http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/wp-content/plugins/uBillboard/Korean%20Buying%20Spree%20Boosts%20Brent%20Price en Consolidated Currency Calculation http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/consolidated-currency-calculations <p><img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/01/05/business/FOMC/FOMC-articleLarge.jpg" width="750" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Contraray to what many maintain, The FED is not made up of irrational, unintelligent completley clueless policy makers, who have utterly no idea what they are effecting. Let's get real, they certainly have to know exactly where their pre-calculated monetary programs are taking us. &nbsp;After all, understanding the ramification of their monetary machinations is not rocket science. &nbsp;The faltering economic and financial signs are everywhere for anyone to see that is actually looking.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br /></span></p> <p><strong id="docs-internal-guid-8996f006-6cc3-8dc7-ff3d-40b6c5a53843" style="font-weight: normal;"><br /></strong></p> <p><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tunkv9fAJoo/VlSE5urRmmI/AAAAAAAAbg0/Ain1Dat7QzE/s1600/Globalists%2B%25E2%2580%2594%2Btable.jpg" width="250" style="line-height: 20.8px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; float: left;" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">To use an often sited droll analogy, they are doing "God's work". &nbsp;Directed by a far reaching and pervasive power base derived from the merger of <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Multi National Corporate - Int'l Banking - SupraState </em></span></strong> interests and objectives. &nbsp;A global monopolistic Goliath of insatiable voracity, which has achieved monumental control and influence over the daily economic affairs of the common man. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br /></span></p> <p><strong style="font-weight: normal;"><br /></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Most certainly, the end game is to eradicate the presently standing world's reserve currency. The final pillar to be toppled, so as to introduce a one world currency backed by an SDR based multinational monetary regime. There can be no doubt this construct will serve to further consolidate the grip on the sovereignty of man.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br /></span></p> <p><strong style="font-weight: normal;"><br /></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Clearly, to achieve this aim they need to completely destabilize the Dollar, that IS coming. &nbsp;At the end of the day, this will be yet another historic consolidating currency event, and nothing more.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br /></span></p> <p><strong style="font-weight: normal;"><br /></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The only remaining question is whether it will be orchestrated methodically through peaceful negotiations among the major trading nation's central banks of the world, or violently and abruptly until the last standing military alliances are victorious..............same as it ever was.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In our view, the later will prevail, recorded history certainly points to that regrettable outcome.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.1454545454545455; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #4d4d4d; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Got Gold?</span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="640" height="480" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user85367/imageroot/147614.jpg?1462114850" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/consolidated-currency-calculations#comments Central Banks Reserve Currency Sun, 01 May 2016 15:00:50 +0000 Bruno de Landevoisin 530179 at http://www.zerohedge.com 10 Stats About The Last 10 Years http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/10-stats-about-last-10-years <p><em>By Nick Colas of Convergex</em></p> <p><strong>10 Stats About The Last 10 Years</strong></p> <p>The headline this week that Goldman Sachs’ stock has gone nowhere for a decade got us thinking about general market performance over the last 10 years. The key contours are straightforward: subpar price returns (a 4.9% compounded annual growth rate for the S&amp;P 500) with increased volatility (a VIX that is 25% more volatile than average).&nbsp; From there, things get funky.&nbsp; Consumer Discretionary – not Tech or Health Care – is the top performing sector, up 137% over the decade, in no small part due to Amazon (up 1,600% over the period and in the S&amp;P 500 since 2005). Only one sector is down over this timeframe: Financials, 28% lower (making Goldman an outperformer in its sector, funny enough).&nbsp; And gold (up 87%) has trounced stocks (S&amp;P 500 up 62%).&nbsp; There’s more, and in this note we also look for where some of these anomalies may revert to a longer run mean.</p> <p><strong>Think back over the last 10 years - how different was your life in April 2006</strong>?&nbsp; While you may think your daily existence is largely the same (maybe the kids are older or you’re married now, but that about it…), consider what was actually different about your life in the spring of 2006:</p> <ul> <li><strong>No iPhone</strong>. Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in January 2007, and it didn’t ship until June of that year.</li> <li><strong>No Facebook (unless you were in college at the time). </strong>Facebook only opened to the general population in September 2006.</li> <li><strong>No Twitter</strong>. The full version of the product launched in July 2006.</li> <li><strong>No Instagram</strong>. The picture sharing site only launched in 2010.</li> <li><strong>No Kim Kardashian</strong>. “Keeping up With The Kardashians” debuted in October 2007.</li> <li><strong>No Uber</strong>. The company received its seed funding in 2009.</li> <li><strong>No iPad</strong>. Apple started taking pre-orders on the first-gen product in March 2010. </li> </ul> <p><strong>It feels like April 2006 demarcates the last days of some Dark Age, or at least a simpler time without the manifold distractions of today.</strong>&nbsp; And while you might opt for a world without the Kardashians, imagine it without your smartphone, Facebook/social media, and an iPad to entertain the kids (or yourself). It’s ok – don’t panic. You have them now. </p> <p><strong>The journey from April 2006 to April 2016 in financial markets has, of course, been a wild ride</strong>.&nbsp; But just as it is hard to remember what daily life was like a decade ago, it is also easy to forget some of the important waypoints that capital markets took from there to here.&nbsp; And sometimes looking in the rear view mirror is helpful to considering the road ahead. </p> <p><strong>Investing has a name for that exercise: “Reversion to the mean”.&nbsp; </strong>Anomalies can exist for long periods of time, but eventually asset classes revert to some natural risk adjusted rate of return. In economics, policymakers look at long-cycle data to grade their efforts at managing the macro economy. The bottom line: an occasional glance backwards at the data is a useful exercise even if all you really care about is predicting tomorrow. </p> <p><strong>Here are 10 data points about the last 10 years we hope you will find useful:</strong></p> <p><strong>#1 – U.S. Consumer inflation (as measured by the CPI) over the last 10 years: 18%.&nbsp; </strong>That translates into a compounded annual growth rate of 1.67%, well below the Federal Reserve’s goal of 2%.&nbsp; The most recent core inflation data from the CPI shows a little higher (2.2%), but the core PCE data is more in line with the long run headline average (1.7%).</p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: a decade – even one with a financial crisis in the middle of it – is a long enough period to assess structural inflation.&nbsp; A 1.7% average rate may just be a new normal, at least until the next recession when it will presumably decline.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#2 – Price appreciation for the S&amp;P 500 over the last decade: 62%.&nbsp; </strong>The compounded growth rate here is 4.9%.