en Ethereum Surges To New Record Highs - Bigger Than Capital One, ICE, & eBay <p>Following its big surge Thursday, <strong><em>Ethereum has broken through the psychologically important threshold of $400,</em></strong> establishing a new all-time high - currently hovering above $450.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 326px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>image courtesy of CoinTelegraph</em></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>As CoinTelegraph reports</em></a>, despite some market stagnation caused by the news of the <a href="">$280 mln Parity wallet hack</a> in early November, the second-most-popular cryptocurrency looks stronger than ever, <strong>now with a market cap over $43 billion.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 284px;" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>That is bigger than Capital One ($42.3bn), The Intercontinental Exchange ($39.6bn), and eBay ($37.5bn).</em></strong></p> <p>Just as Standpoint Research founder and analyst Ronnie Moas forecast in July, Ethereum has topped $400 (doubling since his projection).</p> <p><em>ETH has surged from below $350 to over $450 in the last few days...</em></p> <p><a href=""><img height="300" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>To a new record high... (surpassing June 2017&#39;s previous peak at $407)</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="342" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>As CoinTelegraph reported,</em></a> Moas claimed that the cryptocurrencies will sustain their solid performance and steal some shares of other assets like stocks, bonds, fiat currencies and other precious metals in the market.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;I think investors should take a shot on this and hold for a few years. If you lose a few bucks, at least you took a shot,&quot; </strong>he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;In life, you miss every shot that you do not take. It will probably be more upsetting to watch it (from the sidelines) go up another 1,000 percent.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Aside from the two leading virtual currencies, Moas also forecast that the price of the digital currency Litecoin will increase by twofold to $80 per coin.</p> <p><u><strong>What is driving the resurgence in Ethereum? </strong></u></p> <p><a href="">CoinDesk notes</a> that total trading volume jumped to $1.845 billion yesterday &ndash; the highest since Sept. 15.<strong> A high volume rally indicates strong hands are at play and more records could be set over the weekend.</strong></p> <p><strong>Again, South Korean desks are firing on all cylinders. </strong>Volumes in the ETH/KRW pair offered by Bithumb, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, have gone up by 13.57 percent today.</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="713" height="387" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Blockchains Business Capital One CoinDesk Cross-platform software Cryptocurrencies Cryptography Digital currency Ethereum Finance Litecoin Money Precious Metals Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:01:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 607858 at Caught On Tape: Chaos, Multiple Fights Break Out Among "Black Friday Zombies" <p>It&rsquo;s Black Friday, and in keeping with the Holiday weekend tradition, media commentator Mark Dice traveled to Wal-Marts and other stores to <strong>document the &ldquo;zombie apocalypse&rdquo; of half-awake consumers hell-bent on elbowing past their peers</strong> so they can be sure to get the best deals on electronics, books, video games, clothes and any number of other popular holiday gift items. Of course, as Dice points out, many of the same deals can also be found on a little website called without the hassle of pushing through crowds.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>After last year&rsquo;s disappointing sales totals, retail analysts expect holiday weekend spending to come roaring back this year: According to Fox Business, spending per capita is expected to climb 47% compared with last year&rsquo;s holiday weekend, up from $505 to $743. An estimated <strong>164 million people</strong> are planning to shop or are considering shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. In a rare, positive piece of news for America&#39;s beleagured retailers, <strong>Americans had already spent $1.52 billion, which is a 17% increase from last year. </strong>The warm autumn means fashion sellers are looking to offload masses of unsold coats, boots and woollens.</p> <p>But for everyone who isn&rsquo;t participating in the retail madness, <strong>plenty of videos and images have already emerged on social media of brawls, fistfights and stampedes in the US and around the world as the traditional Black Friday hysteria sets in.</strong></p> <p>The Riverchase Galleria in Alabama, a group of shoppers shouted and pounded one another with their fists while an unlucky few were trampled.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="573" id="molvideoplayer" scrolling="no" src="" title="MailOnline Embed Player" width="698"></iframe></p> <p>Meanwhile, a midnight brawl broke out at one California mall as two shoppers brutally pummeled each other.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="573" id="molvideoplayer" scrolling="no" src="" title="MailOnline Embed Player" width="698"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, the carnage wasn&rsquo;t limited to the US. One video circulating on Twitter depicted a mass of shoppers swarming a game store in Cape Town, South Africa.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Black Friday on Flakka Level. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Sandile ???????? (@SirVincent_M) <a href="">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...and a multiperson brawl erupted outside the Eastgate Shopping Center in Johannesburg.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">A scuffle breaks out outside The Checkers in the Eastgate Shopping Centre. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackFriday</a> <a href="">@TeamNews24</a> Plenty of security guards on duty. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Sharlene Rood (@ssharim) <a href="">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At another American all, a scuffle broke out over...toilet paper?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Scuffle breaks out over toilet paper <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackFriday</a>: <a href=""></a> via <a href="">@YouTube</a></p> <p>&mdash; Kachi Sam A (@samonyeoo) <a href="">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One radical feminist protester hijacked Black Friday sales at a Kiev sweet shop by throwing items around topless. The protester identified with the Femen movement, which has staged many similar protests in Russian and Ukraine.<br />The shop - owned by Roshen - was named after former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, whose family famously owned a chocolate empire, as the <a href="">Daily Mail </a>pointed out.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 255px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 212px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 216px;" /></a></p> <p>At a shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil&#39;s biggest city, huge crowds can be seen struggling to get hold of huge Samsung TVs.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 211px;" /></a></p> <p>In another of the images, a worker climbed a stack of electronics and attempted to marshal the chaos by using a vuvuzela horn. But his efforts failed to stem the swarming crowds.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 237px;" /></a></p> <p>According to local media reports quoted by the Mail, at least 68% of the Brazilians bought something during Black Friday, a number that compared with the 61% of last year and shows a slow increase of the economy.</p> <p>Even in Athens, where the shaky Greek economy has only recently returned to growth, shoppers lined up in search of deals. Photos taken show some happy customers carrying away TVs.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 209px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 236px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the UK, where Black Friday isn&rsquo;t as chaotic as it is in other parts of the world, shoppers are expected to spend nearly &pound;8 billion this weekend. In New York City, Macy&#39;s Herald Square finally opened its doors at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day for thousands of early Black Friday shoppers in search of amazing sales, door buster deals, and limited-time-offers<strong>. </strong>Macy&#39;s CEO Jeffrey Gennnette has said that spending so far on Black Friday is already slightly better than it was last year.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 204px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 241px;" /></a></p> <p>But the day is still young, and as the hours pass, we imagine more outrageous stories of brawls, shootings and other shocking behavior will emerge on social media...</p> <p>...and we&#39;ll be here to chronicle all of it.<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="600" height="50" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Black Friday Black Friday Brazil Business Business economics Christmas economics Distribution business) Doorbuster E-commerce Economy Fox Business Macy's Marketing National Retail Federation New York City Retail Retailing Sales Shoppers Drug Mart Shopping Stampede Thanksgiving Twitter Twitter Ukraine Workweek and weekend Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:40:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 607851 at Trump Condemns "Horrible And Cowardly" Egypt Mosque Attack As Death Toll Hits 235 <p><strong>Update:</strong> After holding an emergency cabinet meeting, Egypt&#39;s el-Sisi, speaking publicly about today&#39;s attack for the first time, vowed that the perpetrators wouldn&#39;t go unpunished. El-Sisi earlier declared a State of Emergency and three-day morning period following the attack.</p> <p>However, many on twitter blamed el-Sisi&#39;s policies for emboldening the militants.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Worst thing about the massive terror attack in <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sinai</a> ?<br />It will give justification to the likes of <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sisi</a> and <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Trump</a> and their so called War on Terror.<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Egyptians</a> will pay with more loss of freedom- if that is at all possible.</p> <p>&mdash; Amr Khalifa (@Cairo67Unedited) <a href="">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update:</strong> President Donald Trump has offered his condolences to the families of the victims in today&#39;s shooting at a Mosque in the Northern Sinai Peninsula: <em>The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Early Friday, militants armed with guns and explosives stormed a mosque in Egypt&rsquo;s troubled northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, <strong>killing at least 235 people and wounding at least 120 others, </strong>according to <a href="">Bloomberg</a>, <strong>in what appears to be the deadliest mass killing in Egypt since the 2013 attack in Rabaa al-Adawiya,</strong> where soldiers loyal to present-day leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi murdered as many as 900 Islamists who had gathered in the square for a nonviolent sit-in.</p> <p>The assault west of the town of El-Arish in Sinai targeted people gathered for Friday prayers, when mosques in Egypt often overflow with worshipers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Yet Sinai province, a triangular piece of land bordering southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, has been a key battleground in the government&rsquo;s battle against a local branch of Islamic State. Al-Arabiya and other local sources said some of the worshippers were Sufis. Islamic State regards them as apostates because they revere saints and shrines,<strong> which hardliners believe is tantamount to heresy. </strong></p> <p><strong>El-Sisi has declared three days of mourning, according to Shorouk News. State TV reports five militants were involved in the attack.