en Mutiny Breaks Out Inside The World's Most Successful Hedge Fund Over Donald Trump <p>Last August, we <a href="">introduced readers </a>to the hedge fund that we dubbed the "<strong>puppetmaster behind the US presidential election</strong>", which also happened to be the most successful hedge fund in history : Setauket-based Renaissance Technologies (a recent analysis by <a href="">LCH found that Ray Dalio's Bridgewater</a>, with $45 billion in absolute profits since inception, was the most successful but the ranking ignored Renaissance, which has return $10 billion more). </p> <p>Formerly known best for making a <a href="">staggering $55 billion since its founding</a>, RenTec as it is better known in financial circles, also emerged as <em>perfectly hedged </em>when it comes to the outcome of the presidential election. On one hand, there was RenTec's chain-smoking billionaire founder (in 2015 alone he made $1.7 billion) Jim Simons, who had donated some $10 million to Hillary Clinton's campaign, second only to Savan Capital. In a <a href="">June 2016 interview with CNBC</a>, Jim Simons said that "if you compare the presidential candidates using the Sharpe ratio, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is 'not a good investment.'" </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="303" /></p> <p><em>Jim Simons</em></p> <p>Meanwhile, Rentec's Co-CEO, billionaire Robert Mercer, emerged as the man who was pulling the string behind Donald Trump's entire campaign. As the WSJ reported at the time, Mercer has longstanding ties to both people elevated to top posts in the Trump campaign. He and his daughter, Rebekah, not only poured money into the Trump campaign, but had recommended both Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon (they had <a href="">invested $10 million in Breitbart News</a>) and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who already worked for the campaign, to join the Trump team around the time it found itself in disarray with last summer's scandals involving Tim Manafort. (Trump returned the favor, in part, by <a href="">pouring that campaign money back </a>into a data-analytics firm co-owned by Rebekah, who was later named to Trump’s transition team executive committee.) <strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p><em>Robert Mercer</em></p> <p>And just like that the man who Rentec's founder, Jim Simons, said "is not a good investment" because his "Sharpe ratio is terrible", had become the investment of RenTec's current CEO. </p> <p>A few months later, the investment paid off; Simons was wrong but thanks to Mercer's "bet", Renaissance ultimately won. </p> <p>Fast forward to today when one would think that as a result of this "perfect hedge", the finely-tuned money-making machine that is RenTec, would be sailing smoothly. However a <a href="">fascinating new report by WSJ's Greg Zuckerman, </a>reveals that nothing could be further from the truth.</p> <p>As <a href="">Forbes eloquently puts </a>it, "in your average workplace in your average election year, the politics of the guys or gals running the place might be discussed privately among staff but likely wouldn’t result in a confrontation with the boss. What’s more, the mostly left-leaning employees at Renaissance have had a like-minded friend in chairman and founder Jim Simons, who has been a major donor to the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. But 2016 was not your average election year and Renaissance is not your average workplace. With the amount of money people are taking home, they literally have the ability to reshape America in whichever way they see fit. And for Renaissance partner and research scientist David Magerman, Mercer’s support for Trump’s anti-immigration policies and his associations with white-nationalist fellow travelers was too much to take." </p> <p>A quick bit of background: Magerman makes millions each year, drives a Tesla and says he gives more than $10 million in charity annually. A research scientist, he is one of 100 partners at the firm, but he isn’t one of Renaissance’s most senior executives. Magerman, a 20-year Renaissance veteran who helped design the fund’s trading systems. He has concluded that every new piece of code he developed for Renaissance helped Mr. Mercer make more money and gave him greater ability to influence the country.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="366" /></a></p> <p><em>David Magerman</em></p> <p>In recent months Magerman - a registered Democrat who calls himself a centrist, and who had complained to colleagues about Mercer’s role as a prominent booster of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign - started to become a more vocal at the office about his disdain for Mercer’s activities, which resulted in this awkward phone call with his boss, as reported by The Wall Street Journal:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Magerman says he was in his home office in suburban Philadelphia earlier this month when the phone rang. His boss, hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, was on the line. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist,” Mr. Mercer said. “That’s ridiculous.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Those weren’t my exact words,” Mr. Magerman said he told Mr. Mercer, stammering and then explaining his concerns about Mr. Trump’s policy positions, rhetoric and cabinet choices.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong> “If what you’re doing is harming the country then you have to stop.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Following such a rather "uncomfortable" phone call with his billionaire boss, as well as the real possibility of getting fired, one would think the democrat would have prudently decided to keep his mouth shut. But Magerman did no such thing. In fact, he ramped up his efforts to show Mercer that he’s not going to stand by and let the politics of Breitbart News ruin the country. There were more phone calls:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Magerman says he first spoke with Mr. Mercer in January, when Mr. Magerman, who donates to local schools, called Mr. Mercer to ask for the opportunity to reach out to Rebekah Mercer to offer the administration help on education policy. During the call, they talked politics, disagreeing about some of the administration’s early steps. After airing his concerns with others at the company, Mr. Magerman received the second call from Mr. Mercer two weeks ago. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The conversation grew strained. After telling Mr. Mercer to stop harming the country, he said Mr. Mercer responded that his goal had been to defeat Mrs. Clinton and that he wouldn’t remain very involved in politics. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“How can you say you’re not involved?” </strong>Mr. Magerman said, citing an outside group Rebekah Mercer was involved in that was aimed at boosting Mr. Trump’s agenda.</p> </blockquote> <p>Not content with keeping the matter internal, Magerman then broke the cardinal rule of hedge funds - and certainly <em>the most secretive hedge funds in the world</em>, one founded by a former codebreaker - he went public. </p> <p>As the WSJ says "until now nobody within the tight-lipped hedge fund has gone public with a grievance." The changed when Magerman contacted Zuckerman to tell him that Mercer's “views show contempt for the social safety net that he doesn’t need, but many Americans do." Speaking to the WSJ reporter at the Dairy Café, a kosher restaurant he owns in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., Magerman said that “now he’s using the money I helped him make to implement his worldview” by supporting Mr. Trump and encouraging that “government be shrunk down to the size of a pinhead.”</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></a><br /><em>David Magerman's home in Merion Station, Pa.</em></p> <p>He has also tried to get to the source of his angst: those closest to Trump such as Jared Kushner:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>To try to counteract his boss’s activities, Mr. Magerman says he has been in touch with local Democratic leaders and plans to make major contributions to the party. He says he called Planned Parenthood to offer his assistance and contacted Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, to voice his concerns about Ms. Conway and Mr. Bannon. He says he failed to reach Mr. Kushner.