en What Selloff: Futures Rebound, Nikkei Extends Record Winning Streak <p>European shares are modestly lower as investors monitor tense events in Spain and as focus turns to Thursday’s ECB meeting; US equity futures have rebounded from yesterday's sharp but shallow selloff and are in the green amid rising odds of U.S. tax reform and the imminent unveiling of the next Fed chair while Asian shares rise and Japan extends its winning streak to a record 16 days. The euro edged higher after data showed Europe’s economy is maintaining momentum, while the USDJPY managed to recover all of yesterday's sharp losses.</p> <p>The MSCI’s 47-country world share index stayed near all-time highs after a drop in General Electric shares on Wall Street had seen the ViX volatility index spike up, however that move has been largely faded since.</p> <p>Overnight currency moves were mostly contained, but the greenback strengthened against most peers and U.S. equity futures edged higher amid continued speculation over who will lead the Federal Reserve, and as optimism over tax reform proved resilient. "There is some support building for Donald Trump’s tax reforms,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, an analyst at London Capital Group, told Bloomberg by email. News reports suggest “that fiscal hawks may be willing to disregard deficit spending to allow Trump to go ahead with his tax cut plans to boost growth. If approved, the fiscal reforms will cost an arm to the government, but on the other hand, it is important for the congress to achieve some progress before the end of the year in order to restore confidence."</p> <p>The USD rallied across G-10 for bulk of the session, with the DXY back to top of recent range between 50- and 100-DMAs. <strong></strong> The New Zealand’s dollar stumbled to a five-month low as the incoming Labour coalition’s policies unsettled investors. Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern’s tough stance on foreign investment in housing and on immigration could prove negative for the currency, given the country runs a current account deficit. In addition, Ardern said on Tuesday her government plans to review and reform the Central Bank Act to possibly include employment, alongside inflation, as a dual target. “Everything happening so far is something that is creating uncertainty when it comes to central bank independence,” said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist at Credit Agricole. “But you also have to keep in mind Labour did point in that direction during the election so it’s not a huge surprise that they want such changes.”</p> <p>As <a href="">Bloomberg notes</a>, given that the timing of an announcement on the next Fed chair isn’t certain and that tax reform is a lengthy process, investors’ more immediate focus looks set to be Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting. The ECB is expected to offer more insight into its plans for tapering the QE program that is currently planned to continue until the end of 2017. Expectations are for a €30 billion QE extension for at least 9 months, with some more dovish variants possible. Officials have acknowledged that stimulus is still required to nurture inflation and that interest rates will remain “at or below” current levels for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>Ahead of the ECB, the consensus trade is to go short the 10Y Bund which however has so far failed to move the benchmark paper substantially as <em><strong>any </strong></em>asset volatility now appears a thing of the past.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>Overnight, the euro was a little stronger after strong PMI data showed Europe’s economy maintaining momentum, but the region’s stocks drifted downward as investors kept one eye on events in Spain and the all-important ECB gathering; Bunds sold off from the open with further momentum driven by PMIs and related inflation commentary; USTs and gilts dragged lower in tandem, UST curve steepens. German banks rallied after takeover speculation on Commerzbank (+3.9%); energy stocks rally as crude futures react positively to further reports of output cut extension. </p> <p>Japanese stocks rose again, <strong>with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average extending its record-breaking rally to a 16th day to a fresh 21 year high, </strong>as investors shifted their focus to corporate earnings from Sunday’s general election helped by the weaker yen which failed to maintain its gains during the US session. The Topix erased an early decline, completing a 12-day gain, the longest since November, with banks and telecommunications companies providing the biggest boost. Japan’s earnings season kicked off in earnest this week, with Canon Inc. and Nidec Corp. releasing results today, followed by Fanuc Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and NTT Docomo Inc. later this week. “There’s still more room for Japanese stocks to advance, given the firm prospects for companies’ earnings,” said Kyouko Amemiya, a senior market advisor with SBI Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The economy as well as corporate performance are on firm footing globally. Japanese stocks still look cheap in relative to U.S. equities.” While Sunday’s general election result has already been priced in to a degree, stocks still have some “upside”, </p> <p>Elsewhere in Asia, equity markets traded with modest gains in what was a quiet and rangebound trading session amid a lack of drivers. Regional bourses shrugged off the weak performance by their US counterparts which pulled back from record levels, with ASX 200 (Unch.) indecisive and Hang Seng (Unch.) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) just about kept afloat as another substantial liquidity operation by the PBoC (140BN net on the session and a whopping 840BN in the past week) only provided minimal support heading to the close of the National Congress. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat with demand subdued by a modest risk tone and after an uneventful enhanced liquidity auction for super-long JGBs.</p> <p>Europe’s key stock benchmark was little changed, as most European stocks dipped and bond yields drifted higher on Tuesday, as data from the euro zone’s top economies bolstered the case for the European Central Bank to signal a sizeable cut this week to its stimulus measures. Individual equities dominate moves amid earnings reports, while strong manufacturing data provided support to risk. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell less than 0.1%, ahead of an ECB meeting later this week. Apple supplier AMS saw a spectacular 15 percent jump after it pointed to strong demand ahead of the iPhone X release while Boliden drops 9.9% on worse-than-expected profit. France’s CAC 40 up 0.3% on earnings and after October manufacturing data beat estimates. Commerzbank outperformed following the company drafting in financial advisers, preparing for potential bids from European rivals. Europe’s earnings season has begun gaining some traction, notably, Essilor, affirming guidance and leading the CAC. </p> <p>Also overnight as <a href="">reported earlier</a> President Xi Jinping of China consolidated his power before the Communist Party’s unveiling of its top leaders on the Politburo and supreme Standing Committee on Wednesday. The composition may determine the pace of Xi’s reform plans, from deleveraging to modernizing the military. Stocks in Shanghai gained, while those in Hong Kong dropped.</p> <p>In commodities, gold dipped 0.3 percent to $1,278.29 an ounce, the weakest in more than two weeks. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.1 percent to $51.94 a barrel. LME zinc gained 1.2 percent to $3,167.50 per metric ton. LME copper advanced 1.3 percent to $7,092.50 per metric ton.</p> <p>Interest rates were generally higher, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries increased three basis points to 2.39 percent, the highest in more than five months. Germany’s 10-year yield gained four basis points to 0.47 percent, the highest in almost four weeks. Britain’s 10-year yield climbed three basis points to 1.339 percent, the highest in more than a week.</p> <p>AT&amp;T, Eli Lilly, Lockheed, GM and McDonald’s among companies due to report earnings. Economic data include Markit manufacturing PMI readings. </p> <p><strong>Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk</strong></p> <ul> <li>Bunds drag global bonds lower</li> <li>In FX, NZD underperformed amid potential reforms at the RBNZ. Trump claims to be close on Fed Chair decision</li> <li>Looking ahead, highlights include US Manufacturing and weekly APIs</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market Snapshot</strong></p> <ul> <li>S&amp;P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,566.00</li> <li>VIX Index falls -0.29 (2.62%) to 10.78</li> <li>STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 390.36</li> <li>MSCI Asia up 0.1% to 167.20</li> <li>MSCI Asia ex Japan down 0.2% to 547.90</li> <li>Nikkei up 0.5% to 21,805.17</li> <li>Topix up 0.7% to 1,756.92</li> <li>Hang Seng Index down 0.5% to 28,154.97</li> <li>Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,388.25</li> <li>Sensex up 0.2% to 32,559.34</li> <li>Australia S&amp;P/ASX 200 up 0.06% to 5,897.61</li> <li>Kospi up 0.02% to 2,490.49</li> <li>WTI crude futures down 0.5%</li> <li>Brent Futures down 0.3% to $57.21/bbl</li> <li>Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,278.46</li> <li>U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 93.82</li> <li>Bloomberg spot dollar index advances 0.1%</li> <li>German 10Y yield rose 3.3 bps to 0.465%</li> <li>Euro up 0.1% to $1.1762</li> <li>Brent Futures down 0.3% to $57.21/bbl</li> <li>Italian 10Y yield fell 3.7 bps to 1.737%</li> <li>Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to 1.633%</li> </ul> <p><strong>Top Overnight News</strong></p> <ul> <li>BOJ: considering a small cut to its inflation forecast for FY2017;<br /> doesn’t see the need to expand stimulus as improving output gap and<br /> tightening labor market will continue to push inflation higher according<br /> to people familiar with the central bank’s discussions</li> <li>As OPEC negotiates the extension of its oil production cuts until the end of 2018, it’s also quietly started working on a tapering-style exit strategy</li> <li>The euro-area economy maintained its strong momentum at the start of the final quarter of this year, with rising workloads encouraging companies to take on new staff at the sharpest pace in more than a decade, PMIs showed</li> <li>U.K. PM May’s cabinet will meet Tuesday as pressure mounts for it to agree the kind of trade pact Britain wants from the EU -- a day after she damped expectations of a swift Brexit transition deal</li> <li>The EU is also preparing for a “no deal” with the British says Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator in an interview to L’Echo newspaper; EU President Donald Tusk revived the notion that the U.K. will stay in the bloc after all</li> <li>Flow Traders NV reported a 35 percent plunge in net trading income in the third quarter as Europe’s largest trader of ETFs continued to suffer from reduced trading activity</li> <li>On Wednesday, China will finally get an answer to the big question looming over the Communist Party’s biggest political event: Will President Xi Jinping clearly signal a designated successor? On Tuesday Xi’s name was enshrined in the party’s charter under its guiding principles -- an honor that eluded his two immediate predecessors</li> <li>U.S. Govt: House Republicans aiming to release prelim tax reform legislation as soon as next week; plans to be released about seven days after Thursday’s vote on budget resolution, meaning bill text would be published on or before Nov. 3</li> <li>Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin got a swift rebuttal after he went on<br /> national television to claim a hypothetical Indiana family would save<br /> $1,000 under President Donald Trump’s tax plan. At virtually the same<br /> time on another network, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney<br /> dismissed as flawed any attempt to predict the impact of the plan</li> <li>European Oct. prelim composite PMIs: France 57.5 vs 57.0 est; Germany 56.9 vs 57.5 est; euro area 55.9 vs 56.5 est; manufacturing above consensus for all three regions; selling prices rose at the sharpest rate since June 2011</li> <li>Global bonds: Sumitomo and Nippon Life both plan to buy unhedged foreign bonds in 2H FY2017</li> <li>China’s ruling Communist Party approved a revised charter that enshrined President Xi Jinping’s name under its guiding principles, elevating him to a status that eluded his two immediate predecessors</li> <li>White House’s Muddled Tax Message Clouds Pitch for Trump Plan</li> <li>U.S. Lumber Companies Plan to Combine in $1.16 Billion Deal</li> <li>U.S. Will Curb ‘Sneak-and-Peek’ Searches Microsoft Sued Over</li> <li>Taylor’s Walk on Supply Side May Leave Him More Dove Than Yellen</li> <li>Facebook Privacy Can Be Regulated in Germany, EU Court Aide Says</li> <li>NZ PM-elect Ardern says will review, reform Reserve Bank Act</li> <li>Tesla Calls on U.S. to Drop Perry’s Plan to Rescue Nukes, Coal</li> <li>China Cuts Offshore Yuan Bond Sale on H.K. Market Correction: MOF</li> <li>Novartis Plans to Give Ailing Alcon More Time for Turnaround</li> <li>Rise in Texas Earthquakes Near Oilfields Prompts New Monitoring</li> <li>Canon Boosts Op. Profit View Above Est., Plans Special Dividend</li> <li>Boeing Is Said to Have Walked Away From C Series Deal: Globe</li> </ul> <p><strong>Asia equity markets traded with modest gains </strong>in what was a quiet and rangebound trading session amid a lack of drivers. Nonetheless, the regional bourses have shrugged off the weak performance by their US counterparts which pulled back from record levels, with ASX 200 (Unch.) indecisive and Nikkei 225 (+0.2%) mildly positive after the index recovered from early weakness triggered by a firmer JPY to print fresh 21-year highs. Hang Seng (Unch.) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) just about kept afloat as another substantial liquidity operation by the PBoC only provided minimal support heading to the close of the National Congress. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat with demand subdued by a modest risk tone and after an uneventful enhanced liquidity auction for super-long JGBs. PBoC injected CNY 130bln via 7-day reverse repos and CNY 120bln via 14-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.6268 (Prev. 6.6205)</p> <p><em>Top Asian News</em></p> <ul> <li>Noble Group’s Next Battle Will Be Over $3 Billion Debt Pile</li> <li>Bank of Japan Is Said to Consider Lowering Inflation Outlook</li> <li>China Signals Steady Economic Policy as Liu Keeps Party Role</li> <li>Sony Is Said to Plan Nov. Event for New Robot Roll-Out: WSJ</li> <li>HK Stock Gains Evaporate as Caution Reigns Pre-Earnings</li> <li>India Bonds Keep Gains as Jaitley to Make ‘Major Announcement’</li> <li>Sumitomo Life Plans to Boost Foreign Bond Holdings in Fiscal 2H</li> </ul> <p><strong>European bourses trade subdued, as 9 out of 10 European sectors trade in the marginal red, </strong>supported by energy trading up around 0.30%. Despite the lack of direction in the index markets, stock specific news has resulted in volatility, as Commerzbank outperforms in the Dax, following the company drafting in financial advisers, preparing for potential bids from European rivals. Europe’s earnings season has begun gaining some traction, notably, Essilor, affirming guidance and leading the CAC. Early upside faded and reversed as trade turns defensive ahead of major risk events. Firmer than anticipated flash EZ PMIs probably gave sellers some fundamental/macro momentum, but in truth bears had already gained the upper hand in Bunds when the 10 year German bond topped out ahead of near term chart resistance again. Intraday longs are said to have thrown in the towel from the 161.46-40 area, with hefty stops triggered on a break of the lower level down to 161.28 and Bunds subsequently hitting 161.19. Next downside tech support 161.07, 10 year cash yield 0.47% with 0.5% and obvious target. UK Gilts also on the backfoot and down to 124.22, USTs likewise awaiting news on the next Fed chair.</p> <p><em>Top European News</em></p> <ul> <li>Deutsche Boerse Trading Probe Extended in Blow to Kengeter</li> <li>Commerzbank Is Said to Hire Goldman, Rothschild as Advisers: FT</li> <li>UniCredit Third-Quarter Net Rises on Gain From Pioneer Sale</li> <li>Swedbank Falls as Investors Focus on Smaller Capital Buffers</li> <li>Catalan Exiled CaixaBank’s Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates</li> <li>Euro-Area Companies Expand Workforce as Order Growth Picks Up</li> <li>Hawkish ECB Tapering Surprise to Give Bigger Jolt to Euro, Bunds</li> <li>EU Still Floating Idea That Brexit Can Be Reversed Before 2019</li> </ul> <p><strong>In FX,</strong> a fresh setback for the NZD which print fresh 5-month lows at 0.6927. This came as NZ PM-elect Ardern unveiled government plans to review and reform the RBNZ’s Central Bank Act to possibly include employment, alongside inflation as a dual mandate. As it stands, unemployment is near decade lows, while jobs growth however, is at a 2-year low (figures for Q3 released at 2245BST). Although, given that the central bank does not exclude labour market data, its arguable whether a dual mandate will significantly alter the monetary policy skew. What has been brought into question however, is the autonomy of the RBNZ. AUDNZD further supported by the soft NZD, with the cross moving to its highest level since Apr’16. Near term resistance resides at 1.13, which could curb gains a see the cross top out, while the 2016 high is situated 1.1333. JPY: The bid in USD/JPY has been revived by the 16 consecutive days of gains for the Nikkei. Although, the upside could potentially top out just north of 114, with the highs seen in May and July at 114.38-49 within sight. Additionally, the price action may well be dictated by US yields as the 10yr approaches the key 2.4% yet again (currently 2.38%).</p> <p><strong>In commodities,</strong> oil commentary has once again leaked into the news, with Russia’s Energy Minister Novak stating that he plans to discuss an extension of oil cuts with Saudi’s Falih. Oil markets are fairly unfazed, dampened by the latest update of crude oil flows via the Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline to Turkey have modestly risen to around 300,000BPD, possibly indicating the restart of Iraqi/Kurdistan pipeline functionality. Copper continues to impress in metal markets, once again looking towards last week’s highs, aided by the stop hunt through USD 3.20. Elsewhere, gold has come off highs around 1300.00, looking at the key October 6th, 1261.30 low. OPEC is to work on exit strategy alongside cuts extension, according to sources.</p> <p><strong>Looking at the day ahead, </strong>the big highlight datawise are the October flash PMIs due in France (Mfg 56.7, exp. 56.0, Services 57.4, Exp. 56.9), Germany (Mfg 60.5, Exp. 60.2, Services 55.2, Exp. 55.6),&nbsp; the Euro area (Mfg. 58.6. exp. 57.8, Services 54.9, exp. 55.6) and the US. French confidence indicators for October and the Richmond Fed PMI in the US for October are also due. Onto other events, the ECB Bank Lending Survey will also be worth watching while in the UK Chancellor Hammond is scheduled to face questions in the House of Commons. The Bundestag convenes for its inaugural session following the election while in China the CPC wraps up with the appointment of the Central Committee. AT&amp;T, General Motors, Novartis and McDonalds all report earnings.</p> <p><strong>US Event Calendar</strong></p> <ul> <li>9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 53.5, prior 53.1 <ul> <li>Markit US Services PMI, est. 55.2, prior 55.3</li> <li>Markit US Composite PMI, prior 54.8</li> </ul> </li> <li>10am: Richmond Fed Manufact. Index, est. 16.5, prior 19</li> </ul> <p><strong>DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap</strong></p> <p>The dull start to the important ECB week should get a little impetus today with the release of the various flash PMIs which are currently at around multiyear highs in many countries. For example the Eurozone and both Germany and France’s manufacturing PMI are at 10 and 6 year highs respectively. For today consensus is expecting a small pullback in October, with manufacturing PMI in the Eurozone expected to be 57.8 (vs. 58.1 previous), Germany at 60 (vs. 60.6 previous) and France at 56 (vs. 56.1 previous). This morning, the Nikkei Japan manufacturing PMI was slightly lower at 52.5 (vs. 52.9 previous).</p> <p>The quiet start to the week so far is partly due to market participants waiting for 'Super Thursday' when the ECB will announce their long awaited updated tapering decision. As we'll see later it's also the day the Catalan&nbsp; parliament meet to respond to Madrid's threat of direct rule and possibly declare independence. There was also a story from and Politico yesterday that Thursday may see the US House vote on passing the Senate version of the budget that was approved last week. If so, and successful, this would accelerate the possibility of tax cuts as the weeks of reconciling the two budgets would be sidestepped. So all in all potentially a big day on Thursday.</p> <p>Ahead of all that, tensions around Catalonia continue to bubble along as we build to a potential crescendo towards the end of the week. Overnight, Bloomberg reported that Catalan activists are considering mobilising human shields near government buildings to deter the Spanish government from taking control of the region. The leader of the main separatist group (Lluis Corominas) said “we’re calling for a peaceful and democratic defence of the<br />institutions”. Looking ahead, the full Catalan Parliament will meet this Thursday (9am local time), with prior Bloomberg reports suggesting Catalan President Puidgement may consider formally declaring independence. On the other side, the Spanish Senate will debate the Article 155 measures proposed by PM Rajoy on Thursday afternoon with final votes on Friday morning (9:30am local time). If the measures are passed, Rajoy’s new constitutional powers would take effect from next Monday. Elsewhere, El Confidential reported the Spanish Senate would approve intervention of Catalan government even if President Puigdemont calls for early regional election.</p> <p>Staying with the trend, over in Italy, two of its wealthiest Northern regions have also voted on Sunday in referendums for more autonomy from the central government. The Lombardy region (includes Milan) had a 38% eligible voter turnout and of that, 95% voted for in favour of higher autonomy, while the&nbsp; Veneto region (includes Venice) had 57% voter turnout with 98% voting in favour. The two regions account of c25% of Italy’s population and c30% of economic output. Note the votes are non-binding and unlikely to lead to referendum for independence, in part as Milan and Venice had relatively lower voter turnout, at 31% and 45% respectively. However, it does partly highlight the recent shifts in European politics and perhaps lends greater support to the Northern League Party ahead of next year’s Italian election.</p> <p>Staying with politics, it seems that a swift Brexit transition deal is increasingly less likely and may instead be part of a wider agreement that will be finalised later on. The PM’s spokesman James Slack said “everybody has always been clear that we’re looking to wrap all this up in one single go….everything will be agreed at the same time”. When asked later on, PM May avoided directly answering the question, but alluded that transitions is about “practical arrangements to reach the future partnership”, but you don’t know those arrangements “until you know what the future partnership is”. Her parliament address was relatively upbeat, signalling progress has been made on Brexit talk, in particular on EU citizen rights and the northern Irish border, but conceded that “we’re preparing for every eventuality to ensure that we leave in a smooth and orderly way”.