Credit card companies begin to make offers to retailers to stop accepting cash and only use debit or credit. CBO says that Trump will not be able to balance the budget because the debt is unsustainable. 40% of the Fed’s balance sheet is interest for foreign banks. We have reached the 1999 stock market bubble, this is not going to end well. Bank of America is reporting that within 3-4 months the entire economy will begin to break apart. The IMF is reporting that Canada might be in trouble after raising interest rates, the housing market might start to implode. The health bill that is being pushed is the same as Obamacare, they are trying to convince the public that it is different. The walls are closing in around the elite, the case against Trump Jr has now turned and the focus is on Obama, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, Comey and many others. China is building a base in Djibouti which will expand the belt and road initiative. Ukraine is ripe for another coup. The US says it liberated Mosul, but it was really the Iraqi’s, the US (deep state) created this problem and just sat and watched the IS take over Iraq. Trump is working on another ceasefire with Russia. Marcron and Trump announced the mission is not to remove Assad. The coalition is not making lists of the IS paid mercenaries, the lists are also being compiled of those who were involved in this agenda.
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Current News – 07.13.2017
- The war on cash is escalating. the payment networks that want to kill cash (and checks!) as competitors to their oh so terrific (and fee-gouging) credit and debit cards.
- Visa Inc. has a new offer for small merchants: take thousands of dollars from the card giant to upgrade their payment technology. In return, the businesses must stop accepting cash.
The company unveiled the initiative on Wednesday as part of a broader effort to steer Americans away from using old-fashioned paper money.
- There are good reasons to think this initiative won’t get far.
- Customer resistance. Food vendors, and in particular restaurants, are low margin businesses with fickle customers who have little to no loyalty. Why risk driving business away?
- Aside from the fact that some customers prefer cash, a related issue is that using cards and smartphones often seem to be a tax on time. I really hate using chip cards. Mag cards were often faster than cash, since you swiped and could stuff the card back in your wallet while the transaction was being approved. Chip cards, by contrast, require you to keep the card in the machine while it is being approved, so one is very much aware of the wait. And when I’ve seen people using phones (often to buy small stuff like coffee, which really amazes me),
- And that’s before you get to the fact that ApplePay and other smartphone payments time stamp exactly when you paid, adding to the information the surveillance state is gathering about you. By contrast, even if you use a credit card at a store, Clive informs us that the card network typically retains only the date of transaction.
- Negative impact on employees who get tips.
- Enforcement. How is Visa going to police establishments that say they aren’t going to take cash? Will Visa have spies? Will Visa have audit rights?
- There’s good news.. and bad news. CBO has just released its ‘score’ of President Trump’s proposed budget, noting that the plan would shrink the deficit by a half from their baseline by 2017 (good news). However, even accepting Trump’s dynamic scoring and 5% growth expectations, CBO is unable to balance the budget and Yellen’s recent “US debt is unsustainable” warning seems ever more prescient.
- Trump’s budget would shrink notably from the CBO baseline…
- now that Congress is finally scrutinizing the $4.5 trillion elephant in the room, i.e., the Fed’s balance sheet, it may be interested to know that approximately 40%, or $838 billion as of the latest weekly data, in reserves parked at the Fed belongs to foreign banks.
- Remember the 2007 Bubble?
- Remember how everyone said that it really wasn’t that big of a bubble because stocks weren’t as expensive as they had been during the previous bubble (the Tech Bubble).
- We all remember how that turned out: the bubble burst leading to the greatest financial crisis in 80 years.
- Well, today’s bubble is WAY larger than that of 2007. And arguing that stocks are cheaper than they were during the Tech Bubble doesn’t hold water anymore either.
- Below is a chart showing the S&P 500’s Price to Sales ratio (also called the P/S ratio). As you can see, based on this metric, the 2007 Bubble is a mere blip. We’re now in territory not seen since the 1999-2000 Bubble.
- Earnings, cash flow, and book value are all financial data points that can be massaged via a variety of gimmicks. As a result of this, valuing stocks based on Price to Earnings, Price to Cash Flow, and Price to Book Value can often lead to inaccurate valuations.
- Sales on the other hand are all but impossible to gimmick. Either money came in the door, or it didn’t And, if a company is caught faking its sales numbers, someone is going to jail.
