en Census Bureau, IRS, And St. Louis Fed Added To Washington Post's List Of "Russian Propaganda" Websites <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><i>Sorry, U.S. Census Bureau, I.R.S. and St. Louis Federal Reserve - <strong>you&#39;re issuing &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; according to <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> shoddy &quot;fake news&quot; methodology.</strong></i></p> <p><b>In case you missed it, <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> criminally careless publishing of &quot;fake news&quot; about purported &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; created a backlash</b>--and the Post&#39;s attorney-approved bleating to sidestep responsibility for publishing &quot;fake news&quot; failed to calm the waters.</p> <p>Here&#39;s <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> &quot;fake news&quot; article in case you missed it: <a href="" target="resource">Russian propaganda effort helped spread &lsquo;fake news&rsquo; during election, experts say</a>.</p> <p>The &quot;experts&quot; claims of expertise were not validated or investigated by the Post, and the Post prominently linked to a list of 200 websites ( among them) that purportedly &quot;wittingly or unwittingly&quot; promoted &quot;Russian propaganda&quot;--but <i>The Washington Post</i> did zero journalistic work to investigate the list or the anonymous &quot;experts&quot; that published it.</p> <p><b>Since the list is bogus, the entire story qualifies as &quot;fake news&quot;</b>--exactly what the Post claims to be investigating. Talk about irony....</p> <p><b>This criminally sloppy publishing of &quot;fake news&quot; isn&#39;t journalism--it&#39;s propaganda.</b> No amount of slippery legalese can erase <b>the fact that <i>The Washington Post</i> published a &quot;fake news&quot; story and featured it prominently on page one.</b></p> <p><b>Let me explain the &quot;methodology&quot; behind the &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; list: guilt by association.</b> Here&#39;s how this works. Say you&#39;re in a totalitarian state with a media controlled by a handful of state-corporate interests. (Sound familiar?)</p> <p>You have lunch with a colleague who is an acquaintance, discuss kids&#39; soccer and gripes about the boss, and you go home, thinking nothing of it.</p> <p><b>The secret police are waiting to arrest you.</b> Your crime is &quot;consorting with an &quot;enemy of the state:&quot; your colleague, unbeknownst to you, is considered an &quot;enemy of the state,&quot; and by having lunch with him, <b>you are guilty by association.</b></p> <p><b>This is the precise methodology of <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> shoddy &quot;fake news&quot; list of &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; websites.</b> Any association with an &quot;enemy of the state&quot; site like RT (Russia Today) convicts you by association of being an &quot;enemy of the state.&quot;</p> <p><b>Neither the &quot;fake news&quot; publishers of the list nor <i>The Washington Post</i> combed through the thousands of pages of blog posts on my site and identified those purported to be &quot;Russian propaganda.&quot;</b> They didn&#39;t bother, because, well, that would have taken some serious journalistic work.</p> <p><b>Instead, they labeled as guilty by association.</b> Here is a chart of my guilt by association:</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" width="550" /></p> <p><b>Just as a reminder, every major power funds international media outlets.</b> consider BBC (U.K.); Radio Liberty (USA); France 24 (France); NHK (Japan) and China&#39;s overseas broadcast empire.</p> <p>It doesn&#39;t take much of a dose of <i>cui bono</i> (to whose benefit?) to grasp that state-owned and operated media (even if it is at arm&#39;s length to maintain a claim to &quot;journalism&quot;) aim to paint the issuing state in rosy hues while publicizing the woes of its rivals.</p> <p><b>Even the most dimwitted mainstream media &quot;journalist&quot; grasps this obvious fact.</b> The rest of us certainly do.</p> <p><b>So let&#39;s extend <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> shoddy &quot;fake news&quot; methodology just a bit, to the sources of;s &quot;Russian propaganda.&quot;</b> Since;s content relies on statistics from these three websites, clearly they are <b>guilty by association.</b></p> <p>Here&#39;s the revised chart with another layer of &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; sites: <b>the U.S. Census Bureau, the I.R.S. and St. Louis Federal Reserve (FRED).</b> These sites are integral to;s output, and so <i>by supplying with anti-status quo content, they too are guilty of wittingly or unwittingly spreading &quot;Russian propaganda.&quot;</i></p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" width="550" /></p> <p><b>This is the logic of totalitarianism--guilt by association.</b> Just in case you haven&#39;t seen the dozens of charts I use in my &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; from the St. Louis Federal Reserve (FRED), take a gander at this:</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" width="550" /></p> <p>My analysis <a href="" target="resource"> Endangered Species: The Self-Employed Middle Class</a> relies on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and I.R.S. website data.</p> <p>My analysis on <a href="" target="resource"> Why We Keep Getting Poorer: High-Cost Housing</a> is totally dependent on data drawn from the US Census Bureau website.</p> <p><b>Sorry, U.S. Census Bureau, I.R.S. and St. Louis Federal Reserve--you&#39;re issuing &quot;Russian propaganda&quot; according to <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> shoddy &quot;fake news&quot; methodology.</b> Your data enabled and other independent journalist sites to issue content that was skeptical of official claims that are endlessly parroted by a bought-and-paid-for corporate media.</p> <p><b>You are guilty by association.</b> So go ahead, <i>Washington Post</i>, extend the logic of the absurdly threadbare &quot;methodology&quot; of your fake-news &quot;experts&quot; and add the U.S. Census Bureau, I.R.S. and St. Louis Federal Reserve to the list of websites that are guilty by association of &quot;Russian propaganda.&quot;</p> <p><b>Oh, and in case you didn&#39;t get the definition of &quot;Russian propaganda:&quot; it&#39;s anything that is skeptical or critical of America&#39;s ruling elite and its corporate-media shills.</b> Remember: America&#39;s ruling elite is so wonderful and our prosperity is so fantastic that <i>domestic dissent is impossible.</i> Any dissent must be the work of foreign devils.</p> <p><b>And that&#39;s why we&#39;re now swimming in the raw sewage of <i>The Washington Post&#39;s</i> &quot;fake news&quot;.</b></p> <p>&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="519" height="289" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Census Bureau China Communication Federal Reserve France I.R.S. Japan Media manipulation News Political communication Politics Propaganda Public opinion RT Social Issues St Louis Fed St. Louis Fed Television Totalitarianism U.S. Census Bureau US Federal Reserve Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:24:53 +0000 Tyler Durden 580153 at ECB Calls Italy's Bluff, Rejects Monte Paschi Request For More Time To Raise Capital <p>Earlier this week, we <a href="">reported that according to the FT, </a>a suddenly empowered Rome was demanding that the ECB give it more time to rescue Italy's Monte Paschi show private bailout effort has effectively failed. What is surprising is that Italy was "<em>preparing to blame the bank for losses imposed on bondholders if Rome is forced into an urgent state bailout",</em> a negotiating tactic we dubbed at the time blackmail.</p> <p>The board of MPS, which has the Italian Treasury as its largest shareholder, was asking the supervisory arm of the European Central Bank to give it until mid-January to pull off a €5bn equity injection and try to avoid forcing losses on some debtholders as required under new EU bailout rules.&nbsp; And this is where the blackmail came&nbsp; in: cited by the FT, a person involved in the negotiations warned that “<strong>If they don’t give the extension, the ECB must take responsibility. They will be pushing the button. </strong>We are only asking for five more weeks.” </p> <p>According to Reuters, as of moments ago the ECB has called Italy's bluff, and the central bank "has rejected a request by ailing Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena for more time to raise capital, a source said on Friday, in a move that piles pressure on the Italian government to bail out the bank." </p> <p><strong>The ECB's supervisory board turned down the request at a meeting on Friday on the grounds that a delay would be of little use and that it was time for Rome to step in, the source said. </strong></p> <p>The news follows an <a href="">earlier report </a>according to which the head of the euro zone bailout fund said it was not preparing financial support for Italy though some individual Italian banks have problems and need to raise capital, the head of the fund said on Friday. Klaus Regling spoke two days after the Italian daily La Stampa reported that Italy was set to ask the ESM for a loan of 15 billion euros, quoting sources from the Treasury. </p> <p><strong>"We are not preparing anything. There are lots of rumors ... but this is not the case, we have not been approached by the Italian government (for help)," </strong>Regling told reporters in the Finnish capital Helsinki. </p> <p>He said that Italy did not have a nationwide problem with its banking sector, despite the need of some individual lenders to raise more capital. "This is not at all like in 2009 or 2010 when we had several European countries with countrywide banking problems. Italy is not in that situation today," he said. "Banks are stronger; they have used the last few years to strengthen their capital." </p> <p>He added that the ESM had instruments available to respond to any future emergency. "In theory, we are available to take capital in banks, to do direct banking capitalization. We supported the Spanish banking system in 2012. But again, this is not under consideration."</p> <p>It may soon have to be. </p> <p>As <a href="">Reuters adds</a>, the Italian government is expected to intervene to recapitalize the bank to avert the risk of it being wound down. The failure of Monte dei Paschi could threaten the savings of thousands of retail investors, ripple across the wider banking sector and provoke a financial crisis in the euro zone's third-biggest economy. Italy faces the risk of early elections, and the prospect of an anti-euro party coming to power, after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi quit this week following the heavy defeat of his plan to reform the constitution in a weekend referendum.</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="502" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bailout Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank Banking in Italy Business Countrywide Economy European Central Bank European Central Bank European Central Bank European System of Central Banks European Union European Union Eurozone Italian government Italy Monte Paschi Reuters Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:10:36 +0000 Tyler Durden 580152 at Dutch Anti-Islam Politician Geert Wilders Convicted Of Insulting, Inciting Discrimination Against Moroccans <p>A Dutch court convicted politician Geert Wilders of insulting and incting discrimination against Maroccans, but it imposed no penalty on him while clearing him of inciting hatred. Wilders was charged regarding a 2014 incident in which he urged his supporters to chant they wanted “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” Moroccans in the Netherlands. The Dutch Moroccan minority was outraged and pressed charges. </p> <p>Prosecutors say that Wilders, who in 2011 was acquitted at another hate speech trial for his outspoken criticism of Islam, overstepped the limits of free speech by specifically targeting Moroccans. He had denied the charges and insisted he was performing his duty as a political leader by pointing out a problem in society.</p> <p>Abdou Menebhi, president of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Migration and Development, welcomed the judgment. "For us, it's a very important verdict," he told The Associated Press. "This gives the Moroccans who felt like victims a renewed belief in a democratic society."</p> <p>He said it also sent a message to Wilders' supporters to be careful. "This man is not looking for solutions for you," Menebhi said. "His is an ideology of smearing Europe, migrants, Muslims, without offering alternatives."</p> <p>Wilders was not in court for the verdict that came just over three months before national elections. His Party for Freedom is narrowly leading a nationwide poll of polls and has risen in popularity during the trial.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="321" /></a></p> <p>The EU Observer reports that the court said it has “legally and convincingly proven” that Wilders insulted Moroccans as a group. Meanwhile, Wilders denied any wrongdoing, saying the comments he made, which also included referring to Moroccans as “scum,” are protected as free speech. Commenting on the verdict, Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court decided not to impose a sentence on Wilders, as the conviction was punishment enough for a democratically-elected lawmaker.</p> <p>Wilders is now planning to appeal his conviction, RTL Nieuws reported. He has two weeks to do so. The Dutch anti-EU politician, has made a name for himself as an outspoken orator, often provoking outrage with his remarks. He repeatedly said his trial is a politically-motivated attempt to damage the image of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PPV), which is headed by Wilders and which has become the most popular party in opinion polls recently, with an election in the Netherlands just around the corner. </p> <p>In a tweet following the announcement of the court’s decision, Wilders said his conviction was “madness,” and called the judges “haters” of his far-right party.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Three PVV hating judges declare that Moroccans are a race and convict me and half of the Netherlands.</p> <p>Madness.</p> <p>— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) <a href="">December 9, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Wilders quickly released a video message, in English and Dutch, slamming the judgment and vowing to appeal. "Today, I was convicted in a political trial which, shortly before the elections, attempts to neutralize the leader of the largest and most popular opposition party," Wilders said. "They will not succeed."</p> <p>Even before the hearing, Wilders had vowed not to be silenced. "Whatever the verdict, I will continue to speak the truth about the Moroccan problem, and no judge, politician or terrorist will stop me," he tweeted.</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="501" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Dutch court Euro-Mediterranean Center for Migration and Development European Union Fitna Geert Wilders German Freedom Party Islam in Europe Islam in the Netherlands Netherlands Party for Freedom Party for Freedom Politics Politics of Europe Politics of the Netherlands Trial of Geert Wilders Wilders Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:52:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 580149 at ECB ‘Bazooka’ Reloaded Until At Least December 2017 - Euro Gold Rises 1%; 13% YTD <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong>ECB 'Bazooka' Extended&nbsp;- Will Buy EUR 60 Billion Per Month Until At Least December 2017</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The ECB's 'Bazooka' is back and ‘Super Mario’, the European Central Bank’s monetary magician did not disappoint QE&nbsp;addicted markets yesterday by extending ultra loose monetary policies and quantitative easing until at least December 2017.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%;" /></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The euro fell and gold rose 1.1% in euro terms from €1,090/oz to&nbsp;€1,102.85. Stocks globally&nbsp;moved higher, and European stocks look set for their best week since February, supported by the extended ECB currency printing&nbsp;and a calm, some would say complacent and irrationally exuberant, reaction to the Italian referendum.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Despite the recent sell off in gold, it remains 13% higher in euro terms in 2016 - &nbsp;10% higher in dollars and 30% higher in pounds.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; text-align: center;"><a href="!graph_id=gold&amp;time_scale=year&amp;currency=EUR"><img src="" width="754" height="588" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%;" class="alignnone size-large" /></a><em><strong>Gold in EUR (YTD 2016)</strong></em></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The ECB somewhat surprised markets by extending its bond-buying 'stimulus,' but at a lesser amount - reduced from €80 billion to €60 billion. The ECB tapered despite Mario Draghi categorically insisting that there was "no question" of ECB tapering.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The decision helped send Wall Street to fresh record all time highs, as investors decided the ECB was signaling an extended period of even looser monetary policy. Draghi had previously signaled that QE would continue until next September.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">However, the ECB warned that if the outlook becomes less favourable they will increase their bond buying programme. They said that may increase the size and duration of the programme if needed.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Given the scale of the political, economic and systemic challenges facing the EU - including the coming Dutch, German and French general elections - this seems likely.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Although, not if the voice of monetary prudence has its way. The German Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann voiced concerns. &nbsp;The president of the Bundesbank did not agree with the decision to extend its bond purchases according to German newspapers.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Weidmann had warned on Monday that central banks shouldn’t use easy-money policies to fight debt crises or rising populism, signaling he would resist any policy change from the&nbsp;ECB.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Weidmann's comments were largely ignored but according to the Wall Street Journal:</p> <blockquote style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><p><em>Mr. Weidmann said the decision should be based exclusively on the outlook for inflation and not on political considerations, such as easing the pressure on governments.</em></p> <p><em>“If a central bank keeps jumping into the breach for politicians or even trying to influence the democratic process, that leads to a politicization that endangers its independence,” he said</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Italian banks&nbsp;are on the verge of collapse.&nbsp;&nbsp;Banks in Italy have a massive €360 billion of non-performing loans, equivalent to more than a fifth of the country’s GDP.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The "EU maths" simply do not add up.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Super Mario's QE of €60 billion a month would be exhausted in dealing with the bad loans in Italy alone in just 6 months. Meanwhile, there continue to be major financial challenges in many banks throughout the EU including in&nbsp;<a href=""><em>Germany with Deutsche Bank</em></a>.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">In September,&nbsp;<a href="">Draghi “refused to answer questions” regarding Deutsche Bank</a>&nbsp;during a closed-door meeting in the German parliament.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="draghi_helicopter" width="390" height="219" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-6048" /><em><strong>ECB President – aka&nbsp;‘Super Mario’</strong></em></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The life support mechanism of QE has not helped the economies of the many sick patients of Europe, the unfairly named&nbsp;'PIIGS', get to a position of having healthy banking systems and sustainable economic growth.