Archive for 2017

The Latest Crazy Idea From Economic Experts: Abolish Cash (But Don’t Tell The People)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via GEFIRA,

In a recent paper – The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing, Alexei Kireyev of the International Monetary Fund advises abolishing cash without having the citizens aware of the process.

First, large banknotes are to be withdrawn from circulation, next limits on cash transactions are to be imposed, then computerization of the world’s financial system and control of international cash transactions are to be enforced and, finally, private companies are to be encouraged to avoid cash transactions.

Kireyev draws on the ideas of former IMF chief Kenneth Rogoff.

In his 2016 book “The Curse of Money”, he advocated the abolition of cash. In his opinion, it would contribute to the fight against crime, tax evasion and the reduction of the grey area.

The ECB obliged him and promised not to print the 500 euro note after 2018.

The government of India did the same thing: on November 9,2016, it unexpectedly devaluated all 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes over the night – a severe blow against the black economy and corruption. The next day, chaos reigned on India’s streets – crowds of people in front of banks, empty ATMs – everyone wanted to withdraw his money, exchange the old rupees for new, valid ones, and there were even casualties.

The other governments eagerly followed this ideas of great economic gurus, not worrying about what was happening in the Indian streets:

Australia wants to withdraw its 100 notes from circulation,and Venezuela has already abolished the 100 bolivar note.

France, Italy, Spain and Greece already have ceilings for cash withdrawals, and a ceiling of EUR €5000 is currently being discussed in Germany.

In some countries, the renunciation of cash is becoming a means of political struggle.

In Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki introduced cashless payments to the state postal service. Soon it will also be possible to pay his tickets directly on the patrol car. Not all Polish politicians probably like the idea that officials will not come into contact with cash – for example, the head of the Polish National Bank Adam Glapi?ski, who introduced


continue reading





Chicago Commissioner Pleads With UN To Deploy Foreign Troops On US Soil

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Under the guise of stopping violent crime, a County Commissioner in Cook County, Illinois, went to New York City late last week to request that the United Nations deploy foreign troops in Chicago to tackle the city’s “quiet genocide.”

Perhaps, the geopolitical instability on the Korean Penisula and in the Middle East is just one giant distraction. The real action is currently unfolding in America’s out of control inner cities, such as Chicago. There is a pattern emerging across the United States, where inner cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland, Mephesis, and St. Louis are experiencing out of control violent crime with local officials paralyzed.

Earlier this year, President Trump threatened Chicago with sending in the Feds, after crime statistics warned of an alarming surge in violent crime.

If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017

Some politicians in Chicago have recommended deploying the National Guard to aid in combating gun violence, but Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin went straight to the United Nations last week and pleaded with Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina, the U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for deployement of foreign troops on United States soil. Boykin is seeking international assistance with “horrific levels of shootings” and violent crime mainly on the West Side and South Side communities.

Boykin said at O’Hare International Airport on Thursday, “I’m hoping to appeal to the U.N. to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence, and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peacekeeping efforts, because I think it’s so critical for us to make sure that these neighborhoods are safe.”

Boykin told Inc. before his meeting, “the United Nations has a track record of protecting minority populations. There was tribal warfare between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Africa, and they deployed peacekeeping troops there to help save those populations and reduce the bloodshed.”

“We have to do something — black people in Chicago make up 30 percent of the population


continue reading





The Output Gap Is Screaming For The End Of The Business Cycle

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via TimeMoney.com,

Output Gap Explained

The output gap is the difference between actual and potential economic output and is used by economists to understand the health of the economy.

There will never be a metric which tells us how the economy will perform with absolute certainty. Not only is it difficult to predict the future, it’s even more difficult to know where the economy is in the present. The yield curve is one of the metrics we use to let us know where we are in the business cycle. Knowing what part of the cycle we’re in helps with investment weighting decisions. Timing the changes in the cycle takes a lot of research and the ability to utilize experiences learned from previous cycles.

Output Gap Example

You can think of the output gap in terms of a factory. If a factory’s potential output is 100 products per day, but its only producing at a rate of 85 products per day, it’s at 15% below potential. Subsequently, if the rate of production in a factory is at 115 products per day, it is 15% above potential. In an economy, much like in a factory, running below potential would mean missing out on potential profits and operating at above capacity would result in deteriorating quality control.