</p> </blockquote> <p>Failing to generate traction, Magerman decided to use the nuclear route: use political connections to hurt his own employer:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Mr. Magerman has one idea that would reduce the power of people like Mr. Mercer. He said he was thinking about reaching out to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) t<strong>o craft proposals to reduce speculative trading, which presumably would curtail Renaissance’s profits.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Needless to say, such a dramatic attempt at corporate self-destruction would hardly be smiled upon by either by the republican Mercer, or RenTec's democratic founder, Jim Simons, who has invested his entire career into creating the world's most secretive, and successful, quant fund. </p> <p>What happened next? Apparently, the self-loating employee thought that letting his conscience speak - quite publicly - would have no consequences.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In conversation at his cafe, Mr. Magerman said he hoped his public statements wouldn’t cost him his job. But if he does get fired, he said, he would have more time to devote to politics and other causes. “This is my life’s work—I ran a group that wrote the trading system they still use,” he said. “<strong>But I feel relieved I’m now doing something, and if they fire me, maybe it’s for the best.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Unfortunately for Magerman and his idealistic universe, in the real world there are real consequences, and as the WSJ concludes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>On Thursday morning, after an online version of this story appeared, <strong>Mr. Magerman received a new phone call from Renaissance. A representative told Mr. Magerman that he was being suspended without pay and no longer could have contact with the company.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While we don't know if Magerman will be content with the status of his conscientious objector crusade against his employer, we are confident he will have much more free time to ruminate on the consequences of his actions. And, as he himself said, he will surely be relieved to no longer be with his loathsome ex-employer unless, of course, his entire story was just a hypocritical charade.</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="650" height="366" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-right American people of German descent Breitbart News Bridgewater Business Conservatism in the United States Democratic Party Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Economy Elizabeth Warren Jim Simons Politics Politics of the United States Rebekah Mercer Renaissance RenTec Republican Party Robert Mercer Speculative Trading Steve Bannon Trading Systems Wall Street Journal White House White House Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:52:35 +0000 Tyler Durden 588865 at Valuations Matter – Even For Millennial Investors <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Lance Roberts via,</em></a></p> <p>A friend reached out to me today and asked me a simple question:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #993300;"><em>&ldquo;If the average person gets a $3000 tax refund every year and then invests the refund into the S&amp;P 500, what would their end result look like?&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></span></p> </blockquote> <p>No problem. All we need to do is make a few quick assumptions.</p> <ol> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Historically, going back to 1900, using Robert Shiller&rsquo;s historical data, the market has averaged, more or less, 10% annually on a total return basis. Of that 10%, roughly 6% came from capital appreciation and 4% from dividends. (This is important and we will return to this later.)</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Given the lack of ability, and or desire, to save in younger years most people begin to get serious about saving money around 35 years of age on average.</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>We will assume a retirement age of 65 which puts our saving and investing time frame at 30-years.</em></span></li> </ol> <p>As I stated, this is a relatively easy calculation which you can find regularly espoused throughout the majority of the financial media, blogosphere, and Wall Street as the promise of <em>&ldquo;passive indexing&rdquo;</em> persists.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19644" height="366" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Not bad. The $3000 per year savings plan grows to a nice lump sum of $500,000.</p> <p><strong>This clearly supports the long-held belief that if you have 30-years to retirement, just dollar-cost average into some index funds and you will be fine.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>You can stop reading now.</p> <hr /> <h2><u><strong>But What If The Entire Premise Is Flawed?&nbsp;</strong></u></h2> <p>If, as a millennial investor, you really want to save and invest for retirement you need to understand how markets really work.</p> <p>Markets are highly volatile over the long-term investment period. <strong>During any time horizon the biggest detractors from the achievement of financial goals come from five factors:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Lack of capital to invest.</em></span></strong></li> <li><strong><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Psychological and behavioral factors. (i.e. buy high/sell low)</em></span></strong></li> <li><strong><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Variable rates of return.</em></span></strong></li> <li><strong><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Time horizons, and;</em></span></strong></li> <li><strong><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Beginning valuation levels&nbsp;</em></span></strong></li> </ul> <p>I have addressed the first two at length in <a href="" target="_blank">Dalbar 2016, Why You Still Suck At Investing</a> but the important points are these:</p> <p>Despite your best intentions to <em>&ldquo;buy and hold&rdquo;</em> over the long-term, the reality is that you will unlikely achieve those promised returns.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19663" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 390px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>While the inability to participate in the financial markets is certainly a major issue, the biggest reason for underperformance by investors who do participate in the financial markets over time is psychology.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19664" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 369px;" /></a></p> <p>Behavioral biases that lead to poor investment decision-making is the single largest contributor to underperformance over time. Dalbar defined nine of the irrational investment behavior biases specifically:</p> <ul> <li><em><strong>Loss Aversion &ndash;</strong> The fear of loss leads to a withdrawal of capital at the worst possible time.&nbsp; Also known as &ldquo;panic selling.&rdquo;</em></li> <li><em><strong>Narrow Framing &ndash; </strong>Making decisions about on part of the portfolio without considering the effects on the total.</em></li> <li><em><strong>Anchoring &ndash;</strong> The process of remaining focused on what happened previously and not adapting to a changing market.</em></li> <li><em><strong>Mental Accounting &ndash;</strong> Separating performance of investments mentally to justify success and failure.</em></li> <li><em><strong>Lack of Diversification &ndash;</strong> Believing a portfolio is diversified when in fact it is a highly correlated pool of assets.</em></li> <li><em><strong>Herding&ndash;</strong> Following what everyone else is doing. Leads to &ldquo;buy high/sell low.&rdquo;</em></li> <li><em><strong>Regret &ndash;</strong> Not performing a necessary action due to the regret of a previous failure.</em></li> <li><em><strong>Media Response &ndash;</strong> The media has a bias to optimism to sell products from advertisers and attract view/readership.