by ilene - October 29th, 2014 7:17 pm
Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded shortly after takeoff Tuesday night.
And now the company's shares are crashing as well.
In premarket trade on Wednesday, Orbital Sciences shares were down more than 15% after the company's unmanned Antares rocket exploded shortly after taking off for the International Space Station with about 5,000 pounds of supplies.
In a statement, Orbital Sciences said that shortly after takeoff the rocket experienced a "catastrophic failure."
No was hurt in the incident.
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 4:51 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Goodbye Retail Associates, Hello Robots
The future of shopping has arrived, and its not human.
Not only do robots cost less than humans, they don’t complain, they speak multiple languages, and most importantly, by scanning aisles they know where every item is in the store and can take you straight to it.
OSHbot is the newest member of the “Fellow Robots” family, and developed in partnership with Lowes Innovation Labs.
The future of shopping has arrived
Retail Robotics is an exciting and fast growing new market and Fellow Robots is at the forefront. Advances in sensors, wireless networking, voice recognition and design prototyping are enabling us to build the smart retail robots that can autonomously navigate through stores, help communicate with customers to understand what they need and locate it quickly.
OSHbot incorporates the latest of these advanced technologies. For example, a customer may bring in a spare part and scan the object using OSHbot’s 3D sensing camera. After scanning and identifying the object, OSHbot will provide product information to the customer and guide them to its location on store shelves.
- Front Screen: 19.5 inches
- Back Screen: 29 inches
- Height: 5 ft
- Weight: 85 pounds
- Voice recognition
- Advanced sensors
- Autonomous navigation
- Obstacle avoidance
Making Science Fiction a Reality
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 3:18 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Aside from the S&P 500 of course, which made billionaires out of millionaires (even if it failed to make billionaires into trillionaires this time around - we will have to wait for QE4 or QE5 for that), some may wonder: who was the biggest beneficiary of QE3? It certainly wasn't the US middle class, which has seen its real wages decline in 6 of the past 7 months, and its disposable income is back at levels not seen since the mid-1990s. No, the biggest winner of QE3 is the same entity that we noted benefited the most from QE over the past 6 years, and which even the WSJ realized was the primary beneficiary of the trillions in cash created out of thin air by the Fed, when in late September Hilsenrath wrote "Fed Rate Policies Aid Foreign Banks"… something we first said back in 2011 with "Exclusive: The Fed's $600 Billion Stealth Bailout Of Foreign Banks Continues At The Expense Of The Domestic Economy, Or Explaining Where All The QE2 Money Went."
So when it comes to the Fed's QE3 generosity to foreign banks, what was the real number?
Here is the answer.
The first chart below shows that since starting in December 2012, when QE3 was formally launched, and continuing through today, the Fed injected some $1.3 trillion reserves with banks, which has manifested as extra cash held by various banks operating in the US, both domestic, but most importantly, foreign.
So how does this increase in bank cash assets look like when broken down by banking group? The answer is shown below:
And the bottom line:
- Small domestic banks, such as your mom and pop regional bank which is anything but Too Big To Fail: change in cash: zero.
- Large domestic banks, think JPM's CIO group, i.e., its London Whale division which used precisely this "excess" Fed cash to try to corner the IG market and blow up in the process: call it just under $600 billion in cash as a result of QE3.
- And the winner, with over $700 billion in extra cash
No Plans for Normalization: Fed Ends QE, Will Hold Rates Low for “Considerable Time”, Will Reinvest Proceeds
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 2:47 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Inquiring minds may wish to slog through today’s FOMC Press Release on Monetary Policy but it’s really not worth the time it takes to read it.
Here are a few details, generally expected
- The Committee judges that there has been a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market since the inception of its current asset purchase program.
- The Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate.
- The Committee anticipates, based on its current assessment, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time following the end of its asset purchase program this month, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.
- If incoming information indicates faster progress toward the Committee’s employment and inflation objectives than the Committee now expects, then increases in the target range for the federal funds rate are likely to occur sooner than currently anticipated. Conversely, if progress proves slower than expected, then increases in the target range are likely to occur later than currently anticipated.
- The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.
Reinvesting Principal Payments
The Fed also released a Statement Regarding Purchases of Treasury Securities and Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities.
NEW YORK — On October 29, 2014, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to conclude the current asset purchase program by the end of October . The FOMC also directed the Desk to maintain the existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency debt and agency MBS in agency MBS and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.
