http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/feed en Remember The 2016 "Russian Attack" On The Internet? (Spoiler Alert: It Wasn't Them) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/remember-2016-russian-attack-internet-spoiler-alert-it-wasnt-them <p><a href="http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2017/12/161217-remember-russian-attack-on.html"><em>Authored by Constantin Gurdgiev via True Economics blog,</em></a></p> <p><strong>In 2016, a bot, named Mirai, wrecked havoc over the global internet with massive waves of DoS attacks on anything, </strong>from French telecoms, to U.S. web services, to Russian banks, to African airports and beyond.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Per <em>Wired</em>, &quot;As the 2016 US presidential election drew near, fears began to mount that the so-called Mirai botnet might be the work of a nation-state practicing for an attack that would cripple the country as voters went to the polls.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Of course, the minute there is any suspicion of the &#39;nation-state&#39; actors behind the attack, we know that is the code word for &#39;the Russians&#39;. </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171216_russ.jpg"><img height="231" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171216_russ_0.jpg" width="400" /></a></p> <p>And, of course, given the sheer number of &#39;security research&#39; lackeys eagerly awaiting for the U.S. or UK or EU dollars/pounds/euros in grants and subsidies, <strong>the &#39;Russian&#39; spectre loomed large in the wake of Mirai havoc.</strong> Here&#39;s a snapshot:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.itsecurityguru.org/2016/10/12/research-shows-russian-hackers-could-be-behind-the-mirai-botnet/" title="http://www.itsecurityguru.org/2016/10/12/research-shows-russian-hackers-could-be-behind-the-mirai-botnet/">http://www.itsecurityguru.org/2016/10/12/research-shows-russian-hackers-...</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/who-shut-down-u-s-internet-friday-n671011" title="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/who-shut-down-u-s-internet-friday-n671011">https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/who-shut-down-u-s-internet-friday-n...</a></li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/hackerfantastic/status/782840355116969984" title="https://twitter.com/hackerfantastic/status/782840355116969984">https://twitter.com/hackerfantastic/status/782840355116969984</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.networkworld.com/article/3130504/security/record-iot-ddos-attacks-raise-bar-for-defenders.html" title="https://www.networkworld.com/article/3130504/security/record-iot-ddos-attacks-raise-bar-for-defenders.html">https://www.networkworld.com/article/3130504/security/record-iot-ddos-at...</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.csoonline.com/article/3144200/security/expect-more-iot-botnet-attacks-mirai-source-code-now-freely-available.html" title="https://www.csoonline.com/article/3144200/security/expect-more-iot-botnet-attacks-mirai-source-code-now-freely-available.html">https://www.csoonline.com/article/3144200/security/expect-more-iot-botne...</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/business/internet-problems-attack.html" title="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/business/internet-problems-attack.html">https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/business/internet-problems-attack.html</a></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>But, in the end, the famous DoS attack was down to just three U.S. students</strong></span>:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wired.com/story/mirai-botnet-minecraft-scam-brought-down-the-internet/?mbid=social_twitter">https://www.wired.com/story/mirai-botnet-minecraft-scam-brought-down-the-internet/?mbid=social_twitter</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_russians.png"><img height="226" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_russians.png" width="400" /></a></p> <p>Which, sort of, begs a question: <em><strong>how many &#39;security experts&#39; of the &#39;Russian spectre looms large over everything&#39; variety have lost their lucrative contracts with the Government, the media and the think tanks that provide platforms to the endless Russophobic hysteria?</strong></em></p> <p>My bet is: <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>none</strong></span>.</p> <p>Like in the good old days of the Soviet empire, you can&#39;t get fired for lying in <em>Pravda... </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="985" height="568" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171216_russ.jpg?1513531838" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/remember-2016-russian-attack-internet-spoiler-alert-it-wasnt-them#comments Botnets Computer network security Computer security Computing Cybercrime Cyberwarfare Denial-of-service attack Denial-of-service attacks European Union Internet of things Mirai None Spamming Twitter Twitter Sun, 17 Dec 2017 17:31:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 609310 at http://www.zerohedge.com Top FBI And DOJ Officials To Be Subpoenaed: McCabe, Strzok, Page In The Crosshairs http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/top-fbi-and-doj-officials-be-subpoenaed-mccabe-strzok-page-crosshairs <p>House Judiciary Committee member Jim Jordan (R-OH) says he's gotten a commitment from committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to issue subpoenas for several key officials at the FBI and Justice Department implicated in disturbing revelations of political bias against President Donald Trump.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/jordan.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/jordan.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></a><br />Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) (Alex Wong/Getty Images)</em></p> <p>House and Senate committees have turned their focus in recent weeks to&nbsp;<strong>Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok, FBI attorney Lisa Page, former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie</strong> - who worked for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the "Trump-Russia" dossier and several other concurrent campaigns to smear Donald Trump in an effort funded in large part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/thegang.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/thegang_0.jpg" width="500" height="176" /></a><br />Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr</em></p> <p>"Chairman Goodlatte has told us he is going to subpoena those individuals," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), while speaking to a Fox panel on' "Justice with Judge Jeanine (longer clip <a href="https://twitter.com/JudgeJeanine/status/942221008651673600" target="_blank">here</a>)."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">FIREWORKS! ???? GOP Rep. Jim Jordan reveals the House Judiciary Committee will subpoena Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce and Nellie Ohr <a href="https://t.co/PO8o6nsI0k">pic.twitter.com/PO8o6nsI0k</a></p> <p>— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) <a href="https://twitter.com/joshdcaplan/status/942249111683727360?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p> GOP lawmakers have honed in on highly troublesome revelations over the last several weeks which&nbsp;<strong>paint a clear picture of a highly politicized FBI actively assisting Hillary Clinton as candidate for president, while using an unproven dossier which relied on the cooperation of Kremlin officials to smear then-candidate Donald Trump.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Of recent interest to investigators </strong>is a trove of around 10,000 text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page showing extreme bias against then-candidate Trump, while both of them were actively engaged in the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. One text message in particular turned heads, in which&nbsp;Strzok referenced an "<strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency" target="_blank">insurance policy</a></strong>" in case Trump were to be elected. Strzok wrote to Page: <strong>"I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40...."