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Rather the ECB has simply prolonged the stay&nbsp;of execution for the patients. The primary solution to the crisis remains debt forgiveness on a massive scale and the reorganisation of the financial and banking system.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Gold is again set to act as a safe haven for Italian and other Europeans and a hedge against bank failure and the significant, cyber, systemic and monetary risk of today.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The ECB has itself acknowledged that gold is a safe haven asset and an important monetary asset.&nbsp;<a href="">Mario Draghi said of gold</a>&nbsp;in October 2013 that gold is a&nbsp;<em>“reserve of safety."</em></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Draghi told an open forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, why central banks want gold and what value it offers. He said that there were<em>&nbsp;“several reasons”&nbsp;</em>to own gold including<em>&nbsp;“risk diversification”.</em></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">As we enter 2017, diversification and having an allocation to physical gold has never been more important for investors in the EU, UK, U.S. and throughout the world.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong>Breaking News and Updates On Gold&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Here</span></a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong>Gold and Silver Bullion - News and&nbsp;Commentary</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Draghi Says $2.4 Trillion Stimulus May Not Be Enough for ECB (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Deutsche Bank’s ‘smoking gun’ evidence to expand U.S. silver rigging case (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Deutsche Bank Records Said to Show Silver Rigging at Other Banks (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Gold and cyber-security for Prince Charles (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Demonetisation effect: 15 tonnes of gold sold on November 8-9 (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-5047"><img src="" alt="7RealRisksBlogBanner" width="822" height="430" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%;" class="alignnone wp-image-5047" /></a></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Big call – I reckon the US dollar’s bull market is over - Frisby (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Italy joining euro removed means of overcoming economic troubles (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Euro Devaluation Accelerates – Millions Of Europeans Wishing They’d Bought Gold (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Fed, Trump and Wall Street Hand Gold Holdings a Spanking (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">Why Now Is A Great Time To Buy Silver (</a></strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong>Gold Prices (LBMA AM)</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">09 Dec: USD 1,168.90, GBP 927.64 &amp; EUR 1,100.75 per ounce<br />08 Dec: USD 1,174.75, GBP 925.47 &amp; EUR 1,088.64 per ounce<br />07 Dec: USD 1,171.25, GBP 929.62 &amp; EUR 1,092.19 per ounce<br />06 Dec: USD 1,171.15, GBP 918.18 &amp; EUR 1,086.94 per ounce<br />05 Dec: USD 1,164.90, GBP 915.84 &amp; EUR 1,095.36 per ounce<br />02 Dec: USD 1,171.65, GBP 929.00 &amp; EUR 1,100.88 per ounce<br />01 Dec: USD 1,168.75, GBP 930.09 &amp; EUR 1,099.68 per ounce</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong>Silver Prices (LBMA)</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">09 Dec: USD 16.95, GBP 13.45 &amp; EUR 16.03 per ounce<br />08 Dec: USD 17.13, GBP 13.50 &amp; EUR 15.88 per ounce<br />07 Dec: USD 16.77, GBP 13.32 &amp; EUR 15.64 per ounce<br />06 Dec: USD 16.79, GBP 13.17 &amp; EUR 15.63 per ounce<br />05 Dec: USD 16.62, GBP 13.05 &amp; EUR 15.54 per ounce<br />02 Dec: USD 16.35, GBP 12.95 &amp; EUR 15.36 per ounce<br />01 Dec: USD 16.30, GBP 12.91 &amp; EUR 15.35 per ounce</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><br />Recent Market Updates</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;UK £6 Billion Worse Off After Multi Billion Pound Gold “Accounting Error”</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Buy Silver – May Replace Gold As Money In India</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Shariah Gold Standard Approved for $2 Trillion Islamic Finance Market</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Potential “Systemic Crisis In Eurozone” After Italy Votes No, Renzi Resigns</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Gold and Silver Will Protect From Coming Financial Crash – Rickards</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;RBS Fail Bank of England Stress Test</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Peak Silver – Supply Deficits Mean Higher Prices</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Bail In Risk – €4 Trillion Banking System In Italy Poses Contagion Risk as Referendum Looms</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Gold Down 13.5% In 13 Days – Trump Bearish For Gold?</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;War On Cash Just Got Real – India and Citibank In Australia</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Russia Gold Buying In October Is Biggest Monthly Allocation Since 1998</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Stocks, Bonds, Pension Funds “Will Be Wiped Out…” – Rickards</a></strong><br /><strong><a href="">-&nbsp;Physical Gold Is A “Long-Term Position” as “Hedge Against Governments”</a></strong></p> Australia Bank of England Bank of England Bond Bundesbank Business Central Banks Central banks Citibank Deutsche Bank Economy Economy of the European Union Euro Europe European Central Bank European Central Bank European System of Central Banks European Union European Union Eurozone Fail federal government German Federal Bank German parliament Germany Harvard’s Kennedy School India Italy Mario Draghi Monetary Policy non-performing loans Quantitative Easing Quantitative easing RBS Reuters Stress Test Wall Street Journal Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:41:21 +0000 GoldCore 580148 at Frontrunning: December 9 <ul> <li>Futures rise as 'Trump rally' rolls on (<a href="">Reuters</a>), Oil Advances as European Stocks Extend Gains; Korean Won Slides (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Syrian government forces press attack in east Aleppo (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Trump: China Will Have to ‘Play by the Rules’ (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Trump’s Cabinet Picks Signal Coming Deregulation Moves (<a href="">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Russia’s Military Buildup on the Baltic to Test Trump on NATO (<a href="">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>OPEC’s Historic Deal Won’t Be Enough to Drain Oil Stockpiles (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>OPEC Deal Faces Test as Cartel Seeks Russia Commitment (<a href="">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Dutch court convicts anti-Islam politician Wilders of inciting discrimination (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Korea’s Park Impeached as Protesters Vent Anger Over Corruption (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>In Trump stronghold, jobs aplenty, but paychecks thin (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Trump Team Looks for Ways to Keep Nuclear Power Alive (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Europe’s Next Big Currency Opportunity Just Got a Lot Closer (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>U.S. defense chief reassures Afghans amid questions over Trump's policies (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>China Faces Off Against World on Open Global Markets (<a href="">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Turkish jets hit Islamic State targets in Syria (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Democrats plot uphill fight against some Trump nominations (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>China Car Sales Rise 20% as Buyers Rush to Beat Expiring Tax Cut (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Euro zone bailout fund not preparing Italy aid: Regling (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>ECB's QE powers limited as banks fail to transmit cheap credit: Rimsevics (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Overnight Media Digest</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">WSJ</span></em></p> <p>- Business leaders are predicting a dramatic unraveling of regulations on everything from overtime pay to power-plant emission rules as Donald Trump seeks to fill his cabinet with determined adversaries of the agencies they will lead. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and a four-term U.S. senator, died at the age of 95. Glenn, a former military test pilot, was chosen by NASA in 1959 to become one of America's first astronauts in the "Mercury Seven" program in an age when astronauts were the ultimate heroes. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Federal regulators are considering allowing airline passengers in coming years to routinely make phone calls during flights-so long as travelers are warned in advance about potential midair distractions. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Time Inc hired banks to help field takeover or partnership interest after the country's largest magazine publisher received overtures from a group of media investors including Edgar Bronfman Jr. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- About 51 percent of American 30-year-olds earn more than their parents did, an enormous decline from the early 1970s and even rapid economic growth won't do much to reverse the trend. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Ads from well-known companies often appear on sites with false or misleading news, helping them generate tens of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Donald Trump uses a web of privately held LLCs and other entities to house his assets-from real estate to a vintage carousel in Manhattan's Central Park-making it impossible to gauge the full extent of potential conflicts he may face as president. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">NYT</span></em></p> <p>- Congress has passed a bill outlawing bots, or computer programs that let users scoop up the best tickets and resell them at inflated prices. The House of Representatives passed the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, or BOTS Act, with bipartisan support, following the bill's passage a week ago in the Senate. It will now go to the White House for President Obama's signature. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Federal prosecutors brought racketeering charges on Thursday against several former executives of Insys Therapeutics , a small Arizona drug company, saying they were part of a scheme that involved aggressive sales of the powerful and highly addictive pain drug fentanyl. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Andrew Ceresney, the director of the S.E.C.'s enforcement division, said he planned to depart the regulator by year-end after three years at the commission. His move follows that of his boss, chairwoman Mary Jo White, who in November announced her plans to leave. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>- Energy Transfer Partners has lost hundreds of millions of dollars from delays in the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Its standoff with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe over a section running through tribal lands could mean an additional $80 million a month in losses. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Canada</span></em></p> <p>THE GLOBE AND MAIL</p> <p>** Lightstream Resources Ltd, which has been under creditor protection, said a Calgary court has approved the sale of its oil and gas assets to a newly formed company. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>** Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is widely expected to raise its $3.8-billion bid for a U.S. bank, and the question now is whether CIBC can close the ground-breaking deal without overpaying. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>NATIONAL POST</p> <p>** Mayor John Tory visited the National Post editorial board Thursday to defend his plan to toll the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, putting the proceeds toward some C$33 billion ($25 billion) in approved-but-unfunded capital projects. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>** The federal government is expecting a deluge of police requests for marijuana tests once cannabis is legalized and is concerned about whether Canada's shrinking number of forensic labs will be able to handle the surge. <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Britain</span></em></p> <p>The Times</p> <p>McDonald's Corp is to move its overseas headquarters to the UK from Luxembourg in a boost to Britain's status as a trading post after Brexit. The American fast food company said that it would pay corporation tax in the UK on royalties&nbsp; generated by its hamburger restaurants outside the U.S. Abouttwo-thirds of McDonald's revenue comes from non-U.S. markets. ( </p> <p>National Grid Plc has agreed to sell a controlling stake in its 82,000-mile gas pipeline network to a group of international investors, including China's sovereign wealth fund. Britain's power network operator is offloading a 61 percent holding in the largest distributor of gas in the country to a consortium led by Mira, the infrastructure division of the Australian investment bank Macquarie. (</p> <p>The Guardian</p> <p>British outsourcing company Capita Plc, whose contracts include collecting the BBC licence fee, is to replace staff with robots as it slashes costs. Capita, a FTSE 100-listed firm that also runs the London congestion charge, said it needed to axe 2,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive in response to poor trading. (;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>The pension funds that own the company running Britain's only high-speed railway, HS1, are considering a sale after receiving a number of offers. The Canadian investors, Borealis and Ontario Teachers, have announced a strategic review of their ownership of HS1 Ltd, which operates and manages the line on a 30-year concession until 2040. (</p> <p>The Telegraph</p> <p>G4S and Serco are facing extensive losses as a result of the Home Office's decision to extend its asylum seeker accommodation contracts until 2019, despite efforts to improve the&nbsp; agreements. Under the contracts, which were signed in 2012, both firms provide accommodation, transport and other related services for asylum seekers across the UK. (</p> <p>Plans championed by Algy Cluff to create a new North Sea industry burning coal under the seabed to create gas have been officially killed off after the government said it did not intend&nbsp; to support the technology. The 76-year-old entrepreneur,&nbsp; one of the pioneers of the North Sea oil and gas industry, spent years lobbying for support for "underground coal gasification", which he hoped to carry out at a series of locations around the UK. (</p> <p>Sky News</p> <p>The EU has announced legal action against the UK and six other countries over the way they handled the policing of car emissions, amid a backlash over the Volkswagen AG&nbsp; diesel scandal. Officials in Brussels said Germany, Britain, Spain and Luxembourg were accused of not imposing the same kind of penalties the automaker faced in the United States over its use of illegal software to mask emissions levels. (</p> <p>The private equity firm whose investments include Wagamama and Jimmy Choo is in talks to buy Loungers, the bar and restaurant chain, for about 140 million pounds ($176.1 million). Lion Capital is in exclusive negotiations to acquire the company, which has more than 75 sites across the country. A deal could be wrapped up before Christmas, according to insiders. (</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> BBG Bitly Business Business Calgary court China Congress Corruption Donald Trump Donald Trump Dutch court Economy European Central Bank European Union Fail federal government FTSE 100 Germany Home Office House of Representatives Italy National Aeronautics and Space Administration NATO Natural gas North Atlantic Treaty Organization Nuclear Power OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Politics of the United States Private Equity Racketeering Real estate Reuters Reuters Securities and Exchange Commission Senate Syrian government Volkswagen White House White House Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:36:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 580147 at South Korea President Park Impeached In Corruption Scandal <p>Overnight, political turmoil migrated to Asia after South Korean lawmakers voted 234-56 to impeach President Park Geun-hye over accusations of bribery, abuse of power and violating her constitutional duties, setting the stage for her to become the country's first elected leader to be expelled from office in disgrace. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="270" /></p> <p>The impeachment motion was carried by a wider-than-expected margin in a secret ballot in parliament, meaning more than 60 of Park's own conservative Saenuri Party members backed removing her. The votes of least 200 members of the 300-seat chamber were needed for the motion to pass. The Constitutional Court must now decide whether to uphold the motion, a process that could take up to 180 days. </p> <p>"I solemnly accept the voice of the parliament and the people and sincerely hope this confusion is soundly resolved," Park said at a meeting with her cabinet, adding that she would comply with the court's proceedings as well as an investigation by a special prosecutor.</p> <p>As <a href="">Reuters reports</a>, Park, whose abysmal approval rating stands at just 5%, has resisted demands that she step down immediately. Under the constitution, Park's duties were assumed by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on an interim basis until the court rules. </p> <p>"I stand here with heavy-hearted sadness," Hwang said in a televised address. "As an aide to the president, I feel deep responsibility about the situation we have come to face."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Meanwhile, cheers had erupted outside the chamber of the domed parliament building when the vote was announced. People held signs saying "Victory for the People" and "New Republic of Korea". Earlier, anti-Park activists scuffled with police as they tried to drive two tractors up to parliament's main gate. </p> <p>Choi Jung-hoon, a 46-year high school teacher, joined the rally outside parliament with his wife and daughters, age 7 and 18 months. "I wanted my kids to be here, making history, at a historic moment, and show we people can win," he said. </p> <p><strong>The impeachment culminated a series of mass protests demanding for the resignation of Park, 64, who has been accused of colluding with a friend and a former aide, both of whom have been indicted by prosecutors, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives</strong>. The scenario is vaguely familiar of a similar "non-scandal" to take place in recent years in the US when a particular presidential candidate was accused to exchanging political benefits for foreign cash. </p> <p>Park, who is serving a single five-year term that was set to end in February 2018, has denied wrongdoing but apologized for carelessness in her ties with her friend, Choi Soon-sil. If Park leaves office early, an election must be held within 60 days. The poll frontrunners are United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and ex-lawmaker Moon Jae-in, the former leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, who lost the 2012 election to Park by 3 percentage points. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p>"The power of candles has made a big change without any arrest or casualty," said third-placed presidential hopeful Lee Jae-myeong, mayor of the city of Seongnam, referring to the candle-lit anti-Park rallies that have drawn huge, peaceful crowds to central Seoul for the last six Saturdays.