&nbsp; The best performing major average over the last 10 years is the NASDAQ Composite, up 110% or a 7.7% compounded annual growth rate. </p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: no matter how you slice it, equity market returns are not double digits anymore even when you add 2% or so for dividend payments.&nbsp; </strong>Now, pick the right entry point (mid crisis should do it) and they are obviously much higher.&nbsp; But over a decade, 5-8% seems to be the market’s speed limit.&nbsp; Not bad, but not the +10% numbers of the 1980s and 1990s.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#3 – S&amp;P operating earnings 10 years ago: $73/share on its way to $82 in 2006.&nbsp; </strong>Inflation adjusted, those 2006 normalized earnings of $77.50 would be $91.45 today.&nbsp; Actual trailing four quarter earnings for the S&amp;P 500 right now are $100, or 29% higher than the operating earnings back in 2006/7. </p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: earnings are 29% higher than 2006, but the S&amp;P 500 is 62% above the levels of a decade ago</strong>.&nbsp; Earnings multiples have expanded because interest rates have declined; don’t forget that the U.S. 10 year Treasury had a yield of 5.0% in April 2006.&nbsp; Now, it is 1.7%.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#4 – The best performing sector over the last 10 years: Consumer Discretionary, up 136%.</strong>&nbsp; In December of 2005, the S&amp;P Committee in charge of choosing companies to add to the large cap 500 index decided to include Amazon. Good choice, because over the last decade the stock has returned +1,600%. In their eyes, however, it was a Consumer Discretionary company, not a Tech concern. That decision, plus good returns from other large brand-name consumer companies, makes this industry the best performing major sector in the S&amp;P 500. </p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: this sector seems ripe for some reversion-to-the-mean underperformance, unless the S&amp;P Committee finds some other hyper-growth names to add to the collection.&nbsp; </strong>Wonder where they would put Uber?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#5 – The price of a barrel of crude in April 2006: $75.&nbsp; </strong>If crude oil prices had just kept up with inflation over the last decade, a barrel would cost $88.59. Instead it is $43/barrel. </p> <p><strong>Key takeaway:&nbsp; What if I told you oil would trade for $30/barrel in 2026?&nbsp; Or $130/barrel?&nbsp; How would it change your long term outlook, and which do you believe is more likely?&nbsp; My own thought is that oil will be higher in a decade and large cap energy stocks are a good long term hold.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#6 – The best performing market cap range in U.S. equities over the last decade: mid-caps, up 87%.&nbsp; </strong>Over a long period, you would expect to see risk and return scale as the textbooks tell us they should: more risk equates to higher return. Yet small caps are only up 52% (Russell 2000) to 78% (S&amp;P Small Caps) and the S&amp;P Mid Cap Index is 87% higher. </p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: another candidate for reversion to the mean underperformance over the next decade.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#7 – Average daily VIX levels over the last 10 years: 21, barely higher than the long run average of 20, but with much higher volatility. </strong>The standard deviation of moves in the CBOE VIX Index since 1990 is 8; over the last decade it has been 10.&nbsp; Simply put, volatility was more volatile in the last 10 years.</p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: One trend that should last for the next decade.&nbsp; </strong>The average for the VIX may not move very much, but periods of market churn will elicit greater investor concern.&nbsp; This should be especially true in the next recession, whenever that comes, if only because markets will worry about what policymakers will do to combat that next economic slowdown.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#8 – Total venture capital raise in the last decade: $426 billion. </strong>It has been a golden age for VC investors and the companies they support.&nbsp; Many of the new products we listed at the top of this note would have never come to market without this source of capital. </p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: VC money flows do seem to be waning.&nbsp; </strong>Deal count receded in 2015, from 9,381 in 2014 to 8,097 in 2015.&nbsp; Capital invested, however, was $77 billion – the highest in a decade and almost 3x the $26 billion invested in 2006.&nbsp; See here: <a href="http://t.hsms09.com/e1t/c/*W7Rmvg139m7VTW1173mk54yKfx0/*W6tnDGV2kYL0hW1yzF9D5XFHKm0/5/f18dQhb0S1Wd2dYTs8TvNKN199RFDW5jr3P734gqDQW5_7bhF6GgsR0N6fGFhCJ7F9KW6p83vS92-b_LW11h02111qpy2W7FTMs12HWxPwW9l76vD13fWcxW65rTyV8YkD9DW39SkQv22bFLsW5Ggb6d5G4yP-W6SbVgG5xKzP1W4W6qsl4T4Lh6W4MGn1T648mcnW7pMjys32BpLTW3dQxMk1P7d40VSycFj39JzJ6W1xxCWn6rxpHqW1C-fqT6Cx8W2VL-_qL8q6LD5W3qH4VZ3WdbyHV3HHXj2lB3pJVhyWx45TbsWCW3-CFrq4n7cQKW69L9gx4Ynl_ZW6nww_-4plTMYW3T0T0_5yr773W1XzfDN349v2TW1-1s0w7JysGZW44Pbwk2b5GzbW7_0qlv4qByp-W3pFnfQ7vhFK2W2rWrXl8QMjzkN5Ppd7pzY2wPW2_R5cY6WLD1MW2x73YQ2pKgDqW1RhRvW60Xv0DW8JwXF72F124wVxrdn_1tP_sDVdLmgl2-F88RW1TkDQV8_g8qpW969HzB52NmjwW2kNML_820KJYW7-0mdp8DfCjdW1HcXWZ6S6V3-f3Z5qSF04">https://pitchbook.com/news/reports/2015-annual-us-venture-industry-report</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#9 – Total money flows out of U.S. equity mutual funds: $209 billion, according to the Investment Company Institute.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p><strong>Key Takeaway: We don’t have the 10 year numbers handy, but inflows into U.S. stock ETFs over the last 5 years total $368 billion. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>#10 -&nbsp;&nbsp; Gold has outperformed equities by a wide margin, +87% versus +59% for the S&amp;P 500. </strong></p> <p><strong>Key takeaway: one of the more surprising results from our 10 year lookback.&nbsp; </strong>The contrarian in me wants to believe the performance here will converge, and equities will outpace gold for the next decade.&nbsp; But consider this: which sounds more likely – gold at $1,860/oz (pretty much its 2011 highs) or S&amp;P 500 at 3126?&nbsp; They are both 50% higher than today’s close. </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="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/10%20years.jpg?1462111520" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/10-stats-about-last-10-years#comments 10 Year Treasury Apple Capital Markets CBOE CPI Crude Crude Oil KIM NASDAQ NASDAQ Composite New Normal Recession Russell 2000 Steve Jobs Twitter Twitter Volatility Sun, 01 May 2016 14:30:39 +0000 Tyler Durden 530175 at http://www.zerohedge.com THe BuTT oF HiS OWN JoKe... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/butt-his-own-joke <p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/26477474900/in/dateposted-public/" title="AT THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT'S DINNER"><img src="https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1575/26477474900_ae6340d936_b.jpg" alt="AT THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT'S DINNER" width="978" height="1024" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/butt-his-own-joke#comments Sun, 01 May 2016 14:23:54 +0000 williambanzai7 530178 at http://www.zerohedge.com "If This Goes Well, I'll Use It At Goldman Sachs Next Year" - Obama Mocks Everyone At His Final "Nerd Prom" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/if-goes-well-ill-use-it-goldman-sachs-next-year-obama-mocks-everyone-his-final-nerd- <p>In his <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/278298-obama-mocks-gop-media-and-himself-in-final-whcd-address">final address </a>to the White House correspondents dinner also known as "nerd prom", Obama <a href="https://www.rt.com/usa/341522-obama-trump-correspondents-dinner/">embraced his last chance </a>at a snarky, hyperbolic, comic monologue and used the stage to unleash a series of one-liners at 2016 presidential candidates in both parties, the media and his own career as president. </p> <p> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wYB-NuW_SRo" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps <em><strong>the </strong></em>last, White House Correspondents' dinner," he said as he took the podium. "You all look great. The end of the Republic has never looked better. Next year at this time someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be," Obama said.