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Brexit: I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea

Daily Bell - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 14:58

On November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill, then ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, rose to speak at a debate in the House of Commons:

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.

Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;

but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.

This may be the perfect summation of what democracy is supposed to be.

And western nations– particularly the US and UK– have been champions of ‘democracy’ around the world (though they typically mean ‘republic’).

Now, today the voters of the United Kingdom go to the polls to decide whether or not their country will remain in the European Union.

This is about as democratic as is gets– direct voting by the people to choose their fate.

Or so they claim.

In reality, each side has had a long, drawn out campaign to influence the outcome.

The ‘leave’ leadership has been scaring voters with horrific stories of evil brown people who will infiltrate the United Kingdom should the country remain in the EU.

I mean, I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea.

Meanwhile the ‘remain’ side has been threatening eternal economic damnation and financial Armageddon.

Most of the political and media establishment falls in the ‘remain’ camp, so this is where the propaganda becomes painfully obvious.

The IMF, for example, published a report recently suggesting that Britain leaving the EU would permanently lower incomes in the United Kingdom.

Really? Permanently?

So if voters choose to leave the EU, then the UK, which traces its sovereignty back more than 1,000 years and once had an empire so vast they ruled the entire world, will never be able to recover forever and ever until the end of time…?

We’re honestly supposed to believe that a few decades within the European Union has irrevocably thwarted Britain’s 1,000 year history in being able to achieve economic growth independently?

Or that Iceland (not a member of the European Union) can do it, but the UK cannot?

Or that a bunch of IMF bureaucrats can see decades, let alone centuries into the future with 100% certainty?

This is such blatant scaremongering, they’re not even pretending to be professional and unbiased. And this is direct from one of the top financial agencies in the world.

Clearly these people truly love democracy and embrace the idea of voters independently determining their own fate.

The British government (firmly in the ‘remain’ camp) has been using taxpayer funds to support its cause, which is really bizarre when you think about it.

If you’re British, even if you want to vote ‘leave’, the government has been using your money to influence your vote in the other direction.

One of the most absurd scare tactics has been telling people that they’ll lose visa-free travel rights to the European continent if the UK leaves the EU.

This is completely absurd.

Nicaragua has visa-free travel to Europe. Paraguay has visa-free travel to Europe. Are we really supposed to believe that Brits will be shut off from the continent?

They’ve rolled out every possible threat, every human emotion, every celebrity they can find, to influence voters.

In fact, these people love democracy so much they even had Barack Obama fly in to explain to British voters why they should remain in the EU.

(Because, of course, Mr. Obama would willingly hand over US sovereignty to a pan-American political commission based in Mexico City…)

Whichever side wins, it’s clear that no one in power gives a damn what voters want.

Despite having waged wars in foreign lands to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ and despite all the song and bombastic speech about your freedom, they have no respect for your right to self-determination, or even their own electoral system.

All they care about is getting their own way.

And they’re willing to engage in the most vile propaganda and blatant manipulation to do so.

This is a pitiful excuse for the democracy they claim to love so much.

And I’m not sure how long a road it is from here, to how Josef Stalin was quoted in his former secretary’s 1982 memoirs:

“Comrades, you know,” said Stalin, “I think that it’s totally irrelevant who votes, and how they vote. It’s extremely important who counts the votes, and how they’re counted.”

I suppose we’ll find out in a few more hours.

Brexit: I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea

Simon Black - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 14:03

On November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill, then ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, rose to speak at a debate in the House of Commons:

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.

Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;

but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.

This may be the perfect summation of what democracy is supposed to be.

And western nations– particularly the US and UK– have been champions of ‘democracy’ around the world (though they typically mean ‘republic’).

Now, today the voters of the United Kingdom go to the polls to decide whether or not their country will remain in the European Union.

This is about as democratic as is gets– direct voting by the people to choose their fate.

Or so they claim.

In reality, each side has had a long, drawn out campaign to influence the outcome.

The ‘leave’ leadership has been scaring voters with horrific stories of evil brown people who will infiltrate the United Kingdom should the country remain in the EU.

I mean, I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea.

Meanwhile the ‘remain’ side has been threatening eternal economic damnation and financial Armageddon.

Most of the political and media establishment falls in the ‘remain’ camp, so this is where the propaganda becomes painfully obvious.

The IMF, for example, published a report recently suggesting that Britain leaving the EU would permanently lower incomes in the United Kingdom.

Really? Permanently?

So if voters choose to leave the EU, then the UK, which traces its sovereignty back more than 1,000 years and once had an empire so vast they ruled the entire world, will never be able to recover forever and ever until the end of time…?

We’re honestly supposed to believe that a few decades within the European Union has irrevocably thwarted Britain’s 1,000 year history in being able to achieve economic growth independently?

Or that Iceland (not a member of the European Union) can do it, but the UK cannot?

Or that a bunch of IMF bureaucrats can see decades, let alone centuries into the future with 100% certainty?

This is such blatant scaremongering, they’re not even pretending to be professional and unbiased. And this is direct from one of the top financial agencies in the world.

Clearly these people truly love democracy and embrace the idea of voters independently determining their own fate.

The British government (firmly in the ‘remain’ camp) has been using taxpayer funds to support its cause, which is really bizarre when you think about it.

If you’re British, even if you want to vote ‘leave’, the government has been using your money to influence your vote in the other direction.

One of the most absurd scare tactics has been telling people that they’ll lose visa-free travel rights to the European continent if the UK leaves the EU.

This is completely absurd.

Nicaragua has visa-free travel to Europe. Paraguay has visa-free travel to Europe. Are we really supposed to believe that Brits will be shut off from the continent?

They’ve rolled out every possible threat, every human emotion, every celebrity they can find, to influence voters.

In fact, these people love democracy so much they even had Barack Obama fly in to explain to British voters why they should remain in the EU.

(Because, of course, Mr. Obama would willingly hand over US sovereignty to a pan-American political commission based in Mexico City…)

Whichever side wins, it’s clear that no one in power gives a damn what voters want.

Despite having waged wars in foreign lands to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ and despite all the song and bombastic speech about your freedom, they have no respect for your right to self-determination, or even their own electoral system.

All they care about is getting their own way.

And they’re willing to engage in the most vile propaganda and blatant manipulation to do so.

This is a pitiful excuse for the democracy they claim to love so much.

And I’m not sure how long a road it is from here, to how Josef Stalin was quoted in his former secretary’s 1982 memoirs:

“Comrades, you know,” said Stalin, “I think that it’s totally irrelevant who votes, and how they vote. It’s extremely important who counts the votes, and how they’re counted.”

I suppose we’ll find out in a few more hours.

The Latest On Brexit And What Is Happening In Global Markets

King World News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 13:29

Today one of the greats in the business covers everything from Brexit to what is happening in the global markets.

