en The Ultimate Regulatory Reform: Abolish Fractional Reserve Banking! <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Antonius Aquinas,</em></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="451" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>The Trump Administration has presented the first part of its plan to overhaul a number of Wall Street financial regulations, many of which were enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.&nbsp;</strong> The report is in response to Executive Order 13772 in which the US Treasury Department is to provide findings &ldquo;examining the United States&rsquo; financial regulatory system and detailing executive actions and regulatory changes that can be immediately undertaken to provide much-needed relief.&rdquo;</p> <p>In release of the first phase of the report, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin stated:<strong><em> &ldquo;Properly structuring regulation of the U.S. financial system is critical to achieve the administration&rsquo;s goal of sustained economic growth and to create opportunities for all Americans to benefit from a stronger economy.&nbsp; We are focused on encouraging a market environment where consumers have more choices, access to capital and safe loan products &ndash; while ensuring taxpayer-funded bailouts are truly a thing of the past.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Some of its highlights include:</p> <ul> <li>Community financial institutions &ndash; banks and credit unions &ndash; are critically important to serve many Americans</li> <li>Capital, liquidity and leverage rules can be simplified to increase the flow of credit</li> <li>We must ensure our banks are globally competitive</li> <li>Improving market liquidity is critical for the U.S. economy</li> <li>The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau must be reformed</li> <li>Regulations need to be better tailored, more efficient and effective</li> <li>Congress should review the organization and mandates of the independent banking regulators to improve accountability</li> </ul> <p><strong>Not surprisingly, most of the banking industry expressed support for the report,</strong> critics (mostly Democrats) pointed out that it would lead to the type of practices that produced the 2008 panic in the first place.&nbsp; Both opponents and those in favor as well as the clueless financial press fail to grasp the underlying cause of not only the recent crisis, but the majority of those which have occurred for the past century.</p> <p><strong>Quite simply: the fundamental cause of the 2008 financial crisis was fractional-reserve banking (FRB).&nbsp;</strong> FRB is the practice whereby banks keep a &ldquo;fraction&rdquo; of the funds deposited by customers in their vaults lending out the rest at interest and &ldquo;profit.&rdquo;&nbsp; Banks are thus inherently unstable since if all depositors came at once and demanded their money (a &ldquo;bank run&rdquo;), banks could not be able to redeem their deposits.&nbsp; Moreover, FRB encourages banks to engage in exceedingly speculative and risky behavior which creates unsustainable bubbles throughout the economy.</p> <p><em>The nation&rsquo;s central bank, the Federal Reserve, was created by the banksters and politicos to enshrine this immoral and economically ruinous practice into the heart of the American financial landscape.&nbsp; <strong>Any &ldquo;reform&rdquo; of Wall Street&rsquo;s financial practices that does not address FRB by doing away with it and the institution (the Fed) which enables it to exist, is doomed.</strong></em></p> <p><em>The banks, in collusion with the Fed, are able to expand the money supply through this process while enriching the banksters&rsquo; balance sheet.&nbsp; On the macro level, the creation of money through FRB is the genesis of the destructive boom-bust cycle.</em></p> <p><em>This is why banks and the entire financial system are so prone to reoccurring crisis and no regulation, reform, or Treasury Department &ldquo;findings,&rdquo; can make such a system &ldquo;stable.&rdquo;&nbsp;<strong> The only true reform is to abolish FRB and establish a monetary order that requires all financial institutions to keep 100% reserves of depositors&rsquo; assets.</strong></em></p> <p><em>The Treasury Department&rsquo;s recommendations are mere window dressing by the very banksters whose opulent livelihoods are predicated on FRB.</em></p> <p><em>The elimination of FRB would go beyond a beneficial financial revolution, but would affect the foreign policy of the USSA.&nbsp; Without the ability to create money via FRB, the murderous American Empire could simply not exist, nor would the nation&rsquo;s draconian domestic security state.</em></p> <p>With his selection of crony capitalists and members of Goldman Sachs to his economic team, it is apparent that President<strong> Trump does not understand the true nature of the nation&rsquo;s financial woes or what precipitated the last financial crisis</strong> and what will assuredly lead to a far bigger mess down the road.&nbsp; <em><strong>If he did, his next Executive Order would be to implement steps and procedures to eliminate the scourge of fractional reserve banking forever.</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="610" height="459" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank Bank Run Banking Business Congress Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Economy Executive Order 13772 Fail Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System Financial crises Financial services Fractional Reserve Banking Fractional-reserve banking goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Great Recession Monetary policy Money Money Supply Systemic risk Treasury Department Trump Administration U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT US Federal Reserve Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598791 at China Suspends Fuel Sales To North Korea <p>It appears <a href="">President Trump&#39;s remarks</a> about the lack of progress made by China in pressuring North Korea has worked. <a href="">Reuters reports</a> that<strong> CNPC - the main supplier of diesel and gasoline to North Korea - has halted sales,</strong> reportedly because the buyers could not pay.</p> <p>A week after the President said that &quot;<strong>while I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi &amp; China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!</strong>&quot;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi &amp; China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">June 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>And China responded that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>China has &ldquo;played an important and constructive role&rdquo; in seeking peace on the Korean peninsula,</strong>&nbsp;Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>China strictly implements&nbsp;United Nations Security Council resolutions and isn&rsquo;t the crux of the North Korean issue, he said.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">Reuters reports </a>that <strong>China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won&#39;t get paid,</strong> as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, three sources told Reuters.</p> <p><strong>China provides most of North Korea&rsquo;s food and fuel imports.</strong> It has backed the Kim dynasty since the Korean War, in part to keep U.S. troops away from its border. While China has taken some steps on North Korea -- including halting coal purchases this year after Kim&rsquo;s estranged half-brother was murdered in Malaysia -- <strong>its efforts haven&rsquo;t produced a breakthrough so far.</strong></p> <p>But perhaps the death of Otto Warmbier was enough to push the Chinese to this decision, but <a href="">as Reuters notes</a>, while it&#39;s unclear how long the suspension will last, <strong>a prolonged cut would threaten critical supplies of fuel and force North Korea to find alternatives</strong> to its main supplier of diesel and gasoline, as scrutiny of China&#39;s close commercial ties with its increasingly isolated neighbour intensifies.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A source with direct knowledge of the matter said <strong>CNPC decided to put fuel sales on hold &quot;over the last month or two&quot; and described it as a &quot;commercial decision&quot;.