Thanksgiving Weekend – Older Millennials (25-34) Powered Surge In Online Spending And Shift To Mobile

While online spending surged, the overall picture for Thanksgiving weekend spending was more mixed as the traditional “bricks and mortar” retailers continued to struggle. Nevertheless, overall spending was about 4% higher. The National Reta…

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Fed’s Kashkari Responds To Zero Hedge: “The Fed’s Job Is Not To Protect Investors”

Former Goldmanite and current Minneapolis Fed president, Neel Kashkari, conducted another #AskNeel session on Twitter where the dovish FOMC voter (he was the only one to dissent to the Fed’s rate hike decision earlier this year) received numerous quest…

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FANG Shareholders Lost Almost 20 Times More Than Bitcoin Investors Today

While all eyes were told to focus on the cryptocurrency chaos over here… the widely-owned ‘no-brainers’ FANG stocks suffered total losses that were almost 20 times larger than the ‘losers’ in Bitcoin

At the end of the day – amid all the turmoil – Bitcoin ended the day down over $3 billion in market cap…

 

However, FANG stocks suffered their biggest market cap loss ever – losing almost $60 billion today…

Surely – as Joseph Stiglitz warned, investors should be banned from trading FANG stocks – if they can lose this much money in a day, the trading of these shares seems like something that should be heavily regulated.

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Turmoil…

GDP surged above expectations, Matt Lauer fired, Crude carnage, Semis slaughtered, Momo massacred, Nasdaq knackered, Precious metals pummeled, Bond bloodbath, and Bitcoin bounced and trounced… But everyone loves Trannies!

 

Spot the odd one out… (biggest divergence between Transports and Nasdaq since Nov 2009) – Dow and Small Caps closed at record highs…

 

Futures show the moves this week in a little more context…

(NOTE – today was the biggest divergence between The Dow and Nasdaq in over 5 months)

Today was Trannies biggest day since Nov 2011 to a new record high…

 

A look at Nasdaq and Bitcoin suggest some relationship in the collapse – while Nasdaq broke first, at around 1012amET both suddenly plunged together…

 

Is Nasdaq playing catchdown to FX carry?

And bonds?

 

Nasdaq VIX spiked above 16…

 

And Dow VIX spiked today even as Dow rallied…

 

Financials extended Powell-hype gains…

 

Massive rotation from momentum to value today… (biggest momo factor plunge since election)

 

NOTE – Today’s 3.9% dispersoin between Value and Momo is the biggest since the election…

 

Were investors rotating out of Nvidia and into the underlying?

 

FANG Stocks suffered their biggest daily drop since Feb 2016…to one-month lows…

 

The Philly Semi Index crashed today…biggest single-day drop since Brexit (June 2016)

 

…and just happens to have occurred as the index finally cleared the 2000 dotcom peak

 

 

Bonds were whacked today – while Chinese yields fell modestly, German and US 10Y Yields spiked notably (we do note that Alibaba dropped a $7 billion multi-part bond today which may be a factor)

 

All yields are up on the week…

 

10Y yield back at one-month highs…

 

The yield curve steepened most since September…

 

The Dollar whipsawed around today but ended practically unchanged…

 

Copper continued to collapse – dropping to its lowest since October 10th…

 

Crude carnaged (as did RBOB) on ‘sell-the-leaked-news’ from OPEC (Saudi officials were not worried)…

 

Gold and Silver were slammed lower – silver back at its lowest since Oct 6th…

 

Finally, let’s focus on Bitcoin – having broken $11,000 this morning, it surged on to $11,485, before collapsing to $8595.. then bouncing hard to $10,485, before losing $10k again into the US equity market close…

 

And while everyone i talking about the drop in cryptocurrencies – today’s $60 billion drop in FANG market cap is the largest ever…

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The StingRay Spy Device Is Exactly Why The 4th Amendment Was Written

Authored by Olivia Donaldson via The Foundation for Economic Education,

Imagine you are in the middle of your typical day-to-day activities. Maybe you are driving, spending time with family, or working. If you are like most people, your phone is at your side on a daily basis. Little do you know that, at any time, police and law enforcement could be looking at information stored on your phone.