The post The Latest On Brexit And What Is Happening In Global Markets appeared first on King World News.

Goldmoney Presents Max Keiser Live on Stage

Gold Money - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:19
Goldmoney Presents The Keisers Live on Stage

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, hosts of the Keiser Report, joined Goldmoney CEO Roy Sebag and chief strategy officer Josh Crumb for a lively discussion about gold ownership, banking, Bitcoin, and monetary choice. Recorded live at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto, Canada.

 

The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GoldMoney, unless expressly stated. Please note that neither GoldMoney nor any of its representatives provide financial, legal, tax, investment or other advice. Such advice should be sought form an independent regulated person or body who is suitably qualified to do so. Any information provided in this article is provided solely as general market commentary and does not co

Dealing Desk: Brexit Discussions Control Precious Metals

Gold Money - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:58
This week, clients have been net selling gold and silver whilst net buying platinum and palladium.

Clients have been speculating on the market conditions ahead of the Brexit referendum. There has been increase in client buying activity this afternoon especially as we draw closer to the releasing of the results.

Goldmoney’s clients have favoured the Singapore vaults this week with less preference being shown for the London vault.

Kelly-Ann Kearsey, Dealing Manager at Goldmoney said that gold hovered near its lowest in over a week on Wednesday as Asian stocks rose; this followed into Thursday, as gold touched a two-week low in advance of the much anticipated Brexit referendum. The final decision will be announced tomorrow as to whether the UK will stay or leave the European Union.

Should the UK vote to leave the European Union, more pressure will be put on the global economy, giving support to bullion’s safe-haven appeal, which was also a possible support for the gold price last week being above USD1,300/oz.

The opinion polls conducted immediately prior to the polling stations opening suggested that a ‘Bremain’ is more likely than a ‘Brexit’ which is a likely cause behind the retreat in price this week. Should they vote to keep the UK within the EU, volatility of the precious metals could well increase.

Looking forwards into next week, we can expect to see the US GDP figures being released on Tuesday and Janet Yellen from the FOMC will also be speaking on Wednesday. After the referendum in the UK, this could be the next data to either give support or suppress the precious metals.

23/06/16 16:00. Gold lost 3.8% to $1,263.30, Silver decreased 2.6% to $17.30, Platinum fell 1.8% to $966.65 and Palladium increased 5.4% to $563.45 Gold/Silver ratio: 73

NOTES TO EDITOR
For more information, and to arrange interviews, please contact Emily Cornelius, Communications & PR Tel: + 1 647 362 5957 or email: Emily.Cornelius@Goldmoney.com

Goldmoney
Goldmoney is one of the world’s leading providers of physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium for private and corporate customers, allowing users to buy precious metals online. The easy to use website makes investing in gold and other precious metals accessible 24/7.

Through Goldmoney’s non-bank vault operators, physical precious metals can be stored worldwide, outside of the banking system in the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada. Goldmoney partners with Brink’s, Loomis International (formerly Via Mat), Malca-Amit, G4S and Rhenus Logistics. Storage fees are highly competitive and there is also the option of having metal delivered.

Goldmoney currently has over 25,000 customers worldwide and holds over $1.6 billion of precious metals in its partner vaults.

Goldmoney is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and complies with Jersey's anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Goldmoney has established industry-leading governance policies and procedures to protect customers' assets with independent audit reporting every 3 months by two leading audit firms.

Further information:
Visit: Goldmoney.com or view our video online

Trump Speech a Hit: Emotional Honesty May Be Pivotal to His Election Success

Daily Bell - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:26

Donald Trump’s Latest Distortions on Hillary Clinton  … A look at Trump’s assertions about Clinton on Wednesday and how they stack up with the facts … Donald Trump’s fierce denunciation of Hillary Clinton on Wednesday was rife with distortion.  –AP/Fortune

This article by the AP posted at Fortune attempts to counteract distortions in yesterday’s speech about Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump.

It goes through Trump’s statements and finds statistical flaws and other sorts of factual errors.

But really, this is a flawed analysis.

Trump is not so concerned about statistical accuracy. He’s concerned about emotional honesty.

NPRs Mara Liasson called the speech one that “Republicans Have Been Waiting 20 Years To Hear.”

Donald Trump did what Republicans have begged their presidential candidate to do for months — lay out the case, from A to Z, against Hillary Clinton.

Trump didn’t hold back in a blistering speech Wednesday. He went through chapter and verse of every criticism — based in fact or conspiracy theory — against the Clintons. In sum, Trump said, Hillary Clinton may be “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States” and a “world-class liar.”

As he would be with a good movie, Trump isn’t interested in the plot so much as the feeling.

And his speech was effective because it portrayed Hillary’s larger political philosophy.

He made it clear she believes in US fedgov activism. And she believes in US military intervention abroad.

In other words, he suggested that a Hillary presidency would simply be an elaboration of a Bush presidency and an Obama presidency.

The twin pillars of both of these presidencies were fedgov activism and military activism.

That is why presidential policies remain the same no matter who is in office.

But Donald Trump seems to be a challenge to those who want US policies to continue as is.

At least it seems so based on the enemies he has accumulated as well as the increasingly negative media coverage.

This AP article wants to diminish the speech based on places where Trump may have exaggerated or misstated.

More:

He accused Clinton of announcing a withdrawal from Iraq that wasn’t on her watch, pulled numbers out of nowhere on her plan for refugees and went beyond the established facts behind the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in stating starkly that she “left him there to die.”

But Trump doesn’t care about rigorous factual accuracy. He wants to get across the point that Hillary is corrupt and lies habitually.

The AP article makes the point that the facts don’t entirely support Trump’s statistics.

But this election won’t be about statistics. It’s being driven by raw emotion.

Hillary is a globalist. In Europe, EU officials have organized massive immigration from the Middle East to break down European culture, especially in countries like Germany.

Hillary has in mind the same tactic. It is one that George Bush tried to use when he wanted to turn Latin American immigrants into US citizens.

The idea is to drown the culture by importing people who do not understand it.

Trump also lambastes Hillary for corruption (accepting jewelry) and for wanting higher taxes and higher spending.

The AP article sets the record straight on these issues. Again, Trump exaggerates.

But it really doesn’t matter.

Hillary is a self-identified progressive. She believes in the power of government to make changes in people’s lives for the better.

The past 100 years provide us an object lesson that such an approach doesn’t work.

The US is in a depression. The federal government has promissory debt of $200 trillion.

Most people in the US have more debt than equity. In other words their net worth is negative.

In analyzing Trump’s speech analytically, the AP is missing the point. People are treating this election as if their lives depended on it.

