The UMich and the Conference Board consumer confidence models surged reporting that the illusion is complete and people believe the economy is improving. Case Shiller reports that housing prices have hit all time highs. ECB lowers Deutsche Banks capital requirements to that Deutsche Bank executives can receive bonuses. Monti de Paschi is experiencing a bank run of sorts as the bank is experiencing a rapid liquidity deterioration . The US is selling off some of it’s oil reserves under the pretense the funds will be used to refurbish the system. Europe is taking the next step, they are making the case why they need to confiscation gold, bitcoin and prepaid cards to crack down on terrorism funding. US Government can now legally access your Facebook data. Putin turns on the gas to Crimea. Iran plans to build an aircraft carrier. US preparing a major offensive in Mosul to protect the terrorist groups. Turkey continues to push in the Northern part of Syria. Erdogan is now pointing the finger at the US and the coalition forces, that they have been supporting the IS, the blame game begins.Black box has been found the Tu-154 jet that went down in the Black Sea. Europol reports that the IS is now radicalizing refugees to carrier out terrorist attacks in Europe.
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Current News – 12.27.2016
- There was an odd disconnect in last week’s latest UMichigan consumer confidence print, according to which US consumers were the most confident in 12 years as a result of soaring stocks, even as their 5 year inflation expectations tumbled to record lows, which is ironic because the only reason the market was higher is due to higher inflation expectations by traders.
- the “other” confidence index reported by the Conference Board, also printed at multi-year highs, surging from its November print of 109.4, and well above the 109 expected, to 113.7. This was the highest print since August 2001.
- US home prices have never been higher according to October’s Case-Shiller data – surpassing July 2006’s peak.
- Home Price appreciation has been oddly stable for the last 30 months – hovering around 5% YoY according to Case-Shiller data…
- The 5.1% YoY rise was slightly better than expected, but, with mortgage applications at Lehman lows and mortgage rates spiking to near 3-year highs since this data, the question is…
- What happens next?
- According to Facebook’s Global Government Requests Report, government’s requests for Facebook account data rose 27 percent in the first half of 2016.
- At least 56 percent of these requests, Facebook added, “contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited us from notifying the user.”
- Additionally, Facebook used its report to disclose for the first time what the company does when law enforcement agencies request “snapshots” of a user account that might be relevant to law enforcement for undisclosed reasons.
- These “preservation requests,” as they are known, are requests to “preserve data pending receipt of formal legal process.” They are often processed by the social media website as snapshots, which are preserved temporarily. According to Facebook, the company does not “disclose any of the preserved records unless and until we receive formal and valid legal process.” In the first half of 2016, Facebook received 38,675 preservation requests regarding 67,129 accounts, a staggering number of requests.
- Further, Facebook insisted it does not give law enforcement any “back doors” to user information.
- Facebook added that “as a result of transparency reforms introduced this year by the USA Freedom Act, our report also contains additional information concerning National Security Letters (NSLs).” NSLs are “extraordinary search procedures” that give the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the power to “compel the disclosure of customer records held by banks, telephone companies, Internet Service Providers, and others.” They are extraordinary because detailed information can be surrendered without proper oversight, an issue that has led to countless cases of abuse.
- Search warrants were produced in only 13,742 cases of request for data while only 781 others were backed by court orders.
- The recently built natural gas pipeline from mainland Russia to Crimea has become operational. The pipeline will provide natural gas for the entire population of the peninsula.
- The pipeline stretches 358.7 kilometers across Lake Tuzla and the Kerch Strait,
- In an unexpected escalation that was not the result of Israel’s angry response to Friday’s UN vote which passed a resolution condemning the country’s settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, and which the US refused to veto, Israeli Defense Minister on Monday called on French Jews to leave their country to protest a Paris-hosted conference planned for next month aimed at restarting Palestine-Israel peace talks,
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- Israel has suspended “working ties” with 12 nations that voted for a United Nations resolution condemning settlements.
- The countries were Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand, Malaysia. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with Venezuela or Malaysia, which also voted for the resolution.
- condemning Obama attacks on Israel and demanding he not participate in French or (U.N. Security
- Iran is planning to build an aircraft carrier,
- Lt. Col. Stuart James reiterated that the Iraqi military invasion of Mosul is “paused,”
- Lt. Col. James insisted that the refit would be finished soon, and that the next phase of the invasion would happen “in the next several days.” Iraqi troops control part of eastern Mosul, but have limited numbers of forces actually in the city, with only special forces getting that far and a lot of other troops still on the outskirts fighting.
- The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey agreed in a telephone conversation Tuesday to push for a ceasefire in Syria and to prepare for possible peace talks planned
- the US defense policy bill ease some restrictions on arming Syrian rebels had opened the way for deliveries of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, a move it said would directly threaten Russian forces in Syria.
- Russia says, We therefore view the step as a hostile one.”
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said “it’s very clear” that the US-led coalition is supporting terrorist groups in Syria, Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) among them.
- “They give support to terrorist groups including Daesh (Arabic for IS),” Erdogan said.
- Saying that the US have accused Turkey of supporting IS, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday the Turkish leader blamed the US-led coalition for assisting terrorists themselves.
- The Russian Defense Ministry’s Tu-154 plane that crashed into the Black Sea on Dec. 25 was trying to make a right turn seconds before the disaster. It was flying at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour with its nose high up, a source in the law enforcement has told TASS.
- Russian Defense Ministry said that main flight data recorder of the Russian military plane has been found in the Black Sea and will be delivered to Moscow for decoding.
- Intelligence suggests that IS has assembled teams in Syria which are sent to the EU tasked with carrying out attacks
- A real and imminent danger is the possibility of elements of the (Sunni Muslim) Syrian refugee diaspora becoming vulnerable to radicalisation once in Europe and being specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters.