Luongo: Will The Yemen War Be The End Of Saudi Arabia?

Luongo: Will The Yemen War Be The End Of Saudi Arabia?

Authored by Tom Luongo,

The attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil processing station in Abqaiq over the weekend was a major turning point in global politics. It may be even bigger than many of us realize.

While forces within U.S. political circles, Israel and Saudi Arabia keep trying to shift the blame to Iran, the most likely scenario is that the Houthis in North Yemen were responsible for the attack as a follow up to last month’s hit which showed off the capabilities of their new drones.

That attack set the stage for the latest one in a classic case of the past being prologue. By showing the world it was capable of throwing drones anywhere in Saudi Arabia rebels in Yemen created plausibility for last weekend’s attack.

And as I said the other day this attack begs a lot of questions. And the ham-fisted push to blame Iran for it, after President Trump all but ruled out a military response from the U.S. from all corners of the U.S. and Saudi establishment opens up even more.

If this was a swarm attack from Iraq and Iran, as claimed now (and supported by factless conjecture) then how did all the vaunted U.S. technology fail to account for it?

U.S. Naval CENTCOM is in Bahrain folks. Are these people blind as well as incompetent?

No. I don’t think they are. Say what you want about U.S. political leadership and the nigh-treasonous bureaucracy supporting it, I don’t think our military is that fundamentally corrupt, lazy or stupid.

What are we spending all of the money on, after all?

By continuing to spin this attack up as Iranian in origin people like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Saudi Arabian government are throwing the Pentagon under the bus.

The truth is that by trying to re-frame this as an attack by Iraqi Shi’ite militias, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), in conjunction with the IRGC, we are trying to further separate them from the Iraqi government who still openly support them and deflect against Saudi Arabia’s inherent weakness.

The PMUs have been our target politically in Iraq for months now so as to restart the chaos in Iraq.

Iraq and Syria continue to try and re-open the Al-Bukumai border crossing near Deir Ezzor. In response to the drone attack on Saudi Arabia there were two sets of airstrikes there on the 17th and the 18th. Saudi Arabia denies being involved and blamed Israel for the strikes.

The Shia Crescent is forming. The PMUs are an important part of this. Iran is investing billions in new road and rail links from Tehran to Beirut. So, the existential threat to Saudi Arabia and Israel is real.

Of that I have zero doubt.

But, notice what’s happening. Everyone’s pointing fingers at each other within the the U.S. alliance now.

Meanwhile Iran very calmly keeps denying the attack. I fully expect proof from them in the near future if the U.S. shows “proof” of Iran’s involvement.

Think back to the drone incident in June which nearly landed us in a war with Iran. The story morphed and changed with each day. The Iranians had the data, the proof, on their side and they let morons like Pompeo say provably false things before releasing it.

“Drip Drip Drip” is the strategy, as Andrew Breitbart used to call it. Drip out some information and allow your target to lie about it. Then drip out the next bit exposing that lie. And so on, and so on.

That’s what Iran did in June, humiliating Trump at every turn. And I’m sure if they weren’t behind this attack they will do the same thing in the coming days.

And I also think the U.S knows this as well. And that’s why nothing much more will come of it. It will be used diplomatically to tie Trump’s hands and front a lie to conceal more important truths.

  • The Saudi Arabians cannot defend their home. As Moon of Alabama points out Saudi air defense coverage is poor.

  • U.S. naval positioning is not prepared for a step up in violence. Carrier Groups are not in the Persian Gulf.

  • The Iranians believe they can hit targets up to 2000 kilometers away. How true that is versus U.S. air defense systems is questionable.

  • The Saudis have lost nearly all of their external support. The coalition against Yemen has collapsed.

  • The Houthis are winning.

  • Qatar hates them.

  • Egypt wouldn’t join Trump’s Arab NATO.

  • OPEC+ is floundering and Russia sets the tone.

And this brings me to the stark possibility Pepe Escobar laid out in his recent column. The Houthis may, right now, be in a position to launch an all-out attack from Yemen on Saudi Arabia and destabilize the country.

The situation has now reached a point where there’s plenty of chatter across the Persian Gulf about a spectacular scenario: the Houthis investing in a mad dash across the Arabian desert to capture Mecca and Medina in conjunction with a mass Shiite uprising in the Eastern oil belt. That’s not far-fetched anymore. Stranger things have happened in the Middle East. After all, the Saudis can’t even win a bar brawl – that’s why they rely on mercenaries.

