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“This Is An Emergency Action Notification… Your Channel Has Been Force Tuned” Overtakes TV Stations For Thousands of Viewers

SHTF Plan - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 21:22

Thousands of viewers in Atlanta, Austin and Dallas had their television service overtaken by the national Emergency Action Notification system today. According to Fox Engineers, the EAN can only be activated by the President of the United States, prompting questions about to how the system was able to force tune regularly scheduled programming when no emergency had been declared.

A statement from AT&T U-verse says the company is trying to figure out how and why the EAN system was activated on their network:

“Earlier today U-verse TV customers may have received an Emergency Alert notification. We have confirmed that there is no emergency at this time and we are investigating why this occurred. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Viewers who saw the message appear on their television captured screen shots and sent them to local news stations and news web sites:

 

Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson notes:

The Emergency Alert System is mandatory by law – stations have no control or power to block the signal once it is sent out by the federal government. Broadcasters are required to install and maintain FCC-certified EAS decoders and encoders at their control points, meaning the signal cannot be switched off or interrupted.

How sensible is it that the feds ‘mistakenly’ sent out an emergency alert – potentially causing panic – amidst national concerns about the Ebola outbreak in the United States?

The United States has several Emergency protocols that allow the government to take over communications systems at the behest of the President.

In 2010 Congress heavily pushed legislation that would have given the President authority to shut down the internet in the event of an emergency such as cyber attack targeting America’s financial system. The bill expired before a vote was taken, but it is believed by many that America’s domestic security agencies have already  developed and implemented an “internet kill switch” that would, among other things, give the government complete control of data across the public internet, including the ability to take major internet access points offline.

Cell phone networks have also been augmented to include Emergency Alert systems that can be initiated by the government. At Watson notes, the system malfunctioned in 2011 when messages sent to cell phone users warned their owners that they needed to take shelter because of an imminent catastrophe.

According to a report from 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have the capability to shut down entire cell phone subscriber blocks by working in tandem with device manufacturers and mobile phone companies. Hackers who infiltrated FBI records found lists that included the device identifiers, phone numbers, and address books for 12 million Apple subscribers. The infiltration suggests that the FBI has specific details about users and the networks they use to communicate, prompting fears that they could initiate this “geo fence” technology to shut down or overtake cell phone service in a specific city, region or the entire country.

Though Americans currently enjoy the ability to freely utilize their televisions, computers and cell phones as they see fit, during a nationally declared emergency everything can change within seconds.

Technology such as what the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security has implemented could potentially be used to not only alert Americans of potential emergencies, but to redirect the messages that are being broadcast to the public. Specifically, they now have complete access to shut down any news, information, videos or citizen reports that run contrary to the government’s narrative.

Those concerned with the possibility of losing communications with loved ones in an emergency should consider implementing alternate communication protocols.

New York, New Jersey Consider Mandatory Quarantines In Ebola Response

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 18:13

Despite the constant confirmation that New York "is prepared, and has been prepared for months" for an Ebola outbreak, it appears Governor Cuomo and NJ's Christie are more concerned than they are letting on. Having earlier admitted that the CDC's screening guidelines are "insufficient" for New York regions' population density, Reuters reports that Cuomo and Christie are considering "enhanced screening" where "all healthcare workers will mandatorily quarantined." Cue "state of emergency" proclamation and civili liberties 'interrupted'...

  • *EBOLA SCREENING WILL BE STRENGTHENED AT NY AIRPORTS, SAYS CNBC
  • *NY AIRPORT SCREENING WILL GO BEYOND CDC REQUIREMENTS: CNBC
  • *NY AIRPORTS TO QUARANTINE ALL HC WORKERS FROM HI RISK NATIONS
  • *JFK, NEWARK TO HAVE ADDITIONAL SCREENING FOR EBOLA: CHRISTIE
  • *STEPS INCLUDE MANDATORY QUARANTINE FOR MED. SERVICE PROVIDERS
  • *MEDICS BACK FROM EBOLA COUNTRIES TO BE QUARANTINED: CHRISTIE
  • *NEWARK, JFK HEALTH DEPTS.TO DETERMINE QUARANTINE NEEDS:CHRISTIE

*  *  *

As CNBC reports,

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are planning to increase current screening procedures for people travelling from Ebola-affected regions.

 

Depending on an individual's risk level—exposure to infected individuals and countries visited—a mandatory 21-day quarantine could be instituted, Cuomo said.

 

All medical workers from Ebola-affected countries will be subject to a quarantine, said Dr. Howard Zucker, acting commissioner of health for New York State. Cuomo said voluntary quarantine is not sufficient, and that it is "almost an oxymoron."

 

"In an region like this, you go out one, two, or three times—you ride the subway, you ride a bus—you could affect hundreds and hundreds of people," Cuomo added.

 

"There is no reason for undue concern or undo anxiety under this situation," the New York governor said. "I believe this adjustment and increasing the screening procedures is necessary. I think it reduces the risk to New Yorkers and the residents of New Jersey."

 

Christie indicated that authorities have already stopped one traveler in Newark.

 

Cuomo said that he and Christie believe it is a state's right to protect their borders, and he indicated that the governors have been in touch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He added he believed the CDC's procedures are "not rigorous enough."

 

Christie said the measures are "necessary to protect public health."

"CDC's guidance is continually changing, and we need to set a standard for our two states," Christie said. These new procedures have already been put in place at the Port Authority airports, Cuomo said.

And so it begins...

