en Bitcoin Soars As China Launches Crackdown On Wealth-Management Products <p>After trading in a tight range for much of the summer, coiled within a $100 range around the mid-$500s, over the past several weeks bitcoin has once again started to push higher, closely tracking the decline in the Chinese Yuan as shown below.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="260" /></a></p> <p>However, the most recent burst in bitcoin activity, which sent it surging by over $20 overnight, has little to do with any moves in the official Chinese currency, which recently rebounded modestly tracking the recent dip in the dollar, and is likely attributable to a long overdue crackdown on China's Wealth-management products, a key component of China’s "shadow banking" system.</p> <p> As <a href="">Bloomberg reported overnight</a>, China’s central bank is finally conducting a trial monitoring of banks’ off-balance-sheet wealth-management products under its macro-prudential assessment system. A question one should ask perhaps is why the $1.9 trillion in asset locked up with WMPs had so far been exempt from regulatory supervision. </p> <p>Just as notable, going forward the WMPs will be included in calculating broad-based credit, something we discussed last week when we showed just how vastly China is undercounting its broadest credit aggregate, Total Social <a href="">Financing by ignoring shadow debt</a>. Currently, the products aren’t included in the assessment framework, however it’s not clear when or if the People’s Bank of China will add them, Bloomberg added. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="232" /></a></p> <p>Citigroup estimated that 13 trillion yuan ($1.9 trillion) of the products, which are a key building block in China’s shadow-banking system, could be covered. Other banks' estimates are even bigger. </p> <p>No matter the size, the extra scrutiny will certainly cool growth of the unregulated products, as China tries to rein in financial risks that could tank the economy. Adding the products to the central bank’s calculations could help to emphasize requirements for lenders to limit dangers and maintain sufficient capital. A change would mean regulators would be may be better able to “control the pace of broad-based credit supply," Judy Zhang, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Citigroup, said in a note. WMP issuance and yields may shrink as lenders pass on extra costs to investors, she said.</p> <p>As Bank of America explained overnight, in late 2015, PBoC officially introduced its MPA framework, which expanded its focus from loans to credit in a broader sense, covering not only loans but also banks’ bond investments, equity rights and other investments, financial assets bought with re-sale agreement, and deposits with non-deposit-taking financial institutions. The MPA can make it more difficult for banks to adjust on-balance sheet assets to circumvent government’s credit control. <strong>The latest move adds banks’ off-balance sheet WMPs, i.e. those without a principal guarantee, to the mix. This, in theory, should make it more difficult for banks to move assets off balance sheet</strong>.</p> <p>Chinese households, companies and banks <strong>held a record 26.3 trillion yuan of wealth-management products as of June 30 </strong>and the China Banking Regulatory Commission has been tightening rules on WMPs since late 2014. Most of the products are non-principal guaranteed, which means they reside off banks’ balance sheets.</p> <p>The implications for th economy can be significant:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The cornerstone of PBoC’s MPA is capital adequacy, in-line with Basel III. So it’s possible that in the long term, banks may be required to provide capital for at least some of its off-balance sheet assets, including the WMPs. As of Jun, total balance of bank WMPs reached Rmb26.3tr. Without considering future growth, the additional amount under the MPA would be some Rmb15.5tr, after deducting Rmb6.1tr products with guarantees (already on banks’ balance sheet) and Rmb4.7tr of cash and deposits. This represents about 7% of banks’ on-balance sheet assets as of June (Rmb217tr). More important, we should view the latest development in the broad context of policy tightening over shadow banking activities since early this year (related reports linked in the sidebar).</p> </blockquote> <p>However, the most immediate practical consideration from the increased regulatory supervision of the $1.9 trillion in related product is that these funds, many of which are of highly suspect origins, will seek to shift away from the heightened scrutiny and find alternative venues. Which may explain the latest jump in bitcoin as a modest portion of the funds locked up wealth-management products may have found itself into the digital currency, promptly sending it higher by nearly 5%. Should the crackdown on WMPs persist, it may be just the catalyst to push bitcoin above its recent multi-year highs just why of $800 hit earlier this summer. </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="970" height="504" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of America Bank of America Bitcoin Bond China Citigroup Shadow Banking Yuan Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:36:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 575925 at Project Veritas 4: Robert Cramer's Illegal $20,000 Foreign Wire Transfer Caught On Tape <p>Project Veritas has just released Part IV of it's multi-part series exposing numerous scandals surrounding the DNC and the Clinton campaign, including efforts to incite violence at Trump rallies and, at least what seems to be, illegal coordination between the DNC, Hillary For America and various Super PACs.</p> <p>Part IV focuses on a $20,000 foreign donation made by an undercover <a href="">Project Veritas</a> journalist to Americans United for Change (AUFC).&nbsp; Ironically, shortly after the $20k donation wire was released, the contributor's "niece" was offered an internship with Creamer's firm, Democracy Partners.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In the effort to prove the credibility of the undercover donor featured in the videos and to keep the investigation going, <strong>Project Veritas Action made the decision to donate twenty thousand dollars to Robert Creamer’s effort. </strong>Project Veritas Action had determined that the benefit of this investigation outweighed the cost. And it did.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“First thing, like I said, thank you for the proposal.&nbsp; And I’d like to get the $20,000 across to you.&nbsp; The second call I’m going to make here is to my money guy and he’s going to get in touch with you and auto wire the funds to you,”</strong> said the PVA journalist.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Creamer told the PVA journalist to send the money to Americans United for Change. </strong>Shortly after the money was released, <strong>the “donors” “niece” - another Project Veritas Action journalist - was offered an internship with Creamer.