http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/%2A%7CARCHIVE%7C%2A/594087 en "We Are Tired Of Being Killed" Venezuelan Opposition Vows Violent Response To Maduro Power Grab http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/we-are-tired-being-killed-venezuelan-opposition-vows-violent-response-maduro-power-g <p>Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has made it clear: Nothing short of the invasion threatened by President Donald Trump will stop him from holding a vote on a new constituent assembly that will officially replace the country&rsquo;s legislature and likely allow the embattled president to rewrite the country&rsquo;s Constitution, cementing his grip on power.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-23/venezuela-opposition-calls-for-48-hour-general-strike-next-week">Bloomberg,</a> <strong>Maduro has said the vote will be held next week in defiance of threats of US sanctions, and calls by his opponents for a two-day general strike. </strong>If approved, the new assembly will replace the country&rsquo;s previous opposition-controlled assembly, which was annulled by the Maduro-controlled Supreme Court in March.</p> <p>Once approved, it&rsquo;s widely believed that Maduro will stock the assembly with political allies who will enable the re-drafting of the country&rsquo;s constitution, allowing Maduro to consolidate power and officially marginalize anyone who opposes his regime.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.24aduro.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.24aduro_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 311px;" /></a></p> <p><em>President Nicolas Maduro</em></p> <p>In the face of mounting violence, opposition lawmakers are urging citizens to demonstrate at polling places in a last-ditch attempt to foil the vote. <strong>The death toll from street demonstrations demanding Maduro&rsquo;s exit that have become a daily occurrence&nbsp; in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities since they started in April recently topped 100.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Deputy Simon Calzadilla, speaking for Unidad Democratica, urged Venezuelans to go to their electoral centers Monday at 10 a.m. to place protest banners and signs that say &lsquo;in my voting place there won&rsquo;t be a constituent assembly.&rsquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Calzadilla, in an email, also asked citizens to rally to Caracas next Friday to <strong>&ldquo;demand massively&rdquo;</strong> that Maduro&rsquo;s government halt the assembly vote.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If the regime doesn&rsquo;t cancel this fraud by Friday, the party will inform of the actions it will behold on July 29 and 30, Calzadilla said in the statement. <strong>&ldquo;Center by center, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood to defeat Maduro&rsquo;s proposal.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The US has threatened &ldquo;strong and swift economic actions&rdquo; against the regime, which could force Venezuela into a default if the US stops buying hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day from the country. <strong>The creation of the assembly will enrage millions of Venezuelans who are fighting against the entrenchment of the Maduro regime. </strong>Unsurprisingly, <strong>Maduro is struggling with abysmally low approval ratings. In a symbolic vote, 7.5 million Venezuelans who participated in an unsanctioned ballot overwhelmingly voted against the assembly.</strong></p> <p>In the run up to the vote, violence against Venezuela&rsquo;s political opposition is intensifying. On July 5, Venezuela&rsquo;s independence day, a mob of pro-government thugs brutalized a group of opposition lawmakers who were protesting Maduro&rsquo;s plans to hold a vote on the new assembly. The irony of this exercise in repression was probably lost on the Maduro regime, which denied involvement and condemned the attack.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.24caldzilla.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.24caldzilla_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 344px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Opposition member Simon Calzadilla</em></p> <p>Frustrated by the rising death toll, some protesters are banding together to form militias, <strong>abandoning the strategy of peaceful protest espoused by the opposition and diving headlong into violent urban guerilla warfare.</strong> One <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-24/-they-all-deserve-to-die-caracas-militants-vow-to-take-up-arms">Bloomberg </a>reporter followed a would-be militia group during one of its meetings, where members created Molotov cocktails and practiced assembling their weapons.</p> <p>The protesters were explicit in expressing their distaste for the president.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The security forces they&rsquo;re up against, the riot-helmeted troops shooting tear-gas canisters and water cannon and bullets?<strong> &ldquo;They all deserve to die,&rdquo; </strong>one of the bomb makers said flatly, dripping petrol into a jar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The call to arms coming from some in the resistance may be the initial stirrings of the kind of urban guerrilla movement the country hasn&rsquo;t seen in half a century. It&rsquo;s too early to tell if they&rsquo;ll follow through on their threats, but the bold talk is a troubling sign for mainstream opposition leaders who have issued instructions - pleas, recently - for peaceful rallies and marches. <strong>Those calls increasingly fall on deaf ears. Masked activists hurl their homemade bombs, rocks, jars filled with feces, anything they can get their hands on. They&rsquo;ve stormed office buildings, shattered store windows and blocked roads.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>&ldquo;We are tired of being killed,&rdquo; </strong>one demonstrator who refused to show his face or give his name told <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-24/-they-all-deserve-to-die-caracas-militants-vow-to-take-up-arms">Bloomberg.</a> <strong>&ldquo;We are willing to go out with guns, to face them as equals,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The protest must evolve.&rdquo;</strong> The demonstrator claimed to be a teenager from a middle-class neighborhood &ndash; fitting the profile of many of the young men who&rsquo;ve died in the demonstrations.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.23venezuela.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.24venezuela_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 367px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Collapsing oil prices and years of economic mismanagement led to Venezuela&#39;s economic collapse beginning when the price of crude plunged in 2014. </strong>It seems that the vote, which the opposition has already written off as hopelessly rigged, will one way or another lead to the next evolution of Venezeula&rsquo;s rolling political and fiscal crisis &ndash; be it a revolution or bankruptcy. <strong>The country is struggling with, dwindling foreign reserves, bond yields as high as 36%, and looming payments on billions of dollars of oil-company bonds that were bought by Russia. Meanwhile, its citizens are struggling with hyperinflationary hell that has rendered dollars 1000x more expensive than they were in 2010. &nbsp;</strong></p> <p>As we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-23/venezuela-will-be-first-sovereign-oil-producer-see-all-out-collapse">reported yesterday,</a> Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, believes the country&rsquo;s next crisis point will arrive by Christmas. But with much of Venezuela resembling the lawless Detroit from the movie RoboCop - public mobs routinely lynch suspected thieves, and gangs of bikers waylay merchants carrying commodities to market &ndash; <strong>it&rsquo;s difficult to imagine how the situation could get any more dire for the country&rsquo;s desperate citizens. The only options left for them, it seems, are to forcefully demand regime change, or pray that the price of oil moves back toward $100 a barrell. </strong><br />&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="600" height="288" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170722_maduro_0.jpg?1500933125" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/we-are-tired-being-killed-venezuelan-opposition-vows-violent-response-maduro-power-g#comments 2014–17 Venezuelan protests Americas Bond Capital Markets Crude default Detroit Donald Trump Maduro’s government Nicolás Maduro Politics of Venezuela ratings RBC Capital Markets Supreme Court SWIFT Venezuela Venezuelan constitutional crisis Venezuelan protests War Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600366 at http://www.zerohedge.com Peak Shale: Anadarko Just Became The First US Oil Producer To Slash CapEx http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/peak-shale-anadarko-just-became-first-us-oil-producer-slash-capex <p>It appears that Horseman Global's Russell Clark may have been spot on with his bearish take on the US shale sector. </p> <p>As a reminder, in his <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-22/i-have-taken-closer-look-data-eia-why-horseman-global-aggressively-shorting-shale">latest letter to investors</a>, Clark said that "<em>the rising decline rates of major US shale basins, and the increasing incidents of frac hits (also a cause of rising decline rates) have convinced me that US shale producers are not only losing competitiveness against other oil drillers, but they will find it hard to make money</em>."