en Trump Bars Breitbart From Alabama Rally As Feud With Bannon Escalates <p>Apparently, this is what Steve Bannon meant when he swore he would never turn on his old boss during a series of interviews he gave after leaving the West Wing.</p> <p><strong>The simmering feud between Breitbart and President Donald Trump intensified on Friday as the Trump communications team barred a Breitbart reporter from the press pool during a Trump rally in Alabama, where the president was campaigning for Luther Strange (aka &quot;Big L&quot;) - his pick to permanently fill the Alabama senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.</strong></p> <p>Trump announced his support for Strange weeks ago, eliciting howls of outrage from Bannon and Breitbart, who have accused Strange of being a &ldquo;swamp creature&rdquo; and blasted him for his association with former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned earlier this year following a widely publicized sex scandal. Strange served as attorney general of Alabama (Sessions&rsquo; old job) under Bentley, and has been working with Trump for months after being appointed by Bentley to temporarily fill Sessions&#39; old seat.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">And Breitbart is denied entry into Trump-Strange rally <a href="">#alpolitics</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Jeff Poor (@jeff_poor) <a href="">September 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>But for better or worse, Strange is Trump&#39;s man - for now, at least - and the president showered him with praise during the rally. But while cycling through his greatest hits (everything from the second amendment, to Hillary-bashing, to his promised border wall), he found time to slip in a subtle dig at Bannon, joking that he had &quot;fired&quot; certain former staffers for disloyalty. <strong>Bannon and Breitbart have consistently supported&nbsp; Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore, who will face off against Strange in Tuesday&#39;s crucial Republican runoff primary.</strong></p> <p>Anyone who has closely followed the many staffing changes at the White House will, of course, remember that Bannon and the White House communications department have offered conflicting accounts of the terms of his departure, with Bannon insisting that he left voluntarily, while the communications staff have suggested that he was fired.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" /></a></p> <p>A similar ambiguity exists surrounding the terms of Bannon loyalist and former Breitbart employee Sebastian Gorka&#39;s departure, who, as luck would have it, appeared on Fox Business just minutes before Trump took the stage to slam the president over his support for Strange.</p> <p>In a brief segment, Gorka criticized Strange for his association with Bentley and claimed that Moore was the true &ldquo;MAGA&rdquo; candidate.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Of course, when Bannon &ndash; who is back running Breitbart &ndash; promised that he wouldn&rsquo;t use the website as a cudgel against Trump, he did so with the caveat that Breitbart would hold the administration accountable should it abandon the nationalist, populist agenda that Trump promised the American people during the campaign.</p> <p><strong>To wit, Breitbart has become increasingly frustrated with Trump&rsquo;s perceived abdication of his nationalist agenda</strong> by sending more troops to Afghanistan (after promising to bring troops home) and, more intolerably, his decision to allow DACA to be preserved in law by striking a deal with &ldquo;Chuck and Nancy.&rdquo;</p> <p>And now it&rsquo;s decided to turn its guns on Trump, publishing now fewer than hald a dozen anti-Strange or anti-Trump headlines during the Trump rally last night.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">More than a half dozen anti-Trump headlines running on Breitbart tonight</p> <p>&mdash; Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) <a href="">September 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 805px;" /></a></p> <p>* * *</p> <p>And now, <a href="">Axios </a>is reporting tha<strong>t Steve Bannon has been confirmed to headline a Roy Moore rally in Alabama Sunday night, alongside Phil Robertson of the popular show &ldquo;Duck Dynasty.&rdquo;</strong> Axios, which noted that Strange is also the pick of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a perennial Bannon foe, explained that &ldquo;for Bannon to make a rare public appearance in such close proximity to Trump shows how invested he is in the race specifically, and attacking McConnell more generally.&rdquo; But in attacking McConnell, in this instance, he is also striking at Trump.</p> <p>In keeping with his promise to always support Trump against the establishment forces that Bannon says are trying to co-opt the Trump presidency, Axios reported that the Bannon camp is trying to spin the attacks against Strange as an indirect way of &ldquo;supporting&rdquo; Trump.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 299px;" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Steve is coming to Alabama to support President Trump against the Washington establishment and Mitch McConnell. <strong>Steve views Judge Moore as a fierce advocate of Trump and the values he campaigned on.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>To be sure, Breitbart&rsquo;s strategy may be working. Trump appeared to admit during the rally last night that his Strange endorsement may have been a mistake, and that he would support Moore if he wins.</p> <p>While the crowd at Friday&rsquo;s rally cheered mightily for Trump, the cheers for his chosen candidate were less enthusiastic. As of Saturday afternoon, Moore leads Strange by nearly 9 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics <a href="">polling average.</a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 127px;" /></a></p> <p>Whoever wins Tuesday&rsquo;s primary has a virtual lock on the senate seat. And as the race draws closer, we expect to hear more from Trump. But will Breitbart succeed in convincing him to change his endorsement?</p> <p>Given Trump&rsquo;s distaste for &ldquo;losers&rdquo;, <u><strong>we imagine it&rsquo;s not out of the question.&nbsp; </strong></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="611" height="397" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Alabama Senate Alabama Supreme Court Alt-right Breitbart News Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Fox Business headlines Jeff Sessions Luther Strange Politics of the United States Sebastian Gorka Senate Steve Bannon Twitter Twitter United States White House White House Sun, 24 Sep 2017 01:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604054 at America's 'Fake' Stability & Boobs On Credit <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,</em></a></p> <p><em><strong>Do you ever hear something so startlingly mind numbingly ridiculous you realize it must be a sign things have gotten so fucked up something has got to give?</strong></em></p> <p>As I was driving to work yesterday morning on the Schuylkill Expressway a commercial comes on the radio from a plastic surgeon advertising for anyone looking for a better set of boobs. I had never heard a plastic surgeon commercial before, so I thought that was unusual. But, that wasn&rsquo;t the best part. <strong>This plastic surgeon was offering no money down 18 month interest free financing on your new boobs.