en Alex Jones Invites Media to Discuss His Child Custody Trial, Then Delivers His Magnum Opus <p>The media was gleefully cheering on the specter of Jones losing sole custody of his children. So he invited them to the front of the courthouse to discuss the facts about the trial, and then about 15 minutes in started to redpill them on things, like chimeras and other wondrous and nightmarish mutations.</p> <p>This was his magnum opus.</p> <p>Watch.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Content originally published at <a href=""></a></p> Biology Chimera Computing Framing HTML HTML element IFrame Sun, 30 Apr 2017 02:00:14 +0000 The_Real_Fly 594893 at Paul Craig Roberts Asks "Does Washington Plan To Nuke Russia & China?" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,</em></a></p> <p>Not everyone likes to hear about the threat of nuclear war. <strong>Some find refuge in denial and say that nuclear war is impossible because it makes no sense.</strong> Unfortunately,<strong> humankind has a long record of doing things that make no sense.</strong></p> <p>In previous posts in recent years I have pointed out both written documents and changes in US war doctrine that indicate that <strong>Washington is preparing a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia and China</strong>. More recently, I have shown that Washington&rsquo;s demonization of Russia and President Putin, the incessant lies about Russian deeds and intentions, and the refusal of Washington to cooperate with Russia on any issue have convinced the Russian government that Washington is preparing the Western populations for an attack on Russia. It is obvious that China has come to the same conclusion.</p> <p><strong>It is extremely dangerous to all of mankind for Washington to convince two nuclear powers that Washington is preparing a preemptive nuclear strike against them.</strong> It is impossible to imagine a more reckless and irresponsible act. Yet this is precisely what Washington has done.</p> <p>Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, Deputy Head of Operations of the Russian General Staff has concluded that<strong> Washington in pursuit of global hegemony is implementing an anti-ballistic missile system that <a href="">Washington believes can prevent a Russian nuclear response to a US pre-emptive attack</a>.&nbsp;</strong><a href="" target="_blank"> </a></p> <p>Careful studies have convinced the Russians that Washington is investing in and arranging components that have no other function than to devastate Russia and cripple the country&rsquo;s retaliatory capability. In short, <a href="">Washington is preparing to launch a nuclear war</a>.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"> </a></p> <p>As I explained previously, the theory behind this insane scheme is that after America&rsquo;s preemptive strike Russia will be so devastated that Russia would not retaliate with any remaining forces out of fear that Washington would launch a second major strike. Washington also plans to use agents in place to assassinate as many members as possible of the Russian government, thus leaving the government in confusion without leadership.</p> <p><strong>Yes, the insane American/Israeli neoconservatives are this determined to exercise hegemony over the world.</strong></p> <p>Yes, Washington is sufficiently criminally insane to risk the destruction of life on earth based on the supposition that Washington&rsquo;s offense will work perfectly and Russia and China&rsquo;s capabilities will be so degraded that no retaliatory response will occur.</p> <p>One might hope that the American and Western populations would be outraged that Washington is so power-crazed that Washington is subjecting all life to such risks. But there is no sign of an anti-war movement. The Western leftwing has degenerated into Identity Politics in which the only threat comes from white heterosexual males who are portrayed as misogynists, racists, and homophopes. The Western leftwing is no longer war-conscious. Indeed, the leftwing has become diverted into such silly irrelevancies as transgender rights to toilets of their choice. The impotence of the Western left is so overwhelming that the left might as well not exist.</p> <p><strong>Where then is the hope? Russia and China cannot simply sit there and await America&rsquo;s preemptive nuclear strike.</strong></p> <p>Possibly Washington does not intend a preemptive strike, but only to convince Russia and China that Washington&rsquo;s preparations give Washington so much predominance in a conflict that Russia and China will submit to Washington&rsquo;s hegemony. But this interpretation of Washington&rsquo;s intention implies no less risk. Why would Russia and China wait for Washington to complete its preparations for war, preparations that permit Washington to turn Russia and China into puppet states?</p> <p><strong>The US military/security complex has clearly prevailed over Trump&rsquo;s intention to normalize relations between the US and Russia, </strong>and anti-Russian venom continues to pour out of NATO and Washington&rsquo;s European vassal states. The majority of the American people seem to have accepted the propaganda that Russia is the number one threat to the United States. With propaganda controlling the explanation, Washington&rsquo;s aggressive actions are explained as defense against a threat and not as a policy that will end life on earth.</p> <p><strong>The chances are high that life on earth is approaching its end.</strong> The responsibility lies heavily on the American people, whose success, due to the mistakes of others, made Americans think that they are exceptional and privileged. Unaware of the inhumane threat to all life that is embodied in the neoconservative claim that Americans are exceptional and indispensable, the self-satisfied American public is unaware of the consequences of such hubris. Hubris is leading them, and the entire world, to slaughter in thermo-nuclear war.