Archive for 2016

New Podesta Email Exposes Playbook For Rigging Polls Through “Oversamples”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Earlier this morning we wrote about the obvious sampling bias in the latest ABC / Washington Post poll that showed a 12-point national advantage for Hillary.  Like many of the recent polls from Reuters, ABC and The Washington Post, this latest poll included a 9-point sampling bias toward registered democrats

“METHODOLOGY – This ABC News poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 20-22, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 874 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 36-27-31 percent, Democrats – Republicans – Independents.”

Of course, while democrats may enjoy a slight registration advantage of a couple of points, it is nowhere near the 9 points reflected in this latest poll. 

Meanwhile, we also pointed out that with huge variances in preference across demographics one can easily “rig” a poll by over indexing to one group vs. another.  As a quick example, the ABC / WaPo poll found that Hillary enjoys a 79-point advantage over Trump with black voters.  Therefore, even a small “oversample” of black voters of 5% could swing the overall poll by 3 full points.  Moreover, the pollsters don’t provide data on the demographic mix of their polls which makes it impossible to “fact check” the bias…convenient.

ABC Poll

Now, for all of you out there who still aren’t convinced that the polls are “adjusted”, we present to you the following Podesta email, leaked earlier today, that conveniently spells out, in detail, exactly how to “manufacture” the desired data. The email starts out with a request for recommendations on “oversamples for polling” in order to “maximize what we get out of our media polling.”

I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.

The email even includes a handy, 37-page guide with the following poll-rigging recommendations.  In Arizona, over sampling of Hispanics and Native Americans is highly recommended:

Research, microtargeting & polling


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Life After 11/9 – Governing The Ungovernable

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

Over the summer I introduced a two-fold assertion: 1) global economic growth is over (and has been for years and won’t come back for many more years) and 2) the end of growth marks the end of all centralization, including globalization. You can read all about these themes in “Globalization Is Dead, But The Idea Is Not” and “Why There is Trump” There are also extensive quotes of the second essay in wicked former UK MI6 spymaster Alastair Crooke’s “‘End of Growth’ Sparks Wide Discontent”.

When I say ‘the end of growth’, I don’t mean that in a Limits to Growth kind of way, or peak oil or things like that. Not because I seek to invalidate such things, but because I mean economics, finance only. Our economies simply ceased growing, and quite a few years ago. The only reason that is not, and very widely, recognized is the $21 trillion and change that central banks have conjured up ostensibly to kickstart a recovery that always remains just around the corner.

That those $21 trillion will have massive negative effects on all of us is not my point either right now. Just that growth is gone. And that’s hard enough to swallow for a system that’s based uniquely on that growth. That is what this ‘essay’ is about: what consequences that will have.

All that said, I don’t have the idea that too many people are willing to accept the notion of the end of eternal economic growth (let alone right this minute), nor of globalization’s demise. Which may be partially understandable, but not more than that. Instead, quite a few people may honestly feel that the end of growth will make ‘leaders’ try for more, not less, centralization/globalization, but that, if it happens, is temporary. Unless, as I wrote earlier, we see dictators in the west.

Because, as I said in those articles, the overbearing principle is, and must be, that when centralized power ceases to deliver benefits to people, they will no longer accept that decisions about their – ever poorer- lives are taken by people hundreds or thousands of miles away from where they live. People allow that only when they reap sufficient benefits from it. With growth


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Number of Startup Businesses Continues Lengthy Decline: Is this a Problem?

Courtesy of Mish.

The number of startup businesses continues to slide. In 1977, the share of US firms that were less than a year old was at 16%. In 2014, the latest data, the percentage was 8%.

The Wall Street Journal says Sputtering Startups Weigh on U.S. Economic Growth.

Is that the case?

start-me-up

The U.S. economy is inching along, productivity is flagging and millions of Americans appear locked out of the labor market.

One key factor intertwined with this loss of dynamism: The U.S. is creating startup businesses at historically low rates.

The American economy has long relied on fast-growing young companies to fuel job growth and spread the latest innovations. As recently as the 1980s and 1990s, a small number of young firms disproportionately contributed to U.S. employment growth, helping allocate workers and resources to burgeoning segments of the economy.

