Secession Cometh to America?

There is much talk about the fragmentation of the international order. The failure of the Doha Round at the WTO, the efforts to make national firewalls are digital information, the decline cross-border movement of capital since 2008, the decline trade, the rise of anti-immigration sentiment all are part of the pessimistic picture painted by some observers.

 

The Scottish referendum also underscored how vulnerable the nation-state itself is to the centrifugal forces that have been unleashed.  Parts of Spain want to leave.  Parts of Italy and Germany have made secessionist noises. Sometimes it appears if it weren’t for Brussels, Belgium might have ceased to be a country.  

 

It turns out the US also may be subject to secessionist sentiment. This Great Graphic is the result of a survey Reuters conducted and Jim Gaines wrote about here.   It was an internet-based survey that included about 9000 people.  It asked a straightforward question:  “Do you support or oppose the idea of your state peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government?”

 

 

The results Gaines showed are on a regional basis.   If you click here, you will be able to filter the data by state and numerous demographic categories.  Gaines reports that Republicans favor their state leaving more than Democrats, the right more than the left-leaning independents, younger rather than older, lower income more than higher income and high school educated more than college educated.

 

In aggregate the results showed about a quarter (23.9%) of the respondents answered in the affirmative.    This is greater than the support for most of the anti-EU parties in Europe, like the UKIP and AfD.   Does this mean that next year, the 150th anniversary of the end of the war for Southern independence (Civil War), investors should be concerned about a new secessionist movement?

 

Gaines reports that follow-up conversations with some of the respondents found that the secessionist vote was more a protest vote than a genuine desire to secede.   The sense of aggrievement, Gaines found, was comprehensive, bipartisan, and deeply felt, even if somewhat incoherent.  It is an expression of disapproval of the direction that the country has moved,  or is moving in, rather than a call for independence.  

 

Some surveys in Europe has found, in a similar vein, that many voters of the anti-EU parties were also expressing disapproval and frustration.  In Germany, most recently the AfD won representation in two German state governments on a conservative social agenda, not its anti-EU stance, which it played down, for example.   

 

The political elites in the US and Europe have their work cut out for them.  There may be an economic solution for part of the problem, but it is not just about the pace of growth and historically high level of unemployment in many countries.  The issue of disparity of income and wealth means that aggregate measures of economic activity are no longer sufficient proof that more citizens have access to a better life.  In many high income countries, the crisis is over the social contract, which has fallen into disrepair, and respected primarily in its breach. 




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Active Shooter Inside Birmingham UPS Customer Service, Three People Dead – Live Webcast

What until recently was a surge in tragic and deadly “active shooter” cases mostly affecting various US army bases, shools and shopping malls, has now spread to more commercial structures, such as in this case a UPS Customer Center in Birmingham, Alabama. MyFoxAl reports that three people are confirmed dead in a shooting at the UPS Customer Center in the Inglenook community in north Birmingham.

More:

It is not yet clear if the shooter is one of the three victims.

 

One employee in uniform is confirmed dead, as well as two other victims, Birmingham police Lt. Sean Edwards said.

 

Lt Edwards confirmed there was an active shooter inside the facility on Tuesday morning. He said “we believe there are victims.”

 

The UPS Customer Center is in the 4600 block of Inglenook Lane off of East Lake Boulevard near the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

 

Unconfirmed reports say the suspected shooter was wearing a UPS uniform.

 

FOX6 has a crew headed to the scene and will keep you updated on this developing situation.

Live feed below:




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Syria Is 7th (Muslim) Country Bombed By 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Authored by Glenn Greenwald, originally posted at The Intercept,

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by the 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate – after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).

It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it be at war, always and forever.

Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug, as it is what then justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.

If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the U.S. fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.




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If Stocks Are So Cheap, Why Are Insiders Selling the Farm With Their Own Money?

This will end very badly.

 

According to The Economist, American companies have bought over $500 billion worth of their own stock in the last 12 months. We haven’t seen this kind of pace in share repurchases since 2007.

 

We all remember what followed soon after this buyback craze. Indeed, one could easily argue that the buyback craze helped create the bubble in stocks in 2007.

 

Today, what’s particularly disturbing is the fact that many corporations are issuing debt to do this.

 

This is called leveraging up. And it’s telling that companies are doing it to boost stock prices at a time when they’re not expanding cap ex or payroll.

 

It’s often believed that companies buy their own shares because the shares are undervalued… but the flip side of this is that companies also do it because they don’t have anything better to do with the money.

 

Here’s a random question… if corporate executives believe so strongly that their companies are trading at attractive prices… why are almost NONE of them buying stock personally?

 

American companies have seldom spent more money than they are now buying back shares. The same can’t be said for their executives.

 

A total of 7,181 insiders bought their own stock this year through Sept. 12 and 23,323 sold shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Washington Service. The ratio of buys to sells is near the lowest since 2000. At the same time, corporate repurchases reached $275 billion in the first half of the year, the second busiest since S&P Dow Jones Indices began tracking the data in 1998.

