Yellen Hell In Market Mayhem German Neo World Order 666 Socialist Buy Assad Bond Bomb Drop On Pride Of Putz Putin
The American people are asleep at the wheel. The blame is not totally their’s, but they do bare the brunt of the blame. The mainstream media does not report what is happening within our economy or the geopolitical arena, unless they can spew on and on about the endless rainbows, unicorns and how “America is the greatest and Putz Putin is the devil.” As Paul Craig Roberts warns, we are facing a world in change and the pace is quickening.
When you work 2 or more part time jobs, are struggling with keeping a roof over your head and the kids need new shoes, it becomes a challenge to seek the truth even though you know the “report” Brian Williams just delivered is a fabricated piece of fantasy. There is almost no truth to be found in the American mainstream media.
One of the best ways to understand what is happening today in places like Syria, Ukraine and the Middle East is to take a step back and see what history has shown. Most all situations in the human experience have roots in the past. As Mark Twain said, “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” that certainly applies to the ever encroaching American police state, the unfolding war in Syria, Ukraine, and the Middle East. Does that sound like world war or is it just me?
What has happened over the past several years in places like Iraq, Libya and Syria have roots in the late 1990’s. The Project for a New American Century, a “think-tank”, founded by Tricky Dick Cheney, one of the most die-hard neocons the world has ever seen, developed a plan to invade – that’s right, invade – 7 countries in 5 years. Their plan is taking longer than originally thought, but I am not sure if Russian and Antichrist Communist Chinese resistance was part of the calculation. The development of al-Queada, that has now morphed into Antichrist ISIS, has not gone as planned either. Antichrist ISIS appears to be morphing into their own entity that the CIA is having a hard time controlling. The rogue band of mercenaries are going rogue in a way that was not foreseen.
Dr. Roberts describes the evolution of the “deep state” and how the neocons have a strangle hold on the American political process that is hard to shake. These psychopathic warmongers are not concerned with anything except power, blood-lust and their own sense of “destiny”. The tapestry that Dr. Roberts weaves begins with Nixon, the Vietnam War and winds it’s way through the latest meeting between President Putz Putin and Secretary of State, Skull&Bones John Kerry. The picture is clear and details how we have arrived at the brink of nuclear annihilation. The three part series is not to be missed. To get the whole picture you need to listen all the way through. It was intentionally broken into smaller pieces to allow the info to sink in. As I said we are facing a world in change and the pace is quickening. Give this a good listen and let us know what you think.
Not only did the Fed miss its window of opportunity to hike rates, but it did so at the worst possible time, launching the first tightening cycle in 11 years just as US manufacturing entered its first recession since the financial crisis, just as the credit cycle entered its slowdown phase, and just as the default cycle is picking up, first in the energy sector one year ago and now spreading to all other industries. In fact, if the Fed had an alarm clock set to ring at 2:30pm, it hit snooze so many times, the alarm went off at 8pm according to Citigroup, “or possibly even later.” But as the chart below shows, while the Fed’s credibility will be crushed as a result, the Fed’s woeful alarm timing will have dire consequences for both equity and credit returns.
Here is a different perspective on the $4.5 trillion question: where in the credit cycle is the US economy, courtesy of Citigroup.
Typically rate rises start when profits are growing faster than debt and when companies are still deleveraging. This is around “half-past two” on our leverage clock2: 1994 and 2004 both fit this pattern. Now, with companies having been leveraging up for the past four years, and net debt/EBITDA in both Europe and especially the US at its highest non-recessionary level ever, it feels more like eight o’clock, or possibly even later (Figure 2).
What does being 6 hours late to your own rate hike party mean? The two downward facing red arrows in the left chart explain everything.
The rest follows logically, with Citi admitting that as of this moment “we have had all the improvement in growth and in profits we are likely to get.” However, the best part is when Citi’s Matt King, head of credit strategy, openly mocks “equity investors.”
This is why we think the historical pattern of “credit spreads do well when central raise rates” is a poor guide in present circumstances. Credit spreads do well when the economy is recovering, and when profits are improving. This time around, it seems likely we have had all the improvement in growth and in profits we are likely to get. Indeed, the decline in the past few quarters’ EBITDA, and now in the last quarter’s US EPS, makes us feel dangerously close to the normal tipping point at which even equity investors realize that leveraging up is unsustainable, and credit and equities both sell off in a mutually reinforcing spiral. With industrial production growth negative, you could argue that the global manufacturing sector looks like it is in recession already (Figure 3).
And since Citi is taking the hammer to even the faintest of silver linings, there goes the “service and non-energy recovery” one which as the note clearly explains has led to deep internal fractures between the various strategist groups at the bailed out bank.
The bull case is that services are doing better, and that that worry can be confined to energy, basic industry, and emerging markets. It is also a much greater concern in the US than in Europe, where the index composition is very different, and the recovery is at a much earlier stage. This underlies part of our preference for € over $ credit, and indeed our credit and economic house forecasts generally.
But there is at least a real risk – visible in our commentary, but not in the headline forecasts – that problems spread. The profit downturn is not just in the energy sector. The equity rally has become increasingly narrow: as our equity strategists like to say, “Bull markets narrow; bear markets broaden.” And the fact that credit analysts everywhere are on the lookout for “the next VW”, “the next Glencore”, “the next Abengoa” may through the magic of investor psychology actually contribute to their creation.
The good news for the Fed is that not only can it lower rates now, having shown it can heroically raise them to 0.25% even as its balance sheet remains at $4.5 trillion, it could even push them negative around the time it announces that QE4 (and perhaps 5) will target the $2 trillion or so in junk bonds.
According to Bloomberg, “Bond prices are now so high that yields on more than $4 trillion of the developed world’s sovereign debt have turned negative.” As the price goes to infinity, the rate goes to zero, right? I don’t really know how negative rates are achieved on a pre-existing bond—you probably can’t get there from here (to quote the recently departed Yogi)—but we will talk about it in the ZIRP and NIRP section below. Welcome to Mount Stupid.
I previously called the bond market the “bond caldera”—a bubble so large that you can see it only from space (or from Greenspan’s front porch). I believe that someday, we will all be hosed when the liquidity leaves the system. This is not a unique view, but many bond speculators believe that (1) central banks would never let rates rise uncontrollably; (2) they are smart enough to get out first; and (3) their counterparties will actually pay them when the time comes. Apparently, there’s a lot of omnipotence to spread around. Until the burst, I simply marvel at the metastability with awe.
Catastrophe bonds—securitized insurance products that pass the risk of catastrophic payouts onto unsuspecting suckers—will surely be deemed ironic before the Final Exit. This insight comes from former General David Petraeus in his new position as a bond expert at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).129 (Bonds? I thought you said bombs!) Risk parity funds endorsed by Ray Dalio are premised on the idea that a 200–300% leveraged bond portfolio will bring the return and the risk of bonds to parity with equities.130 Be careful what you wish for, Ray. You may find that risk you are looking for and then some. Unwinding risk parity funds will add some serious fuel to the inferno. Bridgewater Associates will probably apply for bank status late some Sunday night. Bond Kings Bill Gross and Jeff Gundlach called the top of the German bond bund market (Figure 25).131,132 Gross called them “the short of a lifetime.” Actually, they probably didn’t call the top but rather caused it. Epilogue: the German bunds are rallying back already. Human folly knows no bounds.
World debt is 40% higher than it was at its peak before The Crisis.136 Central banks are buying up (monetizing) 100% of newly issued debt in an effort to—how do they say it?—trigger inflation.137 It’s probably not going to play out fast (although it could). Collapsing energy prices are putting huge pressures on emerging markets relying on cash flows (petrodollars) to pay off dollar-denominated debt.138 Rumor has it that 2017 is the big year for emerging market debt rollovers. Put that on your calendars—your 2016 calendars. Noah built the ark before the rains.
I am a reformed inflationist. I had faith in the omnipotence of central bankers, and they seemed determined to destroy the currencies of the world while hoping We the People didn’t notice. Their omnipotence is in doubt, and their impotence is showing. First, let’s be clear that describing something so complex as the collective price levels of bazillions of commodities, healthcare, tuition, stocks, bonds, and labor in a binary language—inflation or deflation—is an absurdity of a higher order. It’s not that I think generalized price levels will drop—I don’t—but rather that we could face a deflationary liquidation of assets and debt (negative inflation to the euphemists.) That maximum-pain, Black Swan moment is gonna smart.
You can find evidence of both inflation and deflation depending on where you look. Both Europe and Japan reportedly slipped into deflation in October.139 There is an ongoing deflationary commodity rout. David Stockman notes that “iron ore is . . . the real measure of the violence of global deflation that is currently underway,” yet beef and veal are up 30% in two years.140 Rents have been soaring in the U.S.141 and are so high that in San Francisco, converted shipping containers are being leased for $1,000/month.142
I was asked recently about why I hold gold while facing deflationary risk. That’s easy: people of prominence and authority are still saying incredibly stupid things and making asinine decisions. Let’s look at a few:
“I do not hesitate to say that although the prices of many products of the farm have gone up . . . I am not satisfied. It is definitely a part of our policy to increase the rise and to extend it to those products that have as yet felt no benefit. If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another. But do it we will.”
~Mario Draghi, European Minister of Inflation and Debasement
“Inflation is hopefully giving little signs of moving up in the right direction.”
~Christine Lagarde, director, IMF
“When older cohorts have more influence on the redistributive policy, the economy has a relatively low steady-state level of capital and a relatively low steady-state rate of inflation.”
~James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed
“Even if we had some kind of shock that sent prices up for some reason, the Fed has the tools to stop inflation. That’s not very hard. . . . There is a whole generation of people who don’t remember inflation. They don’t know what it is, and so I think inflation is a non-existent threat.”
~Alice Rivlin, former Fed governor, making my brain hurt
The award for the most moronic statement goes to . . . envelope please . . . Alice Rivlin! If we don’t know what inflation is, it can’t hurt us. Fabulous! As far back as the Neolithic era when division of labor first appeared, increased efficiency and productivity resulted in deflation naturally: goods improved and prices dropped as production methods evolved. In a highly inflationary world of fiat currency and central banking, however, you only get deflation when central bankers completely screw the pooch. They think central planning precludes deflation when it is the failures of central planning that cause a post-inflation, chaotic deflation. Every bust is preceded by excessive credit.
The authorities—the sharpest bulbs in the deck—fear deflation but are remarkably sanguine about inflation. Why? In the Fed’s version of Field of Dreams, voices say “print and it will come,” but got a big goose egg. Although housewives are hurting from rising prices, economists see a falling money velocity, and fret over assets that have been pumped and are now poised to dump.
“Deflation is clearly the boogeyman . . . and the only thing that will save the middle class.”
