en Paths of Glory <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><em><strong><a href="" target="_blank">From the Slope of Hope: </a></strong></em>A couple of Thursdays ago, we were all wringing our hands (or at least I was) about the powerful bureaucrat and lifetime government employee Haruhiko Kuroda and what his next move would be. He dropped a big bomb - negative interest rates - and created precisely the kind of market reaction he wanted............<strong>.for less than a single day. </strong>Since then, his world has once again fallen to pieces, since the cold fact of the matter is that Japan is doomed to be an old age colony, hopelessly mired in debt, with its economic glory of the 1980s an increasingly distant memory.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Even though these moronic central bankers are becoming increasingly impotent (a trait normally assigned merely to those who dared gaze at the hideous visage of Janet Yellen), we're all still afraid of them and what they might do, simply because the horrid memories of 2009-2014 are too painful to forget. The latest chatter is about the Chinese government, and whatever falsified data they intend to trot out Sunday night. I personally wish they'd all choke on their chopsticks.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">What we must remember, however, is this: <strong>we are in a bear market</strong>, and the risk of a countertrend rally is present, but confined. Looking at the Dow Jones Composite, for example, I've tinted in my view as to the worst risk scenario. God forbid even this happening:</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="" alt="0206-COMPCLOSE" width="877" height="523" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-53401" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Context is important, however, because the big picture shows global mayhem, economic cataclysm, and a plunge that would push Draghi, Yellen, Kuroda, and the unnamed stooges of China to seek out the cleanest, sharpest razor blades available to slit their collective wrists. I have, as a way to emphasize the contrast between bearish and bullish risk, tinted in green below the same area as I did above. Magnifying glasses may be required:</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="" alt="0206-COMPBIG" width="942" height="524" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-53400" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">As you might have divined, I deeply resent these bankers and the fact they have any say-so in market movement, even if this effect is short-lived. My belief in the importance of organic markets flows through every molecule of my being, and what these government flunkies are doing is grotesquely offensive to every concept I have of decency and natural order.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin: 0px 0px 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">These clowns are going to keep dicking with the markets, but the three words to remember are: They. Will. Fail.</p> Bear Market China Fail Janet Yellen Japan Slope of Hope Sat, 06 Feb 2016 05:25:18 +0000 Tim Knight from Slope of Hope 522899 at "Fukushima Class Disaster" - L.A. Gas Leak Spewing Lethal Levels Of Breathable Nuclear Material <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p>In a breaking development that has been completely ignored by mainstream news sources, the leaking natural gas well near Los Angeles, California is now reportedly spewing <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>lethal levels</strong></span> of radioactive material, according to a report from <a href="" target="_blank">Steve Quayle</a> and a group with expertise in nuclear material.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>A leaking natural gas well outside Los Angeles is spewing so much naturally-occurring Uranium and Radon, that &ldquo;breathable&rdquo; radiation levels have hit &ldquo;lethal levels&rdquo; according to a Nuclear Expert group.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Hal Turner of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Super Station 95</a>&nbsp;reports that the well is releasing 1.91 Curies (Ci) of radiation per hour.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>This rogue well is spewing huge amounts of natural gas and about 1.91 curies an hour of natural radioactive material in the natural gas&hellip; 1.91 curies an hour is about 45.9 curies per day&hellip; <strong>It&rsquo;s a really, really big leak.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A curie is a unit of measure in the U.S. to describe very large radioactive releases.</p> </blockquote> <p>The French utilize a unit of measure called a&nbsp;Becquerel to measure radiation levels. A single&nbsp;Becquerel measures the&nbsp;activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second.</p> <p>To put things into perspective, Turner explains that a single Curie is equivalent to about 37 Billion&nbsp;Becquerels (Bq) of radiation:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A&nbsp;Becquerel is a much more human sized unit of measure&hellip; it&rsquo;s one radioactive burst of energy per second&hellip; One Curie is 37 billion&nbsp;Becquerels per second.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s 1.7 trillion&nbsp;Becquerels per day coming out of that natural gas well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>This is a real Fukushima class disaster and it&rsquo;s happening right here in the USA.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 80 days of fumes at a pace of 1,115 tons per day coming out of that ground&hellip; could carry with it 301.2 terra-Becquerels of natural radioactivity&hellip; <strong>This converts to a resperable&hellip; a breathable&nbsp;emanation of 12 million Sieverts (Sv)&hellip; <span style="text-decoration: underline;">2.4 million times the lethal dose by inhalation.