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an effort to see how far Creamer would go with the promise of more money, another Project Veritas journalist posing as the donor’s money liaison requested a meeting with Creamer. During that meeting, Creamer spoke about connections he had with Obama and Clinton.</p> </blockquote> <p>AUFC President, Brad Woodhouse, subsequently returned the money, after Project Veritas started to release their undercover videos, citing "concerns that it might have been an illegal foreign donation."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In an unexpected twist, AUFC president Brad Woodhouse, the recipient of the $20,000, heard that Project Veritas Action was releasing undercover videos exposing AUFC’s activities.&nbsp; He told a journalist that AUFC was going to return the twenty thousand dollars.&nbsp; <strong>He said it was because they were concerned that it might have been an illegal foreign donation. Project Veritas Action was pleased but wondered why that hadn’t been a problem for the month that they had the money. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While the latest video focuses on the "<strong>$20,000 illegal foreign contribution" from an undercover Project Veritas journalist</strong>, the following comments from Robert Creamer were also rather intriguing in light of recent White House efforts to vehemently deny any connections between he and President Obama.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Oh Barack Obama's was the best campaign in the history of American politics, I mean the second one, I mean the first was good too.&nbsp; <strong>I was a consultant to both, the second one, was everything hit on every level and every aspect.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>He's a pro.&nbsp; <span style="text-decoration: underline;">I've known the President since he was a community organizer in Chicago</span>.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">I was just at and event with him in Chicago actually, on Friday last</span>.</strong>&nbsp; He is just as good as ever.&nbsp; I do a lot of work with the White House on their issues.&nbsp; Helping to run issued campaigns that they have been involved in.&nbsp; I mean, for immigration reform for the...the health care bill...trying to make America more like Britain when it comes to gun violence issues."</p> </blockquote> <p>* * *<strong><br /></strong></p> <p>As a reminder, video 3 directly linking Donna Brazile and Hillary Clinton to efforts to disrupt Trump events. <strong><br /></strong></p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Video 2 provided the democrat playbook on how to commit "mass voter fraud":</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Video 1 revealed DNC efforts to incite violence at Trump rallies:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></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="770" height="415" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> President Obama White House Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575923 at Don't Diss The Dark Ages <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><em>Much was lost when the Western Roman Empire collapsed, but islands of literacy, learning and security arose despite the constant conflicts and threats of invasion.</em></p> <p><img border="0" src="" /><br /><strong>Once dissed as The Dark Ages, the Medieval Era is more properly viewed as a successful adaptation to the challenges of the post-Western Roman Empire era.</strong> The decline of the Western Roman Empire was the result of a constellation of challenges, including (but not limited to) massive new incursions of powerful Germanic tribes, a widening chasm between the Western and the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium), plague, an onerous tax burden on the non-elite classes, weak leadership, the dominance of a self-serving elite (sound familiar?) and last but not least, the expansion of an unproductive rabble in Rome that had to be bribed with increasingly costly <em>Bread and Circuses</em>.</p> <p><strong>In effect, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1421419459&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=3fc60a100ca72495fbf08d8a3547c79a" target="resource">The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire</a> ran out of time and money.</strong> The Grand Strategy, successful for hundreds of years, relied heavily on persuading &quot;barbarian&quot; tribes to join the Roman system for the commercial and security benefits. This process of integration worked because it was backed by the threat of destruction by military force.</p> <p>The Empire maintained relatively modest military forces given its vast territory, but its road system and fleet enabled relatively rapid concentration of force to counter an invasion. It also maintained extensive fortifications along active borders.</p> <p>All of this required substantial tax revenues, manpower and effective leadership, not just for fortifications, the army, roads and the fleet, but to maintain the commercial and political benefits offered to &quot;barbarians&quot; who chose integration in the Empire.</p> <p>Once the military threats proliferated and the benefits of Imperial membership eroded, the Grand Strategy was unable to maintain the integrity of the Imperial borders.</p> <p>As tax revenues and the bureaucracy they supported imploded, security declined, reducing trade and communications. This unvirtuous cycle fed on itself: reduced trade led to reduced tax revenues which led to phantom legions that were still listed on the bureaucratic ledgers but which no longer had any troops.</p> <p><strong>The collapse of the Western Empire was a process, not an event.</strong> Key organizational infrastructures that endured through the Medieval era--for example, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Churches--gained traction in the waning centuries of the Western Empire.</p> <p>Monasteries offered islands of scholarship and literacy and in many cases offered security via fortifications.</p> <p>As trade diminished along with secure trade routes, self-reliance became the order of the day outside the borders of the Byzantine and Persian empires.</p> <p>Though political leadership shifted with the latest invasion from the steppes of Eurasia, the two branches of Christendom slowly converted many invading groups or consolidated existing Christian powers into alliances that bound together diverse groups and proto-states.</p> <p>These alliances were typically contingent and temporary, as today&#39;s ally became tomorrow&#39;s enemy, or vice versa. Despite the shifting loyalties of constant invasion and warfare, the Byzantine Empire endured and Charlemagne (and others) in Western Europe established the fractured but still effective Holy Roman Empire.</p> <p><strong>Much was lost when the Western Roman Empire collapsed, but islands of literacy, learning and security arose despite the constant conflicts and threats of invasion.</strong> Venice offers one example of a small city securing trade routes with commercial centers that then funded a regional empire.</p> <p><strong>The tidiness of the old Empire could not be reinstated.</strong> The adaptations were as messy and untidy as the challenges that swept in from the steppes and forests.