The Great Divide: The Death Of The Middle Class

Submitted by Jeff Nielson via SprottMoney.com,

Several months ago, a chart produced by one of the Big Banks was presented to readers . It was supposed to be innocuous data on global wealth distribution, but instead portrayed a horrifying picture.

 

The focal point of the aforementioned article was that when it came to “the world’s poorest people,” the Corrupt West has now produced a greater percentage of severe poverty in its own populations than in India, and an equal percentage of such poverty as exists in Africa.

Stacked beside this, we see that when it comes to the richest-of-the-rich, the Corrupt West remains in a league of its own. Supposedly, we are living in “the New Normal,” where life is supposed to get increasingly harder and harder. So why does the New Normal never affect those on top?

Of course all of these extremely poor people being manufactured by our governments (as these regimes give away our jobs, destroy wages, and eviscerate our social programs) have to come from somewhere. Certainly they don’t come from the Wealthy Class.

Indeed, the chart above provides us with a crystal-clear view of where all these poor and very-poor people are coming from: the near-extinct Middle Class. In order to manufacture hundreds of millions of impoverished citizens in our nations, the Old World Order has had to engage in a campaign to end the Middle Class.

We are conditioned to consider economic “classes” within our own societies, but with the chart above, we’re given a global perspective. Where does the Middle Class exist today, globally? At the upper end, it exists in China, and to a lesser extent, in Latin America and other Asian nations. At the lower end of the Middle Class, we see such populations growing in India and even Africa.

Only in the West, and especially North America, is the Middle Class clearly an endangered species. Two incredibly important aspects of this subject are necessary to cover:

1) How and why has the One Bank chosen to perpetrate Middle Class genocide?

2) What are the consequences of the Death of the Middle Class?

Attempting to catalogue the nearly infinite number of ways in which the oligarchs of the One Bank have perpetrated their Middle Class genocide is impractical. Instead, discussion will be limited to the five most important programs responsible for the Death of the Middle Class: three of them relatively new, and two of them old.

a) Globalization

b) Union decimation/wage destruction

c) Small business decimation

d) Money-printing/inflation

e) Income taxation

Globalization was rammed down our throats in the name of “free trade,” the Holy Grail of charlatan economists . But, as previously explained, real free trade is a world of “comparative advantage” where all nations play by a fair-and-equal set of rules. Without those conditions, “free trade” can never exist.

The globalization that has been imposed upon us is, instead, a world of “competitive devaluation,” a corrupt, perpetual, suicidal race to the bottom. The oligarchs understood this, given that they are the perpetrators. The charlatan economists were too blinded by their own dogma to understand this. And, as always, the puppet politicians simply do what they are told.

Next on the list: union decimation and wage destruction are inseparable subjects, virtually the flipside of the same coin. “But wait,” shout the right-wing ideologues, “unions are corrupt, everyone knows that.”

Really? Corrupt compared to whom? Are they “corrupt” standing next to the bankers, who have stolen all our wealth ? Are they “corrupt” standing next to their Masters, the oligarchs who are hoarding all our stolen wealth ? Are they “corrupt” standing next to our politicians, who betrayed their own people to facilitate this economic pillaging? No, compared to any of those groups, unions (back when they still existed) were relative choir-boys.

When it comes to corruption, nobody plays the game as well as those on top. Compared to the Fat Cats, everyone else are rank amateurs. When unions were strong and plentiful, everyone had jobs. Almost everyone earned a livable wage (or better). Gee, weren’t those terrible times! Look how much better off we are now, without all those “corrupt unions.”

The other major new component in the deliberate, systemic slaughter of the Middle Class was and continues to be Small Business decimation. “Small business is the principal job-creator in every economy.” Any politician who ever got elected can tell you that.

If this is so, why do our corrupt governments funnel endless trillions of dollars of Corporate Welfare (our money) into the coffers of Big Business, while complaining there is nothing left to support Small Business? Why do our governments stack the deck in all of our regulations and bureaucracies, greasing the wheels for Big Business and strangling Small Business in their red tape?

Why do our governments refuse to enforce our anti-trust laws? One of the primary reasons for not allowing the corporations of Big Business to grow to an illegal size is because these monopolies and oligopolies make “competition” (meaning Small Business) impossible. One might as well try to start a small business on the Moon.