</em></li> <li><em><strong>Optimism &ndash;</strong> Overly optimistic assumptions tend to lead to rather dramatic reversions when met with reality.</em></li> </ul> <p>The biggest of these problems for individuals is the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>&ldquo;herding effect&rdquo; </em></a>and <a href="" target="_blank"><em>&ldquo;loss aversion.&rdquo;</em></a></p> <p>These two behaviors tend to function together compounding the issues of investor mistakes over time. As markets are rising, individuals are lead to believe that the current price trend will continue to last for an indefinite period. <strong>The longer the rising trend last, the more ingrained the belief becomes until the last of <em>&ldquo;holdouts&rdquo;</em> finally<em> &ldquo;buys in&rdquo;</em> as the financial markets evolve into a <em>&ldquo;euphoric state.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>As the markets decline, there is a slow realization that <em>&ldquo;this decline&rdquo;</em> is something more than a <em>&ldquo;buy the dip&rdquo;</em> opportunity.&nbsp; <strong>As losses mount, the anxiety of loss begins to mount until individuals seek to<em> &ldquo;avert further loss&rdquo;</em> by selling</strong>.</p> <p>This is the basis of the <strong>&ldquo;Buy High / Sell Low&rdquo;</strong> syndrome that plagues investors over the long-term.</p> <p><strong>However,&nbsp;without understanding what drives market returns over the long term, you can&rsquo;t understand the impact the market has on psychology and investor behavior.</strong></p> <p><strong>Over any 30-year period the beginning valuation levels, the price your pay for your investments has a spectacular impact on future returns.</strong> I have highlighted return levels at 7-12x earnings and 18-22x earnings. We will use the average of 10x and 20x earnings for our savings analysis.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19645" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 418px;" /></a></p> <p>As you will notice, 30-year forward returns are significantly higher on average when investing at 10x earnings as opposed to 20x earnings or where we are currently near 25x.</p> <p>For the purpose of this exercise, I went back through history and pulled the 4-periods where valuations were either above 20x earnings or below 10x earnings. <strong>I then ran a $1000 investment going forward for 30-years on a total-return, inflation adjusted, basis.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19646" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 407px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>At 10x earnings, the worst performing period started in 1918 and only saw $1000 grow to a bit more than $6000.</strong> The best performing period was not the screaming bull market that started in 1980 because the last 10-years of that particular cycle caught the <em>&ldquo;;</em> crash. <strong>It was the post-WWII bull market than ran from 1942 through 1972 that was the winner. Of course, the crash of 1974, just two years later, extracted a good bit of those returns.</strong></p> <p><strong>Conversely, at 20x earnings, the best performing period started in 1900 which caught the rise of the market to its peak in 1929. Unfortunately, the next 4-years wiped out roughly 85% of those gains</strong>. However, outside of that one period, all of the other periods fared worse than investing at lower valuations. <span style="color: #993300;"><em>(Note: 1993 is still currently running as its 30-year period will end in 2023.)</em></span></p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19647" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 402px;" /></a></p> <p>The point to be made here is simple and was precisely summed up by Warren Buffett:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em><span style="color: #993300;">&ldquo;Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>This is shown in the chart below. I have averaged each of the 4-periods above into a single total return, inflation adjusted, index, Clearly, investing at 10x earnings yields substantially&nbsp;better results.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19648" src="" style="width: 601px; height: 452px;" /></a></p> <p>So, with this understanding let me return once again to the young, Millennial saver, who is going to endeavor at saving their annual tax refund of $3000. The chart below shows&nbsp;$3000 invested annually into the S&amp;P 500 inflation-adjusted, total return index at 10% compounded annually and both 10x and 20x valuation starting levels. <strong>I have also shown $3000 saved annually in a mattress.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19666" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 365px;" /></a></p> <p>The red line is 10% compounded annually. You won&rsquo;t get that but it is there so you can compare it to the real returns received over the 30-year investment horizon starting at 10x and 20x valuation levels. The short fall between the promised 10% annual rates of return and actual returns are shown by in two shaded areas. <strong>In other words, if our young saver was banking on some advisors promise of 10% annual returns for retirement, he isn&rsquo;t going to make it.</strong></p> <p>I want you to take note of the point made that when investing your money when markets are above 20x earnings, it was 22-years before it grew more than money stuffed in a mattress. <strong>Why 22 years?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Take a look at the chart below.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19667" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 358px;" /></a></p> <p>Historically, it has generally taken roughly 22-years&nbsp;to resolve a period of over-valuation. <strong>Given the last major over-valuation period started in 1999, history suggests another major market downturn will mean revert valuations by 2021.</strong></p> <p>The point here is obvious, but difficult to grasp from a mainstream media that is continually enticing young Millennial investors to mistakenly invest their savings into an overvalued market. <strong>Saving your money, and waiting for a valuation based opportunity to invest those savings in the market, is the best, safest way, to invest for your financial future.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Of course, <span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Wall Street won&rsquo;t like this&nbsp;much because they can&rsquo;t charge you a fee if you are sitting on a mountain of cash awaiting the opportunity to <em>&ldquo;buy&rdquo;</em> their next&nbsp;misfortune.</strong></span></p> <p>But isn&rsquo;t that what&nbsp;Baron Rothschild meant when quipped:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><span style="color: #993300;"><strong>&ldquo;The</strong> <strong>time to buy is when there&rsquo;s blood in the streets</strong>.&rdquo; </span></em></p> </blockquote> <h2><u><strong>7-Steps To Long-Term Investment Success</strong></u></h2> <p>With the market currently trading at the third-highest valuation level in history, only surpassed currently by the peaks in 1929 and 1999, you can only surmise what the outcome for our young saver will likely be.</p> <p>The analysis reveals the important points young investors&nbsp;should consider given current valuation levels and the reality of investing over the long-term:</p> <ul> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em><strong>Expectations for future returns</strong>&nbsp;should be downwardly&nbsp;adjusted.</em></span></li> <li><strong><span style="color: #993300;"><em>The potential for front-loaded returns going forward is unlikely.</em></span></strong></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em><strong>Control investment behaviors and emotions</strong> that detract from portfolio returns is critical.</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em><strong>Future inflation expectations</strong> must be carefully considered.</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em><strong>Understand risk and control drawdowns</strong> in portfolios during market&nbsp;declines.</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em><strong>Save money regularly, invest when reward outweighs the risk.