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Michael Brown's Parents (And Al Sharpton) Address Media: Investigation Was 'Broken' - Live Feed

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 13:44

Having shifted from a call for calm ("we want peace"), to understandably emotionally proclaiming "burn this bitch down," right after the decision last night (noting "profound disappointment"), Michael Brown's parents are preparing to make a statement (along with Al Sharpton)... claiming that the investigation was 'broken' but once again calling for peace.




Live Feed...

* * *

On Sunday November 23rd the following statement was released by Mike
Brown’s Mom, Lesley McSpadden, and her husband, Louis Head:

However, after the announcement of a non-indictment there was a considerable change in sentiment: 

“You motherf**kers think this is a joke” – “Burn this b*tch down”!

A Tale Of Two Credit Markets: New Auto Loans Highest In 9 Years As New Mortgages Slump Near Record Lows

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 13:38

Remember when three weeks ago, everyone was stunned as the Manufacturing ISM soared to new 3 year highs, continuing this summer's trend of blistering manufacturing, which was largely attributed to a burst of automotive production? Now, courtesy of the latest Q3 household credit report by the NY Fed, we know just how it was funded. According to the report, some $105 billion in new car loans were issued is the third quarter, the highest amount since 2005, and just $20 billion shy of an all time high.

That's the good news. The bad news as Equifax reported two months ago, new subprime loan origination is trending at about 31% and rising. And what's worst, is that recently both Moody's and Fitch joined forces in making up for their past oversights, and "slammed subprime auto bonds" suggesting this latest bout of subprime driven euphoria boosting the US manufacturing sector may not last. Or it very well may: after all the central banks are always on the lookout for new things to monetize.


But while US consumers just can't get enough of car loans, they are increasingly giving up on that other, levered purchase: mortgages. As the next chart shows, mortgage origination, while rebounding modestly from recent record lows, is still at levels that otherwise would suggest a broad economic recession.

Perhaps when all else fails, US households can just live out of their financed cars.

Source: NY Fed

Ferguson Fatality: Black Male In 20s Found Burned & Shot Dead In Trunk Of Car

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 13:27

Multiple sources overnight reported gun fire around Ferguson and while one police officer was reported shot in the leg, this morning, the night's first fatality has been discovered. As NY Daily News reports, police found a body inside a car parked near the Canfield apartment complex in the St. Louis suburb, close to where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead in August. The victim, a black male in his 20s, was shot and burned in the trunk of a white Pontiac car with the driver's side window shot out.



As KTVI reports,

A body was found in a Ferguson neighborhood just east of the Canfield apartments in the 9400 block of Glen Owen drive.


The body was found in a white Pontiac car parked in a driveway at around 9am.
The driver’s side window is shot out.
The victim is a black male in his 20’s.


There is no personal information about identity of the victim, or ownership of the vehicle.

The investigation is being classified as a suspicious death.


The cause is still under investigation.

NY Daily news adds,

The victim ? an unidentified black male in his 20s ? was shot and burned, according to local reports.

*  *  *

St.Louis police issued a statement

World Headed For Massive Chaos As Next Crisis Set To Unfold

King World News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 13:20
Today a man who has been involved in the financial markets for 50 years warned King World News that the world is headed for massive chaos as the next global crisis is now set to unfold. John Embry, who is business partners with billionaire Eric Sprott, also issued an ominous warning to investors, “Enjoy Thanksgiving in the United States because after that things may get really unpleasant.”

Nothing Has Changed - And That's The Problem

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 13:02

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Playing monetary games has done nothing to eliminate moral hazard.

If we step back and look at the past six years since the global financial meltdown of 2008, we see that in terms of financial and political power, nothing has changed--and that's the problem. If nothing has changed structurally, then none of the problems that caused the meltdown have truly been addressed.

All that's changed is the vast expansion of monetary games has masked the dysfunctional reality that the same old vested interests that had a death-grip on wealth and power in 2008 have tightened their death-grip in the past six years.

Here's the problem facing every nation and trading bloc:

1. Vested interests institutionalized moral hazard, separating their gains from the consequences of taking risks. This is also known as privatized gains, socialized losses: vested interests reaped the gains from risky speculative bets, but then passed the staggering losses onto the central banks and taxpayers while keeping the gains.

2. The vested interests control the machinery of governance, so there is no way the central state will force the vested interests to absorb the losses that are rightfully theirs. Instead of de-institutionalizing moral hazard, governments have spewed thousands of pages of complicated regulations, in effect, grudgingly nudging the barn door half-closed after the horses of systemic risk galloped away in 2008.

3. With moral risk still institutionalized, nothing has changed: all the gains from subprime auto loans, selling sovereign bonds issued by insolvent governments, etc., are private, and all the risk is being transferred to the central banks and taxpayers.