</span></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Full audio report</a>&nbsp;via Hal Turner (begins at approximately 49:00 minutes)</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In short, the leak is massive and researchers at UC Davis <a href="" target="_blank">have indicated</a> that they have never encountered as much methane in the air as they have over suburban Los Angeles in recent months.</p> <p>While resident complaints of feeling ill, vomiting and nausea have been chalked off by officials as the result of breathing in the natural gas, <strong>it is quite possible and increasingly likely that what they are experiencing is actually radiation poisoning.</strong></p> <p>According to one report, the radiation levels in the Chernobyl control room following the 1986 disaster reached about 300 Sv per hour. That was enough to provide a lethal dose to anyone in the room within 1-2 minutes.</p> <p><em><strong>While the Los Angeles leak is widespread with radiation disbursing across the city, the fact remains that millions of Sieverts of radiation have been released and will continue to be released until such time that the well is permanently sealed.</strong></em></p> <p>The following map shows the spread of methane over the Los Angeles area and researchers from <a href="" target="_blank">Eco Watch report</a> that <strong>elevated levels of natural gas have been detected as far as 10 miles from the leak:</strong></p> <p><img alt="LA-leak" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-33922" height="314" src="" width="500" /></p> <p>For those living in the area, be warned: you are inhaling deadly radiation.<u><em><strong> And while the dose is not immediately lethal, prolonged inhalation and exposure may&nbsp;lead to a spike in cancer-related disease and deaths over coming years.</strong></em></u></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="493" height="309" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Natural Gas Uranium Sat, 06 Feb 2016 03:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 522866 at And Now "Some Important News About JPMorgan's New Cash Policies" <p>Want to deposit cash at JPMorgan Chase? Then prepare to be treated if not like a criminal, then certainly a suspect of a very serious crime. The charge: being in possession of that "barbarous relic" known as cash.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="264" /></a></p> <p>Soon, as cash becomes increasingly frowned upon, cash deposits will be slowly but surely phased out in their entirety forcing those few savers left in <a href="">Obama's grand economic "recovery" experiment</a>, to engage in commerce only in a way that allows the government to keep track of every single transaction.</p> JPMorgan Chase recovery Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:43:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 522867 at Visualizing The World's Most Famous Case Of Deflation, Part 1 <p><strong>The Great Depression was the most severe economic depression ever experienced by the Western world.</strong></p> <p><a href="">As VisualCapitalist notes,</a> <strong>it was during this troubled time that the world&rsquo;s most famous case of deflation also happened.</strong> The resulting aftermath was so bad that economic policy since has been chiefly designed to prevent deflation at all costs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div style="clear:both"><a href=""><img data-recalc-dims="1" src="" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; height: 4840px; width: 600px;" /></a></div> <div><em><strong>Courtesy of: <a href="">The Money Project</a></strong></em></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><u>Setting the Stage</u></h2> <p>The transition from wartime to peacetime created a bumpy economic road after World War I.</p> <p>Growth has hard to come by in the first years after the war, and by 1920-21 the economy fell into a brief deflationary depression. Prices dropped -18%, and unemployment jumped up to 11.7% in 1921.</p> <p>However, the troubles wouldn&rsquo;t last. During the &ldquo;Roaring Twenties&rdquo;, economic growth picked up as the new technologies like the automobile, household appliances, and other mass-produced products led to a vibrant consumer culture and growth in the economy.</p> <p>More than half of the automobiles in the nation were sold on credit by the end of the 1920s. Consumer debt more than doubled during the decade.</p> <p>While GDP growth during this period was extremely strong, the Roaring Twenties also had a dark side. Income inequality during this era was the highest in American history. By 1929, the income of the top 1% had increased by 75%. Income for the rest of people (99%) increased by only 9%.</p> <p>The Roaring Twenties ended with a bang. On Black Thursday (Oct 24, 1929), the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 11% at the open in very heavy volume, precipitating the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression of the 1930s.</p> <h2><u>The Cause of the Great Depression</u></h2> <p>Economists continue to debate to this day on the cause of the Great Depression. Here&rsquo;s perspectives from three different economic schools:</p> <p><strong>Keynesian:</strong></p> <p>John Maynard Keynes saw the causes of the Great Depression hinge upon a lack of aggregate demand. This later became the subject of his most influential work, <em>The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money</em>, which was published in 1936.