http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/fullrss2.xml/component/option%2Ccom_docman/Itemid%2C200023/gid%2C397/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/Is-this-the-Breaking-of-the-Bear.html en Taxi Driver Arrested In Rape, Murder Of British Diplomat In Lebanon http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/taxi-driver-arrested-rape-murder-british-diplomat-lebanon <p>Lebanese police arrested a taxi driver in a 3am pre-dawn raid in connection with the rape and murder of British diplomat, Rebecca Dykes, who was found Saturday morning in a ditch beside a mountain highway in the outskirts of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/dykes_0.jpg" width="500" height="333" /><br />Rebecca Dykes (family handout)</em></p> <p>Sources tell <em><a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/man-arrested-after-british-diplomat-rebecca-dykes-raped-and-strangled-in-beirut-z0q2xlx8h" target="_blank">The Times</a></em>&nbsp;that the taxi driver's first name is Tarek and his initials are TH, while <em><a href="http://archive.is/srDDR" target="_blank">CNN</a></em>&nbsp;reports Lebanese police have determined that Dykes was sexually assaulted and strangled with a rope, before being found with the suspect's bodily fluids allegedly on her body.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The suspect has reportedly confessed to killing Dykes, and that the murder was a "criminal act" and not politically motivated. The information branch of Lebanon's internal security forces, the intelligence department of the police, is conducting the investigation.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/dykes3_0.jpg" width="500" height="376" /><br />(<a href="http://archive.is/OWY08" target="_blank">Twitter</a>)</em></p> <p>Dykes, who is believed to have been 30, was last seen Friday night around midnight leaving a bar named "Demo" near central Beirut's Gemmayze district, a popular spot for nightlife.&nbsp;</p> <p>British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, tweeted "The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Beckys family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss. We're providing consular support to her family &amp; working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation.</p> <p> Hugo Shorter (@HugoShorter) <a href="https://twitter.com/HugoShorter/status/942452493400895488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>A family spokesman said We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened. We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time.</p> <p>According to her LinkedIn page, Dykes worked as a program and policy manager with the Department for International Development (DfID), as well as serving as a policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office. Prior to that, she worked with the Foreign Office as an Iraq research analyst.&nbsp;</p> <p>A Foreign Office spokesman said: Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family. We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.</p> <p>Ms Dykes was a graduate of the University of Manchester graduate, and held a masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.</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="320" height="180" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/dykes%20handout.jpg?1513607498" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/taxi-driver-arrested-rape-murder-british-diplomat-lebanon#comments Department for International Development Foreign Office Iraq Lebanese police Twitter Twitter University of London University of Manchester Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:35:47 +0000 Tyler Durden 609367 at http://www.zerohedge.com Betting on the CME http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/betting-cme <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;">LedgerX</span><a href="https://ledgerx.com/time-to-make-the-leap/"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; text-decoration-line: underline; white-space: pre-wrap;">initiated</span></a><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;"> its first long-term bitcoin futures contract on November 18. The LedgerX Long-Term Anticipation Security (LEAP) has an expiration date of December 28, 2018. The bitcoin LEAP gives the holder the right to buy Bitcoin on or before that date for a price of $10,000. That was a 30% premium when the contract was issued (BTC $7750 11/18). One week later bitcoin had covered nearly half the distance (BTC $8674 11/25) in premium to the $10,000 “strike price.” The contract cost $2250 ($10,000-$7750) and the contract’s market value gain was over $900. That is a 40% gain in a week. </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;">LedgerX CEO Paul Chou</span><a href="https://www.coindesk.com/first-long-term-ledgerx-bitcoin-option-pegs-price-10000-one-year/"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; text-decoration-line: underline; white-space: pre-wrap;">told</span></a><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;"> Coindesk: </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12pt; white-space: pre-wrap;">"There will be, I expect, a lot more trades down the line. This is the first one, but it at least gives you the first guess from different institutional traders as to what bitcoin's dynamics will look like from now until 2018."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The Frankenstein bitcoin futures market is alive and emboldened customers of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) demand access to the crypto-currency market. The CME intends to</span><a href="https://www.coinspeaker.com/2017/11/13/cme-ceo-terry-duffy-bitcoin-futures-will-listing-second-week-december/" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">launch</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> its bitcoin futures contract today, Monday the 18</span><span style="font-size: 7.199999999999998pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: super; white-space: pre-wrap;">th</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> of December The CME has submitted an application that is under review by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). CME customers (members minimum guaranty fund requirement is $50,000,000) have been watching bitcoin’s rise, but have been unable to trade their trusted dollars for the infant crypto-currency. CME customers will be able to buy or sell the price movement over a set period of time, most contracts significantly shorter than the recently issued one-year LEAP. Futures are securities, regulated by the CFTC and used, not only for “betting on the come”, but also to hedge against losses in more traditional portfolio assets.</span><a href="https://cryptopotato.com/time-buy-bitcoin-meet-dca/" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">One might buy bitcoin</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> but sell a contract against one’s position, thus receiving an immediate fiat currency inflow from the sale as insurance against a drop in the future price of bitcoin.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Futures are also held as short-term assets in investment portfolios of banks, brokers, mutual funds and insurance companies. Portfolio managers need “</span><a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/correlation.asp?ad=dirN&amp;qo=investopediaSiteSearch&amp;qsrc=0&amp;o=40186" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">non-correlated</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">” assets, such as gold, to balance a traditional portfolio with investments that are not affected by, or may benefit from, sudden economic or political changes. Gold also meets the</span><a href="http://aswathdamodaran.blogspot.com.eg/2017/08/the-crypto-currency-debate-future-of.html" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">three requirements</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> to be considered currency: it is fungible (all units are identical, divisible, and countable), it is accessible, transportable, and globally accepted as a medium of exchange, and it is a durable store of value as a hedge against loss of buying power. Although gold continues to be mined, the population of the planet is growing faster than the supply of gold. In forty years, the population of the earth has increased by over three billion people while the supply of gold has only increased by two billion ounces. There is less and less gold per person on the planet.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When Satoshi Nakamoto</span><a href="https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">wrote</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> the open-source software that created bitcoin, he used gold as a model. Bitcoin, with its pre-programmed limit on issuance, is like gold in that it is rare and will rarify further as populations and economies grow. As a currency unit of account, it is the best computer science has to offer. As a store of value, it is an asset protected by a global network of computers that is synchronized every few minutes. But as a medium exchange, although bitcoin’s acceptance by sellers of goods and services is growing, so is the use of all-electric cars. Resistance remains among believers in fiat currency and the internal combustion engine. Few who have taken more than a passing glance can doubt crypto-currency’s efficacy as a unit of account or a store of value, but as a medium of exchange, it is handicapped by the unwillingness of vendors to accept a digital transmission from an iPhone instead of dollar bills.