auction <p>In light of today's Treasury market weakness, and yesterday's poor 2 Year auction, many strategists had expected today's sale of $34 billion in 5 Year paper to tail, with Credit Agricole saying they were “Not enthusiastic” based on results of 2Y auction yesterday, as the 2Y auction “quite often” a signal for 5Y results adding that the 5Y “suffers from the flatness of the 3-5Y spread” and primary dealer balance sheets “heavy with off-the-run paper” in sector. BMO added that the tail was likely based on poor seasonals and “significant event risk,” namely next week’s FOMC and BOJ statements; Fed hawks are “likely to get louder as we get closer to December.” It also noted that the 5Y auction has tailed in October in 5 of past 6 years.</p> <p>Well, the negative sentiment was spot on, and moments ago the Treasury announced that today's auction of 5Y paper indeed tailed, printing at 1.303%, tailling by 0.1bps. This was the highest yield since May of 2016 when the same paper priced at 1.395%.&nbsp; </p> <p>The internals were also depressed, with Indirects taking down 59.7%, below last month's 61.4%, and below the 6MMA of 61.8%. Directs took down 4.9%, below the average of of 6.2%, and leaving Dealers with 35.4% of the auction, notably above the 6 month average of 31.9%. </p> <p>Overall, a poor auction, one which is likely to lead to result in another less than "stellar" auction when the Treasury sells 7 Year paper tomorrow.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="310" /></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="1142" height="709" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:13:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 575913 at Trump Says He'd Love To Fight "Mr. Tough Guy" After Joe Biden's "Behind The Gym" Threats <p><strong>Joe Biden said he wanted to take Trump behind the bleachers and beat him up</strong>. No one on Clinton’s side disavowed that call to violence because, we assume, they consider it justified hyperbole, but, as<a href=""> NBC News </a>reports, it <strong>appears Donald Trump is in</strong>.</p> <p>While campaigning for Hillary Clinton last week in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, the veep said he's always asked by reporters if he wished he were the one debating Trump.</p> <p><em><strong>"No," Biden responded. "I wish we were in high school. I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish."</strong></em></p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Rounding out a full day of rallies in Florida Tuesday night, <strong>the GOP nominee went off on a tangent against Biden, calling him "Mr. Tough Guy" for comments the VP made last week that if it were high school he'd take Mr. Trump "behind the gym."</strong></p> <p>Trump remembered the comments slightly differently — he said, <strong>"did you see Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn?"</strong> — but wasn't deterred by the sentiment behind them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">WOW!AWESOME!Mr Trump Rips Joe Biden For “Take Him Behind The Gym” Threat ! I’d Love that Mr. Tough Guy!Mr Trump Respond! <a href="">#CantStumpTheTrump</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— TRUMP ANOMALY (@ANOMALY1) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"<em><strong>I'd love that</strong></em>," he said of the idea of the two grown men tussling as if they were high schoolers.</p> <p><em><strong>"Oh, some things in life you could really love doing," </strong></em>Trump added.</p> <p>Trump attacked Biden as a <strong><em>"Mr. Tough Guy when he's standing behind a microphone by himself."</em></strong></p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Of course we can only imagine how the mainstream media will spin this "violence."</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="272" height="145" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Donald Trump Florida Joe Biden NBC Twitter Twitter Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:10:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 575904 at Is Britain Destroying Its Military To Appease Enemies? <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by <strong>Colonel Richard Kemp (Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan.</strong> He served in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Balkans and Northern Ireland and was head of the international terrorism team for the UK Joint Intelligence Committee) via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <ul> <li>Elements of the British<strong> establishment in Whitehall think their own soldiers are &quot;bad,&quot; and terrorists are &quot;freedom fighters,&quot;</strong> according to General Lord Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff and the UK&#39;s most senior military officer.</li> <li>Over several years these ministers, permanent secretaries, generals, admirals and air marshals have been swept aside in pursuit of a corrosive drive to discredit our troops. <strong>It is the first time in history that any government has turned on its own armed forces in such a way.</strong></li> <li>The overwhelming majority are motivated by a combination of greed and anti-British vindictiveness by the Iraqi and Afghan accusers and by their British lawyers, using taxpayers&#39; money.</li> <li>This can only further undermine our national will to engage in future conflict in defence of our people or to support our allies, including the US, thus weakening the Western world. That of course is the main objective of the politically driven lawyers and others involved in hounding our troops.</li> <li><strong>We can be sure that their motive for favouring enemy &quot;freedom fighters&quot; over our own forces is a desire to appease radical Muslims both at home and abroad, which infects so much of Europe&#39;s political elite and mainstream media.</strong></li> <li>It is vital for our country and the world that the Prime Minister ends this cowardly and dangerous cult of appeasement, stands up for our Western Judeo-Christian values above all others, and defends our soldiers with as much courage as they show in defending us. <strong>To achieve this, it is vital that the conspirators General Richards has named are identified and purged from power and influence.</strong></li> </ul> <p>Last week General Lord Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff and the UK&#39;s most senior military officer, made an extraordinary allegation. <strong>Speaking on the BBC, he said that elements of the British establishment in Whitehall think their own soldiers are &quot;bad,&quot; and terrorists are &quot;freedom fighters.