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the EC President Junker noted “nothing is true” in reference to a German newspaper article (Frankfurter Allgemeine) which noted the UK PM May “begged for help” from him during their working dinner last week and appeared disheartened and discouraged. Earlier on, Juncker reiterated that the UK must agree on a financial settlement with the EU before parallel talks can begin on the country’s future trade ties with the bloc.</p> <p>Turning to the US and its search for the next Fed Chair. President Trump told reporters on Monday that he is “very very close” to finalising the winning candidate, but did not provide further details. DB’s Peter Hooper takes an updated look at the three candidates and believes if Ms Yellen do not get re-elected, then a Powell-led Fed makes more sense, in part as i) he would provide the highest degree of continuity to current policy, ii) he has had c5 years of experience working inside the Fed with a reputation as a consensus builder, and iii) while not a PHD trained economist, he has learned the trade well, as evidenced by his speeches and Q&amp;A performance. For more details, refer to link.</p> <p>This morning in Asia, markets have dismissed the negative lead from US last night and are trading marginally higher. The Nikkei (+0.17%), Hang Seng (+0.15%), Kospi (+0.08%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.07%) all slightly up as wetype. Before this US bourses softened yesterday ahead of a bumper week for corporate results, with the S&amp;P (-0.40%), Dow (-0.23%) and Nasdaq (-0.64%) all slightly lower. Within the S&amp;P, most sectors excluding utilities (+0.05%) were in the red, with modest losses led by telcos (-0.96%) and industrial stocks. Seagate Technology bucked the trend to rise 12.62% after reporting higher profits and sales. The VIX reversed its three consecutive days of decline and jumped 11.0% to 11.07.</p> <p>European equities were slightly higher, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.16%, driven by gains in tech and utilities stocks. Across the region, the DAX (+0.09%) and FTSE (+0.02%) were little changed while Spain’s IBEX fell 0.60% following continued tensions at Catalonia.</p> <p>Over in government bonds, markets were slightly firmer to partly recover the larger losses back on Friday. Core 10y bond yields fell c2bp (UST -1.8bp; Bunds: -2.1bp, Gilts -2bp) while peripherals outperformed with Spanish and Italian yields down c4bp. At the 2y part of the curve, yields were also lower, with UST (-1.2bp), Bunds (-1.1bp) and Gilts (-0.4bp) all down slightly. Turning to currencies, the US dollar index edged higher (+0.16%) while the Euro fell 0.30%. Sterling bucked the trend to be marginally up (+0.06%), partly supported by UK PM May’s more positive address on progress with Brexit talks. In commodities, WTI oil was little changed (+0.12%) and precious metals increased following the risk off bias (Gold +0.14%; Silver +0.33%). Elsewhere, other base metals have also increased slightly (Copper +0.68%; Zinc +1.52%; Aluminium +0.18%).</p> <p>Away from markets and back to US tax reforms where there has been a bit more clarity on its timing before its expected delivery by the end of the year. The House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said the timing for the bill “is very shortly”. The House Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows noted that he has been promised by the House Ways and Means committee that they will release the tax plans on or before 3 November. Following on, he also noted that “I fully expect us voting on this by the middle to third week” of November. Elsewhere, Trump has weighed into the tax reform debate and tweeted “there will be NO change to your 401(k)” as this has “always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works and it stays”.</p> <p>Over in Germany, the FT reported that according to an internal CDU party paper it obtained, the government has €30bn to spend over the next four years, yet the wish list from CDU and the other coalition partners (FDP &amp; Greens) for tax cuts, social benefits and other spend has already totalled €100bn, which if true is a meaningful departure from Germany’s fiscal discipline. So will this election result force the purse strings to open a little in Germany? Elsewhere, Germany’s long serving finance minister Schäuble is expected to take up the role as the speaker of the Parliament when the Bundestag reconvenes today.</p> <p>Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday, which saw a relatively quiet start to the week. In the US, the September Chicago Fed’s national activity index was higher than consensus at 0.17 (vs. -0.13 expected), with any reading above zero consistent with above trend growth. In Europe, the October flash consumer confidence improved slightly mom to -1 (vs. -1.1 expected), marking a fresh 16 year high. In the UK, the October CBI industrial trends survey was lower than expected, with the orders index falling to an 11-month low of -2 (vs. 9 expected), but the pricing indicator was steady at similar level as the past two months at 18. In Japan, the BoJ’s 3Q senior loan officer Survey reported similar results to the last quarter, with a small net balance of banks reporting household and corporate loan demand have increased slightly and a small net balance reporting that credit conditions had eased slightly.</p> <p>Looking at the day ahead, the big highlight datawise will be the October flash PMIs due in France, Germany, the Euro area and the US. French confidence indicators for October and the Richmond Fed PMI in the US for October are also due. Onto other events, the ECB Bank Lending Survey will also be worth watching while in the UK Chancellor Hammond is scheduled to face questions in the House of Commons. The Bundestag convenes for its inaugural session following the election while in China the CPC wraps up with the appointment of the Central Committee. AT&amp;T, General Motors, Novartis and McDonalds all report earnings.<strong><br /></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="1200" height="675" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple ASX 200 Bank Lending Survey Bank of Japan Bond Business CAC 40 Catalan government Catalan parliament CDU party Central Committee Chicago Fed China Communist Party Consumer Confidence Copper Credit Conditions Crude Crude Oil Currency DAX 30 Deficit Spending Economy Economy of the European Union Equity Markets EU Court Euro European Central Bank European Central Bank European Union European Union Eurozone Eurozone federal government Federal Reserve flash France General Electric General Motors Germany Gilt-edged securities Gilts Hang Seng 40 Hong Kong House of Commons House Ways and Means committee IBEX 35 Indiana Italy Japan Jim Reid Kevin Brady Loan Officer Survey Markit McDonalds Monetary Policy MSCI World NASDAQ National Congress Newspaper Nikkei Nikkei 225 Northern League party OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Output Gap People's Bank of China Precious Metals Price Action Renminbi Richmond Fed S&P S&P 500 S&P/ASX 200 Senate Spanish government Spanish Senate Standing Committee Stoxx 600 SWIFT Topix Turkey U.S. House Unemployment US Dollar Index US Federal Reserve VIX Volatility West Texas White House White House Yen Yuan Tue, 24 Oct 2017 11:04:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 605872 at Is Decentralization a Threat to Amazon? <p>Amazon is a world&nbsp;dominator&nbsp;and has slowly transformed into a multi-industry overlord since its 1994 inception as a</p> <p>used book marketplace.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">CEO Jeff Bezos wields his influence in many areas, and entire US states compete for his company’s</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> next warehouse location by offering tax credit deals.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Even established industry giants fearfully anticipate his next acquisition.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> Recently, the company took control of Whole Foods,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">and the&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;">entire retail grocery market suffered</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">&nbsp;prolonged stock value declines.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amazon is truly a&nbsp;<a href="">force of centralization</a>, and its leader is a champion of modern capitalism.&nbsp;Recently, however,&nbsp;</p> <p>blockchain technology proved that it had&nbsp;the ability to&nbsp;support complicated user networks,&nbsp;digital libraries and business flow on</p> <p>a decentralized system.&nbsp;Its successes thus far fly in the face of the traditional paradigm,&nbsp;in which Amazon has proven itself time and again.</p> <p>One question remains: are they scared?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Can Amazon Feel the Heat?</strong></p> <p>Realistically, no, Amazon is not currently scared of decentralization.&nbsp;It stands to reason that a company which</p> <p>demonstrates&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">such a willingness to pivot into new circumstances,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">could also simply&nbsp;</span>develop <a href="">their own decentralized solution</a> </p> <p>that<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">&nbsp;</span>preserves their&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">vast stake&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">in the status quo.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">However, assuming they don’t have a blockchain solution ready to release tomorrow,</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">or that </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">they&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">won’t just acquire&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">competitive companies in the space,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">decentralization is indeed a threat to the way Amazon currently operates.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><br /></span></p> <p>One of the tenets of Amazon’s business is its AWS service, a storage and hosting solution for those who need to keep their online assets</p> <p>(like websites, applications, and more) running.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Users from around the world log in to AWS servers, </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">which are kept in a central location,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">to access their data.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Unfortunately, blockchain hosting solutions threaten this model in many ways. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">They’re better in terms of security, speed, and pricing.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Power of Decentralization</strong></p> <p>Decentralized networks are not susceptible to the same attacks that can take down an AWS server.</p> <p>DDoS attacks target a single source of data and flood it with so many requests that it shuts down, taking every website it hosts along with it.</p> <p>Decentralized solutions host the network’s assets on all nodes simultaneously, so affecting one (or many) will&nbsp;<a href="">make no difference to users</a>.</p> <p>Viewers of a website hosted on a decentralized server will also enjoy a faster connection because their computer</p> <p>will be communicating with local nodes rather than a faraway server.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another large part of Amazon’s business is advertising.&nbsp;Not running ads, but rather selling key user data</p> <p>to companies who use it to target audiences better.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Users of Amazon’s centralized platforms and applications&nbsp;</span>have<span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> no choice in the matter</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> – they surrender their data the moment they start using Prime,, or AWS.