en Alibaba's Jack Ma Sees "Decades Of Pain Ahead" Thanks To Internet Disruption <p><strong><em>&#39;Adapt or die miserable&#39;</em></strong> appears to be the message from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.</p> <p>The Alibaba founder warned that people should <strong>prepare for decades of social upheaval and pain as the internet disrupts the global economy</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;In the next 30 years, the world&rsquo;s pain will be much greater than its happiness,&rdquo;</strong></span> Ma said at an entrepreneurial conference in Zhengzhou, China. &ldquo;Social conflicts over the next 30 years will hugely impact every industry.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img height="323" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>As RT reports,</em></a> Ma says <strong>the world must radically change the way people are taught and establish how to work with robots</strong> to help soften the blow caused by automation and the internet economy.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Machines should only do what humans cannot,&rdquo;</strong> Ma said, adding &ldquo;only in this way can we have the opportunities to <strong>keep machines as working partners with humans, rather than as replacements.</strong>&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The founder of the e-trading platform Alibaba said he had<strong> tried to warn people in the early days of e-commerce it would disrupt traditional retailers but few listened.</strong> This time he wants to caution against the impact of new technologies, so no one will be surprised.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Fifteen years ago I gave speeches 200 or 300 times reminding everyone the internet will impact all industries, but people didn&rsquo;t listen because I was nobody,&quot; he said.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Ironic then that the world appears set on dismissing the UBI/Welfare-supporting leftist/socialist movements (see USA, Holland, and now France) when, if Ma is right, we&#39;re all going to need &#39;assistance&#39;.</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="721" height="388" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alibaba Group Business China Chinese people E-commerce Economy of China France Global Economy Jack Ma MA Technology Ubi Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:29:28 +0000 Tyler Durden 594032 at G. Edward Griffin: Exposing The Creature From Jekyll Island <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Adam Taggart via,</em></a></p> <p>G. Edward Griffin, the author of the seminal book on the formation of the Federal Reserve, <a href=";tag=peakprosp-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=091298645X&amp;linkId=23cf3af9fe9459dba8d76ee846afbf7d" target="_blank">The Creature of Jekyll Island</a>, joins the podcast this week to add his perspective to our <a href="" target="_blank">ongoing critical examination</a> of the Fed and the impact its actions are having on society.</p> <p>Meeting Ed and getting to spend time with him was a real honor for Chris and me. His breadth of knowledge of the central banking system as well as his engaging manner of storytelling are masterful. Plus, he&#39;s simply a wonderfully kind person.</p> <p>Ed&#39;s decades of research and critique of the Federal Reserve, sadly, have left him with conclusions that corroborate our own. Despite its carefully-crafted image as an essential public servant, Griffin concludes it is anything but. <strong><em>It is a private cartel that has connived its way to tremendous advantage and power, secretly (and not-so-secretly) plundering the American people of their treasure and freedoms.</em></strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>On The Fed&#39;s True Goals</strong></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[In researching the Federal Reserve] I was looking for a very complex mechanism. And I couldn&rsquo;t believe at that time that there would be <strong>deliberate deception in this system. </strong>So, I was working on the false assumption that everybody in the system was doing their best to make it work on behalf of mankind and on behalf of society. Initially, I never entertained the idea that its goal was not to benefit mankind at all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And so, where one would say, look: <strong>the Federal Reserve system is failing to meet its goals -- because it said its goals were to stabilize the economy and to preserve purchasing power, etc. -- I finally came to the realization: <em>No, those are not its goals.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If we understand what its goals really are, then it&rsquo;s not failing at all. It&rsquo;s succeeding amazingly well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And most people, as I initially did, have found that an impossible assumption to entertain. They simply can&#39;t get over it.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>On Whether The Fed Is A &#39;Conspiracy&#39;</strong></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Most dictionary definitions of the word &quot;conspiracy&quot; seem to agree that a conspiracy occurs when:</p> <ul> <li>two or more people come together</li> <li>they use methods of deceit and deception to achieve a goal</li> <li>which is unethical or illegal.</li> </ul> <p>Those are the three requirements. So talk about the Fed:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Are there two or more people? Oh, yeah. OK, there&rsquo;s one down.