Reinvestments in agency MBS will continue to be concentrated in newly-issued agency MBS in the
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 2:03 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Sanctions or not, NASA uses Russian-made engines to propel rockets.
Yesterday, just seconds after takeoff, a NASA Antares rocket with a Russian-made engine exploded on takeoff. The mission was to carry supplies to the orbiting space station.
Today, the Guardian reports that Russian rocket manufacturer insists it is not to blame for Antares crash.
The Russian maker of the engine used in the unmanned US supply rocket that exploded after liftoff in Virginia denied on Wednesday that its product was at fault for the catastrophe.
The launch phase of the Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket relied on two AJ-26 engines that were originally produced in the 1970s for a failed Soviet moon program and later modernised for US space flights. Speculation quickly centered on the Soviet-based engines, which have failed in tests, when the rocket exploded in a giant fireball after takeoff on Tuesday night.
But the Kuznetsov company in the Russian city of Samara suggested the blame lay not with its NK-33 engines, which formed the basis for the AJ-26 engines, but rather with their later modification in the United States, Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.
Investigators from Nasa were scouring the site of the failed launch in Virginia by helicopter on Wednesday as they attempted to assess the extent of damage to the Wallops Flight Facility, which is owned by the agency. Engineers working for Orbital Science were trying to work out what caused the failure of the company’s $200m rocket, which forced the cargo mission resupplying the International Space Station to be aborted seconds after launch.
The launch was the first time the Antares rocket had been launched at night from Wallops, and the fireball caused by its explosion could be seen from miles around.
The accident is likely to intensify scrutiny over Nasa’s deal to subcontract resupply missions to private space operators following the end of its shuttle programme.
Orbital is under particular pressure to
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 11:06 am
The third chart shows that since around 2007, the correlation between interest rates and mortgage applications is more positive than negative, i.e. rates and number of applications are going in the same direction, mostly down. The spike in applications from around 1996 through 2005 could be attributed to the housing bubble (chart 2), but the failure of the apps to regain an upward move argues against any real recovery for the average, non-0.1%er, person. ~ Ilene
Presented with little comment because realistically what is there to say about a so-called 'housing recovery' when the volume of applications for home purchases is the lowest since August 1995. Keep believing that lower rates will support home prices… keep believing the Fed's QE worked… or face facts, this is not your mother's housing market any more…
The transmission channel is officially broken…
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 10:42 am
Courtesy of David Stockman via Contra Corner
QE has finally come to an end, but public comprehension of the immense fraud it embodied has not even started. In round terms, this official counterfeiting spree amounted to $3.5 trillion— reflecting the difference between the Fed’s approximate $900 billion balance sheet when its “extraordinary policies” incepted at the time of the Lehman crisis and its $4.4 trillion of footings today. That’s a lot of something for nothing. It’s a grotesque amount of fraud.
The scam embedded in this monumental balance sheet expansion involved nothing so arcane as the circuitous manner by which new central bank reserves supplied to the banking system impact the private credit creation process. As is now evident, new credits issued by the Fed can result in the expansion of private credit to the extent that the money multiplier is operating or simply generate excess reserves which cycle back to the New York Fed if, as in the present instance, it is not.
But the fact that the new reserves generated during QE have cycled back to the Fed does not mitigate the fraud. The latter consists of the very act of buying these trillions of treasuries and GSE securities in the first place with fiat credits manufactured by the central bank. When the Fed does QE, its open market desk buys treasury notes and, in exchange, it simply deposits in dealer bank accounts new credits made out of thin air. As it happened, about $3.5 trillion of such fiat credits were conjured from nothing during the last 72 months.
All of these bonds had permitted Washington to command the use of real economic resources. That is, to consume goods and services it obtained directly in the form of payrolls, contractor services, military tanks and ammo etc; and, indirectly, in the form of the basket of goods and services typically acquired by recipients of government transfer payments. Stated differently, the goods and services purchased via monetizing $3.5 trillion of government debt embodied a prior act of production and supply. But the central bank exchanged them for an act of nothing.
Contrast this monetization process with honest funding of government debt in the private market. In the latter event, the public treasury taps savings from producers and income earners and re-allocates it to government purchases rather than private investments. This has the inherent effect of pushing up interest rates and, on the margin, squeezing…
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 10:26 am
Courtesy of Pam Martens.
