http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/component/2%20http%3A/blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2015/05/28/Once%20again%2C%20the%20full en New York AG Launches Civil Rights Probe Into Weinstein Company http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/new-york-ag-launches-civil-rights-probe-weinstein-company <p>Thomas Barrick&rsquo;s Colony Capital might want to hold off on its planned purchase of &ldquo;some or all&rdquo; of the Weinstein Company&rsquo;s major assets, <strong>because the company might need those to settle a civil probe that&rsquo;s been opened by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.</strong></p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/23/us/harvey-weinstein-eric-schneiderman.html?smid=tw-share">New York Times</a> and the <a href="https://pagesix.com/2017/10/23/eric-schneiderman-opens-probe-into-weinstein-company/">New York Post,</a> Schneiderman&rsquo;s Civil Rights Bureau on Monday sent a subpoena to the Weinstein Company &ndash; which recently accepted an emergency loan from Colony - <strong>seeking a laundry list of documents &mdash; personnel files, criteria for hiring, promoting and firing, formal and informal complaints of sexual harassment or age or gender discrimination, and records of how those complaints were handled, said a source familiar with the investigation.</strong></p> <p>Schneiderman also wants paperwork and communications related to eight settlements that Weinstein reached with accusers that were first reported by the New York Times. The investigation will also examine whether the company should be held financially responsible for any of Weinstein&rsquo;s misconduct.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/10/04/2017.10.23schneiderman.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/10/04/2017.10.23schneiderman_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 319px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Eric Schneiderman</em></p> <p>The question of who at the company knew what about Weinstein&rsquo;s aggressive behavior has been widely explored since the scandal broke earlier this month. Reporting by the New Yorker suggests that most of the firm&rsquo;s employees knew both Harvey and Bob Weinstein to be difficult, aggressive and abusive in their professional lives &ndash; and some were aware of Harvey&rsquo;s sexual transgressions.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment or fear,&rdquo;</strong> Schneiderman said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know.&rdquo; </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The inquiry will seek to determine whether the company should be held financially liable for Weinstein&rsquo;s behavior, according to the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/23/us/harvey-weinstein-eric-schneiderman.html?smid=tw-share">NYT</a>.</p> <p>David Boies, a lawyer who has represented Weinstein and the company, said the company and its board were aware of as many as four payouts to women related to Harvey&rsquo;s behavior. Lance Maerov, a board member, said he was told of only one settlement with a woman who complained of misconduct. The company did not return requests for comment on Monday.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/10/04/2017.10.17weinstein.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/10/04/2017.10.17weinstein_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 255px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Harvey Weinstein </em></p> <p>Weinstein was fired by the company&rsquo;s board shortly after the scandal broke. He recently completed a one-week stay at a $2,000-a-night rehab center. While he was there, the LAPD announced it had opened a sex crimes investigation into him &ndash; bringing the number of criminal investigations into Weinstein&rsquo;s behavior to four. They include: The DOJ, LAPD, NYPD and Scotland Yard.</p> <p>As the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/23/us/harvey-weinstein-eric-schneiderman.html?smid=tw-share">Times </a>points out, civil investigations like this can be very costly. <strong>Those found in violation can face fines and other penalties. In 2015, ConEd was required to pay nearly $4 million to a group of hundreds of female employees </strong>after an investigation by the AG and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found multiple instances of sexual discrimination.<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="552" height="352" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.10.23schneiderman.JPG?1508782015" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/new-york-ag-launches-civil-rights-probe-weinstein-company#comments Colony Capital DOJ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Eric Schneiderman Feminism Harassment Harvey Weinstein Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations Human behavior Human sexuality LAPD Law Misconduct New York Post New York Times NYPD Schneiderman’s Civil Rights Bureau Scotland Yard Sexual harassment The Weinstein Company Weinstein Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605841 at http://www.zerohedge.com Gold Spikes On Massive Volume After Trump's Fed Chair Comments http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/gold-jumps-trump-says-very-very-close-fed-chair-decision <p>The Dollar index dropped and gold jumped as President Trump told reporters during a meeting with the prime minister of Singapore that he was <strong>&quot;very very close&quot; to a decision on who would be the next chair(person) of The Fed</strong>...</p> <p>Jerome Powell continues to be the front-runner...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_gold1.jpg"><img height="506" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_gold1.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>In a span of five minutes, 18,792 gold contracts,</strong> each representing 100 ounces of the metal, traded on the Comex at around 11:55 a.m. in&nbsp;New York - <em><strong>this represents around $2.4 billion notional of sudden buying-panic...</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_EOD1_1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_EOD1_1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 343px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pushing the precious metal above its 100DMA...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_gold2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_gold2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 343px;" /></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="1982" height="1132" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171023_EOD1.jpg?1508783952" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/gold-jumps-trump-says-very-very-close-fed-chair-decision#comments American people of German descent Business Cabinet of Singapore Climate change skepticism and denial Comex Donald Trump Politics Politics of the United States Precious metal Precious metals The Apprentice United States US Federal Reserve WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:39:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 605831 at http://www.zerohedge.com "A Utopia Of Hermaphrodites?" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/utopia-hermaphrodites <p><a href="http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/down-with-sex/"><em>Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,</em></a></p> <h3><u><strong>Down With Sex!</strong></u></h3> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171022_DECADEANCE_0.jpg"><u><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171022_DECADEANCE_0_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 342px;" /></strong></u></a></p> <p>It&rsquo;s interesting to see how, in a culture so pornified that any nine-year-old can watch sex acts on-screen all the live-long day, <strong>we discover that decorum is absent in American life. </strong>This, at the same time that the more Gnostic political <strong>Leftists want to transform human nature by erasing sexual categories in their quest to create a utopia of hermaphrodites.</strong></p> <p>Sex is bothersome, you know. It comes between people literally and rather awkwardly, and it is fraught with tensions so primitive that it can frighten and shame us. Is it any wonder that these tensions will manifest in a workplace where men and women spend their waking hours? Are you really surprised that sexual attraction is a currency for advancement? That it tends toward the naked exchange of favors?