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;It&#39;s no longer worth the risks,&quot; </strong>said the source. <strong>Chinese and international banks are stepping up compliance checks</strong> on companies dealing with countries on the U.S. sanctions list, such as North Korea, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The North Korean agents who mostly buy the diesel and gasoline have been unable recently to pay for the supplies</strong> -- CNPC normally requires upfront payments, the source said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reuters was unable to determine if the agents have <strong>started facing credit problems with Chinese and international banks worried about sanctions compliance issues.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The United States has pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, but Beijing has said its influence on North Korea is limited and it is doing all it can, and as <a href="">Reuters concludes,</a> <strong>the sources in China saw no sign yet that Beijing is cutting crude oil to Pyongyang. </strong></p> <p>The big question now is - will this corner an apparently already crazy leader into some action we may all regret, or will the suffering of his people be the line he is not willing to cross as some diplomatic face-saving approach is found.</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="251" height="162" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China China National Petroleum Corporation China–North Korea relations Crude Crude Oil Foreign Ministry Forms of government Geography of Asia KIM Korea Member states of the United Nations North Asia North Korea North Korea Otto Warmbier Politics Republics Reuters Sino-Russian relations since United Nations United Nations Security Council Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:33:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 598798 at Lindsey Graham Asks Very Simple Question About 'Unmasking'; Massive Evasion Effort Ensues <p>For months now, Senator Lindsey Graham has been trying to get an answer to a very simple question, namely <strong>'if his conversations are 'incidentally' captured while he's overseas talking with a foreign leader who's being surveilled by the U.S. intelligence community and his name is subsequently unmasked, is he, as a United States citizen and/or as a U.S. Senator, legally entitled to know that he's been unmasked?'</strong></p> <p>And while the entire world is being distracted by the "Russian meddling" narrative, Graham's question highlights the single most important issue that should be "top-of-mind" for Americans as it <strong>gets to the heart of whether the various intelligence agencies in this country can be transformed into political weapons of mass destruction.</strong></p> <p>As we pointed out a couple of months ago, the timing of Susan Rice's requests to unmask conversations conducted by Trump officials that were 'incidentally collected', and the subsequent leaking of that information to the press, would seem to highlight the urgent need for clarity on this topic (see "<a href="">Confirmed: Susan Rice "Unmasked" Trump Team</a>").</p> <p>Meanwhile, a recently revealed FISA court order should also raise some serious concerns as it found that, under the Obama administration, NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens "<strong>with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court"</strong> issue which the court described as a <strong>"very serious Fourth Amendment issue."<br /></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Since 2011, NSA's minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702.&nbsp; The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that <strong>NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government's failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an<strong> institutional 'lack of candor' on NSA's part</strong> and emphasized that <strong>'this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'"</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="FISA" width="600" height="563" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Therefore, given the gravity of the question and the implications behind it, one would think that the nation's top intelligence community lawyer, Bradley Brooker, would have been more prepared to answer Senator Graham's question earlier today when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.&nbsp; Instead, Graham got nothing more than a couple of smirks from behind a massive stone wall.</p> <p>The line of questioning started off simply enough...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Graham:</strong></span>&nbsp; "Lets get back to 702.&nbsp; I'm overseas talking to a foreign leader, which I do a lot, if they're collecting on that foreign leader, I want to know <strong>is it possible for somebody in the administration to get ahold of the conversation and unmask me.&nbsp; Is that possible?"</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The answer to that question was a very simple, <strong>"Yes."</strong></p> <p>So far so good...but then apparently things got much more complicated with Graham asked whether it was possible for him to know whether that unmasking occurred:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Graham:</strong></span>&nbsp; <strong>"Is it possible for me to know if that happened?"</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Can I find that out?&nbsp; I want to know.&nbsp; Do I have the legal right as a United States Senator to find out if my government is monitoring conversations between me and a foreign leader?"</p> </blockquote> <p>After a few attempts at stonewalling, Graham once again tried to rephrase is question:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Graham:</strong></span>&nbsp; "So what's the answer here?&nbsp; Am I ever going to get to know the basic facts?&nbsp; Because if I'm going to be monitored overseas...maybe there's a good reason to monitor the person I'm talking to, I just want to know what consequence, as a Senator, flows my way.&nbsp; <strong>If somebody in my own administration doesn't like me, if another administration outside my party doesn't like me, should I be worried about that conversation falling into the hands of political people that may be one day used against me?"</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“I don’t mind if you’re listening, I do mind if someone can take that information and use it politically."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Alas, no answer ever came...which, we suspect, is an answer all by itself, albeit not that one that most of us would like.</p> <p><em><strong></strong></em></p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="618" height="373" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Edward Snowden FISA court Global surveillance Government International Republican Institute Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham Mass surveillance National security National Security Agency Obama Administration Obama administration Politics Surveillance Susan Rice Trump Tower wiretapping allegations U.S. intelligence United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598785 at Ron Paul: Republican Healthcare Plan Fails The "Jimmy Kimmel Test" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace &amp; Prosperity,</em></a></p> <p><span>This week the Senate Republican leadership unveiled its Obamacare replacement plan.<strong> Like its House counterpart, the misnamed Senate plan retains most of Obamacare&rsquo;s core features.</strong></span></p> <p><span>Both the House and Senate plans allow states to obtain waivers providing relief from some Obamacare mandates, although the waivers in both bills are too restrictive to be of much value. For example, the Senate&#39;s bill does not allow states to have waived two of Obamacare&rsquo;s most destructive mandates &mdash; guaranteed issue and community ratings.</span></p> <p><span><strong>The healthcare debate is dominated by emotional rhetoric about how government-run healthcare is necessary to protect the vulnerable.</strong> For example, in May, Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel delivered a touching monologue about his newborn son&rsquo;s open-heart surgery. Mr. Kimmel ended his monologue with a plea to retain Obamacare so all children can obtain life-saving treatment. After the monologue became a national sensation, many suggested that any Obamacare replacement plan be judged by a &quot;Jimmy Kimmel test.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span><strong>Every decent human being supports a healthcare system that ensures children have access to medical care. </strong>However, this does not mean every decent person should support government-run healthcare. In fact decent people should oppose all forms of nationalized medicine.