http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/component/option%2Ccom_docman/Itemid%2C200023/gid%2C397/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/2009/07/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/2009/07/2009/07/news/The%20figures%20for%20the%20Netherlands%20have%20been%20adjusted%20for%20the%20period%20since%202008. en Theresa May Humiliated As Tory Rebellion Leads To Key Brexit Vote Loss http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/uk-prime-minister-theresa-mays-position-further-damaged-after-she-loses-key-brexit-v <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a humiliating defeat for her key Brexit law on Wednesday after pro-European members of her own party openly defied her orders in a vote in Parliament. <span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The vote in the UK Parliament was described as being &ldquo;knife-edge&rdquo; with the BBC&rsquo;s </span>chief political correspondent, Norman Smith, called it a &ldquo;Big Bananas moment&rdquo; for May. In the end, May lost by a narrow margin, with 309 voting for and 305 against, and as a result, UK members of parliament - not Theresa May and her Cabinet - will have the final say on Brexit.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">MPs had been asked to vote on the following amendment:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The final deal with the EU must be approved by a law passed by Parliament.</span></strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The results of the vote were as follows: </span><strong><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Yes: 309 No: 305 Majority: 4</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">According to Sky News, 12-13 Conservative MPs voted against the government with 2 Labour MPs voted with the government, and <span class="tl8wme"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&ldquo;while this won&#39;t derail the Brexit deal it is a sign of UK Prime Minister May&#39;s increasingly strained position&quot; Citi explained after the vote.&nbsp; </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Some more media reactions, first the <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/13/pmqs-live-theresa-may-jeremy-corbyn-clash-government-prepares/">Telegraph</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="MsoNormal">Theresa May has suffered her first major Commons defeat after Tory rebels defeated Government and voted for an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. MPs have voted in favour of Parliament being given a meaningful vote on the terms of Brexit by 309 votes to 305. In a damaging blow to her already diminished authority, Tory rebels rallied around Former attorney general Dominic Grieve to back his attempt to ensure MPs have a &quot;meaningful vote&quot; on the withdrawal deal. A dramatic last-minute concession by justice minister Dominic Raab was dismissed as &quot;too late&quot; by Mr Grieve, whose amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill squeezed through the Commons on a majority of four amid tense scenes in the chamber.</p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">The irony is that the humiliating vote came just days after she <span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">reached what was dubbed a successful divorce settlement deal with the EU and Ireland, only to betrayed by members of her own party. Her choice was either to give in to demands from rebel MPs in her own party, who wanted the power to vote on any final Brexit deal, or face a damaging defeat when her refusal was debated by parliament. She didn&rsquo;t give in, and enough MPs from her party voted against her government.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Prior to the vote, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-12/u-k-s-may-faces-choice-of-retreat-or-defeat-over-her-brexit-law">Bloomberg</a> noted that &quot;If May loses a vote on the amendment on Wednesday, she could try to overturn it in later stages of the bill&rsquo;s progress through Parliament. The bill must complete up to eight further parliamentary stages of scrutiny before it becomes law.&quot;</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">So, there&rsquo;s still a long way to go for the EU Withdrawal Bill, but a (further) weakened UK Prime Minister will head back to Brussels tomorrow where she will initiate the talks </span><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">on the future trade relationship between Britain and the EU.</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The so-called &ldquo;meaningful vote&rdquo; amendment was drawn up by Conservative MP and former attorney general, Dominic Grieve. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user235761/imageroot/2017/11/22/bvot.jpg"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user235761/imageroot/2017/11/22/bvot_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" /></span></a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">In a joint statement on Saturday, MPs from the </span><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Conservative Party, as well as the opposition Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru signed a joint statement backing the call for Parliament to be given a veto on the final Brexit treaty. In adddition, more than 10,000 supporters of the Open Britain campaign also emailed their local MPs urging them to support Grieve&rsquo;s amendment number seven to the EU Withdrawal Bill. Some polls also suggested that a majority of British people backed the proposal. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">There had been signs in the run-up to the vote that May&rsquo;s team was open to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-12-11/may-s-fragile-truce-tested-as-pledges-unravel-brexit-update" target="_blank" title="May Says Financial Offer is Conditional on Trade: Brexit Update"><span style="color: windowtext; text-decoration: none; text-underline: none;">making concessions</span></a>. Earlier in the week, May accepted another proposal to change the draft law in the face of criticism from her colleagues. Yesterday, May&rsquo;s spokesman, James Slack, said.</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">&quot;We are listening to members of Parliament, we are having conversations with them. Where they think legislation can be improved we are prepared to take that on board.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Dominic Grieve had indicated that he was not prepared to back down and without his amendment, the EU Withdrawal bill would unleash &ldquo;a form of constitutional chaos&rdquo; by allowing ministers to bypass parliamentary scrutiny. Reporting on his speech in parliament today, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/09/theresa-may-faces-first-brexit-defeat-parliament-rebels">The Guardian</a> reported. </span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: EN;">He said he had sought at all times to engage with ministers to find a compromise, but without success: &ldquo;The blunt reality is, and I&rsquo;m sorry to have to say this to the house, I&rsquo;ve been left in the lurch, as a backbench member trying to improve this legislation.&rdquo; In these circumstances, Grieve said, he felt obliged to vote in favour of his amendment, and if that did not pass, to vote against the government on the wider bill. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: EN;">&ldquo;But that having been said there&rsquo;s a time for everybody to stand up and be counted. As Churchill said, he&rsquo;s a good party man, and he puts the party before himself and the country before his party. And that&rsquo;s what I intend to do.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Grieve&rsquo;s sentiment was echoed by Labour MP, Chuka Umunna, who said that</span><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #3c3c3c; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> &quot;n</span><span lang="EN" style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">obody voted in the referendum for our parliamentary democracy to be undermined. We need scrutiny on Brexit, not a blank check for government ministers.