</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="400" src="" width="500" /></p> <p><strong>I wonder if they are moving boobs with subprime debt the same way the auto companies have used subprime debt to move cars.</strong> Of course, when a deadbeat defaults on an auto loan the car is easily repossessed. What happens when a bimbo defaults on her boob loan? How narrow minded of me.</p> <p>What happens when some dude who wants to be a bimbo defaults on his/her loan? <u><em><strong>I guess it was just a matter of time before breast enhancement met debt enhancement in this warped world of materialism, narcissism, financialization, and delusions.</strong></em></u></p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="250" src="" width="500" /></p> <p>Now that revolving credit has reached a new all-time high of $1 trillion and total consumer debt outstanding has exceeded it&rsquo;s 2008 peak at $12.8 trillion, the Fed has completed its job of helping the average American again in-debt themselves up to their eyeballs. <strong>This is considered a success story in this twisted, perverted, bizarro world we call America today.</strong> The solution to an epic debt induced global financial catastrophe caused by Federal Reserve easy money, Wall Street fraud, and Washington DC corruption has been to increase global debt by 50% since 2007, with virtually all of it created by central bankers and the governments they control.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter" src="" style="height: 334px; width: 500px;" /></p> <p><em><strong>In what demented Ivy League educated academic mind would piling $68 trillion more debt on the backs of taxpayers as a cure for a disease caused by the initial $149 trillion of debt be considered rational and sustainable?</strong></em> It&rsquo;s like having pancreatic cancer and trying to cure it with a self inflicted gunshot. And no one seems to care about or even notice the coming reset when this mass debt induced hysteria of delusion turns into the biggest financial collapse in the history of mankind.</p> <p><strong>This entire ponzi scheme edifice of debt is nothing but a confidence game. </strong>When people begin to realize they can&rsquo;t repay their own debts, start to understand their governments will never honor their debt based promises, and realize central bankers are nothing more than pretend wizards behind a curtain, the confidence will evaporate in an instant and a collapse which will make 2008/2009 look like a walk in the park will ensue. <strong>That&rsquo;s when civil and global war will engulf the world and teach people real lessons about the real world.</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter" src="" style="width: 501px; height: 241px;" /></p> <p><strong>The boobs on credit commercial I heard this week is just another example of Wall Street and their <a href=";linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=e86bf9eace3935c3e5371ceb477d6791&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936">Deep State</a> crony co-conspirators completing their scheme to financialize every aspect of our lives and entrap us in chains of debt, beholden to these modern day Wall Street slave owners.</strong> When you see the record number of retail bankruptcies and store closings happening when GDP is supposedly rising by 3% and witness with your own two eyes the number of vacant storefronts and restaurants across our great land of materialism, you might wonder why revolving credit card debt is at a new all-time high.</p> <p>The answer is <strong>Wall Street has successfully financialized virtually every aspect of our day to day lives. </strong>Consumer and taxpayer transactions which required cash or check ten years ago can now be paid with a credit card. You can pay your IRS bill with a credit card. You can pay your real estate taxes with a credit card. You can pay your utilities with a credit card. You can pay your school tuition with a credit card. You can pay your rent with a credit card. You can &ldquo;buy&rdquo; furniture and appliances without paying for seven years. And guess what? That&rsquo;s what millions of average Americans are doing. In addition, they are driving &ldquo;rented&rdquo; $35,000 automobiles on seven year nothing down payment plans.</p> <p><u><strong>This massive debt induced fraud of a recovery gives the appearance of normalcy and stability</strong></u>. The stock market is at all-time highs is used as the narrative of central banker success. We&rsquo;ve experienced extremely low volatility as the central bankers around the world have coordinated their money printing/debt creating schemes to purposely elevate financial markets to give the masses confidence that all is well. Anyone with critical thinking skills knows all is not well. The longer this fake stability is maintained the greater the collapse. <strong>Success breeds disregard for the possibility of catastrophe.</strong></p> <p>So you can call me the boy who cried wolf, but<strong> our Minsky Moment is approaching. </strong></p> <p><u><strong>Sometimes they do ring a bell at the top. </strong></u></p> <p><img class="aligncenter" src=",204,203,200_.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 462px;" /></p> <p><strong>In this case they are shaking fake boobs at the top.</strong></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>&ldquo;Stability leads to instability. The more stable things become and the longer things are stable, the more unstable they will be when the crisis hits.&rdquo;</em> &ndash; <a href=";linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=5ba8c1779210ae58d776773f0010fa58&amp;creativeASIN=0691159122"><strong>Hyman Minsky</strong></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="589" height="297" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Causes of the Great Recession Corruption Credit card Debt Economy Federal Reserve Finance Hyman Minsky Hyman Minsky Internal Revenue Service Ivy League Money Real estate recovery Subprime mortgage crisis Systemic risk US Federal Reserve Volatility Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604053 at Elon Musk Isn't Alone: Vladimir Putin Asks "How Long Before The Robots Eat Us" <p>Elon Musk isn&rsquo;t the only one whose afraid that advances in artificial intelligence will leads to something akin to the creation of Skynet.</p> <p><a href="">The Daily Mail </a>is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed reservations about artificial intelligence, even asking the head of Russia&#39;s largest tech firm &#39;how long do we have before the robots eat us&#39;?</p> <p>The Russian president was speaking to Arkady Volozh, chief of internet firm Yandex, during a tour of the company&#39;s Moscow headquarters, the Daily Mail reports. Volozh was discussing the &ldquo;potential&rdquo; of AI when he discovered that Putin has a dramatically different interpretation of what that might be.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 262px;" /></a></p> <p>According to state-funded Russian broadcaster <a href="">RT</a>, the question baffled Volozh. &nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I hope never&rdquo;, he replied after taking a pause to gather his thoughts. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not the first machine to be better than humans at something. An excavator digs better than we do with a shovel. But we don&rsquo;t get eaten by excavators. A car moves faster than we do&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But Putin seemed unconvinced. &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t think,&rdquo; he remarked.