</p> <p>Keynes argued that the solution was to stimulate the economy through some combination of two approaches:<br />1. A reduction in interest rates (monetary policy), and<br />2. Government investment in infrastructure (fiscal policy).</p> <p>&ldquo;The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.&rdquo; &ndash; John Maynard Keynes</p> <p><strong>Monetarist:</strong></p> <p>Monetarists such as Milton Friedman viewed the cause of the Great Depression as a fall in the money supply.</p> <p>Friedman and Schwartz argue that people wanted to hold more money than the Federal Reserve was supplying. As a result, people hoarded money by consuming less. This caused a contraction in employment and production since prices were not flexible enough to immediately fall.</p> <p>&ldquo;The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.&rdquo; ? Milton Friedman</p> <p><strong>Austrian:</strong></p> <p>Austrian economists argue that the Great Depression was the inevitable outcome of the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve during the 1920s.</p> <p>In their opinion, the central bank&rsquo;s policy was an &ldquo;easy credit policy&rdquo; which led to an unsustainable credit-driven boom.</p> <p>&ldquo;Any increase in the relative size of government in the economy, therefore, shifts the societal consumption-investment ratio in favor of consumption, and prolongs the depression.&rdquo; &ndash; Murray Rothbard</p> <h2><u>The Great Depression and Deflation</u></h2> <p>Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide GDP fell by an estimated 15%.</p> <p>Deflation hit.</p> <p>Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices plunged. International trade fell by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%.</p> <p><em>These statistics were only the tip of the iceberg. Learn about the full effects, the stories, and the recovery from the Great Depression in Part 2.</em></p> <p><em><a href="">The Money Project</a> aims to use intuitive visualizations to explore ideas around the very concept of money itself. Founded in 2015 by <a href="">Visual Capitalist</a> and <a href="">Texas Precious Metals</a>, the Money Project will look at the evolving nature of money, and will try to answer the difficult questions that prevent us from truly understanding the role that money plays in finance, investments, and accumulating wealth.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="882" height="892" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Dow Jones Industrial Average Federal Reserve Great Depression John Maynard Keynes Maynard Keynes Milton Friedman Monetary Policy Money Supply Personal Income Precious Metals recovery Tax Revenue Unemployment Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 522730 at Facebook's War On Freedom Of Speech <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Douglas Murray via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <div> <ul class="content_preface_bullets"> <li> <p><strong>Facebook is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might decide is racist -- along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is &quot;racist.&quot;</strong></p> </li> <li> <p>The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week came reports of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on social media.</p> </li> <li> <p>In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations and only violence is left.</p> </li> <li> <p>The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true &quot;initiative for civil courage&quot; would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.</p> </li> </ul> </div> <p>It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down <a href="" target="_blank">when <strong>caught</strong></a><strong> permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.</strong></p> <p><strong>Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported</strong>. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel&#39;s microphone, still on, <a href="" target="_blank">recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg</a> what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.</p> <p>At the time, perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exchange was that the German Chancellor -- at the very moment that her country was going through one of the most significant events in its post-war history -- should have been spending any time worrying about how to stop public dislike of her policies being vented on social media. But now it appears that the discussion yielded consequential results.</p> <p><strong>Last month, Facebook launched what it called an &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">Initiative for civil courage online</a>,&quot; the aim of which, it claims, is to remove &quot;hate speech&quot; from Facebook -- specifically by removing comments that &quot;promote xenophobia.&quot;</strong> Facebook is working with a unit of the publisher Bertelsmann, which aims to identify and then erase &quot;racist&quot; posts from the site. The work is intended particularly to focus on Facebook users in Germany. At the launch of the new initiative, Facebook&#39;s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, explained that, &quot;Hate speech has no place in our society -- not even on the internet.&quot; She went to say that, <strong>&quot;Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.&quot; </strong>Of course, Facebook can do what it likes on its own website. What is troubling is what this organization of effort and muddled thinking reveals about what is going on in Europe.</p> <div style="display: block; text-align: center; margin-bottom: 10px;"><img border="0" height="338" src="" width="600" /></div> <p><strong>The mass movement of millions of people -- from across Africa, the Middle East and further afield -- into Europe has happened in record time and is a huge event in its history. </strong>As events in <a href="" target="_blank">Paris</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Cologne</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Sweden</a> have shown, it is also by no means a series of events only with positive connotations.</p> <p>As well as being fearful of the security implications of allowing in millions of people whose identities, beliefs and intentions are unknown and -- in such large numbers -- unknowable, many Europeans are deeply concerned that this movement heralds an irreversible alteration in the fabric of their society. <strong>Many Europeans do not want to become a melting pot for the Middle East and Africa, but want to retain something of their own identities and traditions. </strong>Apparently, it is not just a minority who feel concern about this. Poll after poll shows a significant majority of the public in each and every European country opposed to immigration at anything like the current rate.</p> <p><strong>The sinister thing about what Facebook is doing is that it is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might consider racist -- along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is &quot;racist.&quot;</strong></p> <p>And it just so happens to turn out that, lo and behold, <u><strong>this idea of &quot;racist&quot; speech appears to include anything critical of the EU&#39;s current catastrophic immigration policy.</strong></u></p> <p>By deciding that &quot;xenophobic&quot; comment in reaction to the crisis is also &quot;racist,&quot; Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people (who, it must be stressed, are opposed to Chancellor Merkel&#39;s policies) into &quot;racist&quot; views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as &quot;racist.&quot; This is a policy that will do its part in pushing Europe into a disastrous future.</p> <p>Because even if some of the speech Facebook is so scared of is in some way &quot;xenophobic,&quot; there are deep questions as to why such speech should be banned. <u><em><strong>In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations, and only violence is left.</strong></em></u> Weimar Germany -- to give just one example -- was replete with hate-speech laws intended to limit speech the state did not like. These laws did nothing whatsoever to limit the rise of extremism; it only made martyrs out of those it pursued, and persuaded an even larger number of people that the time for talking was over.</p> <p><u><strong>The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe</strong></u>. Just last week, <a href="" target="_blank">reports from the Netherlands</a> told of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on Twitter and other social media.</p> <p>In this toxic mix, Facebook has now -- knowingly or unknowingly -- played its part. <u><em><strong>The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up</strong></em></u>. A true &quot;initiative for civil courage&quot; would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.</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="592" height="326" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Germany Middle East Netherlands Reality Twitter Twitter Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 522865 at "A Key Technical Indicator Just Rang The Bell On The Cyclical Bull Market" <p>While the primary topic of Albert Edwards' most recent note is the question how long China can sustain its FX intervention before tapping out and letting the hedge funds win with their short Yuan bets once total reserves drop below the critical redline of $2.7 trillion (the answer incidentally is between 5 months and 10 months assuming monthly reserve burn rates of $130BN to $60BN), we will skip that part as we have discussed it extensively in the past, and instead will fast forward to some chart porn by the SocGenarian. </p> <p><em>Here is Albert Edwards showing that the S&amp;P had breached key moving averages normally seen at the start of a bear market.</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Back in the mid-1990s I spent three memorable years working at Bank America Investment Management, among some of the industry’s finest. Having previously spent three years as an economist at the Bank of England, I was new to markets and I let my economic enthusiasm often get the better of me when making recommendations to fund managers. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I remember the head of fixed income explaining to me it was far better not to try and pick market tops or bottoms but to wait and observe the market turn, making the trade late rather than prematurely trying to pick the bottom or top. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So the chart below is notable, <strong>showing that key 200d and 320d moving averages for the S&amp;P have just been breached to the downside</strong>. <strong>If one is looking for key technical indicators to ring the bell on the cyclical bull market- maybe it has just rung loud and clear. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A renminbi devaluation will only sever an already badly frayed safety rope.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="314" /></a></p> </blockquote> <p>Check to you, "data-dependent" Fed</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="1279" height="669" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Albert Edwards Bank of England Bear Market China fixed Moving Averages Renminbi Technical Indicators Yuan Sat, 06 Feb 2016 01:53:08 +0000 Tyler Durden 522835 at These Vancouver Homes Sold For Millions In 2011 And Have Been Vacant And Rotting Since: Here's Why <p>Five years ago, in July of 2011, the house at 4182 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver in sold for $4.6 million. It now rests vacant, abandoned and rotting.