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[COIN] Ripple Tokens Could Be Worthless Published:1/16/2018 12:39:42 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: Media Coverage of Trump in 2017 Was Overwhelmingly Negative Wanna bet 2018 won't be better? Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Politics] REPORT: Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon…. According to reports, Special Prosecutor Mueller has subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify before a grand jury in the Russia investigation: NY TIMES – Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, was . . . Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[83f562e9-291c-406e-8364-9cd1b2da19c4] Matt Damon 'really sorry' for comments on sexual harassment: I should 'close my mouth’ Actor Matt Damon said on Tuesday he needs to close his mouth for a while when it comes to the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements focusing on sexual harassment after he made a series of controversial comments. Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Politics] Booker Explodes on ‘Complicit’ Nielsen Over Trump’s Reported ‘S—hole’ Comments: ‘I Had Tears of Rage’

The post Booker Explodes on ‘Complicit’ Nielsen Over Trump’s Reported ‘S—hole’ Comments: ‘I Had Tears of Rage’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[2018 News] Trump awarded Medal of Bravery Bet you won’t hear about this from the mainstream media. Grateful leaders in Logar Province, Afghanistan, pooled their meager funds to make a gold Medal of Bravery and awarded it to Donald Trump for standing up to Pakistan: “Akbari told RFE/RL that members of the community have waited 16 years for someone in the U.S. […] Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[allen & Co.] Spotify’s Uncommon IPO Could Be the Future of Tech Unicorns Going Public Spotify will pay less than one-third of what Snap paid in a similarly-sized IPO last year. Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Entertainment] Black Lightning's Cress Williams on Why His Show Is Unlike Any Other Superhero Series on TV Black LightningBlack Lightning isn't your typical superhero show. For one, The CW's upcoming series doesn't star a strapping twenty-something that fans have come to expect from the Arrowverse....
Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[News] Trump Oversees Biggest Single-Year Increase in Percentage of Uninsured Under Obamacare Hispanic, black, young and lower-income individuals saw the largest drops in coverage. Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[World] The GOP’s Real Conflict: Lust for Power Versus Fundamental Truth Republicans know salvation can't be found in government—but they also want to control that same government. Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[World] Google refers to Republican senator David Perdue as 'lying, unscrupulous politician' Google referred to Sen. David Perdue as a "lying, unscrupulous politician" when the Republican senator's name was searched. Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Media] EMBARRASSING: Today show co-hosts laughed their tails off when Jane Fonda made fun of Megyn Kelly

On the “Today” show Tuesday morning, there was a pretty funny exchange between longtime friends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin where Tomlin joked about one of Fonda’s face lifts. Fonda then turned to Tomlin and said, “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?” in reference to this exchange last year where Kelly asked Hanoi Jane about plastic […]

The post EMBARRASSING: Today show co-hosts laughed their tails off when Jane Fonda made fun of Megyn Kelly appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[The Blog] DHS secretary grilled by Senate on Sh*tholegate: “I did not hear that word used”

Memories.

The post DHS secretary grilled by Senate on Sh*tholegate: “I did not hear that word used” appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Science] Orrin Hatch responds to viral video of him removing phantom glasses In the video, Hatch is seen going through the motions of removing a pair glasses that didn’t exist while questioning Homeland Security Secre... Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Markets] Tillerson Breaks With White House, Rejects Freeze Of Military Exercises Near North Korea

In a direct reversal with the recently disclosed official White House policy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. rejects a 'freeze for freeze' approach that would pause joint U.S./South Korean military drills in exchange for a pause to North Korea's nuclear program.

Speaking in Vancouver at a meeting with foreign ministers, Tillerson said that "we reject a 'freeze for freeze' approach, in which legitimate defensive military exercises are placed on the same level as the DPRK’s unlawful actions. The pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes decisive steps to de-nuclearize."

Tillerson also said that "we especially urge Russia and China” to enforce NK sanctions" and added that "if all countries cut off or significantly limit their economic and diplomatic engagements with North Korea, the sum total of our individual, national efforts will increase the chances of a negotiated resolution."

The Secretary of State also warned that North Korea could affect airline travel.

As a reminder, two weeks ago, in what seemed like a diplomatic victory for North Korea, President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed not to hold springtime military exercises during the Olympics, the South Korean president’s office said, a move that was meant to cool tensions with North Korea, even if meant sidelining the US diplomatic pressure on North Korea as it suggested the Kim regime could be gaining the upper hand in negotiations.

As some pundits noted, by agreeing to suspend military exercises to ensure a smooth Olympics, the Trump administration got maneuvered into a freeze for freeze. But now Tillerson rejects that, which is grandstanding, or Tillerson is not even aware of what the White House's official policy vis-a-vis North Korea is at this moment.

As usual, look to Trump's twitter feed for some clarification on whether Trump has quietly reversed positions in the past 2 weeks, or whether Tillerson was simply confused.

Published:1/16/2018 12:39:41 PM
[Markets] Bond Report: Treasury yields pare decline on economic optimism, climbing stocks Treasury yields erase the decline on Tuesday amid growing confidence over the progress of the U.S. economy and higher stock valuations.
Published:1/16/2018 12:39:40 PM
[] Mueller Subpoenas Steve Bannon, Most Likely to Get Information About What Made Him Say There Was "Zero Chance" That Don Jr. Didn't Walk the "Jomos" Up to Meet Trump Ay. But of course. Meanwhile, Bannon is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee today, behind closed doors, where he'll probably be asked why he said that about the Russians, and why he said the heart of the Mueller probe would... Published:1/16/2018 12:39:37 PM
[World] 'Scandalous,' a Series on Scandals & Impeachment of Bill Clinton, Premiere Date, Schedule

"Scandalous" - a riveting, up-close look at the Clinton scandals of the 1990's - will premiere on Sunday night at 8:00pm ET on Fox News Channel.

Published:1/16/2018 12:13:30 PM
[2f156ae1-54ff-4639-b1dc-3cea28144a74] Keira Knightley explains why she dislikes modern films: Females 'nearly always get raped' Kiera Knightley is rarely seen in films set in the modern day, and there's a reason why. The actress said in a new interview that she often chooses period pieces because women are treated better. Published:1/16/2018 12:13:21 PM
[Right Column] STUDY: EUROPE’S GREEN ENERGY BURNING IS KILLING 40,000 PEOPLE PER YEAR
Published:1/16/2018 12:13:21 PM
[Economy] 164 Companies Credit Tax Reform for Bonuses and Pay Raises

One hundred sixty-four companies have gone on record stating they gave bonuses and pay raises to employees because of the new tax reform law, according... Read More

The post 164 Companies Credit Tax Reform for Bonuses and Pay Raises appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:1/16/2018 12:13:21 PM
[Entertainment] Matt Damon Apologizes for Sexual Misconduct Comments Matt DamonMatt Damon is apologizing for his controversial sexual misconduct comments. Back in December, the "Downsizing" actor first came under fire after statements he made on an episode...
Published:1/16/2018 12:13:20 PM
[Democrats] Kirstjen Nielsen Faces the Democrats (John Hinderaker) Secretary of Homeland Defense Kirstjen Nielsen is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It seems that just about the only thing the Democrats want to talk about is the meeting with President Trump last week that gave rise to the “s***hole” controversy. Secretary Nielsen is at least the second person to say that Trump did not use that term, yet “s***hole” has been reported more or less universally as fact. Published:1/16/2018 12:13:19 PM
[worldNews] U.S.-led meeting says sanctions pressure on North Korea must be maintained VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Sanctions pressure must be maintained on Pyongyang to force it to abandon its nuclear weapons program, participants at a 20-nation meeting on North Korea said on Tuesday.
Published:1/16/2018 12:13:17 PM
[Entertainment] ‘Woke AF’: Seth MacFarlane rails against ‘the Trump legacy’ (there’s just ONE problem)

Forgetting something?

The post ‘Woke AF’: Seth MacFarlane rails against ‘the Trump legacy’ (there’s just ONE problem) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 12:13:17 PM
[TC] Amazon Fire TV becomes an interface for Live TV with select Amazon Channels  Amazon’s Fire TV is getting an update that will help viewers better discover live TV programming, and even be able to tune into live channels with Alexa. The voice integration builds on the recently added “On Now” row on the Fire TV homepage, where you’ll find the live streams from channels like HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax, if you’re signed up through… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 12:13:15 PM
[World] H.R. McMaster attends meetings in San Francisco on North Korea: Report McMaster met with officials from South Korea, as well as Shotaro Yachi, director of the Japanese national security council, Axios reported T... Published:1/16/2018 12:13:07 PM
[Markets] Albert Edwards: The Trigger For The Next Market Correction

Authored by Robert Huebscher via Advisor Perspectives,

Fear of overvaluation – particularly for U.S. equities – has driven far too many investors to miss the strong bull market. For market bears to be proven right, according to Albert Edwards, it will take one or more of several triggers.

Edwards is the global strategist for Societe Generale and is based in London. He spoke at his firm’s annual investment conference in London on July 9. A copy of his slides, as well as those from his colleague Andrew Lapthorne’s presentation, can be found below.

Edwards is not known for providing upbeat forecasts, but he said at the outset that he is not as bearish as usual. “I understand the competitive pressure to participate,” he said, “despite that fact this will go horribly, badly wrong.”

In 1996, Edwards forecast an “ice age” during which bonds would outperform stocks. He based this on his experience observing the Japanese economy, predicting that equity yields would rise as their prices fell, while bond yields would decline.

He noted that the U.S. equity market peaked in 2000, just as Japan did in 1989, and that U.S. stocks are still in a secular downtrend based on cash-flow yield. Edwards said the same thing happened in Japan and it continued for 10 years.

“The ice age is still intact,” he said.

The fate of the bull market

Do valuations still matter? Edwards said the U.S. forward P/E ratio is at a “considerably and extremely unusually high level,” higher than Europe and Japan. It’s not just the FANGS and technology stocks, he said. Using data from Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO), he showed that the Shiller CAPE is not very dependent on the sector composition of the market, which accounts for only a small portion of the gap relative to historical levels.

Investor sentiment was missing a year or 18 months ago, he said, but now that data depicts “full-on bulls.” Using data from the American Association of Individual Investors, he showed that retail exposure is 75% in stocks (based on the ratio relative to cash) and at historically high levels. Data from Investors Intelligence shows that professional advisors are as bullish as prior to the 1987 crash, Edwards said.

“Essentially everyone has decided valuations don’t matter,” Edwards said. “But they do.”

He said the run-up to the 1987 crash was similar to the last few years. At that time, the bond yield started to rise following a period of rapidly increasing valuations. Oil had fallen but the economy recovered and was very strong, according to Edwards. “It looked very vibrant,” he said, “yet the market collapsed.”

What happened? Edwards said the dollar was falling and bond rates rose in response. The Bundesbank raised interest rates instead of helping to stabilize the dollar. The market feared the dollar would plunge and the Fed would have to raise rates, he said, triggering a recession. But market valuations didn’t support a recession.

Such a recession could be the trigger for a market pullback, he said, “or even just the fear of one.”

Another trigger could be the bond market. Two-year Treasury yields are greater than U.S. dividend yields, which he said is threatening equity valuations.

The yield curve is flattening, he said, but the market is still not expecting aggressive Fed tightening. One risk, he said, is that the yield curve flattens further along with a higher 10-year yield.

Yet a third trigger could be inflation and monetary policy. Edwards admitted he and the consensus were wrong about the bullish call on the dollar a year ago. Now the consensus is bearish about the dollar and bullish about the euro, he said.

“The Fed is composed of cowards,” he said. Since the taper tantrum in May 2013, it has gone out of its way to persuade the market that Fed funds rate will be less than 3%, according to Edwards. That makes it difficult for the dollar to rally. Every time it raises rates it goes out of its way to reassure markets. Ironically, despite rate hikes, he said, according to data from the Atlanta Fed, financial conditions are easier than prior to those hikes.

On a secular basis, he said the U.S. is in deflation, “but cyclically inflation will pick up.” Inflation could be a trigger, according to Edwards. Data from the New York Fed suggests core CPI could pick up and Edwards said this could surprise investors.

“Wage inflation was the dog that did not bark,” Edwards said, since it decelerated last year. This has been very reassuring for the market, he said, making it hard for the dollar to rally. The reason for the sluggishness in wage inflation, according to Edwards, is the persistently high level of potentially employable workers, despite the low published unemployment rate. But, he said, wage inflation could pick up.

A positive outlook for Japan

Amid his fears of a market correction, Edwards offered a positive outlook for Japan.

A big surprise has been wage inflation in Japan, he said, which has been stuck at 0.5% for two and a half years, despite a much tighter labor market than the U.S. “Japan had done fantastic things,” he said, “like getting women into the workforce – the one part of Abe’s policies that did work.”