Then we have the oligarchs’ “old tricks” for stealing from the masses (and fattening themselves): banking and taxation. Of course, to the oligarchs, “banking” means stealing, and you steal by printing money. As many readers are already aware, “inflation” is money-printing – the increase (or inflation) of the supply of money.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings [i.e. wealth] from confiscation through inflation .

– Alan Greenspan (1966 version )

Remove the Golden Handcuffs , as central banker Paul Volcker bragged of doing in 1971, and then it’s just print-and-steal – until the whole fiat currency Ponzi scheme implodes.

Then of course we have income taxation: 100 years of systemic thievery. No matter what the form or structure, by its very nature every system of income taxation will:

i) Provide a free ride to those at the very, very top

ii) Be revenue-neutral to the remainder of the wealthy

iii) Relentlessly steal out of the pockets of everyone else (via over-taxation)

This is nothing more than a matter of applying simple arithmetic. However, many refuse to educate themselves on how they are being robbed in this manner, year after year, so no more will be said on the subject.

These were the primary prongs of the oligarchs’ campaign to exterminate the Middle Class. As always, skeptical readers will be asking “why?” The answer is most easily summarized via The Bankers’ Manifesto of 1892 . This document was presented to the U.S. Congress in 1907 by Republican congressman, and career prosecutor, Charles Lindbergh Sr.

It reads, in part:

The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.

When through the process of law, the common people have lost their homes they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers [the oligarchs]. People without homes won’t quarrel with their leaders.

We have “the strong arm of government.” The oligarchs saw to that by bringing us their “War on Terror.” When it comes to throwing people out of their homes, and creating a population of serfs, that’s a two-part process.

Step 1 is to manufacture artificial housing bubbles across the Western world, and then crash those bubbles. However, this is only partially effective in turning Homeowners into Homeless. To truly succeed at this requires Step 2: exterminating the Middle Class. A Middle Class can survive a collapsing housing bubble, assuming they remained reasonably prudent. The Working Poor cannot.

Finally, after more than a century of scheming, the oligarchs have all of their pieces in place. In the U.S., they’ve even already built many gulags – to warehouse these former Middle Class homeowners – since a large percentage of those people are armed.

This brings us to one, final point: the consequences of the Death of the Middle Class. What happens when you destroy the foundation of a house? Just look.

 

As readers have been told on many previous occasions, the “velocity of money” is effectively the heartbeat of an economy. It is another way of representing the economics principle known as the Marginal Propensity to Consume, probably the most important principle of economics forgotten by charlatan economists.

The principle is a simple one, since it is half basic arithmetic and half common sense. Unfortunately, these are both skills beyond the grasp of charlatan economists. If you take all of the money out of the pockets of the People, and you stuff it all into the vaults of the Wealthy (where it sits in idle hoards), then there is no “capital” for our capitalist economies – and these economies starve to death .

What is the response of the oligarchs to the relentless hollowing-out of our economies? They have ordered the puppet politicians to impose Austerity: taking even more money out of the pockets of the people. It is the equivalent to someone with anorexia going to a doctor, and the doctor imposing a severe diet on the patient (i.e. victim). The patient will not survive.

The Middle Class is dying. Unlike the oligarchs’ Big Banks, we are not “too big to fail.” Our jobs are gone. Our unions are gone. Our Middle Class wages are gone. Very soon, our homes will be gone. But don’t worry! It’s just the New Normal.


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1TrVqYk Tyler Durden

The Great Divide: The Death Of The Middle Class

Submitted by Jeff Nielson via SprottMoney.com,

Several months ago, a chart produced by one of the Big Banks was presented to readers . It was supposed to be innocuous data on global wealth distribution, but instead portrayed a horrifying picture.

 

The focal point of the aforementioned article was that when it came to “the world’s poorest people,” the Corrupt West has now produced a greater percentage of severe poverty in its own populations than in India, and an equal percentage of such poverty as exists in Africa.

Stacked beside this, we see that when it comes to the richest-of-the-rich, the Corrupt West remains in a league of its own. Supposedly, we are living in “the New Normal,” where life is supposed to get increasingly harder and harder. So why does the New Normal never affect those on top?