</span></p> <p>Decentralization tears down this notion to its very foundation, and then tears that down too.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Thanks to encryption standards, </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">blockchain solutions like&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;">Streamr</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">&nbsp;naturally protect&nbsp;user identities and therefore give them control </span>over&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">their data.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">This is because data is worthless without an identity, demographic, or person to attach it to.</span></p> <p>Streamr, for example, allows people to share as much or as little of their data as they like.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Golem is another, allowing remote network nodes to access supercomputer power through the blockchain.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Individuals, companies, and even machines have a system to automatically exchange their live data for cryptocurrency,</p> <p>which is&nbsp;<a href="">ideal for the IoT</a>&nbsp;(internet of things) industry especially.&nbsp;This largely removes the high degree of control that Amazon and others</p> <p>exercise over data collection&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">and dissemination. C</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">ompanies such as Tesla, who rely on streamed data in their autonomous vehicle systems,</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> will be able to acquire the data necessary from sources other than Amazon.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Demolishing the Old Ways</strong></p> <p>Amazon’s profits come largely from centralization, and when centralization goes away, so do their profits.</p> <p>They make their money from buying vertically and horizontally through industries,</p> <p>and people love them because they can make being a customer more convenient.</p> <p>What these customers fail to recognize is that they’re giving up a large degree of control for this privilege.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the impetus behind the trend of mergers and acquisitions that one may have noticed in the last few decades.</p> <p>Currently, power and wealth come from the ownership of concentrated user data, but decentralization unlocks this power</p> <p>for everyone individually.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px;">All that’s left is for people to populate platforms like those from Streamr,&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;">Golem</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">, Datum and others,</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> and the tables will quickly turn.</span></p> Amazon Amazon Web Services Bitcoin Blockchains Cloud computing Computing Cryptocurrencies Decentralization encryption Fail Technology Technology Vertica Web hosting Web hosting service Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:04:23 +0000 financedude85 605870 at All Hail: Xi Jinping Confirmed As "Most Powerful Chinese Leader Since Mao" <p>The phrase &ldquo;Socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era&rdquo; is hardly catchy, but wields immense power. Xi Jinping became the first incumbent leader since Mao to have his name and thought added to the Party&rsquo; guiding principles, symbolising a major elevation in his power.</p> <p><a href="">Bloomberg reports </a>&ldquo;China&rsquo;s ruling Communist Party approved a revised charter that enshrined President Xi Jinping&rsquo;s name under its guiding principles, elevating him to a status that eluded his two immediate predecessors. The amended constitution voted on by the Communist Party in Beijing listed &lsquo;Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era&rsquo; alongside the theories of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. While presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao also secured contributions to the document, neither was featured by name. The revisions confirmed Xi&rsquo;s rapid consolidation of power and will reinforce speculation that he might seek to stay on after his second term ends in 2022.</p> <p><strong>No Chinese leader since Mao has managed to put his stamp on the party&rsquo;s prevailing ideology in its foundational document before stepping down.&nbsp;&lsquo;Enshrining &lsquo;Xi Jinping thought&rsquo; in the Constitution will ensure that Xi Jinping is considered one of the great transformative leaders&rsquo; of China, </strong>said Elizabeth Economy, director of Asia Studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.</p> <p>The move &lsquo;again puts him on par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.&rdquo;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 364px;" /></p> <p>Chinese media and state officials had been signalling Xi&rsquo;s elevation since his opening speech at the 19<sup>th</sup> Party Congress, as the <a href="">BBC explains </a>&quot;The unanimous vote to write in &lsquo;Xi Jinping Thought&rsquo; took place at the end of the Communist Party congress.&quot; The congress began last week with a <a href="">three-hour speech by Mr Xi</a> where he first introduced his philosophy called &lsquo;socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era&rsquo;. Top officials and state media then began repeatedly mentioning this ideology, calling it &lsquo;<a href="">Xi Jinping Thought&rsquo;, </a>in a sign that Mr Xi had cemented his influence over the Party. The BBC&#39;s China editor Carrie Gracie says enshrining &lsquo;Xi Jinping Thought&rsquo; in the party constitution means rivals cannot now challenge China&#39;s strongman without threatening Communist Party rule. Previous Chinese Communist Party leaders have had their ideologies incorporated into the party&#39;s constitution or thinking, but <strong>none, besides founder Mao Zedong, have had their philosophy described as &quot;thought&quot;, which is at the top of the ideological hierarchy</strong>.</p> <p>Leading party bosses have been positively gushing in their praise of Xi during the congress. The party chief of Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo described Xi&rsquo;s teachings as &ldquo;intellectually incisive, visionary and magnificent&rdquo;. Mr Bayangolu, who heads up Jilin province fawned &ldquo;General Secretary Xi Jinping is the party&rsquo;s helmsman&rdquo;, using a term often used to describe Mao. <a href="">The Guardian reports </a>that Xi gave a short and glowingly optimistic address to delegates.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our party shows strong, firm and vibrant leadership,&rsquo; Xi said in a brief address to more than 2,200 delegates. &lsquo;Our socialist system demonstrates great strength and vitality. The Chinese people and the Chinese nation embrace brilliant prospects. Today we, more than 1.3bn China&rsquo;s people, live in jubilation and dignity. Our land &hellip; radiates with enormous dynamism. Our Chinese civilisation&hellip; shines with lasting splendour and glamour.&rdquo;</p> <p>The question now is whether this increased power is also a stepping stone to extending his reign beyond 2022. The Guardian delves into this question &ldquo;Bill Bishop, the publisher of the <a href="">Sinocism newsletter</a> on Chinese politics, said the birth of &lsquo;<a href="">Xi Jinping Thought</a>&rsquo; confirmed the rare levels of power and prestige enjoyed by its creator. &lsquo;It means Xi is effectively unassailable &hellip; If you challenge Xi, you are challenging the party &ndash; and you never want to be against the party&rsquo;. Jude Blanchette, an expert in Chinese politics from New York&rsquo;s Conference Board research group, said: &lsquo;This is about amassing power and credibility and legitimacy and authority within the system to drive through more effectively what he sees as the right path for China. If you tower above the party, then it is very difficult for anyone below you to decide they don&rsquo;t want to implement your commands.&rsquo; <a href="">Writing in the Financial Times</a>, Australia&rsquo;s former prime minister Kevin Rudd said the fanfare around China&rsquo;s leader suggested Xi, who <a href="">took power in 2012</a> and had been expected to step down in 2022, would in fact rule well into the next decade. &lsquo;Five years ago I said he would be China&rsquo;s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. I was wrong. He is now China&rsquo;s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong,&rsquo; Rudd wrote.</p> <p>Some commentators are reserving judgement on Xi&rsquo;s leadership ambitions until the announcement of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee. It currently consists of seven people and meets weekly to set policy. &ldquo;Susan Shirk, the head of the 21st Century China Centre at the University of California, San Diego, disputed the portrayal of Xi as an almighty Mao-like figure. &lsquo;He&rsquo;s ruling differently, for sure, and people are intimidated by him because of the anti-corruption campaign.&rsquo; But Shirk said she was reserving judgment on whether Xi was attempting &lsquo;a real dictatorial play&rsquo; until the new line-up of China&rsquo;s top ruling council, the politburo standing committee, was announced on Wednesday. If that committee included at least one of three possible successors &ndash; Hu Chunhua, Chen Min&rsquo;er or Zhang Qingwei &ndash; that would signal Xi&rsquo;s intention to step down in 2022, she said. If no clear successor emerged, however, it would fuel fears that Xi was &lsquo;going for broke, all-out to be a dictator&rsquo; and planned to remain in power indefinitely. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m prepared to call him a dictator after that. But I am waiting to see,&rsquo; said Shirk, US deputy assistant secretary of state under Bill Clinton.&rdquo;</p> <p>These were <a href="">Bloomberg&rsquo;s thoughts on </a>the succession question:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Here are the key scenarios to watch for on Wednesday:</p> <ul> <li><strong>No Obvious Heir - </strong>Xi walks out with six other men who were born before 1960. That would leave nobody young enough to rule for 10 years after 2022, according to current retirement conventions that mandate stepping down at age 68. By not clearly signalling an heir apparent at the middle part of his term, Xi would be departing from party traditions in place since 1992. That would fuel speculation that Xi wants to stay on as party leader. &lsquo;Most likely he won&rsquo;t appoint clear successors at the party congress,&rsquo; said Minxin Pei, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California and author of the 2016 book &lsquo;China&rsquo;s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay.&rsquo; &lsquo;The safest thing to say is Xi has a lot of flexibility.&rsquo;</li> <li><strong>Successor Emerges - </strong>Xi walks out with two officials born in the 1960s, young enough to stay in power through 2032. Many analysts view the most likely successors as&nbsp;Chongqing&rsquo;s new party chief Chen Miner, 57, and Guangdong party chief Hu Chunhua, 54. It&rsquo;s important to see who walks out first, signaling a higher rank. Hu was appointed by Xi&rsquo;s predecessor, former President Hu Jintao, while Chen once worked under Xi as a provincial propaganda chief. Hu is the leader of Guandong province, which has a population of 104 million people and an economy larger than Mexico&rsquo;s. He&rsquo;s an advocate of automation as a solution to slowing growth and rising wages, and has urged factories to &lsquo;replace humans with robots.