http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/wp-content/plugins/uBillboard/%20%20liker.profile_URL%20%20 en 6 Charts Screaming Buy GOLD – Sell USD! Are US Equities On The Verge Of A Major Sell-Off? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/6-charts-screaming-buy-gold-%E2%80%93-sell-usd-are-us-equities-verge-major-sell <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">1.) Long-term readers of Palisade Research know this chart well. We are now 297 trading days into a bull market on the TSX Venture Exchange, as depicted by our&nbsp;<em>1990 to Present – Bull &amp; Bear Markets Chart</em>. During that time, the TSX Venture has had some sell-offs, but history says this is inevitable. In fact, we are currently mired in a several month long pull-back. So what comes next? We took a look at the USD and the US equities market to formulate an idea.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="http://palisade-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1-4.png" width="1424" height="1036" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2416" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">2.) The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCI) is a diversified price index distributed by Bloomberg Indexes. Since January 2016, gold has outperformed its peers, with a significant divergence taking hold. However, the recent pull-back has allowed the BCI to catch-up. That is until recently, when gold started to charge ahead, yet again.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="http://palisade-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2-4.png" width="1422" height="1032" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2417" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">3.) Gold bugs are paying close attention to the US equity markets, which have been embroiled in a multi-year bull market. If money continues to pour into the S&amp;P, little capital is left to fuel a gold bull market. The following chart looks at company leverage, calculated as debt/EBITDA. This is a common metric to assess a company’s ability to pay off its debt. This ratio has been increasing in tandem with the market caps of the S&amp;P 500 companies. When looking at these two numbers as a ratio, it appears debt loads are reaching capacity, and can no longer fuel growth. It seems there is still some runway, but the downtick suggests a swift fall.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="http://palisade-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/3-1.png" width="1422" height="1032" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2418" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">4.) Another key indicator and Warren Buffett’s favourite – The S&amp;P 500 market cap to GDP ratio. This ratio is often used to gauge market sentiment and determine if the overall market is under or overvalued. When the metric is greater than 100%, it is often a sign the market is overvalued. In 2000, the ratio was 153%, and the markets fell sharply due to the dot-com bust. We are currently over 100%, a good deal higher than the average of 0.86.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="http://palisade-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/4-1.png" width="1422" height="1032" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2419" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">5.) But maybe one of the most compelling cases to be made for exhaustion in the bull market can be seen when looking at margin. When buying on margin, investors borrow funds from their brokers to buy shares. The debit margin is the total money owed by an investor; the higher this number, the more leveraged he is. Buying on margin has been a good bet to date, however, margins are hitting all-time records, and investors are very vulnerable to any sort of market shock. Selling will be exaggerated as margins unwind, which in turn can extend the length of any sort of market downturn.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="http://palisade-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/5-2.png" width="1194" height="867" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2420" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">6.) No one knows what will mark the top for US equity markets. We feel they are due for a major correction, but that correction could be months or years away. What we can say for certain is that the USD is weakening despite the Fed increasing rates. The weakness can be attributed to Yellen’s dovish tone. Another major factor? Trump’s repeal of Obamacare was a major pledge, and its failure only emphasized the rifts within the GOP, which has the potential to derail other major promises, including tax reform and spending. In times of uncertainty, gold is the go to safe haven for every investor!</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; line-height: 24px; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;PT Sans&quot;, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;"><img src="http://palisade-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/6-2.png" width="1422" height="1032" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2421" /></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/6-charts-screaming-buy-gold-%E2%80%93-sell-usd-are-us-equities-verge-major-sell#comments Behavioral finance Bloomberg Commodity Business Capitalism Economy Equity Markets Finance Financial markets Gold Bugs Investment Margin Market Sentiment Market trend Money Obamacare Republican Party S&P S&P 500 Stock market SWIFT US Federal Reserve Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:09:32 +0000 Palisade Research 592004 at http://www.zerohedge.com Jim Rogers Warns, The Fed "Has No Clue... Will Ruin Us All" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/jim-rogers-warns-fed-has-no-clue-will-ruin-us-all <p><em><strong>"What worries you?" </strong></em>asks a Bloomberg TV anchor of billionaire investor Jim Rogers. Rogers was not shy in his response:<strong><em> "The Federal Reserve... has no clue what they are doing. They are going to ruin us all." </em></strong></p> <p>Having driven rates to record lows and with debt sky-rocketing, Rogers warns <strong><em>"this is all going to end very, very, very badly."</em></strong> Rogers slams the 'counterfactual' arguments that things would have been a lot worse if The Fed had not done all this,<strong><em> "propping up zombie banks and dead companies is not the way the world is supposed to work."</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>"It's been nine years and we have nothing to show for it [economically] except staggering amounts of debt."</em></strong></p> <p>We have missed Mr. Rogers painful truthiness...