&quot;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The theme of parliamentary democracy was picked up before the vote by the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42329118">BBC&rsquo;s</a> chief political correspondent, Norman Smith.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">I&#39;m guessing everyone&#39;s a bit jaded with the endless Brexit rows and threats of revolts. But this one really does matter. This is the Big Bananas moment. And on that both sides seem to agree. It&#39;s not a minor, footling technical issue &ndash; it&rsquo;s about who&#39;s running the show, Parliament or the prime minister. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Brexiteers view tonight&#39;s vote as an attempt by refusenik Remainers to de-rail Brexit. And, privately, some hard line Remainers see it as a means to fundamentally change the terms of the UK&#39;s departure from the EU. Other rebels argue it&#39;s about making good the Brexiteers promise to &quot;take back control&#39; to the UK Parliament. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">But it&rsquo;s also a Big Bananas moment for Theresa May. Defeat in the Commons - and it would be her first - would knock her premiership back on the ropes after she had bounced back with last week&#39;s deal in Brussels. It would also dent her authority in the Brexit negotiations with EU leaders, who would again question her ability to deliver a deal.</span></p> </blockquote> <p>While it is unclear if today&#39;s vote dooms Brexit, judging by the market&#39;s euphoric reaction which has sent cable surging to session highs, traders are increasingly confident that the entire process may be halted, if not unwound sooner rather than later.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017-12-13%20%284%29.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017-12-13%20%284%29_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 302px;" /></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="744" height="395" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/may%20teaser%20angry.jpg?1513197291" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/uk-prime-minister-theresa-mays-position-further-damaged-after-she-loses-key-brexit-v#comments Aftermath of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum Brexit Chuka Umunna conservative party Conservative Party Dominic Raab European Union European Union European Union European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom Government of the United Kingdom Ireland Politics Politics of the United Kingdom pro-European Reality Scottish National Party Theresa May UK MP UK Parliament United Kingdom European Union membership referendum Vote Leave Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:33:54 +0000 Tyler Durden 609095 at http://www.zerohedge.com Liesman Asks Yellen: "Is The Fed Worried By The Market Going Up Triple Digits Every Day?" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/yellen-bitcoin-highly-speculative-asset-record-high-stocks-are-not-flashing-red-or-e <p>CNBC&#39;s Steve Liesman: <strong><em>&quot;Every day it seems the stock market goes up triple digits... is it now, or will it soon become a worry for the central bank that valuations are this high?&quot;</em></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SgUQ-W-eRUM" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Yellen&#39;s response appeared very similar to Bernanke&#39;s &quot;contained&quot; moment:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&#39;&quot;The stock market has gone up a great deal this year,&#39;&#39; and asset valuations are &quot;elevated.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We see ratios in the high end of historical ranges,&quot; but<em><strong> &quot;Economists are not great at knowing what the right valuations are...we don&#39;t have a terrific track record.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Low interest rates support higher valuations.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&#39;&#39;The risks in the global economy look more balanced than they have in recent years.&#39;&#39;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&#39;&#39;There is nothing flashing red there or possibly even orange,&#39;&#39; on asset valuations...</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>So this is not even flashing orange?</p> <p><img height="310" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed1_1_0.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p>And this is not flashing red?</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed2_1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed2_1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 318px;" /></a></p> <p>And none of this worries you?</p> <p><img src="http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/editorial/170919_Bubble_infographic_newfinal.png?utm_campaign=JM-305&amp;utm_medium=ED&amp;utm_source=zhb&amp;v=1505833190384" width="600" /></p> <p>Then Yellen turned to Bitcoin:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><span dir="ltr">&quot;Bitcoin, at this time, plays a very small role in the payments system. </span></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span dir="ltr">It is not a stable store of value and it doesn&#39;t constitute legal tender. <strong>It is a highly speculative asset.&quot;</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span dir="ltr"><strong>&quot;The Fed doesn&#39;t really play any regulatory role with respect with Bitcoin, </strong>other than ensuring banks are being prudent. &quot;</span></p> </blockquote> <p>Yellenb also said that<strong> creating a cryptocurrency &quot;is not something the Federal Reserve is seriously considering at this stage.... There are limited benefits and a limited need for it.&#39;&#39;</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_gbp1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_gbp1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 314px;" /></a></p> <p>Finaly she summed up: <em><strong>&quot;There&#39;s less to lose sleep about now than in a long time&quot;</strong></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="960" height="502" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_gbp1.jpg?1513196978" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/yellen-bitcoin-highly-speculative-asset-record-high-stocks-are-not-flashing-red-or-e#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Business Cryptocurrencies Economy Federal Reserve Finance Financial economics Global Economy Money None Steve Liesman Steve Liesman US Federal Reserve Valuation Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:25:36 +0000 Tyler Durden 609097 at http://www.zerohedge.com "We Can't Take That Risk": FBI Texts Reveal "Insurance Policy" To Prevent Trump Presidency http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency <p>The lead FBI official at the heart of the rapidly unraveling Trump-Russia probe sent a text message to his FBI mistress last year which discusses some sort of 'insurance policy' against Donald Trump becoming president.</p> <p><em style="font-size: 13.008px;"><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/strozk%20page_0.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/strozk%20page_0.jpg" width="504" height="283" /></a><br />Peter Strzok and Lisa Page</em></p> <p>"<strong>I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he </strong>[Trump]&nbsp;<strong>gets elected - <span style="text-decoration: underline;">but I'm afraid we can't take that risk</span>." </strong>writes FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair while spearheading both the Clinton email inquiry and the early Trump-Russia probe, adding "<strong>It's like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40</strong>."