http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/wp-content/plugins/uBillboard/Korean%20Buying%20Spree%20Boosts%20Brent%20Price en Gowdy Eviscerates Andrew McCabe: "I'll Be Surprised If He's Still An Employee Of The FBI By This Time Next Week" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/gowdy-eviscerates-andrew-mccabe-ill-be-surprised-if-hes-still-employee-fbi-time-next <p>Once again echoing the dinner conversations of a growing number of American households around the country, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) ripped into FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Fox News regarding <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency">text messages released earlier this week between Agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page</a> that revealed an FBI plot, allegedly hatched in McCabe's office, to prevent a Trump presidency at all costs.&nbsp; Among other things,<strong> Gowdy said he would be somewhat shocked if McCabe was still an employee of the FBI "by this time next week."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"I'm still trying to figure out why 3 FBI agents are discussing politics in the Deputy Director's office because you're not supposed to discuss politics on Federal ground.&nbsp; And FBI agents aren't supposed to engage in politics for Hatch Act reasons."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Remember, we were supposed to interview Andy McCable yesterday on another committee.&nbsp; It was all setup and ready to go and then at the last minute they said he can't come.&nbsp; I'll be shocked if he comes next week.&nbsp; <strong>I'll be a little bit surprised if he's still and employee of the FBI this time next week."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"But the notion that 3 bureau agents would be conspiring or plotting on how to handle the outcome of a presidential election is the opposite of what you want in an objective, dispassionate, neutral FBI."</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trey Gowdy on Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe: “I’ll be a little bit surprised if he is still an employee of the FBI this time next week.” <a href="https://t.co/v9SZxp443P">pic.twitter.com/v9SZxp443P</a></p> <p>— Ryan Saavedra ???????? (@RealSaavedra) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealSaavedra/status/941435219890003968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 14, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>For those who aren't familiar with the text messages in question, here is the text that Agent Peter Strzok sent to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair, last summer:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Text-from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page (Andy is Andrew McCabe): "I want to believe the path u threw out 4 consideration in Andy's office-that there's no way he gets elected-but I'm afraid we can't take that risk.It's like an insurance policy in unlikely event u die be4 you're 40"</p> <p>— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) <a href="https://twitter.com/BretBaier/status/940952690082885633?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 13, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Meanwhile,<strong> if there is anyone out there who still harbors any remaining doubt that Special Counsel Mueller's probe is anything but a farcical, politically-motivated witch hunt,</strong> then we highly recommend you also view this Trey Gowdy gem from earlier this week during a hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.&nbsp; </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2DkrOjQ0lkI" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, only time will tell if Gowdy is just engaging in some self-serving political grandstanding or if he's intent upon firing some swamp creatures.</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="620" height="337" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.12.15%20-%20Gowdy.JPG?1513375744" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/gowdy-eviscerates-andrew-mccabe-ill-be-surprised-if-hes-still-employee-fbi-time-next#comments American people of German descent Andrew McCabe Crime in the United States Double agents FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox News Gowdy Law enforcement in the United States Robert Hanssen Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Spies Trey Gowdy Twitter Twitter United States Department of Justice United States federal executive departments United States intelligence agencies Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609265 at http://www.zerohedge.com Four Charts Prove The 'Economic Recovery' Is Just A Fed-Induced Entitlement Program For The Wealthy http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/four-charts-prove-economic-recovery-just-fed-induced-entitlement-program-wealthy <p>"Economic recovery" in America no longer means what it used to mean.&nbsp; Historically "economic recovery" was largely characterized by job and wage growth, distributed across the income spectrum, and a rebound in GDP growth to north of ~3%-5%.&nbsp; <strong>These days, the notion of "economic recovery" has been hijacked by the Fed and bastardized in such a way that they celebrate "asset bubbles" rather than real growth in economic output.</strong></p> <p>Presented as 'exhibit A', here is the Fed's modern-day definition of "economic recovery" (chart per <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-15/how-america-s-inequality-machine-is-firing-the-dow-into-orbit">Bloomberg</a>):</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15 - Inequality 4.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15%20-%20Inequality%204_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 336px;" /></a></p> <p>Of course, digging a little deeper you quickly realize that the problem is even worse than what the data in the chart above might suggest.&nbsp; <strong>While overall average wage growth has been anemic since 2009, to say the least, it has been almost nonexistent for those on the bottom end of the income spectrum.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Soaring markets helped the top 1 percent of Americans increase their slice of the national wealth to 39 percent in 2016, according to the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances. The bottom 90 percent of families held a one-third share in 1989; that’s now shrunk to less than one-quarter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The current one has helped millions of people find work; it’s also benefited asset-owners far more than people who trade their labor for a paycheck. Income distribution, already the most unequal in the developed world, is getting worse. And that’s starting to influence everything from America’s spending habits to its elections.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15 - Inequality 1.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15%20-%20Inequality%201_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 330px;" /></a></p> <p>In fact, those in the bottom quintile of wage earners in the U.S. basically haven't experienced wage growth, on a real basis, since the late 1970's whereas those in the top quintile have nearly doubled theirs.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15 - Inequality 3.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15%20-%20Inequality%203_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 321px;" /></a></p> <p>Of course, none of this should be particularly surprising to those who are paying attention as the top quintile of earners are the only ones financially positioned to benefit from Yellen's <span style="text-decoration: line-through; color: #ff0000;">economic recovery</span> asset bubbles...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15 - Inequality 2.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/15/2017.12.15%20-%20Inequality%202_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 393px;" /></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, the growing wealth disparity has seemingly put America on a collision course with political chaos as fringe candidates on both the Left and Right increasingly promise to have an 'easy' solution for the seemingly inescapeable economic plight of the poorest households.