&rsquo;</li> <li><strong>Standing Committee Shrinks - </strong>Xi walks out and only four people follow him on stage. Cutting the Standing Committee to five members from seven would put Xi in charge of China&rsquo;s smallest leadership group in three decades. The move would continue a shift to smaller leadership bodies that began five years ago, when the committee was slashed from nine members. Another reduction would make it less likely that potential successors are among the new members. &lsquo;A smaller Sanding Committee grants more power to the party chief because he can quickly convene a top meeting and needs fewer support votes to push through his agenda,&rsquo; said Gu Su, professor of Philosophy and Law at Nanjing University. &lsquo;A bigger standing committee, like a nine-person committee, runs the risk of policy stagnation because the decision-making process is longer.&rdquo;</li> <li><strong>Retirement Norms Shattered - </strong>Xi walks on stage followed at some point by anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan, 69. Keeping the anti-corruption chief in the Standing Committee would remove an age limit in place since 2002, setting a precedent for Xi to do the same after he reaches the same retirement age in 2022.</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowscriptaccess="always" frameborder="0" height="281" src="" width="500"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="300" height="168" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China 21st Century China Centre Australia China China Chinese Communist Party Chinese communists Chinese people Claremont McKenna College in California Communist Party Communist Party of China Conference Board Congress Council on Foreign Relations Government of China Guangdong party Hu Jintao Mexico Nanjing University National Congress of the Communist Party of China New York’s Conference Board None Politburo Standing Committee Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Politics Politics of China Sanding Committee Standing Committee Tuanpai University of California University of California, San Diego Xi Jinping Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:59:01 +0000 Tyler Durden 605869 at British Secretary Of State Refuses to Rule Out A "Preemptive Strike" On North Korea <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p>Boris Johnson, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, has said&nbsp;<strong>the option of military action against North Korea &ldquo;must theoretically remain on the table&rdquo; in discussions about the country&rsquo;s nuclear crisis. Johnson refuses to rule out a preemptive strike.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 560px; height: 279px;" /></strong></a></p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Independent UK</em>,</a> while speaking at Chatham House, the Foreign Secretary said it was <strong>&ldquo;the duty&rdquo; of United States President Donald Trump to keep the possibility of a preemptive strike against Kim Jong-un&rsquo;s regime available at all times.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;It is the duty of any president of the US given the threat that his or her country could face from a nuclear-armed North Korea, it is the duty of the President at least to explore those military options and keep them on the table,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;And yet clearly it must remain on the table. The possibility of some kind of military option &ndash; there is a spectrum of things that could be done &ndash; that possibility must theoretically remain on the table.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="" target="_blank">When pressured as to whether or not the United Kingdom </a>would support&nbsp;a preemptive strike against North Korea, Johnson stressed that he preferred the &ldquo;productive avenue&rdquo; of talks orchestrated by China. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think anybody can conceivably want a military solution to this problem, and I know many who have studied the matter find it hard to see how the military solution might play out,&rdquo; he said. He was also asked if it was now&nbsp;time that the world accepted the hermit nation as among the club of nuclear states. Although it didn&rsquo;t appear that he answered that question directly, he did make reference to the Cold War.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The public can be forgiven for genuinely starting to wonder whether the nuclear sword of Damocles is once again held over the head of a trembling human race,&rdquo;</strong> Johnson said.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">However, the British politician did say the Pyongyang regime&rsquo;s nuclear ambitions would not make the country safer.</a></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;No one wants any kind of military solution to the problem,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;But Kim and the world need to understand that when the 45th&nbsp;President of the United States contemplates a regime led by a man who not only&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">threatens to reduce New York to &lsquo;ashes&rsquo;,</a> but who stands on the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">verge of acquiring the power to make good on his threat</a>, I am afraid that the US president &ndash; whoever he or she might be &ndash; will have an absolute duty to prepare any option to keep safe not only the American people but all those who have sheltered under the American nuclear umbrella. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And I hope Kim will also consider this: that if his objective is to intimidate the US into wholesale withdrawal from East Asia, then it strikes me that his current course might almost be designed to produce the opposite effect.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Johnson&rsquo;s comments come on the heels of Donald Trump&rsquo;s decertification of the 2015 pact with Iran. </strong>Trump said that his&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">predecessor Barack Obama was taken advantage of in negotiations, and last week repeated his threat to pull out of the landmark deal entirely</a>. Johnson alleged that the Iran deal proved crucial at a time when the country had been &ldquo;only months away&rdquo; from producing a nuclear weapon, which could have triggered an arms race in &ldquo;one of the most volatile regions of the world.&rdquo; He said: &ldquo;Think of the nightmare that deal has avoided.&rdquo; Johnson also added that Trump had not <a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;junked&rdquo; the deal and with &ldquo;determination and courage&rdquo;</a> the joint comprehensive plan of action&nbsp;deal could be preserved.</p> <p><strong>Johnson also acknowledged concerns about Iran&rsquo;s support for Hezbollah, its supply of weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen and interference in Syria.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;But that does not mean for one minute that we should write Iran off, or that we should refuse to engage with Iran or that we should show disrespect to its people,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;On the contrary, we should continue to work to demonstrate to that population that they will be better off under this deal and the path of re-engagement that it prescribes.&rdquo;</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="540" height="269" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama China Donald Trump East Asia Foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration Foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration Foreign relations of Iran Government Hizballah International law International relations Iran Iran–United States relations Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action KIM North Korea Nuclear energy in Iran Nuclear program of Iran Nuclear weapon Politics Preemptive war United Kingdom Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605866 at Terror Cases In Germany Quadruple In One Year <p>More evidence revealing the ridiculousness of the centrist position on immigration &ndash; namely that refugees can be seamlessly integrated into European society without a spike in crime or terror &ndash; has emerged courtesy of the German newspaper<a href=""> Welt Am Sonntag</a> which revealed Sunday that the number of terrorism-related cases investigated by German authorities has quadrupled over the past year.</p> <p>Prosecutors have opened<u> </u><strong><u>more than 900 cases so far this year,</u> compared with just 240 throughout 2016, and 80 cases in 2013.</strong></p> <p>Germany&rsquo;s federal police <strong>estimate 705 Islamist extremists willing to carry out terror attacks</strong> are active in the country,<strong> up from 600 during an estimate in February.</strong> Germany&rsquo;s domestic intelligence agency recently said around 24,400 Islamists are active in the country but most of them don&rsquo;t pose an immediate terror threat.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 259px;" /></a></p> <p>To be sure,<strong> the number of migrants applying for asylum in Germany plummeted to about 280,000 in 2016,</strong> <strong>about one-third the number from the prior year.</strong> But the increase in crime &ndash; coupled with the Christian Democratic Union&rsquo;s embarrassing showing in federal elections last month &ndash; are slowly inspiring the country&rsquo;s centrists to accept that more needs to be done to limit and control immigration in Europe&rsquo;s largest economy.</p> <p>According to the <a href="">Daily Caller</a>, Germany&rsquo;s federal prosecutor&rsquo;s office can&rsquo;t keep up with the increase in the number of cases. <strong>To wit, nearly 300 cases have been transferred to the state level.</strong> Not all cases involve plans to carry out attacks. Migrants from Syran, Iraq and Afghanistan have been tried over alleged membership in terror groups without being suspected of planning attacks on European soil.</p> <p>BKA chief Holger Münch told daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau in July that <strong>the danger from politically motivated far-right and far-left wing extremist is dwarfed by the threat posed by jihadis.</strong></p> <p><strong>&ldquo;In the left-wing scene, the [German] states have currently estimated a number that can be counted on the fingers of one hand,&rdquo; </strong>Münch said. <strong>&ldquo;In the right-wing scene, the number is in the low double digits.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Frustration over this increase in crime manifested last month in the far-right Alternative for Germany party&rsquo;s sweeping electoral triumph. The party, while still a minority, received 13% of the vote, earning it a place in Parliament &ndash; the first time a far-right party has held a spot in the legislature since World War II. It&rsquo;s now the third strongest party in Germany, and has created a headache for Chancellor Angela Merkel by busting up her ruling coalition.</p> <p>As <a href="">Statista </a>points out, perhaps key to understanding Germany&rsquo;s tilt to the right is the indication that the majority of AfD voters say they made their decision not based on belief in the party, but rather as a reaction to their disappointment in the other parties &ndash; a dissatisfaction stemming from Merkel&rsquo;s insistence on an &ldquo;open doors&rdquo; refugee policy that has been proven to be a failure.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 358px;" /></a></p> <p>Two years after the European Commission carried out the bidding of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by approving a plan to distribute migrants entering the Schengen area through Greece and Italy evenly across the European Union, the recent landslide victory of <a href="">&ldquo;Czech Donald Trump&rdquo; </a>Andrej Babis and his Eurosceptic and anti-establishment political party shows how disillusioned the people of Europe have become with &ldquo;open doors.&rdquo; Babis&rsquo;s victory followed another important win by <a href="">Austria&#39;s young conservative star,</a> Sebastian Kurz, who at 31 is now the youngest leader in Europe.</p> <p>The reason for this populist surge? Well, it appears Europeans have begun to realize that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic &ndash; three countries that refused to accept migrants under the EU plan &ndash; have suffered far fewer terror attacks, as the map below shows.