*  *  *

Additionally, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) released the following statement in the aftermath of the first confirmed case of Ebola in New York:

“In the wake of the first confirmed case of Ebola in New York City, the Obama administration must reassess the strength of the measures put into place to protect the health and safety of our residents. All options should be on the table in the fight against Ebola, including a possible ban on nonessential travel originating in the source West African nations.”

*  *  *

Of course, we warned this might happen -

If there is a major Ebola pandemic in America, all of the liberties and the freedoms that you currently enjoy would be gone.  If government officials believe that you have the virus, federal law allows them to round you up and detain you "for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary."  In addition, the CDC already has the authority to quarantine healthy Americans if they reasonably believe that they may become sick.  During an outbreak, the government can force you to remain isolated in your own home, or the government may forcibly take you to a treatment facility, a tent city, a sports stadium, an old military base or a camp.  You would not have any choice in the matter.  And you would be forced to endure any medical procedure mandated by the government.  That includes shots, vaccines and the drawing of blood.  During such a scenario, you can scream about your "rights" all that you want, but it won't do any good.

In case you are tempted to think that I am making this up, I want you to read what federal law actually says.  The following is 42 U.S.C. 264(d).  I have added bold for emphasis...

(1) Regulations prescribed under this section may provide for the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease in a qualifying stage and (A) to be moving or about to move from a State to another State; or (B) to be a probable source of infection to individuals who, while infected with such disease in a qualifying stage, will be moving from a State to another State. Such regulations may provide that if upon examination any such individual is found to be infected, he may be detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary. For purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia.

 

(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “qualifying stage”, with respect to a communicable disease, means that such disease—

 

(A) is in a communicable stage; or

 

(B) is in a precommunicable stage, if the disease would be likely to cause a public health emergency if transmitted to other individuals.

In addition, as I discussed above, the CDC already has the authority to isolate people that are not sick to see if they do become sick.  The following is what the CDC website says about this...

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

*  *  *

 

Welcome to the new normal American police state.








5 Things To Ponder: To QE Or Not To QE

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 17:32

Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management,

Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. As I have shown many times in the past, there is a high degree of correlation between the Fed's liquidity programs and the advance in the markets.

This weekend's reading list is a compilation of views on whether the Fed will end the current QE program at next weeks FOMC meeting or not. In the past, the extraction of their monetary interventions has led to market declines that were halted only once a new program was started. Are the markets, and the economy, finally strong enough to stand on their own? Or, will the end of the current QE program be the start of a bigger correction?

Here is something to consider if you believe that the Fed will end their monetary purchases next week.  The chart below shows the recent sell-off and rebound matched to the Fed's current monetary interventions. 

What will happen when the Fed is absent altogether with just one round of purchases to go? ($1 billion on Monday)

 

1) Fed Official: End QE On Schedule by Robin Harding via Financial Times

"The comments by Mr Rosengren, an advocate for strong monetary stimulus in recent years, suggest there is limited support for a plan put forward by James Bullard, president of the St Louis Fed, to keep buying assets at a pace of $15bn a month until December.

 

Mr Rosengren said Fed asset purchases have achieved their stated goal, the jobs report for September is already in and his economic forecasts have not changed. 'There has been substantial improvement in labour markets,' he said. 'As a result I would be pretty comfortable [ending purchases] at the end of the month.'”

[Note: I wonder if the 94 million considered "not in labor force," the 34% out of work longer than 6-months, or the 49 million dealing with food insecurity would agree with Mr. Rosengren?]

Also Read: Fed Official Bullard Says Keep QE Alive by Robin Harding via Financial Times

Also Read: Fed Official Fisher: Correction Possible But QE End Needed by Matthew Belvedere via CNBC

 

2) The Fed Shouldn't End Its Stimulus Program Yet by Danny Vinik via New Republic

"Should QE end next Wednesday? That depends. The economy really has improved over the past year, so it makes sense for the Fed to adopt a more normal policy posture. At the same time, the economy is still far from full employment and wage growth is barely keeping up with inflation. Meanwhile, the outlook for the global economy worsened over the past month, with growth slowing in China, Japan and the Eurozone. Investors are worried that policymakers, particularly the European Central Bank, will not act aggressively if the economy slows down. Economists are also unsure how the Ebola outbreak could affect the economy."

Also Read: The Statistical Recovery Continues via Streettalklive

Also Read: Bond Market Braced For End To QE by Colleen Godo via Business Day

 

3) All The Markets Need Is $200 Billion A Quarter From Central Banks by Simon Kennedy via Bloomberg

"By estimating that zero stimulus would be consistent with a 10 percent quarterly drop in equities, they calculate it takes around $200 billion from central banks each quarter to keep markets from selling off.

 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists said in a report today that another 10 percent decline in U.S. stocks might spark speculation of a fourth round of quantitative easing from the Fed. That would mimic how the Fed acted following equity declines of 11 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2011.

 

'With central banks much more concerned about a return to recession than about asset-price bubbles, they have little choice but to step back in,' said Citigroup."

 

4) How QE Contributed To The Nations Inequality Problem by William Cohan via NYT

"[Yellen] did a wonderful job highlighting the growing disparity between rich and poor and how it is beginning to impinge upon what it means to be an American, but she ignored the fact that, in many ways, the Fed’s policies have compounded the problem.

 

Quantitative easing adds to the problem of income inequality by making the rich richer and the poor poorer. By intentionally driving down interest rates to low levels, it allows people who can get access to cheap money on a regular basis to benefit in extraordinary ways."

