Author Archive for Zero Hedge

Stop Drinking The Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction In An Age Of Televised Lies

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“We’ve got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans—‘Time for a change’—‘The mess in Washington’—‘More bang for a buck’—punch lines and glamour.”— A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Politics is entertainment.

It is a heavily scripted, tightly choreographed, star-studded, ratings-driven, mass-marketed, costly exercise in how to sell a product—in this case, a presidential candidate—to dazzled consumers who will choose image over substance almost every time.

This year’s presidential election, much like every other election in recent years, is what historian Daniel Boorstin referred to as a “pseudo-event”: manufactured, contrived, confected and devoid of any intrinsic value save the value of being advertised. It is the end result of a culture that is moving away from substance toward sensationalism in an era of mass media.

As author Noam Chomsky rightly observed, “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.” In other words, we’re being sold a carefully crafted product by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it’s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.

Tune into a political convention and you will find yourself being sucked into an alternate reality so glossy, star-studded, emotionally charged and entertaining as to make you forget that you live in a police state. The elaborate stage show, the costumes, the actors, the screenplay, the lighting, the music, the drama: all carefully calibrated to appeal to the public’s need for bread and circuses, diversion and entertainment, and pomp and circumstance.

Politics is a reality show, America’s favorite form of entertainment, dominated by money and profit, imagery and spin, hype and personality and guaranteed to ensure that nothing in the way of real truth reaches the populace.

After all, who cares about police shootings, drone killings, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture schemes, private prisons, school-to-prison pipelines, overcriminalization, censorship or any of the other evils that plague our nation when you can listen to the croonings of Paul Simon, laugh along


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Yen Plunges On Yet Another Strawman Headline About Stimulus, Then Surges On Denial

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: Well that didn’t last long…

Livesquawk: Japan Ministry of Finance say it is not true they are considering 50yr bonds – debunking earlier WSJ story --Rtrs

Who could have seen that denial coming?

Has the BOJ denied the trial balloon yet

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 27, 2016

*  *  *

USDJPY just spiked back over 106.00 after headlines suggesting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will unveil new stimulus as soon as today. News reports on 27t yen fiscal stimulus and issuance of 50-year bond, both spur yen selling, says David Lu, HK-based director at NBC Financial Markets Asia. We suspect there will be some disappointment after the algos are finished as FNN reports the package will include 13t yen of low-interest loans (so a smaller helicopter than expected) and besides, it’s not like the Japanese are suffering from rates being too high.

Abe wil speak today at 0400GMT – no confirmation yet as to whether the stimulus will be the topic.

As one analyst noted, it appears Abe pre-announced the stimulus package. It looks like psuedo debt monetization is on the way, if as expected, the BoJ will buy these ‘low interest loans’. But of course, direct debt monetization will never be admitted to… or will it?

The question is – will this be it? Or is this to strawman the size once again to see if the market (for that is all that matters) will be satiated by Abe’s promises.





NSA Whistleblower: Not So Fast On Claims Russia Behind Hillary Clinton Email Hack

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The mainstream media alleges that Russia was behind the hack of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The media is parading out the usual suspects alleged experts to back up this claim.

Washington’s Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower in history, William Binney – the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”) – what he thinks of such claims:

Edward Snowden says the NSA could easily determine who hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails:

But mainstream media say it couldn’t:   http://www.businessinsider.com/dnc-hack-russian-government-2016-7

The mainstream media is also trumpeting the meme that Russia was behind the hack, because it wants to help Trump get elected. In other words, the media is trying to deflect how damaging the email leaks are to Clinton’s character by trying to somehow associate Trump with Putin.

See e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/us/politics/kremlin-donald-trump-vladimir-putin.html

Who’s right?

Binney responded:

Snowden is right and the MSM is clueless. Here’s what I said to Ray McGovern and VIPS with a little humor at the end. [McGovern is a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials. McGovern is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (“VIPS” for short).]

Ray, I am suspicious that they may have looked for known hacking code (used by Russians). And, I’m sure they were one probably of many to hack her stuff. But, does that mean that they checked to see if others also hacked in?

Further, do they have evidence that the Russians downloaded and later forwarded those emails to wikileaks? Seems to me that they need to answer those questions to be


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FelonsVotesMatter (To Hillary) – Clinton’s Election Fate In Virginia Lies With 200,000 Unregistered Offenders

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Reminding us once again that nothing is off limits to the Clintons when it comes to winning elections, Politico earlier today wrote about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) efforts to register 200,000 ex-felons to vote in November.  For reference, 200,000 is over 5% of the 3.8mm people who voted in the Presidential race in 2012 and is larger than Obama’s margin of victory over Mitt Romney of 149,298.

Taking a play from Obama’s playbook, McAuliffe signed a sweeping executive order it April 2016 granting 206,000 felons in Virgina, who had completed their sentence, the right to vote.  We previously wrote about this order hereHillary Clinton, a long-time friend of Governor McAuliffe, was quick to express her approval of the executive order over twitter:

Proud of my friend @GovernorVA for continuing to break down barriers to voting. -H https://t.co/sL6NBLKwho

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 22, 2016

That said, Virginia’s Supreme Court recently reversed McAuliffe’s executive order asserting that he had overstepped his authority to grant a blanket restoration of voting rights to all felons simultaneously.  Instead, the Supreme Court ruled that McAuliffe could only restore voting rights to each felon individually, a task that he vowed to start right away.  We have no doubt that Governor McAuliffe’s office will spend every resource necessary to, in fact, accomplish that goal.

We have written about McAuliffe multiple times over the past couple of months including here and here.  That said, we’ve included below a brief summary of his checkered history and deep connection with the Clinton family.

McAuliffe is a long-time Clinton confidant currently embrioled in a federal investigation surrounding certain questionable contributions from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang.  As CNN recently reported:

McAuliffe is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department’s public integrity unit [that] are thrusting him back into the spotlight. U.S. officials briefed on the probe say the investigation dates to at least last year and has focused, at least in part, on whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law, the officials said.

Authorities are looking into $120,000 in donations Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang gave to McAuliffe through his American business.

Foreign nationals are


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Judge Rules Bitcoin Isn’t Money Because It “Can’t be Hidden Under A Mattress”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Everett Numbers via TheAntiMedia.org

In a landmark decision, a Florida judge dismissed charges of money laundering against a Bitcoin seller on Monday following expert testimony showing state law did not apply to the cryptocurrency.

Michell Espinoza was charged with three felony charges related to money laundering in 2014, but what appears to have helped to clear him of any and all wrongdoing was testimony given just a few weeks ago by an economics professor.

“This is the most fascinating thing I’ve heard in this courtroom in a long time,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler said after hearing Barry University professor Charles Evans present evidence during a May hearing that Bitcoin was more akin to“poker chips that people are willing to buy from you,” according to theMiami Herald.

Evans was given $3,000 in Bitcoin by defense attorneys for sharing his expertise, the newspaper reported.

Judge Pooler found the cryptocurrency, which is based on verified encrypted transactions that are recorded on a public ledger, did not constitute “tangible wealth” and“cannot be hidden under a mattress like cash and gold bars,” reported the Herald.

Pooler added that Bitcoin was not codified by government, nor backed by any bank.

“The court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, the Bitcoin has a long way to go before it the equivalent of money,” Pooler wrote in her decision.

“This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,” she added.

Espinoza, 33, was charged after undercover detectives bought $1,500 worth of Bitcoin from him, claiming they would use the currency to purchase stolen credit card numbers. However, Judge Pooler found the Florida law prosecutors based their case upon to be too “vague.”

Another man, Pascal Reid, was arrested in tandem with Espinoza. Reid took an early plea deal, pleading guilty to acting as an unlicensed money broker. The deal required him to serve a probation sentence and educate law enforcement on the


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Assange: “A Lot More Material” Will Be Released

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

One month ago, when Wikileaks’ Julian Assange told ITV’s Richard Peston that he would publish “enough evidence” to indict Hillary Clinton, few took him seriously. And while Hillary has not been indicted – yet – last Friday’s leak has already managed to wreak havoc and has led to revelations of cronyism and collusion within the Democratic party and the media, the resignation of the DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as well as chaos on the first day of the Democratic convention.

Hence, why we believe Assange will be taken more seriously this time.

Earlier today, Assange told CNN that Wikileaks might release “a lot more material” relevant to the US electoral campaign. Assange spoke to CNN following the release of nearly 20,000 hacked Democratic National Committee emails.

The topic then turned to the topic du jour: “did Putin do it”?

Assange refused to confirm or deny a Russian origin for the mass email leak, saying Wikileaks tries to create ambiguity to protect all its sources.

“Perhaps one day the source or sources will step forward and that might be an interesting moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who our sources are,” Assange told CNN.

The Kremlin has rejected allegations its behind the hacking, calling suggestions it ordered the release of the emails to influence US politics the “usual fun and games” of the US election campaigns, while the Russian foreign minister had an even simpler reaction to the same question: “I don’t want to use four-letter words.” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, added, “This is not really good for bilateral relations.”

All of this now appears to be irrelevant, and as we speculated earlier, the “anti-Russia” narrative is now in motion and moments ago Obama said that it’s ‘possible’ Putin is trying to sway vote for Trump.