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="415" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="349" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Six years ago this $6.2-million Point Grey home boasted unobstructed vistas of the North Shore mountains, English Bay and Vancouver’s skyline. A park sits across a quiet street. The home represents everything a family could aspire to.</p> <p>As the <a href="">National Post reports</a>, it too is vacant and rotting. Windows have been left open and debris sits in the yard. Like a symbol of futility, a June 2015 City of Vancouver “untidy-premises” order remains pinned to the door.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="399" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="417" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The two formerly multi-million mansions devolving to derelict status is not the only thing they share in common: a second uniting feature is what they were meant to become once they were purchased half a decade ago - a store of wealth to Chinese investors eager to park "hot money" outside of their native country, and bid up any Canadian real estate they could get their hands on.</p> <p>And then the investors disappeared. </p> <p>The Point Grey property stopped functioning as a home and <strong>became a storage of wealth six years ago</strong>, according to property documents and a neighbour’s account. </p> <p>It was well-cared for in 2010 when it was sold to an investor. <strong>Since then it has been flipped through a property transfer in a Beijing law office and left unoccupied.</strong></p> <p>Current owners of the other vacant property residing on the 4100-block 8th Avenue West home are Huai Can Ren and Xue Pei Sun. They bought the home from Wei Min Zhang in July 2011 for $4.6 million.&nbsp; </p> <p>The couple’s occupations were both listed as "business person." Wei Min Zhang had bought the home in July 2010 for $3.35 million. </p> <p>Since the purchase, the current "owners" have not been seen. </p> <p>City hall is currently trying to estimate how many Vancouver homes are vacant. <strong>And these online communities are anecdotally gathering photo evidence and coming to conclusions that offshore investment is to blame.</strong></p> <p>In other words, the "Chinese."<strong><br /></strong></p> <p>“That is what is driving everything,” said Caroline Adderson, whose website, Vancouver Vanishes, has over 8,000 followers. “It is sickening on all levels."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>City of Vancouver spokesman Tobin Postma said a 2015 order to clean up the property was “remedied.” However the order remains pinned to the property and messy conditions appear to continue, according to a reporter’s observations Wednesday. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Postma said city departments respond to safety and mess complaints at vacant homes and issue cleanup orders in warranted cases. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If owners don’t respond, the city will clean up and issue a bill. In 2014, there were 213 actions taken against 85 properties, Postma said. </p> </blockquote> <p>Huai Can Ren and Xue Pei Sun are also owners of a $3.57-million Arbutus Ridge home in the 2300-block 21st Avenue West, records show.</p> <p>The home also appears to be unoccupied: on Wednesday, a Postmedia reporter found that the windows were shuttered, a phone book was left on the doorstep and a mailbox was stuffed with letters. No one answered the door and the home’s external condition seemed degraded. </p> <p>Huai Can Ren, then listed as “<strong>businessman</strong>,” and Xue Pei Sun, as “<strong>homemaker</strong>,” bought the home in 2006 for $1.75 million from transferees Zhaohong Su and Xin Li.</p> <p>In transfer documents, Xin Li was listed as lawyer for Su, who had bought the home in 2005 for $778,000.</p> <p>Needless to say the locals are furious with this increasing incidence of derelict houses, which destroy neighborhood character. They are also confused how this is allowed to go on.</p> <p>And in case it is unclear what "this", what is happening is quite simple:</p> <ol> <li>Chinese investors smuggled out millions in embezzled cash, hot money or perfectly legal funds, bypassing the $50,000/year limit in legal capital outflows.</li> <li>They make "all cash" purchases, usually sight unseen, using third parties intermediaries to preserve their anonymity, or directly in perso, in cities like Vancouver, New York, London or San Francisco.</li> <li>The house becomes a new "Swiss bank account", providing the promise of an anonymous store of value and retaining the cash equivalent value of the original capital outflow.</li> <li>Then the owners disappear, never to be heard from or seen again.</li> </ol> <p>As more Chinese scramble to engage and repeat if only the first three steps, the price of local housing, which is merely a store of value to price indiscriminate foreign buyers, soars while it makes home purchases for the domestic population prohibitively expensive and virtually impossible.</p> <p>The end result, in the case of Vancouver, is this:</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong> </p> <p><strong><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="441" /></a></strong></p> <p>We, and the local residents of Vancouver wonder, "<strong>how much longer will such money laundering fraud be permitted?</strong>"</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="940" height="654" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Real estate Vacant Homes Sat, 06 Feb 2016 01:27:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 522878 at Video Shows Tens Of Thousands Massing At Turkey Border As Russia, Iran Bear Down On Key Syrian City <p dir="ltr">On Thursday <a href="">we brought you the latest</a> from Syria, where Hezbollah and the IRGC have encircled Aleppo and cut off rebel supply lines to Turkey.