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Do it use methods of secrecy? Yes. It has secret meetings [beginning from its very conception at Jekyll Island] . It has closed meetings in which the public is excluded and the minutes of which are not shared for years, sometimes decades, sometimes never. Yes, of course, elements of the Fed&#39;s activities are highly secretive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And is the result either unethical or illegal? Well, now that&rsquo;s where it gets interesting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Because first of all, it&rsquo;s not illegal what they&rsquo;re doing</strong> -- because&nbsp;the banking industry has heavy influence over the people who write the laws. That&rsquo;s the reason the banks are so involved in the political system: so they can write the laws. So, that what they want to do is legal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>So, the Federal Reserve is plundering people legally.</strong> But is what its doing unethical? The propaganda is that the Federal Reserve is &#39;stabilizing the economy&#39;. They&rsquo;re doing it for the American people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But you and I, or anybody else that&rsquo;s not on the receiving end of all this money flow that the Fed has created, we look at what they&rsquo;re actually doing and most of us would say it&#39;s highly unethical. Our wealth, our economic prosperity and financial freedom -- all are being siphoned away -- for the benefit of a very small elite few. I think most people who they really understand what the Federal Reserve is doing would agree that&rsquo;s unethical.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And there&rsquo;s where you meet the definition of a conspiracy, though I don&rsquo;t insist anybody call it that. Just call it what it is: a group of people who know what they&rsquo;re doing and are plundering us. &nbsp;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Click the play button below to listen to Chris&#39; interview with G. Edward Griffin (58m:35s).</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="660" height="294" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business ETC Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System G. Edward Griffin Purchasing Power Taggart US Federal Reserve Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594099 at A $500 Billion "Hitch" Emerges In The Saudi Aramco IPO <p>As Saudi Arabia&#39;s deputy crown prince pushes his nation&#39;s Vision 2030 economic overhaul and crows of the <strong>$2 trillion Saudi Aramco valuation</strong> <em>(ahead of its potential IPO)</em>, <a href="">WSJ reports</a> that officials at the state-owned oil company are using <strong>internal value estimates to $1.3 to $1.5 trillion</strong>, calling bin Salman&#39;s estimate &quot;<em><strong>unrealistic and mind blowing.</strong></em>&quot;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 500px; height: 311px;" /></a></p> <p>Since <strong>deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the stock-offering plan and his $2 trillion estimate early last year</strong>, insiders and outsiders have questioned how he arrived at that number.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 402px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>Source</em></a></p> <p>About two dozen employees have been working since last year to try and figure how to take Aramco public, and have been working with Western consultants to <strong>explore ways to restructure Aramco to maximize its value,</strong> say people familiar with the process. The team has determined several variables - or what some call &ldquo;levers&rdquo; - likely to affect the price investors will pay for shares of the world&rsquo;s largest oil producer, according to internal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the process.</p> <p>But, <a href="">as The Wall Street Journal reports,</a> <strong>no matter how they pull those levers, which include the price of oil and Saudi tax policy, Aramco&rsquo;s projected value tops out at about $1.5 trillion, </strong>these people say.</p> <p>One such lever was a major tax reduction (but even then it didn&#39;t add up to bin Salman&#39;s $2 trillion guess...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The Saudi government last month said it is reducing Aramco&rsquo;s tax rate to 50% from 85%,</strong> bringing its tax rate closer to the level of the world&rsquo;s biggest oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That move would result in higher dividends for potential shareholders, and it <strong>brought Aramco&rsquo;s internal value estimates to $1.3 trillion to $1.5 trillion</strong> from about half a trillion dollars, say people involved in the process.</p> </blockquote> <p>By selling up to 5% of shares in an initial public offering targeted for next year, the government plans to raise billions of dollars that it can use to invest in other industries as part of a plan to reduce its heavy dependence on oil. <strong>The valuation discrepancy raises new challenges for a deal that is already fraught with complexity and facing opposition within the ranks of the kingdom&rsquo;s government bureaucracy, </strong>according to people familiar with the matter.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>One Aramco official called the figure <strong><u>&ldquo;unrealistic and mind blowing.