The Brexit has reached a point of no return and the negotiations might run up to the deadline. Amazon decides to layoff employees in the Seattle corporate office. Trump unveils his infrastructure plan, this is to prepare the US for the transition, spend the fiat currency before it is worth nothing.JP Morgan creates a bitcoin bible, and explains that the cryptocurrency is here to stay but most likely will not turn into anything or take over as the currency. The IMF says expect the blockchain to be heavy regulated by governments. The NY Fed economists say that bitcoin will never take over as the currency because it is backed by nothing, isn’t the dollar backed by nothing? Obama official says he passed info to Steele. The Russian plane that crashed was most likely not an accident, there were people on the plane who were going to testify against the Clinton’s. Trump says he is ready and willing to speak to Kim Jong Un and there will be no per-conditions. Congress is looking to place sanctions on Turkey, Turkey says that they do not have a problem shutting down incirlik airbase. The push in Syria is on, the US is not in the game, but the coalition forces, the deep state are pushing their agenda.
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Current News – 02.12.2018
- The actual negotiations could easily run right up to the deadline in March 2019, when Britain is due to leave. If no agreement is forthcoming by that date, both sides might agree to extend negotiations, but that only seems likely if there is a good prospect of an agreement. Otherwise, Britain leaves and falls back on WTO trading
- rules, or does away with tariffs altogether. This is seen by the EU negotiators as a threat to Britain, believing it is Britain which is running out of time. Therefore, if Britain wants a trade deal, she must make it clear that a no-deal option is attractive to her. And, be it clearly understood, the negotiations only cover a minor part of the UK’s overall economy.
- Therefore, if a trade agreement is not forthcoming, the cost to British business as a whole is not as material as the Remainers and lobbying businesses have it,
- It is becoming clear that the Remainers are driven by little more than a desire to prevent change while distrusting free markets.
- If Britain backtracks or compromises on sovereignty, it will be disastrous for her, and little account has been taken of the new opportunities for the City, operating from outside the EU.
- Mrs May’s greatest problems are likely to be in dealing with her own advisors, senior civil servants whose only world is one of bureaucracy, and the Treasury, populated with staunch neo-Keynesians. of the House.
- In any event, time is short, not only given the Brexit timetable, but ideally it must be concluded, or at least set in stone, before the disruption of the next crisis of the global credit cycle.
- Amazon is taking the unusual step of laying off hundreds of corporate employees, what the Seattle Times describes as a “rare” cutback as the company continues to grow at a rapid clip.
- Amazon tried to spin the cuts as necessary culling after an explosive hiring spree –
- But others see a more sinister motive…
- As readers might recall, Amazon was the subject of an unflattering New York Times bombshell back in 2015 that described a workplace culture where employees were constantly pitted against each other, and managers were expected to be on call day and night. The culture reportedly emanated from Jeff Bezos himself, who has frequently pushed for the company to cull inadequate performers.
- Amazon denied that story, but the Seattle Times says managers are under pressure from Bezos to weed out the lowest-performing employees…
- budget request calls for $716b for defense and includes a 2.6% pay raise for troops
- $80b in IT and cyber- funding as well as $210m for a technology modernization fund
- Nearly $17b in opioid-related spending in 2019, including $10b in new funding for HHS
- Requests $18b for border wall construction
- Five months after Jamie Dimon’s infamous outburst, in which the JPM CEO called Bitcoin a fraud, and threatened any JPMorgan trader caught trading cryptocurrencies with immediate termination “for being stupid”, which was followed by JPM’s head quant alleging bitcoin was a pyramid scheme, the largest US bank has released what can only be called the “Bitcoin Bible”: 71 pages of excruciating detail on everything from the technology of cryptocurrencies, to their applications and challenges.
Given the hurdles, CCs are more likely to be used as ancillary payment methods rather than gaining traction as a primary source of exchange.While seeing a potential for the deployment of the underlying Blockchain technology in payments, we do not see cryptocurrencies competing with central bank-issued money for lawful transactions.
. Some of the early buyers of CC were clearly dismayed by ballooning balance sheets of the major central banks in the aftermath of the global financial crisis (GFC), but the lack of any meaningful inflation since, in both developed markets (DM) and emerging markets (EM), has surely reduced concerns about fiat (legal tender issued by a central bank) money.
Several central banks, as discussed in Feroli, are investigating whether they should issue CCs in their own currency, but are very far from actually doing so, as any increased efficiency in payments technology does not appear to be that obvious. In addition, the issuance of crypto dollars, for example, would give non-banks access to the Fed balance sheet, and thus could endanger the economically and socially important financial intermediation function of commercial banks.
If CCs survive the next few years and remain part of the global market, then they will likely have exited their current speculative phase and would then have more normal returns, volatilities (both much lower) and correlations (more like that of other zero-return assets such as gold and JPY). Based on its historical performance, CCs can be 10 times more volatile than core assets like stocks, or than portfolio hedges, like commodities. In the current market conditions, we do not believe that an allocation to Cryptocurrencies as insurance should be a portfolio’s main or only hedge. Note that even though CCs have improved risk-adjusted returns over the past several years, they have not prevented portfolio drawdown during periods of acute market stress, like the equity flash crashes of August 2015 and February 2018.
- It’s only a matter of time before cryptocurrencies come under government regulation, according to the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde.
- “ “It’s clearly a domain where we need international regulation and proper supervision.” She also noted that “there is probably quite a bit of dark activity [in cryptocurrencies].”
- The IMF is actively trying to prevent digital currencies from being used to launder money or finance terrorism, according to Lagarde. She said regulators need to focus less on entities, and more on activities – who is doing what, and whether they’re properly licensed and supervised.
