Joe Biden: "Believe All Women" (Except The One Accusing Me Of Sexual Assault)

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Joe Biden: "Believe All Women" (Except The One Accusing Me Of Sexual Assault)

In September, 2018 - former Vice President Joe Biden weighed in on allegations of sexual assault against Justice Brett Kavanaugh by insisting that any woman's public claims of sexual assault should be presumed to be true.

Except for Biden's former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, who says Biden penetrated her with

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his fingers in 1993 when she was in her mid-20s, making her life "hell."

Biden's deputy campaign manager magically transformed "believe all women" into "all women have a right to tell their story" on Friday, saying in a statement to Fox News: "Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false."

As we noted last week, Reade said in an interview with Rolling Stone's Katie Halper that Biden sexually assaulted her after she was asked to run a gym bag over to him.

Biden's "hands were on me and underneath my clothes," she said, after he "had me up against the wall."

"I remember him saying first, like as he was doing it, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else,'" she said, adding "And then him saying to me when I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing, and I kind of just pulled back and he said, ‘Come on man, I heard you liked me.’ And that phrase stayed with me because I kept thinking what I might’ve said and I can’t remember exactly if he said ‘i thought’ or ‘I heard’ but he implied that I had done this."

Reade then went on to say that “everything shattered in that moment” because she knew that there were no witnesses and she looked up to him. “He was like my father’s age,” she said. “He was like this champion of women’s rights in my eyes and I couldn’t believe it was happening. It seemed surreal.”

Reade then said Biden grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “You’re okay. You’re fine” and proceeded to walk away.

Reade said that Biden also told her something after the alleged assault that she initially didn’t want to share because “it’s the thing that stays in my head over and over.” But after some pressing from Halper, Reade decided to share:

He took his finger. He just like pointed at me and said you’re nothing to me.”

Halper said she spoke with Reade’s brother and close friend, and both of them recall Reade telling them about the alleged assault at the time. -NewsOne

Reade says that after she revealed some of Biden's inappropriate behavior, she was accused of doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, according to The Intercept.  

Listen to Reade's interview here:

Tyler Durden

Sat, 03/28/2020 - 20:00

Believe All Women, Right? Biden Accused Of Sexual Assault

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Believe All Women, Right? Biden Accused Of Sexual Assault

Joe Biden has been 'credibly' accused of sexual assault - and in a world where Democrats set the rules for these types of claims, she must be believed.

Biden with visibly uncomfortable girl (not accuser)

The woman, Tara Reade, accused Biden last year of inappropriate behavior when she worked in his Senate office in 1993. Now (well actually, last Ap

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ril), Reade says Biden touched her inappropriately when she was in her mid-20s.

"My life was hell," said Reade. "This was about power and control. I couldn’t get a job on the Hill."

Now, She's given a graphic podcast interview with Rolling Stone's Katie Halper where she tells her full story.

Reade describes a graphic incident from 1993 in which as superior asked her to run a gym bag to Biden "down towards the capital." When Biden greeted her (not allegedly of course, since we're believing all women), he forced her up against a wall and shoved his hands up her skirt.

Biden's "hands were on me and underneath my clothes," she said, after he "had me up against the wall."

"I remember him saying first, like as he was doing it, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else,'" she said, adding "And then him saying to me when I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing, and I kind of just pulled back and he said, ‘Come on man, I heard you liked me.’ And that phrase stayed with me because I kept thinking what I might’ve said and I can’t remember exactly if he said ‘i thought’ or ‘I heard’ but he implied that I had done this."

Reade then went on to say that “everything shattered in that moment” because she knew that there were no witnesses and she looked up to him. “He was like my father’s age,” she said. “He was like this champion of women’s rights in my eyes and I couldn’t believe it was happening. It seemed surreal.”

Reade then said Biden grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “You’re okay. You’re fine” and proceeded to walk away.

Reade said that Biden also told her something after the alleged assault that she initially didn’t want to share because “it’s the thing that stays in my head over and over.” But after some pressing from Halper, Reade decided to share:

He took his finger. He just like pointed at me and said you’re nothing to me.”

Halper said she spoke with Reade’s brother and close friend, and both of them recall Reade telling them about the alleged assault at the time. -NewsOne

Reade says that after she revealed some of Biden's inappropriate behavior, she was accused of doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, according to The Intercept.  

Probably nothing, right?

Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 21:53

GRU won't believe it: UK and US call out Russia for cyber-attacks on Georgia last year

logicfish Security wont believe call russia cyber-attacks georgia last year All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
It's APT28 again! Public attribution names and shames state-backed crew

The same Russian state hackers who unleashed NotPetya on the world's computers were behind destructive cyberattacks on Georgia during 2019, the governments of Britain and the US have said – echoing a similar attribution a decade ago.…


What Upstanding Citizens Believe Vs. What Crazy Conspiracy Theorists Believe

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What Upstanding Citizens Believe Vs. What Crazy Conspiracy Theorists Believe

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe a mature worldview requires skepticism toward power.