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>Can you spot the gaps?</strong></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="731" height="378" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Christian Democratic Union Czech Donald Trump European Commission European Union European Union Germany Germany party Greece Hungary Immigration Iraq Italy Newspaper Poland Politics Population Social Issues Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605845 at It Is Seven Times More Difficult To Get A Flight Attendant Job At Delta Than Enter Harvard <p>One of our preferred "off beat" economic indicators is how many workers apply at any one given moment in time for jobs that are hardly considered career-track. An example of this is the number of applicants for minimum <a href="">wage line cook jobs at McDonalds</a>, or flight attendant positions at Delta Airlines; conveniently, this is a series which we have tracked on and off for the past 7 years. </p> <p>As regular readers may recall, <a href="">back in October 2010</a>, the Atlanta-based carrier received 100,000 applications for 1,000 jobs, an "acceptance ratio" of 1.0%. Things appeared to improve modestly in 2012 when <a href="">Bloomberg reported </a>that Delta had received 22,000 applicants for 300 flight attendant jobs: this pushed the acceptance ratio slightly higher to 1.3%, as by this point the job market had improved somewhat, and there were far better job career options available. </p> <p>Fast forward to today when things have turned decidedly more grim for the US job market once again, at least based on this one particular indicator. <a href="">According to CNN</a>, Delta is once again on the hunt for new flight attendants, and has roughly 1,000 open positions for 2018, although this year the competition is virtually unprecedented: <strong>so far, Delta has received more than 125,000 applications for this hiring round, which all else equal would result in an acceptance ratio of 0.8%. </strong>Note, we said "virtually unprecedented" because this year ratio of applicants to open positions is identical to last year, when 150,000 people applied for 1,200 flight attendant jobs, resulting in an identical, 0.8% acceptance ratio. </p> <p>So what makes it such a tough gig to land?</p> <p>"You need to not only be a customer service professional, but also a safety expert," said Ashton Morrow, a Delta spokeswoman.</p> <p>Political correctness aside, you have to be young, relatively good looking, preferably a female (sorry, sexism does exist)... oh and willing to accept next to minimum wage.</p> <p>Even so, one would think one is trying to get into Harvard: applicants first submit an application, then chosen candidates submit a video of themselves answering a set of questions. Selected candidates are then asked to come in for an in-person interview. Last year, 35,000 people made it to the video interview part. The candidate pool was then whittled down to 6,000 people for in-person interviews.</p> <p>The Delta "admissions committee" was happy to chime in:</p> <p>"After making it through the highly competitive and exhaustive selection process, they put all their previous experience and skills to the test during our flight attendant initial training," said Allison Ausband, Delta's senior vice president of in-flight service, in a release Monday.</p> <p>Having made it so far through the process, <strong>in which the lucky candidate literally has to be better than 99 of their peers</strong>, the new hires go through an eight-week training program in Atlanta where they learn how to handle mid-flight emergencies like a fire or a sick passenger. The company describes the training program as "grueling" and that it will "stretch each trainee to the limit" in a video.</p> <p>Finally, having reached the promised land, what untold wealth and riches await the lucky guy or gal? Well... nothing more than minimum wage: <strong>average entry-level flight attendants earn roughly $25,000 a year, according to the company</strong>. Wait, that's it? Well, there are perks, such as the increasingly more unaffordable - for most - employee benefits which include health insurance coverage, 401(k) with a company match and a profit-sharing program. Workers also get travel privileges for themselves and family member. </p> <p>Oh, and once hired, forget about having a personal life: "<em>work-life balance can be tricky for flight attendants early in their careers since they don't have a lot of control over their flight schedules</em>."</p> <p>For any reader contemplating applying, here are the minimum qualifications: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a high school degree or GED and be able to work in the U.S. Flight attendants cannot have any tattoos that are visible while in the company's uniform. Visible body piercings and earlobe plugs are also not allowed.</p> </blockquote> <p>Putting this entire farcical process, which among other things demonstrates the true state of the US job market, <a href="">Harvard's acceptance rate </a>for the class of 2021 was 5.2%. In other words, it is 6.5x times (round it up) easier to enter Harvard than to get a job at Delta. <strong>As an attendant</strong>.&nbsp; And there is your jobs supply-demand reality in one snapshot.</p> <p><em>P.S. it is somewhat easier to get the desired job if one fits the following physical parameters. </em></p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="669" /></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="747" height="466" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aviation Aviation safety Business Business Delta Air Lines Economy Flight attendant Harvard Labor McDonalds Minimum wage Reality Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:40:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 605860 at Italian Migration Crisis: The Big Picture <p><em><a href="">Via GEFIRA,</a></em></p> <p lang="en-US">Gianandrea Galiani interviewed by Daniel Moscardi</p> <p lang="en-US"><em>Gianandrea Gaiani is the director of the highly respected online magazine and an expert on immigration. He is a regular contributor to a number of Italian newspapers and appears frequently on numerous TV channels as an on immigration and security topics. He&rsquo;s also the author (together with Giancarlo Blangiardo and Giuseppe Valditara) of the recent book (in&nbsp;Italian)&nbsp;Immigrazione, tutto quello che dovremmo sapere (Immigration. All you need to know about&rdquo;).</em></p> <p lang="en-US"><strong>Gefira asked Gianandrea Gaiani in an exclusive interview about his views on the latest developments in the arrivals from Libya and Tunisia and the current approach of the Italian government. Outspoken and anything but politically correct, Gaiani hits the spot about the recent change of policy of the Italian government on the NGO&rsquo;s code of conduct as well as Italy&rsquo;s achievements and (so called) &ldquo;partners&rdquo; in Libya.</strong></p> <p lang="en-US">GE: What caused last summer&rsquo;s change of course by the Italian government and its approach toward the NGOs and the arrivals from Libya in general?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: The answer is quite simple. The disaster for the PD (Partito Democratico), leader of the current government, at the June administrative elections, sounded an alarm, showing clearly that when it comes to immigration, many center-left voters steer clearly to the right. <strong>A swift change of course was badly needed, with the obvious intent of reassuring disenchanted and alarmed Italians that the government was in charge of the situation.</strong></p> <p lang="en-US">GE: The numbers show that the<strong> arrivals have diminished significantly</strong> but that&rsquo;s just that. We are still very far from the pre-2011 numbers.</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: That&rsquo;s because the government, on the other side, has to keep being complacent to the industry of immigration. <strong>It&rsquo;s a network that profits &ndash; and thrives &ndash; on new arrivals, and this network galaxy is NOT happy if the arrivals complete stop.</strong> And their votes are also badly needed by the current government.</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: A network made of?<span id="more-22020">&nbsp;</span></p> <p lang="en-US">GG: <strong>NGOs, Pro-migrants cooperatives, all the businesses catering to the migrants and last, but certainly not least, the ubiquitous Caritas and other Catholic Church&rsquo;s organisations. We are talking about a huge pie made of billions of euro, and everybody wants a piece.</strong></p> <p lang="en-US">GE: What is the current situation in Libya?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: The coastal city of Sabratha was the theater of war between different militias for about two weeks in September. This has been hardly covered by mainstream media but we have reports that the two groups which are now in control of the city have received &ldquo;counseling&rdquo; from units of the French Army. The two militias are Ghorfat Amaliyet and the Wadi Brigade, and they are opposing the militia groups that were operating on behalf of Al-Sarraj, who had implemented a cooperation partnership with Italy. Italy was committed to financial help for villages and municipalities of the area under control of Al-Sarraj, but not military aid to armed groups of any kind.</p> <p lang="en-US">Reportedly, upon seizing full control of the city, the militias discovered approximately 7.000 migrants packed in various buildings throughout the city. It is unclear whether the militias now in control will let them leave Libya towards Italy or they will relocate them somewhere else. The problem is, in my opinion, when you have the French and the British in the middle of operations like these.</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: What do you mean by that?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: What I mean is that the French and the British are officially our &ldquo;partners&rdquo; but in reality they are acting very much against Italy&rsquo;s interests in Libya. In fact, let me say, quite openly, that France and the UK are currently our worst enemies in Libya.</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: Why?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG:<strong> They simply will continue to operate, covertly or not so covertly, in order to make sure that Italy doesn&rsquo;t have a leading role in Libya. It&rsquo;s as simple as that. After all, the UK, France and the US knew all too well that the removal of Qaddafi in 2011 was a direct blow to Italy&rsquo;s numerous interests in Libya, given the strengthened that the Italian government had under Berlusconi.</strong></p> <p lang="en-US"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 296px;" /></a></p> <p lang="en-US">GE: How coincidental, shall we add, the recent malicious articles by Le Monde and the Financial Times, showing all this &ldquo;humanitarian concern&rdquo; about the migrants&rsquo; conditions in Libya who are now &ldquo;held at bay&rdquo; by (supposedly) Italian-paid militias&hellip;</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: Let&rsquo;s be pragmatic. In a situation like Libya right now you either send troops, which I see it quite unlikely, or you simply negotiate with those in control, regardless of who they are. If those in control are not exactly paladins of human rights, so be it. That is what any sovereign country concerned about its borders should do. <strong>As soon as Italy tries to regain (some) control of the situation, critics full of over zealous &ndash; and quite hypocritical &ndash; concern about the migrants &ldquo;shameful conditions&rdquo; in Libya appear overnight, ready to point their fingers at Italy as the culprit.</strong></p> <p lang="en-US">GE: Can you tell us more about the recent agreement signed between Italy and Niger?