&rdquo;</u></strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Questions about Aramco&rsquo;s valuation surfaced earlier this year </strong>when a report for potential investors prepared by oil-industry consultant<strong> Wood Mackenzie Ltd. put Aramco&rsquo;s value at around $400 billion, </strong>according to a client who attended a private Wood Mackenzie briefing. Saudi government officials say Aramco&rsquo;s high reserves and low costs should make the company attractive to investors.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;Our profitability is higher than others and the interest we have received so far is huge,&rdquo;</strong></em> said one official who defended the $2 trillion number.</p> </blockquote> <p>Some officials inside the company and in government have privately suggested <strong>reevaluating the listing,</strong> say people familiar with the matter, and perhaps reducing its size or delaying it. So far,&nbsp; Prince Mohammed and his staff seem unlikely to do so, say people familiar with the matter.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&ldquo;This IPO will happen regardless of the valuation they may receive,&rdquo; according to the government official who called the $2-trillion-dollar number &ldquo;mind-blowing.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="728" height="452" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Dhahran Economic history of Saudi Arabia Economy Exxon Geography of Asia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud Politics Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco Saudi government Valuation Wall Street Journal Western Asia Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:54:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594116 at Trade Wars Begin: Trump Announces 20% Tariff On Canadian Softwood Lumber Imports <p>Speaking during a first of its kind meeting <a href="">dedicated only to members </a>of the U.S. conservative media, including Breitbart News, OANN and Daily Caller, President Trump told reporters to expect a 20% tariff on softwood lumber coming into Canada. </p> <p>“We’re going to be putting a 20 per cent tax on softwood lumber coming in — tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada,”&nbsp; tweeted Charlie Spiering of Breitbart Media.</p> <script src="//"></script><p>Trey Yingst of OANN tweeted that according to Trump “Canada has treated us very unfairly” and also threatened a tax on Canada’s dairy industry. </p> <script src="//"></script><p>According to the <a href="">WSJ, </a><strong>Wilbur Ross said the tariff will be applied retroactively and imposed on Canadian exports to the U.S. of about $5 billion a year. </strong>He said the dispute centers on Canadian provinces that have been allegedly allowing loggers to cut down trees at reduced rates and sell them at low prices. "The determination that Canada improperly subsidizes its exports is preliminary, and the Commerce Department will need to make a final decision. In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will need to find that the U.S. industry has suffered injury. But even a preliminary decision has immediate real-world consequences, by discouraging importers from buying lumber from Canada."</p> <p>Or, as a WSJ associate editor put it, "<em>Blame the Chinese, but tax the Canadians</em>:"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Blame the Chinese, but tax the Canadians:<br />"Trump to impose 20% tariff on imports of Canadian softwood lumber" <a href=""></a> <a href="">@WSJ</a></p> <p>— John Bussey (@johncbussey) <a href="">April 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p><strong>“We tried to negotiate a settlement but we were unable,” </strong>Mr. Ross said, adding that previous administrations have also been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute.</p> <p>Speaking <a href="">to the FT</a>, Wilbur Ross said that the US would impose tariffs ranging from 3 per cent to 24% on five Canadian lumber exporters. <strong>The Canadian companies are Canfor, J.D. Irving, Resolute FP Canada, Tolko Marketing and Sales and West Fraser Mills. </strong></p> <p>“This has been another long-standing dispute with Canada,” said Ross. “These duties will be applied retroactively, 90 days backward, because they were on notice that this was forthcoming and they didn’t change the practice of dumping subsidized lumber.”</p> <p>Ross also told the FT that the Canadian provinces that own the forests from where softwood lumber is sourced were subsidizing logging activities, which allowed Canada to then dump the lumber in the US at below-market prices. </p> <p><strong>“It is around $5bn a year worth of lumber that comes in this way. And the Canadians have roughly a 31.5 per cent market share of the whole US softwood lumber (market),” </strong>Mr Ross added.</p> <p>The Trump administration had already notified Canada of its intent to impose the tariffs, a measure which comes as Trump approaches his 100th day in office on Saturday and is another example of his intent to take a more protectionist approach to trade policy.</p> <p>The tariffs have been anticipated since last week when Trump launched a barrage of criticism against Canada’s dairy, energy and lumber sectors. As <a href="">Global News adds</a>, the expected announcement from the U.S. Commerce Department on countervailing duties, a type of import tax meant to counter a subsidized export, is just the latest in the ongoing Canada-U.S. softwood row, which stretches back to the 1980s.</p> <p>Previously, President Trump said the Canadian system of protectionist dairy quotas is harming U.S. farmers, and that he’ll press Canada for changes to its dairy system as part of North American Free Trade Agreement talks. </p> <p>Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S. has a $400m dairy surplus with Canada adding “it’s not Canada that’s the challenge here.”