en The Real Cost Of War: Three Times More Than The Government Admits <p><strong><em>Imagine if the $5.6 trillion that it is now estimated to have been spent on 16 years of US global wars had been put to better use?</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="359" /></a><br /></em></strong></p> <p> Imagine how families would have been able to afford education if the value of the dollar had not been inflated away to fund the military industrial complex. </p> <p>In today's Liberty Report Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams discuss a <strong><a href="">new Brown University study </a>concluding that the endless wars have cost three times more than the Pentagon estimated</strong>:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><a href=""><em>Source: Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace &amp; Prosperity</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="593" height="380" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Activism American people of German descent Brown University Conservatism in the United States International relations Non-interventionism Pentagon Politics Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute for Peace War Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607632 at Bitter Hillary Fantasizes With "Journalist" About Becoming President Of Another Planet <p>A bitter Hillary Clinton may have finally just developed a plan that would fulfill her lifelong dream of wielding complete power while simultaneously granting her detractors their lifelong dream of being rid of her.&nbsp; The plan, apparently hatched in an interview with <a href="">Now This News</a>, envisions Hillary traveling to an alien planet, Earth 2, where she could rule the non-existent masses with impunity.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this is not a an interview that starts with the 'Now This' anchor declaring that <strong>“people joke about Earth 2, where you are president"</strong> (a joke that literally no one has ever told), an awkward, giggling Hillary comments on everything from North Korea to gun control.&nbsp; Per <a href="">The American Mirror</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>On Earth 2’s North Korea, Clinton said she would have “full on diplomatic pressure” to solve the crisis with the portly dictator Kim Jong-un.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Clinton said if she was in charge, she would be “putting as much money as it took into enforcing the laws we already have,” and added she would want “universal background checks.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After answering a question about the opioid crisis, a handler attempted to cut off the interview.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, despite efforts of the anchor to wrap the interview without discussing Russia, Clinton begs for a bonus question so she can once again tell us "What Happened" in 2016.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“You want one more? I’ll be short — one more. <strong>Because I like being on Earth 2."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"We've got to get to the bottom of what happened in 2016."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“If I had been president, or on Earth 2, where I am,</strong> I would have an independent commission with subpoena power because if we don't get to the bottom of it, it's going to keep happening.&nbsp; This is an ongoing threat."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I worry about ’18. I worry about 2020 because this is the first time we’ve even been attacked and not imposed any real consequences on our adversary,” </p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">What would be happening right now if Hillary Clinton were president? <a href=""></a></p> <p>— NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href="">November 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Meanwhile, after repeatedly stoking the flames of the "Russiagate" investigation,<strong> Hillary once again reminds us that any efforts on the part of the DOJ to look into the Uranium One scandal would be nothing more than an "abuse of power" by a corrupt Trump DOJ.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Hillary Clinton on Trump investigation threat: 'abuse of power,' moves US from 'being a nation of laws' to one 'of men w/ political agendas' <a href=""></a></p> <p>— NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href="">November 16, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Of course, we're not sure how Hillary defines "abuse of power," but we wonder whether sending your former President husband for a <a href="">secretive meeting with the Attorney General on a Phoenix tarmac</a> just days before you're set to be potentially indicted by the FBI would qualify as such behavior?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="686" height="378" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American literature Bill Clinton DOJ FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Hillary Clinton KIM North Korea Politics Rodham family Twitter Twitter United States Uranium Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607597 at The Wireless Power Grid: More Than A 100 Years In The Making <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Julieanne Geiger via,</em></a></p> <p>If you can imagine a<strong> massive, horrifying beast with some 6 million miles of tentacles</strong> that costs up to $33 billion to feed and <a href="">$5 trillion</a> to replace, <strong>then you can imagine the U.S. electricity grid.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 560px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>But it&rsquo;s a beast that can possibly be vanquished, finally.</strong></em></span></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><u><strong>How? Magnetic induction and resonant coupling.</strong></u></p> <p>Imagine a future where you can charge your electric vehicles while in motion using a charging mechanism built into the road on which it drives.<strong> Where the electrical grid is no longer reliant on power lines, utility poles, or expensive transformers and underground cables.</strong> A future where power companies stop chopping down trees that threaten nearby power lines.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>This might sound like a sci-fi movie, but the future you just imagined is nearly here, in the form of magnetic inductive coupling and resonant coupling.</strong></p> <p>Magnetic induction, or magnetic inductive coupling, courtesy of Nikola Tesla, is already a mainstay in small-scale technology such as wireless cellphone charging and wireless speakers. Transformers also use this technology, which allows energy to be transferred from one coil to another, but the coils can be only centimeters apart&mdash;any further and it won&rsquo;t work.</p> <p>Resonant coupling works similarly to magnetic induction, but allows for a greater distance between the two coils. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Naysayers abound, but magnetic induction and resonant coupling is not just possible on a large scale&mdash;it&rsquo;s inevitable. </strong>And none too soon, as the requirements for distributing electric power continue to change with the gaining presence of renewable energy sources and increasing fears of grid security and unreliability.