Financial sources feeds

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

The constitutional crisis in Spain may be coming to a head quickly according to a leaked document on a “Secret Law for Catalonia Independence” as reported by El Pais.
 

Spain’s Attorney General José Manuel Maza is set to examine the legality of a plan outlined by the regional government of Catalonia to activate immediate secession from Spain if the central government in Madrid stops it from holding a vote on independence – something it is planning on doing in September or October of this year.

 

The independence mechanism is detailed in a secret draft version of legislation being prepared by the Generalitat, the Catalan regional government, and to which EL PAÍS has had access.

 

The document aims to work as a provisional Catalan Constitution that, according to the text, would be in place during the two-month period that the parliament would have to begin a process that would culminate in the “parliamentary republic” of Catalonia.

 

“If the Spanish state effectively impedes the holding of a referendum, this law will enter into effect in a complete and immediate manner when the [regional] parliament has verified such an impediment,” the draft legislation reads.

 

The document has a section that covers the referendum itself and features the question that would be asked of voters: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state that is independent from Spain?” The intention in the text is that this part of the legislation would come into effect first in order to be able to hold the referendum, and indicates that a majority of votes in favor, no matter how slim, and with no minimum participation level, would ratify the decision and mean that it was binding.

 

The text makes a number of references to itself as being a “founding law,” and goes into exhaustive details – albeit with many legal loopholes and unknowns – about the breakaway: i.e. who would be a Catalan citizen, how it would be possible to obtain nationality, which Spanish laws would remain in force and which would not, what would happen to government workers currently employed by the state, among other details.

 

The authors of the text ignore legal and material elements that have enormous importance and complexity, such as the whether this new republic would continue to form part of Europe, or whether social benefits or pensions would be guaranteed, or whether all taxation – and fines for non-payment – would be the responsibility of the regional government.

 

Under the reasoning of the authors of the text, none of these issues would infringe the law because, as the second article reads, “national sovereignty resides with the people of Catalonia, from whom all powers of the State emanate.”

Expect Fireworks

The Catalonia independence threat is smack on top of a Spanish government crisis in which Mariano Rajoy has threatened to dissolve parliament and call snap elections if his budget does not pass.

The surprise results of Socialist Party (PSOE) leadership election on Sunday, in which Pedro Sánchez returned to power, makes it very likely Rajoy will not get his budget passed. For details, please see Voters Smack Spain’s Political Leadership: Snap Spanish Presidential Elections Coming Up?

* * *

As a reminder, Catalonia is not alone...

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 9:00 am

In what bitcoin geeks undoubtedly interpreted as a sign of bitcoin’s renewed relevance now that its price is at all-time highs, Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson told CoinDesk’s Consensus conference that her company is now in the business of mining bitcoin.

Per the FT:

“Ms Johnson noted that Fidelity has also set up a bank of computers built by 21 Inc that can crunch complex algorithms to be rewarded with bitcoin.

 

My…computer has mined over 200,000 satoshis,” she said, using the name for the smallest unit of bitcoin.

Her remarks coincide with an astounding rally in virtual currencies like bitcoin. As DoubleLine’s Jeffrey Gundlach noted on Tuesday, bitcoin is up 100% in under two months, implying that the turmoil in Chinese markets was driving more locals into bitcoin.

One coin was trading at $2,275 Tuesday according to Coinbase, the latest in a series of all-time highs as global uncertainty rises...

Johnson also added that Fidelity now allows employee to pay for lunch with bitcoin at the cafeteria in its Boston headquarters. She noted that fewer than 100 employees have paid with bitcoin, demonstrating an unnatural-sounding mastery of industry slang.

“I guess we have a lot of hodlers,” she said, using the slang for bitcoin users who avoid selling the currency when it jumps in value.

And Fidelity's CEO also revealed information about her company's partners on its journey, naming blockchain startup Axoni, investment firm Boost VC and university initiatives based out of MIT, University College London and Cornell. To date, Johnson explained that Fidelity Labs, its internal R&D division has also set up experiments for bitcoin micropayments and even run bitcoin and ethereum mining operations in the spirit of learning more about the technology. Further, she revealed that Fidelity will be taking some conservative steps to expose Fidelity's customers more to the industry, announcing that customers will soon be able to see Coinbase holdings on Fidelity.com. Already, she said, this feature is available to employees who own digital currencies available through the startup's services.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 8:15 am

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Enes Kanter is a Turkish citizen who plays center for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

Like many professional athletes, Kanter has a couple of charities in his name.

His education fund provides first-year college scholarships to support selected US students – including a family’s first female child and children of law enforcement and firefighters who lost their lives on duty.

Kanter’s other charity is the Light Foundation. This one has an international bent, providing meals and clothes to needy families.

A global tour with the Light Foundation stirred up Friday’s troubles.

After traveling to a few countries, Kanter and his team flew from Indonesia to Romania. But upon landing in Romania, Kanter found his passport cancelled by the Turkish embassy.

Kanter’s crime? His political views.

Enes Kanter has long been a vocal critic of Turkey’s president, Recep Erdogan, calling him the Hitler of our century.

Although not a Hitler, Erdogan is far from an angel.

In July 2016 when facing a coup, he ordered his forces to open fire on his own people, killing 270. He had another 50,000 arrested.

Last month in the country’s constitutional referendum, Erdogan consolidated greater power by the slimmest majority – 51% of the votes, if the vote count is to be believed.

With that victory, Erdogan has near dictatorial powers, which is why he was able to unilaterally suspend Kanter’s passport.

Last week, I wrote about Venezuela. There, government-sanctioned snipers scan the streets. Its starving, desperate citizens are trapped inside the country’s borders with no way out.

To Europeans and Americans, Turkey’s crackdown and Venezuela’s hell on earth are a world away from their comfortable lives.

But in the West, symptoms of government overreach that adversely impact its citizens’ futures are everywhere.

The war on cash continues unabated.

Near-zero interest rates return nothing on retirees’ life savings.

Easy credit ensures that any entrepreneur with a bozo idea receives funding. And it fuels both our insane stock market valuations and consumer debt to all-time highs.

US regulators crank out 150, 200, sometimes 300+ pages daily.

And then there’s the ballooning national debts of the Eurozone and the US.

It would be foolish to place all your faith and confidence in only one such government.

Enes Kanter’s experience with Turkey is the latest example. It shows how susceptible citizens are to an out of control government, even when traveling beyond its borders.

Whether locked inside borders like Venezuelans or locked out of travel like Kanter, these cases highlight the importance of having a Plan B.

A savings account in a well-capitalized foreign jurisdiction, investments outside the ridiculously valued stock market (e.g. Peer to Peer lending backed by real collateral), a second residence and yes, a second passport…these are steps to ensure that no matter what, you’ll be okay.

You’re not going to be worse off because you’re holding a significant amount of, say, Hong Kong dollars.

You’re not going to curse the fact that you receive steady and safe investment returns.

And you’re not going to worry about your ability to freely travel around the world.

Oh, and if what happened to Kanter seems impossible, consider this:

On December 30, 2015 when no one was looking, the US government passed H.R. 22 (The FAST Act), which authorizes them to revoke your passport if they believe, in their sole discretion, that you owe $50,000 in taxes.

It’s important to note that they don’t actually have to prove any wrongdoing.

They can make a simple allegation. It could even be a clerical error. Then, poof, no more passport.

It’s important to have a hedge against this to ensure that your entire life and livelihood isn’t held in the hands of a single government.

Do you have a Plan B?

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 7:30 am

At first glance, it’s easy to be impressed by Elon Musk’s impressive resume. He’s shooting for the stars with SpaceX, changing the future of transportation with Tesla, Hyperloop, and The Boring Company, and he’s already had a profound impact on the e-commerce and payments sectors through Paypal. It’s no coincidence that most of these are $1 billion+ companies. But, as Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, focusing only on his successes provides a superficial view of the man. To get the full perspective on his career, it is much more interesting to look at the failures and lows he has experienced. These are the moments when most people would have likely given up.

FAILING OFTEN

As every entrepreneur knows, any business venture can be upended by failures at any moment – and it is how one bounces back from those failures that counts. Today’s infographic from Kickresume shows Musk’s struggles and failures throughout his career, and how he persevered to become a modern business icon.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

As the ever-quotable Winston Churchill once said:

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

After being ousted out of his own company, having many rockets go bust, and fighting to keep Tesla and SpaceX from going bankrupt, Musk kept pushing forward with courage.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN

Entrepreneurs hold people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson in high reverence. Sometimes, we even put them on a pedestal, thinking we could only dream of making such a profound impact on the world. However, this is obviously a one dimensional view. These figures are not superhuman, and the reality is that they’ve all experienced tragic failures throughout the course of their careers. They’ve been disheartened, but they bounced back. We have to recognize that success in business isn’t what it appears to be on magazine covers and headlines. Failure is an everyday part of doing business, and it plagues almost every entrepreneur in some shape or form. The difference is in how you react to it.

...and of course, it helps to be on the right side of government handouts too...

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 6:45 am

Authored by Darius Shahtahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,

The American public is most likely unaware of the giant stranglehold Saudi Arabia has on the U.S. government. Saudi Arabia uses its vast riches to manipulate the U.N., which explains how a country that brutally oppresses its female population was recently gifted a seat on the organization’s women’s rights commission. The Islamic Kingdom also wields incredible control over international media and has arguably had an increasingly unwelcome position of power in America’s foreign policy decision-making. As such, Donald Trump’s political career, in part, rests on appeasing his Saudi Arabian counterparts.

And appeasing the Saudis is exactly what Trump has done. Trump’s speech regarding Islam was delivered to the leaders of 55 Muslim-majority nations, including Saudi Arabia. However, he conveniently ignored the troves of evidence that show Saudi Arabia directly sponsors the terror groups al-Qaeda and ISIS – two groups the U.S. claims to be at war with — as well as the fact that Saudi Arabia has been directly implicated in the 9/11 terror attacks. Instead, Donald Trump framed the entire issue of radicalization as a problem that rests with Iran. As he stated in Riyadh:

“But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran. From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

 

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”

Iran’s prime enemies are actually Sunni-dominated terror groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. The Islamic Republic and its proxies have been heavily engaged in fighting these terror groups in Syria. If eradicating terrorism was a priority for the United States and Saudi Arabia, Iran would be a natural ally considering Iran almost all but defeated ISIS in Iraq.

Yet, Trump continued:

"Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad regime—launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.”

While many analysts may focus on how Trump has gone from the most Islamophobic president ever elected to now omitting the words “radical Islamic terrorism” from his speech on Islam, these analysts continue to gloss over the fact that the entire speech appears to have been a geopolitical gesture to please Saudi Arabia and its allies. As the Iranian Foreign Ministry noted, Trump is no longer concerned with Islamophobia but what Iran has coined as “Iranophobia.”

Iran is Saudi Arabia’s regional archrival. The two countries are fighting an enormous proxy war in Syria because Saudi Arabia views an Iranian-aligned government as a threat to its economic interests. Saudi Arabia is also currently bombing Yemen into oblivion as fears of a Shi’a led government capable of aligning itself with Tehran became a probable reality in 2015.

Most hypocritical, however, was the following statement:

Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.

Even establishment outlets such as the BBC could not allow this statement to go unchecked. The BBC stated:

“And amongst several cynical reactions to the speech from around the region on social media, some have pointed out that here in Saudi Arabia women are forbidden to drive and there are no parliamentary elections. In Iran, the country accused by Mr Trump of being behind much of the current terrorism across the Middle East, they have just had a free election and women are free to drive. [emphasis added]

Iran’s recent elections saw one of the heaviest turnouts in the country’s history, much higher than that of the United States. It is technically one of the most democratic countries in the region. While Iran would not be considered greatly democratic by Western standards, this is a testament to how undemocratic Iran’s rivals in the region are, including Saudi Arabia. Even prisoners were allowed to vote in Iran, something so-called democratic countries such as New Zealand disallow.

Despite all of this “Iranophobic” sentiment, it is also worth noting that Iran’s alleged nuclear program is rarely discussed in the international arena anymore. This is because the Trump administration is well aware that the Iranian nuclear deal reached in 2015 is working – and there is no current nuclear threat from Iran. In this context, the U.S. government has to look for alternative modes of hyping up an Iranian threat to justify a massive arms deal.

