en Coming To An Inner-City Uprising Near You: The "Ultimate Riot Control Truck" Of The Future <p>One upon a time, the benevolent future was supposed to bemuse with hoverboards, flying cars and interplanetary travel. Instead, according to the folks at <a href="">Slovakia's Bozena Riot Security Systems</a>, the dystopian future has arrived, and it is made of armored plates and riot gear.</p> <p><img src=",fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/cvvjlnngs9g8yutfkttz.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></p> <p>The Bozena Riot can handle virtually any duty when authorities need to put down an uprising: it is a remotely operated, armored vehicle designed to deal with riots and mobs in the streets and urbanized areas. The system offers a solution for both protecting the law-enforcement units in action and controlling the situation whenever peace maintenance is required. </p> <p>The truck right out of RoboCop's OCP Detroit, has three components: a carrier, a 3000 kg adjustable shield, and a water trailer. Two water cannons can send protesters flying from the front or the rear and if that doesn’t do the trick, police can always rely on the "high-pressure tear gas gun" to disperse any riot. </p> <p>As <a href="">Gizmodo points out</a>, the unmanned unit is covered in CCTV cameras assuring full video coverage, while the driver gets to enjoy inner-city riots from a comfortable safe distance courtesy of this virtual cockpit which puts all control options at one’s fingertips:</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="292" /></p> <p>The truck's shield has six launching ports to fire guns or other rubber projectile launchers while keeping the heavily fortified shooters safe. Furthermore, should the truck's riot police passengers get stuck in an alleyway, the shield has bulldozing capabilities allowing authorities to directly engage with social discontents.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="273" /></a></p> <p>To be sure, the topic of <a href="">police militarization </a>in the US has been a particularly sensitive one in recent years, so perhaps the country will avoid this tool to quickly and efficiently restore post-riot order. Probably not: as Gizmodo notes, "the combination of an <a href="">increase </a>in law enforcement spending and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pledge to <a href="">stop monitoring </a>out-of-control police departments seems to set up just the right environment to make it happen."</p> <p>In any case, no matter on which side of the ideological divide one stands, and whether one roots for the authorities or the rioters who may soon suffer the wrath of the Bozena Riot, there are plenty reasons for everyone to be both delighted and concerned. </p> <p><em>The video below courtesy of Bozena shows the prototype in action.</em></p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>For those who enjoy details, or are considering the purchase of one of these robotrucks for their own private neighborhood watch, below is the Bozena Riot's client brochure: <br /></em></p> <p> <iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-Qm9mvEBYBMy3SFhVlcth&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="903" height="493" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Detroit Law enforcement Militarization of police Police weapons Riot Riot police RoboCop: The Series War Water cannon Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:25:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 591844 at AG Sessions Makes Surprise Sanctuary City Announcement; Vows To Withhold Funding <p>Moments ago Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a surprise appearance at Sean Spicer's daily White House press briefing to announce that his DOJ will be taking steps to not only require that so-called "sanctuary cities" enforce federal immigration laws but would also be seeking to claw back past DOJ awards granted to those cities if they refuse to certify compliance.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"Today, I'm urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws.&nbsp; Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition for receiving those awards."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"This policy is entirely consistent with the DOJ's Office of Justice Programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"This guidance requires jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants.&nbsp; It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"The DOJ will also take all lawful steps to claw back any fines awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Sessions also called on states like Maryland and California to scrap their plans for becoming a sanctuary state.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"That would be such a mistake."&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"I would plead with the people of Maryland to understand this makes the state of Maryland more at risk for violence and crime, that it's not good policy." </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Sessions' full comments can be viewed below:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Attorney General Sessions says sanctuary cities 'cannot continue' <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) <a href="">March 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>For those who missed it, here is an excerpt from our <a href="">previous post</a> detailing which sanctuary cities receive the most federal funding.