http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/default en "We Are Two Nations... Maybe More!" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/we-are-two-nations-maybe-more <p><a href="http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/01/we-are-two-nations-maybe-more.html"><em>Via Vox Popoli,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;<strong>The Trump Wars of the past 18 months do not now go away.</strong> Now it becomes the Trump Civil War, every day, with Democrats trying to get rid of him and half the country pushing back. To reduce it to the essentials: As long as Mr. Trump&rsquo;s party holds the House, it will be a standoff. If the Democrats take the House, they will move to oust him.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Because we are divided. We are two nations, maybe more.&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>-<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/president-trump-declares-independence-1484956174">Peggy Noonan, WSJ</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Definitely more, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/president-trump-declares-independence-1484956174">Peggy</a>. Definitely more.</strong></u></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_two.jpg"><img height="440" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_two_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>And that is why <strong>war is on the horizon that no longer feels quite as distant as it once did</strong>. But at least one nation, the American nation,&nbsp;<a href="https://archive.is/BBtuN">has a leader worth his salt</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Normally a new president has someone backing him up, someone publicly behind him. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mr. Obama</strong> had the mainstream media - the big broadcast networks, big newspapers, activists and intellectuals, pundits and columnists of the left&mdash;the whole shebang. He had a unified, passionate party.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mr. Trump</strong> in comparison has almost nothing. The mainstream legacy media oppose him, even hate him, and will not let up. The columnists, thinkers and magazines of the right were mostly NeverTrump; some came reluctantly to support him. His party is split or splitting. The new president has gradations of sympathy, respect or support from exactly one cable news channel, and some websites.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He really has <strong>no one but those who voted for him</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Do they understand what a lift daily governance is going to be, and how long the odds are, with so much arrayed against him, and them?</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>-<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/president-trump-declares-independence-1484956174">Peggy Noonan, WSJ</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p>The USA now contains considerably more than two nations. That&#39;s why it is no longer any more viable than the European Union. It&#39;s been held together by force, easy credit money, and sleight of hand for a long time, but not for much longer.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The inaugural address was utterly and uncompromisingly Trumpian. The man who ran is the man who&rsquo;ll reign. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was plain, unfancy and blunt to the point of blistering. A little humility would have gone a long way, but that&rsquo;s not the path he took. Nor did he attempt to reassure. It was pow, right in the face. Most important, he did not in any way align himself with the proud Democrats and Republicans arrayed around him. <strong>He looked out at the crowd and said he was allied with them.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>-<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/president-trump-declares-independence-1484956174">Peggy Noonan, WSJ</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p>For all his strength of will and civic nationalism, Trump cannot save the political entity, <strong>but he can put the American nation in a much better, much stronger position before the growing rifts become borders. </strong>He should take those who say he is not their president at their word, because they are neither the Posterity of the Founders nor We the People...</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="651" height="477" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170122_two.jpg?1485113673" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/we-are-two-nations-maybe-more#comments Business Conservatism in the United States Economy European Union European Union Nationalism Peggy Peggy Noonan Politics Politics of the United States The Wall Street Journal Trump’s party Sun, 22 Jan 2017 22:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586153 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Six Stages Of Democrat Grief Are Complete http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/six-stages-democrat-grief-are-complete <p><em>See a common thread here?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_grief.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_grief_0.jpg" width="600" height="448" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/gv011917dAPR20170119054514.jpg"><em>Source: Townhall.com</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="600" height="98" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170122_grief1.jpg?1485113080" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/six-stages-democrat-grief-are-complete#comments Common Thread Screws Technology Thread Sun, 22 Jan 2017 22:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586151 at http://www.zerohedge.com Policy Makers - Like Generals - Are Busy Fighting The Last War http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/policy-makers-generals-are-busy-fighting-last-war <p><em><a href="https://econimica.blogspot.com/2017/01/policy-makers-like-generals-are-busy.html">Submitted by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,</a></em></p> <p><strong>The Maginot Line formed France&#39;s main line of defense on its German facing border from Belgium in the North to Switzerland in the South.</strong>&nbsp; It was constructed during the 1930s, with the trench-based warfare of World War One still firmly in the minds of the French generals.&nbsp; The Maginot Line was an absolute success...as the Germans never seriously attempted to attack it&#39;s interconnected series of underground fortresses.&nbsp; But the days of static warfare were over&nbsp;&ndash; in 1940, the Germans simply drove around&nbsp;the line&nbsp;through Holland and then Belgium.&nbsp; Had the Germans&nbsp;replayed WWI&nbsp;and made a direct attack, the Maginot Line likely would have done its job.&nbsp; But Hitler wasn&#39;t interested in a WWI re-do, so the fortifications were quickly rendered moot.&nbsp; France, Europe, and the world would pay the price for generals fighting the last war rather than adjusting to the contemporary risks they faced.</p> <p><strong>In 2008, the economic generals at the various central banks likewise pulled out&nbsp;the playbook to refight the great depression... not realizing, this time was an entirely different opponent.&nbsp;</strong> Federal governments and central bankers presumed doing what they had always done would again win the day.&nbsp; Cut interest rates (this time to zero)&nbsp;to incent both public and private entities to refinance existing debt loads and undertake new, greater leverage.&nbsp; This nearly free money would reduce&nbsp;debt service levels and the new loans would ignite a new wave of economic activity in the form of capital expenditures and&nbsp;small business creation.&nbsp; Economic multipliers and velocity would ensure general prosperity with job and wage growth.&nbsp; <strong>Instead, it&#39;s the &quot;Maginot Line&quot; all over again for our economic generals as economic activity grinds to a stall&nbsp;absent the illusory asset bubbles. </strong></p> <p><em>BTW - if you are not a fan of charts or visual representations...this is not the article for you and likely best to&nbsp;stop here.</em></p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;">What changed?</span></h2> <p><strong>1- The Global Population of Young (Future Consumer Base) Ceased Growing...30 Years Ago.</strong></p> <p>For hundreds if not thousands of years, global population growth rose at an annual rate of about 0.2% to 0.4%.&nbsp; Somewhere in the 19th century, the pace of population growth began rising significantly faster and headed to&nbsp;a global rate never seen before and likely never to be seen again.&nbsp; The rate of population growth peaked around 1970 and has precipitously fallen off since.&nbsp; However, despite the collapse in the rate of population growth, the total population has continued to rise due to the existing&nbsp;population living&nbsp;decades longer than&nbsp;the previous generation (chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica1.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica1.png" style="width: 520px; height: 343px;" /></a></p> <p>The worlds population ceased growing in about 1988...since that time the world is only growing older.&nbsp; Below, global births per five year periods plus UN medium and low estimates.&nbsp; The double peak from &#39;85--&gt;&#39;90 and again &#39;10--&gt;&#39;15 is clear and as for the future, the reality will be somewhere between the medium and low&nbsp;estimates, but flat to declining births will be the order of the day.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica2.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica2.png" style="width: 521px; height: 290px;" /></a></p> <p>So it only figures, if you tracked the population of young (0-4yr/old total annual&nbsp;population...chart below)&nbsp;that they would essentially cease growing.&nbsp; The population growth party was over...and it ended almost 30&nbsp;years ago.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica3.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica3.png" style="width: 520px; height: 343px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>2- The Worlds Population is Still Growing Due to a Surge in the Elderly&nbsp;Living Longer and High African Birthrates Offsetting Global Depopulation of Young</strong></p> <p>If there was no increase in the global number of births or the population of young...how did the world grow so much?&nbsp; The old living so much longer.&nbsp; The chart below shows the two ends of the life spectrum...the global populations of&nbsp;0-4yr/olds&nbsp;vs. the 75+yr/olds.&nbsp; Both populations grew rapidly until &#39;90...but since &#39;90, the 75+ population has nearly doubled while the population of young isn&#39;t budging.&nbsp; And by 2050, the population of elderly will surpass the population of young...undoing what was a 10:1 ratio in 1950.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica4.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica4.png" style="width: 520px; height: 294px;" /></a></p> <p>Why is this a bad thing (economically)?&nbsp; 65+yr/olds consume at about 70% of the rate they did during their peak working years.&nbsp; By the time they are 75+yrs/old their consumption drops to about 50% to 60%&nbsp;of what it was during peak working years.&nbsp; They are credit averse, preparing for (or on) fixed incomes, and napping is one of their favorite activities and it doesn&#39;t cost a thing.</p> <p><strong>3- Global Depopulation of young (excluding Africa)</strong></p> <p>The chart below highlights global births per five year periods ex-Africa plus UN estimates for medium and low future births.&nbsp; Again, the reality will likely split the UN estimates but a clear peak in the late &#39;80&#39;s and huge deceleration of births since is undeniable.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica5.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica5.png" style="width: 521px; height: 290px;" /></a></p> <p>The surging births in Africa plus medium and low UN future estimates.&nbsp; But sadly, absent income, without savings, without access to credit, and the world awash in overcapacity as it is...this population growth&nbsp;in Africa has no avenue to&nbsp;export themselves to&nbsp;prosperity or greater consumption.&nbsp; They are simply economically going to remain poor beyond belief and will not be capable of driving any significant economic activity.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica6.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica6.png" style="width: 521px; height: 290px;" /></a></p> <p>Excluding Africa, births from the remainder of the world are collapsing since the late 1980&#39;s peak.&nbsp; And according to the UN&#39;s best guestimates, births will only continue trending down&nbsp;world over&nbsp;(excluding Africa).&nbsp; Fewer births means fewer consumers, declining need for housing, commodities, and nearly everything else as this smaller population works it way through from the bottom up (also known as deflation or depopulation).</p> <p>What people struggle to understand is that our present system is all about growth and it is the population growth of .05% or 1% which drives economic activity magnitudes larger. This relatively&nbsp;small population growth % drives huge spending on infrastructure, home building, factories, supply chains, etc.&nbsp; The differing impact of 1% or 0.1% population growth&nbsp;is felt far beyond a&nbsp;1% or .1% economic growth...more like 10x&#39;s that impact.</p> <p>But population growth isn&#39;t slowing across the&nbsp;board.