</p> <p>At the end, Obama literally dropped the mic at the event where politicians, journalists, media moguls, Capitol Hill power brokers, Hollywood stars and even dogs (those belonging to Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher) gathered.</p> <p>Obama didn't spare his former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, quipping, "<strong>If this material goes well, I'm going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans.</strong>" </p> <p>He also joked her lack of popularity with young voters: "I've said I admire Hillary's toughness, her smarts, her policy chops, her experience. You've gotta admit it though: Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook," Obama said. "'Dear America, did you get my poke? Is it appearing on your wall? I'm not sure I'm using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.'"</p> <p>Obama then took on 74 year old Bernie Sanders from Vermont, describing him as “the bright new face of the Democratic party.” "Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or, to put in terms you will understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each," the outgoing jokester said, referring to a zillion small contributions to Mr Sanders' campaign.&nbsp; </p> <p>"I am hurt though, Bernie, that you have distanced yourself from me. That's not something that you do to your comrade."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">"8 years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific." —<a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WHCD?src=hash">#WHCD</a></p> <p>— The White House (@WhiteHouse) <a href="https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/726594022228267009">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>But much of Obama’s monologue focused on the Republicans, saying "we're praying Cleveland makes it through July," and noted the absence of GOP front-runner Donald Trump. <strong>"You know I’m gonna talk about Trump</strong>!" Obama told the crowd. </p> <p>“Although I'm a little hurt that he is not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time," Obama said referring to the same event in 2011, during which Trump was present. "And it is surprising. You got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras and he says ‘no.’ Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald. What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home, eating a ‘Trump Steak’, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel? What is he doing?”&nbsp; Obama wisecracked.</p> <p>"The Republican establishment is incredulous that he's their most likely nominee. Incredulous. Shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president,” Obama said. “<strong>But in fairness he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan</strong>."</p> <p>"And there's one area where Donald's experience could be invaluable and that's closing Guantanamo, because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground," the US president jibed.</p> <p>He didn't let Ted Cruz get by unscathed, reminding the audience that last week, the GOP presidential hopeful called a basketball hoop a "ring" at a campaign stop in Indiana. “He went to Hoosier country, called the hoop a basketball ring. What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? <strong>But sure, I’m the foreign one.”</strong></p> <p>Obama didn't mention John Kasich by name but took a jab and the GOP candidate, saying <strong>"Some candidates aren't polling high enough to qualify for their own jokes tonight." </strong></p> <p>Obama appeared in a pre-recorded video with former Speaker John Boehner and mocked some Republicans' hope that current Speaker Paul Ryan would become a "white knight" nominee at the Republican convention. "Dinner guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish, but instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan. That's not an option, people," Obama said. "You may not like steak or fish, but that's your choice."</p> <p>“Glad to see you feel you’ve earned the night off,” Obama said to RNC chair Reince Priebus. “Congrats on all your success. The Republican party, the nomination process, it’s all going great. Keep it up.”</p> <p>Toward the end, Obama also poked fun at himself and his age: "Eight years ago I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor. And look at me know," he said laughing. "Hillary once questioned whether I'd be ready for a 3 a.m. phone call. Now I'm awake anyway because I gotta go to the bathroom."</p> <p>And he threw in a few jabs at the media, saying "Jake Tapper left journalism to join CNN," but ended on a serious note urging responsible reporting and chiding over-coverage of Trump. </p> <p>“Uncovering truths is more important than ever. Taking a stand on behalf of what is true does not require you shedding your objectivity. In fact, it is the essence of good journalism," he said. </p> <p>Obama ended his final White House Correspondents’ dinner by pulling a Kobe Bryant, dropping the mic and saying “Obama out” before walking away from the podium.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The first gif president. <a href="https://t.co/MCZqSge7BG">pic.twitter.com/MCZqSge7BG</a></p> <p>— Amy Argetsinger (@AmyArgetsinger) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmyArgetsinger/status/726610404818956288">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="825" height="592" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/obama%20dinner.jpg?1462109789" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/if-goes-well-ill-use-it-goldman-sachs-next-year-obama-mocks-everyone-his-final-nerd-#comments Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Fisher goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Indiana Nomination Twitter Twitter White House Sun, 01 May 2016 13:39:49 +0000 Tyler Durden 530174 at http://www.zerohedge.com Deutsche Bank Unveils The Next Step: "QE Has Run Its Course, It's Time To Tax Wealth" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/deutsche-bank-unveils-next-step-qe-has-run-its-course-its-time-tax-wealth <p>Helicopter money may be on the horizon, but if Deutsche Bank has its way, there is at least one intermediate step. </p> <p>According to DB's Dominic Konstam, now that the benefits QE "have run their course", it is time for the next, and far more drastic step: "<strong>the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates</strong>."</p> <p>Here is the big picture unveiling of what is coming next from Deutsche Bank's Dominic Konstam, who is also buying the Treasury long end hand over fist: </p> <ul> <li>The G3 central banks all stood pat, continuing the move away from the beggar-thy-neighbor paradigm. However, the adverse market reaction to the BoJ’s inaction suggests that the benefits of QE (or QQE) in its present form might have run their course.</li> <li><strong>It is becoming increasingly clear to us that the level of yields at which credit expansion in Europe and Japan will pick up in earnest is probably negative, and substantially so. Therefore, the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates.</strong></li> <li>Until then, bank NIM compression will continue to drive elevated demand for dollar-denominated assets, which manifests itself in suppressed UST term premia and wide cross-currency bases.</li> <li>What this means for the US is that policy rates and longer bond yields are unlikely to go up until global growth accelerates materially. Until such time, it is critical for the Fed to continue to relent, allowing real yields to keep falling while breakevens rise and nominal yields remain roughly static.</li> <li>If the Fed were to turn hawkish, there is perhaps even less scope for long-end yields to rise as breakevens would likely collapse on policy error fears.</li> </ul> <p>Some of the troubling detail: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>QE as implemented in major economies since the crisis has operated through two shocks: a demand shock whereby real yields are forced lower through lower nominal yields and static – or even falling – breakevens, and a shock to inflation expectations, whereby real yields ultimately continue to fall but due to rising BEI and static to lower nominal yields. In the case of the Anglo-Saxon economies, the demand shock quickly gave way to the shock (higher) to inflation expectations and actually allowed nominal yields to rise, if fleetingly. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second shock, to inflation expectations, has thus far remained stubbornly elusive in Europe and more so in Japan, and ephemeral in the Anglo-Saxon economies. That said, this dynamic appears to have re-emerged in the US post Fed relent and has been an important driver of the recovery in risk assets and, more generally, the easing of financial conditions. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This week’s BoJ announcement disappointed, and as a result the yen appreciated sharply. This outcome does not bode well for the future efficacy of QE, at least while that is the primary policy tool in use. Breakevens have been drifting lower and real yields have been drifting higher since last summer. In other words, financial conditions in Japan are tightening, suggesting the need for more stimulus. However, the BoJ already holds a significant proportion of the assets that would be available for purchase, and the gains from additional QE activity – higher breakevens, lower real yields, and a weaker yen – are likely on the margin to be fleeting. It appears that the markets doubt the BoJ’s willingness or ability to carry on with larger and broader asset purchases, or worse yet they do not believe that such asset purchases will have their desired stimulative effect </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Further QE should be viewed as an experiment in real time, where the point of inquiry is the level of real or nominal yields at which credit will begin to expand more strongly with loan-to-deposit ratios increasing. <strong>What seems increasingly clear to us is that this level is likely at negative yields, and probably substantially so. If this is true, it would suggest to us that the equilibrium level of rates in the economy is probably negative. This in turn would strongly suggest a significant re-think to short-rate policy. In this case, central banks should move more strongly toward penalizing savings, rather than just the institutions that “house” those savings – the banks. This would mean allowing significantly negative retail deposit rates or perhaps even wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – one example being that while deposit rates penalize savings (the whole point), banks might also pay borrowers to buy houses via negative mortgage rates. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In short, the real central bank panic is about to be unleashed; who will suffer? Why everyone else. And should wealth taxes really be imminent, we foresee a lot of "boating incidents" in the immediate future.</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="135" height="90" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/yellen%20laugh_0.jpg?1462052969" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/deutsche-bank-unveils-next-step-qe-has-run-its-course-its-time-tax-wealth#comments Bond Central Banks Deutsche Bank Japan NIM recovery Yen Sun, 01 May 2016 13:38:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 530143 at http://www.zerohedge.com CSX Freight Train Derails In Washington D.C., 9 Cars Overturned, Hazardous Material Leaking http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/csx-freight-train-derails-washington-dc-9-cars-overturned-hazardous-material-leaking <p>A CSX freight train has derailed in Washington D.C.., near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station Sunday morning leaving several cars overturned and resulting in a leak of hazardous materials.</p> <p>Doug Buchannan, a spokesman for the D.C fire department, <a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/CSX-Train-Derails-Hazardous-Material-Leaking-377725691.html">said as many as nine cars have </a>derailed and at least three are leaking hazardous material. The incident happened at 6:40 a.m. Sunday. </p> <p>According to WTOP, Rhode Island Avenue was closed in both directions from 4th to 10th streets in Northeast as of 7:30 a.m.&nbsp; The Red Line’s Rhode Island Station is also closed. Metro said it would establish bus shuttle service between the NoMa and Brookland stations. No injuries were immediately reported.</p> <p><a href="http://wtop.com/dc/2016/05/csx-train-derails-in-northeast-d-c-possible-hazardous-leak/">D.C. Fire officials told WTOP </a>they do not know what kind of substance is leaking, <a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/CSX-Train-Derails-Hazardous-Material-Leaking-377725691.html">however News4’s Mark Segraves </a>reported multiple sources at the scene said at least one of the chemicals is sodium hydroxide. Also known as lye and caustic soda, the odorless chemical may generate substantial heat when dissolved in water, which may be sufficient to ignite combustible materials, according to the Center for Disease Control. </p> <p>The CDC said it can create eye and skin irritation and burns when exposed. It is also damaging to the respiratory system if the fumes are inhaled.</p> <p>According to a CSX statement, the train was traveling from Cumberland, Maryland to Hamlet, North Carolina, when it derailed near 9th Stree and Rhode Island Avenue. The train has three locomotives and 175 total cars, including 94 cars loaded with frieght and 81 empty cars.</p> <p>This is a developing story.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">As many as 10 CSX train cars overturned. 3 cars are leaking possible HazMat material</p> <p>— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) <a href="https://twitter.com/SegravesNBC4/status/726742495795752960">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">CSX TRAIN DERAILMENT - preparing to shut down Rhode Island Ave in Area of - near tracks along / in area of Rhode Island Ave.</p> <p>— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) <a href="https://twitter.com/dcfireems/status/726730059411656704">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Red Line: Rhode Island Station is temporarily closed due to fire dept activity near the station. Bus shuttles being established.</p> <p>— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) <a href="https://twitter.com/Metrorailinfo/status/726735995677216768">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">ADVISORY: Rhode Island Ave, NE, CLOSED btwn 10th and 4th Streets, fire dept. activity <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DCtraffic?src=hash">#DCtraffic</a> <a href="https://t.co/8Z0MlIC7RJ">pic.twitter.com/8Z0MlIC7RJ</a></p> <p>— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) <a href="https://twitter.com/WTOPtraffic/status/726731346085830656">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/fox5dc">@fox5dc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/dcfireems">@dcfireems</a>-just outside my window. <a href="https://t.co/W5yVoRNC6w">pic.twitter.com/W5yVoRNC6w</a></p> <p>— Michael Osorio (@osoriom79) <a href="https://twitter.com/osoriom79/status/726733324102852608">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Why did a train just derail outside my apartment <a href="https://t.co/8fa4ys9YUh">pic.twitter.com/8fa4ys9YUh</a></p> <p>— Madison Johnson (@MadisonMJohnson) <a href="https://twitter.com/MadisonMJohnson/status/726725240932438016">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://t.co/1J9WOssdYG">pic.twitter.com/1J9WOssdYG</a></p> <p>— Madison Johnson (@MadisonMJohnson) <a href="https://twitter.com/MadisonMJohnson/status/726736339610251267">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">CSX train derails in Northeast DC at around 7am. Details on <a href="https://twitter.com/WTOP">@WTOP</a> and <a href="https://t.co/O0ZW4KR4wU">https://t.co/O0ZW4KR4wU</a> <a href="https://t.co/bTRkFGLMJz">pic.twitter.com/bTRkFGLMJz</a></p> <p>— Dennis J. Foley (@DJFoleyWTOP) <a href="https://twitter.com/DJFoleyWTOP/status/726736783187259393">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://t.co/kJYfpn7X6E">pic.twitter.com/kJYfpn7X6E</a></p> <p>— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) <a href="https://twitter.com/dcfireems/status/726748775012700161">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://t.co/c1HLfEb3KP">pic.twitter.com/c1HLfEb3KP</a></p> <p>— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) <a href="https://twitter.com/dcfireems/status/726749558647209984">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Several CSX train cars derailed this morning. Rhode Island Ave <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Metrorail?src=hash">#Metrorail</a> station closed.Bus shuttles being set up <a href="https://t.co/odPYfYfBhS">pic.twitter.com/odPYfYfBhS</a></p> <p>— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) <a href="https://twitter.com/fox5dc/status/726736916289347585">May 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="652" height="367" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/overturned%20train.jpg?1462107566" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/csx-freight-train-derails-washington-dc-9-cars-overturned-hazardous-material-leaking#comments Twitter Twitter Washington D.C. Sun, 01 May 2016 12:59:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 530171 at http://www.zerohedge.com Is The USA Really Just Another Greece? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/usa-really-just-another-greece <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/gold-guide/" rel="attachment wp-att-9769"><img src="https://secularinvestor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/USA.jpg" alt="USA" width="516" height="369" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9769" /></a></p> <p>The non-European countries always enjoy themselves by pointing fingers at the weaker European countries as the main culprits of the current economic crisis and Greece, Spain and Portugal are always being targeted as ‘worrisome’ countries. Even China, which is still experiencing a growth rate of 6% is being used as a reason for the weak world economy. However, the situation of the US economy isn’t that great at all.</p> <p>In fact, the Federal Reserve has practically no other choice but to keep the interest rates at a very low level, as a following a path with increasing interest rates would be disastrous for the country’s budget. A lot of people seem to be forgetting the <a href="http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/forecast">government/GDP ratio</a> of the USA has increased to in excess of 100% and that already is quite an alarming level. Whereas the ratio was just 64% right before the crisis, the net debt has just exploded under the reign of the current president.</p> <p><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/gold-guide/" rel="attachment wp-att-111731"><img src="https://secularinvestor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/usa-debt-gdp.jpg" alt="USA Debt GDP" width="599" height="278" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-111731" /></a></p> <p>Source: tradingeconomics</p> <p>But what would this result in, if the Federal Reserve would indeed continue to increase the interest rates? Well, the impact would be devastating as a higher benchmark rate would also force the USA to pay a higher interest rate on its government debt, and every 1% increase of the cost of debt results in an additional deficit of $180B per year. David Wessel, a director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy has used an <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Events/2016/03/21-next-recession/Wessel-recession-slides.pdf?la=en">interesting chart</a>. Even though the starting point is showing a flaw (the official government debt/GDP ratio is already 100%), the government debt will only increase.</p> <p><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/gold-guide/" rel="attachment wp-att-111733"><img src="https://secularinvestor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/usa-interest-1.jpg" alt="USA Interest" width="599" height="361" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-111733" /></a></p> <p>Source: David Wessel presentation</p> <p>You can clearly see the total debt/GDP ratio will increase to 160% within two decades and if we adjust the starting point of the calculation to make sure the current ratio is being used, the net debt/GDP ratio will reach 200% within 25 years from now. Assuming a GDP growth rate of 1.5% in the next 20 years, this would result in a total debt of 50 trillion dollar. That’s right, 50,000 billion dollar. If we would assume the USA will have 375 million inhabitants by then, the total government debt will be in excess of $130,000 per person (so roughly half a million dollar for a family of four). Throw in the traditional household debt, and you’ll understand why we aren’t too optimistic about the future!</p> <p>And oh, yes, if the long-term interest rate would be 3%, the $50T in debt would cost you, the taxpayer, $1.5T per year to service it. Again, using 375M citizens and 275M tax payers, the interest expense per tax payer would be $500/month, and that means not a single additional dollar would/could be spent on anything else!</p> <p><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/gold-guide/" rel="attachment wp-att-111734"><img src="https://secularinvestor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/usa-10y-yield.jpg" alt="USA 10Y yield" width="599" height="417" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-111734" /></a></p> <p>Source: brookings.edu</p> <p>There’s only one solution for this, and that’s a prolonged period of low interest rates, and that’s exactly what the previous chairman of the Federal Reserve <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/ben-bernanke/posts/2016/03/24-rate-pegs">has been talking about</a>. Bernanke claims this probably is the easiest and most clean approach to try to pull one last trick before the music stops.</p> <p>But let’s face it, there is no way out of this. The Fed is almost out of ammunition and the only ace up its sleeve (apart from helicopter money) is to try to reduce the longer term interest rates resulting in a vicious circle of decreasing interest rates. And ask Japan how that worked out for them...</p> <p><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/gold-guide/">&gt;&gt;&gt; Hard assets will become more popular. Read our Guide to Gold FOR FREE!</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>Secular Investor offers a fresh look at investing. We analyze long lasting cycles, coupled with a collection of strategic investments and concrete tips for different types of assets. The methods and strategies are transformed into the&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/gold-silver/">Gold &amp; Silver Report</a></strong>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://secularinvestor.com/commodities">Commodity Report</a></strong>.<br /></em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Follow us on&nbsp;<strong>Facebook&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SecularInvestor">@SecularInvestor</a>&nbsp;[NEW]</strong>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<strong>Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/SecularInvest">@SecularInvest</a></strong></p></blockquote> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="516" height="369" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user208796/imageroot/USA.jpg?1462106683" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-01/usa-really-just-another-greece#comments China Federal Reserve Greece Japan Monetary Policy Portugal Twitter Twitter Sun, 01 May 2016 12:46:15 +0000 Secular Investor 530170 at http://www.zerohedge.com US-Created System In Iraq Is Collapsing: Protesters Storm Parliament, State of Emergency Declared - Live Webcast http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/us-created-system-iraq-collapsing-protesters-storm-parliament-state-emergency-declar <p>Less than two years ago, the US set up another puppet government in the mid-east this time in the state of Iraq when following substantial US pressure, on August 14, 2014 then prime minister al-Maliki agreed to stepped down and be replaced with Haider al-Abadi. Today, the regime is in chaos and the system set up in Iraq by the US is collapsing when protesters loyal to popular Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr breached the heavily fortified Green Zone, home to government buildings and foreign embassies, and stormed the Iraqi parliament forcing MPs to flee and unleashing a state of emergency for all of Baghdad. </p> <p>As can be seen in the photo (and live webcast below), hundreds of demonstrators occupied the country's parliament. Video from inside the building showed jubilant crowds waving Iraqi flags and shouting "peaceful, peaceful." Supporters of Sadr, whose fighters once controlled swaths of Baghdad and helped defend the capital from ISIS, have been demonstrating for weeks at the gates of the Green Zone, responding to their leader's call to pressure the government to reform. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/storming%20iraq.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/storming%20iraq_0.jpg" width="502" height="377" /></a></p> <p>Cited by NBC, Brig. Gen. Saad Mann, a spokesman for the Iraqi military, said that Iraq security authorities have declared a state of emergency in Baghdad. "All gates that lead to Baghdad are closed. No one is allowed to enter into Baghdad, only those who want to leave Baghdad can do so." "There is no evacuation for the American staff inside the American embassy," he said. A U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the American Embassy in Baghdad was not being evacuated, contrary to local reports. We expect that should the pro-US government fall, this will promptly change.</p> <p>Security forces responsible for guarding the entrance to the area were not able to stop the demonstrators without opening fire so they let them in, the security source told NBC News. As a result, the protest is mostly peaceful for now even thought Saturday was the first time the protesters breached the compound's walls. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Iraqis are checking into the Council of Representatives on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Facebook?src=hash">#Facebook</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Baghdad?src=hash">#Baghdad</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iraq?src=hash">#Iraq</a> <a href="https://t.co/z926EEA28O">pic.twitter.com/z926EEA28O</a></p> <p>— Hayder Al-Shakeri (@HayderSH) <a href="https://twitter.com/HayderSH/status/726399578581393409">April 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>According to Reuters, the protesters, who had gathered outside the heavily fortified district housing government buildings and many foreign embassies, crossed a bridge over the Tigris River chanting: "The cowards ran away!" in apparent reference to departing lawmakers. </p> <p>There were no reports of clashes with security forces. But an army special forces unit was dispatched with armored vehicles to protect sensitive sites, two security officials said. No curfew has been imposed, they said.</p> <p>Moments before the Green Zone breach, Sadr seemed to offer an ultimatum: "<strong>Either corrupt (officials) and quotas remain or the entire government will be brought down and no one will be exempt from that.</strong>" In a televised speech from the holy city of Najaf announcing a two-month withdrawal from public life, Sadr said he was "waiting for the great popular uprising and the major revolution to stop the march of the corrupt." </p> <p>Abadi has warned that delays to overhauling the cabinet could hamper the war against Islamic State, which controls vast swathes of northern and western Iraq. Considering the massive boost in US "troops on the ground" in Iraq in recent months, surely the US can take care of this perpetual "scapegoat" on its own.</p> <p>Inside parliament hundreds of protesters danced, waved Iraqi flags and chanted pro-Sadr slogans. Some appeared to be breaking furniture. Local television showed them chanting and taking pictures of themselves inside the main chamber where moments earlier lawmakers had met. </p> <p>Parliament failed to reach quorum on Saturday afternoon to complete voting on a cabinet reshuffle first urged by Abadi in February. A handful of ministers were approved on Tuesday despite disruptions by dissenting lawmakers. </p> <p>Political parties have resisted Abadi's efforts to replace some ministers - chosen to balance Iraq's divisions along party, ethnic and sectarian lines - with technocrats in a bid to combat corruption.</p> <p>A live webcast form the scene of the Iraqi parliament can be seen after the jump.</p> <p><a href="http://rudaw.net/english/onair/tv/live"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/iraq%20storming_1_0.jpg" width="501" height="283" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The latest update: protesters have now stormed Iraqi cabinet offices, effectively paralyzing the government.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video showing protestors inside the Council of Ministers. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Baghdad?src=hash">#Baghdad</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iraq?src=hash">#Iraq</a> <a href="https://t.co/DmararsJX0">https://t.co/DmararsJX0</a></p> <p>— Hayder Al-Shakeri (@HayderSH) <a href="https://twitter.com/HayderSH/status/726428843364483073">April 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>As night fell, demonstrators set up tents at a nearby parade ground under triumphal arches made from crossed swords held by hands modelled on those of Saddam Hussein.</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="926" height="522" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/iraq%20storming.jpg?1462025997" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/us-created-system-iraq-collapsing-protesters-storm-parliament-state-emergency-declar#comments Corruption Iraq NBC Reuters Twitter Twitter Sun, 01 May 2016 03:19:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 530113 at http://www.zerohedge.com MaY DaY MaY DaY MaY DaY…2016 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/may-day-may-day-may-day%E2%80%A62016 <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t8EMx7Y16Vo?rel=0" width="1280" height="720" frameborder="0"></iframe><br /> . </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/26660756386/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="HEROES OF MAY DAY"><img src="https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1468/26660756386_e32519467d_b.jpg" alt="HEROES OF MAY DAY" width="1024" height="625" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/26740410255/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="FORWARD NWO"><img src="https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1549/26740410255_238d226fdf_b.jpg" alt="FORWARD NWO" width="695" height="1024" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/16094733636/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="DEAR LEADER"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7467/16094733636_69b06889dd_b.jpg" alt="DEAR LEADER" width="1024" height="683" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/8124649378/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="THE GREAT PRINTER"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8472/8124649378_0294116c47_b.jpg" alt="THE GREAT PRINTER" width="819" height="1024" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/8124702044/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="THE DEBT RIDDEN CITY"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8183/8124702044_9837ea64ff_b.jpg" alt="THE DEBT RIDDEN CITY" width="1024" height="602" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/8206513108/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="HAPPY THANKSGIVING CP"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8066/8206513108_2281b50a9b_b.jpg" alt="HAPPY THANKSGIVING CP" width="1000" height="871" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/12968746705/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="YES WE CRIMEA"><img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2743/12968746705_361bc0bafc_b.jpg" alt="YES WE CRIMEA" width="680" height="1024" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/15843439192/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="THE PEOPLE'S KEYNES"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8597/15843439192_b48041db5d_b.jpg" alt="THE PEOPLE'S KEYNES" width="1024" height="837" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/7943185838/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="CENTRAL PLANNING MAGAZINE"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8461/7943185838_e30507416a_b.jpg" alt="CENTRAL PLANNING MAGAZINE" width="771" height="1024" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/14994525025/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="FREEDOM LIES 2.0"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3865/14994525025_f38572142a_b.jpg" alt="FREEDOM LIES 2.0" width="1024" height="739" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/8418364961/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="POMOSTROIKA"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8085/8418364961_9dc53b1fd5_b.jpg" alt="POMOSTROIKA" width="1024" height="645" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script><p> .