IBM is now developing a cryptocurrency that will be pegged to the dollar, the reasoning is to stabilize it, but what is really happening the central bankers will try to use this as their currency. IMF is already sounding the warning bells, if the UK does not work on a BREXIT deal that is beneficial to the bankers the UK economy will implode. Initial jobless claims are at the lowest since the 60s but wages have not increased. Venezuela is not allowing Turkey to mint their gold. The IMF says the global economy is starting to slow. Central banks have now maneuvered to take down the economy, Trump just called them out on it. New docs have been released that show Strzok might have been a CIA agent in the FBI. The 12 Russian indictment is a joke because there is no evidence. Putin drops bomb on Mueller wants to do a swap interrogation but Trump decides not to do this. FBI director says Chinese alot worse than the Russians. Trump says the sit down with Putin was great and Putin says the same thing. Russia and the US planning another summit in the future. Turkey lifts two year state of emergency. Iraqi forces and the Kurds fight against the IS. Syria moves into the Golan Heights.
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Current News – 07.19.2018
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- IBM on Tuesday said it is experimenting with a new cryptocurrency that is directly tied to the U.S. dollar, in a bid to avoid the pricing volatility associated with other digital currencies.
- The tech giant is partnering with a startup called Stronghold to launch a “stable coin,” which will serve as a “tokenized representation” of the U.S. dollar. Consumers will be able to exchange their dollars for Stronghold coins on a 1-to-1 basis, and all cash exchanged in the transactions will be deposited at banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
- “As the name suggests, a stable coin is a digital token that has low price volatility because it is pegged to an underlying fiat currency,” Jesse Lund, vice president of global blockchain market development at IBM, said in a blog post. “Thus, it would work well for practical applications involving payments on a blockchain network as a store of value, a medium of exchange and unit of accounting for routine and everyday transactions of both large and small values.”
- A no-deal Brexit scenario would affect the British economy much more than the EU, says a fresh research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- According to the paper, the UK departure from the bloc without any kind of trade deal would drop the European GDP by up to 1.5 per cent if the partners follow a so-called “WTO scenario” (trade on bare WTO terms).
- The IMF warned that the UK would suffer bigger economic damage from a no-deal Brexit in the long run.
- Initial jobless claims in the last week tumbled to 207,000.
- This is the lowest level of claims since November 1969
- …and still no wage pressure.
- The Central Bank of Venezuela will start refining gold in Turkey to avoid US sanctions – penalties that deter the country from carrying out banking operations in Switzerland, according to the Venezuelan mining minister.
- The head of the International Monetary Fund says economic growth has started slowing in Japan and the eurozone.
- She says the current growth of the world economy appears to be peaking.
- The IMF estimates that the US economy will shrink 0.8 percent as a result of retaliatory measures by other countries.
- China and other emerging economies in Asia are to suffer a collective 0.7 percent drop.
- Japan may see a decline of 0.6 percent. The country will be gravely affected by higher levies on automobiles the US is considering.
- The eurozone economy could shrink 0.3 percent.
- stock markets are NOT tracking the news headlines. The past month should have proved this if there was any previous doubt.
- It is hard for investors and some analysts to grasp this fact, primarily because for at least the past few years it appeared as though stock markets were utterly dictated by headlines out of Bloomberg, Reuters and other mainstream media outlets. Once investors and analysts became used to this narrative it was difficult for them to adapt when the dynamic changed. They are still living in the past based on an assumption that was never quite correct to begin with.
- In reality, headlines never actually dictated stock prices; it was always the Federal Reserve among other central banks.
- stock market valuations for the past several years have tracked almost perfectly with the Fed’s balance sheet. That is to say, every time the Fed purchased more assets and increased the balance sheet, stocks went up.
- Now that QE is ending around the world and rates are rising along with yields, bonds are becoming a competing asset, luring investors away from stocks once more.
- It’s important to note that the Fed is not the only central bank that is raising interest rates. The Bank of Canada and the Bank of England among others are beginning to push higher rates as well.
- Federal Reserve Cutting Balance Sheet (And Hiding The Effects)
- The Fed has been the single most important trigger for stock markets. Period. As noted above, it was the Fed that created the historic bull market rally after the derivatives collapse. Jerome Powell, the current chairman of the Fed, stated back in 2012 that this was the case, and also made statements on what would happen if the Fed ever raised interest rates and cut asset purchases, ending the central bank’s “short volatility position.”
- What did Powell predict in 2012? Essentially, a stock market crash. And, yet, as the new Fed chair he is implementing the exact measures he warned about back in 2012.
- the Fed is not attempting to hide the size of its asset dumps when it discontinued FRED data, but it is attempting to hide the exact TIMING of when the cuts occurred. In this way, they hope to incrementally distance themselves from any blame by making it more difficult to connect Fed cuts to specific weekly plunges in stock markets.