Smart upstanding citizens believe the government is your friend, and the media are its helpers.

Crazy, stupid cons

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piracy theorists believe that powerful people sometimes make immoral plans in secret.

Smart upstanding citizens believe the TV always tells the truth and the CIA exists for no reason.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that extreme government secrecy makes it necessary to discuss possible theories about what might be going on behind that veil of opacity.

Smart upstanding citizens believe that just because a world-dominating government with the most powerful military in the history of civilization has no transparency and zero accountability to the public, that doesn’t mean you’ve got to get all paranoid about it.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe it’s okay to ask questions about important events that happen in the world, even if their government tells them they shouldn’t.

Smart upstanding citizens believe everything they need to know about reality comes out of Mike Pompeo’s angelic mouth.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the very rich sometimes engage in nefarious behavior to expand their wealth and power.

Smart upstanding citizens believe billionaires always conduct themselves with the same values that got them their billions in the first place: honesty, morality, and generosity.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe it’s important to remember the lies that led up to the invasion of Iraq, and the disastrous consequences of blind faith in government claims.

Smart upstanding citizens believe “Iraq” is a fictional land similar to Narnia or Middle Earth, from the writings of a fantasy author named George Galloway.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe Syria is fighting to avoid becoming another Libya in a war of defense against extremist proxy armies of the US-centralized empire, who were given billions of dollars in military support with the goal of toppling Damascus.

Smart upstanding citizens believe Bashar al-Assad is a real-life version of a cartoon supervillain who just started murdering civilians willy nilly in 2011 because he loves murdering civilians, then in 2015 his friend Vladimir Putin joined in because he loves murdering civilians also.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the extensive history of US government lies means you should always demand mountains of independently verifiable evidence when they make claims about unabsorbed nations.

Smart upstanding citizens believe Russia literally committed an act of war on the United States in 2016, China is orchestrating a second Holocaust, Maduro is deliberately starving the Venezuelan people because he hates them, Assad is using chemical weapons but only when it makes no strategic sense, Cuban spy crickets are trying to assassinate US diplomats, there’s novichok everywhere, and every noncompliant party in the Middle East is secretly working for Iran.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that it can be difficult to figure out what’s going on in a mass media landscape that is saturated with the propaganda of the US-centralized empire.

Smart upstanding citizens believe that all you need to do to ensure you’re getting all the facts is watch television and run screaming from the room if you accidentally flip past RT.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked, the “taking babies out of incubators” narrative was a lie, Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi’s rape armies never existed and the Libya intervention was never really about humanitarian concerns.

Smart, upstanding citizens believe it’s better not to think about such things.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the latest WikiLeaks publications of internal OPCW documents provide ample evidence that we were lied to about the 2018 Douma incident.

Smart upstanding citizens believe those documents aren’t real because The New York Times never reported on them.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that increasing levels of government secrecy are making it easier for government agencies to do unethical things in secret.

Smart upstanding citizens believe that questioning your government makes you a Russian anti-semite.

Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that the billionaire class which owns the mass media has a natural incentive to prop up the status quo upon which it is built, and so construct an environment where reporters are incentivized to always support the establishment line.

Smart upstanding citizens believe that if that kind of conspiracy were really happening, it would have been in the news.

*  *  *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Tyler Durden

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 18:05




Italians & Spaniards Still Believe 'Cash Is King'

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Italians & Spaniards Still Believe 'Cash Is King'

Most Europeans still cling to physical cash while nations in Asia have embraced cashless payments the most. This is the conclusion of the 2018 World Cash Report that lists different studies analyzing peoples’ habit to pay by cash or card (or even mobile).

Statista's Katharina Buchholz notes that while most of the studies are so called diary studies where people log their everyday

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lives, they are designed differently and might yield different results. Yet, comparing the figures proves interesting to gain a general understanding of which countries are more or less prone to use cash.

You will find more infographics at Statista

Japan is one of the exception to the rule of Asian countries loving cashless payments. The government has recently revealed its “Cashless Vision” which is looking to increase cashless payments to 40 percent by 2025. Right now, only around 18 percent of payments in Japan are cashless, according to the Japanese government. 

While this is comparable with rates in several European countries like Spain, Italy and Germany, regional neighbors China and South Korea have embraced cashless payments to a much larger degree.

Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 02:45

DoHn't believe the hype! You are being lied to by data-hungry ISPs, Mozilla warns lawmakers

logicfish Security dohnt believe hype being lied data-hungry isps mozilla warns lawmakers All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Resistance to DNS-over-HTTPS deserves investigation

Mozilla has asked American politicians to probe US broadband providers, claiming the ISPs have been making false statements to derail DNS-over-HTTPS so they can maintain access to customer data.…


"Three Things I Learned In Washington": Central Bankers Aren’t Sure What To Believe Anymore

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"Three Things I Learned In Washington": Central Bankers Aren’t Sure What To Believe Anymore

Submitted by Huw van Steenis, senior adviser to the CEO of UBS, and formerly senior adviser to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Three things I learned in Washington

As the world's central banks and economic policymakers convened in Washington over the weekend for the annual meetings of th

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e IMF, IIF and World Bank, there was a distinct lack of conviction in the air.

