en One Simple Chart Proves That Facebook Thinks You're A Moron <p>Last week we jokingly wrote about a <a href="">Facebook press release</a> that was apparently an honest effort by the social media giant intended to summarize Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 election using their social media platform. That said, at least to us, it seemed as though Facebook unwittingly proved what a farce the entire 'Russian collusion' narrative had become as, after digging through advertising data for the better part of full year, Facebook reported that they found a <strong><em>'staggering'</em> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">$50,000</span></strong> worth of ad buys that <em>'<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>MAY</strong></span>'</em> have been purchased by Russian-linked accounts to run <em><strong>'potentially politically related'</strong></em> ads.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, after being attacked by the mainstream media and even Hillary for "assisting" the Russians, <a href="">Zuckerberg is once again in the press today</a> fanning the flames of the 'Russian collusion' narrative by saying that Facebook will release to Congress the details of the 3,000 ads that <em>'<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>MAY</strong></span>'</em> have been purchased by Russian-linked accounts.</p> <p><strong>And while it seems obvious, please allow us to once again demonstrate why this entire process is so utterly bizarre...&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>The chart below demonstrates how the $50,000 worth of ad buys that <em>'<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>MAY</strong></span>'</em> have been purchased by Russian-linked accounts to run <em><strong>'potentially politically related'</strong></em> ads compares to the $26.8 billion in ad revenue that Facebook generated in the U.S. over the same time period between 3Q 2015 and 2Q 2017....<strong>If $50,000 can swing an entire presidential election can you imagine what $26.8 billion can do?</strong></p> <p><a href=" - Facebook 1.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 329px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, not all of that $26.8 billion was spent on political advertising so we took a shot at breaking it down further.&nbsp; While Facebook doesn't disclose political spending as a percent of their overall advertising revenue, we did a little digging and found that political advertising represented ~5% of the overall ad market in the U.S. in 2016.&nbsp; We further assumed that political share of the overall ad market is roughly half of that amount in non-election years, or 2.5%.&nbsp; </p> <p>Using that data, we figure that Facebook may get ~3.5% of their annual revenue from political advertising in an average year, or nearly $1 billion per year...give or take a few million.&nbsp; Unfortunately, as the chart below once again demonstrates, <strong>this still does little to support Zuckerberg's thesis that the $50,000 he keeps talking about is in any way relevant to the 2016 election.</strong></p> <p><a href=" - Facebook 2.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 246px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, the pursuit of this ridiculous narrative proves that<strong> Zuckerberg has no interest in spreading the truth</strong> about how his company impacted (and by "impacted," we mean "had no impact at all") the 2016 election, <strong>but rather is only interested in shoving his political agenda down the throats of an American public that he presumes is too stupid to question his propaganda.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>That said, if Zuckerberg is really just on a mission for truth, as he says he is, perhaps he can stop patronizing the American public and <strong>disclose the full facts surrounding political advertising on Facebook.&nbsp; We suspect a simple financial disclosure detailing how much political advertising was sold on Facebook from 3Q 2015 - 2Q 2017, broken down by political affiliation, would go a long way toward proving just how meaningless $50,000 is in the grand scheme of things.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>That said, somehow we suspect 'truth' is not really Zuckerberg's end goal, now is it?</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="571" height="320" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Advertising Business Computing Congress Criticism of Facebook Digital media Facebook Mark Zuckerberg Nerd culture Social media Social networking services Software Technology The Social Network Universal Windows Platform apps Fri, 22 Sep 2017 03:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603948 at India Stack and Bitcoin (An Insider's View) <p><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></span></em></p> <p>Before the good stuff... the fun stuff. </p> <p> Here's a fan mail I received in response to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">this.</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> <p><img src="" width="550" height="185" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-17952" /> </p> <p> I guess he/she never made it as far as this part: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>"Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against EVs, and I’m all for technological innovation."</em></a></p></blockquote> <p> Though, in all fairness, it may be the collagen talking. Either way, definitely not an <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Insider member,</a> otherwise he/she/it would be well aware of where we're actually invested. Ha!</p> <p>Dregs from the bottom of the barrel occasionally drift into my corner of cyberspace. That they respond like this must be due to this fascinating misconception that I give a damn.</p> <p>Still, if we poke them hard enough in the chest, they'll bugger off leaving us with the fine specimens that make up the overwhelming majority of our distinguished readership. Which brings me neatly to: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Hi Chris, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> I'm not sure if this gets to you or is stuck in the admin box. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> Love your work, really enjoy it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your current one on the knock off effects of banning gasoline and diesel cars made me want to bring up another point that is seldom discussed when people talk about the future of EVs... the profitability of refineries when they don't have a market for gasoline.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When a barrel of crude is refined, about half of its volume ends up as gasoline.&nbsp; The other half ends up as diesel, jet fuel, bunker oil, chemical feedstocks, etc... Gasoline is great for running automobiles, but pretty lousy for any other industrial process.&nbsp; Industrial processes such as mining, refining, transporting, and processing cobalt, lithium, and molybdenum into EV parts.&nbsp; These processes depend on the other half of the barrel. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> Driving away (pun intended) the demand for gasoline by mandating EVs means that refineries have half of their product become much less valuable.&nbsp; I don't have the research or know of who has done the research, but I wonder what such a move would mean for the price of diesel, jet fuel, bunker oil, chemical feedstocks, etc...? </p> <p> <img src="" width="410" height="506" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="size-full wp-image-18011 aligncenter" /> </p> <p> Hope all is well, cheers!"