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The Spanish government's decision to accept a boat carrying more than 600 migrants, a boat that was refused permission to dock by both Italy and Malta, has backfired on a group of students in the city of Alicante, who have been asked to leave their dorms within 24 hours to make room for the refugees. According to RT, Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s newly appointed socialist prime minister who replaced Mariano Rajoy following a no-confidence vote earlier this month, agreed to shelter the passengers of the Aquarius, a group of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who were rescued from rickety vessels in the Mediterranean by the ship. After declaring that "the good times for illegals are over", Italy’s newly installed anti-immigration government blocked the ship and urged its neighbor, Malta, to accept the migrants. Malta also declined, prompting Spain and its new left-wing government to intervene.

Acquarius

Now, several hundred students, who are paying 750 euros a month to live in the La Florida dormitory in Alicante, must leave to make room for children aged 12 to 17 who are being brought to the dormitory via bus following the ship's arrival in Spain on Sunday. The authorities explained that the eviction was necessary given the "emergency situation" caused by the migrants' arrival.

One students' mother told local media that the students were asked to leave because the incoming refugees would have "many diseases" and possibly pose a "health risk." And while students said they're "not against helping those in need" they're worried about how they will finish their studies.

"We’re not against helping those in need, but it isn’t fair for my son to be removed from his residence and left on the street in the middle of his studies," one woman said, adding that her son needed to complete his course in German in order to qualify for a new job in that country.

The provisional government has assured inquiring media outlets that it will cover the students' expenses and find new temporary accommodations for them. We would advise the rest of Spain's college students to consider packing a "go-bag", because the Italian government over the weekend refused permission to dock to two Dutch-flagged ships carrying migrants, which are now sitting off the coast of Libya. That means more migrants could be on their way to Spain in the near future.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 6:33 pm

Having explained in May why "there won't be a trade war anytime soon" and shrugging off trade war anxiety "because of the wisdom of Chinese leaders," it appears Bridgewater's Ray Dalio is shifting his position.

Today he tweeted a more anxious-sounding message...

Trump is playing chicken with China. It will be important and telling to see how this plays out.

— Ray Dalio (@RayDalio) June 20, 2018

And in a LinkedIn post this week,  he explained Chinese-American misunderstandings, disputes, and wars...

A wise Chinese leader who I will keep unnamed told me that it pays to negotiate by finding out what the other party wants most and try to give it to them and to have them reciprocate rather than to find out what will hurt the other party and give that to them because little wars have a tendency to quickly get out of control to become big wars and anyone who has ever gotten into a big war wishes that they hadn’t because they are so horrible. He referred to World War I as the classic example, while noting that it was true for most wars. He hopes that the Chinese-US trade disagreement doesn’t move from a dispute to a war of any sort.

What is moving the disagreement from a dispute to a war is the fact that there are no international rules or international organizations (like WTO) that the disagreeing parties are willing to go to for binding arbitration, so they use carrots and sticks to test each other’s strengths, pushing each other until one backs down. Because Chinese and American leaders have all sorts of carrots and sticks (e.g., economic, military, cyber, etc.) that they can use, they are now determining which ones to use, how far to push the testing, and how far the other will go in inflicting pain and enduring it. The escalations come in the form of tit-for-tats—i.e., a series of escalations that can become progressively larger and more painful, and that take different forms that can extend beyond trade (e.g., to include capital wars). It’s this series of escalations that the wise Chinese leader that I referred to conveyed can easily get beyond anyone’s control.

In response to the US putting on its $50 billion of tariffs, the Chinese responded saying, “the Chinese side doesn’t want to fight a trade war, but facing the shortsightedness of the US side, China has to fight back strongly. We will immediately introduce the same scale and equal taxation measures, and all economic and trade achievements reached by the two sides will be invalidated.” The Trump administration threatened to retaliate to that by adding another $100 billion of tariffs. Right now, these numbers are very small in relation to the US’s nearly $20 trillion economy and China’s economy, which is of comparable size in purchasing power terms, so that the shots that have been fired have been more of symbolic and political significance than of material economic significance. For that reason, it’s too early to get excited about them though, as the previously referred to Chinese leader said, they can escalate to become very serious, so we are all watching intently.

While I and people who are more knowledgeable than I believe the trade-balance issue can be solved so that everyone is better off, the more challenging disputes revolve around how the two countries believe their countries should be run and how that affects their perceptions of what “fair trade” is and how their companies should be supported.

The Fundamental Differences in Values and Approaches

A different wise and high-ranking Chinese official told me the most important cultural difference between Americans and the Chinese arises from the fact that to Americans the individual is of paramount importance while to the Chinese the family is most important.

He explained that these deep-seated differences extend to how Americans and the Chinese run their governments, noting that the two characters that make up the word country in China are “state” and “family.” As a result of these deep-seated differences in views about what is best, leaders in China seek to run the country the way a family head would run a family, from the top down, putting the collective interest ahead of the individual’s self-interest, with each member knowing their place so the system works in a harmonious way. 

In the US, the opposite is true. Individuals are of paramount importance so the country is run from the bottom up, putting the interests of the individual ahead of the interests of the collective, with more open conflict and less respect for authority considered preferable. 

These differences become manifest in all sorts of ways. For example, when a highway needs to go through personal property, individual property rights will more likely stand in the way of that happening in the US than in China, and when leaders are chosen, it’s more from the top down in China while it’s more bottom up in the US. Similarly, leaders in China manage the companies in key industries more from the top down in support of the national interests, whereas the opposite is true in the US, where how companies are managed comes from the bottom up. That’s where the rub lies.

From the US perspective, there are three major criticisms:

1. The Chinese government pursues a wide range of evolving interventionist policies and practices aimed at limiting market access for imported goods, services, and businesses, thus protecting its domestic industries by creating unfair practices.

2. The Chinese offer significant government guidance, resources, and regularly support Chinese industries, most notably including policies designed to extract advanced technologies from foreign companies particularly in sensitive sectors.

3. The Chinese are stealing intellectual property and/or not adequately protecting it—some of which is believed to be state-sponsored and some of which is believed to be outside the government’s direct control.

In other words, the Chinese government is helping its companies compete in ways that the US doesn’t do and doesn’t like, and it is making plans to do that (e.g., the China 2025 plan) while the US doesn’t make such plans and objects to China making them. While these different approaches exist in most areas, they are especially important in technology because both countries know that the country that is technologically strongest will be strongest in most other ways. While some of these differences can be negotiated to both countries’ mutual satisfactions, the most core ones that are extensions of what each country deeply believes is best can’t be negotiated away.

China Is Now a Competitor and Will Soon Will Be Much Stronger Than the US

While the trade-balance issue is important, the most important questions are a) how will these countries deal with each other given their different perspectives and b) which system will work best. Most likely (and hopefully) the trade dispute we are seeing won’t lead to a disruptive war so that both countries will evolve to very different places based on how effective their approaches are. That will have huge effects on their individual well-beings as well as their relative powers. For that reason, it is most important for the leaders of these countries to focus on what they need to do to get their own countries to do well.

In considering the question of how well these two different approaches will work, it’s important to recognize that both “communism” in China and “capitalism” in the US are now very different than they were 30 years ago and, as a result, they’re delivering very different results to their populations. It would be a mistake to think that China is a communist country that works similar to the way communism has classically worked around the world or in China 30 years ago—i.e., very ineffectively. Instead think of what’s happening in China as being “state capitalism,” in which strategically important companies are being supported to become very competitive while the economy has a lot of entrepreneurship and the markets have quite a lot of freedom. Though different, China is being run much more like Singapore has been run for the last 30 years than how China was run 30 years ago or than how “communist” countries have classically being run. Think of it as being capitalism with the Chinese cultural characteristics previously explained. In comparison to the US, it’s more from the top down with the paramount goal to have competent decision makers put into decision-making roles to determine what’s best for the whole and to be held accountable for accomplishing those things.

There is no doubt that China’s culture/approach has worked remarkably well and is rapidly getting better. When I first went there in 1984, I gave heads of companies $10 calculators, which they thought were amazing, and people in Beijing and Shanghai lived in what most people would consider slums without hot running water, adequate heat, and basic appliances like washing machines and TVs. Now it is as or more advanced than the US in many ways, and improving faster. There should be no doubt that the Chinese culture/system has been very effective. The chart below shows what has happened and what we expect will happen based on our leading indicators of what make countries succeed and fail (see "Why countries succeed and Fail; Productivity and Structural Reforms").

While China is a competitor and will soon be significantly larger than the US, and while such rivalries in the form of the Thucydides Trap (https://bit.ly/2th3Qtm) are dangerous, it is very doubtful that the capacities of either of these countries to inflict immeasurable harm on the other will end for a very long time frame. For these reasons, we hope and expect that rationale heads will prevail and tit-for-tat escalations won’t accelerate to produce horrible wars.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 6:09 pm

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has offered yet another update on the ongoing negotiations with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team over the terms of a possible presidential interview, according to the Washington Post. And Mueller likely won't be happy. A final decision on whether Trump will assent to an interview won't be made until mid- or late-July, Giuliani said. Although, at this point, it sometimes seems like Giuliani is just taunting and stalling, and that Trump has already decided to forgo an interview and dare Mueller to try issuing a presidential subpoena. After all, Giuliani said last week that a decision would arrive by the end of this month.

"I’m advising him to stay put, to hold our horses a little," Giuliani told The Washington Post in an interview, about an hour after Giuliani said he spoke with Trump. "I doubt August, and I doubt too far into July. But I do think things have changed."

"I’d like to get it done, our part over to them by July 4," he said, but added that developments at the Justice Department could lead him to advise the president to hold off.

Of course, Giuliani and Trump obviously feel that the Inspector General's report, which highlighted extreme anti-Trump political bias within the ranks of the FBI - though it ultimately exonerated the DOJ and the bureau's senior leadership and opted not to impugn the Mueller probe - has bought the president some time. Last week, Giuliani said he'd use the report to undermine the special counsel's probe. Giuliani added that, if talks collapse in the coming weeks, he's unsure whether Mueller would try to subpoena the president, which would likely trigger a legal battle that would rise all the way to the Supreme Court.

GIuliani

Giuliani denied that Mueller was pressing Trump's team to make a decision.

"We just don’t know," Giuliani said. "They have an argument for it and against it. It could blow up in their face and they’d have to just file a report. At this point, they’re not pressing us."

Mueller has reportedly promised that, if the president agrees to a sit-down interview, he could finish a report on whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election within 90 days.

Then again, Giuliani has also scoffed at the suggestion that he'd let Trump sit down with Mueller.

"Do I look crazy?" Giuliani responded. "So far, you know, I still have all my senses, and I’m a heck of a lawyer. And I get drummed out of the profession if I did. I mean, the reality is, you don’t put your client in a kangaroo court."

We imagine we'll hear more from Giuliani next week, when he announces yet another delay on Trump's long-awaited decision on whether to meet Mueller face-to-face.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 5:56 pm

Just as Trump is set to concede in his crackdown on immigrant parents separated from children at the border by signing a "pre-emptive" executive order at any moment keeping illegal immigrant families together, Europe is about to crackdown on the migrant wave unleashed by Angela Merkel (and her various unknown progressive advisors, which some have speculated includes George Soros' Open Society) in 2015 with Germany's "Open Door" policy, and on Sunday countries including France, Germany, Italy, Austria and other EU states will meet to try to end a deadlock on migration policy which has brought to a head bitter political divisions in the bloc, and has resulted in Brexit in the UK, a wave of nationalist governments in Central and Eastern Europe, and the first openly populist government in Italy in decades.

Actually, scratch that: according to Reuters we already know what will be decided - a full-blown crackdown on migration, just in time to save Angela Merkel's job who was recently handed a 2 week ultimatum to resolve Germany immigration troubles by her coalition partner, the CSU.

  • EU LEADERS TO AGREE ON SUNDAY IT IS "CRUCIAL TO FURTHER REDUCE ILLEGAL MIGRATION TO EUROPE AS WELL AS SECONDARY MOVEMENTS" INSIDE EU - DRAFT STATEMENT

The official purpose of Sunday's meeting, Reuters writes, is to explore how to prevent migrants from moving around the European Union after claiming asylum in one of the Mediterranean states of arrival, although those states now exclude Italy, which following the League/5-Star government has made it clear it will no longer accept immigrants.

Such secondary movements are illegal under EU law but have been widespread since immigration to Europe peaked in 2015, when more than a million refugees and migrants arrived from the Middle East and Africa. More importantly, the bloc has since been bitterly at odds over how to share out the responsibility of taking care of them.

As a result, Sunday’s meeting will seek to avert a possible clash on the issue at a June 28-29 EU summit, where leaders will try to agree a joint migration policy.

Some states, such as Austria, are already bracing for the worse, and in advance of failing to reach common ground, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he would push on Sunday for rapid action on migration, and suggested Austria might go it alone on creating asylum centres outside the European Union if the deadlock continued for months.

Of course, if there is indeed no deal by June 29, Merkel's government could no longer exist come July 1: Horst Seehofer, CSU leader and Germany’s interior minister, is one of the most outspoken voices behind the migration initiative; the German wants to turn away migrants who have already registered in other EU states, even as Merkel opposes any unilateral move to reverse her 2015 open-door policy and undermine her authority.

That, however, is no longer an option:

"We can no longer look on as this refugee tourism across Europe happens," Bavaria’s CSU interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

* * *

Ironically, Europe's crackdown against illegal immigrants comes at a time of international outcry over the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border.

The reason why is clear: just like in the US, immigration is increasingly shaping politics in most European countries, even the rich one. The fact that asylum applications to OECD countries fell 25% in 2017 from a record 1.64 million a year earlier and applications to EU member states nearly halved, has not helped, especially since the bulk of Europe's refugees recipients are also its poorest states.

Ironically, it is in ground zero of Europe's progressive, liberal elite, as well as EU’s wealthiest economy, that migration is threatening to wreck German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s relationship with her CDU’s Bavarian sister party, part of her coalition.

The virtue signalling literally reached the very top earlier today, when Pope Francis told Reuters in an interview that populists were “creating psychosis” on the issue of immigration, while aging societies like Europe faced “a great demographic winter” and needed more immigrants. Without immigration, Europe “will become empty”, he said, ignoring the fact that the bulk of terrorist attacks and rising crimes have been attributed largely to said migrants.

The European Union is also bitterly divided. It has struggled to reform its internal asylum rules, which broke down in 2015, and has instead tried to tighten its borders and prevent new arrivals. To that end, it has given aid and money to countries including Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Niger.

Meanwhile, Europe's hypocrisy has been on full display as eastern EU states led by Poland and Hungary were forced, but now refuse to host new arrivals to ease the burden on coastal Italy and Greece while sparing the rich countries like Germany, where most migrants want to go.

* * *

The EU summit’s draft joint statement, seen by Reuters, called for more work to combat secondary movements. It also proposed looking into creating “regional disembarkation platforms” outside of the EU where asylum requests would be assessed before claimants get to Europe.

In typical fashion, the always outspoken Hungarian regime meanwhile approved a package of bills that criminalizes some help given to illegal immigrants, defying the EU and human rights groups who have called the measure arbitrary and vague.

And speaking of minors at the border, Denmark and Norway said they were working on creating a centre in Kabul where unaccompanied Afghan minors who have been denied asylum can be sent back, even though the U.N.'s Children’s Fund UNICEF said minors should not be returned to Afghanistan as security had worsened there.

Shockingly, there has been no mass media outrage - or even mention - of the Scandinavian countries' decision.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 5:40 pm

Via Valuewalk.com,

This is a good lesson in cognitive dissonace in investing and what not to do...you must watch this.

Despite CEO Holmes admission that Theranos "tech" was a fraud  and restating years of earnings, and having now been indicted on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Venture Capital 'guru' Tim Draper stuck to his mantra of defending Theranos and accusing journalists of destroying the company.

Billionaire investor and early Theranos backer Tim Draper discusses supporting Elizabeth Holmes after her fraud charges, how more journalists will try to take down CEOs to get rich, and why he’s not soured on investing in young, visionary startup founders.

Tim Draper Defends Theranos Founder As 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty'

Billionaire investor and early Theranos backer @TimDraper discusses supporting Elizabeth Holmes after her fraud charges, how more journalists will try to take down CEOs to get rich, and why he's not soured on investing in young, visionary startup founders. #CheddarLIVE pic.twitter.com/fxXGJEgFZU

— Cheddar (@cheddar) June 19, 2018

Full Transcript

It's really interesting. Every really great company does get a major challenge from its competitors or from legal system or from government or from press.

They get these challenges and some companies survive those challenges and become great companies in the future and some companies are are so burdened by those challenges that they they are forced to sort of fail.

And and I've seen it in any different industry. I mean from Napster being attacked by the music industry to Uber the CEO of Uber being attacked by the taxis too fast for being attacked by the car companies sky by the long distance carriers. We've had a lot of great successes a lot of great failures too.

Do you still stand by Elizabeth Holmes despite the indictment? ...[cut off]

I've always believed innocent innocent until proven guilty. And and she has. She is an entrepreneur. She. Her mission was to change health care as we know it to make it easier system.

And she was doing really good work and then she got the attack and the attack came so soon that she wasn't I believe she wasn't prepared for it.

So you've said over the last couple of months rather consistently that she was the victim of a media instigated witch giant. You've been dismissive of the Wall Street Journal and John Kerryrou - the investigative reporter that delved into that story... [cut off]

Yeah, that guy made a lot of money off of this.

Well now we've got a government who said Friday that it wasn't...  [cut off]

Now, journalists are looking at this and going "hey all I have to do is take down Zuckerberg and then I guess I got a movie deal and I did something or whatever."

OK. So it's one thing to put that on the media. But now we have the government saying that it's not just Elizabeth Holmes that's all of Theranos was effectively one big scam. So do you stand by what you're saying. Do you believe that the government is wrong.