And yet, spearheaded by Trump, the Arab world has just announced a new military pact that will directly confront Iran. Called the “Riyadh Declaration,” the pact was signed by representatives from 55 Islamic nations that have vowed “to combat terrorism in all its forms, address its intellectual roots, dry up its sources of funding and to take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their states.”

How can a coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, combat terrorism and extremism when Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabist philosophy is responsible for most of today’s terrorism-related problems? As noted by the Independent:

“The state systematically transmits its sick form of Islam across the globe, instigates and funds hatreds, while crushing human freedoms and aspiration…The jaw simply drops. Saudi Arabia executes one person every two daysRaif Badawi, a blogger who dared to call for democracy, was sentenced to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. Last week, 769 faithful Muslim believers were killed in Mecca where they had gone on the Hajj. Initially, the rulers said it was ‘God’s will’ and then they blamed the dead.”

The military pact will also include an “Islamic Military Coalition,” which will “provide a reserve force of 34,000 troops to support operations against terrorist organizations when needed.”

The original text of the document was heavily infatuated with Iran but has since been amended. The original text also said these troops would be deployed to Syria and Iraq “when needed,” which is — again — clearly aimed at countering Iranian influence as Iran is heavily tied to both countries. Saudi Arabia has already expressed its intention to send troops into Syria multiple times before, with the exclusive goal of ensuring that “liberated areas [do] not fall under the control of Hizballah, Iran or the regime.”

The United States, Britain, and associated forces are creeping into Syria as we speak, directly paving the way for an all-out confrontation with Syrian troops in al-Tanf. Just last week, the U.S. military bombed these troops, even though they are directly backed by Iran (and most likely Russia, too).

This is no secret to the mainstream media. The Washington Post just released an article hours ago entitled “How Trump could deal a blow to Iran — and help save Syria,” with the conclusion that the battle for al-Tanf  is “a fight that the United States cannot and should not avoid.” Dealing a strategic blow to Iran and Syria will only empower ISIS given that they are the most heavily engaged entities fighting the terror groups in Syria.

The Trump administration’s seeds are being sown in tandem with the corporate media. Trump’s speech had nothing to do with radical Islam. It was written by Stephen Miller, the “architect” of Donald Trump’s travel ban (a policy that also vehemently targeted Iran, among other countries).

Selling a war with Iran to the American public may be difficult considering the Islamic nation twice elected a reformist who is open to making diplomatic deals with the United States. However, selling a war that will take place inside Syria is somewhat less problematic, even if that war is against the Syrian government, as the American public is easily manipulated by Assad’s alleged war crimes. As Iran is Syria’s closest ally, it will be easily drawn into a confrontation.

If Saudi Arabia’s coalition of anti-Iranian Muslim nations illegally joins this battle arena, the resulting war will be catastrophic.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 6:00 am

Cybersecurity researchers at Symantec say they've found linkes between the WannaCry Ransomware attackers was likely carried out by a hacking group with ties to North Korea.

In a blog post, Symantec said the “Tools and infrastructure used in the WannaCry ransomware attacks have strong links to Lazarus, the group that was responsible for the destructive attacks on Sony Pictures and the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank.”

Here's a summary of links provided by Symantec:

  • Following the first WannaCry attack in February, three pieces of malware linked to Lazarus were discovered on the victim’s network: Trojan.Volgmer and two variants of Backdoor.Destover, the disk-wiping tool used in the Sony Pictures attacks.
  • Trojan.Alphanc, which was used to spread WannaCry in the March and April attacks, is a modified version of Backdoor.Duuzer, which has previously been linked to Lazarus.
  • Trojan.Bravonc used the same IP addresses for command and control as Backdoor.Duuzer and Backdoor.Destover, both of which have been linked to Lazarus.
  • Backdoor.Bravonc has similar code obfuscation as WannaCry and Infostealer.Fakepude (which has been linked to Lazarus).
  • There is shared code between WannaCry and Backdoor.Contopee, which has previously been linked to Lazarus.

Symantec discovered that the WannaCry attackers used some of the same hacking tools that were previousky used in other Lazarus Group attacks. There are also, the group reported, “a number of links between WannaCry itself and Lazarus.”

The WannaCry ransomware, for example, shares some code with a piece of malware that has previously been linked to Lazarus.

Symantec also found that the WannaCry attackers used some of the same network infrastructure as the Lazarus Group. “There are a number of crossovers seen in the C&C servers used in the WannaCry campaigns and by other known Lazarus tools.”

Beginning a week ago Friday, the WannaCry virus infected thousands of computers around the world, threatening to destroy users' data unless a ransom was paid in bitcoin. Ultimately, the group received less than $100,000, and most of the data were destroyed.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 3:25 am

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

No doubt about it.

The coup d’etat has been successful.

The Deep State - a.k.a. the police state, a.k.a. the military industrial complex - has taken over.

The American system of representative government has been overthrown by a profit-driven, militaristic corporate state bent on total control and global domination through the imposition of martial law here at home and by fomenting wars abroad.

When in doubt, follow the money trail.

It always points the way.

Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought—lock, stock and barrel—and made to dance to the tune of the Deep State.

Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC.

Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump has paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the Deep State to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.

Just recently, for instance, Trump agreed to sell Saudi Arabia more than $110 billion in military weapons.

Meanwhile, Trump—purportedly in an effort to balance the budget in 10 years—wants to slash government funding for programs for the poor, ranging from health care and food stamps to student loans and disability payments.

The military doesn’t have to worry about tightening its belt, however. No, the military’s budget—with its trillion dollar wars, its $125 billion in administrative waste, and its contractor-driven price gouging that hits the American taxpayer where it hurts the most—will continue to grow, thanks to Trump.

This is how you keep the Deep State in power.

The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, the military will get more militaristic, America’s endless wars will get more endless, and the prospect of peace will grow ever dimmer.

As for the terrorists, they will keep on being played for pawns as long as Saudi Arabia remains their breeding ground and America remains the source of their weapons, training and know-how.

Follow the money.  It always points the way.

As Bertram Gross noted in Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America,evil now wears a friendlier face than ever before in American history.”

Writing in 1980, Gross predicted a future in which he saw:

…a new despotism creeping slowly across America. Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and, more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion...

We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long—sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs—that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.

The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished.

It will not be revived or restored without a true revolution of values and a people’s rebellion the likes of which we may not see for a very long time.

America is a profitable business interest for a very select few, and war—wars waged abroad against shadowy enemies and wars waged at home against the American people—has become the Deep State’s primary means of income.

After all, war is big business.

In order to maintain a profit margin, one would either have to find new enemies abroad or focus on fighting a war at home, against the American people, and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with today.

  • Local police transformed into a standing army in the American homeland through millions of dollars’ worth of grants to local police agencies for military weapons, vehicles, training and assistance.
  • The citizenry taught to fear and distrust each other and to welcome the trappings of the police state.

Had the government tried to ram such a state of affairs down our throats suddenly, it might have had a rebellion on its hands. Instead, the American people have been given the boiling frog treatment, immersed in water that slowly is heated up—degree by degree—so that they’ve fail to notice that they’re being trapped and cooked and killed.

“We the people” are in hot water now.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the Constitution doesn’t stand a chance against a federalized, globalized standing army protected by legislative, judicial and executive branches that are all on the same side, no matter what political views they subscribe to: suffice it to say, they are not on our side or the side of freedom.

From Clinton to Bush, then Obama and now Trump, it’s as if we’ve been caught in a time loop, forced to re-live the same thing over and over again: the same assaults on our freedoms, the same disregard for the rule of law, the same subservience to the Deep State, and the same corrupt, self-serving government that exists only to amass power, enrich its shareholders and ensure its continued domination.

The republic has fallen to fascism with a smile.

Elections will not save us.

Learn the treacherous lessons of 2008 and 2016:  presidential elections have made a mockery of our constitutional system of government, suggesting that our votes can make a difference when, in fact, they merely serve to maintain the status quo.

Don’t delay.

Start now—in your own communities, in your schools, at your city council meetings, in newspaper editorials, at protests—by pushing back against laws that are unjust, police departments that overreach, politicians that don’t listen to their constituents, and a system of government that grows more tyrannical by the day.

If you wait until 2020 to rescue our republic from the clutches of the Deep State, it will be too late.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 3:00 am

President Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion. 

As The Hill reports, some of the programs would receive funding for 2018 as part of a phasing-out plan.

Here are the programs the administration wants on the chopping block...

Agriculture Department — $855 million

  • McGovern-Dole International Food for Education
  • Business-Cooperative Service
  • Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program Account
  • Single Family Housing Direct Loans

Commerce Department — $633 million

  • Economic Development Administration
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Minority Business Development Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education

Education Department — $4.976 billion

  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  • Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  • Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property
  • International Education
  • Strengthening Institutions
  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants
  • Teacher Quality Partnership

Energy Department — $398 million

  • Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy
  • Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program and Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program
  • Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

Health and Human Services — $4.834 billion

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Community Services Block Grant
  • Health Professions and Nursing Training Programs
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Homeland Security — $235 million

  • Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program
  • Transportation Security Administration Law Enforcement Grants

Housing and Urban Development — $4.123 billion

  • Choice Neighborhoods
  • Community Development Block
  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program
  • Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program Account

Interior Department — $122 million

  • Abandoned Mine Land Grants
  • Heritage Partnership Program
  • National Wildlife Refuge Fund

Justice Department — $210 million

  • State Criminal Alien Assistance Program

Labor Department — $527 million

  • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Training
  • OSHA Training Grants
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program

State Department and USAID — $4.256 billion

  • Development Assistance

Earmarked Appropriations for Non-Profit Organizations

  • The Asia Foundation
  • East-West Center
  • P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid

State Department, USAID, and Treasury Department — $1.59 billion

  • Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative

Transportation Department — $499 million

  • National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER)

Treasury Department — $43 million

Global Agriculture and Food Security Program

Environmental Protection Agency — $493 million

  • Energy Star and Voluntary Climate Programs
  • Geographic Programs

National Aeronautics and Space Administration — $269 million

  • Five Earth Science Missions
  • Office of Education

Other Independent Agencies — $2.683 billion

  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services

International Development Foundations

  • African Development Foundation
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Regional Commissions

  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Delta Regional Authority
  • Denali Commission
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • U.S. Institute of Peace
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 2:35 am

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Proseprity,

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors in drug cases to seek the maximum penalty authorized by federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Sessions’ order represents a setback to the progress made toward restoring compassion and common sense to the sentencing process over the past few years. Sessions’ action also guarantees that many nonviolent drug law offenders will continue spending more time in prison than murderers.

Sessions’ support for mandatory minimums is no surprise, as he has a history of fanatical devotion to the drug war. Sessions’ pro-drug war stance is at odds with the reality of the drug war’s failure. Over forty years after President Nixon declared war on drugs, the government cannot even keep drugs out of prisons!

As was the case with alcohol prohibition, the drug war has empowered criminal gangs and even terrorists to take advantage of the opportunity presented by prohibition to profit by meeting the continued demand for drugs. Drug prohibition enables these criminal enterprises to make profits far above the potential profits if drugs where legalized. Ironically, the so-called “law-and-order” politicians who support the drug war are helping enrich the very criminals they claim to oppose!

The war on drugs also makes street drugs more lethal by incentivizing the creation of more potent and, thus, more dangerous drugs. Of course, even as Sessions himself admits, the war on drugs also leads to increased violence, as drug dealers cannot go to the courts to settle disputes among themselves or with their customers.

Before 9/11, the war on drugs was the go-to excuse used to justify new infringements on liberty. For example, laws limiting our ability to withdraw, or even carry, large sums of cash and laws authorizing civil asset forfeiture were justified by the need to crack down on drug dealers and users. The war on drugs is also the root cause of the criminal justice system’s disparate treatment of minorities and the militarization of local police.

The war on drugs is a war on the Constitution as well. The Constitution does not give the federal government authority to regulate, much less ban, drugs. People who doubt this should ask themselves why it was necessary to amend the Constitution to allow the federal government to criminalize drinking alcohol but not necessary to amend the Constitution to criminalize drug use.

Today, a majority of states have legalized medical marijuana, and a growing number are legalizing recreational marijuana use. Enforcement of federal laws outlawing marijuana in those states is the type of federal interference with state laws that conservatives usually oppose. Hopefully, in this area the Trump administration will exercise restraint and respect state marijuana laws.