</strong></em>&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em><strong>Expectations for compounded annual rates of returns should be dismissed</strong>&nbsp;</em></span></li> </ul> <p>Robo-advisors, passive indexing, etc. do not address these issues and will impair the ability of young investors to achieve their long-term goals.</p> <p>Investing is not a competition. There are no&nbsp;awards for beating the market, but there are severe and lasting consequences for chasing markets where others fear to tread.</p> <p><strong>You are fine as long as there is a <em>&ldquo;greater fool&rdquo;</em> to eventually sell to. Just make sure that <em>&ldquo;fool&rdquo;</em> is not you.</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="580" height="392" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Economy ETC Finance Financial markets Fundamental analysis Investment Money Price–earnings ratio Rate of return Reality Robert Shiller S&P 500 Stock selection criterion Valuation Warren Buffett Yield Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588852 at "We're Very Angry": Why Trump Wants To Expand America's Nuclear Arsenal <p>Shortly before the market close on Thursday, retailers stumbled on one single Reuters headline: <strong>Trump says he supports "some form" of border tax.</strong></p> <p>As Reuters elaborated, President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke favorably about an export-boosting border adjustment tax proposal being pushed by Republicans in the U.S. Congress, but did not specifically&nbsp; endorse it. Trump had previously sent mixed signals on the proposal at the heart of a Republican plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States</strong>," Trump told Reuters in an interview, using his most positive language to date on the proposal. Trump had sent conflicting signals about his position on the border adjustability tax in separate media interviews in January, saying in one interview that it was "too complicated" and in another that it was still on the table.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"I certainly support a form of tax on the border,"</strong> he told Reuters on Thursday. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"What is going to happen is companies are going to come back here, they're going to build their factories and they're going to create a lot of jobs and there's no tax</strong>." Trump also said his administration will tackle tax reform legislation after dealing with Obamacare, the health insurance system put in place by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.</p> </blockquote> <p>Trump's latest U-turn means that the BAT debate, having been largely assumed to be over, following vocal opposition from both senators and the retail lobby, is again back front and center. And since "some form" of border adjustment would force retailers to pass on rising import costs to consumers, it promptly sent the retail sector tumbling to day lows:</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="266" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>However, it was a separate series of comments to Reuters that drew just as much attention, as Trump appeared to revive the second coming of the nuclear arms race - something he hinted at several months ago - when he said that <strong>he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the "top of the pack," saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity</strong>. Trump also complained about Russian deployment of a cruise missile in violation of an arms control treaty and said he would raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when and if they meet.</p> <p>In his <a href="">first comments about the U.S. nuclear arsenal </a>since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump said the United States has "fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity." </p> <p><strong>“I am the first one that would like to see everybody - nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p><strong>"It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,</strong>" Trump said. The new strategic arms limitation treaty, known as New START, between the U.S. and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries must limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years. Russia has 7,300 warheads and the United States, 6,970, according to the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-nuclear group.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The treaty permits both countries to have no more than 800 deployed and non-deployed land-based intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers and heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear weapons, and contains equal limits on other nuclear weapons.</p> </blockquote> <p>Analysts have questioned whether Trump wants to abrogate New START or would begin deploying other warheads. In the interview, Trump called New START "a one-sided deal.&nbsp; "Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it's START, whether it's the Iran deal ... We're going to start making good deals," he said.</p> <p>The United States is in the midst of a $1 trillion, 30-year modernization of its aging ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles, a price tag that most experts say the country cannot afford.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Trump also complained that the Russian deployment of a ground-based cruise missile is in violation of a 1987 treaty that bans land-based American and Russian intermediate-range missiles. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"To me it's a big deal," </strong>Trump said.&nbsp; Asked if he would raise the issue with Putin, Trump said he would do so "if and when we meet." He said he had no meetings scheduled as of yet with Putin. </p> </blockquote> <p>Speaking from behind his desk in the Oval Office, Trump&nbsp; declared that <strong>"we're very angry</strong>" at North Korea's ballistic missile tests and said accelerating a missile defense system for U.S. allies Japan and South Korea was among many options available.</p> <p>"There's talks of a lot more than that," Trump said, when asked about the missile defense system. "We'll see what happens. But it's a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion. </p> <p>"It's very late. We're very angry at what he's done, and frankly this should have been taken care of during the Obama administration," he said. According to Japanese news reports, the Japanese government plans to start debate over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, and the land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system to improve its capability to counter North Korean ballistic missiles.</p> <p>Trump vowed during his campaign to step up missile defense efforts and within minutes of his Jan. 20 inauguration, the White House announced that the administration intended to develop a "state of the art" missile defense system to protect against attacks from Iran and North Korea. </p> <p>It did not provide details on whether the system would differ from those already under development, its cost or how it would be paid for.