Nominal income growth nominal is about 2%, he said, despite slow wage growth. Consumption has been running way ahead of income, unlike in the U.S., according to Edwards.

“There is a real case that consumption growth in Japan will accelerate very rapidly,” he said. Its GDP growth is at 2% and could increase, he said, which would be a surprise to the markets.

“Profits are rising as is the stock market,” Edwards said.

The big macro disappointment has been the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ’s) failure to hit its inflation target. Inflation is picking up everywhere else in the world, he said. But due to the BoJ pinning rates at zero, if inflation increases, real rates will decline and consumption will increase further.

Of all the central banks, he said Japan and Switzerland have been most aggressive. The BoJ’s balance sheet has already started to decline, he said, indicating that it is stepping away from its purchases of 10-year Japanese government bonds.

“A lot of major trends start with Japan,” Edwards said. “This could be very significant.”

But if the BoJ tightens, he said the yen could strengthen instead of its recent weakening.

“If you are looking for surprises and shocks that trigger a great unwind,” Edwards said, “it could be Japan tightening.”

*  *  *

Full Slide Pack:

Published:1/16/2018 12:12:46 PM
[2018 News] Three out of four people convicted of terrorism are foreign born Three out of four people convicted of terrorism in the U.S. are foreign-born. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have released the data on terrorism for the first time and now we know why Obama did NOT release it. Published:1/16/2018 12:12:37 PM
[2016 Campaign] Dems boycotting Trump SOTU might leave some empty seat opportunity for GOP Seat fillers Published:1/16/2018 12:12:27 PM
[Academy Awards] ‘Detroit’ Director Kathryn Bigelow Rips White House at NAACP Awards Gala The filmmaker wasn't afraid to take on the Oval Office in her remarks. Published:1/16/2018 12:12:19 PM
[Entertainment] Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's new baby girl is here, born via surrogate Kim Kardashian and Kanye West announce their third baby, a girl, has arrived via surrogate.
     
 
 
Published:1/16/2018 12:12:07 PM
[United States Politics and Government] Bannon Is Subpoenaed in Mueller’s Russia Investigation The move marks the first time the special counsel is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of President Trump’s inner circle. Published:1/16/2018 12:11:57 PM
[Science] Trump can't extend DACA past March 5: DHS Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that she doesn't believe President Trump will be able to extend the Deferred Ac... Published:1/16/2018 12:11:43 PM
[Politics] REPORT: Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon…. According to reports, Special Prosecutor Mueller has subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify before a grand jury in the Russia investigation: NY TIMES – Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, was . . . Published:1/16/2018 12:11:29 PM
[Markets] Bitcoin bloodbath highlights these defensive cryptocurrency strategies A price of a single bitcoin was tumbling on Tuesday, off 11% at around $12,100, underlining a broad selloff among the virtual currencies spurred by nagging fears of increased regulation. Published:1/16/2018 12:10:43 PM
[Quick Takes] UC Berkeley Sued by People Injured During Riot at Milo Yiannopoulos Event “allegedly physically attacked by masked figures” Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Government] Democrat Candidate Calls for Forced Government Service

Democrat Senate candidate from Texas Beto O’Rourke hoped to “introduce a bill to Congress this year that would require all young people to spend at least a year ‘in service to this country.’” This is a form of servitude. There is no provision in the Constitution for required service to this country. It’s bad enough ...

The post Democrat Candidate Calls for Forced Government Service appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[World] DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says she is 'not aware' of deal with Mexico to pay for Trump's border wall “I am not aware. I don’t know what you mean by arrangement. We have a lot of agreements with them to increase border security,” Nielsen expl... Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Markets] The US Is Developing Two New Nuclear Weapons

As military suspicions between the US and Russia escalate to levels last seen during the Cold War, both countries are trying to bolster their defenses and their military readiness to hedge against a plethora of geopolitical risks, from nuclear war on the Korean peninsula to a direct military confrontation between China and the US, or possibly Russia and the US.

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused of provoking NATO by marshaling 10,000 Russian and Belarusian troops along Russia’s western border with the Baltic states for their “Zapad” military exercises - something that prompted an outcry from NATO.

Putin has vigorously defended  Russia’s right to carry out military exercises and ballistic missile tests, arguing that both the US and NATO have been "accelerating build-up of infrastructure in Europe" in violation of the 1987 treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. In a similar vein, the US has accused Russia of violating the same treaty with missile tests of its own.

Meanwhile, as the US and its allies have accused Russia of meddling in Western elections, the number of NATO troops deployed near the Russian border has tripled in recent years as tensions have percolated.

With tensions at a fever pitch, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Pentagon is developing two new nuclear missiles that would be capable of deployment from a nuclear submarine.

 

Ship

It’s also seeking to reauthorize a nuclear-tipped sea-launched cruise missile, a system that was retired from the American arsenal in 2010.

The development of the two weapons is among a broad range of recommendations in the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly made his “moron” comment about the president during a meeting at the Pentagon that was intended to review the US’s nuclear policy.

All of this is part of a major reassessment of US nuclear strategy and programs that was commissioned about a year ago by President Donald Trump. According to WSJ, the Pentagon is expected to formally unveil its comprehensive new plan later this month. But in the meantime, it has leaked some tantalizing details to the WSJ’s Pentagon reporter, even though the final draft of the policy hasn’t been approved by the president.

The Pentagon has dismissed an unclassified draft of the strategy that was published last week by HuffPost - which claimed that Trump wants to build a lot more nukes - as “predecisional.” Meanwhile more updated drafts are also circulating. But the plans to field the new nuclear systems have strong support in the Pentagon and are expected to go forward, according to people familiar with the review.

The plan as it stands represents a shift away from de-nuclearization and returning instead to a Soviet-era arms race mentality.

However, critics say that the development of low-power nukes is almost as dangerous as hydrogen bombs because they lower the threshold to possible use.

A major question at the heart of the Pentagon review is how to respond to military strategy and programs in Russia and China, which American officials say provide a more prominent role for nuclear weapons. In effect, the Pentagon argues that since adversaries have failed to follow the US in de-emphasizing the role of nuclear weapons, Washington needs a greater range of nuclear options to counter its potential foes, especially for carrying out limited strikes.

Russia’s decision to develop and deploy that system is described by the review as part of a Russian doctrine that calls for threatening the limited use of nuclear weapons, or perhaps even carrying out a limited nuclear strike, to end a conventional war on terms favorable to the Kremlin.

By developing a new American “low yield” system, the Pentagon review argues the US will have more credible options to respond to Russian threats without using more powerful strategic nuclear weapons, which the Kremlin may calculate Washington would be reluctant to use for fear of unleashing an all-out nuclear war. Because the new weapons it is proposing would be based at sea, the US wouldn’t need the permission of other nations to deploy them and their deployment wouldn’t violate existing arms-control agreements.

The draft doesn’t precisely define what “low yield” nuclear weapons might be, but the new Trident system might have a warhead of one or two kilotons, compared with the current system which has an explosive yield that ranges from 100 kilotons to 455 kilotons, depending on the warhead it carries. By comparison, the U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II was about 15 kilotons.

Critics of the Pentagon’s strategy claim that the adoption of “low-power” nuclear weapons could lower the threshold for launching a nuclear strike.

“We should be doing everything to reduce the risk that nuclear weapons are going to be used, not expanding the ambiguity of when we might use nuclear weapons,” said Jon Wolfsthal, who served as a senior official for arms control on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council.

Regardless, the review has drawn support from conservative lawmakers and pundits. “This is not about making weapons more usable; this is about strengthening deterrence so that nuclear weapons are not used in the first place,” said Robert Joseph, a senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration. "We have to think what would be credible in Russian eyes."

According to the WSJ, the review makes clear that the US could suspend its plans to revamp its nuclear arsenal if Russia fixes alleged violation of the 1987 treaty banning U.S. and Russian land-based intermediate-range missiles and also reduce its formidable arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons.

Russia and China aren’t the only threats cited in the nuclear review. It also asserts that upgrading the US nuclear arsenal will add to the country’s ability to deter North Korean aggression.

 

Sub

“North Korea relies on hardened and deeply buried facilities to secure the Kim regime and its key military and command and control capabilities,” the review says. "Consequently, the United States will continue to field a range of conventional and nuclear capabilities able to hold such targets at risk."

Despite the debate over the proposed “low yield” Trident missile and sea-launched cruise missile, many of the other weapons recommended by the review also were advocated by the Obama administration, including the development of a new strategic bomber and an air-launched cruise missile.

But even if the plan is approved by Trump, carrying out the modernization will require 6.4% of the Defense Department budget, up from 2% to 3% today. If the Pentagon doesn’t secure the spending increases it anticipates - something that Republicans are fighting to include in a long-term spending bill - this could heighten the competition for funds.

But as Russia continues to test powerful ICBMs that it claims can overcome NATO’s missile-defense systems - and North Korea and Iran continuing ballistic missile tests of their own - the urgency to pass a plan to upgrade US weapons systems hasn’t been this intense in years.

 

Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Entertainment] Seal "Vehemently Denies" Sexual Misconduct Allegations SealSeal has denied allegations of sexual misconduct against him. "Seal vehemently denies the recent accusations made against him by a former neighbor for alleged misconduct of more than...
Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Media] ‘They GOTTA have more sh*thole!’ CNN said ‘sh*thole’ HOW many times IN ONE DAY? WOW!

And here we thought CNN didn’t like Trump using the word, ‘sh*thole.’ Huh, shows what we know. CNN can’t get enough of the shithole! https://t.co/pxnxN3u1JB — Allahpundit (@allahpundit) January 16, 2018 From newbusters.org: In the contest for Most Offended News Network after President Trump reportedly referred to African nations as “s***hole” countries, CNN wins hands […]

The post ‘They GOTTA have more sh*thole!’ CNN said ‘sh*thole’ HOW many times IN ONE DAY? WOW! appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Culture] Mike Rowe Doesn’t Hold Back in Response to Viewer Who Didn’t Agree With His Worldview

Mike Rowe, best known as the host of "Dirty Jobs" and the CNN series "Somebody’s Gotta Do It," had a prolific response to a viewer who expressed concern that someone with his political views would be narrating a television show about science.

The post Mike Rowe Doesn’t Hold Back in Response to Viewer Who Didn’t Agree With His Worldview appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Apps] A dark mode for YouTube’s mobile app is spotted in the wild  Last spring, YouTube rolled out a massive update to its desktop site that included a redesign, faster underlying framework, and the addition of a dark mode. Now, that dark theme may be making its way to the YouTube mobile app, as well. The change was recently spotted by MacRumors (by way of Reddit), and is already appearing for some users of the most recent version (13.0.1) of the YouTube… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[a30aeb2a-7845-46b9-b191-de08f72ca28a] Seal accused of groping and forcibly kissing neighbor; police investigating Singer Seal was accused of groping and forcibly kissing his neighbor actress Tracey Birdsall and the police are reportedly investigating. Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[The Blog] AZ Sen candidate: Your “clean DACA bill” isn’t happening (video)

Get over it

The post AZ Sen candidate: Your “clean DACA bill” isn’t happening (video) appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Science] DHS secretary snaps after Dems push her on 'shithole' comment: 'I have answered this!' Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., all pushed the one-month-old DHS chief to divu... Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Markets] Trade war ahead? Trump tells China’s Xi that growing trade gap ‘not sustainable’ President Donald Trump this week complained to China’s President Xi Jinping of a worsening trade deficit, in a sign that further action may be on the horizon.
Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[Comic books] ‘Black Lightning’ strikes with the perfect mix of super-heroics and social responsibility
'Black Lightning' strikes with the perfect mix of super-heroics and social responsibility

For those looking for a black superhero to crash the network television party, there was always only one hope: Black Lightning. There exists a small Mount Rushmore of black comic book superheroes to begin with and most have already begun their path in the world of entertainment. There’s Marvel’s Black Panther, who will make his cinematic debut (with Chadwick […]
Published:1/16/2018 11:38:18 AM
[The Declaration] Century-Old Baltimore Memorial Honoring ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Defaced for Promoting ‘Racist Anthem’ The police are investigating. Published:1/16/2018 11:38:17 AM
[cyber attacks] Marco Rubio Introduces Legislation Combatting Russia Election Interference The legislation comes ahead of this year's midterm elections. Published:1/16/2018 11:38:17 AM
[] Jeff Flake: Trump Is Kind of Like Josef Stalin in Banning Press Freedoms A strong conservative voice, other strong conservative voices tell us. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Sunday he would compare President Trump to Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin when it comes to press freedom in a series of speeches he plans... Published:1/16/2018 11:38:17 AM
[World] Trump aides debate which version of vulgarity Trump uttered WASHINGTON (AP) — As the fallout over President Donald Trump's use of a vulgarity bleeds into a second week, aides to the president are locked in an internal debate over which version of the word the president used to describe certain countries during immigration talks with senators. Published:1/16/2018 11:12:31 AM
[Politics] UH OH: DHS Secy reports BIG jump in illegal immigration in last three months At a Senate Judiciary hearing on DHS oversight this morning, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reported that while overall illegal immigration is down, it has been increasing substantially in the last three months: . . . Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Political Cartoons] Democrats Always Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places

The truth is that the Democrats love fishing for votes in any ol’ hole they can find.     Check out more of A.F. Branco’s Great Work at Comically Incorrect….

The post Democrats Always Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Politics] 10 Thoughts on the President and the ‘S—hole Countries’

Here are 10 thoughts on the president’s alleged use of the word “s—hole” in describing Haiti, a Central American country, and African countries: 1. There... Read More

The post 10 Thoughts on the President and the ‘S—hole Countries’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Markets] Stock performance in Trump’s first year is second only to FDR When President Donald Trump celebrates the first anniversary of his inauguration later this week, U.S. stock-market investors may be cheering along with him. Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[b03c0b7a-ff26-4e98-bb08-32116e1a75b5] Ann Curry could enact revenge on Matt Lauer in first TV interview since his 'Today' firing Ann Curry has done a lot since she was pushed out by disgraced anchor Matt Lauer from the "Today" show in 2015. Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Politics] Nielsen on Trump’s Reported ‘S—Hole’ Comment: ‘I Did Not Hear That Word Used’

The post Nielsen on Trump’s Reported ‘S—Hole’ Comment: ‘I Did Not Hear That Word Used’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Markets] Bannon subpoenaed in Russia investigation Bannon subpoenaed in Russia investigation Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Markets] Bannon Subpoenaed By Mueller In Russia Probe

The bad news for Steve Bannon just keeps on coming.

Not long after Bannon was bounced from Breitbart following his feud with Trump over his comments in Michael Wolff's book, moments ago the NYT reports that Trump’s former chief strategist was subpoenaed last week by the special counsel, Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury as part of the investigation into possible links between Trump’s associates and Russia.

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And the reason why stocks dipped modestly and the VIX bounced on the news, is that the subpoena marks the first time Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle.

After excerpts from the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” were published this month, Mr. Trump derided Mr. Bannon publicly and threatened to sue him for defamation. Mr. Bannon was soon ousted as the executive chairman of the hard-right website Breitbart News.

Mueller reportedly issued the subpoena after Mr. Bannon was quoted in a new book criticizing Mr. Trump, saying that Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with Russians was “treasonous” and predicting that the special counsel investigation would ultimately center on money laundering.

According to the NYT, the subpoena could be a negotiating tactic:

Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in Washington, according to the person, who would not be named discussing the case. But it was not clear why Mr. Mueller treated Mr. Bannon differently than the dozen administration officials who were interviewed in the final months of last year and were never served with a subpoena.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Bannon was testifying behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The NYT quotes legal experts who said the subpoena could be a sign that the investigation was intensifying, while others said it may simply have been a negotiating tactic to persuade Mr. Bannon to cooperate with the investigation. The experts also said it could be a signal to Mr. Bannon, who has tried to publicly patch up his falling-out with the president, that despite Mr. Trump’s legal threats, Mr. Bannon must be completely forthcoming with investigators.

Prosecutors generally prefer to interview witnesses before a grand jury when they believe they have information that the witnesses do not know or when they think they might catch the witnesses in a lie. It is much easier for a witness to stop the questioning or sidestep questions in an interview than during grand jury testimony, which is transcribed, and witnesses are required to answer every question.

The news will hardly come as a surprise to Trump: "the president appeared to ease his anger toward Mr. Bannon at the end of last week. When asked in an interview with The Wall Street Journal whether his break with Mr. Bannon was “permanent,” the president replied, “I don’t know what the word ‘permanent’ means.”"

As a result, "people close to Mr. Bannon took the president’s comments as a signal that Mr. Trump was aware that his fired strategist would soon be contacted by investigators."

Whether or not Bannon actually knows something that can help the Mueller probe, of course, remains to be seen.

Despite a modest blip lower in risk, stocks have promptly BTFD on the news and for now appear unbothered by this latest development involving the Trump probe.

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Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[#TimesUp] Timothée Chalamet Makes Statement by Promising to Donate Salary from Woody Allen Film The young actor joins a growing list of stars turning their backs on Woody Allen. Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Entertainment] Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Welcome Baby No. 3 via Surrogate Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, InstagramKim Kardashian and Kanye West's family has officially grown! The famous couple welcomed their third child via surrogate, and the family is over the moon. "Kanye and I are happy to...
Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Entertainment] Chrissy Teigen offers to pay $100K fine if McKayla Maroney breaks NDA to speak about Dr. Larry Nasser

Responding to an article on MailOnline, supermodel Chrissy Teigen offered to pay the reported $100,000 fine if Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney breaks an NDA she signed and spills the beans on disgraced pervert Dr. Larry Nasser: The entire principle of this should be fought – an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with […]

The post Chrissy Teigen offers to pay $100K fine if McKayla Maroney breaks NDA to speak about Dr. Larry Nasser appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Artificial Intelligence] DefinedCrowd’s next-gen platform solves the AI data acquisition problem  With all the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, you would be forgiven for thinking that developing the algorithms powering deep learning are where the toughest challenges in the industry are. The actual challenge for most algorithms though is not their mathematics, but rather their inputs — collating high-quality data that is well-labeled and allows for the training of these models… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Government] Democrat Candidate Calls for Forced Government Service

Democrat Senate candidate from Texas Beto O’Rourke hoped to “introduce a bill to Congress this year that would require all young people to spend at least a year ‘in service to this country.’” This is a form of servitude. There is no provision in the Constitution for required service to this country. It’s bad enough ...

The post Democrat Candidate Calls for Forced Government Service appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[The Blog] Will USA Gymnastics “fine” Maroney $100G for speaking at molester’s sentencing?

Teigen: I'll pay it for you, McKayla.

The post Will USA Gymnastics “fine” Maroney $100G for speaking at molester’s sentencing? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 11:12:30 AM
[Markets] London Markets: FTSE 100 ends lower, pulling back further from record British blue-chip stocks finish lower Tuesday, pulled down in part by a fall in shares of BP PLC after the energy heavyweight said it will take a $1.7 billion charge related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A selloff for miners also weighs.
Published:1/16/2018 11:12:29 AM
[Right Column] REPORT: EUROPE’S ‘GREEN ENERGY’ IS WORSE FOR ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’ THAN COAL
Published:1/16/2018 11:12:29 AM
[Science] Kirstjen Nielsen says she does not know if Norwegians are mostly white, 'but I imagine that's the case': Watch "I actually do not know that, sir, but I imagine that's the case," she responded. Published:1/16/2018 11:12:29 AM
[World] Gorka Blasts Flake for Trump-Stalin Comments: 'My Father Was Tortured Under a Stalinist Regime'

Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka blasted Sen. Jeff Flake for invoking Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in his recent criticism of President Trump.

Published:1/16/2018 10:38:05 AM
[storytype:standard] Thermometer in world’s coldest village breaks as temperatures plunge to -62C Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[e99144f5-89a2-4229-8c8c-9419f235d6ff] What conservatives need to understand about Facebook I was recently asked, “Todd, how come I never see your stories in my Facebook news feed?” Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[Economy] Leftwing Media Mocked Tax Reform, but it’s Conservatives Laughing Now

The Washington Free Beacon has created a brilliant supercut that expertly shows the leftwing media mocking GOP efforts to reform our terrible tax code, before then cutting to video of that same media reporting on rising wages, and employee bonuses. The video shows these brilliant media liberals laughing at the idea that tax cuts would lead ...

The post Leftwing Media Mocked Tax Reform, but it’s Conservatives Laughing Now appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[Uncategorized] Germany Allows Iranian Regime ‘Death Judge’ to Leave the Country Ayatollah Shahroudi ran Islamic courts that presided over the killing of thousands of Iranians Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[Science] Hawaii Democrat: Trump wants 'basically white people' to come to US “He made clear that day that he met with Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham that he wants basically white people to come to our country,” Sen. M... Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[Apps] Time spent in apps grew just 6% last year, down from 11% in 2017  The app economy is continuing to grow, with the worldwide revenue from app stores expected to top $110 billion this year, according to recent estimates from App Annie. However, the time people spend using their apps is starting to stagnate, another report has found. In Flurry’s “State of Mobile 2017” annual wrap-up, the firm reported that overall app session activity only grew… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[Markets] GE may break up after reviewing corporate structure GE may break up after reviewing corporate structure Published:1/16/2018 10:38:04 AM
[Markets] A likely scenario: Bonds fall, eventually pulling down stocks Bonds will ‘reprice’ as inflation accelerates this year, says Michael Gayed.
Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Media] ‘Weird.’ Jesse Kelly notices GLARING issue with CNN’s coverage of Detroit man deported to Mexico

This guy was in America for 30 years illegally and in all of that time, he didn’t make time to at least get a green card? And sorry CNN, but he is a criminal if he’s here illegally, that’s literally breaking the law. We get it, it’s sad that this family is being separated but […]

The post ‘Weird.’ Jesse Kelly notices GLARING issue with CNN’s coverage of Detroit man deported to Mexico appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Podcasts] The First Rule of S—holes

Donald Trump can’t decide which person he is on immigration—the one with love or the one who prefers Nordics to Nigerians. Meanwhile, Hawaii tells its ...

The post The First Rule of S—holes appeared first on Commentary Magazine.

Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[The Blog] Revealed: Hawaii’s emergency missile alert interface is unspeakably terrible

Wut.

The post Revealed: Hawaii’s emergency missile alert interface is unspeakably terrible appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Markets] Stocks Come Off Highs as Dow Slips Below 26,000 The Dow Jones Industrial Average breaks through 26,000 on Tuesday, and the S&P 500 crosses 2,800. Both indexes, along with the Nasdaq, set record intraday highs. Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Politics] UH OH: DHS Secy reports BIG jump in illegal immigration in last three months At a Senate Judiciary hearing on DHS oversight this morning, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reported that while overall illegal immigration is down, it has been increasing substantially in the last three months: . . . Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Political Cartoons] Democrats Always Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places

The truth is that the Democrats love fishing for votes in any ol’ hole they can find.     Check out more of A.F. Branco’s Great Work at Comically Incorrect….

The post Democrats Always Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[The Declaration] Chelsea Handler Attacks White People on MLK Day, Tells Them 'Don't Speak Today' "This day means more today than it ever has, we..." Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Markets] "Buy Puts Now": Morgan Stanley Issues A Warning As S&P Calls Hit All Time Highs

Pitching hedges when the market is in the middle of a blow off top is a tough sell. But, according to Chris Metli, executive director in Morgan Stanley's Inst. Equity Division, that's exactly what traders should be doing, for three reasons: 1) positioning, 2) pricing, and 3) potential catalysts, which "all suggest now is an attractive time to buy Feb puts as a hedge – and it is a rare event when all align."

Here is how one of the top Morgan Stanley cross-asset quants justifies his reasoning:

First this is not a call for the final top – positive sentiment and positioning can have momentum of their own and absent some kind of shock likely take the market higher.  But the rally is getting more fragile – as MS Equity Strategist Mike Wilson notes in Weekly Warm-up: Euphoria! (Jan 16, 2018) "The bottom line is that we have entered the late cycle euphoria stage we predicted a year ago.” and “it is more likely the S&P 500 will reach our bull case of 3,000 before it's over. We just want to make sure investors appreciate this is higher, not lower risk than the rally we experienced last year.”

1.  The rally is getting riskier because of positioning – investors have aggressively chased beta with both futures and options.  Over the last two weeks investors have bought the 2nd largest amount of S&P 500 futures (as measured by MS Trade Pressure) since at least 2010, while at the same time net holdings of S&P 500 calls are the highest and the net holdings of S&P 500 puts are the lowest since at least 2010.

 

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2. That demand for upside and lack of interest in protection has driven short dated skew down to near post crisis lows, making puts cheaper.  This flattening of skew is a sharp turnaround from the historical highs seen just last October and bucks the structural steepening of the last several years (chart above).

On one hand the flattening simply reflects a lack of demand for puts.  But it also reflects the fact that volatility is now positively correlated to spot – i.e. volatility has been rising in an up market – and a belief by market participants that vol is unlikely to rise significantly if spot falls

While this may hold for small declines in spot, QDS thinks that anything more than a 2% drawdown could drive a meaningful increase in vol, making puts even more valuable.  A 2% decline would certainly surprise the market, and would also be compounded by dealer demand for options – while the overall investor community doesn’t own a lot of protection, there has been some lumpy buying of puts that means in a move lower dealers will get shorter vol and need to cover (i.e. buy options).