Which brings us to the next point: speaking from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he faces extradition over sexual assault allegations, Assange told CNN that Democratic Party officials were using the specter of Russian involvement to distract from the content of the emails, which have had tumultuous affect on the party at the start of its national convention, where


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“We Live In A Dystopic, Orwellian Ball Of Crazy”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Alt-Market’s Brandon Smith points out an interesting synopsis video by Melissa Dykes on the ever growing weirdness that is our world in 2016.

Make no mistake, Smith reminds, humanity is being put into a state of constant vertigo; a psychological daze meant to keep us completely distracted from the reality that our cultural collapse is by design and serves the interests of a select elitist minority. Think things are strange now? They are about to get far worse in the coming months, I guarantee it…





Might The Donald Be Good For Peace?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Brian Cloughley (former deputy head of UN military mission in Kashmir) via Strategic-Culture.org,

Donald Trump is erratic. We all know that. It is insulting to assert, in the words of Britain’s new Foreign Secretary, the erratic Boris Johnson, that he is «frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States», but he’s certainly unpredictable and says some things that are, to put it mildly, intriguing. The fact remains that he could be next president of the United States, which makes it important to look at what he might do if that comes about, especially in the light of America’s military catastrophes so far this century.

Obama followed his predecessors in expanding America’s iron fist as self-appointed global policeman. He vastly increased the US military presence around the world and intensified the Pentagon’s aggressive confrontations with China and Russia.

In China’s case this was effected by sending US Naval E-P3 electronic surveillance aircraft on missions close to the mainland, deploying EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, ordering B-52 nuclear bombers to overfly the South China Sea where the US Navy also carried out extended manoeuvres by massive strike groups of nuclear-armed aircraft carriers and guided missile cruisers. All this in a region where the US has not the slightest territorial interest or claim. China’s Sea is 12,000 kilometres, 7,000 miles, from the American mainland, yet Washington considers it the sacred right and duty of the United States to act as a global gendarme and give orders to China about its posture in its own back yard, where there has not been one instance of interference with commercial shipping passing through that region.

As to confrontation with Russia, the US has ensured that its Brussels sub-office, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, will go on playing its toy-soldier games right up to Russia’s borders. The official statement after NATO’s war drum-thumping conclave in Warsaw on July 8-9 is indicative of its determination to continue its attempts to menace Russia, which has not made the slightest move to threaten a single NATO member. It is absurd to claim that «the security situation has deteriorated» in the Black Sea and the Baltic because of Russian action.

These regions would be perfectly calm if it were not for constant provocations by US-NATO warships and combat and


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Dead ‘Market’ Walking: Chinese Stock Volatility Crashes Near Record Lows

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When Chinese authorities took over the day-to-day management and support of their collapsing stock market in August 2015, it was not just volume that died.

From over 110, short-term volatility in China’s major stock market – Shanghai Composite – has collapsed to single-digits this week. This is among the least volatile period in the index’s history, despite increased uncertainty around stimulus and economic transition.

China’s $6.2 trillion equity market was until recently best known for its violent price swings.

But, as Bloomberg reports, such wildness is past, with a gauge of volatility on the Shanghai Composite Index approaching the lowest level since 1992.

This complacency is happening despite a stock rebound that is faltering as improving economic data damp speculation for more stimulus, while the memory of last year’s boom-bust deters investors from betting on sustained gains.

We suspect this episode will not end well, as almost half of the Shanghai Composite Index’s members are flashing sell signals, up from 5 percent two weeks ago, moving average convergence-divergence data show.

The last time the proportion of bearish signs was this high in April, a 9 percent drop followed.





“Too Simple” Energy-Economy Models Give Misleading Answers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog,

Does it make a difference if our models of energy and the economy are overly simple? I would argue that it depends on what we plan to use the models for. If all we want to do is determine approximately how many years in the future energy supplies will turn down, then a simple model is perfectly sufficient. But if we want to determine how we might change the current economy to make it hold up better against the forces it is facing, we need a more complex model that explains the economy’s real problems as we reach limits. We need a model that tells the correct shape of the curve, as well as the approximate timing. I suggest reading my recent post regarding complexity and its effects as background for this post.

The common lay interpretation of simple models is that running out of energy supplies can be expected to be our overwhelming problem in the future. A more complete model suggests that our problems as we approach limits are likely to be quite different: growing wealth disparity, inability to maintain complex infrastructure, and growing debt problems. Energy supplies that look easy to extract will not, in fact, be available because prices will not rise high enough. These problems can be expected to change the shape of the curve of future energy consumption to one with a fairly fast decline, such as the Seneca Cliff.