&nbsp; It is the&nbsp;huge population declines&nbsp;of the young among the combined wealthy 35 OECD nations (list of members <a href="http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/list-oecd-member-countries.htm" target="_blank">HERE</a>), China, Russia, &amp; Brazil&nbsp;vs. the still growing but decelerating&nbsp;RoW (rest of the world...but really Africa).&nbsp; So, the 0-4yr/old combined OECD, China, Russia, and Brazil population peaked in 1991 and&nbsp;has steadily&nbsp;declined since, now down over &lt;-22%&gt;.&nbsp;&nbsp;The combined 0-4yr/old population growth among the relatively poor RoW was barely able to&nbsp;offset&nbsp;the declines of the relatively wealthy developed since &#39;91 (chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica7.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica7.png" style="width: 520px; height: 343px;" /></a></p> <p>High fertility rates and&nbsp;population growth&nbsp;in Africa&nbsp;are solely offsetting the&nbsp;contracting populations of young&nbsp;across the&nbsp;remainder of the world.&nbsp; The chart below highlights global fertility rates&nbsp;for 2016....where the global population growth is coming from.&nbsp; In&nbsp;two words, Central Africa.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica8.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica8.png" style="width: 519px; height: 266px;" /></a></p> <p>Those highlighted in yellow, orange, red, and magenta (indicating&nbsp;nations that, on average,&nbsp;have 3 to 6+ children per female) are almost entirely located in Africa.&nbsp; &nbsp;Uganda, Somalia, Burundi all have birthrates&nbsp;near 6 children per female and the most populous African nation, Nigeria (approaching 200 million citizens),&nbsp;has a birthrate of 5.1.&nbsp; Officially, 2.1 children per female is zero growth and the global fertility rate&nbsp;has fallen over 50% from it&#39;s 1964 peak of 5.1 to 2.4 as of 2016...and all indications point to further declines.</p> <p><strong>Declining populations of young across the world has been made up for by growing populations of young&nbsp;in Africa.&nbsp; Something tells me, economically, this is not a good&nbsp;trade.</strong></p> <p>Below, GDP per capita or purchasing power parity (PPP).&nbsp; Countries with low PPP in red (Central Africa), moderate in green, high in blue, and very high in magenta.&nbsp; Most global commodities and exports cost the same worldwide...so those with high PPP&#39;s (and particularly those with&nbsp;relatively easy access to credit)&nbsp;can consume far more than those with low PPP&#39;s.&nbsp; The bulk of nations highlighted in red (particularly in Africa)&nbsp;have PPP&#39;s below $2000 a year...(and as low as $400/yr).&nbsp;&nbsp;Nations with annual PPP&#39;s of $2000&nbsp;are generally in-line with the GDP per capita of Haiti...their consumptive capability is&nbsp;equivalent to&nbsp;about&nbsp;5% of US GDP per capita.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica9.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica9.png" style="width: 520px; height: 188px;" /></a></p> <p>How the worlds population&nbsp;is distributed, by global regions (chart below).&nbsp; Africa represents about 15% of the worlds population but at least 100%+ of&nbsp;population growth.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica10.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica10.png" style="width: 521px; height: 306px;" /></a></p> <p>Below,&nbsp;net 2016 fertility rates as per those regions.&nbsp; Shortly, all regions will likely be negative...except Africa.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica11.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica11.png" style="width: 521px; height: 306px;" /></a></p> <p>Below, world population excluding Africa...further broken down by the under 45 and over 45yr/old populations.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica12.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica12.png" style="width: 519px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>Global 0-44yr/old population, excluding Africa (chart below).&nbsp; This is the child bearing population...as their total number shrinks compounded by collapsing birth rates, a far larger population decline could be in store than anticipated.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica13.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica13.png" style="width: 521px; height: 334px;" /></a></p> <p>Global 45+yr/old population, excluding Africa.&nbsp; This is how the world is growing...by growing older (chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica14.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica14.png" style="width: 520px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>Global 0-44 vs 45+yr/old population&nbsp;change, per 5yr periods (chart below).&nbsp; No, the world is coming to the rescue...if the world is seen through a lens excluding Africa, the 0-45yr/old population growth is essentially over.&nbsp; The population capable of bearing children has chosen not to...and is now itself declining in size.&nbsp; The global economy will never be the same.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica15.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica15.png" style="width: 520px; height: 272px;" /></a></p> <p>2017 is the&nbsp;last sliver of light&nbsp;for the nations that collectively consume 70% of global&nbsp;oil and represent about 80% of all global import markets.&nbsp; The combined 0-64yr/old population of the&nbsp;35 OECD nations plus China, Russia, and Brazil grows just one million persons in 2017 or 0.1% (chart below).&nbsp; After that, the declines begin, slowly at first but picking up speed to the downside every year.&nbsp; What was an influx of up to 30 million new consumers annually with the income, savings, and access to credit&nbsp;will now&nbsp;be a&nbsp;declining consumer base for the rest of our lives.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica16.png" style="width: 521px; height: 287px;" /></p> <p>The reason Japan and Germany were able to maintain their economies once their own internal 0-64yr/old consumer bases were declining was an emphasis on exports to a still growing export market.&nbsp; Looking at the annual population growth of the 0-64yr/old importer nations (OECD, China, Russia, Brazil), the chart below highlights when, in turn, major nations&nbsp;/ trading blocks 0-64yr/old populations turned negative.&nbsp; We see that the final support for global consumption, China, turns negative this year.&nbsp;&nbsp;As you see below, that pool&nbsp;of seemingly endless demand for import growth&nbsp;goes dry&nbsp;this year.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica17.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica17.png" style="width: 520px; height: 426px;" /></a></p> <p>So, what about the US?&nbsp; The data that represents the US economy, charted out with a minimum of opinion.&nbsp; You decide what it means.</p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;">US Population growth &amp; Makeup of that Growth </span>-</h2> <p>The change, per five year periods, of the 0-44yr/old population vs. the 45+yr/old population (chart below).&nbsp; The UN medium population growth estimate is included through 2050 (the 45+ estimate is a lock but the 0-44 is highly optimistic and slowing birthrates almost surely means there will be significantly less 0-44yr/old growth than indicated).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica18.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica18.png" style="width: 520px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Total US Debt&nbsp;&amp; US Full Time Jobs </strong></span>- The change, per period, of net full time job growth vs. total debt growth (private and public...chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica19.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica19.png" style="width: 520px; height: 321px;" /></a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>US Energy Consumption </strong></span>- Total consumption and fossil fuel consumption since 1950 in the chart below.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica20.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica20.png" style="width: 520px; height: 302px;" /></a></p> <p>Consumption change, per period in the below chart.&nbsp; Fairly self explanatory that growth of energy consumption&nbsp;ended and we are now contracting.&nbsp; Whether a shift from industrial to service economy, whether through higher efficiency, or a hundred other possible explanations for why...the declines are not debatable.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica21.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica21.png" style="width: 520px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>Energy consumption, by type of energy (chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica22.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica22.png" style="width: 520px; height: 302px;" /></a></p> <p>Change in energy consumption, by type per period.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica23.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica23.png" style="width: 520px; height: 272px;" /></a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Mortgage rates vs. Mortgage debt </strong></span>- Interestingly, lower FFR&#39;s and mortgage rates did not incent more debt since 2007 (chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica24.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica24.png" style="width: 520px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>Mortgage rates and mortgage debt, change per period (chart below).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica25.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica25.png" style="width: 520px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>From 1970 to 1981, as mortgage rates increased by 300%, mortgage debt increased by $1.2 trillion dollars (even unadjusted for inflation, this was a hug sum of money).&nbsp; This was a 350% increase in outstanding mortgage debt while the cost of funding these loans rocketed higher.&nbsp; However, since 2008, mortgage debt has fallen by a half trillion dollars despite a 50% decrease in rates.</p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Breakdown of America&#39;s Core</span></h2> <p>Finally, the cleanest and clearest point of breakdown was the end of population&nbsp;and employment growth among the 25-54yr/old population.&nbsp; This is the bedrock and foundation upon which the nations economy resides.&nbsp; As this group goes, eventually so goes America.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica26.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica26.png" style="width: 520px; height: 305px;" /></a></p> <p>The change in each, by period.</p> <div> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica27.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica27.png" style="width: 520px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> </div> <div> <p>Let&#39;s not be naïve and pretend the bill isn&#39;t coming...employed 25-54yr/olds, this ones on you.&nbsp; America played credit card roulette and you lost.&nbsp; America&#39;s federal debt split evenly among you is now $202,000...up from $100,000 in &#39;07, $57,000 in &#39;00, and $20,000 in 1980.&nbsp; I hope you have been saving up because your real median household income is $57,000, slightly less than the $58,000 it was in 2000 and not much more than the $45,000 it was in 1980.</p> <p>Unfortunately,&nbsp;we won&#39;t find more growth in our future...population growth continues to be meager (and this assumes current rates of immigration plus an upturn in birth rates (premised on economic recovery)...if current patterns persist or worsen,&nbsp;perhaps all growth is gone).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica28.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_econimica28.png" style="width: 520px; height: 360px;" /></a></p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Conclusion:&nbsp;</span></h2> <p>Helicopter money, inflation, reflation, etc. are all premised on the idea that the economic slowdown is a temporary feature and that if the business cycle can just be restarted, things will be like they &quot;always were&quot;.&nbsp; However, what I&#39;m showing is things will never again be like they were...at least not in our lifetimes.&nbsp; In fact, aggregate economic growth should no longer be the goal and attempts to maintain the current unsustainable status quo are only further harming us.</p> <p>It&#39;s&nbsp;long overdue&nbsp;to acknowledge <strong>we face a future absent net growth and likely a future with fewer consumers, fewer homebuyers, fewer taxpayers, fewer employees.</strong>&nbsp; We face a battle where higher productivity leads to ever more being done by ever fewer people...and it only follows that the declining population with even faster declines in employment will consume less.&nbsp; If we aren&#39;t thoughtful, honest, and creative in how we&nbsp;adapt to this new reality...<strong>terrible consequences could await us.</strong></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="625" height="343" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170122_demo.jpg?1485112621" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/policy-makers-generals-are-busy-fighting-last-war#comments Belgium Brazil Capital Expenditures Central Africa Central Banks China Demographic economics Demography Economic growth Economy of the United States Environmental social science ETC fixed France Free Money Germany Global Economy Great Depression Human geography Human overpopulation Japan OECD Population decline Population ecology Population growth Purchasing Power Reality recovery Somalia Sustainability Switzerland United Nations World population Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:35:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 586134 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bitcoin and Gold – Outlook and Safe Haven? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/bitcoin-and-gold-%E2%80%93-outlook-and-safe-haven <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/bitcoin-gold-outlook-safe-haven/">Bitcoin and Gold – Outlook, Volatility and Safe Haven Diversification</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">– Recent performance of Bitcoin and Gold<br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" />– Price outlook<br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" />– Bitcoin, China and capital flight<br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" />–&nbsp;Exchanges of value?<br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" /></span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">– Can bitcoin rival gold as a safe haven?</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" /><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">– ‘Bitcoin vs Gold’ or ‘bitcoin and gold’?</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" /><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">– Importance of diversification</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" /><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">–&nbsp;Conclusion: A monetary and financial revolution?</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Recent performance of bitcoin and gold</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">What does the recent volatility and surging price of&nbsp;bitcoin mean for the future of the crypto-currency and does its recent outperformance mean that it may supplant gold as a safe haven currency? Can bitcoin rival gold as a safe haven? Do bitcoin’s recent price gains herald gains for gold in 2017?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><a href="http://www.goldcore.com/ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2017/01/bitcoin.jpg?x64374" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;"><img src="http://www.goldcore.com/ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2017/01/bitcoin.jpg?x64374" alt="bitcoin" width="935" height="411" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; max-width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 3px; outline: 0px !important;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8590" /></a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><a href="http://www.coindesk.com/price/#2016-12-17,2017-01-17,close,bpi,USD" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Bitcoin in USD – 1 Month via Coin Desk</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">2016 was a pivotal year for both the gold price and the price of bitcoin. In dollar terms, both made new gains that have not been since in the last four years. However, the fledgling digital currency greatly outperformed gold.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Gold climbed 8.6 per cent in dollars last year, outperforming both US Treasuries and the US Dollar itself. Despite ending its four year decline and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/gold-gains-currencies-2016-9-usd-13-eur-surges-31-5-gbp-2/" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">gold being higher in all major currencies</a>, sentiment in the media and among investors remains tepid towards gold&nbsp;as it had a poor second half to the year and failed to end the year above its July high of $1,366.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">This despite strong gains in dollar and euro terms and surging over 31% in British pound terms and protecting UK investors and savers from sterling’s devaluation.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In contrast, 2016 saw the bitcoin price climb by more than 100% (see FT chart). With a climb of 126% it&nbsp;greatly outperformed all major fiat currencies in 2016.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In terms of significant developments in the gold market, 2016 was very important for gold. John Hathaway’s recent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/physical-gold-will-trump-paper-gold/" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter</a>&nbsp;pointed to two bullish factors that came to fruition in 2016 and will continue to benefit gold. Namely:</p> <ul style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 18px; font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; outline: 0px !important;"> <li style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">First is the new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/shariah-gold-standard-approved-2-trillion-islamic-finance-market/" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Shariah Gold Standard</a>, launched by AAOIFI and the World Gold Council, and brought to your attention here. This opens up investing in physical gold&nbsp;to approximately 25% of the world’s population – over 100 million investors</li> <li style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“Second, is the incorporation of gold as a settlement currency to facilitate trade between oil-producing nations and the world’s largest hydrocarbon importer, China. Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are settling most, if not all, of their energy sales to China in yuan convertible into physical gold via the Shanghai Gold Exchange”</li> </ul> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">2016 was also a year of significant maturing for bitcoin, this was in part thanks to the developments made in the underlying technology – the blockchain – but also because it had a year of lower volatility. It also began to react to macroeconomic developments, indicating that bitcoin traders and some buyers are now considering its role in the world beyond the cryptocurrency system, and instead as a form of currency hedge.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Last year was the first time in which we really saw the bitcoin price start to react to surprise economic factors, namely the hike in Federal Reserve rates last month. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/01/03/why-bitcoin-just-had-an-amazing-year/?utm_term=.4395ee71b6fa" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Washington Post</a>&nbsp;writes:</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; outline: 0px !important;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; letter-spacing: 0.015em; outline: 0px !important;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“When Greece threatened to leave the European Union in 2015, investors surged into the digital currency. The same thing happened when Britain voted to leave the European Union last year, and when Donald Trump defied polls to win the U.S. presidential election. Recent economic surprises&nbsp;in China, India and Venezuela that threatened to destabilize those countries’ paper currencies sparked an interest in the digital alternative as well.”<span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span></em></p> </blockquote> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Bitcoin began to act more like gold – a &nbsp;hedge against geo-political, systemic and monetary risks.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Outlook for in 2017</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The outlook for both bitcoin and gold looks positive in 2017. There are many positives for both gold and bitcoin as prices and holdings of both assets look set to benefit from speculators and investors’ desires for diversification, alternative currencies and safe havens.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Gold price predictions for 2017 range from $1,100 to $1,600 and beyond. Following a near 9% jump in 2016 a Bloomberg survey of analysts expect, on average, a climb on 13% this year. Goldcore, one of the analysts surveyed by Bloomberg sees gold reaching an annual high of $1,600 per ounce and closing the year over $1,400/oz.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Should analysts’ expectations play out, it will be the metal’s biggest rally since 2010.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Regardless of where analysts sit on the gold price axis, they all agree that Trump, Brexit and ongoing upset in the EU&nbsp; are likely to be supportive for gold. Not to mention negative real rates, inflationary policies and ongoing problems in the Eurozone banking system.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">A survey on CoinDesk showed expectations for bitcoin to finish north of $1,400. Interestingly only a small percentage of those surveyed pointed to macroeconomic factors as the reason for the price climb, many in the bitcoin community still look inwardly to the technological improvements that are ongoing within the cryptocurrency, as support for higher prices.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">A report from SaxoBank, released early December, also saw the potential economic impact of Trump’s governance and inflationary expectations as well as tense relations with Russia and China, as having a positive effect on the bitcoin price. The Bank made the ‘outrageous’ prediction that the bitcoin price could rise to as much as $2,000 as a result.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">As we have already seen happen with gold, Saxo Bank believe it is not impossible to think that Russia and China, will move to accept bitcoin as a ‘partial alternative to the USD’.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“If the banking system as well as sovereigns such as Russia and China move to accept bitcoin as a partial alternative to the USD and the traditional banking and payment system, then we could see bitcoin easily triple over the next year going from the current $700 level to +$2,100 as the block-chains decentralised system, an inability to dilute the finite supply of bitcoins as well as low to no transaction costs gains more traction and acceptance globally.”</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><img src="https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/http%3A%2F%2Fcom.ft.imagepublish.prod.s3.amazonaws.com%2F392aa5d0-d68f-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e?source=next&amp;fit=scale-down&amp;width=600" width="600" height="426" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; max-width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 3px; outline: 0px !important;" class="size-large aligncenter" /><br style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;" />The start to bitcoin’s year has been promising, if volatile. On January 4th, the price reached multi-year highs over $1,129 per bitcoin. Since then, it has dropped by as much as 33% to as low as $776.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In recent days it stabilised at $800 and today it has surged over 6% to $880.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Both gold and bitcoin continue to benefit from their positions as borderless, autonomous currencies. Not only will they grow in appeal as countries look to diversify away from the US Dollar, protect themselves from cyber hacks and Trump uncertainties, including his tweets, but also as populist politicians of the left and right increasingly encroach on the roles of central bankers.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">This is something that we are just starting to see in 2017 and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Jim Rickards points to President-elect Donald Trump’s possible decision to staff the Federal Reserve’s board with politicos. This will inevitably lead to inflation, according to Rickards:</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; text-align: center; outline: 0px !important;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“I’ve never known a politician who’s meddled in central bank policy to cause deflation.”</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Bitcoin, China and capital flight</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The volatility in the bitcoin price in January has largely been thanks to China. Much of the bitcoin activity (and subsequent interest from the government) was attributed to capital flight from the country as the yuan continues to be devalued and fall in value.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/2caab5d6-d741-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">The FT writes</a></p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; outline: 0px !important;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; letter-spacing: 0.015em; outline: 0px !important;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“ The rally had caught the attention of Chinese regulators concerned that the currency was being use to facilitate capital flight. Authorities had gotten wind of the fact that some of their citizens were using it to take cash out of the country while circumventing strict regulations. People would buy bitcoin onshore, then sell it offshore for another currency, and move the money to a bank account. In the past six months, the yuan has accounted for 98 per cent of bitcoin trading.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The PBoC released two separate statements on 6th January, both of which reminded (and quoted) readers of a 2013 statement stating bitcoin was not a currency and warning buyers of the risks involved. This is in stark contrast to Chinese official pronouncements re gold which has tended to be very positive – including at one stage encouraging Chinese people to diversify into physical gold.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Then, last week the PBoC purportedly stated that it will be carrying out ongoing investigations into China-based bitcoin exchanges. This prompted a 14% price crash.