</p> <p>The dispute largely stems from the fact most Canadian lumber is harvested on government-owned land while American lumber comes mainly from private land. The American lumber lobby has long accused Canadian governments of allowing companies to cut wood for less than market prices, which they say is an unfair subsidy.</p> <p>The announcement is also the latest escalation in US trade wars under the new administration, and comes just hours after China warned it would retaliate if the US imposed tariffs on its steel imports. </p> <p>In separate comments, Breitbart's Charlie Spireling reports that when asked about Assad’s existing stockpile of chemical weapons, Trump responded “Wait and see if he uses them again, OK?"</p> <p>Trump also discussed the North Korean situations, and said&nbsp; “this should have been done by Obama and it should have been don by every president since, really, Clinton.” Asked about Kim Jong-un’s military capacity, Trump replies: “I’m not so sure he’s so strong like he says he is, I’m not so sure at all.”</p> <p>There was immediate selling in the Loonie.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="366" /></a></p> <p>Which just broke to the weakest in 4 months against the US dollar.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="304" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And with lumber prices already at 13-year highs, one can only imagine what this will do to the price of houses in America.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="313" /></a></p> <p><strong>Canadians have had a tough time of it recently:</strong> they are getting inundated with illegal immigrants (thanks to Trudeau's welcome) and not benefitting from the wholesale emigration north that so many liberals promised if Trump was elected; housing has become unaffordable due to Chinese hot money flows encouraged by the government; the Canadian energy industry is hosed because of US shale production-driven low prices; and now the US imposes trade tariffs on another of their biggest exports.</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="470" height="289" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-right American people of German descent Breitbart News Business Canada–United States relations China Climate change skepticism and denial Department of Commerce Donald Trump Economy Foreign trade of the United States Free trade agreements of Canada KIM Lumber Market Share North American Free Trade Agreement Politics Politics of the United States Protectionism Steel Imports Tariff The Apprentice Timber industry Trade Wars Trump Administration U.S. Commerce Department U.S. International Trade Commission United States Value-added tax Wilbur Ross WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:29:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 594136 at Trump To Order Corporate Tax Rate Cut To 15%, Loading Up To $2 Trillion In Extra Debt <p>Ahead of Trump's much anticipated tax announcement on Wednesday, the <a href="">WSJ reports </a>that the president has ordered his (mostly ex-Goldman) White House aides to accelerate efforts to create a tax plan "slashing the corporate rate to 15% and prioritizing cuts in tax rates over an attempt to not increase the deficit" which means that without an offsetting source of revenue, Trump is about to unleash the debt spigots, a <strong>proposal which will face fierce pushback from conservatives as it is nothing more than a continuation of the status quo under the Obama administration, and may well be DOA.</strong></p> <p>The WSJ adds that during an Oval Office meeting last week, "Trump told staff <strong>he wants a massive tax cut to sell to the American people"&nbsp;</strong>and that it was "less important to him if the plan loses revenue." </p> <p>Hoping to add a sense of dramatic urgency - after all his 100 day deadline hits on Saturday - Trump told his team to <strong>“get it done,” </strong>in time to release a plan by Wednesday. </p> <p>Translation: Trump's massive tax cut will be funded by debt, and as a result, will be at best temporary as it will be in breach of the revenue constraints in the reconciliation process; <strong>at worst it will never happen as it will now require Democrat votes. </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss Mr. Trump’s tax proposals with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas. The meeting comes in advance of a Wednesday announcement by Mr. Trump about his principles for tax policy.</p> </blockquote> <p>While Trump promised to cut corporate rates to 15% from 35%, with the BAT now out of the picture, there aren’t enough business tax breaks that could be repealed to offset the fiscal cost, meaning such a move would increase budget deficits, the WSJ notes. <strong>Roughly, each percentage-point cut in the tax rate lowers federal revenue by $100 billion over a decade, so a 20-point cut would cost the government $2 trillion, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation</strong>.</p> <p>And, as we noted above, the fact that Trump has flip-flopped on revenue offsets may have also doomed Trump's tax plan: as the WSJ points out:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>any plan that adds to budget deficits would be difficult to advance on Capitol Hill, for both procedural and partisan reasons</strong>. The president’s fellow Republicans, who control both the House and Senate, are aiming to pass a tax bill through a process known as reconciliation, which means they wouldn’t need votes from Democrats. <strong>However, bills passed under reconciliation can’t increase deficits beyond the typical 10-year time frame against which tax and spending policies are projected</strong>."