Operating at either above or below potential is not ideal for the economy. When the actual output is less than the potential, inflation and wage growth are low. The economy usually operates at the furthest below its potential at the end of recessions. It recovers from below the potential to above the potential during expansions. When it’s above the potential, it usually means the economy is at the end of the cycle. Demand causes resources to be overworked and inflation pressures to mount. At this point, the Fed is nearing the end of its rate hikes. Just like how recessions occur at varying times after the yield curve inverts, it takes varying times to reach a recession after the economy begins to run above capacity.

Output Gap Suggests Inflation & End Of Business Cycle

You’re probably wondering where the economy is at. The chart


continue reading





California needs to rethink urban fire risk, starting with where it builds houses

 

California needs to rethink urban fire risk, starting with where it builds houses

Courtesy of Max MoritzUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

File 20171212 9389 1ujygzj.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

This fire season has been particularly damaging to urban areas. AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Wildfires raging across southern California are causing evacuations of many communities and have destroyed hundreds of structures this month.

These fires follow the wind-driven Tubbs fire earlier this fall that blasted through densely urbanized neighborhoods in Northern California, causing dozens of fatalities and thousands of home losses. Stories from both fires of how fast the fire spread and how little time people had to evacuate are stunning.

With widespread damage to structures, these fires highlight the importance of where and how we build our communities and, in particular, how land use planning and better building codes can reduce our exposure to such events.

Despite how unusual the devastation appear in portions of these fires, we need to recognize that these structure-to-structure “urban conflagrations” have happened in the past and will happen again. Yet these fires revealed that we have key gaps in our policy and planning related to assessing risk in fire-prone environments.

What is increasingly clear to fire researchers like me is that losses on the human side are often driven by where and how we build our communities. This means we must learn to coexist with fire, if we are going to inhabit fire-prone landscapes, just as we adapt to other natural hazards. An essential step is to shift our perspective from a focus on hazard to one that more comprehensively includes human vulnerabilities.

The devastation from the Tubbs fire earlier this year. An urban fire that gave many people little time to leave points to the need for better planning on evacuation. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, CC BY

Mapping risk

California is leading the way in mapping the danger that wildfires pose to human communities and, in particular, linking building codes to fire severities that may be expected in given location. The state’s Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps are an…
continue reading





Mercury from industrialized nations is polluting the Arctic – here’s how it gets there

 

Mercury from industrialized nations is polluting the Arctic – here's how it gets there

Courtesy of Daniel ObristUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell

File 20171212 9386 1cigua4.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Plants on the Arctic tundra absorb mercury from the air, then transfer it to soil when they die. Paxson Woelber, CC BY

Scientists have long understood that the Arctic is affected by mercury pollution, but know less about how it happens. Remote, cold and seemingly pristine, why is such an idyllic landscape so contaminated with this highly toxic metal?

I recently returned from a two-year research project in Alaska, where I led field research into this issue alongside fellow scientists from the University of Colorado; the University of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute; the University of Toulouse and the Sorbonne University in France; and the Gas Technology Institute in Illinois.

Our work was the most comprehensive investigation to date of how mercury is deposited to the Arctic tundra, a vast northern ecosystem surrounding the Arctic Ocean. Our findings show that the gaseous form of mercury – emitted by coal-burning, mining and other industrial processes in the industrialized world – is being lofted into the region from thousands of miles away. In the Arctic, it is deposited onto tundra soils and ultimately runs off into ocean waters, threatening the region’s wildlife and people.

Tracing mercury’s pathways

Industrialized and developing nations emit about 2,000 tons of mercury into the atmosphere every year. Globally, the largest sources include emissions from small-scale and artisanal gold mining and coal-burning power plants.

Mercury emissions from the eight highest emitting industry sectors. Data for 2010 from the 2013 UNEP Global Mercury Assessment. Total estimated global anthropogenic mercury emissions are 1960 metric tons. USEPA

Mercury emissions from human activities take several forms that behave differently in the atmosphere Oxidized mercury, notated as Hg(II), generally settles or is rained out of the atmosphere close to emission sources. In contrast, gaseous elemental mercury, or Hg(0), remains in the atmosphere for a long time and can travel around the globe.

continue reading





The Big Story: Edge of The Cliff – Real Vision

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With sky high equity valuations, economic uncertainty, plus concerns over interest rates, central bank reactions and debt, the risks are rising. With a stellar cast, featuring some of the greatest investors on the planet, The Big Story – Edge of The Cliff, examines the potential for a major market correction and what that means for investors, in a world of complacency and compressed volatility. Filmed in September 2017.