</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.bloomberg.com/api/embed/iframe?id=3aedd05e-0ab4-40c5-8d1d-b0eabb21fd8d" 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="354" height="211" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170328_rogers.jpg?1490804474" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/jim-rogers-warns-fed-has-no-clue-will-ruin-us-all#comments Business Counterfactual conditional Economy of the United States Federal Reserve Finance Jim Rogers Jim Rogers Money Thought experiments US Federal Reserve Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:05:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 591980 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ivanka Trump Becomes Official US Government Employee http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/ivanka-trump-becomes-official-us-government-employee <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-21/ivanka-trump-gets-west-wing-office-access-classified-information">After <strong>getting an office </strong>(and <strong>access to classified information and a government-issued phone)</strong></a> in the White House West Wing, President Trump&#39;s eldest daughter <strong>Ivanka is becoming an official government employee</strong>, joining her husband in serving as an <strong>unpaid adviser to her father</strong> in the White House.</p> <p><img height="403" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/21/20170321_ivanka.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/us/politics/ivanka-trump-federal-employee-white-house.html?action=Click&amp;contentCollection=BreakingNews&amp;contentID=65094369&amp;pgtype=Homepage"><em>As The New York Times reports,</em></a> this move from being an informal advisor to becoming an official federal employee <strong>follows criticism from ethics experts, who said it would allow her to avoid some rules and disclosures</strong>.</p> <p>Ms. Trump said in a statement on Wednesday...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees</strong>.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Throughout this process I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Ms. Trump&rsquo;s title will be special assistant to the president</strong>.</p> <p>Her husband, Jared Kushner, has the title of senior adviser.</p> <p>A spokeswoman for the president said to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/us/politics/ivanka-trump-federal-employee-white-house.html?action=Click&amp;contentCollection=BreakingNews&amp;contentID=65094369&amp;pgtype=Homepage">The New York Times</a> in an email...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;We are pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter and in support of the president.&rdquo;&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Ivanka&rsquo;s service as an unpaid employee furthers our commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance and affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Ms. Trump&rsquo;s lawyer, Jamie S. Gorelick, said that <strong>her decision stemmed from &ldquo;her commitment to compliance with federal ethics standards</strong> and her openness to opposing points of view.&rdquo;</p> <p>Does this break the media narrative around Ivanka? Who knows - we are sure Maxine Waters will have something to say about it.</p> <p>Too late, MSNBC&#39;s Chris Matthews already has... <a href="http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/msnbcs-chris-matthews-goes-crazy-live-air-compares-trumps-murderers-video/"><em>(via Gateway Pundit)</em></a> <strong>Comparing Trump&#39;s children to Saddam Hussein&#39;s sons...</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;You know, we kid,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;I kid about everything, but<strong> Uday and Qusay working for Saddam Hussein &mdash; you couldn&rsquo;t go to a restaurant and have eye contact with those guys without getting killed.</strong>&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;These people are <strong>really powerfu</strong>l,&rdquo; he explained. <strong>&ldquo;Imagine getting into a fight in the office with Jared or Ivanka. They have enormous power, and they&rsquo;re always gonna be there.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;This is what <strong>I worry about for other people in the White House,</strong>&rdquo; Politico&rsquo;s Annie Karni responded.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Ivanka Trump has been described as her father&rsquo;s eyes and ears on the ground.</strong> That&rsquo;s a little scary if you&rsquo;re just a regular White House staffer.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XtUARXFOF-E" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>As a reminder, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1436887/The-bloodstained-past-of-Saddams-sons.html">The Telegraph </a>described Hussein&#39;s sons thus...<em>&quot;Uday, the psychopathic playboy, and Qusay, the cold, calculating and ruthless heir apparent, summed up the two sides of Saddam&rsquo;s Iraq. They were living proof of how their father&rsquo;s brand of tyranny combined wanton brutality with the cunning acumen that won more than three decades of dominance.&quot;</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="577" height="304" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20161101_ivanka.jpg?1490820203" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/ivanka-trump-becomes-official-us-government-employee#comments American people of German descent Business Donald Trump Family of Donald Trump GrabYourWallet Iraq Ivanka Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Maxine Waters MSNBC New York Times Politics Politics Saddam Hussein Transparency United States White House White House Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:47:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 592003 at http://www.zerohedge.com Judicial Watch Releases New Huma Abedin Emails, Including Hillary Funeral Plans http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/judicial-watch-releases-new-huma-abedin-emails-including-hillary-funeral-plans <p>Conservative wachdog <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/new-huma-abedin-emails-reveal-additional-instances-clinton-sending-classified-information-unsecured-emails-special-favors-clinton-donors/">Judicial Watch today released </a>another <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/tag/huma-production-16/">1,184 pages </a>of State Department records, including previously unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges which according to the legal organization revealed "additional instances of Abedin and Hillary Clinton sending classified information through unsecured email accounts and contributors being given special access to the former secretary of state." </p> <p>The records contain <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/jw-v-state-huma-clinton-undisclosed-production-16-00684/">29 previously undisclosed Clinton </a>emails – of a total of which is now at least 288 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. This further appears to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department. Two of these emails are now available on the State Department’s website.</p> <p>In one notable email exchange from <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/jw-v-state-huma-production-16-00684-pg-247/">February 23, 2010</a>, ambassador and long-time friend to Hillary Clinton sought to map out her - and Bill Clinton’s - funerals in 2010 because “planning is best done when they are still with us." </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/abedin%20email.