</p> <p>Our organization, American Transparency (website: was able to identify that number. <strong>We found nearly $27 billion ($26.74 billion to be exact) in federal funding (FY2016) for America’s 106 Sanctuary Cities.</strong> Our new report, “<a href="" target="_blank">Federal Funding of America’s Sanctuary Cites</a>” details federal grants and other forms of federal spending that flow to those cities.</p> <p>Using our OpenTheBooks interactive map,&nbsp;<a href=";MapType=Pin" target="_blank">search federal funding</a>&nbsp;by city. <strong>Just click a pin and scroll down to review the municipal agencies and entities</strong> (FY2016).</p> <p><iframe src=";MapType=Pin" width="100%" height="460" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Across America, there are over 300 governmental jurisdictions claiming "sanctuary status."</strong> Of those governments, there are 106 cities, while the rest are states, counties or other units of government.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Under Trump’s order, mayors defending their sanctuary city status are essentially imposing a defiance tax on local residents. On average, this tax amounts to $500 per man, woman and child.</strong></span> Major cities like Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago have the most to lose, and nearly $27 billion is at stake across the country.</p> <p>Here are the top&nbsp;10 takeaways from our findings:</p> <ol> <li><strong>$26.741 billion in annual federal grants and direct payments flowed into America’s 106 sanctuary cities (FY2016).</strong></li> <li>On average,<strong> the cost of lost federal funding for a family of four residing in one of the 106 sanctuary cities is $1,810 – or $454 per person.</strong> A total population of 46.2 million residents live in the 106 sanctuary cities according to census data.</li> <li>Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois governments received the highest amount of federal funding per resident and, therefore, have the most to lose by maintaining their sanctuary status.Washington, D.C. municipal government received the highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $3,228 per person; $12,912 per family of four; or $2.09 billion total. The City of Chicago, IL received the second highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $1,942 per person; $7,768 per family of four; or $5.3 billion total.</li> <li>In cities with populations of 100,000 and above, the communities with the least per capita federal dollars ‘at risk’ are St. Paul, Minnesota ($47 per person, $14.2 million total); Downey, California ($36 per person, $4.2 million total) and Miami, Florida ($67 per person, $29.7 million total).</li> <li><strong>$15.983 billion in federal funds flowed into just twelve major American cities where 1 in 5 illegal entrants reside (FY2016).</strong></li> <li>Department of Justice grants to law enforcement – i.e. city police departments – totaled $543.97 million (FY2016). Typically, this funding was only a small percentage of the local law enforcement budgets.</li> <li><strong>$4.23 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘direct payment’ type.</strong> These payments funded municipal services such as housing, education, community development, and schools.</li> <li>$21.5 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘grant’ payment mechanism. These payments funded local police and fire departments, schools, housing, and city services.</li> <li><strong>In Los Angeles, fully 1 in 5 city residents (22-percent) are illegal entrants.</strong> However, the amount of federal funding amounts to only $126 per resident; $504 per family of four; or $502.5 million total.</li> <li>In Newark, New Jersey, 19-percent of city residents are undocumented entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to $733 per resident; $2,932 per family of four; or $206.7 million.</li> </ol> <p><strong>The threat of losing nearly $27 billion in federal funding seems to be having an effect on some cities. In fact, Miami already reversed their sanctuary city policy.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="486" height="191" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alabama Demography Department of Justice Department of Justice DOJ Florida Fox Business Illegal immigration to the United States Illinois Immigration Jeff Sessions Law Office of Justice Programs Regulatory compliance Sanctuary city Sean Spicer Transparency Twitter Twitter United States Washington D.C. White House White House Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:08:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 591845 at The Curse Of 'The Thinking Class' <p><em><a href="">Authored by Howard Kunstler via,</a></em></p> <p>Let&rsquo;s suppose there really is such a thing as The Thinking Class in this country, if it&rsquo;s not too politically incorrect to say so - <strong>since it implies that there is another class, perhaps larger, that operates only on some limbic lizard-brain level of impulse and emotion.</strong> Personally, I believe there is such a Thinking Class, or at least I have dim memories of something like it.</p> <p><strong>The farfetched phenomenon of Trumpism has sent that bunch on a journey to a strange land of the intellect,</strong> a place like the lost island of Kong, where one monster after another rises out of the swampy murk to threaten the frail human adventurers. No one back home would believe the things they&rsquo;re tangling with: giant spiders, reptiles the size of front-end loaders, malevolent aborigines! Will any of the delicate humans survive or make it back home?