~Rick Santelli, CNBC
Let’s take a closer look at the dollar-centric money velocity (Figure 26). Isn’t it a truism that if you jam more money into a system than it can absorb, the velocity will plummet? Back in 2010 I called this a “monetary capacitor” waiting to discharge.3 Even Greenspan frets that the unseemly globs of money on the bank balance sheets are a latent inflation waiting to release (and he has nth stage something.)143 But so far the Fed’s efforts to inflict inflationary carnage—debase your currency and your savings—have yet to work their magic: their grand monetary stimulation has been flaccid.
Where have we seen this precipitous drop in money velocity before? Oh. Right. Weimar Germany in the 1920s (Figure 27). In fact, the velocity plummeted twice before the infamous German hyperinflation kicked into gear, eventually hurtling the world into a second world war. If that happens again, we are gonna see some high-frequency quantitative tightening.
Figure 27. Weimar money velocity.
The authorities couldn’t give a hoot about Consumer Price Index inflation: they hide it. (I dealt with MIT’s Billion Prices Project last year;7 it has flaws with statistical weighting and transparency in my opinion.) The authorities also love asset inflation: they promote it. What they care about deeply is preventing asset deflation. There are, nonetheless, some big-brained guys worrying about inflation and its consequences:
“Asset inflation is roaring, but it is sectoral and skewed. Consumer inflation is understated, and thus growth is overstated. Employment data [are] misleading. This combination of factors means that ordinary citizens are not doing well, but the owners of high-end everything are doing just fine, with few concerns for the middle-class people who know things are not ‘all right,’ but cannot put their finger on why.”
~Paul Singer, Elliott Management Corporation
“The idea that when people see prices falling they will stop buying those cheaper goods or cheaper food does not make much sense. And aiming for 2 percent inflation every year means that after a decade prices are more than 25 percent higher, and the price level doubles every generation. That is not price stability, yet they call it price stability. I just do not understand central banks wanting a little inflation.”
~Paul Volcker, former Fed chairman
“In spite of all the paper issues, commercial activity grew more and more spasmodic. Enterprise was chilled and business became more and more stagnant.”
~Andrew Dickson White on the French inflation
“Thus the menace of inflationism . . . is not merely a product of the war, of which peace begins the cure. It is a continuing phenomenon of which the end is not yet in sight.”
~John Maynard Keynes
ZIRP and NIRP
“If rates go negative, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing will likely be called upon to print a lot more currency as individuals and small businesses substitute cash for at least some of their bank balances.”
~New York Fed, 2012
“We are now in the terminal stages of QE, during which the practical limitations of this fatuous and discredited policy are being revealed.”
~Tim Price, PFP Group
“It goes without saying that deeply negative interest rates would be accompanied by a massively expanded QE4 in the US. The last seven years of exploding central bank balance sheets will seem like Bundesbank monetary austerity compared to what is to come.”
~Albert Edwards on a bull session with Bob Janjuah
“When zero interest rates don’t do the trick, we begin to imagine that maybe negative interest rates and penalties on saving might coerce people to spend now. Look around the world, and that same basic policy set is the hallmark of economic failure on every continent.”
~John Hussman, founder and head of Hussman Funds
As the world struggles back from the 2008–09 crisis, the central banks remain at DEFCON 1. Maybe they are lying—the world is not recovering. Maybe they are pusillanimous. Central bankers suffer Hayek’s Fatal Conceit, deluding themselves into believing they are more qualified than the market to set the price of capital—to set interest rates. I find it a breathtaking conceit. We often hear about what rates are telling us about the economy when in fact sovereign bonds reflect the central bankers perception of the economy . . . well, actually, their perception of what is good for the economy . . . or maybe the banking system . . . whatever. Supply and demand meet at price. What’s true for widgets is true for capital. Central bankers have decided they don’t like current prices, the price discovery mechanism, or even free markets. The result is the proliferation of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and, most amazing, negative interest rate policy (NIRP). Why zero? It’s a policy . . . try to keep up.
“I am pretty horrified by the global quantitative floodgates that have been opened since the 2008 Great Recession. Once an emergency measure of dubious effect, it is now a never-ending stream of confetti money being thrown around the world to inflate asset prices. QE has now become the policy variable of first resort. Personally I think this will all end very badly.”
Given that yields correlate inversely with price (although my math breaks down with negative rates), this is the largest bond bubble in history, which necessarily makes it the biggest bubble of any kind in history. As the highly flawed theory goes, zero rates can become insufficient such that they must lay siege on savers with NIRP. Just to be clear, in the World According to NIRP, borrowers are paid to borrow and creditors pay to lend. Hmmm . . . must be a theoretical construct, n’est-ce pas? Not exactly.
“Ideas that would have been considered crazy just a decade ago are now seen as much more likely.”
~Mike Bird, Business Insider
Switzerland became the first 10-year bond to go negative; Switzerland profits from borrowing money (Figure 28).144 Sources close to the SNB suggest “a rate of minus 1.5 percent is being considered.”145 Sweden’s Riksbank started its monetary bestiality, keeping its repo rate at minus 25 basis points and announcing that more bond purchases would be in order if the markets didn’t kowtow to the desire for inflation.146 Who doesn’t crave a good dose of inflation? Then the German five-year note went negative. Thirty percent of European sovereign debt is now trading at negative interest rates—2 trillion Euros (Figure 29). Seventy percent of all German bonds and 50% of French bonds are returning wealth-consuming negative rates.147 The Great Danes similarly have jumped the negative interest rate shark. Even the Spaniards pay to loan money to their insolvent state.147 It eventually leaked into the corporate sector with Nestlé enjoying the right to be paid 50 basis points to borrow money.148
“There is an inherent risk of future losses if we buy at negative yields.”
~Ewald Nowotny, European Central Bank Governing Council
Figure 29. Growth in negative yielding debt
“It is easy to neuter cash taken out of the bank as a way to defeat negative interest rates simply by removing the guarantee that the Bank of Japan will take that cash back at face value.”
~Miles Kimball, economist at the University of Michigan
Operational equivalents of negative yields can be inflicted on retail banking clients through fees that exceed interest rates. The Australians are pondering a tax on savings. The incentives are often oddly perverse. While some are charging fees, others are shunning large deposits. Deutsche Bank no longer wants checking accounts; in the QE world, deposits are no longer the foundation of its capital.
“I’m quite happy to pay a trusted creditor (a.k.a. the government) a moderate fee in the form of a negative interest rate for storing part of my wealth.”
~Morgan Stanley analyst on negative rates
So what’s the problem? Some enthusiasts think that when money is cheap, sovereigns should borrow their collective asses off. Worked well for home buyers in 2000–09. Others have noted that positive yields are available by shorting the debt.147 Very weird. Central banks obsess over expectations, and we are told the deflation mindset is deadly, but the evidence is unconvincing to me.
In the best-case scenario, the whole debt superstructure remains intact and bondholders make nothing on their investments. How will those endowments, defined-benefit pension plans, and 401Ks perform when 40% of their 60-40 portfolios return negative squat? Ya can’t even make it up on volume with risk-parity bond funds because they are all risk, no return. The consequences of this nonsense are legion. The pros will call it a “yield chaser’s market” and assure us they are the smart guys. The 7–8% projected returns required to achieve projected demographic needs don’t look too probable. The more likely scenario, however, is that bond prices and bond portfolios will tank. Unlike the 2008–09 crisis in which bonds cushioned the fall for equities, bonds and equities will drop in concert. Yield-starved investors in the developed world tried to escape NIRP and ZIRP with yield-chasing in emerging markets. That market is collapsing as I type. It could really get out of control.
The War on Cash
“Cash is not a very convenient store of value.”
“The benefits of cash are significant—but they need not be offered for free.”
How Orwellian. With all this talk of ZIRP and NIRP, it is patently obvious that the return of zero percent on cash in your mattress exceeds the return on money in the bank in a NIRP world. Don’t go hollowing out your Sealy just yet, however. The War on Cash is already circumnavigating the globe and could get fugly.
The initial skirmishes are predictably authoritative jawboning. Folks of wealth and power have been preaching the evils of cash for some time. Willem Buiter penned a screed wailing on the limitations of cash148 (and the dastardly consequences of gold).149 He thinks taxing cash is no worse than inflation. Yes, Willem, and your point is what? Buiter, by the way, began spewing these ideas as early as 2009.150 Charles Goodhart, formerly hailing from the Bank of England, proposes abolishing high-denomination currency, which exists “to finance drug deals.”151 Maybe he’s Charlie McGruff the Crime Dog, but he tips his hand by noting that cash also makes it hard for bankers to “drive interest rates a little bit further down.” Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff wrote a paper favoring the exploration of “a more proactive strategy for phasing out the use of paper currency.”152 He too feigns crime-dog status but goes on to note that “central banks cannot cut interest rates nearly as much as they might like.” A German economist named Peter Bofinger claims that “coins and notes are in fact an anachronism.” The Financial Times, obviously doing a little whoring of its own, gives five specious arguments against cash,153 not the least telling of which is the suggestion that “the existence of cash—a bearer instrument with a zero interest rate—limits central banks’ ability to stimulate a depressed economy.” Andrew Haldane from the Bank of England notes154 that negative rates “encourage people to take their savings out of the bank and hoard them in cash. This could slow, rather than boost, the economy. It would be possible to get around the problem of hoarding by abolishing cash.”
“Faced with seeing their money slowly confiscated, people are more likely to spend it on goods and services. When this change in behaviour takes place across the country, the economy gets a significant fillip.”
~Jim Leaviss, M&G Investments
It’s not just talk: cash is getting pushed to the margins. A number of sovereign states including Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Uruguay, Mexico, and France have legal caps on cash transactions.155 The U.S. requires cash withdrawals above $10,000 or serial withdrawals exceeding $10,000 in aggregate to be reported to authorities.156 Are you willing to risk asset seizure? Not me. I accepted my loss of civil liberty and stopped withdrawing even 4-digit sums. Louisiana actually has a legal (albeit unconstitutional) restriction on cash transactions.156 Apparently, “all debts public and private” doesn’t really mean all debts . . . only little ones . . . maybe no debts . . . and I’m not sure about the private part either.
JPM has been the most aggressive to squash cash. It threatened to charge certain customers a “balance sheet utilization fee.”157 That’s short for ‘stealing your God damned money. ’JPM also banned paper currency or coins in safe deposit boxes unless they are collectibles.158 I suspect American gold eagles are not deemed collectibles. And, by the way, how do they know what’s in your box? Lest we forget, the State of California did a massive smash-and-grab on safe deposit boxes159 until the courts finally stopped it. I trust JPM a lot less.