</strong></p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/367205031/2017-12-14-RHJ-to-FBI-Re-Comey-July-5-Statement" target="_blank">Thursday letter</a> released by Senate Homeland Security and Govt. Affairs chairman <strong>Ron Johnson</strong>&nbsp;(R-WI), it was revealed that <strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-15/fbi-edits-clinton-exoneration-go-far-beyond-what-was-previously-known-comey-mccabe-s" target="_blank">the FBI went far beyond</a> what was previously known in regards to editing the Clinton exoneration statement. </strong>Under the lead of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, <strong>drafts of Clinton's exoneration were passed around the office and edited to shift the conclusion from criminal conduct to "extreme carelessness."&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>GOP lawmakers <strong>also claim the FBI launched its investigation into Russian collusion based on the 34-page dossier created by opposition research firm Fusion GPS</strong> - which hired the CIA wife of a senior DOJ official to assist in digging up damaging information on 5then-candidate Trump.&nbsp;</p> <p>A report last Monday by <em><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/11/wife-demoted-doj-official-worked-for-firm-behind-anti-trump-dossier.html" target="_blank">Fox News</a></em>&nbsp;revealed that Nellie Ohr, the wife of recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr, <strong>worked for Fusion GPS - the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier</strong>. It was also later uncovered by internet sleuths that Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group at a 2010 working group on organized crime, <strong>which she participated in along with her husband Bruce and Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, nervous Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are growing increasingly nervous that the Mueller probe and the current Russian interference investigations in the Senate and the House will be shut down - which Trump Attorney <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/trump-attorney-quashes-rumors-impending-mueller-firing" target="_blank">Ty Cobb refuted</a> in a statement to <em>Politico, </em>telling them "<strong>As the White House has repeatedly and emphatically said for months, there is no consideration at the White House of terminating the special counsel.</strong>"&nbsp;</p> <p>And with word now that top FBI and DOJ officials are about to be slapped with subpoenas, shutting down the investigations now would deprive the American public of quite the show as the noose grows ever tighter.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>TIMELINE OF EVENTS&nbsp;</strong>(5/3/2016 - 1/10/2017)<strong>:&nbsp;</strong></p> <ul> <li>05/03/16 - Trump <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-19/its-official-donald-trump-clinches-republican-nomination-president" target="_blank">becomes the presumptive Republican nominee</a> for the office of president</li> <li>05/03/16 -&nbsp;Clinton IT specialist Paul Combetta <a href="https://archive.is/PqOXB" target="_blank">admits to lying</a> to the FBI about erasing emails using BleachBit but is not charged for the crime</li> <li>05/05/16 - Washington Post reports there is "<a href="http://archive.is/SGC2F" target="_blank">scant evidence</a>" of a crime committed by Clinton through her use of a private email server</li> <li>05/15/16 -&nbsp;<strong>Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ executive Bruce Ohr, is <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/11/wife-demoted-doj-official-worked-for-firm-behind-anti-trump-dossier.html" target="_blank">hired by Fusion GPS</a></strong>, presumably to work on Russian "Dossier"</li> <li>05/16/16 -&nbsp;<strong>Draft statement by FBI directory Comey exonerating Clinton is circulated to FBI leadership</strong>, long before they are done with their investigation.&nbsp;</li> <li>06/10/16 -&nbsp;<strong>FBI agent Peter Strzok&nbsp;<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/06/comey-draft-statement-on-clinton-emails-called-her-actions-grossly-negligent-new-memos-show.html" target="_blank">changes wording</a>&nbsp;of Clinton charges</strong> from criminal designation “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless"</li> <li>06/15/16 -&nbsp;Ex-MI-6 agent Christopher Steele is hired by Fusion GPS as part of an opposition research campaign against Donald Trump - funded in part by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC</li> <li>06/20/16 - Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/28/finally-a-definitive-timeline-showing-when-clinton-dnc-started-the-russian-dossier/" target="_blank">releases first of 17 memos</a>&nbsp;that comprise the Russian "Dossier" - alleging that Trump used prostitutes during a 2013 visit to Moscow and that the Kremlin was blackmailing him with evidence.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>06/27/16 -&nbsp;A.G. Loretta Lynch secretly meets with Bill Clinton on an <a href="http://archive.is/ltHXc" target="_blank">airport tarmac</a></strong>; they later deny discussing the investigation</li> <li><strong>07/02/16 -&nbsp;Clinton interviewed by FBI agent Peter Strzok's team for 3.5 hours; she is not placed under oath nor recorded (<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/10/20/timeline-james-comeys-decision-making-on-the-clinton-probe/?utm_term=.ca3a19fbc0cc" target="_blank">WaPo</a>)</strong></li> <li>07/05/16 - FISA Court <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443768/obama-fisa-trump-wiretap" target="_blank">denies FBI request</a> for surveillance of Trump campaign</li> <li>07/05/16 - Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele shares Russian "Dossier" with the FBI</li> <li><strong>07/05/16 -&nbsp;FBI director Comey recommends <a href="http://time.com/4393271/james-comey-fbi-hillary-clinton-email/?iid=sr-link1" target="_blank">no charges</a></strong> against Hillary Clinton for use of her email server</li> <li>07/06/16 -&nbsp;A.G. Loretta Lynch accepts Comey's recommendation not to charge Clinton for mishandling classified information</li> <li>07/10/16 - DNC staffer Seth Rich murdered in as yet unsolved case</li> <li><strong>07/22/16 - Wikileaks releases archive of emails stolen from Democrat National Committee (DNC)</strong></li> <li><strong>07/25/16 - FBI announces it will investigate the DNC hack revealed by Wikileaks</strong></li> <li>07/28/16 - <strong>Strzok sends text message referring to something "Opened on Trump?"&nbsp;</strong></li> <li><strong>07/30/16 -&nbsp;FBI opens counterintelligence investigation into possible Russian "collusion" with Trump campaign led bt Peter Strzok</strong></li> <li><strong>08/06/16 </strong>- <strong>Lisa Page texts Strzok</strong>; "Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace,” to which Strzok replies <strong>"I can protect our country at many levels."</strong></li> <li><strong>08/15/16 - FBI investigator Strzok emails mistress referencing an "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency" target="_blank">insurance policy</a>" against Trump becoming president</strong></li> <li>08/16/16 -&nbsp;FBI writes Congress defending decision not to prosecute Clinton, stating it was ‘extreme carelessness’ and not ‘gross negligence’</li> <li><strong>08/25/16 -&nbsp;CIA director James Brennan informs Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid about possible Russian "collusion" with Trump campaign</strong></li> <li>09/05/16 - Hillary Clinton accuses Russia of interfering with U.S. election</li> <li><strong>09/09/16 -&nbsp;Donald Trump Jr. meets with Russian attorney after being lured by the promise of opposition research</strong></li> <li><strong>09/15/16 -&nbsp; FISA Court approves FBI request for surveillance of Trump campaign based upon Russian "Dossier"</strong></li> <li>09/21/16 -&nbsp;New York Times, Washington Post, and Yahoo News verbally briefed on Russian "Dossier" according to court filings</li> <li>09/23/16&nbsp; -&nbsp;Yahoo News publishes report based upon Russian "Dossier" and possible collusion with Trump campaign</li> <li>09/28/16 -&nbsp;Comey claims his decision to exonerate Clinton was not made until after her interview with FBI agents</li> <li>10/07/16 - Obama administration officially accuses Russia of meddling in 2016 presidential election</li> <li>10/15/16 -&nbsp;FBI meets with Fusion GPS contractor Steele and offers to pay him for more Russian "Dossier" material</li> <li><strong>10/28/16 -&nbsp;Comey reopens investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server due to information found on Anthony Weiner's computer</strong></li> <li>10/30/16 -&nbsp;Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid&nbsp;<a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/trump-dossier-timeline-whats-known" target="_blank">writes to James