An uprising in the east has always been on the table. It’s why the Saudis need $80+ per barrel oil. They have to pay for social programs that keep the population relatively happy.

From every side now, the Saudi Kingdom is under existential threat. So, I’m not surprised they are trying to push the blame for this incident onto Iran.

The quick announcement by newly-minted Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman that Aramco’s production will be back to normal quickly was done to reassure potential investors in the upcoming Aramco IPO, a $400 billion affair. It is the lynchpin to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) Vision 2030 plan for modernizing the kingdom’s economy.

That fits with the desire to deflect the source of the attack away from their war in Yemen. Because, as bad as the optics are for the U.S. military, they are far worse for the Saudis if the Houthis are truly the culprits.

At a minimum the changing of the energy minister was a signal that a shift in Saudi policy is forthcoming. But without suing for peace soon MbS may not have time he thought he did.

Because there is no appetite for all out war with Iran in the U.S. The Saudis are no longer the ‘good Arabs’ to most Americans.

The military doesn’t want to put the soldiers at risk, Wall St. doesn’t want to see a financial collapse that makes Lehman Bros. look like a couple of Amish kids on rumspringa.

The MIC doesn’t want to expose their toys to the potential for them failing to dominate in the field.

War with Iran will not be conventional. It will come from all sides, all across the Shia Crescent, but especially Yemen. Of this the Iranians have been very clear, regardless of the outcome. They believe their missile technology is superior to U.S. air defense systems.

They may be correct and the last thing the U.S. wants is an actual shooting war where the outcome isn’t a foregone conclusion. The U.S. military is better served as a bogeyman, politically, rather than an actual physical threat.

So, MbS better come to the conclusion quick that a settlement in Yemen is the key to his near-term survival. Because in a quick strike by the Houthis which creates an uprising across the country there’s precious little the U.S. can or will do to oppose that.

And while an all-out war would certainly bring $150+ per barrel oil which the Saudis need to balance their budget, they most likely wouldn’t be the ones selling into that market.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 18:25

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Tesla Installs A Supercharger Station Powered By Diesel Generator At Nürburgring  

Tesla Installs A Supercharger Station Powered By Diesel Generator At Nürburgring  

Auto Motor Und Sport has revealed that Tesla installed a Supercharger station, powered by a diesel generator at Nürburgring motorsports complex, located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, earlier this week.

A large shipping container from the US arrived at the track on Monday. Tesla employees spent the day unpacking the Supercharger and a large diesel generator that has since powered the Model S, expected to perform three weeks of tests at the track. 

The German magazine said the noisy generator is running 24/7, which has made the neighbors of the racetrack very angry. The diesel generator is expected to be operational through the end of September.

Tesla tweeted on Wednesday: “We installed a Supercharger at Nürburgring. Makes it feel like home, you know?,” but left out the fact that a dirty diesel generator is supplying the Supercharger power.

One social media user reportedly snapped a picture of the diesel generator at Nürburgring.

A Tesla charging map of Nürburg reveals a charging station is located about a quarter-mile away in town. But it appears the charging station isn’t a Supercharger and would take too long to charge the Model S. So it makes sense, on a logistical basis, why Tesla brought a mobile diesel generator, considering the town nor racetrack have Supercharger stations.

Nürburgring track officials have so far timed the Model S at 7:23, which is 19 seconds quicker than the Porsche Taycan’s record for an EV sedan around the track. Tesla had to make drastic changes to the Model S, such as a significant powertrain upgrade, new fender flares, and wider tires. It’s unknown if Porsche did the same for the Taycan.

There was no mention from the German magazine about how Porsche charged Taycan’s batteries. 

The magazine concluded by saying (translated by Google):

“Porsche’s electric rider Taycan seems to be making sleepless nights for Elon Musk – now the Tesla boss wants to prove that he still has the sporting authority over electric cars. Should one of his charged over diesel aggregates Model S actually crack the Nordschleife time of the Taycan, Porsche is in the duty – after all, despite hype and Taycan sell-off with waiting a start as the second most sporty electric car is a salted start. If Tesla fails, that would be a hard blow for Musk. But the Laguna Seca record was already a good start to the record hunt. And the hand-stopped Nordschleife time is ever a real announcement.”

