http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml en THE SUBPRIME U.S. ECONOMY: Disintegrating Due To Subprime Auto, Housing, Bond & Energy Debt http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/subprime-us-economy-disintegrating-due-subprime-auto-housing-bond-energy-debt <p><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/SRSroccoReport-Logo-230x123-px.png" alt="srsrocco" width="230" height="123" /></p> <p>By the <strong><a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/">SRSrocco Report</a></strong>,</p> <p>The U.S. financial system continues to disintegrate even though most Americans hardly notice.&nbsp; The system is being gutted from the inside out... much the same way a chronic disease weakens a patient even before any symptoms are felt.&nbsp; However, we are already experiencing painful symptoms as U.S. economic indicators continue to weaken.</p> <p>Here are just a few of the recent headlines:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-21/energy-giant-schlumberger-fires-another-8000-market-conditions-worsened-further">Energy Giant Schlumberger Fires Another 8,000 As "Market Conditions Worsen" in Q2</a></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-financial-system-is-breaking-down-at-an-unimaginable-pace/">The Financial System Is Breaking Down At An Unimaginable Pace</a></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-20/potential-crisis-triggers-continue-pile-2016">Potential Crisis Triggers Continue To Pile Up In 2016</a></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/just-in-time-big-wall-street-housing-investors-cashing-out-on-housing-bubble-2-0/">Just In Time—–Big Wall Street Housing Investors Cashing-Out On Housing Bubble 2.0</a></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/corporate-bond-defaults-hit-highest-rate-since-financial-crisis/">Corporate Bond Defaults Hit Highest Rate Since Financial Crisis</a></p> <p>These are just some of the recent headlines pointing to BIG TROUBLE AHEAD.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>However, the U.S. financial system is in dire shape due to the SUBPRIMING of the entire economy.&nbsp;</strong></span> Today, anyone can purchase a car for little or nothing down and finance it for 84 months.&nbsp; The U.S. housing market is also in the same predicament.</p> <p>According to the article, <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2016-05-12/are-we-heading-for-another-housing-crisis">Are We Heading for Another Housing Crisis?,</a> published on May 12th this year:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>While the economy and home prices have both rebounded, some people have expressed concern we are headed for a repeat housing bubble. <span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>As of January 2016, home prices were rising at a rate twice that of inflation</strong></span>, according to the S&amp;P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What's more, <span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have unveiled programs to allow first-time homebuyers to make a purchase with only 3 percent down</strong></span>. Plus, some lenders are using alternate credit scores, which may make loans available to those who can't get one under conventional credit scoring methods.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, here we are heading down the same path as we did prior to the 2008 U.S. Investment Banking and Housing collapse.&nbsp; However, this time around its both a Subprime Auto &amp; Housing problem.&nbsp; But, that is just part of the Subprime mess.</p> <p>As most of you already know, many of the world's sovereign bonds have negative yields.&nbsp; According to the article, <a href="http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-financial-system-is-breaking-down-at-an-unimaginable-pace/">The Financial System Is Breaking Down At An Unimaginable Pace:</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In February 2015, the total amount of negative-yielding debt in the world was ‘only’ $3.6 trillion.</p> <p>A year later in February 2016 it had nearly doubled to $7 trillion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, just five months later, it has nearly doubled again to $13 trillion, up from $11.7 trillion just over two weeks ago.</p> <p>Think about that: the total sum of negative-yielding debt in the world has increased in the last sixteen days alone by an amount that’s larger than the entire GDP of Russia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Just like subprime mortgage bonds from ten years ago, these bonds are also toxic securities, since many of are issued by bankrupt governments (like Japan).</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead of paying subprime home buyers to borrow money, investors are now paying subprime governments.</p> <p>And just like the build-up to the 2008 subprime crisis, investors are snapping up today’s subprime bonds with frightening enthusiasm.</p> </blockquote> <p>To see total world negative-yielding debt doubling to $13 trillion in just the past six months is a BLINKING RED LIGHT.</p> <p>So, not only do we have Subprime Auto &amp; Housing... we also have to include Subprime Govt Bonds.&nbsp; While U.S. Treasuries and bonds are not yet negative-yielding, I believe it is just a matter of time.</p> <p>As we can see, the U.S. is now becoming a massive SUBPRIME ECONOMY.&nbsp; Unfortunately, it gets much worse.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>The factor that most analysts have not yet factored into the subprime disaster is energy.</strong></span></p> <p>I would like to remind my readers and new followers that it takes energy to run the Auto, Housing &amp; Bond markets.&nbsp; Yes, it takes the burning of energy to allow the global bond markets to function.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Basically, Treasuries and Bonds are nothing more than claims on future economic activity.</strong></span>&nbsp; My sympathy goes out to anyone holding onto 20-30 year bonds until maturity.&nbsp; I highly doubt these bonds will ever make it to maturity.</p> <p>That being said, let's look at the catastrophe taking place in the U.S. Subprime Energy Industry.</p> <p><strong>U.S. Shale Oil Companies Saddled With Debt Up To Their Eyeballs</strong></p> <p>I discussed the big trouble with the U.S. Shale Energy Industry in my recent interview with Dan at Future Money Trends.&nbsp; If you haven't yet checked it out, I highly recommend it:</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://youtu.be/Zpxb2G_6oes">https://youtu.be/Zpxb2G_6oes</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">During the interview I spoke about the following chart below.&nbsp; These are some of the top U.S. Shale oil companies.&nbsp; I included Chevron, not because it is a large shale oil producer, but because it is one of the three major oil companies in the United States:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/U.S.-Shale-Oil-Companies-Long-Term-Debt.png" alt="US Shale Oil Companies Long Term Debt" width="500" height="330" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>In 2006, these seven U.S. oil companies held $17.2 billion in combined long-term debt.&nbsp; However, by 2015... this ballooned to $72.1 billion.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Basically, their debt increased four times in a decade.</strong></span>&nbsp; Now, the interesting thing to understand about this chart is that their long-term debt really started to increase in 2011.&nbsp; Why is this significant?</p> <p>Because, the price of U.S. oil (West Texas Crude) was nearly $100 for 2011, 2012 and 2013.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Which means, the high oil price did nothing to help these companies pay down their debt.&nbsp; Rather, their long-term debt more than doubled in just the past four years</strong></span>.</p> <p>I hope anyone reading this will realize, SHALE OIL IS SUBPRIME ENERGY that really wasn't economic unless we had zero interest rates and monetary printing.&nbsp; Even though the U.S. Shale Oil Industry brought on a lot of oil in the past decade, they really didn't make any money... they just saddled their balance sheets with debt.</p> <p>Let's take a look at the most recent data from the top four shale oil fields in the United States.&nbsp; According to the U.S. EIA Drilling Productivity Report released on July 18, the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil fields are estimated to suffer large declines in August:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Bakken-July-2016-DPR-Chart.png" alt="Bakken Oil production" width="350" height="393" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Eagle-Ford-July-2016-DPR-Chart.png" alt="Eagle Ford Oil production " width="350" height="391" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>The EIA forecasts that the Bakken and Eagle Ford will lose 80,000 barrels per day in just August.&nbsp; These are BIG NUMBERS.&nbsp; If we look at the actual production figures for the top four shale oil fields, here is the result:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Top-4-Shale-Oil-Fields-Production-AUG-2016.png" alt="Top 4 Shale Oil Production" width="500" height="365" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Oil production from the top four shale oil fields has declined 914,000 barrels per day (bd) since the peak in March 2015.</strong></span>&nbsp; This translates to a 17% decline in oil production from these four fields in just 16 months.&nbsp; However, the impact on the U.S. economy is even worse when we look at the figures on a monthly and annual basis.</p> <p>This next chart shows the combined loss of oil production from these top four shale oil fields based upon the minimum production from Nov 2014 to Nov 2015.&nbsp; Let me explain.&nbsp; In Nov 2014, these shale fields produced 5,027,000 bd, peaked in March 2015 at 5,304,000 bd and then fell back to 5,106,000 bd in Nov 2015.&nbsp; So between Nov 2014 &amp; Nov 2015, these fields produced a minimum of 5,067,000 barrels per day.</p> <p>In August, the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Niobrara &amp; Permian oil fields will be producing approximately 4,390,000 barrels per day.&nbsp; This is a 676,000 barrel per day decline from the minimum production these four fields produced for a year during that Nov 2014-2015 time period.