Figure 5. Seneca Cliff by Ugo Bardi

Figure 1. Seneca Cliff by Ugo Bardi. This curve is based on writings in the 1st century C.E. by Lucius Anneaus Seneca, “It would be of some consolation for the feebleness of our selves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.”

It is not intuitive, but complexity-related issues create a situation in which economies need to grow, or they will collapse. See my post, The Physics of Energy and the Economy. The popular idea that we extract 50% of a resource before peak, and 50% after peak will be found not to be true–much of the second 50% will stay in the ground.

Some readers may be interested in a new


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Phil's Favorites

Revisiting Price Compression - Long Bond Edition

 

Revisiting Price Compression – Long Bond Edition

Courtesy of Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism

If you’ve read my paper Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction you know that I like to think of all financial instruments as if they’re bonds. This is helpful for multiple reasons:

  • It helps provide a realistic timeframe for holding certain instruments.
  • It helps put the various risks of those instruments in the right perspective.

The thing about bonds is that they pay a specific coupon. So, a 10 year T-Bond paying 2.5% will pay you 2.5% for the next 10 ye...



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Zero Hedge

Stop Drinking The Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction In An Age Of Televised Lies

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“We’ve got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans—‘Time for a change’—‘The mess in Washington’—‘More bang for a buck’—punch lines and glamour.”— A Face in the Crowd (19...



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Digital Currencies

Judge Rules Bitcoin Isn't Money Because It "Can't be Hidden Under A Mattress"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Everett Numbers via TheAntiMedia.org

In a landmark decision, a Florida judge dismissed charges of money laundering against a Bitcoin seller on Monday following expert testimony showing state law did not apply to the cryptocurrency.

Michell Espinoza was charged with three felony charges related to money laundering i...



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ValueWalk

Bridgewater Associates Faces Heat Over Sexual Assault Claims

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bridgewater Associates is in the news again and yet again not for the reasons Ray Dalio and crew would prefer. The latest is a sexual harassment allegation from a Christopher Tarui. Tarui is described as a “34-year-old adviser to large institutional investors in Bridgewater” and he claims that a male supervisor harassed him. Specifically:

Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

On one occasion, he said, his supervisor confided in him that he had an ...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Flat Finish Before Fed Wednesday

Courtesy of Doug Short's Advisor Perspectives.

US equity indexes traded in a narrow range today and finished mixed ahead of Fed Wednesday. Our benchmark S&P 500 exhibited a bit of volatility in the first 90 minutes, hitting its intraday high and low about an hour apart. The index then struggled with yesterday's closing price during the lunch hour and again at the close. It managed to eke out a 0.03% gain as we move toward tomorrow's FOMC minutes and rate decision, expect by most analysts to remain unchanged.

The yield on the 10-year closed at 1.57%, down one basis point from the previous session.

Here is a snapshot of past five sessions in the S&P 500.

Here is a daily chart of the index. We've highlighted the unusually narrow pattern over the past nine sessions, b...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Junk Bonds at important inflection point, should impact stocks!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Junk bonds have been quality at sending Risk On and Risk Off message to the broad stock market. Below looks at Junk Bond ETF JNK over the past decade.

JNK finds itself at an important price point below and what it does in the upcoming couple of weeks could become a big influence on the Risk On/Risk Off trade.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Fed seen holding rates steady as inflation watch continues (Reuters)

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged this week, deferring any possible increase until September or December, as policymakers hold out for more evidence of a pickup in inflation.

U.S. stock futures waver ahead of Fed, key earnings (Market Watch)

U.S. stock futures struggled for direction on Tuesday, with investors opting for the sidelines ahead of the closely watched Federal Reserve meeting and a deluge of ear...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of July 25th, 2016

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Mapping The Market

No wonder Saudis are selling as much as they can!

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

We are getting much more energy efficient – no wonder Saudis are selling as much as they can! Who wants to be the one with trillions of dollars of oil in the ground unwanted:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/07/the-amount-of-energy-needed-to-run-the-worlds-economy-is-decreasing-on-average/#p3

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Biotech

This Is Why Biotech Stocks May Explode Again

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members.

Here's an interesting article from Investor's Business Daily arguing that biotech stocks are beginning to recover from their recent declines, notwithstanding current weakness.

This Is Why Biotech Stocks May Explode Again

By 

Excerpt:

After a three-year bull run that more than quadrupled its value by its peak last July, IBD’s Medical-Biomed/Biotech Industry Group plunged 50% by early February, hurt by backlashes against high drug prices and mergers that seek to lower corporate taxes.

...



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Promotions

PSW is more than just stock talk!

 

We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more!

PhilStockWorld.com features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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