And the dirty truth for virtue-signaling electric car drivers, especially those who drive Teslas, is that the energy has to come from somewhere. And it appears a diesel generator is currently powering one Tesla at the Nürburgring track this month. 


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 18:05

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No Matter Who Wins In 2020, There Will Be Blood

No Matter Who Wins In 2020, There Will Be Blood

Authored by William Gensert via The American Thinker,

The machinations of an illiberal left, on display in its ever-increasing violence accompanied by the ululations of a propagandist media in contravention of an imaginary “white supremacist” right, have riven the nation into diametrically opposed camps.

The right will never accept socialism, while the left will accept nothing less.

Trump Wins

Those on the left will not allow a Trump victory, even should he win the popular vote and the Electoral College.  They are used to getting what they want and like spoiled brats, have learned that tantrums work.

Should Donald Trump prevail in his bid for a second term, the left will go insane, deploying every “insurance policy” weapon at their disposal to negate four more years of the Orange Man.  What Obama, Comey, and Brennan et al. did to Trump in his first term will seem mild in comparison to what the left is planning should he win.

Antifa, the military arm of the Democratic Party, has not spent the last three years practicing and organizing merely to sit on the sidelines.  They have used the interregnum to mobilize and learn tactics, while probing to find what government will allow, media will trumpet, and the public will endure.

The skirling “resistance” has morphed from pajama-boy blobs of perpetually offended little dictators and pussy-hat sporting shriekers into balaclava-wearing avengers who crave the opportunity to put deplorables in their place and give them the government they deserve good and hard.  They will flood the streets after a Trump victory in their Antifa costumes looking to bust the heads of anyone near enough to become part of their 15 minutes of YouTube fame.

It will start in the cities — the Democrat-run cities, of course — where the political leadership will provide them a measure of protection against identification and arrest.  Seattle, Portland, LA, San Francisco, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and Baltimore, among others, will become flashpoints of unrest.

The riots will be portrayed by the media and the Democrats as a groundswell of support for deposing a racist president.  They will bemoan the necessity of the violence, destruction, and loss of life, but remind Americans that “the people have spoken.”  Some among the Antifa will be championed.  In lockstep, both the New York Times and the Washington Post will run headlines calling them: “The New Founding Fathers.”  People who fight back will quickly grow in number — even as the media label them “white supremacists.”  Blood will be spilled.

China, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela will plead for calm and offer to mediate the evolving humanitarian crisis…

Trump Loses

The right will never believe the Democrats didn’t cheat their way to victory; in addition to understanding that a Democratic President will undemocratically implement policies by executive order that are inimical to their interests and desires.

Many on the right are weary of leaders who prioritize good press over good policy, and who prefer losing gracefully over winning ugly.  They believe they did build that and that they have not yet made enough money and are fed up with being portrayed as ignorant and evil just because of political disagreements.  Eight years of Obama and three years of watching his slow-motion coup have made them angry.

Tone-deaf to this silent majority and emboldened by victory, the new president will borrow Barry’s “pen and phone” and start issuing executive orders throwing open our borders, banning fossil fuels, and of course, implementing “common sense” gun control.  Buoyed by media, the new president will start with universal background checks and a gun registry.

Eventually, the president will overreach, signing an order for gun confiscation, euphemistically called, “mandatory buybacks.”  Antifa and their ilk will flood the streets in support of seizing these “weapons of war.”  Media will declare, “It’s the will of the people.”

And for the right, that will be the last straw (plastic or paper).

The left doesn’t understand that every gun owner is a single-issue-voter; millions will refuse to give up their guns.  And, many gun owners in this country will not go “meekly into the night,” there will be “rage” against what they will see as a usurpation of their constitutional rights.

Confiscation will go well at first, with gun owners in the cities acquiescing to the knock on the door in the middle of the night and the intimidation of, “Papers please.”

But in flyover country, a different scenario will play out.  Most gun owners will hide their weapons and most local police departments will accept that, not wanting to jail their neighbors.  Resistance will be broad, perhaps encompassing hundreds of millions of Americans.  Barack Obama, for once in the dismal history of his efforts to kill the America we love, will be proven correct.  Americans do “cling to their guns.”

The media will call it “white supremacy,” but a still unregulated internet will be rife with videos of an out of control government battling its own citizens.

