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Rinkeby is a suburban housing estate near Stockholm, where the Swedish welfare state keeps a large number of unassimilated migrants. 90% of the population is non-Swedish and many of these are Somalians given to crime and rioting.

Some may remember it from the riots confirming President Trump's fears about Sweden...

In June 2010, Rinkeby was the scene of riots and attacks against the local police station and Rinkeby is the region in which the '60 Minutes' crew were attacked in 2016.

The problems Sweden faces integrating large numbers of Muslim immigrants is a subject on which Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson has written many times. His warnings of increasing radicalization among Sweden’s Muslims – warnings he started to broadcast a decade ago – now seem eerily prophetic in light of an Associated Press investigation that found Stockholm to be a breeding ground for jihadists among Swedish Somalis.

 

According to the AP report, which first ran Jan. 24, an al-Qaida-linked group is busy recruiting anti-government fighters among Somali youths living in Rinkeby. A suburb of Stockholm, Rinkeby has earned the nickname of “Little Mogadishu” because of the number of Somalis living there. Rinkeby is also the center of the recruiting efforts of al-Shabab, a group with ties to al-Qaida.

Rinkeby is a known problem area in Stockholm. It was here NRK journalist Anders Magnus was attacked with stones last spring, and here the police never go in the evenings without reinforcements from other patrols according to Dabladet.

As Alt-Right-News reports, in 2014, they had to close down the police station, as it had originally been built for an all-Swedish community, where the main job of policemen is to look for lost pets and help old ladies cross the street.

The new police station, which is being built under heavy security and is scheduled to open in 2019, will cost over $40 million construction costs in addition to an annual rental cost of $1.6 million. The security cost for the actual construction is unknown. It is planned that 250 personnel will work there in the community of around 15,000 people. This is a ratio of one cop to 60 residents (for comparison Chicagohas one cop to 270 residents).

The police station will feature bullet proof windows, walls reinforced with sheet metal, and fencing around it, possibly with electrified barbed wire. So it will look more like a military installation than anything. Also it will be designated as "specially protected," which means a year in prison for anyone even throwing a stone at it. 

But there are problems with the police station, as none of the largely White police working there will actually live in the community and will have to commute it. This being Sweden, a disproportionate number will also be women. This raises several problems that would not be issues elsewhere. Police officers are worried about vandalism to their private cars so refuse to drive in, while using public transport is considered too dangerous, especially for female officers.

"Those who will be working in Rinkeby do not want to use public transport and take the subway," Local Police Area Manager Niclas Andersson told the press.

 

"It's too dangerous. One suggestion is secure parking for the private cars of police personnel. Another is that the police will be driven to and from work."

A secure parking area for the private cars of police personnel can not be added without greatly inflating the already high cost of the facility, so it looks like police personnel will have to be bussed in at the start of each shift in a specially reinforced police bus with darkened windows.

This is what multiculturalism looks like, folks, and the costs are enormous.

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

Europe has suffered many Islamist terrorist attacks in recent years, but before the assault on Charlie Hebdo, only two of them caused more than ten deaths: the Madrid train attack in May 2004 and the London tube and bus bombings 14 months later. Since then, and the beginning of the global 'war on terror', things have become exponentially worse...

 

Mission Accomplished?

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

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Russia has warned Norway over consequences of joining NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans. According to Russian ambassador to Oslo, Moscow will retaliate. Norway's possible accession to NATO's missile shield «will be a new factor that will be considered in our strategic planning as the emergence of an additional problem in the Arctic region», Teimuraz Ramishvili told the Norwegian state media network NRK.

In 2017, Norway may become a part of BMD. The Norwegian government has appointed an expert group to consider a possible Norwegian contribution to the missile shield. A detailed report on the issue is currently being prepared by experts from the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment and the US Missile Defense Agency to be submitted the year.

Norway has no interceptors on its soil but there are other ways to contribute into the anti-missile plans. Denmark does not host missiles but it committed itself to the bloc’s BMD in 2014, working to equip its frigates with advanced radar systems capable of detecting and tracking ballistic missiles. The missile defense program continues to be implemented despite the fact that after the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015, there is no rationale for it.

?slo is a participant in the US-led Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum. The Norwegian contribution to the missile defense system has not yet been decided on. Even without interceptors, Norway could contribute by integrating into the BMD system its Globus II/III radar in the Vardøya Island located near the Russian border just a few kilometers from the home base of strategic submarines and 5 Aegis-equipped Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates. The Vardøya radar can distinguish real warheads from dummies.

Another radar located in Svalbard (the Arctic) can also be used by US military for missile defense purposes. Senior US officials and politicians have visited the site during the last few years, including former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, former State Secretary John Kerry and Republican Senator John McCain. The radar is installed in violation of the 1925 treaty which states that Svalbard has a demilitarized status. The visitors invented different reasons, like viewing the effects of climate change (John Kerry) or highlighting the plight of polar bears (John McCain) to justify the need to inspect the site.

Installation of BMD sites might potentially undermine the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces as a means of deterrence.

Norway is executing a drastic change in its military policy towards a far more aggressive posture. Even though the country is small, it has the sixth biggest military budget per capita, after the United States, Israel, Singapore and some ‘monarchies’ in the Persian Gulf. The country spends 7.3 billion dollars on the military, more than Sweden (5.7 billion), a country with twice the population. Its geographic position makes it a key element of NATO military planning. The nation’s leading political parties want an increased focus on ‘strategic assets’ like F-35, capable of striking deep into Russian territory, submarines and surveillance capabilities. 

Norway hosts 330 US Marines in the central areas of the country, formally on a ‘rotating’ basis. The rotation does not change the fact that the forces are permanently present in Norway. They are deployed at the Vaernes military base, about 1,500 km (900 miles) from the Russian territory, but the training program involves traveling closer to the border. Norway and Russia share a small land border far in the north.

The Marines can be easily reinforced. The US forward storage areas have been upgraded to store cutting edge weapons and equipment for about 16,000 Marines. Building up stockpiles is a key part of US strategy to enhance its capabilities in Europe. There are plans to warehouse tanks, artillery and other fighting vehicles at other locations around the Old Continent.

The only purpose for the deployment is preparation for an attack against Russia. The Marines are first strike troops. The provocative move is taking place at the time the Russia-NATO relationship hit a new low as the bloc’s forces deploy in Eastern Europe and tensions run high in the Black Sea and elsewhere. According to Heather Conley, the director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Europe Program, Northern Europe is now being viewed as a «theatre of operations».

There are other plans to increase US military presence in Norway. According to a report of Washington-based Center for Strategic and international Studies (CSIS), «The former Royal Norwegian Navy base at Olavsvern is ideal for supporting submarine operations in the extreme North Atlantic and Arctic Seas». The think tank believes it may be possible for Norway to nationalize and reopen a portion of the facility to support the rotational presence of US, UK, French, and Norwegian submarines. Olavsvern was NATO’s closest naval base to Russia’s submarine bases along the coast of the Kola Peninsula west of Murmansk.

It was reported last year that a study group from the US Navy visited both Andøya and Evenes airports in northern Norway to see if any of the two airports could be suitable to serve as a base for American P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft.

The deployment of NATO forces to Norway is clearly a provocative act directed at Moscow. Norway shares a 121 mile border with Russia, while the Russian Northern Fleet is based in the Murmansk region, approximately 100 miles from the border.

Norway has pledged not to host foreign forces on its territory. It had stashed stockpiles of weapons in preparation for a possible conflict, but until recently, foreign troops were allowed into the country only temporarily for training purposes. Oslo had adhered to this principle even at the height of the Cold War.

Shifting away from the «no foreign forces on national soil» policy is fraught with consequences. Turning the national territory into a spearhead for an offensive against Russia inevitably makes Norway a target for a retaliatory strike. Russia did not start it. Actually, very few NATO members take part in the BMD plans. The decision to join would be seen as an outright provocation staged by a neighboring state. By doing so, Norway will deteriorate the relations and greatly reduce its own security which can only be achieved through developing of partnership and strengthening of centuries of good neighborly relations.

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

Update: Trump's bluff may be working already. Following Trump's ultimatum, Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus said that the healthcare bill has been improved, and that the Freedom Caucus will meet and discuss the revised bill. And while Meadows is maintaining a solid front for now, saying he is a "No" vote right now, with Trump having shone the spotlight fully on the Freedom Caucus, and thus providing republicans with a scapegoat should the vote fail tomorrow, we would not find it at all surprising if the Freedom Caucus were to fold overnight following "intense deliberations."

* * *

Following a day of narrative twists and turns ahead of what was supposed to be a Thursday night vote to repeal Obamacare, a vote which was pulled in the last moment when over 30 conservative and moderate House republicans threatened to vote against the Ryan/Trump plan, Trump has had enough with the Freedom Caucus dissenters and has issued an informal ultimatum: vote to repeal Obamacare on Friday or Obamacare stays.

