en Non-OPEC Nations Agree To Cut Oil Production But Many Questions Remain <p>Non-OPEC oil-producing nations struck a deal in Vienna on Saturday to cut crude output by 600,000 barrels a day, joining a pact meant to reduce a global oversupply of crude, lift prices and lend support to economies hurt by a two-year market slump. </p> <p>The pact, the first between the two sides in 15 years, comes two weeks after OPEC agreed to reduce its own production by 1.2 million barrels a day. </p> <p>If complied with, and that is a big "if" since many of the non-OPEC nations had previously expressly stated they would not actually cut but rather let oil production decline naturally, the deal would amount to a reduction of almost 2% in global oil supply and, as <a href="">the WSJ notes, </a>"would represent an unprecedented level of cooperation among oil-producing countries."</p> <p>Prior to today's announcement, Russia had already announced it plans to reduce production by 300,000 barrels a day next year, down from a 30-year high last month of 11.2 million barrels a day. In a surprise move, Kazakhstan pledged a modest output cut after coming under strong diplomatic pressure, delegates said, Bloomberg noted. The International Energy Agency expected the Asian nation to boost production in 2017 by 160,000 barrels a day after a giant oilfield started pumping. </p> <p>“I’m sure you are following the news about actual notifications to the customers by a number of countries notably Saudi Arabia," Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said ahead of the meeting. "It should be a continuation of the positive spirit of cooperation and collaboration between OPEC and non-OPEC.”</p> <p>Still, despite the trumpeted headline, there was little detail and it remains unclear whether the non-OPEC cuts include natural declines from countries such as Mexico, or consist entirely of genuine production cuts.&nbsp; "We managed to gather 25 countries from OPEC and non-OPEC with the idea of stabilizing the oil market and defending a fair price for our commodity," Venezuelan Energy Minister Eulogio del Pino said before the meeting.</p> <p>The breakdown in proposed reduction by non-OPEC country is as follows:</p> <ul> <li>Azerbaijan to cut 35,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Bahrain to cut 12,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Bolivia to cut 4,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Brunei to cut 7,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Equatorial Guinea to cut 12,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Kazakhstan to cut 50,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Malaysia to cut 35,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Mexico to cut 100,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Oman to cut 45,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Russia to cut 300,000 barrels a day</li> <li>Sudan to cut 4,000 barrels a day</li> <li>South Sudan to cut 8,000 barrels a day</li> </ul> <p>Indonesia, which until recently was an OPEC member (having returned in 2015) but mysteriously was suspended from the cartel during the November Vienna meeting, did not figure in the negotiations. </p> <p>As the WSJ notes, representatives from a number of countries met Saturday morning for a breakfast and then headed to OPEC’s headquarters in central Vienna where they hashed out an agreement. </p> <p>Securing a coalition beyond their own cartel has become important for OPEC officials as the rise of American oil producers has put them on the defensive. OPEC worries that any increase in oil prices following a cut in production will eventually lead U.S. output to flood back into the market and dilute the cartel’s actions without help from Russia and others.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="1052" /></a></p> <p>The hard part has been hammering out the details of any such agreement, including how long the production cuts should last, how to enforce the pact and what production statistics should be used as a baseline number. In order to "enforce" compliance, Russia and Oman - the only two nations which have explicitly stated they will cut production instead of waiting "natural" production declines, will join OPEC members Algeria, Kuwait and Venezuela on the committee to oversee implementation of the accord, a delegate said.</p> <p>Alongside recent oil supply records by many non-OPEC nations, most notably Russia, OPEC production reached an all-time high of nearly 34.2 million barrels a day, well above the group’s target of 32.5 million barrels a day from January. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>Libya and Nigeria are exempted from the OPEC output cuts, while Iran has some room to boost its output. All three nations are ramping up their own production aggressively and will make hitting OPEC's reduced production goal that much more unlikely. </p> <p>As Reuters reported late in the week, Saudi Arabia informed customers in Europe and North America that it would supply less oil in January than December. The United Arab Emirates said on Saturday that it will take similar action. The production cuts, however, come at a time when most OPEC nations announced January selling prices at steep discounts to market as the scramble to capture even market share accelerates and jeopardizes any deal with the incentives to cheat particularly high. Furthermore, the selling price discounts suggest that there has been a far steeper than expected decline in oil demand, mostly out of China and India, suggesting that OPEC's 32.5mmbpd production target could be too high.</p> <p>Finally, the biggest wildcard in the oil production equation, US shale producers, were completely absent from any negotiation. As reported yesterday, for the 25th of the last 27 weeks, Baker Hughes reported that the US oil rig count rose once again. And with the biggest rise (+21) since April 2014 to 498, the highest since January 2016...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="501" height="254" /></a></p> <p>... the jump in oil rigs signals that US shale production is set to rise dramatically in the months ahead, pouring cold water over OPEC and Saudi production cut hopes.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="265" /></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="2000" height="1026" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Cartels China Crude Economy Energy crisis Energy economics India International Energy Agency Iran Kazakhstan Kuwait Market Share Mexico OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Petroleum industry Petroleum politics Price of oil Reuters Saudi Arabia South Sudan World oil market chronology Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:22:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 580329 at A "Soft Coup" Attempt: Furious Trump Slams "Secret" CIA Report Russia Helped Him Win <p>Overnight the media propaganda wars escalated after the late Friday release <a href="">of an article by the Washington Post </a>(which last week <a href="">admitted to using unverified, or fake, news </a>in an attempt to smear other so-called "fake news" sites) according to which a secret CIA assessment found that Russia sought to tip last month’s U.S. presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor, a conclusion presented without any actual evidence, and which drew an extraordinary, and angry rebuke from the president-elect’s camp. </p> <p><strong>“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” </strong>Trump’s transition team said, launching a broadside against the spy agency. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’ ”</p> <p>The Washington Post report comes after outgoing President Barack Obama <a href="">ordered a review of all cyberattacks that took place during the 2016 election cycle</a>, amid growing calls from Congress for more information on the extent of Russian interference in the campaign. The newspaper cited officials briefed on the matter as saying that individuals with connections to Moscow provided WikiLeaks with email hacked from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief and others. </p> <p><iframe src="//" width="480" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Without a shred of evidence provided, and despite Wikileaks' own on the record denial that the source of the emails was Russian, the WaPo attack piece claims the email messages were steadily leaked out via WikiLeaks in the months before the election, damaging Clinton’s White House run. Essentially, according to the WaPo, the Russians’ aim was to help Donald Trump win and not just undermine the U.S. electoral process, hinting at a counter-Hillary <em>intent </em>on the side of Putin.</p> <p><strong>“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,”</strong> the newspaper quoted a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation last week to key senators as saying. “<strong>That’s the consensus view.”</strong></p> <p>CIA agents told the lawmakers it was “quite clear” - although it was not reported exactly what made it "clear" - that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to officials who spoke to the Post, citing growing evidence from multiple sources. </p> <p>And yet, key questions remain unanswered, and the CIA’s report fell short of being a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies the newspaper said, for two reasons. As we reported in November "<a href="">The "Fact" That 17 Intelligence Agencies Confirmed Russia is Behind the Email Hacks Isn’t Actually…A "Fact</a>", and then also because aside from so-called "consensus", there is - <em>once again </em>- <strong>no evidence, </strong>otherwise the appropriate agencies would have long since released it, and this is nothing more than another propaganda attempt to build tension with Russia. In fact, the WaPo admits as much in the following text, which effectively destroys the article's entire argument : </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The CIA presentation to senators about Russia’s intentions fell short of a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies. A senior U.S. official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.</p> <p><strong>For example, intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. </strong>Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees. Moscow has in the past used middlemen to participate in sensitive intelligence operations so it has plausible deniability.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&nbsp;“I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” </strong></span>said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”</p> </blockquote> <p>And since even the WaPo is forced to admit that intelligence agents don’t have the proof that Russian officials directed the identified individuals to supply WikiLeaks with the hacked Democratic emails, the best it can do is speculate based on circumstantial inferences, especially since, as noted above, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has <a href="">denied links with Russia’s government</a>, putting the burden of proof on the side of those who challenge the Wikileaks narrative. So far that proof has not been provided.