At least one Swiss bank has banned cash withdrawals. The CEO of MasterCard talks his book by noting, “We generally believe cash has a tremendous cost to society.” Thank God using your MasterCard is free (head slap). A German MasterCard subsidiary has banned cash withdrawals using the card. Given that it could simply bust chops with huge withdrawal fees, one wonders what the angle is. It’s not like we needed another reason to hate credit card companies and their affiliated banks.
Denmark seems to be taking the plunge into a cashless society. The wealth will be held not by a bank but by the government. Phew! So once those crazy Danes go cashless, what is to protect them from a 1% service fee? How about 4%? Maybe that’s too hyperbolic, but I’ve noticed that ATM cash withdrawal fees have gone up massively at both ends of the transaction. With ATMs within a hundred yards of us at all times, you would think the market would drive the cost per withdrawal down, not up.
Let’s summarize restrictions on cash: We can’t hoard it, withdraw it in big chunks, withdraw it in little chunks except with huge fees, or spend it in significant quantities. Now let me be really clear: Cash is a civil liberty that allows you to maintain arm’s reach from the strong arm of the government. I am willing to share it with the drug lords if need be. I also think those who wish to ban cash are, at best, clueless and misguided. Others are wretched people, fascists, quite possibly treasonous, and definitely worthy of a swift beating. If you douchebags in power force people to go to hard assets to avoid oppression, don’t be surprised if those hard assets include firearms. You are playing with fire.
“No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.”
~Section 10, U.S. Constitution
Given its length, we’ve had to break this report in half so as not to crash your browser. Click here to read Part 2 of David Collum’s 2015 Year in Review.
A downloadable pdf of the full article is available here, for those who prefer to do their power-reading offline.
The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is likely to have “far surpassed” a record 60 million this year, mainly driven by the Syrian war and other protracted conflicts, the United Nations said on Friday.
The estimated figure includes 20.2 million refugees fleeing wars and persecution, the most since 1992, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report.
Nearly 2.5 million asylum seekers have requests pending, with Germany, Russia and the United States receiving the highest numbers of the nearly one million new claims lodged in the first half of the year, it said.
“2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time – 1 in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes,” it said. The total figure at the end of 2014 was 59.5 million.
An estimated 34 million people were internally displaced as of mid-year, about 2 million more than the same time in 2014. Yemen, where civil war erupted in March, reported the highest number of newly uprooted people at 933,500.
A newly discovered asteroid, about 10-meters (34 feet) wide, flew past Earth well withing the orbit of the Moon on December 19, 2015. After a much bigger, 650-meter (0.33 miles) wide asteroid that flew past Earth at about 1.3 LD on October 31, this is the second recent near-miss asteroid discovered just days before its closest approach.
The asteroid, initially named 2015 YB, was discovered on December 16. It made closest approach to our planet around 12:00 UTC today at about 59 220 km (36 800 miles) from the surface. For reference, the Moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 384 600 km (239 000 miles).
According to NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program, the asteroid was flying at a speed of about 52 000 km/h (32 300 mph) relative to Earth.
December 18, 2015 – GEORGIA, UNITED STATES – If you saw a fireball streaking across the skies of Georgia and other parts of the Southeast Thursday night, you’re not alone. NASA confirmed meteor sightings near Atlanta and other parts of southern states. No, it’s not Doomsday, the end of the world, and it wasn’t a UFO or signs of extraterrestrial visitors.
According to an 11 Alive story, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) said six of its ALL Sky Fireball Network cameras detected the meteor about 6:33 p.m. Reports of sightings came in from Georgia residents and motorists near Henry County.
The Philippines archipelago suffered another hit of severe weather, as heavy rainfalls battered the area on December 19, 2015. The government declared a state of national calamity, following a rising threat of aggravating floods across the region previously affected by Typhoon “Melor” (Nona). The total death toll, following a week of heavy flooding, has risen to 41.
Tropical Depression “29W”, locally known as Onyok, which developed west of Palau on December 16, has weakened into a low pressure area as it made landfall over Caraga (Manay), Davao Oriental on December 18. The weather system brought more rainfall to the central Visayas Islands and Mindanao.
Almost 10 000 people from Caraga region have been evacuated before Onyok’s landfall and 140 000 residents, previously displaced by Typhoon “Melor”, have been held in evacuation centers. 30 mm (1.2 inches) per hour of additional precipitation has been forecast across the central islands of Cebu, Negros and Bohol. The residents of these areas have been warned to remain alert as further evacuations are possible.
The total death toll, following a week of heavy flooding, has risen to 41. A state of national calamity was declared by president Benigno Aquino to “hasten the rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts”, the Guardian reports.
“Almost the entire Philippines is experiencing rains. More floods are possible. We expect the rains to peak today. The weather will start to improve tomorrow,” weather forecaster Robert Badrina said.
December 22nd, the world is invited to celebrate the name of Cernunnos, the mythical horned god, adorned with powerful ringed antlers and said to preside over dimensional doorways, in a mixture of religious rituals and practices honoring both his birthday and the winter solstice.
Scientific advances will soon allow children to have any number of parents, legal experts warn.
The arrival of ‘multiplex parenting’ is a ‘mere matter of time’ as the techniques have been shown to work on mice, according to a study. In theory, any number of parents from three upwards – of either sex – could contribute DNA to create a baby. Sonia Suter, a law professor at George Washington University, has explored the issues raised by the technique, called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG).
She suggests babies could be used to create ‘clans’ of large numbers of people, linked through their shared offspring.
The method would also enable the creation of ‘solo’ children from one parent – as well as hope for infertile adults who would not need a donor egg or sperm.
Professor Suter said that while technical challenges remain, IVG ‘potentially allows for methods of procreation that have never been possible before’. ‘IVG could facilitate multiplex parenting, where groups of more than two individuals – whether all male, all female, or a combination – procreate together, producing children who are the genetic progeny of them all,’ she said.
Writing in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, the professor added: ‘Procreation in this manner troubles many people because of its significant divergence from our understanding of reproduction as something that occurs between two people.’
She said multiplex parents could theoretically lead to a ‘positive outcome’ for a child as ‘the more adults who feel responsible for the child’s wellbeing, the better off the child is likely to be’. But she said confusion and conflict might arise about the roles of the many parents.
The more biological parents there are, the smaller each one’s genetic link to the child. A youngster with two parents, for instance, gets 50 per cent of its genetic material from each. So a child created by four people using IVG would get 25 per cent of its DNA from each person – equivalent to the genetic share of a conventional baby’s grandparents.
Antichrist Homosexual Gay NWO 666 couples could soon have children with traits of BOTH Antichrist NWO 666 Homosexual fathers: ‘Multiplex parenting’ could allow up to 32 Antichrist NWO 666 Socialist people to contribute to child’s DNA<—notice ”they” did not say contribute to ”a” child’s DNA or ”The” child’s DNA, ”they” just left out direct specific legal order as if ”they”, as ”the Antichrist collective New World Order 666 image” of ”lower case ©” ”child’s” DNA, are able to escape ”their own judgment”!
^^^The legal fact is, any ”new” DNA order holds all parties involved legally liable. In the case of spreading disease, for instance, the traceable path to the source(s) is legally binding. Of course when it comes to legal cases in a Antichrist NWO 666 government controlled environment that has put the ”Citizen’s United” soulless 666 Antichrist mark of the beast corporate voice legally equal as a human the corporate soulless 666 legal reality is humanity unbecoming and the Antichrist NWO 666 image speaks. In the case of tracing back American weapons grade Anthrax it has already been established that human individuals are overcome and subject to the deadly legal force of the government corporate collective Antichrist NWO 666 beast. Liability rests with the dead and humanity is now the living dead.
Professor Suter said: ‘For example, if 32 individuals engaged in multiplex parenting, in genetic and generational terms they would be like great-great-great-grandparents to the child.’ This is because a child conceived conventionally has 32 great-great-great-grandparents.
She added: ‘Thirty-two adults simply cannot all have the kind of intimate relationship that is central to social parenting … as the number of intended parents increases, the social connections inevitably thin and intimacy diminishes, making multiplex reproduction more like the creation of clans.’
The science behind IVG relies on cells that can be made to develop into sperm or egg cells, known collectively as gametes. It means a woman could produce a sperm cell, or a man could produce an egg cell.
With four parents, sperm and eggs made from stem cells would be taken from each pair of adults. From the resulting two embryos, further cells would be taken to create further sperm and egg cells for a third embryo. This final pairing would have a quarter of DNA from each parent.
IVG would also allow infertile couples and same-sex couples ‘to reproduce in a manner similar to fertile straight couples’. On ‘solo’ babies, the professor said: ‘We might worry that only egoism and selfishness would motivate a single person to reproduce with just his or her gametes’.
The creators of artificially intelligent machines are often depicted in popular fiction as myopic Dr. Frankensteins who are oblivious to the apocalyptic technologies they unleash upon the world. In real life, they tend to wring their hands over the big questions: good versus evil and the impact the coming wave of robots and machine brains will have on human workers.
Scientists, recognizing their work is breaking out of the research lab and into the real world, grappled during a daylong summit on Dec. 10 in Montreal with such ethical issues as how to prevent computers that are smarter than humans from putting people out of work, adding complications to legal proceedings, or, even worse, seeking to harm society. Today’s AI can learn how to play video games, help automate e-mail responses, and drive cars under certain conditions. That’s already provoked concerns about the effect it may have workers.
“I think the biggest challenge is the challenge to employment,” said Andrew Ng, the chief scientist for Chinese search engine Baidu Inc., which announced last week that one of its cars had driven itself on a 30 kilometer (19 mile) route around Beijing with no human required. The speed with which AI advances may change the workplace means “huge numbers of people in their 20s and 40s and 50s” would need to be retrained in a way that’s never happened before, he said.
“There’s no doubt that there are classes of jobs that can be automated today that could not be automated before,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, citing workers such as junior lawyers tasked with e-discovery or people manning the checkout aisles in self-checkout supermarkets.
“You hope that there are some new jobs needed in this economy,” he said. “Entrepreneurs and managers haven’t been as creative in inventing the new jobs as they have been in automating some of the existing jobs.”
Yann LeCun, Facebook’s director of AI research, isn’t as worried, saying that society has adapted to change in the past. “It’s another stage in the progress of technology,” LeCun said. “It’s not going to be easy, but we’ll have to deal with it.”
There are other potential quandaries, like how the legal landscape will change as AI starts making more decisions independent of any human operator. “It would be very difficult in some cases to bring an algorithm to the fore in the context of a legal proceeding,” said Ian Kerr, the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. “I think it would be a tremendous challenge.”
Others are looking further ahead, trying to analyze the effects of AI that exceeds human capabilities. Last year, Google acquired DeepMind, an AI company focusing on fundamental research with the goal of developing machines that are smarter than people. Demis Hassabis, one of the company’s founders, described it as an >>>Apollo program<<< for the creation of artificial intelligence.