The president will call for mobilizing the National Guard.  Some governors will refuse, and army units now overseas will be sent home to deal with the growing unrest.  Mistakes will be made and there will be gunfire in the streets; people will die on both sides.  The  president will desperately call for martial law.

Many Army, National Guard, and police will defect, or desert, or simply refuse orders.

What will happen after that is anybody’s guess.


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 17:45

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Colt Announces End Of AR-15 Production For Civilian Market

Colt Announces End Of AR-15 Production For Civilian Market

The Associated Press reports that famous American gun maker Colt is suspending production of the popular AR-15 and possibly other assault style rifles for the civilian market

The monumental announcement Thursday could likely ripple across the industry after a summer of multiple tragic mass killings, as well as almost yearly school shootings, many involving assault weapons such as the AR-15 along with high capacity magazines. 

But amid a raging national debate in the wake of deadly shootings, the decision appears fundamentally market-driven, given a company statement cited lack of public demand and excess market capacity.



AR-15 file image

“At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change,” an official company statement said. “Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world.” 

The AP summarized the statement from the West Hartford, Connecticut-based company as follows:  

Colt’s chief executive officer, Dennis Veilleux, says it is not permanently ending production but believes there is already an adequate supply of sporting rifles on the market. He said in a statement Thursday the company will concentrate on fulfilling military and law enforcement contracts with its rifle manufacturing.

Perhaps anticipating expected push back from gun rights advocates and lobbyists, Colt assured that it would remain committed to manufacturing and sales to the military and law enforcement community. 



Image source: Wiki Commons
 

“On the other hand, our warfighters and law enforcement personnel continue to demand Colt rifles and we are fortunate enough to have been awarded significant military and law enforcement contracts,” the statement continued. 

“Currently, these high-volume contracts are absorbing all of Colt’s manufacturing capacity for rifles,” Veilleux said in the statement.

Likely this is attributable to the historic American company’s assault rifles’ $1,000+ price tag, combined with lower priced competitors moving into the market. 

Meanwhile, with this announcement as well as Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke promising to confiscate Americans’ AR-15s, we might likely see a run on assault rifles at local gun stores continue


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 17:25

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Schiff: The Next Crash Will Bring Down The Fiat Money System

Schiff: The Next Crash Will Bring Down The Fiat Money System

Via SchiffGold.com,

Peter Schiff appeared on RT Boom Bust on Tuesday (Sept. 17) to talk about interest rates, gold and the dollar. Peter said the fiat currency system may not survive the next recession.

The conversation started focusing on the repo operations conducted by the Federal Reserve early in the week, Peter said the financial media and Wall Street are being much too complacent about what’s going on.

Their instinct is to sweep it under the rug as no big deal, but I think it really is a harbinger of what’s to come.”

Peter noted that the Fed has been artificially suppressing interest rates, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis.

And by keeping interest rates artificially low, they have created a bubble that’s much bigger than the one that popped in 2008. And what happened this morning is you could see the air coming out of that bubble, because the market is trying to bring interest rates higher because we have no real savings in this country. We have enormous debt. Everybody is levered up to the max — government, the private sector, business, consumers — because rates have been so low, we’ve borrowed so much money. The market wants interest rates to be higher but the Fed doesn’t want that to happen because the road back to normal interest rates is a very bumpy one because it’s going to take us right through another financial crisis. So, the Fed is trying to keep interest rates artificially low and they almost lost control of it this morning. “

In effect, the Fed created about $50 to $70 billion out of thin air to supply the liquidity that the market needed.

But what happens next time? What happens if we need $100 billion? What happens if we need a trillion? Because eventually, we will. Eventually, the Fed has to choose between destroying the dollar and allowing the market to bring interest rates to a level that makes sense for an economy with this much debt. Then all hell breaks loose because we have a much worse financial crisis than the one we had in ‘o8.”

Peter said as far as the Federal Reserve goes, we are heading toward a recession, but the cure for what ails us is not cutting interest rates. He said we need to go through the recession and higher rates are part of the cleansing process.

But the Federal Reserve has no stomach for doing what’s right, so, they will cut interest rates becuase that’s what the addicts on Wall Street demand. So, we’re not going to have a real recovery. We’re just going to try to maintain this bubble.

Peter reiterated what he’s been saying for months. The Fed will go back to zero. It might even go negative. It will launch another round of QE. But it won’t work this time.