</p> <p>It may seem like a mighty big leap to go from wireless cellphone charging to a wireless power grid, but mankind has been known to make some huge jumps, courtesy of unconventional blue-sky thinkers, MIT grads, and deep-pocketed corporations.</p> <h3><u><strong>To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>It shouldn&rsquo;t come as a surprise to learn that some of the most creative tech ideas have come from our creative visionaries in Hollywood. They&rsquo;ve generated some spectacular ideas that have forever changed the world. Hollywood has already gone where no man has gone before, and the rest of the world has followed.</strong></p> <p>Fifty-one years ago, when &ldquo;<a href="">Star Trek</a>&rdquo; burst onto the television scene, minds were blown with the then-silly notion of a handheld computer. At the time, it seemed rather farfetched; the personal computer hadn&rsquo;t been invented yet, let alone laptops and tablets. But here we are, with iPods and tablets and Chromebooks and smart watches. The sci-fi wonder was several iterations ahead of reality, and now the rest of the world has arrived, albeit lagging by a few decades.</p> <p>Star Trek also thought up the universal translator, which was probably introduced solely to explain why everyone on the show spoke English even though they were supposed to be from different planets. Regardless of the motive behind this invention, that universal translator&mdash;then only a finished product idea that lacked even a hint of how to make it happen&mdash;is finally here. We have had Google Translate (granted, it&rsquo;s not perfect) for quite some time now, but just last month Google announced its <a href="">Pixel Buds</a>, which can translate 40 languages in real time. &nbsp;</p> <p>Hollywood&rsquo;s thought contributions don&rsquo;t end there. Next on the list is the holodeck. While it first appeared in &ldquo;Star Trek: The Next Generation&rdquo;<em>, </em>it was actually thought up in the original series along with all the other cool gizmos, but was never shown on screen. If you&rsquo;re under the age of 35 and have no idea what a holodeck is, just ask Siri, Bixby, or Alexa (yeah, the talking computer was a Star Trek invention, too) and she&rsquo;ll explain, perhaps by showing you today&rsquo;s version of the holodeck: virtual reality goggles.</p> <p>Other Star Trek high-tech gadgetry also makes the list of up-and-coming reality, and include the <a href="">communicator badge</a>, which is currently in prototype phase, and the <a href="">tractor beam</a>, which is in development. And don&rsquo;t tell your kids just yet, but even the <a href="">hypospray</a> is here.</p> <p>And it&rsquo;s not just Star Trek. Twenty years its junior, the &ldquo;<a href="">Back to the Future</a>&rdquo; franchise conceptualized even more things that were nonexistent then, but real things now.&nbsp; It thought up drones, hands-free gaming, mobile payment technology, hoverboards, biometric devices, wearable technology, video calling, and probably the most relevant for our readers, the DeLorean&mdash;a car that can run on garbage and duals as a time machine.</p> <p>Well, we might not have a car that can run on actual garbage, but eco-friendly <a href="">hydrogen-powered</a> cars are indeed here. As for the rest of the tech mentioned above&hellip;. yeah, we&rsquo;ve got that. As for the time machine, that&rsquo;s probably a bit further out.</p> <h3><u><strong>The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.&nbsp; - Nikola Tesla</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s not just Hollywood scriptwriters who serve as the artistic muse for MIT&rsquo;s high-tech hotshots. Wireless electricity was the brainchild of Nikola Tesla, who as early as the 1890s had grand ideas of a global wireless power grid&mdash;and some university students now think they&rsquo;re well on their way to making his vision a reality.</strong></p> <p>A decade ago, <a href="">MIT researchers</a> proved that it was indeed<strong> possible to <a href="">wirelessly power a light bulb</a> more than two meters away&shy;</strong>, and while it&rsquo;s not exactly the finished product that Nikola Tesla had in mind, he would have been proud; it was the first such feat and a milestone for wireless electricity.</p> <p>More progress continues to be made. This year, senior study author and professor of electrical engineering Shanhui Fan said in a June interview for <a href="">Stanford News </a>that they have developed a way to wirelessly charge moving objects&mdash;a clear precursor to wirelessly charging not just stationary objects but electric vehicles while in motion. The technology could make alleviate the concerns that currently exist in the automobile marketplace about how far an electric car can travel without a charge&mdash;a major hurdle to making EVs more prevalent on the road.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;We still need to significantly increase the amount of electricity being transferred to charge electric cars, but we may not need to push the distance too much more,&rdquo; </strong>Fan said, adding that his hope is that &ldquo;you&rsquo;ll be able to charge your electric car while you&rsquo;re driving down the highway. A coil in the bottom of the vehicle could receive electricity from a series of coils connected to an electric current embedded in the road.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>And this induction system, the &ldquo;<a href="">electric road of the future</a>&rdquo; if you will, is already being tested in France. Carmakers have yet to incorporate into their vehicles the necessary technology that would allow them to top up by pads under the road surfaces, but this technology is already being tried out in a test track near Paris. Full-scale introduction of this tech is reportedly ten years out.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;Maybe 10 years is a good timescale for this technology,&rdquo;</strong> Virginie Maillard, a senior&nbsp;Renault&nbsp;EV engineer said in an interview with Autocar Magazine. &ldquo;We have to design cars and the road network to accept it.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Back in 2012, Pike Research acknowledged the progress that had been made, but stated that the technology to replace existing utility poles with wireless power was decades away. But today&rsquo;s growing fears about <a href="">grid security</a> and <a href="">grid reliability</a> may speed along its progression.</p> <p>United States President Donald Trump designated November 2017 as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. The Department of Energy approved two transmission projects this year, with the last one gaining approval yesterday: The $1.6 billion <a href="">Northern Pass Transmission Line</a> project will bring hydropower from America&rsquo;s northern neighbor, Quebec, by tying the American grid to Canada&rsquo;s and lowering the carbon footprint in the region.</p> <p>The regulatory approval of two major transmission projects is a clear sign that the new administration is working to improve the nation&rsquo;s infrastructure and streamline the federal permitting process, which may mean less regulatory hurdles for grid projects going forward&mdash;projects like a wireless grid, for instance.