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Peter Schiff Warns "Americans Are In For A Rude Awakening"

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Peter Schiff Warns "Americans Are In For A Rude Awakening"

Via SchiffGold.com,



All eyes have been on the stock market in recent weeks as it has reflected the fears about the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown and the hopes of massive stimulus. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride. But in his podcast on March 27, Peter Schiff said there’s an even bigger problem looming on the horizon that people aren’t paying any attention to

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– the potential destruction of the dollar. He said Americans are in for a rude awakening.



The Dow Jones finished its best week since the Great Depression with a 915.39 point drop. But even with that big plunge, the Dow was up about 13% on the week, all on the strength of the spectacular rally on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In fact, the Dow had a bull market condensed into three days. But Peter said it was not really a bull market. He called it a “vicious correction in a horrific bear market.” And he said that bear market is “a long way from over.”



But while most eyes are on the stock market, Peter said we’re missing a more significant looming bear market — the bear market we’re going to have in the US dollar.





Peter has already explained how the actions of the Federal Reserve and the US government has set the stage to devalue the dollar, saying the dollar is cooked. He said that with the central bank and government response to the coronavirus, hyperinflation has gone from being the worst-case scenario to the most likely scenario.



A bear market in the dollar can mask some of the other problems in the economy. Consider in the 1970s, the dollar fell by nearly 70%. That means that while nominal stock market losses in the decade weren’t terrible, the real losses were significantly larger.  It was a destruction of the value of US stocks and Peter said it’s going to happen again.



A plunge in the dollar means losses on all dollar-denominated assets — stocks, bonds, real estate. It also means price inflation and rising interest rates, which pushes down the value of bonds even lower. Peter said he thinks the dollar is going to be a lot weaker in this decade than it was in the 1970s.




I think the US is certainly starting off the decade in a much worse financial position.”






The main reason the dollar fell in the 1970s was because the US went off the gold standard. But the dollar remained the reserve currency, even though it was backed by nothing.




It got marked down, but it didn’t get knocked out.”




During the 80s, the US enjoyed the privilege of being able to issue the world’s currency without having to back it by gold.




That basically gave us a license to print and we’ve been abusing that ever since.”




Peter said this time he thinks the world is going to kick out the dollar as the reserve currency. If that happens, the dollar will just be another currency.




And that means Americans are going to have to have to abide by the same economic rules that govern everybody else. That means if we want to consume, we’ve got to produce. If we want to borrow, we’ve got to save. And Americans are going to be in for a rude awakening.”




Peter said this may well crush the retirement dreams of many Americans. With the erosion of the dollar’s purchasing power, retiring simply won’t be an option for many people.




Most Americans who are already retired, well, they’re going to have to go back to work. And the people who were planning on stopping working, well, they’re just going to have to keep working until they’re dead, basically. Unless you can do something now to protect yourself.”




Peter also talked about the passage of the massive stimulus bill. He said it’s possibly the most socialist bill ever passed. Basically, America is already a socialist nation.




Tyler Durden

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 14:52
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Peter Schiff: Hyperinflation Is Now The Most Probable Scenario

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Peter Schiff: Hyperinflation Is Now The Most Probable Scenario

Via SchiffGold.com,



March 23 was Peter Schiff’s birthday. It was also the day the Federal Reserve announced QE Infinity. So, Peter spent over three hours hosting a live videocast talking about the latest Fed moves, the potential impact on the economy and answering questions from viewers.



Peter said he was hoping to combat the rampant economic ignorance that

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is pretty much everywhere.




There’s probably one thing that is spreading right now throughout the country faster than the coronavirus and that is economic ignorance and misinformation. It’s all over the place. It’s gone completely viral … The best thing anybody can do to combat the virus of ignorance is to turn off their television sets or their computers and don’t listen to anything that is being said in conventional media, whether it’s a news-related channel or a financial channel, I can virtually assure you that every single thing that you’re hearing is wrong.”






Peter hammered on a number of central themes you won’t hear discussed in the mainstream. For one thing, the Federal Reserve and the US government are repeating the mistakes of 2008.



Peter reminds us that as the crisis unfolded in ’08, he warned that the policies of bailouts and monetary stimulus were a mistake and that they would lead to a bigger crisis in the future.




Well, welcome to the future.”




He also emphasized that this isn’t about the coronavirus. The virus pricked a bubble that was inflated long ago. The economic chaos we’re seeing today started long before the virus reared its ugly head.




Everybody wants us to go back to normal, the way things were before anybody heard the word coronavirus of COVID-19. But you know what? We weren’t normal back then. The economy was sick before the virus infected us. It was a bubble. There was nothing normal about that bubble. And the problem with bubbles is once they pop, they’re not going to reflate. You need a new bubble. You need a bigger bubble. That’s what the Fed did. They inflated the NASDAQ bubble. That popped. They inflated a bigger bubble in housing. That popped. And then they inflated a bubble in everything. Well, everything has already been in a bubble. There’s nothing left to bubble up. It’s over.”




Peter also warned about what’s coming down the pike with all of this money being injected into the economy.




They are going to unleash a tsunami of inflation.”






And people losing their money in this crisis is going to be the least of the problems.




What we’re going to suffer as an economy is far worse than losing your money. Because you know what’s worse than losing your money? Having your money but your money losing it’s purchasing power. That is the worst thing that can happen and that is what’s going to happen. Hyperinflation has gone from the worst-case scenario to the most probable scenario. And that means people have to act quickly to protect themselves.”




Peter spent a lot of time taking questions from viewers. This is a great opportunity to get some economic analysis you’re not going to see on CNBC or Fox Business.




Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:50
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Peter Schiff: "The Real Crash Is Here"

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Peter Schiff: "The Real Crash Is Here"

Via SchiffGold.com,



On Wednesday, March, 18, Peter Schiff did a live episode of his podcast and took questions for over four hours.



In a nutshell, Peter made the case that the real crash is here. He covered a wide range of topics relating to the ongoing and ever-evolving coronavirus crisis.





As far as the mainstream narrative ou

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t there, Peter said, “Everybody has lost their minds.”




This is really the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen. And, you know, the economy is about to implode. That much is pretty sure.”






Peter is not talking about the steps being taken to hunker down in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. He’s talking about what everybody is saying the government needs to do to address the economic downturn.



In 2007, Peter Schiff wrote a book, “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.” He followed that up with “The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy – How to Save Yourself and Your Country.” He gave his second book that title because 2008 wasn’t the real crash.




It’s the one that’s about to happen.”




Peter said it took longer than he thought it would to get to this point. But here we are.




That bubble has now popped. Believe me. I had no idea that the pin to pop this bubble would be the coronavirus....



This pin has pricked the biggest bubble that the Federal Reserve has ever inflated. And now the air is coming out. And at this point, it doesn’t even matter what happens to that pin...



The damage is already done. The cat’s out of this bag. This bubble has popped. And there is a lot of air that’s going to come out of it.




One example of the craziness is the call for “helicopter money.” The term refers to giving money directly to individuals as if dropping cash on everybody out of a helicopter. As Peter pointed out, when Milton Friedman coined the term, it was a joke.




He was using it as an example of what not to do, about why Keynesian monetary stimulus doesn’t work. He said it’s a crazy, stupid idea. It’s like dropping money from helicopters. Because dropping money from helicopters doesn’t do anything. It’s just inflation. It just makes prices go up.”




We don’t need more money. We need more stuff.




Adding money doesn’t add anything of value. It’s just paper.”




Donald Trump has been comparing the coronavirus crisis to World War II. Peter made the point that in World War II, there weren’t any corporate bailouts.




Not only did people not get bailout checks from the government; the government tripled taxes.”




Last week, Peter asked the question: has the bond bubble just been pricked? It appears that it has. Bond prices are collapsing almost as fast as stocks. Now people are piling into the dollar.




The US dollar isn’t a safe-haven either. And the people who are buying US dollars are about to blow up and watch their purchasing power evaporate. Because we all assume the Fed can create as much money as it wants. That it can create tens of trillions of dollars.



Remember, we’re bailing out everybody. Bailing out the airlines. Bailing out the hotels. Bailing out the manufacturers. Bailing out the plane manufacturers. The automobile manufacturers. Bailing out the individual workers. This is bailout nation. We’re bailing out everybody. How can we bail out everybody? Who’s going to do the bailing? The government doesn’t have any money. It only has money that it takes from the people.”




Peter said the real crash that’s coming is a dollar crisis.




All the money the Fed is printing isn’t going to have value. It isn’t going to buy anything. Prices are going to skyrocket. And in fact, this coronavirus is accelerating that process because the coronavirus is reducing the supply of goods available to buy.”




This is the perfect storm for price inflation. We’ll have more money chasing fewer actual goods.




People are advocating the same monetary policies that have destroyed every country that has ever tried it.”




Peter addresses all kinds of viewer questions in this video. It’s worth taking the time to watch.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 17:55
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Peter Schiff: They're Gonna Need A Bigger Rate Cut!

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Peter Schiff: They're Gonna Need A Bigger Rate Cut!

Via SchiffGold.com,



Stop and pause for a moment and think about what just happened. The Federal Reserve says the US economy is strong, but it just initiated emergency monetary policy last seen during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.





Something doesn’t add up.



The Fed cut rates

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50 basis points on Tuesday. It was the first interest rate move between regularly schedule FMOC meetings since the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed funds rate now stands between 1.0 and 1.25%.



The decision to cut rates was unanimous.



As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, this kind of Federal Reserve move has been reserved for “when the economic outlook has quickly darkened, as in early 2001 and early 2008, when the US economy was heading into recession.” The 50-basis point cut was the first cut of such magnitude since December 2008. Pacific Management investment economist Tiffany Wilding called it a “shock-and-awe approach.”



It may have been shocking, but the results weren’t awesome.



Stocks tanked anyway.



The Dow Jones closed down 785.91 points, a 2.94% plunge. The S&P 500 fell 2.81%.  The Nasdaq experienced a similar drop, closing down 2.99%.



Meanwhile, gold rallied, quickly pushing back above $1,600 and gaining over $50. Wednesday morning, the yellow metal was knocking on the door of $1,650.



Bond yields sank again as investors continued their retreat into safe-havens. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped below 1%.



In a press conference after the announcement, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank “saw a risk to the economy and chose to act.”




“The magnitude and persistence of the overall effect on the US economy remain highly uncertain and the situation remains a fluid one. Against this background, the committee judged that the risks to the US outlook have changed materially. In response, we have eased the stance of monetary policy to provide some more support to the economy.”




Just the day before, Powell hinted at the possibility of a rate cut while insisting “The fundamentals of the US economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity.”



Mises Institute senior editor Ryan McMaken pointed out that Powell’s statement sounds an awful lot like John McCain in September 2008 when he said, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times.”



McMaken raises the crucial question: If fundamentals are so strong, why the need to enact the biggest rate cut in more than a decade?



And further, “If the Fed is slashing interest rates while ‘fundamentals are strong,’ what must it do when things aren’t so ‘strong?’ Negative rates and QE seem to be the logical next step.”



Of course, the Fed has been engaged in QE that it calls “not QE” for months already.



In his podcast Tuesday, Peter Schiff put it another way.




You shoot your bullets at Super Man and they bounce off his chest; then what do you do?”




Schiff said his first reaction was, “They’re going to need a bigger rate cut.”




Just like the guy from Jaws, ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat to catch this shark,’ the Fed is going to need a much bigger rate cut if they want to stop this bear market.”






But Schiff said he doesn’t think there’s a big enough rate cut to do it.




I think the air is coming out of this bubble. As I said, the coronavirus was the pin. At this point, it doesn’t matter what happens to the pin. They could find a cure for the virus. It doesn’t matter. Once the pin pricks the bubble, doesn’t matter what happens to the pin. What matters is the air is now coming out of that bubble and that’s exactly what’s happening.”




From a practical standpoint, it remains unclear how an interest rate cut will solve the potential economic problems associated with coronavirus. It appears that the move was primarily intended to rescue the financial markets. This is not unlike the way the Fed moved when stocks started to tank in the fall of 2008. In a rather convoluted statement, Powell even conceded that rate cuts won’t address the specific economic issues raised by the virus.




A rate cut will not reduce the rate of infection. It won’t fix a broken supply chain. We get that. But we do believe that our action will provide a meaningful boost to the economy.”




The real worry for the Fed is that the stock market will pull the economy down with it. After all, the central bank built the economic “recovery” after the 2008 financial crisis on a “wealth effect.” Easy money pumped up asset prices and made people feel richer. If that wealth effect unwinds, the underlying economy will likely unwind with it.



[ZH: the market is already pricing in 50bps more rate-cuts in March...]





Schiff said another concern is the amount of debt built up in the economy going into the next recession. Normally, during an expanding economy, people pay down debt. But over the last decade, Americans have piled on debt. The federal government is running trillion-dollar deficits. Consumer debt is at record levels. Rising levels of corporate debt have even set off warning bells at the Fed.