Get The Full Seth Klarman Series in PDF

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

Seth Klarman eBook

The Big Story: Edge of The Cliff – Real Vision

geralt / Pixabay

The post The Big Story: Edge of The Cliff – Real Vision appeared first on ValueWalk.

Sign up for ValueWalk’s free newsletter here.





Debunking The Myths About An Attack On North Korea

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by The Saker,

First, the bragging dummies

Trump and Haley are still at it.  They want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea “into their hands” if China refuses to comply.  Haley said, “But to be clear, China can do more, (…) and we’re putting as much pressure on them as we can. The last time they completely cut off the oil, North Korea came to the table. And so we’ve told China they’ve got to do more. If they don’t do more, we’re going to take it into our own hands and then we’ll start to deal with secondary sanctions.”

First, let’s reset this scene in a kindergarten and replay it.

Kid A has a fight with Kid B.  Kid A threatens to beat up Kid B.  Kid B then tells Kid A to go screw himself.  Kid A does nothing, but issues more threats.  Kid B keeps laughing.  And then Kid A comes up with a brilliant plan: he threatens Kid C (who is much much bigger than Kid B and much much stronger too!) by telling him "if you don’t make Kid B comply with my demands, I will take the issue in my own hands!".  The entire schoolyard erupts in hysterical laughter.

Question: how would you the gauge the intelligence of Kid A? Anyway…

This would all be really funny if this was a comedy show.  But what this all is in reality is a slow but steady progression towards war.  What makes this even worse is the media’s obsession with the range of North Korean missiles and whether they can reach Guam or even the USA.  With all due respect for the imperial “only we matter” (and nevermind the "gooks"), there are ways “we”, i.e. the American people can suffer terrible consequences from a war in the Korean Peninsula which have nothing to do with missile strikes on Guam or the USA.

Image via The Saker

The lucrative target: Japan

This summer I mentioned one of the most overlooked potential consequences of a war with the DPRK and I want to revisit this issue again.  First, the relevant excerpt


continue reading





Stunning Visualization Of The Explosion Of ICO Activity In The Last Four Years

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Via Elementus.io,

This graphic shows every token sale that successfully raised at least $100k, from the beginning of 2014 through the end of last month, November 2017. The bar chart at the bottom displays the total dollar amount raised in each month (details below).

How big is the ICO (aka token sale) market really?

It seems like this should be an easy question to answer. After all, blockchains are open data layers that contain a complete record of every transaction ever made. However, we've found the answer to this question to be surprisingly elusive.

We surveyed the web for data on token sales and turned up over 100 ICO listing sites. Estimates on the total dollar amount that has been raised via ICOs to date range from about $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion.

Why such a big discrepancy?

As far as we can tell, all of these estimates rely strictly on reported figures — either by the ICO issuer itself or by another third party. There is nothing wrong with this approach. Many data providers in the financial world collect their information this way. However, why rely strictly on reported figures when the actual transactions are available directly from the blockchain?

We decided to estimate the size of the ICO market ourselves by going directly to the source.

The figures in this post are based on our own deep dive into the Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains. We searched for every token, crowdsale, and multisig wallet we could find. We then identified the corresponding owners and added up the total amount of contributed funds — taken either from the blockchain itself or as reported by the fundraiser.

In total, we estimate about $6.4 billion has been raised via ICOs to date – materially larger than what is being reported elsewhere.

Perhaps more surprising than the fundraising total is the trend over time. The ICO market is not dying down, as many have reported. It's still growing.

The rise and rise of ICOs

This chart is a labeled version of the one at the top of the


continue reading





Black voters won Alabama for the Dems. Here’s what they need in return

 

Black voters won Alabama for the Dems. Here's what they need in return

Courtesy of Sharon Austin, University of Florida

Alabama via Pixabay

As a scholar of African-American and Southern politics for the last 25 years, I’ve witnessed a lot of election upsets and surprises. None has been more interesting than the Democrat Doug Jones’ election to the U.S. Senate in a Dec. 12 special election against Republican Roy Moore.

I’m not talking here about the controversy surrounding Moore’s sexual history. No, for me this race was fascinating because America now has black voters to thank for helping Alabama send a Democratic senator to Washington for the first time in 25 years.