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>While the bombings aren&rsquo;t seen as threatening the stability of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi&rsquo;s government, they&rsquo;ve devastated the tourist industry, a vital pillar of the economy, according to Bloomberg. El-Sisi called a meeting with the security committee following the mass killing, according to the state-run television said.</p> <p>Grisly images of the attack have emerged on social media showing bodies covered in bloody sheets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="rtl" lang="ar">??? ??? ?????? ???????? ??? ???? <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#??????</a> ??? ????? <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#??????</a> ??? ???? .<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#?????</a><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#?????????</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Sinai News - ????? ???? (@sinai_news_1) <a href="">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Bloomberg, militants in four vehicles drove up to the mosque, set off an improvised explosive device outside the building and opened fire on people praying inside, according to a senior official in the north Sinai security directorate who asked not to be named. Locals took up weapons to help thwart the attackers, the official said. The suspects fled as security forces arrived.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 239px;" /></a></p> <p>While the majority of the militant violence has been confined to the northern part of the Sinai, it has on occasion spilled over to Cairo and other main cities. Meanwhile, attacks against Egypt&rsquo;s Coptic Christian minority have killed dozens.</p> <p>According to <a href="">Russia Today,</a> Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered condolences to al-Sisi, describing Friday&rsquo;s attack as cruel and cynical.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 196px;" /></a></p> <p>&quot;The murder of civilians in the course of a religious service is striking with its cruelty and cynicism. We are once again convinced that the notion of human morality is absolutely alien to terrorists,&quot; Putin said in a telegram of condolences.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 264px;" /></a></p> <p>As the <a href="">BBC </a>points out, Northern Sinai has been living under a media blackout over the past few years. No media organisations, including state-sponsored media, have been allowed to travel there.</p> <p>Friday&rsquo;s mass killing comes after at least 54 police, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed during a raid on a militant hideout south-west of Cairo. The team was ambushed, and the ensuing firefight resulted in one of the largest death tolls for Egypt&rsquo;s security forces in recent years. Authorities replaced the military&rsquo;s chief of staff and almost a dozen top police officials following the incident. Of course, the major difference beteen Friday&#39;s attack and the 2013 massacre at Rabaa al-Adawiya is that the latter was perpetrated by the Egyptian government, which has tried to wipe out all memory of the killing in the years since.</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="490" height="259" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s government Egypt Egyptian coup d'état Egyptian Crisis Egyptian government Geography of Asia Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Sinai Province Middle East north Sinai North Sinai Governorate northern Sinai October 2014 Sinai attacks Order of Mubarak the Great Sinai insurgency Sinai Peninsula southern Israel Twitter Twitter Vladimir Putin War Western Asia Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:21:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 607856 at Just 10 Companies Account For 33% Of All Market Gains Since Trump's Election <p>Yesterday we <a href="">laid out the reasons why French bank SocGen unveiled </a>a surprisingly contrarian forecast, according to which the S&amp;P would tumble from its current level over 2,600 to 2,000 in 2018, representing a more than 20% bear market drop...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="516" /></a></p> <p>... the drop catalyzed by rising interest rates pressuring P/E multiples, a late cycle economy nearing recession, equities trading at record valuations, and with everyone short vol begging for a vol short squeeze. Not surprisingly, SocGen's unspoken advice was to get out now. </p> <p>And while many of the negative factors highlighted by SocGen had already been discussed here in the past, there were two we warned to bring attention to: the market's multiple expansion since Trump's election, and the narrow leadership in the S&amp;P. </p> <p>As we noted yesterday, contrary to the widely accepted narrative, while the S&amp;P 500 has risen 24% since Trump's election, only half of this performance has been driven by earnings growth; <strong>the other half is from P/E expansion. </strong>But why would P/Es rise at a time when the Fed is tightening? As SocGen speculated, assuming that analysts have not factored tax reform into their earnings forecasts, <strong>tax reform expectations have been the driver of P/E expansion. </strong>There is a problem with this: while the S&amp;P 500 index tax rate is currently 26.6%, assuming that US companies generate 43% of their profits abroad (here) and pay 35% of their US profits on taxes (i.e. with no loopholes for US profits), the average tax rate outside the US would be 15.5%. A decrease in the US tax from 35% to 20% as planned by Trump’s tax reform would thus theoretically boost earnings by 8.5%. The 12-month forward P/E has risen 12% over the last 12 months. <strong>In other words, roughly 150% of Trump's tax cuts have been priced in!