"Globally synchronised slowdown", trade wars, political uncertainty and persistent ultralow interest rates have ground down most investors and policymakers’ belief in the prevailing economic or market narratives.

So the most interesting conversations were about transitions and tail risks. What are the long term implications of negative rates? How disruptive is digital money? And what does the greening of the financial system mean in practice?

Central banks are wrestling with a major challenge: are negative rates starting to do more harm than good? Professor Charles Goodhart of the LSE and I fear we may have already have this “reversal rate” in the Eurozone.

Like steroids, unconventional policy, such as negative rates, can be highly effective in limited dosages but long term usage starts to weaken the skeletal system. Given that negative rates have been in place for over a quarter of the time that the euro has existed, policymakers are starting to worry about the negative consequences — like impaired banking systems and asset bubbles.

I sensed an inflection in the level of concern from two distinct groups: Anglo-Saxon policy makers who simply never want to open the Pandora’s box of negative rates, and European policy makers growing increasingly concerned about the toolkit to break out of the “Japanification” of the eurozone.

What’s more, the penny is dropping that negative rates are hampering the ability of many eurozone banks, aside from the market leaders, to invest confidently in digital technology to serve clients better and fend off the risks from disruptive new entrants. I came away feeling the bar is now incredibly high for any further negative rate cuts.

Second, technology is rapidly changing the way we pay for things. Investors know this well from the huge growth in value of Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and Amex, or new firms like Stripe and Ant Financial.

Little wonder that payments has become the battleground between Big Tech, existing payments firms and banks. The size of the prize can be huge. Alipay and WeChatPay represent 90% of mobile payments in China.

Facebook’s audacious moonshot, Libra, has raised the stakes. Whilst not a single financial boss I met thinks Libra will succeed unless it pivots to a local currency model — think PayTM or Alipay — it has rattled the policy world.

One former central banker highlighted that counterfeiting currency has been a capital offence in many countries over the centuries, and they sounded keen to bring this level of disapproval — if not the actual punishment — to the digital age.

If nothing else, Libra is likely to prompt a flurry of initiatives to improve the plumbing and regulation of payments. But I sensed little appetite for major central banks to create their own blockchain digital currencies — as Fed Governor Brainard argued compellingly, at the Peterson Institute’s “Future of Money” summit.

But the overwhelming theme, if there was one, was the greening of the financial system. Many central banks are following the lead set by Governor Mark Carney that climate change is a legitimate concern for financial regulators.

The transition to a lower-carbon economy will require large scale re-allocation of capital and new investments. Without high quality comparable data, investors, lenders and insurers wont be able to price climate risks and opportunities effectively. That was a key theme of my Future of Finance report.

2019 has been a pivotal year: Japanese firms who have agreed to disclose their climate change footprint according to the standards set by the G20’s Task Force for Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) have gone from 9 to 199 in just one year. Today four-fifths of the top 1100 companies in the world have now voluntarily signed up.  And pressure will grow in the remainder to report, I heard at the World Economic Forum roundtable.

I see a similar upswing in investor interest. Some two-thirds of new institutional asset management mandates in Europe have sustainable criteria, albeit with massive variation in what clients want.

Taking these new TCFD disclosures and turning them into something decision-useful for portfolios and firms is no small undertaking. And let us be in no doubt, there is a healthy debate about the materiality of these issues amongst policy makers. But this is where the puck is going.

Low conviction meant investors at Washington were largely taking their cue from the late-cycle investing playbook. Seeking to dial up quality across their portfolios and testing the dependability and sustainability of earnings. And thinking about how these transitions and tail risks will play out.

Tyler Durden

Sat, 10/26/2019 - 10:58


Business Finance


Salesforce CEO: "I Strongly Believe That Capitalism As We Know It Is Dead"

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Salesforce CEO: "I Strongly Believe That Capitalism As We Know It Is Dead"

During a 'fireside chat' in front of a packed audience at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, Salesforce founder and Time Magazine owner Marc Benioff shared his thoughts on a range of issues, including the important role public markets play in "cleansing" companies of "all of the bad stuff that they have" (for those who followed the WeWork imbroglio, this ought to make sense), and, more broa

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dly, the future of American capitalism.

The TechCrunch event, which, after being immortalized by the Show "Silicon Valley", has become an annual must-attend summit for all of the power players and wannabes in the Bay Area tech scene, typically hosts big-name speakers. And Benioff was no exception. Speakers are encouraged to be candid, and the Salesforce impresario didn't hold back, it appears.

Speaking about the importance of public markets, Benioff said the "great reckoning" that public markets provide is a critical step for young companies.