The money-printing of quantitative easing--central banks printing money to purchase sovereign bonds and mortgages--is actually a form of money-laundering, as all this expansion of central bank balance sheets, debt and liquidity enables the vested interests to expand their control of the financial and political power centers at the expense of everyone else.

Take a look at the vast expansion of debt and the modest impact of that debt on GDP

Look at the unprecedented expansion of the Fed's balance sheet and ask cui bono-- to whose benefit?

Since moral hazard--the disconnect of risk and consequence--is the fundamental cause of the global meltdown of 2008, the only solution is to eliminate moral hazard. By this I mean de-institutionalizing moral hazard.

But de-institutionalizing moral hazard means smashing the vested interests' primary engine of wealth and political power.

The only way forward is to assign the losses that have been piled up in the shadows to those who created and bought the risk for their own gain. That means the investment banks that originated the subprime mortgages and auto loans, etc., and the mutual funds, pension funds, wealth funds, etc. that bought them as "low-risk" investments.

Right now, we're bailing out the con-artists (the banks) and their credulous marks-- the suckers who foolishly trusted the grifters of Wall Street, London, Shanghai, etc.

This re-linking of risk and consequence is not only the only moral way forward--it's also the only political and financial way to clear the poison of moral hazard from the system.

Saving vested interests from the losses they earned and they deserve poisons the entire financial system. When the poisoned system finally collapses, it will destroy everyone with a stake in the system--including the vested interests who reckoned that their political power would save them from the losses that are rightfully theirs.

Playing monetary games has done nothing to eliminate moral hazard; indeed, playing monetary games cannot possibly eliminate moral hazard, as monetary policy enforces moral hazard.

Those playing monetary games--Kuroda, Draghi, Yellen et al.--will discover this, but only after it's too late to stop the slide into the abyss.

How The World's Most Leveraged Hedge Fund Got Away With Insider Trading

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 12:32

While everyone is aware by now that the biggest component of SAC's abnormal outperformance over the years was its recourse to "information arbitrage" and its reliance on "expert networks", both of which managed to send the SAC logo to Federal Purgatory, if not the hedge fund's infamous art-collecting founder, one player in the massive hedge fund insider trading ring which was busted over the past few years, involves the one hedge fund, which as we have shown in the past, has the highest leverage in the US if not the world: Citadel, with $142 billion in regulatory assets.


Today, we learn just how Ken Griffin's conglomerate also got its hands clean, and more importantly, how it managed to avoid any legal consequences.

As Bloomberg reported overnight, "the FBI files spell it out: An analyst at Citadel LLC, the hedge fund with $23 billion in capital invested globally, told agents he made millions of dollars trading on information from a company insider."

Normally, this would have been enough for the FBI to raid said hedge fund and at least settle for a fine, if not pursue outright prison time for those involved. This time, however, it did not.

Here are the details:

It was December 2011, and the Justice Department was deep into a seven-year investigation into illegal stock tips. As authorities homed in on people at several other hedge funds over leaks from a Dell Inc. employee, agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation began questioning the Citadel analyst about the friendship he formed with the same Dell insider.


In confidential FBI reports summarizing those interviews, agents recounted how the Citadel analyst received market-sensitive information from the Dell employee in 2008 and 2009. In one trade he told agents he made, the analyst bet against Dell after learning it would announce disappointing earnings, bringing in $5 million to $6 million when the company’s shares fell by more than 10 percent. He told agents he later discarded records. 


The analyst discussed helping the Dell employee hunt for a Wall Street job, the agents wrote. “It became an ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’” relationship, they wrote in a summary of a Jan. 4, 2012, interview with the Citadel analyst. 


Neither the analyst, Richard Farmer, nor the Dell employee, Rob Ray, was sued by regulators or prosecuted. Chicago-based Citadel hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.

It would be worse if the Feds had turned a blind eye from the very beginning, blaming a heavy workload or insufficient budgets (as the CFTC did every time someone mentioned gold manipulation). In this case, however, they investigated.

Four people familiar with the probe said U.S. authorities investigated Farmer. Those people, who spoke confidentially because the matter isn’t public, said authorities didn’t have evidence to charge him. They declined to elaborate.

It would appear the US authorities have a rather stretched definition of evidence then, especially as none other than Steve Cohen was about to find out:

The Chicago fund’s name surfaced once in connection with Bharara’s probe. The July 2013 indictment of SAC Capital said Cohen received a warning about someone he wanted to hire. An unnamed employee of an unidentified hedge fund told Cohen that the prospective hire was part of an “insider trading group” where he worked. That fund was Citadel, people familiar with the prosecution said.


Citadel, in a statement at the time, called the claim baseless. SAC hired the person, who had worked in a different part of Citadel than Farmer, as a portfolio manager. He was later convicted of insider trading at SAC.