Comey</a>&nbsp;asking him to release "explosive" information on Russian "collusion"</li> <li>10/31/16 -&nbsp;Fusion GPS contractor Steele&nbsp;<a href="http://archive.is/jqSfo" target="_blank">feeds information to David Corn</a>&nbsp;of Mother Jones that ties Trump to Russian "collusion"</li> <li><strong>10/31/16&nbsp;</strong>-&nbsp;<strong>Clinton campaign issues statement, citing Slate, about server in Trump Tower that secretly communicated with Russia</strong>&nbsp;(<strong><a href="http://archive.is/yzjeF" target="_blank">Fusion GPS was behind this</a>)</strong></li> <li>11/06/16 - Comey exonerates Clinton again after Weiner documents are reviewed "around the clock"</li> <li><strong>11/08/16 - Donald Trump is elected President of the United States</strong></li> <li><strong>11/15/16 -&nbsp;DOJ executive Bruce Ohr <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/07/top-doj-official-demoted-amid-probe-contacts-with-trump-dossier-firm.html" target="_blank">meets in secret</a> with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson regarding Russian "Dossier"</strong></li> <li><strong>11/15/16 - FBI agrees to <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/trump-dossier-timeline-whats-known" target="_blank">continue fund</a> Steele and his "Dossier"</strong></li> <li>11/18/16 - Sen. John McCain told of the Russian "Dossier"; a copy is sent to McCain and key aides</li> <li><strong>12/09/16</strong> - <strong>McCain provides a copy of Russian "Dossier" to FBI director James Comey</strong></li> <li>12/09/16 - President Obama orders intelligence community to investigate Russian influence on U.S. election</li> <li>01/06/17 - Comey briefs President-Elect Trump on existence of "salacious and unverified" Russian "Dossier"</li> <li>01/10/17 -&nbsp;U.S. intelligence chiefs Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Rogers <a href="http://archive.is/afjhj" target="_blank">brief Obama on Russian "Dossier"</a> and attempts to "influence" Trump</li> <li><strong>01/10/17 - BuzzFeed releases full Fusion GPS "<a href="http://archive.is/HvCBR" target="_blank">Dossier</a>"</strong></li> </ul> <div> <p><em>(h/t ZeroHedge user&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/users/nmewn" target="_blank">nmewn</a>)</em></p> </div> <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="750" height="264" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/thegang.jpg?1513528620" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/top-fbi-and-doj-officials-be-subpoenaed-mccabe-strzok-page-crosshairs#comments Andrew McCabe Bob Goodlatte Central Intelligence Agency Christopher Steele Congress Democrat National Committee Department of Justice Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation DOJ Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump–Russia dossier FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation FISA court Fox News Fusion GPS Government House Intelligence Committee James Comey John McCain Judiciary Committee New York Times Obama Administration Obama administration Politics President Obama Republican Party Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate Special Counsel investigation Trump campaign–Russian meetings Twitter Twitter U.S. intelligence United States United States House Committee on the Judiciary United States intelligence agencies White House White House Sun, 17 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609307 at http://www.zerohedge.com Never Mind Tea Leaves, Here's A Strong Signal from the Economic Dashboard http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/never-mind-tea-leaves-heres-strong-signal-economic-dashboard <p><a href="http://ffwiley.com/blog/2017/12/17/never-mind-tea-leaves-heres-a-strong-signal-from-the-economic-dashboard/"><em>Authored by Daniel Nevins via FFWiley.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;ve been seeing more and more commentaries discussing bad stuff that can happen when the Fed tightens policy and, as a result, the yield curve flattens. </strong>(See, for example, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-26/when-worry-how-long-after-curve-inverts-does-recession-begin" rel="noopener" target="_blank">this piece</a> from Citi Research and ZeroHedge.)</p> <p>No doubt, the Fed&rsquo;s rate hikes will lead to mishaps as they usually do&mdash;in both markets and the economy.</p> <p><strong>But most forecasters expect the economy to expand through next year, believing that the Fed and the yield curve aren&rsquo;t yet restrictive enough to trigger a recession.</strong></p> <p>We won&rsquo;t make a full-year 2018 forecast here, but we&rsquo;ll share one of our &ldquo;dashboard&rdquo; charts that supports the consensus view for at least the first half of the year. With one methodological change to a chart we <a href="https://www.financialsense.com/ff-wiley/what-financial-conditions-tell-us-two-charts-and-prediction" rel="noopener" target="_blank">published</a> in August, we&rsquo;ll look at the following indicators, which together have an excellent track record predicting the business cycle:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves1.png"><img height="212" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves1_0.png" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The idea is that the economy tends to turn over when investors lose money, borrowers find it hard to obtain financing, business earnings weaken, and banks struggle with a flat or inverted yield curve. Here&rsquo;s a history of all four of those indicators in the quarter <em>before</em> and the quarter <em>of</em> the last nine business cycle peaks, although with less data for lending standards, which the Fed began surveying for the first time in mid-1990:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves2.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves2_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 423px;" /></a></p> <p>With that history as our background (in charcoal gray), our dashboard highlights the most recent data, along with our fourth quarter estimates for asset price gains and S&amp;P 500 earnings growth:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves3.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves3_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 427px;" /></a></p> <p>In our view, the above chart is the best way to judge recession risks&mdash;with a strong reminder of how current conditions compare to the conditions that shaped past business cycles. That comparison looks favorable as of mid-December, just as it did in August. Here are our takeaways, moving from right to left along the chart:</p> <ul> <li>Although the yield curve is likely to become more recessionary as the Fed continues to tighten, it&rsquo;s not yet as flat or inverted as it normally is at business cycle peaks.</li> <li>Business earnings aren&rsquo;t yet recessionary, either, although gains over the last four quarters reflect depressed earnings in 2015 and 2016, which isn&rsquo;t quite as bullish a signal as it would be if earnings had risen consistently over that period.</li> <li>Outside of the commercial real estate sector, lending conditions aren&rsquo;t constraining borrowing growth, and even CRE lending conditions aren&rsquo;t restrictive when compared to the last three business cycle peaks.</li> <li>Asset gains have been stellar over the past four quarters, far above the flat or declining performance that nearly always precedes business cycle peaks.</li> </ul> <p>We think the last point is the most convincing. Of all the &ldquo;rules&rdquo; in economics, the rule that asset prices lead the business cycle is as reliable as any, and they&rsquo;re a long way from recessionary as of this writing. In fact, if Q4&rsquo;s gains match the average gains over the past four quarters, real asset gains for 2017 will reach 25% of personal income. That&rsquo;s three months of personal income from asset gains alone&mdash;hardly an environment where households stop spending and the economy slips into recession.