So, if we have another economic downturn, that debt is a much bigger problem than its ever been in other recessions. It’s likely going to cause a worse financial crisis than the one we had in 2008. And so to try to keep that from happening, the Fed is cutting rates, because it wants to make it easier for people who have debt to service that debt. And it also wants to delay the recession it knows we can’t survive.”




The Fed simply doesn’t have the bullets in its arsenal to fight a deep recession. That’s why it is firing them know, hoping to hold it off. But Schiff said the best-case scenario is that they buy some time. To do that, they’re going to need bigger rate cuts.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 10:15
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Peter Schiff: Printing Money Is Not The Cure For Cononavirus

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Peter Schiff: Printing Money Is Not The Cure For Cononavirus

Via SchiffGold.com,



In his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff talked about coronavirus and the impact that it is having on the markets.





Earlier this month, Peter said he thought the virus was just an excuse for stock market woes. At the time he believed the market was poised to fall anyway. But as it turns out, coronavirus has actually helpe

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d the US stock market because it has led central banks to pump even more liquidity into the world financial system.




All this means more liquidity - central banks easing. In fact, that is exactly what has already happened, except the new easing is taking place, for now, outside the United States, particularly in China.”






Although the new money is primarily being created in China, it is flowing into dollars — the dollar index is up —  and into US stocks. Last week, US stock markets once again made all-time record highs.




In fact, I think but for the coronavirus, the US stock market would still be selling off. But because of the central bank stimulus that has been the result of fears over the coronavirus, that actually benefitted not only the US dollar, but the US stock market.”




In the midst of all this, Peter raises a really good question.



The primary economic concern is that coronavirus will slow down output and ultimately stunt economic growth. Practically speaking, the world would produce less stuff. If the virus continues to spread, there would be fewer goods and services produced in a market that is hunkered down.




Why would the Federal Reserve respond, or why would any central bank respond to that by printing money? How does printing more money solve that problem? It doesn’t. In fact, it actually exacerbates it. But you know, everybody looks and central bankers as if they’ve got the solution to every problem. They don’t. They don’t have the magic wand. They just have a printing press. And all that creates is inflation.”




Sometimes the illusion inflation creates can look like a magic wand. Printing money can paper over problems. But none of this is going to fundamentally fix the economy.




In fact, if central bankers were really going to do the right thing, the appropriate response would be to drain liquidity from the markets, not supply even more.”




Peter explained how the Fed was originally intended to create an “elastic” money supply that would expand or contract along with economic output. Today, the money supply only goes in one direction — that’s up.




The economy is strong, print money. The economy is weak, print even more money.”




Of course, the asset that’s doing the best right now is gold. The yellow metal pushed above $1,600 yesterday. Gold is up 5.5% on the year in dollar terms and has set record highs in other currencies.




Because gold is rising even in an environment where the dollar is strengthening against other fiat currencies, that shows you that there is an underlying weakness in the dollar that is right now not being reflected in the Forex markets, but is being reflected in the gold markets. Because after all, why are people buying gold more aggressively than they’re buying dollars or more aggressively than they’re buying US Treasuries? Because they know that things are not as good for the dollar or the US economy as everybody likes to believe. So, more people are seeking out refuge in a better safe-haven and that is gold.”




Peter also talked about the debate between Trump and Obama over who gets credit for the booming economy  – which of course, is not booming.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 02/20/2020 - 08:50
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Schiff 'Demands' Bolton As Witness After "Explosive Revelation" Manuscript Leaked To NYT

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Schiff 'Demands' Bolton As Witness After "Explosive Revelation" Manuscript Leaked To NYT

Surprise!



After White House lawyers' brief rebuttal (less than 3 hours) managed to tear apart Rep. Schiff and the House Managers' 20-plus-hour 'odyssey' in the Senate impeachment trial, is anyone surprised that - right at the last minute - a 'bombshell' is leaked to the media that promises - as always - "this time w

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e got him."





This time, The New York Times reports that President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him"




"[Trump] wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens."




Bolton also wrote that several top cabinet officials had knowledge of Trump’s demands, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr, as well as acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, according to NYT.



The leak - if true -  contradicts Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into Burisma corruption surrounding Hunter Biden's exorbitant pay for doing sweet F.A.



Of course, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer instantly responded to the NYT story, tweeting:




"John Bolton has the evidence. It's up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and the others with direct knowledge of President Trump's actions testify in the Senate trial."




And The House Managers were even stronger in tone, demanding Bolton as witness...




House Managers Statement on New York Times Report on John Bolton Washington, DC



Today, the House Managers in the impeachment trial of the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump – Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow, and Sylvia Garcia– issued the following joint statement:




"Today's explosive revelation that President Trump personally told former National Security Advisor John Bolton that he would continue the freeze on military aid to Ukraine until that country agreed to his political investigations confirms what we already know. There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President's defense and therefore must be called as a witness at the impeachment trial of President Trump.



"Senators should insist that Mr. Bolton be called as a witness, and provide his notes and other relevant documents. The Senate trial must seek the full truth and Mr. Bolton has vital information to provide. There is no defensible reason to wait until his book is published, when the information he has to offer is critical to the most important decision Senators must now make — whether to convict the President of impeachable offenses.



"During our impeachment inquiry, the President blocked our request for Mr. Bolton's testimony. Now we see why. The President knows how devastating his testimony would be, and, according to the report, the White House has had a draft of his manuscript for review. President Trump's cover-up must come to an end.



"Americans know that a fair trial must include both the documents and witnesses blocked by the President - that starts with Mr. Bolton."





Sarah Tinsley, a Bolton spokeswoman, declined to comment on the accuracy of the report regarding the ambassador’s manuscript.




The ambassador transmitted a hard-copy draft of his manuscript to the White House for pre-publication review by the National Security Council,” she said in an telephone interview.



“The ambassador has not passed the manuscript to anyone else, only the NSC.”




So another internal White House leak?



And this comes just hours after Schiff proclaimed magnanimously that while their witness calls were all relevant, White House lawyers' call for Hunter Biden as a witness would never stand, because he was "irrelevant."




Schiff told NBC's Chuck Todd that the president's defense "doesn't have the right" to call "irrelevant witnesses or witnesses who aren't fact witnesses" within the trial, again signaling that he is unwilling to trade testimony from Joe Biden's son, Hunter, in exchange for other administration witnesses.



“It’s not a question of what I’m afraid of. I’m not afraid of anything. It’s a question of: Should the trial be used as a vehicle to smear his opponent ... or is it to get to the truth?” Schiff added.




Which is odd given Ukraine's meddling in the 2016 election - which is a "debunked conspiracy theory" according to Schiff et al.



There's just one thing - it's not, as none other than Politico noted in Jan 2017...




Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.




So will there be a 'quid pro quo' or Biden's testimony for Bolton's testimony?



Trump on Wednesday told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, that he didn't want Bolton to testify before the Senate.




“The problem with John is it’s a national security problem," Trump said.



“He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive and then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”




He added:




“It's going to be very hard. It's going to make the job very hard.”




And cue the "Donald Trump is done" proclamations...






Tyler Durden

Sun, 01/26/2020 - 20:30


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'Shifty' Schiff: Warmongering Stooge Of The Deep State

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'Shifty' Schiff: Warmongering Stooge Of The Deep State



 



 



Authored by Daniel Lazare via AntiWar.com,



 



 



 


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Adam Schiff Caught "Mischaracterizing" Evidence Day One Of Senate Impeachment Trial

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Adam Schiff Caught "Mischaracterizing" Evidence Day One Of Senate Impeachment Trial

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was caught "mischaracterizing" evidence on day one, Tuesday, of the Senate impeachment trial. 



The left-leaning Politico claims that Schiff released inaccurate information about a text message between Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas on July 3, 2019, about organizing a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

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Schiff's report was sent to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) last week that summarizes "a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani," Politico reported. 




The report claims in a text message conversation between Giuliani and Parnas, Parnas said: "trying to get us mr Z." The remainder of the letter was redacted. 



Politico added, "But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: 'mr Z answers my brother.' That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky, not Zelensky."



A Republican aide told Politico that Schiff's assumption that "mr Z" is Zelensky is ludicrous.




"The most charitable view of the situation is that [Schiff's] staff committed the equivalent of Congressional malpractice by not looking more than an inch deep to determine the facts before foisting this erroneous information on his colleagues and the American public," said one senior GOP aide.




"But given the selective redactions and contextual clues, it seems as though Chairman Schiff sought to portray an innocuous meeting with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky as an insidious one with the President of Ukraine simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z," the GOP aide added. 





Schiff has issued false information in Trump-related investigations before. 



It was reported in September 2019 that Schiff fabricated the account of a July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky, to analogize the interaction to a scene from a mafia drama.



And last month, Schiff said during a Fox News interview that he wasn't willing to admit wrong in his defense of the FBI's FISA process: "I'm certainly willing to admit that the inspector general found serious abuses of FISA that I was unaware of."



Trump responded by saying, "Schiff's correcting the record memo has turned out to be totally wrong (based on the I.G. Report)! A very big lie. @MariaBartiromo And @DevinNunes has turned out to be completely right. Congratulations to Devin. The Fake News Media should apologize to all!" 






Tyler Durden

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 10:50


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Peter Schiff: Gold Climbs Wall Of Worry

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Peter Schiff: Gold Climbs Wall Of Worry

Via SchiffGold.com,



Gold surged above the $1,550 mark in the wake of a US airstrike that killed a prominent Iranian general and has hit levels not seen since 2010. Yesterday morning, gold was trading above $1,580...





As Peter Schiff put it in his latest podcast, the yellow metal is climbing a “wall of worry.”





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lockquote>

Clearly what we did heightens the risk in the Middle East and in particular with Iran...



The question is is the world a safer place? Is America in particular safer now that we took this guy out? And nobody knows the answer to that for sure, but the odds are probably not.”




Peter said that these things have a tendency to blow back with unintended consequences, just like everything the government does.




My initial feeling is because we took out this guy, the world is a little bit less safe than it was the other day. And the risk premiums have to go up, because the odds of some type of hot war in the Middle East go up.”




As with any conflict in the Middle East, this raises the possibility of a disruption to the oil supply. This is not good news for the US economy.




Sure, the US economy isn’t as vulnerable as it once was because we’re not importing as much as we used to. But consumers still have to buy oil. They still have to pay for things. Prices are already going up, and this is going to add upward pressure on already increasing prices, which is going to be a negative for people who have to buy energy, or buy things that are transported using energy, or things that are manufactured with energy. I mean, costs are going to be going up and this is a negative.”




Peter said this will also be a negative for the bond market. That raises the possibility that the Fed will try to offset those negative impacts by continuing quantitative easing to keep the inflation premium from pushing up long-term interest rates.





And of course, there is also a bigger safe-haven risk premium on the price of gold.




Gold isn’t just an inflation hedge. It is predominantly that. The main reason gold is going up is because of the Fed. But obviously, in a world where you have heightened geopolitical risk, which could adversely affect bond markets and stock markets, you would expect to see greater demand for gold as a hedge in your portfolio. And that’s why the price of gold was up better than $20 an ounce today (Friday).”




A Goldman Sachs note helped buoy gold saying bullion offers a more effective hedge than oil in this crisis.




History shows that under most outcomes gold will likely rally to well beyond current levels. That’s consistent with our previous research, which shows that being long gold is a better hedge to such geopolitical risks.”




A senior resource analyst at MineLife Pty in Sydney also talked up gold in an email to Bloomberg, saying, “gold has entered 2020 with strong momentum.”




When you factor in ongoing uncertainty with respect to US-China trade talks and heightened security issues with Iran, gold really is a no-brainer.”




Peter pointed out that gold was the number-one performing asset through the first two days into 2020. But interestingly, gold stocks were down Friday – even with a nearly $30 increase in the price of bullion.




We’ve had nothing but bullish news for gold stocks. We have a $30 move up in the price of gold. We have heightened geopolitical risk associated with gold. Yet the gold stocks have gone down. Why is that? Again, I think you’ve got a lot of fearful traders. There’s a wall of worry in this bull market. There’s a lot of skepticism in the gold rally, which I regard as being healthy. You don’t have a devil-may-care, throw caution to the wind type of attitude the way you have it in the S&P 500. People are nervous in the gold stock market.”




The last time we got to $1,550, gold had a pretty steep correction. Now we’re knocking on that door again and a lot of investors apparently think we’re not going to go all the way through. They anticipate a pull-back. Peter said, in effect, gold stocks are discounting the next pullback.




They’re assuming that the price of gold is going to sell off and so they are selling their gold stocks now in advance.”




Peter said that may well happen. There has always been strong resistance at $1,550. But he said even if we do, he doesn’t think it will be that drastic. And here’s something else you need to think about.




What if the gold speculators are wrong? What if we go through $1,550? What if there isn’t a pullback. What if the next pullback is from $1,600 or $1,650 back down to $1,550 or $1,575? What if there’s more to this gold rally than the gold traders believe? Well, if that is the case. If we end up with an up-move in gold next week, then we have a huge move for the gold stocks.”




And of course, the biggest factor pushing gold upward is the Fed. The central bank was the impetus behind the biggest increase in the price of gold since 2010 last year.



Peter wrapped up the podcast talking about the Federal Reserve and the minutes from the December FOMC meeting that came out Friday.




You can’t even understand the markets unless you understand the Fed.”





Tyler Durden

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 13:40


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Peter Schiff: The 20s Will Be An Explosive Decade For Gold

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Peter Schiff: The 20s Will Be An Explosive Decade For Gold

Via SchiffGold.com,



In 2019, gold had its best year since 2010. Peter Schiff appeared on the RT Dec. 31 and said he thinks the yellow metal should have done even better. And given the current economic conditions, he believes the 20’s will be an explosive decade for gold.




You know, the reason the US stock market went up this year is because the

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Fed surprised everybody by doing exactly what I had been predicting they would do. They aborted their feigned attempt to normalize their interest rates and shrink their balance sheet. They went back to rate cuts and quantitative easing. This is extremely bullish for gold.






Peter emphasized that gold should have been up a lot more in 2019, but he thinks it will catch up over the next several years — probably next year in particular.




Gold is going to be one of the best-performing assets classes, if not the best-performing asset class on the planet.”




Peter noted that gold made significant gains in 2019 despite a dollar that was relatively flat.




But the dollar is going to fall through the floor. That means gold prices are going to go through the roof.”




Peter said we are about to enter a new decade of stagflation  – low economic growth and increasing inflation. He said it’s going to be even worse than the stagflation we saw in the 1970s.




This is going to be more like an inflationary depression. So, this century, the depression is going to come a decade early. It’s not going to be the roaring 20s. It’s going to be a decade of inflationary depression in the United States.




As far as the trade deal goes, Peter said gold will go up no matter what the trade war sideshow yields. Regardless, the dollar is going to go down. That’s bullish not only for gold, but for commodities in general, including oil and agricultural products.



Peter emphasized that the Federal Reserve is going to ultimately take rates back to zero and increase the pace of quantitative easing. He pointed out that the unofficial QE the Fed launched last fall is already growing the Fed’s balance sheet faster than the official QE in the wake of the 2008 crash.




But all of this is going to shift into a much higher gear as this new decade plays out.”




As we move into 2020, Peter said economic growth will likely be slow and inflation will be higher than people believe.




The Fed’s not going to do anything about it. So, we’re going to have higher inflation. We’re going to have slower growth. I think we could see a push up in long-term interest rates as the dollar really starts to weaken. And that destroys the appetite for US dollar-denominated debt. So, if you have higher consumer prices and higher interest rates, that’s a negative for the economy. But it’s a positive for gold, because the Fed is going to try to rescue the economy by printing even more money, and all that’s going to do is stoke the inflationary fire. So, I think we’re going to see a big up move, not just in 2020, but probably for the remainder of this decade. You’re going to see the type of move we had in the first decade of this century. Remember, gold did really well from 2001 to 2010 timeframe. So, in the teens, gold really treaded water. This is going to be the next leg up and I think this is going to be an even more explosive decade for gold than the first decade of this century.”





Tyler Durden

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 11:54


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Peter Schiff: Powell Is Resurrecting The Inflation Monster That Volcker Slayed

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Peter Schiff: Powell Is Resurrecting The Inflation Monster That Volcker Slayed

Via SchiffGold.com,



Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker passed away last week. Volker was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, but served most of his term under President Ronald Reagan. Volker was best-known for fighting inflation with interest rate hikes. At the peak, Volker pushed rates all the way to 20%.



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/>

Peter talked about Volcker in a recent podcast, noting that he was credited with slaying the inflation monster that today’s Fed seems happy to resurrect.





Volcker took a lot of heat from officials in government for allowing rates to rise so high. Peter said that notably, Reagan was not critical of Volcker’s strategy.




Unlike Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan stood by Paul Volcker. He was his ally and he never criticized Volcker for high interest rates where everybody else was criticizing him, from Main Street, to Wall Street, to the Capitol, but Reagan stood by his Fed chairman.”




In hindsight, Volcker has a lot of respect. Peter said he was the last decent Fed chairman.




I wish he had been a little more critical of his predecessors, but there’s some kind of unwritten rule among Fed chairmen that you never speak ill about anybody who has the job after you. But I wish he had, because I’m sure he had some ill-will, he had some feelings that we were making mistakes, and he could have been more vocal in his criticism.”




Jerome Powell opened up his press conference at the conclusion of last week’s FOMC meeting with a tribute to Volcker. Powell talked about how the former Fed chair slew inflation. Peter called the tribute “ironic.”




As we are burying Paul Volcker, Powell is now helping to resurrect the high inflation. So, we’re bringing that back to life now that Paul Volcker has passed away. So, maybe he will rest in peace unless he’s going to end up rolling around in his grave based on all the inflation that is going to be ravaging the country.”




Peter noted that the post-FOMC press conference focused more on inflation than any other Powell has had. The Fed chair talked about low inflation, how we don’t have enough inflation and insisted we need more inflation.




Which of course is the opposite of what the Fed should be doing. The Fed should be saying, ‘We don’t have a lot of inflation. That’s great. And we’re going to make sure it stays that way.'”




After all, the Fed’s mandate is stable prices.



Ironically, we got the official CPI numbers before the Powell press conference and they were a bit higher than expected. Year-over-year, headline inflation is up 2.1%. And the core inflation number was up 2.3%.




So, we have inflation, both as measured by the core and the headline CPI that is running above the Fed’s 2% target.”




But as Peter noted, the Federal Reserve doesn’t really have a 2% target anymore. It has a “symmetrical” 2% target, which allows inflation to rise above 2%.




The Fed has already come out and said it wants to have higher inflation in the future to make up for not enough inflation in the past.”




During his press conference, Powell even talked about the “dangers” of inflation being too low. Keep in mind, whenever you hear somebody say inflation is too low, they are telling you your cost of living isn’t going up fast enough.




Then it really hits you – the absurdity of what they’re expecting you to swallow. But, of course, Wall Street swallows it … This stuff is a bunch of nonsense. People should see through this and start to question the irrationality of what the Fed is saying, to try to see through it to their real agenda, because the Federal Reserve knows inflation is bad. The Federal Reserve knows the cost of living going up is a bad thing.”




In truth, the last thing the Fed wants is higher inflation because the last thing it wants to do is actually fight inflation.



One reason the Fed has to keep pushing inflation up is to maintain inflation expectations. If the expectation of inflation falls, it will tend to naturally lower interest rates. So, why is that a bad thing? Because then the Fed won’t have “room” to cut if the economy goes south.




Think about the absurdity of that. I mean, we need higher interest rates now so that we can have lower interest rates in the future, but in the meantime, the Fed has been lowering rates. If the Fed wants higher interest rates, raise rates. What’s stopping them?




In truth, the only reason interest rates are as low as they are right now is because the Fed is artificially manipulating them. They should be a lot higher.




To say that we need extra inflation so that Americans can pay higher interest rates when they borrow money so the Fed can micromanage the economy in the event that we have a recession down the line, which of course we’re going to have. But of course, the Fed creates the recessions. It lights the fires that it then wants to take credit for putting out. But the whole idea makes no sense whatsoever.”




Powell also talked about why inflation isn’t going to rise above 2%, despite the strong economy, low unemployment and some wage growth. As Peter pointed out, these things don’t cause inflation. The Fed causes inflation by creating money out of thin air. The increase in the money supply is inflation. Rising prices are just a symptom. Peter said what’s really changed is the lag – the period of time between the creation of inflation and the increase in consumer prices. This has created a sense of complacency.



Powell has continued to say that the Fed will have to see a substantial increase in inflation before the central bank takes action and raises rates. There is no Volcker-like inflation fight in the cards. As Peter said in an interview on Fox Business, the Fed is willing to let the inflation genie out of the bottle. When that happens, it will be impossible to put it back in.



You fight inflation by raising rates. The bigger the inflation problem, the higher you have to raise rates. How can the Fed do that in this debt-riddled economy?




If they were to raise interest rates high enough to combat that kind of inflation, all hell would break loose. Everything would implode. It would make 2008, that financial crisis, look like nothing.”




Peter said he doesn’t think the Fed will really start fighting inflation until we have a dollar-crisis and the prospects of hyperinflation.



Simply put, Powell and Company are playing with fire. When you do that, you eventually get burned.




Tyler Durden

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 08:45


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Schiff: 'I Had No Idea FBI Was Committing Serious Abuses When I Said All That Stuff'

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Schiff: 'I Had No Idea FBI Was Committing Serious Abuses When I Said All That Stuff'

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) can't admit when he's wrong.



After last week's DOJ Inspector General report revealed that the FBI committed serious abuses while obtaining a warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page - including fabricating evidence, Schiff was asked on Sunday by Fox News host Christ Wallace:



"Given what you know now …

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strong>are you willing to admit that you were wrong in your defense of the FBI’s FISA process?"



To which Schiff replied: "I’m certainly willing to admit that the inspector general found serious abuses of FISA that I was unaware of."



That's an odd way of admitting your entire thesis has been dead wrong for three years.



Watch (via the Daily Caller)





In short:






Tyler Durden

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 17:40
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Schiff, Nadler Insist Impeachment "Not A Failure" Despite Plunge In Public Support, Interest

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Schiff, Nadler Insist Impeachment "Not A Failure" Despite Plunge In Public Support, Interest

No matter what the Democrats do to try and juice up some public hysteria about the impeachment process - from delaying votes to 'prime-time' to conjuring images of Trump holding Zelensky's daughter hostage in the basement of The White House - it appears both public interest, and more importantly public support, for the impeachment of President Trump is slumping.


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In the latest sign that Democrats are losing the public's interest, Axios reports that The level of readers' engagement on stories about impeachment has steeply declined since September, according to data from NewsWhip.





Source: NewsWhip



A trend that so vividly exposes the fact that while plenty of attention is being paid to the impeachment saga, it doesn't draw the same level of emotion and enthusiasm that we saw in September.



Specifically, Axios notes that public interest hit its apex when the case against Trump was building and news cycles were driven by new revelations about Trump, Ukraine and the characters involved; but, after two weeks of public testimony in mid-November, the national conversation shifted from the accumulation of evidence to debate over whether that evidence was sufficient for impeachment and conviction.



And so as "interest" fades, so does "support" which, regardless of political affiliation, peaked in October.



For a brief glistening moment on The Hill, public support (based on the polls), topped 50% (on October 14th), but since then it has slid lower...





Source: FiveThirtyEight



As one would imagine, the support is split dramatically between Democrats (84.6%) and Republicans (10.0%) in favor of impeachment, but as the chart below shows, those whose mind remains "independent" - should those unicorns actually exist in the real life - have seen a dramatic slide in support.





Source: FiveThirtyEight



Finally, we note that, in addition to public interest (news report engagement) and public support (polls), the betting markets are also going "the wrong way" as PredictIt shows the odds of Trump serving out his first term are soaring back to pre-impeachment-process highs...





Source: PredictIt/Bloomberg



Simply put, no one trusts the news to get to the facts and when it is as boring, partisan, and predictable as this has been, who can blame them.





And don't forget, Democrats have been planning this 'coup' since before the midterms, but according to the New York Times, Pelosi says she's not going to push moderate Democrats to support the impeachment, saying she has "no message to them" and that "we're not whipping this legislation."





None of this appears to bother Rep. Eric Swalwell, who farted on live TV last week,




"I’m not focused on the polls, I know my colleagues aren’t either... this president used his great vast power to ask a foreign government to help him cheat an election."




Sadly, Mr. Swalwell, with members of your own party mutinying, perhaps it is time to listen to "we, the people" after all.



And despite all the evidence above, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff insisted “it isn’t a failure” during an ABC News interview on Sunday.




“No, it isn’t a failure, at least it’s not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the House,” he said.




Nine months ago, Schiff said that the “only thing worse than putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment is putting the country through the trauma of a failed impeachment.”



Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee chairman whose panel drafted two articles of impeachment, also believes the impeachment push wouldn’t be a failure if not passed in the Senate.




During an interview on Sunday, Nadler was reminded that he previously stated that “before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen,” including “Trump voters.”




We suspect Pelosi and the core of the Democratic Party base would disagree on whether this whole process has been a "failure" or not.




Tyler Durden

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 16:00


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WSJ Blasts "Willing Press Echo Chamber" For Enabling Schiff To "Distort Truth For Political Gain"

zerohedge News blasts willing press echo chamber enabling schiff distort truth political gain All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
WSJ Blasts "Willing Press Echo Chamber" For Enabling Schiff To "Distort Truth For Political Gain"

With Bloomberg News now banned from Trump campaign events, after openly admitting its political bias, and with the likes of Harwood and Todd now fully paid up members of the resistance, there has been one voice from the establishment media that has remained quietly 'balanced', quietly not-activist, and quietly reporting the news.



The Wall Street Jou

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rnal has lambasted President Trump for his trade war, anguished over his manner, and criticized many of his actions as President; but, unlike the rest of the mainstream media, they have also acknowledged his successes, reported the facts about various left-wing conspiracies (as opposed to amplified them), and has not been afraid to stand alone as a quasi voice of reason amid the most-polarized environment this nation has known since the Civil War.