</p> <p>The reason why I decided to do it this way is to show that these four fields produced at least 5,067,000 barrels per day for an entire year.&nbsp; To show the decline from the high peak is disingenuous because it was only for a brief one month period.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>This means, these top four fields will lose 20.3 million barrels of oil in a month and a stunning 247 million barrels in a year:</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Top-4-Shale-Oil-Fields-Production-Loss.png" alt="Top 4 Shale Oil Fields Production Loss" width="500" height="370" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>However, it will be much worse than this going forward as U.S. Shale oil production continues to decline.&nbsp; How bad will it be?&nbsp; Well, if these companies received $50 a barrel for oil, it turns out to be a loss of $13.7 billion in a year.&nbsp; But, as I stated, it will be worse as oil production continues to decline.</p> <p>I published this chart in a previous article, but it's important to see again:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/U.S.-Energy-Sector-Interest-Payments-On-Debt-.png" alt="U.S. Energy Sector Interest on Debt" width="500" height="358" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>The U.S. Energy Sector is saddled with $370 billion in debt.&nbsp;<span style="color: #800000;"><strong> In 2015, the U.S. Energy Sector paid 48% of their operating profits just to pay the interest on their debt.&nbsp; This ballooned to 86% in Q1 2016 when the oil price fell to $33</strong></span>.&nbsp; If the oil price remains between $40-$50, the U.S. Energy Sector will likely have to fork out 60-70% of its operating income just to service its debt in 2016.</p> <p>And of course... IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN THAT... LOL.&nbsp; We must remember, for most of 2015, the top shale oil fields were producing 676,000 barrels per day more than they will be this year.&nbsp; Thus, they will have less revenues due to falling oil production.</p> <p>So, the billion dollar question is this... how will the U.S. Energy Sector survive with low oil prices and falling production???</p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Welcome to SUBPRIME USA.</strong></span></p> <p>Unfortunately, the coming collapse of the U.S. economic and financial system will be orders of magnitude greater than what took place in 2008.&nbsp; Why?&nbsp; Because we just had a subprime housing market in 2008, whereas the entire U.S. economy today is SUBPRIME....&nbsp; Subprime Auto, Housing, Bonds &amp; Energy.</p> <p>Lastly, while some precious metals investors have become a bit frustrated by the low gold and silver prices or the ongoing manipulation of the markets by the Fed and Central Banks, the current system is not sustainable.&nbsp; The doubling of world debt with negative yielding debt in the past six months is a bad sign indeed.</p> <p>Owning physical gold and silver will provide a lot more options during the next economic and financial collapse than most of the paper assets 99% of the world is invested.</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>IMPORTANT NOTICE:</strong></span>&nbsp; Here is the link to register for the <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong>SRSrocco Report Precious Metals Webinar taking place on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6 pm EST </strong></span>- Eastern Standard Time:</p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1862042009434205956">SIGNUP For SRSrocco Precious Metals Webinar</a></strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #000000;">Lastly, if you haven't checked out our new </span><a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/precious-metals-investing/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PRECIOUS METALS INVESTING</span></strong></span></a><span style="color: #000000;"> section or our new </span><a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/lowest-cost-precious-metals-storage/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">LOWEST COST PRECIOUS METALS STORAGE</span></strong></span></a><span style="color: #000000;"> page, I highly recommend you do.</span><br /></span></p> <p>Check back for new articles and updates at the <strong><a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/">SRSrocco Report</a></strong>.</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/subprime-us-economy-disintegrating-due-subprime-auto-housing-bond-energy-debt#comments Bond Case-Shiller Central Banks Crude Fannie Mae Ford Freddie Mac headlines Housing Bubble Housing Market Japan Market Conditions Precious Metals Sat, 23 Jul 2016 03:39:47 +0000 SRSrocco 566823 at http://www.zerohedge.com America Needs A Good, Old-Fashioned Economic Depression http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/america-needs-good-old-fashioned-economic-depression <p><a href="http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-coming-crack-boom-16911?page=show"><em>Submitted by Jay Kawatsky via The National Interest,</em></a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Artificial measures to stave off a downturn will only make it much worse.</strong></span></p> <p>Describing what he called the &ldquo;crack-up boom&rdquo;, Ludwig von Mises, the great Austrian economist, said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>The boom cannot continue indefinitely. There are two alternatives. Either the banks continue the credit expansion without restriction and thus cause constantly mounting price increases and an ever-growing orgy of speculation &ndash; which, as in all other cases of unlimited inflation, ends in a &ldquo;crack-up boom&rdquo; and in a collapse of the money and credit system.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Or the banks stop before this point is reached, voluntarily renounce further credit expansion, and thus bring about the crisis. <strong>The depression follows in both instances</strong>. (emphasis added)</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Although it would be the wiser policy,<strong> there is no evidence that the world&rsquo;s central bankers have the wisdom, either individually or collectively, to select the second alternative</strong>. More specifically, they lack &ldquo;the courage to act&rdquo; (as Ben Bernanke&rsquo;s recent, self-congratulatory memoir was so ironically titled); they and their political, big finance and big business cronies are afraid to swallow the &ldquo;d-pill&rdquo;, the economic medicine named &ldquo;depression&rdquo;.</p> <p><strong>A good, old-fashioned, pre-1929 depression (like the short-lived, eleven-month depression in 1920-1921, before the days of &ldquo;modern&rdquo; central banking and &ldquo;enlightened&rdquo; Keynesian intervention &ldquo;cures&rdquo;) is the only tonic that can clear out the malinvestment built up since the beginning of the fiat money era. </strong>That era began in August of 1971. That is when Richard Nixon, informed that U.S. gold reserves were precipitously declining as a result of President Johnson&rsquo;s March 1968 action to reduce the gold reserve ratio from 25 percent to zero, &ldquo;temporarily&rdquo; suspended the convertibility of the U.S. Dollar into gold. That &ldquo;temporary&rdquo; measure has been in effect for forty-five years.</p> <p>Finally freed from the constraints of what they could not print (i.e., gold), central bankers and their cronies in government, finance and big business were given a license to debase all formerly hard currencies. (Such currencies were &ldquo;hard&rdquo;, as they were linked, via the Bretton Woods arrangement, to the dollar, which was backed by gold.)<strong> And debase they did: they replaced real investment capital (i.e. actual savings) with cheap, invented credit; they replaced market-derived price (of money) discovery, i.e., market-derived interest rates, with central-bank-proclaimed interest rates.</strong></p> <p>The actions of central bankers to suppress real price discovery (i.e., market-derived interest rates) now has led to nearly $12 trillion of sovereign debt having been issued with interest <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/29/there-are-now-117-trillion-dollars-worth-of-bonds-with-negative-yields.html">rates</a> below zero (&ldquo;NIRP&rdquo;, or &ldquo;negative interest rate policy&rdquo;). <strong>That means that more than one third of all sovereign debt worldwide now carries negative interest rates.</strong></p> <p>That nearly $12 trillion total includes $3.2 trillion of short-term sovereign debt and $8.5 trillion of long-term sovereign debt. The total NIRP debt is up $1.3 trillion from the end of May. Even more astounding is that the total amount of negative-yielding debt with maturities of seven years or longer has ballooned to $2.6 trillion. That is nearly double just since April of this year. In fact, all of the debt issued by the Swiss government - every borrowed franc, even Swiss fifty-year bonds - now carries a negative yield. All of the debt issued by the Japanese government (JGBs) with maturities up to twenty years now carries a negative yield.</p> <p>Imagine lending money to anyone, even the Swiss government, for fifty years, ultimately getting back less than you loaned &hellip; and paying for the privilege! <strong>What such an investor has to believe, in order to make such a loan, is that inflation over the next fifty years will be substantially negative (i.e., a great, and long-lasting deflation), with the result that the purchasing power of the Swissie will increase substantially over the next fifty years.</strong> But every major currency on the planet, including the US dollar, the British pound, the Japanese yen and the Euro/DM, has <a href="http://www.thoughtfulcynic.com/2015/05/27/gold-protection-against-dollar-debasement/">lost</a> purchasing power over the last forty-five years (since the end of Bretton Woods).</p> <p>Without some form of scarce commodity backing (e.g., precious metals) for currencies, <strong>why would anyone, particularly sovereign bond investors, believe that currency units, which can be conjured at will from thin air (not a scarce commodity) by desperate governments, will be worth more, not less, over the next fifty years?