</p> <p>But eventually, monetary tightening will have greater effects, and the outsized asset gains of recent years will become more burden than boon. That&rsquo;s notwithstanding Janet Yellen&rsquo;s FOMC <a href="https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomcpresconf20171213.htm" rel="noopener" target="_blank">press conference</a> on Wednesday, where she downplayed risks posed by soaring asset prices. Yellen&rsquo;s parting words are certainly welcoming of debate, and we recommend the responses&nbsp;<a href="https://www.themacrotourist.com/posts/2017/12/14/yellen/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">here</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-14/dear-janet-yellen-here-your-own-watchdog-warning-about-financial-stability-risks-red" rel="noopener" target="_blank">here</a>, as well as this recent&nbsp;<a href="https://www.financialresearch.gov/financial-stability-reports/files/OFR_2017_Financial-Stability-Report.pdf" rel="noopener" target="_blank">report</a> from the Office for Financial Research. But for this article, we&rsquo;ll just couple our bullish economic view for H1 2018 with a chart we first <a href="http://nevinsresearch.com/blog/two-charts-that-might-define-the-feds-jerome-powell-era/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">shared</a>&nbsp;last week:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves4.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171217_tealeaves4_0.png" style="width: 600px; height: 438px;" /></a></p> <p>Although the chart includes only seven business cycles to keep it readable, the full history shows asset gains, adjusted for inflation, jumping above those of any other cycle since the Fed began recording gains in 1947. It paints a bigger picture behind the &ldquo;virtuous&rdquo; loop that&rsquo;s currently fueling the economy and thus far impervious to the Fed&rsquo;s snail-pace tightening. And we think it describes the greatest challenge Yellen&rsquo;s <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Powell" rel="noopener" target="_blank">successor</a> will face, although not an immediate challenge. In our view, the tightening we&rsquo;ve seen to date is still too new and too tepid to threaten the usual damage, especially with the dashboard readings above and with fiscal policy set to loosen. But further out, we suggest trusting the history of how long-running virtuous loops normally unwind.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Author&rsquo;s note: For more of the details and rationale behind our &ldquo;dashboard&rdquo; or &ldquo;checklist&rdquo; methods of forecasting, please see our book </em><a href="http://nevinsresearch.com/">Economic for Independent Thinkers</a><em>.</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="802" height="585" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171217_tealeaves4.png?1513528446" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/never-mind-tea-leaves-heres-strong-signal-economic-dashboard#comments Business Business cycle Commercial Real Estate CRE CRE Economics Economy Fixed income Janet Yellen Macroeconomics Office for Financial Research Personal Income Real estate Recession Recession S&P 500 US Federal Reserve Yield Curve Yield curve Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:34:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 609306 at http://www.zerohedge.com Whitney Tilson: "I'm Calling The Top Of The Cryptocurrency Madness", Admits Bitcoin Could Hit $1 Million http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/whitney-tilson-im-calling-top-cryptocurrency-madness-admits-bitcoin-could-hit-1-mill <p>There is just one thing that cryptocurrency bulls love hearing more than Dennis Gartman bashing bitcoin, and that is Whitney Tilson bashing bitcoin. The reason is the same: just like Gartman, Tilson has rarely if ever been right about anything -in fact, it is almost safe to say that he has been largely wrong about everything - with the added bonuses that unlike Gartman, Tilson has blown up not <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-28/whitney-tilson-shuts-his-hedge-fund-again">one but two "hedge funds</a>" (which really were copycats of other hedge funds). </p> <p>So here is the good news: in his latest letter to... well, it's not clients as he no longer has those, so probably people who don't know they can unsubscribe from his spam mass mailings, Tilson writes: <strong>"I'm calling the top of the bitcoin/cryptocurrency madness.</strong>" Naturally, the email was sent out when bitcoin was about $1,000 lower.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/maxresdefault%20%285%29.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/maxresdefault%20%285%29_0.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>Here are Tilson's "arguments" for why the top of bitcoin is here... even if as he concedes, "bitcoin could go to $1 million" (how Whitney reconciles those two is anyone's guess).</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>I'm calling the top of the bitcoin/cryptocurrency madness</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1<strong>) In the past week, I’ve been asked about bitcoin by a parade of the least-knowledgeable investors imaginable – and the only times such foolishness has happened before in my 18-year career were at the peak of the internet and housing bubbles, so I’m calling a top right now.</strong> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Blockchain technology is real in the same way that the internet was real back in 1999 and housing prices tend to go up in the mid-2000s – in other words, a good idea taken to absurd extremes is NOT a good idea! </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>That said, the greed and speculative nature of humans is inherently unpredictable, so for all I know bitcoin could go to $1 million. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But I do know the ultimate outcome: smoldering rubble, a lot of finger-pointing (where were the regulators?!), and a lot of tears and empty bank accounts, especially among those who can least afford it. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I don’t often quote our Malignant Narcissist in Chief, but I will here: “Sad…” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2) Trust me: run, don't walk, to watch this hilarious, clever four-minute Daily Show segment on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: The Rise of Bitcoin and Other Stupid Meme Currencies, <a href="https://youtu.be/nRItzSX0aCM">https://youtu.be/nRItzSX0aCM</a>.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here’s the opening by Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng: “Cryptocurrency: is it some fake sh*t some fu*king nerds made up on the internet to steal our money, or is it the future of finance? There’s no way all these people buying cryptocurrency have any idea what the hell they’re investing in!” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other brilliant moments: </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>CNBC guest: “If you imagine bitcoin as a gold coin, Ethereum is a coin that has a magic spell in it.”</p> <ul> <li>Chieng sits in a bubble bath explaining things (a scene stolen from The Big Short) (bonus: full frontal nudity – alas, the best part blurred!)</li> <li>Chieng asks Joe Luben, co-founder of Ethereum: “Why do so many suckers on the internet, excuse me, sorry I mean people, believe fake money has value?” He played it straight, answering: “Ether is real…”</li> <li>Chieng says “This is America, so I decided to create my own cryptocurrency, but that has to be an incredibly complex…” [on the screen, he goes to a web site called “Create your own Cryptocurrency” (I just Googled it and there are 1.83 million hits!)] and concludes: “I did it! It literally takes 10 minutes to go on a website and create your own coin.” </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;<br />Then he tries to pay a sidewalk hotdog vendor and a taxi driver with his new Chieng-coin, and when the taxi driver throws him out of the cab, he lectures him: “Remember this moment, when you had a chance to jump on Chieng-coin and you didn’t!” – hilarious!!!</p> </blockquote> <p> Meanwhile, bitcoin hit a new all time high of just shy of $20,000 earlier on Sunday, and just hours before the CME becomes the second US exchange to launch bitcoin futures as institutional adoption of the world's best - and most volatile - investment grows exponentially. </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="522" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/whitney%20tilson%20teaser.jpg?1513526110" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/whitney-tilson-im-calling-top-cryptocurrency-madness-admits-bitcoin-could-hit-1-mill#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchain technology Blockchains Cryptocurrencies Cryptography Currency Decentralization Dennis Gartman Economics of bitcoin Ethereum Housing Prices Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Money Whitney Tilson Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:58:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 609304 at http://www.zerohedge.com Family Rejects Canadian Billionaire Couple's Death Was Murder-Suicide http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/children-canadian-billionaire-decry-murder-suicide-rumors <p>In a gruesome incident that has shocked the Canadian business community, Barry Sherman, the billionaire founder of Canadian generic drug Apotex Inc, and his wife Honey, were found dead yesterday at their Toronto home. Immediately after the news broke, anonymous police and press reports noted that the deaths were <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/canadian-billionaire-wife-found-dead-suspicious-suicide">&quot;suspicious&quot;</a> and some suggested that <strong>it might&#39;ve been a murder-suicide.