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Volozh acknowledged that it was true and scrambled back to his speech on AI&rsquo;s merits.</p> </blockquote> <p>Putin hasn&rsquo;t always harbored such a pessimistic view of AI. When asked earlier this month by a group of kids about who would rule the world in the future, Putin said it would be whatever country manages to perfect artificial intelligence.</p> <p>As <a href="">RT </a>points out, tech firms like Google and Facebook are developing new AI technology as an increasing number of online services rely on algorithms, including search engines, automated translation between languages, image enhancement and targeted advertising, an area that recently got Facebook into hot water when its self-reporting ad algos created a targeting category <a href="">using the keywords &quot;jew hater.&quot; </a></p> <p>Musk has repeatedly warned that AI could cause World War III. Unless the technology is properly regulated, he said, it represents a much bigger threat to the security of the US than North Korea.</p> <p>Of course, Musk has been criticized for his paranoid views by such tech luminaries as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said he was &ldquo;optimistic&rdquo; about AI&rsquo;s potential.</p> <p>Whatever happens with AI, hopefully it doesn&rsquo;t come to this.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="547" height="287" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> AI technology Arkady Volozh artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence Business Computing Economy of the United States Elon Musk Google Hyperloop Internet search engines Mark Zuckerberg North Korea Technology Transhumanists Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin White South African people Yandex Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604003 at U.S. B-1B Bombers Fly Just Off Coast Of North Korea: 4 Reasons Why This Time It's Different <p>Just before North Korea’s foreign minister was <a href="">due to address the United Nations</a>, the Pentagon announced that U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday, in a show of force which "demonstrated the range of military options available to President Donald Trump." <strong>The flight was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea that any U.S. fighter jet or bomber has flown in the 21st century</strong>, the <a href="">Pentagon added</a>. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="256" /><br /><em>B-1B Lancer prepares to take off from Andersen AFB, Guam, Sept. 23, 2017</em></p> <p>According to <a href="">Reuters</a>, the B-1B Lancer bombers came from Guam and the U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter escorts came from Okinawa, Japan. The Pentagon saod the operation showed the seriousness with which it took North Korea’s “reckless behavior.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#USAF</a> bombers, fighters fly in international airspace east of <a href="">#NorthKorea</a>, farthest north of the DMZ in 21st century <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) <a href="">September 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, calling North Korea’s weapons program “a grave threat" adding that “<strong>we are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.” </strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#PACOM</a> stands prepared to use our full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies if called upon to do so.</p> <p>— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) <a href="">September 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>The DMZ is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula near the 38th Parallel, separating North Korea from South Korea. It was created in 1953, following the armistice which ended the Korean War.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="278" /></a></p> <p>The patrols came after officials and experts said a small earthquake near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday was probably not man-made, easing fears Pyongyang had exploded another nuclear bomb just weeks after its last one. Reversing its original assessment, China’s Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor.</p> <p>While the US has flown similar sorties before, according to <a href="">The Aviationist</a>, the show of force is a bit more interesting than usual, for four reasons:</p> <ol> <li><strong>it is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)</strong> any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century;</li> <li>unlike all the previous ones, <strong>the latest sortie was flown at night</strong>, hence it was not a <a href="">show of force staged to take some cool photographs</a>;</li> <li><strong>no allied aircraft is known to have taken part in the mission </strong>at the time of writing, whereas most of the previous B-1 missions near the Korean Peninsula involved also ROKAF (Republic Of Korea Air Force) and/or JASDF (Japan’s Air Self Defense Force) jets;</li> <li><strong>it was a U.S. Air Force job: no U.S. Marine Corps F-35B stealth jet took part in the show of force this time,</strong> even though the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter has taken part in all the most recent formations sent over Korea to flex muscles against Pyongyang. The photo here below shows the “package” assembled for Sept. 14’s show of force.</li> </ol> <p><em><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="209" /></a><br />Munitions from a U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) </em><br /><em>bilateral mission explode at the Pilsung Range, South Korea, Sept 17, 2017.</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="655" height="336" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aftermath of the Korean War Aftermath of World War II China’s Earthquake Administration Donald Trump Donald Trump Guam Japan Japan’s Air Self Defense Force Korea Korea Air Force Korean Demilitarized Zone Korean War Military Military history by country Military history of Korea North Korea North Korea North Korea Pentagon Politics Proxy wars Republic of Korea Air Force Reuters South Korea state nuclear force Twitter Twitter U.S. Pacific Command United Nations United Nations General Assembly United States Air Force United States Marine Corps US Air Force Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:11:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 604052 at The Sermon On The Mount[ain Of Debt] <p><a href=""><em>Via Global Macro Monitor,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.&rdquo; &ndash; <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">President Herbert Hoover</a></strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>The Hoover administration thought there was no room and was ideologically opposed to fiscal expansion to stimulate aggregate demand. &nbsp;Furthermore, Keynesian theory was not even developed at the time. &nbsp;<a href=",_Interest_and_Money" rel="noopener" target="_blank">The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money</a>&nbsp; was not published until February 1936.</p> <p>A policy error, partially due out of &nbsp;ignorance, that led to the Great Depression, though it was monetary policy and the Fed&rsquo;s failure as &ldquo;lender of last resort&rdquo; that &ldquo;put the Great in the Great Depression.