</p> <p>Nonetheless, at the White House, <strong>Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Obama called for the cyberattacks review earlier this week to ensure “the integrity of our elections.” </strong></p> <p><em>“This report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned to make sure that we brief members of Congress and stakeholders as appropriate,” </em>Schultz said. </p> <p>Taking the absurdity to a whole new level, Obama wants the report completed before his term ends on January 20, by <strong>none other than a proven and confirmed liar</strong>: "<em><strong>The review will be led by James Clapper, the outgoing director of national intelligence, officials said.</strong></em>" In other words, the report that the Kremlin stole the election should be prepared by the time Trump is expected to be sworn in.</p> <p>“We are going to make public as much as we can,” the spokesman added. “This is a major priority for the president.”</p> <p>The move comes after Democrats in Congress pressed the White House to reveal details, to Congress or to the public, of Russian hacking and disinformation in the election. </p> <p>On Oct. 7, one month before the election, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence announced that “the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.” “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” they said. </p> <p>Trump dismissed those findings in an interview published Wednesday by Time magazine for its “Person of the Year” award. Asked if the intelligence was politicized, Trump answered: “I think so.” </p> <p>“I don’t believe they interfered,” he said. “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.” </p> <p>Worried that Trump will sweep the issue under the rug after his inauguration, seven Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee called on Nov. 29 for the White House to declassify what it knows about Russian interference. The seven have already been briefed on the classified details, suggesting they believe there is more information the public should know. On Tuesday this week, leading House Democrats called on Obama to give members of the entire Congress a classified briefing on Russian interference, from hacking to the spreading of fake news stories to mislead U.S. voters. </p> <p>Republicans in Congress have also promised hearings into Russian activities once the new administration comes in. </p> <p>Obama’s homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco said the cyberinterference goes back to the 2008 presidential race, when both the Obama and John McCain campaigns were hit by malicious computer intrusions. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p>An interesting aside to emerge from last night's hit piece and the Trump team response is that there is now a full blown turf war between Trump and the CIA, as NBC's Chuck Todd observed in a series of late Friday tweets:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The implication in the Trump transition statement is that he doesn't believe a single thing from the CIA.</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Is the next Commander-in-Chief is signaling that the CIA won't be a major player in his national security team?</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">So stunned by the Trump transition statement on the Post-CIA-Russia story that I half expect a walk back by tomorrow</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">How helpful is it for the CIA's reputation around the world if the next US questions their findings so publicly? Good luck Mike Pompeo</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>To which Glenn Greenwald provided the best counterargument:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Yes, the CIA's sterling reputation around the world for truth-telling and integrity might be sullied if someone doubts their claims... <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">When is it hardest to get people not to blindly accept anonymous, evidence-free CIA claims? When it's very pleasing to believe them.</p> <p>— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>However, of the mini Tweetstorm, this was the most important aspect: the veiled suggestion that in addition to Russia, both the FBI <em><strong>and </strong></em>the Obama presidency prevented Hillary from becoming the next US president... </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">While Obama&#39;s FBI director smeared Hillary, Obama sat on evidence of Russian efforts to elect Trump that had basis in evidence.</p> <p>&mdash; Franklin Foer (@FranklinFoer) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>... which in light of these stunning new unproven and baseless allegations, she may very well have renewed aspirations toward. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p>So while there is <em>no "there" </em>there following the WaPo's latest attempt to fan the rarging fires of evidence-free propaganda, or as the WaPo itself would say "fake news", here is why the story has dramatic implications. First, the only two quotes which matter:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"...there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"...Obama wants the report before he leaves office Jan. 20, Monaco said. The review will be led by [PROVEN LIAR] James Clapper, the outgoing director of national intelligence, officials said."</p> </blockquote> <p>And then the summary:</p> <ol> <li>Announce "consensus" (not unanimous) "conclusion" based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20.</li> <li>Put a proven liar in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking.</li> <li>Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption.</li> <li>Fail to mention that if hacking was done by or for US government to stop Hillary, blaming the Russians would be the most likely disinformation used by US agencies.</li> <li>Expect every pro-Hillary lapdog journalist - which is virtually all of them - in America will hyperventilate (Twitter is currently on fire) about this latest fact-free, anti-Trump political stunt for the next nine days.</li> </ol> <p>Or, as a reader put it, <strong>this is a soft coup attempt by leaders of Intel community and Obama Admin to influence the Electoral College vote, similar to the 1960s novel "<a href="">Seven Days in May</a>."</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="318" height="159" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency China Congress Corruption Democratic National Committee Department of Homeland Security Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Electoral College Email hacking Espionage Fail FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Government House Intelligence Committee John McCain Julian Assange Mike Pence national intelligence National Intelligence national security National security News leaks Newspaper None Politics Politics Russian government Russia’s government Secretariat of Intelligence Security Senate Intelligence Committee SPY the Washington Post Time Magazine Twitter Twitter US government White House White House WikiLeaks Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:11:06 +0000 Tyler Durden 580326 at Top Hedge Funds Predict How It All Will End <p>In early 2009, roughly at the time when this blog was launched which coincided with the start of the greatest monetary experiment of all time, we warned that there are two ways it will end: either in hyperinflation, or a deflationary supernova, the failure of currency and, eventually, barter. Now, almost 8 years later, some of the world's top hedge funds are in agreement, and they are worried. </p> <p>As the <a href="">WSJ reports</a>, these prominent hedge fund managers join an increasingly bigger and louder chorus which says central bank bond buying programs that are pumping trillions of dollars into global markets will end badly. </p> <p>In yesterday's main event, the ECB said it would extend its asset purchase program to the end of next year, buying bonds at a reduced rate. As the following chart from <a href="">BBG projects</a>, at the ECB's revised rate of bond purchases, its balance sheet will soon surpass that of the Fed.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="238" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So what happens next? Prominent managers have told The Wall Street Journal in recent interviews of their doubts about the endgame for quantitative easing around the world.&nbsp; </p> <p><strong>“There’s no non-messy way out of this,” </strong>said Luke Ellis, chief executive of Man Group, one of the world’s biggest hedge-fund firms with $80.7 billion in assets. “There’s two versions” of how this ends, he added. Either central banks could move to so-called ‘helicopter money,’ where they buy debt from the government, which then spends the proceeds or gives it to the population to spend. This “<strong>for a few years looks golden then leads to hyperinflation,” </strong>he said. Or the speed at which money circulates within the economy could grind to a halt. <strong>“Then you effectively have a barter economy,” </strong>he said. </p> <p>In a series of exclusive <a href="">interviews with the Journal</a>, hedge-fund executives overseeing around $280 billion in total highlighted a range of problems created by quantitative easing. The problems they highlight are precisely those that QE was designed to solve, and are exactly the same problems we warned about since the 2009, for which we have been repeatedly branded some variation of "fake news." Now the skepticism has become mainstream.</p> <p>This is what, according to the hedge fund managers interviewed by the WSJ, will happen:</p> <p><strong>Damage to economic growth</strong></p> <p>Rather than kick-starting growth, quantitative easing may do the reverse. Some managers fear it distorts financial markets and undermines capitalism. That system relies on profit-hungry investors to differentiate between strong and weak companies—funding the strong while letting the weak die. QE, say some managers, doesn’t differentiate. </p> <p>For instance, the Bank of England is buying the debt of firms it deems make “a material contribution” to the U.K. economy. That has led some investment banks and companies to create new debt especially for it to buy. The ECB has bought €48.2 billion ($51.2 billion) of corporate debt since June, but the hoped-for private-sector investment hasn’t materialized. </p> <p>“What does a market do? It’s a voting mechanism,” said Michael Hintze, billionaire founder of hedge fund CQS, which runs around $12 billion in assets. “Instead you’ve got this 800-pound gorilla out there who’s hoovering up assets. <strong>“There’s a misallocation of capital and an opportunity cost to the real economy,” </strong>added Mr. Hintze, whose portfolio is up 30% this year, ranking it one of the world’s top-performing hedge funds. “It means GDP is not growing as much as it might.” </p> <p>Some put it even more strongly. <strong>“It’s definitely destructive of economic growth,” </strong>said Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management, which runs $8.2 billion in assets. </p> <p><strong>“Capitalism dies a death,” </strong>said Mr. Odey, who sees government policy as the main factor influencing markets. His fund, a top performer after the credit crisis, is down sharply this year because of being too bearish. “<strong>It’s all policy. It’s the Kremlin. And I’m in the gulags.”