</p> <p><strong>I&rsquo;d submit that the wreck of Harvey Weinstein is a dramatic representation of collapse of the movie industry as we&rsquo;ve known for nearly a century. </strong>The two-hour motion picture exhibited in a large room with a lot of seats is in its death throes. It joins the long-playing album of recorded music and the book-length literary exercise called the novel in the elephants&rsquo; graveyard of art-forms. The fall of HW is just the period at the end of the sentence.</p> <p><strong>The past month has been a bloodbath for the theatrical release of movies. </strong>Supposed blockbusters are being pulled from the empty cineplexes like guest speakers from the college lecture halls. The struggling middle-class doesn&rsquo;t need movie theaters anymore, and the flat-screens at home enable them to get lost in whole fictional worlds that grind on in weekly episodes year after year like so much bratwurst. Who knows how long that phase of show biz will last. In evolution, remember, the climactic form of an organism is often supersized. Think: <em>Baluchitherium</em>, titan of the Oligocene land mammals. (And imagine sex between two creatures the size of tractor-trailer trucks!) The fate of television &ldquo;content&rdquo; like <em>Game of Thrones</em> probably depends on the fitness of an electric grid that is looking pretty sclerotic these days. Personally, I think the show-biz of the future will tend toward puppet shows.</p> <p>Fortunately (or maybe not, depending on your political ideology) sex will still be with us, and its eternal tensions with it. <strong>What is more subject to change is the division of labor. </strong>Most adults I know accept it as axiomatic that social changes they&rsquo;ve seen in their lifetime have become permanent installations in the human condition. That was Tom Friedman&rsquo;s &ldquo;narrative&rdquo; about globalism, which is now fracturing and withering. The same is true of the Gnostic Leftists, who believe they are on a trajectory to exterminate the detested <em>cissexist heteropatriarchy</em>. <strong><em>How do you suppose things will work out in a nation of eunuchs and trannies?</em></strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;ll be surprised, perhaps, at how <em>not</em> permanent these trends may be. <strong>The decadent USA, lacking discipline and decorum, lost in raptures of grandiose techno-narcissism, broadcasting its twerked-up gangsta fantasies while it sucks finished goods from other lands in exchange for janky bonded debt, is becoming the international pariah.</strong> It&rsquo;s a good bet that the tensions arising out of that dynamic will, one way or another, provoke the blow-up of the trade and financial systems that nourished the phase of history now passing &mdash; with plenty of collateral damage in all the other realms of daily life.</p> <p>In the meantime, America sinks into a swamp of sexual excess, sexual preoccupation, sexual confusion, sexual recrimination, and sexual remorse. <strong>The one thing that none of the combatants can agree on is what might pass for sexual normality. The very notion would be taken for a war-cry.</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="735" height="419" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171022_DECADEANCE_0.jpg?1508779602" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/utopia-hermaphrodites#comments Behavior Fertility Fracturing Human sexual activity Human sexuality Interpersonal relationships None Personal life Pornified Self Sexual acts Sexual intercourse Sexual reproduction Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:35:54 +0000 Tyler Durden 605839 at http://www.zerohedge.com The One Economic Indicator That Is Making Goldman Turn Bearish http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/one-economic-indicator-making-goldman-turn-bearish <p>Is there such a thing as too much good news?&nbsp; According to Goldman Sachs, the answer is yes. </p> <p>Over the weekend, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/after-16-months-without-5-market-pullback-goldmans-clients-want-know-just-one-thing">we reported that per </a>the latest Weekly Kickstart report from Goldman's chief equity strategist, David Kostin, there was only one question on Goldman clients' minds: <strong>when will the current rally, which is about to become the longest in history without a 3% correction, and 333 days without a 5% "drawdown", finally end?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/gs%205%25%20drawdown%20days.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/gs%205%25%20drawdown%20days_0.jpg" width="500" height="359" /></a></p> <p>As usual, Goldman provided a variety of arguments why the rally could continue (passage of tax reform the key upside catalyst), and why it could end, mostly because stocks have never been more overvalued...</p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/14/gs%20valuation%201_0.jpg" width="500" height="367" /></p> <p>... although Kostin warned that usually attempts to time a market correction end in tears:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Catalysts for equity market corrections are notoriously difficult to identify ex-ante. In fact, catalysts can even be difficult to identify in retrospect; historians still debate the cause of the Black Monday plunge although portfolio insurance is viewed as the reason the collapse was so dramatic. We do not expect an imminent drawdown, but the risks identified most frequently by clients may limit medium-term S&amp;P 500 upside.</p> </blockquote> <p>Still, there is one economic indicator that, according to Kostin, has emerged as a red flag of caution. According to Goldman, the most actionable economic indicator currently <strong>is the manufacturing ISM</strong>, which has so far provided the green light for stocks to maintain their ascent (even as "hard" economic data has been anything but stellar in recent weeks):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Economic growth is the most important driver of corporate earnings and equity performance. Since the Tech Bubble<strong>, S&amp;P 500 returns have generally tracked the pace of US economic activity as captured by the ISM Manufacturing Index</strong>. After dipping in 2Q, the index has surged in recent months <strong>and in September hit 60.8, the strongest reading in 13 years </strong>(since May 2004). The US acceleration matched a surge in global growth; our global Current Activity Indicator shows a 4.9% pace of real economic growth, nearly the fastest in five years.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ISM%20vs%20Stocks.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ISM%20vs%20Stocks_0.jpg" width="500" height="366" /></a></p> <p>So far so good. The concern, however, is what happens next, and it is here that "too much good news may be bad news." According to Kostin, "<strong>although economic data are extremely strong now, an ISM reading above 60 typically marks the peak of growth and presages economic and equity deceleration</strong>. Since 1980, the ISM has exceeded 60 in eight separate episodes; <strong>four of those lasted only one month</strong>."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/GS%20ISM%20peak.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/GS%20ISM%20peak_0.jpg" width="500" height="345" /></a></p> <p>And the punchline: "<strong>Investors buying the S&amp;P 500 at ISM readings of 60 or higher have gone on to suffer negative three- and six-month returns on average as economic activity slowed</strong>." </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/GS%20returns%20after%20ISM%20peak.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/GS%20returns%20after%20ISM%20peak_0.jpg" width="500" height="349" /></a></p> <p>In other words, <strong>"an environment of synchronized global growth acceleration today raises the risk of coordinated global slowdown tomorrow." </strong>And that's not even including "coordinated global" tapering by central banks, which sooner or later will be priced in by the market.