http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2011/09/20110926 en George Soros' $18 Billion Tax Dodge Exposed http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/george-soros-18-billion-tax-dodge-exposed <p><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/george-soross-18-billion-tax-shelter-1511465095"><em>Authored by Stephen Moore op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,</em></a></p> <p>The wealthy have tucked billions into private nonprofits... <strong><em>where the IRS can&rsquo;t touch it.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_soros.jpg"><img height="330" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_soros_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></em></strong></p> <p>Congress is still scrambling to find ways to pay for its tax cut, so <strong>perhaps it should pay closer attention to last month&rsquo;s news that George Soros had transferred $18 billion of his fortune to a private charity that he controls.</strong> There it will be sheltered from the Internal Revenue Service forever. <u><strong>This may be the single biggest tax dodge in U.S. history, yet no one on the right or left seems to have raised an eyebrow.</strong></u></p> <p>True tax reform is predicated on the principle that all income should be taxed at a low rate once, and only once. But<strong> much of the wealth that Mr. Soros spent years moving into his Open Society Foundations will <em>never </em>be taxed.</strong> A gift of billions of dollars of appreciated stock escapes any capital gains tax, and the estate tax as well. So Mr. Soros can donate appreciated stock that Open Society Foundations can liquidate without the government ever taking a cut.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s more. When a person donates untaxed, appreciated assets to a private foundation, he may also deduct up to 20% of its market value on his personal return, carrying forward this deduction for five years.<strong> This double write-off may be the sweetest deal in the tax code.</strong></p> <p><strong>The donors also can retain control of the money within the private foundation for years or even decades before it is disbursed. </strong>Since the foundation can employ family members at six-figure salaries for life to &ldquo;administer&rdquo; it, the umbilical cord to the donor never has to be cut.</p> <p><u><strong>Congress should stop ignoring this tax-avoidance scheme. </strong></u>The super rich have already poured hundreds of billions into private foundations, but the figure could soon be in the trillions. Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to give away 99% of his Facebook shares, currently estimated to be worth somewhere around $70 billion, and much of it will go to a foundation his family controls. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have each put roughly $30 billion tax-free into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This has left the foundation so flush that it spent $500 million on a 12-acre, 900,000-square-foot office complex in Seattle for its 1,500 employees. This is philanthropy?</p> <p><strong>I don&rsquo;t question these billionaires&rsquo; right to do with their money as they wish. I&rsquo;m simply arguing that Congress shouldn&rsquo;t let the rich and politically powerful use private foundations to escape taxation. This loophole is one reason for an anomaly in our otherwise progressive tax code: The top 1% of earners pay an effective tax rate of 23%, but the top 0.001% pay only 18%.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Buffett has sanctimoniously denounced the fact that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. His suggestion is that Congress raise taxes on capital gains. But even if the tax rates were lifted, say, to 50%, Mr. Buffett still wouldn&rsquo;t have to pay it on the tens of billions of dollars he puts into private foundations, and he would still be able to deduct a fifth of that contribution on future tax returns.</p> <p><strong>This tax favoritism might be defensible to promote genuine philanthropic activities. </strong></p> <p>Many billionaires, such as the Gateses and David Koch, have heroically donated to fight cancer and malaria or provide relief to hurricane and earthquake victims.</p> <p><u><em><strong>But others, including Mr. Soros and Michael Bloomberg, have turned private foundations into massive de facto lobbying operations for bigger government and liberal causes like higher minimum wages, gun control, universal health care, and a carbon tax.</strong></em></u> Mr. Soros&rsquo;s $18 billion gift alone is the equivalent of maybe 100 Heritage Foundations. This kind of weaponized philanthropy has the potential to undermine the American free enterprise system.</p> <p><strong>Yes, billions go to groups on the right, too,</strong> from Mr. Koch and others. But regardless of ideology, why shouldn&rsquo;t tax be collected before the money is given away? What message does it send that the Republican tax-reform bills retain this trillion-dollar loophole for the super rich, at the same time as the House plan eliminates the adoption credit for middle-class families who want to help children?</p> <p>One simple solution would be for Congress to apply the capital-gains tax to assets of more than $1 million before they are transferred to a charity. This could even finance cutting the capital-gains rate to 15% for everyone.</p> <p>Alternatively (or perhaps in addition) Congress could cap deductions for any given household to $250,000 a year. Under this kind of plan, Mr. Soros would be able to write off only a tiny fraction of his multi-billion dollar gift.</p> <p><strong>This isn&rsquo;t an argument against charity. But selfless and effective giving is not motivated by tax breaks. Two-thirds of Americans don&rsquo;t itemize their deductions, yet millions give until it hurts. In the 1980s, individual donations to charities surged, even as the top tax rate&mdash;and thus the maximum value of the write-off&mdash;fell from 70% to 28%.</strong></p> <p>The question is whether a tax code that encourages dynastic family foundations is good for America. If Congress stopped letting billionaires pour money tax free into the foundation-industrial complex, it would go a long way toward lowering rates and making the tax code fairer for everyone. This would help the economy grow faster, which is the best way to help those in need.