“I don’t want to claim we know when we’ll do it,” said Shane Legg, another founder of the company. “Being prepared ahead of time is better than being prepared after.”
While they think the chance is small that a malicious super-intelligence can be developed, Legg and others have set out to study the potential effects because of the profound threat it could pose.
“I don’t think the end stage is the world we now have with waiter robots who bring you your food on a tray,” said Nick Bostrom, an Oxford academic whose book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies has informed the discussion about the implications of intelligent machines. “The end result might be something that looks very different from what we are familiar with.”
Shahar Avin, a researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, said it’s too early in AI research to have a good way to study how to prevent malignant AI from forming.
“We want an agent that cannot or will not modify its own value system,” Avin said. It’s an open question how to do this, he said. A combination of more funding and more public debate should bring more researchers into the field to study how to make AI safe.
As part of the effort, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and other tech luminaries announced the creation on Dec. 11 of OpenAI, a nonprofit research group dedicated to developing powerful new AI technologies in as open a manner as possible.
If super-intelligence is inevitable, it’s best to build it in the open and encourage people to think about its consequences, Musk said. He also funded the Future of Life Institute, an organization dedicated to exploring some of the risks posed to humanity by new technologies, including AI.
Ng said, however, that the fascination of “AI evil intelligences” may prove a distraction to much more likely negative effects, such as job losses. And LeCun said AI could be better and kinder than people.
“We’re driven by basic instincts that were built into us for survival,” LeCun said. “Machines will have a very, very different type of intelligence. It will not have the drives that make people do bad things to each other.”
David Johnston, the governor general of Canada, made some remarks at a separate event in Toronto, that captured some of these anxieties.
“What we do increasingly sense is that machine learning and artificial intelligence are likely to emerge reasonably soon, and when they do, we know the impact will be significant,” Johnston said. “So, what role can we play, and how do we maximize the opportunities of this technology, and minimize the challenges that arise?”
It is set to be the predator that can land anywhere.
Northrop Grumman has revealed a flying-wing tailsitter drone it says does not need a runway.
Instead, it simply lands on its tail – a design first tested in the 1950s.
Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization (RADICS), its goal is to develop automated systems to deal with a loss of power.
^^^The sad reality of a simple ”virus” is, once ”AI” ”IT” (AIIT) is released mutation assures certain destruction rises exponentially.
the philosophy of ‘stealth’ in and of itself was not unique to Stuxnet. What was unique, and truly innovative, in the worm was the PLC-level rootkit, which allowed it to operate directly on the Iranian centrifuges undetected, intercepting and discarding commands from the control systems and sending its own malicious signals in their place.
Stealth in essence buried one level deeper into the system’s architecture, allowing to the malware to operate at a remove from the monitoring systems that security specialists would not previously have considered. Furthermore, because the rootkit was installed on the PLC itself, it was robust to any changes made on the control PC: Stuxnet would, in effect, continue operating even if the control PC were wiped clean. Because the control PCs were the only ways to monitor and direct the PLCs’ processes, the scientists at Natanz were duped by the PLC rootkit’s phony signals. Broad, Markoff, and Sanger of the New York Times compare this feat of obfuscation to playing a ‘pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist’. The analogy does well to capture the essence of Stuxnet’s modus operandi but falls short of revealing the worm’s true sophistication. Consider that, in the bank heist analogy, it’s the screen that is lying to the surveillance crew; in Stuxnet’s case, it was more like the cameras doing the lying—even before their pictures hit the screen. In sum, Stuxnet was deception on every front, down to the bottom line of the facility’s operations.
Ultimately, a better question to ask is not whether Stuxnet will be turned against its creators, but rather what, if any, might be the implications of the ‘proliferation’ of its most novel component? Again, it depends. There is some reason to believe that Stuxnet’s ‘design philosophy’—moving the execution of malicious code deeper into target systems, cutting out the need for remote access—may be taking hold in hacking circles. A report released by McAfee Security early this month, for example, outlines the automation of the Zeus and SpyEye trojans. Once used to retrieve sensitive banking information that hackers could subsequently use to commit fraud, modified versions of these tools now do all the fraud themselves—right from the infected systems. In much the same way, Stuxnet’s payload executed autonomously from the front lines. While the attackers could access Stuxnet remotely if they so desired, remote access was not necessary to execute the attack: the worm was smart enough, and stealthy enough, to attack by itself. In this respect, however, Stuxnet is merely part of a larger trend, rather than a trend-setter.
Stuxnet vs. United States?
Thus the idea underlying Stuxnet’s PLC rootkit was not altogether unique, but the rootkit itself was the first made to target an industrial control system. Yet designed as it was specifically to interact with SIMATIC WinCC/Step 7 industrial control software, U.S. systems are only vulnerable insofar as our facilities make use of Step 7 and related devices. A quick search for SIMATIC S7 on the internet reveals 12 devices online in the United States, out of a total 54 worldwide. (Note that the facility in Natanz was not connected to the internet, perhaps the most baseline of all precautions.) These 12 devices are not only open to the World Wide Web; they are all running the same software that Stuxnet was designed to exploit. Before we go too far, let us say that it is reasonable to assume that all these systems have all had their Windows operating systems patched, eliminating the vulnerabilities that Stuxnet used to gain initial access. Any cyber attack on these systems would therefore require a zero-day exploit, a novel vulnerability (or vulnerabilities). Once inside, however, malware could operate in a fashion similar to Stuxnet, using the same PLC rootkit files to hoodwink the SIMATIC Step 7 industrial control software. One could imagine a U.S. electrical plant’s turbines (controlled by infected PLCs) going haywire while the control monitors read ‘all clear’, deceived by the rootkit.
All that said, the vast majority—in fact, nearly all—of such a worm’s code would have to be custom-written to exploit the various intricacies of the facility in question, and this in turn would require extensive intelligence on the target system. It would further require access to new zero-day vulnerabilities and workarounds for new security measures being introduced to industrial control systems. The result would not be Stuxnet. It might be similar to, perhaps vaguely inspired by, Stuxnet’s design philosophy, but a handful of recycled files does not a blowback make. Thus, thinking of Stuxnet’s exposure as ‘cyber proliferation’ is not very productive. Our opponents might have learned a thing or two, but in the end we are no more vulnerable now than we were before.
The real impact of Stuxnet relates not to U.S. defenses as much as it does to other states’ behavior in cyberspace. States may face an even greater incentive to use information technology for military purposes now that a precedent has been set. The implications such behavior might have for the United States and U.S. economic and military power are certainly worth considering. As with any aggressive state action, there are both short- and long-term tradeoffs to be made in using cyber weapons: the real question is whether the United States is making the correct long-term analysis.
^^^The obvious answer is ”NO!” The reality of ”AI” does not allow for the possibility for any human to escape the Borg Collective Antichrist NWO 666/ AKA ”Death”. The human platform/host is subject to the ”speed” of the Antichrist NWO 666 Soulless virtual reality artificial intelligence information technology fruit, and the fruit of the tree has always been deadly.
A global call to prayer has been announced by prominent Antichrist Hassidic rabbi, Rabbi Shalom Arush, as the situation in Israel and across the world intensifies.
Antichrist Rabbi Arush, the founder of the Chut Shel Chesed institutions and a leading Breslov rabbi, has called for a global reading of the Shema prayer at 9 pm on the 10th of Tevet of the Hebrew calendar, which falls out on Monday evening, December 21.
The Shema is the twice daily declaration by Jews said during prayer that they accept the rule of heaven. The single verse from Deuteronomy 6:4 is recited out loud, followed by three sections from the Bible.
The prayer event is intended to be a response to the conflict over the Temple Mount and the increasingly tense situation in Syria, which many leading rabbinic leaders have declared part of the Messianic process.
Monday evening, which begins the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is also one of the minor fasts observed in Judaism from dawn to nightfall. The fasting commemorates the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II. This led to the eventual destruction of Solomon’s Temple.
“The Chatam Sofer (a renowned 18th century Torah scholar) said that every generation that doesn’t build the Temple in their time, it is as if the Temple was destroyed in their generation,” Antichrist Rabbi Arush stated in the video. “Every year, a new ruin of the Temple is created. The Chatam Sofer said that on the 10th of Tevet, it was ruled in heaven that the destruction should happen.
We want this year that on the 10th of Tevet, Heaven should rule >>>that the Temple will be built.”<<<
Antichrist Rabbi Arush put out a call that, when taking part in the Shema prayer, “you ask for three things: the Kingship of Heaven, that only God will rule over us; the dynasty of King David, that only he will rule over us; >>>and that the Temple will be built.”<<<
He added that the call to prayer is also a call to repent, “because the most important thing now is the desire to do good.” Speaking on the situation in Syria, Antichrist Rabbi Arush explained, “What is happening is fulfilling all the prophecies. We need to wake up. We need to pray that the Temple will be built now, without suffering, without waiting. Smile and be joyous, because God is with you. Amen.”
Then there was given to me a [a]measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “[b]Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar [of incense], and [count] those who worship in it. 2 But leave out the court [of the Gentiles] which is outside the temple and do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles (the nations); and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months (three and one-half years). 3 And I will grant authority to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days (forty-two months; three and one-half years), dressed in [c]sackcloth.”.
And the chief priests, and the elders, and all the council, were seeking false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death,
60 and they did not find; and many false witnesses having come near, they did not find; and at last two false witnesses having come near,
61 said, `This one said, I am able to throw down the sanctuary of God, and after three days to build it.’
62 And the chief priest having stood up, said to him, `Nothing thou dost answer! what do these witness against thee? 63 and Jesus was silent. And the chief priest answering said to him, `I adjure thee, by the living God, that thou mayest say to us, if thou art the Christ — the Son of God.’
64 Jesus saith to him, `Thou hast said; nevertheless I say to you, hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power, and coming upon the clouds, of the heaven.’
65 Then the chief priest rent his garments, saying, — `He hath spoken evil; what need have we yet of witnesses? lo, now ye heard his evil speaking; 66 what think ye?’ and they answering said, `He is worthy of death.’
67 Then did they spit in his face and buffet him, and others did slap, 68 saying, `Declare to us, O Christ, who he is that struck thee?’.
and in the morning turning back to the city, he hungered,
19 and having seen a certain fig-tree on the way, he came to it, and found nothing in it except leaves only, and he saith to it, `No more from thee may fruit be — to the age;’ and forthwith the fig-tree withered.
President Vladimir Putz Putin has signed into law the bill allowing the Constitutional Court to overrule the decisions of international courts if such decisions contradict the principle of supremacy of the Russian Constitution.