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Investigations at the moment appear to be interpreted as making sure exchanges are not faking the volumes going through sites (something the West has long been vocal about), as well as taking measures to prevent money laundering.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">No one knows what the impact or extent of the Chinese government’s decisions will be. It’s unlikely that these leaks and announcement were by accident, given that the price and volatility were both covered on Chinese State television.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Put in perspective one wonders how big a deal this really is. At the moment, the bitcoin market cap is around $12.9 billion, in contrast the total amount of currency outflow from China was $320 billion.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The majority of capital flight from China, is not happening via bitcoin. Although it is obviously the reason for increased bitcoin activity. Given only 16 million bitcoin exists, it is impossible that a significant proportion of the 1 billion plus Chinese citizens are stocking up on the cryptocurrency.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">For many bitcoin exchanges in China, increased transparency and more questions from the PBoC is only a good thing. The volatility seen in the last few weeks has masked a number of positive developments for bitcoin.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The announcements in regard to regulation and monitoring are welcome for an asset that is still untrusted by the majority of the financial world. In order for the market (and supporting ecosystems) to mature the currency most experience the same hurdles and be subject to the same scrutiny we see in other currencies and asset classes.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">This is a familiar situation for gold. For a long-time we have been drawing attention to the activity in China, in terms of exchange developments and gold controls. It has been the controller of the physical gold market for many years, and how much the government owns and imports has been the source of much speculation and research.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">However, recently gold too has come under scrutiny &nbsp;by the Chinese government due to concerns over capital flight. Last year gold import controls were put in place in an attempt to prevent currency leaving the country. In turn, this may have contributed to a spike in the demand for bitcoins.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">These are examples of how gold and not bitcoin are being used as&nbsp;currency hedges and safe havens.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">For some a maturing in the bitcoin market may be seen as a threat to gold. However, bitcoin has undoubtedly opened up the minds of many to alternative currencies, and the development and evolution of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market will likely benefit gold and attitudes towards it.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Exchanges of value</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">When I talk to anyone about bitcoin or gold, one of the first questions I am asked is ‘if it’s money, where can I spend it?’</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">For sure, bitcoin is easier to spend than gold, on a day-to-day basis. However, as we have covered in recent articles, the technology that supports bitcoin (blockchain) is making it easier for gold to play a more significant role in daily spend (whether one wants to spend their gold, or not, is for another time).</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Owning bitcoin and gold have been very useful for people in countries which have suffered financial crisis&nbsp;and currency crisis in recent months.&nbsp;Take, for example, currency controls in South American countries and India, to name a few.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">To spend and store bitcoin has little cost and is easy if you have even basic technology know how. If you own gold in a vault in Switzerland – you can simply sell it and have your &nbsp;funds wired to your bank account in another jurisdiction. You then can access your currency by using your credit and debit cards.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In recent months and years,&nbsp;we have seen growth in gold imports across several countries whose monetary and political systems continue to come under threat. India, China and Turkey just to name a few. Turkey’s own President Erdogan is calling for citizens to convert their foreign holdings into gold and lira:</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; text-align: center; outline: 0px !important;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“For those who have foreign currencies under the pillow, come change this to gold, come change this to Turkish lira. Let the lira win greater value. Let gold win greater value…”</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Both assets have come up against regulatory and legal issues when it comes to being able to use them as mediums of exchange. In worst case scenarios and for periods of time you may not be able to use gold or bitcoin in monetary transactions. Then their ability to potentially act as safe havens&nbsp;and&nbsp;stores of long-term value would become more important.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Can bitcoin rival gold as a safe haven?</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">We have seen gold’s role as a store of long-term value clearly during the financial crisis in recent years and indeed throughout history. Indeed, there is a significant body of academic and independent research which clearly shows that&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/233034/file-511405962-pdf/Ebook_PDF_Uploads_2013/Gold_Is_A_Safe_Haven_Asset.pdf?t=1391778194000" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">gold is a hedging instrument and a safe haven asset.</a>&nbsp;</span>We have been at the forefront of educating about gold’s diversification benefits and safe haven properties since 2003.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Bitcoin has not proven itself in this regard just yet. It relies on the internet and technology to be functional. The idea of crossing borders as a refugee and there being little access to technology is a situation which is all too common to millions of people today alas.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">However, this is a situation gold has coped with very well over hundreds of years of human migration in times of both war and peace. Again in recent years, a nest egg of even a small amount of physical gold has helped people start new lives in foreign countries.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">When it comes to the security of gold and bitcoin, you will hear different opinions. Both can be stolen, and there are recent examples of thefts in both markets. Both need to be owned and stored in the safest ways possible. How secure they are depends on you own them and where you store them.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">For Nick Szabo, highly respected cryptographer and rumoured Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is more secure than gold. He argues than in its history, gold has been very insecure and points to several lootings by explorers (the Spanish from the Aztecs, the English from the Spanish) by way of example.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">This is less of a risk if you own gold in a discreet, well hidden place in your home or office in indeed in secure storage in safer jurisdictions internationally such as&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-switzerland" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Switzerland</a></span>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-singapore" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Singapore</a></span>.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In contrast to gold, says Szabo, bitcoin is secured by a private key to a a secured address. How you store the private key is up to you – whether online, a piece of paper or even in your head. Information, Szabo argues, is easier to protect than something physical.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">With the threat of cyber security growing on a daily basis it is reasonable to see security as more of a threat to bitcoin than gold. Although many gold providers are also exposed to cyber risks.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Bitcoin’s security and functionality relies on technology, servers, the internet, the grid and electricity. One of the cases&nbsp;for gold’s strong outlook is because of the growing threat of cyberwarfare, something the cryptocurrency is unfortunately more exposed to.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In truth all assets carry some security risk, but much of the threat to bitcoin’s security comes down to its relative newness and whilst it matures so do the abilities and tricks of cyber hackers.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">When we think about security for gold, we mainly think about government confiscation. For the bitcoin community this is the asset’s saving grace – it is yet to be confiscated by a government. In truth, this is rare in gold and there are no recent examples. It is not an occurrence that is impossible to imagine for bitcoin.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The fact is, a government is perfectly able to outlaw either asset and demand it be handed over to the government. However, in practice this is very unlikely goven the tiny amount of people who own gold and bitcoin in the world.#</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Bitcoin fans will argue that their asset is easier to hide, but surely no one would argue that you should break the law. Instead, diversification of storage is important for both assets. This is to reduce both the risk of government confiscation and cyber attacks.<span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Bitcoin vs Gold or ‘bitcoin and gold’?</span></p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; outline: 0px !important;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; letter-spacing: 0.015em; outline: 0px !important;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">“People are using [bitcoin] similar to how they use gold…They use it as a risk-off trade when they’re concerned about what’s going on in the capital markets.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Statements such as this by Chris Burniske, an analyst at ARK Investment Management, to the Washington Post have a tendency to make gold investors nervous. It can plant a seed of doubt into investors’ minds that markets are going to turn off from gold and focus efforts on bitcoin during times when they would normally turn to gold.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Those who are still asking if they should by bitcoin or gold are often basing it on the fact that by the end of 2016 bitcoin had doubled in price whilst gold climbed 8.43%. Both had outpaced the S&amp;P 500, the US Dollar and US Equities over the long term.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Granted, gold did not have the year bitcoin did, but it did not do badly. For example, at the beginning of 2016 gold continued to prove itself as a safe haven (the best performing asset, following silver in the first half of the year) and reached its 2016 high post-Brexit vote in July.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Certainly, when bitcoin first arrived in the mainstream consciousness, bitcoin versus gold was a big question. This was mainly down to the fact that bitcoin was pitched as the new gold, by many &nbsp;journalists.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">However, I believe the majority of those who are already invested in either gold and/or bitcoin are pretty much over this issue.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Currently bitcoin plays a different role to gold. For want of an analogy, bitcoin is more the cash, whilst gold is more the savings. It is likely that we will see those looking at securing their wealth across both assets. This is likely to be done in a similar way that we see gold investors also buy silver, and divide holdings between stored bars and coins kept at home.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In the last couple of years, gold and bitcoin bugs have joined forces and many people, especially younger tech savvy people, own both perceiving benefits to holding both forms of money.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Importance of real diversification</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Investment and now currency&nbsp;diversification is extremely important, especially in a world of growing uncertainties and an increasing&nbsp;number of surprises whether politically, economically or even socially.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Gold has long been an asset that is important to own&nbsp;in a diversified portfolio and in order to protect wealth. It is only of late than bitcoin is also looking to play a role, especially as gold controls in China saw buyers turn to bitcoin.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">However, as discussed above, we do not believe the debate over gold and bitcoin investment is an either/or.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In 2012 the World Gold Council released research that found the presence of gold in a portfolio ‘is a significant contributor to portfolio efficiency by reducing risk-adjusted returns and reducing expected losses’. They found that holding between 2.6% and 9.5% of one’s wealth in gold assets can help achieve beneficial diversification.