</p> </blockquote> <p> Fair points and worth thinking about. </p> <p> For example. Do those industries taking up the "other half of a barrel" benefit? To what degree? For how long? And is the market pricing this? </p> <p> All fun stuff which we spend <del>all</del> most of our time doing here. </p> <p> Anyway, today I've got something special for you and it's got nothing to do with EVs or gasoline. </p> <h3>Bitcoin and India Stack</h3> <p> It was <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Raoul Pal</a> who first brought to my attention the incredible galactic sized project that is India Stack. </p> <p> I've since spoken with quite a variety of people both in India and out in order to better understand the dynamics of what's taking place in India. I think it provides a fascinating and illuminating view into how certain problems can be dealt with.</p> <p>In particular (and I've not seen anyone mention this), the ability to recapitalise a banking system on the brink and to do so while transitioning over a billion citizens onto a digital system.</p> <p>Pre-cash elimination, India's banks were in a shocking state. What better way to "fix" them than to get the poor to bail them out. </p> <p> Ever since man began forming communities, we've had a setup where those at the top manufacture ways and means to have those at the bottom pay for the things they want.</p> <p>Kings told stories about their "divine rights", people believed it, priests told stories about the church's relationship with God, people believed it. And today politicians tell stories about "the greater good"... and people believe it. Some things never change.</p> <p><img src="" width="700" height="502" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18012" /> </p> <p> Aside from the banking system being recapitalised... </p> <p> It's been fascinating to watch what was up until recently one of the world's largest cash economies and where millions never even had a bank account suddenly goes digital.</p> <p>So there were two steps here.</p> <p>The first being the elimination of cash in the economy, and the second bringing online the digital platform otherwise known as&nbsp;IndiaStack, an open source platform where information is a utility. </p> <p> The set of open API for developers includes: </p> <ul> <li>The Aadhaar for authentication</li> <li>The e-KYC documents that have been generated</li> <li>Digital lockers</li> <li>e-signatures (software based as against the present dongle based e-signs)</li> <li>The Unified Payments Interface which rides on top of the National Payment Corporation of India’s Immediate Payment System.</li> </ul> <p> You can check out a presentation which provides a decent overview of it <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">here.</a></p> <p>I've spoken with a lot of guys who see this as being a major boon for India's economy, eliminating fraud, destroying swathes of bureaucracy, and bringing millions of people into the economy who previously never had access.</p> <p>I don't disagree with any of this, but what I wanted to do was to find someone who wasn't very bullish, someone who would challenge some of these thoughts. And with that in mind, I found and spoke to Deepankar Kapoor. </p> <p> Deepankar Kapoor - as you can probably infer from his name - is not only Indian but he's also the founder of <a href="">Bitcoinwiser,</a> a well known face in the digital advertising industry in India with his most recent stint being as the Vice President &amp; National Strategy Head at Ogilvy India. </p> <p> He has 9+ years of full time recognised experience in digital business transformation of Fortune 500 brands and won many accolades throughout his career. Academically, he holds an MBA from University of Calcutta wherein he majored in Marketing [Forecasting &amp; Econometrics], BMS from Symbiosis International University and a Diploma in Cyber Laws from the Government Law College, Mumbai. Additionally, he is a Google and Twitter Certified Professional.</p> <p>You can listen to our conversation below. I apologise for the dodgy line at times - Kenyan Wi-Fi isn't the best in the world.</p> <p><iframe src=";color=af0d0b&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <h3>And a Question for This Week</h3> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Wow Poll 21 Sep" width="500" height="301" /></a><br /><em><a href="">Cast your vote here</a> and also see what others think</em> </p><p>- Chris </p> <p> <em>"Change is opportunity."</em> — Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Commerce</p> <p style="text-align: center;">--------------------------------------</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Liked this article? Then you'll probably like my other missives on</p> <p style="text-align: center;">this topic as well.&nbsp;<a href="">Go here to access them (free, of course).</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> API Bitcoin Chemistry Crude Diesel ETC Gasoline Google Government Law College India Inhalants Matter Symbiosis International University Twitter Twitter University of Calcutta wi-fi Fri, 22 Sep 2017 03:22:22 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 603958 at Are We Really Capable Of Shooting Down North Korean Missiles? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,</em></a></p> <p>According to some analysts,<strong> Americans may be overly confident in our military&rsquo;s ability to shoot down North Korean missiles if the country were to attempt to strike. </strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="331" src="" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p><strong>Maybe the reason we haven&rsquo;t shot down North Korea&rsquo;s test missiles is that we can&rsquo;t. </strong>While we all certainly hope that our military would be able to successfully defend the country against incoming missiles, we need to be prepared for any possibility.</p> <p>According to an article by Joe Cirincione of Defense One, the reason we don&rsquo;t shoot down North Korea&rsquo;s missiles when they fire them over Japan is because&hellip;</p> <p><strong>We don&rsquo;t have the capability.</strong></p> <p>Joe Cirincione is the president of <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Ploughshares Fund</a> and the <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">author of several books</a> about nuclear weapons, including&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too&nbsp;Late</a>.</p> <p>According to Cirincione, when&nbsp;Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said,<em><strong> &ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t intercept it because no damage to Japanese territory was&nbsp;expected,&rdquo; </strong></em>this was only partially true. It wasn&rsquo;t a threat, but they didn&rsquo;t have the capability to shoot it down due to the altitude.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Neither Japan nor the United States could have intercepted the missile. None of the theater ballistic missile defense weapons in existence can reach that high. It is hundreds of kilometers too high for the Aegis interceptors deployed on Navy ships off Japan. Even higher for the&nbsp;<span class="caps">THAAD</span>&nbsp;systems in South Korea and Guam. Way too high for the Patriot systems in Japan, which engage largely within the&nbsp;atmosphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>All of these are basically designed to hit a missile in the post-mid-course or terminal phase, when it is on its way down, coming more or less straight at the defending system. </strong>Patriot is meant to protect relatively small areas such as ports or air bases;&nbsp;<span class="caps">THAAD</span>defends a larger area; the advanced Aegis system theoretically could defend thousands of square&nbsp;kilometers. (<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>Well, that&rsquo;s unsettling. So, what if we engaged the missile before it reached that high?</p> <p>Cirincione says that too is unlikely to be successful.