They also discussed what Peter has called a very violent move in the bond market. Peter said the real problem is in the long end of the market where 30-year yields are barely above 2%.

Who in their right mind would loan the US government money for 30 years — you’re not getting your money back for 30 years — at 2% coupons for the next 30 years, waiting to get repaid?”

Peter touched on recent charges brought against JP Morgan employees relating to the manipulations of the gold price. He said price manipulation isn’t the reason the price of gold is relatively low.

It’s not much higher because too many people don’t understand what’s going on. You know, they have confidence in the Federal Reserve, other central banks. They believe in this bubble. They are as fooled now as they were going into the 2008 financial crisis. The difference was they were bailed out last time. As wrong as all the experts were on Wall Street and in other countries who couldn’t see an obvious crisis coming, when they were blindsided, their pals at the Federal Reserve and other central banks were able to bail them out. It’s not going to work this time. It doesn’t mean the central banks won’t try. But as I said, it won’t succeed. They’re going to destroy the dollar in the process, maybe even bring down the entire fiat monetary system. And gold is already rising. Gold is telling you on the ashes of this old system we’re going to resurrect the gold standard. Because that’s what we had prior to the dollar taking over. We had a much sounder monetary system then. We had a more viable global economy. Once we took the money out of the economy, once we substituted real money for fiat, that was the beginning of these problems and the end of these problems is going to be returning to honest money, which is gold.


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 17:05

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If Powell Is Serious About No More Cuts In 2019, “Expect A Forceful Campaign” To Convince Investors

If Powell Is Serious About No More Cuts In 2019, “Expect A Forceful Campaign” To Convince Investors

Commenting on yesterday’s FOMC announcement, BMO’s Jon Hill points out that whereas the dot plot suggests the Fed is now down cutting for 2019, “consensus remains a 1990s-style 75 bp of aggregate easing followed by an on-hold period to assess the impact of the recent moves.” And while the dot plot showed a dramatic schism within the FOMC, with 7 members expecting more rate cuts, while 10 happy with rates either where they are or higher, “in its own way, the Fed has tacitly endorsed this assumption by not shifting to a data-dependent stance this week.”

To be sure, as Hill notes, “it was a formidable communications challenge and given the muted market response to yesterday’s events, Powell can chalk this one up to a win; or at least a non-loss.”

Furthermore, it’s not as if the dot plot is indicative of anything: back in June, the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections did not expect any rates cuts for 2019; three months later it had already delivered two.

In any case, the degree to which additional 2019 easing is priced in or out in the near-term will be useful in gauging how one might expect policymakers to respond via any coordinated Fed-speak. As such, according to the BMO strategist, “In the event a final 25 bp cut isn’t the default position of core Committee members, then a campaign to dissuade investors from this assumption will begin in earnest.” To be sure, one look at the Fed Funds market shows that while the odds of a December 2019 cut are still well above 50%, they are shrinking fast, with the probability of not change up to 30%.

Of course, the same is true in the other direction, and if the market starts to reflect growing expectations for more than a final quarter-point cut in this ‘fine tuning’ endeavor, that’s an environment in which BMO would look for more intermeeting guidance from Fed officials. “Watch this space.”

Meanwhile, looking at the bond market, the fallout on the rest of the US rates complex from any clarity vis-à-vis the path of policy comes down to the ongoing debate in the shape of the curve; policy-error flattening versus reflationary-steepener.

This dynamic according to Hill, is not new, although it is one which will come back into focus as the competing global ‘uncertainties’ meet the reality of firming domestic data.

All of this contributes to our assumption that the broader tone for the market for the balance of 2019 will be established as we enter the fourth quarter. Our temporary bearish inclinations persist; with the caveat that there is a very real chance the 47 bp selloff in 10s thus far in September might represent the extent of the weakness we’ll see from the pendulum of pessimism’s trip out of the danger zone.

In this case, BMO predicts that the stage would be set for another round of consolidation with 1.80% as the interim focal-point until the time at which there is further clarification on the trade war, geopolitical tensions, Brexit, the dimming global outlook, and the flagging domestic manufacturing sector.

Said differently, if the market fails to stage another foray toward incrementally higher rates after a period of consolidation between now and the October FOMC meeting, it becomes increasingly difficult to envision any such backup given the low-to-negative global rate environment.