</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, The House Republican tax proposal calls for a 20% corporate tax rate, <strong>with the cost covered by including a border-adjustment feature that taxes imports and exempts exports</strong>. Trump’s White House has sent mixed messages about whether it would support the border-adjustment plan.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Asked Monday if the president’s tax plan would be revenue-neutral, meaning it wouldn’t add to the debt, Mr. Mnuchin told reporters that it would “pay for itself with economic growth.” By that he meant that the administration expects to be able to project faster growth due to tax cuts, which would in turn increase revenue and avert the risk of bigger budget deficits. Many economists doubt whether economic growth can ramp up on a sustained basis without a big pickup in productivity and labor-force growth, and it is uncertain the tax-policy changes would do that. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“They will lose a boatload of revenue that we can’t afford to lose and far more than this team will offset by closing loopholes,” said Jared Bernstein, who was an economic adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden. Cutting marginal tax rates for businesses could generate some economic growth, he said, but not nearly enough to pay for itself with increased revenue. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“These promises about all kinds of growth and investment that are going to be triggered by these tax cuts never appear, and the empirical historical record is clear on that,” Mr. Bernstein said.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, that makes it <strong>"difficult if not impossible for Republicans to pass a deficit-financed tax cut that doesn’t expire without getting Democratic votes in the Senate. </strong>Democrats are against large tax cuts for corporations, especially at a time when Mr. Trump is proposing cuts to government spending programs they prioritize, like housing, arts and the environment."</p> <p>It also means that as Compass Point's Isaac Boltansky wrote earlier today, Trump's release of tax details on Wednesday will likely deliver only "a vague generalization" of his goals in coming tax reform effort; and, if the WSJ is correct in laying out Trump's uber-ambitious plan, the generalizations will also be impossible to be implemented, effectively killing most if not all hope of tax reform for the foreseeable future as the bickering between Democrats and Republicans will be effectively insurmountable. </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="959" height="558" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Economic policy of Donald Trump Economy of the United States Joe Biden Joint Committee on Taxation Kevin Brady National Economic Council Obama Administration Obama administration Political debates about the United States federal budget Politics Presidency of Barack Obama Reconciliation Senate Steven Mnuchin Tax cut The Apprentice United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:28:23 +0000 Tyler Durden 594098 at Washington D.C. To Hold Massive "Coordinated Terror Attack" Drill This Wednesday <p>April 26th is shaping up to be a busy day. </p> <p>As we <a href="">reported on Friday</a>, that's when Operation Gotham Shield, an exercise involving FEMA, Homeland Security and a myriad of law enforcement and military agencies and which simulates a nuclear bomb blast over Manhattan, is set to conclude. </p> <p>Then, as we learned earlier, April 26 is also when the entire Senate will be briefed by Donald Trump and his four top defense and military officials on the situation in North Korea at the White House, an <a href="">event which Reuters dubbed</a> as "unusual."</p> <p> April 26 is also when the USS Carl Vinson is expected to finally arrive off the coast of the Korean Penninsula. </p> <p>Now, in a <a href="">statement from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments</a>, the regional association reports that "law enforcement officials and other first responders <strong>will participate in a full-scale exercise on April 26 designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region</strong>."</p> <p>The statement adds that emergency managers who work together at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) <strong>planned the exercise to help protect residents by preparing for an attack involving multiple target locations and teams of perpetrators</strong>.</p> <p>The exercise will be conducted across a widespread geographical area. According to the release, the regional exercise will be staged at six sites in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, <strong>and will involve hundreds of police, fire, and emergency medical service personnel and volunteer actors</strong>. </p> <p>The locations include neighborhoods in the northeast and southeast quadrants of the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, and Arlington and Fairfax Counties.&nbsp; Residents in those neighborhoods will be notified ahead of time to expect the exercise.</p> <p>According to Scott Boggs, Managing Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at COG, “Law enforcement officials practice and exercise their skills on their own regularly because that’s the best way to ensure we are always ready to respond quickly and professionally. <strong>On April 26, we’ll go one step further and stage a very realistic emergency event involving multiple sites and actors posing as the casualties.