Of course all of these extremely poor people being manufactured by our governments (as these regimes give away our jobs, destroy wages, and eviscerate our social programs) have to come from somewhere. Certainly they don’t come from the Wealthy Class.

Indeed, the chart above provides us with a crystal-clear view of where all these poor and very-poor people are coming from: the near-extinct Middle Class. In order to manufacture hundreds of millions of impoverished citizens in our nations, the Old World Order has had to engage in a campaign to end the Middle Class.

We are conditioned to consider economic “classes” within our own societies, but with the chart above, we’re given a global perspective. Where does the Middle Class exist today, globally? At the upper end, it exists in China, and to a lesser extent, in Latin America and other Asian nations. At the lower end of the Middle Class, we see such populations growing in India and even Africa.

Only in the West, and especially North America, is the Middle Class clearly an endangered species. Two incredibly important aspects of this subject are necessary to cover:

1) How and why has the One Bank chosen to perpetrate Middle Class genocide?

2) What are the consequences of the Death of the Middle Class?

Attempting to catalogue the nearly infinite number of ways in which the oligarchs of the One Bank have perpetrated their Middle Class genocide is impractical. Instead, discussion will be limited to the five most important programs responsible for the Death of the Middle Class: three of them relatively new, and two of them old.

a) Globalization

b) Union decimation/wage destruction

c) Small business decimation

d) Money-printing/inflation

e) Income taxation

Globalization was rammed down our throats in the name of “free trade,” the Holy Grail of charlatan economists . But, as previously explained, real free trade is a world of “comparative advantage” where all nations play by a fair-and-equal set of rules. Without those conditions, “free trade” can never exist.

The globalization that has been imposed upon us is, instead, a world of “competitive devaluation,” a corrupt, perpetual, suicidal race to the bottom. The oligarchs understood this, given that they are the perpetrators. The charlatan economists were too blinded by their own dogma to understand this. And, as always, the puppet politicians simply do what they are told.

Next on the list: union decimation and wage destruction are inseparable subjects, virtually the flipside of the same coin. “But wait,” shout the right-wing ideologues, “unions are corrupt, everyone knows that.”

Really? Corrupt compared to whom? Are they “corrupt” standing next to the bankers, who have stolen all our wealth ? Are they “corrupt” standing next to their Masters, the oligarchs who are hoarding all our stolen wealth ? Are they “corrupt” standing next to our politicians, who betrayed their own people to facilitate this economic pillaging? No, compared to any of those groups, unions (back when they still existed) were relative choir-boys.

When it comes to corruption, nobody plays the game as well as those on top. Compared to the Fat Cats, everyone else are rank amateurs. When unions were strong and plentiful, everyone had jobs. Almost everyone earned a livable wage (or better). Gee, weren’t those terrible times! Look how much better off we are now, without all those “corrupt unions.”

The other major new component in the deliberate, systemic slaughter of the Middle Class was and continues to be Small Business decimation. “Small business is the principal job-creator in every economy.” Any politician who ever got elected can tell you that.

If this is so, why do our corrupt governments funnel endless trillions of dollars of Corporate Welfare (our money) into the coffers of Big Business, while complaining there is nothing left to support Small Business? Why do our governments stack the deck in all of our regulations and bureaucracies, greasing the wheels for Big Business and strangling Small Business in their red tape?

Why do our governments refuse to enforce our anti-trust laws? One of the primary reasons for not allowing the corporations of Big Business to grow to an illegal size is because these monopolies and oligopolies make “competition” (meaning Small Business) impossible. One might as well try to start a small business on the Moon.

Then we have the oligarchs’ “old tricks” for stealing from the masses (and fattening themselves): banking and taxation. Of course, to the oligarchs, “banking” means stealing, and you steal by printing money. As many readers are already aware, “inflation” is money-printing – the increase (or inflation) of the supply of money.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings [i.e. wealth] from confiscation through inflation .

– Alan Greenspan (1966 version )

Remove the Golden Handcuffs , as central banker Paul Volcker bragged of doing in 1971, and then it’s just print-and-steal – until the whole fiat currency Ponzi scheme implodes.