&nbsp; </p> <p>Unfortunately, the sad truth just might be that there is no solution, absent some transformational technological advancements, and that the U.S. has just reached the maturity phase of it's 'business cycle'...and while the Fed may try to cover up that fact by repeatedly blowing assets bubbles, per the charts above, they're only making the problem worse with each successive iteration. </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="593" height="334" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.12.15%20-%20Inequality%20Tease.JPG?1513345746" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/four-charts-prove-economic-recovery-just-fed-induced-entitlement-program-wealthy#comments Business Business cycle Economic bubble Economic inequality in the United States Economy Financial crises Income in the United States Income inequality in the United States None Poverty recovery Structure US Federal Reserve Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609218 at http://www.zerohedge.com Here Is The Full Text Of The Final Republican Tax Bill http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/full-policy-highlights-tax-cuts-jobs-act-leaked <p><strong>Update</strong>: in addition to the previously leaked highlights (see below), Republicans on Friday evening released the final version of their legislation to slash tax rates for corporations and individuals. The 1,097 page document, containing the bill and an explanatory statement, was crafted by the House-Senate conference committee. The bill is expected to come up for votes in Congress next week.</p> <p><em>Read the bill below, courtesy of The Hill:</em></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_77173" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/367284060/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-pWz1wBi4FndcyIfzC7Hd&amp;show_recommendations=true" title="Final tax bill" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p><em>The &quot;shorter&quot; - only 570 page long - explanatory statement of the conference committee can be found below:</em></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="1.293791574279379" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_90006" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/367284128/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-z1WJEDZV5Wt2ljeX6YoN&amp;show_recommendations=true" title="Joint Explanatory Statement" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Earlier:</strong></p> <p>Here are the<strong> full policy highlights </strong>of the Republicans&#39; Tax Cuts &amp; Jobs Act...</p> <h2><u>Policy Highlights</u></h2> <p>The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) overhauls America&rsquo;s tax code to deliver historic tax relief for workers, families and job creators, and revitalize our nation&rsquo;s economy. By lowering taxes across the board, eliminating costly special-interest tax breaks, and modernizing our international tax system, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help create more jobs, increase paychecks, and make the tax code simpler and fairer for Americans of all walks of life.&nbsp;</p> <p>With this bill, the typical family of four earning the median family income of $73,000 will receive a tax cut of $2,059.</p> <h3><u>For individuals and families, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:</u></h3> <p><strong>Lowers individual taxes and sets the rates at 0%, 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%</strong> so people can keep more of their hard-earned money.</p> <p><strong>Significantly increases the standard deduction </strong>to protect roughly double the amount of what you earn each year from taxes &ndash; from $6,350 and $12,700 under current law to $12,000 and $24,000 for individuals and married couples, respectively.</p> <p><strong>Continues to allow people to write off the cost of state and local taxes </strong>&ndash; just like current law &ndash; up to $10,000. Gives individuals and families the ability to choose among sales, income and property taxes to best fit their unique circumstances.</p> <p><strong>Takes action to support more American families by:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Expanding the Child Tax Credit</strong> from $1,000 to $2,000 for single filers and married couples to help parents with the cost of raising children. The tax credit is fully refundable up to $1,400 and begins to phase-out for families making over $400,000. Parents must provide a child&rsquo;s valid Social Security Number in order to receive this credit.</li> <li><strong>Preserving the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit</strong> to help families care for their children and older dependents such as a disabled grandparent who may need additional support.</li> <li>P<strong>reserving the Adoption Tax Credit </strong>so parents can continue to receive additional tax relief as they open their hearts and homes to an adopted child.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Preserves the mortgage interest deduction</strong> &ndash; providing tax relief to current and aspiring homeowners.</p> <ul> <li>For all homeowners with existing mortgages that were taken out to buy a home, there will be no change to the current mortgage interest deduction.</li> <li>For homeowners with new mortgages on a first or second home, the home mortgage interest deduction will be available up to $750,000.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Provides relief for Americans with expensive medical bills</strong> by expanding the medical expense deduction for 2018 and 2019 for medical expenses exceeding 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, and rising to 10 percent beginning in 2020.</p> <p><strong>Continues and expands the deduction for charitable contributions</strong> so people can continue to donate to their local church, charity, or community organization.</p> <p><strong>Eliminates Obamacare&rsquo;s individual mandate penalty tax </strong>&ndash; providing families with much-needed relief and flexibility to buy the health care that&rsquo;s right for them if they choose.</p> <p><strong>Maintains the Earned Income Tax Credit </strong>to provide important tax relief for low-income Americans working to build better lives for themselves.</p> <p><strong>Improves savings vehicles for education </strong>by allowing families to use 529 accounts to save for elementary, secondary and higher education.</p> <p><strong>Provides support for graduate students</strong> by continuing to exempt the value of reduced tuition from taxes.</p> <p><strong>Retains popular retirement savings options </strong>such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) so Americans can continue to save for their future.</p> <p><strong>Increases the exemption amount from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)</strong> to reduce the complexity and tax burden for millions of Americans.</p> <p><strong>Provides immediate relief from the Death Tax by doubling the amount of the current exemption </strong>to reduce uncertainty and costs for many family-owned farms and businesses when they pass down their life&rsquo;s work to the next generation.</p> <h3><u>For job creators of all sizes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:</u></h3> <p><strong>Lowers the corporate tax rate to 21% (beginning Jan. 1, 2018) </strong>&ndash; down from 35%, which today is the highest in the industrialized world &ndash; the largest reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate in our nation&rsquo;s history.</p> <p><strong>Delivers significant tax relief to Main Street job creators by: </strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Offering a first-ever 20% tax deduction that applies to the first $315,000 of joint income </strong>earned by all businesses organized as S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships. For Main Street job creators with income above this level, the bill generally provides a deduction for up to 20% on business profits &ndash; reducing their effective marginal tax rate to no more than 29.6%.</li> <li><strong>Establishing strong safeguards </strong>so that wage income does not receive the lower marginal effective tax rates on business income &ndash; helping to ensure that Main Street tax relief goes to the local job creators it was designed to help most.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Allows businesses to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment</strong> to improve operations and enhance the skills of their workers &ndash; unleashing growth of jobs, productivity, and paychecks.</p> <p><strong>Protects the ability of small businesses to write off interest on loans,</strong> helping these Main Street entrepreneurs start or expand a business, hire workers, and increase paychecks.