</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="845" height="465" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171124_soros.jpg?1511534577" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/george-soros-18-billion-tax-dodge-exposed#comments Bill Gates Business Capital gains tax Congress Economy Estate tax in the United States Finance George Soros George Soros Internal Revenue Service Melinda Gates Foundation Money Progressive tax Social Issues Tax Tax avoidance Tax incidence Wall Street Journal Warren Buffett Warren Buffett Wealth in the United States Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:41:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 607855 at http://www.zerohedge.com "I Was Expecting Many More People": Black Friday Tumbles To 3rd Spot In Busiest Shopping Days Of The Year http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/i-was-expecting-many-more-people-black-friday-tumbles-3rd-spot-busiest-shopping-days <p>It has been an odd year for retail: with an estimated 6,000 store closures, and 65,000 fewer retail jobs than at the start of the year, many have said shorting retail, and especially malls, is the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-08/mega-bears-smell-blood-reits-tumble">next "big short" trade</a>. Indeed, one look at the performance of the mall heavy CMBX 6 BBB- tranche confirms that the bottom has fallen out of the legacy "bricks and mortar" space.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/2017-11-24.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/2017-11-24_0.jpg" width="500" height="265" /></a></p> <p>And yet, despite what should be a furious race to the bottom for market share by all still solvent non-Amazon retailers, this has not happened in what appears to be a strange manifestation of rational pricing. In fact, according to Market Track, <strong>last year the discounts were 6% deeper than this year across 17 categories in Black Friday circulars, </strong><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/black-friday-kicks-off-with-upbeat-shoppers-and-fewer-discounts-1511519403">the WSJ reports</a>, and notes that <strong>only three of 10 major retailers the firm measured had better prices this year.</strong></p> <p>This was obvious to potential buyers like Delaney Dauchy, 15, who was shopping with her mother at a mall in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and told the WSJ that the <strong>deals aren’t as good this year.</strong> She recalled a seven-for-$28 deal on underwear at Victoria’s Secret last year; this year, she said it was five-for-$28. <strong>The Dauchys said there were smaller crowds than past years and Black Friday deals have been going on all week. “I’m not sure it seems extra special,” </strong>Anne Dauchy, 47, said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">?? Black Friday alert! ?? The 10 toys we're tracking are cheapest at Target, where they cost $849.80. For more info: <a href="https://t.co/BVIi10s1A7">https://t.co/BVIi10s1A7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackFriday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackFriday</a> <a href="https://t.co/m4Ki5dnDuH">pic.twitter.com/m4Ki5dnDuH</a></p> <p>— WSJShoppingElf (@WSJShoppingElf) <a href="https://twitter.com/WSJShoppingElf/status/934031811377758208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>To be sure, there are still deals to be had: on Friday, retailers dangled the usual promotions, many of which were identical to last year, including 30% off at Coach and 50% off at the Gap. By Thanksgiving Day, shoppers were already taking advantage of the bargains. Kevin Krause, 27, was first in line waiting outside the Kohl’s store in Medford, Ore., Thanksgiving afternoon. The store opened its doors at 5 p.m., but by 3:15 there was already a line forming. </p> <p>However, as the WSJ confirmed, lines at many other locations were far shorter - if present at all - compared to prior years, such as this Best Buy at the Fair Lakes Shopping Center in Fairfax Country, VA, where there was virtually no excitement opened this years, especially when compared to 2011.</p> <p><em><strong>Then (in 2011)...</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/BBUY%202011.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/BBUY%202011_0.jpg" width="500" height="359" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>... and now.</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/BBUY%202017.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/BBUY%202017_0.jpg" width="500" height="340" /></a></p> <p>A similar comparison with Macy's, which the WSJ compares between 2011 and now. The difference is self-explanatory.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/macys%202011%202017.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/macys%202011%202017_0.jpg" width="500" height="194" /></a></p> <p>Naturally, in light of the smaller bargains, the lack of shopper euphoria is understandable: yet what is surprising is why there aren't bigger bargains? After all, neither the industry, nor the economy has turned on a dime. Speculating on the reason, the WSJ writes that "even as this year has proved one of the most challenging for retailers, analysts are predicting robust holiday sales, underpinned by rising wages, low unemployment and strong consumer confidence."</p> <p>What rising wages? Aside from various "soft" surveys, and management expectations, wage growth remains abysmal, and <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-15/americans-real-wage-growth-contracts-3rd-straight-month-first-time-2012">real wage growth has been negative</a> for three months!<strong></strong> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/13/20171115_earns.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/13/20171115_earns_0.jpg" width="502" height="266" /></a></p> <p>What the WSJ probably means is that between <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-30/us-consumer-spending-surges-most-8-years-september-savings-rate-plunges">near record low personal savings</a> and a <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-07/us-credit-card-debt-rises-above-1-trillion-student-auto-loans-hit-all-time-high">surge in credit card usage</a>, Americans are spending like there's no tomorrow... <strong>they are just not spending their own money</strong>. </p> <p>Anyway, the always optimistic National Retail Federation expects sales to increase as much as 4%, to $682 billion in November and December, compared with the same period a year ago, which would make it the strongest season since 2014. The delusion about US households' spending power continued: "I’d be fully expecting people to be thinking about spending more, not be holding back as much as in the past,” said Andrew Duguay, a senior economist at Prevedere, a predictive analytics company.</p> <p>Spending more of <strong>what</strong>?&nbsp; Here is America's savings rate: unfortunately people don't have "<strong>more</strong>" to spend...<strong>&nbsp;</strong> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/26/2017-10-30.