The new act published on the government website on Tuesday reads that the Constitutional Court will look into every decision of any intergovernmental body based on an international treaty and find if it matches the Russian Constitution and the rights and freedoms guaranteed by it. Upon such consideration the Constitutional Court can allow the decision to be executed in Russia, in full or in part, or ban its execution – also in full or in part. The ban would automatically cancel any national acts allowing the execution of the unconstitutional ruling.
The law has been developed and drafted in order to fulfill the mid-July ruling of the Russian Constitutional Court reading that the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) must be individually approved and only carried out if they do not contradict basic Russian law.
In late 2013, the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that it had the right, but not an obligation to decide on the execution of contradictory ECHR decisions in Russia. The July decision expanded the supremacy of the Constitutional Court over foreign judiciaries and international treaties, and established the priority of the Constitution in general.
^^^Well lookie here, Putz Putin actually upheld HIS OWN Russian CONSTITUTION ABOVE the Antichrist NWO 666. This of course just proved the ”POINT OF ORDER”; ALL THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ARE >>>NOT UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION<<< AND ARE NOW >>>SUBJECT TO THE ANTICHRIST NEW WORLD ORDER<<< RULE OF THUMB JUST LIKE THE >>>IDIOT EURO-PEONS<<<.
Compared to Obozo the Antichrist NWO 666 SSPECTRE Clown, Satan has made America look like the Antichrist NWO 666 Obozo 911 Homosexual Climate Change No Boots SPECTRE Clown and Putz Putin looking like an American. LMAO, but of course you know all nations have consumed the same wine, and the ”Hook In Jaw” reality is the spirit of pride. The obvious provocation of the Antichrist is the ultimate sifting tool. Tempting the pride of any and all nations and Israel, as with persons sealed under the Antichrist religious spirit of conviction, reaches back to the true origin of the war against humanity and the reality of the fallen angels, as with man, cast out by their loss of power due too their own pride, which has found them in judgment wanting and in contempt.
In the case of the ”Contempt For The Sustaining Mercy Of Our Father In Christ”, the prosecution rests upon ”the offer of temptation”. In the case of this” terminal tribulation generation”, as with the original ”Proud Look’‘ of Satan, the sustaining offer of mercy preserves ”Yahshua”, Salvation in agreement. ”The Constitution” is the revelation of the ”Sustaining Law” which provides mercy solely to the individual in agreement. Salvation is the revelation of The Mercy of our Father in Christ sustaining the host of ”The Law” standing fast, doing no harm. That is the image of ”The Constitution” being upheld against the enemy.
In this act, Putin certainly does not appear to be a putz, but the reality of the ”Hook” is certainly confirming ”The Word”:
The Kremlin will likely look the other way. However, if Kuntar’s assassination leads to a wider conflict between Israel, Antichrist Iran, and Hezbollah and that conflict spills over from Lebanon into Syria, Putz Putin may decide it’s time to adopt a less conciliatory position vis-a-vis the Israelis.
And it hath come to pass, in that day, I seek to destroy all the nations Who are coming in against Jerusalem,
10 And I have poured on the house of David, And on the inhabitant of Jerusalem, A spirit of grace and supplications, And they have looked unto Me whom they pierced, And they have mourned over it, Like a mourning over the only one, And they have been in bitterness for it, Like a bitterness over the first-born.
11 In that day, great is the mourning of Jerusalem, As the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon,
12 And mourned hath the land — every family apart, The family of the house of David apart, And their women apart; The family of the house of Nathan apart, And their women apart; 13 The family of the house of Levi apart, And their women apart; The family of Shimei apart, And their women apart, 14 All the families that are left, Every family apart, and their women apart!.
Obozo Abruptly Waives 1980 Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act
The Financial Repression Authority has consistently shown that Regulatory changes which “Ring Fence” US investors choices is a cornerstone of the Macro-Prudential Policy of “Financial Repression”. Through stealth programs like FATCA and PFIC the US government has steadily and quietly limited Americans ability to take cash out of the country and to invest abroad, other than through profitable public exchange traded products sold by the financial industry. However, it is one thing to shut the doors to American investing abroad but it is quite another to fully open the doors to foreigners! It begs the question why, why now and why the change needed to happen so urgently?
This week, as the BOJ, ECB and PBOC all continued to aggressively expand credit the Federal Reserve was “full ahead” in the process of withdrawing approximately $1 Trillion of liquidity to achieve its December FOMC decision to increase the Fed Funds rate by 0.25%. To counteract this policy initiative and the alarming collapse in the HY & IG bond market, the US government immediately opened the floodgates to easy foreign credit in a major policy reversal. A policy decision which was rushed through congress with almost no time for congressional debate. Obviously what was not lost on the White House was the fact that the now troubled $2.2 Trillion of High Yield bonds peddled to yield starved investors since the financial crisis matches 2/3’s of the $3.5 Trillion increase in the Federal Reserves balance sheet during the same period.
FIRPTA was implemented during a better era for Americans in response to international investors in the late 1980s and early 1990s buying U.S. farmland, as well as the more publicly visible buying of trophy U.S. property by the Japanese. The US government has now expediently waived FIRPTA.
Antichrist NWO 666 President Barack Obozo The 911 Homosexual Climate Change No Boots SPECTRE Clown signed into law a measure easing a 35-year-old tax on foreign investment in U.S. real estate, potentially opening the door to greater purchases by overseas investors, a major source of capital since the financial crisis.
Contained in the $1.1 trillion spending measure that was passed to avoid a government shutdown is a provision that treats foreign pension funds the same as their U.S. counterparts for real estate investments. The provision waives the tax imposed on such investors under the 1980 Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, known as FIRPTA.
“FIRPTA has historically made direct investment in U.S. property a non-starter for trillions of dollars worth of foreign pensions,” said James Corl, a managing director at private equity firm Siguler Guff & Co. “This tax-law modification is a game changer” that could result in hundreds of billions of new capital flows into U.S. real estate.
Foreign investors have flocked to U.S. real estate since the global economic meltdown, drawn by the relative yields and perceived safety of assets from office towers and shopping centers to apartments and warehouses. The demand has helped drive commercial real estate prices to record highs. Many foreign investors structured their purchases to make themselves minority investors and bypass FIRPTA.
The new law also allows foreign pensions to buy as much as 10 percent of a U.S. publicly traded real estate investment trust without triggering FIRPTA liability, up from 5 percent previously.
“By breaking down outdated tax barriers to inbound investment, the FIRPTA relief will help mobilize private capital for real estate and infrastructure projects,” Jeffrey DeBoer, president and chief executive officer of the Real Estate Roundtable, an industry lobbying group, said in a statement.
Cross-border investment in U.S. real estate has totaled about $78.4 billion this year, or 16 percent of the total $483 billion investment in U.S. property, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc. Pension funds accounted for about $7.5 billion, or almost 10 percent, of the foreign total, according to the New York-based property research firm.
“Foreign pensions are such a low percentage of foreign investment in U.S. real estate because of FIRPTA,” Corl said.
Foreign investment has surged from just $4.7 billion in 2009, according to Real Capital. Foreign buying this year as a percentage of total investment in U.S. real estate is about double the 8.1 percent average in the 10 years through 2012.
Despite a perception that FIRPTA was a response to the wave of Japanese buying of trophy U.S. property in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Rockefeller Center and Pebble Beach, the act was actually passed in 1980 in response to international investors buying U.S. farmland. Under old rules, foreign majority sellers had to pay 10 percent of gross proceeds from the sale of U.S. real estate as well as additional federal, state and local levies that could increase the total tax burden to as much as 60 percent, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
The change “is a huge deal,” said Jim Fetgatter, chief executive of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. “There’s no question” it will increase the amount of foreign investment in U.S. property, he said.
The FRA predicts that Americans will face significant increases in US property taxes over the next five years starting in 2016. With the change in FIRPTA Americans should additionally expect property values to increase in 2016-2017.
Clearly, foreigners, the “1%” and property owners will all gain from this, but most Americans will simply face significantly increasing property taxes on elevated asset values to fund the ever increasing government debt burden.
Americans owning a house can be expected to initially focus on their net worth being higher, and not that they once again will have even less disposable income. Some will learn painfully why the number one killer of small business is cash flow, not profits.
^^^This is an outright assault on Americans. It is an act of war against not only America as a country, this is a prime example of the over all Antichrist NWO 666 Borderless Mark Of The Beast Corporate Globalist Agenda. This is a call to war. LMAO, but the American mind, along with all the nations and Israel, has been so corrupted the people are not moved whatsoever. Americans should have hung the bakers and burned down the White House, Capitol Hill etc… with every last bastard within, lol, but they are watching football and making bets on the game. LMAO. Bread and Circus, only this time the world burns.
“I have a feeling that they will not pay us back because they are crooks.”
So, the stage is now set for what will surely be an amusing court battle between Russia and Ukraine which, you’re reminded, are still essentially at war. In a preview of the kind of chuckle-inducing soundbites you’re likely to hear in the months ahead, we close with the following quote from PM Dmitry Medvedev
Back in August, Ukraine struck a restructuring agreement on some $18 billion in Eurobonds with a group of creditors headed by Franklin Templeton.
Under the terms of the deal, Kiev should save around $4 billion once everything is said and done. That was the good news. The bad news was that Ukraine still owed $3 billion to Vladimir Putz Putin. Here’s what we said at the time:
“..owing Vladimir Putz Putin $3 billion is not a situation one ever wants to find themselves in, but this particular case is exacerbated by the fact that Putin did not loan the money to Ukraine as we know it now, he loaned the money to a Ukraine that was governed by Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych. Of course Yanukovych was run out of the country last year following a wave of protests (recall John McCain’s infamous speech at Maidan).”
Ukrainian finance minister Natalie Jaresko offered the same restructuring terms to Russia that it offered to Franklin Templeton and T. Rowe. In effect, Jaresko was attempting to tell Vladimir Putz Putin that Ukraine would allow him to take a 20% upfront loss on the $3 billion he loaned to Yanukovych who was overthrown by the current Ukrainian government with whom Moscow is effectively at war.
As you might imagine, Putz Putin was not at all interested. Last month, Moscow “generously” offered to accept $1 billion per year from now until 2018 (so, a “restructuring” at par). Kiev refused, noting that such a deal would violate the country’s agreement with its other creditors.
Earlier this week, the IMF ruled that the debt to Russia was intergovernmental (as opposed to private). “In the case of the Eurobond, the Russian authorities have represented that this claim is official. The information available regarding the history of the claim supports this representation,” the Fund said, in a statement.
“The decision means that under new IMF rules Ukraine will now have to demonstrate ‘good faith’ in at least attempting to negotiate a restructuring of its debt with Russia if it wants to secure the next instalment of a $17bn IMF-led rescue programme,” FT noted at the time. “But the ‘good faith’ bar is one that senior IMF officials do not believe Ukraine has yet met.”