</p> <p><strong>So please don&#39;t diss the Dark Ages.</strong> Yes, the Roman baths, coliseums and political /social order fell into disrepair, but new ways of coping emerged that were as contingent and untidy as the era&#39;s multiple challenges.</p> <p><strong>New modes of production and new social /political orders do not arise fully formed.</strong> They are pieced together by trial and error and numerous cycles of adaptation, innovation and failure.</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="317" height="165" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Roman Empire Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575909 at As Calais "Jungle" Burns, Refugees Try To Storm Their Way Back In <p>It has been a harsh week for the 8,000 refugees inhabiting the Calais "Jungle" camp. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="410" /></p> <p>Continuing an operation which began on Monday, workers ramped up demolition of France's notorious Calais "Jungle" on Wednesday after fierce blazes cut through a swathe of the camp overnight, sending migrants fleeing for safety.&nbsp; Fabienne Buccio, the prefect of Pas-de-Calais, said it was "mission accomplished" for the demolition.</p> <p>However his assessment may have been premature as charities said many unaccompanied minors had not been processed and BBC reporters at the camp said groups of adults remained.</p> <p>Wearing hardhats and orange overalls in the morning fog, a team of around 15 workers resumed tearing down tents and makeshift shelters at the camp that has become a symbol of Europe's migrant crisis.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>As recounted by AFP reporters, a new fire threw black smoke into the sky as several dozen wood shacks smouldered on a main thoroughfare of the sprawling slum. "Someone burned our tents. Maybe they used petrol or something, I don't know, but the fires spread fast. We had to run out in the middle of the night," said Arman Khan, a 17-year-old Afghan. "I left all my things behind, I have nothing now."</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Riot police had cordoned off the demolition area while aid workers and government officials checked that the dwellings were empty. Others carted away the debris and abandoned belongings - mattresses, multi-coloured blankets, supermarket trollies and so on - in small earth-movers. Gas canisters, sinks, refrigerators and other metal objects lay scattered across the desolate scene. </p> <p>The fires spread just hours after workers moved in Tuesday to clear the squalid camp that has been home to an estimated 6,000-8,000 migrants, many with hopes of reaching Britain.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>A local official played down the blazes, telling AFP: "It's a tradition among communities who set fire to their homes before leaving."&nbsp; Located next to the port of Calais, the Jungle has for years been a launchpad for migrants attempting to make it to Britain by sneaking onto trucks or jumping onto trains heading across the Channel.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Since Monday, 3,242 adults have been transferred to centres around France and 772 unaccompanied minors have been moved to shipping containers converted into temporary shelters in the Jungle, the interior ministry said.&nbsp; The numbers represent around half the camp's estimated population before the operation began, according to official figures.</p> <p>The authorities have said those who agree to be moved can seek asylum in France. Those who refuse risk deportation. The fate of more than 1,000 unaccompanied minors is of particular concern.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Tuesday that all those "with proven family links in Britain" would eventually be transferred and that London had committed to reviewing all other cases where it was "in the child's interest" to settle across the Channel.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>However, not all are seeking to rush back. Many inhabitants of the camp attempted to break through the police line and storm back into the camp, which is being demolished by the authorities, <a href="">according to RT's reporter </a>on the ground. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Inhabitants break through police line to storm back into <a href="">#Calais</a> camp. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Harry Fear (@harryfear) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Sky News also said that migrants were returning to the “Jungle.”&nbsp; </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Migrants are returning to the 'Jungle' camp in Calais following fires during demolition at the site</p> <p>— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>A migrant child, who was among those returning to the camp, waved a cricket bat and shouted: “Jungle is not dead! Jungle is not dead!” according to the British Express newspaper. “It’s chaos with these ongoing fires and plumes of smoke [across the camp],” Harry Fear reported from the scene. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></p> <p>“The police line was broken by migrants wanting to enter back in,” he said, adding that it appears new fires have been set across the camp.</p> <p>According to the RT correspondent, the operation to clear Calais looks much like a failure, despite claims of its complete success by the French authorities.&nbsp; He said that fire brigades on site have been working “quite slowly” to put out the fires. The RT crew also noticed “uncontrolled gas canisters [at the camp’s territory], which haven’t yet been secured by the authorities,” Fear added. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></p> <p>According to an unnamed regional official, the authorities will be able to shut down the processing center, which is dispersing migrants to different locations in France until the end of the day. Fires keep burning in many locations around the camp as some migrants set fire to the camp in response to government actions.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="fr">La <a href="">#Jungle</a> continue de brûler... <a href="">#Calais</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Jonathan RT France (@Jonathan_RTfr) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>The demolition of tents and wooden structures, which the residents had used as shelter, started at the site on Tuesday. Violent clashes between the police and the inhabitants were reported, with tear gas deployed by officers.&nbsp; The camp was set ablaze last night by refugees displeased with the demolition. The flames caused several explosions of portable gas, with four migrants arrested over the incident.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="fr">Cette partie de la <a href="">#Jungle</a> a été rasée au tractopelle <a href="">#Calais</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Jonathan RT France (@Jonathan_RTfr) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Thousands of hopeful migrants, many of whom are now homeless, are looking to cross the English Channel to find asylum in the UK have been holed up at the camp for months. Britain, however, only agreed to take in around 1,000 migrant children from the camp who have relatives in the UK.