</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="222" /></a></p> <p>However, another especially interesting observations goes to the leadership of this 24% rally since Trump's election, which - while hardly a surprise - was largely driven by a handfull of companies, or ten to be precise. </p> <p>As SocGen calculates, <strong>just 10 contributors of the S&amp;P 500’s bull run have accounted for 33% of the S&amp;P 500 performance. </strong>Tying to the above, the bank also points out that <strong>all of the companies listed below have seen their P/Es expand over the last 12&nbsp; months, in some cases - like Nvidia, WalMart, Boeing and Amazon - dramatically. </strong>In fact, only three companies (Apple and the two banks) have 12-month P/Es that are below the market average (18x). Lastly, keep in mind that except Amazon, all of the companies already pay a&nbsp; corporate tax rate below the current US federal tax rate (35%), and five companies even pay a tax rate that is below the 20% rate targeted by Trump’s tax reform. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="266" /></a></p> <p>As we asked two days ago when we showed that the <a href="">bulk of hedge funds gains in 2017 have come </a>from holding this same handful of companies, what happens to hedge fund performance - and the S&amp;P 500 - when, for whatever reason, the tide turns and the winners are the first to be sold? </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="292" height="172" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 8.5% Apple Bear Market Boeing Business Corporate tax Economy Federal Tax Rates Recession S&P S&P 500 SocGen Tax Tax incidence Tax rate US Federal Reserve Value-added tax Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:03:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 607854 at US PMIs Tumble To 4-Month Lows, Signal Just 2% GDP Growth <p>After reassuringly positive Eurozone PMIs, US Manufacturing and Services disapointed with the <strong>composite PMI slumping to 5-month lows in November</strong>.</p> <ul> <li>Flash U.S. Composite Output Index at 54.6 (55.2 in October). <strong>4-month low.</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><img height="322" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <ul> <li>Flash U.S. Services Business Activity Index at 54.7 (55.3 in October). <strong>4-month low.</strong></li> <li>Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI at 53.8 (54.6 in October). <strong>2-month low.</strong></li> <li>Flash U.S. Manufacturing Output Index at 54.3 (54.6 in October). <strong>2-month low.</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 308px;" /></a></p> <p>Commenting on the flash PMI data, <a href="">Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;US businesses reported another month of solid growth in November, putting the economy on course for a reasonable,<strong> though by no means stellar, fourth quarter.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Current PMI readings are <strong>broadly consistent with GDP growing at an annualised rate of just over 2%. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 418px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;There was also good news on hiring, with a slight uptick in employment growth meaning the surveys are indicating non-farm payroll growth of just over 200,000 in November.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Both input costs and selling price inflation picked up, suggesting the upturn is feeding though to higher price pressures,</strong> though some of the manufacturing price hikes were attributable to the short-term effects of the hurricane-related supply chain disruptions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;An upturn in new order inflows means we can expect a strong end to the year, though prospects for 2018 remain more mixed. <strong>Although expectations about the year ahead slipped lower in the service sector, future optimism hit a two-year high in manufacturing, </strong>suggesting the goods-producing sector may start to make a stronger contribution to the economy in coming months.&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="942" height="505" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Business Economy Eurozone Finance flash Index Markit Markit PMI Purchasing Managers' Index Uptick rule Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:53:56 +0000 Tyler Durden 607853 at Addictions: Social Media & Mobile Phones Fall From Grace <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><em>Identifying social media and mobile phones as addictive is only the first step in a much more complex investigation.</em></p> <p><strong>For everyone who remembers the Early Days of social media and mobile phones, it&#39;s been quite a ride from <em>My Space</em></strong> and awkward texting on tiny screens to the current alarm over the addictive nature of social media and mobile telephony.</p> <p><strong>The emergence of withering criticism of Facebook and Google is a new and remarkably broad-based phenomenon:</strong> a year or two ago, there was little mainstream-media criticism of these tech giants; now there is a constant barrage of sharp criticism across the media spectrum.</p> <p>Even the technology writer for the Wall Street Journal has not just curbed his enthusiasm, he&#39;s now speaking in the same dark tones as other critics: <a href="" target="_blank">Why Personal Tech Is Depressing</a>.</p> <p><strong>The critique of social media and mobile telephony, has reached surprising heights in a remarkably short time.</strong> Consider this article from the Guardian (UK) which compares Facebook and Google&#39;s social media empire to world religions in terms of scale, and unabashedly calls them addictive and detrimental to health and democracy: <a href="" target="_blank">How Facebook and Google threaten public health &ndash; and democracy</a>.</p> <p><strong>A decade ago, social media was considerably different.