But government data shows a decadeslong slowdown in entrepreneurship. The share of private firms less than a year old has dropped from more than 12% during much of the 1980s to only about 8% since 2010. In 2014, the most recent year of data, the startup rate was the second-lowest on record, after 2010, according to Census Bureau figures released last month, so there’s little sign of a postrecession rebound.

The share of employment at such firms, meanwhile, has slipped from nearly 4% to about 2% of private-sector jobs.

While only a few percentage points, the drop translates into hundreds of thousands of companies and jobs. If the U.S. were creating new firms at the same rate as in the 1980s, that would be the equivalent of more than 200,000 companies and 1.8 million jobs a year.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology delved into state business licensing information and found somewhat different but also discouraging results. That is, tech entrepreneurs are generating good ideas and founding companies at a healthy pace, but those ventures aren’t breaking out into successful big companies.

“The system for translating good, high-quality foundings into a growth firm, that system seems to have broken,” said Scott Stern, an MIT professor and co-author of the study on startups.

CB Insights tracked 1,027 tech companies that received seed funding in 2009 and 2010. By the end of 2015, nine—fewer than 1%—reached a value of at least $1 billion, a common measure


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Watergate’s Bob Woodward: “Clinton Foundation Is Corrupt, It’s A Scandal”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

It’s one thing for the right-wing press to accuse the Clinton foundation of cronyism, corruption, and scandal (especially if the facts, and internal admissions by affiliated employees, confirm as much) – it tends to be generally ignored by the broader, if left-leaning, media. But when the Watergate scandal’s Bob Woodward, associate editor at the liberal Washington Post, says very much the same, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has no choice but to notice. This is precisely what happened today when journalist Bob Woodward told a Fox News Sunday panel that the Clinton Foundation is “corrupt” and that Hillary Clinton has not answered for it.

Here, courtesy of RealClearPolitics, is the transcript of today’s exchange:

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Then there are the allegations about the Clinton Foundation and pay to play, which I asked Secretary Clinton about in the debate, and she turned into an attack on the Trump Foundation.

But, Bob, I want to go back to the conversation I was having with Robby Mook before. When — when you see what seems to be clear evidence that Clinton Foundation donors were being treated differently than non-donors in terms of access, when you see this new — new revelations about the $12 million deal between Hillary Clinton, the foundation, and the king of Morocco, are voters right to be troubled by this?

BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: I — yes, it’s a — it’s corrupt. It’s — it’s a scandal. And she didn’t answer your question at all. And she turned to embrace the good work that the Clinton Foundation has done. And she has a case there. But the mixing of speech fees, the Clinton Foundation, and actions by the State Department, which she ran, are all intertwined and it’s corrupt. You know, I mean, you can’t just say it’s unsavory. But there’s no formal investigation going on now, and there are outs that they have.

But the election isn’t going to be decided on that. I mean Karl was making the point about this, I’m not going to observe the result of the election. I mean that’s — that’s absurd. I mean it has no consequence. If Trump loses, they’re not going to let him in the White House. He’s not going


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The Chinese Buyers Are Back: China Oceanwide Acquires Genworth For $2.7 Billion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For more than half a year after China’s Anbang “insurance” conglomerate mysteriously emerged out of nowhere, announcing its intentions to acquire US hotel chain Starwood, shortly before it even more mysteriously pulled its bid once questions about its source of funds emerged, Chinese M&A activity in the US was put in cryogenic sleep, with not even a peep out of Chinese companies desperate to launder their money in the US using legal methods, most notably mega mergers and acquisitions.

Today that changed when just as unexpectedly, China Oceanwide Holdings Group agreed to buy troubled US insurer Genworth Financial Inc. for $2.7 billion in cash, pledging to help the U.S. firm manage its debt and strengthen life insurance units after it was hurt by higher-than-expected losses tied to long-term care coverage. A China Oceanwide investment platform will pay $5.43 per share, the companies said Sunday in a statement. That’s 4.2% more than Genworth’s closing price of $5.21 Friday. The buyer also promised to provide $600 million to Genworth to address debt maturing in 2018, as well as $525 million to strengthen the life insurance businesses.