&nbsp; Another rally was planned for this weekend.</p> <p>"It has opened up a new era in the history of the Republic of Korea's democracy," Lee - who has said he wants to be the South Korean Bernie Sanders - told Reuters. Kang Dong-wan, a professor at Dong-A University in Busan, said the large impeachment vote from Park's own party was probably a result of rising crowds at weekly demonstrations. "It looks like more from the ruling Saenuri Party gave their support than many had expected after realizing that the party could collapse if the bill doesn't get approved," Kang said. </p> <p>Prime Minister Hwang, whose post is largely ceremonial, assumed interim presidential powers while the court deliberates.</p> <p>He takes the helm at a time of heightened tension with North Korea, and said after the vote that the chances of a provocation by Pyongyang were high. Various agencies, including the Finance Ministry and financial regulators, planned emergency meetings later on Friday. </p> <p>South Korea's economic outlook is also worsening, in part because of the internal political uncertainty. Investors are likely to be spooked when trading resumes on Monday and remain jittery until the Constitutional Court ruling, analysts said. The won =KRW was forecast to lose further ground against the dollar on Monday.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>What happens next? According to Reuters, the daughter of a military ruler who led the country for 18 years before being assassinated by his disgruntled spy chief in 1979, Park would lose presidential immunity if she left office early, and could be prosecuted for abuse of power and bribery, among other charges. The Constitutional Court will determine whether parliament followed due process and whether there were sufficient grounds for impeachment. Arguments from the two sides will be heard in public hearings, which Park is unlikely to attend.</p> <p>The nine-member Constitutional Court is considered conservative in its make-up, but some of its former judges have said the case against Park is strong and was likely to be approved. In 2004, parliament impeached then-president Roh Moo-hyun, suspending his powers for 63 days while the court reviewed the decision, which it overturned. Unlike now, on that occasion public opinion was against Roh's impeachment.&nbsp; The prime minister at the time, Goh Kun, said in a 2013 memoir that he had decided to stay "low-key" while he held the reins of power.</p> <p></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="421" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> anti-Park Bernie Sanders Constitutional Court Constitutional Court of Thailand Corruption Democratic Party Dong-A University Finance Ministry Goh Kun Government Impeachment Korea National Assembly North Korea Park Chung-hee Park Geun-hye Politics Politics of South Korea Presidents of South Korea Reuters Roh Moo-hyun Saenuri Party Saenuri Party SPY UN Court United Nations Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:58:55 +0000 Tyler Durden 580143 at Global Stocks Hit 16 Month High As Draghi’s “Dovish Taper” Sustains “Trumpflation” <p>European and Asian shares rose again and S&amp;P futures were little changed, as world stocks were set for a weekly gain and held near 16-month highs on Friday, while the euro steadied after swings following the European Central Bank’s decision to extend its stimulus program. Oil rose a second day before a meeting between OPEC and other major producers on output cuts, industrial metals gain.</p> <p>The MSCI World index was up 0.1%, on track for a gain of 2.7 percent for the week. <strong>The index was just 0.1 percent below Thursday's peak, which was its highest level since August 2015.</strong> European shares hit their highest level for 11 months, and were set for their best week since February, following the ECB's decision to trim the size of its asset purchase program while also extending it for longer than many analysts had expected.</p> <p>It’s never simple with Mario Draghi and yesterday he delivered a revised ECB policy which was simultaneously an extension/enlargement and a taper to the QE programme. Or, as it was later dubbed, a “dovish (non) taper”. This appeared to confuse the algos and after an initial fall on the announcement the dollar surged, taking the dollar index (DXY) back over 101.0. There it remained in Asian trading and after the open in Europe.&nbsp; </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="280" /></p> <p>A stronger dollar and a stronger VIX still can’t dent the equity euphoria. While the Hang Seng Index was dragged down by Macau casino stocks, most Asian bourses took the positive lead from Wall Street. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (below) rose a further 1.1% to cap off a strong week.&nbsp; </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="250" /></p> <p>The “Trumplation” trade rolls on with bond weakness being the mirror of equity strength. The yield on 10-year Bunds rose 10bp to 45bp at its peak yesterday as the ECB announcement led to a sharp steepening in the yield curve. </p> <p>Analysts said that signs the ECB would continue to provide monetary support for as long as needed complemented the promise of fiscal stimulus in a welcome cocktail for investors. "Markets already excited by the prospect of a fiscal stimulus wave via a Trump election look in-line to get more of both fiscal and monetary stimulus from next year," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets. </p> <p>Asian bond markets also felt the pain with Japan’s 10-year yield 1bp higher at 0.05%, Australia’s 8bp higher at 2.81% and South Korea 7bp higher at 2.19%.&nbsp; </p> <p>Asian shares edged down on Friday but were on track for weekly gains. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.2 percent, and was poised for a weekly gain of 2 percent. </p> <p>Japan's Nikkei stock index .N225 ended 1.2 percent up at its highest closing level since December 2015. The Nikkei earlier topped the 19,000-level for the first time in a year, as investors saw both the weak yen and prospects of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump adopting reflationary policies benefiting Japan's major exporters. </p> <p>"The U.S. market's strength is giving a boost to Japanese shares," said Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.</p> <p>Notwithstanding a firm dollar, WTI clawed its way back above $51.0/bbl on positive sentiment ahead of Saturday’s meeting between OPEC and up to 14 other nations in Vienna&nbsp; (although only 5 have confirmed their attendance so far). What boosted oil were reports Saudi Arabia was said to have started telling customers it will reduce crude shipments from next month.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>“The immediate focus for the market is the discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC members this weekend,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney. “The sweet spot for prices is around $55 a barrel. Anything higher and the market will see more supply.”</p> <p>Inflation data from China confirmed a reflationary trend, especially in producer prices which rose at their fastest pace for 5 years. The November 2016 PPI rose 3.3% year-on-year versus a forecast of 2.2% and October 2016’s 1.2%. At the retail level, higher food prices led to a 2.3% year-on-year rise in the CPI versus the 2.2% consensus and the previous month’s 2.1%. Food prices were 4.0% higher versus the previous year. </p> <p>European stocks opened little changed with the Stoxx 600 0.1% higher, the Footsie flat and the DAX down 0.1%. The S&amp;P Future was 0.13% lower at 2,240.0 in early European trade. </p> <p><strong>Market Snapshot</strong></p> <ul> <li>S&amp;P 500 futures up less than 0.1% at 2,240</li> <li>Stoxx 600 up 0.1% to 352.3</li> <li>FTSE 100 flat at 6930.0</li> <li>DAX down 0.1% to 11,172</li> <li>German 10Yr yield down 1.1bp to 0.366%</li> <li>Italian 10Yr yield up 1.8bp to 2.01%</li> <li>Spanish 10Yr yield up 2bp to 1.52%</li> <li>S&amp;P GSCI Index up 1% to 387.0</li> <li>MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.8% to 137.1</li> <li>Nikkei 225 up 1.2% to 18,996.4</li> <li>Hang Seng down 0.4% to 22,761</li> <li>Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,232</li> <li>S&amp;P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 5,560</li> <li>US 10-yr yield up 1bp to 2.42%</li> <li>Dollar Index down 0.04% to 101.1</li> <li>WTI Crude futures up 1.1% to $51.41</li> <li>Brent Futures up 0.8% to $54.31</li> <li>Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,170.5</li> <li>Silver spot flat at $17.03</li> </ul> <p><strong>Global Headlines</strong></p> <ul> <li>Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>South Korea President Park Impeached Over Corruption Scandal&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Oil Advances With Asian Stocks While Bonds, Korean Won Decline&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Draghi’s Anti-Taper Keeps ECB Stimulus Live to Tackle 2017 Risks&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Trump Renews Criticism of China as State Media Warns on Taiwan&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Europe’s Next Big Currency Opportunity Probably Just Got Closer&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>HKMA Expresses Concern After Report of DBS Arrests in Hong Kong&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Sibanye Gold to Buy Stillwater Mining for $2.2 Billion in Cash&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Shale Revolution That Shocked U.S. Markets Heads to Japan&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Wall Street’s Party, Fed Put Gold on Worst Losing Streak in Year&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> </ul> <p><strong>In Asian markets, </strong>the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.1% to 138.59, for a fourth successive daily rise. The Nikkei was 1.2% higher and Shanghai 0.5%, while the Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI bucked the positive trend. In Japan, the Mining (+4.2%) and Oil (+3.6%) sectors led the advance, supported (again) by Financials. In Shanghai, the Property sector rose a further 3.7% and is now 13.5% higher in the last month versus the 3.3% rise in the Shanghai Composite.