- The Fed is also suddenly attempting to change the way it reports on Yield Curve data, which has in the past been a very accurate indicator of when a recession will take place. Why? Most likely because the Fed has been pushing the claim that the economy is in swift recovery when their own data shows that it is actually in swift decline. The Fed needs a rationale for their rate hikes and balance sheet cuts – actions which they KNOW will cause the next financial crash. T
- Trade War Distraction
- The trade war continues as the most effective possible distraction from central bank activities. In every instance of a stock market decline, which takes place after every instance of a Federal Reserve cut in the balance sheet or an interest rate hike,
- the trade war has little to do with the behavior in equities. It is the Federal Reserve and to some extent other central banks that are controlling stock market prices, along with corporate stock buybacks which are facilitated by the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates.
- Update: and as has been the case recently, the White House had to immediately clarify what Trump meant:
- WHITE HOUSE SAYS TRUMP `RESPECTS THE INDEPENDENCE’ OF FED
- WHITE HOUSE SAYS TRUMP ISN’T INTERFERFERING WITH FED DECISIONS
- It should perhaps come as no surprise that the president who once called himself a “low interest rate guy”, has finally laid into the Fed, and during an interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernan, criticized the US central bank saying that he is “not thrilled” about rising rates, and would prefer a weaker dollar to offset the Chinese Yuan which is “dropping like a rock.”
- Strzok was the main operative in “Operation Crossfire Hurricane,” a Deep State plot to run legal attacks on President Trump’s team.
- Now we know that Strzok was really a CIA agent. He only held a ceremonial title in the Bureau, but was really operating under the leadership of the CIA,
- Peter Strzok has been covertly operating as the Section Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterespionage Group during his secret 24 year tenure with the agency while masquerading as Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterintelligence Division where he was in charge of investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server along with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
- A unclassified document printed on FBI letterhead dated January 20, 2016, which contains the subject line “Supplemental Classification Review and Determination” was addressed to the Bureau of National Security’s
- Assistant Secretary Gregory B. Starr from Peter Strzok who is listed as “Section Chief” of the “Counterespionage Section” in reference to Strzok’s CIA post. Keep in mind, this is not an FBI post as Strzok’s position at the FBI is “Deputy Assistant Director Counterintelligence Division” not “Section Chief” which is a CIA post.
- The 30-page long indictment is full of painstaking details about alleged Russian involvement but it makes numerous assertions that the reader is required to accept on faith because there is little or no evidence provided to back up the claims and the claims themselves could be false trails set up by any number of hostile intelligence services to implicate Moscow. From an intelligence officer’s point of view, there are even some significant areas where operational implausibility completely undermines the case being made.
- The indictment identifies by name and position the twelve alleged GRU officers who “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury (collectively the ‘Conspirators’), to gain unauthorized access (to ‘hack’) into the computers of US persons and entities involved in the 2016 US presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.”
- All twelve alleged GRU officers are described in detail, together with the cover mechanisms they reportedly used and the targets they pursued. But they are all in Russia and there is virtually no chance that they will be extradited to stand trial in Washington,
- The document itself also provides no information on how the Russian officers and their positions were identified, which suggests that it could have been a US hack or agent in place, either run by CIA or NSA, that came up with a list of those individuals connected to GRU cyber operations. That would be information involving sources and methods, codeword protected material beyond Top Secret.
- Since Mueller had nothing they needed a group of plausible Russians and used a generic list provided by either CIA or NSA to come up with the culprits and then used those identities and the detailed information regarding them to provide credibility to their account. What they did not do, however, is provide the actual evidence connecting the individuals to the “hack/interference” or to connect the same to the Russian government.
- Beyond what is or is not contained in the document itself, there is a clear misunderstanding regarding how a sophisticated intelligence organization, which certainly includes the GRU, operates. If there had been a large-scale Kremlin sanctioned plan to disrupt the US election, it would not be run by twelve identifiable GRU officers working with what appears to be only limited cover and resources.
- If the Kremlin’s objective were truly to undermine American democracy, a task that is already being undertaken very ably by the GOP and Democrats, hundreds of officers would be involved, all working under deep cover and operating securely out of dispersed sites. And no one involved would be using computers connected to networks that could be penetrated to enable personal identification or discovery of the ultimate source of the activity. Everyone would be working in alias on stand-alone machines and the transmission of information would be done using cut-outs to break any chain of custody. A cut-out might consist of using thumb drives to transmit information from one computer to another, for example. There would be no sending or receiving of information by channels that could be identified by NSA or CIA and compromised.