Farmer's lawyer, just like Bill Dudley, had some advice for any inquires: leave it alone: “Farmer, approached at his home in July when he was still working for Citadel, declined to comment. He has since left the firm “on amicable terms,” according to his lawyer, David Stetler.  When contacted by the government, my client truthfully and candidly answered any and all questions, allowing the U.S. Attorney to conclude that no charges were warranted,” Stetler wrote in a statement. “In fairness, that should be the end of the story.”

What follows is what the real end of the story should have been. Bloomberg detours into a quick summary of the Dell insider trading probe that snagged among others Galleon, Level Global and SAC. But not Citadel.

Ray’s Dell tips had also been reaching someone at Citadel, Goyal told agents during his own FBI interviews.


Goyal said Ray had spoken of being contacted by a Citadel employee, Farmer, who “was very aggressive” and “trying to get numbers and data points from Ray,” FBI agents wrote in summarizing the interviews with Goyal.


On Dec. 8, 2011, two FBI agents approached Ray, who was no longer working at Dell, near his new offices... On Dec. 30, 2011, the last day of a slack holiday trading week, an FBI agent and two assistant U.S. attorneys met with Farmer and his lawyer.


Farmer, a Colorado native with a Dartmouth College psychology degree and a University of Chicago MBA, covered technology stocks at Merrill Lynch until 2007. Citadel then hired him as an analyst, an agent wrote.


Farmer began calling Ray with questions about the industry shortly after the two met at the Dell dinner, agents cited both men as saying. Farmer told the FBI he eventually acted as a mentor, editing Ray’s resume and talking about job leads.

There is much more on the nuances of the investigation, but the punchline was all too clear: Farmer, and Citadel, ended up making millions in dollars in profits on what is at this point (because Citadel hasn't even been forced to admit or deny guilt) still allegely non-public information.

At Citadel, analysts such as Farmer could trade portions of a portfolio and share in the gains and losses stemming from their picks. Farmer said a superior had berated him for his performance and urged him to take some “swings” trading stocks, the agents wrote. Agents described trades that Farmer said he made, starting in 2008, using the Dell tips. It wasn’t clear whether he was working from memory during the interviews.


Farmer recalled that he used Ray’s tips in the summer of 2008, according to the FBI memos. In July, agents wrote, Farmer held a short position in Dell, a bet that the shares’ value would fall. Ray helped Farmer to confirm his view about Dell’s weakness, the agents wrote. Farmer told the agents that he brought in $5 million to $6 million, they wrote, when the shares dropped 15 to 18 percent.


It was the next month -- after markets closed on Aug. 28, 2008 -- that Dell announced its gross margin, and profit, had missed analysts’ projections. Shares fell 13.8 percent the next day and Dell lost $7 billion market value as roughly 100 million shares changed hands, more than twice the trading in the days before and after. Prosecutors characterized trades that Chiasson, Newman and Steinberg made on the gross-margin miss, based on information that came through Goyal, as “the big shorts.”


Farmer also told the agents that before Dell’s 2009 meeting with analysts, Ray -- who had by then moved from his job in investor-relations to corporate development -- had “volunteered that there was margin pressure.” Farmer reversed his small bet that Dell shares would rise and shorted them instead, agents wrote in the interview summary. The trade brought a six-figure profit when the news became public, they wrote.


When Dell publicly released its worse-than-projected figures after markets closed on July 13, 2009 -- the eve of Dell’s analyst day -- the company’s shares fell 8.1 percent.  Farmer had another conversation with Ray after analyst day in which Ray advised Farmer that margins were even worse than reported, the agents wrote. Farmer made his short position larger, they wrote.

So with all this information how did the world's most levered hedge fund get away with insider trading? Simple: "wiping the slate clean."

Shortly after returning from a trip in late 2009, Farmer erased electronic notes, in Microsoft Word format, that were stored on thumb drives, Zip drives and a shared drive at Citadel, agents wrote in a summary of one of the interviews with him. Farmer also threw away his handwritten notes because that was his normal practice and because they were incriminating, agents wrote.


Farmer got rid of e-mails as well, according to their summary.


“This,” they wrote, “wiped the slate clean.”

So all it took to get the Feds (and SEC) to throw away a case against an insider trader at Citadel was... erasing all the evidence? How did nobody else think of that. One person who clearly didn't was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, despite his pompous rhetoric.

“Part of our job is to make sure that the world understands,” Bharara said in a Jan. 7, 2014, interview on PBS’s Frontline, “that it doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, who you’re connected to, that you have to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Everyone else... except Citadel.

Which begs two questions: the world knows about Too Big To Prosecut banks, but have we reached a point where a $100 billion +, massively levered, hedge fund is also untouchable in the US?