Also Read: Let Them Eat Cake via ECRI

 

5) World Economy So Damaged It May Need Permanent QE by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard via The Telegraph

"We will find out soon whether or not this a replay of 1937 when the authorities drained stimulus too early, and set off the second leg of the Great Depression.

 

Crashes are another story. They signal global stress, doubly dangerous today because the whole industrial world is one shock away from a deflation trap, a psychological threshold where we batten down the hatches and wait for cheaper prices. That is the Ninth Circle of Hell in economics. Lasciate Ogni Speranza."

Also Read: "Plunge Protection Team" Behind Market's Sudden Recovery by John Crudele via NY Post

Bonus Read: The Fed's Bubble: "Overtrading" and "Discredit" Always End In Revulsion by Van Hoisington/Lacy Hunt via ZeroHedge

"In their 2014 book House of Debt. Chapter 8, entitled 'Debt and Bubbles,' Mian and Sufi demonstrate that increasing the flow of credit is extremely counterproductive when the fundamental problem is too much debt, and excessive debt can fuel asset bubbles.

 

Based on our reading of these two books we would define an asset bubble as a rise in prices that is caused by excess central bank liquidity rather than economic fundamentals. As Kindleberger clearly stated, the process of excess liquidity fueling higher prices in the face of faltering fundamentals can run for a long time, a phase Kindleberger called 'overtrading.' But eventually, this gives way to 'discredit', when the discerning few see the discrepancy between prices and fundamentals. Eventually, discredit yields to 'revulsion', when the crowd understands the imbalance, and markets correct."

“You will know that the financial markets have reached peak instability and volatility when Britney Spears rings the opening bell.”

Have a great weekend.








Stocks Shrug Off Ebola, Surge Most Since 2011, Still A Red October

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 17:06

Ebola in NYC, no problem. Crappy housing data, all good. School shooting in WA, buying opportunity... and that is how the S&P 500 broke back above its 100-day-moving-average (proving the world is fixed again), and had its biggest low-to-high swing since Dec 2011. It wasn't all great BTFD news today though as small caps underperformed - though still green (just like last Friday), and only Trannies and Russell are green in October. Despite equity exuberance, Treasuries rallied modestly today (ending the week up 8-9bps on the week). HY credit slightly underperformed stocks but compressed 27bps - the biggest weekly drop in spreads since July 2013. The USD rose for the first time in 3 weeks led by JPY and EUR weakness. Oil fell once again, copper rose (since China data), gold and silver mirrored USD's gains. VIX closed down 5 from last week's close just above 16, but like small cap, and JPY carry, decoupled this afternoon. The last 2 weeks were the biggest squeeze of "most shorted" stocks since July 2013.

For old time's sake... as we await the very last POMO (or not) on Monday...

*  *  *

Before we start... next week is last POMO and a press-conference-less FOMC statement... so why aren't bonds loving the growth implied by stocks? Especially if as everyone claims last week saw the capitulation of shorts... We note the 3 blue boxes where equity traders were wrong footed... and now we are back at that level...

 

*  *  *

Small Caps notably underperformed today...

The S&P had its best week since Jan 2013 and biggest 2-week low-to-high swing since Dec 2011...

 

Ripping back above its 100DMA...(and almost 50DMA)

On the week, Nasdaqwas the winner...

And off the Bullard lows...

Only Trannies and Russell 2000 are green for October though...

 

And here is the last 24 hours...

 

VIX dropped from 21.99 last friday to just above 16 - but notably decoupled

 

So looks like longs are hedging into the ramps and the rally is short covering as "most shorted" stocks have the best 2 weeks in 15 months...

HY Credit's best week in 15 months...

Treasuries were unchanged today but ended the week 8-9bps higher in yield...

The USD rose for the first week in 3 led by JPY and EUR weakness

 

JPY carry decoupled from stocks...

 

VIX decoupled (but was punched lower to ensure S&P success above its 100DMA)

USD strength weighed on commodities as gold and silver mirrored its move. Oil slipped further ending just above $81 and copper rallied after China PMI data...

Charts: Bloomberg

Bonus Chart: Thank the lord for QE3...








Friday Humor: Windows 10

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:52

"Windows 10 - We finally fixed everything"

h/t @BarbarianCap








Not all treehouses are made using a hammer and nails. This one is inspired by th...

Natural Homes - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:35
Not all treehouses are made using a hammer and nails. This one is inspired by the structure of knitting, with the addition and subtraction of columns that create infinite stretchy forms.


A knitted treehouse
naturalhomes.org
While you're relaxing in front of the TV (if you have one), you could knit this treehouse.

The Chart That All "Above Average Intelligence Traders" Ignored Today

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:25

Ebola seems like a lame excuse, frankly, but it’s a widespread one. Assuming that everyone in the market has above-average intelligence we don’t think they’ll trade Ebola headlines any more than they traded Greece election headlines a while back,” CRT strategist David Ader writes.

 

3 Things to consider...

1) This Chart...

 

2) It's not about being smart

"It is not a case of choosing those [faces] that, to the best of one's judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those that average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be."

 

(Keynes, General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, 1936).

and

3) How do you measure the IQ of a vacuum tube?


*  *  *

Of course this all makes perfect sense until we get the next Ebola headline...








Mining CEO Proposes: Crush Market Manipulation By Halting Silver Sales: “Would Send Ripples To The Entire System”

SHTF Plan - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:12

In 2011 the price of silver topped $48 per ounce, but just a few years later we’ve seen it collapse to such levels that it is now becoming nearly impossible to for mining companies to get it out of the ground and make any sort of profit.