Sessions’ announcement was not the only pro-drug war announcement made by the administration this week. President Trump himself, in a meeting with the president of Columbia, promised to continue US intervention in South and Central America to eliminate drug cartels. President Trump, like his attorney general, seems to not understand that the rise of foreign drug cartels, like the rise of domestic drug gangs, is a consequence of US drug policy.

The use of government force to stop adults from putting certain substances into their bodies - whether marijuana, saturated fats, or raw milk - violates the nonaggression principle that is the bedrock of a free society. Therefore, all those who care about protecting individual liberty and limiting government power should support ending the drug war. Those with moral objections to drug use should realize that education and persuasion, carried out through voluntary institutions like churches and schools, is a more moral and effective way to discourage drug use than relying on government force.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 2:10 am

When OPEC sits down on Thursday, keeping the price of Brent above $50 (to avoid a budget catastrophe and social upheaval in Saudi Arabia) and below $60 (to prevent US production from going exponential), will be just one problem the cartel nations and various hangers-on will be desperate to solve. A much bigger one, literally, is the problem that led to this week's OPEC meeting in the first place, and years of headache for OPEC and non-OPEC nations: a record global oil inventory glut.

The supply glut that began in mid-2014 has dumped almost one billion barrels of petroleum into global inventories. However, of this only 35–45% has ended up in transparent OECD tanks. For OPEC, that is all the matters - in the past, OPEC oil ministers have repeatedly referenced the level of OECD petroleum inventories relative to their five-year average as a gauge of the rebalancing. And, as ScotiaBank notes, those inventories were more than 280 Mbbl above their five-year average as of January and, while European stocks have been falling into a healthier range, the same cannot be said of industry stocks in the US, which despite declining for several weeks, are just below all time highs.

But forget OECD: an increasingly greater concern for OPEC is not the less than a third of above ground oil held in developed nations; it is the rest that is the big challenge. As ScotiaBank's Rory Johnston points out in the following chart, the majority of the remainder was absorbed by China’s vast and growing strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), which means that "the lion’s share of functional—and thus needing to draw from an OPEC perspective—industry inventories remain in the OECD, and specifically in the US (chart 3)."

As we have explained on several occasions over the past year, China's SPR is far more important to the global oil (im)balance and inventory glut than the less than a third of total oil produced since the summer of 2014 and stored. This is due to one main reason: while ScotiaBank is correct that any draws will likely come from OECD storage, it forgets the demand side of the equation.

 


Storage tanks in China's strategic oil reserve complex in Zhoushan

One year ago, JPMorgan estimated that the daily build of China's SPR, had grown at a breakneck pace, from 491Kbpd average in 2015 to a record 1.191MMbpd in 2016 through May, equivalent to roughly 15% of the country's total crude oil imports.

More importantly, it was roughly a year ago when JPM calculated that China's SPR was getting dangerously close to its estimated capacity, just over 500 million barrels.

JPM also made a forecast that based on its assumptions, Chinese oil imports would slide by roughly the amount that would have been going into the SPR starting in late 2016 as the reserve hit capacity. When that did not happen, there was much confusion among the commodity space, until in late September 2011, satellite imagery from Orbital Insight revealed that the total size of China's SPR was vastly greater than previously estimated.

According to satellite images by  geospatial analytics startup Orbital Insight, China, has not only misrepresented how much oil it has stored, it has done so at a massive scale, with the real number dwarfing even JPM own estimate: the real amount of Chinese oil in storage, according to Orbital, was a whopping 600 million barrels as of May. Assuming JPM's estimated rate of SPR accumulation of about 1mmbpd, the 600 million number as of May would have grown to well over 700 million barrels as of September. 

 

Orbital’s figure as first reported by Bloomberg, is well over two times larger than China’s official estimates for strategic petroleum reserves and for commercial stocks, said Orbital Chief Executive Officer James Crawford.

To be sure, in late 2016 other skeptics started warning that even with the revised size estimates, China's SPR was likely approaching capacity. Last September, the IEA warned that "recent pillars of demand growth China and India are wobbling." S&P Global Platts' Ernsberger, cited by CNBC, said that the slowdown in Chinese demand was worrying for major oil producers.

"The demand picture is very unsettling for OPEC and for all producers of crude and refined products (and this is seen most significantly in) the slowdown in growth in the Chinese market. China has returned more incremental demand for the oil market in the last five years than any other country in the world and more than almost any of the counties combine. But this year demand growth in China has stalled and that represents a significant change in the environment for producers both in OPEC and outside it."

Then 2016 came and went, and we find ourselves almost mid-way into 2017 and ask: has anything finally changed, and will all those predictions of an imminent Chinese SPR overflow finally prove accurate?

We don't know just yet, but according to data released by the General Administration of Customs data on Tuesday, China's oil stockpiling pace finally tumbled to 1.36mbpd in April, from 1.6mbpd in March, the sharpest decline in reserve accumulation in years, and in line with the recent slowdown from record oil imports. If indeed China is finally at capacity for the SPR, the SPR stocpiling is about to fall off as cliff this month.

In other words, all those forecasts that China's SPR is almost full appear to be finally coming true, and at the worst possible time for OPEC, because if suddenly over 1 million in daily "demand" is pulled from the market, OPEC will suddenly find themselves with another huge glut now that Beijing is no longer waving it in. In fact, we contend that while OPEC's decision on Thursday is fully priced in by the market, the only thing that matters for the future price of oil is how long until China halts SPR imports. Here, those who have faster access to commercial satellite imagery will be a distinct advantage over everybody else, even the momentum-chasing, headline scanning algos...

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: May 24, 2017, 1:59 am

NFA News Releases

May 4, Chicago—National Futures Association (NFA) has permanently barred Pratik Patel, sole associated person and sole principal of Houston, Texas, introducing broker Patel Futures LLC (PFL), from membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member.
Posted: May 5, 2017, 4:59 am

Elite Forex Blog - Market Research & Analysis

Every now and again we at Elite E Services stumble upon business models in the course of our operation that are sometimes interesting but alarming at the same time - in this case, timeshare fraud.  After having our head held under water by combination of ugly circumstances (tough regulation making business impossible but at the same time losing millions to Forex fraudsters which ironically the regulations failed to stop); we are sensitive on fraud - especially that which does not appear to be on the surface!  And as markets evolve, so do fraud models.. 
SAN DIEGO – Jeffrey Spanier, a 51-year-old former owner of Amerifund Capital Finance, LLC located in Boca Raton, Florida, was convicted by a federal jury today for his role in an elaborate stock-loan fraud scheme in which executives and shareholders of publicly traded corporations collectively lost over $100 million when the stock they pledged as collateral for loans was immediately sold in order to fund the loans.
Why this is a good example though - this fraud was perpetrated at the highest levels.  Victims of this fraud included the who's who of Wall St., corporate executivies, ultra high net worth individuals, and even Bono (
This may have to be a multi-part series as we uncover this new type of fraud which may be the next big 'securities fraud' as what we are looking at - appears to be unregistered securities.  Let's start with a short history of what a timeshare is and how we got where we are.  
Long ago, before the dinosaurs, the Johnson family wanted to share their lake cottage with the Smith family for the summer, and asked them to kick in for the repairs of the old dock.  Or something like that.  And then it became a business - of course starting from the infamous Fort Frauderdale, Florida (during this time Boca Raton was still a swamp, inhabitied only by IBM and some Japanese..)
The first timeshare in the United States was started in 1974 by Caribbean International Corporation (CIC), based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It offered what it called a 25-year vacation license rather than ownership. The company owned two other resorts the vacation license holder could alternate their vacation weeks with: one in St. Croix and one in St. Thomas; both in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands properties began their timeshare sales in 1973 with owners Hillie Meyers, Don Saunders, and Arthur Zimand.
How we got to where we are today follows the same path of all industries; fuelled by Fed policy of cheap money, an expanding real estate market, retiring rich baby boomers, and all the other favorable demographics.  But what insiders in this industry learned quickly was that, they were really selling the dream.  It was possible to sell the nothing, the artificiality.  "Real" estate is just that - it's real.  Timeshare owners don't really 'own' anything, if you read the agreements - it's a contract to pay, an obligation - in perpetuity.  Every time share contract is different but in no case is there actual ownership of 'real estate' - you may own the 'rights' to a 'membership' but if it cannot be 'sold' then what kind of ownership is that really?  What they learned was that the profit here was all in the sizzle, not in the steak - and if they could enhance the sizzle to be 99% and serve Grade B flank steak, they'd have a winning model to become very rich, which was borderline legal.  While the timeshare industry itself is 'legal' and in some states there are 'regulations' - many of the tactics they use, contracts they offer, are illegal.  Many of the 'salespeople' they hire, have criminal records for financial fraud.  In fact, the FTC currently has hundreds of criminal investigations against timeshare companies, timeshare resale scams, timeshare fraud, and related illegal activities.  Similar to how the Forex fraud we saw had nothing to do with Forex, many of these frauds have nothing to do with timeshares.  People are so desperate to sell their obligations, when a scammer calling from Mexico says he can 'resell' your timeshare (which is practically impossible) hopeful victims wire thousands of dollars to the foreign bank account with little respute.  Doesn't sound like a lot of money for a scam, but - multiplied by the 10 Million timeshare owners out there, this can add up to millions of dollars for the fraudsters.
When you 'buy' a timeshare 'contract' it's sort of like a debt, you are obligated to pay and if you die, your children will inherit the payments.  Sounds a lot like a bond!  Yes, these are unregistered securities.  The 'exchange' as they call it, RCI, is an unregistered exchange.  There are issues with the SEC, the CFTC, the states, and possibly even anti-trust issues.  Some of these issues are starting to be talked about in the financial media:
Summary
  • Analysts upgrading HGV are not considering the 'dark side' of this industry.
  • Potential liabilities can spring up anytime that can change this tune.
  • Angry customers complain, which can soon become lawsuits, with deleterious consequences.
About half of the big timeshare companies are public companies, so here's where the biggest issues lie.  Because public companies are required to follow rules such as disclosure rules that don't apply to private companies.  So this may be where we see the first complaints.
Really what it comes down to, is a broken model.  Not all timeshares are frauds - but in an inflationary environment, is such a model - fraud removed - profitable anymore?  It's like the Series 7 stockbroker, who used to charge a percent of the trade - now anyone can place their own trade for $9.99 or less whilst sitting in their bathrobe petting their cat.  The timeshare model is a broken bricks and mortar model from the past, it's dead like the shopping mall is dead, just like Amazon is killing retail stores, new upstarts that remain to be seen (still do not exist) will cannabalize this rotten model.  In the meantime, there's a lot to be decided in court.
Even according to industry 'official' statistics, about 17% of timeshare owners are not happy.  Although Diamond is now private and bigger companies have 'cleaned up' their act, reports of false imprisonment, fraud by trickery, misleading sales statements, and outright refusals to comply with customers requests, and just a few of the things still going on.. just read sites like this Consumer Reports (RCI): 
We see no reason to sign up for RCI except to give the company money. We are new members who tried to use RCI for the first time. We wanted to visit El Dorado Suites, Riviera Maya, using our exchange. Through RCI, we have to pay a $399 fee for a mandatory 7-day visit. RCI requires we also pay a $2500 "Mandatory all inclusive" fee for the El Dorado. So that's the cost of our RCI membership, plus a $399 fee, plus a $2500 all-inclusive fee. Curious, we logged into El Dorado's home page and found we could sign up for the exact same vacation, not using RCI, for a total cost of $2200, also all-inclusive. So the all-inclusive fee alone is more than the actual cost of staying at the El Dorado Suites, without having ever met an RCI salesperson.

...