You haven’t done anything wrong. You haven’t been asked for permission. You aren’t suspected of any crime.

The StingRay

Police have the power to collect your location along with the numbers of your incoming and outgoing calls and intercept the content of call and text communication. They can do all of this without you ever knowing about it.

How? They use a shoebox-sized device called a StingRay. This device (also called an IMSI catcher) mimics cell phone towers, prompting all the phones in the area to connect to it even if the phones aren’t in use.

The police use StingRays to track down and implicate perpetrators of mainly domestic crimes. The devices can be mounted in vehicles, drones, helicopters, and airplanes, allowing police to gain highly specific information on the location of any particular phone, down to a particular apartment complex or hotel room.

Quietly, StingRay use is growing throughout local and federal law enforcement with little to no oversight. The ACLU has discovered that at least 68 agencies in 23 different states own StingRays, but says that this “dramatically underrepresents the actual use of StingRays by law enforcement agencies nationwide.”

The Violation

Information from potentially thousands of phones is being collected every time a StingRay is used. Signals are sent into the homes, bags, and pockets of innocent individuals. The Electronic Frontier Foundation likens this to the Pre-Revolutionary War practice of soldiers going door-to-door, searching without suspicion.

Richard Tynan, a technologist with Privacy International notes that, “there really isn’t any place for innocent people to hide from a device such as this.”

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states that, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The StingRay clearly violates these standards. The drafters of the Constitution recognized that restricting the government from violating privacy is essential for a free society. That’s why the Fourth Amendment exists. The StingRay is creating a dangerous precedent that tells the government that it’s okay for them to violate our rights. Because of this, freedom is quietly slipping out the window.

Little Regulation

Law Enforcement is using StingRays without a warrant in most cases. For example, the San Bernardino Police Department used their StingRay 300 times without a warrant in a little over a year.

In 2010, the Tallahassee Police Department used a StingRay in a warrantless search to track down the suspect of a crime. A testimony from an unsealed hearing transcript talks about how police went about finding their target. The ACLU sums it up well:

“Police drove through the area using the vehicle-based device until they found the apartment complex in which the target phone was located, and then they walked around with the handheld device and stood ‘at every door and every window in that complex’ until they figured out which apartment the phone was located in. In other words, police were lurking outside people’s windows and sending powerful electronic signals into their private homes in order to collect information from within.”

A handful of states have passed laws requiring police and federal agents to get a warrant before using a StingRay. They must show probable cause for one of the thousands of phones that they are actually searching. This is far from enough.

Additionally, there are many concerns that agents are withholding information from federal judges to monitor subjects without approval – bypassing the probable cause standard laid out in the Constitution. They even go as far as to let criminals go to avoid disclosing information about these devices to the courts.

If the public doesn’t become aware of this issue, the police will continue to use StingRays to infringe on our rights in secret and with impunity.

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Deutsche Bank Explains The Five Biggest “Market Conundrums”

While pundits contemplate whether the bitcoin bubble is bigger, smaller or the same size as the dot com bubble, few are willing to admit that day to day events in the equity market are just as ridiculous, bubbly and bizarre as what takes place in the c…

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Bitcoin Flash-Crashes To $8,500, Then Rebounds As Biggest US Exchange Breaks

Chaos: Bitcoin bounced back $1500 from the lows, rising as high as $10,400 from nearly $2000 lower just an hour earlier, before trading in a range around $10,000.

*  *  *
Update: The crash is continuing with Bitcoin now collapsing below $900…

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Best Beige Book Anecdotes: “It’s No Longer Possible To Build A Starter Home For Under $200K In Cleveland,” And More

While many, and certainly the FOMC, tends to gloss over the periodic Beige Book report, it does provide a snapshot of the US economy, if not in quantiative terms, then in qualitative anecdotes, some of which can be rather amusing at times.
First, here…

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John McCain Holds The Keys To Tax Reform’s Fate

Anybody who was watching the July Senate floor vote on the Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will remember the audible gasps that John McCain elicited when he surprised his own party by voting against the plan. And now just four months later, he’s gearing up to do it again.