In short, the Treasury selling – which we believe was largely a by-product of the record IG issuance at the start of the month as a result of some $100BN in rate locks – has now ended, alongside the scramble to refi investment grade corporate debt.

What if we are wrong? Well, then according to Hill, “even an attempt to reach 2.25-2.50% 10s at this point in the policy and economic cycle would presumably be short-lived and met by a round of dip-buying interest from a variety of different investor bases.”

In short, buy the dip… in rates.


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 16:45

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Beware Mocking Bubbles & Bears

Beware Mocking Bubbles & Bears

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Once again, seeing lots of articles and talking heads mocking bubbles and the bears, which is usually a sign a big bubble is going to burst.  The last time we saw this kind of taunting of the bears was three days before the bear market, which we think is on, began in January 2018.

Here’s what we wrote,

Finally, you also see the investing public openly mocking the bears during the later stages of a bull market. We see a lot of that these days. Just check your twitter feed.  –  GMM, January 23, 2018

Stress In Money Markets

Nobody really knows for certain what is causing the stress in the money markets, but our calculated guess is it is:

1)  somehow related to the massive new issuance of Treasuries, which is sucking liquidity out of the markets, as prices are repressed and not allowed to clear –>  think,  a) rent control, where the excesses have to be cleared through quantities,  and  b) Le Chatelier’s principle, where, in a dynamic equilibrium, pressure on one variable has to be offset by movement in other variables; 

2) primary dealers stuffed with Treasuries having to fund themselves, and

3) though there are still $1.4 trillion of excess reserves in the banking system, it is possible only a few banks hold the bulk and are hoarders.  In other words, another top-heavy distribution problem, along with wealth and income, where the few own the much.

Whatever the case, the markets are so distorted now and becoming more so, especially by the false belief that central banks can even now fine-tune a Stradivarius violin.  Haha!

We believe quantitative easing and the massive expansion of central bank balance sheets are the financial equivalence of global warming, ie, excessive carbon emissions. Thus, traders and investors should expect more extreme weather  market conditions.

Didn’t you see this coming?

To be fair to Adam,  we took the headline a bit out of context to make our point.  Please read his article here.

Discount The Street

During my days on Wall Street, it was stunning to watch how many would sell their souls and anything else to help them make their year-end bonus.  I specifically remember a sales pitch by some bozo about how the Mexican Peso was going to become the next dollar, less than 12 months before it fricking blew!   We laughed him out of the office.

This is one reason why Mr. Market is so cold-blooded,  doesn’t correctly discount risk, and tends to have a one in every 10,000-year event (high sigma crash) almost every 10 years.

So, folks, when listening to the Street, bubble vision, the market talking heads, and even central bankers and policymakers,  take heed the words of the great American author,  Upton Sinclair.


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 16:25

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Che Guevara, Donald Trump, Public Citizen (Founded by Ralph Nader), and Copyright Law

From Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen (Consumer Law & Policy Blog):

The personal and commercial heirs of the deceased photographer Korda, best known for the iconic photograph of Che Guevara that has adorned Tshirts and posters displayed by young admirers for fifty years, have issued a takedown demand to Liberty Maniacs over its sales of parody items that display the photo’s cap and hair but replace Guevara’s visage with, alternately, Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Advancing claims both under the doctrine of moral rights and under copyright law, Randy Yaloz, a New York lawyer based in Paris who proudly identifies himself as “combative” (but wrote using an letterhead identifying himself as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, New York Law School, where he does not currently teach), demands both that the parodies be taken off the market and that the parodist pay damages.

Trump Che

In a response letter sent this morning, we have explained that moral rights are not enforceable in the United States, that the First Amendment protects the right of parody, and that any copyright claims would be defeated by fair use. The lawyer has not answered my question about whether he is trying to stop the production of Tshirts that carry the Korda photo adoringly (albeit without license fee), or if copyright law is just an excuse to suppress critical uses of the photo, in which case Liberty Maniac (whose parodies I have been pleased to protect against campaign committees for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as the NSA and TSA), could have a claim for copyright misuse.

Paul’s letter is a characteristically readable and professional-yet-pugnacious; an excerpt from the concluding paragraph:

(I should note, for the sake of precision, that Ralph Nader hasn’t been officially involved with Public Citizen since 1980; but the juxtaposition of him, Guevara, and Trump was too much to resist. I should also note that this post was blogged using the highest cord in the land, here at the U.S. Supreme Court library.)