- So the fact that stocks are now trading at a P/S ratio that matches the Tech Bubble (the single largest stock bubble in history) tells us that we’re truly trading at astronomical levels: levels associated with staggering levels of excess.
The most dangerous moment for markets will be when rising rates combine in three or four months’ time with an inflection point in corporate profits.
- the total amount of hours worked necessary to buy a unit of the S&P 500 has risen to an all-time high (Chart 1).
Central banks have become the bond market
- And finally, as bond yields rise, financial conditions will tighten. Financial conditions are a leading indicator of corporate earnings and they are already warning that US EPS will very soon hit a peak in YoY terms (Chart 6).
Shortly after yesterday’s rate hike by the Bank of Canada, its first since 2010, “”Canada Is In Serious Trouble” Again, And This Time It’s For Real”, may have finally been provided thanks to the Bank of Canada itself.
- Now, one day after our warning, the IMF has doubled down and on Thursday issued its latest consultation report, in which it said that while Canada’s economy has regained some momentum, it warned that business investment remains weak, non-energy exports have underperformed, housing imbalances have increased and uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations with the United States could hurt the recovery.
- – “the danger of a sharp correction in the housing market, a further
decline in oil prices, or U.S. protectionism.
- “The main risk on the domestic side is a sharp correction in the housing market that impairs bank balance sheets, triggers negative feedback loops in the economy, and increases contingent claims on the government,”
- While no one has seen the Senate’s revised healthcare bill as of yet, early indications suggest that it will include a version of a controversial amendment from Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) that has become a sticking point in the negotiations. Among other things, the amendment would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet ObamaCare regulations if they also sell a plan that does meet those rules.
- Called the “Consumer Freedom Amendment,” we highlighted the main points of the Cruz/Lee proposal last month:
it leaves existing plans on the market but it gives new options so that people can purchase far more affordable health insurance.
But insurers could also sell skimpier, cheaper plans that don’t cover those 10 services or meet other ObamaCare requirements.
An additional $70 billion to help states stabilize their markets and offset the costs of covering expensive patients — on top of more than $100 billion that was already there.
$45 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.
The bill would no longer repeal two of the ACA’s tax increases on wealthy families, and it won’t include a new tax break for health-care executives.
- In other words, more provisions that simply make the bill look and feel an awful lot like Obamacare…a fact that Senator Rand Paul pointed out in an op-ed just yesterday in which he blasted McConnell’s new bill as more or less a capitulation by Republicans to simply “keep Obamacare.”
- Lindsey Graham, a frequent critic of Donald Trump, asked a simple question that destroys the entire Russia narrative – if after more than a year of multiple investigations you still need more proof that there’s no there, there:
- “Here’s the question, why would they send the Trump campaign to a lady who knew nothing? So, I want to know about that too. It’s kind of an odd way to suggest the Russian government wants to help, by sending you somebody that doesn’t have any evidence at all.”
- After this latest claim against Don Jr. it all came tumbling down on the Dems as those rushing to his defense discovered that the only collusion that existed was between Obama, Hillary and the Russians!!!
- the Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” after she had initially been turned down.
- Sthis revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.
“That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the Attorney General to do in extraordinary circumstances.
The deal was we let you into the country and we need you to do something for us, contact, make it seem like you have info on hillary, lure them in and meet with them
- But just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, it seems the Justice Department had lost track of her...
Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows.
She also helped arrange an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where pro-Russian supporters showed a movie that challenged the underpinnings of the U.S. human rights law known as the Magnitysky Act,
At least five congressional staffers and State Department officials attended that movie showing,
- The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) , has invited Donald Trump Jr. to publicly testify about his meeting with a Russian lawyer
- Top Democrats in the US House of Representatives have introduced a version of the bill on Russia and Iran sanctions that is identical to the one passed by the US Senate last month, the Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee said in a press release on Thursday.
- The rule of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is on the brink of collapse, former PM Nikolai Azarov says, noting a growing dissatisfaction with Poroshenko among the Ukrainian elite and his cabinet’s failure to improve the economy.“Everything is heading in the direction that the regime of Petro Poroshenko is nearing its end, changes are likely to happen soon,” Azarov, now living in exile in Russia, sAzarov also said that though he would like to return to Ukraine, it is not a viable option at the moment, as his home country has been overrun by “terror, clampdown on dissidents, reprisals against opposition.”