I have been with RCI approx 12yrs. My previous issues have been the fact that they charge for unused points... Live and learn. My complaint is that I had to cancel a reservation. It's unfortunate but situations do arise and plans have to get changed. I cancelled 5-days prior to my check-in date. RCI WILL NEITHER REFUND NOR CREDIT my charge of $99.00! They say they have a 24-hour 'grace period'. I feel this is a major RIP-OFF to consumers and extremely bad business practice. I have contacted them by email, customer service and 'blabbering' supervisor. I was told "they have to keep the lights on" in order to provide their service. Well, RCI, my lights need to be on as well!! BUYER BEWARE.
You get the idea.  One can spend a weekend reading these, it does make more interesting reading than outright financial fraud, but eventually it will make you want to vomit.  You can't call this a business model - you have to call it 'fraud' or 'scam' because it's like that.  If normal companies operated like this, they'd be shut down.  Imagine walking into Wal Mart and instead of their 'no questions asked' return policy they argued with you and told you there was a 'grace period' or some such nonsense, there would be riots, boycotts - Wal Mart would be no more.  90% of business operates like that.  The only exception is software sales because practically, once you 'download' the software you can copy it and there's no way to prove that you didn't.  Other than that - and some other rare exceptions, you can't lock people in a room for 8 hours without their permission.  Readers - this is a time-bomb waiting to explode!  How can we profit from it?  Short the stocks; (HGV) (WYN) (VAC) et al   
If you own a timeshare and want out, there are only a few lawfirms who are actually law firms who can do this for you, like this one Fortis Law Group PLC.  There are also hundreds of scam companies claiming to be 'timeshare resale experts' who even have 'licenses' to do this - but beware - this is a scam too!  This industry is filled with fraud from one end of the business cycle to the other.  It can only be explained by George Carlin, with this clip:

We know what we have to do.  Let's get working!
Posted: May 22, 2017, 6:07 pm

Summary

Analysts upgrading HGV are not considering the 'dark side' of this industry.
Potential liabilities can spring up anytime that can change this tune.
Angry customers complain, which can soon become lawsuits, with deleterious consequences.
There's no dispute that Hilton Grand Vacations Inc (NYSE:HGV) has been doing well over the past few weeks. But, and it's a big but, most of this buying has been fueled by analyst reports, such as this one:
Nomura reiterated their buy rating on shares of Hilton Grand Vacations Inc in a research note published on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has a $43.00 price target on the stock.
We all know how this goes; a huge Wall St. bank has to unload a fund position so they ask their buddies in the analysis department to publish a buy or hold rating on the issue which they know will be good for a few points. Of course it doesn't always happen that way, but the conflict and potential for conflicts should not be ignored by investors. Many investors already don't pay attention to what the analysts say, or else Seeking Alpha wouldn't be so popular!
Posted: May 15, 2017, 9:50 pm
It was an odd transaction from the outset: $14 million, double the going rate, for a 31-acre plot of flat, undeveloped land just west of Chicago. In the nine months since, the curious use of the space has only added to the intrigue. A single, nondescript pole with two antennas was erected by a row of shrubs. Some supporting equipment was rolled in. That’s it.
But those aren’t ordinary antennas. And the buyer of the property isn’t your typical land investor. It’s an affiliate of a company called Jump Trading LLC, a legendary and secretive trading firm that’s a major player in some of the most important financial markets. Just across the street, it turns out, lies the data center for CME Group Inc., the world’s biggest futures exchange. By placing its antennas so close to CME’s servers, Jump may be trying to shave maybe a microsecond -- one-millionth of a second -- off its reaction time, potentially enough to separate a winning from a losing bid in trading that takes place at almost the speed of light.
It’s the latest, and perhaps boldest, salvo in an escalating war that’s being waged to stay competitive in the high-speed trading business. The war is one of proximity -- to see who can get data in and out of CME the quickest. A company called McKay Brothers LLC recently won approval to build the tallest microwave tower in the area while another, Webline Holdings LLC, has installed microwave dishes on a utility pole just outside the data center.
“It tells you how valuable being just a little bit faster is,” said Michael Goldstein, a finance professor at Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts. “People say seconds matter. This is microseconds matter.”

Platform Shoes

Traders have long fought ferociously to gain an edge, even to the point of wearing ultra-high platform shoes to stand out in the era when they shouted and waved their hands to execute an order. The dubious fashion was mercifully ended in 2000 by CME’s predecessor, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which cited a rash of injuries in banning shoes with soles higher than 2 inches.
The battle for speed was later waged over fiber-optic cable and then, within the past decade, microwave technology, which can convey data in nearly half the time.
Jump Trading declined to comment, but in Aurora it appears that it, too, was reacting to competitors in the latest round of jockeying. In October 2015, McKay Brothers, a company that sells access to its microwave network to high-speed traders, leased land diagonal to the CME data center, under the name Pierce Broadband LLC, according to DuPage County property records.
Last month, the county gave McKay approval to erect a 350-foot high microwave tower that could be 600 feet closer to the data center than its current location, records show. Two trading firms, IMC BV and Tower Research Capital LLC, own minority stakes in McKay. Co-founder Stephane Tyc said his firm may never build the tower but it would be part of the firm’s continual efforts to speed transmission time. 

Utility Pole

Then there’s Webline Holdings. In November 2015, it was granted a license to operate microwave equipment on a utility pole just outside the data center, according to Federal Communications Commission records. Webline has licenses for a microwave network stretching from Aurora to Carteret, New Jersey, where Nasdaq Inc.’s data center is located. Messages left for Webline were not returned.
Last year, the Jump Trading affiliate World Class Wireless purchased the 31-acre lot for $14 million, according to county records. “They paid probably twice as much as it’s worth,” said David Friedland, an executive director in commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield’s Rosemont, Illinois, office. “I don’t see anyone else paying close to that price.”
The license for the transmission dishes is held by a joint venture between World Class and a unit of KCG Holdings Inc., a trading firm that Virtu Financial Inc. is acquiring.

Fiber Cable

It’s unclear which firm is now closest to CME servers. Trading data first leaves CME computers via fiber cable, and then to nearby antennas that send it by microwave to other towers until it reaches New Jersey, where all the major U.S. stock exchanges house their computers. The moves in Aurora are intended to reduce the time that the data is conveyed through cable.
Sending data back and forth between the U.S. Midwest and East Coast allows high-frequency traders to profit from price differences for related assets, including S&P 500 Index futures in Illinois and stock prices in New Jersey. Those money-making opportunities often last only tiny fractions of a second.
There may be a simple way to avoid the skirmishing among traders. A microwave tower could be installed on the roof of the CME data center to eliminate the need for jockeying around the site. The exchange is indeed looking at allowing roof access, along with CyrusOne Inc., the company that bought the data center last year, CME said in a statement. Traders being traders, however, they may continue to battle, this time for the most advantageous position on the microwave tower itself.
“We are confident the CME can provide an alternate and better solution which offers a level playing field to all participants," said McKay’s Tyc.
Posted: May 13, 2017, 2:47 pm
Forex is the most simple market in the world.  As we explain in our book Splitting Pennies - Forex is the underpinning of the world's financial system.  Although it is also the least understood market, there's nothing 'sophisticated' about FX.  Take a dollar, exchange it for a euro.  The rate changes - exchange it back.  Simple!  Trading money.
There is no '2 day settlement' in Forex, a custodian, there's no Reg D, no Reg NMS - there's no HFT front running your orders, there's no 'order types' - there's no exchange rules (because there's no exchange).  Actually, when you strip away the complexities of most markets like securities, bonds, real estate, commodities, FX is many times over the most simple market.  
Understandably, the securities market is the most widely promoted to investors because of the potential for making high returns from participating in corporate ownership (and thus ownership of profits).  But securities are a derivative.  Investors don't really own the companies - they own the shares.  And actually to be technical, they don't own the shares too - they are controlled by a huge custodian DTCC.  The securities, bond, and futures markets are the core of modern capitalism.  But they aren't a necessity, they are an abstration and thus - have complex rules.  Or to say differently - the banking system needs the real economy - the real economy doesn't need the banking system.
How do these abstract markets drive inflation?  Here's how.  QE doesn't directly go into the economy.  However, by keeping interest rates low, both in real terms and buy the Fed's various asset purchase programs - it means money has never been cheaper.  With cheap money, it's easy for i-banks to borrow at zero or near zero rates, invest in any index at 2x or 4x leverage and get their 20% - 40% per year with virtually no risk (that is, no seen risk - there is huge tail risk that one day the market will collapse, which it will for sure, like the big bubble that it is.)  
The 'stock markets' have become so intertwined with the real economy, they have made themselves a necessity.  Like a virus that has taken over a host, now it would be practically impossible to kill the market without affecting the overall economy.  All of this has become so complicated, with so many involved parties - it has become a giant spider web.
On the topic of the Fed and their direct stock market alleged manipulation, consider the following.  The Fed is owned by the member banks.  The Fed gives it's QE to the member banks, almost all of which are now publicly traded companies.  Here's where the paper trail begins for the 'conspiracy crowd' about the Fed being owned by nefarious 13 families:  Public disclosure rules mean that anyone can lookup what's going on at Bank of America (BAC).  Hiding significant information at public companies is very difficult, and becoming more and more difficult with the digitization of records, communications, and basically all aspects of business, which by the way is all 'doubled' and recorded on a network level by ATT (T) another public company - and stored in an NSA database.  America Inc. is technically a corporation and the states such as South Carolina are more like countries (hence the name 'states') - although you can't buy and sell shares of America Inc. you sort of can, it's called immigration - citizens of USA are sort of like shareholders.  And there's a short side too, record numbers of US Citizens are giving up their citizenship.  So, does the Fed manipulate the stock market?  It's not a fair question, because Fed ownership and operations are completely intertwined with the stock market.  During the time when the Fed was created, America was just passing the wildcat banking era, where there were thousands of private banks.  Do not confuse 'private banking' with a 'privately owned bank' - private banking is discreet services for rich people who may want to hide their assets or not let others know how rich they are.  Privately owned banks are nearly non-existant in the USA today, for a number of reasons - mostly caused by generational wealth transfer and generally a trend towards the institutionalization of assets.  What does that mean?  It means that 100 years ago, things were in YOUR name, if you were JP Morgan or Andrew Carnegie.  Today, it's all in tax havens, the Carnegie foundation, trust funds, and almost nothing is in YOUR name.  That includes banks, which are mostly publicly traded and thus, publicly owned.  The individual has become obsolete.  
So all these tendencies, make the market so complicated it's even confusing to describe.  

All this drama created by Nixon is really in the eye of the beholder - this idea of 'economic collapse' is a fantasy promulgated by religious types in armaggedon style packaging, as if the Earth will explode and burn in a big singularity event.  The reality is that 'economic collapse' is happening every day, simply that only some of us notice it.  
Forex simply guages the tides as they ebb and flow, EUR/USD rate changes, but not really that much.  Brexit gave us a 9% move which is huge for FX but not really statistically significant in the grand scheme of things.
Take a look at EUR/GBP for last 10 years:
forex
This is a monthly chart.  You can see why FX is not interesting for the general public.  But it takes a lot less time to understand FX than the stock markets.  FX is simple.
As we head into a potential complete meltdown of the Euro, and tomorrow's NFP, we're heading into an event that may change the face of FX forever.
Dear Trader,
With the upcoming second round of the French Presidential Election this weekend, we require that your account balance plus any open profit or loss covers at least 3% of the total notional exposure across all EUR crosses and EUR Equity Index CFDs by 4pm (UK time) Friday, 5th May 2017. Where the cover is lower than 3%, we may reduce your positions to increase the cover on your account before the market close.
Exit polls will be released prior to the market open on Sunday, 7th May 2017 and there is increased risk of wide spreads and large price gaps on the market open and through the night. Please ensure you are comfortable with the exposure on your open positions leading into the market close on Friday, 5th May 2017.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Client Services by calling +44 20 3192 XXXX or emailing XXXXXX.
FX and CFDs are leveraged products that can result in losses exceeding your deposit. They are not suitable for everyone so please ensure you fully understand the risks involved.
Kind regards
LMAX Exchange
Client Services Team
Posted: May 5, 2017, 11:31 am
Is Canada a 'real' country?  What is a 'real' country anyway?  Is a 'country' defined by ethnic lines, borders, corporations, or what the United Nations says?  Is Kosovo a country?  Some say yes, some do not agree:
Kosovo, self-declared independent country in the Balkans region of Europe. Although the United States and most members of the European Union (EU) recognized Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, Serbia, Russia, and a significant number of other countries—including several EU members—did not.
Well Canada is lucky to have self-declared itself as a country during a period where many breakaway regions and colonies became countries (let's not get into the debate about USA because America Inc. is an artificial country, actually it is a corporation).  But the point here is that, as we explain in Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex - A COUNTRY IS A CURRENCY.  Yes, this means that Germany, Italy, and others - have given up their sovereignty for the chance to participate in the Euro.  This point is one of the main reason nationalists throughout the European Union rally for its demise.   
But what about Canada?  One of the ex-colonial British states which still is part of the 'commonwealth' Canada enjoys the best of both worlds - independence but protection from two big brothers; USA and the UK.  And at least for the time being, Canada is really a real country, at least more than EU nation states are.  Canada is not part of a 'super state' although a 'super alliance' called the Commonwealth is similar, London doesn't directly control Canada's monetary supply (vis a vis the currency) so for now, Canada is really an independent country.
Take a look at recent FX activity in the 'loonie' USD/CAD pair:
usd cad
For those new to FX, the above chart shows USD vs. CAD which means that the US Dollar is UP against the Canadian dollar.  This area of 1.36 has been a top at least for 2017 and the latter part of 2016; a break here could signify a bull run where there's no further technical resistance until the Jan 2015 high of 1.47.
The loonie as the CAD is called (because of the bird, not because of lunatics in Canada) is considered a commodity currency due to oil and other resources up there.  Another reason that it's time the US just annexed Canada and made it the 51st state (much better than Puerto Rico, me thinks).  Here's a list of reasons the US should invade Canada as explained in a previous article exclusively on ZH by Global Intel Hub.
What's the FX trade here?  Simple; place limit orders above and below the several day range; whichever way USD/CAD breaks out (up or down) it will break hard, as Canada struggles to establish its own identity as a real G8 Currency.
usd cad break up