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&hellip;what happened is that [the Federal Reserve] followed policies which led to a decline in the quantity of money by a third. For every $100 in paper money, in deposits, in cash, in currency, in existence in 1929, by the time you got to 1933 there was only about $65, $66 left. And that extraordinary collapse in the banking system, with about a third of the banks failing from beginning to end, with millions of people having their savings essentially washed out, that decline was utterly unnecessary &nbsp;&ndash; <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Milton Friedman</a></strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Here is Ben Bernanke,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>The problem within the Fed was largely doctrinal: Fed officials appeared to subscribe to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon&rsquo;s infamous &lsquo;liquidationist&rsquo; thesis, that weeding out &ldquo;weak&rdquo; banks was a harsh but necessary prerequisite to the recovery of the banking system. Moreover, most of the failing banks were small banks (as opposed to what we would now call money-center banks) and not members of the Federal Reserve System. Thus the Fed saw no particular need to try to stem the panics. At the same time, the large banks &ndash; which would have intervened before the founding of the Fed &ndash; felt that protecting their smaller brethren was no longer their responsibility. Indeed, since the large banks felt confident that the Fed would protect them if necessary, the weeding out of small competitors was a positive good, from their point of view. &ndash; <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Ben Bernanke</a></em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">National Debt</span></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>06/29/1929 =&nbsp; 16,931,088,484.10 &nbsp; &nbsp;(16.8 % of GDP)</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>09/20/2017&nbsp;= &nbsp;20,179,769,858,967.22 &nbsp; &nbsp; (104.9 % of GDP)</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>Source: &nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">U.S. Treasury Department</a></em></p> <p><u><strong>How many generations can keep &ldquo;kicking the can down the road&rdquo;?</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 475px; height: 628px;" /></a></p> <p><em>Ernest Hemingway &ldquo;kicking the can the down the road&rdquo; in&nbsp;Sun Valley, Idaho.</em></p> <p>Have we finally bumped up against the upper bound of the debt limit? &nbsp; &ldquo;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">This Time Is Different</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Prepare for the &ldquo;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">clash of generations</a>.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>It has <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">already started</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="456" height="290" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Business Economy Federal Reserve Finance Great Depression Great Depression Herbert Hoover Hoover administration John Maynard Keynes Keynesian economics Lender of last resort Macroeconomics Milton Friedman Monetary Policy Monetary policy National Debt Presidency of Herbert Hoover recovery The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Treasury Department U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT US Federal Reserve Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604051 at "Japan Has No Illusions That Rates Will Ever Rise": Is This What The Endgame Looks Like <p><em>By Victor Shvets of Macquarie Capital</em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Japan Debt Mountain: does it matter?</strong></span></p> <p>For almost 25 years, Japan’s debt burden has been the poster child of what would happen to others if capital is misallocated, bubbles burst and then clearance and required reforms are either delayed or not implemented. Indeed, <strong>at more than 5x GDP, Japan is shouldering a greater debt burden than other key jurisdictions. </strong>It is also facing severe demographic challenges, while its labour market remains constrained and the state maintains a sway over the private sector. Since WW II, Japan has always been more statist than most other major economies, with Korea and China subsequently following Japan in developing a similar model. The conventional argument has been that Japan’s debt would ultimately crush its economy and severely crimp public sector spending, while the private sector would be unable to adjust, and hence lose competitiveness. Eventually, the private sector might lose confidence and stop repatriating cash and the country would then suffer from massive capital outflows.</p> <p>Not only were these dire projections wrong for decades, <strong>but as the rest of the world joined Japan in secular stagnation and unorthodox monetary policies, it is no longer perceived as an exception but rather as a pointer to the future. </strong>Japan’s success in navigating disruption, deep financialization and permanent overcapacity is now studied and imitated. While there are local nuances, Japan shows the way forward. <strong>QEs associated with the Fed were invented in Japan more than a decade earlier. </strong>The same applies to fiscal stimuli, collapsing velocity of money and strong disinflation. Whatever are the policies, Japan has already tried them. Japan is far more advanced in fully monetizing its debt by utilizing multiple asset classes, from bonds to equities. <strong>It also accepts that normalization is not feasible, and unlike the Fed, it has no illusions that rates could ever rise or that immigration and deep labour market reforms are either possible or </strong><strong>desirable.</strong> When the US is focusing on returning outdated factories, <strong>Japan is building for the future, when labour inputs would no longer be the key. </strong></p> <p>Although Japan’s cultural and labour market constraints reduce its ability to fully commercialize inventions, it has not prevented the country from maintaining its rating as the most complex economy in the world, while keeping leadership in patents and yielding above-average labour and multi-factor productivity. Japan’s stagnant domestic economy is overshadowed by its competitive externally-facing sectors that are becoming complementary rather than directly competing against China. Even financial repression that Japan practised for decades is becoming a global norm, nowhere more so than in Eurozone. <strong>We expect BoJ to quietly abandon its inflation targets while maintaining flexibility in asset acquisitions to keep cost of finance close to zero. </strong>This would be a recipe for continuing twilight for years to come, with debt burden neither derailing the economy nor financial markets, even as BoJ assets rise beyond 100% of GDP (~45%+ of JGBs).</p> <p>Assuming that Abenomics is dead and that there is neither desire nor capacity to lift inflationary outcomes, then it would be positive for ¥. Higher ¥ would erode Topix’s ROEs (corporate governance is unlikely to offset lower returns) but it should also highlight the strength of its globally competitive and thematic plays. In our global portfolios we currently have Yaskawa, Fanuc, Mitsubishi Electric, Nintendo, Nidec, Murata, Keyence, Tokyo Electron and Yamaha. Any further ¥ appreciation should also reduce pressure on Korea and China while extending EM reflationary cycle and its investment ‘goldilocks’.