</p> <p><strong>This is the feeling I get listening to arguments in the public arena these days, but especially from the quarters formerly identified as left-of-center, especially the faction organized around the Democratic Party, which I aligned with long ago (alas, no more). </strong></p> <p>The main question seems to be: <strong><em>who is responsible for all the unrest in this land.</em></strong> Their answer since halfway back in 2016: <strong><em>the Russians.</em></strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;m not comfortable with this hypothesis. Russia has a GDP smaller than Texas. If they are able to project so much influence over what happens in the USA, they must have some supernatural mojo-of-the-mind &mdash; and perhaps they do &mdash; but it raises the question of motive. <strong><em>What might Russia realistically get from the USA if Vladimir Putin was the master hypnotist that Democrats make him out to be?</em></strong></p> <p><em>Do we suppose Putin wants more living space for Russia&rsquo;s people? Hmmmm. Russia&rsquo;s population these days, around 145 million, is less than half the USA&rsquo;s and it&rsquo;s rattling around in the geographically largest nation in the world. Do they want our oil? Maybe, but Russia being the world&rsquo;s top oil producer suggests they&rsquo;ve already got their hands full with their own operations? Do they want Hollywood? The video game industry? The US porn empire? Do they covet our Chick-fil-A chains and Waffle Houses? Our tattoo artists? Would they like to induce the Kardashians to live in Moscow? Is it Nascar they&rsquo;re really after?</em></p> <p><strong>My hypothesis is that Russia would most of all like to be left alone.</strong> Watching NATO move tanks and German troops into Lithuania in January probably makes the Russians nervous, and no doubt that is the very objective of the NATO move &mdash; but let&rsquo;s not forget that most of all NATO is an arm of American foreign policy.<strong> If there are any remnants of the American Thinking Class left at the State Department, they might recall that Russia lost 20 million people in the dust-up known as the Second World War against whom&hellip;? Oh, Germany.</strong></p> <p><strong>Altogether last January the US military deployed thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry to Poland, the Baltic states and southeastern Europe in its biggest build-up since the Cold War</strong>(<a href="">Reuters</a>). As they used to say in old film noir Bogart movies: what&rsquo;s the big idea? The State Department would say they big idea was cautioning Russia against annexing anymore neighboring states or regions, as they did in Crimea a few years back. Apparently the public is supposed to forget that the State Department sponsored and engineered the conversion of Ukraine into a failed state, prompting Russia to retain its naval bases in Crimea, its only warm-water outlet to the world&rsquo;s oceans. Ask yourself: <strong><em>if for some reason the state of Virginia were plunged into anarchy by foreign mischief, do you think the US would batten down our naval station in Norfolk?</em></strong></p> <p>I think <strong>the sad truth of the American predicament these day,</strong> including the ascension of a narcissistic ninny to the White House, is that <strong>we&rsquo;re responsible for our own problems</strong> due, most of all, to the destruction of boundaries in virtually all realms of American behavior from the things we put in our bodies to the ridiculous ways that we occupy our waking hours at the expense of getting our own house in order.<strong> I would like to join the party dedicated to getting our house in order. Anybody else out there feel that way?</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="373" height="202" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Baltic States Democratic Party Department of State Germany Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur Lithuania Military NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization Poland Politics Reuters RT Russo-Georgian War Southeastern Europe Television Ukraine US military Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin White House White House Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591829 at NBC News Signs Former Obama Press Secretary To Provide "Unbiased" Political Commentary <p>On its 'Today Show' earlier this morning, NBC revealed that it has signed former Obama White House press secretary Josh Earnest as a political analyst.&nbsp; Earnest is expected to provide political commentary on NBC and MSNBC.</p> <p>And, in an hilarious welcoming statement, the Today Show's <strong>Savannah Guthrie warned Earnest that he would now have to disavow himself of his political bias to provide impartial political analysis...just before inviting him to take shots at Republicans.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"White House Press Secretary under President Obama we're pleased to announce is joining us a political analyst."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Now you have to wear your analyst hat, not your Democrats hat."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"And looking at what happened, what transpired over the last few weeks on healthcare, who is to blame?"