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was months in the making, but it now appears that the city - Syria’s second largest - will soon be retaken by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. As we’ve explained in the past, that would effectively restore the President’s grip on power as he would effectively control most of the country’s urban centers - even if that “control” is tenuous.</p> <p dir="ltr">Eastern Syria is of course a different story entirely, as ISIS is dug in at Raqqa, the group’s self-styled capital. If the rebels lose Aleppo, it will represent a huge blow to the effort to topple Assad’s government. Saudi Arabia and Turkey know this, which is presumably why Erdogan was busy criticizing the Russian airstrikes that have facilitated the Hezbollah advance yesterday and why Riyadh now says it’s prepared to send in ground troops (to “fight ISIS”).</p> <p dir="ltr">Now, <strong>as the Russian air campaign continues unabated and Shiite fighters advance on the city, civilians are fleeing what they anticipate will be a bloody battle.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">"The Russian (air) cover continues night and day, there were more than 250 air strikes on this area in one day," Hassan Haj Ali, head of Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a group that fights under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, said.</p> <p dir="ltr"> “<strong>Tens of thousands of Syrians fled an intensifying Russian assault around Aleppo on Friday, and aid workers said they feared the city which once held two million people could soon fall under a full government siege,</strong>” <a href="">Reuters writes</a>. “The last 24 hours saw government troops and their Lebanese and Iranian allies fully encircle the countryside north of Aleppo and cut off the main supply route linking the city - Syria's largest before the war - to Turkey [who says] the aim is to starve the population into submission.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Now obviously that’s ridiculous. The “aim” is to keep the rebels (some of whom are ISIS fighters) from obtaining guns and TOWs from Turkey where the government in Ankara is desperate to salvage whatever’s left of the effort to oust Assad.</p> <p dir="ltr">In any event, the fighting looks set to create a new wave of refugees bound first for Turkey and ultimately for a beleaguered Western Europe.</p> <p>“<strong>Video footage showed thousands of people, mostly women, children and the elderly, massing at the Bab al-Salam border crossing</strong>,” Reuters continues. “Men carried luggage on top of their heads, and the elderly and those unable to walk were brought in wheelchairs.”</p> <p>Here are the visuals:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="384" /></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="361" /></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="351" /></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="403" /></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="365" /></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="297" /></p> Iran Reuters Saudi Arabia Turkey Sat, 06 Feb 2016 01:15:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 522850 at 22 Signs That The Global Economic Turmoil We Have Seen So Far In 2016 Is Just The Beginning <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,</em></a></p> <p>As bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that <strong>the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse</strong>.&nbsp; Layoffs are increasing at a pace that we haven&rsquo;t seen since the last recession, major retailers are shutting down hundreds of locations, corporate profit margins are plunging, global trade is slowing down dramatically, and several major European banks are in the process of completely imploding.&nbsp; I am about to share some numbers with you that are truly eye-popping.&nbsp; <strong><em>Each one by itself would be reason for concern, but when you put all of the pieces together it creates a picture that is hard to deny.&nbsp;</em></strong></p> <p>The global economy is in crisis, and this is going to have very serious implications for the financial markets moving forward.&nbsp; U.S. stocks just had their worst January in seven years, and if I am right much worse is still yet to come this year.&nbsp; <strong>The following are 22 signs that the global economic turmoil that we have seen so far in 2016 is just the beginning&hellip; </strong></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> The number of job cuts in the United States skyrocketed <a href="" target="_blank" title="218 percent">218 percent</a> during the month of January according to Challenger, Gray &amp; Christmas.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> The Baltic Dry Index just hit yet another brand new all-time record low.&nbsp; As I write this article, it is sitting at <a href="" target="_blank" title="303">303</a>.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> U.S. factory orders have now dropped <a href="" target="_blank" title="for 14 months in a row">for 14 months in a row</a>.</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> In the U.S., the Restaurant Performance Index just fell to the lowest level that we have seen <a href="" target="_blank" title="since 2008">since 2008</a>.</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> In January, orders for class 8 trucks (the big trucks that you see shipping stuff around the country on our highways) declined a whopping <a href="" target="_blank" title="48 percent">48 percent</a> from a year ago.