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3)    Finally there is actually a potential catalyst with a potential government shutdown this Friday January 19th, as well as the State of the Union on the 30th.  Shutdowns rarely have any lasting impact, but historically have resulted in short-term equity drawdowns, and it appears that the probability of an adverse outcome this time around is rising.

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To position for a quick pullback QDS suggests simply buying Feb 2% OTM SPY puts for ~41bps (272 strike vs 277.92 ref as of Friday’s close, but should roll up to higher strike on today’s rally) to capture both potential catalysts and leave a little time value to benefit from a potential increase in volatility on a selloff.  The market implied probability of a 2% decline over the next month is only ~12%, in the 3rd percentile since 2001, and puts have rarely been cheaper.  The MS Index Trading desk has also commented on the attractiveness of SPX hedges.

 

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Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[Bachelor in Paradise] January Jones Has a Brand New ‘Bachelor’ Boyfriend 'Mad Men' star January Jones is dating reality television competitor Nick Viall, who competed on multiple installments of 'The Bachelor' without finding love. Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[] The Morning Rant "So help a poor gorilla out here, why was Trump's labelling some 3rd world shithole countries as 'shitholes' objectionable? Was it because they're really not shitholes, but happy, prosperous countries where everybody is doing fine, or is it that it's... Published:1/16/2018 10:38:03 AM
[World] House panel interviewing Bannon after his fall from power WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon, the onetime close confidant to President Donald Trump, arrived early Tuesday for his interview before the House Intelligence Committee. Published:1/16/2018 10:08:24 AM
[Government and Institutions] Statutory regulation vs private regulation The EU’s second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) came into force earlier this month. According to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), its 1.7 million paragraphs will make financial markets more efficient, resilient and transparent. But will they? Is MiFID II well-designed? As with any major new regulation, the effects of MiFID … Continue reading "Statutory regulation vs private regulation" Published:1/16/2018 10:08:24 AM
[d5425d50-0933-4ada-9814-f66c47f34187] Religious Freedom Day comes in a year when this vital freedom is threatened Tuesday marked National Religious Freedom Day – a day many Americans may have never heard of, but one that honors what is perhaps our most important and fundamental freedom. Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Entertainment] Jamie-Lynn Sigler Gives Birth to Son Jack Adam Dykstra Jamie-Lynn SiglerAt long last, Jamie-Lynn Sigler has given birth! The Sopranos actress announced her son's late arrival via Instagram Tuesday. "He's here. Jack Adam Dykstra we will talk about...
Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[World] UnitedHealth Group credits tax bill with strong 2018 outlook The country's largest health insurer is increasing its 2018 earnings outlook and performed well throughout the final quarter of 2017. Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[The Blog] Great. Now your car is spying on you

Your minivan knows what you did last summer

The post Great. Now your car is spying on you appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Markets] Goldman's Commodity Revenue Falls 75% To Lowest On Record

With Goldman having shuttered much of its commodity front-office in recent years, it probably won't come as a big surprise that the bank has become increasingly less reliant on commodities as a profit center following repeated probes into manipulation by Goldman and other big banks, as well as organic revenue declines in the sector.

What is surprising, however, is the extent of the revenue decline because as Bloomberg reports this morning, Goldman suffered its worst commodities performance in the bank's history as a public company, when a drop of about 75% in net revenues in 2017 put it behind long-time rival Morgan Stanley.

More from Bloomberg:

For decades Wall Street’s dominant commodities trader, Goldman’s performance was dragged down by losses in gas and power. The slump means the bank’s storied natural resources unit fell behind competitors such as Morgan Stanley, where net revenues in the sector rose by about a fifth last year, one of the people said -- a reversal of fortunes for the two banks known as the "Wall Street refiners.”

As previously reported, the last C in FICC - which once upon a time was a wildly profitable group - Goldman’s commodities unit had been under scrutiny both within the bank and among investors since it revealed its second-quarter performance was the worst in its post-IPO history. That triggered an informal review of the unit and several high-profile departures, including global commodities head Gregory Agran.

And, as Bloomberg adds, the bank’s commodities earnings in the final three months of 2017 were better than the previous two quarters as losing natural gas trades were closed. Nonetheless, "performance at the unit remained lackluster as it cut back risk-taking."

Almost as if the lack of volatility unleashed by central banks to help banks  was... bad for banks.

While Goldman does not breakout its commodities earnings, which are lumped into its fixed income, currencies and commodities division, Goldman had net revenues from the unit of a little under $1.1 billion in 2016, according to Bloomberg. And yet, it was ranked No. 1 among global investment banks in the sector, according to Coalition Development Ltd., a London-based analytics company.

A 75% drop suggests Goldman’s net revenues in commodities last year were less than half those of Morgan Stanley, where a strong performance in gas and power helped spur an increase in commodities net revenues to more than $600 million, according to one of the people.

And while the contribution of commodities to the banks’ overall results these days is small, the asset class was once a significant driver of profits.  In its heyday in the mid-2000s, Goldman enjoyed net revenues that peaked at $3.4 billion in 2009 thanks to volatile markets, rising interest from investors and little competition from other banks.

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And, as a reminder, many of the bank’s top executives - including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein - cut their teeth in the commodities division, J. Aron.

The bank has remained committed to the unit in spite of its weak results, making at least seven new hires to the unit in the past few months, and pushing investment bankers to use their relationships with natural resources companies to help drive business.

There may be a silver lining: according to the report, so far 2018 is proving kinder to Goldman’s commodities business than 2017, according to one of the people: it had a good start to 2018, profiting from volatility in energy markets as the U.S. northeast was hit by a blast of freezing weather, which as we previously reported sent nat gas prices soaring to record highs.

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Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[US Politics] BUSTED! Buck Sexton calls Chris Christie OUT for signing law CONFISCATING bump stocks

We knew there was a reason other than he turned into a giant bowl of useless Jello after the GOP primary that we didn’t like Chris Christie. Check this crap out. On his last day in office, NJ Gov. Chris Christie signs bill banning possession of bump stock devices like the one used in the […]

The post BUSTED! Buck Sexton calls Chris Christie OUT for signing law CONFISCATING bump stocks appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Markets] CryptoWatch: A bitcoin bloodbath highlights these defensive cryptocurrency strategies A price of a single bitcoin was tumbling on Tuesday, off 11% at around $12,100, underlining a broad selloff among the virtual currencies spurred by nagging fears of increased regulation.
Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Science] For a Democratic candidate, there's nothing worse than being compared to Hillary Clinton The Toledo Blade compares Richard Cordray’s seemingly preordained glide-path to the nomination to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 coronation, and war... Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Economy] Leftwing Media Mocked Tax Reform, but it’s Conservatives Laughing Now

The Washington Free Beacon has created a brilliant supercut that expertly shows the leftwing media mocking GOP efforts to reform our terrible tax code, before then cutting to video of that same media reporting on rising wages, and employee bonuses. The video shows these brilliant media liberals laughing at the idea that tax cuts would lead ...

The post Leftwing Media Mocked Tax Reform, but it’s Conservatives Laughing Now appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Markets] Halliburton’s 1-Week Returns on January 12 What Did the Market Say about Halliburton on January 12?Halliburton’s stock price compared to the industry Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Balenciaga] Balenciaga Makes the Case for Edgy Work Wear Balenciaga's Demna Gvasalia has joined forces with Net-A-Porter and MR PORTER on an exclusive collection for both men and women. Published:1/16/2018 10:08:23 AM
[Automotive] Elon Musk says Model 3 owners will “be able to do pretty much anything” via voice  The Tesla Model 3 might be off to a slower production start than the company would’ve liked, but there are big improvements coming for the vehicle once Tesla gets on top of its assembly backlog. Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to a customer question on Twitter (via Business Insider) regarding additional voice control options with an affirmation that indeed, plenty more voice-enabled… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 10:08:19 AM
[World] The Demise of the Jury Trial

Jay Schweikert

Imagine you were on trial for your life, but your lawyer insisted on telling the jury you were guilty.

That’s what happened to Robert McCoy after he was charged with a triple homicide in Bossier City, La. When the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in McCoy v. Louisiana on Wednesday, it will decide whether McCoy deserves a new trial. But it will also have a chance to vindicate the sanctity of the criminal jury trial itself.

Criminal defense is deeply personal. The assistance of counsel is invaluable, but it is defendants, not their lawyers, who get to make fundamental decisions about their cases. The Supreme Court summed this up in 1975 when it held that the Constitution “does not provide merely that a defense shall be made for the accused; it grants to the accused personally the right to make his defense.”

With that in mind, the events of McCoy’s case were shocking. Despite the circumstantial evidence against him, McCoy maintained innocence and demanded a jury trial, in which the state would have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But McCoy’s lawyer thought a better strategy would be to admit guilt to the jury and hope for leniency. McCoy adamantly opposed this idea, but his attorney pursued it anyway.

There’s no easy solution to the problem of coercive plea bargaining, but the least we can do is not discourage trials even more than we already have.

The plan didn’t work, and McCoy was sentenced to death.

Louisiana’s main argument for upholding McCoy’s conviction is that his lawyer’s admission strategy was a reasonable attempt to save his client’s life. It’s true that in some capital cases, it may be tactically advantageous to admit guilt to a jury, with the hope of avoiding the death penalty at sentencing — just as it may sometimes be prudent to take a guilty plea, instead of risking a harsher sentence at trial.

But the issue isn’t whether admitting guilt can be reasonable, it’s whether the defendant gets to make that decision for himself.

Respect for autonomy is especially important when a defendant must decide how to weigh the risk of a capital sentence. His decision may turn on beliefs about death and redemption, relationships with friends and family, concern for his own integrity, and inner knowledge of culpability. Some capital defendants will choose to admit guilt, while others may risk execution to defend their reputation and preserve any chance of exoneration. Either way, a lawyer has no business overriding a client’s informed decision on such momentous questions.

The denigration of McCoy’s autonomy is all the more dire because the jury trial itself — that cornerstone of American criminal justice — is fast vanishing to the point of practical extinction. Our Constitution and legal heritage are premised on citizen participation in the criminal justice system. But today, more than 95 percent of criminal convictions are obtained through plea bargains, in which prosecutors can bring insurmountable pressure against defendants. Even innocent defendants are forced to plead guilty, simply because the threat of a much harsher sentence at trial is too great.

Coercive plea bargaining is exacerbated by the practical inability of appointed defense counsel to subject prosecutions to meaningful testing. Public defenders are saddled with impossible caseloads, with individual attorneys often required to manage hundreds of different felonies per year, and even more misdemeanors. The role of defense counsel, intended to serve as the defendant’s trial advocate before a jury, has largely been reduced to that of plea negotiator.

There’s no easy solution to the problem of coercive plea bargaining, but the least we can do is not discourage trials even more than we already have. Jury trials entail risk and uncertainty, but the defendant should at least be ensured that he will have a zealous advocate, committed to defending his innocence and putting the state to its burden.

By permitting defense counsel to concede guilt over a defendant’s express objection, we further diminish a right that has already been greatly eroded by a prosecutor-driven conviction machine.

Robert McCoy, the defense bar, and the criminal justice system as a whole will all be best served by a clear decision reversing McCoy’s conviction and granting him a new trial.

Jay Schweikert is a policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice.
Published:1/16/2018 9:38:51 AM
[World] Parents arrested after children found chained in house PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were children even though seven are adults. Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[SPY] Wall Street Breakfast: More Records In Store For Equities Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[History] Media and Left Call Trump Racist as He Honors MLK Jr.

It’s an odd juxtaposition to watch as liberal politicians (and their friends in the media) attempt to smear our President as a “racist,” even as he stands to honor our nation’s most famous civil rights icon. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened this past weekend as the mainstream media’s most powerful voices literally called our President ...

The post Media and Left Call Trump Racist as He Honors MLK Jr. appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Quick Takes] Using Pink and Blue to Denote Sex Declared ‘Bias Incident’ at Williams College "the school has declared a number of things to suddenly be horrible" Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[The Blog] WSJ: Intel officials warned Kushner that Fox CEO’s ex-wife might be an agent for China

Garden party?