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Why is Debt Mountain not crushing Japan?</strong></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>“We know that advanced economies with stable governments that borrow in their own currency are capable of running up very high levels of debt without crisis.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; — Paul Krugman</p> <p>This quote by Paul Krugman neatly encapsulates the main reasons as to why Japan has not been crushed by ever-rising public sector debt. Japan is state with a high degree of credibility and it borrows almost exclusively in its own currency, with debt owned predominantly by its own citizens. Financial crisis is all about perception rather than reality.</p> <p>However, <strong>one issue that Krugman has not emphasized but which is increasingly important is the ability of central banks (CBs) to support and distort the governments’ cost of funds. </strong>Given that the CBs are not economic agents, their bids and bond acquisitions are not designed to discover appropriate pricing levels, but rather to support governments’ objectives (usually to simulate economies by lowering cost of capital). In the past, such aggressive interventionist policies were unique and infrequent events (accompanying wars or other major dislocations), but over the last two decades, they have become an increasingly acceptable tool in the governments’ armoury. Japan has been leading from the front for more than two decades, followed by the rest of the world after GFC.</p> <p>Thus, there are essentially four reasons as to why most bets against Japan failed on a consistent basis:</p> <ol> <li>Japan is a homogeneous society, with relatively egalitarian income and wealth distribution, and hence, pain has been shared fairly evenly, thus preserving economic and societal coherence.</li> <li>Japan maintained credibility by selectively boosting and adjusting national commitments to elderly and medical care while irregularly pushing up consumption tax. Although some of these measures were counter-productive on a longer-term basis, they have placated global markets.</li> <li>Japan borrows in its own currency and the bulk of JGB holders are Japanese residents (over 88%). This massively reduces the degree of external vulnerability.</li> <li>BoJ has been exceptionally aggressive in driving money supply up and cost of capital down. This aggressiveness coincided with the growing global disinflationary trend, which eroded bond yields and significantly reduced the proportion of the government spending that is spent financing interest commitments.</li> </ol> <p>As can be seen below, despite massive rise in the governments’ gross and net debt burden, the proportion of state spending that is dedicated to servicing interest has declined significantly over the last decade and is now below 5% of total expenditure.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="215" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="226" /></a></p> <p><strong>The extent to which BoJ has become the key to Japan’s perceived longer-term sustainability can be seen from the explosion of its balance sheet and how its asset base increased at a pace much faster than state requirements. </strong>BoJ has by now accumulated almost 45% of the entire JGB’s market (vs 10% only five years ago), and its balance sheet is rapidly closing on 100% of the country’s GDP (vs 37% G4 average). Also, BoJ is not just buying state paper but it has become actively involved in the corporate and ETF (equities) markets. BoJ already controls 75% of all of Japanese ETFs (although only 4% of overall equities) and as much as 15% of the Japanese corporate bonds.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="431" /></a></p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="218" /></p> <p>The public sector over the last two decades did not really have an option but to become far more aggressive in transferring excess debt from private sector and onto government books. While this private sector de-leveraging was largely complete by 2005, the combination of GFC as well as subsequent earthquake (2011), continued to suppress private sector desire for more aggressive spending. Private sector sectoral savings even today remain at ~6% of GDP, whilst velocity of money is at best only stabilizing.</p> <p><strong>If public sector did not step in, the country would have undergone a massive and uncontrolled deflationary bust. </strong>Instead, Japan had simply kept its nominal demand intact, despite the private sector sustaining losses (real estate and equities) of equivalent to 100% of Japan’s GDP in ‘90/91 (or ~US$5 trillion). For perspective, consider that the GFC caused initial contraction of only around 1/3 of the US GDP. In other words, bursting of an asset bubble in the ‘90s Japan was at least three times more powerful than the GFC’s impact.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="412" /></a></p> <p>The net outcome of aggressive public sector policies offsetting sluggish and deleveraging private sectors was a ‘tranquil autumn’ of a civilized relative decline.</p> <p><strong>The Japanese economy is today a fraction of its importance several decades ago. </strong>Whereas in the late ‘80s, Japan was responsible for ~10% of global merchandise exports, its share is now below 3.8%. In the same period, Germany’s share eased from 10%-11% in ‘80s to around 8%, while the US’s share is down from 12% to ~9% and France’s share is down from 5% in the ‘80s to ~3%. The same occurred to Japan’s share of global GDP (whether on a nominal or PPP basis). The growth rates have compressed massively<strong>, but the country managed to maintain its overall aggregate demand and per capita income intact</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="408" /></a></p> <p>Japan emerged from this traumatic experience, as land of no inflation (indeed mild deflation for most of the time) and steady demand <strong>funded by the fiscal stimulus and resilient private sector productivity.</strong></p> <p><strong>It has become a land where the central bank has been effectively cancelling national debt by acquiring more securities than the government needed to fund its deficits. </strong>While this poses many questions (such as ability of life and insurance companies to price their products, in the absence of a viable JGB market), it also implies that <strong>Japan is shifting closer to embracing far more extreme (but necessary) policies, such as minimum income guarantees and abandoning any further consumption taxes.</strong></p> <p>In the world where <strong>labour inputs are becoming increasingly less relevant and where robotics, automation, AI and social capital are likely to play an increasingly important role, even the traditional argument of a negative impact of demographics no longer dooms Japan to oblivion and collapse. </strong>It also implies that the conventional arguments in favour of large-scale increase in immigration is not only irrelevant but is likely to be faulty on both theoretical and practical grounds. It is likely that the current age of ‘declining return on humans and conventional capital’ will become far more pronounced over the next decade. It so happens that Japan is in the forefront of this evolution.