&nbsp; Reports that ATM withdrawals would be limited in Macau, the world’s largest casino hub, saw casino stocks in Hong Kong fall more than 10% in early trading. Losses were pared after analysts from Sanford Bernstein and Union Gaming Group questioned the accuracy of the report in the South China Morning Post.&nbsp; In South Korea, President Park Guen-hye was impeached following a parliamentary vote. According to Bloomberg “The vote came after some of the biggest street protests since the nation became a democracy in 1987. Thousands of people, some holding banners, outside parliament cheered at the news. Park will now be suspended from power with Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn taking over as interim leader until the constitutional court rules on the motion within 180 days. If the court agrees to remove her from power, a special presidential election will follow in 60 days.” In India, plans are taking shape for the $1.5bn IPO of the National Stock Exchange of India, which will be the nation’s largest since the Coal India IPO in 2010. </p> <ul> <li><em>Asia Top News</em></li> <li>South Korea President Park Impeached Over Corruption Scandal</li> <li>Hong Kong’s Leader Announces Decision Not to Seek Second Term</li> <li>Macau Casinos Pare Losses as Analysts Reject ATM Cap Report</li> <li>Asia Stocks Rise for 4th Day as ECB Extends Asset-Buying Program</li> <li>Trump Renews Criticism of China as State Media Warns on Taiwan</li> <li>India’s Biggest Bourse Said to Prepare $1.5 Billion IPO Filing</li> <li>Offshore Yuan Shows Depreciation Stress as Fed Rate Hike Looms</li> <li>Southeast Asia Advances in Talks to Dismantle Trade Barriers</li> <li>BOJ’s Yield Suppression Seen Laying Groundwork for Bond Meltdown</li> </ul> <p><strong>European markets were little changed on the open </strong>with the Stoxx 600 0.1% higher at 352.3, while the DAX, FTSE MIB and the IBEX were down marginally. Europe’s largest appliance maker, Electrolux, gained 3% after issuing a statement on its restructuring programme. However, the company also noted weakness in some markets including the U.K. In 2017, European demand for appliances is expected to grow by 1%, down from this year’s 2-4%. In the UK, Capita&nbsp; fell 8.0% to 449.6 after analysts from Stifel and Canaccord Genuity downgraded the stock. The recent sharp rally in the Banks sector saw a modest reversal of just under 1% in early trading. Bank of Ireland fell 5.3% as Hamblin Watsa announced that it would sell 415m shares. The “terrible twins”, Deutsche Bank (down 0.6%) and BMPS (down1.7%), were both lower. </p> <p><em>Europe Top News</em></p> <ul> <li>Draghi’s Anti-Taper Keeps ECB Stimulus Live to Tackle 2017 Risks&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>OPEC’s Historic Deal Won’t Be Enough to Drain Oil Stockpiles&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Some ECB Governors Said to Have Pushed for 12-Month QE Extension&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Natixis Seeks Asia Growth as StanChart, Barclays Scale Back&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>SoftBank’s $100 Billion Tech Fund Opens HQ in London’s Mayfair&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>No Regrets for Billionaire Wiese Even After Wrongway Brexit Bet&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Electrolux Says Seeing Signs of Slowdown in Europe Post-Brexit&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Peugeot Scouts for Startups to Counter Silicon Valley Car Threat&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>FCA Signals Crackdown on Crowdfunders After Finding Deficiencies&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Europe’s Next Big Currency Opportunity Probably Just Got Closer&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Farage Predicts ‘Norwegian-Style’ Deal for Britain Post-Brexit&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> </ul> <p><strong>In currencies, </strong>the major story is the renewed strength in the dollar following yesterday’s ECB meeting. The DXY is marginally higher in early European trade at 101.2. The rise in US Treasury yields helped to buoy the dollar at the expense of the Yen, currently 114.47, as the latter continues to track returns on the carry trade. The slight strengthening in the RMB in the last few days evaporated and the flatlining in the CNY overnight points to PBoC defence of 6.90 (currently 6.8999. Yesterday’s sharp fall in the Euro is stabilising slightly above the 1.06 level, which is leading to renewed weakness in Sterling – currently $1.257 versus a high of just over $1.270 following the ECB announcement.&nbsp; </p> <p><strong>In commodities, </strong>the Continuous Commodity Index was 0.60 lower at 424.3 and has essentially been flat since the middle of July in spite of the oscillations in the oil price. Traders are optimistic that Saturday’s meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC nations will solidify the agreement to cut output in the first half of 2017. Bloomberg is reporting that a Russian official is expressing doubts that OPEC will adhere to its commitment after increasing output last month. It occurred to us that OPEC could be forgiven for expressing similar concerns about Russia. The gold price is down slightly at $1,168.6/oz. in early London trading as it struggles to reverse the recent sell-off. In China, the rebar price corrected marginally by CNY2.0/tonne to CNY3,452/tonne. Thanks, in part, to Chinese speculators the price is 72.5% higher year-to-date, easily outpacing the 43.0% rise in Dalian iron ore futures. </p> <p><strong>Looking at the day ahead, </strong>you can sense that it’s going to be a fairly quiet day when the most read story on Bloomberg concerns ex-PIMCO now Janus “bond king” Bill Gross’s divorce (our best wishes to the man himself). On the roster is University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment and Wholesale Inventories/Sales.</p> <p><strong>US Event Calendar</strong></p> <ul> <li>10am: Wholesale Inventories m/m, Oct F, est. -0.4% (prior -0.4%)</li> <li>10am: University of Michigan Sentiment, Dec. P, est. 94.5 (prior 93.8)</li> <li>12pm: Monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates</li> <li>1pm: Baker Hughes rig count</li> </ul> <p><strong>DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap</strong></p> <p>If you're out in London tonight be warned that I'm having my annual Xmas night out with my old school friends and we're hunting down a karaoke bar. In my pomp one of my favourite karaoke songs to sing was Marvin Gaye "What's going on?". In this week of surprises I'll think I'll dust that one down tonight.</p> <p>So in a week where the Italian referendum result had the opposite impact to what most would have expected, yesterday the ECB confounded consensus to announce a €20bn reduction in asset purchases to €60bn a month from April but extended the program to December 2017. On reflection it was a clever way of scaling back, especially as they made it quite clear that they could increase it at any point to respond to events. However, in regards to the tone of Draghi's press conference I can't help thinking that he was trying too hard to ensure that the market saw this as dovish as his interpretation of vocabulary and arithmetic could certainly be open to heavy scrutiny. Indeed he made it quite clear on more than one occasion that this certainly wasn't a 'taper'. However a quick glance at the Oxford English Dictionary suggests that taper means to "diminish or reduce thickness towards one end". He also said that ECB staff economic forecasts for euro-area inflation averaging 1.7 percent in 2019 were “not really” close to their mandate of just under 2 percent. Clearly a hard man to please.<br />So another way to look at it is that they've announced tapering and that it wouldn't take a lot of change in the inflation outlook for them to accelerate this in 2018 and announced before hand. Nevertheless for 2017 the ECB will be buying a minimum of €240bn (Jan-Mar) + €540bn (Apr-Dec) which equals €780bn.</p> <p>So still lot of QE for 2017 but now they've tapered once and if inflation prospects edge up by the time we get to the second half we'll likely see a lot of speculation as to a more aggressive slow down in purchases. So a lot now rests on euro inflation in 2017 and we think yesterday's news gives plenty of ammunition for our increased rate vol story from our 2017 outlook.</p> <p>The ECB also gave themselves a wider universe to buy following the announcement that they are decreasing the minimum remaining maturity for eligible securities from two years to one year, and the decision to allow them to buy at yields below the deposit floor. The ECB did suggest that they would only buy below this floor when there was a shortage of paper but this probably becomes inevitable. There were also some tweaks made to bond repo, specifically easing repo conditions.</p> <p>The surprise moves caused big rates volatility in line with what we think is in store for 2017 as markets swung between initially thinking it was a hawkish move to then considering it as actually a lot more dovish. Indeed 10y Bund yields initially surged and touched an intraday high of 0.451% and about 10bps higher versus Wednesday’s close. Yields then ebbed and flowed and the post announcement low was actually 0.363% before yields eventually settled and finished a little above at 0.377% or +3.7bps higher on the day. What was notable however was the huge steepening effect. 30y Bund yields were +10.2bps higher while the shorter end rallied reflecting some of those technical tweaks. 5y yields dropped -3.6bps meaning the 5s30s curve steepened by the most since 2008. 2y yields also dropped -6.7bps and closed at -0.768% which is just shy of the record low of -0.777%</p> <p>The periphery was the big underperformer though with yields in Italy, Spain and Portugal finishing +10.9bps, +7.9bps and +22.5bps higher respectively. That’s the worst day for Portuguese bonds since the post Brexit move on June 24th. It’s the intraday ranges which really stood out though at 14.6bps, 13.3bps and 26.0bps respectively. The extent of the volatility wasn’t quite as dramatic for Treasuries although we did still see 10y yields selloff +6.7bps to 2.407% and so putting them back at the top end of the recent range.