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Dollar bills are anonymous (undocumented and untracked) and accepted for almost anything anywhere on the planet, but when one accumulates, like Walter White in </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Breaking Bad</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, a storage unit packed with pallets of wrapped and stacked bills as large as a king-size bed, security and transportation become serious issues. One might deposit some spending money at a bank in order to buy gas and groceries with a Visa debit card, but any deposit of $10,000 or more would raise a red flag with the Internal Revenue service and allow user to be tracked by time and place. Visa’s advantage over bitcoin is that it can</span><a href="https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">process 56,000 transactions per second</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #ff0000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">and Bitcoin can only process se.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bitcoin Cash launched on August 1</span><span style="font-size: 7.199999999999998pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: super; white-space: pre-wrap;">st</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, with an eight-megabyte block capacity and the ability to adjust required transaction information in order to increase speed. In just over three months, Bitcoin Cash has done what bitcoin took eight years to do;</span><a href="https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin-cash/" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bitcoin Cash</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> is trading higher than the</span><a href="https://goldprice.org/" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">price of gold</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">. The SegWit2X failure in early November seemed to make BCH the go to crypto-currency for those who wished to exit bitcoin. Sale of one crypto-currency to buy another, especially BTC to BCH, is instantaneous compared to the possible days of delay to deposit and withdraw fiat currency from banks. A delay of at least two full days could be expected with an automated clearinghouse transaction (ACH).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When bitcoin holders learned of the SegWit2X failure, their wallets held coins at a new high of over $7900. If they chose to exit the bitcoin highway, they may have looked to the nearest exit ramps but with an eye toward accessible entry ramps. Some prescient sellers were also nimble enough to buy Bitcoin Cash, jumping from the down escalator to the up. Bitcoin dropped $2000 in market value, and Bitcoin Cash rose by $2000. Amazingly, the reverse of that trade appeared again when BCH dropped as BTC rose. But it did not matter, after all, because both coins ended a volatile two-week period at new highs.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is not just the crypto-currency invaders who are vanquishing most vestiges of our previous analog lives. In 2003, Apple began selling digital music downloads for $.99 each. Netflix sells access to its digital library for $10.99 per month. Kindle books cost pennies to dollars for the ability to read on the bus. Those digital products are purchased with fiat currency. Bitcoin Cash intends to reverse that transaction and enable purchase of tangible and palpable products with digital currency. That would fix the medium of transaction leg of the crypto-currency three-legged stool and balance its effectiveness as a unit of account and a store of value.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 2.4; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The story the crypto-currency market tells today involves a future universal digital currency that an increasing number of participants believe is inevitable. Any percentage of the trillions controlled by banks, brokers, and hedge funds would significantly increase the </span><a href="https://cryptopotato.com/market-update-report-dec-13/" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">volume of the nascent crypto-currency market</span></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">. The flashflood of funds now flowing through crypto-currency valley is but a warning of the watery chaos possible if bitcoin futures allow greater access to government controlled fiat currencies. &nbsp;As bitcoin goes, for now, so goes the crypto-currency market. As bitcoin holders’ wealth increases, so will their need to trade, withdraw, or spend that wealth. With its multiplied transaction speed, Bitcoin Cash may become a favorite exit from the bitcoin highway.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.8; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-130dd8a5-69ff-c8d3-9ded-e2d7f4e20b4f"></span></p> <p></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/betting-cme#comments Alternative currencies Apple Bitcoin Bitcoin Business CoinDesk Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commodity Futures Trading Commission Cryptocurrencies Currency Digital currencies Economics of bitcoin Finance Financial cryptography Futures contract Futures market Insurance Companies Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Money Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:26:51 +0000 financedude85 609366 at http://www.zerohedge.com If Art Isn't A Bubble, Maybe Bitcoin Isn't Either http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/if-art-isnt-bubble-maybe-bitcoin-isnt-either <p><em><a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/petertchir/2017/12/16/if-art-isnt-a-bubble-maybe-bitcoin-isnt-either/#146b65a713c7">Authored by Peter Tchir via Forbes.com,</a></em></p> <p>I am getting tired of reading article after article comparing the rise of Bitcoin to tulips (<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/20/bitcoin-bubble-dwarfs-tulip-mania-from-400-years-ago-elliott-wave.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">link</a>).&nbsp; Or the rise of Bitcoin to the South Sea Company bubble (<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/isaac-newton-lost-a-fortune-on-englands-hottest-stock-2016-1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">link</a>).&nbsp; &nbsp;Maybe the detractors are just comparing it to the wrong asset that is difficult to value but continues to rise in price.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Someone paid $450,300,000 for a Leonardo da Vinci painting of dubious provenence that quite frankly struck me as ghastly (<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/arts/design/leonardo-da-vinci-salvator-mundi-christies-auction.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">link</a>).&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>If Bitcoin, or cryptocurrency pricing is supposed to be &quot;rational&quot;,<em><strong> then why shouldn&rsquo;t art be subject to the same standard?</strong></em>&nbsp; The cost of material for most art is only a fraction of the alleged &lsquo;value&rsquo;.&nbsp; <em><strong>Why does Bitcoin need some inherent value, while art doesn&rsquo;t?</strong></em></p> <p>Basically, <em><strong>if $450 million for a painting isn&rsquo;t a bubble</strong></em> &ndash; why are we so sure that Bitcoin has to be a bubble?</p> <p><em><strong>Can you really get that much aesthetic value from looking at that painting?</strong></em>&nbsp; Maybe it&rsquo;s just me, but I remember rushing around the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and being disappointed.&nbsp; I&rsquo;ve seen that and other famous &lsquo;must see&rsquo; paintings and usually walk away wondering what was so special.&nbsp;</p> <p>Yes, maybe I am just too plebian to understand the meaning.&nbsp; <strong><em>When I look at Black on Grey or Orange and Yellow, I think I can understand exactly what the artist was thinking &ndash; &ldquo;If I can sell this, I have a whole series to color combinations to foist on the public!&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/18/20171218_art.jpg"><img height="304" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/18/20171218_art_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>Maybe it is the attention you receive for owning it?</strong></em>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>If I had $450 million to plunk down on something, I&rsquo;d own a part of a sports team as I think you get a lot more attention and perks from owning part of a sports team than a piece of art.</p> <p><strong>Then why aren&rsquo;t we bombarded with daily rants about the art world being crazy?</strong></p> <ol> <li>What would the Sunday paper be without an Arts session?</li> <li>How embarrassing would an Art History degree look if art collapsed.</li> <li>What would all the auction houses do?</li> <li>What stores would fit between the confectionaries and real estate stores in a typical vacation town?</li> </ol> <p><strong>There is an infrastructure that has been built up to support the concept of art as value and one designed to push the price ever higher and it has worked for a very long time.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;Every few years it seems that there is some unbelievable record setting price at auction, only to be surpassed by some new record.</p> <p>The art world has also been very smart to create &lsquo;&lsquo;entry&rsquo; level gateways for would be art collectors.&nbsp; <strong>These lithographs, sketches, numbered prints are the art world&rsquo;s equivalent of LiteCoin, BitCash, Ripple, Ethereum, etc.</strong></p> <p>While I cannot fathom why art sells for what it does, it has sold at prices that defy most market related measures of value for decades, if not centuries and is not subjected to daily comparisons to tulips or South Sea corporations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Maybe Bitcoin shouldn&rsquo;t be compared so blithely to tulips either.</strong></p> <p>I am not sure what the long term path for cryptocurrencies are, <strong>but the detractors need to start coming up with better arguments &ndash; as the cryptos are tulips argument just doesn&rsquo;t cut it.