&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Text-from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page (Andy is Andrew McCabe): "I want to believe the path u threw out 4 consideration in Andy's office-that there's no way he gets elected-but I'm afraid we can't take that risk.It's like an insurance policy in unlikely event u die be4 you're 40"</p> <p>— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) <a href="https://twitter.com/BretBaier/status/940952690082885633?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Clearly Lisa Page thought there was no way Trump would win <strong>during a conversation in then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe's office</strong>, yet Strzok clearly states to Page that he "can't take that risk" in the "unlikely event" Trump was elected, and that an insurance policy of some type existed to presumably undermine Trump. If this is the case, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>it would constitute an active measure taken by the FBI against one candidate for US President, while aiding the other.&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">The text message which references an "insurance policy" is all the more controversial when you consider&nbsp;another exchange in which Peter Strzok says&nbsp;<strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">"I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer</strong>," and&nbsp;<strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">"I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!"</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Page responds&nbsp;<strong>"I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" style="font-size: 13.008px;"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Strzok/Page texts 10/20/16</p> <p>PS - I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer.</p> <p>PS - I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!&nbsp;</p> <p>LP - I don't know. But we'll get it back. ...</p> <p>— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream)&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/940797491338993664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Page then messages Strzok, saying "And maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to&nbsp;<strong>protect the country from that menace</strong>. (links to NYT article), to which Strzok replied "<strong>I can protect our country at many levels</strong>."&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" style="font-size: 13.008px;"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Strzok/Page texts</p> <p>LP – And maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace. (links to NYT article)</p> <p>PS – ... I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps</p> <p>— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream)&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/940779309802942464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">What, exactly, does Peter Strzok mean by "protect our country at many levels" in his text to Page? Is this a reference to the insurance policy?&nbsp;</p> <p>The "insurance" text message was one of 375 released Tuesday night before a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and one of 10,000 text messages exchanged between the two top FBI investigators. Strzok was fired from Robert Mueller's special counsel in August, however the reason for his dismissal was not revealed until last month, prompting several congressional panels to turn up the heat on the FBI and the DOJ.&nbsp;</p> <p>The text messages make <strong>abundantly clear</strong>&nbsp;that Strzok - the man who downgraded the FBI's assessment of Hillary's email mishandling from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," and reportedly&nbsp;<strong>used a largely unfounded Trump-Russia dossier to launch a counterintelligence operation</strong>&nbsp;- holds a deep disdain for Donald Trump.</p> <p>As we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/anti-trump-texts-between-fired-fbi-agents-having-extramarital-affair-leak-and-theyre" target="_blank">reported earlier</a>, in one exchange obtained by <em style="font-size: 13.008px;"><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/here-are-peter-strzoks-texts-to-lisa-page-about-trump/?linkId=45835739" target="_blank">Fox News</a></em> sent on March 4th, 2016 - right around the time Trump emerged as a serious threat in the GOP primary race, Page texted Strzok "<strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">God, Trump is a loathsome human</strong>," to which Strzok responded <strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">"Yet he many[win]" </strong>Strzok responded, adding <strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">"</strong>Good for Hillary."&nbsp;</p> <p>Other text messages call trump <strong>an idiot</strong>, who's <strong>awful</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em style="font-size: 13.008px;">Fox </em>reporter Shannon Brem tweeted that Fox News producer Jake Gibson <strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">has obtained 10k texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page</strong>, one of which says "<strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Trump should go f himself</strong>," and <strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">"F TRUMP.</strong>"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Our <a href="https://twitter.com/FoxNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FoxNews</a> producer <a href="https://twitter.com/JakeBGibson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JakeBGibson</a> has obtained 10K texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page</p> <p>— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/940770703317585921?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Strzok/Page texts obtained by Fox's <a href="https://twitter.com/JakeBGibson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JakeBGibson</a> </p> <p>"LP – Jesus. You should read this. And Trump should go f himself. Moment in Convention Glare Shakes Up Khans American Life <a href="https://t.co/1nZ11E3gBC">https://t.co/1nZ11E3gBC</a></p> <p>PS – God that’s a great article. Thanks for sharing. And F TRUMP."</p> <p>— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/940785243715403777?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>Along with the text messages,&nbsp;<strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Strzok's conduct in the Clinton investigation and several prior cases are now under review for political bias by the Justice Department</strong>. Furthermore, the fact that the reason behind Strzok's firing was kept a secret for months is of keen interest to House investigators. According to <em style="font-size: 13.008px;"><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/03/mueller-aide-fired-for-anti-trump-texts-now-facing-review-for-role-in-clinton-email-probe.htm.html?x" target="_blank">Fox News</a> </em>two&nbsp;weeks ago<em style="font-size: 13.008px;">:&nbsp;</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"While Strzok’s removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Responding to the revelations about Strzok’s texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray." -Fox News</p> </blockquote> <div>As we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/watch-live-rosenstein-takes-hot-seat-republican-fury-over-fbi-bias-heats" target="_blank">also reported</a>,&nbsp;<strong>Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) suggested in a hearing with FBI Director Chris Wray last week that the Peter Strzok rabbit hole might be far deeper than anyone imagined.</strong>&nbsp;To summarize, Jordan's theory is that Strzok received the controversial "Trump Dossier" from the Clinton campaign then went to the FISA courts where he passed it off as a legitimate piece of intelligence in an effort to obtain the warrants necessary to effectively spy on the Trump campaign.