</p> <p>It is highly unlikely that Japan would ever accept large-scale immigration (whether it applies to high or low skill labour). It is equally unlikely that the Japanese themselves would ever prefer to work and live in foreign jurisdictions. At the same time, the pace of human replacement (whether it is waiters in the restaurants or nurses in hospitals) is accelerating in Japan at a far more robust pace than elsewhere. The unique nature of Japan is also translating into sustainably high levels of private sector productivity while containing income and wealth inequalities. Although Japan is today more unequal than it was in&nbsp; late 1980s-early 1990s, it still remains one of the most egalitarian societies in the world.</p> <p><strong>While Japan is yet reluctant to accept the most radical of policies, it is far more advanced in fully monetizing its debt burden and unlike most other countries it no longer requires an ever accelerating pace of financialization (or addition of new debt-driven generations). </strong>The objective in Japan is to maintain per capita income rather than generating growth to accommodate a rising population and keeping society intact. The extent to which Japan would be able to achieve this objective would depend critically on Japanese corporates and its overall economy maintaining productivity gains.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><em>In part 2 tomorrow: "<strong>Global lessons from Japan - the future is Red"</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="513" height="347" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abenomics Abenomics artificial intelligence Bond Business Central Banks China Demographics Economic history of Japan Economics Economy Economy of the United States Eurozone Financial crisis of 2007–2008 Fiscal policy Government debt Insurance Companies Japan Krugman Macroeconomics Money Supply National Debt Paul Krugman Paul Krugman Real estate Reality Recession Stock market crashes US Federal Reserve Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:13:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 604062 at Drone Footage Shows Puerto Rico Devastation From The Air <p>Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage to Puerto Rico. Drone footage captured the scene in San Juan and Canóvanas on Sept. 21.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>As <a href="http://&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage to Puerto Rico. Drone footage captured the scene in San Juan and Canóvanas on Sept. 21.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;">we reported earlier, </a>flash flooding caused by the storm has prompted the NWS to warn that a dam in the northwestern part of the island is in danger of failing, prompting the government to scramble to evacuate the 70,000 residents of the river valley beneath the dam that is in danger of being completely submerged.</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="414" height="229" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Atlantic hurricane season Canóvanas, Puerto Rico Disaster Environment flash Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico San Juan–Caguas–Guaynabo metropolitan area Weather Sat, 23 Sep 2017 22:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604055 at Spain In Crisis: Catalan Police Reject Madrid Takeover, Vow To "Resist" <p>Spain found itself on the verge of a full-blown sovereign crisis on Saturday, after the "rebel region" of Catalonia rejected giving more control to the central government in defiance of authorities in Madrid who are trying to suppress an independence referendum on Oct. 1.</p> <p>As tensions rise ahead of the planned Catalan referendum on October 1, and as Madrid's crackdown on separatist passions took a turn for the bizarre overnight <a href="">when as we reported </a>Spain’s plan to send boatloads of military police to Catalonia to halt the referendum backfired with dockers in two ports staging a boycott and refused access, on <strong><a href="">Saturday Spain's Public Prosecutor's Office told Catalan Police chief Josep Lluis Trapero that his officers must now obey orders </a>from a senior state-appointed police coordinator, </strong>Spanish news agency EFE reported on Saturday.</p> <p>The Catalan Police, however, disagreed and as <a href="">Bloomberg reports</a>, the SAP union - the largest trade group for the 17,000-member Catalan Police, known as Mossos d'Esquadra - <strong>said it would <a href="">resist hours</a> after prosecutors Saturday ordered that it accept central-government coordination</strong>. The rejection echoed comments by Catalan separatist authorities.</p> <p>“We don’t accept this interference of the state, jumping over all existing coordination mechanisms,” the region’s Interior Department chief Joaquim Forn said in brief televised comments. <strong>“The Mossos won’t renounce exercising their functions in loyalty to the Catalan people.”</strong></p> <p>The Mossos are one of the symbols of Catalonia’s autonomy and for many Catalans the prosecutor’s decision may be reminiscent of the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War and subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco, when the Mossos were abolished.</p> <p>In a joint press conference today with the Catalan home affairs minister Joaquim Forn and the Mossos chief Josep Lluís Trapero, <strong>Forn said that the move by Spain was "unacceptable".</strong> </p> <p><strong>“We denounce the Spanish government’s will of seizing the Mossos, as they did with Catalonia's finances"</strong> Forn said adding that that <strong>"the Catalan government does not accept this interference, it bypasses all the institutions that the current legal framework already has in place to guarantee the security of Catalonia." </strong>Additionally, Trapero expressed his intention to not accept the measure, which he described as "interference by the state", and also warned that "it skips over all the bodies of the legal framework to coordinate the security of Catalonia".<strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="259" /></a><br /><em>Catalan minister Joaquim Forn (L) with Mossos chief Josep Lluís Trapero</em></p> <p>Earlier on Saturday, El Pais reported that Civil Guard Colonel Diego Perez de los Cobos, chief of staff of the Interior Ministry’s security department, was named by a prosecutor to coordinate the efforts of the Civil Guard, the National Police and the local Mossos.&nbsp; Spanish media reported unnamed Home Office sources as saying the measure did not mean withdrawing any powers from the Mossos formally, but rather requiring them to submit to a joint coordination operation to stop the Catalan referendum taking place on October 1.</p> <p>However, shortly after the reshuffling, <strong>Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero rejected giving up control to the central government during a meeting with the heads of the other police forces on Saturday</strong>, adding that all possible legal challenges would be studied. According to La Vanguardia Trapero "protested at that meeting about the decision to impose central government control" on the regional police force. </p> <p>Also on Saturday morning, as the police meeting in Barcelona took place, the regional interior minister, Forn, published a defiant message on Twitter: "We will encounter many difficulties. The state wants to take control of our self-government, but they will not stop us! #HelloRepublic".