Many believe the price of silver, and it’s precious metal counterpart gold, is being manipulated by top-tier financial organizations that include large investment firms as well as Western central banks. Through the use of heavy leverage and coordinated attacks it is believed that these ‘cartels’ are working to keep the price of silver and gold low in an effort to prevent these resources from supplanting the global reserve status of the U.S. dollar. It’s gotten so bad that the Chinese government has actually decided to open their own precious metals exchanges just to try and counter the manipulation.

Now, even the private mining sector is saying enough is enough.

In an interview with Future Money Trends, Future Majestic Silver Corp. CEO Keith Neumeyer says that manipulated paper markets are not representative of the physical price of silver. According to Neumeyer, it costs about $16.50 to get silver out of the ground and with it’s current “paper” spot price trading at about a dollar over that, it is becoming more and more difficult for mining companies to break even, let alone maintain profitable businesses.

Though the world produces about 800 million ounces of silver every year, paper traders are somehow able to control as many as one billion ounces of silver a day through the use of extreme leverage and derivatives. It is this leverage that has left many silver mining companies reeling.

Neumeyer has made a proposal to other mining company executives around the world and suggests that they combine their efforts to create their own cartels, kind of like what OPEC does with oil.

If we were to suspend production for just one month that would send ripples to the entire system. The supply is already tight. So it would be extremely interesting to see what would happen in a situation like that.

I not only encourage them [silver producers], I would suggest that we all get together and do exactly that. I think it would be a very exciting thing for all the silver companies to form a semi-cartel in a way similar to OPEC. I don’t see why we can’t do that.

I think we all agree that the paper market has no representation for the physical market… and I think it makes sense that we would all work together to sell our product to industry… and I would encourage all of them to pull back our silver.

We should pick a month in 2015 and say ‘We’re going to hold back silver for 30 days’ and see how the silver buyers respond to that.


(Watch at Future Money Trends)

Indeed, such a move would send ripples through the market. And though the paper markets are massive compared to the actual physical markets they represent, a one month hold on the majority of the silver production in the world could well drive prices to levels we haven’t see before, and perhaps end the massive manipulation once and for all.

Why The Market Kept Breaking Yesterday

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:05

When markets broke on Wednesday, XIV soared, stocks followed and the volumeless levitation was praised by all as evidence that the world was once again fixed. Yesterday we also saw NYSE Euronext 'break' into the European melt-up close, and later that day, as Ebola headlines hit, the market once again broke numerous times with various exchanges declaring self-help against one another as stocks tumbled on heavy volume. If you are wondering how it is that "the great stock markets in the world" can break so often (and be so ignored by financial media), Nanex exposes the act... as massive quote spamming yesterday sent OPRA to full capacity (broke the efficient flow of data in markets) 13 times...

As Nanex's Eric Hunsader explains each peak over 10 milloin quotes per second - ocurring after a sale of 1025 S&P 500 e-mini contracts - temporarily maxed capacity at OPRA and broke markets... (and a 15 point insta-plunge occurred)

 

 

and here are the major stocks reacting to the order floods...

 

Source: Nanex @NanexLLC

*  *  *

And here is why ISE broke yesterday - Rule 720A

In other words, someone/thing was sending enough fake orders that ISE invoked Rule 720A and shut the system down.








Institutional Fish: "It's All Just A Pretend Game"

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 15:44

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,


Jack Delano. Cars being precooled at the ice plant, San Bernardino, CA Mar 1943

Large and/or institutional investors, your pension funds, your market funds, you name them, have one glaringly obvious and immense Achilles heel that they very much prefer not to talk about. That is, they MUST invest their funds, in something, anything, they can’t NOT invest. They are trapped in the game. They have to roll over debt, investments, all the time.

In today’s markets, they can move into Treasuries, as we see bond funds (and undoubtedly others) do recently, and while that’s already a sign of unrest in the ranks, at the same time it exposes the funds. And not only because everyone knows it won’t allow them to meet the targets they must meet. Oil, gas and gold are unattractive alternatives.

The big funds can play the game, but they really shouldn’t, because they can’t win. Not in the end. Not when the chips are down. The reason is that they cannot fold. And the others at the table know this, and immediately recognize this for the fatal flaw it is. No matter how smart and sophisticated institutional investors and their fund managers may be, in ultimo they are, to put it in poker terms, the ‘designated’ fish.

It may take a long time before this plays out, and they realize it for what it is (fish don’t recognize themselves for what they are, other than, and even that’s a maybe, once they’ve been exposed as such by others), since in times of plenty there is no urgent need for the other players to catch and filet the fish.

As long as there’s enough to eat at the table, the ‘solid’ players can bide their time and let the fish fatten themselves (as long as it’s not from their money), only to gut them when times get leaner. In a way, the solid players use the fish as a way to stow away for a rainy day some of the ultra cheap QE money has made available, the money without which there would be no markets left, if only so their own actions don’t become too conspicuous.

Funds that invest for a living, and whose managers must meet, say, a 7-8% profit target, can appear to be well run and profitable for many years, provided they operate in a rich environment and no solid players decide to go after them (if these do, it’s game over in a heartbeat).

Seven years of QE et al have made this possible. As have many years of increasing debt and leverage and ever looser rules in global finance (re: the infamous murder of Glass-Steagall) before that. But. But that play is coming to a close. The ‘free’ money that’s been arriving at the table from outside sources for so many years is finally, thankfully, starting to dry up (and no, Mario Draghi won’t fill in the gaps).