"What public markets do is indeed the great reckoning. But it cleanses [a] company of all of the bad stuff that they have."

Benioff cited WeWork and Uber as examples of companies that could have benefited from an earlier public offering.

"I can’t believe this is the way they were running internally in all of these cases," Benioff said. "They are staying private way too long."

Benioff added that "trust" is the most important value for an entrepreneur.

"If the highest value [you anchor your company around] isn’t trust, then every key stakeholder - your employees, your customers and your investors - will walk out," Benioff said.

Soon, Benioff moved on to an even weightier subject: The destiny of American capitalism. To which Benioff insisted that capitalism in the US is "under siege", and that corporate stakeholders are beginning to wake up and realize that corporations should be responsible for more than simply generating profits for their shareholders.

Benioff's comments come as several high-profile business leaders and financiers have assailed American capitalism and discussed the need for combating economic inequality.

We can now add Benioff's inflammatory comment about capitalism to the growing list of soundbites.

"I really strongly believe that capitalism as we know it is dead… that we’re going to see a new kind of capitalism and that new kind of capitalism that’s going to emerge is not the Milton Friedman capitalism that’s just about making money," said Benioff. "And if your orientation is just about making money, I don’t think you’re going to hang out very long as a CEO or a founder of a company."

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, one of the wealthiest men in the country, has made similar remarks in the past. But in a LinkedIn post published this week, Dalio warned that the dynamics driving markets today are similar to what drove markets during the last great downturn in the 1930s - a theory that Dalio hasn't shied away from sharing over the past couple of years.

Watch a clip from Benioff's talk below:

Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 21:39


Business Finance


60% Of Americans Believe A Recession Is Coming – But Continue To Pile Up Debt At A Frightening Pace

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60% Of Americans Believe A Recession Is Coming – But Continue To Pile Up Debt At A Frightening Pace

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

We haven’t seen survey results like this since just before the last recession.  Right now, 60 percent of Americans believe that a recession is “very or somewhat likely in the next year”, and the reason why that figure is so high is because there is already a treme

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ndous amount of evidence that the economy is slowing down all around us.  As I have been documenting repeatedly, U.S. economic performance has not been this dismal since 2008 and 2009, and the slowdown seems to be gaining pace as we move toward the end of 2019. 

So it really shouldn’t be a surprise that a solid majority of the country thinks that the next recession will officially begin very soon.  The following comes from ABC News…

Ratings of the U.S. economy overall, 56% positive, are down from 65% last fall in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Most ominously, 60% see a recession as very or somewhat likely in the next year. That’s within sight of the 69% who said so in November 2007, in advance of the Great Recession.

But at the same time, U.S. consumers continue to pile up more debt at a frightening pace.

According to NBC News, total revolving credit shot up at an 11.25 annual pace during the month of July…

According to the Federal Reserve’s consumer credit tracker, revolving credit — a category in which credit card debt predominates — increased at an annualized rate of 11.25 percent in July, the most recent month for which data is available.

“In terms of revolving debt, we see spikes like this every so often, but they don’t jump by double digits all that much,” said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards. Typically, big jumps occur around the holidays, though — not in July.

If a severe economic downturn really is coming, the smart thing to do would be to get out of credit card debt.

But these days Americans have been trained to be very short-term thinkers.  And when things start to get tight, it is really easy to put expenses on a credit card and worry about them later.  This is something that I did when I was a much younger man, and it is something that millions of American families all over the nation are doing right now.

When the money simply isn’t there, it is just so tempting to whip out a credit card.  But credit card debt is one of the most insidious forms of debt because of the high interest rates most credit card companies charge.  And at this moment credit card companies are jacking up rates to a degree that we haven’t seen in many years…

WalletHub says average credit card APRs for people with good credit and business credit cardholders — at 20.9 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively — are the highest they’ve been since it began tracking rates in 2010.

For people with less than stellar credit, even those rates might be out of reach, McClary said. For example, a new applicant with a credit score in the low 600s might be offered an APR of about 22 percent, he said.

Unfortunately, the more debt that you accumulate, the less likely it becomes that you will ever start building up substantial wealth of your own.

Today, tens of millions of Americans are deep in debt and are working exceedingly hard to make other people rich.  And this is one of the biggest reasons why well over half the nation is currently living in “asset poverty”…

Many Americans claim they simply don’t earn enough money to build any type of savings account or amass any meaningful financial assets. Now, a troubling study out of Oregon State University finds some definite statistical truth to these sentiments, concluding that over 63% of American children and 55% of Americans live in “asset poverty.”

In other words, most Americans are living right on the edge financially, and that is a very dangerous place to be.  If you are not familiar with the term “asset poverty”, the following is a pretty good definition…

Asset poverty means having few or no financial assets to fall back on in the event of a financial calamity, such as losing one’s job or encountering a medical crisis. Some examples of common financial assets are vehicles, houses, savings accounts, and investments. Without these assets, weathering a financial crisis is extremely difficult.