</strong></p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Damage to society</strong> </p> <p>In her speech to the governing Conservative Party conference in October, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of “some bad side effects” from quantitative easing as people with assets got richer while those without them suffered. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said low rates have robbed savers. Those side effects include “envy and distress” within society, <strong>“as people think ‘I can’t get out of where I am,’” </strong>said Andrew McCaffery, group head of solutions at Aberdeen Asset Management, who looks after $170 billion in assets. </p> <p>Ultralow interest rates mean the large part of the population with few financial assets begins to despair of how to generate income to fund retirement, he said. </p> <p>“People see a developing black hole,” he said. This “increases the sense of there being little to lose for many” people.</p> <p>Andrew Law, chief executive of New York-based Caxton Associates LP, which runs around $7.8 billion, said quantitative easing averted economic depression after the financial crisis.</p> <p>But he added: “The losers of QE are society, and democracy is also a loser, because central banks are not publicly elected officials.”</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Deflation</strong></p> <p>Quantitative easing was also introduced as a way of increasing private-sector spending and raising inflation. Some investors even worried it would spark hyperinflation and rushed to buy gold. Instead, say some managers, it has led to deflation. </p> <p><strong>“It took me a long time to work it out,” said CQS’s Mr. Hintze. “It’s a very complex issue.” He said that massive amounts of liquidity mean that “liquidity’s not worth much anymore,” </strong>which leads to negative interest rates. “I do think it [QE] is a massive deflationary force. The reason is because money is worth less but the price of real assets goes up.”&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Odey said quantitative easing leads to deflation because weaker competitors are kept alive by cheap debt as “zombie” companies.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Hard stop</strong></p> <p>Finally, hedge-fund managers see difficulty in ending quantitative easing. </p> <p><strong>“Central banks are sadly helping to create the ‘black hole,’ and the sucking noise and pull is getting bigger,” </strong>said Aberdeen’s Mr. McCaffery, “but you just have to keep going as your alternative options as a central banker are just too unpalatable to consider. </p> <p>Using an analogy we first came up with in 2009, McCaffrey slammed the use of a drug placebo to keep the system intact: “More methadone is not going to help, a form of cold turkey [is] needed, but no central bank is going to do that,” he added. He warns governments’ debt-to-GDP levels have risen. </p> <p>The punchline: </p> <p><strong>“In the long term, it implies rates can never go up, as the damage will be extraordinary in nature,” </strong>he said, as they struggle with their debt loads. For now, however, the market which moments ago hit new all time highs, is blissfully ignoring all of the above.</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="3933" height="404" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of England Bank of England Bond Business Central Banks Central banks conservative party Credit Crisis Crispin Odey Deflation Donald Trump Economic bubbles Economy Hedge fund Helicopter money Hyperinflation Inflation Michael Hintze Monetary policy Quantitative Easing Quantitative easing Systemic risk Turkey US Federal Reserve Wall Street Journal Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:52:38 +0000 Tyler Durden 580160 at Cash Is No Longer King: The Phasing Out Of Physical Money Has Begun <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Shaun Bradley via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>As physical currency around the world is increasingly phased out, the era where &ldquo;cash is king&rdquo; seems to be coming to an end.</strong> Countries like&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">India</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">South Korea</a> have chosen to limit access to physical money by law, and others are beginning to <a href="" target="_blank">test digital blockchains</a> for their central banks.</p> <p>The war on cash isn&rsquo;t going to be waged overnight, and showdowns will continue in any country where citizens turn to <a href="" target="_blank">alternatives</a> like precious metals or decentralized cryptocurrencies. <strong>Although this transition may feel like a natural progression into the digital age, the real motivation to go cashless is <a href="" target="_blank">downright sinister</a>.</strong></p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">unprecedented collusion</a> between governments and central banks that occurred in 2008 led to <a href="" target="_blank">bailouts</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">zero percent interest rates</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">quantitative easing</a> on a scale never before seen in history. <strong>Those decisions, which were made under duress and in closed-door meetings, set the stage for this inevitable demise of paper money.</strong></p> <p>Sacrificing the stability of national currencies has been used as a way <a href="" target="_blank">prop up</a>&nbsp;failing private institutions around the globe. By kicking the can down the road yet another time, bureaucrats and bankers sealed the fate of the financial system as we know it.</p> <p><strong>A <a href="" target="_blank">currency war</a> has been declared, ensuring that the U.S. dollar, Euro, Yen and many other state currencies are linked in a suicide pact.</strong> Printing money and endlessly expanding debt are policies that will erode the underlying value of every dollar in people&rsquo;s wallets, as well as digital funds in their bank accounts. This new war operates in the shadows of the public&rsquo;s ignorance, slowly undermining social and economic stability through inflation and other consequences of central control. As the Federal Reserve leads the rest of the world&rsquo;s central banks down the rabbit hole, the vortex it&rsquo;s creating will affect everyone in the globalized economy.</p> <p>Peter Schiff, president of <a href="" target="_blank">Euro-Pacific Capital</a>, has written several books on the state of the financial system. <a href="" target="_blank">His focus</a> is on the long-term consequences of years of government and central bank manipulation of fiat currencies:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Never in the course of history has a country&rsquo;s economy failed because its currency was too strong&hellip;The view that a weak currency is desirable is so absurd that it could only have been devised to serve the political agenda of those engineering the descent. And while I don&rsquo;t blame policy makers from spinning self-serving fairy tales (that is their nature), I find extreme fault with those</em><strong><em> hypnotized members of the media and the financial establishment who have checked their reason at the door</em></strong><em>. A currency war is different from any other kind of conventional war in that the object is to kill oneself. The nation that succeeds in inflicting the most damage on its own citizens wins the war. &rdquo; </em>[emphasis added]</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>If you want a glimpse of how this story ends, all you have to do is look at Venezuela,</strong></u> where the government has <a href="" target="_blank">destroyed the value</a> of the bolivar (and U.S. <a href="" target="_blank">intervention</a> has further exacerbated the problem). Desperation has overcome the country, leading women to go as far as <a href="" target="_blank">selling their own hair&nbsp;</a>just to get by. While crime and murder rates have <a href="" target="_blank">spiked</a> to all-time highs, the most dangerous threat to Venezuelans has been extensive government planning. The money they work for and save is now so valueless it&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">weighed&nbsp;</a>instead of counted. The stacks of bills have to be carried around in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">backpacks</a>, and the scene is reminiscent of the hyperinflation <a href="" target="_blank">Weimar Germany</a> experienced in the 1920s. Few Western nations have ever experienced a currency crisis before, meaning many are blind to the inevitable consequences that come from the <a href="" target="_blank">unending stimulus</a> we&rsquo;ve seen since 2008.</p> <p><strong>In order to keep this kind of chaos from spreading like a contagion to the rest of the world, representatives are willing to do <a href="" target="_blank">anything necessary</a>, but this&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">comes at a cost</a>. </strong>Instead of having to worry about carrying around wheelbarrows full of money, the fear in a cashless society will likely stem from bank customers&rsquo; <a href="" target="_blank">restricted access</a> to funds. With no physical way for consumers to take possession of their wealth, the banking interests will decide how much is available.</p> <p>The level of trust most people still have in the current system is astonishing. Even after decades of incompetence, manipulation, and irresponsibility, the public still grasps to government and the established order like a child learning how to swim. The responsibility that comes with independence has intimidated the entire population into leaving the decisions up to so-called &nbsp;&lsquo;experts.&rsquo; It just so happens that those trusted policymakers have an agenda to strip you and future generations of prosperity.</p> <p><strong>Some of the few hopes in this war against centralization are peer-to-peer technologies like <a href="" target="_blank">Bitcoin</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Ethereum</a>. </strong>These innovative platforms have the potential to open up markets that circumvent state-controlled Ponzi schemes. The future development of crypto-assets has massive potential, but being <a href="" target="_blank">co-opted</a> is a <a href="" target="_blank">real danger</a>.</p> <p><u><strong>The greatest threat to individual freedom is financial dependence, and as long as your wealth is under someone else&rsquo;s control, it can never be completely secure. </strong></u>Unfortunately, private blockchains are becoming increasingly popular, creating trojan horses for those just learning about the technology (in contrast, Bitcoin&rsquo;s transaction ledger is <a href="">public</a>) . Without the decentralized aspect of a financial network, it is just a giant tracking database that can be easily compromised like any other.