I’ll quote out of context something then-poker playing law student and now-bankruptcy lawyer Ashvin Pandurangi wrote here at the Automatic Earth on February 9 2011. Out of context in the sense that Ashvin when he spoke of ‘fish’ meant speculators and the like, not institutional investors.

However, because of the fatal flaw for any player of having to play no matter what, the description of the psychology of fish versus solid players at the poker table is still spot on.

A Glimpse Into the Stubborn Psychology of Fish

What makes poker a profitable venture for “solid” players, unlike blackjack, craps or roulette, is their opportunity to capitalize on the mental mistakes of other players, by accurately “reading” the opponent’s potential range of hole cards in any given hand (mostly from betting tendencies and style of play), and accurately calculating the “pot odds” they are being laid (money that must be put in on the present and future betting rounds as a percentage of money that could be won from the pot). The pot odds calculation allows the solid player to determine the best course of action (bet, call, raise, fold) by comparing it to the equity his/her hand carries against the opponent’s range.[..]

Institutional investors such as your pension fund may not suffer from too many ‘mental mistakes’, they may be as smart as other players, but in their place comes the worse flaw of not being able to fold. Which means the the other players have a very easy time of calculating the “pot odds” they are being laid. They just, until today, haven’t been forced to call the hands of the fish, because of the money being injected from outside.

The best feature of a true fish is that they never learn or adapt to an opponent’s style of play. They will keep calling you with weak hands even when you only show down “monsters” at the table, because they are only concerned with their own cards and they always assume you are holding even weaker than they are.

 

There are not many real-life players who fit exactly into this idealized style of play, but there are many who generally harbor its underlying psychology – one of permanent and irrational belief in an ability to win a hand, despite any mounting evidence to the contrary. They cannot possibly conceive of folding, because that means giving up any chance of winning, slim as it may be, and also giving up any money already invested in the pot.[..]

Your pension fund manager may not believe in his ability to win a hand, but still be forced to play it. Because (s)he must always play something, some hand. (S)he is forced into the psychology of the fish.

The fish never stop to think what your strong bets out of position imply about your hand, especially given the fact that you most likely know that they are fish. If the fish do stop to think about these factors, then they most likely dismiss the thought before it has any chance to settle, since it would be too disruptive to their goal of never folding a potential winner. While the solid players are constantly engaged in several different layers of critical psychoanalysis, the fish are forever stuck in a one-track mindset.

It’s sort to fun to play around with, and take out of context, what Ashvin wrote, and what mindsets managers at pension- and other funds may have, not just fun for me but even far more for the solid players sitting opposite those managers. Because they know they have a rich source of profits waiting from them after QE has been cancelled, in the vaults of those whose job descriptions say they must play every day no matter what hand they’re dealt.

In essence it’s all just a pretend game, and the fish in today’s investment world are probably far more aware of their own identity than the fish at a real life poker table. But it doesn’t matter. They’re still fish, and everybody knows they’re going down. And therefore so are your pensions and your other institutional investments. What are they going to do, stop playing? They can’t.

So who are the solid players in this game, you ask? Why, Wall Street, of course. They’ve had their eye on your remaining cash all along.








Shots Fired At High School North Of Seattle; 6 Reportedly Injured, Possible 2 Fatal

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 15:21

There is a large police presence at Marysville-Pilchuk High School  (Marysville, WA). School officials said there is an emergency situation at the school and the building is locked down. Three students and a teacher reported hearing gunshots. Airlift Northwest confirms that they are transporting two patients, but didn't give more information.

"Our son just called to let us know that his kids are ok - his son was about 50 feet from the shooter - a student that he knows.  Our grandson and his friends ran away - jumped a fence and went to a home in the area.  He didn't know about any victims but thought there was at least one," said Tom Hopper, who emailed KIRO 7.

Marysville High School Shooting: Initial reports say six injured, two of those possibly code black

— Breaking Skagit (@BreakingSkagit) October 24, 2014

BREAKING: Fire Dept. says possibly 6 victims in shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck HS. Shooter is in custody, per @DavidRoseQ13FOX . #Q13FOX

— Bill Wixey (@BillWixey) October 24, 2014

As KIRO TV reports,

Casey Blakley and his daughter were driving by the school when they say the huge police response.

 

“About every 30 seconds school I had to pull over because there were so many cops and paramedics going by,” he said. “The road was blocked off from about two blocks away

 

“There were a bunch of kids on the next block that apparently fled the school. They were all huddled together talking to cars that drove by.”

Live Feed (via KOMO News) - click image for live feed

 

Location of High School:

 

The Marysville School District released the following statement:

"The Marysville Pilchuck High School is currently in lock down due to an emergency situation. Police and emergency services have responded. The Marysville School District lock down procedures will remain in effect at Marysville Pilchuck until further notice from law enforcement. We will continue to forward communication in cooperation with law enforcement."

School Campus map:








Putin Warns Of Risk Of Major Conflict, Says Dollar Losing Reserve Currency Status

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 15:06

Having been relatively quiet for a while, Russia's leader Vladimir, speaking in Sochi (following meetings with Middle East crown princes who confirmed Russia as a key partner - "isolated"?), has unleashed his most aggressive statements with regard the failing world order:

  • *PUTIN SAYS U.S. DOLLAR LOSING TRUST AS RESERVE CURRENCY
  • *PUTIN: WORLD WITHOUT RULES IS POSSIBILITY; ANARCHY GROWING

Adding that the risk of major conflicts involving major countries is growing, as well as the risk of arms control treaties being violated, Putin exclaimed that the US-led unipolar world is like a dictatorship over other countries and that "US leadership brings no good for others," and calls for a new global consensus.