According to exit polls, 30 percent of the over 1 million people who participated in this election were black, and 96 percent of black voters supported Jones. In short, in an election where Jones’ margin of victory was less than 2 percent, Alabama’s near-unanimous black voters were the deciding factor.

Now that black Alabamians have accomplished their goal of electing their preferred representative, the big question is: What will they get in return?

Voter concerns

Black voters in the South, especially black female voters, are historically the most loyal supporters of the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates. They are a force powerful enough to sway the outcomes of elections in red states.

Having done so, black voters may reasonably expect Democrats to thank them by actually tackling the issues that disproportionately affect their communities.

Poverty is probably top on that list of concerns. Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the nation, with a poverty rate of 18.5 percent. In some counties more than 40 percent of people live in poverty. Alabama’s rural areas have been said to show “the worst poverty in the developed world.”

Most of those areas are in the state’s so-called “Black Belt.” In Wilcox County, for example, the white poverty rate is 8.8 percent, but the black poverty rate is 50.2 percent. Nearby Lowndes County has the lowest white poverty rate in the state – 4.1 percent – but almost 35 percent of…
continue reading





“Look At That Thing!” – The NYT Reveals The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theories cross paths with massive 'defense' budgets and excited politicians, "stranger things" happen.

Welcome to The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

As The New York Times exposes, within the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the program was almost impossible to find.

Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.

For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.

The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.

The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena.

Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.

And while the clapping of crony capitalism screams alod from those two last sentences, one watch of the following video (just one of many), suggests the boondoggle may be based in some kind of reality after all… (the footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined


continue reading





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Are Stock Buybacks Driving Wealth Inequality?

 

Are Stock Buybacks Driving Wealth Inequality?

Courtesy of 

 

 

It’s not lost on me that we’re posting this on a day where the S&P 500 trades above 3100 for the first time…

Ben Hunt joins Michael Batnick and Downtown Josh Brown at The Compound to explain what he’s so angry about – he sees wealth inequality as being driven by hijacked narratives about capitalism, stock buybacks, central banks and the managerial overclass orchestrating it all.

Fo...



more from Ilene

Zero Hedge

The Inevitable Finale Of The Nord Stream 2 Saga

Courtesy of Venand Meliksetian, OilPrice.com

Europe is quickly becoming one of the most important export destinations for gas exporters. Production is decreasing quickly due to political and technical developments. The next few decades are promising for exporters. Nord Stream 2 is arguably one of the most contentious projects currently under development. Denmark recently granted the last necessary permit to start construction activities in its EEZ and analysts now agree that the project’s completion is only a matter of time. In reality, the pipeline’s future was decided long before construction even started due to external factors such as Poland’s decision to d...



more from Tyler

The Technical Traders

What happens To The Global Economy If Oil Collapses Below $40 - Part II

Courtesy of Technical Traders

In the first part of this research article, we shared our ADL predictive modeling research from July 10th, 2019 where we suggested that Oil prices would begin to collapse to levels near, or below, $40 throughout November and December of 2019.  Our ADL modeling system suggests that oil prices may continue lower well into early 2020 where the price is exp...



more from Tech. Traders

Insider Scoop

What Wall Street Thinks Of Google Cache

Courtesy of Benzinga

Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google announced a new partnership with Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) to launc...



http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

 

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

Courtesy of 

As part of Coindesk’s popup podcast series centered around today’s Invest conference, I answered a few questions for Nolan Bauerly about Bitcoin from a wealth management perspective. I decided in December of 2017 that investing directly into crypto currencies was unnecessary and not a good use of a portfolio’s allocation slots. I remain in this posture today but I am openminded about how this may change in the future.

You can listen to this short exchange below:

...



more from Bitcoin

Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Testing This Support For The First Time In 8-Years!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Its been a good while since Silver bulls could say that it is testing support. Well, this week that can be said! Will this support test hold? Silver Bulls sure hope so!

This chart looks at Silver Futures over the past 10-years. Silver has spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of the pink shaded falling channel, as it has created lower highs and lower lows.

Silver broke above the top of this falling channel around 90-days ago at (1). It quickly rallied over 15%, before creating a large bearish reversal pattern, around 5-weeks after the bre...



more from Kimble C.S.

Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



more from Chart School

Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



more from Lee

Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



more from Biotech

Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

more from M.T.M.

Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



more from Our Members

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:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

more from Promotions





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...

Learn more About Phil >>


As Seen On:




About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>