When you really don’t have any real wealth of your own, you are essentially living paycheck to paycheck, and a single major setback can be absolutely disastrous.

In America today, financial difficulties are one of the biggest reasons why so many of us are completely stressed out, and the next recession hasn’t even officially begun yet.

But with each day we continue to get more numbers that tell us that big trouble is on the way.  For example, we just learned that the U.S. lost 4,500 trucking jobs last month…

The trucking industry has been battling challenging circumstances so far in 2019 – which includes the loss of thousands of positions last month.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry lost 4,500 jobs between July and August.

And of course trucking companies continue to go bankrupt at a staggering pace.  According to Business Insider, more than 600 trucking companies have already gone bankrupt so far this year…

Indicators from the trucking industry have been sour in 2019. In the first half of the year, around 640 trucking companies went bankrupt, according to industry data from Broughton Capital LLC. That’s more than triple the number of bankruptcies from the same period last year — about 175.

Sometimes people think that I exaggerate when I warn people about what is coming.  But the truth is that I am not exaggerating at all.  If anything, I feel frustrated that I am not able to effectively communicate how bad it will actually be when things start to get really crazy.

As a nation, we have been making incredibly bad decisions for decades, and we have been running in the exact opposite direction of where we should be headed as fast as we can.

In life, all decisions have consequences, and we are going to pay an extraordinarily high price for our exceedingly foolish decisions.

For the moment, things are relatively quiet.  But that quietness will not last for much longer.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 13:10


Business Finance


Bulls Regain The Narrative: "They Want To Believe"

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Bulls Regain The Narrative: "They Want To Believe"

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Market Review & Update

Last week, we laid out 6-points about the market as the risk to the downside outweighed the potential reward. 

  1. Historically, September is one of the weakest months of the year, particularly when it follows a weak August.

  2. Read More
    The market remains range bound and failed at both the 50-dma and downtrend line on Friday

  3. The oversold condition has now reversed. (Top panel)

  4. Volatility is continuing to remain elevated.

  5. Important downside support moves up to 2875

  6. The bulls regain control of the narrative on a breakout above 2945. 

The chart above is updated through Friday’s close. As noted, the bulls did regain control of the narrative for now as the breakout above consolidation sets the market up to rally towards 3000 and the July highs. However, with the markets already pushing back into overbought conditions, in conjunction with an extended buy signal, there is not a lot of “upside” in the markets currently. 

As we have reiterated over the last several weeks, this continues to be an opportunity to reduce portfolio risk and raise cash levels.

I say this because it took a bevy of positive overtones to reverse the selloff early in the week. After a sloppy Monday and Tuesday, the rally started on Wednesday with numerous Fed speakers all suggesting the Fed was likely to move forward with cutting rates and increasing monetary accommodation. (H/T Zerohedge)

Williams (Dovish)“Ready to act as appropriate”, July cut was right move, economy mixed (admitted consumer spending not a leading indicator), international news matters, low inflation biggest problem.

Kaplan (Dovish): “Monetary policy a potent force”, worried about yield curve inversion, economy mixed (factories weak due to trade, consumer strong), watching for “psychological effects” on consumers, “if you wait for consumer weakness, it might be too late.”

Kashkari (Dovish): Tariffs, “trade war are really concerning business”, job market not overheating, slower global growth will impact US, most concerned about inverted yield curve. Fed’s policy is “moderately contractionary.”

Bullard/Bowman (Looked Dovish)Took part in “Fed Listens” conference but made no comment on policy but then again when has Jim Bullard ever not been dovish.

Beige Book (Mixed)Moderate expansion but trade fears are mounting, but optimism remains, despite what Kashkari says: “although concerns regarding tariffs and trade policy uncertainty continued, the majority of businesses remained optimistic about the near-term outlook”

Evans (Dovish)Trade policy increases uncertainty and immigration restrictions lower trend growth to 1.5%, Auto industry especially challenged

Furthermore, on Tuesday, we suggested it wouldn’t be long before the Trump Administration dropped an announcement for “trade deal negotiation.”

Of course, on Thursday, our wish was granted as the Administration announced that “trade talks” were back on for October. 

“China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that the leaders of the U.S. and Chinese trade talks held a phone call in the morning and agreed to meet in early October for another round of negotiations. 

In a statement to CNBC, a U.S. Trade Representative spokesperson confirmed the phone call, but not the October meeting.

Beijing said the two sides agreed to hold another round of trade negotiations in Washington, D.C. — at the beginning of next month, and consultations will be made in mid-September in preparation for the meeting.”

While the markets once again rallied on the news, this is the same news we have repeatedly seen for the last 18-months. As @stockcats aptly noted:

The last few months has been this gyration of exuberance and disappointment as the market has lived from one “trade headline” to the next.