</p> <p><strong>A truly wireless grid isn&rsquo;t something we&rsquo;re likely to see tomorrow, but it&rsquo;s likely to be a reality someday in the fairly near future, and the power industry from power companies to transformer and power line manufacturers&mdash;and everything in between&shy;&mdash;should at least consider that future.</strong></p> <p>If Star Trek and other sci-fi ideas are any indicator, we may very well see the beast defeated in our lifetime.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="270" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Carbon Footprint Department Of Energy Department of Energy Donald Trump Electric car Electric power Electric power transmission Electric vehicle Electromagnetism Energy France Google Inductive charging Inductive coupling MIT mobile payment technology Nikola Tesla None Reality Resonant inductive coupling Technology virtual reality wearable technology Wireless energy transfer Wireless power transfer Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607631 at Wild Footage Of Mugabe's Son Drenched In Diamonds, Right Before Zimbabwe Coup <p>Days before the military&nbsp;coup d&rsquo;état in Zimbabwe, <strong>one of Mugabe&rsquo;s sons uploaded a snapchat&nbsp;displaying his&nbsp;&pound;45,000 diamond watch with &pound;200 champagne,</strong> according to&nbsp;<a href="">Daily Mail</a>. The story went <strong>viral </strong>fueling anger of Zimbabweans as the country suffers from an economic collapse with a 95% unemployment rate.</p> <p>The video shows&nbsp;Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe in a South African nightclub pouring bottles of expensive champagne onto his diamond watch. <strong>Both of&nbsp;Mugabe&rsquo;s parasitical elite sons are living the highlife in South Africa - totally removed from the hellacious economic environment in Zimbabwe.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>This all occurred days before&nbsp;the military&nbsp;coup d&rsquo;état and highlights how disconnected the&nbsp;Mugabe family is from reality.</strong></p> <p>Perhaps, a &lsquo;Maria Antoinette Moment&rsquo; has developed, as the power of the citizens through the military have finally had enough.</p> <p><strong>One of&nbsp;Mugabe&rsquo;s sons bragged in another snapchat video&nbsp;&lsquo;daddy run the whole country&rsquo;, as we might add - not anymore...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 560px; height: 860px;" /></a></p> <p>According to the Daily Mail,&nbsp;Grace Mugabe and her sons live the expensive life flaunting wealth like it&rsquo;s no tomorrow.</p> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p><strong>The &lsquo;First Lady of Shopping&rsquo;,</strong> currently under house arrest with her husband at their 25-bedroom Blue Roof mansion military coup, has lavished millions on bling, including &pound;200,000 on a diamond-studded headboard.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>She is widely loathed in Zimbabwe, where seven in ten are stuck in poverty.</strong> The population has been incensed by reports of a lavish lifestyle that once saw her spend &pound;120,000 on one shopping spree in Paris.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Zimbabwe&rsquo;s second-largest city, Bulawayo, a speaker at a rally said<strong> anger at Grace Mugabe, whose apparent attempts to succeed her husband were a factor in the military&rsquo;s decision to step in. &lsquo;You and your husband should go today and not tomorrow,&rsquo; t</strong>he speaker said. &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> </div> <p>Zimbabwe&rsquo;s crippled economy was once a major economic driver in Africa&ndash;thanks to its abundant agricultural assets, but in more recent times the&nbsp;Mugabe family through corruption has collapsed the economy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last month&nbsp;Transparency International <strong>estimated the country lost $1 billion a year to corruption,</strong> which it seems the citizens and the military have finally had enough. Even worse, most citizens have had their savings wiped out thanks to hyperinflation. For sometime the lavish lifestyle of the&nbsp;Mugabe family was flaunted, but that has now come to an end.</p> <p>The one question we ask: <em><strong>Did China influence&nbsp;Zimbabwe&rsquo;s ouster of Mugabe? After all, China, the world&rsquo;s second biggest economy, now accounts for nearly half of all foreign direct investments in&nbsp;Zimbabwe.</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="467" height="303" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Africa China Corruption Grace Mugabe Hyperinflation Politics Reality Robert Mugabe Transparency Unemployment War Zimbabwe Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607553 at Thanksgiving Travel: Trump's Holiday Gift Is More Invasive Airport Security <p><a href=""><em>Authored by James Bovard, op-ed via,</em></a></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><strong>Federal groping-on-steroids is not making flying safer. TSA is a farce and a menace, and should be privatized...</strong></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><a href=""><img height="289" src="" width="588" /></a></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><strong>On the campaign trail last year, Donald Trump derided the Transportation Security Administration as&nbsp;a&nbsp;&ldquo;<a href="">total disaster</a>.&rdquo;&nbsp;But his administration is making TSA more intrusive and abusive</strong> while its&nbsp;<a href="">42,000 screeners</a>&nbsp;remain as incompetent as ever.&nbsp;</p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><a href=""><img height="352" src="" width="588" /></a></p> <p class="speakable-p-1 p-text"><strong>New TSA screening guidelines will likely make Thanksgiving travel a disaster for legions of Americans&nbsp; - and&nbsp;the worst is yet to come.</strong></p> <p class="speakable-p-2 p-text">Shortly after Trump&rsquo;s inauguration, TSA announced more &quot;comprehensive&quot;&nbsp;pat-down procedures&nbsp;which the Denver airport suggested might involve &ldquo;<a href="">more intimate contact</a> than before.&rdquo; TSA preemptively <a href="">notified local police</a>&nbsp;to expect potential complaints, and&nbsp;plenty of travelers are howling:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="p-text">*Jenna McFarlane, a 56-year old teacher and graphic designer, was traveling out of Charlotte, N.C.,&nbsp;in April when a TSA agent <strong>repeatedly told her &ldquo;to spread my legs wider&rdquo; and proceeded to &ldquo;<a href="">touch my vagina</a> four times with the side of her hand,&rdquo; </strong>as she complained to TSA afterwards.&nbsp;She was selected for a vigorous patdown after an unreliable TSA test gave a false explosive alert for her carry-on baggage.</p> <p class="p-text">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p-text">*Hollywood reporter and author Sharon Waxman complained this summer about an aggressive<strong> female TSA agent who &ldquo;<a href="">placed both hands around my legs</a> and slowly - very slowly - rubbed up and down. </strong>The touching went all the way up to my groin. My private parts were touched by the edge of her hand, twice.&rdquo;&nbsp;The TSA agent rested her hands on Waxman&rsquo;s chest much longer than necessary to check for weapons. Waxman groused: &ldquo;The TSA screening felt like nothing less than physical assault. If anyone other than a government officer had done anything of the kind, I would have reported it as a crime.