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Government intervention in healthcare distorts the marketplace with mandates, subsidies, and price controls. </strong>As is the case with any goods or services, price controls in healthcare result in shortages and even price increases as providers look for ways to offset their losses caused by the controls. This is why many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket under Obamacare.</span></p> <p><em><span>Government-run healthcare can be deadly. Anyone who doubts this should consider the case of Laura Hillier, an 18 year-old Canadian who passed away from leukemia while on a government medical treatment wait list. This is one of many horror stories from Canada, and other countries with nationalized healthcare, of individuals who died while waiting for their turn to receive medical treatment.</span></em></p> <p><em><span>One need not look to Canada to find casualties of government intervention in healthcare. In 2013 Sarah Murnaghan, a ten-year-old cystic fibrosis patient, almost died because of federal rules forbidding children her age from receiving organ transplants. Public outcry eventually forced the government to allow Sarah to receive the transplant, but how many Sarahs have died because of government organ transplant rules?</span></em></p> <p><strong><em><span>The Jimmy Kimmel test is a valid way to evaluate healthcare proposals. However, there should also be a Laura Hillier or Sarah Murnaghan test forbidding adoption of a new healthcare system that increases healthcare costs, creates healthcare shortages, or allows government to deny anyone access to healthcare.</span></em></strong></p> <p><span><u><strong>The free market meets all these tests.</strong></u> In a free market, doctors voluntarily donate their time to help those in need, while private charities and churches fund charity hospitals and clinics. Such a system flourished in the days before Medicaid and Medicare, and would quickly return if the welfare state is eliminated.</span></p> <p><span>Congress should be working to repeal all federal interference in healthcare, including by shutting down the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA raises the cost of medicine, denies Americans access to effective treatments, and prevents individuals from learning about cost-effective ways to improve their health.</span></p> <p><span>Unfortunately, a Congress that so quickly abandons its promise to repeal and replace Obamacare<strong> will not restore free-market healthcare</strong> &mdash; or otherwise reduce the welfare-warfare state &mdash; <strong>unless forced to do so by an economic crisis or demands from a critical mass of pro-liberty Americans.</strong></span></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="231" height="159" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Congress Federal assistance in the United States Food and Drug Administration Health Health Health in Canada Healthcare reform in the United States Internal Revenue Code Jimmy Kimmel Live! Labor Medicaid Medicare Medicare Medicare Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Politics Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson ratings Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity Senate Social Issues Statutory law United States Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598756 at "CNN Caught Cold" In Undercover Sting - Producer Admits Russia Fake News Story Pushed For Ratings <p><u><strong>Update</strong></u>: President Trump has noted the series of CNN &#39;Fake News&#39; stories once again...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">June 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS &amp; ABC? What about the failing <a href="">@nytimes</a> &amp; <a href="">@washingtonpost</a>? They are all Fake News!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">June 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Content originally published at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></em></p> <p>The investigative journalists at Project Veritas have done it again! Known for their undercover sting operations, such as the one which exposed the DNC&#39;s highly organized network of professional agitators sent to disrupt Trump rallies, <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">voter fraud</a>, or the undercover operation which led to the arrests of Antifa thugs <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">planning to disrupt an the inauguration &quot;deploraball&quot; event. </a></p> <p>This time,&nbsp;the organization led by James O&#39;Keefe has<strong> infiltrated CNN</strong>...</p> <p><img src="" style="height: 278px; width: 560px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A PV journalist covertly&nbsp;filmed a&nbsp;candid discussion with CNN [<a href="" target="_blank">health</a>]&nbsp;producer John Bonifield, where the &quot;Very Fake News&quot; network employee admitted that the whole Russia story against President Trump is nothing more than a ratings grab by CNN&#39;s CEO Jeff Zucker - based on the fact that most of CNN&#39;s liberal audience wants to see the President go down in flames.</p> <p>Bonifield also admitted&nbsp;that he <u><strong>hasn&#39;t seen any evidence of President Trump committing a crime.</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>John Bonifield: Even if Russia was trying to swing an election, we try to swing their elections, our CIA is doing shit all the time, we&#39;re out there trying to manipulate governments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I haven&#39;t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I know a lot of people don&#39;t like him and they&#39;d like to see him get kicked out of office....<strong> but that&#39;s a lot different than he actually did something that can get him kicked out of office.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Russia is for ratings! </strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>PV Journalist: Why is CNN constantly like &quot;Russia this, Russia that?&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bonifield: Because it&#39;s ratings. Our ratings are incredible right now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>My boss,<strong> I shouldn&#39;t say thi</strong>s, my boss yesterday we were having a discussion about this dental shoot and he was like I just want you to know what we&#39;re up against here. Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords. For a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN [Jeff Zucker] said in our internal meeting, <strong>he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we&#39;re done with it. Let&#39;s get back to Russia. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But all the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school, you&#39;re just like, that&#39;s adorable. That&#39;s adorable. This is a business.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>True feelings about Russia...</strong></u></p> <p>John Bonifield was asked directly what he thinks about Russia... and responded with what many on the right have been saying for months; If it was something really good, it would have already leaked:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>PV Journalist: But honestly, you think the whole Russia shit is just bullshit?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bonifield: Could be bullshit. I mean,<strong> it&#39;s mostly bullshit right now.</strong> Like, we don&#39;t have any giant proof. Then they say, &quot;well there&#39;s still an investigation going on.&quot; I don&#39;t know, if they were finding something we would know about it. They way these leaks happen, they would leak it. They&#39;d leak. <strong>If it was something really good, it&#39;d leak.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I just feel like they don&#39;t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think <strong>the President is probably right to say, like &quot;look, you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Watch:</p> <div><iframe frameborder="0" height="348" src="" width="618"></iframe>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p><u><em><strong>UPDATE: Full video here:</strong></em></u></p> <div> <div><iframe frameborder="0" height="348" src="" width="618"></iframe>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> </div> <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="717" height="348" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-right American people of German descent Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial CNN Deception DeploraBall Donald Trump Entertainment Fake news Inauguration of Donald Trump James O'Keefe Keefe Planned Parenthood Politics Politics of the United States ratings Sting operation Television in the United States The Apprentice United States WWE Hall of Fame Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598738 at Sarah Sanders Blasts CNN For "Fake News"; Sparks Epic Meltdown From 'Triggered' Reporter <p>After suffering through a series of complete embarrassments this week (and it's only Tuesday) it should surprise almost no one that CNN, and it's constant barrage of "fake news", took center stage at today's White House press briefing.