</strong> As we noted on Saturday, according to a preliminary police report, there were no signs of forced entry.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017.12.17sherman.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017.12.17sherman_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 199px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Honey and Barry Sherman</em></p> <p>However, while investigators are still awaiting the results of autopsies performed on the couple, their children have expressed outrage at the media&rsquo;s willingness to jump to conclusions.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumors regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We are shocked and think it&#39;s irresponsible that police sources have reportedly advised the media of a theory which neither their family, their friends nor their colleagues believe to be true. </strong>The Shermans were among Canada&#39;s most generous philanthropists.</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, the Sherman&rsquo;s gifts included multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities and had buildings named in their honor. They also gave generously to Jewish organizations.</p> <p>They even hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a Liberal party fundraiser in 2015. In a statement released yesterday, Trudeau said he and his wife were &ldquo;saddened&rdquo; by the Sherman&rsquo;s deaths, and offered &ldquo;our condolences&rdquo; to their friends and family.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017.12.17bodies.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017.12.17bodies_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 243px;" /></a></p> <p>Sherman founded generic drugmaker Apotex in 1974, and helped nurture it into a giant with 11,000 employees world-wide, including more than 6,000 in Canada.</p> <p>The company released a statement on Saturday praising Sherman&rsquo;s philanthropic efforts and what it described as his vision for health care.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Patients around the world live healthier and more fulfilled lives thanks to his life&#39;s work, and his significant impact on health care and health care sustainability will have an enduring impact for many years to come, the statement read.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>However, as the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5186871/Autopsies-underway-Canadian-billionaires-dead.html">Daily Mail points out, </a>not everybody harbored warm sentiments toward the Shermans. Indeed, Barry faced legal action from family members alleging they had been cut out of the company over the years.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017.12.17shermantwo_0.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/12/13/2017.12.17shermantwo_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 246px;" /></a></p> <p>Barry Sherman was ranked 363 on Forbes richest people in the world list; the publication put his net worth at $3.7 billion, ranking him just above eBay billionaire Jeffrey Skoll. He was believed to be the 5th richest person in Canada.</p> <p>&ldquo;They were extremely successful in business, but also very, very giving people,&rdquo; former Ontario Premier Bob Rae told CBC. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to be a very, very big loss.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Shermans recently listed their home for sale for nearly C$7 million ($5.4 million). A real estate agent discovered the bodies in the basement while preparing for an open house.</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="657" height="262" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12.17sherman.JPG?1513522705" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/children-canadian-billionaire-decry-murder-suicide-rumors#comments Apotex Canada Justin Trudeau Liberal Party M4 Sherman Pierre Trudeau Quebec Real estate Toronto PD Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:25:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 609302 at http://www.zerohedge.com LooK AT THaT THiNG! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/look-thing <p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/38399790734/in/dateposted-public/" title="LOOK AT THAT THING!"><img src="https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4647/38399790734_68bf57bc60_b.jpg" alt="LOOK AT THAT THING!" width="929" height="1024" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/look-thing#comments Baseball Hall of Fame balloting Education Politics Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:14:57 +0000 williambanzai7 609303 at http://www.zerohedge.com Former NBC Staffer Paid Off After Accusing Chris Matthews Of Sexual Harassment: Report http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/former-nbc-staffer-paid-after-accusing-chris-matthews-sexual-harassment-report <p>A former assistant producer for MSNBC host Chris Matthews received a payment from the network in relation to her departure after complaining of sexual harassment in 1999, reports the <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/16/nbc-made-payment-to-staffer-after-sexual-harassment-claim-against-chris-matthews/"><em>Daily Caller</em></a>. <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/maxresdefault%20%2834%29.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></p> <p><strong>Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show</strong>, Hardball with Chris Matthews, in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/16/nbc-made-payment-to-staffer-after-sexual-harassment-claim-against-chris-matthews/">contested that claim to the Caller</a>, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others</strong>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The MSNBC spokesman said that they thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and that <strong>Matthews received a formal reprimand</strong>. Based on people who were involved in matter, the <strong>network concluded that the comments were inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions</strong>.<em></em></p> </blockquote> <p>MSNBC has disputed the claims - telling the <em>Daily Caller</em>&nbsp;that while the woman was compensated, it was "significantly less" than $40,000 and in relation to a severance package.</p> <p>Matthews, who has hosted "Hardball" on MSNBC since 1997 and stared down Melania Trump in a <a href="&lt;blockquote class=&quot;twitter-tweet&quot; data-lang=&quot;en&quot;&gt;&lt;p lang=&quot;en&quot; dir=&quot;ltr&quot;&gt;Did you see her walk? Runway walk. My God is that good. ... I could watch that runway show. - MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Melania Trump &lt;a href=&quot;https://t.co/9v1nYjuBs3&quot;&gt;https://t.co/9v1nYjuBs3&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&quot;https://t.co/2NV4qdvMAr&quot;&gt;pic.twitter.com/2NV4qdvMAr&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&amp;mdash; Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) &lt;a href=&quot;https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/942227667109150720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&quot;&gt;December 17, 2017&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=&quot;https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js&quot; charset=&quot;utf-8&quot;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;" target="_blank">hot-mic moment</a> during the election, is the latest in a growing list of influential media figures to be accused of sexual misconduct, and the third high-profile case for NBC.