Well it's ridiculous. And I don't think the government saying anything the Government's looking for the facts and they're going to come up with a fact. And the reason they're looking for the facts is the media created such a strong frenzy that they had to look at it. I mean if I'm the government and the media has created this frenzy I'm going to have to look into it. And so I think they're going to.

You were an early investor and there now as you have been somewhat of a mentor to Elizabeth Holmes. She is reportedly raising money for a new start up. Would you would you back her next project?

I don't know. I haven't looked at it really. I mean I'm we've moved on. We're looking for whatever the next great thing is and I haven't seen that so ahh, don't know.

Have you spoken with Holmes since the charges?

Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean I talk to her periodically. I think she's I feel for her she's really you know she came in you know Pollyannish going in there saying with great optimism how she was going to change healthcare as we know it. And I think she has... but maybe not with her company...

I know the company is going to be better this year and then we can rally all the time that's our investments. So you know I'm just you know I talked with her just to be friendly.

We see that in Silicon Valley all the time having a visionary founder is not always on par with being a good leader and a good CEO. Does what happened with and has changed the way you do due diligence?

Oh I hope it doesn't. I hope that I hope I continue to back really great entrepreneurs with really ambitious aspirational ideas and things where they're really going to try to change things. I hope I'm not tarnished and I don't think I am still am looking for those those changes that are that are going to cure cancer and help world hunger and get us off the planet and get us flying around without a lot of energy on the planet. I mean all those communicating around the planet I'm interested in all those things.

And and I will continue to back that or and hopefully I think health care is really in for a really interesting transformation... It may be blockchain-related, but yeah, I think I've still got it.

"Know when to fold 'em... and walk away" Tim...

Orange is the new black turtleneck pic.twitter.com/57HVb5XXan

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 15, 2018
Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 5:31 pm

A quick glance at the stock market - particularly big-tech - and once can quickly discern that "something's up." Every dip is met by a wall of buying, ramping the market ever higher, and ever more ignorant of the increasingly uncertain world around it.

Why? Simple... it's a massive, unprecedented short-squeeze...

The "most shorted" stocks in America are up 20% in the last two months, almost incessantly.

While the chart above is ridiculous enough, it turns out that this is actually accelerating and is now the great short-squeeze in the history of the data...

The 'Relative Strength Index' of the "most shorted" stocks has never been higher and each time it has reached this level, stocks have fallen hard.

But as a reminder - amid all of this - The Dow is down for the 7th day in a row, its longest losing streak in 18 months.

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 5:22 pm

No matter where you look in Emerging Markets, there's blood on the streets. And while the sell-side seems sure that this is the next dip to buy, or falling knife to catch, markets remain unimpressed and judging by the massive sale in EM Debt today... so is at least one other whale.

The VanEck Vectors J.P. Morgan EM Local Currency Bond ETF, or EMLC, absorbed a single, massive block sale of almost 19 million shares, worth $321 million, at 10:28 a.m. in New York Wednesday.

Was it a massive long cover from bets earlier in the month?

The trade helped push its daily volume to a record $399 million as of 12:21 p.m., about 13 times the average daily turnover during the past three years.

This follows 42 days straight of no inflows in EM equity ETF...

This is far from over - especially for EM stocks...

How many more funds are about to puke their 'no brainer' longs?
Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 5:09 pm

James Comey hit back at Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state sniped at him over a Justice Department inspector general report which revealed that the former FBI director used a private email address to conduct official business - while his FBI was investigating Hillary for her own use of private systems. 

But my emails. https://t.co/G7TIWDEG0p

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 14, 2018

In an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit, Comey refused to apologize to Clinton - stressing the difference between his personal use of email for unclassified information vs. her use, which involved classified information. 

“No. And here’s why," Comey said when asked if he would apologize. "I don’t want to criticize her, but it shows me that even at this late date, she doesn’t understand what the investigation in her case was about.

“It was not about her use of a personal email system, and she didn’t get that during the investigation, because she used to say ‘Colin Powell when he was secretary of state used AOL,’ that was not what it was about,” Comey explained. “It was about communicating about classified topics on that system when those topics have to be done on a classified system.

Comey defended his use of personal email - saying he only used it for things like sending himself drafts of speeches.

“What I would do, is when I had to write speeches—I would write my own speeches—I would type them at home and then gmail them into my government account,” Comey said. “Or, if I still had to work on the draft, I would send it home so I could work on it on my laptop.”

I was not talking about anything remotely classified and the inspector general didn’t say that as well,” Comey said. “But I get why the tweet, and I get why people are focused on it, but it’s a totally different thing.”

The former FBI Director also touched on the text messages uncovered between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page, who were having an extramarital affair together and harbored extreme anti-Trump / pro-Clinton bias.

"We archive the texts, so maybe it's a sign we don't have the brightest people working at our organization," joked Comey, adding "I never saw any indication of bias and Peter Strozk did the first draft of my letter to Congress on October 28th that Hillary Clinton blames for her losing the election, so how exactly is he trying to get Donald Trump?"

"I don't see any evidence of a conspiracy, if the president and his allies want to claim a conspiracy they have to encompass all the data, I don't see how you could approach this and conclude we were on Hillary Clinton's side or on Donald Trump's side and I never saw any indication from those two people," he said.

Comey initially responded to the Inspector General's report in a New York Times op-ed last week, the day the report came out. He was sure to point out that the IG report "found no evidence that bias or improper motivation affected the investigation," and said that "in hindsight I think we chose the course most consistent with institutional values."

Whatever those are...

 

 

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 4:58 pm

Authored by Commie Bishop via Campus Reform,

The West Point graduate who promoted communism in social media posts last year has officially been discharged from the U.S. Army.

According to Fox News, Spenser Rapone’s resignation was accepted Monday, and he will be leaving the military with an other-than-honorable discharge.

Rapone’s social media posts, including a picture of him wearing a Che Guevara shirt under his military attire, sparked outrage last year, with officials blasting the West Point graduate for his radical political activism.

"The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy's motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values,” the military academy said in a statement at the time.

“Second Lieutenant Rapone's actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army.

As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct, and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform,” West Point continued.

“Second Lieutenant Rapone's chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter. The academy is prepared to assist the officer's chain of command as required.”

According to The Daily Caller, former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, Jason Altmire, who nominated Rapone for the elite military institution, also disavowed the former cadet’s actions, calling them “abhorrent.”

“While I strongly support the rights of American citizens to express their opinions, the actions of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone are abhorrent and appear to be in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in addition to being inconsistent with the values of the United States Military Academy,” the former lawmaker said last year.

“I have no doubt that the U.S. Army will take appropriate action.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the decision to discharge the West Point graduate, noting that Rapone’s pictures suggest that he supported U.S. enemies.

“While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States,” Rubio said, as reported by Fox News.

“I’m glad to see that they have given him an ‘other-than-honorable’ discharge.”

According to the news network, Rapone said that he “knew there could be repercussions,” to his actions and that his “military career is dead in the water.” 

“On the other hand, many people reached out and showed me support,” he said.

“There are a lot of veterans both active duty and not that feel like I do.”

"I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement," Rapone added.

Rapone also posted a picture on Twitter Monday showing him giving the middle finger to the sign outside Fort Drum, along with the caption, “One final salute.”

One final salute #FTA pic.twitter.com/JdyOYnEejJ

— Rudi (Dutschke) Can’t Fail (@punkproletarian) June 18, 2018
Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 4:33 pm

Update 2: President Trump appears to have confirmed his path forward with regard immigration. Per a White House pool spray, Trump says he is postponing the Congressional picnic and instead will be signing something "preemptive" on immigration later today "to keep families together," adding that he needs Democrat support.

"I'll be doing something that's somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I'm sure."

And of course, he couldn't resist a tweet-shot across the Left's bow by retweeting this...

Once the mid terms are over, liberals won’t talk about detained or separated illegal immigrant children until 2020. #itsallpolitics

— Dr.Darrell Scott (@PastorDScott) June 19, 2018

*  *  *

Update 1: AP confirms, reporting that Homeland Security secretary is drafting order to end family separation at border; however it is unclear if Trump will sign it. The executive action would follow days of escalating calls from both sides of the political divide for Trump, or Congress, to end the controversial family separation policy.

As Fox adds, the action under consideration would allow children to stay in detention with parents for an extended period of time. This comes as congressional Republicans scramble to draft legislation to address the same issue, but face challenges mustering the votes. The separations are the result of the administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which aims to prosecute all illegal border crossers. But because of a 1997 order and related decisions, children cannot be detained for longer than 20 days with the adults.

Sources told Fox News that such an executive action by Trump could be seen to run afoul of the 1997 order and would likely draw a lawsuit. But the White House wants to try to take steps to uphold the enforcement of the law, while at the same time lessening the trauma of children being separated from their parents.

Rep. Peter King of New York became the latest Republican to join the chorus on Wednesday when he called on Trump to suspend the family separation policy if House immigration legislation does not pass. Speaking on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” King said that while he agrees with the president’s goals in regards to immigration, the current policy of separating migrant children from parents charged with entering the country illegally is “really terrible for families.”

Republicans in both the House and Senate are struggling to shield the party's lawmakers from the public outcry over images of children taken from migrant parents and held in cages at the border. But they are running up against Trump's shifting views on specifics and his determination, according to advisers, not to look soft on his signature immigration issue, the border wall.

“The Democrats do not have a strong policy,” King said on Fox News. “But at the same time we are playing into their hands by allowing this to happen.”

 

* * *

Trump may be about to fold to the non-stop media barrage over the separation of immigrant parents and their children at the border, a process started by Trump's predecessor.

According to a tweet by Fox News White House correspondent Kevin Corke, the Trump administration "is today looking at some sort of executive action" that will allow children of those who illegally came to the U.S. to stay with parents through the entire adjudication process.

.@foxnews has learned per @johnrobertsFox that the @WhiteHouse is today looking at some sort of executive action that would allow the children of people who cross the border illegally to stay with their parents through the entire adjutication process. #breaking

— Kevin Corke (@kevincorke) June 20, 2018

A separate unconfirmed report claims that Rudy Giuliani is "set to appear on Fox News to announce some sort of 'executive action' to stop the family separations at the border."

Evidently @RudyGiuliani is about to appear on @FoxNews to announce some sort of 'executive action' to stop the family separations at the border. Is it too early for a drinking game or can I take a shot every time Rudy says "Obama"? #ImmigrantChildren

— Steve Friess (@SteveFriess) June 20, 2018

It is unclear if, once Trump folds on the immigrant fiasco, whether the media will redirect its attention to the OIG report which it has been desperately trying to avoid, even though Peter Strzok is doing everything in his power to keep that narrative on the front pages. 

Author: Tyler Durden
Posted: June 20, 2018, 4:12 pm
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Elite Forex Blog - Market Research & Analysis

Summary

The world forgot about the tZERO ICO.
tZERO recently announced a partnership with BOX Digital Markets.
They raised $250M, reaching their goal (according to sources).
There is nothing stopping tZERO and OSTK from a 10x or 20x return.
The crypto market has cooled down, with some sites indicating that the market is down to $268 billion market cap (total, including all coins). There is no debate that Bitcoin has failed to meet the hopes of many (that it would go to $100,000 or higher) - it has failed. The hopers and the HOLDers are still hoping and HOLDing, while major enterprise grade projects are taking shape in the crypto community, the most prominent and significant being the tZERO token trading platform, and we will explain why here.
First let's understand why this recent news is significant:

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SEEKING ALPHA

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Posted: June 19, 2018, 5:50 pm
We've been closely watching the Crypto Currency Market if you can call it that, with all the fake data, fraud, and related problems.  One thing stands out - it's not so different than FX, commodities, futures, or stocks.  Market dynamics are market dynamics.  And as most readers of this fine site will already know - the majority of traders lose.  There's been analysis done on this, we all know how this ends.  A few early investors make a bundle and thousands or millions even are left holding the bag.  From one perspective, a bubble is much like a ponzi scheme.  In MLM, there are a few who get rich - the founders.  
Unless you are the founder - how do you know which Crypto is going to be the next Bitcoin?  You really don't.  You have no clue.  You can go to Korea and do all the due diligence you want, the fact remains that no one can see the future and even a top analyst can be wrong at times.  
Quant traders have a similar doctrine they all share - they are smart enough to know how stupid they are.  They know their own flaws and they submit to a higher power- that is Artificial Intelligence.
Computing power is now so massive that it is possible that anyone can from their own home office create an intelligent trading system that does well.  Of course, as with the laws of market dynamics, it's also possible to create a robot which is worth exactly zero - a big pile of crap.  When a quant makes an algorithm it's either priceless or worthless.  If it works, he has effectively created a money making machine.  If it doesn't work, there isn't any value to anyone not even academics.
So how do you know what method works, how to build a working bot or buy one?  There are obvious conflicts of interest in those who sell bots.  The internet has been dominated by good marketeers, while profitable quants mostly keep their strategies to themselves.  Selling a product, and trading a robot, are really 2 different skills.
Crypto so far has proven the same as most markets: impossible to trade.  Just look at this chart and tell me where you would have entered and exited without the foreknowledge of what is actually going to happen:

While many are kicking themselves for not buying and holding, I can tell you as a trader and I speak for many in the room that there is no way I would have had the patience to sit on a hugely profitable position for 3 years while the price goes parabolic.  
That's why quants develop and trade algorithms - picking entries and exits can prove to be brain-destroying.  There are dangers and risks with robots too of course, but they are of a different nature.
Choose your bot @ www.fxbot.market   ANNOUNCEMENT:  ROBOTS WANTED!  List your robot for free - connect to Handy the trade copy bot and let fxbot.market do all the work for you.

Posted: June 18, 2018, 11:36 pm
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies flash-crashed Saturday night, one day after the US Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) sent subpoenas four cryptocurrency exchanges in an ongoing probe into bitcoin manipulation that began in late July - following the launch of bitcoin futures on the CME, according to the Wall Street Journal
CME’s bitcoin futures derive their final value from prices at four bitcoin exchangesBitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and KrakenManipulative trading in those markets could skew the price of bitcoin futures that the government directly regulates.
In delay reaction, Bitcoin fell as much as $433 or 5.6% in Saturday night trading, with some noting that the flash crash happened shortly after a 90th ranked crypto exchange, Coinrail, had suffered a "cyber intrusion", and was likely the more relevant catalyst for the crypto price drop.
While major Cryptocurrencies were down from 4.5 - 5.5%, Bitcoin Cash dropped over 8.4%. 
The CTFC subpoenas were issued after several of the exchanges refused to voluntarily share trading data with the CME after being asked last December. Of note, the CFTC regulates the CTC. 
According to the WSJ, the CME, which launched bitcoin futures in December, asked the four exchanges to share reams of trading data after its first contract settled in January, people familiar with the matter said. But several of the exchanges declined to comply, arguing the request was intrusive. The exchanges ultimately provided some data, but only after CME limited its request to a few hours of activity, instead of a full day, and restricted to a few market participants, the people added.
What is curious, is that if there was indeed manipulation since the launch of bitcoin futures, it was to the downside, as the price of cryptos peaked around the time the crypto futures were launched, and are down well over 50% in the 6 months since.
Coinbase in particular has been under the watch government regulators. On February 23, Coinbase sent an official notice to around 13,000 customers to notify them they were legally required to turn over their information to the IRS
The IRS had initially asked Coinbase in July 2017 to hand over even more detailed information on every one of its then over 500,000 users in an attempt catch those cheating on their taxes. However, another court order in Nov. 2017 reduced this number to around 14,000 “high-transacting” users, which the platform now reports as 13,000, in what Coinbase calls a “partial, but still significant, victory for Coinbase and its customers.”
Coinbase told the around 13,000 affected customers that the company would be providing their taxpayer ID, name, birth date, address, and historical transaction records from 2013-2015 to the IRS within 21 days. Coinbase’s letter to these customers encourages them “to seek legal advice from an attorney promptly” if they have any questions. Their website also states that concerns may also be addressed on Coinbase’s Taxes FAQ. The ongoing legal battle between Coinbase and the US government dates back to November, 2016, when the IRS filed a “John Doe summons” in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
On Feb. 13, personal finance service Credit Karma released data showing that only 0.04 percent of their customers had reported cryptocurrencies on their federal tax returns. 
And in April, former New York Attorney General, Eric "we could rarely have sex without him beating me" Schneiderman, launched a probe of 13 major cryptocurrency exchanges according to the Wall Street Journal - claiming that investors dealing in the fast-growing markets often don’t have the basic facts needed to protect themselves.
Former AG Schneiderman’s office said the program, called Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative,  is part of its responsibility to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial markets, and its goal is to ensure that investors can have a better understanding of the risks and protections afforded them on these sites.
CFTC Commissioner: Crypto is a "modern miracle"
While the CFTC, IRS and New York Attorney General's office are all cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges, it seems to all be part of the government's embrace of virtual currencies.  Last week CFTC Commissioner Rostin Benham called cryptocurrencies a "modern miracleat the Blockchain For Impact Summit held at the UN in New York last week. 
But virtual currencies may – will – become part of the economic practices of any country, anywhere.  Let me repeat that:  these currencies are not going away and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet.  Some places, small economies, may become dependent on virtual assets for survival.  And, these currencies will be outside traditional monetary intermediaries, like government, banks, investors, ministries, or international organizations.
We are witnessing a technological revolution.  Perhaps we are witnessing a modern miracle. -Rostin Benham
Rostin hinted at the upcoming legal action against the exchanges during his speech:
Under the CEA and Commission regulations and related guidance, exchanges have the responsibility to ensure that their Bitcoin futures products and their cash-settlement process are not readily susceptible to manipulation and the entity has sufficient capital to protect itself.  The CFTC has the authority to ensure compliance. In addition, the CFTC has legal authority over virtual currency derivatives in support of anti-fraud and manipulation including enforcement authority in the underlying markets.