</p> <p>While the bearish thesis has yet to play out, moments ago Anadarko poured cold water on US energy investors after it missed earnings badly, reporting a Q2 EPS loss of 77c, more than double the 33 cent loss expected. However, <strong>what was far more concerning to shale bulls (and perhaps oil bears), is that the company admitted that it can no longer support its capital spending budget</strong>, <strong>and it would cut its 2017 capital budget by $300 million, becoming the first major U.S. oil producer to do so, as a result of depressed oil prices. </strong>In March, Anadarko had forecast total 2017 capex of $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion, a continuation of the recent CapEx rebound which troughed in Q3 2016.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/APC%20capex_1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/APC%20capex_1_0.jpg" width="500" height="301" /></a></p> <p>Ahead of the Tuesday earnings call, APC CEO Al Walker confirmed Wall Street's growing fears that oil prices are simply too low to sustain ongoing exploration when he said that "<strong>the current market conditions require lower capital intensity given the volatility of margins realized in this operating environment. </strong>As such, we are reducing our level of investments by $300 million for the full year."</p> <p>Ironically it was Walker himself who issued a clear warning to Wall Street in June, when he bought up something we first covered in April of 2015 in "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-26/when-qe-leads-deflation-look-confounding-global-supply-glut">When QE Leads To Deflation: A Look At The "Confounding" Global Supply Glut</a>", when he said that it was the relentless supply of cheap capital that was masking the underlying lack of profitability and allowing shale companies to pump beyond the point of negative returns: “The biggest problem our industry faces today is you guys,” Al Walker, chief executive of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. told investors at a conference last month, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-cash-pumps-up-oil-production-even-as-prices-sag-1499419801">quoted by the WSJ</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Companies have more capital to keep drilling thanks to $57 billion Wall Street has injected into the sector over the last 18 months. Money has come from investors in new stock sales and high-yield debt, as well as from private equity funds, which have helped provide lifelines to stronger operators. Flush with cash, virtually all of them launched campaigns to boost drilling at the start of 2017 in the hope that oil prices would rebound. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new wave of crude has again glutted the market. The shale companies are edged even further from profitability, and a few voices have begun to question the wisdom of Wall Street financing the industry’s addiction to growth. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Wall Street has become an enabler that pushes companies to grow production at any cost</strong>, <strong>while punishing those that try to live within their means, </strong>Mr. Walker said, adding: <strong>“It’s kind of like going to AA. You know, we need a partner. We really need the investment community to show discipline.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Ultimately, it was up to Walker to demonstrate that discipline when he voluntarily reduced the amount of capital he would reinvest in his business. And since oil exploration is by far the most capital intensive industry, the hit to revenue will be quick and painful, much to the delight of OPEC which may finally be seeing light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. To that point, Anadarko also said it was trimming its 2017 production forecast to 644,000 bpd, a 2% cut. </p> <p>Incidentally, Horseman is not the first to turn bearish on shale. As <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-07-24/goldman-sachs-rallies-bears-on-high-yield-energy-debt">Bloomberg reported earlier</a>, Goldman Sachs Asset Management has been shedding oil and gas-related company bonds in the past few months <strong>and shorting oil in some portfolios</strong>, according to Mike Swell, the firm's co-head of global fixed-income portfolio management. <strong>The investment manager has moved from an overweight position in energy-related corporate bonds a few months ago to neutral today and toward an underweight stance, he said in an interview on Friday</strong>. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Some investors seem to agree with Goldman's asset-management arm, at least enough to have a touch of skepticism about the prospect of these oil and gas explorers. Since the end of January, credit traders have demanded slightly more yield to own junk-rated bonds of oil and gas companies than other high-yield debt. </p> </blockquote> <p>In an amusing twist, we reported last week that the very same Goldman reported last Friday that <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/junk-bonds-are-finally-starting-care-about-oil">energy junk bonds are finally starting to notice </a>the decline in oil prices:</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/gs%20oil%2040_0.jpg" width="500" height="339" /></p> <p>Once the APC news reverberates across the industry, this may just be the straw that breaks the energy junk bond market's back, as a scramble out of the sector ensues, resulting in the double whammy of also yanking much needed capital from shale companies.&nbsp; Such an exodus could not come at a worse possible time: as Bloomberg calculated if oil prices were to stay below $47 a barrel, "investors will demand a bigger cushion of extra yield to own junk-rated energy debt. Part of the reasoning is that these firms still require an excessive amount of leverage (and investor faith) to keep operating as <strong>junk-rated oil and natural gas producers have more than $25 billion of credit-line commitments expiring in 2019</strong>. If oil prices don't rebound, banks have good reason to reduce those lines substantially, siphoning off a crucial funding source."</p> <p>Think a rerun of the late 2015/early 2016 period all over again. </p> <p>However, while the Anadarko news is clearly negative for its shale peers, most of whom are set to announce similar capex declines, it will likely end up being positive for oil prices as much of the "swing" crude production courtesy of the US shale basin is about to be reduced substantially, in a clear victory for OPEC which has been waiting long for just this day.</p> <p>Anadarko's CapEx cut also comes in the same month as the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-17/us-shale-production-just-hit-new-all-time-high">EIA announced that US shale production just hit a new all time high </a>of 5.472mmb/d.</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/17/shale%20july%20eia_0.jpg" width="500" height="253" /></p> <p>To the disappointment of many energy bulls (and oil bears as a reduction in production means that the shale supply glut is about to get far smaller), it may be all downhill from here.