All of which is background for what The Journal did tonight as its Editorial Board dared to go after two 'untouchables' - Rep. Adam Schiff and the Washington press corps.



In a stunning rebuke of both, an op-ed details how the Horowitz report exposes the Democrat's many distortions. They begin with a jab-jab-cross...




"Monday's Justice Department Inspector General report on the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe is illuminating in many ways, not least the light it casts on the previous claims by politicians when they were telling the public about what they saw in classified documents.



House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff in particular has been exposed for distortions and falsehoods."






And after exposing the lies, distortions, and falsehoods that Schiff again and again promoted on any TV screen that would have him, The Journal concludes with a Tyson-esque upper-cut to end the battle...




"Mr. Schiff had access to the same documents as Mr. Nunes.



His decision to misrepresent the FBI’s actions shows he is willing to distort the truth for political purposes.



He gets away with this because he has a willing echo chamber in the Washington press corps."




Once again, Schiff has been exposed for undertaking exactly the kind of partisan lying and manipulation that he claims - falsely - the Republicans (and particularly Mr. Nunes - who has been ultimately vindicated) have been doing all along.



The only question America must have now is simple - where is the accountability?



Read the full WSJ op-ed here...




Tyler Durden

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 22:05


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Schiff: Will the Grinch Steal Wall Street's Santa Claus Rally?

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Schiff: Will the Grinch Steal Wall Street's Santa Claus Rally?

Via SchiffGold.com,



Typically, December is a strong month for stocks with the so-called “Santa Claus rally.” Peter said maybe the Grinch is going to steal that rally this year.





Peter noted that one of the reasons the stock market is up so much in 2019 is because last December was the worst December since the Great Recession.


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/>

Now, I don’t know if this December can take out that one. But, hey, it’s possible, given that there’s no reason for the stock market to up where it is. The only reason the stock market has gone up, I think, is because of the Fed.”




Peter said all of the teasing about a trade deal has also helped pump up stocks, but the big factor has been the Fed and the “Powell Put.”




And really what the Powell Put was was the Fed’s assurance that under no circumstances would it consider raising interest rates. And it doesn’t matter what happens to inflation, that inflation could go up, right? That we could have higher inflation and they wouldn’t even think about raising rates. So, the only thing that can happen to rates is that they are either cut or they remain the same. So, the threat of higher interest rates, taking that completely off the table really emboldened the bulls. It’s like waving a flag at bull, like a red flag, and now they come charging because the element of fear now is gone.”




Peter referenced a mainstream article that said the Fed has really codified its new mandate on letting inflation run hot. Every time Powell speaks, he talks about “symmetrical inflation.”




I basically said, well, what that means is inflation above 2% by an equal amount that used to be below 2%. Now you actually have the Fed talking about adopting that officially into their mandate about having inflation run above 2% adjusting their target north so that the official target now is above 2%.”




The idea is that we have to make up for the lack of inflation in the past in order to keep the average at 2%.





Peter has been saying for years that the Fed would have to raise the inflation target because it could never maintain it without collapsing the economy.




They would bark when it comes to fighting inflation, but they would never bite.”




First, the government rigged the CPI to hide inflation. Now they complain that there is not enough inflation.



Peter said the whole thing is absurd.




This is nonsense. The Fed is basically saying, ‘Hey, you guys, consumers, your cost of living didn’t go up enough in the last few years. It went up, but not quite enough. So, what we have to do is make sure in the future your cost of living goes up even faster, a lot more than we initially would have planned because we have to catch up.” … I mean, what kind of asinine policy is that?”




And yet everybody just accepts this as normal.



The truth is the Fed wants to prop up the bubble economy. It wants to monetize debt. It wants to prevent the market from raising interest rates. It wants to prevent asset prices from collapsing. It wants to prevent the government from having to cut spending.




So, in order to paper over all of these problems so they can keep kicking the can down the road, that’s the reason why we need more inflation. We don’t need it because it’s good for us. It’s only good for the government in maintaining the bubble, to maintain the illusion that the economy is OK when it’s actually imploding.”




Peter said his confidence level in his predictions and his investment strategy has never been higher.



Peter went on to break down the recent moves in the stock market and then he delved a bit into the current political landscape and the Democratic primary.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 09:10


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Adam Schiff In Crosshairs As Republicans Seek Impeachment Witnesses

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Adam Schiff In Crosshairs As Republicans Seek Impeachment Witnesses

As the impeachment inquiry moves from the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to the House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), top House Judiciary Republican Rep. Doug Collins (GA) says Schiff is the most important witness the GOP wants to interview - after the whistleblower who sparked the entire affair approached

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Schiff's committee before filing an official complaint.





"My first and foremost witness is Adam Schiff," Collins told "Fox News Sunday," adding that Schiff had "compared himself in the past to a special counsel," while noting that former special prosecutor Kenn Starr testified during the GOP-controlled House's impeachment of President Clinton, according to The Hill.




"[Schiff] has put himself into that position," added Collins. "If he chooses not to [testify], then I really have to question his veracity in what he’s putting in his report."



"Why are they hiding the stuff from us? If they think they have such a case, give us all the materials and don't let Jerry Nadler write a crazy letter that says on the 6th, let us know who your witnesses are. We don't even have the information from the Intel Committee yet. This is why this is a problematic exercise and simply a made-for-TV event coming on Wednesday."



According to Politico, Schiff will begin circulating a report on Monday within the House Intelligence Committee which will contain the conclusions of his panel's investigation of President Trump's request that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.



 




Tyler Durden

Sun, 12/01/2019 - 16:00


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An Independent Is Challenging Adam Schiff In 2020 Election

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An Independent Is Challenging Adam Schiff In 2020 Election

Via SaraACarter.com,



“Adam Schiff has been my congressman since 2012. He became my congressman through the redistricting process,” said Jennifer Barbosa, an independent who is challenging Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Schiff is wasting federal funds trying to impeach President Trump, while his state continues to suffer from an unprecedented homelessness cris

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is, pointed Barbosa.




Since he became my congressman he has not presented any legislation that’s become law. In terms of homelessness, what he’s done is he’s basically rubber-stamped Maxine Waters’ bill to deal with homelessness, and her bill essentially replicated the same failed policies that [L.A.] Mayor [Eric] Garcetti has implemented in our city over the past few years.



“We know they’re not working,” Barbosa continued.






“So, what we need to do in terms of homelessness... we need to stop allocating federal funds for affordable housing which costs $500,000-700,000 per unit and really focus on mental health services for the people who are living on the street.”






Tyler Durden

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 14:04


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Peter Schiff: This Is Going To End Very Poorly

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Peter Schiff: This Is Going To End Very Poorly

Via SchiffGold.com,



On Nov. 18, Peter Schiff appeared on RT Boom Bust to talk stock markets, trade war and Federal Reserve policy. He said that right now the Fed is doing a good job stimulating the bubbles, but ultimately, it’s going to end very poorly.



On the trade war front, there seems to be a lot of conflicting information and continual yo-yoing between pessimism and o

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ptimism. The Chinese seem less confident while White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow says a deal is close.



Peter said he thinks China is posturing for negotiations.






If you’re negotiating with somebody, you don’t want to admit that you’re close to a deal. You want to say that a deal is far away because that way you can try to extract more concessions from the other side and get a more favorable deal. So, I think when you hear the comments from China, that’s what the Chinese are trying to do.”




But Peter said he thinks President Trump has a different agenda.




I think Trump only cares about goosing the stock market. And he knows that every time he comes out and says that a deal is close, we have a deal, it’s going to be great, he gets another 100, 200 Dow points. That’s what he cares about. And so as long as the market is going to keep running every time he cries wolf, he’s going to keep crying wolf.”




Todd “Bubba” Horwitz was also on the show. He disagreed somewhat with Peter’s assessment. He said the reason the stock market continues to soar is because there’s no place else to go with your money today. Investors are chasing yield. He said the stock markets will come crashing down at some point, but nobody knows when. He also said Trump is right when he says the Fed could take rates even lower because interest rates in the US are higher than they are in Europe and Asia. He said we could borrow at a lot lower rate because we’re still “the best game in town.”



Peter said he disagreed with Horwitz completely and that there are lots of better places to put your money than the US stock markets.




I think the US stock market is dramatically overvalued. And the reason it is going up is because the Federal Reserve is creating money.”




Peter brought up the fact that the Fed has not only cut rates three times this year. It has also embarked on QE4. Investors expect QE4 to be like QE3, but there’s a big difference.




You see, when the Fed did QE3, investors were still foolish enough to believe that that was the last time they were going to do it. They actually bought the Fed when the Fed said they had an exit strategy, they were going to shrink their balance sheet; they were going to normalize interest rates. The markets were looking forward to that and they thought that what the Fed was doing was working. But it didn’t work. It was an abject failure. That’s why they’re doing it again. But soon the markets are going to discover that QE is permanent and that there’s never going to be a real reduction in the balance sheet. The balance sheet is going to grow into perpetuity and I think we’re going to have a dollar crisis. I think we’re going to have a sovereign debt crisis. I think this is going to end very poorly for people who have been enjoying the paper gains in this stock market bubble.




Peter said investors should get out of the US stock market before the bubble pops.




You mentioned precious metals. Gold is a much better place than the US stock market. I know that gold has been outperformed by the stock market over the last five, 10 years, but it hasn’t been outperforming gold since the beginning of the millennium. You know, gold is doing better than the Dow if you start in 2000. But I do think over the next five to 10 years, the price of gold is going to dramatically outperform the Dow.”




Peter also touched on the so-called independence of the Fed, saying the central bank has never been truly independent. It has always worked hand-in-glove with Congress and presidents, including President Trump. He said that’s why the Fed has been cutting rates and doing QE.




But it’s not stimulating the economy. It’s stimulating the bubble. That’s all that’s happening. And Donald Trump was correct when he attacked Janet Yellen for pursuing these tactics when Obama was president, and now … he’s criticizing Powell for not doing it enough. He wants negative rates. He wants even bigger QE. Because he doesn’t care about the US economy. All of this is counterproductive if you care about the US economy. All he wants is to make the numbers look better. He wants to get the stock market so he can claim that that proves that he has a successful presidency.”




*  *  *



The case for gold is strong. For more detailed analysis, download the SchiffGold report “Why Buy Gold Now” here.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 08:12


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Schiff Leaked Disinfo To Politico As Part Of 'Impeachment Scheme', Lawsuit Claims

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Schiff Leaked Disinfo To Politico As Part Of 'Impeachment Scheme', Lawsuit Claims

A senior White House official has claimed in a lawsuit that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) "acted in concert" with Politico by leaking false information from closed-door impeachment testimony to journalist Natasha Bertrand with the goal of undermining President Trump's confidence in him "and to further Schiff's impeachment inquisition."





Accordi

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ng to the lawsuit, Schiff or his staff gave Bertrand closed-door impeachment testimony by former adviser Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman - who told lawmakers that he was told "at the last second" not to debrief President Trump after attending Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky's May inauguration. Instead, Trump was debriefed by Kashyap Patel, a senior counterterrorism official on the National Security Council (NSC) and longtime staffer for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).


Kash Patel (right) with White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

During his testimony, Vindman accused Patel of misrepresenting himself as a Ukraine expert, and said he was feeding the president misinformation about the country - which Bertrand then published in Politico.



According to GOP strategist and White House regular Arthur Schwartz, "Both Vindman and Fiona Hill appear to have lied about a number of the same things."




Patel claims he has never spoken with Trump about Ukraine. He is seeking at least $25 million for defamation and "presumed damages and actual damages, including, but not limited to, insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering, injury to his reputation, special damages, costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses." He has requested a trial by jury.



According to the lawsuit:




Between October 14, 2019 and November 8, 2019, Politico and Bertrand colluded, collaborated and conspired with Schiff to defame Kash. Schiff, or members of his staff or aides acting at his direction, leaked to Bertrand the closed-door testimony that [former former senior advisor and European and Russian affairs specialist who served on the NSC Fiona] Hill and [NSC Director of European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander] Vindman gave in the subfloor of the Capitol Visitor Center. The leaks occurred in real-time. Schiff leaked the testimony to Bertrand because Schiff knew that it would be a violation of House Rules and Committee Rules for Schiff to publish the substance of the testimony himself.



The joint collaborative purpose of the leaks was to publish Hill and Vindman’s false and defamatory statements, including Hill and Vindman’s egregious personal attacks on Kash, so as to further Schiff and Politico’s interests in harming the President and advancing the impeachment inquisition. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Bertrand secretly communicated with Schiff or his staff via encrypted email, including proton-mail, and messaging services, such as Signal.




Kash accused Politico of 'intentionally employing a scheme' and abandoning 'all journalistic integrity.'




Defendants intentionally employed a scheme or artifice to defame Kash with the intent to undermine the President’s confidence in Kash and to further Schiff’s impeachment inquisition. Defendants acted in concert with Schiff to accomplish an unlawful purpose through unlawful means, without regard for Kash’s rights and interests.