</p> <p><strong>Preserves important elements of the existing business tax system, </strong>including:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Retaining the low-income housing tax credit</strong> that encourages businesses to invest in affordable housing so families, individuals, and seniors can find a safe and comfortable place to call home.</li> <li><strong>Preserving the Research &amp; Development Tax Credit </strong>that encourages our businesses and workers to develop cutting-edge &ldquo;Made in America&rdquo; products and services. &bull; Retaining the tax-preferred status of private-activity bonds that are used to finance valuable infrastructure projects.</li> <li><strong>Eliminates the Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax,</strong> thereby lowering taxes and eliminating confusion and uncertainty so American job creators can focus on growing their business and hiring more workers, rather than on burdensome paperwork.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Modernizes our international tax system</strong> so America&rsquo;s global businesses will no longer be held back by an outdated &ldquo;worldwide&rdquo; tax system that results in double taxation for many of our nation&rsquo;s job creators.</p> <p><strong>Makes it easier for American businesses to bring home foreign earnings </strong>to invest in growing jobs and paychecks in our local communities.</p> <p><strong>Prevents American jobs, headquarters, and research from moving overseas </strong>by eliminating incentives that now reward companies for shifting jobs, profits, and manufacturing plants abroad.</p> <h3><u>For greater American energy security and economic growth, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: </u></h3> <p><strong>Establishes an environmentally responsible oil and gas program in the non-wilderness 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).</strong> Congress specifically set aside the 1.57-million acre 1002 Area for potential future development. Two lease sales will be held over the next decade and surface development will be limited to 2,000 federal acres &ndash; just one ten-thousandth of all of ANWR.</p> <p><strong>Significantly boosts American energy production. </strong>Responsible development in the 1002 Area will raise tens of billions of dollars for deficit reduction in the decades to come, while creating thousands of new jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and helping to keep energy affordable for American families and businesses.</p> <p><strong>Provides a temporary increase in offshore revenue sharing</strong> for the Gulf Coast in 2020 and 2021, allowing those states to invest in priorities such as coastal restoration and hurricane protection.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="270" height="130" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171215_tax.jpg?1513375577" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/full-policy-highlights-tax-cuts-jobs-act-leaked#comments Adoption tax credit Alternative minimum tax Business Congress Corporate tax Economy Gulf Coast Home mortgage interest deduction Income tax Income tax in India Income tax in the United States Income taxes Main Street Mortgage Obamacare Personal finance Senate Social Issues Tax Tax credit Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:17:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 609262 at http://www.zerohedge.com Proctor & Gamble Concedes Proxy Fight, Names Nelson Peltz To Board http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/proctor-gamble-concedes-proxy-fight-names-nelson-peltz-board <p>Two months <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-10/pg-stocks-slumps-peltz-loses-proxy-fight">after narrowly losing a proxy vote</a> that would have granted him a seat on Proctor &amp; Gamble&rsquo;s board, Trian&rsquo;s Nelson Peltz has somehow managed to win a crucial battle in the largest and most expensive corporate proxy battle in modern history.</p> <p>To wit, the consumer-products giant announced Friday that it would add Peltz to its board, according to the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/p-g-concedes-proxy-fight-adds-nelson-peltz-to-its-board-1513377485">Wall Street Journal.</a> The company said it would add Peltz to the board beginning March 1.</p> <p>P&amp;G&rsquo;s stock, which has lagged the broader market this year, rose over the summer after Peltz started his proxy fight. Shares tumbled on Oct. 10, the day Peltz lost his proxy vote at the company&rsquo;s annual shareholder meeting in Cincinnati.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/04/2017.12peltz.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/04/2017.12peltz_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 242px;" /></a></p> <p>Afterwards, Peltz revealed that he intended to challenge the results of the narrow vote in court.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Trian is disagreeing with the P&amp;G and is to challenge the count...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;According to our proxy solicitors, today&rsquo;s vote is too close to call and it will take more time to determine the outcome. We await the certified election results by the independent inspector of election. Trian is pleased with the support we have received from shareholders and all of the nation&rsquo;s independent proxy advisory firms. We believe shareholders&rsquo; voices are being heard at P&amp;G today, thanks to Trian&rsquo;s involvement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;With approximately $3.5 billion invested in P&amp;G, Trian has a vested interest in the long-term success of the Company. If elected to the P&amp;G Board, Nelson Peltz plans to start engaging collaboratively with his fellow directors. He has a long history of working collegially with boards and management teams and is looking forward to working closely with P&amp;G&rsquo;s leadership to revitalize P&amp;G. Regardless of the final voting results, Trian believes management and the Board have been put on notice by shareholders &ndash; a continuation of the past decade&rsquo;s underperformance is simply unacceptable. Trian is confident that P&amp;G shareholders will hold the Board and management accountable and will be far less tolerant of lackluster performance going forward.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Trian believes in P&amp;G&rsquo;s potential and wants to see the Company grow market share again and deliver long-term sustainable value for the benefit of all stakeholders. We feel strongly that a shareholder voice is needed in the boardroom and that Trian&rsquo;s approach will help revitalize P&amp;G.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>On Friday, P&amp;G revealed that a certified vote count showed the results of the vote were &ldquo;extremely close&rdquo; and because so many shareholders had voted for Peltz, the company apparently decided it would be easier to give him what he wants.</p> <p>Peltz&rsquo;s Trian Fund Management has invested about $3.5 billion in P&amp;G. He then called on the company to end the dispute and appoint him to its 11-person board.</p> <p>Per WSJ, Peltz&rsquo;s pitch was that the company needed to streamline its businesses and consider bringing in outside talent. The company&rsquo;s CEO, David Taylor, said Peltz would interrupt a turnaround plan he was in the middle of executing.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The two sides have battled publicly for months about the best structure and strategy for the world&rsquo;s biggest consumer-products company. Mr. Peltz argued the company needs to streamline it businesses and bring in outside talent. P&amp;G Chief Executive David Taylor countered that Mr. Peltz will disrupt a turnaround that is under way at the maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors after a decade of market-share losses and stagnating profits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We have had constructive discussions with Nelson and we are committed to working together for the best interests of all P&amp;G shareholders,&rdquo; Mr. Taylor said in a news release. P&amp;G said it and Mr. Peltz have agreed that it won&rsquo;t take on excessive leverage, substantially reduce R&amp;D spending or break up the company.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, P&amp;G said it would also add Novartis AG Chief Executive Joseph Jimenez to its board on March 1.