</p> <p><strong>The neoconservative claim of American exceptionalism is the identical claim made for Germans by Hitler. </strong>If Americans are indispensable, everyone else is dispensable and can be &ldquo;bombed into the stone age&rdquo; as one US government official put it, or nuked as Washington intends to do to Russia and China. The claim of American exceptionalism is not accepted by Russia and China. Therefore, the insane, crazed monsters who rule over the West in Washington are bringing life on earth to an end.</p> <p><em><strong>And there are no protests. </strong>The idiot British, the idiot Germans, the idiot French, Italians, Canadians, Australians, Belgians, Greeks, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, rally behind the insanity that is Washington.</em></p> <p><em><strong>And so apparently do the American people, a population stupid beyond all belief. </strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="272" height="148" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Government North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics Politics Russian government US government Sun, 30 Apr 2017 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594872 at "It's Just Crazy" (Again): 2-Bedroom LA House Sells 40% Above Asking <p>Two days ago <a href="">we looked at the latest troubling development </a>in US home price trends: a new bubble appears to be emerging in all the "usual suspect" places. As we noted on Thursday, "home prices in markets that bubbled over back in 2006/2007, like Las Vegas and San Francisco, got cut in half in 2009 but have since doubled again of their lows.&nbsp; Meanwhile, markets like Denver and Dallas that didn't participate as much in the 2007 mania are now surging to all-time highs, with Dallas prices up 55% over the past 5 years."</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="503" height="449" /></a></p> <p>The <a href="">Wall Street Journal added </a>that some of the home buying behaviors of consumers, like paying prices well above appraisal values and waiving home inspections, are starting to be eerily reminiscent of 2006:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In some markets, bidding wars are breaking out. Agents said some buyers are kicking in extra cash when properties don’t appraise for the asking price, and some are waiving their right to home inspections. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“<strong>It can’t be sustained</strong>,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance and a former chief economist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, referring to the frenzied buying.<strong> “It can’t go on forever.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Other signs of overexuberance have emerged, including surging levels of licensed Realtors all chasing a quick buck. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The number of licensed Realtors has jumped by nearly 25% since 2012, hitting a nine-year high in 2016 and sitting just 9% below the peak in 2006, according to real-estate consultant John Burns. In Denver, homes are selling briskly. The median number of days that homes spent on the market declined to eight in the first three months of the year from 61 in 2012, according to Redfin. Home prices rose 8.5% in Denver over the year ended in February, according to Case-Shiller. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nicki Thompson, an agent in Denver, said she recently had a listing that was on the market for two weekends at $1.2 million and she received multiple all-cash offers above the listing price.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“It’s just crazy,” she said.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>And for a practical example of just how crazy it truly is, <a href="">take this renovated 2-bedroom</a>, 1,948 sq. ft house first built in 1951 in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, which was listed in mid-March for $699,000, was estimated by Redfin at $780,000, <strong>and <a href="">sold yesterday for $980,888</a> (more than $500/sq foot) and 40% above asking, just over a month after it was first listed.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="596" /></a></p> <p>Maybe it was the <a href="">house's profile "description</a>" that unleashed the buying frenzy:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In the 1960s-80s drums played on some of the most famous pop songs known (Good Vibrations, Mrs. Robinson, A Little Less Conversation, to name a few) were built in this garage in our beloved Eagle Rock. A. F. Blaemire and his wife, Kirsten, filled this home with music and creativity for decades, and now it's ready for its next inspired owner! With freshly refinished hardwood floors and repainted interior, 5208 Monte Bonito is a blank canvas with great potential. The rooms are bright and spacious, including a downstairs recreation room perfect for a jam room, art studio, den (or all of the above!). The two-car garage has direct access to the house and an additional storage room. The back yard has plenty of space for entertaining and gardening - there is already an avocado tree, an orange tree, and a pitaya to get you started! Views of the Eagle Rock from the master bedroom, and sunset views from the front porch make this the ideal setting to call home.</p> </blockquote> <p>Then again, maybe not.</p> <p>So what do you get for just under a million in LA these days? Not much: two bedrooms, less than two bathrooms, a 2 car garage, a decorative fireplace, a rec room, and a 7,195 sq foot lot.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="543" /></a></p> <p>Here are some photos showing what a "million dollar house" looks like in the latest US housing bubble.