</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="670" height="404" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/APC%20capex.jpg?1500932220" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/peak-shale-anadarko-just-became-first-us-oil-producer-slash-capex#comments Anadarko Anadarko Petroleum Bloomberg Intelligence Bond BP Business Business Business economics Cartels Commodity markets Crude Deepwater Horizon oil spill Economy goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Asset Management High-yield debt Market Conditions Natural Gas Natural gas Oil shale OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Petroleum Petroleum industry Petroleum politics Price of oil Pricing Private Equity Volatility Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:38:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 600397 at http://www.zerohedge.com Politics Of The Next 4 Years: Part 1 (Rise Of The "Dirtbag Left") http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/politics-next-4-years-part-1-rise-dirtbag-left <p><a href="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/07/24/politics-of-the-next-4-years-part-1-rise-of-the-dirtbag-left/"><em>Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,</em></a></p> <p><strong>A lot of people remain in denial about the current political environment. </strong>Whether it&rsquo;s a neocon Never Trumper, or a manic Hillary dead-ender, what these people all have in common is they firmly and passionately think their world is somehow coming back. <strong>They still don&rsquo;t understand that the party&rsquo;s over.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_dirtbag.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_dirtbag.jpg" style="width: 559px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>In our foolish apathy, we entrusted the country to these &ldquo;very smart people&rdquo; and they handed the entire thing over to crooked oligarchs, while simultaneously cheerleading us into a never-ending stream of reckless, inhumane imperial wars. </strong>They hollowed out and feasted on the entire nation and now, incredibly enough, have rebranded themselves as leaders of a toothless resistance to the mess they created. Delusional doesn&rsquo;t even begin to describe these people. They genuinely think Trump&rsquo;s rise represents some bizarre historical blip, and once the hideous blemish is removed, things can carry on as they were. That&rsquo;s not going to happen.</p> <p>Before I get into the thick of it, I want to revisit something I wrote a couple of weeks ago in the post,&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/07/11/the-center-cannot-hold-decentralize-or-die-part-1/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">The Center Cannot Hold &ndash; Decentralize or Die</a></strong>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>In order to understand the long-term implications of these emails on the future of the nation, you need a good understanding of the primary warring factions in American politics today. We have Donald Trump supporters/voters, Hillary Clinton supporters/voters, and a resurgent left inspired and energized by the principles and ideals espoused by Bernie Sanders. The first two have absolutely zero overlap and pretty much hate each other, while the third group can sometimes identify with either camp depending on the issue, but pretty much think they&rsquo;re both crazy and dangerous. The key point I&rsquo;m trying to make is that there is no &ldquo;center&rdquo; in American politics anymore, and any discussion of this is pure fantasy.&nbsp;Moreover, any remaining center that still exists, is unlikely to exist at all in a year or so as more and more people feel forced to choose sides. When you create an environment as charged as this one where everyone is accusing their political opponents of treason, this is what you get; and it&rsquo;s only going to get worse. A lot worse&hellip;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>If what I wrote above rings true to you on any level, it has dire implications for the future of these United States. The first two groups, Trump supporters and Hillary supporters have absolutely nothing in common and that&rsquo;s not going to change. In fact, it&rsquo;s probably going to get much, much worse. Trump supporters think the Democrats and the media have been gunning for a way to remove him from office since the day he was elected, while Hillary supporters think he&rsquo;s a treasonous puppet of Vladimir Putin. How can these two warring factions come to any sort of agreement on anything? The answer is, they can&rsquo;t and they won&rsquo;t. Meanwhile, Bernie supporters are likely to largely stay on the sidelines hoping these two sides destroy each other in their madness.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>In a gross oversimplification, the above implies that the political environment going forward will be defined by a vicious battle between the Trump faction and the Hillary faction. While I think this will probably be true for much of the rest of 2017, there&rsquo;s a good chance that a year from now, the union of Hillary donors, Never Trump neocons and the corporate media will find themselves increasingly irrelevant, on their way to being wiped off the political landscape forever. In its place, a more genuine opposition political movement will take form and face off against Trump on real issues.</p> <p>This movement was first really seen on the national level with the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, but it takes on many different forms.<u> <strong>The one aspect I want to discuss today due to its growing influence and potential for explosive growth, is a faction that has become known as the &ldquo;Dirtbag Left.&rdquo;</strong></u></p> <p>To get a sense of what I&rsquo;m talking about, you should read an article published earlier this month at <em>Maclean&rsquo;s</em> titled,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-rise-of-the-internets-dirtbag-left/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">The Rise of the Internet&rsquo;s &lsquo;Dirtbag Left.&rsquo;</a> Here are a few excerpts:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Nagle sees the rise of the violent, hateful, and often deliberately confounding culture of the alt-right tied up inextricably with failures of the left. Where the internet was once viewed as a utopian space for free expression, and experimentation with thought and identity, it eventually became colonized by a calcified leftist sameness, thanks to sites like Tumblr and Twitter, where buzzwords and ideologies multiply and spread like viruses. There was also a certain sanctimonious and self-righteous tone that came to dominate these conversations. <strong>Certain strains of leftism&mdash;and especially those that valued identity above all other social and political categories&mdash;began to monopolize the free market of ideas, making the experience of being online if not entirely oppressive in its patrolling of ideas and verbiage, then certainly much less fun.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Many who were alienated by this culture drove deeper underground, to sites like 4chan and Reddit, where new mutations of far-right, anti-feminist, racist, Islamophobic, white supremacist ideologies&mdash;with their focus on memes, jokes, trolling and pushing back against political correctness&mdash;restored, for them, the earlier anarchic promise of the Internet. As Nagle writes, the emerging alt-right &ldquo;had little in the way of a coherent commitment to conservative thought or politics, but shared an anti-PC impulse and a common aesthetic sensibility.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The culture of call-outs and one-upping &ldquo;wokeness&rdquo;&mdash;a condescending term used to describe an overstated performance of political correctness&mdash;was diagnosed as far back as 2013 by British blogger and political theorist Mark Fisher. In his essay&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=11299" rel="noopener" target="_blank">&ldquo;Exiting the Vampire&rsquo;s Castle,&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;Fisher decried the &ldquo;stench of bad conscience and witch-hunting moralism&rdquo; that emanated from the online social-justice set. He also identified the collective paralysis among those on the left who disagreed with those tactics, a &ldquo;fear that they will be the next one to be outed, exposed, condemned.&rdquo; Fisher, predictably, became a target of such condemnation after his essay was published; many ghouls returned to mock him when he committed suicide earlier this year.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;Anyone on the left with any independence of mind has experienced this backlash,&rdquo; says Nagle. &ldquo;People will look back at this period as a moment of madness&mdash;if it ends. I feel like there&rsquo;s much more of an exciting, funnier left-wing culture emerging around people who are critics of it. That&rsquo;s not a coincidence. You can&rsquo;t be a puritanical purger and have a sense of humor.