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>There is almost no chance of hitting a North Korean missile on its way up unless an Aegis ship was deployed very close to the launch point,</strong> perhaps in North Korean waters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even then, it would have to chase the missile, a race it is unlikely to win. In the only one or two minutes of warning time any system would have, the probability of a successful engagement drops close to&nbsp;zero. (<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>But don&rsquo;t take Cirincione&rsquo;s word for it. In his article, he cited other experts who echo his sentiments. &nbsp;Jonathon McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted in response to someone questioning why we didn&rsquo;t shoot down NK&rsquo;s missiles:</p> <p>As well, he quoted Jerry Doyle,&nbsp;deputy business editor for Asia at&nbsp;<em>The New York Times:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s actually virtually impossible to shoot down a missile on the way up. Midcourse or terminal are the only places you have a shot.&rdquo;</strong></em>&nbsp;(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>While I&rsquo;m not sure how a business editor has special knowledge of our nuclear defense system, all of these sentiments certainly raise the question:</p> <p><strong><em>IF WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO SHOOT DOWN NORTH KOREAN MISSILES, WHY HAVEN&rsquo;T WE DONE SO?</em></strong></p> <p>If we attempted to shoot down a North Korean missile and missed, it would be a major propaganda coup for Kim Jong Un.</p> <p>When our military practiced this, they managed to shoot down 2 out of 3 missiles.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A lot of people are putting a great deal of hope in American missile defense systems, but it&rsquo;s important to note that a couple of weeks ago in a test over the Pacific, our defense system failed. This was subsequent to a previous success.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="speakable" style="padding-left: 30px;">A medium-range ballistic missile was launched from a test range in Hawaii at 7:20 pm local time, but the interceptor missile fired at sea from USS John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer, missed the target.</p> <p class="speakable" style="padding-left: 30px;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="speakable" style="padding-left: 30px;">&ldquo;A planned intercept was not achieved,&rdquo; the statement said. (<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s disconcerting. After the failed test,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">there was a third test which&nbsp;<em>was</em>&nbsp;successful</a>, but it&rsquo;s very important to realize that our military isn&rsquo;t infallible. If our rate is 2 out of 3 missiles shot down, that means that 1 out of 3 still gets through and wreaks destruction.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><em>So, could we actually shoot down a missile &ldquo;gift package&rdquo; as Kim Jong Un creepily calls it?</em></strong></p> <p>The unsettling answer is, <u><strong><em>maybe</em></strong></u>.</p> <p>Maybe, if we were expecting it, if the conditions were right, if we were close enough, if it was low enough, if we were in a perfect position.</p> <p><strong>There are way too many &ldquo;ifs&rdquo; in there for me to feel fully confident in our ability to shoot down North Korean missiles before they strike the mainland, <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">which experts now believe they have the ability to reach</a>. </strong>We also know that North Korea also <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">possesses the ability to create hydrogen bombs</a>. And as I&rsquo;ve written before, if you believe this is all a big set up for a false flag event, <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">that would hardly matter</a> to those nearby if such a thing were to happen.</p> <p><em>If you aren&rsquo;t prepped for the potential of a nuclear strike, it&rsquo;s time to start learning what you need to do. (<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">This articl</a>e and <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">this class</a> can help you.)</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="738" height="407" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aerospace engineering Ammunition Anti-aircraft warfare Anti-ballistic missiles Ballistic missile Guam Harvard Japan Japanese Chief Cabinet KIM Missile Missile defense Missile Defense Agency New York Times None North Korea North Korea Politics Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Terminal High Altitude Area Defense United States national missile defense Fri, 22 Sep 2017 03:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603954 at Florida Parents Outraged After Teacher Demands Her 5th Graders Use Gender Neutral Pronouns <p>Over the past year or so, we've observed in amazement as one 'institution of higher indoctrination' (a.k.a. "university") after another came up with replacement pronouns for politically incorrect 'hate speech' like 'freshman'.&nbsp; Vanderbilt even forced its teachers and administrators to wear name tags defining their pronouns just so there would be absolutely no gender confusion that might lead to a nasty "triggering" event or unnoticed "microaggression (see: <a href="">Vanderbilt University Name Placards For Faculty Offices Will Now Include "Preferred Pronouns"</a>).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Vanderbilt made nametags recently &amp; many included a preferred pronoun section. This is real life: <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) <a href="">September 6, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, while such things are expected from our millennial youth on progressive college campuses, parents of a 5th grade class in Tallahassee, Florida were somewhat shocked when they received a letter from "<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Mx. (pronounced Mix)" </strong></span>Bressack demanding that her students only refer to her using gender neutral terms like <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>'Mx.'</strong></span> instead of 'Ms.' and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>"they, them, their"</strong></span> instead of "he, his, she, hers."&nbsp; Per the <a href="">Tallahassee Democrat</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"One thing that you should know about me is that I use gender neutral terms. My prefix is Mx. (pronounced Mix). Additionally, my pronouns are "they, them, their" instead of "he, his, she, hers".</strong> I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural, but my experience students catch on pretty quickly. We're not going for perfection, just making an effort! Please feel free to reach out to me or administration if you have any questions. My priority is for all of my students to be comfortable in my classroom and have a space where they can be themselves while learning."</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=" - Mx. Bressack.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 550px; height: 728px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, it didn't take long for the parents of Mx. Bressack's students to post their outrage to a Facebook group called “Tally Moms Stay Connected." One mom bluntly asked&nbsp; <strong>"is this fucking for real?"</strong> while another dad wondered whether it might makes sense to just stick to teaching math and science if your job is to be a math and science teacher.</p> <p><a href=" - Mx. Bressack comments.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 609px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, principal Paul Lambert assured parents that Mx. Bressack enjoyed his full support but that<strong> "teachers in our district will not be allowed to use their influence in<br /> the classroom to advance any personal belief or political agenda."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"We support her preference in how she's addressed, we certainly do," </strong>Lambert said. "I think a lot of times it might be decided that there is an agenda there, because of her preference — I can tell you her only agenda is teaching math and science at the greatest level she can."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lambert acknowledged there have been some calls to the Canopy Oaks front office regarding the letter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"There has been some (contact from concerned parents), the thing that has brought good understanding is, it's not a preference that's being applied to anyone other than the teacher."