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: Niger &ndash; one of the poorest countries in the world &ndash; has asked Italy for logistic help in order to be more effective in patrolling its borders and eventually reduce the flow of sub-Saharans toward Libya. It is certainly a positive move but one that will hardly make a substantial difference overall.</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: Why?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: Because the only effective move in order to really make a difference in order to significantly reduce the arrivals is to bring them back to the starting point. If they have to pay even more money to get back at sea towards Italy, with the risk of being deported again, they will start thinking: &ldquo;is this worth it&rdquo;?</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: How do you do that?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: <strong>Given the absolute fact that practically 100% of those landing in Italy are illegal aliens as they are NOT running away from wars and political persecutions, the Geneva convention clearly states that NO country has the duty nor the obligation to welcome and give assistance to immigrants who pay criminal organizations to cross several borders. Now, it is a duty and an obligation to rescue human beings in a situation of distress at sea. </strong>That&rsquo;s maritime law and the Italian Navy alone is perfectly capable of fulfilling that task without any phony &ldquo;humanitarian&rdquo; help from these NGOs that are there to fulfil &ldquo;somebody else&rsquo;s&rdquo; agenda, certainly not on behalf of the Italian people.</p> <p lang="en-US">But, once rescued at sea, these people must be brought back to the departing country. Now, this can be implemented as easily and as safely as possible. If the conditions of the &ldquo;migrants&rdquo; in that country of departure are not optimal for human rights or for their comforts, in that case we have an effective tool to curb this trend. People will start going home, especially given the fact that most of them are anything but poor &ndash; for African standards &ndash; and that no one is threatening their lives at home.</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: The final question is &ndash; given the ongoing debate in Italy &ndash; about the Ius Soli law, that is the law that would grant immediate citizenship to many new immigrants.</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: <u><em><strong>That is going to be the final blow to our society as we know it today.</strong></em></u> Those who are in favour of this law are quite careful in not mentioning the alarming situation in western EU countries. They don&rsquo;t tell the general public that from France to Sweden, not to mention other countries, there are areas, so called no-go zones, that are practically off-limits to local law enforcement agencies, as the local Muslim communities have declared those areas under their control. We still don&rsquo;t have that in Italy. <strong>Everybody knows by now that the left in Italy is pushing hard for this law because they think that, once naturalized, an immigrant will vote for those parties that granted him or her the citizenship. But with these hopes they are naive, or stupid at the same time.</strong></p> <p lang="en-US">GE: Why do you say that?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: <strong>Because as soon as they are citizens they will form an Islamic party, with all the related consequences.</strong> Now a foreign national suspected of ties or sympathies to terror groups can be deported from Italy, even if he or she are here legally. When they become Italian citizens where will they be deported to? The core of the problem lies in the massive brainwashing we have been subject to in western Europe about &ldquo;multicultural societies&rdquo;. Muslims are not interested the least in &ldquo;multiculturalism&rdquo;. They want their model, their values, in short their society to prevail and impose itself on the others. When the average Italian realizes this, it will be too late.</p> <p lang="en-US">GE: Any message of hope at the end of this interview?</p> <p lang="en-US">GG: <strong>I entertain hopes from Mitteleuropa&rsquo;s countries like Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia and now Austria. They are defending their societies, their citizens, their values from this induced brainwashing that has already overwhelmed us in Western Europe. In fact, at present they are the last defence of our civilisation. I just hope they &ndash; in fact all the Visegrad group countries &ndash; will resist the incredible pressure from external forces.</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="1024" height="505" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Africa Catholic Church Eastern Mediterranean European Union France French Army Geography of Africa Hungary Illegal immigration Illegal immigration to the United States Islamic party Italian government Italian navy Italy Libya Politics Reality Slovakia Social Issues SWIFT Wadi Brigade western Europe Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605865 at UK Banks Too Scared Of Regulator To Open Accounts For Crypto Companies <p><strong>Want to set up a company to trade cryptocurrencies in the City of London. Forget about it. </strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="165" src="" width="273" /></a></p> <p>Lloyd Blankfein tweeted about spending more time in Frankfurt, now London is shunning the fastest growing sector in finance. <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=buffer">From the FT</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>British banks are shunning companies that handle cryptocurrencies, forcing many to open accounts in Gibraltar, Poland and Bulgaria</strong> and prompting some to question the UK&rsquo;s ambitions to be a global hub for the fast-growing fintech sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Investor interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has surged since their prices rocketed this year, but traditional banks are steering clear of the sector, fearing it is riddled with criminals and fraudsters. &lsquo;Nobody will give us a bank account in the UK,&rsquo; said James Godfrey, head of capital markets at BlockEx, a platform for trading digital assets including cryptocurrencies. He said Metro Bank recently shut its UK account, forcing it to rely on a Bulgarian lender to keep trading. Mr Godfrey said the disruption had prompted BlockEx to consider moving to a more welcoming location, such as Toronto.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&lsquo;Having [Bank of England governor] Mark Carney standing at the front of the shop and saying &lsquo;raa, raa, fintech&rsquo; just doesn&rsquo;t do it for me.&rsquo;</strong> Metro Bank declined to comment. Michael Hudson, chief executive of the bitcoin investment firm Bitstocks, said:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It is almost an impossibility to get a UK bank account. We bank in Gibraltar and Poland &mdash; the two jurisdictions that are most stable. We had an account in Bulgaria but that didn&rsquo;t last long.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The fears on the part of banks relate to potential problems with the regulator as the report outlines.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The market value of all cryptocurrencies has soared from under $30bn six months ago to more than $160bn. However, banks are keeping their distance, worried by the fact that cryptocurrencies are commonly used by criminals to trade illicit goods on the &lsquo;dark web&rsquo;. A few countries, including Japan and Gibraltar, have created rules for cryptocurrencies, but they remain unregulated in many parts of the world, including much of Europe. &lsquo;When you look on the dark web, everything there is being paid for with cryptocurrencies,&rsquo; said one UK bank boss. &lsquo;You don&rsquo;t know who is transferring money in and out. If cryptocurrency goes to Iran and we&rsquo;re involved then I get shut down.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Banks are too scared of the regulator to open accounts for crypto trading businesses. </strong>Meanwhile, the regulator is unhappy with the banks for not opening accounts, according to the FT &ldquo;The Financial Conduct Authority is worried that banks&rsquo; reluctance to open accounts for some fintechs is hurting competition after it hampered several start-ups entering its sandbox to test their business models under its supervision. &lsquo;We are concerned that denying certain customers bank accounts on a wholesale basis causes significant barriers to entry and could lead to poor competition in certain markets,&rsquo; the regulator said.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>The double-edged sword in today&rsquo;s world of excessive regulation. </strong></p> <p>Maybe the Financial Conduct Authority could adopt the common-sense approach, sit down with the banks and work something out. Nah, probably won&rsquo;t happen. In the meantime, don&rsquo;t mention <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">the war</span> crypto&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Iqbal Gandham, UK head of eToro, a social trading firm that has handled more than $1bn of cryptocurrency trades for clients since adding the asset class to its platform this year, said: &lsquo;The moment you mention crypto to a bank, it&rsquo;s like you are a drug dealer.&rsquo; </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Changing bank accounts and relying on foreign lenders is disruptive and undermines the confidence of clients, said Mr Hudson at Bitstocks.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&lsquo;It makes life very difficult, just simple things like paying staff,&rsquo;</strong> he said. One British banker said opening an account in Gibraltar or Poland would cost start-up firms &lsquo;an arm and a leg&rsquo;.</p> </blockquote> <p>UK Finance, which represents British banks, said:<strong> &lsquo;No regulatory regime is yet in place for virtual currencies. Firms&rsquo; own risk appetites will determine to what extent they engage with any firms engaged in virtual currencies. </strong></p> <p>The European Banking Authority is yet to update guidance it published more than three years ago, <strong>advising national regulators to &lsquo;discourage credit institutions, payment institutions and e-money institutions from buying, holding or selling virtual currencies&rsquo;.</strong> Obi Nwosu, chief executive of bitcoin exchange Coinfloor, said: &lsquo;There are British banks interested in doing this, but they don&rsquo;t want to rush into it.&rsquo; His company, which says it handles a majority of UK cryptocurrency trading, is in &lsquo;constant conversation&rsquo; with British banks about opening an account. Barclays is one of the few British lenders to have a handful of clients in the cryptocurrency sector. HSBC is talking to a few potential clients in the sector despite its 2011 ban on doing business with the money services sector because of anti-money laundering concerns.</p> <p><strong>HSBC said it was &lsquo;monitoring the development of virtual and digital currencies such as bitcoin as well as regulations governing their use&rsquo;, adding that it has &lsquo;very limited appetite to bank issuers or dealers in virtual currencies.</strong></p> <p>By the time it does, the proverbial horse will have bolted.</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="273" height="165" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Bank of England Bank of England Barclays Bitcoin Bitcoin Bulgaria Business Capital Markets Cryptocurrencies Cryptography Decentralization European Banking Authority Finance Financial Conduct Authority Financial technology Iran Japan Lloyd Blankfein Money Poland Tue, 24 Oct 2017 06:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605863 at Germany’s Delegation To Russia Signals That Merkel Is Looking For New Allies <p><em>By George Friedman of <a href="">Mauldin Economics</a></em></p> <p>A delegation of executives from major German corporations recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.