</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="838" height="425" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171218_art.jpg?1513602501" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/if-art-isnt-bubble-maybe-bitcoin-isnt-either#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies Cryptography Currency ETC Litecoin Money Real estate Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:20:01 +0000 Tyler Durden 609359 at http://www.zerohedge.com Up 730% In 2 Days - Meet The Big-Data, AI, Blockchain, FinTech Mania Stock Of The Year http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/730-2-days-meet-big-data-ai-blockchain-fintech-mania-stock-year <p>Having closed last Thursday on its IPO-day at $5.38, news of the acquisition of Ziddu - a blockchain solutions provider (whatever that means in the real world) - <strong><em>LongFin has since exploded to $44.80 in today&#39;s pre-market... up 730% in 2 days.</em></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/biggest-blockchain-big-data-ai-fintech-yolo-trade-all-time">Remember LongFin?</a> <strong>an independent finance and technology company. </strong>The Company offers commodity trading, alternate risk transfer, and carry trade financing services. LongFin also provides hedging and risk management solutions to importers, exporters, and small medium business enterprises. LongFin serves customers worldwide.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171215_lfin1.jpg"><img height="113" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171215_lfin1.jpg" width="325" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/2017/12/15/thr-biggest-yolo-trade-time-lfin/#sthash.TIrSEXUY.dpbs"><em>As iBankCoin notes</em></a>, it has all of the trimmings of wanton degeneracy on an industrial scale.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Recent IPO:</strong> check</li> <li><strong>Small float:</strong> check</li> <li><strong>Shady as heck:</strong> check</li> <li><strong>AI company:</strong> check</li> </ul> <p>and the cherry on the top...</p> <ul> <li>a day after coming public, they announce the <strong>purchase of a blockchain company: </strong>check</li> </ul> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong>On Thursday Dec 14th, LongFin launched as a FinTech company that helped with FX hedging</strong> (and slipped from its post-IPO open price to close lower)</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>US-based Longfin Corp., a Fintech company providing Finance and foreign exchange hedging solutions to importers and exporters and SMEs, started trading on Nasdaq from today.<br />According to a statement issued by Longfin, its Low Latency Network is connected to multiple exchanges and banks across the regions to provide the cheapest Forex hedging and low-cost financing to small and medium-size importers and exporters across the globe.<br />Longfin Founder Venkata S. Meenavalli said, &quot;We are the first Asian Entrepreneur promoted Reg A+ company under JOBS Act, to list its shares directly in Nasdaq and the second Indian entrepreneur promoted company to list directly in the Nasdaq since 2010&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>On Friday Dec 15th, they acquired Ziddue and became the future face of Cyrptocurrency awesomeness</strong>...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Longfin Corp. (NASDAQ: LFIN), a leading global FinTech company, announces the acquisition of Ziddu.com, a Blockchain-empowered solutions provider that offers Microfinance Lending against Collateralized Warehouse Receipts in the form of Ziddu Coins.</p> </blockquote> <p>And with all those buzzwords, why wouldn&#39;t it be up 730%!!!!</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/18/20171218_LFIN.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/18/20171218_LFIN_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 333px;" /></a></p> <p>As a reminder, there are no financials on this company, no reg details on shares outstanding, and no direct evidence of a business model that makes any money?</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="1763" height="979" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171218_LFIN.jpg?1513604945" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/730-2-days-meet-big-data-ai-blockchain-fintech-mania-stock-year#comments artificial intelligence Blockchains Business Carry Trade Cryptocurrencies Economy Encodings Finance Financial market Financial technology Money NASDAQ NASDAQ NASDAQ 100 Risk Management Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:10:06 +0000 Tyler Durden 609363 at http://www.zerohedge.com Key Events In The Last Week Before Christmas http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/key-events-last-week-christmas <p>It might be the last full week before Christmas - with both newsflow and trading volumes set to slide substantially - but there’s still a few interesting events and data releases to look forward to next week. Among the relatively sparse data releases schedule, we get US GDP, core PCE, housing and durable goods orders in the US, as well as CPI and GDP across Euro area and UK PMI. After last week's central bank deluge, there are a handful of leftover DM central bank meetings include the BOJ and Riksbank, with rates expected to remain on hold for both. In Emerging markets, there will be monetary policy meetings in Czech Republic, Hungary, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.</p> <p>Perhaps the most significant will be in China when on Monday the three-day Central Economic Work Conference kicks off. <strong>This event will see Party leaders discuss economic policies for the next year and the market will probably be most interested in the GDP growth target. </strong>Deutsche Bank economists have noted that it will be interesting to see if the government will change the tone on its growth target by lowering it explicitly from 6.5% to 6% or fine-tuning the wording to reflect more tolerance for slower growth.</p> <p>Away from this, <strong>tax reform in the US will once again be a topic for markets to keep an eye on with final votes on the Republican legislation in the Senate (possibly Monday or Tuesday) and House (possibly Tuesday or Wednesday) tentatively scheduled</strong>. Also worth flagging in the US is Friday’s release of the November personal income and spending reports and the Fed’s preferred inflation measure – the core PCE print. Current market expectations are for a modest +0.1% mom rise in the core PCE which translates into a one-tenth uptick in the YoY rate to +1.5%. </p> <p>Away from that other data <strong>releases in the US include November housing starts (Tuesday), the final Q3 GDP revisions (Thursday) and flash November durable and capital goods orders data (Friday). </strong>In Europe, Brexit related headlines should rumble on with the European Commission due to publish its directives for the Brexit transition phase on Wednesday and Heads of mission from EU member states also due to meet on the same day. UK PM Theresa May is also due to meet with her Cabinet on Tuesday. </p> <p>Also worth flagging are the Catalonia regional elections due on Thursday. <strong>According to polls, Podemos could emerge as the potential king-maker with ~10 seats. </strong>This ambitious positioning could allow them to support an ERC and Junts pel Cat minority government while keeping the unilateral agenda in check. Alternatively, if Citizens continues on its strong momentum and ends up being the first party accompanied by a strong performance of the Socialists, Podemos could decide to support a minority unionist government. Meanwhile, data releases next week in Europe include the final November CPI report for the Euro area (Monday), December IFO survey in Germany (Tuesday) and final Q3 GDP reports for France and the UK (Friday).</p> <p>Finally the last of the big <strong>four central bank meetings of the year is scheduled for Thursday with the Bank of Japan monetary policy outcome due</strong>. No policy changes are expected but given the evidence of a recent new dissenter on the BoJ board calling for more stimulus, it’ll be interesting to see if there is any change in tone.</p> <p><strong>Summary weekly events from BofA</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>In the US, we have GDP, PCE and housing data.</li> <li>In the Eurozone, we mainly wait for CPI, consumer confidence, labor costs and construction output. ECB speakers are also on the agenda.</li> <li>In the UK, the main focus is on GDP and public sector net borrowing.</li> <li>In Japan, we wait for the BoJ's monetary policy decision and trade balance.</li> <li>In Canada, we have GDP, CPI, retails sales and the consumer price index.</li> <li>In Australia, RBA December rate meeting minutes, leading index and new home sales will be released. In New Zealand, GDP, trade balance, consumer confidence are on the schedule.</li> <li>In the Scandies, we have the Riksbank rate decision, retail sales and consumer &amp; manufacturing confidence in Sweden while in Norway we wait for the unemployment rate and a speech by Central Bank Governor Olsen.</li> <li>In Switzerland, we wait for sight deposits, trade balance and leading indicator.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/week%20events%2012.18.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/week%20events%2012.18_0.jpg" width="500" height="420" /></a></p> <p><strong>A breakdown of key events by day from Deutsche Bank:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Monday: </strong>Much of the focus on Monday will be on China where the annual Central Economic Work Conference is due to kick off and continue into Wednesday. Also worth watching out for is a possible Senate vote on the Republican tax legislation (this could also come on Tuesday). Datawise the final Euro area CPI report for November is due, along with UK CBI trends orders data for December and the December NAHB housing market index in the US. November property prices data in China will be out in the early morning.