Defendants abandoned all journalistic integrity and violated their own code of ethics in order to further the conspiracy with Schiff. Defendants did not seek truth; report truth; minimize harm; act independently; and they most certainly were not transparent.




According to Breitbart, a source close to the president said of Bertrand's article "This story is patently false," adding "The president is well aware of Patel’s expertise and background. At no time has the president ever indicated to anyone including Kash that he believed that Kash was any sort of Ukraine expert or had any views on Ukraine at all for that matter. Their discussions were about something entirely unrelated to Ukraine, and Democrats and these witnesses know this but keep perpetuating this lie anyway."




Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 18:05


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"The Bubble's Already Popped": Peter Schiff Warns "Ignore What The Fed Says, Look At What They Do"

zerohedge News bubbles already popped peter schiff warns ignore what says look they All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
"The Bubble's Already Popped": Peter Schiff Warns "Ignore What The Fed Says, Look At What They Do"

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,



Financial expert Peter Schiff says that people should ditch the dollar. And not just the dollar; all fiat currencies.  Instead, he says people should be buying gold, a “real safe haven” asset.





The real driver behind the rise of gold prices is the

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world’s central banks’ buying spree, says Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital.




“All of this is very bullish for gold and so rather than simply selling bonds people should be buying gold because they need to get out of the dollar,” says Schiff. 



“In fact, they need to get out of the fiat currencies in general and seek a real safe haven – and that’s gold,” he adds.




Back at the end of October, Schiff has also said that the stock market bubble had already popped, according to RT. (fwd to 18:20)





The Federal Reserve planned to inject $60 billion per month into the U.S. economy which is showing signs of a slowdown.






“Just ignore what they say and look at what they do,” Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital tells Boom Bust. 



“They are trying desperately to keep the air from coming out of this bubble but it’s not going to work,” he said, explaining that “The bubble has already popped.”






According to Schiff,




 “the only question is how fast is that air going to come out and when the market is going to figure out that the game is over, understand what the Fed has been doing, and the true nature of this bubble economy…”




What Could Pop The Everything Bubble?



Schiff also added that the most recent interest rate cut is a “desperate attempt to keep the air from coming out of the bubble, to maintain false consumer confidence.” Consumers are confident the economy is a disaster, he says, adding that they don’t have any money, they have lousy jobs, no savings, and are loaded down with debt.




“But, as long as they keep on borrowing money to buy stuff that they can’t afford with money they don’t have, for some reason they remain optimistic…” The Fed plays into this, Schiff says.





Tyler Durden

Sat, 11/16/2019 - 09:20


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The Death Throes Of A Party: Is Pelosi Planning To Shaft Schiff?

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The Death Throes Of A Party: Is Pelosi Planning To Shaft Schiff?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,



Is it possible that Rep. Adam Schiff was hung out to dry by the devious Ms. Pelosi, feeding his vanity to be a one-man impeachment wrecking crew, knowing that the congressman from Hollywood would utterly blow it? Hmmmmm. Begins to look that way as Mr. Schiff’s House Intel Committee goes public th

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is Wednesday with its soviet-style format on full display.





Source



Well, first, why? Why allow this nitwit to stage an ersatz impeachment only to see it fail? Perhaps to cancel the Jacobin menace metastasizing in the Democratic Party and get on with the business of winning the 2020 elections — with old-school candidates hand-picked to end-run the gang of fantasists currently on display.



The House Speaker must sniff the odor of failure in the wind.



Joe Biden, smiling cretinously, blunders through the primary venues with a big red “L” plastered on his forehead, often uncertain of what state he’s landed in, or what direction to face the camera. Everybody over twelve in this land knows that his kid Hunter was on the grift in Ukraine, plain and simple, and that Joe assisted in the operation. Color him toast.



Elizabeth Warren has been caught lying very publicly twice now, first as a phony Cherokee Indian (for career advancement in academia), and lately claiming falsely that she was canned from a teaching job years ago for being pregnant (with a 2007 tape of her out telling a contradictory story). Of course, that’s just the cherry-on-top of her dazzlingly unsound policy proposals to bankrupt the nation. Doesn’t look like she can reel it all back in and pretend to be a credible person in time for a full-on campaign.





Source



Bernie Sanders has not completely lost his appeal for the collectivist demographic. The heart attack barely broke his stride. His line of bullshit remains consistent: 20th century nanny-state “solutions” for the problem of a sunsetting industrial economy. The perception out there remains that the unearned riches of the rentier class can be rationally harvested to support the floundering multitudes. There is scant recognition that a Bernie program would only hasten that setting sun and vaporize all those figmentatious rentier riches lodged in the janky financial markets, leaving everybody equally high, dry, and bankrupt.



Note: Bernie raised his hand along with everybody else on the debate platform to give free medical care to border jumpers, and it’s all on tape, too, like the Liz Warren vapor trail. Guess how that will play in the reddish states. Finally, how many of us really want a president that looks and acts like your ninth-grade math teacher?



The rest of the field comprises just so many horses that ain’t gonna finish, not even the saintly Mayor Pete of South bend, IN.



The other mayor, Michael Bloomberg stepped up to the plate last week and has already racked up an 0-and-2 count. (Only in France do mayors get to be president.)



So, guess who that leaves? Self-style gutsy woman Hillary Rodham Clinton, ready and willing to saddle up and reclaim her lost entitlement to rule the land. What has she been actually doing up in her Chappaqua fortress-of-solitude lo these 36 months of defeat and exile besides pretending to write that gutsy woman book? Exactly how much influence does she still exert in the party, and throughout the multitudinous worm-holes of the Deep State? How much more — more than the three-year RussiaGate hoax — is she behind in the effort to drive the US population toward psychosis and submission?





Source



My own sense of things is that she still influences quite a bit — though that might come to a screeching halt when indictments rain down against a large cast of characters associated with the previous governing regime, herself included. After all, she did pay for foreign interference in the 2016 election. For starters think: Christopher Steele, British national, former MI6 employee, before you even start sorting through the sundry Ukrainians recently revealed as “meddlers” via the awkward “whistleblower” affair.



Which brings us back to Rep. Adam Schiff and his monkeyshines in the star chamber of his personal devising.





Source



Now that the show goes public, will he haul many of the same characters back into the witness chair to spin out his engineered narrative, without any cross examination allowed, or other felicities of due process? Someone ought to advise him that playing the Robespierre role tends toward an unhappy ending for the player. Especially when Mr. Jordan of Ohio, newly-seated on the Intel Committee, starts barking out points-of-order.



I’m even half-wondering if Mr. Durham, the federal attorney, has not already measured up bills of indictment for Mr. Schiff himself, for the phony CIA agent “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, the pre-wired IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson, US chargé d’affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor, and the spectacularly seditious Colonel Vindman, whose antics stand out in this latest coup attempt against the elected president.



And then what kind of bag does that leave Ms. Pelosi holding?




Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 14:05


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Schiff Rejects GOP Whistleblower Testimony Demand, Due To "The President's Threats"

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Schiff Rejects GOP Whistleblower Testimony Demand, Due To "The President's Threats"

In the least-surprising news item of the day, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has rejected GOP calls for the so-called whistleblower to testify in the sham impeachment hearings.



Schiff explains in a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes that the whistleblower's testimony is "redundant and unnecessary," claiming that the impeachment inquiry h

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as gathered evidence that "not only confirms, but far exceeds" information in the original complaint.





Schiff also made it clear that the impeachment inquiry will not be used to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, or allegations of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.



Schiff's stunningly hypocritical response to Nunes is below:




Dear Ranking Member Nunes:



The Committee is in receipt of your letter, dated today, proposing witnesses for the impeachment inquiry's open hearings. The Committee is carefully evaluating the witness list you provided, along with the written justifications you included.



Consistent with H. Res. 660 and as noted in my November 6, 2019 letter, the Committee will give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.



In doing so, the Committee is mindful that this inquiry is a solemn undertaking, enshrined by the Founders in the Constitution, to determine whether the President of the United States warrants impeachment by the House of Representatives.



As we move to open hearings, it is important to underscore that the impeachment inquiry, and the Committee, will not serve as vehicles for any Member to carry out the same sham investigations into the Bidens or debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.



The Committee also will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm. It remains the duty of the Intelligence Committee to protect whistleblowers, and until recently, this was a bipartisan priority. The whistleblower has a right under laws championed by this Committee to remain anonymous and to be protected from harm.



The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence - from witnesses and documents, including the President's own words in his July 25 call record - that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblower's complaint.



The whistleblower's testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary.



In light of the President's threats, the individual's appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk.




As a reminder, Schiff initially said the whistleblower would testify to Congress but backed away after the contact between the person and his team was revealed.





This latest decision comes after Nunes complained that Democrats had yet to treat President Trump with "fairness" in the impeachment process, directing witnesses not to answer questions from GOP committee members and withholding transcripts.



In addition to the whistleblower, Republicans also requested the following witnesses:




  • Hunter Biden: The son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and a former board member for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that has been plagued for years by corruption concerns. President Donald Trump asked Ukraine’s president in a July 25 phone call to consider investigating whether Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government in 2016 to shut down an investigation of Burisma.




  • Devon Archer: One of Hunter Biden’s business partners and a former Burisma board member.




  • Alexandra Chalupa: A former DNC consultant who met with Ukrainian embassy officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Chalupa, who is Ukrainian-American, dug up dirt on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.




  • David Hale: The undersecretary of state for political affairs. Hale testified in a closed-door deposition Wednesday.




  • Tim Morrison: The former senior director for European and Eurasian affairs on the National Security Council. Morrison is one of only two individuals, including National Security Council’s Ukraine director, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, to have listened to the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Morrison testified that he did not hear anything illegal on the call, while Zelensky, who will be called to testify by Democrats, said that he had serious concerns with what Trump said in the call.




  • Nellie Ohr: The wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, and a former contractor for Fusion GPS. Ohr told Congress in an Oct. 19, 2018, interview that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and investigative journalist, was a source of information for Fusion GPS, which peddled the infamous Steele dossier. Leshchenko, who has acknowledged having contact with Chalupa, helped publish information in August 2016 that led to Manafort’s firing as Trump campaign chairman.




  • Kurt Volker: The former special envoy to Ukraine. Volker was a liaison between Rudy Giuliani and the Zelensky administration. He testified Oct. 3 that he did not witness a Trump quid pro quo to Ukraine.



What are the odds that any of these people will be allowed by Schiff?




Tyler Durden

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 09:52


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Peter Schiff: When Is The Market Going To Wake Up To This Con?

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Peter Schiff: When Is The Market Going To Wake Up To This Con?

Via SchiffGold.com,



As expected, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates another 25 basis points on Wednesday.



The mainstream read the post FOMC meeting comments to be relatively hawkish, saying Powell and Company seemed to indicate that future rate cutting is on pause.



Peter Schiff opened up his podcast reminding us that just one y

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ear ago, the Fed was raising rates and telling us it would continue to do so through 2019. It also claimed that quantitative tightening was on “autopilot.”




And they said this with a straight face. And everybody believed them.”






At the time, Peter was saying it wasn’t going to happen. He said the central bank would start cutting rates and relaunch QE. And here we are.



The central bank removed the phrase saying it was committed to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” from its forward guidance. This was widely viewed as a more hawkish stance. The Fed replaced that language, instead saying, “The Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds rate.” Powell was more emphatic during his press conference, saying bank officials “see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate.”



Of course, Powell again claimed that the Fed is not engaged in quantitative easing despite the repo operations and bond-buying program. He tried to draw a distinction between QE and today’s operations by pointing out that the central bank is buying short-term bonds today while it bought longer-term debt during QE.




This is really a distinction without a difference. I mean, who cares what the maturity of the bonds are?”




If the Fed was going to simply let the bonds fall off the books once they matured, the length of the term might be relevant. But Peter said that’s not what’s going to happen.




They’re just going to keep rolling these bonds over … This is another source of financing, of the Fed financing government debt. That’s quantitative easing. I mean, why did the Federal Reserve do QE in the first place? To keep interest rates lower than they would have been had they not done quantitative easing. And, by extension, to prop up asset prices.”




And why is the Fed doing what it’s doing today?




For the exact same reason. To keep interest rates artificially low, to suppress the cost of borrowing, to help out all debtors so they can make payments on their debt and to keep the stock market elevated, to keep real estate prices elevated.”




We also got the GDP numbers on Wednesday. Growth came in at 1.9%. That was better than expected. But a big chunk of that growth was consumer spending and a revived housing market. This was a function of Fed policy.




The Federal Reserve is basically doing now what it was doing then, for the same reason it was doing it then, except it doesn’t want to admit. Powell doesn’t want to say that the Fed is doing quantitative easing. The main reason is he doesn’t want to admit the economy needs it.




In fact, Powell keeps saying the economy is good.




Well, if everything is good, why do we need the emergency monetary policy when everything wasn’t good? When we were trying to get the economy out of a bad place, we did QE. And if it’s now in a good place, why are we doing it again? So, that’s why he wants to deny he’s doing it.”