Meanwhile, the official Bitcoin website removed references to Coinbase, Blockchain.com and Bitpay, according to Crypto News - only one of which, Coinbase, was subpoenaed. 
http://Bitcoin.org  just removed/censored the 2 largest US Bitcoin companies (@BitPay Payment processing and @coinbase Bitcoin Exchange). It’s a good move: Bitcoin Core is obviously no longer Bitcoin, and should ideally be removed from both @BitPay and @coinbase too.

The CFTC officially recognized bitcoin as a commodity in September of 2015 when it went after Coinflip for operating a platform for trading bitcoin options without the proper authorization. Since the agency effectively asserted its dominance over the bitcoin market with that decision, this is the first time it has given its blessing to an bitcoin options trading platform. Expect a burst of institutional trading activity to follow - especially since they approved institutional options trading in July
This post sponsored by Total Cryptos @ www.totalcryptos.com  
Posted: June 10, 2018, 8:13 pm
The Justice Department has opened a criminal probe into whether traders are manipulating the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, dramatically ratcheting up U.S. scrutiny of red-hot markets that critics say are rife with misconduct, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The investigation is focused on illegal practices that can influence prices -- such as spoofing, or flooding the market with fake orders to trick other traders into buying or selling, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the review is private. Federal prosecutors are working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the people said.
Authorities worry that virtual currencies are susceptible to fraud for multiple reasons: skepticism that all exchanges are actively pursuing cheaters, wild price swings that could make it easy to push valuations around and a lack of regulations like the ones that govern stocks and other assets.
Bitcoin extended its Thursday declines after Bloomberg News reported the investigation, and was down 3 percent to $7,409 as of 9:32 a.m. London time. It’s down more than 20 percent since a May 4 peak.
Such concerns have prompted China to ban cryptocurrency exchanges and nations including Japan and the Philippines to regulate them, contributing to a slump that has sent Bitcoin below $8,000 this year. Still, digital coins continue to be a global investment craze, drawing legions of loyalists to industry conferences, generating celebrity endorsements and increasingly attracting the attention of Wall Street.

Traders Colluding?

The illicit tactics that the Justice Department is looking into include spoofing and wash trading -- forms of cheating that regulators have spent years trying to root out of futures and equities markets, the people said. In spoofing, a trader submits a spate of orders and then cancels them once prices move in a desired direction. Wash trades involve a cheater trading with herself to give a false impression of market demand that lures other to dive in too. Coins prosecutors are examining include Bitcoin and Ether, the people said.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment and CFTC officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The investigation, which the people said is in its early stages, is the U.S.’s latest effort to crack down on an industry that was initially embraced by those who were distrustful of banks and government control over monetary policy.
But Bitcoin’s meteoric rise -- it surged to almost $20,000 in 2017 after starting the year below $1,000 -- has been a lure for mom-and-pop investors. That’s prompted regulators to grow concerned that people are jumping into cryptocurrencies without knowing the risks. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened dozens of investigations into initial coin offerings, in which companies sell digital tokens that can be redeemed for goods and services, due to suspicions that many are scams.
Cryptocurrency trading is fragmented on dozens of platforms across the globe, and many aren’t registered with the CFTC or SEC. As a derivatives watchdog, the CFTC doesn’t regulate what’s known as the spot market for digital tokens -- which is the trading of actual coins rather than futures linked to them. But if the agency finds fraud in spot markets, it does have authority to impose sanctions.

Fraud Target

The limited oversight of crypto trading makes it a target for crooks, said John Griffin, a University of Texas finance professor who has studied manipulation, including in digital-coin markets.
“There’s very little monitoring of manipulative trading, spoofing and wash trading,” Griffin said. “It would be easy to spoof this market.”
Signs are emerging that some crypto exchanges realize the industry’s growth could be constrained if large swaths of investors conclude that trading platforms have a “buyer beware” approach to oversight.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
Photographer: David Paul Morris
The Winklevoss twins, who are known for getting rich off Facebook Inc., hired Nasdaq Inc. last month to conduct surveillance of digital coins trading on their exchange, Gemini Trust Co. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have also urged trading platforms to band together to form a group that would serve as a self regulator for the industry.
Some market participants have alleged that crypto manipulation is rampant. Last year, a blogger flagged the actions of “Spoofy,” a nickname for a trader or group of traders that have allegedly placed $1 million orders without executing them.