</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earnest also made an appearance this morning on the cable news network known for its militant dedication to impartiality, MSNBC.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ahead this morning: Fmr Obama White House Press Secretary <a href="">@joshearnest</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) <a href="">March 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="">The Hill</a> notes that Earnest is just one of many Obama press secretaries to accept handsome salaries providing "impartial" political analysis at NBC and CNN over the years.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"Josh recently completed a ten-year run with President Obama, most recently serving as White House Press Secretary from 2014-2017,"</strong> reads a memo from NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and MSNBC President Phil Griffin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"A native of Kansas City, Josh graduated from Rice University with a degree in political science and policy studies. With his wealth of experience and insight, Josh will be a great addition to our roster of contributors and will be an asset for our two networks as we continue to cover the White House, Congress and politics beyond the Beltway."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Earnest follows in a long line of former press secretaries going from the White House to network and cable news outlets.</strong>&nbsp; Jay Carney and Robert Gibbs, who also worked for Obama, were hired after leaving the White House by CNN and MSNBC, respectively.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earnest, 42, will work out of NBC's Washington bureau.</p> </blockquote> <p>We would like to be among the first to welcome Josh Earnest to his new position as the official mouthpiece of Obama's opposition party...sorry Harwood, position filled.</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="638" height="349" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Congress Jay Carney Josh Earnest Morning Joe MSNBC MSNBC NBC NBC News NBCUniversal Politics President Obama Rice University Robert Gibbs Robert Gibbs Television Television in the United States Twitter Twitter White House White House Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591841 at Massive 100 Kilogram Gold Coin Worth $4.5 Million Stolen From German Museum <p>Perhaps even more brazen than the infamous <a href="">theft of a bucket full of gold </a>woth $1.6 million from an armored truck in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan last September 29, moments ago <a href="">local </a>German press has reported that thieves broke into Berlin's Bode Museum and made off with a massive 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin worth millions. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="314" /></a></p> <p>According to German media, the stolen coin is the "Big Maple Leaf", a commemorative piece issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. The three-centimeter (1.18-inch) thick coin, with a diameter of 53 centimeters (20.9 inches), has a face value of $1 million. <strong>By weight alone, however, it would be worth almost $4.5 million at market prices. </strong></p> <p>The Bode Museum, located on the German capital's UNESCO-listed Museum Island, houses one of the world's biggest coin collections. The holding includes 102,000 coins from ancient Greece and about 50,000 Roman coins. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="327" /></a><br /><em>The Bode Museum. Photo: DPA</em></p> <p>Spokesman Stefen Petersen <a href=";utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=AP">said thieves apparently entered </a>through a window about 3:30 a.m. Monday, broke into a cabinet where the "Big Maple Leaf" coin was kept, and escaped with it before police arrived. </p> <p>German police said on Twitter that the robbers likely used a ladder found at a nearby rail track to break into the museum at around 3:30 am. Suburban rail traffic was interrupted as investigators combed the area for clues. The police did not comment on how the theives managed to cart the extremely heavy "pet rock" out of the museum without being spotted or triggering any alarms.</p> <p>The museum says the coin is in the Guinness Book of Records for its purity of 999.99/1000 gold. It has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and maple leaves on the other.</p> <p>It was unclear if the coin has already been "deposited" at one of the numerous central or commercial bank vaults who have experienced a dramatic drop in physical gold inventory as much of the yellow metal has moved to China and various private vaults in recent years, and duly replaced by mere paper claims on said metal.</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="800" height="421" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Canadian Gold Maple Leaf China Coin Coins Currency German police Gold coins Greece Human Interest Maple leaf Numismatics Royal Canadian Mint Twitter Twitter United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:26:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 591812 at Forget ObamaCare, RyanCare, Or Any Future ReformCare - The Healthcare System Is Completely Broken <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><em>It&#39;s time to start planning for what we&#39;ll do when the current healthcare system implodes.