</div> <div> <blockquote> <div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <div>"Here's what I think Director Wray.&nbsp; I think Peter Strzok, head of counter intelligence at the FBI, Peter Strzok the guy who ran the Clinton investigation and did all the interviews, Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI, Peter Strzok, Mr. 'Super Agent' at the FBI, <strong>I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court...and if that happened...if you have the FBI working with the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign...if that happened...that's as wrong as it gets."</strong></div> </blockquote> </div> <div>Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - who launched the Mueller probe - was on the hot seat today in front of the House Judiciary Committee to face questions over Strzok, Mueller, and the Trump investigation. When asked if he was aware how biased Peter Strzok was, Rosenstein answered: <strong>no</strong>, adding that he has seen "<strong>no reason to fire Mueller</strong>." </div> <div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Rod Rosenstein says if ordered to fire Mueller, "I would follow the reg. If there were good cause, I would act. If there were no good cause, I would not." As of today, he says, he still has seen no good cause to fire Mueller.</p> <p>— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) <a href="https://twitter.com/charlie_savage/status/940969782828027904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Q: Have you seen good cause to fire Special Counsel Mueller?</p> <p>Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein: "No." <a href="https://t.co/4sHtKsupR8">pic.twitter.com/4sHtKsupR8</a></p> <p>— NBC News (@NBCNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/940971452274180096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>So, despite having rooted out two rabidly anti-Trump lead investigators from the Mueller probe, and the fact that the Special Counsel is stacked with Democrats&nbsp;who have <strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-05/more-anti-trump-messages-reportedly-sent-members-muellers-team-lot-more-going-come-o" target="_blank">apparently&nbsp;sent</a> more anti-Trump messages to each other - </strong>which, according to reports will come out in the next 4-6 weeks, Rosenstein sees no cause to fire Mueller and close down this sham of an investigation.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="288" height="160" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/strzok_0.jpg?1513189227" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency#comments American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Congress Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation FISA court Fox News Judiciary Committee NBC Republican Party Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections SPY The Apprentice Trump campaign–Russian meetings Twitter Twitter United States WWE Hall of Fame Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609085 at http://www.zerohedge.com Watch Live: President Trump Discusses GOP Tax-Reform Deal http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/watch-live-president-trump-discuss-gop-tax-reform-deal <p>In what&#39;s to be a hastily organized press conference, the White House announced Wednesday that President Trump would speak about the Republican tax-reform effort <strong>at 3 p.m. Wednesday. </strong>The implication is that Trump will be laying out next steps now that GOP lawmakers have tentatively agreed on a compromise tax bill that both chambers of Congress are ready to send to the president&#39;s desk.</p> <p>However, as we&#39;ve learned, in the Trump era, no legislative achievement is in the bag until all the votes have been tallied.</p> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AiP6_-U8L1c" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>As was the case with<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-12/republicans-reach-tentative-tax-agreement-raise-corporate-tax-21-cut-individual-tax-"> yesterday&#39;s tax deal</a>, the &quot;deal&quot; <a href="http://the top individual tax rate would be lowered to 37% as and set the corporate tax rate at 21%, slightly higher than the 20% initially favored by President Trump. The mortgage interest deduction would be capped at $750,000, a mid-point compromise between the Senate and House bills. The deduction for pass-through companies will be set at 20 percent, somewhat lower than the 23 percent included in the Senate-passed bill. That will be offset by lowering the top individual income rate to 37%. It is now 39.6%.">reported today</a> would reduce the top individual tax rate to 37% and set the corporate tax rate at 21%, slightly higher than the 20% initially favored by President Trump. The mortgage interest deduction would be capped at $750,000, a mid-point compromise between the Senate and House bills.</p> <p><strong>The deduction for pass-through companies will be set at 20 percent, somewhat lower than the 23 percent included in the Senate-passed bill.</strong> That will be offset by lowering the top individual income rate to 37%. It is now 39.6%.</p> <p>Though Republicans in both the House and Senate who had reservations about the bill are still making their views known, Mark Meadows, the leader of the House Freedom Caucus, recently said he&#39;s given the agreement his blessing, and it&#39;s beginning to look like Republicans have actually finally come to a consensus of sorts - though stocks have rolled over following a morning-trade bump.</p> <p>While he&#39;s already tweeted about Roy Moore&#39;s loss (both to congratulate the winner and to attempt to vindicate himself for supporting Moore), it&#39;s likely he&#39;ll be asked about the outcome of last night&#39;s special election...</p> <p>...As for whether he&#39;ll feel like talking: We&#39;ll need to find out.</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="646" height="323" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12.13trump.JPG?1513191306" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/watch-live-president-trump-discuss-gop-tax-reform-deal#comments Congress Donald Trump Economic policy of Donald Trump Economy of the United States Politics Politics of the United States Presidency of Donald Trump Republican Party Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act United States White House White House Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609088 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bitcoin Futures Plunge - Erase Premium To Spot, As Crypto-Space Crumbles http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/crypto-suddenly-crashing-bitcoin-back-below-16000 <p>While Ethereum remains solidly higher on the day,<strong><em> the entire crypto space just took a notable leg lower. </em></strong></p> <p>The day&#39;s slide started around 9amET, when a burst of gold buying appears to have reset the correlation between XAU and BTC:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017-12-13%20%283%29.jpg"><img alt="" height="313" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017-12-13%20%283%29_0.jpg" width="599" /></a></p> <p>Just a few hours later, Bitcoin is back below $16,000</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto1.jpg"><img height="297" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Litecoin - yesterday&#39;s big winner - is tumbling...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p>And while Ethereum is up 11% still, it is roling over...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 293px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Futures are underperforming spot and collapsing the arbitrage...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Close up, the pressure has completely erased the Bitcoin futures premium over spot...</strong></u></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto6.