Trump is demanding a vote Friday in the House on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said according to Reuters. If the bill fails, Trump is prepared to move on and leave Obamacare in place the budget director added.

Trump officials meeting with the House GOP conference said Trump is done negotiating over the legislation, which was set to come up for a vote Thursday but was delayed.

Mulvaney told the GOP conference that Trump wants a vote on Friday during a dramatic closed-door meeting, according to a GOP source in the room.  If the vote fails, Trump will move on to other priorities and ObamaCare will stay as the law of the land, Mulvaney said.

There were last-minute changes being considered to the bill. But it was unclear whether the House of Representatives would be able to pass it, said North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, the chairman of a group of conservatives known as the Freedom Caucus, which has been critical of the bill. "I'm still optimistic" about reaching an agreement, Meadows told reporters.

Having met with Paul Ryan on Thursday evening, Trump's right hand man Steve Bannon told reporters after the House Republican conference that he expects lawmakers to vote Friday on the health-care bill. When asked if he’s confident there’s enough votes for passage: "We’re going to vote and we’ll see."

Rep. Chris Collins confirmed the Trump administration's message after the meeting. Trump is done negotiating, he said.  "We have to have a vote tomorrow. He expects it to pass, but he's moving on if for some reason it didn't," Collins said.

According to The Hill, the developments set up a likely vote on the measure Friday afternoon.

It remains unclear just how Trump's ultimatum will change the minds of dozens of Republicans who have vowed to oppose the bill, putting them into a direct confrontation with their president. With all of the House's Democrats expected to vote against the bill, the GOP can only afford 22 defections.

Additionally, even if their replacement plan does eventually get approval from the House, the legislation faces an even tougher fight in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Meanwhile, in a worst case scenario, in which the House votes tomorrow and fails to generate the needed majority of votes, it is unclear just how Trump can "move forward" under the reconciliation process, as tax reform is part and parcel with deficit-reducing - as scored by the CBO - Republican health bill. Should Trump push on, at best it will mean he has an even smaller tax cut cushion. Furthermore, should Trump further antagonize the Freedom Caucus, a far bigger problem for Trump and the government will be if the conservative wing refuses to budge on the debt ceiling negotiation, because should the US be unable to once again indefinitely extend the debt ceiling limit, the US will suddenly have far greater problems than repealing Obamacare.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: March 24, 2017, 7:06 am

While the American Healthcare Act, President Trump’s first major legislative effort, is going to a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday - no matter what; for many years now, the American healthcare system has been flawed.

As Statista's Feliz Richter illustrates in the chart below, U.S. health spending per capita (including public and private spending) is higher than it is anywhere else in the world, and yet, the country lags behind other nations in several aspects such as life expectancy and health insurance coverage.

Infographic: The U.S. Has the Most Expensive Healthcare System in the World | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

USA, USA, USA!

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

Authored by ReturnOfKings.com via The Burning Platform,

The left is intrinsically conflict-mongering. It always existed against a particular state of thing, whether real or fantasized. Early on, though, it dissimulated its conflictive essence by posing as positive or “progressive.” To this end, generations of leftists twisted language to give themselves a good appearance whereas the enemy-of-the-day looked to everyone like something really bad.

Eighteenth century libertines claimed to defend “freedom” while faith became “fanaticism” and “superstition.” Later ones came across as “intellectuals” or siding with “the people.” Some manipulated the proclivity to empathy to pretend they were “oppressed” and thus entitled to sympathy when they were actually hateful, anti-middle-class Marxist or deviant family-hating lesbians.

The whole theory of “progress” as one can find it in Marx—society ought to go from capitalism to an ideal communist society—is little more than wishful thinking, yet it worked tremendously for leftists eager to cast themselves into a self-favoring view of history. Marxist “progress” has been used to kill millions of innocent people, just like globalist or cultural Marxist “progress” serves to destroy white homelands. As long as people are entrapped into positive words masquerading and fostering grim realities, Leftism retains its grip over their minds.

Here are some pseudo-positive concepts or buzzwords that are actual ploys for sinister projects.

1. Equality

Perhaps the most massive totem pole of it all. Written, shouted, used as a talisman an indefinite number of times, “equality” has been put forth to justify various mass killings from eighteenth century terror to twentieth century Bolshevism, and closer to us served to unleash female hypergamy and alien millions of young straight-white-males from the societies they should belong in.

Equality exists in mathematics. A number can be equal to another because an abstract unit can be replaced with another abstract unit without change. Mathematical equality exists because abstract units are identical with each other. Outside from the realm of pure quantity, qualitative differences emerge, and thus equality ought to be defined negatively as the absence of difference both in quantity and quality.

It is easy to see that equality between individual beings—not numbers—is a fiction, an attempt to perceive individuals as abstractions or numbers, void of any quality, personality or specificity. Equalitarianism stems from a rather incomplete view of the beings it pretends to apply to, and gets quickly used as a mask for envy or the will to grab something or exert power over someone.

Although equality can enter into the definition of true justice as equanimity—see Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, quote—, more than often, the word is used to foster particular interests at the expense of the wider social equilibrium, to fan the flames of division and sedition, and later, to deny vocations, human biodiversity, complementarity as it implies differences in nature and functions, not to mention ugly tradeoffs where some manipulative group plays the victim or claims rights to what doesn’t belong to them.

2. “Social” “justice”

Are you a victim? Are you victim of a particular inequality? Then you are living an injustice, and this wrong ought to be compensated. This simple framing has been widely used by anti-white, anti-male, anti-Western leftists to create a feeling of victimhood among various social categories. They used this powerful feeling to mount new social identities, inspired from Marxist classes—feminism isn’t about femininity but about women identifying as a separate, adversarial group, whose interests would be antagonistic to men’s—, and perpetual charges hung over the majority’s heads—reyciss! Sexiss! And so on.

“Social justice” covers a blending of several features: an accusatory, anti-white, anti-male, anti-Western narrative, that taints and darkens past history; a feeling of victimhood and class identity for so-called “minorities” integrated into the wider narrative; the systematic, and very real, disenfranchisement and displacement of the majority that finds itself condemned to play the role of the bad guy—and hence charged—in said narrative. In this sense, “social justice” is deeply divisive, defamatory, aggressive, and amounts to a Moloch that eats families, nationhood, and most men.

Actual justice, call it social or not, is of course far from such a terrible conception. Methinks true justice should acknowledge the fact that we are the sons of the Western civilizations, its human substance and legitimate heirs, and that we have a prime right over it. We should have jobs, freedom of speech, protection over violent crowds, a right to fair judgment instead of getting screwed over by HR, “minority” impunity and pussy pass, a right to chances to thick relationships with at least some women instead of clowning our ways through hypergamy… Don’t forget we need to formalize at least some of our intuitions about what’s fair or not to replace the wicked theory of “justice” the Left shatters us with.

3. “Progress” (and the “reactionaries”)

This overrated buzzword has been straightforward long ago. Its Latin root, progressus, stems from the root verb gradior (walk, advance) and was mostly used in a military context, as in the sentence “the army is progressing into enemy territory.” Since then, it has been used analogically to qualify any advancement, even purely relative or fantasised ones.

The Left, following pompous Philosophes and Marx, enshrined its own notion of progress into a general theory of history, thus making it absolute rather than relative. When various strands of modernity clash—for example, individual freedom and collective well-being—, which one is “progressive”? Each can be used to fulfill a particular notion of progress. Aside perhaps from blatant technological breakthroughs, “progress” is deeply relative. Even the most shining realizations of genius imply the sacrifice of thousands of potential choices that have been discarded during the process. The Left chose to forget this truth in order to judge everything and everyone from its own authoritarian, pedestalized perspective.

If you do some research about such characters as, say, Ayn Rand and Lothrop Stoddard, you’ll notice they have been widely labelled “reactionary.” Yet each of them was a progressive in his own right. Rand considered industrial development and individual freedom as obvious landmarks of progress: she opposed vehemently to the environmentalist and collectivist—that is, anti-industrial, anti-economic growth, anti-conservative rights—as a “return of the primitive.”

As for Lothrop Stoddard, he rebuffed Bolshevism and environmentalism as pre-scientific ratiocinations that willingly ignored human differences and the proper value of civilization. These “mistakes”, he said, are older than biological discoveries and stem from “degenerate” elements who would rather destroy civilization than letting it progress without them.

The only new thing about Bolshevism is its ” rationalizing ” of rebellious emotions into an exceedingly insidious and persuasive philosophy of revolt which has not merely welded all the real social rebels, but has also deluded many misguided dupes, blind to what Bolshevism implies. (Stoddard, Revolt Against Civilization, chap.8)

I also remember an old-fashioned Marxist who claimed feminism was “reactionary” because, he said, it comes from the wealthy and urbanized bourgeoisie, and hijacks the attention and care given to working classes for the benefit of actual exploiters. This guy’s progressivism has fallen out of grace, likely because it showed unable to destroy Western countries, but he is no less right according to his own logic.