</li> <li><strong>Tuesday: </strong>Politics is likely to be the main focus on Tuesday too with a possible US House vote on the tax legislation (may also come on Wednesday) and UK PM Theresa May due to sit down with her Cabinet to hash out further Brexit details. Away from that the data calendar is fairly light with the December IFO survey in Germany, Q3 labour costs for the Euro area and November housing starts and building permits data in the US due. The ECB’s Hansson is also due to speak.</li> <li><strong>Wednesday: </strong>Expect Brexit headlines to continue on Wednesday with the European Commission due to publish its directives for the Brexit transition phase and heads of mission from EU member states due to meet to discuss Brexit. Away from that data releases include November PPI in Germany, December CBI retail sales in the UK and November existing home sales in the US.</li> <li><strong>Thursday: </strong>All eyes will be on Japan in the early morning with the Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting outcome due, followed by Governor Kuroda’s press conference. Away from that we’ll get the third and final revision for Q3 GDP in the US, while the October FHFA house price index and November leading index ill also be out across the pond. In Europe December confidence indicators in France and November public sector net borrowing data in the UK are due. Also worth keeping an eye on will be the regional elections in Catalonia.</li> <li><strong>Friday: </strong>A fairly busy end to the week with the main data of note being the<br /> November personal income and spending data and core PCE data in the US.<br /> Also due out in the US is the flash November durable and capital goods orders<br /> data, November new home sales and the final December University of Michigan<br /> consumer sentiment reading. In Europe we’ll receive final Q3 GDP revisions for<br /> France and the UK and January consumer confidence data for Germany.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/known%20unknowns%2012.18.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/known%20unknowns%2012.18_0.jpg" width="500" height="786" /></a></p> <p>Finally, here is Goldman with a focus on key US events and consensus estimates: <strong>The key economic releases next week are the third vintage of Q3 GDP on Thursday and personal income and spending report on Friday. There are no scheduled speaking engagements by Fed officials this week. </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Monday, December 18</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>10:00 AM NAHB homebuilder sentiment, December (consensus 70, last 70)</strong></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Tuesday, December 19 </strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>08:30 AM Housing starts, November (GS -2.5%, consensus -3.2%, last +13.7%): </strong>We estimate housing starts edged 2.5% lower in November, reflecting some correction from the sharp rise in the more volatile multifamily starts category in October. We could see a moderate boost from ongoing rebuilding in the South following the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. While the impact of higher mortgage rates has likely weighed on single family demand and construction earlier this year, we suspect this drag has now largely faded.</li> <li><strong>08:30 AM Current account balance, Q3 (consensus -$116.5bn, last -$123.1bn)</strong></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Wednesday, December 20 </strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>08:30 AM Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, December (GS 20.5, consensus 20.8, last 22.7): </strong>We estimate the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index edged lower in December, though remaining at expansionary levels, consistent with the Empire State manufacturing report last week. </li> <li><strong>10:00 AM Existing home sales, November (GS +2.5%, consensus +0.7%, last +2.0%): </strong>We estimate existing home sales rose 2.5% in November (mom sa) following a 2.0% increase last month that likely reflected continued post-hurricane strength. Our forecast reflects firming in regional housing data tracking closed homes sales in November and strong pending home sales data in October. Existing home sales are an input into the brokers' commissions component of residential investment in the GDP report.</li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Thursday, December 21 </strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>08:30 AM GDP (third), Q3 (GS +3.3%, consensus +3.3%, last +3.3%); Personal consumption, Q3 (GS +2.3%, consensus +2.3%, last +2.3%); </strong>The BEA on Thursday will publish the third vintage of Q3 GDP, which we expect to remain at +3.3%, in line with consensus expectations.</li> <li><strong>8:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended December 16 (GS 230k, consensus 234k, last 225k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended December 9 (last 1,886k): </strong>We estimate initial jobless claims rose 5k to 230k in the week ended December 16, reflecting a pickup in filings in some states where the level looks abnormally low. However, we expect the overall trend of layoff activity to remain subdued. Continuing claims – the number of persons receiving benefits through standard programs – declined in the previous week, another encouraging sign that the extent of job loss has remained low.</li> <li><strong>09:00 AM FHFA house price index, October (consensus +0.4%, last +0.3%)</strong></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Friday, December 22 </strong></span></p> <ul> <li><strong>8:30 AM Personal income, November (GS +0.5%, consensus +0.4%, last +0.4%); Personal spending, November (GS + 0.6%, Consensus +0.5%, last +0.3%); PCE price index, November (GS + 0.26%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.1%); Core PCE price index, November (GS + 0.11%, consensus +0.1%, last +0.2%); PCE price index (yoy), November (GS +1.79%, consensus +1.8%, last +1.6%); Core PCE price index (yoy), November (GS + 1.52%, consensus +1.5%, last +1.4%): </strong>We estimate a 0.6% increase in November personal spending (nominal, mom sa). Based on details in the PPI and CPI reports, we estimate that the core PCE price index increased 0.11% month-over-month in November, or +1.52% from a year earlier. Additionally, we expect that the headline PCE price index rose 0.26% in November, or +1.79% from a year earlier. We estimate a 0.5% increase in personal income.</li> <li><strong>08:30 AM Durable goods orders, November preliminary (GS +2.0%, consensus +2.2%, last -0.8%); Durable goods orders, ex-transportation, November preliminary (GS +0.6 %, consensus +0.5%, last +0.9%); Core capital goods orders, November preliminary (GS +0.6%, consensus +0.5%, last +0.3%); Core capital goods shipments, November preliminary (GS +0.4%, consensus +0.3%, last +1.1%):</strong> We expect durable goods orders to rise 2.0% in the preliminary November report (mom sa), reflecting a pickup in commercial aircraft orders and a deceleration in core measures. Industrial production of business equipment rose a firm 0.5% in the month, and broader manufacturing trends remain strong, according to November- and December-to-date manufacturing surveys. Accordingly, we forecast a 0.5% increase in orders and a 0.4% increase in shipments of core capital goods, and we estimate a 0.6% rise in durable goods orders ex-transportation.</li> <li><strong>10:00 AM New home sales, November (GS -4.0%, consensus -5.1%, last +6.2%):</strong> We estimate new home sales pulled back 4.0% in November after rising to a cycle-high in October. We expect only a partial retracement, consistent with robust regional pending homes sales.</li> <li><strong>10:00 AM University of Michigan consumer sentiment, December final (GS 96.5, consensus 97.2, last 96.8): </strong>We expect a modest decrease in the final reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December (-0.3pt to 96.5), reflecting some softness in higher frequency measures of consumer sentiment despite higher equity prices. The preliminary report’s measure of 5- to 10-year ahead inflation expectations rose by one tenth to 2.5% in the preliminary reading.</li> <li><strong>11:00 AM Kansas City Fed manufacturing index, December (consensus +15, last +16)</strong></li> </ul> <p><em>Source: BofA, Deutsche, Goldman</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="557" height="228" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/key%20events%20teaser%203.jpg?1513605867" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/key-events-last-week-christmas#comments Australia Bank of Japan Bank of Japan Business China Consumer Confidence Consumer confidence Consumer confidence index Consumer price index Consumer Sentiment Continuing Claims CPI Czech Deutsche Bank Economic indicator Economy Economy of the United States Empire State Manufacturing European Central Bank European Commission European Union Eurozone federal government flash France Germany Gross domestic product headlines Hong Kong Housing Market Housing Starts Hungary Inflation Initial Jobless Claims Japan Kansas City Fed Macroeconomics Michigan Monetary Policy NAHB National accounts New Home Sales New Zealand Norway Personal Consumption Personal consumption expenditures price index Personal Income Philadelphia Fed Philadelphia Fed manufacturing Price indices Reserve Bank of Australia Senate Switzerland Trade Balance U.S. House Unemployment University Of Michigan University of Michigan Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:09:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 609364 at http://www.zerohedge.com Women's March Organizer Linda Sarsour Accused Of Enabling Sexual Assault Of Female Employee http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/womens-march-organizer-linda-sarsour-accused-enabling-sexual-assault-female-employee <p>Feminist activist and Women's March organizer, Linda Sarsour, has been accused of enabling the sexual assault of a female employee who worked for her in 2009 at the Arab American Association, two sources "directly familiar" with the matter tell the <em><a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/17/linda-sarsour-accused-of-enabling-sexual-assault-against-woman-who-worked-for-her/" target="_blank">Daily Caller</a></em>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/linda-sarsour.