Posted: May 24, 2018, 12:40 pm
(Bloc10 - 5/3/2018) - Bloc10, a Blockchain FinTech development and management company, has released a free software tool for Windows and Mac "Blockpad" get it free at www.blockpad.io Blockpad is a private encrypted personal ledger, notepad, password manager, secure browser to access exchanges, one time pad, and more. Blockpad is an ultra-secure environment by design, using multiple layers of security based on AES-256, a Cryptographic technology so secure, the NSA has stated it is sufficient to keep TOP SECRET information secure: The design and strength of all key lengths of the AES algorithm (i.e., 128, 192 and 256) are sufficient to protect classified information up to the SECRET level. TOP SECRET information will require use of either the 192 or 256 key lengths. The implementation of AES in products intended to protect national security systems and/or information must be reviewed and certified by NSA prior to their acquisition and use.[15] Blockpad is the Notepad for Crypto Traders, Blockchain Developers, Coders, Intelligence Operatives, Crypto Investors, et. al. Blockpad is a multi-use encrypted notepad secured with AES-256 and 2FA. Main features include code highlighting notepad for code writing, task list, document creation; keeping account usernames and passwords to Crypto related accounts securely in one place; and a Coin Records personal encrypted ledger to record coin transactions in an independently secured and controlled system. All the content in Blockpad is encrypted in a .bloc file accessible only with user credentials and 2FA. Blockpad is freeware with a paid option; Blockpad Premium is $1.99/month and offers more features, no ads, encrypted cloud backup of your .bloc file, premium skins, and an online recovery system. With security in mind, Blockpad can help you stay organized by keeping track of coin transactions, passwords, account credentials, and more. Blockpad is an application written in QT by Bloc10, a software and technology development company. It is available for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. With Blockpad's secure account tab, you can save all your passwords in one encrypted place. Unlike other password applicaitons, Blockpad is encrypted with AES and protected by 2FA which you can setup as complex as you'd like. There is even a timer that will lock the application after x minutes in case your curious roomate or office worker is snooping around your desk.  get it free at www.blockpad.io Perhaps one of the most useful writing applications and the most ubiquitous of the Windows generation has been Notepad++. It has a ridiculous amount of features, is useful in many ways, and is free. It will open files Windows notepad doesn't, such as large files that can cause memory issues in Windows notepad, and types of binary files with no extension. Basically Notepad++ is the most basic programming tool as it allows the creation and manipulation of simple text files. Programming environments such as Microsoft Visual Studio and other IDE are enhanced 'cockpit' environments but at the end of the day for programming all you need is a notepad and a compiler. Notepad++ is a limitless text editor and stops short of offering only compiling tools (and this is a logical and rational design decision as it remains in its own exclusive domain).  get it free at www.blockpad.io Enter Bitcoin and Blockchain in the Fall of 2017 when everything is moving 'on-chain' and suddenly people are opening Crypto trading accounts at record paces. As with many new paradigms, the hype and excitement ran far infront of development; few useable robust tools exist for Blockchain development. Crypto trading is another area where there is more interest than there is robust tools to support it. "Exchanges" often fail in simple functions like 2FA, account reporting, logging in, money transfers, and it's mostly web based. Users who are not programmers or technical people are left only to trust friends who are. Unlike in traditional banking where everything is made for 'moms and dads' - in the Crypto world, not. So we developed Blockpad, it's a multi-use Notepad tool, we hope it is the Notepad++ of Crypto.  get it free at www.blockpad.io It's free, it's safe, and it's fun! Blockpad has multiple uses:
  • As a secure notepad, for taking notes, or for programming Solidity, or your website.
  • As a secure private ledger, for recording your Crypto transactions.
  • As a store of account usernames and passwords, including 2FA info.
Everything is encrypted, you can't open Blockpad without creating an Encrypted .block file using AES. We digitally signed it so Windows should recognize it. Now we're releasing the Beta version and will work on a cloud backup solution and premium version. Stay tuned in for more updates by joining Bloc10 for free. Get bloc.  get it free at www.blockpad.io blockpad
Posted: May 4, 2018, 12:57 pm
Billionaire Peter Thiel’s venture-capital firm is investing a startup designed to optimize block trading for major cryptocurrency market participants.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Founders Fund is among the investors in the early-stage startup, called Tagomi Systems Inc., people familiar with the situation said.
Thiel's investment comes after it was revealed that Founders Fund itself has already made a "monster bet" on bitcoin.
It also confirms Thiel's bullish view on bitcoin reported in October last year when the billionaire investor argued that critics of bitcoin were "underestimating" the cryptocurrency.
“If bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold and it has a great potential left and it’s a very different kind of thing from what people in Silicon Valley focus on—companies, not algorithms not protocols, but this might be maybe one exception that is very underestimated,” the Silicon Valley elite said.
And, in March, he said there will ultimately be only one digital equivalent to gold, and bitcoin, as the "biggest" cryptocurrency, will triumph.
The question with something like bitcoin is whether it can become a store of value. And the thing it would replace is something like gold. The analogy is it's like bars of gold in a vault that never move and you get it and it's a hedge of sorts against the whole world falling apart."
"The objections that people have to bitcoin are also objections to gold. It's this weird currency that's not backed by any government. Same thing is true of gold. It's not clear what the intrinsic value of bitcoin is. Same thing is true of gold. It may well be a bubble, but - and most bubbles are unstable and end - one of my friends has this line that 'money is the bubble that never pops', so if it is a bubble, then it is money."
"If everybody decided that a $100 bill was worthless then you wouldn't want to have a $100 bill."
According to The Wall Street Journal, the problem that the new startup aims to solve stems from a fragmented trading environment across global cryptocurrency exchanges, where, for instance, the price of bitcoin can vary between platforms. As such, the startup - co-founded by Greg Tusar, the former chief of electronic equities trading at Goldman Sachs - is building a platform that finds the best market to execute large numbers of cryptocurrency trading orders at a specific time.
Currently, buying or selling large quantities of digital currencies is tricky because the market is fragmented across more than 100 crypto exchanges around the world. Connecting to all of them requires setting up a separate account with each one, and crypto exchanges generally impose limits on daily flows in and out.
That makes it cumbersome and time-consuming to pull off a big trade, and the price of a digital currency can move dramatically before the investor finishes buying or selling.
Tagomi hopes to make it easier to make such bulk trades by borrowing a page from the stock market. In U.S. equities, broker-dealers use systems called smart order routers that dispatch their clients’ buy and sell orders to various venues, including a dozen exchanges and more than 30 off-exchange “dark pools.”
These routers make rapid-fire decisions about which market is the best place to execute a trade at any given time. Tagomi is looking to develop a similar tool for the crypto markets, according to people with knowledge of its plans.
It certainly seems clear that Thiel is making a bet (size of the bet has not been reported) that institutional interest is expected to increase dramatically in cryptocurrency trading.
Posted: May 3, 2018, 12:08 am
(Bloc10 4/29/2018) -- This is a macro-deep-analysis of how Crypto can create a new parallel system by feeding off the old carcass of the dying fiat central banking model.
As we explain in our book Splitting Pennies – the financial world is not as it seems. Gurus from many, non-correlated financial disciplines have been predicting for years that the current financial system is going to collapse.  But just like Planet X that never came, and the false alarm of the Y2K bug, it seems that collapse has been postponed.  There’s an answer for this, that isn’t being reported in the financial media.  We must look at the whole picture here, so think macro, think global, and read carefully.  First let us state plainly that this collapse theory is all based on solid data – the debt bubble, over leveraged banks like DB who is 50:1, growing stagnant economic growth, etc. the list of apocalyptic economic data goes on and on – so what’s keeping the system afloat?  Greed? There is one difference and it’s a big difference, a huge one, that all the doom and gloomers need to consider.  It’s not a ‘this time it’s different’ argument, but we have to consider global system dynamics and how they were different in Rome and other ‘empire collapse’ metaphor scenarios; today there are powerful Artificial Intelligence systems that are so powerful, they can out think any opponent 10 moves ahead.  Perhaps it is this intelligence that suggested the creation and proliferation of Bitcoin to replace the economic position that traditional fiat banks failed to provide?  If you look at the system as a whole, Bitcoin is an extremely intelligent solution to economic decay that Quantitative Easing alone cannot solve (and QE has proven to be impotent). Facebook is at the end of it’s use cycle.  Perhaps the most important Fakebook article here on ZH is this one:
"Every part of this has made me sadder and sadder and sadder. I feel like my baby has turned out to be something horrible, and these people I trusted and helped along have forgotten where they came from," he said in a conversation with Kevin Delaney, Quartz’s editor-in-chief.  McNamee has become an outspoken critic of the company, comparing its role in the 2016 US election to "the plot of a sci-fi novel" while at the same time admitting that he has "profited enormously" by backing Facebook early on. The organization he helped found, the Center for Humane Technology, has made it a mission to expose Facebook’s multiple flaws, and to try to fix them.
How is Fakebook related to Crypto?  You should have read Michael Lewis’ The New New Thing – A MUST READ.  These ideas are not dated.  Silicon Valley, Wall St., and DC still operate in this way. Fakebook created a massive bubble out of nothing, 462 Billion as of today.  Facebook isn’t anything, they don’t build anything, they are just programming the minds of the less gifted and in the process keeping tabs on what their neighbors feed their dogs.  Here’s what one Fakebook insider had to say:
During his talk, he echoed criticisms by early Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, who compared Facebook to “Internet crack” and said it’s “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
Fakebook did it’s job.  It ripped apart the social fabric of how AMERICAN society works.  While Facebook is a global app, it doesn’t have the same significance in other countries.  Perhaps a few US friends like UK, Australia, etc. are in the same boat – but most countries not.  Facebook is from the beginning an intelligence collection apparatus and means of social control, first and foremost.  Incidentally, investors made a bundle on it and it’s a darling of Wall St. (until recently).  Let’s be practical, without InQTel behind it, Fakebook would have never got off the ground.  The CIA needed a slimy weasel like Suckaburger to do their electronic bidding as the spy game globally and domestically was moving to an electronic paradigm.  Don’t forget that the military created the internet, it wasn’t developed by 2 dudes in their mom’s garage.  The internet has always been and perhaps always will be a military communications system used by the public.  There’s a price to pay for ‘free’ networks!  Now of course, there are groups of private networks who have setup peer to peer encrypted communications systems and their own private social networks and chat systems like Telegram, but that represents a small percentage of the overall population which is irrelevant. If we look at Facebook on the surface, for what it is – a pump and dump scheme backed by the Military sold by Wall St. to Main St. to control them and suck more of their hard earned dollars from them, meanwhile keeping tabs on their every move, and making a buck for America’s owners – Bitcoin is the same thing!  Let’s call a kettle a kettle. Bitcoin is popular for one reason – some people made millions on it.  And the people who made millions on Bitcoin are mostly average folks, mostly advanced or above average technical people.  With a few exceptions like Mike Novogratz, few Wall St. types, few Elite aristocrats (if any).  Sound familiar?  Remember Fakebook in 2007, 2008 even before the massive control systems, the gamed news feeds, before things just ‘vanished’ like if you write something they didn’t like (disappearing sentences, accounts, etc.)  There was a time before Fakebook went ‘viral’ that it was ‘hip’ and only for ‘techies’ not the ‘main stream’ and then suddenly it ballooned. So there are some obvious technical differences here, just like there are differences between Fakebook and the Real Estate / Sub Prime pump and dump scam, and Bitcoin, and the scams before it.  Scam is a harsh word but the fraud is so elaborate and malicious that much more harsh words are called for.  Fakebook literally can be credited with destroying the social fabric of America.  Some would argue that’s a good thing – but it’s another topic. Bitcoin is a Crypto Currency but like any investment, it has a lot of features like social media.  The interesting link here is that Social Media made Bitcoin popular.  For years the price stagnated, and it didn’t get much attention.  Once the price started going up – then it went viral.  People love making money!  It was an alternative investment for the masses.  You could buy Bitcoin with as little fiat money as you had.  This, and the fact that it was digital, and global, gave it the mass appeal finally shooting the price to stratospheric levels. So hold on to your horses in case you don’t know this and you start screaming and spook them – As we explain in our book Splitting Bits – we believe based on available public evidence that the creator of Bitcoin was the NSA, either as a sub-unit or an individual working for the NSA.  We have no smoking gun evidence – but no one else does as far as any alternative creator.  Our scenario is simply the most plausible – it’s not necessarily the facts.  There is not 100% fact showing the real face of the creator of Bitcoin.  And the NSA will not confirm or deny it’s involvement, but it will provide a statement to an FOIA request that it will not confirm nor deny if such information would be or would not be classified (of course). But what’s interesting is that, the NSA is reportedly monitoring Bitcoin transactions under a program called MONEYROCKET: For instance, one memo from the NSA, the report cited, suggested the agency has collected private information such as bitcoin user passwords, internet activity and device identifiers.
According to the report, the NSA has been monitoring the internet activities of bitcoin users since 2013 through a program with codename as OAKSTAR. And yet the new leak suggested that with MONKEYROCKET, another sub-program under OAKSTAR, the NSA may be moving closer to pinpoint users who initiate a cryptocurrency transaction."SSG11 analysts have found value in the MONKEYROCKET access to help track down senders and receivers of bitcoin," one memo reads.
If these memos are real, and there is no reason to believe they are not, they are likely an indicator of what’s really going on, such a program would likely involve a team of people, millions of dollars, and hundreds or thousands of documents.  NSA didn’t setup MONKEYROCKET to track down a few money launderers.  It’s not their job, really..   Going back to the Facebook analogy, we have to consider 1) how Bitcoin goes up and 2) how Bitcoin is primarily a grassroots movement from the fringe.  Crypto is the next bubble, we can ride the bubble – but here we will make a bombastic claim: Bitcoin is the MySpace.  Bitcoin isn’t ‘the bubble’ actually Bitcoin is a poorly designed currency and remember that for Bitcoin there was no ICO.  This ICO terrible idea was popularized mostly by quasi criminals who were ineligible for registration.  We’re referring to financial criminals, the new mafia (they have evolved from the days of protection insurance, etc.), fraudsters, Ponzi scammers, and other similar elements the Crypto world has attracted. Bitcoin is the social media of finance.  But instead of sharing photos of old friends and breakfast choices, Bitcoin enabled a higher element of socialization, i.e. ‘hey I just made 10,000% return on my money, you might want to check this out.”  It’s like the .com boom on steroids, and it was global (Bitcoin isn’t a US product per se).  In order to ‘spend’ Bitcoin it was necessary for early adopters to engage in viral marketing to make Bitcoin viable.  The concept of fully electronic money is not new, but in 1989 David Chaum’s DigiCash failed, for a number of reasons but the most likely was the fact that the internet didn’t have the penetration in 1990 as it did in 2010.  Social Media and the internet was a conduit for Bitcoin. And Bitcoin quickly gave birth to Ethereum, and now there are more than 2,000 crypto currencies being built and developed on an exponential pace.  Ironically though, there is only one regulated futures contract at the CME, Bitcoin Futures, and only 1 regulated ICO – the tZERO ICO (*it is ‘registered’ not ‘regulated’ but the point here is that tZERO has followed SEC guidelines, and they are a regulated company – they aren’t based in BFE with a bunch of John Doe’s as their Advisors). Our point here is that Bitcoin did what it set out to do – start a race of development which is fueled by the mania created by the 1,000,000% BTC/USD chart.  Something like a million percent return never happened, and likely will never again.  The group that created Bitcoin whoever they are, know very well that the large banks control the system and there is no hope of creating a ‘parallel’ system without the blessing of Wall St. and DC, this was most notably proven with Chile’s Project Cybersyn:
Project Cybersyn was a Chilean project from 1971–1973 during the presidency of Salvador Allende aimed at constructing a distributed decision support system to aid in the management of the national economy. The project consisted of four modules: an economic simulator, custom software to check factory performance, an operations room, and a national network of telex machines that were linked to one mainframe computer.[2]
Project Cybersyn was based on viable system model theory and a neural network approach to organizational design, and featured innovative technology for its time: it included a network of telex machines (Cybernet) in state-run enterprises that would transmit and receive information with the government in Santiago. Information from the field would be fed into statistical modeling software (Cyberstride) that would monitor production indicators (such as raw material supplies or high rates of worker absenteeism) in real time, and alert the workers in the first case, and in abnormal situations also the central government, if those parameters fell outside acceptable ranges. The information would also be input into economic simulation software (CHECO, for CHilean ECOnomic simulator) that the government could use to forecast the possible outcome of economic decisions. Finally, a sophisticated operations room (Opsroom) would provide a space where managers could see relevant economic data, formulate responses to emergencies, and transmit advice and directives to enterprises and factories in alarm situations by using the telex network.
The project was so head of its time, what a desktop computer can calculate was 10x more powerful than warehouses full of computers in 1971.  But the idea had to be squashed and Allende was taken out and replaced with a US friendly regime.  The timing of this dismantling of the world’s first AI economic  management system, coinciding with Nixon’s creation of the floating FX regime, perhaps the opposite of intelligence, should be noted.   Analysis & Conclusion So here’s the deal with Bitcoin and Crypto.  The big wave, the paradigm shift – it’s going to be in the regulated coin space – the Dollar Cryptos, Fedcoin, Crypto Rubble, and Crypto securities.  When you can buy and sell Crypto on regulated exchanges – then you’re going to see a real paradigm shift.  And that’s coming – but slowly. 
Over the past year, Lund says he’s met with 20 central banks exploring the potential benefits of issuing their own fiat cryptocurrency on a blockchain. Specifically, he described the “most durable digital asset” as one that is “issued by a central bank that represents a claim on fiat deposits in the real world,” but still maintains “some semblance of monetary policy.” Though he wouldn’t reveal the names of most of the central banks with which he’s meeting, he described them as largely comprised of banks from the G20, an international forum with members including China, Russia, the U.S. and the EU. Lund further described the central banks as “clients in some capacity.” Based on these conversations, he said he expects the first central banks to issue a fiat currency on a blockchain will be “the smaller ones” with a high concentration of interest in Asia and North America.
Is Bitcoin going to 50,000? Probably not.  But Bitcoin’s rise to 20,000 surprised many, so it would not be surprising if it went to 100,000.  Just remember one thing – the only thing that makes Bitcoin go up is buying and no selling.  Selling pressure from Mt. Gox trustees put sell side pressure on Bitcoin as they unloaded Billions of USD worth of Coins on the market.  Bitcoin whales that control a huge chunk of available supply could sell.  The only thing that can make Bitcoin go up to 50,000 are billions in USD worth of buy orders.  There is a physical limit to the price of Bitcoin based on how much fiat currency there is in the world.  For example if every available US Dollar, Euro, and all other fiat currencies converted ALL of themselves to Bitcoin it would go very high, and we can calculate what that number might look like.  But it is a number it is not infinite.  The same can be said for stock, real estate, or other bubbles – this is bubble dynamics 101 something that the Bitcoin crowd mostly misses. Here’s the demotivational speech.  So we are claiming that Bitcoin is the MySpace and the “Facebook” of Bitcoin is still to be developed.  Just like in the pre-IPO space, investors are looking at in the best case 20x – 100x returns if they catch it.  Of course, it will not be easy to know WHICH of the 10,000 new coins is going to be the next Facebook.  But likely it will be one backed by Goldman Sachs, it will be made in Silicon Valley or in Berlin, and it will be regulated.  Regulated Crypto is the future.  10 years from now probably all assets will be Crypto assets – only because of the security and efficiency features.  The global FX markets for example, something Crypto stands to revolutionize, are really outdated, and didn’t really change their model since FX was created by Richard Nixon in 1971.  Even until 2007 banks engaged a majority of their volume on ‘voice orders’ !  The global financial system has been ripe for an upgrade, and what Bitcoin did it said this to the world.  It sent a message which was well received by Main St. investors, Wall St. financial engineers, and politicians alike. Now, they are pedal to the metal coding and designing around the clock.  The first coin in the class we are referring to here is Basis, backed by Wall St. and Silicon Valley and cooked up in a frat room at Princeton, perhaps the most Elite of the finance schools depending on who you are debating.
Investors apparently love what Basis  is cooking up. The upstart is announcing today that it has raised a somewhat stunning $133 million in funding from Bain Capital Ventures, GV, longtime hedge fund manager Stan Druckenmiller, one-time Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, Andreessen Horowitz,  WingVC, NFX Ventures, Valor Capital, Zhenfund, Ceyuan, Sky Capital, Digital Currency Group and others.
The coin idea here is a ‘Stable Coin’ – which isn’t a unique idea, it is more of a sub-movement in the Crypto community.  While Bitcoin got the world’s attention, it is a poor spending currency, certainly not a store of value, and the Blockchain technology behind Bitcoin is basic, although stable, does not represent the best of what Blockchain can do, as many other coin startups have pointed out. How this will save the financial system?  It is a transition to a new global financial regime.  Crypto Currency itself is not such an amazing development.  In Scandinavian countries they have been using digital electronic money for years.  What’s the difference really between Bitcoin in your wallet or your 100,000 USD at the bank?  The banking system has become bloated, inefficient, and in great need of reform. New markets will open up which are Crypto-denominated.  Trading strategies will evolve that were not before possible.  The establishment will not be destroyed, by design – Bitcoin requires vast amounts of electricity to be mined.  So unless the next ICO is going to raise $10 Billion to build ‘clean’ Thorium nuclear reactors, Bitcoin is not so different than the Petro Dollar as it must pay it’s utilities in USD from mining.  Of course that’s just one model as shown by Bitcoin – but there are others – countless others.  Bitcoin started a chain of events (pun intended) that will lead to the next ‘paradigm’ of currency.
Document Information This deep analysis report was commissioned by Bloc10 authored by Global Intel Hub. 4/29/2018 for the 'Blogosphere'
Bloc10 update Bloc10 released recently Total Cryptos Android App (Free) , the Desktop Website @ www.totalcryptos.com and soon will release an Apple App.  Coming soon: Machine Learning Engine to predict the price of Crypto Currencies (paid service) and Blockpad, the world’s first secure Notepad for Crypto investors, Blockchain developers, and intelligence operatives.  To stay tuned on further developments in the Crypto space plugin to Bloc10 @ www.bloc10.com/join
Links: NSA MONKEYROCKET DOCUMENTS: Global Intel Hub Library
https://wp.me/P6ZQKC-4X  New New Thing Book
Posted: April 30, 2018, 1:23 am
Back in the summer of 2015, Deutsche Bank mistakenly paid $6 billion to a hedge fund client in a “fat finger” trade on its foreign exchange desk. The embarrassed bank recovered the money from the US hedge fund the next day, and quickly accused a junior member of the bank’s forex sales team of being responsible for the transfer while his boss was on holiday; as the bank further explained, instead of processing a net value, the person processed a gross figure: "That meant the trade had too many zeroes" a staffer helpfully explained.
Fast forward to today when Germany's largest bank has done it again.
According to Bloomberg, a routine payment at Deutsche Bank "went awry" (or as the article notes "was flubbed") last month when the bank with the €48 trillion in derivatives...
... mistakenly sent 28 billion euros ($35 billion) to an exchange as part of its daily derivatives margin transfers.
While the error was quickly spotted and no financial harm was suffered by the bank which has made clusterfucks into its business model, it represents a terrific case study why one should never confuse gross and net derivative exposure: as Bloomberg adds, the "errant" transfer occurred about a week before Easter as Deutsche Bank was conducting a daily collateral adjustment. The delighted - if only for a short time - recipient of the massive transfer was the Deutsche Boerse AG’s Eurex clearinghouse, in whose account the sum landed.
“This was an operational error in the movement of collateral between Deutsche Bank’s principal accounts and Deutsche Bank’s Eurex account,” Charlie Olivier, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank, wrote in an emailed statement. “The error was identified within a matter of minutes, and then rectified. We have rigorously reviewed the reasons why this error occurred and taken steps to prevent its recurrence.”
Of course, Deutsche Bank vowed the same "rigorous" review took place after the 2015 FX transfer fiasco and clearly nothing changed. Actually no, what changed is that Deutsche Bank has been a chronic underperformer, its stock crashed in 2016 to levels below the financial crisis amid speculation about its solvency, and just last week the bank's latest CEO was fired for what really amounted to incompetence.
Surely a pattern is emerging.
Indeed, as Bloomberg adds, "the episode raises fresh questions about the bank’s risk and control processes, at a time when lenders are faced with increased scrutiny from regulators. It’s another embarrassment for Deutsche Bank at a time when it is undergoing a change of leadership in the wake of its third straightannual loss."
And while the "glitch" took place during the last days of now ex-CEO John Cryan's tenure, it will surely be seen as another wrinkle for the bank's new chief executive Christian Sewing who even before this news already had a mountain to climb, as Deutsche Bank is the worst performing member of the Stoxx 600 banks index this year, with the shares having fallen 26% YTD.
Also, in light of the latest debacle, one wonders if the transfer had anything to do with the recent ouster of bank COO Kim Hammonds, who reportedly called Deutsche Bank "the most dysfunctional company" she’d ever worked for.
Finally, adding insult to injury, as we reported over the weekend Deutsche Bank was asked by the ECB to simulate a "crisis scenario" and an orderly wind-down of its trading book, making the German lender the first European bank to receive such a request from the ECB, which is reportedly using Europe’s largest investment bank as a "guinea pig" before it sends similar requests to other banks.
Then again, other European banks don't have €48.3 trillion in derivatives they would need to wind-down overnight.
Posted: April 19, 2018, 6:39 pm
From www.globalintelhub.com 4/14/2018
Syria has been bombed which calls for a deep analysis of what's going on here.  As we explain in our book Splitting Pennies - what really backs the US Dollar is BOMBS.  Wall Street and the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) are inextricably intertwined, whether you are an armchair intellectual or an investor it's important to understand this economic relationship.
The latest action in Syria is that policy in action.  Let's take a step back and understand this critical but boringly predictable development in Syria, the players involved, their respective relevant histories, and what markets can expect.
First let's look at War Inc. or the Military as a business, or as we have outlined in a detailed article "Cult of War" (a good primer read if you're not up on this topic).  With 800 Billion + per year and a likely real spend of well over a Trillion USD, the US taxpayer needs to get something for their money.   The Military is in a constant state of self-justification.  The US outspends the enemy by such a large figure, there are stockpiles of bombs, planes, tanks, guns, logistic supplies, boats, aircraft carriers, satellites, and just millions of expensive assets getting dusty.  The US could fight World War 2 on 2 fronts and a war in Space and still have assets left over.  There are hundreds of military bases, millions of personnel, it has become just a massive super entity above Presidents, above the Elite, above Governments.  By itself, as a form of Artificial Intelligence, the Military will do anything to prove the need it serves and survive.  The glaring problem - no enemies!  The number of real enemies is dwindling.  But Syria has been on the CIA's hit list for some time, controlling key Oil transport sites and other resources.  Not to mention Israel has wanted to destroy the unfriendly regime for a long time.  Cult of War needs to create conflicts of any size, it's a 'use it or lose it' mentality.  There's no better training drill than the real thing.
The False Flag
False Flag operations are when a government or other body will secretly stage an event to make it look like it was the enemy, thus providing justification for war.  False flag operations obviously need to be handled with laser like precision (ideally, but in reality such as in 911 they are botched).  One of the first significant False Flags in American modern history is the sinking of the Lusitania, staged apparently by warmonger Winston Churchill in an attempt to bring the ruffian Americans into World War I:
The Lusitania set sail for Liverpool on May 1st, 1915 from New York harbor. It was carrying millions of rounds of ammunition and shrapnel. The previous captain Daniel Dow had resigned because of mixing civilian passengers with munitions. The ship was to have a British battleship escort called the Juno but was recalled before the rendezvous in spite of the knowledge that a Uboat was active in the path of the Lusitania.
False Flag operations are nothing new, Hitler burned down the government building and claimed to be able to catch the terrorists and restore order in Germany, finally naming himself Chancellor.  Every powerful regime has a False Flag that they 'own' in order to justify their 10 year run in power.  Their time is limited, people forget, so a new event is necessary every few years, custom tailored to the situation.
This false flag was planned and executed by MI5 (British Intelligence), although the details of the operation are as yet unclear.  What is clear is that it is a Hollywood style staged event which was put together in the last minute with many mistakes and inconsistencies (they didn't have a script supervisor!) as pointed out by countless fact-based witnesses and other governments:

Speaking with EuroNews, Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, said "Russian military specialists have visited this region, walked on those streets, entered those houses, talked to local doctors and visited the only functioning hospital in Douma, including its basement where reportedly the mountains of corpses pile up. There was not a single corpse and even not a single person who came in for treatment after the attack.""But we've seen them on the video!" responds EuroNews correspondent Andrei Beketov."There was no chemical attack in Douma, pure and simple," responds Chizov. "We've seen another staged event. There are personnel, specifically trained - and you can guess by whom - amongst the so-called White Helmets, who were already caught in the act with staged videos."  "All these facts show... that no chemical weapons were used in the town of Douma, as it was claimed by the White Helmets."  “All the accusations brought by the White Helmets, as well as their photos… allegedly showing the victims of the chemical attack, are nothing more than a yet another piece of fake news and an attempt to disrupt the ceasefire,” said the Russian Reconciliation Center.
Of course, US warmongers will say that the Russians are protecting the Assad regime.  There's plenty of video and other evidence for internet sleuths to sort through in the coming days.  But we have seen this so many times before we can guess the outcome fairly easily.  It was a false flag, done by the British, in a sad and pathetic last attempt to save what remaining Elite aristocrats have over the masses, post Brexit.  Although actual war is unavoidable in Syria now, one possible outcome of this is a populist movement against such politics, as is happening in Hungary.
Support of the US Dollar
So what's the real reason the US chooses Syria to bomb and not Greenland for example?
1. The Petrodollar (via comment on The Gateway Pundit):
“The Chinese have recently issued the gold backed Yuan, which they, and others, have vowed to use to sell/purchase oil (amongst other things).  The last two nations that tried to introduce a currency to compete against the petrodollar were Libya and Iraq. The US needs that pipeline through Syria even more than ever now, especially if they are to compete for European gas/oil markets (presently controlled by Russia and their pipeline) and the Chinese Yuan.  But i’m sure none of that has anything to do with it…”
Syria is not only close to the Chinese they are also working closely with Russia.  All of this is a non-USD system they are building, not controlled by DC.  So of course, it has to be destroyed.  This is outlined in great detail in the book Splitting Pennies. 
It's not only about Syria itself, you see.  The GDP of Syria won't make a difference on the USD.  It's about stopping a revolution.  If Syria uses a Russian - Chinese financial and energy system perhaps it will spread to Jordan, Lebanon, and who next?  If half the world is suddenly using a Yuan denominated trading market, it would threaten US hegemony.  So all alternatives need to be stopped in their tracks, period.  That isn't an opinion it is the policy in DC based on research by companies like RAND.
Trump Politics
Trump seems to be a victim of the international cabal that was a step ahead of him the whole time.  In the opinion of this author, Trump is not a 'plant' from the beginning meant to deceive the voters.  The UK is the master planner of this operation, including but not limited to the false flag.  When domestic attempts by the deep state to derail Trump failed, they realized a coordinated effort from abroad was a better approach, one that Trump would be defenseless against, as his experience in international politics is zero (before getting into the White House).  Hence, Trump's involvement in this quagmire is meant to ensnare him in a series of decisions that will weaken his domestic position, alienate his base, while achieving goals of the War Party, Zionists, the Oil industry, and other interests in this confluence.  Trump was forced with a choice:  pick sides, choose the Russian facts (there was no chemical attack) or the British lies.  Being attacked by the domestic media by idiotic yet influential forces, staging a dangerous trade war, and coming to the conclusion of a Russian collusion investigation, backed Trump into a corner.  If he had chosen to side with Russia, it could have backfired and blown up in his face.  Democrats, Leftists, and other Trump enemies would have pounced on the issue accusing him of being Putin's lap boy all along.  Being that this is Trump's first rodeo, he doesn't have the complex knowledge base or pool of advisers to deal with this strongly and independently.  In fact he hasn't been able to build a strong team of advisers independent of deep state snakes working against him.  This is not his fault, it is just the reality of how intertwined everything is in DC.  "Drain the Swamp" is a great marketing slogan, and a noble idea - but implementing it may prove impossible.  And on the surface, everyone loves the hero story - an evil monster gassed innocent people, and we are 'saving' them.  This is a great excuse to spend billions on bombs we don't need and use them.  He bought the party line of the MIC "We have to bomb the village to save it":
“The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.”
“Tonight, I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions. We pray that God will bring comfort to those suffering in Syria.”
God will bring comfort to those we are bombing?  Really?  Can he be any more offensive?
This is the beginning of a series of events that Trump cannot dig himself out of.  The MIC won't stop until the majority of Syria is destroyed and key resources are controlled by US forces.  Some of us remember in the 90s there was 'chatter' that the NeoCons were planning a false flag in a major US City that was 'nuclear' - whether that was 911 or an event that never happened we'll never know.  But one thing is clear - they have the weapons, so they will kill all that stand in their way.  Whether he is one of theirs or is being manipulated by them is irrelevant for his base which was largely anti-establishment and anti-war, anti-globalist, which he has proven to be the opposite.
World War 3 
With the ascent of Russia, China, and smaller states building their armed forces without reason, it is only inevitable that they are used.  War between China, Russia, the US and allies is inevitable.  But wait - it's not what you are thinking!  There will not likely be strikes on US, Chinese, or Russian soil.  Rather, as in the Hunger Games, war games will be played in theaters such as the South China Sea, Syria, and other hotspots.
World War 3 will likely last 50 - 100 years, like the cold war, it will be an going unresolved war in places like Syria.  Flare ups and skirmishes will be the extent of the action.  Nukes may be used but tactical nukes in a limited, regional capacity.  PROBABLY.  Of course, it could completely spiral out of control.  But deep analysis indicates not.  There needs to be just enough war to justify the military and not enough to destroy it.  In the same way the MIC needs a war to justify its own existence, a complete obliteration of a major player would also be an endgame (including but not limited to a humanitarian outcry if a major city was destroyed in one bombing such as London or Berlin.)
Remember folks there was only one country that has used nuclear bombs to kill millions and that country is the United States of America.
The War Inc. model - 2 new players
China and Russia are both copying the War Inc. model from the United States.  Both countries do not have any real threats (except from the United States, but as a game) with the exception of terrorism.  Japan has no army and is not a threat to China.  China has destroyed all the regional competitors and has no real major state enemy.  Domestic politics may be a bigger threat to China than any foreign military (as China was once a chaotic, multi-state region).  China is a little bit like the Soviet Union, but through the prism of their culture of course.  The point is multi-ethnic super states usually collapse given enough time, as there are competing domestic interests at play.  That is China's focus not to be a military power, their external show of force is to play the American game.  America needs an enemy.  The China 'copy and paste' model, a threat to the IP of US tech companies, is also at play with War Inc.
Russia MIC
Russia is an interesting case here.  During the Soviet Union Russia was a defense oriented country that did little in foreign countries outside of the Iron Curtain.  After decades of high quality propaganda, at a cost of tens of billions of dollars, Russia realized that if they wanted to be a major player in the world and participate in the new growing economic power center they needed to switch to Capitalism, which they did in 1991.  This was a hard shift, it is difficult for those outside Communist countries to understand what it means to 'switch' from a state controlled economy to 'free market' economy.  Russia's markets were so free in the 90s it led to massive growth by organized crime which was borderline legit business (they were like the Robber Baron's of the industrial age in USA).  Basically Russia is 80 years behind the US, socially.  Since 1991 Russia has taken all the advice given to them by their Western economic advisers.  They have implemented a stock market, there are entrepreneurs in Russia starting businesses on a daily basis, they even have a Silicon Valley style incubator in Moscow Skolkovo (and others - see more info on starting a venture in Russia here).  Russia has implemented many reforms in their plan to make Russia a market leader.  They have a long way to go, their manufacturing standards have become a joke when Putin opened the door of a Russian car and the handle came off.  But the world seems to forget that this was the 'Communist' country that the West sold on a better, capitalist life.  One of the trimmings of a Capitalist society is War Inc.  The partnership between Syria and Russia is a natural one; there are critical oil pipeline routes in Syria and Syria is a Christian foothold in a predominantly Muslim region.  Russia didn't invent the War Inc. model however it is now operating it based on a business plan that was sent to them by Washington during the Cold War.   It should come as no surprise that they are doing what they were convinced to do by Capitalist Generals in Washington.  Billions upon billions were spent on Hollywood produced propaganda programs including films, radio (Air America), Television programs, news, and later internet campaigns.  They are influenced by reports such as "What the bombing of Syria means for your 401k" and other reports.  Russia is playing the role of War Inc. - a model copied directly from US interventions in Iraq and other places (Iraq is most similar).  There is no real skin in the game for either country, Syria is just a proxy state to be used and abused for the war profiteers.  This is the first time Russia is playing this role and it is playing it well.  It wouldn't be surprising if Russian and US generals were exchanging encrypted communications on their competing computer game theory simulations while contemplating their next moves with each others open feedback.
Vacuum dirt analogy
Why are vacuum cleaning manufacturers honest and politicians are not?  Because when you buy a vacuum, you immediately see how it works (the dirt and particles are caught in the transparent tank).  If a vacuum didn't work or had poor suction it would be immediately apparent and people would return them or complain.  Politicians control the information flow, especially during war, because they have power.  This is especially true of government employees who are publicly elected.  In private business there is a lot of oversight and ultimately you will fail or succeed, you can't lie to investors quarter after quarter.
Armchair Intellectuals and the Great American Hobby
Finally, there is this class in America not sure how to describe them, perhaps "Saturday Night War Experts" - they support any show of US force.  They are mostly middle aged males with health issues, mostly on multiple prescriptions, they enjoy watching infographics explaining the differences between cruise missiles and smart bombs, right after their 5th glass of Merlot.  This class isn't completely handicapped, but they choose to spend their free time sitting in Lazyboy chairs watching Fox News and other sources during wartime.  When they're not tuned in, they enjoy to debate with their friends different methods how the US could use its arsenal to completely destroy Syria or "Make it GLASS" as I'm sure all readers have heard someone say once.  This grotesque hobby is what gives those in DC power to enact such measures.  You don't read headlines that Norway has unilaterally destroyed Sweden.  In New Zealand for example there is a ban on Nuclear anything.
The info trade
During the last Iraq was there was an interesting correlation between US strikes, war actions and info, and the US Dollar.  It was caused by speculators not real money flows.  War is information and the markets live on information.  All markets will be impacted by this war, it can even be a trading strategy by itself.  Defense stocks will have a boost on successful missions.  Key victories will lead to USD being bid up.  It's a busy time and there's a lot happening.  War traders must be tuned in 24/7 as the smallest bit of info that hasn't hit the wires yet can cause markets to move.  Traders need to become information junkies.
Don't skip over the obvious facts that are staring us in the face.  This is the beginning of World War 3 - but don't worry - it's good for the economy.  Game on!
To read about the inner workings of this system checkout Splitting Pennies.  Support great journalism and shop at www.ubuy.me and invest at www.alphazadvisors.com  You read this quality analysis free - please share this article especially to friends with a TV!
Reference articles
Posted: April 15, 2018, 3:18 pm
The SEC's highest-ranking official appears to be softening his sentiment toward ICOs.
At a Princeton University event Thursday, SEC chairman Jay Clayton went so far as to reject the idea that all ICOs are fraudulent, answering "absolutely not" to a question centered on whether his agency's actions against the founders of blockchain projects amounts to such an admission.
Clayton's remark came during a talk on "Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings," one that was notable given his past statements, including his most famous issued in February, in which he said that he believes "every ICO" he's seen qualifies as a security. Indeed, Clayton opened the talk by telling the assembled students he believes that "distributed ledger technology has incredible promise for the financial industry."
The SEC chairman went on to argue that the steps taken by the agency in recent months could actually help the industry mature overall.
He told attendees:
"Is the approach taken in Washington by the SEC adversely affecting distributed ledger technology in other areas? My quick answer is that my hope is that it's actually helping - because this technology is being used for fraud and to the extent that it's being used for fraud, history shows that government comes down harshly on that technology later."
Clayton continued: "I think if we don't stop the fraudsters, there is a serious risk that the regulatory pendulum - the regulatory actions will be so severe that they will restrict the capacity of this new security."

Utility token debate

Elsewhere, Clayton discussed the evolving terminology of the industry.
One of the issues with token sales, he remarked, is the attempt to classify them as so-called "utility tokens," which would ostensibly free them from any kind of designation as a security. As such, he reiterated his view that almost all token sales purport to sell such products, despite the fact that they are actually securities.
If a startup is "offering something that depends on the efforts of others, it should be regulated as a security," he told the gathering of students on Thursday.
Clayton used an analogy to describe the difference between a utility token and a security token.
"If I have a laundry token for washing my clothes, that's not a security. But if I have a set of 10 laundry tokens and the laundromats are to be developed and those are offered to me as something I can use for the future and I'm buying them because I can sell them to next year's incoming class, that's a security," he explained.
Still, he suggested that such a definition can evolve over time.
"What we find in the regulatory world [is that] the use of a laundry token evolves over time," he continued. "The use can evolve toward or away from a security."
Further, nations may experiment with sovereign cryptocurrencies, while startups might develop different kinds applications with the underlying technology, he added.
Whether a token qualifies as a security could also change as the industry evolves, he said, adding:
"Just because it's a security today doesn't mean it'll be a security tomorrow, and vice-versa."
Jay Clayton photo by Mahishan Gnanaseharan for CoinDesk
Posted: April 6, 2018, 7:14 pm
Bitcoin in USD is down to 7,000 which is really a huge number when you think about it, but HODLrs who got in at more than 10,000 are feeling the pain, those who got in with leverage above that are freaking out, many wiped out.  And the thing about Bitcoin although there are hundreds of better alternatives, Bitcoin remains 40%+ of the market cap of the entire crypto currency universe.  As we explained in our groundbreaking book on this topic Splitting Bitsand on Zero Hedge in an exclusive article, we believe the only possible creator of Bitcoin is the US Government itself, specifically the NSA.  Because of the size of the Bitcoin market now, and the new paradigm created, the creator of Bitcoin is relevant.  People are borrowing against their 401k to invest in Bitcoin or start their own crypto, and we don't even know the identity of the creator of this phenomenon?  We know, it's the NSA - but the NSA is an organization.  Saying it's the NSA is a bit like saying it was the CIA that killed JFK.  Well the CIA certainly couldn't possibly kill anyone because it's an entity, people use guns and guns kill people, not entities.  It would be interesting indeed to unmask the real creators of Bitcoin, if they haven't been retired or disappeared on their GS-15 package.  Perhaps they are living it up with the witsec family, or have changed their face and are pursuing their hobbies whatever they may be.  Whoever it is, it is likely a dead a buried secret.  Who knows how the market would react if the real creator came forward and ultimately liquidated the millions of bitcoin on the market.  (For those of you who don't know, there are 42,000 zombie addresses of Bitcoin meaning they are not used but storing Bitcoin which can be seen publicly on the network, see here.)  Wait a minute - 42 is the meaning to life, according to an AI computer that was built to answer the age old question 'What is the meaning of life?' 
Could it be that what Adams really means is that 42,000 Bitcoin is the meaning of life?  Now we're getting somewhere.  42 Million is the meaning of life.  Where are all the numerology nutjobs when you need them?  3/30/2018 / 42 = 78,619.
Bitcoin is genius, perhaps the most intelligent creation of the digital age.  It served several purposes:  it's a perfect marketing engine (it allowed small investors to potentially earn a big return, the only asset to do so although many have claimed this), it created a new paradigm of digital currency, it changed the way the entire world looks at banking and trading, it has caused the entire tech sector to reshift it's business, all at a cost of likely a few million dollars.  If you follow the thinking that Bitcoin was in fact a child of an NSA lab, you have to continue the thought that the US Government and more specifically the military is the first real form of Artificial Intelligence.  Billions of dollars are invested every year and we all complain about waste, and there is waste - but there is also Bitcoin.  And unlike many successes of the intelligence apparatus, they will never be acknowledged, there will never be a statue in DC with the creator, never a parade.. But such is the life of a spook.  They signed up for it.  But the monetary rewards and the real intellectual pleasure of watching this game play out are so rewarding well it cannot be bought with money.  Some things in government service are priceless, this is one - thank you Mr. Mathematician!  You are the real hero, and heroes (likely it was a team effort).  There are some names on their 1996 paper but anything that is visible electronically in reference to the NSA can be assumed to be inaccurate, misleading, an intentional disinformation, or in any case a dead lead.  But it's worth having a look - click here to read it.
Certainly no one is going to find out anything by searching Google!
So more to the point, Bitcoin going lower before it goes higher, if it ever does.  Real price of BTC/USD could be $100 or $200 - maybe $500.  In a market where money is chasing any higher returns than offered by the traditional markets - bubble psychology took off and fueled a historical hockey stick that will never repeat in crypto.  It can only repeat in some other format - like Quantum computing or if Elon Musk finds Helium 3 on the moon for example.  Something really value-shifting.  Aliens admit that 90% of valley technology came from them.  Bitcoin isn't going to $1 Million, at least it's not likely, but then again we have been shocked by the race to $10,000 and $20,000.  Remember investors that the only thing that drives the price of any asset higher is buyers.  The buyers have stalled and there have been waves of big sellers.  Bitcoin isn't going to be used as a replacement of the US Dollar any time soon.  It may be the dream of some Elite Globalists as a one world currency but it's not happening.  Bitcoin is flawed, slow, and only secure if you use it properly which no one does of course except maybe a few hackers.
Other new Cryptos which are designed better, have more appropriate designs which can empower their niche to flourish have much better chances for long term survival.  But as many know, this is nothing new or innovative, in the United States during the Wildcat currency period there were thousands of active currencies in the United States.  
Bear in mind the real value of Bitcoin is only what investors decide, just as they decided to drive it higher they can drive it to zero.  There is no intrinsic value in Bitcoin itself, as Roubini candidly pointed out recently.  
Posted: March 31, 2018, 1:54 am
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
—Ernest Hemingway
Military spending is the second largest item in the US federal budget after Social Security. It has a habit of increasing significantly each year, and the proposed 2019 defense budget is $886 billion (roughly double what it was in 2003).