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="332" /></p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="331" /></p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="331" /></p> <p><img src="" width="503" height="333" /></p> <p><img src="" width="503" height="333" /></p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="331" /></p> <p><img src="" width="501" height="332" /></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="665" height="363" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 8.5% Case-Shiller Denver Economic bubble Economy Fannie Mae Financial crises Geography of Colorado Housing Bubble Las Vegas Money Price Real estate bubble Redfin United States housing bubble Wall Street Journal Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:54:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 594885 at Global Reflation Trade In Trouble: Chinese Economic Data Plunges To 6-Month Lows As New Orders Dry Up <p><strong>New Orders for Manufacturing and Services sectors of the economy tumbled</strong> to their lowest levels in at least 6 months, weighing down both PMIs to their <strong>lowest levels since October 2016. </strong>After Q1&#39;s record surge in new credit creation, it appears the rapid tightening in China&#39;s financial conditions is already having an impact on the real economy (as well as the bond and stock market).</p> <p>As a reminder, for the first quarter, TSF reached a <strong>new record high 6.93 trillion yuan</strong> - equivalent to the size of Mexico&#39;s economy - and well above last year&#39;s first quarter total. <strong>At today&#39;s Yuan exchange rate, China&#39;s credit creation in Q1 amounted to just over 1 trillion US dollars. </strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And since then PMIs have plunged from multi-year high to six-month lows... and it&#39;s broad-based...</p> <p><img height="308" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The <u><strong>manufacturing data shows and sudden sharp drop in New Orders, </strong></u>output prices (commodity crash), and</p> <p><a href=""><img height="468" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>But Services data is even worse</strong></u> - the 4th month of contraction in employment and a drop in doemstic and export new orders...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The global engine of reflation just hit a wall...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 346px;" /></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="966" height="496" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Business China China Mexico Yuan Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:51:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 594892 at The Fruits of the Arab Spring Have Bore an Open Air Slave Market in Libya <p>Regime change was all the rage under the Obama administration -- especially in the middle east. The pitch was MUH democracy needed to be exported to savage lands, whose populations were largely an illiterate ensemble of archaic tribes hellbent on blowing each other up over the interpretation of their fictional holy books.</p> <p>Here was two time failed Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, flippantly opining about the fate of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Since then, Libya has been a staging ground for terrorist activities and an open hole in North Africa by which an endless stream of migrants use to enter Italy. All of the weapons stockpiled by Gaddafi were taken by 'rebels' who used them to take over large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq. Our embassy was run over, and our Ambassador killed. All of this because we wanted to 'free' the Libyan people from their misery -- which, ironically, resulted in a greater and deeper misery than they could've ever imagined.</p> <p>So what has the liberal/neocon policy of regime change done for Libya lately?</p> <p>Fucking slavery (please contain your outrage).</p> <p>According to a report by the UN Migration Agency, Libyan rebels are capturing poor Africans seeking to enter Europe, housing them in parking lots and make-shift prisons, in order to sell them on the open market like the days of antiquity, for as little as $100. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Source: CNBC<br /> "We talk to returning migrants every day and we hear this stories every day — stories of exploitation, psychological, physical and sexual abuse," Giuseppe Loprete, Niger-based chief of mission of the UN International Organization for Migration, told CNBC recently.</p> <p>For thousands of migrants paying to be smuggled out of North Africa, Libya remains the only route to Europe, and is a "black hole" where many disappear into exploitation, he said, adding: "The situation is only getting worse."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The going price for kidnapped migrants ranges from $200 to $500 in Libya, according to survivors who have returned to the IOM's transit center. In the last few months, the organization has arranged for the repatriation of 1,500 migrants back to their homes, which include Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Libya is a gateway to Italy from Africa, with an estimated 25,000 migrants having crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year. Although Italy has taken measures to stem the flow of migrants from Libya, IOM data suggest crossings are on pace to challenge the nearly 182,000 migrants who landed in Italy last year. </p></blockquote> <p> <img src="" width="550" height="406" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-67845" /><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Former National Security Council officer under Obama, Eric Pelofsky laments,&nbsp;"It is a terrible situation thriving in the shadows created by the larger conflict in Libya."