Or is the reason far more prosaic: as we have long stated, the one entity that the NY Fed engages in intraday, momentum-breaking market interventions, elsewhere known by a familiar three-leter acronym, is none other than Citadel. Has it now become the rule of law that any hedge fund that facilitates the Fed in its illegal manipulation of equity markets is henceforth above the law?

We don't anticipate to ever get the answer.

In Great Britain, Protecting Pedophile Politicians Is A Matter Of "National Security"

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 12:06

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I’ve long written about how the percentage of sociopaths within a group of humans becomes increasingly concentrated the higher you climb within the positions of power in a society, with it being most chronic amongst those who crave political power (see: Humanity is Rising).

The reason for this is obvious. Those with the sickest minds, and who wish to act upon their destructive fantasies, understand that they can most easily get away with their deeds if they are protected by an aura of power and ostensible respectability. They believe that as a result of their status, no one would dare accuse them of horrific activities, and if it ever came to that, they could quash any investigation. Unfortunately for us all, this is typically the case. I previously covered the issue of powerful pedophiles in the UK in the piece: Former BBC Host “Sir” Jimmy Savile Exposed as Major Player in Massive Pedophile Ring.

Now we have evidence of yet another case.

The Guardian reports that:

The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed.


Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.

Ah, national security. Remember that the next time you are lectured that we need to give up our civil liberties in the name of “national security.” Think about what that really means. It really means the security of the status quo to continue to behave like insane criminals with zero accountability.

The other said that his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter sought to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London, where a group of high-profile paedophiles was said to have operated and may have killed a child. Now it has emerged that these claims are impossible to verify or discount because the D-notice archives for that period “are not complete”.


“It feels like just another example of key documents from that period going missing. We need to know more about what has happened. The journalists who have said that D-notices were issued are respected people with no reason to lie.”


The two journalists, Don Hale, the former editor of the Bury Messenger, and Hilton Tims, news editor of the Surrey Comet between 1980 and 1988, both recall their publications being issued with D-notices around 1984. Tims, a veteran of the Daily Mail and BBC, where he was head of publicity for the launch of colour TV, said that his chief reporter had informed him that a D-notice had been issued to him after he tried to report on a police investigation into events at Elm Guest House, where Smith is said to have been a regular visitor.


“The reporter was told that there were a number of high-profile people involved and they were getting boys from a care home in the Richmond area. So I put someone on to it, the chief reporter I think, to make inquiries. It was the following day that we had a D-notice slapped on us; the reporter came over and told me. It was the only time in my career.”


Hale, who was awarded an OBE for his successful campaign to overturn the murder conviction of Stephen Downing, a victim of one of the longest-known miscarriages of justice, said he was issued with a D-notice when editor of the Bury Messenger. He had been given a file by Castle, by then an MEP, which had details of a Home Office investigation into allegations made by the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens of the existence of a Westminster paedophile ring. The files contained the name of 16 MPs said to be involved and another 40 who were supportive of the goals of the Paedophile Information Exchange, which sought to reduce the age of consent.

The worst part about incidents like these, is that those closest to the situations will often blindly protect the offenders. Such as what is described in the following articles.

From Outside Magazine: The Sex-Abuse Scandal Plaguing USA Swimming

From the Associated PressClassroom Sex Abuse Case to Cost Nearly $140M

My heart goes out to all these young, helpless victims, and all those others whose stories haven’t been told.

Oil Plunges As Venezuela Hints No Output Reduction

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:59

Following the four-way pre-OPEC meeting between Russia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia, Venezuela's foreign minister warned:


And oil prices slipped notably. "The most important thing is we are talking," Ramirez noted... but markets are not waiting.



Furthermore, Rosneft's Sechin warns "Oil market is oversupplied but not critically," which seems to fit with the collapse of demand perspective...


Charts: bloomberg


Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:59

















I said Looters, not Hooters!!!



Ferguson In Flames: The Morning After

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:40

Shortly after 9pmET last night, prosecutors relayed the grand jury's decision not to charge white Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson over the death of black teenager Michael Brown... and all hell broke loose...






And finally... Michael Brown's mother...




Source: Bloomberg

Here Comes France: Right-Wing Leader Marine Le Pen Demands Central Bank Repatriate French Gold

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:31

First Germany, then the Netherlands, perhaps Switzerland this weekend, and now the French right-wing Front National, which shockingly came first in May's European parliament elections, and whose leader Marine Le Pen is currently polling in first place in a hypothetical presidential election (in both a first and run off round), ahead of president Hollande, has sent a letter to the governor of the French Central Bank, the Banque de France, demanding that France join the list of nations which have repatriated, or at least tried to, their gold.