</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="380" height="220" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Barack Obama Border-adjustment tax Business Business career of Donald Trump China Climate change skepticism and denial Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration International relations Iran Japan Japanese government Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Missile Missile defense Missile Defense Agency New START North Korea Nuclear arms race Nuclear Power Nuclear warfare Obama Administration Obama administration Obamacare Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Politics Politics of the United States Reuters Rocketry Space warfare The Apprentice U.S. Congress United States United States national missile defense Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin War White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:24:29 +0000 Tyler Durden 588856 at Soros-Linked Former Clinton Staffer Behind 'Organized' Townhall Protests <p>Confirming the Republican Chair of the House Committee on Oversight, <a href="">Jason Chaffetz&#39;s comments last week</a>, that protesters were an organized mob:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Chaffetz shot back, and <a href=";nid=148&amp;title=chaffetz-says-out-of-state-radicals-hijacked-town-hall-meeting">told KSL </a>that the raucous reception he received at Thursday evening&#39;s town hall meeting was <strong>&quot;bullying and an attempt at intimidation&quot; </strong>from a crowd opposed to President Donald Trump&#39;s election. More importantly, the republican accused paid interests (here the name of George Soros has been heard frequently in recent months) of orchestrating the rising protests and violence at Republican townhalls. Chaffets said the crowd that filled the auditorium at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights and spilled over into a protest outside, <strong>included people brought in from other states to disrupt the meeting</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Absolutely. I know there were,&quot; he said, suggesting it was &quot;<strong>more of a paid attempt to bully and intimidate</strong>&quot; than a reflection of the feelings of his 3rd District constituents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;<strong>You could see it online a couple days before, a concerted effort in part to just cause chaos</strong>,&quot; the Utah Republican said Friday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="361" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Democrats are in disbelief that they have nothing but flailing and screaming to deal with this.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Democrats have insisted&nbsp;that recent town hall outbursts against Republican politicians occurred organically,</strong> likening&nbsp;them to the Tea Party.</p> <p>President Donald Trump yesterday&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">tweeted</a>&nbsp;that the &quot;so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous occasions, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!&quot;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">February 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>It is <strong>now clear that Trump is correct</strong> and this so-called &#39;Townhall Project&#39; is organized and centralized, not organic...</p> <p><a href="">FreeBeacon&#39;s Joe Schoffstall reports </a>that <strong>a group serving as a central hub of information for congressional town halls was founded by a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer and its parent company is located at the same address as an organization funded by liberal billionaire George Soros</strong>.</p> <p>The Town Hall Project, a group that serves as a one-stop shop of information for town hall protests across the country, is connected to a former Clinton staffer and is also closely affiliated with a number of liberal groups.</p> <p>The group, which&nbsp;has been referenced by media outlets on&nbsp;<a href="">numerous</a>&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">occasions</a>, bills itself as a &quot;volunteer-powered, grassroots effort that empowers constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Jimmy Dahman, a former field organizer for the Clinton campaign in Iowa,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">founded</a>&nbsp;the Town Hall Project. Dahman&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">claimed</a>&nbsp;on CNN&nbsp;that the town hall events are &quot;all organic and happening at the grassroots level.&quot;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="332" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Dahman&#39;s group is&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">closely involved</a>&nbsp;with,</strong> a major progressive activist group that&nbsp;recently launched a website, called&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>, to encourage activists to attend town hall events.</p> <p><strong>The Town Hall Project&#39;s&nbsp;<a href=";" target="_blank">parent company</a>&nbsp;is The Action Network,</strong> which&nbsp;was involved in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">demonstrations</a>&nbsp;against Walmart and the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">protests</a>&nbsp;in Ferguson.</p> <p>Finally, we note the projects potential links to billionaire George Soros...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The Action Network is&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">located</a>&nbsp;at the same Washington, D.C.,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">address</a>&nbsp;as United We Dream, </strong>the &quot;largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.&quot;<strong> United We Dream has&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">received funding</a>&nbsp;from liberal billionaire George Soros.</strong> It began organizing &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">sanctuary campus</a>&quot; anti-Trump protests shortly after the election.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Action Network also shares&nbsp;the same&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">address</a>&nbsp;as Change to Win,&nbsp;the labor organizing group.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><em>Read more here...</em></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="625" height="346" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Brighton High School Business Central European University Conservatism in the United States Counterculture of the 1960s Democratic Party Donald Trump Donald Trump Finance George Soros George Soros House Committee on Oversight Jason Chaffetz Money MoveOn Politics Social Issues Speculators Tea Party Washington D.C. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588830 at DOJ Reverses Obama-Era Decision To Phase Out Private Prisons <p>Another day, another reversal of a legacy Obama policy.</p> <p>Moments ago, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era memo to phase out the use of private prisons, signalling his support for federal use of such facilities and advising that the Bureau of Prisons will "return to its previous approach to the use of private prisons." </p> <p>Sessions issued a new memo Thursday replacing one issued last August by Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general at the time, in which he said the Obama decision "impaired" the ability to meet the needs of the correctional system. </p> <p>That Yates memo told the Bureau of Prisons to begin reducing and ultimately end its use of privately run prisons. She said the facilities were less well run than those managed by the Bureau of Prisons, and were less necessary given declines in the overall prison population. </p> <p>But Sessions says in his memo Thursday that Yates' directive contradicted longstanding Justice Department policy and "impaired the Bureau's ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system."</p> <p>In light of Trump's aggressive push to round up as many as 11 million illegal aliens currently residing in the US, we can venture the reason behind this expansion of US incarceration facilities.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the market reaction was quick, with the private prison REITs jumping following the DOJ announcement. Among individual stocks, CoreCivic rose 2.9% post-market while GEO Group was up 0.7%.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="327" /></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="205" height="115" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bureau of Prisons CoreCivic Crime Criminal justice Department of Justice DOJ Federal Bureau of Prisons GEO Group Incarceration in the United States Justice Prison Private prison Private prisons in the United States REITs Social Issues United States Department of Justice Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:46:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 588862 at "It's Unbelievable" - Martin Armstrong Rages "Mainstream Media Has Become Just Liars" <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Martin Armstrong via,</em></a></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Thomas Friedman of the New York Times demonstrates why mainstream media is just becoming so bought and paid for.