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/abedin%20email_0.jpg" width="500" height="329" /></a></p> <p>Capricia Marshall, who was chief of protocol for the State Department when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, wrote to Huma Abedin, Doug Band and Cheryl Mills on Feb. 23, 2010, saying “everytime someone significant passes, I am flooded with requests” about the Clintons’ arrangements. </p> <p>“Planning is necessary and best done when they are still with us,” she wrote to top Clinton aide Abedin. </p> <p>“As well, Hum - I would make the same suggestion to you - for her it will be a little different ... And once affirmed it will be very hard for someone to deny the type of ceremony she wanted — as well I understand that the President can request certain arrangements for her that she/her rep cannot (ie if you want the motorcade to go through DC — stop somewhere),” Marshall wrote. </p> <p>She told the aides she needed to contact the military to prepare for the funerals — “as Protocol has a lot to do with planning, notification etc.”</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Another email exchange between Abedin and Doug Band revealed tension between Clinton’s top personal aide and the former secretary of state’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills. The rift was revealed when Chelsea Clinton asked Band if he could arrange a White House tour for a female Haitian-American sailor from the USS Comfort.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/abedin%20email%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/abedin%20email%202_0.jpg" width="500" height="664" /></a></p> <p>“I don’t want to get cross wise with cdm [Cheryl Mills] on anything Haiti related,” Abedin replied. Three minutes later she wrote again. “HAVE YOU MET CHERYL MILLS,” Abedin asked in all caps about Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff when she was secretary of state. “You have no idea.” </p> <p>Band replied, “Good point.” </p> <p>“She will kill the tour if she find out i set it up …,” Abedin wrote back. “Wow,” Band replied.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Among the other emails, is a <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/jw-v-state-huma-production-16-00684-pg-101-102/">February 2010 exchange </a>in which Jake Sullivan, then-Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton, sent to Clinton’s and Abedin’s unsecure email accounts information <strong>that the State Department has classified as the material includes information “to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy; foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources</strong>.” The redacted information concerns “former GTMO [Guantanamo] detainee Binyam Mohamed” and Mohamed’s request for “various classified intelligence documents” that contained U.S. intelligence information related to his detention before he was taken to Guantanamo.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/jw-v-state-huma-production-16-00684-pg-837-843/">other emails</a>, Clinton’s “final” schedules with specific details concerning her whereabouts were transmitted by Lona Valmoro to the unsecure emails accounts of Clinton Foundation officials Doug Band, Terry Krivnic Margaret Steenberg and others, and forwarded to Abedin’s unsecure email account.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/jw-v-state-huma-production-16-00684-pg-434-436/">April 2010</a>, Sid Blumenthal sent two email memos to Clinton containing information now classified.&nbsp; Clinton forwarded this material to Abedin’s unsecure email account. The classified information, which Clinton asks Abedin to print off for her, concerns the change of government in the Kyrgyz Republic.</p> <p>In a statement by Tom Fitton, the Judicial Watch President said that “these emails are yet more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s casual and repeated violations of laws relating to the handling of classified information. <strong>The Justice Department should finally begin an independent investigation into the Clinton email matter.</strong>" But why, when every day there is a new daily dose of dripping red meat - or rather make that Russian salad - involving Trump's ties to Putin to keep the media and authorities more than busy with constant speculation that Trump is a Kremlin spy.</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="1328" height="690" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/clinton%20huma.jpg?1490820073" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/judicial-watch-releases-new-huma-abedin-emails-including-hillary-funeral-plans#comments Abedin Bill Clinton Chelsea Clinton Cheryl Mills Clinton Foundation Department of Justice Department of State Doug Band ETC Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton email controversy Huma Abedin Judicial Watch Lewinsky scandal Political campaign staff Politics Politics Rodham family SPY U.S. intelligence United States White House White House Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:41:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 592002 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Market Has Its Head Buried Deep In The Sand http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/market-has-its-head-buried-deep-sand <p style="margin-top: 0px; line-height: 1.4em; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, Verdana, sans-serif;">Interested in precious metals investing or storage? Contact us</span></em><em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: 1.15; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span><span style="color: #000080;"><a href="mailto:sales@sprottmoney.com?subject=From%20Zero%20Hedge: Market's Head Buried In The Sand Article"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; text-decoration: underline;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: 1.2; font-family: inherit; overflow-wrap: break-word;">HERE</span></span></strong><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; text-decoration: underline;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: 1.2; font-family: inherit; overflow-wrap: break-word;">&nbsp;</span></span></strong></a></span></em></p> <p><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h1><a href="https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-market-has-its-head-buried-deep-in-the-sand-dave-kranzler.html"><span style="text-decoration: underline; color: #3366ff;"><em><strong>The Market Has Its Head Buried Deep In The Sand</strong></em></span></a></h1> <p><a href="https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-market-has-its-head-buried-deep-in-the-sand-dave-kranzler.html"><span style="text-decoration: underline; color: #3366ff;"><em><strong>Posted with permission and written by Dave Kranzler (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL)</strong></em></span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline; color: #3366ff;"><em><strong><a href="https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-market-has-its-head-buried-deep-in-the-sand-dave-kranzler.html"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user196978/imageroot/2017/03/29/shutterstock_295357133_710.jpg" width="710" height="473" /></a></strong></em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Several “black swans” are looming which could inflict a financial nuclear accident on the U.S. markets and financial system. I say “black swans” in quotes because a limited audience <em>is</em> aware of these issues – potentially catastrophic problems that are curiously ignored by the mainstream financial media and financial markets. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The most immediate problem is the Treasury debt ceiling. The Treasury is now projected to run out of cash by mid-summer. Of course, in the spurious manner in which the markets evaluate the next trade, July may as well be a decade away. My best guess is that the “market” assumes that, after drawn out staging of DC’s version of Kabuki Theatre, Congress will raise the debt ceiling, probably up to $22 trillion. Then the Fed will extend its highly secretive “swap” operations to foreign “ally” Central Banks (hint: Belgium and Switzerland) in order to fund the onslaught of Treasury issuance that will ensue. Problem solved…or is it? </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(Note: Plan B would be another one of Trump’s bewildering Executive Orders removing the debt ceiling. Plan B is another form of “fiat” currency issuance) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The second “black swan” seen by some but invisible to most is the ongoing collapse the shopping mall business model, erroneously blamed on the combative growth of online retailing. But when I look at the actual numbers, that argument smells foul.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><br /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Is Online Retailing Actually The Cause Of Brick/Mortar Retail Apocalypse?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><br /></strong></p> <p>More than 3,500 stores are scheduled to be shuttered in the next few months. JC Penny, Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, Crocs, BCBC, Bebe, Abercrombie &amp; Fitch and Guess are some of the<br /> marquee retailing names that will be closing down mall and strip mall stores. The Limited is going out of business and closing down all 250 of its stores. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The demise of the mall “brick and mortar” retail store is popularly attributed to the growth in online retail sales. To be sure, online retailing is eating into the traditional retail sales distribution mechanism – but not as much as the spin-meisters would have you believe. At the beginning of 2015, e-commerice sales were about 7% of total retail sales. By the end of 2016, that metric rose to 8.3%. However, looking at the overall numbers reveals that nominal retail sales have increased for both brick/mortar stores and online. In Q4 2015, total nominal retail sales were $1.186 trillion. Brick/mortar was $1.096 trillion and online was 89.7 billion, which was 7.6% of total retail sales. In Q4 2016, total sales were $1.235 trillion with brick/mortar $1.133 trillion and online $102.6 billion, which was 8.3% of total retail sales. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As you can see, there was nominal growth for both brick/mortar and online retailers. My point here is that the spin-meisters present the narrative that online retailers are eating alive the brick/mortar retailers. That’s simply not true. Part of the problem that the total retail sales “pie” is shrinking, especially when analyzing the inflation-adjusted numbers. I created a graph on from the St. Louis Fed’s “FRED” database that surprised even me (click to enlarge): </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user196978/imageroot/2017/03/29/Retail-Sales-vs-Debt.png" width="981" height="342" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The graph above shows the year over year percentage change in nominal (not inflation-adjusted) retail sales on a monthly basis from 1993 (as far back as the retail sales data goes) thru February 2017, ex-restaurant sales, vs. outstanding consumer credit. As you can see, since 1994 the growth in nominal retail sales on a year over year basis has been in a downtrend, while the level of consumer credit outstanding as been in a steady uptrend. Since 2014, the rate of growth in debt has exceeded the rate of growth in retail sales. If we were to adjust the retail sales using just the Government-reported CPI measure of “inflation” retail sales would be outright declining. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The problem with the mall business model is debt. The mall-anchor retailers who are vacating mall space like cockroaches vacate a kitchen when the light is flipped on have been leveraged to the hilt by the financial engineers who control them who in turn have been enabled by the most permissive Federal Reserve in U.S. history. To be sure, online retailing is cutting into the margins of Macy’s, JC Pennies, Sears, Dillards, etc. But these companies would have no problem “fighting back” if they were not over-leveraged to the eyeballs. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Layer on top of that the leverage employed by the mall REITs and the recipe for a financial crisis larger than the 2008 “big short” mortgage/housing crisis has been created. To compound this problem, mall owners are now starting to mail in the keys to financially troubled malls: <strong>More mall landlords are choosing to walk away from struggling properties, leaving creditors in the lurch and posing a threat to the values of nearby real estate…[as] some of the largest U.S. landlords are calculating it is more advantageous to hand over ownership to lenders than to attempt to restructure debts on properties with darkening outlooks</strong> (<a href="http://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/retail/TDJNDN_201701247334/mall-owners-rush-to-get-out-of-the-mall-business.html">LINK</a>). </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it gets worse. I referenced the consumer’s ability to borrow in order to spend money. Economic activity in the United States has relied heavily on an increasing amount of debt issuance for several decades. At some point consumer borrowers reach a point at which they can no longer support taking on more debt, whether in the form of mortgages, auto loans/leases or credit cards. The problem for the U.S. financial system is that there will be widespread defaults on the consumer debt that’s already been issued. The average U.S. household has “hit a wall” on the amount of debt it can absorb. This is why restaurant and retail sales are dropping and why auto sales have rolled over. All three will get worse this year. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>This Will Crush The Pensions</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><br /></strong></p> <p>Finally, the third “invisible” black swam is the looming pension crisis. A colleague of mine who works at a pension fund did a study last year in which he concluded that, because of the extreme degree of public pension underfunding, a 10% decline in the stock market for a sustained period – i.e. more than 3 or 4 months – would cause every single public pension fund to blow up. As he has access to better data than most, he also surmised that the degree of underfunding is 2-3x greater than is publicly acknowledged by the mainstream media (see this article for instance: <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-24/pension-crisis-too-big-for-markets-to-ignore">Bloomberg claims $1.9 trillion underfunding</a>). </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Circling back to the mall/REIT ticking time-bomb, while the Fed can keep the stock market propped up as means of preventing an immediate nuclear melt-down in U.S. pensions (all of which are substantially “maxed-out” in their mandated equities allocation), the collapse of commercial mortgage-back securities (CMBS) will have the affect of launching a nuclear sub-missile directly into the side of the U.S. financial system. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The commercial mortgage market is about $3 trillion, of which about $1 trillion has been packaged into asset-backed securities and stuffed into yield-starved pension funds. Without a doubt, the same degree of fraud of has been used to concoct the various tranches in these CMBS trusts that was employed during the mid-2000’s mortgage/housing bubble, with full cooperation of the ratings agencies then and now. Just like in 2008, with the derivatives that have been layered into the mix, the embedded leverage in the commercial mortgage/CMBS/REIT model is the financial equivalent of the Fukushima nuclear power plant collapse. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s a matter of time before a lit match hits one of the three lethal powder-kegs described above. This is why the bank stocks were hit particularly hard last week when the Dow was in the middle of its 8-day losing streak. Of course, all it took to spike the Dow/SPX higher was a couple of immaterial “consumer confidence” reports in order to reflate the stock market with some “hope.” Don’t forget, the last time consumer confidence high-ticked was in 1999, right before the tech bubble imploded. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unfortunately, the next financial catastrophe that is going hit the system, which the Fed is helpless to prevent, will make everyone yearn for just the tech bubble or “big short” bubble collapses. Meanwhile, the stock market and its collective universe of “investors” will continue sticking its head deeper into the sand, oblivious to the sling blade that is swinging closer to its neck. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Portions of the above analysis were excerpted from the current <a href="http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/short-sellers-journal/">Short Seller’s Journal</a>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, Verdana, sans-serif;">Questions or comments about this article? Leave your thoughts <a href="https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-market-has-its-head-buried-deep-in-the-sand-dave-kranzler.html"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>HERE</strong></span></a>. </span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h1><a href="https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-market-has-its-head-buried-deep-in-the-sand-dave-kranzler.html"><span style="text-decoration: underline; color: #3366ff;"><em><strong>The Market Has Its Head Buried Deep In The Sand</strong></em></span></a></h1> <p><a href="https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-market-has-its-head-buried-deep-in-the-sand-dave-kranzler.html"><span style="text-decoration: underline; color: #3366ff;"><em><strong>Posted with permission and written by Dave Kranzler (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL)</strong></em></span></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/market-has-its-head-buried-deep-sand#comments Asset-Backed Securities Auto Sales B+ Belgium Business Central Banks Commercial mortgage Congress Consumer behaviour Consumer Confidence Consumer Credit CPI Creditors Debt Ceiling Dow 30 Dow/SPX Economy ETC Federal Reserve Financial crisis of 2007–2008 Fitch Great Recession Housing Bubble Marketing Merchandising Nuclear Power Online shopping Pension Crisis Pension Underfunding Precious Metals ratings Ratings Agencies REITs Retail Retailing Sears Shopping Shops Switzerland US Federal Reserve Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:24:34 +0000 Sprott Money 592000 at http://www.zerohedge.com Lululemon Plunges Over 16% On Poor Guidance http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/lululemon-plunges-over-16-poor-guidance <p>LULU shareholders may be stunned, but at least someone at United Airlines is smiling. </p> <p>Moments ago Lululemon reported Q4 earnings of $0.99, missing consensus estimates of $1.01 by 2 cents, hardly a disaster. </p> <p>However, it was LULU's guidance that shocked Wall Street.</p> <p>According to the press release, for Q1 the company now expects net revenue to <strong>decline, </strong>and be in the range of $510 million to $515 million based on a total comparable sales decrease in the low-single digits on a constant dollar basis. Wall Street had expected the company to generate $552.8 million in revenue in the quarter.&nbsp; </p> <p>Worse, the company guided to Q1 EPS of $0.25 to $0.27, <strong>far below the consensus estimate of $0.39, and below even the lowest Wall Street forecast of $0.34</strong>. LULU noted that the guidance assumes a 31.2% tax rate (perhaps it should simply lower its effective tax rate by reincorporating in Ireland). </p> <p>For the full fiscal 2017, LULU said it expects net revenue to be in the range of $2.550 billion to $2.600 billion based on a total comparable sales increase in the low-single digits on a constant dollar basis. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $2.26 to $2.36 for the full year, modestly higher than the $2.16 estimate however Wall Street does not appear to have some doubts about this longer-term forecast.</p> <p>While LULU did not explain what caused the sharp slowdown in demand for the company's products - one doubts the recent United Airlines scandal had a dramatic adverse effect -&nbsp; LULU warned that 1Q comp sales would be down low-single digits, confirming that there is something very strange when it comes to consumer demand in the current quarter, and which certainly does not jive with reports of soaring consumer confidence.</p> <p>Needless to say, the market is not happy with LULU's sudden pivot away from being a growth stock, sending it over 17% lower in after hours trading.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/20161101_lulu.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/20161101_lulu_0.jpg" width="500" height="307" /></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="514" height="313" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/LULU%20stretch%202.jpg?1490818868" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/lululemon-plunges-over-16-poor-guidance#comments After Hours Business Consumer Confidence Earnings guidance Economy Inflation accounting Ireland Lulu Music Publishing Revenue Tax Tax incidence Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:23:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 591999 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bonds & Bullion Bid But Banks Skid As Stock Traders BTFD Again http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/bonds-bullion-bid-banks-skid-stock-traders-btfd-again <p>Seriously, this is too easy...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0akBdQa55b4" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dow and Trannies were lower on the day as the Nasdaq just kept chugging higher (Nasdaq Composite up 14 of the last 17 days)</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD11.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD11_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the week The Dow is the laggard (but still green)</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD12.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD12_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the 6th day in a row, stocks opened weak and ramped non-stop all day...<u><strong>BTFD Much?