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>P&amp;G is the biggest U.S. company by market value to face a proxy contest. The two sides spent at least $60 million and crisscrossed the country for weeks to win support from shareholders, from major index fund managers to thousands of P&amp;G retirees. At the end of the campaign, the company&rsquo;s shareholders were essentially evenly split.</p> </blockquote> <p>P&amp;G shares jumped in after-hours trade...<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="599" height="290" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12peltz.JPG?1513379203" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/proctor-gamble-concedes-proxy-fight-names-nelson-peltz-board#comments Business Business Corporate governance Corporate law Economy Finance Market Share Nelson Peltz Nelson Peltz Peltz Proxy fight Proxy voting Shareholders Stock market Trian Wall Street Journal Wendy's International Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:08:03 +0000 Tyler Durden 609266 at http://www.zerohedge.com Drugmaker Raises The Price Of Vitamins By 800%, Makes Shkreli Blush http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-14/drugmaker-raises-price-vitamins-800-makes-shkreli-blush <p>Avondale, a secretive Alabama-based drugmaker, has gained unwanted national attention after the company <strong>increased the price of a bottle of vitamins to almost $300 that can be bought on the internet for $5</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://stockboardasset.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/drug-price-scam.jpg"><img height="281" src="https://stockboardasset.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/drug-price-scam.jpg" width="500" /></a></p> <p>In the latest example of price-gouging in America&rsquo;s&nbsp;lightly&nbsp;regulated&nbsp;pharmaceutical industry, records show<strong>&nbsp;Avondale&nbsp;inflated the price of Niacor, a prescription-only version of niacin, by &ldquo;809 percent last month, taking a bottle of 100 tablets from $32.46 to $295&rdquo;, </strong>according to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/477521fa-dc34-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482?segmentId=a7371401-027d-d8bf-8a7f-2a746e767d56">the Financial Times</a>.</p> <p>Niacor is the prescription form of niacin, a type of vitamin B3 that is used to treat high cholesterol and the increased risk of a heart attack. With one easy search on Google, <strong>a generic version of Niacor can be bought for $5.75 on <a href="https://jet.com/product/detail/f417cb96a4754054aa8e7969d2eda91e?jcmp=pla:ggl:nj_cons_cwin_health_beauty_a3:health_beauty_vitamins_dietary_supplements_letter_vitamins_a3:na:PLA_786357240_41412366712_pla-301215158102_c:na:na:na:2PLA15&amp;code=PLA15&amp;pid=kenshoo_int&amp;c=786357240&amp;is_retargeting=true&amp;clickid=a2a62692-ea1a-4f90-9e4f-512d4256d350&amp;gclid=CjwKCAiAvMPRBRBIEiwABuO6qedbhxTNQhMfktbOxndkgf50-IzGMJc1ie6L0WrUbrumYP8FOktpfRoCaHYQAvD_BwE">Jet.com</a></strong> - meanwhile, if the consumer wants the prescription brand, well, they might have to sell their Apple Watch.</p> <p>Avondale&rsquo;s&nbsp;development of price-gouging is certainly bad timing on management&rsquo;s&nbsp;behalf when considering Martin Shkreli, who in the past year has become the most hated man in America after he bought the rights to a drug, then raised prices by 5,500 percent. <strong>In the world of Big Pharma,&nbsp;buy-and-raise schemes are not limited to just&nbsp;Shkreli,</strong> but it&rsquo;s&nbsp;rampant across the industry, such as&nbsp;Valeant Pharmaceuticals who has been accused of raising drug prices by more than 5,000 percent.</p> <p>The Financial Times said Avondale acquired the rights to Niacor from&nbsp;Upsher Smith, a division of Japan&rsquo;s Sawai Pharmaceutical, earlier this year.<u><strong> The buy-and-raise scheme was immediately&nbsp;applied to Niacor, as management faced little or no competition among other drugmakers, along with limited government regulation.</strong></u></p> <p><u><strong>Niacor isn&rsquo;t the first time the company inflated drug prices,</strong></u> management &ldquo;increased the price of SSKI by 2,469 percent, taking a 30ml bottle from $11.48 to $295,&rdquo;&nbsp;according to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/477521fa-dc34-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482?segmentId=a7371401-027d-d8bf-8a7f-2a746e767d56">the Financial Times</a>.</p> <p>According to the data provider Iqvia, there were almost 19,000&nbsp;prescriptions written for Niacor in 2016. Niacor has been described as a drug with a fast absorption rate, making it popular with the medical community. Most people are oblivious to the sharp increase of Niacor, because of the secrecy surrounding drug prices are not usually disclosed to the public.</p> <p>Michael Rea, chief executive of Rx Savings said,&nbsp;&ldquo;this is the latest example of an inefficient US market where the consumer, payer and doctor don&rsquo;t have all of the information available to make a financially sound choice,&nbsp;which makes software to help cut what people spend on medicine.&rdquo;</p> <p>He warned:<em><strong> &ldquo;They are caught in a web of inefficiency and are being taken advantage of.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>FT could not get in contact with anyone&nbsp;associated with Avondale, which was started in 2016 by&nbsp;Mark Pugh, an executive behind several pharmaceutical companies. A spokesman from Upsher confirmed the sale of products to Avondale, but could not provide further information on the price increase.</p> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>Mr Pugh has held several executive roles in the drugmaking industry, sometimes at companies that have implemented very sharp price increases. A 2014 biography says he has &ldquo;more than 20 years of industry experience&rdquo; and a &ldquo;documented record of success in identifying and capturing new business opportunities to build high-profit, high-growth corporations&rdquo;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Acrogen did not return a request for comment made through its website. Emails to the company were returned undelivered. Mr Pugh did not respond to a request for comment through LinkedIn.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A spokesperson for Upsher confirmed it had sold the two products to Avondale, but declined to make the terms of the deal public and did not explain why it did not announce the transaction at the time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It declined to say whether it continues to manufacture the product on behalf of Avondale, or whether it was aware the new owner planned to raise the price sharply. &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> </div> <p><strong>Avondale only has a small window of opportunity to exploit inflated drug prices, as President Trump back in October said, &ldquo;Prescription drug prices are out of control&rdquo;</strong><em> (see:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-16/healthcare-stocks-slide-after-trump-says-drug-prices-out-control">Healthcare Stocks Slide After Trump Says &ldquo;Drug Prices Out Of Control.</a>)</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="504" height="221" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171214_drugs.jpg?1513272450" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-14/drugmaker-raises-price-vitamins-800-makes-shkreli-blush#comments Apple Business Clinical pharmacology Google Health Health Japan Martin Shkreli Pharmaceutical industry Pharmaceutical industry in China Pharmaceuticals policy Pharmacology Pharmacy Prescription costs Prescription drug S&P/TSX 60 Index Valeant Pharmaceuticals Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609167 at http://www.zerohedge.com Jim Kunstler: "You Can See Where This Has Been Going..." http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/jim-kunstler-you-can-see-where-has-been-going <p><a href="http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/taking-liberty/"><em>Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,</em></a></p> <h2>Taking Liberty</h2> <p><em><u><strong>You can see where this has been going...</strong></u></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171215_lib.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171215_lib.jpg" style="width: 491px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p>The wholesale un-personing of &ldquo;powerful men&rdquo; in the arts, media, and politics for sex &ldquo;crimes&rdquo; ranging from rape to stealing a kiss communicates a hunt up the food-chain that leads to the Golden Golem of Greatness tweeting his wicked id out in his White House lair. <em><strong>The barely suppressed thought behind all this is that Donald Trump raped America&hellip; and now he must be found guilty of it&hellip; and pay!