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p-text">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p-text">*David&nbsp;Stavropolous complained that&nbsp;a TSA agent doing a search at Chicago&nbsp;O&rsquo;Hare&nbsp; airport <strong><a href="">jammed his hand into Stavropolous&#39;&nbsp;groin</a>&nbsp;so hard that it caused bleeding and will require surgery to correct,</strong> according to Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;NBC station&nbsp;and his lawsuit against TSA.</p> </blockquote> <p class="p-text"><u><strong>But there is a ray of hope</strong></u>: TSA&rsquo;s screeners may soon lose the legal immunity that has shielded all their abuses. Federal judge&nbsp;<a href="">James Cacheris</a> okayed a lawsuit by Captain James Linlor, an airline pilot, who complained that a TSA agent at Washington Dulles International Airport&nbsp;&ldquo;<a href="">rammed his hands into (his)&nbsp;genitals</a> ... and subsequently laughed.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p-text">TSA asked the court to dismiss Linlor&rsquo;s case because, instead of suing, he could have phoned in his complaint to the TSA Contact Center.&nbsp;TSA also insisted that its screener deserved legal immunity even if he did pummel Linlor&rsquo;s private parts. The judge scoffed at the government&rsquo;s inference that &ldquo;a reasonable federal officer would be surprised to learn that gratuitously striking an individual in the groin while searching them violates the Fourth Amendment.&rdquo; The case is proceeding.</p> <p class="p-text"><strong>Federal groping-on-steroids is not making flying safer.</strong> In June, KMSP-TV in Minneapolis reported that a&nbsp;TSA Headquarters Evaluation&nbsp;Team <a href="">succeeded 95% of the time</a>&nbsp;in smuggling weapons and mock bombs past airport screeners. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general notified Congress that TSA screeners and equipment had recently&nbsp;failed to&nbsp;detect mock threats &quot;<a href="">in the ballpark&quot; of 80%</a> of the time,&nbsp;ABC News reported this month.&nbsp;<strong>Rep. Mike Rogers,&nbsp;R-Ala.,&nbsp;declared that TSA is&nbsp;&ldquo;broken badly.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p class="p-text">TSA has never bothered examining whether its&nbsp;tactics actually protect the public.&nbsp;The Government Accountability Office (GAO)&nbsp;reported in September that &ldquo;<a href="">TSA does not measure deterrence</a> (impact) for any of its aviation security countermeasures.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;Instead, the agency imposes <a href="">burden after burden</a> upon American travelers based on hunches.</p> <p class="p-text"><strong>Other Trump policies could soon blight millions of Americans&rsquo; travel plans. </strong>Starting Jan. 22,&nbsp;TSA may <a href="">reject drivers&rsquo; licenses</a> from many states&nbsp;that fail to comply with the REAL ID Act of 2005 (formerly one of the&nbsp;<a href="">Tea Party&rsquo;s</a> most hated edicts). Travelers without passports from&nbsp;<a href="">New York, Michigan, Illinois</a> and other states&nbsp;could be barred from flying domestically, according to information on a DHS website.</p> <p class="p-text">Previous TSA intrusion - even its&nbsp;<a href="">strip-search scanners</a> - are chump change compared to the agency&rsquo;s next anti-privacy bombshell. The Electronic Frontier Foundation warned Nov.&nbsp;9 that&nbsp;TSA plans to use <a href="">facial recognition systems</a> to track travelers&nbsp;through airports after extracting far more biometric data from them. Such a regime could also&nbsp;easily be <a href="">deployed in public places</a> throughout the nation.&nbsp;If that happens, the feds could quickly identify every person who shows up to #Resist.</p> <p class="p-text"><strong>If Donald Trump had to pass through a typical TSA gauntlet twice a week, the agency would not survive his Twitter onslaught</strong>.&nbsp;For <a href="">16 years</a>, Washington bureaucrats and political appointees have promised to reform TSA so that it will cease being a farce and a menace.&nbsp;After too many failed fixes, it is time to&nbsp;follow the lead of <a href="">Canada and European nations</a>&nbsp;and privatize airport security.</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="588" height="289" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> ABC News Access control Aftermath of the September 11 attacks Airport security Aviation security Congress Department of Homeland Security Donald Trump Electronic Frontier Foundation facial recognition Fail Government Accountability Office Illinois Michigan NBC Prevention Safety Security Tea Party Transportation in the United States Transportation Security Administration Transportation Security Administration TSA Contact Center Twitter Twitter UN Court Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607629 at Trump Administration Ends Immigration Protections For Haitians Displaced By 2010 Earthquake <p>In a decision that was widely anticipated, the Trump administration has decided to end immigration protections for Haitians who migrated to the US following a devastating earthquake that laid waste to Haiti back in 2010.<br />Now, the 50,000 Haitians still living in the US under the protections have 18 months to leave, according to the Department of Homeland Security.</p> <p>As the <a href="">Washington Post</a> pointed out, the decision was made to appease immigration hard-liners who insist the program was never intended to grant permanent residency to Haitians who were displaced by the quake.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>Per the <a href="">Los Angeles Times</a>, back in May, John F. Kelly, who was DHS secretary at the time, said that conditions in Haiti had improved enough that the US would be unlikely to continue extending the temporary protection. At the time, he extended Haitians&rsquo; protected status for six months, but urged them to prepare to leave the US</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, many heeded this warning. Following Trump&rsquo;s upset victory in last year&rsquo;s election, thousands of Haitians started crossing into Quebec, where they requested asylum. Indeed, the wave of migrants into Canada since the election has strained Canadian public services to the limit and bogged down the country&rsquo;s system for approving asylum requests, leaving many in an uncomfortable legal limbo. In the meantime, hundreds of Haitians are living in makeshift shelters in Montreal, and elsewhere in the province.</p> <p>Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine C. Duke reaffirmed that decision Monday, but provided an 18-month delay, until July 22, 2019, before the order to leave will become effective. Some of the Haitians currently covered by temporary status will be able to stay if they have other claims for legal immigration status, administration officials said.</p> <p>An estimated 3 million Haitians were affected by the 2010 quake, which had its epicenter near the town of Leogane. Death toll estimates ranged from 100,000 to 160,000.