 

http://ift.tt/1x1ZFil

 

So corporate insiders are spending tens of billions of dollars in corporate cash to buyback shares… but are personally dumping their stakes in their companies at a pace not seen since 2000?

 

Put another way, why are corporate insiders selling the farm when it comes to their own money… but spending corporate cash like drunken sailors?

 

This is just another data point indicating that we’re back in a 2000 or 2007-era mania in stocks. Eventually the bubble will pop, just as the ones in 2000 and 2007 did. At that point we’re due for another crisis.

 

This concludes this article. If you’re looking for the means of protecting your portfolio from the coming collapse, you can pick up a FREE investment report titled Protect Your Portfolio at http://ift.tt/170oFLH.

 

This report outlines a number of strategies you can implement to prepare yourself and your loved ones from the coming market carnage.

 

Best Regards

 

Phoenix Capital Research

 

Our Actively Updated Forum:

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CDC "Taking Precautions In US", Fears 1.4 Million Africa Ebola Cases By January

While WHO Director Thomas Frieden’s “gut” says the worst-case scenario won’t come to pass (thanks to the actions that are being taken), the CDC is about to release its Ebola-epidemic scenario tool that suggests up to 1.4 million infections by mid-January. As The NY Times reports, these figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported. In the best-case model, the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. Perhaps more worrying is the WHO report also, for the first time, raised the possibility that the disease would not be stopped but would become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could become a constant presence there. Aid group Samaritan’s Purse is gravely concerned at the spread of the disease, fearing “it’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”

 

 

Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on computer modeling.

  • *CDC SAYS RELEASING MODELING TOOL TO PROJECT EBOLA SCENARIOS
  • *CDC: MMWR ESTS. 550,000-1.4M EBOLA CASES BY JAN. 20 ’15
  • *CDC SAYS STILL POSSIBLE TO REVERSE EPIDEMIC
  • *CDC SAYS IMMEDIATE ACTIONS CAN HELP BRING EBOLA CASES DOWN
  • *CDC SAYS NEED TO SCALE UP EBOLA TREATMENT CENTERS ASAP
  • *CDC SAYS TAKING PRECAUTIONS IN U.S. AGAINST EBOLA

 

  • *CDC SAYS IN PHONE CONF. CALL ‘AGGRESSIVELY’ SEEKING PARTNERS
  • *CDC SAYS SEEKING EUROPEAN PARTNERS ON EBOLA FIGHT

As NY Times reports,

In the best-case model — which assumes that the dead are buried safely and that 70 percent of patients are treated in settings that reduce the risk of transmission — the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. It showed the proportion of patients now in such settings as about 18 percent in Liberia and 40 percent in Sierra Leone.

 

“My gut feeling is, the actions we’re taking now are going to make that worst-case scenario not come to pass,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said in a telephone interview. “But it’s important to understand that it could happen.”

 

The current official case count is 5,843, including 2,803 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

 

 

The W.H.O. report also, for the first time, raised the possibility that the disease would not be stopped but would become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could become a constant presence there.

 

 

Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the aid group Samaritan’s Purse, said, “I believe inevitably this is going to move into people’s houses, and the notion of home-based care has to play a more prominent role.” He said there could be 100,000 or more cases by the end of 2014.

 

“Where are they going to go?” Mr. Isaacs asked. “It’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”

*  *  *

We can only hope such vastly horrible numbers are modest scaremongery to ensure CDC/WHO are funded correctly… because if not, forget African economic growth for the next decade…

*  *  *

The NY Times goes on to discuss what it’s like on the ground in Sierra Leone…

The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital – and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.

 

Various models of the growth of the epidemic here “all show an exponential increase,” said Peter H. Kilmarx, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team in Sierra Leone. “The conditions are amenable to Ebola spread.”

 

“Since last month, it’s every day, any minute and hour, and often, they are coming” to bury the Ebola dead, said Desmond Kamara, a police officer.

 

A cloudy stream drains from the area of the new graves into the slum, further frightening the residents.

 

“We are at risk, big risk,” said Ousman Kamara, a resident. “We have made many complaints.”

 

But the bodies, he said, keep coming.

 

“Even at night,” he said. “You stand here, and you see them coming.”

*  *  *




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CDC “Taking Precautions In US”, Fears 1.4 Million Africa Ebola Cases By January

While WHO Director Thomas Frieden’s “gut” says the worst-case scenario won’t come to pass (thanks to the actions that are being taken), the CDC is about to release its Ebola-epidemic scenario tool that suggests up to 1.4 million infections by mid-January. As The NY Times reports, these figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported. In the best-case model, the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. Perhaps more worrying is the WHO report also, for the first time, raised the possibility that the disease would not be stopped but would become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could become a constant presence there. Aid group Samaritan’s Purse is gravely concerned at the spread of the disease, fearing “it’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”

 

 

Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on computer modeling.