US military spending exceeds the total of the next ten largest countries combined. Although the US government acknowledges 682 military bases in 63 countries, that number may be over 1,000 (if all military installations are included), in 156 countries. Total military personnel is estimated at over 1.4 million.
The reader could be forgiven if he felt that a US military base was rather unnecessary in, say, Djibouti or the Bahamas, yet the US Congress will not allow the closure of any military bases. (The Bi-partisan Budget Act of 2013 blocked future military base closings under the argument that they’re all essential for “national security.”) And Congress has a vested interest in keeping all bases open and consuming as much in tax dollars as possible (more on that later).
Of course, those bases need to be kept well-stocked with small arms, tanks, missiles and aircraft. Yet, in spite of the admittedly incredible number of US military bases across the globe, the additional stockpile of weaponry is so great that the government has difficulty finding places to put it all.
One storage location is pictured in the photo above - Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. In spite of the size of the photo, it shows only a portion of the aircraft located there. (And bear in mind, such aircraft often cost over $100 million each.)
If asked, the military states that, although these aircraft are in dead storage and many have never seen any use whatever, they might possibly be called up for service, “if needed.” Of course, if they’re needed, they’re unlikely to be of use if located in Arizona. And, in addition, they may not be useful for warfare, as war technology has moved on since the days when such aircraft designs were suitable.
It’s been said that generals are forever fighting the last war, and this is certainly true. Even a layman can observe that such conventional aircraft will never see use, as they serve no purpose in modern warfare.
And yet, these storehouses are being dramatically added to every year.
This year, production will be increased for the F-35 and F/A-18 aircraft. To get an idea of the cost of such expansion programmes, the F-35 Joint Strike aircraft alone will cost $400 billion for 2,457 planes. However, most of this cost will be for development and testing, not the planes themselves.
To save you the arithmetic, that’s about $162 million per plane. (I’m guessing that Henry Ford might have been able to produce them a bit more cheaply. It’s difficult to imagine what they could possibly be made out of to justify their extraordinary price tag.)
But, even though a staggering amount of money is spent on such aircraft, only to then send them to storage facilities at some point, why not, at the very least, sell off the surplus cheaply or scrap them and close down the costly bases that warehouse them?
Well there’s a bit of a snag there. If they were to be scrapped, it would be necessary to admit that they weren’t really necessary. And if they weren’t necessary, why were they purchased?
It may well be that the answer lies in the fact that the military industrial complex is a major political contributor, paying heavily into the campaign funds of both political parties.
It’s probably safe to say that, in doing so, they’re likely to expect something in return, and of course, that’s just what they get. As stated above, the “defense” budget is far beyond what it would cost to defend the US, and ridiculously so.
However, as far as the military industrial complex is concerned, the ideal situation might be for the US to enter into a policy of perpetual warfare with vaguely-stated military goals, and to do so on many fronts globally. If Congress were to approve a budget that would allow for that, the amount of kickback to the military industrial complex would not only be maximized, but it would be ongoing, from one year to the next.
So, is that what has occurred?
Well, if we look back at say, World War II, the most costly war in history, we see a war that was fought on three continents and cost the lives of between fifty and eighty million people, yet it was concluded a mere four years after the US joined.
By comparison, the undeclared war with Afghanistan has been a minor one, costing roughly 150,000 lives. Again, based upon arithmetic, as compared to World War II, it should theoretically have taken just over two months to conclude, yet to date, it’s been ongoing for seventeen years, and its daily cost has far exceeded that of a world war.
So, are we to conclude that the US military has become so inept that it can’t fight a war and win, no matter how much firepower they have and no matter how much time it takes?
If this is not the case, then there’s only one other conclusion to draw. (As Sherlock Holmes often said, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”)
In this case, what remains is that winning the war is not the objective and, in fact, never was the objective. The objective would be to consciously create perpetual warfare; to extract billions in tax dollars each year from the electorate, in order to pass the revenue on to the military industrial complex in the form of armaments contracts. Whether those armaments are needed, or even useful, would be of minimal importance.
In recent years, the US military has gone far beyond its original concept of “defense.” It’s invaded more countries than ever before in its history, often with no direct provocation whatever, on the basis of “making the world safe for democracy.” (It should be borne in mind that invading a country, largely destroying it, then installing a puppet government is not exactly “democracy.”) In addition, these have not been actual “wars,” as, under US law, only Congress can declare war and has not done so since 1942.
In addition, the “enemy” in each case has been vague indeed. The US is not at war with any country specifically, but with “terrorism,” a non-specific enemy, one that’s even more vague than George Orwell described when writing 1984.
If nothing succeeds like success, it’s also true that nothing exceeds like excess. If this thought is troubling now, it will be even more troubling when the US makes good on its threat to attack North Korea, a small country next door to China, or to invade Iran, an ally of both China and Russia.
When the fur really starts to fly, it will be highly doubtful if the American taxpayer is able to pony up the further cost of a true world war, which would be far beyond what they’re shouldering at present.
And, since the loser in a war is almost always the country that runs out of money first, and the US is for all purposes broke, the outcome of such a war would not be in favour of the US.
*  * *
You don’t have to sink with the US… There are practical steps you should take to prepare—before America makes a dangerous military move. Get the details straight from Jeff in our guide to Surviving and Thriving During an Economic Collapse.
Posted: March 27, 2018, 2:21 am


The world is a wild place.  Why go into a store and subject yourself to a number of risks and dangers, including but not limited to catching a cold – when you can do all your shopping from the comfort of your own home!  Things like Amazon Prime now make online shopping very easy.  Even without prime, you can get free shipping with a minimum cart size (usually $45).  Amazingly, they’ll ship anything from toilet paper to batteries.  There’s another consideration; price.  It’s possible online to quickly price check, and sometimes even exploit coupons, discounts, and other offers easier.



Posted: March 27, 2018, 2:06 am
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, in order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13808 of August 24, 2017, and in light of recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency in a process that Venezuela’s democratically elected National Assembly has denounced as unlawful, hereby order as follows:
Section 1.  (a)  All transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018, are prohibited as of the effective date of this order.
(b)  The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order.
Sec. 2.  (a)  Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b)  Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3.  For the purposes of this order:
(a)  the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(b)  the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c)  the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches of such entities), or any person within the United States; and
(d)  the term “Government of Venezuela” means the Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Venezuela.
Sec. 4.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including promulgating rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to implement this order.  The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and executive departments and agencies of the United States Government.  All agencies of the United States Government shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 5.  For those persons whose property and interests in property are affected by this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual.  I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692, there need be no prior notice given for implementation of this order.
Sec. 6.  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 7.  This order is effective at 12:15 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 19, 2018.
DONALD J. TRUMP
This should come as no surprise, however we should understand the higher play here.  As we explain in Splitting Pennies - the US Dollar is backed by bombs.  There is an underlying subtle threat - use US Dollars and drink Coca Cola or we'll bomb you.  It is good for business.
Let's just take a step back one generation, does anyone remember this news?
A bizarre political statement by Saddam Hussein has earned Iraq a windfall of hundreds of million of euros. In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar - 'the currency of the enemy' - for the more multilateral euro.
The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time.
Almost all of Iraq's oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York.
The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars.
At the time of the change the UN issued a report saying that the move could cost Iraq up to £270 million. Independent experts questioned the value of buying into a plummeting currency.
'It was seen as economically bad because the entire global oil trade is conducted in dollars,' says Fadhil Chalabi, executive director of the Centre for Global Energy Studies.
It seems that anyone who attempts to thwart US Dollar hegemony ends up getting bombed.  It may be all a coincidence, we will see shortly.  The big question is - 
IS VENEZUELA NEXT?
The country is in a de-facto state of war anyway, with rampant inflation, pirates and robbers controlling the streets, and an underground Crypto mining industry that's keeping some away from starvation, on the down low:

There are stories of the government confiscating computers and mining equipment from people. Tell us about this.

Yes, sometimes the police squad that visits your place decides to seize your mining equipment, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

What do they do with the equipment?

Rumor has it they install them on government facilities.
So the Venezuelan government, in its desperate need to generate funds in a chaotic environment with a worthless domestic currency, has launched the boldest Cryptocurrency project to date, a government & commodity backed Crypto.
While the politics are hardly comparable, the US narrative is fairly consistent since the success of operation PBFORTUNE in 1954.
Operation PBFORTUNE, also known as Operation FORTUNE, was the name of a covert United States operation to overthrow the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz in 1952. The operation was authorized by US President Harry Truman and planned by the Central Intelligence Agency. The United Fruit Company had lobbied intensively for the overthrow because landmark land reform enacted by Árbenz threatened its economic interests. The coup attempt was also motivated by US fears that the government of Árbenz was being influenced by communists. It involved providing weapons to the exiled Guatemalan military officer Carlos Castillo Armas, who was to lead an invasion from Nicaragua. The coup was planned with the knowledge and support of Anastasio Somoza GarcíaRafael Leonidas Trujillo and Marcos Pérez Jiménez, the US-backed right-wing dictators of Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Venezuela respectively, as well as the United Fruit Company. However, the US State Department discovered that details of the plan had become too widely known.[1] US Secretary of State Dean Acheson was worried that the coup attempt would damage the image of the US, which had committed to a policy of non-intervention, and so terminated the operation.[2] Operation PBFORTUNE was a precursor to Operation PBSUCCESS, the covert operation that toppled Árbenz and ended the Guatemalan Revolution in 1954.[3]
For those of you who are just joining us, the US has led a global Empire since World War 2 and been the exclusive power in the world economically and militarily (although, when you dig deeper, the US is just a tool the real owners are mostly non-US).
If we are looking at things statically, today's EO fits the same pattern as a number of others pre-invasion.  With Russia being completely and 100% cleared of any wrongdoing, hacking, meddling, and social media botting - US war mongers are desperate to find a new enemy.  Venezuela fits the bill as South America has been the local playground for spycraft since the creation of the CIA.
IS VENEZUELA NEXT?
We shall see in the days ahead.  Sunken boats, terrorism, strange things in Miami - who knows.  Maybe this time it will be something digital.  Venezuela will be blamed for 'hacking' into something, or a building in Miami will collapse.  Lots of rich Venezuelan consultants ready to help their hosts to go down and reclaim what was taken from them by the communists.
"We have been shamelessly threatened by the most criminal empire that ever existed and we have the obligation to prepare ourselves to guarantee peace," said Maduro, who wore a green uniform and a military hat as he spoke with his army top brass during a military exercise involving tanks and missiles. "We need to have rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready....to defend every inch of the territory if needs be," he added. 
This is part 1 of a series IS VENEZUELA NEXT?
Posted: March 19, 2018, 10:34 pm
Like many traders, I read Market Wizards as a kid. If you don’t know it, it’s a collection of interviews with the most legendary traders of the 1980s.

Market Wizards

Back when I first read it, I really had no idea what the hell I was doing. I read it, thought I got it and moved on.
But I didn’t get it.
The reason was simple. I didn’t have the life experience and wisdom to understand it. That would take many, many more years.
A few months ago I picked up my old, dog eared and highlighted copy and started thumbing through it. I expected to snag a few quotes and move on but pretty soon I found myself hooked, reading it cover to cover all over again.
Two things struck me immediately.
  • First, I’d highlighted all the wrong things.
  • Second, I saw instantly how much these men were alike.
No matter where they came from or how they got started, they all remembered one devastating loss early in their career. They all started with little to no idea what they were doing. All of them transcended false beliefs and developed an amazing ability to adapt and change their minds in a flash.
Their styles, politics and temperament all varied widely but the rest of their lives followed a remarkably similar path.
That’s when I realized I was seeing something bigger, a meta-pattern, a pattern of patterns.
Call it the journey of the great trader.
So what is that path and how can you follow it?
Let’s take a close look.

Number One: Start Out Clueless

No matter how good anyone gets at something they always start out clueless. Maybe trading is some innate gift but that doesn’t matter at all at first. Everyone starts at step one.
Nobody starts off a superstar.
Maybe it’s my fault

This Wizards excerpt from Michael Marcus is typical of most traders.
“Q: Did you know anything at all about what you were doing? Had you read anything about commodities or trading?
A: No, nothing.
Q: Did you even know the contract sizes?
A: No, we didn’t.
Q: Did you know how much it was costing you per tick?
A: Yes.
Q: Apparently, that was about the only thing you knew.
A: Right. Our next trade, in wheat, didn’t work either. After that, we went back to corn and that trade worked out better; it took us three days to lose our money. We were measuring success by the number of days it took us to lose.”


You see the same story again and again. Somebody hears about how they can get rich quick in the market. Their friend tells them or they read a story about some king of Wall Street or the newly crowned crypto rich and they leap in hoping to make a quick buck, their eyes filled with stars.
Even if they do have some idea about the basic rules, like setting good stops and choosing a position size that won’t wipe them out they almost always ignore it.
Paul Tudor Jones, a super aggressive, hard charging trader, tells the tale of a horrible early trade where he made a spur of the moment “macho man” cotton buy leaving him seriously vulnerable. Immediately the other pit traders knew his mistake and he did too. The big whale of the cotton market started dumping on him almost instantly, driving the price down hard and locking him in.
He learned the hard way “Never play macho man with the market” as he wiped out 70% of his equity in a single trade.
Every single person thinks they’re smarter than the market. Even if they read the time honored rules of the best of the best they’re thinking “those don’t apply to me, I’m different.”
And that takes us to step two.

Number Two: Make the Same Mistakes as Everyone Else

Think you’re immune to making the same mistakes everyone else does?
You’re not. But don’t worry, you’re in good company.


Nobody is immune.
Inevitably new traders don’t understand why the rules are there to protect them even if they know the rules. Maybe after their clueless stage they read a few books or listen to some smart sounding traders on Twitter or take a course.
The problem is they don’t really understand what they’re reading and hearing. They can’t process it yet because they don’t have the experience to see the wisdom in it, even if they understand it partially at the intellectual level. Knowledge can’t be passed on passively. It has to be earned through personal experience.
And when you don’t understand the rules, what happens?
You screw up.
And what are some of those rules?
1) Don’t overtrade.
2) Keep your position sizes small.
3) Set stop losses.
4) Don’t make snap decisions.
5) Don’t get too high or too low emotionally.
Those are just a few of the essential pearls of wisdom that every trader eventually figures out.
Eventually.
The hard way.
In the beginning everyone just glosses over them.
Legendary currency trader Bruce Kovner tells a classic story about snap decisions. Kovner made his original money hedging spreads on contracts. He’d be long one contract and short another to reduce the risk but as soybeans rocketed to new highs in the 1970’s his broker got caught up in the euphoria and called him wild with greed:
“Soybeans are going to the moon…You are a fool to stay short the November contracts. Let me lift your November shorts for you, and when the market goes limit-up for the next few days, you will make more money.”
He agreed. Limit-up is a circuit breaker on the markets. If they went too high or too low the contracts locked and nobody could trade them. You were stuck. Limit-up meant you were making the absolute most money possible. Limit-down? You were losing the most money possible and even worse you were stuck and you couldn’t sell out.
Kovner perfectly describes the crazy euphoria every early market apprentice feels:
“It was a moment of insanity. Fifteen minutes later, my broker calls me back, and he sounds frantic.
‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but the market is limit-down! I don’t know if I can get you out.’ I went into shock. I yelled at him to get me out.”
By sheer luck he managed to get out when the markets ticked up past limit-down for a few minutes but not before eating a massive loss.
Afterwards, Kovner talks about the sickness every trader feels when they make a horrific trade and the market eats them alive.
“I was up about $45,000. By the end of the day, I had $22,000 in my account.”
And that brings us to our very next step on the journey of trader enlightenment.

Number Three: Take a Big Loss

Every single trader will eventually experience a catastrophic, heart breaking loss. Many of the best traders went completely belly up, more than once. The original great speculator, Jesse Livermore, lost multiple fortunes.


Kovner tells us the gut wrenching sickness of losing big money in the market.
“I went into emotional shock. I could not believe how stupid I had been — how badly I had failed to understand the market, in spite of having studied the markets for years. I was sick to my stomach, and I didn’t eat for days. I thought that I had blown my career as a trader.”
Michael Marcus tells a similar story of a disastrous sugar trade.
“Q: How much did you lose on the trade by the time you liquidated?
A: I lost my own $30,000, plus $12,000 of the $20,000 my mother had lent me. That was my lesson in betting my whole wad.”
Every trader has a story like that to tell. For me it was NEO. I got in late in the bull run and bet big. I just knew it was going to the moon and a few days later I was riding high and I nearly doubled my money.
China started threatening the big exchanges. It seemed every single weekend there was a brand new story attacking crypto, a big banker saying it was worthless or insane, China cracking down, or another country looking to ban trading.
It didn’t take long for the markets to panic.
And there was no worse coin to hold at the time than a Chinese coin. That’s exactly what NEO was, red Chinese through and through.
I watched my wins vaporize over the course of two days and I just froze. I panicked. I liked the coin and the project, I thought it would turn around so I just hung on as it went down and down and down.
In the end I lost 68% of what I put in.
I was sick to death. I couldn’t sleep or eat for days. Working out didn’t help. Getting a massage didn’t help. Alcohol didn’t help. Whacking it didn’t help. Nothing helped.
Only one thing could fix it. The next step.

Step Four: Reflect and Come Back Stronger

Once you finally experience that soul crushing loss it’s not long after that you realize it was the absolute best experience of your trading life.


If you’re smart and you’re focused you start looking at everything you did wrong. You go over it with a fine tooth comb. You question all your beliefs and ideas. No longer are you willing to just take things at face value. You want to know what works and what doesn’t and so you finally get serious.
Paul Tudor Jones remembers reflecting on his mega-loss and getting so depressed he wanted to quit. But then it hit him:
“It was at that point that I said, ‘Mr. Stupid, why risk everything on one trade? Why not make your life the pursuit of happiness rather than pain?’
That was when I first decided I had to learn discipline and money management. It was a cathartic experience for me, in the sense that I went to the edge, questioned my very ability as a trader, and decided that I was not going to quit. I was determined to come back and fight.”
Real loss equals real wisdom.
Without that loss none of the lessons make any sense to you whatsoever. You’ll think you’re different and that the rules don’t apply to you.
But they do. They apply to everyone. No exceptions.

Step Five: Learn the Age Old Lessons the Hard Way

What is it about the human mind that makes us learn all our lessons the hard way? We read the great wisdom of the ages and promptly ignore it.

Be like water, my friend.

Maybe that’s just the meaning of life? We all have to go through the same struggles and make our own mistakes and live the great story again and again.
After my big NEO loss I reflected on everything I’d done wrong and it hit me like a diamond bullet between the eyes. I realized I didn’t know how to make decisions when I was under fire. I just froze like a deer in headlights. I knew the market had turned and that NEO was going down and I should get out but I couldn’t pull the trigger.
Internally, I just couldn’t accept the loss. I was in denial. I was a good trader and careful or at least I thought I was but now I was faced with a new reality.
I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. And I couldn’t accept the reality in front of me. I couldn’t put it behind me and move on.
I should have sold that NEO shit stack long before it cost me a big chunk of change. Instead I road that loser all the way into Hell instead of cutting my losses.
As Tudor Jones says “losers average losers.”


People love to hang onto losers. They love the pain. Oh they won’t admit it but they do. Pain is drama. And people love drama.
Either that or they imagine the market merely lost its mind for a minute. The project is a good project. Things will turn around.
Except more often then not they don’t turn around or they turn around too late and because you held so long you can’t make up that loss.
And it doesn’t matter if gold is good or a company is good or a project is good. Sometimes that doesn’t mean a damn thing to the market and it just tanks. Saddling up that bomb and cowboy riding it to the bottom is always a disaster.
NEO taught me the most important lesson of all.
More importantly I now understood the lesson:
“Cut your losses, let your winners run.”