</strong> But believe it they do, proving that, at least with respect to high finance (better named low-IQ finance?), you can fool all of the people (the investment public) all of the time.</p> <p><u><strong>NIRP simply never could exist in a real-money world, where credit, like all commodities, is scarce and must be rationed by the market</strong></u>. But European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, with the implicit and explicit assent of all the world&rsquo;s central bankers and the urging of their cronies in government, finance and big business who get &ldquo;first crack&rdquo; at the conjured money, has reiterated over and over that there would be &ldquo;no limits&rdquo; to what he and the ECB might do with respect to printing money and further reducing interest rates.<em> (No wonder the workaday citizens of Great Britain voted overwhelmingly for Leave.)</em></p> <p><strong>ZIRP and NIRP certainly have well served the central banks and their crony political, finance and big business elite masters (the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent).</strong> Money printed by central banks <em>ex nihilo</em> (out of nothing) has poured into the world&rsquo;s stock markets, fueling stock buybacks that enrich big-business management via soaring stock-options values. Money printed by central banks has fueled an auto-loan bubble, with <a href="http://blog.credit.com/2016/05/auto-loan-debt-tops-1-trillion-145118/">total auto debt</a> now more than $1 trillion.&nbsp;Money printed by central banks has fueled the <a href="https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/hhdc.html">rapid increase in student debt</a> that either will enslave American youth, preventing most from participating in the &ldquo;American Dream&rdquo; of home ownership and a reasonable retirement, or turn them into rabid supporters of socialist politicians (e.g., Bernie Sanders) who promise to absolve them of their unpayable debts.</p> <p>But the central bankers&rsquo; ability to defy economic gravity may, at long last, be coming to an end. Even the radical Keynesian, Richard Koo has recognized the outrage of NIRP, which he recently described as <strong><em>&ldquo;an act of desperation born out of despair over the inability of quantitative easing and inflation targeting to produce the desired results&hellip; the failure of monetary easing symbolizes crisis in macroeconomics.&quot;</em></strong></p> <p><strong>The failure of ZIRP, QE and now NIRP is easy to see from recent corporate earnings reports and associated PE multiples</strong>: As of close of trading on Friday, July 1, 2016, the S&amp;P 500 was trading at 24.3 times earnings over the last twelve months, close to an historical record high PE multiple. Generally (meaning before fiat money), elevated PE multiples were notched during times of <em>increasing</em><strong><em> </em></strong>earnings. But for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 (FQE 3/31), S&amp;P 500 earnings per share were only $87. That is 18 percent&nbsp;<em>less </em>than the $106-per-share earnings peak reported for the third quarter (FQE 9/30) of 2014. If money printing and central-bank-dictated interest rates were the saviors of the real economy, and if the United States were actually experiencing a real economic recovery, corporate earnings would be increasing, not declining precipitously.</p> <p>Interestingly, the first quarter 2016&rsquo;s $87 per share earnings were eerily equivalent to the $85 earnings per share for the last twelve months just preceding the 2008 crash. And the S&amp;P 500 multiple was only 18.4 at that time. So stocks have a long way to fall from their elevated current levels, levels only reached as a result of share buybacks (artificially increasing earnings per outstanding share and increasing per share prices), which buybacks were (and continue to be) fueled by relentless near-ZIRP maintained by the U.S. Federal Reserve, as well as so-called &ldquo;carry-trade&rdquo; borrowings in currencies with NIRP (such as the Japanese yen).</p> <p><strong>The failure of ZIRP, QE and now NIRP also is easy to see from recent corporate sales reports</strong>: According to the most recently updated <a href="https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WHLSLRIRSA">Inventories to Sales Ratio</a> compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the inventory to sales ratio is hovering at 1.35, just below the highest recorded (1.41 in January of 2009) in over twenty years. That ratio exploded higher (meaning unsold goods are piling up) every quarter since the end of the second quarter of 2014. If money printing and central bank-dictated interest rates were the saviors of the real economy, and if the United States were actually experiencing a real economic recovery, inventories would not be languishing unsold on the shelves of suppliers and merchants. Workers with higher pay checks would be consuming them.</p> <p><u><strong>Which brings us to perhaps the easiest way to understand the failure of ZIRP, QE and now NIRP: the labor market.</strong></u> Contrary to the claims of the Obama administration&rsquo;s Bureau of Labor Statistics&rsquo; headline unemployment numbers (which counts job slots, so that a part-time gig is the equivalent of a forty-hour-per-week career job paying over $50,000 per year), there is <em>not</em> more work being done in America. There actually is <em>less</em>, as former full time jobs (with benefits) have been, and continue to be, replaced with more part-time, lower paying jobs (without benefits). Indeed, as former OMB chief David Stockman has instructed, the number of what can be called &ldquo;breadwinner jobs&rdquo;, which are jobs that can support a family of four, is now almost one million below the number of such jobs in the year 2000. If money printing and central bank-dictated interest rates were the saviors of the real economy, and if the United States were actually experiencing a real economic recovery, there would be more &ldquo;breadwinner jobs&rdquo; now than in 2000, when the population was considerably lower.</p> <p>The crack-up boom, fueled by fiat money, QE, ZIRP and now NIRP, is coming. It will hit on a global scale, and &ldquo;rock the casbah&rdquo; (and all points north, south, east and west thereof).<strong> It will make the Great Depression look like a picnic party in the park</strong>. <u><em><strong>Why will it be worse?</strong></em></u> <em>Consider just two simple facts: first, supply chains are much longer and considerably more intricate than eighty-five years ago. As they fail (due to bankruptcies and business failures of those in the chain), basic necessities will not get to those in need of them. Second, compared to eighty-five years ago, the world has billions more mouths to feed, and many fewer people, including millions fewer farmers, who actually know how to produce the basic necessities.</em></p> <p><u><strong>Yes, central bankers can print currency units, but not food, energy or other commodities necessary for sustaining life.</strong></u> As basic commodities become more scarce or are priced out of the reach of average folks, wars, riots, rebellions, diseases and repressive governments will result.<strong> All of this human suffering will be the progeny of ZIRP, QE and NIRP, which in turn are the progeny of the replacement of the gold standard by the Ph.D standard.</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="767" height="404" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_depress.jpg?1469228643" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/america-needs-good-old-fashioned-economic-depression#comments 8.5% Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bernie Sanders Bond British Pound Bureau of Labor Statistics Central Banks European Central Bank Fail Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Great Depression Ludwig von Mises Obama Administration PE Multiple Precious Metals Purchasing Power Quantitative Easing recovery Richard Koo Sovereign Debt Swissie Unemployment Yen Sat, 23 Jul 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566806 at http://www.zerohedge.com Hillary Clinton Picks Tim Kaine For Vice President http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/hillary-clinton-picks-tim-kaine-vice-president <p>Moments ago the worst kept secret in Washington was confirmed when Hillary Clinton announced on Twitter she has picked Virginia senator Tim Kaine as her running mate in an attempt to bolster her support among blue-collar workers and maximize votes from US Latinos dismayed by Donald Trump.</p> <p>Kaine, 58, a Catholic former governor of Virginia, has described himself in the past as "boring", and is seen as a safe, moderate if unexciting option, but his everyman roots, executive experience and fluent Spanish are assets that could strengthen the Democratic ticket. By choosing&nbsp; Kaine, 58, a moderate Democrat from a battleground state, Clinton has passed up the chance to pick a left-winger such as senator Elizabeth Warren.</p> <p><a href="http://zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/07/21/kaine.jpg"><img src="http://zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/07/21/kaine_0.jpg" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p>“I am boring,” he said on NBC in June, but then joked, “Boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country.”</p> <p>Others on her list presented risks. For instance, some thought an all-women ticket with Sen. Warren could turn off potential backers.&nbsp; Clinton also looked at a political novice, retired Adm. James Stavridis, who is an expert in foreign policy but hasn’t faced the rigors of a political campaign.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/00e30f0c-502d-11e6-88c5-db83e98a590a.html">the FT</a>, Clinton has matched Trump by picking a seasoned elected official who has served as both a governor and a member of Congress. But while the main role of Mike Pence, the Indiana governor chosen by Trump, is to shore up support from conservatives within the Republican party, Kaine will aim to broaden support for Clinton beyond the Democratic base. </p> <p>“He’s from a working-class background, so he understands the difficulties of blue-collar people and others who don’t have a lot of economic resources,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who has known Mr Kaine since he taught at the college in the late 1980s. </p> <p>“He’d be very good with the kind of voters Trump is attracting, but he can also reach out to lawyers and elites.”