The post WSJ: Intel officials warned Kushner that Fox CEO’s ex-wife might be an agent for China appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[27ae355b-36cb-4639-8200-94d9e0bec3e0] Jane Fonda says she's 'fine' after having cancerous growth removed from lower lip Actress Jane Fonda revealed she had a cancerous growth removed from her lower lip. Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Entertainment] 2018 NAACP Image Awards: 5 Moments You Didn't See on TV Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lena Waithe, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Angela Robinson, Laverne CoxThere are just some moments the cameras miss. Such was the case Monday night at the annual NAACP Image Awards, hosted once again this year by black-ish actor Anthony Anderson and packed...
Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Science] DHS chief: Foreign-born have made up 3-in-4 of international terrorism convictions in US courts since Sept. 11 attacks "According to a list maintained by the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, at least 549 individuals were convicted of intern... Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Media] Sarah Huckabee Sanders ZINGS Chuck Schumer and NBC over Trump/racist accusations

And in one fantastic zinger, Sarah Huckabee Sanders reminds Democrats (and NBC) that they used to love Donald Trump until he became President of the United States: .@PressSec responding to D's 'racist' charge against Trump: "Why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV, why did Chuck Schumer and all of his […]

The post Sarah Huckabee Sanders ZINGS Chuck Schumer and NBC over Trump/racist accusations appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Markets] Is It True? Do Low Rates Justify High Valuations

Authored by Peter Cook via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

“Peter B. Cook is the author of the ‘Is That True?’ series of articles, which help explain the many statements and theories circulating in the mainstream financial media often presented as “truths.” The motives and psychology of market participants, which drives the difference between truth and partial-truth, are explored.”

When the financial media continuously repeat an opinion as fact, it spawns a mainstream narrative, which produces a powerful effect on investor psychology. One mainstream narrative, repeated with certainty, is low interest rates cause high stock market valuations, which is supported by the public statements of investment luminaries such as Warren Buffett.

A related mainstream truth is rising rates will cause high stock market valuations to fall. In fact, recently, both Bill Gross and Jeffrey Gundlach have commented on the level of 10-year Treasury rates and why they are destined to go higher. Gundlach even went further, suggesting that if 10-year rates were to rise above 2.63% (currently 2.55%), stock prices would begin to fall.  While Gundlach possesses a sterling track record, and his comment captures a prominent fear among investors, his comment also seems to define the term “spurious precision.” Can it be true that stocks are a safe investment at 2.62% but not 2.63%?

Are the two “truths” in bold above supported by the historical record? Believe it or not, the answer is no, as we will explain.

Let’s begin by examining stock market valuations. Most professional observers of financial markets would agree that stocks valuations are high compared to their historical range. This fact is demonstrated in the chart of the Shiller CAPE ratio (Cyclically-Adjusted PE ratio) below.

Source:  Robert Shiller, multipl.com.  Data through January 9, 2018.

While no single statistic perfectly describes reality, the CAPE ratio highlights how cheap or expensive the stock market is relative to its historical average. Indeed, comparing the current CAPE ratio of 33.38 to its median value of 16.15, stocks would have to fall by more than 50% to be in line with historical norms.

The CAPE chart is more than a historical chart of valuation. It is also a chart of investor psychology compared to historical norms, because the chart measures the investing public’s fear or mania to “buy” a dollar’s worth of stock market earnings at any point in time. For example, a long bull market began in August 1982, when stocks were cheap (CAPE = 7) based on the fearful consensus reasoning of the day. The subsequent 18-year rally mushroomed into the internet stock craze that peaked in March 2000, when stocks were expensive (CAPE = 45), based on manic consensus reasoning of the day.

Excluding the tech mania of 2000, today stocks are more highly-valued than at any other time during the past 140 years, even including the peak at the end of the Roaring 1920s. If high valuations are a sign of investor psychology, then investors today are about as optimistic as at any time in the past.  Put another way, today’s high valuations indicate that investors see more future upside (reward) than future downside (risk).

The psychological effect on stock prices can also be seen in the chart below, which breaks down the PE ratio into P (price) and E (earnings). When the gap between price (blue line) and earnings (green line) is high, investors are willing to pay high a price to buy a dollar of earnings.  A glance at the chart shows the same eras of peak valuations occurring in the 1920s, the 1960s, and again over the past two decades. Most recently, during the past few years earnings have been flat while stocks were rising dramatically. While bidding up stock prices during this period, it appears investors were expecting a big jump in earnings. If so, they didn’t receive what they expected.  So, if earnings didn’t drive stock prices higher, what did? The inquiring minds of the financial punditry need another narrative.

Source:  Robert Shiller, multipl.com.  Data through June 2017

Regardless of the common sense embedded in the CAPE chart, doubters of the CAPE methodology would probably make arguments driven by “relative value,” not “absolute value.” Relative value arguments state that one asset is valued at price X because another asset is valued at price Y.

Let’s substitute stocks for price X and interest rates as price Y. When interest rates (Y) are extremely low, it makes intuitive sense that stock prices (X) would be high, because interest rates are a main theoretical factor in the valuation of stocks. Another sensible argument is that prevailing interest rates provide competition for an investor’s dollar relative to an investment in the stock market. For these reasons, when rates (Y) are low, stocks (X) are perceived to be more attractive, relatively.

Indeed, the two charts presented so far only show the relationship between the price of stocks and the earnings of the underlying companies; the charts say nothing about the level of interest rates.  Interest rates are the crucial input into the theoretical valuation of stocks. In addition, interest rates are thought to drive the prices of all other assets such as real estate, privately operated businesses, commodities, and currencies.

To analyze the relative value argument, let’s look at the interaction of interest rates and stock valuations over the broad sweep of time. As shown below, extremely high stock market valuations occurred in 1929, 2000, and recently. But interest rates were extremely low only once (recently) during those three occurrences. If low interest rates coincide with extremely high stock valuations only one time out of three, then it is obvious that low interest rates cannot cause high stock valuations. Yet “low interest rates cause high stock valuations” is one of the certainties of the current mainstream narrative.

Source:  Robert Shiller, multipl.com.  Data through June 2017.

Isolating the times when interest rates were extremely low, that has occurred twice; in the 1940s and again in recent times. But in the 1940s, stock valuations were low. So, the statement that low interest rates cause high stock valuations is supported by a .500 batting average in the historical record, which is the equivalent of a coin-flip.

A better batting average is achieved by the relative value argument that extremely high interest rates coincide with extremely low stock market valuations, which occurred in 1921 and 1981.  Although a sample size of two observations is not enough from which to draw a statistically-significant conclusion, at least the batting average is 1.000.

Summarizing the historical relationship between extremes in stock market valuations with extremes in interest rates:

  • Extremely high interest rates, which have occurred twice, coincided with low stock market valuations. This fact does not prove that high interest rates “cause” low stock valuations. But at least the historical record is consistent with such a statement.
  • Extremely low interest rates, which have occurred twice, have coincided with high stock market valuations only once; today. The historical record (1/2 probability) does not validate the highly-confident mainstream narrative that low interest rates “cause” or extremely high stock market valuations.
  • Extremely high stock valuations have occurred three times. Only once (1/3 probability) did high stock valuations coincide with low interest rates; today.
  • If extremely low interest rates do not cause extremely high stock market valuations, then a rise in rates should not necessarily cause a decline in stocks. That is, the historical record does not support the near-certain mainstream narrative that a rise in rates will torpedo stock prices.
  • To demonstrate the ability of a consensus narrative to overwhelm analysis of historical facts and even current reality, consider that the Fed has hiked short-term interest rates five times since December 2015. Also, long-term rates bottomed in mid-2016 and have moved more than a full percent higher. Yet the S&P 500 index has risen more than 30% since the lows in short-term and long-term rates. 

Beware the investment advisor, pundit, or superstar investor who is certain that extremely low rates cause extremely high stock valuations, or that a rise in rates from extremely low levels will cause a decline in stock prices. Stocks may fall, and interest rates may rise, but the historical record disagrees that one causes the other.

Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Politics] Here’s the lowdown on the looming government shutdown…. According to Chad Pergram at Fox News a government shutdown will happen at midnight Friday night, which is the anniversary of the day Trump took office, if Congress doesn’t find a solution . . . Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Politics] Here’s the lowdown on the looming government shutdown…. According to Chad Pergram at Fox News a government shutdown will happen at midnight Friday night, which is the anniversary of the day Trump took office, if Congress doesn’t find a solution . . . Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[Captain America: Civil War] ‘The Alienist’ Star Daniel Brühl Sheds Light on TNT’s New Drama TNT is hoping to re-invent itself with the splashy new period crime drama. Does it work? Published:1/16/2018 9:38:50 AM
[World] House investigators to question FBI chief of staff on Hillary Clinton email probe A spokesperson for House Oversight confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Jim Rybicki is expected to testify as part of the committee’s i... Published:1/16/2018 9:38:49 AM
[Politics] Voters Conflicted Over Family-First Immigration Policy

Lost in the furor over whether President Trump used off-color language in a private discussion of legal immigration is the issue he was addressing: Why isn’t the United States admitting higher skilled, better-educated immigrants? Maybe it’s because voters themselves are conflicted.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that a plurality (47%) of Likely U.S. Voters continues to favor the president’s plan for a merit-based system for legal immigration, favoring those with a higher level of skills. Thirty-six percent (36%) prefer to keep the existing family-based system, while 18% are undecided. This is little changed from when Trump first raised his proposal in April of last year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 14-15, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:1/16/2018 9:38:49 AM
[Markets] How Schlumberger Reacted to Crude Oil Prices Last Week What the Market Said about Schlumberger on January 12 Published:1/16/2018 9:38:49 AM
[Markets] Currencies: Dollar selloff pauses, rebounds from 3-year low The dollar broke a four-session losing run while the pound skipped lower.
Published:1/16/2018 9:38:49 AM
[The Declaration] Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles Alleges Sexual Abuse by Former US Team Doctor “It is not my fault.” Published:1/16/2018 9:38:49 AM
[Gadgets] The self-contained Fusion electric guitar lets you truly rock out  As a hard-core rocker and roller I find that my gear has to be ready to rock and/or roll at a moment’s notice. There is no telling when I’ll have to lay out a face-melter during jury duty or blast out some Stairway while giving plasma at the local blood bank, and I often note to friends that I enjoy rocking and rolling all night and part of every day. Are you in the same rocking boat? Read More
Published:1/16/2018 9:38:49 AM
[World] House of Horrors: California Couple, David and Louise Turpin, Arrested for Torture of Children

A California neighborhood was rocked by the arrest of a couple who are accused of keeping their 13 children shackled and on the verge of starvation.

Published:1/16/2018 9:04:52 AM
[World] House panel interviewing Bannon after his fall from power WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon, the onetime close confidant to President Donald Trump, arrived early Tuesday for his interview before the House Intelligence Committee. Published:1/16/2018 9:04:51 AM
[Entertainment] Jane Fonda Laughs Off Lily Tomlin's "Facelift" Joke on Today: "Who Are You, Megyn Kelly?" Jane Fonda, TodaySavannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb's jaws hit the floor when they interviewed Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin on NBC's Today Tuesday. The unfiltered Hollywood icons, who were promoting the new...
Published:1/16/2018 9:04:51 AM
[National Security] Days After Hawaii Alert Gaffe, Japan Issues False Alarm About a Missile Launch

TOKYO (Reuters) — Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.

The post Days After Hawaii Alert Gaffe, Japan Issues False Alarm About a Missile Launch appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Anti-Semitism] Abate Abbas, please (Scott Johnson) Mahmoud Abbas is one of the many people to whom President Trump is getting. It is entirely to Trump’s credit that Abbas’s usual shtick has failed so miserably with Trump, as is the contrast with President Obama in this respect. Abbas is a deeply unsavory figure in a world of unsavory figures. Entering the fourteenth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority, he lacks legitimacy of Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Media] ADORBS: ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum gets a virtual WEDGIE for claiming media is protecting Trump

Members of the media complaining about the current media having a new set of rules that somehow protect Trump may be the most hilarious yet dumbest thing we have seen so far this year, and 2018 has already been seriously stupid. If you can read both of Judd’s tweets without either laughing or mumbling WTF […]

The post ADORBS: ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum gets a virtual WEDGIE for claiming media is protecting Trump appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[dbbe8240-d66a-4150-91a4-27ac8e7f5486] Sharon Stone says she's 'seen it all' when it comes to sexual harassment Sharon Stone has seen a lot in Hollywood since she started her acting career 40 years ago. Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Money] Teflon Bull Market Shakes Off Headline Risk Income investment expert Bryan Perry explains the resilience of this bull market. Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Markets] BofA: "Investors Are Long, Unprotected And Partying Like It's 2019"

In Bank of America's latest monthly survey of Fund Managers (which polls 183 participants with $526bn AUM), BofA Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett found what many had expected: euphoria is officially the only sentiment that matters in the market, to wit: "Investors are long, unprotected, & say equity bull market continues to 2019."

As part of this "Party like it’s 2019" mentality, Hartnett believes that the bull capitulation means "a vol spike is imminent but requires surge in inflation & yields to satisfy bond paranoia." Meanwhile, fund managers are rotating into pro-cyclical sectors like tech, industrials, EMs, equities, and out of telecom, bonds, utilities, UK.

Below we lay out the main findings:

Average cash balance falls from 4.7% in December to 4.4% this month, a five-year low

 

sdf

Did we mention everyone is all in? Because they are: the net hedge fund equity market exposure climbs nine percentage points to net 49%, the highest level since 2006.

 

asd

Allocation to equities jumps to two year highs of net 55% overweight - the current allocation is high at 1.1 std. devs above its long-term average - while allocation to bonds falls to four year lows of net 67% underweight; Investors are the most overweight equities relative to government bonds since August 2014

 

sdf

The net % of investors saying they are taking out protection against a near-term correction in the markets falls to net -50%, the lowest level since 2013.

 

asd

A majority of investors now expect the equity market to peak in “2019 or beyond” pushing back the timing by two quarters from December, when the majority expected a top in Q2 2018.

 

asd

The net share of investors saying global corporate earnings will rise 10% or more over the next year comes in at net 15%, the highest level since 2011; furthermore, 57% of investors would like to see companies increase capital spending

Meanwhile, in terms of most crowded trades, for the first time being Short Volatility (28%) has overtaken Long FAANG+BAT (26%) and Long Bitcoin (24%) as the trade considered most crowded

 

asd

Looking ahead, understandably inflation - which mysteriously no central bank can measure accurately any more - and bond crash (36%), i.e. the anti-goldilocks trade, tops the list of tail risks cited by investors; the top three are rounded out by a policy mistake by the Fed/ECB (19%) and market structure (11%)

 

dfg

Also of note, a net 11% of investors surveyed expect the U.S. yield curve to flatten in 2018, the highest level in over two years

 

asd

When asked about preferred regions, global investors say they would most like to overweight and Japan; he UK continues to be deeply out of consensus, falling once more to a new record low since 2001

 

sdf

Investors rotate into cyclical plays:tech (the largest monthly rise since July 2014), industrials, EM and equities; they moved out of defensive plays ike telecom (second lowest level since 2005), bonds, utilities, and the UK.

 

sdf

BofA's Bottom line, it's a meltup:

 

Exhibit A: Jan FMS asset allocation reflects "buy the first rate hike, sell the last rate hike" playbook; investors are long, unprotected, & say equity bull runs to '19; bull capitulation means vol spike imminent but requires surge in inflation & yields

 

asd

Exhibit B: FMS investors now say no equity peak in 2018 (Dec FMS said Q2'18 peak); level of investor hedging lowest since Jan'14; drop in cash level from 4.7% to 4.4%, 5-year low.

Exhibit C: FMS investors most OW stocks relative to govt bonds since Aug'14; bond paranoia rife (#1 tail risk = inflation/bond crash) as FMS inflation expectations fourth highest since 1995, but until rising rates affect EPS asset allocators are determined to stay long

Exhibit D: FMS Jan rotation is pro-cyclical: into tech (biggest monthly rise since Jul'14), industrials, EM, equities; out of telecom (2nd lowest since '05), bonds, utilities, UK

Finally, everyone is shorting the VIX:

"FMS most crowded trade = short Vol, followed by long FAANG+BAT; contrarian relative trade is now buying bond proxies & the US dollar should growth unexpectedly falter; by end-Q1 we expect peak Positioning to combine with peak Profits & Policy to create spike in volatility."

As a reminder, this is a problem, because as Goldman noted in, "This Has Only Happened Twice In History" - Goldman Asks "Should We Worry?" It could take only a 3 vol VIX jump to trigger a sharp market correction as all those people short Vol rush to cover.

Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Markets] Economic Report: Empire State factory gauge declines for third straight month in January The Empire State manufacturing survey slipped to 17.7 in January from a revised 19.6 in December, the New York Fed said.
Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Markets] The Latest Dow Record Happened in Record Time The move from 25000 to 26000 was by far the fastest ascent from one round-number milestone to the next in the Dow's 121-year history. Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Markets] Merck leads way — soaring 6.5% — as Dow industrials' rise exceeds 270 points Merck leads way — soaring 6.5% — as Dow industrials' rise exceeds 270 points Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[carbohydrate] How to Eat a Keto Diet When You’re Vegan, Vegetarian, or Plant-Based Merging a plant-based diet with keto is totally possible. Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[History] Media and Left Call Trump Racist as He Honors MLK Jr.

It’s an odd juxtaposition to watch as liberal politicians (and their friends in the media) attempt to smear our President as a “racist,” even as he stands to honor our nation’s most famous civil rights icon. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened this past weekend as the mainstream media’s most powerful voices literally called our President ...

The post Media and Left Call Trump Racist as He Honors MLK Jr. appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[Ridiculae] Claim: Aboriginals Torched the Australian Landscape Because of Sea Level Rise Guest essay by Eric Worrall Ship of Fools expedition leader Chris Turney shares more of his climate wisdom. Australia’s coastal living is at risk from sea level rise, but it’s happened before January 16, 2018 6.06am AEDT With global sea levels expected to rise by up to a metre by 2100 we can learn much… Published:1/16/2018 9:04:50 AM
[World] Dow Hits 26,000: Varney Says Mainstream Media Largely Ignores 'Trump Rally'

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 26,000 point milestone at the opening bell on Tuesday.

Published:1/16/2018 8:38:34 AM
[World] Britain May Be on the Brink of a Productivity Breakthrough

Ryan Bourne

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman once said: “productivity isn’t everything, but, in the long run it is almost everything”.

Hammering home the point, he claimed that “a country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker”

Britain’s post-crisis story of sluggish growth, stagnant wages, and worse-than-expected public finances can be entirely explained by this. Output per hour worked was just one per cent higher in 2017 Q3 than before the crash.

If the trend growth seen between 1970 and 2007 had continued, productivity would be 23 per cent higher today.

It’s therefore heartening that the most recent data shows a sharp uptick. At 0.9 per cent growth for the quarter, the figures for 2017 Q3 were the biggest improvement in output per hour worked for six years. The question now is whether this is evidence of a robust recovery or another false dawn.

Productivity growth generally comes from human ingenuity generating ideas, that are then dispersed by markets.

As with all economic data, one has to be a bit careful not to over-interpret. Productivity stats are an aggregate measure for the whole economy of output divided by total hours worked. If people freely choose to work longer hours, they produce less per hour, worsening measured “productivity”, though economic welfare has improved.

Economy-wide stats can likewise be dragged down by what we’d otherwise consider positive trends, such as more low-skilled workers or migrants moving into the labour market.

In some industries, such as politics and the media, underlying productivity might actually be improving. But people spending more of the time “freed up” to engage in leisure at work, by surfing Twitter or reading others’ articles, might mask this.

After recessions, too, statistical agencies can be slow to measure new types of output. The economist Jonathan Haskel, at Imperial College London, thinks about a third of Britain’s “productivity puzzle” can be explained by a failure to measure intangibles effectively, such as design and branding.

Yet all these caveats cannot explain the unprecedented structural break after the financial crisis. And one line of thought says that nothing fundamental in Britain really changed after the crisis, so the country could see the return of fast growth soon.

The economic historian Anton Howes explained this most clearly last year. Productivity ultimately arises through the proliferation of inventions and innovations in techniques and organisation.

These new ideas are dispersed through the economy, bringing with them economic gains. Sluggish productivity is then explained either by slowing innovation, or roadblocks to the diffusion of new ideas.

It is a stretch to suggest that the rate of inventions has slowed.

By 2030, the Boston Consulting Group estimates a quarter of all miles driven in the US will be in self-driving electric cars. Virtual online assistants proliferate on major company websites. Google has released headphones that can instantly translate 40 languages as you hear them. Microsoft now reckons that artificial intelligence is on par with humans in a conversational speech task for the first time.

So if inventions are progressing as swiftly as ever, has diffusing ideas become more difficult?

After 2008, capital markets were impaired. Extraordinary monetary policy may have kept zombie companies on life support. Weak foreign growth prospects may have deterred investments, and large fiscal stimulus crowded out private sector activity.

But as each of these potential headwinds unwinds, there is no reason to expect productivity growth to have slowed permanently.

In fact, if innovation has been largely unchanged post-crisis, Britain may be set to experience rapid catch-up growth as it integrates new innovations.

Now, changing demand patterns could quell this somewhat.

Suppose self-driving vehicles rapidly enhance productivity by delivering trucking and tax activities far more cheaply, and free up commuter time to work or read while travelling. This could bring huge gains to the economy. Yet if any savings were then spent on services such as health or social care, where productivity improvements are inherently difficult, then in future productivity growth could slow.

Yet even here there is great promise. An AI programme operating in the Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas is able to review mammograms 30 times faster than humans, for example, with a 99 per cent accuracy rate. The possibilities are endless.

After a decade of slow growth, we adjust our expectations. But productivity growth generally comes from human ingenuity generating ideas, that are then dispersed by markets.

Provided Britain maintains its commitment to the latter, and does not opt for a socialist experiment under the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, the good times really could be just around the corner.

Ryan Bourne holds the R Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute.
Published:1/16/2018 8:38:34 AM
[World] Trump aides debate which version of vulgarity Trump uttered WASHINGTON (AP) — As the fallout over President Donald Trump's use of a vulgarity bleeds into a second week, aides to the president are locked in an internal debate over which version of the word the president used to describe certain countries during immigration talks with senators. Published:1/16/2018 8:38:33 AM
[Tech] Using an EF Core Database for the IdentityServer4 Configuration Data Damien Bowden implements a database store for the IdentityServer4 configurations for the Client, ApiResource, and IdentityResource settings using Entity Framework Core and SQLite. Published:1/16/2018 8:38:33 AM
[Entertainment] Heather Matarazzo Is Engaged to Heather Turman Heather Matarazzo, Heather TurmanHeather Matarazzo is engaged! The Princess Diaries actress proposed to comedian Heather Turman on Jan. 11. The happy couple announced the news via Instagram on Monday and shared pictures...
Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Politics] Charlie Gasparino explains what Steve Bannon is saying now about how he’s going to revive his political career FBN’s Charlie Gasparino explained yesterday what Steve Bannon is telling people about what he’s going to do after he’s finally and completely gone from Breitbart: Apparently Bannon wants to stay in the . . . Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Politics] Charlie Gasparino explains what Steve Bannon is saying now about how he’s going to revive his political career FBN’s Charlie Gasparino explained yesterday what Steve Bannon is telling people about what he’s going to do after he’s finally and completely gone from Breitbart: Apparently Bannon wants to stay in the . . . Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[64ab8275-242f-4601-b7a3-bb3062f3e245] Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan's tragic last photo with boyfriend revealed The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan enjoyed a cozy New Years Eve with her boyfriend of two years weeks before she died suddenly at age 46. Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[The Blog] Turkey promises to “strangle” US-backed forces in Syria

That's one heck of an ally we've got there

The post Turkey promises to “strangle” US-backed forces in Syria appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Science] 90 percent of ABC, NBC, CBS analysis on Trump last year was negative, conservative group says The three networks devoted 100 hours of airtime, or 34 percent of all evening news, to covering Trump from Jan. 20, 2017 through the end of.... Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Apps] Ripple turns investor as execs lead $25M round for storage and rental startup Omni  Earlier this month, I wrote that crypto companies are going to become investors in 2018. I didn’t quite imagine that happening as quickly as mid-January, but here we are. Ripple, the fintech startup behind the controversial XRP token that’s worth over $50 billion, has its first investment after it backed U.S.-based storage startup Omni via a $25 million round. Omni was founded… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Politics] Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 29% who Strongly Approve of the way the president is performing and 45% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16. (see trends)

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern  (sign up for free daily email update).

Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Markets] Dow Opens Above 26,000 After Fastest 1000-Point Surge In History

Well that escalated quickly...

Having surpassed 25,000 at the open on January 4th (surging from 24k to 25k in a record 23 days), The Dow Jones Industrial Average has opened today above 26,000...

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180116_10002_0.png

 

Crossing that 1000-point gap in a record-smashing 12 calendar days (8 trading sessions)...

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180116_1000.png

 

Interestingly, as US equities are opening notably higher after their day off, VIX is also significantly higher...

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180116_10001_0.png

The S&P is now less than 50 points away from Goldman's year end target of 2850.. at this rate it will hit that by week-end.