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/171026082951-mark-halperin-1024x576.jpg" width="500" height="282" /><br />Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin</em></p> <p>On November 29, "Today" star Matt Lauer - <strong>the highest paid personality in TV news</strong>, was fired after a "<strong>detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace</strong>. Several other women also came forward at the time, telling <em>Variety</em>&nbsp;that their complaints to NBC executives about Lauer's behavior were ignored. In addition to sex toys found in his office, Lauer reportedly had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door <strong>from the inside</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The network also cut ties with veteran political journalist and "Game Change" author <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-26/nbc-fires-mark-halperin-after-sexual-harassment-allegations-emerge" target="_blank">Mark Halperin</a>, who was accused groping, sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment by a dozen women he worked with during his time with ABC news. "<strong>We find the story and the allegations very troubling</strong>," MSNBC said in a statement to CNN, which broke the story, adding "<strong>Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood</strong>."</p> <p>The network also cut ties with senior vice president Matt Zimmerman for failing to report relationships he had with women who worked for him.&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="500" height="281" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/maxresdefault%20%2834%29.jpg?1513518680" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-17/former-nbc-staffer-paid-after-accusing-chris-matthews-sexual-harassment-report#comments ABC News Chris Matthews Hardball Hardball with Chris Matthews Mark Halperin Matt Lauer MSNBC MSNBC NBC NBC News Sexual harassment Television Television in the United States Television news in the United States Today Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:57:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 609301 at http://www.zerohedge.com "Look At That Thing!" - The NYT Reveals The Pentagon's Mysterious UFO Program http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/look-thing-nyt-reveals-pentagons-mysterious-ufo-program <p>When tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theories cross paths with massive &#39;defense&#39; budgets and excited politicians, <strong><em>&quot;stranger things&quot; happen.</em></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171216_ufo.jpg"><img height="263" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171216_ufo.jpg" width="480" /></a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Welcome to The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.</strong></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171216_ufo1.jpg"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/15/20171216_ufo1_0.jpg" style="width: 480px; height: 209px;" /></strong></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html"><em>As The New York Times exposes,</em></a> within the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the program was <strong>almost impossible to find.</strong></p> <p>Which was <strong>how the Pentagon wanted it.</strong></p> <p>For years, the <strong>program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects</strong>, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon&rsquo;s C Ring, deep within the building&rsquo;s maze.</p> <p>The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012.<strong> But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence</strong>. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.</p> <p>The shadowy program &mdash; parts of it remain classified &mdash; <strong>began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, </strong>the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena.</p> <p><strong>Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid&rsquo;s, Robert Bigelow,</strong> who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.</p> <p>And while the clapping of crony capitalism screams alod from those two last sentences, one watch of the following video (just one of many), suggests the boondoggle may be based in some kind of reality after all... <em>(the footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. &ldquo;<strong>There&rsquo;s a whole fleet of them,&rdquo; one exclaims. </strong>Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.)</em></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="321" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005607812" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>Mr. Reid, who retired from Congress this year, said he was proud of the program.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,&rdquo; </strong>Mr. Reid said in a recent interview in Nevada.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I&rsquo;ve done something that no one has done before.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While not addressing the merits of the program, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at M.I.T., cautioned that not knowing the origin of an object does not mean that it is from another planet or galaxy.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;When people claim to observe truly unusual phenomena, sometimes it&rsquo;s worth investigating seriously,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, she added,<strong> &ldquo;what people sometimes don&rsquo;t get about science is that we often have phenomena that remain unexplained.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html"><em>Read more here...</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="657" height="286" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171216_ufo1.jpg?1513459528" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/look-thing-nyt-reveals-pentagons-mysterious-ufo-program#comments American Airlines Flight 77 CAPTCHA Congress Crony capitalism Department of Defense Economy MIT National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Register of Historic Places in Arlington County, Virginia navy New York Times Pentagon Politics Reality Senate The Pentagon Virginia Sun, 17 Dec 2017 04:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 609295 at http://www.zerohedge.com Canadian Billionaire, Wife, Found Dead In "Suspicious" Suicide http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/canadian-billionaire-wife-found-dead-suspicious-suicide <p>The billionaire founder of Canadian generic drug Apotex Inc, Barry Sherman, and his wife Honey, were found dead in their Toronto home on Friday under what police described as "suspicious" circumstances.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/suspicious%20death.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/suspicious%20death_0.jpg" width="500" height="279" /></a><br /><em>Honey and Barry Sherman</em></p> <p>Police said they were investigating the mysterious deaths after responding to a midday medical call at the Sherman’s home in an affluent section of northeast Toronto. <strong>Two bodies covered in blankets were removed from the home and loaded into an unmarked van on Friday evening.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/apotex%20death1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/apotex%20death1_0.jpg" width="500" height="295" /></a></p> <p><strong>“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” </strong>said Constable David Hopkinson. Homicide detectives later told reporters gathered outside the home that there were no signs of forced entry, and no suspects were being sought as of this moment. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Const. David Hopkinson if Toronto Police said they are calling deaths of Honey and Barry Sherman suspicious <a href="https://t.co/MJ577PeIdq">pic.twitter.com/MJ577PeIdq</a></p> <p>— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) <a href="https://twitter.com/joe_warmington/status/941790238745202689?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 15, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>The Shermans recently listed their home for sale for nearly C$7 million ($5.4 million). A real estate agent discovered the bodies in the basement while preparing for an open house, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, citing a relative.</p> <p>Their neighbors, who <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-death-apotex/canadian-police-probe-suspicious-deaths-of-billionaire-couple-idUSKBN1E92ZC">according to Reuters </a>include business associates and some of Canada’s most powerful politicians said they were saddened by the deaths.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Deeply shocked to learn of the deaths of Honey and Barry Sherman, such remarkable people. Grappling with this terrible news.