It appears that Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown believe they may have a battle on their hands getting their colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee to agree to hold hearings on the now notorious tape recordings secretly made by former New York Fed bank examiner, Carmen Segarra, showing a cozy relationship between the regulator and Goldman Sachs.
Petitions have sprung up all over the internet, with more than 129,000 signatures as of this morning, demanding that Congress hold hearings to investigate whether the Federal Reserve System, and specifically the New York Fed, function as merely sycophantic fronts for Wall Street or if they serve any meaningful regulatory role.
In addition to petitions at Credo, MoveOn.org and Public Citizen, campaign sites for Senators Warren and Brown have also set up petitions, but those sites do not show how many signatures have been collected.
As of this morning, the Credo petition had 98,107 signatures out of a goal of 150,000. You can sign the petition here. The petition makes its case as follows:
“To Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:
MH17-Chief Investigator Investigates Possibility of Air-to-Air Missile, Seeks Cooperation From Russia
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 3:58 am
Courtesy of Mish.
Spiegel Online interviews Fred Westerbeke, the Dutch lead investigator of flight MH17 crash.
Westerbeke states that a surface-to-air missile is the most likely scenario, but he also discusses “secret satellite images and a possible involvement of the Ukrainian military.”
Here are edited interview snips from MH17-Chief Investigator Westerbeke: “Do the Russians Have More Evidence?”
Who shot flight MH17 from over Eastern Ukraine? The Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke directs international investigation. He talks about secret satellite images and a possible involvement of the Ukrainian military.
Spiegel: Mr. Westerbeke, your job as chief prosecutor sounds hardly solvable: MH17 flight was shot down over a civil war zone, even now, three months later, your crime scene investigator for is not available. What gives you hope someday to be able to bring someone to court?
Westerbeke: The Netherlands does not determine in the case so alone. There is a very good cooperation with police and prosecutors, especially in Malaysia, Australia and the Ukraine. It is not easy. But we can do it.
Spiegel: In what period of time?
Westerbeke: Look at Lockerbie, the bombing of a Pan Am jumbo in December 1988 with 270 deaths. At that time, it took three years before you could name those responsible. We will certainly need the whole next year for our work, and perhaps even longer.
Spiegel: The Federal Intelligence Service BND assumes that pro-Russian separatists have shot down the machine with a surface to air missile. Recently some German parliamentarians corresponding satellite images were presented. Do you know these recordings?
Westerbeke: The problem is that there are very many different satellite images: Some of them can be found on the Internet, others come from foreign intelligence agencies.
Spiegel: High-resolution images, for example from US spy satellites could play a crucial role in the investigation of the case. Did you get those shots of the Americans?
Westerbeke: We are not sure if we already have everything, or whether there are more – material that may be even more specific. What we present is certainly not enough to draw any conclusions. We remain in contact with the United States to get satellite images….
by ilene - October 28th, 2014 10:52 pm
Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner
UPDATE- The Fed renewed its Term Deposit facility a couple of weeks ago initially taking in $110 billion in 7 day deposits paying 26 basis points. That amount rose to $219 billion today from 69 banks. Since these payments reduce the surplus which the Fed returns to the US Treasury, the taxpayer bears the cost of the program. The US taxpayer is now on the hook for a direct subsidy to the banks on excess cash which the Fed handed them for nothing in the first place. This is an outrage. Below are the post and video I originally wrote and produced on this on June 20, 2014.
June 20, 2014 - Here’s something I missed back in May that makes me mad as hell. And it should make you mad as hell too.
The Fed has expanded its Term Deposit Operations, moving more spaghetti around on the plate, the plate being the liability side of its balance sheet- aka “money.” The Fed announced that it would do 8 weekly operations with its member banks beginning on May 19. The first 4 are at approximately 26 basis points, then the next 4 at 30 basis points. These deposits are like bank CDs with a term of 7 days.
This is a direct giveaway to the banks at the expense of US taxpayers. Subject to the $10 billion per bank limit, the banks will shift as much of their excess cash as they can from their regular deposit accounts at the Fed (aka reserves) to these higher interest bearing term deposits. This is cash which the Fed has given them for free in the first place. Earn free income from free money. Nice work if you can get it.
Last week those term deposits grew by $16 billion on the Fed’s balance sheet from an operation conducted June 2. That’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s coming. The June 9 operation shifted $78 billion into these giveaways.