&nbsp; However, there is no reason for residents to be alarmed because the exercise will occur in a controlled environment.</strong>”</p> <p>The is scheduled to take place near or at George Mason University, and last from 8;30am until 4:30pm.</p> <p>The statement also advises that the only media availability will be in a one hour block before the exercise, from 7:30am - 8:30am on April 26.</p> <p><em>Full statement below (<a href="">link</a>).</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Full-scale exercise focused on preparing for complex terror attacks to include National Capital Region first responders, emergency managers</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Law enforcement officials and other first responders will participate in a full-scale exercise on April 26 designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Emergency managers who work together at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) planned the exercise to help protect residents by preparing for an attack involving multiple target locations and teams of perpetrators. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The regional exercise will be staged at six sites in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, and will involve hundreds of police, fire, and emergency medical service personnel and volunteer actors. The locations include neighborhoods in the northeast and southeast quadrants of the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, and Arlington and Fairfax Counties.&nbsp; Residents in those neighborhoods will be notified ahead of time to expect the exercise. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Law enforcement officials practice and exercise their skills on their own regularly because that’s the best way to ensure we are always ready to respond quickly and professionally,” said Scott Boggs, Managing Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at COG. “On April 26, we’ll go one step further and stage a very realistic emergency event involving multiple sites and actors posing as the casualties.&nbsp; However, there is no reason for residents to be alarmed because the exercise will occur in a controlled environment.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MEDIA AVAILABILITY PRIOR TO EXERCISE ONLY (see details below) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WHEN: Wednesday April 26, 7:30 – 8:30 A.M. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WHERE: Maryland National Capital Park Police Headquarters, 8100 Corporate Drive, Hyattsville, MD 20785 </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Contact: Jeanne Saddler<br />Phone: (202) 962-3250<br />Email: <a href="" title=""></a></p> </blockquote> <p><em>h/t: @<a href="">stockboardasset</a></em><a href=""> </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="704" height="402" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Disaster Disaster preparedness Donald Trump Emergency management Federal Emergency Management Agency First responder George Mason University Government Humanitarian aid Law Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments North Korea northern Virginia Occupational safety and health Politics Prince George's County, Maryland Reuters Senate United States Department of Homeland Security Washington D.C. White House White House Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:17:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 594130 at Ron Paul Rages At Trump: "Assange Is A Hero... Don't Declare War On The Truth" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace &amp; Prosperity,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Candidate Trump: <strong>&quot;I Love Wikileaks.&quot; </strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>President Trump: <strong>&quot;Arrest Assange!&quot;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;I love Wikileaks,&rdquo; candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. <strong>He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign.</strong> It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.</p> <p>Back then he <strong>praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency,</strong> but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! <strong>Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.</strong></p> <p><strong>Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous &ldquo;intelligence community&rdquo; sources, that the Trump Administration&rsquo;s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange </strong>and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.</p> <p>It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as &ldquo;fake news,&rdquo; as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President <strong>Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, &ldquo;OK with me.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><strong>Trump&rsquo;s condemnation of Wikileaks came just a day after his CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, attacked Wikileaks as a &ldquo;hostile intelligence service.&rdquo; </strong>Pompeo accused Assange of being &ldquo;a fraud &mdash; a coward hiding behind a screen.&rdquo;</p> <p>Pompeo&rsquo;s word choice was no accident. By accusing Wikileaks of being a &ldquo;hostile intelligence service&rdquo; rather than a publisher of information on illegal and abusive government practices leaked by whistleblowers, he signaled that the organization has no First Amendment rights. Like many in Washington, he does not understand that the First Amendment is a limitation on government rather than a granting of rights to citizens. Pompeo was declaring war on Wikileaks.