</p> <p>Clinton announced the move Friday via Twitter, moments after the tragic shooting in Munich got the "all clear", and&nbsp; following the Republican National Convention that adjourned with Donald Trump as the GOP nominee. Democrats hoped the announcement would blunt any momentum Trump gained from his convention. Clinton is expected to campaign with Kaine on Saturday in Miami. </p> <p>“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others,” she tweeted. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I'm thrilled to announce my running mate, <a href="https://twitter.com/timkaine">@TimKaine</a>, a man who's devoted his life to fighting for others. -H <a href="https://t.co/lTVyfztE5Z">pic.twitter.com/lTVyfztE5Z</a></p> <p>— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/756642903469031424">July 23, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>A campaign official said Clinton made up her mind Friday to tap Kaine. She called him at 7:32 p.m. from Tampa, where she had appeared at a rally, the official said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Just got off the phone with Hillary. I’m honored to be her running mate. Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!</p> <p>— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) <a href="https://twitter.com/timkaine/status/756649838381498368">July 23, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Virginia, a battleground state where Kaine also served as mayor of Richmond, is one of a handful of swing states that will determine the outcome of the race for the White House. Although his state is not part of the rust belt, where Trump’s anti-globalisation stance is most resonant, Kaine has seen first-hand the decline of textile and furniture factories in southern Virginia. </p> <p>His own father was a welder who ran a metalworking shop in Kansas City, where Mr Kaine’s family moved after his birth in Minnesota. After she spoke to Kaine, Clinton called President Barack Obama to notify him of her choice, the official said.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-picks-tim-kaine-for-running-mate-1469232934">WSJ</a>, Kaine could help Clinton with minority voters. He took a year off law school to help run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. In 2013, he delivered a speech in Spanish on the Senate floor in support of an immigration overhaul. A Catholic, Mr. Kaine joined an African-American church in Richmond and was elected mayor of that majority black city.&nbsp; Many Democrats have long assumed <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/possible-hillary-clinton-vice-president-pick-kaine-in-spotlight-1468538525" class="icon none">Clinton would choose Mr. Kaine</a> because of his credentials, her comfort with him and because choosing him comes with few risks.</p> <p>Kaine's his selection could come as a disappointment to the liberal wing of the party, some of which had hoped Clinton would turn to a more populist leader, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, in an effort to unite the party following a divisive primary. Kaine’s positions in favor of trade and other matters leave many progressives cold. He is unpopular with some in the Democratic Party’s liberal wing due to his positions on trade and other issues. Last year, he voted to give the president “fast-track” authority to smooth passage of a controversial 12-nation trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal opposed by the Democratic base. Mr. Kaine has said free-trade deals can help the economy if negotiated in ways that protect workers’ rights. </p> <p>“He does nothing for [Bernie] Sanders supporters. He does nothing for the young or people of color. He won’t help win the white workers devastated by our perverse trade policies,” said Robert Borosage, co-director of the liberal group Campaign For America’s Future. “He is the choice of a candidate confident of victory who wants a safe VP.”</p> <p>Mr. Kaine is unpopular with some in the Democratic Party’s liberal wing due to his positions on trade and other issues. Last year, he voted to give the president “fast-track” authority to smooth passage of a controversial 12-nation trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal opposed by the Democratic base. Mr. Kaine has said free-trade deals can help the economy if negotiated in ways that protect workers’ rights. “He does nothing for [Bernie] Sanders supporters. He does nothing for the young or people of color. He won’t help win the white workers devastated by our perverse trade policies,” said Robert Borosage, co-director of the liberal group Campaign For America’s Future. “He is the choice of a candidate confident of victory who wants a safe VP.”</p> <p>With Donald Trump running as the law-and-order candidate, Republicans hope to tar Kaine for his opposition to the death penalty and cite his pro bono work to try to free two murderers convicted in the 1980s. The effort will echo Kaine’s 2005 campaign for governor of Virginia, when then state Attorney General Jerry Kilgore used the issue against him. What’s new is GOP researchers uncovered the argument used by Mr. Kaine as a lawyer, that the death penalty wasn’t warranted in one case because the suspect didn’t actually rape the 17-year-old victim, but instead sodomized her.</p> <p>“We plan to use this to show his extreme position on criminal-justice issues,” an RNC official said. As governor, however, Kaine didn’t let his personal views stop death-penalty cases and didn’t intervene in 11 executions, including that of Washington sniper John A. Muhammad.</p> <p>The senator has been one of Clinton’s most dedicated supporters on the Hill, endorsing her for president in early 2014 before she even announced her candidacy.</p> <p>Kaine has represented Virginia in the Senate since 2012. From 2006 to 2010 he served as governor of the state, which includes wealthy suburbs of Washington DC, big military bases and pockets of rural poverty. His wife Anne Holton is Virginia’s secretary of education.</p> <p>The state has voted for the winning candidate in seven of the last nine presidential elections.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="338" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/7e753080-dc85-4a41-b6eb-9722a81121d4.img_.jpg?1469235899" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/hillary-clinton-picks-tim-kaine-vice-president#comments Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Indiana NBC Twitter Twitter White House Sat, 23 Jul 2016 01:06:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 566814 at http://www.zerohedge.com Awkward? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/not-optical-illusion <p><em>"Peddling <strong>fiction</strong>"</em> versus <em>"inconvenient <strong>truths</strong>"</em>...</p> <p>Presented with little comment - Grabbed from the front page of CNN - ivory tower ignorance or willful blindness, you decide...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_congdiss.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_congdiss_0.jpg" width="600" height="364" /></a></p> <p><em>h/t @momomiester</em></p> <p>But have no fear, America - While Obama says there's no "doom and gloom", Hillary is "monitoring" the situation...<em><br /></em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Monitoring the horrific situation in Munich. We stand with our friends in Germany as they work to bring those responsible to justice. -H</p> <p>— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/756582517566681089">July 22, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <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="1053" height="639" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_congdiss.jpg?1469219084" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/not-optical-illusion#comments Germany Sat, 23 Jul 2016 01:03:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566792 at http://www.zerohedge.com Hillary Says Trump Is Most Dangerous Presidential Candidate Ever – But Is She? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/hillary-says-trump-most-dangerous-presidential-candidate-ever-%E2%80%93-she <p><a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/hillary-says-trump-is-most-dangerous-presidential-candidate-ever-but-she-is/"><em>Via The Daily Bell,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Hillary Clinton said Monday that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, was the most dangerous presidential candidate in the history of the United States. -CNN</p> </blockquote> <p>Clinton, in an interview with CBS News&rsquo; Charlie Rose, believes <em><strong>Donald Trump has &ldquo;no self-discipline, no self-control, no sense of history, no understanding of the limits of the kind of power that any president should impose upon himself.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>All of this could be applied to Clinton. She is by far the more dangerous of the two candidates.</p> <p>If Clinton gets into office, she will start or expand wars and through large economic programs will ensure the US&rsquo;s quasi-depression deepens and that the economy never truly recovers at all (even though it may seem to.)</p> <p><strong>If things aren&rsquo;t getting worse, Hillary&rsquo;s&nbsp;power is not advancing. She is good at making things&nbsp;worse.</strong></p> <p>As her opponent, Donald Trump&rsquo;s main recommendation is that he has not been a politician before.</p> <p>Donald Trump has chiefly been a builder and businessman.</p> <p><strong>But Hillary has basically been a politician.</strong></p> <p>Economically speaking, politics is price fixing. Laws are price-fixes, forbidding people from taking certain actions in favor of other ones.</p> <p>We may agree or disagree with these price-fixes, but they exist and are a function of lawmaking.</p> <p>Price-fixes always distort and degrade economies. The more laws you have, the more price-fixing and the more degradation.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve often argued for private justice for instance in which individuals work out their own civil and criminal differences.</p> <p>The less price-fixing (state control), the better.