 

Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[The Declaration] Watch: Firefighter Makes Life-Saving Catch After a Family Is Trapped in a Burning Building "'Lord, let me catch this baby.'" Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Markets] Dow hits 26,000 for first time The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched the 26,000-mark for the first time on Tuesday and other Wall Street indexes climbed as strong earnings from UnitedHealth and Citigroup helped lift the sentiment. ... Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Markets] In One Chart: Here’s how the stock market has handled past government shutdowns If the U.S. government shuts down this weekend, will the stock market’s nearly uninterrupted march higher also come to a close?
Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[] Mid-Morning Open Thread Madame Meerson And Her Daughter Mary Cassatt... Published:1/16/2018 8:38:32 AM
[Entertainment] Vanderpump Rules' Brittany Cartwright Forgives Jax Taylor for Cheating on Her Vanderpump Rules, Brittany Cartwright, Jax TaylorBrittany Cartwright is a very forgiving person. In Season 6 of Bravo's Vanderpump Rules, Cartwright was livid after learning that Jax Taylor cheated on her with Faith Stowers, their...
Published:1/16/2018 8:06:53 AM
[Markets] Dow on track for 200-point jump, putting 26,000 within reach U.S. stock futures on Tuesday point to a jump at the open, with Dow futures rising by more than 200 points and putting the blue-chip gauge on track for a fresh record near the 26,000 level. Published:1/16/2018 8:06:53 AM
[Science] 35 percent give Trump an 'F' after his first year Voters were most happy with Trump's handling of the economy, jobs, and fighting terrorism, but many weren't pleased with his approach to glo... Published:1/16/2018 8:06:53 AM
[DACA] DHS Secretary tells DACA recipients not to worry even if there is no immigration deal

Appearing on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signaled that the administration would not deport DACA recipients even if DACA expires and there is no immigration deal: .@SecNielsen on #DACA deportations: "It's not going to be a priority of @ICEgov to prioritize their removal. I've said that before. That's not the policy of […]

The post DHS Secretary tells DACA recipients not to worry even if there is no immigration deal appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 8:06:53 AM
[Markets] Dylan Grice Exposes Three Untrue "Truths" In Our Age of Disruption

Authored by Robert Huebscher via Advisor Perspectives,

Challenging conventional wisdom is a mainstay of financial conference speakers. I have seen few do so as effectively as Dylan Grice, who dismissed three mainstays of accepted beliefs, most notably that the value premium will deliver risk-adjusted outperformance.

Grice is a portfolio manager at Switzerland-based Calibrium AG. He previously served as an investment strategist at Societe Generale, and he spoke at that firm’s annual investment conference in London on July 9.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180116_lies.png

Grice referred to his claims as “heresy from the mountains.” Here’s what he said.

1. Value investing is an intellectual fraud

“What is investing if not for value?” Grice asked, rhetorically. He defined traditional value investing as betting with the odds in your favor or buying dollars for $.75.

The “value” adjective is not necessary, Grice said. “It is like fast sprinting or wet swimming.”

Grice then drew a distinction between fundamental, Graham and Dodd-style value investing, and factor, or quantitatively-based, strategies. He acknowledged that the 1992 Fama-French research showed that you could exploit statistical patterns of cheapness.

He then presented data comparing the small-cap Russell 2000 index relative to its value counterpart, going back 15 years. The annual value premium has been -44 basis points, Grice said. It is not just the Russell indices where value has failed. He said that using the MSCI world index data, the value premium has been -38 basis points over the same period; with emerging markets it was -12 basis points.

It is widely known that growth stocks have outperformed value in the U.S. over most of the last decade, and that value has been the winning strategy over longer time frames. Grice’s analysis was important because he compared value to a broader index and over multiple markets, using only the last 15 years.

But what he said next should be carefully considered by devotees of quantitative investing.

The value premium is not like the liquidity premium, Grice said, which inherently justifies a higher return for its risk. The same is true of the premia associated with credit risk or duration.

“Why should I get persistent risk premium for a cheap multiple?” Grice asked.

“Value investing is far too easy,” he said. “Anyone with a Bloomberg for Factset terminal can do this. It was a historical anomaly because it was cheap.”

“It’s now gone,” Grice said. “The value anomaly has been arbed [arbitraged] out. Value does not equal cheap.”

Quantitatively-based value investing is not the same as fundamental research, he said. Fundamentally-based investing is “hard,” he said, “and it’s got to be harder than quantitative analysis.”

The challenge for advisors is that there is no way to conclusively prove Grice’s claim. We know that quantitatively-based value strategies, unlike the broad capitalization-weighted index, cannot be pursued by all investors. Eventually capital flows to value strategies must erode returns, but we have no way to know for sure when this will happen – or if it already has.

Grice’s assertion should not be dismissed. One cannot be certain that value will “revert to the mean” and resume its long-term outperformance relative to growth the broader market. We’ll have to await further research to see the extent to which asset flows to value strategies, which have been substantial over the 15-year period he studied, have eroded returns.

2. Absolute return is a myth (everything is relative)

It is generally understood that valuations, using metrics such as the Shiller CAPE ratio, are predictive of returns over long time horizons. The U.S. market is in the top quintile of historical valuations, Grice said, implying a sub-2% real return over the next decade.

“That seems clear cut and obvious,” he said, “but look closer and you see cracks.”

Grice provided data on the range of those return forecasts. Top decile valuations imply returns ranging from -2.4% to 8.7%. Thus, for the next 10 years one could “quite reasonably” make 8.7%, he said. “So how practically useful is this information? It should be a warning sign.”

Using U.S. equities, Grice then compared a buy-and-hold strategy to one based on market timing. His timing model was based on the CAPE ratio and it adjusted allocations depending on the quintile of historical valuations (he did not provide more specific details). His market timing model beat buy-and-hold, he said, but the bulk of the returns came in 1920s.

“There was no value added in the last 70 years,” he said. In addition to the S&P 500, Grice said that finding held for the FTSE 100, DAX 30 and Nikkei 225.

“Valuations matter,” Grice said, “but they’re difficult to measure and get right.”

Forward-looking return estimates are better than naïve extrapolations, he said. But the problem with focusing on U.S. equities is that there have been only seven signals in 100 years, based on valuations being in the top or bottom quintile. “There is not enough data to have statistically significant results,” he said. “The problem is that we don’t get enough movement.”

But if you look at signals across multiple asset classes, you get more useful data. Grice has analyzed valuation-based strategies using bonds and equities. He constructed a model that determines the equity-bond allocation based on the relative valuations of the two asset classes, and said that it outperforms a naïve buy-and-hold strategy. (He said his model used mean-variance optimization based on Sharpe ratios, but did not provide additional details.) Indeed, he said, his relative performance-driven portfolio “did very well.”

“The importance of valuation reveals itself when you add more asset classes to the portfolio,” he said. He has tested his findings for markets in Japan, across Europe and in different European countries. “Valuation is phenomenally powerful but only on a relative basis,” Grice said.

Right now, he said, equities are attractive relative to bonds. “Equities are not that bad,” he said, “given the unattractiveness of the opportunity set.”

3. There is no bond “bubble”

Bubbles, Grice said, are characterized by a get-rich-quick mentality. That was the case with the dot-com and real-estate bubbles, and is the case today with bitcoin.

But bonds, especially those with negative yields, “are not a get-rich-quick” scheme, he said.

With quantitative easing, many have wrongly claimed that there has to be an inflation problem, he said. But it hasn’t happened and that belief was clearly wrong.

“Bubbles are destined to pop,” Grice said. “Bonds are distorted but not destined to pop.”

The risk premia for bonds are not out of kilter with historical levels, he said. Spreads for BAA-rated corporate bonds versus 10-year Treasury bonds are at their 100-year historical average. The duration risk on the 10-year Treasury bond is normal, according to Grice. Even the equity risk premium is not overly distorted, he said, only slightly below average.

The issue is with the risk-free portion of the market – real yields, Grice said. This is evident in German government real yields, which have been negative since 2011. It is true in other markets as well, he said.

The underlying explanation for bond valuations lies in nominal GDP growth, he said, which historically tracks 10-year yields over time. Nominal GDP growth is low in Germany and elsewhere. “The current stretch in government yields relative to nominal GDP growth has never been seen before,” he said.

“Just because we don’t like negative bond yields,” he said, “it doesn’t mean that they have to go up.”

“We are in a low nominal GDP growth world,” Grice said. “Yields are low because nominal GDP growth is low.”

Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[Markets] NewsWatch: Dow on track for 200-point jump, putting 26,000 within reach U.S. stock futures on Tuesday point to a jump at the open, with Dow futures rising by more than 200 points and putting the blue-chip gauge on track for a fresh record near the 26,000 level.
Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[Uncategorized] We Wish We Went to Samantha Power’s 2016 Election Watching Party "I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life, but none as immortalized as this one" Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[bmi] More Americans Are Single Than Ever Before—And They’re Healthier, Too Is love becoming obsolete in America? Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[History] The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Supported Israel and Zionism

“When People Criticize Zionists They Mean Jews, You Are Talking Anti-Semitism,”  Truer words were never said, and they were said by the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. However they weren’t said in a letter as long believed. Martin Luther King Jr. whose life and dream we celebrate today was a great leader ...

The post The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Supported Israel and Zionism appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[History] The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Supported Israel and Zionism

“When People Criticize Zionists They Mean Jews, You Are Talking Anti-Semitism,”  Truer words were never said, and they were said by the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. However they weren’t said in a letter as long believed. Martin Luther King Jr. whose life and dream we celebrate today was a great leader ...

The post The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Supported Israel and Zionism appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[Collaborative Consumption] Instacart acquires Toronto-based Unata  Instacart has today announced the acquisition of Unata, a Toronto-based company that offers a platform for both grocers and consumers to interact digitally. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Unata’s product, unlike Instacart’s, is a white-label grocery platform, letting grocers anywhere create apps and websites for consumers to order products, complete with coupons,… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[Markets] Long Blockchain enters letter of intent for all-stock transaction with Stater Long Blockchain enters letter of intent for all-stock transaction with Stater Published:1/16/2018 8:06:52 AM
[World News] How Cold Is It? There’s Snow in the Sahara!

From the Daily Caller News Foundation: A rare blanket of snow descended earlier this month on the usually sun-scorched sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. Residents in the northern Algerian town of Ain Sefra flopped around in a dusting of the white powder during an unusual Jan. 6 snowfall, which melted later in the day even as ...

The post How Cold Is It? There’s Snow in the Sahara! appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Entertainment] Chris Martin and Dakota Johnson Take Their Romance to the Beach Dakota Johnson, Chris MartinChris Martin and Dakota Johnson continued to spark romance rumors on Sunday when they were photographed enjoying a day at the beach in Malibu, Calif. The 40-year-old Coldplay singer and...
Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Around The Blogosphere] Soda Tax Sticker Shock Grips Seattle Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Media] UNREAL: Kurt Eichenwald STILL super-TRIGGERED over Tucker Carlson, makes INSANE accusations

Kurt Eichenwald has been subtweeting and trolling Tucker Carlson while passive-aggressively attempting to get his followers (we know, we can’t believe people follow him either) to go after Carlson’s advertisers. We can only assume Eichenwald is still upset over the seriously embarrassing interview he had on Tucker’s show over a year ago; guess when you’ve been […]

The post UNREAL: Kurt Eichenwald STILL super-TRIGGERED over Tucker Carlson, makes INSANE accusations appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[9a2b8daf-5649-484f-90b3-a47bc776bb33] Lebanon to ban 'The Post' over director Steven Spielberg's support of Israel Lebanon's censorship authorities are recommending a ban on Steven Spielberg's newspaper drama "The Post" ahead of its planned opening this week in movie theaters in Beirut. Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Civil rights] Deep thoughts by James Comey (Scott Johnson) Former FBI Director James Comey has been a public figure for a long time, but we are only now really getting to know him. It is difficult to fathom the depth of his self-regard. He is deeply imbued with the sense of his own righteousness. He therefore played the part of a straight-talking G-Man with undiluted conviction. No one would ever mistake him for a man with a sense of Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Science] Number of people without health insurance rises for first time since Obamacare The percentage point increases were highest among blacks, Hispanics and young people. Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Markets] Outside the Box: 4 ways this tech CEO is increasing workplace diversity — and it’s not about discriminating against white men Quizlet’s CEO explains the steps his company has taken toward having its workforce look like the overall makeup of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Markets] Empire Fed Survey Stumbles To 6-Month Lows As Orders, Employees, & Work Hours Plunge

Having equaled its highest print since 2009 late last year, the Empire Fed manufacturing survey has tumbled for 3 straight months, dropping to a disappointing 17.7 in January - the lowest since July.

Under the covers it was a disaster with New Orders plunging from 19.0 to 11.9, Number of Employees crashing from 22.9 to 3.8 and Work Hours cratering from 9.3 to just 0.8 - barely growing.

Of course, while reality sank, hope soared, Six-month general business conditions rose to 48.6 from 46.3.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180116_emp.png

As good as it gets?

Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Automotive] BMW acquires Parkmobile parking app to help tackle city traffic  BMW has acquired Parkmobile, an app that provides guidance and services for those looking for parking in North America, including on-street and garage parking payments and spot reservation. BMW Group had already held a minority investment in the company, and owned its Parkmobile Group Europe affiliate, but today it increased its holdings to reach majority ownership of Parkmobile, LLC, which… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[The Blog] Will Bannon get revenge in House intel testimony today?

Or "crack like an egg"?