</strong> One of the first social media sites to break into the mainstream was <em>My Space</em>, which began as a forum for bands to post new songs and interact with their fans. This was a great tool for thousands of musicians who had few ways to publicly post their songs and establish public communications with their fans. <em>My Space</em> was a useful idea, and even I posted a few songs my friends and I had recorded.</p> <p>Around the same time frame, Facebook was limited to college students. I recall reading about FB and going to the site to see what it was all about: the splash screen asked you for your college affiliation.</p> <p>Mobile telephony featured tiny little screens and an awkward double-click method of texting that only teens could master.</p> <p>Keeping up on mass-media related technologies is part of my job as a blogger, as bloggers inhabit a little village of the mass-media world that seems to be shrinking as social media expands. I joined Twitter in June 2008, about two years after its initial launch, and Facebook in 2009.</p> <p><strong>I was struck by this quote from the above Guardian article:</strong></p> <p><em>&quot;The term &#39;addiction&#39; is no exaggeration. The average consumer checks his or her smartphone 150 times a day, making more than 2,000 swipes and touches. The applications they use most frequently are owned by Facebook and Alphabet (Google), and the usage of those products is still increasing.&quot; </em></p> <p>Wow! Do you check your mobile phone 100+ times a day? Even if this is an exaggeration, it still represents an addictive attachment.</p> <p>I think we can safely call anything that people interrupt sex to do (like check their mobile phones) addictive.</p> <p><strong>What&#39;s the source of social media and mobile telephony&#39;s addictive power?</strong></p> <p>I think we can start with the innate attraction of distractions and novelty. The higher the density of inputs in our environment, the more quickly we become bored and fidgety. So we turn to our phones for distraction and novelty.</p> <p>Being social creatures, we want to stay connected to our tribe, group, family, etc. Social media and mobile phones feed this desire directly.</p> <p><strong>But social media and mobile telephony have peculiar qualities that are unlike actual face-to-face interaction.</strong> They don&#39;t require the same kind of commitment or engagement; it&#39;s understood everyone can log off at any time.</p> <p>It&#39;s also easier to dump on people in the safety of anonymity.</p> <p>While many people form longlasting online friendships, myself included, as a generalization social media tends to superficiality because it rewards being &quot;liked&quot;, i.e. receiving positive feedback, even from those we don&#39;t even know.</p> <p>The broad reach of the dynamic of winning approval is explored in this Guardian article on the rise of &quot;fake news&quot;: How did the news go &lsquo;fake&rsquo;? When the media went social.</p> <p><strong>As social creatures, we all desire a positive standing in our tribe, and the respect and approval of our peers.</strong> Social media is like a lens that can make us appear bigger, shinier and more deserving of respect than we might otherwise be.</p> <p>The temptation to post self-congratulatory Christmas letters (&quot;Josh just graduated with honors, Mia is on her semester abroad, my new painting won first prize, and we&#39;re all meeting in Barbados for the holiday&quot;), or divulge TMI (too much information) to elicit sympathy is strong; it&#39;s also tempting to express righteous indignation to solicit &quot;likes&quot; from like-minded members of our ideological tribe.</p> <p><strong>I&#39;ve commented previously on the relative poverty of opportunities to feel respected and admired in our society;</strong> most of us don&#39;t have a lot of power or control over our lives, nor do we have the high-status positions and signifiers that automatically earn respect in our centralized, hierarchical social structure.</p> <p>I think we should acknowledge the power of our natural desire to &quot;be somebody&quot; in our social circle, and in the world at large, and acknowledge the attraction of social media in furthering this desire.</p> <p>So by all means, we should honor the accomplishments of our loved ones, and proudly display our winning painting, and post photos of our fabulous family holiday. But we also have to acknowledge that &quot;likes&quot; online are not substitutes for the recognition and respect of a real-world circle of peers, or for the self-respect we all desire.</p> <p><strong>Social media is real enough in its own terms, but it is not a substitute for real relationships and positive social roles</strong>. Perhaps this is the addictive pull of social media: the idea that we can substitute a carefully controlled social-media substitute (avatar) for our less-than-perfect real-world self.</p> <p><strong>If Facebook vanished, our &quot;real&quot; lives would still be intact.</strong> If we turned off our phones and social media, how much would we miss them in a week, or a month? How much &quot;smaller&quot; would we become? What would we lose, and how much of ourselves would we lose? What might we gain that&#39;s been lost?</p> <p>These are questions worth exploring, for identifying social media and mobile phones as addictive is only the first step in a much more complex investigation.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" src="" /></p> <p><em>This essay was drawn from Musings Report 45. The Musings Reports are emailed weekly to subscribers and major patrons / contributors.</em></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by <a href="" target="resource">becoming a $1/month patron of my work via</a>. Check out both of my new books, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B01MSP2SXM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=e45dbb20ba66e69c33a3a26772391278" target="resource">Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege</a> ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B01ELXQZGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=33DAOPEVGBNGBS37" target="resource">Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform</a> ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print, $5.95 <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B01M7YCLI2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=60a5ab448cf91113c0df9df97732358e" target="_blank"> audiobook</a>) For more, please visit the <a href="" target="resource">OTM essentials website</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="264" height="138" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> cellular telephone Computing Criticism of Facebook Digital media ETC Facebook Google Internet culture Internet privacy mass-media related technologies Mobile phone mobile phones mobile telephony New media smartphone Social media Social networks Technology Technology Telecommunications Twitter Twitter Wall Street Journal Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:35:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 607850 at Elon Musk Pulls An ICO <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></span></em></p> <p>First up, this beauty received by one of the crew here at HMS Capitalist Exploits: </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> <strong>Marketing an ICO...</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong></strong></p> <p><img src="" width="550" height="271" class="aligncenter wp-image-18504" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Killer! </p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">The&nbsp;Tesla ICO</h3> <p> Speaking of ICOs,&nbsp;last week something amazing, breathtaking, and revolutionary happened. We had another ICO... the very first of its kind. </p> <p> An<strong>&nbsp;Initial Car Offering.</strong> </p> <p> Pundits said it was an unveiling of the Tesla semi truck, but we now all know it was actually a thinly veiled capital raise. </p> <p> <strong>Like many good things in life, this also began with foreplay.</strong></p> <p><strong></strong></p> <p>Customers and shareholders are like <del>women</del> ovens - they need to be warmed up first. </p> <p> So a few weeks before launching the ICO, the oven was dialled up:</p> <p><img src="" width="450" height="195" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18512" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Amazingly, I woke up this morning and, though having watched the unveiling, I looked around me and couldn't notice anything different (though my dog had this strange look in his eyes). </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> My mind was surprisingly still in my skull and had not been sent into an alternate dimension, which was disappointing as I was quite excited by the prospects of that.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Anyway, so once the engine was warmed, we were treated to the de-robing of this.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p><img src="" width="450" height="253" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18517" /></p> <p class="p p1">I thought at first I'd missed it. Then I watched it again. And no, I hadn't.</p> <p class="p p1">There was zero explanation of how Tesla would get all the dough to build this creature, where it would build it, and how (given the competition all have existing production plants, positive cashflows, dough in their treasuries, and access to credit markets) Tesla miraculously thinks that by the time it gets there it will have all of these things as well as the technology (that does not yet exist) to pull it off.</p> <p> But then my nerves were calmed when they offered a warranty on the product. Wait, what? A warranty BEFORE they have a product? Killer! </p> <p> I guess there's a first time for everything.</p> <p>But that wasn't to be all. </p> <p> No, then came the real showstopper as Elon went a step further in <del>prostituting</del> promoting Tesla. The fastest sports car in the world. And it may even just fly.</p> <p><img src="" width="450" height="249" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18513" /> </p> <p> The kid in me did backflips. I sooo want a car that flies. Don't you? </p> <p> But then I remembered that there was a time when I really wanted the Easter bunny to be real, too.</p> <p>Now, being older and wiser, I realise that rabbits screw up your lawn and chocolates make you fat, and I want nothing to do with either of them.</p> <p>What I would like to know is how they found the time to muck around developing both a sports car and a giant truck when they can't get a little Model 3 out?</p> <p>Maybe that's just me being a grouch. Heck, what do I know about cars? Mine's 5 years old and smells of kids sweaty football socks which are buried in the back there somewhere.</p> <p>Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long to figure out how they intend to fund some of this:</p> <p><img src="" width="400" height="173" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18514" /> </p> <p> Now, when I saw this I'll admit to having made the sort of noise a cat would make if fed through a mangle. </p> <p> I realised then that Tesla was trying to pull off an ICO.</p> <p>You see, the thing with 99% of ICOs is they're kinda like the deals on Kickstarter, which means that you don't actually get anything. It's more like a donation... or part of a rewards points system. You know, like your air points where you get to trade them for a flight to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Greece for a dirty weekend away</a>&nbsp;or to upgrade your flight to first class so you can sit next to all <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the folks who eat lobsters in their bathrobes</a>.</p> <p>This works spectacularly well for anyone uneducated in investment markets. And that, my friends, is perfect for Tesla. Because you know what? </p> <p> That's about 90% of the population. </p> <p> For the other 10%, here are some things to consider.</p> <p>I'll gladly admit to not really knowing a lot about cars. I like them very much as long as they take me where I want to go and do all the cool things that modern cars do.