 

Having met Crown Prince Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi in Sochi, who confirmed that Moscow “plays a very important role in the Middle East," and added that he had no doubts that his country and Russia “are bound by a privileged relationship," it appears Russia is less "isolated" than the West would have many believe.

As Bloomberg reports:

  • *PUTIN SPEAKS AT MEETING OF VALDAI CLUB IN SOCHI
  • *PUTIN SAYS WORLD GROWING LESS SECURE, PREDICTABLE
  • *PUTIN SAYS NO GUARANTEE OF GLOBAL SECURITY
  • *GLOBAL SECURITY SYSTEM IS WEAK, DEFORMED: PUTIN
  • *COLD WAR ENDED WITHOUT PEACE BEING ACHIEVED: PUTIN
  • *PUTIN SAYS COLD WAR `VICTORS' DISMANTLING INTL LAWS, RELATIONS
  • *U.S. HAS WORSENED DISBALANCE IN INTL RELATIONS: PUTIN
  • *PUTIN SAYS U.S.  ACTING LIKE NOUVEAU RICHE AS GLOBAL LEADER
  • *PUTIN SAYS WORLD LEADERS BEING BLACKMAILED BY `BIG BROTHER'
  • *U.S. LEADERSHIP BRINGS NO GOOD FOR OTHERS: PUTIN
  • *PUTIN SEES GLOBAL MEDIA UNDER CONTROL, UNDERMINING TRUTH
  • *PUTIN SAYS WEST CLOSED EYES TO INTL TERRORISM ENTERING RUSSIA
  • *PUTIN CALLS U.S. SELF-APPOINTED LEADER
  • *PUTIN: UNIPOLAR WORLD LIKE DICTATORSHIP OVER OTHER COUNTRIES
  • *PUTIN SAYS MANY COUNTRIES DISENCHANTED W/ GLOBALIZATION: PUTIN
  • *PUTIN SAYS U.S. DOLLAR LOSING TRUST AS RESERVE CURRENCY
  • *RUSSIA WON'T BEG FOR ANYTHING: PUTIN
  • *SANCTIONS UNDERMINING WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION RULES: PUTIN
  • *RUSSIA ISN'T WALLING ITSELF OFF FROM WORLD, PUTIN SAYS
  • *RUSSIA READY FOR DIALOGUE ON NORMALIZING ECONOMIC TIES: PUTIN
  • *PUTIN: WORLD WITHOUT RULES IS POSSIBILITY; ANARCHY GROWING
  • *PUTIN CALLS FOR NEW GLOBAL CONSENSUS, INTERDEPENDENCE
  • *PUTIN: CONTINUED USE OF FORCE IN UKRAINE MAY LEAD TO DEAD END
  • *PUTIN SAYS U.S. CAN'T HUMILIATE ITS PARTNERS FOREVER

*  *  *

Fighting talk?

*  *  *

Escalation? It seems sabre-rattling is picking up as The Washington Times reports,

Russian military provocations have increased so much over the seven months since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine that Washington and its allies are scrambling defense assets on a nearly daily basis in response to air, sea and land incursions by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

 

Not only is Moscow continuing to foment unrest in Eastern Ukraine, U.S. officials and regional security experts say Russian fighter jets are testing U.S. reaction times over Alaska and Japan’s ability to scramble planes over its northern islands — all while haunting Sweden’s navy and antagonizing Estonia’s tiny national security force.

 

 

“What’s going on is a radical escalation of aggressive Russian muscle flexing and posturing designed to demonstrate that Russia is no longer a defeated power of the Cold War era,” says Ariel Cohen, who heads the Center for Energy, National Resources and Geopolitics at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington.

 

“The more we retreat, the more we are encouraging Russia to behave in a more aggressive way,” Mr. Cohen said. “We need to be engaging more deeply with our Central Asian allies, but instead we are in the process of abandoning turf to Russia, and it’s wrong — it’s against our interests geopolitically to let Russia feel that they all of a sudden have won all the turf without firing a shot.”

*  *  *








Caption Contest: "No Tongues" Edition

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 15:06

To 'prove' everything is fine, President Obama met with and hugged Ebola-survivor Nina Pham today... The White House confirms no bodily fluids were exchanged during the meeting...

  • *EARNEST SAYS OBAMA SAW NO RISK HUGGING NURSE CURED OF EBOLA

"No Tongues!"








Chart Of The Day: Jeff Bezos "Value Creation" Edition

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 14:34

Yesterday, we summarized all that was wrong in Amazon's worst quarter in history where apparently one can no longer "make up for negative profits with volume."

Here is another way of deconstructing Amazon's love-hate relationship with profitability: in all of its 20+ year history, Amazon has generated under $2 billion in Net Income. The offset? Jeff Bezos' net worth, which according to Bloomberg is about $30 billion (that was the number in April, when Bezos had lost a whopping $6.5 billion due to the collapse of AMZN, by now the number is surely far lower making Bezos the biggest billionaire loser in 2014). Still, for indicative purposes, the data is good enough.

In short: this is what Jeff Bezos' value creation looks like (one does wonders if Amazon has purposefully been a perennial "bottom-line loser" for decades simply to avoid paying taxes).

 

And as a bonus chart, this from the WSJ:

Inspired by @ReutersJamie








Market Liquidity Is Back Near Record Lows

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 14:12

The "Hotel California" market in one simple chart... you can check in, but never check out...