</em></p> <p><strong>As with many other complex, opaque systems in the U.S., only those toiling in the murky depths of the healthcare system know just how broken the entire system is.</strong> Only those dealing daily with the perverse incentives, the Kafkaesque procedures, the endlessly negative unintended consequences, the soul-deadening paper-shuffling, the myriad forms of fraud, the recalcitrant patients who don&#39;t follow recommendations but demand to be magically returned to health anyway, and of course the hopelessness of the financial future of a system with runaway costs, a rapidly aging populace and profiteering cartels focused on maintaining their rackets regardless of the cost to the nation or the health of its people.</p> <p><strong>Ask any doctor or nurse, and you will hear first-hand how broken the system is, and how minor policy tweaks and reforms cannot possibly save the system from imploding.</strong> Based on my own first-hand experience and first-hand reports by physicians, here are a few of the hundreds of reasons why the system cannot be reformed or saved.</p> <p><strong>Say 6-year old Carlos gets a tummy-ache at school.</strong> To avoid liability, the school doesn&#39;t allow teachers to provide any care whatsoever. The school nurse (assuming the school has one) doesn&#39;t have the diagnostic tools on hand to absolutely rule out the possibility that Carlos has some serious condition, so the parents are called and told to take Carlos to their own doctor.</p> <p>Their pediatrician is already booked, so Carlos ends up waiting in the ER (emergency room). Neither the school nurse nor the parents see the symptoms as worrisome or dangerous, but here they are in ER, where <em>standards of care</em> require a CT scan and bloodwork.</p> <p>Hours later, Carlos is released and some entity somewhere gets an $8,000 bill--for a tummy-ache that went away on its own without any treatment at all.</p> <p>Since the Kafkaesque billing system rewards quick turn-arounds, observation is frowned upon unless it can be billed. So if observation is deemed necessary (to avoid any liability, of course), Carlos might be wheeled into an &quot;observation room&quot; filled with other people, where a nurse pops in every once in a while. This adds $3,000 to the bill.</p> <p>(Never mind the stress on Carlos being in such unfamiliar surroundings; he might have felt better if he hadn&#39;t been subjected to the anxieties that come with being enmeshed in the healthcare system&#39;s straight-jacket of <em>standards of care</em>.)</p> <p>If Carlos doesn&#39;t feel better after all this, then the bill is set to balloon bigtime because an overnight stay in the hospital is the next step--and if there isn&#39;t a 100% certainty that there is no chance of his stomach-ache becoming something serious, then the system will insist on overnight observation as the only legally defensible option.</p> <p>There are other ways to increase the fees without actually providing additional care; was Carlos receiving &quot;critical care&quot;? Of course he was, because, well, it pays better, and by definition any ER visit is critical care.</p> <p>This example is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the point: <strong>all institutional care decisions ultimately revolve around thwarting future liability claims and maximizing the billing value of each interaction or procedure.</strong></p> <p>You&#39;ve probably seen some of the racketeering that passes for &quot;business as usual&quot; in the pharmaceutical arm of the &quot;healthcare&quot; industry. <a href="" target="resource">A pharma company that spent $500,000 trying to keep pot illegal just got DEA approval for synthetic marijuana</a> (via Chad D.)</p> <p><a href="" target="resource">Pinworm prescription jumps from $3 to up to $600 a pill</a> (via John F.)</p> <p>Off-patent medications double or triple in cost, and then double or triple again with a few years, without any justification. To extend expiring patents, Big Pharma corporations petition the FDA to change the target audience for the med, and this trivial administrative change awards the corporation years more of lucrative patent protection.</p> <p><strong>The scams are endless, the skims are endless, the fraud is endless, the waste is endless,</strong> the fortunes expended to limit &quot;winner take all&quot; liability claims are endless, the paperwork churn is endless and the perverse incentives and negative unintended consequences are endless.</p> <p>Everyone knows the system is unsustainable, perverse and insane, but they are powerless to change it <em>within the system as it is</em>. The usual sort of political horsetrading that passes for &quot;reform&quot; yielded ObamaCare, which did essentially zero to limit costs or cartel rackets.</p> <p><strong>A system based on parasitic predation by all the cartel players cannot be reformed or saved from its own perverse incentives and skyrocketing costs.</strong> The foundations of U.S. healthcare are rotten to the core. &quot;Reform&quot; is an appealing delusion, but the rot is so deep and so pervasive it is embedded in the society and the culture, beyond the reach of legislative overhauls, no matter how well-meaning.</p> <p><strong>This chart-fest reflects the trends that cannot be reversed by policy tweaks and tucks:</strong> The U.S. spends more than twice as much per person than our advanced competitors such as Japan and France.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p>The U.S. spends 2.5 times more per person than the OECD (i.e. the industrialized nations) average:</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p><strong>Wages have risen 16%, GDP rose 168%, and healthcare soared 818%.