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/linda-sarsour_0.jpg" width="500" height="329" /></a><br />Linda Sarsour</em></p> <p>According to Sarsour's accuser Asmi Fathelbab, a 37 year old New York native and devout Muslim - a man named Majed Seif who lived in the same building as the Arab American Association began stalking Fathelbab. Asmi tells the <em>Daily Caller</em>&nbsp;that one of Seif's favorite activities was "<strong>sneaking up on her with a full erection.</strong>"&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“He would sneak up on me during times when no one was around, he would touch me, you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs. <strong>He would pin me against the wall and rub his crotch on me</strong>.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"depending on what floor I was on, <strong>you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs.</strong>"&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>“It was disgusting,” Fathelbab told the <em>Caller</em>. “I ran the youth program in the building and with that comes bending down and talking to small children. You have no idea what it was like to stand up and feel that behind you. I couldn’t scream because I didn’t want to scare the child in front of me. It left me shaking.”</p> <p><strong>When Fathelbab went to Linda Sarsour to report the sexual assaults, she was dismissed and shamed.&nbsp;</strong>“She [Sarsour] called me a liar because ‘Something like this didn’t happen to women who looked like me,'” Asmi says. “How dare I interrupt her TV news interview in the other room with my ‘lies.'”</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/notafraid.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/notafraid_0.jpg" width="500" height="418" /></a><br />Fathelbab says Sarsour "regularly body-shamed her" and enabled the sexual assaults, <strong>and Sarsour threatened to legal and professional damage if she went public with the sexual assault claims</strong>. “<strong>She told me he had the right to sue me for false claims</strong>,” said Asmi, adding that her abuser “had the right to be anywhere in the building he wanted.”</p> <p>"I cannot stand by any longer and watch everyone praise a woman that claims to be for women’s rights and someone that fights for women when she herself allowed for abuse to occur to women," wrote Fathelbab. When Fathelbab went to the president of the Arab American Association's board of directors, Ahmed Jaber, he too shut her down.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>Jaber told me my stalker was a ‘God-fearing man’ who was ‘always at the Mosque,’ so he wouldn’t do something like that</strong>,” Fathelbab claims. “<strong>He wanted to make it loud and clear this guy was a good Muslim and I was a bad Muslim for “complaining</strong>.” -<em>Daily Caller</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>In response to these claims, Sarsour attacked Fathelbab </strong>- telling her that if she continued to report sexual assaults by Jajed Seif, <strong>her allegations would result in disciplinary action</strong>. Fathelbab told the <em>Daily Caller</em>&nbsp;that she was once forced to talk to a dectective from the community liaison division about the consequences of making false claims to the authorities.&nbsp;</p> <p>Two sources who knew Fathelbab while she was employed with the Arab American Association told the <em>Daily Caller</em>&nbsp;that Asmi would return from work "emotionally distressed and in a panic," describing it as an "unsafe" work environment. Another source who has worked with the Arab American Association for 12 years and spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Sarsour was "militant against other women," and that they remember witnessing Fathelbab being harassed in the building.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>They made it about her weight, saying she was not attractive enough to be harassed and then swept it under the rug</strong>,” the source said. “<strong>It was Linda Sarsour, Ahmad Jaber and Habib Joudeh who took care of it</strong>.” Habib Joudeh is the vice president of the Arab American Association of New York. -<em>DC</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Fathelbab says that she's now unemployable as a result of going public with her claims.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/sarsour%20girls.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/sarsour%20girls_0.jpg" width="500" height="375" /></a><br />Linda Sarsour with supporters at Women's March</em></p> <p>Sarsour - a self-proclaimed "racial justice &amp; civil rights activist," made headlines during the Women's March for attacking Ayyan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim who was forced to suffer female genital mutilation. After the 9/11 attacks, Hirsi Ali renounced Islam and ran for Dutch parliament in 2003, winning. In 2006, she rallied against Iran's development of nuclear weapons, and in 2015, she railed against the Islamic State.</p> <p>In a now-deleted tweet from 2011, Sarsour - who posed with an <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/21/womens-march-organizer-recently-met-ex-hamas-operative-has-family-ties-to-terror-group/" target="_blank">alleged Hamas financier</a> in January, said of Hirsi Ali: "I wish I could take their vaginas away - they don't deserve to be women."&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/sarsour.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/sarsour.jpg" width="500" height="235" /></a></p> <p><strong>In July, Sarsour <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/07/06/linda_sarsour_asks_muslims_to_form_jihad_against_trump_not_to_assimilate.html" target="_blank">called for a Jihad</a> against the Trump administration "fascists reigning in the White House" </strong>at the Islamic Society of North America Convention.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>I hope that we when we stand up to those who oppress our communities that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad</strong>. That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or in the other side of the world, but <strong>here in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House</strong>,” Sarsour said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community,<strong> it is not to assimilate and please any other people and authority,</strong>” she said. “Our obligation is to our young people, is to our women, to make sure our women are protected in our community.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“<strong>Our top priority and even higher than all t</strong><strong>hose other priorities is to please Allah and only Allah,</strong>” Sarsour declared.</p> </blockquote> <p>Watch here:&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ThJdMXbxChs" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The <em>Daily Caller</em>&nbsp;received no response from Sarsour in regards to Asmi Fathelbab's allegations.</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="550" height="305" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/sarsour%20teaser.jpg?1513602525" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/womens-march-organizer-linda-sarsour-accused-enabling-sexual-assault-female-employee#comments Arab American Association Atheism Ayaan Hirsi Ali Dutch Parliament Hamas headlines Islam Islam in the Netherlands Islamic Society Jihad Linda Sarsour Middle East Middle East Religion Sarsour Social Issues Trump Administration White House White House Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:50:53 +0000 Tyler Durden 609358 at http://www.zerohedge.com Rising Interest Rates Starting To Bite http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/rising-interest-rates-starting-bite <p><em>Submitted by Gary Evans of <a href="https://macromon.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/interest-rates-getting-closer-to-zip-code/">Global Macro Monitor</a></em></p> <p>We have long held that interest rates have been so low (especially real rates) that it will take some time to reach a level for them to really matter and impact markets. <strong>The 2-year yield crossing over the S&amp;P500 dividend yield this past week for the first time in the last ten years is unlikely to slow the momentum driving risk markets</strong>. Nevertheless, they are getting closer to the zip code &mdash; after two years since the tightening cycle began &mdash; where they will begin to impact fundamental valuations (what is the fundamental value of Bitcoin?) and the relative pricing of risk assets. Keep it on your radar.</p> <p>Long-term rates are so <a href="https://macromon.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/debate-within-fomc-bubblistas-v-efficient-marketistas/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">utterly distorted by the central banks</a> we are not sure if the markets even pay attention anymore. Pancaking of the yield curve? Not the signal it used to be.&nbsp; Meh!</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/fed_foregin-central-bank-holdings1.png"><img alt="" height="282" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/fed_foregin-central-bank-holdings1_0.png" width="501" /></a></p> <p>The above, of course, is somewhat offset by the massive stock of central bank money in the global financial system which has driven up asset values to a level that has finally kicked the real economy into third gear.&nbsp; This has created the perception of a Goldilocks global enviornment and positive feedback loop between markets and the economy. &nbsp;Now add fiscal stimulus.</p> <p>The unprecedented reservoir of the <a href="https://macromon.