Fed Ripples? Yuan Tumbles To 2017 Lows As Chinese Money Market Liquidity Dries Up (Again)

In what could be the beginning of ripples from The Fed's jawboned 'certainty' of a March rate-hike, Chinese money market liquidity conditions appear to be drying up once again as overnight offshore yuan rates surge 142bps to one-month highs.

Additionally,  1-week CNH Hibor +1.05 ppts to 4.53017%; and 1-month CNH Hibor +70bps to 4.9395%

 

At the same, spot offshore Yuan rates have plunged to their lowest since January 4th's massive short squeeze.

 

As it appears 2017 is Shangahi Accord Redux time – (China 'agrees' to weaken the Yuan against non-USD currencies, while "stabilizing" the Yuan against the USD… until that breaks)

 

The question is – will a sudden renewed but of volatility in credit markets (high yield crashed this week), commodity markets (crude and copper collapse this week), emerging market stocks (tumbling), and now China money markets, be enough to stall a determined Fed, and crush their credibility once and for all?

Meet “Flippy”, The Burger-Flipping ‘Bot That CaliBurger Is Rolling Out In All Its Restaurants

Dear Bernie Sanders, it is our great pleasure to introduce to you, “Flippy”, the burger-flipping robot that will soon replace all those fast food workers that you’re working so vehemently to get fired via your efforts to introduce artificially high $15 per hour minimum wage rates.

“Flippy”, a robotic kitchen assistant, is the creation of Miso Robotics, an engineering firm specializing in “adaptable robotics” for commercial kitchens. Miso’s goal is to develop technology that can handle hazardous, tedious and time-sensitive aspects of cooking, from flipping burgers to frying chicken, cutting vegetables or final plating…in other words, all of the minimum wage restaurant jobs where employee costs just skyrocketed courtesy of economics-challenged politicians.

Flippy

 

Per Nation’s Restaurant News, ‘Flippy’ is no longer just a concept as it won its first major contract with CaliBurger which vowed to roll out the burger-flipping technology in all of its 50 global locations by the end of 2019.

“The application of artificial intelligence to robotic systems that work next to our employees in CaliBurger restaurants will allow us to make food faster, safer and with fewer errors,” said Miller. “Our investment in Miso Robotics is part of our broader vision for creating a unified operating system that will control all aspects of a restaurant, from in-store interactive gaming entertainment, to automated ordering and cooking processes, ‘intelligent’ food delivery and real-time detection of operating errors and pathogens.”

 

The chain declined to reveal the cost of Flippy, saying Miso Robotics is working with customers to determine the best pricing model.

 

“The price will be in line with the productivity benefits Flippy provides to restaurant owners,” said a spokesperson.

And while Caliburger declined to reveal the cost of “Flippy”, we’re going to go out on a limb and assume they wouldn’t be rolling out the technology unless they were getting a decent ROIC on their investment…just a hunch.

Here are some videos of “Flippy” in action:

Caught On Tape: Democratic Congressman Admits The Party Stands For Absolutely Nothing

Via Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The problem very quickly became what Integral Metatheory calls a “legitimation crisis,” which it defines as a mismatch between Lower-Left (or cultural) beliefs and the Lower-Right systems (or actual background realities, such as the techno-economic base). The cultural belief was that everybody is created equal, that all people have a perfect and equal right to full personal empowerment, that nobody is intrinsically superior to others (beliefs that flourished with green). Yet the overwhelming reality was increasingly one of a stark and rapidly growing unequality—in terms of income and overall worth, property ownership, employment opportunity, healthcare access, life satisfaction issues. The culture was constantly telling us one thing, and the realities of society were consistently failing to deliver it—the culture was lying. This was a deep and serious legitimation crisis— a culture that is lying to its members simply cannot move forward for long. And if a culture has “no truth,” it has no idea when it’s lying—and thus it naturally lies as many times as it accidentally tells the truth, and hence faster than you can say “deconstruction,” it’s in the midst of a legitimation crisis.

 

– From the post: How a Breakdown in Liberal Ideology Created Trump – Part 1

My primary theme thus far in 2017, has centered around the observation that no constructive opposition to Trump currently exists in America. All we have from “the resistance” (corporate Democrats, corporate media and the deep state) thus far are endless conspiracy theories about Trump and Russia. This clownish opposition doesn’t actually stand for anything, and remains fully committed to continuing down the disastrous path we’ve been on this entire century. Simply being opposed to something isn’t going to cut it any longer, and there’s increasing evidence that the public is starting to catch on to the total fraud that is the establishment Democratic Party.