&quot;</strong></p> <p>Lord Richards&#39;s assertions have far-reaching significance both within the UK and more widely, affecting the US, the prosecution by the West of the war on terror, and British relations with the State of Israel. Yet they have gone largely unnoticed.</p> <p>Lord Richards was talking about the ongoing legal campaign against British troops who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan -- the first time in history that any government has turned on its own armed forces in such a way.</p> <p>1,492 cases of alleged abuse in Iraq are under investigation, and over 600 in Afghanistan. Most of these cases involve allegations against multiple servicemen, so the number of troops under scrutiny can be counted in the thousands. We are not talking here about minor misdemeanours but the most serious forms of abuse including rape, torture and, in Iraq alone, 235 accusations of unlawful killing.</p> <p><strong>Some soldiers have been under constant investigation for more than 10 years. </strong>Some have been acquitted during preliminary investigations or at court martial, only to be dragged back to face repeated legal inquiries and judicial hearings. In some cases, there have been as many as five investigations into a single incident.</p> <p>Thousands of men who have volunteered to put their lives on the line for their country, and who have been involved in the most traumatic events imaginable, including seeing their close comrades torn apart beside them, have been forced to re-live their experiences over and over again under intense legal scrutiny.<strong> Families have broken up, jobs have been lost, lives have been ruined. In some cases, soldiers have attempted or contemplated suicide.</strong></p> <p><strong>The British government does not seem to have grasped that if there were any foundation to accusations of abuse on this scale, it would amount to a wholesale breakdown of military order and control.</strong> This in an army with an unbroken record of fortitude, courage and iron discipline under even the most formidable and perilous circumstances. Of all the great armies on both sides that fought throughout the First World War, the British Army was the only one that did not suffer major mutiny on the front line. Yet we are expected to believe that, in the far less harsh circumstances of Iraq and Afghanistan, their great grandsons went to pieces.</p> <p><u><strong>I served for 30 years in the British Army. I know for certain that this could not have happened. </strong></u>There will no doubt be some truth in a few of the allegations, as is inevitable when human beings go to war. But the overwhelming majority are motivated by a combination of greed and anti-British vindictiveness by the Iraqi and Afghan accusers and by their British lawyers. At the end of one five-year public inquiry into the alleged torture and murder of detainees, the British soldiers involved were exonerated and the chairman, a former high court judge, concluded that the claims amounted to &quot;deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility.&quot;</p> <p>This sustained vendetta has only been possible because successive governments have paid Iraqis and Afghans to bring charges against our soldiers, using British taxpayers&#39; money. Unscrupulous, politically motivated lawyers have scoured Iraq and Afghanistan to find people willing to make complaints. Or more accurately, lacking the courage themselves to set foot in such dangerous places, they have paid local agents on the ground to do it for them. Two law firms are themselves now under investigation for abusive practices, including unlawful soliciting and withholding evidence.</p> <p><strong>And now we have General Richards&#39;s allegations. He is not some embittered maverick with a grudge against the government. He is one of the most respected, thoughtful and measured chiefs of staff since the Second World War, with unrivalled high command experience in combat. He has been at the heart of the British establishment for decades. If anyone understands the behind-the-scenes realities of the Whitehall corridors of power, he does.</strong></p> <p>What he is saying is that those in the establishment with the attitudes he has expressed are so powerful that they have for years overridden the entire top-level British military hierarchy who are responsible not only for advising the government and directing the armed forces but also for looking after the interests of their men. He is saying that they have suborned successive government ministers and senior civil servants who have constitutional responsibility for preventing abuse of the armed forces.</p> <p><strong>Over several years these ministers, permanent secretaries, generals, admirals and air marshals have been swept aside in pursuit of a corrosive drive to discredit our troops. General Richards&#39;s can be the only explanation for the government continuing to inflict such needless misery on these brave men.</strong></p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="435" src="" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">A Royal Marine talks with local children during a foot patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, on June 5, 2010. British soldiers often distributed sweets to Afghan children. (Image source: UK Ministry of Defence)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>The direct effect on the armed forces is obvious. </strong>Throughout history British people have been ready and willing to volunteer to fight for their country whenever the need has arisen. But how can we count on them to do so in future if, in addition to the horrors and dangers they face in battle, they can expect to be stabbed in the back when they return home?</p> <p>There are other, wider effects too. These allegations have led many people in Britain and elsewhere to doubt the integrity and honour of our troops, especially those who are already sceptical. This is a serious danger, as no nation&#39;s armed forces can operate effectively without the support of the home population. And it has added a new dimension to the prevalent distrust of those responsible for the political direction of war since the Afghan and Iraq campaigns.</p> <p>This can only further undermine our national will to engage in future conflict in defence of our people or to support our allies, including the United States, thus weakening the Western world. That of course is the main objective of the politically driven lawyers and others involved in hounding our troops.