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/this-rhyme-is-different-base-money-m1/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">mix of this type of money</a> is still so full it will take some time to drawdown central bank balance sheets to parch the risk markets. A higher share of central bank money relative to credit based bank money reduces global systemic risk and thus asset price risk premia. &nbsp;Thus, additional market distortions.</p> <p>The party continues. &nbsp;Momentum is a powerful thang! Until it isn&rsquo;t.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/rates_divies2%20%281%29.png"><img alt="" height="390" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/rates_divies2%20%281%29.png" width="501" /></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="1708" height="815" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2Y%20vs%20dividend%20yield.jpg?1513598851" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/rising-interest-rates-starting-bite#comments Bitcoin Business Central bank Central Banks Economy Finance Financial crises Financial markets Financial risk Goldilocks Interest rate Monetary policy Money Risk premium Systemic risk Yield Curve Yield curve Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:44:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 609352 at http://www.zerohedge.com Cheering for Bitcoin, Gold and Silver Report 17 Dec 2017 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/cheering-bitcoin-gold-and-silver-report-17-dec-2017 <p>We have published many articles, arguing that <a href="https://monetary-metals.com/bitcoin-postmodern-money/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">bitcoin is unsound</a>. Yet for all those arguments, there is a bright side to bitcoin. It is exciting to see that there is an audience of millions of people—mainstream people, not wild-eyed End-The-Fed gold bug preppers who keep their gold hoards with their stockpiles of ammo—who are looking for an alternative to the Fed’s failing fiat currency. Or if not looking actively, at least receptive to it.</p> <p>We believe that the most important force contributing to dollar inertia is not law (and it’s certainly not the US military). It’s in your head. And in the heads of everyone else. To see what I mean, do a Google Images search for “money”. You will see pages and pages of green printed paper. And you won’t see pictures of gold coins (for that, do a search for “bitcoin”!)</p> <p>Even most of the gold owners who have an implacable hatred of the Fed, think of the value of their gold as measured in dollars. Indeed, the number one complaint in the gold bug community is that the banks are pushing gold down. Down? Yeah, reducing its price as measured in dollars. Less dollars exchanged per ounce means gold is less valuable—what else could it possibly indicate?</p> <p>Money means the dollar, and the dollar means money. This is how people think, at the moment. It’s a perfect example of a phenomenon described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.</p> <p>“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”</p> <p>Sure, it’s good to get out of being a creditor to the Fed by owning gold or even bitcoin. But if you accept the Fed’s core principle—that its counterfeit paper is money—you are still trapped in their system. Your chains are self-made, and self-imposed.</p> <p><a href="http://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-horse-tied-up.png"><img src="https://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-horse-tied-up.png" width="460" height="311" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8732" /></a></p> <p>That said, we find it encouraging that so many people see at least some serious flaws in the Fed’s irredeemable currency, and its central planning. Social change is a non-linear process. It is expressed in an old (perhaps as old as a <a href="https://www.snopes.com/first-they-ignore-you/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">union speech in 1914</a>) quote about social movements that is often attributed to Ghandi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”</p> <p>We don’t refer to the bitcoin movement (and we are aware some will regard this point as irony, coming from us after we have written so much criticism of bitcoin). We refer to the movement away from central banking. The meteoric rise of bitcoin popularity proves we are past phase I. No Fed apologist can ignore the sheer number of people, nor the fact that they are clamoring for an alternative.</p> <p>The realization that the dollar has fatal flaws is, of course, a one-way journey. Once someone sees this, he cannot unsee it. People do not go backwards. So there is a kind of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratchet_effect">ratchet effect</a> at play here.</p> <p>There may be many other attempts to develop alternative monetary systems, as people design new currencies without some of the flaws of bitcoin. This is healthy and all to the good. We may decry the billions of dollars of capital consumption fueled by the bitcoin boom, but we have to acknowledge the good of market discovery seeking a monetary solution that serves the people.</p> <p>And we may (will!) continue to say that no irredeemable currency can work, whether central bank imposed or whether attempted in the markets. We may (will) keep saying that the gold standard—which is when anyone who wants to can <a href="https://monetary-metals.com/investing/private-equity/the-gold-exponential-fund/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">earn interest on their gold, in gold</a>—does work.</p> <p>But a part of us is cheering bitcoin and all the other market experiments.</p> <hr /> <p>This week, the prices of the metals rose, $7 and $0.34 respectively. As the price of silver rose by a larger percentage, the gold-silver ratio fell. Which last week, we said we were betting on in our fund.</p> <p>Let’s look at the only true picture of the supply and demand fundamentals of both gold and silver. But first, here are the charts of the prices of gold and silver, and the gold-silver ratio.</p> <p><a href="http://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-prices.jpg"><img src="https://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-prices.jpg" width="900" height="500" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8731" /></a></p> <p>Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. The ratio dropped.</p> <p><a href="http://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-ratio.jpg"><img src="https://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-ratio.jpg" width="900" height="500" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8730" /></a></p> <p><em>In this graph, we show both bid and offer prices for the gold-silver ratio. If you were to sell gold on the bid and buy silver at the ask, that is the lower bid price. Conversely, if you sold silver on the bid and bought gold at the offer, that is the higher offer price.</em></p> <p><em>For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.</em></p> <p>Here is the gold graph showing gold basis and cobasis with the price of the dollar in gold terms. We have again zoomed in to see recent developments in the basis.</p> <p><a href="http://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-gold.jpg"><img src="https://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-gold.jpg" width="900" height="500" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8729" /></a></p> <p>Note the drop in the cobasis as the price of the dollar fell (i.e. price of gold, measured in dollars rose). Our measure of scarcity has fallen almost to the level it was when the dollar was considerably lower (i.e. the price of gold was $30 higher).</p> <p>Our <a href="https://monetary-metals.com/thought-leadership/data-science-charts/gold-fundamentals/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Monetary Metals Gold Fundamental Price</a> fell $39 this week, to $1274.</p> <p>Now let’s look at silver.</p> <p><a href="http://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-silver.jpg"><img src="https://monetary-metals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/letter-dec-17-silver.jpg" width="900" height="500" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8728" /></a></p> <p>We see the same thing, silver is simply less scarce at the higher price.</p> <p>The <a href="https://monetary-metals.com/thought-leadership/data-science-charts/silver-fundamentals/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Monetary Metals Silver Fundamental Price</a> dropped 24 cents from last week, to $16.37.</p> <p>This means that Monetary Metals Gold Silver Fundamental Price fell about 1.4 points.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>© 2017 <a href="https://monetary-metals.com/">Monetary Metals</a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/cheering-bitcoin-gold-and-silver-report-17-dec-2017#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Business Cryptocurrencies Currency Digital currencies Economy Finance Financial cryptography Gold standard Google Money Precious metals United States dollar US Federal Reserve US military Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:23:49 +0000 Monetary Metals 609360 at http://www.zerohedge.com "This Is A Historic Event": GOP Leaders Say Tax Reform Will Pass By Week's End http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/gop-leaders-say-tax-reform-bill-will-pass-weeks-end-despite-mccains-absence <p>After weeks of frenzied closed-door haggling, Republicans appear to be on the cusp of what could be the greatest legislative achievement of the Trump administration: Passing the first comprehensive tax reform plan since 1986. And on Sunday, Republican leaders reiterated that they had cobbled together the votes to push the reconciled version of the GOP tax plan through both the House and the Senate - in the process accomplishing the improbable feat of passing the tax bill by year&rsquo;s end, according to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax/republicans-confident-tax-bill-to-become-law-this-week-idUSKBN1EB0K4">Reuters</a>.