Now, of course, we could say that MRAs are the real progressives as men’s rights are a progress, or that asserting our identities and associated rights are a progress, perhaps more so than SJW savagery and unrestrained hypergamy.

4. Openness or open-mindedness

We all heard about how being “open to new ideas” and possibilities, or being “open-minded” was good. In practice, what the liberals mean when they talk about openness or open-minded is “be a Leftist and believe in our notion of progress.” You have to be uncritical, hyper-sympathetic towards the last tranny or BLM activist that whines about how mistreated and misunderstood he is—and if you are “open” to wasting your money on the latest trendy fashion, it is even better.

But try being open-minded towards what the Left tags as “far right” or “extreme”, for example men’s right, race realism, skepticism on their dogmas such as anthropogenic global warming, or tradition… and it won’t be long before they shriek at you, in a typical display of rather irrational dirtiness psychology. “These ideas are impure! They are contagious!”

Open-mindedness along their lines means being gullible to media and college propaganda. You have to let the managers and social engineers fabric your consent, as Chomsky would put it. They want your mind to be open so they can fulfill it with self-hate and garbage. When it comes to better things libtards suspend open-mindedness, to the point of refusing any objective inquiry and hiding behind their biased, accusatory rhetoric.

In itself, openness or open-mindedness is a double-edged sword. It can, and should be used by those who are intelligent or morally structured enough to toy with potentially dangerous ideas. As to the others, those who are too easily tempted or misdirect by demagogues, especially women—who by their vote always favoured an anti-family, economy-devouring Big State—, the low-IQ and the unhinged, I think they should follow the lead of more qualified individuals.

5. Modern nationhood and citizenship

Since time immemorial peoples have been ethnocultural groups. Romans used the term natio to refer to a particular people, say, the Gaul, the Goths or the Basque. They also used the term civis to refer to a man as a member of his city, thus belonging to it.

Both words have been emptied of their substantial meaning. “Nation” is now mostly used to denote an abstract, bureaucratized State whom anyone can be a national if the bureaucrats hand him a stamped piece of paper. “Citizenship” refers to the pretense to identify with a particular public responsibility or to a world under globalist power: Leftists often claim to be “just citizens” or speak “in the name of the citizens of X place” when they are actually carrying cultural warfare. Remember when a bunch of hateful swindlers tried to rob Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer’s mom, of her real estate by forcing her to sell it at a cheap price? Complacent media said they were just citizens, or that “the town” was doing it. Yeah, sure.

Citizenship today is a mean to virtue-signal when you are an urban elf. It has become empty, fictitious—it refers to a world of nowhere and more subtly to belonging to a globalist class that abandoned its actual fellow citizens or ethnic brothers long ago.

6. “Social struggles” and “achievements”

When they referred to actually good causes, such as trade unions maintaining a high standard of living for most workers and fostering a meritocratic middle-class, these words ringed well. Today, they seem to refer more to the unwarranted privileges of State officers—when theft through taxes and economic rent are presented as something “social.”

The heroic epic of “social achievements”, which conveniently forgets that there is no free lunch and that if a particular segment of population benefits much from them it must be at the expense of the others, covers a host of barely examined ill effects. When it is used to glorify the welfare State, it forgets how such a State tends to disintegrate organic social life by taking away charity or generosity, how it fosters a big parasitic and paternalist State, how it allows females to destroy their families, or how it attracts immigrants eager to get a check and imposes unfair burdens on the productive citizens—I’m thinking about, say, the middle classes who paid for Obamacare, not about cutting taxes for Monsanto.

Conclusion

From fake smiles and cute façades to seemingly innocuous buzzwords such as “you go girl”, “sex positivity” or “self-acceptance” - which sounds better than complacency - the culture conflict-mongerers managed to push their disruptions and degeneration into normality. One step at a time, from actual normalcy to an alien nation, all this believing they were cool or on the good side of history.

Shatter the illusion by explaining what stands behind and unveil the inner vacuity or potentially polymorphous use of the word. May progress not be “progress” and may the mainstream view of justice not be the anti-white, misandric “social justice.” They aren’t smarter than we are, just more manipulative.

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

In December 2016, Muddy Waters' Carson Block said China's largest dairy farm operator, Hong-Kong listed China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co., is "worth close to zero" and questioned its profitability in a report. Today, with no catalyst, it suddenly almost is. The stock collapsed over 90% in minutes to a record low.

The sudden crash wiped out about $4.2 billion in market value in the stock, which is a member of the MSCI China Index.

 

In December, Muddy Waters alleged that Huishan had been overstating its spending on its cow farms by as much as 1.6 billion yuan to “support the company’s income statement." The report also alleged that the company made an unannounced transfer of a subsidiary that owned at least four cow farms to an undisclosed related party and Muddy Waters concluded that Chairman Yang Kai controls the subsidiary and farms. Those findings came from several months of research including visits to 35 farms and five production facilities, drone flyovers of Huishan sites and interviews with alfalfa suppliers, according to the report. Muddy Waters said it has shorted Huishan’s stock.

“It will be even harder for Huishan to get funded in the capital market after the report, amid a couple of earlier allegations that have raised some red flags to investors,” said Robin Yuen, an analyst at RHB OSK Securities Hong Kong Ltd. Still, Huishan’s shares and operations are unlikely to “collapse” due to its high share concentration and sufficient cash flow generated by its dairy business, he said by telephone.

About 73 percent of Huishan’s shares are held by Champ Harvest Ltd., a company that’s in turn 90-percent owned by Yang. A buying spree by Yang had supported the shares last year, making it a painful trade for short sellers. A one-year rally of about 80 percent through a peak in June had made the shares expensive.

Well that is all over now!!

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: March 24, 2017, 4:03 am

While Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with China for manipulating its currency, he appears to have recently figured out that over the past 2 years Beijing has been spending hundreds of billions in dollar to strengthen, not weaken, the Yuan and to halt the ~$1 trillion in capital flight from China. But while everyone knows that the biggest currency manipulation in the world, and perhaps the Milky Way galaxy is Japan, which now owns 40% of all JGBs in its ongoing attempt to pressure the Yen lower and explains why Abe was trembling when he met with Trump, terrified the US president would tell him to stop, one place where Trump may want to look is Europe's famously "neutral" country, which however continues to be quite bellicose when it comes to currency warfare. Overnight, the SNB announced that in 2016 it spent 67.1 billion Swiss francs, or $67.6 billion, to purchase foreign currencies in an effort to weaken its currency.

The amount, published in the central bank’s annual report on Thursday, was roughly CHF20 billion lower than the 2015 total of 86.1 billion francs and a record of 188 billion spent in 2012. What is notable is that in 2015, the Swiss National Bank ended its 1.20 EURCHF peg, which ended up costing the SNB tens of billions in FX losses.

As shown in the chart below, the SNB has used interventions for the better part of a decade to keep the franc, Europe's preeminent flight to safety currency, in check and lessen the risk of deflation. After it gave up its currency cap in early 2015, the SNB has also relied on a negative deposit rate to counter appreciation pressure. It reaffirmed that two-pillar policy stance last week.

Additionally, as part of its annual report, the SNB reported that at the end of 2016, the SNB’s assets hit a record CHF 747 billion, compared to CHF 641 billion the previous year, higher than the country's total GDP. The central bank's assets consisted almost exclusively of currency reserves, that is gold and foreign currency investments. Currency reserves were up by CHF 89 billion year-on-year to CHF 692 billion, principally due to inflows from foreign currency purchases and valuation gains.

And since the SNB is the only central banks which admits it is an aggressive hedge fund, it also reports both the composition of its balance sheet and the return on assets, and in 2016 it generated a profit on currency reserves of 3.8%. Meanwhile, returns on gold and foreign exchange reserves were 11.1% and 3.3% respectively.

What is paradoxical is that despite gold generating the SNB's highest return not only in 2016 (11.1%) and over the entire 2002-2016 period, at 6.5%, the central bank has been aggressively reducing the relative size of its gold-denominated assets over the past 7 years, mostly as a result of purchases of USD-denominated stocks and bonds.

In 2016, both fixed income investments and equities contributed to the SNB's bottom line. On the other hand, the slight appreciation of the Swiss franc reduced the return.

The SNB also revealed that in 2016, the SNB held 20% of its foreign exchange reserves in the form of equity investments. Measured in Swiss francs, the average annual return on equities since their introduction in 2005 has been 2.8%; the return on bonds has averaged 0.7%.

Finally, for those confused that the SNB is so open about its purchases and holdings of mostly US stocks, this is how the central bank justifies its policy of active stock management:

The contribution of equities to preserving the value of the currency reserves and building the SNB’s equity base has thus been very substantial during this period.