</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="667" height="336" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Americas Department of Homeland Security Disaster Environment Government Haiti Haitian diaspora Haitians in the Dominican Republic Latin America Republics Social Issues Trump Administration United States Department of Homeland Security Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:59:35 +0000 Tyler Durden 607634 at Why Is The DOJ Downplaying Reports Of Proof Linking Obama And Clinton To Russian Corruption <p><a href=""><em>Following the release of the identity of the FBI informant</em></a>, <strong><u>Justice Department officials in recent days said that informant William Campbell&rsquo;s prior work won&rsquo;t shed much light</u> on the U.S. government&rsquo;s controversial decision in 2010 to approve Russia&rsquo;s purchase of the Uranium One mining company and its substantial U.S. assets</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="327" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>However, <a href="">The Hill&#39;s John Solomon</a> has reviewed <strong>1000s of new memos</strong> from an FBI informant that <strong><u>clearly show illegal activity surrounding a Russian plot to corner the American uranium market,</u> ranging from corruption inside a U.S. nuclear transport company to Obama administration approvals that let Moscow buy and sell more atomic fuels</strong>.</p> <p>FBI informant Campbell, acting as a consultant trying to help Rosatom overcome political opposition to the Uranium One deal, gathered evidence for six years, and, according to the more than 5,000 pages of documents from the counterintelligence investigation, there are a number of evidenciary links betweeen corrupt Russians, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 304px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="">The Hill&#39;s John Solomon details</a> that <strong>Campbell documented for his FBI handlers the first illegal activity by Russians nuclear industry officials in fall 2009, nearly a entire year before the Russian state-owned Rosatom nuclear firm won Obama administration approval for the Uranium One deal</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The attached article is of interest as I believe it highlights the ongoing resolve in Russia to gradually and systematically acquire and control global energy resources,&rdquo; Rod Fisk, an American contractor colleage working for the Russians, <a href="">wrote in a June 24, 2010 email to Campbell.</a></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Part of the goal was to make Americans more reliant on Russian uranium </strong>before a program that converted former Soviet warheads into U.S. nuclear fuel expired in 2013, according to documents and interviews. Russia&#39;s ambitions including building a uranium enrichment facility on U.S. soil, the documents show.</p> <p>The FBI task force supervising Campbell since 2008 <strong>watched as the Obama administration made more than a half dozen decisions favorable to the Russian&rsquo;s plan, </strong>which ranged from approving the sale of Uranium One to removing Rosatom from export restrictions and making it easier for Moscow to win billions in new commercial uranium sales contracts.&nbsp; The favorable decisions occurred during a time when President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were pursuing a public &quot;reset&quot; to improve Moscow relations, a plan that fell apart after Russia invaded Ukraine.</p> <p>Multiple congressional committees recently got permission from the Justice Department to interview Campbell after The Hill reported last month the existence of his informant work. <strong>Lawmakers want to know what the FBI did with the evidence Campbell gathered in real time and whether it warned President Obama and top leaders before they made the Russian-favorable decisions</strong>, like the Uranium One deal.</p> <p>Since Campbell&rsquo;s identity emerged in recent days, there have been <strong>several statements by Justice officials, both on the record and anonymously, casting doubt on the timing and value of his work</strong>, and specifically his knowledge about Uranium One. However, as <a href="">The Hill&#39;s John Solomon crucially details,</a> the more than 5,000 pages of<u><strong> documents reviewed by The Hill directly conflict with some of the Justice officials&rsquo; accounts</strong></u>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>For instance, both <strong>Attorney General Jeff Sessions in testimony last week and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a letter to the Senate last month tried to suggest there was no connection between Uranium One and the nuclear bribery case.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Their argument was that the criminal charges weren&rsquo;t filed until 2014, while the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval of the Uranium One sale occurred in October 2010.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The way I understand that matter is that the case in which Mr. Mikerin was convicted was not connected to the CFIUS problem that occurred two to three years before,&rdquo; Sessions testified to the House Judiciary Committee last week, echoing Rosenstein&rsquo;s letter from a few weeks earlier.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But investigative records show FBI counterintelligence recorded the first illicit payments in the bribery/kickback scheme in November 2009, a year before the CFIUS approval.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>There is zero doubt we had evidence of criminal activity before the CFIUS approval,</strong> and that Justice knew about it through NSD [the natural security division],&rdquo; said a source with direct knowledge of the investigation.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This clear conflict has angered a number of Republican congress members</strong> (not so many Democrats)...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Attorney General Sessions seemed to say that the bribery, racketeering and money laundering offenses involving Tenex&rsquo;s Vadim Mikerin occurred after the approval of the Uranium One deal by the Obama administration. But we know that the FBI&rsquo;s confidential informant was actively compiling incriminating evidence as far back as 2009,&rdquo;</strong> Rep. Ron DeSantis, (R-Fla.) told The Hill.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It is <strong>hard to fathom how such a transaction could have been approved without the existence of the underlying corruption being disclosed. </strong>I hope AG Sessions gets briefed about the CI and gives the Uranium One case the scrutiny it deserves,&rdquo; added DeSantis, whose House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees is one of the investigating panels.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a similar rebuke last week to Rosenstein, saying the deputy attorney general&rsquo;s first response to the committee &ldquo;largely missed the point&rdquo; of the congressional investigations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The essential question is whether the Obama Justice Department provided notice of the criminal activity of certain officials before the CFIUS approval of the Uranium One deal and other government decisions that enabled the Russians to trade nuclear materials in the U.S,&rdquo;</strong> Grassley scolded.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">The Hill documents</a> numerous attempts at misinformation and &#39;fake news&#39; attempting to downplay or obfuscate documented evidence from Campbell of the timing of events.