Jimmy Dore does an excellent job exposing this sham in the following clip. Make sure to watch the entire thing, it gets better and better:

Unless the Democratic Party begin to stand for something, it will remain dead opposition. If you want some evidence, just take a look at this incredible chart from The Huffington Post:

As you can see, the real plunge happened right after the election when it became clear that Democratic leadership would remain in place, and rather than admit failure, began to harp non-stop on Russia conspiracy theories. This tactic clearly isn’t working.

It’s not just the Huffington Post poll either, the evidence is everywhere. As Matt Stoller showed in a tweet earlier today.

There’s a huge opening for a new political party in America. It’s low hanging fruit.

I’m ready.

The NY Times Explains Why There Is So Much “Confusion” About Its “Trump Wiretapping” Story

In the aftermath of the Trump accusation that Obama wiretapped his phone during the election, an allegation which the flagbearers of the “truthful” (according to their various advertising campaigns) anti-Trump media wave, namely the Washington Post and the New York Times have vehemently denied, an unexpected victim has emerged over the past few days: the New York Times itself.

The reason is that while the NYT has repeatedly criticized and denied Trump’s allegation, it itself had written an article on January 19 titled, in the print version, “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides’, and online “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates“, by reporters Michael Schmidt and Michael Shear, which paradoxically corroborated much, if not all of what Trump himself said, and quotes the usual anonymous source who said that wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House” as part of an investigation into “the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia.

So with various conservative blogs taking the NYT to task over this seeming contradiction, and even the WaPo’s own fact-checker seemingly confused…

… today the NYT’s public editor, Liz Spayd felt compelled to address its January 19 article which, implicitly, substantiated much of Trump’s allegation, and to explain why that’s not the case.

She starts by saying that “Trump’s assertions, however overinflated, nonetheless echo certain aspects of The New York Times’s reporting from recent weeks. That, in turn, has allowed his administration to assert that the basis for his claims rests, in part, on reporting by The Times.”

On the surface, there are similarities. Both The Times and Trump have referred to wiretaps. Both have referenced White House knowledge of the investigations. And both have described efforts by officials from the Obama administration to involve itself in the continuing investigations of Trump and Russia.

Maybe Trump is not a completely raving lunatic after all. So where are the differences:

For one, as The Times (and others) has made clear, these investigations have been conducted by the F.B.I., intelligence agencies and Congress, not by Obama himself. The Times has also said Obama administration officials sought to spread intelligence about a possible link between Trump and Russia to ensure a trail of evidence for investigators, but it said Obama himself was not involved. And no Times reporter has claimed that any warrants have been issued to spy on Trump or his associates.

And there it is again: several months after we thought we would never again hear the old “Obama had no idea what was going on excuse”, it strikes yet again, only this time we find it very difficult to believe that Obama, who expanded the distributions of confidential NSA data to multiple offices just weeks before his final day in office, had no clue that Trump was being wiretapped.

There’s more, and this is where things get delightfully Orwellian, because as Spayd “explains”, the confusion is really just a function of readers being confused because, well, it’s complicated:

Distinguishing between Trump’s assertions and The Times’s reporting is essential. Yet readers at this juncture may be understandably confused on what is true and not in one of the most important ongoing news stories in the country.

More details about this pervasive “confusion” fanned by none other than the NYT itself:

Several readers have written in this week saying they’re having a hard time squaring The Times’s own past reports of wiretapping with the paper’s assertions that there is no firm evidence that any warrants for wiretaps have been issued. Readers also expressed confusion with The Times’s assertion that it would be illegal for a White House to receive information about such investigations, when its own wiretapping story in January said the Trump White House was given some information from intercepted communications.

 

“For months now the NY Times and many other mainstream news sources has been running stories based on anonymous leaks saying that a massive investigation was going on into Trump and company’s Russian dealings based on wiretaps and intel intercepts,” wrote John Penley of Asheville, N.C. “Now Obama officials are saying this all never happened so my question is this: Why have the NY Times and others been saying it has for months now basing their stories on anonymous leaks?”

So to eliminate the confusion, here is the NYT’s explanation of how the wiretapping of Trump and/or his associates, which eventually made its way to the White House – as per the NYT – didn’t really happen.

I reached out to editors in the Washington bureau to seek their help in clarifying the difference between Clapper’s — and The Times’s — assertions that no warrants had been issued, and the reference to wiretapping in the January story.

 

Elisabeth Bumiller, the bureau chief, said the January story was referring to information picked up from wiretaps and other intelligence collected overseas, a process that requires no warrants.