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Enter a new culture of the online left. It&rsquo;s a reinvigorated wing that&rsquo;s simultaneously anti-alt-right, anti-PC and anti-SJW, anti-centrist and against liberal-democratic line-toeing. It&rsquo;s a movement that uses many of the tactics of the online alt-right&mdash;humour, memes, Twitter trolling and open animosity&mdash;while remaining committed to progressive leftist ideology. <strong>It&rsquo;s sometimes called the &ldquo;alt-left&rdquo; or the &ldquo;vulgar left,&rdquo; or the &ldquo;Dirtbag Left&rdquo;&mdash;a term coined by Brooklyn based writer, podcaster, and activist Amber A&rsquo;Lee Frost.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Frost is a co-host of the popular politics podcast&nbsp;Chapo Trap House. Founded by politically savvy Twitter jokers Will Menaker, Felix Biederman and Matt Christman,&nbsp;Chapo Trap House&nbsp;gained massive traction during the 2016 U.S. presidential primaries among online factions of &ldquo;Weird Twitter&rdquo; and &ldquo;Left Twitter&rdquo; who were eager to push back against the ascendency of war-hawk Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and stem the tides of #ImWithHer memes. &ldquo;Twitter was poised to examine the primaries in a way that the established media either would not or could not,&rdquo; Frost writes in an e-mail. &ldquo;This was a great moment in terms of consciousness-raising and communication.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>From my seat, there are three really important aspects of the &ldquo;Dirtbag Left&rdquo; that makes it a very potent political phenomenon. </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>First, it doesn&rsquo;t hold back or pay tribute to the PC speech-policing cultists. People across the political spectrum are sick and tired of people pushing this idea that &ldquo;language is violence&rdquo; in order to censor not just political speech, but also comedy. In fact, what attracted many people to the &ldquo;alt-right&rdquo; or &ldquo;alt-light&rdquo; was simple rebellion against the increased stupidity of political correctness even if they didn&rsquo;t have much in common with the political positions of Trump. The dirtbag left is quickly taking that advantage away.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second is humor. When was the last time Alex Jones made you genuinely laugh with clever wit as he delivered a political point? Political ideas are powerful, but political ideas coupled with humor are virtually unstoppable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Third, this faction of leftism is waging war against Clinton neoliberal frauds and Trump&rsquo;s fake populism at the exact same time. Not an easy thing to do, but I think there&rsquo;s a huge and growing unsatisfied demand for such a perspective.</p> </blockquote> <p>A lot of you will discount the appeal of this movement because many of its most high-profile members are unabashed socialists. This is a big mistake. Remember, Donald Trump won the Presidency not because he was especially great or loved, but because his opponent was terrible, he talked in populist terms, and people just wanted to give a middle finger to the political establishment and corporate media. If that&rsquo;s right, what&rsquo;s to stop a movement from winning power if it promises to flip the bird to both Trump and Clinton while also making you laugh? Not much.</p> <p><strong>I think the &ldquo;DirtBag Left&rdquo; will catch the Trump team completely&nbsp;off guard over the next few years. </strong>The reason Trump&rsquo;s prospects look pretty good right now for a second term is because there&rsquo;s no real organized opposition to him. By real organized opposition, I mean a movement driven by actual ideas and passion that is also working on a plan to run a competitive candidate in 2020. The current &ldquo;resistance&rdquo; consists of Hillary donors, neocons, the corporate media and elements of the deep state. While Trump complains about this opposition constantly, he doesn&rsquo;t realize how good he has it. The American public hates those factions more than they hate Trump, and nobody wants to vote for that discredited garbage in 2020.</p> <p><strong>The best possible thing for Trump in 2020 would be another opponent with no ideas who focuses on stupid slogans ad identity politics. </strong>He&rsquo;d love to once against face off against an empty suit (pantsuit?) who enthusiastically serves as a poodle for billionaire financiers and an assortment of other oligarchs. Trump can be a fake populist his entire first term and still win that race. What presents him a much bigger challenge would be a genuine populist challenger backed by a dynamic, grassroots movement. This is where the &ldquo;DirtBag Left&rdquo; comes into play.</p> <p><strong>This faction isn&rsquo;t trying to compromise with hopeless #ImStillWithHer clowns. </strong>Like myself, 40% of the country is independent and this demographic remains up for grabs in a national election. This is the target audience. People who see that the country continues to circle the toilet bowl, and understand that Trump is a total phony. The best thing Trump has going for him is the media is seen as his primary adversary. As long as he can continue to frame the debate as him vs. the corporate media, he wins. Confronting a competing populist message that wants to deal with oligarchy will be much harder for him, and would in fact push him toward actual populist polices if he wants to win reelection. Just like being against Trump was&rsquo;t enough for Hillary, being against the media won&rsquo;t be enough for Trump either, IF a competing message that resonates emerges.</p> <p><strong>In order to understand the next political wave that will sweep across America, you need to understand the dirtbag left; and if you want to understand the dirtbag left, you need to get to know <em>Chapo Trap House</em>. Below is a clip discussing Hillary&rsquo;s loss shortly after the election.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/a59kELCi0Gk" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><u><em><strong>If you think politics is crazy now, you ain&rsquo;t seen nothing yet. </strong></em></u>Tomorrow I&rsquo;ll discuss how Democrats can either become economic populists, or die as a political party.</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="397" height="220" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170724_dirtbag.jpg?1500922601" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/politics-next-4-years-part-1-rise-dirtbag-left#comments Alt-right Bernie Sanders Dirtbag Left Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Fisher Hillary Clinton Neocons Politics Politics of the United States Stop Trump movement Twitter Twitter United States Vladimir Putin Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:30:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 600383 at http://www.zerohedge.com Wisconsin Firm Microchips Employees: "It's Inevitably The Next Thing... And We Want To Be Part Of It" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/wisconsin-firm-microchips-employees-its-inevitably-next-thing-and-we-want-be-part-it <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-04/companies-have-begun-implanting-microchips-workers">In April we noted </a>that <strong>Swedish company Epicenter had begun implanting RFID chips into workers hands... and the workers loved it...</strong> it makes opening doors and buying smoothies so easy and convenient, and your coworkers will even throw a party for you once you take the plunge to become a cyborg.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The biggest benefit I think is convenience,&rdquo; </strong>said&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sfgate.com/search/?action=search&amp;channel=business%2Ftechnology&amp;inlineLink=1&amp;searchindex=gsa&amp;query=%22Patrick+Mesterton%22">Patrick Mesterton</a>, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it. <strong>&ldquo;It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Workers there seem alright with the idea. In the article, the general attitude is perhaps best captured by the comment of one 25-year-old worker:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>&ldquo;I want to be part of the future.&rdquo;</em></strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p>And now, <a href="http://kstp.com/news/wisconsin-company-to-implant-microchips-in-employees-three-square-market/4549459/">as ABC5 reports</a>, <strong>a Wisconsin company is about to become the first in the U.S. to offer microchip implants to its employees</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;It&#39;s the next thing that&#39;s inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it,&quot;</strong> Three Square Market Chief Executive Officer Todd Westby said.</p> </blockquote> <p>More than<strong> 50 Three Square Market employees are having the devices implanted starting next week.