&nbsp; Unfortunately, after a seemingly delusional reporter made the mistake of asking why the White House wasn't satisfied with CNN's recent dismissal of 3 'journalists', as if that was supposed to suddenly absolve them from months of reporting fake news in a thinly-veiled effort to topple a Presidency, Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided to launch an epic rant that will go down as one of the most entertaining press briefings of the year and undoubtedly made CNN's week even worse. &nbsp;</p> <p>It all started when Sanders suggested that all the reporters in the room, and the American public at large, should take a look at Project Veritas' latest undercover bombshell (we covered it <a href="">here</a>) which featured a <strong>CNN producer effectively saying that their constant coverage of Russia was "mostly bullshit"</strong> and that <strong>CNN's CEO Jeff Zucker was only pursuing the fake narrative for ratings.&nbsp;</strong> If true, Sanders said the video is a <strong>"disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"I think it's the constant barrage of fake news directed at this President probably that has garnered a lot of his frustration."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"There’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know, but I would encourage everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country to take a look at it."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"If it is accurate, I think it’s a <strong>disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism,</strong> I think that we have gone to a place where if the <strong>media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"And I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that's coming directly from the top, I think that's even more scary and certainly more disgraceful."<br /></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>But things got even better when <strong>Sanders' answer seemingly triggered one snowflake 'journalist' in the corner who apparently felt like the briefing room had become and "unsafe space" and left him feeling "inflamed."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Triggered Reporter:</strong></span>&nbsp;<strong> "Come on, you're inflaming everybody, right here, right now with those words.</strong>&nbsp; This administration has done that as well.&nbsp; Why in the name of heavens, anyone of us is replaceable and if anyone of us doesn't get it right the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us.&nbsp; You have been elected to serve for four years at least, there is no option other than that."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We're here to ask you questions and you're here to provide the answers.&nbsp; <strong>And what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say 'see, once again, the President is right and everyone else out here is fake media'."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Sure, CNN's 'journalists' are just trying to do their jobs</strong>...that is, assuming their 'jobs' are to ignore all facts and report whatever salacious headlines pop into their heads so long as it serves to advance their fake "Russian collusion" narrative...yup, they're doing their jobs.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="656" height="326" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> CNN Deception Disinformation Entertainment Fake news headlines Internet culture Mass media Meltdown News News media ratings RT Social engineering Television White House White House Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598795 at A Simple Method Of Risk Management <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Lance Roberts via,</em></a></p> <p>Yesterday, I addressed the issue of how market innovations and &ldquo;crowding&rdquo; into specific trades have been signs of market excesses in the past. <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">To wit:</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;That is the cycle of innovation in the financial marketplace. Despite the best of intentions, and advances in innovation, humans will always seek out the comfort of other humans in times of distress. <strong>The rising notoriety of Robo-advisors and the crowding of investors into &lsquo;passive indexing&rsquo;&nbsp;are the current symbols of excess in the markets today.</strong> They will also be the &lsquo;whipping boy&rsquo;&nbsp;of the next decline as &lsquo;passive indexing&rsquo;&nbsp;is realized as a &lsquo;foolish&rsquo;&nbsp;investment strategy.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-21676" height="394" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;I have been around long enough to see many things come and go in the financial world, and there is only one truth: <strong>&lsquo;The more things change, the more they stay the same.&#39;&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Just recently, <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Scott Nations via MarketWatch</a> also made an interesting point with respect to the <em>&ldquo;psychological&rdquo;</em> influences that drive behaviors in the longer term:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;One problem investors face is the concept of the &lsquo;<strong>anchor&rsquo; price,</strong> first described by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. <strong>Regardless of the value of a share of stock, we tend to believe that value must be close to the only bit of information many of us have &mdash; the current price.</strong> This anchoring effect makes it easier to justify paying a wildly inflated price for a company that is operating at a loss or for a market that is hugely overvalued by any objective measure.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Another common fallacy investors face is &lsquo;<strong>herding,&rsquo;</strong> or the tendency to use the actions of others as a measure of sensible behavior. <strong>Fads, fashion, and stock-market bubbles are three examples of this mindset.</strong> When investors lose the sort of hard-nosed skepticism and difference of opinion that marks a healthy market, <strong>it becomes fashionable, and nearly unavoidable, for too many investors to buy too many stocks that have too little going for them.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>The psychology behind <em>&ldquo;market exuberance,&rdquo;</em> is an issue that has recurred with regularity in the financial markets and was always dismissed as <em>&ldquo;this time is different.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;Unfortunately, for investors, it never was.</p> <p>As Scott notes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;If it were just psychological quirks that lead to runaway stock market rallies, the bubble might deflate itself slowly as the anchor price is gradually lowered and as financial fads and fashions change.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But the stock market isn&rsquo;t a purely psychology exercise; <strong>too often the real world intrudes. Each modern stock-market crash has been precipitated by a catalyst that has little to do with finance and that catches us off guard.</strong> These catalysts push a system barely able to maintain equilibrium into chaos.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="color: #993300;"><strong>Actually, it&rsquo;s every time.</strong></span></p> <p>The market always <em>&ldquo;prices in&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;events or issues it is aware of such as economic data, earnings estimate changes, and even geopolitical events. In other words, <strong>it isn&rsquo;t the thing that markets are aware of, but the unexpected event which sends traders, and algorithms, rushing for the exits.&nbsp;</strong>But, as Scott notes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #993300;"><em>&ldquo;And the raw material for a crash is a buoyant stock market.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </blockquote> <p>Despite the fact we know this is the issue and that such will happen again, according to the financial media, there is simply no way to avoid it, so we must simply <em>&ldquo;ride it out.