 

 

Source: @NanexLLC








Does Anyone Else Think The Stock Market Is Living On Reds, Vitamin C And Cocaine?

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:59

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The stock market's wild swings of sentiment have got me thinking it's living on reds, vitamin C and cocaine. This is a famous line from the Grateful Dead song Truckin'.
 

I've marked up a one-month chart of the S&P 500 (SPX) to illustrate what I mean:
    Reds are slang for barbiturates, a class of depressants/sedatives (downers). Cocaine induces euphoric highs in which the cokehead feels he possesses god-like powers--for example, he might imagine he is a Federal Reserve member, or even its chairperson. There are multiple interpretations of the role of vitamin C in the lyric, but for the purposes of the chart it serves as a modest dose of something healthy to keep the drug-ravaged market from crashing.
  After multiple swings between cocaine highs brought to earth by downers, the market seems to be tripping on acid again. Though no one can know precisely what hallucinations are spinning through the manic-depressive sentiment of the market, it seems the market has responded to the withdrawal of its free-money cocaine--supplied of course by the Federal Reserve--by entering a drug-induced fantasy that everything's been fixed in the global economy: Europe is growing again, China's housing crisis has passed, U.S. corporate profits will feed corporate buybacks forever, and so stocks can loft higher again--a Bull Market without end.
 

This state of delusion would be amusing if it wasn't so tragic. The acid will wear off soon enough, and a mega-dose of vitamin C will not be enough to restore the shattered health of a manic, drugged-out market careening between euphoria and fear.

 






Fastest Pace Of Withdrawals From JPM's Gold Vault In Over A Year

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:37

While JPM's eligible gold holdings are nowhere near the record lows hit in the summer of 2013, when they dropped to a tiny 46K ounces, sparking concerns of a potential deliverable default, yesterday according to the daily CME gold depository report, JPM saw a whopping 321,500 ounces, or about 10 tons of gold, withdrawn. This was the biggest outflow since the August 5 rebalance when nearly 1.5 million ounces were withdrawn and added, and was the biggest, and is tied with two identical 321,500 oz outflows recorded in early January. As of yesterday, JPM's eligible gold tumbled by 40% in one day, declining to 485.K ounces from over 800K the day before: the lowest eligible gold inventory since almost exactly a year ago.

What is perhaps more notable, is that the recent outflows of eligible golds are taking place at the same time as there has been a significant reduction in the NAV/gold holdings of the GLD ETF. A question thus arises once again: where is the gold being withdrawn to and who is doing these not insubstantial withdrawals.

Finally, it bears pointing out that since September 1, eligible gold at JPM's vault has declined from 1.5 million ounces to under 500K: a decline of over 1 million ounces in just over a month, and matching the fastest decline on record for the JPM vault recorded in early 2013.

It would appear that someone is certainly in a rush to "withdraw" as much eligible gold as possible at a time when gold has been stubbornly trading in the $1200/ounce range, and when significant moves of either physical or paper gold, appear to not have much of an impact on gold price.

Will JPM's gold vault be further emptied today? We will know the answer in just about 3 hours.








Neither the US Nor China Will be an Engine For Global Growth Next Year

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:33

The investment world is banking on real growth being just around the corner.

However, the data does not confirm this view.

Let’s talk about China first. Half of all global growth is expected to come from China, which is forecast to grow by 6.5%-7% next year.

Now, China’s economic numbers are for the most part fictitious. However, there is one metric that cannot be fudged and that is electricity consumption. Either electricity is being used or it is not.

With that in mind, we must consider that China’s electricity demand is collapsing, having fallen to a year over year rate of 3.5% in August 2014.

 

Source: Zerohedge

Indeed, given that Chinese electricity consumption cannot be faked and is growing at just 3.5% year over year, we can safely assume that China’s economy is likely growing at a pace more like HALF of the official forecast of 6.5%-7%.

So China will not be driving global growth.

What about the US?

As is the case in China, official GDP growth numbers in the US are massaged to the point of being fictitious.  The reason for this is that all “adjusted” GDP data involves a “deflator” metric that is meant to adjust for inflation.

The Feds often use an inflation adjustment that is even lower than their official Consumer Price Index metric (which is already massaged to downplay inflation) in order to make GDP growth look greater.

Consider this simple example. Let’s say that the US GDP grew by 10% last year. Now let’s say that inflation also grew by 10%. In this scenario, real inflation adjusted GDP growth was ZERO. However, announcing ZERO GDP growth is a major problem politically. So what do the Feds do? They claim that inflation was just 8%, and BOOM you’ve got 2% GDP growth announced for a year in which real GDP growth was actually zero.

By using nominal GDP measures, you remove the Feds’ phony deflator metric. With that in mind, consider the year over year change in nominal GDP that has occurred.

As you can see, we’ve broken below four, the reading that has been triggered at every recession in the last 30 years. At best, we’re flat-lining. At worst we’re already in recession again.

Don’t believe the hype both China and the US are making up their GDP growth numbers for political reasons. Neither will be a major engine for growth next year…

Which means that the markets are completely mispricing what’s coming… and the stage is set for another Crash.

If you’ve yet to take action to prepare for the second round of the financial crisis, we offer a FREE investment report Financial Crisis "Round Two" Survival Guide that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.

You can pick up a FREE copy at:

http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/roundtwo.html

Best Regards

Phoenix Capital Research

 

 

 








French Unemployed Hits Record High, Hollande Demands EU Budget "Must Be Adapted"

Zerohedge - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:12

France's President Francois Hollande states confidently that "everyone should respeoct treaties," then 'Junckers' it with this stunningly hypocritical bullshit, "budget rules must be adapted" to support growth and France "has done what it has to do" on its deficit... one glance at the following chart suggests that Hollande has done nothing and has been enabled by Draghi... What a farce!!