</p> <p>The World Economic Forum released <a href="" target="_blank">a report</a> on the future of financial infrastructure. Giancarlo Bruno, Head of Financial Services Industries at WEF&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">stated</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Rather than to stay at the margins of the finance industry, blockchain will become the beating heart of it. It will help build innovative solutions across the industry, becoming ever more integrated into the structure of financial services, as mainframes, messaging services, and electronic trading did before it.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The list of countries who are exploring integrating blockchain technology into their central banking system is extensive. Just to name a few; <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Ukraine</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">France</a>, &nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Finland</a> and many <a href="" target="_blank">others</a> are in the process of researching and testing out options.</p> <p><strong>For those who appreciate more tangible wealth, diversifying into hard assets like gold and silver is a great first step.</strong> It&rsquo;s not about becoming a millionaire or getting rich quickly, but rather, using precious metals as vehicles for investment in the long-term. Regardless of what events unfold over the decades to come, the <a href="" target="_blank">wealth preserved</a> in physical form is more secure than any other asset. Forty years ago it was possible to save your money in the bank and accumulate interest over time, but that opportunity <a href="" target="_blank">no longer exists</a>. Those who fail to adapt to this new financial twilight zone will likely find themselves living as slaves to debt for years.</p> <p>Control and confidence are two of the most important things in the system we live in. Once these digital spider webs have been put into place, the ability for an individual to maintain privacy or anonymity will all but disappear. Only through understanding the subversive actions being taken can people protect themselves from having to put their future in someone else&rsquo;s hands. <strong>The cash that allows free transactions without tax burdens or state scrutiny won&rsquo;t be around much longer. There will be many rationalizations for a cashless society in the years to come, but without fixing this broken financial system first, this will only ensure that despotism gains an even sturdier foothold.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="712" height="370" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bitcoin Blockchain Business Cashless society Central bank Central Banks Cryptocurrencies Cryptocurrency Currency Currency war E-commerce Economy Euro Fail Federal Reserve Finance Industry Finland Foreign exchange market France Germany Hyperinflation India integrating blockchain technology Monetary hegemony Money peer-to-peer technologies Peter Schiff Precious Metals Quantitative Easing Trade wars Ukraine US Federal Reserve World Economic Forum Yen Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580201 at Michael Moore Warns "Something Crazy Could Happen To Stop Trump Becoming President" <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Paul Joseph Watson via,</em></a></p> <p class="unnamed10">Film maker Michael Moore, who correctly predicted that Trump would win Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is <strong>now predicting that something &ldquo;crazy&rdquo; could happen to stop Trump from being sworn in as president on January 20</strong>.</p> <p class="unnamed10">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Michael Moore: Something &ldquo;Crazy&rdquo; Could Happen to Stop Trump Becoming President - <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) <a href="">December 9, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="unnamed10">Appearing on <em>Late Night With Seth Myers</em>, Moore continually emphasized the point that Hillary won the popular vote, using that reasoning to argue that Trump&rsquo;s presidency was illegitimate.</p> <p class="unnamed10"><em><strong>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s not president of the United States yet, he&rsquo;s not president &lsquo;til noon on January 20th of 2017,&rdquo; </strong></em>said Moore as the liberal audience applauded.</p> <p class="unnamed10"><strong><em>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s more than six weeks away. Would you not agree, regardless what side of the political fence you&rsquo;re on, this has been the craziest election year. Nothing anyone predicted has happened &mdash; the opposite has happened. So is it possible, just possible, that in these next six weeks, something else might happen &mdash; something crazy, something we&rsquo;re not expecting?&rdquo;</em></strong> added Moore.</p> <p class="unnamed10">Moore alluded to the potential for members of the electoral college to change their vote, but this is such a long shot it has virtually no chance of overturning the election result.</p> <p class="unnamed10">The only other avenue would be massive vote fraud being uncovered by Jill Stein&rsquo;s recount, but this hasn&rsquo;t happened and her efforts have basically flat lined at this point.</p> <p class="unnamed10"><strong>So what else could Moore be alluding to apart from some form of violent action to physically prevent Trump from taking the White House?</strong></p> <p class="unnamed10">For the entire election cycle, the mainstream media has legitimized violence against Trump by hysterically pushing the idea that he represents a fundamental danger to the country and the world.</p> <p class="unnamed10"><strong>Violence at Trump rallies &ndash; proven to be <a href="">bankrolled by the DNC</a> &ndash; was also completely mischaracterized by the media and blamed on Trump.</strong></p> <p class="unnamed10">An environment has been created that encourages crazed left-wing agitators to try and make themselves into martyrs by attempting to take Trump&rsquo;s life before he can become president.</p> <p class="unnamed10">One assassination attempt was prevented when a British man <a href="">tried to grab an officer&rsquo;s gun</a> at a Trump rally in Las Vegas and shoot the president-elect, a story that media hardly reported on.</p> <p class="unnamed10"><strong>If and when the next assassination attempt happens, and we can only hope it doesn&rsquo;t, huge swathes of the far-left are so full of hatred and intolerance that they will celebrate Trump&rsquo;s death like it&rsquo;s the equivalent of Mussolini being executed.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="561" height="282" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Las Vegas Michael Moore Michigan Mike Pence Ohio Political positions of Donald Trump Politics of the United States Stop Trump movement Trump Trump family Twitter Twitter White House White House Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580195 at Trump's Bait And Switch? <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Nomi Prins via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Given his cabinet picks so far, it&rsquo;s reasonable to assume that The Donald finds hanging out with anyone who isn&rsquo;t a billionaire (or at least a multimillionaire) a drag. </strong>What would there be to talk about if you left the Machiavellian class and its exploits for the company of the sort of normal folk you can rouse at a rally?&nbsp; It&rsquo;s been a month since the election and here&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s clear: crony capitalism, the kind that festers and grows when offered public support in its search for private profits, is the order of the day among Donald Trump&rsquo;s cabinet picks. Forget his own &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">conflicts of interest</a>.&rdquo; Whatever financial, tax, and other policies his administration puts in place, most of his appointees are going to profit like mad from them and, in the end, Trump might not even wind up being the richest member of the crew.&nbsp;</p> <p>Only a month has passed since November 8th, but it&rsquo;s already clear (not that it wasn&rsquo;t <a href="" target="_blank">before</a>) that <strong>Trump&rsquo;s anti-establishment campaign rhetoric was the biggest scam of his career, one he pulled off perfectly. </strong>As president-elect and the country&rsquo;s next CEO-in-chief, he&rsquo;s now doing what many presidents have done: doling out power to like-minded friends and associates, loyalists, and -- think John F. Kennedy, for instance -- possibly family.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here, however, is a major historical difference: <strong>the magnitude of Trump&rsquo;s cronyism is off the charts, even for Washington. </strong>Of course, he&rsquo;s never been a man known for doing small and humble. So his cabinet, as yet incomplete, is already the richest one ever. Estimates of how loaded it will be are almost meaningless at this point, given that we don&rsquo;t even know Trump&rsquo;s true wealth (and will likely never see his tax returns). Still, with more billionaires at the doorstep<strong>,</strong> estimates of the wealth of his new cabinet members and of the president-elect range from my own guesstimate of about $12 billion up to <a href="" target="_blank">$35 billion</a>. Though the process is as yet incomplete, this already reflects at least a <a href="" target="_blank">quadrupling</a> of the wealth represented by Barack Obama&rsquo;s cabinet.</p> <p>Trump&rsquo;s version of a political and financial establishment, just forming, will be bound together by certain behavioral patterns born of relationships among those of similar status, background, social position, legacy connections, and an assumed allegiance to a dogma of self-aggrandizement that overshadows everything else. In the realm of politico-financial power and in Trump&rsquo;s experience and ideology, the one with the most toys always wins. So it&rsquo;s hardly a surprise that his money- and power-centric cabinet won&rsquo;t be focused on public service or patriotism or civic duty, but on the consolidation of corporate and private gain at the expense of the citizenry.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s already obvious that, to Trump, <strong><em>&ldquo;draining the swamp&rdquo;</em></strong> means filling it with <strong>new layers of golden sludge</strong>, similar in color to the decorations that adorn buildings with his name, including the new <a href="" target="_blank">Trump International Hotel</a><strong> </strong>on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House where foreign diplomats are <a href="" target="_blank">already flocking</a> to curry favor and even the toilet paper holders in the lobby bathrooms are faux-gold-plated.