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Why?</p> <p>Because we are told we can&rsquo;t do better?</p> <h2><u><strong>You Can Manage Your Risk</strong></u></h2> <p>For years, the investment industry has tried to scare clients into staying fully invested in the stock market at all times,&nbsp; no matter how high stocks go or what&rsquo;s going on in the economy.&nbsp;Investors are repeatedly warned that doing anything otherwise is simply foolish because <em>&ldquo;you can&rsquo;t time the market.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em>As I noted yesterday, there is a reason for this:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Wall Street firms, despite what the media advertising tells you, are businesses.&nbsp;<strong>As a business, their job is to develop and deliver products to investors in whatever form investor appetites demand&hellip;</strong>Wall Street is always happy to provide &lsquo;products&rsquo;&nbsp;to the consumers they serve.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>As Wall Street quickly figured out that it was far more lucrative to collect ongoing fees rather than a one-time trading commission&hellip;</strong>The mutual fund business was booming, and business was &lsquo;brisk&rsquo;&nbsp;on Wall Street as profits surged.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Here is the interesting question as I noted in <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">&ldquo;Spot What&rsquo;s Missing.&rdquo;</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><span style="color: #993300;">&ldquo;Every day the media continues to push the narrative of passive investing, indexing and &lsquo;buy and hold.&rsquo;&nbsp;Yet while these methods are good for Wall Street, as it keeps your money invested at all times for a fee, it is not necessarily good for your future investment outcomes. </span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="color: #993300;"><strong>You will notice that not one of the investing greats in history ever had &lsquo;buy and hold&rsquo;&nbsp;as a rule.</strong></span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="color: #993300;">So, the next time that someone tells you the &lsquo;only way to invest&rsquo;&nbsp;is to buy and index and just hold on for the long-term, you just might want to ask yourself what would a &lsquo;great investor&rsquo;&nbsp;actually do.&nbsp;<strong>More importantly, you should ask yourself, or the person telling you, &lsquo;WHY?&rsquo;&rdquo;</strong></span></em></p> </blockquote> <p>The reason is simple, <em>&ldquo;getting back to even&rdquo;</em> is not an investment strategy.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19636" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 260px;" /></a></p> <p>Every great investor has one facet of their investment discipline in common &ndash; loss avoidance. Why? Because&nbsp;avoiding major drawdowns in the market is key to long-term investment success.&nbsp;<strong>If I am not spending the bulk of my time making up previous losses in my portfolio, I spend more time compounding my invested dollars towards my long term goals.</strong></p> <p>The reason that the finance industry doesn&rsquo;t tell you this is because it is NOT PROFITABLE for them.&nbsp;<strong>The finance industry makes money when you are invested &ndash; not when you are in cash.&nbsp; Therefore, it is of no benefit to Wall Street to advise you to move to cash.</strong></p> <h2><u><strong>A Simple Method Of Risk Management</strong></u></h2> <p>Now, let me be clear. I am discussing <em>&ldquo;market timing&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;which is specifically being<em>&nbsp;&ldquo;all in&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;all out&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;of the market at any given time. The problem with trying to time the market is consistency.&nbsp;<strong>Being all in, or out, of the market will eventually put you on the wrong side of the &lsquo;trade&rsquo; which will lead to a host of other problems.</strong></p> <p>As I stated, there are no great investors of our time that &ldquo;<em>buy and hold&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;investments. Even the great Warren Buffett occasionally sells investments.&nbsp;<em>(He just recently sold almost his entire stake in Walmart and IBM)</em>&nbsp;<strong>True investors buy when they see value, and sell when value no longer exists.</strong></p> <p>While there are many sophisticated methods of handling risk within a portfolio, even using a basic method of price analysis, such as a moving average crossover, can be a valuable tool over the long term holding periods.</p> <p><strong>Will such a method ALWAYS be right? Absolutely not. </strong></p> <p><strong>Will such a method keep you from losing large amounts of capital? Absolutely.</strong></p> <p>The chart below shows a simple moving average crossover study. The actual moving averages used are not important, but what is clear is that using a basic form of price movement analysis can provide a useful identification of periods when portfolio risk should be&nbsp;<strong>REDUCED.&nbsp;</strong>Importantly,<strong>&nbsp;I did not say risk should be eliminated; just reduced.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-21700" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 329px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Again, I am not implying, suggesting or stating that such signals mean going 100% to cash.</strong>&nbsp;What I am suggesting is that when&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;sell signals&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;are given that is the time when individuals should perform some basic portfolio risk management such as:</p> <ul> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Trim back winning positions to original portfolio weights:&nbsp;<strong>Investment Rule: Let Winners Run</strong></em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Sell positions that simply are not working (if the position was not working in a rising market, it likely won&rsquo;t in a declining market.)&nbsp;<strong>Investment Rule: Cut Losers Short</strong></em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Hold the cash raised from these activities until the next buying opportunity occurs.&nbsp;<strong>Investment Rule: Buy Low</strong></em></span></li> </ul> <p>By using some measures, fundamental or technical, to reduce portfolio risk by taking profits as prices/valuations rise, or vice versa, the long-term results of avoiding periods of severe capital loss will outweigh missed short term gains.&nbsp;<strong>Small adjustments can have a significant impact over the long run.</strong></p> <p>This is shown in the chart below. There is always a big difference between market prices and the impact of losses on an actual dollar-based portfolio. Buy using a simple method to avoid losses, the differential over the long-term on $1000 is quite significant.<span style="color: #993300;"><em> (Chart below is capitalization only for example purposes.)</em></span></p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-21701" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 329px;" /></a></p> <p>As shown in the chart above, this method doesn&rsquo;t avoid every little twist and turn of the market. But what it does do is help avoid a bulk of the major market reversions. <strong>While it may&nbsp;</strong><strong>not be possible to&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;time&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;the market, it is possible to reach intelligent conclusions about whether the market offers good value for investors on a risk/reward basis.</strong></p> <p>Yet, despite two major bear market declines, it&nbsp;never ceases to amaze me that investors still believe that somehow they can invest in a portfolio that will capture all of the upside of the market but will protect them from the losses.&nbsp;<strong>Despite being a totally unrealistic objective this&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;fantasy&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;leads to&nbsp;excessive risk taking in portfolios which ultimately leads to catastrophic losses.</strong>&nbsp;Aligning expectations with reality is the key to building a successful portfolio.&nbsp;<strong>Implementing a strong investment discipline, and applying risk management, is what leads to the achievement of those expectations.</strong></p> <h2><u><strong>Conclusion</strong></u></h2> <p>There are many half-truths perpetrated on individuals by Wall Street to sell product, gain assets, etc. However, if individuals took a moment to think about it, the illogic of many of these arguments are readily apparent.