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_crypto6_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>While no immediate catalyst for the moves is obvious, we note that <strong>Interactive Brokers has allowed clients to short Bitcoin futures</strong> (with a massive $40,000 margin) and <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-markets-bitcoin-southkorea/south-korea-considers-cryptocurrency-tax-as-regulators-grapple-with-speculative-mania-idUSKBN1E703O"><strong>South Korea said on Wednesday it may tax capital gains from cryptocurrency trading</strong> </a>as global regulators worried about a bubble, with Australia&rsquo;s central bank chief warning of a &lsquo;speculative mania&rdquo; that has seen the digital asset making rip-roaring gains.</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="956" height="498" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_crypto6.jpg?1513192852" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/crypto-suddenly-crashing-bitcoin-back-below-16000#comments Alternative currencies Arbitrage Australia Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Book:20 Crypto Currencies you should know about BTC Markets Cross-platform software Cryptocurrencies Cryptography Ethereum Finance Futures contract Joseph Lubin Litecoin Money Reserve Bank of Australia Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:45:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 609086 at http://www.zerohedge.com Watch Live: Janet Yellen's Last FOMC Press Conference http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/watch-live-janet-yellens-last-fomc-press-conference <p>Grab your handkerchief, it's gonna be a tear-jerker. Having managed to get through her term as Fed Chair without a 'crisis', unlike her three previous colleagues, it would appear Janet Yellen has managed to jump ship at the perfect time. <em><strong>Will she leave her last press conference with a 'hanging chad' of uncertainty about extreme asset valuations, or toe-the-line for Powell that everything is awesome?</strong></em></p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell1.jpg" width="560" height="353" /></p> <p>Live Feed (due to begin at 1430ET)...</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pdp2g3sRapM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="542" height="342" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_yell1.jpg?1513190227" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/watch-live-janet-yellens-last-fomc-press-conference#comments Chair of the Federal Reserve Drama Economics Entertainment Hanging Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Jerker US Federal Reserve Yellen Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609087 at http://www.zerohedge.com Gold Spikes As Dollar, Bond Yields Tumble Despite Hawkish-Hiking Fed http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/gold-spikes-dollar-bond-yields-tumble-despite-hawkish-hiking-fed <p>Stocks shrugged but bonds and the dollar did not... <strong>as gold spiked</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed2.jpg"><img height="399" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed2_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p>The dollar is reversing recent gains quickly...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed1.jpg"><img height="317" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The long-end is legging lower in yield...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed.jpg"><img height="318" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fed_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So bond yields lower, dollar lower, and gold higher... not exactly what The Fed would likely have wanted!</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="1074" height="715" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_fed2.jpg?1513192682" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/gold-spikes-dollar-bond-yields-tumble-despite-hawkish-hiking-fed#comments Bond Bond Business Currency United States dollar US Federal Reserve Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:19:04 +0000 Tyler Durden 609092 at http://www.zerohedge.com FOMC Hikes Rates As Expected: Expects 3 Hikes, Faster Growth As Two Dissent http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/fomc-hikes-rates-expected-sees-3-hikes-faster-growth-lower-unemployment-2018 <p>With a <strong>98.3% probability heading in</strong>, there was really no doubt the most-telegraphed rate-hike ever would occur, but all eyes are on the dots (rate trajectory shows 3 hikes in 2018), inflation outlook (unchanged), and growth outlook (faster growth in 2018), and lowered unemployment outlook to below 4%. The Fed also plans to<strong> increase its balance sheet run off to $20 billion in January.</strong></p> <ul> <li>*FED RAISES RATES BY QUARTER POINT, STILL SEES THREE 2018 HIKES</li> <li>*FED SEES FASTER 2018 GROWTH, LABOR MARKET STAYING `STRONG&#39;</li> <li>*FED: MONTHLY B/SHEET RUNOFF TO RISE TO $20B IN JAN. AS PLANNED</li> </ul> <p><strong>The dissents by Evans and Kashkari are significant as they send the signal that there is a significant fraction of the FOMC that would like to put off additional rate hikes until inflation is moving back closer to 2%.</strong> You could expect additional dissents in March if the FOMC goes ahead with a hike then, unless inflation rebounds by then.</p> <p>On the other hand, the median target &quot;dot&quot; for 2020 rose to 3.063% vs 2.875% in September; suggesting even further tightening in store.</p> <p><strong>The Fed&#39;s forecasts improved for growth and unemployment, while keeping inflation unchanged:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/11.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/11_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" />\</a></p> <p>The Dot Plot shows a slightly more hawkish bias to rate trajectory...</p> <ul> <li><strong>*FED MEDIAN SHOWS FUNDS RATE 3.1% AT END-2020 VS 2.9% IN SEPT.</strong></li> <li><strong>*FED LEAVES ESTIMATE OF LONGER-RUN FUNDS RATE AT 2.8%</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell5.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell5_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 288px;" /></a></p> <p>Comparing the Sept and Dec dots we see the following median rate forecasts:</p> <ul> <li><strong>2017 1.375% (range 1.125% to 1.375%); prior 1.375%</strong></li> <li><strong>2018 2.125% (range 1.125% to 2.625%); prior 2.125%</strong></li> <li><strong>2019 2.688% (range 1.375% to 3.625%); prior 2.688%</strong></li> <li><strong>2020 3.063% (range 1.125% to 4.125%); prior 2.875%</strong></li> <li><strong>Longer Run 2.75% (range 2.250% to 3.000%); prior 2.75%</strong></li> </ul> <p>As for the projection interval, the forecast ranges narrow for 2018, 2019 and longer-run; widens for 2020:</p> <ul> <li>2018 range 1.125%-2.625% vs 1.125%-2.725% in September</li> <li>2019 range 1.375%-3.625% vs 1.125%-3.375% in September</li> <li>2020 range 1.125%-4.125% vs 1.125%-3.875% in September</li> <li>Long-run range 2.25%-3% vs 2.25%-3.5% in September</li> </ul> <p>More specifically, while now two FOMC members expect the fed funds to rise above 4% in 2020, the 3.5% Long Term &quot;dot&quot; is now gone as the lone &quot;long-term&quot; optimist has disappeared.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/Dec%20DOTS%20big.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/Dec%20DOTS%20big_1.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 243px;" /></a><br />&nbsp;</p> <p>Notably, as Bloomberg points out, <strong>the dot plot implies that a growing number of Fed officials think policy will need to be restrictive in 2020 </strong>- presumably to tamp down on inflation risks amid an overheating economy. Eight 2020 dots are above even the highest estimates of the long-run dot.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Was there any doubt?