We look forward to how this boilerplate language will change after the next equity market crash which will wipe out tens of billions in "value" from the SNB's balance sheet.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: March 24, 2017, 2:58 am

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Unable to provide an ounce of evidence that a Trump/Putin conspiracy stole the presidential election from Hillary Clinton, the corrupt US “intelligence” agencies are shifting their focus to social media and to Internet sites such as Alex Jones and Breitbart. Little doubt the FBI investigation will trickle down to Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, Zero Hedge, the Ron Paul Institute, Nomi Prins, Naked Capitalism, Lew Rockwell, Global Research, antiwar.com, and to others on the PropOrNot, Harvard Library, and Le Monde lists, such as top Reagan administration officials David Stockman and myself. It is extraordinary that the FBI is so desperate to protect the budget of the military/security complex that it brings such embarrassment to itself. Who in the future will believe any FBI report or anything a FBI official says?

Those behind this “investigation” understand that it is so ridiculous that they must give it gravity and credibility. They selected two reporters, Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, in the McClatchy News Washington Bureau, who fit Udo Ulfkotte’s definition of “bought journalists.” Hiding behind anonymous sources—“two people familiar with the inquiry” and “sources who spoke on condition of anonymity”—the presstitutes fell in with the attack on independent media, reporting that one former US intelligence official said: “This may be one of the most highly impactful information operations in the history of intelligence.” http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article139695453.html

Wow! A totally ridiculous “investigation” is one of the most important in history. The implication is that the Russians are operating through scores or hundreds of independent media sites to control how Americans vote.

There was once a time in America when people were skeptical of anonymous sources. It was widely understood that anyone could tell a reporter anything and that a reporter could claim an anonymous source whether or not the source existed. Perhaps it was the Watergate “investigation” by the Washington Post that gave anonymity credibility. The Post’s reports made it sound like any sources ratting on Nixon’s perfidy was at risk of their lives, and the subtle emphasis on risk gave anonymity credibility.

The real story under our noses is not a Trump/Putin/independent media conspiracy to steal the presidential election. The real story is the totally obvious collusion between the Hillary forces, the US print and TV media (with the partial exception of Fox News), and the CIA and FBI to steal the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders, the presidential election from Donald Trump, and to delegitimize Trump’s election.

The theft of the nomination from Sanders is precisely what the leaked Podesta emails show. The totally one-sided presstitute support for Hillary and full-scale assault on Trump clearly show the presstitutes participation in the collusion. The extraordinary lies told in public by Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan clearly demonstrate the CIA’s lead in the attempted frame-up of Trump and his team. FBI Director Comey’s statement the day before the presidential election that the FBI had once again cleared Hillary of criminal charges sent the Dow up 371 points and set the stage for a Hillary election victory.

Why are not any of these hard facts in the news?

Why, instead, do the presstitutes and “intelligence” agencies report nothing but fake news, supported by anonymous “sources”? Why is a false reality being constructed, and the hard facts ignored?

Note another extremely strange feature of our strange time. Elements of the liberal/progressive/left portray President Trump as a member of the One Percent operating for the One Percent against the people and filling his government up with generals and his budget with more military spending. Why then is Trump under full-scale assault from the military/security complex? Why are they working to contradict, delegitimize and impeach their own agent?

If Americans were a thinking people, or even a people capable of thought, how could such inconsistent disinformation dominate public discussion?

What we should be scared about is that in America today, facts cannot compete with lies.

The McClatchy story describing a pointless investigation as one of the most important in history is working its way through the media. See:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-some-right-wing-sites-under-1490115530-htmlstory.html

http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/21/fbi-probing-breitbart-infowars-in-russian-influence-investigation/

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/03/21/fbis-russia-probe-turns-focus-on-social-media-bots/print/

Are we to conclude that America’s corrupt and disloyal “intelligence” agencies are a direct threat to democracy, that they are committed to overthrowing Trump’s presidency in a “color revolution,” that, unable to provide any evidence whatsoever for their conspiracy theory of a Trump/Putin collusion to steal the presidential election, the “intelligence” agencies have moved on to the discredit the independent Internet media that are in the way of the “intelligence” agencies’ control over explanations?

It is a hard fact that the Democrats, US “intelligence,” and the presstitutes are absolutely determined to control the explanations given to the American people and the wider world.

The Agents are out in force, and Neo is nowhere in sight.

The demonization of Russia and the extraordinary level of tension that the ignorant and foolish Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes created with Russia are disconcerting, indeed, frightening to those, such as myself, Patrick Buchanan, and Stephen Cohen, who experienced the long decades of the Cold War. We have never seen such highly provocative, entirely gratuitous behavior of one nuclear power toward another as the behavior of the US toward Russia over the past six presidential terms. What the Cold Warriors of the time experienced was a gradual buildup of mutual trust that enabled Reagan and Gorbachev to end the Cold War and remove the threat of nuclear Armageddon.

In contrast, the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes, the FBI, CIA, NSA, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and the rest of the presstitutes, the right-wing Republicans, such as Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Ben Sasse, the Democratic Party, and the liberal/progressive/left have convinced Russia, in the words of Russia’s President Putin, that “we cannot trust the United States.”

This “achievement” of these idiots comprises the greatest crime humans have committed in their entire history. The atomic bombs with which the Americans gratuitously destroyed two Japanese cities are mere pop guns compared to the thermo-nuclear weapons of today. Some of the crazed neoconservatives erroneously believe that Russia is not sufficiently well-armed to respond to US aggression, but the fact of the matter is that Russia’s strategic weapons are superior and more powerful than those of the US.

How can it be anything other than a death wish for European governments to be egging on conflict with Russia, for women marching not against war but against Trump for wanting to reduce tensions with Russia, for US “intelligence” to be totally committed to orchestrating a “Russian threat” that all but guarantees thermo-nuclear war? One would think that people would be marching in favor of reduced tensions with Russia and demanding that Trump deliver on this promise, not that they would be out opposing Trump. What is the importance of Identity Politics compared to nuclear war?

How can Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Europeans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and Japanese contain their outrage against the governments that are putting the life of the planet at risk for nothing except the budget and power of the US military/security complex? Trump is silly to roll back environmental protections, but this pales in comparison to the environmental damage of thermo-nuclear war.

How can the left-wing be lost in Identity Politics while the life of the planet is being put at extreme risk?

Why did CounterPunch recently and suddenly abandon the working class and peace and take up the cause of the victim groups of Identity Politics— women, blacks, homosexuals, lesbians, transgendered, and Muslim refugees (see Eric Draitser CP, Vol. 24, No. 1), the cause of the EU and globalism (see http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/20/brexit-nationalism-and-the-damage-done/ ) which benefits only the One Percent, and the demonization of Trump and Putin? Perhaps it is only a coincidence, but CounterPunch’s collapse coincides with CP being put on and removed from the PropOrNot list of Russian agents/dupes. My columns, for years a welcome feature on CounterPunch, suddenly ceased to appear. We have had no explanation from CounterPunch why the site suddenly gave up on peace and bread.

One might think that the audacity of the lies from the FBI, CIA, NSA and their media whores would provoke a powerful response from the liberal/progressive/left and from European populations, but it hasn’t.

What about Trump himself? Has he been forced to abandon his goal of normal relations with Russia, as this article in the Intercept suggests? https://theintercept.com/2017/03/21/revolving-door-military/ If not, is Trump filling top Pentagon and Homeland Security positions with generals and defense contractors in order to neutralize the military from participating in a CIA/presstitute coup against him?

If Trump is eliminated, with Pence as VP and the list of appointees provided by the Intercept, the US government will pass into the hands of the military/security complex for the remainder of its existence.

Is Trump now focused on protecting himself instead of protecting all of us from a deadly conflict with Russia?

If so, this is the achievement of the US “intelligence” services, the Democratic Party, right-wing Republicans, the presstitute media, and the liberal/progressive/left.

If anyone remains to write the history of the Great Incineration, the identity of those responsible is completely clear.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: March 24, 2017, 2:15 am

Nothing in this world is certain, except death and taxes... and $62,000 debt.

According to December 2016 data provided to Credit.com by credit bureau Experian, 73% of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead.

Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Without home loans, the average balance was $12,875. Among the 73% of consumers who had debt when they died, about 68% had credit card balances.

The next most common kind of debt was mortgage debt (37%), followed by auto loans (25%), personal loans (12%) and student loans (6%). These were the average unpaid balances: credit cards, $4,531; auto loans, $17,111; personal loans, $14,793; and student loans, $25,391.

That’s a lot of debt, and, as Fox Business reports, it doesn’t just disappear when someone dies.

For the most part, your debt dies with you, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect the people you leave behind.

 

“Debt belongs to the deceased person or that person’s estate,” said Darra L. Rayndon, an estate planning attorney with Clark Hill in Scottsdale, Arizona. If someone has enough assets to cover their debts, the creditors get paid, and beneficiaries receive whatever remains. But if there aren’t enough assets to satisfy debts, creditors lose out (they may get some, but not all, of what they’re owed). Family members do not then become responsible for the debt, as some people worry they might.

