Theresa May calls for a 2 year exit strategy from the EU. Household wealth hit an all time new high, but there is one catch, the majority of it is in the stock market and the top 10% earned the wealth. Ohio’s pension system is in trouble and people are getting nervous. US manufacturing is a drag on the economy. The Fed is distracting the world with their unwinding the balance sheet propaganda. The petrodollar is under attack and as the system breaks down gold will shoot higher. The cabal is now using Facebook to show how Russia influenced the election. The White House places more sanctions on NK. South Korea just did the opposite, they gave aid to NK. The US might not be able to shoot down a missile launched from NK. The cabal pushes their agenda, the Kurds hold an election.GCHQ puts out a warning that they expect a category 1 cyber attack to hit in the near future, this will cause a national emergency.
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Current News – 09.22.2017
- the transition or “implementation” period will last “around two years” and should be agreed on “as early as possible.”
- In the Fed’s latest Flow of Funds report, today the Fed released the latest snapshot of the US “household” sector as of June 30, 2017. What it revealed is that with $111.4 trillion in assets and a modest $15.2 trillion in liabilities, the net worth of US households rose to a new all time high of $96.2 trillion, up $1.7 trillion as a result of an estimated $564 billion increase in real estate values, but mostly $1.23 trillion increase in various stock-market linked financial assets like corporate equities, mutual and pension funds, and deposits as the market soared to new all time highs thanks to some $2 trillion in central bank liquidity injections this year.
- virtually all of the net worth, and associated increase thereof, has only benefited a handful of the wealthiest Americans.
- In 2013, families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution held 76 percent of all family wealth, families in the 51st to the 90th percentiles held 23 percent, and those in the bottom half of the distribution held 1 percent.
- Average wealth was about $4 million for families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution, $316,000 for families in the 51st to 90th percentiles, and $36,000 for families in the 26th to 50th percentiles. On average, families at or below the 25th percentile were $13,000 in debt.
- In other words, roughly 75% of the $1.8 trillion increase in assets went to benefit just 10% of the population, who also account for roughly 76% of America’s financial net worth.
- It also means that just 10% of the US population is worth $73 trillion, while half of the US population was worth just ~$9.6 trillion.
- And there – as we say quarter after quarter- is your “recovery”: the wealthy have never been wealthier, while half of America, some 50% of households, own just 1% of the country’s wealth, down from 3% in 1989, while America’s poor have never been more in debt.
- Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) has been forced to consider COLA cuts for its 1 million pensioners in order to keep the fund solvent.
Ohio’s biggest public pension system is considering cutting the cost of living allowances for its 1-million members as a way to shore up the long-term finances of the fund.
- So how bad is OPERS? Per the latest valuation, Ohio taxpayers are on the hook for a roughly $20 billion underfunding. Ironically, the fund ended 2016 with the highest underfunding in it’s history, after being nearly fully funded in 2007, despite a 275% surge in the S&P off the lows in 2009.
- F After 5 straight months of gains, the US Composite PMI dropped back below pre-election levels.
- As Markit notes, there were signs of underlying fragility in September, with new orders expanding at one of the slowest rates seen over the past year.
- Latest data also indicated that new export sales remain close to stagnation.
- Despite the ongoing collapse of ‘hard’ economic data, ‘soft’ surveys continue to remain hopeful…
- The Federal Reserve had its September meeting the last two days and they chose to leave short-term interest rates right where they stand. That was more or less expected.
- The real water cooler gossip capturing the attention of most economic analysts is what the Fed would do in order to reduce the amount of assets on its balance sheet.
- Everyone is making a big deal about the Fed’s so-called “balance sheet reduction” which starts next month.
- Let’s assess some facts.
- First of all, the Fed plans on shrinking its balance sheet by $10-$30 billion per month. The Fed balance sheet is currently $4.5 trillion. So at this pace of unwinding it would take somewhere between 13 and 33 years for the Fed to normalize its balance sheet back to pre-2008 levels.