</p> <p>On Wednesday, almost 40 councils in England refused to accept any of the child refugees evacuated from the camp.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with the UN warning that the recent attack on Mosul may unleash up to another million refugees in the coming weeks, Europe's migrant crisis is about to get even worse.</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="2266" height="268" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Councils France Newspaper Twitter Twitter Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:32:04 +0000 Tyler Durden 575922 at Bank of England Asks UK Banks To Detail Their Exposure To Deutsche And Italian Banks <p>In what may or may not be a coincidence, just hours after Bloomberg reported <a href="">that DB launched a probe into whether </a>it "misstated" derivatives, <a href=""></a><strong><a href="">moments ago the FT reported </a>that the Bank of England is seeking details from large British banks on their current exposure to Deutsche Bank and some of the biggest Italian banks, including Monte dei Paschi</strong>, "amid mounting market jitters over the health of Europe’s financial sector."</p> <p>The FT notes that the request was made in recent weeks by the BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority as investors sold off Deutsche and Monte dei Paschi, both of which have been the subject of scrutiny over their capital levels. Supervisors worldwide have attempted to curtail the links between large institutions since the 2008 banking crisis, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers and other big groups threatened to drag down the entire global financial system.</p> <p>While the PRA regularly speaks to banks about their exposures, particularly to any lender that might be facing difficulty, the BoE’s recent intervention is a sign of continued nervousness among regulators that the interconnectedness of Europe’s largest banks could harm otherwise healthy groups if one of the weakest links were to fall into crisis. </p> <p>Som more details:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Normally, exposures to other financial institutions are not disclosed to regulators unless they are particularly large or as part of annual stress tests. That forced the BoE to ask for the latest snapshot of the big UK banks’ exposures to their German and Italian rivals as those groups came under market attack. Banks can be exposed to one another directly through lending or derivatives but indirect exposures — such as lending to a counterparty of a bank in trouble — also need to be considered. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Global rules cap the amount that one bank can hold in another to 25 per cent of the first bank’s capital, while anything above 10 per cent must be disclosed to regulators. Smaller holdings are therefore harder for supervisors to spot. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Paul Sharma, a former PRA official now a consultant at Alvarez &amp; Marsal, said large UK banks were now able to monitor their direct exposure to troubled banks on a “near real-time” basis but that market turmoil could complicate the picture. </p> </blockquote> <p>The FT also writes that British regulators are <em>particularly anxious about the impact of litigation costs on Deutsche’s already weak profitability and that large piles of non-performing loans could have a similarly corrosive impact on Italian banks</em>.</p> <p>As we pointed out earlier, Germany’s biggest bank still faces serious doubts on whether it will need to raise billions of euros of extra capital and slash costs drastically to strengthen its balance sheet and boost profits. Among the entities rumored to provide backstop capital are various middle-eastern funds as well as rumored Chinese investors. </p> <p>Normally, similar reports of heightened regulatory scrutiny would lead to a brike selling in any named bank; however perhaps because Deutsche Bank has already been through hell and back over the past few months, this latest news will hardly come as a shock to investors. </p> <p>Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank is set to announce earnings tomorrow, in which it is expected to announce a lower net loss of around €610 million, versus a massive €6 billion loss one year ago, much of which stemmed from write-downs on investment-banking and other assets. At this time last year, Deutsche Bank was kicking off its new, multi-year overhaul under Chief Executive John Cryan. This quarter's loss is expected to be largely due to another large major litigation provision ahead of a potential settlement with the DoJ. Analysts are split on precisely how much the bank will set aside, but their forecasts range from €250m to €1.5bn according to a consensus report compiled by the bank. Analysts also expect third-quarter revenues to be €7.1 billion, according to a consensus of 17 analysts' estimates compiled by the bank. That compares with €7.3 billion a year ago.</p> <p>Prolonged uncertainty around Deutsche Bank's capital position-exacerbated by the litigation questions--have fueled persistent questions about whether the lender might be forced to sell shares, shed businesses it has planned to keep, or accelerate cost-cutting plans. </p> <p>Keys to Deutsche Bank's plans for building its capital cushion include divesting its German retail-banking division called Postbank. That plan has proved more difficult than expected, and investors want to know the latest-especially if executives have changed their minds. Investors will also want to know when the bank is going to see the cash it is expecting from selling its roughly 20% stake in Chinese bank Hua Xia. The roughly $4 billion deal was announced in December 2015, but the proceeds have taken longer to arrive than executives expected.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in an attempt to cut costs, DB has undergone on a major layoff spree and, as reported yesterday, is considering paying banker bonuses in compensation other than cash. </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="700" height="394" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of England BOE Deutsche Bank Lehman Lehman Brothers non-performing loans Prudential Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:13:28 +0000 Tyler Durden 575920 at Texas County Enacts "Emergency Paper Ballots" After "Software Glitch" In Voting Machines <p>Just yesterday <a href="">we noted</a> several social media complaints from Texas voters who alleged that when they voted a straight republican ticket that voting machines were switching their presidential selection to Clinton/Kaine.&nbsp; While most undoubtedly dismissed these reports as conspiracy theories, new official reports from Chambers County, Texas suggest that there might be some truth to the voting machine "irregularities".&nbsp; According to an <a href="">NBC affiliate</a>, polling stations in Chambers County had to enact emergency protocols yesterday and revert back to paper ballots<br /> after a "glitch" was discovered in the county's voting<br /> machines. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The issue was actually discovered on Monday morning when Chambers County Clerk Heather Hawthorne was casting her own ballot and the voter next to her noticed that one of her votes was not filled in when she reviewed her electronic ballot&nbsp; Hawthorne told 12News on Tuesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An <strong>error in the voting machine programming by Election Systems &amp; Software (ES&amp;S) caused votes for one statewide court of appeals race not to be entered when a voter tried to vote straight ticket </strong>in either party according to a release from Chambers County.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ES&amp;S is the vendor that Chambers County contracts with to program their voting machines. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The <strong>Texas Secretary of State's office informed Hawthorne to create emergency paper ballots</strong> to continue voting until the problem could be fixed according to the release.</p> </blockquote> <p>Below is the official <a href="">press release</a> from the Chambers County Clerk:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Chambers COunty" width="600" height="654" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, these confirmed reports from Chambers County seem eerily similar to problems reported yesterday on social media from people who also experienced problems when voting a "straight republican ticket."</p> <p><img src="" alt="Texas" width="500" height="314" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The following report also surfaced in Arlington, Texas from a person who <strong>voted a straight republican ticket</strong> only to find just before submitting her ballot that her <strong>presidential choice had been switched to Clinton/Kaine</strong>.&nbsp; After reporting the error to polling officials, <strong>the voter was told that these errors "had been happening."</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Texas" width="500" height="321" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This Reddit user also noted multiple reports of voting errors across the state of Texas.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Texas" width="500" height="244" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, the real question is how many people submitted erroneous ballots before this "glitch" was caught and how many other "software glitches" exist in other counties around the country that will never be caught?</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="1098" height="524" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> fixed NBC Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575877 at Strong 5.4 Magnitude Quake Hits Central Italy, Rattles Rome <p>A strong, 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit a rural region in central Italy on Wednesday evening, and rattled Rome, just two months after a powerful temblor toppled villages in central Italy, killing nearly 300 people. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="282" /></p> <p>According to AP, there were no immediate reports of damage. But the quake shook centuries-old palazzi in Rome's historic center. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">M5.6 <a href="">#earthquake</a> (<a href="">#terremoto</a>) strikes 134 km NE of <a href="">#Roma</a> (<a href="">#Italy</a>) 5 min ago. Effects reported by witnesses: <a href=""></a></p> <p>— EMSC (@LastQuake) <a href="">October 26, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>The earthquake was detected at 7:10pm local time, about 66km to the southeast of Perugia, striking a mountainous part of the Marche region and lasting several seconds. The Aug. 24 quake destroyed hilltop village of Amatrice and other nearby towns.</p> <p>According <a href="">to RT</a>, eyewitnesses reported a powerful tremor in the capital on the western side of the country, saying that centuries-old buildings were shaking.</p> <p>A HuffPO journalist showed rubble strewn through the streets of Visso, a commune less than 10 km from the epicenter. Street lights appeared to have gone dark, suggesting that electricity has been cut.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="it">Chiesa di Visso, crolli <a href="">#Terremoto</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Claudio Paudice (@clapaudice) <a href="">October 26, 2016</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="1564" height="881" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Italy Twitter Twitter Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:41:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 575918 at Earnings 'Magic' Exposed <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by 720Global&#39;s Michael Lebowitz via,</em></a></p> <p>Following the end of each fiscal quarter, SEC registered corporations release their financial statements. Typically, investors and the media place a lot of importance on these results. Consequently, stock prices tend to rise or fall based on how the financial results compare to a consensus of estimates made by Wall Street analysts.</p> <p><strong>Since the beginning of the current quarter (10/1/2016), 76% of the 113 S&amp;P 500 companies that have released earnings results have exceeded expectations.</strong> Like so many quarters before, many investors and media pundits are supporting the naïve conclusion that earnings are better than expected. <strong>Unfortunately, few investors are paying attention to the measurement tool, expected earnings, to gauge its usefulness as a measure of earnings quality.</strong> In this article we uncover the crafty game that Wall Street and corporate investor relations departments&rsquo; play to put a positive spin on earnings releases and at the same time give the impression that stock prices are cheap based on forward looking earnings expectations.</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #008000;"><strong>Miraculous Results</strong></span></span></h3> <p>The graph below shows that actual aggregate earnings growth for the S&amp;P 500 has exceeded the corresponding consensus final expectation for earnings growth without fail since at least the second quarter of 2012.&nbsp; Not once has a quarter&rsquo;s earnings (green bar) been lower than the most recent earnings expectation (red bar).</p> <p><strong>Final Earnings Expectations versus Actual Earnings</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="earnings-beats-by-qtr" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17684" height="308" src="" width="621" /></a></p> <p><em>Data Courtesy: Standard and Poors</em></p> <p><strong>To comprehend how corporate earnings can regularly exceed respective expectations quarter after quarter, one must recognize how earnings forecasts are used to manipulate investor expectations.</strong> When one studies the trend of earnings forecasts from a year preceding the results to the weeks prior the results, one will notice two things. First, initial earnings forecasts, are crafted to tell a bullish long term story of strong earnings growth. <strong>Second, over the course of the ensuing year, the estimates are adjusted significantly downward to temper expectations and therefore make actual earnings that fall far short of the original forecast appear pleasantly surprising.