 

That’s the general idea, but things are not always that straightforward. The type of debt you have, where you live and the value of your estate significantly affects the complexity of the situation. (For example, federal student loan debt Opens a New Window. is eligible for cancellation upon a borrower’s death, but private student loan companies tend not to offer the same benefit. They can go after the borrower’s estate for payment.)

 

There are lots of ways things can get messy. Say your only asset is a home other people live in. That asset must be used to satisfy debts, whether it’s the mortgage on that home or a lot of credit card debt, meaning the people who live there may have to take over the mortgage, or your family may need to sell the home in order to pay creditors. Accounts with co-signers or co-applicants can also result in the debt falling on someone else’s shoulders. Community property states, where spouses share ownership of property, also handle debts acquired during a marriage a little differently.

The bottom line - even after you're dead, debt servitude is stil an anchor around your neck.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: March 24, 2017, 1:50 am

NFA News Releases

March 6, Chicago—National Futures Association (NFA) has permanently barred Redding, Calif. commodity trading advisor Samico Worldwide Markets, Inc. (Samico) and its principal and sole associated person, Thomas Gasparini, from membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member.
Posted: March 7, 2017, 4:59 am

Elite Forex Blog - Market Research & Analysis

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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. 

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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
- Property Bubble In Ireland Developing Again
- “Gold Is A Great Hedge Against Politicians” – Goldman
- Sell Gold Now – Time To Liquidate Gold ETF, Pooled and Digital Gold
- Gold In GBP Up 43% YTD – “Massive Twin Deficits” To Impact UK Assets
- Ron Paul Says “Gold Going Up” Whether Trump Or Clinton Elected
- Gold Trading COT Report “Means Lower – Then Much Higher – Prices Coming”
- 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
- Gold Buying ‘Opportunity’ After Surprise 3.4% Drop
- Deutsche Bank “Is Probably Insolvent”
- GBP Gold Rises 1.3% as Sterling Slumps On ‘Hard Brexit’ Concerns, Up 36% YTD
- Why Krugman, Roubini, Rogoff And Buffett Hate Gold
- ECB Refused “To Answer Questions” – Deutsche Bank “Systemic Threat” Is “Not ECB Fault”
Posted: October 18, 2016, 9:07 pm
The war on intelligence is in full swing.  It's game time.  They've been planning this for years.  As we explain in Splitting Pennies, the world isn't as it seems, in fact - the world is a great big illusion to many.
In case you're not following this trend, since the 1980's the Elite in America have invested heavily in what one expert calls the "Dumbing Down" of Americans, basically, a coordinated effort to make Americans stupid.  To get the gist of this program, you'll want to checkout this book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.  It lays the groundwork for what decades later will become full scale intelligence warfare - it's the war for your mind.  You see, the Elite, as rich and powerful as they are - they don't force anyone to do anything, physically.  There's this pesky thing now, called "FREE WILL" and sadly, few choose to follow this (they prefer, to do what is told to them on TV, or have their opinions formed for them).
Being covered here on Zero Hedge in an unprecedented fashion, never before have we seen the inner workings of how the Elite manipulate elections in America.  During previous presidential elections, there wasn't such internet penetration.  Also, the majority of people now carry smartphones, able to capture odd moments, or record 'secret' conversations, like this election official admitting to busing voters around to vote again and again.
There's two issues high level planners are using to manipulate the vote.  But let's give credit where credit is due.  They're doing a great job, but at the consent of voters - and most of this 'manipulation' is actually legal.  They are preying on the general stupidity and laziness of people.  The first issue, is the artificial 'race war' that's being created - that's a topic for another article.  The second issue, is the perceived threat of Russia.  Russia never was a threat and never will be, economically, militarily, or otherwise.  But it has throughout history, from time to time, served as a convenient enemy (such as during the 'Cold War').  Where to begin?  
Wall Street has long had a unique and fascinating relationship with Russia.  Currently, Wall St. dominated by Russian programmers (physically that is, they live and work in NY).  This relationship was most interesting however, when a group of Wall St. Bankers saw opportunity in revolution, and provided needed financing to a group of rag tag intellectuals known as the Bolsheviks.  If you're not up to date on this situation, this book is a MUST READ: Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution.  Not only does this book tell the tale of how Wall St. financed what would later become the Soviet Union, it also serves as a good example of 'how the world really works.'
Today's topic is more artificial - there's no situation with Russia.  It's completely contrived.  The Democratic party, in collusion with the entire establishment against Trump, has created a situation where "Russia is Bad" playing on the fears of older boomers who remember sitting under their desks in school during bomb raid drills.  Even though many have grown up to realize it was all lies during the Cold War - not all have.  And even those smarter boomers have deep seeded mistrust of Russians in the back of their subconscious planted long ago, by the social control mechanism.
Point 2.  It's impossible for Russia to 'hack' the election and fix the results.  But, this is a meme that needs to be implanted because it's actually the DNC that's planning to fix the elections, with their establishement friends at Diebold.
Point 3.  Trump has no business with Russia.  The threads they weave to build this link are so weak they are almost silly.  Trump sold a property to a Russian oligarch in Palm Beach.  He has sold thousands of properties, in New York and South Florida, statistically, any number of those properties could be Russian owned.  There are 3.3 MILLION RUSSIAN-AMERICANS this is not a small number.  Unlike previous generations of immigrants, modern Russian-Americans may keep ties to Russia especially with family.  It's actually surprising that Trump hasn't done MORE business with Russians in America, especially regarding properties, as this has been one demographic that's been naive to the real estate bubble, snapping up high end properties in NYC, Miami, and LA.  It looks as though, journalists were 'told' to make a connection, and then it was regurgitated throughout the establishment controlled media.
So what is their game?  Problem-reaction-solution.  What's the problem?  Russia wants to take over the world (or something like that, but since Soviet Union collapsed this argument is very weak).  What is mostly people's reaction?  Fear, confusion, and flight to safety - or at least, perceived safety.  What's the solution?  An establishment character, a 'Clinton.'  Bill Clinton was in office at a time when the Soviet Union collapsed, and was highly disorganized.  Of course, just like we said in previous articles, Bill Clinton was not responsible for the boom of the 90s, and he wasn't responsible for a weak Russia.  But the way this social control paradigm works, it works on subtle references, subliminal messages, deeply implanted subconscious memes - and when you hear a 'bell' you raise your right hand and say "I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands.."
Trump is being painted as a traitor - an anti-American, Pro-Russia (which means, pro-Criminal in their programming speak).
Russia Slams "Unprecedented, Insolent" US Cyber Threats, Vows Retaliation  This is perhaps the most embarrasing, ridiculous moment for a Vice President who is helping the democratic party get another one of their own elected, by being a key player in this anti-Trump/Russia meme.  WARNING - TO THOSE READERS WHO HAVE CHILDREN, YOU MAY WANT TO CENSOR THIS CONTENT AS IT CAN LEAD TO ADULT-STUPIDITY.
Russia in this case is a bystander, they're just again a convenient enemy.  But are they really?  As we've seen in the complex black hole Syria, the enemy of my enemy, is my friend.  It wouldn't be surprising if Democrats had a deal with the Kremlin, 'look mean - wave your arms around, speak in large words with a loud voice' and the translator inserts in English "I will destroy American Culture, burn your villages and steal your potatoes!"

To clarify, Russia is not a threat to US democracy.  Russia has severe problems of its own.  Russia is not going to hack the elections.  Russia is being used as a 'proxy issue' in order to confuse voters into voting for Clinton, the establishment candidate. 
Posted: October 17, 2016, 1:12 am
I recently watched the recent Noam Chomsky documentary, Requiem for the American Dream, and it was excellent. I highly recommend everyone watch it since it provides a historical roadmap for how positive change happens. Lessons that we will all need to put into practice in the coming years if we want to take the world off its current collision course with disaster.
With Chomsky already on my mind, I was excited to see an article published yesterday at AlterNet titled, Noam Chomsky Unravels the Political Mechanics Behind His Gradual Expulsion From Mainstream Media.
Here’s what we learned:
Ralph Nader and leading linguist Noam Chomsky engaged in a much anticipated discussion in early October on Ralph Nader Radio Hour. The two raised questions about changing the media narrative in a totalitatian-like state, and how Chomsky got dismissed from the mainstream altogether.

“How often have you been on the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times,” Nader asked Chomsky.

For Chomsky, the last time was over a decade ago.

“[I was asked] to write about the Israeli separation wall, actually an annexation wall that runs through the West Bank and breaking apart the Palestinian communities… condemned as illegal by the World Court,” Chomsky told Nader.

Chomsky would later pen a similar piece for CNN on the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But Chomsky has never been interviewed on the network; Nor has he appeared on NBC, ABC or CBS.