</p> <p><strong>The modern state &ndash; with its massive economic, political and judicial interference &ndash; is already well on its way to toppling.</strong></p> <p>Hillary Clinton has done well in the current system. She and her husband have built a gigantic non-profit and reportedly use it to trade favors with powerful people around the world.</p> <p>She and Bill are connected at the highest levels and can influence US political and military decisions.</p> <p><strong>People will pay lots of money to anyone with this sort of clout.</strong> But the money does not apparently go directly to the Clintons. Instead it reportedly goes to their non-profit, so it does not seem as if the Clintons are accepting payments for their &ldquo;help.&rdquo;</p> <p>How well is this non-profit run? Here, from an April 2015 New York Post in an article entitled, &ldquo;Clinton Foundation a &lsquo;Slush Fund.&rsquo;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The Clinton Foundation&rsquo;s finances are so messy that the nation&rsquo;s most influential charity watchdog put it on its &ldquo;watch list&rdquo; of problematic nonprofits last month.&nbsp; The Clinton family&rsquo;s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends &hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,&rdquo; said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Supporters of the Clintons would no doubt disagree with this assessment, as would Hillary herself.</strong></p> <p>In her interview, Hillary said of Trump, <strong><em>&ldquo;What he has laid out is the most dangerous, reckless approach to being president than I think we&rsquo;ve ever seen.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>More from the article:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;There is a lot of fear in our country. And when Americans are worried they&rsquo;re looking for answers. He&rsquo;s providing simplistic, easy answers,&rdquo; Clinton said.</p> </blockquote> <p>The article quotes poll numbers that indicate Americans are more confident about Hillary&rsquo;s experience and ability to be president, even though they don&rsquo;t trust her.</p> <p><strong><u>This is unfortunate.</u></strong> As political price-fixes must by definition make economies worse (unless they are removing laws),<u><strong> the more &ldquo;experienced&rdquo; a politician is,&nbsp; the more destructive he or she has the capacity to be.</strong></u></p> <p>In fact, Hillary and Bill are multimillionaires many times over. Their overarching priority is self-enrichment and the accumulation of power.</p> <p><u><strong>Bottom line: Hillary is being groomed for president because she will help usher in the next wave of democracy, which is a form of global technocracy.</strong></u></p> <p>This form of government &nbsp;with emphasize the power of multinational corporations and those run them.</p> <p>These corporations, more than ever, will work closely with powerful politicians to generate and expand serial wars necessary to advance globalist control.</p> <p>When the Gutenberg press undermined the Catholic Church and the divinity of kings, the powers-that-be began to promote &ldquo;democracy.&rdquo;&nbsp;The French Revolution was created to further the concept.</p> <p>Now that the Internet has exposed the phoniness of most &ldquo;democracy,&rdquo; a new form of governance is being promoted.&nbsp;This will emphasize the global marketplace as run by multinational corporations and their technocratic &ldquo;experts.&rdquo;</p> <p>New international trade courts are being created that will allow corporations to have equal footing with nation-states.</p> <p><strong>None of this is coincidence.</strong></p> <p>Trade deals TPP and TPIP are both foundational building blocks of this new era.&nbsp;Hillary, from what we can tell, is intended to be the point person to&nbsp;advance this paradigm.</p> <p>Tomorrow&rsquo;s globalism, as Hillary&rsquo;s backers conceive of it, will be racked by war and ruled&nbsp;via&nbsp;corporate authoritarianism.&nbsp;As we pointed out previously, <a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/no-liberal-hillary-is-pro-multinational-and-pro-military-industrial-complex/">HERE, </a>Hillary is no &ldquo;democrat&rdquo; and no &ldquo;liberal.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong><u>Conclusion</u>: </strong>Win or lose, <strong>Hillary will continue to be a dangerous backer and builder of corporate, globalist technocracy.&nbsp;</strong>If she wins, she&rsquo;ll pursue her goals on the national stage. If she &nbsp;loses, she will continue to work behind the scenes.&nbsp;<strong>Either way&nbsp;she&rsquo;s dangerous.</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="604" height="262" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_hillary.jpg?1469228276" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/hillary-says-trump-most-dangerous-presidential-candidate-ever-%E2%80%93-she#comments Donald Trump New York Post None Sat, 23 Jul 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566805 at http://www.zerohedge.com "That's A Scary Graph" Former Fed Economist Warns http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/thats-scary-graph-former-fed-economist-warns <p><strong>The problem</strong>, warns 33-year St.Louis Fed veteran Daniel Thornton, <strong>is that &quot;the financial cycle is way ahead of the economic cycle.&quot; </strong>As <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-22/ex-fed-official-worried-about-bubbles-warns-of-u-s-downturn">Bloomberg notes</a>, that&#39;s a worry given that the past two downturns were driven by asset-price deflation.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Americans are about as wealthy as they&#39;ve ever been - and that&#39;s a worry?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yup, say veteran economists Daniel Thornton and Joe Carson. They&#39;re <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>concerned that the swelling of wealth could prove unsustainable because it&#39;s far outstripped the growth of the economy since the recession&#39;s end in 2009</strong></span>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thornton, who spent 33 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis before retiring in 2014, says in effect that <strong>we&#39;ve seen this picture before</strong>. Household net worth ballooned in the late 1990&#39;s and the early 2000&#39;s; <strong>in the first instance pumped up by rising stock prices, in the second by expanding home values.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Both cases ended badly, with the economy falling into recession after the bubbles burst.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_scary.jpg"><img height="319" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_scary_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>Chart: Bloomberg</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-22/ex-fed-official-worried-about-bubbles-warns-of-u-s-downturn">Just as occurred in the previous two episodes</a>, <strong>the latest expansion of wealth&nbsp; has been driven more by rising prices of assets -in this case both shares and homes - than by improved economic fundamentals</strong>...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Since 2009, households have seen their holdings of stock and mutual funds nearly <u>double</u>, to $20.6 trillion</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>Only 6 percent </u>of that gain can be ascribed to new flows of money </strong>into the funds or share purchases, according to calculations by Carson, director of global economic research at AllianceBernstein LP in New York. <u><strong>The rest is due to price appreciation.</strong></u></p> </blockquote> <p>As the veteran economist sum up:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The problem, he said, is that <em><u><strong>&quot;the financial cycle is way ahead of the economic cycle.&#39;&#39; </strong></u></em>That&#39;s a worry given that the past two downturns were driven by asset-price deflation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Nobody knows what&#39;s going to happen,&quot; Thornton said. &quot;But there&#39;s plenty of reason to think that&rsquo;s a scary graph.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Still, why worry, with stock valuations at 12 year highs (amid decling earnings) and median home prices well above the prior peak, what could go wrong?</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="958" height="510" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_scary.jpg?1469194722" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/thats-scary-graph-former-fed-economist-warns#comments AllianceBernstein Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Recession St Louis Fed St. Louis Fed Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:49:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 566757 at http://www.zerohedge.com Stocks 'Safer' Than Bonds? The Last Time This Happened Did Not End Well http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/stocks-safer-bonds-last-time-happened-did-not-end-well <p><em><strong>It's quiet out there, too quiet.</strong></em> With VIX once again testing cycle lows, <strong>equity risk is trading below bond risk for the first time since right before markets crashed in August 2015</strong>. </p> <p>S&amp;P 500 implied volatility (VIX) has now been <strong>lower </strong>than Treasury ETF TLT's implied volatility for the month of July (since Brexit)...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_VIX1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_VIX1_0.jpg" width="600" height="317" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/markets-biggest-permabull-scared-about-month-august">As FundStrat's Tom Lee points</a> out in a recent reports, gaps as wide as the current one were<strong> followed 68% of the time by S&amp;P 500 Index declines in the next 20 trading days,</strong> according to his data... and is clear from above, <strong><em>the last time stocks got this 'relatively' complacent, things went south very fast.