Step Six: Money Management

The ancient wisdom really boils down to two words: Money management.
Cutting losses is one of those key principles that everyone has to learn. It’s not enough to simply trade the market, you have to know you’re going to get things wrong a lot of the time. And that means you have to protect your money at all costs.
That’s just basic probability.
Paul Tudor Jones says “I am always thinking about losing money as opposed to making money…I have a mental stop. If it hits that number, I am out no matter what.”
Money management comes down to a few critical principles:
1) Keep your position sizes small to minimize risk
2) Ruthlessly cut your losses.
3) Always use stops.
4) Don’t use too much leverage
5) When you start losing, start trading smaller.
6) When you go on a bad streak, get out of everything and take a break.
7) If you get in a bad trade, get out immediately because you can always get back in later.
All of these principles work in tandem to protect your money.

Don’t throw good money after bad

I learned this the hard way yet again just the other day, when I went a little too heavy on a leveraged position after a strong winning streak.
The mistake was easy to see in retrospect.
What blinded me at first was that I’d gotten masterful at setting my stops. One of my tricks is to set a limit stop price far above or below the trigger so it always gets filled. I’d never had a stop not fill and I’d never gotten liquidated. I don’t get liquidated because I use just enough leverage to make a difference but not enough that the market would only have to move a few percentage points to kill me off.
I put in my trade, set my stop and went to bed.
When I woke up in the morning and checked in I saw I was down 29%. My stop never triggered. I wasn’t liquidated because I hadn’t over-leveraged but it didn’t matter.
I was sick to my stomach.
So what did I do?
Number two, ruthlessly cut loses.
After a few minutes of feeling sorry for myself and thinking I should hold on because maybe it would come back I shut that stupid voice up and sold. I cut that loss immediately. I took it and moved on.
That’s when I understood once more that all the principles work together in concert.
If the position size had been smaller the overall loss would have been smaller. But because I hadn’t used too much leverage I hadn’t gotten liquidated so I was still very much protected.
Low leverage, small positions and stops all work as one. Sometimes one of these risk management tools fail you and the others kick in to help. It’s like the seat belt and the airbag.
Sometimes the seat belt isn’t enough but the airbag is there to save you.

Step Seven: Stop Following Others

It may seem strange to say that I don’t follow other traders or the news but I don’t follow any of them anymore. I may occasionally glance at a chart of a trader who I really respect and see if it matches with my sense of the market but it’s incredibly rare. I might also check in with a trader who I know well and who’s had success over the long run.
And then I just do what I want anyway.

You can go your own way.

In the end you have to follow your own light.
You have to get so good that you trust your own analysis above all else. When you make a mistake you need to know you’re strong enough to figure out what it was and fix it the next time.
If you’re meant to be a good trader you will be. It’s as simple as that.
Ed Seykota is one of the best traders profiled in Wizards. He says is best:
“It is a happy circumstance that when nature gives us true burning desires, she also gives us the means to satisfy them.”
If you have that burning desire to trade and to win, you’ll find a way and you won’t need to follow anyone else once you get your feet wet.
I have my school of traders but my main lesson to them is simple. Learn from me and then move on. Become your own master. Don’t sit at the feet of gurus your whole life.
As for the news? Nothing but poison. Turn it off as fast as you can.
I highly, highly recommend every single human being take a news fast for a month. Disable anything related to news on your phone feed. Unfollow everyone on Facebook. Don’t read the Twitter stream. Get a site blocker for when you’re working and use it frequently.
I guarantee you, you will not miss out on anything. If something really, really big happens you’ll hear about it because people will talk about it. If it’s not big enough to be on everyone’s lips it’s not worth hearing about.
Here’s another thing I guarantee. You will be mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthier by an order of magnitude. Your anxiety will decrease as will your confusion and fear.
You’ll probably end up extending the news fast indefinitely. I know I did.


I could care less about Google News or which coin some random person on the Internet thinks is going to the moon tomorrow based on astrology and hope. Probably the last time I followed news was during the China crisis. And if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t read a word of it this time. I do occasionally read one magazine that I like with strong, consistent journalism but even that is less and less frequent, maybe once a month or every few months and mostly because there is one story I want to read in depth.
When you give up on the news you’ll be in fine company.
Ed Seykota said “eventually I became more confident of trading with the trend and more able to ignore the news. I became more comfortable with the approach.”
I have not met a single good trader who is a news junky even though the average trader is a hopeless news junky. They want a reason for the market to go up or down. They can’t face that it’s random chaos and the push/pull of a billion emotional monsters.
So writers come up with a good reason for why the market made a move. Interest rates changed. A trade war looms. A big soybean shortage struck. Some of these are probably factors but it’s really impossible to use that news in any effective way 99% of the time. The other 1% of the time it is but so what? Is it really worth watching 99% white noise to get that?
Even worse, news is about conflict and tragedy. It’s about pain and suffering. It’s about extraordinary events.
But the more you watch it the more you think those extraordinary events are normal events.
Plagues happen every day. People get shot up around the corner every few seconds. A baby is butchered every ten minutes in your town.
If you’re born in an insane asylum and everyone is screaming all the time you think it’s normal.
It ain’t normal.
You’re hearing about statistical outliers and it does nothing but warp and derange your mind.
The news is poison.
Bite your arm, suck that venom and spit it out for good.

Step Eight: Develop Your Own Style

If you make it this far, you’ve come to the final step on the journey of trading mastery.
What’s that?
Develop your own system.


I used to study Kung Fu. I noticed that most people were obsessed with lineage. Who was the great master that taught their great master in an unbroken line over five hundred years? Did the system change? Was it passed down perfectly and directly?
I soon realized this kind of thinking was total madness. Of course the system changed. Each master learned new lessons through his own life experience and added that to the system. It he didn’t, he was no master. In fact, he probably sucked horribly if he just photocopied what his teacher taught him and passed it down to you.
And I also found myself thinking about the first person in that line of legendary martial artists. If you go back far enough, eventually you get to someone who started the system. That brings up one inevitable question:
Who taught them?
The answer is obvious.
Nobody.
They taught themselves.
And that is what the absolute best of the best do in all fields. They don’t follow. They create.
The old Kung Fu masters didn’t just learn from someone else and regurgitate it. They took what they learned and modified and improved it. They studied nature and themselves. They watched the movement of snakes and birds and they tried to tease out the secrets of those animal powers. They wanted to move as fast as a snake and strike like a tiger. They had everything they needed by observing the world around them.
You must become the master. When you get there you’ll find there’s nobody handing out a belt. You’ll be the final judge in your journey.
And that means eventually you’ll need to develop a trading style that perfectly fits your own personality, your own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re just following someone else’s picks blindly you won’t have to strength to stay in a trade when the going gets really rough. That kind of confidence only comes from within.
To do that you’ll have to look deep inside and figure out what you really want from the world.
As Ed Seykota says, “Everyone gets what they want out of the markets.”
Some people like to lose. Some people like to play the Martyr. Some folks like to be popular. Others love to be contrarians and bet against the crowd. Still others like to sound smart at parties. But they don’t like to make money. They might even think it’s dirty or evil and they self sabotage.
Whatever your weakness the market will happily feed it to you. If you love the excitement of winning big and then losing it all and making it back again, you’ll get that too.
Ed went further: “I think that if people look deeply enough into their trading patterns, they find that, on balance, including all their goals, they are really getting what they want, even though they may not understand it or want to admit it.”
But the best traders do want to make money. They have a deep passion for the markets and a burning desire to win. To do it they all come to the same understanding eventually by reflecting deeply and transcending their own human limitations to become the best of the best.
And when they do they’re ready to walk their own path, a lonely path, but a joyous one too:

Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back

The path of the master.
They no longer need to read any more books or listen to anyone else or follow anyone else’s star.
They become their own guiding light.
They live and die by their own decisions. When they win they don’t get too high. When they lose they don’t blame anyone but themselves.
And they don’t need any outside validation or praise or judgement.
That’s because after all that time and effort and suffering, they finally knowwhat they’re doing. It’s not arrogance. It’s an internal compass that is unflinchingly accurate, developed only through dedication, perseverance, persistence and passion.
It’s earned over time. A long time. Nothing else can give it to you.
It can’t be bought, bargained for, or cheated. There are no short cuts and there never will be.
And all the praise and validation the legendary trader will ever need will show up in the only place that matters.
Their bank account and crypto wallet.
https://hackernoon.com/the-eightfold-path-of-the-legendary-trader-11b304db97c2 
Posted: March 18, 2018, 1:15 am
Import taxes of any kind are a stupid idea, we will succinctly explain why.  Until this idea, Trump has had a fairly good track record if judged only by the correlation to the stock market.  The import tax is the first major mistake, and shows that he really doesn’t understand international finance and has not been able to hire a decent advisor to explain him that the world has changed in the last 50 years.  We explain this and more in our ground breaking work Splitting Pennies. 
Trade Wars are not a new thing in fact they’ve been a tool of state sponsored mercantilism since the beginning of time; tax or ban foreign goods in order to spur the domestic economy.  There’s a small problem though.  The world is today completely intertwined, interconnected, and intermingled.
Did you know, that Budweiser, a company which is more American than apple pie, is owned by InBev, a Belgian company?  Did you also know that of the 15 Budweiser breweries outside of the United States, 14 of them are in China?  So what does that make Budweiser – American, Chinese, or European?
forex
Regarding the car industry, nearly every Asian manufacturer makes cars right here in USA.  Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, the list goes on and on.  So we all know that Toyota is Japanese.  Or is it?  Land Rover is British, but it was bought by Ford, a US publicly traded company (F).  Ford’s most complex robotic factory is in Brazil.  Ford operates in nearly every country in the world, and their business is sustained by a sophisticated foreign exchange operation managed on their treasury desk.  Ford notoriously hired Muslims, Blacks, and other workers that had trouble finding jobs at other companies.  Who owns ford now is a global mix of citizens from every country in the world, foreign governments, and you can rest assured municipal pension funds, state pension funds, all own a piece of this American icon (F).  So what is American, anyway?
Trump’s heart is in the right place, the idea of rebuilding USA’s manufacturing base, creating jobs at home, reducing ‘offshoring’ – should be a priority of America first and it makes economic sense.  But the way to accomplish it is not through import taxes or to start a trade war.  Companies like Apple (AAPL) need to be incentivized in other ways to move their factories from China to Kansas.  Grants, tax incentives, government if then contracts (for example if Apple moved its phone manufacturing to USA the government could require USG employees to use iPhone for Security reasons.)  Or another solution, we can cut the military budget in half, and instead of building missiles and bombs, we can build technology parks in places like Kansas where there is plenty of cheap land.  We can build factories and retask soldiers to do non-military functions like planting trees or building the useless wall with Mexico.  We should invest in robotic factories and state of the art design organizations, like they have in Europe and Korea.  Farming can be hydroponic and automated.  There are thousands of ideas, and thousands of people who have thousands of ideas and who are capable of implementing them.  But we are not listening to those people, or supporting them.  USA has plenty of natural resources, real estate, and most importantly business innovation motivation to act as a natural global incubator for global business.
Instead of import taxes we should incentivize more foreign businesses to move here, such as by creating foreign ‘tax havens’ like Delaware, and providing privacy to foreign entities who would otherwise go to Switzerland or the Cayman islands.
The tax reduction plan was a huge win for Wall St. and Main St.  The idea of import taxes is the opposite.  We should encourage business growth not stifle it.  There are other more intelligent ways to spur the domestic economy.  We explain this and more in our ground breaking work Splitting Pennies. 
Posted: March 11, 2018, 10:50 pm
(Bloc10.com 3/4/2018) — During the period of Russian History known as the “Mongol Invasion” foreign Khans (rulers) imposed taxes based on a financial system calculated by male conscripts to the army.  The mongols imposed a military system of economy where everything was looked at from the perspective of the military.  When a town’s taxes were calculated, they cared not about money but how many able men could serve in the Khan’s army.  Although merchants still paid taxes in the form of money (similar to our ‘sales tax’) towns, provinces, and other municipalities such as the grand duchy of Nizhni Novgorod paid their taxes in soldiers, roughly 5% of the total population.
With new Cryptocurrencies lacking novel ideas for backing, one only needs to look at Medieval European history for many practical examples.  Why should all Cryptos be tied to the electronic world?  In fact the opposite needs to happen, if Crypto is going to move beyond the high tech crowd.  New Cryptos need to have real world purposes, serve multiple economic use-cases, that fit aptly like a puzzle piece into the existing model.  The idea of Cryptocurrency is security and efficiency, not to reinvent the underlying business model.  Ultimately, the financial services sector should be like a utility that allows the real sectors to grow and innovate.  What has happened in the last 50 years has been the opposite, Wall St. has become an industry by itself, charging fees and taxing real industry and stifling growth.
At Bloc10 we are innovators and developers, not principals.  We want to develop your Blockchain project as a vendor and allow you to grow your business naturally (organically).  Ideally, you won’t even notice that we exist!  It’s your project.  Grow your business, and Get Bloc.
Photo taken from George Vernadsky’s “A History of Russia”
Posted: March 4, 2018, 6:09 pm

January 18, 2018

Paul Schott Stevens
President & CEO
Investment Company Institute
1401 H St., NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
Timothy W. Cameron
Asset Management Group – Head
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
1101 New York Avenue, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Re: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings
Dear [Mr. Stevens/Mr. Cameron]:
As you know, the U.S. investment fund market is one of the most robust, varied and successful markets for investment products in the world. Its success can be attributed, in significant part, to the commitment of fund sponsors to responsible innovation and continuous improvement of the products they offer. This commitment is especially important because many of America’s Main Street investors rely on registered funds to help them build toward education, retirement and other important goals.
Flexibility to innovate is also a key feature of the Investment Company Act of 1940. As the Division with primary responsibility for regulatory policy regarding registered funds, we seek to foster innovation that benefits investors and preserves the important protections that Congress established in the 1940 Act. Over the years, dialogue between fund sponsors and the Division has facilitated the development of many new types of investment products that have expanded choice for investors. Exchange-traded funds and money market funds are notable examples.
Recently, the growth in cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related products has attracted significant attention, and we have seen interest among sponsors in offering registered funds that would hold these new digital products. As we have in the past, the Division stands ready to engage in dialogue with sponsors regarding the potential development of these funds. We believe, however, that there are a number of significant investor protection issues that need to be examined before sponsors begin offering these funds to retail investors.
We appreciate that proponents of cryptocurrencies and related products have identified a range of potential benefits. We are also aware that critics of cryptocurrencies have raised various concerns regarding transparency of information, trading, valuation and other matters related to the nature of the underlying assets. In addition, the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies and related products, as well as their expected use and utility in our financial markets, means that they are, in many ways, unlike the types of investments that registered funds currently hold in substantial amounts. In light of these considerations, we have, at this time, significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules. To facilitate the start of our dialogue, we have identified below a number of these questions, and we invite you and any interested sponsors to engage with us in detail on these. While we have identified the questions below, we note that the cryptocurrency markets are developing swiftly. Additional questions may arise from these developments.[1]

Valuation

Mutual funds and ETFs must value their assets on each business day in order to strike a net asset value (“NAV”). Appropriate valuation is important because, among other things, it determines fund performance, what investors pay for mutual funds and what authorized participants pay for ETFs (and what they receive when they redeem or sell). Would funds have the information necessary to adequately value cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency-related products, given their volatility, the fragmentation and general lack of regulation of underlying cryptocurrency markets, and the nascent state and current trading volume in the cryptocurrency futures markets?
How would funds develop and implement policies and procedures to value, and in many cases “fair value,” cryptocurrency-related products?
How would funds’ accounting and valuation policies address the information related to significant events relevant to cryptocurrencies? For example, how would they address when the blockchain for a cryptocurrency diverges into different paths (i.e., a “fork”), which could result in different cryptocurrencies with potentially different prices? How and when would funds recognize such information in their NAV?
What policies would a fund implement to identify, and determine eligibility and acceptability for, newly created cryptocurrencies offered by promoters (e.g., an “air drop”)? How might a fund account for those holdings if the fund chooses to claim such cryptocurrencies?
How would differences among various types of cryptocurrencies impact funds’ valuation and accounting policies?
How would funds consider the impact of market information and any potential manipulation in the underlying cryptocurrency markets on the determination of the settlement price of cryptocurrency futures?[2]

Liquidity

A key feature of open-end funds, such as mutual funds and ETFs, is daily redeemability. Funds must maintain sufficiently liquid assets in order to provide daily redemptions. Under the new fund liquidity rule, rule 22e-4, funds will be required to implement a liquidity risk management program.[3] Under the rule, among other things, funds must classify their investments into one of four liquidity categories and limit their investments in illiquid securities to 15% of the fund’s assets.[4] A fund’s liquidity classifications should be informed by the market depth of its holdings (that is, whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio asset is reasonably expected to affect the liquidity characteristics of that investment) as well as other relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations.
What steps would funds investing in cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency-related products take to assure that they would have sufficiently liquid assets to meet redemptions daily?
How would funds classify the liquidity of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency-related products for purposes of the new fund liquidity rule, rule 22e-4? For example, would any of these products be classified as other than illiquid under the rule? If so, why? How would funds take into account the trading history, price volatility and trading volume of cryptocurrency futures contracts, and would funds be able to conduct a meaningful market depth analysis in light of these factors? Similarly, given the fragmentation and volatility in the cryptocurrency markets, would funds need to assume an unusually sizable potential daily redemption amount in light of the potential for steep market declines in the value of underlying assets?
How would a fund prepare for the possibility that funds investing in cryptocurrency-related futures could grow to represent a substantial portion of the cryptocurrency-related futures markets? How would such a development impact the fund’s portfolio management and liquidity analysis?