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="und">Ens trobarem amb moltes adversitats. L'Estat vol intervenir la nostra autonomia, però no ens aturaran! <a href="">#HolaRepúbica</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Joaquim Forn (@quimforn) <a href="">September 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Ironically, as Bloomberg writes, while Mossos chief Trapero reports to the regional government, his force’s funding is mostly provided by Madrid and it’s supposed to take orders from judges and prosecutors from across the country. Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution lets the central government take control of a regional administration if it poses a threat to the national interest. Rajoy has already made moves in that direction. </p> <p>Earlier this week, the budget ministry took over management of Catalan’s finances and will issue paychecks to more than 200,000 public workers in the region, including the police.</p> <p>That said, any <strong>more direct challenge to the Mossos would be fraught with risk because Trapero, its leader, has become something of a local hero since leading the response to the terrorist attacks in August</strong>. Separatists are selling T-shirts with his face printed on them.</p> <p>According to <a href="">Reuters</a>, the Catalan government also believes that the Mossos takeover bypasses the Catalan statute&nbsp; - article 164 - and constitutional law and the Spanish prosecutor that ruled in favour of Madrid taking control had overstepped his legal boundaries, saying that it had no power to rule on who had the authority to issue orders to Mossos.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The prosecutor had ordered that the Catalan police, the Spanish National Police and Spain's Guardia Civil be managed from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Madrid. The decision, according to the prosecution, aims at "reinforcing the operation to prevent crime and to keep public order" a week before the October 1 independence referendum. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The decision was announced during a meeting between the prosecutor and the chiefs of the three police forces.</p> </blockquote> <p>The disobedience will fuel further speculation the Mossos will not work with the national Civil Guard in Spain’s largest regional economy. The standoff came a day after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government acknowledged it’s sending more reinforcements to help control street demonstrations and carry out a separate court order to halt the vote.</p> <p>Additionally, <strong>the latest move by Madrid will also increase the tension between the two sides which increasingly looks like it could descend into a direct confrontation as neither side appears to be willing to back down. </strong></p> <p><em><img src="" width="500" height="344" /><br />Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaking a pro-independence rally</em></p> <p>Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia’s president, called the independence vote in an attempt to push the secession movement forward after decades of political and legal fights over the region’s traditions and language. Since Rajoy took office in 2011, he’s had persistent clashes with separatists seeking to foment a backlash against Madrid. Catalonia is home to about 7.5 million people, or 16 percent of the population, but accounts for a fifth of the economy, on a par with Portugal and Finland.</p> <p>Several pro-independence groups have called for widespread protests on Sunday in central Barcelona. “Let’s respond to the state with an unstoppable wave of democracy,” a Whatsapp message which was used to organize the demonstration read.</p> <p>The Catalonian government opened a new website on Saturday with details of how and where to vote on Oct. 1, challenging several court rulings that had blocked previous sites and declared the referendum unconstitutional.</p> <p><strong>“You can’t stem the tide,” </strong>Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont said on Twitter in giving the link to the new website.</p> <p>But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy insisted again that the vote should not go ahead. “It will not happen because this would mean liquidating the law,” he said at the PP event in Palma de Mallorca. Acting on court orders, the Spanish state police has already raided the regional government offices, arrested temporarily several senior Catalan officials accused of organizing the referendum and seized ballot papers, ballot boxes, voting lists and electoral material and literature. The finance ministry in Madrid has also taken control of regional finances to make sure public money is not being spent to pay for the logistics the vote or to campaign.</p> <p>How this escalating clash between Madrid and Catalonia is resolved over the coming week will define the fate of Spain for years to come. </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="302" height="167" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 17,000-member Catalan Police Autonomous communities of Spain Carles Puigdemont Catalan government Catalan independence referendum Catalan police Catalonia Catalonian government Department of the Interior Europe Finland Generalitat de Catalunya Geography of Europe Government of Catalonia Home Office Independence referendums Interior Ministry Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez Mossos d'Esquadra national police Politics Portugal Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government regional government regional police regional police force Reuters Spain Spain's Public Prosecutor's Office Spanish government Spanish National Police Spanish state police Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia Twitter Twitter Sat, 23 Sep 2017 22:13:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 604058 at Former Democratic Congresswoman Urges All NFL Players To Kneel During National Anthem <p>Having left public office in January, former U.S. Congresswoman from Maryland, Donna Edwards, has decided to get involved in the current meme of the moment battle over respect and freedom of 'speech' between President Trump and The NFL...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">On Sunday, I hope every <a href="">@NFL</a> player takes a knee in solidarity w <a href="">@Kaepernick7</a> against the white supremacist who squats in our White House.</p> <p>— Donna Edwards (@DonnaFEdwards) <a href="">September 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>We have to admit <strong>we are a little confused</strong>. </p> <p><em><strong>We thought that if you disrespected anything American, you were automatically a 'Russian puppet'</strong></em>, but now it's 'cool' to bash America's flag, its anthem, and The White House?</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="346" /></a></p> <p>For some reason, Edwards decided to tweet this shortly after...<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">For the record, I do stand for the flag. I stand because I respect our Constitution and value the freedom of speech of others not to do so. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Donna Edwards (@DonnaFEdwards) <a href="">September 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></p><p>So do as I say, not as I do?