<br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/13047692144/in/album-72157629939723809/" title="PUTTNIK"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3224/13047692144_48e96327fb_b.jpg" alt="PUTTNIK" width="663" height="1024" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/may-day-may-day-may-day%E2%80%A62016#comments Sun, 01 May 2016 02:27:49 +0000 williambanzai7 530150 at http://www.zerohedge.com State-Sanctioned Theft - The Failed War On Drugs And Cops' Abuse Of Civil Forfeiture http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/state-sanctioned-theft-failed-war-drugs-and-cops-abuse-civil-forfeiture <p><a href="http://www.copblock.org/158413/drug-war-is-state-sanctioned-theft/"><em>Submitted by Lorelei McFly via CopBlock.org,</em></a></p> <p><strong>One of the biggest lies our government tells us is that it wages the War on Drugs to keep us safe.</strong> More than 40 years after it was started, we know that it has been a <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/13/ap-impact-years-trillion-war-drugs-failed-meet-goals.html" target="_blank">colossally-expensive epic failure </a>on its stated goals, was intentionally designed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/3/22/11278760/war-on-drugs-racism-nixon" target="_blank">to further disenfranchise marginalized groups</a>, and <strong>has become a <a href="https://fee.org/articles/the-drug-wars-assault-on-liberty/">full-fledged assault on our civil liberties.</a></strong></p> <p>Even with all the billions of tax dollars it spends each year, and all the flashy photo ops of seized drugs stacked on tables, the Drug Enforcement Agency only stops 1% of the illegal drug supply from being distributed in America, according to the video below. <strong>Not only is law enforcement pathetically inept at stemming the flow of drugs, they are active participants in the illicit drug trade at both the federal and local level:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://world.time.com/2014/01/14/dea-boosted-mexican-drug-cartel/" target="_blank">Documents Show CIA complicity in the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s</a></li> <li><a href="http://world.time.com/2014/01/14/dea-boosted-mexican-drug-cartel/" target="_blank">DEA&rsquo;s 12-year business arrangement with El Chapo&rsquo;s Sinaloa drug cartel</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2015/07/10/florida-cops-laundered-millions-for-drug-cartels-failed-to-make-a-single-arrest/#411a74f6715e" target="_blank">Florida Cops Laundered Millions For Drug Cartels, Failed To Make A Single Arrest</a></li> <li><a href="http://abc11.com/news/13-current-and-former-law-enforcement-officers-indicted/688835/" target="_blank">13 Current and Former North Carolina and Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Indicted for Drug Smuggling</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.hightimes.com/read/california-drug-cop-busted-smuggling-2-million-worth-marijuana" target="_blank">California Drug Cop Busted Smuggling $2 Million Worth of Marijuana</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wfmz.com/news/poconos-coal-region/Local/esu-police-officer-pleads-guilty-to-drug-charges/3878698" target="_blank">Pennsylvania Police Officer Who Obtained Hundreds of Narcotic Pills from 19 Different Doctors Given Plea Deal for Probation</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wibc.com/news/local-news/former-columbus-police-officer-accused-stealing-drugs-evidence-room" target="_blank">Narcotics Unit Supervisor Charged with Stealing Drugs from Evidence Room in Ohio</a></li> </ul> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wJUXLqNHCaI" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>That drug prohibition causes far more harm than it supposedly prevents would not even be a question of debate were it not for the fact that so many people&rsquo;s livelihoods now depend on waging it. <u><em><strong>The ugly unspoken truth is that the War on Drugs is a massive jobs and funding program for law enforcement that is operated under the guise of saving people from the evils of substance abuse.</strong></em></u></p> <h2><u>State-Sanctioned Theft</u></h2> <p><strong>Everything we do is suspect, and everything we own is subject to seizure&mdash; take cash for an example. </strong>The saying used to be that &ldquo;cash is king,&rsquo; however these days it&rsquo;s &ldquo;cash is criminal&rdquo; since cash transactions and even withdrawing or carrying &ldquo;large amounts,&rdquo; basically more than a few dollars, of your own money is now considered an indication of criminal activity (<a href="http://www.copblock.org/151335/rapper-withdraws-200k-from-bank-and-is-met-by-police/" target="_blank">see here</a>). &nbsp;<a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/5103">Section 31 U.S.C. 5103</a> states, &ldquo;United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues,&rdquo; so why does the government that prints that same money have such a problem with its citizens using it?</p> <h3><u>How Cash Became Criminal</u></h3> <p><strong>Cash transactions are anonymous, so it is assumed that people who make cash transactions are trying to avoid leaving records of their activities.</strong> And if any aspect of your life is not a traceable, verifiable open book for the government, obviously you must be hiding something.&nbsp; Never mind that the case is often that people simply find using cash allows them to <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2014/01/all-cash-diet-changed-my-life/" target="_blank">manage their finances more responsibly</a> without risking overdraft or interest fees, or are making a purchase that requires cash, such as buying a used car, or that they simply do not have access to bank accounts due to low income or poor credit history.</p> <p>According to the<a href="https://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/"> FDIC,</a> &ldquo;7.7 percent (1 in 13) of households in the United States were unbanked in 2013. This proportion represented approximately 16.7 million adults.&rdquo; &nbsp;20.0 percent of U.S. households, approximately 50.9 million adults, were underbanked in 2013, &ldquo;meaning that they had a bank account but also used alternative financial services (AFS) outside of the banking system,&rdquo; such as money orders, check cashing, remittances, payday loans, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own services, pawn shops, or auto title loans.</p> <p>The FDIC report also states &ldquo;In many cases, financial life events, such as job loss, significant income loss or a new job, appear to be important reasons why households leave or enter the banking system.&rdquo; The documentary <em><a href="http://www.spentmovie.com/" target="_blank">Spent: Looking for Change,</a></em> highlights the struggles of the unbanked and underbanked using the personal stories of several individuals.</p> <p><strong>While using cash out of preference or necessity is a perfectly legal activity, it is politically expedient for law enforcement agencies to pretend otherwise because they have incentives to do so.</strong> <a href="https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police-practices/asset-forfeiture-abuse">Civil asset forfeiture</a> allows law enforcement agencies to take money, cars, houses, and other property that they suspect of being purchased with the proceeds from criminal activity or of being used in connection with criminal activity. The agencies then either keep or sell the property and use it or the proceeds for their own purposes. It&rsquo;s such a huge cash cow for law enforcement that in 2014, the amount federal agencies netted through civil asset forfeiture, $5 billion, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/">exceeded the amount Americans lost through burglaries</a>, $3.5 billion. The actual amount seized is even higher than this, since this figure does not include the amounts taken by state and local law enforcement agencies.