- So the idea that the United States government identified twelve culprits who were responsible for trying to overthrow American democracy is by any measure ludicrous, if indeed there was a major plan to disrupt the election at all.
- The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia named the names of employees of special services and US officials suspected of involvement in the illegal activities of the founder of the British Hermitage Fund William Browder, reports Interfax . Among them was the former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, to whom Russian investigators want to ask a number of questions.
- The names of Americans who are interested in the Russian investigation were voiced by the head of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Alexander Kurennoy. “I will mention some of them: they are employees of the US National Security Agency: Todd Hyman, he signed an oath in the US court, according to Browder, Svetlana Engert took the stolen materials of the criminal case from Russia, Alexander Shvartsman, who was in charge of Browder during his stay in the US , Jim Roht, a CIA agent who in fact was and is the financial manager of Browder, Robert Otto, until January 2017, the Deputy Chief of the US Intelligence Agency, David Kramer.
- According to him, among the persons of interest are also “well-known Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia.”
- “Under his leadership in 2009-2010, compiled reports to the US State Department from Moscow,” which referred to the progress of the investigation in the Magnitsky case.
- on Monday Putin said that Russian law enforcement officers can interrogate accused of interfering in US elections at the request of the United States and send a response to Washington. At the same time, he added, the Russian side in that case would expect from the American “that they interrogate those representatives of the US special services whom Moscow suspects of illegal actions on the territory of the Russian Federation, in the presence of Russian investigators.”
- Vladimir Putin mentioned the so-called case of Hermitage Capital, a fund headed by financier William Browder, convicted in Russia of fraud.
- “According to our investigation, Mr. Browder and his business partners earned more than $ 1.5 billion illegally, neither in Russia nor in the US, they paid the money, and $ 400 million was sent to Mrs. Clinton’s election campaign. These are official data, which are present in their reports, “the head of the Russian Federation noted.
- According to him, “perhaps it was done legally, but the money was received illegally.” “We have reason to believe that some US intelligence officials accompanied these transactions illegally,” Putin said.
- Update: It appears Michael McFaul is really getting nervous, tweeting like a teenager on meth tonight:
I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy US indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented by Putin https://t.co/K1ZvrNwTu3
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 18, 2018
- * * *
- With The White House flip-flopping back and forth on what was actually said – and meant to be said – in Helsinki, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dropped the latest tape-bomb to blow the establishment’s mind
- Sanders reported that President Trump is open to a proposal from Vladimir Putin to let Russian authorities question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul.
- While Trump reportedly made no commitments to Putin, the Russian president offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interrogations of the 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week for hacking Democratic Party email accounts.
- Trump called it an “interesting idea” and an “incredible offer” at the news conference.
- The United States Senate voted 98-0 to block Russia from interviewing United States officials involved in criminal cases in Russia. The White House had ruled out the potential in a Thursday statement from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
- China, rather than Russia, is the “most significant” long-term threat to the United States, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday.
- Wray said that the FBI has economic espionage investigations in all 50 states that trace back to Chinese activity.
- “It covers everything from corn seeds in Iowa to wind turbines in Massachusetts and everything in between,” said Wray.
- Putin called the secretive sit-down with his U.S. counterpart “successful overall,” claiming it had “led to useful agreements.”
- The Russian autocrat also parroted Trump in suggesting media coverage of the event, where the leaders spent more than two hours in a room with only translators present, had been unfair, and cited unspecified “forces” in the U.S. that were working to undermine any improvement in U.S.-Russian relations.
- “We see that in the U.S. there are forces ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own domestic political ambitions,” Putin said
- Trump continued his ongoing war with U.S. media Thursday over the Helsinki summit:
- “The Summit was a great success,” and hints that there will be a second summit soon, where they will address: “stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more.”
The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear……..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
….proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems…but they can ALL be solved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
- Turkey has lifted a state of emergency at 1 a.m. local time on Thursday (22:00 GMT Wednesday) that has been in place for two years since the 2016 failed coup, Anadolu news agency reported.
- The state of emergency was initially declared in Turkey after the failed coup attempt of July 2016, and has been repeatedly prolonged since then. On July 15, 2016, a military takeover attempt took place in Turkey, leaving over 240 people killed. Following the unrest, over 50,000 people were arrested, and more than 160,000 government officials and military officers were dismissed or suspended.
- the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a joint security operation against the remaining cells of ISIS in the area of Makhmur, southwest of the city of Erbit, according to the Iraqi news outlet Baghdad Post.
- President Bashar al-Assad is set to recover control of the Syrian frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in a major victory over rebels who have agreed to surrender terms, sources on both sides said on Thursday.
- The campaign, which has already restored Assad’s control over a critical portion of the frontier with Jordan, marks another milestone in his efforts to recover control of the country fractured by more than seven years of conflict.