When asked, Powell did admit that the current monetary policy is “accommodative.” Peter said it may even be more accommodative than it was when rates were at zero because inflation is higher. In fact. Powell admitted core CPI is finally above 2%. So, if inflation, even as the government measure it is above 2% and the Fed just dropped rates to 1.5%, we’re talking about negative real interest rates.




That is highly accommodative. I mean, why would the Fed be accommodating the strongest economy in the history of our country? Clearly, the reason Powell thinks we need so much support from the Fed is because he knows the economy is weak, that without the Fed’s help, it would implode. A strong economy doesn’t need the help of the Fed.”




Peter also talked about the fact that the Fed basically admitted that inflation is going to go a whole lot higher. Powell said the Fed would need to see a “really significant” and persistent move up in inflation before considering rate hikes. Basically, Powell conceded that the Fed wasn’t going to be vigilant about inflation. It is willing to let the genie out of the bottle. The question then becomes, how will it ever get the inflation genie back in the bottle? In short, it won’t. Think about what it took for Paul Volker to put the inflation genie back in the bottle in the 1980s. We saw 20% interest rates. Can you imagine that in this debt-riddled, overleveraged economy?




The only key is when is the market going to wake up to this game, this con. When are they going to realize the box the Fed has put itself in? That it is completely impotent when it comes to inflation-fighting? That it is all bark and no bite, and it basically, it’s not even barking yet? It’s only talking about the prospect of barking in the future, but it will never bite. And when the markets figure this out, the bottom is going to drop out of the dollar. Gold is going to absolutely go through the roof.”





Tyler Durden

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 16:25


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Peter Schiff: QE Is A Monetary Roach Motel

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Peter Schiff: QE Is A Monetary Roach Motel

Authored by Peter Schiff via SchiffGold.com,



This Is Not a Printing Press! (Or Is It?)

Rene Magritte’s 1929 painting “The Treachery of Images,” depicts a tobacco pipe with a caption that reads “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” (French for “This is not a pipe”). Everyone who has taken a course in modern art knows that Magritte’s exercise in contradiction was meant to draw a di

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stinction between a real thing and a representation of that thing.





Perhaps we should send Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell a beret and an easel as he is attempting a similarly surrealistic take on monetary policy.



On Oct. 8, the chairman announced a new, as yet unnamed, Fed program through which the bank will now buy regular amounts of short-term U.S. government debt. Seeking to counter the rumblings that a new form of quantitative easing would be seen as an admission that the economy may be in trouble, Chairman Powell asserted during the annual meeting of NABE on October 8, “This is not QE. In no sense is this QE.”



In other words, “Ceci n’est pas QE.”





The New York Fed put some meat on the bone by detailing that the program will buy $60 billion per month of Treasury Bills, at least through the second quarter of next year. (R. Miller & C. Condon, Bloomberg) In addition, at least through January 2020, the Fed will continue with $75 billion in overnight repurchases and $35 billion in term repurchases twice per week. (N. Timiraos & P. Kiernan, Dow Jones Newswire) As a result, it is estimated that the Fed’s balance sheet will reach roughly $4.2-$4.3 trillion sometime in Q2 2020. Of course, since the actual size of the purchases required to keep interest rates from rising could be much larger, the Fed’s balance sheet could be significantly larger as well.



The Fed even put out a Frequently Asked Questions page last week that among other things highlighted how the current moves differ from the original version of QE in 2008. It stresses that whereas the old version of QE was designed to spur economic growth in a sluggish economy, the current moves are simply designed to patch leaky financial pipes that are very much removed from the real economy. A statement on the FAQ page reads, “These operations have no material implications for the stance of monetary policy,” and should not have “any meaningful effects” on household and business spending or the overall level of economic activity. Instead, the Fed just wants to make sure there is enough cash sloshing around the system — because lately there hasn’t been.



But as the reliable American folk wisdom states: if something “looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” In this case, Powell can call the new Fed program anything he wants, but it certainly quacks like QE.



As it was originally defined just a few short years ago, QE was the attempt by central banks to buy and hold government debt in an effort to pull down interest rates and inject liquidity into stressed financial markets. Okay, check and check. The only difference between then and now is that in 2008-2014 the Fed targeted the longer-dated end of the bond market, and this time it is targeting the shorter end…at least for now. But bond maturity length never figured much into the definition anyway, so that doesn’t really seem to matter.



Another distinction that Powell makes is that the current program is more modest in scope than the full-blown QE programs of 2009-2014, which added more than $4 trillion to the Fed’s balance sheet, according to data from the St. Louis Fed, (the vast majority of which it still holds to this day). And while it’s true that the $180 billion or so that the Fed has pumped into the markets over the last month is just a spit in the bucket compared to what it had amassed in the early part of this decade, please remember that the Fed has just started…give it time! $180 billion in one month is actually a much faster pace than what was seen at the height of the QE era (which topped out at $85 billion per month).



Should anyone really expect that the new program will end in the middle of next year as the Fed now suggests? It has never fully ended any of its prior stimulus plans, why would this one be any different? In fact, thanks to the Fed, the U.S. economy will be even more heavily indebted in eight months than it is now. So the Fed will be forced to buy even more debt to keep interest rates from rising in an economy even more vulnerable to higher rates than it is today. Like any drug habit, the more drugs you consume today, the more you will have to consume tomorrow to achieve the desired effect.



If we can agree that it makes no difference what we call the program, it is nevertheless important to focus on the differences between QE then and QE now. Back in 2009, the program was all about reliquifying the long bond market that had been decimated by billions of dollars of worthless subprime bonds. But a decade later, the home mortgage market is relatively calm, at least for now. Long-term interest rates are already rock bottom, and mortgage delinquencies are not currently causing panic in the banking system. Today, problems are popping up in a very different place, the very short-end of the bond market, particularly in the overnight “repos” where banks lend spare cash to one another on a very short-term basis.



As it turns out, the Fed’s $50 billion per month of bond sales, which began early in 2018 and ended in the second quarter of this year, drained liquidity from the overnight market at the same time increased government borrowing was sucking up all available cash. Last year’s tax cuts, combined with increased Federal spending, pushed this year’s deficit past $1 trillion for the first time since 2012. (G. Heeb, Markets Insider, 9/14/19) Deficits are currently expected to stay north of $1 trillion per year for the foreseeable future. That means more new government bonds than expected are likely to hit the market.



Contrary to his campaign promise, President Trump has actually shortened the maturity of the national debt. (US Govt. Finance: Debt, Yardeni Research, Inc., 10/10/19) Shorter maturities mean that more debt will need to be refinanced each month. Banks have dutifully bought those bonds, as they are often required to do by capitalization laws that were put in place since the Crisis of 2008. But this has not left enough cash to keep the overnight market well-lubricated.



This problem erupted into broad daylight just a few weeks ago, when yields on overnight bonds skyrocketed to 10% or more. Rates that high in an overlooked, but vital, part of the financial system could have caused the economy to seize up, so the Fed intervened with all guns blazing. It bought approximately $53 billion of overnight loans in just the first day of the crisis.



At that point, most market observers believed that the problem was caused by a confluence of temporary events that would last just one day, or maybe a week. But those hopes quickly faded, and we have been left with a crisis that now appears permanent. In light of this, it is not surprising that the Fed expanded its intervention into the short-end of the Treasury market. But don’t expect the problems to end there. The debt crisis is like a cancer that I believe will continue to spread. The Fed is out of miracle cures. In fact, it never had any.





This all reminds me of when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke first introduced the QE program in 2009, stressing that that it did not constitute “debt monetization” (the situation where a government buys its own debt) because QE was “temporary” and the bonds that the Fed was buying in an emergency would be sold back to the market once the crisis abated. (Testimony before U.S. House Budget Committee, 6/3/09) At the time, I predicted, when virtually no one else on Wall Street did, that the Fed would never be able to sell those assets back into the market. It turns out, the Fed was only able to sell less than 25% of what it had bought before it encountered a crisis that forced it to scrap the whole process.



As I have said many, many times, quantitative easing is a monetary Roach Motel: Once central bankers check-in, they can never check out. For now, Chairman Powell is occupying a different room in this particular motel than had his predecessors. But rest assured, not only will he occupy that room, but I expect he will also be expanding into many more. None of the rooms will have a good view and all will have dirty linen.



The real question is when investors will get wind of the stench? The Fed has been successful in fooling the markets regarding the temporary nature of zero-percent interest rates, the efficacy of QE, and its ability to normalize rates and shrink its balance sheet. Had the markets not been fooled, the program would have produced a much different result. Its “success” was purely a function of the belief that the policy was temporary and reversible. The realization that it is neither could cause a flight from the dollar and Treasuries that could usher in a financial crisis far worse than what was experienced in 2008.




Tyler Durden

Tue, 10/22/2019 - 13:06


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Schiff Staffer Flew To Ukraine 2 Months Ago, Met With Impeachment Witness

zerohedge News schiff staffer flew ukraine months metwith impeachment witness All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Schiff Staffer Flew To Ukraine 2 Months Ago, Met With Impeachment Witness

A staffer for Rep. Adam Schiff's House Intelligence Committee flew to Ukraine in late August on a trip organized and sponsored by the Atlantic Council, where he met with a key witness for the Democrats' ongoing impeachment efforts. 





The witness, acting US Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, is scheduled to provide a depos

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ition next week as part of Schiff's inquiry into President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, according to Breitbart News.



Trump, among other things, asked Zelensky to renew an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who were both paid handsomely by gas giant Burisma Holdings while Biden was Vice President, according to prior reports and a new allegation by Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach, who says he has proof that $900,000 was funneled from Burisma to the elder Biden. 



Ambassador Taylor, meanwhile, has a "close relationship" with the Atlantic Council, "writing analysis pieces published on the Council’s website and serving as a featured speaker for the organization’s events," according to the report, which adds that "He also served for nine years as senior advisor to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, which has co-hosted scores of events with the Atlantic Council.



The Schiff staffer, Thomas Eager, meanwhile, partook in the Ukraine trip as a member of the Atlantic Council Eurasia Congressional Fellowship - directly sponsored by Burisma via a 2017 "cooperative agreement." 




A closer look at the itinerary for the August 24 to August 31 trip shows that the delegation’s first meeting upon arrival in Ukraine was with Taylor.



Spokespeople for Schiff’s office did not reply to multiple Breitbart News requests sent over the course of the last three days for comment on Eager’s meeting with Taylor.



When Breitbart News first reported on Eager’s visit to Ukraine two weeks ago, Schiff’s office quickly replied to several comment requests, denying any impropriety related to Eager’s association with the Atlantic Council or the trip.



The unanswered Breitbart email requests to Schiff’s office from the past three days posed the following question: 




While in Ukraine, did Mr. Eager speak to Mr. Taylor about the issue of reports about any representatives of President Trump looking into alleged Biden corruption in Ukraine?




-Breitbart




Interestingly, Eager's trip to Ukraine occurred 12 days after a CIA officer (who previously worked for Joe Biden) filed a whistleblower complaint on August 12, using second-hand information regarding Trump's call with Zelensky. 



Schiff's office, meanwhile, directed the whistleblower to a Democratic operative attorney who has previously worked for Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. Schiff initially lied about the initial contact, later claiming he "should have been much more clear" after he had been caught. 



Taylor, meanwhile, will be deposed by House Democrats over text messages which showed him suggesting that President Trump was using his office to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden. Taylor's attorney, John Bellinger, "served at the National Security Council and as the State Department’s lead lawyer under President George W. Bush’s administration," according to Breitbart - which adds that Bellinger is a prominent "Never Trump" Republican who participated in drafting a 2016 letter warning that Trump could be the "most reckless President in American history."



Read the rest of the report here




Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 08:05


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US Ambassador Ordered Not To Testify In House Impeachment Inquiry; Schiff Cries Obstruction

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US Ambassador Ordered Not To Testify In House Impeachment Inquiry; Schiff Cries Obstruction

US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, has been directed by the Trump administration not to appear for a Tuesday morning interview scheduled in the House's impeachment inquiry, reports the New York Times





Sondland was prominently featured in a text exchange revealed last week in which US diploma

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t to Ukraine, William Taylor, said in early September "As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign," referring to nearly $400 million in military aid withheld from Ukraine. 



Sondland made a phone call to Trump, who said that assertion was false. Sondland then texted back: "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions," adding "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind."



"I suggest we stop the back and forth by text." 



The decision has riled the three House committees seeking to speak with Sondland, which may result in what Times suggests could be "potentially profound consequences for the White House and President Trump." House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) says the failure to deliver Sondland is obstruction - a charge itself which carries the potential for impeachment. 




...in making the decision, hours before he was scheduled to sit for a deposition in the basement of the Capitol, the Trump administration appears to be calculating that it is better off risking the House’s ire than letting Mr. Sondland show up and set a precedent for cooperation with an inquiry they have strenuously argued is illegitimate. -New York Times




"Ambassador Sondland is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today," said Sondland's lawyer, Robert Luskin - saying that his client had no choice but to comply with the administration's order. "Ambassador Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the committee’s questions fully and truthfully." 



Sondland was asked by Trump to take the lead in relations between the Trump administration and Ukraine, making him a key witness to US relations with former Soviet state. 