</strong> Each chip is about the size of a single grain of rice.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="http://w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/anvload.html?key=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" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>The company designs software for break room markets that are commonly found in office complexes. Just as people are able to purchase items at the market using phones, Westby wants to do the sam thing using a microchip implanted inside a person&#39;s hand.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;We&#39;ll come up, scan the item,&quot; he explained, while showing how the process will work at an actual break room market kiosk. <strong>&quot;We&#39;ll hit pay with a credit card, and it&#39;s asking to swipe my proximity payment now. I&#39;ll hold my hand up, just like my cell phone, and it&#39;ll pay for my product.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Westby added the data is both encrypted and secure.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;There&#39;s no GPS tracking at all,&quot;</strong> he said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Westby described the microchipping as the &ldquo;next evolution&rdquo; in payment systems and suggested the technology could one day replace the passport.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, [and] storing medical/health information.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, this is being spun as a benefit to everyone - think of the convenience - but as <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-25/someday-well-be-microchipping-all-our-children">Michael Snyder concluded previously,</a> if widespread microchipping of the population does start happening,<strong> at first it will likely be purely voluntary</strong>.&nbsp; But once enough of the population starts adopting the idea, it will be really easy for the government to make it mandatory.</p> <p><u><strong>Just imagine a world where physical cash was a thing of the past and you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without your government-issued microchip identification.</strong></u></p> <p><em><strong>Will you allow yourself and your family to be chipped when that day arrives?</strong></em></p> <p><em>If not, how will you eat?</em></p> <p><em>How will you survive?</em></p> <p><em>What will you do when your children come crying to you for food?</em></p> <p>I am certainly not saying that you should allow yourself to be chipped.&nbsp; I know that nobody is ever chipping me.&nbsp; <strong><em>But what I am saying is that people are going to be faced with some absolutely heart-breaking choices.</em></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="215" height="154" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170724_chip.jpg?1500903340" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/wisconsin-firm-microchips-employees-its-inevitably-next-thing-and-we-want-be-part-it#comments cellular telephone Electronics GPS Human–computer interaction Identity documents Microchip implant Mobile phone Privacy Radio-frequency identification RFID chips RFID technology Technology Ubiquitous computing Westby Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:05:45 +0000 Tyler Durden 600348 at http://www.zerohedge.com Even Schwab Is Warning Retail Clients Of "Danger Signs Rising" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/even-schwab-warning-retail-clients-danger-signs-rising <p><em><strong>You know it&#39;s bad when even the traditional &#39;pumpers&#39; are getting anxious.</strong> While obviously counched in its own &quot;well maybe that&#39;s not totally terrible&quot; spin, reading the following from Charles Schwab suggests Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, and Jeffrey Kleintop were all struggling to defend any bullish position and perhaps more desperate to CYA in case reality doesn&#39;t match their hard-sold perception...</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/articles/Market-Perspective"><em>Via Schwab.com,</em></a></p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How long?</span></h2> <p><strong>Are risks growing or will the bull market continue? We believe the answer to both is yes.</strong> Political bumbling, monetary policy shifts, and geopolitical tensions have all escalated, but the bull continues to power ahead, largely unscathed by the tumult that surrounds it. This is actually in keeping with history, as partisan conflict in particular has served as a contrarian indicator for stocks in the past. Since past performance is not an indication of future results, consider it yet another brick in the wall of worry. <strong>However, it&#39;s uncertainty around monetary policy that would likely be a culprit behind any coming choppiness in stocks.</strong></p> <div class="article-image"> <div class="article-image-caption"> <p><em><strong>The bull has had few detours</strong></em></p> </div> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab1.jpg"><img height="382" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <div class="article-image-source"> <p><em>Source: FactSet, Standard &amp; Poor&#39;s. As of July 18, 2017.</em></p> </div> </div> <p>The aforementioned uncertainties have kept investor sentiment from becoming too frothy, which helps to support the ongoing bull market. We don&#39;t see signs yet of a &quot;melt-up&quot; scenario, where investors frantically rush into stocks, afraid they&rsquo;re missing out on gains.<strong> As good as melt-ups feel while they&rsquo;re underway, they don&#39;t end well.</strong></p> <p><strong>The possibility of a correction (defined as a greater than 10% pullback) is greater now than it was at the beginning of the year; especially given the uncharted territory in which the Federal Reserve finds itself, as it soon begins to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. </strong>We are modestly concerned about asset valuations that have soared in the era of artificially low interest rates and a bloated balance sheet.</p> <div class="article-image"> <div class="article-image-caption"> <p><em><strong>Asset inflation reaching concerning levels</strong></em></p> </div> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 356px;" /></a></p> <div class="article-image-source"> <p><em>Source: FactSet, Federal Reserve Bank, Strategas Research. As of July 18, 2017.</em></p> </div> </div> <p>We don&#39;t think the bull is ready to take a bow just yet, and at this point would view pullbacks as healthy. <strong>According to Strategas Research it has been 268 trading days since the last 5% pullback&mdash;the fourth longest streak since 1950 (the 1990s had two of them).</strong></p> <p>Earnings growth is the mother&#39;s milk of sustainable stock market gains and the next few weeks will go a long way to determine the status of corporate health. With one quarter down and another one in the process of being reported, it looks good, with the Thomson Reuters-reported consensus expecting at least a 10% year-over-year increase in earnings for 2017. What is more impressive is that the year&#39;s expectations have only been downgraded slightly from the 14% growth rate projected at the beginning of the year. To illustrate how solid that is, look back to 2016, when projections at the beginning of the year were for 13% annual growth in earnings. Those projections were steadily downgraded throughout the year before ending up with an actual growth rate last year of less than 2%.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Of course, a high expectations bar leaves open the possibility of disappointments, which could add to volatility in the coming weeks. Already we&#39;ve seen major banks largely beat estimates but pull back on some concerns about some seasonally soft numbers&mdash;which arguably should have been built into expectations. And the energy sector&#39;s contribution to forward-looking expectations is already past its peak.</strong></em></p> <h2><u>Economic data continues to confound</u></h2> <p>Another support for stocks may be coming from economic data that is showing a robust labor market, but few signs of inflation building.&nbsp; The unemployment rate is 4.4%, yet wage gains remain modest. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was flat month-over-month, while ex-food and energy it only ticked 0.1% higher.</p> <div class="article-image"> <div class="article-image-caption"> <p><strong><em>Inflation remains benign</em></strong></p> </div> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 381px;" /></a></p> <div class="article-image-source"> <p><em>Source: FactSet, U.S. Dept. of Labor. As of July 18, 2017.