</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fomc.jpg"><img height="264" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_fomc_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Since the last FOMC meeting in November, gold is the big loser and stocks the big winner.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 362px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time, the yield curve has collapsed since the last FOMC Meeting...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_yell4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p>Though this morning&#39;s CPI did lower next year&#39;s market view...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_gold2.jpg"><img height="315" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/20171213_gold2_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Full Redline below:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/fed.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/13/fed_0.png" /></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="780" height="439" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/yellen%20thinking%202_17.jpg?1513192452" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/fomc-hikes-rates-expected-sees-3-hikes-faster-growth-lower-unemployment-2018#comments B+ Business Committees CPI Economy Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve System FOMC Inflation Macroeconomics Unemployment US Federal Reserve Yield Curve Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:04:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 609090 at http://www.zerohedge.com How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/how-government-agents-troll-online-divide-and-confuse <p><a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/how-government-agents-troll-online-to-divide-and-confuse/">Via The Daily Bell</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The real story of online deception isn’t about the Russians. Sure, the Russians certainly have their own programs to disrupt and steer online discourse. But how quickly the public has forgotten about the U.S. government’s own internet troll program.</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;">Edward Snowden leaked documents used by the “Five Eyes” alliance of governments. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia–<a href="http://amzn.to/2ATz796" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">basically Oceania from&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">1984</em></a>–get together to spy on each other’s citizens. That’s how they cleverly get around laws against spying on their own citizens.</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&nbsp;<a href="https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">leaked documents</a>&nbsp;included a presentation about how government agents should disrupt online discourse.</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="http://cdn.thedailybell.com//wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NSAslide1.gif" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;"><img src="http://cdn.thedailybell.com//wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NSAslide1.gif" width="1000" height="750" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; display: block; margin: 5px auto; height: auto !important;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-24230" /></a>There is a lot of overlap between these tactics, and often more than one are used simultaneously. For example, there has been a big push by the media to convince you that the end of net neutrality is a bad thing. They are masking the true nature of net neutrality–it really gives the government power to regulate aspects of the internet. And then they repackage net neutrality as necessary for freedom and open access to the internet.</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;">When deploying government sponsored trolls online, the agents will mimic real commenters in order to sound more believable. They gain credibility since people are more likely to trust those they perceive as similar to them.</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;">Sometimes government agents invent a crazy story and attribute it to a movement. This discredits the movement. Think Flat Earth Theory. Those primed to believe conspiracy theories get sucked in. Then all the true conspiracies are grouped in with the bogus one.</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 a true conspiracy theory comes out, they invent 100 others to obscure the real one. In order for the truth to be lost among the falsities, they invent various&nbsp;levels of “conspiracy theories” from the slightly believable, to the absurd.</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;">Hillary Clinton really is a corrupt psychopath. But she is not a shape-shifting reptilian alien.</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;">From the evidence, it seems the United States government was in some way involved in the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. But did they use holograms of the planes, and fire a laser into the towers? Probably not.</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 conspiracies become too unbelievable to some, and they throw the truth out with the government manufactured lies. For those that do believe the false details of a true conspiracy, they walk away with an inflated sense of how powerful and all knowing the government really is.</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;">This also works to the government’s benefit. The over-the-top conspiracy theories become the decoy. They can then exploit those beliefs to create cognitive stress, which is another tactic of control.</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="http://cdn.thedailybell.com//wp-content/uploads/2017/10/nsaslide2.gif" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;"><img src="http://cdn.thedailybell.com//wp-content/uploads/2017/10/nsaslide2.gif" width="1000" height="750" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; display: block; margin: 5px auto; height: auto !important;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-24231" /></a>Trump is the ultimate manifestation of their tactics to control attention. Trump is a big move which does a lot of masking the small moves. The media pays attention to his tweets, not his actions. When he does push for legislation, like a repeal of Obamacare, and it fails, attention drops because that seems to be the end of that.</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;">And every time this happens, vigilance wanes.&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">Another tweet, another legislative failure, another snub? We get it.</em>&nbsp;But do we really get it?</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;">Repetition. By now we are so used to misconduct by government officials, we just don’t pay attention anymore. Yet when the story about Pizzagate came to light, it was grouped in with conspiracy theories.&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">No need to investigate.</em>&nbsp;We were primed to put that story into the false category. But the new cue is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/sex-power-and-consent-how-to-interpret-the-media-frenzy-around-sexual-assault/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">sexual assault, and we are primed to believe any accusation</a>, regardless of the evidence.</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 efforts to demonize Bitcoin, many of these tactics are used. I’m not saying Bitcoin is beyond criticism. But I’ve seen commenters claim it was created by the CIA. That is just silly.</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;">More likely, the government exploits the distrust libertarians tend to have in government in order to cast doubt on the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. That means fewer people will adopt technology that has the potential to bring down the worldwide banking cartel and free people from the shackles of government monetary policy.