- So the notion that this is significant is off base. It borders on irrelevant.
- Second of all, the only reason the Fed is even discussing a balance sheet reduction is because stocks are soaring. The second that stocks begin to correct, multiple Fed officials will appear on TV talking about how it’s time to “slow the pace” or even “halt” its balance sheet reduction.
- Let’s get real here.
- The reality is that the stock market is the ONLY thing the Fed can point to as a success. The economy from 2008 to 2016 was in the weakest recovery in 80+ years. Indeed, the Fed has all but given up on the farce that it cares about the economy: yesterday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen herself admitted publicly yesterday that the Fed takes account of “asset prices” when it comes to rate hikes.
- In Fed-speak, asset prices=stocks. And that’s the #1 focus for the Fed when it comes to monetary policy.
- So what does this mean?
- The Fed is going to engage in some symbolic shrinking of its balance sheet, but the second things get messy for stocks, the Fed will start walking back this policy.
- And THAT opens the door to the REAL crisis.
- A crisis of inflation.
- The $USD is imploding. It bounced a bit courtesy of the Fed announcement yesterday, but it’s in SERIOUS trouble having taken out critical support.
- The real CRISIS is the collapse of the $USD. And it’s one the Fed doesn’t want to stop. Indeed, as soon as stocks begin to correct, the Fed will start walking back all talk of a balance sheet reduction. And if we enter another crisis, the $USD will drop even farther as the Fed cranks up the printing presses with more QE.
- Since The Fed unveiled its cunning plan to unwind the balance sheet ever so gradually and in an ever so well-telegraphed manner, the US Treasury yield curve has collapsed!
- yield curve has crashed to its flattest since 2007…
- In fact, the collapse to just 91bps places the yield curve right at the start of both of the last two recessions…
- So, no! You do not need to invert the yield curve to see a recession – in fact we are already there.
I think we’ll have a near term bounce on the U.S. dollar… then it’s going to be very weak… and then it’s going to go much, much lower… With China and Russia working together to de-dollarize the U.S. dollar starting with oil, which is the biggest market… and then all the other commodities.
You’re going to start seeing a massive unwind of these U.S. dollars in the emerging markets.
When that money comes back… which it will… and the world starts cluing in that the emerging markets need gold to convert the Yuan and the Ruble and all these different factors, you’re going to see a massive rush for gold.
- Global strategist Marin Katusa is the New York Times best selling author of The Colder War, which details the geo-political power shift that threatens the global dominance of the United States. He’s also a well known resource hedge fund manager who legendary investor Doug Casey has called one of the best market analysts he’s ever worked with.
- His prior forecasts noted that countries around the world would soon stop trading commodities like oil in the U.S. dollar, something we’re already seeing with China, Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, all of which are preparing non-dollar, gold-backed mechanisms of exchange.
- This trend, according to Katusa will only continue to weaken the U.S. dollar going forward and the result will be a massive capital flight to gold in coming years:
…And when the funds flow come in… it’s going to be the equivalent of Niagra Falls coming through your garden hose.
- On Thursday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company will release to US Congress the activity it uncovered concerning “fake accounts linked to Russia running ads” during the US 2016 presidential campaign.
- Earlier in September, Facebook said it had discovered some 3,000 ads purchased between June 2015 and May 2017, connected to 470 “inauthentic” accounts and pages “in violation of our policies.”
- “Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia,”Facebook said in a statement.
- In the same statement, the company admitted that the “vast majority of ads run by these accounts” had nothing to do with the election, voting, or a particular candidate.
- Facebook’s decision to overhaul how it handles political advertisements amid investigations into alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections, and called reports of Kremlin-linked groups buying Facebook ads to sway the 2016 election part of a “Russia hoax.”
- “The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary.”
- NKorea include sanctions “on any foreign financial institution that knowingly conducts or facilitates any significant transaction on behalf of certain designated individuals and entities” but also on trade, and targets North Korea’s shipping and trade networks and “issues a 180-day ban on vessels and aircraft that have visited North Korea from visiting the United States” and “also targets vessels that have engaged in a ship-to-ship transfer with a vessel that has visited North Korea within 180 days.”:
- Ultimately, the White House says, “foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated supporters.”