Then of course we have income taxation: 100 years of systemic thievery. No matter what the form or structure, by its very nature every system of income taxation will:

i) Provide a free ride to those at the very, very top

ii) Be revenue-neutral to the remainder of the wealthy

iii) Relentlessly steal out of the pockets of everyone else (via over-taxation)

This is nothing more than a matter of applying simple arithmetic. However, many refuse to educate themselves on how they are being robbed in this manner, year after year, so no more will be said on the subject.

These were the primary prongs of the oligarchs’ campaign to exterminate the Middle Class. As always, skeptical readers will be asking “why?” The answer is most easily summarized via The Bankers’ Manifesto of 1892 . This document was presented to the U.S. Congress in 1907 by Republican congressman, and career prosecutor, Charles Lindbergh Sr.

It reads, in part:

The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.

When through the process of law, the common people have lost their homes they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers [the oligarchs]. People without homes won’t quarrel with their leaders.

We have “the strong arm of government.” The oligarchs saw to that by bringing us their “War on Terror.” When it comes to throwing people out of their homes, and creating a population of serfs, that’s a two-part process.

Step 1 is to manufacture artificial housing bubbles across the Western world, and then crash those bubbles. However, this is only partially effective in turning Homeowners into Homeless. To truly succeed at this requires Step 2: exterminating the Middle Class. A Middle Class can survive a collapsing housing bubble, assuming they remained reasonably prudent. The Working Poor cannot.

Finally, after more than a century of scheming, the oligarchs have all of their pieces in place. In the U.S., they’ve even already built many gulags – to warehouse these former Middle Class homeowners – since a large percentage of those people are armed.

This brings us to one, final point: the consequences of the Death of the Middle Class. What happens when you destroy the foundation of a house? Just look.

 

As readers have been told on many previous occasions, the “velocity of money” is effectively the heartbeat of an economy. It is another way of representing the economics principle known as the Marginal Propensity to Consume, probably the most important principle of economics forgotten by charlatan economists.

The principle is a simple one, since it is half basic arithmetic and half common sense. Unfortunately, these are both skills beyond the grasp of charlatan economists. If you take all of the money out of the pockets of the People, and you stuff it all into the vaults of the Wealthy (where it sits in idle hoards), then there is no “capital” for our capitalist economies – and these economies starve to death .

What is the response of the oligarchs to the relentless hollowing-out of our economies? They have ordered the puppet politicians to impose Austerity: taking even more money out of the pockets of the people. It is the equivalent to someone with anorexia going to a doctor, and the doctor imposing a severe diet on the patient (i.e. victim). The patient will not survive.

The Middle Class is dying. Unlike the oligarchs’ Big Banks, we are not “too big to fail.” Our jobs are gone. Our unions are gone. Our Middle Class wages are gone. Very soon, our homes will be gone. But don’t worry! It’s just the New Normal.


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1TrVqYk Tyler Durden

Free Speech and Comedy Documentary Can We Take a Joke? Gets Distribution From Samuel Goldwyn, Hits Theaters This Summer

Download Video as MP4

Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired the North American rights to distribute the documentary Can We Take a Joke?, directed by Reason TV alum Ted Balaker and co-produced by yours truly. The film features comedians such as Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Jim Norton, and Lisa Lampanelli, as well as free speech advocates like author Jonathan Rauch and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Greg Lukianoff. 

The film is an examination of “outrage culture”: where it began, how it spreads, and where it might be going. The focus is on stand-up comics, who are often the first to feel the effects of a hypersensitive culture that represses speech. To hear more about what comedy and free speech have to do with each other, watch Nick Gillespie’s interview with Balaker above.

The film will be available this summer after a special week-long run on college campuses begins later this month.

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/220aEnq
via IFTTT

Why JPMorgan Believes Central Banks Can No Longer Save The Day

In recent weeks, JPMorgan has turned decidedly sour on the US equity market: one month ago, on March 3, JPM announced that “for the first time this cycle”, it has gone underweight stocks.

Equities, credit and commodities have all rallied in the last three weeks, as some of the immediate threats to the world economy have faded from attention, possibly only because the bad earnings season has wound up. But, to us, the fundamentals of growth, earnings and recession risk have not improved, and if anything have worsened. We remain wary of the near-empty ammo box of policy makers.