</strong></u></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD5.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD5_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 314px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NOTE VIX was not paying along today...</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD13_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 304px;" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD9.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD9_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 329px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Banks closed lower (except JPM)...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD%600.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD%600_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 322px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Post healthcare vote - Dollar&#39;s down; but Bonds, Stocks, and Gold are up...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD6.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD6_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 530px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bonds erased most of yesterday&#39;s losses - and are now back lower post-healthcare vote (except for 2Y)</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 318px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With 30Y back below 3.00%...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Dollar index traded in an extremely narrow range for most of the day but ironically, after good housing data and very hawkish FedSpeak, the dollar began to sink! Back below post-healthcare-vote close...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the week, EUR and Cable are weakest offset by a stronger AUD...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WTI and RBOB jumped on inventory data (despite a new cycle high in production) but copper and PMs flatlined...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD7.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD7_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 312px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally - this is not how it ius supposed to work... not at all...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD8.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_EOD8_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 319px;" /></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="600" height="80" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20161101_EOD_0.jpg?1490816541" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/bonds-bullion-bid-banks-skid-stock-traders-btfd-again#comments Bond Business Copper Dow 30 Economy Finance Health Mathematical finance Money NASDAQ NASDAQ NASDAQ 100 NASDAQ Composite Nasdaq Composite Price of oil Technical analysis VIX Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:05:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 591997 at http://www.zerohedge.com What If You Could Vote For "Nobody"? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/what-if-you-could-vote-nobody <p><a href="https://mishtalk.com/2017/03/28/what-if-you-could-vote-for-nobody-who-would-have-won-the-us-election-what-about-france/"><em>Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Polls show close to 40% of French voters are still undecided. That&rsquo;s a record total this late in the game.</strong></p> <p>In the &ldquo;what if&rdquo; category, two candidates proposed counting blank votes (a vote for none of the&nbsp;party candidates).</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s quite possible,&nbsp;if not probable, that &ldquo;nobody&rdquo; would win in such a match-up.</strong></p> <p>Via email, <em>Eurointelligence</em> provides some interesting commentary.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The outcome of the French presidential elections is still quite unpredictable. And this is not due to the candidates&rsquo; relative performance. <strong>The main factor is the undecided voters.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A new poll shows that 40% of the French do not know who to vote for. With just one month to go, this is an absolute record: in 2012 there were 26% at this stage. Undecided, angry, and disgusted, these voters do not even know whether they should bother and go to vote. And of those, 86% would prefer if their lack of preference could be expressed as an explicit blank vote.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>With such high numbers the question, then, is whether their blank vote should be a valid one that counts, </strong>writes <a href="http://www.lopinion.fr/edition/politique/40-francais-prets-a-voter-blanc-123007" target="_blank">l&rsquo;Opinion</a> in its lead story. This vote would then be an expression of their preferences, political disengagement, and rejection of all candidates. At the moment these blank votes are counted but do not play a role later when the candidates&rsquo; support percentages are calculated. If they were accounted for, certain candidates would drop out in the first round as they would fail to qualify under the threshold, and the winners&rsquo; percentage would look much less impressive. It would also have meant that neither Jacques Chirac nor François Hollande would have had a majority of over 50% in the second round. The advantage of such a blank vote is that it might get people to bother to vote, and reduce the number of those who abstain or protest. It also might reduce protest votes which often turn to extremist parties to find expression.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>This blank vote idea has been taken up by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoît Hamon, who both advocate a recognition of the blank vote in the counting.</strong> But there are considerable hurdles for this. It would require a rewrite of Article 7 in the constitution. This is not about to happen anytime soon. It would also imply that the winner of the second wound could win with only a relative majority. Imagine what the duel between Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002 would have looked like. Maybe the second round would have been different altogether? Who knows. But with a rising number of politically disengaged people, the blank vote discussion is here to stay. And there are also clear differences among the current candidates on this.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The latest poll shows that, if the blank vote were effective, it would be employed most strongly by the electorate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Marine Le Pen, with 44% and 35% respectively. This is followed by Benoit Hamon (33%) and Emmanuel Macron (30%). It would be least used among the voters of Francçis Fillon (22%). The most enthusiastic about a blank vote are the supporters for Mélenchon, Hamon and Macron.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the last five months of primaries and polling French voters defied predictable outcomes. And now they ponder the question whether to vote in the first round, and for whom. Don&rsquo;t think you know already who the next president will be.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One further caveat is that if you allow the blank vote to count, you will eventually have to allow it to win. And, in this case, <u><strong>you could end up with a second round run-off between Le Pen and a blank, leaving the electorate with a choice between fascism and anarchy. Have they thought this through?