</p> <p>Most critically, <a href="">The Hill points out</a> that <u><strong>Campbell&rsquo;s debriefing files also show he regularly mentioned to FBI agents in 2010 a Washington entity with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton that was being paid millions to help expand Tenex&rsquo;s business in the United States. </strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><strong>The entity began increasing its financial support to a Clinton charitable project after it was hired by the Russians</strong></u>, according to the documents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Campbell engaged in conversations with his Russian colleagues about <strong>the efforts of the Washington entity and others to gain influence with the Clintons and the Obama administration</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He also listened as <strong>visiting Russians used racially tinged insults to boast about how easy they found it to win uranium business under Obama,</strong> according to a source familiar with Campbell&rsquo;s planned testimony to Congress.</p> </blockquote> <p>And...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In recent days, news media including The Washington Post and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith have <strong>inaccurately reported</strong> another element of the story: <strong>that Uranium One never exported its American uranium because the Obama administration did not allow it.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorized Uranium One to export through a third party tons of uranium to Canada for enrichment processing, and some of that product ended up in Europe, NRC documents state.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A Uranium One executive acknowledged to The Hill that <strong>25 percent of the uranium it shipped to Canada under the third-party export license ended up with either European or Asian customers through what it known in the nuclear business as &ldquo;book transfers.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>It is clear by their desperation, that someone is trying to hide something as in leaked stories late last week,<strong> Justice officials anonymously questioned Campbell&rsquo;s credibility pointing to episodes of drinking and reckless driving</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 601px; height: 325px;" /></a></p> <p>However, <a href="">The Hill&#39;s sources</a> familiar with the full body of Campbell&rsquo;s work said they expect he can provide significant new information to Congress.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Will he be able to prove that we knew Russia was engaged in criminal conduct before Uranium One was approved, you bet,&rdquo; </strong>the source said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Were the Russians using political influence and pulling political levers to try to win stuff from the U.S. government, you bet.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Was he perfect, no one in this line of work is. But we were focused on much larger issues than just that.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>All of which still leaves us asking - why is the Justice Department downplaying this evidence and not moving forward with the probe? Two immediate scenarioes are possible - first, the rot is so deep and pervasive that the establishmentarians left are forcing the hands of the few; or second, the Deep State has Sessions by the balls.</p> <p><a href=""><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="551" height="279" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox News Obama Administration Politics President Obama Racketeering Testimony Ukraine Uranium Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607633 at Cash-Hemorrhaging Uber Announces Plans To Drop $1 Billion On Driverless Volvos <p>Earlier this summer we noted <a href="">Uber's staggering 2Q cash burn of $600 million</a> which equates to roughly $7 million in net cash outflows every single day.&nbsp; The staggering, and consistently growing, cash burn figures resulted in several <strong>mutual funds announcing they would slash their valuations of the struggling rideshare company by up to 15%.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="323" /></a></p> <p>Of course, if cash burn was a concern before for Uber investors before then they should probably take note of the company's<strong> newly announced decision to drop roughly $1 billion on driverless Volvos.</strong>&nbsp; According to <a href=";utm_content=business&amp;utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&amp;utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=social">Bloomberg</a>, Uber has just penned a deal to pick up 24,000 brand new Volvo XC90's in their push to flood the U.S. market with self-driving taxis.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Uber Technologies Inc. agreed to buy 24,000 sport utility vehicles from Sweden’s Volvo Cars to form a fleet of driverless autos, Bloomberg News reports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The XC90s, priced from $46,900 at U.S. dealers, will be delivered between 2019 and 2021 in the first commercial purchase by a ride-hailing provider, Volvo said in a statement Monday. San Francisco-based Uber will add its own sensors and software to permit pilot-less driving.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“This new agreement puts us on a path toward mass-produced, self-driving vehicles at scale,”</strong> Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of auto alliances, told Bloomberg News.<strong> “The more people working on the problem, we’ll get there faster and with better, safer, more reliable systems.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,”</strong> Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said. <strong>“It’s a new market that’s emerging and we’re the first to be delivering into that segment.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Volvo" width="600" height="325" /></a></p> <p>Of course, as we've pointed out multiple times before, to the extent the technology works consistently, avoiding the nasty consequences of death and mayhem in the event of failure, autonomous vehicles are worth big money to Uber and consumers...though not so much for the automotive OEMs (see "<a href="">Ford Announces Plans To Self-Destruct Starting In 2021</a>").&nbsp; As we've pointed out, the cost of paying drivers is a substantial portion of the roughly $1.00 per mile charge paid by Uber riders.&nbsp; To the extent that cost can be removed from the equation then fares charged by companies like Uber will decline materially.</p> <p>Unfortunately, for the auto OEMs the story is the exact opposite.&nbsp; In theory, truly autonomous cars could result in substantial increases in passenger car utilization rates and, therefore, declines in annual car sales.&nbsp; But apparently, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson isn't worried (yes, we can sense the pure optimism in the quote below):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“That could be seen as a threat,”</strong> says Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson.<strong> “We see it as an opportunity.” </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>But still, even if the technology works, the <strong>question remains how quickly consumers will adopt it, if at all.