</p> <p><strong>The rarified world of his cabinet choices is certainly a universe away from the struggling working class folks he bamboozled with promises of bringing back American &ldquo;greatness.&rdquo; </strong>And yet the soaring value of his cabinet should be seen as merely a departure point for our four-year (or more) leap into what is guaranteed to be an abyss of inequality and instability. Forget their wealth. What their business conflicts, relationships, and ideological stances indicate about what they&rsquo;ll <em>do</em> to America is far more worrisome. And though Trump promised (<a href="" target="_blank">and tweeted</a>) that he&rsquo;d be &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">completely out</a> of business operations,&rdquo; the possibility of such a full exit for him (or any of his crew) is about as likely as a full reveal of those tax returns.</p> <h3><u><strong>Trumping History</strong></u></h3> <p>There is, in fact, some historical precedent for a president surrounding himself with such a group of self-interested power-grabbers, but you&rsquo;d have to return to Warren G. Harding&rsquo;s administration in the early 1920s to find it.<strong> The &ldquo;Roaring Twenties&rdquo; that ended explosively in a stock market collapse in 1929 began, ominously enough, with a presidency filled with similar figures, as well as policies remarkably similar to those now being promised under Trump, including major<em> </em>tax cuts and giveaways for corporations and the deregulation of Wall Street.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>A notably weak figure, Harding liberally delegated policymaking to the group of senior Republicans he chose to oversee his administration who were dubbed &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">the Ohio gang</a>&rdquo; (though they were not all from Ohio). Scandal soon followed, above all the notorious Teapot Dome incident in which Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall leased petroleum reserves owned by the Navy in Wyoming and California to two private oil companies without competitive bidding, receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks in return. That scandal and the attention it received darkened Harding&rsquo;s administration. Until <a href="" target="_blank">the Enron scandal</a> of 2001-2002, it would serve as the poster child for money (and oil) in politics gone bad. Given Donald Trump&rsquo;s predisposition for green-lighting pipelines and promoting fossil fuel development, a modern reenactment of Teapot Dome is hardly beyond imagining.</p> <p>Harding&rsquo;s other main contributions to American history involved two choices he made. He offered <a href="" target="_blank">businessman</a> Herbert Hoover the job of secretary of commerce and so put him in play to become president in the years just preceding the Great Depression.&nbsp; And in a fashion that now looks Trumpian, he also appointed one of the richest men on Earth, billionaire <a href="" target="_blank">Andrew Mellon</a>, as his treasury secretary. &nbsp;Mellon, a Pittsburgh industrialist-financier, was head of the Mellon National Bank; he founded both the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), for which he&rsquo;d be accused of <a href=";context=ethj" target="_blank">unethical</a> behavior while treasury secretary (as he still owned stock in the company and his brother was a close associate), and the Gulf Oil Company; and with Henry Clay Frick, he co-founded the Union Steel Company. &nbsp;</p> <p>He promptly set to work -- and this will sound familiar today -- cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. At the same time, he essentially left Wall Street free to concoct the shadowy &ldquo;trusts&rdquo; that would use borrowed money to purchase collections of shares in companies and real estate, igniting the 1929 stock market crash. After Mellon, who had served three presidents, left Herbert Hoover&rsquo;s administration, he fell under <a href="" target="_blank">investigation</a> for unpaid federal taxes and tax-related conflicts of interest.</p> <h3><u><strong>Modernizing Warren G.</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Within the political-financial establishment, the more things change, the more, it seems, they stay the same.</strong> As Trump moves ahead with his cabinet picks, several of them already stand out in a Mellon-esque fashion for their staggering wealth, their <a href="" target="_blank">legal</a> entanglements, and the policies they seem ready to support that sound like <strong>eerie throwbacks to the age of Harding</strong>.&nbsp; Of course, you can&rsquo;t tell the players without a scorecard, so here are the top four of the moment (with more <a href="" target="_blank">on the way</a>).</p> <p><strong><em>Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (net worth </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>$2.9 billion</em></a><em>) </em></strong></p> <p>Shades of Andrew Mellon, Ross, a <a href="" target="_blank">registered Democrat</a> until Trump scooped him up, made his fortune as a <a href="" target="_blank">corporate vulture</a> (sporting the <a href="" target="_blank">nickname</a> &ldquo;the king of bankruptcy&rdquo;).&nbsp; He was notorious for devouring the carcasses of dying companies, spitting them out, and pocketing the profits.&nbsp; He bought <a href="" target="_blank">bankrupt steel companies</a>, while moving $6.4 billion of their employee pension benefits to the rescue fund of the government&rsquo;s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation so he could make company financials look better. In the early 2000s,&nbsp;his steel industry deals bagged him an impressive <a href="" target="_blank">$267 million</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">Stripped of</a> health-care benefits, retired steelworkers at his companies didn&rsquo;t fare as well.&nbsp; <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Trump, of course, has promised the world to the sinking coal industry and out-of-work coal miners. His new commerce secretary, however, <a href="" target="_blank">owned</a> a coal mine in West Virginia, notoriously cited for hundreds of violations, where 12 miners subsequently died in an explosion. <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Ross also made money running <a href="" target="_blank">Rothschild Inc.&rsquo;s</a> bankruptcy-restructuring group for nearly two-and-a-half decades. A member (and once <a href="" target="_blank">leader</a>) of a secret Wall Street fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi, in 2014 he <a href="" target="_blank">remarked</a> that &ldquo;the one percent is being picked on for political&nbsp;reasons.&rdquo; He has an art collection valued conservatively at <a href="" target="_blank">$150 million,</a> or 3,000 times the average American&rsquo;s income of $51,000. In addition, he happens to <a href="" target="_blank">own</a> a Florida estate only miles down the road from Trump&rsquo;s Mar-a-Lago private club.</p> <p>While Trump has lambasted China for stealing American jobs, Ross (<a href="" target="_blank">like Trump</a>) has made money from China. In 2010, one of that country&rsquo;s state-owned enterprises, China Investment Corporation, put <a href="" target="_blank">$500 million</a> in Ross&rsquo;s private equity fund, WL Ross &amp; Company. Ross <a href="" target="_blank">has not disclosed</a> whether these investments remain in his fund, though he told the <em>New York Post</em> that if Trump believes there are conflicts of interest among any of his investments, he would divest himself of them. In August 2016, his company had to pay a $2.3 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle <a href="" target="_blank">charges</a> for not properly disclosing $10.4 million in management fees charged to his investors in the decade leading up to 2011.</p> <p>In October, Ross <a href="" target="_blank">assured <em>Bloomberg</em></a> that China will continue to be an investment opportunity. &nbsp;As secretary of commerce, the world will become his personal business venture and boardroom, while U.S. taxpayers will be his funders. He is an <a href="" target="_blank">ardent crusader</a> for corporate tax cuts (wanting to slash them from 35% to 15%). As head of the commerce department, the man the <em>Economist</em> dubbed &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">Mr. Protectionism</a>&rdquo; in 2004 will be in charge of any protectionist policies the administration implements.</p> <p><strong><em>Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (family wealth $</em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>5.1 billion</em></a><em>)</em></strong></p> <p>DeVos, the <a href="" target="_blank">daughter</a> of a billionaire and daughter-in-law of the cofounder of the multilevel marketing empire Amway, has had no actual experience with public schools. Unlike most of the rest of America (myself included), she never attended a public school, nor have any of <a href="" target="_blank">her children</a>. (Neither did Trump.) But she and her family have excelled at the arithmetic of campaign contributions. They are estimated to have contributed <a href="" target="_blank">at least $200 million</a> to shaping the conservative movement and various right-wing causes over the last half-century.&nbsp; As she wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper <em><a href="" target="_blank">Roll Call</a></em> in 1997, &ldquo;My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee.&rdquo; That trend only continued in the years that followed. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1989 she and her relatives have given at least <a href="" target="_blank">$20.2 million</a> to Republican candidates, party committees, PACs, and super PACs.<em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>The center further <a href="" target="_blank">noted</a> that, &ldquo;Betsy herself, along with her husband, Dick DeVos, Jr., has contributed more than $7.7 million to federal candidates, committees, and parties since 1990, including almost $4.8 million to super PACs.&rdquo; &nbsp;Her brother, ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince, <a href="" target="_blank">founded</a> the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">controversial</a>&nbsp;private security contractor Blackwater (now known as&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Academi</a>). He also made&nbsp;<a href=";cx=010677907462955562473%3Anlldkv0jvam&amp;cof=FORID%3A11" target="_blank">two considerable donations&nbsp;</a>to&nbsp;<a href=";strID=C00575373" target="_blank">Make America Number 1</a>, a super PAC that <a href="" target="_blank">first backed</a> Senator Ted Cruz and then Trump.</p> <p>So whatever you do, don&rsquo;t expect Betsy De Vos&rsquo;s help in allocating additional federal funds to elevate the education of citizens who actually do attend public schools, or rather what Donald Trump now likes to <a href="" target="_blank">call</a> &ldquo;failing government schools.&rdquo; Instead, she&rsquo;s undoubtedly going to promote privatizing <a href="" target="_blank">school voucher</a> programs and charter schools across the country and let those failing government schools go down the tubes as part of a Republican war on public education. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (net worth </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>$25 million</em></a><em>)</em></strong></p> <p>As the daughter of a wealthy <a href="" target="_blank">shipping magnate</a>, a former labor secretary for George W. Bush, and the <a href="" target="_blank">wife</a> of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chao&rsquo;s establishment connections are overwhelming. They include board positions at Rupert Murdoch&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">News Corp</a> and at <a href="" target="_blank">Wells Fargo Bank</a><strong>. &nbsp;</strong>While Chao was on its board, Wells Fargo scammed its customers to the tune of <a href="" target="_blank">$2.4 million,</a> and incurred billions of dollars of fines for other crimes. She was silent when its former CEO John Stumpf resigned in a blaze of contriteness. &nbsp;<em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>In 2008, Chao <a href=";cid=N99999984" target="_blank">ranked 8th</a> in Bush&rsquo;s executive branch in terms of net worth at &nbsp;$16.9 million. In 2009, <em>Politico</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a>&nbsp;that, in memory of her mother who passed away in 2007, she and her husband received a &ldquo;personal gift&rdquo; from the Chao family worth between $5 million and $25 million. In 2014, the Center for Responsive Politics ranked McConnell, with an estimated net worth somewhere around $22 million, as the <a href=";year=2014" target="_blank">11th richest</a> senator. As with all things wealth related, the truth is a moving target but the one thing Chao&rsquo;s not (which may make her a rarity in this cabinet) is a billionaire.</p> <p><strong><em>Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (net worth </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>between $46 million and $1 billion)</em></a></strong><em> </em></p> <p>Hedge fund mogul and Hollywood producer Steven Mnuchin is the third installment on Goldman Sachs&rsquo;s claim to own the position of Treasury secretary. In fact, when it comes to the stewardship of the <a href="" target="_blank">country&rsquo;s economy</a><strong>, </strong>Goldman continues to reign supreme.&nbsp; Bill Clinton appointed the company&rsquo;s former co-chairman Robert Rubin to Treasury in gratitude for his ability to bestow on him Wall Street cred and the contributions that went with it. George W. Bush appointed former Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Hank Paulson as his final Treasury secretary, just in time for the &ldquo;too big to fail&rdquo; economic meltdown of 2007-2008.</p> <p>Now, Trump, who swore he&rsquo;d drain &ldquo;the swamp&rdquo; in Washington, is carrying on the tradition. The difference? While Rubin and Paulson pushed for the deregulation of the financial industry that led to the Great Recession and then used federal funds to bail out their friends, Mnuchin, who spent 17 years with Goldman Sachs, eventually made an even bigger fortune by being on the predatory receiving end of federal support while scarfing up a failed bank.</p> <p>In 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), <a href="" target="_blank">formed in 1934</a> to insure the deposits of citizens at commercial banks, closed 25 banks, including the Pasadena-based <a href="" target="_blank">IndyMac</a> Bank. In <a href="" target="_blank">early January 2009</a>, the FDIC agreed to sell failed lender IndyMac to <a href="" target="_blank">IMB HoldCo LLC</a>, a company owned by a pack of private equity investors led by former Goldman Sachs partner Mnuchin of Dune Capital Management LP for about $13.9 billion. (They only had to put up <a href="" target="_blank">$1.3 billion</a> in cash for it, however.)</p> <p>When the <a href="" target="_blank">deal</a> closed on March 19, 2009, IMB formed a new federally chartered savings bank, OneWest Bank (also <a href="" target="_blank">run</a> by Mnuchin), to complete the purchase. The FDIC took a $10.7 billion <a href="" target="_blank">loss</a> in the process. OneWest then set about foreclosing on IndyMac&rsquo;s properties, the cost of which was fronted by the FDIC, as was most of the loss that was incurred from hemorrhaging mortgages. In other words, the government backed Mnuchin&rsquo;s private deal big time and so helped give him his <a href="" target="_blank">nickname</a>, the &ldquo;foreclosure king,&rdquo; as he became an even wealthier man.</p> <p>By October 2011, protesters were marching outside Mnuchin&rsquo;s Los Angeles mansion with &ldquo;Stop taking our homes&rdquo; <a href="" target="_blank">signs</a>. OneWest soon became <a href="" target="_blank">mired</a> in lawsuits and on multiple occasions&nbsp;settled for millions of dollars. Nonetheless, Mnuchin sold the bank for a cool <a href="" target="_blank">$3.4 billion</a> in August 2015. <a href="" target="_blank">Shades of the president-elect</a>,&nbsp;he also <a href="" target="_blank">left</a> another beleaguered company, Relativity Media, where he had been co-chairman, two months before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015.</p> <p>Mnuchin&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">policy priorities</a> include an overhaul of the federal tax code (aimed mainly at helping his elite buddies), financial deregulation (including making the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 significantly more lenient for hedge funds), and a review of existing trade agreements. He has indicated no support for reinstating the <a href="" target="_blank">Glass-Steagall Act</a> of 1933, which separated commercial banks that held citizens&rsquo; deposits and loans from the speculative practices of investment banks until it was repealed in 1999 under the Clinton administration.</p> <h3><u><strong>Gilded Government </strong></u></h3> <p>Hillary Clinton certainly <a href="" target="_blank">cashed in</a> big time on her Wall Street connections during her career and her <a href="" target="_blank">presidential campaign</a>. And yet her approach already seems modest compared to Trump&rsquo;s new open-door policy to any billionaire willing to come on board his ship. His new incarnation of the old establishment largely consists of billionaires and multimillionaires with less than appetizing nicknames from their previous predatory careers. They favor government support for their private gain as well as deregulation, several of them having already specialized in making money off the collateral damage from such policies.</p> <p>Trump offered Americans this <a href="" target="_blank">promise</a>: &quot;I&#39;m going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people.&quot; In his world, best means rich, and serious means seriously shielded from the way much of the rest of the country lives. Once upon a time, I, too, worked for Goldman Sachs. I left in 2002, the same year that Steven Mnuchin did.&nbsp; I did not go on to construct deals that hurt citizens. He did. Public spirit is a choice.</p> <p>Aspiring to run government as a business (something President Calvin Coolidge tried out in the 1920s with dismal results for America), Trump is now surrounding himself with a crew of crony capitalists who understand boardroom speak, but have nothing in common with most Americans.&nbsp; So give him credit: his administration is already one of the great political bait-and-switch productions in our history and it hasn&rsquo;t even begun.&nbsp; Count on one thing: in his presidency he&rsquo;ll only double down on that &ldquo;promise.&rdquo;</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="707" height="463" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent American Presbyterians Barack Obama Business Business Center for Responsive Politics China Clinton administration Cronyism Department of Commerce Dick DeVos Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy Enron Fail Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Federal Tax Florida goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Great Depression Hank Paulson Hank Paulson Harding’s administration Henry Paulson Herbert Hoover’s administration John Stumpf Kappa Beta Phi Market Crash Meltdown Mnuchin navy New York Post News Corp Newspaper Ohio Politics Private Equity Real estate Recession Republican National Committee Robert Rubin Rupert Murdoch Securities and Exchange Commission Securities and Exchange Commission Steven Mnuchin The Economist The Heritage Foundation Too Big To Fail United States Warren G. Harding’s administration Wells Fargo West Virginia White House White House Wilbur Ross Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580212 at NBC's Fake News King Brian Williams Launches Crusade Against "Fake News" <p>Now this is rich.&nbsp; Brian Williams, the <strong>disgraced ex-NBC journalist who was literally fired for falsely reporting that he was in a helicopter during the Iraq war that took on combatant fire</strong>, is now going on a crusade against "fake news."&nbsp; On his MSNBC show last night, Williams decided to attack retired General Flynn and Donald Trump for spreading "fake news" via their twitter accounts.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>The retired Army 3-star general has passed on some gems himself.</strong>&nbsp; Here are a few...Flynn retweeted accusations that Clinton is involved with child sex trafficking and has "secretly waged war" on the Catholic Church, as well as charges that Obama is a "jihadi" who "laundered" money for Muslim terrorists.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>As we talked about here last night, fake news played a role in this election and continues to find a wide audience.</strong>&nbsp; A BuzzFeed news study of Donald Trump's own tweets where they followed back news stories to their root source found more of them came from Breitbart originally than any other single source."</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, we should probably just ignore that time Williams simply "mis-remembered" being in a helicopter taking on combatant fire when he was actually completely safe in a convoy about an hour away.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.” </strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This pretty much sums it up...</p> <p><img src="" alt="Williams" width="500" height="630" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And, of course, more breaking news from Williams' current employer, the beacon of impartiality and purveyor of "real news," MSNBC.