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"According to Principal Lambert, the teacher addresses students daily by using the pronouns he, she, him and her.&nbsp; The teacher also uses ma’am and sir when responding to students. As a personal preference, however, the teacher simply prefers to be referred to in gender neutral terms as that of a coach," Hanna wrote.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"I can assure you that teachers in our district will not be allowed to use their influence in the classroom to advance any personal belief or political agenda. At this time, I do not believe that is the case in this instance."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So what say you...necessary step toward forming a more perfect progressive society or just complete insanity?</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="718" height="366" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Disputes in English grammar Education Florida Gender neutrality Gender-neutral language Grammar Grammatical gender Grammatical number Linguistics Modern English personal pronouns Pronoun Singular they Third-person pronoun Twitter Twitter T–V distinction Vanderbilt University Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603946 at Dallas School Board Designates Founding Fathers As Having "Confederate Links" <p><em>&quot;Just if we saw Confederacy named in it, we then highlighted it&quot; says a school board spokesperson while <strong>describing a list which contained Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Sam Houston.</strong></em></p> <p>The Dallas Independent School District is in damage control mode after an internal school board list was obtained by local press which shows schools under consideration for name changes due to possible&nbsp;&quot;connections with slavery or the Confederacy.&quot; News of the list, obtained by the Dallas Morning News early this week, caused outrage for the fact that it <strong>includes Texas revolutionaries and founders such as Sam Houston, James Bowie and William Travis</strong>, as well as Dallas pioneers James Gaston and William Brown Miller. It further names other early American figures <strong>who very obviously lived long before the existence of the Confederacy</strong> such as U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and, inexplicably, Ben Franklin.</p> <p><a href=""><em><img alt="" height="332" src="" width="547" /></em></a></p> <p><em>Battle of the Alamo: Even the Texas revolutionary defenders of the iconic Alamo were on a list of &quot;controversial&quot; historical figures which Dallas ISD needed to &quot;research&quot; for review of whether school names could stay.</em></p> <p>Of course, <strong>William Travis and Jim Bowie both died at the Alamo in 1836</strong> while the Confederacy didn&#39;t come into existence until 1861. Sam Houston too lived most of his entire life before the civil war and was perhaps the greatest Native American rights supporter of the time, and was adopted as an &quot;honorary Cherokee&quot; by the tribe, having also married a Cherokee woman. Ben Franklin, one of the American founding fathers named on the Dallas ISD list, was a vocal abolitionist. <strong>It is stunning and extremely worrisome that school board trustees would be both so historically illiterate and politically correct that they would put such names on the list in the first place.</strong></p> <p><em><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 550px; height: 818px;" /></a><br />Dallas school board member Dustin Marshall confirmed the list via social media. It&#39;s amazing that even founding fathers like Ben Franklin - an early vocal abolitionist - or Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson should have to be debated.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>But Dallas ISD is currently attempting to backtrack and spin the narrative now that the leaked list is receiving so much push back from Texans. There&#39;s likely some level of embarrassment which motivated the new stance as well. A subsequent <a href="" target="_blank">Dallas Morning News update</a> explained, &quot;Instead of more research, the district is focusing on a narrow set of parameters to only rethink schools named after Confederate generals, said chief of school leadership Stephanie Elizalde.&quot; The board now claims that while the original list was merely for &quot;research&quot; purposes, it is only four schools that are being seriously considered to undergo a name change:&nbsp;Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools.</p> <p>Disturbingly, it appears that &quot;research&quot; into Confederate links is being conducted by a mere one person staff, this according to language used by board spokesperson Stephanie Elizalde. She was quoted further in The Dallas Morning News:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The additional names were never part of any specific renaming plan. Instead, Elizalde said, the list was originally so broad because she wanted to do &quot;due diligence&quot; on the names of the district&#39;s 226 campuses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;The more I researched, the more I was going to find,&quot;</strong> she said.</p> </blockquote> <p>The more detailed explanation of her methodology is strange considering many of the names that actually made <a href="" target="_blank">the school board&#39;s list</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>This was just a very quick review of looking at the biographies of the individuals, and if there was <strong>any association with Confederacy</strong> &mdash; not making a judgment for or against &mdash; <strong>just if we saw Confederacy named in it, we then highlighted it.</strong> We are now in the process of doing a second [look].</p> </blockquote> <p>Yet that doesn&#39;t explain how authors of America&#39;s founding documents and Texas revolutionary came to be &quot;highlighted&quot;, unless the Dallas school board&#39;s knowledge of history is really that appalling (a real possibility it seems).&nbsp;</p> <p>Rod Dreher, writing for <a href="">The American Conservative</a>, summarized the sad state of Dallas ISD with the following:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Imagine the impoverishment of the minds who believe the most significant thing to know about Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin, is that they were in some way tainted by slavery. Imagine the ignorance of school leaders who are going to investigate whether&nbsp;<a href="">William Travis</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="">Jim Bowie&nbsp;</a>&mdash; both of whom died in 1836 at the Alamo &mdash; could have been involved with the Confederacy, which came into existence in 1861...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s disgusting, this iconoclasm.</strong> In 2015,&nbsp;<a href="">40 percent of DISD&rsquo;s schools received a failing grade from the state.&nbsp;</a>To be fair, over 90 percent of DISD&rsquo;s students come from low income homes, meaning that the school system has tremendous barriers to overcome in educating them. <strong>Still, the fact that the DISD trustees are even considering a cosmetic, p.c. gesture like this is a farce.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>As we&#39;ve asked many times before: who will the PC mob come for next? If there&#39;s talk of purging history -&nbsp;even Texas history in&nbsp;<em>Texas&nbsp;</em>schools - then clearly it can and likely will happen anywhere. Will there perhaps be a future time when Texans themselves will no longer &quot;Remember the Alamo!&quot;...?