</strong>&nbsp;Certainly there certainly has been no shortage of videos hitting Youtube lately of driverless cars plowing through red lights and getting into accidents...which seems less than ideal.</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="725" height="393" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Automation Autonomous car Bloomberg News Business Car Car sharing Commuting Emerging technologies Ford Håkan Samuelsson Robotics Technology Transport Transportation network companies Uber Vehicular automation Volvo Volvo Cars Volvo XC90 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607589 at Bubble Dynamics and Market Crashes <p><a href=""><em>Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,</em></a></p> <p>To paraphrase one of the great gems of Wall Street wisdom,<strong><em> &ldquo;Nothing infuriates a man more than the sight of other people making money.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>That&rsquo;s a pretty good description of what happens during the late stage of a stock market bubble. </strong></p> <p>The bubble participants are making money (at least on a mark-to-market basis) every day.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the more patient, prudent investor is stuck on the sidelines - allocated to cash or low-risk investments while watching everyone else have fun.<strong> This is especially true today when the bubble is not confined to the stock market but includes exotic sideshows like crypto-currencies and Chinese real estate.</strong></p> <p>It gets even worse when investors are taunted by headlines like the one in a recent article, &ldquo;Investors Can Either Buy Bubbles or Be Left Far Behind.&rdquo; The article is a case study in the &ldquo;Bubblicious Portfolio.&rdquo; Infuriating indeed. Actually it should not be.</p> <p><strong>On a risk-adjusted basis, the prudent investor is not missing much.</strong></p> <p>When markets go up 10%, 20% or more in short periods, market participants think of their gains as money in the bank. Yet, that&rsquo;s not true unless you sell and cash out of the market. Few do this because they&rsquo;re afraid to &ldquo;miss out&rdquo; on continued gains.</p> <p>The problem comes when the bubble bursts and losses of 30%, 40% or more pile up quickly. Investors tell themselves they&rsquo;ll be smart enough to get out in time, but that&rsquo;s not true either.</p> <p><strong>Typically investors don&rsquo;t believe the tape. They &ldquo;buy the dips,&rdquo; (which keep dipping lower), then they refuse to sell until they &ldquo;get back to even,&rdquo; which can take ten years. These are predictable behaviors of real investors caught up in real bubbles.</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s better just to diversity, build up a cash reserve, have some gold for catastrophe insurance, and then wait out the bubble crowd. When the crash comes, which it always does, you&rsquo;ll be well positioned to shop for high-quality bargains amid the rubble. Then you&rsquo;ll participate in the next long upswing without today&rsquo;s risks of a sudden meltdown.</p> <p><u><em><strong>OK, so I just argued that the stock market (and other markets) are in bubbles. But where&rsquo;s the actual proof for this?</strong></em></u></p> <p>Actually, it&rsquo;s everywhere.</p> <p>The Shiller CAPE ratio (a good indicator of how expensive stocks are)&nbsp; is at levels only seen at the 1929 crash that started the Great Depression, and the 2000 bubble. Likewise, the market capitalization-to-GDP ratio is above the level of the 2008 panic and comparable to the 1929 crash.</p> <p>The list goes on, including historically low volatility and unprecedented complacency on the part of investors.</p> <p>For almost a year, one of the most profitable trading strategies has been to sell volatility. That&rsquo;s about to change&hellip;</p> <p><em><strong>Since the election of Donald Trump stocks have been a one-way bet. They almost always go up, and have hit record highs day after day. The strategy of selling volatility has been so profitable that promoters tout it to investors as a source of &ldquo;steady, low-risk income.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p><strong><u>Nothing could be further from the truth.</u></strong></p> <p>Yes, sellers of volatility have made steady profits the past year. But the strategy is extremely risky and you could lose all of your profits in a single bad day.</p> <p>Think of this strategy as betting your life&rsquo;s savings on red at a roulette table. If the wheel comes up red, you double your money. But if you keep playing eventually the wheel will come up black and you&rsquo;ll lose everything.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s what it&rsquo;s like to sell volatility. It feels good for a while, but eventually a black swan appears like the black number on the roulette wheel, and the sellers get wiped out. I focus on the shocks and unexpected events that others don&rsquo;t see.</p> <p><strong>In short, we have been on a volatility holiday.</strong> Volatility is historically low and has remained so for an unusually long period of time. The sellers of volatility have been collecting &ldquo;steady income,&rdquo; yet this is really just a winning streak at the volatility casino.</p> <p><strong>I expect the wheel of fortune to turn and for luck to run out for the sellers.</strong></p> <p>But it&rsquo;s time to add another warning sign to the list. Certain high-yield (or &ldquo;junk bond&rdquo;) indices have fallen below their 200-day moving average. This can be indicative of a stock market correction.</p> <p><strong>Junk bonds are riskier than equity. When they get in trouble, it&rsquo;s a sign that the corporate issuers are having trouble meeting their obligations. That in turn is indicative of reduced revenues or profits, tight financial conditions, and lower earnings.</strong></p> <p>Panics in October 1987 and December 1994 were preceded by distress in bonds about six months earlier. While there is no deterministic relationship, bonds are a good leading indicator of stocks because they are higher in the capital table and feel distress sooner.&nbsp; The October 1987 one-day 22% decline in stocks, and the December 1994 Tequila Crisis in Mexican debt were ugly for investors. The bond market gave a six-month early warning both times.</p> <p>It may be doing so again.</p> <p><u><strong><em>But what the Fed? Is it setting markets up for a fall?</em></strong></u></p> <p>It&rsquo;s true that the Fed has been raising interest rates since 2015, and had engaged in tapering for two years before that. Yet, these actions hardly constitute tight money. The tightness or ease of monetary policy needs to be judged relative to financial and economic conditions.</p> <p>You can have &ldquo;easy money&rdquo; at a 10% interest rate if inflation is running at 15% (something like the conditions of the late 1970s). In that world, the real interest rate is <i>negative</i> 5.0%, (10% &ndash; 15% = -5%).</p> <p>In effect, the bank pays you to borrow. That&rsquo;s easy money.</p> <p>By most models including the famous Taylor Rule, rates in the U.S. today should be about 2.5% instead of 1.0%. We have easy money today and have had since 2006. This comes on top of the &ldquo;too low, for too long&rdquo; policy of Alan Greenspan from 2002-04, which led directly to the housing bubble and collapse in 2007.