&nbsp; &nbsp; <strong><br /></strong></p> <p>Furthermore, since much of the "global, coordinated economic growth" was largely a byproduct of China's tremendous credit impulse in the months headed into the 19th Party Congress, which is ending shortly, and as a result China's credit injection is about to slow significantly if not shut outright, the likelihood of a sharp drop in US and global manufacturing surveys is rising rapidly. </p> <p>Finally, keep in mind that despite its caveat of a 2nd year-end S&amp;P price target of 2,650 <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>if </strong></em></span>tax reform passes, Goldman's official target for the US market remains 2,400, or nearly 200 points lower. So will market repricing be driven by a slowdown in manufacturing, especially once the full knock-on effects from the recent hurricanes is fully priced in? And will a bearish Goldman prediction finally come true? The answer will be revealed over the next few weeks when the next round of Flash PMIs and ISMs are revealed. </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="547" height="334" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/ISM%20mfg%20teaser.jpg?1508782126" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/one-economic-indicator-making-goldman-turn-bearish#comments 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence Business Central Banks Congress Economic growth Economy Finance Financial crisis of 2007–2008 flash goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Great Recession ISM Manufacturing Macroeconomics Rockefeller Center S&P 500 Stock market Stock market crashes Subprime mortgage crisis Weekly Kickstart Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:19:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 605842 at http://www.zerohedge.com Options Traders Haven't Been This Worried About The Dow In 17 Years http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/options-traders-havent-been-worried-about-dow-17-years <p>&#39;Price&#39; and &#39;risk&#39; have decoupled in The Dow over the past 6 weeks or so, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-10/yuan-about-tumble-after-fridays-shocking-pboc-news-here-goldmans-take">since China intervened in its FX markets</a>...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171020_EOD1.png"><img height="315" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171020_EOD1_0.png" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While US equity prices have soared across the board, <strong>Dow &#39;VIX&#39; is up dramatically while S&amp;P &#39;VIX&#39; is down</strong> (as one would historically expect)...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_dow5k1.jpg"><img height="318" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_dow5k1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Smashing the cost of protection for The Dow to its highest level relative to the S&amp;P in over 17 years...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_dow.jpg"><img height="317" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_dow_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What are Dow options traders telling us?</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="961" height="507" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171023_dow.jpg?1508779352" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/options-traders-havent-been-worried-about-dow-17-years#comments Business China Finance Mathematical finance S&P Dow Jones Indices S&P/ASX 200 VIX Technical analysis VIX Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:04:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 605838 at http://www.zerohedge.com Theresa May "Ambitious And Constructive" On Brexit Talks, Mocked By Corbyn In Parliament http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/theresa-may-ambitious-and-constructive-brexit-talks-mocked-corbyn-parliament <p>In a statement to the UK Parliament today following last week&rsquo;s EU summit, Prime Minister, <strong>Theresa May, stated that she was &ldquo;ambitious and constructive&rdquo; about the progress of Brexit negotiations.</strong> May talked up (again) progress made on safeguarding citizens&rsquo; rights so that EU nationals can remain in the UK and vice-versa. She also reiterated that significant progress has been made on Northern Ireland and that it&rsquo;s been agreed that there will be no fiscal infrastructure at the border.</p> <p><strong>She had little to say about the critical issue of financial settlement </strong>&ndash; merely that Britain will honour its commitments for the remainder of the EU budget plan (2021) as she outlined in her Florence speech. <strong>She said that progress is being made as both sides go through these commitments &ldquo;line-by-line.&rdquo; </strong>May stated that the EU has agreed to make preparations to move on to the discussions about trade and the UK/EU future relationship and that this wouldn&rsquo;t have been possible without the &ldquo;momentum&rdquo; that resulted from the Florence speech.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_may.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171023_may_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>However, with the financial settlement remaining a stumbling block to progress, May was vulnerable to a renewed attack, which was duly delivered by opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.</strong></p> <p>Corbyn stated that he had a <strong><em>&ldquo;worrying sense of Groundhog Day with every update&rdquo;</em></strong> from the Prime Minister. After the Florence speech, he reminded May that she had talked about &ldquo;momentum&rdquo; in the negotiations and an agreement on citizen&rsquo;s rights was &ldquo;within touching distance&rdquo;, both phrases which she repeated today. He lambasted the Prime Minister for still not having a clear idea when trade negotiations will begin and accused her keeping parliament in the dark as to precisely what she has agreed with the EU. He asked if she would confirm whether privately she said to the EU that the UK &ldquo;would pay more than indicated in the Florence speech?&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Leaks from last week&rsquo;s EU summit suggested that May might be prepared to pay more than 40 billion euros. The EU is believed to want 60 billion euros.</strong> Not surprisingly, May denied that more money had been offered and stated that she had a &ldquo;degree of confidence&rdquo; that sufficient progress will have been made so that discussions about trade can begin by December 2017.</p> <p><strong>There has been much discussion about the possibility of a &ldquo;no-deal&rdquo; Brexit in the UK media in recent days.</strong> Some members of May&rsquo;s party, increasingly frustrated by EU negotiating tactics, would prefer the Prime Minister to walk away from negotiations. Labour Party Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer told the Sunday Times that his party is reaching out to rebel MPs in the Conservative Government to force the Prime Minister into subjecting any final deal on Brexit to a parliamentary Vote. Starmer is also demanding five other changes to the so-called Great Repeal Bill &ndash; European Union (Withdrawal) Bill &ndash; including the addition of a two-year implementation period.</p> <p><strong>The wide variety of opinion in the Conservative Party about a &ldquo;no deal&rdquo; Brexit provided Jeremy Corbyn with ammunition to mock the differing views held by senior members of Theresa May&rsquo;s Cabinet.</strong> Corbyn mocked the Government for Home Secretary&rsquo;s (Amber Rudd) comment that &ldquo;no deal was unthinkable&rdquo;, the Brexit Secretary&rsquo;s (David Davies) comment that &ldquo;no deal was an option&rdquo; and the Secretary for International Trade&rsquo;s (Liam Fox) comment that &ldquo;no deal was not Armageddon.&rdquo; If no deal was &ldquo;not Armageddon&rdquo; wasn&rsquo;t the Government setting the bar &ldquo;a bit too low? asked Corbyn.&rdquo;</p> <p>Corbyn and other MPs emphasised that businesses wanted clarity on Brexit as quickly as possible and preferred a transition period. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-23/may-signals-brexit-transition-won-t-be-agreed-until-final-deal">As Bloomberg reports</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly dodged questions Monday as to whether she will seek a swift agreement on the Brexit transition period that businesses are crying out for, rather than bundling it into the overall deal.</strong> Businesses are stepping up their calls for an urgent agreement with the European Union that would allow them to trade as usual for two years after Brexit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>But May&rsquo;s spokesman said that the transition deal would be part of a wider agreement, which isn&rsquo;t expected to be finalized until shortly before Brexit day in March 2019. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&lsquo;Everybody has always been clear that we are looking to wrap all this up in one single go; everything will be agreed at the same time,&rsquo;&nbsp;the spokesman, James Slack, told reporters in London. &lsquo;The point of an implementation period is it&rsquo;s a bridge to where you&rsquo;re headed, so you need to know where you&rsquo;re headed to finalize that implementation period&rsquo;. Asked by several lawmakers in the House of Commons a few hours later whether that was her position, she avoided the question, saying only that she was confident the UK would get a good deal.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>One of May&rsquo;s statements that caused mild amusement on our part was her assertion that both sides have approached the Brexit negotiations &ldquo;with a professional and constructive spirit&rdquo;. </strong></p> <p>One could argue that this contrasts rather too obviously with the confidential briefing about May&rsquo;s dinner with EU President, Jean-Claude Juncker last week, that is thought to have come from Juncker&rsquo;s office. <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-dinner/eu-calls-report-on-may-juncker-talks-a-smear-idUSKBN1CS17I?ref=hvper.com">According to Reuters</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>It was the second time in six months that a correspondent for Germany&rsquo;s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung who is respected for his access to Juncker&rsquo;s team has published an account of the EU chief executive&rsquo;s reactions </strong>after a dinner meeting with the British prime minister on Britain&rsquo;s EU withdrawal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>May was accused of being &ldquo;disheartened&rdquo;, &ldquo;discouraged&rdquo; and &ldquo;begging for help.&rdquo; </strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41720244">The BBC reported </a>her<strong> ex-adviser Nick Timothy accused EU official Martin Selmayr of being the source of the account </strong>in a German paper claiming Mrs May was politically weak and had &lsquo;begged for help&rsquo; at a dinner. He claimed it showed &lsquo;some in Brussels want no deal or a punitive one&rsquo;.</p> <p><strong>Mr Selmayr denied involvement&hellip;</strong>The apparent leak of what happened in the dinner follows a similar incident in April, when Mrs May accused some in the EU of &lsquo;meddling&rsquo; in the general election campaign after details of a dinner between her and Mr Juncker in Downing Street appeared in the German press. Downing Street said it had no comment on the latest reports and pointed out that both sides were of the view that the recent get-together had been &lsquo;constructive and friendly&rsquo;.</p> <p>And <strong>Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that although the tone of last week&#39;s summit was &lsquo;more positive&rsquo; than he expected, he wanted the EU to &lsquo;get on&rsquo; with talks on trade.&rdquo;</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="1167" height="613" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171023_may.jpg?1508778669" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/theresa-may-ambitious-and-constructive-brexit-talks-mocked-corbyn-parliament#comments Brexit Brexit negotiations Conservative government conservative party European Union European Union European Union European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Germany Government of the United Kingdom Groundhog Day House of Commons Ireland Jean-Claude Juncker Jeremy Corbyn Keir Starmer Labour Party Negotiation Parliament of the United Kingdom Politics Politics of the United Kingdom Reuters SWIFT Theresa May Theresa May’s Cabinet UK Parliament Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:50:11 +0000 Tyler Durden 605837 at http://www.zerohedge.com Are Cryptocurrencies Inflationary? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/are-cryptocurrencies-inflationary <p><a href="https://dollarcollapse.com/crypto-currency/are-cryptocurrencies-inflationary/"><em>Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>There&rsquo;s a debate raging over what, exactly, bitcoin and the thousand or so other cryptocurrencies actually are. </strong>Some heavy-hitters are weighing in with strong, if not always coherent opinions:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/12/investing/jamie-dimon-bitcoin/index.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><strong>Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a &lsquo;fraud&rsquo;</strong></a></u><br />JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon did not mince words when asked about the popularity of virtual currency bitcoin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dimon said at an investment conference that the digital currency was a &ldquo;fraud&rdquo; and that his firm would fire anyone at the bank that traded it &ldquo;in a second.&rdquo; Dimon said he supported blockchain technology for tracking payments but that trading bitcoin itself was against the bank&rsquo;s rules. He added that bitcoin was &ldquo;stupid&rdquo; and &ldquo;far too dangerous.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;</p> <p><u><a href="https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-bear-peter-schiff-doubles-even-4000-still-bubble/ble'" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><strong>Peter Schiff: Even at $4,000 bitcoin is still a bubble</strong></a></u><br />One of the best-known among the bears, investor Peter Schiff, is now making his case in even stronger terms for why bitcoin has advanced ever farther into bubble territory.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Schiff, who predicted the 2008 mortgage crisis, famously referred to bitcoin as digital fool&rsquo;s gold and compared the cryptocurrency to the infamous bubble in Beanie Babies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, the recent run-up in bitcoin hasn&rsquo;t softened Schiff&rsquo;s view: If anything, it&rsquo;s reinforced his sense of impending doom.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Schiff told CoinDesk:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s certainly a lot of bullishness about bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and that&rsquo;s the case with bubbles in general. The psychology of bubbles fuels it. You just become more convinced that it&rsquo;s going to work. And the higher the price goes, the more convinced you become that you&rsquo;re right. But it&rsquo;s not going up because it&rsquo;s going to work. It&rsquo;s going up because of speculation.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;What it comes down to is that bitcoin ain&rsquo;t money.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Libertarian-minded crypto fans saw this was a way to liberate people from the government,&rdquo; he said, concluding:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it will have the opposite effect. People are going to lose money. This could really backfire, giving libertarian ideals a bad name by making fiat look good. The downside can be really spectacular.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;</p> <p><u><a href="https://dailyreckoning.com/cryptocurrencies-could-be-worth-200-trillion-one-day/" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><strong>Hedge fund manager James Altucher: Cryptocurrencies Could Be Worth $200 Trillion One Day</strong></a></u><br />I&rsquo;m not exaggerating when I say cryptocurrencies are the biggest innovation since the internet. We&rsquo;re on the ground floor of an enormous trend that&rsquo;s going to change the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cryptocurrencies are currencies with no government in the middle. No bank in the middle. No organizations in the middle keeping track of all your payments, or taking advantage of your spending so they can invade your privacy, and on and on.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cryptocurrencies solve trillions of dollars&rsquo; worth of problems, which is why they will be worth trillions of dollars one day.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Consider the potential:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is currently $200 trillion in cash, money and precious metals used as currencies in the world. Meanwhile, there&rsquo;s only $200 billion in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are eventually replacing traditional currencies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So that $200 billion will eventually rise to the level of currencies. And probably sooner than we can imagine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ask yourself, why does the world need multiple currencies? There&rsquo;s actually no real reason. The only reason we have a U.S. dollar and also a Canadian dollar is that in 1770 the people in Canada decided not to join the U.S. So an artificial border created two currencies. It&rsquo;s all dictated by artificial borders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the past, an ounce of gold would be accepted almost anywhere in the world. In that sense, unbacked modern fiat currencies are a step backwards.