</p> <p>Chasing an arbitrary index that is 100% invested in the equity market requires you to take on far more risk that you realize. Two massive bear markets over the last decade have left many individuals further away from retirement than they ever imagined. Furthermore,&nbsp;<strong>all investors</strong>&nbsp;lost something far more valuable than money &ndash;&nbsp;<strong>TIME needed to achieve their goal.</strong></p> <p>To win the long-term investing game, your portfolio should be built around the things that matter most to you.</p> <ul> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Capital preservation</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>A rate of return sufficient to keep pace with the rate of inflation.</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Expectations based on realistic objectives.&nbsp; (The market does not<strong>&nbsp;compound</strong>&nbsp;at 8%, 6% or 4% every year, losses matter)</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>Higher rates of return require an exponential increase in the underlying risk profile. This tends to not work out well.</em></span></li> <li><span style="color: #993300;"><em>You can replace lost capital &ndash; but you can&rsquo;t replace lost time. Time is a precious commodity that you cannot afford to waste.</em></span></li> <li><em><span style="color: #993300;">Portfolios are time-frame specific. If you have a 5-years to retirement but build a portfolio with a 20-year time horizon (taking on more risk) the results will likely be disastro</span>us</em>.</li> </ul> <p>The index is a mythical creature, like the Unicorn, and chasing it has historically led to disappointment. Investing is not a competition, and there are horrid consequences for treating it as such.</p> <p><strong>In hindsight, it is easy to see that investors should have been out of the market in 2001 and 2008. However, remember just prior to those two major market peaks the Wall Street mantra was the same then, as it is today:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em style="color: #993300;">&ldquo;This time is different.&rdquo; </em></p> </blockquote> <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="726" height="463" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bear Market Business Commodity markets Economic history of the Netherlands Economy ETC Finance Finance Industry Financial market Foreign exchange market Futures contract Investment Investment strategy Market Timing Market timing Money Moving Averages Reality Risk Management Stock market Warren Buffett Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598790 at "Young Virginia Democrat" Sentenced To Prison For Registering Dead People To Vote <p>Last October, we wrote about &quot;Young Virginia Democrat&quot; <strong>Andrew Spieles</strong>, a student at James Madison University, and apparently &quot;Lead Organizer&quot; for <a href="">HarrisonburgVOTES</a>, who got caught registering dead people to vote.&nbsp; At the time, the founder of the organization, Joseph Fitzgerald, told reporters that he had no knowledge of Spieles&rsquo; actions and no idea &quot;what his motivations were&quot;.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s smart, and he understands the [political] process,&rdquo;</strong> Fitzgerald told the Daily News-Record of Spieles. <strong>&ldquo;Who the hell knows what his motivations were?&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>And while we agree it&#39;s always difficult to be 100% sure about anyone&#39;s motivations, we said at the time that <strong>we would be willing to put money on it having something to do with registering a bunch of dead people and then having them all vote for Hillary in November</strong>....just a hunch.</p> <p>Now, it appears that the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia has agreed with our initial assessment and has sentenced Spiels to prison time for his efforts.&nbsp; Per a local <a href="">CBS affiliate,</a> Spiels will spend 100-120 days behind bars.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>James Madison University student Andrew J. Spieles, 21, of Harrisonburg, pled guilty Monday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. As part of the plea agreement, Spieles agreed to a prison sentence of 100 to 120 days.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Spieles worked for Harrisonburg Votes when he committed the crime, according to acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Harrisonburg Votes is a political organization affiliated with the Democratic Party.</p> </blockquote> <p><img alt="AS" height="308" src="" width="550" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here is how it all played out according to the U.S. Attorney&#39;s office:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;In July 2016 Spieles&rsquo; job was to register as many voters as possible and reported to Democratic Campaign headquarters in Harrisonburg,&rdquo; a U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s Office spokesperson said. &ldquo;In August 2016, Spieles was directed to combine his registration numbers with those of another individual because their respective territories overlapped. After filling out a registration form for a voter, Spieles entered the information into a computer system used by the Virginia Democratic Party to track information such as name, age, address and political affiliation. Every Thursday an employee/volunteer hand-delivered the paper copies of the registration forms to the Registrar&rsquo;s Office in Harrisonburg.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Later that month, <strong>someone at the Registrar&rsquo;s Office called police after another employee saw a name they recognized on a registration form.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The name was the deceased father of a Rockingham County Judge.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The Registrar&rsquo;s Office discovered multiple instances of similarly falsified forms when it reviewed additional registrations. Some were in the names of deceased individuals while others bore incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers,&rdquo;</strong> the spokesperson continued. &ldquo;The Registrar&rsquo;s Office learned that the individuals named in these forms had not in fact submitted the new voter registrations. The assistant registrar&rsquo;s personal knowledge of the names of some of the individuals named in the falsified documents facilitated the detection of the crime.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Spieles later admitted that he prepared the false voter registration forms by obtaining the name, age, and address of individuals from &ldquo;walk sheets&rdquo; provided to him by the Virginia Democratic Party, fabricating a birth date based on the ages listed in the walk sheet, and fabricating the social security numbers. </strong>Spieles admitted that he created all 18 fraudulent forms himself and that no one else participated in the crime.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Silly Spieles, he was just too young to realize that only experienced, professional politicians can get away with crimes like these.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>For those who missed it, here is our original post from last October.</p> <p>Just yesterday we wrote about an FBI investigation into potential voter fraud in the critical swing state of Virginia after it was revealed that 19 dead people had recently been re-registered to vote (see &quot;<a href="">FBI Investigating More Dead People Voting In The Key Swing State Of Virginia</a>&quot;).&nbsp; While the <a href="">Washington Post</a> caught wind of the investigation, it was not known who was behind the operation...until now. &nbsp;</p> <p>Meet, <strong>Andrew Spieles</strong>, a student at James Madison University, and apparently <strong>&quot;Lead Organizer&quot; for <a href="">HarrisonburgVOTES</a>.</strong>&nbsp; According to the <a href="">Daily News-Record</a>, <strong>Spieles confessed to re-registering 19 deceased Virginians to vote in the 2016 election cycle</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>While this should come as a surprise to precisely <span style="text-decoration: underline;">0</span> people, Spieles just happens to be <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Democrat</span> </strong>who, accorded to a deleted FaceBook post, apparently recently ran for Caucus Chair of the Virginia Young Democrats.