 

Our 12-month-out US recession odds have risen to 1/3, while equity-implied odds have instead fallen to near 1/5. But even with no recession this year or next, we see US earnings rising only slowly by low single digits and see little to boost multiples. The eventual recession should bring US stocks down some 30%, creating a strong downward risk skew to returns over the next few years.

 

We use the rally in stocks to sell it and go underweight stocks, versus HG corporate bonds and cash. The strong rebound of the past few weeks does create near-term momentum, and thus keeps our first UW small.

To be sure, the continued bounce since the JPM call has not been exactly reassuring of the forecast’s accuracy. However, what is surprising is that when faced with unpalatable price action, sellside researchers usually flip their call quickly.

Not in this case, because in a surprisingly candid piece released overnight, JPM’s Jan Loeys doubles down, and after asking rhetorically “Can central banks really save the day, or cycle?”, his answer is no. In fact, after saying now is the time to sell stocks, JPM’s head of global asset allocation is now even far more concerned about the over economy where his biggest concern is that central banks are powerless to stop the “collapsing productivity growth.”

Loeys begins as follows:

Equities and bonds are both up on the week, fueled by supportive central bank talk. Commodities and the dollar are down, with EM asset classes continuing to outperform. Our overall strategy remains on the defensive side. We started a year ago to dollar-average from the long risk positions we have held over the past seven years towards a more defensive one where we finally arrived last month.

 

The main drivers of this year-long process are the sense that the cycle in economic and earnings growth is maturing, leading us to the eventual recession, as well as the more structural force of the global collapse in productivity growth. Of the two, we view the latter one as the more ominous, as it is potentially much longer lasting, with no obvious force driving it, nor a policy solution in sight to reverse it.

 

Both of these negatives to world economies and risk markets have in common that they are of uncertain timing. Hence, our use of the time-honored strategy is going slowly by dollar averaging. Over the past month, data are tracking our economic forecasts, and have kept our global projections on net unchanged.

 

That is good news after the steady drip-drip of downgrades of the past two years. It has allowed us to reduce our 12-month US recession risk to 28%, even as it keeps us with a view that the US economy is more likely than not to contract over the next 2-3 years in response to falling profits.

And here is why JPM’s explanation why central banks are now powerless to stop the ongoing global contraction: 

We are not getting any solace on our fears over collapsing productivity growth, though. Investors have been happy to see the 628K rise in US payrolls in Q1, but at that pace, jobs are growing faster than the economy, implying that GDP per worker/hour, which is productivity, is actually falling. US companies are hiring people frantically as they are unable to get more product and services out of their existing workforce. This is not a good omen for future growth in the economy and earnings, in our view.

This is something we noted last night when we noted the increasing prevalence of warnings about an upcoming US stagflation. It is also what is most troubling to JPM.

Without real upgrades to earnings or growth forecasts, we think that the recent rally in risk assets gained much from dovish actions and messages from central banks, in particular the ECB, Fed and the PBoC. One can only applaud the seriousness and pro-activeness that central banks apply to their mandates. But aren’t investors counting too much on central banks carrying the day if not the cycle?

 

This analyst thinks so, without disparaging their efforts, as central banks are almost out of ammo, and their tools are not well suited to handle the problems of slowing company profits and productivity.

 

It is our perception that much of the weaker than expected growth over the past 4 years results from a supply side problem. Lower rates can boost spending, but are not much of a solution to falling productivity growth. The latter needs greater innovation, competition, globalization, and capital investment, in our view. Low rates can boost the latter, but have not helped enough, as rising capex over recent years did not prevent falling productivity growth.

* * *

But perhaps most amusing was the following Freudian slip in the JPM piece:

“We do not see easy money as a bait to lure unsuspecting investors into risky assets.”

Then why bring it up… and if you don’t, who does?


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1RwlksD Tyler Durden

White House Censors French President’s Use Of The Words “Islamic Terrorism”

Submitted by Mac Slavo via SHTFPlan.com,

Not only does President Obama refuse to join the words “Islam” and “terrorism,” but the White House won’t let anyone else do it either.

In a video that appeared on the White House website this morning, the words of French President Francois Hollande were censored to remove the following segment:

Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq. We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition.

Here’s the censored video that has since been taken down from the White House website.

Here’s a screenshot of the transcript that was published on the site, which contains President Hollande’s full statement.

hollande-censored

You know it’s obvious that Obama is avoiding using the phrase “Islamic terror” when even the NY Post notices. Back in November, after the Paris attack, columnist Michael Goodwin called for the President’s resignation. Goodwin wrote:

President Obama has spent the last seven years trying to avoid the world as it is. He has put his intellect and rhetorical skills into the dishonorable service of assigning blame and fudging failure. If nuances were bombs, the Islamic State would have been destroyed years ago.

 

He refuses to say “Islamic terrorism,” as if that would offend the peaceful Muslims who make up the vast bulk of victims. He rejects the word “war,” even as jihadists carry out bloodthirsty attacks against Americans and innocent peoples around the world.

After the attacks in San Bernadino, California in December, we pointed out that Obama attempted to shift the blame away from radical Islam to…wait for it…workplace violence.

President Obama said that the San Bernardino terrorists had mixed motives for killing 14 people and injuring 17 others. He warned Americans not to draw any conclusions:

“At this stage, we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred.”

 

“We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry in their homes. But we don’t know why they did it.”

 

 

“It is possible that this was terrorist-related, but we don’t know. It’s also possible this was workplace-related.”

 

“We don’t know why they did it. We don’t know at this point the extent of their plans.”

Are you f*cking serious, Mr. President?

 

As we noted earlier, The Intent Here Was Jihad And It Was Carefully Premeditated And Planned. President Obama, his national security team and the FBI know this.

Maybe if we all hide under our blankies and refuse to say the words, we can pretend this threat doesn’t exist too.


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1TrJhCK Tyler Durden

IMF’s Christine Lagarde: “When The World Goes Downhill, We Thrive”

When we wrote earlier that based on a leaked Wikileaks transcript, which the Greek government interpreted “as revealing an IMF effort to blackmail Athens with a possible credit event to force it to give in on pension cuts which it has rejected“, the article promptly went viral. While it remains to be determined if the IMF indeed made such an implied threat, we attribute this spike in interest to the general public’s surprise that the IMF could stoop to such a low, even by its own standards, level as to use a nation of 11 million people as a lab rat on which to conduct policy experiments.

But why the surprise?

As the below transcript from a April 2012 interview given by Lagarde to the Wharton school at UPenn, none other than IMF president Lagarde herself admitted that for the IMF to “thrive”, the world has to “goes downhill“, and that the IMF “to be sustainable” it needs to be “very in touch with our client base.”

She added that “when the world goes well and we’ve had years of growth, as was the case back in 2006 and 2007, the IMF doesn’t do so well both financially and otherwise

It goes without saying that Lagarde’s sole prerogative as the managing director of the IMF is to make sure it “does well.”

She concluded by saying that “we need to be able to invent and reinvent ourselves in many ways.” One such client-facing “reinvention” just happened to be caught on tape.

Here is the key section:

Knowledge@Wharton: Of all the things that you do here, what are you most passionate about? What would you really like to make sure happens? It could be a small thing, it could be a large thing. What is it that really has your heart?

 

Lagarde: That’s complicated. I think it’s this issue of relevance … that is of real concern to me. You see, this is a very fascinating institution because it’s completely counter-cyclical. When the world around the IMF goes downhill, we thrive. We become extremely active because we lend money, we earn interest and charges and all the rest of it, and the institution does well. When the world goes well and we’ve had years of growth, as was the case back in 2006 and 2007, the IMF doesn’t do so well both financially and otherwise.

 

For this institution, which is a fascinating mix of almost all countries of the world with a single objective that should transcend all their respective individual policies and strategies, for it to be sustainable, we need to be very agile, very in touch with our membership, with our client base, if you will. We need to be able to invent and reinvent ourselves in many ways. So, as I was explaining about going from bilateral to multilateral surveillance, from a narrow focus to something that is more holistic, that is exactly what is at stake

h/t @rudyhavenstein


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Black Lives Matter Activist: “If Trump Wins We Will Incite Riots Everywhere”

The social fallout from Trump’s rising popularity continues with the most disturbing event taking place recently when prominent Black Lives Matter activist and rapper Tef Poe tweeted a message for “white people”: if Donald Trump wins the presidency, “niggas” will ‘incite riots everywhere.’