</p> <p><strong>Equally serious, false allegations of this sort incite violence and act as a catalyst for terrorism.</strong> The public airing that these accusations receives has not been missed by radical preachers in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia, who will have exploited them to recruit and motivate in their violent cause. For their purposes, such allegations are enough; the substance or otherwise is irrelevant.</p> <p>Where does Israel come in? If powerful members of the British government establishment can turn on their own servicemen and undermine their national defences, then it is hardly surprising that they would also be prepared to turn on a friendly country and its armed forces in furtherance of their mendacious objectives.</p> <p>A pro-Arab and anti-Israel lobby has dominated the British Foreign Office since even before the birth of the Jewish State. But General Richards&#39;s explanation sheds further light on the unjust attacks against Israel&#39;s defensive campaigns in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as false accusations over settlements and so-called occupation policies emanating from parts of the British government.</p> <p><strong>This is also highly dangerous. As well as directly inciting terrorists to further violence against Israel, it encourages the Palestinian leadership in its demands for statehood without negotiation, which in turn also inflames violence and helps perpetuate the conflict.</strong></p> <p><strong>Although many of the actions of the Obama administration have had a deleterious effect on America&#39;s armed forces, we have not yet seen a legal campaign on a comparable scale in the United States.</strong> Hopefully any such attempt would be blocked in a nation that seems to support and value its armed forces far more than does any European country. But Americans must watch out for it. What occurs on one side of the Atlantic sooner or later creeps across to the other.</p> <p>Neither have we seen legal action on this scale elsewhere in Europe. That is most likely because the opportunity is lacking, as no European country has been prepared to deploy its forces in combat missions to the extent that Britain and America have.</p> <p><strong>Although government leaders refuse to admit it, Britain and the West have been involved in a global war against Islamic jihad for more than 15 years. It will continue for generations to come. How can we hope to fight it effectively when we allow ourselves to be attacked from within on so many fronts?</strong></p> <p>We knew already about the animosity among radical Muslims within our own countries and their readiness to strike at home. We have been reminded of that in murderous attacks across Europe in the last year, as well as many more plots that have been foiled, including an attempt in London only a few days ago.</p> <p><strong>Now we learn from General Richards that we also have an enemy at the heart of government: nothing less than a conspiracy controlling policy and undermining our national defences.</strong></p> <p>We can be sure that their motive for favouring enemy &quot;freedom fighters&quot; over our own forces is a desire to appease radical Muslims both at home and abroad, which infects so much of Europe&#39;s political elite and mainstream media.</p> <p>They have shown themselves only too willing to throw the men who defend our country to the wolves in a futile attempt to please those who wish to substitute their Islamic culture for our own.</p> <p><u><em><strong>The Prime Minister cannot ignore General Richards&#39;s allegations. It is vital for our country and the world that she ends this cowardly and dangerous cult of appeasement, stands up for our Western Judeo-Christian values above all others, and defends our soldiers with as much courage as they show in defending us. To achieve this, it is vital that the conspirators General Richards has named are identified and purged from power and influence.</strong></em></u></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="583" height="359" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Iraq Ireland Israel Middle East Obama Administration Saudi Arabia Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575907 at Chinese Bank Liabilities Rise Above 200 Trillion Yuan For The First Time <p>By now it is widely accepted that the biggest credit risk facing the global financial system is not so much among western banks, which have been closely scrutinized, and their balance sheets are largely exposed to both regulators and the public (perhaps with a few notable exceptions), but are arising from China. And while China's total leverage, by most counts, is somewhere in the 300% range, according to the IFF...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="365" /></a></p> <p>... and modestly lower according to other sources, the real worry is not so much the sovereign or corporate non-financial debt within China, but the leverage within its opaque, murky financial system. </p> <p>What we do know about China's banks is what the government discloses, which is not much, however overnight <a href="">China's Banking Regulatory Commission </a>reported on its website the latest amount of total domestic assets on China's bank books<strong>: as of September the number is a stunning CNY217.3 trillion, or just over $32 trillion</strong>. On a year over year basis, this series grew at a whopping 14.7% in September, more than double the rate of growth of China's overall economy, and suggesting that something is truly broken in China's credit transmission mechanism.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="255" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As for bank liabilities, or loans and other even murkier obligations, the Chinese regulators reported that this number had grown even faster, by 15.5%, and has for the first time ever surpassed 200 trillion yuan - just shy of USD $30 trillion - for the first time, and hitting CNY200.4 trillion as of September 30. By comparison, total US bank liabilities are roughly half this number. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="254" /></a></p> <p>Normally we would end with something cynical or witty to add, alas when looking at this massive number, of which by rough estimates somewhere between 15% and 20% is in the form of bad loans, there is nothing witty, or even cynical, to be added. </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="954" height="485" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Yuan Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:34:59 +0000 Tyler Durden 575905 at