</p> <p>But <strong>not that long ago Pompeo also cited Wikileaks as an important source of information. </strong>In July he drew attention to the Wikileaks release of information damaging to the Clinton campaign, writing, &ldquo;Need further proof that the fix was in from President Obama on down?&rdquo;</p> <p>There is a word for this sudden about-face on Wikileaks and the transparency it provides us into the operations of the prominent and powerful: <em><u><strong>hypocrisy.</strong></u></em></p> <p><strong>The Trump Administration&rsquo;s declaration of war on whistleblowers and Wikileaks is one of the greatest disappointments in these first 100 days. </strong>Donald Trump rode into the White House with promises that he would &ldquo;drain the swamp,&rdquo; meaning that he would overturn the apple carts of Washington&rsquo;s vested interests. By unleashing those same vested interests on those who hold them in check &ndash; the whistleblowers and those who publish their revelations &ndash; he has turned his back on those who elected him.</p> <p><strong>Julian Assange, along with the whistleblowers who reveal to us the evil that is being done in our name, are heroes.</strong> They deserve our respect and admiration, not a prison cell. <strong><em>If we allow this president to declare war on those who tell the truth, we have only ourselves to blame.</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="221" height="151" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American Presbyterians Apple Central Intelligence Agency Cryptography Cypherpunks Department of Justice Donald Trump Donald Trump First Amendment Government Julian Assange Mike Pompeo National security New York Times News leaks Politics Politics President Obama Reception of WikiLeaks Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity Transparency Trump Administration White House White House WikiLeaks Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594087 at Rich People Are Living Longer And It's Going To Cost Taxpayers 'Bigly' <p>Social Security, like America's trillions of dollars of underfunded public and private pensions, is nothing more than a ponzi scheme that will eventually fail.&nbsp; Any system that relies on capital drawdowns to fund benefit obligations while the number of beneficiaries continues to soar is, by definition, a rather obvious ponzi.&nbsp; That said, it's always easier to 'kick the can down the road' and hope for the best than to preemptively address the real problems that face retirees...after all, old people love to vote and taking away their retirement money is not a good way to earn their support.</p> <p>Ironically, it's not just the lower tiers of the socio-economic spectrum that will bankrupt social security.&nbsp; As a new study entitled "<a href="">How the Growing Gap in Life Expectancy May Affect Retirement Benefits and Reforms</a>" points out, rich people are living a lot longer than they used to and it's going to take a massive toll on government entitlement programs over the next couple of decades.</p> <p>Per the chart below from <a href="">Bloomberg</a>, a "rich" 50-year-old in 2010 can expect to live 12.7 years longer than someone in the lowest income bracket.</p> <p><a href=" - Life 1.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Converting those longer life expectancies into dollars implies that people in the highest income brackets will draw $66,000 more from Social Security than the previous generation of retirees.&nbsp; Moreover, using current distribution rates and adjusted for longevity, <strong>a top-earner could expect to extract nearly $300,000 from Social Security over a lifetime compared to $122,000 for the bottom income bracket.</strong></p> <p><a href=" - Life 2.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 345px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Combined with other entitlements like medicare, the longevity penalty on young taxpayers is even more pronounced.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href=" - Life 3.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 344px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, these entitlement programs should completely collapse at some point over the next couple of decades leaving young folks high and dry.&nbsp; But,<strong> luckily the <a href="">average millennial</a> has stashed away like $1,000...which, when compounded at 7% for 40 years, should be enough to cover 2-3 months of rent, at least.</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="393" height="242" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Charles Ponzi Demography Economy Fail Federal assistance in the United States Finance Financial services Labor Medicare Medicare Medicare Pension Social Issues Social programs Social programs in the United States Social Security Taxation in the United States Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594074 at Obama To Receive $400,000 Speaking Fee At Cantor Fitzgerald Conference <p>Shortly after Barack Obama delivered his first (free) speech today since leaving the White House in Chicago before an invitation-only crowd of college students, community organizers and other fans, Fox News' Charlie Gasparino reports that in what may be his first paid speaking arrangement, Obama will be paid $400,000 to speak at Cantor Fitzgerald's healthcare conference this September, setting the benchmark for how much an hour of the former president's time will cost going forward.