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But in cryptocurrency world, there are what I call &ldquo;Use Borders.&rdquo; Every currency is defined by its use. For instance, Ethereum is like Bitcoin but it makes &ldquo;smart contracts&rdquo; easier. Contract Law is a multi-trillion dollar industry so this has a huge use case. Filecoin makes storage easier. It&rsquo;s a $100 billion industry. And on.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Studying the &ldquo;use&rdquo; cases, and the effectiveness of the coin to solve those use cases can help us make investment decisions confidently.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the great promise of cryptocurrencies and why they will change the world. It&rsquo;s just getting started.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Don&rsquo;t try to make sense of the above. </strong></u>Instead, let&rsquo;s just assume that the cryptocurrency universe will continue to expand for a while and narrow the discussion down to a single question: <strong><em>Are cryptocurrencies inflationary? That is, will their spread lead to higher or lower prices for the average person, and greater or lesser financial instability for the markets, and what does this mean for today&rsquo;s fiat currencies?</em></strong></p> <p>One common opinion is that cryptocurrencies can&rsquo;t be inflationary because their owners have to pay for them in fiat currencies. So one bitcoin bought means one dollar, yen, or euro sold, with the net effect on prices being zero.</p> <p><strong>This makes intuitive sense at first glance, but only holds for the moment of purchase. </strong>Consider what happened after someone in, say, 2014 exchanged dollars for bitcoins. The dollars held most of their value, which means the total amount of dollar purchasing power in the world remained constant.<strong> But those bitcoins went up by several thousand percent, dramatically increasing the purchasing power &ndash; and thus the potential inflationary impact &ndash; of the bitcoin complex.</strong></p> <p>A real world example is Julian Assange:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><a href="http://time.com/money/4983676/bitcoin-investment-return-julian-assange-wikileaks/" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><strong>Julian Assange Says Wikileaks Has Made a 50,000% Return on Bitcoin. Here&rsquo;s What That Means</strong></a></u><br />Wikileaks has seen an amazing return on investments in bitcoin, founder Julian Assange says, and he is &ldquo;thanking&rdquo; the U.S. government for forcing the controversial organization to get into bitcoin in the first place.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a Tweet on Saturday, Assange said the group&rsquo;s investment in the cryptocurrency has seen a return greater than 50,000% since 2010. Wikileaks began investing in bitcoin back then because global payment processors like Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal were under pressure by the U.S. government to block the ability of the group to take payments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, Bitcoin has seen a more-than 9 million percent return over the dates Assange references. In certain periods in 2010, bitcoin was trading for mere pennies. According to coindesk.com, one unit of bitcoin is now worth a record high of roughly $5,700. Anyone buying bitcoin through much of 2011 and 2012, when one unit was sometimes trading below $1 and was often under $10, would indeed see a return on investment of more than 50,000%, assuming they never sold.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The difference between Wikileak&rsquo;s purchasing power pre and post-bitcoin is immense. If Assange decides to spend his windfall on goods and services he&rsquo;d have, at the margin, an inflationary impact on the stuff he buys.</strong></p> <p>So the answer to the question of cryptocurrencies&rsquo; impact on price levels depends on how their values change. <em><strong>If they rise after people buy them, then they&rsquo;re inflationary. If they rise a lot, they&rsquo;re potentially very inflationary.</strong></em></p> <p>In this sense, it might be helpful to view cryptocurrencies as assets like houses or stocks rather than as money. <strong>When they rise relative to fiat currencies they increase the purchasing power of their owners, generate a &ldquo;wealth effect&rdquo; in which owners feel richer and more comfortable with splurging, and in that way push up prices.</strong> Based on the following chart, a lot of early adopters are feeling a whole lot richer these days.</p> <p><a href="https://i2.wp.com/dollarcollapse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Crypto-market-cap-Oct-17.jpg?ssl=1"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-16988" height="253" src="https://i2.wp.com/dollarcollapse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Crypto-market-cap-Oct-17.jpg?resize=600%2C253&amp;ssl=1" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Which then leads to what might be the major cryptocurrency theme of the coming year: <strong><em>Why would governments allow such an inflationary supernova to explode right in front of them when they presumably have the power to stop it?</em></strong> Here&rsquo;s one possible - and of course disturbing - answer:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><a href="https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/will-cryptocurrencies-trash-cash-fedcoin-could-do-it" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><strong>Will cryptocurrencies trash cash? &lsquo;Fedcoin&rsquo; could do it</strong></a><br />Economist Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research asks the obvious question: Why would central banks&mdash;which derive their power as the centralized gatekeepers of fiat currency creation, check clearing and payment processing&mdash;embrace a movement that&rsquo;s primary motivation has been to usurp this power in a decentralized way?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Part of that, according to St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard, is recognition that the technology has achieved critical mass. Thus, there&rsquo;s a fear of being left behind as the very foundations of banking and monetary policy&mdash;intermediation, funds transfers, transactions&mdash;rapidly change, not unlike the way the creation of mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps changed housing finance in the mid-2000s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There&rsquo;s another, more self-serving purpose: Central banks could use their own cryptos to put the squeeze on paper currency. Why? To facilitate the use of negative interest rate policy, which has been deployed in Europe and Japan in recent years in half-baked forms. Currently, in Switzerland, short-term interest rates are at -0.75%.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When another recession hits, especially if one comes soon, a dive to even deeper rates of negative interest would be hampered by the hoarding of cash since banks would charge for deposits (vs. absorbing the cost of negative rates themselves, as they&rsquo;re doing now). This is known by the economics cognoscenti as the &ldquo;zero lower bound&rdquo; in that interest rates cannot go much below negative before the traditional functions of deposits, loans and fractional money creation break down. Mattress stuffing ensues en masse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Fed is clearly thinking about it. In testimony to Congress last year, Fed chairman Janet Yellen admitted policymakers &ldquo;expect to have less scope for interest-rate cuts than we have had historically,&rdquo; adding she would not completely rule out the use of negative interest rates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The BIS&shy;&mdash;the central bank of central banks&mdash;in its latest quarterly review posited that a crypto backed by the Fed &ldquo;has the potential to relieve the zero lower bound constraint on monetary policy.&rdquo; Any distinction between regular dollars and this new &ldquo;Fedcoin&rdquo; could be removed by establishing a fixed one-to-one valuation. Any competition from the likes of bitcoin could be squashed by regulation; not unlike how the private ownership of gold was outlawed in the 1930s when it threatened the Fed&rsquo;s ability to ease credit conditions.