 

 

So:

  • *HOLLANDE SAYS `EVERYONE' SHOULD RESPECT TREATIES
  • *HOLLANDE SAYS FRANCE RESPECTS DEFICIT TREATY WITH FLEXIBILITY

But:

  • *HOLLANDE SAYS FRANCE `HAS WORK TO DO ON REFORMS'
  • *HOLLANDE SAYS COUNTRIES WITH SURPLUSES SHOULD SUPPORT DEMAND
  • *HOLLANDE SAYS BUDGET RULES `MUST BE ADAPTED' TO SUPPORT GROWTH
  • *HOLLANDE SAYS FRANCE HAS `DONE WHAT IT HAS TO DO' ON DEFICIT

How long before Schaeuble explodes?








This is the only -no risk- way I know about to guarantee a 20% return

Simon Black - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:59

October 24, 2014
Santiago, Chile

I’m going to make you a deal.

For the rest of your life, I’m going to be your silent partner. You’re going to pay me 20% of everything you ever make. Forever.

In return, I’m not going to do anything. I won’t add value to your life or your business. In fact, I’m actually going to be destructive.

For the rest of your life, I’m going to make you fill out a bunch of stupid forms. If you own a business, I’m going to make you hire employees that you don’t need and incur all sorts of costs just to handle all the excess paperwork.

And because I’m your partner, people all around the world won’t want to do business with you. You’ll definitely miss out on all sorts of opportunities because I’m your partner.

Of course, should you decide that you don’t want to pay me my fair share anymore, I’ll send a bunch of goons to drag you out of your home in the middle of night at gunpoint and throw your ass in jail.

And if you want to terminate this relationship altogether, you have to pay me a huge sum up front.

Sounds like a great deal, right?

Of course, no rational human being would ever willingly enter into such a one-sided, ruinous financial relationship.

But this is precisely what taxes are– a completely one-sided, ruinous financial relationship that we’re stuck with by accident of birth.

Everyone knows how draining taxes can be to their personal finances, and an entire industry exists to help people reduce their tax burdens.

Some of these tactics are completely irrational. In financial markets, people often deliberately sell stocks at a loss simply for the tax benefit. Or they’re forced to set up incredibly complex and expensive structures just to ensure the government doesn’t take half of their stuff when they die.

Tax mitigation strategies are important. In a zero interest rate environment where returns paid by most bank deposits, money market funds, and government bonds fail to keep up with inflation, cutting your tax bill can be one of your best returns on investment.

Think about it– if you can save 20% on your taxes, it puts as much money in your pocket as making a 20% investment return. (actually more like a 25% investment return… because you get taxed on your capital gains…)

Earlier this week I briefly mentioned one strategy known as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (often called the foreign income tax exclusion).

This is a way for you to earn up to $99,200, tax free. And if you include your spouse and housing benefits, the tax-free earnings can easily exceed $250,000.

Here’s how it works–

US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income no matter where they live. (This is almost entirely unique to the Land of the Free).

If you’re a US citizen living in Bangladesh and earning money in Pakistan, and you’ve never set foot on US soil, Uncle Sam still expects its fair share of your income.

The key exemption, however, is that non-resident US citizens (i.e. Americans living abroad) can earn up to a certain amount each year, tax free.

This amount varies from year to year. In 2013, for example, the exclusion was $97,600. For 2014, it increased to $99,200.

This means you can earn nearly $100,000 in income while living overseas and not have to pay a dime of income tax on those earnings.

To be clear, the IRS is very particular what qualifies as ‘earned income’. This includes things like salaries, commissions, bonus income, and professional fees, as well as certain allowances and reimbursements like cost of living allowances and moving expenses.

(It’s also possible to set up a business overseas and receive a salary which would be exempt from US individual income tax.)

One of the primary qualifiers to claim this benefit is that your ‘tax home’ must be in a foreign country. And the IRS has two ways for you to demonstrate this.

First is what’s called the Physical Presence Test. In order to qualify, you must have spent 330 full days outside of the United States in a 12-month period, i.e. you can only be in the US for 35 or 36 days in a year.

Note- “full day” means a consecutive 24-hour period from midnight to midnight. So if you depart New York today and arrive to London tomorrow morning October 25 at 10am, your first ‘full day’ won’t be until Sunday.

The other way to qualify for the exclusion is to be a ‘bona fide resident’ of a foreign country for an entire tax year.

This is a much more subjective approach than simply counting the days you spend outside of the US.

Through this test, the IRS looks at a number of circumstances. Are you really living overseas? Do you have a home, bank account, and local ties to a foreign country? Are you a legal resident, or at least going through the process? Is your family living with you?

Even more important– do you maintain a home in the US? Do you stay there when you’re in the US? Are your household goods and personal property still in the US?

Unlike the physical presence test, qualifying under this bona fide residency option means that you can spend more than 35 days in the US… so there’s a bit more flexibility to spend time with friends and family.

And again, both you AND your spouse can qualify, meaning EACH of you can exclude $99,200 of your foreign earned income. This can potentially save you $43,018 or more in federal tax.

Taxes are an enormous benefit of living overseas. Your life can be MUCH richer. In addition to having more freedom and greater lifestyle opportunities, you can save a boatload of money… and stop financing war.

It’s definitely something to consider.

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