</em></p> </div> </div> <p><strong>More concerning is the lack of solid increases in retail sales, </strong>although we believe the measuring process may be somewhat flawed due to the changing mix of sales. Nonetheless, <strong>it isn&#39;t particularly encouraging for an acceleration of economic growth when retail sales as reported by the Census Bureau were down 0.2%, and ex-autos and gas sales ticked 0.1% lower.</strong></p> <div class="article-image"> <div class="article-image-caption"> <p><em><strong>Retail sales continue to be tepid</strong></em></p> </div> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 384px;" /></a></p> <div class="article-image-source"> <p><em>Source: FactSet, US Census Bureau. As of July 18, 2017.</em></p> </div> </div> <p>On the plus side, the latest industrial production reading provided by the Fed bested estimates by showing a 0.4% gain, while capacity utilization moved higher to 76.8%; heading in the right direction but still 3.3 percentage points below the long-term average. Also, after a sharp decline, the U.S. Citi Economic Surprise Index has started to turn around, which should be another support for the ongoing bull market in stocks.</p> <div class="article-image"> <div class="article-image-caption"> <p><strong><em>Economic surprises have started to reverse course</em></strong></p> </div> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab5.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_schwab5_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 392px;" /></a></p> <div class="article-image-source"> <p><em>Source: FactSet, Citigroup. As of July 18, 2017.</em></p> </div> </div> <h2><u>Fed seems confused, while politicians are befuddled</u></h2> <p><strong>Economic uncertainty has confounded the Fed, which may raise the risk of a policy mistake and/or bouts of market volatility.</strong> In her testimony before Congress last week, Chairwoman Yellen indicated that the Fed is somewhat confounded by lower-than-expected inflation; citing &quot;temporary&quot; (and transitory) factors. She voiced no concern about elevated asset valuations, arguably brought on to some degree by the Fed&#39;s unprecedented monetary policy since the financial crisis.&nbsp; This put the potential for another rate hike this year into greater doubt. We&#39;re sticking with our forecast for one more hike this year along with the start of a gradual reduction in their balance sheet in their effort to &quot;normalize&quot; monetary policy; but also believe the latter could come before the former. However, Yellen also bolstered the doves&#39; case by noting that it is becoming more apparent that the &quot;normal&quot; level of interest rates may be below what it had been historically.</p> <p>Down the street&hellip;what can be said? Politicians continue to play politics. Behind the headlines some business friendly policies have begun to have some positive impact, such as a reduction in the regulatory burden.<strong> But the three biggies&mdash;health care reform, tax reform and infrastructure spending&mdash;all appear mired in the morass that is Washington.</strong> Business leaders are used to this sort of muck in Washington and have made few plans based on potential changes. But there is little doubt in our mind that if nothing gets done, there will be disappointment among businesses and investors alike, which could add another log to the pullback fire. <strong>Already we are seeing the subjective &quot;soft&quot; data (survey- and confidence-based) catch down to the weaker objective &quot;hard&quot; data, as we expected.</strong></p> <p>...</p> <h3><u>So what?</u></h3> <p>A solid earnings season should contribute to a continuation of the bull market in stocks. <strong>Dangers are lurking, however, and the possibility of a decent-sized pullback has grown over the past couple of months, in light of monetary policy and geopolitical uncertainties. While we would likely view such a move as healthy, it can be disconcerting.</strong> Stay diversified and be prepared to guard against overreacting to any such move.</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="662" height="433" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170724_schwab5.jpg?1500920143" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/even-schwab-warning-retail-clients-danger-signs-rising#comments Bureau of the Census Business Census Bureau Citigroup Congress Consumer Price CPI Economy FactSet Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve System headlines Inflation Interest rate Investor Sentiment Macroeconomics Monetary Policy Monetary policy Money Reality Testimony U.S. Census Bureau Unemployment US Federal Reserve Volatility Wall of Worry Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:41:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 600379 at http://www.zerohedge.com Google Slides As Cost-Per-Click Tumbles http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/google-beats-stock-slides-cost-click-concerns <p>Google, aka Alphabet, reported Q2 earnings that beat on the top and bottom line, reporting EPS of $5.01, above the estimate of $4.45, and earnings per share excluding the $2.7 billion European Commission fine of $8.90, also above the $8.25 expected. Total Q2 revenue of $26.01 billion rose 21% Y/Y, and also beat consensus of $25.64BN. </p> <p>Yet while Google's top and bottom line results were both impressive, the reason why the stock was down as much as 3.6% in the after hours appears to be that while Google reported paid clicks in Q2 surged by 52%, well above expectations of a 35% increase, and more than the 44% in Q1, Google's cost-per-click - which measures what advertisers pay when people click on search ads that show up alongside the results served up by Google’s search engine - tumbled 23%, a drop from the -19% CPC reported in Q1 and down even more from the -15% in Q4 2015. </p> <p>In other words, more people are clicking on ads, but those clicks are costing advertisers less money per click, and generating less sales for GOOGL. In short, a potential revenue mix concern where Google is compensating for lower pricing power (due to the encroachment of Facebook?) with higher ad volumes. </p> <p>One thing is certain: the CPC trend is certainly not Alphabet's friend:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/GOOG%20cost%20per%20click_1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/GOOG%20cost%20per%20click_1_0.jpg" width="500" height="329" /></a></p> <p>Additionally, Q2 Revenue ex-Traffic Acquisition Costs was $20.92 Billion, modestly below the $21.07 billion consensus estimate. </p> <p>Some other details: </p> <ul> <li>2Q Other Bets revenue $248 million </li> <li>2Q Other Bets operating loss $772 million </li> <li>2Q Google advertising revenue $22.67 billion </li> <li>2Q free cash flow +$4.57 billion </li> </ul> <p>While the stock initially responded favorably, surging to new all time highs above $1000, the latest print was down 2.5% as the market digests the potentially disappointing revenue mix data.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/20170724_GOOGL.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/07/20/20170724_GOOGL_0.jpg" width="500" height="339" /></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="632" height="416" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/GOOG%20cost%20per%20click.jpg?1500929023" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/google-beats-stock-slides-cost-click-concerns#comments 2Q After Hours Alphabet Inc. Artificial intelligence Business Compensation methods Computing Digital marketing European Commission Facebook Google Google Marketing Online advertising Pay-per-click Pricing search engine Social networking services World Wide Web Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:22:18 +0000 Tyler Durden 600390 at http://www.zerohedge.com About That $262 Million Man VIX Option Play - Analysis http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/about-262-million-man-vix-option-play-analysis <p>We just read a very insightful <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/mystery-investor-has-made-262-million-bet-stock-market-will-crash-october">post in zerohedge</a> in which the author describes a massive potential payout for someone who recently placed a large option play on in the ViX. Here is his description as quoted in Business Insider.</p> <p>From Michael Snyder and&nbsp;<a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/a-mystery-investor-has-made-a-262-million-dollar-bet-that-the-stock-market-will-crash-by-october">theeconomiccollapseblog.com:</a> </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p> I want to be very clear about the fact that I do not know what will or will not happen by the end of October.&nbsp; But one mystery investor is extremely convinced that market volatility is going to increase over the next few months, and if he is correct he will make an astounding amount of money.&nbsp; According to <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/vix-mystery-trader-massive-bet-stock-market-volatility-2017-7">Business Insider</a>, the following is how the trade was set up…</p> <ul> <li>To fund it, the investor sold 262,000 VIX puts expiring in October, with a strike price of 12.</li> <li>The trader then used those proceeds to buy a VIX 1×2 call spread, which involves buying 262,000 October contracts with a strike price of 15 and selling 524,000 October contracts with a strike price of 25.</li> <li>For reference, bullish call spreads are used when a moderate rise in the underlying asset is expected. Traders buy call options at a specific strike price while selling the same number of calls of the same asset and expiration date at a higher strike.</li> <li>In a perfect scenario, where the VIX hits but doesn’t exceed 25 before October expiration, the trader would see a whopping $262 million payout.</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>We'd like to put a finer point on a couple things that Business Insider said:</p> <p>The $262MM is the max potential payout if themarket expires at 25 as BI implies. But what about the risk? First off; a&nbsp; BET relates to&nbsp;how much money was laid out.&nbsp; We do<br /> not know the amount BET, but assume it was a small amount based on the structure's complexity. The amount at RISK is part of the bet as well. And the trader has&nbsp;real risk here if the market moves below 12 or above 35 (not 25).&nbsp; Frankly, his risk is open-ended in both directions. His VaR is far more than the $262 MM max profit he can make. But that does not factor probabilities or expected payout values. Your bookie would just say " the Odds" of him getting killed are low.&nbsp; Simply put: The trader bet "X"&nbsp; ( likely a small amount)&nbsp;<br /> and&nbsp;is risking an additional &nbsp;"Y" (potentially huge) to make up to $262MM (not too shabby).</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Drilling down a little more on the structure</span></strong></p> <p>This is&nbsp; a "commission bomb" trade usually pitched to large retail saps. But we must say, never this big!&nbsp; He bought a 15 call and financed it by selling a&nbsp;12&nbsp;put, and&nbsp;(two) 25 &nbsp;calls. This is commonly called&nbsp;a ratio 3-way. Soft-Porn terms aside, it's been our experience that when either a <em>3-way</em> or <em>ratio-backspread</em> ( this is a combination of those) is implemented for little to&nbsp;no cost, the position holder is punting and knows little. He may know more than us directionally perhaps, but little about option risk. <em>Otherwise he'd have done a much&nbsp; less complex trade to create a similar risk/reward payout. </em></p> <p><em></em>This person is bullish on volatility, but not that bullish. He is betting on a move &nbsp;higher in the VIX, yet is net short Call options. So, if he is right directionally, but volatility overperforms his expectations, he loses. And if the VIX goes down, he loses. Here is his P&amp;L data on expiration &nbsp;day</p> <ol> <li> <p>He incurs no &nbsp;profit or loss between 12 and 15 in the VIX except the debit or credit incurred by implementing the position</p> </li> <li> <p>He loses money if the VIX goes below 12 with no lower bound (Negative volatility? UNPOSSIBLE)</p> </li> <li> <p>He makes money if the VIX is between 15 and 35 (not 25)</p> </li> <li> <p>His max profit potential is if the VIX is at 25 on expiration day</p> </li> <li> <p>He begins to lose money above 35 in the VIX with no upper bound</p> </li> </ol> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Keep it Simple Stupid</strong></span></p> <p>Bear in mind that before expiration an adverse move in the market could trigger a margin call. And it has been our experience that some people who are obsessed with not laying out any money to&nbsp;implement trades (AKA CHEAP) are often undervaluing the risk that comes along with being cheap. They look at odds and not VAR of trades. There are others who do know their shit option wise. They put on posiitons and let their underlingsmanagetheday to day risk. They just don't want to spend any money, as this trade is a hobby, and have really good trade flow info.&nbsp; The&nbsp; thing is, those that do know their shit in options do not put on&nbsp; such complex trades with so many variables. We are going with a possible good idea implemented in a dumb trade. At least the broker was happy.He could have just sold a put spread and bought a call creating a better<br /> risk/ reward profile in exchange for maybe laying out some premium.&nbsp; But to each his own</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;">VIX as Fear Greed Indicator</span></h3> <p>Generally speaking, the VIX will rise given a move in stocks lower. That is due to unhedged equity longs who rush in like lemmings to buy Puts in a stock wash out. Conversely, &nbsp;the VIX will generally drop in an equity rally as longs sell more Calls to create dividends. The VIX is not a fear/ greed index. It is an indicator of dominant market players who are underhedged. VIX only tells you likely speed of a fall or rally, not which way stocks will go. Anyone who tells you that is just being idiotic. Skewness is a better indication of sentiment than volatility anyway. </p> <p>That does not negate the efficacy of being long the VIX as a hedge against equity longs. The author is not wrong at all in his conjecture that this person is in&nbsp; fact likely ot be proftiable in a stock&nbsp; market washout. Of course the VIX could always be stomped on&nbsp; by the PPT to keep portfolio hedges cheap and thus&nbsp; subsidize stock fund managers. But hey, the government doesnt manipulate markets.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The VIX as directional indicator is simply Bullshit. But skew... that is a different story for a different time- VBL</p> </blockquote> <p>Option geeks refer to the Skew/ Vol relationship like this: "SKEWNESS AS AN INDICATOR OF STOCHASTIC PROCESSES IN VOLATILITY".</p> <p>Volatility should expand in the direction of the skew. And the stock market's options are definitely a put skew market. Thus a washout in&nbsp; stocks increases stock volatility (VIX). In this case the stock market is dominated by stock longs who buy puts and sell calls to "collar" their risk. To wit: Call selling is not bearish. It is a sign that stock longs are less likely to to be&nbsp;selling their stock UNLESS it rallies.&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, we have no idea if this trade is some&nbsp;convoluted hedge for an existing equity position. So winning may be losing for the portfolio manager here. </p> <p>To quote the author again:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>I will be watching to see what happens.&nbsp; If this mystery investor is correct, it will essentially be like winning the lottery.</p> </blockquote> <p>That is the most likely scenario, unless he also happens to be long $1BB of stock... then all "Bets" are off</p> <p>Here is an incredibly rudimentary P&amp;L Graph for which we have fired the intern who created it. </p> <ul> <li>Blue lines represent the option structure at expiration.</li> <li>Brown lines represent the X and Y axes.</li> <li>X axis represents option strikes 12, 15, 25, 35</li> <li>Y axis is Profit above the X axis, loss below the X axis. </li> </ul> <p>Not pictured: the massive commissions made by whoever brokered and/or cleared this monstrosity of hidden risks</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user238352/imageroot/2017/07/20/447.PNG" width="723" height="491" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="723" height="491" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user238352/imageroot/447.PNG?1500927575" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/about-262-million-man-vix-option-play-analysis#comments Backspread Business Call option Economy Emergence Market sentiment Mathematical finance Options S&P/ASX 200 VIX Skew Technical analysis VIX Volatility Volatility Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:22:05 +0000 Vince Lanci 600389 at http://www.zerohedge.com Nasdaq Rebounds To Record Highs As T-Bill Turmoil Continues http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/nasdaq-rebounds-record-highs-t-bill-turmoil-continues <p>Another day, another record high in tech stocks...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RFZrzg62Zj0" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A very ugly 3mo T-Bill auction today (highest yield since Lehman and inverting the yield curve) sent yields soaring once again as debt-ceiling concerns are spooking cash markets (but not stocks)...