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>At the risk of being repetitious, pretty much all of the above looks good for gold and great for silver.</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="966" height="428" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171023_btc.png?1508772630" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/are-cryptocurrencies-inflationary#comments Alternative currencies BIS Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Business Canadian Dollar Central Banks CoinDesk Congress Credit Conditions Credit Default Swaps Cryptocurrencies default Digital currency E-commerce Federal Reserve Finance fixed Jamie Dimon Janet Yellen Japan JPMorgan Chase Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Monetary Policy Money payment processors Peter Schiff Peter Schiff Precious Metals Purchasing Power Recession Switzerland Testimony US Federal Reserve US government Virtual currency Yen Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:32:23 +0000 Tyler Durden 605826 at http://www.zerohedge.com Japan Sounds Alarm On "Unprecedented, Critical And Imminent” Threat From North Korea http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/japan-sounds-alarm-unprecedented-critical-and-imminent%E2%80%9D-threat-north-korea <p>Following the landslide victory by Prime Minister Abe in Japan's Sunday elections, which left his ruling coalition with a supermajority allowing him to change Japan's constitution, Abe wasted no time in signalling a push towards his long-held goal of revising Japan's post-war, pacifist constitution, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-election/japans-abe-to-push-pacifist-constitution-reform-after-strong-election-win-idUSKBN1CS0C3">however as Reuters reported earlier</a>, Abe would "need to convince a divided public to succeed." Parties in favor of amending the U.S.-drafted charter won nearly 80% of the seats in Sunday’s lower house election, leaving the small, new Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) as the biggest group opposed to Abe’s proposed changes. Still, Abe claimed he wanted to get other parties on board, including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s new conservative Party of Hope, and was not insisting on a target of changing the constitution by 2020 that he floated this year.</p> <p>Yet, despite Abe's soothing vision, just one day after the election Japan was already setting the groundwork for creating the strawman that would be needed to get public support largely behind Abe's militant venture.</p> <p>As a result, Japan’s defense minister said on Monday that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities have grown to an <strong>“unprecedented, critical and imminent” </strong>level, requiring “different responses” to the threat.</p> <p>The minister, Itsunori Odonera, <a href="https://apnews.com/43d70f0e10094f9787cbfdf774bbd2bb/Japanese-defense-minister-sounds-alarm-on-North-Korea">was quoted by AP </a>as saying <strong>that this rising threat compels his country to endorse the U.S. view that “all options” must be considered, which President Donald Trump says includes possible military action. </strong>And since this pivot would require a revised constitution, the next step is already in play. </p> <p>Odonera’s comments came at the outset of a so-called trilateral meeting in the Philippines (where over the weekend Russia was "delivering" weapons to the Duterte regime, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/russian-ships-deliver-military-equipment-philippines">as reported overnight</a>) with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korea’s defense minister, Song Young-moo. <strong>Each made statements about North Korea before a group of reporters and news cameras, but none took questions according to AP.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Mattis was in the Philippines to attend portions of a two-day meeting of defense ministers from the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He used the occasion to hold a three-way meeting with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea. He is scheduled later in the week to travel to Seoul to attend annual consultative talks with the South Korean government, which is expected to focus mostly on North Korea.</p> </blockquote> <p>Elevating the North Korea bogeyman to unprecedented levels, and assuring that "no crisis will go to waste", Odonera said North Korea’s most recent underground nuclear test could have been a hydrogen bomb, which is vastly more powerful than an atomic bomb.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“The country has steadfastly improved it nuclear and missiles capability,” said Onodera. He added: “The threat posed by North Korea has grown to the unprecedented, critical and imminent level.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Therefore, we have to take calibrated and different responses to meet that level of threat,” he said, without elaborating on what “different” responses Japan favors.</p> </blockquote> <p>Trump has said he will resolve the North Korea problem alone if necessary, to prevent the North from gaining the capability to attack the United States with a nuclear-armed missile.</p> <p>As usual, the far cooler Mattis - who clearly does not have a constitution-revising agenda - was much more reserved in his remarks than Onodera, although he did slam Pyongyang for defying U.N. Security Council resolutions against its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. But the U.S. defense secretary did not mention any potential military action. Mattis instead emphasized a unified U.S.-Japan-South Korea position in pressuring the North to give up its nuclear program.</p> <p>“North Korea’s provocations threaten regional and global security,” he said. </p> <p>Meanwhile, South Korea’s defense minister, Song, said that North Korea’s behavior is “becoming worse and worse.” In brief remarks to reporters, earlier on Monday Song was asked about the risk of war against North Korea. </p> <p><strong>“I want to emphasize that war is not as easy as the journalists make it sound in the press and the media,” </strong>he said. “As defense ministers who are in charge of national defense and other high tech weapons such as ballistic missiles, we understand the very weight of engaging in a war and as such we will make all the efforts necessary to resolve the issue in a diplomatic and economic way as possible.”</p> <p>He added: “However, if we are attacked then we will have to take firm actions.”</p> <p>Most importantly, however, is that it has been a month since North Korea has engaged in any provocative actions, and contrary to expectations that it would launch a ballistic missile in early and mid October, so far Pyongyang has - despite launching the occasional verbal grande at Trump - kept a low profile. Which considering it is now in Japan's best interest to have a provocative neighbor who will greenlight the desired constitutional changes, will likely change in the near future. </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="800" height="520" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/800%20%285%29.jpeg?1508778187" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/japan-sounds-alarm-unprecedented-critical-and-imminent%E2%80%9D-threat-north-korea#comments Aftermath of the Korean War Association of Southeast Asian Nations conservative party Democratic Party of Japan Donald Trump Foreign relations of North Korea Greenlight International relations James Mattis Japan Japan Military None North Korea North Korea crisis Nuclear program of North Korea Politics Reuters South Korea Ballistic Missile Range Guidelines South Korean government U.N. Security Council War Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:10:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 605836 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ex-HSBC Currency Trader Convicted Of Fraud In Massive Front-Running Scandal http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/ex-hsbc-currency-trader-convicted-fraud-massive-front-running-scandal <p>Ex-HSBC currency trader Mark Johnson, who was unwittingly captured on an audio recording saying <strong>"I think we got away with it,"</strong> has just been convicted by a jury in New York of fraud for front-running a $3.5 billion transaction that netted his firm some $8 million in illicit profits.