Then, of course, on Friday, Jerome Powell spoke suggesting there was “no recession” in sight but gave confidence to the markets the Fed would cut rates at the next meeting. To wit:

“As we move forward, we’re going to continue to watch all of these factors, and all the geopolitical things that are happening, and we’re going to continue to act as appropriate to sustain this expansion.”

This was all enough to spark investor’s “animal spirits” and force a rotation from “defense” back to “offense.” This is an outcome we discussed with our RIAPRO subscribers last week specifically as it related to adding to our Gold positions. To wit: (Chart updated through Friday)

  • Both GDX and IAU look identical.

  • A near-vertical spike has taken these holdings to extreme overbought and extended conditions.

  • We need a decent pullback, or consolidation, to add to holdings at this juncture. A rally in the market should give us that opportunity as it will pull Gold and Rates back to support.

  • Looking for an entry point between $14-14.25 to add to holdings.

On Thursday, rates and gold both pulled back as the equity rally accelerated above the breakout level. This pulled the algo’s out of defensive holdings and back into equities confirming the breakout short-term. 

The next major hurdle is going to be the 3000-level initially, but our bullish target for 2019 could be challenged which resides at the top of the trend channel.

That is assuming that nothing disrupts the current bullish narrative. 

But, there are many issues from failed trade talks, to earnings, to economic disappointment which could do just that. 

This is why, despite the bullish overtone, we continue to hold an overweight position in cash (see 8-Reasons), have taken steps to improve the credit-quality in our bond portfolios, and shifted our equity portfolios to more defensive positioning. 

We did modestly add to our equity holdings with the breakout on Thursday from a trading perspective. However, we still maintain an overall defensive bias which continues to allow us to navigate market uncertainty until a better risk/reward opportunity presents itself.

The Last Hoorah?

September 11, 2018, I wrote “3000 or Bust” and almost precisely one-year later we are finally, for the second time, approaching that level. 

Here is the problem.

The rally has been driven almost entirely by multiple expansion rather than improving fundamentals. This was a point made in last Tuesday’s missive:

“Investing is ultimately about buying assets at a discounted price and selling them for a premium. However, so far in 2019, while asset prices have soared higher on ‘optimism,’ earnings and profits have deteriorated markedly. This is shown in the attribution chart below for the S&P 500.

In 2019, the bulk of the increase in asset prices is directly attributable to investors ‘paying more’ for earnings, even though they are ‘getting less’ in return.”

The discrepancy is even larger in small-capitalization stocks which don’t benefit from things like “share repurchases” and “repatriation.” 

Just remember, at the end of the day, valuations do matter. 

Here is another way to look at the data. Since the beginning of 2018, to support the bullish meme that companies are “beating expectations,” those expectations have been, and continue to be, dramatically lowered. 

This is particularly important given that “operating earnings” (which are fantasy earnings before any of the “bad sh**,”) are extremely elevated above reported profits.

Of course, this all shows up in how much investors are currently “over-paying” for equity ownership.

As is always the case, investors forget during their momentary bout of exuberance, that valuations are all that matter over the long-term. The greater that over-valuation, the great the reversion to mean will ultimately be. 

But Lance, the markets just keep going up because Central Banks have it all under control.” 

I know it certainly seems that way currently. However, this is a market driven by “financial engineering”rather than fundamental measures. As noted previously, stock buybacks have continued to be a major support for asset prices since the financial crisis accounting for the bulk of the advance in the S&P 500. 

Not surprisingly, as rates of buybacks have slowed, so has the advance of the market. However, they have remained strong enough to offset the effects of negative economic news and trade wars. 

At least, so far. 

Importantly, as the benefit of “repatriation” from the tax reform legislation fades, it has been the rush to the corporate debt market to leverage up balance sheets to facilitate those repurchases. 

“On Wednesday new investment-grade issuance accelerated even more, rising to $28.8bn across 15 deals today, bringing the total for the two days of the week to a whopping $54.3 billion, as refinancing trades continued to dominate with $21.1bn of today’s issuance partially towards commercial paper, credit revolver, term loan, short and long-term debt repayments, according to BofA’s Hans Mikkelsen.” – Via Zerohedge

So, what was the reason for the rush to gobble up more debt at lower costs?

To refinance existing debt at lower rates for longer maturities, and, as Apple noted with their $5 Billion offering, to repurchase shares and issue dividends. 

At the same time, due to excessive confidence and complacency in the financial markets, investors are willing to take substantial credit risk without getting paid for it. Such previous periods of exuberance have also always ended badly.

With corporate debt to GDP levels now at record levels, it is only a function of time until something breaks.

All this brings to mind a note from my friend Doug Kass this past week that summed up well what investors are currently doing.

They Want To Believe

“Price has a way of changing sentiment.” – The Divine Ms M

“It is remarkable to me that the many that hated stocks a large percentage ago (when some of us were buying in the face of a more favorable reward vs. risk) are now bullish and buying.

Investors and traders seem to want to believe.

  • They want to believe that the trade talks between the U.S. and China will be real this time.