</strong> You have to wonder if they should not be in prison for attempting to overthrow the government and start a revolution. <strong><em>Here he is still ranting about how Russia hacked the election and asserting that this is somehow a Pearl Harbor and 911 event. I suppose this is implying we should start world war III because Hillary lost.</em></strong></p> <p>The Homeland Security and the FBI both said that Russia&rsquo;s hack of the DNC did not involve altering the vote. In fact, it was his own paper that reported on <strong><a href="" target="_blank">November 25, 2016</a></strong>: &ldquo;The Obama administration said on Friday that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, <a href="" target="_blank">it has concluded</a> that the results &ldquo;accurately reflect the will of the American people.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 560px; height: 381px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The constant lies and manipulations seem intent upon creating war exactly as took place with the Spanish American War. We have returned to yellow journalism which&nbsp;is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration. </strong>Pulitzer and Hearst went head to head. I remember grade school history class blaming the Spanish American War on fake news. There is one such story that male Spanish officials were strip searching American woman tourists in Cuba looking for claimed messages from rebels. This was the front page of Hearst&rsquo;s newspaper showing what has become known as &ldquo;yellow journalism&rdquo; whereby the illustration was by Frederic Remington published in the New York Journal, February 12th, 1897.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 560px; height: 527px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Hearst&rsquo;s New York Journal was called out for this fake news by its rival Joseph Pulitzer&rsquo;s,&nbsp;<em>New York World</em>, &nbsp;reporting that this story was erroneous and its graphically illustrated strip-search of a woman aboard U.S. passenger steamer was fake. </strong>The Journal article was written by Richard Harding Davis, who reported that Spanish authorities boarded the U.S. steamer, the Olivette , as it prepared to leave Havana and searched several passengers for contraband. Among the passengers was a young Cuban woman named Clemencia Arango, whose brother was a leader in the insurgency against Spanish rule. The Journal&rsquo;s article was ambiguous, implying the woman was strip-searched by men, which was created by the accompanying illustration of Frederic Remington.</p> <p>The <em>New York World</em> attacked the Journal&rsquo;s fake news, quoting Arango as denying that men had strip-searched her. That task, she said, had fallen to a matron, or &ldquo;inspectress.&rdquo; The Journalist Davis, in a letter to the World, then blamed Frederic Remington for having drawn &ldquo;an imaginary picture&rdquo; and insisted his dispatch had not report&nbsp;that men had conducted the search.</p> <p>Nevertheless, this story of the strip-search&nbsp;discredited the Journal as being unreliable and prone to publishing &ldquo;fakes&rdquo; and other thinly documented reports. <strong>Welcome to the present where the <em>New York Times</em> and <em>Washington Pos</em>t seems to be carrying on in the same unreliable manner as well as ABC, CBS, NBC, and of course &ndash; CNN.</strong></p> <p><a class="fancybox image" href="" rel="attachment wp-att-61828" target="_blank"><img alt="Friedman Thomas" class="wp-image-61828 alignleft" height="164" src="" width="164" /></a></p> <p>Of course,&nbsp;Thomas Friedman of the <em>New York Times</em> has won the Pulitzer Prize three times &ndash; it seems it has become the award that does celebrate yellow journalism for whom it was named.<u><strong> If the Democrats were clean, then even if Russia hacked the DNC, there would have been nothing to release. </strong></u>Moreover, nobody has accused Russia of altering one single email. This is outrageous blaming Russia for their candidate losing instead of admitting they got caught.</p> <p><strong>This interview is a disgrace to the <em>New York Times</em> and to MSNBC. Comparing&nbsp;the hack of DNC to Pearl Harbor and 911 where thousands of people died is just insulting.</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="600" height="408" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Entertainment FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Frederic Remington Joseph Pulitzer Journalism Martin Armstrong MSNBC NBC New York Journal-American New York Times News media Newspaper Obama Administration Obama administration Political terminology Remington Remington Spanish–American War Tabloid journalism The New York Times Yellow journalism Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:24:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 588851 at Gold Jumps Most In 2017 As 'Mnuchin Moment' Sparks Dollar Dump; Dow Tops 20,800 <p>Mnuchin hit the reset button and then asset gatherers spent the day like this...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Dow topped 20,800 shrugging off any fears from Mnuchin...thanks to a VIX slam...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 392px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Total panic bid right athe close to ensure 20,800 and to get the S&amp;P green...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 376px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Making the 10th record close in a row - something that has <strong>only happened once before in the 100-year-plus history of The Dow...1987</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 398px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Value Line Geometric Composite Index has officially broken out...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p><em><a href="">Dana Lyons explains </a>The Value Line Geometric Composite (VLG), as we have explained many times in these pages, is an unweighted average that tracks the median stock performance among a universe of approximately 1800 stocks. Thus, in our view, it serves as perhaps the best representation of the true state of the U.S. equity market. Additionally, it has historically been very true to technical analysis and charting techniques, which is quite remarkable considering there are no tradeable vehicles based on it. And, as noted, the VLG is testing a monumental level at the moment, going back several decades.</em></p> <p>The S&amp;P Tech sector finally had a losing day in Feb...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p>Ending the record winning streak...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Construction stocks tumble most since June on Trump infrastructure plan timing doubts</p> <p><a href=""><img height="317" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tesla tumbled...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 339px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WalMart took a spill late on after Trump raise the border tax again...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 339px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As did the rest of the Retail sector...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 319px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>VIX and VXV have entirely decoupled from stocks...</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></p> <p>Does make u wonder if Catalyst Fund has really unwound all of its position?</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mnuchin&#39;s comments sparked reflexive buying in bonds and stocks but that soon broke with stocks tumbling to recouple with bond yields drop...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rates dropped notably on Mnuchin&#39;s comments (with the long-end underperforming) - now all lower in yield on the week...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ED/FF Futures indicate that March rate hike odds are tumbling as hawks shift out to May...</p> <p><a href=""><em><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 500px;" /></em></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The USD Index tumbled on Mnuchin comments - the biggest drop since January. NOTE - no bounce in the USD after Trump brought up the BAT again (and tanked retail stocks)</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 320px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With Cable and yen strength the biggest driver...