From her letter, here is the full list of French demands (google translated):

  • Urgent repatriation on French soil of all of our gold reserves located abroad.
  • An immediate discontinuation of any gold sales program.
  • Conversely, a gradual reallocation of a significant portion of foreign exchange reserves in the balance sheet of the Bank of France by buying gold at each significant decrease in the price of an ounce (recommendation 20%) .
  • A suspension of any financial commitment or loan contract would wager that our gold reserves.
  • At the patrimonial and financial balance of the 2004 gold sales transactions ordered by N. Sarkozy.

Her full letter below (link)

Mr. Christian Noyer

Governor of the Banque de France
31 rue Croix des Petits-Champs
75049 PARIS Cedex 01

Nanterre, November 24, 2014

Open letter to Mr Christian Noyer on the gold reserves of France

Dear Governor

On behalf of the French and in my capacity as the main opposition leader, I am writing to you because it is my duty to present a petition on the gold reserves of France, under the best interests of our nation.

Even before the outbreak of the 2008 crisis, the National Front had anticipated and informed the political institutions of the future worsening of the macro-economic and geopolitical context. As part of the business model increasingly libertarian adopted by France under pressure from Brussels, no economic fundamentals may not sustained improvement. All French can see that the austerity policies demanded by the EU and the ECB and implemented by the government are a proven failure and serious for our country.

The monetary institution you lead a historic mission to be the custodian of national central bank monetary reserves including gold reserves. According to our strategic vision and sovereign, they are neither the state nor the Bank of France but the French people and in addition serve as the ultimate guarantee of public debt and our currency.

In monetary Cold War played between the Western countries and the BRICS countries, gold gradually takes an important role. According to the World Gold Council, China's official gold reserves, India and Russia have increased significantly between 2007 and 2013.
For these reasons and because of the rapid growth of global systemic risk, it is of utmost importance to the future solvency of our nation to engage, by mid-2015, a detailed audit procedure, the results will be the subject of a report. This report must obtain validation of French macro-prudential authorities, ACPR, and will be made public in the year.

This comprehensive audit should contain:

  • A complete inventory of physical gold amounts to 2435 tons currently displayed and their quality (serial number, purity, bars 'Good Delivery' ...), conducted by an independent French body (to be defined). This inventory, under supervision of a bailiff, must indicate the country in which the gold reserves are stored in France or abroad.
  • A census of all formal financial employment agreement or secret vis-à-vis private banks and corporations, or bilateral loan between France and national and international institutions, having pawned the gold of France to ensure rescue of the euro. In this case, the comprehensive audit should contain the conditions of agreement or loans.


Whereas, on 30 November, will take place in Switzerland a vote on a request from popular initiative referendum "Save gold for Switzerland" of the UDC party (Democratic Union of the Centre) which provides for the repatriation of their reserves of gold on their soil.

Whereas at the request of some national central banks informed, this country phenomenon for the "return of national gold reserves" and democratic control exists since 2013 in Germany (Bundesbank), Poland etc.

Whereas the Dutch Central Bank recently said it had repatriated 122.5 tons of gold.

Whereas, on 19 May 2014 the Bank of France along with other banks of the Eurosystem, announced it has signed the Washington Agreement gold sales CBGA 4 (Dirty Gold Under the Central Bank Gold Agreements) which provides no transfer of quotas on this five-year period (2014-2019), in contrast to the three previous agreements.

Whereas in fact, the Bank of France already independent, conducted as part of the agreement CBGA 2 on gold sales agreed in 2004 by Nicolas Sarkozy, then Minister of Economy and Finance of the Raffarin government .

The declared official target of more actively manage the foreign exchange reserves of the state to generate € 100 million in additional tax revenue in 2005. N. Sarkozy also said that gold sales would be used "either to finance investments that prepare the future, either to reduce the debt, but in no case to fund operating expenses. "

Over the period 2004-2012, about 614.6 tonnes of gold were sold by France, while at the same time the other central banks of the Eurosystem with the ECB have agreed to limit their gold sales. According to a report of the Court of Auditors in 2012, this operation is extremely costly for public authorities and constitutes a serious violation of the national heritage, made without any democratic consultation.

Mr Governor, according to your statements, "gold remains an important element of global monetary reserves." For the French, you are considered the ultimate guarantor of the security of this gold reserve and therefore the stability of our currency and national financial stability. As a result, your responsibility is huge.

Also, depending on the situation we discover, I urge you to do it:

  • Urgent repatriation on French soil of all of our gold reserves located abroad.
  • In immediate discontinuation of any gold sales program.
  • Conversely, a gradual reallocation of a significant portion of foreign exchange reserves in the balance sheet of the Bank of France by buying gold at each significant decrease in the price of an ounce (recommendation 20%) .
  • A suspension of any financial commitment or loan contract would wager that our gold reserves.
  • At the patrimonial and financial balance of the 2004 gold sales transactions ordered by N. Sarkozy.