Of course, we disagree with this perspective. Ultimately, the past 50 years show that politics changes little or nothing. You are the person who can make changes in your life, not Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Conclusion: Nonetheless, many people seem to see this election as a potential life-changing event. And Trump understands the emotion he is inspiring. He is very good at evoking it. This is going to be hard for Hillary to combat, especially if she tries to concentrate on facts rather than feeling.

25 Wounded As Heavily-Armed Man "Opens Fire" In German Cinema Complex, SWAT On Site

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:23

Witnesses are reporting multiple shots fired as Bild reports a heavily-armed man is at large in a cinema complex in Viernheim, Germany. The armed man has barricaded himself in the center and SWAT are on their way... multiple victims reported:

  • *25 PEOPLE SAID TO BE INJURED IN GERMAN SHOOTING: HESSENSCHAU

Via Hessenschau,

  masked gunman and possibly penetrated into Viernheimer Kinocenter Kinopolis. Police have abgeriegt the area. Apparently there are many injured.

 

The grounds around the Kinopolis in Viernheim is spaciously protected. Special police went into position, as eyewitnesses. After the first information a masked and armed man might probably entered the cinema. In the first information the police has been talk of 25 injured.

BREAKING: Several wounded in shooting at cinema complex in German town of Viernheim, shooter barricades himself in: FAZ newspaper

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 23, 2016

 

  • *HEAVILY ARMED MAN AT LARGE IN GERMAN CINEMA COMPLEX: FAZ

As Bild reports,

Viernheim - alarm in Kinopolis at Rhein-Neckar-Zentrum Shortly after 15:00 enters a gunman cinema center.  

 

He has a gun in his hand, wearing a cartridge belt around his shoulder. He shoots once in the air.

 

Screaming flee dozens of visitors from the cinema. Then the weapons man entrenched.

 

Police triggers major alarm. SEK Elite policemen from Frankfurt lawn in convoy on the A5 to the south. Other SEC teams fly in helicopters to Viernheim.

*  *  *

#Viernheim: no victims have been confirmed yet, the suspect has entered the building at around 3 p.m local time

— I.E.N. (@GoldenKrant) June 23, 2016

The Real Reason Fed Stress Tests Aren’t Credible

Daily Bell - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:22

Why the Fed’s Stress Tests Aren’t Credible … For the sixth year in a row, the U.S. Federal Reserve is conducting stress tests to see whether the country’s largest banks can withstand a severe crisis. If only the results, to be announced this week and next, were more useful.  -Bloomberg

Federal Reserve stress tests for banks are a fantasy.

They don’t address contagion, for one thing. Contagion makes everything much worse.

The Fed is now going to upgrade its stress test analysis.

Here:

More advanced network analysis, such as that used by the Bank of Canada, can do a better job of addressing contagion effects. And to its credit, the Fed plans to increase the amount of capital required for the largest banks to pass the tests.

To its credit? Not really.

It used to be that banks created solvency by acquiring gold and silver. These days banks are considered solvent depending on their fiat “reserves.”

But the reserves are just debt-based paper money printed by the Fed.

The Fed can print as much fiat as it wants. If you are a big commercial bank, the Fed provides you access to lots of fiat.

And if you are in any trouble, the Fed will print more.

During the crisis of 2008, Ben Bernanke supposedly printed $16 trillion and sent it around the world as short-term loans.

Most supposedly were not paid back. This is one of the reasons that the Fed does not want an audit.

The Fed can print as much money as it wants because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. Countries are forced to hold dollars to buy oil.

So pretending that that banks can be endangered because they don’t have enough reserves is silly.

The Fed is engaged in propaganda here. It is promoting an elite dominant social theme.

Fed officials want you to take the idea of “money” seriously.

They want you to take the idea of a bank collapse seriously.

But the Fed can print as much money as it wants. It can avert almost any crisis (though price inflation may be a problem later on).

Anyway, they don’t want you to know this.

You need to believe that banking is a difficult business. But it’s not.

It’s a foolproof business so long as the Fed owns a monopoly printing press.

In fact, banking is not really a business anymore for the bigger, “commercial” banks. These banks are basically capital redistribution centers for the Fed.

Of course, those who are partial to central banking want you to believe that commercial banks hold most of the money creation power. But they don’t.

The Fed can choke off money at will by raising rates. The Fed is the hub at the center of the wheel.

The monetary system is based on propaganda not reality. But the Fed and the large banks don’t want you to know that.

They want you to continue to think that banking is a business and that banks need to be well run and aware of “risks.”

These stress tests are part of that determination to delude you.

Those with “first access” to Fed funds have all the money they want. And that includes the US’s biggest commercial banks.

The real reason stress tests aren’t credible is because they don’t matter.

Conclusion: Don’t fall for this propaganda. You may be in danger of going broke, but the nation’s big banks are not. Not now and not in the future. Not until the dollar ceases to be the world’s reserve currency, anyway.

Five Charts Showing Why Gold Stocks Have Never Been This Cheap! - 1 Year Later

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:21
1.

It appeared the gap between the S&P and the Bloomberg Commodity Index was finally beginning to close when we first published this chart. However, it was apparently just a flash crash for the S&P 500 as the index continues to climb, while commodities in general continue to languish. Gold remains the strongest commodity, however, its recovery still has not been able to move the commodity index as a whole, unlike in previous bull runs.

2.

Investors rejoiced as the TSX Venture bear market finally ended after a staggering 1,200 days, when the index reached a record-breaking loss of 80%. We are now in a full-fledged bull market, however, there is a lot more room to run. The last two bull markets lasted 1,142 days and 573 days, respectively, and yielded returns of 266% and 222%.

3.

The ratio between the Gold BUGS Index and the price of gold finally bottomed out and is on the upswing. While gold stocks have been performing very well, the ratio just recently cleared its historical low achieved in 2000. With gold prices poised to continue to appreciate, not only does the HUI need to catch up, but needs to kick into overdrive to reach a historical median. These stocks scream buying opportunity!

4.

Playing off a chart made famous by our friend, Jordan Roy-Byrne, at The Daily Gold, it’s more than apparent that BGMI is finally on the mends. However, not after surpassing all other bear markets in terms of length and total loss.

5.

The divergence between these two indices remain exaggerated and unprecedented. Something has to give and our money is on both the S&P retreating and the gold/silver sector continuing to appreciate at a torrid rate.

Click here for the original charts.

Looking to Hike? Yellen Finally Admits Stocks Are Overpriced

Daily Bell - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:18

The Federal Reserve Says U.S. Stocks Are Overpriced  … It’s the starkest warning yet under Chair Janet Yellen. The Federal Reserve on Tuesday delivered its starkest warning yet under Chair Janet Yellen that by its assessment U.S. stocks are pricey.  “Forward price-to-earnings ratios for equities have increased to a level well above their median of the past three decades,” the Fed’s twice-annual Monetary Policy Report, the U.S. central bank concluded. -Reuters

We missed this. In her Tuesday statement to Congress, Yellen said asset prices were too high.