</strong></p> <p>Consider that since the second quarter of 2012, earnings growth forecasts made a year in advance averaged 14.76%. Over the same five year period, actual earnings growth was 3.82%, or 75% below the original estimate. <strong>Of the last 17 quarters the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">best</span> one year advance estimate of earnings growth was overstated by 25%.</strong> Astonishingly, this period includes quarters where economic growth exceeded forecasts, so a worse than expected environment cannot always be blamed. <strong>The last four quarters have seen actual earnings growth (-2.70%) fall grossly short of one year advance forecasts for growth (+14.30%) by over 100%.</strong></p> <p>As time progresses from one year prior to any earnings release to three months, we find that earnings expectations were still grossly overestimated. At the three month time frame analysts should have a much better grasp of the factors that drive corporate performance. Despite the additional clarity, three month prior earnings expectations still averaged 32% higher than actual earnings from 2012 through the most recent quarter.</p> <p><strong>The following graphs illustrate the<a href="" target="_blank"><em> &ldquo;earnings game&rdquo;</em></a> being peddled by corporate America through their Wall Street enablers.</strong> The first graph shows the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">average</span> migration of earnings expectations over the course of the year preceding the actual results. The data covers the 17 quarters from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2016. Note the large forecasting error (labeled &ldquo;massive miss&rdquo; below) between expected results a year in advance and actual results. Also, notice the better than expected results (&ldquo;respectable beat&rdquo;) when compared to expectations at the end of the quarter immediately prior.</p> <p><strong>Earnings Expectation Migration</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="avg-decreases-and-beat" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17683" height="296" src="" width="614" /></a></p> <p><em>Data Courtesy: Standard and Poors</em></p> <p>The graph below highlights the consistency with which average earnings expectations have trended lower in each of the last 17 quarters.</p> <p><strong>Earnings Migration by Period</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="earnings-migration-by-qtr" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17685" height="324" src="" width="632" /></a></p> <p><em>Data Courtesy: Standard and Poors</em></p> <p>The black line represents quarterly forecasts of earnings growth one year in the future. The green line shows that, six months later, earnings growth has been revised downwards in every instance. Earnings expectations continue to get revised lower as shown by the red line, which represents earnings expectations three months prior to their release. &nbsp;The yellow line shows expectations in the quarter that earnings are due to be released. <strong>As you can see in every instance, earnings expectations are at their highest a year in advance, and lowest in the quarter they are due to be reported. Hardly a coincidence, we suspect.</strong> In Q2 2016 notice how earnings expectations declined from +13.70% a year ago to the final estimate of -3.80%.</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #008000;"><strong>Summary</strong></span></span></h3> <p>Consider the ploy that companies and Wall Street are using to fool the investing public.</p> <ul> <li><em>First, they grossly overestimate earnings for the upcoming year. B<strong>y overestimating earnings, they tout financial ratios based upon inaccurate expected earnings and sell investors on a bright future.</strong> How many times have analysts claimed that forward looking price to earnings ratios are constructive for price gains? How &ldquo;constructive&rdquo; would they be if the expectations were reconciled to reality and lowered by 75%?</em></li> <li><em><strong>Second, they progressively lower expectations prior to the earnings release so that financial results are effectively underestimated.</strong> The same analysts that peddled double digit earnings growth a year earlier somehow can now claim that earnings are better than they expected.</em></li> </ul> <p>If actual earnings varied somewhat randomly from above expectations to below expectations, we would likely fault the analysts and corporations with being poor forecasters. But when such one-directional forecasting errors routinely and consistently occur, it is more than bad forecasting.<strong> At best one can accuse Wall Street analysts and the companies that feed them information of incompetence. At worst this is another pure and simple case of institutions gaming the system through a fraud designed to prop up stock prices.&nbsp; </strong>Take your pick, but in either case it is advisable to ignore the spin that accompanies earnings releases and apply the rigor of doing your own analysis to get at the veracity of corporate earnings.</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="714" height="349" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corporate America Fail Reality Standard And Poors Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575908 at Is the Fed Fix in for the election? <h1 class="post_title" style="font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; font-size: 25px; line-height: 1.4em; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.9px; color: #40271c !important;">&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px; background-color: #f8f8f8;">The following article by&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px;">David Haggith</a><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px; background-color: #f8f8f8;">was first published on&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 16px;"><a href="">The Great Recession Blog</a>:</em></h1> <div class="singlepost entry" style="border-bottom-left-radius: 5px; background-color: #f8f8f8; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-color: #610906; border-top-style: solid; font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; margin-top: 4px; padding: 2px 4px 1px; width: 647.953125px; font-size: 16px; color: #40271c;"><img src="" alt="Dow Jones Industrial Average looks rigged" width="500" height="194" style="float: left; margin-right: 6px; margin-left: 6px; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; padding: 4px; box-shadow: none !important; border-style: none !important; opacity: 1 !important;" class="attachment-single-post-thumbnail size-single-post-thumbnail wp-post-image" /><br /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">As we near Halloween, the US stock&nbsp;market looks like it’s whistling past the graveyard near the end of&nbsp;a year that I predicted&nbsp;would be the dawn of “the Epocalypse.” (By that, I meant an economic apocalypse, the likes of which we’ve never seen.