The post Will Bannon get revenge in House intel testimony today? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Markets] Blackhawk Network shares jump 23% on news of $3.5 bln private-equity buyout Blackhawk Network shares jump 23% on news of $3.5 bln private-equity buyout Published:1/16/2018 7:43:38 AM
[Entertainment] Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, dies at 46 The singer-songwriter died suddenly in London. The cause of her death hasn't been made public. Published:1/16/2018 7:07:56 AM
[World] Tomi Lahren Final Thoughts on Donald Trump Remarks About Haiti, African Nations, Immigration

It’s time for Final Thoughts and surprise, surprise, Leftist crybabies and mainstream media hacks are still hot and bothered by what President Trump may or may not have called Haiti and some African nations.

Published:1/16/2018 7:07:56 AM
[Markets] Merck shares jump 3% on news of positive results from lung cancer trial Merck shares jump 3% on news of positive results from lung cancer trial Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Entertainment] Sharon Stone Laughs for 10 Seconds Over Sexual Harassment Question Sharon Stone, CBS Sunday MorningSharon Stone laughed out loud--for a full 10 seconds!--when Lee Cowan asked her on CBS Sunday Morning if she ever experienced inappropriate behavior during her time in Hollywood. "I don't...
Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[World] North Korea: Trump's 'nuclear button' tweet was the 'spasm of a lunatic' "The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental state of a loser who failed to check the vigorous advance of the army and... Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Politics] Trump: In Immigration Debate, Race Matters By Patrick J. Buchanan

President Trump "said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist. ... I cannot believe ... any president has ever spoken the words that I ... heard our president speak yesterday.

"So wailed Sen. Dick Durbin after departing the White House.

Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Science] First Hawaii, now Japan mistakenly warns of North Korea missile attack Japanese national broadcaster NHK mistakenly sent a message to phone users with its app warning that North Korea had launched a missile at t... Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Markets] China Downgrades US Credit Rating From A- To BBB+, Warns US Insolvency Would "Detonate Next Crisis"

In its latest reminder that China is a (for now) happy holder of some $1.2 trillion in US Treasurys, Chinese credit rating agency Dagong downgraded US sovereign ratings from A- to BBB+ overnight, citing "deficiencies in US political ecology" and tax cuts that "directly reduce the federal government's sources of debt repayment" weakening the base of the government's debt repayment.

Oh, and just to make sure the message is heard loud and clear, the ratings, which are now level with those of Peru, Colombia and Turkmenistan on the Beijing-based agency’s scale of creditworthiness, have also been put on a negative outlook.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dagong warned that the United States’ increasing reliance on debt to drive development would erode its solvency. Quoted by Reuters, Dagong made specific reference to President Donald Trump’s tax package, which is estimated to add $1.4 trillion over a decade to the $20 trillion national debt burden.

“Deficiencies in the current U.S. political ecology make it difficult for the efficient administration of the federal government, so the national economic development derails from the right track,” Dagong said adding that "Massive tax cuts directly reduce the federal government’s sources of debt repayment, therefore further weaken the base of government’s debt repayment."

Projecting US funding needs in the coming years, Dagong said a deterioration in the government’s fiscal revenue-to-debt ratio to 12.1% in 2022 from 14.9% and 14.2% in 2018 and 2019, respectively, would demand frequent increases in the government’s debt ceiling.

“The virtual solvency of the federal government would be likely to become the detonator of the next financial crisis,” the Chinese ratings firm said.

* * *

In a preemptive shot across the bow in the coming trade wars, last week Bloomberg reported that Beijing officials reviewing China’s vast foreign exchange holdings had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. That warning spooked investors worried that sharp swings in China’s massive holdings of U.S. Treasuries would trigger a selloff in bond and equity markets globally. The report sent U.S. Treasury yields to 10-month highs and the dollar lower, although China’s foreign exchange regulator has since dismissed the report as "fake news."

Still, Dagong was quick to point out that not much would be needed to crush the public's confidence in the value of US Treasurys:

The market’s reversing recognition of the value of U.S. Treasury bonds and U.S. dollar will be a powerful force in destroying the fragile debt chain of the federal government,” Dagong said.

* * *

To be sure, China's move is far more political than objectively economic, and is meant to send another shot across the bow as the Trump administration prepares to launch a trade war with Beijing in the coming weeks. Still, while both Fitch and Moody’s give the United States their top AAA ratings (and the S&P is the only agency to infamously downgrade the US to AA+ in 2011), US raters have also expressed concerns similar to Dagong‘s. From Reuters:

S&P Global said last month’s proposed U.S. tax cuts would increase the federal deficit and looser fiscal policy could prompt negative action on U.S. credit ratings if Washington failed to address long-term fiscal issues.

In November, Fitch said the tax cuts would give a short-lived boost to the economy, but add significantly to the federal debt burden. It warned that the United States was the most indebted AAA-rated country and ran the loosest fiscal policies.

Moody’s said in September any missed debt payment as a result of disagreement over lifting the debt ceiling, a perennial point of partisan contention in Washington, would result in the United States losing its top-notch rating.

China is rated A+ by S&P Global and Fitch and A1 by Moody‘s, with the three agencies citing risks mainly related to corporate debt, which is estimated at 1.6 times the size of the economy and mostly attributed to state-owned firms. 

Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Quick Takes] Rice University Student Paper Attempts Satire by Calling White People Disgusting “Hey there, white people! We know. You have a day off to celebrate someone who managed to beat your system. " Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[addiction] Study Reveals Cigarettes Are More Addictive Than Previously Thought 'The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story.' Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Cloud] Nyansa lands $15 million led by Intel Capital to grow user performance management  Companies like New Relic and AppDynamics have been offering applications performance management solutions to help operations teams track external performance issues for years. Nyansa (pronounced ‘knee-ans-sah’) is bringing that kind of performance management to internal networks. Today, the company announced a $15 million Series B investment. The round was led by Intel Capital… Read More
Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[World News] How Cold Is It? There’s Snow in the Sahara!

From the Daily Caller News Foundation: A rare blanket of snow descended earlier this month on the usually sun-scorched sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. Residents in the northern Algerian town of Ain Sefra flopped around in a dusting of the white powder during an unusual Jan. 6 snowfall, which melted later in the day even as ...

The post How Cold Is It? There’s Snow in the Sahara! appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Markets] Apple’s stock just broke out from a 2-month hibernation A telling Apple chart, plus our call of the day, which says now’s a good time to pick up cheap commodities. And bitcoin is having a really bad start to the holiday-shortened week. Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[Blog] Canadians On Guard Against “Islamophobia” Following Another Bogus “Hate Crime” We can only imagine their feigned outrage if there’s ever an actual hate crime. Political leaders and community members were quick to react to news that the police had found the attack had not occurred. “I’m kind of glad that … Continued Published:1/16/2018 7:07:54 AM
[SPY] The Melt-Up Published:1/16/2018 6:35:54 AM
[Uncategorized] How Leaving the Nuclear Deal would Support the Protesters in Iran Support the nuke deal; support the oppressors Published:1/16/2018 6:35:54 AM
[Apps] WhatsApp reportedly testing anti-chain letter spam warning  WhatsApp appears to be testing a new feature aimed at trying to limit the spread of chain letter style spam messages on its platform. Read More
Published:1/16/2018 6:35:53 AM
[Markets] Need to Know: Apple’s stock just broke out from a 2-month hibernation A telling Apple chart, plus our call of the day, which says now’s a good time to pick up cheap commodities. And bitcoin is having a really bad start to the holiday-shortened week.
Published:1/16/2018 6:35:53 AM
[Markets] Bitcoin Crashes 20% Amid Growing Fears Of Crypto Crackdown

As first discussed last night, the selling in bitcoin and across cryptocurrencies - which began as Asia opened, and appeared to be catalyzed by headlines from South Korea's finance ministry that a cryptocurrency exchange shutdown is still an option...

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180115_crypto1.png

... accelerated overnight and the cryptocurrency selloff got fresh impetus on Tuesday when the drop accelerated, with bitcoin plunging as much as 20% as the prospect of regulatory crackdowns appeared to spread across Asia.

Having traded just above $11,000 this morning, bitcoin fell 14 percent to $11,940 as of 11:40 a.m. in London, the lowest level since late December, and down more than 40% from its all-time high of $20,000 set just a month ago.

sdf

As bitcoin halted a two-day rally, rival cryptocurrencies also plunged, and the losses in bitcoin are largely in line with those seen across the cryptocurrency space. As of writing, Ripple (XRP), stellar lumens (STR) and cardano (ADA) are down at least 25 percent on the day each. Ethereum's ether (ETH) token has shed 18 percent in value in the last 24 hours.

sdf

As discussed last night, traders continue to focus largely on South Korea, one of the busiest markets around the globe for cryptocurrencies, where finance minister Kim Dong-yeon said overnight that shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges is still an option, but in what appeared a backtracking from last week's vow to crack down on bitcoin by the Justice Ministry, Kim said that measures first need “serious” discussion among ministries, holding out hope for traders that a crackdown won’t go that far. Kim said there’s irrational speculation and that rational regulation was needed.

“The finance minister made it clear they’re definitely considering banning crypto trading - and it’s probably the third-largest market,” said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst in London for online trading platform ETX Capital. “The news is hitting prices and broader sentiment, and it follows China’s move to shutter mines.”

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, China - which first began targeting the industry last year - is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, particularly online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, although with China no longer a notable player in the crypto space, it is unclear what if any impact further halts of China's already halted exchanges will have, besides just making cryptos that much more attractive of course.

“We’ve heard reports that South Korea, China and Japan have considered a shared approach, a path, to regulation,” ETX’s Wilson said, also citing a challenge to digital coins from a bill in the U.S Senate. “It looks like the light touch that has allowed the crypto-boom to explode may be coming to an end,” he wrote in a note to investors.

Also on Monday night, Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority, said investors “should be prepared to lose all their money” in bitcoin, in a Bloomberg TV interview in Hong Kong. “It has an extremely volatile value, which undermines its use as a currency,” he said. “It’s also not broadly accepted.”

What he really meant is that unlike stocks, traders should not expect a central bank bailout on their crypto investment when things turn rough. Which, of course, is the biggest part of the attraction.

So to summarize the speculated catalysts behind the selloff from CoinDesk:

  • Firstly, comments on social media indicate there is unease in the investor community over talk of a cryptocurrency trading ban in South Korea and further possible crackdowns on trading and mining in China.
  • And secondly, BTC futures contracts are trading at a discount to bitcoin's global average calculated by CoinMarketCap. The January expiry futures contract on the CBOE is trading at $11,510 and CME's is changing hands at $11,530. Meanwhile, BTC spot is trading at $11,816. The discount (futures price lower than spot price) indicates that the market participants are bearish on the underlying asset (BTC).


For the technicians, the chart analysis indicates scope for a drop to below $10,000 levels if the bulls can't muster a response today.

sdf

The above chart (prices as per Coinbase) shows:

  • The rising trendline (blue line) has been breached.
  • A downside break of the triangle pattern, indicating the sell-off from the record high of $19,891.99 9 (Dec. 17 high) has resumed.
  • The relative strength index (RSI) has turned bearish (below 50.00), indicating scope for further losses.
  • The 50-day moving average (MA) has shed bullish bias (flattened).
  • The 5-day and 10-day MAs carry a strong bearish bias (downward sloping).

* * *

Finally, the selling wasn't confined to tokens: U.S. stocks with exposure to cryptocurrencies also plunged in pre-market trading:

  • Riot Blockchain, a diagnostic machinery maker that rebranded as a blockchain company in October, falls 8.1% pre- market
  • Overstock.com, which has a blockchain subsidiary called Medici Ventures, falls 7.5%
  • Kodak, which said this month it’s working with WENN Digital to offer a blockchain-based service for paying photographers, drops 8.7%
  • Metropolitan Bank, the issuing bank for a bitcoin debit card called Shift Card, is down 4.5%. On Jan. 14, Fortune reported that the bank halted all cryptocurrency-related international wires, citing an unidentified Metropolitan customer
  • Seven Stars Cloud Group, which operated as an on-demand video service in China before buying a 51% stake in a blockchain company in June, drops 3.4%
  • Square, which has a bitcoin service on its Square Cash app, falls 2.6%

Other cryptocurrency-exposed stocks to watch, according to Bloomberg, include: OTIV, SRAX, XNET, CRCW, RCGR, AMD, NVDA, MARA, MGTI.

Published:1/16/2018 6:35:53 AM
[Markets] What Were Schlumberger’s 1-Week Returns on January 12? What the Market Said about Schlumberger on January 12Schlumberger’s one-week returns compared to the industry Published:1/16/2018 6:35:53 AM
[] The Morning Report 1/16/18 Good morning kids. First up is the continued fallout over DACA and Amnesty, primarily as regarding the immediate political ramifications of same. As the "shithole" controversy continue to swirl, it IMHO both obfuscates as well as underscores both the... Published:1/16/2018 6:35:53 AM
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