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">For bitcoin, the focus is still on returns, rather than its role as a safe haven or currency hedge, although we suspect this will change. A oft quoted fact is if you had bought $200 in bitcoin in 2011, it would be worth $1 million today.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">It is possible for us to take any asset and demonstrate staggering returns over a perfectly chosen period. The fact is that for now, the bitcoin investment market is too new and under reported to know what role the currency may play.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">There is also a dearth of quality bitcoin investment vehicle and at present buying bitcoin directly is the best way to benefit from price gains.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">However, as we have discussed above, owning bitcoin directly can bring its own security risks and this is something there is little education and understanding about.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In contrast, holding gold as part of a balanced portfolio and as a safe haven asset has been part of the public consciousness for centuries and remains understood by many today – especially in Asia.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">Conclusion: A monetary and financial revolution?</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">At the moment, bitcoin is very much the darling of the alternative currency world and sections of the media. However, it is still very young. There are far more ‘what ifs’ in its future than there are for gold.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Whilst there is currently no argument for or against why bitcoin will be an obsolete asset in 100 years from now, gold has history and over 2 billion people holding it. I personally do not think that bitcoin’s future is at risk but then as 2016 has shown, we really cannot predict anything.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Gold has stood the test of time and has withstood thousands of years of technological, political and economical change.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Bitcoin, as a technology-based currency is yet to experience any of these things. For all we know, another cryptocurrency may well usurp bitcoin due to more technological advances and the ability to avoid the volatility and government threats that bitcoin currently experiences. We really do not know.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The psyche that has people shifting into alternative currency hedges is the same one that is surprising the media and pollsters when it comes to discontent and worry over the political and economic system amongst the electorate.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Soon the mainstream will begin to ask why this is happening and start to take it seriously. When this happens bitcoin will likely no longer be a novelty and gold will again be seen as the prudent safe asset to hold in your portfolio.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">In all likelihood both assets will continue to benefit from the factors that have made them preferred assets in times of uncertainty recently.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Politics is much harder to predict these days, but the long-term demand for gold, and short-term demand for bitcoin has shown them both to be good currencies&nbsp;to hold when the going gets tough or unpredictable. The question for bitcoin is whether this will continue.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">The financial revolution that bitcoin has driven (the thought that anyone can diversify from the modern monetary system) is beneficial for gold and we may well continue to see a split in what would have been primarily gold demand, now being split between both bitcoin and gold – especially among the millienials and the tech savvy younger generations. This is not a bad thing for gold.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Increasingly, gold and bitcoin may be&nbsp;seen as very much complementary assets, but bitcoin buyers should be aware of the volatility of bitcoin and of how speculative it remains today. Those considering buying should only own a very very small percentage of their wealth in bitcoin. While gold and silver can constitute as much as 20% of a diversified portfolio – bitcoin should be less than 3% or 4% of one’s wealth.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Also, if buying bitcoin, it is prudent&nbsp;to apply the same logic to owning&nbsp;bitcoin as they do for gold – diversify, own the currency in the safest ways possible – including some offline in secure ‘cold’ storage and monitor the wider political, financial and monetary environment.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;">KNOWLEDGE IS POWER</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">For your perusal, below are in order of downloads our&nbsp;<span class="il" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">most</span>&nbsp;<span class="il" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">popular</span>&nbsp;<span class="il" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">guides</span>&nbsp;in 2016:</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/10-important-things-to-consider-before-you-buy-gold" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">10 Important Points To Consider Before You Buy Gold</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/7-real-risks-to-your-gold-ownership" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">7 Real Risks To Your Gold Ownership</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://t.hsms10.com/e1t/c/*W1w_xV830T-QYW2xLpdR5FZWPw0/*W3BmL471bqzPKW6738WW1h_fX80/5/f18dQhb0S5fw8YXN5qW7MwBwm6ghkRDW23z_k259Pnr2W2QltSP5P7KMHW5q9kQw8CtFrQW8pGbnV8t2xm_VTGDs98tzLxGVQBTLx5sN4V-W8w24Vd64Ql06W8mHqjh8l2jFPW63n21x8GfSCjW7KH4Jk1F6vVcW7p74gV6tClrrW58zYp91GmwJ3W7vPVHQ7w4nLlW2ZSLjD64QZb6W8rvBgv4CXKCBTc3K-3lj2tvW3blhRk10whSqW16k5MY8pH74GN5lVKW7-6vMXW5w5xfQ12pgxnVJFSg98bbw28W3pgnh_8pBLsdW5sG8Y98LnkmvW5mdBbY8sC2BqW5Ks-yG8DP2TMW5J1GCT5L---GW5StCMt5BMfNdW8Kkkgz10s2GzW67xBf1228cH4W91Zdbk4Pw1VkW2sbPxn1jd4h-W3B_yPK4Df7fhW3sP6lV3TH1FwV84rVz6PxM6vW42t4cv3r0lTDW54smjl2RqdpfW8kQbBd6_YGbmW3tbggT36hTLLF4QTh7QVTHMf6BGpz003" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Essential&nbsp;<span class="il" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">Guide</span>&nbsp;To Storing Gold In Switzerland</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://t.hsms10.com/e1t/c/*W1w_xV830T-QYW2xLpdR5FZWPw0/*W6VWlmV4mqd78W68mGR93Nv23F0/5/f18dQhb0S5fr8YXN5qW7MwBwm6ghkRDW23z_k259Pnr2W2QltSP5P7jh2W5q9kQw8CtFrQW8pGbnV8t2xm_VTGDs98tzLxGVQBTLx5sN4V-W8w24Vd64Ql06W8mHqjh8l2jFPW63n21x3-JX8CN7KH198JB95CW8HbRxP8j-gCZW55nSC91VJH71W4c2Rr97MPDNBW69NG1w6Pr4fRW18dLZ_4K4pLSMQC5z2PC2cVW3hTbmb9739CbW8m12lb4S6xk-W5Gny4z8z8b0mW8ljY8T4VCQfPW4xCSwY2wlZ5CW620JFv29rS9nW9c0kWW8m0QmNW6NcL2L3NrMNLV9Gvlx2ByY84W4wRSky3NpfRnN3KKD_GXNyHmW1l9Vpr6crHYqW7wV0mM4zQbGmN8csGDVD2JF5W7jWX1D3dNZPrW5Rm-P05yMb-MN31G36v215_BN1J7MYw_D_RtW7V4h9N3BWVXfW5p8dyW93Qb6DW1L_Sh07VDTBHW7PWGG28bjT4jV1dZTD6hTbBg103" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Essential&nbsp;<span class="il" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">Guide</span>&nbsp;To Storing Gold In Singapore</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://t.hsms10.com/e1t/c/*W1w_xV830T-QYW2xLpdR5FZWPw0/*W4-SjDF86l4SwW97PM3x41bJ_f0/5/f18dQhb0Sjv58XJ8yvW7MwBwm6ghkRDW23z_k259Pnr2W2QltSP6ZfZrKW5q9kQw8CtFrQW8pGbnV8t2xm_VTGDs98tzLvhW8yL0rW5Zg-y6W6WJ5Vx35sgHlW7tGbph5m1LQxW56VQQz5ZcGgnW8g0DGC5ZQNkmW964m896bFpbtW6R9vYT2z8ZTKW90G7th8S23M9N2yJF1WYT2jkW6P4lCX3WddQjW6Pkt_V62_rWMW4MM8m01VJrykW5lX8fq13bD4hW6dkdFB5m4bnmW2LMSXW83Kc4BW7pJqFC1ghBFyN8SzwlYrpVDjW56M3Ky6y4djlW1DVMB82t8dJgW7nG2cW8X2ngtW2N2GbP8Wxr0DW7HQLdC5N7Yr8W2cFrrR7sSStjW7Ky4Mv7p1qF1W6Xj9js76q8yYN4lBZ6F_8XRjW6t_Hvd8Ph58-W594T8v7kcp8TW7SQy461FndG3W3wVBXz6rN0dXW2LdjVl8kHnK7W2XC3kb87rhwQW8cCz_f6Xn1dZW42-3pg6v-Mt7N5-fWlWVMSHVVVmfDF11M3dy102" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;">Essential&nbsp;<span class="il" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important;">Guide</span>&nbsp;to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;"><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/10-important-things-to-consider-before-you-buy-gold" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; outline: 0px !important; background: 0px 0px; color: #737373; text-decoration: underline;"><img src="http://info.goldcore.com/hs-fs/hubfs/10_Important_Points_to_Consider_Before_Buying_Gold.jpg?t=1482496164303&amp;width=398&amp;name=10_Important_Points_to_Consider_Before_Buying_Gold.jpg" width="259" height="379" style="box-sizing: border-box; vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; padding: 3px; max-width: 100%; height: auto; outline: 0px !important;" class="aligncenter" /></a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important;">Please&nbsp;share&nbsp;our research with&nbsp;family,&nbsp;friends&nbsp;and&nbsp;colleagues&nbsp;who&nbsp;you&nbsp;think would benefit from being informed by it.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-family: proxima_nova_regular; font-size: 13px; letter-spacing: 0.015em; line-height: 17px; outline: 0px !important; text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://www.GoldCore.com">www.GoldCore.com</a></strong></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/bitcoin-and-gold-%E2%80%93-outlook-and-safe-haven#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchain British Pound Business Capital Markets China Chinese government CoinDesk Cryptocurrencies Digital currency Digital currency exchange Donald Trump Economy European Union European Union Eurozone even basic technology Federal Reserve Finance Financial technology Greece India Iran Jim Rickards Money People's Bank of China private key S&P 500 Satoshi Nakamoto Saudi Arabia Saxo Bank Sovereigns Switzerland Transparency Turkey underlying technology US Federal Reserve Volatility World Gold Council World Gold Council Yuan Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:34:33 +0000 GoldCore 586171 at http://www.zerohedge.com A Preview Of Trump's Seven Imminent Executive Orders http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/preview-trumps-seven-imminent-executive-orders <p>Having already signed a (mostly symbolic) executive order on Obamacare on Friday night, urging US agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of provisions deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals, Trump is preparing to unload a volley of many more executive orders. <a href="https://www.axios.com/latest-on-trumps-executive-orders-2207347528.html">Courtesy of Axios</a>, which quotes "one of the best-wired Republican lobbyists in town", here is a preview of the initial round of Trump executive actions, some of which may hit as soon as Sunday afternoon:</p> <ul> <li>Look for a possible hiring freeze at executive branch</li> <li>5-year lobbying ban on transition and administration officials</li> <li>Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign NGOs from getting U.S. family planning money if they provide abortions with non-U.S. funds. (It's already illegal to use U.S dollars on abortions.)</li> <li>Task the Defense Secretary and joint chiefs to come up with plan to eviscerate ISIS</li> <li>Report on readiness, and something cyber security related</li> <li>Border/immigration: Something on sanctuary cities, expand E-Verify, an extreme vetting proposal</li> <li>Trade: Withdraw from TPP and a thorough review of NAFTA</li> </ul> <p>Axios also notes that "the Mexico City executive order could come as soon as today." </p> <p>Furthermore, watch for dozens of EPA executive orders coming down the pike. "Says a Trump source: "EPA has clean water-related and some 30,000 foot regulatory ones lined up [immediately]...We have dozens for the EPA...Starting Monday through the month of February. We have to roll them out gradually."</p> <p>As we laid out before, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-09/complete-list-what-trump-can-and-can-not-do-day-one-and-rest-2017">here is a brief summary </a>of what Trump can (and can not do) on day one. Exhibit 3 lists the President’s “Contract with Voters”, which includes several items that can be accomplished through executive action but involves significant legislative activity as well.<br /><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%203.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%203_0.png" width="500" height="470" /></a></p> <p>Next a table breaking down the upcoming Budget process:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The “budget reconciliation” process allows the majority party to instruct various committees to pass legislation to achieve certain fiscal targets, for example to reduce the deficit by a certain amount over the next ten years. These instructions, along with spending and revenue targets, are included in the annual budget resolution that Congress is supposed to pass by April of each year. Legislation passed pursuant to these instructions enjoys procedural protections in the House and Senate; most importantly, it is immune to filibuster in the Senate and thus needs only 51 votes to pass. The budget resolution can provide instructions to pass as many as three reconciliation bills, one dealing with tax or revenue changes, one dealing with spending changes, and one dealing with the debt limit. This year, tax reform is likely to be addressed through reconciliation, as are changes to the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). It is possible that congressional leaders might also consider using this process to address infrastructure funding, certain entitlement program reforms, or the debt limit increase that appear to be necessary by Q3.