Month: August 2017

‘Supervolcano’ Alert – Not Just In Yellowstone

Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog, Thar she blows! Once every 600,000 years or so Yellowstone’s supervolcano erupts, making Mt. St. Helens, Pinatubo, and Krakatoa look like firecrackers. It blankets thousands of miles around it in lava and ash, casting a pall over the earth that lowers temperatures and hinders plant life for decades. Compared to Mother Nature we anthropogenic climate changers (if we are that) are pikers. Interestingly enough, that supervolcano is due for another eruption. Interestingly enough, so too is another supervolcano, one constructed entirely by humans. As to which erupts first, bet on the latter. Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Coercion and violence generate a reaction, a countervailing pressure. The...

Paul Ryan Draws Strength From Pelosi, Finally Condemns Antifa As “Left-Wing Thugs”

In the days since Trump’s controversial press conference on the Charlottesville tragedy in which he said there was “blame on both sides,” Republicans have been tripping over one another to distance themselves from the White House.  Apparently the mere suggestion that Antifa, a Leftist group that has repeatedly incited violence at protests around the country, was anything more than an innocent bystander was grounds for impeachment, at least according to CNN, and just not something that Republicans in Congress were willing to touch. One such Republican that has been noticeably silent on the Antifa movement is none other than House Speaker Paul Ryan…that is until Nancy Pelosi took a stand and gave him the courage to actually express his own opinion…well, through ...

Come Melania’s-Heels-Or-High-Water, ‘Stupid News’ Rules The Media

Authored by David Weisberg via TheHill.com, Tropical Storm Harvey has by now flooded the Houston area with over four feet of rain, causing the deaths of more than 30 people, forcing more than 30,000 residents to flee their homes, and destroying property worth many tens of billions of dollars. Given the biblical proportions of the deluge, one would think that journalists would be hard-pressed to choose among an over-abundance of gripping and newsworthy stories. The New York Times and the Washington Post, two pillars of the journalistic establishment, have both identified one such story: the height of Melania Trump’s heels. I am not making this up; I couldn’t if I tried. Both newspapers recently featured stories focusing on the height of the heels the first lady was wearing when she boarded ...

4 Reasons Why “Gold Has Entered A New Bull Market” – Schroders

– 4 reasons why “gold has entered a new bull market” – Schroders– Market complacency is key to gold bull market say Schroders– Investors are currently pricing in the most benign risk environment in history as seen in the VIX– History shows gold has the potential to perform very well in periods of stock market weakness (see chart)– You should buy insurance when insurers don’t believe that the “risk event” will happen– Very high Chinese gold demand, negative global interest rates and a weak dollar should push gold higher This week gold broke through the key resistance of $1,300. For some time market commentators have been signalling this level as the point of entry for a new bull market. Often price can be distracting when it comes to try...

Russia Responds: “The US Has Declared The Hot Phase Of Diplomatic War”

Just minutes after Russia was given 2 days to implement today’s decision by the State Department, shuttering Russia’s consulate in San Francisco, California and two diplomatic annexes in Washington, DC and New York City, in “the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians”, the Russian responses started coming in, and they were not happy.  Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was first on the tape, saying he  “expressed regret about the escalation of tensions in bilateral ties”, noting “it wasn’t Russia that started the escalation.” Lavrov told Tillerson that Moscow would “closely study” the new US measures and would inform Washington of its reaction in due course. Ironically, earlier in the day the US said that it “is prepared to take ...

Who Is Winning The Food Delivery War?

By Priceonomics There are more options to get food—as in the kind you eat at home rather than at a restaurant—than ever before.  Sure, there are traditional brick-and-mortar stores, like Costco and Trader Joe’s. But in the last decade there’s been a boom in food services that can be managed through a digital app. Depending on where you live in the country, you can get groceries delivered through platforms like Instacart or Amazon Fresh. You can order all the ingredients you need to cook a meal with meal kit services like Blue Apron. Or, you can feast on ready-made meals from the likes of Thistle and Munchery. You might even get your favorite General’s Chicken delivered on Seamless or GrubHub a few times a week. In this stacked market, which services do people favor? We analyzed data from P...