</p> <p>But try explain to me about all the ins and outs of the bits inside and my brain does that man thing - it stops working and starts thinking about sex.</p> <p>But what I do know a thing or two about is numbers and markets. And frankly, when Musk starts talking about these things he may as well be speaking Nepalese and explaining how to cook a yak stew because it's all complete gibberish. </p> <h3>Tesla by the Colours</h3> <p> Last week when we were <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">staring at Margot Robbie</a> (don't tell me you didn't stare), and we said: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>It was overconfidence that led the pointy-shoed suits on Wall Street to package subprime mortgages up, believing that a pile of isht when added to other piles of isht through the magic of diversification turns isht into non isht.</p></blockquote> <p> Like Margot explained in the Big Short (and bear with me as I'm extrapolating here): If we use Wall Street logic, you take the colour red and add it to more red... much more... you can get green. </p> <p> So let's run through Tesla by the colours, and then after that we'll run through it by the numbers. Sounds fair? </p> <ul> <li>SolarCity: Red</li> <li>Gigafactory: Red</li> <li>Model 3: What Model 3?</li> <li>Model 3 in full production: Red</li> <li>Tax credits: Green... ah isht... no, make it red</li> </ul> <p> Excellent! </p> <p> So red + red + red + red + red = Green. </p> <h3>Tesla by the Numbers</h3> <p> Let's take Q3 cashflow and toss in interest charges for 2017 (which is only fair&nbsp;— after all, someone has to pay them).</p> <p>With that we realise that Tesla burned through about US$1.7bn or about US$500m a month.</p> <p>Now, let's be super conservative and say capital expenditures remain at 2017 levels, which is absurd and impossible given the new initial car offering and that semi truck, too (it'll be far higher). </p> <p> Anyway, let's give it to them. </p> <p> Well, let's say they can find 1,000 <del>fools</del> buyers to drop a quarter million bucks on a pre-order for a car that they hope to receive some years in the future. Let's say they can do that.</p> <p>That'll put US$250m into Tesla's treasury,&nbsp;<strong>which will buy them less than 3 weeks.</strong> Killer!</p> <p>I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that in the first quarter of 2018 Tesla's going to lose US$1bn. Crazy, I know. How long for? It'll go on until it doesn't.</p> <p>And here's something to think about... </p> <p> Here's Venezuela's 5-year sovereign CDS spread:</p> <p><img src="" width="550" height="462" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-18518" /> </p> <p> You may ask, why Chris are you posting this in an article about Tesla?</p> <p>Well, Venezuela — like Tesla — made promises it couldn't keep.</p> <p>What I'd really like to know from you today is this:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Tesla poll" width="600" height="222" /></a><br /><em><a href="">Cast your vote here</a> and also see what others think will happen</em> </p><p>- Chris </p> <p> <em>“If you wouldn’t be short a multi-billion-dollar loss-making enterprise in a cyclical business, with a leveraged balance sheet, questionable accounting, every executive leaving, run by a CEO with a questionable relationship with the truth, what would you be short? It sort of ticks all the boxes.”</em> — Jim Chanos</p> <p style="text-align: center;">--------------------------------------</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Liked this article? Then you'll probably like my other missives on</p> <p style="text-align: center;">this topic as well.&nbsp;<a href="">Go here to access them (free, of course).</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> Capital Expenditures CDS Electric power Elon Musk Greece Jim Chanos Nikola Tesla Private transport SolarCity Sovereign CDS Subprime Mortgages Tesla Model S Tesla Semi Tesla, Inc. Transport Wardenclyffe Tower Wireless energy transfer Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:24:29 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 607849 at One Person Shot Outside Mall, Brawl Closes Alabama Shopping Center As Black Friday Gets Going <p><strong>A day after giving thanks, </strong>it appears the gentle folk of Missouri and Alabama are more about taking this morning...</p> <p><strong>One person was shot outside a Missouri mall</strong> as swarms of shoppers looking for Black Friday deals saw chaos pop up throughout the country.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 288px;" /></p> <p><a href=""><em>As ABC17 reports</em></a>, a 19-year-old person sustained<strong> life-threatening injuries after the shooting </strong>in the parking lot of the mall.</p> <p>Mall policy stipulates no firearms are allowed inside of the building, but it&#39;s unclear if that applies to the parking lot as well.</p> <p><strong>Officers said they could not confirm whether the shooting was accidental or deliberate.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 291px;" /></a></p> <p>Additionally,<strong> </strong><a href="">NY Daily News reports </a><strong>another shopping center in Alabama saw an outbreak of violence Thursday, with brawls shutting down a late-night session early.</strong></p> <p>Police in Hoover, outside Birmingham, broke up fights at the Riverchase Galleria outside Birmingham, with&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;reporting that one person was treated for injuries by paramedics.</p> <p>Social media video that appeared to be from the scene showed<strong> officers restraining two women amid scattered clothes and displays,</strong> though no information about arrests was immediately available.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="476" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=267" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="267"></iframe></p> <p>Both the malls were closed after these events, but are set to reopen at 6 a.m. on Friday.