It’s true of course. But no doubt she has an ulterior motive for mentioning it.

Maybe this is a new way for Yellen to justify a rate hike.

She needs a rate hike to slow the market and provide the Fed some room to cut rates as necessary.

So far her justifications for a hike aren’t working.

One rate hike was implemented and almost collapsed the market.

Then she stopped. For now Yellen’s rate hikes are all talk.

Nobody really believes her anymore. Nobody believes that the US is in a recovery.

Few who work with US economic numbers believe them.

More:

Tuesday’s report marked the first time since Yellen took office in February 2014 that the Fed has characterized overall equity valuations as being “well above” their norms.

In July 2015’s report, delivered as the benchmark S&P 500 stock index was within 1.0% of its all-time closing high, the Fed made no specific reference to stock market valuations.

Perhaps Yellen is worried about a crash that will be blamed on her.

Either a hike or a crash will have a negative effect on equity prices.

The solution to this gathering storm, as we have pointed out, has to do with acquiring interests in tangible assets.

Here at The Daily Bell, we just introduced a junior mining sponsor, our first ever: a Vancouver-based explorer with promising projects in Argentina.

The company is Golden Arrow and the CEO is Joe Grosso. You can see an interview we did with him HERE.

Golden Arrow is partnered with a well-known mining firm Silver Standard in exploiting what could be a major silver discovery.

Miners are likely still cheap, relatively speaking, and silver has a long way to travel to reach parity with its historical ratio.

Conclusion: Whether you are invested in juniors or not, silver should be considered for at least a modest part of your portfolio along with gold.

If you have questions about Golden Arrow, you can reach representative Shawn Perger here: Shawn: 1-800-901-0058 or 778-686-0135. See the website HERE.

 

Libertarian Party Offers Government Policy Instead of Persuasive Philosophy

Daily Bell - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:16

Here’s Why Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Isn’t Ready for Primetime  …  American voters will need more details to jump to a third party candidate like Johnson. The Libertarian Party had one of its most high-profile tests in its history on Wednesday night when both members of its 2016 presidential ticket answered questions during a town hall aired on CNN. They might want to ask for a makeup exam.-  Fortune

When we point out dominant social themes, we usually do so within the context of mainstream media propaganda.

But this article posted at Fortune makes legitimate points about the Libertarian party and its current nominees.

The problem with the Libertarian party is that to be a libertarian means you don’t believe people ought to be forced to behave a certain way.

But government is all about force.

So running for political office within a libertarian context is a kind of contradiction in terms.

This Fortune article points out some of the contradictions.

More:

Johnson often hesitates to make a full-throated endorsement of the libertarian vision of significantly smaller government … When asked whether he would replace Obamacare as president, Johnson hedged, saying that he was running for president, and not Congress.

… In an interview with Fortune last week, Johnson was coy when asked about how he would both eliminate the corporate income tax and present a balanced budget to Congress as his “first major act,” something he promises to do on his campaign website.

So Johnson is not committed to ending Obamacare and isn’t forthright about eliminating taxes or balancing the budget.

He sounds a lot more concerned with policy than philosophy.

We don’t think the federal budget ought to be balanced anyway. It should be downsized into oblivion. Johnson doesn’t seem to think so.

As for Obamacare, it should never have been passed to begin with. And, no, it shouldn’t be replaced. Just let it lapse.

Let medicine and health care be delivered the way they were before World War II.

Privately.

The market should govern health care, not the federal government.

As for taxes, Johnson apparently argues he would get rid of income taxes and fund government via a sales tax.

His vice president, according to the article, won’t even go that far and doesn’t believe the IRS needs to be abolished.

Just yesterday we posted an ARTICLE explaining that government programs, no matter how well meaning, are basically price fixes. And price-fixing doesn’t work. It just distorts the economy and diminishes prosperity.

The best thing the Libertarian party could probably do is to educate people on the reality of government intrusion and how even its quietest touches are destructive.

Instead, it sounds like these Libertarian candidates are caught it up in defining what federal programs they want to keep and how forcefully they want to impose them.

This is probably one reason the Libertarian party regularly attracts about one percent of the vote.

That’s not much. And there’s a reason for it …

It’s not educating people. It’s just coming off as a less regulated version of the Republican party.

Conclusion: First and foremost the Libertarian party should be offering a moral philosophy of independence and human dignity. Instead it sounds like its more concerned with parsing policy. Not impressive to anyone.

Brexit-Schmexit

TF Metals Report - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:13

Man, am I ready for this nonsense to be over. As we've stated repeatedly...what The City wants, The City gets. That this folly has been used to smash gold for $50 this week is almost unbelievable.

read more

New Home Sales Plunge Most In 8 Months Following Sharp Downward Revisions; Median Home Price Tumbles

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:12

Despite exuberance in existing home sales, new home sales just printed 551k SAAR - missing expectations for the first time since Oct 2015 - sliding by the most since Sept 2015. With the last 3 months of exuberant increases - to 8 year highs - now revised drastically lower; and median prices tumbling to the lowest since June 2015, the picture of the US housing recovery is considerably less rosy than before... time for a rate-hike?

This is what we said last month when new home sales soared to 8 year highs...

Here is what drove the overall surge: a clearly "goalseeked" number resulting from a massive surge in Northeast sales, one which will be promptly revised lower next month.  

And now this happens!!

 

With sales dropping the most in 8 months...

 

Even with prices being slashed to 10 month lows...

 

Charts: Bloomberg

Something Terrible Has Happened

Daily Bell - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:11

Flat Earth PSYOP: CIA Black Op Designed to Destroy the Truth …  There is an insidious conspiracy at work throughout the entire Internet which seeks to destroy Truth Movements everywhere.  One of its organs of mischief is known as the Flat Earth Society (FES) and its explicit purpose is to take down every single truth-oriented website, blog and/or organization which permits an open comment section at the bottom of their posts and articles.  – The Millennium Report

Something terrible has happened.

The “common wisdom” that people grew up with is fading rapidly.

It’s not comfortable or soothing. It’s upsetting and unsettling.

It makes people unhappy. And it’s causing big arguments in the alternative media as well – as we can see from the above flat earth excerpt.

There are some in the alternative media community that have adopted the idea of a “flat earth” enthusiastically.

But others believe it is a CIA psyop designed to discredit people who don’t believe what government affiliated entities tell them anymore.

This is the result of the Internet. The “dominant social themes” we’ve grown up with are in flux.

And this process will continue.

Did the US go to the moon? Did a group of countries even put an international space station into orbit?

Does global warming exist? If so, is it caused by man-made carbon?

Are vaccines healthy? Can they cause autism, asthma and other conditions?

What about allopathic medicine generally? Can pharmaceutical companies be trusted?