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/26/2017-10-30.png" width="502" height="276" /></a></p> <p>And yet, maybe the NRF is on to something. In an interview with the WSJ earlier this week, Neiman Marcus Group CEO Karen Katz attributed a jump in the luxury retailer’s gross margin in the latest quarter to stronger full-priced sales. <strong>“We’ve gotten our inventory in perfect alignment with our sales,” </strong>Katz said.</p> <p>That could change in the days leading up to Christmas. Shoppers have been trained to wait for deals—a practice made easier by online price comparisons. If they hold off on making purchases, retailers will likely slash prices more than planned as the season progresses.</p> <p>To be sure, the lack of deals now may mean even greater discounts in the coming months:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In a Long Island, N.Y., Wal-Mart Thursday evening, Andre Valadas said it had been hard to snag one of the discounted Sharp TVs being sold at the store or at a Best Buy across the parking lot, but glanced at his phone often to text with friends nearby looking for a similar deal. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 34-year-old software engineer expects prices to fall further. “I hope that if they don’t have deals right now they will have a them in a few weeks closer to Christmas,” Mr. Valadas said. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Retailers still have to contend with headwinds that include a shift in consumer spending away from apparel and accessories and toward dining, travel and entertainment, as well as the explosive growth in online sales.</p> </blockquote> <p>The above is bad news for bricks and mortar retailers, who may have gotten a brief reprieve only to lose even more customers to online alternatives like Amazon.</p> <p>And speaking of, <strong>Adobe Systems said online sales on Thanksgiving increased 17% as of 5 p.m. to $1.52 billion. </strong>It also expects online sales to increase 14% to $107.4 billion during the November-December period, compared with the previous year. Amazon said Thanksgiving was one of its biggest mobile shopping days, as orders placed through its app increased 50% over last year. Best selling items included Keurig coffee makers and its Echo speaker devices.</p> <p>Indeed, no matter what happens to traditional retail, Amazon is likely to be winner. The online retailer, whose stock hit another all time high, is expecting a big Black Friday as more shoppers choose to skip the stores. </p> <p>“If you go back to the creation of Black Friday, it was this amazing opportunity for customers to get great deals,” said Dorion Carroll, vice president of mobile shopping at Amazon, in an interview earlier this week. “So they would flock to the stores and all of that would be great, until it wasn’t. It got too crowded.”</p> <p>In fact, it may come as a surprise to some, that <strong>Black Friday is no longer the busiest shopping day of the year. It ranks No. 3, behind the Saturday before Christmas and Cyber Monday, according to the consulting firm Customer Growth Partners.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Several dozen people still gathered in line early Friday morning to be the first inside a Target store in Houston when it opened at 6 a.m., though some said the crowds were notably smaller than years past. Once inside, shoppers like Freddy Cespedes, 42, owner of a small security company, found the best advertised stuff was already picked over the night before. </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>“I was expecting a lot more people,”</strong> said the Black Friday novice though he acknowledged he, like many people nowadays, primarily shops online.</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="883" height="495" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/empty%20mall_1.jpg?1511540214" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/i-was-expecting-many-more-people-black-friday-tumbles-3rd-spot-busiest-shopping-days#comments Best Buy Black Friday Black Friday Business Christmas economics Consumer behaviour Consumer Confidence Cyber Monday Distribution business) E-commerce Economy Market Share Marketing Merchandising National Retail Federation NRF Retailing Savings Rate Shopping Twitter Twitter Unemployment Walmart Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:18:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 607860 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ethereum Surges To New Record Highs - Bigger Than Capital One, ICE, & eBay http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/ethereum-surges-new-record-highs-bigger-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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 326px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-breaks-through-400-reaches-all-time-high"><em>image courtesy of CoinTelegraph</em></a></p> <p><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-breaks-through-400-reaches-all-time-high"><em>As CoinTelegraph reports</em></a>, despite some market stagnation caused by the news of the <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/accidentally-killed-it-parity-grapples-with-280-mln-locked-eth">$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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth1_0.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth3.jpg"><img height="300" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth3_0.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth2.jpg"><img height="342" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_eth2_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-price-set-to-double-now-says-analyst-who-forecasted-5000-bitcoin-by-2018"><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="https://www.coindesk.com/all-time-high-ether-prices-pass-440-as-key-level-breached/">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171124_eth4.jpg?1511539129" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/ethereum-surges-new-record-highs-bigger-capital-one-ice-ebay#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com Caught On Tape: Chaos, Multiple Fights Break Out Among "Black Friday Zombies" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/caught-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 Amazon.com without the hassle of pushing through crowds.