- China has deployed troops to the country’s first overseas military base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, Beijing says the “support base” will be used for logistical purposes, such as resupplying ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia however concerns are growing about China’s rising geopolitical influence especially at such a key strategic location.
- Djibouti, which is about the size of Wales, is situated at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.
- China has pitched its involvement in the country’s development as an extension of Xi’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative,
- The tiny African state of Djibouti has reportedly ordered the US to vacate its secondary Obock military base in the nation in a bid to turn over the installation to the Chinese military and its contingent of 10,000 troops, raising major concerns in Washington, which holds the largest military base in Djibouti, Camp Lemonnier.
- the mainstream media appears to be celebrating ISIS’ recent defeat in Mosul, The media is largely using the word “liberation,” which indicates the people of Mosul have been freed from a monstrous force by a friendly, benevolent one.
- In reality, the “liberation” of Mosul paints a dark, horrifying picture of America’s foreign policy when one realizes how ISIS took hold of Mosul in the first place.
- in September of last year, the U.S. allowed ISIS to gain control of Mosul quite deliberately:
“In June 2014, ISIS crossed the Syrian border into Iraq, effortlessly taking the strategic oil-rich city of Mosul and almost making it as far as Baghdad.
ISIS militants claimed massive quantities of American military equipment, including entire truckloads of humvees, helicopters, tanks, and artillery as their own.
- Was there a good reason the American military sat on its hands despite knowing full well that this was going on?
“What did the U.S. do in response? Nothing. In spite of all the American bases in Iraq and the government’s ability to perform all manner of illicit activity — including assassinating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya using a drone that was flown out of Sicily by a pilot who operated the vehicle from a naval base in Nevada‚ the U.S. couldn’t do anything to stop ISIS rapid advancements. Was there a problem preventing the U.S. military from conducting air strikes? Clearly not, as the U.S. had been launching drone strikes in Pakistan at around the same time ISIS advanced.”
- Since the U.S. moved back into Iraq in 2014, the U.S. has dropped 84,000 bombs in Iraq and Syria up until the end of May 2017. this is nearly three times the number of bombs and missiles dropped on Iraq during George W. Bush’s “Shock and Awe” campaign in 2003.
- Iran-backed militias have firmly planted themselves in Iraq, the U.S. is left with an ultimate dilemma of how to kick them out and counter Iran’s expanding influence.
- And for those civilians still trapped in the city, their lives will never be the same.
“According to city officials, as much as 80 per cent of West Mosul has been completely destroyed. Civilians still emerging from the battlefield are often bloodied and starving – traumatised by Iraqi and Coalition bombardments; and by atrocities commited [sic] by ISIS.
“According to reporters accompanying Iraqi forces, the stench of death is everywhere in the Old City – with civil defence officials reporting that as many as 4,000 bodies still remain unrecovered in the rubble. It is likely to be many months before the full death toll is known.”
- Essentially, the U.S. allowed ISIS to gain control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria so they could justify interventions in these war-ravaged nations.
- The statement of abandonment of the regime change policy in Syria was set out in the clearest language by President Macron
- I do not require Assad’s departure, that’s no longer a prerequisite for France. For seven years, we did not have an embassy in Damascus – and still we have no solution.
- The US and France have not suddenly become converts to the cause of President Assad. As Macron’s words show, their acceptance that he will stay as President of Syria is simply a recognition of reality: that with Russia protecting him and his armies on the offensive on all fronts there is no longer the wherewithal to remove him.
- The United States and Russia are currently discussing the second ceasefire agreement in Syria, US President Donald Trump said in joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.
- The US-led coalition is developing a database of foreign Daesh fighters that already contains 18,000 names, US special presidential envoy Brett McGurk said in a coalition meeting on Thursday.Approximately 36,000 foreign fighters have been recruited by Daesh of which of 6,000 are from western countries, , now with 18,000 verified names with the support of our Coalition partner Interpol,” McGurk announced.