What about large agricultural companies like Monsanto? Are they providing us with food or poisoning us?

What about the economy? Do central bankers know what they’re doing? Or are they actually trying to cause crashes to create world government?

These are just some questions we can ask now that we wouldn’t have thought to ask even ten years ago.

It’s the Internet that has made the difference.

With the Internet you can read hundreds of articles in a day. After a while you can start to see patterns that you never would have seen prior to the ‘Net.

You end up questioning things that you would never thought to have questioned before.

The list keeps growing.

The Internet is a process not an episode.

We’ve begun to wonder if dinosaurs existed – at least to the degree that they’ve been promoted.

The same thing goes for evolution. Perhaps we don’t question the fundamental premise but we have questions nonetheless.

After all, they’ve yet to find the subtle evolutionary changes that are supposed to take place. The fossil record hasn’t revealed it.

Lately we’ve been using the Internet to investigate nuclear weapons and how they’ve been promoted thematically.

When it comes to nuclear weapons, there are various elements that are common to other themes we already distrust.

Most of the information we get about nuclear weapons comes from the government.

And the government created nuclear weaponry at great expense. It employed over 100,000 people and erected a mile-long building to get the uranium it needed.

When government types want to lie they make everything very big. That’s one sign of a dominant social theme.

Another is museums. Dominant social themes are often supported by museums.

Hiroshima has a museum. We just found out the wall-sized photo of the atomic mushroom cloud that greets you on the way in is fake. It’s a photo of Hiroshima on fire.

In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that Hiroshima was  firebombed.  Sure, it may have been nuked too but firebombed, yes.

There were 66 bombers sent on August 6 (666) 1945 to bomb a city that had already been bombed twice. It’s quite likely in our view that these bombers actually went on and bombed Hiroshima.

And the Japanese themselves (and AP) reported Hiroshima had been firebombed on the morning of August 6.

We’ll continue to scrutinize the nuclear narrative. Maybe nukes were invented later than the US claimed. Maybe there aren’t so many nukes as governments claim they are.

Maybe only some of them work. Maybe they’re not as powerful as they are said to be.

We do know that many of the photos of nuke tests in the 40s and 50s seem fake. What else is fake when it comes to nukes?

(If you want to follow some of our articles, just type in “Hiroshima” and “Daily Bell” in a search engine.)

And then there’s NASA.

It’s easy to go on Youtube and find videos that make a persuasive case that NASA has faked almost its entire record, from sending rockets into space to traveling to the moon.

As with nuclear weapons, when it comes to NASA, there’s been little or no objective reporting.

NASA’s narrative is provided by NASA.

In fact, that’s how dominant social themes are created and propagated.

They’re developed secretly and widely dispersed without media scrutiny.

The media tends to “cheerlead” rather than investigate.

Our task is to investigate dominant social themes to determine if they are true or not.

At this point, we’re not certain anything we grew up with is entirely credible.

That’s “terrible.” We’re only human. We don’t find it satisfying to discard our belief systems. It’s tiring and confusing.

But it’s going to happen nonetheless.

None of this is going  to stop.

And we don’t discount anything, not even the idea of a flat earth.

Sure we know it’s probably a CIA psyop. But how do we explain Admiral Byrd whom the government sent to explore the frozen land of the South Pole and who later revealed in an interview that there was an unknown continent beyond Antarctica?

Or the Youtube video about a 1,000 year old Japanese map showing a flat earth and continents beyond it.

Perhaps the video is a hoax. Perhaps other information is less than credible.

But we won’t discount the idea of a flat earth entirely.

We won’t discount anything at this point. We’ll keep trying to figure things out. You should too.

Conclusion: Such information has an impact on other parts of your life: How you live and the way you save and invest. It’s all part of the same process. Telling truth from lies is very important. The Internet can help us sort it out. That’s how we take something that is “terrible” and turn it into something good.

Cable Vol Is Collapsing As 'Confident' Brexit Traders Lift Hedges

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:00

Having exploded from 20 to 50 last week, implied volatility for 1 week Sterling is collapsing as it appears confident traders are rapidly unwinding hedges as 'Bremain' hopes run high...

 

 

Precious metals protection has been fading modestly as fiat currency protection exploded. With brokers doubling or tripling margins, it is little surprise that anyone short the pound has been forced to manage their exposure (whether polls/odds are correct or not)...

Last week saw a huge short covering from the biggest net short in 3 years.

Let's hope for their own sanity that this yuuge cover was not a little premature...

Misplaced confidence?

Charts: Bloomberg

Bookie Odds For Brexit Tumble To 17% In Last Minute "Betting Frenzy"

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:55

Update from Telegraph:

Paddy Power has announced Remain has a 93% chance of success in the EU referendum vote after a flood of last minute bets were placed on the In campaign.

 

Stephanie Anderson, Politics Trader at Paddy Power said: “After opening the day at 1/3 we’ve had no choice but to cut REMAIN into 1/12 this morning after a constant stream of money.

 

"Punters have been waiting until the day of the vote to part with their cash and REMAIN is all they’re interested in. As a direct result LEAVE has drifted out to 7/1 and that could move out even further as the day goes on.”

 

Paddy Power has seen £500k bet on Remain in the past five days  including more than ten five-figure bets.

 

It makes the EU Referendum the biggest political betting event on record with British bookmakers on course to take £100m.

* * *

While the rest of Britain lines up to vote, bookmaker action in the last few hours before the close of polls has been torrid, and according to the Guardian, Betfair has taken £5m on the EU referendum this morning as punters rush to place final bets ahead of tomorrow’s results.

There has been a flurry of bets, predominantly on staying in the EU, according to a spokeswoman. “The Scottish referendum saw nearly £10m traded on the day, so we’re anticipating at least that amount,” she said. The company says it has taken £56m on the political event. Betfair said their biggest bet of the morning had been £28,500 on Remain, adding that they had had eight bets that day of £20,000 or more. Overall, the biggest bet they’ve seen has been £315,000 on remain.

It’s a similar picture for Ladbrokes, which reported bets of over £1m in the last 24 hours. Most of the money was on the Remain side it said. This was once again driven by the disproportionately larger bets on Remain: according to Ladborkes, the average stake on Remain is now £400, while the average on Leave is £70, even as a majority, or 55% of bets, placed today are once again for Leave.

Ladbrokes: 82% of all #EUref money staked today is for REMAIN.
Latest Brexit probability = 17% https://t.co/lGfTf6u48s

— Ladbrokes Politics (@LadPolitics) June 23, 2016

Latest #EUref odds pic.twitter.com/e50aZxidkM

— Ladbrokes Politics (@LadPolitics) June 23, 2016

This means that the latest odds have Brexit at just 17%.