Of course, if you're in one of the 50% of publicly listed companies that doesn't hedge FX (don't see=don't exist), this is a potential risk if you do business in or with Canada (and thus have CAD exposure).  
If all this is confusing, you can always invest in futures strategies and forget it.
For a detailed play by play breakdown of how to trade such an event; checkout Fortress Capital Trading Academy, or Splitting Pennies the Book.
Posted: April 27, 2017, 3:31 pm




Visit Global Intel Hub @ www.globalintelhub.com
Posted: April 10, 2017, 1:37 am
It's never been easier to open a Forex account with only a few clicks, mobile friendly @ www.openforexaccount.com 

We're testing this new UI for conversions & response rates.  Test us with only $1 at Oanda - (you must choose USA when asked).  Site built using Instapage @ Vector Informatics.


Posted: March 15, 2017, 8:41 pm
(GLOBALINTELHUB) — 3/11/17 —
The news, even the ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative news’ has been reduced to the bottom of the Maslow pyramid, personalizing things while dismantling the small amount of journalistic integrity that existed.  The only next lower step is name calling “you are stupid-head, poopy face” or throwing food.  Liberals are angry that Trump won, Trump supporters are angry that liberals are so angry, blacks are angry because one of their own is out; women are angry because a “Man” is President, what’s next?  When will protests and holidays be labelled as big “Pity Parties” where protestors gather with psychologists and beat cotton dummies with rubber bats, all while wearing protective gear, monitored by ‘government specialists’ – I can see it now.  It’s an extension of the ‘cry rooms’ from Universities; sections of major cities can be closed for these ‘necessary events’ where angry people will get out their feelings in a controlled setting without damaging real property or getting themselves arrested.  You think it’s a big joke, do you – checkout these startups offering services to ‘break things’ for a fee:  The Smash Shack;  Anger Room – Relieve Stress & Anxiety | Anger Room™ | “Nothing You Expect, Everything You Deserve”
Where is national coverage of these businesses – these guys need to get on Shark Tank there’s a national need here.  Parts of Detroit can be used for a mass destruction in controlled ‘riots’ like they did for the Zombie apocalypse trend.
Unfortunately it seems, that’s just about all the unenlightened uneducated masses are good for, so you can’t fault the globalists too much for trying to turn them into good worker consumer zombies.
There’s a lot happening in the ‘backoffice’ of America, Inc. that we’re seeing the surface of the big iceberg such as the Vault7 revelations, and more goodies to come.  We’re still catching up to previous data dumps such as the CIA releasing electronic access to a huge amount of records previously not online. CIAs role in financial markets EXPOSED by documents release.
What impact all this will have is unclear – what is clear is that we’re on the precipice of a major paradigm shift, that from an ‘old model’ to a ‘new model’ speaking from the perspective of systems theory, which is really the best objective perspective.  Robots are simply the catalyst ushering in the paradigm shift.  The idea of ‘manufacturing jobs’ is widely misunderstood by luddites that populate the mainstream – they will have us believe that the idea of a resurgence in US manufacturing is a bad move, i.e. we’re building the wrong economy, and reverting back to a 50s style system.  But this just shows the lack of understanding on their part, the world has changed in the last 10 years, checkout this clip from leftist Bloomberg: Trump’s Plan to Bring Back Manufacturing Isn’t Crazy – Bloomberg View
 But there are plenty of other reasons to want to bring supply chains back to the U.S. High-value-added manufacturing — robot factories pumping out goods — creates jobs for Americans in other ways. As economist Enrico Moretti explains in his book “The New Geography of Jobs,” high-tech manufacturing creates higher-paying service-sector jobs in a local area. The dollars that come into a town with a robot factory get spent on doctors and waiters and personal trainers, and the money circulates throughout the community, leaving everyone better off.
from another article:
Moretti demonstrates that there really are two Americas — one that’s healthy, rich and growing, and a second that’s increasingly being left behind. The two nations-within-a-nation are divided not so much by region or race or religion, but by the kinds of industries they support. Those cities and towns that are home to innovative industries — information technology, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing and the like — are wealthier, healthier and safer, while the places without these industries are steadily declining.
Checkout this chart “Vanishing Blue Collars”:
The book fails to mention the fact that there were ALWAYS two Americas, USA was founded by a group of rich white male slaveowners who said all men are created equal.  But the demographic trend away from manual labor exploitation is exemplified well, although the point here is not about booming tech centers vs. rural economic deserts – it’s about the changing world and how robots really are replacing mundane tasks.  Those without skills in I.T. or computers will be left unemployed or on the dole chronically.  This is why – ahem – Republicans – ahem – you can never ever touch the welfare state, it’s about a class of technologically redundant workers, white or black or latino all the same.  You can’t take away food stamps, medicaid, and other programs – these people are not going to be the innovators of tomorrow, and without food they’ll simply riot and cause trouble – better keep them fat and happy and watching TV popping pills.  Seriously.  And the good news – money can easily be printed and given to them at a very low cost (about .01 per $100 electronically).
Robots are better, robots don’t make mistakes, robots can go places man can’t go (like inside Volcanoes, deep under the sea, and so on).  Don’t forget about software robots, that we speak about when talking about trading.  Algorithmic trading is far superior to human trading – 10 years from now will anyone ‘trade’ their own account?  Or they will just ‘trade’ robots – buy and sell various algorithms that work well.
The point here is that what we are seeing is not a political trend at all.  The Clinton ‘pay for play’ model of politics is outdated, they are cave-men banging there clubs and grunting around a fire.  While Trump doesn’t represent technology per se, he represents business – and as traders know, the market itself has an intelligence, maybe the markets are the first form of Aritificial Intelligence.  So what’s going on is that the demographic shift is allowing a pro-business and thus pro-technology shift which will allow business and technology to thrive.  In fact, the idea of ‘politics’ is outdated too – why can’t all this be organized online – like the markets?  Because the 10% of the population that doesn’t have computers?  The good news is like the market, we’ve been proven, that intelligence finally wins; because what is unnatural cannot continue – if your car has no gas, you’ll stop driving.  Physics is really simple.
What’s happening is a massive paradigm shift into a new paradigm where the ‘old model’ is being transitioned to a ‘new model’ – this is seen in business, politics, medicine, education, construction, engineering, and basically all fields.  The CIA was a product of World War 2, as eloquently explained here on Zero Hedge by Dr. Steve Pieczenik, the CIA was a byproduct of World War 2 and was created by real spies that had a real purpose, and it served its purpose well – against a real enemy (Hitler).  (Of course, the CIA was created after the war but it was based on the spy network that fought Nazi Germany).  Dr. Pieczenik notes intelligently that the current generation of Rockefellers, and would be world dictators are not interested in world domination or one world government plans created by their parents and grandparents.  The CIA, sort of died when its founders died; and the new generation turned it into something else – instead of serving the purpose for which it was originally intended, it was used to further special interests, build the business of the military industrial complex, and most recently influence domestic political elections.  It’s just another example of this old model vs. new model paradigm shift – it’s become outdated, it should be closed.
The idea of a ‘spy agency’ needs to be re-evaluated in the context of modern society, where there are cameras everywhere and instantaneous global communications that are all recorded by NSA.  Maybe a new, modern agency will be a team of trained analysts and ‘hackers’ commissioned for good purposes, such as monitoring electronic communications for crimes, terrorism, violent acts, and other behaviors to be stopped.  In any case, whatever it looks like – one thing is clear – it will be run by robots, not humans.
Posted: March 13, 2017, 2:42 am

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Posted: March 3, 2017, 3:15 am
The world is not as we think.  We are taught one thing, but it is far from the truth.  Meanwhile, we must pay fees, taxes, and work harder for more and more money – because money is always worth less and less.  The only way out from this rabbit hole, is through knowledge and education.  Splitting Pennies is the conversation starter for this new paradigm we're moving into on this planet.


I’ve been in the Forex business for 15 years, and in that time I’ve learned about the extremes surrounding the most important market in the world.  Forex literally determines the value of every book sold in the world, every financial transaction – yet the majority know very little about it.  Splitting Pennies is an entertaining introduction to the mechanism how Forex works, history of money, and education about monetary policy from Forex perspective.  The work itself is not groundbreaking – but if it was understood by the masses, it would literally increase financial literacy, and increase the standard of living.  Whether readers are financial professionals, teachers, the average consumer, business people, politicians, or students; Splitting Pennies will change the way you think about money in a positive way. 

Sincerely,

Joe Gelet

Elite E Services


To checkout Splitting Pennies - visit www.splittingpennies.com 
Posted: February 17, 2017, 2:20 pm
Economist-mathematician Nassim Nicholas Taleb contends that there is a global riot against pseudo-experts
After predicting the 2008 economic crisis, the Brexit vote, the U.S. presidential election and other events correctly, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the Incerto series on global uncertainties, which includes The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, is seen as something of a maverick and an oracle. Equally, the economist-mathematician has been criticised for advocating a “dumbing down” of the economic system, and his reasoning for U.S. President Donald Trump and global populist movements. In an interview in Jaipur, Taleb explains why he thinks the world is seeing a “global riot against pseudo-experts”.
I’d like to start by asking about your next book, Skin in the Game, the fifth of the Incerto series. You do something unusual with your books: before you launch, you put chapters out on your website. Why is that?
Putting my work online motivates me to go deeper into a subject. I put it online and it gives some structure to my thought. The only way to judge a book is by something called the Lindy effect, and that is its survival. My books have survived. I noticed that The Black Swan did well because it was picked up early online, long before the launch. I also prefer social media to interviews in the mainstream media as many journalists don’t do their research, and ‘zeitgeist’ updates [Top Ten lists] pass for journalism.
The media is not one organisation or a monolithic entity.
Well, I’m talking about the United States where I get more credible news from the social media than the mainstream media. But I am very impressed with the Indian media that seems to present both sides of the story. In the U.S., you only get either the official, bureaucratic or the academic side of the story.
In Skin in the Game, you seem to build on theories from The Black Swan that give a sense of foreboding about the world economy. Do you see another crisis coming?
Oh, absolutely! The last crisis [2008] hasn’t ended yet because they just delayed it. [Barack] Obama is an actor. He looks good, he raises good children, he is respectable. But he didn’t fix the economic system, he put novocaine [local anaesthetic] in the system. He delayed the problem by working with the bankers whom he should have prosecuted. And now we have double the deficit, adjusted for GDP, to create six million jobs, with a massive debt and the system isn’t cured. We retained zero interest rates, and that hasn’t helped. Basically we shifted the problem from the private corporates to the government in the U.S. So, the system remains very fragile.
You say Obama put novocaine in the system. How will the Trump administration be able to address this?
Of course. The whole mandate he got was because he understood the economic problems. People don’t realise that Obama created inequalities when he distorted the system. You can only get rich if you have assets. What Trump is doing is put some kind of business sense in the system. You don’t have to be a genius to see what’s wrong. Instead of Trump being elected, if you went to the local souk [bazaar] in Aleppo and brought one of the retail shop owners, he would do the same thing Trump is doing. Like making a call to Boeing and asking why are we paying so much.
You’re seen as something of an oracle, given that you saw the 2008 economic crash coming, you predicted the Brexit vote, the outcome of the Syrian crisis. You said the Islamic State would benefit if Bashar al-Assad was pushed out and you predicted Trump’s win. How do you explain it?
Not the Islamic State, but al-Qaeda at the time, and I said the U.S. administration was helping fund them. See, you have to have courage to say things others don’t. I was lucky financially in life, that I didn’t need to work for a living and can spend all my time thinking. When Trump was running for election, I said what he says makes sense to a grocery store owner. Because the grocery guy can say Trump is wrong because he can see where he is wrong. But with Obama, he can’t understand what he’s saying, so the grocery man doesn’t know where he is wrong.
Is it a choice between dumbing down versus over-intellectualisation, then?
Exactly. Trump never ran for archbishop, so you never saw anything in his behaviour that was saintly, and that was fine. Whereas Obama behaved like the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was going to do good but people didn’t feel their lives were better. As I said, if it was a shopkeeper from Aleppo, or a grocery store owner in Mumbai, people would have liked them as much as Trump. What he says makes common sense, asking why are we paying so much for this rubbish or why do we need these complex taxes, or why do we want lobbyists. You can call Trump’s plain-speaking what you like. But the way intellectuals treat people who don’t agree with them isn’t good either. I remember I had an academic friend who supported Brexit, and he said he knew what it meant to be a leper in the U.K. It was the same with supporting Trump in the U.S.
But there were valid reasons for people to be worried about Trump too.
Well, if you’re a businessman, for example, what Trump said didn’t bother you. The intellectual class of no more than 2,00,000 people in the U.S. don’t represent everyone upset with Trump. The real problem is the ‘faux-expert problem’, one who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and assumes he knows what people think. An electrician doesn’t have that problem.
Is the election of Trump part of a global phenomena? You have commented on the similarity to the election of Narendra Modi in India.
Well, with Trump, Modi, Brexit, and now France, there are some similar problems in those countries. What you are hearing is people getting fed up with the ruling class. This is not fascism. It has nothing to do with fascism. It has to do with the faux-experts problem and a world with too many experts. If we had a different elite, we may not see the same problem.
There are other similarities, to quote from studies of populist movements worldwide: these leaders are majoritarian, they build on resentment, they use social media for direct access to their voters, and they can take radical decisions.
I often say that a mathematician thinks in numbers, a lawyer in laws, and an idiot thinks in words. These words don’t amount to anything. I think you have to draw the conclusion that there is a global riot against pseudo-experts. I saw it with Brexit, and Nigel Farage [leader of the U.K. Independence Party], who was a trader for 15 years, said the problem with the government was that none of them had ever had a proper job. Being a bureaucrat is not a proper job.
As a businessperson, you have a point about experts and pseudo-experts who you say are ‘left-wing’. How do you explain the other parts to the phenomenon that aren’t economic: the xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, etc.?
I don’t understand how a left-wing person can defend Salafism, or religious extremism. In a democracy, you can allow people to have any view, but they can’t come with a message to destroy democracy. Why should people who come to the West come with a message to finish the West? This is where the discourse goes haywire. So in Yemen, the [Saudi] intervention is good, but the intervention [by Russia] in Aleppo shouldn’t be allowed. I don’t think Trump was racist when he said Mexican criminals shouldn’t be allowed into the U.S.; he was targeting criminals. If you are Naziphobic, you are not against Germans. If I oppose Salafism, I am not an Islamophobe. Obama also deported Mexicans and refused to accept immigrants.
Is anti-globalisation a part of this sentiment?
I am not anti-globalisation, but I am against big global corporations. One of the reasons is what they cost. Today, every project sees cost overruns because these projects have to factor in global risks as well. In nature there is an ‘island effect’. The number of species on an island drops significantly when you go to the mainland. Similarly, when you open up your small economies, you lose some of your ethnicity or diversity. Artisans are being killed by globalisation. Think of the effect on so many artists who have been put out of work while people are buying wrinkle-free shirts and cheap mobile phones. I’m a localist. The problem is globalisation comes through large global corporates that are predatory, and so we want to counter its ill-effects.
Where do you see the world moving now? Further right, or will it revert to the centre?
I don’t think it will go left or right, and I don’t know about the short term. But I think in the long term, the world can only survive if it lives like nature does. Many smaller units of governance, and a collection of super islands with some separation, quick decision-making, and visible implementation. Lots of Switzerlands, that’s what we need. What we need is not leaders, we don’t need them. We just need someone at the top who doesn’t mess the system up.
Posted: February 7, 2017, 9:53 pm
NFA bars New York retail foreign exchange dealer Forex Capital Markets, LLC and its principals Dror Niv, William Ahdout and Ornit Niv from membership
February 6, Chicago—National Futures Association (NFA) has barred New York retail foreign exchange dealer Forex Capital Markets, LLC (FXCM) from membership. NFA also barred FXCM principals Dror NivWilliam Ahdout, and Ornit Niv from membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member.
The Decision, issued by NFA's Business Conduct Committee (BCC), is based on a Complaint issued by the BCC and a settlement offer submitted by FXCM, Dror Niv, Ahdout and Ornit Niv. The BCC found that FXCM, Dror Niv and Ahdout engaged in numerous deceptive and abusive execution activities that were designed to benefit FXCM, to the detriment of its customers. The BCC also found that FXCM and Dror Niv provided misleading information to NFA. Finally, as a result of a number of significant supervisory failures, the BCC found that FXCM, Dror Niv, Ahdout and Ornit Niv failed to adequately supervise the firm and its employees.
FXCM has had a long history of disciplinary actions involving, among other things, deceptive and abusive execution practices to benefit FXCM to the detriment of its customers. NFA's BCC has authorized four prior Complaints against FXCM. In 2011, FXCM was charged with engaging in asymmetrical price slippage practices and ordered to pay a $2 million monetary sanction and not engage in the types of deceptive and abusive practices detailed in NFA's 2017 Complaint. More information regarding FXCM's disciplinary record is available by using NFA's BASIC system, which is accessible through NFA's website.
The 2017 Decision will become effective on February 21, 2017, and FXCM will withdraw from NFA membership within 15 days of February 21, unless this 15 day period is extended by the BCC.
NFA thanks the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for its assistance.

Posted: February 7, 2017, 3:02 am
Pension Funds represent the retirement accounts for basically 99% of the working class.  Because they don't have many choices, unlike Ultra High Net Worth Individuals.  Global Pension Assets stand at a staggering $35 Trillion according to Willis Towers Watson:

  • At the end of 2015, total pension assets were estimated at USD 35.4 trillion, which represents a decrease of 0.5% compared to USD 35.6 trillion at the end of 2014
  • Pension assets relative to GDP reached 80% in 2015, which represents a decrease of 4% from the 2014 ratio of 84%
  • The largest pension markets are the US, UK and Japan with 62%, 9% and 8% of total pension assets in the study, respectively

USD 35.4 Trillion is a lot of assets, no matter how you look at it.  In any systemic analysis we often forget about such huge pools of capital.  Mostly, these assets are sitting in stocks and bonds, some real estate - all traditional.  They don't invest in alternatives (because of regulatory rules, mostly).  
In what may be the most stunning move in the asset management space in years, the WSJ reports that Harvard University’s endowment, which manages just shy of $36 billion, will undergo a "radical overhaul" in the way the world’s wealthiest school invests its money by outsourcing management of most of its assets and lay off roughly half the staff in the process.
According to the WSJ, about half of the 230 employees at Harvard Management Company will leave as part of a sweeping change by the university’s new endowment chief, N.P. “Narv” Narvekar. This means that the endowment will shut down its internal hedge funds and let go traders by the middle of the year. Additionally, the internal team in charge of direct real-estate investments is expected to spin out into an independent entity that Harvard is expected to invest with. Only management of Harvard’s natural resources portfolio and passively managed exchange-traded funds will remain in house.
Many fund managers and traders often scratch their heads at how something can be possible, when there is an apparent sea of consistent strategies offering moderate, if not conservative, returns (like 20% per year.)
But such funds like Harvard and Calpers are rife with politics, and staffed with people that generally don't understand markets.  Of course there are exceptions - but having a $30 Billion loss without any hedging in place - well, that's really unprofessional, to say the least.
Of course, once again, who suffers?  It's not going to be the Pension managers, or the hedge funds they 'outsourced' to manage the funds - it's the beneficiaries - working people.  Retirement plans, pension plans - can blow up.  Or in the best case, as is the case now, they can dwindle down so poorly to the point that retirees get only a fraction of what they are expecting.
There's really no solution to this problem, except for working people to stand up to their pension managers - which they do from time to time, but the Pension Funds are staffed with a political Chinese Wall of staffers with 'quick answers' to shut down their inquiries.  
With the renovations Trump is doing to the system of American Government - is the public pension system next?  Harvard's move may be a sign of things to come.  And it needs reform, losing $30 Billion like Calpers is at best, shameful.  At worst, illegal.
Posted: January 28, 2017, 8:45 pm