</strong></em></p> <p>The Blue women of the land must surely think that, at least, he raped Hillary in the election, and as a pure metaphor that sort of works &mdash; recall how he loomed and ranged balefully behind her back during the candidates&rsquo; debates like some cartoon thug out of a Batman movie. If he didn&rsquo;t actually rape her, <strong>he sure mugged her politically, but an awful lot of voters seemed to think she deserved it, arrogant, clueless, and deeply corrupt as she appeared down the homestretch. </strong>And the sneaky way he won! Stealing a few thousand votes here and there in deplorable flyover country, while Hillary slaughtered the Golem in the <em>places that count</em>: the cities of the left and right seacoasts.</p> <p>Now that more than a score of male celebrities have been successfully liquidated, many for &ldquo;offenses&rdquo; committed decades ago - and many of them actual former darlings of the Left, sacrificed for <em>the cause</em> -<strong> the time is ripe to go in for the kill on Trump using the same tactic of sheer finger-pointing and shrieking until&hellip; something gives.</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;m not a Trump admirer, didn&rsquo;t vote for the guy (nor Hillary, either), am not invested emotionally in his political survival, but I do have a pretty firm idea of what he represents: primitive maleness in all its lumbering vulgarity. I can see why he has a certain symbolic appeal in a society that increasingly shouts &ldquo;men need not apply here.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>He also represents the widespread disappointment with the poor job that the remaining men in charge of things have done in recent decades caretaking this polity. </strong>They&rsquo;ve managed to dodge the repair of every broken institution and duck engagement with any of the really scary problems facing citizens of this republic, from the gross disparities of wealth, to pervasive racketeering in health care and education, to our rotting infrastructure, to the quandaries of race, immigration, climate change &mdash; you name it and they have done squat.</p> <p><strong><u>Men </u>mostly in charge of the FBI are currently busy demonstrating that they can completely botch the wished-for Trump-ending investigation of Russian &ldquo;meddling and collusion&rdquo; - whatever that is as a legal matter - under special prosecutor Robert Mueller.</strong> The agency begins to look like the brotherhood depicted on <em>The Sopranos</em> TV show some years back. The congressional committees (mostly men) with oversight on the FBI (and its umbrella agency, the Department of Justice) can&rsquo;t even get a few deputy Attorneys General to answer a subpoena. If ever there was a display of feckless impotence, this is it.</p> <p><em><u><strong>The desperation to get rid of Trump by the Democratic Party and its handmaidens in the media has an odor of reckless dishonesty from a faction that succumbs more and more each day to the dangerous idea that the ends justify the means.</strong></u></em> Despite the momentary jubilation over the defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for senator, the party is close to committing suicide via the collective fantasy that all romantic gambits by men are always and everywhere a prelude to rape. But then, the Republican Party ought to be on suicide watch, too, as it debates a stupendously mendacious tax reform bill that will only shove the country closer to financial meltdown.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see if the Blue ladies can work their sexual inquisition hoodoo successfully on Trump. S<strong><em>o far, he seems like the proverbial immovable object, while the Blue ladies may only be an irresistible force in show business and the media, where mere accusation without due process avails to skewer their devils. </em></strong>Trump&rsquo;s personal history as a rake on the New York nightlife scene is a trail as wide and open as Fifth Avenue. When the parade of &ldquo;me too&rdquo; witnesses commences, my guess is he&rsquo;ll say, &ldquo;sure, twenty-three years ago I squeezed her ass and grabbed her tit. So what&hellip;?&rdquo; Men in many quarters will raise their fists and cry, &ldquo;Right on.&rdquo; And then what will Nancy Pelosi actually do?</p> <p><em><strong>I suspect the hysteria won&rsquo;t out-live the financial hurricane that the nation is blundering into.</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="488" height="220" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171215_lib1.jpg?1513372503" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/jim-kunstler-you-can-see-where-has-been-going#comments American people of German descent Basket of deplorables Business Climate change skepticism and denial Democratic Party Department of Justice Department of Justice Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Hillary Clinton presidential campaign Meltdown Nancy Pelosi Politics of the United States Racketeering Republican Party The Apprentice Trump University United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Fri, 15 Dec 2017 22:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609254 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bank Of America: "This Is The First Sign That A Bubble Has Arrived" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/bank-america-first-sign-bubble-has-arrived <p>Lately, fund flow data has all the credibility of a NYT presidential poll two days before the Trump defeats Hillary.&nbsp; On one hand<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-investment-mutualfunds-lipper/investors-pull-most-money-in-2017-from-u-s-stock-funds-lipper-idUSKBN1E8383">, you have Lipper reporting </a>that investors pulled $16.2bn from U.S.-based equity funds in the past week, the largest withdrawals since December 2016. The same Lipper also reported that taxable-bond mutual funds and ETFs recorded $1.2bn in outflows, with U.S.-based high-yield junk bond funds posting outflows of $922 million. On the other hand, you have EPFR which looking at the same data, and the same time interval, concluded that there was $8.7bn <strong>inflows </strong>into equities, of which total flows into the US amounted to $7.8bn, the largest in 26 weeks. </p> <p>How does any of this make sense? We are not sure, although it may be that while Lipper ignores ETF flows, EPFR includes these. Indeed, when breaking down the latest flow data, which still does not foot with the Lipper numbers, Bank of America notes that the $8.7bn in equity inflows is the result of a $31.4bn in ETF inflows <strong>- the second largest on record </strong>- offset by $22.7bn in mutual fund outflows, <strong>the 4th largest on record.</strong></p> <p>When looking at this staggering divergence, BofA's Michael Hartnett put it best: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Passive hubris, active humiliation: </strong>2nd largest week of inflows ($31.4bn) ever into equity ETFs vs 4th largest week ever of outflows from equity mutual funds (Chart 1)</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/fund%20flows%20passive.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/fund%20flows%20passive_0.jpg" width="500" height="296" /></a></p> <p>And while we can agree with Hartnett that hedge funds are begging for a market crash (and if they aren't, they should be), as the alternative is slow, painful, uncompensated extinction, we still have no idea if last week was near record in inflows or outflows... and we certainly don't know how much of these funds flows were sourced from the SNB, BOJ and other activist central banks who print money to buy stocks.</p> <p>Less controversial are the rest of Hartnett's fund flows observations, the first of which is that&nbsp; "<strong>investors respond to Fed hike &amp; US tax reform with biggest inflows to US large cap since Apr'17 and biggest inflows to US value since Mar'17;" </strong>These were offset by&nbsp;redemptions from Europe (largest in 65 weeks), EM equities.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/BofA%20flows%20Europe.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/BofA%20flows%20Europe_0.jpg" width="500" height="212" /></a></p> <p>The flows led to a historic moment: whether due to the latest inflows into ETFs (and outflows from active funds), or some other reason, in November, <strong>US equities rose to an all-time high vs government bonds, exceeding Dec'99 peak</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/equities%20to%20bonds%20record%20high.