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Breaking news from network that pays Brian Williams $10 million/year<a href=""></a></p> <p>— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) <a href="">December 9, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In conclusion:</p> <p><img src="" alt="Glass Houses" width="500" height="292" /></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="1117" height="651" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-right American studies Breitbart Breitbart News Brian Williams Business Catholic Church Computing Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump Iraq Mass media Michael T. Flynn MSNBC MSNBC NBC News News satire Politics of the United States Software Tea Party movement Twitter Twitter Twitter Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:41:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 580154 at With 65% of ATMs Nonoperational, Goldman Warns India Is "Returning To Barter System" <p>India continues to stagger from bad to worse followinhg Modi&#39;s demonetization. With just <strong>35% of ATMs nationwide operational,</strong> Goldman warns the shortage of cash continues to incentivize the use of alternate payments, including extension of informal credit and a <strong>return to barter systems</strong>. Addtionally, the slowdown in activity is dramatically reflected in <strong>lower tax collections and discounts offered by luxury car companies</strong>.</p> <p>Goldman Sachs&nbsp; recently introduced their India<strong><em> &#39;De-monetization dashboard&#39;</em></strong> in which they<strong> track the progress of the Indian government&#39;s recent currency reform</strong> announced on November 8 via a variety of high-frequency data, including money supply, credit/deposit, interest rates, physical asset premia, real economic activity, price indicators and capital flows.</p> <p><strong>This week&rsquo;s update shows that cash availability at ATMs is still low.</strong> On real economic activity, there were no major data releases this week. However, PMIs and auto sales data released last week suggested a significant slowdown in activity. Separately, anecdotal evidence suggested continued weakness in activity as shown in the lower indirect tax collections and various discounts given by luxury car companies.</p> <h3><u>Monetary infrastructure</u></h3> <p>According to Livemint, 95% of ATMs (out of 200,000 in the country) have been re-calibrated to accept new notes but only 35% of the re-calibrated ATMs are operational. Banks are preferring to make cash available in their own branches instead of making cash available at ATMs. Daily data from ATMs in the four key metro cities &ndash; namely Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai &ndash; show that people are still facing a &lsquo;cash crunch&rsquo; in about half of the ATMs. The shortage of cash continues to incentivize the use of alternate payments including electronic payment systems, extension of informal credit and a return to barter systems. The government has further announced various measures to promote digital and non-cash transactions including discounts on digital purchase of fuel, suburban train tickets, and service tax exemptions on transaction charges up to INR 2000 on December 8.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>Exhibit 1: Shortage of cash in ATMs continues</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 601px; height: 374px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: CashNoCash, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em><br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>Exhibit 2: Still very elevated search interest for retailers accepting electronic payment</strong></p> <p><em>Trends in Google searches for key financial terms in India</em></p> <p><a href=""><em><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 330px;" /></em></a></p> <p><em>Source: Google, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em></p> <h3><u>Real activity indicators</u></h3> <p>On real activity, no major data was released this week. However, last week, India&#39;s Nikkei Markit manufacturing PMI moderated in November after rising to a 22-month high in October (Exhibit 3). The weakness was across the board, suggesting softening in manufacturing activity post the de-monetization announcement on November 8. The Nikkei Markit services PMI also dropped sharply in November driven by a significant decline in new business, also indicating the potential impact of the cash shortage.</p> <p>Separately, industry-wide November auto sales (Exhibit 4) showed commercial vehicle sales declined by over 18% mom s.a., car sales declined by 4% mom s.a. and two-wheeler sales dropped by 15% mom s.a. Furthermore, registrations of motor vehicle have fallen since November 2016.</p> <p><strong>Exhibit 3: India&#39;s composite PMI declined sharply in November led by weak services PMI</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 371px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: Haver Analytics, Nikkei Markit</em><br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>Exhibit 4: Auto sales contracted sharply in November</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 359px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: CEIC, Company data, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em><br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>Exhibit 5: Motor vehicle registrations have fallen</strong></p> <p><em>(December data only partial month)</em></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: Road Transport Office, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The latest anecdotal evidence (Exhibit 6) suggests continued weakness in activity during the fourth week post announcement of de-monetization.</strong> The slowdown in activity is reflected in lower tax collections and discounts offered by luxury car companies.</p> <p><strong>Exhibit 6: Real activity anecdotal evidence</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 886px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: Live Mint, The Economic Times, Times of India, Business Standard, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em></p> <h3><u>Monetary and financial indicators</u></h3> <p><strong>Money supply</strong></p> <p><strong>Reserve money expanded by 0.5% yoy as of the week ending December 2, 2016 after a decline of 16.8% yoy the previous week. </strong>This was mainly driven by a INR4.7 trillion increase in bankers&#39; deposits with the RBI (+128.4%yoy) post the temporary increase in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to absorb excess liquidity in the system on November 26 (Exhibit 7). This increase in CRR will be withdrawn from December 10 as announced by the RBI. The central bank also mentioned that they have distributed INR 4 trillion of new high denomination notes so far.</p> <h3><u>Trends in hard assets premia</u></h3> <p><strong>Domestic gold and silver premia, as measured by the difference between USD-equivalent domestic prices and global prices, appear to have normalized after an initial spike.</strong> Bitcoin premia (we calculate this as the difference between the price of Bitcoin on India exchanges and those abroad) also moderated somewhat this week (Exhibit 15).<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>Exhibit 15: Hard assets premia somewhat normalised four weeks post announcement</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 373px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: CEIC, Haver Analytics, Bloomberg, Unocoin, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em><br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>Exhibit 16: Google Trends on gold prices have normalised while Bitcoin stayed elevated</strong></p> <p><em>Trends in Google searches for key physical asset words</em></p> <p><a href=""><em><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 356px;" /></em></a></p> <p><em>Source: Google, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research</em><br />&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="481" height="288" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Auto Sales Banking in the United States Bitcoin Bitcoin Business Cryptocurrencies Economy of New York City Finance goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Google Google Trends India Indian government Markit Markit Money Supply Nikkei Road Transport Office Rockefeller Center Subprime mortgage crisis Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580194 at The Mainstream Media Is Asking For A Government Bailout Via Censorship <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,</em></a></p> <p><em><a href=""><img height="340" src="" width="600" /></a></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>The current controversy is different. Many people in Washington are irate over Wikileaks &mdash; not because the email were untrue but because they proved what many had long suspected . . . that Washington is a highly corrupt place full of truly despicable people. For people who make their living on controlling media and information, it was akin to the barbarians breaching the walls of Rome. So the answer is to call for government regulation to combat what will be declared &ldquo;fake&rdquo; news or propaganda. It is only the latest effort to convince people to surrender their rights and actually embrace censorship. </em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ndash; From Jonathan Turley&rsquo;s:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Washington Post Issues Correction To &ldquo;Fake News&rdquo;&nbsp;Story</a></p> </blockquote> <p>Watching Hillary Clinton attack&nbsp;&ldquo;fake news&rdquo; and calling for legislative action against free speech she doesn&rsquo;t like got me thinking. <strong>Why is she doing this?</strong> Yes, it&rsquo;s obviously related to her notorious personality trait of never taking responsibility for anything and attaching herself to an invented controversy in order to deflect blame for her monumentally&nbsp;embarrassing loss to Donald Trump. But there&rsquo;s more going on here. A lot more.</p> <p>To set the stage, we need to examine the types of people who are most jumping on the &ldquo;fake news&rdquo; meme. What you&rsquo;ll find is that it&rsquo;s a who&rsquo;s who of the most contemptible and corrupt people in America. As Glenn Greenwald so accurately noted in <a href="" target="_blank">his piece</a> published earlier today:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But the problem here goes way beyond mere hypocrisy. Complaints about Fake News are typically accompanied by calls for &ldquo;solutions&rdquo; that involve censorship and suppression, either by the government or tech giants such as Facebook. But until there is a clear definition of &ldquo;Fake News,&rdquo;&nbsp;and until it&rsquo;s recognized that Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it, the dangers posed by these solutions will be at least as great as the problem itself.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Just in case you think the above is an exaggeration,<em><strong> is there an individual in America more distrusted and more widely viewed as a compulsive liar than Hillary Clinton? </strong></em>The list of her outright lies is nearly&nbsp;endless (see:&nbsp;<strong><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to Video of the Day – Watch Hillary Clinton Lie for 13 Minutes Straight">Video of the Day &ndash; Watch Hillary Clinton Lie for 13 Minutes Straight</a>)</strong>. Not only that, but Hillary Clinton was more than happy to promote obvious fake news stories one week before the election. Here&rsquo;s the most egregious example:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="">November 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>This was fake news, but somehow I doubt Hillary will be looking for&nbsp;Congress to take her to task for legitimizing and spreading&nbsp;it.</p> <p>Then there&rsquo;s the downright comical example of Brian Williams. You know, the <em>NBC</em> anchor who literally lost his job for promoting fake news about himself<em> (see:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to NBC’s Brian Williams is Forced to Admit His Tale of Being on a Downed Helicopter in Iraq Was Pure Fantasy">NBC&rsquo;s Brian Williams is Forced to Admit His Tale of Being on a Downed Helicopter in Iraq Was Pure Fantasy</a>)</em>. Now he is one of the &ldquo;esteemed pundits&rdquo;&nbsp;railing against the terror of fake news. You can&rsquo;t make this stuff up.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Hill</em> </a>reports:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, who lost his job with NBC&rsquo;s nightly news for exaggerating details of his time reporting in Iraq, slammed President-elect&nbsp;<span class="rollover-people">Donald Trump</span>&nbsp;and members of his transition team for spreading fake news throughout the election.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Pure comedy, but let&rsquo;s get serious. At this point, I want to direct your attention to what is perhaps the most astute commentary on the fabricated&nbsp;&ldquo;fake news&rdquo; push to date. The following was the concluding paragraph to&nbsp;Jonathan Turley&rsquo;s,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Washington Post Issues Correction To &ldquo;Fake News&rdquo;&nbsp;Story</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>The current controversy is different. Many people in Washington are irate over Wikileaks &mdash; not because the email were untrue but because they proved what many had long suspected . . . that Washington is a highly corrupt place full of truly despicable people. For people who make their living on controlling media and information, it was akin to the barbarians breaching the walls of Rome. So the answer is to call for government regulation to combat what will be declared &ldquo;fake&rdquo; news or propaganda. It is only the latest effort to convince people to surrender their rights and actually embrace censorship.&nbsp;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>This perfectly describes what is going on at&nbsp;the most macro level, and reminded me exactly of what Wall Street did in the aftermath of its destruction of the U.S. economy during the financial crisis. Faced with a potential loss of their fortunes, jobs and reputations, Wall Street invented a meme that the industry&nbsp;needed to be bailed out without consequences in order to &ldquo;save Main Street.&rdquo; This was one of the most brazen, yet successful examples of propaganda I have witnessed in my entire life.</p> <p>Wall Street got exactly what it wanted and then some. It proceeded to pay out record bonuses the very next year (2010) and not a single executive was held accountable or went to jail. Free market capitalism was completely suspended in order to save some of the wealthiest and most privileged people in America. They used the levers of the state to save themselves and preserve this key segment of status quo power.</p> <p>Fast forward eight years, and we&nbsp;witness yet another spectacular status quo failure. Due to&nbsp;its clownish and completely inaccurate coverage of the 2016 election, the mainstream media and the pundit class generally completely torched its reputation. As a result, alternative, independent media is eating their lunch. Rather than accept the consequences of this&nbsp;historic&nbsp;failure, legacy media has decided to&nbsp;take a page from the Wall Street playbook. They are asking for a government bailout. However, this bailout&nbsp;is far more dangerous than the one which preceded&nbsp;it.</p> <p><strong>While the Wall Street bailout consisted of showering financial criminals with infinite sums of money until they were once again masters of the universe, the media is asking for a bailout via censorship.</strong> Yes, that&rsquo;s right. Hillary Clinton and other status quo fake news peddlers are actively asking for Congressional action in order to silence their competition. &nbsp;This isn&rsquo;t just about protecting the status quo narrative for the sake of maintaining a&nbsp;transparently false&nbsp;manufactured reality. It&rsquo;s equally&nbsp;about preserving the status, wealth, reputation and careers of individuals whose failures should have landed them on the street, unemployed for their almost incomprehensible&nbsp;and well documented incompetence. Just like we continue to suffer from incompetent criminal elites on Wall Street, the media now wants to build a similar government-sponsored wall around itself. Such an outcome would be an unmitigated disaster for this nation.</p> <p>Instead, what we actually need in this country (and what I expect to happen) was perfectly articulated in a recent article by Nathan J. Robinson in his must read article in <em>Current Affairs</em> titled,<em>&nbsp;</em><a href="" target="_blank">The Necessity of Credibility</a>. He&nbsp;writes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>Yet it is telling that after the election,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the people who were most wrong</a>&nbsp;during the campaign are&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">still producing voluminous commentary.</a>&nbsp;No outlet that wanted to regain trust and build audiences would be keeping such people on its staff. But &ldquo;pundit tenure&rdquo; is powerful. Thus is also likely that the quest for credible media will necessitate the creation of&nbsp;new&nbsp;media.</strong>&nbsp;CNN&nbsp;and&nbsp;The Washington Post&nbsp;have never shown a particularly encouraging capacity for introspection and self-improvement, and it&rsquo;s unlikely that they&rsquo;re contemplating major internal overhauls in their mission and accountability practices. Their institutional imperatives consist, after all, largely of seeking views and clicks. For them, the 2016 election was a success rather than a failure. A lot of people, after all, tuned in. Why should they do things any differently? Thus it would be useful to have fresh, truly independent outlets, ones that disclose their biases, are transparent in their methods, and are constantly trying to improve themselves rather than simply pursuing the same useless sensationalism and empty horse-race punditry.&nbsp;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The last thing this country needs is another bailout of establishment crooks.</strong></p> <p>For related articles, see:</p> <p><em><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to ‘Then We Will Fight in the Shade’ – A Guide to Winning the Media Wars">&lsquo;Then We Will Fight in the Shade&rsquo; &ndash; A Guide to Winning the Media Wars</a></em></p> <p><em><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to Obama Enters the Media Wars – Why His Recent Attack on Free Speech is So Dangerous and Radical">Obama Enters the Media Wars &ndash; Why His Recent Attack on Free Speech is So Dangerous and Radical</a></em></p> <p><em><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to Hillary Clinton Enters the Media Wars">Hillary Clinton Enters the Media Wars</a></em></p> <p><em><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to The Death of Mainstream Media">The Death of Mainstream Media</a></em></p> <div style="float: none; margin: 10px 0 10px 0; text-align: center;"> <div class="lbk-banner">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p><em><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of “Russian Propaganda” Websites">Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of &ldquo;Russian Propaganda&rdquo; Websites</a></em></p> <p><em><a href="" rel="bookmark" target="_blank" title="Permanent Link to Additional Thoughts on “Fake News,” The Washington Post, and the Absence of Real Journalism">Additional Thoughts on &ldquo;Fake News,&rdquo; The Washington Post, and the Absence of Real Journalism</a></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="742" height="420" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Congress Donald Trump Donald Trump Espionage Fake news website Hillary Clinton Information sensitivity Iraq Main Street MSNBC National security NBC Politics Politics Politics of the United States Reality Trump Organization Twitter Twitter United States Whistleblowing WikiLeaks Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580208 at Tucker Carlson Takes on Washpo Reporter Who Claimed Trump Won Because of 'Angry White Men' <p>The warm blanket that democrats wrap themselves in at night is a dream that angry white men will die off in large enough numbers so that a true renaissance of psychotic illiberals -- like Jennifer Rubin -- can rise to power and lead America into the next phase towards its ultimate demise. It's a very potent and divisive thing for journalists to say, pretending to know the spirit and soul of men based upon the color of their skin. The lie, or fake news, of massive hordes of white men descending from their trailer park thrones on election night to vote for Trump, en masse, is a myth.</p> <p> The same, so called racist, white men were the good folks &nbsp;who voted for Obama twice, once in 2008 and again in 2012 -- &nbsp;so there's always that. </p> <p>Specifically tackling the argument of who voted for Trump, the numbers don't lie. He received less white votes than Romney and 3x the amount of black Americans. Perhaps the very nervous and mentally addled Jennifer Rubin should set aside her confirmation bias prior to making scathing allegations about a race of people. Then again, it's rather trendy to deride and to shame white people these days, isn't it? </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="whites" width="596" height="213" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-61718" /></a> <a href=""><img src="" alt="hispanics" width="599" height="214" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-61719" /></a> <a href=""><img src="" alt="blacks" width="603" height="213" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-61720" /></a> <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> Jennifer Rubin and her ilk are perfect examples of why democrats have lost over 900 legislative offices over the past 6 years and hold just 11 governorships. The party, literally, is dying. When it comes to the discussion of race and moving on, I believe <a href="">Morgan Freeman had the best public response</a> to a journalist in recent times. It was short, poignant, and absolutely true.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Content originally generated at&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;"></a></p> Democratic Party Jennifer Rubin Political parties in the United States Politics Renaissance Rubin Social Issues Sat, 10 Dec 2016 01:57:32 +0000 The_Real_Fly 580251 at