</strong></u></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>French Election Polls</strong></u></p> <p><a href="https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/french-polls-2017-03-28.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-44977" src="https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/french-polls-2017-03-28.png?w=529&amp;h=136" style="width: 599px; height: 154px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>In the US, would &ldquo;Neither&rdquo; have beaten Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?</strong></em></p> <p>Even if &ldquo;Nobody&rdquo; won just a handful of states, it would have denied a majority to one of the others.</p> <p>A&nbsp;vote for none of the above is a theoretical question, but 40% undecided (38% by Wikipedia) is not.</p> <p><strong>We have already seen two major election surprises, and there could easily be another one.</strong></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_france_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 124px;" /></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="964" height="199" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20161101_france.jpg?1490805950" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/what-if-you-could-vote-nobody#comments Chivalry Donald Trump Elections Fail Jacques Chirac Jean-Luc Mélenchon Marine Le Pen None None of the above Politics Politics Politics of France Primary election Protest vote Voting Voting systems Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:53:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 591982 at http://www.zerohedge.com Republicans To Try Another Obamacare Vote Next Week http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/republicans-said-try-another-obamacare-vote-next-week <p>In an otherwise quiet day on the political front, moments ago <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-29/house-gop-said-to-weigh-another-try-on-obamacare-vote-next-week">Bloomberg dropped </a>the surprising news of the day with a report that House Republicans are considering another try next week at passing the health-care bill they abruptly pulled last Friday in an embarrassing setback to their efforts to repeal Obamacare. </p> <p>Speaking to Bloomberg, two Republicans said that leaders are discussing holding a vote, even staying into the weekend if necessary, although it was unclear what changes would be made to the GOP’s health bill. The ray of hope for Trump and Ryan is that members of the Freedom Caucus, which was instrumental in derailing the bill, have been talking with some Republican moderate holdouts in an effort to identify changes that could bring them on board with the measure.&nbsp; </p> <p>A renewed attempt to pass Obamacare repeal would come after President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress said they would move on to issues like a tax overhaul in the wake of last week’s drama, when the long-awaited bill was pulled 30 minutes ahead of a scheduled floor vote. Asked if the GOP health bill will come up again, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, "Yes. As soon as we figure it out and get the votes."</p> <p>Quoted by Bloomberg, Kevin McCarthy said nothing is currently scheduled and didn’t indicate how leadership would resolve divisions between the Freedom Caucus and moderates in the so-called Tuesday Group. <strong>"Lot of people are talking," he said. "Lot of people are working."</strong></p> <p>Meanwhile, Paul Ryan is encouraging members to continue talking to each other about health care to “<strong>get to a place of yes” </strong>on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to his spokeswoman AshLee Strong. She didn’t have any updates on the timing on a future vote. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, has been negotiating with colleagues on a compromise. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“There’s a real commitment among members he’s been speaking with to not give up and move expeditiously toward a path forward,” his spokeswoman, Alyssa Farah, said. “But he doesn’t want to constrain himself to artificial deadlines like ‘before recess.’” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The discussion of a new vote comes with House Republican leaders and other key lawmakers leery of playing up talk of a redo. To set such expectations -- only to again not have a vote occur -- could be even more awkward for members when they leave Washington next week for a two-week recess.</p> </blockquote> <p>That said, republicans appear to be making the same mistake again, and withholding information from the rank and file: "other Republicans said they’re unaware of any plans to act on health care, and the remaining disagreements on the measure could be very difficult to resolve."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"I haven’t heard anything as to what leadership is doing," said RepresentativeWalter Jones of North Carolina. "The issue is very complex." </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Multiple House Republicans said they’ve heard from constituents who want to still repeal the Affordable Care Act and hope the issue isn’t dead. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"I’m very optimistic we can get something done in the real near future. And when I say in the near future, it may be two weeks, it may be a month," said Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama. "I do think it will come up again, the question is when. The form will have to change some," said Representative Morgan Griffith of Virginia, adding that there remains a strong desire among conservative activists to undo the law. "If both the Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group can agree on some things, then we’re in good shape," he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said failing to achieve meaningful change would hurt Republicans in 2018. "<strong>If we just sit up here and play tiddlywinks, it’ll hurt us," he said.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>If Republicans are serious about a second attempt, they have to hurry: the House is scheduled to begin a two-week recess starting April 7, and Republicans would like to return home having passed their health-care measure. Even so, it would mark quite a turnaround for a measure that had been declared dead.</p> <p>Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon and former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, went downright religious on Tuesday. <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>“We’re approaching the Easter season," he said. "Some things rise from the dead.” </strong></p> <p>While we applaud Walden's optimism, which has also led to a record outpouring of animal spirits and a historic split between "hard" and "soft" economic data, it is time for the GOP to bring some tangible results, and <em><strong>reincarnating </strong></em>Obamacare repeal from the dead would be a good place to start. </p> <p>Finally, it is unclear how fast the market narrative would have to change again: recall that after last Friday, it was suddenly spun as "bullish" that the GOP failed to pass its healthcare law, instead&nbsp; allowing "Trump to focus" only on tax reform. However, we are confident that the <em>power of the narrative </em>will shine through again, and no matter the outcome, it will once again lead to a new all time highs for stocks even as the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/two-fed-presidents-warn-markets-getting-frothy-valuations-may-come-down">Fed itself is now warning </a>that stocks appear just a little "frothy."