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Leonard Doyle, Spokesperson of the Director General at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sums it up: <strong>"Migrants who go to Libya while trying to get to Europe, have no idea of the torture archipelago that awaits them just over the border." </strong>He grimly adds<strong>,</strong>&nbsp;<strong>African migrants "become commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value."</strong></p> <p> Content originally published at <a href=""></a></p> Africa Archipelago Chadian–Libyan conflict Gaddafi family International Organization for Migration Iraq Islamic socialism Italy Libya Mediterranean Middle East Muammar Gaddafi national security National Security Council North Africa Obama Administration Obama administration Pan Am Flight 103 Politics Politics Social Issues UN International Organization for Migration UN Migration Agency Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:43:22 +0000 The_Real_Fly 594891 at All The Plenary's Men <p><a href=""><em>Via BestEvidence,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;The King can do no wrong.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>&mdash;William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>&mdash;Ex-President Richard Nixon, interview with David Frost</p> </blockquote> <p>The question at bar is why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to prosecute any too-big-to-fail banks or - more importantly - their bankers, even for admitted crimes.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a crucial question, because<strong> after eight straight years of unremitting prosecutorial failure, it looks very much as if a select group of top banks can, in fact, do no wrong.</strong> If that&rsquo;s the case, then our constitutional republic isn&rsquo;t merely in trouble. It&#39;s dead.</p> <p>A person or group of people who satisfy Blackstone&rsquo;s criterion for ultimate sovereign power&mdash;the power to commit crimes with impunity&mdash;can&rsquo;t exist in a nation where the law reigns supreme. And yet here we are a decade after the financial crisis began in earnest, and not one TBTF bank executive has gone to jail.</p> <p><strong>Legally, the TBTF banks are indistinguishable from the King, since the power to commit crimes with impunity swallows all other sovereign powers; such a power isn&rsquo;t even supposed to exist in the U.S., and yet it does.</strong></p> <p>Moreover, since there can&rsquo;t be two kings in a kingdom, the entire U.S. government, from the president on down, is just one of the King&rsquo;s men under this formulation of power. The real job of the U.S. government, then, isn&rsquo;t to represent the will of the people at all, it&rsquo;s to do the King&rsquo;s bidding. A nation that isn&rsquo;t governed by law is governed by instead by a king&mdash;it&rsquo;s one or the other&mdash;and the president&rsquo;s inferiority to such an above-the-law sovereign was confirmed over 40 years ago with Nixon&rsquo;s ouster. The president, unlike the King, answers to the law (despite Nixon&#39;s opinion).</p> <p><strong>Now, you may say that while the TBTF banks might arguably have the de facto power of the King, that&rsquo;s a far cry from wielding such power formally (i.e., having de jure criminal immunity).</strong></p> <p>The reply to that objection is set forth in this film, &ldquo;All the Plenary&rsquo;s Men,&rdquo; which is a sequel to &ldquo;The Veneer of Justice in a Kingdom of Crime.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another objection, raised by the DOJ itself, is that it HAS prosecuted TBTF bankers, citing cases like that of Raj Rajaratnam. These cases, however, in fact reveal the DOJ acting on behalf of the criminal global banking cartel.</p> <p>On that score, the DOJ&rsquo;s abysmal track record is by now so extensive and so thorough that it&rsquo;s possible to spot legal patterns in the DOJ&rsquo;s protracted miscarriage of justice, and, as you&rsquo;re about to see, those patterns are very deeply disturbing indeed. What&rsquo;s been going on cuts right past a garden variety constitutional crisis like Watergate straight to a crisis of sovereignty.</p> <p>The backdrop for all of this is HSBC&rsquo;s exoneration in December of 2012 for laundering money for drug dealers and terrorists, about which the House Financial Services Committee issued a report in July of 2016. Whether it was due to the political circus in town at the time, or to the Republican authorship of that report (albeit without dissent), it didn&rsquo;t get nearly the scrutiny it deserved.</p> <p>You see, prosecutors working on the HSBC case were actually going to indict the bank, but they got overruled, and HSBC and its team of criminals skated. The story of how exactly that reversal came about reveals, if not the King himself, then certainly many of the King&rsquo;s top men.</p> <p><strong><em>Make the coffee extra strong before viewing. Lots of ground gets covered, quickly.</em></strong></p> <p>And don&rsquo;t mothball those pitchforks and torches just yet.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="843" height="451" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank regulation in the United States Constitutional crisis Crime Criminal law Department of Justice DOJ Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Finance Financial services Great Recession House Financial Services Committee House Financial Services Committee HSBC Law Money Raj Rajaratnam Too big to fail U.S. Department of Justice US government Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594861 at Land Of The Free-ish <p><em>...Free to have the same opinion as me <strong>or else</strong>...</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="436" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>Source:</em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="686" height="498" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Conservatism in the United States Politics of the United States Technology The Heritage Foundation Townhall Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594868 at Peter Schiff: Damn The Deficits, Huge Tax Cuts Ahead! <p><em><a href="">Authored by Peter Schiff via Euro Pacific Capital,</a></em></p> <p>Donald Trump has made good on one of his <strong>most audacious campaign promises</strong> by submitting what he describes as the biggest tax cut in U.S. History. For once, at least, this does not appear to be Trumpian braggadocio. <strong>It really may be the mother of all tax cuts. </strong>But if passed, what may this bunker buster do to the economy? While I have rarely met a tax cut I didn&rsquo;t like,<strong><em> this one just may be more likely to send the economy into a downward spiral than it is to send up to orbit.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong><em><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 319px;" /></em></strong></a></p> <p>As I mentioned in my&nbsp;<a href="">January commentary</a>, Donald Trump&rsquo;s big-spending, tax-cutting campaign rhetoric <strong>threatened to make him the biggest borrower in presidential history.</strong> He comes to office at a particularly vulnerable time for budget dynamics. After contracting by nearly two thirds from 2010 to 2015 (from the mind-bending $1.3 trillion to the merely enormous $438 billion), the Federal deficit started expanding again in 2016, moving up to $587 billion (Govt. Publishing Office, Office of Management &amp; Budget (OMB). Current projections have it going up nearly every year over the next two decades. The Congressional Budget Office expects it to permanently surpass $1 trillion annually by 2021 or 2022. But these ominous forecasts were made well before anyone thought Trump had a snowball&rsquo;s chance of ever becoming president. <strong>Now that he is in the office, those projections will be the floor.</strong> The ceiling is anyone&rsquo;s guess.</p> <p><strong>The forecasts assume that the taxing and spending laws in place during the Obama Administration won&rsquo;t change. </strong>The steep increase in projected deficits towards the end of this decade and into the next is largely driven by the retirement of the Baby Boom generation, which will lead to simultaneous increases in entitlement spending and decreases in tax revenue. This brick wall has been hiding in plain sight for decades but the can-kickers in Washington have serially failed to do anything to avert the inevitable collision.</p> <p><em>(These forecasts also optimistically assume that the economy never again enters recession, inflation never again rears its ugly head, and that our creditors never get concerned enough about our growing debt to demand a premium for the risk of financing it.)</em></p> <p><strong>But now that Trump occupies the Oval office, this date with destiny may come much sooner&hellip;and she will definitely be ordering the lobster.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Before I go negative, let me give credit to Trump for picking the right taxes to cut. </strong></u>He kills the estate tax, an ugly beast that should have been euthanized years ago. Some may see this simply as a gift to the very rich. But legal wizards have long since devised strategies that offer almost complete protection from the death tax. None of these structures offer any real benefit to the businesses these millionaires typically own, or to the economy in general. Killing the tax will cost the government almost nothing, but it will remove tremendous impediments that have prevented family-run companies from growing over generations. He also kills the Alternative Minimum Tax, a complex parallel system of taxation that few understand but somehow manages to ensnare more and more taxpayers every year.</p> <p>Most importantly, he brings down the corporate tax rate from the globally non-competitive rate of 35% to the much more manageable 15%. Taxing corporations has always been a bad way to raise revenue. Corporations, after all, don&rsquo;t pay taxes, which are simply treated as a cost of doing business. The real costs are borne by customers, who must pay higher prices, and employees, who must suffer with lower wages. But high domestic corporate taxes have hamstrung U.S. corporations and greatly contributed to the decline of American manufacturing. A more competitive corporate sector will shower benefits on all manner of consumers and employees.</p> <p><strong>On the individual tax side, his decisions are much more problematic. </strong>Although Trump makes the sensible decision of compressing the seven individual tax brackets into just three (10%, 25%, and 35%), and doubles the standard personal deductions (thereby saving many people from the hassles of itemization), the headline-grabbing component of the proposals has to do with the lowering of the &ldquo;pass-through&rdquo; tax rate to the same 15% level that applies to corporations. This means that wealthy business owners, highly paid freelancers, and partners at law firms, medical groups, and management consultancies, will qualify for the 15% rate. This will be a huge windfall to some of the richest people in the country, who typically pay the highest marginal tax rate (currently 39%). And since the top one percent account for nearly 50% of tax revenue, this one provision promises to cost Uncle Sam plenty and to dramatically shake up the corporate landscape.</p> <p>Small business owners and independent contractors will in fact receive the benefit of the 15% pass through rate. But &ldquo;Mom and Pop&rdquo; entrepreneurs rarely have income that is high&nbsp;enough to be taxed at the higher rates. These smaller earners will likely be&nbsp;be trading a 15% tax for a 15% tax. All the big benefits will go to the really big fish. Whereas the vast majority of Tom Cruise&rsquo;s income would have been taxed at the 39% rate, it will now be taxed at just 15%. His taxes will be reduced by nearly 60% from current law. The same holds true, in lesser degree, to lawyers, doctors, and consultants making more than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.