Custody

The 1940 Act imposes safeguards to ensure that registered funds maintain custody of their holdings. These safeguards include standards regarding who may act as a custodian and when funds must verify their holdings. To the extent a fund plans to hold cryptocurrency directly, how would it satisfy the custody requirements of the 1940 Act and relevant rules? We note, for example, that we are not aware of a custodian currently providing fund custodial services for cryptocurrencies. In addition, how would a fund intend to validate existence, exclusive ownership and software functionality of private cryptocurrency keys and other ownership records? To what extent would cybersecurity threats or the potential for hacks on digital wallets impact the safekeeping of fund assets under the 1940 Act?
While the currently available bitcoin futures contracts are cash settled, we understand that other derivatives related to cryptocurrencies may provide for physical settlement, and physically settled cryptocurrency futures contracts may be developed. To the extent a fund plans to hold cryptocurrency-related derivatives that are physically settled, under what circumstances could the fund have to hold cryptocurrency directly? If the fund may take delivery of cryptocurrencies in settlement, what plans would it have in place to provide for the custody of the cryptocurrency?

Arbitrage (for ETFs)

ETFs obtain Commission orders that enable them to operate in a specialized structure that provides for both exchange trading of their shares throughout the day at market-based prices, and “creation unit” purchases and redemptions transacted at NAV by authorized participants. In order to promote fair treatment of investors, an ETF is required to have a market price that would not deviate materially from the ETF’s NAV. In light of the fragmentation, volatility and trading volume of the cryptocurrency marketplace, how would ETFs comply with this term of their orders?
Have funds engaged with market makers and authorized participants to understand the feasibility of the arbitrage for ETFs investing substantially in cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency-related products? How would volatility-based trading halts on a cryptocurrency futures market impact this arbitrage mechanism? How would the shutdown of a cryptocurrency exchange affect the market price or arbitrage mechanism?[5]

Potential Manipulation and Other Risks

In a recently issued statement, Chairman Jay Clayton noted that concerns have been raised that cryptocurrency markets, as they are currently operating, feature substantially less investor protection than traditional securities markets, with correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.[6] The Commission has also discussed concerns relating to the risk of fraud and manipulation in cryptocurrency markets in orders denying exchange proposals to list the shares of commodity trusts that would hold cryptocurrency.[7] In addition, a number of recent media reports have highlighted a range of possible vectors for potential manipulation of cryptocurrency markets. Although some funds may propose to hold cryptocurrency-related products, rather than cryptocurrencies, the pricing, volatility and resiliency of these derivative markets generally would be expected to be strongly influenced by the underlying markets.
How have these concerns informed your responses to the foregoing questions concerning, for instance, valuation and liquidity?
How would you weigh these concerns in considering whether offering a proposed fund is appropriate for the wide range of investors, including retail investors, who might invest in the fund? Would investors, including retail investors, have sufficient information to consider any cryptocurrency-related funds and to understand the risks?
Have you discussed with any broker-dealers who may distribute the funds how they would analyze the suitability of offering the funds to retail investors in light of the risks discussed above? Are there particular challenges investment advisers would face in meeting their fiduciary obligations when investing in cryptocurrency-related funds on behalf of retail investors?
* * *
The resolution of many of the questions we have raised in the context of a product seeking to register under the 1940 Act will also be important to the ongoing analysis of filings for exchange-traded products and related changes to exchange listing standards by the Division of Corporation Finance, the Division of Trading and Markets and the Office of the Chief Accountant. In addition, questions concerning what regulatory structure or structures apply to the market for the underlying instrument will be relevant to the requirements of both the 1940 Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including applicable accounting, audit and reporting implications. We have been and will continue working closely with the other Divisions and Offices as we analyze these significant issues.
The preceding questions have focused on specific requirements of the 1940 Act and its implications for registered offerings of funds intending to hold cryptocurrency or related products. There may be registered offerings under the Securities Act of 1933 by entities holding similar products and pursuing similar investment strategies. Those entities would have to comply with the registration and prospectus disclosure requirements of the Securities Act.
Until the questions identified above can be addressed satisfactorily, we do not believe that it is appropriate for fund sponsors to initiate registration of funds that intend to invest substantially in cryptocurrency and related products, and we have asked sponsors that have registration statements filed for such products to withdraw them. In addition, we do not believe that such funds should utilize rule 485(a) under the Securities Act, which allows post-effective amendments to previously effective registration statements for registration of a new series to go effective automatically. If a sponsor were to file a post-effective amendment under rule 485(a) to register a fund that invests substantially in cryptocurrency or related products, we would view that action unfavorably and would consider actions necessary or appropriate to protect Main Street investors, including recommending a stop order to the Commission.
I appreciate your assistance in sharing our views on this subject with your members. We look forward to engaging with you and your members on these important questions, and we invite you to contact Barry Miller at (202) 551-6725.
Sincerely,
Dalia Blass
Director
Division of Investment Management
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

[1] This letter addresses issues arising from funds potentially focused on cryptocurrency-related products. We note, however, that other types of digital assets and related products could present similar issues.
[3] See Investment Company Liquidity Risk Management Programs, Inv. Co. Act Rel. No. 32315 (Oct. 13, 2016), available at https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2016/33-10233.pdf.
[4] The 15% illiquidity standard is consistent with past Commission statements regarding funds’ liquidity standards. However, the Commission’s new rule strengthened the compliance controls under the standard, including requiring reporting to a fund’s board and to the Commission regarding breaches of the 15% illiquid limit. Most funds would be required to comply with the new rule’s liquidity risk management program requirements on Dec. 1, 2018, while fund complexes with less than a $1 billion in net assets would be required to do so on June 1, 2019.
[6] SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (Dec. 11, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-clayton-2017-12-11.
[7] See, e.g., Securities and Exchange Commission, Order Disapproving a Proposed Rule Change (Mar. 28, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/rules/sro/nysearca/2017/34-80319.pdf.

http://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/noaction/2018/cryptocurrency-011818.htm


https://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/noaction/2018/cryptocurrency-011818.htm 
Posted: March 1, 2018, 2:50 am
On Monday morning we reported that a number of traders - currently or formerly employed by UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank (as usual, no JPMorgan US banks were touched) - would be perp-walked and charged in an unprecedented cross-agency crackdown between the CFTC, DOJ and FBI seeking to punish spoofers of futures. This was confirmed moments ago by a CFTC press release which announced criminal and civil enforcement actions against three banks and six individuals involved in commodities fraud and spoofing schemes.
Here is what got far less publicity: it wasn't just any futures that were spoofed - all the banks and traders busted were charged for spoofing the precious metals market, i.e. gold and silver. We bring this up because there are still the occasional idiots out there who say gold and silver were never manipulated.
The banks in question, and their penalties:
Deutsche Bank will pay a $30 million civil monetary penalty and undertake remedial relief. The Orders finds that "from at least February 2008 and continuing through at least September 2014, DB AG, by and through certain precious metals traders (Traders), engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts by utilizing a variety of manual spoofing techniques with respect to precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), and by trading in a manner to trigger customer stop-loss orders."
UBS will pay a $15 million civil monetary penalty and undertake remedial relief.  The Order finds that from "January 2008 through at least December 2013, UBS, by and through the acts of certain precious metals traders on the spot desk (Traders), attempted to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts by utilizing a variety of manual spoofing techniques with respect to precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), including gold and silver, and by trading in a manner to trigger customer stop-loss orders."
HSBC will pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.6 million, and cease and desist from violating the Commodity Exchange Act’s prohibition against spoofing, after an Order found HSBC engaged in numerous acts of "spoofing with respect to certain futures products in gold and other precious metals traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX). The Order finds that HSBC engaged in this activity through one of its traders based in HSBC’s New York office."
For those keeping count, this is roughly the 4th time HSBC has been found guilty of manipulating markets after the bank nearly lost its charter and swore it would never manipulate markets again.
* * *
And here are the 6 traders who spoof and otherwise manipulated the precious metals market:
  • Krishna Mohan
The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Krishna Mohan of New York City, New York, charging him with spoofing (bidding or offering with the intent to cancel before execution) and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini Dow ($5) futures contract market on the Chicago Board of Trade and the E-mini NASDAQ 100 futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
  • Jiongsheng Zhao
The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Defendant Jiongsheng Zhao, of Australia, charging him with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
  • James Vorley & Cedric Chanu
The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against James Vorley, a U.K. resident, and Cedric Chanu, a United Arab Emirates resident, charging them with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the precious metals futures markets.
  • Jitesh Thakkar & Edge Financial Technologies
The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Jitesh Thakkar of Naperville, Illinois, and his company, Edge Financial Technologies, Inc. (Edge), with aiding and abetting spoofing and a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini S&P futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (E-mini S&P).
An amusing tangent: recall that according to court docs related to the prosecution of "May 2010" flash crash scapegoat Navinder Sarao, the former S&P spoofer allegedly asked the abovementioned founder of the trading-software company Edge Financial Technologies Inc. to modify a program to allow him to automate some trading functions.
The CFTC and Department of Justice said in their complaint that those modifications were designed to help him spoof the markets more efficiently.
It gets better: as the WSJ reported, the now arrested Jitesh Thakkar, the founder of Edge Financial and a former member of a CFTC technology-advisory committee, said in an interview that the CFTC had sent [Sarao] a letter asking him to retain all documents related to Mr. Sarao.
“I’ve spoken out against spoofing,” he said. “We didn’t create anything that does anything illegal.”
Two years later Thakkar was arrested for just that, but it also now appears that Thakkar may have used Sarao's algo himself.
* * *
Finally, our old friend, Andre Flotron, formerly of UBS, who as we reported on several prior occasions was arrested and charged with gold-rigging after a lengthy career of doing just that at the largest Swiss bank:
The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against Andre Flotron, of Switzerland, charging him with engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme and spoofing in the precious metals futures markets on a registered entity.
* * *
Meanwhile, the S&P500 manipulation by the Fed and spoofing by HFTs continues apace, and will as long as the market keeps levitating because it is only when stocks crash, that the fingerpointing begins.
Posted: January 30, 2018, 3:07 am

Summary

tZero ICO is about to disrupt markets.
KODAKCoin perhaps the first large company launching a Crypto.
KODAKCoin will trade exclusively on tZERO's platform.
KODAKCoin itself is not important, what is important is this is the precedent for hundreds of other big corporate coins.
It's amazing how many rumors and trash talk can keep a genie in a bottle. But in the next 60 days, not Trump himself could stop this genie from coming out of Overstock.com's (NASDAQ:OSTK) bottle and when it does, it will make Crypto history. There's nothing new here, this story has been going on for some time - but we're now nearing the climax, the singularity. And it's happening now!
Recently, we authored an article talking about how Overstock is the perfect Blockchain play and we still believe it is.
But since our article things have changed for the better, and we want to focus on the tZERO ICO.

Read the full story at: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4140678-tzero-ico-make-overstock-wall-street-favorite
Posted: January 28, 2018, 12:44 am

Summary

TZero has been working on this technology for years - it is launching, not developing.
Few legitimate options for stocks that are deep into Blockchain technology.
Alternatives such as IBM are not as pure Blockchain plays as OSTK.
For those of you who are 'now' looking at Blockchain, see this article on Seeking Alpha we authored in March of 2016 urging investors to go long Overstock.com (OSTK) which we did, and profited nicely. Like the whole move with Bitcoin, it would have taken patience to sit and hold through the process, now almost 2 years. Things take time to build, develop, and grow. Now we're on the precipice of what we believe is the 'real' bull run for crypto, that being the regulated run. Until now, there hasn't been really a way to buy or invest in cryptocurrencies or businesses in a regulated way. Now there're futures on regulated exchanges, and the TZero ICO.
Posted: January 1, 2018, 6:24 pm
If you look from a systemic perspective, Bitcoin has been nothing more than another electronic asset bubble, while not a QE tool explicitly used by the Fed - it has accomplished the same thing, but much faster.  What took decades and years for QE to do in other markets, Bitcoin did inside of a few months.  While it's true that Bitcoin only goes up because US Dollars (USD) and other fiat currencies buys, the net effect is a near infinite velocity of money.  One subtle problem the Fed has dealt with perhaps more than inflation and others is Velocity of money, which is in steady decline since the credit crisis:
Basically, Velocity of money is how quickly money is 'spent' and moved around the economy.  Trillions of QE money on banks balance sheets is not helpful for the economy.  The Fed knows this, but is limited in its creativity.  Interestingly, if you look at the above chart when Velocity of money was in peak decline, it is about the time Bitcoin was introduced.  We have exposed how we believe anonymous forces inside the US Government are if not completely, somewhat responsible for the creation of Bitcoin, and in the very least participated in the design.  This isn't a conspiracy theory, it is macro analysis.  Who was the most capable group who had the world's best cryptographers, mathematicians, and huge budget? (NSA).  Who had an economic need for Bitcoin to solve the problem of Velocity of money (The Fed).  
Cash has the distinct advantage of being anonymous. You can put cash under your mattress or in a vault, and no one knows about it except you. A national cryptocurrency would make it far more difficult for criminals to hoard money because all transactions would be recorded in the government ledger. If a transaction was deemed illegal, the parties to the transaction could be identified. This is also true with bitcoin, whose ledger is viewable to anyone. Despite the negative press about bitcoin being used for illegal transactions, bitcoin is not anonymous, and criminals who use it often do not understand that their transactions are being recorded.
There is another reason for governments to like the idea of a national cryptocurrency: strengthening the power of monetary policy to help manage the economy.
We published this insight in multiple articles months ago and in our book Splitting Bits: Understanding Bitcoin and the Blockchain.
The WAPO story is clearly setting the stage for something, as WAPO has become the goto CIA mouthpiece for PsyOps and other agencies in "Big Intel." 
That's it, now go spend your Bitcoin!
For a detailed breakdown how the financial system really works, checkout Splitting Pennies.
Posted: December 22, 2017, 9:57 pm
In 2015 we wrote Splitting Pennies to show the world what the FX market really is.  Splitting Pennies is a metaphor, for what the global FX money markets have become.  It is a holistic, systemic overview of the global financial system, with practical examples and pitfalls to avoid.  Since then, Bitcoin has become so popular we conceived Splitting Bits, the logical sequel in the Splitting Finance series.  Now you can get both on Kindle or Paperback from Amazon - See www.splittingpennies.com for more info or go here and buy it.

Posted: December 22, 2017, 9:56 pm
Although Bitcoin is electronic and moves quickly, the real world doesn't.  Since Bitcoin (which is colloquially BTC/USD) has been in the news, millions have decided to put their own money into the Crypto world and press their luck.  So here's what's driving the price.  Let's say you want to buy Golem, it's not offered on Coinbase, you need to first get an account at Bittrex or Cryptopia which are only fundable in Crypto.  That means if you are not a hacker or computer expert, you need to first connect your Coinbase account to your bank account at Wells or BOFA and then buy BTC paying the egregious 7% fee (which ironically is similar to an FX transaction).  Then, and only then, you can fund your Bittrex with BTC and buy XRP or whatever.  So this is driving the price of BTC higher, as there is precious little supply of BTC.  We call this in FX 'real money flows' - as DB noted recently, Japanese men have become 'crypto day traders' - but the real upward pressure is by using BTC as a base/funding currency, which is only beginning.  Crypto exchanges are experiencing huge bottlenecks, which means this squeeze has only started.  This week the price of BTC/USD can run up 100% or more due to this demand.  

That means, millions of people investing thousands of dollars, is driving the price of BTC up, and will likely continue to do so, until there are viable alternatives, which there will be.  Currently BTC is really the only choice for many - although it is slow, inefficient, and feature poor.

Posted: December 17, 2017, 2:00 am
Elite E Services 12/10/2017 - As a Forex CTA for 12 years, we were happy to learn the CME will offer a Bitcoin futures contract, and called the CME to learn more.  Unlike most of these Bitcoin outfits, the CME has an office, a phone, which is answered, and we were routed to the correct person.  We don't want to name names as we still wait a response from legal about the publication of information (which will likely not happen before the contract goes live) so we will speak only generally about this contract and comment on what some of the market is saying:

 The problem, of course, boils down to Bitcoin’s volatility, something we flagged after the CME announced circuit breakers early last month.
Having taken a gamble on bitcoin futures, which are set to begin trading by the end of the year, the CME is now seeking to avoid the consequences of what has emerged as both the cryptocurrency's best and worst selling point: its unprecedented volatility…While the CME already uses daily vol limits on most other markets, including crude, gold and market futures, to temporarily halt trading when price swings get out of control, the CME has never before dealt with something like bitcoin
In June, Bloomberg showed how Bitcoin’s 30-day volatility had risen to 100%, which was comparable (at the time) with one of the most volatile financial instruments they (and we) could probably think of - a three-times levered ETF in junior gold miners.

The price of Bitcoin (notably, BTC/USD) has been exploding all week basically with the market expecting that with regulated futures contracts, it will bring institutional money into the Crypto market.  While that may be true, this futures contract is not exactly a conduit, as it is 'cash settled' which means effectively 'not settled' or 'self-cleared'.  CME will match buyers and sellers and not have any connection to any Bitcoin exchange or other clearing facility.  At the end of the day, each contract will have a profit or loss, against each other.  Crypto Market Makers could at their own risk, provide liquidity on-exchange and lay off risk independently, through the exchanges.  But practically, why would they?  Just to soak up 'newbie' liquidity from the moms and pops now able to trade the futures contract through their IRA?  Something certainly doesn't add up here, and given the chaos and volatility we saw all week, we are expecting at best, a total market meltdown; at worst, they may cease trading the contract.  There is certainly a lot of money waiting in the pipeline for the moment the contract goes live.  And it's not the only one, CBOE has a contract too, which is the first one which will go live.

Traders wait in anticipation this week to see how the market will react to the first regulated Crypto contracts.

To get in on the action checkout some Bitcoin resources we've added to our website by clicking here.  If you want to learn more about Bitcoin from the perspective of digital currency, which we've been doing for 15 years, checkout Splitting Bits - Understanding Bitcoin and the Blockchain.


Posted: December 10, 2017, 7:53 pm