A spokesperson for Coral described betting as brisk this morning, saying that there had been numerous four figure bets laid, predominantly on Remain. So far it has had one bet of £4,000 on Remain (at 1/4) and a £2,000 punt on Leave (at 11/4).

“The majority of bets today are for Remain, which has seen the odds on Britain staying in the EU shortening from 1/4 to 1/7, and Leave out to 4/1, from 11/4.”

It added that while more shop customers are predominantly backing out, online ones are for stay. “This reflects an older customer base who bet in shops wanting out, and the younger customers who bet online are for staying.”

It’s a similar picture at William Hill, which makes Remain a 2/9 favourite – equating to an 81% chance of winning.

US Manufacturing PMI Jumps In June But "Domestic Demand Remains Worryingly Weak"

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:53

Great news... Markit's US Manufacturing PMI (flash) for June beat expectations, rising to 51.4 from 50.7, driven by the fastest rise in exports since Sept 2014 (cough weaker dollar cough) as Input costs rose by the most in 18 months. Small bounces in production and employment do nothing to dismiss the "worrying weak" domestic demand picture; and, as Markit warns, "the three months to June has seen the worst quarter for manufacturing in terms of both production and employment growth since 2009."

"Off the lows"?

The latest increase in new business was the strongest since March, although subdued in comparison to the post-crisis average. New orders from abroad expanded at the fastest pace for almost two years, suggesting an additional boost to growth from greater export sales in June. Despite stronger new business growth, a number of manufacturers noted that heightened economic uncertainty had led to delayed decision making and greater risk aversion among clients in June.
 

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said:

“The flash PMI for June brought welcome news of improved performance of manufacturing, but the sector still looks to have acted as a drag on the economy in the second quarter, leaving the economy reliant on the service sector and consumers in particular to drive growth.

 

Any improvement could be largely traced to better export sales, in turn linked to the weakening of the dollar compared to earlier in the year. Domestic demand was again worryingly weak, especially from business customers, meaning overall growth of order books remained subdued.

 

”It’s encouraging to see the employment trend reviving somewhat, though factories are clearly remaining cost conscious and keeping workforces lean in order to seek productivity improvements.

 

“Despite the improvement in the current month, the three months to June has seen the worst quarter for manufacturing in terms of both production and employment growth since 2009.”

Charts: Bloomberg

Destructive Potential: West Coast Megaquake Probability “Significantly Greater” Than Most Thought

SHTF Plan - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:30

This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at his Economic Collapse blog.

Editor’s Comment: Society goes on living as if things are normal, and will be indefinitely. But science shows again and again that mother nature has some brutal events in mind that will little take into account the daily lives of the millions upon millions of residents in Southern California.

How long can the San Andreas fault accumulate pressure and built up stress without unleashing a terrifying and destructive megaquake? No one knows for sure, but there is certainly a lot to suggest that it could go at any time. If you are anywhere near that area, please be prepared, for many experts regard it as inevitable. The aftermath could be quite unstable and chaotic. It would be best to stay out of the path of destruction, which includes a major metropolitan area that could very quickly come unhinged.

Southern California Time Bomb: The Ground Surrounding The San Andreas Fault Is ‘Rising And Sinking’

by Michael Snyder

If you reside on the west coast, you are living on borrowed time.  As you will see below, stress has been building up along the San Andreas fault for more than a century, and scientists tell us that southern California is way overdue for a major earthquake.  When that stress is finally released, the U.S. Geological Survey says that we could be looking at hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.  If you follow my work regularly, then you already know that there has been unusual shaking all along the “Ring of Fire” so far in 2016.  But thankfully the west coast of the United States has been spared from a major disaster up to this point.  Unfortunately, scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before one strikes, and that is why it is so alarming that the ground surrounding the San Andreas fault has been “rising and sinking”.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

For the first time, scientists have produced a computer image showing huge sections of California rising and sinking around the San Andreas fault.

The vertical movement is the result of seismic strain that will be ultimately released in a large earthquake.

The California coastline is where two enormous tectonic plates come together.  The Pacific plate and the North American plate are slowly but surely moving against one another, and this creates a tremendous amount of geological stress.  While areas on both sides of the San Andreas fault have been steadily rising and sinking as a result of this stress, there are sections of the fault itself that have remained “locked” for more than 100 years, and other sections that have remained locked for more than 300 years

The region of the San Andreas fault between Monterey County and Imperial County hasn’t moved in a significant way in more than 150 years, and other parts of the fault have been accumulating stress for more than 300 years.

This build up of stress is extremely dangerous, because the more stress that builds up the worse the ultimate release of that stress could turn out to be.

If you look at this map from the U.S. Geological Survey, you can see all of the earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater that have hit California within the past seven days.  As you can see, there has been a whole lot of shaking going on…

And let us not forget that earlier this month a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck near San Diego, and it was followed by more than 800 aftershocks.

Unfortunately, none of these quakes has relieved the stress along the San Andreas fault.  While the San Andreas fault may be the most famous of the faults in southern California, the truth is that there are many others.  And just last year the U.S. Geological Survey admitted that the probability of a “megaquake” along the west coast involving multiple faults at once was significantly greater than they had previously been projecting

A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the inevitability of just such a quake, which is predicted to hit within the next couple of decades.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” lead author of the study and USGS scientist, Ned Field says. “This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”

But of course the San Andreas fault represents an absolutely massive threat to southern California all by itself.

Back in May, the Los Angeles Times quoted the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center as saying that the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll”…

“The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight. And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go,” Jordan said in the opening keynote talk.

Other sections of the San Andreas fault also are far overdue for a big quake. Further southeast of the Cajon Pass, such as in San Bernardino County, the fault has not moved substantially since an earthquake in 1812, and further southeast toward the Salton Sea, it has been relatively quiet since about 1680 to 1690.

Here’s the problem: Scientists have observed that based on the movement of tectonic plates, with the Pacific plate moving northwest of the North American plate, earthquakes should be relieving about 16 feet of accumulated plate movement every 100 years. Yet the San Andreas has not relieved stress that has been building up for more than a century.

A number of years ago, a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey found that just a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas fault would cause more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries and 200 billion dollars in damage.

So what would a magnitude 8 or worse quake do?

And even though the U.S. Geological Survey does not believe that parts of California will eventually fall into the ocean, it is very open about the fact that Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day “be adjacent to one another” as the Pacific plate and the North American plate slowly slip past each other…

Will California eventually fall into the ocean?

No. The San Andreas Fault System, which crosses California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, is the boundary between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate. The Pacific Plate is moving northwest with respect to the North American Plate at approximately 46 millimeters per year (the rate your fingernails grow). The strike-slip earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault are a result of this plate motion. The plates are moving horizontally past one another, so California is not going to fall into the ocean. However, Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day be adjacent to one another!