</p> <p><strong>6.</strong> Rail traffic is also slowing down substantially.&nbsp; In Colorado, there are <a href="" title="hundreds of train engines">hundreds of train engines</a> that are just sitting on the tracks with nothing to do.</p> <p><strong>7.</strong> Corporate profit margins peaked during the third quarter of 2014 <a href="" target="_blank" title="and have been declining steadily since then">and have been declining steadily since then</a>.&nbsp; This usually happens when we are heading into a recession.</p> <p><strong>8.</strong> A series of extremely disappointing corporate quarterly reports is sending stock after stock plummeting.&nbsp; Here is a summary <a href="" target="_blank" title="from Zero Hedge">from Zero Hedge</a> of a few examples that we have just witnessed&hellip;</p> <ul> <li>SHARES OF LIONS GATE ENTERTAINMENT FALL 5 PCT IN EXTENDED TRADE AFTER QUARTERLY RESULTS &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>TABLEAU SOFTWARE SHARES TUMBLE 40 PCT IN AFTER HOURS TRADING &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>YRC WORLDWIDE SHARES DOWN 16.4 PCT AFTER THE BALL FOLLOWING RESULTS &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>SPLUNK INC SHARES DOWN 7.6 PCT IN AFTER HOURS TRADING &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>LINKEDIN SHARES EXTEND DECLINE, DOWN 24 PCT AFTER RESULTS, GUIDANCE &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>HANESBRANDS SHARES FURTHER ADD TO LOSSES IN EXTENDED TRADE, LAST DOWN 14.9 PCT &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>OUTERWALL SHARES FALL 11 PCT IN EXTENDED TRADING AFTER QUARTERLY RESULTS &ndash; RTRS</li> <li>GENWORTH SHARES DOWN 16.5 PCT AFTER THE BELL FOLLOWING RESULTS, RESTRUCTURING PLAN</li> </ul> <p><strong>9.</strong> Junk bonds continue to crash on Wall Street.&nbsp; On Monday, JNK was down to <a href=",%22allowChartStacking%22:true%7D" target="_blank" title="32.60">32.60</a> and HYG was down to <a href=",%22allowChartStacking%22:true%7D" target="_blank" title="77.99">77.99</a>.</p> <p><strong>10.</strong> On Thursday, <a href="" target="_blank" title="a major British news source">a major British news source</a> publicly named five large European banks that are considered to be in very serious danger&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Santander, Barclays and RBS are among the stocks that are falling sharply sending shockwaves through the financial world, according to former hedge fund manager and ex Goldman Sachs employee Raoul Pal.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>11.</strong> Deutsche Bank is the biggest bank in Germany and it has more exposure to derivatives than any other bank in the world.&nbsp; Unfortunately, Deutsche Bank credit default swaps are now telling us that <a href="" target="_blank" title="there is deep turmoil at the bank">there is deep turmoil at the bank</a> and that a complete implosion <a href="" target="_blank" title="may be imminent">may be imminent</a>.</p> <p><strong>12.</strong> Last week, we learned that Deutsche Bank had lost a staggering <a href="" target="_blank" title="6.8 billion euros">6.8 <strong>billion</strong> euros</a> in 2015.&nbsp; If you will recall, I warned about massive problems at Deutsche Bank <a href="" title="all the way back in September">all the way back in September</a>.&nbsp; The most important bank in Germany is exceedingly troubled, and it could end up being for the EU what Lehman Brothers was for the United States.</p> <p><strong>13.</strong> Credit Suisse just announced that it will be eliminating <a href="" target="_blank" title="4,000 jobs">4,000 jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>14.</strong> Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it is going to be eliminating <a href="" target="_blank" title="10,000 jobs">10,000 jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>15.</strong> Caterpillar has announced that it will be closing <a href="" target="_blank" title="5 plants">5 plants</a> and getting rid of 670 workers.</p> <p><strong>16.</strong> Yahoo has announced that it is going to be getting rid of <a href="" target="_blank" title="15 percent">15 percent</a> of its total workforce.</p> <p><strong>17.</strong> Johnson &amp; Johnson has announced that it is slashing its workforce <a href="" target="_blank" title="by 3,000 jobs">by 3,000 jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>18.</strong> Sprint just laid off&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="8 percent">8 percent</a> of its workforce and GoPro is letting go 7 percent of its workers.</p> <p><strong>19.</strong> All over America, retail stores are shutting down at a staggering pace.&nbsp; The following list comes from one of my <a href="" target="_blank" title="previous articles">previous articles</a>&hellip;</p> <p>-Wal-Mart is closing <a href="" target="_blank" title="269 stores">269 stores</a>, including <a href="" target="_blank" title="154">154</a> inside the United States.</p> <p>-K-Mart is closing down <a href="" target="_blank" title="more than two dozen stores">more than two dozen stores</a> over the next several months.</p> <p>-J.C. Penney will be permanently shutting down <a href="" target="_blank" title="47 more stores">47 more stores</a> after closing a total of <a href="" target="_blank" title="40 stores">40 stores</a> in 2015.</p> <p>-Macy&rsquo;s has decided that it needs to shutter <a href="" target="_blank" title="36 stores">36 stores</a> and lay off <a href="" target="_blank" title="approximately 2,500 employees">approximately 2,500 employees</a>.</p> <p>-The Gap is in the process of closing <a href="" target="_blank" title="175 stores">175 stores</a> in North America.