Summary

Blockchain to revolutionize financial services.
Overstock's competitors are very successful, now Overstock has an edge.
Company is moving fast and furious in disruptive tech.
Overstock.com appears to be one of the many overlooked tech stocks that is extremely undervalued. As we said in an article last year, based on several key business elements, we believe (NASDAQ:OSTK) is a value buy and a long term play. While day to day operations, earnings, and other variables keep this stock off the radar of most investors, there can be a day that puts Overstock.com on the map - which can happen any day. It can be a news release related to a blockchain related order, or a new contract where Overstock.com is supplying the technology to a huge vendor.
Here's one reason why we believe this company is overlooked. Even in December, when the company received exposure on equities.com, the description failed to mention blockchain or overstock.com's other tech assets:
Overstock.com Inc is an online retailer offering closeout and discount brand and non-brand name merchandise, including bed-and-bath goods, home décor, kitchenware, watches, jewelry, electronics and computers, apparel, and designer accessories.
Overstock.com Inc. is based out of Salt Lake City, UT and has some 1,900 employees. Its CEO is Patrick M. Byrne.
It is true, that Overstock.com's core business is, and has been, online retailing. But Overstock.com isn't likely to take over Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) anytime soon. But Overstock.com has diversified into so much more than online retailing. Blockchain and related technologies, are no doubt going to be the game changer technology in financial services in the coming decade.
See a recent release about Overstock.com's blockchain technology:
Overstock.com, Inc. (OSTK) has reached a new milestone in its efforts to bring Wall Street and bitcoin pioneered crypto-revolution closer. The world's first trading portal for the exchange of securities on blockchain technology is ready and has been built by Overtstock.com's majority-owned fintech subsidiary t0. Overstock.com recently announced approval of a non-transferable rights offering by its board of directors which allows its stockholders of record to purchase shares of its preferred stock, including preferred shares to be issued and traded exclusively on a registered alternative trading system using the t0 issuance and trading platform.
Like much disruptive technology, it's hard to see which company will be 'the one' that leads the herd in tech that most agree will be a dominating factor in the future of an industry. For every Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) there's a hundreds perhaps thousands of failures. But Overstock.com has a track record of success, and isn't any neophyte when it comes to the markets.
Posted: January 13, 2017, 3:20 pm
(GLOBALINTELHUB) – There’s been a lot of discussion lately on the ‘internets’ (The internet is a medium which was invented by Al Gore and named ‘internets’ by George Bush) about CIA mind control, and CIA propaganda techniques being heavily used in the campaign to deceive the public about Russian ‘hacking’ and to create false enemies like ‘terrorists’ such as the alleged mind controlled shooter (shooter admits he was ‘mind controlled’ by intelligence agency, eyewitness claims there were at least three other “sleepers,” shooters, with high-powered rifles shooting into crowd » Intellihub):
 Santiago, who was arrested in January and waiting to stand trial in March on criminal charges, recently showed up to an F.B.I. office in Anchorage unannounced seeking help.
Santiago told the F.B.I. he thought he was being mind controlled, possibly by the U.S. government or the C.I.A. and admitted hearing voices, which Santiago said told him to study “extremist materials on the Internet,” the New York Times reports.
This is no surprise as those following this topic for years know that this is a common method used by the CIA originally developed during the 60’s most notably but not exclusively through a program known as MK Ultra.  You can read more about this in this book: Virtual Government: CIA Mind Control Operations in America.
The fact is that the CIA, as a branch of America, Inc. is simply the arm of a business.  It’s a subversive division of a huge corporate enterprise called America, Inc. which has turned everything into a business, even politics.  Health care is a ‘business’ now and even there is something called the ‘restaurant industry’ – where people used to cook now even that has been outsourced to corporate America Inc.  The CIA and it’s games are no different – they are simply a well funded group that protects American business interests at home and abroad (with a flat world, who is to say there are not reasons the CIA needs to operate domestically, for example terrorist cells in Florida, foreign owned corporations which is nearly 50% of all US corporations… )
We explain the connection between the CIA and the markets in our book Splitting Pennies.  The CIA works for the banks.  Banking, is simply the most profitable business in America.  There are nearly 10,000 banks in USA.  In previous times, the CIA worked for other corporations such as The United Fruit company, ending in a coup in Guatemala in 1954.  It’s not a conspiracy, it’s not a secret, it’s just business.  The connection between the CIA and America Inc. is fairly simple, it’s explicit, obvious, and useful for American business.  Now, the modus operandi is the information war – the war for your mind – which is largely fought on the battlefield of the internet.  So the CIA backed Facebook, Google, and other data-collecting internet ventures through their VC arm (ironically, the only non-profit VC fund in Silicon Valley) In-q-tel.  Of course, early stage investment comes with one condition – management has to sign an NDA that protects ‘classified’ investors CIA, NSA, etc.  And their other condition – to provide them with ‘data’ as they request it.
Those in financial services know quite well how quickly the FBI can shut down your offices, and most financial professionals are given training about Patriot Act compliance and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) training always includes the humorous ‘terrorist identification training’ – bankers are supposed to ask their clients if they are terrorists, and report any suspicious activity to FinCen.  The reality of these programs is they do not stop any terrorist financing they only stop Americans with dogs with strange names like “Dash” and serve as a potential threat to ‘fake news sites’ (anyone can be reported as a terrorist, without any evidence – and because of new rules you are guilty until proven innocent).  Fortunately this power isn’t being used YET but it exists, and it’s there.  They’re still using the planting child porn trick which seems to work well because how can you prove that you didn’t plant it, everyone who actually is a pedophile hides the fact that he is.
The CIA was a business from day one, but it has rapidly evolved and changed with the times.  It’s first several significant clients were Oil Sheik states, leading to the extremely economically positive Nixon US Dollar / Petro Dollar deal currently supporting the US Dollar today; opening up the seizure of huge assets in Latin and Central America for US and UK corporations; and in the last 20 years the creation of a new generation of vassal states like Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, and the final attempt at Syria which is a huge failure.  Now, the CIA has simply shifted to adapt to the new world, their focus is now the information war, mostly on behalf of their banking clients, but also the information war can be used to create “Arab Spring” or even to fake a hacked election as we’re seeing now with this Wag the Dog style campaign.  A major difference in the CIA’s project “Russian Hacked the Elections” and other campaigns is this is one of the first large domestic, politicized campaigns.  Few Americans would critisize the agency for working hard for the taxpayer getting that Oil we are so thirsty for, or for helping US companies plunder foreign assets.  We have big appetites and as a net importer we need the spice to flow.
But here they may have crossed the line, getting themselves involved in domestic politics is an obvious conflict of interest and interesting abuse of power (as the Democrats still hold the keys to the kingdom for another few days).  Trump says he’s going to revamp the intelligence aparatus – we’ll see what happens when he’s in the Oval Office.
If you’re an ECP / QEP or from another country checkout these great investment strategies from Fortress Capital CTA & RIA.  Due to the wacky Dodd-Frank regulations half of Wall St. can only offer their services to non-US citizens, and billionaires.  
Posted: January 7, 2017, 6:45 pm
Posted: January 7, 2017, 12:06 am
2016 was a bad year for hedge funds, pension funds, and university endowments.  In fact, the last several years have been horrible.  But until now, there haven’t been many alternatives.  Hedge Funds became popular for investors who wanted to achieve more than the 4% or 6% offered by traditional managed investments like mutual funds.  Although their history evolved from the idea of ‘hedging’ the market (hedge funds could sell AND buy, can you imagine?) this quickly evolved into an asset class where managers employed strategies based on mathematics in order to achieve above than average and above than expected returns.  And some private funds such as Renaissance do very well year in and year out – continued to this day.  But the majority suffer from strategy fatigue, and failure to bring in a new generation of ‘quants’ that can do anything more than copy, paste, and cold call.  If we skip all the Soros bashing about how he manipulates politics (which, on the surface, is not a bad investing strategy if you have the money to do it, and to control both sides – this is a Rothschild invention not a Soros invention) – the Soros family of funds outperformed their peers by a significant multiple.  These funds were trading the markets, unlike what some may want us to believe.  Some of their policies to ‘influence’ foreign markets (historically, from the 80s) may have been seen as unethical – and it may be.  But the returns have always been spectacular.  We’ll see soon if Robert can continue the family legacy of great returns – it looks like – yes he can!  
But the few examples of extraordinary funds with consistent returns like Renaissance, they’re an anomaly.  The industry in general has suffered from poor returns, which when combined with the standard 2/20 fee model – can be disastrous for investors’ confidence.  Bloomberg ran a story recently with verbage such as "The year Big Money ditched Hedge Funds:
“There has been a massive blowback from public pension funds and private endowments,’’ said Craig Effron, who co-founded his Scoggin Capital Management nearly 30 years ago. An investor told him recently that many chief investment officers are so fed up that they would prefer to entrust their cash to a trader who charged no management fee, over one who did, even if they expected the latter to make them more money.
Public retirement plans from Kentucky to New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have decided to pull money from hedge funds. So did a state university in Maryland and other endowments. MetLife Inc. and other insurers followed suit. Money-losing firms were forced to reduce their fees. Client withdrawals ($53 billion in the last four quarters) drove some managers out of business, including veteran Richard Perry, who until recently had managed one of the longest-standing and better-performing firms.
It's not surprising that investors - especially institutional investors, are abandoning such strategies.  As they say in trading, 'you're only as good as your last trade.'  According to Barclay Hedge Fund Data, 2016 is a little better than 2015, but not much:
4.89% is a good return, but it's not much better than you can acheive with traditional mutual funds or tax free munis.  Certainly it's not a compelling reason to drain your IRA from the markets and invest with hedge funds.  But, this is just an average, there are strategies out there that overperform this index, such as this one.
The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) is about to report the world’s largest public employee pension suffered an actuarial investment loss of $30.8 billion last year.
CalPERS manages the defined pension plan investments and record keeping for 3,007 California state and local government entities. The pension plan is also responsible for paying the pension benefits to 611,078 retirees and will eventually be responsible for paying retirement benefits to another 868,713 active and 335,908 inactive government workers.
Despite Governor Jerry Brown last summer demanding CalPERS immediately “lower its investment risk and volatility of returns” by reducing its “assumed” annual investment return from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent, the CalPERS board voted 7- 3 on November 15, 2015 only to slowly reduce the investment return expectation over the next decade.
Practically, the slow death of the hedge fund industry is merely a milestone in its evolution.  Just like robotic strategies are now replacing traditional managers with a suit and tie, the structure of investments is evolving, too.  Hedge Funds aren't going to go away anytime soon, but how they are structured, how the fees are charged, and the strategies that they use, will rapidly change in 2017.  For example, some strategies such as managed accounts have a fee structure that charges only a percentage of profit, called 'performance fee' - with no other fees.  See one example the Magic FX strategy, for QEP/ECP US investors only - which charges a 30% performance fee from the profit.  In this model, if the strategy doesn't perform for investors, there is no fee.  This type of pay for performance model has been around for years, but will become more useful in a climate of diminishing returns and investors angry at paying fees for getting no results or even losing money.  It really is crazy, why investors should pay managers millions of dollars for losing money - it just shows how programmed investors are by traditional media, as we explain in Splitting Pennies the book.
While clients have only pulled a net 2 percent of assets so far, Tony James, the president at Blackstone Group, the largest investor in hedge funds, predicted in May that the industry would shrink by roughly a quarter over the next year. Hedge fund closures (782 in the first nine months) are on track to be the most since 2008, and startups (576) the fewest.
Any manager still standing applauds a smaller industry. Less money under management means fewer crowded trades and more chances to find the elusive alpha. Interest rates on the rise in the U.S., while still near zero or negative in the rest of the world, should also help. The Trump presidency, which promises less regulation, more infrastructure spending and the potential return of prop trading by banks, could also be a boon.
Where will the assets go?  The alternative investment industry is large - institutional funds, pension funds, hedge funds, are but a small part.  According to Barclay Hedge, there are 342 Billion in Managed Futures:
And, although the change from Q2 to Q3 of 2016 is a small percentage of @ $9 Billion, it is a positive figure, and shows that managed futures is one place funds are flowing into.  CTAs, CPOs, and other types of managed investments that have a track record should all benefit from the poor performance of traditional managers, especially those which don't charge a management fee.  But in any scenario, investors only started to loathe the management fees when performance suffered.  When performance is good - who doesn't mind paying for it?
And finally - it may shed light on the still standing FX manager industry.  While these hedge funds have suffered volatile returns, losses, and fee congestion - some FX managers have continued to perform year in and year out with the use of complex algorithms, that work in FX but not in other markets.  Now may be the time for institutional investors to take another look at such algorithmic FX strategies.
Here's a list of books to add to your bookshelf to enlighten yourself.
Posted: January 2, 2017, 12:03 am
Fortress Capital is an IB, CTA, and RIA with a focus on Foreign Exchange.  Fortress offers Forex managed accounts that can be executed at your preferred MT4 broker, or at one of ours (See our flagship strategy Global Alpha FX).


For traders who want to improve their trading or business owners who want to understand Forex better, we also offer a unique Forex Education Course “Introduction to Foreign Exchange” where students receive actual trading robots to trade their own account, and a hardcopy of Splitting Pennies book, and much more.


Our Magic FX Strategy didn’t have a losing month in 4 years of live trading.  You can learn more at www.magicfxstrategy.com or visit our website Fortress Capital Inc. at www.fortresscapitalinc.com 


For traders who trade their own account, money managers, trade rooms, or trade groups, Fortress offers a desktop signal service with 70% accuracy.  We offer a free 30 day trial to prove to you how accurate these trade signals are https://fortresscapitalinc.com/forex/vortex-signal-system/  because we know you’ll be hooked on Vortex signals.  And the best part – it doesn’t matter where they are executed (on any broker).


Fortress also offers FX hedging services, deliverable payments for businesses who do regular FX payments, business loans, and much more.  




Posted: November 30, 2016, 3:52 am
Our technology & development company Vector Informatics has put together an ecommerce site for R&D of emerging internet technologies (recently, we've been exploring emerging payment alternatives) PleaseOrderIt.com  

Today is Black Friday, America's commercial holiday - the 'real' Thanksgiving.  Today, millions of Americans will buy things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't know.  Well, if you want to avoid the melee, shop online at Pleaseorderit.com checkout our Black Friday specials here.  Pleaseorderit.com also has free stuff, online specials, free trials - and more!


Posted: November 25, 2016, 8:33 pm
You asked for it, we delivered.  EES has released the Penny Splitter strategy, as featured in our best selling book Splitting Pennies - for the Meta Trader 5 platform.  Check it out here in the MQL5.com marketplace.
Penny Splitter (PS) is a strategy that trades on a single pair, every x pips, with a small trade, betting on a trend reversal. PS has very simple logic; If the pair is going up it sells, and if the pair is going down, it buys. It uses small trades and gradually increases by counting (i.e. 1,2,3,4,5,6); and thus 'legging in' to a trade rather than trying to pick the perfect entry point.