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold topped $1250 (best day for Gold since December) - erasing most of the Trump losses - and Silver broke above its 200DMA...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 825px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bitcoin reached a new record high in USD terms...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Copper dumped on end of strike chatter and US infrastructure doubts</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 419px;" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="69" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bitcoin Bond Business Business Catalyst Fund Copper Donald Trump Dow 30 Economy Mnuchin Politics of the United States S&P Stock market Surnames Technical Analysis Value Line Value Line Geometric Composite VIX Yen Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:03:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588857 at Are Rate Hikes Bad For Gold? <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mike Shedlock via,</em></a></p> <p>Here are two different looks at Fed rate hikes since Volcker. The charts are the same, but one presentation is a lot funnier than the other.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="fed-funds-rate1" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-44234" height="235" src=";h=235" width="529" /></a></p> <p>the above image from the New York Times article <a href="" target="_blank">A History of Fed Leaders and Interest Rates</a>.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s an alternative view courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank">@HedgeEye</a>.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="fed-rate-hikes-hedgeye" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-44235" height="293" src=";h=293" width="529" /></a></p> <p>Let&rsquo;s take the fist chart and see what correlations exist between rate hikes and the US dollar index.</p> <p><u><strong>Rate Hike Cycle vs. the US Dollar</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="fed-funds-rate-vs-dollar-index" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-44236" height="444" src=";h=444" width="529" /></a></p> <p>Conventional wisdom suggests rate hikes will support the US dollar.</p> <p><u><strong>US Dollar Conventional Wisdom vs. Rate Hike Reality</strong></u></p> <ol> <li>Currency trends seem to linger in both directions at the end of the rate hike and rate cutting episodes.</li> <li>Dollar cycles have run about&nbsp;7.5-8.5 years. If the pattern hold, this latest strengthening may soon be&nbsp;over, if it&rsquo;s not over already.</li> <li>The dollar peaked in February of 1985, long after the Fed stopped hiking.</li> <li>The Dollar fell in 1984, just as Fed embarked on 17 consecutive hikes. The dollar then continued its decline for several more years after the Fed paused. At that time, hyperinflationists came out of the woodwork, predicting a dollar collapse. Three years later the dollar tested the low then blasted higher well before the Fed started to hike.</li> </ol> <p><u><strong>British Pound 8-Year Cycle</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="pound-8-year-cycle" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-44229" height="333" src=";h=333" width="529" /></a></p> <p>The above chart from <a href="" target="_blank">You&rsquo;ve heard of Kondratiev waves &ndash; now meet the Frisby flux,&nbsp;the pound&rsquo;s eight-year cycle</a> by Dominic Frisby.</p> <p><u><strong>Rate Hikes Bad for Gold?</strong></u></p> <p>Conventional wisdom also says rates hikes are bad for gold. Let&rsquo;s take a look.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="rate-hikes-gold" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-44322" height="388" src=";h=388" width="529" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>How&rsquo;s that conventional wisdom doing?</strong></em></p> <p>Why is it that nearly all of mainstream media preaches that rates hikes will strengthen the dollar and rate hikes will be bad for gold?</p> <p><u><strong>Gold Does Well in These Environments</strong></u></p> <p>1. Deflation<br />2. Hyperinflation<br />3. Stagflation<br />4. Decreasing faith that central banks have everything under control.<br />5. Rising credit stress and fear of defaults</p> <p><u><strong>Gold Does Poorly in These Environments</strong></u></p> <p>1. Disinflation (1980 to 2000 is a perfect example. There was inflation every step of the way but gold got clobbered).<br />2. Increasing faith in central banks&rsquo; ability to keep things under control (Mario Draghi&rsquo;s &ldquo;Whatever it takes&rdquo; speech triggered a prime example)</p> <p><u><strong>Gold does worst in periods of prolonged disinflation and in periods of rising faith in central banks.</strong></u></p> <p><u><strong>Moments in Gold History</strong></u></p> <ol> <li>On August 15th, 1971 Nixon closed the gold&nbsp;redemption window. Gold was $43.15 an ounce. Stagflation ensued. Gold soared.</li> <li>On January 21, 1980, gold closed at $850 an ounce. That was the market top for decades.</li> <li>US inflation peaked at 14.8 percent in March 1980.&nbsp;The Federal Reserve board led by <a href="" target="_blank">Paul Volcke</a>r raised the federal funds rate, which had averaged 11.2% in 1979, to a peak of 20% in June 1981. It was not the rate hikes directly that led to the plunge in gold. Rather, the rates hikes convinced the public and the markets that the Fed had everything under control.</li> <li>On May 7, 1999, the Bank of England announced plans to dump its gold for other assets. The price of gold was at US$282.40 per ounce.&nbsp;The advance notice of the substantial sales drove the price of gold down by 10% by the time of the first auction on 6 July 1999.&nbsp;With many gold traders shorting, gold reached a low point of US$252.80 on 20 July. This is frequently called &ldquo;<a href=",_1999%E2%80%932002" target="_blank">Brown&rsquo;s Bottom</a>&rdquo; after&nbsp;Gordon Brown, then the&nbsp;UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.</li> <li>Between 2000 and 2006 gold soared in conjunction with a massive housing bubble as the Greenspan Fed hiked 17 consecutive meeting at &ldquo;pace that is likely to be measured&rdquo;. The Housing bubble burst in 2007.</li> <li>On April 17, 2008, gold touched $956.20, then collapsed&nbsp;along with everything else in the great recession.</li> <li>On November 13, 2008, gold touched $698.20. That local bottom has not been approached since.</li> <li>On August 23, 2011, Gold peaked at $1923.70 with a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">European Debt Crisis</a>&nbsp;underway and the Fed&nbsp;involved in a series of QE actions.</li> <li>On July 26, 2012, Mario Draghi made his famous &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">Whatever It Takes</a>&rdquo; Speech. &ldquo;<em>Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.</em>&rdquo; &nbsp;Gold closed at $1614.</li> <li>On September 6, 2012, in a further attempt to calm the <a href="" target="_blank">European Debt Crisis</a>, the ECB announced free unlimited support for all eurozone countries involved in a sovereign state bailout/precautionary program from EFSF/ESM, through some yield-lowering Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT).</li> <li>On December 17, 2015 gold touched $1046.80. At that time, numerous people emailed that gold would fall to $800, then $600. Some suggested it would fall all the way back to $250.</li> <li>Once again writers want you to dump your gold because of the dollar and rate hikes.</li> </ol> <p><u><strong>Conventional Wisdom Roundup</strong></u></p> <p>Gold does not necessarily rise and fall with interest rates, jewelry demand in India, or any other widely believed nonsense. Rather, gold has moved in conjunction with perceptions as to whether or not the Fed and central banks have everything under control.</p> <p><em><strong>If you think everything is under control, and do not want insurance against a currency crisis or another debt crisis, then dump your gold.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>If you believe as I do, that everything is not under control, or if you want some insurance, then take a position in gold.</strong></em></p> <p>Either way, stop listening to conventional wisdom regarding gold. The charts show how laughable that wisdom is.</p> <p><em><strong>Related Articles</strong></em></p> <ol> <li><em><a href="" target="_blank">Misunderstanding &ldquo;Peak Gold&rdquo;; Gold About to Run Out?</a></em></li> <li><em>In an interview on Gold Switzerland Robert Blumen discusses &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">What&rsquo;s really key for the price formation of gold?</a>&rdquo;</em></li> </ol> <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="246" height="150" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of England Bank of England British Pound Business Central Banks Deflation Economy European Central Bank European debt crisis Eurozone Federal funds rate Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System Financial crises Gold Gold as an investment Housing Bubble Hyperinflation India Inflation Macroeconomics Monetary economics Money New York Times Paul Volcker Paul Volcker Precious metals Recession Stagflation Switzerland US Dollar Index US Federal Reserve Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:46:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588848 at DHS Chief Vows "No Military Force" On Deportations After Trump Describes "Military Operation" <p>With each passing day it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the apparent breakdown in communications between the Trump White House and his various agency chiefs.&nbsp; Earlier this morning we noted one of the more egregious communication mishaps since Trump took the White House in which Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC that General Michael Flynn enjoyed the "full confidence" of the President just hours before he was fired (see "<a href="">Kellyanne Conway Blasts CNN Reports That She's Been "Benched" From TV Appearances</a>").</p> <p>Now, we learn the latest communication mix-up came from two very contradictory comments, one from DHS Secretary John Kelly and the other from President Trump, earlier today on exactly how law enforcement officials would implement plans to roundup and deport criminal illegal aliens currently residing the U.S.</p> <p>Speaking in Mexico City earlier today, Kelly, in an attempt to assuage tensions created by Trump's immigration policies, told Mexican diplomats that the administration's new immigration rules would <strong>not result in "mass deportations"</strong> and vowed that his department would <strong>not use "military force"</strong> to implement domestic policies.&nbsp; Per <a href="">The Hill</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Thursday pledged the military would not be used to expel undocumented immigrants from the U.S.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking in Mexico City, Kelly pledged the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) <strong>sweeping new immigration enforcement rules would not result in “mass deportations.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“Let me be very very clear, there will be no, repeat, no mass deportations,”</strong> he said. “Everything we do in DHS will be done legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the United States.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"There will be no, no use of military force in immigration,”</strong> Kelly said, telling the news media only "half of you get that right.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Unfortunately, Kelly's comments came just after Trump, in a meeting with manufacturing CEOs at the White House, <strong>described his administration's efforts to "get the really bad dudes out of this country" as a "military operation."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"We're getting gang members out.&nbsp; We're getting drug lords out.&nbsp;<strong> We're getting really bad dudes out of this country.</strong>&nbsp; And, at a rate that nobody has ever seen before.&nbsp; <strong>It's a military operation...</strong>"</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">This is notable. Trump: “We're getting really bad dudes out of this country ... it's a military operation.”</p> <p>A military operation. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) <a href="">February 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, the use of military force to implement immigration policies became a hot topic last week when the AP published a memo from the Department of Homeland Security that it said called for as many as 100,000 national guard troops to be deployed to arrest illegal immigrants.&nbsp; That said, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security subsequently downplayed the memo saying it was a very early draft, and the idea for National Guard mobilization was “never seriously considered.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Read the draft memo behind my <a href="">@AP</a> story on the proposal to mobilize National Guard for immigration enforcement: <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Garance Burke (@garanceburke) <a href="">February 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, Sean Spicer was tasked with cleaning up this latest mess at his daily press conference saying Trump used the term "military operation" as an adjective to describe a process that is being executed with "precision."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@PressSec</a> says Pres. Trump was using "military operation" as an adjective to describe deportation efforts: "It's happening with precision" <a href=""></a></p> <p>— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) <a href="">February 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While we certainly understand the desire from some within the administration to just "let Trump be Trump", after all it's worked out better than almost anyone could have predicted up until now, we wonder whether it might be time for at least some high-level coordination on certain 'minor' topics like whether or not military personnel will be deployed domestically... </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="566" height="357" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> ABC News American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Government Illegal immigration to the United States Kellyanne Conway Mexico MSNBC National Guard Politics Politics of the United States Social Issues The Apprentice Twitter Twitter United States United States Department of Homeland Security United States Secretary of Homeland Security War White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:30:49 +0000 Tyler Durden 588854 at Shorting Opportunities in Financial Markets (Video) <p>By <a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">EconMatters</span></span></a> </p> <p><em><br /></em> </p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="" border="0" width="400" height="363" /></a></div> <p> We discuss the wonderful shorting opportunities there are in Financial Markets right now in this video. There are a lot of Market Dislocations right now, many stocks are set up for massive repricings over the weaker investment months of the year.</p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe src="" width="320" height="266" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> © <a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">EconMatters</span></span></a> All Rights Reserved | <a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Facebook</span></span></a> | <a href="!/EconMatters" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Twitter</span></span></a> | <a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">YouTube</span></span></a> | <a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Email Digest</span></span></a> | <a href=";node=80"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Kindle</span></span></a><strong>&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;</em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">&nbsp;</span></p> Business Computing Digital media Email Facebook Financial markets Financial regulation Short Social media Software Technology Twitter Twitter YouTube Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:28:34 +0000 EconMatters 588855 at