</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="900" height="450" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alamo Mission in San Antonio Battle of the Alamo Confederate States of America Dallas Dallas Independent School District Dallas Independent School District Dallas school board Education internal school board Sam Houston school board Texas The Alamo United States Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:35:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 603939 at Jim Rickards Warns "QT1 Will Lead To QE4" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,</em></a></p> <p><strong>There are only three members of the Board of Governors who matter</strong>: Janet Yellen, Stan Fischer and Lael Brainard. There is only one Regional Reserve Bank President who matters: Bill Dudley of New York. Yellen, Fischer, Brainard and Dudley are the &ldquo;Big Four.&rdquo;</p> <p>They are the only ones worth listening to. They call the shots. The don&rsquo;t like dots. <strong>Everything else is noise.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="290" src="" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Here&rsquo;s the model the Big Four actually use:</strong></span></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>1. </strong>Raise rates 0.25% every March, June, September and December until rates reach 3.0% in late 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Take a &ldquo;pause&rdquo; on rate hikes if one of three pause factors apply: disorderly asset price declines, jobs growth below 75,000 per month, or persistent disinflation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Put balance sheet normalization on auto-pilot and let it run &ldquo;on background.&rdquo; Don&rsquo;t use it as a policy tool.</p> </blockquote> <p>Simple.</p> <p><u><em><strong>What does this model tell us about a rate hike in December?</strong></em></u></p> <p>Disinflation has been strong and persistent. The Fed&rsquo;s main metric for this (core PCE deflator year-over-year) has dropped from 1.9% in January to 1.4% in July. The August reading comes out on September 29. This time series is moving strongly in the wrong direction from the Fed&rsquo;s perspective. This is what caused the September &ldquo;pause&rdquo; (which we predicted for readers last March).</p> <p>After seven months of decline, one month of increase, if it comes, <strong>will not be enough to get the Fed to end the pause.</strong> It would take at least two months of increases to change the Fed&rsquo;s mind.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s unlikely given the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Those effects may be temporary, but they come at exactly the time when the Fed was looking for a turnaround in core inflation. <strong>They won&rsquo;t get it. The pause goes on.</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>How do I know this?</strong></em></span></p> <p><em><strong>For one thing, the Fed explains this all the time. It&rsquo;s just that the media won&rsquo;t listen; they&rsquo;re too busy chasing dots.</strong></em></p> <p>But this was also explained to me in detail by the ultimate Fed insider. I call him, &ldquo;The Man Without a Face,&rdquo; and I identify him by name in chapter six of my <em>New York Times </em>bestseller, <em>The Road to Ruin.</em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s true that Stan Fischer is leaving the board soon, but the White House has been in no hurry to fill vacancies. <strong>The Big Four will still be The Big Three (Yellen, Dudley and Brainard) when the December meeting rolls around and the analysis will be the same.</strong></p> <p>Eventually the markets will figure this out. <u><strong>Right now, markets are giving a 70% chance of a rate hike in December based on CME Fed Funds futures. That rate will drop to below 20% by Dec. 13 when the FOMC meets again with a press conference.</strong></u> (There&rsquo;s another meeting on Nov. 1, but no one expects any policy changes then).</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 253px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Now, with respect to quantitative tightening (QT), the same way they tapered QE, they&rsquo;re going to &ldquo;taper&rdquo; QT. This time however, they&rsquo;re going to taper upward. Meaning they&rsquo;re going to go from $10 billion a month not being rolled over to $20 billion, $30 billion, etc.</strong></p> <p>Eventually, the amount of securities they don&rsquo;t roll over will go up until the balance sheet controlled by the Fed comes down to the targeted figure. <strong>The projection is that it could take five years to achieve. The problem is we might not make it that far before the entire system collapses.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>We&rsquo;re in a new reality. But the Fed doesn&rsquo;t realize it.</strong></u></p> <p><u><strong>Here&rsquo;s what the Fed wants you to believe&hellip;</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The Fed wants you to think that QT will not have any impact. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fed leadership speaks in code and has a word for this which you&rsquo;ll hear called &ldquo;background.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Fed wants this to run on background. </strong>Think of running on background like someone using a computer to access email while downloading something on background.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>This is complete nonsense.</strong></u> They&rsquo;ve spent eight years saying that quantitative easing was stimulative. Now they want the public to believe that a change to quantitative tightening is not going to slow the economy.</p> <p>They continue to push that conditions are sustainable when printing money, but when they make money disappear, it will not have any impact. This approach falls down on its face &mdash; and it will have a big impact.</p> <p>Markets continue to not be fully discounted because they don&rsquo;t have enough information. Contradictions coming from the Fed&rsquo;s happy talk wants us to believe that QT is not a contractionary policy, but it is.</p> <p><strong>My estimate is that every $500 billion of quantitative tightening could be equivalent to one .25 basis point rate hike. </strong>The Fed is about to embark on a policy to let the balance sheet run down.</p> <p>The plan is to reduce the balance sheet $30 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, then increase the quarterly tempo by an additional $30 billion per quarter until hitting a level of $150 billion per quarter by October 1, 2018.</p> <p>Under that estimate, the balance sheet reduction would be about $600 billion by the end of 2018, and another $600 billion by the end of 2019.</p> <p><strong>That would be the equivalent of half a .25 basis point rate hike in each of the next two years in addition to any actual rate hikes.</strong></p> <p>While they might attempt to say that this method is just going to &ldquo;run on background,&rdquo; don&rsquo;t believe it.</p> <p><strong>The decision by the Fed to not purchase new bonds will be just as detrimental to the growth of the economy as raising interest rates.</strong></p> <p>The Fed&rsquo;s QT policy that aims to tighten monetary conditions, reduce the money supply and increase interest rates will cause the economy to hit a wall, if it hasn&rsquo;t already.</p> <p><strong>The economy is slowing. Even without any action, retail sales, real incomes, auto sales and even labor force participation are all declining. Every important economic indicator shows that the U.S. economy is slowing right now. When you add in QT, we may very well be in a recession very soon.</strong></p> <p>Because they&rsquo;re getting ready for a potential recession where they&rsquo;ll have to cut rates yet again. Then it&rsquo;s back to QE. You could call that QE4 or QE1 part 2. The Fed has essentially trapped itself into a state of perpetual manipulation.</p> <p><strong><u><em>The problem continues to be that the stock market is overpriced for this combination of higher rates and slower growth.</em></u></strong></p> <p>The one thing to know about bubbles is they last longer than you think and they pop when you least expect it. Under such conditions, it&rsquo;s usually when the last guy throws in the towel that the bubble pops. We&rsquo;re not there yet.