“How about NPR and PBS, partially taxpayer-supported.. more free-thinking and more tolerant [outlets]?” Nader wanted to know.

“I’ve been on ‘Charlie Rose’ two or three times,” Chomsky told Nader, adding that he had a curious story about a particularly Boston outlet for NPR based in Boston University.

“They used to have a program in their prime time news programs all things considered some years ago at 5:25… maybe once a week or so, a five-minute discussion with someone who had written a new book and there’s a lot of pressure,” Chomsky began.

NPR was going to allow Chomsky to present his book, “Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies” (1989).

“I  got a call from the publisher telling me when I should tune [in at 5pm] and I never listened [before], so I tuned in [and] there was five minutes of music… I started getting phone calls from around the country asking ‘What happened to the piece?'” Chomsky remembered.

He didn’t know.

“I then got a call from the station manager in Washington who told me that she’d been getting calls and she didn’t understand it because it was listed… she called back saying kind of embarrassed … that some bigwig in the system had heard the announcement at five o’clock and had ordered it cancelled,” Chomsky explained.
This is not what a free press looks like.
The irony of Chomsky’s media criticism being dismissed by the media is not lost on the former MIT professor, who remains constantly awed by America’s level of censorship.

“Any one of the former Bush-Cheney warmongers like Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton and others have gotten far more press after they’ve left federal positions; in the New York Times The Wall Street Journal the Washington Post,” Nader said.

And unlike Chomsky, “They’ve been on television public television, NPR and they have a record of false statements; they have record of deception, they have record of pursuing policies are illegal under our Constitution under international law and under federal statutes such as criminal invasion of Iraq and other adventures around the world,” Nader pointed out.

But the media problem permeates thouroughly throughout other industries, like education and government.

“Now a society that operates in a way where propaganda is not only emanating from the major media but it gets into our schools, the kind of courses are taught, the content of the history, is a society that’s not going to be mobilized for its own survival, much less the survival of other countries whose dictators we have for decades supported to oppress their people,” explained Nader.
Below you can find Nader’s full interview of Chomsky as well as the trailer for the documentary, Requiem for the American Dream.