</p> </blockquote> <p>A Multi-Step Budget Process :<em><br /><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%205.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%205_0.png" width="500" height="324" /></a></em></p> <p>Finally, here again are the main differences between the House tax plan and that of the president.<em><br /><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%207.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%207_0.png" width="500" height="439" /></a></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="1212" height="647" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trump%20exec%20actions.jpg?1485120318" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/preview-trumps-seven-imminent-executive-orders#comments Americas Business Canada Congress Economy Economy of North America Environmental Protection Agency Mexico Mexico North American Free Trade Agreement Obamacare Politics Presidency of Bill Clinton Senate Social Issues Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:26:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 586170 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Oil Production Cuts Are Purely Symbolic Marketing Trickery (Video) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/oil-production-cuts-are-purely-symbolic-marketing-trickery-video <p>By <a href="http://www.econmatters.com/search/label/EconMatters"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">EconMatters</span></span></a> </p> <p><em><br /></em> </p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wyxs3ZhBvnw/WIUaYMbkm2I/AAAAAAAANbs/mURTsca3FYs7qQVaMrI3659et4GOIJbUQCLcB/s1600/markets_energies_crude-oil_849x565.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" target="_blank"><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wyxs3ZhBvnw/WIUaYMbkm2I/AAAAAAAANbs/mURTsca3FYs7qQVaMrI3659et4GOIJbUQCLcB/s400/markets_energies_crude-oil_849x565.jpg" border="0" width="400" height="265" /></a></div> <p> The OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Production cuts are actually a joke in the bigger scheme of things, the oil markets have been over supplied for a decade. The Market`s self serving definition of a balanced oil market is complete nonsense on a larger macro view of the market. </p> <p> There is a reason the 5-year averages for oil stocks have been rising every year I have been trading the oil market. It isn`t a coincidental indicator that more oil storage facilities are being built or expanded every year for the last 15 years of the modern electronic oil markets. </p> <p> There is so much oil and derivative oil products in storage on a global calculus, that it is a joke if OPEC thinks they have cut enough to actually long term balance the oil markets. </p> <p> In addition they are delusional if they think a little six month seasonal pullback in production is going to do anything other than artificially set the oil market up for the next leg back down in the second half of 2017.</p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BUDYi70UYhA?feature=player_embedded" width="320" height="266" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aLuyafaH95Q/WIUemYz2jeI/AAAAAAAANb4/sHtsYAtwfDI_FePTBjU2jMuaonmb54qSwCLcB/s1600/united-states-crude-oil-production.png" style="margin-left: 1em; 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margin-right: 1em;" target="_blank"><img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QJzfN5kwbrs/WIUfOEZrqwI/AAAAAAAANcY/NUkYzKO-SBgjOAnH_0vSfLs-b_93KvidACLcB/s640/nigeria-crude-oil-production.png" border="0" width="640" height="298" /></a></div> <p> © <a href="http://www.econmatters.com/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">EconMatters</span></span></a> All Rights Reserved | <a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="http://www.facebook.com/EconMatters" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Facebook</span></span></a> | <a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="http://twitter.com/#!/EconMatters" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Twitter</span></span></a> | <a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="http://www.youtube.com/c/Econmatters" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">YouTube</span></span></a> | <a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=EconForecast" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Email Digest</span></span></a> | <a title="Open in new window" class="external" href="http://astore.amazon.com/econforecast-20?_encoding=UTF8&amp;node=80" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Kindle</span></span></a><strong>&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;</em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">&nbsp;</span><span style="text-decoration: line-through;">&nbsp;</span></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/oil-production-cuts-are-purely-symbolic-marketing-trickery-video#comments Business Cartels Chronology of world oil market events Economy Energy crisis Megacorpstate OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Petroleum Petroleum industry Petroleum politics Twitter Twitter Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:12:14 +0000 EconMatters 586168 at http://www.zerohedge.com Trump May "Stop Enforcing Obamacare's Individual Mandate" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/trump-may-stop-enforcing-obamacares-individual-mandate <p>Trump's crackdown on Obamacare is accelerating. </p> <p>Just over 7 hours after his inauguration, late on Friday, the president <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/trump-signs-first-executive-order-ease-burden-obamacare">signed an executive order concerning </a>the 2010 healthcare law, telling reporters the action was meant "to ease the burden of Obamacare as we transition from repeal and replace" and urging U.S. agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of provisions deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Executive order just signed by <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> relates to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Obamacare?src=hash">#Obamacare</a>. <a href="https://t.co/dTaX6QEZBS">pic.twitter.com/dTaX6QEZBS</a></p> <p>— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) <a href="https://twitter.com/W7VOA/status/822599709755895809">January 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>While the executive order was purposefully vague and served mostly a symbolic role, on Sunday the Trump administration provided some more details on how the "repeal and replace" would look, when Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said the government may no longer enforce the key "Affordable Care Act" rule requiring individual Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty if they do not.</p> <p>Speaking on ABC's "This Week" program, Conway who is a counselor to the president, said Donald Trump "<strong>may stop enforcing the individual mandate</strong>." Then, on CBS' "Face the Nation" show, she reiterated Republican promises that no one would lose their health insurance under Obamacare while a replacement is being developed. </p> <p>"For the 20 million who rely upon the Affordable Care Act in some form, they will not be without coverage during this transition time," she <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obamacare-idUSKBN1560SX">said quoted by Reuters</a>. </p> <p>Also on Sunday, Mitch McConnell repeated Republican promises to replace Obamacare and allow patients to buy health insurance across state lines using health savings accounts. "We’re going to move carefully in conjunction with the administration to repeal and replace it with things like health savings accounts and interstate health insurance sales and high-risk pools at the state level to take care of people who have pre-existing conditions." he said.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Last week Republican Representative Tom Price, Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, that an overhaul of Obamacare will initially focus on individual health plans sold on online exchanges and the Medicaid health insurance program for low-income Americans. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He added that the revamp would not immediately tackle changes to Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older and people with disabilities.</p> </blockquote> <p>Trump has previously said he wants to keep some elements of Obamacare, such as allowing young adults to be covered under their parents' insurance. He is in favor of plans that use health savings accounts and the sale of insurance across state lines. A bigger question is once the administration moves beyond the <em><strong>repeal </strong></em>phase, just how long would the <em><strong>replace </strong></em>phase take: as a reminder, a full replacement would require bipartisan support, and at the current time that appears very much improbable, which is why Goldman, and others, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-09/complete-list-what-trump-can-and-can-not-do-day-one-and-rest-2017">speculated that the replacement of Obamacare could take as long as 2 years, </a>and may bog down much of Trump's fiscal agenda. <em><br /><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%205.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/01/gs%20ex%205_0.png" width="500" height="324" /></a></em></p> <p> If so, much of what the market has priced in will have to be "unpriced" quickly, as Trump focuses exclusively on undoing 8 years of Obama tinkering with the US health insurance system.</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="1024" height="571" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trump%20signing.jpg?1485118235" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/trump-may-stop-enforcing-obamacares-individual-mandate#comments Department of Health and Human Services Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy Excises Health Health insurance Healthcare reform in the United States Internal Revenue Code Internal Revenue Service Labor Medicare Medicare Medicare Mitch McConnell Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Politics Politics of the United States Reuters Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Social Issues Trump Administration Twitter Twitter United States Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:06:47 +0000 Tyler Durden 586166 at http://www.zerohedge.com Goldman: "All Our Clients Are Confused And Unsettled" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/goldman-all-our-clients-are-confused-and-unsettled <p>Markets "bought" the election. Now the question is whether they will sell the inauguration. That is the take from the latest weekly letter by Goldman's chief strategist David Kostin, who says that "investor angst is high." Kostin then explains the one-word reason behind such confusion and angst - take a wild guess what it is. Which is ironic, because while on one hand investors and strategist are losing sleep over Trump policy uncertainty, on the other hand, every single one of them is convinced that Trump will unleash massive stimulatory tax cuts and hundreds of billions in fiscal stimulus with effectively no risk. </p> <p>Go figure. </p> <p>FInally, the Goldman strategist reveals what Goldman believes is the best investing strategy for a Trump presidency (which means most investors may want to do the opposite).</p> <p><em>Here is the full note:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Conversations we are having with clients: An investing strategy for a Trump Presidency</strong></span><strong> </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United </strong><strong>States.” </strong>With those words, the New York businessman became at noon today President of the United States of America, completing one of the most improbable election campaigns in the country’s 240-year history. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“Unsettled” is our best description of fund managers’ mindset as the new administration takes office. </strong>During an extensive series of client meetings in the US, Europe and Asia, it became apparent that investors are confused about how to best position portfolios under a Trump presidency. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Optimism is reflected in the strong performance of markets during the 73-day transition period between the election and inauguration. </strong>Investors have embraced the prospect of faster GDP growth and higher inflation as a result of reduced corporate taxes, a looser fiscal policy, and less regulation. Surveys such as NFIB small business confidence and consumer confidence both soared to their highest levels in 12 and 15 years.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>S&amp;P 500 index has climbed by 6% since November 8 led by Cyclicals broadly and Financials in particular. </strong>Europe, Japan and MSCI Asia stocks have returned 8%, 12% and 1%, respectively. Implied inflation during the next decade equals 2.0% and the 10-year Treasury now yields 2.47%. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Policy uncertainty was a topic of concern raised in every client meeting. </strong>While we expect corporate tax reform legislation will be enacted in 2017, the magnitude of cuts and offsetting revenue proposals are unknown. Many tax reform ideas have been discussed in general terms but the administration has not yet endorsed any specific proposals. Investor confusion increases when a topic that appears to be gaining political momentum – such as border-adjusted tax reform – is suddenly discredited when the President dismisses the idea saying it is “too complicated.” </p> </blockquote> <p>That, i.e. Trump, in a nutshell, is why everyone is confused. As to how Goldman believes its clients should trade this uncertainty, it updates its analysis of "Rule of 10" stocks (ironically first introduced in a Goldman reportrevealing "secular growth stocks for a secular stagnation economy" which makes one wonder if there is any difference between growth and stagnation) and highlight 31 names that have a demonstrated track record of superior sales growth, are expected to continue growing at a rapid pace in the future, and also trade at a EV/sales multiple below 7.5x which is a key valuation threshold. To wit:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>One investment strategy that avoids the risk of potential policy pitfalls is to focus on stocks with high secular growth potential</strong>. Last year, we introduced our “Rule of Ten” framework for identifying stocks capable of growing sales rapidly, independent of economic and policy uncertainty. Stocks meeting our “Rule of Ten” have a demonstrated track record of superior sales growth and are expected to continue growing at a rapid pace in the future, while high expected long-term growth suggests that companies operate in a large total addressable market (TAM) . </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Our “Rule of Ten” classifies companies as secular growers if they meet three criteria: </strong>(1) increased sales by at least 10% in each of the last two&nbsp; years; (2) forecast to grow sales by 10% or more in each of the next two years based on estimates from Goldman Sachs equity research analysts; and (3) have consensus long-term earnings growth of at least 10%. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Only 72 companies out of a US coverage universe of more than 750 stocks meet our secular growth criteria (see Exhibit 1). From a sector perspective, Information Technology (53%), Health Care (23%), and Consumer Discretionary (12%) collectively account for 87% of the firms (see Exhibit 2). In terms of size, 20 stocks are large-caps (greater than $10 billion), 32 are mid-cap ($2 to $10 billion), and 20 are small-cap (less than $2 billion). </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Unsurprisingly, most secular growth stocks trade at above-average valuations</strong>. Only 10 of our 72 secular growth stocks trade at EV/sales ratios below 2.5x while 21 stocks trade at EV/sales multiples greater&nbsp; than 7.5x<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>. For context, the median S&amp;P 500 firm trades at 2.7x, a record high EV/sales ratio</strong></span>. We recommend investors focus on secular growth at a reasonable price (“secular GARP”). Our previous research showed that applying a valuation filter to our secular growth screen produced higher relative returns. Firms that traded below 7.5x EV/sales tended to outperform by a larger margin, and at a higher hit rate, than firms trading above 7.5x. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/gs%20confused%201.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/gs%20confused%201_0.jpg" width="500" height="343" /></a></p> <p>Exhibit 5 contains 31 large-cap and mid-cap stocks in the Goldman Sachs US equity research coverage universe that meet our “Rule of Ten” secular growth criteria and trade at EV/sales multiples below 7.5x. We excluded stocks below $2 billion in market cap due to low liquidity as well as firms rated Sell by Goldman Sachs equity research analysts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/GS%20confused%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/GS%20confused%202_0.jpg" width="500" height="324" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The median firm on our list of reasonably priced secular growth stocks delivered sales growth of 27% in 2015 and 26% in 2016, compared with 1% and 2% for the typical S&amp;P 500 firm. Looking forward, the secular growth stocks on our list are forecast to increase sales by 21% this year and by 18% in 2018 compared with 4% growth in both years for the median constituent in the S&amp;P 500. Finally, the long-term EPS growth forecast for the median stock on our list equals 23% compared with 9% for the typical S&amp;P 500 firm. Large-cap secular growth stocks that still trade at reasonable valuations and have double-digit upside to analyst target prices include Twitter (TWTR, +31%), salesforce.com (CRM, 27%), Amazon (AMZN, +24%) and PayPal (PYPL, 19%). Mid-caps include Pandora Media (P, +36%), Envision Healthcare (EVHC, +33%), and INC Research Holdings (INCR, +27%).</p> </blockquote> <p>And since Goldman's flow traders - currently long this universe of stocks - will be <em>selling </em>all these names to clients, individual investors who are eager to do with Goldman does, not what it says, especially now that Goldman Sachs is officially advising Donald Trump on fiscal policy the same way it used to advise the Fed on monetary policy for years, may consider doing the same.</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="460" height="307" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/confused%20trader%203_1.jpg?1485115393" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/goldman-all-our-clients-are-confused-and-unsettled#comments Business Business Consumer Confidence Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy Economy of New York City Finance Fundamental analysis goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Growth stock Information Technology Japan Monetary Policy NFIB Rockefeller Center S&P 500 S&P 500 Index Stock selection criterion Stock valuation Subprime mortgage crisis Twitter Twitter US Federal Reserve Valuation Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:38:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 586155 at http://www.zerohedge.com "Having A Vagina Is Not Enough" - One Woman's View Of The Million-Pussy-March http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/having-vagina-not-enough-one-womans-view-million-pussy-march <p><em><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4144242/KATIE-HOPKINS-Having-vagina-biology-not-argument.html">Authored by Katie Hopkins, originally posted op-ed at The Daily Mail,</a></em></p> <p>Her sign said; <em><strong>&#39;I am more than my vagina&#39;.</strong></em> I asked her why she was at the Women&#39;s March on Washington. She said it was because she wanted to show what democracy really meant.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_judd1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_judd1.jpg" style="width: 501px; height: 309px;" /></a></p> <p>Another white lady held a placard reminding me that &#39;white silence = white consent but Black Lives Matter #BLM&#39;.<strong> She said she was marching because women own their own bodies.</strong></p> <p>And a lady, pushing a stroller with two children on board, facing down the secret service, with a <strong>sign that made it clear <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/donald_trump/index.html" target="_blank">Trump</a> is &#39;Not My President&#39;.</strong></p> <p>Even the speakers sounded confused. As I ate a three piece chicken meal with a side of slaw to recover from<strong> hearing the Koran read out in Washington Cathedral, I listened to one manic woman yell at the crowd</strong>;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&#39;We are women. And you are we. And we are you&#39;,</strong></em> gesturing to make her point clear. It wasn&#39;t. But the crowd loved it all the same.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/madonna/index.html" target="_blank">Madonna</a> popped up, her eyes inching ever closer to her ears to let us know Good did not win this election. </strong>(I didn&#39;t even know Good was a candidate.)</p> <p>In the interests of full disclosure she told the crowd she had <strong>considered blowing up the White House&#39;.</strong> The tolerant left also get PMT it seems.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="573" id="molvideoplayer" scrolling="no" src="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1397179.html" title="MailOnline Embed Player" width="698"></iframe></p> <p>Another speaker, short on content but gushing with oestrogen shouted: <strong><em>&#39;We are here&#39;. (She was not wrong, we were). We will not be silenced. We will not play dead&#39;.</em></strong></p> <p>To be fair to Trump, I have not heard the silencing of females or women playing dead in his 100 day plan. <strong>Perhaps a more suitable venue for this speech would be outside the Saudi embassy, where the silencing of women is all the rage.</strong></p> <p>A woman whipped into a frenzy by her own brilliance started listing girls&#39; names, <em><strong>&#39;Emily, Conchita, Malala, Edith, Tonia, Shania (we had all got the point but she carried on regardless) Maria Guadalupe, Kayleigh....we are here to be respected. We are here to be nasty.</strong></em></p> <p>I think Madonna had already received this memo.</p> <p><strong>And fuelled by these pearls of wisdom, the women set off for the streets, pussy ears perked, banners aloft, chanting as they went.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_judd.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170122_judd.jpg" style="width: 306px; height: 415px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>&#39;Tell me what democracy looks like?&#39; &#39;This is what democracy looks like&#39;.</strong></em></p> <p>I wanted to point out, respectfully, that democracy is the Electoral College system that saw Trump turn the map from blue to red. But there were a few million of them. And they had pictures of vaginas. So I decided this was not the time.</p> <p><strong>I thought I heard the women chanting &#39;Menstrual brew&#39; which had me wondering exactly what this lot were on. But listening more closely it turned out to be &#39;Pence Sucks Too.&#39;</strong></p> <p>I was grateful for the clarity. I thought it was just Trump they hated. But it turns out it is all men. Apart from the ones who are transitioning to women.</p> <p><em><strong>&#39;What do we want? Equality&#39;. &#39;When do we want it?&#39; &#39;NOW&#39;.</strong></em></p> <p>I wondered what in their world was not equal, but I guess if you have a massive chip on one shoulder the world is probably a bit askew.</p> <p>I took a peak at the map to see if any of them actually knew what they were doing, what they were protesting about or where they were going.</p> <p>I was surprised to see a lactation station, a reunification station marked by fist and a fleet of warming buses before they had reached mile one.</p> <p><em><strong>An almighty army of women, gushing, fisting and lactating their way down the road. Right on sister.</strong></em></p> <p><strong>For all my jibes, there was something truly impressive about the sheer scale of the crowds, the enormous number of women and men, filling the streets of Washington in a noisy bubbling ribbon of pink and placards.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>But it is an army lacking a common purpose.</strong></u> Lacking a common cause. Every one of them wielding a placard for a different grudge they bear. Many unable to give a coherent reason for being there. Most at odds with the placards they carried. Many cross a woman didn&#39;t win.</p> <p><u><strong>But simply being a woman is not enough.</strong></u></p> <p>This was a march defined by gender, not purpose - much like Clinton&#39;s campaign. And a march where the meaningless drivel of the speakers was matched by the lack of a clear aim of those marching.</p> <p>No one would argue their hearts were not in it. I found myself smiling at their happiness in each other&#39;s company, their relief to be together, reminding each other they are not alone.</p> <p><u><strong>But a shared sense of victimhood is not sufficient to make change happen. </strong></u>And at its most fundamental the unifying cause for these collected individuals is that they are not men.</p> <p>They will not be silenced. That is clear. But they don&#39;t know what it is they are shouting about. Anger is not enough.</p> <p><strong>Feminism has to be better than this. </strong>Better than posters telling me your vagina is tough. Or &#39;this pussy grabs back&#39;. So what? Mine can stash a 24 oz can of Coors Light. Sideways.</p> <p><em><strong>Hilary tried to win by doing everything they&#39;ve just done today - by being a woman, a woman who wants to be the candidate for everyone who feels like a victim, who feels maligned by society. She was the candidate for every cause, but master of none.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>The voices today? Just an echo of her mixed messages. And that wasn&#39;t, isn&#39;t enough.</strong></em></p> <p>The left believes it is better than the rest. But it has prejudices of its own.</p> <p>The same prejudices that saw guests at the Armed Services Inauguration Ball spat at. Or Madonna saying she&#39;d like to blow up the White House. Or the very fact you fell out over what to name the Women&#39;s March in case it was divisive. Or for being too white.</p> <p><strong>They even snubbed Hilary Clinton as an honoree for the Women&#39;s March on Washington, because she was gracious and attended Trump&#39;s inauguration. </strong>Imagine how much that day hurt her, and yet they rejected her despite her courage. Shame on them.</p> <p><u><strong>These prejudices, these prevarications, this failure to stand for something, not represent everything, are exactly why people turn to Trump. And exactly why they lost and will continue to lose.</strong></u></p> <p>They are strong, I watched them today.</p> <p>But they have to be better than this.