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Is this thing ready to pop? Absolutely, and QT could be just the thing to do it.</strong></em></u></p> <p>I would say the market is fundamentally set up for a fall. When you throw in the fact that the Fed continues to have no idea what they&rsquo;re doing, and has taken a dangerous course anyway, I expect a very severe stock market correction coming sooner than later.</p> <p>As market perceptions catch up with reality, the dollar will sink, the euro and gold will rally, and interest rates will resume their long downward slide.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Do you have your gold yet?</strong></em></u></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="795" height="384" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Auto Sales Bill Dudley Board of Governors Business Disinflation Economic policy Economy ETC fed Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve System Happy Talk Inflation Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Jim Rickards Macroeconomics Monetary policy Money Money Supply New York Times Quantitative Easing Quantitative easing Reality Recession Recession US Federal Reserve White House White House Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603951 at Jamie Dimon Faces Market Abuse Claim Over "False, Misleading" Bitcoin Comments <p>A week after Jamie Dimon made headlines by proclaiming Bitcoin a &quot;fraud&quot; and anyone who owns it as &quot;stupid,&quot; <strong><em>the JPMorgan CEO faces a market abuse claim for &quot;spreading false and misleading information&quot; about bitcoin</em></strong>.</p> <p>Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you will be well aware of <a href="">JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon&#39;s panicked outburst with regard the &#39;fraud&#39; that Bitcoin&#39;s &#39;tulip-like&#39; bubble is</a>. To paraphrase:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&quot;It&rsquo;s a fraud. It&rsquo;s making stupid people, such as my daughter, feel like they&rsquo;re geniuses. It&rsquo;s going to get somebody killed. I&rsquo;ll fire anyone who touches it.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 350px;" /></a></p> <p>One week later, an algorithmic liquidity provider called Blockswater has filed a market abuse report against&nbsp;<a href="">Jamie Dimon</a>&nbsp;for &quot;spreading false and misleading information&quot; about bitcoin.</p> <p>The firm filed the report with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority against&nbsp;<a href="">JPMorgan</a> Chase and Dimon, the company&#39;s chief executive. Blockswater said Dimon violated Article 12 of the European Union&#39;s Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) by declaring that cryptocurrency bitcoin was &quot;a fraud&quot;.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The complaint said<strong> Dimon&#39;s statement negatively impacted &quot;the cryptocurrency&#39;s price and reputation&quot;.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It also said Dimon &quot;knew, or ought to have known, that the information he disseminated was false and misleading&quot;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Jamie Dimon&#39;s public assertions did not only affect the reputation of bitcoin, they harmed the interests of some of his own clients and many young businesses that are working hard to create a better financial system,&rdquo;</strong> said Florian Schweitzer, managing partner at Blockswater.</p> </blockquote> <p>Blockswater said JPMorgan traded bitcoin derivatives for their clients on Stockholm-based exchange Nasdaq Nordic before and after Dimon&#39;s statements (<a href="">as we detailed here</a>), which <strong>Schweitzer said &quot;smells like market manipulation&quot;.</strong></p> <p>Blockswater works with blockchain-based assets based in London and Austria. Its full complaint is below:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Blockswater Files Market Abuse Report Against Jamie Dimon in Stockholm</strong><br />Blockswater LLP believes that Dimon violated EU&rsquo;s Market Abuse Regulation by &quot;spreading false and misleading information&quot; about bitcoin</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>STOCKHOLM/NEW YORK/LONDON/VIENNA, September 21, 2017 - Algorithmic liquidity provider Blockswater LLP filed a market abuse report with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) against JPMorgan Chase and Co. CEO Jamie Dimon. Blockswater believes that Dimon violated Article 12 of the European Union&#39;s Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) by declaring that cryptocurrency bitcoin was &quot;a fraud.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The complaint filed with the Swedish authorities demonstrates how Dimon&#39;s statement negatively impacted &quot;the cryptocurrency&#39;s price and reputation.&rdquo; The document also lists evidence that suggests Dimon &quot;knew, or ought to have known, that the information he disseminated was false and misleading.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Jamie Dimon&#39;s public assertions did not only affect the reputation of bitcoin, they harmed the interests of some of his own clients and many young businesses that are working hard to create a better financial system,&rdquo; says Florian Schweitzer, managing partner at Blockswater. JPMorgan traded bitcoin derivatives for their clients on Stockholm-based exchange Nasdaq Nordic before and after Dimon&#39;s statements fueled volatility in the market. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a clear case of double standards and it smells like market manipulation.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Article 12 of the European Union&#39;s Market Abuse Regulation prohibits the manipulation of markets through practices such as spreading false or misleading information. Nasdaq Nordic, where exchange-traded notes on bitcoin are listed, defines the term &ldquo;market manipulation&rdquo; in accordance with the EU&rsquo;s definition as &ldquo;dissemination of information through the media, including the Internet, or by any other means that gives, or is likely to give, false or misleading signals as to Listed Products, including the dissemination of rumours and false or misleading news, where the person who made the dissemination knew, or ought to have known, that the information was false or misleading.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>FI confirmed receipt of the report but did not comment further except to state that the financial markets regulator &quot;will handle it according to [FI&#39;s] procedures.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Blockswater LLP is an algorithmic liquidity provider for blockchain-based assets based in London (UK) and Vienna (Austria).<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="509" height="297" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Business Chase Bank Cryptocurrencies Economy of New York City European Union European Union Finance Financial services Financial Supervisory Authority Financial Supervisory Authority against JPMorgan Chase and Dimon headlines House of Morgan Jamie Dimon Jamie Dimon JPMorgan Chase JPMorgan Chase Market Manipulation NASDAQ Volatility Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:55:11 +0000 Tyler Durden 603908 at Active Volcano Mt. Rainer Shaken By 'Swarm' Of 23 Earthquakes <p>Don&rsquo;t panic - it&#39;s only an active volcano. What&rsquo;s the worst that could happen?</p> <p>Some two dozen earthquakes have shaken Washington State&rsquo;s Mt. Rainer over the past two weeks &ndash; but seismologists say people who live nearby shouldn&rsquo;t panic.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;In the past, these swarms last a couple of days to a week or so and then die out,&rdquo; said Paul Bodin, of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.