</strong> Do you reckon wage earners might have a hard time paying for healthcare nowadays?</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p><strong>If healthcare had risen only as much as official inflation, each household would be saving $10,000 per year--$100,000 each decade.</strong> $100K here and $100K there, and pretty soon you&#39;re talking real money in a conventional wage-earner household budget.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p><strong>Projections of skyrocketing Medicare and Medicaid program costs guarantee national bankruptcy.</strong> The projection of 90 million Medicare enrollees is predictable, but there is no reason to believe costs will be limited to $20,000 per enrollee annually.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p><strong>U.S. healthcare costs more in every category than other healthcare systems.</strong> Tweaking policy in one slice does nothing to limit the staggering increases being logged in all the other tranches of the system.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p><strong>America&#39;s healthcare system is the perfection of the fraud triangle:</strong> the pressure to increase billings, fees and profits is immense, the rationalizations are unlimited (it&#39;s within the legal guidelines, etc.) and the opportunities for fraud are equally unlimited.</p> <p>Individual caregivers and administrators want a different, better role and a better outcome, but each is trapped in the system as it is--and reform is impossible given the systemic foundations, incentives and legal framework.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="" /></p> <p><strong>It&#39;s time to start planning for what we&#39;ll do when the current system implodes.</strong> We might start by considering <a href="" target="resource">The &quot;Impossible&quot; Healthcare Solution: Go Back to Cash</a> (2009).</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="542" height="406" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> ETC FDA Federal assistance in the United States France Government Health Health Health care in the United States Healthcare reform in the United States Japan Medicare Medicare Medicare Obamacare OECD Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson Racketeering Statutory law Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:24:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 591808 at Solid 2-Year Auction: Highest Indirects Since February 2016 <p>After last month's stellar 2 Year auction, today's issuance of $26 billion in 2 year paper was a bit of a let down, printing at a yield of 1.261%, or a 0.1 bp tail to the 1.260% When Issued. The lack of a squeeze into the auction is perhaps the result of the lack of any 2Y specials in repo, where the OTR was trading comfortably, or 0.50% in the positive range.&nbsp; The yield was higher than last month's 1.23%, if below the 1.28% from December. </p> <p>The bid-to-cover of 2.73 was below last month's 2.819, however above the last six auction average of 2.64. Total bids of $74.0b for $29.1b in notes sold vs six previous auction average of $71.1b in bids for $28.4b in notes sold.</p> <p>However, the internals were modestly better, with dealers awarded 35.7% vs six previous auction average 46.9%. This was the result of a modest drop in direct bidders who were awarded 10.8%, compared to 20% last month, if again higher than the previous six auction average 13.5%. The silver lining was the strong Indirect take down, which rose from 49.8% last month to 53.6%, well above the six previous auction average 39.6%, and the highest Indirect take down for this tenor going back to February 2016.</p> <p>Overall a solid auction, whose internals were measurably better than the headline print.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="297" /></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="1652" height="982" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Auction Auction theory Auctions Economy Shop at Bid Television Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:12:03 +0000 Tyler Durden 591840 at "Traders Have Lost Confidence In Their Ability To Trade" <p><strong>The markets have a bigger structural problem than just what to make of the ineptitude centered on how the health-care bill was handled</strong>. Even though this issue will only get worse when it fully sinks in - that the chances of it leading to some new brand of bi-partisan cooperation got less rather than more - Bloomberg&#39;s Richard Breslow warns <strong>the finger-pointing and gloating don&rsquo;t leave much room for optimism</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Watching things trade on Friday afternoon baldly made the point that traders have lost confidence in their ability to interpret what&rsquo;s plainly market-moving news. <strong>Far from hoping to be the first to trade, they need someone else to commit and help create the narrative.</strong> And going home with a new position over the weekend has become too daunting an experience to consider. No wonder so many funds are shuddering and then shuttering.