</p> <p><strong>The U.S. really has not had a hard money period since the mid-1990s. That&rsquo;s true of most of the developed economies also.</strong></p> <p>What&rsquo;s going to happen when central banks start to normalize interest rates and balance sheets and return to a true tight money policy in preparation for the next recession?</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re about to find out.</strong></p> <p>Central banks all over the world including the Fed, ECB, and the People&rsquo;s Bank of China are in the early stages of ending their decade-long (or longer) easy money policies. This tightening trend has little to do with inflation (there isn&rsquo;t any) and more to do with deflating asset bubbles and getting ready for a new downturn.</p> <p><strong>But, in following this policy, central bankers may actually pop the bubbles and cause the downturn they are getting ready to cure. </strong>This is one more reason, in addition to those described above, why the stock market bubble is about to implode.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s important to realize that market crashes often happen not when everyone is worried about them, but when no one is worried about them.</p> <p><strong>Complacency and overconfidence</strong> are good leading indicators of an overvalued market set for a correction or worse.</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="793" height="410" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alan Greenspan Behavioral finance Black Swan Bond Business Capitalism Central Banks China Donald Trump Economic bubbles Economy European Central Bank Finance Financial markets Great Depression headlines High-yield debt Housing Bubble Mathematical finance Meltdown Monetary Policy Money Real estate Recession Stock market Stock market bubble Trading Strategies US Federal Reserve Volatility Volatility Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607624 at Saudi Purge Claims Its Latest Corporate Victim As Kingdom Holdings Sees $1.3 Billion Bank Deal Collapse <p>For the past couple of weeks we've written frequently about the sudden political turmoil in Saudi Arabia that resulted in two Saudi princes being killed in a span of just 24 hours and dozens others being detained on charges of corruption while having their bank accounts frozen.&nbsp; Here are couple of our most recent background posts on the topic:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">The Saudi Purge: The Middle-East Is On The Verge Of A New War</a></li> <li><a href="">If The Saudi Arabia Situation Doesn't Worry You, You're Not Paying Attention</a></li> </ul> <p>Now, per an exclusive report from <a href="">Reuters</a>, it appears as though the latest casualty of the Saudi shakeup is a financing deal sought by the $8 billion dollar Kingdom Holdings which is owned and run by Prince Alwaleed bin least until he was recently arrested that is.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Kingdom Holding’s plan to borrow money to fund new investments has stalled because owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained in Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption crackdown,</strong> according to four banking sources familiar with the matter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kingdom 4280.SE had approached banks to obtain the loan, but the<strong> financing plan has been held up because the lenders are worried about potential repercussions if they lend to the prince’s company, the sources said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the sources, who was approached for the loan, said it would have been worth roughly 5 billion riyals ($1.3 billion).</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="SA" width="600" height="364" /></p> <p>For those who aren't familiar with the company, Kingdom Holdings is a leading Saudi investment firm with stakes in prime real estate including New York’s Plaza Hotel and London’s Savoy Hotel. </p> <p>The busted bank deal apparently surfaced after Kingdom Holdings attempted to pledge an equity position it recently acquired in Banque Saudi Fransi as collateral for a new $1.3 billion loan but several banks balked until the charges levied against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal were resolved. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Kingdom completed the acquisition of a 16.2 percent stake in local lender Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) 1050.SE in September, buying about half of France’s Credit Agricole stake in BSF for 5.76 billion riyals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The company approached banks to obtain a loan that would have been secured by its BSF stake, as the company wanted to leverage the newly acquired shares in order to make new investments, according to the sources.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>One of the four sources, a senior banker at a Saudi financial institution, said the loan deal would not go ahead until the situation facing the prince was resolved.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, Kingdom Holdings is likely not the only Saudi company finding it difficult to tap debt markets these days as Moody's recently warned that a prolonged freeze of bank accounts could "damage corporate credit quality" all across the country.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Eight Saudi and international bankers, including the four sources, said in addition to the Kingdom loan, a range of other transactions involving clients who are directly or indirectly involved in the detentions had also been put on hold.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Banks have not reached the point of recalling existing loans, but they have increased the level of scrutiny for some new financing, the bankers said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a report last week, debt rating agency Moody’s said a prolonged freeze of bank accounts in Saudi Arabia could damage corporate credit quality in the kingdom because large depositors were often large borrowers and business owners.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“Saudi Arabia’s corporate sector remains dominated by unlisted family-owned businesses with uneven governance and disclosures and frequent intermingling of individual and corporate activities, which ultimately could expose corporates to these individuals’ frozen accounts,”</strong> Moody’s said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, despite assurances from the Riyadh government that the economy would not suffer from the country's political turmoil "because investigators are targeting only individuals, not their companies," Kingdom Holdings shareholders don't seem to be convinced...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Kingdom" width="600" height="470" /></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="683" height="414" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Al-Waleed bin Talal Banque Saudi Fransi Business Corruption Economic history of Saudi Arabia Economy of Saudi Arabia Finance House of Saud Kingdom Holding Company Middle East Rating Agency Real estate Reuters Riyadh government Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Sovereign wealth funds Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607620 at