</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="1162" height="677" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Black Friday Black Friday Culture Distribution business) Galleria General Growth Properties Hoover, Alabama Retailing Sales Shopping mall Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:14:59 +0000 Tyler Durden 607848 at For The Hesitant Billionaire: Black Friday Means 10% Off Your Next Yacht Booking <p>It's not exactly clear what message the following Black Friday offer from <a href="">Royal Yacht Brokers </a>is meant to send: that billionaires are becoming hesitant with their yacht charters, which would seem at odds with someone recently laundering $450 million using a rare Da Vinci painting, or that <a href="">Credit Suisse's ultra high net worth clients </a>who comprise the peak of this pyramid...</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong> </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="420" /></a></p> <p>... are unable to find new and creative ways of spending their money (after all the Fed is so confused by why inflation refuses ro rise) and yacht chaters are hoping to get in on the action. </p> <p>In any case, for those in the market for a yacht charter, you are in luck: just book by November 30, and take 10% off. Now if only there was a video of a [b/m]illionaire shoving match as the ultra-rich scramble to take advantage of these one-time offer...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="614" height="1314" /></a></p> <p><img src="" width="613" height="1655" /></p> <p><img src="" width="613" height="1655" /></p> <p><img src="" width="613" height="939" /></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="1544" height="158" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> B+ Black Friday Broker Business Technology US Federal Reserve Yacht broker Yacht charter Yachting Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:07:11 +0000 Tyler Durden 607847 at PornHub Erects Its First Physical Retail Store In New York City <p>Pornhub, known as &ldquo;the premiere online destination for adult entertainment&rdquo;, has just erected its first ever retail store in New York City for the holidays. <strong>The store will sell limited edition Pornhub clothing, gear and premium sex toys.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 599px; height: 196px;" /></a></p> <p>The porn shop, located in&nbsp;SoHo, Manhattan&rsquo;s shopping district, <strong>is classified as a &lsquo;pop-up store&rsquo; &mdash; this new trend in retailing is taking the industry by storm as the traditional&nbsp;brick-and-mortar stores fade into darkness.&nbsp;</strong>Pornhub&rsquo;s most popular stars, including Asa Akira and Dani Daniels will open the store on Black Friday (today) and close down on December 20.</p> <p>According to <a href="">High Snobiety </a>,</p> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>During the opening, you&rsquo;ll be invited to interact with a camera that submits a live feed straight to Across the entirety of the opening weekend, a limited release of reissued garments from Pornhub&rsquo;s recently sold-out capsule collection with streetwear brand Richardson will again be available for purchase, as well as other branded Pornhub garments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The store&rsquo;s launch is in partnership with the Museum of Sex, making various products from the Museum&rsquo;s gift shop, including Taschen books, specialty aphrodisiac apothecary herbs and sex games. For lucky attendees, some of Pornhub&rsquo;s most popular porn stars will also be making appearances, including Dani Daniels and Asa Akira during opening weekend. The SoHo store will be open for one month beginning on Black Friday (November 24).</p> </blockquote> </div> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 601px;" /></a></p> <p>Pornhub? Vice President Corey Price said in a <a href="">statement</a> emailed to Retail Dive,</p> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>As an online brand, we&rsquo;ve been limited to interacting with our fans on the site and through social media. As we continue to increase brand awareness, and expand into new verticals, like retail, we are looking for new ways to interact with our fans.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We thought it would be great to open up a store where fans can come check out the recent streetwear pieces we&rsquo;ve collaborated on and some of our product lines. And what&rsquo;s a better time to open up a new store than Black Friday? Now people can get gifts for friends, family and loved for the holidays!&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> </div> <p><strong>Price&rsquo;s latest vertical stunt through brick-and-mortar retailing appears to come at a time when the website&rsquo;s growth is in free-fall.</strong> Retail Dive said &ldquo;the space in New York is designed to simulate the look and feel of the Pornhub homepage&rdquo; and perhaps it will generate enough hype to boost website growth.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 601px; height: 356px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Pornhub&rsquo;s pop-up shop is not limited to the United States, as it will capitalize on an international expansion starting in Milan, Italy for the holiday season.</strong> Pornhub is ranked #21 in the Untied States and #38 internationally,&nbsp;according to <a href="">Alexa</a>.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 601px; height: 252px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bottomline: <strong>The invasion of porn in American culture has hit a new high </strong>this holiday season as one of the world&rsquo;s largest&nbsp;pornographic websites expands into the<strong> brick-and-mortar spaces in SoHo and Milan</strong>. Add porn to the long list of vices that are eating away at America&rsquo;s declining middle class.</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="436" height="245" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Asa Akira Black Friday Italy New York City Pop-up retail Pornhub Pornhub NETWORK Pornography Sex industry Soho Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:41:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 607846 at