</p> <p>Such delegations are not unusual. Sometimes it is routine, sometimes a courtesy. But occasionally, it has significance. In the case of Russia-Germany relations, such meetings are always potentially significant.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 250px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Germany&rsquo;s Unsteady Relations</strong></p> <p>Two relationships are critical to Germany.</p> <p>One is with the European Union, the other is with the United States. Neither relationship is stable right now. Brexit, the Spanish crisis, Germany feuding with Poland and the unsolved economic problems of southern Europe are tearing the European Union apart.</p> <p>The Germans and the EU apparatus claim that none of these threaten the bloc. In fact, almost a decade after 2008, Europe appears to be achieving very modest economic growth. But the Germans know the dangers that lie ahead, even if Brussels does not.</p> <p>Many of the EU&rsquo;s problems are political, not economic. (I wrote about the inherent weakness of Europe in my free e-book, <em>The World Explained in Maps</em>, which you can <a href="" target="_blank">find here</a>)</p> <p>Poland and Germany have butted heads over the tension between the right to national self-determination and EU rules. This is also what Brexit was about.</p> <p>Spain is locked in a dispute over the nature of a nation and the right of a region to secede, while the EU considers what role it should play in the domestic matters of a member state. And although southern Europe&rsquo;s problems are economic, the fact that Europe has eked out minimal growth means neither that such growth is sustainable nor that the growth rate comes close to solving the Continent&rsquo;s deep structural problems.</p> <p>As the de facto leader of the EU, Germany has to appear confident while considering the implications of failure.</p> <p>The German relationship with the United States is unsettled&mdash;and not just because of President Donald Trump&rsquo;s personality.</p> <p>The strategic and economic situation in Europe has changed dramatically since the early 1990s&mdash;when the Soviet Union fell, Germany reunified and the all-important Maastricht treaty was signed&mdash;but Germany&rsquo;s structural relationship with the US has not.</p> <p>Both are members of NATO, but they have radically different views of its mission and its economics. Germany has the world&rsquo;s fourth-largest economy, but its financial contribution to NATO doesn&rsquo;t reflect that.</p> <p>Then there is Russia. The American policy toward Russia has hardened since the Democratic Party adopted an intense anti-Russia stance following the presidential election&mdash;more intense even than that of the Republican Party, which has always been uneasy with Russia.</p> <p>The Ukraine crisis continues to fester while US troops are deployed in the Baltics, Poland, and Romania. This has widened rifts within the EU. Germany isn&rsquo;t interested in a second Cold War; Eastern Europe believes it&rsquo;s already in one.</p> <p>The Eastern Europeans are increasingly alienated from the Germans on the issue and more closely aligned with the Americans. At a time when German relations with key Eastern European countries are being tested, the added strain of US policy in the region is a threat to German interests.</p> <p>Germany wants the Russia problem to subside. The US and its Eastern European allies think the way to accomplish that is through confrontation.</p> <p><strong>An Alternative That Germany Doesn&rsquo;t Want</strong></p> <p>Germany&rsquo;s foreign policy has remained roughly the same since 1991, even as the international reality has changed dramatically. This is forcing Germany toward a decision it doesn&rsquo;t want to make.</p> <p>It must consider what happens if the EU continues to disintegrate and if European countries&rsquo; foreign policies and politics continue to diverge.</p> <p>It must consider what happens if the US continues to shape the dynamics of Europe in a way that Germany will have to confront American enemies, or refuse to do so. This isn&rsquo;t just about Russia&mdash;we can see the same issue over Iran.</p> <p>Germany can&rsquo;t exist without stable economic partners. It has never been self-sufficient <a href="" target="_blank">since it reunified</a>. It must explore alternatives.</p> <p>The most obvious alternative for Germany has always been Russia, either through alliance or conquest.</p> <p>Germany needs Russian raw materials. It also needs the Russian market to be far more robust than it is so that it can buy more German goods.</p> <p>But Russia is incapable of rapid economic development without outside help, and with the collapse of oil prices, it needs rapid development to stabilize its economy. Germany needs Russia&rsquo;s economy to succeed, and what it has to offer Russia is capital, technology, and management.</p> <p>In exchange, Russia can offer raw materials and a workforce.</p> <p>An alignment with Russia could settle Eastern Europe in Germany&rsquo;s orbit. With the way things are going, and given Germany&rsquo;s alternatives, the Russian option is expensive but potentially very profitable.</p> <p>But Germany has a problem with Russia. Every previous attempt at alignment or conquest has failed. Building up the Russian economy to create a robust market for German goods would certainly benefit both countries, but it would also shift the balance of power in Europe.</p> <p>Right now, Germany is militarily weak and economically strong. Russia is moderately powerful militarily and economically weak. An alignment with Germany could dramatically strengthen Russia&rsquo;s economy, and with it, its military power.</p> <p>Having moved away from the United States and de-emphasized military power in the rest of the European peninsula, Germany could find itself in its old position: vulnerable to Russian power, but without allies against Russia.</p> <p><strong>On a Lookout for New Allies</strong></p> <p>The corporate chiefs&rsquo; trip to Russia is not a groundbreaking event, nor does it mark a serious shift in German policy. But it is part of an ongoing process. As the international reality shifts from what Germany needs, Germany must find another path.</p> <p>In the short term, the United States is vulnerable to a cyclical recession, and hostility toward Germany is increasing in Europe&mdash;particularly in Eastern Europe. China is facing internal challenges of its own. There are few other options than Russia, and Russia is historically a most dangerous option for Germany.</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="1190" height="595" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Baltics Brexit China Democratic Party Donald Trump Eastern Europe Eastern Europe Europe European balance of power European Union European Union G20 nations G8 nations Germany Germany Germany–Russia relations Iran Member states of the Council of Europe Member states of the United Nations None North Atlantic Treaty Organization Poland Politics Reality Recession Republican Party Romania Russia Southern Europe Ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin World Tue, 24 Oct 2017 06:00:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 605867 at Introducing Cryonics: Putting Death On Ice <p><strong>There is a potent thread winding its way through generations of human culture. </strong>From Ancient Egyptian rituals to Kurzweil&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Singularity</a>, many paths have sprung up leading to the same elusive destination: <strong>immortality</strong>.</p> <p>Today, <a href="">as Visual Capitalist&#39;s Nick Routely notes,</a> the concept is as popular as it&rsquo;s ever been, and<strong> technological advances are giving people hope that immortality, or at very least radical life extension, may be within reach.</strong> Is modern technology advanced enough to give people a second chance through cryonics?</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s infographic, courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Futurism</a>, tackles our<strong> growing fascination with putting death on ice.</strong></p> <div><a href=""><img src="" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; height: 2576px; width: 600px;" /></a></div> <p><em>Courtesy of: <a href="">Visual Capitalist</a></em></p> <h3><u>THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY</u></h3> <p>Robert C. W. Ettinger&rsquo;s seminal work,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">The Prospect Of Immortality</a>, detailed many of the scientific, moral, and economic implications of cryogenically freezing humans for later reanimation. It was after that book was published in 1962 that the idea of freezing one&rsquo;s body after death began to take hold.</p> <p>One of the most pressing questions is, even if we&rsquo;re able to revive a person who has been cryogenically preserved, will the person&rsquo;s memories and personality remain intact? Ettinger posits that long-term memory is stored in the brain as a long-lasting structural modification. Basically, those memories will remain, even if the brain&rsquo;s &ldquo;power is turned off&rdquo;.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 307px;" /></a></p> <h3><u>DESCENDING INTO THE DEEP-FREEZE</u></h3> <p>There are three main steps in the cryogenic process:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>1) Immediately after a patient dies, the body is cooled with ice packs and transported to the freezing location.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2) Next, blood is drained from the patient&rsquo;s body and replaced with a&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">cryoprotectant</a>&nbsp;(basically the same antifreeze solution used to transport organs destined for transplant).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3) Finally, once the body arrives at the cryonic preservation facility, the body is cooled to -196&ordm;C (-320.8&ordm;F) over the course of two weeks. Bodies are generally stored upside-down in a tank of liquid nitrogen.</p> </blockquote> <h3>THE ECONOMICS OF CRYOPRESERVATION</h3> <p>At prices ranging from about $30,000 to $200,000, cryopreservation may sound like an option reserved for the wealthy, but many people fund the procedure by naming a cryonics company as the primary benefactor of their life insurance policy. Meanwhile, in the event of a death that doesn&rsquo;t allow for preservation of the body, the money goes to secondary beneficiaries.</p> <p><strong>Even if we do eventually find a way to reanimate frozen humans, another important consideration is how those people would take care of themselves financially. </strong>That&rsquo;s where a cryonics or&nbsp;personal revival&nbsp;trust comes into play. A twist on a traditional dynastic trust, this arrangement ensures that there are funds to cover costs of the cryopreservation, as well as ensure the grantor would have assets when they&rsquo;re unthawed. Of course, there are risks involved beyond the slim possibility of reanimation. The legal code in hundreds of years could be vastly different than today.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>If you created a trust for specific purposes in 1711, it is unlikely it would function in the same way today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ndash; Kris Knaplund, Law Professor, Pepperdine University</p> </blockquote> <h3><u>COLD HUMANS, HOT MARKET</u></h3> <p><strong>At last count, there are already 346 people in the deep freeze, with thousands more on the waiting list. As technology improves, those numbers are sure to continue rising.</strong></p> <p>Time will tell whether cryonically preserved people are able to cheat death. In the meantime? The cryonics industry is alive and well.</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="796" height="407" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ageing Cryobiology Cryonics Cryopreservation Cryoprotectant Demography Emerging technologies Future Immortality Life extension Pepperdine University Population Robert Ettinger Tue, 24 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605781 at