</p> <p>Meanwhile the Santa Claus rally continued for equity markets as banks surged on the back of the big steepening across yield curves. The Stoxx 600 banks index closed up +2.32% which takes the week to date move to an extraordinary +10.26%. Elsewhere Italian Banks (+3.60%) had another bumper day yesterday and are now up +15.35% since Friday (bear in mind that that includes a 2% drop on Monday). The Stoxx 600 closed up +1.23%, the DAX +1.75% and the S&amp;P 500 +0.22% to extend its record high. Credit markets were similarly choppy. The iTraxx Main index traded in a 2bp range but ultimately finished little changed which was similar to Crossover (which traded in a 10bp range). Financials were the big winners though with the iTraxx Senior and Sub Fins indices closing 2.5bps and 5.5bps tighter. The Euro also ended the day down -1.28% which was also the worst day since the post Brexit June 24th move.</p> <p>This morning in Asia it’s looking set to be a largely positive end to a strong week. The Nikkei (+1.20%), Shanghai Comp (+0.69%) and ASX (+0.26%) have all gained however the Hang Seng (-0.23%) is lagging somewhat although has pared heavier losses at the open. That market has been hit by big declines for Macau casino operators (currently down over -5%) following the news that Macau is to impose restrictions on ATM cash withdrawals in more evidence of tightening capital outflows. Meanwhile, the latest inflation numbers out of China have also been released this morning. CPI rose to +2.3% yoy in November (vs. +2.2% expected) from +2.1% in October and so matching the high print made earlier this year. Meanwhile PPI has surged to +3.3% yoy (vs. +2.3% expected) from +1.2% following a surge in mining industry producer prices. That is the highest level since October 2011 and continues the strong momentum since the start of the year for prices at the factory gate. A reminder that PPI was negative for 54 consecutive months before turning positive 3 months ago.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly the ECB – and subsequent market reaction – was the overwhelmingly dominating theme in markets yesterday but in truth there wasn’t a huge amount more news to report. In terms of the limited amount of economic data we got, in the US initial jobless claims were reported as being down 10k last week to 258k. Our US economists highlighted that the improvement in the labour market is also now being reflected in tax receipts, with smoothed growth in withholding tax receipts now running at 4.6% yoy which is up from the low point of 2.6% in May. Meanwhile, in Europe the only data of note came from France where the November Bank of France business sentiment reading edged up 2pts to 101 and the joint highest this year.</p> <p>Looking at the day ahead we’ve got a fairly light calendar to finish the week. This morning in Germany we’ll get the October trade report before we then get the October industrial production out of France. We’ll then get October trade data for the UK. Over in the US this afternoon we’ll get final revisions to the October wholesale inventories report as well as the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for this month. Away from the data we’re due to hear comments from the ECB’s Smets this morning.</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="643" height="360" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Asia-Pacific ATM Bank of France Bank of Japan Barclays Bond Business Carry Trade Cartels Central banks China Consumer Sentiment Continuous Commodity Corruption CPI Crude DAX 30 Deutsche Bank Donald Trump Economy Economy of the European Union Equity Markets European Central Bank European Central Bank Eurozone federal government France FTSE 100 Germany Hang Seng 40 Hong Kong IBEX 35 India Initial Jobless Claims Ireland Italy Japan Jim Reid Kospi Meltdown Michigan MSCI Asia Pacific MSCI World Nikkei Nikkei 225 OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Petroleum politics Portugal Price of oil S&P 500 S&P GSCI S&P/ASX 200 Saudi Arabia South China South Korea Southeast Asia SSE 50 Stock market index STOXX Stoxx 600 Stoxx 600 Banks Taiwan Europe U.S. Treasury UN Court University Of Michigan University of Michigan Volatility Wall Street’s Party Wholesale Inventories Yen Yield Curve Yield curve Yuan Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:35:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 580140 at In Unprecedented Move, Dallas Pension System Suspends Withdrawals <p>Two days after the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Police and Fire Pension system to block withdrawals, which he referred to as a <strong>"run on the bank" of an "insolvent" pension system in "financial crisis</strong>, the Pension's board has finally taken steps to halt further withdrawals.&nbsp; Of course, this delayed action has come only after $500 million in deposits have been withdrawn since just August.&nbsp; </p> <p>According to the <a href="">Dallas Daily News</a>, an incremental $154mm in withdrawal requests were pending at the time the decision was made earlier today.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System's Board of Trustees suspended lump-sum withdrawals from the pension fund Thursday, <strong>staving off a possible restraining order and stopping $154 million in withdrawal requests.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The system was set to pay out the weekly requests Friday. Pension officials said allowing the withdrawals would leave them without the liquid reserves required to sustain $2.1 billion fund.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Our situation is currently critical, and we took action," Board chairman Sam Friar said.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="Rawlings" width="600" height="390" /></p> <p>While Dallas citizens cheered the decision, even opponents of the Mayor's admitted that the redemptions had to be halted if the city had any chance of saving the pension system from insolvency.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Rawlings on Thursday afternoon told a crowd gathered at a Dallas Regional Chamber that "the bleeding has stopped. We can turn this ship around."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The crowd responded with cheers after the mayor's announcement of the board's decision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the pension board meeting, the mood was more somber.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Council member Scott Griggs said he couldn't let the $154 million "go out the door" on Friday.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His council colleague, Philip Kingston, a board trustee, said the mayor "unquestionably" forced the pension board's hand. He said Thursday was <strong>"the worst day I've had in public office."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Unfortunately, financially, this had to happen,"</strong> he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The fund has about $729 million in liquid assets. It needs to keep about $600 million on hand, meaning the restrictions could have been coming at some point even without the mayor's actions.</strong> The withdrawal requests this week alone would have meant the fund would dip below that level.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="Rawlings" width="600" height="308" /></p> <p>Of course, not everyone was happy with the decision as at least one retired police officer threatened a lawsuit to force the fund to honor redemption requests while another declared that Mayor Rawlings had "<strong>successfully screwed over the retirees, the firefighters and the police officers."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>One retired police sergeant, <strong>Pete Bailey, suggested a lawsuit could be in the offing if the system didn't pay out the requests that were made Tuesday</strong>. Friar understood that they might deal with more litigation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We may just have to deal with that, but that's what the board decides," Friar said. "We acted in the best interest of the pension fund today."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Retired Dallas police officer Jerry Rhodes, a pension meeting fixture, said he believed the board did what it had to do. Then he sarcastically lauded Rawlings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Merry Christmas, mayor,"</strong> he said. <strong>"Hopefully you have a good Christmas because you have successfully screwed over the retirees, the firefighters and the police officers."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Perhaps future <span style="text-decoration: line-through; color: #ff0000;">ponzi schemes</span> pension systems will take note of Dallas' current situation prior to guaranteeing 8% returns on retirees' pension balances.&nbsp; Who could have ever guessed that a decision like that could have backfired so badly?</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><em>For those who missed it, here is what we recently posted after Mayor Rawlings sued to halt pension withdrawals.</em></p> <p>Last week, Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings sent a <a href="">scathing letter to the Dallas Police and Fire Pension (DPFP) Board</a> demanded that withdrawals be halted immediately until the <strong>"solvency and actuarial soundness of the Pension System is restored."</strong>&nbsp; That said, the Mayor's request was seemingly ignored as he has now filed a lawsuit with the Dallas District Court to force the pension board to halt withdrawals amid a "run on the bank."</p> <p>Within the suit, Rawlings notes that $500 million in lump-sum withdrawals have been made from the DPFP since August 2016 with $80 million of that amount being withdrawn in the first 2 weeks of November alone.&nbsp; The suit continues on to allege that "<strong>this mass exodus of DROP funds amounts to a <span style="text-decoration: underline;">“run on the bank”</span> and is exacerbating the financial peril of the Pension System as a whole."