The Times repeats the lie that Trump asked Zelensky to do him a "favor" and investigate the Bidens. As we've repeated ad nasueum, the "favor" was in relation to locating the lost DNC server. One can verify this for themselves by simply reading a transcript of their July 25 phone call. 






Mr. Sondland interacted directly with Mr. Trump, speaking with the president several times around key moments that House Democrats are now investigating, including before and after Mr. Trump’s July call with the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. The president asked Mr. Zelensky on the call to do him “a favor” and investigate the business dealings of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son and a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election. -New York Times




The Times also calls Ukraine election meddling to help Hillary Clinton in 2016 a "conspiracy theory," despite a Ukrainian court finding that Artem Sytnyk, Ukraine's Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine had "acted illegally" by revealing that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's name was contained in an off-book "black ledger" of payments. 



According to text messages given to Congress last week, Sondland and another senior diplomat worked together on a statement they wanted Zelensky to make in AUgust which would have committed him to investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over allegations of corruption. Sondland and another senior diplomat consulted with President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on the statement. 



If he does end up testifying, Sondland will be in a position to reveal whether the withheld military aid was contingent upon Ukraine opening investigations into the Bidens. 




Tyler Durden

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 09:51


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Anti-Trump CIA Whistleblower Concealed Huddle With Schiff Committee

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Anti-Trump CIA Whistleblower Concealed Huddle With Schiff Committee

The CIA employee whose second-hand whistleblower complaint sparked an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-controlled House never told the Inspector General about his interactions with House Democrats as required by law, according to investigative reporter Catherine Herridge. 



The revelation came from Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who testified in a close

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d-door session last week that the whistleblower - a registered Democrat - failed to mention his contacts with Democrats on Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) House Intelligence Committee, who referred him to a Clinton-linked attorney to move forward with his complaint. 





According to The Federalist's Sean Davis, "The complainant’s failure to disclose his interactions with Schiff or his staff could put him in legal hot water, as the whistleblower form he submitted requires individuals to disclose “other actions you are taking on your disclosure” under penalty of perjury."




An entire page of the whistleblower form is dedicated to collecting information about previous disclosures so the ICIG can take appropriate action in response to the complaint.



“I have previously disclosed (or am disclosing) the violations alleged here to (complete all that apply),” the form requires the complainant to attest. The form includes checkboxes for disclosures to other inspectors general, other agencies, the Department of Justice, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Special Counsel, other executive branch departments, Congress and its respective committees, and media. It also includes a separate question asking the complainant to detail those previous disclosures to the ICIG. -The Federalist




Davis updates his article to note: "An official confirms the whistleblower failed to disclose prior contacts with House Democrats regarding the allegations of his August 12 complaint. The box in Part 3, Question 1 of the form regarding contacts with Congress or congressional committees was unchecked and left blank. The dates of those contacts were also not disclosed as required. And the specific members and committees that were contacted were likewise not disclosed in the section requiring that information."



And while the whistleblower concealed his contacts with Schiff's committee, Schiff lied about them - claiming last month that his panel had "not spoken directly with the whistleblower." This earned Schiff four Pinocchios from the Washington Post



"We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to," Schiff told MSNBC's Sam Stein when asked if they had ever spoken. "But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation." 






A House Intel Committee spokesperson told The Post that Schiff's reply "should have been more carefully phrased." 



"Regarding Chairman Schiff’s comments on ‘Morning Joe,’ in the context, he intended to answer the question of whether the Committee had heard testimony from the whistleblower, which they had not," said the spokesperson. "As he said in his answer, the whistleblower was then awaiting instructions from the Acting [Director of National Intelligence] as to how the whistleblower could contact the Committee. Nonetheless he acknowledges that his statement should have been more carefully phrased to make that distinction clear."



Needless to say, eager to redirect attention, Trump has been focusing on the "Schiff is a fraud" angle for the past week:







Tyler Durden

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 13:00


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Pelosi Flat-Out Lies; Claims Schiff Used 'Trump's Own Words' In Fabricated Ukraine Call 'Parody'

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Pelosi Flat-Out Lies; Claims Schiff Used 'Trump's Own Words' In Fabricated Ukraine Call 'Parody'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lied on Wednesday when she told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) "was using the president's own words" when he read a fabricated account of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky during a hearing last w

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eek with the acting director of national intelligence. 



Stephanopoulos pushed back, telling Pelosi "Well those weren't the president's words, it was an interpretation of the president's words. They're saying he made this up," to which Pelosi replied "He did not make it up." 





To be clear, Nancy Pelosi doesn't appear to have a full grasp on what she's impeaching Trump over.



Schiff compared Trump's call with Zelensky as a "classic organized crime shakedown" in his opening remarks last week. "Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates," Schiff added, before launching into his fabricated 'parody' of the call. 



Schiff's fabrication: 



"We’ve been very good to your country, very good," Schiff says, doing a terrible impression of Trump. "No other country has done as much as we have, but you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want, I have a favor I want from you, though, and I’m gonna say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand, lots of it."





In response, President Trump called Schiff a "lowlife" who should "resign and be investigated." 





Trump expanded on Schiff during Wednesday comments:





Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced a resolution censuring Schiff for his remarks, saying in a Twitter video that the California Democrat "read a statement that was blatantly false, had no corresponding evidence, nor relationship to the actual transcript of President Trump's conversation," adding "What the chairman did is he read something that was made-up, totally false, and later had to excuse it by saying it was a parody."



GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, tweeted "Chairman Adam Schiff has been lying to the American people for years. Now he is so desperate to damage the president that he literally made up a false version of a phone call."







Tyler Durden

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 12:05


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Peter Schiff: The Party Is Over

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Peter Schiff: The Party Is Over

Via SchiffGold.com,



As Peter Schiff put it in his podcast, if the first trading day of the fourth quarter was a sign of things to come, bulls on Wall Street are in for a rough end to the year. In fact, Peter said the party is over and you don’t want to be the last one to leave.





The Dow was down 343.7 points and the Nasdaq shed 90 on a day that started

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out all sunshine and roses.




For a couple of days, the economic news wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been, or maybe some of the numbers actually were a little better or beat the numbers, and I think there was some idea that, hey, maybe the economy is not as bad as some people had feared, but then reality reared its ugly head at 10 a.m. when we got the ISM Manufacturing numbers.”




US manufacturing dove to a 10-year low. The ISM index of national factory activity dropped 1.3 points to 47.8 in September. That was the lowest number since June 2009 – as the US economy was emerging from the Great Recession. A reading below 50 signals manufacturing is contracting. The weak September number follows on the heels of a 49.1 print in August. Analysts had expected a bounce-back to 50.




Yet Donald Trump wants us to believe we have the greatest economy ever. How do we have the greatest economy ever when we have one of the worst manufacturing economies ever? Especially when it was manufacturing that was supposed to ‘Make America Great Again.'”




Instead, we’re back where we were during the Great Recession. Peter said the only thing this economy really has going for it is massive deficit spending.




What is driving US GDP is consumers spending borrowed money and the government spending borrowed money. That’s it. That’s the secret. Have a borrowing binge and spend a bunch of money to try to artificially boost GDP while the actual economy — the real economy — is imploding.




Most mainstream analysts blame the bad manufacturing number on the trade war. Peter said he thinks we’d probably have weak manufacturing without the trade war. In fact, the notion that the trade war could end soon may be causing a false sense of optimism. Peter said it may be a “buy the rumor, sell the fact” scenario if there is a resolution to the trade war and people realize it’s not a big deal.




Once we have a deal, the markets will have nothing to look forward to. I mean, what do they got? QE is already restarted. The Fed is already cutting rates. I mean, what is going to help this market? The only thing that’s out there that can help it is a trade deal. So, once we have a trade deal there is nothing that can help the market and the market’s going to go down.”




Peter said the real drag on the market is the collapse of the money-losing stocks. He’s talking about all these overvalued IPOs for money-losing companies. This is where you saw all of the speculative money. He called these companies, like Chewy, Uber and WeWork the poster-boys of this bubble. These stocks are the weak links in the chain. The weak links break first and the rest of the chain follows.




If investors are no longer willing to finance money-losing companies, if that type of speculative fervor has come to an end, this is a huge bell ringing on Wall Street, and it has massive implications, not only for the stock market, but for the overall economy.”




In a nutshell, these companies never bothered with making a profit. They were focused on the IPO. The strategy was to cash out on the backs of stock market investors who didn’t care whether or not the company was making money. They sacrificed profitability to deliver value to the customer in order to create a “sexy” story.




This was a great party while the party lasted but the party is now over.”






Where did all of this malinvestment come from?




Artificially low interest rates, cheap money sloshing around causing non-economically viable businesses to exist and to thrive.”




As Peter said, at some point, you have to pay the piper.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 08:10


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Ukraine Launched July Probe Of Military Hardware Sales By Adam Schiff Fundraiser

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Ukraine Launched July Probe Of Military Hardware Sales By Adam Schiff Fundraiser

Authored by retired Naval Intelligence officer J.E. Dyer via Liberty Unyielding (emphasis ours)


Igor Pasternak (L), Adam Schiff. Pasternak: Capitol Intelligence Ukraine video, YouTube

On Sunday 29 September, a theme was going viral on social media that a Ukrainian-American arms merchant, Igor Pasternak, has held fundraising events for Rep. Ada

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m Schiff (D-CA).  Some other allegations about Pasternak – e.g., that he is closely tied to George Soros – don’t seem to have a paper trail that could be verified with online research.  But the report that Pasternak has done fundraising for Schiff is documented.



Although the widely-cited 2013 fundraiser was in Washington, D.C., Igor Pasternak’s company headquarters is in Montebello, California, on the east side of Los Angeles.  It’s near Schiff’s CA-28 congressional district, which lies to the north of it and encompasses major suburbs like Burbank and a chunk of Glendale.  Pasternak started the company in Ukraine in 1992, but immigrated to the U.S. in 1994 and established his California-based company, Aeros/Worldwide Aeros Corporation, shortly thereafter.



Aeros makes lighter-than-air (LTA) airships via its Aeroscraft arm.  That is its signature niche in the general aviation industry as well as its entrée to defense contracting.  Aeros has had contracts with the U.S. Defense Department to develop surveillance airships and cargo-delivery airships.  Pasternak, an engineer by training, has had a lifelong interest in what can be done with LTA vehicles.



The story about him as it stands right now is that he did little, if anything, in Ukraine in the 20 years between 1994 and 2014 (links below).  Then, when the Maidan Revolution erupted in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014, he went back to Ukraine and started cultivating ties with the defense industry there.  At that point, as is obvious from the document announcing the 2013 fundraiser, Pasternak was already giving aid and comfort to Adam Schiff.



In the Ukrainian political sorting after the invasion and partitioning of Crimea, one of the major developments in Kyiv has been reorganizing the government-directed defense industry conglomerate, known by its acronym Ukroboronprom.  Ukroboronprom coordinates the arms industry in Ukraine, in the same manner as similar entities in Russia, China, and a number of other countries.  Its centralized nature and arms portfolio mean it is always rife with corruption, but at the moment, the point is simply to introduce it to the reader.



In the course of establishing project-worthy contacts in Ukraine, Pasternak’s Aeroscraft had a couple of scores that, from the Aeros perspective, were big ones.  One is a joint project with an Ukroboronprom subsidiary industry group, Ukroboronservis, to produce a Ukrainian version of the M4 used by the U.S. armed forces (here and here).  That project is eye-catching because it involves producing rifles – not something Aeros has had a background in.



It’s a thing that makes you go, Hmm: inherently dubious, and on the face of it, one of the hallmarks of cronyism, like Hunter Biden being put on the board of an energy company when he has zero background in the field.



Perhaps it’s just a new tack for Aeros, into which Pasternak is putting zeal, energy, and investment dollars.  But it’s easy to imagine there were at least half a dozen other U.S. companies it would have made more sense to build NATO-ready rifles with.  (I’ve been unable to determine if Aeros simply subcontracted with one of them, and functioned chiefly as a go-between because of Pasternak’s Ukrainian background.)



The second project was right up Aeros’s alley, however.  It involved designing and installing an aerial surveillance infrastructure for a section of the Ukrainian border, in conjunction with another Ukroboronprom enterprise, SpetsTechnoExport.  Aeros had been working on such a project (link above) using aerostats, for the U.S. DOD.  The network installed in Ukraine ended up being mounted on towers in Mariupol, overlooking the Sea of Azov, rather than being deployed in an aerostat flotilla.  Petro Poroshenko, then president of Ukraine, was there for the inauguration ceremony of this border surveillance system in January 2017.


Igor Pasternak (R) at Ukroboronprom media event for inauguration of the border early warning and surveillance system installed for Ukraine by Aeros. Jan 2017. YouTube video

Fast-forward to July 2019, however, and the happy-face buzz about the border surveillance system wasn’t quite so happy anymore.  Some noteworthy developments occurred in the meantime, one of the most significant being a commitment by Ukraine to have corruption-ridden Ukroboronprom audited by an independent, outside firm; in particular, one of the global “Big Four” in which foreign investors would most readily put their trust (Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), KPMG).