</p> <p>-Aeropostale is in the process of closing <a href="" target="_blank" title="84 stores">84 stores</a> all across America.</p> <p>-Finish Line has announced that <a href="" target="_blank" title="150 stores">150 stores</a> will be shutting down over the next few years.</p> <p>-Sears has shut down <a href="" target="_blank" title="about 600 stores">about 600 stores</a> over the past year or so, but sales at the stores that remain open continue to fall precipitously.</p> <p><strong>20.</strong> According to the New York Times, the Chinese economy is facing a mountain of bad loans that &ldquo;<a href=";nl=todaysheadlines&amp;nlid=57057937" target="_blank" title="could exceed $5 trillion">could exceed $5 trillion</a>&ldquo;.</p> <p><strong>21.</strong> Japan has implemented <a href="" target="_blank" title="a negative interest rate program">a negative interest rate program</a> in a desperate attempt to try to get banks to make more loans.</p> <p><strong>22.</strong> The global economy desperately needs the price of oil to go back up, but Morgan Stanley says that we will not see $80 oil again <a href="" target="_blank" title="until 2018">until 2018</a>.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>It is not difficult to see where the numbers are trending.</strong></span></p> <p>Last week, I told my wife that I thought that Marco Rubio was going to do better than expected in Iowa.</p> <p>How did I come to that conclusion?</p> <p>It was simply based on how his poll numbers were trending.</p> <p><em><strong>And when you look at where global economic numbers are trending, they tell us that 2016 is going to be a year that is going to get progressively worse as it goes along.</strong></em></p> <p>So many of the exact same things that we saw happen in 2008 are happening again right now, and you would have to be blind not to see it.</p> <p><em><strong>Hopefully I am wrong about what is coming in our immediate future, because millions upon millions of Americans are <a href="" title="not prepared">not prepared</a> for what is ahead, and most of them are going to get absolutely blindsided by the coming crisis.</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="430" height="284" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> After Hours Baltic Dry Barclays Credit Default Swaps Credit Suisse default Deutsche Bank Germany Global Economy goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Japan Lehman Lehman Brothers Morgan Stanley New York Times RBS Recession Sat, 06 Feb 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 522864 at Volcano Erupts "Spectacularly" 50km From Japanese Nuclear Plant <p dir="ltr">Last August, in a hilarious example of bad timing, Japan <a href="">restarted</a> its first nuclear reactor since the Chernobyl redux at Fukushima just as a nearby volcano was set to erupt.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sakurajima, one of the country’s most active volcanos, erupts almost constantly, but experts warned the next eruption could be “the big one”, so to speak.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="" width="600" height="158" style="max-width: 100%; height: auto; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px;" /></p> <p dir="ltr">At the time, The Japan Meteorological Agency raised the warning level from 3 to 4. </p> <p dir="ltr">4 means "prepare to evacuate."</p> <p dir="ltr">"The possibility for a large-scale eruption has become extremely high for Sakurajima," the Agency said. As for what fate would befall someone who failed to heed an evacuation warning, well let’s just say that molten stones "could rain down on areas near the mountain's base."</p> <p>As we noted, the real problem is Sakurajima’s location - <strong>it’s just 50 kilometers from the Sendai nuclear power plant</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px;"><img src="" width="600" height="286" style="max-width: 100%; height: auto;" /></a></p> <p>On Friday&nbsp;Sakurajima erupted at 7 p.m. local time.&nbsp;</p> <p>"The Meteorological Agency banned entry to the area, expanding an existing no-go zone around the crater to a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) radius," <a href="">AP reports</a>, adding that "Friday's eruption, while dramatic, was average compared to Sakurajima's past eruptions" including the last incident in September.</p> <p>Here are the visuals.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="ja">?????????????? <a href=""></a></p> <p>— ???????? (@nhk_seikatsu) <a href="">February 5, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p> For now no injuries have been reported and there's apparently no threat to Sendai which RT <a href="">reminds us</a> is only "built to withstand a tsunami of 15 meters, well below 2011’s peak tsunami height of 40 meters."</p> <p>Kyoto University volcanologist Kazuhiro Ishihara says everything should be fine, but "of course we must keep monitoring the volcanic activity."</p> <p>Yes, "of course" we should. Because as we documented last year, <strong>Sendai's operators and local authorities have no comprehensive plan to evacuate residents in the event of a meltdown</strong>. We close with a quote from&nbsp;Yoshitaka Mukohara, a representative of a group who opposed the Sendai restart:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>“There are schools and hospitals near the plant, but no one has told us how children and the elderly would be evacuated.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>“Naturally there will be gridlock caused by the sheer number of vehicles, landslides, and damaged roads and bridges.”</em></p> </blockquote> Japan Meltdown Nuclear Power Twitter Twitter Sat, 06 Feb 2016 00:30:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 522880 at