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BcgdkW-rQmo" 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="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1579250.html" 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="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1365087.html" 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="https://t.co/1oBQ9xScLD">pic.twitter.com/1oBQ9xScLD</a></p> <p>&mdash; Sandile ???????? (@SirVincent_M) <a href="https://twitter.com/SirVincent_M/status/934041867477536768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" 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="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackFriday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackFriday</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamNews24?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamNews24</a> Plenty of security guards on duty. <a href="https://t.co/R6ihJUkCte">pic.twitter.com/R6ihJUkCte</a></p> <p>&mdash; Sharlene Rood (@ssharim) <a href="https://twitter.com/ssharim/status/933945607634513921?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" 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="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackFriday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackFriday</a>: <a href="https://t.co/18qK0R7zbi">https://t.co/18qK0R7zbi</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/YouTube?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@YouTube</a></p> <p>&mdash; Kachi Sam A (@samonyeoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/samonyeoo/status/934040686118227968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">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="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5113559/Shoppers-world-join-Black-Friday-chaos.html">Daily Mail </a>pointed out.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24blackfridaytwo.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24blackfridaytwo_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 255px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24femen.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24femen_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 212px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24fementhree.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24fementhree_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24blackfridaybrazil.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24blackfridaybrazil_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24braziltwo.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24braziltwo_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24athens.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24athens_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 209px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24athenstwo.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24athenstwo_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24macystwo.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24macystwo_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 204px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24macystwo.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24macys_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_brawl.jpg?1511533870" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/caught-tape-chaos-multiple-fights-break-out-among-black-friday-zombies#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com Trump Condemns "Horrible And Cowardly" Egypt Mosque Attack As Death Toll Hits 235 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/least-235-dead-egyptian-mosque-attack-deadliest-incident-2013 <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="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sinai?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sinai</a> ?<br />It will give justification to the likes of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sisi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sisi</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Trump?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Trump</a> and their so called War on Terror.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Egyptians?src=hash&amp;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="https://twitter.com/Cairo67Unedited/status/934086634378850304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" 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="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/934080974773776384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" 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="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-24/mosque-attack-in-egypt-s-sinai-province-leaves-dozens-wounded">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="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Su6MNKpRASA" 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="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B6%D8%A9?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#??????</a> ??? ????? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%B4?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#??????</a> ??? ???? .<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#?????</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%B2?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#?????????</a> <a href="https://t.co/ubBl1y7bRq">pic.twitter.com/ubBl1y7bRq</a></p> <p>&mdash; Sinai News - ????? ???? (@sinai_news_1) <a href="https://twitter.com/sinai_news_1/status/934029363758157824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24egyptkillingtwo.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24egyptkillingtwo_0.JPG" 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="https://www.rt.com/news/410833-egypt-northern-sinai-explosion-mosque/">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24mosque.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24mosque_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24egyptthree.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.24egyptthree_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 264px;" /></a></p> <p>As the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42110223?ocid=socialflow_twitter">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.11.24egyptthree.JPG?1511536507" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/least-235-dead-egyptian-mosque-attack-deadliest-incident-2013#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com Just 10 Companies Account For 33% Of All Market Gains Since Trump's Election http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/just-10-companies-account-33-all-market-gains-trumps-election <p>Yesterday we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/get-out-now-socgen-breaks-crowd-predicts-bear-market-crash-stocks">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20bear%20market%201.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20bear%20market%201_0.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20pe%20expansion.