&nbsp; Per <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/">Bloomberg</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Former HSBC Holdings Plc currency trader&nbsp;<strong>Mark Johnson was found guilty of fraud for front-running a $3.5 billion client order</strong>, a victory for U.S. prosecutors as they seek to root out misconduct in global financial markets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>He was convicted on Monday after a month-long trial in Brooklyn, New York.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Johnson was the first person to be tried since the global currency-rigging scandal that resulted in global banks paying more the $10 billion in penalties. The charges stemmed from HSBC’s execution of a trading order from&nbsp;Cairn Energy Plc&nbsp;in 2011 to convert the proceeds of a unit sale from dollars into pounds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"This sends a signal to traders and banks that this type of behavior is absolutely inappropriate and will be pursued by the government,"&nbsp;</strong>Michael Weinstein, a&nbsp;former Justice Department trial attorney, said. <strong>"That’s a big hammer over the banks -- it may force them to monitor and self-regulate their people."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/10/23/2017.10.19%20-%20Mark%20Johnson_0.JPG" alt="Johnson" width="600" height="322" /></p> <p>For those who haven't followed this particular story, Mark Johnson was arrested at New York’s Kennedy Airport in 2016 before he could return to the U.K. following a nearly 3-year investigation into efforts on the part of several large investment banks to rig FX markets but Stuart Scott has remained free at his home in the London suburbs pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings.&nbsp; Per <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-20/hsbc-official-said-to-be-charged-by-u-s-in-fx-rigging-probe">Bloomberg:</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Mark Johnson, HSBC’s global head of foreign exchange cash trading in London, was taken into custody at John F. Kennedy International Airport Tuesday and is scheduled to appear before a judge in federal court in Brooklyn Wednesday morning, </strong>said the people, who asked not to be named because the case hasn’t been made public. He’s charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the people said. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Bloomberg, Johnson’s arrest comes more than a year after five global banks pleaded guilty to charges related to the rigging of currency benchmarks. HSBC, which wasn’t part of those criminal cases, in November 2014 agreed to pay $618 million in penalties to U.S. and British regulators to resolve currency manipulation allegations. HSBC, which still faces investigations by the Justice Department and other authorities for the conduct, has set aside $1.3 billion for possible settlements, according to an August filing. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rob Sherman, an HSBC spokesman, and Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman, declined to comment.</p> </blockquote> <p> According to the original <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/global-head-hsbc-s-foreign-exchange-cash-trading-desks-arrested-orchestrating">DOJ complaint</a>, HSBC was selected by Cairn Energy Plc to execute a foreign exchange transaction – which was going to require converting approximately $3.5 billion in sales proceeds into British Pound Sterling – in October 2011.&nbsp; But, before executing that trade, he tipped off a bunch of HSBC traders who loaded up their proprietary accounts with Pounds just before the massive trade sent the currency higher.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“As alleged, the defendants placed personal and company profits ahead of their duties of trust and confidentiality owed to their client, and in doing so, defrauded their client of millions of dollars,”</strong> stated United States Attorney Capers.&nbsp; “When questioned by their client about the higher price paid for their significant transaction, the defendants wove a web of lies designed to conceal the truth and divert attention away from their fraudulent trades.&nbsp; The charges and arrest announced today reflect our steadfast commitment to hold accountable corporate executives and licensed professionals who use their positions to fraudulently enrich themselves.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The defendants allegedly betrayed their client’s confidence, and corruptly manipulated the foreign exchange market to benefit themselves and their bank,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.&nbsp; “This case demonstrates the Criminal Division’s commitment to hold corporate executives, including at the world’s largest and most sophisticated institutions, responsible for their crimes.”</p> </blockquote> <p>As we've noted over the past couple of weeks, tidbits of the prosecution's case has made it's way into the media recently, including reports last week that Johnson used the code phrase "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-06/my-watch-hsbc-traders-used-code-words-trigger-front-running-trades">my watch is off</a>" to trigger trading by HSBC traders all around the globe.&nbsp; Meanwhile, as <a href="https://www.law360.com/articles/972351/hsbc-fx-exec-said-i-think-we-got-away-with-it-jury-hears">Law360</a> recently pointed out, jurors also had the opportunity to hear some rather damning recordings of Johnson's phone conversations with traders, including the one below in which he says<strong> "I think we got away with it."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Prosecutors played a recording of a call between Johnson and Stuart after the 3 p.m. fix as they debrief, with Johnson telling Stuart,<strong> “I think we got away with it,” </strong>but Stuart replies that HSBC executive Dipak Khot — who acted as the go between with Cairn and HSBC — thinks otherwise and suspects that Cairn will protest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Johnson in turn argued that Cairn is still in a better position than it would have been if it had taken any other offers to execute the deal in alternate methods as opposed to the fix. <strong>“They don’t really have a lot of room to complain,”</strong> he said on the call.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But as Cahill was trading ahead of the 3 p.m. fix on the day of the transaction, Johnson sounded more concerned about “ramping it up” too much. Jurors heard another recording of a call between Johnson and Scott, with Scott talking to Cahill in the background as he trades, in which Johnson cautions against spiking the price of sterling too high out of concern that Cairn will "squeal."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“Frank, Frank if it rates above 30 at the fix, I think they’ll start to ah ... if you need to buy them, obviously, but ideally don’t ramp it above 30,”</strong> Scott tells Cahill. “Do what you need to do, but ... sorry I know I’m probably not helping much...I’ll leave you alone.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Is he getting a bit tetchy?” Johnson asks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“No, he’s not,” Scott replies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“He can’t, fucking moaning bastard,” Johnson said. “I do all the work and he gets all the glory.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jurors heard that days later in a call with HSBC forex trader Ed Carmichael in Hong Kong, Johnson told him that HSBC’s London forex trading desk, “just had a bonanza” on the Cairn deal, and described his response when Cairn sought an explanation on the less than stellar result for the oil and gas developer.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, when HSBC's client complained about their less than stellar execution price, Johnson admits that he blamed all the usual suspects: "<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Russians</strong></span>, other central banks, all that sort of stuff."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“And they said, well you know it jumped up a bit, who else was buying? And we said the usual Russian names, other central banks, all that sort of stuff,”</strong> Johnson said on the call.</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/345706111&amp;color=0066cc" width="600" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>As we noted last week, nearly a dozen HSBC traders around the globe netted over $8 million in profits by allegedly front-running their own client.<strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/10/16/2017.10.16%20-%20HSBC%201.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/10/16/2017.10.16%20-%20HSBC%201_0.JPG" alt="Trading Gains" width="600" height="471" /></a></p> <p>Of course, while the DOJ will undoubtedly celebrate their conviction in the media, there is little doubt that Mark Johnson's "pre-hedging" scandal is hardly unique for an industry that has been built on front-running clients.</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="537" height="288" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.10.19%20-%20Mark%20Johnson_0.JPG?1508775195" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/ex-hsbc-currency-trader-convicted-fraud-massive-front-running-scandal#comments Banks British Pound Business Central Banks Criminal Division Department of Justice DOJ Finance Foreign exchange market Hong Kong HSBC Investment banks Law Money United States Attorney Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:51:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 605833 at http://www.zerohedge.com "Very Angry" Military Widow Slams Trump As President Disputes Phone Call http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/trump-fires-back-green-beret-widow-i-spoke-his-name-without-hesitation <p>The feud between President Donald Trump and the family of a green beret who was killed in Niger earlier this month when his unit was ambushed by Al Qaeda is escalating to absurd new heights.</p> <p>Over the weekend, Democratic <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/federica-wilson-accuses-john-kelly-character-assasination-demands-apology">Congresswoman Frederica Wilson demanded an apology</a> from Chief of Staff John Kelly during an appearance on AM Joy, accusing him of deliberately misrepresenting her remarks at a dedication ceremony for a new FBI field office a few years back. And now, the widow of La David Johnson &ndash; the soldier who was killed &ndash; is speaking out in a wide-ranging interview with ABC&rsquo;s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.</p> <p><iframe height="315" scrolling="no" src="http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=50654833" style="border:none;" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>In a wide-ranging interview, Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, spoke out on &quot;Good Morning America&quot; about her husband&#39;s death during a mission in Niger while also sharing her account of President Trump&rsquo;s controversial condolence call.</p> <p>During the interview, Johnson corroborated Wilson&rsquo;s account of the call, specifically that Trump struggled to remember Johnson&rsquo;s name, and that <strong>she felt his tone came across as &ldquo;disrespectful.&rdquo;</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>GS: There are also a lot of questions about the phone call you received from President Trump. I know you were in a car to the airport. Tell us what happened next.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Me and my family was in the limo to receive my husband from I think it was Denver, Dover, we went to...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: Dover.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Dover, and we was literally on the airport strip gettin&#39; ready to get out and he called Master Sergeant Neil&rsquo;s phone. I asked Master Sergeant Neil to put his phone on speaker so my aunt and uncle could hear as well. And he goes on to saying his statement as what he said was...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: The president...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Yes the President, said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway. And it made me cry cause I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said he couldn&rsquo;t remember my husband&rsquo;s name. The only way he remembered my husband&#39;s name is because he told me he had my husband&rsquo;s report in front of him and that&rsquo;s when he actually said La David.<strong> I heard him stumblin&#39; on trying to remember my husband&rsquo;s name and that&rsquo;s what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country why can&rsquo;t you remember his name.</strong> <strong>And that&rsquo;s what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier. He did what it take other people like five years to do in three years. So imagine if my husband was here now. It took my husband three years to make E-5 -- it takes other soldiers five to six years just to make E-5. So if he was here now he woulda been on his way to bein&#39; the E-6 or E-7. My husband had high hopes in the military career.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: What did you say to the President?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: I didn&rsquo;t say anything I just listened</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: But you were upset when you got off the phone?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Oh very, very upset and hurt. Very it made me cry even worse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: Congresswoman Wilson reported that and you explained she was in the car with you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Yes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: She&rsquo;s been close with your family for a long time?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Yes. Ms. Wilson, my uncle-in-law was Ms. Wilson&rsquo;s elementary school principal and my husband was in her 5,000 role model program that&rsquo;s why she&rsquo;s well connected with us because she&rsquo;s been in our family since we were little kids.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: The President said that the congresswoman was lying about the phone call.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>MJ: Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated. What she said was 100 percent correct. It was Master Sgt. Neil, me, my aunt, my uncle and the driver and Ms. Wilson in the car, the phone was on speaker phone. Why would we fabricate something like that?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: Is there anything you&rsquo;d like to say to the President now?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>MJ: No. I don&rsquo;t have nothing to say to him.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: Your little girl&rsquo;s going to be born in January.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Yes January 29th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: What are you gonna tell her about her dad?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: I&rsquo;m gonna tell her how awesome her dad was and how a great father he was and how he died as a hero.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>GS: Words she&rsquo;s gonna love to hear Myeshia thank you for sharing your story this morning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MJ: Thank you.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Shortly after the transcript of the interview was published online, President Donald Trump doubled (tripled?) down on his version of events in a tweet,</strong> saying he had a &ldquo;very respectful&rdquo; conversation with Johnson&rsquo;s widow and &ldquo;spoke his name without hesitation.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/922440008971292672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Of course, the controversy surrounding the phone call has overshadowed questions about the mission in Niger, like why it took two days for the Army to track down Johnson&rsquo;s body. Details about the ambush, where it happened, who was responsible and what happened to the soldiers, have been closely held by the Pentagon, though some lawmakers are pushing for an investigation.</p> <p>Rep. Wilson, meanwhile, has been pushing to politicize the attack by<strong> referring to the incident as &ldquo;Trump&rsquo;s Benghazi&rdquo;. </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="485" height="280" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.10.23teaser_0.JPG?1508765198" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/trump-fires-back-green-beret-widow-i-spoke-his-name-without-hesitation#comments African-American women in politics al-Qaeda army Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Florida Frederica Wilson Human Interest Pentagon United States House of Representatives Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:41:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 605816 at http://www.zerohedge.com