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">So far, however, that prediction has not manifested. In fact, the market’s fibrillating heartbeat in this graph exhibits a preternatural and eery calm. But it is too calm — too calm to be natural. The stock market plunged on my predicted schedule at the start of the year in what turned into the worst January in the US stock market’s history. Then, suddenly, it was resurrected, great death defied; but, after a rapid recovery it lost consciousness and now behaves more like the walking dead.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I have never&nbsp;seen a more rigged looking stock market.&nbsp;<em><strong>The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has been flatlining in the narrowest range possible for almost four months.</strong></em>&nbsp;Coincidence, or has the Fed clandestinely set a threshold below which it will not let the market fall, just like it does openly for inflation — in order to make sure that nothing happens economically that would push&nbsp;voters toward Donald Trump?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">Is the Federal Reserve rigging&nbsp;the stock market in order to drag itself&nbsp;through this monstrous election cycle alive?</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While the Fed is barred by law from buying stocks, it has been creating money for its banking proxies to buy stocks ever since the Great Recession hit. It’s common knowledge and also&nbsp;<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">confessed this year by Fed officials</a>, that&nbsp;the Fed has been&nbsp;pumping up the stock market; but I’m asking are they taking new extraordinary measures behind the scenes? The market&nbsp;now looks like it&nbsp;has been pushed as high as it will go and is being held against that ceiling by some mysterious levitating force.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Donald Trump recently&nbsp;made it clear that he’d love to put a stake in the heart of the Federal Reserve by firing Janet Yellen … if he could. The prospect of such&nbsp;an acrimonious relationship with a president, telegraphed so clearly by a candidate with a strong chance of winning, surely puts the Fed in a fearful state of self-preservation. All creatures in a state of self-preservation — especially the hideous ones — will do nearly anything to survive.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I can’t say that I know the Fed is doing anything new or different than what it has done for the past seven years; but I can say with certainty that this stock market doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen in the past seven years … or even that I’ve seen anytime in my career.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">John Rubino of&nbsp;<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;"></a>&nbsp;calls it “The Boredom Before the Storm” and observes&nbsp;…</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">With all the surprising and disturbing things going on – Brexit, China’s soaring debt, US/Russia/China saber rattling, the unique US presidential race, the cyber attack that shut down big parts of the US Internet – you’d think that an unsettled world would be reflected in skittish financial markets.&nbsp;Instead we’re getting the opposite, with stock price movements becoming more and more placid as the year goes on.</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Indeed. Like Rubino, I find it strange&nbsp;that, with so much disturbing news around the world, the stock market looks like a sea that is a smooth&nbsp;as glass (compared to how the market’s ups and downs have looked at&nbsp;<em>any</em>&nbsp;other time). You’d think there was never a season&nbsp;more calming to the nerves of investors than the last four months, even as Wall Street daily screams out its fears about a possible Trump victory.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">In case you don’t think the above graph&nbsp;looks highly suspect, consider that the Dow has now closed below its fifty-day moving average every day without falling below its two-hundred-day moving average for thirty-two sessions. That may not sound like any technical big deal, but what that means is that&nbsp;<em><strong>the Dow&nbsp;has traded within the range of those two averages for the longest time in&nbsp;<a href=";dist=bigcharts" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">twenty-seven years</a>!</strong></em>&nbsp;In fact, the current stretch&nbsp;is three days longer (<em>and running</em>) than what the Dow&nbsp;managed back in 1989. (That’s just as far back as I had time to research&nbsp;to try to find a period&nbsp;that came close.)</p> <hr /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;"><a href=";tag=greatre-20&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;camp=2025&amp;creative=165953&amp;creativeASIN=091298645X" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;" rel="nofollow">Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. “Reads like a detective story. You’ll never trust a politician again – or a banker.”</a></p> <hr /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">Is the White House also in on the fix … if a fix it is?</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">At a time when Barrack&nbsp;Obama has been boasting&nbsp;that his administration brought the national deficit down (and when I suspect the Obama Admin. would&nbsp;like to tamp&nbsp;it down as much as possible to make Democrats look good for the election),&nbsp;<em><strong>Federal government spending just leaped 67% in August over the month before and 23% over the year before.</strong></em>&nbsp;Another way of saying that is that this spending surge created a&nbsp;<em>deficit</em>&nbsp;for August that was 40% higher than last August’s deficit.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Why would the Obama administration risk losing its bragging rights over lowering the deficit so close to the election unless something more important than those bragging rights was at stake? (The president can, after all, do things by executive order to slow spending.) It could, of course, simply be that the King Pin and his henchmen recognized no one was buying their&nbsp;story, so they gave up maintaining the charade. Or … it could be that the economy began sinking so badly that massive efforts were needed to shore things up behind the scenes. Or … ?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While I don’t know the reasoning for the spending explosion&nbsp;at a time when the Obama wants to firmly establish his legacy as our savior&nbsp;from the Great Recession, I will note that there is nothing like a massive burst&nbsp;of last-minute government spending on top of whatever the Feral Reserve might be doing to superficially&nbsp;float&nbsp;the economy a little longer. If your boat starts leaking badly and you’re only a hundred yards from shore, the best solution is to power quickly toward shore, not spend time trying to make lasting repairs.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">No October surprise this October … so far … boo!</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">October has a reputation for being a nasty&nbsp;month for the stock market. It’s the month in which you had usually better buckle your seatbelt because October&nbsp;has&nbsp;seen more stock market crashes than any other month.&nbsp;<em><strong>Sixty-percent of the largest one-day drops in the US stock market have happened in October.</strong></em></p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This Halloweenish month&nbsp;has broken more volatility records than any other month.&nbsp;That makes it especially odd that&nbsp;the VIX, which tracks market volatility, hasn’t been this steady in any month since the months that preceded the Great Recession. (Everyone thought everything was fine then, too.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">As&nbsp;<em><strong>short volatility market positions continue to build – largely as a consequence of central banks suppressing volatility to prevent recessions</strong></em>&nbsp;– maverick money manager Jesse Felder is warning the end result of the volatility trade could be a very painful lesson for investors with significant stock market repercussions. Having started out at Bear Stearns before co-founding his own multi-billion-dollar hedge fund, Jesse Felder is now more at home educating the masses on the truth in financial markets through his blog&nbsp;<em>The Felder Report</em>…. &nbsp;<em><strong>Felder expresses his concern that the lack of volatility will inevitably create more volatility, the likes of which have never been seen before.&nbsp;“I’m not calling for a stock market crash&nbsp;…&nbsp;but if you want to look at what’s the probability of that type of an event, it’s probably got to be as high as it’s ever been.”</strong></em>&nbsp;(<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;"><em>Business Insider</em></a>)</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Felder also says in a television interview that another sign of “way too much complacency” in the stock market is that…</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;"><em><strong>…we’re seeing financial stress; everybody’s dismissing it…. It’s big-time denial.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Investor complacency or even irrational exuberance are the hallmarks of&nbsp;the final days&nbsp;before a stock-market bust because markets crash when people are most blind. (If they weren’t blind, they’d see the problem&nbsp;coming and avert catastrophe.) Everyone was complacent in 2007 about all warnings, just as no one now seems to care that the market has plowed its mushy head into a ceiling that is slowly squishing down upon it.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This October looks more sloppy than choppy, and that’s …</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <ul style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-left: 35px;"> <li>in spite of just entering another&nbsp;period of weak earnings reports,</li> <li>in spite of the European Central Bank talking about backing away from quantitative easing,</li> <li>in spite of the US national debt hitting twenty-trillion dollars,</li> <li>in spite of the Federal Reserve edging toward a possible interest-rate hike&nbsp;now that inflation and employment have met the Fed’s stated targets,</li> <li>in spite of the Bank of Japan holding back on its QE,</li> <li>in spite of China looking like another round of collapse is imminent,</li> <li>in spite of the largest and oldest banks in Europe teetering on collapse,</li> <li>in spite of the great European unwind called&nbsp;“Brexit,”</li> <li>in spite of a proxy war between the US and Russia flaring&nbsp;up in the Middle East,</li> <li>and in spite of that scary, red-haired Chucky doll named Trump.</li> </ul> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Hmm. Is history’s calmest stock market in the midst of all that a sign of peak complacency or irrationality? Or is it a sign that the market is being firmly fixed in place by the Fed and the government? Either way, looks like a crash is imminent. You decide. I’ll just note that&nbsp;the&nbsp;market looks as calm as&nbsp;the eye in the middle of the hurricane that is, itself, surrounded by hurricanes.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While the ride has been mysteriously quiet for the last four months, note that the trend over those months is ever so gradually downward. So, if the fix is in, it is a fix that is barely holding, despite all the Fed and the government can throw at it.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="" alt="Zombie economists create US 20116 recession" width="199" height="252" style="max-width: 97%; padding: 4px; height: auto; float: right; margin-right: 6px; margin-left: 6px; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; box-shadow: none !important; border-style: none !important; opacity: 1 !important;" class="alignright size-full wp-image-48292" />Are investors&nbsp;just treading water, as some commentators explain, waiting until the election decides who is president. If so, that’s something&nbsp;they have&nbsp;not done&nbsp;<em>with&nbsp;this level of calm</em>&nbsp;in any previous&nbsp;election cycles. Or are the Fed and the Gov lifting with all their combined might in hidden ways&nbsp;to try to hold up a lowering ceiling so that no one will suspect the Obama-praised Obama&nbsp;recovery&nbsp;is already dead?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I don’t actually know. I just want to make the stinking peculiarity of this zombie economy abundantly clear.</p> </div> Bank of Japan Bear Stearns Central Banks China Donald Trump Dow Jones Industrial Average European Central Bank Federal Reserve fixed Irrational Exuberance Janet Yellen Japan Market Crash Middle East National Debt Obama Administration Quantitative Easing Recession recovery Volatility White House Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:28:51 +0000 Knave Dave 575916 at Stocks Stall As Oil Retraces Inventory Spike, Tumbles To $48 Handle <p>Stocks are starting to catch down to oil&#39;s disappointing pump&#39;n&#39;dump...</p> <p><strong>Oil was unable to hold $50...</strong> as market participants realize EIA data show <strong>unexpected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week was largely due to a decline in inventories on West Coast, isolated area market tends to ignore. </strong></p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;PADD 5 might as well be Mars,&rdquo; </strong></em>Bob Yawger, director of futures division at Mizuho Securities in New York, says by phone.<strong><em> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no way of getting West Coast barrels East of the Rocky Mountains.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Removing the 2.26m bbl West Coast crude draw from total, stocks would result in +1.7m bbl</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="398" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And stocks are waking up...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With stocks having tagged stops at the 100DMA...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="442" src="" width="600" /></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="1586" height="1053" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Mars Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:25:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 575915 at