Still confused? Don’t worry: the NYT even has a Q&A to help you out of your cognitive dissonance predicament”:

There’s a lot to parse. And doing so, in a way that is clear to readers, is not easy when the subject matter is complicated and the information that reporters receive comes under strict terms of how it can be used. One reporter, Charlie Savage, produced a helpful Q. and A. explaining the law around wiretaps and key terms. But it didn’t try to show how Trump’s claims line up against The Times’s past reporting.

Sarcasm aside, what the NYT’s long-winded explanation boils down to is that Trump’s inner circle was wiretapped, but the difference is whether Obama knew about it or not. And if anyone harbors any gullible thoughts that the president who lied to the public about his knowledge of Hillary’s email server – arguably the biggest fiasco of her presidential campaign – but is telling the truth when he says that he has no idea whatsoever that someone, somewhere was in fact wiretapping Trump as the NYT reports, then we wish you all the best as you click away on all the other NYT “Q&A”s to help you in your misery.

What The Hell Is Going On? – Part 2

Via Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog,

In Part One of this article I exposed the establishment narrative of a strong economy as rubbish by providing hard data regarding imploding gasoline usage, failing bricks and mortar retailers and plunging restaurant sales.

“Inflation may indeed bring benefits for a short time to favored groups, but only at the expense of others. And in the long run it brings ruinous consequences to the whole community. Even a relatively mild inflation distorts the structure of production. It leads to the overexpansion of some industries at the expense of others. This involves a misapplication and waste of capital. When the inflation collapses, or is brought to a halt, the misdirected capital investment—whether in the form of machines, factories or office buildings—cannot yield an adequate return and loses the greater part of its value.Nor is it possible to bring inflation to a smooth and gentle stop, and so avert a subsequent depression.” – Henry Hazlitt – Economics in One Lesson

Inflation is the opium of the masses. The establishment’s interest in dumbing down the masses through government controlled public school indoctrination couldn’t be clearer than examining the chart below. The average non-thinking, math challenged, iGadget distracted, media controlled pawn thinks their household income has risen by $6,000 since 2008 because they have no understanding of Fed created inflation.

Even using the ridiculously downward manipulated CPI concoction shows the median household has lost ground. While median income has remained stagnant since 2000, the CPI is up 44%. Using honest inflation numbers would likely double that figure. Stagnant incomes with living costs 40% to 80% higher doesn’t exactly match the rhetoric of a strong economy being propagandized by the Deep State and their fake news media outlets.

Even the BLS can’t hide the inflation ravaging middle class families and senior citizens on fixed incomes. And those fixed incomes are fixed at zero, as they get .20% on their savings and no increases in their Social Security payments. CPI is now 2.5% higher than one year ago, above the magic central banker 2% goal. It has been raging at an annualized 4.4% rate over the last three months. It is poised to go even higher in the next few months.

Yellen and her intellectual yet idiot cohort of ego maniacal central banker brethren pretend they know the ideal rate of inflation to keep the economy running just right. See how well they’ve done since 1999, with two massive bubbles destroying the lives of millions and the mother of all bubbles (stocks, bonds, real estate) currently continuing to grow before it’s predictable incineration of wealth.

The Big Lie about the need for inflation has been pounded into the heads of the weak minded by the Fed, Wall Street shysters, fake news media outlets, and TV entertainers disguised as journalists and financial experts. This country became a worldwide industrial power while sustaining mild deflationary conditions for almost two hundred years. It wasn’t until the birth of the welfare/warfare state in the 1960s when corrupt politicians and spineless central bankers decided they needed guns, butter, and entitlements.

Closing the gold window in 1971 and allowing politicians to run up the national debt from $400 billion (34% of GDP) to $20 trillion (106% of GDP), while making $200 trillion of unfunded entitlement promises, has been the result. Total credit market debt has risen from $2 trillion in 1971 to over $65 trillion today. Total global debt has surpassed $217 trillion, or 325% of global GDP. The only way to make these disastrously horrible decisions seem palatable has been to produce inflation at prodigious levels in order to make the debt appear payable. It’s not.

Inflation and its supposed benefits is an example of how the Deep State has perfected the teachings of master propagandist Edward Bernays.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” Edward Bernays – Propaganda – 1928

Of course, the pliable public has been convinced government debt doesn’t matter because we owe it ourselves, or some such nonsense. They have also been convinced by Madison Avenue maggots and Wall Street shysters that luxury automobiles, McMansions, Rolex watches, 72 inch home theaters, iGadgets, and a myriad of other “essential” material possessions purchased with debt actually constitute wealth. Keeping up with the joneses has been brainwashed into the minds of the ignorant masses as their only true goal in life.