</p> <p><strong>You win if you offer a clear vision supported by this strength to get things done. Not just because you are a woman.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170121_women.jpg"><img height="393" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170121_women_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="501" height="309" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170122_judd1.jpg?1485109941" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/having-vagina-not-enough-one-womans-view-million-pussy-march#comments Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Electoral College massive chip None Politics of the United States Protests against Donald Trump Saudi embassy Time United States presidential election White House White House Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586144 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ex-WSJ Reporter Finds George Soros Has Ties To More Than 50 "Partners" Of The Women’s March http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/ex-wsj-reporter-finds-soros-has-ties-more-50-partners-women%E2%80%99s-march-washington <p>Former WSJ reporter <a href="http://asranomani.com/">Asra Nomani </a>asks in the NYT&#39;s &quot;<a href="http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/01/20/billionaire-george-soros-has-ties-to-more-than-50-partners-of-the-womens-march-on-washington/">Women In the World</a>&quot; section what is the link between one of Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s largest donors and the Women&rsquo;s March? Her answer: &quot;<strong>as it turns out, it&rsquo;s quite significant.</strong>&quot;</p> <p><img height="346" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/gettyimages-151703283_0.jpg" width="500" /></p> <p>Here is what else she discovered.</p> <p><strong>Billionaire George Soros has ties to more than 50 &lsquo;partners&rsquo; of the Women&rsquo;s March on Washington</strong></p> <div class="center-block entry-content"> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In the pre-dawn darkness of today&rsquo;s presidential inauguration day, I faced a choice, as a lifelong liberal feminist&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2016/11/10/im-a-muslim-a-woman-and-an-immigrant-i-voted-for-trump/?utm_term=.c3f7b9693680"><span class="s2">who voted for Donald Trump</span></a>&nbsp;for president: lace up my pink Nike sneakers to step forward and take the DC Metro into the nation&rsquo;s capital for the inauguration of America&rsquo;s new president, or wait and go tomorrow to the after-party, dubbed the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March on Washington&rdquo;?</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">&nbsp;</span><span class="s1"><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/14/womens-march-on-washington-protest-size-donald-trump" target="_blank">The&nbsp;<span class="s2">Guardian</span></a>&nbsp;has touted the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March on Washington&rdquo; as a &ldquo;spontaneous&rdquo; action for women&rsquo;s rights. Another liberal media outlet,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/21/13651804/women-march-washington-trump-inauguration"><span class="s2">Vox</span></a>, talks about the &ldquo;huge, spontaneous groundswell&rdquo; behind the march. On its website, organizers of the march are promoting their work as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.womensmarch.com/event-details/"><span class="s2">&ldquo;a grassroots effort&rdquo;</span></a>&nbsp;with &ldquo;independent&rdquo; organizers. Even my local yoga studio, Beloved Yoga, is renting a bus and offering seats for $35. The march&rsquo;s manifesto says magnificently, &ldquo;The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It&rsquo;s an idea that I, a liberal feminist, would embrace. But I know &mdash; and most of America knows &mdash; that the organizers of the march haven&rsquo;t put into their manifesto: the march really isn&rsquo;t a &ldquo;women&rsquo;s march.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a march for women who are anti-Trump.</span><span class="s1">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As someone who voted for Trump, I don&rsquo;t feel welcome, nor do many other women who reject the liberal identity-politics that is the core underpinnings of the march, so far, making&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/us/womens-march-on-washington-opens-contentious-dialogues-about-race.html?_r=0"><span class="s2">white women feel unwelcome</span></a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/im-an-anti-abortion-feminist-ill-walk-at-the-womens-march-whether-organizers-like-it-or-not/2017/01/18/453275a6-dd97-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.66c911fb8551"><span class="s2">nixing women who oppose abortion</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/01/19/agenda-for-womens-march-on-washington-has-been-hijacked-by-organizers-bent-on-highlighting-womens-differences/"><span class="s2">hijacking the agenda</span></a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">To understand the march better, I stayed up through the nights this week, studying the&nbsp;<a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zYoQoffWRAHrECq2PDshlPvNpNDSLtdmNjtW-gUuhqw/edit?usp=sharing"><span class="s2">funding, politics and talking points of the some 403 groups</span></a>&nbsp;that are &ldquo;partners&rdquo; of the march. Is this a non-partisan &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo;?</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, a march &ldquo;partner,&rdquo; told me his organization was &ldquo;nonpartisan&rdquo; but has &ldquo;many concerns about the incoming Trump administration that include what we see as a misogynist approach to women.&rdquo; Nick Fish, national program director of the American Atheists, another march partner, told me, &ldquo;This is not a &lsquo;partisan&rsquo; event.&rdquo; Dennis Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ, another march &ldquo;partner,&rdquo; returned my call and said, &ldquo;This is not a partisan march.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Really? UnitedWomen.org, another partner, features videos with the hashtags #ImWithHer, #DemsInPhily and #ThanksObama. Following the money, I poured through documents of billionaire George Soros and his Open Society philanthropy, because I wondered: What is the link between one of Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s largest donors and the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo;? </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I found out: plenty.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">By my draft research, which&nbsp;<a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zYoQoffWRAHrECq2PDshlPvNpNDSLtdmNjtW-gUuhqw/edit?usp=sharing"><span class="s2">I&rsquo;m opening up for crowd-sourcing</span></a>&nbsp;on GoogleDocs, Soros has funded, or has close relationships with, at least 56 of the march&rsquo;s &ldquo;partners,&rdquo; including &ldquo;key partners&rdquo; Planned Parenthood, which opposes Trump&rsquo;s anti-abortion policy, and the National Resource Defense Council, which opposes Trump&rsquo;s environmental policies. The other Soros ties with &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo; organizations include the partisan MoveOn.org (which was fiercely pro-Clinton), the National Action Network (which has a former executive director lauded by Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett as &ldquo;a leader of tomorrow&rdquo; as a march co-chair and another official as &ldquo;the head of logistics&rdquo;). Other Soros grantees who are &ldquo;partners&rdquo; in the march are the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. March organizers and the organizations identified here haven&rsquo;t yet returned queries for comment.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">On the issues I care about as a Muslim, the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March,&rdquo; unfortunately, has taken a stand on the side of partisan politics that has obfuscated the issues of Islamic extremism over the eight years of the Obama administration. &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo; partners include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has not only deflected on issues of Islamic extremism post-9/11, but opposes Muslim reforms that would allow women to be prayer leaders and pray in the front of mosques, without wearing headscarves as symbols of chastity. Partners also include the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which wrongly designated Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim reformer, an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/29/i-m-a-muslim-reformer-why-am-i-being-smeared-as-an-anti-muslim-extremist.html"><span class="s2">&ldquo;anti-Muslim extremist&rdquo;</span></a>&nbsp;in a biased report released before the election. The SPLC confirmed to me that Soros funded its &ldquo;anti-Muslim extremists&rdquo; report targeting Nawaz. (Ironically, CAIR also opposes abortions, but its leader still has a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/01/19/the_women_s_march_has_announced_its_official_route_and_list_of_speakers.html"><span class="s2">key speaking role</span></a>.)</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Another Soros grantee and march &ldquo;partner&rdquo; is the Arab-American Association of New York, whose executive director, Linda Sarsour, is a march co-chair. When I co-wrote a piece, arguing that Muslim women don&rsquo;t have to wear headscarves as a symbol of &ldquo;modesty,&rdquo; she attacked the coauthor and me as &ldquo;fringe.&rdquo;</span><span class="s1">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Earlier, at least 33 of the 100 &ldquo;women of color,&rdquo; who initially protested the Trump election in street protests, worked at organizations that receive Soros funding, in part for &ldquo;black-brown&rdquo; activism. Of course, Soros is an &ldquo;ideological philanthropist,&rdquo; whose interests align with many of these groups, but he is also a significant political donor. In Davos, he told reporters that Trump is a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/19/george-soros-calls-donald-trump-a-would-be-dictator-who-is-going-to-fail.html"><span class="s2">&ldquo;would-be dictator.&rdquo;</span></a></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A spokeswoman for Soros&rsquo;s Open Society Foundations, said in a statement, &ldquo;There have been many false reports about George Soros and the Open Society Foundations funding protests in the wake of the U.S. presidential elections. There is no truth to these reports.&rdquo; She added, &ldquo;We support a wide range of organizations &mdash; including those that support women and minorities who have historically been denied equal rights. Many of whom are concerned about what policy changes may lie ahead. We are proud of their work. We of course support the right of all Americans to peaceably assemble and petition their government&mdash;a vital, and constitutionally safeguarded, pillar of a functioning democracy.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Much like post-election protests, which included a sign, &ldquo;Kill Trump,&rdquo; were not&nbsp;&nbsp;&ldquo;spontaneous,&rdquo; as reported by some media outlets, the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo; is an extension of strategic identity politics that has so fractured America today, from campuses to communities. On the left or the right, it&rsquo;s wrong. But, with the inauguration, we know the politics. With the march, &ldquo;women&rdquo; have been appropriated for a clearly anti-Trump day. When I shared my thoughts with her, my yoga studio owner said it was &ldquo;sad&rdquo; the march&rsquo;s organizers masked their politics. &ldquo;I want love for everyone,&rdquo; she said.</span><span class="s1">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The left&rsquo;s fierce identity politics and its failure on Islamic extremism lost my vote this past election, and so, as the dawn&rsquo;s first light breaks through the darkness of the morning as I write, I make my decision: I&rsquo;ll lace up my pink Nikes and head to the inauguration, skipping the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo; that doesn&rsquo;t have a place for women like me.</span></p> <p class="p1"><i>Asra Q. Nomani is a former&nbsp;</i><em>Wall Street Journal</em><i>&nbsp;reporter. She can be reached at&nbsp;</i><a href="mailto:asra@asranomani.com" target="_blank"><span class="s2"><i>asra@asranomani.com</i></span></a><i>&nbsp;or on <a href="https://twitter.com/AsraNomani" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</i></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="275" height="183" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/soros%20teaser%204_2.jpg?1485100512" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-22/ex-wsj-reporter-finds-soros-has-ties-more-50-partners-women%E2%80%99s-march-washington#comments American Civil Liberties Union American Humanist Association American people of German descent Arab American Association of New York Asra Nomani Baptist United Church of Christ Business Center for Constitutional Rights Climate change skepticism and denial Council on American-Islamic Relations Davos Donald Trump Donald Trump Finance George Soros George Soros Human Rights Watch Islamic feminists Maajid Nawaz MoveOn National Action National Resource Defense Council Obama Administration Obama administration Open Society Politics Politics Social Issues The Apprentice Trump Administration Twitter Twitter Wall Street Journal WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:57:16 +0000 Tyler Durden 586115 at http://www.zerohedge.com