That ruling effectively set the stage for Ukraine to declare a default and that’s precisely what happened just moments ago.
As Bloomberg reports, “Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev is imposing a moratorium on the note due Dec. 20. Yatsenyuk announced the payment freeze at a government meeting in Kiev on Friday.”The finance ministry warned Russia on Thursday evening that it could not make the payment (due by Sunday).
“Considering that Russia has refused, despite our efforts, to sign an agreement on restructuring and to accept our proposals, the cabinet is imposing a moratorium on payment of the Russian debt worth $3 billion,” Yatsenyuk said, adding that Kiev “is also imposing a moratorium on the $507 million debt payment to Russian banks of two Ukrainian companies Yuzhnoe and Ukravtodor. From today all payments are suspended till our government or a court makes a decision.”
And it looks like a court will have to make “a decision” because Putin is probably going to sue. “Russia said as recently as last week it would take Ukraine to court if the payment was missed,” Bloomberg notes.
Earlier this month, Putz Putin ordered Finance Minister Anton Siluanov to file a lawsuit against Ukraine in the event Kiev defaults. “It is strange. If they are so confident in the country’s solvency for the next year, then they could somehow participate during the last four years to share the risks,” Putin said, referencing Washington’s unwillingness to back Ukraine’s guarantees. “Fine. File the lawsuit,” he concluded.
Here’s what Defense Secretary Ash Carter had to say:
“It’s regrettable [but] these kinds of things happen when you’re fighting side by side as we are. The airstrike Friday has all the indications of being a mistake of the kind that can happen on a dynamic battlefield. I hope Iraqis will understand that this is a reflection of things that happen in combat. But it’s also a reflection of how closely we are working with the government.”
See there Iraqis? Your suspicions are clearly unfounded.
You thought the US might not be committed to helping you fight Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS Suicide Obozo 911 SPECTRE Squid Clowns, but as Ash Carter will patiently explain to you, The Pentagon is willing to prove how “closely the US is working” with your government by killing ten of your troops.
So last night Antichrist NWO 666 Barack Obozo The 911 Homosexual Climate Change No Boots SPECTRE Clown says he has not watched enough cable television to know that Americans were upset about Paris and California. Consider that for a minute. Maybe the Antichrist Democrats who whisper that he has Aspergers are right. The Antichrist NWO 666 President SPECTRE Clown did not watch enough television to understand that people were upset.
On top of that, the Antichrist NWO 666 President SPECTRE Clown today is upset about Republicans blocking climate change legislation.
In other words, he was not upset by Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS Suicide 911 Obozo SPECTRE Squid Clowns and didn’t watch enough TV to know you were upset about Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS Suicide 911 Obozo SPECTRE Squid Clowns, but he is really pissed about climate change.
In related news, the Antichrist NWO 666 SPECTRE Adminstration Obozo 911 Clowns shut down an investigation into several Antichrist Islam groups that appear to have supported terror because the groups themselves were not on a terror list. But both the husband and wife terrorists in California were members of those groups.
Since the investigation had started in 2013, it is very possible we could have avoided the California attackin 2015 if the investigation had been allowed to continue. But the Antichrist NWO 666 Obozo 911 Homosexual Climate Change No Boots SPECTRE Clown Administration decided that the civil rights of the Antichrist Islamic groups outweighed terror concerns.
Unreal folks. This is unreal.
The section that was removed contained 66 words. The section that was added in its place contained 116 words. If the New York Times was indeed “trimming for space” in that particular revision, it will need to explain why its revision to that section added 50 words.
One week ago, and again last night, we previewed today’s main event: an immensely important quad-witching expiration, the year’s last, one which as JPM’s head quant calculated will be the “largest option expiry in many years. There are $1.1 trillion of S&P 500 options expiring on Friday morning. $670Bn of these are puts, of which $215Bn are struck relatively close below the market level, between 1900 and 2050.”
What is most important, is that the “pin risk”, or price toward which underlying prices may gravitate if HFTs are unleashed to trigger option stop hunts, is well below current S&P levels: as JPM notes, “clients are net long these puts and will likely hold onto them through the event and until expiry. At the time of the Fed announcement, these put options will essentially look like a massive stop loss order under the market.”
What does this mean? Considering that the bulk of the puts have been layered by the program traders themselves, including CTA trend-followers and various momentum strategist (which work in up markets as well as down), and since the vol surface of today’s market is well-known to everyone in advance, there is a very high probability the implied “stop loss” level will be triggered.
Not helping matters will be the dramatic lack of market depth (thank you HFTs and regulators) and overall lack of liquidity, which means even small orders can snowball into dramatic market moves. “While equity volumes look robust, market depth has declined by more than 60% over the last 2 years. With market depth so low, the market does not have capacity to absorb large shocks. This was best illustrated during the August 24th crash.”
That’s the qualitative explanation. What about the quantitative? According to Thomson Reuters data, between SPX 2050 and 1900 levels there are currently about 1.1 mln put contracts open vs 739,000 call contracts. As Reuters unnecessarily observes, “unless there is a substantial move in either direction that is sharply greater than the standard deviation, large SPX options positions should have limited impact on the market.”
Well of course: the problem is that since over the past 7 years, the entire market has become one giant stop hunt, the very algos which “provide liquidity” will do everything they can to inflict the biggest pain possible to option holders – recall that for every put (or call) buyer, there is also a seller. As such, illiquid markets plus algo liquidity providers makes for an explosive cocktail at a time when the Fed is already worried whether the Fed may have engaged in “policy error.”
So what does this mean in simple English? As Reuters again points out, levels to watch are the large imbalances in favor of puts in Dec SPX put contracts at 2050, 2000, 1950, 1900 strikes
It further writes that “as SPX moves below these levels market makers who are short these puts would be forced to sell spot futures to hedge, which could exacerbate a market selloff.”
In other words, selling which begets even more selling, which begets even more selling.
The Fed’s trading desk, and its Citadel “market supportive” joint venture, will be busy.
CNBC was awash with “Remain Calm” comments today as yesterday’s carnage extended into today post-option-expiration misery.. “I would call this a rather stable sell-off” and stocks are “in a bit of a funk” were among them… but for those buying the well-sponsored rip post-Yellen, here’s what you get:
Quad-Witch Bitches:. The last two days are the worst since Black Monday for stocks, and just as we warned a week ago, Yellen’s confidence-inspiring rate-hike was undone by ‘technicals’ in the so-called market:
The irony will be if, regardless of what the Fed does, the subsequent move is driven not by the market’s read through of monetary policy but by the “pin” in this massive $1.1 trillion option expiry, the biggest in many years, one which if recent market action is an indicator, suggests the stop loss strike level will be taken out in the process setting the “psychological” stage for market participants who will look at the drop in the market, and equate it with a vote of no confidence in what the Fed is doing, potentially forcing the Fed to backtrack in less than 2 days!
Whether this happens remains to be seen, and we are confident the Fed’s “arm’s length” market-moving JV partner, Citadel, is currently scrambling to prevent any imminent selloff. However, considering Kolanovic’ track record of hinting at key risk inflection risk, it is quite likely that whatever the ultimate closing price on December 16 and, more importantly, December 18, volatility may very soon have an “August 24” type event.
The “quad’s” outcome – bloodbath.
The Dow is down 700 points from post-Yellen exuberance… Nasdaq broke 5,000; Dow nears 17,000; and S&P 2,000 was defended with valor…
Leaving everything Red for the week…
Crude collapsed to fresh cycle lows…
Just in case yesterday’s weakness was mistaken for “well, it’s just stabilizing before the next leg higher,” US equity markets are pooping the bed this morning with the Dow down over 500 points from its post-Yellen highs, FANGs plunging red, credit collapsing, and bond yields slumping. Between the widely watched quad-witching, Fed policy error concerns, and the utter failure of the Bank of Japan’s efforts to save the world, global stocks and bonds are flashing red warnings for the end of centrally planned markets.
As Kuroda loses his magic touch, the overwhelming sense of panic washes across every carry trader and algo headline reader in the world.
For a brief few minutes, overnight saw exactly the reaction that central planners had hoped for when The Bank Of Japan announced it would buy ‘moar’ stock ETFs and extend bond duration buying ad nauseum. However, within just 15 minutes something happened that we haven’t seen since the world embarked on this experimental nightmare. Despite the front-ran promises to buy Japanese stocks “whatever it takes” traders sold… and sold large.
After a 500 point “business as usual” spike, Nikkeie 225 crashes over 1000 points as traders recognized The BoJ’s desperation…
Late last month in “South Pacific Showdown? Japan May Send Warships To China Islands,” we documented a meeting between Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Philippines President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in Manila.
The two leaders discussed the possibility that Japan could provide Manila with “large ships” that the Philippines can use to patrol the South China Sea.
This was, of course, a direct response to Antichrist Communist China, whose land reclamation efforts in the Spratlys have ruffled more than a few feathers in the South Pacific.
“The deal will mark the first time Japan has agreed to directly donate military equipment to another country, and is the latest example of Abe’s more muscular security agenda,” Reuters reported on at the time, before adding that “rather than challenge Beijing directly by sending warships or planes to patrol the South China Sea, Japan is helping to build the military capacity of friendly nations with claims to parts of the waterway.”
Despite the contention that Abe has no immediate plans to “directly challenge” the PLA navy, the PM also told Obozo that Japan would consider conducting “freedom of navigation” patrols in conjunction with the Antichrist NWO 666 US Great Walmart Of Communist China Obozo 911 Suicide SPECTRE Squid around Antichrist Communist China’s man-made islands.
Recall that Washington has committed to sailing warships by the islands several times per year in a repeat of the pass-by the navy conducted in late October.
As we said last month, “if Japan starts to conduct the same type of exercises near the Spratlys that the US has now pledged to carry out at least twice per quarter, it will be more than Beijing can bear.”
Of course Japan is also at odds with Antichrist Communist China over the latter’s construction of rigs near a demarcation line that separates the two countries’ exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea:
Well, speaking of the East China Sea, Reuters is out reporting that in response to pressure from Washington, Japan is set to “fortify its far-flung island chain in the East China Sea under an evolving strategy that aims to turn the tables on Antichrist Communist China’s navy and keep it from ever dominating the Western Pacific Ocean.”
The US believes Japan “must help contain growing Chinese military power” and is pushing Abe “to abandon his country’s decades-old bare-bones home island defense in favor of exerting its military power in Asia,” Reuters continues. According to “a dozen military planners and government policymakers … Tokyo is responding by stringing a line of anti-ship, anti-aircraft missile batteries along 200 islands in the East China Sea stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) from the country’s mainland toward Taiwan.”