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Che Guevara, Donald Trump, Public Citizen (Founded by Ralph Nader), and Copyright Law

From Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen (Consumer Law & Policy Blog):

The personal and commercial heirs of the deceased photographer Korda, best known for the iconic photograph of Che Guevara that has adorned Tshirts and posters displayed by young admirers for fifty years, have issued a takedown demand to Liberty Maniacs over its sales of parody items that display the photo’s cap and hair but replace Guevara’s visage with, alternately, Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Advancing claims both under the doctrine of moral rights and under copyright law, Randy Yaloz, a New York lawyer based in Paris who proudly identifies himself as “combative” (but wrote using an letterhead identifying himself as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, New York Law School, where he does not currently teach), demands both that the parodies be taken off the market and that the parodist pay damages.

Trump Che

In a response letter sent this morning, we have explained that moral rights are not enforceable in the United States, that the First Amendment protects the right of parody, and that any copyright claims would be defeated by fair use. The lawyer has not answered my question about whether he is trying to stop the production of Tshirts that carry the Korda photo adoringly (albeit without license fee), or if copyright law is just an excuse to suppress critical uses of the photo, in which case Liberty Maniac (whose parodies I have been pleased to protect against campaign committees for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as the NSA and TSA), could have a claim for copyright misuse.

Paul’s letter is a characteristically readable and professional-yet-pugnacious; an excerpt from the concluding paragraph:

(I should note, for the sake of precision, that Ralph Nader hasn’t been officially involved with Public Citizen since 1980; but the juxtaposition of him, Guevara, and Trump was too much to resist. I should also note that this post was blogged using the highest cord in the land, here at the U.S. Supreme Court library.)

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Stocks Pump-n-Dump As Quad-Witch Looms, Liquidity Crisis Continues

Stocks Pump-n-Dump As Quad-Witch Looms, Liquidity Crisis Continues

Billions more in immediate liquidity, a promise of moar to come, but indications are that things are not improving and stocks gave up their early gains… somebody do something!!

First things first, The Fed increased its liquidity provision once again today and EFF-IOER continues to be out of control…

Source: Bloomberg

Since The Fed cut rates, stocks are outperforming, but gave back their hyped up gains considerably today…

Trannies and Small Caps are red post-FOMC…

But the odds of a trade deal tumbled after hawkish comments on tariffs from Washington…

Source: Bloomberg

And this didn’t help from The Global Times: “Both China and the US should cherish the current talks. Many US officials easily misread China’s goodwill, think it shows Beijing’s weakness. China doesn’t like talking tough before the negotiations, but I know China is not as anxious to reach a deal as the US side though.”

Chinese stocks managed gains on the back of The Fed’s promises but remain red on the week…

Source: Bloomberg

European stocks rallied back to unchanged on the week today…

Source: Bloomberg

US equity indices (apart from Trannies) started the day off exuberantly extending yesterday’s Fed-Induced euphoria – but trade comments spoiled the party – Nasdaq managed gains, S&P unch…

NOTE – US equities reversed around the EU close

Source: Bloomberg

S&P 500 algos were all about 3,000 once again…

Banks eased back from their gains yesterday as they reached a key resistance level…

Source: Bloomberg

Momo extended its gains relative to value today…

Source: Bloomberg

Stocks decoupled from bonds, gold, and the dollar early on…

Source: Bloomberg

 

US Treasury yields fell 2bps across the entire curve today…

Source: Bloomberg

30Y Yields continued to slide after peaking last Friday…

Source: Bloomberg

The Dollar erased all of the supposed “hawkish cut” gains from yesterday…

Source: Bloomberg

Offshore yuan tumbled after tagging the fix briefly after The Fed move yesterday…

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos dumped and pumped in the last 24 hours but Ethereum continues to lead the week… (but the these of Altcoin outperformance continues)

Source: Bloomberg

A quiet day in commodityland for a change with modest gains…

Source: Bloomberg

Gold futures bounce back above $1500…

But Cheese-flation is rife…

Source: Bloomberg

Finally, if you think you had a bad day?

*TRUDEAU: ‘WARY OF BEING DEFINITIVE’ ON NUMBER OF INCIDENTS

Don’t forget, it’s Quad Witch tomorrow – so hold on to your hats – as S&P 500 looks pinned around 3,000…


Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/19/2019 – 16:00

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