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/equities%20to%20bonds%20record%20high_0.jpg" width="500" height="289" /></a></p> <p>Taking a step back from fund flows, Hartnett reminds us the <strong>he has aggressive "Icarus" bullish Q1 targets of SPX 2863, CCMP 8000, GT10 2.85%, EUR 1.10, JPY 119; </strong>he also maintains a view of Big Top in risk assets early-18, which means the crash will take place in just a few months.</p> <p>He near-term optimism is justified by, what he calculates, to be a run-rate GDP of over 5%: "<strong>US small business, manufacturing, homebuilders and consumer confidence strongest in aggregate since the early-1980s, consistent with 5-6% US real GDP growth (Chart 4)."</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/gdp%205%25%20survey%20data.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/gdp%205%25%20survey%20data_0.jpg" width="500" height="301" /></a></p> <p>However, this soaring growth - granted almost entirely in the realm of meaningless, self-reported surveys - comes at a time of zero inflationary expectations. To wit, rate expectations remain extraordinarily low: <strong>next 3 years total market-implied tightening by the Fed, ECB &amp; BoJ is 81bps, 46bps and 4bps respectively.</strong></p> <p>And while excess bullishness won't take long, the big missing ingredient for Big Top &amp; Big Rotation is inflation: <strong>recent BoE study shows most important driver of bond bear markets is inflation, not GDP or budget deficits</strong>.<br /><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/bofa%20driver%20bond%20bear%20market.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/bofa%20driver%20bond%20bear%20market_0.jpg" width="500" height="298" /></a></p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Putting all of the above together, Hartnett again warns that the Big Risk therefore remains <strong>the absence of Main St inflation inducing Wall St inflation (i.e. bubble), which in turn becomes driver for big tightening of financial conditions and volatility.</strong> Said otherwise, sooner or later, the Fed will be forced to pull Wall Street's punchbowl, and since this is the biggest equity bubble of all time, the results would be catastrophic.</p> <p>Hartnett is kind enough to leave us roadmaps for what happens next: <strong>Japan 1989, US 1999, China 2007 are the bubble roadmaps</strong> because <strong>they all saw bull markets mutate into bubbles and higher bond yields; </strong>To wit: <strong>the NKY jumped 31% as JGB yields rose 170bps; CCMP jumped 230% as Treasury yields rose 220bps, SHCOMP rose 200% as Chinese yields rose 160bps.</strong><br /><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/dot%20com%20bofa.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/dot%20com%20bofa_0.jpg" width="500" height="285" /></a></p> <p>Finally, here - according to BofA's Chief Investment Strategist - is the first warning sign of bubble (besides "Da Vinci, bitcoin"), <strong>which would be the divergence between credit and equity prices in technology </strong>(Chart 7).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/bofa%20bubble%20is%20here.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/bofa%20bubble%20is%20here_0.jpg" width="500" height="297" /></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="1077" height="639" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/bofa%20bubble%20is%20here.jpg?1513370456" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/bank-america-first-sign-bubble-has-arrived#comments Bank of America Bank of America Bank of Japan Bitcoin BOE Bond Business Central Banks China Consumer Confidence European Central Bank Exchange-traded funds Finance Fund Flows Investment Japan Lipper Market Crash Money Mutual fund SNB US Federal Reserve Volatility Fri, 15 Dec 2017 22:42:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 609252 at http://www.zerohedge.com World's Largest Oil-Pipeline Company Uncovers Illegal Crypto Mining Operation http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/worlds-largest-oil-pipeline-company-uncovers-illegal-crypto-mining-operation <p>The world&rsquo;s largest oil pipeline company has a cryptocurrency problem.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-transneft-cryptocurrency/transneft-says-its-computers-were-used-for-mining-cryptocurrency-idUSKBN1E90X2">Reuters</a>, officials at Transneft revealed that somebody&nbsp; - presumably an employee - used the company&rsquo;s computers for the unauthorized mining of Monero, the world&rsquo;s eleventh-largest digital currency with a market capitalization of nearly $5 billion.</p> <p><strong>Comments from company officials seem to suggest that illegal crypto mining was discovered on more than one occasion.</strong></p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Incidents where the company&rsquo;s hardware was used to manufacture crypto-currency have been found. It could have a negative impact on the productivity of our processing capacity,&rdquo; </strong>Transneft Vice-president Vladimir Rushailo told a company meeting. He did not elaborate.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/04/2017.12.15bitcoin.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/04/2017.12.15bitcoin_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 219px;" /></a></p> <p>Russian authorities have repeatedly expressed their intentions to regulate the market for digital currencies after initially threatening to jail anybody caught mining or trading them.</p> <p>However, Russia&rsquo;s stance on bitcoin has evolved since 2013. <strong>The Russian government and the Ministry of Finance are now seeking to dominate the digital currency by regulating commerce in crypto while also using blockchain technology to its advantage. </strong>Over the summer, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin launched <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-08/russia-launches-100-million-bitcoin-mining-operation">a $100 million initiative </a>to transform Russia into a digital-currency mining powerhouse.</p> <p><strong>Russia&rsquo;s central bank has said there were risks that cryptocurrencies could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.</strong></p> <p>Some have speculated that Russia, Venezuela and Iran - three large oil exporters who are struggling with US sanctions because they depend on the dollar to sell their oil - <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-10/russia-may-turn-oil-backed-cryptocurrency-challenge-sanctions-petrodollar">could launch a decentralized digital currency</a> akin to bitcoin - something that would allow anonymous transactions on top of a blockchain - to facilitate oil contracts and bypass the US financial system.</p> <p>As Tom Luongo pointed out back in October, <strong>Russia&rsquo;s sometimes bipolar approach to regulating crypto makes sense when you consider the law-and-order priorities of Putin&rsquo;s government. Putin has alternatively praised and criticized digital currencies.</strong></p> <p>But as far as most experts can tell, the goal with Russian official crypto-policy is to stamp out the illegal activities &ndash; the money laundering, terrorism-financing, human-trafficking, etc. &ndash; while simultaneously using the technology to modernize Russia&rsquo;s internal capital handling capabilities.</p> <p><strong>Of course, this unauthorized mining activity at Transneft would fall into the latter camp.</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="763" height="334" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12.15bitcoin.JPG?1513352093" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/worlds-largest-oil-pipeline-company-uncovers-illegal-crypto-mining-operation#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Book:The technology behind Crypto Currencies Business Cryptocurrencies Currency Digital currency ETC Finance Iran Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Ministry of Finance Monero Money Putin’s government Reuters Russian government Russia’s Central Bank Transneft Vladimir Putin Fri, 15 Dec 2017 22:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609224 at http://www.zerohedge.com Scheme To Pay Off Trump Accusers Emerges, One Woman Was Offered $750,000 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/scheme-pay-trump-accusers-emerges-one-woman-was-offered-750000 <p>California woman&#39;s rights Attorney Lisa Bloom operated behind a scheme to compensate Trump accusers and potential accusers using money from donors and tabloid media outlets&nbsp;during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, in an effort which intensified as the election neared, report John Solomon and Alison Spann of <em><a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/365068-exclusive-prominent-lawyer-sought-donor-cash-for-two-trump-accusers" target="_blank">The Hill</a></em>.