The implementation of these measures is crucial for the future of France face socio-economic problems that may occur.

Just like your heroic predecessors of the Bank of France in 1939 and 1940 had organized the evacuation of French gold, you need to undertake this vast national treasure of the security operation, patriotic act which will be recognized in due time by the public opinion.

I sincerely hope that, respectful of your duties as a senior official in the service of the state, you demonstrate lucidity and courage necessary for the defense of the general interest of our country. The stakes are high, it is the future of France in question!

Please accept, Excellency the Governor, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Marine Le Pen

The Smart Money Is Selling the Farm

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:31

“Buy stocks! It’s a great opportunity! They present great value.”


This is the non-stop mantra espoused on financial media. It’s simply astounding given that


1)   Everyone with a modicum of sense knows stocks are in a bubble

2)   Financial media viewership is plunging to multi-decade lows (you think they’d consider changing the content?)


Here are a few thoughts no one  in the mainstream financial media seems to address.


First of all, corporate insiders are dumping shares at a pace not seen since 2000.


That’s correct. The folks who know more about their companies and future growth prospects than anyone in the world are unloading their shares as quickly as possible.


Investment legends are doing the same. Warren Buffett, perhaps the single biggest fan of stocks in the last 100 years is currently sitting on over $50 billion in cash. Buffett’s partner Charlie Munger recently commented that he has not bought a single stock in his personal portfolio in over two years.


Aside from Buffett and Munger, Carl Icahn, Stanley Druckenmiller and numerous other investment legends have warned of a potential market catastrophe. George Soros has even taken out a record size bet on the market collapsing.


Beyond the legends, institutional investors have been net sellers of stocks for most of 2014. The same goes for hedge funds. Do you think they’d be doing this if they thought stocks were offering a lot of opportunities and value today?


Market volume is collapsing to a dwindle and fewer and fewer companies area participating in the rally. Both of these are clear signs of a top forming. Nearly half of the stocks on the NASDAQ are down over 20% from their recent peaks.


Global growth is slowing down sharply. The only non-manipulated economic data point out of China (electricity consumption) shows GDP growth there is HALF of the official 7.5%.


In Europe, Italy is back in recession for the third time since 2008. Germany’s economy contracted in the second quarter of 2014 and will likely be in recession before the first quarter of 2015. France has registered zero growth for six months now. And the US is showing anemic growth if any.


So we have corporate insiders selling the farm, investment legends warning of a collapse, institutional investors selling stocks, and global growth slowing rapidly.


And now is the time to buy stocks?


Take note and prepare.


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:


Best Regards

Phoenix Capital Research





30 Year Yield Drops Below 3.00% As Richmond Fed Tumbles Most Since 2006

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:19

Despite the clear message from stocks that everything in the world is awesome, 30Y Treasury yields have tumbled back below 3.00% - 1-month lows. Perhaps the slew of disappointing data is right after all that the US is not decoupling... just don't tell stocks. Against expectations of a 16 print, Richmond fed printed 4, plunging from its  exuberant 20 levels last month. This is the biggest miss since Jan 2013 (and biggest MoM drop since May 2006) as new order volume collapsed, employment and workweek tumbled, and most major future expectations indices dropped.


Richmond fed collapsed...


What do stocks know?


As 30Y broke back below 3.00%


Richmond Fed Breakdown...

Record Stocks & Plunging Gas Prices Send Consumer Confidence Tumbling, Biggest Miss Since June 2010

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:07

With business confidence at post-crisis lows (in the US and around the world), it is hardly surprising that consumer confidence would fade and at 88.7 (vs 96.0 expectations), this is the biggest miss since June 2010. It appears last month's exuberant surge/beat was anomalous as we tumble from 94.5 in October, in spite of tumbling gas prices and record high stocks... The drop was largely driven by a slide in 'hope' as expectations fell to the lowest since June. Labor, employment, and business conditions all dropped.


Apple Market Cap Tops $700 Billion, Netflix Goes Red In 2014

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:49

Apple is not Microsoft.. and Netflix has lost its momo mojo...


Apple tops $700 billion market cap and is up over 50% year-to-date...


And has entirely decoupled from its MSFT analog...


Meanwhile Netflix has once again given up all its year-to-date gains...


Charts: Bloomberg

Another Hedge Fund Legend Calls It Quits: Phil Falcone Leaves Harbinger Group, Gets $20.5 Million Severance

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:47

Another day, another (former) hedge fund legend calls it quits, this time embattled one-time hedge fund legend (until that whole Securities Fraud charge appeared) Phil Falcone, whose Harbinger hedge fund was a decade ago the dream venue for most hedge fund traders and analysts, and who as of December 1, will no longer be CEO and Chairman of the Harbinger Group. But don't cry for Falcone: he will depart with a $20.5 Million lump sum payment. His replacement: the man who has already been intimately involved with Harbinger - Leucadia's Joe Steinberg, who on numerous previous occasions has provided critical funding to the embattled conglomerate.