</p> <p>This seemed to sum up what we suspect will occur should this former congresswoman get her wishes...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I support NFL players’ right to take a knee, and NFL fans’ right to take a walk.</p> <p>— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) <a href="">September 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></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="965" height="556" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American football in the United States American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Colin Kaepernick Donald Trump National Football League Politics Sports in the United States Sports in the United States by state The Apprentice United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sat, 23 Sep 2017 21:54:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 604059 at Cops Delete Facebook Post Of Massive "Weed" Bust After The Internet Corrects Them <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Carey Wedler via,</em></a></p> <p>Last week, officers from Missouri&rsquo;s Jasper Police Department celebrated a marijuana bust they deemed worth roughly $100,000.</p> <p><strong>In a now-deleted Facebook post, they disclosed their satisfaction with their operation, which took ten cops and sheriff&rsquo;s deputies and a National Guard helicopter to conduct.</strong></p> <p><img height="293" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>As the&nbsp;<em>Riverfront Times</em>&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">noted</a>&nbsp;(grabbing screenshots before the post was taken down):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;&rsquo;<em>What a great team effort today,&rsquo; the Jasper department&rsquo;s now-deleted post read. &lsquo;It was hot and humid and not easy getting these plants. We ALL got in the thick of things and got it done.&rsquo;</em>&ldquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The&nbsp;<em>Times</em>&nbsp;summarized the post&rsquo;s sentiment:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;In a curious bit of show-your-work math, the department calculated the nearly 290 plants seized would have produced &mdash; &ldquo;on the low side&rdquo; &mdash; 63 pounds of marijuana with a &ldquo;street value&rdquo; of roughly $100,000</em>.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>But commenters were quick to point out an apparent flaw in the officers&rsquo; bust: <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>it wasn&rsquo;t cannabis they had seized, but hemp,</strong></span> they said.</p> <p>You can&rsquo;t get high from smoking hemp, and the material can be used to&nbsp;<a href="">create</a>&nbsp;anything from clothing, soap, paper to sails, rope,&nbsp;<a href="">fuel</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="">concrete</a>, called &ldquo;hempcrete.&rdquo; It is&nbsp;<a href="">both</a>&nbsp;durable and sustainable.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;<em>That&rsquo;s hemp</em>,&rdquo; </strong>one comment bluntly said, according to the&nbsp;<em>Times</em>, though the rest of the comments are not available to view because the original post has been removed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of Missouri&rsquo;s two entities allowed to grow hemp for certain medicinal purposes, Mitch Meyers of BeLeaf, said,<strong> &ldquo;<em>Sure looks like hemp to me</em>.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;<em>These look to me like wild hemp plants, because they are tall and without buds</em>,&rdquo; </strong>Show-Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne told the&nbsp;<em>Times</em>, which sent images of the confiscated plants to several experts.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;<em>That probably means that no one was actively cultivating them. If that&rsquo;s the case, the street value of those plants is next to nothing</em>.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Many comments echoed similar sentiments, &ldquo;<em>as the post racked up hundreds of comments, among them mocking congratulations to cops for confiscating the raw material of natural fiber rope,</em>&rdquo; the&nbsp;<em>Times</em>&nbsp;reported.<em>&ldquo;Jasper Police, who cover an area about twenty miles northeast of Joplin, pulled the post on Wednesday morning</em>.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>However, there is still some doubt as to whether the plants were hemp or cannabis.</strong> Dr. Jason Strotheide, founder of licensed hemp grower Noah&rsquo;s Arc Foundation, said it is &ldquo;<em>nearly impossible to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana until late in flower.</em>&ldquo;</p> <p>Rusty Rives, police chief of the Lamar Police Department, which participated in raid stuck by the claim that it was weed. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m just looking at the picture,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;but they look like marijuana plants to me.&rdquo;</p> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t matter either way. Both are illegal in the state of Missouri despite nationwide efforts to legalize both marijuana and the hemp plant.</p> <p>The&nbsp;<em>Times</em>&nbsp;had difficulty obtaining comment other officials involved, but by last Thursday, Jasper police chief Chad Karr responded, defending the Facebook post.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;<em>The goal, Karr says, was never to brag about a bunch of pot plants, but rather to serve notice to a suspected meth dealer operating in the area.</em>&rdquo; </strong>But the post reached many more people, accruing over 1,000 comments, Karr said, some of which were &ldquo;abusive.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>As far as the &ldquo;$100,000&rdquo; estimation, &ldquo;<em>Karr says he tried to estimate conservatively. He admits he&rsquo;s no expert when it comes to marijuana and doesn&rsquo;t care to be.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em>However, he suggested the plants were not growing on their own, without human cultivation, because there were trails leading out to the field where they were confiscated.</p> <p>Nevertheless, he claims cannabis is not an issue for him.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&ldquo;I think the misconception is we go to work to bust pot heads,&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></strong>he said<em>. <strong>&ldquo;I personally do not. I know what the problem is &mdash; it&rsquo;s opiates and methamphetamine.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Hopefully, his sentiment will continue to grow among law enforcement, who are increasingly <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">trolled</a> when they <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">boast</a> of cannabis busts on social media. The&nbsp;<em>Times</em>&nbsp;reports that for now, it doesn&rsquo;t appear any charges have been filed over the plants.</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="788" height="385" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Cannabis Cannabis in the United States Entheogens Euphoriants Feral cannabis Hemp Herbs Jasper Police Jasper Police Department Lamar Police Department Legality of cannabis Medicinal plants Missouri’s Jasper Police Department National Guard Noah’s Arc Foundation Rosales Rosids Sat, 23 Sep 2017 21:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604050 at