</em></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="956" height="505" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_VIX1.jpg?1469208638" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/stocks-safer-bonds-last-time-happened-did-not-end-well#comments Bond Volatility Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566779 at http://www.zerohedge.com The 9-Point Guide To Deciphering Political Propaganda http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/9-point-guide-deciphering-political-propaganda <p><a href="http://www.garretgalland.com/passing-parade/the-parade-goers-9-point-guide-to-understanding-political-propaganda/"><em>Submitted by David Galland via GarrentGalland.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Given we are eyeballs-deep in the US presidential election cycle, now seems a particularly appropriate time to share some observations on the topic of political propaganda.</strong></p> <p>As a naturally curious fellow, some years ago - during the Clinton vs. Bush Senior contest - I became interested in the language and techniques used in political campaigning. So much so that I dedicated my daily study period to the topic for the better part of a week.</p> <p>Since it will be impossible to escape the rhetorical onslaught for the next few months, I thought I might be able to<strong> shed some light on what goes on in the battle for your subconscious.</strong></p> <p>As these insights come from the well-worn pages of playbooks of every politician around the world, I think they are pretty much timeless and cross all borders.</p> <p>At the core of what I learned in my studies is that the stock and trade of the propagandist revolves around trying to simplify issues, no matter how complex, into easily understood concepts that tap into the existing attitudes and emotions of the target audience.</p> <p>As an aside, since this topic touches on politics, I may inadvertently gore your ox. For the record, I view most politicians and political parties with disdain, though my disdain is particularly elevated for politicians espousing policies that interfere with my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.</p> <p>With that brief introduction, here are just some of the techniques you can watch for as the election season gains steam.</p> <h3><u>1. Use stereotypes.</u></h3> <p>This technique has probably been in active use since humans lived in caves. Successfully drape the opponent in the cloak of a stereotype that triggers a negative image, and you&rsquo;ve done a good day&rsquo;s work as a propagandist.</p> <p>Depending on which side of the political spectrum you swing to, you might trot out old favorites such as &ldquo;rich fat cat,&rdquo; or &ldquo;friend of Wall Street,&rdquo; or &ldquo;big-government socialist,&rdquo; or any one of many handy sterotypes. These stereotypes allow you to instantly tap into powerful underlying prejudices and emotions.</p> <p>And, for the record, it is a well-documented fact that when we humans are emotionally worked up, we become much more suspectible to follow-on political messaging.</p> <h3><u>2. Name substitution.</u></h3> <p>The propagandist will try to label the opponent with an unflattering, and memorable, term. If that is successful, the label will involuntarily come to mind at the sight of the opponent. Donald Trump is the reigning champion of this technique, using name substitution like a two-by-four against his opponents.</p> <p>Every time Elizabeth Warren&rsquo;s name comes up, my mind automatically substitutes her name with Pocahontas and I have to smile. On the other side of the contest, the Hillary camp has been trying to stick Trump with the &ldquo;bully&rdquo; label. I expect to see a lot more of that.</p> <h3><u>3. Selection.</u></h3> <p>Out of a mass of complex facts, the propagandist selects only those that are suitable for his or her purpose. You wouldn&rsquo;t expect Trump to mention his past bankruptcies, or Hillary her long list of crimes.</p> <p>There is, actually, an instance where Trump might want to mention his bankruptcies. Folks in the influence business&mdash;including trial lawyers&mdash;use a technique called &ldquo;inoculation&rdquo; where, knowing your opponent is going to come after you on a point, you bring it up first and therefore diffuse it.</p> <p><em>&ldquo;My opponent, Crooked Hillary, is probably going to mention the fact that I have had some businesses go bankrupt many years ago. She&rsquo;s right. </em></p> <p><em>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;re involved in the rough and tumble world of business, sometimes things just aren&rsquo;t going to work out, and so you have to do what you have to do to protect your employees and buy some time to pay your debts. </em></p> <p><em>But here&rsquo;s the important thing to remember. I&rsquo;ve run businesses&mdash;big businesses&mdash;ever since I was 19 years old. And Crooked Hillary? She&rsquo;s a lawyer and never ran a single business. Not once. And that&rsquo;s the problem with American politics&hellip; too many lawyers and not enough business folks!&rdquo;</em></p> <h3><u>4. Downright lying.</u></h3> <p>The &ldquo;big lie&rdquo; has always been an important part of propaganda.</p> <p>Remember the woman who came forward to tell Congress about Iraqi soldiers raping and hacking their way through a maternity ward in Kuwait as part of the campaign to get the US to invade? The politicians got emotionally involved in the story and so, per my earlier comments, were made more susceptible to the idea of invading Iraq.</p> <p>Turned out the woman was the daughter of a high-ranking Kuwaiti official who had been enlisted by a PR firm, and her story was completely fabricated.</p> <p>Not so long ago, Bloomberg ginned up a story claiming <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-28/trump-campaign-lining-up-tyson-and-ditka-for-convention" target="_blank">Trump had invited thug and convicted rapist Mike Tyson</a> to address the Republican convention.</p> <p>Baseless nonsense dreamed up by soulless PR cretins, and nothing more.</p> <h3><u>5. Repetition.</u></h3> <p>If you repeat a statement often enough, it will become ingrained in the minds of your target audience.</p> <p>For example, the myth propagated by the Democrats that the rich need to pay their &ldquo;fair share&rdquo; despite the fact that the top 10% of income earners pay 70% of all federal income taxes.</p> <p>On the flip side, the Republications constantly repeat the mantra that Democrats are all in favor of &ldquo;big government&rdquo; despite the reality that the size of the government has continued to grow in size under Republican and Democrat administrations alike.</p> <p><img src="http://ggc-gg-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/newsletters/Image_2_20160722_TPP.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 352px;" /></p> <h3><u>6. Assertion.</u></h3> <p>The clever propagandist rarely engages in a substantive debate over the issues, but instead favors bold assertions to support his thesis. This is logical because the essence of propaganda is to present only one side of the picture and deliberately obfuscate or bury facts to the contrary.</p> <p>We are told Donald Trump is a bigot, but for the life of me, I can&rsquo;t find any examples. Unless you think his call for enforcing immigration laws bigoted.</p> <p>We are told that police target black men for summary execution, a meme that has contributed mightily to the recent outbreak of violence against the police. In time, that will also result in the police keeping their hands in their pockets and avoiding neighborhoods where they aren&rsquo;t wanted. At which point the real mayhem will begin.</p> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t matter that the assertion is not factually true, what does matter is that it fits the narrative that the majority of the white population, especially fat cats like Donald Trump, are racists.</p> <p>As to the truth, <a href="https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/18/analysis-of-washington-post-police-shootings-data-reveals-surprising-result/" target="_blank">here is a very worthwhile article</a> that looks past the meme and to the statistical facts.</p> <h3><u>7. Identify an enemy that taps into deeply held prejudices.</u></h3> <p>It is particularly helpful to the politicians not to just be &ldquo;for&rdquo; something, but to be against some real or imagined enemy who is supposedly frustrating the will of his audience. This serves to deflect any opposing views while strengthening &ldquo;in group&rdquo; feelings. Some of the campaigners for Brexit used the influx of illegal immigrants very effectively in this regard. As has Donald Trump.</p> <h3><u>8. Appeal to authority.</u></h3> <p>The authority may be religious or some respected political figure. In the case of the Democrats, you&rsquo;ll increasingly see references to Bill Clinton, who is apparently remembered fondly by some. By trotting out Bill, Hillary hopes the voters will overlook her many faults.</p> <p>Knowing this is coming, the Republicans have done a pretty spiffy job of tarnishing Bill Clinton&rsquo;s reputation&mdash;which wasn&rsquo;t real hard&mdash;with exposés on the Clinton Foundation and his proclivity for women other than his wife. (For the record, I almost made a snarky comment, but refrained.)</p> <h3><u>9. Peer pressure.</u></h3> <p>One of the most powerful influence techniques is summed up in the phrase, &ldquo;Everyone else is doing it.&rdquo; Being a herd animal, it is very hard for us as individuals to go against the crowd. In the Brexit campaign, the media tried to paint the &ldquo;Leave&rdquo; folks as malcontents on the fringe. &nbsp;</p> <p>In the US, to self-identify as a Trump supporter is&mdash;if you believe the Democrats and the media they control (which is, like, all the media)&mdash;you are some sort of gun-hoarding racist nutjob.</p> <p>In what might be viewed as either good news or bad, the most fundamental limitation of propaganda is that almost everyone develops a more or less rigid set of beliefs and attitudes early in life and, except in trivial matters, clings to those beliefs.</p> <p>Thus, the real task of the propagandist is to tap into those attitudes and attempt, often with deliberate lies, to demonstrate that the propaganda accurately reflects the established views of the audience.</p> <p>Here is an example. On first hearing that Trump proposed to build a wall across the border with Mexico, my reaction was incredulous and very negative. What a dumbass idea.