    Posted: October 13, 2016, 7:26 pm
    While markets wait for the election, getting closer by the day- one big question - in fact maybe the most important question - What is Trump's plans (if any) for Fed policy?  As we explain in Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex - Fed Policy (Monetary Policy) TRUMPS any regulation, domestic political policy, corporate policy, or social movement.  In fact - the only thing more powerful than Fed policy is a nuclear arsenal (which is why - there is a correlation between the most powerful currencies and the most powerful militaries).
    The BIG Question
    Even TRUMP supporters don't know the answer to this question - because Trump never explicitly said it.  Maybe Trump doesn't understand Fed policy.  He is sure of himself that he understands debt.  Maybe he does know - but also knows that the people don't know so it's pointless to talk about it.  Whatever is the case - we don't know where Trump stands on the one issue that will determine America's economic fate one way or another - Fed policy.  Will the Fed continue Quantitative Easing?  Will radical Fed policies clean up a junk filled economy (for example, by raising rates to 10%) ?  Will Trump nationalize the Fed?  (Maybe - that's what the Elite are worried about!) - Let's make one thing perfectly clear.  He can do it!   99% of 'folks' don't understand what the President really does, what his powers are, for example the President is more of a 'ceremonial' and 'cultural' leader than anything else.. But Trump would have the power to do something like this if President.  Would he do it?  Something like this - just as an example - would transform Wall St. and the US economy completely.  Maybe, as we've covered in previous articles, this is THE REAL DEBATE going on right now at the Fed, and behind closed doors on Wall St.  
    Let's take a step back, and understand how far Presidential power stretches.  A great President, maybe one of only great Presidents-  Richard Nixon - Created the Forex market as we know it today.  In one swift move, Nixon defaulted on Bretton Woods and in the same moment, defaulted on his Gold obligations, and made the US Dollar the World's Reserve Currency.  For detailed info about Nixon checkout this book.  Practically, although Nixon stiffed the French and other potential Gold customers that wanted payment in Gold - the world didn't have many other choices.  For example, had France been stronger in that time, we'd all be using French Francs instead of USD.  Anyway, Nixon's actions were a pro-Fed, pro-USD move- whether this was calculated or not is irrelevant.  The fact is that, the USD is really the only "One World Currency" in operation today, and will be for the forseeable future.  
    In case you are not following the way the world really works, Read this book: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.  This is a MUST READ for any trader, investor, economist, businessman, politician, lawyer, or anyone interested in the world.  The point here is that, yes - it's true.  The Fed Chairman is the most powerful person in the world, because they control the money supply, the amount of US Dollars in the world, and the interest rates.  But - Trump could oust-em!  What does Trump think about the current Fed?  Well, he's not happy with Fed policy, and says The Fed and in particular Chairman Yellen "Should be Ashamed"-
    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday accused the Federal Reserve of keeping interest rates low for political reasons, the latest in a string of often contradictory critiques of the nation’s central bank.
    The Fed vehemently defends the setting of its influential interest rate as independent of political considerations — a principle that is considered fundamental not only to the Fed but for central banks around the world. Yet speaking on CNBC, Trump said Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen should be “ashamed” of keeping interest rates so low for so long.  “She’s obviously political and doing what Obama wants her to do, and I know that’s not supposed to be the way it is,” Trump said.
    The latest such comment came Monday, when Trump responded to a question from a reporter about the potential for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike this year. “They’re keeping the rates down so that everything else doesn’t go down,” Trump said, according to reports. “We have a very false economy.”  “At some point the rates are going to have to change,” Trump added. “The only thing that is strong is the artificial stock market.”
    There we go- we have our answer.  At least, we have a hint on the answer.  But the BIG QUESTION remains - will Trump simply put in his own chairman - or abolish the Fed altogether?  Wouldn't that be something.  Either way it seems Dollar Up for a Trump victory.  Put your limit orders in now - Open a Forex Account.
    Posted: October 13, 2016, 7:25 pm
    Warning to investors - traditional markets are flawed.  In one of many hypothetical futures, not so far in the future, FX may be the only game in town.  As we explain in Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex - it's FX that drives the world, not stocks, bonds, commodities, or real estate.  Let's take a quick look at some of the cracks in traditional markets.
    HFT Market to collapse, or drastically change
    During the credit crisis HFT snuck in a huge business for themselves in the stock market via Reg NMS by manipulating 'order types' and 'latency'.  Well, that's all starting to unwind.  Top HFT firms are fearful that the SEC is about to 'spill the beans' according to Bloomberg:
    Some of the biggest electronic traders are complaining that a new test in the U.S. stock market will compromise their top-secret strategies, one of their most valuable assets.  Citadel Securities and KCG Holdings Inc. are among a chorus of brokers questioning elements of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission experiment, which began Monday, designed to whip up more trading in small companies. Their complaint is that the test will force firms to publicly expose detailed trading data with only the thinnest veil of anonymity, allowing competitors to reverse engineer how their prized trading algorithms work.  For high-speed trading firms, complex computer code is the secret weapon for profiting from the market. Some brokers say they fear that in their test, regulators won’t sufficiently mask their publicly reported trading data.  “It’s going to take someone exactly three seconds to figure out who’s who,” said Jamil Nazarali, head of execution services at Citadel Securities, which is the market-making arm of billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel LLC. Trading firms will “likely change their behavior to protect their intellectual property,” making the test’s results less meaningful, he added.
    Big Banks collapsing - SOON
    Previously to the "DB Crisis" - Europe's biggest bank, Douche Bank, is now probably insolvent at best, and at worst - will form a black hole so big that it will suck half of the worlds banks and assets into it when it implodes.  DB isn't just a bank, it's a financial powerhouse - a superbank.  For example, if you've ever bought a currency ETF, it was probably offered by DB:
    Hmm.. only 35 ETFs in the USA.  Anyway, creating an ETF isn't easy.  DB is registered in almost every country in the world, yes even in Malta.  They are in thousands of businesses.  Unwinding this behemoth will take decades.  Unraveling all of their crimes, money laundering, scandals, and derivatives is practically impossible.  Just one example of a $10 Billion dollar liability, in this case, just money laundering:
    Almost every weekday between the fall of 2011 and early 2015, a Russian broker named Igor Volkov called the equities desk of Deutsche Bank’s Moscow headquarters. Volkov would speak to a sales trader—often, a young woman named Dina Maksutova—and ask her to place two trades simultaneously. In one, he would use Russian rubles to buy a blue-chip Russian stock, such as Lukoil, for a Russian company that he represented. Usually, the order was for about ten million dollars’ worth of the stock. In the second trade, Volkov—acting on behalf of a different company, which typically was registered in an offshore territory, such as the British Virgin Islands—would sell the same Russian stock, in the same quantity, in London, in exchange for dollars, pounds, or euros. Both the Russian company and the offshore company had the same owner. Deutsche Bank was helping the client to buy and sell to himself...Although the bank’s headquarters remained in Germany, power migrated from conservative Frankfurt to London, the investment-banking hub where the most lavish profits were generated. The assimilation of different banking cultures was not always successful. In the nineties, when hundreds of Americans went to work for Deutsche Bank in London, German managers had to place a sign in the entrance hall spelling out “Deutsche” phonetically, because many Americans called their employer “Douche Bank.”  
    On the other side of the pond, Wells Fargo - previously one of America's 'trusted' banks, "Main St. bank" - is collapsing after the market learned that their great sales figures were based on a house of cards that was, well, fraudulent.  If you're not aware or not following this crisis, checkout this article for a simple explanation.
    Real Estate Market Shaky, at best
    There are a lot more apartments available for purchase these days in Manhattan. And fewer people are buying. Sales of previously owned condominiums and co-ops fell 20 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as potential buyers grew cautious amid more choices, according to a report Tuesday from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. There were 5,290 resale apartments on the market at the end of September, 53 percent more than the number available in late 2013, the lowest point for listings.
    The swelling inventory is providing an opportunity to New Yorkers shut out of a market in which construction has been dominated by ultra-luxury condos aimed at the wealthiest buyers. Resales, particularly those priced at less than $1 million, were in chronically short supply in recent years, and those that made it to the market sparked bidding wars. Now, more owners are listing apartments to profit from climbing values, and they’re finding lots of company.  “Rapidly rising prices over the years have pulled more sellers into the market hoping to cash out,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “But buyers are more wary. There isn’t the same intensity of activity to burn through the new supply.”
    What's next?  
    Hedge Funds, not capitalizing on the turmoil, and even losing
    In fact, this has been the year investors wanted to do anything but try to pick stocks. Active fund managers had their worst first half ever, with fewer than one in five beating a basic market benchmark, according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch that go back to 2003.Stock pickers were done in by two major factors: following the crowd and an uneven pattern of correlations among stocks. The 10 most-crowded stocks lagged the 10 least-owned by a whopping 18 percentage points, which BofAML called "an atypically high spread."
    So what's left?
    Forex Markets to dominate the next 20 years
    There's always Forex algorithms, which Wall St. simply afraid of, because they don't 'control' the FX markets.  Some FX strategies perform month in and month out like clockwork, a pension fund's dream - but why go with something that works when it's politically correct to lose with hedge funds (it's good for jobs, right?).
    The point is that, FX is a money market - and a super set of other markets.  If the stock market completely crashes like 50%, investors will still have trillions in cash.  It will even create a dollar shortage.  But that cash has to go somewhere.  Some, will go to Euros, Swiss Francs, and other 'money'.  Bitcoin isn't a percent of a percent of a percent, although certainly money will flow into Bitcoin.  Bitcoin isn't viable alterantive to major FX currencies simply because of acceptability.  It's not possible to pay for goods in foreign countries in Bitcoin - but many accept US Dollars.  Until that changes - or until the United States of America ceases to exist as a country (which is probably the only event that could really obliterate FX markets) - then, FX is going to be the only game left in town.  Why?  Because, the US Dollar is supported by bombs.  As long as the US Army has enough gas in their tanks, and munitions in their supply, you can bet dollar markets will function.  Other markets, like real estate, don't have such protection.  But there's a good reason for that.  Because all markets DEPEND on FX.  Without a dollar market, the stock market couldn't exist.  If you want to be Wall St.'s next HFT firm, you first need to fund an account WITH DOLLARS.  
    So, although many markets teetering on the brink of implosion, FX looking stronger than ever, and until there's a viable alternative (which considering alternatives, China, Russia, Bitcoin, etc... not a real solid candidate next 20 years) we can expect FX supremacy and US Dollar Hegemony for the long term.  So, if you're still naive to the realities of FX - now's a great time to start learning!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-04/alert-markets-implode-only-fx-will-be-left
    Posted: October 5, 2016, 2:28 am
    It isn't often such a clear market signal is painted such as the impending real estate market collapse.  It doesn't take sophistocated algorithms or an MBA from Harvard to add up the math and the data and see that we're on the precipice of a historic real estate asset cliff; and that the market is waiting for an 'event' to tip it over.  That event, it can be Hurricane Matthew.  That means this can all unfold THIS WEEK.  For those of us who have been following this trend for a long time (like, more than 10 years) this isn't news, it's just the obvious result of bad planning and decades of building a foundation on the wrong things (this is an educational metaphor - Real Estate Investors built their knowledge on the wrong ideals, the false axioms, and thus - invested in the wrong markets, on markets build on soft, unstable foundations...).
    As we explain in Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex; the entire world's economy, both micro and macro, can be explained through the prism of monetary policy.  Or in other words, if you master FOREX, you can master any market, because all markets are denominated in Forex.  Or in yet other words, markets are only able to function as a derivative of money markets - which Forex is.  
    Bubbles have persisted for years, but this last bubble that caused the 2008 crisis was based on real estate.  For a long time, US real estate prices always went up; until they didn't.  So what changed in 2008?  Enter Quantitative Easing, a program designed by the Fed to create 'liquidity' in the market that was otherwise illiquid.  Starting out buying 'toxic' assets no one wanted, now the Fed has a diversified portfolio of many assets, much of which is real estate.  This is not the only thing propping up the real estate market.  Also, the Fed has given banks and hedge funds HUGE access to cheap capital, or free capital, in large quantities.  Let's take the world's largest, as the best example; Blackstone, with $100 Billion + to invest in real estate:
    Blackstone, helmed by global head of real estate Jon Gray, is the largest real estate private equity firm in the world. Since raising their first opportunistic real estate fund in 1997, Blackstone has been a dominant player in the industry with their simplified opportunistic philosophy of “buy it, fix it, sell it”. Just this month, Blackstone real estate surpassed a staggering $100 billion in assets under management. As part of a push towards a longer hold, core plus strategy, they recently closed the largest ever PE real estate fund at $15.8 billion. Furthermore, Blackstone recently acquired Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, which they plan to enhance through value add renovations and a repositioning of the tower’s retail space.
    Well, not all $100 Billion is invested in Real Estate, but remember, they are leveraged, so they don't buy for cash, so it's not known what they're real 'real' estate portfolio is.  Between the Fed buying MBS (Mortage Backed Securities), Hedge Funds & Private Equity Funds like Blackstone, and your typical foreign buyers fleeing corruption or a crashing economy in their own market - real estate is highly inflated.  This is of course, exaggerated in niche areas; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston, New York, Miami, Greenwich CT, and many, many others.  Just take a look at what you get in Ohio for $4M and what you get in San Francisco for $4M.  Hmm... Something doesn't add up here.  People in CA shocked at non-CA market values.  Hmm... and there's high state taxes in CA, and pollution, a water drought, and fallout from Fukushima irradiating the crops and population, explosion of cancers.  Where do I sign?  
    Years ago, analysts said that in 50 years Florida will be underwater.  Real Estate investors didn't feel that their feet were wet, so they ignored this.  Well, these analysts were wrong - it's happening much, much, much faster.  Miami-Dade County is going to be hit the hardest.  If you don't know about this issue, read this article here "A Rising Tide" :
    “This whole beautiful landscape’s going to change,” he said. Miami Beach consists of a long, low barrier island accompanied by a scattering of manmade islets. It’s one of the lowest-lying municipalities in the country, and its residents are leading the way into the world’s wetter future. Along the island’s low western side bordering Biscayne Bay, people have come to dread full-moon high tides, when salt water seeps into storm-drain outlets and the porous limestone that provides the island’s foundation, forcing water up and out into the streets and sidewalks and threatening buildings and infrastructure. And Miami Beach is just one small part of a region that’s in big trouble. If sea levels rise as projected, no major U.S. metropolitan area stands to rack up bigger losses than Miami-Dade County. Almost 60 percent of the county is less than six feet above sea level. Even before swelling of the seas is factored in, Miami has the greatest total value of assets exposed to flooding of any city in the world: more than $400 billion. Once you account for future sea-level rise and continued economic growth, Miami’s exposed property will far outstrip that of any other urban area, reaching almost $3.5 trillion by the 2070s. The sea level around the South Florida coast has already risen nine inches over the past century. Among experts, the optimists expect it to edge up another three to seven inches in the next 15 years and nine inches to two feet in the next 45 years. More pessimistic (some say increasingly realistic) predictions say the rise will be much faster. Even the very gradual rise of recent decades will make extensive infrastructure reengineering necessary—Mowry’s job. However, according to a report published by the Florida Department of Transportation, it will become difficult, expensive, and maybe impossible for these efforts to keep up with the accelerated sea-level rise that is actually expected. 
    Miami is spending $500 Million building walls and drainage to address this problem.  Read the 2012 Presentation in PDF here.  But will it be enough?  And what about Hurricanes?  A Category 5 hurricane can have a storm surge of 20 - 30 feet, such as Camille in 1969.  Storm Surge is when the water rises, completely - that means the ocean will rise 24 feet (Read about it here).  Matthew, if it struck Florida, would really be Biblical.  Billions of Dollars in damage would occur, just from the storm.  And this information is not 'priced in' to this already 'frothy' market, just see spring articles about Miami's real estate crash herehere, and here.
    The other info that you need to know, since the early 90's, the US Government manipulates the weather.  If you're not up to date on this topic, you can read about it here in this groundbreaking book Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth.  Or for a simple primer on Geo-engineering, checkout No Natural Weather: Geoengineering 101.  Then, why would they allow a hurricane to smash into South Florida?  Who knows, but if you want to look at the strange correlation between military events and Hurricanes, take a deeper look at 911 and Hurrican Erin - This book Black 911 is a great start.
    Matthew is now heading toward Jamaica, at which point it may settle down; Jamaica has mountains which Hurricanes don't like.  But Florida is being warned.  
    Traders, tomorrow's trade is easy; put in your buy limits above the MAs on HD, LOW, and get ready to short homebuilders, and other South Florida real estate companies.  This week is going to be a wild ride for real estate, regardless if Matthew hits FL or not.
    The market now is quiet, sales are down 80% in some areas (i.e. Greenwich, CT "Billionaire Capital"), but the panic selling hasn't started yet.  An event such as a Hurricane in FL, or a big Earthquake in CA, can be the tipping point that starts it.
    This will hit the rent market too - as values collapse, rents will too.  Not only that, but a bad economy will put pressure on renters and their ability to pay.  This recent bubble, in both housing values, rent prices, and other assets - is just that.  A bubble.  It will pop.  And as we saw in 2008, each time the bubble bursts, the drawdown is a little deeper.  But real estate in particular recovered with the help of the Fed and numerous Fed players, as this was a political victory as well as an economic one.  It was seen as helping Main St. as well as Wall St.
    There's other investments, other ways to make money than real estate, such as Forex algorithms.  But it seems that as usual, investors will need to have a huge loss before learning this lesson.  
    Pain - is the only real teacher!
    Posted: October 3, 2016, 4:52 am
    In case you didn't know, facts about Pizza
    Pizza is actually America's favorite food.  The Atlantic covered a DOA report that showed the cheesy stats:
    Like football, pop music, and democracy itself, pizza follows in the long American tradition of things that began overseas before the United States imported, violently altered, and eventually defined the institution. Although the first pizza shops didn't open in the U.S. until the early 20th century, hundreds of years after the original Neapolitan pies, we now spend $37 billion a year on pizza, accounting for a third of the global market. The obsession deepens. On any given day, about 13 percent of Americans eat pizza, according to a new report from the Department of Agriculture. One in six guys between the ages of two and 39 ate it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner today. In part due to this obsession, per capita consumption of cheese is up 41 percent since 1995. Drawn from the report, here are seven facts about Americans and pizza, presented free of moralizing comments about whether or not it is healthy or sensible for the American diet to consist so overwhelming of bread adorned with tomato-cheesey gloop.
    Pizza, is actually an AMERICAN food, brought to America by the Italians.  Pizza was invented in Italy, but in Italy, Pizza is completely different, and not very popular.  In fact, Pizza is most popular in America.  It's more American than Apple Pie.  Check it out:
    In 1905, a slice of pizza cost five cents. During the Depression, when families did not have much money, pizza became popular with everyone in the United States. Families were eating different types of pizza on the east and west coasts. A thick-crust pizza was called double-crust pizza or west coast pizza. When they had a large exhibit about pizza at the Texas State Fair, more people inquired about this food than any other.The first recipe for pizza appeared in a fundraising cookbook published in Boston in 1936. The recipe, for Neapolitan pizza, was made by hand. Dough had to be hand-stretched by pizzaiolos and housewives until it was half an inch thick. The pizza had cheese, tomatoes, grated parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Surprisingly, the dough was not made by hand, but cooks were told to buy it at a good Italian bake shop.However, pizza was mostly limited to Italian immigrant communities until after World War II, when American soldiers returning from Italy still wanted their pies. Popularity spread, and various American styles developed. Pizzeria Uno is credited with the invention of the Chicago deep dish pizza in 1943. This is known as tomato pie and was baked in rectangular pans in bakeries. Its crust was extra thick and it had seasoned tomato puree and was dusted with Romano cheese before it went into the oven. Some eventually had meat and thick cheese, and it was so thick, it often had to be eaten with a knife and fork.
    The American Dollar is collapsing
    From five cents a slice to $20 a Pizza.  What happened?  During this time, the US Dollar went down by more than 95%.  Let's take a look at one of America's favorite Pizzas, Numero Uno Pizza.  For those of you who have not had the pleasure to live in the greater Los Angeles area, where Numero Uno has had 95% name recognition, Numero Uno Pizza is a household name.  Interestingly, Numero Uno was founded in Los Angeles right around the time Nixon created Forex; 1970.  We've obtained an old Numero Uno menu (we think though, it's from the 80s) that shows prices from that time:
    Wow!  .85 House Wine, less than $5 for a Carafe!  
    Now take a look at prices we've lifted from current NU store sites, such as Numero Uno Palmdale:
    The most popular NU pizza is the S5 "Slaughterhouse 5" which currently stands at $16.95.  We confirmed with the manager of Palmdale location that indeed; prices are due for a rate hike in January.
    From $10.85 to $16.95 isn't too bad, Pizzaflation is not nearly as bad as inflation in other markets, most notably, real estate, groceries, coffee, and other items.  Using an inflation calculator, $1 in 1970 is about $6.21 today.  If the menu is from 1985, the S5 should be $24.29.  Other NU stores have it priced at $19.99.  In any case, for older folk, $20 is a lot to pay for a Pizza, in their mind.  But that's only because of memory, of times past.  Inflation is a slow subtle tax.  From a 'real dollar' perspective, Numero Uno Pizza is cheap.
    Let's understand the second component of inflation that's less obvious - the deterioration of QUALITY.  You can get a Pizza today for $5 - but it's a bunch of crap.  Like any product, you get what you pay for.  This part of inflation, the decline in quality, is less obvious but more damaging.  Every year, products get a little worse and worse.
    The real cause of Pizzaflation
    Real analysts must always seek the CAUSALITY  
    Inflation happens only for one reason:  Central Bank prints more currency.  More currency, chasing the same or fewer goods and assets, makes the price go up.  It's really simple!  QE (Quantitative Easing) has been rampant in recent years.  Fortunately for consumers, most inflation has happened in financial markets, real estate, and other markets.
    In our household, we measure inflation with the "Burrito Index": How much has the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck gone up?
    Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you’re a self-employed free-lance writer), I can track the real-world inflation of the Burrito Index with great accuracy: the cost of a regular burrito from our local taco truck has gone up from $2.50 in 2001 to $5 in 2010 to $6.50 in 2016.That’s a $160% increase since 2001; 15 years in which the official inflation rate reports that what $1 bought in 2001 can supposedly be bought with $1.35 today.
    If the Burrito Index had tracked official inflation, the burrito at our truck should cost $3.38—up only 35% from 2001. Compare that to today's actual cost of $6.50—almost double what it “should cost” according to official inflation calculations.
    Since 2001, the real-world burrito index is 4.5 times greater than the official rate of inflation—not a trivial difference.
    Between 2010 and now, the Burrito Index has logged a 30% increase, more than triple the officially registered 10% drop in purchasing power over the same time.
    Those interested can check the official inflation rate (going back to 1913) with the BLS Inflation calculator by clicking here.
    My Burrito Index is a rough-and-ready index of real-world inflation. To insure its measure isn’t an outlying aberration, we also need to track the real-world costs of big-ticket items such as college tuition and healthcare insurance, as well as local government-provided services. When we do, we observe results of similar magnitude.
    The takeaway? Our money is losing its purchasing power much faster than the government would like us to believe.
    It's important for consumers to understand, Pizzaflation is not caused by Pizza makers.  Numero Uno actually is doing a great job keeping prices low, because their food cost, rent, and other costs, are all exploding parabolic.
    Los Angeles has the highest rent burden in America:
    Overall, rents in Los Angeles have doubled since the 1970s:
    But of course, that's not counting other various fees, taxes, increased regulatory costs, increased insurances due to higher crime rates, and other factors.  Pizzaflation has hit Los Angeles hard, creating a 'double whammy' for businesses like Numero Uno.  And with LA's median income flat since 1970, it makes one wonder who can afford a $20 Pizza.  But the remaining Numero Uno stores are mostly packed and have great reviews, so it seems that it takes something really Magic to survive the pressure of the Fed.
    To learn more about how the Fed decreases the value of the US Dollar via Quantitative Easing, checkout Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex - your pocket guide to make you a Forex genius!  
    Posted: September 30, 2016, 9:19 pm