- Separately, Trump is scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in Thursday, two important US allies on North Korea’s doorstop. On the top of the agenda is likely to be South Korea’s surprise decision to send an $8 million aid package to North Korea.
- The South said it planned to send $4.5 million worth of medical treatments, nursery facilities and nutritional products for children and pregnant women through the World Food Programme, and $3.5 million worth of medicinal treatments and nutritional products through UNICEF.
“We have consistently said we would pursue humanitarian aid for North Korea in consideration of the poor conditions children and pregnant women are in there, apart from political issues,” said Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon.
- According to some analysts, Americans may be overly confident in our military’s ability to shoot down North Korean missiles if the country were to attempt to strike.
- Maybe the reason we haven’t shot down North Korea’s test missiles is that we can’t. While we all certainly hope that our military would be able to successfully defend the country against incoming missiles, we need to be prepared for any possibility.
- According to an article by Joe Cirincione of Defense One, the reason we don’t shoot down North Korea’s missiles when they fire them over Japan is because…
- We don’t have the capability.
- when Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “We didn’t intercept it because no damage to Japanese territory was expected,” this was only partially true. It wasn’t a threat, but they didn’t have the capability to shoot it down due to the altitude.
Neither Japan nor the United States could have intercepted the missile. None of the theater ballistic missile defense weapons in existence can reach that high. It is hundreds of kilometers too high for the Aegis interceptors deployed on Navy ships off Japan. Even higher for the THAAD systems in South Korea and Guam. Way too high for th Patriot systems in Japan, which engage largely within the atmosphere.
All of these are basically designed to hit a missile in the post-mid-course or terminal phase, when it is on its way down, coming more or less straight at the defending system.
- IF WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO SHOOT DOWN NORTH KOREAN MISSILES, WHY HAVEN’T WE DONE SO?
- If we attempted to shoot down a North Korean missile and missed, it would be a major propaganda coup for Kim Jong Un.
- Residents of Kurdish-majority areas of northern Syria began voting Friday in the region’s first local elections, as part of a push to cement a semi-autonomous regional government.
- Friday’s vote is the first stage in a three-part election to select representatives at the district, municipal and regional levels.
- The vote has been dismissed by Syria’s central government as “a joke,” but for Kurds it represents a step towards a long-sought federal system.
- Official fears violence after 25 September independence vote, as disputes grow in areas controlled by Kurd forces outside original KRG borders.
- Fears of fresh conflict in northern Iraq are bubbling to the surface weeks before Iraqi Kurds hold a contentious vote on independence, with warnings of war over disputed, ethnically mixed border regions and reports of Shia forces pushing Kurd officials from a town to prevent voting.
- The Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, has refused repeated requests from Baghdad, the US and regional powers to postpone its 25 September referendum, saying it would only do so if an alternative was presented by Iraq’s central government.
- In September, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) received 200 trucks loaded with ammunition and weapons from the US, according to Syrian opposition sources.
- The Syrian opposition source revealed that on September 11, 100 trucks carrying weapons and ammunition entered the SDF-held area in al-Hasakah governorate. The trucks entered Syria coming for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq via the Semalka border crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
- On September 19, 100 more trucks entered Syria via the same border crossing, according to the source. The second batch was sent to the SDF-held area in Deir Ezzor governorate on September 20, according to Kurdish sources.
- Syrian armed forces supported by the Russian Air Force have regained control of 87.4 percent of the country, Russia’s military said, adding that Russian warplanes had destroyed over 96,000 terrorist targets in the course of the two-year campaign.
- GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre has warned that the UK should be prepared for a major “category one” cyberattack. In comparison, the WannaCry ransomware that had hit the British government badly was considered as “category two”.
- we’re going to have out first ‘category one’ cyber incident,” he said. “Category one is where you need a national response.”