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&#39;s too bad really, sounds like Spieles had all the right <strong>&quot;special talents&quot; required to be very successful politician</strong>...he just forgot the most important first rule: <strong>&quot;Don&#39;t get caught.&quot; &nbsp;</strong></p> <p><img alt="Harrisonburg Votes" height="433" src="" width="300" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 19 applications of deceased citizens were submitted by Spieles through an organization called <strong><a href="">HarrisonburgVOTES</a></strong>. According to the organization&#39;s &quot;<a href="">About Us</a>&quot; page, <strong>HarrisonburgVOTES is a <span style="text-decoration: underline;">&quot;non-partisan&quot;</span> voter registration organization in Harrisonburg, VA and the surrounding areas</strong>.</p> <p>As the <a href="">HarrisonburgVOTES</a> webpage points out, the sole goal of the organization is to raise the number of registered voters in Harrisonburg to 25,000...<strong>though it&#39;s unclear what percentage of that goal was intended to be filled by dead voters</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The sole goal of HarrisonburgVOTES is to increase the number of registered voters in Harrisonburg</strong> and the surrounding areas to increase and encourage civic engagement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Harrisonburg has the lowest percentage of voting age population (VAP) registered to vote among Virginia localities. Very roughly, about 17,000 people are registered to vote and about 18,000 are voting age and not registered.&nbsp; <strong>The goal of HarrisonburgVOTES will be to overcome these issues and raise the number of registered voters to 25,000.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>HarrisonburgVOTES was founded by<strong> Joseph Fitzgerald who, &quot;shockingly&quot;, is also a prominent democrat in Harrisonburg</strong>. &nbsp; Fitzgerald is currently Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District Democratic Committee in Virginia and the former Mayor of Harrisonburg.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Harrisonburg Votes" height="364" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fitzgerald told reporters, of course, that his organization had no knowledge of Spieles&rsquo;s actions and fired him immediately after his confession.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s smart, and he understands the [political] process,&rdquo;</strong> Fitzgerald told the Daily News-Record of Spieles. <strong>&ldquo;Who the hell knows what his motivations were?&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While we agree it&#39;s difficult to be 100% sure about anyone&#39;s motivations, <strong>we would be willing to put money on it having something to do with registering a bunch of dead people and then having them all vote for Hillary in November</strong>....just a hunch.</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="569" height="371" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Democratic Party Episcopal Church United States) FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation James Madison James Madison University Politics Prison Time Registrar’s Office Sixth Congressional District Democratic Committee U.S. Attorney’s Office United States United States Attorney United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia Virginia Virginia Democratic Party Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598776 at The Super Bubble Is In Trouble <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Thorsten Polleit via The Mises Institute,</em></a></p> <div class="body-content embedded-media"> <p>You do not need to be a financial market wizard to see that especially bond markets have reached bubble territory: <strong><em>bond prices have become artificially inflated by central banks&#39; unprecedented monetary policies.</em></strong> For instance, the price-earnings-ratio for the US 10-year Treasury yield stands around 44, while the equivalent for the euro zone trades at 85. In other words, the investor has to wait 44 years (and 85 years, respectively) to recover the bonds&#39; purchasing price through coupon payments.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, however, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) keeps bringing up its borrowing rate; and even the European Central Bank (ECB) is now toying with the idea of putting an end to its expansionary policy sooner rather or later.</strong> Most notably, however, US long-term rates have come down since the end of 2016, despite the Fed raising its short-term interest rate. How come?</p> <div class="ds-1col file file-image file-image-png view-mode-wide_player clearfix"> <div class="img img-responsive"><img alt="polleit4.png" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 386px;" /></div> </div> <p><strong>Presumably, investors seem to expect that the Fed might not hike interest rates much further, and/or that higher short-term interest rates will prove to be short-lived, to be reversed quite quickly. </strong>In any case, bond markets do not seem to expect interest rates to go back to normal levels &mdash;&nbsp;that is toward pre-crisis levels &mdash;&nbsp;anytime soon.</p> <p>Several reasons could be responsible for such an expectation.</p> <div class="ds-1col file file-image file-image-png view-mode-wide_player clearfix"> <div class="img img-responsive"><img alt="polleit1_3.png" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 423px;" /></div> </div> <p>First and foremost,<strong> the US economy appears to be addicted to cheap money.</strong> The latest economic recovery has been orchestrated, in particular, through a hefty dose of easy monetary policy. It is therefore fair to assume that market agents will have a hard time coping with higher interest rates. For instance, corporations, consumers, and mortgage borrowers, in general, will face higher credit costs and a less favorable access to funding if and when interest rates edge higher.</p> <p>In particular, <strong>higher interest rates could send the inflated prices of stocks, bonds, and housing southward.</strong> For instance, expected future cash flows would be discounted at a higher interest rate, deflating their present values and thus market prices. The deflation of asset markets would hit borrowers hard: Their asset values would nosedive, while nominal debt would remain unchanged so that equity capital is wiped out &mdash;&nbsp;a scenario most investors might assume to be undesirable from the viewpoint of central banks.</p> <p>Moreover, <strong>the yield curve has become flatter and flatter in recent years.</strong> This, in turn, suggests that banks&#39; profit opportunities from lending have been shrinking, potentially dampening the inflow of new credit into the economic system. A further decline of the yield spread could bring real trouble: In the past, a flat or even inverted yield curve has been accompanied by a significant economic downturn or even a stock market crash.</p> <p><strong>That said, investors might expect that central banks find it hard to bring interest rates back up, especially back to a level where real interest rates are positive.</strong> This holds true for the Fed as well as for all other central banks, including the ECB. This is because the monetary policy of increasing borrowing rates by a significant margin would most likely prick the &ldquo;Super-Bubble&rdquo; which has been inflated and nurtured by central banks&rsquo; monetary policies over the last decades.</p> <p><strong>However, it wouldn&rsquo;t be surprising if, again, central banks, the monopolist producers of fiat money, turn out to be the major course of trouble.</strong> After many years of exceptionally low interest rates, central banks may well underestimate the disruptive consequences an increase in borrowing rates has on growth, employment, and the entire fiat money system. In any case, the artificial boom created by central banks must at some point turn into bust, as the Austrian business cycle theory informs us.</p> <p><strong>The boom turns into bust either by central banks taking away the punchbowl of low interest rates and generous liquidity generation; or the commercial banks, in view of financially overstretched borrowers, stop extending credit;</strong> or ever greater quantities of fiat money need be issued by central banks to keep the boom going, inflating prices so that ultimately people start fleeing out of cash.<strong> In such an extreme case, the demand for money collapses, and then a Super-Super-Bubble pops.