On 2 July 2019, the Kyiv Post reported that in spite of the change of government with the 2019 elections (which brought Volodymyr Zelensky in to replace Poroshenko), and many months of preparatory work, both before and after the presidential election, the long-sought independent audit had not yet even started.



I ask you to remember that date: 2 July.  We’ll need it again for reference shortly.



Then, on 22 July 2019, Ukrainian media reported that the procurator for military investigations in the Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office was probing the purchase by Ukraine of the Aeros border surveillance systemAdam Schiff’s sometime fundraiser found one of his two big projects in Ukraine under investigation for corruption: specifically, it appears, for an allegation that the system itself was not necessary for the procurement purpose; for an allegation that it had functionality problems; and for an allegation that the transaction involved embezzlement (although the latter charge doesn’t seem to be directed at Aeros).



It seems doubtful that President Trump knew about this relatively obscure development when he had his 25 July phone call with President Zelensky.  But it’s a strong bet that a lot of Democrats in the U.S. knew (such as political activist Alexandra Chalupa and her Ukraine-embedded network, which was so active in seeking dirt on Trump during the 2016 campaign).  As the link above indicates, Igor Pasternak had already posted a statement about the investigation at the Aeros company website (the date of the statement is 24 July).



Without judging the merits of the case one way or another – not even possible from outside the circle of facts and evidence – we can nevertheless suppose that this is a sensitive matter for Americans heavily invested in links with Ukraine.  It would color how such persons saw any push from the president, especially a president from the opposing political party, for more robust investigations by Ukraine.  It would be a reason to dislike or even fear such investigations.



It could be a reason for the paranoid to assume the investigations were meant to damage their interests.  It would have been on the minds of at least some Democrats when the “whistleblower” complaint was forwarded to Adam Schiff in the 12 August 2019 letter.  And, of course, if some of them already knew the complaint was coming before that date, they had that information and the knowledge of the Aeros transaction probe in Ukraine.  Make of that what you choose.



Arms, precise details, corruption, and the calendar



As the full timeline on this emerges, it’s important to keep some things straight.  They’re being obfuscated with reporting that seesaws between slovenly and tendentious, and I want to take a moment here for a reset.



The place to start is with the allusion to Javelin antitank missiles made by Zelensky in the 25 July phone call.  And the key point – a reference point for organizing our thinking about the whole matter – is that the sale of Javelins is not military aid to Ukraine.



I don’t recall ever seeing quite so much of a to-do made over one battlefield system as has been made over Javelin missiles in the last week.  The Javelins have been discussed repeatedly as if they are (a) part of the military aid package for Ukraine, and (b) the key to Ukraine’s survival, a weapon system of such occult indispensability that it would be unconscionable for the president to discuss it at all as if it were an unsavory political matter between heads of government.


First Javelin antitank missile launch in Ukraine, 2018. News from Ukraine video

The silliness of the latter proposition – point (b) – ought to go without saying.  But it has been a long time since people’s ears were attuned to the real sound of bilateral state-to-state relations.  The media and the public have been conditioned to listen for the mode of a benevolent superpotent United States dispensing favors, rather than the age-old give and take between governments seeking mutual interests and bargains – by far the more prevalent mode in such matters since the onset of the Westphalian era.



The sound of those dynamics is not that of a mob extortion (as opposed to the sound of Joe Biden’s account of getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired – wherever it may have taken place –  which is, precisely, that of a mob extortion).



But since the inauguration of the UN, in the long period of the Pax Americana after 1945, we have lost touch with the simple normality of the sound of friendly bargaining.   The U.S. doesn’t give things away without strings or reciprocity in state relations.  We don’t expect other nations to either.  The sound of bargaining has been heard every day since 1945, in our negotiations for hundreds of state-to-state agreements around the world, even if it hasn’t been heard by the average American.



In the same interim, however, Americans have been taught to believe that with UN-oriented internationalism, global relations shifted to a more elevated plane where the virtuous don’t bargain, but instead proclaim lofty principles and assume attitudes, as if pragmatic national interests simply tend themselves.



Presidents like Reagan, Nixon, and Truman were actually tough, interest-tending bargainers, with friends as well as foreign adversaries.  That’s why each of them put such a stamp on geopolitics and international relations.  Far from being unthinkable, it’s not even unusual for a chat between heads of government to have the penumbras of incentive and reciprocity hanging over it.



It’s point (a), however, that we can nail down with the simple persuasion of clean documentation.  There is a military aid package for Ukraine that includes lethal weaponry in it.  It’s the one with $250 million worth of weapons and supplies in each of 2019 and 2020, and I discussed it here last week.



But the Javelins aren’t military aid.  We aren’t giving them to Ukraine; Ukraine is buying them.  There is a foreign military sales (FMS) case for them, which was approved in March 2018, and which yielded an initial delivery in late April 2018.



In the July phone call, Zelensky (not Trump) brought up the Javelins.  He brought up equipment that we are selling to Ukraine.  Neither Zelensky nor Trump even mentioned the aid package.  (Zelensky might be said to have alluded to it obliquely when he spoke of “your great support in the area of defense” – although he immediately continued with the single specific point about buying Javelins.)



There’s a good reason why the Javelins in particular would have been on Trump’s mind, as well as Zelensky’s.  On 7 July, the new U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Ukraine, William Taylor, told the media that Ukraine, under Zelensky’s leadership only since 20 May 2019, had just made its first major request for an arms purchase from the United States.  (Taylor was sent to assume the position of Chargé in June 2019, after the former ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, appointed by Obama in 2016, was recalled in May 2019.)



The best-known item in that July arms request, as confirmed by reporting about a month later on 9 August 2019, was the tranche of additional Javelins Kyiv would like to buy, above and beyond the initial purchase agreed to in 2018.



For completeness, note that in July 2018, a Javelin production agreement was signed by DOD and the Raytheon-Lockheed Javelin partnership that would support future sales to foreign clients including Ukraine.  The issue has been an active one in the Trump administration.



Now we have every data point we need to understand why there were good reasons, unrelated to the Ukrainian investigations Trump mentioned in the phone call, why the Trump administration might put a hold on the delivery of FY2019 aid to Ukraine.



The two big ones are the information that Ukraine had failed to even begin the promised independent audit of Ukroboronprom (deploy your bookmarked 2 July reference date here), and that Ukraine, under a new president, had made a major arms purchase request, the first of its kind (and a significant issue for review because of the plan to make Ukraine interoperable with NATO forces).



The time-stamps on those developments – early July – certainly suggest an explanation for why the Trump administration put a hold on the military aid in early July, as we have now been told several times.  If Ukraine wanted to buy more arms from the U.S., that alone was a reason to sit down and look at both the aid package and the purchase request together.  Add in the policy factors of the NATO compatibility push and Ukraine’s unresolved corruption problem in the defense industry – and add in the “X” factor of the leadership change at the embassy, certifying all these matters with a fresh look – and there’s a stack of good reasons at work.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Trump, Sep 2018. PBS News video

Keep in mind, the public doesn’t know what all was on Ukraine’s wish list for the arms purchase request Chargé Taylor spoke of in July.  You don’t have to favor Russia, and you certainly don’t have to trust Russia any further than you could throw Vladimir Putin, to want to do a full review of the arms the U.S. is flowing to Ukraine.  Such a review would be commonsensically indicated, in light of the arms request, the regional situation, and the interests of the U.S. and NATO vis-à-vis the expected concerns of Russia.  Far from being evidence of suspicious bias, holding such a review would be basic statecraft.



That’s something plenty of pundits would have been able to articulate as little as 25 years ago.  They would have known they should be looking for it; they would have recognized the signs in readily available media reports.  To point it out as a plausible explanation – an obvious act of ordinary housekeeping in global security management – wouldn’t have been considered special pleading.  It would have been considered sanity.



A hiatus from “history” has discombobulated our sense for these atmospheric realities.  That seems to make it easier for narrative-spinners in the mainstream media to take over the public dialogue with garbled tales of Javelins, treason, and plot.



It remains to be discovered what it means in all of this, that a fundraiser for a top House Democrat found his company’s arms sale to Ukraine under investigation there in July 2019.  For that, pointed questioning under oath may be required.  But it’s not Mr. Pasternak who needs to be questioned.



J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.




Tyler Durden

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 11:00
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PCR: Adam Schiff Epitomizes The Total Collapse Of Democratic Party Integrity

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PCR: Adam Schiff Epitomizes The Total Collapse Of Democratic Party Integrity

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,



US Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat from California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had no qualms about lying through his teeth in his opening statement prior to the testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. Everyone present had read the transcript of the telephone conversa

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tion between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, and everyone knew that what Schiff, who said he was reading from the transcript of the telephone call, was saying was not in the transcript. How can it be that the chairman of a House committee in a room full of newspersons and TV cameras has no qualms about intentionally misrepresenting the written record in order to make it conform to the lies the Democrats and their stable of corrupt presstitutes have spread about a telephone call revealed by an alleged whistleblower, a likely Democrat operative, who claimed to have heard it second hand.





When I was a member of the Congressional staff, any Representative who so dishonored a committee of the House and the House itself as Schiff has done would have been reprimanded, brought before the Ethics Committee, and forced to resign. But the Democrats have ground integrity under their heel in their fanatical determination to prevent Trump’s reelection.



In his opening statement Adam Schiff further showed his total lack of integrity in his assault on the integrity and character of Joseph Maguire and made wild and irresponsible charges probably never witnessed previously in the halls of Congress.



The transcript of the telephone call shows that what the alleged whistleblower said is false. Yet in the face of the evidence Adam Schiff speaks as if the evidence does not exist and that the alleged whistleblower’s second hand statement is true. Once again we hear the Democratic Party say, “Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.” They don’t need evidence because the presstitutes support their lies and control the explanations given to Americans.



The Democrats are betting their future on their lies being shielded by their media whores and that the insouciant American people will hear nothing but false allegations against Trump repeated endlessly, as was the case with Russiagate. If the people realize that the “impeachment investigation” is another hoax like Russiagate, Schiff will have destroyed the Democrats’ chances in the next election.





The extraordinary rudeness and incivility of Democrat members of the committee toward Maguire, cutting him off before he could answer their accusatory questions, thus leaving the accusation unanswered, together with Schiff’s lies demonstrate that political and social collapse in the United States is far advanced. American democracy was never very democratic, but when an entire political party disrespects truth and is determined to gain power at all cost, we know that the end is near.



The Republican ranking member of the committee, Devin Nunes, explained what the successor to the failed Russiagate witchhunt is all about.





For those with the stomach for it, the hearing can be watched here:






Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 22:25


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Democrats Fume Over Trump-Ukraine Transcript; Schiff Calls 'Mob Shakedown'

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Democrats Fume Over Trump-Ukraine Transcript; Schiff Calls 'Mob Shakedown'

After passing the point of no return on Tuesday and launching an impeachment inquiry based on nothing more than a 'partisan' whistleblower report and rumors that President Trump threatened Ukraine over the Bidens, Congressional Democrats are hard at work trying to salvage their narratives after a transcript of a July Phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zele

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nsky failed to meet expectations





To recap; controversy erupted earlier this month after a whistleblower lodged an 'urgent' complaint about something Trump promised another world leader - the details of which the White House has refused to share. 



Seizing on the rumor as their latest 'smoking gun,' Congressional Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday - only for a Wednesday morning release of the transcript (as a 'memorandum') to reveal a cordial conversation between the world leaders in which Trump asked Zelensky to look into the Bidens, and Zelensky assured Trump he was working hard to root out corruption



Nothing was promised. Nothing was threatened.



By most standards, this was a 'myth busted' moment for yet another failed 'gotcha,' however after having committed to the impeachment inquiry the left is throwing a hail mary - pressing forward with accusations that the phone call was an abuse of power and risking turning Trump into a martyr into the 2020 election. 



Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tweeted that "The transcript of the call reads like a classic mob shakedown: — We do a lot for Ukraine — There’s not much reciprocity — I have a favor to ask — Investigate my opponent — My people will be in touch — Nice country you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to her." 




Schiff continued with the mob analogy, calling it a "classic mafia-like shakedown." 





House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that "the release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad."



2020 Democratic presidential candidates hopped on the bandwagon as well.




Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted, "This 'transcript' itself is a smoking gun. If this is the version of events the president's team thinks is most favorable, he is in very deep jeopardy. We need to see the full whistleblower complaint and the administration needs to follow the law. Now."



...



Sen. Cory Booker, another 2020 candidate, issued a statement saying, "We said Trump has been corrupting the office since the beginning, and today the White House said they agreed. This document is apparent proof that Trump pressured a foreign nation to meddle in our democracy again — and in doing so he again disrespected our Constitution, subverted the rule of law, and ultimately undermined the very ideals of our country." -NBC News




Yes - let's continue with the impeachment so we can fully explore why Joe Biden's son - despite no experience in the field - was getting paid $600,000 per year to sit on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, which was under investigation by a prosecutor that was fired after the elder Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees. 



We can then look into the Bidens' adventures in China while we're at it.




Tyler Durden

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 14:00


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