</p> <p>Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CBS News&rsquo; &ldquo;Face the Nation&rdquo; on Sunday that Trump expected to realize his goal of signing the tax bill before Christmas. <strong>&ldquo;This is a historic event,&rdquo;</strong> Mnuchin said. &ldquo;People said we wouldn&rsquo;t get this done; we&rsquo;re on the verge of getting this done.&quot;</p> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/84Sj38jr4bA" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week that he expects the House to vote on the legislation on Monday or Tuesday, while the Senate would likely bring it to a vote on Tuesday or Wednesday. If both chambers are successful, Trump has said he would sign the bill, which, would add at least $1 trillion to the $20 trillion national debt over 10 years.</p> <p>John Cornyn, the Republican senate whip, said on ABC&rsquo;s &ldquo;This Week&rdquo; that he was &ldquo;confident&rdquo; the Senate would pass the legislation, &ldquo;<strong>probably on Tuesday</strong>.&quot;</p> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LXXadWCrXaU" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Republican Rep Kevin Brady also said he believed his party had the votes to pass the bill: &ldquo;<strong>I think we are headed - the American people are headed - for a big win on Tuesday,&rdquo; </strong>Brady, the House of Representatives&rsquo; top tax writer, said on Fox News&rsquo; &ldquo;Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.&quot;</p> <p><script type="text/javascript" src="http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/embed.js?id=5682187711001&w=466&h=263"></script></p><p><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="http://video.foxbusiness.com">video.foxbusiness.com</a></noscript></p> <p>WIth Sen. John McCain&rsquo;s health having taken a turn for the worse, and Democrat Doug Jones waiting to take the Alabama Senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the urgency to pass the tax bill has only intensified.</p> <p>If Republicans are successful, Trump will happily take credit (just like he would ultimately be blamed for its failure). But as <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/18/trump-taxes-sales-congress-302241">Politico </a>reports in a story published late Sunday, <strong>Trump largely played a hands-off role in crafting the legislation - leaving many of the details up to lawmakers. </strong>However, the president was a major asset to Republicans when it came to another element of passing the bill: convincing lawmakers to vote for it.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/18/trump-taxes-sales-congress-302241">Politico</a>, the bill&rsquo;s success so far is due in part to Trump&rsquo;s strategic decision to do one simple thing: focus on the hard sell.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Trump has spent weeks wooing, prodding, cajoling and personally calling Republican lawmakers to pass sweeping tax legislation in time for Christmas &ndash; a deadline Trump himself set months ago &ndash; but he and his staff have left many of the policy decisions up to Republican lawmakers and top congressional staffers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the final weeks of negotiations, Trump has acted as the cheerleader and closer. He&rsquo;s personally phoned lawmakers whose support of the bill wavered at times - including Republican Sens. Bob Corker, Ron Johnson and Steve Daines - while staying in close touch with congressional leadership to check on progress toward a win, according to several White House aides, congressional officials and people close to the administration.</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, Politico found Trump&rsquo;s approach to real-estate development to be an apt metaphor for his handling of the tax bill.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>As a real-estate developer, Trump knew that it was easier to put his name on other people&rsquo;s buildings than to construct the edifices himself. And now, it seems, he&rsquo;s discovered the same approach works in Washington, too.</p> </blockquote> <p>Before heading to Camp David, Trump once again extolled the bill for slashing taxes and benefiting small-business owners.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">TAX CUTS will increase investment in the American economy and in U.S. workers, leading to higher growth, higher wages, and more JOBS! <a href="https://t.co/4GxM8psMU1">pic.twitter.com/4GxM8psMU1</a></p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/942123433873281024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 16, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>But passing the bill won&rsquo;t be the end of the road for Congressional Republicans, who were forced to make many concessions in the final version of the bill thanks to their slim Senate majority. Many of the provisions that would benefit individual taxpayers, like cuts to the individual rate and a new 20% deduction for millions of businesses are scheduled to vanish after 2025. <strong>Meanwhile, lawmakers made a corporate-tax-rate cut and international tax rules permanent to encourage long-run planning, but other business provisions arrive, then disappear,</strong> according to the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-tax-bill-would-set-up-years-of-challenges-1513557742">Wall Street Journal.</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/04/2017.12.18taxcutgraphic.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/04/2017.12.18taxcutgraphic_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 504px;" /></a></p> <p>Plus, the sheer size of the debt pile-on - at least $1 trillion - will create instability in the tax code that will trouble lawmakers for years.</p> <p>Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts, said the bill will require Congress to make small changes over the years to ensure government revenues don&rsquo;t reach a dangerously low level: <strong>&quot;It&rsquo;s just the beginning. It&rsquo;s a whole new chapter,&rdquo; </strong>he said. <strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s built on unstable financial foundations and on unstable political foundations. And it was built in great haste.&quot;</strong></p> <p>Which, for the market, is great news: if it results, as Trump hopes, in economic growth, it&#39;s good for stocks; if however the worst case scenario emerges and the financial situation is destabilized by tax reform, it would likely lead to another Fed bail out, which is even greater news for stocks, and so on, <em>ad inf.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="620" height="296" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12.18mccain.JPG?1513598517" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/gop-leaders-say-tax-reform-bill-will-pass-weeks-end-despite-mccains-absence#comments Alabama Senate American people of German descent Congress Donald Trump Economic policy of Donald Trump First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Fox News House of Representatives Jeff Sessions John Cornyn Kevin Brady Martin Sullivan National Debt Paul Ryan Politics Presidency of Donald Trump Republican Party Reuters Senate Steven Mnuchin Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Trump Administration United States US Federal Reserve Wall Street Journal White House Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:22:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 609351 at http://www.zerohedge.com Frontrunning: December 18 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/frontrunning-december-18 <ul> <li>Bitcoin Takes Bigger Wall Street Stage With Smooth CME Debut (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-17/bitcoin-heads-to-bigger-wall-street-stage-as-cme-debuts-futures">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Trump targets China and Russia on national security (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-nationalsecurity/trump-in-strategy-document-to-cite-china-russia-as-competitors-idUSKBN1EC109">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Panthers owner to sell team amid misconduct allegations (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-football-nfl-richardson/panthers-owner-to-sell-team-amid-misconduct-allegations-idUSKBN1EB0RN">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Prosecutors Treat Opioid Overdoses as Homicides, Snagging Friends, Relatives (<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/prosecutors-treat-opioid-overdoses-as-homicides-snagging-friends-relatives-1513538404">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>U.S. taxpayers rush to claim deductions under threat from tax bill (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-prepay/u-s-taxpayers-rush-to-claim-deductions-under-threat-from-tax-bill-idUSKBN1EC0GV">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>This One Weird Tax Trick Could Shrink the Trade Deficit (<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-one-weird-tax-trick-could-shrink-the-trade-deficit-1513593001">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Sweeping Rewrite of Tax Code Sets Up Years of Challenges (<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-tax-bill-would-set-up-years-of-challenges-1513557742">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Wall Street Bonus Pools Look Shallow in Unexciting Trading Year (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/wall-street-bonus-pools-look-shallow-in-unexciting-trading-year">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Police search Finnish reporter's home after security article (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-finland-police-intelligence/police-search-finnish-reporters-home-after-security-article-idUSKBN1EC1KL?il=0">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>South