From the release:

Harbinger Group Inc. today announced that Philip Falcone, HGI's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors (the "Board") will, effective December 1, 2014, resign from his positions with the Company. Joseph S. Steinberg, an independent member of the Board, will become Chairman of the BoardHGI will name a Chief Executive Officer upon the completion of a search process.


Mr. Steinberg, the incoming Board Chairman, commented that, "During Mr. Falcone's tenure as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the Company experienced significant growth and success, beginning as a company with approximately $140 million market capitalization in 2009 rising to today's market capitalization of approximately $2.6 billion. We thank Phil for his many years of hard work and leading HGI." 


Simultaneously with Mr. Falcone's resignation, Mr. Keith Hladek, an HGI director, will also resign from the Board.  Mr. Falcone and Mr. Hladek are expected to dedicate their efforts to HC2 Holdings, Inc. and Harbinger Capital Partners, LLC. In connection with his resignation, the Company will pay Mr. Falcone a lump sum payment consisting of $20,500,000 one-time payment, $16,500,000 in respect of Mr. Falcone's previously earned and awarded annual bonus for fiscal year 2014 and $3,300,000 as a pro-rata bonus for fiscal year 2015.  In addition, the warrants to acquire common stock of HGI that were previously awarded to Mr. Falcone will continue to vest in accordance with their existing vesting schedule.

Congratulations to Joe Steinberg, who with the recent addition of Jefferies, is building a financial conglomerate empire which according to some is starting to become a Berkshire Hathaway lite.

Case Shiller Reports "Broad-Based Slowdown For Home Prices", First Monthly Decrease Since November 2013

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:21

While the just revised Q3 GDP surprised everyone to the upside, the Case Shiller index for September which was also reported moments ago, showed yet another month of what it called a "Broad-based Slowdown for Home Prices." The bad news: the 20-City Composite gained 4.9% year-over-year, compared to 5.6% in August. However, this was modestly above the 4.6% expected. However, what was more troubling is that on a sequential basis, the Top 20 Composite MSA posted a modest -0.03% decline, the first sequential drop since February. And from the report itself: "The National Index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013. The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston."

Case Shiller Year over Year

and Month over Month


Case Shiller's own visualization:

From the report:

“The overall trend in home price increases continues to slow down,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The National Index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013. The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston. The West and Southwest, previously strong regions, are seeing price gains fade. The only region showing any sustained strength is the Southeast led by Florida; price gains are also evident in Atlanta and Charlotte.


“The 10- and 20-City Composites continued their year-over-year downward trend, gaining 4.8% and 4.9% compared to last month’s year-over-year gains of 5.6%. Las Vegas, which has shown doubledigit annual gains, posted an annual return of 9.1%, its first time below 10% since October 2012. Miami, however, continues to impress with another double digit annual gain of 10.3%. It is the only city that currently has a year-over-year double digit gain. Charlotte was the only city in September to show an annual increase relative to last month. Eighteen of the 20 cities reported slower annual gains compared to last month.


“Other housing statistics paint a mixed to slightly positive picture. Housing starts held above one million at annual rates on gains in single family homes, sales of existing homes are gaining, builders’ sentiment is improving, foreclosures continue to be worked off and mortgage default rates are at precrisis levels. With the economy looking better than a year ago, the housing outlook for 2015 is stable to slightly better.”

That said, if China continues its recent easing path, expect US housing prices to jump in the coming months as Chinese "hot money" once again is parked in the once place where, in the absence of anonymous Swiss bank accounts, it is treated best: US real estate.

What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day — Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:19

What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day

Paul Craig Roberts

When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

Apparently, the different English colonies and later American states each had their own day of Thanksgiving, if they had one. Abraham Lincoln tried to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, but the country was divided by the War of Northern Aggression.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday with the completion of the Reconstruction of the South after the War of Northern Aggression and the extermination of the Plains Indians by the Union generals in the 1870s. This taints Thanksgiving as a celebration of the preservation and expansion of the American Empire and accurately reflects the goal of the political forces behind Lincoln.

Today, Thanksgiving is simply known as “Turkey Day” and a time of retail sales. But as you eat your Thanksgiving meal, contemplate that what you are really celebrating is an Empire rooted in war crimes. If Lincoln had lost, and if there had been at that time a Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan would have been hung as war criminals.

Sheridan was probably the worst of the lot. His war crimes against the South, especially those he committed in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, must have been forgotten by Southerns who vote Republican, the Party of Lincoln and Sheridan. But Sheridan’s crimes against the Indians were worse. He attacked the Indians in their winter quarters, destroying their food supplies, and sent professional hunters to exterminate the Buffalo, declaring: “Let them kill until the buffalo is exterminated,” thus depriving the Plains Indians of their main food source.