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Coming in this morning, the dollar, equities and Treasury yields are all noticeably lower. Everything looks like it makes sense. <strong>But only if you don&rsquo;t ask yourself just what people were thinking after the news hit</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="352" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The most popular idea out there, selling USD/JPY, looks good now,</strong> but there weren&rsquo;t a lot of people pressing their winners late last week. They were actually covering, and just below obvious resistance, despite getting solid confirmation that they just might be onto something that could pay off nicely.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="352" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pair is down a big figure, but only if you ignore Friday&rsquo;s late 40 pip bounce. For shame. <strong>Traders remain deeply and obviously traumatized by markets and economies that haven&rsquo;t read from the same script as the tea-leaf readers.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Having not bothered to sell the S&amp;P 500 on the news you are now faced with having to decide if you want to hit the bid where support begins. <strong>The next percent is important if the post-election bounce is to hold-up</strong>. But if you sell here, you&rsquo;ll be doing so where otherwise you may have been watching for signs that it might hold. Today&rsquo;s drop has been big, but consider the volume.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Don&rsquo;t expect the administration to suddenly pull a rabbit out of its hat. </strong>Watch for who takes the fall for this and who the replacement is in judging the market&rsquo;s next leap of faith, or faithlessness.</p> </blockquote> <p>For now The Dow is set to be down for 8 days straight - it hasn&#39;t suffered a longer losing streak since 1978 - it appears extreme positioning and extreme complacence in the face of dismal &#39;hard&#39; data leaves a very fragile market desperate for a Trump &#39;win&#39;.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1544" height="907" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> S&P 500 Support and resistance Today Traders Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:03:12 +0000 Tyler Durden 591806 at Bill Gross Awarded $81 Million In PIMCO Lawsuit Settlement <p>Bill Gross and his former employer PIMCO announced that they have reached an amicable settlement of the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by Mr. Gross in October 2015, under which Gross would reportedly be awarded $81 million. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="330" /></p> <p>In a statement regarding the settlement, Gross repeated that his lawsuit had never been about money. Although the settlement’s terms are confidential, Gross and PIMCO confirmed that any proceeds from the suit will be donated to charity, as Gross had promised since the beginning of the suit. “I’ve always been amazed by my success, and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I’m glad that can continue today,” Mr. Gross noted.</p> <p>As the <a href="">WSJ adds</a>, Gross intends to donate the proceeds to charity through his Bill and Sue Gross Family Foundation. Gross alleged that Pimco “wrongly and illegally” denied him hundreds of millions of dollars in earned compensation and damaged his reputation. </p> <p>As a reminder, Gross abruptly left Pimco in September 2014 amid tensions with his colleagues, most notably Mohamed El-Erian, and in 2015 sued the manager for at least $200 million in damages, alleging he was forced out. Gross alleged that Pimco “wrongly and illegally” denied him hundreds of millions of dollars in earned compensation and damaged his reputation. “Driven by a lust for power, greed, and a desire to improve their own financial position and reputation at the expense of investors and decency,” the suit says, “a cabal” of Pimco “managing directors plotted to drive founder Bill Gross out of Pimco.”</p> <p>Gross intends to seek a dismissal Monday in California Superior Court, the people said.</p> <p>Regarding the lawsuit itself, Mr. Gross said in a statement that “PIMCO has always been family to me, and, like any family, sometimes there are disagreements. I’m glad that we have had the opportunity to work through those, and see the PIMCO founders receiving the recognition they deserve. I am honored to be included in their ranks and to know that PIMCO is in capable hands.”</p> <p>Gross left Pimco in September 2014 for Janus Capital Group, where he manages money. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p><em>Full press release below:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bill Gross and Pacific Investment Management Company LLC announce that they have reached an amicable settlement of the lawsuit filed by Mr. Gross in October 2015. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a statement regarding the settlement, Mr. Gross repeated that his lawsuit had never been about money. Although the settlement’s terms are confidential, Mr. Gross and PIMCO confirmed that any proceeds from the suit will be donated to charity, as Mr. Gross had promised since the beginning of the suit. “I’ve always been amazed by my success, and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I’m glad that can continue today,” Mr. Gross noted. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regarding the lawsuit itself, Mr. Gross said in a statement that “PIMCO has always been family to me, and, like any family, sometimes there are disagreements. I’m glad that we have had the opportunity to work through those, and see the PIMCO founders receiving the recognition they deserve. I am honored to be included in their ranks and to know that PIMCO is in capable hands.