- Earlier, the head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Agustin Carstens said bitcoin is “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster,” calling central banks to crack down on cryptocurrencies.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York published an interview on their site Friday, Feb. 9, in which two of its economists explain cryptocurrency, highlighting crypto’s “trustless” nature, but expressing doubt that cryptocurrency could ever “realistically compete with current payment methods.”
- On the notion that virtual currencies are not “backed by anything real”, such as gold, Lee declared pointedly:
“You’re right that they [virtual currencies] are not backed by a physical commodity, but then neither is the dollar and most other modern currencies.”
- Lee added that trust in a given currency is what gives it value in a payment environment and makes it an “acceptable medium of exchange”. In the case of cryptocurrency, said trust is not provided by any given government or institution, but by Blockchain technology itself.
- Is crypto the ‘future of money’?
- Responding to the question of whether or not cryptocurrencies would ever become the “future of money”, Martin expressed doubt, stating that the problem cryptocurrency ostensibly solves may not actually need solving, at least not in “advanced economies”:
“Cryptocurrencies arguably solve the problem of making payments in a trustless environment, but it is not obvious that this is a problem that needs solving, at least in the United States and other advanced economies.”
- A senior White House official accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of intentionally sabotaging the House Intel Committee’s Democratic response to the four-page “FISA memo” prepared by staffers for Committee chairman Devin Nunes.
- White House legislative director Marc Short said that Schiff included confidential sources and methods in his 10-page rebuttal which he knew would require redaction – setting the stage for Democrats to cry foul.
- “We believe Congressman Schiff intentionally put in there methods and sources that he knew would need to be redacted. And if we redacted it, there would be an outcry that says the White House is trying to edit it,” Short said. “So, we said take it back, work with the FBI, clean it up and we’ll release it.”
- the FBI did review the Nunes memo and only wanted names redacted, according to journalist Sara Carter:
- A few relevant points in the timeline…
- – Steele’s unverified dossier played a critical role in obtaining approval from the FISA court to carry out surveillance of Carter Page and “unmask” members of the Trump campaign
- – The FBI used a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff to support the FISA application – however the Isikoff article contained information provided by Steele. In other words, the FBI made it appear to the FISA court that two separate sources supported their application, when in fact they both came from Steele
- (interestingly, Isikoff also wrote a hit piece to discredit an undercover FBI informant who testified to Congress last week about millions of dollars in bribes routed to the Clinton Foundation by Russian nuclear officials. Small world!)
- – Steele was paid by Clinton, the DNC and the FBI for the same information
- – The FBI and DOJ made minimal disclosures to the FISA court about the dossier’s political origins – mentioning in a footnote that a law firm paid for it
“FBI noted to a vaguely limited extent the political origins of the dossier. In footnote 8 the FBI stated that the dossier information was compiled pursuant to the direction of a law firm who had hired an “identified U.S. person” — now known as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS.” –“Grassley Memo“
- – Despite terminating their relationship with Steele over leaking to the media, the FBI vouched for Steele’s reputation in the FISA application in order to overcome the fact that most of the dossier’s contents were unable to be verified.
- – Signing off on the FISA applications for the FBI were James Comey (three times) and Andrew McCabe. Signing off for the DOJ were Sally Yates, Data Boente and current Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein
- We look forward to the eventual release of the Schiff memo – however it’s clear that the Democrats are simply going to point to the redactions and say “see, they covered up our proof!”
- A top State Department official who served under former President Barack Obama’s administration has publicly confirmed that he passed information from Clinton operatives to ex-British spy Christopher Steele that was ultimately used against Donald Trump.
- Jonathan Winer, former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement, wrote that he had a friendly relationship with Steele, the former British spy who was paid by trhe Washington-based political research firm Fusion GPS to compile the information that became known as the “Trump dossier.”
- Steele’s dossier contained numerous salacious accusations about Trump, including one claim that he consorted with Russian prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.
- Two Russian citizens set to testify against Hillary Clinton have been killed in an “inexplicable” plane crash in Moscow, according to reports.
- Sergei Millian, a Belarus-born businessman who has worked with the Trump Organization and was reportedly a key source in the explosive dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and Russia, was killed when the internal flight crashed just outside of Moscow on Sunday.
- Also dead in the plane crash is Ivanov Vyacheslav, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Rosatom. The Russian company owns Uranium One, the uranium mining company at the center of a controversial sale overseen by the Clinton State Department in 2013 that gave Russia the right to 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capacity.
- 71 Russian nationals, including crew and passengers, died in the crash. The full list of names including Ivanov Vyacheslav (number 32, circled) and Sergei Panchenko (Millian’s Russian patronymic name; number 50) can be seen below:
- The deaths of the two Russians involved in current Clinton scandals have sparked rumors the crash was not an accident.
- Russian authorities remain puzzled by the crash, stating that the plane did not suffer mechanical failure.
- “The crew of the doomed aircraft did not report any malfunctions“, Svetlana Petrenko, an official representative of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, told Interfax.
- US Vice President Mike Pence signaled a major shift in US policy on North Korea after leaving the Winter Olympics, saying the Trump administration was willing to talk to Kim Jong Un’s government without preconditions.
- North Korea earlier extended an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to be the first head of state to meet Kim Jong Un
- The US-Turkey relations have become strained in the recent period due to the Turkish military intervention in Syria’s Afrin, .“The US government acknowledges that necessary means must be taken to stop Turkey, but at the same time the US tries to prevent the possible clash of the Turkish and American troops in the Syrian territory”,
- On February 11, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık didn’t rule out the possibility of closing the NATO’s Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey.
“If Turkey’s medium and long-term interests require to take a step [to close the base] Turkey certainly would not refrain from taking this step,” Işık said during a press conference, according to the Türkiye newspaper.