</p> <p>Is there any reason that could justify why a hedge fund manager making a million dollars per year should pay 15%, but a full time CEO at a corporation making half that would be subject to the highest marginal rate of 35%? It&rsquo;s absurd. Now I&rsquo;m not a big fan of the &ldquo;progressive&rdquo; tax system, whereby the tax rate goes up with income. I think a &ldquo;flat&rdquo; tax system, in which everyone paid the same rate, would be better. (Ideally I would like to see income taxes replaced by far less onerous and intrusive consumption taxes). But I certainly don&rsquo;t believe in a &ldquo;regressive&rdquo; tax system in which lower-earning citizens pay higher rates than those at the top. But that&rsquo;s exactly what Trump is trying to do.</p> <p>Given this wide disparity in tax rates, we can assume that the employment landscape&nbsp;will adjust dramatically. <strong>We should expect that legions of highly-paid full-time employees will start to form Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) to work freelance rather than as employees. </strong>There are few barriers that would prevent such a shift, and the growth of internet-based work scenarios will continue to break down the traditional barrier between employee and freelancer. Yes, there are some labor rules that seek to separate employees from freelancers, but those rules may be easily circumvented, especially when the reward is so great. Rather than envy the lawyer earning more and paying less, the CEOs of the country will likely incorporate and sell their services freelance to their former employers.</p> <p><strong>This shift will mean that a great many of the country&rsquo;s highest earners will be paying taxes at the lowest rate.</strong> As a result, the reductions in tax revenue would likely be far greater than what is predicted in the standard modeling.&nbsp;</p> <p>But unlike most prior tax cuts, the Trump version does not even make any attempt to balance the cuts with corresponding cuts in government spending. <em><strong>If Trump&rsquo;s tax cuts don&rsquo;t immediately generate&nbsp;sustained&nbsp;4% growth or more, we may be staring down the barrel of $2 to $3 trillion in annual deficits. Is this an experiment that we really want to try?</strong></em></p> <p>But even if the reforms can kick the economy into higher gear, thereby creating higher revenues with lower rates (The Laffer Curve),<em><strong> our current low interest rate environment provides significant obstacles to permit that growth to be sustained. </strong></em>If growth kicks up to the 4% range, the Federal Reserve will have to accelerate its rate increase schedule. Allowing rates to remain two to three percent below the growth rate could risk an overheated economy with inflation spiraling out of control. These higher rates will act as a stiff headwind to an economy that has grown increasingly dependent on ultra low rates.</p> <p><u><strong>But increases in rates would also cost the economy in another way. </strong></u>Our current bonded national debt is ready to surge past the $20 trillion mark. The Trump tax cuts will push it beyond that very quickly. If the Fed raises rates to keep pace with higher growth, then the Government will have to pay much more to finance the outstanding debt. At $20 trillion, every point of increase in interest rates will cost the government $200 billion annually. At that level, if interest rates were at 3.75%, instead of the current .75%, then the Federal Government would have to come up with about another $600 billion per year in interest payments. (That number will be much higher when the debt grows past $20 Trillion).</p> <p><strong>But it&#39;s not just Uncle Sam that is over-loaded with debt.</strong> Corporations and households would see their interest costs surge as well with rising interest rates. So what lower taxes giveth, higher interest rates will taketh away.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Consider the housing market.</strong> Not only will higher interest rates substantially increase the cost of home ownership (through higher mortgage rates), but Trump&rsquo;s tax proposals will dramatically increase the cost of ownership for those living in high tax states. Under the proposal, homeowners will no longer be able to deduct property taxes, and a doubling of the standard deduction means a much larger percentage of homeowners will not be able to deduct mortgage interest from their federal income tax. Plus, with the top tax rate reduced from 39.6% to 15%, the mortgage interest deduction will be far less valuable to those higher earners who can still take advantage of it. Higher mortgage rates and lower tax subsidies will increase the cost and decrease the appeal of home ownership.<strong> This could lead to a crash in real estate prices, especially in the high end of the market.</strong> Falling prices could wipe out what little home equity many Americas have left, and lead to another wave of foreclosures. The losses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be significant, with the costs falling directly on the Federal government, further driving up annual deficits.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The reality is that years of massive deficits, runaway government spending, artificially low interest rates, and three rounds of quantitative easing, have left the economy so sick that any tax cut large enough to revive it may actually kill it instead.</strong><em> The only silver lining to this cloud may be that the coming fiscal train wreck leaves lawmakers no choice but to slash government spending. If the real Republican agenda is to starve the beast, its success is assured.