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/socgen%20pe%20expansion_0.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/10%20stocks%20since%20trump.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/11/23/10%20stocks%20since%20trump_1.jpg" width="600" height="266" /></a></p> <p>As we asked two days ago when we showed that the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-22/these-are-top-50-hedge-fund-long-and-short-positions">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/download%20%283%29.png?1511535704" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/just-10-companies-account-33-all-market-gains-trumps-election#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com US PMIs Tumble To 4-Month Lows, Signal Just 2% GDP Growth http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/us-pmis-tumble-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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_pmi.jpg"><img height="322" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_pmi_0.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_pmi2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_pmi2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 308px;" /></a></p> <p>Commenting on the flash PMI data, <a href="https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/8701f23cb1214990b08987e9ed5443f8">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_pmi1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171124_pmi1.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171124_pmi.jpg?1511535003" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/us-pmis-tumble-4-month-lows-signal-just-2-gdp-growth#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com Addictions: Social Media & Mobile Phones Fall From Grace http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/addictions-social-media-mobile-phones-fall-grace <p><a href="http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/11/addictions-social-media-mobile-phones.html"><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="https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-personal-tech-is-depressing-1509026300" 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="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/11/facebook-google-public-health-democracy" 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="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2017/time-spent-digital-media8-17.jpg" /></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="https://www.patreon.com/charleshughsmith" target="resource">becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com</a>. Check out both of my new books, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MSP2SXM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;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="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ELXQZGE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;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="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M7YCLI2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;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="http://www.oftwominds.com/essentials.html" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171124_fb.jpg?1511533655" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/addictions-social-media-mobile-phones-fall-grace#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com Elon Musk Pulls An ICO http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/elon-musk-pulls-ico <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/signup/">www.CapitalistExploits.at</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="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screenshot-2017-11-16-12.00.16.png" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screenshot-2017-11-15-10.20.56-1024x445.png" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Semi_Front_Profile.0-1024x576.jpg" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-20-at-3.42.53-PM.png" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-20-at-3.57.44-PM.png" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/06/greece-comes-mind/" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/11/side-asymmetry-never-hear/" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/11/side-asymmetry-never-hear/" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DO8XJK_WsAAKnzI.jpg" 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="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/11/elon-musk-pulls-ico/"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user118858/imageroot/2017/11/24/unnamed.jpg" alt="Tesla poll" width="600" height="222" /></a><br /><em><a href="https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/11/elon-musk-pulls-ico/">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="https://capitalistexploits.at/market-insights/">Go here to access them (free, of course).</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/elon-musk-pulls-ico#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com One Person Shot Outside Mall, Brawl Closes Alabama Shopping Center As Black Friday Gets Going http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/one-person-shot-outside-mall-brawl-closes-alabama-shopping-center-black-friday-gets- <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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_shot1.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 288px;" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.abc17news.com/news/large-police-presence-at-columbia-mall/661468306"><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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_shot.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/21/20171123_shot_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 291px;" /></a></p> <p>Additionally,<strong> </strong><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/shot-mall-brawls-shut-black-friday-article-1.3654205">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="http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/11/thanksgiving_night_fight_at_ri.html" target="_blank">Al.com</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="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjalexisswagalldayeverday.braggs%2Fvideos%2F912916892206138%2F&amp;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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171123_shot.jpg?1511532620" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-24/one-person-shot-outside-mall-brawl-closes-alabama-shopping-center-black-friday-gets-#comments 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 http://www.zerohedge.com