</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="347" height="145" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/ryan%20teaser%20face.jpg?1490815735" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/republicans-said-try-another-obamacare-vote-next-week#comments 115th United States Congress Congress Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Energy and Commerce Committee Internal Revenue Code Kevin McCarthy Marco Rubio Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act replacement proposals Politics Politics Politics of the United States Presidency of Barack Obama Republican Party Statutory law United States US Federal Reserve Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:34:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 591996 at http://www.zerohedge.com Two Fed Presidents Warn Markets Getting "Frothy", Valuations "May Come Down" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/two-fed-presidents-warn-markets-getting-frothy-valuations-may-come-down <p>In what was the clearest sign to date that the Fed is targeting the stock market bubble with its rate hikes (recall two weeks ago Goldman caused a stir when it suggested that the Fed <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-16/not-reaction-fed-wanted-goldman-warns-yellen-has-lost-control-market">had made a policy error by being overly dovish </a>with its rate hike, which instead of tightening financial conditions, <strong>had the effect of a 25bps rate cut</strong>), today not one but two Fed presidents warned that the market is getting <strong>"a little rich</strong>", that "<strong>valuations may be a little frothy"</strong>, and that the record "<strong>wealth to income ratio is a reason to keep raising rates."</strong></p> <p>First, it was Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren who during an interview with Bloomberg, said some asset markets are "a little rich", with an emphasis on commercial real-estate valuations, which he said are “pretty ebullient." And while the Boston Fed president repeated what <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-21/feds-kashkari-responds-zero-hedge-market-drop-unlikely-trigger-crisis">Neel Kashkari told Zero Hedge last week</a>, when he said that "stock market values aren’t a driving force for monetary policy", he made it quite clear that one of the reasons why the Fed is pushing with as many as 4 rate hikes in 2017 is precisely to push stocks lower, saying that "rich asset prices are another reason for the central bank to tighten faster."</p> <p>Achieving the gradual deflating of asset prices would likely require more rate hikes than the market is currently pricing in, and Rosengren hinted as much when he said that <strong>four hikes in 2017 may be needed to guard against economic overheating</strong>, </p> <p>Then, it was San Fran Fed President John Williams's turn, double down on the caution saying stock market valuations “<strong>may be a little frothy in that way, and come down” on fiscal policy disappointment. </strong></p> <p>Suggesting that the market is overvalued, Williams told reporters during a Q&amp;A in New York that <strong>“I do think that the market’s perceptions of what’s going to happen ... kind of got ahead of reality” </strong>on fiscal policy. Williams also echoed Rosengren saying he “would not rule out more than three increases total for this year.” The median estimate of Fed officials in their mid-March forecasts was for three quarter-point rate increases in 2017.</p> <p>Williams also warned those who are confident that the Fed will not sell Treasuries saying that the Fed can begin shrinking balance sheet before knowing size it should ultimately be: “We could start a normalization of the balance sheet and then make a decision, do we stop at X or Y.” </p> <p>“I think the floor system has been effective” for controlling short-term interest rates and it’s “not that critical” which one Fed uses in the future because it has shown it can control rates with both floor and corridor systems. </p> <p>In effect what the Fed is hoping to do is to avoid a flattening or even inversion of the yield curve by pushing short rates higher while selling long-dated treasuries, in effect prompting an even more aggressive selling in the long-dated part of the curve, in effect undertaking a parallel curve shift, or even one where the curve steepens further. As a reminder, this is something the BOJ is currently attempting with its "Yield Curve Control" program.</p> <p>That said, “we’re not at that point yet” where we can communicate what size we think it will be in the end. </p> <p>But while Williams emphasized the it is the strong economy that gives him confidence that the US can sustain 3 or more rate hikes in 2017, which is surprising because as we have repeatedly shown, the bulk of the economic improvement has been only as a result of sentiment and confidence surveys...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/soft%20vs%20hard.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/soft%20vs%20hard_0.jpg" width="500" height="284" /></a></p> <p>... and not in terms of actual hard data, Williams let the real reason for the Fed's sudden rush to hike rates slip when he said that the "<em>growing wealth-to-income ratio is another reason to keep raising rates."</em></p> <p>Williams was referring to the following chart we showed three weeks ago:</p> <p><em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/09/20170310_wealth.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/09/20170310_wealth_0.jpg" width="499" height="264" /></a></p> <p>... a chart which clearly shows that at least when looked at on a "wealth-to-income" ratio - <strong>which now is at an all time high - </strong>assets are above the peak-bubble levels that marked both the Greenspan and Bernanke peaks. </p> <p>So is the Fed suddenly, <strong><em>finally</em>,</strong> worried about the consequences of its bubble-reflating actions over the past 8 years? If so, good luck trying to put that particular genie back in the bottle, and "deflate" risk assets in a calm, cool and collected manner. In any case, if indeed the Fed is hoping to orchestrate a market drop, it will be a useful and timely test of Kashkari's <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-21/feds-kashkari-responds-zero-hedge-market-drop-unlikely-trigger-crisis">statement from last week</a>, when the Fed president said a <strong>"stock market drop unlikely to trigger crisis.</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="269" height="187" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/evans%20teaser%20pic_0.jpg?1490814538" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/two-fed-presidents-warn-markets-getting-frothy-valuations-may-come-down#comments Bank of Japan Boston Fed Business Economic bubble Economics Economy Federal Reserve System Fixed income market Interest rate Monetary Policy Monetary policy Money Neel Kashkari US Federal Reserve Yield Curve Yield curve Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:11:45 +0000 Tyler Durden 591995 at http://www.zerohedge.com