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In performing these ministerial duties, the Board has a duty to ensure that programs, such as the Pension System’s optional Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”), which is not a constitutionally protected benefit (or “benefit” at all), do not impair or reduce the Pension System’s core constitutionally protected benefits, e.g., service retirement benefits. <strong>The Board is willfully failing to perform these ministerial duties.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Pension System, which the Board oversees, is in the midst of a financial crisis.</strong> In early 2016, the Board was warned by its own actuary that absent radical change,the Pension System would become insolvent within 15 years—irrevocably eradicating the constitutionally protected service retirement benefits (and other constitutionally protected benefits) of police and firefighter personnel of the City and their beneficiaries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Critically, <strong>this 15-year projection of insolvency was based upon two overly optimistic assumptions that the Board has now known to be incorrect for several months.</strong> First, the actuary assumed that the Pension System’s $2.7 billion in assets would remain stable, even though approximately 56% of these assets were composed of optional DROP funds, which have historically been permitted to be withdrawn in lump-sums upon demand (even though this option was used infrequently before this year). <strong>Second, the actuary assumed that the Pension System would achieve its targeted 7.25% return or more on itsinvestments for the next 15 years.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Publication of this looming insolvency scenario prompted some DROP Participants to withdraw their DROP funds in lump-sum, which created a “snowball”effect,</strong> leading a staggering number of other DROP Participants to <strong>withdraw nearly $500 million in optional lump-sum DROP funds from the Pension System from August 13, 2016 to present. Over $80 million of these lump-sum DROP withdrawals have occurred within the first two weeks of November 2016 alone. </strong>Over this three-month time period, the Board has knowingly allowed DROP funds to continue to be withdrawn at record levels even though it is aware that doing so is irreparably harming the Pension System’s solvency and liquidity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Lump-sum DROP withdrawals for 2016 are now on pace to be over 15 times higher than their historical average. This mass exodus of DROP funds amounts to a “run on the bank” and is exacerbating the financial peril of the Pension System as a whole.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src=";type=video&amp;title=Mayor%20files%20lawsuit%20to%20stop%20DROP%20withdrawals&amp;site=287&amp;playerid=6918249996581&amp;dfpid=32805352&amp;dfpposition=Video_prestream_external§ion=home" width="600" height="337"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The DPFP contreversy comes as hundreds of police and firefighters have poured millions into "DROP" accounts in which they were guaranteed exorbitant returns of 8% while the pension board has proposed a $1 billion bailout from the city of Dallas.&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The city estimates that, as of November, 517 police and firefighters have DROP accounts containing more than $1 million. One, belonging to an unnamed first responder, has $4.3 million in it,</strong> city figures show. On average, the city estimates that the average DROP account contains nearly $600,000.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The controversy all comes at a time when the board has asked the cash-strapped city for a bailout over $1 billion.</strong> The board's position is that they legally can't stop the withdrawals, but the mayor disagrees.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Of course, this all begs the question of whether the Dallas Police and Fire Pension will be the first pension ponzi to burst?</strong></p> <p><em><a href="">Here is the full lawsuit filed by Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings:</a></em></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-4RcbLev5Bq5jvHArj5Ts&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></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="600" height="390" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Dallas District Court Dallas Police Economy Finance Financial services Labor Money National Pension Scheme Pension Pension funds Pension release Pensions Pensions in the United Kingdom Personal finance Retirement Social Issues Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:08:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580113 at Hillary Reemerges, Slams "Dangerous Epidemic" Of Fake News <p>Having disappeared from the public scene for almost a month (with the occasional backwood spotting thrown in for dramatic effect), today Hillary Clinton reemerged from a self-imposed social quarantine, and in a exquisitely choreographed Podesta special, addressed the nation from Capitol Hill. What was first and foremost on the mind of person who the "impartial" media declared had a 90% chance of being America's next president: was it some intense introspection; perhaps it was some idea of how to reform and fix the imploding Democratic party; or maybe it was her finally accepting responsibility for her actions and her loss? </p> <p>None of the above. </p> <p>Instead, the one thing that appears to have preoccupied the former Secretary of State is the proliferation of so-called "fake news", a phenomenon she called an "epidemic." It was not immediately clear if she also lumped in the Washington Post into that bucket: <a href="">recall that last night, in an editorial note to the WaPo's fake, slanderous story </a>about "Russian Propaganda Fake News", the newspaper distanced itself from its primary source, PropOrNot, itself a source of propaganda, when the WaPo admitted it "<strong>does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so.</strong>" </p> <p>Speaking on Capitol Hill, Clinton said that “the epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year — it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences." Like, perhaps, poring through thousands of emails which the co=opted and captured mainstream press - especially those who had dinner with John Podesta to offer their PR services to the Clinton campaign&nbsp; - would not touch, revealing the crony and illicit dealings of the Clinton Family foundation, leading to - among other things - Clinton losing the presidency? </p> <p>One can almost see why Hillary is not a fan of the "fake news."</p> <p>While Clinton did not mention "Pizzagate," her comments appeared to directly reference the story that implicated her former campaign chairman, John Podesta, and lead to a man with an assault rifle firing a shot in Comet Ping Pong, the Washington shop that has been implicated in the online conspiracy theory. </p> <p><strong>"This is not about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities," Clinton said. "It is a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly."</strong></p> <p>Confirming what the next step in Washington's crack down against the First Amendment and Free Speech will be, Clinton backed the previously noted "bipartisan legislation" that seeks to give Congress more power to respond to "foreign propaganda" coming from Russia.</p> <p>"It is imperative that leaders in both the private and pubic sector step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives," Clinton said. </p> <p>And just like that, we know that according to Hillary Clinton, the biggest threat to "American democracy and innocent lives" are a few websites that refuse to be PR tools for whatever the establishment at any given moment is. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@HillaryClinton</a>: "Fake news can have real world consequences" <a href=""></a></p> <p>— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) <a href="">December 8, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> <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="412" height="273" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Clinton Foundation Congress Democratic Party First Amendment Government Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton presidential campaign International relations John Podesta Liberalism in the United States Newspaper None Political campaign staff Politics Rodham family United States Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:01:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 580112 at Congressman Calls Fox's Tucker Carlson A Russian Agent On Prime Time Television <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,</em></a></p> <p>This is a remarkable, must watch interview between Fox News&rsquo; Tucker Carlson and California Congressman Adam Schiff.</p> <p>More than anything else, the primary takeaway is the completely clownish and pathetic manner in which Mr. Schiff represents himself and his office. The only reply he has to Carlson, which he uses on at least three occasions, is to blurt out &ldquo;party of Reagan&rdquo; in a childish attempt at&nbsp;guilting Tucker into a mutual&nbsp;embrace of neo-Cold War jingoism.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&quot;Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave... You&#39;re carrying water for the Kremlin... you&#39;re gonna have to move your show to Russian Television... you&#39;re an apologist for the Kremlin.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Great job by Tucker Carlson getting Schiff to expose his true colors.<strong> This is exactly how journalists should treat all political figures whenever they mislead and deceive, which most of them do 24/7.</strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></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="741" height="330" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Adam Schiff Carlson Commentators Fox News Mass media Moscow Kremlin Politics Schiff Surname Surnames The Heritage Foundation Tucker Tucker Carlson Fri, 09 Dec 2016 04:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580065 at