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Lisa Bloom&rsquo;s efforts included <strong>offering to sell alleged victims&rsquo; stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself</strong>, <strong>arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser&rsquo;s mortgage</strong> and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman <strong>who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000</strong>, the clients told The Hill. -<em>The Hill</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The various accounts of Bloom&#39;s scheme were detailed in documents, emails and text messages reviewed by <em>The Hill, </em>and come on the heels of Bill O&#39;Reilly&#39;s claim that there is a secret tape of a women who was <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/bill-oreilly-secret-tape-exists-woman-offered-200k-file-sexual-harassment-charges-ag" target="_blank">offered $200,000</a> to file sexual harassment charges against Trump. It is unknown whether or not O&#39;Reilly&#39;s claim is related to Bloom&#39;s activities.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/Gloria%2BAllred%2BLisa%2BBloom%2BWarner%2BBros%2BPremiere%2B1CMurMeFi9rl.jpg"><img height="276" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/Gloria%2BAllred%2BLisa%2BBloom%2BWarner%2BBros%2BPremiere%2B1CMurMeFi9rl.jpg" width="401" /></a><br />Lisa Bloom with mother Gloria Allred</em></p> <p>Bloom, the daughter of activist Attorney Gloria Allred who initially&nbsp;defended Harvey Weinstein against sexual assault allegations earlier this year and was publicly shamed by anti-Trump comedian&nbsp;<a href="https://pagesix.com/2017/10/24/kathy-griffin-slams-lisa-bloom-and-spineless-heiress-anderson-cooper/" style="font-size: 13.008px;" target="_blank">Kathy Griffin</a>, represented four women considering launching allegations against Trump last year. Two of the women went public, while the other two declined.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bloom says that the goal of her accusation mill was to simply raise funds to help women &quot;relocate or arrange security if they felt unsafe during the waning days of a vitriolic election.&quot; <strong>With a commission to Bloom as high as 33 percent, if she was able to sell their stories to media outlets</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Our standard pro bono agreement for legal services provides that if a media entity offers to compensate a client for sharing his or her story we receive a percentage of those fees. This rarely happens. But, on occasion, a case generates media interest and sometimes (not always) a client may receive an appearance fee,&rdquo; said Bloom.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/1767.jpg"><img height="241" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/1767_0.jpg" width="401" /></a><br />Jill Harth</em></p> <p>One client of Bloom&#39;s who received money was Trump accuser Jill Harth, who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against trump in 1997, but withdrew it after Trump settled a separate lawsuit from Harth and her boyfriend for alleged breach of contract when trump backed out of a business deal. After Bloom began representing Harth, <strong>she arranged for a donor to help Harth pay off her Queens, NY mortgage</strong>, which was recorded as extinguished on Dec. 19, 2016. Bloom also&nbsp;&quot;<strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">arranged a small payment from the licensing of some photos to the news media, then set up a&nbsp;<em>GoFundMe</em>&nbsp;page</strong>&nbsp;for Harth&#39;s benefit which raised a little over $2,300.</p> <p>Harth maintains Bloom&#39;s financial incentives had nothing to do with her decision to reignite her claims:</p> <p>&ldquo;Nothing that you&rsquo;ve said to me about my mortgage or the Go Fund Me that was created to help me out financially affects the facts or the veracity of my 1997 federal complaint against Donald J. Trump for sexual harassment and assault,&rdquo; Harth told The Hill.</p> <p>One woman who spoke with <em>The Hill</em>&nbsp;under the condition of anonymity said that she was friends with Bloom and Harth, and said that Bloom never encouraged them to make false statements - however their texts and emails &quot;<strong>indicate Bloom held a strong dislike of Trump</strong>,&quot; telling the potential Trump accuser in one email that her story was &quot;further evidence of what a sick predator this man is.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>Other documents reveal that Bloom&#39;s efforts to peddle accusers intensified as the 2016 election neared.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>When Harth, for instance, informed Bloom she had just made a Facebook post urging other women to come forward about Trump in October 2016, the lawyer texted back: &ldquo;Wow Jill that would be amazing. 27 days until the election.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And <strong>when a potential client abruptly backed out of a pre-election news conference in which she was supposed to allege she was sexually assaulted at age 13, Bloom turned her attention to another woman</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That woman, Harth&rsquo;s friend, went back and forth for weeks with Bloom in 2016 about going public with an allegation of an unsolicited advance by Trump on the 1990s beauty contest circuit.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;<strong>Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it</strong>,&rdquo; Bloom texted the woman a week before Election Day.</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>I&rsquo;m scared Lisa. I can&rsquo;t relocate. I don&rsquo;t like taking other people&rsquo;s money</strong>,&rdquo; the woman wrote to Bloom.</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>Ok let&rsquo;s not do this then</strong>,&rdquo; Bloom responded. &ldquo;<strong>We are just about out of time anyway</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p>This angered the potential Trump accuser, who texted Bloom back about the deadline: &ldquo;<strong>What does time have to do with this? Time to bury Trump??? You want my story to bury trump for what? Personal gain? See that &#39;s why I have trust issues</strong>!!&rdquo;</p> <p>Another exchange of text messages between Bloom and a potential client reveal a negotiation which started out at $50,000. When the woman demanded more, Bloom came back with an offer of $100,000 from a donor, which the woman balked at.</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>Hey after thinking about all this, I need more than $100,000.00</strong>. College money would be nice&rdquo; for her daughter. &ldquo;Plus relocation fees, as we discussed.&rdquo;</p> <p>After their discussion, the figure <strong>jumped to $200,000</strong>&nbsp;after a series of phone calls. <strong>The support was promised to be tax-free, and included relocation complete with a new identity</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bloom told <em>The Hill</em>&nbsp;that the woman eventually demanded as much a <strong>$2 million</strong>, which eventually became a low six-figure offer:&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;She asked to be compensated, citing concerns for her safety and security and over time, increased her request for financial compensation to $2 million, which we told her was a non-starter,&rdquo; Bloom told The Hill. &ldquo;We did relay her security concerns to donors, but none were willing to offer more than a number in the low six figures, which they felt was more appropriate to address her security and relocation expenses.&rdquo;</p> <p>When the woman fell ill and ended up in the hospital days before the election, <strong>Bloom scrambled to reach her</strong>, sending repeated texts to a friend of the potential accuser, who replied with a picture of the client in a hospital bed. Bloom did not give up, <strong>warning the woman&#39;s friend that if she did not go through with the accusation, it could have &quot;a significant impact on her life,&quot; and a &quot;big impact on her daughter.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&quot;She is in no condition for visitors,&quot; the friend responded, adding &quot;If you care about her you need to leave her be until she is feeling better.