Posted: October 24, 2016, 2:14 pm
Joe Gelet, author of Splitting Pennies, was interviewed on Destiny Survival podcast, by John Wesley Smith.  Checkout what he had to say about the interview, at his site www.destinysurvival.com:

Joe and I had no trouble filling the time allotted to us for DestinySurvival Radio. He’s quite knowledgeable and explains things thoroughly.
When I asked him to define Forex, it might sound at first like he’s going down a rabbit trail. But he’s not. Listen carefully to what he says about the U.S. dollar and foreign exchange money markets, and it will make sense. Throughout his book he layers on finer points describing Forex.
Here’s how massive Forex is.
Forex is the driver of the global economy. It supercedes nation states, politics, even religion. It’s not governed by law, but by trading principles.
Our Federal Reserve plays a large role in Forex, as do other central banks.
In the book he asserts it’s irrelevant as to who owns the Federal Reserve.Things are what they are. We owe it to ourselves to know a little something about how the system works.
It’s startling to think our Federal Reserve can create money from nothing, and we accept it as such. Yet this plays a significant role in inflation, which affects all of us. Joe and I talked about this and explored what it means to have a fiat money system.
Even though the Fed can create money from nothing, it wouldn’t be wise to print ourselves out of debt. Nor would it be a good idea to go into default.
But about that ever present fiat money…
This may sound shocking to some, but Joe asserts in his book that the U.S. dollar isn’t backed by gold but by bombs. You won’t want to miss what he has to say about this during our conversation. If you’ve paid attention to the news for the past 10-15 years, you’ll observe he’s not saying anything we don’t already know.
To me all of this is terrifying. We’re living in a world whose system is based on feathers and fairy tales.
Does that mean the many dire predictions about a sudden economic crash are sure to come to pass?
Not as Joe sees it. Or at least not in the way most sensationalists would have us believe. That’s because there’s no good alternative to the dollar.
What does Joe mean when he says banks can’t do without the economy, but the economy can do without banks? We discussed that. And I think it bodes well for us, should we end up in the midst of the proverbial postapocalyptic scenario one day.
And what about Bitcoin and other alternate currencies? They’ve been touted as revolutionary and independent of the big banking system. But are they? Listen to Joe’s comments and draw your own conclusions.
If you make financial investments, Joe offers what seems to me to be a reasonable solution. But what if you can’t invest?
If you had $1,000 to put toward getting prepared, what should you do? I think you’ll be surprised by Joe’s advice. (Hint: It’s a practical position I have taken for quite some time.)
Joe’s goal is to help you and me be better prepared financially. Thus, his book. You may also want to see SplittingPennies.com.
You can listen to the podcast on YouTube by clicking here, or press play below:


Posted: October 23, 2016, 1:29 am
There's still a large percentage of the American population that doesn't understand money.  That's why we released our book,Splitting Pennies - to explain how the financial system works.  FX continues to remain a mystery to voters, although it may be the most important issue that can make or break the US economy in the next 10 years.  The election is a political metaphor to the lie being sold in ecomomics; the Establishment has convinced us that, price inflation is from retailers - it's small business that causes inflation.  Not monetary supply.  Another $20 Trillion USD, it doesn't create inflation.  Take a look at this chart and close your eyes and imagine, where this mass of Trillions of USD flows:
$20 or some odd Trillion (who needs to count, at such levels) inflates markets, inflates prices of consumer goods, it pushes the value of the US Dollar down.  All of these effects are plainly obvious, you don't need a degree in high finance to understand this.  But, through a complicated system of 'programming' - they have somehow blinded people into believing what they see on TV, and questioning things which are not on TV, as some sort of 'internet conspiracy.'
If you believe everything you see on TV, you might want to checkout this book: A People's History of the United States; in fact - this is a MUST READ for any investor, as it explains history from 'another' side, the side of the people.  Is TRUMP a 'people's' movement?  One thing is certain, TRUMP has blown a hole in the illusion world many have been living in these past few years.  He's exposed the corruption, and how the system has failed.  The system really did work, it's not a cliche, but these were different times.  You see, History is written by the winners, by the rich, by the haves - not the have nots.  Who is Gore Vidal?  If Bush hadn't stolen the 2000 Presidential Election from his cousin, Al Gore, everyone would remember this name.  There are, like Gore Vidal, many Americans who are part of the Elite but are not so stupid, so corrupt, so greedy, so evil - like the rest of the crowd.  In fact, there are many.  But no one knows them - because they aren't part of the social control mechanism.  They don't sell well.  Who is Howard Zinn?  Who cares - turn on the TV.
One victim of this programming system are the executives running Sketchers corporation (SKX) whose stock dropped 17%, due to a number of factors, but - well they admiteed "I know nothing about Currencies" on the conference call.  Losing millions for no reason, at least it's not helpful for investors' confidence.
Additionally, the negative currency translation impact on our international wholesale and retail sales for the quarter was $15.9 million. We believe that our international business represents the greatest growth opportunity with many countries continuing to show strong sales increases in the quarter, including China at over 50%.
"Currency Headwinds" are nothing new, but it seems corporate America still hasn't warmed up to the fact that there is something called FX, and it's possible to protect yourself from such changes, and it's called hedging.  Heck, they can learn the basics from our booktake this course, or open an account for only $1 at Oanda and get world-class analysis for free.  But it's easier to write it off as "Currency Headwinds" a popular topic at cocktail parties, and the leading excuse for losses.  Remember "Inflationary Pressures" was an accounting-speak psuedo excuse for losses?  The department of financial language modification is capitalizing on people's lack of knowledge of FX, and thus created "Currency Headwinds" as the new go-to phrase when your international business has a big red hole and you need to save face.  By using this excuse, it will guarantee them a post-employment job at the Fed, because they were quoted in a major news source saying the keyword "Currency".  This is an especially necessary mark on their Resume in case they worked their way to the top, and didn't go to Yale or Harvard B-school.
Even though TRUMP isn't talking about FX, maybe it's really a big metaphor.  This election has shown us so far how ridiculous and unprofessional the Establishment is.  Never before have they been so sloppy, so bombastic, so irrational and vulgar, with their manipulation tactics - and shown it all in detail on social media!  The fact that, after all this - people still vote for Democrats, shows either their utter stupidity, or their blind faith, and agreement that evil is good, corruption is good, war is good.  Maybe they really are reptiles running our planet, if such people exist (if they really are 'people').  
In either event, TRUMP already has won the information war.  Never before has a non-establishmentarian been in the spotlight with a full audience, outlining all the corruption and manipulation and anti-American activities of the Elite.  Any businessman in America knows it, either they are profiting from it, or they are angry about it.  But not all people know - just like people don't know about FX.  We should thank TRUMP for starting this conversation, they can kill insiders - but they can't kill us all.  
In terms of actual political measures that Trump would propose and/or enact, he listed the following six:
  1. "A Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress."
  2. "A hiring freeze on all federal employees."
  3. "A requirement that for every new federal regulation, 2 existing regulations must be eliminated."
  4. "A 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government."
  5. "A lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government."
  6. "A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections."
Bravo!  But these measures, they are a direct attack on the current pay for play 'business' that's been created in Washington.  It's really a great and noble idea.  Making a business out of power - brokering is not a business at all.  Politicians are supposed to be civil servants, not power monsters, grifters, or agents of foreign powers (i.e. Israel, Rothschilds, etc.)  But are these measures practical?  The octopus has tentacles everywhere, and they will stop at nothing to maintain their power and the status quo, even if it means suspending elections, martial law, starting a war, alien invasion, name it.  Don't be surprised to see anything in next 2 weeks.  In the meantime, get prepared!
Don't forget that, politicians depend from one important entity - The Fed - for money.  They need your votes, but more importantly, they need money.  When Obama needs money, he doesn't beg from donors, he picks up the phone "Hello Fed?  Yes, I need $100 Billion.  For what you ask?  I'm starting a War, I mean, (cough cough) I'm worn out.. Just need to pay bills of American people.  10 minutes?  Thanks, you're the best."  
Here's a good free Forex lesson:  Guess which is the "REAL" Monopoly money, in the true sense of the definition:
Posted: October 22, 2016, 7:52 pm
The Euro "will collapse" as it is a"house of cards" warned Otmar Issing, the founder and creator of the euro in an extraordinary interview on Monday.
euro_drachmaPaper currency - Euro paper notes and Greek drachma note
In the explosive interview with the journal Central Banking, Professor Issing, said "one day, the house of cards will collapse”  as the European Central Bank (ECB) is becoming dangerously over-extended and the whole euro project is unworkable in its current form.
The founding architect of the monetary union has warned that Brussels' dream of a European superstate will finally be buried amongst the rubble of the crumbling single currency he designed.
“Realistically, it will be a case of muddling through, struggling from one crisis to the next. It is difficult to forecast how long this will continue for, but it cannot go on endlessly," he told the journal Central Banking in a remarkable deconstruction of the EU project.
The respected economist launched a withering attack on so called eurocrats and German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, accusing them of betraying the principles of the euro and demonstrating scandalous incompetence over its management.
And he savaged the whole idea of a federal "United States of Europe", saying the attempt to push through federalisation in a stealth manner "by the back door" has turned the very foundations that the currency was built on into a complete mess of patchwork legislation, into which it is sinking fast.
As is frequently the case when there is substantive damaging criticism about the EU and ECB from respected and authoritative sources, the interview was treated in quite an Orwellian manner. It completely ignored and not reported by most state run media in Ireland, the UK and EU.  Most state run media is overwhelmingly pro-EU and continues to ignore the serious problems and growing risks posed by the single currency and the undemocratic EU to the citizens of Europe. Nor was it reported in most corporate media in the EU which also tends to ignore all reasonable criticisms of the EU, ECB and especially the euro.
The explosive interview has been covered extensively in the more "right wing" euro "skeptic" media in the UK in papers such as The Telegraph and The Mail which means that most people in the EU will not even be aware of Otmar Issing's very real and reasonable concerns and the growing risks posed to the currency they use in their lives every day and their very way of life.
gold in euros_2016Gold in Euros - 5 Years
The coming collapse of the euro is seems inevitable. The question is when rather than if. It gives us no pleasure to say so as the collapse of the euro  will be financially painful for family, friends and people and companies in all EU nations.
The euro has even greater challenges than sterling which has collapsed more than 43% against gold this year. It is only a matter of time before market participants and foreign exchange traders' focus, moves from sterling to the 'not so single' euro. Then the euro will see a similar depreciation and devaluation in the coming months.
Gold will again fulfill its primary role which is as a hedge against currency devaluation. As it has done in the UK and many other nations in recent months and indeed has done throughout history.
Gold and Silver Bullion - News and Commentary
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Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
18 Oct: USD 1,261.65, GBP 1,031.15 & EUR 1,145.33 per ounce
17 Oct: USD 1,252.70, GBP 1,029.59 & EUR 1,139.58 per ounce
14 Oct: USD 1,256.15, GBP 1,028.79 & EUR 1,140.08 per ounce
13 Oct: USD 1,258.00, GBP 1,029.93 & EUR 1,141.76 per ounce
12 Oct: USD 1,255.70, GBP 1,024.53 & EUR 1,139.05 per ounce
11 Oct: USD 1,256.40, GBP 1,021.58 & EUR 1,130.76 per ounce
10 Oct: USD 1,262.10, GBP 1,016.62 & EUR 1,129.71 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
18 Oct: USD 17.65, GBP 14.37 & EUR 16.03 per ounce
17 Oct: USD 17.40, GBP 14.30 & EUR 15.83 per ounce
14 Oct: USD 17.47, GBP 14.28 & EUR 15.86 per ounce
13 Oct: USD 17.59, GBP 14.40 & EUR 15.95 per ounce
12 Oct: USD 17.44, GBP 14.23 & EUR 15.83 per ounce
11 Oct: USD 17.48, GBP 14.26 & EUR 15.78 per ounce
10 Oct: USD 17.78, GBP 14.31 & EUR 15.92 per ounce

Recent Market Updates
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- “Gold Is A Great Hedge Against Politicians” – Goldman
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- Ron Paul Says “Gold Going Up” Whether Trump Or Clinton Elected
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- Currency Shock Sees Sterling Gold Surges 5% In One Minute “Flash Crash”
- Top Gold Forecaster: “As Quickly As Gold Fell” May “Rally Back” on Global Risks
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- Deutsche Bank “Is Probably Insolvent”
- GBP Gold Rises 1.3% as Sterling Slumps On ‘Hard Brexit’ Concerns, Up 36% YTD
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- ECB Refused “To Answer Questions” – Deutsche Bank “Systemic Threat” Is “Not ECB Fault”
Posted: October 18, 2016, 9:07 pm