Meanwhile, while we are talking about southern California, I just had to mention the record-breaking heatwave and the horrific wildfires that are plaguing the region this week.  In fact, two massive wildfires that have been raging out of control threaten to combine “into one super fire”

Two new fires raging in California could soon merge, creating one ‘super fire’, as wild blazes continue to consume thousands of acres and have already force massive evacuations.

Throughout the United States, firefighters are battling blazes of varying degrees in nine states, including California, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

The most serious of these fires have been week-old blazes in California, New Mexico and Arizona, where scorching triple-digit temperatures have stoked the flames.

Normally we don’t see wildfires of this size and intensity until the late summer or early fall.

As I constantly remind my readers, last year was the worst year for wildfires in all of U.S. history, and so far this year we are more than a million acres ahead of the pace that was set last year.

We live at a time when our planet is becoming increasingly unstable.  Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, historic droughts and unusual flooding events all seem to be on the rise globally.

So is there a reason why all of this is happening, or are we just going through a time when we are experiencing an astounding string of truly bizarre coincidences?

Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

If you want to know what is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming.

Where Are The Jobs?

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:29

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Maintaining the status quo of red tape, high taxes, high junk fees and indifference to small business realities guarantees decline and failure.

It's well known that millions of the jobs counted in employment statistics are part-time or low-paying "gig economy" self-employment. Over 9 million self-employed workers make less than $10,000 per year, and 5.5 million earn less than $5,000 per year. Granted, many of these workers may have other employment, but the point is millions of jobs that are puffing up official job totals are not full-time or even close to full-time.

Endangered Species: The Self-Employed Middle Class

Nonetheless, employment and new small businesses are expanding in some locales. According to this new study, The New Map of Economic Growth and Recovery (eig.org), growth in jobs and new business has become increasingly concentrated in a handful of high-population metropolitan counties.

In the high-growth early 1990s, half of all new businesses sprouted in 125 counties nationwide. In 2002-2006, the number of counties that were home to half of all new enterprises fell to 64. In the "recovery" years of 2010-2014, half of all new firms arose in a mere 20 counties nationally--an astonishing concentration.

We can see the asymmetry in this chart. Where counties with 1 million or more residents were home to 13% of new businesses in the 1990s, now 58% of business creation occurs in populous urban counties.

Here are the counties with the largest increases in employment (I'm listing only those with a 9% growth rate or higher).

1. Los Angeles CA 9.9%
2. Harris (Houston) TX 14.7%
3. New York NY 11.2%
4. Orange County CA 11.7%
5. Dallas TX 10.6%
6. Miami-Dade FL 14.7%
7.Santa Clara (San Jose) CA 13.7%
8. San Diego CA 9.2%
9. King (Seattle) WA 9.8%
10. Hennepin (Minneapolis) MN 11.4%
11. Tarrant (Dallas) TX 12.5%
12. San Francisco CA 16.8%
13. Oakland County (Detroit) MI 13.2%
14. Travis (Austin) TX 15.6%
15. Kings (Brooklyn) NY 15.0%
16. Orange County (Orlando) FL 11.7%
17. Hillsborough (Tampa) FL 13.9%
18. Mecklenburg (Charlotte) NC 13.2%

Not all of the jobs created in these urban centers are high-paying, of course. Some regions have more low-paying service jobs, and others have relatively more high-paying jobs.

Some of these locales have insanely high costs of living, which skews wage comparisons between regions.

Other than the welcome leap in jobs in Detroit, the big urban centers of growth are congregated on the Left and Right coasts and Texas (Minneapolis benefits from a concentration of corporate headquarters, universities and R&D--a mix that characterizes many of the job centers.)

The authors of the report reach some sobering conclusions about this geographic concentration of new businesses and new employment:

The geographically uneven nature of the decline in new business starts implies that large swathes of the country will soon contend with a missing generation of firms — ones that should be providing employment opportunities and new foundations for economic growth in the years ahead.

The uneven geography of new business formation tracks very closely with that of access to capital — particularly venture and other forms of risk capital. Addressing the former challenge will surely involve tackling the latter. Without mitigating these disparities, the trend towards increasing concentration documented here may even accelerate, given that today’s largest economic centers are the few remaining places producing tomorrow’s new businesses.

The new map of growth and recovery points to very different futures for American communities. These findings suggest that the gains from growth have and will continue to consolidate in the largest and most dynamic counties and leave other areas searching for their place in the emerging economic landscape.

The good news is that smaller cities have some advantages (much lower costs, for example) and they can generate meaningful, stable expansion of jobs and new businesses if they organize their efforts to maximize those advantages--and if they welcome new enterprises with an uncluttered, low-cost pathway to starting up.

There are a variety of messages buried in this data. One is: the more dynamic the business environment, the greater the opportunities to build networks, disrupt vested interests and find niches for small enterprises.

Cities that think luring one big corporation to locate a factory or office park in their area is the answer are deluded; that one big employer can decide to relocate or shut down operations in a heartbeat.

Maintaining the status quo of red tape, high taxes, high junk fees and indifference to small business realities guarantees decline and failure. The motto of the most dynamic elements of our economy is: trust the network, not the corporation or the state.

The local government can help by eliminating statutes and requirements that serve to protect sclerotic vested interests (forcing people such as florists to get absurdly unnecessary professional licenses, for example) or it can hinder it by looking on small business as tax donkeys who should be grateful for a chance to open a biz in town.

Guess what, folks--the tax donkeys can go elsewhere, to places where they are either welcomed or celebrated.

It's all about networks and network effects: this may sound high-tech, but it's just as true for a bakery as it is for a software company.

All About Network Effects (85-slide presentation)

The author of the recent book The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley concluded that creative places share three essential characteristics: disorder, diversity and discernment.

In other words, the exact opposite of places designed to preserve the privileges of vested interests and a sclerotic status quo.

Britain Votes: All You Need To Know About Today's Brexit Referendum And What To Look For

Zerohedge - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:19

Starting at 600 GMT, and continuing through 2100 GMT when polls close, Britain is conducting a historic referendum on whether to stay in the European Union on Thursday. While results from each of the 382 counting areas will be released overnight and into the morning, the market already appears to have made up its mind what will happen. Sitll, for those who have yet to vote, and everyone else following along, here are the full details of how today's vote will take place and what to watch for (all times in GMT, an hour before local UK time).

WHEN WILL RESULTS COME?

  • Votes will be counted by hand, starting as soon as polls close at 2100 GMT.
  • Each of 382 local counting areas will tally the number of ballot papers cast and announce local turnout figures (including spoiled ballots and postal votes) in each of the areas. The Electoral Commission has estimated that most turnout announcements at counting-area level will come between 2230 on June 23 and 0130 on June 24. The last turnout figure is expected at around 0400.
  • Each area will count the votes and announce totals for REMAIN and LEAVE. The majority of counting areas are expected to declare between around 0100 and 0300 on June 24. The last declaration is expected around 0600.
  • Local totals will be collated into totals for 12 regions, and then a final, national, result. The final result will be announced in Manchester by Jenny Watson, Chief Counting Officer.