</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;">White Nationalists and AntiFa are right out of this playbook. Each exploits the beliefs of the “other side.” The left is primed to assume anyone who disagrees with them is secretly a racist white supremacist. And the right is primed to believe the left is full of violent fanatics who want to implement a communist coup.</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;">To be sure,&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">some</em>&nbsp;of these people exist in the real world. So government agents seize on this and magnify it with their own agents. By doing this, they cause unsuspecting citizens to join the fray. Behavior is influenced by our peers. So the perception that something is widespread or normal makes people more likely to follow the crowd.</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;">Notice how they mention Cialdini in there?&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2ynT84x" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Robert B. Cialdini wrote the book&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion</em></a>. I recommend reading it, not so that you can manipulate others, but so that you can prevent yourself from being manipulated.</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;">He describes how to trigger shortcuts people use in their mental processes. For instance, a higher price usually means higher quality, so often people assume a higher priced item will be better made. But this works in many areas. People might assume a southern accent makes someone a racist, or USDA approval means healthy.<br style="box-sizing: border-box;" /><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Robert-Cialdini/dp/006124189X/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&amp;linkCode=li3&amp;tag=joejarme-20&amp;linkId=bdffe2ad0768f79312c88a1accd466d9" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;" rel="noopener"><img src="http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;ASIN=006124189X&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><img src="https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=joejarme-20&amp;l=li3&amp;o=1&amp;a=006124189X" width="1" height="1" border="0" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; border-width: initial !important; border-style: none !important; height: auto !important;" /></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;">Cialdini also goes into how people are influenced by social proof, gift giving, making commitments, and a sense of inclusion. It is no surprise that the government would use these advertising and sales tactics to push their agenda online.</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;">An Obama policy adviser, Cass Sunstein,&nbsp;<a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">wrote a paper in 2008</a>&nbsp;which suggests using these tactics.</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;">Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law. The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined… Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.</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;">Sunstein later went on to serve on the NSA review panel.</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; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold;">But finally, here’s the real head spinner.</span></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 documents mention a Haversack Ruse. This ruse involves planting false information by making the enemy think you accidentally lost it. The target thinks they got their hands on your actual plans. But in reality, they acquired fake plans.</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;">For instance, was Edward Snowden really a leaker, or was he told to drop all this “evidence” in order to distract from what is really happening?</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 such a case, the intelligence officers would be laughing their asses off. They had the balls to put the Haversack reference into a fake document that was intentionally leaked as a ruse. This fits with the elite’s serial-killer-like tendency to leave hints of their true agenda in plain sight.</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;">That means one of two things.</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;">Either these documents are not part of a ruse and everything in them is true.</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;">Or, these documents&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">are</em>&nbsp;part of a Haversack Ruse. But why would the government leak these damning documents which prove their lies and untrustworthiness?</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;">Only if the truth is so much worse.</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/how-government-agents-troll-online-divide-and-confuse#comments 9/11 conspiracy theories Activism B+ Bitcoin Cass Sunstein Central Intelligence Agency Conspiracies Conspiracy theories involving Israel Conspiracy theory Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura Denialism Edward Snowden Fringe theory laser Monetary Policy New Zealand Obamacare Pejoratives Persuasion Politics Reality SPY United Kingdom United States government US government USDA Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:00:08 +0000 TDB 609089 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Stock Market & The FOMC - An Astonishing Statistic http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/stock-market-fomc-astonishing-statistic <p><a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?p=51950"><em>Authored by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting-Man.com,</em></a></p> <h3><u><strong>An Astonishing Statistic</strong></u></h3> <p>As the final FOMC announcement of the year approaches, <strong>we want to briefly return to the topic of how the meeting tends to affect the stock market from a statistical perspective.</strong> As long time readers may recall, the typical performance of the stock market in the trading days immediately ahead of FOMC announcements was quite remarkable in recent decades. We are referring to the Seaonax event study of the average (or seasonal) performance across a very large number of events, namely the past 160 monetary policy announcements and the 10 trading days surrounding them. It looks as follows:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas1.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas1_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 373px;" /></a></p> <p><em>We have highlighted the period of maximum profit over the past 20 years in dark gray, which is achieved over a holding period of&nbsp; 8 trading days and amounts to an average of 60 basis points. At first glance that may not look like much, but it actually works out to a 21.89 percent annualized gain, which exceeds the gain generated in the &ldquo;rest of the time&rdquo; by a vast margin. As the detailed returns in individual years at the bottom show, in some years particularly large gains were posted around FOMC meetings &ndash; these were as a rule associated with new cyclical bull markets just after the end of major bear markets. The largest losses were obviously primarily associated with bear market periods, but they are both much fewer in number than the gains and much smaller on average &ndash; click to enlarge.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It makes little difference if one extends the study to a 30 year time frame (or 240 events) &ndash; the return is almost the same, only the optimal holding period becomes 9 days instead of 8 trading days. </strong>The same holds if one compresses the study to 15 years or 120 events &ndash; the return and optimal holding period are equal to those of the 20 year study.