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="863" height="459" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative minimum tax Business Congressional Budget Office Congressional Budget Office Corporate tax Creditors Donald Trump Draft:Modern Tax Policy Economy Fannie Mae Federal Deficit federal government Federal Reserve Foreclosures Freddie Mac Home Equity Housing Market Income tax Income tax in the United States Laffer curve National Debt None Obama Administration Obama administration office of Management & Budget Peter Schiff Political debates about the United States federal budget Presidency of Barack Obama Presidency of George W. Bush Publishing Office Quantitative Easing Real estate Reality Recession Tax Tax cut Tax Revenue Tom Cruise US Federal Reserve Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594871 at Portland Rose Parade Cancelled Amid Violent Threats From Anti-Fa: "You've Seen How Much Power We Have... Police Can't Stop Us" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>For a bunch of peace loving, tolerance spewing social justice warriors, it sure does appear that the new &ldquo;progressive&rdquo; movement in America is&nbsp;rapidly turning to Bolshevik tactics to force their will upon a free and non-violent people.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 544px; height: 303px;" /></strong></a></p> <p><strong>The latest example of a <a href="" target="_blank">society on the brink of civil war</a> comes to us from Portland, Oregon,</strong> where every year the&nbsp;<em>82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association</em> kicks of the city&rsquo;s annual Rose Festival with a family-friendly parade.</p> <p>Except this year, there will be no parade. Organizers have cancelled the event amid threats of violence from groups referring to themselves as&nbsp;&ldquo;Anti-Fascist.&rdquo; According to <a href="" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a>, the reasoning behind the threats is reportedly&nbsp;outrage over the fact that the county&rsquo;s Republican Party was given&nbsp;one of the nearly 100 spots in the parade.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Then came an anonymous and ominous email, according to parade organizers, that instructed them to cancel the GOP group&rsquo;s registration &mdash; or else.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely,&rdquo; the anonymous email said, referring to the violent riots that hit Portland after the 2016 presidential election,&nbsp;reported the Oregonian. &ldquo;This is nonnegotiable.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The email said that 200 people would <strong>&ldquo;rush into the parade&rdquo; and &ldquo;drag and push&rdquo; those marching with the Republican Party</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward LGBT, immigrants, people of color or others,&rdquo; it said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Earlier this month we reported that members of the so-called anti-fascist, left leaning <a href="" target="_blank">progressive movements are preparing for war</a> by organizing combat fighting classes and even going so far as to suggest it&rsquo;s time to start bringing guns to such protests as a show of force:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In short, as predicted, they are <a href="" target="_blank">turning to militancy and mob action</a> by mobilizing individuals and groups to attend combat training seminars, acquiring better equipment like baseball bats and helmets, and of course, if things really go bad&hellip; guns.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div><strong>Yes, we seemed to have lost today. The alt-right held their ground. If we wanna take action against them, we need to be better organized and better trained. It doesn&rsquo;t help that it&rsquo;s only the far left opposing them, any trump supporter can be radicalized far easier than any liberal.</strong></div> <div><strong>I hope we learn from today</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>&hellip;</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>A shocking number of our <span style="text-decoration: underline;">comrades</span> went in there with absolute no combat training. We need to set up seminars or something of the sort.</strong></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&hellip;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We also need better equipment</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>Full report: <a href="" target="_blank">There Will Be Blood: Left Prepares For War After Berkeley Beat Down: &ldquo;Combat Training, Better Equipment, Guns&hellip;&rdquo;</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p>While these folks may think silencing the free speech of political ideologies contrary to theirs through violence is a means to a worthy end, it was&nbsp;the Bolshevik ideology, similar to what we&rsquo;re seeing from &ldquo;comrades&rdquo; &nbsp;in the anti-fascist movement, that eventually gave way to one of the world&rsquo;s most brutal dictators and was responsible for the deaths of, quite literally, over 100 million people in the 20th century.</p> <p>On another and perhaps equally interesting note, we&rsquo;ll mention the fact that for years the Department of Homeland Security and domestic law enforcement agencies had warned Americans that it was lone wolves with conservative values who stockpiled guns, food, bibles and peacefully protested government overreach who were, by officials and congressional members, deemed terrorists.</p> <p><strong>In fact, there were a variety of identifiers used to <a href="" target="_blank">qualify an American citizen as a potential domestic terrorist</a>:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>So how does a person qualify as a potential domestic terrorist? &nbsp;Based on the training I have attended, here are characteristics that qualify:</p> <ul> <li>Expressions of libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)</li> <li>Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership, holding a CCW permit)</li> <li>Survivalist literature (fictional books such as &ldquo;Patriots&rdquo; and &ldquo;One Second After&rdquo; are mentioned by name)</li> <li>Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)</li> <li>Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items)</li> <li>Religious views concerning the book of Revelation (apocalypse, anti-Christ)</li> <li>Expressed fears of Big Brother or big government</li> <li>Homeschooling</li> <li>Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties</li> <li>Belief in a New World Order conspiracy</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p><strong><em>We wonder if similar classifications will be assigned to those who threaten families and children at parades?