 

WHEN CAN PEOPLE VOTE?

  • Polling stations open at 0600 on June 23 and close at 2100.

 

ARE ALL THE COUNTING AREAS THE SAME?

  • No. The counting areas, based along the lines of local government authorities, vary widely in population. The biggest counting areas are Birmingham, Leeds and Northern Ireland.
  • The Birmingham area has around 700,000 eligible voters while the City of London counting area, comprising the central financial district of the capital, has just 7,000 eligible voters. The smallest counting area is the Isles of Scilly which has about 1,700 voters.
  • Estimated time of declarations in the bigger areas: Northern Ireland around 0030, Birmingham around 0330, Leeds around 0400, Glasgow around 0400, Sheffield around 0330, Cornwall around 0230-0300, Bradford around 0200, Durham around 0130, Manchester around 0400 and Edinburgh around 0300-0400).
  • London's counting areas are along the lines of the city's 32 boroughs.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  1. Turnout could be key to the result but only partial figures will be available initially. Turnout at last year's British parliamentary election was 66 percent. Turnout well below this is likely to favour Leave as those who back Brexit are considered more likely to vote, according to campaigners on both sides.
  2. First results: Sunderland, likely to be one of the first results to declare (2330), has a large number of older, lower income voters who polls show are more likely to back Brexit. If Leave are not strongly ahead here it may indicate they will struggle to break through in areas less favourable to Brexit.
  3. Geography: Leave is expected to do well in eastern England, so close results in some of the most eurosceptic areas such as Southend-on-Sea (0200) and Castle Point (0130) could give an indication the national vote has swung towards Remain.
  4. Labour voters: Opposition Labour Party supporters are considered key to securing a Remain vote so the results of traditional Labour strongholds such as the north of England and south Wales, where backing for the anti-EU UK Independence Party has risen, will be closely watched.
    Early declarations in such areas include Oldham (0000) and Salford (0030) in northern England and Merthyr Tydfil (0030) in Wales.
  5. Scotland: Scotland is considered to be pro-EU, so any close early results from Scotland such as Stirling (0030) could indicate trouble for the Remain camp.
  6. Swing seats: Nuneaton (0100) is considered a bellwether seat in parliamentary elections so will be watched to see if Prime Minister David Cameron has managed to get swing voters who last year backed his Conservatives to turn out for Remain.
  7. Count chronology: Some research has indicated Remain could be well ahead at first and that from around 0300-0400 the Brexit count is less likely to deviate from the end results. Others, as the Open Europe think tank, have suggested that by about 0330 most of strongest Leave areas will have declared so if Leave do not hold the lead or even if it is very close, it may bode badly for them. Ron Johnston, a professor of geography at the University of Bristol who has researched the counting areas and modelled how the vote could unfold, said the big picture was that the figures could flip around until about 0300.

 

TURNOUT

DB writes: "the number of voters in each area is compiled before counting. So we should get an idea on turnout before the first results (perhaps due at around 0030 Friday – see below). The UK Electoral Commission has estimated that most will come through between 2330-0230. DB’s George Buckley has argued that the ‘leave’ vote appears more passionate and is likely to be more incentivized to vote. A low turnout number could therefore favour them. The last General Election (May 2015) saw a 66% turnout but the Scottish referendum saw 85%. The 1975 EEC UK referendum saw just under 65%. It’s impossible to work out at what number the pendulum shifts in favour of ‘remain’ (if indeed it does) but maybe last year’s General Election is a baseline figure. Given the phenomenal media interest, on balance I’d be surprised if it wasn’t higher. As George Buckley reminded me yesterday, in 1975 we’d only been a member of the EEC for a couple of years so surely this is a more momentous vote with more at stake either way?"

 

RESULTS

The first results are expected around 0030 BST (Sunderland first perhaps) with 50% likely available by 0400 and 80% by 0500. The chart below shows the likely cumulative % declaration by time.

In terms of interpreting the results DB’s Jack Di-Lizia has produced an interesting graph showing the likely declaration results timings against level of euroscepticism in that area.

The lower this number the greater the level of euroscepticism. This index was compiled using Sky who ranked each area of the country. As a word of warning this was done in March before the recent swing towards ‘leave’ and the regions may not exactly map the count areas. However as can be seen from the moving average, the initial results may favour eurosceptic areas before it becomes more random as we approach 0200. YouGov has also issued numbers for eurosceptism and DB’s George Buckley has compiled a list of areas that report before 0300 and show similar numbers for Sky and YouGov (to confirm the trend). He sees these as interesting ones to watch.

The largest areas will by definition take longer to count (0300-0600 BST) and the chart below highlights the largest, when they report, the size and share of overall electorate and the level of eurosceptism.

 

WILL THERE BE AN EXIT POLL?

  • There are no plans by broadcasters for an exit poll as the margin of error is deemed too large, but there have been reports that some hedge funds may have commissioned private polls which could affect markets.
  • Details of a telephone poll conducted before the voting by Ipsos MORI for the Evening Standard newspaper are expected to be published during the day. The findings of a YouGov poll, based on interviews conducted online on Thursday, are due to be announced by Sky News after the close of voting at 2100.

 

THE QUESTION

Voters will be given one piece of paper with the question:

  • "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"
    They will be asked to put a cross beside either:
  • "Remain a member of the European Union"
  • "Leave the European Union"

 

WHO CAN VOTE?

  • The electoral commission says 46.5 million people can vote, including all those who are entitled to vote in a UK parliamentary election. Voters include British citizens 18 and older who are resident in Britain, and those who live abroad if they have appeared on a parliamentary voter register in the last 15 years.
  • Citizens of Ireland and countries of the Commonwealth of mostly former British colonies can also vote if they live in Britain, but citizens of other EU countries who live in Britain cannot. Voting will also take place in Gibraltar, the British overseas territory on the coast of Spain.

REGISTERING TO VOTE

Britain extended the voter registration period for the referendum to midnight on June 9 after a late surge in applications crashed a website shortly before the original June 7 midnight deadline.

 

CAN THE COUNT AND VOTE BE CHALLENGED?

This is unlikely. The electoral commission says the rules do not provide for a national recount under any circumstances. Requests for local recounts can be made at the local level, to be decided by the counting officer.

"We expect local recounts to be granted if a specific issue has been identified with the process in that counting area, rather than simply when the local totals are close," the commission says.

The only way to challenge the national referendum result is by judicial review, which must be requested within six weeks of the certification of the result.

* * *

Sources: Electoral Commission, Open Europe, Reuters, DB

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