</p> </blockquote> <p>The first of the 23 quakes struck on Sept. 11 near the volcano&rsquo;s summit. The largest of the quakes registered magnitude 1.6. During the same period, Mexico experienced two of the deadliest earthquakes in decades. &nbsp;</p> <p>According to the<a href=""> Seattle Times,</a> earthquake swarms typically don&rsquo;t signify that an eruption is imminent.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 620px;" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;So I&rsquo;m treating this as a single eyebrow raised halfway,&rdquo; [Bodin] wrote. &ldquo;Yeah, I see you and will be watching, but I don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;re going to attack.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Most volcanic quake swarms are caused by changes in temperature or groundwater pressure underneath the volcano that causes cracking in the rocks. The recent quakes have been shallow, suggesting that they are not connected to the deep movement of magma &ndash; which would be a much more ominous signal.</p> <p>While we might be tempted to dismiss the ongoing quake swarms under normal circumstances, persistent rumblings underneath another powerful volcano located two states over in Wyoming. The <a href="">Yellowstone Caldera </a>has experienced more than 1,400 low-level quakes since mid-June, alarming scientists who say that an eruption of the yellowstone &quot;supervolcano&quot; could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths across the US.&nbsp; Those quakes followed the strongest earthquake recorded in Montana in more than three decades. Anecdotally, it would seem, seismic activity across the US appears to be on the rise.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 265px;" /></a></p> <p>To be sure, the ST said Rainier experienced similar upticks in the past two years, and a more sustained episode in 2009.</p> <p>But totally writing off the threat seems foolish.<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="486" height="258" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Disaster Earthquake Environment Mexico Seismology University of Washington Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603933 at To Prevent Rebellion, Spain Docks Cruise Ship Housing 16,000 Riot Police In Barcelona Port <p>Efforts by Madrid to stop a Catalonia independence vote, currently slated for October 1st, seem to be growing more hostile by the day.&nbsp; Earlier this week Spanish police seized control of Catalonia’s finances, seeking to ensure that separatist politicians could not spend further public funds on the referendum, and conducted raids across Catalonia to confiscate ballots and campaign materials from printing shops and delivery companies.</p> <p>Now, as the <a href="">New York Times</a> notes this morning, Spanish police have detained 14 people during operations conducted yesterday which included the secretary general of economic affairs, Josep Maria Jové.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The Spanish police detained more than a dozen people in the region of Catalonia on Wednesday, drastically escalating tensions between the national government and Catalan separatists.</strong> The episode occurred less than two weeks before a highly contentious referendum on independence that the government in Madrid has vowed to block.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The police raided the offices of the Catalan regional government early Wednesday and arrested at least 14 people, including Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs.</strong> The arrests were not expected, but hundreds of mayors and other officials in Catalonia had been warned that they would be indicted if they helped organize a referendum in violation of Spanish law.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Hundreds of supporters of Catalan independence immediately took to the streets of Barcelona to protest the arrests. </strong>Jordi Sanchez, the leader of one of the region’s biggest separatist associations, used Twitter to urge Catalans to “resist peacefully,” but also to “come out and defend our institutions.”</p> </blockquote> <p>According to <a href="">Reuters</a>, the increasingly hostile crackdown by the Spanish police has led Catalan leaders to acknowledge for the first time today that plans to hold a referendum on independence are now in doubt following the arrest of senior regional officials and the seizure of campaign material by national police.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“It is obvious that we won’t be able to vote as we would have liked,”</strong> Oriol Junqueras, deputy head and economy minister of the regional government, told local television TV3. <strong>“They have altered the rules.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was the first time the promoters of the referendum had acknowledged their plans were in doubt, although Junqueras said he said he was convinced voters would still turn out in numbers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is not yet clear whether the police operation would be enough to prevent the vote overall or if it could instead bring fresh momentum to the secession campaign.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Polls show about 40 percent of Catalans support independence although a majority want a referendum on the issue.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="Rajoy" width="501" height="322" /></p> <p><em>Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain</em></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Meanwhile, as a sign of the growing hostility and Madrid's intentions to do all that is necessary to block a vote, </span><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;">Bloomberg</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> notes that </span><strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Spain has hired cruise liners specifically to mount a massive force of 16,000 police in a Catalan port.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Spain has discreetly hired ferries to be moored in the Port of Barcelona as temporary housing for possibly thousands of police</strong> specially deployed to keep order in rebel Catalonia and help suppress an illegal independence referendum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The country’s interior ministry asked Catalan port authorities to provide a berth for one ship until Oct. 3 -- two days after the planned vote -- saying it was a matter of state, a spokeswoman for the port said by phone Wednesday. <strong>The vessel, known as “Rhapsody,” docked in the city about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, she said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The aim is to amass more than 16,000 riot police and other security officers by the Oct. 1 referendum,</strong> El Correo newspaper reported on its website. <strong>That would exceed the number of Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, who serve both the Catalan and central governments.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p><em>the Rhapsody of the Sea cruise ship.</em></p> <p><strong>Still, the Catalan government says it can hold the vote, and recently announced that it had stored about 6,000 ballot boxes in a secret location. “The referendum will be held and is already organized,”</strong> Mr. Romeva said. <strong>“Clearly the conditions in which it will be celebrated are not those that we wished for.”</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Separatist leaders, however, have accused Mr. Rajoy of plunging Catalonia into a state of emergency rather than negotiating the terms of a referendum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“The issue that is at stake today isn’t the independence — or not — of Catalonia,” </strong>Raül Romeva, Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief, told a group of foreign correspondents in Madrid on Wednesday, <strong>“but democracy in Spain and the European Union.