</p> <p>— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) <a href="https://twitter.com/BobRae48/status/941793480325718016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 15, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>“Our condolences to their family &amp; friends, and to everyone touched by their vision &amp; spirit,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman. Our condolences to their family &amp; friends, and to everyone touched by their vision &amp; spirit.</p> <p>— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/941863953256235008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 16, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Linda Frum, a member of the Canadian Senate, said she was "gutted by the loss" of the couple, two weeks after presenting a Senate medal "to one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada's Jewish community." </p> <p>Ontario's health minister, Eric Hoskins, described the couple in a tweet as "wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in healthcare."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I am beyond words right now. My dear friends Barry and Honey Sherman have been found dead. Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day. Barry, Honey, rest in peace.</p> <p>— Dr. Eric Hoskins (@DrEricHoskins) <a href="https://twitter.com/DrEricHoskins/status/941767410473930753?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 15, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Toronto Mayor John Tory said in statement he was “shocked and heartbroken” to learn of the deaths, noting that the couple had made extensive contributions to the city. </p> <p>“Toronto Police are investigating, and I hope that investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who are mourning this tremendous loss,” Tory said.</p> <p>Sherman, 75, founded privately-held Apotex in 1974, growing it into the world's 7th largest drugmaker and the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical firm, with annual sales of more than C$2 billion and over 11,000 employees, by introducing large numbers of low-cost generic drugs that took market share from branded pharmaceuticals. He stepped down as chief executive in 2012 but remained executive chairman. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/apotex%20drug.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/apotex%20drug_0.jpg" width="500" height="638" /></a></p> <p>"All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time," the company said in a statement. </p> <p>Barry Sherman was ranked 363 on Forbes richest people in the world list; the publication put his net worth at $3.7 billion. He ranked just above eBay billionaire Jeffrey Skoll, and was believed to be the 5th richest person in Canada. The couple was known for their philanthropy, giving tens of millions of dollars to hospitals, universities and Jewish organizations, CBC reported. “They were extremely successful in business, but also very, very giving people,” former Ontario Premier Bob Rae told CBC. “It’s going to be a very, very big loss.”</p> <p>While there is no additional information on whether the suicide was foul play , in February the Globe and Mail reported that Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd was investigating a complaint about a 2015 political fundraiser that Trudeau had attended.</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="505" height="282" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/suspicious%20death.jpg?1513434988" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/canadian-billionaire-wife-found-dead-suspicious-suicide#comments Apotex Barry Barry Sherman Police Bob Rae Canada Canadian Senate Justin Trudeau Market Share Ontario Pierre Trudeau Real estate Reuters Senate Toronto police Twitter Twitter University of Toronto Sun, 17 Dec 2017 04:38:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 609272 at http://www.zerohedge.com Mueller "Improperly" Obtained "Tens of Thousands" Of Trump Transition Emails http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/mueller-obtained-tens-thousands-trump-transition-emails <p>Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has taken possession of "<strong>many tens of thousands</strong>" of emails from the Trump transition team, obtained through the General Services Administration - the government agency responsible for hosting the transition email system which used a "ptt.gov" address, <strong>and which according to a Trump lawyer were improperly obtained through "unlawful conduct." </strong></p> <p>The trove of documents, which includes sensitive emails to and from Trump son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner, comprise 12 email accounts - one of which reportedly contains around 7,000 emails. Mueller's team has reportedly been using the emails as the basis for witness interviews, sources tell&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.axios.com/scoop-mueller-obtains-tens-of-thousands-of-trump-transition-emails-2517994590.html" target="_blank">Axios</a></em>.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The transition emails are said to include sensitive exchanges on matters that include potential appointments, gossip about the views of particular senators involved in the confirmation process, speculation about vulnerabilities of Trump nominees, strategizing about press statements, and policy planning on everything from war to taxes</strong>. -<em>Axios</em></p> </blockquote> <p>“<strong>Mueller is using the emails to confirm things, and get new leads</strong>,” a transition source adds.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/GettyImages_170854342.0.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/GettyImages_170854342.0.jpg" width="500" height="333" /></a><br />FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller III</em></p> <p>Transition officials had reportedly pre-sorted emails in anticipation of Mueller's investigation, separating "privileged" communications from the rest of the cache, and sources&nbsp;say they were surprised to learn of Mueller's use of the emails - as they have been fully cooperative with the special counsel investigation.&nbsp;“<strong>They ask us to waive NDAs [nondisclosure agreements] and things like that</strong>,” a second source said. “<strong>We have never said ‘no’ to anything.</strong>”</p> <p>Tranistion team lawyer Kory Langhofer says the Special Counsel obtained the documents through <strong>"unlawful conduct"</strong>&nbsp;by the General Services Administration, reports&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/16/trump-lawyer-mueller-improperly-obtained-transition-documents-in-russia-probe.html" target="_blank">Fox News</a></em>.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In a letter obtained by Fox News and sent to House and Senate committees on Saturday,<strong> the transition team’s attorney alleges “unlawful conduct” by the career staff at the General Services Administration in handing over transition documents to the special counsel’s office</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kory Langhofer, the counsel to Trump for America, wrote in the letter that the special counsel’s office is aware that the GSA “did not own or control the records in question.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, Langhofer says, Mueller’s team has “<strong>extensively used the materials in question, including portions that are susceptible to claims of privilege.</strong>”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Trump transition team lawyer argued the actions “<strong>impair the ability of future presidential transition teams to candidly discuss policy and internal matters that benefit the country as a whole.</strong>”&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>The emails could shed light on the details leading up to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's communications with Rusian ambassador Sergey Kislyak - with whom Flynn had several call to discuss sanctions, as well as an upcoming UN Security Council vote on whether or not to condemn Israel's building of settlements, which the Obama administration was preparing to allow to go through. The <em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/us/politics/michael-flynn-guilty-russia-investigation.