August Payrolls Preview: Prepare For Disappointment

If there is one common theme across sellside previews of tomorrow’s nonfarm payrolls number, expected at 180K after a surprising jump to 209K in July, it is to brace for disappointment, or in Wall Street parlance, “downside risks.” And it’s not because of Harvey which hit the US far too late in the month to be reflected in the monthly payrolls. The simplest reason for tomorrow’s miss is shown in the following Morgan Stanley chart, which predicted the July 209K print with dead-on precision, and which extrapolates the recent Y/Y slowdown in job growth to only 136K jobs in August (which, in the current “bad news is good news” environment, should be sufficient to send stocks to new all time highs as it will mean an even greater delay by the Fed). In ad...

DHS Selects 4 Contractors To Build Prototypes For Trump’s Border Wall

The Department of Homeland Security has finally reached a decision in the long-delayed process of selecting contractors who will build prototypes of President Donald Trump’s promised border wall. The department announced Thursday that it has selected four contractors to build wall prototypes, and that construction is slated to begin this winter, according to CNN. The announcement comes after the Government Accountability Office on Friday dismissed a complaint filed by contractors who claimed their bids had been passed over, allowing DHS to move forward after the complaints had threatened to delay the selection until November. Customs and Border Protection’s acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello announced that the designs will be constructed along the San Diego border. Four compa...

Irma Turning Into Monster Hurricane: “Highest Windspeed Forecasts I’ve Ever Seen”

Hurricane Irma continues to strengthen much faster than pretty much any computer model predicted as of yesterday or even this morning.  Per the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) latest update, Irma is currently a Cat-3 storm with sustained winds of 115 mph but is expected to strengthen to a devastating Cat-5 with winds that could top out at 180 mph or more.  Here is the latest from the NHC as of 5PM EST: Irma has become an impressive hurricane with intense eyewall convection surrounding a small eye.  Satellite estimates continue to rapidly rise, and the Dvorak classifications from both TAFB & SAB support an initial wind speed of 100 kt.  This is a remarkable 50-kt increase from yesterday at this time.   Irma continues moving west-northwestward, now at about 10 kt. There has been...

In Latest Reversal, Trump Weighs Tying Debt Limit Increase To Harvey Disaster Aid

This afternoon, we showed that even as stocks were pushing back to all time highs, a part of the Treasury market was turmoiling as the “debt ceiling” T-Bill spread (Sept/Oct) blew out to the widest level on record.   There were several possible catalysts suggested for this spike in concerns about a favorable outcome of the debt ceiling negotiation, which has to be concluded ahead of the Treasury’s X Date, now expected as early as October 1: some cited Steven Mnuchin’s interview on CNBC, in which the Treasury Secretary said that the additional spending needed to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey may reduce the amount of time Congress has to increase the federal debt limit; another possibility was month-end liquidity needs and relative positioning across the cu...

VAR Shocks!

By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at How much money can you lose on any given day according to an entire squadron of dynamic variable factors? It’s called value at risk (VAR), and because every hedge fund, investment bank, prop house, and algo firm wants to assess their own risk — while at the same time sneakily wanting to know how the rest of the market is assessing and quantifying their own risk — the models are all built on much the same inputs and, as such, are basically mirrors of each other. So, you see VAR models eventually conform to the very thing they’re designed to protect us against. You see they are mostly like milk bottles — exactly the same, and they’re used widely, because they’re widely used. Understand? Good! Back when I had more hair… actua...

The Alarming Militarization Of American Police

Via StockBoardAsset.com, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order clearing the way for local police in America to receive military gear such as grenade launchers, high-calibre weapons, and armored vehicles. Trump and the DOJ have just reversed former President Barack Obama’s restrictions that allows local police departments to receive surplus military equipment. Per ABCNews, Restoring the program will “ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a cheering crowd at a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee. The group, America’s largest organization of rank-and-file officers, endorsed Trump for president after he promised to revamp the program. The big move by Trump comes at a...

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