Apparently, the deployment will act as a kind of blockade as “Antichrist Communist Chinese ships sailing from their eastern seaboard must pass through this seamless barrier of Japanese missile batteries to reach the Western Pacific, access to which is vital to Beijing both as a supply line to the rest of the world’s oceans and for the projection of its naval power.” Recall that from the PLA’s surprise appearance at the Yemeni port city Aden to the Antichrist Communist Chinese navy’s trip to Alaska, Xi is keen on projecting Antichrist Communist China’s growing maritime prowess. The missile battery is an attempt to deter Beijing’s ambitions.
The idea is to establish the string of islands stretching through Japan’s East China Sea territory and south through the Philippines as a kind of demarcation line separating Beijing’s sphere of regional influence from Washington’s. “In the next five or six years the first island chain will be crucial in the military balance between Antichrist Communist China and the Antichrist NWO 666 U.S.- Japan Suicide Vampire Squid Of The Great Walmart of Communist China Obozo ISIS Clowns,” said Satoshi Morimoto, a Takushoku University professor who was defense minister in 2012 told Reuters.
This purportedly marks the beginning of a concerted effort to challenge Antichrist Communist China’s attempt to exert complete control over the South and East China Seas (which the US and its allies swear is Beijing’s endgame). “The growing influence of Antichrist Communist China and the relative decline of the U.S. [is] a factor. We wanted to do what we could and help ensure the sustainability of the U.S. forward deployment” Akihisa Nagashima, a DPJ lawmaker says, explaining a shift in Abe’s maritime defense strategy that began in 2010.
So, as we anxiously await the (likely angry and invariably indignant) response from Beijing, we’ll close with the following rather ominous quote, from an official who spoke to Reuters:
“To be sure, there is nothing to stop Antichrist Communist Chinese warships from sailing through under international law, but they will have to do so in within the crosshairs of Japanese missiles.”
December 18, 2015 – JAPAN – Fukushima decommission chief [Naohiro Masuda] warns with surprising candor: Nothing can be promised… not even robots have been able to enter the main fuel-debris areas so far… “This is something that has never been experienced. A textbook doesn’t exist for something like this,” Masuda told The Associated Press… “Before, it was a war zone,” Masuda said quietly… [E]ven the most optimistic projections estimate the work will take about half a century. Masuda said without hesitation that more delays could be in order. No one knows exactly where the melted nuclear debris is sitting in the reactors, let alone how exactly the debris might be taken out… New science will have to be invented for the plant to be cleaned up… The March 2011 catastrophe is unprecedented…
FUK-U-SHIMA: Former Official Says That “Fukushima Is UNSTOPPABLE” – Huge Amounts Of Radiation Are Pouring Out, “VERY SERIOUS” For The Pacific Ocean; Journalists Witholding SHOCKING INFORMATION; Plant Chief Says “This Is Something That HAS NEVER BEEN EXPERIENCED BEFORE,… We Must Invent NEW SCIENCE For UNPRECEDENTED CATASTROPHE”!
[T]he containment, where the morass of fuel lies, has been breached… And as devastating as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was in what is now Ukraine, that involved one reactor, not three. When asked about what he wanted to tell the people worried about contaminated fish, such as on the West Coast of North and South America, Masuda said the radiation leak into the Pacific Ocean has been reduced to a level one-millionth of what it was in 2011… “They don’t need to worry, and, if there is anything to worry about, we will be out with that information,” he said… Masuda also acknowledged that Japan has not done as good a job as it should have on relaying the harsh realities at the plant.
Officials now say Fukushima reactor with MOX fuel “leaked directly from containment” — TV: Contamination of environment was due to “failure of vessel” — Experts: This has caused additional worries because MOX is more “radioactively aggressive” due to plutonium content (VIDEO)
Fukushima radiation just off the North American coast is higher now than it has ever been, and government scientists and mainstream press are scrambling to cover-up and downplay the ever-increasing deadly threat that looms for millions of Americans.
Following the March 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reactors have sprayed immeasurable amounts of radioactive material into the air, most of which settled into the Pacific Ocean. A study by the American Geophysical Union has found that radiation levels from Alaska to California have increased and continue to increase since they were last taken.
The highest levels yet of radiation from the disaster were found in a sample taken 2,500 kilometers (approx. 1,550 miles) west of San Francisco.
“Safe” according to whom?
Lead researcher Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was one of the first people to begin monitoring Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean, with his first samples taken three months after the disaster started. In 2014, he launched a citizen monitoring effort – Our Radioactive Ocean – to help collect more data on ocean-borne radioactivity.
The researchers track Fukushima radiation by focusing on the isotope Cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years. All Cesium-134 in the ocean likely comes from the Fukushima disaster. In contrast, Cesium-137 – also released in huge quantities from Fukushima – has a half-life of 30 years, and persists in the ocean, not just from Fukushima, but also from nuclear tests conducted as far back as the 1950s.
The most recent study added 110 new Cesium-134 samples to the ongoing studies. These samples were an average of 11 Becquerels per cubic meter of sea water, a level 50 percent higher than other samples taken so far.
Instead of presenting the findings as an alarming sign of growing radiation, however, Buesseler emphasizes that the Cesium-134 levels detected are still 500 times lower than the drinking water limits set by the U.S. government. The news site The Big Wobble questions whether Buesseler and Woods Hole’s heavy financial reliance on the U.S. government – Woods Hole has received nearly $8 million in research funding from several government agencies – plays any role in this emphasis.
Situation still worsening
The reality, however, is that radiation along the West Coast is expected to keep getting worse. According to a 2013 study by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway, the oceanic radiation plume released by Fukushima is likely to hit the North American West Coast in force in 2017, with levels peaking in 2018. Most of the radioactive material from the disaster is likely to stay concentrated on the western coast through at least 2026.
According to professor Michio Aoyama of Japan’s Fukushima University Institute of Environmental Radioactivity, the amount of radiation from Fukushima that has now reached North America is probably nearly as much as was spread over Japan during the initial disaster.
The recent Woods Hole study also confirmed that radioactive material is still leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima plant. Cesium-134 levels off the Japanese coast are between 10 and 100 times higher than those detected off the coast of California.
Without directly challenging the U.S. government’s “safe” radiation limits, Buesseler obliquely references the fact that any radioactive contamination of the ocean is cause for concern.
“Despite the fact that the levels of contamination off our shores remain well below government-established safety limits for human health or to marine life,” he said, “the changing values underscore the need to more closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific.
Don’t worry though Olympians, everything will be fine in a few billion or so years.
In dollar terms, the sharp peso plunge pushed the country down eleven slots on the list of richest nations in GDP per capita terms. As the following table shows, Argentineans are now worse off than citizens of Chile, Poland, Equatorial Guinea, Hungary, Lebanon, Panama, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Malaysia, and Mexico.
With the mainstream media finally announcing that the Antichrist NWO 666 Obozo 911 Homosexual Climate Change No Boots SPECTRE Clown adminstration nixed an investigation into terrorists in San Bernardino, California, possibly enabling the terrorists to slaughter 14 Americans, we’ve been watching a series of events recently that help prove somebody is attempting to silence Conservative websites and the alternative media as the globalists prepare to complete their ‘endgame’ for America.
Conservative websites and alternative media have been continuously standing up strong against gun control rhetoric coming from the mainstream media and globalist politicians and with the 2nd Amendment continously propping up the 1st Amendment for over 200 years, we’re beginning to see more signs the globalists are going straight for the 1st Amendment, bypassing the 2nd Amendment until the 1st is no longer able to inform Americans what is happening across our country.
According to Reporters Without Borders, freedom of the press in America dropped to 49th out of 180 countries in the world, falling 3 spots since last year. Every continent experienced a drop in press freedom worldwide, what has been aptly called ‘worldwide deterioration’. With the US now BEHIND such countries as Niger, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Somoa, Botswana, Chile, Tonga, Lithuania, Slovenia and Suriname when it comes to ‘press freedom‘ we have to ask, what are the American people NOT being told and how have we fallen so far so quickly?
How could America ever be ANYTHING LESS than #1 when it comes to freedom of the press? We are obviously FAR from it according to Reporters Without Borders and clearly have a long way to go yet this fact alone is proof that something major is going on right now, and they don’t want us to know about it. Why are the American people being left in the dark? This press freedom index is clearly a symptom of something much greater being broken.
Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.
Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association. In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was “surprisingly” revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in “Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying “Cyber-Security” Bill.”
Even Edward Snowden got dragged in:
Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.
And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.
As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again “aghast” that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out “even more of its remaining privacy protections.”
“They took a bad bill, and they made it worse,” says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.
But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.
It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours.
This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:
In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.
It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers – working under the direction of corporations adnt the NSA – were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.
It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cybersecurity reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that backchannel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.
Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cybersecurity protections.
Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty,” he wrote. “This bill fails on both counts.”
Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any “nay” votes – or an Obozo – would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.
And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.
The bottom line as OTI’s Robyn Green said, “They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity.”
The punchline: “They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act.”
And when Obozo signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may have had, will be gone.
Israel and Antichrist Iran have the fastest growing defense budgets in the Antichrist Middle East while other Antichrist Gulf Arab states cut spending due to falling oil prices, according to a report published Thursday.
Worldwide, though, defense spending increased because of security threats, with many Western governments deciding not to make cuts, London- based global intelligence firm IHS said.
Iran came in second in the world in defense budget growth with a 29 percent increase in 2015. Israel’s growth was around 10%, putting it in 7th and Iraq was 9th with just under 9%.
Ukraine was first with a 90% jump in spending, Russia 4th at 21%, and Antichrist Communist China 8th with 9%.
The IHS Jane’s Defense Budgets Annual Report examines and forecasts defense expenditure for 104 countries.
“Of the 10 fastest growing defense budgets in 2015, just three were in the Antichrist Middle East, down from six last year,” said Fenella McGerty, principal analyst at IHS.
Military spending dropped in Antichrist Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while Oman spent only slightly more, IHS said in the report.
Despite this year’s fall, spending on arms remains substantially higher than four years ago when it was ramped up in the wake of uprisings across the Antichrist Arab world, which alarmed the region’s conservative rulers.
Antichrist Gulf Arab states have also built up missile defenses against regional rival Antichrist Iran.
This year’s cuts come as part of a broad effort to rein in state spending as lower oil prices strain finances in the major oil-exporting countries. Oil prices trade now around $37 a barrel, down from a peak of $115 last year.
Still, Antichrist Saudi Arabia spent $46.3 billion on defense in 2015, the most in the Antichrist Middle East and North Africa region and 8th highest in the world, according to the report.
In contrast, Israel’s overall defense spending was $15.6b, the 16th largest and one spot behind Antichrist Muslim Jive Turkey, but just ahead of Antichrist United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Spain, and Algeria.