</p> <p>However, when I heard Trump describe his wall, stressing that the wall would have a &ldquo;big door, a very, very big door&rdquo; for people that fulfilled the legal requirements for immigration to pass through, my opposition was muted.</p> <p>I still don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s a practical idea, or even a good idea, but by his clever rhetoric&mdash;mentally painting the picture of a big door where people who followed the rules could enter&mdash;Trump was able to get me to view the idea of the wall in a different light. To wit, he&rsquo;s not anti-immigration. Just anti-illegal immigration.</p> <h3><u>Some Concluding Observations</u></h3> <p><em><strong>I doubt Trump will win the election. Not only does he have the entire liberal establishment lined up against him, but the propagandists have had great success in turning the larger ethnic communities against him.</strong></em></p> <p>And in what may be a first, even the leadership of his own political party continues to go to great lengths to discredit him.</p> <p>This is not to say that Hillary and the Democrats will be able to credibly marshall an effective propaganda attack on Trump that will sway his constituents.</p> <p>For starters, <strong>that constituency views &ldquo;Hillary&rdquo; not just as a political opponent, but an icon for everything that is wrong with the political class. They are not budging even one iota come election day.</strong></p> <p>Which makes this a battle for the so-called independents. And that&rsquo;s where the propagandists will be aiming the big guns.</p> <p>The Democrats tried to turn women against Trump by painting him as a misogynist. However, a master of the game, Trump countered by pushing forward the women the media had pointed to as &ldquo;proof&rdquo; of his misogyny who, in no uncertain terms, stated that the reporter had made up the whole story.</p> <p><strong>So, what scab can the propagandists (successfully) pick to ensure Trump doesn&rsquo;t attract the independents who are uneasy about the direction America has taken? </strong>Well, for sure, Hillary can&rsquo;t claim he&rsquo;s corrupt or a crook, you know, because of the whole rocks-and-glass-houses thing.</p> <p>So, I expect she&rsquo;ll play the usual &ldquo;fat cat&rdquo; card and double down with the bully thing. That way when he berates her on the national stage, especially in the upcoming debates, she&rsquo;ll do the equivalent of an &ldquo;I told you so! Look at how he treats poor me.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>I think Trump is probably smart enough to figure all this out and be prepared.</strong></p> <p>Regardless, at the end of the day it&rsquo;s going to boil down to demographics. Who has the bulk of the voting public in their camp?</p> <p><u><em><strong>If Trump is on the right side of the demographics, the side that fondly remembers the idea of America and wants to preserve it, versus those who embrace the brave new world of political correctness, multiculturalism, and populist economics, he&rsquo;s got a chance.</strong></em></u></p> <p>If not, he will be toast and those of you who make America your home will have to accept that the country is going to continue slipping down the slippery slope. And not just under Madam President, but under whichever politically correct construct gets elected after her eight-year term ends.</p> <p>Who knows, maybe by then the president will be introduced to audiences as &ldquo;Ze President&rdquo;?</p> <p><strong>So, any hints from the demographic data on who might win?</strong></p> <p>A useful gauge of what to expect from the 2016 race is to look back at the 2012 presidential election.</p> <p>In 2012, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by the comfortable margin of <a href="http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president" target="_blank">332</a> to 206 electoral votes (to win the presidency, a candidate needs <a href="http://www.270towin.com/" target="_blank">270</a> electoral votes). In the popular vote, Obama beat Romney by a difference of about <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-01-03/final-tally-shows-obama-first-since-56-to-win-51-twice" target="_blank">five million votes</a>.</p> <p>Historically, women make up 53% of presidential voters and men make up 47%. In the 2016 election, it is likely that the gender makeup will stay constant, which will favor Hillary Clinton. According to the Gallup Poll, <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/190403/seven-women-unfavorable-opinion-trump.aspx" target="_blank">70%</a> of women have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. That kind of gender gap could deliver the White House to Clinton.</p> <p>On the other end of the scale, Donald Trump has the support of white men who distrust Clinton.</p> <p>Trump may like to think he can up his chances in the presidential stakes by appealing to discontented white voters who will constitute an estimated 71% of the voting population in the 2016 elections. But the last presidential election results show otherwise. Even though the Republicans won white votes by huge margins in 2012, Mitt Romney still lost.</p> <p>What carried Barack Obama into the White House were minority votes. He won 93% of African-American voters, 71% of Latino voters, and 73% of Asian voters.</p> <p><strong>The minority electorate carries even greater weight in 2016&mdash;with 38% of Americans constituting minorities, as opposed to 28% in 2012.</strong></p> <p>Furthermore, almost two million more Latino voters are expected to turn up for the 2016 elections than in 2012.</p> <p><em><strong>Therefore, Trump will need minority votes if he is to have a chance of winning the White House. An impossibility if one accepts the premise put forward by some political analysts that 84% of nonwhite voters won&rsquo;t vote for him.</strong></em></p> <p><u><strong>Based on the demographics, I&rsquo;m prepared to bet that it&rsquo;s unlikely that Donald Trump can win the popular vote for the United States presidency in 2016.</strong></u></p> <p>Then again, everyone thought Brexit would fail, so there&rsquo;s that.</p> <p><strong>I will close by saying that there are a couple of scenarios that could change the tide.</strong></p> <ul> <li>One is that Trump absolutely dominates in the upcoming presidential debates.</li> <li>The other is that Hillary gets indicted.</li> </ul> <p>Regardless, I&rsquo;ll be watching the election results as they come in from a comfortable seat in the Bad Brothers Wine Experience. Which, given the prospects for a Clinton presidency, seems a fine place to be.</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="213" height="100" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_9.jpg?1469223520" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/9-point-guide-deciphering-political-propaganda#comments Barack Obama Demographics Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Fail Fat Cats Gallup Iraq Kuwait Mexico Reality White House Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566801 at http://www.zerohedge.com Beyond 28 Pages: The US - Saudi Relationship Starts To Fray http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/beyond-28-pages-us-saudi-relationship-starts-fray <p><a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/22/beyond-28-pages-saudi-arabia-and-the-west/"><em>Submitted by Kevin Schwartz via Counterpunch.org,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>We taste the spices of Arabia, yet never feel the scorching sun which brings them forth.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>-Inscribed around the rotunda of the Jefferson Reading Room in the US Library Congress, above the figure of Commerce</p> </blockquote> <p>The long-overdue release of the classified 28 pages of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks represents the fullest public accounting of evidence that certain Saudi nationals potentially assisted some of the hijackers. <strong>Any evidence, however, that the Saudi government may have knowingly provided assistance at this point remains circumstantial and unproven,</strong> a perspective shared by a 2005 FBI-CIA memo, which was released the same day as the 28 pages. Former Senator Bob Graham, who was a member of the congressional inquiry, along with Terry Strada, the national chairwoman for 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism, have riposted that the matter of Saudi involvement is long from concluded and that <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d585da93e3c54e008caa8fe87d15e805/new-911-document-reveals-no-smoking-gun-saudi-complicity">more classified information needs to be issued</a>.</p> <p>While the 28 pages may provide little closure on how the largest terrorist attack on US soil transpired, <strong>its publication is yet another indication that the primacy of Saudi Arabia as irreproachable Middle East ally is in question.</strong> The declassification of the 28 pages comes on the heels of other developments that have undermined the carefully manicured image of Saudi Arabia as stalwart and stable ally, such as: the signing of a nuclear accord with Iran in 2015- raising the prospect of increased cooperation with the kingdom&rsquo;s chief rival; the distribution of a <a href="https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/">cache of Saudi foreign cables</a> discussing internal matters, which includes <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/national/wikileaks-saudi-cables-reveal-secret-saudi-government-influence-in-australia-20150620-ght4kp.html">monitoring its citizens and attempts to combat critical voices in the media abroad</a>; the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/us/zacarias-moussaoui-calls-saudi-princes-patrons-of-al-qaeda.html?_r=0">unverified court testimony of Zacharias Moussaoui</a> (the &ldquo;20<sup>th</sup> hijacker&rdquo;) detailing potential Saudi governmental involvement in 9/11; a war in Yemen that has caused thousands of civilian deaths and led to a humanitarian crisis, and <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/01/04/saudi-arabia-mass-execution-largest-1980">international concern over the execution of 47 individuals on terrorism charges</a>.</p> <p><strong>One consequence of these developments is the introduction of <a href="https://www.murphy.