“Genworth is an established leader in both mortgage insurance and long-term care insurance, which are markets that present significant long-term growth opportunities,” China Oceanwide Chairman Lu Zhiqiang said in the statement. “We are providing crucial financial support to Genworth’s efforts to restructure its U.S. life insurance businesses.”

In recent months, Genworth CEO Tom McInerney has been selling assets to ensure the insurer has sufficient liquidity after it was hit by losses on its long-term care coverage, which pays for home-health aides and nursing home stays, and as low interest rates crimp returns. At that point, it was almost as if a white knight emerged for the troubled company, one from across the Pacific. China Oceanwide plans to let Richmond, Virginia-based Genworth operate as a standalone company after the takeover with senior management still in place, according to the statement. “Genworth is an established leader in both mortgage insurance and long-term care insurance, which are markets that present significant long-term growth opportunities,” China Oceanwide Chairman Lu Zhiqiang said in the statement. “We are providing crucial financial support to Genworth’s efforts to restructure its U.S. life insurance businesses.”

But who is this bidder/white knight? Very much like Anbang, it is


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Six Things To Consider About Inflation

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Emile Woolf via The Mises Institute,

As an economic term, “inflation” is shorthand for “inflation of the money supply.”

The general public, however, usually takes it to mean “rising prices” which is not surprising since one of the common effects of an increase in the money supply is higher prices. However, supporters of government policy often say, “If quantitative easing (QE) and its terrible twin, fractional reserve banking, are so awful, why have we got no inflation?”

To address this conundrum, there are six related factors that are noteworthy:

Number One: we need to be clear about the terms we are using. Instead of talking about “inflation” in the loose sense, as above, it is more accurate to speak of currency debasement, which is the real impact of fiat money creation by any means. We experience currency debasement as declining purchasing power. Two sides of the same coin: one reflects the other.

Number Two: the above question overlooks the fact that the measures used in this process are inherently unreliable. The decline in purchasing power is most evident when objectively measured by reference to an essential commodity such as oil — rather than against the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI purports to reflect the prices of ingredients selected by government statisticians in what they consider to be a typical, but notional, basket of “consumer goods and services.” This basket, whose contents are varied periodically, results in an index that cannot be trusted as an objective barometer. It supports the wizardry of non-independent Treasury statisticians, and relates to goods that scarcely feature in your shopping basket or mine.

Number Three: newly created fiat money must go somewhere — and so it goes into the grasp of its first receivers, the banks, the financial institutions, government institutions, and urban moneyed classes who least need it — widening the gap between rich and poor — and thereby building asset bubbles in property, luxury cars, yachts and the myriad baubles that only the very rich can afford to acquire. So never say that “there is no price inflation” — it’s just that those asset prices don’t figure in the official CPI stats.

Number Four: The European Central Bank (ECB) is no slouch when it comes to money creation out of thin air, and banks within the euro zone have therefore come to rely on it for survival. The solvency of Southern


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“Drain The Swamp”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Donald Trump’s latest message is, it’s time to drain the “swamp” that he calls Washington.

As Martin Armstrong exclaims, this is why the Republican elite stand for Hillary. Term limits and ending lobbying by former government staff would cut too deep into their pockets.

Drain It!

Source: GrrrGraphics.com





Wikileaks Provides Status Update On Julian Assange And The US Election

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Over the past week concerns mounted that in the aftermath of the surprising decision by Ecuador to cut Julian Assange’s internet connection during the US election period (under pressure from John Kerry), that not all might be well with the Wikileaks founder, about whom Hillary Clinton allegedly jokingly asked whether he can be droned. Concerned speculation about the Ecuadorian embassy exile had risen to such an degree, that overnight Wikileaks announced it would provide a state update on Assange’s current status. It did so moments ago on twitter when the WikiLeaks Editorial Board issued the following statement on the status of Julian Assange, Ecuador and the US election.