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD1.jpg"><img height="313" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>But as Bloomberg notes,<strong> markets focused once again on the White House as news about Russian ties continued to hold sway. </strong>Jared Kushner told reporters after his Senate testimony he did nothing wrong. &ldquo;Let me be very clear. I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,&rdquo; Kushner said. <strong>The benign news calmed risk anxiety.</strong></p> <p><strong>Trannies are down for the 6th day in a row</strong> (to lowest close in a month) as Nasdaq rallies to new record highs (up 11 of the last 12 days) - a dramatically divergent day...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD13.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD13_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>VIX crashed to a new record closing low, managing to get S&amp;P green but then it snapped</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD14.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD14_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 334px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Retail was notably weak today (for the 2nd day in a row) as Financials outperformed...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD10.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD10_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 390px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>FANG Stocks continued to rise today - 12th day in a row - ahead of GOOGL&#39;s earnings...<strong>FANG are up 15% in the last 12 days...</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 314px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We note GOOGL was suddenly sold into the close...back below $1000</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD11.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD11_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 365px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Interestingly this afternoon&#39;s quiet linear meltup in stocks was not driven by a short-squeeze...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD9.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD9_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stocks and Bonds ahve recoupled from Draghi&#39;s break...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD8.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD8_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 318px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bond yields rose modestly from the moment Europe opened...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD5.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD5_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Crude gained on the heels of Saudi promises to make deeper cuts to exports in August...Still the move was very modest considering the headlines...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And that helped lift the Loonie to 14-month highs against the dollar....</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD7.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD7_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Dollar Index ended the day unch hovering at Aug 2016 swing lows...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 299px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold also went nowhere today, trading in a very narrow range...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD6.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD6_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 263px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bitcoin was also very quite today...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD12.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_EOD12_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 504px;" /></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="69" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170724_EOD.jpg?1500924837" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/nasdaq-rebounds-record-highs-t-bill-turmoil-continues#comments Bitcoin Bond Bond Business Crude Economy Finance Financial markets headlines Lehman Loonie Mathematical finance Meltup Money NASDAQ Senate Short Technical analysis Testimony VIX White House White House Yield Yield Curve Yield curve Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:01:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 600386 at http://www.zerohedge.com Giuliani Denies He Is Being Considered For Attorney General http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/giuliani-denies-he-being-considered-attorney-general <p>Following this morning's Acios report that Trump is considering replacing AG Sessions with Rudy Gioiliani, the former New York City Mayor <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/24/politics/rudy-giuliani-jeff-sessions/index.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&amp;utm_medium=twitter">spoke to CNN</a>, and disputed the report. </p> <p>Giuliani denied rumors that he was being considered to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, and contradicted the President by saying Sessions was right to recuse himself from matters related to the 2016 campaign and Russian meddling therein. Sessions, Giuliani told CNN, “made the right decision under the rules of the Justice Department.”</p> <p>As a reminder, Axios reported on Monday morning, citing unnamed “West Wing confidants,” that “President Trump is so unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he has raised the possibility of bringing back Rudolph Giuliani to head the Justice Department.” Trump last week expressed frustration that Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation.</p> <p>During an interview with The New York Times, Trump said Sessions's move was "unfair" to him. The president also said he likely would not have picked Sessions to serve as attorney general if he had known he was going to recuse himself. In a tweet Monday, Trump again went after Sessions, calling him "beleaguered."</p> <p>"So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes &amp; Russia relations?" Trump tweeted Monday.</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="654" height="362" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/giuliani%20teaser%202.jpg?1500926145" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/giuliani-denies-he-being-considered-attorney-general#comments Business Department of Justice Dismissal of James Comey Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Links between Trump associates and Russian officials New York City New York Times Politics Rudy Giuliani Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections United States Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:57:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 600385 at http://www.zerohedge.com Snopes.com Implodes, Resorts To GoFundMe http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/snopescom-implodes-resorts-gofundme <p><a href="http://stockboardasset.com/insights-and-research/snopes-com-implodes-resorts-gofundme/"><em>Via StockBoardAsset.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Snopes.com is a failed liberal blog from 1994. </strong>&nbsp;The website claims to<br /> be the internet’s oldest and most popular fact-checking site. <strong>Last<br /> year, Snopes Co-Founder was <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/21/snopes-co-founder-accused-of-embezzling-company-money-spending-it-on-prostitutes/">accused</a> of embezzling company money, and spending it on prostitutes.</strong></p> <p>Now you can find the blog begging for $500k in funding via <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/savesnopes">GoFundMe</a>. <strong>So, far the campaign has raised $18,000 in 3 hours via 710 people...</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_snopes.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/07/16/20170724_snopes_0.jpg" width="600" height="302" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>Another victim of the fake news campaign backfiring on the left.</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1073" height="540" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170724_snopes.jpg?1500915429" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/snopescom-implodes-resorts-gofundme#comments Business Deception Fact checking Fact-checking websites Fake news GoFundMe Journalism News media Politics Propaganda techniques Snopes.com Social Issues Technology Truth Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600370 at http://www.zerohedge.com