According to the New York Times, McCain may once again decide the fate of one of the Trump administration’s top legislative priorities.

The senator from Arizona has been tight-lipped about whether he will vote ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on the bill, which was voted out of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday with the support of Bob Corker and Ron Johnson, who have both expressed reservations about the plan – Johnson had even said he wouldn’t vote for it.

As the NYT points out, McCain has staked his career on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and has bucked his party by voting against tax cuts in the past.

McCain’s skepticism of tax cuts stretches at least as far back as 1994. At that time, he was fretting about being fiscally responsible now that Republicans had seized control of Congress. “I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the 80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we’ve got a debt that we’ve got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense,” McCain said.

“Mr. McCain has voted against big tax cuts before, including two that passed under another Republican president: George W. Bush In that case, he bucked the majority of hi party on the grounds that the 2001 and 2003 cuts overwhelmingly benefited the rich – a widespread criticism of the current Senate legislation and the bill that has already passed the House. Mr. McCain is also a deficit hawk and could find it had to swallow a tax cut that will add around $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over 10 years.”

 

 

“In 2001, as Republicans forged ahead with a $1.35 trillion tax cut, Mr. McCain became one of two Republican senators to vote against the bill’s passage. He said he could not accept that changes to the bill lowered the top individual tax rate to 35% and delayed tax relief for married couples.”

 

‘We had an opportunity to provide much more tax relief to millions of hard-working Americans,” Mr. McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor. ‘But I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.’

 

Two years later, Mr. McCain voted against another round of tax cuts. In his remarks in 2003, Mr. McCain again cast doubt on the need to use ‘billions of federal dollars to cut taxes for our nation’s wealthiest.’ The deal breaker that time was that his fellow lawmakers would pass such cuts while rejecting legislation that would have allowed members of the military to get tax breaks on profits from selling their homes.

Several of McCain’s associates said they wouldn’t be surprised if he voted against the senate bill, which he has criticized for being too generous with the wealthy.

“’I don’t know,’ Douglas Holtz-Eakin, policy adviser to Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said when asked how his former boss would vote on the tax overhaul. ‘For most people there are going to be things in there they don’t like and the question is what is preferable, the status quo or the bill.’”

During the 2000 Republican primary, when he ultimately lost out to George W Bush, McCain positioned himself as the candidate of fiscal restraint, advocating paying down the debt over tax cuts for the rich.

“We ought to pay down the debt, and we also ought to make Social Security solvent,” he said.

More recently, Mr. McCain has been toeing the party line on taxes.

In 2006, Mr. McCain supported extending the Bush tax cuts on the basis that letting them expire would represent a tax increase.

The tax plan that Mr. McCain crafted in 2008 during his presidential run against Barack Obama was even more mainstream Republican. He called for lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, phasing out the alternative minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for each dependent to $7,000 from $3,500.

Anyone who was paying attention to McCain’s explanation for opposing the Republican health care plan will remember that one of his reason for opposing the bill was its lack of bipartisan support. Given the intensely partisan atmosphere that has persisted in Washington for much of the last decade, this sounds like an excuse for voting against the bill out of spite.

At the end of the day, McCain and fellow Trump opponents Bob Corker and Jeff Flake aren’t running again. They’ve already suggested that they find Trump and his agenda repugnant.

And with the Republicans’ razor-thin majority, three no votes would be enough to kill the bill, which is expected to be brought to the floor for a vote tomorrow.
 

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Maryland Schools Forced To Cancel Baltimore Field Trips Due To “Escalating Violence”

In light of the ongoing wave of violent crime in Baltimore, school officials in nearby Carroll County have been forced to halt school-related trips to the city – including a marching band’s scheduled performance in the Mayor’s Christmas Parade this wee…

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