</strong></p> <div class="ds-1col file file-image file-image-png view-mode-wide_player clearfix"> <div class="img img-responsive"><img alt="polleit3_0.png" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 396px;" /></div> </div> <p><strong>In this context, it is interesting to see that the price of Bitcoin has been skyrocketing in recent years.</strong> There are certainly several reasons for this. One reason is undoubtedly the fact that the cyber unit offers a potential &ldquo;escape route&rdquo; from fiat money. Bitcoin (and other cyber units as well) might well be seen, and increasingly so, as a &ldquo;safe haven&rdquo; in future times of trouble. And there will be for sure new waves of trouble going forward &mdash; whether central banks will tighten interest rates or not.</p> <p><strong>As alternatives to fiat money become increasingly accepted, positive spill-over effects can be expected for gold. </strong>Gold has always been the monetary prototype of a &ldquo;safe haven.&rdquo; It may be increasingly in demand for its store of value function going forward and, by making use of the blockchain, even as a digitalized means of payment representing a claim on physical gold. <strong>Once the Super-Bubble pops, we will see for sure what people demand as the ultimate means of payment: gold or cyber units, or both.</strong></p> </div> <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="232" height="144" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Banks Bitcoin Bond Business Central bank Central Banks Economic bubble Economic history of the Netherlands Economy European Central Bank European Central Bank Federal Reserve Financial crises Inflation Macroeconomics Market Crash Mises Institute Mises Institute Monetary Policy Monetary policy Money Real interest rate Real Interest Rates recovery US Federal Reserve Yield Curve Yield curve Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598749 at Illinois Policymaker: "We Are About To Become The Financial Deadbeat Of The Nation" <p>One week ago, Illinois state comptroller, Susana Mendoza, gave a <a href="">detailed explanation </a>in her letter to Gov. Rauner and members of the state legislature - two parties that have been locked in a nearly three year long confrontation, preventing them from agreeing on a state budget - explaining why Illinois was on the verge of total collapse.</p> <p>"<strong>The state can no longer function </strong>without a responsible and complete budget without severely impacting our core obligations and decimating services to the state's most in-need citizens," Mendoza wrote. "<strong>We must put our fiscal house in order. It is already too late. Action is needed now</strong>." And unveiling the most dire language yet, in her letter Mendoza said "we are now reaching a new phase of crisis" perhaps in an attempt to prompt the Democrats and Republicans to sit down and come up with a compromise</p> <p>Since then, despite all parties' "best efforts" (actually, there have been no real efforts whatsoever)&nbsp; to reach a compromise after two years of failures, nothing has really changed, with the only difference that Illinois is now just three days away from financial armageddon, because come July 1 and the state has no budget for its third fiscal year, a <a href="">downgrade of the state to junk </a>- for the first time in US history - is assured, unleashing interest rate hell for future debt issues, and ultimately, bankruptcy.</p> <p>Those are not our words, but those of Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, who said that the Illinois budget crisis has become so dire that the state is in danger of entering a financial <strong>"death spiral," </strong>as a result of the imminent downgrade to "junk" status. Doing so would increase the cost of borrowing, worsening the deficit and making it even harder for taxpayers to dig out of the hole. </p> <p>“<strong>We’re in a death spiral—Illinois has the worst pension crisis in the nation and needs the boldest reforms</strong>,” Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute’s vice president of policy, told Fox News. “There is no doubt that junk bond rating is on its way.”</p> <p>As we first reported a month ago, S&amp;P first warned it would most likely lower Illinois' credit rating to below investment grade if the state fails to adopt a budget for a third straight year.&nbsp; Lawmakers are now in a special session in an effort to break the budget impasse, prodded by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner... who has referred to his state as a “banana republic.” </p> <p>There's ample reason for such a fruity comparison: the state faces over $250 billion in unfunded pension obligations, a $7 billion budget deficit, a backlog of <a href="">over $15 billion in unpaid bills</a>, and - drumroll - <strong>$800 million just in interest on unpaid bills.</strong></p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="246" /></p> <p>A downgrade to “junk” status would immediately spike the cost of borrowing for all projects, including critical infrastructure, as well as refinancing existing debt. Which for a state in the "ponzi finance" stage of the Minsky curve, is critical. </p> <p>Dabrowski said passing a budget would “stave off” the junk rating, but the pension crisis in the state could only be remedied by “bold reforms,” such as a transition from pensions to 401(k) plans. <strong>He said the state risks becoming the “financial deadbeat of the nation.”</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>With just over 72 hours remaining, some lawmakers still see hope for a deal. </p> <p>Senate President John J. Cullerton, a Democrat, “remains optimistic” the legislature can reach a balanced budget, as there is a “shared sense of urgency” among the legislative leaders, according to his spokesman. “For a state with history of dreaming big and building big, a downgrade to junk status would be an embarrassing black mark on our standing and signal an unacceptable lack of confidence from the financial sector in our state,” Cullerton’s spokesman, John Patterson, told Fox News.</p> <p>Rauner claims that the Republican plan for a budget could fix the state’s financial situation and called it a “true compromise.”</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The plan incorporates reforms like property tax relief, term limits and spending caps, which have caused an “ongoing confrontation” between him and Illinois’ Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, one Republican leader told Fox News, adding that the two have been in a “stalemate” since Rauner took office two years ago. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Gov. Rauner inherited this financial mess when he took office, and his proposals have been met by resentment from the speaker,” Deputy House Republican Leader Dan Brady said. Brady added, “we are asking that the speaker allow for a date and a vote before June 30.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When asked whether the legislature would be able to pass a budget package by the June 30 deadline, and about the likelihood of the change in rating, Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown did not speculate. “I don’t do predictions—there are numerous discussions around the State House on an effort to bring a balanced budget and see where there might be support for that,” Brown told Fox News. “I’m not in finance.”</p> </blockquote> <p>And if the budget fails, Illinois will <a href="">— as we reported before </a>— lose the lottery. The state lotto requires a payment from the legislature each year. The current appropriation expires June 30, meaning no authority to pay prizes. In anticipation of the budget deadlock, the state already is planning to halt Powerball and Mega Millions sales.</p> <p>“It is disappointing that the legislature’s inability to pass a budget has led to this development and will result in Illinois lottery players being denied the opportunity to play these popular games,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith told Fox News.</p> <p>Of course, if Illinois becomes the first US state ever downgraded to junk, and the yields on its obligations explode forcing the 'deadbeat" state to collapse into a "death spiral", </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="360" height="203" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Bond Bruce Rauner Budget Deficit Business Fox News Illinois Illinois Illinois Budget Impasse Illinois Policy Institute Illinois Policy Institute Illinois’ Democratic House Investment Grade Michael Madigan Pension Crisis Politics Senate Social Issues Standard & Poor's State House state legislature United States Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:53:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 598793 at