Considering the enormity of the Republican Party’s crimes against the South, it is a testament to the forgetfulness of people that Southerners vote Republican. Sheridan expressed well the Republican attitude toward the South, declaring on several occasions that “if I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell.”

In the 1870s when Democrats won elections in Louisiana, Sheridan, who had power over the state, declared the Democrats to be bandits who would be subjected to his military tribunals.

Sheridan graduated near the bottom of his West Point Class, but his immorality and viciousness propelled him to the rank of Commanding General of the US Army. Today he would delight in the endless US bombings of women and children in seven countries.

Note: The War of Northern Aggression is the South’s description for what those dedicated to preserving the Union called the Civil War. The South’s term seems more correct. The Union forces invaded the South. A Civil War occurs when contending parties engage in violence for control of the government. But the Southern states were not contending for control of the US government; they exercised their right of self-determination and withdrew from the union into which they had voluntarily entered. It was an act of secession based in divergent economic interests between an export agricultural economy in the South and a rising industrial economy in the North in need of protective tariffs. The Southern secession was not an act of war for control over the government in Washington.

Unionists saw secession as a threat to empire. Another country could be a contender for the lands to the West. In his books, The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked, Thomas DiLorenzo makes a case that the War of Northern Aggression was waged in behalf of empire. He quotes Lincoln to the effect that he would preserve slavery if it would preserve the Union, and, if memory serves, DiLorenzo quotes Lincoln’s generals advising him not to throw a bone to abolitionists by saying it was a war to end slavery or much of the Union army would desert.

Today Americans think of themselves as citizens of the United States. But in 1860 people thought of themselves as citizens of states. When Robert E. Lee was offered a top command in the Union army, he declined on the grounds that he could not draw his sword on his native state of Virginia. Lincoln used the war to establish the supremacy of the central government in Washington over the states to which the Constitution had given most functions of government.

The supremacy of the central government that Lincoln established advanced the forces of empire.

The “war to end slavery,” like the Iraq war to protect America from “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” looks more like fictional cover for the employment of violence in pursuit of empire than a moral crusade.

The post What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on

Nigeria Raises Rates, Devalues To Defend Collapsing Currency As Oil-Price Blowback Spreads

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:14

Having exposed the demise of various oil-producing nations' currencies previously, it is noteworthy that Nigeria folded today and devalued the Naira peg to the USDollar by over 8% from 155 to 168 and widened its 'intervention' bands from 3% to 5% (the upper band is where the market is trading). Furthermore, the central bank raised rates from 12% to 13%.

All oil-producing nations are seeing dramatic pressure on their currencies since oil topped...

Forcing Nigeria to devalue...


The adjusted peg appears to 'try' to cap the collapse of the currency at current levels after the old peg-band was crushed a few weeks ago... and Nigeria is rapidly running out of reserves to defend its currency.


Unfortunately, the currency remains notably weaker...


Charts: Bloomberg

Q3 GDP Revised Above Highest Estimate, Prints 3.9%

Zerohedge - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 09:44

Just as the OECD cut US GDP further, here comes the BEA with an impressive first revision to the Q3 GDP, which succeeded in fixing all those things that were lacking in the first report which said GDP had grown 3.5% in the quarter. Moments ago, the revised number slammed expectations of a modest decling to 3.3%, rising by3.9%, above the highest Wall Street estimate (range was 2.8% to 3.8%), with the boost coming from all those components that disappointed in the first go around, namely Personal Consumption (which rose from 1.8% to 2.2%), contributing 1.51% of the final GDP print, inventories subtracting far less, or just -0.12% compared to -0.57%, and fixed investment revised to 0.97% from 0.74%. Finally, while exports were revised modestly lower, a small decline in imports also offset the net decline in trade contribution.

In a nutshell:

  • 3Q GDP forecast range 2.8% to 3.8% from 81 economists
  • GDP rose to 3.9% compared to advance est. of 3.5% last month
  • Personal consumption rose 2.2% in 3Q after rising 2.5% prior quarter
  • GDP price index rose 1.4% in 3Q after rising 2.1% prior quarter
  • Core PCE q/q rose 1.4% in 3Q after rising 2.0% prior quarter



And a long-term GDP history:


And while one may debate the calculation method, or whether the US is decoupling from the rest of the world, this latest data merely confirms that the Fed is certainly on track to hike rates in the summer of 2015 as it has been warning for a long time. Unless of course, the rebound that many economists had expected in Q4 GDP in fact took place in Q3, and unless the harsh winter proves to be just as bad as last year and lead to a collapse in the coming GDP prints.


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