Dear white people if Trump wins young niggas such as myself are fully hell bent on inciting riots everywhere we go. Just so you know,” Poe tweeted. A screenshot of the tweet was captured below by the Daily Media.

He followed up with another promise: “Trump wins aint no more rules fammo. We’ve been too nice as is.”

As Daily Media adds, “Poe is by no means a nobody, he has appeared in innumerable articles charting the rise of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and was credited with coining the phrase, “This ain’t your grandparents’ civil rights movement.”

The rapper was one of the co-founders of Hands Up United, a “social justice” organization that emerged after the death of Michael Brown that was responsible for coordinating large BLM protests in the St. Louis area.

Ironically, as the website updates, Poe has since deleted his tweet and then claimed that he never made the comments, instead suggesting it was “slander.”

“He’s now whining about “slander”. Talk crap, then play the victim when you get challenged on your crap. Same process EVERY time with social justice warriors.”

This is shown in the tweet below:

Unfortunately this kind of fallout continues with prominent movement leaders across all social groups becoming increasingly belligerent toward each other, which fundamentally is driven by one simple thing: the ongoing deterioration of the US economy. Recall from the post profiling the surge in Chicago shootings that even local Chicago citizens agrees that the root of America’s rising anger is the lack of economic opportunity.

 “I think it’s got something to do with economics,” Gabb says of the continued shootings. As CNN adds, most residents say communities continue to suffer from an economy that is nowhere strong enough to keep at-risk youths from looking for financial support in the wrong places.

 

The lament is one heard across most poor areas in the US: “I’m hoping that some money is invested in some job creation. We bailed out Wall Street, why not bail out Main Street? It would make a world of difference,” Acree says.

 

“If you really want to stop this epidemic of violence, the best way to stop a bullet is with a job.”

 

Which is odd, because according to the BLS, jobs across the US are growing at a brisk pace of over 200K per month.

Sadly, we expect this form of social devolution to continue no matter who is president in November because the underlying issue of most social problems in America, the withering economy, will will not only remain unaddressed – after all a Congressman once told Bernanke to “get to work”, which the Fed promptly did by further enriching the richest Americans at the expense of all other social tiers – but, worse, anyone who dares to point it out is promptly accused of “peddling fiction.”


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ZUgUxO Tyler Durden

Shuffling The Deckchairs On The USS Perpetual Growth

Submitted by Paul Brodsky via Macro-Allocation.com,

The USS Perpetual Growth was picking up speed, steaming over calm seas despite a growing chorus of capital market Cassandras fearing trouble under the surface and further out at sea.

“Full speed ahead” Skipper Yellen barked to her economates, unperturbed by ominous radar images or the uselessness of econometric expertise at the zero bound, unmindful of passenger dysentery because 95.1% of the ship’s births were full.

“Look at all this liquidity!” she likely informed Captain Blithely, her commander in chief on shore, who had spent his presidency too disengaged of economic matters (or too politically astute) to have a cogent public thought on the matter, or perhaps smart enough to figure out everyone in Washington answers to the banks and that fixing their collateral damage social programs would be the best he could hope to do.

Indeed, the Fed Chair had gone rogue among her peers, charting her central bank’s shipping lane on a divergent path from her counterparts, Draghi and Kuroda, who were steering their monetary fleets to port. Captain Yellen seemed oblivious to the economic (and rhetorical) dangers of relying on consumption: an economy should not be beholden to eating its own productive cells.

We have argued there could be only one reason the Fed would want to hike rates: it is now responsible for US dollar policy and it wants a strong one to weaken other currencies, to prop up exporting economies, and to attract global capital and deposits to the US. Alas, the wind just died – not just for the US, but for all ships at sea.