  • They want to believe that there is no “earnings recession” even though S&P profits through the first half of 2019 are slightly negative (year over year) and that S&P EPS estimates have been regularly reduced as the year has progressed. (see above)

  • They want to believe that stocks are cheap relative to bonds even though there is little natural price discovery as central banks are artificially impacting global credit markets and passive investing is artificially buoying equities.

  • They want to believe that technicals and price are truth – even though the markets materially influenced by risk parity and other products and strategies that exaggerates daily and weekly price moves.

  • They want to believe that today’s economic data is an “all clear” – forgetting the weak ISM of a few days ago, the lackluster auto and housing markets, the U.S. manufacturing recession and the continued overseas economic weakness.

  • They want to believe that, given no U.S. corporate profit growth, that valuations can continue to expand (after rising by more than three PEs year to date).

  • They want to believe though that the EU broadly has negative interest rates and Germany is approaching recession (while the peripheral countries are in recession) – that the Fed will be able to catalyze domestic economic growth through more rate cuts.

  • They want to believe that the U.S. can be an oasis of growth even though the economic world is increasingly flat and interconnected and the S&P is nearly 50% dependent on non U.S. economies.

I don’t know with certainty where the markets will be three or six months from today.

But I do know that, given the recent rise in the stock market, the reward vs. risk is vastly diminished and less favorable compared to other opportunities that existed since December, 2018.”

When it comes to investing, believing in “fairy tales” and “We Work” uhm, I mean, “unicorns” has repeatedly led to terrible outcomes. 

The data continues to deteriorate as the late-stage economic cycle advances.

This is as it should be as we move into a late-stage economy.

It is not a bad thing; it is just part of a healthy cycle. It is when entities take action to “extend” the cycle beyond norms, and into extremes, which leads to extremely poor outcomes. 

While none of this means the markets will crash tomorrow, next month, or even next year, it also doesn’t mean that it can’t, or won’t. 

Complacency is an investor’s worst enemy.

Tyler Durden

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 10:45


Business Finance


Believe It Or Not, Legroom On Airplanes Is About To Get Even Worse

zerohedge News believe legroom airplanes about even worse All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

Just when you thought flying coach couldn't get anymore uncomfortable - and that airline companies couldn't find a way to squeeze one more dollar out of each flight - Cebu Air in the Philippines says it plans on cramming a record 460 seats on some of its new A330 planes, according to Bloomberg. Cebu is moving kitchens and bathrooms on the plane to accomplish the task.

The 460 seats are 20 more than the plane's current maximum.

Mathieu De Marchi, a Bangkok-based consultant at Landrum and Brown said: “I

Read More
t’s all a matter of squeezing as many passengers as they can. It’s only going to get worse over the next decade.”

And despite the protests of unhappy customers, packing more people onto flights has been a key to turning around the airline industry in recent years. In Asia, the strategy is the "bread and butter for low cost carriers" that serve a continent where 100 million people fly for the first time every year. 

The demand coming out of Asia has led to shortages in everything from pilots to mechanics to airports to runways. Airlines do everything they can to avoid buying new aircraft and having to pay for extra landing rights at airports. 

AirAsia is buying larger planes to deal with the problem. The budget airline said in June it was changing an order for hundreds of aircraft to larger models that carry 50 more people and are capable of flying 600 miles further. Other airlines are simply "bolting in more chairs," like RyanAir. RyanAir led this charge in 2014 when they ordered new high density jets from Boeing with 8 more seats each than normal. Cathay Pacific airlines started cramming an extra seat into each economy row in its Boeing 777-300's in 2017.

This cost the passengers about 1 inch of person space each.

And so less legroom is now the norm. Rows in economy were about 34 inches apart in the early 2000's. Now, they're about 30 to 31 inches. 28 inches can even be found on short flights. The size of seats has narrowed, also, from about 18.5 inches to 17 inches on average. 

Often times, air rage occurs in economy class, where a lack of personal space can make people feel trapped and contentious. 

Janet Bednarek, an aviation historian at the University of Dayton, Ohio, said: "Smaller seats are less controversial in Asia, partly because Asians tend to have slighter builds than Americans or Europeans. Where people are smaller on average it is not as big an issue. Many people are willing to put up with discomfort in exchange for low-price tickets.”

In addition to personal space shrinking, prices have also come down. For instance, some international flights now cost less than half of what they did a decade ago, as competition from low cost carriers has forced all airlines to adapt, and charge for many items that were once free - including space.

For instance, a one way ticket from Shanghai to Manila can be less than $100 on Cebu Air. But the seats you'll get are only 16.5 inches wide. Cebu placed a $6.8 billion order for Airbus jets in June that includes 16 higher capacity A330neos.

Airbus says the plane is made to fit 260 to 300 passengers. For bare-bones economy, Cebu will look to seat as many as 460.


"No Champagne For S&P 3000": Why Wall Street Doesn't Believe The Market Should Be At All Time Highs

zerohedge News champagne 3000 wall street doesnt believe market should time highs All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

The Fed's (and the president's) obsession with pushing stocks to all time highs has succeeded: the S&P is trading well above 3,000 (much to the chagrin of Morgan Stanley), and if it was Powell's objective to also get everyone invested in the biggest asset bubble of all time, he is certainly making headway.

As we reported yesterday, both retail investors...

... and hedge funds...

... are gradually capitulating, and together with systematic, risk-parity funds...


Read More
and CTAs...

... are pouring ever more cash into the stock market.

Today, the latest Fund Manager Survey published by Bank of America's Michael Hartnett cemented these observations, and as BofA notes, this month’s survey "found investors have added risk, rotating into cyclical plays (equities, Europe, industrials, banks) and out of defensive ones (bonds, REITs, utilities, staples)"

As a result, the average cash balance fell to 5.2% from 5.6%, if still above the 10-year average of 4.6% as investors’ allocation to cash ticks down 2ppt to net 41% overweight, also well above the long-term average. As Hartnett reminds us, the FMS "Cash Rule" has been in "buy" territory for the past 17 months.

At the same time, the BofA  Bull & Bear indicator ticks down to 3.0, close but above the contrarian "buy" signal of 2.0 (as a reminder, the FMS Cash Rule works as follows: when average cash balance rises above 4.5%, a contrarian buy signal is generated for equities. When the cash balance falls below 3.5%, a contrarian sell signal is generated.)

The reversal in sentiment following the May drop and the June surge, is most evident in the allocation to global equities which has retracted almost all of last month’s dip, rising 31ppt to net 10% overweight.

So with market professionals and retail investors, capitulating and jumping into the (boiling) pool, to mix metaphors about Wall Street and frogs, one would assume that investors are delighted by what is going on, perhaps?

Wrong: in fact, one can best describe the investors mood as "fear and loathing", with Hartnett noting that there is "No champagne for SPX 3000", for several reasons:

  • Nobody expects growth, making the recent equity spike artificial and entirely on the back of central bank multiple expansion. As BofA writes, "FMS global growth expectations rise from last month’s decade low, rebounding 20ppt to net 30% of investors surveyed expecting global growth to weaken over the next year." As a remninder, last month saw the most bearish growth expectations since the 2000/01 & 2008/09 recessions.

  • Nobody expects inflation, suggesting that as central banks are powerless to stimulate the broader economy, they will be continue to stimulate risk assets. Indeed, only a net 1% of the responding fund managers expect higher global CPI in the next year, "the most bearish inflation outlook in seven years"

  • A recession is imminent as this is now the longest expansion on record: according to the survey, a net 73% of investors think the business cycle is a risk to financial market stability, marking an 8-year high.

  • A record number of investors are worried about debt: in the most ironic observation, a net 48% of investors are concerned about corporate leverage and yet they scramble to buy the debt issued by these same companies; global profit expectations remain flat at net 41% of those surveyed saying they expect profits to deteriorate in the next yea

  • The buybacks are too high: Last but not least, we find the very definition of irony as the survey found that a record number of fund managers, or 38%, find that corporate payout ratios (including share buybacks) are too high. In other words, everyone is buying stocks because buybacks are record high, and yet everyone is also angry thatr buybacks are record high.

The common theme: yes, the Fed managed to push the S&P to 3,000... and the reason there is "no champagne on Wall Street", and instead fear and loathing dominates, is because nobody believes that number is real, credible or justifiable without i) the Fed's backstopping, ii) with the economy sliding and iii) on the back of record buybacks. As a result, yes - stocks may be at record highs, but it's only because the Fed pushed investors - against their will - into the stock market. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess what will happen when at the first sign of trouble, investors with little faith in the market, rush for the exits.

“The dovish Fed and trade truce have caused investors to reduce cash and add risk,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist, “but their expectations of an earnings recession and debt deflation still dominate sentiment. The pain trade for the summer remains up in stocks and yields.”

* * *

And speaking of risks, the final observations from the latest FMS lay out what Wall Street thinks is the biggest tail risk, which like last month remains "Trade War" at 36%, if sharply lower than the month before; monetary policy impotence climbs to the second spot at 22%, and a China slowdown (12%) and bond market bubble (9%) round out the top four

Meanwhile, in terms of position crowding risk, Long US Treasuries (37%) remains at the top of the list of the most crowded trades identified by fund managers, ahead of Long US Tech (26%) and Long IG corporate bonds (12%).

For the TL/DR crowd, we have reached the "bazooko circus" stage in the stock market.


AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile US pledge, again, to not sell your location to shady geezers. Sorry, we don't believe them

logicfish Security atampt sprint verizon t-mobile pledge again sell your location shady geezers sorry dont believe them All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me, you can't get fooled again*, OK

US cellphone networks have promised – again – that they will stop selling records of their subscribers' whereabouts to anyone willing to cough up cash.…

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