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#BREAKING</a> <a href="">@BarackObama</a> has agreed to speak at Cantor Fitzgerald’s health care conference for $400,000! I discuss NOW on <a href="">@FoxNews</a>!</p> <p>— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) <a href="">April 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Obama, who spent years bashing big banks (even if, like Trump, ultimately achieved nothing to halt Wall Street's dominance) will deliver the keynote address at the organization's lunch in what will be one of his first paid speeches. </p> <p>"What sources are telling FOX Business Network is that former President Obama, now less than 100 days out of office, has agreed to a speaking engagement during Cantor Fitzgerald’s healthcare conference in September," FBN's Gasparino said. "We understand that he is going to be the keynote speaker for the lunch, and he’s going to receive a fee of $400,000. We should point out that that’s in line with what Hilary Clinton got... we should point out that Cantor will neither confirm or deny."</p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" scrolling="auto"></iframe></p> <p>Actually Charlie is off: <a href="">based on our data</a>, the average Hillary Clinton speech averaged just over $200,000.</p> <p><em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em> </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="499" height="276" /></a></p> <p>Obama's speech is, however, in the ballpark for what Bill Clinton charged initially, even though the fee gradually declined over time.</p> <p><em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em> </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="502" height="281" /></a></p> <p>The former Democratic community organizer and Illinois senator has focused his nearly 100 days out of office on relaxing at various locations around the globe and planning for his foundation's library and community center in Chicago.</p> <p>Two months ago, Penguin Random House <a href="">won an auction </a>to publish the first book by the Obamas since leaving office for a record price of $60 million. The sum was four times greater than the $15 million Bill Clinton received from Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, for his 2004 memoirs My Life when he left the White House. George W Bush made an estimated $10 million from his book Decision Points.</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="500" height="281" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Barack Obama Barack Obama on social media Bill Clinton Charlie Gasparino Charlie Gasparino Fox Business Fox Business Network Hillary Clinton Illinois Politics Politics President Obama Rodham family United States White House White House Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:09:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 594128 at The 56 French Villages Where Marine Le Pen Didn't Get A Single Vote <p>Despite coming second in the results, trailing Macron by just over 2% in the final vote, there were several places in France where Marine Le Pen didn't manage to get a single vote: 56 places in fact.</p> <p>The map below, courtesy of <a href=""></a>, shows a zoomed out version of the map (so not all 56 points may be fully visible) displaying the villages, all under 100 inhabitants strong, where not a single box was ticked on the ballot paper for Le Pen. It shows two clear clusters of non-Le Pen voting villages, one large group in the south-west, and another tightly packed group of FN-shunners between Grenoble and Marseille. The rest are spread across the east and north, creating a crescent of Le Pen no-go zones.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="447" /></a></p> <p><em>To see the full list on <a href="">France Info click here</a>. </em></p> <p>So who was their preferred candidate instead?</p> <p>The difference between the clusters is that while the villages in the south and Corsica largely picked Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Emmanuel Macron over Le Pen, many of the villages to the north and east chose rival right-wing candidate François Fillon. </p> <p>All five of the villages in the north of France chose Fillon, the largest being Saint-Valery, a commune of 58 voters on the Somme bay, and the smallest being Canteleux, a hamlet of just 13 voters.</p> <p>One of the smallest villages in the southern clusters, Cabous in south-west France, only had 16 people signed up to vote, of which the biggest group voted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon. One of the biggest villages was Samaran, with 72 voters situated between Toulouse and Pau, which shunned Le Pen in favour of Macron.</p> <p>None of the villages were found in Le Pen's stronghold of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region, where her father Jean-Marie Le Pen built up support in the 1970's. But there were some Le Pen voter free villages in France's far north, another National Front key area. Below is a map of how all the communes in France voted.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="467" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: <a href="">NYT</a></em><a href=""></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="999" height="750" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anti-German sentiment Environment European Parliament constituencies in France France François Fillon French people French presidential election Jean-Luc Mélenchon Jean-Marie Le Pen Le Pen Le Pen family Marine Le Pen National Front National Front None Politics of France west France Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:03:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 594062 at