</p> <p>Taking money from bad guys, sounds great, right? Oh, there&rsquo;s a catch.&nbsp; <strong>Cops don&rsquo;t have to actually prove you committed any crime.</strong> They don&rsquo;t even have to charge you with one. You, on the other hand, need to go to court and jump through whatever hoops the government requires to prove your innocence and get your property back. See <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/25/how-oklahoma-cops-took-53000-from-a-burmese-christian-band-a-church-in-omaha-and-an-orphanage-in-thailand/">How police took $53,000 from a Christian band, an orphanage and a church</a> for a recent example of how police use civil forfeiture to knowingly steal from innocent citizens who have no involvement in the drug trade.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3kEpZWGgJks" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Cops and prosecutors also intimidate people into giving up their property by threatening to pursue criminal charges if they try get it back</strong>.From <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/08/12/taken" target="_blank">Taken</a>, New Yorker Magazine&rsquo;s investigation into one Texas town&rsquo;s massively corrupt civil asset forfeiture program:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The eye-opening event was pulling those files,&rdquo; Guillory told me. One of the first cases that caught his attention was titled State of Texas vs. One Gold Crucifix.<strong> The police had confiscated a simple gold cross that a woman wore around her neck after pulling her over for a minor traffic violation. No contraband was reported, no criminal charges were filed, and no traffic ticket was issued.</strong> That&rsquo;s how it went in dozens more cases involving cash, cars, and jewelry. A number of files contained slips of paper of a sort he&rsquo;d never seen before. These were roadside property waivers, improvised by the district attorney, which threatened criminal charges unless drivers agreed to hand over valuables.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Law enforcement agencies say this is a vital tactic for battling drug kingpins and vast criminal enterprises</strong>, but the typical value of property seized tends to be low, victimizing citizens who usually have the least resources, and the least ability to fight back.</p> <p>The <a href="http://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit/introduction/" target="_blank">Institute for Justice</a>, an organization at the forefront of the battle against abusive forfeiture practices, &ldquo;was able to obtain property-level forfeiture data for 2012 from 10 states, allowing median property values to be calculated. In those states, <strong>the median value of forfeited property ranged from $451 in Minnesota to $2,048 in Utah,</strong> not much more than an American&rsquo;s average annual cell phone bill.&rdquo;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FBmEyw1CyJg" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Meanwhile what happens to the criminal masterminds who actually are involved in nefarious activities on a grand scale? They get a slap on the wrist</strong>. From the Rolling Stone article,<a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213" target="_blank">Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[Assistant Attorney General] Breuer this week signed off on a <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/10/news/companies/hsbc-money-laundering/" target="_blank">settlement deal </a>with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who&rsquo;s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a<a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/hsbc-to-pay-record-fine-to-settle-money-laundering-charges/" target="_blank">&ldquo;record&rdquo; financial settlement</a> of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about <a href="http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/13/Too-Big-to-Jail-HSBCs-Fine-Didnt-Fit-the-Crime.aspx#page1" target="_blank">five weeks of income</a> for the bank.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>The banks&rsquo; laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space.</strong></u> Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC&rsquo;s Mexican branches and &ldquo;deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The article continues:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Even more shocking, the Justice Department&rsquo;s response to learning about all of this was to do exactly the same thing that the HSBC executives did in the first place to get themselves in trouble &ndash; they took money to look the other way.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And not only did they sell out to drug dealers, they sold out cheap. You&rsquo;ll hear bragging this week by the Obama administration that they wrested a record penalty from HSBC, but it&rsquo;s a joke. Some of the penalties involved will literally make you laugh out loud. This is from Breuer&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/December/12-crm-1478.html" target="_blank">announcement</a>:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of the government&rsquo;s investigation, HSBC has . . . &ldquo;clawed back&rdquo; deferred compensation bonuses given to some of its most senior U.S. anti-money laundering and compliance officers, and agreed to partially defer bonus compensation for its most senior officials during the five-year period of the deferred prosecution agreement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><u><strong>Wow. So the executives who spent a decade laundering billions of dollars will have to partially defer their bonuses during the five-year deferred prosecution agreement? Are you fucking kidding me? That&rsquo;s the punishment? The government&rsquo;s negotiators couldn&rsquo;t hold firm on forcing HSBC officials to completely wait to receive their ill-gotten bonuses? They had to settle on making them &ldquo;partially&rdquo; wait? Every honest prosecutor in America has to be puking his guts out at such bargaining tactics. What was the Justice Department&rsquo;s opening offer &ndash; asking executives to restrict their Caribbean vacation time to nine weeks a year?</strong></u></em></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>However there is some good news!</strong></span> Last year <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2015/07/02/civil-forfeiture-now-requires-a-criminal-conviction-in-montana-and-new-mexico/#2e760fdc6a48" target="_blank">Montana and New Mexico passed reform measures</a> that require a criminal conviction before assets can be stolen by state agents, and <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2016/04/20/nebraska-just-abolished-civil-forfeiture-now-requires-a-criminal-conviction-to-take-property/#16d9fb36159e" target="_blank">Nebraska</a> just did, too.&nbsp; Of course, several cities in New Mexico refuse to abide by the law and<a href="http://ij.org/case/new-mexico-forfeiture/" target="_blank">are now being sued by the Institute for Justice</a> as a result, but it&rsquo;s still progress, right? Also, the Department of Justice announced last year that it was <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/23/the-feds-just-shut-down-a-huge-program-that-lets-cops-take-your-stuff-and-keep-it/">drastically scaling back its equitable-sharing program</a>, which state and local agencies have used to undermine local ordinances restricting forfeiture activities. Well, the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/01/20/how-much-civil-asset-forfeiture-will-holders-new-policy-actually-prevent/">impact wasn&rsquo;t really as big</a> as they first made it out to be, and that doesn&rsquo;t matter anyway because DOJ already <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/28/the-feds-have-resumed-a-controversial-program-that-lets-cops-take-stuff-and-keep-it/">reinstated the program last month</a>.</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="664" height="350" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160430_drugwar.jpg?1462049601" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/state-sanctioned-theft-failed-war-drugs-and-cops-abuse-civil-forfeiture#comments Crack Cocaine Department of Justice Federal Reserve Mexico Obama Administration Ohio Sun, 01 May 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530140 at http://www.zerohedge.com