The result is consumer credit of $3.8 trillion, the highest level in history. Since the 2008 financial crisis, created by the fraudulent issuance of mountains of subprime debt by Wall Street banks and stimulated by the easy money Fed, hundreds of billions of subprime student loan and auto debt have been dispensed to artificially boost GDP. This scheme was concocted by the Obama administration, Yellen, and their Wall Street puppeteers to bamboozle the public and temporarily jolt the economy. It failed.

Over 25% of all student loans are in default. Six million Americans are delinquent on their auto loans. The taxpayer bailout when the student loan “crisis” suddenly hits will exceed $500 billion, as Obama has doled out loans to every functionally illiterate college wannabe in the nation. You’d think the payoff from doling out $700 billion in student loan debt would be more knowledgeable young people imbibed with the inspiration to change the world with their newfound intelligence and training.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The $700 billion has produced illiterate, violent social justice warriors who despise free speech, can’t add, can’t write a sentence, and are virtually unemployable. But they are good at protesting, burning things, and being outraged by anyone they disagree with. This student loan debacle has been a purposeful scheme to artificially lower unemployment and provide the appearance of economic recovery, as the loan money has been used for iGadgets, booze, hookers and blow. Mission accomplished Obama!!

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/Student%20Car%20Loans.jpg

“The most erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.” –  H.L. Mencken

The one area of consumer credit which has not reached its previous bubble peak is credit card debt. After Wall Street wrote off $300 billion (funded by taxpayer TARP funds) they began issuing credit cards like candy, again. But consumers have been slower to whip out the plastic like the pre-2008 days. That’s why bricks and mortar retailers have closed thousands of stores and ghost malls across suburbia are the norm.

So it begs the question as to why credit card debt has increased by $160 billion (up 20%) since its 2010 low. The answer is simple when you take into account the stagnant wages and rising cost of living documented earlier. Credit card defaults are so low because they are the only thing sustaining millions of families across the country.

In case you haven’t noticed, the purveyors of credit on Wall Street, out of the goodness of their evil black hearts (they’ve paid $321 billion in fines since 2008 without admitting guilt or having one executive jailed), have convinced every level of government, every utility company, landlords, and educational institutions to accept credit cards for payment. Before 2000, all these bills had to be paid with cash on hand.

Now you can pay your IRS bill, real estate taxes, monthly cell phone bill, school tuition or rent (with outrageous fees) with a credit card at 15% interest. Nothing like turning a $2,500 real estate tax payment into a $4,000 real estate tax payment, over time. It’s the American way.

Desperate households across the land aren’t clinging to guns and bibles. They’re clinging to credit cards as their only lifeline in this failing empire of debt, deception, and delusion. When the next inevitable financial crisis strikes “unexpectedly” and even the low paying, no benefits Obama jobs disappear, even their five credit cards won’t keep them from getting kicked out on the street again.

This isn’t just my pessimistic doom persona rearing its ugly head. My ponderings are based on common sense, an honest assessment of the real situation in this country and an understanding of the ebbs and flows of history. H.L. Mencken had similar views on government and the American people during the last Fourth Turning.

“In the present case it is a little inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible to any public office of trust or profit in the Republic. But I do not repine, for I am a subject of it only by force of arms.”H.L. Mencken

Based on anecdotal and hard verifiable data, the average American family is in the midst of a recession, if not a depression. No amount of propaganda, misinformation, fake government data, or fake news can cover-up the facts. Donald Trump was elected president, not by misogynist, white, racist, xenophobes, but by families (men and women) who have been screwed over by the establishment for decades and left impoverished, hopeless, and depressed.

He won the election because radicals like you and me decided to send a message to the arrogant, evil, globalist ruling class that we are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore. Despair of the silent normal majority is what propelled Trump to victory. Choices have consequences.

“History offers no guarantees. If America plunges into an era of depression or violence which by then has not lifted, we will likely look back on the 1990s as the decade when we valued all the wrong things and made all the wrong choices.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

In Part Three of this article I will assess the early days of the Trump presidency, the full court press by the Deep State to bring him down, his unrealistic economic plans, and how our overvalued stock, bond and real estate markets will eventually crash, leading to the next leg down in this Fourth Turning.

Jeff Bezos Interview, RE/Code Conference

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talks with The Verge’s Walt Mossberg about the “gigantic” potential of artificial intelligence to change everything from shopping to self-driving cars. Bezos also discusses his purchase of the Washington Post in 2013, which he says is transforming from a local to a global institution. He explains why he opposes both Peter…

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