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>Bloom then <strong>flew out from California</strong>&nbsp;to visit the woman, who then decided she would <em>not</em>&nbsp;move forward with her allegations against Trump. Via&nbsp;<em>The Hill:&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&ldquo;I am confused because you sent me so many nice texts Wednesday night after my other client wasted so much of my time and canceled the press conference,&rdquo; Bloom texted on Nov. 5, 2016. &ldquo;That meant a lot to me. <strong>Thursday you said you wanted to do this if you could be protected/relocated. I begged you not to jerk me around after what I had just gone through</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bloom then browbeat the woman, texting &quot;<strong>You have treated me very poorly.</strong> I have treated you with great respect as much as humanly possible. <strong>I have not made a dime off your case and I have devoted a great deal of time.</strong> It doesn&rsquo;t matter. I could have done so much for you. <strong>But you can&rsquo;t stick to your word even when you swear you will.</strong>&rdquo;</p> <p>The woman eventually agreed to meet Bloom after she got out of the hospital, two days before the election - where she told <em>The Hill</em>&nbsp;that Bloom had upped her offer to <strong>$750,000</strong>, which was declined.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Another woman</strong>&nbsp;who declined to come forward with accusations says that Bloom made it very clear that she would be paid fees from arranging compensated media appearances.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Outlets with which I have good relationships that may pay for your first on camera interview, revealing your name and face: <strong>Inside Edition, Dr. Phil, LawNewz.com,</strong>&rdquo; Bloom texted the woman just weeks before Election Day. <strong>&ldquo;My best estimate of what I could get for you would be $10-15,000 (less our 1/3 attorney fee).&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>After Bloom found out that one of her clients had already spoken with CBS News right before the election about a paid interview, she told the accuser &quot;You and your friends should not be shopping the story it will come back to bite you,&quot; adding &quot;<strong>And this whole thing we have worked so hard to make happen will go away</strong>.&quot;&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="392" height="219" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/alred%20teaser.jpg?1513362455" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/scheme-pay-trump-accusers-emerges-one-woman-was-offered-750000#comments Big Fish California Donald Trump Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations Fiction with unreliable narrators Gloria Allred Harold Bloom Lisa Bloom None United States Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:45:18 +0000 Tyler Durden 609241 at http://www.zerohedge.com Crypto Envy? Beware Greed and FOMO - Jeff Tomasulo http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/crypto-envy-beware-greed-and-fomo-jeff-tomasulo <h3>Crypto Envy</h3> <p><em>To&nbsp;us, Jeff is describing what he knows from&nbsp;his years of experience and some&nbsp;call the "psychology of regret". It is also closely related to the concept of a Giffen good in&nbsp;economics. That is an item in which its demand goes&nbsp; up as its price does, like perfume. Cryptos are right now exhibiting <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giffen_good">Giffen Good&nbsp;</a> qualities because of the press and hype surrounding the launch of futures for sure.&nbsp;&nbsp;This is why it is all the more important to not forget your discipline.&nbsp; When the world is telling you to buy something&nbsp;because it went up, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that Jeff describes so well can be&nbsp;overwhelming. &nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>The message is clear to&nbsp; us. There will be other opportunities, don't chase the last one. Ignore the fact that your next door neighbor who just bought a Rolls with his Bitcoin winnings is just lucky, not good. Stick to your rules, and&nbsp;remember trading, as well as investing,&nbsp;is&nbsp;a marathon, not a sprint. The market will be there tomorrow - Soren K</em>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>GREED and FOMO</h2> <p><strong><a href="https://jefftomasulo.com/author/jprice/"><em>Written by&nbsp;Jeff Tomasulo, CEO Vespula Capital</em></a></strong></p> <p>Every month, I speak to around a hundred retail investors at a conference in Utah. Over past six months, I’ve been getting pretty much the same two questions. “Where do you think the market will go?” and “Would you invest in Bitcoin?” keep coming up. Both questions are obviously very subjective. The more interesting question, the one that has plagued me at times throughout my career, is about the thought processes of investors. Why do investors find it so compelling to invest in assets and projects where the risks are hard to measure and the probabilities of success are so low? It mainly comes down to two consistent killers of returns, <strong>Greed and Fear Of Missing Out </strong>(FOMO).</p> <p>Greed and FOMO have been affecting investors and people outside of the investing world for centuries. That is why get rich quick infomercials still work today. Most of us have an inner desire to catch that one special stock that goes from 50 cents all the way up to 100 dollars. This is the allure of the penny stocks. It is also why bitcoin is getting so much attention today. Yes, it is a new technology that can, maybe, possibly, someday change the world. That’s why Greed and FOMO are kicking in.</p> <p>Greed and FOMO are the main reasons why certain stocks go parabolic. We like to dig deep into our pasts and remember all the times we wanted to invest in a stock like Apple at $12 in 1997 but didn’t do it. Or when Google broke above $500, and people told you it was overvalued. Or that time you had an opportunity to invest in that start-up with a few of your friends, but you didn’t. They walked away with a few hundred thousand dollars. You do not want to miss out again! Greed and FOMO! That is how we justify buying Boeing at $295 or AMAZON $1165 even after they have both soared over 50% this year.</p> <p>Ironically, we usually do not recall all the times that we missed out on losing a ton of money. For me, it was Bear Stearns the Friday before it was bought by JP Morgan for $2 a share. By not pulling the trigger at $30.85 a share, I saved myself $200,000. Was I jealous of my friends who invested in an energy drink company when I didn’t? The four of them lost a total of a million dollars because the CEO was stealing money from the company. We have to remind ourselves that when our Greed and FOMO is high, it can cut both ways. More often than not, it usually goes the wrong way.</p> <p>One thing I have learned over the past 22 years of investing is that there is no need to fear missing out. The 1960s and early 70s had the Nifty Fifty, the 1990s had the Internet, and today we have the FANG stocks. There will always be new opportunities, but they probably won’t be the same companies. <strong>[EDIT- And jumping on bandwagons can be <a href="https://jefftomasulo.com/are-you-diversified/">detrimental to healthy diversification</a>&nbsp;- Soren K]</strong></p> <p>To me, there is a difference between investing to make consistent returns and trying to hit that magic home run. There is nothing wrong with home runs. The keys are how you go about it and how much money you allocate to it. This is what I tell anyone who will listen: If you have Greed and FOMO running through your veins, take a very small portion of your overall portfolio and make small bets on these types of ideas. That way, you can satisfy your Greed and FOMO without losing a fortune. Hopefully, over time you will even hit one or two of them and actually make some money.</p> <p>Read more observations by Jeff Tomasulo <a href="https://jefftomasulo.com/">HERE</a></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="1007" height="568" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user238352/imageroot/2.PNG?1513373606" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/crypto-envy-beware-greed-and-fomo-jeff-tomasulo#comments Advertising Anxiety Apple Bear Stearns Bitcoin Bitcoin Boeing Cinema of the United States Communication Economy Fear of missing out Film FOMO Google Greed and fear Internet culture Social media Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:35:35 +0000 Vince Lanci 609256 at http://www.zerohedge.com