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PIMCO recognizes the enormous contribution to its success made by Mr. Gross and its other founders and leaders, such as James Muzzy, William Podlich, Bill Thompson, Walter Gerken, and Chris Dialynas, the visionaries who created a global investment powerhouse, and an entire industry of fixed-income investments. Over the decades of their leadership and that of those following in their footsteps, PIMCO has helped its clients—including individual investors saving for retirement, pension plans, educational institutions, and charitable foundations and endowments—generate billions of dollars of investment returns. Additionally, through the leadership of the PIMCO Foundation, which was created and originally funded by Mr. Gross, PIMCO donates millions of dollars annually to ensure that communities throughout the world are empowered through education, health support, gender equity, and other programs vital for the connected 21(st) century. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PIMCO is also taking steps to ensure that the legacy and contributions of its founders, as both corporate and charitable citizens, are honored and preserved. To that end, PIMCO is dedicating a new&nbsp; “Founders Room” in their honor at PIMCO’s Newport Beach headquarters. Additionally, the PIMCO Foundation is naming Mr. Gross a “Director Emeritus” and establishing an annual “Bill Gross Award” in recognition of his career-long dedication to the charitable endeavors that are at the heart of the Foundation’s mission. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Bill Gross has always been larger-than-life,” said Dan Ivascyn, PIMCO’s Group Chief Investment Officer. “He has a well-deserved stellar reputation as an investor and a philanthropist. Bill has had an&nbsp; enormous influence on PIMCO and the careers of many who have passed through its halls. He built this business from the ground up and we have great respect and admiration for his talents.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The case was William H. Gross v. Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, et al., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2015-00813636-CU-BC-CJC. Mr. Gross was represented by Patricia L.&nbsp; Glaser, G. Jill Basinger and Rory S. Miller of Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen &amp; Shapiro. PIMCO and Allianz Asset Management of America were represented by David Boies, Christopher E. Duffy, Scott R. Wilson, and Qian A. Gao of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.</p> </blockquote> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="780" height="515" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bill and Sue Gross Family Foundation Bill Gross Bill Gross Boies Schiller & Flexner California Superior Court Daniel Ivascyn Economy of the United States Finance Foundation’s mission Janus Capital Janus Capital Group Mohamed A. El-Erian Money PIMCO PIMCO PIMCO Foundation Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:49:11 +0000 Tyler Durden 591837 at Democrats Delay Gorsuch Supreme Court Panel Vote For One Week <p>While Democrats debate whether or not to filibuster the Neil Gorsuch nomination for Supreme Court, moments ago they delayed for one week an initial committee vote on Gorsuch. As <a href="">The Hill first reported</a>, Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the committee, said Democrats had requested that the committee's vote on Gorsuch be punted to next week.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>"I understand that the minority would like to hold [him] over," Grassley said during the Judiciary Committee's meeting on Monday. Under committee rules any one member can request that a nomination be held the first time it appears on the agenda.&nbsp; </p> <p>Today's move is not a surprise: Democrats were widely expected to delay the committee's vote until next week. The delay means the committee vote will likely take place on April 3, giving Republicans days to meet their goal of winning Gorsuch's confirmation by the full Senate by the end of that week. The Senate will then go into a recess. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Democrats are demanding a 60-vote threshold for Gorsuch's approval, but it is unclear whether the party has enough votes to support a filibuster against Trump's nominee. </p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, Republicans have suggested they will change the Senate's rules allowing a filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if Democrats block Gorsuch.&nbsp; The committee held a four-day hearing on Gorsuch's nomination last week, with Trump's nominee appearing before the committee for three days.&nbsp; </p> <p>Democrats also delayed Rod Rosenstein, nominated to be deputy attorney general, by a week. </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="640" height="360" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Chuck Grassley Conservatism in the United States Filibuster Filibuster in the United States Senate Gorsuch Judiciary Committee Neil Gorsuch Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination Nomination Parliamentary procedure Politics Politics Senate Supreme Court Supreme Court of the United States United States Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:38:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 591835 at