&nbsp; If one compresses it further to just 10 years (or 79 events), the result actually gets better: the average return per event expands to 0.72%, boosting the annualized return to 27.10 percent.</p> <p>Obviously, the smaller the sample size, the less statistical validity the result will have, but we have noticed that it often makes sense in seasonal studies to look at studies in shorter time frames as well. In fact, as long as a major market trend remains intact, &ldquo;recency bias&rdquo; will increasingly tend to hold sway.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas2.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas2_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 372px;" /></a></p> <p><em>When halving the number of events in the study, the result becomes even more impressive &ndash; obviously, this is mainly due to the strength of the post-GFC echo bubble &ndash; click to enlarge.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When the number of events included in the study is expanded to 700, or a 90-year time period, a significantly smaller average return of 0.38% is achieved (however, the median is higher at 0.50%, due to the proliferation of large gains in more recent decades). This is still an impressive 14.69 percent annualized, which beats the &ldquo;rest of the time&rdquo; gain handily as well.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas3.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas3_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 372px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Measured over a 90 year stretch (700 events), the average return declines to 0.38% for the 8 day holding period, but that still amounts to 14.69 percent annualized and handily beats the &ldquo;rest of the time&rdquo; gain in the index &ndash; click to enlarge.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The explanation for the much smaller &ldquo;event return&rdquo; over the 90 year stretch is that central bank intervention has become a great deal more important to financial markets since the adoption of the pure fiat money system in the wake of Nixon&rsquo;s gold default in 1971. One only has to take a look at the long term trend in total US credit market debt to see why that is the case.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas4.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas4_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 368px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>As a result of the huge expansion in credit market debt once the pretense that governments were going to be keep their currencies sound was finally abandoned entirely, central bank decisions have become far more important to financial markets than they used to be.</strong></em></p> <h3><u><strong>It Gets Even Crazier&hellip;</strong></u></h3> <p>The upcoming FOMC announcement seemed a good opportunity to return to this topic, but what we are actually most eager to show is a chart that compares the cumulative gain one would have achieved if one had invested <em>exclusively in the 2 days preceding every FOMC announcement</em> (i.e., for the duration of the FOMC meeting) with the gain that would have been achieved by being invested exclusively on all other days. The total gain achieved by the SPX as such is shown as well:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas5.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas5_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 428px;" /></a></p> <p><em>If one had been long the S&amp;P 500 days exclusively over the 2 days of every FOMC meeting (while being out of the market the entire rest of the time), one would have achieved a capital gain almost equal to that of a buy &amp; hold strategy. Since there are eight FOMC meetings per year, one would have been in the market for a total of just 16 days per year, or 320 days in 20 years. Being in the market exclusively over the rest of the time would have made no sense at all; the net gain achieved in this time period over the past two decades was negligible. In fact, most of the time one would have sported large paper losses. Obviously, a very big loss would have been made in real terms anyway &ndash; click to enlarge.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>This chart is quite the stunner &ndash; and what makes it so stunning is that the <em>risk-adjusted return</em> when being exposed to the market over just 16 trading days every year is of course vastly superior to that of a buy &amp; hold approach. </strong>One can safely ignore trading commissions, considering that discount brokers charge less than $5 per trade these days, regardless of size.</p> <p>One might object that the method fails to capture the microscopic dividend yield of the SPX, but consider the fact that the entire sum invested will be available for alternative purposes 336 days every year. Surely it won&rsquo;t be too hard to make up for missing out on the current SPX dividend yield of 1.83%. There once was a time when dividends generated the bulk of long term stock market returns, but that was before the modern age of massive money supply and credit inflation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Conclusion </strong></u></h3> <p>The statistics discussed above are yet another (indirect) hint that broad stock market returns are largely dependent on monetary inflation and hence on the actions taken by central planners. Everything else is secondary. This strikes us as a rather deplorable state of affairs. In fact, it can be shown that prior to the institution of pure fiat money, the stock market delivered far larger returns in real terms than it has delivered ever since (this can be ascertained by comparing long term cumulative stock market returns in terms of gold).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas6.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/12/20171213_seas6_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 698px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Robert Prechter of EWI published a chart that compares real returns in the stock market under a sound money regime with those achieved under the fiat money&nbsp; regime. The 1965 cut-off date was chosen on the basis that this was the year in which the last precious metals coins (silver dollars) were minted to serve as general media of exchange. Incidentally, this was also very close to the end of a major wave up in the stock market in nominal terms &ndash; click to enlarge.</em></p> <p>However, we cannot change this, so our focus is mainly on making the best of the situation. Obviously, the information presented here can be used profitably if one employs it in a disciplined manner, with the caveat that even if the statistics show us&nbsp; high probability outcomes, there is no guarantee that market action won&rsquo;t change in the future.</p> <p><strong><em>An important thing to keep in mind in this context is also that the behavior of the market around the FOMC announcement can be used as a signal. In other words, if the market&rsquo;s behavior begins to deviate significantly from the statistical average and FOMC announcements begin to be associated with losses rather than gains, it will be a strong sign that the market&rsquo;s character has changed from a bull to a bear market phase.</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="574" height="330" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171213_seas.jpg?1513181363" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/stock-market-fomc-astonishing-statistic#comments Bear Market Business Capitalism default Economy Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve System Finance Financial markets Investment Mathematical finance Monetary Policy Money Money Supply Precious Metals Rate of return Robert Prechter S&P 500 S&P 500 Index Stock market Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:50:17 +0000 Tyler Durden 609075 at http://www.zerohedge.com