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=span-ab-top-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">New York Times</a> </em>reported in early December that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>According to prosecutors, on Dec. 22, Mr. Flynn discussed with Mr. Kislyak an upcoming United Nations Security Council vote on <strong>whether to condemn Israel’s building of settlements</strong>. At the time, the <strong>Obama administration was preparing to allow a Security Council vote on the matter</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Investigators have learned that <strong>Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kushner took the lead in those efforts</strong>. <strong>Mr. Mueller’s team has emails that show Mr. Flynn saying he would work to kill the vote</strong>, the people briefed on the matter said. -<em>NYT</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In September, <em><a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/24/jared-kushner-private-email-white-house-243071" target="_blank">Politico</a></em>&nbsp;reported that<strong> Jared Kushner continued to use a private email account that had been set up during the transition to communicate with fellow administration officials during Trump’s first nine months in office - </strong>however it was used to send <em>"less than 100 emails" </em>which mostly consisted of "<em>quips about news items and minor commentary.</em>"&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement Sunday. “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.”</p> </blockquote> <p><em>Politico</em> also noted that Kushner’s use of a private email account was <strong>part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business</strong>. Kushner allegedly used the private account to communicate with <strong>Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn and Josh Raffel</strong>. Buried deep within the report, however, that that <strong>There is no indication that Kushner has shared any sensitive or classified material on his private account</strong>, or that he relies on his private email account more than his official White House account to conduct government business. <strong>Aides say he prefers to call or text over using email</strong>.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/jariv.PNG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/13/jariv_0.PNG" width="500" height="281" /></a><br />Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner</em></p> <p>As ZeroHedge reported at the time, <em><a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/24/jared-kushner-private-email-white-house-243071" target="_blank">Politico</a></em> said <strong>Kushner and Ivanka Trump set up their private family domain late last year before moving to Washington from New York,</strong> according to people with knowledge of events as well as publicly available internet registration records. At the time, Kushner, who served as a senior campaign adviser, was expected to be named to a White House role, while Ivanka Trump was publicly saying she didn’t plan to work in her father’s administration, though she ended up taking an unpaid role with an office in the West Wing. <strong>People familiar with the account say it was primarily set up for personal use, but that Kushner has used it to communicate with acquaintances outside the White House about matters relating to Trump and the administration,</strong> according to people who have received messages.</p> <p>In November, the Senate Judiciary Committee said Kushner <strong>failed to turn over relevant documents</strong>&nbsp;pertaining to a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite" as well as emails received from WikiLeaks. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote in a letter to Kushner's attorney, Abbe Lowell: "<strong>We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete</strong>.”</p> <p>According to leaked information,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-18/kushner-forgot-disclose-contact-putin-ally" target="_blank">Kushner allegedly neglected to disclose</a>&nbsp;that Aleksander Torshin, a powerful Russian central banker and former senator with ties to both President Vladimir Putin and Russian organized crime, had reached out to the campaign with a "dinner invite" and an offer to connect Trump with Putin. Kushner, who was on the email chain, reportedly instructed junior campaign aides to rebuff the meeting. As reported by <em>NBC</em>, "<strong>Kushner rebuffed the request after receiving a lengthy email exchange about it</strong> between a West Virginia man and Trump campaign aide Rick Dearborn, the sources said."</p> <p>Grassley and Feinstein's letter point to several omissions, and addresses concerns raised by Kushner's attorney over "Executive Privilege" by creating a "privilege log" to segregate communications.&nbsp;</p> <p>“<strong>If, as you suggest, Mr. Kushner was unaware of, for example, any attempts at Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, then presumably there would be few communications concerning many of the persons identified</strong>,” the letter reads, asking Kushner to turn over all responsive documents by Nov 27. As <em>Politico</em>&nbsp;reported at the time:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>According to the lawmakers, Kushner’s attorney suggested providing some documents might “implicate the president’s Executive Privilege.” </strong>In their letter, <strong>they asked Lowell to resolve those issues and produce the documents or create a “privilege log” to detail over which documents the president is asserting executive privilege.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Grassley and Feinstein also said Kushner declined to produce documents connected to his security clearance application, citing their confidentiality. The lawmakers said they intend to take Lowell up on a separate request to visit his office to review the documents in person, but they said the committee would not waive its request to obtain its own copies.</p> </blockquote> <p>Lowell responded, stating that they had "provided the Judiciary Committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner's calls, contacts or meetings with Russians during the campaign and transition, which was the request," adding that Kushner had told the committee they would be open to additional requests for information.&nbsp;</p> <p>And <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/16/trump-lawyer-mueller-improperly-obtained-transition-documents-in-russia-probe.html">according to Transition team attorney Kory Langhofer</a>, <strong>Mueller's team ignored any sort of "privilege log" and obtained the emails through "unlawful conduct," </strong>after which they extensively used the materials in question, <strong>"including portions that are susceptible to claims of privilege</strong>."&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The transition legal team argues it could be a violation of the 4th Amendment – which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Kory Langhofer, the counsel to Trump for America, wrote in Saturday's letter that the GSA “did not own or control the records in question.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The transition attorney said they discovered the “unauthorized disclosures” by the GSA on December 12th and 13th and raised concerns with the special counsel’s office.</p> </blockquote> <p>Langhofer also wrote that some of the records obtained by the special counsel’s office from the GSA <strong>“have been leaked to the press by unknown persons</strong>” and argued that the actions “impair the ability of future presidential transition teams to candidly discuss policy and internal matters that benefit the country as a whole.” </p> <p>Given the reported use of private email accounts by Jared Kushner other transition team members, it stands to reason that if Robert Mueller's team finds anything 'of interest,' sent to or from said accounts, they will become subject to a full review as part of the ever-expanding investigation.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="500" height="295" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/mueller%20teaser%20emails.jpg?1513463303" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/mueller-obtained-tens-thousands-trump-transition-emails#comments American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox News General Services Administration Israel Jared Kushner Judiciary Committee national security NBC New York Times Obama Administration Obama administration Politics Robert Mueller Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Security Council Senate Special Counsel investigation Trump Administration Trump family U.N. Security Council United Nations United Nations Security Council United States Vladimir Putin West Virginia White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 17 Dec 2017 04:32:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 609298 at http://www.zerohedge.com