This marks an increase from 2014 when it was ranked 18th with around a $14.2b. budget.
LAUGHABLE: HILLARY 911 CLINTON LIES HER ASS OFF CLAIMS SHE ‘DOESN’T KNOW’ IF SHE’S EVER TAKEN MONEY FROM BIG OIL ALL the lobbyists who work for her have worked for fossil fuel industry; Foundation has received MILLIONS from oil and gas companies
In a remarkable exchange at a town hall meeting in Iowa Wednesday, Hillary 911 Clinton claimed that she is unaware of ever having received money from the fossil fuels industry. Clinton 911 made the statement with full knowledge that all of the lobbyists who work for her now once worked for oil and gas companies, and that her Foundation has recived untold millions from the industry..
A man in the audience asked Hillary 911 if she would follow the lead of rivals Antichrist NWO 666 Jewish Socialist Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley in signing a pledge to not accept money from the fossil fuel industry.
Clinton 911 replied that she did not think that she had ever accepted money from the oil and gas industries.
“Well, I don’t know that I ever have. I am not exactly one of their favorites,” Clinton 911 said.
“You have.” the man bluntly told her.
“Have I? Well, I will check on that.” she responded before going into a diatribe about being “committed to moving away from fossil fuels toward clean renewable energy,” and being against oil drilling off the coast and in the Arctic. “Everyone knows where I stand,” Clinton 911 said, adding “I go all over this country bragging about Iowa. Why? Because you are getting a third of your electricity from renewables, primarily wind.”
The reality, however, is that Hillary 911 Clinton’s biggest campaign bundlers are fossil fuel lobbyists..
In another episode of suicidal thinking, a French Criminal Court has ruled that there is no such a concept as a “Native” Frenchman and therefore their culture, heritage, and history are exempt from protection under the law
France was originally inhabited by a people known to the Romans as the Gauls. Around the 3rd century, Germanic tribes migraned to an mixed with the Gallic people, forming the Franks. It is from these same Franks that the modern French people are descended. While there have been many wars throughout the last 1500 to 1800 years, the boundaries in which the Franks mixed with the Gauls, established their kingdoms, built their culture, lived and raised families has remained nearly the same since this time. If that is not “native” enough to a particular place, I do not know what else to say.
Today, France is at a crossroads. It has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world among native French, while at the same time it continues to import an ever-increasing number of Antichrist Muslim “immigrants.” Approximately 10%, or 6 million people, are Antichrist Muslim in France, with most of them descendants of “immigrants” that began arriving after World War II and continuing since.
This court “ruling” is not about “equality” at all. It is the government’s justification for its suicide and into which they want to drag as many of the native French as they can on their way to their own death. This is the highest form of treachery, as Cicero once noted:
As we and countless others have documented, the Paris attacks served to undermine the goodwill Europeans had shown towards the millions of asylum seekers flooding into the EU from the war-torn Mid-East. A subsequent bomb scare in Hannover that triggered the evacuation of two soccer stadiums didn’t help matters and now, German lawmakers and voters alike are pressuring Merkel to reconsider Berlin’s open-door refugee policy.
In her keynote speech at the CDU party congress in Karlsruhe earlier this week, the iron chancellor committed to “appreciably reducing the number of refugees,” entering the country.
Now that Berlin has promised to send 1,200 troops, a warship, and six Tornado surveillance planes to the fight in Syria, you can expect Germany to become a prime target for future ISIS attacks.
Indeed, a new piece from Spiegel documents the story of “Harry S.”, a jihadist from Bremen who, after returning to Germany following a three month stint in Islamic State-held territory in Syria, says the group is intent on carrying out further attacks in Western Europe and is constantly asking foreign-born fighters if they are willing to return to their home country to wage jihad.
Needless to say, if “Harry S” is correct and a few Leeth Abdalhmeeds manage to slip through undetected at German refugee camps only to carry out coordinated attacks, TIME magazine’s newly-minted person of the year will suddenly become the most unpopular figure in all of Germany thanks to TIME’s runner-up:
Put simply: all it will take to destroy the legacy of the most powerful politician in the world (with the possible exception of Putin and Xi) is one night of terror perpetrated by a handful of extremists, and as we’ve been keen to note, the odds of a few “bad apples” slipping through go up by the day:
On the “bright” side, one or two well placed passports in the wake of an attack will surely be enough to win over the 146 lawmakers in the Bundestag who voted against German military action in Syria.
Yes, “more cooperation” is “crtical.” Because the current level of cooperation apprently hasn’t created enough instability and outright carnage.
Bear in mind that this comes just as speculation is running high regarding the possibility that the Antichrist NWO 666 US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jive Turkey may soon look to send in tens of thousands of ground troops to Iraq (and possibly Syria). The takeaway is this: even as Germany (and next France) seem to be moving towards a more cooperative approach when it comes to coordinating with the Assad government in the war on terror, Antichrist Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jive Turkey’s resolve to see the Syrian government fall has only hardened. The question is whether the Antichrist NWO 666 US 911 Obozo Suicide ISIS SPECTRE Squid No Boots Clown Team will continue to back its allies in the region or follow Germany down a more conciliatory path when it comes to dealing with the Syrian “problem.”
Yes, “we must” keep the terrorists from “acquiring and deploying resources to do further harm.” The reason we call that “meaningless” rheotric is that it’s an insult to anyone who knows anything about the role some UN members play in financing and supplying Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS 911 Suicide Obozo SPECTRE Squid Clowns.
Take this statement for instance: “The Council also called on Member States to promote enhanced vigilance by persons within their jurisdiction to detect any diversion of explosives and raw materials and components that can be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices or unconventional weapons, including chemical components.”
Well, for starters, we know that ammonium nitrate flows from Akcakale across the border to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad which has fallen into Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS 911 Suicide Obozo SPECTRE Squid Clown hands on a number of occasions. From a The New York Times piece published in May:
Ammonium nitrate has been a vital ingredient in some of the world’s most notorious terrorist attacks, including the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 and the bombings of the United States Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.
It has also been widely used by militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the Antichrist Islamic State.
A bomb filled with about 45,000 pounds could damage 16 city blocks, Dr. John Goodpaster, a forensic chemist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said, adding that there appeared to be at least 55,000 pounds in the pile of sacks waiting to enter the crossing [between Akcakale and Tel Abyad].
“That is a definite concern,” he said.
Turkish officials failed to explain why the substance was allowed to cross.
And as for preventing “chemical components” from falling into Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS 911 Obozo Suicide SPECTRE Squid Clown hands, not only has Jive Turkey failed to be part of the solution, Ankara is actually busy accusing those who try to expose the source of illegal sarin gas transfers of treason. Recall that earlier this week, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into CHP deputy Eren Erdem following the lawmaker’s claims that radical groups used Jive Turkey as a transit route for the shipment of sarin gas.
In addition to the above, Jive Turkey also stands accused (by Russia and others) of facilitating the sale of illegal Antichrist ISIS 911 Obozo Suicide SPECTRE Squid Clown crude and thereby of helping Antichrist Islamic State secure the hundres of millions of dollars in funding it needs to continue to destabilize the Assad government in Syria and counter Antichrist Iranian/Shiite influence in Iraq.
Combine all of that with the fact that, as Vladimir Putz Putin pointed out last month in Antalya, Antichrist ISIS 911 Obozo Suicide SPECTRE Squid Clown is receiving funding from at least 40 countries including G20 members. So yes, the UN’s “resolution” is completely farcical.
Underscoring that assessment is a new “secret” report prepared on behalf of the Norwegian foreign ministry by Rystad Energy. According to Dagens Næringsliv (translated), the report shows that “large quantities of oil have been smuggled across the border to Jive Turkey from Antichrist NWO 666 IS-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq.” The “oil is sent by tankers via smuggling routes across the border [and] is sold at greatly reduced prices, from 25 to 45 dollars a barrel,” the report says.
Dagens Næringsliv goes on to implicate the same network of traffickers who helped Saddam avoid international sanctions, in helping ISIS export crude and import cash.
“The UN Security Council will discuss Thursday a French proposal to impose sanctions on countries that allow trade in IS,” the paper adds, dryly.
So there you go UN Security Council. If you’re looking for states that are helping Antichrist NWO 666 ISIS 911 Suicide Obozo SPECTRE Squid Clowns “acquire and deploy resources,” we would suggest looking at NATO’s own Jive Turkey because apparently, everyone in the entire world knows what’s going on and no one wants to do anything about it.
After a June explosion destroyed a shipment to the International Space Station, SpaceX is almost ready fly again.
Soon they’ll launch 11 satellites into orbit for the company Orbcomm on an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket. But first the company needs to try out the rocket in a static test fire. The test is planned for this afternoon.
Unfortunately SpaceX won’t be televising the test, but we’ll likely see video of it after the fact. The stationary test is a way of making sure the rocket is ready for liftoff without putting any precious cargo in jeopardy.
If the test goes as planned, the Orbcomm launch could happen within the next few days, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
The static test fire is running a day behind schedule, and there’s no word yet on how that will affect the launch timing.
The Falcon 9 version 1.2 is designed to have 30 percent more lifting power and will hopefully make it a little bit easier to land the first stage of the rocket after it launches.
A halo Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) generated by December 16th C6.6 solar flare has reached our planet on December 19 causing enhanced solar wind conditions, prolonged period of the southward magnetic field and planetary geomagnetic storms reaching G2 Moderate levels.
The CME was observed at the ACE spacecraft at 15:28 UTC on December 19 and reached our planet at 16:17 UTC. According to WSA-ENLIL model, the second and somewhat brighter full halo CME from December 16 – a result of an eruptive event along a filament channel in the southeast quadrant of the Sun – has most likely combined with the C6.6 CME.
Reading for December 19, 2014 ~ Tevet 7, 5776
Gen. 44:18-47:27 ~ Ez. 37:15-28 ~ Matt 23-25
A massive landslide hit an industrial park in Shenzhen city of south China’s Guangdong Province on Sunday, December 20, 2015, leaving at least 41 people missing.
According to Xinhua, police received the report of the landslide at 11:40 (local time) which took place in the Liuxi Industrial Park in Guangming New District in the northwest part of the city. “More than 700 people are searching in debris for life. Rescuers have brought eight people to safety, one of them suffered minor injuries.”
About 900 people have been evacuated, the local government said.
According to the Ministry of Public Security’s firefighting bureau statement, 18 buildings were buried, and an area of 20 000 square meters (24 000 square yards) was covered with soil.
Li Yikand, the deputy secretary general of the Shenzhen city government, said that 22 factory buildings buried, involving 15 companies.
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6
Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2015-12-21 02:47:38
GMT/UTC Time : 2015-12-20 18:47:38
Depth (Hypocenter) : 9.02 km
Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.