  • *CDC SAYS RELEASING MODELING TOOL TO PROJECT EBOLA SCENARIOS
  • *CDC: MMWR ESTS. 550,000-1.4M EBOLA CASES BY JAN. 20 ’15
  • *CDC SAYS STILL POSSIBLE TO REVERSE EPIDEMIC
  • *CDC SAYS IMMEDIATE ACTIONS CAN HELP BRING EBOLA CASES DOWN
  • *CDC SAYS NEED TO SCALE UP EBOLA TREATMENT CENTERS ASAP
  • *CDC SAYS TAKING PRECAUTIONS IN U.S. AGAINST EBOLA

 

  • *CDC SAYS IN PHONE CONF. CALL ‘AGGRESSIVELY’ SEEKING PARTNERS
  • *CDC SAYS SEEKING EUROPEAN PARTNERS ON EBOLA FIGHT

As NY Times reports,

In the best-case model — which assumes that the dead are buried safely and that 70 percent of patients are treated in settings that reduce the risk of transmission — the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. It showed the proportion of patients now in such settings as about 18 percent in Liberia and 40 percent in Sierra Leone.

 

“My gut feeling is, the actions we’re taking now are going to make that worst-case scenario not come to pass,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said in a telephone interview. “But it’s important to understand that it could happen.”

 

The current official case count is 5,843, including 2,803 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

 

 

The W.H.O. report also, for the first time, raised the possibility that the disease would not be stopped but would become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could become a constant presence there.

 

 

Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the aid group Samaritan’s Purse, said, “I believe inevitably this is going to move into people’s houses, and the notion of home-based care has to play a more prominent role.” He said there could be 100,000 or more cases by the end of 2014.

 

“Where are they going to go?” Mr. Isaacs asked. “It’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”

*  *  *

We can only hope such vastly horrible numbers are modest scaremongery to ensure CDC/WHO are funded correctly… because if not, forget African economic growth for the next decade…

*  *  *

The NY Times goes on to discuss what it’s like on the ground in Sierra Leone…

The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital – and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.

 

Various models of the growth of the epidemic here “all show an exponential increase,” said Peter H. Kilmarx, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team in Sierra Leone. “The conditions are amenable to Ebola spread.”

 

“Since last month, it’s every day, any minute and hour, and often, they are coming” to bury the Ebola dead, said Desmond Kamara, a police officer.

 

A cloudy stream drains from the area of the new graves into the slum, further frightening the residents.

 

“We are at risk, big risk,” said Ousman Kamara, a resident. “We have made many complaints.”

 

But the bodies, he said, keep coming.

 

“Even at night,” he said. “You stand here, and you see them coming.”

*  *  *




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

Citi Previews How It All Ends, In One Chart

It doesn’t get any simpler than this chart showing global monetary policy response to “secular stagnation”, i.e., the situation the world finds itself in right now.

A few notes. The reason there is secular stagnation is because the economy crashed after the last, housing, bubble (which itself was a response to the dot com bubble preceding it) reached epic proportions and burst.

So what is going on now is merely the global central bank cartel reflating the next bubble, and final, bubble.

Central banks may be doing so with good intentions, “to get back to full employment”, but the bottom line is the entire world is now gripped in what is without doubt the biggest asset bubble in history.

The good news: everyone will be able to top-tick the bubble and sell just before everyone else sells…

And yes, we admit the title was a little misleading: Citi shows us where we are, but it does not chart what happens after the final bubble bursts. We leave it to readers’ imaginations to fill in the blank.

Source: Citigroup




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Mission Accomplished: Relentless USDJPY Buying Erases Overnight Market Drop

As we predicted an hour ago when the USDJPY was 50 pips lower, today’s aggression against stocks would not stand. So, lo and behold, one or more central banks decided to aggressively collect 6J (USDJPY) liquidity rebates from the CME and have bought the pair in a straight line since this morning. And sure enough, after it dropped notably just a few hours ago, the NASDAQ and S&P is now back in the green, where it belongs in a “market” as rigged as this one.

 

 

 

Yeah that just happened…

 

Fun-durr-mentals…

 

as AAPL buying panic ensues…

 

But bonds ain’t buying it…

 

Charts: Bloomberg




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Unusual Activity

Highlighted the futures and commodities markets reaction to the US Air strikes on Syria.  The initial and early morning  reaction to the news was a risk-off trade.  S&P Futures were lower in the early morning hours.  We saw the Crude Oil and Gasoline future higher as a reaction to the geo-political news.  Saw a flight to safety with the yield in the 10 year yield lower to 2.551 in pre-US equity open.  Few Fed governors speaking today may influence opinions on direction of rate environment.   Global markets were all coming into the US open.  Notable insider transactions including AEO CEO.  TKMR and HEB noted for Ebola treatment based on WHO research paper.

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