Leading up to her March 29 press conference, numerous Fed speakers had tried to jawbone the market into believing the Fed remained on track to hike rates more, maybe even in April. And yet the markets had entirely dismissed such a possibility, in fact betting the Fed would be lucky to hike rates again in 2016. One point four percent US GDP put a quick end to that. She’ll get her year over year inflation, but not growth.

And so the de facto captain of the US economic ship of state walked the Fed’s position back to better reflect market doubts. “Economic and financial conditions remain less favorable than they did back at the time of the December FOMC meeting” she offered. Well, okay, if you insist. Tell the market something it doesn’t know.

The Fed Funds rate is functionally pointless now that Interest on Excess Reserves are higher and deposit rates are zero. The bottom line is that the Fed must keep asset prices up because assets are collateral for potentially deflationary systemic debt.

 

Yes, the Fed can do this with a strong dollar, but it can also use talk therapy rhetorical warfare its communication policy. The great global monetary parlor game is navigating the rocky shoals of greater economic discontent.
 


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1Rw923u Tyler Durden

“Production Freeze” Narrative Collapses In Two Days: Russian Oil Output Hits New Post-Soviet Record

How quickly the oil production freeze narrative has fallen apart.

Source: stockboardasset

Indeed, it’s been a tough two days for oil bulls holding on to hope that excess oil production will normalize in the near term and that the world’s oil suppliers would somehow manage to curb oil production in the aftermath of the OPEC’s November 2014 cartel collapse.

First it was yesterday’s Bloomberg story which cited the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as saying that the Saudis would not participate in an oil production freeze unless everyone including Iran which has made it  joined  “If all countries including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, OPEC countries and all main producers decide to freeze production, we will be among them.

The second one came overnight.

Recall that one month ago, just as Russia and Saudi Arabia were finalizing their “agreement” to freeze oil production which was the major catalyst for the oil surge from its 13 year lows hit in early February, we got the surprising news that far from throttling production, Russian crude and condensate production just set new post-Soviet daily record of 10.92 million barrels.

Well, overnight we got the latest update of Russian oil output, and according to Bloomberg it just set a new post-Soviet high in March “as the success of a proposed crude production freeze between OPEC members and other major producers appeared to be in doubt.”

Bloomberg reports that Russian production of crude and a light oil called condensate climbed 2.1 percent in March from a year earlier to 10.912 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. That narrowly beat the previous high of 10.910 million barrels in January.

With most of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members, Russia and some others outside the group scheduled to meet in Doha this month to discuss an accord on capping output, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman signaled in an interview with Bloomberg that if any country raises output, the kingdom will also boost sales. Prices on Friday sank more than 4 percent after the comments. Iran previously said it plans to boost production after the lifting of sanctions following a deal to curb its nuclear program.

 

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar in February first proposed an accord to cap oil output to reduce a worldwide surplus and boost prices. Brent prices in London have gained nearly 40 percent from the 12-year low reached in January.

But what was most notable is that Russian oil exports rose 10% to 5.59 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Ministry data. This is just the start because as we wrote two weeks ago, according to Reuters calculations based on Energy Ministry data, Russia will have as much as 4.3 million tonnes of idle refining capacity next month, more than twice the 1.9 million tonnes unused in March. Russian refineries traditionally have the largest offline capacity in April, as companies scramble to finish maintenance before consumption of oil products peaks in summer.

This forces producers to divert crude towards exports, because there is nowhere to store the oil that otherwise would have gone to refineries.

 

This means that as soon as next month, there will be an extra 2.4 million tonnes of extra oil being exported by Russia; how this oil will be sold to some willing end buyer without crushing oil prices in what is already a 3 million barrel/daily oversupplied market, is unknown.

The Russian export glut is already starting to be felt, and that may be just the beginning: two additional factors may push oil supply in the open market materially higher in the coming weeks. The first as we previously explained is that up to 30 million barrels in floating storage may soon come onshore as the sliding contango makes offshore storage no longer economical. The second as also previously discussed is that some shale oil producers, including Oasis Petroleum and Pioneer Natural Resources Co, are activating drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) in a reversal in strategy that threatens to bring more crude to a saturated market and dampen any sustained rebound in prices.

Taken together these factors perhaps explain why oil tumbled on Friday as stocks made another 2016 high.


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1Y6Rdse Tyler Durden