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Romeva said that Catalonia would hold the referendum as planned, and that Catalan lawmakers would act to honor the result within 48 hours — meaning they would declare independence unilaterally if people voted for it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“There is no alternative, absolutely no alternative,” </strong>he said. <strong>“There are only two projects now on the table: a democratic project or repression.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Now,why do we have a feeling that placing a riot police force of 16,000 in a Catalan port, ready to pounce at a moment's notice, will <strong>not </strong>help reduce the local push for independence...&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="486" height="215" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Autonomous communities of Spain Catalan government Catalan independence Catalan independence movement Catalan nationalism Catalan police Catalan self-determination referendum Catalans Catalonia Europe European Union European Union Generalitat de Catalunya Independence referendum national government New York Times Newspaper Outline of Catalonia Politics Politics of Catalonia Raül Romeva regional government Reuters Spanish police Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia Twitter Twitter War Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:33:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 603904 at Household Wealth Hits A Record $96.2 Trillion... There Is Just One Catch <div class="content"> <p>In the Fed&#39;s <a href="">latest Flow of Funds report</a>, today the Fed released the latest snapshot of the US &quot;household&quot; sector as of June 30, 2017. What it revealed is that with $111.4 trillion in assets and a modest $15.2 trillion in liabilities, <strong>the net worth of US households rose to a new all time high of $96.2 trillion</strong>, up $1.7 trillion as a result of an estimated $564 billion increase in real estate values, but mostly $1.23 trillion increase in various stock-market linked financial assets like corporate equities, mutual and pension funds, and deposits as the market soared to new all time highs thanks to some $2 trillion in central bank liquidity injections this year.</p> <p>Total household assets in Q2 rose $1.8 trillion to $111.4 trillion, while at the same time, total liabilities, i.e., household borrowings, rose by only $15 billion from $15.1 trillion to $15.2 trillion, the bulk of which was $9.9 trillion in home mortgages.</p> <p>The breakdown of the total household balance sheet as of Q2 is shown below.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 420px;" /></a></p> <p>And the historical change of the US household balance sheet.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 314px;" /></a></p> <p>And while it would be great news if wealth <em>across all of America </em>had indeed risen as much as the chart above shows, the reality is that there is a big catch: as shown <a href="">previously</a>, <strong>virtually all of the net worth, and associated increase thereof, has only benefited a handful of the wealthiest Americans.</strong></p> <p>As a reminder, from the CBO&#39;s latest <a href="">Trends in Family Wealth </a>analysis published last year, here is a breakdown of the above chart by wealth group, which sadly shows how the &quot;average&quot; American wealth is anything but.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="337" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>While the breakdown has not caught up with the latest data, it provides an indicative snapshot of who benefits. Here is how the CBO recently explained the wealth is distributed:</p> <ul> <li><strong>In 2013, families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution held 76 percent of all family wealth, families in the 51st to the 90th percentiles held 23 percent, and those in the bottom half of the distribution held 1 percent.</strong></li> <li><strong>Average wealth was about $4 million for families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution, $316,000 for families in the 51st to 90th percentiles, and $36,000 for families in the 26th to 50th percentiles</strong>. On average, <strong>families at or below the 25th percentile were $13,000 in debt.</strong></li> </ul> <p>In other words, roughly 75% of the $1.8 trillion increase in assets went to benefit just 10% of the population, who also account for roughly 76% of America&#39;s financial net worth.</p> <p><strong>It also means that <u>just 10% of the US population is worth $73 trillion</u>, while half of the US population was worth just ~$9.6 trillion.</strong></p> <p>Even worse, when looking at how wealth distribution changed from 1989 to 2013, a clear picture emerges. Over the period from 1989 through 2013, <strong>family wealth grew at significantly different rates for different segments of the U.S. population. In 2013, for example:</strong>The wealth of families at the 90th percentile of the distribution was 54% greater than the wealth at the 90th percentile in 1989, after adjusting for changes in prices.</p> <ul> <li>The wealth of <strong>those at the median was 4 percent greater </strong>than the wealth of their counterparts in 1989.</li> <li>The wealth of <strong>families at the 25th percentile was 6 percent less </strong>than that of their counterparts in 1989.</li> <li><strong>As the chart below shows, nobody has experienced the same cumulative growth in after-tax income as the &quot;Top 1%&quot;</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><img height="282" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>The above is particularly topical at a time when either party is trying to take credit for the US recovery. Here, while previously Democrats, and now Republicans tout the US &quot;income recovery&quot; they may have forgotten about half of America, but one entity remembers well: loan collectors. As the chart below shows, America&#39;s poor families have never been more in debt.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The share of families in debt (those whose total debt exceeded their total assets) remained almost unchanged between 1989 and 2007 and then increased by 50 percent between 2007 and 2013. In 2013, those families were more in debt than their counterparts had been either in 1989 or in 2007. </strong>For instance, 8 percent of families were in debt in 2007 and, on average, their debt exceeded their assets by $20,000. <strong>By 2013, in the aftermath of the recession of 2007 to 2009, 12 percent of families were in debt and, on average, their debt exceeded their assets by $32,000</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The increase in average indebtedness between 2007 and 2013 for families in debt was mainly the result of falling home equity <strong>and rising student loan balances. </strong>In 2007, 3 percent of families in debt had negative home equity: <strong>They owed, on average, $16,000 more than their homes were worth. In 2013, that share was 19 percent of families in debt, and they owed, on average, $45,000 more than their homes were worth. </strong>The share of families in debt that had outstanding student debt rose from 56 percent in 2007 to 64 percent in 2013, <strong>and the average amount of their loan balances increased from $29,000 to $41,000.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img height="332" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>And there - as we say quarter after quarter- is your &quot;recovery&quot;: <strong>the wealthy have never been wealthier, while half of America, some 50% of households, own just 1% of the country&#39;s wealth, down from 3% in 1989</strong>, while <strong>America&#39;s poor have never been more in debt</strong>.</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1347" height="847" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Distribution of wealth Economic inequality in the United States Economy Economy of the United States Great Recession Home Equity Real estate Reality Recession recovery Social inequality Structure US Federal Reserve Wealth Wealth inequality in the United States World economy Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:30:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 603935 at