</em></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="544" height="303" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anti-fascism BATS Behavior Crime Department of Homeland Security Dispute resolution Ethics Human behavior NRA Politics Psychology Republican Party Roses Business Association Social conflict Terrorism Violence Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594836 at Meet Danny Moses: The Frontpoint Trader Who Actually Put "The Big Short" Trade On <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Patrick O&#39;Shaughnessy via,</em></a></p> <p>My guest this week is<strong> Danny Moses, who was directly in the middle of the biggest trades in market history,</strong> chronicled by Michael Lewis in his book the Big Short.</p> <p><em><a href=""><img height="357" src="" width="600" /></a></em></p> <p><strong>Danny was the head trader on the Frontpoint team led by Steve Eisman,</strong> which was one of a small group of firms that figured out, in real time, the dire situation with mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis, and how to build a portfolio to bet against the U.S. housing market.</p> <p>We cover his part in the Big Short story, but also lots of other interesting ground, including the state of sell-side research and financial markets. I love conversations with traders because they live and breathe market risk. You&rsquo;ll be able to see why quickly in this great conversation with Danny Moses.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" height="90" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//" style="border: none" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Show Notes</strong></span></p> <p>2:57 &ndash; (first question) &ndash; &nbsp;The four traits that would give someone the best odds to succeed as an analyst</p> <p>7:40 &ndash; Danny&rsquo;s take on his role during the financial crises, which was highlighted in &lsquo;The Big Short.&rsquo;</p> <p>14:47 &ndash; Looking at the first moment that there was something wrong but that there was a way to trade against it during the crisis</p> <p>17:13 &ndash; <strong>Exploring the moment when Danny had to reconcile an amazing trade against a dangerous scenario for the US economy</strong></p> <p>20:17 &ndash; What was the relationship with the other people that discovered parts of this unraveling</p> <p>22:19 &ndash; <strong>Danny recounts working with Michael Lewis</strong></p> <p>24:16 &ndash;&nbsp;<a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1493002067&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=flash+boys">Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt</a></p> <p>24:40 &ndash; Going back to the auto lending crisis in the 1990&rsquo;s</p> <p>28:22 &ndash; The evolution of the sell side, what&rsquo;s good about it today and what was bad about in the early 2000&rsquo;s.</p> <p>34:55 &ndash; <u><strong>Why the markets appear to be broken right now</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&quot;It&#39;s all about how you get paid... this is the worst, in aggregate, that Wall Street research has ever been, because I believe it is compromised... fundamental investing has gone by the wayside, you&#39;re better off knowing which ETFs hold this stock than what this company even does.. that&#39;s scary to me.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&quot;In order for us to get back to fundamentals mattering, the market needs to have a major crash or unwind.&quot;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>37:20 &ndash; How markets were much different back in the 1990&rsquo;s and what made them more interesting.</p> <p>40:16 &ndash; Has the information provided by the sell-side to the buy side gone down since the financial crisis because the quality of research is lower</p> <p>43:24 &ndash; What was about financial services that Danny found attractive for an active strategy?</p> <p>47:14 &ndash; <strong>What was the first idea where Danny was applying his filter and realized the market had it wrong.</strong></p> <p>48:11 &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="">When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management</a></p> <p>49:01&nbsp; &ndash; How did Danny think about valuation as part of the bottom up framework?</p> <p>55:30 &ndash; <strong>Danny tells the story of how his friend Ira had to run and help bail out Dominque Strauss Kahn, the head of the IMF at the time.</strong></p> <p>58:30 &ndash; The Fixer</p> <p>58:40 &ndash; How do you become the bail bondsmen to the stars</p> <p>1:01:02 &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="">Open: An Autobiography</a></p> <p>1:01:25 &ndash; What is next for Danny Moses?</p> <p>1:02:33 &ndash;The root of Danny&rsquo;s interest in doing media.</p> <p>1:04:52 &ndash; Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Danny</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="921" height="548" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Economic bubbles Economics Economy English-language films Finance Financial crisis flash Great Recession in the United States Housing Market International Monetary Fund Michael Lewis Short Steve Eisman Systemic risk The Big Short Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:25:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 594860 at