Africa ANC vote too close to call, markets on edge (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-politics/south-africa-anc-vote-too-close-to-call-markets-on-edge-idUSKBN1EC05I">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Canadian Billionaire, Wife Died of Neck Compression, Police Find (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/canadian-billionaire-wife-died-of-neck-compression-police-find">Bloomberg</a>)</li> <li>Mueller Probe Faces New Challenges (<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/mueller-probe-faces-new-challenges-from-trump-team-1513545944">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>He Stole $100 Million From His Clients. Now He’s Living in Luxury on the Côte d’Azur (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-12-18/he-stole-100-million-from-his-clients-now-he-s-living-in-luxury-on-the-c-te-d-azur">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Death of CSX CEO Harrison Renews Debate on Health Disclosures (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-17/death-of-csx-ceo-harrison-renews-debate-on-health-disclosures">BBG</a>)</li> <li>EU launches probe into Ikea tax arrangements (<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/a139e89a-1316-363b-9094-7befae4958e3">FT</a>)</li> <li>The Pessimist's Guide to 2028 (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/pessimists-guide-to-2018/">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Homicide team probes 'suspicious' deaths of rich Canadian couple (<a href="https://sg.news.yahoo.com/homicide-team-probe-suspicious-deaths-canada-billionaire-couple-005452667.html">AFP</a>)</li> <li>It Took Five Decades to Build Steinhoff. It Cratered in Two Days (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/it-took-five-decades-to-build-steinhoff-it-cratered-in-two-days">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Replacement Parts: Organs on Demand (<a href="https://www.wsj.com/video/series/moving-upstream/replacement-parts-organs-on-demand-moving-upstream/2ECC7FC8-9670-4C21-AAC7-8098C4173EF7">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Campbell Soup to buy snacks maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-snyders-lance-m-a-campbell-soup/campbell-soup-to-buy-snacks-maker-snyders-lance-for-4-87-billion-idUSKBN1EC1J3">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Hershey to buy SkinnyPop parent Amplify Snack for $1.6 billion (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amplify-snack-m-a-hershey/hershey-to-buy-skinnypop-parent-amplify-snack-for-1-6-billion-idUSKBN1EC1F2">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Humana in talks to buy Kindred Healthcare with equity firms (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-humana-kindred-hthcare-m-a/humana-in-talks-to-buy-kindred-healthcare-with-equity-firms-source-idUSKBN1EB0TH">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Solar Companies Go Door-to-Door in Battle With Tesla (<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/knock-knock-solar-companies-battling-tesla-going-door-to-door">BBG</a>)</li> <li>US companies set to be big winners from Trump’s tax reform (<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/9eef31ba-e13d-11e7-8f9f-de1c2175f5ce">FT</a>)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Overnight Media Digest</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">WSJ</span></em></p> <p>- CSX Corp CEO Hunter Harrison's sudden death raises questions about the board's decision to wager its future on the 73-year-old and an activist investor's high stakes campaign earlier this year to shake up the CSX board and bring in Harrison as chief executive. Two months ago, according to people familiar with the matter, the CSX board faced a gut check on its ailing CEO, who had been using a portable oxygen tank and mostly working from home. on.wsj.com/2B72rMx</p> <p>- Oracle Corp has struck a $1.2 billion deal to buy an Australian project-management software provider Aconex Ltd , the latest leg in its push to take on Amazon.com Inc and others in selling cloud-computing services. on.wsj.com/2B7wmnM</p> <p>- Apotex Inc founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, died from "ligature neck compression," a type of strangulation, and homicide detectives were taking over the investigation, Toronto police said. on.wsj.com/2B6Tl2B</p> <p>- Electricity has been restored to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport late on Sunday, hours after an outage unleashed havoc on travelers around the country. on.wsj.com/2B6ts2S</p> <p>- The world's largest exchange company Chicago-based CME Group Inc launched bitcoin futures on Sunday, seeking to capitalize on the mania for the booming digital currency. on.wsj.com/2B9DvEb</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">FT</span></em></p> <p>Polygon hedge fund, which owns less than 1 percent of Sky Plc, has contacted the Takeover Panel to argue that Walt Disney Co’s takeover of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc could cost minority shareholders in the UK satellite broadcaster a hefty premium unless the regulator intervenes.</p> <p>Barclays Plc’s is closing in on the top spot in UK’s annual investment banking league tables for the first time since 2012, according to new data from Dealogic, suggesting that the bank’s unpopular bet on investment banking is paying off in UK.</p> <p>British broadband companies have threatened to launch a judicial review if the government accepts BT Group Plc’s 600 million pounds offer to improve broadband speeds in sparsely populated areas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">NYT</span></em></p> <p>- The eighth chapter in the "Star Wars" movie series, "The Last Jedi," made the jump to box office hyperspace over the weekend, selling $450 million in tickets worldwide and affirming Walt Disney Co's strategy for rebooting the franchise for a new generation of fans. nyti.ms/2Btq1Ad</p> <p>- A power failure at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday disrupted operations at the busiest airport in the world, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,150 departing or arriving flights and stranding travelers on planes on the tarmac for hours. nyti.ms/2B1Y1qa</p> <p>-The sexual misconduct allegations against the former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the confidential settlements arising from those accusations have prompted a provision in the final tax bill that aims to stem the use of nondisclosure agreements. nyti.ms/2oB0ja1</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Canada</span></em></p> <p>THE GLOBE AND MAIL</p> <p>** Statistics Canada plans to experiment with online crowdsourcing to help figure out how much cannabis costs on Canada's street corners, which will aid Ottawa in reaching one of its core goals to undercut the drug's black market when legalization occurs next summer. tgam.ca/2oFJMSc</p> <p>** Ottawa is pushing venture capitalists to help fix the gender gap in the Canadian startup scene, telling those who want to qualify for a C$400 million ($311 million) funding program they must "demonstrate how their strategies would advance these objectives." tgam.ca/2yRcJuv</p> <p>** A Brazilian appeals court has upheld the suspension of a key license for Toronto-based Belo Sun Mining Corp, which hopes to build Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine in the Amazon forest. tgam.ca/2kelJoV</p> <p>NATIONAL POST</p> <p>** Toronto Police have released the cause of deaths of pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey. The couple, whose bodies were found on Friday, died from "ligature neck compression", the police said on Sunday. bit.ly/2yM93tH </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Britain</span></em></p> <p>The Times</p> <p>The Commons work and pensions committee has criticised the Financial Conduct Authority over its "grossly inadequate" attempt to stop members of the British Steel pension scheme being taken advantage of by rogue advisers. bit.ly/2jaEmJh</p> <p>Concerns have been raised about budget retailer Poundland's ability to continue sourcing goods after credit insurers reduced their cover for the retailer. bit.ly/2j9tgED</p> <p>The Guardian</p> <p>Britain's banks have written to Theresa May and Philip Hammond warning that a Canada-style free trade agreement with the EU post-Brexit is not ambitious enough and that alignment with EU rules on finance is crucial. bit.ly/2jbGsZH</p> <p>The chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc, Donald Brydon, is expected to survive an audacious attempt by an activist investor to bring about an abrupt end to his two and a half years at the helm of the group. bit.ly/2j9sVll</p> <p>The Telegraph</p> <p>Investment in commercial property in the City of London is nearing record highs this year, as overseas investors continue to dominate the market. bit.ly/2javcgc</p> <p>Efforts to stop bogus self-employment in the gig economy could hit the amount of overtime available for millions of squeezed earners, a major think-tank has warned. bit.ly/2j7qT54</p> <p>Sky News</p> <p>Thailand's Minor Hotel Group is buying a majority stake in Corbin &amp; King, the company behind top London restaurants such as the Wolseley and the Delaunay, Sky News has learnt. bit.ly/2j7rN1s</p> <p>The Independent</p> <p>Theresa May will insist on Monday that she will try to sign new free trade deals during UK's Brexit transition period, setting herself on a collision course with Brussels. ind.pn/2j8JLk4</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/frontrunning-december-18#comments Barclays Barclays Bitcoin Bitcoin Bitly broadband Business China Economy European Union Financial Conduct Authority Financial services Fox News Hershey Ikea national security Reuters Reuters South Africa South Africa ANC Toronto police Trade Deficit Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:03:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 609357 at http://www.zerohedge.com