WikiLeaks Editorial Board statement on the status of Julian Assange, Ecuador and the US election pic.twitter.com/bYyWwMG5Ox

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 24, 2016

The contents of the statement:

On Tuesday, the government of Ecuador issued a statement saying that it had decided to not permit Mr. Assange to use the government of Ecuador’s internet connection during the US election citing its policy of “non interference.”

Ecuador’s statement also clarified that it does not seek to interfere with WikiLeaks journalistic work and that it would continue to protect Mr. Assange’s asylum rights.

Mr. Assange has asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the United Nations has ruled he has been unlawfully deprived of liberty by the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sweden for the last six years. He has not been charged.

It is the government of Ecuador’s prerogative to decide how to best guard against the misinterpretation of its policies by media groups or states whilst ensuring that it protects Mr. Assange’s human rights.

WikiLeaks is a global, high volume publisher that publishes on average one million documents and associated analyses a year.

WikiLeaks publishes its journalistic work from large data centers based in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, among others. Most WikiLeaks staff and lawyers reside in the EU or the US and have not been disrupted.

WikiLeaks has never published from jurisdiction of Ecuador and has no plans to do so. Similarly Mr. Assange does not transmit US election related documents from the embassy.

WikiLeaks is entirely funded by its readers, book and film sales. Its publications are the result of its significant


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Why All The Yawning Over The Yuan?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Mark St.Cyr,

When it comes to China all the main stream media will ever cover is something in regards to a “hot topic of the day” brought about by either a political discourse, or some celebratory exhibition being observed within its boundaries. When it comes to trade, or business topics, they’ve pretty much abandoned them in total, leaving that realm for the “business/financial” outlets.

So it’s no wonder that when it comes to trade, or monetary issues most haven’t a clue. However, one would think when it came to the #1 financial headline generator that had the ability to send markets plunging reminiscent of a “Black Monday” causing global financial panic worldwide, and triggering (the first time in history) a tripping of all three circuit breakers on the U.S.’s major futures markets, while simultaneously causing the Federal Reserve for the first time in its history to openly state “international developments” as a root cause and catalyst to postpone a monetary decision that is supposedly U.S. centric only. The business/financial media would be all over it. Yet? (insert crickets here)

What is that #1 generator you might ask? Hint: The Yuan.

Except for places like Zero Hedge™ and a few others. When it comes to anything about China’s latest currency devaluation (whether by design or not) one would think there was a media blackout on the subject. I find that strange only for this reason: If you remember the day you woke up in August of last year thinking “Here we go again!” Where some markets had plunged over 1000 points bringing back all the fears of 2007/08. The root cause of that was: the Yuan, and its sudden devaluation.

Only after what seemed (and jawboned) like stabilization (and a note to Jim Cramer from Tim Cook on China implying “nothing to see here, move along” added in for extra measure) did the markets bounce back off the lows to then resume their monetary policy captured antics.

So with that all said for context, the question must be asked: Were you aware that the Yuan tumbled to lows not seen in 6 years? Remember – in August of 2015 the Yuan went to a level that sent markets roiling globally. We’re now well under (or above depending how you measure) that


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A Nation Of Immigrants?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A new billboard off interstate 35 is causing a lot of dispute among Austin’s citizens. As CBS Austin reports, the advertisement hints undocumented immigrants should join the Arrangementfinders.com dating site to avoid deportation.

The sign reads, “Undocumented Immigrant? Before You Get Deported, Get a Sugar Daddy,” and it is just off highway I-35 near Frontage Road.

Jacob Webster, the online’s site CMO says he decided to run the ad “in response to Donald Trump’s promise to deport all 11 million of the nation’s undocumented immigrants.”

“ArrangementFinders.com skews heavily towards Hispanic women, with that demo making up over 31% of all the females on our site nationally and over 53% in Austin,” said Webster.

The company launched back in 2009, and now has about 3.9 million members in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Even though ArrangementFinders.com did not mean the billboard to seem racist, many are questioning the provocative message.





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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The Competition For Capital Has Made Stocks Cheap

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StockSnap / PixabayVolatility carries into the new year

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Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

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Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

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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. 

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



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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About Phil:

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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