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/murphy-paul-introduce-legislation-to-set-new-conditions-for-us-military-support-to-saudi-arabia-">bipartisan legislation</a> by members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to curtail American arms support to Saudi Arabia for use in its Yemen campaign.</strong> In another case, <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/06/16/worried-about-stigmatizing-cluster-bombs-house-approves-more-sales-to-saudi-arabia/">the U.S. House of Representatives only narrowly passed a bill</a> allowing the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, evidence that lawmakers are beginning to approach this issue with greater care. Further, the <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/senate-911-victims-should-be-able-to-sue-saudi-arabia/483198/">U.S. Senate recently passed a bill</a> that would allow the Saudi Arabian government to be held legally liable for any potential role in the 9/11 attacks, though a last-minute loophole in the bill will likely diminish its impact. Ongoing concerns continue to be expressed over the country&rsquo;s funding of <a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/obama-s-fail-saudi-qatari-aid-al-qaeda-affiliate-1176814251">extremist groups</a> and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/world/europe/how-the-saudis-turned-kosovo-into-fertile-ground-for-isis.html">mosques</a> worldwide. Following the massacre at an Orlando nightclub last month, for example, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/06/13/hillary-clintons-speech-following-the-orlando-shooting/">Hillary Clinton declared</a> that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are apathetic toward their citizens&rsquo; financial support of violent extremism- not the first time the presumptive Democratic nominee <a href="http://time.com/4120295/hillary-clinton-foreign-policy-isis/">singled out Saudi Arabia on the campaign trail</a> in such a manner.</p> <p><strong>Elsewhere relations with Saudi Arabia are undergoing a similar reappraisal. </strong>Last year Sweden decided <a href="http://www.thelocal.se/20150310/sweden-to-discontinue-saudi-arabia-deal">not to renew a Saudi arms agreement</a> maintained since 2005, largely from concern over the country&rsquo;s human rights record. The <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/13/uk-ditches-plan-to-bid-for-saudi-arabia-prisons-contract">United Kingdom withdrew a &pound;5.9m bid for a prisons contract</a>, after criticism of human rights abuses by both Tory and Labour officials. Belgium and the Netherlands have taken steps to end or limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia, while <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/03/29/growing-international-movement-seeks-to-place-arms-embargo-on-saudi-arabia/">the EU passed a non-binding resolution for member countries to halt arm sales</a>. The Canadian government proceeded with a controversial $15-billion arms deal (signed by the current government&rsquo;s predecessor) only amidst a public outcry to annul it and <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadas-saudi-arms-deal-violates-geneva-conventions-lawsuit-argues/article29315657/">a lawsuit arguing</a> that the deal contravenes federal laws over prohibiting such sales to countries suspected of use against civilians or having a record of repeated human rights violations. Canada&rsquo;s Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, even while <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/dion-takes-responsibility-for-pushing-through-saudi-arms-deal/article29672290/">taking responsibility for pushing through the arms deal</a>, recognized the public concern by noting that the matter of selling arms to Saudi Arabia may be a question best left to the electorate.</p> <p><strong>Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s foreign minister Adel al Jubeir may be correct in noting that &ldquo;the surprise in the 28 pages is that there is no surprise,&rdquo; but he would be hard-pressed to exhibit a similar lack of concern about the increased public scrutiny and shifting perceptions of Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s role in the world.</strong> The Saudis instead have responded to the above developments with direct actions, threatened reprisals, and a spirited public relations campaign. The Saudi ambassador to Sweden was briefly recalled. The U.S. has been threatened with <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/20/business/international/saudi-threat-to-sell-us-assetscould-hurt-but-mostly-the-saudis.html?_r=0">the selling of $750 billion worth of Saudi investments in this country</a>, over the Senate&rsquo;s 9/11 legal liability bill. In response to the Canadian arms deal imbroglio, Saudi Arabia defended its judicial system as one that <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/saudis-speak-out-for-first-time-on-15-billion-arms-deal-with-canada/article29180711/">&ldquo;calls for preserving and protecting human rights,&rdquo;</a> even though <a href="https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2015/saudi-arabia">Freedom House ranks it worst in all categories</a> of its freedom index. Current Saudi state officials and ambassadors and former advisors have increasingly sought forcefully to defend their country&rsquo;s actions and image to the public, referencing Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s key role in <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/saudis-are-fighting-terrorism-dont-believe-otherwise-422710">combating international terrorism in alliance with the United States and United Nations</a>.<strong><em> They seek to <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/one-year-later-why-we-saudis-went-to-war-in-yemen-1458943065">justify Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s &ldquo;Operation Decisive Storm&rdquo;</a> in Yemen as an effort to restore &ldquo;legitimate order&rdquo; and &ldquo;combat a militia influenced by Iran.&rdquo; This public relations campaign has been abetted by other attempts to promote a counter-narrative to voices critical of Saudi Arabia, including the use of <a href="https://theintercept.com/2015/12/01/inside-saudi-charm-campaign/">PR firms to charm American policy-makers and journalists</a> and the attempted <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/al-jazeera-block-article-slamming-saudi-arabian-human-rights-record-a6779596.html">censoring of voices critical of the country&rsquo;s human rights record</a>. In March 2016, the <a href="https://www.saprac.org/">Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee</a> (SAPRAC) was established, the first US-based lobbying group with the expressed task of working toward strengthening US-Saudi ties and highlighting opportunities for investment. </em></strong>&ldquo;Vision 2030,&rdquo; the plan promoted as an effort to diversify and modernize the Saudi economy that includes the partial privatization of the state-owned oil company Aramco, may reasonably be <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/saudi-efforts-to-modernise-their-economy-away-from-oil-are-just-pr-tactics-and-the-west-is-lapping-a7004691.html">seen as part of this charm offensive</a>, as <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/wall-street-on-saudi-arabia-charm-offensive-chasing-record-deals">bankers worldwide eye a piece of the prize</a>.</p> <p>Answers about Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s involvement in 9/11 may prove elusive and forever unknown.<em><u><strong> But more than ever, questions are being raised and subsequent actions are being taken in relation to Saudi Arabia, extending far beyond what&rsquo;s contained in the 28 pages of fourteen years ago and portending a new realignment of the US and other western countries&rsquo; long-standing relationship with this Middle East power.</strong></u></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="489" height="319" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_saudi.jpg?1469222485" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/beyond-28-pages-us-saudi-relationship-starts-fray#comments Belgium Iran Middle East Netherlands Saudi Arabia Testimony United Kingdom Fri, 22 Jul 2016 23:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566798 at http://www.zerohedge.com Does Everyone Hate Ted Cruz: The Answer In One Diagram http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/does-everyone-hate-ted-cruz-answer-one-diagram <p>In a word: "yes" <em>(though we have been unable to contact his wife and children)</em></p> <p>It seems the Republican party is 'united' against one politician (other than Hillary)...</p> <p>With his refusal to endorse Donald Trump from the convention stage Wednesday,<strong> Ted Cruz prompted a chorus of boos from those in the audience — and a flurry of insults from those who spoke to him and the media afterward. </strong>In the interest of cataloging the moment,<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/21/the-many-insults-at-and-from-ted-cruz-diagrammed/?tid=sm_tw"> The Washington Post </a>has tracked down as much of the back-and-forth as we could and created this handy image to convey it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_crux.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/19/20160722_crux_0.jpg" width="600" height="429" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/21/the-many-insults-at-and-from-ted-cruz-diagrammed/?tid=sm_tw"><em>Read more here...</em></a></p> <p>The Donald seemed to sum it all up nicely in less that 140 characters...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Other than a small group of people who have suffered massive and embarrassing losses, the party is VERY united. Great love in the arena!</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/756138994728071168">July 21, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <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="1278" height="913" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160722_crux.jpg?1469221370" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/does-everyone-hate-ted-cruz-answer-one-diagram#comments Donald Trump Fri, 22 Jul 2016 22:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 566796 at http://www.zerohedge.com